Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homeschooling is going great!

We're now in week 7 of homeschool and it's going great! I do feel like homeschool is consuming my life at times and I find that my "free time" is now going towards it... but I am trying to find a balance and trying to remind myself that I need time to myself, as well.

In the last couple of weeks, I have discovered that even though Landon may not need a math manipulative to figure out a math problem, he sure does work faster with them! I hear a lot less of, "I don't know, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm bored, etc..." when I give him something to do with his hands. 

He's been learning to tell time!

Saved up our water bottle lids to make these manipulatives! 

Nothing like a math test with a Super Hero! 

We've been playing lots of math games lately! Every Friday it is scheduled in our planner, but I sometimes just use in on the days he's feeling restless or Emmelyn isn't exactly letting me teach. It's kind of freebie buffer day. But, he loves "Game Day" as I call it! 

I think Science is probably his favorite subject! We don't follow a set order for the day as far as our curriculum goes. I tell him what we need to do for the day and let him choose. He usually picks science or his "I Can Read It" books. He's fascinated by all the animals in our Usborne science book!

Last week we were learning about South America!

And this week, we're learning about North America!

To go along with our animal studies, we decided to check out a nearby little farm. We hope to make it to the DC National ZOO, soon, as well! This was Emmelyn's first time around animals and she was thrilled! 

Crazy looking chicken we found!

We played a little putt-putt, too!

She was SO very excited about the ducks!!


And we rode on a train!

Oh, to be a kid again! He's so free!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Have you heard of Usborne Books?

I recently started selling Usborne Books & More! We've been reading them for years and have always loved them. It wasn't until we started homeschooling that I realized how much we actually were reading these books, though. A friend from our previous base was selling them and I thought to myself, "hey, I'm going to be buying a ton of these books, I might as well sell them, too!"  So, I dove in!

I thought I'd share Usborne Books with my readers just in case you all didn't know about them.

Usborne Books are the most exciting, engaging, and educational books on the market today. They are high quality, innovative, lavishly-illustrated and best of all they are the books kids love to read. Choose from almost 2000 bright colorful and fun titles covering a wide variety of subjects.

30 years ago Peter Usborne pioneered a new generation of books that prove that it is possible to create books that compete with the vast media that attracts children today. From activity books, to neat fiction series, to internet-linked science and history encyclopedias, Usborne does books better.

Check out our New titles or shop by category, or start with our great collections to build a wonderful library of books for your family!
Feel free to check out my Facebook fan page or my Independent consultant page to learn more!

By the way! There is a contest going on right now on the Facebook fan page where you can win a free book! Go enter now! :D

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Food Pyramid Lapbook!

Have you heard of lapbooking? 
Well, if you homeschool, I am sure you have. It's new to me, but we're new to homeschooling.
We did our very first lapbook on Monday and Landon loved it! He's been playing with it off and on all day and has asked a few times when we get to make another one! Good thing we have a few more planned in the next couple weeks!
 First off, we found this Food Pyramid Game where you sort the food into catergories (we left out oil because we didn't have room and it only had two items). We made pockets for the food so we can separate them out and place them inside.

For the smaller books I went over to Enchanted Learning and picked those up. (You need a subscription for this website, but it's fabulous!) I had Landon write the name of each food item and color the picture, then we cut out the rectangles and make a cover page. These are his "reference" books in case he isn't sure which category a food item goes in. On the back (not pictured) we have a food pyramid.

 He's so proud of his lapbook!

Have you made any? Do you like this type of learning? I really do, myself. I think it definitely helps reinforce what we're learning! What a great tool!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Baked Oatmeal is AWESOME!

This recipe has been FLYING around Pinterest! 
I think most all of my friends have pinned it... at least once! ;) 
I am not sure that any of them have tried it yet, though! 

But we have! 
And it's amazing!
Seriously, it's like eating dessert for breakfast.

First time I made it, I used blueberries. We're a family of 4 and the recipe feeds 6. 
Um, yea, we ate it all! 
My kids devoured it! 
And my son does not like oatmeal!!

The second time I made it I used apples, it totally could have had vanilla ice cream on top, but I suppose that would have defeated the purpose of it being "clean" and "healthy," right?

My son loved the apple version more than the blueberry! (Probably because he doesn't care for blueberries too much) I actually preferred the blueberry because they gave off more moister to the oatmeal where the apples did not. Next time I make the apple version I will add more milk. Other than that, it was delicious as well!

