Thursday, December 30, 2010

ZOOB: Creative Building Fun!

I picked up a creative building gift for our family nights this Christmas called Zoob.


Zoobs are made up of several different connections:  branching, ball, jaw and body connections!  The Zoob pieces are a sturdy and colorful plastic. They are fairly easy for little fingers to assemble.


This is our robot bird …….              the rocking horse


The rocking horse, man, and a giraffe …


The ZOOB Raptor !


The ZOOB Connections are fun for the whole family.  The 250 piece kit from Amazon cost me about $35.00 with free shipping.  The kit contained 6 model building booklets ranging from easy to difficult.

Leave a comment!  What were some of your best holiday gifts?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

When I was young, I remember waking up real early to see if Santa put gifts under the tree.  Well, this Christmas morning I felt the startling effects I once inflicted on my parents when my 7 year old comes in the room at 5:30am!  Where you up before the sun rose?

So my husband and I tell our daughter to go empty her stocking and play in the family room.  Well, the 8 little ‘Squinckies’ she received were not entertaining enough when there were other presents to be opened… ya know….don’t ya?

She then comes back to our bed and laid down, then turned, then huffed, then chatted, then rolled around…. and on and on for 30 minutes.  How is a tired parent to fall asleep through that?  Well, she conned us into letting her wake her younger sister at 6:30. 

Christmas gifts were opened in a flash…even though we all took turns.

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The girls got American Girl dolls, doll clothes, games, and comfy recliners this year!

Over breakfast I had to discuss with the girls the true meaning of Christmas and gift giving.  You know as stay-home-homeschooling moms we teach our kids the meaning of Christmas over the WHOLE MONTH of December and … then December 25th comes and the kids are pee’in on their new toys (if ya know what I mean).  So this year we had lots of share toys, games and doll clothes.  I’m hoping it reduces the number of fights and hearing “That’s MINE!”.  Oh and by the way, when the kids fight over toys I take the toy and dish out some chores.  They are learning to resolve conflict amongst themselves a little better these days.

More Christmas Day family fun photos:



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Outdoor Hour: Snow


  Are you looking for outdoor fun and learning experiences with your kids during the holiday break ? 

Then check out Barb’s blog - Handbook of Nature Study blog winter nature studies here!


Winter is here … full of fun and beauty so bright!  This is the Blue Spruce right outside our sunroom windows.


I love to see our flag outside the kitchen window.  It’s a reminder of our freedom in this country (which seems to be slipping away before our eyes).  Homeschooling my girls will allow me to teach them the price paid for freedom by our Founding Fathers – not just the textbook authors excerpts. 


Isn’t God creative?  The moon during the day!


Look at the sky … the clouds are powdery! They illustrate the creativity of our Lord.  This is the view just outside my back door.  Can you see why I love living here? 


These gentle giants – Mr. Norway Spruce – reside just 50 feet from my back door.  They sway in unison during the winter wind storms.  They also are home to many squirrels, backyard birds, and buzzards.


Our LIVE Christmas tree settled in the sun room – it’s a Blue Spruce.  The girls enjoyed decorating in the chilly room!  I just took pictures and ran back into the house. 


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Our puppy, Lola, enjoying her second winter jumping through the snow !


Don’t forget to check out Barb’s Winter Fun for your family here!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tiny Planets: Review


Mission of Tiny Planets: Explore Our Universe and see how you and your kids like it!

  “Tiny Planets features the cosmic adventures of Bing and Bong, two whimsical aliens who travel the Universe of Tiny Planets together on their gadget-loaded plush sofa. With Bing and Bong, children are encouraged to think for themselves, assume social responsibility, take care of our planet and learn about the mysteries of space.
Inspire your child to take care of our planet!”

  “In the online community and virtual world My Tiny Planets, kids adopt a planet of their own, name it, and take care of it.  They grow plants in their planet biodome, releasing oxygen to keep their planet healthy.  They choose landscapes, skies, buildings and scenery, making their planet ever more beautiful.”



Much of the fun on Tiny Planets is free !


Tiny Planets TV – watch TV episodes about science or early-learning

Tiny Planets – on-line community and virtual world with spaceships and games – your child can earn badges

Tiny Planets Fun – includes puzzles, games and coloring pages

Tiny Planets Books – interactive story books for younger children featuring Bing and Bong

Tiny Planets Learning – features lesson plans with educational activities and science projects to do at home

Tiny Planets Labs – learn about new features in Tiny Planets

Tiny Planets Blog – offers parenting tips, science experiments, space history, astronomy facts and more



Ad-free sites – easy for kids to navigate - safe

Much of the web site is free

Excellent illustrations – my kids loved the characters

Children get to have fun and explore the wonders of space

Educational printables and lesson plans for the early years

Each of the planets offer fun and educational information for a variety of age children and for the entire family

Purchase KEYs – to unlock more fun for your family

Certified web sites – safer internet play time

Cons:  It took some time for my girls to learn how to navigate through Tiny Planets.  I had to walk them through each screen and help them read.  This is not really a con - but it is more difficult for younger children initially.


