Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Lapbook/Notebooking Resources:
The Homeschool Mom: Ireland
15 Free St. Patrick’s Day Notebooking Pages
Homeschool Share: Ireland Notebook

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We listened to traditional Irish music while working on Irish worksheets. (Check your library’s CD collection! Great stuff to be found there!)

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Look what I found at Costco! We’ll be trying this at dinner tonight!

 

Books We Found At the Library:

20150317_114213Videos:
Veggie Tales St. Patrick
Vacations Ireland Kids
Kid Irish Dance
10 Facts About Ireland

Show me . . . Your Cure for Cabin Fever!

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For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show me . . . your cure for cabin fever!

My best way to deal with cabin fever is to break up the monotony! Have fun activities to look forward to!

My girls love board games. They don’t even mind “educational” ones!

This is what’s on the schedule for this evening. Brand new!20150317_114704 Our board game stash: 20150317_114723

Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Join us and post your link in the comments! Be sure to check out everyone else’s posts!

Getting Dad Involved in Your Homeschool

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We are blessed with a Homeschool Dad that loves to be involved in our homeschool!

It wasn’t always this way. He wasn’t particularly enthused about homeschooling at first. It took encouragement and enthusiasm from other homeschooling dads before he would agree to us homeschooling at first. Now, he is one of homeschool’s biggest salesmen!

So, how can your homeschool dad be involved in your homeschool? How can you encourage him?

First, make sure he feels welcome! My husband has admitted to me that sometimes he doesn’t feel “needed.” I’ve never intentionally shut him out, but it’s sometimes easy for me to get so absorbed that I didn’t realized he wanted to be included.

Also, don’t only show him  the negative! I know many refer to their homeschool dad as “Principal.” But if all he sees of the homeschool experience is having to be the Enforcer or Disciplinarian, how can he enjoy it?

Here are some of the ways our Homeschool Dad participates:

1. Field Trips  – We try to save as many field trips for family activity time, often on weekends, so hubby can join in.

2. Holidays – We are blessed that hubby gets most federal holidays off. He will join in our regular homeschool activities, and often acts as “substitute teacher” while I take the opportunity to get other things done.

3. Take Over Certain Subjects – Hubby has been great about taking over certain activities and lessons for me. I save up games, science experiments, or various parts of lessons that I haven’t been able to get to. He will do these with the girls on the weekends or evenings.  He also works with them on their Spanish – which is good because being a native speaker, she is much better at it!

4. Evening Reading – We save our larger group reading for right before bedtime. If it is a book that I think he’ll enjoy, Hubby will take over the reading of the nightly chapter. It’s great to get a break sometimes, isn’t it?

5. Extracurriculars – Hubby has been willing to very involved in the girls’ activities. He took over a lot of the carpool duties when we were participating in the Upward Sports program, and now he is actively being my “heavy labor” for our American Heritage Girls troop.

6. Support of Me – Hubby wants me to be sure to mention how a Homeschool Dad’s primary job is to take care of the Homeschool Mom! He’s my sounding board to bounce ideas and issues off of, he’s my encourager and motivator. Be even more importantly, he considers it his job to protect me, even from myself. Maybe even mostly from myself! :) He keeps me going and keeps me from burn out. He sometimes plays “bad cop” when I’m too much of a softie.

7. BRING HIM TO A HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION! – Hubby’s first time at the HEAV Convention in his support and understanding of homeschool. He was so excited to realize that homeschooling didn’t make us “weird,” it made us NORMAL! :)  He came, expecting to just be “supportive” and be there for me, but participating in some of the “Dad” sessions opened his eyes to the great opportunities homeschool provided.

 

Homeschool is such a wonderful blessing to our entire family. In addition to the “educational side,” it’s truly been a vehicle for our family to spend time together and enjoy each other.

TONIGHT IS THE LAST NIGHT TO SIGN UP FOR THIS HEAV GIVEAWAY!!! DON’T MISS IT!!!!!

Sign up for my HEAV Convention Pass Giveaway!! HEAV’s convention is June 11-13th this year!

HEAV

Yes, you can win a pass so you can attend HEAV’s convention for free! (Leaving more money to spend on stuff! WAHOO!) Optional Programs are not included, and if you have already registered and you win, HEAV will credit you for the amount of the free pass! This giveaway ends March 15 at midnight, so sign up now!

Go to this Rafflecopter giveaway And Good Luck!

HEAV Giveaway – The Used Curriculum Sale

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Have you ever attended HEAV’s Used Curriculum Sale? If not, you are in for quite an experience!

