Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our First Science Fair.

I had never participated in a Science Fair. The schools I went to never held one. Not in Brazil, not in the US. Last year, my children watched a Science Fair at one of our local co-ops and decided then, for sure, to participate this year. So they did.

DS7 said he wanted to do some explosions. Now how does one do explosions safely in a Science Fair? He had studied and learned about chemical reactions, atoms, molecules and other fun things. His project came together slowly. It really took form a couple of days before the Science Fair.

In the end, we decided to experiment with vinegar and baking soda and see how temperature influenced the reactions. We had a blast. Yes, me included. Sometimes, I feel I am having a second childhood homeschooling my kids. There are so many things I am experiencing for the first time. :)

You can see the video/ experiment we put together of his Scientific Experiment on my YouTube Channel. Don't miss it. It's really fun. You can hear the kids squealing in the background and getting excited as the explosions and reactions happen!

DD10 has been reading, listening and studying Creationism for years. This year with the help of a microscope, we dove into the study of cells. You can see HERE the list of resources we have been using. So Cells: God's Creation was nothing more than the natural choice for the Science Fair.

Not only DD10 explained her reasons to believe in a Creator using the evidences she collected through years of study, but she also provided a 3D model of a plant cell. She was so excited to make the Cell Cake. We researched the web intensely and finally found a marshmallow fondant worth of our time. It was so much fun to play with fondant. (Although I would not recommend it for every day eating. It's not healthy food, you know.)

You can see some of the videos we watched on fondant HERE. The Study of cells videos are compiled HERE. And the drawing DD10 used as her pattern to make the cell cake is HERE.

BEFORE the Science Fair

AFTER the Science Fair... the cake was gone!!!

DD5 told me at the last minute that she wanted to participate too. "I want to do a Science Project about bones." We had earlier this year traced our bodies and began cutting out white paper to represent our bones. So we all gathered and together, we finished "her" skeleton.

Her question was "Why do we have bones?" Her hypothesis: "Because without bones we would be a blob." We used FREE clipart images from Windows, the dinosaur bones pdf files to cut out bones for her poster board. You can see HERE where I got the idea for the initial project we did last year. Because DD5 can't read yet (one syllable short sound words only) we had to use pictures to represent what she wanted to say. It was a fun project too.


As I drove to the co-op, 40 minutes away from my house, I kept worrying about my kids' reactions if they were not rewarded for their hard work. I worried about people not following the rules; picking favorites, etc. I kept reminding myself what I had told my children days and weeks prior :"We are doing this for ourselves and for the Lord. It really does not matter what other people think about it. This is for our own learning and pleasure. If we don't get rewarded like we thought we should, we know that we did our best and the Lord is pleased."

Did you catch the WE in all those statements?? Yes, I included myself. I don't know about you, but homeschooling for me is very much a group effort. This was very apparent during these Science Projects. In our house, all 3 projects were a 10-hand effort. All of us helped each other.

The little kids helped DD10 to roll the fondant and make ribosomes and chloroplasts. All of us helped DD5 to cut out white paper and paste the bones for her skeleton. DS7 helped DD5 memorize her bones' names and parts. All of us helped DS7 with his experiments: one was behind the camera, another pouring baking soda into a bottle, another cleaning, cutting and paste.

What project in life do we tackle on our own? We might be doing the cleaning on our own, but someone is cooking our supper so that we can eat when we are done.

The Lord showed me that when we do a job for Him, many times, we will be misunderstood and even judged wrongly. But there is only one person's opinion that really matters: His. When we are done with our work, most of us humble ones (smile), know to give glory to God, because we know without Him we are nothing. At the same time, I can see His proud smile rewarding me for finishing, not giving up, persevering to the end. 

I was proud of my kids. Proud that they wanted to participate in the Science Fair. Proud that they knew their projects, that they were involved and excited about concluding them. For me they were already the winners!

When I know who I serve, whom shall I fear? When I know who I am aiming to please, who cares who is against me? When I know how loved I am, who cares what others may say?

There is freedom in living a life not concerned with other people's opinions. I really enjoy homeschooling. There are so many lessons weaved into our daily grind.

My kids did well. I knew they would. :)

What lessons have you learned recently though your homeschooling? Do you need encouragement? Then check out my GIVE AWAY Now!!!

