Saturday, December 1, 2012

Learnig Log of November 2012

Wheat free almond cookies made by DD9.
 The month of November was marked by cooking and crafts. It seems the children were in the kitchen cooking with me everyday. We cooked breakfast, we baked cookies, we made soup, we cut vegetables, we tried new recipes... it was a cooking spree. It carried over into playtime outside and play time inside. There were tea parties and play dough cookies and a boy wanting to play war in the midst of it all. Fun memories!

We have also established new routines and they are turning into peaceful learning moments. I hope you enjoy the Learning Log this month and you can glean some good ideas.

Books Read Out Loud to All

* We are still doing The Dig as our daily devotion. We also began a new routine. Every  night an hour before bedtime, we sit down in the living room under the covers, all huddled together like cats, one over the other and Dad reads to us. It's so relaxing. Many times the little ones fall asleep. This month Dad read Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen. We are almost done.
* The Bible.
* The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous
* Prairie School by Avi
* A Ball for Daisy by Cris Raschka
DD5 making cookies inside with real ingredients.

* The Light and the Glory for Children (Discovering God's Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington) by Peter Marshall and David Manuel - We began reading about Columbus, then we read on about the Jesuit missionaries that ministered in the west, south and north of the United States. On to the pilgrims impact on life in America. We are reading one chapter a day and really enjoying. We are covering history, Church History, missions, geography, and more.

* Mossy by Jan Brett - this is Jan Brett's newest book. The illustrations resemble Nature Study sketch journals. The illustrations are gorgeous with many different samples of the species presented like mushrooms, flowers, butterflies and more. If you do nature study with your kids, or if you don't, but would like to, you need to see this book. If you children like to sketch nature, animals and plants they will love this book. On Brett's site there is also a video where she teaches how to draw and color the characters of the book. DD9 had a great time practicing her drawing.
Making cookies outside with sand, acorns and dirt.
* Too shy for Show and Tell by Beth Bracken
* The Usborne First Book of America - I love this type of books. I like to call them reference books. They give you a quick and broad overview on a subject. I think they are a good introduction to kids just learning how to read. Because they are very colorful and the information are in small bite size they are very interesting and not overwhelming to a 5-7 y.o. child.
* Olivia and the Fairy Princesses
* Skippyjon Jones Cirque de Ole by Judy Schachner 
We love Skippyjon Jones at our house. This is the newest book and the link is to the trailer of the book on YouTube. So fun! Here is my Playlist on my YouTube channel of a few read alouds.
* Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks - sometimes I don't really know why some authors and publishers waste their time writing some books. I think this would be considered a Twaddle book by Charlotte Mason.
* Stand Straight, Ella Kate - The True Story of a Real Giant by Kate Klise and M.Sarah Klise  The link takes you to a book review. We enjoyed the book and the illustrations were very helpful for size comparison.
Nail art on DD5 fingernails done by DD9.
* Mousetronaut by Astronaut Mark Kelly
* Splat says Thank You by Rob Scotton
* A Story A Story - An African Tale Retold and Illustrated by Gail E. Haley
* Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford
* Who Has These Feet? by Laura Hulbert
* Look and Find books - These are so much for look at with DD2 and DD5. Disney Friends and Favorites;Puss in Boots; The Smurfs; Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue.
* The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie - A Christmas book that shows kids that this season is more than just buying stuff to oneself. It does not mention Jesus in it.
* P is for Pilgrim - A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Carol Crane
* Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Pope Osborne - We read this together. I read some, DS7 read some, DD9 read some. Good reading aloud practice and history content.
* P is for Pilgrim - A Thanksgiving Alphabet by Carol Crane

* One Little, Two Little , Three Little Pilgrims by B.G. Hennessy

Audio Books
DS7 making homemade play dough.

* The Brinkman Adventures - Are you studying about missionaries and martyrs? Or maybe you would like to introduce missions in your homeschooling curriculum? I would highly recommend these audio dramas. You can go to the website and sample an episode.

DD9 is currently listening to episodes 4-6 after hearing the first 3 for 2 plus weeks every single night. The producers of this awesome resource do not want money to stop you from enjoying these stories. So for any amount donation you can download or even purchase the CDs. For more information on this resource you can read ABOUT IT here.

