Saturday, July 31, 2010


For several years I have struggled with my eating. I am not one of those people who thinks I'm eating ok and that I shouldn't be overweight. Quite the opposite actually. I am amazed that I don't weigh more because of the way I eat.

I'm not one to follow fad diets. I did use Weight Watchers years ago before I got pregnant with our first child. It worked well and I lost all the weight I needed. I was motivated and honestly, it felt good.

Before getting pregnant with child #2, I did not lose all the baby weight but I was only about 25 pounds overweight. After Creative Princess was born, we soon discovered that she had some severe food allergies. She was reacting to the offending foods through my breastmilk. So for her health, I nursed her for two years while avoiding a large list of foods so she could be healthy. The result was a weight loss that put me at a healthy weight though I am sure I missed out on a lot of necessary vitamins and minerals. When I stopped nursing, I did well for a few months with adding back in the foods I had been avoiding. But too quickly, I became gluttonous again.

Gluttony-not a word that is well received in our culture, IMO. If someone is overweight, there is always some excuse-they were poor in childhood so they made up for it as an adult, it's a medical issue, they don't have the money to eat healthy, they are addicted to carbs, they have a desk job, they don't have time to cook and the list goes on and on. Reality is that the vast majority of us who are obese (yes, I wrote it) are fat because we eat too much and move too little!! We are gluttonous. (I do believe that a small portion of those overweight do have medical issues, but not every overweight American does-the portion is small.)

(On the obese comment--the Wii Fit reminds me when I weigh in that I am indeed obese. Some are uncomfortable with this-but it's a reality.)

For me, it's the food. I love chocolate and sweets. If I am eating something that tastes good, I eat until my stomach hurts. It's a sin! I struggle with it. Too much! Truthfully, I am tired of the struggle!

Over the past few years, I have thought "I just need to make healthier choices and not overeat." True. I know this. My head knows it. My body tells me this every day. But when faced with the temptation, more often than not, I have been making the wrong choice.

So, although I don't normally endorse the use of fad diets or pre-packaged diet systems, I am going to try one for awhile. I ordered 5 weeks of Nutrisystem. Everything is prepackaged and I don't have to think about how much to eat. I will add my own fruits and veggies. What I am hoping is that I can get used to eating proper portions and then transition to making my own meals more often. When i used the Weight Watchers program years ago, it took about 6 weeks to kick in. What I mean is that at about 6 weeks, it was becoming natural to make better choices and eat less and get exercise.

I am hoping that since I won't need to think about what I'm eating, that my mind will obsess about food less. I don't know if this will work, but I'm going to try.

Also, I would really like to lose 10 pounds. I think that may be enough to help motivate me to keep going. I can't stand the way my clothes fit and look on me right now.

All that said (or rather written), I am not concerned with getting to the "right" weight according to all the charts. My ultimate goal is to make better choices, lose some weight, and eat healthier portions.

I don't want to go in the opposite direction of where I am-from obsessing about eating the stuff I want to to obsessing about not eating. And for the record, I should lose about 50 pounds to be at a healthy weight.

Friday, July 30, 2010

30 day challenge update

I missed reading 3 days this week. But when I do read, I love it. Exercise, well, not doing so well there. I did do some purposeful walking last Saturday but I didn't do much else.

Right now I am just feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. I am trying to get things ready for school in the fall-I will be facilitating two co-op's although one of them it looks like there will be only one family joining us (it will still be fun!) My mother-in-law's surgery that she was supposed to have last Thursday had to be postponed. In addition, she had to have more tests and more doctor visits. Now my mom has gallstones and might have to have her gallbladder removed. (Pray that she doesn't.)

Hubby and I are working on what our priorities are for our family. We are figuring out what we can get rid of and what we may add to our schedule without over committing. We both also agree that we need to be better examples to our children in many ways.

World Traveler had some blood tests done recently to check for food intolerances and allergies. He got his results this week and needs to really change some of his eating habits. One thing that showed up was an allergy to milk. Really? Well, at least we've had a year of no food issues in this house.