 I hope you enjoyed the Science Fair post. Be blessed today,


Friday, April 5, 2013

Give Away Friday: Encouragement for a Christian Mom

Hey! It's Give Away Friday again! 

My plan when I began this was to do a give away every Friday. But if you are like me, full time SAHM with 4 kiddos that you homeschool and got lots of things going on, you know it can get crazy.

I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time finishing what I start. I get all excited in the beginning and then life gets busy and some things just fall by the wayside. But I will do my best to persevere and keep this Friday Give Aways going!

In the first one, I gave away Teach Them To Your Children - An Alphabet of Biblical Verses, Poems and Stories. It ran for more than  3 weeks... I don't know how long this give away will run.. it will probably end with another post on a Friday or the first day of the next month with my Learning Log... I really don't know.... so, if you want to win "Parenting is Your Highest Calling" and 8 Other Myths that Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields; you need to comment quickly. Don't hesitate. Do it now... Tell me one thing that worries you about your parenting or children. (And go ahead and click on the link for the book and read what other moms are saying... this book is amazing!)

As for the first give away... the WINNER is Misty.

You should be receiving an email from me or you can contact me at mytreasuredcreations at gmail dot com
 if you are ....

Now about "Parenting is your Highest Calling"... I don't know about you but as a Homeschooling Christian mom I am always looking for encouragement or advice in what I can do better. Most of the time, the books on parenting or homeschooling leave me feeling LESS than. Do  you know what I mean?

There is always something I am lacking. I am never doing enough and if I don't do things
this way or that way, then my kids are going to turn out so wrong they will never get a job, go to college, make it to Heaven... you fill in the blanks.

Leslie wrote one of the few books that REALLY encouraged me. Basically she says it's in God's hands. Yes, you have responsibilities as a mom and a Christian, but do we really think we are IN CONTROL??? Please don't fool yourself. Relax and enjoy the ride. Stop stressing.

So if you are like me: you worry, you are constantly re-evaluating curriculum, attitudes, etc etc... you need this book.

This book will make you see things differently. It will make you appreciate your family and who God has put together.

So leave me a comment if you would like to win the book. oh, yeah, the book is Biblically sound. At least, I think so. Ha!!

 And what the heck is that picture? That is the cell cake my DD10 made yesterday for the Science Fair she participated in today. I will do my best to do a blog post exclusively about the Science Fair. It was so much fun and we discovered so many gifts and talents. 

Will you come back?? :)


Check out my List of homeschool resources for sale HERE.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Learning Log of March 2013

My existing boxes refreshed ready for seeds and new plants.
Spring is here!!! We have been busy this month. I say that every month, don't I ?

My oldest 2 were busy preparing for a Science Fair that will happen in April. I have been decluttering like crazy and selling things on Ebay. God was so good and I had the opportunity to meet a group of like minded Christian homeschooling moms.

To the left my winter garden: collards, kale, green onions and broccoli. We are so blessed to live in the northwest of Alabama and we really don't have much of winter, which I love. :) Now I am getting ready for Spring. My DH built us another 3 boxes this last weekend, and we had our first outdoor grilling of 2013. Green beans and mustard greens seeds are in the ground and I am germinating my herbs indoor for now.

I hope you can find some good links and suggestions of things, books or websites to use with your children. I am doing a give away and next Friday I will be announcing the winner and offer another great book. So if you would like to win a beautiful illustrated book on character and Bible for children, please go post a comment HERE.

Books Read Aloud to All

Dad is reading The Word and Song Bible by Stephen Elkins every night as well as for our daily before bedtime routine the books from the series The Imagination Station: (You will find additional activities and information about each book on the site).
* Secret of the Prince's Tomb # 7
* Battle for the Cannibal Island #8
* Escape to the Hiding Place #9

So far these are all the books released for this series. I am selling them all as a set. If you are interested in them please go HERE or email me at mytreasuredcreations at gmail dot com.

Why is mud so fascinating to kids??
* Amon's Adventure - A Family Story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide - I have wanted to read this book for the past 2 years, but I thought my children were too young for it. Now, it's just the right time. This book will definitely be a keeper. It's written in a such a way that you can read a chapter a day during Lent or read a few for a couple of weeks before Easter. After each chapter, the author shares a Bible verse and a paragraph to think about related to the chapter. My kids are really enjoying the book, even DD5 is showing more interest in the gospel message. What I really liked about the book: there is lot of information about the Jewish ways of life, culture and belief. The book will transport you to the time of Jesus.I highly recommend it.I think we will definitely read this every year.

