Monday, December 11, 2017

Minimalist Homeschool Expo!

Dr. Art Robinson was a minimalist homeschooler before it was a "thing" 25 years ago.  Watch this interesting video on homeschooling with his curriculum and see how easy and freeing it really can be!  

ALL six of his kids went into science majors (Chemistry, Vets etc) and ALL of them got PHds early.  Amazing family!

Dr. Art Robinson Explains the Robinson Curriculum

You can get the Robinson Curriculum here.  It's available online now so you can have either a PC or a Mac. ;)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Homemade Nourishing Face Cream

Ingredients for making Nourishing Face Cream
  • 1 cup Grape Seed, Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil
  • ¼ cup Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp. Lanolin
  • ½ oz. grated Beeswax
  • 2/3 cup Distilled Water
  • ½ cup. Aloe Vera Gel or Juice
  • Vitamin E at least 10,000 IU
  • Vitamin A at least 150,000 IU
  • 2 drops Essential Oil of your choice
  • Clean Cream or Lotion Jars 
  • Before you begin making your face cream, ensure that all the ingredients are at room temperature.
  • The first step is to mix the grape seed oil, coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax and put them in the top pan of the double boiler. Apply low heat to the boiler and heat the mixture until the mixture has melted.
  • Once melted, take it out from the pan and pour it in a glass measuring cup. Allow it to cool until it reaches room temperature.
  • Now, put the distilled water, aloe vera, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and essential oil in a mixer. Make sure that you blend them at the highest speed. While you blend them, drip the above made oil mixture into the mixer.
  • The lotion would start getting thicker and the mixer would get slow in speed. Turn off the mixer when you reach this stage. The face cream is ready!Pour the cream in fresh cream or lotion jar and store them in a cool place. If you do not intend to use the cream for a few weeks, you can as well put the jar in the refrigerator. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Am I Doing Enough?

In case your worried about how you're doing homeschooling...consider this quote:

"Studies have shown that all of typical grade K to 8 academic content can be mastered in eighteen to twenty-four months, as can all subjects taught in grades 9 to 12. Every year American School, an Illinois independent-study High School, has several students that complete four years of high school academics in less than eighteen months." - Cafi Cohen, Homeschooling the Teen Years, page 60. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

At Home ACE Homeschool Expo

So I named this A.C.E. Homeschool Expo but really it's organization whiz Andrea Mill's ACE playlist from youtube.... in case you need some inspiration or help ;)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Why We Don't Homeschool In The Morning Or How To Make Your Life Easier!

I was thinking this morning about how nice our days are and then that made me think about when I first started...don't even want to tell you how long ago but let's just say Bush and not George W. (dubbya) was in office.  

What I found was that EVERY so called "expert" or homeschooling mom would tell you (and still do)  is what I like the call "The Homeschool Mom Protocol":  get breakfast, do chores and then start school and be done by noon or 1 (lunch time).  I tried this...really...for years I tried this.  And every morning SUCKED!  I started thinking that if I had to fight like this to get crap done I'd rather send the kids to school and if you know me, that's pretty bad since I'm a HUGE proponent of homeschooling.  

And then....

I decided to not do anything but let the kids play first thing in the morning.....
    ......And our life began to look like what I thought homeschooling could be. 

Then I got wild.....and I started asking the kids what they wanted for breakfast instead of me dictating what they were going to have.  We made out a list of things they liked to eat and what days they wanted them (for my sake)..........and mornings got even better!  No fighting about not wanting oatmeal~

And if that worked......I asked them what they liked for dinner and we made a weekly chart for it.  My cravat on this was it had to be easy or in a crockpot.....and our nights started becoming better.  Daddy's started coming home to a happy house.

now we were on a roll.....we decided that they would do some math and english before lunch and then.....
 .....before dinner they'd do Science and Social Studies and more joy prevailed!

my point???

