Posted in Homeschool Conventions, Homeschool Planning, Homeschooling, Planning

Check out this amazing opportunity

From the very first year we began homeschooling, we have tried to attend at least one homeschool convention a year.  Sometimes, we have actually been blessed by attending several in a year.  However, 2 years ago, we moved to Texas, and it just does not seem to work out for our family to get to any conventions.  That is why I was thrilled to see an amazing opportunity come up for an online Homeschool Convention.  Many of my online blogging and homeschooling friends are speaking at this conference.

I was thrilled to see the opportunity arise today that you can enter to win a free ticket to this convention.  Click here to learn more about this opportunity.  I know I will be getting a ticket, and if I win the giveaway, I will get the money refunded.  So check it out for yourself and let me know if you decide to attend.

Posted in ARMY RESERVES, Canning, family, Fresh Produce, Home School Review Crew Posts, Music

Thoughts for Tuesday, May 29, 2018

 

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So last week was our first week with limited activities.  The Homeschool Band and Strings programs are out for two weeks before the summer program begins.  However,  that does not mean we do not have anything to do.  Right now, we are dealing with a Home Improvement Store’s Extended Warranty department to try and get our refrigerator fixed that is still under warranty.  However, we are not having too much success.  So far the repairmen (independent contractors) have been out twice and my refrigerator still does not work.  When they came last week, they told me it needed a new compressor, which the home improvement store would not pay for – instead the store should have contacted me about replacing the refrigerator with a new one (what the warranty stipulates).  However, when I called the home improvement store’s warranty deparment on Thursday, I was told the repairmen should be coming back out to replace the compressor.  But neither the repairmen or the warranty department decided it was worth their time to inform me of this development.  So, we are in week 3 of this situation with no end in sight.  I have turned this over to my husband to handle.

Last week also saw us beginning the process of putting up the apples and potatoes we bought from Bountiful Baskets.  My oldest son is the chief apple processor, while my husmband and I did the potatoes.  We also started the process for making our homemade sauerkraut.  The best part was having friends over keep us company while we worked.

Here are some pictures.

During the long weekend, we also put up seven pints of beets.  Here are some pictures of that and the potato process.  Because we were already working with the potatoes, I decided it was the perfect time to make a pot of homemade potato soup.  Between dinner Friday night and lunch on Saturday, the soup was devoured.

Yesterday was Memorial Day here in the United States where we remember those servicemembers who paid the ultimate price in service for our country.  So we decided it was a perfect day for a cookout.  We fixed Bratwursts, pita bread (for wrapping the bratwursts in), macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and homemade baked beans.  All in all the meal turned out fantastic.

Finally to cap of the day, our youngest son, my husband and I went to see our local community band perform.  The Crossroads Community Band performed at our city’s Warrior Weekend event which included a field of flags.  We enjoyed listening to the music and especially the finale of “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillips Sousa.  There is nothing like hearing the piccolo solo for that song.  We also enjoyed hearing the band perform a New Orleans style funeral march.  Another highlight of the evening  was hearing the tributes to the military branches.  Since my husband served in the United States Air Force (way before our time together) and has served in the United States Army Reserves as a reservist from 1997 to 2004 and then as active duty in the Army Reserves since 2005, my husband stood for both songs.

Following the band performance, the local Boy Scouts troops held a flag burning ceremony.  Because my husband was and is in the military, they asked him to carry one of the flags .  So here are some pictures.

So if you are in the Unitted States, how did you spend your Memorial Day weekend?  I pray your weekend was blessed.  If you are not in the United States, I would also love to hear how you spent your wekend.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about this week,  click here or on the graphci below.

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Posted in family, GRADUATION, Home School Review Crew Posts

Graduation Season is Upon Our Family

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So this year marks the end of schooling for our second son.  This son prefers low-key, low crowd interactions.  So we had to try to figure out what to do to mark his graduation ceremony.  I knew it needed to be rather low key to satisfy his need for small crowds.  We were blessed to review Homeschool Diploma’s Cap, Gown, Tassel, and Diploma.  If you would like to check out our review, click here. If you want to read other reviews for Homeschool Diploma from members of the Home School Review Crew, click here.

I was excited for to review the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma from Homeschool Diploma. We went with the Standard Diploma, which satisfied my son, but I probably would have gone with one of the personalized and customized options if it had been my decision solely.  Here is a picture of him in the cap and gown.

