Monday, October 28, 2013

Letter I, the planets, and the absolute monarchs (cycle 2, week 9)

I'm excited that we've been able to borrow my parent's computer since my decided to die on me again the other day.  It's been a long day today and I'm wiped I'm going to try and briefly give some of the best links I can!  Hope it's helpful.

Letter I
My first thought with letter cream : ).  You could make homemade or bought at the store.  Here is the recipe for my family's traditional favorite homemade ice cream.  It tastes like a Wendy's frosty! : )

Other books/ideas:
"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numerof
"If You Give a Moose a Muffin"
"It's Mine!" by Leo Lionni
"I Spy" books and game
* you could have cupcakes with icing and ice cream : )
*insects....this link will take you to a great unit (over 80 pages of ideas, games, wordplays, songs, and printables!) on the blog, Oopsy Daisy.  I used several printables from here.
*I also had several clothespin cards that went with the book "If You Give a Moose a Muffin".  There were some that gave you a chance to count the muffins and put a pin on the number, match uppercase and lowercase letters, etc.  We did this activity with our class today and it went really well.

Cycle 2, Week 9 Memory Work activities
*First of all, we've been listening to the planets song on our Geography Songs cd by Kathy Troxel.  The kids have already memorized most of it, so that will really help with what we're learning this week!
*There are so many fun planet activities to show the scale of the planets, eating different food items to represent the planets, etc.  Here are some that stood out to me:
~This is a free "Explore Our Solar System" worksheet
~"Our Place In Space" unit with printables...costs money, but not a lot.  The printables look good.
~ideas for a space lapbook...didn't see any printables, would have to use the links to print what you want
~Outer space homemade playdough...looks like something my kids would enjoy!
~This solar system sugar cookie looks really fun : )
I know my kids will love this song : )  But I guess Pluto isn't a planet anymore?  It isn't included.
~These solar system cookies were so beautiful...I had to include them : )
~FREE printable solar system cards
~printable of the planets and moons
~LOTS of ideas on this blog! Part 1 and Part 2 of her solar system unit
~free solar system coloring page and placemat activity
~space stats diagram using fruit
~solar system project...this uses foam pieces and a thick poster board to make a wonderful looking model
~another impressive foam model, but it's missing the step by step instructions
~Last but not least, The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space video
....I also saw something about The Magic School Bus Explores the Earth and Explores the Solar System, but I couldn't find full length videos for them.
That's A LOT of stuff! : )

Henry VIII of England, Louis XIV of France, Philip II of Spain, Peter the Great of Russia, and Frederick the Great of Prussia

^Nice little rap about King Louis : )
~Henry VIII activities and a video about Henry's wives
~Peter the Great video
~Exploring the Absolute Monarchs lapbook and study guide ($5)
~Informative video entitled The Age of Absolute Monarchs...a little over my kids' heads, but good for older kids...and good for me to understand it, too! : )
~Absolute Monarchs lesson plans, games, and powerpoints
~Time Warp Trio info on Peter the Great

~A video of a song to go with the Caribbean

It's getting late, so I'm heading off!  Hope this helps get you going on week 9!  God bless!

Monday, October 21, 2013

European Exploration, parts of the sun, and letter H (Cycle 2, week 8)

Last week we had a little fall breather.  We didn't meet for our co-op last week because of Columbus Day, but my plan was to keep doing our normal school stuff.  Then my computer decided not to come on anymore, I couldn't find one of our instructional dvds...and basically the week went down the tubes.  But that's ok.  It happens sometimes.  This week we're back together again and even though my computer is still not working and I'm not able to print at home right now (I'm trying to be cool about this...but it's really a challenge for me!), I'm going to make the best of things.  It's kind of a reminder of the fact that I'm a little spoiled with all the technology so readily available to me...most of the world probably does without it.  We'll make it ;-).

I am still going to be doing some activities with the kids this week and wanted to post some of the things that go along with week 8.  I'll start with letter H, though.  It's fresh on my mind since I taught the 3-5 year olds today.
Here are some books I brought with some activities:
*Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson; Here is a great resource for a lesson using this book, including writing sheets, coloring sheets, and a video.  This is just one of many "Harold" lessons out there.
*How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss--a little early, but the kids enjoyed the book, even though it was a little long; These activities look fun; Great resource for Grinchy stuff!
*From Head to Toe by Eric Carle; The kids LOVED reading this book and imitating the motions.  After we read the story I got my big roll of Ikea paper (only $4.99 at the store!) and let each child lay down on the paper and I traced their bodies.  Then I let them color themselves.  Lots of fun!
*The Story of Heidi

These are just a few of the things we did.  I also like to take my printed alphabet cards and review each letter we've learned so far.  The kids are doing really well with that.

