Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About TEACHING THE HARD STUFF~

QUESTION:  Do you teach the challenging and advanced subjects if you struggle with them yourself?

This question comes from The Old Schoolhouse Crew Blog Cruise topic of the week~Did you know they're taking on aps for nxt year? READ ON for that link~

Hey, I am fallible~did you know that? I just don't know it all! I have found through the 10 years of homeschooling that I've been a lot like a little toddler who has faltered, fallen and just stumbled a little bit~while making progress in our subjects...it's definitely been a journey~Soo HOW have I handled MY OWN learning curve?

Well, first off, I allow myself this fault.  I mean, WHO can be perfect? Certainly not SisterT, but that little gem of knowledge never helped my kids really, EXCEPT that in this, they have been allowed to see Mom's weaknesses and to SEE HER OVERCOME them~or compensate for them..or even accept them.  I mean, I have had to PUNT sometimes to get stuff covered that I didn't know. Like math for instance. I've spent more money and energy in this subject than any other~ANY OTHER...but when it was 'beyond my pay grade' I had to search and find those who could help us~I've researched and done the best I could. I guess with mo money and resources it would have gone better, but the lesson is to DO head ON with what you've got and can!

This year~I enrolled my kids in the virtual academy which might be taboo for some homeschoolers, but you'd have to admit that it took some guts AND that in a way it's an admission OR seeking help~I just could NOT for the LIFE OF ME issue a certified homeschooling diploma to two young adults at graduation that I was certain would be acceptable to employers and colleges/universities. AND HEAR ME OUT~I read/have read all the hype/info out there on it~I know~I KNOW that hsing diplomas are much more widely accepted~I hear that, but WHAT PATH might my child desire to take that I didn't plan on or cover? I know the military isn't accepting hsing diplomas~only ONE area that I know of..but that is a limit. I don't want any...as best I can provide. WHY make my children at a disadvantage in the final analysis when I have literally spent YEARS and thousands to provide an improved option? MAKES NO SENSE to me, so we are in the best option we've got~certified accredited virtual academy. They're still home. I'm still homeschooling...just that now~my weaknesses are not the limits of their education, nor my resources the limits of their accomplishments!

Okay, so I get it~either way you go. But remember that life is a journey. At what point will I have the opportunity to guide and help them navigate the public arena? First year of college? Will they be more accepting of my guidance THEN than NOW?  I don't think so~REMEMBER being 18 and feeling like parents knew little?  Oh boy! So in anticipation of this little phase of growth into maturation, I felt like these years were the best to journey these challenges.  We're still TOGETHER now and Mom still has a 'few brain cells'~better now while they are still under my love and care...so here we are!

If you find yourself like I have: WITH LIMITS~Lord knows we all are limited in some way~seek God's will for yourself and your children and be prepared to find help as best you can. Search out those options and allow yourself your God given frailty.  He cares and will be there in your lives as long as humility is at the forefront.  He can provide in the most unique ways! It's amazing!

Here's some of what I've done through the years to teach what I didn't already KNOW...ha!

1. LEARNED IT myself..
2. Researched and used some self guided/self instructing curriculum.
3. Networked with others~co-ops, other hsing moms, grandparents~professionals...it's a limitless resource~
4. Stayed positive and continued despite challenges~
5. Asked Hub to teach it~Science and Music are two I can readily think of~along with piano teachers!
6. Try other curriculum OR multiple sources of information/methods for learning it~With this I say being a curriculum review has helped me here. I have gotten to try on different products along the way to see just what fit us the best for essentially FREE~all but my time...and honestly, my time is becoming more at a premium, but if my kids were small~I'd stay up with doing this! CK out that link at the bottom~

Okay, this is it in a nutshell~Just please don't give up~What we teach our children in our character is almost entirely more important than that difficult subject because since life IS hard, they having seen us persevere is such as asset! You can guide them in a positive way~for their futures in your weaknesses~I know...and what a miracle I am seeing in our first semester 9th week of virtual academy! We are so blessed!

Thanks for coming by~WHAT subjects are 'killing' you? Can somebody cure my 'math terrors'?? LOL  Let me know you were here~
Read more from the CREW       !
WANNA review hsing curriculum/products?  GO HERE!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gabby Moms: Super~Wha???

S
T

Yeah, Encouraging Mom: SUPER SHOT JOIN UP! HERE~you got that right...a shot.

It's a quick does to cure ya~the thing that ails ya!

AND it's a NO PAIN all GAIN deal~

You gotta hear this~Eternal Encouragement Mag HERE is putting together some cool instant boosters for womanly blues/botherishness~You ever had that? I have...oh, my! Have I ever! It's those feelings of worthlessness, isolation, failure and all that gunk that would rob moms and wives of the joy of the Savior in living a fulfilled life~And Mrs. Lorrie Flem and her ppl are on the ball thinking up just how to put our minds and hearts at ease in this world of woe~well, it's not all woe, but many of us do feels some nasty negatives once in a while...so why not ck this out for a dose UP~a boost...an UP LIFT~

Do yourself a favor and get yourself an Encouraging Mom: Super Shot from Eternal Encouragment Mag so you too will be revived...I got the chance to preview and sneak in on a cool little SUPER SHOT...Ohhh boy~you gotta ck this one out!


Super Shots are a monthly publication of Eternal Encouragement Magazine, Lorrie Flem Publisher that will deliver four e-products to your mailbox monthly~woohoo! Each is designed to help us Moms~and sometimes we need help!

I got Kids That Clean Super Shot with four neat products~Three E-books and a download video.  What practical ideas and it's laid out in such a way~so logical....I'm trying it on my TEENAGERS~LOL..shhh! Don't tell them!

