- Know how much the item costs brand new and what you think is a fair price to buy it used. One of my biggest problems buying on Ebay is that people are bidding more for a used item than what you can buy it for new. Either they don't know their prices, or they catch "auction fever" and bid until they win. I am not going to pay the same price for something used that I can buy brand new from the company. I put in my maximum bid and do not o back and check the auction until it is over.
- Be aware of the condition of the item. If it is something you want to use for more than one child you probably don't want to buy something that is already starting to wear out. It might be better in the long run to spend the extra money and buy new.
- If you are at a used curriculum sale check it out thoroughly before you buy. At a homeschool convention book sale I bought a handwriting book that was labeled new. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it since it said it was new but when I got home and looked over my purchase the first 15 pages were torn out. I was NOT happy, but if I would've checked it over better I would have never bought it in the first place.
- It's never a good deal if it is something you are not going to ever use. Many times I have been at a book sale and found things that were such good deals I couldn't pass them up. More often than not those items sat on a shelf taking up space until I found someone who wanted them or donated them to a book sale.
- Be aware of what kind of home the books are coming from especially if you have allergies. If it doesn't say from a smoke free pet free home, ask.
- If you are buying one piece at a time like a Teacher's Guide separate from a Student Guide, make sure they are the same edition or they might not be compatible.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Math-Abeka- drills Mad Dog Math (review to come)
Science- Considering God's Creation (review to come)
Social Studies- Social studies All Together (review to come)
Spelling- Wordy Qwerty (review to come)
Bible- we finished Who is God so we are going back to Positive Action for Christ
I need to pick a new read aloud since we finished up Andi's School Days (review to come.) I also am going to get some books on rabbits and do a little unit study since they want to raise some rabbits for 4-H this year.
Chelsea is still working on:
Abeka- Literature, Bible, Spanish, Science
Art- Artistic Pursuits
History-finished for the year
Phys Ed-Go Trybe (review to come)
Lily even has a review product she s working on called Monkisee.
I still am in the process of going through book shelves to see what I want/need to sell to make some money for curriculum and have a space to put it in. I am also looking for and purchasing more chapter books that will appeal to boys. Chelsea loves to read and devours books so we have quite a few chapter books that appeal to girls and some that would appeal to both. But, now that the boys are getting older I am trying to make sure I have books that will appeal to them too.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Lilly Margolis, a fun loving flapper, has the opportunity to meet the rich widow Betty Ruth Burnside while selling cosmetics door to door. A few days later a dazed and disoriented Lilly twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of the same rich widow. Betty Ruth and her son Cullen decide to take Lilly in until she recovers. The Burnside household is pretty lonely with Betty Ruth slipping a little further into dementia every day and Cullen disillusioned with life and disfigured from the War. Lilly brings some fun, life, and light back into their lives.
But Lilly and Cullen are both hiding from a painful past. Together with Betty Ruth, her maid, and their driver embark on a journey that could heal them both. What will Lilly and Cullen find at the journey's end?
I have to admit that I found the story line a little odd and unbelievable. I did enjoy the characters and the author's descriptions of them. As I got into the book I found it very entertaining and enjoyable to read and the characters became believable. I also enjoyed the fact that there was not a predictable outcome. There were some plot twists that were completely unexpected and although it has a happy ending, it may not be the way you expected it to turn out.
I received a complimentary copy of Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman from Waterbrook Mulnomah for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
In 2007 Growing Healthy Homes LLC was established by wives, mothers, researchers, and teachers for the purpose of educating and training families regarding God's plan for health as it is outlined in the Bible. Their product line includes family centered and health infused books/e-books and educational materials for users of pure theraputic grade essential oils. It is their mission to, " honor God by creating and distributing products that educate and empower His children to establish healthy Christ-centered homes." We have had the priviledge to use and review their book Nutrition 101 Choose Life!
Nutrition 101 Choose Life is not just a book telling you which foods you should eat more of and what you should avoid. From the website,"Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a three-in-one family nutrition and health program for all ages that presents the major body systems, how they function, their common health issues, the benefits of good food and the consequences of bad food. Its 448 pages include into six units: 1.The Brain and Nervous System 2.Digestion and Elimination 3.Respiration and Olfactory 4.Muscular and Skeletal Systems 5.Cardiovascular and Immune Systems 6.Endocrine System and Emotions
To see a sample click here.
The book is biblically based and full of information, recipes, science projects, art projects, hands on activities and more making it a program that can be used by the entire family. It is available as a book for $99.95, on CD Rom for $79.95 or both for $129.95. A multiple user license can be purchased for $35 for use in a co-op setting.