The trees are in bloom! Spring is here and the kids are in school. The park is all ours!!!

* Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Eileen Christelow
* Press Here by Herve Tullet  - interactive book. :)
* Wild about You! by Judy Sierra - love the illustrations... the mixed media artist in me loved to see the texture of paint brushes on the pages.
* Meet George Washington by Joan Heilbroner - Landmark Books 
* What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? by Jean Fritz  
* The Winter at the Valley Forge - Survival and Victory by James E. Knight - another book from the Sonlight curriculum.
* When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore - The perfect book for Spring Break if you are going to the beach. :)
* The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce - some books I just don't get it. :|
* Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen
* The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer
* Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado 
* Home to Medicine Mountain by Chiori Santiago - This book led to a discussion about why we homeschool. 
* I want my Hat Back by Jon Klassen - another book that won an award. What for??? :(
* Tuesday by David Wiesner
* Lucas the Littlest Lizard by Kathy Helidoniotis

Spring is definitely here because we are outside playing with playdough.

* Lives of the Musicians - good times, bad times (and what the neighbors thought) by Kathleen Krull  - I had read about this book before and by chance, I found it in our library. So we read it and as to illustrate our reading we heard the Four Seasons and used Classics for Kids website that not only features the classical pieces but the history behind each piece and its composer, as well as worksheets and activities. I highly recommend it!!

Audio Books

* The kids have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Homemade pickled ginger that DD10 helped prepare.
* The Hobbit -We haven't heard it yet, but it's on cue on my YouTube channel for next month. Or you can FIND IT HERE for FREE on and download to your mp3 player.

* The Cat of Bubastes by A.G. Henty - DD10 heard this as an audio book this past month. We downloaded the files HERE. It's a historical fiction about Egypt.

* A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White, Jr.- 
I am done!! I don't think I got to the half of it... it's way too long and since I was only listening to it while driving around the speed I was going was way too slow. I would recommend it though. If you really like history and biographies you will enjoy this audiobook. If I had more time I would finish it, but it belongs to my library I got to return it so someone else can listen to it. :)

DS7 independent reading list:

 * Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems - he read this to his sisters out loud.
* Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner - he read this book to his sisters out loud.
* Oscar and the Cricket - a Book about Moving and Rolling by Geoff Waring
*  Lego - Stars Wars - The Phantom Menace by Hannah Dolan

DD10 independent reading list:

* Misty's Twilight by Marguerite Henry
* Crime Lab 101 by Robert Gardner - Experimenting with Crime Detection
* Your Allowance by Margaret Hall - Earning, Saving, Spending - We don't do allowances at our home. From time to time, I will offer money incentives for odd jobs or completed assignments.
* Favorite Norse Myths - retold by Mary Pope Osborne
* Artist to Artist - 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About their Art - I found this
DD10 reading ARtist to ARtist book 23 major illustrators
book at a thrifty store last year and it's a beautiful book. If you have artistic children at home, I highly recommend it.

