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Spelling Time with Lance

Lance made me laugh so hard today (5/27). He made a video all by himself. He propped up the camera on Ethan's desk.
Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal
At the beginning of the video he pushes the spelling journal across the desk and it makes a loud noise so he apologizes but he's so CUTE!

At about two minutes in he accidentally hits himself with the journal, then does a slow motion replay. Hilarious!

And toward the end he tries to show you all more pages by doing a flip through but because the way he held the journal the flipping of the pages didn't flow. Only about three pages "flipped". Made me cry with laughter.

At the very end of him filming I walked in and he didn't know what to do so he froze. 

When we watched the video together we busted up laughing when he tried to flip through the book for the audience to see and only the pages clumped showing only three pages.

My review of the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal is not nearly as entertaining and Lance's.

Timeline Kit

I'm gearing up for our next homeschooling year and one thing I want to do is make what I call subject baskets or in my case use containers.
Timeline Kit
Sarah's book- Mom's Fun-Schooling Handbook she encourages us mamas to put things in baskets or crates or whatever you have them handy for the kids.

Well we don't have a lot of room so I'm using plastic containers. In this video (under 3 min.) I share what we are putting in our basic timeline kit. Enjoy!

I call this a basic kit because I'm putting only what is really needed. If you have a bigger container or are using cute baskets and crates you can had history & audio books, maps, placemat maps, etc. Get creative.

I plan to grab their kit now and them and work on THEIR timeline. I think it's great when mom gets involved. It really shows the kids that learning is and can be fun! So a challenge to all you mamas, teach by example. Grab your kiddos books, pens, and timeline (or whatever subject) and do some school with them!

Here is a review I wrote about Picturing the Past and Make Your Own Timeline of World History if your interested in reading it =)

Minecraft Mother's Day Special

My 18 year old son Joshua surprised me this Mother's Day (well a few days ago) with a two part episode he made. I thought that it was so sweet!

In part one he had me laughing because he's so funny. He set out to make a garden of flowers with a heart in the middle.

One of the reasons he was a little late with presenting me with the Mother's Day Special is if you play Minecraft (I don't but my kids do) then you know that they have to go out and get stuff. For instance the flowers, well sometimes Josh had to go through swamps and such. It wasn't easy collecting everything. It could take days, so these two episodes were not just made in the 15-20 minutes that he recorded.
In episode two he spends a great deal with putting the heart together. He had me laughing. What I think was suppose to be something smaller ended up being a huge monument. It actually looked nice the first time.

The heart is made of wool so he had to sheer the sheep quiet a few times to collect enough to complete the heart. In episode one, one of the sheep escapes and he had to run "home" to get some wheat and lure it back.

My son kept leaving his doors open too. He would run into the house without closing the door! At one time he went to bed with his front or back door open and his bedroom. A Jelly Bean could have got him (that's what we call the zombies, lol).

My kids are so great, they call the zombies Jelly Beans for their mama. I don't like zombies, we all don't care for them. We are not a zombie kind of family.

I really, really, really, loved this. For Mother's day he gave me a cool non-stick Pioneer Woman pan! He knows his mama! I'm one of those moms that like blenders, pans, and kitchen gadgets. Maybe not a vacuum though ;)

Update (5/27/16): Last night I watched these two videos again with my hubby and we were just cracking up. Josh is so funny. Episode two had me in tears because of the whole monumental heart.

The Thinking Tree Thursday Link-Up

Lance working in his Thinking Tree journal. 
And Lance and Brent completing some Thinking Tree pages.
 Please excuse the blinds. We are slowly making our way around the house fixing the windows that the hail damages. The whole window needs to be replaced. My poor kids are in a darkroom right now.
 Brent completing a page from his journal and Lance working on a Dyslexia Games page.
The Thinking Tree

Fun-Schooling using the Thinking Tree

Fun-Schooling using the Thinking Tree

 Lance being his silly self!
 Here are a few pages from the Asperger's Syndrome journal. They are both working through it but Brent's is the older version. There are no eye therapy pages which is fine because he doesn't need that but it would be fun to see Brent using them, hehe.
Fun-Schooling using the Thinking Tree
 Lance has fun adding body parts to the animals =)
Fun-Schooling using the Thinking Tree
Tomorrow Lance will study the eyes of a human so that'll be interesting.

Here is an object lesson.
Do you use The Thinking Tree journals, if so which one is your child working through?

 If you have a Thinking Tree or Dyslexia Games blog post please link up so others can read all about it. All I ask is you link back, thanks!


The Three Little Piggies

These three Guinea pigs belong to Brent, Annette, and Caleb.
Annette and Caleb are away visiting their Auntie R out of state.

Brent is home but guess who is taking care of the guinea pigs though? Ethan. He's been making sure they have Timothy Hay, food, water, and that they they have a clean home.
Ethan was cleaning their cage and put the guinea pigs in the laundry basket.

Ethan has done a great job too, especially since they aren't even his little gals. 
Just a quick note about a freebie this week only.

