Schoolhouse Library ~ A New Resource

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has introduced a new resource ~ SchoolhouseLibrary.net.

This is a collection of over 175 e-books and audio books including:

  • Draw Write Now Sampler
  • Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History from Knowledge Quest
  • Teaching Writing E-Book from WriteShop
  • 15 audio E-Books from My Audio School in history and literature
  • And much more!
This is available for a one time, low cost price of only $25. Check out SchoolhouseLibrary.net today!


Science Naturally Review

I was given the opportunity to review One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science by Science Naturally. This book was written by a father and daughter, Eric and Natalie Yoder. One Minute Mysteries is a book that contains 65 short mysteries that you solve with science.  This book is geared for children ages 8-12. One Minute Mysteries is available for $9.95. (Read to the end for a special offer)

One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science is split up into four different sections which are Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical and Chemical Science, and General Science. Included in this book is a bonus section of five One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Math.  There is also an index at the back of the book to easily find stories.

How we used this book and what we thought:
When my boys finished their schoolwork for the day, I would sit down and read a few of these stories to them. I would let them tell me what they thought the answer to the story would be.  My oldest son, age 11, loves science and could usually guess the solution. My younger son, age 9, had to really think about some of the answers and did get a few wrong. Overall, my boys loved this book. They loved that the stories were short and that they had to figure out the solution. When I finished reading them the stories, they went back through and re-read some of them again. They give this book 5 stars! I really enjoyed reading this book to my boys to find out how much they really knew about science. It also helped strengthen their listening skills. They had to pay attention so they could get the answer. I also give this book 5 stars!

Special offer:
You can purchase any 3 books at Science Naturally for only $19.95 with a shipping rate of $2.95. Just enter coupon code 3SPEC in the shopping cart at checkout.


G & H is for...

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Going hiking! Okay, I was having a difficult time coming up with something for the letter "G" of blogging through the alphabet. I didn't want to get too far behind, so here is my "g" and "h" post.

A few weeks ago, the kids and I stopped at a place near our house and hiked a couple of the trails. These trails are about 1/2 mile each and are listed as easy. One of the trails follows a little creek.

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The kids had to stop every once in a while to see if they could see anything in the water. There is a little waterfall at one of the spots along the trail.

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This particular state park actually has a major river that runs through it. Near the rivers edge, there are some beautiful trees.

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There are also some cliffs that overlook the river.

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We had a great time going hiking! Looking forward to going again and hiking one of the other more difficult trails.


Using a Box Curriculum ~ Abeka

There are many different types of homeschool families. You have your classical, eclectic, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, traditional, and many more. For my family, we found that a traditional approach works best.

I will admit that when I first started out almost 8 years ago with my first son, I thought I needed to do everything the curriculum called for. This soon led to burnout for both me and my son. He was only doing K-4, but it was taking a lot longer than it should.

The reason I did choose the Abeka curriculum is because I was familiar with it. I attended a private, Christian school from age 3 to 12th grade and Abeka is what the school used. I even went to Pensacola Christian College, the home of Abeka. 

After getting through the K-4 year with my son, I decided to take a different approach. I still wanted to use Abeka and knew that it was the best choice for us, but I needed to tweak it to accommodate our needs. It is very easy to do that with a box curriculum. There is a lot of seat work because a box curriculum is designed to be used by schools. First thing I did was to cut out all of the extra seat (busy) work. My son really enjoyed that. He would do much better on the lesson pages knowing he didn't have all of that extra work at the end of the learning time. 

As we have gone from year to year, I just take a look at what I think my children need from this curriculum. Do they need to write their spelling words 5 times each every day? Probably not. Do they need to write their multiplication tables 5 times every day? Again, probably not. Adjusting the box curriculum to fit your needs will save your sanity. I may have them write their spelling list every other day, one time a day for the week. Other weeks, I just have them say-spell-say the words for the week. They are still learning. And we don't burn out from all of the busy work.

We have more time to do other things like go on field trips. We have less whining when they don't have so much work to do. It is a win-win situation. I do love homeschooling with Abeka, but I have certainly found some other material that works great from my time on the Schoolhouse Review Crew. 

That brings us to our current year, well our 2013-2014 year. We are finished up with this year next week. I will still use Abeka for all of our subjects with some reviews from a lot of other great companies thrown in from the crew!


F is for ...

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Fish! If you read my How to Have a Successful Spontaneous Field Trip post last week,  then you know we went to the aquarium. We had a great time and we were able to see a lot of fish.

My 2 year old had the best time looking at everything:
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We also saw many other sea creatures while we there including turtles, sea otters, and sharks.

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We also saw the dive show. It was fun and the kids all had a great time.

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