Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Healthy Eating

On my personal blog I have been posting about the changes we have been making to our eating habits. (If you are visiting from there today, welcome!)

Changes were definitely needed, but especially for Brynne. All of the members of our family are tall, thin and lanky. We have never had to watch what we eat. We've tried to keep it on the healthy(er) side, but it was a no-stress situation.

But Brynne is built different than the other kids in that she is shorter, stockier, and more broad across her chest. Over the past couple of years she has gained weight consistently and especially in her stomach and chest. Part of the problem is a lactose intolerance. She has also shown some signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I did a lot of research and made some slight changes. Two big ones were putting her back on her lactose free dairy products and eliminating IBS trigger foods (minimal red meats, no artificial sweeteners, very limited insoluble fiber). I could see some changes, especially with the way she felt physically. But her weight issues weren't changing.

I came across the book Ending the Food Fight by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., that just completely hit home with me! Of course it's main focus is that your children should eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean meats. But the diet also consists of choosing foods that are lower glycemic, because they take more energy to burn. The book is also packed with simple eating tips. I have had to take this information with the knowledge of her lactose and IBS problems and make some modifications, but we are definitely making progress! AND it's good for the whole family!



Here is how the kids used to eat: They would have either a bowl of cereal or a waffle for breakfast. For lunch I would make whatever easy food I could, usually canned soup, boxed macaroni and cheese, frozen pizzas, pizza rolls, and the like (total processed foods=easy). In the afternoon they would get a snack, usually of cookies, goldfish crackers, or apples. Then for dinner we usually had one-dish meals consisting of lots of pasta, rice, and creamy sauces. Then for a bedtime snack I would dump a pretty hefty amount of goldfish into a bowl and send them to bed. (They have to go to bed at 8:30 p.m. for quiet time, so that I can have quiet time, although they don't really go to sleep until 10:00 p.m. or after. So I used food as a pacifier. Just being real here.)

As you can see, there were NO vegetables in their meals, unless it was in the form of a sauce of some kind. Fruits were limited to apples, for the most part, although Brynne does like grapes, peaches, and mandarin oranges. I never paid addition to portion sizes. And, carbs were a staple of our diet!

After our changes, a typical day's meals now look more like this: I do still allow them to have their cereal and/or waffles for breakfast, although I measure portion sizes and Brynne uses almond milk in her cereal. For lunch, I do still allow them to have easier foods, but I make sure I prepare a plate including all of the food groups. For instance, now we might have a half all natural peanut butter sandwich on stone ground bread, some apple slices (or yesterday some banana mini-muffins and a half banana), a cheese stick, and some veggie chips or homemade kale chips, with a half glass of milk. Snacks now consist of smoothies or cheese sticks, or homemade pita chips with hummus, or popcorn, or a fruit. At dinner, I make sure that along with our protein the kids are also served a vegetable, fruit, dairy product and a grain, even if it's just a half piece of bread and butter. At snack time they still get their goldfish crackers, but I measure out one serving size, and once it's gone it's gone.

Thankfully we have never been huge soda and sweet juice drinkers. My kids actually prefer water, occasionally milk, and every so often ask for some apple juice. I do make one pitcher of tea on the weekends. They also drink a lot of hot green tea. So cutting out bad drinks was not a battle we had to endure. Thank goodness!

How have we made such a transformation in such a short period of time (about two weeks)?

The number one reason: I prepare their plates and PUT all five food groups on their plates and serve it to them with the expectation that all food must be eaten. The portion sizes are small enough that everything can be eaten without being too stuffed to finish something (say, the vegetable).

Here are some other tips:

1.  A year or so ago I bought these food groups plates in the toddler section at Walmart. They are for toddlers, but the portion sizes are just enough for my kiddos who are 9 and 7. We use these plates two times a day. I need to purchase more of them to cut down on my dish pan hands!


2.  Seconds are allowed as long as every single thing on the plate has been finished, including the vegetable. Brynne is a comfort food kind of girl, like her mama, and could eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese (and has been known to). With this method, she can have more macaroni and cheese, if she has finished everything else served to her. I can only think of one time that she was hungry enough after that to actually follow through with seconds.

