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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Of changes and things

So this week has ushered in some major family changes. I am pleased to say that the entire family has managed them very well. We came together and dove right in to make things happen. God is faithful to us in showing us that we are following His path and it is amazing to witness as a family.

Truly a blessing.

This weekend is Steven's birthday. Well, not the whole weekend but we are spreading it out to encompass the whole weekend because we can! Friday night we met with his family to celebrate with his twin at a pizza place and then cake and ice cream at the folks' house. We were able to take Bug with us and introduce her to the family. She was an angel. She handled the noise and chaos like a pro. And they loved her! (we knew they would!)

Today was soccer. BUT, we started it with biscuits and gravy in honor of the birthday boy. Several people wished him happy bday at the soccer game since we know many families outside of soccer and then tonight he had some ice cream at Applebee's. Tomorrow the girls and I are making a cake and giving him his present.

Not too bad of a deal getting your bday celebration spread out over three days! He's totally worth it. He is an amazing father and wonderful husband. We are blessed to have him. I am so thankful that God brought him into my life when He did and that I was at least smart enough to go out with him in the first place. heehee

I can't wait for the next twenty years with this wonderful man. I love you, honey. ;-D

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter and more

Yeah, one is taller than me and another is close!  But isn't that a great picture?

Growing into a lovely young lady.

Sweet, Sweet Girlie!

Love this thoughtful little lady.
She is always smiling.  What a sweetie!

Um, yeah.  This was a once in a lifetime shot!  She was trying not to step on the egg so her younger cousin could pick it up!  Oh, I laughed so hard when I saw this!!!

Bug burped and some 'extra' came up with it and landed in Peanuts hair.  This is how she cleaned her hair! roflol

How many girls do you think it takes to give a cutie patootie girlie her bath?  In my house?  FOUR plus the momma to make sure everyone is safe!  lol  Giving Bug a bath was better than going to the movie.  Every little squeal and splash brought peals of laughter from the peanut gallery. 
Like the hair?  We had fun 'styling' it!

Another option for her hairdo! ;-)

This is the style we decided on for the day!  I think this makes her look like a Who from The Grinch movie.  her big blue eyes and her impish grin make her too adorable!

We had a great time tonight at soccer practice.  Peanut and Bean ran and ran and ran all over the place finding more insects than I care to see, ever.  Sweet Pea followed Bug around while she ran and played and tried to follow Sunshine out onto the soccer field.  It was such a beautiful night that we hated coming inside. 

But, bedtime beckons and now all are sleeping.  Can you hear it?  It is the silence of slumbering children and tired parents! lol

Life is good. 

God is great.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TOS Review Writing Tales

I am so excited to post about this review!  We have had such a great time using this curriculum that the kids don't want to stop using it for the summer.  This one is a keeper for sure!


Writing Tales is the curricula I am talking about.  It is a writing curricula based on the Classical model used by the Greeks.  To be honest, I had never even heard of the Progymnasmata before receiving Writing Tales and I'm still not sure I know too much about it. Thankfully, I didn't have to know about it to use this program and get the most out of it.  You can read more about the company and the Classical Approach on this page of their website. 

From the website:
Writing Tales was born out of the author’s experience teaching a writing class to 3rd and 4th grade students in a classical co-operative.  A desire to teach writing from the classical approach led to a need to make the subject more accessible and enjoyable, and a curriculum was born.  The curriculum for both levels is built on a 30 lesson structure.  One story is studied for two lessons; each lesson is about one week long.
 To read more, check out this page on their website.

Let me tell you what we thought about Writing Tales.

We received both Levels 1 and 2 to review and as soon as we pulled them out of the box, we were hooked.  The student books are spiral bound and the teacher books have a regular binding.  Both books are in black and white with an easy to read print.  There are a few black and white pictures scattered through out the book but do not distract from the text.  Right after opening the books we were able to start using them.  The Lesson Plans are easy to understand and easy to implement.  We had no problem just opening the book and going.

On the first day the student reads the story/fable and then answers questions like "Who are the Main Characters?"  "What is the Conflict and Resolution?"  and then one other exercise is assigned for the first day.  The daily assignments are separated by days in the Teacher's Book so that it is easy to see what assignments are due which days.  Each day's lessons are completely laid out so that there is no guess work as to what to assign for that day. There are also notes for the teacher to explain the concepts being learned that day.  There are also game suggestions to back up what the student is learning.  Each lesson has taken around 15 minutes to complete with a few needing a little more than that.  There are 30 lessons in each book.

