Monday, August 30, 2010

TOS Review: Peterson Handwriting

HSCrew468x60AnimatedPeterson Handwriting is a handwriting curriculum. According to their website “The Peterson Method curriculum uses a unique movement based strategy to teach skills for fluency and legibility.”


I was part of the crew that reviewed the print writing program as part of my review I received the Print Step E-Workbooks (1, 2 and 3) as well as some pre-writing practice pages, all immediate download, pdf files. I also was part of an on-line training web conference with Rand Nelson and other TOS Crew members, so I was able to get a good idea of the support offered to customers.

This handwriting program is unlike any other that I’ve ever personally used or tried to teach. There is NO pencil tracing involved at all (which after working with Treyton for the last 2 years I strongly agree with) simply finger tracing then directly to writing. The program focuses on 4 steps to teach writing:

  • Step 1. Illustrate and describe.
  • Step 2. Air Writing
  • Step 3. Finger Tracing
  • Step 4. Write and Say

Treyton used the Step 1 Workbook in his school.

What I Liked:

Peterson Handwriting is more than just a handwriting program, it is a handwriting philosophy. I learned more about handwriting and it’s importance preparing for this review, than I have in my entire life, and it was great information! Their teacher/parent support is AMAZING, the best I’ve seen. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference with Rand Nelson and was impressed friendliness and willingness to come along side the parent/teacher to help us get the most use from their product.

One of the aspects that I really enjoyed while using this program with Treyton was that it worked for him. After using it only the first week I noticed a great improvement in Treyton’s writing. Although we had been doing other handwriting prior to this, his writing while it wasn’t getting worse it wasn’t getting better either. When I used the Peterson Method and verbal cues, something just clicked for him. The letter S which was one of the ones he really struggled with, he started writing almost perfectly.

The electronic workbook allows  you to “print the pages as needed, and as often as needed, right from your computer using the free Acrobat Reader program. You simply purchase one book (with a license to print) and use it as often as needed to teach and provide practice”. This saves you on workbook costs in the long run which is great.

What I Didn’t Like:

I found their website more than a little confusing, it took me a long time to even figure out what exactly (in regards to their curriculum) I was reviewing. And even now, I’m having a hard time finding some of the things I need. Often times I would know that I had seen or read something before and it would take me a while to find what it was I was looking for, if I found it at all. The ordering process seems to be confusing to me as well, though I have not personally used it. This is a real shame because their website is filled with an OVER ABUNDANCE of valuable information.

My biggest struggle with the actual handwriting program (which is probably a silly one), was that I really didn’t like that once the child learned basic writing and proper paper position the child’s writing is at a VERY steep slant. Maybe this is correct….  but who writes like this? I found it strange. Even if it is a progressive step to cursive writing, I feel as though the students handwriting would seem odd too many during this writing stage. And any time they would print (rather than write cursive) it’s going to be strange and slanted.

Closing Thoughts

To be honest, this isn’t the easiest review to write, I had such mixed feelings. Though I enjoyed the program and think that it has a lot of positive aspects about it (it’s effective, well-rounded, informative and technical). I found many aspects of their program to be very confusing, particularly the electronic portions (their website is extremely confusing, and the training and even videos were “over me”). Maybe I’m a simple person, but I spent a lot of time being confused and this was frustrating to me. I feel as though the website (which is a large part of this program) and curriculum itself could be better organized and explained more simply. In saying that, once I would finally catch-on I enjoyed and agreed with most of what I was taught.

How to Purchase for Yourself

The E-Workbooks (which is what I used) can be previewed here . I love that Peterson Handwriting is so willing to let you see the product in it’s entirety before you make your purchase I REALLY wish other company’s would do this (it would save us all a lot of headaches). You can purchase them for yourself for $19.95. You can then reproduce your pages as needed (for multiple children), in addition to that, as part of your purchase you are also given access to Rand Nelson (a REAL person) to contact by phone, email or online conference, whenever you need him (and he is available).

To see more reviews on the Peterson Handwriting Method visit the TOS Crew Blog

Disclaimer: I reviewed this product for free for being a part of the TOS Crew for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

All About Money

Treyton has been learning about money in school.

