Jan 152018

Virtual Homeschool FairWelcome to Week 2 of the Virtual Homeschool Fair. This week’s topic is Our Method of Homeschooling.

When I consider the many years of homeschooling we have already done, and the many years we still have to go, I like to relate our adventure to a really long road trip. Just like a road trip, you have to start somewhere or you will never get anywhere. In addition, just like a road trip much of the fun happens along the way, so don’t make your homeschooling adventure just about the destination. So as I look in the rearview mirror of what has been our homeschooling road trip thus far, here is what I see.

1. Choose a Direction

I count 2003 as the official start of our homeschool, the year that my oldest son started kindergarten. But I had been researching and studying homeschool methods and curriculum for quite a while before jumping in. I was always a good student and for the most part, I liked school. However, I was never interested in a “school at home” approach to schooling. I didn’t want “boring” textbooks. I was initially drawn to the idea of a literature-based approach (i.e. Sonlight). I pored through the Sonlight catalog and could hardly wait to start reading all those great books so we purchased most of the preschool collection. At that time, there wasn’t a schedule (Or if there was I didn’t buy it.) so it was just a collection of really nice books to read.

2. Keep looking at the Map (Never Stop Researching)

After deciding on Sonlight, I joined several Sonlight Yahoo groups. (Boy, I’m really dating myself!) I’m fairly certain that it was on those groups that I begin seeing people referring to combining Sonlight with the Well-Trained Mind. Here was something else to look into! I bought The Well-Trained Mind and read it cover to cover. Classical Education became our new plan.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Detour

In those early years, we used many Well-Trained Mind recommended resources like Story of the World and First Language Lessons. (I’m actually using these two resources again with my youngest.) We started Latin. I thoroughly read The Well-Trained Mind forums daily. My two older children were progressing through the curriculum fairly well.

4. Join AAA (Find Support)

Then I heard about Tapestry of Grace (probably in all my reading on the WTM forum). After one pass through the 4-history cycle using Story of the World, it was time to start over. The recommendations in the Well Trained Mind for the dialectic stage in history were not appealing to me, and I loved the concept of multi-level teaching in Tapestry of Grace. In addition, there was a small group of families wanting to start a Tapestry of Grace Year 1 co-op. Sign us up!

5. Take a side trip if it looks promising (Keep an Open Mind)

Right around that same time, I found another way to feed my curriculum addiction. I become a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. As a member of the Crew for several years, I received many products to review that I never would have considered trying. Three of those that are now on my short list of all-time favorite curricula are All About Spelling, Memoria Press Latin, and Institute for Excellence in Writing.

6. Take a U- Turn when it’s necessary (It’s OK to Admit Defeat)

Our co-op only lasted one year, and I wasn’t able to maintain my dedication to Tapestry of Grace without the accountability of a group to stay on schedule and to keep us doing activities. Another problem we had with Tapestry of Grace was the discussions. Discussions are an integral part of the program for older students and my oldest was really not interested in having them. Forcing discussions like that just doesn’t work. So while I loved the idea of Tapestry of Grace, it was not a good fit for our family at that time with my very techie, analytical son.

7. Allow your family to engage in different activities while on the road

As we moved into high school, I shifted to the very thing I wanted to avoid at the beginning. Textbooks. I found that with college on the horizon, there were some subjects that just needed to get done. Ideally, we would have enjoyed time learning together as a whole family. But realistically I had to admit it wasn’t going to happen. We didn’t have the personalities suited to that, and I didn’t have the time to make it work. We began to seek more and more outside classes for our teens. My daughter who is graduating this spring has taken all of her classes during her junior and senior years either with other homeschoolers or at community college. So during high school, I have become the overseer of my teens’ education, but not actually their teacher.

8. Keep the Road Trip Going (Revisit favorite places with younger children)

This year, I’m graduating my second student. But I still have one student just starting high school, one student starting middle school, and one in the first grade. I am going to be repeating this process more than once. This year, our two youngest joined a classical co-op. I have loved the having the accountability to stick to the schedule for both myself and my daughter.  If I had to pick one constant thing about our homeschool method, it would be change.


What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!


