Saturday, October 22, 2016

Buttons and Board Games?

What do these two items have in common .... Buttons and Board Games? Well first off, what sort of buttons come to mind when you think of buttons? Just your plain old flat 2 or 4 eye button found on your shirt in various colors right? Well, lets think of Buttons in a different light... telephones, flowers, animals, tea cups, oh my ! Yes ! Buttons in character and Novelty shapes are what I am referring to for the sake of this blog post.

So I got to thinking about buttons and board games and how the two could work together, mesh and inter-mingle and I came up with a brilliant idea. My girls are needing a creative way to incorporate  writing in to our home school. So I thought I would pick up some novelty buttons (not an easy feat mind you to find them cheaply in the numbers I wanted) , create a drawstring cloth bag from my sewing stash and a set of fun rules and VOILA ! We have a homemade home school creative writing game.

I took to Etsy for my search for the buttons and here is what I have come up with ... 3 different sets of 50 buttons for a total of 150 buttons to start with.

Now for the tentative rules ! I would like to incorporate one dice which you would roll to see who goes first. That player then rolls the dice 2x pulling that number of buttons (needing at least 5 buttons  minimum)  from the bag, without looking. The player must then be creative  as possible and tell a story using the buttons they pulled. They can write it or tell it. But they must use each button pulled from the bag.

Our buttons are on their way and we will play the game and tweak it and then I will rewrite then in a pdf to share here. So how does it sound so far? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Term 1 Completed ! and I found New curriculum ...

Wow ! I can not believe that 6 weeks has come and gone by so quickly ! We started our first term on July 1st and now we are on break number 1. As you know or may not know, we are homeschooling year round this year with 6 weeks on 1 week off blocks, the entire months of December and June we are taking off. And though this term was a bit rocky to start, it ended quite well. The girls will be finishing up a few things when we return from break next week and finish out the month and then starting September we are starting fresh with  an entire new curriculum.

I recently came across a feed on Facebook about BYL and ad no idea what people were referring to. So I delved into it further and found out BYL stands for Build Your Library curriculum.  I picked up both grades 6 and 7 and started picking up books for both, joined several of their Facebook groups but then thought about it and after the suggestion of some fellow BYL moms decided to start both girls with BYL 6. I thought that it would be best to give both girls the history background this year and then go in to the geography next year.  So what is BYL you ask ?  Here is a brief description taken from the BYL  website :

       "Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history? What about a secular science that is mostly literature based in the elementary years? Well, you have come to the right place! Welcome to Build Your Library Curriculum!"

So we are super excited to start BYL. We are changing the science though and will be using Sassafras Science-Anatomy, and we will be complementing our studies with a writing program by Susan Bauer-Writing with Skill.  And for Social Studies we have decided to change it up and go with Social Studies through Art.  The girls will also continue their journaling, spelling, handwriting, occupational education, health and  language arts as before. It will be a lot busier, a bit more work than before but I have confidence that they can do this and will like it more as  they love to read and BYL is literary based.  I will let you know how it goes after we begin.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Starting Fresh, Starting New, JULY 1st FIRST DAY of SCHOOL !

I love the first day of school and this year we are opting for a Year round homeschool year ! So on July st we started back Brand spanking New !! Yay homeschool Fraunfelder Girls !! Our Schedule is pretty darn exciting too. We are on a 6 week on 1 week off , 4 day a week schedule with Fridays for catch up and Family Night and Field Trips. We are also taking off December and June, yes, the entire month ! (yay ! the girls are most excited about this) We also have a very big year ahead of us as we are planning to move across country to be near our family for more support due to my illnesses and pain and so the girls can grow up near their Fraunfelder Grandparents out West. So a big adventure is not far off. So moving will be an exciting reward , an adventurous homeschooling, educational experience for the girls. As we are going to try and see as much as we can while on the road.

Because we will be moving to a new state, we are following that state's way of homeschooling now and have 11 courses to study this year. Those courses are :

Occupational Education
Language Arts
Social Studies
Art and Music Appreciation

I will list our curriculum for this year and a few reviews of each as we have some pretty exciting curriculum we are using such as Excel Math,  Bravewriter and America: The Story of Us (DVD Series from the History Channel).

