Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new year is coming and I'm coming back...

I'm testing out some new features, or should I say, new blog templates.  It's been awhile since I've been here on blogger and I'm excited to see what has changed, improved and been discontinued as far as features go. 

Here's a picture I wanted to share in the meantime :-).  It's from last December's major snowstorm....this year, there is NO snow on the ground...so I thought it would be good to reminisce.


Enjoy !


Monday, December 26, 2011

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord ~ A new devotional journey for Heart & Home

Organized Hearts, Organized Homes


It's that time of year...when everyone starts thinking about New Year's Resolutions...most of them ditched within the first few days or weeks.  As we close out 2011, I have been reflecting on what I need to do in my life and the person I want to be.  I recently found out about a 52 week devotional through a friend in a Home Blessing Facebook Group called Devotional for the Disorganized and decided that I (and my family) would be blessed very much by participating. It aims to target cleaning our hearts first and then cleaning the clutter of our lives will come as a result.  Homeschooling four children certainly brings about LOTS of clutter ;-).   I am looking forward to getting started with a group of very supportive ladies online. If you'd like to learn more about this devotional and what it's all about, visit this post about "What's a Clean Heart?".  Would you like to join me and some other wonderful ladies?  Leave me a comment below with a way to contact you.  Be sure to let me know if you are on facebook so you can join the special devotional group to participate in discussions and get the weekly challenges.  We'll be starting this Sunday, January 1st.  We've already received our first challenge:  Make a list of your TOP 5 Projects/Goals for your Heart & Home in 2012.   This is definitely going to take some thought as I see so many things that need to happen around here both internally and externally.  So with that being said, here are my TOP 5 (and not necessarily in the order of importance):

My Heart Goals:
  1. To continue to foster a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and to have a heart like He does
  2. To continue in my journey of gratitude in all circumstances
  3. To set aside time each day that I may spend it with the Lord, one on one without any distractions
  4. To read my Bible completely in one year using my Bible Reading Plan
  5. To restore broken relationships that need to be restored

My Home Goals:
  1. Create, implement and maintain a workable filing system for the mounds of papers that take over almost every room in my home.  This particular clutter really affects how we feel about our home and each other, so it really needs to be tackled!
  2. Organize and catalog our homeschool library and materials.
  3. Create and implement a workable chore system for all members of our family so that we may easily maintain our home.
  4. Organize our huge rubbermaid bucket full of photos so that I can easily share these photographic memories with my children.
  5. To learn more about food storage and emergency preparedness and implement a storage system that will work for our family so we will never have to worry about food on hand in times of trial and emergencies.

How about you?  What would be YOUR top 5 Heart and Home Goals for 2012?

A Christ Centered Christmas

I recently had the opportunity to read Hal & Melanie Young's new e-book "Christ-Centered Christmas ~ The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating a Christmas Your Family Will Never Forget" and wanted to share with you what a great resource this is! Christmas has become so overly commercialized that people often forget what the season and day is all about....family coming together to worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It's those memories we want to preserve for our own children. Hal and Melanie share how they have created traditions in their family that bring them all together and celebrate in a God-honoring way....from decorating your home, to activities during the advent season, to caroling parties and baking, Christmas gifts and Christmas Day activities. She also shares family recipes that were so mouth watering, that we are sure to try them out in our family next year!! One of the traditions that we started this year (before I even had a chance to read through their book) was the Jesse Tree. I wrote some about this Advent activity last year here, but it was something that I had done as a child in Church (many, many years ago) and wanted my children to experience the same. It's all about wonderful memories and glorifying God in each and every one of them. I HIGHLY recommend getting a copy of this book for yourself by visiting http://www.raisingrealmen.com/2011/12/announcing-christ-centered-christmas/.  You won't be disappointed and perhaps you, too, will move to having a more Christ-centered Christmas!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's Planning Time Again!

