A New Direction

I’m so excited to be taking over the reins of this blog. My name is Dawn Peluso and I was one of the folks that helped Diane with the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook page.  I’m a homeschooling mom of 3.  Our children are 11, 9, and 3.  We live in Eastern, NC and enjoy hiking, the beach, and spending time with family. We are active in our church and strive be a family that follows Jesus.

We use a variety of materials and methods in our home school and like to say our style is “Charlotte Mason Eclectic”.  In particular, we enjoy using lots of good books, nature study, hands-on history, cooking, and traveling to create a family culture of learning and growing.

Look for more posts over the next couple weeks with information about book reviews, fun home school ideas, and more.

My plan for the blog beginning in September is to have a weekly post about the history that we are studying that week (my husband and I are creating a hands on American history program for our kids and I will share that plan and the resources that we are using,  in case anyone else wants to join us on that journey), Product reviews, a monthly book review of a book for Moms, lots of guest posts from other homeschooling moms about what they are doing in their home schools and a variety of other content.  I’m very open to hearing from our readers about what you would like to see and making sure we are meeting those needs.

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Brother Against Brother: Timelines

I was reminded this week of one of many reasons why we focus on a general chronological timeline rather than a lot of specific dates as we study history. The children were working together on this Civil War timeline. They enjoyed most of the activity but found there were having difficulty with several answers. Once they had exhausted their resources I stepped in to see if I could help them solve the problem. I realized that the events they were having difficulty with were listed on different resources as different days. In the grand scheme of things whether it happened on March 9th or March 10th really doesn’t make much difference but it was making it hard for them to complete the assignment.  Overall, it was a great assignment and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked together. It was a great way for them to get a better understanding of the overall timeline of the war.

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I had planned to then let them go a little more in-depth on an area of their choice but we had some snow that derailed our plans a bit so we will finish that up next week.  They will be using the books we have on hand as well as resources in World Book Online which we have as part of our Schoolhouse Teachers subscription to research and present on their chosen topic. They have been listening to and enjoying With Lee In Virginia by GA Henty this week as well. Matthew started his research on Civil War rations and we have put that meal on the menu for next week.

In addition to their independent projects and our Civil War rations, we plan to study the Underground Railroad this week. This ties in well with Elizabeth’s monthly project which is to complete her Freedom Seekers badge for American Heritage Girls. I plan on previewing some of the short videos that are offered as a part of Amazon Prime and choosing one that would be appropriate for my children as a part of this study in addition to reading a few books and selections about the Underground Railroad. The first book that we will read to introduce the topic is, If You Traveled On the Underground Railroad. This is a great book to read aloud and answer basic questions about the Underground Railroad.

Don’t forget to tell us in the comments what you are studying this week!

 

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Reconstruction and Gilded Age (1866-1914)

2013-11-09 10.44.21There is so much happening during this time: people are recovering from a long and costly Civil War, railroads are expanding, inventions and big business are on the rise, the Panama Canal is dug, the Great San Francisco Earthquake, Steamboats, and the Statue of Liberty.

Growing up in Eastern North Carolina the Wright Brothers were an important part of our state history studies. I read the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk  so many times that the cover was falling off. My children had the opportunity to go visit the monument and visitors center in Kitty Hawk several years ago and really enjoyed it. They are looking forward to studying this aspect further. They have also enjoyed reading Suzanne Tate’s books including Helping the Wright Brothers.

In addition to studying the Wright Brothers we will spend some time studying various inventors and business men such as Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt and Thomas Edison. We will watch the History Channel documentary, Men Who Built America to get an understanding of some of these men and the effects their lives and businesses had on America. ( I do recommend previewing these to make sure they are appropriate for your family. Most of them are very good but we do skip the first one due to language and content.)

Food should be a fun topic this month. While finding actual recipes was a bit more difficult for this time period there were a lot of new companies and foods that were becoming popular. Including the invention of ‘Brad’s Drink’ that we know today as Pepsi. My plan is to work with the children in researching some of those new products and hold a tasting. We may also field trip to the Birthplace of Pepsi. I did find recipes for the Wright Brothers breakfast so that will probably make it onto the menu plan sometime in February as well.