We are excited about this school year and where it will take us as our new journey in to our 5th year just began. I look forward to all of our new adventures it brings.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Easter baskets and traditions ....

What are your Easter traditions with your children and family? Do you meet up for big family gatherings and have dinners? Do you hunt for Easter eggs in the yard? Does the Easter bunny visit your home and leave goodies behind in baskets filled with Easter grass and eggs? Once upon a time I knew 2 little girls that were so excited that the Easter bunny was coming here for a visit. Well, that tradition has long since past and this will be the first year that tails of the Easter bunny will be a thing of the past :( Now, they still want an Easter basket filled with goodies and gifts, lol, but as far as who delivered them, that is questionable. So I decided to do gifts this year instead. Gifts that would be useful for school or educational minded. For starters, I picked out something fun. The girls love mad libs and I found the cutest mad lib (click on images to be redirected) books on Amazon that are right up their alley for my pug and cat lover in mind.

Next, I found adult coloring books that were of interest for my tweenagers : Sherlock for my Sherlock fan and Pugs once more for my Pug-fanatic fan ... and gel pens for coloring.

Then I picked up Science Experiment kits for Science class and of course kitchen (Mess) fun. :)

Last but not least, I chose to go with science experiment books.

I will also fill a few eggs with jellybeans, because what's Easter without jellybeans. LOL. But this year I decided to go with gifts because it's also Ella's birthday that day too. Ella will also receive her few Birthday gifts on her birthday but I wanted to do something a bit different this year and do something a bit fun too as the girls are older now. 

We will also go to my parent's house for dinner and Ella has requested a coconut cheesecake and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert. Yum. 
So what are your plans for Easter? 


Otis !

Meet the newest addition to our family, Otis, the basset hound. I just wanted to share with you all because I am so very proud of our newest addition . We just adopted him 3 days ago and he is the sweetest, cutest most gentle dog in the world. Six months ago, we lost our beloved Snickers. He passed away and we were all very heart broken and needed to fill that missing void in our lives. And we it was just luck that we came across the post for Otis. So we called up and it was like fate brought us to him. So we quickly drove the hour and a half to Mississippi and met with his owner and that was that, he was then ours. So here he is, Otis. Isn't he just a doll? We think so :) .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Winner of the Mom's Fun-Schooling Handbook !

We have a WINNER !

CONGRATULATIONS to ..... Kirsten DeWitt. 

Thank you to all that participated in my first ever giveaway. Your comments were  all very interesting and endearing. Keep following the blog and the facebook group as I will be having another Thinking Tree Book giveaway in the upcoming week. :) 


Monday, February 29, 2016

Thinking Tree Mom's Night Books Have arrived and a GIVEAWAY on the blog !!

The Thinking Tree books for my Mom's Night Out have arrived !! YAY !! I am totally excited. Now to plan for the homeschool Mom's Night Out. I have a few ideas floating around but I haven't put my finger on one yet.

But now for what I really came here to post. For all of you that follow me and and then some. I would like to give  one lucky person a copy of the :

Mom's Fun-Schooling Handbook: Flip to Fun-Schooling - An Idea Book & Coloring Journal for Homeschooling Moms

It is currently on SALE right now on Amazon for a super super low price while the family is out of the country traveling and visiting the Homeschool Convention in South Carolina. So You can purchase a copy or two or three :) or try your hand at wining your very own here.  All you have to do is leave a comment below by answering the following question and fill out a few other things on the rafflecopter:

What is your favorite fun thing to in your homeschool? 

 A winner will be announced on Friday, March 4th. via the blog and the Facebook Group.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Our Thinking Tree books delivery today .... so exciting !

I love to hear the roar of the UPS truck coming down my street ... especially when it stops in front of my driveway :) Today was the best delivery of them all ... our Thinking Tree books delivery from Sarah Janisse Brown. Oh the glory. I could not wait to open the box (I mean tear in to it, lol) and see all of the goodies it held inside , deep within the brown corners of cardboard. Once inside, it was packed full of Thinking Tree goodies. If you aren't familiar with The Thinking Tree books and journals yet, you are missing out on a great opportunity to change your homeschooling experience forever. Sarah's books are phenomenal and will change the way your kids think and learn.

