Sunday, December 11, 2011

E-book Review: "Christ-centered Christmas"

Wow! That is the first word that comes to mind when i think about this book. Wow!
What a treasure trove inside "Christ-centered Christmas"! This book is chock full of wonderful ideas for keeping the true meaning of Christmas; Jesus, in focus. The ideas in this book include tips for celebrating Christmas eve, menus, shopping lists for Christmas baking, words to familiar Christmas carols, and recipes... lots of yummy recipes! There are also ideas about gift giving, caroling parties and even decorating your house for Christmas. It is full of many of the Young Family's favorite traditions. "Christ-centered Christmas" is truly a gift from their family to the readers.

This book was written by Hal and Melanie Young of "Raising Real Men".
This is how they describe themselves, as copied from their website: "Hal and Melanie Young have been involved with parenting, political commentary, writing and homeschooling from coast to coast, including California, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina. They have eight children from 20 on down and have homeschooled them from the beginning. The Youngs live in North Carolina, learn everywhere, and believe true riches don’t involve money."

i love the last line. They believe that "true riches don't involve money". That kind of motto is hard to find nowadays. It is evident in "Christ-centered Christmas". The Youngs have wonderful family traditions that focus attention on Christ. This book is their way of sharing that with the reader.

"Christ-centered Christmas" has a chapter about the Christmas story, and the prophecies about Jesus' birth. This is much needed for me. Tonight, while watching an old Christmas program from my youth, i realized that although i know the names of all Santa's reindeer, i cannot name all of Jesus' disciples that easily. How much i want things to be different for my girls when they get older! This year, we will be memorizing prophetic scripture about Jesus' birth! (and the names of Jesus' disciples too!)

Hal and Melanie share about how their family celebrates Advent, Christmas and "Old Christmas", or the time between Christmas and Epiphany, or January 6th.
They provide menus and ideas for Christmas eve dinner, as well as Christmas day dinner. It is full of yummy recipes to go along with the menus, like "Granny's Fruit Cakes". These sound amazing, and nothing like the fruit cake we are used to seeing!
There is also a recipe for a delightful sounding Christmas tea that i cannot wait to try!
This book will bless your heart, and give you some wonderful ideas for creating new traditions with your own family. One of my favorite ideas is the ornament of the year idea. This is an ornament you buy that represents what God has done for you in the past year. Every year as you unpack the ornaments to decorate the tree, you can tell your children the story behind the ornament. What a godly heritage we are leaving for our children in reminding them of God's goodness through the years!

If given the chance to buy it, i highly recommend that you do it! i don't think you will be disappointed. Probably, you will say, "Wow!" just as i did when i first opened it.
You can buy it online at their website. Just visit:

A special thank you to Hal and Melanie Young for the honor of receiving this book to review. It was a blessing!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lapbook review!

If you look over there, on the right side of my blog, you will see a link to a wonderful lapbooking site called "A Journey Through Learning". ------------------->

In September, Baby and i were privileged to review a wonderful lapbook called "Todo Acerca de Mi (All About Me)". It was a lot of fun for both of us. As you probably figured out by the title, this lapbook is written in Spanish! Thankfully, there were English directions and translations throughout, as i am not fluent in Spanish.

The book is made up of three different folders. It covers a lot of basic information for the child to fill in, with help from the parents if needed.

The first folder asks the child about their name, address and name of parents and siblings. The second folder asks about themselves; things that they can do alone, like tie their shoes, snap, and button. It also talks about their favorite color, and gives a place to record their height and weight.
The third folder talks about their favorite things; foods, toys, books and best friend's name. It also has a part about what they can do in the kitchen. Can they chop things, stir, knead, or bake? There is also a maze that they can do and put into the lapbook.

Baby and i enjoyed doing this lapbook. It is perfect for little people. Although Baby is 6, she just learned English about a year ago, so the Spanish was a bit difficult for her to understand. She did learn her address and phone number from working through the lapbook. She will gladly tell you the city that she lives in too.
When her Daddy came home from work, the day we finished it, she was thrilled to show him what she had done. Now she enjoys looking at the book and uses it to "play school"! She is very proud of it, and loves to show it to everyone who comes to visit.