We will learn about Teddy Roosevelt and listen to Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original. I want to at least touch on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as well as the Panama Canal. To add in some great literature of the time period will we read some of Mark Twain’s short stories, Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain (only .99 on kindle at the time of posting). We will also enjoy some of the Little House on the Prairie series during our reading time.

I’ve included a brief synopsis of this period in history below. I’d love to hear what your favorite resources are and what you want to learn more about in the comments. Don’t forget to check out the resource list for this month in the free resources library.

Reconstruction and Gilded Age (1866-1914)

1865 closed a brutal chapter in American History. At the dawn of the last third of the 19th Century, Union forces still occupied much of the south. Despite Lincoln’s insistence that the southern states had no right to leave the Union, the former Confederate States were forced to apply for readmission, complete by 1870, to the United States.  Military governors oversaw the formation of new assemblies and congresses and stipulated that states accept the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to earn readmission.

Death, destruction, and the scars of war persisted throughout America. America’s greatest maritime disaster occurred during a Prisoner of War Repatriation trip (Steamer Sultana).  The south was deeply segregated, racial divided, and often at odds with northern political influence. Rural working and living conditions were by many accounts very harsh. At the same time, railroads were pushing east and west, soon to meet at Promontory, UT (1869).

America completed its ‘Manifest Destiny’ and settled the entire continent, accepting the lower 48 states by 1912 and claiming or purchasing territories in Hawaii (1894) and Alaska (1867).  Rail soon linked all major cities stimulating a great migration.  Farming, once Thomas Jefferson’s ‘noble occupation,’ comprised 58% of the population in 1860, by 1910 only 30% still farmed.  America became an industrialized nation, textiles, factories, trains, steel, steam ships, great naval ships, electricity, communications, and consumer goods soon became norm.

Fueled by rapid industrial growth and emerging technologies industrial titans earned huge fortunes. They provided transportations (Vanderbilt), oil (Rockefeller), steel (Carnegie), financial reform (J.P. Morgan), electronics (Edison/Telsa), and soon automobiles (Ford).  These captains of industry provided unprecedented access to goods and services. For this, and their creativity, energy, and abilities, they created a new class of ultra wealthy in the United States. Rockefeller and Carnegie went back and forth throughout their careers, each holding the title of world’s richest man for periods. At his death in 1937, John Rockefeller held 1.5% of America’s wealth (more than four times that of Bill Gates).  The wealth represented by these families stood in stark contrast to the working class, often employed by the same firms. Fueled by public outrage at the wealth divide, governments passed the 40-hour workweek, health and safety standards, anti-trust legislation, and child labor restrictions. Eventually the national standard of living would creep upward, greatly expanding the middle class.

America emerged on the world stage as a burgeoning super power, defeating the Spanish in Cuba and the Philippians (1898), sailing the Great White naval fleet around the world (1907), and developing industrialization and technologies at an unprecedented rate. But global war, on a scale not before seen, was on the horizon.

If you are not already signed up to get our monthly list of history resources as well as all of our other freebies, sign-up below. I’ll send you an email every other week letting you know what new stuff we have on the blog and in the library.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Winter Games Ideas and Resources

Are you looking forward to watching the winter games that are happening February 9th through the 25th? These can be a great opportunity to learn about geography, math, sports, competition, international affairs, and so much more. You can focus your entire school day around the events or simply add in a few activities. A few years ago we printed out a world map and sat down to watch the opening ceremonies. As each country came through we would find the country on our map and color it in.  This was a simple but fun way to incorporate some geography. If you are studying geography in conjunction with the games and want to extend that Knowledge Quest has a great free program, Globalmania.

This year we plan on doing some fun art activities that focus on the winter games and read some biographies about former Olympic athletes. I have decided to let each child pick a sport that interests them. They will then do a bit of research on the sport and one famous athlete from that sport. They can present that to the family as an oral report, a written essay, or come up with some other creative way to share. We will do our art lessons together as a family (even my 3 year old likes to draw with his chalk pastels). They tried out the new Winter Games Chalk Pastel course this week by doing the lesson on the mountains used for snow skiing.

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There are many ways to use these resources in your home school. You may decide to focus entirely on the Winter Games for a few weeks doing all of your subjects with that theme. You may just pick a couple of activities to complete in addition to your regular studies or something in between.  I have shared resources below that range in age primarily from preschool through middle school, though some could be adapted for high school. Whatever you choose I hope these resources are helpful and I would love to have you comment with any other ideas that you have.

