Homeschool Creations

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Studies of Italy: Week 2

While there is so much more that we could do in our studies, we kept it fairly simple this week. In all honestly, Italy is a place we could spend waaaaay more time learning about ~ ancient Rome, the Roman empire, Pompeii...the list goes on! We started our study of Italy last week and that post also has some other great links and resources, so be sure to check it out!

Here are the things we focused on this week and some links we liked and used.

  • Quick review of last week's studies: capital, major cities, geography features {i.e. Italy is a peninsula, Sicily is an island}
  • Took a virtual tour of Italy
  • Geography song about Eastern Europe ~ point out countries while singing
  • Color & learn about the flag of Italy

click thumbnail to download the pdf flag activity



  • Review geography song
  • Read Michaelangelo by Diane Stanley
  • Had fun trying to paint while laying on our backs {a little messy and tricky...poor Michaelangelo!}
  • Stamped our passports, put our papers in our notebooks and packed up since our trip to Italy is done!

Resources and Websites
Books We're Using


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services {Review}


Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services {EDUDPS} is a company passionate about providing educational materials for families that are "fluff-free".
'Simply put, by "fluff-free" we mean educational products that contain no extraneous material, those that get right to the relevant issues concerned – products that focus on actual educational material only.'
Homeschool Crew members received various products from EDUDPS to review. I personally received Roots and Fruits and Write With the Best Volume 1.

Roots and Fruits is a vocabulary curriculum for grades K through 12 that has over 1,700 vocabulary words and almost 700 roots and prefixes. Children learn vocabulary words that are derived from Greek and Latin roots as young as age 5, helping them develop an extensive vocabulary so that they can flourish in all subject areas. The program is one that can be used with all of your children from elementary to high school, and it distinguishes which roots are appropriate for different ages.

The curriculum provides a simple weekly schedule along with games and activities to play that will help children learn and recall the meanings of words. The vocabulary list is alphabetized to help find things quickly and easily. Overall, it takes around 15 minutes a day to work on the vocabulary words, which isn't a huge chunk of our school day. McKenna works on one to two words a week and Laurianna focuses on 3 or more. You can view a sample of Roots and Fruits here. Prices vary from $14.95 {ebook} to $19.95 {print version}.

Write with the Best Volume 1 is a writing program for children grades 3 - 12. It uses world literature to teach children descriptive and creative writing. Volume 1 focuses on descriptive writing skills, literature analysis and grammar.Grammar is not an additional subject, but rather included within the writing curriculum. Writing topics and literature include:
  1. Describing an Object {20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ~ Verne}
  2. Describing a Place {A Christmas Carol ~ Dickens}
  3. Describing a Character {Robinson Crusoe ~ Defoe}
  4. Writing a Dialogue {The Wind in the Willows ~ Grahame}
  5. Writing a Short Story {The Gift of the Maji ~ O. Henry}
  6. Writing a Fable {Aesop's fables}
  7. Writing a Friendly Letter {Treasure Island ~ Stevenson}
  8. Writing Rhyming Poetry {Wordsworth}
  9. Writing Ballad/Narrative Poem {Longfellow}
Each of the nine units provides activities for 10 lessons, requiring very little teacher prep-work {other than reading through the unit first and understanding what will be covered}. Each unit was designed to take 2 weeks to complete, meaning Volume 1 would be finished in 18 weeks {half of a typical school year}, allowing time to work through the Volume 2 for the remainder of the year. The curriculum also includes a grading guide, answer key and other suggestions for different learning styles.

We worked on unit one, which focuses on describing an object. We read a passage from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and talked about why this passage represented good literature. Over the course of our unit, we also talked about parts of speech {nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs}, identified different parts of speech in the passage, learned about writing paragraphs, and wrote our own descriptive paragraph. If you'd like to see how the units are put together, you can view Unit 1 and Unit 2 from Write with the Best Volume 1 here. Prices vary from $19.95 {ebook} to $24.95 {print/binder version}.