Once we reached dimes he began to struggle with remembering coin value. To help him remember one day I made a “store” I gave him $0.50 and had him give me the right number of coins for the items he wanted.



He LOVED this!!

Since then, I have set up a chore chart with 4 daily chores and then a list of 10 optional (paid) chores per day with a $0.50 payout limit.

This has been helping out.

Meanwhile, I went searching for some helpful printables online.

Money Resources

Teach Mama had a timely post about Coin Counting and Skip Counting. In her post she linked to one of her previous posts which include a download for songs/poems about money. I really enjoyed some of these printables with Treyton.

Susana over at My family My Forever shared her find over at the Teacher’s Corner on a money worksheet generator that she uses for her son, Joe. Treyton is quite there yet, but I know this will come in handy sooner than later.

I also stumbled across this money worksheet generator as well.

Prekinders offers some fun ideas on their money page.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Butterfly Unit

This past week we studied butterflies as part of our My Father’s World curriculum. Actually we were supposed to be on week 3 which is L for leaf, but I skipped ahead to week 21 B is for Butterfly because of the time of year (having more butterflies in nature to observe) and because we wanted to raise a butterfly from caterpillar to adult which I didn’t want to do in the middle of winter which is where it fell according to our lesson plan schedule.

Sadly, I ordered our butterflies nearly two weeks before we started our unit, we technically ended our unit before they arrived this week. But we’re taking this week off (it’s both Treyton and my birthdays this week). So we will do some “easy” school observing them and recording them in our nature journal.

Like with all our units we read a lot. I got a lot of great books this time around, that the kids and I enjoyed several times!!

Butterfly Activities:

Painted Butterfly: Your oldie-by-goodie, fold the paper in half, open it up, spread some paint around crease in half again, allow to dry, add eyes, antennas and wholah! Both the kids enjoyed this craft. Sometimes I forget to use the crafts I used as a kid thinking they’re “old” but they’re still brand new to my kids!!

Butterfly Printables: I printed off a couple of Erica’s printables over at Confessions of a Homeschooler for Lexa to do. Lexie’s favorite was the do-a-dot B is for Butterfly page

IMG_0015 Butterfly Coloring Contest: One of our local nature centers just so happened to be doing a butterfly coloring contest that I printed off for Treyton and we sent in

IMG_0017 4 Stages of a Butterfly Nature Journal: I made four squares in Treyton’s nature journal, we numbered them 1-4, and illustrated each process of the butterfly’s life cycle. (1) egg: Treyton cut out a leaf from green construction paper and then glued on white paper hole punch-outs (2) caterpillar: he took circles, attached them to one another and then glued them to the page, drawing on eyes and antennas (3) chrysalis: he attached a brown construction paper branch and I cut out a piece of quilt backing in the shape of a chrysalis, he drew a curled up caterpillar and glued the chrysalis on top. (4) butterfly: we attached some real (already deceased butterflies) to the page. 

IMG_0016 IMG_0018 IMG_0022 Act Like a Butterfly: The kids loved this one and I have caught them doing it on their own a couple of times sense then.

1. EggIMG_0036 Here are the kids: Treyton is curled up in an egg, Lexa is covering her face. (I love this picture)

2. Caterpillar

IMG_0041  Treyton did a great job making laps like a caterpillar.

IMG_0042 This is as low as Lexa would go, she did pose however which was nice.

3. Chrysalis

IMG_0043 IMG_0051 4. Butterfly IMG_0046 IMG_0047 IMG_0032 Lexa, showing me a butterfly out of our big book/game.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Charlotte Mason Method & Resources

When I ordered the My Father’s World Kindergarten Deluxe Package I received a copy of “For the Sake of the Children” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.

It’s a book based on the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, which I’ll be honest, from what I had heard I assumed was a category I didn’t fall in to. However as I glanced through the book, I found that there was more that I agreed with Charlotte Mason than that I didn’t.

She promotes “living books” (good classic literature), narration (the child retelling the story back to you), expecting a lot out of students without comparing them with one another, the importance of free-play and allowing children to achieve at their own pace, while not comparing them with their peers. She is a great advocate for children as people and individuals, and the importance of them being treated accordingly.

She is strong in literature-based education, which I also agree with, but maybe not quite as much as she does. 