* The Chronicles of Narnia - For FREE, you can find the mp3 files at Ancient Faith website of the Chronicles of Narnia books read by a lady with a cute British accent. DD9 listened to the first book of the series (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and began listening to the second one: Prince Caspian. Unfortunately, it didn't capture her imagination as the first one did, so she didn't finish listening to it. We did watch all 3 movies of the series and we absolutely loved them. 

* Stories of the Pilgrims - This is an audio book by Jim Hodges. I can't remember how or where but I got this for FREE as a download. You can purchase and find more information on the audio book on the link provided or READ the book for FREE here. What I really liked about this book was that it began way before the pilgrims came to America. It tells the story of their lives in England, how they move to Holland seeking freedom of religion and how they end up in America. They were basically seeking freedom of worship but they also did not want to lose their native language and culture, which kind of begins to happen when they are in Holland. We listen to most of our audio books in the car as we go to and from places. It's a good exercise for the kids in patience and remembering the story line. Put it in your planner to read or listen to this book next November.

DD2 showing off the hairdo that DD5 created for her.
* The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson - inspired by the original tales of Beatrix Potter - book comes with a CD read aloud by the author.

* A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White, Jr. - We began this audio book read by Bill Weideman. It's massive but so interesting.

DS7 independent reading list:

* Skippyjon Jones Circque de Ole by Judy Schachner
* Greek Myths for Young Children by Marcia Williams - So how do you get your 7 y.o. to learn Ancient History and read at the same time? You get him this book!
* Let's Go for a Drive! by Mo Williems

I know he's read more than that, but he is not bragging about his readings yet. Maybe one day he will come running and let me know each and every book he is reading and enjoying. The ones I listed above I saw him reading and commenting about them.

DD9 independent reading list:

* Spunky Tells All by Ann Cameron
* The Hallelujah Flight by Phil Bildner
* Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai - I previewed this book before DD9 read it. It reminded me of the time when I lived in California and like the main character did not speak a word of English. Beautiful book. I highly recommend it! Read the link to find out what it's about.
Playing monopoly on Thanksgiving Day.
* Re-reading Hank the Cowdog series - Books 1 to 4.

* The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett - you can find lesson plans based on this book for FREE on this site. This is a wonderful book to teach and work on character.

* The Black Stallion by Water Farley - suggested by a friend. DD9 has definitely found a new book series to read. She is a lover of horses, so this book is perfect. For more information and reviews, click on the link.

* The Black Stallion Returns by Walter Farley - the second book of the series mentioned above.

* We adopted you, Benjamin Koo by Linda Walvoord Girard
* The General Store by Bobbie Kalman

Activities at Home

* Lots of playing. The kids found some train tracks up in the attic. They have been experimenting with it using a train, cars and balls. Fun for all!

DD9 making egg drop soup to our older friend.
* Lots of cooking; lots of baking. We had the opportunity to bless an wonderful older lady that has been a Titus Woman to me. Since DD9 was a baby she has been a source of wisdom and encouragement to me. She loves my children and is always ready with lemonade and cookies to see them. She went through surgery this month and we had the privilege to bring her a meal and visit with her. Of course, we went all out and DD9 fixed chicken salad and shortbread almond cookies, and I baked the wonderful (my favorite) cranberry apple cake. We also had egg drop soup for breakfast that morning and decided to bring her some. Egg drop soup from scratch is now a favorite at our home.

* Raking and burning leaves; playing soccer, basketball... enjoying every drop of autumn's sunshine. Lots of fun with the sling shot and acorns that abound around our house.

My Yummy healthy collards.
* Gardening: cleaning beds and preparing them for winter. Maintaining the compost pile. We were surprised to find out that we can grow cabbage, romaine lettuce and green onions from the scraps left. 

* DS7 and I worked on a paper bow and arrow made with paper only and it was used to his heart content this month. Using pencils, we shot his arrow in the house and outside. You can see the tutorial video HERE.

* DD5 is listening to a Phonics music CD. I have had this for years and used it with DD9 when she was 4-5 years old.  It teaches the sounds of letters through music. It's fun and engaging. She also loves Activity Tv where she watches cooking and baking lessons.

DD5 Puppy dog face cupcake.
* DD9 and I started a Mother/ Daughter journal. My Mom gave me a pretty journal and I am using it to write messages or notes to my daughter and she is writing back to me. This has shown to be a great opportunity for DD9 to practice her handwriting and spelling. She is constantly journaling. The link gives ideas of how to go about it, but you don't have to follow it to a T. I am not.

