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Keeping Up with Current Events, North Korea, South Korea and Japan

This post, Keeping Up with Current Events, North Korea, South Korea and Japan, was written for Sonlight Curriculum

In this edition of your guided tour through History / Bible / Literature F, we canter through North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Our top travel tip this edition features the elements of a Current Events study. We're hearing a lot about North Korea and South Korea in the news, and Sonlight schedules a study of Current Events beginning in Level F, so I'll share how we approach the study with the goal to cultivate a habit of keeping up with Current Events.

Keeping up with Current Events | Sonlight F

What is going on in the world, how does it affect my family, and does it matter?

Eastern Hemisphere and World Cultures with Sonlight | Our 2017-2018 Curriculum

This post, Eastern Hemisphere and World Cultures with Sonlight | Our 2017-2018 Curriculum, contains affiliate and referral links.

Hi friends! I know it's kind of late in the year to be sharing our curriculum for the school year, but I've had such a busy and stressful fall that I'm just now getting to share. I'll share in outline form (the short version) and in paragraph form for the long version. The long version explains my thoughts on choosing.

Magic Stix — Washable markers that won't dry out!

This post, Magic Stix — Washable markers that won't dry out!, is a review written for The Pencil Grip and contains affiliate links. 

Magic Stix (washable markers that won't dry out!) are now available on Amazon in a 12pk and a 24pk, and I wanted to share a little review of them because I think these would be a great gift for your kids, your homeschool, and your peace of mind!  

Travel to China from the Comfort of Your Couch

This post, Travel to China from the Comfort of Your Couch, was written for Sonlight Curriculum.

Snuggling up on the couch while reading and discussing literature is a great way to build family bonds, so with Sonlight, most of your History, Bible, and Literature are couch subjects. These subjects are easy to combine because they are stories, and children love stories. 

So, let's cuddle up because the stories we will read on the first stop of our all-inclusive Eastern Hemisphere trip will bring China's history, culture, and people alive and will help us understand the impact China has on our world.

Travel to China from the Comfort of Your Couch With Sonlight

As your tour guide through History / Bible / Literature F, I'll be sharing top travel tips such as: how to help your students work efficiently and independently in the Eastern Hemisphere Notebook, how to use the Ancient China Kit, and a practical Choose Your Adventure tip to help you get the most out of your time in China and still have some downtime to enjoy the scenery.

Auditory Feedback Headset for Speech, Language, and Attention - Forbrain | Review

 Auditory Feedback Headset for Speech, Language, and Attention - Forbrain

Designed for people with attention difficulties, speech and language issues, and poor memory, Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD is a headset which can be used by adults and children ages 4 and up.

This device can improve attention, concentration, verbal working memory, and short-term memory.

Thinking Like an Engineer | Review

Thinking Like an Engineer

Thinking Like an Engineer, a fully online, self-paced, and interactive course by Innovators Tribe, is teaching my 7th grader, Malachi, to be a problem solver and innovator.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack From The Pencil Grip, Inc. | Review

Oh, how do we love all the colors in the Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. We have been using them for just about anything we can think of - even our fall nature studies.

IEW's Virtual Winter Retreat

This post, IEW's Virtual Winter Retreat, contains affiliate links.

Please join us for full day of inspiring workshops from the comfort of your home by attending IEW's Winter Retreat.

The year's last loveliest smile

Crab Apple Tree | Autumn

Going Home

Safety Cutting and Grip Training with The Pencil Grip, Inc. | Review

This post, Safety Cutting and Grip Training with The Pencil Grip, Inc. | Review, contains affiliate links.  

The Pencil Grip, Inc. recently sent us two products to try out: The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors.
The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

How We Handle Screen Time in our Home

In this day and age, it is hard to avoid screen time.

Growing up, we watched Saturday morning cartoons every weekend, and I played my first Atari video game in the 4th grade. But screen time was not an issue growing up because we played.

Online Math With CTCMath | Review


I am looking forward to taking a break from teaching math this school year by using CTCMath, a full online math curriculum for grades K-12 that does the all the teaching and grading for me.