These little jewels of encouragement won't be available right away but will be coming in the next few months~ 

Gabby Moms are ringing on in with  what they say~ Go ck it out!

I received a Super Shot as part of the Gabby Moms blog review program in exchange for my honest opinions without additional compensation. My opinions are my own.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday~WK 12: DANCING to the GROOVE...

I'm participating in Chai Mommy's Fit Mommy Friday and linking up for encouragement and support~ACCOUNTability~ Hey, you can too~click on that button! LOL

My week was good food wise. My smallest jeans continue to get bigger on me, and tonight I am measuring my body, since I don't have a doctor's appointment any time soon to weigh~but I'm really not worried about the scale all that much. The scale is NOT the measure of my success~EVERY BITE IS....I am tracking my food and activity and when I eat the way I am supposed to ~which I pray is a God honoring way~this weight is coming down...and I continue to heal. (I have measured and written it all down~;-)) Talk of diets is only as effective as far as gaining some sort of plan.  But in and of themselves, they have failed me.  I think of them as DIEt...and I really don't wanna GO there~death is not the purpose..up and down,,,down and up with my wt..not soo NOT healthy! AND DIEts do that...in my life..so I call my plan a LIFE PLAN or LIFEit...LOL...don't think I'm weird, okay? I AM MOSTLY fat in my head...soo it's my head I have to deal with.  My testimony is that I have in the past lost 135 lbs to regain portions~LARGE portions of it TWICE...and believe me when you have loads more to lose, it's like loosing ground~seriously!  I NEED help losing my weight. Hence why I write to you all here AND I also am involved with 12 step recovery groups and also I am developing my relationship with God who is helping me.  I can praise God for His grace and mercy!  Soo you see, weighing isn't all that in my book, but more important is WHAT IS EATING ME...soo hence where I am.  I do enjoy and study nutrition. It's important to know HOW to eat healthy and an eating plan should BE healthy for me...I have STILL given up the sugar and white flour which includes all products that contain them in any form other than fruit and veggies.  I try to eat as raw as possible much of my food~to maximize insoluble fiber so that first, it satisfies my hunger and second it processes in my body at a slow rate~not bombarding my cells with the sugars/nutrients in a fast was but over time.  I try to eat less process and don't each very much out of boxes or cans.  MOST of my food is fresh prepared either from the fresh isle, frozen food isle OR from my own home grown-food preservation processing which as home canning or freezing.  I want to maximize my nutrition as best possible and believe good solid wholesome food is key.

Recently I won Denise Austin's book Get Energy from Laura O's blog                                and I have been enjoying her information on gaining health in my life.  She's looking at life in the multidisciplinary way~mind/body and spirit. I need this~  So far, I am excited as this week i discovered online radio where I can pick songs and artist I want to hear~WOOT...and I have begun dancing like dancercizing~ WHICH IS SO FUN...I did this an entire 3 minutes to a favorite song...trust me, it was not so easy to rock it to that song..but I kept going...whew!!

It's little progress, but at my size and health, I can't afford to OVERDO and hurt my body further.  It will take patience and giving God the time to heal me as we move along.

I'm heading out on my bike again~whoohoo!

HOW was your week? Read the other fit mom's journals HERE!
Not a pretty bike, but it does the job~

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Wk:9~Mid TERMS...THIS WEEK And...

The Homeschool ChickI'm participating in the journal~Head over to ck it out~KINDA NEAT that in one place so many mom's chronicle our week~You can too~HIT the button...:-))

It's been a crazy week! But I do wanna say that I just ck'd my kid's grades~WHAT a great job they are doing! It's amazing! ALL As...no. But loads of work, initiative and progress.  I'm really liking virtual academy! The tech issues with online learning can be a pain as we have had to do some tech support on both kids computers as well as it got so extensive that my son needed a complete hard drive restore~but you know what? Tech support was there with me all the way! Yeah! I am not alone in this journey any longer...maybe you value your freedom so much that you don't want help or "interference."  I can see that.  When my kids were younger, I really felt that way...I mean: WHO loves them more than I do? Parental love and standards can not be equaled.  But I had to acknowledge that I am imperfect~that I am limited as a human being and that my kids WANT a high school diploma.  Don't tell me that a GED is equiv~it's not! GED generally mean there was some sort of 'issue' that prevented graduation in the traditional schooling...NOT FAIR for hard working kids who deserve EVERY advantage. I know! I know! I can issue them a diploma..a homeschool diploma~AND I planned to~even order a pricey one that looks authentic~BUT listen...COULD I adequately prep them for the SAT/ACT and RELIEVE their testing anxiety when I didn't teach the materials in the ORDER or scope as was taught to their peers?  Sadly~no.  This ~this very thing...not teaching or having the order/scope of what is taught or EXPECTED to be known has really hurt my kids right now...my daughter is finding in her math~oh my LORD! If you have read much on here, I talk about her math issues..it's been the BIGGEST thing in teaching her...and well~she's behind and DISADVANTAGED because her peers have had stuff she had yet to see...and compared our hsing curriculum~the very things she's doing now come at the END of that program...So was it a curriculum issue? A teacher~ME issue? Or a non issue? In all honesty is all of this~I mean, how could I know WHAT or HOW ..and wouldn't we eventually hit all the marks? I believe so...but really, how would I have known. I did plan according to state requirements, but I have little control over course content in the stuff I believe to be best~when I purchase curriculum. KWIM?  Okay, so here's my week...think about this...I'm certainly NOT telling you to go to a virtual school...but what are your goals for your kids? Plan and proceed with these in mind~

In My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
Well, first off I'm still plugging at my eating plan of no white flour and sugar~no compulsive overeating and seeking God first in all things including my food.  God is good and this Sat will be 24 weeks! I am shrinking and the once tight jeans are losening up~ordered some new ones too! whoohoo! I got the new Denise Austin book, Get Energy and have begun working through it~VERY GOOD! I danced all the way through a longg very very VERY cool song and while I got pretty breathless, it was such fun~oh yeah!  



