Saturday, September 10, 2011

Little House on the Prairie Peg Family

Have you ever seen something on Pinterest and thought ~ I could do that!  Well, I found two cute little Little House on the Prairie peg families (here and here) and decided to make a set since we are reading the Little House on the Prairie books and doing the Prairie Primer.


Emily painted the log cabin (which came from Michaels) and I got busy painting the family.


I still need to find a small peg and paint baby Carrie but, I love the rest of our Ingles family.  I will admit that it took me over 2 hours to paint them due to a little mishap.  I had just finished Pa and set him to the side when I bumped him and he went face first into white paint.

IMG_6150_edited-1I think they will be a fun addition to our Little House on the Prairie studies!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2011-2012

We are actually in our fourth week of homeschooling for the 2011-2012 school year, but I have been such a slacker about posting ~  I figured I should write about our curriculum choices.

Emily is in 3rd grade and Aiden is in doing Preschool (and some Kindergarten). 

Emily ~ 3rd Grade

Emily is using the following daily:



In addition we are going to be studying subjects in blocks this year (including grammar and math).

  • 2 weeks for drawing ~ we started out our school year doing 2 weeks of form drawing using A Little Flower Garden DVD set.
  • 10 weeks Prairie Primer ~ we will reading Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie.  During this time our main focus is going to be on preparing for winter, harvest, different fibers and handiwork. 
  • 2 weeks Native Americans/Thanksgiving ~ our focus will be on Indian homes and Thanksgiving preparation.
  • 2 weeks telling time and money.  
  • 4 weeks (December) cooking/measurement ~ we are going to spend the month focusing on Christmas, baking and measurement (liquids and solids).
  • 6 weeks Old Testament Stories ~ we will be using Christopherus Old Testament Stories Manual and Storybook.
  • 4 weeks grammar ~ we will be using the World of Language books by Ruth Heller and lesson plans from Serendipity.  During this time we will focus on grammar, sentence structure and cursive writing.
  • 3 weeks math ~ focusing on multiplication and division.
  • 1 week Easter
  • 4 weeks Prairie Primer ~ we will be reading Farmer Boy and focusing on farming and planting.  We are also going to do some building during this time.

Aiden ~ Preschool/Kindergarten


Our focus this year will be Before Five in a Row, along with the amazing Preschool Packs that Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations created. 

In addition to Before Five in a Row we will be using the following:

We will also be doing circle time together, but I’ll post more about that later.  I’m excited about our year and for once ~ I feel ORGANIZED and READY!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3D Feel and Find World Icons {Guidecraft Mom Review}

We are loving Guidecrafts 3D Feel and Find Icons!



This has been a fun sensory toy that BOTH of my kids are enjoying. 

About 3D Feel and Find Icons

Guidecrafts 3D Feel and Find Icons canvas bag contains 20 different shapes with matching tiles.  The pieces are chunky, making it easy for little hand to pick them up.  Each piece is made out of eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with brightly colored dyes, which are child safe.  The product is recommended for ages 3 and up.

Our Experience

We started out talking about the different shapes and colors.  Then Aiden matched the pieces together.


We then selected a few tiles and put the matching pieces in the bag.  The kids took turns turning over a tile and trying to find the correct shapes.


Aiden found this a little challenging at first.  He kept trying to peak into the bag.


Emily had no problem find the correct pieces ~ without peaking.


My Thoughts

This is a toy that can grow with your kids.  You can start out using it as a simple puzzle, matching the shapes to the correct tiles.  Then talk about color matching, shapes and sizes.  My 4 year old found it challenging, when he had to find the correct shape in the bag.  My daughter, who is 8, had fun helping Aiden and picking tiles out of the bag.  That being said ~ I can see that it would be fun and educational for a wide age range.

Find Out More

The 3D Feel and Find World Icons can be purchased from Guidecraft or Amazon.

Win It!

Xenia @ Thanks Mail Carrier is hosting the giveaway!  Head over for a chance to win!!