The vendor has generously offered a 15% discount using coupon code TOScrew11.
Each chapter is designed to be completed in a week with all 6 units to be completed in a year. However, it is set up so you are able to spend longer doing activities and research on topics that your family finds more interesting. There are suggestions under "getting started" on how to implement a chapter in a week.
Can I just say wow! Everyone wants to be healthy and make sure their families are healthy too. How and where to begin can be a bit overwhelming and not always easy to implement. This book is full of helpful information about how our bodies are affected by the foods we eat. It definitely has something for everyone. Although there is quite a bit of information it is presented and organized in a way that it can be digested and does not seem over whelming. Some of the text was a little lengthy for my 7 year old so I did have to do a little bit of paraphrasing during our read aloud time. Vocabulary words and definitions are included in the reading. The diagrams and charts that it contains are very well done and colorful. The children really enjoyed the diagrams of the brain. The recipes, projects, and activities that go along with the reading reinforces what you have just read and makes it applicable to real life. There are suggested activities for both elementary and secondary age groups . Have you ever compared the difference between brushing your teeth with your non dominant and dominant hands? There are also discussion questions, links to additional resources and books for further study. The appendices is the back of the book are fantastic and gives you extra reading and information on subjects such as:How To Pick Produce, Cancer, Sugar Alternatives, Milk, Household Toxins, and many more. Nutrition 101 Choose Life! is a resource that can be utilized over and over again for years to come.
To see what other crew members are saying click here.
I received a complimentary copy of Nutrition 101 Choose Life! for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Our chicks are now one week old. We did have one die on day 2 (no, nobody was trying to help it fly!) leaving us with 14 baby chicks. You can see in the picture that they are starting to grow their wing feathers. It has been much warmer this year than it has been in the last couple of years since we got the chicks a few weeks later. This is a good thing since you don't have to worry about chicks freezing, but the boys do have to raise the heat lamp during the day so they don't get too hot. Lily loves to go out in the morning and help with the chicks. She won't hold them in her hands so they put them in her lap so she can pet them.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Otter swimming (photo by Alex)
Alligator (photo by Alex)
Giant Turtles (photo by Alex)
Alex took this picture of Lily sliding in the play area with her cotton candy
Emelia sleeping in her carrier
After about 3 hours we had made it through the zoo and were hot, tired, and hungry (our picnic lunch was in the van) so we decided it was time to head out. Nick was not ready to leave yet because there were 2 things he wanted to see and didn't get to but everyone else was ready to go. I must admit that I was tired and still had a 2 hour drive home. I also am not in as good shape as I should be (trying to use the excuse that I just gave birth a few weeks ago) and my legs are sore. The children asked first thing if we could go back again today but I told them we will have to wait and maybe go back in the fall.
Chelsea, Emelia, Christian, Anthony relaxing in the shade while we were getting ready to go
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
6 potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1 can cream of celery soup 1 1/4 cups water
6 slices American Cheese
1 pk thinly sliced boneless pork chops
Shredded Cheddar Cheese Grease a 13x9 baking dish.
Place half of the potatoes in the pan and top with 6 slices of cheese. Add the rest of the potatoes. Place pork chops over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Pour soup and water mixture over top. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Alex working on Reading Kingdom and Lily with the toy laptop because she needed to do her schoolwork too!Nick working on Big IQ Kids while Christian "reads" through one of our books that I am reading aloud that he enjoys (review coming soon.)
Chelsea keeping Emelia occupied while I made supper.
Anthony watching Nick and Alex play chess during "recess."
Emelia is so happy that she figured out how to suck her thumb!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Galaxy Gardens-Rocket into outer space to explore among the starts and play 3 brain boosting games. Each of the three planets is a home to challenging learning games: Photo Safari, Rocket Racer, and Robo Bobo
Twister Top-Ride through the mesas on a twister top train bound for adventure. While exploring the cactus clad cliffs play 3 mind challenging games:Design A Door, Desert Dash, and Crazy Maze.
Laughter Lake- Bubbling with fun and adventure Laughter Lake is a fun filled habitat where you can play 3 fun learning games:Critter Sizer, Scuba Dude, and Going Buggy.
Children get to make their own fun character by choosing the head, body, and wheels. They also can decorate their treehouse, skate park, and comic book with the rewards they earn by completing the games. Parents receive detailed email reports showing what their child has been working on and what they have completed. There are also several printable activities for your child to enjoy and activities to practice the skills your child has learned.