Resources:

Official Site of the 2018 Olympic Games

Winter Games Chalk Art Pastel Lessons

Winter Games Math

Dot Marker Olympic Rings

Edible Gold Medals

Olympic Games for Kids

Winter Sports Freebie

Science Winter Games (Middle/High School Level)

Winter Games Research

Olympic Torch Math

Printable Passport

Notebooking Page

Averaging

Winter Games Activity Book (Unit Study geared towards grades 3-6)

Books and Movies

Snowman Paul Winter Olympics (only .99 cents on Kindle)

Who is Wayne Gretzky?

A Kids Guide to the 2018 Winter Games

Magic Tree House Hour of the Olympics

G is for Gold Medal: An Olympic Alphabet

Winter Olympics for Children

Mia Hamm Good as Gold

Skating Superstars

Who was Jesse Owens?

Ancient Greece and the Olympics, Fact Tracker

Also check our free resource library with history freebies, recipes, and more! There is a great winter bucket list that would be fun for a snowy day.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Friday Deals and Freebies:

january schoolhouse sale

Struggling with memorizing those multiplication tables? Educents has Times Tales almost half off right now! They also have the complete learn to read Hooked on Phonics set at over half off right now. This is a slightly newer version than what we used but Hooked on Phonics was the program that finally taught my daughter to read.

Free Daily Writing Prompts for Elementary or Teens Write Shop is offering free daily writing prompts to help make teaching writing just a little easier.

Write Shop is also having some great sales and giveaways for their 17th birthday this month! 17% off and a free gift when you use code 17years.

FREE Globalmania Geography from Knowledge Quest!

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

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My Tummy Team Experience and a Sale!

This review is outside of my normal blogging scope, but it is a product that I feel passionate about because I’ve seen it change lives. For years after I became a mom I assumed that the weakness in my core and pelvic floor were just part of being a mom. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make but I hated that I couldn’t’ do some of things I wanted to do with my children. I’d tried abdominal exercises (crunches, machines, etc) but they didn’t fix the problem. I think the final straw for me was when I tried to do an elementary physical education course with my children and could not because of my weak pelvic floor.

I got on the computer and started searching trying to find something that would help. I am so grateful that those searches helped me find, The Tummy Team. Once I found the Tummy Team I was able to identify the problems that I was having and found out that there was help available. The Tummy Team is a physical therapy program that helps to strengthen the core and pelvic floor. They offer in person programs, however, they are located across the country for me. Luckily they also have online programs that can be done from the comfort of your own home. In addition, once you purchase one of their online programs you also receive access to their wonderful Facebook group which is great for answering your questions and providing support, in a safe enviroment.

Once I started on the Core Foundations program, I was shocked and saddened to learn that many of the exercises I had been doing to try and build up my core strength were actually making the problem worse. I like many other moms has a Diastasis Recti and crunches and planks were only making the problem worse. However, by following the physical therapy and exercises provided in the program I saw noticeable improvement in my core strength with-in just a few weeks. In addition, I found that my lower back pain was greatly improved as well. I had been unknowingly using my back muscles to compensate for my weak core.

I am currently finishing up the Prenatal Crash Course to review what I regularly need to do and to make sure that I utilize my core in the best way possible during labor and delivery. This class also provides some guidance on postpartum recovery. If you have not been through the foundations course and are pregnant I recommend the full Prenatal Core Training.

They also have a blog and some great free resources to help you get started. or identify any problems. I know this is a sensitive subject for many people and it can feel overwhelming but I highly encourage you to take the time to check it out and take back your core strength. The prices are very reasonable especially compared to going through an in-person physical therapy program. However, on January 22nd for one day only they are having a 46% off sale in honor of founder Kelly Dean’s 46th birthday. If you have questions please feel free to e-mail me or contact me through the messenger feature on Facebook. I am more than happy to answer any questions that I can about my experience with this program.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Lifegiving Table Chapter 14

Table-Discipleship Principle: ” Learning to see ourselves as people who reach out and meet the needs of others, everywhere, all the time, is at the heart of a lifegiving ministry.”