How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Give Us…. by Annette @ A Net in Time

A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace

Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Overhauling Our Homeschool – Adjusting our “How” to fit our “Why” by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Captain’s Log, Supplemental – Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy

So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory


Jan 082018


Virtual Homeschool FairWelcome to Week 1 of the Virtual Homeschool Fair, hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. This week’s topic is Why We Homeschool.

As I began to think about this topic, I remembered that I have written about this before. You can read the reasons that my husband and I chose to homeschool. We came up with this list of 12 reasons at the beginning of our homeschool journey. I shared the list almost 8-1/2 years ago at the beginning of our seventh year of homeschooling. That means that we are now in the middle of our 15th year of homeschooling!

Our reasons are still valid, and I think that all the outcomes that we hoped to achieve by homeschooling have been realized, at least to some degree. We have

  • Taught from a Christian worldview.
  • Been able to customize the education of each child.
  • Spent more time with our children, and they have spent more time with each other. Our two older children have developed very sweet and special relationships with our two youngest.
  • Successfully graduated one student and will graduate our second student in May.

Why We Homeschool

However, the reason that we homeschool now is because we’re homeschoolers – it’s what we do.

When we embarked on our homeschooling journey, we were convinced it was what we were called to do. It was never an experiment or something we were going to try. We were committed to giving it our full effort. As a result, we’ve persevered.

Has every day been easy? (Has ANY day been easy?) Absolutely not!

Have I wanted to quit? Yes, I have called my husband in tears asking to send one particular child to school. More than once.

But here’s the thing. Homeschooling is not just a big part of our lives – it affects every part of our lives. It has become part of our identity. We look at everything as a possible educational opportunity. I am always thinking about different ways to teach things, how better to schedule our days, and the best ways to organize our increasingly enormous stash of books.

Are there valid reasons for some people to quit homeschooling? Absolutely!

Should all Christians homeschool? I cannot be presumptuous and be the voice of God in this area. I do think that all  Christians should seek God’s guidance in schooling decisions.

Are we going to homeschool all of our children all the way until graduation? I don’t know the future, but I will assume that is what we’re going to do until there is a compelling reason to change the plan. Eventually we will be done homeschooling though, and I am sure it will be a huge adjustment for me.

As I look back at the last 15 years there have been a lot of changes in our home. We’ve added 2 children to our family. We’ve moved. My husband has switched jobs – twice. We’ve changed churches and participated in a wide variety of activities. But one thing hasn’t changed.

We homeschool.


Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST.

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love

How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays

How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Home Education – 10 Reasons we keep going…even when it’s hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

So… Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 – Week 1 – Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time

In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Why We Homeschool – It’s What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset

Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace

Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses

Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our ìHomeschoolî Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

It’s Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully

Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Jan 042018

Winter Blahs?

Are you looking for something new in your homeschool?

Are you dreading starting back to school after a long Christmas break? (We’re attempting it today. Not going so well…)

Winter Blahs

How about trying something different while you get back in the swing of things?

The Presidents of the United States Video Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises might be just what you’re looking for.

Disclosure – I received compensation and a free copy of this study to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. Post contains affiliate links.

Presidents of the United States Video Based Unit Study

This digital unit study, available as a downloadable pdf, consists of a one page chart for each president and an appendix. Each chart contains key facts like the years the president held office and who was the vice president. There are also video links and book suggestions for each president as well as geography tie-ins, field trip ideas, art and other suggested activities for many. The appendix contains suggestions for additional resources, a blank US Map, blank notebooking template pages, and vocabulary lists.

The schedule suggests studying 1 president per day. That provides 9 weeks of study including a final day for studying the first ladies. If you started next week, you’d be over halfway finished by President’s Day!

My Thoughts

This a simple unit study. There are not a lot of extras built in though there are plenty of ideas in the resource section. It’s essentially a plan of videos to watch, books to read, and appropriate activities.

Could you find all this yourself? Yes.

Would you do it? Speaking from my own experience, probably not. Sure, you might start well, but to actually keep going and make it through all the presidents? I’d end up with something more pressing. I wouldn’t have time to find a video one day. We’d skip that day. That would turn into a week and eventually my great idea of studying each of the presidents would be abandoned. (I hope I’m not the only one this happens too!)