  • The curriculum is affordable. Roots and Fruits can be used for your kids entire schooling from K-12. Several different options are available to purchase, from eBooks to print copies.
  • Curriculum can be used with children of multiple ages. Both of the books that I reviewed would be easy to adapt and use with multiple children by just adding/adjusting activities based on their abilities.
  • Customer service is great. When I had questions or problems initially with my eBook downloads, Diagnostic Prescriptive Service answered quickly and did all that they could to help.
  • Software for running the eBook software is rather tricky in my opinion. They use File Secure Pro which has extensive security features. So secure, I was never able to access the eBooks even after hours of trying. EDUDPS was wonderful and sent me the physical versions of the book instead to review. Before you purchase an eBook, I would highly recommend reading the 'Special Notes for EBooks' page on their site.
  • You are only allowed two printings of the eBook. The computer program will track the printings. In my opinion, the physical print books are really worth paying a little more, especially in light of the time it took me to try to download File Secure Pro. For both books I reviewed, the printed version is only $5 more {plus s/h}.
  • 'No fluff' is really no-fluff. No frills. No graphics. Just the basics. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I am a highly visual person, so it made it a little more difficult for me personally to get excited about it.
Out of both of the programs, Roots and Fruits is one that we will keep around to use in the coming years, since it does offer such a wide variety of vocabulary. EDUDPS offers several other books, including diagnostic screenings and guides for children with special needs. Be sure to check out the EDUDPS website to read more about the company and their products.

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.
As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was given this product to review,
and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post.
All opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Labels: , ,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Preschool Corner: All About 'Bb'

While I have my lesson plans from last year and I know that the kids are not the same...for some reason I am feeling the need to do things 'new' and 'different' this year.

Go figure.

It was a full day though and we had a lot of fun stuff going in the classroom ~ playing and making messes.

Alphabet Book

This year's alphabet page craft was different than our bumblebee from last year. I had all the pieces cut out and then got a great idea for another craft {also bee related}, so I ended up cutting and creating a different page for the alphabet book ~ a boat. Not just any boat, mind you.

A brown boat with a blue sail in the blue water.

'Cause I'm all about the letter 'Bb', I am! If you're going to do it ~ might as well go overboard {there was really no pun intended on that...}.

You'll need:

~ Brown and blue construction paper
~ Glue sticks
~ 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper {you can print off the alphabet book if you'd like!}

To Make:

{Note: I cut out all the pieces ahead of time since we have a short amount of time and a lot to do ~ otherwise I would recommend letting the kids cut out their own shapes!}

1. Trace a boat shape, a triangle and a 'wave' pattern out for your child.
2. Let your cut out the pieces for the boat.
3. Glue the water and boat onto your paper.


After last week's alligator craft, I wanted to keep the theme going of making a craft that is shaped like the letter we are studying. Since I also have an overabundance of foam sheets from the Dollar Tree, I have been using those ~ and they are a little more sturdy than construction paper.

The Bee 'Bb' was the result of my efforts. :) If you'd like more specifics on how to make it, you can find direction in my 'Bb' is for Bee Craft post.

We also had fun making 'Bandaid Butterflies' that I found over at No Time for Flashcards. Cheap ol' bandaids at the Dollar Tree in some great funky colors made it fun, fun, fun.

Cooking ~ Blueberry and Banana Smoothies

There wasn't much cooking involved - just blending! :) I hauled the blender in and we made banana and blueberry smoothies. Want to try them too?

You'll Need:

~ 1/2 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
~ 1 banana {peeled, of course!}
~ 1 1/2 cups of milk
~ sweetener to taste {we used a few tablespoons of sugar}
~ ice to thicken

Drop it all in the blender and enjoy!


We played a quick game of "I Spy" or find...and looked around our room to see what we could find that started with the letter 'B'. Here's what we found {and I borrowed this great idea from Carisa at 1+1+1=1 ~ her color 'I Spy' is wonderful!!}:


Balancing and Estimating. I brought my scales in, along with my counting bears and we checked to see if bears of different colors weighed the same, compared the weight of bears to blocks, counted, sorted....and had fun learning.

