Monday, December 19, 2011

A Simple Gift

Yesterday our family handed out simple Christmas Candy Canes at church. We always do something a little special for our Sunday School teachers as well as AWANA leaders. I was going to do something totally different until I found these very cute candy canes at Sam's Club.

Then I did a search on The Legend of the Candy Cane and made up my own little gift tags for the kids to color. We glued the gift tag onto some Christmas theme cardstock and attached them to the candy canes and it turned out to be the perfect make and take. The kids really enjoyed handing them out and I was glad that I didn't spend a fortune but was still able to put smiles on so many faces!!!!

JJ and CJ coloring their candy cane gift tags.

We wish you a Christ-centered Christmas & blessed New Year!!!! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Count Down

We normally do Advent starting 4 Sundays from Christmas, but I missed the mark on that one big time this year. So instead we are going to use Luke 1-2 as our Advent countdown starting on the 1st.. I made a print off that breaks the verses into smaller sections and we will work on memorizing this from the 1st of December until the 24th of December and then recite the whole thing on Christmas morning. We did the same thing for Thanksgiving and it was really fun reciting Psalm 100 before we ate Thanksgiving Dinner.

Just a quick note about the print off. I designed it so that even and odd numbers are printed on different colored paper and then joined together in a chain.
Also, when you print off the pages you need to print 1 on the back of 2, 3 on the back of 4, 5 on the back of 6 and 7 on the back of 8. You may have to play around with your printer to get it to print right. What I do is make a tiny mark on the first sheet I am printing and then when I go to print the second page I flip over the paper but make sure the mark is on the same side of the printer tray. This way you know your page will go in the same direction and print on the opposite side.
Hope that helps and have a wonderful Advent celebration!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What are you doing for Thanksgiving

This week we are going through a mini study of the Pilgrims I found on Currclick for free. The Pilgrims Mini Unit is not free anymore but for $1.00 its still a great deal!!!! We are also working on memorizing Psalm 100 to recite at our Thanksgiving Meal.

Psalm 100

Be Thankful, A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth.

Serve the LORD with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.

Acknowledge that the LORD is God.
He made us, and we are His 
His people, the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.

How about you? Are you doing anything extra along with your normal lessons, something special instead of lessons or just taking a nice break to enjoy Thanksgiving? How ever you are planning on spending this week, be blessed and give thanks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Country Notebooking Page

We are still working our way through Missionary Stories with the Millers. This time through I have decided to try a recipe from each country, do a mini study on the flag of that country and just added mapping the location of the country to our notebooking page. Don't forget that I am linking up our progress through MSM in my right column. Happy Homeschooling!!!!

Photo op with a worm?!?

So thankful McRuffy Math has amazing customer response and took the time to explain this lesson to me!

Independent reading!!!!

That is a black widow and it WAS huge!!!!

Not sure what type of spider but I do know that is a tangle web!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Free Ideas

When I first started homeschooling FREE was the magic word!!!! Here are some free things to get or do on the web. Do you have a resource not listed? Feel free to add to the list in the comments.

Science and Math Simulations - All Grades
Touch Typing - Middle/High School
Star Fall - Phonics and Reading - Games to Master Multiplication facts
CurrClick - Has a Free items weekly

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Simple Day

We have been so busy and fallen a little behind in our schedule but learning is still occurring!!! One unexpected way was our first ever booing outing. I have to say I am NOT a big Halloween fan but this appealed to me because it helped the boys and I to get out of our comfort zones and make ourselves known in the community. Here JJ is putting the final touches on our packages to deliver.

Here LJ is working on his Hiragana characters. This is a slow process but we are still hanging in there. I pulled out our First Thousand Words in Japanese by Usborne and I think they had fun trying to find all the Hiragana they knew. LJ went around the house naming objects in Japanese. Self motivated learning at its best!

And here is CJ finally interested in math again!!!!! I take an interest only approach for my children until they turn 7. Not that I have to wait that long before they are doing lessons but there is no demand of doing a scheduled work load before then.