The biggest value that I see in this product is that it’s ready to go. You don’t have to search for an appropriate YouTube video. The work is already done for you. You don’t have to decide which library books to order. They’re on the chart. This product is ideal for the homeschool mom who needs something that the kids can do independently while she works with another student, cooks, cleans, takes a nap, or whatever she needs to do.

You might enjoy this product if…

  • You are looking for something straightforward and easy-to-implement.
  • You don’t have the time and/or desire to put together your own studies.
  • Your children are familiar enough with a computer to open files and click links unassisted.
  • You have a good library system to order books.

This probably isn’t for you if…

  • You frequently create and enjoy creating your own unit studies.
  • You don’t want your children to watch YouTube videos about the U.S. Presidents. (Or go to YouTube at all.)
  • You are looking for something that includes reading and comprehension questions.

How I would use this –

I think this is a great addition to any elementary American History curriculum. Instead of studying 1 president per day, I would probably study 1 president per week that roughly corresponds to the time period in history we’re studying. We’re using Story of the World Volume 3 this year and this is the perfect time to start the Presidents of the United States Unit Study since we’ve completed up to the start of the American Revolution in our history studies.


You can view samples and purchase this product at Paradise Praises.

Have you started back to school yet? Do you start everything at once or ease into it? Do you like to change things around for the new semester?


Dec 312017

2017 is almost over. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t one of my best years.

There were a lot of unexpected expenses. This year we had to replace the washing machine, the refrigerator, and the dishwasher. We also purchased a new MacBook to replace my old machine that was unable to type the letter l. I continued to use it over a year after the problem started, but finally decided it was time to get a new computer.

In March, my 90 year old father-in-law was taken to the hospital where he spent several weeks, followed by several months in a nursing home. He was able to go back to his home at the end of August, but his declining health has added a lot of stress and work for my husband and me. We are thankfully not responsible for providing his care, just overseeing that and their finances.

The additional work, the extra expenses, plus impending pay cuts in addition to our regular life managing the schedules of 4 kids at home, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, laundry, working part time, and volunteering have been exhausting. Plus all the stress has made it difficult to get enough sleep. So much of this year has been pure survival.


Even though it was a year of survival, we still have accomplished some things in our homeschool.

  1. We joined a co-op with my youngest 2 children. That has been a great source of structure and accountability for our homeschool this fall.
  2. My oldest daughter has completed one semester dual enrolled at community college. She completed college applications and was accepted into all 4 colleges she applied.
  3. My middle son has learned a lot about using the computer for daily tasks. We set up an email account and I’ve emailed him assignments and links to give him practice.


I have risen early most mornings to spend time reading my Bible and getting a peaceful start to my day. I am hooked on the Professor Horner reading plan and my ESV Journaling Bible.(This is an affiliate link. I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price if you purchase.) I hesitate to recommend a Bible reading plan, but this one has been such a help to me that I want to share. I also love this Bible and Staedtler fineliners for marking key words.


My house, though far from spotless, is mostly cleanish. I have good systems in place for keeping up with the laundry, the dishes, and the basic cleaning. I have been consistently keeping a Bullet Journal for a year and a half. I hope to share more about how I do it and how I combine Bullet Journaling with on-line apps to keep things running smoothly.


There are some big areas that I want to improve this year.


Yes, I know that’s on everyone’s list. I also know that I don’t have a plan yet and that by not having a plan, I am destined to fail. So I am publicly saying that I need to make a plan to exercise and then follow through with the plan.


I have essentially taken a break from blogging this year. I did post a few times in January during the Virtual Curriculum Fair. I will be participating in that again. It has been renamed and revamped with new post topics. I’m looking forward to jump starting my blogging this year with those new topics.

Virtual Homeschool Fair


I also have some reviews that I have scheduled. I am pondering and have been pondering a shift in focus for my blog. What I haven’t decided is if I want to shift this blog to a focus on organization or if I want to start a new organization blog.

Those are my areas for improvement this year. I won’t even call them goals yet because they aren’t specific. I will be making more concrete achievable goals.

How has your 2017 been?


Oct 302017

Screen Addiction?

My kids are growing up in a different world than I did. Think about life before the internet. And now think about life before smart phones.

