Friday, September 30, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ September 30, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I did laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. YUCK!
In our homeschool this week…we decided to take things a little easier. I was looking at my calendar for October and we getting overwhelmed. I have a TON of reviews coming up and our house was beginning to look like a tornado hit it...except for the laundry room which was taken over by just about every article of clothing we own (talk about Mt. Washmore)! 

As a family we did Religion and History, worked on cleaning the house and used our products that are up for review.

Unicorn continued to use Life of Fred and ALEKS QuickTables for Math. Reading and Writing were replaced with a Literature review product as was Latin. In addition, she used 2 other products that are fun and educational.

Ladybug and Monkey had a bit of a break. They joined us for Religion, History and cleaning. Next week will be pretty much the same except I have a couple products to review with these two!
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…know your limits (and those of your children)!
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…this weekend we are staying home and watching General Conference. If you are not LDS (Mormon), General Conference is a time when the Prophet and the Apostles teach the people in a Worldwide Conference. Conference can be watched live in Salt Lake City, Utah, via satellite at many of our church buildings, via cable or satellite in your home (BYU channel and in some areas a local station will pick it up as well) or streamed on the internet at For more information go to or or click the "I believe" button on my sidebar.
My favorite thing this week was…listening to Ladybug recount her first birthday party experience. She is 5 and was invited to a friend's pj and spa birthday party. She still hasn't stopped talking about it! 
What’s working/not working for us…reviewing for the TOS crew (and a few private reviews too)! I am a curriculum junkie and reviewing products is helping curb my "oh! This curriculum would be perfect" problem! :) My kids are enjoying it too, they never know what will show up in their workboxes!
Questions/thoughts I have…is it REALLY October already?!?!? Where has this year gone?!?
Things I’m working on…reviews, reviews, a giveaway, reviews, and more reviews! :D
I’m reading…I made a goal this year to read the entire Bible and I just finished it this past week! This is the first time I have ever read it ALL the way through. 
I’m cooking…e-Mealz!
I’m grateful for…for homeschooling. I'm grateful we can take breaks and switch things up as necessary.
I’m praying for…clarity.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” –Aristotle
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Workbox Wednesday ~ Link-up

Workbox Wednesday


Chestnut Grove Academy

Have you checked out Chestnut Grove Academy's blog? 
If not, shame on you! ;) Jen has a great blog! 
I don't want to give away too much but, 
She has giveaways and does reviews. 
Also, we are putting together a Blog Hop for Thursdays (stay tuned)!

Normally I alternate between Preschool, K/1 and 6th Grade workboxes but, this week we are doing something different. That is why we homeschool, right? So we can mix it up when we want/need to? I haven't been feeling well the past month or so and our home is starting to look/feel like mom has been on vacation. Then, on Saturday, I was having trouble planning our week and couldn't figure out why. I have 9 reviews and a giveaway coming up in October and was starting to feel overwhelmed. So, I decided that we will only be doing Religion, History, items that are up for review AND a week of cooking and cleaning! Also, Unicorn will continue with Math (since this is her weakness).



1. Religion: Reading the Friend as a family
3. History: The Mystery of History ~ Joshua, Jericho and Rahab
4. Math: Life of Fred ~ Butterflies Ch. 12
5. Literature: Intro. to Lit. ~ Unit 1
6. Latin ~ Lesson 6A
7. Scruble Cube
8. Always Ice Cream

Guidelines: Please Grab a Button (or link back here). Also, it would be AWESOME if you would visit my co-host and as many other links as you can. I love seeing everyone's workboxes!

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Monday, September 26, 2011


So, I want to give you a little *sneak peak* of things to come here over the next 6 weeks or so!
Watch this week for a special co-host for Workbox Wednesday! Also,

Workbox Wednesday

the hours for the Workbox Wednesday link-up will be changing starting this week. The new hours will be from 12 noon (AZ time) on Wednesdays until 11:59 pm (AZ time) on Saturdays. This should help those of you who like to combine posts. It will also give me a little more time to get my posts has been close a few times as things are getting busy around here with reviews.

