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Showing posts from June, 2011

Co-op Playgroup ~ Barrettes!!

At our Co-op playgroup today, the little girlies just played and played. They had out kitchen stuff and dress-up outfits and babies and the moms (the real moms, that is) had lots of time to chat.

When we did get them corralled, we made ribbon braided barrettes. We had the girls do their best to practice braiding, and then the moms wielded the hot glue gun to roll up the braids and attach them to alligator clips.

They turned out sooooo cute!!!



How to Build a Homeschool U.S. History Curriculum from "America: The Story of Us"

FINAL UPDATE (JUNE 2012): We completed our entire U.S. History course last month using the America: The Story of Us video series and the resources I had planned. We officially covered Episodes 1-9 which got us through the 1920's. We plan to use the remaining three videos when we study the World Wars in a couple of years. I just want to go on record as saying that I believe whole-heartedly that the use of this series with my resources would more than qualify your child for a full credit of U.S. History. And, it was exciting and enriching. Feel free to follow all of my lesson plans. You can see them all at this link:

http://journey2excellence.blogspot.com/search/label/America%3A%20The%20Story%20of%20Us
Update:America: The Story of Us is now available as an InstaStream through Netflix! We also had it available at our local library. If you didn't receive a complimentary copy, you won't have to pay the $30 for it!


Many of us received a complimentary copy of "America: The St…

The Teacher Being The Student

I am a teacher. There is no doubt. I hardly ever engage in any activity with my children without seeing the educational side of it.

But I also love to learn. And lately I find myself soaking in every tidbit I can to be a better woman, wife, mother and teacher. I don't feel pressure to learn, just a desire. I am not feeling inadequate or that I'm not doing enough, I am just enjoying finding new and inspirational ways to do things.


The other day I stumbled across a book study on The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller going on at Thinking of Teaching. And I don't know why, but I jumped on board. I love to read and since I have started homeschooling, reading has become one of my greatest passions. And I want my children to have a passion for it as well. There is never any reason to be bored when you have a book to read. It takes you anywhere you want to go.

So I'll be posting my discussion questions from the book study here, since this is my homeschooling blog. The book is d…

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

It's gonna be a hot one here in Oklahoma this week! The temps are going to be right at or above 100 degrees everyday. What does that mean? That means we are going to keep it indoors as much as possible. That's good anyway because we were out of the house for the past four days in a row and we need some down time. The house is a mess and we are leaving for a long 4th weekend on Saturday so I want to get us prepared to be gone.


In my life this week ... This week will be all about organization, getting slightly ahead and making sure the house is nice and clean. Kyndal will be at church camp all week so I will have an opportunity to get in her room and do some recon. I like the house to be organized and clean when we go away for a few days, so that will be my main goal.
In our homeschool this week… I thought I would build on our trip to the Blue Bell Creamery tour we went on this week by making our own ice cream in a baggie. We will have a science experiment and math lesson out of i…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Nothin' to be Blue About!!!

I love laid-back summer learning. We just take something we come upon that interests us and go with it! It's been so great! I've also enjoyed taking Eli along for the ride with us!

At the same time I am working diligently on the U.S. History curriculum for both Dawson (9th grade) and Brynne (2nd grade) for next year. I feel like I am taking a super-fun trip through history right now and I am enjoying preparing for it more than they will probably enjoy learning about it! I am hoping my enthusiasm rubs off on them! So far I have completed three, 3-week units and am most of the way through the fourth. That has us at 12 weeks of lessons. I am feeling much-accomplished!

I will be doing a post soon about exactly how I am creating this curriculum using America: The Story of Us from The History Channel.


I received this dvd set for free last year and it is the cornerstone of our curriculum! It is awesome! I also just saw that it is available through our local library, so maybe you can …

The First Day of Summer

As we all know, this is the official first day of summer. Of course the temps here have been near 100 for close to a month now and our grass is already about dead. But, we'll go with it anyway from an astronomy perspective.

I printed off the First Day of Summer notebooking page from Barb at Handbook of Nature Study and had Brynne and Eli work on it this morning.


Here are their finished notebook pages. Brynne has been used to doing some of this, but I have been especially impressed with how much fun Eli has with them. He has never been one to sit and write or draw, but he has shown an increased interest in doing it this summer. (Man I can't wait until he is a bit older so we can bring him home for school. If you don't know our history, there are specific learning reasons why he is still in public school.)


How did we spend our First Day of Summer?? We went to the water park, of course! It was the perfect day for it! The temps were actually a little more mild today so it was a…

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Are you ENJOYING your summer? You know, these summers don't last near long enough! We need to enjoy every second of them! This morning my husband said, "I'm not going to tell you what to do. But, I want you to enjoy yourself each day. Do what you want to do." Don't worry, honey, I really am enjoying each and every day.


