Friday, May 29, 2009

Free Bible Curriculum for all ages

We've always done family worship, but I didn't always focus on a specific bible curriculum or study for our homeschool subjects. I figured, hey we are doing family worship and most of the curriculum I use is Christ-centered, so do we really need a separate curriculum? I became convicted that, it was just not enough. It's more important than ever to be immersed fully in the word!

I love the word of God! I have heard so many people refer to the Bible as a good reference, but very outdated for these current times. ARE THEY CRAZY? The word of God is and always will be a timeless guide for those of us seeking to live our lives to it's full potential and purpose. Life is tough and can be full of disappointments and challenges along the way, but for every challenge, there is an answer in the word.

Here is a list of various links that include Bible Study, games, videos,etc that can assist in your daily walk. I hope you love these links. If you have any additional resources, please feel free to post them in the comment section. (free English and Spanish lessons)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Lego Smart Activity Kit

As you all know, our family absolutely LOVES Legos, so imagine my delight when we stumbled across this:

From now through August 2009, LEGO Education is sponsoring a hands-on activity challenge for educators, including homeschoolers, to design and submit an activity using only the parts in a free kit supplied by LEGO. The activity could range from a simple construction to an advanced math application. Your imagination is the limit! The Grand Prize Winner will get LEGO Education products and gift certificates valued up to $250; eight monthly winners will receive prizes worth up to $100. Entries will appear on the LEGO Smart Blog as they are posted to the website.

See the website for all the rules and to request your kit.

Legos are wonderful tools to use for teaching. To get some ideas, please check out my blog post on teaching with Legos. Click here to see the post (please don't use the ideas in the post for the contest).

If you have any other great ideas to add, please feel free to leave a comment, and please pass this blog on to your friends, thanks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Book Clubs, Summer Reading and Fun!

As we all know, fostering the love of reading is so important in our child's educational growth. Books open a window to the world of exploration, intrigue, intellectual stimulation and more. It never ceases to amaze me about the things I hear my children discussing. They have wonderful vocabulary, creative imaginations and always seek to challenge themselves through reading. We have been hosting a book club on our home for the last two years. I originally started it for my young tween who wanted to meet other girls who liked to read things other than the articles typical mainstream books (like Harry Potter). We actually ended up have 1 boy in our club the first year, now we have a mixed group of between 12 and 15 kids and the children choose from books we find on the Hoagies gifted website. They have some really great book lists for children of all ages as well as terrific resources such as games and articles on teaching your gifted children. Click here to visit their site.

Many people are working on wrapping up their school year, but still want to keep their children stimulated during the summer. How about a summer reading program? They can be done at a leisurely pace and usually involve the child winning something at the completion of the program. I know my kiddos always like incentives, so hey, why not? Here are some links to a few summer reading programs I found, enjoy (there's even one the adults). If you know of any other programs or just want to leave a comment, please do so :-)

Reading Contest for the adults Click Here

Any Pennsylvania Homeschoolers out there?

I came across this opportunity and thought I would share it with any of you who homeschool or teach in the great state of Pennsylvania. This opportunity looks like you would have to be a coop to participate (they have a min. 20 student enrollment), but hey, you could win $200 worth of school supplies. If you are interested, contact this organization using the link contained in the email. I welcome any comments you may have :-)

Evaluation Opportunity for Pennsylvania Teachers and Community Organizations

The Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center has designed all activities on with national and state education standards in mind. The goal is for students to retain knowledge and begin to make behavioral changes with respect to healthy choices. Over the summer and during the 09/10 school year, we will be partnering with classroom teachers and non-profit organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the new mental health activities on the site. Educators will be asked to measure students’ knowledge gained and changes in behavioral intent through online pretests and post-tests. Teachers and childcare providers will be instructed on the use of these online survey tools and asked to make observational reports of their students’ choices and behaviors periodically.

Those who are selected to participate will receive a $200 gift card for the purchase of classroom supplies and other educational tools.

Following are the eligibility criteria:

* Students must reside in the State of Pennsylvania
* Minimum number of children per adult is 20
* You must be able to complete at least one entire kit
* All activities must be done in sequential order
* Lesson plans and activity guides must be followed as closely as possible
* Pretests and posttests must be correctly administered through online tools
* A final survey must be completed by the adult administering the activities

If you meet the criteria above, and are interested in being part of the study, please contact us at and put "evaluation" in the subject line.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elementary Apologia Science - Jeannie Fulbright

Hi all,

Well, this has been a busy week and I've found some more great free resources that I will share in a different post.

Well, if you are a regular reader, you've read about my post of the Young Explorers Series (Exploring Creation through...) by Jeannie Fulbright. This series is published though Apologia Educational Ministries.

I personally own all of he books in this series and I can't say enough about these books. They are terrific and my children love them. In my honest opinion, it combines the best of all aspects of learning. It is designed to go along with the notebooking/journaling concept (great for all of you Charlotte Mason fans), is a wonderful read for those of you who like using living books, and has that textbook feel for those of you who love textbooks. These books are designed to be used over a one year time frame, but can be done in a shorter amount of time if desired.

Well, just when you thought it couldn't get better, read this:

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available.

These journals are beautiful spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won't have to print and keep up with your child's notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders...everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals include:
A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
Review Questions
Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
See the sample pages here:




Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest:

Friday, May 15, 2009

What do you do for summer break?

