Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012-2013 Curriculum Choices

Day 2 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Topic:  Curriculum


Like most homeschool Mommas, curriculum makes me giddy.  There is something about starting a brand new study or a new book with crisp clean pages that makes me happy on the inside.  This obsession great interest is one of the reasons I'm thrilled to be a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  This past year with TOS has introduced my family to some wonderful products.  You will see that our experiences greatly influenced our curriculum choices for the 2012-2013 school year.  (All titles in red were decided upon after using a crew review product.)  I anticipate that the crew will give us many more items to add to this list as the year goes on :-)   
Jeremiah & Caleb (2nd Grade)

  • Horizons Math 2
  • All About Reading (finish 1 & 2)
  • All About Spelling (finish 1 & 2)
  • A Reason for Handwriting
  • Explode the Code (supplemental)
Product Details        3. Handwriting Level B Student Worktext

All About Spelling Level 1 Materials (1 Teacher's Manual and 1 Student Packet) All About Reading Level 2 Teacher's Manual Only    All About Spelling Level 2 Materials (1 Teacher's Manual and 1 Student Packet)
Rachel (Kindergarten)
  • Horizons Math K
  • All About Reading Level Pre-1
  • Get Ready, Get Set, & Go for the Code
  • A Reason for Handwriting - K
Horizons Kindergarten Math Student Book 2(Divider Cards not shown) 1. Handwriting Level K Student Worktext

    • Bible /Apologetics:  Apologia - Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?
    Who Is God? (and Can I Really Know Him?): Worldview Series [Book]
    • Writing:  Write Shop A
    WriteShop Primary Book A (Teacher's Guide) - Print Edition
    • Science:  Apologia - Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
    Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the 5th Day (Apologia Science Young Explorers)
    • History:  Mystery of History: Vol 1 
    The Mystery of History Vol I 2nd Edition
    • Various read-alouds, fine arts, physical education, and unit studies

    Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett 




    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Miscellany Monday - Mostly "The Home Edition"

    It seems I'm behind on updates, so hear is a random post.  Well, probably not so random since it will revolve around our preparations to move... like everything these days.

    1)  House updates:  we now have a new roof, new gutters, a re-surfaced driveway, improved landscaping, a new front door, new flooring in the kitchen, updates fixtures in the bathroom, and an in-process decluttered house.  Still to come:  a painter for the entire interior, new windows across the front of the house, ripping out carpet in our bedroom, and continued decluttering.

    2)  Due to our decluttering efforts, we have made so many trips to Goodwill in the past couple weeks that Rachel has decided she would like to work there someday.  High aspirations :-)

    3)  It is so freeing to get rid of the massive amount of STUFF we have accumulated.  The kids have their toys organized in bins in their room.  They can actually find what they want to play with now that we've cleared out all the junk.  They have been real troopers and totally get giving things away.  I love their generous spirits and their lack of attachment to the "things" in their life.  I thought there would be more battles, but they honestly gave possessions away freely knowing they would bless others.  (Insert Proud Mommy moment!)

    4)  I have no clue when our house will actually be on the market.... really hoping in the next couple weeks.  Sooner the better in my book!

    5)  This past week, I took a whirlwind, overnight trip to Nashville to scope out a house with the hubs.  It would have been fine, but not quite what we're looking for so we decided no.  That stinks, but it was good to have a little time with Jon during the week.  The kids got to spend a couple nights with friends and swim which they loved, so it all worked out well.

    6)  The rental house hunt in Nashville is proving more difficult than we had hoped.  It seems everyone has an opinion on where to and where not to live, but none of them align.  I'm coming to the conclusion that every suburb/community has a great area and not so great area.

    7)  Since the for-sure decision is to simply rent for a year, I suppose I'm ok living about anywhere.  However, when it comes to buy, I think I'm going to be pretty picky.  I was always just "ok" with this house.  It has served our purposes well and has been a nice place to live, but I have more requests for our next home.  I want to REALLY LIKE it... if not LOVE IT!!!  My main request SPACE... if we're going to fill it up with kiddos we have to have room for them :)  Space for visitors would be nice too.

