Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I recently received two copies of Nature Friend magazine to review. I was amazed and awestruck and the quality of this magazine. The photography, paper quality and the articles were all top-notch and they included related activities. Then, something hit me all at once and I had to look at the magazine again. There were NO advertisements of any kind. The more I looked at and studied this magazine, the more I liked it.
All three of my kids (8-13) loved it. They would read the articles to each other and actually help one another with the activities. It is wonderful for a mom to see her kids getting along. Now, I'm not going to claim this happened the whole time they worked on the magazines but for the most part, they were so excited about some of it that they temporarily forgot to fight.
Nature Friend has started putting out a study guide recently with their magazine in order for families to get even more out of the articles. Some are activities like crosswords and word search, others are more like actual research. For the time we had the magazine coming to our home, we used it for science class at least twice a week. It seemed to work well with our multi-grade school situation. I haven't found a whole of things that do incorporate all my kids on some level, but then some days my creative side takes a nose dive. Don't laugh, you know you've been there.
Our science class using the magazine looked a little like this - the oldest child would read and article to the younger ones with mom explaining anything that wasn't understood, then the kids would talk about it some (their favorite parts, if they've ever seen the subject, etc) and then we would pick one of the many activities to do to reinforce some of the words and concepts. Some of those activities were very challenging!
This company offers more than magazines, I've seen a wide array of books and also noticed they sell a hardback edition of a year's worth of magazine that will last. I love this idea. If you follow this link then it will direct you to some sample issues to help you decide if this is right for you. There isn't enough room for me to put in all I would like to about this magazine. I say all these wonderful things to allow you to know that the price of such a wonderful resource is well justified. I haven't renewed my subscription but I definitely intend to as soon as spring comes. One year cost $36.00, that's just $3 and issue with no ads and chock full of educational nature information for your child. The study guide is $24.00 for the year, which is $2 an issue and more than well worth that. And for those of my readers who it matters to very much, this is creation based nature study that glorifies our Creator. To me, that's priceless. Think, pray and consider this.
As I listened to the Tortoise and the Hare put to music, I began to realize how much thought went into this CD. The scores and background music were perfect all the way through the story and the story was a longer version than I had ever heard but it was still engaging. It kept both of the smaller kids' attention and honestly, the youngest child doesn't usually like anything without pictures or some other kind of visual learning. He just doesn't learn with pure auditory, but he sat there throughout the whole CD even as the next tracks began to explain the different scores and musical selections. I believe I was actually the one who finally cried "uncle". They would have continued to listen to it over and over but I had a schedule to keep that day and wasn't getting anything done.
This CD series could seriously jump-start a music appreciation in my children. They already love certain types of music, but this could definitely introduce them to the world of more classical music and give them a desire to learn more about it and it's composers. I grew up loving classics (I know, I was a little weird) and thoroughly enjoyed Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.
Maestro Classics is reasonably priced as well. Each CD is only 16.98 or 3 for $45 with the coupon code of MAESTRO45. That's not but a couple dollars more than a traditional CD in department stores, but this has the added bonus of teaching your children an appreciation of music and enjoying a more classical side of it. They have some wonderful stories and gift sets. I even spied a family pack that looked like fun. Give it try, I don't believe you'll regret it.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I hope that I can properly introduce a wonderful new author. If your children love fictional stories from history, then this is someone that definitely deserves your attention. Jim Baumgardner and his new books - the Sarah Books - are a wholesome, informative and entertaining read.
After receiving a copy in the mail to review, I immediately began reading it. I love reading and I like to preview what my kids will be reading and studying to be sure that it's appropriate. I immediately fell in love with Sarah and her plight. I honestly did not want to put it down. The story swept me away from the beginning and kept me hanging on through every chapter. This series is written more for young teenagers, but I admit to indulging every so often myself!
My thirteen-year-old daughter read a couple of chapters on her own and at my request, she began reading to her little sister (10) and brother (8). While they don't understand everything in the book (hey, there's a glossary for us older people too!), they are certainly loving the story and asking questions about Sarah's plight. In this way, we are discovering more together about this particular topic and opening dialogue within our family on the issues. I honestly did not expect the little ones to like it but they gather in the floor to listen to their sister read and it does a mother's heart good.