Songs and Rhymes

We used a bee puppet during our circle time and sang a fun little song:

Do You Like to Buzz?
sing to: "Do Your Ears Hang Low"

Do you like to buzz?
Are you covered all in fuzz?
Do you call a hive a home
In the garden where you roam?
Do you like to make honey
Are your stripes a little funny?
Do you like to buzz?

Additional Resources

Be sure to check out another one of my posts for some more ideas for teaching the letter 'B' - there are some different activities and printables in that post too!

Stories & Books We Used:

About the Preschool Corner:

The Preschool Corner is a place for us to share the ideas we are using during our "preschool time" with our kids. You can join in the fun and record what you are doing in your house. Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below (if you have questions feel free to ask). Be sure to link back to this blog post so that your readers can find some other great ideas too!

The guidelines can be found here if you need them.

Share what you've been doing in your house this week!


Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

'Bb' is for Bee {Craft}

I tried to find something fun to represent the letter 'Bb' for our preschool class and have to say that I am in love with this little bee.

I have to warn you though ~ if you use a foam sheet and a marker, the smudge factor will be involved. Fingertips will be black and marker color will spread like wildfire.

But the result is just so cute!! {dontcha think?}

What You'll Need:
  • Yellow foam sheet or construction paper
  • Black sharpie or marker
  • Wax paper
  • Googly eye
  • Black pipe cleaner
  • Glue
How to make the 'B' Bee:
  1. Cut an uppercase 'B' out of the foam sheet or construction paper. I used a foam sheet that was about 4" x 5" in size.
  2. Cut out two circles from the wax paper to use as wings for your bee. {I used one black, one wax paper so the wings would show up for the pictures}.
  3. Cut the pipecleaner into two pieces ~ one should be 1/3 of the length of the pipecleaner, the other 2/3 of the length.
  4. Poke the small pipecleaner through the bottom base of the 'B' to use as a 'stinger'.
  5. Poke the longer pipecleaner through the upper part of the 'B' to use as the bee's antennae.
  6. Have your child draw stripes on the B using the marker.
  7. Glue on the googly eye and wings.


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Study of Italy: Week 1

Our last stop in our tour of Europe is Italy. We found some great {and fun} books to read this week and Laurianna decided toward the end of the week that she wanted to learn more about the Colosseum...until she found out more of what went on there ~ and then not so much anymore!

  • Geography song about Eastern Europe ~ point out countries while singing
  • Locate & map country features
  • Color & label map of Italy {see map activity below}
  • Use atlas to learn more about Italy

click thumbnail to download the pdf map activity

  • Review geography song
  • Major cities in Italy and the capital of Italy
  • Visit National Geographic for Kids site: Italy
  • Story from Around the World in 80 Tales
  • Review geography song
  • Geography features ~ seas/oceans around Italy, island {Sicily}, peninsula
  • Read Katy and the Mona Lisa

  • Review geography song
  • Read Papa Picollo
  • Watch some videos about the colosseum on YouTube

Resources and Websites
Books We're Using


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Asked!: Scribd, Creating Thumbnails, & Clip Art

Quite a few of you have emailed me or commented asking different questions and since they are piling up in my 'blog questions' folder, it's time to answer a few of the questions!

Q: If you don't mind my asking, I was wondering where you get your photographic clipart for your printables (the consonant cards, color cards, etc.) I have a subscription to, but was wondering if there was another source for good clipart?

A: Microsoft, baby.

For most of the documents that I create, I use Microsoft Publisher and then convert it into a pdf file {don't worry, I'll explain that in a bit}. I am ever-so-cautious about the graphics I use because of copyright issues. The clip art that is included in the printables will come from copyright free sources {or ones that give permission to use them}.