    8)  Due to storm damage, we were without power for 40 hours this weekend.  Therefore, our realtor couldn't come take pics as planned, and my to-do-list didn't get tackled with as much vigor as I had hoped.  Ughhhh!  In addition, this prego Momma was hot, irritable, and emotional.  I had a stress-induced, ugly cry, meltdown Saturday just because I'm a bit overwhelmed.  It seems that no matter how much progress is still being made there is still so much to do.  Combine that with pregnancy hormones and solo-parenting throughout the week, and I think a breakdown was warranted. 

    9)  I miss having my hubby home all the time :)

    10)  We are in the beginning stages of chores and allowance.  There isn't a concrete system in place, but $$$ is definitely a motivator.  I'm getting lots of help around the house.

    11)  I miss having a lazy summer or at least a busy FUN summer.  We've been tied to the house as of late, so the kids haven't gotten to be out and about enjoying all the great activities offered this time of year.  Yes, I do feel tremendous Mommy guilt for this :(  If we can just hold on to September, we'll all enjoy a much needed beach vacay!

    12)  I'm in homeschool planning limbo.  I wanted to start early since we'll take off a bit when the baby is born.  However, I'm not sure how in depth I want to get knowing a move is just a few weeks out.  A dilemma that I have yet to solve. 

    13)  I have an idea for a modified workbox system for this year, but I've not had the time to sit down and really iron out how it will operate. 

    14)  Prego update... I'm 18 weeks.  At my 16 week appointment, I was told to gain weight.  It's not often fat girls get that direction :)  I've tried to be more conscious about that the past couple weeks, but only little progress has been made.  I have a feeling I'll be hearing more about that in a couple weeks.  While I may have only gained 4 pounds to date, my belly suggests otherwise.  It has popped way out and I'm noticeably prego... not the awkward is she just fat or is there something baking in that oven guessing game.  It's obvious.

    15) I can feel the wiggle baby moving and that's always fun.  Can't wait till Jon and the kiddos can feel too... I think that will make it more real to the littles.  Although, I've noticed the past week that Caleb especially is all cuddly resting his head on my belly a lot.  Maybe he's getting it a little more!

    16)  August 13th, we find out pink or blue.  Then, I'll have to get Jon to take my let's choose a name game seriously.  Trying to find something he doesn't veto is nearly impossible, but I have a couple favorites.  I'm holding out hope!!! 

    17)  My batteries got recharged at church yesterday.  Great worship, our preacher was back with a wonderful message, and there were lots of baptisms.  Praise God!!!

    miscellany monday at lowercase letters

    Method to Our Madness

    It's TIME!!!!  The Schoolhouse Review Crew welcomes you to the
    Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!
    Today's Topic:  Homeschool Methods


    So this homeschool thing, how exactly does it work?  Do the kids sit in little desks, raise their hands, and call me Mrs. Wells certain hours of the day?  Does chalk dust fly after we say the pledge and complete silent reading?  Yeah... not so much. 

    While there are some homeschool families who choose to school-at-home or replicate the public schools, there are many other methods used such as:  Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unschooling, Unit Studies, Notebooking/Lapbooking, Delight-Directed, Computer-Based Distance Learning, etc.  I can't say that we fit neatly under any of these headings.  Eclectic probably fits us best with a bent towards Unit Studies and quality Literature.

    Starting out, based on others glowing recommendations, I went with a boxed curriculum.  While some elements were a good fit, we dumped the rest before Christmas.  Then, through reviewing products, lots of research and blog following, and really getting to know how my kids learned best, I began piecing things together.  At this point, it seems that we pull each subject from a different source.  With the boys working as 2nd graders this year, I've amped up the rigor of our studies and added a couple subjects for the coming year.   It will be interesting to see how that works.

