B is for Baking

b is for baking sbh

Seahawk’s birthday was earlier this month. He’s 11 now. I still can’t believe it. His birthday fell on a Friday, so we did the “Grandparents’ dinner” on the day of. We served pasta with three sauce choices (marinara, Alfredo, and vodka, all from jars – I can make pasta sauce from scratch, but honestly, a lot of the jarred sauces are very tasty, have no questionable ingredients, and are cheaper than their from-scratch counterparts, which makes them a win all around), and homemade bread sticks. This is my go-to bread stick recipe. It’s so easy and so delicious. If you’re looking for a good one, try it out! It’s truly foolproof. Continue reading

Product Review: Clued In Kids

I have a super fun product to talk to you guys about today: Clued In Kids! For review purposes, I received both the Halloween Treasure Hunt and the Baseball Treasure Hunt. These are available as PDF downloads for $5.99 each. Having them as PDFs means, of course, that you can print as many as you’d like and reuse them, which makes these a great value.

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You can see that each clue includes the challenge for the kids in the main area, as well as the place where you need to hide the clue at the bottom. This makes it so quick and easy to set up these treasure hunts!

So what is Clued In Kids? The answer is very simple. Helen Bertelli, the founder and president of Clued In Kids, writes Treasure Hunts for kids. You purchase the hunts, hide the clues, and let your kids go. For about 5-10 minutes worth of work on your part, you can easily keep your kids occupied for 30-60 minutes (possibly more, depending on the children). Each hunt is designed around a theme – Halloween and Baseball, in my case, but there are also loads of others (Thanksgiving, Winter, Happy Tummy, Gluten-Free, Homework Reward, and many others). Continue reading

Product Review: New Liberty Videos

When I first found out that the Schoolhouse Review Crew would have the chance to review some DVDs from New Liberty Videos, I wasn’t too mussed. We don’t have a TV or a traditional DVD player (just the DVD ROM on the computer), so I didn’t intend to request this product. But then I saw the actual list of films that would be offered, and when I saw Warriors of Honor ($19.95 for a physical DVD) on that list, I had strong suspicions that Will and the boys would be really interested. You see, it’s a film about the Christian faith of two Confederate generals – Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. My boys (and man!) are big history buffs, and the Civil War is one that fascinates them all, so I went ahead and requested this movie after all. Continue reading

A is for Armadillo

a is for armadillo sbh

A colleague of mine through the Schoolhouse Review Crew (Marcy at Ben and Me) has done a “Blogging Through the Alphabet” series several times now, and I’ve never remembered to start when she’s back at “A.” She’s since decided not to do the series, but I think it’s a great idea, so I’m going to give it a go. Alphabet posts will happen once a week in addition to anything else I have to write about that particular week and may or may not relate to each other. Some will be about our homeschooling journey, some will be recipes, and some will simply my thoughts for the week. Enjoy!

So . . . A is for Armadillo. Pretty random, no? Not for our home this week. We just started a unit study on Wild Animals: Small Mammals (from the set of My First Reports by Hewitt Homeschooling) in our homeschool, and the first animal we’re studying is armadillos.

Here’s what’s on tap for this week of our study. Continue reading

Homeschool Curriculum Review: Middlebury Interactive Languages

Middlebury Interactive Languages ReviewIf you’ve been reading these pages for very long at all, you know that I’m a sucker for foreign languages, especially French. For over a year now I’ve been searching for “the perfect foreign language curriculum.” The conclusion I’m coming to is that it just doesn’t exist. However, Middlebury Interactive Languages comes pretty close. For the purposes of this review, we received a six-month subscription to their Elementary French 1 (Grades 3-5). As the product title suggests, this is designed for upper elementary students – roughly grades 3 through 5.

For this review, we were given several options of Middlebury courses – French, German, Spanish, or Chinese, each available in a variety of levels. It was a really tough call for me whether to start the boys with¬†Elementary French 1 (which has no prerequisites) or Elementary French 2, which has the prerequisite of French 1 or equivalent. You know, of course, that we’ve been doing French off and on for a long time with the boys. But I wasn’t sure if the stuff they’d learned up to this point would be enough to qualify as “or equivalent,” so we went ahead and did Level 1. Continue reading

Reading List – October 2014

Inspired by The Unlikely Homeschool, I’ve decided to do a post each month of what’s on our reading list. It’s a little late in the month to be doing October’s, but that’s okay; we’re still reading these books, and likely will be throughout the rest of the month.

Read-aloud – Everyone

wayside school

We have two. First, we’re reading¬†Sideways Stories from Wayside School. This is a classic from my childhood; it was my brother’s favorite book as an elementary school student. My kids haven’t had the pleasure of hearing or reading it, so I thought it would be a fun one. Plus, it’s a quick read which makes everyone feel like we’ve accomplished something in very short order.

We started earlier this week, and are already about 10 chapters in. The kids love it! And honestly, what’s not to love? Louis the yard teacher . . . Mrs. Gorf, the teacher who turns her students into apples . . . Mrs. Jewls, the teacher who thinks her students are monkeys . . . Maurecia, the girl who keeps ice cream in her desk. Good times. Continue reading

Book Review: The iWitness series by Apologia

Apologia Review
We are fascinated by things like Biblical archaeology in my house. Get us (especially Will and Seahawk) going on the subject, and an hours-long conversation is sure to ensue. So when I heard that members from the Schoolhouse Review Crew would have the opportunity to review the new iWitness series from Apologia Educational Ministries, I was definitely intrigued. They asked us to review the following books:

Written by Doug Powell, each of these books takes the reader on an in-depth search of different aspects important to the Christian faith. The books aren’t a boring tome, though. Each one is designed to look like a stack of documents, using different graphics and fonts, to introduce you to the evidence that has been discovered over the years. They follow a logical progression, but the goal is not to just tell you, “This is how it is, so you have to believe it.” Instead, the idea is to push you to do your own research and (ideally) come to the conclusions that “Yeah, this is probably really true” on your own. The books are good for a variety of ages (we read them aloud with all three boys), but the reading level is roughly 11 and up. Continue reading

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