Saturday, March 31, 2012

April iPAD Mania GIVEAWAY!!!

Family Style School has teamed up with Bay Area Mommy and some other awesome bloggers to bring you this amazing chance to win the two hottest tablets in the market today!

Grand Prize: The New iPad (or $550 cash)
Second Prize: Kindle Fire (or $200 cash)

Entries will be accepted from April 1 at 12:01am EST until April 21 at 11:59pm EST. There are no mandatory entries but there are lots of ways to gain more entries to to the giveaway. The more tasks you complete, the more chances of winning!

Open worldwide. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for the prize. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Apple or Amazon. Winners will be drawn on April 22 and will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email. Kindly include to your email's white list to make sure that in case you are picked as the winner, the notification email would not go to your Spam folder.

Good luck! 

I really hope one of my readers win!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Reasons My Marriage is strong.

 1. commitment
2. love
3. respect
4. understanding
5. intimacy
6. friendship
7. thoughtfulness
8. caring
9. kindness
10. forgiveness.

Just sayin'  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday Chronicle- Review and GIVEAWAY

Would you like to give a personalized gift for anyone, anytime?

I had the chance to receive The Birthday Chronicle to review, just in time for my mother’s birthday.  
birthday chronicle

The Birthday Chronicle is a quick, unique gift idea.  You don’t even have to leave your house.  Just order right from the internet and she sends it to your email via PDF within 48 hours for get this, JUST $2  You can also have in printed on a variety of background papers ($6) and even framed ($20) if you wished and mailed right to you or the receiver of the gift.  All money made from these goes to benefit needy children.

I was very impressed with The Birthday Chronicle.  The font is easily readable and accurate to the date I chose. The pictures were great too.  My mother’s name was used even in the stories, not just in the headlines.  It is very personalized. 

It has everything from the weather that day, National News, World News, celebrity, music, sporting events and more all from the day she was born.

I printed it for her on HP Glossy Brochure paper, which is really one step down from photo paper and it looks great.

Because I Tried it, offers so much more than The Birthday Chronicles. They have everything from What Your Name means, to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Poems.  Even letters from Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and more. Unofficial Birth Certificates as well as This Day in History are just a few more.  There are so many.  Not sure which one to get, she even has gift certificates. 

You will want to sign up for her newsletter as she offers freebies a lot. Because I tried it can be found all over the web.

  • Join their newsletter 
  • Twitter 
  • Be their friend on Facebook 
  • Be their friend on Google+ 
  • Because I Tried it website.

  • Would you like to WIN your own copy? 
    Just follow the directions below.

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    TOT School~ March 25, 2012

    It has been a while since I have done a Tot School post.

    Tyler is 2 1/2. 

    He spent some time painting with water colors.  Ever since last weekend, St. Patrick’s Day, he is obsessed with rainbows. Next week I will use the Rainbow tot pack with him. 

    He made a bird feeder with us.  He chose to do an American Flag shape, because it was a blue cookie cutter.

    We traced our hands and made Easter Lilly flowers to display.  He really loved this.  He wanted me to trace his hand so many times.

    He played a little basketball on the fridge.

    He “helped” daddy fix the water pump on my car.

    He has been playing a handwriting game on the Kindle this week too. 

    Check out all the neat stuff other tots are doing over at Tot School. Tot School

    Don’t forget to vote for me too!!
    Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

    Thank YOU!!

    *affiliate links are used. If you would rather not use them, a simple Google search will help you find what you are looking for.

    A Perfect Pet for Peyton Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

    I feel that I had such an amazing opportunity in reviewing A Perfect Pet for Peyton.  The full color illustrations really kept my kids interested as well as there are activities on each page (finding certain pictures).  This isn’t just any book.  This book taught us all what the Five Love Languages are.  After reading the book each of the children took the Love Language test in the back of the book.  Now I know each of their love languages.  That is priceless.

    This wonderfully imaginative children’s hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four-color illustrations (with hidden details!) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love. Based on Gary’s highly successful The 5 Love Languages®, A Perfect Pet for Peyton tells an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle up and spend precious time together reading this book over and over again.

    The 5 Love Languages:
    Would you like to win your own copy?
    This is a really great book!

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Week in Review~ March 23rd.


    5th Grade

    Language Arts-  This week Emily has taken a few more practice tests, fill in the bubble style.  I am honestly not sure how helpful these are, as most testing is done electronically now.  She has also been reading and we have started a new writing curriculum.  Write with World.

    Math- She has been learning about area and perimeter of parallelograms and triangles. 

    History- This week has been easier history for her, the chapters have been shorter.  She has been learning about the events leading up to the Louisiana Purchase.  

    Science- This unit has been on physical vs. chemical changes.  She did a few experiments with this.  She made slime. On Sunday we will do another experiment with plants and fertilizer. 