    While some subjects such as math still remain very paper and pencil driven, my wiggly boys and short attention span gal get so much more out of our homeschool when we use a very hands-on, experience-based approach.  Yes, I'm a stickler for using proper terminology, but even in my public school classroom days, I always wanted my students to have the opportunity to discover an idea/concept/etc. through their senses before ever naming or labeling it.  Why?  You are much more likely to remember what you saw, heard, touched, etc. and the emotion you felt than a random vocabulary word.  Experience first allows the kids to firmly embed the information before being responsible for rattling off facts and figures.  Because of this theory, we  LOVE field trips and try to include them often in our homeschool.

    In all honestly, I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to homeschool.  However, in knowing your children, you will be able to tailor the method to what serves them best.  This is one of the great beauties and freedoms we enjoy as homeschoolers.  We don't have to operate under a cookie-cutter mold mentality that is aimed at the middle of the road student and leaves the gifted and struggling students behind.  Instead, we can challenge our kids in areas they excel, give them extra assistance where weaknesses lie, expose them to the vast world and many cultures that surround us, foster a life-long love and learning, build and strengthen the family unit, and most importantly in my book, teach them to surrender to and serve Almighty God on a daily basis. 

    Take a little hop by clicking the links to the participating blogs below.  You'll find a wide variety of homeschooling methods are employed within this group.  If you look closely, you'll find some amazing giveaways too.  Stop back by tomorrow and peruse the curriculum our family will be using in the 2012-2013 school year. 

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    HearBuilder Following Directions (Review)

    Don't you ever listen to a word I say?  Really, how many times do I have to repeat myself?  For the fourth time, please go do....  Does this sound familiar?  At my house, I find myself saying these things repeatedly.  "Listen - The First Time" is quoted so often, but unfortunately, it is still a struggle. 


    When HearBuilder Following Directions showed up on the Schoolhouse Review Crew's vendor interest form, I knew this was a product needed in our home.  This CD-rom software program is designed specifically for children ages 4-9.  It improves their auditory skills and teaches them to follow increasingly difficult directions.  All of this is accomplished in a playful, non-threatening atmosphere as the kids are acquiring these skills while learning to be "master toymakers."  Hmmm... what a concept!  Insert toys and kids seem motivated to learn about anything :)

    Available for use with either Windows of Mac, HearBuilder Following Directions has children demonstrating knowledge of 40 basic concepts in five areas:
    • Basic Directions (colors: red, blue, green, yellow)
    • Sequential Directions (first, second, third, next, then, last)
    • Quantitative and Spatial Directions (choose all, both, none, one, two)
    • Temporal Directions (before, after)
    • Conditional Directions (if, then)

    While all of the kids have used this program, the boys weren't as in to it as I had hoped.  I suppose being used to playing games on the XBOX or DSi, this game didn't hold their attention as well.  Rachel seems to be benefiting the most from the focused study on listening carefully and developing the necessary auditory skills for following directions.  She is working hard and progressing through the program.  When she completes her work, I will definitely have her start the program again and work though at a higher level.  The ability to individualize the program and set the level of difficulty are educator features that I both appreciate and utilize.  Additionally, educators can identify and print learning objectives, add background noise at any level, monitor progress, track data, and print customized reports. 

    Below, you can watch a video with more information on HearBuilder Following Directions. The home edition of this product retails for $69.95.  Then, with any $20 minimum order, the USA and Canada get FREE SHIPPING.  As if that's not already a fantastic deal, Super Duper Publications is offering an additional 30% off Hear Builder Following Directions until August 31, 2012
    Use Coupon Code: BLGFD30.

    PhotobucketMembers of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a couple other Super Duper Publications products: HearBuilder Auditory Memory and Jeepers Peppers.  Be sure and click the button below to read the reviews.  Also, I encourage you to view the Super Duper Publications catalog  online or request a print catalog.