Cycle 2, week 8
History--European Exploration: Dias, Vespucci, Balboa, Magellan, and Coronado
*Magellan background info, a picture of his route, and a printable
*Pretty neat video on Magellan's route, but it is in another language so unless you know that language, you won't know what the beginning text says.  You can pretty much figure out what places it's featuring on the map.
*Cute Animaniacs video called "The Ballad of Magellan"
*Nice video of Cape Town/Cape of Good Hope (modern day)
*Explorer route maps
*Coronado biography and video (this site looks like a good resource!)
*Balboa biography info--a good biography of the explorer
*Vespucci video--short, but informative
*Another short video that connects Vespucci's time period with Renaissance artists and Columbus
*Age of Exploration video that mentions a couple of different explorers

Science--parts of the sun

I like this video!  Great way to learn the parts of the sun.
*FREE parts of the sun poster and flashcards printable
*sun print paper--this would be a cool project ($6.99 for 15 sheets)
*cool sun prints on fabric
*construction paper sun prints
*video of a solar eruption

*using a cantaloupe to show the parts of the sun

*Interesting sun screen experiment...and perfect for my kiddos because I'm always slathering sunscreen on them!
*Fun! Turn your pizza box into a solar oven...I'm thinking smores!

Geography--Mid-Atlantic World

We'll listen to this and look at our printed map of the Mid Atlantic World.'s getting late, once again, so that's about all I've got for now.  I thought I had a video on my Pinterest board explaining the Council of Nicea, but I had trouble finding it.  Hope all of you have a great week and God bless!

Friday, October 18, 2013

FREE Christian fiction for your Kindle

There are some great Christian fiction for free right now for the Kindle (on  I was just looking at some of the books I've downloaded lately and realized there were quite a few.  I wanted to pass it on!  Some of these have been free for a while and one of them, I believe, is TODAY take advantage!  : )  I haven't read all of these, so you may want to look up some of the descriptions just to make sure it's something you would like.  A lot of times I read some of the book reviews, too, just to see if it's something I'd really want to have, even if it's free.

On to the books!
TODAY ONLY: Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu her books!

Other freebies: (* = books I've read that I enjoyed)
Child of the Mist by Kathleen Morgan
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller
Daughter of Twin Oaks by Lauraine Snelling
Shadows of the Canyon by Tracie Peterson
*A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson
Lion of Babylon (thriller) by Davis Bunn
Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot
*Love By the Letter (novella) by Melissa Jagears
An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling
In the Company of Secrets by Judith Miller
Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips
Distant Dreams by Judith Pella
*Waiting For Summer's Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Jenna's Cowboy by Sharon Gillenwater
*Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin
*Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer
Out of Control by Mary Connealy
The Calling of Emily Evans by Janette Oke
*Daughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan
Gentleman of Her Dreams by Jen Turano
A Home in the West by Lori Copeland
A Cast of Stones (fantasy) by Patrick W. Carr
Back on Murder (mystery) by J. Mark Bertrand
Deadly Aim (mystery) by Patricia H. Rushford
Offworld (not sure what genre) by Robin Parrish
*Secrets: A Novel by Kristin Heitzmann (the 3 prequel novels to this one are excellent!)
The Light of Eidon (fantasy) by Karen Hancock
The Secret's in the Sauce by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
Love Me If You Must (mystery) by Nicole Young
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
The 7-Day Doubt Diet by Renee Swope
**And, as always, many classic books are free for the kindle.  I've picked up books by Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, the book "Jane Eyre", and many others for free.** 

Discounted books that look good:
Melanie Dickerson's books are reduced for a limited time to $1.99 each:
Fairest Beauty
The Merchant's Daughter
The Healer's Apprentice
(I've read all three and they are great! They are also written for Young Adults, so they can enjoy them as well)
Her newest book, The Captive Maiden (based on the story of Cinderella) is reduced to $5.12

The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist is $3.99
Colleen Coble also has several books for 99 cents and up.

There are lots of other discounted books.  Just be aware that sometimes free or discounted Christian fiction can get mixed in with the free romance/erotic novels that are out there.  Reading the reviews often helps me to know if I need to caution myself on a book, but it's not 100% fool proof.  Usually the cover will give it away, too ; ).

Hope enjoy all of these freebies and have a great weekend!  I'll be posting about week 8 and letter H over the weekend, hopefully.  My computer is down (again!) so the hubby and I are sharing.  Pray with me that we'll get this resolved soon!  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reviewer's Bookshelf: A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

"A Bride for Keeps" by Melissa Jagears

It's 1876 and Julia Lockwood is stepping off the train in Kansas...far from her Boston roots.  She is eager and willing to learn how to be a hard-working western wife.  Meeting her husband-to-be for the first time was the first of many new experiences as she steps on to the platform.  Except her fiance has no idea that the beautiful woman walking towards him is his wife-to-be...and when he finds out, he's not too happy about it.