 

I have to say I found the process of ordering the diploma along with the cap and gown.  I to loved how our son was able to receive a diploma he can carry in his wallet.  Everything was spelled out and easy to follow.

When our oldest son graduated, he participated in the CHAP graduation ceremony in Pennsylvania at the Homeschool Convention in Harrisburg.   For our second son, however, we decided to do a ceremony at home.  We plan on having some friends over to actually present our son with his diploma.  We will offer prayers for his future and for him to  find success.  So be watching for a post with pictures next week with the actual ceremony.

After we had made our plans for graduation, we found out our church recognized any graduates during a church service and later that same afternoon had a potluck picnic.  So we decided to participate.  Unfortunately, our son did not get to wear his cap and gown there.  Our pastor had the three graduates for this year stand.  He then had those around them lay hands on the graduates while he offered a prayer for them.  I, being mom,  hugged my son instead of just placing hands on him.  Of course, this meant I was unable to take any picutres.  In the afternoon, we drove out to the state park where the picnic was being held.  Every family brought a main dish and either a side or dessert based on the first letter of their last name.

 

Once everyone had their fill of food, our son decided to retreat to his favorite postion – finding somewhere to lay down and read.

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Finally, the pastor, in his words, “passed out the loot”, since they had a money tree and provided the opportunity for anyone not attending to either give cards or other recognition to the graduates.  Here are some pictures.

 

All in all, I was pleased with how things turned out.  If you would like to read other graduation posts by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Uncategorized

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Posted in family, Fresh Produce, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Band

A Weekend Full of Activity

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So this past weekend was full of activity.  Saturday morning, Dennis (my husband) and I woke up at 5 am to drive to San Antonio. We went to pick up an order from Bountiful Baskets and do some other shopping including visiting Sprouts, Ccostco, Trader Joes and the commissary at Fort Sam Houston.  From Bountiful Baskets, we ordered 2 regular baskets, 50 pounds of potatoes and over 70 pounds of Gala apples.  The potatoes we are going to can.  The apples we are going to can after making applesauce.  Although this is only our second time going to Bountiful Baskets, I am thrilled with what we received.

Then we went to Sprouts where we bought cabbages, lemons, limes, watermelons,  cous cous, wild rice, red lentils and more.  All in all, I am really pleased with what we found there.  We plan on making sauerkraut with the cabbages.

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From there we went to Costco, where we purchased, bottled water, sugar, a 10 pound bag of carrots chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks, rotel tomatoes.

Then we went to Trader Joes where we bought several plants including dill, thyme, mint, and cilantro along with some cookies for our children and more.

From there we went to the commissary at Fort Sam Houston where our main purchase was blocks of Kraft chedder and colby jack cheese because we save money buying it there.  Also, it is lactose-free which is terrific.

Once we were done at the commissary, we drove the two-hours back to Victoria and unloaded the van with the help of our children.  Here is what our table looked like:

Of course, this represents only a fraction of what we actually brought home.  Once we had everything unloaded and somewhat situated, we proceeded to fix the necessary items for our band concert.  Once the food was finished, we dressed and loaded everything that needed to go with us – food, instruments, music stands and of course – us.

Here are some pictures from the concert:

And here are some more pictures:

And some final pictures from the concert and of the reception afterwards.  All in all it was a great evening.

Then on Sunday we had graduation festivities at the church for our second son.  Stay tuned on Wednesday to read more about that.

So what has been going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are writing about this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of PandaParents’ MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS

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With their MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS, PandaParents provides fun preschool learning opportunities. When we first began homeschooling many years ago, we had our oldest who was in fifth grade down to our daughter who at the time was in preschool.  I loved having things to keep her entertained while I did schoool with her brother.  The following year, we brought her two brothers who were in first and third grade respectively to homeschool as well.  I always was on the hunt for products that could keep our daughter entertained and provide educational material while I worked with her brothers.  I feel MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS would have fit this need perfectly.  It is a montly subscription  curriculum that engages all the sight, hearing, and physical movement – when completing the workbook activities.

For this review we received digital downloads of the products.  Although we do not have any children in the age range for this produt. I took it upon myself to review this personally.  Initally, I had hoped to have one of my friend’s children work with me on this review, but end of the year activities for those friends prevented that from happening.  So instead, I asked our 17-year-old son to channel his inner preschool self to watch the videos with me and look over the materials.

