Saturday, August 19, 2017


We had a weekend off and the weather was good. So we took another trip in our rocket ship and landed at the lake. We spend three days hiking, biking, and just relaxing and enjoying some family time. Check out the colored flames. We picked up a pack at the gas station that said you put it in the fire and it would make colored fire. We recently saw a demonstration at the science center and the girls thought it would be fun to do for our selves. So what is your favorite family time activity? Comment below and let me know. We are always looking for something new to do!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Something new



Who in there right mind would want a carport this big? Us that's who! We bought this crazy thing well over a year a go and and are just now getting it finished. We no longer have the camper this was originally intended for so we have no idea what we are going to use it for. But here it is in all here green glory at least it blends in with the forest a little. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Who Likes Dinosaurs

Us that's who.... Check our some photos from our latest Rocket Ship adventure... The girls took a birthday trip to Jurassic Quest. It was a complete surprise neither one had any idea that they were going.The lines were insane and we spent most of the time waiting in line to do stuff be we still had lots of fun and we really enjoyed the trip.







Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Crafty Classroom How to Write a Paragraph Review

Crafty Classroom

The Crafty Classroom has brought us a great new product called How to Write a ParagraphThis is a 12 week program set up to be used 4 days a week. It is designed for grades k-2. It is a downloadable unit that cost around $9.00 and comes in PDF format. My 3rd grade reluctant writer is the one that used this program. Most of the time I get simple one sentence answers from her. She is easily overwhelmed when it comes to writing assignments. She cant figure out how to put everything she knows together into something that makes since. 

How To Write A ParagraphFrom the teachers end of this program it is crazy simple. Their is NO-Prep work to do. Simply download print and go. The hole file is roughly 78 pages, so be sure to have some printer ink ready. Most of the download is in black and white but we did find some color pages. The colored pages are the ones that I would put up on our wall to remind her of the steps she needs to take when writing a paragraph. I had to recruit my sister to print these since I only have a black and white printer. For now these reminder pages are hung on our wall but once we complete the unit I will put them in her writing binder so she can use them as a reference any time she forgets. At the beginning of each week you will find a weekly outline. I found the outline to be similar to a lesson plan. It has everything from a run down of what is going to be covered to teaching tips, reminders and any materials that you may need to complete the lessons that your student will be doing that week. 

How to Write a Paragraph is simple straight forward and was easy for her to understand. Each page was simple enough for her to follow and broke things down in a step by step format. She does well with programs that use a step by step method. She liked that the instructions were on the work pages. It includes things like reminders, goals and check list right there where she could see them as she worked. The pages are designed to be written on. We were both happy to see the smaller lines. They are bigger than college ruled but not huge like the lines you would find on most kindergarten pages. She does not write well on large lines still ask if their was a smaller line option. She seemed to enjoy the writing assignment and had very few melt downs over the assignments, which surprised me. Each daily assignment or lesson took her between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. 

Over the course of the 6+ weeks that we have been working with How to Write a Paragraph I have seen some improvement in her ability to put more than one or two sentences together. Today when she was ask to write an answer down for science she put together a decent sized answer with what, where, and why she gave the answer that she did. She is still referring to the reminder pages that we have on the wall quite a bit but she is using them when she writes for other subjects. I think with time she rely on these reminder pages less and less. I feel that we have taken a step in the right direction to getting her on the road to being a good writer. I cant wait to see how she is doing when we finish up the last few weeks of How to Write a Paragraph.


Other Reviewers tried out different products from The Crafty Classroom and I would love to see you come on over and take a look.


Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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Monday, July 24, 2017

ACTÍVA Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit Review

ACTÍVA Products
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
Good morning crafty homeschoolers! This morning I bring you a fun craft kit from ACTÍVA Products . We were blessed to receive the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit. This Kit contains 2 roles of Rigid Wrap and a bag of CelluClay.  In case you have no idea what Ridgid Wrap is its basically a gauze type material that has been coated in plaster. To use it you will dip it in water and then sort of wring it out and then it is ready to use. CelluClay is unique because it is instant paper mache They also offer the ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS this is a free activity book that has some great idea on how to use the Quik-Sculpting Kit. 


