Tuesday, November 19, 2013

40 days of moving while homeschooling…..through the holidays. {Day 35}


Monday has arrived.


After the weekend I had not getting too much done in the way of moving or around the house, I declared a cleaning and packing day. 

I decided once a week we would take the day off school (just until we move) and spend the day packing and cleaning our house. 

We did a basic clean.  Actually a pretty good clean.

We spent a big chunk of the day talking on the phone with the real estate agent and a loan officer.   

We began packing some stuff in storage closets.  You know my big closet that often looks like this:

The closet...

It’s most of the way packed….. or in the get rid of box. P2092404

I also began having the kids pack up a few items from their room that they won’t need until after the move. 


We went through boxes much faster than I thought we would.  We had to climb back down in the crawl space to get more boxes.  We did get quite a bit packed and now it feels claustrophobic in my house. However, progress has been made.P2092402

Katey had a final dress rehearsal for her play.  So we went to that and the costumes were a huge hit!  YAY!!

I had to go to the grocery store and get some hamburger meat for my meal making that night.

I spent the night making 10 lasagnas.  I have a freezer meal exchange with a group of ladies I know on Wednesday.  We were exchanging 6 meals, but I went ahead and made 10.  We ate one that night and I froze the other 3 for me.  I figured, while I was at it, why not. 


My husband and I discovered the whole Bit Strips app and stayed up too late playing around on that. bitstrips

The next day I spent like this since I had to work at 6am.


Stay tuned….. it makes me feel better.

Monday, November 18, 2013

40 days of moving while homeschooling….during the holidays. {Day 36}



Ahhh, Sunday, glorious Sunday.

I woke up early this morning.  My husband had to work early and I just got up when he left. 

I began by cleaning my house some.

I did the dishes, some laundry and just general cleaning.

I then cut out the remaining fabric for the pilgrim costumes and began ironing it before sewing.  My friend and I had agreed that we would meet back at 10 then next morning to finish them up. 

We didn’t actually start until 11am.

We worked clear through until 2:45, which is when I had to leave for work.  But we got all the costumes done.  (Here is a picture from the play)


I worked the rest of the night.

Tomorrow we will get some moving stuff done.  You will see! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

40 days of homeschooling while moving…..through the holidays. {Day 37}


Here we are at Saturday….

What happened Saturday? 

I woke up and went grocery shopping.

Then I made a moving checklist.  I searched and searched on Pinterest.  I printed one off but it just didn’t fit my wants.  I decided to just make a moving notebook.

I made a list of a last out first in box. 

I learned after last time to do that.  We moved in and the toilet paper was packed, the soap was packed. The towels and cleaners were packed.  The snacks were packed.  And most disturbing is that the music and speakers were packed.  I don’t know how we were supposed to get anything done with no tunes! 

My older kids were gone down to the city to watch a college football game live.

About 2pm a college football game came on TV.  A different team then the one my kids went to see.

I had a friend come over and help me sew the pilgrim costumes during the football game.  We ended up working for 6 hours straight and had to go to get more fabric once.

That night I went out with a group of friends to do Karaoke, which had been planned for weeks. 

As you can see not much of any thing moving related got done that day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

40 Days of moving while homeschooling…. through the holidays. {Day 38}


We went back to the house again today to actually take measurements of the rooms since I was kindly reminded by my husband that I forgot to do.  In my defense, I did measure my couch and table and had the kids make sure they measure whatever they wanted so we could see about furniture placement.  P2052355

I know this sounds silly but we are just so crammed in our little house now.  So we are all just so excited to be able to spread out so much more!

I got a few boxes out of our crawl space and we also did regular school on this day as well.P2052396

I began sewing the pilgrim costumes.

I had a friend over since both our husbands were gone and we just relaxed and had a good time.

It was nice and much needed for both of us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stories of the Pilgrims–An audiobook resource.


It’s almost Thanksgiving…… 

For the past few years we have taken some time right before Thanksgiving to learn about the pilgrims and their coming to America for religious freedom. 

To keep things different each year we use a different resource. 

This year I was able to review a wonderful resource.

Stories of the pilgrims

Stories of the Pilgrims Audiobook by Jim Hodges.

Audiobooks are a tradition in our house as well, we often listen to them while we do our daily chores or while we play quietly with Legos or doing a puzzle.

Are you traveling over Thanksgiving.  This would be a wonderful way to pass the time!! 

This one fit in perfect. 

Often times we would find ourselves wanting to pause the stories and look things up on the internet or discuss things.