I received the Family Membership - a one-year subscription to CTCMath to review with Eliana who is in the 5th grade and Boaz who is in the 1st grade, and while I wasn't planning to use an online math program for my youngest two this year, this program has been an amazing help during a busy fall season. In fact, we started the Free Trial to get a head start on our review because I knew I'd be busy.

On the Road

The Lily Pad Pond in the Fall | Exploring Nature with Children

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls | Review

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls are kids adventure books from WorthyKids/Ideals. They are written for ages 6 - 9, or for grades 1 - 3, and teach about events in the Bible.

We received the first two books in the Hidden Scrolls series: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2).

Captain Bayley's Heir | Review

I love to hear me a good tale. You too?

Captain Bayley's Heir might be my favorite audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions to date. It's an exciting, adventurous tale of the "Old West," but it also has an element of mystery and romance. It is filled with colorful characters, tales of the gold fields of California, and the power of God's grace.

Itinerary for an Eastern Hemisphere Education

This post, Itinerary for an Eastern Hemisphere Education, was written for Sonlight Curriculum. 
Sonlight History Bible Literature F

Attention all passengers. Flight HBL is now boarding at Gate F!

Get ready to fly across the Pacific to explore the Eastern Hemisphere with us! There will be some amazing sites to see, ethnic food to try, and new people to meet along the way, so be sure to follow our top travel tips for packing, organizing, and carry ons!

A Walk Around the Neighborhood to Collect Seeds | Exploring Nature with Children

A few things. . . | Currently

because it was healthy and delicious.

Stamp Out or Build an Underground Church in this Interactive Game | Review

We love board games, but we especially love card games because they are portable, easy to store, and just as fun. Today, I have a fun review to share of a card game we have been playing as a family recently. 

Designed for 6-12 players, for ages 12 and up, Unauthorized is a role playing card game by Chara Games that involves both strategy and chance and can be played in 30 minutes or less.

Children's Books by Carole P. Roman | Review

This post, Children's Books by Carole P. Roman | Review, contains affiliate links. 

Carole P. Roman has a fun variety of children's books on Amazon for various ages, and we got to review four of them to share with you. I share a little about each one, but be sure to visit the Homeschool Crew blog to see book reviews on all her other books.

How I Set Up Our Sonlight Instructor Guides | No Flipping Required

How I Set Up Our Sonlight Instructor Guides | No Flipping Required!

Sonlight has changed their IG format over the years, but how they have it now is my favorite. In fact, I was so surprised to see people complain about it on the Sonlight Mom's group that I had to comment on how much I liked it the current way. Sonlight picked up on my comment and asked if they could share it in on the Sonlight blog in The Everything Guide to Your Sonlight Instructor’s Guide, which is a must read for anyone wondering how to make the IG work for you

Marine Biology for the Ocean Loving Kid | Review

Apologia Educational Ministries is known for having excellent high school science curriculum, so even though Malachi is only in the 7th grade, he loves marine life and was excited to have the chance to review the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set which is actually geared for high school students who have already completed Biology.

Our Homeschool Home | We rearrange the whole house and turn a bedroom into a school room.

I like to rearrange. It helps me clean and organize my home, so Our Homeschool Home series on the blog continues. We have been in this rental house for 9 years, and this is the first time I have had a school room in this house. It was born to save my sanity and make my husband happy when he walks through the door.

About 6 months after my two grown boys moved out of the house, while dealing with a crisis in my marriage, I made a drastic move. It's true. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I practically rearranged the whole house in the process.

I moved Eliana into the laundry room, so I could move the two youngest boys into her room. Then I moved everything from my office library downstairs to the living room. I moved Dylan into that room and Eliana into his old room. I moved school upstairs to the two boys' old bedroom (once Nathan and Dylan, then Malachi and Boaz).

So, I rearranged the whole house to turn a bedroom into a school room. This won't be possible in our next house, so I will enjoy it while I can.

Box Day for the Youngest Child | Unpacking Sonlight A Upgrades

Bo will be my last child to use Level A - Intro to the World: Cultures. It's bittersweet - my baby is growing up fast, and I love this level!

My youngest gets a lot of hand me down curriculum, but since I bought this level 5 years ago, I upgraded Sonlight Level A, so he could have his own little box day.