The Used Curriculum Sale is great for shopping and finding great deals, but even more, it can be a great way to get rid of your own used materials!

I’ve never sold items at the HEAV Used Curriculum Sale before, so I hit up one of my good friends, HEAV blogger Kyndra of Homeschooler on the Edge, for advice!

TIPS FOR THE USED CURRICULUM SALE:

1.Start now! If you’ve been letting those piles of “old curriculum” build up, it’s time to start getting organized! I keep a bin in the basement where I’ve been storing items as we get done with them. When we finish with a book, I have one of the kids run it down and put it in the bin right then.

And puh-lease, keep on top of everything from here on out! Last year, because of our move, I put off dealing with clearing out used items, and then, when you add the fact that we changed our entire curriculum plan midway through the year — that one bin has turned into more than three full bins!

???????????????????????????????Because I have so much to deal with, I’m going to start with some local group curriculum sales, which will hopefully slim this down to a more manageable amount. I’m not so sure it will all fit into my car for the drive down!

Kyndra, my resident Used-Curriculum-Sale-extraordinaire, gave me these tips:

2. She suggests that you sort and enter your items into the UCS system one box at a time, and be sure to put the books back in your box in order, which will make putting on labels later much easier.

The barcoding system is now open, so you can even get started now, and get this out of the way!

And print your labels with a good quality printer!!

3. You are going to want to start early! If you have a whole bunch of stuff, it will drive you crazy.

4. READ THE INFORMATION ON HEAV’S WEBSITE THOROUGHLY! Make sure you read all the details and about the self-addressed envelope!

5. My biggest stressor is always pricing. How do figure out what is a fair rate? Kyndra suggested that searching the Internet (such as Amazon) for fair market value, and then price between 50-75% of that price – depending on the shape your item is in.

By the way, there is a different Friday price and Saturday price! So if it is an item that you absolutely don’t want to take home, or are planning to donate it anyway, then consider pricing the Saturday rate.

6. Plan on being there for a while! (Which I can definitely attest to! Last year I went by, “just to see what’s there,” and ended up emerging three hours later!) If it’s possible to bring a buddy, it can be helpful, because they can help you look or watch your stuff while you continue to shop!

Once you’re in the room, HEAV has a fabulous organizational system, and the line to pay goes pretty quickly.

7. How can you get the best deals?? By VOLUNTEERING of course! When you register, you will get a golden ticket that will let you get in early!!!

HEAV is great about helping you find the best volunteer opportunity for you, even if you have any physical issues. Working the UCS though, does involve some physical labor. (Dads, this is a great way YOU can support your homeschool family and help the score the good deals! They are always looking for manual labor!!

So, what are your success tips for the Used Curriculum Sale?

Sign up for my HEAV Convention Pass Giveaway!! HEAV’s convention is June 11-13th this year!

HEAV

Yes, you can win a pass so you can attend HEAV’s convention for free! (Leaving more money to spend on stuff! WAHOO!) Optional Programs are not included, and if you have already registered and you win, HEAV will credit you for the amount of the free pass! This giveaway ends March 15, so sign up now!

Go to this Rafflecopter giveaway link to sign up now! And Good Luck!

Dealing with Writer’s Block and a HEAV Giveaway!!

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I have to confess, I’ve been staring at the computer screen for a few days, trying to come up with brilliance.

So until inspiration actually hits, ha ha, I thought I’d share with a few things that we’ve been up to!

Well, first of all, like many of you I’m sure, we’ve been dealing with SNOW. This cruddy, nasty weather has kept us homebound quite a bit.

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Somebody should have taught these girls about salary negotiation! :) They agreed to shovel all the walkways for only a dollar each!

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The cat has taken up residence on every heater vent in the house.

I had a friend just yesterday ask what WE do on snow days. I told her I much prefer to get as much school done as possible while the weather is bad, and save our days off for when the weather is good. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have any fun! (Though my bucket of winter fun ideas is running pretty dry, admittedly.)

First up, we pulled out my scrapbooking supplies and learned how to use them to make our Valentine’s.

20150208_164030 And I started a new craft project of my own! I Finally found the items I needed to create my own Little Free Library, and while it’s still in many pieces and needs multiple coats of paint, my goal is to have it ready to put outside by Spring!

20150214_151524I’ve been trying to complete a few projects around the house. Last weekend, “we” sorted the girls clothes and purged their rooms. It was one of those projects that was supposed to be quick and easy but turned into an all day endeavor. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth of occurred. And the girls did their own whining as well!