Everett Cline is not opposed to marriage.  In fact, he's tried three times to marry a mail-order bride...and each one has not worked out.  Each time his heart was broken a little more and his disappointment grew.  When a well-meaning friend goes behind his back to write Julia, Everett doesn't want his heart broken once again.  He's sure that the beautiful Julia will find some reason to reject him.  His only choice is to protect himself by putting a wall so high that not even a willing wife could climb it.

Julia is also putting up walls.  Except hers is not made of indifference like Everett's, but hard work.  If she can just work hard enough, learn to be a good wife, then that will be enough.  Besides, that's what Everett needs, isn't it?  Someone to help him out so he can survive on the farm.  And maybe if she works hard, Everett will not ask her about her past and hurts that have scarred her heart.

I read Melissa Jagears' novella, "Love by the Letter" (free for Kindle), before reading this book.  I really liked the story and when I had the opportunity to read her debut novel I jumped at the chance.  "A Bride for Keeps" was a book that I didn't want to put down.  The story is obviously focused primarily on the relationship between Julia and Everett.  I enjoy mail-order bride stories, but Everett and Julia were characters that really grabbed my attention.  They had real issues, deep scars that couldn't be taken care of with a few hastily spoken vows.  Through different incidents, they had to let go of their insecurities, hurts, and past experiences and trust in God to bring them together.  Julia doesn't have faith in God through most of the story, so this is very difficult for her.  Even with faith in God, it is hard for Everett as well.  I really liked their story and was rooting for them all through the book.  In a way I wished that some of the past issues were resolved a little more or even a "bad guy" in the novel dealt with a little more, but overall I would say I would recommend this as a great debut novel.  I will be looking for more of Jagears' books in the future!

**I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers to give an unbiased book review**

Happy reading!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Martin Luther and the Reformation, stars, and letter's a busy week!

We're having an interesting week this week studying Martin Luther and the Reformation.  I'm excited about it and look forward to doing some of the activities I've spotted on Pinterest.  With my big boy we're doing letter G, which has some good activities, too.  This week is also going to be a little different because the hubby and I are headed out to Nashville (woohoo!) to celebrate our anniversary.  We're celebrating 9 years and enjoyed going to Nashville so much last year that we're going again this year!  I look forward to getting away and relaxing.  In light of that, we won't have a normal school week.  The kids will have a few things they'll have to do at their Mimi's I'll have a lot to cover in a few days!  I know we won't to get everything, but I'm going to try to go back and do some of the things we didn't get to when we have a long CC break through the holidays.

I'm going to start with the letter G because it's fresh on my mind.  Here are some quick letter G ideas...
*grapes...a great snack!  And this tracing sheet link has grapes on it for capital G

*guitar...we had our music minister come by during our group meeting today (I teach the 3-5 year olds) and bring his guitar.  He did a great job talking about what the guitar was made of, parts of the guitar, and played Jesus Loves Me for us and we were able to sing along.  Very fun!  And isn't this little craft cute?!

*goat...Three Billy Goats Gruff book, or a trip to see some live goats at a local farm
*Goldilocks and the Three Bears book...the kids loved this and I had a felt board and pieces to go along with the story and we read it twice.  It was a lot of fun to act out.
*Green Eggs and Ham book...another favorite!  If I would've been able to plan better I would've done some green eggs and ham for the kids.  I'll definitely do it at some point, though...maybe "S" for Seuss week : )
*God...lots to talk about there!
*Guess How Much I Love You book
*This Homeschool Share page is incredible!  Lap 'N Note pages for every and easy to access!  I didn't even have to sign up to be able to download!  This will be a great resource.
*other "G" words: goldfish, green, grey, gorilla, and goose

Classical Conversations Memory Work...Cycle 2, Week 7
History: Reformation, Martin Luther, Ninety-five Theses
*A video excerpt from the movie, "Luther", that talks about the Ninety-five Theses
*Reformation unit and lapbook pages.  I really liked this packet, but didn't print all of it.  I did print the parts about Martin Luther, some of the causes of the Reformation, and a few others.  I hope to do a lap book for the kids with this.
*A nice chart of the English monarchy during the Reformation
*A Martin Luther coloring page that I've already printed.  The kids really did well with the coloring pages we did last week.  I think both of my big kiddos are high visual learners.
*Reformation Day Party ideas--Reformation Day is October 31st
*Another detailed Reformation Day Party idea with links to printables
**I LOVE the idea of having a Reformation Day Party.  I've never done one, and it would be fun to do it with our homeschool group and anyone else who would want to participate**