We're now at the beginning of August and I've been reflecting on the past year in our homeschool. Days just always seem to get away from us and I always have the feeling that we're not doing enough. It's hard not to see what many homeschoolers (and even public/private school teachers) are doing at this time of the year....there are posts all over Facebook and personal blogs about planning....buying the best teacher and student planners, finding free planners, creating and customizing your own planners..planners, planners, planners....it's enough to make you a little crazy! But....maybe they're all onto something. We've found ourselves "winging" it this past year and perhaps if I just took a little more time to plan things out, I wouldn't feel so lost and it would help keep the kids more on task...soooo, guess what I've been doing? I've been searching for planners to buy, planners to download and thinking about how I could make each of them work for us. Some forms I've downloaded, I will probably not change too much, but others I've worked to set them up (and re-create them actually) to fit our needs. It's a process, that's for sure. I just hope that I don't use up all my energy in creating the "perfect" planner for our homeschool that I wind up not following it through.

A few bible verses that have been encouraging to me during this process are

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
- Proverbs 23:12

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."Psalm 90:12 (KJV)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 KJV

This of course is only a few, but it has become clear to me that the Bible, God's Word, has a lot to say about teaching and planning. I certainly want to obey God's word and that's what I'm trying to do :-)

Happy Planning everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reporting Requirements and our Testing experience

Here in New Hampshire, we have two ways that we can report our child's homeschooling progress ~ standardized testing or portfolio review. Since we are new to this and I really didn't have enough confidence in myself or my organizational skills, I chose to do standardized testing. A fellow homeschooling mom from our Church had mentioned that she used the CAT (California Achievement Test) from Christian Liberty Press. It was fairly inexpensive at $25 per student. It tests in the areas of Reading (Vocabulary and Comprehension), Mathematics (computation, concepts, problems & fractions) and Language (capitalization, punctuation, usage and structure, and spelling). I have been extremely anxious about what the testing would show for several reasons..lack of confidence in my teaching abilities and the fact that two of my children have special needs and I wasn't sure if they would test well. Well, I have completed testing with one girl and one boy so far. I have been pleasantly surprised at the results, wondering why I was even anxious in the first place. What I have come to realize is that I just need to turn it over to God and let Him be the main focus of our homeschool. He's obviously called me to homeschool my children, so why should or would I think that he wouldn't supply me with everything we need? I think perhaps this is the wake-up call I needed and believe that God is just telling me to train my children diligently and not fret over anything...to put my full trust in HIM. THAT is exactly what I plan to do!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Having a Martha House the Mary Way

I am not a natural housekeeper, far from it. And I am seeing lately how this is affecting my moods. I find myself scrambling when I know that someone is coming over, frantically trying to get everything into order. It doesn't make for a very peaceful home, since getting the family to help is sometimes like pulling teeth!

I came across 31 Days to Clean and am going to take part in their challenge to not only change the physical chaos of my home but also of the chaos in my heart. I just know that if I can change my heart the rest will come and the chaos will dissipate.  Check them out for yourself and join us on the challenge.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Palm Sunday Memories...Old and New

