August 24, 2014

LAST DAY FOR THIS YEAR'S OMNIBUS

Last call for the Omnibus, my friends! Sale ends tonight at midnight!  
The OMNIBUS sale has ended...see you next year!
 

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

A few final thoughts:

1. When you make a purchase of the Omnibus, you can enter to win one of THREE Kindles! Yay, you!

2. The value of this fab bundle is around $600, and the price is only $25...that's like paying around ONE quarter per item.  So even if you wanted a few of these items, it's worth it! And you'll have a whole pile of other great resources as well.

3. There's no doubt you will uncover some amazing inspiration here.  I have been so rejuvenated to start this school year just by reading some of the fabulous titles in the bundle. 

4. These titles are written by moms just like you.  We've come together, written about our passions in our homeschool, and shared them with others just like us.  It's almost like sitting down to coffee with a good ol' friend to chat about your passion: schooling your children well.


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111
 



Here's some more info on the Omnibus, including a full list of eBooks included.  You can see more info about the Omnibus on my post from Monday as well.

D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.
 


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111



August 23, 2014

A FEW FAVORITE HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES

It's probably no secret that I'm getting really excited for school.  I've been sharing posts all week on the planning I've been up to: Language Arts Notebooks, Art Plans, and Having a Hands-On Homeschool.  I've tried to tie this in with the big Omnibus sale we're having at iHomeschool Network.  This bundle really is amazing and I hope I've been able to share that with you. 

***UPDATE: the Omnibus sale has ended***
 
 
I wanted to do a round up of just a few of my favorite books you'll find in the book bundle.  Resources I didn't even know I needed, but now I'm in love and super inspired!

 Every so often, iHomeschool Network Studio host live podcasts for their listeners.  You can find out more on www.ihomeschoolnetwork.com.  I have listened to several while I've folded laundry or made dinner.  I have been SO inspired by these talks.  So inspired! I listened to a talk by one of my favorite homeschool mamas, Cindy West, as she talked all about one of her favorite subjects: Living Math.  I am so intrigued by this topic I am doing a ton of reading up before school starts and am really going to incorporate this into our homeschool.  Had I not received the Omnibus and listened to this podcast, who knows if I would have been as apt to read into this?  If you are interested in the topic of living math, Cindy has a fantastic eBook on it: Loving Living Math.  I believe there are around 23 podcasts total and I'm sure there are some that would strike your fancy.



Circle time has always seemed like way too much of a "regular school" thing to me to try at home.  That is until I read this book.  In Circle Time, Kendra talks about the importance of having a set aside time during your school day to not just talk about much more than the date and weather.  Some of Kendra's suggestions for morning circle time include:
  • -Daily scripture
  • -This Day in History
  • -Songs
  • -Poetry
  • -Art of the day
  • -Subject reviews
Kendra includes several printables at the end of the book where she lists TONS of ideas on what to include in your circle time.  She also includes pages to print to plan your time together.  There are tons of reasons why to include a time like this in your homeschool day and the benefits it has.  Kendra also talks about renaming your circle time something more fitting for older children.  I'm planning on calling ours our Morning Meeting.  I'd like to incorporate poems to memorize and/or other recitations, review our history or science, talk about things we're stressed about or happy about together, review our day ahead, and review our German we've been studying this summer.  I'm really excited about doing this this year for the first time!








 This was one of the many surprises I found in the Omnibus this year, a fabulous children's literature pack!  We are studying the middle ages this year and this pack includes both a TON of lapbooking components AND a ton of notebooking pages for two of the books we're reading this year: King Arthur and Robinhood.  This pack also includes lapooking components and notebooking pages for the following books: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Gulliver's Travels, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Call of the Wild, Robinson Crusoe, Wind in the Willows, and Tom Sawyer.  Great resource!



