April 25, 2018

5 Lessons I Have Learned to Make Homeschooling Less Stressful~Lesson 3: Don't Rush the Readiness {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

 The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Welcome back to Day 3 of the 5 Days of…Homeschool Blog hop! This week I’m focusing on 5 Lessons I Have Learned to Make Homeschooling Less Stressful. So far I have shared my thoughts on the trap of Public School ideas in the homeschool classroom, and how I believe Kindergarten needs to be focused on Exploration and Play more than reading and writing. Today I am going to touch on something that blends both of these sort of together. The idea of Readiness. Readiness for Reading. Readiness for Math. Readiness for school in general. So let’s get started with this week’s lesson #3...

April 24, 2018

5 Lesson I Have Learned to Make Homeschooling Less Stressful~Lesson 2: Kindergarten Is About Exploration {5 Days of...Homeschool Blog Hop}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Today's topic ties into yesterday's topic of "Keep the Public School Out" of your homeschool. I spoke about how we must not get caught in the trap of trying to replicate public school in our own classroom. And one of the HARDEST times to remember this--is during the Preschool/Kindergarten years! Today I want to share some lessons I have learned, and a few mistakes I made relating to homeschooling preschool and Kindergarten. I will also be sharing some mistakes that other homeschool moms said THEY made during these years as well...and some success stories too! So what is my second lesson to help make homeschooling less stressful? It's simple...

April 23, 2018

A+ Interactive Math: A Program that Identifies and Closes Learning Gaps in Math {Product Review}

A+ Interactive Math~ A Review
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!
Math is one of the only subjects where I wouldn't mind if the boys had assessments every year for homeschool. Why? Because it would be nice to know how each year how they are doing in their respective grade level work based on a third party review. When I first learned about A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) and their Adaptive Math Curriculum Online and Individualized Lesson Plan program, I was very interested and eagerly asked to review this product. I used it with my oldest son at the time at the end of his third grade year--and it was very revealing to how he was doing in math based on a standard third grade math assessment. Now here we are again with a chance to review the same product--THIS time I am using it with my younger math loving child. We've been using three different math curriculum because he just loves math--but I'm always afraid that he's got a hole somewhere that I don't know about. Thus, having HIM work through the 2nd grade math assessment was just what I needed as we wrap up our 2017-2018 year! Would the test find any holes? This is what I hoped our review of this product would find--and I was curious to see if any of my cons from the previous review had been addressed.

5 Lessons I Have Learned to Make Homeschooling Less Stressful~Lesson 1: Keep Public School Out! {5 Days of...Homeschool Blog Hop}

5 Lessons Learned to Make Homeschooling Less Stressful: Day 1
Homeschooling is stressful. There isn't a single homeschool parent who would say otherwise. But over the course of my soon to be eight years of homeschooling, I have learned that a LOT of the stress is of our own doing. There are tips and tricks we can use to decrease the amount of stress we deal with--making homeschooling a much more profitable and enjoyable experience. Over the course of this week, I will be touching on five lessons that I myself have had to learn over the course of my homeschooling experience thus far. A few of these are things I wish I had done differently from the beginning, and some are things I recently learned and am enacting in our classroom from here on out. My hope is that you will be able to take even just ONE of these lessons and apply it to your own experience--thus saving you from having to make the same mistakes I have. So let's get started! The first and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT lesson I can share with you is this...

April 22, 2018

Introducing the April 2018 5 Days of...Homeschool Blog Hop!

Coming Soon ... 2018 Annual Spring Blog HopIt's the time of year when my fellow review crew members and I spend a week on different topics relating in someway to the theme of Homeschool! You will find posts of all different shapes and sizes--some will have free printables, others will offer advice, and some will just talk about their experiences with homeschool. If you are a homeschooling family, I hope you will join us on this adventure this week!
So, I'm sure you may be wondering what you will be finding here on my blog...and I thought about it and wondered what I could do that I hadn't done yet. And I decided that I would spend this week talking about some lessons that I have learned over the last seven years to make homeschooling less stressful. Over the next few days I will share some things I wish I had learned earlier to make homeschooling easier for me and for my kids, as well as things we are doing now to decrease the amount of stress we have in our daily school life this upcoming year. Some times I will include things fellow homeschoolers wish they had changed--or are currently doing too.
Once I have nailed down my final decisions for my daily topics, I will list them here so you can reference them all!

Day 1: Lesson #1~Keep the Public School Out!
How many times do we find ourselves comparing our children to their public school counterparts?

Day 2: Lesson #2~ Kindergarten is About Exploration (not reading and math)
One of the #1 questions asked by new homeschool moms is "what curriculum should I do for my kindergarten/preschooler?" I suggest rethinking curriculum for this grade level and instead focus on what kids do best at this age---explore!