    Emily painted an Easter egg on

    a canvas. 

    1st Grade

    Language Arts – We are beginning the journey of soft c and soft g.  It has proven to be one of the bigger phonics challenges for Katey right now.  I think we will spend another week reviewing those sounds before moving on.

    Math- She has begun adding and subtracting numbers up to 100.  She caught on to this very quickly.  Next week we move on to subtracting with regrouping.

    History- She learned about King Solomon and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  We also had a family movie night on Friday and watched Joseph – King of Dreams on Netflix.  Which is a story we read about a few weeks ago. 


    Science – She finished up her animal science unit.  She learned about birds one day and mammals the next.  We made bird feeders to go along with our bird day.  Everyone wanted in on this fun. We used cookie cutters.  Emily made the letter E and the circle one,


    Tyler made the American Flag one P1010516

    P1010517and Katey made a duck one, because a duck is a type of bird she told me.

    We discussed what makes a mammal a mammal, and read Amazing Animals by Design by Debra Haagan.  Check out her blog too.  (Review coming soon.)  

    Art- Katey learned about the color wheel.  I know there are a ton of fun experiments and activities to do this but we just used plain old water colors.  I showed her about red, yellow and blue and that she could mix them with each other.  She did it with guidance on this page.


    Then I let her explore with them while she painted her own picture.


    7th Grade

    Tommy has really been struggling with math quite a bit, which just shows me that me having him repeat Pre Algebra with a different curriculum next year is the right decision.  He understands it enough that he shows me he can move on, I just don’t think he has mastery yet.  I feel that taking Pre Algebra twice will really benefit him as well as make him more confident in his math in turn, he will enjoy it more. 

    We are almost done reading The Cay.  We have really enjoyed doing this book on audio as a family.

    For art this week Tommy had to build a sculpture our of materials that he could find around the house. (with permission)  He had to create a horse.  He used an ice cream cone, some boxes he cut up, some chenille sticks and tape.   He did a pretty good job. 


    Tommy has also been working on his remote control car with Paul it has been quite the learning experience.  There are a lot of electronics and parts that all have to work together.  He has had to do research and trail and error.  I am grateful to find something he is so passionate about.  This has also taught me how much of a hands on learner he is and I am keeping that in mind as I begin to think about purchasing new curriculum.



    We also began our Easter/Spring ActivitiesWe started off with a few just for fun stuff.  We will be getting into the real Reason for Easter next week. 


    We played a fun egg toss game.  We used a real egg and tossed it in a circle each time they would step further back until we could see how far you could toss it without it breaking.  This was such an unusual game for us that it was extra fun.


    We also made Easter Lilly flowers.  We traced our hands and curled the fingers and taped them to pencils. 

    Tommy, Emily and I have also all started finally reading The Hunger Games.  We each have our own book have been discussing the chapters as we go.  This has been pretty fun.  Even though the book is generally not my style of reading, I can’t put it down. 

    What the tot has been up to can be seen on Sunday.

    Oh and don’t for get to vote for me over at Picket Fence and Top Mommy Blogs.

    Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


    Thank you!!!

    This post is linked up to Weekly Wrap Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    E is for Education

    I have been blogging through the alphabet.  This week we are on “E”. 

    E is for Education.

    Isn’t that what this homeschooling thing is all about?  I definitely want the best education for my children.  I want my children to be life long learners.  I want them to be able to educate themselves. 

    Homeschooling began for me as much more than an educational choice.  It began for us as a character training.  I didn’t like who my children were becoming and the habits and traits they were picking up at pubic school.  On top of all that we actually enjoy being with each other.  (well, most of the time.)

    We have been very grateful for the type of education homeschooling has afforded us.  It is totally personalized and tailored to our learning style.  It is exactly at our level all of the time.  We can take breaks to study things that really interest us.  
    We just love homeschooling.  We love the flexibility, we love the fun we have and we really love the education we are all getting!

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    K12 5th Grade Curriculum



    This goes along with my post Our K12 Journey series.


    Our 5th Grade curriculum through K12 consists of these subjects



    This is a pretty basic 5th grade math program.  She has learned/relearned or reviewed the the following concepts: Powers of a number, geometry, fractions, decimals, integers, percent, algrebra (simple), coordinate planes (simple), perimeter area and volume, data analysis and math reasoning.  My 5th grader does pretty well in this math, however it is not engaging to her, nor does she enjoy it.  (Daily)


    Language Arts- This consists of grammar, composition, vocabulary and test readiness.  This part is pretty good.  Grammar and Vocabulary is mainly discussion/reading and worksheets.  Composition has a booklet that she feels out for each type of writing and then she does a rough draft and a final draft.  She has not enjoyed composition, however, I have seen a marked improvement in her writing.  Test Readiness is basically practice fill in the bubble tests with small essay answers.  These are pointless to me, since she is required to do standardized testing and those are all done on the computer.  It seems to me, with a computer based school, they would have the practice tests on the computer.  (A mixture of two things daily)

    Spelling- This started off so very basic, that Emily thought I had to be kidding.  (She is a fairly natural speller).  I let her test out of a few lessons and we began where we felt comfortable.  It consists of some worksheets, (crossword puzzles, fill in the blank, etc.)  (2 lessons on Mon, 2 lessons on Tue, test on Wed.)