Our daily activities were different when we were kids, weren’t they? When I was a small child, the only screen we had was television. And that was hard to get addicted to with only 3 channels and an antenna on the roof. Technology changed dramatically between the time my oldest was a toddler and my youngest was a toddler. We had a computer with games for our older children, but there were no touch screens. Now smart  phones and tablets are commonplace. I see children in strollers playing on tablets while their parents walk!

Screen Addiction

Child Girl Screen Time by R. Nial Bradshaw is licensed under CC BY 2.0


I personally love  and benefit from much of the technology in the information age in which we live. I enjoy being able to almost instantly find out the answer to a random obscure question. (We have a lot of those.) I am able to work from home and homeschool my children all because of the internet. I’m extremely grateful for that.

But we as a society have a problem.

We’ve become addicted to our phones and not connected enough with real, live people. Even without meaning to, we pick up our phones and look at them INSTEAD of looking at our family and friends. Even when they’re talking TO US. It’s become such a habit that we pick up our phones and start scrolling without even thinking of it.

However, there is help for screen addiction. To start with, I recommend reading Calm, Cool, and Connected.

Calm, Cool, and Connected: A Review

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Screen Addiction?When I received the invitation to review Calm, Cool, and Connected by Arlene Pellicane, this was the opening paragraph of the invitation.

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media, sometimes late into the night? Or maybe you’re prone to answer “just one more text,” even though your child is desperately waiting to speak with you. Perhaps your phone is the first thing you reach for in the morning, a Netflix binge is on your nightly agenda, and you’ve caught yourself texting at red lights. Has technology taken over your life?

I read that and knew immediately that I needed to read this book!

Calm, Cool, and Connected is a short, quick, and easy to read book. It is structured around the acronym HABIT.

H – Hold Down the Off Button

A – Always Put People First

B – Brush Daily: Live with a Clean Conscience

I – I Will Go Online with Purpose

T – Take a Hike

Making Changes

Though it is easy to read, it is not easy to implement. It has challenged me to make changes in my use of technology. I have caught myself repeatedly not looking up from my phone or computer when my kids have come to me with a question. I was unaware of this behavior before reading the book. There should always be a reason for going on-line. Without a specific purpose, I will get sucked into social media. I have been convicted about how much time that I waste looking at social media and playing games on my phone. I talk about how busy I am and use being tired as an excuse for not getting more work done, but I have a lot more time to be productive than I was admitting. If I don’t want to use my spare time to be more productive, I can use it to truly relax. Playing on my phone is NOT relaxing.

If you or your family struggle with screen addiction, I highly recommend reading Calm, Cool, and Connected. I think you’ll be glad you did!

screen addiction

Calm, Cool, and Connected is available at and other major booksellers.

This is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking this link, I will receive a small percentage.

Jul 132017


Borax SnowflakeI did the neatest Christmas craft project with my 6 year old this week.  We made a snowflake out of pipe cleaners and Borax. Here is a direct link to the printable instructions for making a Borax snowflake.


    • pipe cleaner
    • string
    • boiling water
    • wide mouth jar
    • Borax
    • pencil
    • blue food coloring (optional)


The first step is to cut a pipe cleaner into 3 pieces.  Then twist them together in the middle to form a 6-pointed figure.

Borax Snowflake

Next, take string and wind it around each of the points of the pipe cleaner. Leave a long piece at the end.

Borax Snowflake

Tie the end of the string to a pencil.

Borax Snowflake

Next, get your wide mouth jar.

Borax Snowflake

and your Borax.

Borax Snowflake

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the jar. Add 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir.

Borax Snowflake

Add a couple of drops of blue food coloring if desired.

Borax Snowflake

Lower ornament into the jar.

Borax Snowflake


Borax Snowflake


Leave ornament in Borax solution overnight. Remove from solution and you will have a beautiful snowflake covered with crystals.

Borax Snowflake


Jul 082017

Creation versus Evolution

Evolution is taught as basic fact in schools. It is what all “scientists” believe. Only uneducated, brain-washed Christians believe that God created the universe and everything in it. Right?

It seems that there is a lot of division in the US and the world today. Creation versus evolution is just one of the issues dividing us. But is creation only for people who have “blind faith” in the Bible? Is evolution science, but creation religion?

