A Season of Thanksgiving ~ Part 4

My final post for my ABC's of Thanksgiving.

U ~ umbrellas on rainy days

V ~ velvet throw, especially on these cold days and nights

W ~ water

X ~ eXceeding joy

Y ~ yellow sun that gives us light and warmth

Z ~ zucchini :)


Our Favorite Homeschool Resources from 2013

My first year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew has come to an end. We were blessed with so much curriculum to review. The crew voted for all of their favorite items and the results have been posted.


Here are some of our favorites from this past year:

For science, we really enjoyed Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics. My boys enjoyed all of the experiments that we were able to do with this science curriculum. A nice change from what we had been using.

Another of my boys favorites would be God's World Magazine. They still look forward to receiving this in the mail and sit down for an hour or two and read through every article.

My favorite resource would have to be the Homeschool Mom's Bible. I love it. It is so easy to get a devotional done in 5-10 minutes.

One of my daughter's favorites is Knowledge Quest's Sacagawea book. She enjoyed listening to me read and loved learning about Sacagawea and her life.

And one more of my daughter's favorites would have to be Handwriting Without Tears. She was having a little trouble with our current curriculum, but this was a lot easier and less stressful for her. She looked forward to penmanship class every day when we were using this.

Really, we had a lot more favorites, but I have just listed the top ones. Click here to see all of my reviews from the past year.

Also, be sure to check out the results over on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.


A Season of Thanksgiving ~ Part 3

I was busy yesterday helping my dog deliver puppies. Here is the next set of my ABC's of Thanksgiving:

N ~ Night (Especially once the kids are all in bed and it is quiet)

O ~ Ocean, I am so thankful we live so close to the ocean.

P ~ Puppies (will make a separate post about our new puppies)

Q ~ Quietness, rarely happens, but I am so thankful for the times it is quiet in the house. Unless, it is quiet because they are being bad.

R ~ Rain, even though we had too much to grow a garden this year, I am still thankful it rains.

S ~ Sara, my joyous 2 yr old

T ~ Thanksgiving, a time to get together with family and thank God for the blessing from the past year


At Home In Dogwood Mudhole ~ Book Review

When I was deciding if I would like a chance to review At Home In Dogwood Mudhole, I really didn't know what to expect. I read what the website said about the book and it sounded interesting. This is actually the first volume in a three volume collection by Franklin Sanders from At Home In Dogwood Mudhole.

Synopsis: At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats is a collection of letters by Sanders that cover a 17 year period (June 1995 to September 2002). These letters were actually compiled from a newsletter, The Moneychanger, by Franklin Sanders every month. Sanders and his family move to the country (Dogwood Mudhole, Tennessee) when Y2K is on the horizon. Not knowing what to expect, he wanted his family to be able to farm and be self-sufficient. This book is filled with humor and serious life lessons. 

What I thought: I enjoyed reading this book. At first, it was hard to get into it, but after a while it was easy to pick it up every day and read a few chapters. The chapters are not very long, but the book is 379 pages total. Being a Civil War junkie, I enjoyed hearing about the family’s involvement in Civil War re-enactments.  Sanders also tells about his time spent in jail, Y2K coming, and the family’s pets and animals. I give this book a 3 (out of 5 stars) star rating.

Who is this book for: This book is for adults, but I would probably let my children read it when they are in high school.

Click here to read a sample chapter.

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats is available for $22.95 for paperback and $16.95 for Kindle/ePUB/PDF.

Click here to see what other Schoolhouse Reviewers thought about this book.



A Season of Thanksgiving- Part 2

It is already the second week of November! Wow, time sure is going by so quickly. 

Here is the next set of things I am thankful for this year:

G ~ God 

H ~ Health 

I ~ Ice Cream :)

J ~ Josiah, my 2nd son

K ~ Kevin, my 1st son

L ~ Laughter (it sometimes gets me through my rough days)

M ~ Many friends


Apologia: Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics ~ Review

My children love science, but the science curriculum we have been using for the past 7 years was starting to get too repetitive and not challenging enough for my boys. I was hoping to be able to review a science curriculum this year. I am so glad we were able to review Apologia Educational Ministries newest science curriculum, “Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.” We were also able to review each of the journals that go along with this curriculum. My 3rd grade daughter used the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal and my 5th and 6th grade boys shared the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Notebooking Journal.