* DD9 is constantly drawing and one day she was asking how she could earn money with her art. So I showed her Etsy and many artists like This ONE or this ONE and how they sell prints of their original art. So I told DD9 she could sell Christmas cards. So she decorated one of her monsters with Christmas trimmings and her first cards were produced. Together we printed the cards, packaged them and she and brother sold them at church, to neighbors, friends and she proudly made almost $100.00. We spent the first part of the month talking about marketing, supply and demand, cost and profits and how to create a need, or sell a product, or find a market for her product. I remember I was in college when I first was introduced to many of these concepts. DD is just 9 years old! If you would like to purchase her cards you can go HERE.

DS7 doing experiments.
* DS7 is working on Math and deconstructing and building things and toys; and reading when Mom bugs him enough times. Building things with magnets and even doing experiments. We are using the FREE scientific method printable sheets from Valerie at The Crafty Classroom.

* We had family come over for Thanksgiving and we spend the day playing with their pets and cooking. The children had a great time rough housing with Uncle D; playing monopoly, chess and Uno; watching TV and videos on YouTube.

* Uncle D. is a chemist and he spent a couple of hours showing the kids chemistry videos on the net and explaining reactions, molecules, safe procedures, chemistry terms and more. We found some cool chemistry channels like Period Videos and  Steve Spangler Science. We watched a Carbon Snake. We talked about safety and never doing any of these experiments without adult supervision or safety equipment.

Homemade play dough is all the fun in pink and blue!!
* We made our own play dough. I got the idea HERE and the recipe HERE.
The children played for a couple hours on the kitchen table and creations were made. We made 2 basic colors: pink and light blue. We were trying to go for red and blue but I guess we didn't add enough food coloring to the dough. For 2 days straight we played. :)

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes

Checking out the cows at the dairy farm.
* Dairy farm: we visited a small local dairy farm and the kids got to see how the calves and cows were fed and milked. They had the most fun discovering kittens in the hay and handling them all.

* Ballet and tap classes: DD9 and DD5 began ballet and tap classes again. They are excited learning the new dances and preparing for a Christmas recital.

* Lecture held by  Margaret Ann Smith  author of  A New Kind of Life for Eddie Eagle. at our local library. DD9 and DS7 attended with me and listened as the author shared the process of publishing her books and answered questions.

Websites/ Links we found and used

* Games: the usual ones online.
DS7 learning piano on his own.

* Free Piano Lessons 4 Kids - DS7 began learning piano on his own using this website. All the videos are FREE and on YouTube. The instructor offers the lessons in PDF format for purchase as well as the videos on DVD. DS7 is enjoying the lessons. We have an electronic piano and a kiddie one. He uses the kiddie one in front of the laptop just because it's smaller. Then throughout the day, he practices on the "real" one the music he learned during his lessons. He is doing sooo good! I am impressed, but I am biased. 

* DD9 still using Rosetta Stone Software to learn Spanish. (she is getting really good at it!) she does basically 5-10 minutes a day. Also using the HEV Project website and watching videos of Geography (Brazil, Egypt) and doing their cursive program. Her handwriting is turning out so pretty.

* BrainPop  - the kids watched videos on the Presidential election; Pocahontas

Salt on a plate for handwriting practice!
* The HEV Project - DD9 is making wonderful progress using their cursive handwriting online. I used a plate with some refined salt for her to practice the movement of the letters. Amazing what a little creativity can do to boost one's mood. She was feeling discouraged once she saw how easily she could move her finger on the salt her handwriting improved rapidly.

* Spelling Connection - thinking about this one. I am not sure yet we will use it. But if you need help with spelling word list you might find this website helpful. 

* How Stuff Works Videos - we watched videos on the Roman Culture: baths, aqueducts and plumbing. The link provided takes you to that section but there are so many more to explore.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube findings

Collecting treasures at the dairy farm.
* The Chronicles of Narnia: The witch, the lion and the wardrobe.
* The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
* The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - These 3 movies were a success with the whole family. I don't really like fiction or fantasy but the lessons on these movies were worthwhile sitting down and watching the movies. All my kids loved them. I thought they might be frightened by all the half animals/ human creatures by they were not. Hmmmm... interesting.
* Barbie and 12 Dancing Princesses
* Barbie -The Princess and the Popstar
* The Prince and the Frog
* Sophia the Princess
* Lots of Doc Macstuffins and other Disney Jr shows; PBS shows; Shark Thank; Duck Dynasty; Pawn Stars;  Tank; Gold Rush; Alaska Frontier;

Homemade Egg Drop Soup!
* Watching videos of the Hobo Family and their adventures on YouTube.