So there you have a Simple Day at MorningStar Academy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homer Price

The second book we read with Sonlight Core B with Grade 2 Readers is Homer Price. The kids really loved it and sat still with their quiet time activities so I could read. It wasn't a struggle and E-V-E-R-Y time I thought they were going into la la land, I would as a question about something I had just read and A-L-L my kids were able to answer them!!!!! Now the Instructor's Guide does come with a list of items to talk about, but we don't use it. Just don't have the time and reading comprehension has never been an issue so I want to keep reading fun and not make it a chore.

Speaking of fun, our activity for this book was a big winner. We even invited some friends over to enjoy the fun as well. (They homeschool too!!) A couple of things to know. We didn't give the dough the full time to rise the two times the recipe call for, time just wasn't our friend that day and I forgot the shortening. The later explains why the dough was so sticky,lol. But even with those two errors, the doughnuts still turned out great and I think everyone had a wonderful time cutting out and eating their doughnuts!!!

Our neighbor friend and JJ working on the dough.

Even princesses can get a little dirty too but hey this is Snow White so she use to the mess.

We used a spice cap to cut out the holes.

Working with LJ.

Snow White just waiting to play with the extra dough.

Frying up the doughnuts, which took almost NO time at all!!

Making our own little holes, it was cool for even me to see the dough cook.

Enjoying the fruits of our labor. 

I'm not sure what Snow White is dumping her doughnut in, lol.  This is the same child who eats ketchup with her pancakes so there is no telling!

See mom, its really good. Ahhh boys!!!!
Well that is about all the excitement we could have with Homer Price, I wasn't going to try to rob a bank or get a pet skunk and no super heroes were in the neighborhood but I think making doughnuts was a whole adventure in its self. Thanks neighbors for joining in the fun!!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Busy Book

I have a couple of blogs that I try to keep up. L2L is my main blog that I just kinda blog what I'm most interested in at the moment and that just happens to be sewing right now. So for one of my posts I put together a busy book for CJ and then had to come up with some ideas of how to fill the thing up, lol.

I found these huge colored paper clips at Dollar Genenral for a $1 and decided to use them to help her learn how to recognize her color words.

So in "pockets" 1 and 2 I have the color paperclips and a calculator that I picked up at the $1 Store.( I haven't meet a Pre-Ker that doesn't like to play with a calculator!!!)

In "pockets" 3 and 4 I have a puzzle I made by printing off a colored picture, laminating it and cutting it into 6 pieces. ( You could do fewer or more depending on the ability of your child and it is an easy activity to change with the seasons.) and playing cards. I drew a 1 on the Ace card and then have her put the numbers in order from 1 to 10.

"Pockets" 5 and 6 are stuffed with a mini composition book and pencil as well as a simple bracelet craft. I picked up both at the $1 Store. The mini composition books came in a pack of 3.

And finishing up the book in "pockets" 7 and 8 are some doll magnets and a outline with CJs name laminated and a dry erase marker.

I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out and can't wait to try my hand at making a busy bag for the boys!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Charlotte's Web Week 1

One of the things I really like about Sonlight Core B are the readers. Our first reader of the year is Charlotte's Web and it is a great way to ease into notebooking. We have adapted notebooking, as most things, to our liking. I got each child a Composition Book and have cut and pasted different things into the books. We call them our field journals and for Charlotte's Web we have added pages on:


parts of a chicken and what the grade of an egg is.

And we a mini study on spiders as well.

I took a break from notebooking for Homer Price but do have a fun activity to share next week!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homeschool Blogs

I found some lists of the "Best Homeschool Blogs" and thought it would be fun to share them with you. Not sure what they did to determine why they were the best but here they are none the less. Feel free to leave the link to your favorite homeschool blog as well, I would give you mine but you are already here!!!!!