    Disclosure: I was provided this product free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Coming Soon - Back to Homeschool Blog Hop


    The Schoolhouse Review Crew will really be hopping July 30-August 3, 2012.  Happily hopping for the 5 Days of Blogging — Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!  Along with over 70 members of the Crew, I will be sharing a bit about our homeschool and our preparations for the new school year.  Learn more about our methods, curriculum, planning, classrooms, and co-op participation.   

    While I'll be posting on the daily topics, I'm most excited to read what my fabulous crew mates have to share.  I know they will have incredible tips, thoughts, and ideas.  Check out the list of great bloggers participating, and be sure to stop by next week and glean from their wisdom.  I do know some blogs have some incredible giveaways that will be going on, and you don't want to miss out! 

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Fungus Fighting Success


    100 tubes of anti-fungal cream are on their way to AHOPE.

    Because of your generosity, some little ones in Ethiopia will get some sweet relief.  The HIV+ children at AHOPE for Children will have the medicinal cream they need to treat the fungus that runs so rampant.  Thank you so much for your partnership in attending to the needs of the very least of these.

    Not only do you have my thanks, but AHOPE extends their great appreciation as well.

    I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your hard work. To you and those who donated, our heartfelt thanks!

    Best wishes,
    Leslie C. Wadler
    Development Director

    AHOPE for Children

    Keyboarding for the Christian School (Review)

    Procrastination...  I've been one to do it my whole life.  Maybe I work best under pressure?  Maybe I'm lazy?  Not sure of all the whys and what fors, but I know it to be truth. 

    One thing I put off was learning how to type.  It was actually the last semester of my senior year of high school when I finally joined the freshmen in Keyboarding class.  Most of my school career, I got away with turning in handwritten papers much to the chagrin of some of my teachers since my signature writing style is a unique mixture of curly-cue cursive and slanted print.  Then, for the few things I had to type, I employed the ever popular hunt-and-peck method or had my Mom type it for me. 

    Knowing that college was in my future, I bit the bullet and learned to type.  Turns out it is quite the valuable skill :-)  In this case, I don't want my children to follow in my footsteps.  Being that technology surrounds us, it is important that my kids are computer literate and comfortable with their fingers on the keyboard even at this early age.  


    As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I had the opportunity to review Keyboarding for the Christian School with my children.  Being that they are 5, 6, and 7, I selected the large font elementary version.  A cute little lady bug, Mabel, introduces each of the 32 lessons - all of which contain a Scripture verse and detailed instructions.  The content covered includes: technique and posture, alphabetic keys, numbers and symbols, the numeric keypad, centering, and enumerated lists.

    Geared for students in K-5th grade, the pacing is slow and steady.  Children are introduced to new letters gradually, practice patterns, and then promote to words.  This traditional approach probably resembles the way in which you learned to type. 

    Since the majority of homeschools operate on a 36 week calendar, this e-book is perfect.  Having 32 lessons and concluding with 10 timed writing exercises, one lesson each week would still give your kids ample time to complete the Keyboarding for the Christian School program.

    My little ones are working rather slowly through the program, but they are having a grand time.  The only snag has been their small hands.  They do have difficulty staying in home position and reaching all the keys.  However, this little issue hasn't dampened their enthusiasm.  Do I think they could sit down and type a polished paper at this point?  No.  Do I think they are very familiar with the keyboard and have memorized the location of many of the keys?  Absolutely!

    Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Edition, is available in both regular and large font.  Both e-books retails for $12.95.  However, for a limited time, the author is offering my readers a discount.  Use the code: SUMMER2012 to receive 20% off.  This offer is only available through 8/29/12, so don't delay! 

    As always, I encourage you to give the Sample Lessons a try.  This will allow you to determine if this program is a good fit for your family.  Likewise, you are going to want to click the button below to read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew members are saying. 

    Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary e-book in exchange for my honest review.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Dining Under the Sea

    Can't help but wish the whole family was together in Nashville, TN... I'm sure not a shocker to anyone.  We all definitely miss having Daddy home.  Thank goodness for Skype, cellphones, and texting :-)

    In thinking of the south, I realized that I never posted pics from our whirlwind trip down and back a couple weekends ago.  We were basically surveying the area and looking at housing options, but we were able to squeeze in a little fun.  The kids always enjoy swimming in a hotel pool, and we hit Opry Mills Mall briefly on our way home. 

    Our mall stop made it possible for us to dine under the sea at the Aquarium Restaurant.  This restaurant boasts a 200,000 gallon tank that is home to a variety of fish, sharks, and stingrays.  We even saw a couple divers go in as well.  It was a neat experience, and the kiddos loved it!

    Apologia: Who Is My Neighbor? (Review)

    In product reviews, I try to be quite objective - sharing my honest opinion while pointing out the pros and cons for various families.  However, whenever you read an Apologia review from me, it seems as if I'm gushing, but I just can't help myself.  I LOVE this company, all it stands for, the fabulous staff, and the amazing quality materials.  All the way around, I'm completely impressed with Apologia.  So much so, that I've already slated 2 titles for my kiddos 2012-2013 Curriculum. 

    Since being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I've had the opportunity to review How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, Educating the WholeHearted Child, and Who Am I? and What Am I Doing Here?, which is the second title in the What We Believe series.  Most recently, I've had the opportunity to review the third book in the award-winning series, Who is My Neighbor? And Why Does He Need Me?  As expected, it did not disappoint!


    The third book in the award-winning What We Believe series helps children understand what it means to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-14). This study will encourage kids to develop a Christlike servant attitude based on these biblical truths: God created me to be a blessing to the world; God chooses to work through me; I can make a difference at home, in my community, and at church; the church is God's family; the church is one body with many gifts; and I am an important member of Jesus' body.

    This worldview curriculum is suggested for children ages 6-14.  With text written directly to the student, those reading at a 5th-6th grade level could successfully complete this program independently.  Younger students will need a parent to assist or read aloud.  This truly is a perfect multi-age curriculum.  Thus, might I suggest that even if your students can easily tackle the reading alone that you use this study together as an entire family.  There is so much "meat," Scripture, and wonderful lessons to be learned.  Likewise, the discussions that can be facilitated and generated are equally valuable as your family embraces the gifts we've each been given and a spirit of servanthood. 

    Who is My Neighbor? And Why Does He Need Me? is divided into the following 8 main themes:
    1. Does Anyone Really Need Me?
    2. How Can I Make a Difference?
    3. Who Is My Neighbor?
    4. Why Did God Make Families?
    5. What Can I Do For My Country?
    6. Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
    7. Who Is God's Family?
    8. Why Does the Church Need Me?
    While you have the freedom to work at your own pace, the recommended schedule in the book affords 3 weeks to complete each lesson.  Working with small chunks was perfect for my 3 little ones, so we are currently wrapping up our study of the second theme.  In lesson 1, the kids really enjoyed reading the story of the Chang family, the race car illustration, and learning that they are on this earth to make a difference.  Highlights of lesson 2 have been reading about hamburgers, patterning after Jesus washing one another's feet, and talking about sacrifice.  I encourage you to view a sample lesson to get your own feel for the content. 

