Katy and the Big Snow | FI♥AR with Bo

-Bo is 6 years old-

Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” We decided that was a good verse for Katy in Katy and the Big Snow when we first rowed it. She works hard to plow the city so the city officials can do their jobs. She goes North, South, East and West to shovel each department out. . .

So we learned about maps and the important jobs in running a city.

And Bo completed the following lessons in Evan Moore's Beginning Geography section 1:
  • What Is a Map?
  • Positional Words
  • Cardinal Directions
  • Compass Rose
  • Map Symbols
  • Map Key
  • Distance on a Map
  • What is a Border?

He really loved these! We did most of them orally, but he colored many of them completely and kept asking for more - even the next week when we were finished rowing Katy.

We also watched several powerful snow removal videos on YouTube. Bo enjoyed these.

He built his own Geopolis that we named "Bo-opolis" by making masking tape roads on a big red rug. Then Bo set up his town with Playmobil - police department, fire station, a school, a house, an airport, and a construction site.

For Language Arts, we did the lessons on character, personification, and vocabulary - pointing the words out in the book as I read and then later experiencing a drizzle of our own that turned into a BIG snow!

We did the Art lessons on color and action and talked about the pictures in the book. Speaking of the pictures, when I read that the title and author was Virginia Lee Burton, Bo recognized that she was the same author of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. :)

I made cold weather comfort food - chicken soup. Bo and his dad made the meringue cookies from the FIAR cookbook - well, they tried. They were flat, but they all said they tasted good. :)

Bo did a short narration for me:
"Katy was a big red tractor. She had a snow plow and a bulldozer. The trucks got snowed in in the snowstorm. Katy plowed out the whole city. She went North. She went West. She went East. She went South."

Then he asked if he could do some more map work. :)

And the next week, he asked if we could do more Katy school. 

Science Curriculum For Sale

Hi! I desperately need to make room in my new school room and could use the money to put towards next years curriculum, so I'm offering these for sale. These are ALL from my keeper shelves! 

Sonlight Science F - Health, Medicine, and Human Anatomy:

Teacher's Manual and Activity Sheets - like new, no marks
these 4- Day Books - most in excellent condition:
  • The Usborne Complete Book of the Human Body
  • Blood and Guts
  • The Usborne Introduction to Genes & DNA
  • Usborne Understanding your Brain
  • Improve Your Survival Skills
  • The Care and Keeping of You - The Body Book for Boys (good-very good condition)
  • The Care and Keeping of You - The Body Book for Girls (good-very good condition)
  • Almost 12
  • Unlocking the Mystery of Life DVD - new, unopened
  • The History of Medicine (pictured below)
$85 PPD

Will throw in the following 5 day books: The Human Body and Lyrical Life Science Workbook and Test book - these are older books in usable shape, but the first page is missing in The Human Body. 

Apologia Elementary | Young Explorer Series: 

Astronomy (1st Edition) $12 PPD
Zoo 1 Flying Creatures Sold
Zoo 2 Swimming Creatures Sold
Zoo 3 Land Animals Sold
Human Anatomy Sold
Botany Sold

Considering God's Creation SOLD

A Creative Biblical Approach to Natural Science
Teacher's Manual
Cassette Tape with songs - new, unopened
Student Book - no writing
(I have the songs on CD, but the CD is scratched and will likely need to be resurfaced).

God's Design for Science 1st Edition 

God's Design for Life

God's Design for Life: The World of Plants
God's Design for Life: The Animal Kingdom
God's Design for Life: The Human Body
$20 PPD
God's Design for the Physical World

God's Design for the Physical World: Machines & Motion
God's Design for the Physical World: Inventions & Technology
God's Design for the Physical World: Heat & Energy
$20 PPD

God's Design for Heaven & Earth

God's Design for Heaven & Earth: Our Weather & Water
God's Design for Heaven & Earth: Our Planet Earth
God's Design for Heaven & Earth: Our Universe
$20 PPD

God's Design for Chemistry

God's Design for Chemistry: Properties of Atoms and Molecules
God's Design for Chemistry:  Properties of Matter
$16 PPD

Or $55 PPD for complete set 

  • Conditions are noted. If you have any questions, please contact me
  • All prices include either Media Mail shipping with insurance or Priority Mail shipping.
  • I accept PayPal. For your protection, I will invoice you and add PayPal fees. To calculate PayPal fees in advance, you can use this online calculator
  • Offers will be considered. The first person to make a full offer will be considered first. You are welcome to express interest, but if someone commits to purchasing while you are thinking about it, I will take their offer. (I sold on Facebook groups last year, and for some reason, people seem to think that because they ask a question, they are first in line to buy as if the question holds their place. Why is this?) 