I remember growing up as a child in the Catholic Church and attending Palm Sunday Mass with my family. I remember it as the LONGEST Mass we attended throughout the year. We would meet across the street in the Parish Hall, get our Palm branches and have the solemn blessing of the Palms. We would then participate in a processional to the Church singing "Who Is The King of Glory" (based on the music of a traditional Israeli Folk Song and words written by Willard F. Jabusch) waving our palms in the air.  Once inside the Church I remember that we would recite out the Passion.  I was always bothered when the congregation came to the part where they needed to shout "Crucify Him, Crucify Him".  It was cruel and as a child I'm not sure I really understood the gravity of the situation.  I didn't want to say those words, I didn't feel that in my heart.  I didn't want him to be crucified, I didn't want to be the one to call for it.  Now I know better.  I did call for it; we all did.  EVERY one of us!  Romans 3:23 tells us "For ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God".  The wages for these sins is death, a separation from GOD forever and ever.  We've been given a gift, though.  The gift of Everlasting life and that gift was given to us when Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again.  He was crucified for us, for OUR sins, not his.  I've always known this.  I knew he died for us, but it wasn't until recently that it really touched my heart and soul in a way that has been life-changing.  Due to our move from one state to another, we were in search of a Church home and we felt led to Merrimack Valley Baptist Church.  I can't explain it, but I know this is where we were meant to be, where GOD knew we needed to be.  I remember sitting in Church one Sunday morning when they were celebrating the Lord's Supper and listening to the Invitation, what Jesus had done for us and why.  We got down on our knees and we prayed....I sobbed.  There have been several times in my life when I've been reminded of the fact of my sinful nature and my need for Salvation, in something I've read, something I've listened to, or something I've watched.  I've been moved each one of those times but not like on this day.  I can't seem to get enough and I can feel changes being made in my life...in actions, in words, in thoughts.  This brings me to another Palm Sunday.  A time to remember, along with the entire Holy Week, ending with Easter Sunday, the Ressurection of our Lord, what Jesus has done for everyone; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten son, that whomever believeth in HIM, shall not perish but have Everlasting Life" John 3:16.  I am overwhelmed that someone would die for MY benefit; could I do the same if put in that position?  All I know is that I am a sinner, I seek God's forgiveness for those sins and I WANT and NEED Jesus in my heart.  I believe He died for my sins.  This Palm Sunday I will be taking the next step by taking part in Believer's Baptism by Immersion.   I am going to be baptized as a symbol of my faith and my acceptance of Jesus as my Savior.   This step does not secure my Salvation, my faith in Jesus does that all by itself.  Salvation, yours and mine, is as simple as A-B-C

A) ADMIT YOU ARE A SINNER

B) BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS, ROSE FROM THE
DEAD AND THAT YOU TRUST HIM ALONE 100% FOR YOUR
SALVATION.

C) CONFESS YOUR BELIEF TO OTHERS.

I ask you, if you died today, could you say with a 100% certainty that you would enter Heaven?  I CAN!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Cleaning your heart and soul

This week’s Homekeeper’s Journal is about Spring Cleaning of a different sort….

If you'd like to write your own Homekeeper's Journal, visit The Christian HomeKeeper Network blog where you can also leave a link back to your post.   While you are there you can check out their E-Book Giveaway!




In my kitchen this week …..we've had birthday cake, cupcakes and brownies.  We're also going to try some new recipes from several Pampered Chef cookbooks; Mango Confetti Salsa, Easy Tortellini Toss, Cheesy Chicken Chilaquiles, and Three Cheese Mac & Cheese.  I'll also be showing some friends how to make Bleu Cheese and Bacon Potato Crisps!  Yummy!!!  I can't wait to try them all :-)




In my home this week …..we are working on cleaning and organizing, getting school work done and preparing for kitchen shows and fundraisers (well, that last part is just me!).  There are also doctor appointments for family members and soon we will start that other Spring Cleaning process.  It just needs to warm up a little first so I can open windows and let fresh air flow through the house.  As noted by what we are having in the kitchen this week, we've celebrated a birthday this week.  My twin girls are now 11.   My 4 youngest children also celebrated another birthday, their birthday of salvation.  On Saturday evening, they prayed the sinner's prayer and accepted Jesus into their hearts.  A mom (and dad) couldn't be more proud of that moment! 

Read these verses

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

These verses tell me ……we are sinners, we have been since birth.  Despite that, we can come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness, we can accept him into our hearts and be SAVED and have Eternal Life in Heaven.  When we are saved, truly saved, we have a new sense of purpose.  We begin to have and want a closer relationship with GOD, we change our worldly ways.  We cleanse our heart and souls!