Writing is something we are really going to try to beef up this year in our homeschool.  I love this book by Jimmie Lanley on writing essays.  She has some great ideas on writing introductions and conclusions, for brainstorming, and getting the writing juices flowing.  She has included plenty of printables to use in the brainstorming phases.  I plan on using this a lot this year especially with Noah, who will be in 7th grade.  Jimmie stresses that you don't need a big, fancy writing curriculum to teach writing, but simple formulas to teach good writing skills.  She has made something that's been a little intimidating for me to teach seem much simpler and doable.



This one was yet another little blessing I discovered in the Omnibus.  One of Noah's main texts to read this year for history is Famous Men of the Middle Ages.  This book provides piles of wonderful notebooking pages and printouts to accompany this book.  I love that I will be able to print off some beautiful pages to add to Noah's history notebook that tie into what he's reading.  I love that!




https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=221111&c=ib&aff=183558


Here's some more info on the Omnibus, including a full list of eBooks included.  You can see more info about the Omnibus on my post from Monday as well.

D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

TITLES INCLUDED IN THE OMNIBUS:

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111



DISCOUNTS AND FREEBIES INCLUDED:
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111




August 22, 2014

32 THINGS I'VE LEARNED SINCE I TURNED 30

It's true.  It's my 32nd birthday today.  Two years ago, I had just found out I was pregnant with my fourth baby and was pretty sure I'd never feel young again--30 + number 4 was a lot to handle at one time.  I don't feel like that anymore now.  I've learned a lot since the decade change.

1. I've learned in two years that life is so much more than a number, always counting just seems to make the time tick faster anyway. 

2. I've learned that life can change in the blink of an eye, or the *ping* of a text, or the + on a pregnancy test.  Not all the blinking and changing are hard, but change always seems to bring with it some difficulty.

3. I've learned to do whatcha wanna do!  Life really IS short.  I mean, who's to say we have tomorrow or five years? Why wait to live the life we want to live?  Don't do anything ridiculous like charge a Hawaiian vacation on your Visa this afternoon, but really...let's live!  And live to the fullest.



4. I've learned there really are 14,000 things to be happy about.  Even if life pretty much sucks big at the moment, there's things to be happy everywhere--baby toes, a random phone call from a friend, fresh sheets, fun things on the calendar, paid bills, movie nights, love notes from your kids, first coffee in the morning.  There's just so much to be happy about.

5. Along that line, I've learned to focus on the little things and let the big things hash themselves out. Helen Keller's quote, "be thankful for what you have while working for what you want," has been my mantra.  Her words ring so much truth in my ears.

6. I've learned that I can run again.  I thought I'd never run a race till Vera graduated, but I did it.  I've been running several times a week for almost two months now.  That feels good.

7. I've learned that unlikely friends are usually the best kind.

8. I've learned that I can balance being a mom of a pre-teen and a toddler and a couple in between and I can be pretty damn good at it.

9. I've learned that my words can make a difference, even when I feel so small.

10. I've learned how very precious being alone and being quiet is to me...it's getting more and more as I get older.

11. I've learned that love doesn't always (or ever) look like the movies.  It's real and it hurts sometimes, but it's always worth the work.

12. I've learned I am the home manager--it's ok to boss (not that I've ever had a problem with bossing) and make those little people pull their weight.

13. I've learned relationships change, and that's ok.

14. I've learned to treasure words, even the hard ones that smart--to collect quotes like they're pretty pieces of beach glass and hold on to them forever.

15. I've learned dreams can change and that's ok--as long as you always have them.

16. I've also learned with dreams that they're pointless unless you are working towards them--or planning for the right time to do so.

17. I've learned to listen to the words of Anne Sexton and "put my ear down to my heart and listen hard."

18.  I've learned that a lack of focus is a robber of time.

19.  I've learned that with my house, even though it's not mine and even though I wouldn't pick this thing ever, and even though I know it's not forever--it's my home, our castle, our refuge.  If I can make a rented townhouse feel like home, I can make anyplace feel like home.