    Literature-  There are four times throughout the year where you get to choose the book you would like to read, from a predetermined list.  The rest of the year you read assigned selections.  They range from poetry to short stories, to magazine type articles, to chapter books.  There is usually a short comprehension test at the end and for the longer books an essay question. (Daily, sometimes 2 lessons a day)

    History-  She is learning American History.  This is read completely from a textbook.  Then she answers some questions and there are discussion items for her and I.  She despises history.  She was very used to a hands on history.  We will go back to that.  (Used to be daily, I have cut it back to 3 times a week)



    This covers general overview of science.  She has covered the oceans, earth’s atmosphere, earth’s surface, electricity and magnetism, how matter changes and she has some more to go, like chemistry, cells, motion and forces as well as traits in offspring. (2 to 3 times a week) We usually do this after dinner.



    This has been semi enjoyable.  It seems to me that it was created to go along with the history.  I wish I was told that in the beginning.  She/We fell off track and now the lessons aren’t lining up. For the rest of the year, I will probably have her do the art lessons that do line up with the time period she is learning about.  I think that will help her enjoy both art and history more. She reads art history on the computer and then does the project.  (About once a week)



    Emily loves to sing and there music program came with Cd’s and a sing along book.  She does some music history on the computer and then is able to sing along with the cd.  She has enjoyed this. (Once a week to once every other week)

    They also offer Study Island, where they can play trivia games or just quickly answer 15 questions.  They are supposed to do that daily.  Emily plays on a website not sponsored by K12 called Always Ice Cream which she enjoys more and it is basically the same thing.

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Action Alert- Internet Safety

    Action Alert is a company that provides internet safety in many forms. There are many internet dangers out there.  The downloadable software offers 8 internet safety tools.

    Access Control & Activity Notification:  You can get “alerts” to your computer or cell phone via email that lets you know someone is trying to access a questionable site.  You can then choose to disable to computer right from there.
    Site Blocking & Content Filtering:  Action Alert comes “preloaded” with websites known to host damaging spyware or other unwanted content. You can add others that you don’t allow in your house also. You can even just choose to use just the allowed sites only mode, where you choose the only sites they can visit. There is also a safe search option which filters the search results to family friendly.
    Activity Video Recording, Keystroke Logging & Chat and Email Logging: This records screen shots every couple of seconds, so you can see exactly what your family is doing on the computer online and off.
    Time Allowance:  Set time limits or daily times when the computer can be used. 

    Action Alert has been featured on television and won awards.  They are the only internet safety solution endorsed by The Child Safety Network.

    There are two versions of Action Alert
    The Free Version  
    -Offers everything you need to set up a kid safe computer in seconds.

    The Maximum Protection Version ($29.99)
    -fully customizable
    -offers multiple user protection
    -full social network monitoring. 

    I felt pretty good about my kids on the computer.  We take all the precautions, computer in a central location, each child has a limited amount of free time, no questionable websites, which they are all now very caution of, since we got a virus from one of the popular game websites and were without a computer for a few days.   I cannot always sit right on top of the kids while they are on the computer.  I mean I have laundry to do, dinner to cook, etc. 

    I installed this on my families main computer.  It really did install within seconds.  I set up an account with a password and we were protected. 
    A few days after installation, I was upstairs taking care of laundry when I received an email (which I get on my phone) that said someone was searching “XXX”  I ran downstairs and low and behold my 2 year old was on a website learning about the letter X and was just typing it in the address bar.  I was so glad that the safe search was installed not allowing any of that to be searched and I was grateful that I was notified.   So while I trust my children on the internet, things can accidentally happen.  Better safe than sorry. 
    Other things I like about this software.
    The Action Alert Homepage- it is full neat family friendly websites.
    If I wasn’t home when I got the email then I could remotely shut off the computer.

    A few things I don’t like:
    I notice about once a day I get a pop up about my computer not being virus protected.  This did not happen ever before I installed Action Alert. 
    I also felt like it slowed my computer down a lot.
    I guess those things are just part of the price you have to pay for internet safety protection.

    To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

    As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to share my honest opinion.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Quiet Time Activities for kids.