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I hope that you have gleaned some great information and seen changes in your home as a result of reading this book. While we still have much work to do in our home, I love the positive changes that I have seen as a result of implementing some of the many ideas. Making a few simple changes, such as planning ahead for Sunday breakfast and lunch and being intentional about our meal time conversations has paid big dividends. I also really appreciated the reminders that the seemingly insignificant things that we do for our families each day really do make a difference.

” I know that for me to keep my marriage alive and growing, to invest in my friendships, and to pass on a legacy of faith, mentoring, focused love and training in the lives of my children, I have to plan my time carefully and make sure there is room in my schedule for what matters most___ my people!”

This is an area that I’ve been working on and will continue to work on. There are so many things going on in my life right now and I can easily get bogged down in all of the tasks that are waiting for me. I have to be very intentional about setting aside time for my family and my friends. I feel like over the course of this book I’ve gotten better about scheduling that time with my husband and my children. My goal moving forward is to continue to strengthen those relationships while also making more time for investing in friendships. I have some wonderful people in my life and I need to cultivate those relationships in order to grow and flourish.  Knowing that Sally is writing from a life that is much different than mine, but similar in that it is very full with many different tasks and people help make it seem so much more achievable. Sometimes I read books and it feels like they think I can just magically make the other responsibilities go away. However, I felt that what Sally was suggesting was much more like the story of filling a jar. Put your big rocks in and then the smaller stuff so that you don’t fill your days with the small stuff and have no room for the big stuff.

Making time for God each day is one of those important things that needs to be prioritized in our day. It is so easy to get into the day and take care of all of the urgent needs of those around us and forget to make time to fellowship with him. We have been implementing a quiet time routine for my older two children as well as myself and it has been so helpful in me being consistent. I know I may have to be a bit flexible when the new baby arrives but continue to prioritize that time, so that I have what I need to continue to give and meet the needs of my family.

She begins the chapter with a quote from one of my favorite authors. “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” C.S. Lewis. If you know me or have been reading the blog for very long, you probably realize that I enjoy both of those pleasures and sharing them with my children. They love to snuggle up on the couch with a treat and some hot cider and listen to me read aloud or gather around the table for our poetry tea times. In our area the weather is supposed to get quite cold and yucky again so I’m planning some warm times and good memories tonight with a new book and a sweet treat.

  • What is a time every day when you can schedule time with God?
  • Place anchors in your week that bring you delight, comfort, and pleasure.
  • What do you need in order to keep your body going in a healthy way?
  • What can you read that might give you great stories to fill your soul?

There was a long list of things to try at the end of this chapter. I do not suggest that you try them all at once because for most people that would be overwhelming and lead to burnout. However, I encourage you to choose a few that you can implement in your life and see how it strengthens you and your family. I have decided to make the four ideas above the ones that we focus on first. If those are going well, I may revisit and try to add a few more. I’m being intentional in small things, like daily quiet time, drinking lots of water to keep my body healthy, reading books not just for learning but also for pleasure, and putting anchors into our week to bring delight and keep my priorities in check.

It would be a blessing to me for you to share in the comments how this book and study has influenced your life and family.  I’ll be taking a few months off from formal book study group for the upcoming arrival of our new baby, but hoping to start a new book in the spring so stay tuned! If you are looking for book suggestions to keep you reading, check out My 2018 Book List.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

january schoolhouse sale

Civil War Medicine and an Iron Clad Ship

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This was our first real week back to school and history from the holidays. The break was nice but we (or at least I) were ready to be back in our routine. We started off history with a field trip to one of our state historic sites, the CSS Neuse, a confederate ironclad that was salvaged from the river in the 1960s. If you live nearby, I highly recommend this trip. It was very informative, fun, and affordable.

We started the time there with three demonstration stations. At one station, they learned about spinning wheels and weaving, at one station Civil War medicine, and at the third they were able to learn all about local battles and how railroads and ports played an important role in the war.

 

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One thing the children found really interesting about the Civil War medicine presentation was that the basic surgeical tools used then are remarkably similar to some of the tools still in use today. However, modern medical techniques greatly increase battlefield survivability. More importantly, the understanding and control of infection is vastly better today and makes a huge difference in survival rates.

After the demonstrations, the children each received a scavenger hunt to help guide them through the museum and learn more about the CSS Neuse and the Civil War. This was a fun way to learn in a more self-guided manner. The remains of the ship are preserved in the museum and really neat to see. They also have a full size replica that is across the street and helps people get a better idea of what it would have looked like during the war. There was information about the ship itself, various battles, life during the war and other relevant topics presented on display boards with artifacts, models, and videos.