I'm planning on my canning this summer from our garden. When I go to the grocery I'm getting a dozen qt jars for this season of food preservation to come. I am also going to preserve (ferment) some onions for relishes/salads.  They are awesome!  I did notice that food prices are rising.  While I don't like it, how can I avoid it any better than make what I am using go further and better~NO WASTE...so I'm planning all that!  Maybe you'd like to ck out my thrifty living blog~THRIVING WITH NO GREEN$! Head on over~It's chocked full of all kinds of good ideas that I use~they work too!  My strategies are KEEPING MONEY in my pocket so I can save and have what I need for the future!  Today I also went and picked up some freecyle items. I got some houseplant starts of aloe vera, vines and spider plant. They are expensive in the plant stores, but I got quite a few and it was worth my while!  Also I picked up a bag of fabric that a lady no longer needed. We make doll clothes and other fabric projects~CK'D out those prices lately for fabric?  Whew! So anyway~my life has been kinda busy...HOW about you??

I am thrilled my the progress in our schooling. My kids are showing great independence! I am so proud. I
 

My Favorite Thing This Week was...
Checking their grades and it looks LIKE THIS:

Girl:
Alg I   C+
LAC   A+
BIO    A+
HIST  A+
ENT   A+
RYAP A

Son:
Alg C+
LAC A
HIST B
SCI  B
PE  A
RYAP A
We began our seeds for our garden and they're in the greenhouse~WOOT!
 

What's Working/Not Working For Us...
Hub's been sick all week~AND he's breathing all over me~I am praying I don't get sick! t won't be fun if I do~ 
 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
I'm working with a tutor for the kids on math and language~I worry about how to help them!

Also I've registered for next year~Got a call today saying they are sending next year's materials~SAY WHAT? AND IT'S ONLY MARCH???? HUH??? LOL


Here's a pic~

See our greenhouse?

Thanks for coming by~Leave me a comment ;-))

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About Teaching LIFE to Mine~

This week's question:


How do you incorporate life skills into your homeschool routine?





Teaching LIFE skills...Isn't living in the home what LIFE skills are all about?  I am thinking that living in the home with family teaches them as well as relationship skills and more! Remember that ole saying DO as I SAY....Nah, it doesn't work~does it? KIDS are WATCHING...and doing..hopefully right along side of us...


Baking cookies at church~

When my kids were small, they LOVED helping me clean. In fact, I had a special small bucket or small pan that I'd let my daughter and son take a rag and while I wiped walls, they would do the baseboards and floor next to the walls~you know, mops and brooms NEVER get that close to get the filth...and they LOVED washing windows and all kinds of stuff!  We sorted laundry together~even took to jumping in the clothes occasionally! It wasn't all drudgery...my son USED to love to vacuum...ha~NOT NOW.. but he does know HOW!  Also we learned things like setting the table by DAILY setting the table...routines became our lessons~

Construction tools and remodeling~

I've done all kinds of things in our home to naturally TEACH how to mange and live in a home...I sew, so I've shown and given them small projects~never called it 'SCHOOL' but it was! LOL...even taught things like home canning and food preservation/storage and organization.  This was done by things like~assigning a child to write down and list all the food in the pantry and organize it~Also to be the person to SCRIBE the grocery list as we looked to see what was IN the pantry and what was needed  for the following time~I don't always shop weekly...but anyway,

I have also taught money management by GIVING THEM SOME and letting them GO...but also teaching conservation and thrift.  My goodness, my kids are quite the savers! Especially my daughter.  And she is always giving too~not just buying for herself...She LOVES swagbucks! Oh yes!!

Son's landscaping project...


Sooo IT'S JUST plain NATURAL to teach life skills~but I'd say that the MOST important ingredient would be WILLINGNESS to allow your kids to DO...and expecting them to DO...yeah, the job won't be as 'good' as you might on your own, but I've really had an issue with the wording, "Help me." from moms who somehow don't realize that the home BELONGS to everyone and everyone can work and EVERYONE can play~it takes everyone and children LEARN by doing...showing and preaching just are not as effective...and the doing, yes...is a process...but hey, it's soo worth it~

I am thrilled when they do something exceptionally well~like fixing a meal or cleaning up something~If you get sick, mom~you will be blessed by how well your children can continue on...It's amazing!

Thanks for coming by~don't worry about a CURRICULUM, you know how to care for your home and are working through your own life~guide your children AS YOU GO...and they will quite naturally pick up and carry on just as you've modeled..

Head on over to ck out what the CREW is saying~  Let me know your thoughts too~;-))

Saturday, March 19, 2011

REMODELING~MO ?s

THIS HOUSE
I like our home; it just needs some TLC!
BTW~we live in both sides..and it's ONE house NOW...lol!

IS a work in progress~
This is the rough, glue stained porch after we removed that carpet~
















This past week the weather was so great the kids and I headed outside and cleaned up the front yard a bit~moved some rock and my son cleaned up his fish pond after the winter season, while we all also tore out OLD NASTY carpet from the 70s on our front porch...no paint just yet or even new astro-turf carpets as of yet..but I'm dreaming...
Rock not totally moved, but redoing this bed completely...
