  Let me show you all we received :

We received  the following Thinking Tree books/journals:

  • Spelling Time - Master the Top 150 Misspelled Words: Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling
  •  The Four Seasons ~ Spelling Time ~ Master 150 Spelling Words Through Art & Logic: Do-It-Yourself Spelling Games For Elementary Students
  •  The Thinking Tree - 10 Subject Portfolio: 1 Year Plan - Illustrated For All Ages - Home, Library & Internet Based Curriculum Handbook & Study Guide
  •  Mom's First Year Of Homeschooling - Handbook: For Teaching Children ages 4 to 17 - A Workbook, Coloring Book & Learning Guide that Teaches Moms How to Plan, Organize & Teach by Being an Example!
  •  Bible Games - Math, Spelling and Creativity: Christian Family Homeschooling (Christian Family Homeshooling) (Volume 3)
  •  The Thinking Tree ~ 12 Subject Portfolio - Home, Library & Internet Based Curriculum Handbook & Study Guide: A High Level Learning Plan for Organized Home Education
  •  Film Study - 180 day Journal: Do-It-Yourself Homeschooling
  •  The Busy Mom's Homeschooling Handbook: Over 180 Delightful Activities to Help You Organize Your Day and Inspire a Passion for Learning in Your ... to Impart a Passion for Learning) (Volume 1)
  •  How to Make Money - A Handbook for Teens, Kids & Young Adults: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? What do You Want to Be Now? Dishwashers, ... Books for Teens, Kids and Adults) (Volume 1)
  •  All About Horses - Homeschooling Journal - Horse Lovers Handbook: The Perfect Method for Homeschooling Horse Lovers! A Delight Directed Learning Guide - A SIX Week Unit Study on Horses!
  •  Horses, Ponies & Donkeys: Learn How to Draw Realistic Horses (Christian Homeschooling Family) (Volume 5)
  •  Horses, Ponies and Donkeys - Research Handbook: Art, Science and Creative Writing Workbook (Teach Yourself to Draw - Series 3) (Volume 7)

    When I get a chance this week, I will dive in to each book and post a few photos of the inside of each book so you can see what each book offers. You can also check out the Thinking Tree Blog Roll for a weekly review of Thinking Tree books by other bloggers too. My girls are tickled pink to get started using their new books so I see a library trip to pick up horse books this week. So be sure to check out the books on Amazon. The links are provided above for you to do so. And you can visit the Thinking Tree Facebook page as well.  Drop by there and tell them I sent you. Also check back here often. I plan to do a Thinking Tree book giveaway in March :). I hope you will give these books a try. They will change your homeschool experience for the better.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The BEST Pencil Sharpener Ever !

I have found it ! Yes, I have ! The BEST Pencil Sharpener ever. It's by the company Classroom Friendly Supplies and it's Superior, Quiet, User Friendly and Super Easy to manipulate. It sharpens the pencils perfectly every time without any breakage. It also sharpens evenly and with a perfect fine point tip. I wish I would have found this baby years ago. It's really simple to operate. My girls found it very simple to use, with no trouble at all. .... So how do you use the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener you ask? You just pull the silver face/plate on the front of the sharpener forward until it clicks. Then, pinch the the black knobs on top of the pencil sharpener to insert the pencil.  Next, begin sharpening your pencil, turning the handle clockwise until the handle spins loose once the pencil has completed sharpening. Finally, pinch the black knobs on top to release your pencil and you are done. To watch a demonstration of the pencil sharpener in action click here for the video. The official sharpener instructions can also be found on the same page.