* A Room with a Zoo by Jules Feiffer - for the animal lovers out there. :)
* Amazon Diary - The Jungle Adventures of Alex Winters - 4th time checking this book out. :) Do you have favorites too at your library??
* The Apple and The Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff 
* The Bald Bandit by Ron Roy - A to Z Mysteries
* The Kidnapped King by Ron Roy - A to Z Mysteries  
* Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow - 
* Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene VelchinThe link will take you to a website where there is a wonderful book review full of details and useful information about the book and author. I highly recommend this book. AT a time where many in our country are being deceived and have government as their god, we need to study history to see what it has done to people all over the world. This would be a great read aloud.
Playdough Rainbow Dash by DD10
* Clementine by Sara Pennypacker - read once more so we could give it away or sell it.
*  The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl - DD10 own review "This book is great. It's completely unpredictable. You know, how some books you can tell what the plot will be? Like the guys who is bad turns good, or the good guy is actually a traitor? Well, this one you cannot tell what will happen. I liked it." So I guess I will be getting another book from the same author at the library. What do you think? Do you kids like Roald Dahl??
* James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
* Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow - a book about dogs and post WWII, also in Russia. We are looking to read the prequel Finding Zasha. 
* Steal Away Home by Lois Ruby DD10 and I are reading this book together at night or when the others kids are occupied and all is quiet. We are in the middle of it and it's taken us about 2 weeks. The book is set before the Civil War during the Underground Railroad and current times. It's 2 story lines in one book. Read the reviews on the link provided to find out more. Another treasure found at our library. The book is interesting enough that although sometimes we go days without reading it, we want to pick it up and see what happens next. I highly recommend it!
 * Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice - this would probably be great for a boy, because it's the story about a boy whose parents are off serving the country and he has to live with his grandparents that don't understand him as well. It's adventurous, but open ended (my daughter didn't like that).
* The Encyclopedia of Horses Ponies by Tamsin Pickeral
* Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like by Jay Williams  
Making sushi with cotton balls, electrical tape and foam.
 Activities at Home

* One afternoon, we made cotton balls sushi craft. Instead of felt, we used foam stickers and pieces that we had laying around the house. As a follow up, we made real sushi a couple of weeks later with avocados, smoked salmon, cucumber, eggs and pickled ginger. We made our own pickled ginger, you can see HERE DD10 explaining how to peel the ginger root in a YouTube video. The kids did not enjoy the sushi rolls but DH and I goobled them up. 

* Unit Studies (not on purpose, it just happened!) - Composer Vivaldi... we heard the Four Seasons of Vivaldi ,
* DD10 is sewing again... creating her own designs.

* Preparing for Science Fair in April. Lots of research on Cells, watching videos, drawing, making lists, writing, writing, talking and discussion Creationism versus Evolutionism point of views.

* Stories of Adventure and Survival -  The Globe's Readers Collection - DD10 is working through this book. It's a book filled with short stories with writing exercises of comprehension and thinking critically.

* DD5 is working on ClickNKids that we purchased at the end of 2011. She can read all the short A sounds and we are now working with the short I and O sound words. I am using the Hooked On Phonics books I used with my oldest children, as well as Word Family Fun activities, Explode the Code 1, I Can Read It! book 1,

* DS7 and DD10 are doing the Logic of English Language of Arts curriculum together. We meet 3 x a week and for about 40 minutes or so, we goof around, laugh and learn about spelling, grammar and writing. The kids are enjoying and so am I!

* Lots of playing: in the mud; with playdo; outside; in the garden; in the park; on the Wii; with
The dance of glow in the dark sticks in our living room.
friends. We had a couple of playdates.

* DD5 was helping me the other day fold laundry and I videotaped her explaining how to fold socks. She loves to teach and boss her siblings around. I think she will be a great Mom. :)

* One night we had a black out for a few hours and I brought out the last of the glow in the dark sticks from last summer. Got to remember to buy more this summer. They are so much fun when the power goes out, or we swim at night.

Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Karate classes - the kids are now in the intermediate class and sparring a whole lot more. It's amazing their growth in karate in just one year.

* Ballet and tap classes. Preparing for a Recital in May... the costumes are here and they are soooo cute! 

< As a side note and encouragement, I want to share with you how God made it possible for our girls to take these classes. Almost 2 years ago, when the girls began dancing I noticed that the studio was in need of cleaning. I figured the teacher probably didn't have anyone cleaning it for her and didn't have much time to actually do it herself. So I offered to swap services. I offered to clean the studio in exchange for the girls monthly fees. She accepted and since then every month I go there and sweep, dust, mop, clean and feel so good to be helping the teacher and making sure my kids are using a clean place. It was also a blessing when my DH work decreased and all of sudden the fees were just too much for our budget. Since the money wasn't coming out of pocket but sweat, we didn't fret. This month and last month, DD10 began going to work with me. She is becoming such a hard worker. She is so diligent and I am so blessed to work side by side with her. It's amazing the opportunities that God provides to teach our children the importance of work, service and the value of things, if we would just grab them. :) So be encouraged today, look around for the opportunities that present themselves to you. >

Our new pet: crawfishes that DD10 collected at the park!
* Lego Club - this month, the homeschooling Dad hosted the club on a Saturday morning and the majority of the parents were dads. It was a good time for all. They built things that go into water. They talked about buoyancy.