Is Genesis History? seeks to show that a belief in creation does not require “blind faith” but is an entirely reasonable conclusion when viewing the evidence from a Biblical perspective. In the 101 minute film, Del Tackett visits 13 different PhD scholars in fields like geology, paleontology, microbiology, astronomy, archaeology, and Hebrew to discuss the Genesis account of creation and how the evidence that we find on earth is consistent with what we read in Genesis. In the discussions, they compare the ways that evolutionists and creationists look at the same data and come to different conclusions based on their starting assumptions. They also point out many of the inconsistencies in evolutionary theory.

The film is divided into the following sections with each one featuring a discussion with a different scientist.

creation versus evolution

  • Changing Our Perspective
  • What do the Rocks Tell Us?
  • A Question of Paradigms
  • What Does the Text Say?
  • How Do You Measure Time?
  • A Brief History of the World
  • The Origin of Fossils
  • When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth
  • Soft Tissue in Dinosaur Bones
  • The Genius of Design
  • The Potential of Created Kinds
  • The Purpose of the Stars
  • Where was Babel?
  • Genesis and Our Culture
  • A Changed Perspective

Our thoughts on Is Genesis History?

The film is well-made and interesting. It does a nice job of displaying beautiful scenery while explaining key concepts. I think the graphics are nicely done and are helpful. I like that the chapter divisions on the DVD  allow for a quick review of certain topics. The film flows well as a whole and does not seem a pasting together of individual chapters.

Our family is not new to the study of creation versus evolution. My husband and oldest son are especially educated on the topic. We have a relatively large home library of books and videos dealing with the topic of Biblical creation and evolution. So with that in mind, they had a couple of criticisms of the film.

First, neither my husband or son liked the conversational style of the video. Both of them felt it made it seem scripted, and somewhat disingenuous. I personally wasn’t particularly bothered by the conversational style, but it may grate on some. My son was particularly frustrated by the section on stars and the universe. He felt that in an attempt to keep things simple, they glossed over some very important ideas and current creationist hypotheses about how we can see starlight if the universe is only thousands of years old.

Considering that this film is intended as more of an introduction to the various topics discussed, I think that it fulfills that role nicely. It should inspire someone less familiar with creation versus evolution issues to do further research into areas that don’t seem as clear, and seek out resources that more fully address some of these difficult topics.

You can purchase a copy of the film in DVD or Blu-Ray format. A DVD/Blu-Ray combination package is also available. You can view the various options at Compass Classroom.

Are you interested in science curriculum from a Biblical creationist perspective? Try Apologia Science .

Disclosure: The links provided are affiliate links. If you purchase through the links on this post, I will receive a small commission. I received a free copy of Is Genesis History? in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Jul 062017

This post was written 8 years ago, but I find that it still rings true.


Could there be such a thing as too much planning? Who hasn’t heard the quote –

He who fails to plan, plans to fail.

I love to plan. I plan to plan. Planning is one of my favorite activities. But yesterday I started thinking about all my planning in a different light.

On Tuesday I gave my older children (11 and 9) a fun and creative history project. I assigned them to make a model of a Roman villa. I’m not talking about anything fancy. We have a great assortment of cardboard from our recent gas grill purchase, so I thought they could use that. We looked at a few drawings of a Roman villa, then I brought them downstairs and showed them the cardboard. I pointed out the piece that would make a good base, and then the assortment of boxes that could be used for different rooms in the villa.

Then I let them get to work. They started laying out boxes and thinking about their project. My daughter started thinking about how to decorate the inside of the completed villa and how to use Playmobil pieces as “accessories”. Then my son said, “I think we need to sketch a plan so we’ll know what we’re building.” (I wonder where he got that from???) So he disappeared and came back a while later with a nice sketch.

Fast forward to Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon, I reminded them of the project and mentioned that I would like to see some cardboard cut and glued today. They got back to work laying out the project according to my son’s plan.  They even located the scissors, tape, and glue. Then I heard my son say, “We don’t have the right boxes to use this plan. I’d better make a new plan.”

WHAT??? Will you quit all this planning and BUILD something please?