    Within the lessons you will find:
    The Big Idea-Main topic of each lesson and brief overview of what has been learned so far
    What You Will Do- states learning objectives of the lesson
    Short Story-Short story with characters in the age range of the children studying the lesson that give a glimpse into their lives with differing worldview and shows concepts taught in the lesson.
    Think About It-thought provoking questions digging deeper into the story
    Words You Need to Know-vocabulary words and definitions
    Hide It In Your Heart-2 specific memory verses for your children to memorize. The first expresses the main theme of the lesson the second pertains to a character trait.
    Integrated Learning-interesting articles designed to help the children pursue the books concepts across the fields of art, math, science, history, and more.
    What Should I Do-tools to show the children how to apply the lesson to real life
    Prayer-prayer to acknowledge the gifts of God and thank him for what He has done
    Encounters with Jesus-story adapted from Scripture but fictional to help students explore how Jesus showed God's love in their time of need providing them with examples to follow.
    Take A Closer Look-discussion questions to help children think about how Jesus' deeds impacted those He met
    House of Truth-4 lessons end with a new part of the House of Truth being added on. House of Truth is a visual aid that has been built over the course of all three books. Students can draw it or build with items around their house.
    PhotobucketTo accompany the text, there is a jam-packed notebooking journal.  ON the pages you will find a variety of mini-books, crossword puzzles, word searches, questions, writing prompts, vocabulary, prayer pages, and praise reports.  Due to the age of my children, I did not have them complete any of the written work in the journal.  Instead, I used it as a guide in our discussion and was able to pull some great questions from the pages.  Completing some of the activities orally is a great option for younger students.  Take a minute to view a sample

    PhotobucketSince the journal was a little about their skill level, the coloring book was perfect for my kiddos.  There are beautiful illustrations for children to color that coincide with the lessons being learned.  View a sample page

    I also want to make you aware that while there really is no teacher prep involved in this course of study, there are free online helps available.  Using the password information included in the book, parents will have access to lesson overviews, objectives, suggested activities, child-directed discussion questions, and a recommended reading list for further study.  These are all great resources to have at your fingertips.   

    Like the other titles in the series, Who is My Neighbor? And Why Does He Need Me? retails for $39.00.  The notebooking journal is available for $24.00, and the coloring book can be purchased for $8.00.  Click HERE to purchase any of these materials.

    Each book in the What We Believe series can stand alone, but they would best be read in order. For that reason, after reviewing Who Am I? and What Am I Doing Here? this past February, I decided that I wanted my family to go through the entire series. For that reason, I'm choosing to stop where we are in the 3rd book, because the children and I will begin learning from the very first book Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him? when we resume homeschooling in a few short weeks. I look forward to working through the whole series and adding the fourth book, What On Earth Can I Do?, to our collection when it becomes available later this year. 


    Disclaimer:  I was provided the textbook, notebooking journal, and coloring book free of charge in exchange for sharing my honest, unbiased opinion.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Professor B (Review)

    Professor B Math is an educational website designed to make the parent/educator an “instant master teacher" in the subject of math with literally no advanced preparation.  The focus age range for students is Pre-K through 8th grade.  However, the FAQ page mentions that students as young as 3 can be taught.  The program is divided into 3 levels as described below. 

    Pre-K though 2nd graders and remediation of older learners.
    Introduction to Addition/Subtraction Facts - Counting to One Hundred - Lower Addition and Subtraction - Higher Addition and Subtraction - Place Value Fractional Parts & Order - Time - Money
    3rd grade through 5th grade and remediation of older learners.
    Multiplication/Division Facts and Problem Solving - Introduction to Fractions - Fractional Equivalence - Addition and Subtraction Fractions

    6th through 8th grades and remediation of older learners.
    Multiplication/Division of Fractions - Decimals - Percents

    To determine which level in which to start your child, take advantage of the free placement test.

    Professor B Math by intention is neither a game or interactive.  In fact, it utilizes no sound and operates similarly to a PowerPoint presentation.  While the animated Professor B is to be the teacher, the parent is actually voicing his speech bubbles.  Therefore, the parent must be present for the entire lesson.  Along with the lesson, a PDF workbook is available to print if you desire.  Although, it is important to note that not all lessons have an accompanying workbook page. 