Their are a lot of different ways you can use the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit. We chose to use it for our family hand casting project. I have done several small hand castings of the girls when they were smaller but this was our first large hand casting where we needed to use Rigid Wrap. 

Hand castings are made by using a alginate to make a mold. Alginate is  basically a substance that turns to a flexible rubber when it sets. How ever because it is flexible you will need to back the mold up with something that is not flexible so that your casting does not loose its shape when you pore in the plaster. This is where the Rigid Wrap comes in. 


You cut you Rigid Wrap into strips first. You will then dip it in warm water and gently wring it out. Once the wrap is wrung out you will need to straighten it out. I like to use my fingers to rub it a little so that no holes are showing in the wrap. You are basically distributing the plaster evenly across the gauze. Next you will lay it on top of your Alginate mold. Press it firmly against the mold. It will take several layers and you will need to criss cross them in different directions to give it adequate support. Then you do the hard part you wait and wait for it to dry. The more layers you have the longer it will take to set up. I let each layer dry about half way before I added the next. We also allowed a fan to blow across it while doing each layer. After all our hands were under that thing and we couldn't take them out tell the Rigid Wrap was dry. Took about 20 minutes for it to dry and become hard enough for us to pull our hands out. 

After you take your hands out let the Rigid Wrap dry the rest of the way so its good and hard with our humidity and a fan it took about an hour to be mostly dry. The last part of the project was to mix the plaster I had to make it a tad thinner than the recommended ratio because it makes it easier to get the air out of the mold. To fill a mold like this you should put in around a third of a cup of plaster and roll it all round the mold, this helps to reduce air bubbles. Then you slowly fill it up and tap tap tap tap tap tap..... to make sure all the air bubbles rise to the top and leave the visible surface of your casting smooth and bubble free.

The longest part is waiting for the plaster to dry. I always wait 24 hours to be sure its dry enough before I begin to take the mold off. You know all the Rigid Wrap you pain painstakingly applied to the back side of the mold. You are now going to take it off. Ours was fairly easy to get off as it had reabsorbed some of the water from the alginate and got soft. Once you peal off all that Rigid Wrap you will be able to see the mold. You will need to peal the mold off slowly so you don't break off any fingers. The plaster will not be completely dry at this point. It will take several days to completely dry after the mold is removed. Now for the part you have been waiting for .....


Feel free to OOOO and AHHH over it. 








It came out beautiful thanks to ACTÍVA for the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit. 





We made one large hand casting and two face casting out of the Rigid Wrap.  The Rigid Wrap is some of the best quality that I have used. Be sure you seal any plaster items you make as they will absorb moisture from the air over time and this can make them soft and crumble. I use a good quality non yellowing spray on sealer. 




The kit also had CelluClay which is that instant paper mache that I mentioned earlier. This is nifty stuff and we are in loving it. We got started on this part of the project a little late since the castings took so much time to do. My youngest daughter has started using it to make a fairy house out of a jar. We found the idea on youtube it had a huge list of ingredients to make some sort of clay. I realized that CelluClay would work in place of this other type of clay and way better. It's easy to use she basically mixes the CelluClay with water to get it to the consistency you want for your project. She mixes hers to feel like a soft clay. We make small amounts at a time because I am afraid it will dry out before she can use it all, she is a slow crafter. It molds and shapes very similar to clay but seems to dry faster than regular clay does even when it is thick. She seems to be able to work it into the shape that she wants a little easier than standard clay, she said it feels softer and mushes. So far we like it a lot and I can see us using this on quite a few other projects in the future. I will post an update with the fairy house when she gets it finished. 

Fairy House Update. She got all the CelluClay on today and now we are just waiting for it to dry so we can paint. 




