Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm Featured at Live, Laugh Love :)

Live, Laugh, Love

I am featured this week on Homeschool Feature Friday over at Live, Laugh, Love :)

I am very thankful to Julia for the opportunity to ramble on on her blog ;)

If you want to be featured, you can go on over to her post and click on the link at the bottom for information on how to get featured yourself!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dewey's Showcase

 Dewey's Showcase at the Stay at Home Librarian

I am joining Manda over at The Stay at Home Librarian this week on her new meme Dewey's Showcase.  Featuring different tools that are used for learning.  And this week I'm going to feature something that I have had for MYSELF for a while that I have just recently been introduced to the concept of using for a learning tool.

Thing 1 LOVES to use the computer, and one of his favorite things ever to use it for is drawing.  He usually isn't allowed on MY computer (it is, afterall, MINE and he has his own with his parental controls and such on it), but recently he has been on it in order to use this wonderful tool.

My WACOM tablet input device!

I have the CTE-440, in bluuuuue.  It's an older model, but it still gets to job done.  I use it when I am doing stuff with pictures that requires a lot of detail because I can better control the "pen" than my mouse.

Thing 1 uses it to draw, write, scribble... He's not quite AS comfortable with it as I am, but then I've also had it a few years and he wasn't allowed to touch it ;)

(I know he's not holding the pen correctly, we're working on it... there's buttons on it and he doesn't use those and so doesn't like to hold it down on the grip)

(Oh, and ignore my ridiculously messy desk...)

Go join Manda over at Dewey's Showcase!  Surely you must have something you can share ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Travel Kits Review


When going on vacation, whether it be by car or plane or train or boat, there are certain things that you have to take into consideration.  How long are you going to be gone?  What are you going to pack?  How long is the trip itself going to take?

One thing that doesn't always come to mind is how on Earth are you going to keep the children entertained during the trip?  If you're like me, and your road trips are generally 10 hours or more, there is a LOT of time to fill.  Sure, you can travel at night so the kids are sleeping, but even THAT doesn't last for long.

That is where something like The Old Schoolhouse's e-book Travel Kits: A Simple Way to Bless Others can come in handy.  For $12.45 you get 93 pages of ideas for special gifts to not only give your own children to make those trips much more bearable, but also to give to OTHER people so that THEIR trips run a bit more peacefully (perhaps even as a thank you if they're coming to visit you).

The 14 chapters take you all the way from determining how much and what needs to go into the travel kit, to ideas for giving it away and for opening the kits while on the road.

In the beginning they remind you of some things to consider, such as the size of the vehicle, gender of the child receiving the gifts, and whether each one should be unique or more of a "one size" sort of deal.

There are loads of ideas on what to put into the packages, keeping the items together, even all the way down to fun ways of storing different food items or craft supplies to help prevent complete backseat destruction zones.  (Not that those EVER happen on long road trips ;)  )

Loads of ideas for gifts, from practically free to more elaborate and sometimes pricey.  And as if all of THAT wasn't enough, and didn't provide inspiration to make with the giving, there are pictures throughout the e-book of sample travel kits and gifts within the kits to jump start you.

While we aren't making any big trips this summer, I will definitely be putting these ideas to use when we make our next long trek to visit family.

If I can get Link to ever take a vacation...

You can read about my fellow Crew member's experience with this product and many other products over at the TOS Homeschool Review blog.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this e-book for the purpose of writing this honest review.  I received no other compensation from The Old Schoolhouse or anyone else associated with this product.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Travel the World" Planner Module Review


If you are looking for something to do a fun unit on basic world geography, you may want to consider The Old Schoolhouse Magazine LLC's "Travel the World" module for The Schoolhouse Planner (which corresponds with June 2010).  The module can be used independently of the planner (as I have done) and only costs $7.95.

Within the e-book, you get activities for learning about globes and maps, the water and land bodies and the continents.  Thing 1's introduction to geography was a couple months ago, and was only very basic, so I was pretty excited to get this to review.