Hub got out this morning and trimmed some bushes/cut a tree until the chainsaw broke...Well~thinking about all the future projects, one includes NEW gorgeous lights and I can't wait to get a new fan for my bedroom~woot!  (Maybe porch LIGHTS?)
 
My son's fish pond beside our garage~he can't wait to get fish...

















Well, I'm jumping off here~HEADING to swim at the Y and OUTSIDE for the rest of this gorgeous, crispy
MY bike~but it's oh sooo fun!
















BUT Oh sooo SUN filled day~HUGS!!

Go ck out  CSN Stores!They have almost EVERYTHING you would want~I know I like it! ;-)) On SECOND THOUGHT, maybe I should get a new bike seat or LIGHT for my porch??? WHAT would you get??

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday~WK 11: Different Week

I'm participating in the Fit Mommy Fri for accountability and support.  You can too!  This is a group of moms who are changing our lives one MOVE and food at a time~

Well, my week was definitely different.  I didn't go swim ONCE so far~and not planning to today either...but..but...I did MOVE MORE~got out more~and even got my BIKE OUT and took a few spins~planning to go again TODAY~Received my Denise Austin book yesterday too~sooo I have a feeln' things are GONNA CHANGE...LOL! But my food continues to be good~I am eating a good many calories, still around the 2K mark, and so my wt loss is slow, but I am MOVN' and planning even more~
Thanks for coming by~

To read what the other moms are up to, head               !

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal Wk:8~Spring in MY SPRING!

The Homeschool ChickI'm participating weekly and you can too~                  My giddy-up is pretty much heading into full gear now that spring has sprung!  We had temps in the 60s today! wooht! AND the best thing is I got to ride my bike today!  Life is just gettn' sweeter~here's my week:

In My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
First, I've not exercised at the pool this week, but I have been more active and even rode my bike today! Soo all is not awash! I'm still sugar/white flour free, but looking at my portions as they tend to creep up on me so easily...I've had some ups and downs, but overall I'm doing okay.  


Virtual Academy has gone pretty light as the whole school has revamped due to the high school taking the graduation tests this week.  My daughter was taking it, and having been 'traditionally' homeschooled, it's been quite a BIG HAIRY DEAL to her about these very important tests. She is being tested in reading, writing, math, social studies and science...and well, she's only had the experience of a few CAT testings that I had done over the years...imagine that worry she's carried these past 6 weeks in that she really isn't SURE she's adequately prepared...This was the total reason we came to this online school...my kids wanted to KNOW how they measured up to 'normal' and where they stood academically...Well, last week and actually pretty much all the previous weeks, I've shared how my son is doing. He is passing~an A but the rest...and I've had to ALLOW him to do...It's NOT been easy for me, but I have to let him SEE his own strengths and weaknesses...he's a very good kid! Would you believe he's been readying his outdoor fish pond for his fish this season?  CK OUT the pics at the end~I'm impressed with his efforts.  We need to fill and put fish in~but otherwise...looking pretty good!
 

My Favorite Thing This Week was...
I really enjoyed my bike ride~but that was today (Thursday!)  Other fave things was taking the youth to Dairy Queen and HOW FUN they are!  


But my absolute fave thing has to do with HOW IMPRESSED I am with my daughter's tenacity over this testing...she's so funny too...when I asked her if she passed, she said she basically bull OOOO kneed her way through the science portions today, but said that the reader would either think she IS ...
crazy
clueless
clever
OR...
blond! LOL

I LOVE IT!  Well, if you ask this mama... ... ... ...
SHE'S ALL that...LOL!! (JK, babydoll!)

What's Working/Not Working For Us...
Still sneezing and hacking! But I'm lovin' this warmer weather!  Soo what's not working IS ALL the work we gotta do now to polish up the outside after winter...


Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
Wonder if Girl Thing One PASSED (it's only pass/fail) the graduate testing?????

Here's a pic~
Thanks for coming by~

If you want to join or read more              !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

REVIEW: Apologia's What We Believe: Biblical Worldview of God and Truth Vol 1: Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?)

Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?)
by John Hay and David Webb
Hardcover 252 pages 
Website                       
Ages:  Children 6-14 (possibly expanded ages)
Price: $39
I say: Fantastic beautiful resource!
I received What We Believe Biblical Worldview of God and Truth Vol 1: Who is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) by John Hay and David Webb as part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine CREW review program in exchange for my honest opinions without monetary compensation.  My views are my own.
 The Bible is one subject a family can't study enough~and having good resources are essential. I mean, the Bible is like a locked box ~a treasure chest full of wonderful things from and about God, but unless we can understand His Word, the benefits will illude us.  Since my kids were very small, we always undertook serious Bible study and memorization.  As they've grown that study has increased in depth and I love this study from Apologia.  You won't be disappointed with a solid study for your home~all your grade school through middle school children.  This study talks to the child, we like it for that and while are a bit older than the stated age, they were able to benefit from its pages.  I definitely think a family could use this resource for olders and younger children as well~with a few modifications.  Aren't we homeschoolers very versatile?

Here's the details:
Conversational easy to read text
Multiple age range
Learn at your own pace
Sequential and builds on ideas
10 Lessons~approx 2 wks each one!
Independent for older students and group with youngers
Primarily NIV but also NLT and International Children's Bible used
Notebooking segment presented in the lessons (Binder useful.)
Additional teaching resources: FREE on website! (AWESOME resources!!)