Day 3: Lesson #3~Don't Rush Readiness!
One of the biggest frustrations that homeschool parents have during the early years is related to their child grasping reading, writing, and math concepts. Oh how we see the posts of despair that their child isn't getting it. That they both are getting frustrated. Maybe their is something wrong? I have another suggestion...and one that research has backed up--yet isn't being acknowledged in the school system. 

Day 4: Lesson #4~Don't Be Afraid to Give Up...Curriculum that is...
As homeschoolers, we invest in our child's education. We research and plan. We purchase products and curricula that we are sure will be JUST what they need. But what if it isn't? What then?

Day 5: Lesson #5 and Wrap-Up~ Streamline Your Subjects For Multiple Students
Here is a lessons that has FINALLY sunk in for me in regards to our family. We do best when I can teach both boys the same curriculum at the same time. But how is it possible to do that with a 7th grader and a 3rd grader? Come see some ideas for making it happen and the changes I've made to our curriculum for next year to facilitate this!

April 17, 2018

Exploring the Human Anatomy and Physiology with Apologia {Curriculum Review}

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia ~review
Our #1 hands down favorite science curriculum to use in our homeschool is anything from Apologia. They are a best selling publishing company for a reason! Every single science curriculum we have done has been exceptional--and this last year, I even ordered one to do for the 2017-2018 school year--Chemistry and Physics. For the last several weeks however, we have been reviewing a different area of science Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, yet another in the amazing line up from Apologia!

About the Product

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is a curriculum from Apologia designed to introduce students to the human body and how it works. Not only will they go through and in depth study of the different body systems, but will also learn how the body WORKS and uses those

April 12, 2018

The Green Ember Book Series GIVEAWAY!

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!
Woot! Woot! Tomorrow is the big annual Cinncinnati Homeschool Convention and I am THRILLED to go. I get so excited for homeschooling just being surrounded by all the fellow "tribe" members and seeing all the amazing products and vendors! One of the coolest things from last year's convention was getting to meet S.D. Smith--author of the fabulous series The Green Ember! While I was there, I snagged all three of the books in the series--and then kept buying more and more as friends sent me messages to snag THEM copies. By the time I was done, I think I had purchased 8 copies of the full series of the books! LOL. S.D. Smith was naturally thrilled AND he autographed every single copy! Before I left for the day, he surprised me by giving me a COMPLIMENTARY SET of Books 1-3 in the series AND a Green Ember "Heather's Necklace" to GIVEAWAY to my blog readers! Well guess what? It's time!

April 11, 2018

Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures (a review)

Princess Cut~ A Movie Review
A Carolina farm girl with the dream of finding her happily ever after, but wondering if she will ever find Mr. Right and get the princess cut diamond ring she's always longed for. This is the theme and heart of the movie Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures. So, what did I think about the movie? Join me as I share my review.

About Princess Cut

Princess Cut is set in a small farm town of East Bend, tucked into the heart of the Carolina area. Grace Anderson is a small town girl with big dreams. As she's finishing her degree in interior design, she's also hoping and praying for the desire of her heart--a princess cut diamond engagement ring from her boyfriend Stewart, who she has been dating for 15 months. The story opens with her excitement and surety that tonight is going to be the night he proposes. When things don't exactly go the

April 10, 2018

Music Appreciation 1 by Memoria Press {Curriculum Review}

Music Appreciation 1 (Memoria Press)~ A Review
One of the subjects I was adamant that we would add to our studies this year was Music Appreciation. I am sorry to say that though I started strong using a course I designed for myself, I petered out. Needless to say, when I had the chance to review the Music Appreciation I set from Memoria Press, I jumped on the chance. I hoped that it would not only be a mix of music history and listening skills, but also enjoyable for my boys.

About Music Appreciation from Memoria Press

Memoria Press has long been known for their award winning classical style curriculum and other products. Not only do they carry a full line of complete grade level curriculum, but they also carry an extensive collection of electives including foreign languages and music. One of the music courses is their Music Appreciation 1 set.

April 1, 2018

Upcoming Reviews for April/May 2018: What Are We Working On?

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

It's time for another check in on what we've got in house for review products. Since my last check in, I've added our reviews for Magic Stix, A la Carte Projects File Folder Games, and Super Beads--did you check them out yet? We have some curriculum, a movie, some digital books, and more! Let's see what items we are checking out right now--maybe one of them is something you've been looking at!


An all inclusive open and go program for studying Music Appreciation is the name of the game with this product. As a musically minded person, I have really wanted to incorporate music appreciation in our schooling--in fact we DID earlier this year but I sort of petered out because I had to create it all myself. Needless to say I jumped at a chance to review a Music Appreciation curriculum. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on it when the review goes LIVE the week of April 10, 2018.