Science: 5 kinds of stars
*I LOVE this star project!  It'll take some spray paint and poster board, but that's about it.  And the most important part...putting a verse from Psalms on it.
*This is also a week to talk about constellations.  I love the free app "Star Chart"--a great way to go outside and go stargazing.
*space lapbook--with great printables and info on stars, the moon, and the sun! I will be using some of this next week, too!
*info on how to find different constellations in the night sky
*I love the idea of doing glow in the dark constellations cards
*Another great way to do glow in the dark constellation cards
*Free printable constellation cards with info (it says "limited time" but they were still free and available)
*Glow in the dark play dough! Cool!
*Star worksheet
*This star size comparison video is mind-blowing!  Quite a testimony to God's handiwork!
*Simple constellation lesson plan
*constellation viewer idea...but there are only 4 printables available for it
*This is cool, too!  An oatmeal container planetarium!  I really want to do this one!
*And...a constellation jar (I might use a candle instead of a light like they did...but I don't know how well it will work)'s A LOT of star activities!  : )

Geography: European Peninsulas
*I've printed my geography cards this week and we're going to look on the blog, And Here We Go!, for a geography song that she's made up. My kids really did well with the song last week.

English: possessive adjectives
*I've got my printables from "Suzanne Shares" blog
*We'll watch the grammar video I linked to on this post

We'll do our pronunciation cards I mentioned before...already printed and ready to go!

And...that's all I've got for now!  I've been doing some organizing with some of my materials.  As soon as I can get my pictures together, I'll be sure to share : ).

God bless your week!

Friday, October 4, 2013

"Audrey Bunny" review and giveaway! (PS...this book is adorable!)

**And the winner is...Stacy!  Thanks so much to all of you who participated!**

Angie Smith has written a beautiful story of a little girl, Caroline, and her bunny that she names Audrey.  Audrey was one of the last bunnies picked from the toy store, and she knows it's because she has a smudge on her fur...right over her heart.  Audrey tries to hide the smudge from Caroline as best as she can, because she knows that if Caroline sees it she'll take Audrey right back to the toy store.  And that would crush sweet Audrey...because she loves Caroline so much.  What she doesn't realize is that Caroline actually chose her for her flaws...and loves her because of them.  Young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

Not only are the illustrations in the book captivating, the story of the relationship between a stuffed bunny and the little girl that loves her is beautiful....and tear jerking!  I definitely felt a little misty by the end of this story.  It was a good reminder of God's love for us, despite our baggage or our flaws.  His love is unconditional.  This is definitely a book that we will have on our bookshelf and revisit for years to come.

Angie Smith is a best-selling women's author (I Will Carry You, Mended).  I was also able to hear her speak twice at a women's conference I attended a few years ago.  Angie is funny, personable and is a very relate-able speaker.  I actually stopped her between sessions and introduced myself!  She was very gracious and just carried on a conversation with me like we were friends.   I would definitely recommend hearing her speak if you have the chance.  But first...comment on this blog post to win a free copy of Audrey Bunny!

Here's a message from Angie about the book:

I'll be drawing a winner next Wednesday!  Anyone in the US and Canada can enter.  You will LOVE this book!

More resources:
B&H Kids Facebook:
B&H Publishing Twitter: @BHKidsBuzz

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

God bless~

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Renaissance coloring sheets for week 6

I was about to pull my hair out today trying to find a good coloring sheet to go with our Renaissance stuff.  After battling with my printer and finding a good freebie, I finally ran across some goodies!  I really wanted to share!

It's a basic Mona Lisa picture that the kids can color, but it really worked for us!  I found it at blog called My Favorite Freebies.  On the same page there is a "Meet the Artist" worksheet that you can use with any artist that we're studying.  I thought it was a fun idea...basically like you're interviewing the artist and putting down facts about him/her.

There is also an Animated Hero Classics video about Leonardo da Vinci (I love the movies, but don't have any of them...I try to watch what we can on YouTube).  But if you do have the video...or just want a booklet of free printables to go along with you go!  : )  There's a lot that you can print from there.

We read "Katie and the Mona Lisa" today...Sophie loved it...and this blog post offers some interesting ways to follow up.

Ok...I absolutely LOVE this video!  It's HILARIOUS!  I just watched it a few minutes ago, and I still have tears in my eyes from laughing.  I think kids will love it and it gives some great info, too!  I'm going to check out more videos from these guys!

We're going to color this Copernicus sheet tomorrow during our morning work...or maybe this Shakespeare one.  Coloring sheets are an easy way for me to introduce some of these guys and the kids like to color.  Win, win : ).

More coloring pages:
"Color Me" masterpieces...different printables from various artists
Sistene Chapel coloring pages (2)
Michealangelo lesson plan and printables
Printable biography of Michealangelo

That's all for now! ; )