That leads me into my next *sneak peak* topic: Upcoming Reviews!

10/5 ~ Scruble Cube (lovin' it)

10/10 ~ Visual Latin (lovin' it)

10/12 ~ Always Ice Cream (Unicorn really likes this one)

10/14 ~ e-Mealz (who doesn't like food...even better when someone else does all the planning)

10/19 ~ Wit & Wagers Family (just arrived but looks like it will be lots of fun)

10/21 ~ (GIVEAWAY)

10/24 ~ Marshall Publishing (3 great products)

10/26 ~ Excellence in Literature (we are just starting to use this one but I am loving the book choices)

10/28 ~ Classical Phonics & Reading (anxiously awaiting the arrival of this one)

Last, but not least, I am teaming up with Chestnut Grove Academy to bring you a new Blog Hop! It is going to be a general homeschooling blog hop so you will be able to link-up anything related to homeschooling! More details coming soon! While your checking out her blog you should link-up to her blog roll!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ September 23, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I had a birthday. 
In our homeschool this week…we plugged right along. We have completed 69 days of school so far.

Monkey is LOVING {BFIAR}. We read Caps for Sale this week. He also focused on the letter "J", the number "5" and Jaguar and Jellyfish.

Ladybug is progressing nicely with reading (when she wants to). She completed another level of Reading Eggs (she is about half-way through the program). She is also getting pretty good at addition.

Unicorn will be helping me review a Literature course starting next week. She working on memorizing multiplication facts!
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…this week my mom and step-dad got home from their summer trip (they have been gone since mid-June). My mom stopped by on my birthday to say hi and see the kids.
What’s working/not working for us…is reviewing for the TOS crew. I was nervous at first because I was unsure how my kids would do with using a wide variety of products/curriculum throughout the year. They are doing great with it! 
Things I’m working on…lots and lots of reviews!
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…looking for some free curriculum? or maybe you have some new or gently used items on your shelves? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions you should click the button below! (PS I am giving away some Preschool workbooks...#7 in the link-up)!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Curriculum Clean-Out GIVEAWAY!


I am joining Homeschool Creations Bi-Annual Curriculum Clean-Out and am giving away Four (4) Get Ready for Kindergarten Workbooks by Penny Dowdy. These workbooks are brand new and 32 pages each! I got them through Scholastic and while they are wonderful they are too easy for Ladybug and Monkey hates worksheets/workbooks! So, I am giving them away to ONE (1) lucky winner!


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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Workbox Wednesday ~ Link-up

Workbox Wednesday

Each Wednesday I post what we have in our Workboxes. So I don't overwhelm myself I alternate each week with Preschool, K/1st and 6th grade workboxes.

This week I am featuring Monkey's Preschool Workboxes:


After joining the family for Religion (reading the Friend) and doing Chores, Monkey will start his workboxes.
1. {BFIAR}: Caps for Sale. We will practice balancing things on our heads as we walk around the room.
2. Phonics: The letter "J" (from Teach Me Joy's Animal Play Curriculum).
3. Math: The number "5" (from Confessions of a Homeschooler's Math Printables).
4. Science/Writing: J for Jellyfish (from Homeschool Creations Ocean Preschool Pack).