The suggested order to complete this program would be to read the story together with your child, then watch the video and then do the workbook activities.  It is designed for children ages 3-6, so if you have multiple children in this age range, they could do the program together. It includes reading and stem activities, arts and crafts, hands-on learning, imagination skills, science activities, math activities, problem solving and more.  It is designed to be 30-45 minutes 3 times a week. This is a montly curriculum, so each story and accompanying workbook is designed to be completed in a month.

The first and most important thing I have to say is if you get this as a digital download, make sure to read the enclosed PDF entitled About PandadParents first.  It goes over all of the important information such as where to find the videos and the passwords necessary to watch them.  Personally, because of the colorful nature of the books and workbooks, I think it would be worthwhile to invest in the physical copies of the materials.  I think printing these out yourself could see the costs add up quickly.

The materials includes preschool stories and preschool workbooks that will entertain and delight your children.  The videos are engaging and include a variety of activities, including listening to stories, learning about letters and the sounds they make along with how to form them and more.  I found them to be extrememly engaging and entertaining. The characters are enjoyable to listen to and watch.  The videos can last anywhere from around 10 minutes to around 30 minutes or so.

The workbooks include activities in mathematics, tracing, writing, drawing, reading and more.  Here are some pictures of the workbook pages:  Because of the variety of activities and the brilliant colors, my son and I both feel these materials will keep your child’s interest.

You can find PandaParents on Social Media at::

 

So check PandaParentsMESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENRES yourself.  If you want to read more reviews from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in family, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Band, Uncategorized

Tasty Tuesdays – Mother’s Day Edition

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Sunday we had a Mother’s Day feast. It included ribeye steaks, Shrimp-kebobs, grilled vegetables, salad, watermelon, and pineapple along with wild rice.  Because it was Mother’s Day, my children and husband did most of the work.  Here are some pictures

 

And here are some of us actually at the table.  For what it is worth, I prefer to be the one behind the lens.

This past week saw our refrigerator stop working, so we have been working on solving that problem.  This week finds us having our end of the year band concert this coming Saturday so we are n heavy preparations for that.  Then on Sunday, our church is having a graduation picnic, and our second son will be recognized for that.  So stay tuned next week for part 2 of our Homeschool Diploma post.

So what is going on in your world this week?  I would love to hear from you.

If you want to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are up to, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in family, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Monday Musings for May 7, 2018l

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So last week was an interesting week, to say the least.  During the week our air conditioner for our house twice.  The first time, the company came out and replaced a capacitor and it seemed to fix the problem on Monday.  By about 3:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon, the unit stopped working in the exact same way again.  So the company had to come back out on Wednesday to fix it again.  This time they replaced the motor in the outside unit.

Because we live in southeastern Texas, not having an air conditioner is a major issue.  It is not something we want to have any time in the near future.  Fortunately, since they came out the second time, it seems to be working fine.

This past weekend was also the weekend my husband had to take his annual physical fitness test for the army reserves.  He passed with no problems, I am glad to report.

It was also the week we received our books from Memoria Press.  We planned on starting them the day after we received the books, but life happened with the air conditioner.  When it is hot and humid, schoolwork tends to be a lower priority than staying cool.  So this week we will be diving into the course full-force.

We also received from Silverdale Press a course that our 17-year-old son and I will be doing together for another review for the Home School Review Crew.

So how are things where you are? I would love to hear from you.

if you would like to check out what other members of the Home School Review Crew are writing about this week click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Computer Coding for Kids, Computer Skills, Electives, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of CodeWizardsHQ

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Finding electives for our children that they enjoy and that can provide useful information causes me to stretch my mind and opinons sometimes.  Other times, I find things for our children to study that could ultimately help our family or each of them as they move through life.  I am so excited to share with you about a coding class for kids from CodeWizardsHQ that we just finished.  They also offer homeschool computer programs as well as coding classes for all students.

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CodeWizardsHQ is a company that provides coding classes in a live online environment where six to eight students come together with an instructor to complete assignments, work on coding projects and interact in a real-time environment.  On their website, the company states, “We teach programming, not just programming concepts. Your child learns how to code using real-world languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, etc. These are languages used today to build all the software around us.”  Here is a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why Coding is your child’s key to unlocking the future”.

The courses are designed for children in 5th through 12th grade.  While the courses are set up on a 12 week schedule, it is set up on a monthly subscription plan.  The company offers incredible customer service and opportunities for learning.  They even offer the opportunity for scholarships.