Some of the quotes from this book that struck me were: (there are quite a few)

“School is only one of the influences in children’s lives. It can often be that a strong, rich home life with Christian teaching and understanding more than offsets the ‘center of gravity’ at a secular school”

“Once the habit of reading his lesson-books with delight is set up in a child, his education is not completed, but ensured; he will go on for himself in spite of the obstruction which school too commonly throws his way.”

“After the child’s needs of love and nourishment are provided for the child plays.” Charlotte Mason says “organized games are not play in the sense we have in view. Boys and girls must have time to invent episodes, carry on adventure, live heroic lives, lay sieges and carry forts, even if the fortress be an old armchair; and in these affairs the elder must neither meddle not make.”

“Certain factors encourage play. It is often easier home-based than institution based. There should be space, and lots of free time. Children need to be outdoors (for hours). They need to make noise, mess, and to have access to raw materials. They need privacy from intruding adults, but they need interested support in quarrels, thinking of another way around a problem, providing food, and, at the end, bringing thing children tactfully back into the world where supper is read, the camp has to be packed up, children are tired and ready for the soothing routine of evening stories. Grown-ups need time if their life is to support this kind of play. The children have to matter more than the furniture (but children don’t mind at all to sticking to the boundaries).”

“Expect high standards, but let them be appropriate to the individual who is progressing at his own rate of development. Make the lesson a short one, so the inattention does not become a habit.”

“Charlotte Mason’s ideas are especially needed by deprived children today, the ones who are bored. It is a challenge to us to keep alive the eagerness the nine-month old child displays when a cupboard is left open. Life is just too interesting for boredom!!”

These are only a few (and are primarily from the first few chapters of the book), it’s a great read. I recommend it for ALL parents, not just homeschooling parents, she has some great points and ideas about the training up of children in general and my eyes were opened to a lot of areas that need to change in my behavior and approach on parenting.

Another Charlotte Mason Books:

“A Well Trained Mind” (I haven’t read but heard great things, and I was informed by a reader this is not a Charlotte Mason but a Classical Education book) Still a good book, but not the same :)

Internet Links:

As I researched more and more, I see that there are a lot of Charlotte Mason resources out there that can be utilized in our home school and learning processes. Here is some of what I’ve found.

Charlotte Mason Help: Practical ways to apply the lofty ideas of Charlotte Mason in your home and school. They had a section on copywork pointers which I found helpful. Kindergarten program and book suggestions I found here.

Ambleside Online: a free homeschool curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own private and correspondence schools.

Simply Charlotte Mason explains that the Charlotte Mason Technique is “A method of education popular with homeschoolers in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits.” I particularly liked the page on Memorization Techniques

All About the Charlotte Mason Technique on Squidoo includes quotes, elements, subjects, curriculum options and more.

I know that there are TONS more out there, so anything you know or would like to pass along would be appreciated, I’ll add them to my list.

Monday, August 23, 2010

CSN Review: Wall Hanging & Tent

After posting my teaser post and giveaway here. I got busy shopping for my own treasure at one of the 200 CSN stores.

After hours of fun shopping I finally settled on getting this wall-hanging for my kitchen. I love trees, and I also have a slight country flare in my decorative style, so this fit in perfectly.

IMG_0198I really like this piece. It’s metal (which has a special place in my heart :)), and I love the way it looks. It’s not a style of wall-art that I’ve ever seen anywhere else and I love the fact that it feels so original. 

I had a little bit of my certificate left so I also went ahead and picked up a Christmas gift for one of the kids.

They both like tents and putting them on their beds, so I haven’t decided who is going to get it yet (or if they are going to have to share it). But I got this one:


I know the kids are going to love it.

My purchase qualified for free shipping, and as usual CSN’s shipping exceeded my expectations. My items were shipped separately because thy came from different warehouses. And I received them both within a week.

I was once again, very satisfied with my online shopping experience using CSN.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Catching Butterflies

A week or so ago while we had an abundance of butterflies in the yard, the kids and I headed outside to try and catch a few.

Knowing that we were going to be studying  butterflies the following week for My Father’s World curriculum, this was a very exciting activity and we took some extra time to take a close look at our temporary captives (yes, we released them all later). We got out our nature journals, drew some pictures, looked up what kind of butterflies we caught (the name escapes me right now), fed them (sugar water), and watched them for about a day.