20. I've learned that my relationship with the Creator doesn't have to look like anyone else's.  I can be comfortable knowing what I know and believing what I believe.  Comparing my relationship to someone else's only leads to questioning what I already know to be truth.

21.  I've learned I need to nurture myself more--get more sleep, get up earlier to have morning silence, eat healthier, take more time.

22. I've learned that a prayer of gratitude is my favorite.

23. I've learned that I don't only read before bed because I love to read, but it creates a lull in me and helps me doze off thinking about the story rather than to-do's or stresses.

24.  I've learned I actually do like Ernest Hemmingway's books.  I thought I didn't.

25. I've learned that we really are "not born all at once, but bit by bit," as Mary Antin says.

26. I've learned to ask--for help, for advice, for forgiveness.  Asking is good.

27. I've learned I can do hard things--like learn German, work hard for a goal, wait, adapt, be full of gratitude when it's difficult.

28. I've learned I hate mice more than anything.

29. I've learned that Sabbath doesn't have to be in church.

30.  I've learned just how important it is to pause--take it all in.

31.  I've learned what my job description really is: Investing Love into my babies everyday.  It's tiring and it hurts but the return on my investment is probably going to be amazing.

32.  I've learned that I'm alright.  I don't need to figure everything out.  There can be question marks floating around out there and that's ok.  Those will figure themselves out and there will be new ones that pop up.

We're off to the beach today--a birthday on the beach, what have I done to deserve such a thing!? I am so excited, and I can't wait to show Vera the seaside.  Happy Weekend, all!



Don't forget, the last day to purchase the 2014 Omnibus is Sunday! Read more about it HERE, HERE, and HERE

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111


 



August 21, 2014

6 REASONS TO HAVE A HANDS-ON HOMESCHOOL

 
 
One of the biggest reasons we decided to homeschool was because I wanted my kids to LOVE to learn.  I didn't want them to finish the bulk of their childhood education with a dry sense of what an absolutely amazing thrill learning can be.  I set out seven years ago thinking, "I can give him more than a worksheet."  And so began our journey of messy learning.  There is no other way I'd teach my kids, and here's a few reasons why:

 
 
1. They take ownership in what they're learning.
 
From when they are very small, I give them projects to do based on their age that requires little or no assistance from me.  I like to watch a lot.  I want them to get their hands dirty.  I love watching hypothesis form and ideas swirl.  I explain what we're going to do for our project, help them set up and get going, and then they take over--take ownership.  It's beautiful.
 
 
2. They retain the lessons. 
Two years ago we studied the human body.  A lot of the lessons were pretty detailed and over their heads.  There were a TON of vocabulary words and a TON to remember.  I went into the unit study just hoping that they would retain some of it.  It was two years ago and I just asked the boys what the center of a cell was called.  They both knew.  They quickly noted the yucky candy cell we made out of Jello and candy to show the parts of the cell.  Even though they might not be able to name the parts of the heart, they learned the basics of a subject that was over their learning level.  I really believe they would not have retained that knowledge had we only done worksheet and textbook work.


 
3. My kids are able to use their gifts and their learning styles.
Many times when we do projects, we break things up into jobs.  They are always stretched and challenged, but they also get to shine in their areas of expertise.  Jack focuses on little details while Noah makes sure everything makes sense.  Sophie adds a colorful flair, and you've got yourself a beautiful work of art.  I love that they are able to cater to their personal learning styles, especially my visuals and kinesthetic learners. 
 
4. Using projects in your school is cross-curricular.
Say I ask my children to each put together an interesting report on a famous person from the Civil War.  Maybe a cereal box report.  Each kid (Sophia might need extra help) has to do research on their person (critical thinking, history and/or science, computer skills, library skills), they'll have to create a neat-looking display for their box (art, neatness, detail, and drawing or penmanship), they'll have to write they're report (grammar, spelling, composition) and type it up (computer skills), and they'll have to present it (public speaking, prose).   Projects can stretch even farther than the subjects I've list here of course too, but needless to say, you're packing a whole lot of learning into one project.