Thank you to "A Journey Through Learning" for this wonderful opportunity!

Definitely check out all that they have to offer, whether it is in English or Spanish.


Gift Guide and Giveaways

Here is a link to the 2011 Homeschooler's Gift and Educational Resource Guide.
It is put out by Homeschool Enrichment Magazine. Really a great find!
Make sure to check it out!

Don't forget to enter their giveaways while you are there!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

About Halloween, or why we don't celebrate it.

i am a Facebook fan. Did i tell you that? If not, well, there it is.
Problem is, Facebook, like most other internet entities really goes all out for Halloween. i just recently posted to my friends that i couldn't help them with getting Halloween items for their games, because it is against my religion. While i was making light of it, i was very serious. i do not celebrate Halloween. i used to, when my oldest, Lady was little and i mean little. i think the last time we did anything with Halloween, Lady, was 4.
People, especially my Christian friends who do not feel convicted about Halloween, get irritated at me. They must feel that i am trying to judge them about their participation in this "holiday". i'm not. i guess i am just trying to be clear on where i stand. i firmly believe that Christians have NO BUSINESS celebrating this day.
There is nothing about it that glorifies God in any way. In fact, you could say that it is Satan that is being glorified. Does that make you uncomfortable? i think it should. Jesus said that the light should not have anything to do with the darkness. Halloween celebrates darkness. Really.

Here is an article i found on a website about real witches and their beliefs.

"Samhain(pronounced Sow-in, Sah-vin, or Sahm-hayn), known most popularly as Halloween, marks the end of the third and final harvest, is a day to commune with and remember the dead, and is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation. Samhain (once again Halloween) is the most coveted sabbat by the Wiccan (and many Pagan) religions.

In the European traditions, Samhain is the night when the old god dies, and the Crone Goddess mourns him deeply for the next six weeks. The popular image of her as the old Halloween hag menacingly stirring her cauldron comes from the Celtic belief that all dead souls return to her cauldron of life, death, and rebirth to await reincarnation.

Halloween, plain and simple is our favorite time of year. A true time for witches, Witchcraft itself, and Wiccans alike who feel that on this night the separation between the physical and spiritual realities is it's least guarded and it's veil the thinnest. It is a time for dimensional openings and workings, it is a somber holiday, one of dark clothes and thoughts for the dead, it is said to be the time when those of necromantic talents can speak with the dead and it is certainly a time to remember ones own dead. Witches believe it is a time of endings of relationships and bad situations and it is the time when one can see the glimmer of hope in the future. There are as many concepts attached to this holiday as any other, truly a time of remembrance of our ancestors and all those who have gone before."

Time for those with necromantic talents to speak with the dead? Really? And this is okay how? Jesus said that the dead have no part of the living, or rather nothing to do with the living. Do you really think that necromancers speak with the dead? According to the Bible, they are actually speaking to demons, or fallen angels posing as the dead. Creepy, huh?!

One friend asked me what religion didn't allow pretending and eating candy. i don't think any religion is against eating candy or pretending. BUT, (and this is a big ol' but!) i do think that "trick or treating" and dressing up for Halloween is not a good thing for Christians to be doing. Why?
Here is a good answer gleaned from another website:

"Some trace the origins of present day "trick-or-treat" to Samhain, which was the supreme night of demonic jubilation. Spirits of the dead would rise out of their graves and wander the countryside, trying to return to the homes where they formerly lived. Frightened villagers tried to appease these wandering spirits by offering them gifts of fruit and nuts. They began the tradition of placing plates of the finest food and bits of treats that the household had to offer on their doorsteps, as gifts, to appease the hunger of the ghostly wanderers. If not placated, villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property."