The 10 lessons are broken down into segments:
  • The Big Idea:  Intro and overview of what was previously covered~
  • What You Will Do:  Learning objectives~
  • Short Story:  Fictional story that makes the concepts come alive!
  • Think About It:  Questions to reinforce key ideas and truths~
  • Words You Need to Know:  Vocabulary words concerning the concepts~
  • Hide It in Your Heart: Memory verses~
  • Integrated Learning: Articles of interdisciplinary topics related to the short stories~
  • What Should I Do?  Highlights specific character traits/moral virtues taught~
  • Prayer:  A prayer to focus on the particular trait of God's attribute in the lesson~
  • Worldveiw Study:  Introduces worldviews as they relate to the study~
  • House of Truth:  A figurative construct of the nature of God built one step at a time throughout the studies~ based on an actual model that shows God's nature as a block by block to firmly put the person of God in a child's mind as offered @ www.summit.org. 

Included is a suggested Lesson Plan in order to use the study guide to the fullest along with a list of needed materials for additional activities as they are presented.  The study promises that nearly all of the materials are simple household items! whoot! I had no trouble, but just a flip through can keep you on target as you plan each week!

I could never say enough good things about Apologia products for homeschooling!  We have used quite a few over the years~LOVE the science and NOW the Bible curriculum as well~

Each lessons begins with a question that will center the lesson to be covered with large easy to read print and colorful but not kidsy graphics and pictures.  This study is definitely multi-aged and a good resource for the homeschool, home study purposes!  I also believe it would add to church studies for multiple age classes~I've taught many of these throughout the years.

Getting the extra resources and helps are easy. There is a website with a password listed in the text for additional resources~INVALUABLE!  I like that these helps are not downloaded to my computer. I recently LOST everything on my computer due to a virus, and I like that I can always access these resources from the web.  The graphics are in gray scale which saves me time when I print them from having to convert each one to save ink~GREAT MOVE! Also they are sophisticated looking. I suggest for the youngest in the home that this is really not appropriate for younger than first or second grade in most of the activities~but I will say that with a little bit of thinking, such as have the youngest illustrate the information for their notebook while older children are capable of doing these nice resources.  Young children has such a short attention span that too much will really be just that for them! Short and sweet~the story portions would appeal perhaps as well as the illustrations if this study is used for family study with all ages!

PLUG for Notebooking~If you haven't tried notebooking learning, this is really a great way to have a child compile information and have a tangible resource for review, study and even for concept reinforcement. This method of study teaches organization too~I have done this FOR YEARS with my kids and now that they are teens it's a natural habit...all you need is a three ring binder and either a whole punch or page protectors. I always invested in protectors as it kept their work very neat and orderly.  Page protectors would be one of my greatest expenses in addition to curriculum in homeschooling...but oh so worth it! We liked the 3 ring binders with clear front pocket so we could create our own cover depending upon the subject...Just sayn..Have you tried notebooking? What do you think? If not, what do you use?

Head HERE to read what the CREW says!
Let me know, do you love Apologia? Have you ever used it?? This is awesome!

Lip Smackn' Good~Organe Flav Carmex Moisture Plus TM Lip Balm TRIAL~

Whooohoo! OH Yeah!!
I got to try it as part of Carmex Blog Squad and believe ME THIS ONE smells and feels divine! I'm a SUNSHINE gal and lovn' the orange scent/soft flavor makes it oh soo sweet! Go for it, CARMEX! I love that it's sheer too! Super moisturizing and soft~WOW!  Living in this cold blustery place makes SisterT very grateful for great lip products that make her lips pucker up sweet!

This tube of orange flav Carmex Moisture Plus TM Lip Balm was provided to me as part of the Carmex Blog Sqad in exchange for my opinions without monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.  This product is being test marketed with the bloggers and not available commercially~but I hope it will be soon! ;-))

Wanna get the latest Carmex info? 
Link up here!
Thanks again!!

SisterT ;-))

Monday, March 14, 2011

Virtual Acadmemy: BIBLE CLUB~I Say YES!!

I'm excited to see a Bible Club in an online public school~I will be praying that it gets off the ground and finds loads of success~

Here's the article that appeared in the school paper:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About HSing Conventions and Resources!

Sooo, WHAT does SisterT think about Homeschool Conventions~have I  attended: what are the benefits, pitfalls, etc.~what was my experience? I am participating in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Crew weekly Blog Cruise and so I will answer again this week.  You can read the other Crew's input              !

It IS that time of year again~Spring brings with it a good many offerings in some areas of homeschooling conventions, conferences and book sales for homeschoolers of every age.  Some off classes and seminars for the whole family, while others are just sale/vendor rooms with table after table of everything from the latest curriculum product offering to some offering used book/product sale tables...What you find can be a mixed bag depending upon who is organizing and offering~Call some of them: EVERYTHING: HOMESCHOOLING events.
Photo Credit: Darcy @3boybarians.com

You know, since this is my 10th year, what I've participated in has changed a good deal.  When I first started out we lived about three states away in a little country town near a larger city that has a homeschool group.  At the time, I borrowed a good bit of my resources, and the homeschool group in that larger city offered a book sale each May~I'm assuming they still do this and maybe more, but I went a few years and even in the later years this gathering included some seminars of the vendors on various topics...I enjoyed them.  I found them useful and the biggest thing I liked was being able to actually spend some time with the products BEFORE I purchased them and also the used book sale room.  I am soo into used things, as I have found it to be a great way to go~My love for used began in the borrowing of resources and also in that time and at that particular venue.