After a Mommy meltdown last week, Hubby made the executive decision I have entirely too much on my plate. (Well, duh.) And right now, the only thing that can go is participating in the Homeschool Co-Op group. So we have dropped out of Co-Op. The girls were disappointed because they have made friends there, but I felt completely relieved. First of all, I didn’t have to be the bad guy in the decision. AND, it’s one thing off my plate.  We are still continuing with ballet classes and American Heritage Girls, which we all adore.

Our new “homeschool curriculum” is working out well for us, which is a blessing! It’s more work for me than I’d really prefer, but even with that it’s so much more relaxing and enjoyable than what we were doing before. We’re now using a more eclectic / unit study style, and it seems to be working. Because the girls are more interested in what we’re doing, they’re taking more ownership in what we’re doing, even at the ages of 8 and 6.

I just had to share this picture. You know when you have those moments of genius that seem to be little gifts from God? I had a pile of paperwork I needed to get through, so I handed the girls a box of those fridge magnet words, and had them categorize the magnets by parts of speech. They really got into this and had lots of fun!

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And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s my week for a HEAV Convention Pass Giveaway!! HEAV’s convention is June 11-13th this year!

HEAV

Yes, you can win a pass so you can attend HEAV’s convention for free! (Leaving more money to spend on stuff! WAHOO!) Optional Programs are not included, and if you have already registered and you win, HEAV will credit you for the amount of the free pass! This giveaway ends March 15, so sign up now!

 

Go to this Rafflecopter giveaway link to sign up now! And Good Luck!

Show Me . . . A Fun (INDOOR) Field Trip Idea!

Tags

For more information about our new “Show Me” Series, go here.
Welcome to our “Show Me” series! Your link-up can be just a picture, or pictures with explanation. Or just explanation if you’re like me when taking the picture and actually getting it uploaded might mean you’d miss out!
The goal of this linkup is fun, though some might have a homeschool bent. If you you don’t homeschool, please feel free to participate anyway and show us how that “show me” theme pertains to you and your home! And if we can share some tips and cool brainstorming ideas along the way — EVEN BETTER!

This week’s theme is “Show Me . . . a fun (INDOOR) field trip idea!

This week our “field trip” idea is also one of the Exhibitors at the HEAV Convention – American Heritage Girls!

(Yes, I know I’m stretching the theme a little here.)

For the past few months the weather has been so bad, pretty much the only thing we’ve been able to get out of the house to do is American Heritage Girls. I’ve just not been willing to risk driving out on the roads here in Pennsylvania too much.

I’ve mentioned how much we love American Heritage Girls, right??? :)

???????????????????????????????Our troop is brand new, but we are having the best time!

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Creating Valentines’ Day Cards for Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center

????????So far, we’ve earned two badges with our troop group, had a Valentine’s Day service project party and a Purim Celebration! We also have some really fun activities planned for the Spring – a Daddy/Daughter dinner date, a Movie Night party, a service project activity to create blankets for Project Linus, a yard sale fundraiser and more!

All that being said, I wanted to share with you why American Heritage Girls is a great opportunity for your girls!

If you have girls and have not yet checked out American Heritage Girls, I really encourage you to check their booth at HEAV! They will be in the Exhibit Hall!

Be sure to check out some of my friend’s posts!

Amy at Http://homegrownhatfields.wordpress.com
Michelle at http://homeschoolerontheedge.crookers.com/
Kyndra at http://kyndrasteinmann.com

Join us and post your link in the comments! Be sure to check out everyone else’s posts!

Sign up for my HEAV Convention Pass Giveaway!! HEAV’s convention is June 11-13th this year!

HEAV

Yes, you can win a pass so you can attend HEAV’s convention for free! (Leaving more money to spend on stuff! WAHOO!) Optional Programs are not included, and if you have already registered and you win, HEAV will credit you for the amount of the free pass! This giveaway ends March 15, so sign up now!

Go to this Rafflecopter giveaway link to sign up now! And Good Luck!

Celebrate! It’s Purim!

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Did you know this weekend is the celebration of Purim?

hamentaschen

The Festival of Purim, commemorated by Jews every year, tells the story of an attempt thousands of years ago to annihilate the Jews. Sound familiar?
The story behind Purim is found in the Book of Esther in the Bible, which records how God used a man named Mordechai and his niece, Esther, married to the Persian King Ahasuerus, to thwart a plan to kill every Jew — from the youngest to the oldest — scattered throughout the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire.

We began celebrating Purim as a family when we were using My Father’s World 1st Grade curriculum. Last year, I kinda threw it together at the last minute and we just watched One Night with the King. Great movie, by the way, though there are a few scenes that are a little intense!