Now it is your turn! Grab a Button (or link back here) and Share your Workboxes! As this is my ONLY Guideline, I will be deleting links that do not have a button or a link back to this post. Thank you!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ September 16, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I have been writing reviews! I am loving all the products and the experience I am getting writing reviews but after writing 5 reviews in 16 days, I am looking forward to my little break. I will still be using 6 products that will need to be reviewed but I have 20 days before I have to write my next review!  
In our homeschool this week…we jumped right back in after our little break last week! We started studying Monet for Art and in History we learned about Abraham, Jacob & Esau and Joseph. We also continued reading in the Friend magazine.
Monkey "rowed" Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? {BFIAR} and had a great time searching for objects in the pictures of the book. He also LOVED acting out the story! In addition to his row, Monkey, focused on the letter "I", measuring, Iguanas, Inchworms and classifying Insects.
Ladybug learned how to use a number-line to add, got 100% on her spelling test (I think she needs more challenging words), practiced her addition facts, learned 4 new sight words {in, big, said, come}, completed 2 more lessons in reading and wrote a story about a train.
Unicorn finally got all her addition facts memorized (now on to multiplication), has been using patterns and charts to help solve problems, practiced writing Ads and is progressing nicely in Latin.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…don't take on more than you can handle! It is ok to say "no"!
My favorite thing this week was…getting an email from We Choose Virtues agreeing to send me some products to review and to sponsor a GIVEAWAY (in October)! This is exciting because it will be my first sponsored giveaway!
Things I’m working on…setting up a couple more reviews with giveaways and starting a Weekly Meme with one of my bloggy buddies!
I’m reading…the Bible. I made a goal to read the ENTIRE Bible this year and I am so close! :)
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…mummified stuffed animals, Ladybug writing, Monkey matching colors, Unicorn doing Sudoku!

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TOS Review ~ Solve It! 3rd Grade Problem-Solving



Unicorn (age 11) and I have been working our way through AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science) Education Foundation's Solve It! 3rd Problem-Solving Strategies. Read on to see what we discovered.

In a Nutshell:
~240 pages
~29 activities
~Grade 3
~Paperback book
~Includes a CD (to make printing easy)

From the AIMS Website:
Solve It! 3rd: Problem-Solving Strategies addresses:
•    use manipulatives,
•    write a number sentence,
•    draw out the problem,
•    guess and check,
•    organize the information,
•    look for patterns,
•    use logical thinking,
•    work backwards, and
•    wish for an easier problem.

A Little Background:
Yes, Unicorn is 11 and in the "6th" grade, however, one of the reasons we pulled her out of public school is because she was about 3 years behind in math (we pulled her at the end of her 4th grade year and her math skills were at about a 1st-2nd grade level). She is making great gains but is still lacking. That is why I practically begged to do this review! She has always struggled with word problems and this seemed like a fun answer to our prayers.

Our Experience:
Since we received the book, Unicorn has completed 15 of the 29 activities. She has discovered how using manipulatives, writing a number sentence, drawing a picture, guessing and checking, organizing information (charts, etc.) and looking for patterns can help her solve problems. Over the next few weeks we will finish the book! Why? 1. She is understanding the concepts, 2. She is needing very little help from me (after I give her directions) and 3. There are NO TEARS

Unicorn working on a Sudoku Pattern

A Little More Detail:
~The book is divided into 11 sections (an introduction, a section for each strategy, and practice problems).
~There is a detailed lesson plan for each activity.
~Each activity contains one or more word problems, key question, learning goals, a materials list, use of  one or more problem-solving strategies, background information, procedure, questions to connect learning, and extension activities.
~The graphics are geared for 3rd graders.
~Is geared for the classroom setting but is easily adaptable to homeschooling (except for the group activities).
~68 practice problems (in the back of the book) to reinforce skills after all strategies are taught.

My favorite things:
~No Tears :)
~CD to make printing activities easy and reusable
~Easy to follow lesson plans
~Little preparation required
~The special Homeschool Section of the Website

Other Thoughts:
~Since manipulative are used you may need to purchase or make some items (balance, counting bears, tangrams, unifix cubes, etc.).
~If you don't have more than 1 student at the 3rd grade level you may have to get creative to do some of the activities.
~I would recommend this product for an advanced 2nd graders and other students at the 3rd-4th grade level or students who struggle with solving problems. Just keep in mind the maturity of your student and that the graphics are geared for the average 7-10 year old.

Other Products:
There are too many to list individually so click the topics to go to their site and look around!
~Science Curriculum (even some state-specific)
~Math & Science Activity Books (Including the Solve It! Series)
~Essential Math Series
~Manipulatives (for both Math and Science)
~Literature Links

Click here to see what my Crew Mates thought of this and other AIMS products!