This is my affiliate link but you can get this free by going to www.funschoolingbooks.com, at the top of the page there is a little cloud that says Hobby Time pfd, click on that and enjoy!

If you enjoy my reviews please use my Amazon affiliate link. I do appreciate it.

Homeschooling6 is now on YouTube. Please visit to see video reviews. I love writing reviews for The Thinking Tree but Sarah is quick at cranking them out. I am still writing reviews but am now making video ones too!

Reading Journal by Not Consumed (Review)

Not Consumed has allowed me to review a few of their products! I'm excited to share the Reading Journal. Ethan has been using it a few times a week.
Not Consumed Reading Journal Review
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
I received a digital download which is great because I can print as many reading journals as I need. I'm normally not a fan of digital books but this one I like. If you prefer though you can purchase a physical book through Amazon.

This is recommended for grades 2nd-6th. Your child chooses the books making it a perfect on "grade" level reading.

What I LOVE about this Reading Journal is it works with any book which is wonderful because your child can choose what he wants to read.

The Reading Journal has 30 lessons that are repeated six times throughout the year. The lessons include vocabulary, summarizing, comparing text to text, and character traits to name a few!

The lessons are great for reluctant readers and those allergic to pencils because all they have to complete is half a page. I love that the lessons were made half pagers because sometimes looking at a full page can be a bit overwhelming for my kiddo. So I really appreciate that Not Consumed has it this way.
At least once a week your child will evaluate content of their book with the Bible! How great is that?!?!

For example there is a Know the Truth activity. Your child will answer the question: Do the facts in this story line up with God's Word? There is also space for your child to write the fact 1 & 2 as well as biblical support. These pages are my favorite pages for Ethan and soon Lance because it has them really look at the character(s) in their book. Taking a deeper look and comparing it to the Word of God.
Our thoughts: Our school year is winding down (we are actually going to take a summer break!!!) so we haven't used it as much as I'd have liked BUT I'm going to add it to their school in the fall.

Ethan has used it for several weeks though and I like that he HAS to read his book, bwahaha. I'm sad to say he doesn't like to read (sigh) so this makes sure he IS reading and not just sitting there with a book in his hands to LOOK like he's reading or read just enough so he could tell me what "happened" (sad I know).
Reading Journal by #NotConsumed
The questions assures this mama that he truly is reading the book. Yes, it might be on Star Wars and Wookies but he's reading. And actually somedays I choose the book (I know, I know) a fun one though. I have many of the Vertias Press, Sonlight, MFW, HOD, books which are INTERESTING and attention grabbers.
Reading Journal by #NotConsumed
I appreciate that Kim (#NotConsumed) didn't make it super girly -yes, mine is in a pink binder but my boys are okay with that (wink). Not hearts and bows but a cute owl with a stack of books (we like owls).

Bottom line; I don't normally enjoy downloads but there are a few that work, this is one. It's great because I can print as many as I need and use it again for another year.

If you are looking for a fun (well as fun as school can get, hehe) ideas to help your child dig deeper with what he's reading, this just might be it. Again, the questions are thought provoking and I love that it's not overwhelming. Half a page!

Kim did a wonderful job with making a reading program affordable, not overwhelming for reluctant readers, and simple for mom (yes, that's a good thing when you have six to teach and/or guide/help).

Kim also has a passion for Jesus and loves providing material to spark the love of Christ in our little people's hearts (or big as I am graduating one this year, ack!) like:FoundationsA Content Heart and To Every Nation as well has some goodies for mom: Single Mom Homeschooling (right now you can get this one on Amazon for only $8!) and #NotConsumed Devotional.

Please visit Not Consumed on Facebook. Twitter, Pinterest and her blog!

My Baby is 18 Years Old

This picture was taken yesterday while we were having lunch at Panda Express. It's the last picture of my baby at age 17!
It was taken with my phone. I don't know why my new phone takes narrow pictures. I liked the way my previous phone took pics. They looked normal =)

Josh at 16. The day before his birthday.
Josh at age 15

First job at age 16
 Age 3

Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History (Review)

Lance and I have been working our way through Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Golden Prairie Press
Golden Prairie Press Ancient History Review
We were blessed to receive:
  • Tales of Ancient History Vol. 1 & 2 -two softbound books for a total of 630 pages
  • Ancient History Skits Volume 2
  • Sing Some Ancient History (CD)
  • Listen to Some Ancient History (CD)
  • Additional History Materials CD -this is in a sleeve at the back of Volume 1
I received the physical books and CDs but if you prefer you can purchase the Digital Edition: downloads and MP3. The physical books are printed in black and white. The downloads are full color (really beautiful) you can see samples at Golden Prairie Press.
The recommended age for this course is grades 1st-6th.