* Horrible Histories on the Common Roman Toilets on YouTube. If you have boys they will love this!! :)

* What's in the Bible? Vol. 4 - We love this series. I purchase a set with 6 DVDs and I am slowly bringing them out. I know there are some good deals out there on them... they would make a great Christmas gift.

* Jan Brett's video on how to draw a box turtle from her last book "Mossy".

Building with magnets.
* Maggie Doyne video story - 25 year old young lady who went to Nepal at the age of 18 and built an orphanage and school.

* We watched DVDs from Torchlighters on Jim Elliot and Gladys Aylward stories. I highly recommend these. There are resources on the website to download in PDF format for FREE as well as special features on the DVDs with interviews and other information on the main characters of the video.

* Testimony of Steve Saint End of Spear - video were Nate Saint's son (he was the pilot who flew the plane and took the missionaries to meet the indians who killed them) tells of what God did in his life.
Mom's Eclectic List

Flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.
* The Detoxinista - wonderful recipes for GRAIN FREE baked goods. 

* From Ruby Ridge to Freedom- The Sarah Weaver story by Sara Weaver

* Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Read this one in order to preview it for my DD9 and had a wonderful time doing it. I love the style of the book. I was captivated by the Asian temperament of the main character and her family. DD9 was thrilled when I told her she could read the book. She began immediately and read it in one afternoon. I highly recommend this book.

* Check out my YouTube playlist for some interesting videos.

* I am reading lots of websites and books on living on the road with kids, how to make money location independent, the Paleo diet, organic gardening and more.

Walking the dogs!

We had a blessed month.
 It began very disappointing with the re-election of Pres. Obama but life goes on, 
and we got to make the most of it.
 Change is in the air.
 The future is bright! Jesus is coming soon! 
Are you ready to see your King??
 I am. :)




Monday, November 5, 2012

Learning Log of October 2012

Fall is here. It's been a busy month. Soccer is finally over. Thank you Jesus! Halloween is also past! (is there a worse holiday? If you like it, I am happy for you. But I despise it... I hate all the gore decorations and all the sugar eating! Yuck! I hope you had a good time if you like Halloween. :) I endure it and try to make the best of it by taking the kids to Fall festivities. 

Anyway, there was a lot happening around here and I had more photos to load but my old laptop gave up the ghost and I decided to just leave the post like it is.

There are lots of good links with things on missionaries, martyrs and Church history. If you are looking for a healhier way to eat you want to check out the end of the post for wheat free recipes that are better than the wheat ones!!

Also, how would you like to win a few items that you could gift for Christmas?? Keep posted for Give away Fridays!  

 Books Read Out Loud to All

* Still doing The Dig and reading the Gospel of Luke.
* A Girl Named Helen Keller by Margo Lundell - see my post here on a photo tour of Helen Keller's birthplace.
* A Picture Book of Helen Keller by David A. Adler
* Art Dog by Thacher Hurd
* Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel - talks about the differences of individuals but how we all need each other.
* The Story of Me - Book 1 by Stan and Brenna Jones - ages 3 to 5
* and Before I was Born - Book 2 - for ages 5 to 8 - Looking for a Biblical way to introduce s*xuality to your children? I recommend these books. The kids were more interested in finding out what it was like for me to carry each one of them in my belly. WE had a great time talking about their different personalities and the funny things they did while in my belly.
* Follow the Dream - The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sis
* The Light and the Glory for Children (Discovering God's Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington) by Peter Marshall and David Manuel - I don't usually celebrate holidays, but this year for Columbus Day we read a few books about him. I really like the Light and the Glory series because they narrate history from a Christian point of view. Assuming that God's hand was upon all those historical figures, the authors imply emotions, doubts, fears and real life questions that could have really taken place into the narrative. It doesn't read like a textbook.
* Milo and the Mysterious Island by Marcus Pfister
* Milo and the Magical Stones by Marcus Pfister
* Arthur's Reading Race by Marc Brown
* I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! by Dr Seuss
* Amelia Bedelia's First Field Trip by Herman Parish
* Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie by Herman Parish
* Sam, Bangs and Moonshine by Evaline Ness - interesting book about lying and consequences. Or an interesting book about have a very big imagination and its consequences. :)
* Blackout by John Rocco
* We finished S is for Show me - A Missouri Alphabet by Judy Young
* Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose by Dr Seuss
* The Santa Fe Trail by Ryan P. Randolph - The Library of the Westward Expansion
* The Little Little Girl with the Big Big Voice by Kristen Balouch
* God is Always There with Booker Bear by Dan Foote
* Hootenanny - A Festive Counting Book by Kimberly Ainsworth
* Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
* Abigail Takes the Wheel - story by Avi
* Can I Bring Wooly to the Library, Ms. Reeder? by Lois G. Grambling
* Same, same bu different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
 * Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds
* The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold

Audio Books

DD9 studying Spanish with Rosetta Stone software.
* The Brinkman Adventures - I am always amazed at how God orchestrates our days. This month we have been reading and studying Church History, martyrdom and missionaries and then I stumbled upon these audio dramas. They are about real life missionaries stories mixed in with lots of adventures involving a family. You can read more ABOUT IT here. The amazing thing is that the producers of these adventures don't want money to interfere with your ability to listen to their program. So you can request the first 3 episodes for FREE or make any amount donation for the download files. How amazing is that? And are they any good?  According to DD9 they are awesome!!

* The Chronicles of Narnia - For FREE, you can find the mp3 files at Ancient Faith website of the Chronicles of Narnia books read by a lady with a cute British accent. DD9 listened to the first book of the series (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and is now listening to the second one: Prince Caspian.

DS7 independent reading list:

It's a Whole Wheat Cracker Monster! No, Mom, it's a robot!
* The Big Balloon Race by Eleanor Coerr 
* Waiting for Magic by Patricia MacLachlan- he began reading this with big sister, but my mid book it caught his interest so he finished by himself. 
* The Science of Soldiers by Luica Raatma

DS7 browses a lot. He will read pieces and parts of books. Read paragraphs or excerpts of chapter books and reference books. However. he is not yet picking up chapter books and reading it from cover to cover by his own accord. I usually have to find something that will trigger his interest and then keep at it for him to finish it. I think I just need to relax and he will read a whole chapter book on his own when he is ready or the book is good enough to be read. 

DD9 independent reading list:

* Dilly's Summer Camp diary by Cyntia C. Lewis - funny and very artsy. The diary of a frog-loving girl's first summer camp experience, from the rocky beginnings to the final, fun-filled days.
* Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan - my daughter really enjoyed this book. She read it twice and then I decided that it need a read aloud so the other kids could enjoy it too..
DD9 using her favorite cooking skill: cracking eggs!
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Corn Popper by David A. Adler
* Cam Jansen and The Mystery of Flight 54
* The Spyglass by Richard Paul Evans
* Dr Seuss's Sleep Book
* A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie M. Williams - Rod and Staff Publishers
* Hurricane by Faith McNulty
* The Good Dog by Avi
* Windcatcher by Avi
* Timelines - Transport on Land, Road and Rail by Eril Davies
* Thidwick The Big-Hearted Moose by Dr Seuss
* Poppy by Avi 
* Ragweed by Avi - this is actually the first book of the Poppy's books series.
* Milo and the Mysterious Island by Marcus Pfister
* Milo and the Magical Stones by Marcus Pfister
* Hidden Under the Sea by Peter Kent - The World Beneath the Waves
* A Book of Coupons by Susie Morgenstern
* The Arrow Over the Door by Joseph Bruchac
* Pterosaurs - rulers of the Skies in the Dinosaur Age - DD9 used this book as help/ inspiration for some of her newest drawings.
* Pirates created by Bobbie Kalman - Crabtree Publishing Company
* United Tweets of America - 50 State Birds (their stories and their glories) by Hudson Talbott - This is such a clever book. If your kids are into birds or nature study, this book is perfect. There is so much in here, states' history, animal facts, fun and jokes, really cute book to introduce states and talk about some history with the kids.
* Drylongso by Virginia Hamilton
* The Magician's Nephew - The Chronicles of Narnia #1 (after getting DD9 interested in the audio books, I found the books at our library and of course, she had to read them too!)
*  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - The Chronicles of Narnia #2 by C.S. Lewis
* The Horse and his boy - Book #3 - DD9 thought the book very confusing. She couldn't understand Narnia's form of government and who was who. She lost interest in the story.
* Prince Caspia - Book #4 - DD9 began the book but didn't finish. She told me the book wasn't about animals anymore but about people. Stories about people are more complicated according to her. Hmmmm... 
* A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
 * The Science of Soldiers by Luica Raatma
* Marching with Aunt Susan by Claire Rudolf Murphy
* The Story of the White House by Natalie Miller
* Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Gold Coins by David A. Adler

Activities at Home

Who doesn't like marshmallows??!!
* We made our first bonfire as a family at home and roasted some marshmallows. The kids had been gathering sticks and wood for over a year expecting this grand day. Unfortunately it didn't last long because it started raining. But the children had fun and roasted and ate a few sugary treats. We will be doing this again for sure.