About Apologia:

Apologia is a Christian homeschool company that was started by just a few families who wanted a good, solid Christian based science curriculum. Apologia means to defend. Apologia science is designed to help the student “make a reasoned defense of the Christian Faith.”

About Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics textbook:

This textbook is part of the Young Explorers Series and is written by Jeannie Fulbright. The elementary science is designed for children in grades K-6th. Apologia homeschool science curriculum follows a Charlotte Mason approach.

The textbook is a hard cover, full color book that is 272 pages long (lessons, supply list, and index). There are 14 lessons filled with so much information and many experiments. Each lesson can be taken at your own pace. You are able to spend as little (or as much) time as you would like. The accompanying notebook journals give a suggested schedule.

iPod Pictures 013

The lesson topics are as follows:
  • Chemistry and Physics Matter
  • Moving Matter
  • Building Blocks of Creation
  • Compound Matter
  • Multitude of Mixtures
  • Mechanics in Motion
  • Dynamics of Motion
  • Work in the World
  • Sound of Energy
  • Light of the World
  • Thermal Energy
  • Electrifying Our World
  • Mysterious Magnetism
  • Simple Machines
Each lesson includes many “Try This” experiments that use everyday around the house items. These mini experiments help the child understand the concept that is being taught.

iPod Pictures 014

The textbook includes a great introduction that explains the notebooking activities, projects and experiments, and how to use the book. Each lesson gives the child a chance to explain what they have learned so far. The end of the lesson gives the child the notebooking activities they are to complete.

About the Notebook Journals:


These Notebooking Journals are filled with many activities, copywork pages, “test it out” experiments, and end of lesson questions. The junior notebook, designed for younger students, also has coloring pages throughout the book.

How we used the curriculum:

I read the lesson pages to my children and when we got to a “try this” section, we would read it and decide if we wanted to do it. We did not do all of the”try this” experiments, but we did do several of them. We followed the lesson plans in the notebooking journal. It gives a guide of doing each lesson in two weeks. I went with the suggested daily schedule since I was using this with my 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders. My 3rd grader likes to go at a slower pace than the boys. My daughter worked in the junior notebooking journal while my boys shared the regular notebooking journal. Both of the boys dislike doing any copywork, so I had them take turns doing it.

What we thought:

My 5th and 6th grade boys are really enjoying this science curriculum. It is such a change to what we have been doing. They love all of the hands on experiments. My 6th grader wants to be a scientist when he grows up and this curriculum is right up his alley. He kind of wouldn’t listen while I was reading because he “already knows all of it.” He has learned some new things and cannot wait to do the many more experiments in the book. My 5th grader also loves science. He said he learned some new things and liked all of the experiments we did. My 3rd grade daughter said she was bored during the lesson, but liked to work in her notebooking journal. :)

I have really enjoyed using this curriculum and will definitely be looking into the other titles in this series for next year (or when we finish this book).

My favorite things were :
  • A Christian curriculum
  • Has many hands on experiments
  • Can be used with multiple grades
  • Is easy to understand

The textbook can be purchased for $39. The Notebooking Journal is $24 as well as the Junior Notebooking Journal.

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.



A Season of Thanksgiving

This month, in America, is a time to reflect back over the year and list what we are thankful for. Last year, I tried to write a post a day, but that didn't work out. This year, I am going to try to write a post a week on what I am thankful for this year. I have decided to do an ABC's type thankful posts. I will post 6-7 letters per week  until Thanksgiving.

A ~ All of God's blessings on my family

B ~ Blogging. Thankful to be on the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year.

C ~ Comfort (my word for the year)

D ~ Daily hugs and kisses from my family :)

E ~ Extended family (in-laws)

F ~ Food. God provides even when we are down to almost bare cupboards.



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