Now read these verses

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

These verses tell me ………that with a cleansed heart, we start to put worldly things aside.  They no longer become the focus of our lives.  We look to Jesus for what we need.  When we begin to study GOD's word AND LIVE GOD's word, we learn what he wants for us and we begin to live it in our lives. 

I will start Spring Cleaning my heart this week by …… continuing to study GOD's word and watching my tongue, especially with my children. 




I will Spring Clean My Heart ….everyday.  It will be a journey, but one that I am ready to take.  Our family will also be discussing preparations with our Pastor about Baptism by immersion.  This will be our symbol of cleansing our hearts, of our salvation, to be open to GOD's word and his will for our lives.  Baptism isn't securing our salvation; our belief in Jesus, that we are sinners and accepting him into our hearts are what secure our salvation.  We are making that effort to be right with GOD.....

How will you be spring cleaning your heart and soul?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Creating a Blog Button Grabber



Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to create a blog button grabber for my blog!  After trying code from 4 different tutorials, I finally found a  Grab My Button Code Generator to make the process easy as pie!  You just plug in your blog title, blog location and blog button location, click on preview to see what it will look like on your site, and then click on GET CODE to get the code you need to copy and paste into your Text Widget (if using Wordpress, like me.  It seems there's lots of code out there that will work with Blogger, but Wordpress is a little more complicated apparently).   You can also change the border, background and font color to complement your blog with this generator.  Try the Generator for yourself and see what you think!

Organizing school work and notes

Who doesn't like to be organized?  It brings a peace and calm to our environment, yet for some it's so hard to attain.  What gets in the way?  For us, it's never ending mountains of paperwork.  I just can't seem to get rid of any of it!  I have gotten better at it, but it's still a work in progress and one that I'm sure I'll be struggling with for a long time.  I can't even begin to tell you about all the things I've purchased in the name of "organization".  Some of it is used and some sits just waiting, lonely in a corner, to be put to use.

I find that my girls are the same way, in that they are constantly searching for that next best organization item....and then there is the "Mom, I really need a notebook for this; I need a notebook for that"...there are notebooks, binders, looseleaf papers, folders and accordian files EVERYWHERE!  They're always asking me for ways to record and keep track of their assignments, too.  First I looked into the FREE version of Homeschool Tracker.  It worked well for a little while.  Then a fellow homeschooler recommended Homeschool SkedTrack, which is very similar to Homeschool Tracker, but online and also gives the student the availability to check off completed assignments.  Both are great programs, but they didn't really fit ALL of our needs.  Another friend had talked about using Microsoft OneNote for her son to use as a virtual notebook.  What?  A virtual notebook?  You mean no more loose papers, 10 million notebooks, or a need for multiple binders and folders?  Ok, so 10 million is an overstatement, but could OneNote work for us?  I decided to look into it more and have been working on setting up academic notebooks for the kids this week.  OneNote has many notebook templates, including one specifically for students. 

Here is an explanation taken from the OneNote website explaining exactly what OneNote is (we are using OneNote 2007): 

Microsoft OneNote 2010 is a digital notebook that provides a single place where you can gather all of your notes and information, with the added benefits of powerful search capabilities to find what you are looking for quickly, plus easy-to-use shared notebooks so you can manage information overload and work together with others more effectively.

Unlike paper-based systems, word processing programs, e-mail systems, or other productivity programs, OneNote delivers the flexibility to gather and organize text, pictures, digital handwriting, audio and video recordings, and more — all in one digital notebook on your computer. OneNote can help you become more productive by keeping the information you need at your fingertips and reducing time spent searching for information across e-mail messages, paper notebooks, file folders, and printouts.

So, I've set out to utilize this new tool (new to us anyway).  Here is a screen shot of what the student planner looks like for us right now:

As you can see, there are tabs across the top.  These are called sections.  The template comes preloaded with the Start Here, To Do, Class A, Class B, Class C, Project 1, Project 2, and Student Clubs tabs.  My thought is to use the To Do tab for assignment planning.  I haven't yet decided whether to update this daily, weekly or monthly yet.  This should give each of the children a starting point each day on what to accomplish.  Here is what I've done so far to customize the notebook:

  • I renamed the Class Tabs to fit the subjects, Math, Science & Social Studies 

  • I created a Bible Studies, Reading Log and Grades tab.   