As a Guidecraft Mom blogger, this product was given to me for review purposes. I do not have to return the product to the vendor and I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bead and Water Blocks {Guidecraft Mom Review}

There are a few toys that I consider “must-haves” and building blocks are one of them.  Guidecraft’s Crystal Bead Blocks and Shimmering Water Blocks add a fun twist to traditional building blocks.


Each set of blocks contains eight blocks ~ four rectangle blocks and four half circle blocks.   IMG_5673 My kids loved trying to find new ways to balance the half circle blocks.

IMG_5659_edited-1I personally loved the beauty of these blocks and the fun noise the bead blocks make when you shake them.  Yes, I will admit that I had just as much fun as the kids playing with these blocks!

IMG_5664_edited-1The final verdict ~ we love these blocks!  They have been a great addition to our building block collection.


You can purchase the Crystal Bead Blocks and Shimmering Water Blocks on the Guidecraft site.  You can also purchase the Crystal Bead Blocks and Shimmering Water Blocks on Amazon.

Want to win a set? Jolanthe @ Homeschool Creations is hosting the giveaway this month!  Head on over and enter to win!!

As a Guidecraft Mom blogger, this product was given to me for review purposes. I do not have to return the product to the vendor and I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mud Pie Kitchen

I have many fond childhood summertime memories.  One of which is concocting mud creations ~ beautiful pies and cakes made from mud, sand, leaves and berries.  As soon as I saw the idea for a mud pie kitchen on one of my favorite blogs, Rhythm of the Home, I started gathering supplies.

Our mud pie kitchen has been up for a month and the kids have been spending lots of time, playing and creating.  Would you like to see?  Follow me.  Our mud pie kitchen is hidden in a corner of the yard.

IMG_5462It is the perfect location on a hot summer day to “cook up” some fabulous mud pie creations!   The two chiefs are busy preparing something in the kitchen right now.


I purchased two crates from Michaels for about $13.00 (using a coupon of course!). The rest of the items I found at Good Will or around the house.   I probably spent around $20 for everything.


In the hanging wire baskets you can find stones and shells. The kids are using the bottom basket to place bowls and such as they dry.


The shelf has pegs, where you can dry plants, or hang supplies.  The top shelf has a basket with tongs, spoons, etc. and provides extra space.


One of the kids favorite kitchen items is a mortar and pestle. 

IMG_5477I had the perfect container for dirt, just sitting in the garage.  Do you know what the container was original used for?  If so, please don’t tell my kids ~ and yes I cleaned it with bleach! : )IMG_5476I planted some good smelling herbs (mint, lavender, and basil) for the kids to use.  I have since discovered that we have a groundhog in our yard who is also thankful for the small herb garden.


One of the kids creations. IMG_5474

I just love summertime and mud pies!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups {Guidecraft Mom Review}

 image  image

This month we have been playing with two fun, brightly colored math toys that we received from Guidecraft ~ an Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups.   

About the Fraction Action Board and Action Cups

The Fraction Action Board includes 18 pieces and a tray.  The Fraction Cups has 10 pieces and 4 cups.  The pieces all fit easily onto the board and into the cups and the pieces are big enough that they are easy for little hands to grip and pick up.  Both of the sets are made of eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with brightly colored low VOC aniline dyes ~ so they are safe for little ones!  The sets are recommended for ages 2 and up and included an activity guide with fun ideas to add to your math fun.

Our Thoughts

I love toys that naturally lead to educational learning!  We talked about shapes, colors and fractions {a little}.  Aiden had fun taking the pieces out and putting them back.


Of course there was lots of building and stacking going on!


My thoughts ~ this has been a fun math toy that I plan on using in our homeschooling for both my son and daughter.

Find Out More

The Fraction Action Board or Fraction Cups can be purchased from Amazon or Guidecraft.

Win It!

Mama Jenn is giving away a Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups.  The giveaway ends Saturday, June 25th.