 

 

Once they completed the scavenger hunt, they had a chance to work on a small weaving project using a cardboard loom. It was a great way to finish up the trip and leave them wanting to learn more. We are hoping to go back and a spend a day learning more about the fiber arts aspect of the time period, an unexpected bonus for what was intended as a military history trip.

This was a great way to kick start our studies and a field trip I highly recommend to those in this area. If you are not local they have some resources on the website you can use to get more information virtually and there are other great Civil War historic sites listed on the National Parks website or many of the websites for various states.

Next week we are working on a timeline of the Civil War and learning more about some of the battles. The children will work together to complete the free printable timeline project found here. Then they will each choose a battle, or campaign,  to learn more about and present to the family. To help them with their research I have found several sites that have good information. The National Parks Service and this Ducksters timeline which is geared more towards children. In addition we may use the World Book online resources that are included with our Schoolhouse Teachers membership.

What Civil War field trips have you enjoyed? Please let us know in the comments. Don’t forget we have a list of Civil War resources in the free resource library.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

january schoolhouse sale

Homesteading Homeschool

In today’s modern, Amazon Prime, on-demand society we’ve grown accustomed to having virtually any good or commodity delivered to our homes with just a swipe. This level of convenience shelters the consumer from the realities of production, supply, distribution, and the quantity of work that goes into getting these products to us. I feel it’s important to understand, especially for our children, that meat doesn’t come from the back of a grocery store. That carrots and potatoes grow in the dirt and human hands picked every tomato we eat. That every blueberry, strawberry, apple, mango, peach, ect is kissed by a bee as a flower.

There is something vaguely romantic, at least in the platonic sense, of living off the land, raising your own food, surviving on your own. Our ancestors called it living

While we certainly do not live on a huge farm and live self-sufficiently,(and I use and love Amazon Prime for many things) we have been blessed with a few acres on which to create our own small ‘homestead’ and we often use the land and the skills to help in our homeschool. This year I’m planning to have a monthly post that discusses some aspect of our experience and how we are using it to support our homeschool goals.

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School is for the birds!

Over the course of the year I’ll talk about our chickens, 4-H livestock  projects, gardening, canning and other endeavors. We believe that these activities benefit our family not only in the obvious tangible ways like eggs and fresh produce. They provide our children with opportunities to better understand the world around them and the science behind how things grow. They understand where their food comes from and the sacrifices made to provide the food that is on the table. They are learning responsibility and dedication. My son has learned business skills as he sells his extra eggs to friends and family. There are so many things to learn by being hands on and providing for our family.

 

One of our other adventures that has been a learning process for all of us is bee keeping. I’ll talk about why we chose bee keeping, how it helps our homestead, our family, and our schooling.  I’ve seen my son really engage in the bee keeping and take such great responsibility for tending the hives and helping with honey extraction.

In addition to our outside ‘homesteading’, I’ll talk a little about the way we use cooking and handicrafts like weaving to add to our lives and our schooling. My daughter just received a loom for Christmas and is working on her new skills and anxious to contribute some great things to our home.

 

Each of these topics are simple ways which we hope to instill a fundamental understanding of the ‘work’ that goes into our convenience based lives.  If you are reading this and thinking that it all sounds great but you don’t have enough land or time I want to encourage you to keep reading the posts. Each month I’ll include simple ways to incorporate some of these ideas even if you do not have land or lots of time. I learned the hard way that it is much better to start small and add one thing at a time so that you do not get overwhelmed. One of our favorite resources is 4H and I encourage you to see what is offered in your area.

I look forward to sharing with you and would love to hear what ideas you might have for incorporating homesteading into your homeschool. Share in the comments what you would love to learn more about.

Books and Resources:

Mushrooms

Ball Complete Guide to Canning

Backyard Homestead

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Seed to Seed

Planting Guide (this is the one for my area but your local cooperative extension will have one for your area as well).