* DD5 had a serious case of Mommy-itis this month, so we did a lot of playing cards like Uno and memory games. We played tea party; we cuddled a lot and read good books. She was fighting a little cold but it was enough for her to use it as an excuse to spend more time with Mommy. I think she has been watching too many Doc McStuffins episodes.

Is that a new board game?
* Playing shop, grocery store, using play money and doing lots of buying and selling. DS7 got some new play soldiers and cowboys. He is using an old Atlas to play on, kind of like a board game. He is also building robots with old food boxes that I saved for them to play with.

* We had a Brazilian friend come over and make as some homemade Cheese bread. The kids enjoyed her very much and even "helped" out some. We harvested green beans and eggplants and my friend was happy to take some home.

Wheat FREE brownie bites!! Yumm-O!
* Lots of cooking and making things from scratch like almond flour, almond butter, bite size brownies, almond milk, coconut milk, green smoothies, pineapple juice and so much more. We have gone wheat free and our kids have joined in. So much fun. The kids are learning to cook and a lot about nutritional value of foods and why we eat what we eat and avoid processed food.

* Outside fall activities like painting acorns, drawing leaves and animals, riding bicycles, playing hunter, baseball, on the trampoline... lots of informal art and nature activities.Raking leaves and jumping in them; making messes, drawing with sidewalk chalk; soaking pine cones in pine needle scented water; making mud pies;

Playing with Tangrams.

* Still using our Singapore Math books: DD9 is on the way to memorizing the multiplication tables of 6, 7, 8 and 9; DS7 is working with measurements in the metric and US system; lots of word problems; adding, subtracting, multiplication, division and just plain practicing writing numbers (DD5 is doing that, although DS7 could use some of that since he writes some numbers on reverse!). We also did TANGRAMs. Instead of buying a toy or a book, I found information on them on the net and used this SITE to print out the puzzles on colored papers and let the kids have fun!

* DD9 is still working on Spanish, cursive, sewing, drawing and lots of writing and reading.

*DS7 has been doing lots of more writing recently: there are signs everywhere around the house; letters and notes to friends; even journal entries.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Soccer games; Karate classes

* We were invited to a costume party furnished with blow up slides and trampolines. There was also games, pinatas and candy, of course, lots of candy!!

* Fall festival held at our church: inflatable slide, hay rides; bonfire; lots of candy, junk food and a pie contest. It was such a fun time!

Websites/ Links we found and used

Our own Puppet Show
* Church History for KIDS - We have been watching Torchlighters - Heroes of the Faith DVDs on the men and women who gave their life to the spread of the Gospel. I found this website and I am using as additional resource to our studies. If you go to Torchlighters website on the page of each DVD you will find a short sample video regarding each DVD and then Description, Reviews and Resources. On the Resources page you will find a Leader guide and a student guide in PDF format as well as coloring sheets and other things like games and links to websites. I highly recommend these DVDs. In the videos section of this post, I have added links to some videos that can be found on the net. We watched the following videos and used the resource pages of:

- William Tyndale - see more about it on the videos section of this post.

* Church History Timeline - I am using this to teach the kids about timeline. Although all the people listed here are linked to Church History the concept of timeline still applies and the kids are remembering other Historical figures as well. We are locating the persons we already have studied or heard of on the timeline and discussing them. Great resource.

Leaves impressions made using crayons.
* I found Tanya and her website when I was looking for a book review on "Waiting for the Magic." I highly recommend you bookmark her website and check it often for the book reviews she lists. Tanya is a mom of 3 children and a bookworm. She also sells books and loves to read children's literature. She has great posts and a very useful one on how to find age appropriate books for advanced readers and what that is exactly. If you are a Mom who has kids that devour books and is always looking for safe and good reads, I recommend her website. 