Did I just think what I think I thought? Thankfully, I did not say my thought out loud, but I was immediately struck by my thought. How often do I spend MORE TIME PLANNING than DOING?

I’m not advocating just “flying by the seat of your pants” so to speak. After all, Jesus said in Luke 14:28

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

We are building towers in a way. We pour out much of our lives into teaching our children. We absolutely need to have both long-term and short-term plans for “building” our children. We need to make sure we have a plan for teaching our children math and reading for example. We need to make sure that we’ve got the materials on hand to do our science experiment on Friday.

But I think those of us who are “planners” need to be sure that we’re not PLANNING so much that we miss out on actually DOING things with our kids. Ask yourself some questions.

  • Are my plans so rigid that I can’t tolerate any deviations?
  • Have I spent so much time getting my plans “perfect” that I don’t want to change them?
  • Have I made so many plans that I never get around to doing them all?

Just make sure that your plans are serving a purpose and really helping you to accomplish your goals. I especially like this quote:

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”—A.A. Milne

Feb 242017

Roman Numeral ResourcesYou may think that Roman numerals are unimportant, but for something so “outdated” they are still used in many areas including

  • Clocks
  • Movie copyright dates
  • Superbowl numbering
  • Outlines
  • Numbering pages in prefaces of books

Roman Numeral Resources

You can teach Roman numerals alongside your history, math, or Latin program. Here are some free resources I found to help.

Dad’s Worksheets This site includes a Roman numeral chart and converter as well as multiple worksheets to practice sequencing and converting between Arabic and Roman numerals.

The Notebooking Fairy If you use notebooking in your homeschool, you need to check out The Notebooking Fairy. You’ll find free Roman Numeral notebooking pages there to use with your history, Latin, or math study.

Make Free Roman numeral worksheets These worksheets are customizable. You can choose either to convert from Arabic to Roman numerals or Roman to Arabic. It also allows you to select how many problems.

Roman numeral worksheet generator Another customizable worksheet. In addition to customizing as above, you can also set the difficulty of the conversion and have addition and subtraction worksheets.

Roman numeral worksheets These worksheets are not customizable, but there are cute coloring pages for younger children that show Roman numeral I, V, and X.


Feb 112017

Disclosure: I received Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Reality of Art Projects

“Mommy, can we paint?”

In my head –  “Ugh.  Not paint. I will have to find newspaper for the table. And where did I put those shirts we were using for smocks? And then there’s the wet paint on everyone’s hands.”

What I say –  “Wouldn’t you rather play outside? Or color with crayons?”

“No, we want to paint.”

In my head – “I really should let them. Kids should be allowed to experiment with different art media. It’s ok if they make a mess. If they were in school, I bet they’d have more chances to paint.”

“OK, Give me a few minutes to get everything set up.”

15 minutes later…

“Everything’s ready. You can paint now.”

5 minutes later…

“Thanks Mommy! Do you like my picture? We’re going to play outside now.”


Art Time

Does anything about my story sound familiar? I want my kids to have fun doing art projects. I want to be a “Yes” mom. But extra work and extra mess goes against my nature. Sometimes I just say yes and deal with the mess. But other times I just say no. Not now. And that’s ok too. However, I have found a solution to those times when the kids want to paint, but I don’t want the mess..

Thin Stix by Kwik Stix

Thin stix

The solution is Kwik Stix! Kwik Stix are tempera paints in a stick. There are no brushes to clean and no liquid paint to spill. There is no need for smocks. It dries in 90 seconds so there’s no running, smearing or smudging.

I received a package of Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I opened them up and gathered my review team. They immediately went to work creating a variety of pictures.

The paint goes on smoothly and evenly. The colors are vibrant and the stix are easy to use. You just twist up more when needed, like chapstick.

Is it painting? Technically, no. But it is art.

These are great for school projects like posters. It is so much easier to write letters with Thin Stix than a paint brush.

Interested in trying Kwik Stix? You can purchase at and select retailers such as Books A Million and Target.

Thin Stix Art Gallery

Abstract Art by Lizzie, age 10

Flower by Anna, age 16

Rainbow by Andrew, age 6

Bob and Larry by Andrew, age 6

Sunny scene by Anna, age 16


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