The Writing Tales Curriculum is set up to cover one story every two weeks.  The story is introduced on the first day and then every day there after, the student covers different aspects of grammar, writing, spelling, vocabulary, etc. based on the story they read at the beginning.  During the course of the two weeks the student is also required to re-write the story/fable two times.  The first time is a rough draft and should be exactly as originally written.  Then the second re-write the student is allowed to add in some details of their own like names for the characters.  Each story is copied in their best handwriting so that by the end of the book the student has 15 stories to display.

PhotobucketWe have really enjoyed using this program.  Level 1 was used by my 9 yo and Level 2 was used by my 11yo.  The website indicates that Level 1 is for third or fourth graders and Level 2 is for fourth or fifth graders.  However, I have found that with my 11yo's eye teaming problems that this has been a wonderful solution to getting her to write and study grammar with little to no resistance.  I can not wait for Level 3 to come out so that we can get that one as well!

Level 1 Student workbook can be purchased for $19.95 and the Teacher Book for $24.95.  Level 2 Student workbook is $24.95 and the Teacher Book is $32.95.  But starting on May 2nd thru May 9th Writing Tales is having their Annual Sale and you can get 20% off orders plus free shipping!  Woohoo!

  If you have any other questions the FAQ page is a great place to start.  You can also get a sample of this program here.  There is also a Scope & Sequence to check out if you are curious what's covered in this program. 

If you want to see what the other Crew members thought of this program, head on over to The Crew blog and check them out.

**I received both Levels of Writing Tales through The Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Sweet New Girl

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been honored and blessed to have been asked to be a part of a sweet little girls life.  We are going to get to love on her Monday-Friday and we are thrilled!  She is just too precious and we love her already.

Here are a few pictures of 'Bug'.  (since I don't use names for my girls and will sometimes use their nicknames, I have come up with Bug for our new little one)

Doesn't she have a great smile?  Every time we got the camera out, she would smile!!

Love the hat! 

Of course a headband with a hair bow! 

Gorgeous blue eyes! 
She is such an adorably, sweet little thing.  We are blessed to be part of her life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend happenings

What did we do last weekend? Soccer of course! This time both games were at the same time. Unfortunately they were on opposite sides of town. Steven took one socccer player and the two youngest kiddos with him and I trudged across town with one lone child. I almost didn't know how to behave with just one child in the car. It was eery! ;-)

Once we arrived at the fields I went to get my chair and blanket from the trunk (it was very cold and windy) and realized that I had forgotten my blanket. So not cool. It made me cranky just thinking about sitting out there with no blanket.

But I did it. And I survived! lol Our oldest won her game and the second born's game was a tie. They played well but I was glad it was over.

After the games, we headed over to the minor emergency clinic...again. This time it was for an sore in H's ear and a large lump behind her ear. It looked pretty icky and hurt her a lot. Come to find out she somehow scratched the inside of her ear and a raging infection started. It was bad enough that it spread to the lymph glands in her neck. Antibiotics were prescribed.

Then I took a nap. A seriously long one. Like all the rest of the day. It was glorious.

Supper out with friends topped off our day.

Sunday was spent at two churches. Yes, I said two. We woke up way too early for a Sunday and somehow I got four heads of hair ready and everyone dressed by 8:15am. A.M.!! We barely made it to service, but we did, and then we scooted out to Steven's parents church for their Easter service.

Lunch and visiting took up the rest of the day. We made it home in time for a late supper, which we ate in front of the t.v. while watching a family movie. I'm pretty sure everyone was in bed by 8:30pm.

Today, we start a new adventure. We are going to start caring for a little girl full-time during the week. She will live with us Monday-Friday and then go to her grandparents house for the weekends. We are all anxious for this new phase in our lives but we are trusting God to go before us and to give us what we need.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Do you ever?

Do you ever lose track of days? Like you wake up one morning thinking it is one day only to find out that it is at least a day or two past what you thought it was?

I just had that experience. Twice today, in fact.