Since those early days, we moved two states away from that place and again to another small berg, but with a much much larger city nearby.  I attended one large, and I'd call it a moderately large homeschool convention, but probably nothing like what is offered in the major cities today.  For me it was very large and the vendor room was actually overwhelming.  I really don't like HUGE crowds and while it was, as I might compare it, not the biggest that I can imagine are offered~it was really more EXPERIENCE than I enjoyed, so I have yet to return to another convention/sale like that...no all weekender stuff for me~SisterT is either too old or just not willing to put myself in that much chaos!oops, sorry..EVENT!!  But let me say that in that larger experience, I did manage to purchase a few things, but in all honesty, I bought more and did more in the earlier, smaller format.  For those who organize the large ones, I'm sure that what I am saying might be a surprise, but to me~bigger isn't always better...I like small, intimate gatherings where I have the time and space to experience the things I am looking for to take back to our homeschool.  I like being able to actually talk to the vendors and spend time with the materials...not possible with a crowd around the table/booth or loads of people asking too...I found rushing in large numbers of people exhausting as we moved from one seminar to the next...too much sugar for my dine!

Soo with this all said~would I ever do it again? Probably not.  I live relatively close (just a couple of hours) away from a HUGE major city convention, and while I'd love to meet some of you~my online buds, I'm just not cut out to make that kind of sacrifice of time, expense or effort.  But let me say too, that our needs have changed and are different too~we're doing virtual academy now, so I don't have to purchase everything we need homeschooling anymore~it just isn't a need in this way~I have homeschooling stuff currently, we will never use!  Soo NO, I won't be going...but, if I had much younger children who aren't attending the online school, I would look for a smaller venue such as a homeschool co-op book sale~and even shop on line and swap/borrow stuff...I'd look to the local group or I would ask you all to tell me...and I read your blogs and websites...

NUTSHELL VIEW:

BENEFITS:
There are some~
  • Potential networking/friend making/resource ppl gathering
  • Actually LOOKING and TOUCHING products
  • Talking to vendors/experts
  • LOADS in ONE PLACE
  • FREEbies/samples
  • Classes on techniques
  • An event for the whole family depending on the details planned.
 PITFALLS:
There are some of these too~
  • Overwhelming (to me) Large place~LOTS of people however nice! (Just too much, imho!)
  • Expensive~often there is admission and travel/lodging
  • Crowds (if you don't care for them.)
  • NOISE~over stimulating for small children and some people
  • Potential to spend more than planned or succumb to sales pressure

Alternatives in my mind:
I'd like to think that conventions and conferences are a luxury~something some can afford...
  • Network within local homeschool group(s) for end of year sales/swaps
  • Online purchasing/research: You can ck out the TOS CREW HERE and other blogs for curriculum insights as well as vendor websites. (CK out my sidebars and the FREEbie/GiveAway tab for free stuff! I've done loads of product reviews too!) 
  • Comparing pricing online and in person.  Sometimes there is a difference!
  • Shopping secondary market~look at garage sales/thrift stores/used book stores for best prices: know your pricing and have a list of things you are 'looking for' so when you find it you can seize the opportunity.
  • Avail of coupons and special vendor pricing and curriculum store sales in your local area.  I recently purchased a workbook for just the price of the book w/o shipping when the vendor had it online at same price PLUS shipping. I saved about 1/2! Now, remember, I am trying to keep money IN my pocket~made no sense to pay the full price plus shipping when our local had it for the same w/o shipping!
  • Join up with the CREW~applications for nxt yr are being taken now~Go  HERE!
  • Online 'conventions' or group gatherings for home accessed web based conferences~there are quite a few that meet my needs for a variety of reasons ;-))
I could go on and on about how to get curriculum without a convention/larger venue, but for you who enjoy large events and loads of resources in one day or two~conventions are a good thing~

Thanks for stopping by~please leave me your thoughts on conventions and homeschooling conference~
To read more about this topic, go                    !

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday~WK 10: Slow Week...Sorta!

I've had a wierd week.  I've been doing well with my eating plan.  I did change the construct of the foods I am consuming leaving more starches off my plate and going a little higher in protein.  NOT exactly calorieless, but much lower in the sugar department which has meant that I am still feeling GREAT for the most part..all except some emotional stuff I am going through. Loads of decisions and changes ALL at once!  These wonderful creations of God, our bodies are affected by our emotions, environment, food, water balance, exercise...oh my! The list is endless, but none the less, its a fine balance we seek, and I'm revamping my life one day at a time!  It is easy to feel overwhelmed right now, but I am keeping my shoulder to the wheel and pushing forward.  NO slack time for me.  Exercise consisted of riding my stationary bike and pedaling machine each day and/or swimming.  My body is shrinking still...this is GOOD~and while I haven't weighed in for a while, I don't let that stop me.  Leaving sugar and white junk behind has been one of the BEST things I've ever done for ME.  I know it's a challenge.  BELIEVE ME, I know...I am living it.  And for the other eaters in my life such as my family, I make things very hard~no mo FUN foods for me...so I don't participate anymore.  But I've tried to ADD  IN some other stuff in our lives that equal LOVE just as much as eating together.  It's been a big change not to go out to eat for recreation.  Hub and I did THAT a lot...and for convenience.  NO MO...oh no! but I love the movies and well, biking and hopefully when the weather improves WALKING SOME...not too keen on this yet, but I will be...I also envision RUNNING...just you wait~Sister has some ideas for her future! Yes, INDEED!

What about you? Are you eying the future with your health and happiness in mind??
Head to the Fit Mommys  HERE to ck it all out!

SisterT's BEEN Cheated!