I do numerous searches in Microsoft {both the program and online} to find the right 'photo' or piece of clip art. Sometimes I will edit the graphic {crop, etc...} to make it work, but otherwise, it all comes from Microsoft. The only exception I can think of right off hand were the preschool number cards that used graphics from the public domain site Disney Clip Art.

Personally, I am a little skeptical about doing Google searches, because I just don't know where the graphics originated. While I might make something for my own personal use, I am careful with what I share so that I don't infringe on other's copyrights.

To convert my documents into pdf's I use a program called CutePDF Writer - it's free and ever-so-handy!

Q: How do you make the tilted thumbnails of your scribd documents?

A: I use two different things to create my thumbnails ~ screenshots and Picasa. I usually pick a page or two from the document that 'jump' out at me the most and use the 'print screen' feature on my keyboard to capture a jpeg image of each document page. If your computer has that feature it's usually located up in the top right of your keyboard. :)

Once I have the jpeg image saved, I use the program Picasa {a free download from Google} to do quick edits and create those thumbnail images that have text on them. Picasa makes it super-easy to add a border around a picture, add text to an image, create collages and even touch up colors and lighting on pictures.

Another great feature of Picasa is that you can rotate, tilt and mix images together when you create your collages. So when you see two of the pages in my thumbnail, I've just created a different collage. I LOVE it!!

When I'm done editing and cropping the picture I upload it, copy/paste the code and then link it to Picasa {and I'm aware that some of you are just hearing 'blah, blah, blah, blah...' ~ but I promise it's a great program!!}.

Q: I just signed up with Scribd (cause I saw that was how you do it) and it uploaded fine. I just can't figure out how to get that uploaded to my blog.

A: Hopefully this screenshot will help you out some. Toward the top of the page {the top red arrow on this graphic points to it} you will see a tab that says 'Share & Embed'. Click on that tab.

Underneath the blue bar where it says 'Embed' you will copy that code and enter it into your blog post while you are in the 'edit html' part of writing your blog post.

Hope that helps some of you all out some! Let me know if you have any other questions!



Monday, September 21, 2009

Nature Friend Magazine {Review}

Not too long ago I had some sample science/nature magazines sent to us {I'm not naming any names} and I later found Laurianna with a Sharpie marker blacking out text in places. I was a little upset with her at first, but she innocently looked at me and said, "Mom, they were saying the earth was billions of years old. That's not true, so I was crossing it off."

A few weeks later, Nature Friend magazine showed up in our mailbox to review for the Homeschool Crew. The kid's and I have loved pouring over the pictures, articles, art lesson, and the many other features that this magazine offers.

Helping Children Explore the Wonders of God's Creation

Nature Friend is written from a Creationist perspective and is geared toward children ages 7-16. The magazine publishes twelve issues each year and every other month the issues are focused a little more for older kids, making it a magazine that the whole family can really enjoy and use. The magazine was:
"...born out of {the} desire to encourage children to believe in God as their Creator and to seek out, recognize, and appreciate His handiwork....Nature Friend...policy has been to simply stand on the truth of God’s Word and to present it as enjoyable fact while learning about the creatures God has created."
It is a full color magazine that offers features similar to secular nature magazines for kids. The artwork and photography are wonderful!! Some of the features Nature Friend has:
  • You Can Draw ~ a monthly art lesson that details how to draw specific objects from nature {flowers, animals, etc...}. Children can submit their drawings to the magazine to be featured in future issues.
  • Scavenger Hunts ~ Each issue has several different things hidden in it for you and your children to find
  • The Story Behind the Photo ~ Photographers share the story of the picture that they took
  • Creation Close-ups ~ great close-up shots sent into the magazine
  • Pictures and Poems ~ contributions from readers that are shared and published in the magazine
  • Invisibles ~ a hidden picture game where you find smaller objects in a large picture
  • Learning by Doing ~ experiments and activities to further reinforce science at home
Study Guide Feature

Nature Friend also has a 'Study Guide' option available with your magazine subscription. For an additional $2/issue, the guide comes as an insert in the magazine and provides you with additional activities and resources that go along with the monthly issue, including crossword puzzles, research questions, writing activities, and more. The activities can be copied {for those with multiple children}. You can view some sample study guides here.