What makes Tales of Ancient History so unique is that it doesn't have the child read the text and answer questions. Nope, not this program. Your child will:
  • Cook Up Some History for example in Week 2 your child will make Date Cakes, yum!
  • Listen to Some History via the CD
  • Crafts like make a sling or bow and arrows
  • Act it Out via skits from Historical Skits Ancient History
Your child will also use maps, memorize Scripture, writing assignments, and questions that can be answered orally or you can print worksheets from the Additional Material CD.

There are 30 weeks worth of lessons. Each week has 5 lessons with the first lesson being Creation of the World and the last being about St. Patrick. 

What makes this program really unique is Amy has set up her history programs where some lessons have a reading section for 1st & 2nd grade and another for 3rd-6th.
What I love is at the end of each lesson all the assignments are listed. There is no separate teacher's manual, yay, I'm always losing those and it makes it hard to flip from teacher manual to student books, so I really, really, like the way Amy set this up. All the answers are in the back of the student text books (again, LOVE that!).

The Sing Some Ancient History includes 9 songs which is about 26 minutes long. I enjoyed the songs but Lance wasn't too wild about them. We listened to them anyway.

I love that Listen to Some Ancient History is included because my kids love anything audio =) some of the readings could have had a bit more excitement but we enjoy listening. I usually have Lance color while listening and we listen together.

Something that I don't find often in an Ancient History programs is the how to pronounce the names of places and people. Many of the names are hard to pronounce and I really appreciate that in the Additional Materials CD there is a pronunciation section. I have listened to it a few times and plan to listen many more times until I know how to pronounce all those ancient names! So I absolutely love that I can hear the names.

And the timeline is awesome. I love timelines and maps included in history programs.
Lance and I are doing this together. Sometimes I use the 1st/2nd grade side for him to practice his reading then I read the 4-6th grade side. For a strong reader I can easily see this as a more independent program with mom close by for help. That's were that pronunciation in audio becomes so helpful because your child can pop the CD in and listen to the names so when they see it in the text they will know how to read it.
I love that Lance is completing geography, creative writing (not all lessons), and having fun while learning history.

Amy has a passion for history and it shows in all her books. We have quite a few of them and own almost all the audio books. Another fun way to learn history is through Amy's Countdown Series. We own a couple of those too.
You can find Golden Prairie Press on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!

The High School Years

Wow, next year I will have three high school kiddos and one who graduated. Yikes! It seems like yesterday we started homeschooling and now I have more kids in high school than grade and elementary. Weird I tell ya!

What have we been using for high school.

Josh used a mix of stuff my poor baby.
9th grade: Bob Jones
10th & 11: HOD - Heart of Dakota
12th grade: ACE Paces have worked well with him. He LOVES to read but workbook type schooling works best for him. He loved using Bob Jones for 8th and 9th but they were bit too challenging for him.

He loved Heart of Dakota but the way it's set up didn't work for him but he wanted to use it because of all the great books.

PACEs are working wonderful because the books are not overwhelming. He likes feeling accomplished with finishing a book so these work well for him. Plus with him working he needs something that doesn't take a super long time. He's pretty smart and because he's a veracious reader he knows a lot (little mommy brag there!)

Annette has used Heart of Dakota since 6th grade. She loves it, so that is what she is using. HOD does have a heavy load and she's a bit behind in her World History studies but has plans to catch up during the summer. This year has been a roller coaster of a year for all of us.

Caleb is using MFW Ancient History and he likes it but I might switch him to ACE because it just seems more doable for our family. We have tons of books to supplement ACE but I'm not sure yet. I'm still pondering. I want to stick with something for the rest of his high school years but that may not happen.

I am also thinking of using Notgrass for Caleb's high school year. For his 11th grade year use HOD U.S. History 1 (at least parts of it).

Brent will be in 9th grade this Sept! ACK! Again, I'm considering either ACE or MFW. Writing would be Essentials in Writing, Teaching Textbooks, Latin, along with many real life books.

Wow, is all I can say.

The Thinking Tree Thursday Link-up (Using Ethan's Journal)

This week I grabbed Ethan's journal and completed a few pages. Please excuse my mistakes. I had to get up a few times and wasn't being careful enough to see where I left off, ack, real life mom schooling mistakes!

Sorry for the not-so-good pictures.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
 I wanted to encourage and be an example to Ethan with completing the History Time and Yesterday's News pages. For the Yesterday's News pages I put news that doesn't really make it on main stream media. I used Voice of the Martyrs magazine for that page.
Our "Movie" Study was on Moby Dick. On a warm and rainy day (wish it was a cold and rainy day :D ) earlier this month we borrowed a movie from my dad.

All these pages are from the Fun-Schooling Journal -Grades 6-8. You can read and see a video comparing the four Fun-Schooling journals HERE.

Do you work in your kiddos journals? If so please write a blog post and share by linking up! Please link up any post that refers to The Thinking Tree and don't forget to link back, thanks!


My Vintage Book =(

I am still drying out books weeks after the back-to-back hailstorms we received almost a month ago.

 I bought this book at the local coffee shop.

 My beautiful book.