It was so much fun!

IMG_0050 IMG_0058 Treyton is a natural born hunter – watch him sneak up an an unsuspecting butterfly. :)  IMG_0060 Treyton caught 6 butterflies in about 10 minutes. I really thought it was going to be too hard to actually catch any, I was surprised.IMG_0061 IMG_0056Here he is waiting for mom to come and help him get his butterfly into our butterfly house.  IMG_0063

After we caught our butterflies, we made sure to feed them, too.


This activity was tons of fun and really peaked Treyton’s interest for our butterfly unit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Moon Unit: Favorite Books

image On The Moon: A cute and simple storybook about visiting the moon. I really liked this book, and the illustrations were really cute. It inspired Treyton as well, when we finished it he told me that he might want to be a doctor AND an astronaut --- a busy boy :)

image What is the Moon Like? A little too in depth for my kids, we still read the parts of the book and skipped the more detailed parts (like where the 12 astronauts who have landed on the moon ACTUALLY landed – cool information, but not interesting to my kids).  A good book for slightly older elementary kids (2nd grade maybe?)

image Papa Get the Moon for Me: an Eric Carle book, this was the kids favorite. Fictional, but still teaches that the moon changes sizes from bigger to small back to bigger. Treyton had a lot of fun drawing an illustration of the story and retelling it back to me.

Our Solar System: we picked up this book for free somewhere, and while it’s on the entire Solar System, we referenced the moon page layout. It is written in a question and answer format which can be a nice change of pace when reading lots of books on the same subject.

image Sun, Moon and Stars: this book had the best crater illustrations and explanations which we enjoyed referencing too as well as a section on solar eclipses.

image The Moon Seems to Change: this book was a little too in depth for us, I read the first couple of pages to the kids and left the more in depth sections. 

The Moon (Pebble): It’s no secret I love the pebble books, they  imageare simple with good pictures – what more can you ask for when teaching preschool/kindergarten students. States the basics in a simple way.

image Night Light: one of my favorites, I liked this book. It is an illustrated book, with the perfect level of explanation for Kindergarten/1st grade. Slightly more complex than the pebble books it filled in some of the gaps and answered a few questions Treyton still had.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Traveling Geography

We are blessed to have the opportunity to be able to go and visit my sister this fall. We will be traveling from Wisconsin to Virginia and making several stops along the way. Of course, being a teacher at heart I’m hoping that this trip will be filled with not only fun but lots of learning as well. We will be taking two separate routes, there and back. I’ve been busy doing some research on car boredom busters, educational ideas,  traveling ideas, and more. I found a lot of great resources while I was looking stuff up, and as always most of it is just too good to keep for myself – so take some time and explore the great resources below.

Our Trip (In a Nutshell) image The first route we are taking a little longer on and will go through the following cities – we are planning on taking 3-4 days to get to Virginia.

Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin: I want to make a stop to go on a Jelly Belly Factory and Warehouse: but this may be something we have to do some other time being so close to home it may be something we wait on.

Chicago, Illinois: A couple of years ago Tim and I went to the Navy Pier in Chicago and we always said we wanted to bring Treyton back there (he was our only child at the time), so we’re going to actually do it!!

Indianapolis, Indiana:

Columbus, Ohio: I’ve been going back and forth on visiting the Columbus Zoo I found it rated the #1 zoo in the country in two different places and #10 for children’s zoo in the countries according to Parent’s Magazine, but there is also a zoo in Cleveland that’s supposed to be good… we don’t want to do too many zoos (any suggestions?)

Center of Science and Industry(COSI) #2 on Travelocity of things to see in Columbus – a science museum #1 Science center in the country by parents mag.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: We want to do the Duquesne Incline (going up the side of the mountain in a cable car USA Weekend calls one of the "10 most beautiful views in America”) and shopping, there is an adorable shopping center near the incline that Tim and I went to 3 years ago when we visited here.

We also want to eat at Crystal Restaurant a lebanese cuisine style restaurant featured on Guy’s Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives

A possibility is Kennywood Amusement Park

I have heard great things about the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium but this too will depend on time.