Everyday Cooking | Review

Everyday Cooking Cookbook Review at Delightful Learning

Everyday Cooking is a 194 page spiral-bound cookbook (also available as a PDF download) by Vicki Bentley from Everyday Homemaking. The emphasis of the cookbook is on whole food cooking, but Mrs. Bentley and her family are not purists, so it's not a health food cookbook (nor a low-sugar cookbook), but some healthier substitutions are suggested, and she even has a few low-carb, low-sugar options and substitutions.

Learn the Alphabet Through Great Works of Art with the Phonics Museum App | Review

Veritas Press Phonics Museum
Veritas Press now offers their Phonics Museum program as a homeschool phonics app, available in the App Store. The app makes reading fun with a museum theme, fun content, engaging characters, and entertaining stories. Your child tours the phonics museum floor by floor, discovering great works of art, playing games, hearing stories, and singing along to songs.
“See the picture, say the word, repeat the phonic sound, and the phonic rule is heard!”

William and Wendy guide your child through the Phonics Museum along with Percival, a young knight from one of the exhibits who brings the museum alive for your child, and Miss Biddle, the eccentric museum curator guide who is animated in songs and games, but looks real, or "comes to life," to teach the "astonishing simple syllables" your child needs to know to read and write.

Being Content with Your Curriculum

This post, Being Content With Your Curriculum, was written for Sonlight Curriculum. 

When it comes to homeschooling, we all too often meddle with something that is already quite wonderful - our curriculum. The newness wears off. We get bored with it. We try to make it better. Or we see what other homeschoolers are using, and we want to do the same.

In the process of meddling, we forget to enjoy what we have.

How to Have a More Content Homeschool

Getting Ready for a Restful Homeschool Year

This post, Getting Ready for a Restful Homeschool Year, contains a referral link to Sonlight Curriculum. 

We won't officially start school until September 5th, the day after Labor Day, but we had a first day of sorts this week when we started our History, Bible, and Literature reading. I wasn't planning anything special because all this means is that we will now follow a suggested course for the school year, but we are always reading in our home whether school's in session or not. 

So, I wasn't planning anything special, but Eliana decided we should have our first day of school waffles to celebrate being back to school. 

See, she loves school just as much as I had hoped she would.

No-Nonsense Algebra | Review

No-Nonsense Algebra is a simple, straight forward system by Math Essentials that teaches Algebra with lessons that are short and sweet, as well as complete.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! | Review

If you or your elementary student wants to learn Biblical Greek, I recommend Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 2 - a Biblical Greek Worktext. It has a variety of activities to help you learn Greek, and each activity is like a little puzzle to solve. It may look intimidating at first, but Greek 'n' Stuff walks you through step by step in this introductory course and offers plenty of review.

First Day | August 2017

Today, I am sharing a day in the life from this week - Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. One of the things I love about doing a day in the life on the first day of the month is that it is random, and I usually don't remember to do it until that morning (or not at all - it's been awhile).

This is a summer day.

6:30 am woke, made my bed, folded a load of laundry, took my morning supplements, and made chocolate chip muffins.

7:30 am hubby got kids up and ready for bowling camp, and I dropped them off at the bowling alley at 8:30 am while he went to his Tuesday morning staff meeting.

In the Reign of Terror | Review

With fantastic dialogue, music, and sound effects, Heirloom Audio Productions turns audio drama up a notch with their production of In the Reign of Terror. The action packed story kept my listeners on the edge of their seat with mad dogs, a demon wolf, battle scenes, and the dreadful darkness of the French Revolution in a story centered around friendship in this audio drama inspired by G.A. Henty's original book written in 1880.

Currently | July 2017

Currently, I am... 

knitting a mason jar cozy...

How I Lost 30 Pounds Without Exercising | My Trim Healthy Mama Story

My Trim Healthy Mama Success Story

I started Trim Healthy Mama three and a half years ago, so my story is long overdue. 

Learn about the States with the USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom | Review

If you are looking for USA notebooking pages to compliment your geography studies this year, The Crafty Classroom has a beautiful set in their USA Activity Bundle.

Homeschool Journal | July 2017

In my life this month…

Somehow June turned into July and here we are now 3 weeks later. I shared what's been going on in my June edition of Currently, and my July edition is right around the corner, but I will share that our life seems up in the air. We may be moving soon, so instead of deep cleaning to get ready for a new school year, I might be packing it all up. 