{this post contains affiliate links--I do not link to items I don't already own and/or love.  thank you for supporting this blog!}

 
5. Hands on learning is a great way to test their knowledge.
I use projects to end units we're studying a lot.  Most of the time I have the kids then present their projects too.  What I usually do is give them a checklist of what information their project needs to include and then give them a due date and a presentation time.  The projects can be anything. 
Some ideas could be:
File folder report
Diorama
Skit
Recitation with a poster
Maps
Models
 
Doing these detailed projects instills so much more than a written test could.  They are being tested by having to review what we've just covered for the given unit, but they are testing in a way that will expand their learning beyond a circled letter.
 
Sidenote: I also give my kids written tests too.  I think its important to be able to take tests in different ways and if they ever went to public school, I would hate for them to have never taken a written test.
 
6. You're making memories.

The time we've spent together doing the hands-on part of school has created immeasurable memories.  Noah remembers projects we have done together from years ago.  Several years ago, my brother taught the boys a unit study on physical science and they still remember it.  Times like these go so far beyond the school desk.  The time you spend with your kids having fun, making messes, and learning together is so precious.


 
 
***UPDATE: the Omnibus sale has ended***
 
 
I love talking about creating a hands-on learning atmosphere in your homeschool--talking AND reading about hands-on learning.  One of the most fun books I found included in this year's Omnibus is Kris Bales' book called Hands-on Learning.  She covers some amazing ideas for projects and more and gives some great reasons on why to incorporate them into your school too.  Some of the things you'll find in her book are:
  • recipes for salt dough and paper mache
  • how to incorporate games
  • giving great presentations
  • tons of resources for more ideas on hands-on learning
  • setting up learning centers
  • great ideas on narration
 



hands-on-rendering1


Kris's book is just one of the 95 reasons you need this year's Omnibus.  It truly is such a wealth of great information--written BY homeschool mamas FOR homeschool mamas.  I have been so blessed and enriched by the portion of the books I've read and the mp3's I've listened to.  Such an amazing resource for your homeschool.  Here are a few more details about the Omnibus: 



D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.
 


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

TITLES INCLUDED IN THE OMNIBUS:
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111
 



August 20, 2014

ART PLANS: 2014-15

{this post contains affiliate links...thank you for supporting this blog}
 
 
 ***UPDATE: the Omnibus sale has ended***
 
 
I'm continuing on with my week of homeschool posts on how I'm planning for this school year plus how I'm using the 2014 Omnibus.  I sketched out several of the books I wanted to tie into my posts, when my list was done, I would have had to write almost 20 posts.  I'm probably not going to have time for that, but it should show just how very helpful this book bundle is going to be for me this school year. 
 
If you're new here, the 2014 Omnibus is a collect of products...eBooks, planners, mp3 recordings, freebies, and discounts created for homeschoolers by homeschoolers.  There are around 90 planners and eBooks on a multitude of different subjects and around 20 mp3's recorded by iHomeschool Network Studio.  I have been listening to many of these and been SO inspired.  One of my favorite talks is on living math by Cindy West.  Cindy was truly my biggest inspiration when I began homeschooling seven years ago.  She is very knowledgeable on all things Charlotte Mason, and she wrote a great book on Lessons of Charlotte Mason that I've talked about before.  Ms. Mason was very pro-living math and Cindy explains how to incorporate it into your school so well.  I am so glad to have these 20+ podcasts to listen to throughout this year (and beyond) to help encourage me when the days get thick around here. 
 
 
I've been moving right along with making plans for our school year and this weekend I tackled our art plans.  We're studying the Middle Ages in history, so initially I had planned on choosing an artist from that time period to study each month.  There are so many cool things to study, though, I decided to plan a really random year of art, some of which goes with other things we're studying and some does not. 
 