Hershey, Pennsylvania: an hour or so out of our way but Treyton knows Pennsylvania as the state that makes chocolate, so I really want to make it to the Hershey Factory.

We are planning on spending 4-5 days  at my sister’s. While we are at my sister’s we will be visiting:

Washington DC: the kids and I have already done DC before (last year), we will do the White House again, but we also want to do the Smithsonian Musuem of Natural History and the Jefferson Memorial (we did the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial last time). My mom mentioned a large carousel located near the Smithsonian Palace that I want to take the kids on.

I found this Article about Kids visiting DC with some creative ideas on how to show kids that are too young to appreciate some of the sites, the “biggness” of what they are seeing.

Shanendoah Valley, Virginia: We will probably be doing the Skyline Drive. We talked about doing the Appalachian Trail (which is walking), but honestly it will probably depend on the weather. This is something my sister really wants to do so she may have some other ideas for here as well.

Mount Vernon: Last time we were in Virginia we went here but didn’t actually have the time to go to George Washington's Home so we just saw the land and gift shop, this time we are going IN!!

imageOn the way home we will be going through these cities:

Cleveland, Ohio: I have a list of ideas for Cleveland but to be honest we probably won’t do alot here. If we do, I’m thinking: Metroparks Zoo, the Bratwurst Factory Tour – (The Bratworks Tour) and eating at either Lucky’s CafĂ© for Breakfast/Lunch or Momocho’s Dinner (both featured on Diner’s Drive-Ins or Dives on the Food Network)

Fort Wayne, Indiana: We have some really good friends who live here so we will be staying with them for a night, and then I read somewhere that Fort Wayne has an excellent children’s zoo

Chicago, Illinois: I doubt my hubby will want to stop on the way through, being so close to home, especially considering that we stopped on the way there but we’ll have to see, if I find something interesting to see or do and what our time table looks like.

Visited State Journal

To give the kids a little hands on action during the car ride, I am planning on having lots of activities for them to do. Including reading books, coloring pictures/maps, tracking our route on a map, and making State Pages for each state we go through.

State Notebook Page

State Notebook Pages (2)

One-Page State Notebooking Page

Crayola’s State Coloring Pages – Love these!

State Coloring Pages

State Worksheets – my favorite was that I could print a black and white or colored state map of each state (with bordering states, without, with compass or without). Very nice.

These State Notebooking Pages were a little detailed for what I wanted for the trip, but I think in the future this would be a great idea.

US Geography Resources from Homeschool Share – I really like the “Where is …?” Pages

US Worksheets

Black and White State Flags

Tourism Sites for each of the 50 states where you can request information on the states: I have requested information on each of the states and will hopefully be able to use our freebies to make our state notebooking pages.

Travel Journal/Fun Spot Pages:

In addition to the State Pages, I thought it would be nice to also have our own personal “Fun Pages” to record our memories of the fun places we visit. I’m not quite sure how I am going to be making these yet, but they will be pretty simple so that the kids can create and write whatever they like on them.

Activity Village had some Travel Journal Pages to print off here.


We will be mailing out postcards to ourselves as we travel as well. That way we have some fun stuff to look forward to when we get back home that we can add to our traveling journal and/or our geography notebook.

Recommended Books (So Far)

I found a couple of books off of “No Time for Flashcards” that I plan on picking up for reading in the car to the kids. And did a little amazon search to find a few others – mind you I have not looked at or seen any of these books yet… just looking right now.

America: My Land, Your Land, Our Land


“The book showcases how The United States is made up of drastic opposites. Each page is devoted to two opposing features such as bright and dark, yours and mine, old and young. Then the illustrations reflect these opposites.”

Celebrate the 50 States image

“not a story book about the 50 states but really an illustrated short form non fiction book about each and every state.  Each page is broken into columns with 2 states ( all in alphabetical order) with a few historical facts, a basic map of the state and fun facts even parents probably don’t know!”

Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America

image “The beauty and diversity of America are celebrated as three children, their parents, and their dog travel across the country in high spirits. Starting in Massachusetts, the family finds interesting details: Dr. Seuss National Memorial, the first post office, and famous people like Deborah Sampson and Herman Melville. The pages are alive with many small pictures, text, and maps.”