Backyard Chickens (this site has a wealth of information about raising chickens)

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

This is a great FREE challenge to help get some of that energy out inside even during this crazy weather.  Lots of new activities and several age levels to choose from. Don’t forget to go ahead and sign up, It starts Sunday!

get-active-inside2-2

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up

The Lifegiving Table Chapter 13

celebrating Life

 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NIV) 

I’ve read this passage many times over the years but I love how Sally talks about wanting her home and her table to reflect that passage. Our table can be a place of fellowship and praise; believers breaking bread together with glad hearts. I long for my table to be a place where people can gather and be glad. I know that it will never be a place of perfect peace and harmony as I’m raising children. However, I love the idea of working towards creating that environment so that it is a place where we feel connected and nourished both physically and spiritually.

Sally states, ” Having deep meaningful relationships is not just a pleasant addition to our lives, but an element essential to our identities.” There was a time in my life when I let things get so busy that I was not taking time to cultivate deep relationships. I had ‘friends’ and acquaintances but I was not spending time developing those relationships. Between work, mothering, volunteering, and other obligations I felt I barely had time for those under my own roof. If I am not careful, I can still fall into those patterns at times. I have learned that making time for those relationships is vital to my overall well being. God created us to be in relationship, first with Him but also with others. This does not mean that I have to go ‘hang out’ with my friends every day or neglect my family or my duties. However, I do need to take time to cultivate relationships both with-in my home and in the community. This can be as simple as inviting a mom and children over for a play date and tea or gathering at the park with friends.

She also says, “Friends give us strength as we walk through life.” This statement is so very true and I have been blessed with some of the very best. God led me to a group of ladies in college that remain faithful in my life. We have laughed together, cried together, and stayed close through marriages, babies, international moves and more. In addition to those ladies with whom I have daily contact but only get to see annually or semi-annually God has blessed me with other local friends that can comfort me when I’m upset, set me straight when I over react, and praise God with me in the good times. I pray that I can be their strength as well. We know that our ultimate strength comes from the Lord but I believe that he uses our friends to help us along the way.

I really connected with the section on helping one another where she talks about having friends and family who are instrumental in a child’s faith. She says, “all of us stand for this legacy of faith.”  The Bible clearly gives parents the responsibility for raising their children in the Lord. However, having family and friends that can help us on this path is so important. We have been blessed with an extended family that helps us to guide our children as well as great friends. Several years ago we became part of American Heritage Girls and Trail Life. Those organizations have provided us with several such families and examples for our children. In a world where we often feel like we are swimming upstream against the culture, it is amazing to have other examples of Godly men and women in our children’s lives. Those men and women reinforce what we are already teaching our children about living Godly lives.

As we close this chapter I encourage you to consider one of her ideas in your own home. Whether that is asking discussion questions around your table or inviting someone or a group of people over for a friendship tea. Even having a few friends over for lemonade and cookies while the children play can strengthen your friendship.  We have one last chapter next week to wrap up this study. I have enjoyed going through the book and sharing with everyone. I hope that it has made an impact on your lives as it has with mine. If you have tried anything or made any changes in your home and are willing to share I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

This is a great FREE challenge to help get some of that energy out inside even during this crazy weather.  Lots of new activities and several age levels to choose from.

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A Quick History Update

It feels like it has been awhile since I updated you on Our Journey Through History. We have had a nice extended holiday break that included a snow storm and my daughter’s birthday. However, we did get some history done during break and are jumping into the Civil War this month.

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Over break we enjoyed watching Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier as a review of our study of the Alamo. There are obviously some fictional aspects of this film but it is a great way to spark discussion about the events surrounding the Alamo and the expansion of the United States.  We listened to O Henry’s Christmas story, Injunction part of a radio theater presentation by Focus on the Family, Traveling Home for Christmas.  This was a fun story that gave some insight into life during the California Gold Rush.

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We also enjoyed molasses cake with apple sauce from an Oregon Trail recipe. We did have to adapt the recipe as it was far too loose as written, so we doubled the flour to get the right consistency. It was a tasty treat.

As we begin our study of the Civil War and try to get back into a normal routine, we did a K-W-L chart about the Civil War and have several field trips planned. If you are unfamiliar with a K-W-L chart you simply make a three-column form. The K you list all of the things you ‘Know’ about the subject. Under the ‘W’ you list the things you want to know about the subject. This can help you as you are covering broad topics to include those things the children are interested in learning. When you have finished the study, go back and put the things that you ‘Learned’ under the ‘L’.