The problem was... if the souls of dead loved ones could return that night, so could anything else,human or not, nice or not-so-nice. The only thing the superstitious people knew to do to protect themselves on such an occasion was to masquerade as one of the demonic hoard, and hopefully blend in unnoticed among them. Wearing masks and other disguises and blackening the face with soot were originally ways of hiding oneself from the spirits of the dead who might be roaming around. This is the origin of Halloween masquerading as devils, imps, ogres, and other demonic creatures.

Others trace "trick-or-treat" to a European custom called "souling". Beggars would go from village to village begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers could guarantee a soul's passage to heaven.

In many parts of Britain and Ireland this night used to be known as 'Mischief Night', which meant that people were free to go around the village playing pranks and getting up to any kind of mischief without fear of being punished. Many of the different customs were taken to the United States by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the nineteenth century, and they developed into 'trick or treat'".

i never realized that as a kid, never even would have given any thought about it. Actually, it kind of bums me out that i know about it now. Of course the Bible has an answer for that too: " ... Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act ..." ~Proverbs 24:12 (thank you to my friend Tanya, who doesn't know that i spent an entire day looking for that verse before finding it on her blog!) So that means that now that i know the truth, i cannot act as if i don't. i am not a great Christian by any means, but, if i know that something is glorifying the enemy of our souls, i don't want to participate. Someone used to say, "If the devil was throwing a party, would you go?" Nope. i wouldn't.

So, those are just a couple of the reasons that we don't celebrate Halloween. It is dressed up to look like harmless fun. It isn't, and now you know.

Blessings to you for a wonderful November!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Review!

I was recently blessed with the chance to do a review of one of Diane Flynn Keith's newest resources, "The Homeschool Therapist Audio Course and Resource Guide" In each of the 10 sessions, Diane speaks with licensed marriage and family counselor, Michelle Barone. Michelle is known as the "Homeschool Therapist" and has been working with children and families since 1978.
Here is an overview of the session titles.

Session 1 is called "Understanding the Ages & Stages of Childhood Development and How They Impact Homeschool Success"

Session 2 is called "Getting the Kids to Co-Operate Without Yelling, Nagging, or Tears"

Session 3: "How To Get the Support You Need From Spouse, Family & Friends"

Session 4: "How To Juggle Homeschooling Kids of Multiple Ages"

Session 5: "Homeschooling Teens: Transitions, Socialization, & The Empty Nest"

Session 6 is about "Working and Homeschooling for Couples or Singles"

Session 7: "Homeschool Support Group Dynamics - How To Find A Good Fit"

Session 8, "Homeschooling Through Crisis"

Session 9: "How to Prevent and/or Recover From Homeschool Burn Out"

Session 10: "Homeschooling Non-Traditional Families"

Since i was allowed to choose one, i chose Session 8, "Homeschooling Through Crisis"
This session is about what happens when your normal homeschooling routine becomes anything but normal.

Here is my review:

Michelle Barone, licensed marriage and family therapist, gives insights and helpful hints in this discussion. Some of the problems she discusses include: divorce, financial crisis, natural disasters and health crises.
The main point that I took away from this discussion is that keeping the kids in their regular routine, if possible, is the best thing for them. It helps lend a sense of normalcy in an otherwise abnormal situation. This is especially important if you have always schooled them at home.
Another great tip from Michelle was to make a plan of action for "just in case". We never know what will come our way, but, having a plan can ease some of the stress when crisis happens. What will be the plan in case of an illness? Divorce? Loss of a job? While we pray that none of these things happens, it is good to have a plan for the unexpected.
Whatever does happen, it is important to validate your children's feelings and reaffirm that they are safe, despite circumstances. This is especially important during the event of a natural disaster, or financial downturn.
Michelle also reminds us to turn to our support network when crisis occurs. Friends, family, church, and the local homeschool group are usually willing and able to help out. We need to remember that when we are in crisis as a family, everyone struggles. If we, as parents, are mindful of our words and actions we can help ease our children's anxiety.
We also need to consider that in crisis, keeping the family together provides safety and structure that children need.
Michelle Barone's discussion left me feeling like I had a handle on how to care for my children in crisis. She also gave me tips for making a plan for the unexpected. I think all homeschooling parents will benefit from listening to this audio program.