The pencil sharpener comes in an array of colors: *

Groovy Green
* Popular Purple (We have Popular Purple) *
Cool Blue
Midnight Black
Firehouse Red
Precious Pink
Your purchase of the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener is also not only benefiting your own home or homeschool but $1 from every sale of the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener goes toward to the building of a school in a developing country. And if you are a blogger, you can sign up to possibly receive your own pencil sharpener to review. You can sign up by clicking on the following link

Thursday, February 4, 2016

All About Horses Homeschooling Journal

My girls absolutely adore horses and so this book is right up their alley. So you can imagine their excitement when this book arrived in our mailbox. This is the perfect journal for any and all horse lovers, your children will absolutely adore this journal/workbook. It is full of the most beautiful horse illustrations and images I have ever seen. Images that will take you on a horse driven learning adventure both near and far. But first you will want to go to the library or bookstore (or Amazon if you choose to own your books ) and collect 6 interesting books about Horses. Choose books that have diagrams, instructions and illustrations and you are ready for an adventure. Next, have your child(ren) read their books and complete 10 pages each day in their journal/workbook. This journal features the following type pages:

  • Spelling
  • Drawing
  • Creative Writing Skills 
  • Coloring Pages
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Film Study
  • Nature Study
  • Menu Planning
  • Copy-work
  • Listening Time
  • Beautiful Illustrations and awesome Fun-Schooling adventures ready for your child to discover.
After your children have chosen their 6 books and have begun to read them, they fill out the pages in the journal daily.  We are choosing to supplement our normal curriculum with All About Horses Homeschooling and have the girls utilize their horse journals 2x a week at least, unless the girls choose to do more, they can. I leave that up to them. :)  As long as they are learning and having fun, then that is what it is all about, Fun Schooling Homeschooling.
Take a peek inside the journal 

Read the description here, taken from Amazon
All About Horses Homeschooling is:
" The Perfect Method for Homeschooling Horse Lovers! 

Read, write, spell, draw, color, doodle and study horses!
(We use color pencils, crayons and gel pens in our journals so that the colors do not bleed through the pages when coloring).

Your child can color the cover! (I would have them use colorful permanent markers on the cover).

A Delight Directed Learning Guide to inspire your child to take learning seriously, and develop reading, writing, spelling, and drawing skills. A SIX Week Unit Study on Horses! For Age 8 to 14
Study anything and everything that relates to horses! Your child will pick out 6 library books to use along with this Journal. If ten pages are used each day the book will last 6 weeks. Expect your child to spend 2 to 3 hours daily with this Journal. You will need to add math in order to create a well rounded learning experience, everything else your child need to study for the next 6 weeks is included in this book, and the library books and documentaries he or she chooses!"

You can pick up your All About Horses Homeschooling Journal here

To view more books by the talented Sarah Janisse Brown or to link up with the Learning Tree blog roll, visit my friend Linda's blog here

February 6 is Take Your Child to the Library Day

Did you know February 6th is Take Your Child to the Library Day? I had no idea that there was a designated day for this. What an awesome surprise. I had planned to take my girls to the library this week so that they could change out their books for their Fun Schooling Journals but I suppose we will wait until Saturday morning. And if we wait until Saturday morning, the girls can attend Sew & Tell class and sew a Puffy Heart pillow just in time for Valentine's day. Yay ! They haven't been to sewing class in a while, so what an opportune time to go, than on Take Your Child to the Library Day ? 

There is even an official Facebook page for this event, so check your local library for special events scheduled for this upcoming Saturday in your area. You never know what exciting adventures may await you. And don't forget to share , share, share on your own blogs and Facebook pages with your Family and Friends. Literacy is the Best, Free Gift you can give and Share with anyone.

Physics Kit Freebie for Homeschoolers

I found a really awesome Physics FREEBIE geared towards Middle School aged grades today. It's from Physical Central and every year they offer kits to schools and homeschoolers it looks like. All you have to do is go to their website and fill out the form. Be sure to put the grade level you need and check homeschool and you are done ! I do not know how long it takes to receive the kit as this is our first experience with the kit but I hear they are awesome. They also offer lots of great information on their website along the lines of Physics experiments you can do at home. I see the girls and I doing many of these together in the near future. I also found a link to their comic and coloring/activity books too and these are offered as free downloads in the form of PDFs. You can find those here

Physics Quest uses a comic book style story to teach, with an ongoing story line. This year's story focuses on :

" With Miss Alignment in jail, Lucy’s friends assume things have gone back to normal, but they would be wrong. Taking advantage of the now-abandoned Con Cave and a trusting town are twins Andy and Cat Terminal. They aren’t your ordinary shysters, though — they have sub-atomic superpowers! Your students can help Spectra and her crew stop to the Terminal Twins from negatively affecting the town. As students help Spectra defeat the Twins, they will learn about current, circuits, motors, and colors."

