Homeschool Creations

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating Advent ~ Our Favorite Advent Resources {so far!}

Over the last several years, we’ve been slowly adding things to do during the advent season. Although Advent started yesterday, we are still pulling together a few things to do with the kids over the next few weeks, all in anticipation of Christmas and the REAL reason for the season. Here are a few of the ways that we celebrate together as a family.

Advent wreath

Each year we’ve had a simple Advent wreath in the center of our dining room table. I arranged {fake} greenery in a basket and added in five candles ~ 4 tapers {3 purple and 1 pink} and then a larger white candle in the center {the Jesus candle}. Each week we light a new candle at night, together as a family. This year we’re also excited to pull out our Advent log ~ it’s sitting in front of our fireplace and has a place for one candle for each night of Advent. We haven’t been able to use it for several years and I will have to share pictures of it soon!

Jotham's Journey

Over the last few years we’ve been cycle through the three books in the Jotham’s Journey series by Arnold Ytreeide {the three are  Jotham’s Journey, Tabitha’s Travels and Bartholomew’s Passage}. This year we are starting the series over again with Jotham’s Journey. Each night after dinner we light our Advent candles and sit down together as a family and read one of the passages for the evening. The kids have loved this series {and so have the adults!!} and it is fun because each year the stories all connect with each other.

Birth of Jesus Grapevine

During our Bible time for school, we are going to be using the Birth of Jesus from Grapevine. We loved our Joseph study and the fact that everyone {including Kaleb} could participate. Our Multi-Level Teacher Guide E-book retails for $7.95 and is on sale for $6.95. The Student e-book for Multi-Level retails for $5.95 and is on sale for $4.95. {Sale!! Use the code ADVENT11 for 20% off your purchase from Grapevine through 12/31/11}.

Truth in the Tinsel Advent

AND this year we’re going to get a little ‘crafty’ thanks to the wonderful Amanda and the Truth in the Tinsel ebook that she released a few days ago!! I’ve been going through the activities and printing things off to do with the kids. I LOVE that it has 24 activities available, but it also offers alternate schedules in case 24 seems too overwhelming for you to do.

That’s what we’ll I’m interested to know how YOU all celebrate Advent ~ or do you? Are there special traditions that you have as a family during this time? Leave a comment and share!

Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

Visit these great companies!


    Labels: ,

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    All About Reading Deluxe Level 1 Giveaway ~ a $150 value!!


    The new All About Reading Level 1 program has been launched and to celebrate, All About Learning Press is offering one of my readers an amazing giveaway ~  the All About Reading Level 1 Deluxe Reading package, over $150 value!!

    Everything you see below is included in the giveaway ~ WOO HOO!! One of you will receive the All About Reading Level 1 Kit and the Deluxe Reading Interactive Kit ~ including three readers, manipulatives, teacher’s manual and a handy tote to store it all in!

    All About Reading Level 1 KitDeluxe Reading Interactive Kit

    We’ve been using the All About Reading Level 1 program over the last few weeks and you all are going to LOVE it! The step-by-step directions and hands-on components bring the reading process alive with your child, giving you the added benefit of knowing you CAN teach your child to read and have fun along the way. :) I’ll be reviewing the program soon, but wanted to share this with you all before then.

    A Taste of Outer Space

    All of the new All About Reading Level 1 products will be on sale from November 29th - December 6th to celebrate the launch of the program.  As an added bonus, they will add in A Taste of Outer Space for FREE if you order All About Reading Level 1 before December 6, 2011. This space ice cream is the same kind that astronauts have eaten in outer space!

    Also, if you purchase the program during this giveaway, All About Reading will refund your money ~ so don’t be afraid to purchase it now!

    Ready to win?

    Enter away!! There a quick screen shot below if you need help knowing how to enter the ‘extra info’ for the first entry!

    {Email subscribers, please click over to the blog to enter}.

    Entering Rafflecopter
    Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

    Visit these great companies!


      Sunday, November 27, 2011

      30% Off ~ We Choose Virtues One-day Sale!!


      In case you missed the sale this past Friday, We Choose Virtues is having a Cyber Monday sale! 

      Take 30% off your entire shopping cart with the code “MONDAY”.

      This sale will last for 24 hours on Monday, November 28th. The Family Kit is a great deal already and includes all you will need to get started with your kids ~ so be sure to visit We Choose Virtues and order Monday for big savings!!

      Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

      Visit these great companies!