This year, we decided we’d celebrate Purim with our brand new American Heritage Girls troop, and we had a blast! I think we might have started a new annual tradition!

I have to be honest, I don’t really have much time to plan things nowadays. Pinterest has been a godsend to me, really. I can do tons of research in just minutes, because everyone else has already done the work – I just need to view their pins and pick the things I like!

First, after our regular opening ceremony, we split up the girls and did two crafts:

First, we made a “Gragger” noisemaker to drown out Haman’s name! I did not use a paint stick- we just put beans in cups, and then I gave the girls rolls of decorative duct-tape (leftover from a birthday part craft last year), to cover the cups with.

Then we made Paper Plate Crowns. We had the plates pre-cut for them, so the girls could decorate them more quickly.

Once the girls had completed their crafts, they then dressed up! We all brought in princess-type costumes, and the girls had a blast sharing clothes (ahh, yes, it has begun already) and dressing up like Princess Esther! As an added bonus, I had recently cleaned out the girls’ playroom and was able to gift each girl with several Mardi Gras bead necklaces, because all Princesses need beautiful jewelry, right???

Once they were dressed we assembled and sat in our “ceremony area” once again, and we all tried Hamentaschen cookies (a Purim tradition). I was able to get these at Costco, hallelujah, but you can also check your local bakery or make your own! We then watched two short videos about Purim!

I learned quickly that we needed to be ready with “extra” activities to keep these girls busy! So here are some coloring pages and other activities I found to share!

Purim Coloring Activities
More “Gragger” Noise Makers
Purim Word Search
Purim Finger Puppets
More Purim Finger Puppets

I really love celebrating this story each year. It seems like every year we all learn something new and get something awesome out of it. Plus, it’s a fabulous female role model for our girls!

Purim

Heidi – Our Homeschool Book Review!

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Heidi is a great book to teach about “themes.” I explained to the girls that themes are like the lessons the writer might be trying to help us understand by telling the story. All on their own they came up with “thinking of others before yourself” and “prayer and faith.”

I also added in a character analysis notebooking page from notebookingfairy.com. It was a great moment to bring up positive character traits that Heidi showed us! To do that, I introduced the list of Biblical Virtues (Character Traits) that I purchased from Virtue Training Bible. (I’ve been meaning to start doing this with the girls, but haven’t had time.)

20150209_120749So, we picked out a few character traits for Heidi – joy, encouragement, faith, compassion, etc. and then we were able to look at a few Bible verses to see how the Bible “defined” those traits and if we agreed that Heidi actually had that trait. Then we listed “evidence” from the story on the notebooking page.

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????We also squeezed in a short lesson on goats!

???????????????????????????????Kid Reviews:

Oldest’s (age 8) Review:

I liked Heidi because she thought of others before herself. Heidi helps her ill friend Klara walk. Heidi brought kittens in Klara’s house and I thought that was funny.

Youngest’s (age 6) Review:

I liked Heidi because she helped Klara walk and Heidi got to go back to her grandfather. I like Heidi because she learned how to read. I like Heidi because she brought kittens into the Sesamann house.

My Review of Heidi

I had completely forgotten what a sweet story Heidi is!! I just remember I liked it, and thought it would be good for the girls. I absolutely loved how it showed faith in action. Childlike faith sharing their faith, making miraculous changes in even the adults around them. What a wonderful little story of how young girls can make a difference in the world around them! That was what touched me, as a Mom, while reading this story. My girls could see authentic examples of faith in action!

What was especially important was that both of our girls have made personal professions of faith in the past few months. I can’t help but think that reading the story of Heidi played a part in that for them.

And of course, we celebrate the end of every book with the movie! This one got the best reviews on Amazon Prime.

Online Resources:

FREE LITERATURE UNIT STUDY: Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Heidi Unit Study by Confessions of a Homeschooler
Goat Unit Study

France, and the Madeline books

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We squeezed in a quick unit on France while we were still finishing up Heidi.

I say “quick” because I didn’t have a long chapter book to focus on for France. Instead, we used the Madeline book series.

Literature:
Any of the Madeline Books, but especially the first one.
Madeline Video
Madeline Lapbook

We didn’t use much from the Madeline lapbook link, since much of it didn’t focus on the book and just a bit focused on the country. Instead we have been focusing on activities from the France lapbook below.

???????????????????????????????France:
France Lapbook

Videos About France:
France: Romain in Brittany
France: Raphael in Brittany
France: My House in Bordeaux
France: Joyce and Her Owl
France: Emmanuel And His Harpsichord

Tour de France:
Tour de France Kids Guide
Tour de France site
Tour de France video on Youtube
Tour de France coloring page
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