Yes, I have. Life cheats us everyday....but thoughts of my blessings have to over ride these feelings that accompany the pain of those losses.  I can tell you that being cheated STINKS! nor is it fun~

I ran across a sir name that reminded me~ONLY REMINDED ME of that gal I babysat for with her 6...READ THAT RIGHT~SIX...awful little wild kiddos...and I had been promised pay...but as a teenager, got nothing except a life's lesson that some people are not kind and lie...THEN I think sometimes about that homeschool VENDOR chick who sells STUFF ON THE NET who I paypal'd a payment to~THIS PAST FALL~who has decided b/c her schedule was quite too busy...to NEGLECT to send me the items I ordered....I've thought about Telln' It! to you all just who and what...I have plenty of 'proof'' such as her corresponding emails~but nooooo! SisterT isn't going to STOOP that low.  $15 and some change JUST isn't worth THAT kind of blight on my life and blog!  But you have to know that some people are truly full of THEMSELVES..and this has got to be the problem~SELFISHNESS which is namely, sin.  And would it be right for SisterT to decide to SIN in reciprocation?  I have a fella in my church who by the grace of God I've not taken OUT...not literally, of course...but he's HARMED ME and MINE...and trust me, (WINK*WINK) THIS GRACE I issue IS from God! b/c SisterT's natural...yeah, it's natural to wanna *fix* it, inclination is to want to grab him by the throat and put us BOTH out of our misery in letting him KNOW just what he has done~but, again....I bring these up so you can see that my cheats aren't some fabrication of my mind...and neither is the GRACE coming from God through ME!

While being cheated isn't fun~it's very painful, I have to look UP and think of that portion of the Serenity Prayer that is just the BOMB:  Taking as HE DID, this sinful world and seeing hardships as the PATHWAY to peace! What power are in those words!  You see, if we didn't have CAUSE for war, peace would come too cheaply~and it's in the struggles that grace flourishes!

Here's that WHOLE Serenity Prayer~having never been one for 'rote' prayers, this one grows on me all the time:



Thanks for coming by today~leave me a shout out as I'd love to hear your thoughts~
hugs!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal WK 7: PUNT!

The Homeschool ChickI am participating each week to share WHAT IS REALLY going on in this home (almost said 'joint' LOL) and I think I've been doing this ALL wrong! First, this post is due on Fri...usually I'm one of the last posters as I generally get it up on Sat or Sun...ha! THANGS are gonna change around here!  ;-))

Virtual Academy UPDATE: Going pretty good. I have allowed, "let go" and see that my son is doing okay.  I have given Him to God and so he will either do or figure out HOW to do...Daughter is doing great! We did secure a tutor for them both in their areas of weakness, but so far~it's going fine. Daughter takes the graduation testing next week...Things are still hopping here!

I was given this poem today and it soo applies:

LETTING GO TAKES LOVE
To let go does not mean to stop caring,
   it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
   it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable,
   but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
   the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
   it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for,
   but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
   but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
   but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
   but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective,
   it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
   but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
   but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
   but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
   but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
   but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more
       
and
To let go and to let God, is to find peace!
Remember: The time to love is short
 ------ author unknown
Having faced death myself and lost my sibling too, I know this is so true.  In fact, I know it all too well, and next month is the 9th year since I lost my brother~he's always on my mind...

In My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
These really ARE separate entities within our home. I am a separate human being from the teacher and mother person who I am as well~sooo as for the HUMAN SisterT, I have struggled a little bit in my personal life. I am experiencing some losses and changes. NOT all bad, but definitely different.  CHANGE is here in a big way! I have continued my healthy eating and doing well with it, and so my energy and zest has returned...but not all is rosy all the time.  I'm making it though~so far, so good~One day at a time!

 My Favorite Thing This Week was...
I have essentially a person in my life you could call a life coach who is guiding me in the Word of God. I have really enjoyed studying and learning this week what God has in store for ME...yep, sometimes it's been hard defining ME from all the rest in my life.  When my kids were littles, it was even harder, but now that they are much much more independent, I am finding more of ME that I had left behind all those years ago when I traded in so much of myself for the life of doing for others much of the time. Thank God for a few minutes today to get out and shop alone and REALLY jam in the car to some oldies that make me GRIN! Sometimes I just need to DANCE in this life for joy~got to...today! ;-)) SIDEBAR: Anybody besides ME a rocker?? Oh, there's rock of ages, rock the cradle and rock n roll...well, I'm all three..but here a few links of some foot move ing stuff!! (Actually one is movin' music and the other is the fave love songs...I couldn't resist!) LOL  (I know, I'm old...but hey...I'm STILL HERE, right??? LOL)





What's Working/Not Working For Us...
CLUTTER, DIRT AND animal hair~oh my!! LOL...these animules are shedding for spring and I am sneezing and wheezing...

Also NOW that we are in virtual academy~all the little jewels of homeschooling are really in our way...I am praying about what to do...can't afford to ship them away, but thinking about some options...a sale or donation only sale???  Would like to see them GO to you all who can use them...I mean, they are awesome things, I promise! And some are pricey things that we've been blessed to have had...GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME...ring in on what you think or how you think this could work well...


Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
HOW long will the positives we are experiencing with virtual academy last and will we return to traditional homeschooling in the future? I wonder... 

Here's a pic~
Thanks for coming by~
If you want to join or read more              !
How are you doing? Leave me a shout out!
;-))
You also might wanna know, 

I've Been Cheated! ;-))

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About Teaching the Wiggly-Squirmy KID!