Stop looking to the "experts" to tell you how YOU need to run YOUR house.  If the kids are running around the house madly first thing in the morning, maybe you need to do afternoon school or even Gasp!!!  evening school!  Maybe you do all your work after dinner!!  Just reading that for some of you may seem like a relief and for others you are cringing right now.    If your kids are full of energy, maybe break everything into small pieces like,  just this one and now run around and come back for the next one or give me the answer while your jumping rope!  But either way...ask your kids what THEY would like to do.  How would it feel if your husband told you exactly how to vacuum or grocery shop or some other thing?  Wouldn't that be annoying?  You bet it would!  So why not let the kids tell you what they may like to do.  What's it going to hurt?  Probably nothing so why fight over it?? Seriously!

Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting--and conflict.
                                                                            NLT  Prov. 17:1

A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
                                                                           NLT Prov. 15:17

Now go!  Find your families' joy!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cranberry Thanksgiving - 2017 Edition

***If you can't get the book you can watch it being read here:


  • Memory Verse  Psalm 100:4

Social Studies  

  • Geography - New England
                             Map of New England
                             National Geographics New England
                             What's the Time and Weather in Cape Cod   - put it on the thermometer

                             13 Colonies
                             Thirteen Colonies  - **in depth for beefing up

***Beefing Up

  • Research the Thirteen Colonies or Cape Cod or New England and write a report or do an oral presentation.


  • Repetition
  • Vocabulary
               Make a Word Search from Vocab words

  • Simile
               Simile game    

Beefing It UP!

  •   Grammar-  Noun - watch Schoolhouse Rock - Noun  Using one of the sentences in the book circle or color the nouns in School Journal (composition book) or Worksheet Works (you can do this with verbs, adjectives or adverbs also)
  • Play the Nouns and Verbs  - Make sure you have an Ad blocker program!! 
  • Write a sentence using a similie
  • Write a paragraph (or sentence) using some of the vocabulary words


    • Warm Palette
                Warm Colors
                Warm Colored Pics

    ***Beefing Up

    • Draw a picture using the warm color palette


    • Measuring Skills

    *****Beefing it Up!


    • Starch
             Testing for Starch
    • Leavening Agents
    • Cranberries
               How Does It Grow? Cranberries

    ****Beefing Up

    • Research and write an essay (report) on Cranberries or give an oral presentation.


    Thanksgiving CrosswordMake sure you have an Ad blocker program!!

    Go Along:

    The Very First Thanksgiving

    Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving  ** Excellent but long...shows the providence of GOD


    William Bradford Biography Nest Entertainment

    Plymouth Plantation Virtual Tour

    Virtual Tour of the Mayflower II

    The Real Thanksgiving Story - (The Story of Liberty)

    Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 

    Charlie Brown Mayflower Voyage

    The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't

    The Mouse On The Mayflower

    Read Alouds:

    The Story Of The Pilgrims For Children

    Your Story Hour - Persecuted and Betrayed & The First Thanksgiving

    Link to a playlist on youtube:

    Thanksgiving - haven't viewed all these but on first glance they look okay..probably more for older kids

    Thanksgiving Hymns:

    We Gather Together (Perry Como) - my son picked this...who knew??  This is the hymn they sing in the book.

    Thanksgiving Hymns  Playlist - just like being in a cathedral!

    Thanksgiving  Playlist - this has some classic moderns in it

    Thanksgiving Relaxing Dinner Music -  8 hrs of BEAUTIFUL relaxing music...Fall Foliage, etc.    It's nice even to watch through out the week leading up to Thanksgiving!

    And For Mom:

    The Thanksgiving Promise

    An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

    Monday, November 6, 2017

    How To Make ACE Paces or Workbooks More FUN - Again!

    Oh the treadmill of using workbooks...everyone will tell you how terrible it is and how you'll burn the kids out...maybe.  But there are ways to make ANY textbook or workbook more fun for kids.  These are just suggestions and you certainly don't have to do all of them but at least do #1 and #2 to make life easier.

     1.   You don't have to fill out every. stinking. page.  Seriously, if the kids know it...move on.  All those pages are in there to give kids busywork to fill the day in a school setting.  You definitely don't need that when you homeschool.  You have doesn't matter what you payed for the thing it's not worth burning a kid out over it.  I give my kids the 3 test...if they can do three then move on.  If that means to the end of the workbook...fine.  If they can do the test without studying...fine.  If it means they do the (fill in the blank end of the year test) and be done...then fine.  They obviously know it if they can do THAT test without studying.