If you would like more information about how to purchase this set for your homeschool group or yourself, please check them out at:

If you would like more information on Michelle Barone, please take a look at her website:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My grandma

Doris Lucille Gay went to be with the Lord on 19, September 2011. That is the main reason that i have not been blogging lately. The little bugs and i just got back from driving to and from California for "Gram's" funeral. i found out that it is 2,000 miles from my front door to my sister's. With the Lord's help, i made it in 3 days.

Gram was a wonderful woman. She had a hard life, but, she was an over-comer. She was so funny and bright; a joy to be around. She snorted when she got to laughing really hard. That is one of the things that i inherited from her. She collected shot glasses, she hated washing dishes, she loved reading and she played the piano by ear. Her favorites were the tunes from the Big Band Era, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and the like. She and Gramps had a song of their own, "Sentimental Journey" by Les Brown and his orchestra. For Christmas every year, she would play "Silver Bells" for me. It is my favorite secular Christmas tune. i think i liked it best because she would play it just for me. :) When she would mess up while playing, she would get so frustrated with herself! She and my grandfather were married just 20 days shy of 60 years. Gramps passed away on December 3, 2005. Their anniversary would have been the 23rd.

When Gram was 18, she married my Grandpa. They had a baby boy the following year. Dennis Allen Gay was his name. He died of cancer the following year, right before my mom was born. Neither of them ever got over it. Gram said that if my mom hadn't been born right after losing Denny, she thinks she would have died. The picture above is the 3 of them when Denny was about 9 months old.

When Gram was 21, she was horribly burned in a gas stove accident. My mom was three at the time, and remembers it to this day. Gram had been cooking over the gas stove, she was wearing one of Gramp's flannel shirts as a jacket. When she reached up to get a spice over the stove, the shirt caught on fire. She had third degree burns up her side, under her arm and down her back. Thankfully a neighbor heard her screams and came to help. Gram was in the hospital for almost a year.

My Grandpa was an alcoholic. He could be mean when he had been drinking. Thankfully, he gave that up when i was still a kid. He was hard to live with when he was young, and wasn't a Christian. He blamed God for Denny's death. Gram was a Christian, albeit a timid one, and she clung to her faith throughout those trying years.

They moved around a lot. Sometimes the places were wonderful, like Lake Tahoe. Sometimes, they were awful, like Blythe, California, where Gramps worked for the Border Inspection station. They met in Redlands, and were married at the Astesticia, an old Spanish mission in town. They ended up have 2 other daughters, each 5 years apart.
There is so much more i could say about my Gram, but, you still wouldn't understand what an amazing woman she was. She went into the hospital in early February, for double pneumonia, and never recovered. i miss her a lot. It blesses me immensely to know that they are ALL in heaven together now. Gram, Gramps, (who became a Christian 3 months before he died) and their baby Denny; together again, forever. i can hardly wait to see them again!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grammar and i

Hi friends.

Before i write another post about homeschooling, i need to share something with you all.
If you notice that i do not capitalize my "I" when referring to myself, it is not a mistake that i consistently make. i don't capitalize my "I" because i am nothing.
What do i mean? i mean that The Lord God Almighty says that His name is I AM. If i write "I am busy getting ready for school.", or whatever, it makes me feel as if i am comparing myself to His Wonderful Self. i cannot write that way without squirming in my chair.
In case you are wondering, i do teach my children the "proper" way to capitalize their "I". i also correct them when they don't capitalize it. i also tell that that if they want to write it like i do when they are out of college, that will be fine with me.
i am not doing this to bring attention to myself in any way. Others have asked me about it, and i just wanted share the reason behind it.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creation Museum Day 1

i don't know about where you are, but around here things have been a bit busy!
Trying to get everything ready for school and then taking a week off for a long "field trip", really put me behind. It was well worth it though!