    PhotobucketOn the website, Professor B Math states that a child can learn three years of math in each level! Obviously, that would be dependent upon how much time is spent on the subject, but an average of 10-45 minutes a day is recommended. Since I have not utilized the program for such a length of time, I will refrain from commenting whether or not that claim is true. I'd encourage you to read the FAQ page to learn more. Honestly, what I take away from it is that you can control the pacing of the program. 

    I find the pricing information on the website somewhat confusing, but it is as follows:
    *1 level $20 a month
    *2 levels $35 a month
    *3 levels $45 a month
    *Or $100 for 3 years of access to a single level. (This yearly price is not currently reflected on the website, but it should be soon.) 

    To get a free trial or to purchase the 3 years of access, you will need to call 678-765-6655.

    • Unique explanations & presentation of concepts
    • Effective tool for remediation or troubleshooting problem areas
    • Thorough coverage
    • No teacher prep work needed
    • Downloadable PDF workbook 
    • Lacks interactive features
    • No sound - thus requiring the parent to read all the information
    • Children unable to work independently (teacher-intensive)
    • No tracking system to remember where you previously left off
    • Does not have a feature to assess student or generate progress reports 
    • Navigation of PDF workbook - a little tricky to find corresponding pages for lessons
    In closing, I definitely would not view Professor B Math as a stand alone curriculum for my children.  I think it is an excellent parent resource and could easily serve as a supplement or used for remediation.  I do believe that it is a methodical approach and some of the explanations given are unique and think outside of the box.  I could see how it simplifies some often confusing concepts and breaks it in to manageable chunks.  While it would not be feasible for me as a parent of multiple children to use this program exclusively due to the time demands of sitting with each child at the computer, this may be an excellent option if you are homeschooling only one child. 

    Disclaimer:  I was provided complimentary access to the Professor B Math program in exchange for my honest review. 

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Anti-fungals for AHOPE - an update

    As you recall, a little over a week ago, I put out a plea for my family, friends, FB followers, and blog readers to join me as FUNGUS FIGHTERS.  I'm so happy to report that we are nearing our goal of 100 tubes of anti-fungal cream to donate to AHOPE for Children, which cares exclusively for HIV+ children in Ethiopia.  Combined monetary and cream donations has our current total at 85 tubes!  Hooray!!!!  A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have contributed to this supply drive.

    AHOPE is so appreciative of the donations because it is ever so difficult for them to obtain medicinal creams in sufficient quantities. As I mentioned before, basic over-the-counter items are desperately needed to treat skin conditions, cuts, scrapes, etc., that you would expect from kids in general and specifically in a large group of kids living in close quarters. Thanks to your generosity a huge need is being met. 

    It is not too late to join the Fungus Fight since I'll be collecting the creams until July 15th.  We are 15 tubes away from our goal, and honestly, I think it would be a wonderful blessing to AHOPE if we are able to surpass it!!!!  Can you help make this happen?  Ways to help... Pick up 1 tube (or more) of anti-fungal cream... specifically Tinactin (Tolnaftate) and/or Lamisil (Allylamines).  Feel free to purchase the cheaper store brand as long as it contains the same active ingredient.  If it is more convenient, you can make a monetary donation.  Email me at angwells79@gmail.com for my mailing address or PayPal address. 

    Profile Picture

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential - Book Club

    The Pelsers 7 Tools Book ClubAmanda, who blogs at The Pelsers, is hosting a book club that I'm very excited to be participating in.  From July 9 - September 13, we will be reading 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential by Zan Tyler.   I've got the book loaded on my Kindle, have printed off the journal/study guide, and joined the FB group.  Reading a chapter a week is very doable and will allow for plenty of time to reflect, and I love the fact there are so many others reading and discussing this book.  What a wonderful community!  

    The following statement from the book's description sums up what I hope to glean from this study.  As you read, you will find exciting ways to enable your kids to establish a godly identity, discover their purpose, develop a biblical worldview, and build leadership and communication skills.  Sounds good, huh?  Well, it's not too late to join... this week we're just reading the introduction and appendix.  Check out all the details HERE.

