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


Monday, January 11, 2016

Word of the Year : Gratitude

So we are starting the year off with a new tradition, having a word of the year to live by. I thought about this long and hard and posted this to my personal facebook page as a word for the day last week. But why not have it as a Word for the Year?

The word I have chosen is Gratitude

Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has. The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude strengthens relationships, improves health, reduces stress, and, in general, makes us happier. Gratitude helps us realize what we have. This can lessen our need for wanting more all the time.

My goals for this year and for me and my family are to:

  • improve our health
  • lessen our need for wanting more
  • reduce stress in our lives
  •  be grateful for the things that we have
  •  notice the things we are grateful for everyday

I am grateful each and everyday for my family and for the chance to homeschool my girls. And for the continuing opportunity to homeschool them. I am also grateful for everything that we have, no matter how little it is. 

What are you grateful for? And do you have a word for the day or year?

Facebook Group

Did you know that I have a Facebook Group that compliments my little blog? Sure do ! In the facebook group, I share a lot of links there that I do not share here. Links that I find on facebook, Pinterest, etc. It's a New group that I am sure you will find, FUN, Informative and useful to your Homeschool experience. So if you have time, jump on over to the Facebook Group and click to Join.

And once you are in, please be sure to share it on your pages with all of your homeschool family and friends so we can continue to grow. :)

I hope you all have an exciting Monday in your homeschool activities.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


I found an awesome website that is all inclusive with curriculum for grades K-12. It's called CK-12. Their Mission Statement is just the best :

We, at CK-12, believe every child on this planet should have equal access to great education

Don't you agree? Every child on this planet should have equal access to a great and quality education and I think that they have just about covered it with their wide range of subjects covered.  

There's Astronomy, Physics, Biology, Math, Algebra, Trigonometry, Earth Science, Technology, Engineering, just to name a few.

My girls just started using CK-12 to supplement their Living books curriculum and so far, so good. I think that it gives them a chance to do something and learn under different terms via the computer. 

CK-12 is free to join and offers a full year of curriculum. You (as a homeschooler and Parent) can sign up as a teacher, assign each individual child a membership and connect them to your teacher's account through a "classroom/group".  Through the groups, you can set up  assignments and tests and due dates per child and the child will receive a note in their inbox. It's so simple. 

So go to CK-12 and check it out, again, it's free so you aren't losing anything by checking it out. You will only gain a new set of free online curriculum if you do. I like it, and so do my kids.

The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume 1: Zoology, A Review

We were in the market for a New Science curriculum to start off the New Year and so I reached out to Elemental Science and inquired about their Sassafras Science Adventures series. 

I received a wonderful set of books in the mail : The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume 1: Zoology (for Grades K-5th) and is accompanying Guide to Zoology and SCIDAT Logbook. Right now, my girls are really big in to various branches of Science. They are wanting to learn Chemistry, Astronomy, Botany, Anatomy, Geology and of course, Zoology. So I reached out to the company and was sent the books to review. And let me just say, this book does not disappoint. I like to read and review texts prior to lessons for planning purposes for my girls. I found my self deep in to Chapter 6 shortly after receiving the books in the mail ! :) The main book is not set up like your normal text book. The book reads like a "story book" . Each chapter features a new set of characters, adventures and tales. The goal of the book is to read the story and pick out the pertinent information on each animal featured in that adventure and "log" it in to the SCIDAT Logbook. Since receiving just one copy of the SCIDAT Logbook , which SCIDAT is short for Science Data, I ordered a second copy so that both girls would have their own Logbook. The Logbook is used for logging in all of the useful information found while reading the chapters such as classification, animal descriptions, habitat information, etc. There are also blank pages for logging in reading notes. So of course, both girls need their own SCIDAT Log book.

The Sassafras Guide to Zoology is filled with tons of useful information. Each chapter is summarized and complimentary library books are suggested for each chapter. There are also labs and activities suggested for each chapter. I also like that the Guide book also details a weekly planner for each chapter.

 If you are in the market for a new Science curriculum for your kids, I highly recommend  The Sassafras Science Adventures. Check out the main website, Elemental Science
for a look at all of their curriculum choices. They offer a wide variety of curriculum options for Preschool, Elementary, Middle and High School. The subjects range from Chemistry, Earth Science, Zoology, Physics and more. Sassfras Science Adventures offers different Volumes : Zoology, Anatomy, Botany and Earth Science. I look forward to checking out the other Volumes for my girls after we finish with Zoology and as fantastic as Zoology is, I do not think that it will take us very long at all to finish it up.

Thank you Elemental Science for offering my family your awesome Zoology book set. I look forward to checking out more of  the Sassafras Science Adventures in the very NEAR future.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Science of Bubbles: A Documentary

We just watched a really neat documentary on Amazon Prime  titled The Science of Bubbles. So if you have Amazon Prime this is a must watch with the kiddos. It covers Science, Chemistry, Physics, and a little History at times too. While watching it, I was thinking of so many Fun Schooling experiments and Copy work exercises and all types of things to pull just from watching this documentary... and you can use it with the Journal to fulfill a documentary/video lesson page :)

Here is the Description from the film : To most people, bubbles are just toys that children play with... but they're so much more! They are amazingly powerful tools that are pushing back the boundaries of technology. These tiny marvels of physics may hold the key to many scientific problems.

 I found a few great resources to utilize to put together some fun activities, experiments, copy work tools, etc.

(1). Learn About Bubbles - This website covers tons of information such as what are bubbles, what causes colors in bubbles and has a link to a bubble blowing worksheet for ideas of common objects to try making bubbles with.

(2).  Learn How Bubbles Work!unveils the secret behind how these fascinating transparent balls work...

(3). Bubble-ology : This site has tons of useful information and experiment included and questionnaire as well :)

So those are just a few great sites I located that I plan to use alongside the documentary with my girls. You can Google the Science of Bubbles and that will give you more useful information and wonderful ideas. Feel free to Comment and Share any others you find . Or if you decide to watch the documentary, let me know what you thought of it.