Hi all,

It's been about a week since my last post (shame on me :-) ). Been busy and a little under the weather, but this too shall pass. I am dreaming of taking a nice family vacation to Bora Bora, anyone want to join me?

I can't believe it's almost June already, where has the time gone? How many of you school year round? What are the positives and minuses of doing so? We sort of school year round although it is really more lose in the summer, due to swim team, or camps,or whatever else our children are involved in; however this year promises to be different. We don't plan on doing camps this year (with the exception of a few free mini camps that we found - if you live in MD, send me a note and I'll send you a link to the sites), we haven't decided on swim team, and we are gearing up to do a mission trip to the midwest. So, what I'd like to know is what kind of fun, inexpensive things do you do over the summer to keep your children engaged?

I'm looking forward to reading your responses!

FYI: I am in the process of reviewing some homeschool material and will be passing along my review to you in the next few days! Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Urgent prayers needed for Baby Noah

I have been following baby Noah's blog for almost 2 years. His story has just touched my heart (as it would any mother). Noah has been struggling with various health challenges since he was about 3 months old. I have to say, I admire the strength of the Estes family, no matter what trials and tribulations they are put through (and believe me, they've been through many), they give the glory to God and leave it in his hands.

Many people would be angry at God, curse him, perhaps even walk away (all expected responses for tragedy), but this family remains a true example of strength, love and faith in Christ. They are a true inspiration to all.

Noah has an incurable condition and has had many a health crisis and through the grace of God, has always bounced back. His story is truly amazing! Well, sadly, baby Noah is in the hospital once more, and he is VERY sick. If you could please find it in your heart to say a prayer for Noah's speedy recovery, God's will, peace for the family...whatever you feel led to do, please do it. I really appreciate it, and if you'd like to read about Noah's story, please check out:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day Projects and free resources for all grades

I just love Mother's Day! It's the perfect time for me to have that much needed day off. I get up in the morning, the children and hubby make me breakfast, and I get to stay in my pjs for the whole day! I curl up with a wonderful cup of tea, a good book and have a mini-retreat for myself. Unfortunately, this last for maybe 2 hours before the familiar "mom! he/she hit me or honey where's my..." sounds ring out, shattering my blissful existence :-), but believe it or not, those sounds are marvelous sounds to me. I could wish myself to a deserted island beach, and I would truly enjoy it (briefly), but without noise of family...hmmm...I just wouldn't know what to do with myself!

My children have been hinting at wanting to make something special for me for Mother's Day, and since I also wanted to find some unique Mother's Day projects we could do over the next few days...I decided to see what I could find.

I found this great site that has Mother's Day lesson plans. There are lesson plans that span all of the grades.

Here's some of the titles of the lesson plans:

Make a "Memories of Mom" Memento
As Good as Gold
The Best Gift, for Shoe-er!
Celebrate With Silhouettes

To see the full lesson plans, visit

Also, if you are looking for some really terrific resources, CurrClick is having a special mother's day sale and giving all members free access to many of their resources. Membership is always free of course :-). There are some really terrific free resources (all subjects and grade levels). To check out the sales, click on the banner below.


Thank you and have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Here's one of my favorite Bible passages, you could easily substitute the word "wife" with "mother". Enjoy!

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (NIV)- Prov 31:10-15 and 25-31

Friday, May 1, 2009

Testing out music player

Hi all, I'm testing out a new music player on the site, please let me know what you think. Does it work? Is it distracting? Does it add to the site or detract? Thank you in advance!

Free Spelling Curriculum

Good Afternoon friends,

Thank God it's Friday! I don't know about you, but by the end of the week I am ready for a break! What my family and I like to do is concentrate on 4 days of assigned learning, and leave our Fridays for field trips, book club, fun learning games and nature study. That said, we do our Spelling test and Math first thing in the morning and then the fun begins!

Are you looking for free spelling curriculum? I've come across a few sites that I really like and I'd like to pass those sites on to you.

The first site is

This site uses the Basic Cozy Spelling Course, and according to the website, it's geared for children in grades 6-8. This course has been used in public school for grades 7, 8, and 9 so it can also be used for slightly older children. The thing I really like about this site is that it includes the course outline, and also clear instructions on teaching spelling rules. This site also includes dictation exercises that accompany the spelling lessons (very nice :-) ).

The other site my children and I really like is

From the site: has:
- Over 42,000 spelling words and ten spelling games!
- A REAL person who says each vocabulary word and sentence
- Free home pages for teachers and parents so they can save their lists.
- How To Videos to explain to teachers and parents how to use
- A free forum and newsletter with more spelling resources!
- Ten spelling and vocabulary games to play online or to print.

After taking the online spelling test, students can print out a report, retake the entire test, or get tested only on spelling words that they got wrong the first time.

TeachMe spells and displays the word in ways that stimulate memory for visual and verbal learners.

Printable Games include WordSearch, UnScramble, WhichWord?, Sentence UnScramble and MissingLetter.

Printable Handwriting Worksheets for combined spelling and handwriting practice can be created from any saved list (this feature only works if the list is saved). Choices includes three sizes of lines, capitals or small letters, script or cursive, and with directional arrows on or off. How cool is that?

We have been using spelling city for about a year, and we all love it! We can use the lists that are online, or I can take spelling words from the books they are reading (or from the Basic Cozy Spelling Course) and save my own list for the children to use.

If you know of any other really good free spelling curriculum, please post your suggestions for all to see. Thanks and have a great weekend!