    For those book club members visiting The Wellspring of Life for the first time, WELCOME!  I'm so glad you stopped by.  A little bit about me...  I'm Angela.  I have the most wonderful hubby and three precious children.  Caleb is affectionately referred to as my hubby's "mini-me" since their resemblance is so striking, and Jeremiah and Rachel, our Ethiopian cuties, came home Feb. 2010.  We are all beyond blessed.  Also, we announced not long ago that we are expecting a little one in December, so more exciting times for our family.  If you stick around the blog awhile, you'll see that I post about my faith and God's many blessings, my funny kiddos, our homeschooling journey, and I passionately advocate for adoption and orphan care.  Now, don't be a stranger! 

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Family Fun on the Fourth

    While we usually stay in town on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks over the State Capitol Building, this year we spent the evening at my sister's house.  My parents were there, but we missed Matthew, Megan, and Malachi.  Still... a festive time was had by all! 

    Due to the crazy heat we are experiencing, the dining was moved indoors.  (This prego Momma was all in favor of that!)  Prior to gorging ourselves on burgers and dogs, we enjoyed Despicable Me as pre-dinner entertainment.  After dinner, the choice was Puss in Boots.  As you can see, my Dad and Rachel got cozy on the floor.  She insisted he cover up with Auntie Val's prized zebra print blankie.
    Aren't they cute?!!

    Papaw shared or just got hot :-)
    When the temp was a little under 95, we took the party outside for some cornhole or beanbag toss as the kids called it.  Uncle Adam played with the kids before the adults took a turn.  We all got some good laughs... especially watching Caleb!  He had such interesting form - if you could even call it that?

    Turn sideways, bend over, pretend to surf, squint one eye, stick your tongue out... and you too can play cornhole like Caleb!

    About 9:30 p.m., the neighborhood block party launched their fireworks.  It wasn't too shabby... from what I understand about $1400 was spent on fireworks.  (I LOVE FIREWORKS, but I'd never sink that kind of money in to them to entertain the neighbors.)  Then, we were able to see Richmond's fireworks from Adam & Val's driveway as well, so I think we scored well in the fireworks department. 

    When the fireworks show wrapped up, we quickly piled the kids in the van and headed home.  With a bedtime of 11:30 p.m., I thought for sure we'd sleep in today.  Unfortunately, no!  Two were up before 7 :(  Oh well - early bedtime tonight :)  It was wonderful to be with family yesterday and to celebrate the many freedoms we are afforded in the USA.  However, what brings me even greater joy is that as a family, we have all found true freedom in Christ!  Hmmm... I'm thinking the fireworks in Heaven will be beyond amazing. 

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    A Break to Monkey Around

    Mommy guilt it tough.  Working Mom, work-at-home Mom, stay-at-home Mom, I'm beginning to realize that none of us are immune or seem to escape it.  With the dreaded heat, the kids have been unable to play outdoors as much as they like.  Then, I've been up to my elbows in dust and dirt cleaning/purging/decluttering the house getting it ready to go on the market, so I've been somewhat elusive and unavailable.  Therefore, my children have been entertained by rectangles for the past week.  TV, DSi, XBOX... the dreaded rectangles.  Hopefully, the kids brains haven't completely rotted and turned to mush.

    Most likely, we would have been wise to tackle yet another to-do project over the weekend, but we ALL needed a break.  So... to Monkey Joe's we headed.  The kids had such a good time bouncing, sliding, running, and jumping.  It was good to see them being the active kids they are rather than the couch potatoes circumstances seemd to allow them to become. 

    It was still pretty hot, so playtime wasn't as long as usual.  However, it was a much enjoyed and appreciated family outing.  Less than two weeks away, Jon heads to Nashville to start his new job.  We have lots and lots to accomplish between now and then, but we also know we must have some fun, family time too!