Right now, the author is offering a special deal for my readers and me! Readers of my blog who want to order referencing this blog will get a special discount and it will also help me get a great deal as well! I really want the rest of these books, so please people, think about this. It would make a wonderful gift for Christmas to your little history nuts. They are written circa Civil War times in case that helps. Every copy comes autographed to the recipient for free!! AND right now, shipping and handling is also free. Can you beat that? I know I can't.
Email the author at JBaumgardner3@cox.net and he will e-mail you a form to use for this great deal. It is NOT offered on his website, only through TOS crew blogs. Please mention me or my blog when ordering.
Blessings and great reads to all,
DebG, Head Nut
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Personally, I was always scared to take SAT thinking it was a more intellectual type test than the ACT. All this time, I have been wrong. The SAT is more of a logic test that includes an essay. This system goes through and thoroughly explains each part of SAT and how it works. If I had had this system when I was getting prepared for college, I definitely would have thought more seriously about taking SAT.
With this system, if a person was to go through and do exactly what the program describes then there is an excellent chance of full scholarships. The system teaches acronyms to learn the best ways of working out the logic of these tests and the method of test-taking. Now, of course, grades, transcripts and extra-curricullar activities matter with admission to college, but the scores on the SAT/ACT tell a story of their own as well.
I would highly recommend this system to anyone in high school to go through no matter which test they are taking. To me, it will be invaluable resource in my household for years to come. I am already recommending it to every high schooler I know.
Blessings to all,
DebG, Head Nut
Monday, October 26, 2009
If you're like me, the craziness of life can get to you at times. That's one reason I refer to my house as the Looneybin. With three kids who think most of the time they are running the show, two dogs who are positive that they are the boss, a husband who really is the numero uno dude and then me, things don't always go according to plan.
This was supposed to be a great school year, full of experimenting with new ideas and learning what is going to work for our little family. Instead, to me it has felt like utter chaos. We have fully enjoyed reviewing for the Old Schoolhouse and the products they have been sending, but much to my dismay, we haven't found a "groove" yet that works for us.
I'm asking my readers for advice. The Looneybin needs a little less chaos and a little more harmony. Maybe, mom just needs to get her act together, I really don't know. Teaching kids in the 3rd, 5th and 8th grades is a challenge, especially since their interests are so varied. We also have a schedule that keeps us hopping since my husband is a pastor, then I need to be available at a moments notice and be able to leave the kids working well on their own. Perhaps I made a mistake in getting away from workbooks that we never seemed to complete. Right now, I baring myself to you and asking you, what you veterans might suggest. Yes, I've been at this for 9 years but somehow, we still don't have it together and I do so want them to learn and do well. I'm just however not ready to hand them over to public schools under any circumstances.
Thanks in advance for your help!
DebG, Head Nut
Friday, October 23, 2009
BUT, Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker, you are the winner of a one year subscription to the Old Schoolhouse magazine. I will be contacting you via e-mail to confirm the details.
Thanks to everyone who participated and rest assured, I have more drawings in the works! Keep watching and reading.
DebG, Head Nut
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thanks in advance for letting me share with you.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
After much debate, my kids settled on the reptiles study. We had 5 to choose from and this was going to be an experiment so they chose the subject they were most interested in - Reptiles. From the very first day, my little nuts ran with this project absorbing so much information. I worked with them for the first folder and it took about one week to complete. Of course, everyone's pace will differ, this is what worked for us. Then after a small break to complete some other projects, they were missing their lapbooking. I decided to try yet another experiment and let them work on it without my help. Since, the two of them are in different grades and had different abilities, they had to work together to complete the final project. There were a few scuffles over who would get to color what, but those were quickly resolved with either another copy of that page or simply letting one child color one side of the picture and the other child color the other side. (Believe me, it makes for interesting work when they are coloring different halves!)
I will say that I am also looking forward to the one labeled "Parable of a King". It will be a wonderful suplement to our Bible studies. The kids are also looking forward to the ones on the "Desert" and "Amphibians". It's going to be a great semester.
