Our family's journey through life as we deal with the every day messes along the way

101 Color and Sing Bible Stories {a Tyndale review}

One of the most important things I want to teach my children is to love the Bible. This new Children’s Bible, 101 Color & Sing Bible Stories {affiliate link}, is such a wonderful tool to use for that very thing. When you purchase this book, you will also receive 2 discs that include a coloring page and song for every story. There are 101 stories covering some of the most important events in the Bible. Each story is 2 pages. One page includes a picture of what the coloring page looks like, a fun fact, the read-a-long (which gives the Scripture that the story is based on), the sing-a-long song lyrics, and the exact location on the disc where you will find the coloring page and song. The opposite page includes a full color picture of the story. The pictures in the book are bright and colorful.

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We are having a great time using this story Bible. My kids are catching on to the songs (which we play regularly) and they love the coloring pages. I love that they have a page to color as I read. It really seems to helps them connect to the story. Although the age range is meant to be about ages 3-6, my 8-year-old loves these stories and loves to join in on the coloring fun (maybe that is because two of her favorite things in life are singing and coloring!). If you are looking for a fun way to introduce Bible stories to your little ones, I would highly recommend this book. We love it!

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Blog disclosure

 

 

FREE Literature Based Kindergarten Curriculum Posted!

Free Literature

Just wanted to make you all aware that I just posted what will probably be my last piece of Free curriculum (at least for now…but more about that later!). It is my version of a pre-year 1 Ambleside Online curriculum that was greatly inspired by Kathy Jo DeVore’s Pathways.

Here is the link if you want to head on over and check it out:

http://wateronthefloor.wordpress.com/free-curriculum/literature-based-kindergarten-curriculum/

Have a wonderful day!

 

Spark Your Child’s Curiosity with “Curiosity Quest” {a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review}

Do your kids love to learn about new things? Do you love when you can find entertaining and educational shows for them? I have the perfect solution for all of you. Through a Schoolhouse Review Crew review, I have been introduced to an outstanding series of shows that are aimed at answering questions kids have about all types of topics. The series is called Curiosity Questand it is awesome! For this review I was given two sets of DVDs which included the DVD Combo Pack about Produce (which included episodes about Mushrooms, Cranberries, Orange Packing) and the DVD Combo Pack about Swimmers of the Sea (which had episodes that taught about Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, Salmon). Each of these DVD Combo pack retail for $24.95.

Curiosity Quest Review

 The Curiosity Quest series is intended for children ages 7-14, but even my younger boys (ages 3 and 5) sat down and enjoyed watching these shows. even enjoyed watching every episode! Never once did I think “this is too childish” and never once did the kids say “this is boring”. Everyone was entertained while getting a first-hand look at some very interesting topics. We have watched our DVDs several times and it seems we learn something new each time we watch them.

Curiosity Quest Review

The Curiosity Quest DVDs are like taking a field trip without ever having to leave your house. Every episode begins with a question sent in by a child. Throughout the episode, they explore different things that are all associated with the topic. For example, the episode on penguins takes you to a penguin habitat in an aquarium. They go through all of the steps necessary to take care of these penguins. From feeding to housing to keeping them healthy, they cover it all!

Curiosity Quest Review

The produce episodes are similar in the way they take you through the whole process. With the cranberry DVD (yum! One of my personal favorites!) they start in the cranberry bog. They go through the whole process of collecting, cleaning, sorting, storing, shipping, and selling the cranberries. I don’t think my kids have ever fully realized that food doesn’t just find its way into a store. But they have found out through Curiosity Quest that food has to go through a lot before it is ready to be sold in a store.

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There is something so fascinating about Curiosity Quest and the fact that the kids are learning right along with Joel, the host of the show. It doesn’t feel intimidating to kids because Joel doesn’t have all of the answers! He isn’t teaching…he is learning! He is asking the questions and finding the answers just like the kids would if there were on a real field trip. Now I realize this shouldn’t be a full-time replacement for field trips, but with Curiosity Quest the kids gain access to places we can’t get to (like the Sea Turtle Hospital in Florida). So when you think about the cost of a real field trip, these episodes can be a great way to supplement when you can’t get there in person.

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Do you ever have something arrive at a time that couldn’t be more perfect? This is exactly what happened with our Curiosity Quest DVDs. Let me start by saying that I don’t usually pick up germs from the kids. Well, the day before our DVDs arrived, I became horrible ill. A few of the kids were sick too, but not all of them. So when the package came from Curiosity Quest, we immediately put them in to watch. And they saved my sanity! The kids were occupied and entertained while I laid on the couch next to them and rested. We all had a chance to learn some new things too!

Curiosity Quest Review

 Watching these DVDs sparked the interest of the kids so much that we decided to do some little unit studies on each of the topics. We read a lot of books, we did some notebooking, we did some coloring, we did some crafting, and had a lot of fun! But honestly, I don’t think the kids would have had much interest in topics like cranberries, mushrooms, and oranges without seeing Curiosity Quest first.

Curiosity Quest Review

Would I recommend the Curiosity Quest DVDs to you? Yes! We all love the DVDs we watched and the kids are now hunting for more!  Even several weeks after we were first introduced to Curiosity Quest my kids still bring up little things they learned from watching the episodes. I think they appreciate a lot more of the details is takes when it comes to things like caring for animals and producing food. Every time we come across a new topic, animal, or food, they check for Curiosity Quest episodes. Who knows…maybe they will be one of the kids that gives Curiosity Quest their next idea for a new episode!

Curiosity Quest Review

 Want to see what the rest of the Crew thought about the Curiosity Quest DVDs? Just click the link below!

Click to read Crew Reviews

If you would like to follow along with Curiosity Quest, here are some social media links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CuriosityQuest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiosityquest
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCijkbeDwySOsg-pZjOeWsgg
 

Crew Disclaimer

 

 

Charlotte to the Rescue!

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This long winter has been a little rough on us…especially me. Between blogging, homeschooling, and all of the other day-to-day activities involved in keeping up a house and raising children, I have grown weary.

Last week I was at a point where I was ready to shut down. I went back and forth about whether or not to continue blogging. I just needed a break. So I had some decisions to make. Thankfully, I have some very sweet blogging friends that helped me come up with a plan. Just because I have a blog doesn’t mean I “need” to post 4 or more times a week. So here is my plan. No more than 1 review a week (which I hope to have down to 2 per month by summer) and 1 good post per week. I have set limits on social media time too, which has helped tremendously! And now to the important part…the children.

One of the reasons I worried about continuing blogging was I didn’t want my kids to ever feel like I was choosing the computer instead of time with them. I don’t want their childhood memories to be of me typing on the computer, especially when it is something I don’t “have” to do. And how can I tell them to stay away from electronics when I am on them?! I am so thankful to have recently discovered the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. It has been a breath of fresh air to what was a stale homeschool life.

Thanks to various Charlotte Mason books, I have discovered so much about education and how kids really learn. Here are some new aspects of our day that are direct results of what I am learning.

*The kids are spending as much time outside as possible. We have a beautiful picnic table we are using whenever we can. We are enjoying all types of weather and I am seeing a creative side to my kids that I haven’t seen in a long time. I no longer have to guide them as much in what to play. They are showing much more independence and are doing the things kids should be doing…climbing trees, getting muddy, watching birds, and soaking in some sunshine.

*We are focusing on reading good books. Next school year (which will probably start in July) we are going to be using Ambleside Online in addition to KONOS. Friday will be our fun day with KONOS and I will choose topics based on what the kids are learning through Ambleside. I want my kids to become life-long learners that aren’t afraid to learn something new and soak up as much knowledge as they can through good books.

*We are going to spend a decent amount of time focusing on character issues using Laying Down the Rails as a guide. This is something I have let slide way too much around here. Too often I compare my kids to the rest of the world and think they are doing just fine. But I need to stop grading on the curve. I need to set standards and expect them to be met. I want my kids to thrive in life, and not just survive.

*I am spending much more of my free time reading. Charlotte Mason has a lot to say! Every time I read about her philosophy I learn something new. I only wish I would have read her books years ago! I always though Charlotte Mason was just a light and easy way to educate…boy was I wrong!

So if you were wondering why it has been so quiet around here lately, now you know! I am busy working on plans for the kids for next year and trying to get my blogging life set straight. We are also doing our best to enjoy the beautiful weather that we have missed so much for the past several months. Things are looking up around here! Hope things are going well for you all too!

 

 

Supercharged Science review {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Supercharged Science

Science can be difficult to teach. Sometimes kids just aren’t interested in what you are trying to teach them. But I think I may have a solution to that problem. What if science experiments were done first to spark the interest of your students? What if there were videos of exactly how to do these experiments before you tried them yourself? You are in luck, because this type of program already exists! A great company called Supercharged Science has an internet-based program that you will absolutely love. The e-Science Premium Membership includes experiment videos, instructions, activities, exercises, tele-classes, and so much more!

The e-Science program can be used with all students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The monthly membership can be purchased for $37/month for grades K-8, or $57/month for grades K-12. For this review we received the K-12 package. You must provide any needed materials for experiments. This website includes so many different topics and experiments that your children are sure to learn so much! These topics include everything from motion and matter to life science and chemistry. There are twenty different units and also some other subjects like mathemagic, teaching resources, and science fair projects. 

Supercharged eScience ReviewThe Supercharged Science website may look overwhelming at first…there is SO much there! But Aurora Lipper, the creator of Supercharged Science has made it easy for you. She put together some videos and a few experiments to get you started. You can see a tab on the screenshot below that says “Getting Started”. You just click on that and she literally walks you through the whole website. Trust me, I was overwhelmed at first, but after she instructed me on exactly what to do, it was easy-peasy!Supercharged eScience ReviewThe e-Science website is organized in a few different ways. You can search for materials by topic or by grade level. It was originally put together by topic, but several people requested another way so they could have an idea of what to use for each grade level. You can use either method. Each unit begins with an introductory lesson that includes a video explaining what you will be learning. There is also a shopping list for each unit so you know exactly what materials you will need to complete the experiments. Keep in mind that the goal is not necessarily to do all of the experiments…there are so many to choose from that you can pick a few you really want to do and go from there.When you find a topic that is especially interesting to you child, you can do some of the other activities.