In my life this week ... This is what I like to call one of those "ordinary" weeks. And I love them! I have no plans in the evenings. Today I was able to get my housework done. Tomorrow we will go to the library and the recycling center. And we might make a trip to the water park. Wednesday we have no plans during the day and I will enjoy a "Wine Wednesday" date with my husband in the evening and then watch my favorite summer pleasure So You Think You Can Dance. On Thursday we are going to attempt, again, to go pick blueberries. (I hope the weather cooperates!) On Friday we have Co-op gymnastics and an opportunity to swim in the …

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ Electric!

Summer is going so great! I am loving it! It does help that I have a driver this summer, so I'm not having to run her around all day every day. She is our social butterfly, never at home! If I don't have something specifically planned, the rest of us don't even leave the house. And that's sometimes for days in a row. ** smile **

What did we do this week?

Monday ~ We went swimming at a friend's. It was great fun! My kids LOVE to swim!

Tuesday ~ We did our weekly trip to town to go to the library and to drop off our recycling. We also ran some errands because it was daddy's birthday and we had a few extra gifts to pick up. Dawson also had some money burning in his wallet (that he had earned the previous week) and needed to get some new video games.

Wednesday ~ We had our Co-op Playgroup. Great fellowship!

Thursday ~ We did a fun science experiment about electric circuits using aluminum foil, batteries and flashlight lightbulbs.

Friday ~ It's currently 2:00 p.m. an…

When Plans are Foiled

We were planning to go pick blueberries this morning, and I was really looking forward to it because I love blueberries! It was also going to be the conclusion of our little Farm unit.

Last night Eli got up to get a glass of water. Rick was watching something on television and Eli wanted to know what he was watching. Rick told him it was a show about science. Eli gave a thumbs up and said, "I love science!" (And he does. It was his favorite thing he did at school this year.)

Then he told me that he wanted to do science today. And when he gets in his mind that he wants to do something, then he really wants to do it!

I was trying to figure out how to squeeze it in today with blueberry picking and then Rick and my anniversary.

And then I woke up to rain, thunder and lightening. And blueberry picking was obviously going to need to be pushed off until next week.

And a space for science opened up.

I found a simple experiment to demonstrate how aluminimum foil can act as a circuit …

Co-op Playgroup

We had our Playgroup this week. This has been such a wonderful group, not only for the kids but for the moms as well! The kids play. The mom talk. We talk about babies and teenagers, gardening, cooking, field trips and so many other things. We are reading the book Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson, to discuss in our time together. But this week we didn't even get the books pulled out. The conversation was just too good.

The kids made bookmarks. They had free reign to decorate them however they wanted. Brynne even made one for Eli. He didn't want to go this time and hang out with all the girls.


Wicky Wacky

THANK YOU to the Anonymous Commenter who told me that my font was so squished up that it was barely readable! I had no idea! On my Mac, it didn't look like that! So, I got on my husband's laptop and made the appropriate changes. I HOPE THIS HELPS!

Anonymous, let me know if this is better for you! I'd hate to lose a Follower because of a Wicky Wacky font.

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

We had a great summer week here at our house! We had a visit from my sister and niece, a trip to the water park and a fun time at the zoo.


In my life this week ... This is a big week at our house for a certain hunky husband and fabulous father! Rick's birthday is tomorrow, our 10 year anniversary is Thursday and Father's Day is Sunday. We will be doing all we can do to make it a great week for him!
In our homeschool this week… This week we will focus on our reading schedule, making sure we get our assignments done all five days before we head out for fun activities. We will also be finishing up our Farm unit by going to the blueberry farm to pick blueberries on Thursday and then making Blueberry Biscuit Yummies.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… We are swimming at a friend's house this afternoon, having our Co-op Playgroup on Wednesday afternoon, going blueberry picking with some Co-op friends on Thursday, and to a birthday party on Saturday. Other than that we wil…

Weekly Wrap-Up ~ On the Farm

I heard that our local zoo was going to have a FarmFest event this past weekend, so we decided to make a unit of it!

I prepared a lapbook/notebook for Eli and Brynne to complete.


The barn door opened to reveal their farm animals.


Inside the notebook were several farm-related activities to complete. (I like how Brynne added a squigly piggy tail to her dot-to-dot.)


We read lots of books from the library about farm life: jobs on the farm, animals, equipment and foods.


Then today we enjoyed a field trip to FarmFest.

The structure of the event catered to Eli's best way of learning and staying focused: They gave each of the kids a passport to use to get a stamp at each station they visited. When it was complete they got a prize.


We watched wood carving, weaving and chain saw carving demonstrations.




We watched Lexie the cow being milked.


Eli and Brynne called me to dinner a snack with iron-worked triangles.


We stopped for a bit to create a mosaic piece.



And, of course, we stopped by to s…