See what others on the

This Old Schoolhouse Crew have to say

about Tiny Planets here!




Disclaimer:  This product was given to me for review purposes free of charge, not to be returned to the vendor. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: Good Morning, God

I have had the opportunity to review a precious children's book from Apologia.  The book is called “Good Morning, God”. 


“Good Morning, God is a story about a four-year-old boy as he goes through a week with his family. This book is designed for children age one to eight years old.

Ideally, this book will help your child fall in love with our heavenly Father by thinking about Him from sunrise to sunset. The hope is that this book will introduce children to the simple and wonderful ways we can worship God daily and inspire them to enjoy the Lord with their entire being all through the day. The prayers for each day are meant to encourage your child to consider his or her relationship with Jesus and respond with childlike faith.”

The book is hardback, in color, and only costs $14.00

The illustrations switch each page from black and white to color, offering a discussions points between you and your children.  The book has discussion questions and activities for each day of the week in the back of the book.  The activities get you and your children into God’s Word each day too. It can be completed in 7 days or over the course of weeks, as we did in our home. 

Check out an sample of the book here!

My family absolutely LOVED this book and we highly recommend it to all!


This is what we did special in our home with Good Morning, God: my girls created notebooking pages for each day

This is the Monday Discussion and Activities page.


Below is A7’s picture for the question:  What is something you treasure?


(She treasures her family pictures which are in the frames on her shelf and bedside table.)


This is A5’s picture for the question: What is something you treasure? and I am a good sister because?


(She treasures: God, Jesus, and snowflakes. I am a good sister because? – I pray.)

This book is something we will use again in the summer as the girls thoughts and character matures.  The notebooking and discussions were a precious time to see how the girls viewed their relationship to the Heavenly Father, family and siblings.


See what others on the TOS Crew are saying about Good Morning, God here!

Put this book on your Christmas list and be blessed!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Tree Farm

Last Christmas we started a tradition in our home.  We go as a family and choose a live, balled tree to decorate.  The tree is decorated and set up in our sun room (which does not freeze).  Then in late January, daddy plants the tree.  Last year our state had a record 50 degree day! So daddy hulled the tree down the front yard and plant it!


Our Blue Spruce


Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Plans: Jesse Tree & Advent

Many of my blogging-homeschooling friends are sharing what they are doing with their children over the Christmas Holidays.  So I thought I would briefly share a few things we are doing this month.

Other years we have done the Advent Calendar and activities that go along with it.  This year we are going to study the Jesse Tree along with Advent stories.

Here’s a sample of our daily Jesse Tree bible references and symbols.  I downloaded them from here.  Here is the link for the tree symbols.  I will have more photos on our progress next week. I’m running a week behind schedule so we’ll be trying to catch up this week.



Our Read-Alouds:

I ordered these books from Amazon to read throughout the month of December: The Jesse Tree and Tabitha’s Travels: A Family Story for Advent


This blog has a Free Jesse Tree Advent Devotional book. 

Check out what others are doing over the holidays in their homeschools:

1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 1

Baby Gator University

Reflections from a Homeschool Mom

Simply At Home

Enjoy the holidays and remember our Savior!


MFW Adventures: Wrap Up for Week 15

History: We continued our walk around the United States in Adventures this week: New Hampshire, Virginia, New York and North Carolina.  I added this State Factsheet from Homeschool Creations to A7’s state study.   You can download them on Jolanthe’s blog here.

state sheet1

state sheet2

Bible: Our Bible time is focused on two different Bible curriculums that I am currently reviewing for Apologia and Positive Action.  Check back Friday for the Apologia book review on Good Morning, God

Book Basket: Here’s a few of our favorite Book Basket items this week!

image image

Math: A7 is completing Math U See Alpha next week and moving into Beta.  She’s so excited.  I switched her curriculum in May and she worked throughout the summer.  The switch from Saxon Math to MUS has been a positive change in our homeschool.  The single concept and review MUS offers each week has been a great fit for her learning style.

Check out what my friends are doing in MFW this week:

Jennifer @ Training Them Up and Gator Mom @ Baby Gator University  and Kattie @ 2 Ladybugs and a Lizard


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Holiday Family Fun

We took two weeks off school for the holidays, family, friends and fun!  I think we were due for a little break, as we were in our 14th week of school.  Here’s a few of our fun moments … enjoy!

Play dough fun  and sporting a new big-girl hair cut!

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Bowling with friends for Homeschool Bowl Day


Dressing up with friends and family fun!


Pancakes for … dinner (forget the turkey)

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Pumpkin Pie .. a surprise for daddy!

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… and dressing up the puppies…!



  … and a Christmas dress with bows !

  She doesn’t look like she signed up for this so mom had to come to the rescue. 

See what 2 Ladybugs and A Lizard had to say about Wordless Wednesday.

Don’t forget to drop by Our Homeschool Reviews.



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