Thank you for looking!!! 

Times Alive | Review

Times Tables the Fun Way {Review}
Times Alive is a series of "online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way."

The program teaches the memorization of multiplication facts through stories and songs. It is interactive and multisensory. Stories and songs have visual and audio clues, but the program also has kids using their fingers to learn number tricks.

Math facts are one of those things that just have to be committed to memory, so I thought this would be a fun, quick, and easy way to have my children practice the times tables for 20 minutes per day, twice a week. I thought the online aspect with games and quizzes would be motivating and fun for my children, Eliana (10) and Boaz (6).

 We were given 3 months access to a monthly subscription - online version to facilitate this review, but because most people complete this program in less than a month, our review period was shortened to 3 weeks. I share this because I would have loved to have one more week with this program before writing my review.

What you need to know to get started:

Since Times Alive is online based, you simply use any internet browser on your computer (we used Safari) and your internet connection. It is designed to be used on the same computer and internet browser with each use, but can be used with as many students as you like. But it can only be used on one computer at a time. Read the specifications to learn more.

A few tips: 

Progress Reports are stored in your cache, so be sure to use the same computer, the same internet browser, and the same login with each use, and don't clear your cache while using this program.

How we used Times Alive:

I sat with my kids throughout the use of this program, so I will share day by day how we used it.

Day 1

To log in, I simply entered my first student's name - Boaz. The first lesson was a pre-test that was timed and recorded on his progress chart.

The lessons start out easy with quips for children to remember basic concepts - like "Zero is king" so that's why anything times zero is zero, and "One is a mirror" so any number times one is itself as if it is looking into a mirror.

Then it jumps to 3x3=9 with a story about 3 blind mice with 3 tales each for 9 all together, and blind sounds like 9.  Boaz who is on the young end for this program, didn't really get the story behind 3x3=9 - it went right over his head. In fact, I think they all did until the very end of the program and then a light bulb went on. However, he loved that it was colorful and interactive, worked through 5 lessons in one sitting, and remembered a few facts.

His lesson list shows how far he progressed today:

Eliana logged in and started with the pre-test as well. She skipped any facts she didn't know - rather than skip counting or trying to figure them out.

She initially thought the program was easy and that some of it was too kiddish for her age (10).  I'm hopeful that even though she thinks it's too kiddish for her that she will benefit from the program doing 20 minutes a day, a minimum of twice a week which is what they recommend for usage.

Day 2

We did three lessons - 8, 9, and 10 which consisted of learning facts 6x4, 7x8, and 6x6, a review, and a progress check.

Here is her progress report for today:

During the review, we (even I) didn't remember the stories/songs from Day 1, so we had to go back and review by clicking on the lesson list and finding a particular lesson.

The Sliding Pictures Games are a visual picture of each story and proved to be helpful review. I think I'll have her do 6d and 10d - Sliding Pictures Games I and II as a review when we log in next before moving on to Lesson 11. Looking back, I realize the pictorial reviews are critical to learning the stories - the songs and stories alone were not enough. 

Day 3

After doing the Sliding Pictures Games I and II, Elli did lessons 11, 12, 13, and 14 which included learning the 5's, 6x3, 6x8, 3x7, and 7x4, a Progress Check, and then Sliding Pictures Game III.

Her progress report for today:

The stories are hard to remember, but the Sliding Pictures Game review is helping. 

Here is a screenshot of Sliding Pictures III:

These games really help to learn the stories. 

Bo has watched all the stories and songs up through lesson 15 by day 3, but he is not doing the progress checks or fact practice at this point - he's just having fun with it. He's learning some facts, but doesn't want to be tested on it - he thinks it's too hard.

Day 4

After doing Sliding Pictures I, II, and III, Eliana did Lesson 15 today - Nifty Nines and 7x6. She didn't get the nine's rule the first time, so I had her watch it again. Rather than a story and song, it's a trick to help you remember anything times 9. It's actually a pretty neat trick and once she understood it, the Nifty Nines were easy. Since we did the review and the nines rule twice, this took up our 20 minutes for today.

