August 25, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum Planning and FREE Curriculum Planning Worksheet

I have a plan to start back to FULL school and our new official school year in two weeks--the first full week of September. It's been so busy, I haven't even really had a chance to "officially" determine what each boy will be doing. They are still wishful thoughts in my mind. As I was looking at my curriculum filled bookshelf, I wondered if I needed to do up a form that would help me in my planning. Before lessons planning EVER happens. Because I mean...I need to know WHAT I am using before determining how I'm going to use it.
Curriculum Planning Worksheets Printable

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There are a lot of free printables and planners to help you with the lesson planning stage of homeschooling--I even created a weekly lesson planning printable recently. What there doesn't seem to be as much of, are documents for curriculum planning. You know...the "Oh I think I want to use Apologia Astronomy, but I might use Science Shepherd instead." And then you go and check out the cost and the best place to get it--but don't have a nice handy form to record all of that. So it gets "filed" in your memory, never to be seen again. Bwahahahaha.

Been there. Done that.

I have a challenge with this and I only have TWO students. I can't being to imagine trying to keep track of what curriculum is going to be for whom with larger families! 

There are planners that include pages for this kind of thing. The Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner and the Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planner have them in some form or another. But sometimes you just want a quick sheet to grab and record that stuff on, right? And some planners just don't give you enough room to write your notes!

Fear not! I have designed some simple forms to help us all! I mean, if I use it for me, why shouldn't I share it with everyone?!

August 23, 2016

Circuit Maze~ Electric Current Logic Game from ThinkFun {Timberdoodle Product Review}

My boys have very engineering minded personalities. They love to build and design and are constantly working out new LEGO creations. They recently reviewed a product that gave us a great introduction to electrical circuits, which both of my boys LOVED. When I was offered the chance to review the Circuit Maze by ThinkFun through Timberdoodle Co., I accepted hoping that it would further my boys' interest in how circuits worked.

About Circuit Maze

Circuit Maze is a single player game created by the award winning educational game company ThinkFun. In the game your child can safely explore the world of electrical circuits, through series of circuit building logic puzzles. Your child will get to experience series circuits, parallel circuits, series and parallel circuits in combination, and parallel circuits in bypass--all concepts of simple and advanced circuitry! By mixing how electricity and electrical circuits work with reasoning and logic skills, Circuit Maze really is a delightful first look into electrical engineering.
Designed as a single player game for ages 8+, the Circuit Maze game includes:

August 22, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Goodbye Bride~ A Summer Harbor Novel by Denise Hunter {Book Review}

As you know, I am not a huge fan of contemporary novels. I would rather just hid in historical fiction to get my reading fix. One of the authors that I am willing to make an exception for is Denise Hunter. I just love her style of writing and now seek her novels out. I loved her Summer Harbor series when I was introduced to it in the book Falling Like Snowflakes, and I determined to read all the rest of the novels in the collection. When I had the chance to review yet another Summer Harbor novel The Goodbye Bride for the Fiction Guild, I was eager to get back to Callahan family and hear Zac's story.

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Zac Callahan was on the verge of marrying the love of his life Lucy Lovett, when she vanishes without a trace just weeks before their wedding. It's been seven months since she left and he's trying to move forward with his life.

Lucy wakes up, after hitting her head on a floor, to find herself in a wedding dress she doesn't know, surrounded by people she's not familiar with, and in a city she has no recollection of ever moving too. All she knows is that she's supposed to be marrying Zac in a couple weeks. So why does she have an apartment in Portland, ME and why is she engaged to marry someone she can't remember?! Where is Zac?

Lucy arrives back in Zac's life, vulnerable, homeless, and as much in love with him as ever. How come she can't remember the last 7 months of her life? What's going on? Is this Zac's second chance to be with the love of his life, or will Lucy's memory return and tear them apart again?

My Thoughts

I really fell in love with the Callahan brothers in Falling Like Snowflakes and was eager to read Zac's story as it sounded like it was a humdinger! I really enjoyed The Goodbye Bride right from the first chapter. I LOVE how Denise Hunter opens the story immediately with Lucy's "awakening", as it sucked me in right away.

I enjoyed "visiting" with the Callahan brothers again and seeing Beau and Eden from the first book again. I think Denise does an excellent job keeping each book separate, but still sharing threads of the story. Going with a family of brothers makes it easy I think! LOL!

I really liked Beau and Eden, but I think I like Lucy and Zac even more! They both were in love with each other so much, but with Denise writing the story so we see Lucy's thoughts and then Zac's thoughts, it allows us to see all the doubts they each had in themselves and each other. I appreciated how Denise kept the secret behind Lucy's memory loss hidden until much much later in the book, to build up the anticipation and speculation.

Another aspect of the book I liked, was the setting up of the third book in the series (Just a Kiss, coming out soon!) with the third brother Riley. I just love it when author's do that (subtlely, not brazenly) because it makes me wait for the next book with baited breath. 

I really really liked this book. The plot sucked me in from the get go and the characters LIVED on the pages. The story was so good and drew me in to the lives of each character. Yes, even needed tissues. I thoroughly recommend the Summer Harbor series to anyone looking for new books to try--and really, just give Denise Hunter a go! You won't be sorry!

The Goodby Bride
by Denise Hunter
ISBN #978-0718023737

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