I was surprised to realize that they both had an interest in Civil War medicine. This was not an area I had originally planned to focus on but given their interest, we will be including several activities to learn more about that aspect of the war.

If you have not yet gotten your resource list for this month remember to check the free resource library. We would love to hear what books or resources you like to use when studying the American Civil War.

Also check our free resource library with history freebies, recipes, and more!

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

A Few Freebies and Deals This Month!

I’m pretty excited about this new app and its on sale for 25% off right now! We love All About Spelling but this app gives us so much flexibility to take our work and practice on the road and not have to worry about losing the tiles. Check out AALP Letter Tile App today!

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Apologia is having a huge store wide stock up sale! Great time to buy if you want to change curriculum for next year or if you are looking to switch things up this semester.

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Free Daily Writing Prompts for Elementary or Teens Write Shop is offering free daily writing prompts to help make teaching writing just a little easier.

Write Shop is also having some great sales and giveaways for their 17th birthday this month! 17% off and a free gift when you use code 17years.

Schoolhouse Teachers is having a huge Jan. Sale. A full annual membership for only $90 for your whole family. I have a complete review of this program coming on Monday but we are excited to be using a preschool class for Benjamin, several resources to help in our history, and possibly one of the health classes for the older children.

Struggling with memorizing those multiplication tables? Educents has Times Tales almost half off right now! They also have the complete learn to read Hooked on Phonics set at over half off right now. This is a slightly newer version than what we used but Hooked on Phonics was the program that finally taught my daughter to read.

This is a great FREE challenge to help get some of that energy out inside even during this crazy weather.  Lots of new activities and several age levels to choose from.

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Schoolhouse Teachers

When I started reviewing SchoolhouseTeachers.com  and their Yearly Membership one of the areas that I was most interested in was the Preschool Playground. I’m a firm believer that most of a young child’s learning is done through play. However, as a busy homeschooling mom of three (soon to be 4) children and a small business owner I also know that I need a little help in being intentional about providing opportunities and constructive play. My three year old also thinks that he should do everything the older two children do and that includes ‘doing school’. I love how there are so many different resources available to meet a variety of needs.

The course we plan to start implementing next week is a course called Small-World Sensory Science. This course is twelve lessons (we will work on one lesson per week) on various science topics including oceans, sorting, gardening, and more.  Each lessons includes an introduction or activity that you can lead with your child, and then sensory activities that they can engage in throughout the week. This gentle laid back but engaging approach is perfect for the season that we are in as a family. I can easily set up the week in just a few minutes using mostly materials we already have available. It took me about 5 minutes to get together everything I needed to be ready to start next week and it was all materials we already had on hand around the house.

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He loved helping me get is stuff ready for school next week. It all fits nicely into his tub.

I’m also very interested in the Charlotte Mason Preschool class. I love the way it is broken down into various topics. This will allow me to pick and choose what I want to use as we are dealing with those topics in life and with my older children’s nature study.  I’m particularly interested in using the Snow and Ice unit if we happen to get some winter weather this year. Living in Eastern North Carolina, some years we get snow and ice and some years we do not.

I also have a middle schooler that has been working more and more towards independent research. It can be so hard to find safe and appropriate resources for him. I love the subscription to World Book that comes with the Schoolhouse Teachers Annual Subscription.  It also includes some really nice timelines that are pre-done as well as the chance for them to build their own timelines. I am hoping this will really help us as we work our way through history.

Another resource that I’m very excited about it the video library. There are some great videos for any subject. The two series I’m most excited about are the Drive Thru History videos and the Torchlighter videos. We have seen some of the Torchlighter videos which feature various missionaries and the children love them and are looking forward to watching more of them.

There are so many options available and I love that we can try something and if it is not working for our family, I can simply stop and switch to a different class or I can pick and choose lessons to supplement some of the work that we are already doing. I also love that they have options available from preschool all the way through high school. Right now I have a middle school student, elementary student and a preschooler with a baby due in February. This means that in a couple of years I will have a child in every area and its so nice to have the flexibility of finding courses for each one in the same program and for one low annual cost.

To make a great deal even better they are currently running an awesome sale. You can get an annual subscription that includes all of the classes, World Book online and the video resources for only $90. This covers your entire family.

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Homeschool Curriculum for Everybody - {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}

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Also check our free resource library with history freebies, recipes, and more!

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.