The United States Cookbook

Take a Tasty Tour of Americas 50 States

1. In what state were both the lollipop and the hamburger-on-a-bun invented? image

2. Where do the largest watermelons grow and whats the distance record for spitting watermelon seeds? How big is the worlds largest potato chip and where is it now?

3. Theres more to cuisine in America than just burgers and fries. Heres a mouthwatering journey across the United States where youll discove and learn how to make fabulous foods from every part of the country.

Treat yourself to such simple, kid-tested recipes as:

  • Banana Berry Pancakes with Real Maple Syrup from Vermont
  • Key Lime Pie from Florida
  • Deep Dish Pizza from Illinois

50 State Booklist - (Booklist for each state)

Travel Games

State License Plate Game: Okay, I’ll admit it, this is more for Tim and I, but I’ve played this game since I was a kid and I just can’t get over it!

This site has color images of all the current state license plates which I plan on printing off and adding to our state pages.

Travel Bingo


We just recently got into the whole geocaching craze and I am really hoping to incorporate a few stops along the way throughout our trip.

Printable Geocaching Page


Great Food

I found Guy’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (from the food network) list of places he’s been, and we’re planning on hitting some along the way… I mean if they were on the food network they’ve got to be good (right?) and the real beauty of DDD’s is that they are mostly unique, family friendly and reasonably priced places.



I would love ANY other recommendations that you all have. I’m especially looking for fun stops along our route that I may have missed. (I know there is more out there!!)

I would like some good traveling books, DVDs or CDs – this would include just for fun reading books as well as travel related books for our trip. Maybe certain books on the certain states or places we are going.

And for you all if any of you are interested in more resources go here on squidoo!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Commenting Update & Giveaway

I finally made the switch to disqus to manage my comments.

I planned on writing a big explanation to the reason why, but realized that Carissa over at 1+1+1=1 had taken the words write (sorry I couldn’t help myself) out of my mouth. So to learn more about some of the perks, head over there to read all about it.

My primary reason for making the switch is that it gives me your email. Email is the primary way that I respond to your comments. Using blogger’s commenting system this can take me too long and sometimes I am not even able to reply to some of your comments because blogger doesn’t require emails.

Another feature that Carissa pointed out to me that I think I am really like is that it emails you when other people (or myself) comment on a comment you leave. I love this feature because I think it will allow us (as readers to be better connected)l. (Side Note: be sure to check “notifications” when you set up your disqus account).

imageSetting up your account is super fast and easy, and can be done entirely in the comment section, it takes less than 15 seconds (for real!). And to encourage you to take that step and get the comment ball rolling  I am offering a $5 amazon gift card to one of the commenter's to this post. 

Not sure what to say?

I have been wanting to do an “Ask Anything” post for a while, I have a few questions waiting on the back burner that you all have asked, but I would love to hear from more of you, so if you have any questions you want to ask me… feel free to do it here.

Good luck and thanks for sticking with me!!

Giveaway ends August 22nd 10pm, I will email the winner shortly thereafter.

BTW: Carissa also pointed me to this great tutorial for those of you who are interested in making the switch on your blog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moon Cake

I had several questions about the kids and I moon cake. So here is a separate post just for you guys.

If you need a refresher ;) here is the recipe:

Moon Cake Recipe

Moon Sand:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 T. cocoa

Form 3 craters in the moon sand, one large crater in the center and one medium crater and one small crater anywhere on the moon sand.

Add 1 tsp. baking soda to the medium crater.
Add 5 T melted butter to the large crater.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla to the small crater.
Pour 1 T. vinegar into the medium crater and watch it bubble like a volcano.

When foam stops, add 1 c. milk and mix together to form moon mud.
Sprinkle with 3/4 c. miniature marshmallows (moon rocks).

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Questions Asked:

What I made the cake in: I originally mixed the moon sand and put our craters and such in a 13 x 9, glass cake pan but it was too large to bake it in, so I downsized to a smaller glass pan (I’m not sure of the exact measurements… bigger than a 9 x 9 square pan, smaller than a 13 x 9)

How we made the craters: with our hands, we just dug them out.