So go sign up and order your FREE kit.  Let me know when you get your kit and how it turns out. When we get ours we will post here, of course. :) 

Happy Learning !!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Love Homeschooling !

I love homeschooling my girls. Why?

  1.  I have the freedom to educate my girls.
  2.  I save money on their education and on daily round trips back and forth to the school. Plus all of those fees and not to mention uniforms. (yes, Public school here requires uniforms.)
  3.  Sleep schedules. Yuck. Although I like for my girls to go to bed at a descent time and get up a a descent time, I do like that we do not have to get up at the crack of dawn and that we can sleep in every morning. I like that the girls get a full 8 hours of sleep each night and sometimes even more than that. Kids need their sleep. It helps their bodies and minds to grow.
  4. I love the relaxed based learning. I love that the girls can take their times and not rush through any given lesson. If needed, we can take our time on something until we get it.
  5. Growth. I love watching my girls grow. I love being home with them through these young years. I have been blessed to be able to be home with them under the circumstances of being injured, and watch them grow and learn. It's amazing to see your kids grow up.
  6. My kids are creative beings and I encourage that. 
  7. One-on-One education: Homeschooling allows that one-on-one feel as opposed to a large classroom filled with 20+ kids. You do not get that personal attention.
  8. No bullying. Pretty much self explanatory.
  9. TIME ! I mentioned this previously and I will mention this again, TIME, time for learning, growing and sleeping. TIME is the biggest factor of all. 
  10. I get to teach my kids subjects that they want to learn and are interested in and you can't get that in a school setting. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Recipes Page ....

If you look over to the left margin, I have added links to a few NEW and upcoming pages. I have added links for Reviews, Recipes and Kids in the Kitchen. Up until now, I have just been mixing these posts in with everything else and so I hope to have separate pages for important posts in the very near future. Now, only one of my pages has anything on them and that is the RECIPES page. There you will find some really super yummy suggestions for slow cooker breakfast ideas. I saw another homeschool blog and she had similar posts for breakfast slow cooker recipes so I searched for a few that I thought looked yummy and that were sizable to my family and their tastes and posted them there. I am hoping these recipes will fill the crock pot with yumminess and leftovers too. That way the kiddos will have snack choices or lunch already prepared. Or maybe even dessert for later to heat up. Yumm-O ! So pop on over to the RECIPES page. Tomorrow the girls and I are going grocery shopping and will grab a few ingredients and decide which of those crock pot yummies we want to make for Wednesday's and Thursday's breakfast. If I know my girls, they are going to choose the Tater Tot Casserole. LOL. Anything to stray away from Oatmeal. ha ha.  And being that it's easy to throw ingredients in the crock pot, the girls should have no trouble helping to follow the recipe and assisting in the kitchen tomorrow evening. :) (Score for Mom and homeschool home ec :)  and Kids in the Kitchen post). So stay tuned for our Kids in the Kitchen posts and Reviews of the Recipes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Amelia Bloomer List

The 2016 Amelia Bloomer List of Books is out and it is incredible. If you are not aware of what this list is all about, it is , according to their blog, an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18.

As a woman, I want to teach my girls to read about other women and books by strong female authors and role models. And this list is exactly what this entails. The list has both Fiction and Non-Fiction sections. 

"The Amelia Bloomer Project members hope this list inspires you to wear your feminism like a merit badge. As the Lumberjanes say,
“. . . (Do) my best
Every day, and in all that I do,
to be brave and strong,
to be truthful and compassionate,
to be interesting and interested,
to pay attention and question
the world around me” "

Here is the list of books available for readers for the Middle Grade years as my girls are both in the Middle Grade year crowd. (Grades 4-6) They are listed by Author, Title and with their Grade level and book descriptions.  For a more in depth list and the list to the other grade levels, please visit the official 2016 Amelia Bloomer List website.

Middle Grade Non-Fiction

Fertig, Dennis. Sylvia Earle: Ocean Explorer. 2015. 48p. Gr.3-6.
As a pioneer marine botanist and fearless adventurer, Sylvia Earle explored depths others had never reached and saw things never seen before by woman or man.