Please follow the recipe link at the top for this amazing oatmeal recipe! You won't regret trying this one out!

I need to make a double batch next time so we have some for the rest of the week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Carrot Cake Oatmeal (Clean!)

A few weeks back I made this delicious oatmeal and forgot to share it! 

Better late than never, right?

shredded carrots
pure maple syrup
vanilla extracts
Raisins or nuts (optional)

(You could also use pumpkin pie spice if you had it)

The amount you use really depends on how much you plan to make and your families preference. Honestly, I didn't measure anything, I just threw it together and taste tested. 

Hope you try it!

Since this was such a hit, the next day I made oatmeal the same way, but left out the carrots and added pumpkin puree. (Pumpkin pie oatmeal, what's not to love?) It was pretty good, but I have to say I prefer the Carrot Cake!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Classroom Redo!

We've only been homeschooling for about 6 weeks and we've already moved our classroom. Actually, we moved it about four weeks ago. Yes, it kind of sucked, but it really worked out for the best. Our old classroom was in the dining room and after a couple of weeks I decided to take my craft room that I had only just begun working on and give it up! Crazy right? I was a bit sad, but I knew it had to be done! I really wanted to have a dining room and a separate classroom space. Honestly, who has time to craft these days, anyway? I sure don't! All my time has been going to homeschool stuff! I still have a craft space, it's just not what I wanted and it's not set up... yet.

Anyway, on with the show... do you want to see the new room? I love it now! Don't get me wrong, I like the old room, too! But now it's pretty awesome! 

But, please!!!! Look pass the carpet... Ugh! 

This is where we do most of our work. The black box on the table is our work box and holds all the books we'll need for the week. Under the table and work box I keep my teachers manuals, curriculum and a few books. On the other end you can see our giant paper roll.
Above the work box we have the first black container that holds my pens, pencils, and markers, the next one holds colored pencils, the following one has paint brushes, and the last one has scissors and glue. Above that we have paint and glitter! On the top we have a punctuation chart I made for Landon as well as our maps.  Then of course on the side is the human body diagram.

Here is a close up of the punctuation chart if you'd like to make your own.

I am not 100% sure what to do with the fireplace, yet. I am thinking I will decorate it with seasonal artwork, or something. We'll see!

Inside my red chest I keep all of our school curriculum items. Top row holds all of our school books, middle row holds; language, math, and science. And the bottom row holds a few books that we've completed already and a few puzzles... odds and ends. 

On this wall, I am currently keeping the calendar accessories, though maybe I should keep them near the calendar. I don't think there is space, though. Anyway, August and the missing weather and season items are on the calendar. 

As you can see, I have extra wall space for later! Here I have Emmelyn's Busy boxes on the left side of the white table, I'll show more of those at the end. On top of the table I have my printer, pencil sharpener and laminator. I love that thing!

Inside I have our extra books they are separated by file folders into categories. Not all of our books fit though, so some are upstairs. I tried to keep the most educational ones in here, though.

For a close up of our calendar you can go here!

Today, I made this contraction caterpillar I saw on Pinterest for Landon. I think it's cute!

So, you're probably starting to wonder what is behind the curtain? Well, it use to be a laundry room. Our garage had been converted by the previous owner into a MIL suite and our family room (this room) was part of that area. So this door above is a bathroom (convenient for the school room) and the curtained area is the old laundry room.

I normally have a gate up right behind the curtain to keep grabby little hands out, but for the purpose of today, I don't. 

This is where I keep everything else. Oatmeal containers, egg cartons, art supplies, boxes, etc. The black file box on the bottom left holds file folder games and other fun stuff for later in the year.

The top three drawers contain art supplies while the bottom three hold paper products. 

Now, back to those busy boxes!
(Side note, this is turning into the longest blog ever...)

 From the bottom we have Mr. Potato Head, then foam rings (foam noodles cut up), pattern blocks, and then finger puppets, which are Emmelyn's favorite! (Found them on

Emmelyn also loves these pom poms! She loves to fill up her shape sorter and pour them out! Behind those we have her busy bags.

First bag contains a cupcake making kit, it's adorable! Next one is just laces for the foam rings and a lacing kit.

And then there is our wall clock, can't forget that! Landon's learning to tell time, so I drew up some quick circles and taped them to the clock, pretty easy!

Hope you've enjoyed our new classroom! 

We sure do!

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