i promised you a post about the Creation Museum. Let me first start by saying, it is well worth the trip! If you have no idea what i am talking about, check it out here:

It took Bitty, Baby and i two days to get there. It is really only 12 hours drive from here, but, we have friends in Tennessee that we wanted to see, and we stayed with them. On our way to the museum we visited Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home at Knob Creek, Kentucky. It was a nice place to stop for a break. It was amazing to see just how small the houses were in those days. i love the stories of when Abe was a boy and he would walk a long way to borrow a book. i always thought that the area he grew up in would be flatter, and easier to travel. (are you laughing yet?!) It is not flat and it still is very woodsy. Even the walk that he and his sister took to school was a long and arduous one.

When we got to the Museum it was just as wonderful as the pictures said! The first thing you see when you walk in is a giant Mastodon fossil. It towers over the foyer of the museum. The other thing that struck me is how well done everything was. The attention to detail really impressed me. It is as if you were in a canyon some where after Eden. There are dinosaurs and a child playing by each other.

We had a "back to school" speaker presentation with Bodie Hodge right after we got into the Museum. Bodie talked about Dinosaurs and the Bible. It was really a great presentation. It was hard on me after being raised in the public school system. It went against everything i was taught; that dinosaurs came millions of years before man and all. If we are to believe in the Bible, which we NEED to do, we would find that dinosaurs (or dragons) were created on Day 6, along with all the other land animals.
Dinosaur is a newer word to describe dragon. It was coined by Sir Richard Owen in 1841 and it means terrible lizard. Before then, dinosaurs were called dragons.
We bought an amazing book about Dinosaurs. It is called, "Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs". It was written by Bodie Hodge and Laura Welch. It is an interactive book, full of pockets and pull outs. My girls love it!

The next thing we did was visit the planetarium. We watched an amazing show about the size of the universe. It still dumbfounds me that people think that we were created by chance. If they would only read the Genesis account, it makes so much more sense.

After the planetarium show, Baby said that she was hungry, so we headed over to Noah's Cafe. They had good food! Bitty had chicken noodle soup with lots of oyster crackers and Baby and i had burgers. The food is reasonably priced for those of you who don't want to bring your own lunch.

After lunch, we went through the "Walk Through History". This takes you from Eden to the present day and through the "Seven C's of History": Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross and Consummation. i am really looking forward to the consummation part! :)
The exhibits are state of the art and the girls kept saying, "Wow, Mom! Look at this!" It was awesome!

We didn't get to spend a lot of time in the walk through as we had another presentation to attend. This one was with Buddy Davis. He is an amazing guy. He travels all over digging dinosaur bones, playing music and sculpting. His wife, Kay, goes everywhere with him. They are a lot of fun! The girls and i really enjoyed learning about and sculpting an African animal. Buddy did a lot of the dinosaurs in the museum. Some of them took him a long time to complete and are HUGE! There are a few of them that are animated. The best thing about Buddy is that he gives the Creator all the credit. We picked up his CD called: "Buddy Davis: Creation Musical Adventures". We also got his new DVD called: "I Dig Dinosaurs" which is the first of a new series. Buddy takes viewers to an actual dig site in Montana to show them what it is like to hunt and find fossils. He was, by far, the girls favorite part of the museum!

After that, the girls and i took a break at The Palms Cafe, where they got ice cream, and i got a iced coffee. We then walked around the gardens. The gardens at the Creation Museum are glorious! There were flowers everywhere and butterflies too! Baby wasn't too fond of the bouncing bridges, as she called them. i'll admit they were a bit tough to walk across. i don't like to have the ground moving under me when i walk! :) The only drawback to our garden visit was the heat. If you decide to go to the Museum, walk through the gardens first, and then go inside. You will be happy that you did!
The gardens are home to the Petting Zoo also. As it was the end of the day, the animals were hot and tired. We did not ride Gomer, the camel, as neither of the girls wanted to do so. The zorse and the zonkey were funny, and Baby loved the tortoise.
After the gardens, we headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner. That was the end of Day 1 at the Creation Museum!