Check out what the other crew members crafted with their kits by clicking the link below. 
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Home School in the Woods-Make-a-State Activity Review

Home School in the Woods



This time we are reviewing the Make-a-State Activity and Activity-Pak by
Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State
Home School in the Woods. Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company. We have reviewed for Home School in the Woods before and they never fail to impress me. This pack is a digital download cost is around $18.95. You can use this pack with any history program you are already using. It is geared toward grades 3-8 and everything is printable. It has around 20 projects and I believe it has a little something for all 50 states. Projects incorporate things like research, mapping, creative writing, drawing, elections etc. It is designed to be used as a Lap Book.  In case you are un familiar with what a Lap Book is you can see a picture to the right. A Lap Book is basically a couple of creatively taped file folders that you will glue and tape all these bits of information that your child learns about. Ideally your child will be doing all the taping, gluing, coloring and filling out. If you thinking this looks complicated have no fear Home School In The Woods includes some great instructions that are easy to follow so you can assemble your Lap Book with ease. These are a nice way to keep all the information on a unit together in one place. They are also a handy dandy way for your child to review what they learned when it comes test time.


We mainly focused on doing the state of Missouri, since that is our home state. Each state pack will have a variety of cut out with information to help you study about that state. As you can see in the example above their is a good amount of information on each state. We tried out some of the other features that were included in our download. My favorite part was the State Pages. We recently did a cross country field trip and we used these pages to go back and learn some additional information about each state that we visited. It tells you a brief history about the state then down at the bottom it gives you some information like state flower, bird, fish, tree etc. We printed and put all of these fact pages in a little binder so we can use them as reference guide during the school year. 

Our next favorite part was the Recipes. This pack provides a recipe for each state. It is designed so that you can print the recipe and put it in a little pocket in the Lap Book. Since cooking is a big deal in out house and we sampled a good chunk of these recipes. The girls chose to affix these in their cook books. I printed each recipe and laminated it and we glued the pockets in each of the girls cook books. By the way the Missouri Gooey Butter Cake recipe is yum!

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-StateTheir is a bonus item included in this Pak. It is called "Name That State". This is a file folder game, I am sure most of you know what a file folder game is, I played them in school as a kid. It is designed for both younger and older students and my girls has some fun with this game. It basically teaches your child to recognize each state by its shape and placement within the U.S. It also help with learning the state capitals. If you plan to use this long term I recommend printing the pieces on card stock or laminating them. Don't forget to do any coloring before you laminate. The girls had fun with this game we actually took it on a camping trip with us recently and played it when we were stuck in side on a rainy day. I was surprised to find that I could place most stats in their correct location. How ever I was found to be a little lacking on identifying the correct capitals.  

I wanted to mention that Home School In The Woods has some new products available. They have 50 new a la carte projects. These are smaller bit sized projects like file folder games and file folder projects. These are reasonably priced from $2.95 to around $7.95. So if you are looking for something special take a look around they just might have what you need http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/alacarte.html.

If you click the link below you can read about some of the other products the Crew is reviewing like the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak or the Benjamin Franklin Lap-Pak.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday 
I have no words for these goofy girls 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set Review

Hewitt Homeschooling
I have a 3rd grader this year. She loves to read and I thought  Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling might be a perfect fit for her. This set comes with a teacher’s guide and a student book. But you will be required to buy some additional books to use the curriculum. This curriculum requires 8 additional books. I already had a couple of the books on hand since my oldest red them last year. The others I could find on the digital library that our local library offers. This helped to cut cost and we can check them out for 21 days so its plenty of time for her to read them before they must be returned. None of the books are all that expensive so I felt it was still affordable even if I were to have to buy all 8 books for her to read.

 Lightning Literature & Composition
Grade 3 Pack w Book of PoetryI like how the teacher’s guide is set up. It's set up day by day and lays out what chapters or pages your child is to read each day and tells what work pages they are to complete in the student book. It also includes the comprehension questions for the reading and the answers. It has the instructions for the weekly composition assignments and all the answers to the student guide. It even has some extra bonus activities you can you do if you feel you need a little extra. The time it takes to complete each day’s lesson will mostly depend on your child’s reading skills. My daughter spends about an hour on each day’s lesson. This includes the time to read the assignment and do the workbook pages for the day.

The student guide is a consumable book that comes in color. My girls enjoyed that it had color. I consider this a complete language arts course because it includes instruction on grammar as well as reading comp a reading journal, dictionary pages, sentence puzzles etc. It uses sentence diagramming, so if you are not familiar with it you might want to read up on it to see if it is a good fit for you.