* Sheppard Softward US Government Game: I played this one with the kids to introduce them to US government. Important to talk about our current President is doing and how his actions will lead into bad consequences for the whole country. The game covers all 3 branches of government, jobs of the President and his cabinet and teaches balance of powers.

Painting acorns, pine cones and anything else we could think of!
* The lab of Mr.Q - Classic Science - Elementary Life Science - I printed the first 8 chapters of this FREE Science Curriculum and put it into a binder. DD9 is reading it and we are discussing it together. Because she listens to Jonathan Park audio files every night and the audio dramas cover Science extensively, Elementary Life Science is very basic and elementary to her, BUT it is an opportunity for us to discuss the different World views of how life began as well as religion, culture, history and more. 

Play money from Donna Young dot org website!
* Jonathan park study guides - If you go to the Jonathan Park website and click on Learning Zone, then go to Homeschool Lessons and click on downloads you will be able to see and download these FREE study guides. You do have to become a member, but it is FREE. Each volume of audio drama has a study guide that is FREE to download in PDF format. I printed these out and put them into a binder so that DD9 can refer to them before, during or after she hears the audio files. It's amazing how much science, history, religion, culture and more these audios cover. I highly recommend you use these for at least a year as a Science Curriculum on its own. You will be amazed at how much you and your child will learn. Important note: the content has a Creationism viewpoint but it does present the other side of things. :)

* The HEV Project - DD9 is using this website to learn cursive and spelling. There are so many resources here. You  have to become a member and pay a monthly subscription fee, but you get to decide what that amount is. We are still discovering all the resources. I was surprised to find some videos from Brazil and the city my parents live in.

* ASFMS World History -I have watched a few of the videos and read some of the information. This is a fantastic website to use as additional resource for History afficionados. I hope that one day my children will want to peruse it. Right now, I think they are too young for some of the content.

* Shiver Academy - This is another interesting site I found that covers character study using the Book of Virtues. It's amazing the work this woman has put together and it's available for FREE.

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube findings

Nothing like friends to brighten our days!
* Wishbone Episodes:
- Roaming Nose - about The Aeneid
 Wishbone movies can be found on  this YouTube Channel that has a 129 videos all from Wishbone. Lots of movies/ episodes to watch without paying a dime!! Wishbone's episodes mix history, literature and adventure.

* Torchlighters - William Tyndale - this video series on the martyrs are available on Netflix, but I found this one for FREE on this SITE. I highly recommend this series. We have been reading about missionaries and martyrs and this video was a great addition to what we had initially read. Check out the Torchlighters website for more FREE resources on William Tyndale.

* The Indian in the Cupboard - DD9 read the book and was excited when we found the VHS at our library. We are so blessed, we got the best library ever!!!

* The Secret World of Arrietty

* One Hit from Home - Faith changes the game

* Journey to the Center of the Earth

* Jouney 2 - The Mysterious Island

* Rio - I had reservations about letting my kids watch this movie. I had previously watched it with my husband, and being a native from Brazil I know what Carnaval is all about. But after watching, I thought it would be ok for my kids to see since the plot was all about bird mating not people's. It provided some good opportunity for discussions about what Carnaval is and why it's a bad celebration. What we should celebrate instead. Anyway, the kids enjoyed but I would suggest you do your own research before you make a decision. The link provides one of the many reviews out there.

* Disney Jr channel is a constant here at home. The kids love all the shows. PBS is also another constant - Wild Kratts, Cyber Chase, Curious George and more. (Sometimes I wish we didn't have a TV, then again, I don't know what I would do without one!) LOL

Mom's Eclectic List

Easy pizza: corn tortillas + favorite toppings under the broiler for 3 min.
* The Detoxinista - wonderful recipes for GRAIN FREE baked goods. 

* Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage

* Living Deliberately - how to create a ridridiculously awesome life by Greg and Rachel Denning.

* Salt Your Way to Health - having trouble with high blood pressure or you don't eat salt for some other weird medical reason? Or are you looking to be in better health? Got swelling in your legs? you want to watch these videos and maybe buy the book.

As always, all the info here is just what I have used and thought you might be interested as well. All this is for my own record keeping for the kids that are coming behind the older ones. I am not a doctor or an expert in any of this, so please consult your physician, God or your best friend before using or doing anything we do here at our home. :)

Have a great week and please go vote!!!


PS I am now an American Citizen and this will be my first Presidential Election!