3.  My kids are not used to vegetables, so I have introduced one each week and served it each night at dinner. I read somewhere that it takes 10 tries for a child to accept a food he/she thinks she will not like. So far we our focus vegetable has been corn, although I have had the kids eating carrots and celery in vegetable soup and broccoli and corn in mini quiches. I am astonished that they have taken to eating the vegetables so well. I can't say they love it, but they do eat it without much complaint.

4.  I do still puree and hide veggies in their foods sometimes, as a bonus! I make green smoothies, using spinach. And the other night I made sweet potato muffins. I add a layer of avocado to some meals, especially sandwiches, and lettuce to their turkey sandwiches, hidden between the layers of turkey and cheese. They now know that I hide veggies and they have stopped asking me what's in something before they start eating.

5.  We are talking a lot about our food choices, even discussing how certain foods are burned off more easily, etc.

6.  I am not keeping them from having their favorite fun foods. They like turkey hot dogs and pizza rolls. They are just now served with all of the other food groups, as well, and served in much smaller portion sizes.

7.  We have made these food changes a non-negotiable. We are doing this, so they might as well get on board. And ugly faces and whining are not allowed.

The changes I have seen in Brynne are amazing! Even she is noticing a distinct difference in her tummy! Her clothes are fitting better, even her panties aren't as tight around the waist and thighs.

I am ashamed that it is my fault that Brynne had started down a road to having a weight problem. It was out of sheer laziness and fear of fighting over food that made it happen. I have learned that kids are not going to eat what they are not offered. Why would they?

I haven't bought any store-bought cookies or treats in a couple of weeks. I just make a homemade sweet (and healthy) treat for those days that we just need something. You know those days! They haven't asked for a cookie in days. It didn't take long for them to get to the point of out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

I encourage you that if you have picky eaters, even horrible eaters, take the plunge and make changes NOW! The whole purpose of our plan was to start teaching the kids early about wise food choices for a healthy lifestyle. I did not intend for Brynne to be on a diet and lose weight. She is allowed to eat as much as she wants, but she has just changed WHAT she eats. We all have. But, she has lost some weight. And she is feeling great!


*** Just so you know, I have discontinued my personal blog, Taulman Times. So, I will be posting more personal things here on Journey to Excellence from now on.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. {Schoolhouse Review}


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The moment I had dreaded since I started homeschooling Brynne (and then Eli) had arrived ... it's was time to teach multiplication! I don't know why this has been such an area of stress for me, but it has! We have been using a Hungarian model of mathematics for the past three years. Brynne calls it "paper math". So I was very interested to review an online math program! A+ Tutorsoft, Inc. has an interactive program called A+ Interactive MATH that can either be utilized online or by use of cd. We chose to review the 2nd grade Homeschool Edition - Multi-sensory Interactive MATH Online program, because it was the first program that introduced multiplication. My children are actually third graders, but I just researched the program's website and determined that the introductory multiplication lessons would work best for us. It was a good match. There are also FREE placement tests available.

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The approach of A+ Interactive MATH. is unique in that it is a multimedia program that combines audio, visual, and text to teach the concepts. There are different ways to work the programs, by interactive assignments, online worksheets, and printable worksheets. There are also end-of-lesson timed tests. There is the opportunity for re-teaching on missed problems, e-book texts, and parent reports. Really, the program just contains so much that I am having a hard time expressing it all! So, I'll show you how we used the curriculum.

How We Used the Curriculum


Using the program was a cinch. It only took a few minutes to register me and my students and then get ready to go. Each day the kids pulled up the site, typed in their Username and Password, hit "Launch" and chose the lesson of the day, and then got started. Although no other materials are needed to use the online program, my kids always had some paper, a pencil, and their multiplication table handy for working out the problems.

We started on Lesson 4, moving ahead to Addition and Subtraction (remember, my main goal was to utilize the Multiplication assignments to their fullest). We also only used the Interactive Lessons because both kids have a pretty strong background in Addition and Subtraction.