    2.  They don't have to fill out all the fill-in the blanks.  really...they'll live.  Instead use Charlotte Mason's technique and have them narrate what they just read.  You can't explain what you don't know and you're sure to find out what they do know.

    3.  If your kids are struggling with Math here's a couple of ideas:

    • Do the problems orally if they're little and struggling with writing and see #1.   
    • Play board games!   Almost every game has math of some sort in it.
    • Make them do one line and if they pass it skip the rest but if they miss any that's how many extra they have to do.  So for example, they get all right but one, so you'd make them do one more.  This plan works really well on those pages that are SOOO repetitive. 
    • Break up the day.  Do part in the morning, part at lunch, part before dinner (or whatever works for you).
    • Give'em a break every 10 minutes so it breaks up the monotony.  Especially if they're boys they need to MOVE so have them race around the house (outside!) or do jumping jacks or jump on a mini trampoline.   
    • Use a timer so they know when the break is coming OR use it to do beat the timer.  
    • Try having them stand to do it, that way they can move their legs and jitter around.   
    • Make sure they know their math's hard to do math when you don't know the facts so go over them at XtraMath ...or online games at Math PlaygroundABCya (math bingo is a favorite here!), Sheppard Software 
    • Use a sticky note on the front that has your list of things to work on.  Now make one sticky note a day with one of those problems from the pace (workbook, text) they struggled with for practice based on the sticky note you have on the front.  ONLY ONE PROBLEM!  You don't want to burn them out.  So, if they are struggling with fraction factors you have them do one sticky note problem a day for practice.  You put the sticky note problem on the pages they are doing for the day in the pace (workbook, textbook) or...realize they may not be ready for this portion of math yet and let it rest for a week or month and then come back....remember they are going at their pace.  They didn't learn to walk or talk on a schedule and math is no different.
    • If they are older and having trouble have them make flashcards of the rules.  Or you can make a game at Review Game Zone for them to practice the ideas or actual math problems.  You'll need to set up a parent account to start.  You can also track them if you do set up a parent account which is nice.

    4.  Split up the subjects through out the day OR do it in the afternoon OR evening!  Some kids (and adults) are not good at mornings so you can split the day up however YOU want because you're not doing school at home but homeschool.  If you do math before lunch and finish up with history as the read aloud at be it if it works!

    5.  Add some art study in there....are they studying volcanoes??  Look up some volcano art (yes there is some!) Let them study the art and then...get out the paints, crayons, scissors and try to create what they just saw.

    6.  Make each day of the week a special study day instead of daily. (aka block studying) Monday-History, get the idea.  Then find out more about that on that day after the workbook for that day is done.  Make your read-alouds only Living History on Monday or plan a trip to a living history museum on that day or watch a history documentary.  On Tuesday blow up that only my house??? LOL  but on Tuesday due all those fun science experiments or if you can't then get the InquisiKids Discover and Do DVDs or whatever is at the library's DVDs and watch science.  You can watch science documentaries on youtube or even better, you can watch it free on Genesis Science Network!

    7.  Play a certain composer during school time.  You could make it Beethoven for the entire month or just the week.   I guarantee you'll recognize his music after that time.  OR listen to hymns.  You can find a selection of hymns on youtube that you can play in the background.

    8.  Decide you'll quit at a certain time like noon.  Anything past that is homework for later for older kids or not at all. Again it's about balance and not burning you or the kids out. All day marathon sessions are going to kill everyone's joy.

    9.  Get outside!  Go to the park and do school there. Sometimes a change of pace makes all the difference. Since the kids aren't going to be doing every page now (right??..see #1) Let the littles run around and then settle down for a little session then let'em loose again.

    10.  If you have workbooks you can have the kids make collages out of their old workbooks or make cheat sheets ( I think they're called offices) with info they have learned.

    11.  Have older kids work with the younger kids.  It's amazing how it cements an idea when you have to teach it or grade it or listen and give some thoughts about it.  Besides part of being in a family is helping one another.  Even littles who can read can help with ones that can't by helping sound out letters and words or simply reading lovely books to them.  It amazes me how when a child teaches another child they do it in such a way that the younger one feels so special!