Hile, Lori. Rachel Carson: Environmental Pioneer. 2015. 48p. Gr.3-6.
Rachel Carson was determined to do what she loved and not what was expected of her. Her research and poetic writing on the dangers of pesticides changed the way Americans thought about conserving nature’s resources.

Krieg, Katherine. Marie Curie: Physics and Chemistry Pioneer. 2015. 48p. Gr.4-6.
With the support of her family and other female scientists, Marie Curie discovered new elements and revolutionized science.

Lowery, Lynda Blackmon, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley. Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March. Illus. by PJ Loughran. 2015. 127p.  Gr.5-up.
Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest person on the Selma Voting Rights March. Having already been to jail nine times and beaten on Bloody Sunday, Lynda stood up for her rights and her freedom.

*O’Shaughnessy, Tam. Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space. 2015. 153p. Gr.4-8.
After spending years as an academic underachiever with a passion for tennis, Sally Ride discovered her love of physics and became the first American woman to travel to space.

Prévot, Franck. Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees. Illus. by Aurélia Fronty. 2015. 45p. Gr.3-5.
Wangari Maathai dedicated her life to restoring Kenya’s land by planting millions of  trees throughout the country. Although Maathai was met with political and sexist retaliation, she helped save her environment and empowered women through a common cause. 

Rosa, Sonia. When the Slave Esperança Garcia Wrote a Letter. Illus. by Luciana Justiniani Hees. 2015. Gr.3-6.
Esperança Garcia was a slave living in Brazil who, after learning to read and write, bravely decided to write a letter to the governor detailing her mistreatment and her desire to be returned to her family.

Senker, Cath. Stories of Women in the 1960s: Fighting for Freedom. 2015. 112p. Gr.4-8.
Through their accomplishments in political and social arenas, Betty Friedan, Ella Baker, Barbara Castle, and Mary Quant blazed paths and demonstrated new possibilities for American and British women.

Silvey, Anita. Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall. 2015. 96p. Gr. 5-9.
Jane Goodall’s passion and perseverance led her to become the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees.  Having spent decades in field observation, Dr. Goodall now teaches new generations to care for and ensure the safety of large primates.

Waxman, Laura Hamilton. Aerospace Engineer Aprille Ericsson. 2015. 32p.  Gr.3-5.
Despite being the only girl or African American in most of her science classes, Aprille Ericsson persevered to become an engineer at NASA. Ericsson uses her achievements to inspire other young women to pursue their STEM dreams.

*Weatherford, Carole Boston. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Illus. by Ekua Holmes. 2015. 45p. Gr.4-7.
Fannie Lou Hamer played an integral part in the Civil Rights Movement by raising her voice and fighting for freedom. 

Middle Grade Fiction

Al Mansour, Haifaa. The Green Bicycle. 2015. 346p. Gr.4-8.
Wadjda challenges the idea of ‘acceptable’ behavior for girls in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by selling mix tapes and snacks to fund her dream of a bicycle. Despite the repercussions of her rebellious actions, she refuses to have her feminist spirit silenced.

Cornwell, Betsy. Mechanica. 2015. 307p. Gr.5-8.
Nicolette Lampton endures typical Cinderella trials: a dead mother, a dead father, a shrewish stepmother, two condescending stepsisters, and competition for the charming prince. Yet as Mechanica, Nicolette follows in her mother’s footsteps creating wondrous automata. 

Ellis, Grace, and Noelle Stevenson. Beware the Kitten Holy (Lumberjanes, vol. 1). Illus. by Brooke Allen. 2015. 127p. Gr.6-9.
The Lumberjanes – Jo, Molly, Mal, April, and Ripley- are a group of young women spending the summer at a camp for “hard-core lady-types.” They work together to defeat monsters, and use their unique skills to solve the mystery of what’s really going on at the camp.

Ellis, Grace, and Noelle Stevenson. Friendship to the Max (Lumberjanes, vol. 2). Illus. by Brooke Allen. 2015. 111p Gr.6-9.
Once again, the Lumberjanes must depend on each other and combine their diverse talents to save their beloved camp–and possibly the universe.  