Our Time with Nature Friend

The August issue of Nature Friend had an article on cicada bugs. Not necessarily my favorite topic, but the kids were completely enthralled with the bugs. So much so that they spent hours outside hunting down their skins and presenting them to me with utter joy and lining them up on my windowsill.

I would show you the mound of skins they discovered, but in all honesty, those empty skins were grossing me out {and even scared Rick the first time he saw them!} they are no longer with us.

Laurianna and McKenna have really enjoyed the fun activities the magazine offers and the stories are just the right length for sitting down and reading together. I love knowing that the focus of the magazine is on God and His creation ~ and that I don't have to worry about what the kids will come across in their reading.

The option of having the Study Guide to go along with the magazine makes the magazine even better. The two issues that we received included a 'photo critique' on how to take better pictures as well as a recipe, writing lessons, true/false questions, additional research questions, crossword puzzles, and art ideas.

Purchasing a Subscription

A full year's subscription consists of 12 monthly issues. Study guides are available for each month's magazine. Yearly subscriptions to Nature Friend magazine are $36.00 and Study Guides are also available on an individual or yearly basis {$24/year}.

You can use the coupon code BLOG93 to save an additional $3.00 off a new subscription to Nature Friend {valid until November 30, 2009}.

The Nature Friend website offers several sample issues of the magazine as well as the teacher's guide so you can get a better understanding of the magazine.

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.
As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was given this product to review,
and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post.
All opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Labels: , , ,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tot School ::33::

~ Kaleb is 34 months ~

Before anyone is under ANY illusion that this is my house pictured ~ rest assured it isn't {grins}. While we were visiting with some friends this last week, we were able to spend the day at their wonderfully amazing children's museum ~ and Kaleb was in pure bliss!

The day prior to the children's museum we went to Colonial Williamsburg ~ a.k.a. not so much fun for Kaleb, unless being pushed around in a stroller all day counts for fun. Trying to keep him happy meant resorting to letting him use the camera and take pictures of me.

Mind you, it's the only picture of me from our trip. I apparently need to work with him on framing a shot and more flattering angling...

I didn't like the picture, so he had to spend some time in the stocks. :) I kid you not, there were people there {in their 60's} asking if they used these to cut off people's feet!!!

After a good night's rest, we decided to head to the children's museum. 244 pictures ~ so feel relieved that I'm only posting these. :) Kaleb spent the majority of the time at the museum playing in the ambulance. Lights. Sirens. Buttons to push. It was pure.boy.heaven.

The museum had a wonderful grocery store ~ after he was done grocery shopping, Kaleb spent some time checking himself out.

He spent a little time digging around for dinosaur bones...well, ok, more like playing in the pretend dirt and flinging it around.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of Kaleb. Period. Just too stinkin' cute he is.

They had the most amazing apple tree in the center of the museum that would pull up apples in a conveyor of sorts and then roll them down into tubes where they would drop out and wait to be picked. Baskets and baskets full of apples were picked.

Kaleb also made his acting debut. He pulled a line from Letter Factory and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen...proud to present..."

And then there was the water table. The HUGE water table in which Kaleb got soaking, soaking, soaking wet. And then cried and fussed because he wanted a towel. Only to return later and soak himself some more.

After a full day, Kaleb took a break in the 'lake' and spent some time fishing. They had a variety of red, yellow, and green fish that Kaleb sorted after he caught them all.

Don't forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for some more Tot School posts.


Labels: ,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Preschool Corner: All About 'Aa'

Preschool time with co-op is a little bit different {and on a much larger scale} than trying to focus on one child at home. I've worked in the 4 year old class with one of our local co-ops for the last few years and love it. This year I'll be teaching the letters A-E with the class and we started our first week with the letter 'Aa'.

Alphabet Book

Throughout the year, the kids create an alphabet book to take home and it is filled with crafts that they make - each letter of the alphabet having it's own craft. The apple craft we did last year went over really well, so we did that one again this year.

You'll need:

~ Red construction paper apple
~ White rectangle piece of construction paper
~ Black inkpad
~ Green construction paper leaves

To Make:

1. Have your child cut out the apple if they are able to use scissors {we cut them out ahead of time due to limited time}.
2. Let your child rip the apple in half, horizontally.
3. Rip the white piece of paper on both sides, so the apple 'core' appears to be eaten.
4. Have your child stamp their fingerprint on the white 'core' of the apple to make seeds.


I can't take credit for this too-cute alligator Aa. No Time for Flash Cards has directions for the craft. We used foam sheets that I picked up at the Dollar Tree along with construction paper teeth and googly eyes. Super fun and a cute take home for the kids to remember the letter we studied!


Apples were the primary focus of the week, so during our circle times we had several different activities we used to focus on different math skills.


I printed off a page of different sized apples from File Folder Fun and cut them out and the kids took turns putting them in order from smallest to largest.

Apple Tree felt board ~ How does an apple grow? I have a cute little apple tree that we used on the floor to show how apples grow. We put flower blossoms on the tree first and then they 'grew' into big and little apples. We picked the apples off the tree and sorted them by big and little and counted to see which one we had more of.

Cuisenaire Rods ~ We used cuisenaire rods to build the letter Aa. First we used the big rods and then tried using the little ones. We also made an apple tree, airplane and an alligator with the rods {this is something I did with Zachary, not the class!}. :)


The biggest hit of the day revolved around taste-testing apples. I brought in three different colors of apples and sliced them up. Everybody took a bite of each apple slice and then we talked about how the apples tasted {sweet, sour, tangy, etc...}, the different colors of the apples, and everyone voted on their favorite tasting apple and we graphed the results.

Golden Delicious was the winner by ONE vote...why those kiddos liked the Granny Smith is beyond me....

Songs and Rhymes

During our circle time we did several songs and games together. After reading through The Lady with the Alligator Purse, I sang the song to them while 'reading' the book again {I love that book!}.

Apple Tree {song and game}

We passed around a little apple {like playing Hot Potato} while singing the song below and whoever was left holding the apple got tickled!

Apple tree, apple tree,
Will your apples fall on me?
I won't cry, I won't shout,
If your apples knock me out!

Additional Resources

Be sure to check out my other post for some more ideas for teaching the Letter Aa - there are some different activities and printables in that post too!

Stories & Books We Used:

About the Preschool Corner:

The Preschool Corner is a place for us to share the ideas we are using during our "preschool time" with our kids. You can join in the fun and record what you are doing in your house. Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below (if you have questions feel free to ask). Be sure to link back to this blog post so that your readers can find some other great ideas too!

The guidelines can be found here if you need them.

Share what you've been doing in your house this week!


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Geography Songs: Sing Around the World

Several of you have emailed and asked what we are using when I mention our 'geography songs'. Last year I purchased a song book and CD set from Rainbow Resource that is called Geography Songs: Sing Around the World by Kathy Troxel/Audio Memory.

Amazon just made the entire cd available as an mp3 download for $8.99. While the download doesn't come with the book, that is considerably less than the $21 that I paid for the book/cd combo. You can also listen to clips of the different songs and get an idea of what the cd is like before buying it. Right now we're using the 'Southern Europe' song {#5} if you'd like to hear it! :)

Now while the songs are super-catchy, you will find yourself humming various songs ~ especially if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep.

Not that I speak from experience or anything.

We try to sing the song that goes along to the area we are studying every day or every other day. The first few days we get the country names down and then move over to a map and point out the countries while we are singing the song so we can get a bigger picture of where the countries are. I can honestly say that the kids aren't the only ones learning something using the songs!


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Learning About Spain: Week 2

We continued on our journey through Spain focusing this week a little more on the culture and also art {Picasso}. We also spent time learning about Columbus {and yes, I know he wasn't from Spain, but Spain was generous in supporting his trip, so we tied it in that way}. :)

Here's a look at how we spent our second week learning about Spain.