This morning I woke up and started the day thinking it was Thursday. Only it wasn't. It was Friday. ugh I hate the feeling of losing a day. I didn't really lose a day of course, it was just such a long and emotionally draining day that I lost track of time. (I'll have to post about the reason that day was so long a little later.)

So, it's Friday. Okay. That means gymnastics and figuring out when school is going to happen, cleaning house, making rolls, feeding the family several times, and anything else that comes up along the way. Wow, nothing like being hit in the face with everything all at once! lol

The second time I realized that I'd lost a day (I had forgotten about the first time already!) I was standing in the kitchen making hamburger buns and told the girls that we would get snacks ready for their games tomorrow. They quickly replied that their games were tomorrow. Yup, that would mean that today was Friday, not Thursday! Man, I got side-swiped again.

I suddenly felt very rushed to get things done. I do not like that behind feeling. It makes me cranky.

So what did I do about it? I took a nap! lol I hid away from the world for a bit and just rested. I'd like to say that I came out of my room in a better mood, but I didn't. I was still cranky and feeling unsettled.

Hopefully, I can keep ahold of reality long enough to make it through today and then wake up in time to get the kids to soccer games in time!

Wish me luck! heehee

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOS Review Nutrition 101 from Growing Healthy Homes

Who doesn't need to eat better?  How about getting in shape?  If you're like me, I would have to say that I need lots more of both of those things.  The problem is I just don't know where to start so I jump in with too much information and give up after only a short time.  I think that is a fairly common scenario in most homes. 

If we can't figure out how to eat in a more healthful way, how will our kids learn to?  They won't.  They will eat the way we do and will be unhealthy as well.  Ugh, that is a little depressing to me.  I want more for them and I want a healthy lifestyle to be so second nature to them that they just live it and don't worry about it.  Does that make sense?

Well, this review from The TOS Crew has fit right into that desire of mine!  We were given the opportunity to review a book from Growing Healthy Homes.


The book is Nutrition 101: Choose Life!  Yup, sounds perfect.  ;-)  I was very excited to receive this book and couldn't wait to start reading it.  I am always on the lookout for books or information to help me create a more healthy lifestyle in our family. 

So, when I received our copy of this book...I was overwhelmed.  Truly.  This book is so big and has so much information in it that I almost couldn't even begin reading it.  It's 448 pages of information!  Wowser.  I admit that I put it aside for a few days while I got used to the idea of trying to figure out that much info.  But when I finally came back to it, I did what I should have done from the start.  Scanning the contents! lol  The Introduction alone would have allayed my fears and let us start using this resource sooner. 

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is not just another fact filled how to book, or a book that shames you for what you have been doing.  It is also not one of those books that is so unrealistic in its ideals that no one can achieve what they are talking about.  Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a Health Curriculum that includes more than just a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid. 

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction page:
The study of nutrition is more than just a look into food and its nutrients.  It is an in-depth look at how we eat, what we eat, how the body works and how these foods affect the body.  This program is not a rehash of biology or science, but a discovery of how the body systems are affected by the foods-good or bad-we eat.

It is easy enough to tell our kids and ourselves, "Just don't eat that.  It's bad for you."  But if no one understands the 'why' of why it's bad, will we really stay away from it?  Probably not.  Understanding how God made our bodies and how they react to and process what we eat is so important to know and understand and then teach that to our children.  Nutrition 101: Choose Life! can help the entire family understand their bodies in relationship to food and live healthier lives.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is separated into 6 Units based on the main body systems. 

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.

Within each Unit there are Chapters that further divide the topic into smaller sections.  For Instance, Unit 1-The Brain and the Nervous System is divided into these chapters. 

Chapter 1-The Brain
Chapter 2-Brain Health and Nutrition
Chapter 3-The Nervous System
Chapter 4-Nervous System Health and Nutrition

Each of those chapters contain Discussion Questions, Activities, Resources, and Recipes.  There is a handy Getting Started page that explains further how to use this book.  Each chapter is intended to be completed in a week but could easily be stretched to cover two.  It seems to be pretty adaptable to fit individual family needs in that way.  There is also an example of a daily schedule to follow that would give you a pretty good feel for the time commitment each day. 

My opinion?  This is an awesome book!  It is full of so much information that there is no way to discover it all the first time through.  I can see discovering new things each time you read it.  The pages are filled with beautiful pictures, Fun Facts, word definitions on the page in a colorful box, diagrams, and absolutely tons of information.  I have been delighted with the amount of new information I have read in this book and the understanding that has come with it.  I have been able to use this book to help with my own health situation
and realized that I didn't truly understand the way God designed our bodies.  Just understanding how our bodies function in relation to food is something everyone should strive to learn. 

We will continue to use this book in our school and family life.  It is too useful not to. 

Want to know how you can get your hands on this book?  Head on over to their websites ordering page.  The book format sells for $99.95, the CD version is $79.95, and the combo pack is $129.95.  While those prices may seem steep and I don't think our family could spend that kind of money on a book right now; I would have to weigh heavily the fact that all my kids could use it and it could be used again in later years.  It could serve your family's homeschool needs for several years.  It would be an investment not only for school but for the entire family.  This curriculum is designed for both elementary and secondary students.

If you want to see a sample chapter check out this page.  Scroll down until just after the Units are listed and you'll see "Read an Excerpt."  See for yourself how beautiful this book is.  While you are there don't forget to check out the other products they offer.

**And I am pleased to tell you that Growing Healthy Homes is offering a 15% discount when using the code TOScrew11. 

Oh, I almost forgot!  Tomorrow, April 21, The Old Schoolhouse is hosting a webinar with Sera Johnson, one of the authors of Nutrition 101. This webinar will take place at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

If you want to see what other Crew Members thought of this product, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**I received this product from Growing Healthy Homes through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Always Catching Up

The end of last week is kind of a blur. I can't believe I haven't blogged since last Thursday! Part of the reason is that the girls went to my mom's for the weekend and Steven and I spent the entire weekend veggin' out. It was actually a great weekend full of rest and spending time with my wonderful hubby.

To that end, I didn't do much on the computer. :-)

I do want to get back to this meme, though. I think it is a great idea in helping document the weeks in our school and family life.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...
Computer crashes, reviews piling up, soccer practices, BSF lessons, gymnastics, and mountains of laundry. Last week was our Sabbath Week and we used it to rest and catch up on rest! lol We did do some cleaning but not enough. The girls also went to my mom's for the weekend.

In our homeschool this week...
Sabbath Week was last week so we didn't do school. Okay, that's not entirely true. We did our Tapestry of Grace and the older two did their sciences. Other than that we really rested from school.

Places we are going and people we are seeing...
The girls went to my mom's and Steven and I spent the weekend holed up in our house resting. We did go out to eat with great friends on Saturday night. We see so many people throughout the week with gymnastics and soccer that this is a hard question!

My favorite thing this week is...
Sabbath Week! lol I love, love, love Sabbath Week. I love that it rejunvinates us and gives us the break we need.

What's working/not working for us...
The daily schedule is chaffing a bit right now. I think it is because we all have spring fever and are just getting antsy. We may ditch the schedule from now until summer and just do school at their pace. I'm not sure about that one, I'll have to think about it some more. We are loving our curriculum and the review products we are getting.

Homeschool thoughts/questions I have...
I am seriously starting to look at next year since I will have an 8th grader and then the year after that she will be a freshmen in high school. Isn't that amazing how I figured that one out? heehee It's wiggin' me out just a bit.

A photo, video link, or quote to share...
"God uses time to prepare us to build only what lasts with the one piece we're given. Based on the Christ-paradigm, God our Father seems less interested in the "how much" than the "what." He calls us to make contributions of quality, not just quantity. Time is often where He tempers and tests us so that premature births of ministries don't result in lifelong handicaps. God created time and never wastes it. We alone waste it when our impatience to receive our earthly inheritance hinders our preparation to know what to do with it." Beth Moore Believing God

If you want to see what everyone else had to say, head over to Homeschool Chick and check it out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The difference a day makes

Today is Thursday.  It was Thursday all day.  It was a long day.  A Seriously loooong day.

But let's go back to yesterday.  It was a blissfully quiet Sabbath Week Wednesday.  Nothing of note happened.  It was quiet and peaceful.  aaahhh

Last night the kids went to bed early and watched movies in their rooms.  I read my book and spent some quiet time after everyone else was sleeping. 

I even slept in this morning until around 8am!  It was lovely.  I leisurely checked my email and found an urgent assignment that required the use of my laptop so I quickly retrieved it from the youngest two and took it downstairs. 