  • I created two Section Groups for those subjects that may include more than one subsection. 

    • The first Section Group I created was for Language Arts, which then broke down into tabs labeled Spelling, English/Grammar, Handwriting, and Writing Journal. 

    • The second Section Group I created was for Music; this broke down to Hymn Study, Composers, and Instruments.    



  • We've been able to change page templates in each of the sections to match (some closer than others) the subject.  There are preloaded templates that are planner, academic, blank or decorative in nature. 

  • I was able to download a One Year Bible Reading plan template and set that up as a page in the Bible Studies section. 

  • I copied that template to a second page and customized it to be a checklist for their AWANA Checkpoints.  Other pages in that section will be created to correspond to their daily Keys for Kids devotionals...sort of a devotional journal.  They can record the key concept, key verse, and the discussion questions there.

  • I was able to create and insert a table into a page under the Reading Logs section so the children could record their daily reading activities.  This will come in handy for requirements we must meet to satisfy state regulations. 

  • I was able to download a powerpoint template for a multiplication table and insert it into a page in their Math section

  • The only drawback I've encountered so far was the ability to embed a spreadsheet into a page that I'd be able to enter their grades into and still have the spreadsheet do the auto calculations for averages and overall grades.  I was able to copy the spreadsheet into the page and enter the data, but it didn't change calculations with newly added information.  Unless future versions of OneNote change to include this capability, I've just decided to insert the actual file (which is a link to open the file) onto the page.  I was also able to password protect and lock the page so the kids are not able to access this section and make changes to their grades. 


I will continue to work on tweaking the sections and pages with input from the girls (I don't think the boys are as interested in this as the girls are) on how to make the notebooks more efficient and accomodate them to our needs.  It is my hope that we can eliminate the need for so much paper in our school room which will also streamline the gathering of information and materials for each of their portfolios.    Next time, I'll talk about how I was able to set this up so that we can all access the notebooks from 2 different computers, without the need for online file storage sites.

Until then, happy organizing.....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Unity....is it just a fantasy?

This week’s Homekeeper’s Journal is about Homemaking and …..Unity

You can check out the original Homekeeper's Journal at Christian HomeKeepers Network 

In my kitchen this week … It's National Noodle Month so I'm going to try some recipes that involve noodles.  Spring Pasta Stir Fry, Asian-style Chicken Noodle Soup, and maybe even Asian Beef Noodles.

In my household plans this week …. to get caught up with dishes and laundry (will that EVER happen with 4 children still at home?) so I can really get serious with Spring Cleaning in a few weeks.  I remember helping my mom with the ritual of Spring & Fall cleaning as a child and once I became an adult, it just didn't seem necessary to me...but I'm now seeing that a good thorough cleaning can really rejuvinate not only your home, but also your soul :)....there's just something to be said about a nice clean home making you feel refreshed!

My off-the-cuff definition of Unity is …. people getting along, peace, harmony.  It's when you know that you are better together than when apart; when you WANT to be together.   I don't think you necessarily have to agree all the time.  It's all a matter of respect; respecting that everyone is different.

The opposite of Unity … not harmonious, in a constant state of chaos, always disagreeable. 

Unity in my home …..I strive EVERY day to instill the importance of unity in our home to bring a sense of love, harmony, peace (& quiet ;-)).  It's an ongoing struggle, but we continue to pray each day for help from our Lord in this area.  It's wonderful when I observe my children getting along, helping each other, and just plain being friendly.