        Saturday, November 26, 2011

        20% Off at Bright Ideas Press through 11-28-11



        Bright Ideas Press, home to several wonderful pieces of curriculum  {including Mystery of History}, that now reside on our school shelves or on our hard drive, is having a weekend 20% off sale ~ no coupon needed!!

        One of the most FABULOUS products they have is the WonderMaps. Regardless of the curriculum you are using, these maps are an amazing resource that you can use across the span of history ~ from creation to current day.

        I will be sharing MUCH more in the upcoming weeks about Mystery of History with you all, but wanted to pass along this sale to you all before I forgot!!

        Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

        Visit these great companies!

          Wrap and Roll ~ Moments to Remember


          Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. 

          The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.

          The giggles and the laughing this week from two simple rolls of toilet paper are going to be remembered for quite some time. We had intended to ‘mummify’ a doll {or two}, but last minute we pulled McKenna into the middle of the room and started wrapping her up. The toilet paper was rolling everywhere and we laughed and laughed when she burst out of it all at the end.

          20111122-IMG_3117 20111122-IMG_3138

          So much fun and something the kids talked about all day…one of those things that we will be remembering for quite some time. :)

          On a side note, I should mention that I looked at the second picture above and wondered ‘Where in the world is Zachary??’ My mind then began to assume that he was off wandering somewhere and being typical….forgetting that SOMEONE had to take the picture since I was in it. Another thing that made me literally laugh out loud. :)

          Want to join in and share a fun moment? Link up your Moments to Remember at 1+1+1=1 this week!! This linky is for homeschoolers, or families who are keeping their kiddos at home during the early years {we consider you homeschoolers too}.

          Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

          Visit these great companies!


            Friday, November 25, 2011

            Truth in the Tinsel ~ Advent ebook $2.99 Special


            Note: corrected links in this post!! :)

            Truth in the Tinsel released today and it is PACKED full of ideas for you to do with your children to celebrate {and learn!!} about the Christmas season.

            To celebrate the launch, you can download it for $2.99 today only!

            There are 24 days of activities that include Bible reading, ornament crafts, and so much more. One of the best things? It includes all of the templates and printables you will need to go along with the activities!!

            If you are looking for a fun way to include more of Jesus in the holiday season, be sure to check out Truth in the Tinsel! I’ll be busy printing off this weekend to get things ready for our kids!

            Even if you miss the sale today, the Truth in the Tinsel will only be $4.99 ~ well worth it EITHER way {and you can bless another amazing mom and all of her hard work putting it together!}.

            Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

            Visit these great companies!

              The Week of Catch-Up ~ Preschool Corner

              With the craziness of last week, this week ended up being a bit of a ‘catch-up’ week ~ finishing up a few things that had been put aside the week before. And while there are several things that I want to share, I will admit that I managed to get a wee bit sidetracked getting ready for Thanksgiving {we’re celebrating Friday} and pulling things together for Kaleb’s birthday, which happened to fall on Thanksgiving Day this year.

              It’s a bit strange knowing that he is now FIVE!! :)

              So…we tied up a few loose ends with a unit, had fun learning about Stonehenge and ancient Egypt together as a family {via Mystery of History}, worked on All About Reading together {speaking of which, you all are NOT going to want to miss a most fabulous giveaway coming next Tuesday!!}.

              And a little peek at the ‘other’ stuff that we play with during school time… the Animal Train Sort and Match {Guidecraft}


              We read from our Little Hands-on Bible together…


              We had SO much fun building our own Stonehenge for one of our history projects.


              And Kaleb was VERY excited to get his hands on the All About Spelling board and work on some reading with me…{did I mention a giveaway coming???}. :)


              And in case you missed it earlier this week, I also shared some of our favorite gift ideas {we’ve had birthdays and such on overload the last few weeks and Christmas coming soon…sigh}.

              Christmas header

              And…that’s it for this week. How was your week and Thanksgiving??

              Ready to Link Up?

              Share what you are doing with your kids! Please link your exact blog post to the Mr. Linky below and link back here too! Take a minute to visit the person who linked up before you. You can read more in the updated guidelines for Preschool Corner.

              Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

              Visit these great companies!



                Thursday, November 24, 2011

                Homeschool Giveaways Black Friday Blast!!


                Just wanted to let you all know about a HUGE giveaway blast that is taking place over at Homeschool Giveaways starting tomorrow morning!

                The best part?? One winner will walk away with one of EVERYTHING!!!