Her progress report for today:

The Sliding Picture review has been critical to learning the stories, but this is not something that is built into the program - I am having her go back to do them.

The stories are nonsensical, but we are starting to remember them!

Day 5

Today, Eliana did Lesson 16 and Progress Check IV.  She skipped the facts she didn't remember in 16d, so I helped her during the Progress Check by giving her story hints or by telling her the answer to see if she remembered the story. This helped, but I had her go back and do all the Sliding Picture Reviews again, and she said they are helping.

Her progress report today:

Bo has completed the program, but he has not mastered the times tables. I will need to sit in with him to do the Sliding Picture Reviews because I'd really love it if he would learn these facts now! He gets plenty of reinforcement by sitting in while Eliana reviews. He asks if it's his turn yet, so he is still interested. That's good!

Day 6

Eliana completed the program today by completing Lesson 17 and taking the Post-test.

Her final progress report:

While we did complete the program, I honestly would have to say that the program was not successful even with the additional review because my students did not learn all the times tables by heart by the end of the program. Eliana got 96% correct on her Post-test, but it took her 10 minutes to do it. If she knew them by heart, it wouldn't have taken her that long. I'm pretty sure she is skip counting when she doesn't know a fact or remember the story.

To see how long it would take me, I took the same test and scored 100% in 1 minute 37 seconds, and Malachi (almost 12) who also took the post test, completed it in 3 minutes. However, I think the program could work with some more time.

Here's my post-test:


While I don't think the program worked as I expected it to, I do think the program has potential to work with more time. I also think it is critical to add in more review with the Sliding Pictures Games and plan to continue this until they either learn them or our 3-month subscription runs out. I'd love to be able to come back and say that it works!


Currently, a Time’s Alive monthly subscription is $9.95/month with a $6.95 set up fee.

See reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew to see what other homeschooler's thought of Times Alive!

Crew Disclaimer
Visit Times Tables the Fun Way on Facebook and YouTube


Week 4: We are still plugging away. Eliana's score has improved nicely over the past week. She is down to 3 minutes 42 seconds (from 10 minutes) on the post test. Boaz is improving greatly as well. I still think we need more practice for the facts to become automatic, but we will keep plugging away. 

My Homeschool Journal | February 2017

In my life this month… 

cleaning, organizing, and rearranging the house and feeling more energy.

looking forward to celebrating Malachi's 12th birthday later this month.

In our homeschool this month…

we're reading The First Four Years and then we'll be on our last book - Farmer Boy.

Eliana is writing a report on elephants, and Malachi is writing a report on Ants for IEW. This takes us through the end of Lesson 12 and the end of Disc 3. Two more lessons to go.

I am working through Life of Fred Fractions with Malachi, and I remember what I love about Fred so much. We are on the final bridges and will start Decimal's and Percents this month. Malachi tested into Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra, so I am considering it for 7th grade along with Life of Fred Pre-Algebra. I like the idea of using Teaching Textbooks because it includes lectures, practice problems, and plenty of review, but it also grades it all, so I love the idea of doing both.

I'm using Eclectic Foundations Level B with Bo. So far he loves the McGuffey reader and the poetry, and doesn't seem to mind the grammar lessons, but I will for sure continue All About Reading for phonics lessons.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

I'd love to take the kids to a nature trail and take them sledding again.

Kids are playing chess at the Y once a week. Malachi is also playing in the adult chess league on Wednesday night.

My favorite thing this month…

I have been on GAPS for one month, and I'm doing really well on it. My sugar cravings are gone, but I still have a Lily's chocolate bar (stevia sweetened, not GAPS legal) for a treat. The kids are doing it with me and I've noticed they seem more calm and focused. I feel more calm and focused!

What’s working for us…

our new school room! I have been moving bedrooms around so I can move school upstairs. I moved the little boys from the biggest bedroom in the house into Eliana's room which is perfect because they have a bigger closet and each have their own corner of the room now. I moved all of my school stuff into the living room so I could move Dylan into the office/library downstairs. Then I moved Eliana into Dylan's old room and I made the little boys old room a school room. I'm really loving all the changes! I especially love having my own space for school stuff and not having it scattered all through the house.

What's not working for us... 

the accumulation of books and tubs of curriculum, papers, folders, and binders from 12 years of homeschooling. I don't even know where or how to start organizing it all. I've taken most of my keeper books upstairs to the new school room, but have so much that I need to part with.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

I'm trying to be honest with myself with regards to what I can and can't do right now and be okay with it.