As a Guidecraft Mom blogger, I was provided this product to review. I was not paid for this post and all opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Considering God’s Creation ~ Review


For my final review for the TOS Crew we were very happy to receive a product for one of our favorite subjects ~ science.  I received Considering God’s Creation from Eagles Wings Education Materials


About Considering God’s Creation

Considering God’s Creation is a natural science curriculum with a biblical perspective.  It is designed for 2nd to 7th grade, although it is adaptable for younger or older students.  We received the Student Manual, which has 268 pages, Teachers manual, and audio CD.  

Considering God’s Creation contains 36 lessons which cover the following topics:

  • Creation
  • The Universe: Stars, Sun and Planets
  • The Earth
  • Non-Living Things: Rocks and Minerals
  • Weather
  • The Plant Kingdom
  • The Animal Kingdom
  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Man: Made in God’s Image

Here is a sample of what the workbook pages look like, image

and here is a sample page from the Teacher’s Manual. image

What I Thought

There is so much that I love about this curriculum!  The lessons are broken down so you can teach one lesson per week.  I didn’t have to buy a lot of extras ~ just a notebook.  At the beginning of the  lesson it gives you a simple list of what you will need during the lesson (crayons, glue, scissors, etc.).  Each lesson contains:

  • Vocabulary
  • Introduction to the lesson
  • Song/Poem
  • Bible Reading
  • Activity
  • Notebook
  • Evolution Stumpers
  • Review
  • Digging Deeper

What I loved the most ~ I was able to pick up the Teacher’s Manual and get right to it and what I was teaching was from a biblical prospective!  We are going to continue using Considering God’s Creation this summer.

Considering God’s Creation (including Teacher’s Manual, Student Notebook, and CD) is available from Eagle’s Wings for $29.95.  Additional Student workbooks are available for $13.95 each.

To see what other crew members thought click here.

This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ministry of Motherhood Book Club ~ Week 1

imageI am very excited to be joining the Good Morning Girls who are hosting the read along of the Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.   My friend Jolanthe at No Ordinary Moments has started a Ministry of Motherhood accountability group ~ so very glad she started this!  This week we started reading assigned bible verses and using the S.O.A.P.  Method.

The S.O.A.P. Method stands for:

  • S - Write out the scripture passage for the day.
  • O - Write down 1 or 2 observations from the passage.
  • A - Write down 1-2 applications from the passage.
  • P- Pray over what you learned from today’s passage.

John 15: 4-5 really spoke to me this week:

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

So often I feel like I am alone and struggling with simple day to day things.   This verse reminds me that he is ALWAYS with me.  If I become stubborn and try and break away I will continue to struggle and most likely fail.  I want my kids to see me seeking God in ALL things, not just when life gets difficult! 

I can’t wait to see what God gives me as I start reading the Ministry of Motherhood. 


Wet Felting

This is one of those ~ why didn’t I try this before crafting experiences!   I found a wet felted water lily at Wee Folk Art I decided it was time to give it a try.   

My first attempt at wet felting a water lily.wet felt water lily

It was very easy to make and scrubbing the wool roving was quite relaxing.

wet felt water lilyDirection for making the water lily and reeds can be found on Wee Folk Arts website. 

You can check out how I will be using the water lily and reeds in my What’s in the Tub? post Monday at Totally Tots.

The kids saw how much fun I was having and immediately wanted to join in so I let them wet felt soap.

What You Need:

  • hot water (as warm as little hands can stand) and dish soap
  • wool roving
  • bar of soap

Wet felting soapWhat You’ll Do:

Wrap the bar of soap in several thin layers of wool roving.

wet felting soap

Once you have the wool in place, hold the wool in place with both hands and dip it in the hot, soapy water a couple of times, gently squeezing the water out.

wet felting soap

Once the wool is tacked down hand it over to the kids so the can rub, rub, RUB!  You will need to dip it into the hot, soapy water occasionally.  It may feel like it’s not working just keep rubbing!

wet felting soap Once the wool has felting, let the soap dry completely on a drying rack.

wet felting soap

Next up needle felting! 


