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Friday, January 8, 2016

A Giveaway for My Birthday!

Today is my birthday. To celebrate, I decided to have a giveaway! 

birthday, giveaway, the thinking tree

That's right, it's my birthday, but you are getting the gifts! I am so excited about these 'Bible Time Journals' by The Thinking Tree that I decided to give 2 of them to you!


Sarah Brown and her mom, Georgia Janisse, teamed up on these to help raise money for the orphanage that her parents serve in in the Ukraine.



journals, bible journal, the thinking tree



The inside has a place to write verses that you want to remember from that day's reading. It makes it easier for me to find them when I want to share with Daddy T at night.


journal, bible journal, the thinking tree


On the opposite page there is a place to write what God spoke to you during your quiet time. There are also sections for writing your prayers and plans for the day.

I am horrible at keeping up with a journal normally. This gives me the best of both worlds. I am able to record what I am reading, how God is speaking to me, and what I am praying about. I can't wait to have all that stored in one place, and be able to look back to see how God answered my prayers, and how He used what He was teaching me through scripture!


the thinking tree, journal, birthday



Once a week there are these amazing color pages! I love to use these to help me focus on the scriptures that I have read this week, how God is speaking to me, or I can just turn on praise and worship music and color! Coloring is very relaxing to me. It helps me forget about the 'stuff' going on and clear my head. I think that is the perfect time for me to hear God speak to my heart!


One of my favorite parts is that these journals are purse-sized! I love that I can slip this in my purse and take it with me wherever I go. When I am stuck in the pick-up line for B or in the waiting room at the doctor's office, I can pull it out. With the Bible apps that are available on my phone, I can read, journal, or even color. What better way to spend that extra time that is usually wasted on Facebook! I had my journal spiral bound so that it is easier to write in it when I am away from a table.


Now, to the part that I know that you are all really waiting for: The GIVEAWAY!!!!  I have two of these beautiful journals that I am giving away. All you have to do is comment below. I will put all the names in a hat and let one of the Crunchy Kiddos draw, via video, the winner! This closes Thursday the 14th at 5pm CST. I will announce the winners on Friday the 15th! Good Luck! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Funschooling Update: Journaling to Space, and Beyond!

Our week has been filled to the brim with new activities and creations that encourage learning. The Crunchy Kiddos have spent many hours exploring both with a parent and on their own. I am loving this new found love of learning in our home. I hope that you enjoy this glimpse into our world as we share with you what we are learning.

Here is what we have been up to this week:


Popper got a new (to him) pocket microscope at our local homeschool consignment shop. He has spent hours making slides and documenting them in his journal. He had so many that I had to make him an extra page for his journal!



Brother Bear had a little extra help from Daddy T this week on his 'school' work. He is working through Dyslexia Games Series A because he wants to be like Popper! He is actually doing a really great job!
He typically learns better online. I am in the process of getting him a new program to work on. I'll let you know how it works for him!




Sister is my coloring queen! She also enjoys playing on NickJr.com. There are plenty of fun and educational things to keep her busy. This is very helpful when I am trying to help Brother Bear and Popper with projects!



After lunch the littles take a nap. This is when Popper and I try to focus on reading and anything else that takes a little more one-on-one time. He has been reading about stars, galaxies, and space. He is mesmerized by the pictures of the beautiful galaxies in his books and tries to recreate them in his journal.

He picked out "How to Eat Fried Worms" as a enjoyment read for this week. After about 3 pages of taking turns reading, we realized that it was just too difficult for him. We turned to the most amazing app I have ever seen! It is called Epic. It is a reading app with books for all age level kiddos. We found a book on his reading level called "100-Pound Problem."  It is a cute story about a boy going fishing when he encounters a weight problem with his boat. It not only has challenged Popper with reading some new words, but also has built in math problems (he doesn't even realize). It ended up being a perfect book for him this week. He uses the journal pages to draw pictures to retell the story to me. It has helped with his reading comprehension.

As you may have noticed, Popper's journal use to be in a 3-ring-binder. I have a PDF copy of our journal from The Thinking Tree. I made copies, 3-hole-punched them, and put it in a three ring binder. This past week someone on one of my homeschool groups posted a picture of their journals spiral bound. I had never thought of doing it this way! Let me just tell you how thankful I am for this discovery! It has made school so much easier! Popper now carries his journal around and can use it wherever he wants. It has given him freedom to be comfortable while learning.


We have also had some creative fun this week. We made hand print penguins on an iceberg, played Play-Doh, and made new creations with Legos and Imaginarium blocks. This week has been full and exciting. Learning has been fun.  I can't wait to see what next week holds!



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review: SchoolhouseTeachers.com



When I began preparing for the 2015-2016 school year I researched tons of curriculum ideas for my kiddos. Even though we are more interest led, we still use different curriculum options to help supplement and fill in the gaps that we may be missing on our current studies. I found this amazing website SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I wanted a membership bad! However, at the time we did not have full access to the internet.


Fast forward a few months. I got the offer to join The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I bet that you will never guess what my very first product review is...that's right. I am reviewing SchoolhouseTeachers.com Yearly Membership! I squealed with delight when I received that e-mail! I was so excited to get the chance to use this website that is crammed full of so many resources for homeschool families! I will never be able to fit everything into this one post. Instead, I am going to share with you a glimpse into SchoolhouseTeachers.com and the lessons that we have been learning.