Since I can't eat all the wonderful things I would want to cook with Farmer Boy, I am thinking about what I should do. Should I read it now and do what I can do? Or should I wait until summer or when I can do more with it?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Our 1 Second Everyday video for January 2017:

I have a hard time remembering to take a video everyday, and my shots aren't that creative, but I really love the app.

On my blog in case you missed it…

Currently | January 2017
Homeschool Mid-Year Update | Boaz
Homeschool Mid-Year Update | Malachi & Eliana
Homeschool Mid-Year Update | Dylan

Currently | January 2017


Currently, I am...

reading aloud a biography on Thomas Edison

pondering my vision for slow with Slow Lane

Surrendering my will to Father's by paring down curriculum choices for next year

Listening for whispers from the Holy Spirit

praying for an Obedient heart

desiring to have a heart of Worship

pursuing the idea of a morning basket in my homeschool

taking new supplements for iron deficiency anemia

praising God for more pieces to the puzzle

waiting for a phone consult to discuss test results

culturing a batch of kefir

drinking raw egg smoothies

craving pineapple

wrapping Eliana's hair in rag curlers - a birthday eve tradition

celebrating Eliana's 10th birthday with a trip to the mall to get her ears pierced and a day on the town

loving that she couldn't stop thanking me for such a happy day 

enjoying the time I get to spend with Nathan while in town

Homeschool Mid-Year Update | Boaz

Well, we're a little over half way through the school year now, and I'm due for an update on Bo. I had previously typed up a more detailed post, but I lost it and didn't have the heart to start over. So, here's a quick update on Bo and the 3 Rs.

For reference, Bo started Kindergarten at 5 1/2 and turned 6 at the end of December.


Bo is on Lesson 28 out of 53, so a little over half way through All About Reading Level 1. He does great with it as long as I keep the lessons short. He picks up on new concepts quick, comprehends what he's reading, and loves the stories and hands on activities.

We will soon take a break from AAR 1 to review Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B. He probably places towards the end of Level A, but I didn't want to start at the end of the book. So, I had Bo read all the words in McGuffey's Eclectic Primer - many of which have phonograms not taught until Level 3 in AAR. I taught him how to read using the accent marks, and he caught on. Bo is learning to read very quickly, so I am curious to give Eclectic Foundations a try.


When Bo turned 6, he asked me if he could be in the first grade now. I told him not yet because he didn't know how to write a sentence. Well, he wrote his first sentence and then started writing little short three sentence stories that same night.

He has been writing in upper case letters up to this point, so I told him that a sentence begins with a capital letter and if he wants to write a sentence he needs to start writing in lower case. We are working on lower case in Italic Handwriting A, but he says uppercase is easier. I took a break from the handwriting book and made him practice sheets. He traces the alphabet and numbers 0-9 twice each two times a week now.

When he writes, he asks others to spell words for him, or else he'll ask us to write so he can copy it. He came to me tonight to ask me to write a list of ice pops he wants to make this summer, and then he copied it all onto a little flier labeled "ice pop stand." :) Then he listed all the flavors he wants to make. ♥

I don't push writing at this age because in my experience, children need time to develop their fine motor skills, and I want them to enjoy writing when they do. I'm so thankful that Sonlight taught me that it was okay to write their narrations my first year of homeschooling. I wrote for Dylan until he was 7 and I'll never forget the moment when he decided that he would write for himself, and from that moment on, he did all his writing. Bo is like Dylan in so many ways so I love that I can use my experience to be a better teacher and mom to him.


Bo finished half of Math U See Beta (Lessons 1-15) and decided he was ready for a break. I'm perfectly fine with that and said he could do the second half of Beta for 1st grade if he wants to.


I really wanted Bo's Kindergarten year to be special, but we've mostly focused on the 3R's this year. We've read through the Burgess animal collection, and we've rowed a few books, but most of my attention has been on the older two. Maybe that's where it needs to be right now and when I consider all that I have done with Bo at age 2age 3 and for Preschool and 4K, I tell myself that's okay.

♥ | Throwback Thursday

It's Throwback Thursday {Blog Style} via Google Photos because I'm currently loving the "Rediscover this day" feature. Here are this week's moments:

Preschool with Bo Little Hands to Heaven Unit 1: Letter A, Adam & Eve, Alligator and Ant
& Eliana at Rim Busters Basketball 
Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design