But, lo and behold, when I opened it up something was wrong.  The picture I put on the desktop was gone and so were almost all of the icons.  There were items back on there from when I bought it.  I was a little concerned so I checked my documents folder and it was empty.  I am not even kidding.  E.M.P.T.Y.   I about had a heart attack.  I didn't want to panic though so I checked another way to find my documents and they were not there.

I moved on to the pictures.  That folder was also empty.  The panic is starting to bubble up to a blasting point by now and I was starting to sweat.  I checked my downloads folder, the recently changed folder, and looked for some program files that I recently loaded and they were ALL GONE. 


I was in a full-fledged panic mode by this time.  Tears were streaming and I was trying to figure out how to get back all the things I had on there and couldn't figure out a way.  There were things on the laptop that hadn't been saved anywhere else. 

Yeah, I know it's dumb and I am going to change that from now on.  But for now, I was a blubbering mess. 

I do have to say that I didn't yell at the kids or even get upset with them.  Not once.  I asked them what had happened and then let it drop.  I didn't say anything else about it the rest of the day.  (I'm pretty proud about that one!)

I started working on that urgent project and posted on Facebook what had happened.  People started praying.  I started begging God to fix my computer.  The girls were praying.  I think they were praying for safety, though.  They were a little unnerved because I wasn't yelling or fuming; I was a little too silent for them! lol  I spent the rest of the morning begging God to retrieve all of my information and to restore my computer.  I knew He could and I knew He cared.  I just didn't know if it was in His plan to fix it or to teach me a lesson about not relying on technology too much. 

The urgent project was finished by 1pm and I decided to check my laptop again to see if there was any way I could figure out what had happened.  When I turned it back on, it was back to normal.  I am not even kidding.  Everything was where it should have been. 


God has restored my computer for me! 

I had checked to see if the girls had changed the profile, anything that would explain what had happened.  I couldn't.  It was gone in the morning and then by the afternoon it was back.

I choose to believe that God was showing me that He cares about my computer and every area of my life.  It was just one more way for Him to show me His great love and care. 

And yes, now I am backing up everything to the external hard-drive!  ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deadly Ties Review

"A horrific crime shatters Lisa Harper’s idyllic childhood. Her father is dead and her desperate mother, Annie, quickly marries Dutch Hauk, an abusive monster who soon reveals his hatred for Lisa. To protect her, Annie defies her ruthless husband and forfeits custody to a trusted friend. Enraged, Dutch vows to keep Annie and Lisa apart—and he does. Years later, though keenly aware of Dutch’s evil intent, Lisa and her mother seize a chance to be a family, safe in a home where love dwells. But they fail to fathom how far Dutch will go to keep his vow."

For the latest book review, which is sadly overdue, I decided to let my oldest daughter read the book and write the review.  She is an avid reader and jumped at the chance since she loved the first book Forget Me Not.

"Deadly Ties is the thrilling sequel to Vicki Hinze's Forget Me Not.  Lisa Harper is the new focus in this book, battling her challenging past to forge a new life.  But complications arise, forcing her to take action.  Mark Taylor is struggling as well.  Guilt has taken a permanent residence in his heart and mind.  Together can Lisa and Mark overcome their troubles?  Can Lisa take a chance on love?  Can Mark learn to believe God can help?

I thought this was a beautiful story.  It told of a terrible childhood, heart-breaking reunions, true love, and mystery.  While one character always trusted God another struggled giving it all up to Him.  Read for yourself to find out which was right and which was wrong."

Age recommendation for this book is 13 and up.  That is just my opinion but with the content that is what I would suggest.

She actually enjoyed reading it so much she started reading it again!

Head over here to read a preview of the book for yourself.

**I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

First Things First Review

I received the book First Things First by Kurt and Brenda Warner to review.  I'm so glad I did!  I am a big-time football fan so this was an easy book to pick up.  I'm not sure it would have mattered what he was talking about! lol  If that is the only reason you pick up this book, that's okay because the book itself will keep you reading.

First Things First is a great look into the lives of Kurt Warner and his family.  We get to see some of the daily happenings in their lives and some strategies they use as parents.  We are privileged to read some of their history and what makes them who they are today.  I laughed out loud many times as they were switching back and forth telling the same story but from their own perspective.  It was interesting to switch back and forth from his perspective to hers; I got used to the rhythm of both of their voices and found it quite enjoyable.