Friday, May 20, 2011

The Homeschool Village’s Playdate

HSV Playdate door (2)Welcome!  I’m very excited to participate in The Homeschool Village’s Playdate.  Let me introduce myself.  I’m Cindy ~wife, mother, homeschooler, domestic goddess wannabe, and I am  somewhat of a crafty gal.  I’m currently homeschooling my daughter, Emily (8) and my son, Aiden (4). 

    IMG_5244_edited-1   IMG_5233

Sorry, no family picture, I like to stay on the picture taking side of the camera!

My story as a stay at home, homeschooling mom began about 6 years ago.   My daughter was almost 2, and I was working full time at a bank as an Assistant Vice President, in charge of Human Resources and Compliance.  I put in LONG hours and I was dedicated to my job.  In December 2004, my husband and I were so excited to find out that I was pregnant.  At our second doctors appointment we discovered that we lost the baby.  I was miserable!  Work no longer seemed important, my daughter was growing up so fast, and our life was always in hurry up mode!   I believe God has a purpose in EVERYTHING.  He was calling me to rethink my priorities and stay home.  My husband and I talked about all the pros and cons.  A big con was the loss of a paycheck (1/2 to be exact).  We decided to trust God and I put in my notice.   Homeschooling was also part of God’s plan.  He has placed some amazing friends in my path, who have helped me on my homeschooling journey ~ and maintain my sanity!  I have bad days, days I struggle, days I long for just just 15 minutes of quiet, but I don’t doubt that I am following God’s plan for my family. 

So my questions for you are:

  • Do you require your kids to take quiet time every day?
  • If so, how do you keep them in their rooms? 
  • Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom just for 5 minutes of quiet? (Not that I have EVER done this. : )

Thanks for stopping by to play!


Wordy Qwerty {Review}

Talking Fingers, the creators of Read, Write and Type (a product I reviewed last year and loved), have delivered another favorite in our household ~ Wordy Qwerty!


About Wordy Qwerty

Wordy Qwerty is intended for children ages 7 to 9.  The program helps with reading and spelling by providing the following foundations for fluency:

  1. Some sounds can be represented in several different ways.
  2. Most words follow about 20 easy spelling rules.
  3. There are many word families, (words that sound the same, or rhyme). By changing the first letter(s), you can make hundreds of words.
  4. Some words are "outlaws". They don't follow the rules. They must be recognized quickly and automatically.
  5. Writing to dictation develops vocabulary, comprehension and fluency as well as spelling skills.
  6. Reading (and filling in missing words) develops vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency skills.

The program has 20 lessons (6 activities per lesson), which go over the following spelling rules: image

Wordy Qwerty teaches these rules through the use of fun games and songs.  You can hear a sample of some of the songs here.

Our Thoughts

This is have been a great addition to our language arts program.  My daughter is not a confident speller yet and she tends to ask after EVERY LETTER if she is spelling something correctly.  The program has been a blessing for me because I do not have to sit with her, therefore, she is not asking me constantly “Mom, is this right?”  I have seen an improvement in her spelling and confidence!  The games are challenging enough to keep her interest and the characters, Qwerty and Midi, are fun and quirky.  My daughter’s favorite game is Pop-a-Word.  You are given a sentenceimage

and the you have to click on the balloons with the correct spelling of each word in the sentence in the correct order.

imageMy only complaint with the program is the time it takes to load the games, which means my daughter has time to get sidetracked and distracted.  Overall, we have enjoyed the program and I can see improvement in my daughter spelling and reading.

Find Out More

Want to give the program a try?  You can download one free lesson (Silent E) and see what you think.  Plus, if you join their mailing list you can get a coupon for 20% off your next order. 

Wordy Qwerty is available online (a 5 year subscription) for the following cost:


You can also purchase the CD Home Version for $35.00, which includes the JingleSpells Songs CD.  NOTE:  This version NOT compatible with Windows 7 or Mac 10.6

You can read reviews by other TOS Crew Members here.

This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Related Posts with Thumbnails