Your child can start playing Go go Kabongo free with access to all of Laughter Lake's games and activities. You can purchase the two additional habitats for $4.95 each. There is a limited time offer that if you sign up now you will get Galaxy Gardens habitat free.
I used this website with Christian (4) and Anthony (5). I thought it would be great for them to have an age appropriate game to play that would teach them the skills they needed to have before they were learning to read. Their favorite part was making their own characters and collecting the sticker rewards for their comic books. The games are a lot of fun. Anthony and Christian's favorite game was Going Buggy where they hear a story and then recreate it by placing images into a scene. Kabongo is very colorful and engaging for children. The detailed email reports are a great tool for parents to see exactly what learning skills their child is working on.
There are a few things I think could be improved on. It is a beta version so there have been a few technical problems such as games freezing and not loading at times, and server errors when we get to rewards page that we have encountered that I am sure will be corrected. The site takes a long time to load. Then each time you enter a habitat you have to wait again for it to load which can be very hard for impatient small children. I am very put off by the way the characters talk. For an educational website, I don't think the characters should be talking in slang and also at times the characters sound rude to me. For example in the treehouse the character says, "Hey, hello what are you waiting for?" when you don't click on something right away. Another of the characters says, "That wasn't very clever dearie." when you get something wrong. I couldn't find any way to skip the instructions if you had already played the game before. Even though Christian and Anthony liked the Going Buggy game, I found that it was very hard to understand exactly what images you were supposed to place. In Desert Dash, it is hard for the boys to hear the sound that they want you to click on the letter for.
To see what other crew members had to say click here.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Z Guides are a great way to incorporate media into your history/social studies curriculum. There are several Z Guides available for different movies in different time periods in history. Choices include: 12 Angry Men, A Man for All Seasons, A Tale of Two Cities, Amazing Grace, Ben Hur, Cromwell, Driving Miss Daisy, Father Goose, Flyboys, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Inherit the Wind, Jason and the Argonauts, Johnny Tremain, Kit Kittredge, Knights of the Round Table, Les Miserables, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, My Side of the Mountain, One Night With the King, Scarlet Pimpernel, Sergeant York, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, The Count of Monte Crisco, The Hiding Place and the Red Badge of Courage. You can purchase Z Guides in two formats either as an e book or on CD for $12.99. Those not showing an e book version will be coming soon. Most of the Z Guides available are for High School age children with a couple being geared for elementary/middle school. The guides do not come with the DVD. Many of the DVD's can be purchased on the http://www.zeezok.com/ site and also many can be found on http://www.netflix.com/ if you have a membership.
We chose the movie The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938 Warner Home Video. The 32 page Z Guide is written for High Schoolers and the topics covered are:Middle ages, Medieval English History, Ethnic Conflict, Chivalry, and Civil Disobedience. The guide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and 10 learning activities split into a 5 day schedule based on this famous film. Some of the activities are: Movie Review Questions, Research Questions on Prince John and Richard the Lion Hearted, Are you Norman or Saxon Research Activity, More about the Feudal System Research Activity, Take the Oath Activity, Target Practice Activity to practice your skills at something you enjoy, Robin Hood Word Search, Feast for your Enemies Activity to improve your relationship with an "enemy", Worldview Activity to evaluate your beliefs, and the Filmmaker's Art Activity to probe the director's mind. The Guide also has a list of questions for family discission and an answer key.
We really enjoyed watching the movie The Adventure's of Robin Hood. It is even better to view it not just as a great movie but to use it as a learning experience. One of the first questions Chelsea asked was what was the difference between a Norman and a Saxon as it is mentioned several times in the movies. The next day she had an opportunity to find out as she woked on the research questions from the activity, "Are You a Norman or a Saxon?" The questions on all of the research activities give the student a thorough understanding of the topic being discussed. Chelsea is now an expert on Normans and Saxons, the fuedal system, Prince John and Richard the Lion-hearted. The worldview questions are also very well done and make for great family discussion questions.
One thing that Chelsea did mention is that she wished there were more hands on activities included. Her idea was that it would have been better with some arts and crafts ideas, or some time period appropriate recipe ideas. She thought that adding those things in would make this study even better. I also hope that they come out with more for younger age students so we could have the whole family involved.
To see what other crew members had to say click here.
I received a complimentary copy of The Adventures of Robin Hood Z Guide to the Movies for the purpose of writing a fair annd honest review. I recieved no other compensation.