A Journey Through Learning has many different levels and subjects for lapbooking. They even have unit studies (which I would love to try someday). Their lapbooks come three way - instant download (ebook) for $13.00, CD for $14.00 and printed copy for $21.00. Their unit studies are priced this way as well.
DebG, Head Nut and now a lapbooker!
Monday, September 28, 2009
DebG, Head Nut
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Okay, confession time. I popped the DVD in the TV when I received it in the mail and just watched it. Honestly, I almost went to sleep. Guess what??? You are NOT supposed to do that. That's right, I messed up.
Each child is supposed to do a webpage on their favorite candy. This is my 13 year old's page on M & Ms. We had an issue trying to import the paint file she had created, but after careful examination of the code and a few other things, I was able to determine it was a fault with my computer. That was a drawback for me with this DVD. I couldn't raise my hand and say, "Teacher, there is a problem." BUT, I had experience with coding and didn't have too much trouble with helping the kids some. Especially when strange problems like that one happened. And believe me, if a strange problem is going to occur, it's going to occur at my house! I tried to take a screenshot of the webpage, but it didn't work out so well. I can say for a first webpage, she did a topnotch job.
This is my 10 year old's page. She put a picture of a horse and her version of spray candy using the paint program. Again, she found the program very easy to use and only needed minimal help in making sure things went smoothly. She really got into taking notes, writing down color names and generally being creative with this assignment. Of course, she is very imaginative anyway. I will be excited to see what she comes up with on her own. Who knows? One of the kids who gets this DVD may make a fortune doing web design one of these days.
Right now, Barnum is offering a discount of $5 off orders for readers of my blog. Just use the referral code 7M7E7. This offer expires September 30, 2009. I believe once you try this program, your kids and you will be hooked. It is a wonderful supplement to any math program you use currently and with it's budget-friendly prices, you can hardly go wrong. At least download the free demo and get it a spin!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The first, and by far, the favorite of the products was a game called Tornado. It comes with a cassette. This game and cassette are based on a book in the series by the same name. This product sells for $12.99 on the website. Tornado plays a lot like Sorry or Trouble. The way it folds up and stores all the pieces is ideal for travel! Trust me, I was stacking some things on my already overcrowded computer desk (I am consistently a clutterbug) and inadvertantly knocked over this game and some other items. I was just dreading finding four sets of buzzards and dogs(two colors of dogs, mind you) that belonged with the game. I ran around the desk only to find that the game was still tightly closed. Now, my kids had already been having a great time with this game and the evil thought of keeping them occupied for long hours on the road was running through my head. This game could survive in my truck! The pieces themselves seem to be sturdy and shouldn't dislodge easily either. To me it seems like a win/win situation. All in all, I would say this would be a great buy for people with kids who can understand or are learning to lose graciously, travel, or love these types of games for their family.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
First of all, let me say that I am NO artist. I've been doing stick figures most all my life. Even my trees look sickly. Second of all, my creativity is often under question when it comes to teaching my kids. I really prefer them to be independent learners because of the age gaps. And thirdly, my kids rarely get excited about anything to do with school and ask to do it. So needless to say, I started this program carefully!
How did God view all that He created?
What happened to Job in one day?
Name Jacob's wives.
What furniture was in the Holy of Holies?
How many kings did Daniel serve?
What three things do we know from the Old Testament about the Messiah?
All three of my kids (ages 13, 10, and 8) fell in love with the book immediately. They enjoy helping each other review questions while I prepare papers for the day. They simply got the paper they needed and their colored pencils when I was ready to teach and went to town drawing and learning. Hard to remember details are made simple with this book. My husband always tells me if you see something, write something, and hear something; you're more likely to remember it. Well my kids are seeing the drawings come alive as they write them after they have discussed answers with me. Their memory on concepts is greatly increased.
I guess my favorite part of this whole lesson so far has been near the beginning. My little "nuts" and I discussed God. There were only two simple questions on this particular day and two scriptures. The questions were: Who was in the beginning? and What did God do in the beginning? The scripture was Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, both of which the kids could quote. The discussion that day got deep even with little minds present (mine, of course). We began to talk about what and who God was in our lives and why it was important for us to establish that before anything else. My kids amaze me at every turn with their profound answers. They end up teaching me so much. So when they drew their purple triangles to represent God that day, other aspects became very real as well.