  • Quick review of main stuff from our first week studying Spain
  • Geography song for Southern Europe
  • Look at the currency for Spain
  • Read story from Around the World in 80 Tales {link in book carousel below}
  • Visit National Geographic for Kids site
  • Review geography song
  • Talk about Christopher Columbus {from Italy, but trip funded by Spain}
  • Story of Ferdinand on You Tube

  • Review geography song
  • Talk about Picasso
  • Picasso art project ~ Picasso faces. We pulled out oil pastels and created a collage of faces with cubistic/abstract design. They had a little trouble understanding how to make the faces 'mesh' at first, but LOVED it once they got going!

  • Review geography song
  • Running of the bulls and bull fighting ~ YouTube clips
  • Put together food from country {pico de gallo}

Resources and Websites
Books We're Using


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days

We just returned from spending some time in Colonial Williamsburg for Homes Educator Days. Let me just say ~ if you've ever wanted to visit with your family {and you homeschool} this is definitely the time of year to do it.

A two day's pass is only $8.00 {$9 for walk-up price} per person and kids 5 and under are free. To give you an idea on how great of a deal that is, a similar pass would be $46.00 per person. Single day passes are only $5 per needless to say, we were happy to take advantage of the great deal!

I'm planning to post some more later about what we saw and did, but need to say that we had one little girl that was VERY excited to be walking around in colonial times....


Labels: ,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! {Review}

The foods that we eat affect our body in so many different ways ~ for good and for bad. Over the last few years our family has been making changes bit by bit in an attempt to eat healthier, change bad eating patterns and habits and gain a better understanding of nutrition.

Growing Healthy Homes recently sent our family Nutrition 101: Choose Life! to review for the Homeschool Crew. At first I was a little overwhelmed with the product because the e-book is 448 pages. Over the last few weeks as I've looked over the curriculum and started working through it, I am rather impressed with the depth and flexibility it offers.

About the Curriculum

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a complete curriculum for all ages covering a wide range of subjects: science, nutrition, health and human anatomy and 'understanding the real relationship food has on our bodies.'

The curriculum is broken up into six units {with 4 chapters each} that cover:
  1. The Brain and Nervous System
  2. The Digestive System
  3. The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems
  4. The Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  5. The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  6. The Endocrine System and Emotions
The chapters were designed to be covered in a week's time {24 weeks total} but are flexible and can be extended if needed. Units contain discussion questions, activities, recipes, additional resources, an activity guide, and appendix for related charts, tables, and articles that elaborate on the text. The curriculum is Biblically-based and includes over 80 recipes for you to try with your family along with hands-on projects and experiments.

My Thoughts

I mentioned that we've been steadily changing things in our own house in the area of nutrition. Our kids have become involved and are understanding more and more the impact of how our food choices affect so much more than our immediate hunger. As I've been trying to learn more, this curriculum came along and is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn together as a family.

The units work well as a lapbooking or notebooking study {this is how we're using it}. We're working at a much slower pace right now ~ just a bit at a time. Having our kids involved in the process encourages them to be more proactive in their choices and when they help with recipes they are more likely to try and enjoy the results!

We have the e-book and personally, I would prefer the CD/book combo, mainly because I am a hands-on kind of girl. We are very happy with the e-book we have and have been printing off much! Why do I suggest both? Both have the same info, but the CD allows you to reprint copies of charts, recipes and other pages without having to photocopy ~ much more convenient if you have multiple children.

Find Out More

If you would like a peek at Nutrition 101, Growing Healthy Homes has a sample of the curriculum on their site available for download/review. They also have a video summary on their main site.

If you are interested in purchasing Nutrition 101: Choose Life!, it is available in several different formats:
  • CD-rom for $79.95
  • Print book version for $99.95
  • Print and CD combo for $129.95

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.

As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was given this product to review,
and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post.
All opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Labels: , ,