Here's an overview of our year of art, although this is just a general layout for the year.  If the kids are really enjoying something we're doing, we'll probably stick with it for a while longer.  Also, we do art class about once a week.

A R T   U N I T S
2014-15
 
SEPTEMBER: Artist Study on Wassily Kandinsky
Projects: Black Lines (Master Kitz)--one kid will use the kit, the other two will create something similar on their own
Create Kandinsky's Circles
Kandinsky's Trees
 
OCTOBER: Origami
Projects: Learn origami and the history behind it.
Create animals
 
 
NOVEMBER: Native American Art
Projects: Weaving with different fibers
Make a dream catcher
Make our version of God's Eye
 
DECEMBER: Handmade Gifts for Christmas
Projects: Calendars
Photobooks
 
JANUARY: Royal Art
Projects: Roualt's Kings and Queens
Work with fabrics and different mediums
Castle art
 
FEBRUARY: Artist Study on Klimt
Recreate Cat Painting
Books to Read: Klimt and His Cat

MARCH: Art Journaling
Projects: Create an art journal
Use words, ink, paint, etc.
 
APRIL: Ocean Art
Clay sea shell pots or frames
watercolors
 
MAY: Artist Study on Michelangelo and other Reniassance artists
Projects: Use Discovering the Great Artists for good ideas
Paint on our backs like Michelangelo
Talk about the Mona Lisa and DaVinci
Books to read:   
 
 
I gathered up a ton of magazine articles and printed out pages and put them all in a binder to keep it all together.  I think it will be a great year of art.  We all tend to really enjoy art class, but sometimes we strike out on ideas and sometimes we strike gold!
 
One gold strike was discovering chalk pastels.  My kids LOVE chalk pastels! One of the first resources I went to when learning about them was Hodgepodge, specifically their book on Fall Chalk Pastels.  They have terrific ideas and techniques when using chalk pastels.  Their fall book AND their summer books are BOTH included in the Omnibus this year. 

 
We use a lot of basic supplies like Crayola markers and crayons and glue sticks, but we also have some specific favorites too.  Here is a list of those. 
 
OUR FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES:
 
 



Another thing planned and ready for this school year! I hope you got some ideas for your art class too.

I also hope you'll consider taking a closer look at the 2014 Omnibus.  You guys, there are such great resources and remember, the sale is only through this Sunday!  The homeschool eBooks that I referred to in just this post alone total over $20 and the entire Omnibus is priced at just $25...a package valued at $545!  I have a complete list of all the books and freebies included below.
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111




Here's some more info on the Omnibus, including a full list of eBooks included.  You can see more info about the Omnibus on my post from Monday as well.

D E T A I L S on the O M N I B U S:
  • There are 83 eBooks and 24 audio mp3's included in the bundle.  Everything comes in both Kindle and pdf formats.
  • Bundle includes discounts and freebies from 25 great homeschool companies.
  • The cost of the Omnibus is $25 total.  With a $545 value, that's less than a quarter per item.
  • You are entered to win one of three free Kindles with your purchase.
  • This sale is for ONE WEEK only, August 18-25!  It will not be available after the 25th.
  • You can also purchase a DVD for $8 more to receive the entire collection on DVD.
I M P O R T A N T:
  • The deadline for refunds is September 5.  There will be no refunds given if the host shows that you have downloaded any files.
  • The eBooks will only be available until September 25th, please do not delay in downloading them.  See FAQ (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/faq/) or contact iHomeschool Network (http://www.homeschoolomnibus.com/contact) for more information.
  • DVDs can be purchased for $8 until September 20th.
 


https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111

TITLES INCLUDED IN THE OMNIBUS:
 
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111
 


DISCOUNTS AND FREEBIES INCLUDED:
https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1363915&c=ib&aff=183558&cl=221111
 


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