Hannigan, Kate. The Detective’s Assistant. 2015. 361p. Gr.4-6.
Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives orphaned and unwelcomed at her Aunt Kitty’s doorstep. To prove her value in her independent aunt’s life, Nell helps Aunt Kitty solve cases with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. 

Hilton, Marilyn. Full Cicada Moon. 2015. 389p. Gr.4-7.
Mimi is a half-Japanese, half-black young scientist who dreams of becoming an astronaut. As she adjusts to a new home in Vermont, she and many of her classmates fight for the right to take wood shop and the agency to dismantle racist and sexist stereotypes.

Shang, Wendy Wan-Long. The Way Home Looks Now. 2015. 261p. Gr.3-7.
Through the story of Peter Lee and his family’s grief, this novel explores gender norms in the context of 1970s Little League baseball. 

Stead, Rebecca.  Goodbye Stranger. 2015. 289p.  Grade 5-8.
This novel broadly examines the meaning of life, love, friendship, and identity in the lives of middle school girls on the cusp of adolescence.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Jiffy Baking Mixes and Home Economics

We recently contacted the Jiffy Company inquiring about their company and leaving a comment about how much we love their products. My girls are just now learning to bake and cook and Jiffy mixes are perfect for teaching them how to follow directions of a recipe and they are quick and easy to make. Plus they taste great too. So a week or so later we received a nice letter in the mail detailing how the mixes are made and how the company got it's name followed by a package of not 1 but a variety of 6 Jiffy mixes !


The girls were super excited and ready to bake them all up in one day, LOL. So tonight we are going to bake up a tasty Jiffy treat for dessert. (photos to follow in a separate post perhaps?) The girls are reading up on the history of Jiffy mixes and plan to take the virtual tour of the company this weekend. 

How is that for a super fun homeschool lesson?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Resources

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday is Monday January 18th and I put together a Unit Study for the girls to study on Monday as part of their History lesson.  I have gathered websites and videos for them to watch throughout the day so their day will consist of their regular studies in addition to their study of Martin Luther King Jr. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Women in History ... Our studies in history this year.

This year I decided that the girls and I would take a different route in our study of History and study Women in History. We will be studying Women in History from now until at least the end of March, which is Women in History Month. We may extend our studies even beyond that and go until June, when school gets out for a brief summer break. We have tried a few different routes before and a few have been rather bore-some so I am going to take our studies on a different journey. The girls need to know about strong women leaders throughout history and so that is what we are going to do. Our journey through history will take us from Cleopatra's days all the way through Michelle Obama. We will look at women's suffrage , the right to vote and women in the military today... so from one extreme to the next. We even have a book titled Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare, that features young women from skate boarders, firefighters, tightrope walkers to military personnel and surfers that we will view as a part of our reading.

We have chosen several books to start with and will take a trip to the library as well to fill in a few spaces and use the internet , YouTube and a few DVDs. I have checked Netflix and found only one movie, Anne Frank so we will use that and will keep checking for more periodically. I need to check Amazon Prime, as we have a free 30 day membership there.  I will share our list of books and movies/documentaries and videos here for you all to enjoy with us. I hope you enjoy our journey through our studies of great Women in History as well.

This list is currently ongoing and is being updated frequently. IF you are following our studies on Women in History, please check back for updates to the lists. 
Books from our home library:
  • Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the United States by Shelia Keenan
  • Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare by Tina Schwager
  • Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh
  • Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography Of Annie Oakley (Photobiographies) by Sue Macy

  • Lost Star: The Story of Amelia Earheart: The Story Of Amelia Earhart by Patricia G. Lauber
  • Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown by Elaine Landau
  • Cleopatra by Diane Stanley
  • Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling
  • The Smithsonian Book of the First Ladies: Their Lives, Times, and Issues by Edith P. Mayo
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can by Cynthia Levinson
Books from the Public Library:


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal.” 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

A List of Women to Study: (List is pending and ever-growing)

  • Marie Curie
  • Jane Goodall
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Annie Oakley
  • Amelia Earheart
  •  "Unsinkable" Molly Brown
  • Cleopatra
  • Harriet Tubman
  • First Ladies of the United States
  • Clara Barton
  • Anne Frank
  • Susan B. Anthony