This may not be considered a 'professional parenting advice' book but I would certainly recommend it based on the real life advice and the sensible way it is presented.  Options for parenting are always welcome, right?  How about some real life situations that put this thing called marriage into understandable and laughable stories?  I found myself telling Steven many of the stories from the book because I could see us and our marriage mirrored in them. 

**I rec'd a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

We Have a Winner!!

The weekend was a long, but good one.  I will have to blog about it later.  For now, I have a winner to announce!

And that Winner is...


I will contact Karla and let her know the CD is on its way!  Thank you all for entering.  :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Movie Night TRUTH BE TOLD

Our family loves movies.  No seriously, we LOVE movies!  We gather around the t.v. and set up our family room like a theatre.  We dim the lights, get our snacks, and hunker down to enjoy.  Lately, though, we have had a very hard time finding movies that everyone in our family can watch.  We have ages that range from 6yo up to, let's just say more than 35!  That's a pretty wide range to keep engaged and entertained.

I am happy to say that we have found just the movies to do fill the need.  Family Movie Night!  I was able to preview this movie and I am so glad I did.  It was great!  I know that my entire family will enjoy it and I won't be worried about what the kids will see or hear.  It is just a good Family Movie.

"Starring Candace Cameron Bure, David James Elliott and Ronny Cox, Truth Be Told plays
upon the old adage, that “honesty is the best policy,” and according to Colorado’s leading 
marriage counselor, Annie Morgan (Candace Cameron Bure, "Full House" and "Make It Or Break It"), honesty is the key to successful long-term relationships. Ironically, Annie has never been married and doesn’t always follow her own advice. Truth Be Told will take viewers on an entertaining yet touching journey as Annie begins to realize that the truth may have its consequences, but ultimately it’s what opens our hearts and brings out the best in each other."

This a funny, heartwarming movie.  We enjoyed seeing David James Elliott and Candace Cameron Bure as well as the rest of the known and new actors.  It was also great to see Jonathan Frakes directing.  It was such a well put together movie that I am planning on buying it as soon as I can.  I highly recommend watching it as a family and enjoying the valuable lessons learned through it.  The situation is this movie was a great conversations starter and we have had many lively discussion because of it.  

Watch Truth Be Told premieres on FOX (8/7c) Saturday, April 16th!  You won't be disappointed!

If you want to check it out for yourself here are some websites to go to:

          Facebook page link:

          Landing page link:

Support this great movie and this movement to bring back Family Movie Night!

Friday, April 8, 2011

TOS Review Science Weekly


What are we reviewing today?  A science supplement called Science Weekly.  As part of this review with The TOS Crew, we were given the opportunity to review Science Weekly.  We received the edition on The Flu in six levels with a Teaching Notes.  All in vivid color and fun illustrations.  Each issue is filled with information on a specific topic and includes activities, experiments, storytelling, math, vocabulary, a challenge section, and a bringing it home section.  These are all designed to support the central theme of the edition you choose.  These remind me of a magazine or a newspaper for kids.  Short, to the point articles make them a quick read and the information gets absorbed through the activities.  

If you are curious to see what I am describing, head on over to this page and scroll down to the bottom.  You'll see "Sample Issue", click on it and see what it's like.  

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Here's a little from their website:

Science Weekly is a curriculum supplement that offers an interdisciplinary and inquiry approach to enhance teachers¹ knowledge and skills in teaching science and literacy.

Each issue of Science Weekly ascribes to the national science standards. Each topic is written at six reading levels (K–6) in diverse science content that provides the opportunity for students to exercise their curiosity about the world around them.

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

If you head over here, you can view the interactive editions they have online.  To find out about pricing check this page.  You can buy these for $19.95 per student per year for 15 issues.  A Classroom rate is $4.95 per student per year for 15 issues.

My thoughts?  These seem to be geared more toward a classroom setting.  It was usable for our homeschool but I don't think we would get the intended benefit from them.  I can see how being able to buy them individually would be helpful in supplementing studies that you already have going but I don't think I would use them on a weekly basis.  I think they would be great in a Co-op setting where there are more than just one family worth of kids in the room.  ;-D  It is helpful that the age range is from Kindergarten all the way up through 6th grade, that way if you use these at home everyone can be studying the same thing.