                I’ll be giving away copies of my Weekly Homeschool Planner and there are some other amazing things to win as well, including a pack from We Choose Virtues and Bright Ideas Press!!

                Stop by Homeschool Giveaways and enter to win from 11/24/2011 - 11//28/2011!

                Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

                Visit these great companies!

                  Wednesday, November 23, 2011

                  Christmas Gift Ideas {for everyone!}

                  Christmas header

                  I’m often asked about our favorite resources and suggestions for gifts, so I thought I’d share a few of our favorites over the years ~ for both the kids {and me too!}. Please know that this is NOT our list from this year, but rather a ones that have been birthday or Christmas gifts from us or grandparents over the years. :)


                  Christmas mom 

                  Mom’s {or Dad’s} Stocking Stuffers

                  Here are a few of the cd’s that get constant play at our house Michael Buble’s Christmas, Mercy Me’s Generous Mr. Lovewell, Lincoln Brewster’s Real Life, and Jesus Culture ‘Come Away’.

                  lincoln brewsterbuble christmascome away jcMercy Me

                  Books for Mom

                  A few of my favorite books that I’ve read lately…

                  ~ A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia by Roseanna White

                  ~ Here Burns my Candle and Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

                  ~ 24 Family Ways, Ministry of Motherhood, Heartfelt DisciplineMission of Motherhood, and Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally and Clay Clarkson

                  here burns my candle - 150x225 Mine Is the Night - 150 24 Family Ways Stray Drop of Blood jewel of persia

                  Movies for Mom

                  I’m a HUGE fan of period dramas, so the bulk of my dvds all hinge around Jane Austen novels and similar eras of history. Here are a few of my favorites: BBC’s Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion, the Elizabeth Gaskell collection {includes Cranford and North and South}, and then the Lark Rise to Candleford series. I {sadly} have all of the Austen-related movies…and {ahem} multiple versions of some.

                  lark riseelizabeth gaskellss and persuasion

                  School Gadgets

                  The one thing that gets the biggest use? The Scotch laminator…’nuff said!

                  Around the House

                  One of my favorite things is fresh homemade bread…and reading…and taking pictures. Below are a few of the tools I love to use.

                  ~ Bosch mixer and Nutrimill wheat grinder

                  ~ Norpro 12” loaf pans

                  ~ iPod Touch and iHome docking station

                  ~ Kindle with a lighted cover

                  ~ Canon Rebel Ti1 and 50mm lens {my ‘go-to’ lens}

                  Bosch mixer   norproNutrimill GrinderCanon Rebel T1i


                  Christmas for kids

                  Kid’s Stocking Stuffers

                  We love Seeds Family Worship CDs, the Pick and Draw card game {for the whole family!} and the What’s in the Bible? dvds.

                  Bibles and Books for Kids

                  ~ Little Hands-on Bible, Hands-on Bible for Kids, and the NIrV Discoverer’s Bible for Young Readers

                  ~ Audiobooks ~ We LOVE Adventures in Odyssey and a few of these other great compilations: Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women, the Bible Eyewitness Collector’s set of 36 CDs

                  ~ For the Girls ~ American Girl series, Sisters in Time series, Nancy Drew series, and the Imagination Station series

                  ~ For the Boys ~ the Imagination Station series and Kaleb LOVES the Usborne books that we have by Anna Milbourne

                  imagination station little hands on bible narnia sisters in time

                  Games for All

                  Younger Kids ~ Hi Ho Cherry O!, Chutes & Ladders, Uno, & Candyland

                  Older Kids ~ States Sequence, Parcheesi, regular Sequence, and Yahtzee

                  Everyone ~ The Wii is a favorite along with a few of these games: Outdoor Challenge, Wii Sports Resort and the Wii Fit.

                  parcheesi outdoor challengewii sportsyahtzee

                  Favorite Toys

                  The Girls

                  The Boys

                  doll beds  dollsking's castlelegos


                  That’s a quick sum-up of the things that are used daily/weekly around our house by our family…well, minus Rick. His toys tend to be more electrically focused…namely his guitar and accessories and a fun game or two for the PS3…or the same music that seems to be on my iTouch. :)

                  Jolanthe Signature affiliate button

                  Most all of the links that I’ve included are to Amazon, which is where I typically do a lot of our shopping. Some of the items are linked to other sites if I know of a better deal. Most links are affiliate links, but they are all from products that we use AND love. Please know that if you purchase anything through an affiliate link, you give back a small percentage to our family…thanks!