{Disclosure: I received a copy of Solve It! 3rd Problem-Solving Strategies in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.}

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TOS Review ~ Before Five In A Row (BFIAR)


I am so excited to share this review with you! I have been wondering about Five In A Row {FIAR} since I first started hearing about it about a year ago. As a former public school teacher, I wondered if I "really needed" a manual to read a book five days in a row and do some educational activities based on the books. I am a teacher and I was "trained" to teach children. Well, read on to discover the answer to my question.


From the {FIAR} websiteFive in a Row is more than just a set of lesson plans. It’s an approach 
to learning that will forever change how both you, and your children view education, books and teaching.

Before Five In A Row {BFIAR} is an adaptation of the original {FIAR} curriculum. It is 23 mini-units (plus a bonus unit) based on excellent children's literature. The book selections and activities are geared for 2-4 year-olds (although my 5 and 11 year-olds love the books and activities too).

The Details:
by Jane Claire Lambert
$35 at Rainbow Resource Center
149 pages
paperback book
23 mini-units (+1 bonus unit)
ages 2-4
Christian based
Religious and non-religious activities to choose from for each book selection
2 Parts: Part One is the mini-units & Part Two is a "Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness"

How it works:
You choose a book (either borrow them from your Public Library or purchase them) and go to that section in the {BFIAR} manual and read through all the activity ideas. After you look through all the AMAZING ideas, choose the ones that your little one will enjoy and learn from. Generally, you read the book everyday for a week (hence, five in a row) and do one activity a day. However, if you have a child who is begging for more, for many of the stories there are enough activities for two a day or even two weeks of rowing the same book. The amount of preparation needed varies based on the activities you choose (and to some extend the amount of effort you put into it). You can choose to make the activities as elaborate or as simple as you wish. 

Books we "Rowed":
We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
I Am an Artist, by Pat L. Collins
Yellow Ball, by Molly Bang
The ABC Bunny, by Wanda Gag
Jesse, Bear, What Will You Wear?, by N. W. Carlstrom
Ask Mr. Bear, by Marjorie Flack

Some Activities We Did:
We went on a Bear Hunt.
Talked about Homes and Habitats.
Talked about our 5 senses and used them to discover nature.
Painted a scene of a Yellow Ball (see picture below).
Discussed weather (lightning, clouds, wind, hail, etc.).
"Can You Find" Search.
Made puppets and put on a Puppet Show.


Our Thoughts:
I absolutely love it. I am not super creative and would never think of even half of the ideas in this manual (nor do I have the time to do so)! At first I thought the $35 price tag was kind of high, I do believe that it is worth the investment. Especially if you have more than 1 child that would benefit from it. While Monkey (age 3) was the main child to benefit from this product, my other children loved it too. We all sat to read the books as a family (sometimes Unicorn age 11 would read out loud for me). Then we would do the activity together or the girls would go off and do their own thing while Monkey did the activity on his own. Most of the stories were read multiple times a day! Since we are tight on funds we chose activities that were simple and didn't require a lot of materials.

Many of the books are difficult to find and some are downright expensive (because they are out of print). To save money be sure to ask your local librarian about Inter-Library Loans. I have had to do this to find a couple books (Yellow Ball and My Blue Boat for example). Other places to look for the books are at Thrift Stores, Yard/Garage sales, and ebay. Also, you can purchase the books from Rainbow Resource Center.

Remember my question from above? Do I really need a manual to help me come up with educational activities for great literature? The answer is Yes! I don't have the time or creativity to come up with all these amazing ideas! Also, I had never heard of most of these books and probably wouldn't have ever picked them on my own.

Additional Products:
Five In A Row volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 (ages 4-8)
Five In A Row Bible Supplement
Beyond Five In A Row volumes 1, 2 and 3 (ages 8-12)
Beyond Five In A Row Bible Study Supplement
Above & Beyond Five In A Row (ages 12+)
Digital Resources (Nature Studies, Holiday Studies, Cookbook, Timeline, Planner, etc.)

Additional Resources:
{FIAR} has a Forum on their website where you can go to "meet" others who use {FIAR}, get support and get ideas. If you choose to use {FIAR} a couple other useful sites are Homeschool Share and for {BFIAR} be sure to visit 1+1+1=1.