    It is imperative for me to have activities that my children can do quietly without any help from me.  Just a few examples of when I use these activities are:

    • If I am on an important phone call
    • If I just need a quiet break after a stressful day (or morning)
    • If I am trying to get Tyler down for a nap
    • If I am helping someone with school work or a project


    Some of the activities that they can do are:


    • Coloring in a coloring book, or drawing.
    • Reading
    • Looking in a picture book
    • Dot to Dot books (Tommy loves Dot to Dot books, he has some Extreme Dot to Dots with more than 1400 dots. )
    • Puzzle books (Emily has some variety puzzle books)
    • Simple Activity books based on grade levels. (These are mostly for Katey
    • Busy bag toddler activities.  (I have made a few and I am SUPER excited to be participating in a busy bag swap in April.) P1010425P1010426
    • Playing cars or dolls with each other.
    • Even just resting and thinking about what they learned.
    • File Folder Games







    *affiliate links are used.  Thank you! 

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    St Patrick’s Day Carnival



    I love my community!  They offer so many family friendly activities.

    Today we went to a St. Patrick’s Day Carnival at the rec center. 

    There were so many fun activities.


    Tater Sack Races.


    And my camera battery died right after this picture!

    So I took pictures with my phone, and now, as I write this post they are not there.  I am very sad about that. So then here I sit messing with my phone taking pictures and none of them are showing up.  GRRRR!!

    Well, on a better note…..

    Some of the other activities were:

    Tug O’ The Rope

    Fake tattoos and face painting

    O’Shanagans mini golf

    The Pub – hotdogs and soda

    Catch a Leprechaun-  you had to catch a numbed duck out of the lazy river (which goes quite fast by the way) with a net. Your number determined your prize. 

    Lucky Guess – guess how many things are in a jar

    Irish Challenge- a blow up obstacle course

    They were all fun and once you got your card stamped that you did each of the activities you put it in for a drawing for some board games. 

    It was a fun way to spend our Saturday Morning.

    In other St. Patrick’s Day news; we found the pot of gold coins after lunch. They were YUMMY!! (Chocolate coins)

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Spring is here, or is it. Week in review.

    While last year we had so much snowpack, this year has just not been as much.  We popped some Amish Popcorn and ate it.  The kids were a little disappointed that it didn’t taste like salt and butter.  It was a fun experiment to do.

    In Math: 
    Emily is just entering Pre-Algebra.  She has been learning about linear functions this week.  Graphing an equation and basic concepts right now.  She made a simple elevator using an activity from Aims Looking at Lines.  (Review coming soon).   She was able to graph and solve the equation as to where the passenger car was and where the counterweight was.  P1010471

    In Katey’s math we have really been focusing on place value. We have been using File Folder games as well as our Math U See blocks.

    Tommy has been working on square roots, the Pythagorean Theorem  and right triangles.  He does know how to solve square roots, however I am letting him use a calculator to check his work. 

    For our Literature and Language Arts:
    We have still been listening to The Cay as a family.  We are still using Progeny Press Literature Guide with that. 
    Katey has been learning two new phonics sounds, “le” as in purple and “ph” as in phone.  She also finished reading a Little Bear book to me.  She is becoming quite the little reader.  I purchased Sight Word Superstars and she has been practicing those lists and she has really enjoyed earning stickers for her star. 

    Emily and Tommy have both been working on verb and subject tense agreement at different levels.  Emily has had to practice writing some letters this week as well.  She wrote a request letter to a production company and asked for an audition.  She did mail it and has already heard back from them regarding auditions.  She is very excited about that.   She also had to write a letter of complaint.  She wrote one to me that I separated the bananas so they would ripen slower and she wanted a banana but it wasn’t ripe yet.  I am just glad that is the only thing she could complain about me. 

    For Science and History

    Emily is learning about the first presidents and how our government was formed especially that not everyone agreed.   Her science has been about different states of matter.  We had some fun experiments with that involving chocolate. 

    Tommy is focusing on our state’s history.  His just finished up an Interdependent unit in science.  How different life forms are interdependent on others.  He made a very intricate food web.

    Katey is still working on animal science and her history has been the Bible stories of The Exodus, Moses parting the Red Sea and David and Goliath. 

    We have put art and music on the back burner this week for some outdoor fun.
    We went to some hills right near our house twice this week and went hiking and bike riding and the boys took their remote control cars.   
    We tried to have a campfire for dinner.  It ended up being just too windy both nights.  We came home and roasted our hotdogs and marshmallows on the Camp Chef in our garage. 

    It all worked out.  We have been loving this Spring weather.  This next week we are projected rain so we will have to do some rainy day fun activities. 

    This is linked to Weekly Wrap Up


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