When I received all my sign-in information, I couldn't wait to get started exploring the site. I started at the New Members Hub. It gives you an overview and answers any questions that you might have.  


Then, I started searching by grade level and chose the Elementary section. I was impressed with how many different options are available. There are 11 different subjects to choose from: 

*Art
*Bible
*Computer and Technology
*Drama and Speech
*Electives
*Foreign Languages
*History, Geography, and Social Studies
*Language Arts
*Math
*Music
*Science

Each one of these tabs have several different choices. It is a smorgasbord of classes. You could use this website independently or as a supplement to what you are currently using.

Once you have determined which classes you would like to try, the quick links page will be your best friend! They are in the process of changing it up a bit, reducing the number of pages you have to open in order to access the lessons. 


Rightnow Media, Online electives, Online classes

Here are a few of the classes that we used to help supplement our learning over the last 6 weeks.

I started looking in the language arts section. I wanted to find something that encouraged reading and writing while peeking their curiosity to learn. I found several options, but fell in love with Ditch the Desk with teachers Jennifer Holden, Heather Hayes, and Charlene Johnson.

The title explains it all! It was right up our alley. Their lessons are created to get the kiddos away from the desk while learning and creating fun crafts. Since it lined up with Christmas season, we used a few of their lessons about the season:


online school, Elementary Homeschool Courses

I learned as much as the kiddos did! It was so much fun exploring why we have the traditions of Santa Clause, the candy cane, and the Christmas Tree. There were some really neat crafts with each lesson to get the kids hands-on learning! One of our favorites was making salt dough ornaments as a family. 

Now that Christmas is over, Popper has said that he wants to write a book. Their Author and Illustrator lessons are exactly what he is going to need! We are looking forward to starting them after the first of the year! 

Next, I found the Science tab. Since the majority of our Science is done with nature walks, and Popper has been interested in space lately, I knew I needed to find some supplements. I was not disappointed when I found Creation, Nature, and You, a video series with the brainy Dr. Schniffenhousen.


 Along with access to all the classes on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you also get a membership to RightNow Media! RightNow Media has over 10,000 videos! There are print outs that go with the lessons from SchoolhouseTeachers also available. This is a helpful way to add diversity to your daily lessons. 


The video that we found was 'The Wonderful World of Science with Dr. Schniffenhousen!' I printed out a color page of Dr. Schniffenhousen for the crunchy kiddos to all color while listening to the video. However, Popper kept getting distracted by the beautiful pictures of galaxies and stars! Brother Bear and Sister were a little young for this one and had a hard time paying attention, but it was perfect for Popper!


Finally, and probably a favorite in our house, was the Art. We chose Elementary Art with Jennifer Hawkins.
My boys are obsessed with the Ninja Turtles, so, naturally, they were thrilled that the 1st artist we were studying was Michelangelo! 

online classes, online electives, Elementary Homeschool courses

We learned a little bit about his history, got to look at some of his art online, and finally were able to 'paint' like him. 
Of course, we used colored pencils to protect our eyes. 

schoolhouseteachers.com, rightnow media



There are great resources for parents as well!

SchoolhouseTeachers Review 2016

There are links to classes and articles on how to teach certain subjects. There is sections for encouragement, recipes, homesteading, and special needs.  On top of all that, there is a giant planner available! It is stuffed full of organizational pages. A homeschool mom's brain on paper!

After the holidays are over, Popper is wanting to start both the Music Theory 1 class with Michelle Martin and The Tinker Club with Dr. Sobey in Science! There are several of the Read and Play stories with Sarah Gilbert that I want to use with the little ones. Plus, they add new classes and resources all the time! Overall, this is a fantastic resource for any homeschool family!

I have a great treat for you! Today through the January 31st, 2016 you can get 50% off an entire year! Just click the link below:

SchoolhouseTeachers.com




SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review 2016






Monday, January 4, 2016

My One Word!

When I began praying about my one word for the year, I had an almost instant answer. It was a word that made me uncomfortable: Trust. This is not something that I am good at. In fact, I am kind of a worrier by nature. I have memorized scripture on not worrying, but I still seem to fall into the rut a lot! 
I prayed for several days about this word. I wanted to make sure that this was where God was leading me, and that I was willing to take on being stretched in this way. The One Word challenge is not one I take lightly. I want to be serious. I want to truly meditate on scripture and allow God to work on me in this area. Trust was not the word I was expecting, but it is the word that God chose for me.


The verse caught me off guard also. I instantly had Proverbs 3:5-6 pop into my head:

"Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."

Once again, God had different plans. I just didn't have peace about using this as my yearly verse. I decided to search the word trust in my Bible app. I read through several verses until I came to Psalm 62:8

"Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

I read this one several times. I knew that this was my yearly verse. It not only told me to trust in Him, but gave me a way to do so: pour out my heart to Him! 
This year will definitely stretch me. I think it's going to be a prayer journey for me as well. I'm nervous and excited!

What better way to spend my year than trusting in my Father and talking to Him more consistently!