How did it taste? It was… okay… not the best cake I’ve ever made or tasted, but it was good. Our cake is slightly different because of allergies, we used coconut milk instead of dairy milk and we also used a special kind of butter (not made with dairy butter). Our cake was pretty crumbly, I don’t know if it was due to the non-dairy supplements or something else, and it wasn’t horrible, just a little crumbly. Because I had the kids do so much of the cake on their own there were a few “salty spots” due to not being mixed thoroughly, but the flavor wasn’t bad.

Can I show pictures of the kids making it? um YEAH!! Thanks for asking!

IMG_0044 IMG_0045 IMG_0048 IMG_0049 (The kids watching the volcano) IMG_0053

Bible: Romans 3:23

This past week, Treyton’s memory verse was Romans 3:23 "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

Before we start memorizing a verse Treyton and I always discuss what it means. This time was no exception, and like most of the time, it inspired great conversation. Treyton had a lot of questions, and some I was able to answer easily, others not so easily, and I could tell he wanted a deeper understanding of the verse.

I went on a search to find some activities that we could do to ensure that he understood what the verse was saying, and the good news that follows. Next week our verse is going to be even more about the good news, I can’t wait. 

Game: Missing the Mark

Scramble Puzzle on A Kids Heart

An illustration taken From Christian Crafters, Treyton and I liked this one. We took some paper and cut it into a variety of shapes, we then put fun patterns on each of the pieces of paper. IMG_0005

We matched up the “families” first by shape, and then by pattern. Among our shapes I had pulled out 3 white heart shapes. I explained that when God had made man, he made us in His image, with a pure heart, but when we sin, our heart gets a mark on it. (I took a black crayon and put a black X on the heart). We mentioned different sins that we are guilty of (lying, disobeying our parents, envy, etc.). I explained how once we sin, we are no longer in the same family as God, we are separated from him. I then took the third heart and explained that when Jesus died on the cross his blood covered our heart (I put the white heart over the heart with the black marks on it), which makes us a part of God’s family again.

It is a simple analogy that really helped Treyton to understand a little bit more about what the verse was talking about and what our sin really means, why it is a big deal and what Jesus dying on the cross did for us.

Monday, August 16, 2010

TOS Homeschool Planner

If you’re looking for a great planner for your 2010 school year, look no further!

The Schoolhouse Planner has everything you need to plan, organize and maintain both your homeschool and your household!!

imageWhether your already an organized mama or working on becoming more organized this planner is for you!! With the ability to work with you and FOR you, at your level, The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner has something for everyone!

The planner which is 614 pages, yes, that’s right 614 pages, is an instant download, which offers you both convenience and efficiency, allowing you to print the pages you need, while leaving the ones you don’t need (even if it’s just until later). Making the planner even more personal is it’s fill-in the blank capabilities, which allows you the ability to customize your planner before  you print it.

image The planning forms alone make this planner worth every penny of the purchase price. But amazingly, that’s not all you get.  Some of my favorite things in the planner include:

  • Monthly Articles
  • Recipes (84 of them)
  • Yearly Dates to Remember Form
  • Preschool Planning Pages
  • Reading/Book List
  • Journaling Pages
  • Lapbooking and Unit Study Forms
  • Weekly Menu Planning Forms
  • Miscellaneous Education Information (probably my favorite section)
  • Household Planning Forms (anything you could think of)

And believe it or not, there’s MORE!!

image This is a great organizer, the most versatile organizer I’ve ever seen. If you’re like me and would like to take a peak at the planner before committing, you can see a 59 Page sample here.


To purchase your very own copy of The Schoolhouse Planner for $39.00 visit This Old Schoolhouse Store

All The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine E-Books come with a 7-day, money-back guarantee!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary download of the planner to write a review as a sell sheet (I didn’t know what that meant, but basically my review is for the purpose of competing for a prize. So this would fall under the category of being more of an advertisement than an unbiased review.)

Not Back to School: School Photos

image This weeks Heart of the Matter’s Not Back to School Blog Hop is School Photos – We technically started school back in June, so our First Day of School Pictures were taken then.

Go here to see them.

If you’re visiting from the blog hop – welcome to my blog! Make yourself at home and feel free to take a look around, I hope you can find something you can use or that will encourage you.