One of the neat things was when the book mentioned the wooden shoes of Holland. We had to stop it and take the time to look up pictures of wooden shoes and I have a friend who’s husband served a church mission in Holland and we were able to see some in real life a few days later. 

This 43 chapter audiobook is just over 4 hours long.  The chapters were engaging and held our interest well.  Often days the kids would want to keep listening.  This is a living history book.  You feel like you are right there with them seeing the gorgeous flowers in Holland and smelling them too.  You picture the thatched roofs and cobble sidewalks. 

There were some ups and downs in the book and even some adventure scenes.  We found ourselves rooting for the pilgrims throughout the book.

This book is on sale for November for just $15

For an additional $5 you can get a nice study guide to go along with the book.

The study guide is quite flexible.  It includes so much and you can pick and choose what you use.  Vocabulary words, projects and Venn diagraming are just some of the things you can choose from in the study guide.

40 Days of Moving While Homeschooling….through the Holidays {Day 39}


Day 39 is also known as 29 days until the actual moving day!


I have a lot to do!

Obviously I have been extremely busy, or I would have written this post way sooner! 

Here I am writing this 5 days late. 

Oh well, such is life.

Some things I got done on this day are big ones though.  I also want to note that on top of this we also did all of our regular schooling for that day!

I gave our 30 days notice to where we live now and got our move out checklist.


I got out my sewing machine, ya know, to sew those pilgrim costumes!


I actually planned ahead this day and got out freezer meal for dinner.  Whoo hoo!  I am so grateful for freezer meals. P2042352

I signed up to do another freezer meal exchange.  This will help me, right? 

I made the grocery list for the 10 lasagnas I plan on making and I also menu planned out 2 and 1/2 weeks worth of dinners using food mostly from my pantry. P2042353

I paid bills…… ugghhhh….


I went over to the house and took pictures of every room so I could see the layout as I was packing.  This way I can decide what room what is going to go in as it is getting packed in order to label the boxes correctly. P2052365

I also worked that night!

Christmas Comes to America

Homeschool Legacy has a Once a Week Unit Study for your family to celebrate the Christmas season in a stress free, actually fun, educational style. I was sent their new Christmas one to review and share with you! 


Christmas Comes To America is a Once a Week Unit Study that will teach you about Christmas traditions from around the world, all the while incorporating scripture and is NO PREP for the parent.  (other than gathering a few library books and supplies)

You get to learn which settlers brought these traditions to America.

About The Company:

Homeschool Legacy offers many Once A Week Unit Studies and is constantly coming out with new ones. 

Some of the ones they offer are:

  • Birds of A Feather
  • Forest for the Trees
  • Weather on the Move
  • Horsing Around
  • Native America
  • Early Settlers in America
  • Revolutionary Ideas
  • We The People {Check out my review of that one here!}
  • Lewis and Clark, From Sea to Shining Sea
  • Westward Ho, Part 1
  • Westward Ho, Part 2
  • Knights and Nobles
  • Christmas Comes to America

and coming soon:

  • The Civil War, A Nation Divided

Each Once A Week Unit Study meets requirements for a Boy Scout Merit Badge, and all but two meet requirements for American Heritage Girl Badges.  Many 4H requirements are met too!

About The Product:

Once a Week Unit Studies are designed with simplicity for the homeschool parent in mind.  They get it, we are busy, we want to create amazing memories while learning with our children. 

Revolving around a family read aloud Christmas Comes to America fits that bill perfectly.

It is a 4 week Christmas study.  Each week you learn about a different culture’s Christmas traditions and which ones were brought to the USA. 

  • Week 1 The Dutch
  • Week 2 The English
  • Week 3 The Germans
  • Week 4 An American Christmas


It begins with a recommended list each week.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to read them all.  Usually one or two will suffice.

Every day each week you spend some time with the family read aloud book.  Then one day a week you dive deep into the Once A Week Unit Study.  By doing the suggested devotional and/or some of the suggested activities. 

Once A Week Unit Studies also suggest a family night, playing games going on a field trip or watching themed movies.  {I love this suggestion, often we forget how important fun family time really is!}

Each Week comes with a list of recommended books for readers and non readers alike.

A supply list.

A list of ways you can cross teach using the Once A Week Unit Study.  Things like:

  • History
  • Writing
  • Geography
  • Research Skills
  • Life Skills (Cooking, crafting, being generous and the like)
  • Family time!

Your child can meet requirements for Music in both Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls.

This 52 paperback unit study book is just $17.95.