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In addition to the experiments and videos (which we were able to watch on the laptop, iPad, and Google book), there are also extra readings and  exercises to check your child’s understanding. The answers are included too, so don’t think you have to know all of the answers.;-) Everything can be downloaded and printed off if you prefer to use materials that way.

My mini scientists have absolutely loved this e-Science membership! We have done more experiments in the last several weeks than we have for probably the entire previous year (I know, sad!). There are so many things I love about this program. When both the parents and the kids love a program, you know you have a winner!

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Like I said, I was overwhelmed with this site at first. But after going through the “Getting Started” videos, I was completely comfortable with how it worked. Although we chose most of our materials by topic, I did take a look at the grade level section from time to time. It helped give me a better idea of which topics would work best for the grade levels I was teaching. The great thing about these experiments is that everyone, regardless of grade level, can participate. The experiments are explained in terms that everyone can understand. They are spoken in a way that they assume you don’t have much prior knowledge of the topic.

One of the things I love best about this program are the videos. I am always leery of doing experiments because I am never sure if I am doing them the right way. With the experiment videos you don’t have to wonder. You get to see the experiment done right before you! Then you just follow along at home and do the experiment exactly like they show you. If you can’t get the experiment to work, you can check out the comment section of the experiment. Odds are pretty good other people may have similar issues and Aurora is great at answering them. If your answer isn’t there, just leave your own comment and she is very quick to answer and help out however she can.

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The other reason I love the videos is because they open up so many possibilities for my kids. Sometimes it may not be feasible for us to do an experiment that is shown on the e-Science website, but that doesn’t have to stop them from watching it anyway. During their free-time I let the kids loose on the website and let them explore topics that interest them, even if it is above their level. Many times we have found our next topic or experiment this way too! It is so much easier to get kids to pay attention when they are really interested in the topic.

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Would I recommend the e-Science program to others? Yes, yes, yes! I have never seen another program that does such a great job of sparking the interest of your child when it comes to science. I think a large part of this is because you start with experiments instead of finishing with them. That way you already have tapped into the interest of your child. Their ability to learn when it involves something they are interested in is so much greater than forcing them to learn something they really don’t care about. We have had, and are continuing to have, a great time with e-Science! 

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Want to try this program and see what you think of it? The creators of Supercharged Science are offering a Free Copy of the Science Activity Video Series and Guidebook. Aurora has also included a few extra bonuses for you! Here is a link to another set of free Science Activities. You can also gain access to the whole website for only $1 (this is good for one month of access)! She is so good about making her materials accessible so everyone can see for themselves how wonderful Supercharged Science really is!

Click on the link below to see what other Crew members thought of Supercharged Science!

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can connect with Supercharged Science through the following social media links:

https://www.facebook.com/superchargedsci
http://www.twitter.com/aurora_lipper
https://www.youtube.com/user/auroram42
http://pinterest.com/superchargedsci/
https://plus.google.com/u/0/112193545312804826871/posts
http://www.superchargedscience.com/blog/

Crew Disclaimer

Hearts for Home Blog Hop 4/03/14

 

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Welcome to the New Hearts for Home Blog Hop! We have a bit of a new look, a few new co-hosts, and a new website hosting the blog hop. If you need to find some encouragement, ideas, recipes, printables, or anything else family related, I invite you check out some of our great posts!

Here is the most popular post from last week:

Peanut Butter Bread

 

Here are a few of my favorites that I think you would enjoy too:

Knot Tying Class

Time Management Tips for Self-Education

Colorful Play Crafts and Activities

If you were one of the blogs featured feel free to grab the “I Was Featured” button below to put on your blog!

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.marriagemotherhoodandmissions.com/hearts-for-home-blog-hop-hosts/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.marriagemotherhoodandmissions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Featured300x300.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now are you ready to share your posts?

Use the form below to enter your links.

Posts can be about anything that shows your heart is for your home: homeschooling, homemaking, parenting, marriage, faith, family, crafts, etc. Please just kindly link back to this blog or display our Hearts for Home button in your post or on your sidebar.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.marriagemotherhoodandmissions.com/hearts-for-home-blog-hop-hosts/" title="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.marriagemotherhoodandmissions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CoHostH4HButton300x300.jpg" alt="Hearts for Home Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now it is time to link up your post below and then go check out what everyone else is up to this week!

Spring Really Is Coming After All!

After a VERY long winter, we are finally seeing signs that Spring really will come this year!

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Enjoying the beautiful weather in shorts and short-sleeves! It feels quite warm after so many days below freezing.

 

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My favorite sign of spring…flowers beginning to bloom!

 

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Yes, there may be mud puddles, but at least it isn’t snow!

 

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Finally, a chance to use the clothes line!

I know we will probably still have cool days ahead, but spring is coming! We aren’t living in “eternal winter” after all! ;-)


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