I got upset with the kids today when I told them they needed to clean their rooms and the playroom. I ended up lecturing them for too long. Sigh. I am unhappy with our house right now. In my head I want to organize everything and get rid of things-lots of things. I have done a little bit here and there but it isn't enough and then I get lazy and quickly things go back to being unorganized, messy and I'm frustrated again. I need to just find 3 days and go through the whole house, without my kids home. It would be great if World Traveler would be here to help though. We could get a lot done. He does have some vacation time coming up and we are not going anywhere. Hopefully we will get some things done!

On the other hand, I shouldn't allow a messy house dictate my mood. I need to learn to deal with the chaos around me without getting frustrated with it. God has been working with me on this and I have seen improvement over the years. I know that I lean on my strength and not on God often enough. Honestly, I don't really know how to lean on God's strength. I'm not really sure what that means.

I do not mean to sound like I'm whining. There is much good going on right now too. I'm excited for the co-op's-it's something the kids and I both enjoy. I really like getting to know my mother-in-law better. Hopefully the food changes in our house will help us eat healthier. On Monday I finished my two week challenge of not eating any chocolate and it went really well! I have a little bit of chocolate left over from this week. Once it's gone tomorrow, I am going to do a three week on chocolate challenge. The weather has been wonderful. I love the sun and the cool mornings. I have only one more day to scrapbook for last year's Europe trip! The family has been staying healthy. We enjoyed the visit from my husband's dad and his wife.

God is good always. So yes, right now, I am feeling challenged but I am also feeling loved and blessed and cared for.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homeschool Co-op--are you interested?

Hello to my homeschooling friends. I was wondering if any of my homeschooling friends in the area is interested in doing a KONOS co-op. I'd like to keep it in our area. The kids and I started KONOS last year and we are really enjoying it. Some of the activities though would be more fun with a group. I have one family already possibly interested. Let me know if you are too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Catching Up

World Traveler's dad and his wife have been here in the States for three weeks. They went home yesterday. While they were here we went bowling, went to my husband's sister's for a BBQ, walked around a nearby city and just spent some time together. World Traveler and his dad made fish cakes (a traditional Norwegian dish) and Precise Prince was quite happy. He loves them too. Creative Princess and I however, do not!

The kids and I started a new review for the TOS crew. One thing I want to work on with both kids this year is cursive writing and the review is for a cursive writing program. Perfect!

My mil had a doctor's appointment today and goes in for a major surgery on Thursday. This is a surgery she was expecting and is happy to get it over with. Pray that surgery goes well and she recovers easily.

We went to a local carnival on Saturday. It was hot and crowded and we didn't stay long but the kids got to do a few rides and games. I got a Juega tatoo. (I think that is how it is written. It's like a henna tatoo, but a darker color.) It's a flower on my forearm. I would never consider a permanent tatoo but it's fun to do something a little different every once in a while.

The kids have spent time playing outside with friends and enjoying the weather. We are all enjoying the nicer weather.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

30 Day Challenge

I was supposed to update yesterday, but forgot. This week was a little off. World Traveler had Wednesday off so Thursday felt like Monday and Wednesday felt like Saturday and today feels like any day but Saturday. Weird.

1-Bible: read Tues-Thurs. I didn't read last night. I finished up Proverbs and have decided to move to Corinthians. I have given up on Isaiah for now. I need to be a bit more focused for that. I am finding that reading my Bible daily (almost anyway) really helps me cope with things. I struggle a lot with feeling God's presence in my life-I have for a long time. (It has nothing to do with what He does or doesn't do for me.) Even though I don't feel God's presence the way I would like to, I know He is there and reading His Word does guide me closer to him.

2-Exercise. I am failing in this area big time. Let's see, I walked with Precise Prince for about 20 minutes during Creative Princess's gymnastics on Tuesday. That's it. Nothing Wed, Thurs or Fri. We bowled on Wed. but I did nothing to make it purposeful exercise. My goal is to be purposeful.

How hard can this be? Well, I have excuses. I get up intending to exercise before a shower. Then by the time I get to the shower, I realize that I didn't exercise. So I just forget it. Yes, things are strange around here. I don't always know until 9:00 who will be showing up at what time (conerning the nurses and therapists for my mother-in-law.) So I will need to renew this part of the challenge and try to figure out a way to make this happen. (I did get some walking in today.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

TOS review: Travel Kits E-book


Have you ever traveled with kids? Growing up, we did a lot of car traveling with my family--long distance car traveling! I, of course, was well behaved and never asked "Are we there yet?" (HA) And I sure haven't been asked that as a parent either. (again, HA)

Well, the e-book Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others is a solution to the problem of travel boredom. It is written by Donna Rees and published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. The name Travel Kits only explains part of what this book is about. I have heard about taking a paper bag and filling it with treats to dole out slowly over the course of a long trip. This book takes the paper bag to a whole new level.

In a nutshell, Travel Kits are a kit you put together with small gifts for the recipient to open while they are traveling. The book is full of ideas of gifts, how to wrap the gifts, ways to present the gifts (how about putting all the gifts in a cooler for a trip to the beach), and ideas on when to present the gifts while traveling. I wish I had this book last year before our big Europe trip! (The author has a great idea for storing small snacks, like Skittles that I never would have thought of.) In addition, there are lots of pictures of travel kits the author has put together. I loved the bright, colorful pictures.

Here's how the publisher describes travel kits:


Loaded from home.

Supply needs.


Arrive to a
Even on
Lengthy trips.

Kits of gifts
Show you care!

I think it's a great description!

Although most of the pictures show travel kits made more suitable for cars, the author does explain how to make them for other means of traveling, such as plane travel. So this book will work well with any type of traveling you have coming up in your future.

There were a couple of gifts recommended that I thought were a bit odd for traveling (like gift certificates) but I thought they would be great for Christmas, birthdays or any other gift giving opportunity. Shortly after thinking this I found that the author, Donna Rees, also had several personal stories of travel kits she had given in the past for other occasions. Perfect!

The last chapter of the book includes links to great sites on traveling and a list of links to the official tourism site for all 50 states. In addition, there is a bonus section that includes tips on preparing your vehicle for travel and tips from other travelers.

The end of the book includes a list of some books the author recommends that you could purchase for your travel kit. The books are listed by age group (3-8, 8-12 and 12-adult).

At this point, you may be thinking this book is for travel kits for children only, however, there are ideas for high schoolers, moms, dads and ideas for the whole family to enjoy together.

I will definitely be pulling this book out before our next big trip as a family!

cost: $12.45

To purchase this product go here. To see what others had to say about it, go here.

(Disclaimer: This e-book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review about the book. No other compensation was given.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Did you know....

that you can schedule a post for a later date? I just learned this through the TOS crew. Click on post options at the bottom left when you are in "New Post". Change the date and time to when you want your post to show up. I have heard that the time is not always exact but I don't know for sure.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blog Walk Week 6

Here is this week's TOS crew's blog walk.

1. Deanna’s Corner
2. Light, Liberty, and Learning
3. Bunny Trails
4. Flowers N Plaid Homeschool
5. Gadow Ohana
6. His Wonderful Works
7. Expand
8. Confessions of a Homeschooler
9. The Sojourner
10. A Full Heart

Heidi and Brenda, our fearless leaders for the TOS crew, have their own Tuesday blog walk and this week my friend Denise's team is being featured. This means that our friend, Tina is also featured since she is part of Denise's mini-crew. Check out Denise's blog here.

30 day Challenge

Today is my Day 30 for the last challenge. I did not read my Bible yesterday. When I got home after a meeting last night, I was not feeling well and ended up going to bed earlier than I usually do. Since I am starting a new challenge today, I am calling it good on the old one. I did miss a few days, but I started some new (or rather renewed) some good habits. I will be continuing with Bible reading in the new challenge.

Amber started a new 30 Day Challenge. I think it started yesterday. I had planned to start yesterday, but had an unexpected trip to the walk-in clinic with my mil (she is fine) in addition to an already busy day so I am starting today. Here are my challenges for the next 30 days:

1) Read at least one chapter of the Bible daily on my own. Reading with others does not count.

2) Exercise for 10 minutes at least 6 days a week. It isn't much but it is a start. The exercise needs to be purposeful, but I can count unusual things for this section. An example would be if I were to do some strenuous house cleaning-not my regular, daily cleaning.

Amber is going to update on Fridays. She has her BFF designing a button for these challenges too. I will be grabbing her button when it comes out and updating on Fridays too.

A Little Unschooling

Here's a bit of "unschooling" occurring in our house right now.

Creative Princess was putting away laundry in my bedroom. She said she heard a noise. I went with her and what I heard was birds outside. She said that wasn't the sound. Then she remembered the book I just bought this weekend at Costco. It is a book about birds and has a sound piece on the end. You choose a bird you want to hear, press the button and you hear a recording of that bird. It's a book that can easily be enjoyed by adults as well as kids.

Creative Princess got the book and set it up so it goes through all the bird sounds in order. She is listening to it while drawing pictures of birds (mostly ducks I think). She is then cutting out the birds and using a brad to attach the heads and bodies so they can bob their heads down to get food.

I love it when my kids are creative. I love when they find something educational and run with it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TOS Review: June Schoolhouse Planner 2010: Travel the World

Travel the World

The June module for the 2009 Schoolhouse Planner is titled Travel the World. (You do not need to have the TOS Schoolhouse Planner in order to use any of the modules, including this one.)

After taking a quick peek at it myself, I sat down with the kids and started reading it. I love how this book starts out talking about geography being "God's handwriting on the earth"--something you won't read in a library book on geography.

The first part of the book is a quick overview of geography, including information about globes, maps and the oceans. Precise Prince (my nickname for my son) loved learning about latitude and longitude. He wanted to keep finding places on the globe using them.

Next there is a short section on each of the seven continents. These sections give a quick synopsis of the continent with many links to online information for further study. Each continent includes at least one link to an online geography game pertaining to that continent. I let the kids each choose one continent and we followed a couple of the links for them. Creative Princess chose Africa and Precise Prince chose Europe. Having grown up never actually taking a geography class (a result of moving often with my dad in the Navy and not being homeschooled), I had no idea that the boundary between Europe and Asia is more than just some imaginary line someone decided to use. (Do you know what it is that forms the natural boundary between these two continents?)

The next section contains a fair amount of printouts you could use. There is a word scramble, a fill in the blank worksheet, word search, crossword puzzle, rebus puzzle, copy work pages in both print and cursive and various other printables. In addition, there are print outs that would work well to make a lapbook though this e-book is not about making a lapbook (if you are unfamiliar with lapbooks there are links to information about lapbooking in this e-book.)

There is a section at the end of the book with more information and activities for high school so that you could use this e-book for all ages. As we aren't dealing with high school yet, I merely skimmed through that section. One of the activities asks about biblical influence on a particular scientist. I always appreciate when a book has us thinking about the Bible and God in reference to what it is about.

I thought this book was a good introduction to geography. There are many internet links throughout the book so that you could study any of the parts in a little more depth. The school house planner books are touted as mini-unit studies and I think the June module was a good mini-unit study on geography!

The cost for this module is $7.95 and can be found here. You can see other reviews about this product here.

This e-book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review about the book. No other compensation was given.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Days 25-28

Pop on over to Amber's blog to congratulate her on finishing her 30 day challenge. Join us for the next challenge.
Days 25-28 (I did not read on day 27.)
I read Proverbs 26-28 and Isaiah 9-10.

Nick Names

I just changed the nick names I gave my kids. We were talking in the car yesterday while we were out and about with World Traveler's dad and his wife. My son had just purchased a compass and was telling us how many degrees west or east we were. So we joked with him about how precise he is and I mentioned that I was going to nickname him Precise Prince on my blog but I was concerned it would hurt his feelings. He said "no, it wouldn't" and told me he liked it. So he is now my Precise Prince on the blog.

Of course, my daughter asked me what her nick name was. She didn't like it and took offense at it. Now, the reason I had chosen drama princess had more to do with the fact that she loves acting, singing and performing. I explained that to her but she still didn't like it (yes, we have told her she was a drama queen once or twice so that is probably why she didn't like it.) So I have changed her to Creative Princess. That actually does fit her better as she loves all things art.

My husband is World Traveler because he does travel for work occasionally and he enjoys traveling.

It was actually difficult to come up with nicknames. I just am not much of a nick name person I guess.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week in Review

(I have given my family nick-names for my blog. My husband is World Traveler, my son is Precise Prince and my daugher is Creative Princess. For those who read my last blog, this is a change I wanted to mention so this post makes more sense.)

We had a nice week spent mostly at home. On Monday, the kids hung out with Denise and her kids while I took my mil to the doctor. She didn't get a date for the surgery but the doctor said she is doing well and we'll go back in two weeks to see if she is ready for surgery. (She was in a car accident in March and has some internal injuries in addition to many broken bones that are on the mend.)

The kids played outside a lot this week with friends. It was nice to see how well the kids all played and I love that they got some much needed outside time. Sometimes I don't think I allow them to play outside enough.

We had my great niece on Thursday and I took the kids to the library that morning. Creative Princess spent most of Thursday reading and said she finished all the books she got. Now if I can get her to read some more difficult books. :-)

Monday was also our anniversary. The World Traveler and I went out to dinner-alone! As usual, we enjoyed our time together!

The kids found some bugs on our front yard tree that they didn't know what they were. So Precise Prince asked me to get all of our insect and bug books for the boys to try to figure out what they were. I looked up orange and black bugs on the computer and between all of us, we believe the bugs are ladybug larvae.

The boys (my son and some friends) found a nest in our back yard (at least, I think that was this week. Maybe it was last week. LOL) The nest is in the ground next to our house. We also have a nest in our hanging plant out front.

And of course, Creative Princess had gymnastics and we had visits from the therapists, nurse and nurses aid for mil. So overall, a busy but productive week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

30 Day Challenge: Day 24

My friend Amber started a 30 Day Challenge almost 30 days ago. I got in a little late so today is day 24 for me.

My goal for these thirty days was to read the Bible daily. It's something I like doing but I get slack about. I always learn something when I do read. In order to keep track, I've been posting on my blog every day or two what I've read. It is much easier for me to keep track this way. So today I read Proverbs 24 and 25 and Isaiah 7.

I also want to share my last post I wrote about what I read:

Proverbs 23: 20 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, 21 for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.Wow! That hit me hard. Solomon is saying that the glutton and drunk are the same (in a way.) I think our society thinks of gluttony as a minor sin, if at all. Gluttony is wrong. I am a glutton and struggle with it! I think I will be posting these verses up to remind me. It can be so easy to look at the alcoholic and think "Thank you God I dont' have that problem" without looking at the plank in my own eye.

Beautiful Blogger

(I had this on my old blog and wanted to be sure to recognize my friends here.)

An award? My first. Denise, you are way too kind! Thank you! I met Denise through the AWANA program at our church several years ago. She invited me to a Creative Memories gig and we have been friends ever since. In addition, our boys are the bestest of friends. She is a blessing to know. She is kind and always willing to help me out when I need a last minute babysitter. She has a great love for the Lord as well.

Here are the rules:

1) Add a link and note of thanks to the person giving the award
2) Pass the award on to the bloggers whose blogs you love (15 tops)
3) Share 7 things about yourself

So here are 7 things about me:

1-I lived in Japan for about three years when I was a little girl. My baby sister was born there. Apparently I spoke Japanese quite well with some of the neighborhood kids but now, I can tell you how to say 1-10 in Japanese and a few other words-that's it.

2-I worked in banking for over 6 years and dealt with 3 robberies during that time. The first time, I was the teller who was robbed. The guy was caught because of his stupidity. He was playing around in his car in a parking lot when the police stopped him. The police who stopped him thought he looked like the description I had given from the robbery so she asked him if she could look in his wallet. He let her and the note he used for the robbery was still there. The second robbery was a different teller. The third however, was a takeover in which the thief shot a hole in the roof and at the teller line. I was not a teller at the time so I was at a desk. That was very scary!

3-Now that the cool stuff is over here's the mundane info. I nursed our daughter for 26 months because of her food allergies. No one I knew at the time had nursed that long and although I felt a bit strange, I was and am so glad I stuck it out.

4-This one isn't about me but my husband speaks Norwegian (ok, this may be too much info but I find it sexy.)

5-I have not driven on a freeway in about 15 years or so. I get panic attacks.

6-The main reason I don't wear makeup regularly is that it is too much effort. The other reason is that I don't like feeling fake and wearing it daily makes me feel that way. I do however, enjoy wearing on occasion and especially when I get some one on one time with my husband.

7-I'm a very emotional person and cry very easily. It can be frustrating when I really don't want to cry and seem like I'm manipulating a situation. I just can't help the tears sometime.

Here is my list of Beautiful Bloggers (in no particular order.) This was hard but I have chosen my friends who have blogged recently. So if I didn't nominate you, it's only because you need to blog more. :-)

Amber at A Little Bit of Amber: A dear, sweet friend from church. Amber is a fellow homeschooling mom. She is one of the most upbeat people I know and I so appreciate it! (Amber, that doesn't mean you're not allowed to have down days.)

Heather at Hey You, It's Me: Heather is another dear, sweet friend from church. I am amazed at how often she writes a post and I think, "me too."

Bina at A Branch in the Vine: Once again, a dear, sweet church friend. Bina and I have one big thing in common-we are both married to Norwegians. In addition, God has blessed Bina with a gift of writing and biblical insight.

Michelle at My life as a helpmeet and homeschooling mom of many: Michelle and I joined the same homeschool group within just a few months of each other. Michelle has been through a lot in her life and she is always praising God through her trials. Such an inspiration.

Aleah at Four Giggling Monkeys: Aleah is a neighbor who I am happy to call a friend. She is also a homeschooler and our children enjoy playing together. Aleah has recently been dealing with issues I have been through and although I wish she wasn't going through those issues, I am happy to support her when/if I can and it is nice to know I'm not the only one.

Hmmm....after writing this I am going to have to go through the rest of my blog list and write a little bit about how special they are, even if they haven't updated their blogs in awhile. :-)

Blog Walks

( I'm posting all the blog walks in this one post except the most current one. I'll have to add that one later.)

One of the members of the TOS crew recommended a blog walk. Basically every week, she will post 10 member's blogs and everyone who can spends some time on each blog reading and commenting. It's a great way to get to know some of the other members of the TOS crew. In addition, we can share on our own blogs the list of blogs we are looking at. I didn't get started until this weekend so I'm a week behind. So here are twenty blogs I visited or will be visiting this week.



Week 3:
1. All American Family
2. Growing Fruit
3. Learning to Teach
4. Stairsteps Homeschool Academy
5. Kingdom Academy
6. Living Sola Gratia
7. The Cow Queen
8. Peace Creek on the Prairie

Week 4:
1. King Alfred Academy
2. Confessions of An Organized Homeschool Mom
3. Curriculum Reviews from Oak Creek Farmhouse
4. I Can't Decide
5. My Life on A Taffy Pull
6. Losing My Tale
7. Made in His Image
8. Serenades and Solace
9. Our Village is a Little Different
10. SisterTipster's Tell'n It!

School Time

I just read Denise's blog about back to school. Like Denise, I love going into an office supply store. I love organizing things (not that you can tell from the way my house looks. LOL) As a kids I liked the new school year for all the new paper and pencils and other school supply stuff. As an adult, I stock up on school supplies. Here's my confession-I have a big box of Crayola crayons (96, I think) in my closet, just for me. I haven't even used them yet. They've been there awhile.

The other thing Denise wrote about was curriculum. My blood pressure went up just looking at her list. Now, granted, she has one more child than I do and that extra child is a high schooler this year, but still...

Here is my curriculum list, ready?

Curriculum 1: KONOS, Vol 1: This is a unit based study. There are a lot of ideas and suggestions on projects so I will pick and choose what I want us to do, tailoring the majority of the projects to my kids needs, wants and interests. We'll do a lot of reading aloud with this curriculum

Curriculum 2: Math: But wait, you say, that isn't a curriculum, that is a subject. Yes, well, you are right. Math consists of me printing free worksheets off the computer or pulling worksheets from a Costco workbook and giving it to the kids to do. That said, I kept some pre-algebra and algebra textbooks for Precise Prince who really wants to learn algebra. So I'll let him work on those on his own. Maybe I'll bother with guiding him, maybe I won't. (I will if he asks but whether or not I will force some guidance, we'll see. The textbooks are a couple of grades ahead of him so there is no need to rush.)

Curriculum 3: TOS Reviews. Whatever we review will be part of our curriculum. I know we will be reviewing a cursive writing program next month. I'm excited about that. Precise Prince can write cursive but he is still slow at it and sometimes has to look at the chart to remember a couple of the letters. Creative Princess knows a little bit.

Curriculum 4: Oops. There is no fourth curriculum. That's it! Hey, three is more than I've sometimes used in the past.

Oh wait, maybe there will be a fourth curriculum. I will be working on spelling with Creative Princess, but I will most likely not use a curriculum. I will just work with her on the words she misspells the most.

Ok, another thing to mention. You may notice that there is no Bible in my list. I do not consider Bible a curriculum. I desire it to be part of our every day lives (we're still working on making this a reality every day).

TOS review: When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be A Firefighter

Our next item up for review was in the TOS "When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be..." series. It was about firefighters. Here is the link to this book. The cost is $8.95 and it is recommended for ages 4-10.

For the most part, I enjoyed this e-book. I appreciated that it wasn't just the basic learning about fire trucks and what a firefighter does when he's not fighting fires. There was a history of firefighting, information about salaries and building codes and even a fun section on robotics. The book was written from the viewpoint of a firefighter and there is a section called "My Life as a Firefighter."

There were worksheets (one about math, a crossword puzzle, a fill in the blank story and a few other things), coloring sheets, copywork, and vocabulary, so you could use this as a short unit study. In the robotics section, there is a project for building your own model arm that looks very cool! For our family, we chose to skip most of the worksheets. Nathan did ask me to print out the crossword puzzle and word seek as he enjoys doing those.

Nathan enjoyed the book and asked me to keep reading. Alex kept asking me "can that be all we read" until we got to the part about dogs and firefighting. Since she is a pet lover, that interested her! I do think that a child interested in firefighting would enjoy this ebook and I liked that there was stuff in it that you don't always see in a kids book about firefighters.

I would recommend this for anyone with a child who loves anything about firefighting, though I would like to see the cost about a dollar or two less.

(originally posted in Feb.)

TOS Review: Download 'N Go Expedition Australia

I am excited to have the opportunity to try out for the TOS homeschool crew. I received a download for Expedition Australia by Amanda Bennett and the Old Schoolhouse to review. This study is recommended for grades K-4th.

This is written to be a 5 day study about Australia. The days are set up as follows:

Day 1: Where on Earth is Australia?
Day 2: Some of the Special Places in Australia
Day 3: A Bit of Australian History
Day 4: Cool Things to Know About Australia
Day 5: Fun and Games in Australia

Each day contains links to pertinent information, printouts to assemble a lapbook, suggestions of other books to read, printouts, a geographic feature of the day which allows some drawing creativity, information on Australian words and animals and other helpful information.

This complete unit study is well written and easy to follow. I was able to just take a short time looking through the day’s activities, pick what I wanted our family to do, and follow a few links. There were some activities I skipped that would have been great to use for Kindergarten and First Graders. It took me less than 10 minutes to do this and print out the pages I wanted my kids to use. The printouts are in color, though I think you could print most of them on a black and white printer though you would miss out on some of the beauty of some of the pictures.

The kids and I sat down and followed the links in the packet. We also worked on the lapbook portion and some of the other worksheets. It was fun to do with the kids and it wasn’t hard to get them to work on the printouts. There was no complaining. Their favorite thing to do so far, has been an online scavenger hunt.

One downside to this packet was that although there were elements to make a lapbook and there were links to what lapbooks were, there wasn’t a diagram or picture of how to assemble the lapbook for this specific unit, nor did it tell us how many folders are recommended to use for the lapbook. Therefore, we will have to wait until we have all the pieces ready and then figure out how to put them in our folder or folders.

I confess when I first saw that this was an Amanda Bennett study, I was apprehensive. I remember looking through an Amanda Bennett Unit Study years ago and remember it basically being an outline of what to study without additional information. It wasn’t something that fit us at the time. However, I liked this Australian Expedition download and even spent some time looking through other downloads offered in this series. I would definitely purchase another item if it fits what we are studying. The cost of $7.95 is worth it.

Click here for the link for this study. You can see other products they offer as well.

Also, if you are interested in trying out for the Homeschool Crew also, click on the link in my first paragraph.

(originally posted in Feb.)

What A New Blog?

I have reason to believe my other blog was hacked. So to be safe, I am starting this new blog. I will be posting my TOS reviews here. If you want access to my old blog, send me an email.

I will be copying over a few of my posts from my original blog.