Unity in my Church … doesn't necessarily mean that everyone at Church will agree on issues, big and small, just like in our family.    Afterall, isn't it is called CHURCH FAMILY!    Just as brothers and sisters of a biologicial nature will sometimes disagree, so it will be with our brothers and sisters in Christ, our Savior.  It's wonderful when we can all share harmoniously our God-given talents.

Between a husband and wife, Unity …. is essential!  Unity can be difficult to achieve in marriage at times...probably because it takes time and effort by both husband and wife.   I'm reminded of Genesis 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh".   Again, it doesn't mean we will always agree on certain things, but being able to come together for a common good is what unity should be.

So, Unity is not impossible nor a fantasy, but it will require prayers, reflection, hard work, and most of GOD's GRACE!
Here are some scriptures about unity: 1 Cor. 1:10-13, John 17:11, 20-23, Eph. 4:1-3, Eph. 4:11-13.  If you are struggling with unity in your life, I urge you to read what the Bible has to say and then put it into action.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Christian Book Distributors Affiliate Status Approved!

I am so excited to announce that we are now a Christian Book Distributors approved Affiliate!  CBD has been a resource for many of our homeschool curriculum choices and other quality Christian items, such as gifts, Bibles and more.  If you ever have a need for any of the items listed on the CBD website, please consider placing your order through our affiliate link shown under "My Links".

Thank you!

The Perkins Family :-)

Fourth Doorposts Giveaway: Complete Chart Package

Fourth Giveaway: Complete Chart Package.

Doorposts is having their fourth giveaway and it's a GREAT one!  They are giving away their complete chart package.  I took a look at these the other day and let me say....I would LOVE to have these for our family.  Having a few visual learners, I think the charts would be a wonderful reinforcement for my husband and I to reinforce scripture and character development in our children.  Check them out for yourself by clicking on the link above....you just may want them too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My own Homekeeper's Journal - week of 3/15/2011



I have been following The Christian Home Keeper's Blog and she has invited all her subscribers to participate in a weekly online journal.  I thought it might be a nice way to help me be more deliberate about posting here, not only about our homeschooling journey but also about what else goes on during our life.  I can only hope that my daily, weekly or sporatic musings will somehow inspire and bless you.

In My Kitchen this week……….. is a pork roast, a lemon pepper rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes and harvest veggies, corned beef and cabbage, brownies and cupcakes and quite a few dirty dishes...they seem to multiply almost instantly!

In My Yard …….. the snow is melting away and leaving behind muddy lawns, lots of twigs and branches. It'll be yardwork and planting time soon.  I am so happy that Spring is on it's way.  It's been a long winter and I'm looking forward to some gardening.


I’ve been thinking ….about all those in Japan, the survivors and those missing. The destruction weighs heavy on my heart and I am praying for them constantly. I've also been thinking about the struggles we face in our own family; medical issues, relationships, finances. I do my best to stay strong in my faith knowing that my FATHER will never leave my side.

What motivates me more than anything else is ….. as it relates to housecleaning~impending company or other types of visitors. Nothing kicks you into high gear like the idea of knowing people are coming!

My Devotional life and walk with Christ …. is ongoing. At Church we have been studying Mark and 1 Thessalonians. I am also working on a Bible reading plan that will take me through the Bible in one year.  I seem to have this thirst for God's word...to learn more about it and to let it into my heart.

I struggle ….. with confidence in my abilities in my home business as an independent consultant for a premier kitchen tool direct selling company and in my homeschool teaching. Despite these struggles I still perservere, slowly at times, but still try nonetheless.

I dread …. losing my husband and my children. They are my life.