{Disclaimer: I received a copy of Before Five In A Row {BFIAR} in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.}

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Workbox Wednesday ~ Link-up

Workbox Wednesday

Each Wednesday I post what we have in our Workboxes. So I don't overwhelm myself I alternate each week with Preschool, K/1st and 6th Grade workboxes.

This week I am featuring Unicorn's 6th Grade Workboxes:

After doing her Chores and writing in her Journal, Unicorn will be doing the following:
1. Religion: Reading in the Friend and practicing the Articles of Faith (family)
2. History: Lesson 15 ~ Joseph in The Mystery of History (family)
3. Math: Life of Fred: Butterflies Chapter 3 and practicing math facts using ALEKS
4. math facts and spelling
5. Math: Solve It! Problem-Solving Strategies ~ Combinations
6. Writing: Wordsmith Apprentice ~ Complex Sentences
7. Reading: Grammar Literature ~ Mrs. Katz and Tush
8. Latin: Visual Latin Lesson 3C ~ Gender
9. Art: World's Greatest Artists Vol. 1 ~ Monet Lesson 3 (family)

*Reminder: I only have ONE GUIDELINE! Please, link back here or grab a button so others interested in Workboxes can find all  your amazing posts! Thank you!

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Friday, September 9, 2011

TOS Review ~



Does your student need to learn his/her math facts? can help with that!

Do you need a fun way to practice spelling or learn vocabulary? can help with that!

Would you like a fun way to learn about U.S. States? guessed may be your answer!
Photobucket is an online site that is geared to helping parents help their children learn basic math facts, spelling and vocabulary skills and basic facts about the U.S. States. is very easy to use. Just click on the subject you want to use and you have immediate access to their FREE version. You can play without registering. If you register, you will have a few more options (such as being able to enter and save a customized spelling list). For even more options, such as being able to create your own "buddy" or for more games you can UPGRADE your account for $9.98/year. With the PREMIUM membership (click here for Premium pricing) you will get emails with your students progress, access to all the games, times quizzes, built-in reviews and advancement based on student proficiency.  Click the subject for a complete list on the differences between the free and premium versions of MATH or STATES. The free version of the Spelling/Vocabulary program is for older students, the premium version is for younger students.

We were given access to the Premium version for the review. Ladybug (5 years old) used the Premium Spelling to practice her words. I entered the words I wanted her to learn. It was very easy to do. I also looked over the available lists and they seem to be very appropriate for students learning to spell phonetically. Ladybug enjoyed the spelling games (especially the one with the is similar to hangman). Ladybug also practiced her addition facts. The default list of facts was too long for her so having the Premium version was nice as I was able to adjust the number of facts she reviewed at one time. I could also increase/decrease the alloted time she had to complete the facts. I tried to explore the States with Ladybug but she was not interested in it yet. I would recommend it for ages 8 and up.

Unicorn (11 years old) practiced her multiplication facts. She also explored the States and used the Spelling/Vocabulary sections. Unicorn loves spelling and is very good at it. She is no longer required to  study spelling. Having said that, she had a great time using the Spelling program. She was able to find a list that was challenging to her. She also had a great time exploring the States program. I didn't require it of her. She chose to do it on her own and enjoyed it.  

Both girls liked earning "coins" to play the games in the reward section. These games are fun and educational.

In a nutshell:
~Recommended for kids KG-99 (the spelling/vocabulary lists can be customized to challenge anyone)
~Recommended for those who like using the computer
~Recommended for those who are short on time (it is very quick and easy to customize lists)
~Recommended by my girls :)
~I really like this product. I like that my girls like it and that it is customizable.
~One thing I don't like is that there is not a separate parent profile. I have to log in as my student to make changes (this also means that the student can make changes too ~ could be good or bad depending on the student). It also means that I have to wait for an email or watch my student to determine progress.
~Click HERE for detailed pricing.

Click HERE to see what my crew mates thought of!