After we completed Lessons 4 and 5, we moved onto the lessons on Multiplication. On the first day the kids listened to the audio lessons and then answered the Interactive Questions.

Scope and Content of 2nd Grade Multiplication Concepts

On the second day they did the online worksheet. It was at this point that Brynne said, "I want to go back to paper math." (We had only been doing interactive assignments.) So I decided I would print the worksheets for her while Eli continued to do the online worksheets, because he preferred them. I could have also printed the textbook for her to read and us to do together, if she would have wanted to do it that way. She was fine listening and watching the instructions, however. That is something that I really liked about this program. I knew that my two kids learned things in different ways, and had their own preferences. A+ Interactive MATH allowed them to each learn the same material but in the way that suited them best!

The e-textbook

We did not do the end-of-lesson exams for Addition and Subtraction because I felt that they had mastered those concepts and I just wanted us to move on. And as of the date of this post, we have not completed all of the lessons on Multiplication, but I plan to have them take the exam at the end. The exam is 25 questions and there is a 50 minute time-limit. I am not sure my kids are ready to sit for 50 minutes straight on a test, but we'll see.


When the kids completed their assignments I reviewed the various reports available to me, and we went back to review missed questions.


There are also printable charts and multiplication tricks that we utilized often! The introduction to multiplication wasn't teaching them the facts, necessarily, but the whys and hows of multiplication, so the "cheats" were a very important tool for them at this level.



Opinion

Overall, I think that A+ Interactive MATH is a superb product. When we have completed the multiplication section of the program, we will move on to some other products until I feel that we have a full grasp on multiplication. However, when we are ready to start Division, we will first go back to A+ Interactive MATH and utilize the 2nd grade introductory materials.

Probably the thing I liked best about the program is that I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! The material was taught to them in an easily understood fashion, with lots of examples given. So far, I haven't had to teach multiplication (remember, the thing I was dreading?)! A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., has been doing it for me!

The price for the Homeschool Edition - Multi-sensory Interactive MATH Online program at $19.95 per month, $49.99 per quarter, or $124.95 per year per student is a bit pricey for me. However, right now A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., is offering 50% Off with the Coupon Code SPOFFER50! This coupon is good through the end of March. That makes it much more desirable! Other than the higher (than I would normally pay) price, I had absolutely no complaints about the program.


If you are curious about what the program offers, you can watch a Demo about the Interactive Math Online program by clicking HERE. You can also subscribe for one FREE month on the A+Tutorsoft, Inc., site.

To make your purchase, please visit A+ Tutorsoft, Inc.

I did want to mention one final thing. When we were offered this program for review, I e-mailed the company and asked if they would allow me TWO subscriptions so that both of my children, who are at the same level cognitively, could utilize the program. A+ Tutorsoft, Inc., graciously gave me two subscriptions to use. One of my children has mild Asperger's and the other is advanced academically for her age, so I was very curious to see how the SAME program would work for both of their individual needs. With all of the variety available from the A+ Interactive MATH program, I can happily say that they have both enjoyed it and learned a lot! There were lots of "high-5's" going on while they worked alongside each other.


If you would like to hear what other Crew Members thought of the product I reviewed, the other age groups, and/or the CD version, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Snow Days


What in the heck did we do this week? I am sitting here starting this post and, for the life of me, it seems as though we have done nothing!


In our regular life this week…

Well one reason it has felt like we have done nothing is because these last two days we haven't! We got several inches of snow yesterday so, of course, we had to declare a couple of snow days. Thursday was spent indoors all day because it was snowing and blowing and even thundering in the middle of a snow storm! Today, however, there was much playing outside and we even ventured a walk to grandma's for lunch. Yes, I was there, too!