Top 50 Homeschool Blogs

10 Best Homeschooling Blogs

Homeschool Blog Awards

Monday, September 26, 2011

A compliment

this morning I spent 2 and half hours in a waiting room while my husband had exams done on his eyes. Thankfully I packed up all our lessons in a basket to take with me, just in case we were there for more than 45 minutes. Cool thing was we were able to get almost all our school work done while waiting. One of my favorite lessons wasn't even planned but I was able to knock out about 5 math lessons without JJ even knowing it. In his book it has him counting from 0 to 300, in different stages. I know he can do it so I never make him count for the sake of counting. But today we decided to count the square tiles up and down the hall to see how many there were. And wouldn't you believe it was 300 and JJ counted every one. Some how I think that was more exciting than just sitting behind a desk and counting. But it gets better, the boys and I all read together, out loud..... not sure why I hadn't thought about that before. Since there was a T.V. in the waiting area it was hard for me to keep their attention, so I told them they had to follow along and when I stopped reading they better be able to pick up where I left off. This worked well because I was able to regain their attention when it started to wander. And it was fun to all read together.

After we got into the car, my husband told me how the doctor complimented us on how well behaved our children are. He said most children would have been a mess by that time. My husband said, "Well we spend alot of time with our children because we homeschool." The doctor cut in, " I could tell, we home schooled our children too!!!" I just hope we shed a good light on other parents to how well homeschooling works and how fun it is!!!!! And the cool part was when we got home we were able to enjoy the day!!!! Yes I would say that was a very successful homeschool kind of day. I'm grateful for each one of them and take them in any fashion they come!!!!! How about you, do you take school with you out and about? How have others reacted to you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Break 1

Well we are on Break 1 for the year. It's really a catch up week but it has come at the perfect time. We don't have much to catch up on and we finished our first Read Aloud, Charlotte's Web. So this pause seemed like a natural beat in our schedule. I am hoping this will mean I can upload the chicken and spider worksheets I used. Until then here are some pics of the day we studied the egg. That was loads of fun!!!!

Here we soaked our eggs in vinegar, they were suppose to bounce after 3 days but our didn't. I've very thankful the kids insisted that we go outside to test them out!!!

Cracking open the egg

and of course touching it

and being silly with it

JJ was very serious about his observations

and what's an experiment without an accident

CJ was N-O-T very happy at this point. 

The kids are still talking about Charlotte's Web and we have even had a chance to go hunting spider webs and identify them. It's really neat to see them learning together and retaining what they are discovering!! I think to finish off our break we are going to make spider webs out of glue and glitter. CJ found a book at the library called Aarrgghh Spider that sparked this idea.  I think our next book is Homer Price and I am so looking forward to making homemade doughnuts!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Missionary Stories with the Millers

is one of my favorite books to read with the children. I remember sitting in front of our big world map with LJ and just bawling my eyes out as I read each chapter. And even as I read the 1st chapter to all three children, once again I got choked up!!! Now since the boys are a bit older and baby girl isn't so demanding I am able to expand a little in our lessons so we are doing three new things this go round with the book.

  1. Making Missionary Meals each Friday to explore either the country the missionary is in or was from.
  2. Notebooking the country the missionary is in and/or from.
  3. Learning the meaning of each country's flag

I am keeping a running list of all the links and worksheets that I make in my right hand column so if you are using Sonlight Core B as well, you might find the notebooking pages useful!Happy Homeschooling.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heart and Soul

What do you do when your children are fighting? Well I decided to teach them a piano song that they have to play together.

What do you do to help keep the harmony in your home?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Apple Theme

Our home school group ECHO started last week. This year I will be teaching: Pre-K Art & StoryTime and Great Inventors for 6th, 7th, & 8th.  We are kicking off the year with an Apple Theme for the Pre-K room, so when I found this poem on DLTK I knew I had to do something with the flannel board we have in our room!!!! I dug deep into my scrapbook paper and found some green and brown paper and cut out a tree to laminate.

Tree top and bottom free handed

Making sure everything is the right size.

Then I remembered that one of Teacher Book Bag's covered apples, so I printed off apples 1- 10 and laminated them as well.

I'll put double sided tape on the apples and pull them off as we count at the end of the poem.

Then I remembered that in CJs math workbook they were having her connect word numbers to their corresponding number so I laminated the word number apples as well. Yeah I like to laminate....

and glued it onto the back of the tree for a fun matching game!!! Oh I love it when inspiration falls into place so well!!!!

And if you are doing the A Beka Art Projects K4 this will go right along with Project 1. Because some families registered late I will also print off an apple tree our new kids will also have an art project to do as well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stand up for your rights!!!!

What would you do in this situation?