But I look forward …. to being with family and friends, being at Church, UPWARD basketball and on some days ~ bedtime!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Experiences with Time4Learning

Well, our 30 day trial is up and now I need to sit down and take a moment to write about our experiences.  Please know that this was OUR family's experience and in no way suggests that this would be the same for all families.  I am homeschooling 4 children, 2 of them with diagnosed special needs.  I specifically wanted to try this program to see if it would be a fit for my son who is diagnosed with ADHD-combined type.  He is the one who used the program the most, although it was limited, so I will speak to those experiences specifically.    The first thing that appealed to me to try Time4Learning was the fact that it was computer based.  My son is very intuned to the computer.  He fights tooth and nail to do anything even remotely perceived as being school work.   I figured with his computer affinity that I'd finally be able to have something that would engage him.  Here is what I found based on our use:

It was very easy to set up the students and I was able to choose the grade level to work on.  If we found that the grade level set was too easy or too difficult, we had the ability to have it changed so the material and questions were better suited to his needs.   He did ask to go on Time4Learning on several occassions (so that is better than we've been getting) although he tended to only work in the Math section.  He states that he steered away from the other sections because of the reading material; he can read, he prefers not to!  We are researching possible reasons for this thinking that it may be a tracking issue and he may need the use of filters to read.   I never did get a chance to check out the teacher section to view reports and student activity, so I realy am not able to speak on that.  If the ease of use in the rest of the site though is any indication, I'm sure that even the most novice user could navigate this section without any problem.

I am not going to "not" recommend this site, only because of our limited use and the issues that we are dealing with specifically for our son.  I think that Time4Learning would be great for the self-motivated student who is able to work through all the subjects. I just don't happen to have that type of student at the moment.  The only other thing that would prohibit our use of the program with all of our students would be the cost.  The cost is not prohibitive in of itself, but when you have 4 children you are teaching, it just didn't fit in OUR budget.  My recommendation to you?  Try it for one month or maybe even 2 to see if it fits your family dynamic and your child's needs.  I'm sure that you won't be disappointed.

New Doorposts Blog

I came across a new blog today courtesy of a friend called Doorposts of your House. It's a blog that offers Biblical parenting ideas, weekly character-building projects, book reviews, and lots more.   We will be using this blog often, I'm sure.  Character building is an ongoing process and it'll be good to have some extra encouragement in this area :-)

They are offering 10 days of giveaways...check them out at http://www.doorposts.com/blog/2011/03/15/ten-days-of-biblical-parenting-giveaways/

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thinking about Time4Learning in your homeschool?

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used in many ways including as a homeschooling curriculum or afterschool tutorial. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

I am especially excited to try this out since it's been a challenge finding a curriculum that truly engages one of my children diagnosed with ADHD and speech delays. Don't forget to come back and see how it worked out!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chemistry doesn't have to be intimidating

Even though I'll be receiving some used Christian Science books at the end of the month, I came across this giveaway this morning for Friendly Chemistry. My kids have been wanting to learn more about chemistry and I would love to give them this opportunity, but sometimes, you just don't have a clue where to begin. Yes, we can do simple chemistry lessons in the kitchen and I'm sure that would be fun for them, too. But this seems like such a great giveaway that I just had to enter.

Read what Freely Educate  had to say about Friendly Chemistry here.  Also, if you've been looking for ways to educate your child for free, then you MUST check out Freely Educate and subscribe to their blog.  They always have great resources!

If you have been looking for a chemistry curriculum, I encourage you to check it out and enter the giveaway, too!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Filling in the gaps

With the Christmas break behind us, we are trying to get back into a routine. It's going so-so. I took a look at some of the things we might need to add, take away or adjust and we are starting to make some changes. We've added daily independent bible reading, hymn studies and will be getting more detailed with grammar instruction. As I type, the kids are working on their AWANA checkpoints and memorizing bible verses. I've also got a pending order for used copies of Understanding God's World and Exploring God's World. That will add to our currently laid back Science studies (usually through documentaries and the Discovery Channel.) We are still picking and choosing topics on History through videos, the internet and some books. To help a bit with Geography lessons, we are currently participating in a postcard exchange with families across the United States. At some point, I'd love to get a copy of the Mystery of History curriculum, but until funds allow, we'll have to continue what we are doing.

What kinds of adjustments do you make during your homeschool year?