In our homeschool this week…

So let's break it down. I guess we did get some schoolwork accomplished, but I will admit, we were not very motivated all week. I guess we have the mid-February slumps that homeschoolers get.
  • Bible ~ On Monday we watched "The Prince of Egypt" to give the kids a visualization of the deliverance, plagues, and exodus. Is it just me or do you burst into tears the second you hear Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston sing "When You Believe"?
  • Reading ~ We finished the first book in The Spiderwick Chronicles series and are ready to move onto volume two. We actually found a Notebook for Fantastical Observations that we ordered for Dawson when he was a little boy. Eli played with it all afternoon one day! Our other read-alouds all centered around Abraham Lincoln this week. We read some really great books! Eli is annoyed that his next Captain Underpants books is not in yet! So, he is still reading Arthur. Brynne is 19 pages away from finishing Noodle.
  • Grammar and Spelling ~ We fixed punctuation and capitalization in sentences about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, and we completed an All About Spelling lesson.
  • Math ~ More multiplication. We also did some tallying and probability by flipping pennies.
  • Spanish ~ We moved onto the Spanish names for man, woman, boy and girl.
  • Geography ~ It was only limited to coloring our United States flag to add to our collection, since we were studying Abraham Lincoln and Presidents Day. 
  • Science ~ We took a break from science this week to focus on our unit study.
  • Unit Study ~ This week it was all about Abraham Lincoln. We didn't get as many projects done as I had hoped because of our snow days. 
  • PE ~ 3 1/2 hours of walking and playing in the snow today!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

There was no Co-op this week because of the snow. We did spend Tuesday at the Scout cabin helping our den leader make some decorations for the Blue and Gold Banquet (which has also been postponed because of the snow). We have pretty much just seen grandma and papa this week. 


A favorite thing this week was…

Watching the pure joy on the faces of my children as they climbed piles and piles of snow today! They even talked Grandma into climbing up!



Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share ...

As homeschoolers, with our statutory restrictions, we still deserve snow days off just like the public school kids. Take time to enjoy these special days!



Things I’m working on…

* Ideas for the kids to do bird habitat dioramas for the science/geography/art fair at our Co-op in a couple of weeks. I have a great idea for them. I just can't wait to see how they develop it.

* More reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


I’m grateful for…

the positive attitudes of my kids this week as we incorporated more and more veggies into our diet and drastically reducing the amount of processed foods in our diet. The kids ate vegetable soup, kale chips, and broccoli/corn quiche this week. They also drank lost of green smoothies. We ARE making these changes in our diet, so positive attitudes are making it so much better!


I rewarded my kids this week by…

Giving them a couple of much-needed days off. We all just needed it!



Things you might have missed at Journey to Excellence ...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…



We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:






Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Edward and the Pirates ~ David McPhail (Virtual Book Club for Kids)



Although I am late getting this up and won't be able to participate in the Linky, I still wanted to post our activities surrounding the book Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail.



We had never read anything by David McPhail, so we checked out a couple of his books and read them.









McPhail is an author we really enjoyed. His illustrations were brilliant, too. What I really loved about the books was his obvious love of reading. In fact, reading is a main theme in all of the Edward books.


We happened to be doing a unit study on Maps, so reading a book about pirates and a treasure map was extra fun. Here are a couple of the activities we did:

A math grid assignment helping us find the treasure. Fun!

Peripheral vision activity.

Depth perception activity.

I had planned to make a treasure map and send the kids on a scavenger hunt to find a hidden treasure. But, we never got around to it. We got deep into our Maps study and just never found the time.


This month's author is Dr. Seuss. I need to get that one planned!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Day Number 100

Today marked our 100th day of school for the year! It is President's Day, and the public schools are out today (including Dawson's school), but I wanted us to celebrate our accomplishment anyway. We slept in a bit and then spent the morning watching "The Prince of Egypt". We are studying Moses and the deliverance and exodus of the Israelites, so I thought the movie would be a great way to end that study. I had forgotten what a good movie it was. The kids really enjoyed it! (Eli may or may not have cried a couple of times.)

For our 100th Day celebration, I shamelessly copied all of Heidi's ideas:

The kids were greeted with whiteboard welcome sign in the dining room.


I prepared a "100" worksheet with questions for them to answer.


Then I cut out "100" on cardstock and had them get creative using the numbers to make a picture. Eli made a mine cart and Brynne made a catapult.


We did 100 exercises, put together a 100 piece puzzle, and read for 100 seconds times 10, which translated to 10,000 seconds which translated to a little over 16 minutes.