    13.  Have them read their workbook and not do the fill in the blanks. Then make a notebook page about it or they could make a movie or draw a picture (if they're real young) or even act it out.

    14.  If the kids are crying, someone has flushed a toy car down the toilet or you're all raging sick that isn't the time to try and get school done.  Time to pop in a book on tape, watch a documentary or science experiment and just be a family.  If you look at the schedule for a "typical" school year at public school you'll see there is about 180 days.  That's only a little over half a year.  Give yourself and the kids a break and school using technology...determined by you of course.  And if you're not big on "Glowing Screens"  than pop that book on tape in or start baking brownies...everyones happier with brownies!  Doesn't matter if it 9:30am  you can worry about nutrition at lunch..or dinner.  The point is if you design it so that you do school even half the year you're doing great and teaching them more about living life with grace and humility.

    Here's a post I did a while ago about add on's  to a literature based curriculum you may find useful

    Friday, November 3, 2017

    Genesis Science Network! - Homeschool Science the EASY way

    Oh my!!  What a resource this is!  If you homeschool for half a second you know that science shows on TV are NOT creation worries now because Genesis Science Network has you covered!  

    Seriously, this is very exciting and you can stream on most of your devices or watch on streaming TV through apps OR if you don't have those you can stream it on your computer. 

    They have 24 hour programing and while there is repeats it's so refreshing to be able to click this on and not have to do the usual..."no honey we don't believe we came from apes"  or  "no honey we don't believe the universe is 60 billion years old" bit.  Click the picture or here and GO DONATE so they stay on!

    We plan on using this for science this year..nice and easy for mommy ;)

    **I was not paid for this....we just love this channel!

    Tuesday, October 31, 2017

    Reformation Day - Martin Luther Was Anti-Semitic

    Today marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

    Like so many people we use to celebrate October 31 not with Halloween (a pagan holiday) but with Reformation Day....the celebration of Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses to the door of the church.   You know, Martin Luther...the guy who starts the Reformation and why we have a Protestant faith in the first place.  

    He's a big deal...except...I started finding out some pretty unpleasant and downright disgusting stuff about him AND what he wrote about Jews.  Need some proof?....I know what you might be thinking...Hey that's Wikipedia...anybody can write that stuff...Um...except the original is here.   He's basically talking about genocide...and we celebrate him? This is the same pamphlet that would get reprinted during Nazi Germany over and over...need I say more?

    As I started searching I found a lot of very knowledgable people trying to explain away the spewing of hatred in that pamphlet (and Martin Luther wrote others).  But here is the best essay I've seen about Martin Luther's "On The Jews and Their Lies" that points to the fact that he WAS  both anti-semitic and anti-Judaic.   

    Now if the Martin Luther thing isn't horrible enough...there is actually a sculpture (more like a bas relief) of something called a “Judensau” or “Jew pig” carving at the Wittenberg church where Martin Luther preached!  Here's an article about these anti-semitic sculptures....because there is more than one!  

    I think it's time we actually start teaching the truth about what our "church" leaders were really up to and the real church history.  I mean something is seriously broken when we make someone a hero (and teach it to our kids) who is capable of saying and inspiring such horrendous stuff.

    The best quote I think is from Dr. Christopher Probst, the author of the rebuttal article, on how to deal with this:

    If Protestant Christians are to sincerely proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples, including Jews, such an enterprise must be entered into with full knowledge of the horrendous mistakes – indeed sins - of Christian forebears, including Luther’s.  They cannot breezily dissociate themselves from their Christian past when it saves them embarrassment and shame to do so.  Protestant Christians also believe that Jesus died for sinners.  Public acknowledgement and confession of such sins can serve as an example of integrity and humility to others and be a means to make the Good News of Christianity attractive to them.

     "But you, explain what kind of behavior goes along with sound teaching. Tell the older men to be serious, sensible, self-controlled and sound in their trust, love and perseverance.

    Similarly, urge the young men to be self-controlled, and in everything set them an example yourself by doing what is good. When you are teaching, have integrity and be serious; let everything you say be so wholesome that an opponent will be put to shame because he will have nothing bad to say about us."
    Titus 2:1-2, 6-8

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