I'm part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team and each week we are answering a question to offer some collective wisdom on homeschooling and parenting/motherhood/family:  The question this week is: How do you teach the hyper/distracted child?  Boy, can I write the book on this one!  With two ADHD kiddos~let's just say that T I (double GUH) UR...has nothing on us for bouncy-bounce!  Let me explain~

My littles who are now, not so little~were once so wild and impetuous that we did some stuff to keep them safe that seems a little odd to some mothers who don't deal in hyper and compulsive behaviors.  When our daughters was just two, her temper was so firey that she flipped her toddler bed in temper, so we bolted it to the ground...she also took off toward to highway faster than the speed of lightening, and thank God a man caught her before she got into the street!  When I tried and believe me, we only went a few times, to the mall, I used a double stroller~well, I had to use the wrist leashes for them and connect them with tethers to the side of the stroller so they wouldn't run off before I could get them back in it~before one OR the other ran off..this way~they didn't get too far...before I could put them back...I used to walk down the isles of stores saying "shhh...sh....shhhh..." because of CONSTANT incessant nonsensical CHATTER! Let me see...I've dealt in a little fella who learned best jumping up and down~moving as we SUNG our vowl sounds so we'd learn to read!  We would RUN outside frequently up and down the driveway which was off the road a little bit when we were old to get our wiggles to calm down, AND I also used as much hands on~multi sensory stuff as I could...ARE YOU tired yet, from reading what I WENT THROUGH?? LOL...It wears me out just thinking about HOW HARD it was back them...it was truly awful! And I remember clasping my hands in prayer crying out to God to HELP US! My little daughter went to public K and the whole year she was upset by being 'fussed' at and felt her teacher disliked her...this was prior to meds~which BELIEVE ME I resisted for soooo long...in fact, it wasn't until after my son took off running as a 4 year old down the street even with me going after him and calling him back...well, I even applied the ...to the seat of knowledge~ TO NO AVAIL...I used charts and all manner of things to reign us in...I simplified our home with a less is MORE and even tried to keep our lives simple by staying home with a routine and structure while even spending beautiful days in the park which was next to the county library where we fostered a love of books~I'm SURE in those early days they HATED to see our noise and energy come through the door...

But dear friends, let me share that it took time and patience...and neither has come cheaply, for my kids to have learned just HOW to function and listen to their frames to be able to have some control.  My son STILL wiggles and is EVERYWHERE...alllllll the time! I am constantly reminding this 15 year old, "Son, sit down and get your work done!" To which he will reply, "I AM!" Well, it's hard for me to tell as he's sprinting across the room...albeit with his laptop in hand or a book or paper...but...but...LOL!

Sooo if you are dealing with the wiggly-squirmy kiddo~love, patience, structure, less stimulation that is purposeful, low sugar foods~loads of fresh/healthy raw fruits and veggies and virtually NO concentrated sweets/sugars or dies or chemicals, and PRAYER! A visit to the MD for suggestions~even therapy may be helpful to learn coping strategy and be sure to attack the problem while loving~DEEPLY loving your child.  I really have worried AND STILL DO that I don't communicate all the love I feel for my children. Remember a ADHD kiddo is really like a person with a brain who has a light switch that keeps cutting it ON then OFF...and on and on...imagine the frustration your child may feel if he/she only heard about every 3rd word you said and then caught your frustration and anger? NO COOL...no, it's not.  NOT for them or you...sooo education is key here too...and SisterT stands on this as well~that finding proper help is essential.  I've run the course on all kinds of therapies for my children because whether it was behavior related or purely physical alone, help was needed.  To deny a child the possible help is criminal in my humble opinion.  The statistics are out there that a hyperactive child IS at greater risk for all kinds of life issues...WHO wants that?

I prayed a lot too. In the face of negative~deeply negative advice and opinion, I forged ON to find help for my children...I read the conservative parenting opinions that say essentially to use physical punishment and reward..oh MY! Yes, I read it~began and then moved away, because it DID NOT help us...it created resentment and anger in my babies..NOT the desired effects...sooo if you believe a good whipping will do the trick~talk to some adults who were brought up that way...WHAT do they say about the love in their home when as a child?  Of course not all~maybe you had your tail cut as a kid...I did...but boy, I remember HATING my mother too...maybe I'm weird... but I didn't want to RISK such negative emotions being built in them BY MY actions...no, I didn't.

Sooo for the wiggly squirmer~LOVE and acceptance and look at HELP along with the things you CAN do...

And...
  • Declutter the surroundings.
  • Decrease loud television programing and music.
  • Provide quiet and peace as much as possible.
  • LOVE a lot! HUG HUG HUG and praise the good...
  • I gave mine some silly puddy to play with in church to keep their hands still when gradeschool. When tiny, my son carried match box cars in his pockets...coloring books and puzzles (can be Bible centered...busy hands help the mind listen better and feet still as bottom sits!)
  • We modeled table manners and sitting behaviors daily at home so in social situations it was a natural. We ATE at the table with proper manners!
  • I read to them even holding them still in my arms when so little they wanted to RUN...then had them hold the books as they got older.
  • Toys on a book case verses the clutter of a toy box so it wouldn't overwhelm!
  • Calming colors~less clutter~
  • Foods~(already mentioned this.)
  • Lots of outside play~safe in a contained area or with boundaries~I was very WATCHFUL...
  • Took occasional breaks with a trusted family member for hub and I to regroup: GRANDMA!
  • Held their hands when crossing the street or busy areas...did this for a long time and maybe longer than some kids who will naturally follow and even PURPOSEFULLY taught walking WITH me...as a skill...
  • Proper medical attention if needed...

Thanks for hearing our story and if are interested in reading how the rest of us deal or dealt~Go            !
Leave me a comment~HUGS!