More later... i need to rearrange the school room!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stay Tuned

The Creation Museum post is coming! Now that we are home and resting, i plan on working on this post tomorrow! We just drove home today from Franklin, Tennessee which was about an eight hour drive. i have to apologize, but, i'm pooped!

Off to bed now, church and a new post tomorrow.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to Homeschool 2011-2012

A lot of the other homeschooling blog-friends are sharing what they are doing for curricula this coming year. i thought that i would jump on that train! :)

Bitty is 9 and will be in fourth grade this year. Since last year was a extremely difficult for our family, we are a bit behind, although not enough to redo third grade. Since Baby just came home last June, 2010, we are kind of doing a Pre-first grade with her. She is already trying to sound out words and can read "cat" and "rat", but still needs phonemic help.

For Math, we are going to try Right Start Levels A and C. i say "try" because although i firmly believe this to be one of the best curricula out there, it is really tough for me to teach. It is bright and colorful and uses a lot of games and manipulatives to teach basic skills. The cool thing about them is that they take phone calls and can help the teacher teach! :)If you want more info:

For History, we all will be enjoying "Portraits of American Girlhood". PoAG is a unit study based on 7 of the American Girls. We are all excited that we get to do this! Both of the girls are really enjoying their American Girls and love playing with them. For more info:

Here is another great site that i found! It is not affiliated with the book, but, this wonderful homeschooling Mama gathered a lot of helps for using PoAG into one blog. Here is that link:

We are doing Nancy Larson Science 1, for both girls and will also be finishing up our Jeanie Fulbright Astronomy.

For Bible this year, we are going to be doing "Bible Study Guide For All Ages", Book One. i cannot tell you how much we learned when we started using this last year.
My friend, Linny, at told me about it, and we like it! The girls draw stick figures of the basic points of the story as i read it. There are daily drills to help them to retain what we read. You can also order a time line, and other things to go along with the study. You can find out more at:

Bitty and i are also going to do a bit of studying on our own. We are visiting the Creation Museum this week where i hope to lay to rest some of her doubts. She is my analytical one, the one who questions why she should believe. She is struggling with believing some of the basic foundations of the Bible, and i hope to be able to give her some firm answers. We will be working through Answers in Genesis' "Answers for Kids" Bible Study Curriculum this semester. If you haven't seen it, please check it out at:

For teaching reading to Baby, we are using Starfall. Starfall is a FREE online phonics website. They use cartoons and stories to teach kids how to read. Baby loves it!
Here is that website:

That is just some of the things we are using this year. We love to do read alouds, and spend a lot of time doing that. We are currently reading through the "Wizard of Oz" series. These were some of my favorites as a child and i am enjoying sharing them with the girls.

i'd love to hear what you are doing this year for school!


Monday, August 8, 2011

More helpful links

Have you heard of Currclick yet?!
It is a neat website that has many lapbooks, notebooking pages and mini unit studies for sale. There are also a TON of freebies!
If you enjoy learning about new products and getting a free product once a week, sign up for their email list.

Want to get rid of some of the homeschool books and stuff, and bless others less fortunate than you? Here is a great site for doing just that! If you are in need of something, this is the place to go to for help.

Here is a link to one of my favorite homeschool magazines!
The Old Schoolhouse is chock full of good tips, helpful hints, and tons of product reviews and ideas. This summer's HUGE 10th year anniversary edition is free to read online! Here is that link: www.thehomeschoolmagazine-digi​

Do you have trouble with planning school, home, and life in general? i do too! Not so much anymore as this year i found The Well Planned Day planner!
It was put out by the folks at Home Educating Family Publishing who also publish the
Home Educating Family Magazine. i love this magazine! Here is a link to their website where you can sign up for a FREE 7 day Digital Subscription to the magazine!