{Disclaimer: I received the Premium Version of in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.}
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ September 8, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…I have been a bit melancholy. I get this way every year about this time, as I am sure many of you do. This year has been a little more difficult though, partially because it is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and partially because this year I am doing a unit on 9/11 with my 11 year old daughter. {Click here to read about where I was that day}
In our homeschool this week…we are taking it easy. We just finished 5 weeks and decided a little break is in order. We still did Religion, History, Art, {BFIAR} and the 9/11 Unit.
Religion was reading out of the Friend magzine.
History was week 4 of The Mystery of History (Stonehenge, Early Egyptians and The Minoans).
Art was finishing a unit on Da Vinci from Worlds Greatest Artists Vol. 1.
{BFIAR} was The ABC Bunny.
The 9/11 Unit was from Hands of a Child.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…just because something is difficult to talk about doesn't mean we get a pass on teaching it. In fact, I think, the harder it is to talk about something, the more important it is to teach our children!
I am inspired by…the everyday heros. Sunday is a day to remember. Remember those who were killed as well as those who sacrificed to save others and those who did not have to pay the ultimate price but were still there when they were needed.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…Saturday we will be going to Lowe's for their Build and Grow workshop.
Questions/thoughts I have…what topics do you find difficult to talk to your children about and what do you do about it? Do you avoid the topic, gloss over it, find someone else to teach it, or jump right in and hope you don't scar them for life? ;)
Things I’m working on…cleaning our house and de-cluttering for our upcoming move.
I’m grateful for…Heart of the Matter and Learn our History for holding a Facebook party a few weeks ago. I won this video about 9/11 (see preview below). It has been a great help in teaching my children about 9/11.
I’m praying for…an answer to where we will be living when our lease is up in December!
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
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10 Years and still Remembering...

It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since that horrific day...I can still remember it like it was yesterday! I still get a knot in my stomach, an ache in my heart and tears in my eyes. My voice still cracks when I try to talk about what happened or where I was. When I think back to that day, I realize that God had me in that place for a reason. Let me explain...

I was born in Minnesota, I grew up there and in Washington State. After college I moved to Arizona, got married and had a baby and quit teaching to stay home with her. Then in January of 2001 my husband got laid off of work and I had to go back to work. I had recently earned a Master's Degree in Educational Counseling and wanted to pursue that avenue rather than go back to teaching. This meant we had to move. I was offered a position as a Guidance Counselor for 5-8th grade in a small town in New Jersey.

In late August, my 18 month-old daughter and I moved to NJ with the help of my sister (my husband stayed in AZ to try and sell our house).

September 10, 2001 ~ Unicorn and I took my sister to the airport in NYC. We looked up at the World Trade Center and other landmarks and talked about taking a trip to NYC soon to view the sights. That afternoon my sister flew back to Seattle.

September 11, 2001 ~ I dropped Unicorn off for her FIRST DAY of daycare and went to work. At 8:30 am I went to met with the principal in his office. The next thing I know a parent comes in screaming that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  (A little background here: The city I worked in was a commuter city for NYC. Of the 500 students in the school at least half of them had a family member that worked at the WTC. Also, the city is only about 45 min. from NYC).

As the events of the day unfolded it became clear that it was not an accident and that the US was under attack. I wanted nothing more than to grab my stuff and get my daughter and go home and cuddle with her. As a school counselor, that was not an option. The school went into lock-down mode. I was allowed 5 minutes to call my family and let them know that I was ok. The ONLY member if my family I could reach was my dad in Idaho. He was then tasked with getting in touch with my husband (in AZ), my mom (in Canada at the time) and my siblings (both in Seattle, WA). He was also able to confirm that my sister had arrived in Seattle safely the night before.

From about 9:30 am until 5:45 pm, I made phone calls and went to each classroom to explain what had happened. We had to call the families of every student who had family members that worked in NYC (approx. 250) and then to talk to each student and let them know that their moms, dads, aunts, uncles, etc. were ALL ok! It was a miracle. Not one of our students had a family member die that day. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky with the staff. One staff member lost a family member in the WTC that day.

At 6 pm I was finally able to go pick up my daughter from daycare and take her home and cuddle with her.