Each book that your child reads runs for 2 weeks or more. You can get a full school year out of it doing the daily lessons. The books are all age and grade appropriate. The books used in this program are: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Rickshaw Girl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ramona and Her Father, Charlotte’s Wed, The Wheel on the School, The Tale of Despereaux, and the Random House book of Poetry for Children. My daughter was excited about all the books in the selection except for the Random House Book of Poetry. So far this is not a big hit with her but she is tolerating it. Mostly because the poetry lessons are shorter than the regular lessons. Poetry is just not her thing and that is ok. Most of you have probably already read some of these books when you were a kid so I won’t waste your time by telling you about each book. I was impressed with the comprehension question that followed each lesson and I felt that they did a great job helping me to see what she understood each time she completed a chapter. The questions gave her pause and she always put some thought into it before she answered each question. 

My daughter did like that this curriculum covered both Lit and grammar. Having everything in one book was a plus for her. She was a little intimidated about the sentence diagramming and so was I. I had to read the teacher’s guide quite a bit to help her with the diagramming. It was just not something I learned how to do when I was in school. All the lines were a little confusing for the both of us. We struggled with it at first but I do think we are getting a better handle on it the more we have worked with diagramming. She liked the explanations given on each grammar page though. It gave a simple explanation of what each part of speech was at the beginning of the assignment. Each lesson built on the next with some great lit lessons thrown in the mix. 


Over all I am satisfied with  Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set it has great books that she is enjoying and the grammar lessons are working for her. Check out the link below if you would like to read about other grade levels and products offered by Hewitt Homeschooling


Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

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Wordless Wednesday !


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pick up lines o my!


 

Being a homeschool mom this is a first for me. I have never really had to deal with pick up lines. How do you public school parents deal with this every day. This is nuts I tell you. I have to be 30 minutes early or sit out in the road on a curve. This is just a summer camp pick up line, I can only imagine what a school pick up line is like. This is where you will find me every day for the next 4 weeks with the windows down, the radio up and a good book. I am seriously debating the need to bring snacks. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dads!

I am a single mom. My Dad is the man in those pictures below. Has always played a huge part in my life. He now plays a huge part in my Daughters lives. He has taught them so many great things. Like shiny side up, and righty tighty lefty loosey. That everything looks good with flames on it. The value of a good ice cream cone and how to read a hot rod magazine. But most of all he is there teaching and showing them what a Good Man is and that they should never settle for anything less.  




Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series Review

Adventures of Rush Revere


Adventures of Rush Revere
We are reading the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series as our nightly read aloud.

Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh is a 5 book series that features this cool substitute history teacher that has a crazy talking horse. The horse named Liberty is able to take the Teacher Rush Revere back in time with a few magic words.  In this series your child will get a first hand look at American history. This series is so crazy fun, they couldn't wait to see where Liberty would take them next.

The first book is called Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. In this book the kids were introduced to Rush and his trusty steed Liberty. My girls couldn't quit giggling when they found that Liberty was a talking horse that could travel back through time with just a few magic words. We loved that he could hold his breath and become invisible to others around him. The first place we traveled back to was the Mayflower to experience what it was like to leave everything and start over in a strange place. My oldest agreed that she would get sea sick and has no desire to sail across the sea and throw up. The girls both agreed that the food served aboard the Mayflower was not something they would enjoy. They were also surprised at the living conditions aboard the ship. They had envisioned big rooms and nice fluffy beds. We were introduced to people like Myles Standish and Squanto. My girls were especially fond of the Squanto adventure.

Book 2 is called Rush Revere and the First Patriots. Once again they Rush and Liberty will take your kids back in time a point in history just before the American Revolution begins. In this book kids get to learn why Americans were so willing to stand up to King George III and fight for the freedom we have today. This was a fun book for us as we studied the American Revolution this last school year.

Book 3 is Rush Revere and the American Revolution. In this book you will Rush Rush Rush into adventures that occurs during the American revolution. Your child will meet George Washington, John Hancock and Paul Revere  and many others. It brings to life Paul Reveres ride and the two historic lanterns that were hung in the Old North Church. We helped Paul Revere avoid capture and witnessed some of the greatest battles of the time. The girls said the most exciting part was Paul Revers ride they were worried he wouldn't make it and cheered when he avoided being captured.