I do hope this is a sign of the change of tide concerning parental rights in America. Our government has gotten too big and its time we start fighting for our rights not only in drastic measure such as this mom but by educating our children of their rights!!!! I am currently looking into addressing, via the School Board, the insane decision for the public schools in our county to not teach cursive. Seems harmless at first glance, but if you can't read cursive you can't read A-N-Y of the documents written by our founding fathers. I don't have a child in public school but that doesn't mean I can not hold the School Board accountable for the education that my tax dollars pay for!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


E-V-E-R-Y  Y-E-A-R   I draw up this ridiculously detailed schedule and E-V-E-R-Y  Y-E-A-R  

it N-E-V-E-R works!!!!!!

So I've decided this year we are taking each day as it comes!!!!!! 

Now don't get me wrong, I plan out our daily lessons and there are things to get done but when they get done, that is kinda in the air. See all my children wake up at different times, and I kinda like that. It helps me get one on  one time with each child. So there is N-O typical day in our family. And I'm starting to understand that when you plan so much, you aren't prepared to go where God leads or you miss out on important moments with your children.I'm working on being more relaxed and grabs opportunities to teach when they pop up. And when the T.V is off, the DS is put away and your children can't use the computer at their leisure those moments happen more often than you would realize. Education becomes interesting instead of a struggle and learning occurs!!! Which is why we home school, to help our children learn to discover the world around them and the talents God has given them and you just can't schedule that. 

So if you were looking for a post with more details and ideas of how to run a more scheduled day, head on over the Not Back to School Blog Hop's last week and thanks for stopping by!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My SuperStars

This is such a fun week for the Not Back to School Blog Hop: Student Week!!! 
I am honored to introduce to you my Prized Pupils




We will actually do some fun Back To School Photos, like last year, but not until September. These three blessings are why on the hardest days I keep going the distance with homeschool. Yes, there are days I want to drive to the public school and throw them out, but God always gives me a reason; when I am feeling at the end of my ropes, to stay the course. And so we go at it day by day which is how we have entered into our 5th year and will continue to do so every day this year!!!! Happy Homeschooling Everyone!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bob Book: File Folder Game

We L-O-V-E Bob Books. My boys were a bit older when they started reading but since CJ is only 4, her progress is not as fast. She wants to read and can sound out simple words but I'm not pushing her into sight words just yet. To help her stay interested in sticking with sounding out words I made these file folder to compliment the word families focused on in the first 4 books of Set A1:

I'm also working on a magnetic board to go with Chicka- Chicka Boom Boom using an old pizza pan, can't wait to show that off!!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Class room

I am almost embarrassed to share these photos with you but hey this is my life!!! We have not "officially" started school but are easing back into doing seat work. I don't have any thing up on the walls yet and projects from summer are still invading our school room. We like to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination. So here are a couple of photos taken of our humble school room:

This is looking in from the living room and to the left-side of our school room. We have our hands on/ quiet time/ free time activities, library books, scanner/printer and the kids computer table. It doesn't get much use yet as we have not started Teaching Text books but its waiting and hoping we will cut it on soon!!! ( If you look real close you will see our almost completed summer project of modge podging some aluminum cans to hold all our school supplies, can't wait to show you the end results!!!!)

This is the right side of the room and entrance into the kitchen aka home sweet home! As you can tell we keep our books on this side of the room as well as school supplies by the door. Can't wait to finish up those cans!!! Can you see the blue book shelf? That has our Sonlight books divided by year. I also keep any teachers manuals with the year we will use them as well. The bookshelf behind the dry erase board we have not hung yet, I can't decide where I want it, has all our non fiction and fiction books on it. And then in the corner, with my laptop, is my desk. I've got several projects going on and being stored right now but this will be where I work my magic with lesson planning and organizing and meal planning.

But here is where all the lessons get done. The good old trusty kitchen table. It seems like most activities always come back to the kitchen, which is why we moved our school room from upstairs to downstairs.

And now I'm going to go drool over other school rooms at HOTM's Not Back to School Blog Hop: School Room Week. I hope you come back next week to see my star pupils as we share photos during Student Week at Heart of the Matter's Not Back To School Blog Hop!!!