I know that I was there that day to help the staff and students through that day. My ability to stay calm during a crisis and to think clearly was definitely useful that day. I grew and changed that day. I would not be who I am if I had not been so close to that tragedy. I also wouldn't have been as needed had I live elsewhere. September 10, 2001 was the first and last time I ever saw the WTC towers. My little family moved back to AZ after that school year. It is the only time in my life that I have ever lived out east.

I will NEVER forget where I was that day? Will you?
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All About Arizona

This post is for our 50 State postcard exchange group. However, if you are just stopping by feel free to read about our beautiful state of Arizona!

State Capital: Phoenix
State Flower: Saguaro
State Bird: Cactus Wren
State Tree: Palo Verde
State Song: Arizona
Motto: Ditat Deus (God Enriches)
Nickname: The Grand Canyon State
Date entered the Union: February 14, 1912 (48th State)
Size: 113,909 square miles (6th largest)
Highest Elevation: Humphrey's Peak (12,633 ft.)
Lowest Elevation: River in Yuma County (70 ft.)
Major Industries: Manufacturing, Agriculture, Copper
NFL: Cardinals
MLB: Diamondbacks
NHL: Coyotes

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TOS Review ~ Time4Learning


My kids were so excited when they found out we were reviewing Time4Learning again! They absolutely love it and beg to do "computer" school everyday! Last time I removed our regular curriculum and replaced it with Time4Learning, this time I let them decide how and when to use it. So, without further ado, here is our review!

What is Time4Learning?

T4L is a secular online curriculum encompassing Reading (phonics, grammar, etc.), Math, Social Studies and Science. It may be used as a core or supplemental curriculum. Parents choose the grade level for each child and can even assign specific lessons as needed. 

What ages does Time4Learning accommodate?

T4L has curriculums for Preschool (ages 2 to 3) up through 8th grade. We used Preschool Level 1, 1st grade Math and Reading and the 6th grade curriculum.

What if my child is at one grade level for most subjects but is either ahead or behind for one (or more) subject(s)?

This is something that T4L has improved since we used it last time. Just log in using your parent log-in and click on "Update Education Level". A new screen will pop up and you just choose the child you with to change levels for from the drop-down menu and then choose their level for each subject! Then T4L will make the adjustments (usually within 24 hours).


How much does Time4Learning cost?

$19.95 per month for your first child
$14.95 per month for each additional child
{14-day money-back guarantee}

Our opinions:

My kids absolutely LOVE it! This time we used T4L as a supplemental curriculum (almost as a reward system). After finishing everything I had assigned to them they were given the chance to "play" T4L. 

I really like the Student Score Report (see photo below).  It is easy to read and interactive. You can view it by week, month or your chosen date range. You can also choose to view all subjects at once or just one subject at a time. This report helps you determine if your child needs to redo a concept.

I also like that my kids like it. However, I did notice something. My 5 year-old had completed the Kindergarten math and reading curriculums so I set her up for the first grade this time. The reading flowed really well but the math seemed to make a HUGE jump in concepts.  
Who would benefit from Time4Learning?

~New Homeschoolers who are unsure what curriculum to use.
~Parents who don't have time to lesson plan.
~Children who like the computer.
~Those who need extra support for summer, breaks or tutoring.

To read what my Crew Mates thought about T4L click here!

{Disclaimer: I received a free 1-month subscription to Time4Learning in exchange for my review. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.}
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Workbox Wednesday Link-up

Workbox Wednesday

This week we are taking a little break. We are only doing Religion, History, Art, {BFIAR} and a 9/11 unit.
Religion: The LDS Friend magazine
History: The Mystery of History Vol. 1 Lesson 12 ~ The Minoan Civilization
Art: The World's Greatest Artists Vol. 1 DaVinci ~ Lesson 7
{BFIAR}: The ABC Bunny ~ Discussing different plants we find in the book
Special Unit: September 11, 2001 Project Pack by Hands of a Child

Now it is your turn! Remember, I only have ONE GUIDELINE! Please link back or grab a button so others looking for Workbox ideas can find us easily! Thank you!

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