See a sample of it here! (Click where it says sample week)

A day/week in our life:

We followed the suggested schedule pretty much to a T.  It really is laid out so it is easy to incorporate.  Each day we spent about 15 minutes doing our chosen read aloud from the list of suggestions.  Then once a week, we chose a weekend day, since that worked best for us, we would do some of the suggested activities. 

Some of our favorite activities from Christmas Comes to America are:

  • making homemade, from scratch marshmallows and decorating them to go in homemade hot cocoa
  • making homemade wassail
  • designing our own Christmas cards
  • making gingerbread houses
  • learning about concert/event etiquette
  • playing Christmas Trivia

and many more!

So now you can really see the memories you can make with your children this December. 

Our thoughts and feelings:

With the busy Christmas season upon us I know that I want my children to still be able to be immersed in learning, but my time is stretched even thinner and I need the simplicity that is offered here.  I also am so grateful for the memories we are creating using this study.   If me, a working, blogging homeschool mom could fit this in and make learning fun through the holiday season, so can you!



“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

40 Days of moving while homeschooling… through the holidays.


That’s right.  We are going to move in 30 days. 

I have moved while homeschooling before, but never during the holidays. 

I think.

I might.

Be crazy.

Yea, so, I decided we had better publically document this whole ordeal.



First let me share with you what I already have going on.

I homeschool my 4 children.  One is in Pre-K, one is in 3rd grade, one is in 7th grade and one is in 9th grade.

I work anywhere between 20-24 hours per week as a grocery store supervisor at a small local grocery store. 

I have my kids in way too many outside activities, such as plays, and drama club, music class, art class, weight training, women in history, Lego club, and science class.

I teach the science class.

Sometimes I substitute teach in the weight training class.

I volunteered to sew 14 of the pilgrim costumes for the play by Monday the 18th of November.

I am part of a very active mom’s group.

I am part of a monthly book club.

I blog. (sometimes)

I write reviews. After actually using and reviewing the items.  That is very time consuming.

I am a mom.

I am a wife.

My husband works in the oilfield and is gone often.

I am going to move across town in 30 days.

The holidays are coming.

This is the start of my journey.

Is my crazy showing yet?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

French Essentials {A Review}

About The Company:

French Essential’s is a company that offers French lessons especially for homeschoolers!  YAY!


About The Product:

French Essentials is divided into modules.  6 of them to be exact. Each module is divided into units.  Each module includes audio, video and workbook, along with evaluations.

I am mostly going to discuss the first module since that is the one we used.  I did take a look over all the available modules and will touch on those as well.

The first module teaches over 160 words and sentence structures over 20 lessons divided into 5 units.  This module teaches the basics of French such as:

  • The French Alphabet
  • accents and markings
  • pronunciation
  • numbers
  • basic conversation phrases
  • many vocabulary words

Module 2 teaches over 150 words and sentence structures over 25 lessons divided into 5 units. This module teaches things like:

  • time
  • days, months, seasons, weather, temperature
  • more numbers
  • more in depth pronunciation rules

Module 3 has 15 lessons divided over 3 units and teaches things like:

  • Thematic vocabulary words in these themes; the house, the city, the clothing, transportation, devices and things in a room.  
  • general conversational phrases
  • pronunciation rules

Module 4 has 15 lessons over 3 units and teaches:

  • Thematic vocabulary words in these themes; family, relatives, restaurants and drinks
  • Introduction to prepositions
  • many review of previously learned French.

Module 5 has 15 lessons divided over 3 units and teaches:

  • Even more conversational phrases; things like offering your opinion and adverbs.
  • Even more pronunciation rules

Module 6-10 are still in the works.

The way a lesson works is that you will log into the student area.

You will download the student workbook.  We chose to print and bind ours with the module checklist as the front page.


Once downloaded you are then ready to begin a lesson.  The first 3 lessons of module one are done using the interactive pdf file you downloaded. Beginning on lesson 4, you will work in the online exercises which include flashcards, learner, spelling, a test and 2 games.


The culture area shows you about the French culture and is actually very interesting and informative.


A day/week in our life:

I assign Emily French about 4 days a week.  The first day she learned the French Alphabet and then the interactive PDF spelled English words in French and she had to write the words out.  I thought this was one of the neatest foreign language lessons I had ever seen.  P1202265

The website had a learning curve for us, it was difficult at first for us to navigate what we are supposed to do. Once we discovered the getting started page and checklist and printed and bound the entire workbook, we found our groove and it became easy. P2032337

Each day she does a lesson using the interactive PDF with her workbook page.  The next two days she does the online lesson, the 4th day she takes the online test. 