One more thing...
Have you heard of Clickschooling? As the website says "Get 1 FREE, Web-Based Curriculum Idea Every Day — Monday Through Saturday!" i have to tell you, this has been one of my favorite resources since i started homeschooling 12 years ago. i actually look at each link that is sent to my email, and then save it to my "favorites" or bookmark it under the appropriate category. i have lots of links for science, math, language arts, virtual field trip, social studies and art, thanks to Clickschooling!

Enjoy the Journey!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Helpful links

i'm back again.
i'm so excited about this blog that i had to start posting things that i have used, seen or heard that have helped me!

The first one is a universal help for homeschool families everywhere. Other people, corporations, etc. pool their buying power to get discounts on things they need. Why not homeschoolers? We do!!! Here is the link:

The co-op has special months for each subject. This month is BACK TO SCHOOL MONTH
There are a lot of neat things available for a discount. It is free to join, and there are many things that are available for free too! (think student ID cards) Head on over to the co-op and check it out!

Here is another great website to help you with the "gentle art of learning"
We use some of Charlotte's ideas like narration, nature journals, and the "Book of Centuries". A friend of mine recently told me about the Scripture Memory System. It took me a bit of time to put ours together, but, it is well worth it. Enjoy browsing the website!

Another great resource is found at Donna Young.
Donna has graciously posted all sorts of forms, handwriting pages, attendance sheets, calendars, etc. for you to use to organize your school year. Here is that link:

Do you have a hard time finding good handwriting worksheets for your kids? Here is a great resource to help you! With this worksheet maker, you can have your child write whatever it is that you want them to write. i have used this to help Bitty, "write sentences" for discipline, ie, " I will not hit my sister" :)

Okay, just one more for now. Are you trying to figure out how to teach your young ones to read? Would they rather play games on the computer? Starfall has that covered! Baby has been teaching herself to read by watching and playing on Starfall.
Here is that link:

i hope these websites help you in your homeschool journey!



i hope that this blog will be a blessing to you. That is my desire. In this crazy world, full of stress and chaos, i want to be a blessing.
There are many blogs that i read daily. Some focus more on adoption, some on homeschooling, some on handy tips. i hope to share a bit of everything.

Let me start by sharing a bit about what brought me to this blog.
To do that, we have to go back a few years...
1999 was the year we moved from the Northeast to the great state of Texas.
Our firstborn, Lady, was going into 3rd grade. She had 3 good years of a wonderful Christian school education under her belt, and was looking forward to more.
That first year in Texas, she had a wonderful teacher whom we are still friends with to this day. However, there were many things that i didn't like about that school. i didn't like having to drop her off on the first day without seeing her to her classroom. i didn't like not being able to help out in her class. It seemed to me a bit secretive and legalistic. For the most part, Lady was happy there, although she had a lot of homework. In the 4th grade, that all changed. Lady started having tummy troubles and headaches when she thought about school. Her after school routine was snack, homework, dinner, homework, violin practice, bed. It didn't seem much of a childhood to me. In late September, Lady caught a cold that turned into pneumonia. She missed a week of school. Everyday, the teacher sent home all her seat work and homework for her to catch up on. It was a ridiculous amount of busy-work. My husband and i took a long hard look at what our options were, prayed and decided to homeschool her. When we told Lady that she was going to be taught at home, she was overjoyed! My little homebody was going to be a home-school body! :)

Fast forward to today. Now Lady is grown up, and in college. She came through all of her years of homeschooling well, and even learned a bit! Since then we have adopted two more daughters; Bitty, who came home in 2002 at 10 months, and Baby, who came home in June 2010 at 4 1/2. Poor Lady was my first and therefore my "guinea pig". i have learned so much since those early days of teaching at home. It took me until Lady was a Senior in high school to discover that she likes workbooks best. Sigh.
i am hoping that my mistakes will help you all on your journeys.

In homeschooling, i use a rather eclectic style; a lot of Charlotte Mason, some classical, and unit studies too. i try to do some of each learning style during the day, so that the kinestetic, auditory and visual learning can take place.

My hope for this blog is that in encouraging you, and giving you tips and ideas, i can glean from you also.

Enjoy the journey!