Book 4 is Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. In this gook students travel back to Washington, D.C. where they learn about Americas government and how it works. The girls wanted me to mention that in this book they got to witness the writing of the our national anthem the Star-Spangled Banner. After this section of the book the girls ran around singing the national anthem for days. The yelled with triumph when Dolly Madison saved an important portrait when the British invaded D.C and set it ablaze. We learned about Betsy Ross sewing the American flag and so much more. But you are going to have to read the book to find out.

The 5th and final book is Rush Revere and the Presidency. This book covers things like how elections work and our early presidents. My oldest has been fascinated with George Washington ever since we went to see the George Washington exhibit at the history museum.  So it was a thrilling moment when Rush and Liberty rode through the portal to find George Washington. The girls also enjoyed meeting John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The book also touches on the Louisiana Purchase which is something we studied this year in history. Having done a short study on the Louisiana Purchase I have to say this book did a much better job of bringing it to life than our previous study did.

This has been one of the best history book sets that we have ever read. I can't say enough good things about this set. Each book brought history alive. These books drew both of my girls into the lesson.  I would find them talking about each trip back to the past. They were always excited to Rush Rush Rush into the next book. I would love for you to click the link below and see what the other Crew Kids thought of the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series.


Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus Review

Apologia Educational Ministries

Me and the girls have been homeschooling for 5 years now. When you first start homeschooling it can all seem overwhelming. I remember feeling a little lost when I made the decision to homeschool the girls. I was filled with questions about where to start, what curriculum to get, homeschooling laws....  Are good friends at Apologia Educational Ministries have come up with a great product to help all you beginning homeschoolers get started. They have just introduced How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook). That's  right momma your gonna get some home work from Apologia. Really it's not scary home work and it really is helpful if you are just starting out. The set sells for around $49.00 and includes the course book and 2 DVD's.

How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook)The course book has 15 Chapters that will help you get started on your homeschooling adventure. It covers things like how to choose the right curriculum for your family. How to organize your day. Yes your are going to need some organization when you start homeschooling. How to build a support system to get you through your homeschooling years. Setting goals for your home school. Just some basic things to get your homeschooling adventure off the ground. Each chapter has a few pages that you will read then a blank area for your assignment.I found the book to be easy to understand and I actually read through it the first time quite quickly. I then went through it a second time. Taking the time to do the homework at the end of each section. The homework is simple and really doesent take all that long to complete but it does help you to organize your thoughts and really put down on paper how you want to homeschool. It's important to have some of these things down on paper. As time goes on and you have a ad school week you can go back to these assignments and remind your self why you started this homeschooling journey in the first place. It's also a great way to look back and see how your homeschool has evolved over the years. 

Course content:
Introduction: Join Us on the Journey
Chapter 1: How to Get the Most Out of This Course Designing Your Road Map
Chapter 2: Setting Goals for the Journey
Chapter 3: Finding Support
Chapter 4: Choosing Curriculum, Finding Your Way
Chapter 5: Practical How-To's 
Chapter 6: Organizing Your Homeschool Stuff
Chapter 7: Organizing Your Homeschool Day
Chapter 8: Tips from Veterans, Navigating the Detours
Chapter 9: Family Matters-Marriage
Chapter 10: Family Matters- The Rest
Chapter 11:Dealing with Opposition, Arriving at Your Destination
Chapter 12: High School Graduation and College
Chapter 13: If College Is Not the End game
Chapter 14: You Can Make It!
Chapter 15: Continuing Education and Encouragement Opportunity

The dvd is a 2 dvd set and is nicely done. It has a sort of coffee and tea vibe. It's two great homeschooling moms Rachael Carman and Leslie Nunnery sitting down and discussing some of the questions a new homeschooler might have. They talk some about why they chose homeschooling and touch on things like being flexible, organization, building the support system you need to homeschool. All the chapters on the dvds are under 20 minutes. Most seemed to be around 7 min so they are short enough to do while a little is taking a nap or while a bigger child is doing some independent study. 

If you are new to homeschooling and reading my blog because you are looking for some help in getting started How to HOMESCHOOL might be just the thing you are looking for.

Don't forget to click the link and read the other reviews done by the Crew some of us had the chance to review a new product called Internship for High School Credit

Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
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