Final thoughts: 

After the initial “getting to know the website” this has been a great multi dimensional French Curriculum.

I appreciate the fact that she is learning to read, write and speak French as well as learning about the French Culture. 

French is a language Emily has always wanted to learn and we have tried other French curriculum and it wasn’t a good fit for her.  The fact that this is geared for homeschoolers and has the different ways of teaching and review is built in.  This has been working so well for us.

Some details:

There is an online placement test if you are not sure what module to start in.

The 10 modules count as 2 years worth of high school credit.  However this can be used with children grades 2-12.  Obviously the older students can move faster through the curriculum than the younger ones.

The modules can be purchased for $69.95 each and are valid for 90 days. 

Full access to modules 1-5 with a one year download timeframe are priced at $149.95.

We are not the only ones to use this, to see what others think, check out this post:

To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

About The Company:

Apologia Educational Ministries is probably most known for their homeschool science curriculum. One of their popular ones is the Young Explorers series; Exploring Creation with…..  elementary science curriculum.

We were blessed to be able to try out their newest addition to this line up written by Jeannie Fulbright; Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

About The Product:

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is priced at $39.00.  This is recommended for kids in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. Watch for tons of pictures of many of the projects we did throughout our short time using it.  Also stay tuned for future blog posts to see what other projects we are up to using this homeschool science curriculum.

In this book you will learn all about chemistry and physics, including, atoms, molecules, elements, simple chemicals, laws of motion, electricity, magnetism, simple machines and more.


Learning about Density

This book is divided into 14 lessons.  Each lesson takes Katey and I approximately 3 weeks to get through using the Jr. Notebooking Journal (see below).  Each lesson takes Emily about 2 weeks to get through using the Notebooking Journal (see below).

Katey calls it potion science. P1042153

Learning about density by making homemade lava lamps

The 14 lessons are:

  • Chemistry and Physics Matter
  • Moving Matter
  • Building Blocks of Creation
  • Compound Chemistry
  • Multitude of Mixtures
  • Mechanics in Motion
  • Dynamics in Motion
  • Work in the World
  • Sound of Energy
  • Light of the World
  • Thermal Energy
  • Electrifying our World
  • Mysterious Magnetism
  • Simple Machines

Each lesson has plenty of smaller hands on activities/ experiments that are simple and ends with a bigger project.

There are two separate notebooking journals based on age and/or ability. 

The Jr. Notebooking Journal is priced at $24.00 and is for younger elementary students and those with limited writing skills. P1042159P1042162

Learning about buoyancy

The Jr. Journal has some coloring pages and drawing projects as well as simple crossword puzzles and foldable books to create.


The Notebooking Journal is also priced at $24.00 and is for upper elementary students and those comfortable writing.

The Notebooking Journal has plenty of space for journaling and copywork as well as places to draw and document.  There are also foldable books and crossword puzzles. 

A day/week in our life:

I actually chose to use this separately with my two girls, one age 13 and one age 8. 


Making the Periodic Table of Elements out of sugar cookies

I had my 13 year old work on her own and let her choose with of the smaller experiments she wanted to do.  She was required to do the bigger projects at the end of each lesson.  She is much more of a visual learning.  Seeing the pictures in the book and reading the text works for her.  She does often join us when I am doing the smaller experiments with her younger sister. She uses the upper version of the notebooking journal following the schedule on the inside but working on it 4 days a week instead of the suggested two.  She gets through a lesson in approximately 2 weeks which is about double the speed in the suggested schedule. She does almost all of the notebooking pages in her notebook.


Learning about the properties of matter.  Is this a solid or a liquid?

Katey, my 8 year old, works with me.  I read to her and we discuss what we read and she works a little bit on a notebooking project each day.  She does not do all of the notebook.  I just let her pick a page to work on for about 10 minutes a day and then when she finishes it she chooses another page. We do almost all of the small in lesson experiments.  They are usually simple hands on things that can be done quickly.  We do science twice a week together.  We get through a lesson in about 3 to 4 weeks.  Going slow and taking our time.  It is no way necessary to do all the experiments as that is what takes up most of our time.  Katey is just a very hands on learner so this is great for her. P1122174P1132182P1122175

Learning about different freezing points with a competitive graph.

Our thoughts and feelings: 

We have been extremely happy with the science curriculum.  It is full of quick experiments and fits many of the learning styles.  I love that it can be done mostly independently or as a parent/ child together curriculum.

We are not the only ones to use this, to see what others think, click the banner:



To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.



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