I gave the kids 100 legos to share and had them make something with them while I read our next chapter in The Spiderwick Chronicles. Eli made a "cruise plane" and Brynne made a "security camera plane for France".


It was rainy and cold so we weren't able to get out and do any of the outside activities we had planned. But, it was a fun day.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Classical Academic Press ~ Song School Spanish {Schoolhouse Review}


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Hola. Yo me llamo la maestra Nicole. ?Como te llamas?

These are just some of the phrases we are now able to put together thanks to Classical Academic Press' wonderful product Song School Spanish. My kids have been wanting to learn Spanish so the opportunity to review this product came at the perfect time.

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The review products we received included the paperback Teacher's Edition and Student Text, as well as a CD adhered to the back jacket of the Student Text containing 42 catchy songs and chants that are a capstone of the lessons. Song School Spanish is intended to be an introductory Spanish course for children grades K-3 and includes vocabulary, handwriting, games and activities. Completing the 31 lessons prepares the student for Classical Academic Press' product, Spanish for Children.

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How We Used the Curriculum

Including the short daily lessons of Song School Spanish into our day was an easy transition. The text has a recommended schedule, and we chose to follow the three-day plan:
  • We completed one lesson per week.
  • On the first day we listened to the songs included in that Lesson.
  • On the second day we listened to the songs again and completed all workbook pages for that Lesson (excluding the "Show What You Know" section).
  • On the third day we took the "Show What You Know" test and showed that we had mastered the songs. We also completed the extra activity pages that are at the back of the Teacher's Edition. Those activities were fun and gave a little more depth to the lessons.
  • There were some other days that we just listened to all the songs that we had learned so far.
In our review period we were able to complete five full weeks of lessons, so I feel like we got a really good feel for the product. This product can also be used in a group setting, completing all of the activities from one lesson in one class period.


My Opinion

The things I liked about the product were:
  • The text is very kid-friendly and easy to follow.
  • The lessons are short and engaging.
  • I did not have to know a lick of Spanish to facilitate the use of this product. Good thing, too, because the only phrase I remember from the one quarter I stayed in high school Spanish before I dropped it was, "?Te gusta el voleibol?" That means, "Do you like to play volleyball?" That was one of the first things we learned. When in the world would you ever use that phrase? Let me tell you a funny story ... about five years ago my daughter and I were driving to the Y. There was a Spanish speaking gentleman on a bike riding toward the Y. On our way back home, we saw him playing sand volleyball with a group of people. I told my daughter, "Dang! I missed my only shot in life to use the only Spanish phrase I know!" True story. Sorry, I digress.
  • In a short five weeks my kids have learned several words and phrases they might actually use in life!
  • This program sparked a greater interest in my kids to continue learning Spanish.
  • The songs are catchy and we do catch ourselves singing them sometimes. (I think that's the point of them!) You can hear a sample of the songs by going HERE to the Samples section.
The things I found as negatives with the product were:
  • I think my kids (ages 9 and an advanced 7 year old -- both 3rd grade) might be at the top range of the age limit for the product. Even though they do not know Spanish, it seemed a little easy for them.
  • My son said several times, "I want to learn how to speak Spanish, not sing it." I think what he meant was that he would have preferred some interactive activities where they could practice speaking Spanish as part of the curriculum. Perhaps a separate CD with some kind of verbal lessons would have been nice.
Overall I do recommend this program for your early primary aged children, especially if they have an interest in learning the Spanish language. It's fun and not stressful, and I feel as though my children have already learned a lot of practical Spanish words and phrases.


Product Details

To see what other Crew members thought of this product and other products offered by Classical Academic Press, go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Disclaimer

I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Maps


In our regular life this week…

I am going through a little period of discouragement right now which, unfortunately, leaks into everything I do. My walks have been really great. The exercise and fresh air helps a lot. I've just spent a lot of time in my Bible, praying, listening to worship music, and trying to look at the positive sides of everything, while giving it all I've got in every area. Still ....