Here are some topics they have covered:

While I wouldn't probably use them in our homeschool, they could be a perfect fit for another family.  If you want to know what other Crew members thought, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**I received a sample of Science Weekly through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A new site to check out!

There is a new homeschool website getting ready to launch that will be centered around giving homeschool curriculum away for FREE. The grand opening giveaways have some great products like a complete Mystery of History set, Horizons Pre-Algebra Set, Picture Smart Bible, and a whole set of early learning currriculum for 2yrs – K. There are also several other things set to be given away such as gift certificates.
To get notified of the giveaways, all you have to do is sign up for the “Giveaway Blast”. Please be sure to put in my email address: as the referral source. There is a pre-launch giveaway right now for a beautiful Well Planned Day Planner that I can win for referring the most subscribers. You can enter too after you sign up! Just copy & paste this and send it out to your friends!

Here is the website:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TOS Review Kinderbach

It has always been a struggle in our home to get the kids to learn an instrument or even just learn music.  We are a fairly musical family and have music playing almost constantly; but we haven't done a good job of learning to read music and play instruments.  :(  So, if there is anything that can make that job easier I am all for it!

Our review for The Crew this time was for KinderBach, a music program geared for ages 3-7.  From the website:

The KinderBach curriculum is a proven teaching method which gives children a solid music foundation, aligned with the MENC National Standards for Pre-K, that can translate to any instrument.  Basics are basics and KinderBach covers them using language children understand.  Youngsters will learn music vocabulary, note reading, rhythm, physical technique, ‘do, re mi’ singing, listening skills and music composition plus the joy in making music.

 The KinderBach program is divided into Six Levels that are further divided into four sessions each.  The segments are around 5 minutes a piece and are easily watched alone or all together.  Some days we watched only one to review a new concept and other days we watched them all at once.  It is easily adaptable to what works best for your family!

KinderBach is full of cute characters and catchy music.  There are videos, puppets, coloring pages, piano playing, and using household items as instruments.  It's a little something for everyone.  I have caught several of the girls singing the tunes throughout the day! 

At first my kids were a little put off that they didn't learn to 'play the piano' right away.  I had to convince them that learning Music Theory was very important and would help them later in learning to play any instrument.  That's what this program does.  It teaches Music Theory in a way that is understandable to kids and fun to boot!  
What will my child know at the end of this program? Will my child be able to learn another instrument?
At the end of the KinderBach program your child will have a strong musical foundation that he/she will be able to use as a springboard to any music instrument.  Your child will:
  1. Know all the notes on the piano by location and letter name
  2. Be familiar with the grand staff,
  3. Read some individual notes on staff and all notes by pattern on staff,
  4. Understand and read rhythms from eighth to whole notes,
  5. Have improved listening skills so that he/she can interpret rhythms, intervals and patterns heard.
  6. Play familiar melodies,
  7. Play hands together or separately,
  8. Have a working music vocabulary,
  9. Understand basic composition methods 
That's a whole lot of musical knowledge, isn't it?  We haven't made it all the way through this program yet, but we are going to try to get there before our review time is over. 

If you want to check out KinderBach for yourself, head on over to their website and look around for a while.  Better yet, sign up for a FREE two-week trial and try it out!  To sign up for this online membership it is $95.88 for a year long membership.  That works out to be $7.99 a month.  Or you can do the monthly membership for $19.99.  Or you can buy a CD package that starts at $40.45.  Check out their website for more details and options on packages.  Don't forget to check out the extra materials they offer to go along with this program.

If you want to see what other Crew members thought, head on over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**We received a three month subscription from KinderBach through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dancin' with the Dinosaur

I don't often put music on here because I don't much care for listening to dozens of different songs throughout all the blogs I read in a given day.  But that's just me!

However, this song was playing in our car the other day and an interesting conversation ensued.  H-my 8yo asked what he was talking about and why he would dance with a dinosaur. lol  The music was turned off and a 15 minute conversation about right and wrong, black and white, and having a conscience were thoroughly discussed.  It was amazing to see the light in their eyes as they understood the concept of listening to the Holy Spirit and why some would call having a conscience a dinosaur.

After the conversation they all agreed that they always wanted to walk with the dinosaur!  ;-D