*An out of the blue trip to the park. I had to run to the post office so we just took a couple of hours off and went to the park. We collected crawfishes, checked on the frog eggs, lichens, mushrooms, moss, squirrels; played with children visiting from Iowa and enjoyed a beautiful sunny spring day.
 I decided to do some squats and lunges while the kids were playing and did not realize how out of shape I am until the next day. For the next 3 days I was so sore I could barely walk. :)

* Many trips to the library. Books, DVDs and any other educational items (toys included) are great items for libraries. What are you donating as you Spring clean?

Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* Free Music Archive - where you can find classical pieces performed by orchestras... Here we The Four Seasons ; Mozart and Beethoven.
DD10 using Typing Web to improve her skills.
found the complete works of Vivaldi -

* Classics for Kids website -we listened to the programs about Vivaldi, Bach and used their activity sheets as complementary work, as well as listened to the music with the website above.

* Beethoven's Wig - more classical music with funny lyrics. Get your kids enjoying classical music.

*Animal Jam - According to DD10, it's awesome! It has animals, which she loves. Lots of social interaction, which is fantastic for a social butterfly. You do have to get a membership to get extra fun stuff according to my kids, BUT we are not members. Too much money for something that can get addicting really fast. I would say this is the facebook for kids. I don't do facebook, so what do I know!!?? Anyway, if you allow your kids to do social interactive websites and they are animal lovers, you might want to check this one out.

* Bozeman Science videos - For the science fair project, DD10 watched many of the biology videos on this website to prepare. Although, they are NOT from a creationist point of view, there is valuable information here.

*Typing Web - A few months ago the kids used the BBC Dance MAt Typing Game to learn how to type. Because of Animal Jam and all the chatting that goes one there, DD10 said she needed to improve her typing skills. So I found the Typing Web to be a better typing program since the exercises are more fluent and similar to real typing. You can create an account so you can keep up with your progress and it's FREE.

* Apps Games: Dinosaur War; Carnivores; My Little Pony;

Ballerinas and princesses like to swing!

TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

* The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe - DVD from our library.
* Over the Hedge - DVD from our library

* The Revolution - Disc 2 and 3 - a documentary on the Revolutionary War; from Netflix.
We are watching the videos as we read on the Revolutionary War. This documentary is really good, gives a really thorough perspective on the war that I never got in school or seen in textbooks for that matter. I highly recommend.

* My Little Pony; Doc McStuffins; 

* The Life of Jesus Christ - animated movie on YouTube. 

* Testament - The Life of Elijah - animated movie on YouTube- on this movie Elijah sings opera. I thought it was a very creative take on this story.

* The Life of Elisha - animated movie on YouTube - I think of all 3 this was my favorite.

* Spymate - a silly family movie.

* Good Eats on YouTube - we watched episodes on eggs and did our own experimentation with a variety of brands to find out which eggs where best.
Free range, grain fed, organic eggs?? which one is better??
* Thou Shall Laugh - The Deuce - Christian stand up comedy show on Netflix. So funny! The kids loved it! we will watch it again.. other than references to single parenting and being tempted by seeing a naked women, everything else was clean. Taylor Mason was really funny with all his puppets. He was a hit with the kids. You can watch him HERE on YouTube.

 Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung - This is a dramatic story of family's survival that is torn apart by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.... if you haven't read anything on this subject you might want to begin with this book. This is the first of a trilogy written by Loung who is a survivor and today lives in America. It will give you a new glimpse into Asian culture and the effect of communism.

* Becoming a Millionaire God's Way by DR C.Thomas Anderson - If you are NOT a tither or a giver, but a Christian this would be a good book to read to find out WHY these 2 things are very important.

* 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum - Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style by Cathy Duff - A friend gave this to me and by accident I read it. What a surprise! Inside I was able to find out what my learning style is, as well as, my kids learning preferences. Guess what?? We are doing exactly what we were supposed to. We are unschoolers, interest led learners at heart. :) I would highly recommend this book if you are doubting your journey, or struggling with a child. You might be able to find out what best learning style fits him. Read the reviews on the link, they are really helpful.

* Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

So that is it for this month! Don't forget to check out the Give Away and there will be more in the coming Friday.