Dawson is working hard at his new job. I heard (via my sister who read it on Facebook .. I hate that) that Kyndal will be running track at her school this year. She has never run track before, so I am glad to see her try something new.

A very exciting thing happened for Brynne while eating lunch at Co-op on Thursday ... her other front tooth fell out! I have officially lost my last baby. Once they lose their two front teeth, it's all over.



In our homeschool this week…

This was another great week with lots accomplished!
  • Bible ~ We moved from the nine plagues to the killing of the first born (which made Eli cry), and the exodus out of Egypt.
  • Reading ~ We have started The Spiderwick Chronicles series for our read-alouds. (It seems like only yesterday that Dawson was reading that series. See above comment about how fast they grow up after losing their two front teeth.) We read some really great books in studying about Maps, including a couple out of the ordinary: Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson and How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz. Eli was forced to take a break from Captain Underpants because he is waiting for the third epic novel from the library, so he is reading an Arthur chaper book, and Brynne is still reading Noodle from The Puppy Place series. Since our library doesn't carry that series, I ordered her a box set of the first five books (she has read about five others in the series).
  • Math ~ This week we did it ... we finally started an introduction to multiplication! We will be focusing on multiplication the remainder of the year, and we just got another great product to review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew that I am really excited about!
  • Spanish ~ This week we learned the Spanish words for names of family members.
  • Geography ~ A big focus of our week was a Maps unit study. We learned about cartography, longitude, latitude, the international date line, the equator, the legend, compass rose, scale, political maps, physical maps, topographical maps, and road maps. 
  • Science ~ We continued learning about the parts of the bird, and ended our week making a Bird Map! It tied right in with our Maps unit study as we made a key/legend.
  • Art ~ We completed our second Artistic Pursuits lesson, and also made watercolor crayon topographical maps of the United States.


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

There was more fun at Co-op this week learning about St. Nicholas and St. Valentine in Holidays Around the World Class and about whales in Water World class. Of course, there were Valentine exchanges and yummies!


I did go to a Mom's Night Out with some of our Co-op ladies last night to paint pottery. I sat at a table with a couple of the board members and we had some nice conversations. I still felt pretty out of place, though. 


My Favorite Resource this week was…

Not so much a favorite resource as a favorite activity. We were learning about Maps this week, and in Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day we are learning about birds. The last activity of the week from the book was to make a Bird Map. The kids identified the body parts of a bird and created a legend/key to label them. It was a really neat conclusion to all of our week's lessons, and they learned a lot and enjoyed it!



A favorite thing this week was…

Brynne's favorite thing was creating the topographical map of the United States. Eli could only name his least favorite thing ... and that was trying new foods. I am really cracking down on their nutrition, and he is a little resistent.


Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share ...

White boards are the bomb! We use ours in many ways every single day and it has been an invaluable resource for our schooling. I bought a stand-alone board for about $50 through a sale on Amazon. It was probably the best money I have ever spent on a product.



Things I’m working on…

* A cake plan for Eli's parent/son cake contest for his Blue and Gold Banquet this week. We are thinking WWE!

* I am also helping our den leader plan the theme and decorations for our upcoming Blue and Gold Banquet. The plans are made, now it's just time to put it all together.

* Proof of the work Dawson did last year homeschooling so his school will give him credit for his classes. I am almost done and even I am astonished at how much we covered. I think the administration at his school will be astonished, too. I don't think they'll be messing with us anymore.

* Two more reviews for the Schoolhouse Review Crew are coming out this week!


I’m grateful for…

my decision last year to keep good homeschooling records even though Oklahoma did not require any. Had I not kept good records, we would be in trouble this year with getting Dawson credits for his work. 

I rewarded my kids this week by…

cooking them healthy meals. They don't know they are being rewarded, but they are. I have been very inspired by the book Ending the Food Fight by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. This time we are sticking with it! I figure that in 30 days they will be so used to eating more healthy and whole foods that they won't even miss all of those pre-packaged and sugary foods.



Things you might have missed at Journey to Excellence ...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…


It was a Happy Valentine's Day for all! And, Yes, I was there, too!


We are happily linking up this week at the following sites:





Homegrown Learners