The teacher ebook in this series is only $19.95 and the student ebook is the same price. Print books are also sold with the teacher book being $24.95 and the student book being $19.95. I have found that ebooks are much easier to deal with since I have three kids to teach (and there is the luxury of no shipping costs with ebooks!). This is just one of Grapevine's multi-level courses, so all kids can jump right in and have a blast. You just print the copies you need when you need them and there is no waste. Of course, my kids love doing things their own way, but then most homeschooled kids do, right?
Grapevine also has other levels for specific ages and shorter studies those who want to either go deeper in a subject or just spend a short amount of time getting to know the program. I was just browsing their list and came across a study in Esther, Biblical Feasts and Holy Days, Birth of Jesus, and New Testament Timeline.
When I signed up on the e-mail list, I began to get FREE mini-lessons each week from the other studies. This is terrific and allows you to get a glimpse into the study it comes from to see if you would be interested. Again, these are NO COST samples. Can't really go wrong with that! Besides, what homeschooler doesn't love the word "free"?
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Other works in progress around here is my house. My husband and his father are in the process of remodeling the attic of our new home to put in some bedrooms and a bathroom for my girls. Now that is a more stable work in progress albeit an expensive one! I'm excited about the changes taking place around me.
I have now survived VBS and a youth trip to Eureka Springs. I feel like I've accomplished a lot!
Now I need help accomplishing something else. This is a new blog and well, I'm depending on my few followers to help me find some more. I would really like to take this places. I plan to share some of my looneybin homeschool antics as the school year starts. That ought to be enough but on a semi regular basis, I would love to have giveaways. I have a few things in mind starting in September. So we have a few weeks to spread the word. In the meantime, I'm going to be figuring out how to put a video of my beagle on here. Don't turn me off yet, people don't believe me when I say we get him to do an "inside bark". Actually, it's me who does the training of this trick. I got tired of the absolute beagle bark in my house since he's an inside dog. I figured if you can train a dog to do tricks and train kids to use "inside voices" then surely you could do an "inside bark". Sure enough, he'll do it for me.
So hopefully, these things will give you a reason to help me promote my blog. Reviews are coming near the end of the month for 3-4 products of which I'll be doing some giveaways using those products which my family has done or doesn't need. It's always great to get free stuff!
Until next time, blessings and looneys to all!!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
In a week, vacation Bible school starts. I'm very curious about other churches and families where it comes to this. Are you doing a VBS and if so, what materials are you using this year? Our church has chosen to do the Underground Church of Rome. I'm excited! There is more to do this year than teach, sing or do crafts. With this literature, I'm actually get to use my loud mouth in a drama each night. I am going to play one of the ladies who gathers for the underground church and eagerly awaits word from Paul! This is going to be so fun.
This week though, we are starting a study in the Old Testament with our children here at home. We are using Grapevine Studies to teach the kids an overview of the basics of the OT. This will be a wonderful start to my oldest daughter's study in Proverbs 31. I have been eagerly awaiting the start of that study as well. I anticipate being able to watch her bloom into the woman God intended for her to be.
I'll keep everyone updated as to our progress. OH! I almost forgot, my youngest child has a lot of trouble with math. I'm considering using Math-U-See but I understand there are others like it out there. Any comments or suggestions are VERY appreciated!
Thanks and blessings from
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Ya see, yesterday I shampooed carpets there and well, it was the first time I had EVER shampooed carpets anywhere. Last night it felt like someone had sucker punched me in the back at my lower ribs!! Ouch! Today I will be going to get some Thermacare or something similar and use it while I make spinach dip for a July 4th celebration that our church is doing.
Tomorrow in church, we will celebrate a different type of independence. The one we are given as Christians should bring us to our knees in thankfulness and humbleness each day. We will be celebrating this all day and end with the Lord's supper that night. This Lord's special is extra special for me, because it is the first that we will celebrate with our new church home and the first that my entire family will be able to participate. All three of my children have been gloriously saved and baptized! I feel so blessed.
Think about what type of independence you are going to celebrate today and tomorrow. Be safe and see ya'll hopefully in a week!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Just click on this link: