Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Apologia Notebooks

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available. You can see samples on the Apologia website for Botany here and Astronomy here.

We are going to be using Botany this year with P10! She has already planted some morning glories at the mailbox.

These journals are beautiful spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won't have to print and keep up with your child's notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders...everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals include:
  • A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
  • Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
  • Review Questions
  • Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
  • Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
  • An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
  • Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
  • A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest:

The contest ends on in one week on May 29th!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Homeschool Goodies for Sale

Everything from a smoke-free home. All items are postage paid. I accept paypal.
Please contact me by email:

Updated 5/20/09
Christian Light Education:
All are Sunrise Editions

Math 2 teacher’s guides - $9 (for both guides)
Math 3 teachers guide - $9
* Light units 301, 308, 309, 310 - $1.75 each (new never used)
Math 4 teacher’s guide and answer keys - $8
Math 5 answer key set - $4


God and the History of Art – $32
(includes both books, all paint and marker cards, and all picture cards – all but 2 are laminated)

Story of the World Volume 2: the Middle Ages - $8
(shelf wear on cover)

Story of the World Volume 2 Tests and Answer Key - $8
(brand new never used)

Buy both for $12


Wisdom’s Way of Learning by Marilyn Howshall - $8 - OOP
(pink version, comb binding is in bad shape, some highlighting and notes from previous owner)


Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander - $10
(very good condition, some wear on binding caused during shipping, bought new)


Progeny Press Guides on CD

Carry on Mr. Bowditch - $11
(brand new in unopened package)

The Giver - $9
(like new in opened package)


Is there Life After Housework? By Don Aslett - $3

Complete Guide to Full Time RV-ing by Billy and Jan Moeller - $10

Six Years with the Texas Rangers 1874 to 1881 by James B. Gillett - $8

The Giver by Lois Lowry - $4
(perfect like new condition hardback)

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Project 365: Week 20

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Simply Free - My New Homeschool Philosophy

As I have been on this (what seems like a REALLY LONG) journey, I have been seeking God continually. I find myself in prayer at really strange times, asking what He wants for us; for Him to show us the way for us; what is His way for us, not my own, etc.

All through this time, a verse has popped up in my head every now and then.

Matthew 11:28-30 (Amplified)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

On the way home from Mardel's yesterday, God did it again. I had taken A1 and our basket down to the homeschool aisles. I filled it with every conceivable curriculum that I thought might be a good choice for us. The basket was full! We, then, headed to the Thomas the Tank Engine table where A1 cruised around and around the table, while I flipped through books and curriculum. (this is where I'll mention what looked like a great book for new (or confused!) homeschoolers - Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles by Gena Suarez).

I finally figured out what a "relaxed homeschooler" is and realized I'm not sure if I wanted to be in that category. And I read a section on Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick. As I read this section, I felt comfortable, gracious, and pleasant. Not the "I feeeeeel like having an ice cream" or "I feeeeeeel like not doing anything today" kind of feel, but a rest. I'm already very familiar with Charlotte Mason's views on education and I agree with her, even only knowing about her ways for a couple of years. The funny thing is, apparently I agree with Ruth Beechick, too, and I've had her books on and off my shelves for YEARS! I never got to them. Maybe I wasn't ready for the rest at that time. Maybe I wanted the hard, harsh, sharp way, because it is all I had ever known.

For so many years, I fought the urge to have an ecclectic choice of curriculum. I would look at friends who chose different things, instead of a boxed curriculum, with a sort of envy. I wanted that freedom, but I didn't know how to get it. There was a time when I used Konos, but the planning got to be too much and my children weren't retaining. Other than that, I've bought boxed curriculums. I would even say that My Father's World was boxed, because everything was included, except LA and math, and I even used several of their recommendations for that.

This year I'm adopting a new motto and philosophy that doesn't tie me to ANYTHING but Christ - Simply Free. It means that I'm simply free to break the chains of bondage to a particular curriculum, to the "traditional" classroom methods of education, to return to the old paths that God laid out at the beginning of time. See, Charlotte's and Ruth's methods may be new to us, but they aren't new to God.

Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 5And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. 6And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then] 7You shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.8And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (forehead bands) between your eyes. 9And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

These things which God was telling them to teach their children were natural and they were taught in a way that the children could remember them, through feasts and traditions, etc. Not because He wanted the feasts and traditions to become rules to be followed, but because He wanted them to KNOW them, internalize them, and makes these truths their own.

We are educating our children for life, not for a job, or for college. I don't want to enslave my children to textbooks. Now, I realize there are things that they must know and do in order to follow that path with God has given them. C13 must take science courses even though he doesn't like science. He has to have a few courses for college credit to go on and do what he loves - teach HisStory.

Simply Free means that I can choose a textbook for my child if it will help him in his God-lead role, but I don't want to hinder him with textbooks. Blah! Simply Free means that if I choose to use flash cards to teach B5 his letter sounds (which I won't), I can. Simply Free means P10 doesn't have to go to college, just because every other homeschooler we know goes to college (or she could and do College Plus like C13).

Simply Free means - Get off my back, Satan - you have no hold over me!

Joshua 24:15 (NASB)

15"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

picture borrowed from Annie Lobert

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Lessons from a 10 year old

This morning I took C13 to Dallas for his volunteer job. I only had A1 with me, so I went to Mardel's and piddled around looking at curriculum and coming to some really awesome conclusions on the way home while have a quiet time with God. Big P had been left with P10, B5, and L3 in his charge. I didn't have my cell phone with me (can you believe it?), so no one could contact me with questions about lunch, etc. So, when I got home, I realized that Big P had made hot dogs for lunch. The same hot dogs that were going to be used for another meal. He hadn't read the menu that said PB&J for lunch today.

So, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Those hot dogs were going to be for another meal this week.

Big P: Well, I didn't know and I couldn't call you to ask. I'll get you some more hot dogs.

Me: It's on the menu on the fridge. Your impromptu meals end up messing up the week of menus I plan. (I said this kind of laughingly, but I was serious - read previous post where I explain that my sins are VERY evident sometimes).

P10: Mom, remember when you were listening to that thing the other day (she's talking about Todd Wilson and the Lies Homeschoolers Believe) and he said that if you say anything about the meals that dad makes, he won't ever make them again and he'll say "fine, do it yourself".

Big P: Fine, do it yourself (with a smirk)

Me: You're right, P. I'm sorry. Thank you for making lunch for them.

Me to Big P: It's pretty sad when your 10yo daughter has to remind you how to be a thankful and submissive wife!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Project 365 Week 18 & 19



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Get Real!

I was listening to Todd Wilson yesterday in the car. C13 and I were cracking up!! He was talking about Lies Homeschoolers Believe and he was pretty right on. He's funny, but he was speaking in a serious way about many issues that hit very close to home. He encouraged us to just "get real" with each other. He talked about how when we don't admit the good and the bad in our homeschools, we are a discouragement to other mom's who think we have it all together. And although I've experienced this on the side of being discouraged by someone who isn't real, I never thought that I might be guilty of not being real. So, I wanted to get real with you today, and hopefully you'll all still read my blog and want to be my friend - ha, does that sound like Jr. High or what?

I must clarify that while I'm about to divulge several "real" things, most of them I'm currently working on. I think there is a big difference in being "real" and being negligent.

I'm guilty of:
  • yelling at my children, sometimes several times a day.
  • being easily distracted and not following a schedule most days.
  • not "finishing" a curriculum in a couple of years - just keep plodding forward.
  • not cleaning my bathroom sink in a while.
  • absolutely abhoring the out of doors in the summer, so we stay inside and watch lots of movies. We'll have a pool this summer, so maybe it will be better?
  • spending too much money impulsively and then regretting it.
  • eating too much and exercising too little.
  • not having a quiet time everyday.
  • staying up too late for the simple fact that I'm indulging myself (tv, computer, or reading) and always saying that I'll do better and I never do for longer than a few days.
  • not making matching outfits for my children, although most of the time they are in clean clothes even if they have to get them out of the basket.
  • because of my lack of winning my children's hearts to myself, for nagging, for being inconsistent, and for not caring at times, I am dealing with some rebellion problems in my older children.
My children are very "real":
  • Because of switching curriculums so much, my 13 yo is still working on fractions. And even "realer" - I'm okay with that.
  • My 10 yo complains everytime she has to do the dishes (3x per day for the last 6 months). THIS IS ABOUT TO STOP - REALLY!
  • My 5 yo still drinks milk at night, in a sippy cup, in his bed, right before going to sleep.
  • My 3 yo whines A LOT about various things and runs around the house in his underwear.
  • My 1 yo is still nursing almost exclusively and although I'm probably supposed to be okay with that, I'm not. I really wish he would eat solids, get down to 2-3 nursings per day and sleep through the night. I'm just not willing to let him cry it out at this point.
  • And although you were probably hoping to see something here about how "real" my hubby is, the fact is that I see my own sins so much more than I see his, that it's hard to pick out his "faults" - now! About 6-7 years ago, that was not the case.
Everyday I'm thankful for God's grace and everyday I wake up learning to die to myself and live for Him. Everyday I fail in some aspect if not in several!