There is a little bit of something for everyone.  Puzzles, coloring pages, creative writing (poetry), lapbook elements, copywork and high school level materials.  There are even a couple recipes in there for the family to try :)  It is very easily supplemented onto, or used as a supplement to another study, and includes a large list of additional resources that are related to this module. This resource list also includes additional products available from The Old Schoolhouse, like their Download N Go unit studies and additional planner modules.

I will admit that while it is an awesome resource (including even activities for high school students, so you can use it with multiple levels at a time), it was not a good fit right NOW for Thing 1.  Afterall, he's only 5.  The concepts were a bit much for him (a bit too detailed), although he did enjoy naming the continents and oceans and coloring.  This is something that will work well for us though in maybe as little as a few months, depending on Thing 1.  Perhaps some repitition is in order for memorization ;)

This is intended for all grades, particularly K-8, with the additional high school activities carrying it all the way through high school.  The higher grades are likely to be a review, but quite thorough for these topics nonetheless.

Like I said, Thing 1 did not do well with this AT THIS TIME, but I anticipate that he will receive it a lot better in the future.

You can read about my fellow Crew member's experience with this product and many other products over at the TOS Homeschool Review blog.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this e-book by The Old Schoolhouse in return for my honest review of the product.  I was given no other compensation for this review from The Old Schoolhouse or anyone else affiliated with the making of this product.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mid July Already?!

Can you believe we're already over halfway through JULY?!  The busy fall and winter is rapidly approaching and I want time to slow down juuuuuust a little bit so I can get my head on straight first.

September 2nd is Thing 2's first birthday.  We still haven't entirely figured out what we're doing yet, or what day or anything (since his birthday is on a Thursday) but we still have time for that, right?

Sometime the end of August/Beginning of September I have a wonderful friend visiting with her family (including her little baby  *squee*) in the area.

October is when my sister has her birthday (anything being sent to her has to be sent early, since it has to travel internationally!) and Link has his birthday.  Link never wants to do anything special for his birthday >.<

November is when my mom's birthday and Thanksgiving are (both around the same part of the month).  Hopefully this year I remember to send her a birthday card... We have done Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law's house the last couple years, so while I don't have to worry about cooking a turkey (can you imagine my scatter brained self trying to cook a turkey?) I should probably make something to take ;)

Then December hits like a ton of bricks.  Both of Link's brothers have their birthdays, Thing 1 turns 6 this year, I turn 26 this year, and then there is a small time to take a breath before Christmas actually hits.  And New Year's.  (and my baby sister's first anniversary!).

I want my beginning of the year back.


No I don't.  We MOVED a few months ago.  I don't want to go through THAT again!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blast from the Past!

Blast From the Past Blog Button - mom

I am rejoining the Blast from the Past over at Debbie's Digest this week.

This is from when Thing 1 was only 3 days old (so it was my 20th birthday ;)  )  He's nowhere near that little anymore and I miss it sooo much.

Thing 2 is almost a full year old and it's just killing me >.<

Sweet baby pictures to share?  Join up over at Debbie's Digest!

Friday, July 9, 2010


So I just took a look at my blog and realized it's been a whole week since I last posted >.<

We've been busy busy busy with playing and schooling and cleaning and chilling out since our air conditioner got repaired at the beginning of last week.

Thing 2 has taken his first few steps, although he still prefers to crawl because it's faster ;)  He's still practicing new sounds and stuff as well.

Thing 1 has memorized his +0 and +1 facts!  I had him doing the test for the +0 and even though he fought me on that one, he went ahead and did the one for +1 as well and since he had that down pretty well I figured we may as well skip doing the worksheets on that.

I haven't been taking as many pictures either.  I'm seriously slacking here!

HOWEVER, I am working on a couple of reviews for the TOS crew, which will be posted later this month.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Want to Share?

My friend Julia, who I met over at There's No Place Like Home, is looking for homeschooling, blogging parents to showcase on her new Home Feature Friday.  Her first installment can be found over on her blog Live, Laugh, Love, with a note down at the bottom of how YOU can be featured.

At some point in the future I'll be there, too ;)

So go learn about Amanda from All American Family this week, and sign up to be featured yourself :)