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Our son had the opportunity to participate in a one-day special class.  During the hour he spent with the instructor and other members of the class, he created his own comic book.  Every time I walked into his room to check on his progress and to take some photographs, our son was actively engaged in the course.  He frequently laughed or made comments.  On several occasions I heard him ask questions.  Because he was using a headset, I could only hear our son’s comments.  When the hour long class was nearly over, apparently the instructor made some comment regarding the impending end of the class and our son was surprised at how fast time had gone by.

 

 

I think one thing that made our son happy was that he was also able to see what his classmates had created.  Although, he seemed disappointed that he missed seeing one because he was finishing his own creation.  Here is a video from the company.  Click here for the link.  And here is a photograph I took myself.

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Here is what our 17-year-old son wants to say about this program in his own words:

I enjoyed it a lot. It was informative but at the same time relaxed, so I was more inclined to listen (as opposed to it just throwing information at you where I would probably zone out). I’ve never taken a class in a webinar style before,but even though it pushed me out of my comfort zone a little, it was fun and I would do it again. 10/10 – would recommend

As my son and I were talking immediately following the webinar, I asked him if he felt his previous coding experience helped or not. He felt this class would be good for any student regardless of their level of experience.

Click here if you would like to see our son’s project that the company sent to us after Nathan completed the course..  Also here is video our son made discussing his project.

 

 

You can find CodeWizardsHQ on social media at:

CodeWizardHQ offers an incredible opportunity for students to learn coding.  So check out the company for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other families from the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books, history, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Literature, Uncategorized

Review of YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then & Now – C.S. Lewis

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I love adding  Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited to review Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis, one of the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now from YWAM Publishing. We also received a Study Guide to use with our book.  Back when we first starting homeschooling many years ago, when we attended our first homeschool convention one of the first companies to capture my attention was YWAM Publshing.  Through the years, we have collected quite a few of the titles from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.  Our family loves books and this company has found a special place in our homeschool library.  So when we had the opportunity to select another book to review for this company, the only problem our daughter had one problem – deciding what title to select. Finally, she decided on CHRISTIAN HEROES: THEN & NOW C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller.

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Our 15-year-old daughter is the one who actually read the book.  I started to read the book also, but then life happened.  From my own experience, I have to say I felt like the book started off slower than other books we have read from YWAM Publishing.  Given that the book is about a “master” storyteller, I felt like it deserved a better beginning.

Our daughter had this to say about the book.  She found it interesting for facts about his life.  They include details and facts about his life that others may have overlooked.  These include things like details about his interactions with other writers and his family along with his background and his roots – meaning where he came from – intrigued her.  She found it easy to read and definitely found it to be informative.

However, she did not seem to be as excited with this book as I would have liked her to be.  She stated while she would remember some of the facts from the book, she was not sure it was one she would necessarily quote information from.

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Due to circumstances in our lives at this time, we did not get a chance to actually use the study guideas much as I would have liked. However, I love the depth and breadth of material included in the guide.  We received this as a downloadable product.  The study guide includes: an introduction, key Bible verses, Display Corner, Chapter questions, Student Explorations, Community Links, Social Studies, Related Themes to Explore, Culminating Event, along with supplemental information included in three Appendicies.

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The display corner (which would included items collected and then displayed from the country the book takes place in – so for this book it would be items from England.  This would have been something interesting for our daugther to do since my husband has actually visited England.

There are six chapter questions for each chapter where the first 3 questions are geared to younger learners and the last three questions are more difficult.  Due to circumstances in our life right now, I decided to have our daughter answer the questions for the chapters orally to me.

 

There are also student explorations which include a variety of activities to suit a variety of learning styles.  I plan on our daughter possibly creating a diorama depicting an important event from C.S. Lewis’ life.  I also plan on  having her draw a sketch of C.S. Lewis based on his own description or making a story quilt using her drawing table that connects to the computer.  We will have to see if we can fit in time for her to do both projects.  It may be something we do later when life settles down.

 

 

For this review, if she had to select a second book, she would have chosen Heroes of History – Theodore Roosevelt.  She felt like she would have enjoyed learning more about his life.

In June of 2017, we had the privilege to review another book from YWAM Publishing, we reviewed Christian Heroes Then and Now Betty Greene,  Wings to Serve.  If you would like to read our review of this title, click here or on the graphic below.

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You can connect with YWAM Publishing on social media using the following links:

If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew on this book or others, click here or on the image below.

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