I'm meal planning to make life easier - something I'm not very good at but am enjoying. So far, I have Mama Mia Mondays and Taco Tuesdays lined out for the next four weeks, and my husband is bringing home boxes to start packing up things we don't use daily. 

My school room is ready to go, so I may share how I organized it... but we won't be using it long so my focus will be on how to make school mobile. I already have tote bags ready to go for morning time, writing time, and one for one week of school at a time - the rest will have to go in a tub. 

So, life is up in the air, but this move would be a blessing for our family. 

In our homeschool this month…

Trust Fund | A Movie Review

Trust Fund Movie
Inspired by the prodigal son story in Luke 15, Trust Fund is a modern prodigal daughter story of two sisters and their loving father.

Produced by Mapelle Films, the movie which was shot in widescreen and rated PG, starts with a flashback from the sister's childhood while visiting their father's publishing company with their beautiful, smiling mother. The opening scene shows how close the two sisters were when their mother was alive and proves to be a type of foreshadowing.

While waiting for her father, Grayson Donahue (Kevin Kilner), now grown up Reese Donahue (Jessica Rothe) who is an aspiring writer discovers that her mother left her and her sister ten million dollars.
"My God, who makes the sun to know
His proper hour to rise;
And, to give light to all below,
Doth send him round the skies: 
When from the chambers of the east
His morning race begins,
He never tires, nor stops to rest,
But round the world he shines. 
So, like the sun, would I fulfil
The business of the day;
Begin my work betimes, and still
March on my heavenly way. 
Give me, O Lord, thy early grace,
Nor let my soul complain
That the young morning of my day
Has all been spent in vain!" 
Isaac Watts (1715)

An Overview of History with the Timeline Trio | Review

I was first introduced to Home School in the Woods our first year of homeschooling when we used their Time Line Figures which were designed by Amy Pak and sold by Sonlight. Now, all of those beautiful hand-drawn figures that I have used over the years are available in their Timeline Trio.

The Timeline Trio includes:
  • Record of Time timeline notebook, a beautiful hard back three-ring horizontal 12" x 9" binder that lays flat when opened. 
  • Timeline pages to record the chronology of history from 5000 BC to 2025 AD. These are heavy, ivory colored card stock pages with faint background lines for written notations and include a beautiful set of maps. 
  • Collection of Figures on CD with 1,260+ figures plus 80 bonus figures.
  • Suggested Placement Guide with tips and tricks and suggested placements for each figure.
If you are looking for a hands-on approach to help your child see all of history at a glance, please read on. 
"God of the morning, at whose voice
The cheerful sun makes haste to rise,
And like a giant doth rejoice
To run his journey through the skies. 
From the fair chambers of the east
The circuit of his race begins,
And, without weariness or rest,
Round the whole earth he flies and shines. 
O like the sun may I fulfill
Th’appointed duties of the day,
With ready mind and active will
March on and keep my heav’nly way. 
But I shall rove and lose the race,
If God, my Sun, should disappear,
And leave me in this world’s wild maze,
To follow every wand’ring star. 
Lord, Thy commands are clean and pure,
Enlight’ning our beclouded eyes;
Thy threat’nings just, Thy promise sure,
Thy Gospel makes the simple wise. 
Give me Thy counsel for my guide,
And then receive me to Thy bliss;
All my desires and hopes beside
Are faint and cold compared with this."
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Currently | June 2017

getting ready

A Literature and Composition Course for 7th Graders | Review

Hewitt Homeschooling offers homeschool literature and composition courses from K through high school, as well as grading and testing services. I recently had the opportunity to try their Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set with my soon to be 7th grade son, Malachi.

How to Answer Your Curious Kid's Science Questions | Review

Why is the sky blue? 
What makes a sunset orange-red?
What causes the pavement on a highway to appear wet?

If you have an inquisitive child or you will be teaching physics in your elementary or middle school this year, Novare Science & Math can help you with their reference book for teachers called Science for Every Teacher.


Herbal Iced Tea That Tastes Like Real Iced Tea! | Friday Favorites

Herbal Iced Tea That Tastes Like Real Iced Tea!

Who likes drinking iced tea in the summer time? 🙌🏻