So, are you willing to "get real" with me. Remember - in order for you to be considered getting "really real", your "about me" list must be much longer than your children's. Getting real is about admitting where you fall short, not about where your children and husband fall short. We say it to our children everyday - you aren't responsible for what they do, you are only responsible for how you choose to respond.

And now, I think I've been very real and I'll try to sandwich this in to some other good posts, so it's not just "hanging out there"! LOL

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Late Night Planning

I was talking to a friend tonight (she is also the pastor's wife) and told her that I hadn't been getting to bed on time, like we were both going to do! She asked what I was doing and I told her planning and thinking about school stuff. She said "and it all has to be done this week?" I replied with, "well, no, but I'm the kind of person that throws myself into something full force and when it's done I can relax." Facts are that my life doesn't allow me to throw myself completely into something until all the children are in bed. That's not a bad thing, of course, because that's the season of my life (and I really love it!!). So, what do I do? I stay up too late throwing myself into something. Take it easy Christine! Chill a little, relax now that you know the general framework and style that you are taking with your children and GET SOME SLEEP.

And while I was on the Simply Charlotte Mason forum, I read this (posted by Sonya Shafer):

"Do not sit up late preparing lessons; what you seem to gain in preparation you lose by tiredness next day." ~ Charlotte Mason (in The Story of Charlotte Mason)

Amen to that! Charlotte Mason was a real genius and she must have known the mothers and teachers very well!

And to that I bid you all a good night. :)

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Tuesday Mornings with Mama

In an effort to really tie heart strings with my children and even win their hearts back to me I am now implementing Tuesday Morning with Mama. Every Tuesday morning I'm going to have a date with my children - one at a time. You'll have to be at least 3 to get one of these, because up until that point you are with me all the time anyway. This isn't set in stone, but it's what I'm thinking.
So, this morning I asked C13 - "hey, do you want to go on a date with me this morning?" and he was like "yea, that sounds great!" So, as soon as Big P started getting up I told him the plans. We were already ready and had the little boys dressed and teeth brushed, etc. so that Daddy could do whatever he wanted with them (they just stayed around here and played, but he didn't have to smell dragon breath!)
C13 and I went to Starbucks and I bought him a Grande strawberries and cream. He's only ever allowed to get a tall - once per month! So this was a huge treat!
We talked about his plans for scouts, history, and we talked a long time about plans for next year's schooling. I wanted him to know that I really valued his opinion. It was absolutely delightful. I apologized for something I said yesterday and for not really giving him what he needed over the past 13 years. I was kind of lamenting about how awful I felt that I had wasted that time. He said "mom, we can pick up and go from here, building our relationship back up and loving each other. we don't have to think about the past. God will fix it." What wise words young man!
Next week will be P9(almost 10)'s week. Then B5, then L3. And then we'll start all over. :) I'm so excited!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

More Collages

I'm slightly behind on my photography class, but I got my other 2 collages done for a total of 3 to answer the assignment: extreme closeups.

I changed Aiden's up a bit. I just didn't care for that middle picture. Didn't look like him really. The main face picture I have in there now isn't as sharp as I'd like but it's all I had out of about 10 of his face.

I love how the big kids collages came out!! How funny that I've had these pictures on my camera since the beginning of last week. We've just been pretty busy and caught up in other things.

I plan to do one of Brason and Landon as well. Gotta get a day of decent weather so I can get some light in the windows. I guess I could clean the windows! LOL

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Blog Makeover

I gave myself an ultimate blog makeover. It was [inter]National Scrapbook Day this weekend and instead of scrapbooking and racking up tons of supplies, I decided to give myself a blog makeover for $3.50 and more time than I'd care to admit.

I now have a subsciption feed where you just enter your email address and I don't have to send out a reminder every time I update my blog. So, if you REALLY want to keep up with it, then please subscribe in the right side bar, because I'll not be sending more emails out. I know who subscribes, too - muahhhhhahhhhahhh (that's the crazy evil laugh). JK!

I'm not completely through with the update, but have spent enough time on it for now. I will be adding more down my sidebar including more school stuff as we decide on it, etc.

Would love to know what you think. :) I was excited to get rid of our "squashed" picture from the last blog header. :( I might add a new header with pictures later.

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Under Construction

My blog needed a little face lift and now that I know how to digi scrap, I can do this myself for CHEAP!! $3.50 and a little time and I have a pretty header and all the accessories. But I'm sleepy now and going to bed, so the rest will have to wait to finish it up. :)



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