Friday, June 1, 2012


 One of the things on our 'Things We Want to Do" list when we made the move from the suburbs to the country was to raise chickens for eggs.  My husband enjoyed having chickens when he was a child and wanted the kids to be able to experience that as well.

My daughter has been asking for chickens for the past few years, but it seemed to get bumped down to the bottom of the list.  We finally decided that now was the time!

After searching several of the local feed stores and finding that they had already sold out of their new chicks, we happened upon a very small feed store that had several breeds of 2 1/2 week old chick.  We decided to take 8 female Buff Orpingtons.

 These little things were so soft, sweet and fluffy!  We put them in an old metal wash basin in Isabel's bedroom with a heat lamp shining on them.  We had a mesh metal fire pit cover that we put on top to keep them from flying out, once they began to fly.

Every other day, Isabel put the chicks in a cardboard box while she cleaned out the nesting material in their basin.  When the weather warmed and they got bigger, we decided to put them in the grass with a circle of fencing material around them while she cleaned.  I had to sit right outside the circle and keep a close eye on them.  Sometimes they would go through the fence and needed to be put back in.  I kept a beach towel handy to drape and give them a little shade and to wave when a hungry hawk (or several) would circle above.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Continue the Blog Journey

It has been almost a year since our family finished our Homeschool Crew reviews.  We have had a lot going on since then.  

We have started our family on the Feingold Program .  Feingold is an elimination diet that helps to treat ADHD symptoms and is just a healthier way to eat.

We have been learning more about homesteading, becoming more self sufficient and knowing where our food is coming from.  Our first steps have been in starting a garden and raising chickens for eggs.  Gardening will, I think, always be a learning process.

I find the most useful ideas and suggestions for homeschooling, Feingold, chickens, and gardening on blogs.  I have decided to continue my blog and talk about my attempts, successes, and failures.  


Monday, May 16, 2011


WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press is our last review of the year. It is an amazing tool that we will be able to use for the rest of our homeschooling years.  You can buy the 350+ customizable, printable maps program in a cd format or download format, both for $49.95.

You can customize both modern and historical maps by using layers.  You can filter through each of the layers based on your needs.  Some of the layers are:
  • Borders (both State and Country)
  • Country and State names
  • Rivers
  • River names
  • Terrain
  • Physical features
  • Color or Black and white
  • Modern overlay on the historical maps (I love this one)
 With the modern maps your choices are: The World, Continents, Regions, Nations, US Regions and US States.  You can choose historical maps chronologically or use the maps that are designed to go with Mystery of History Volumes I (1st and 2nd ed.), II, as well as III and All American History I and II.  Another map option is Thematic Maps, which includes: American History, Explorers, Native Americans, World Wars, Biblical Maps, 20th C. Treaties, and Chinese Dynasties. 

There are also a ton of geography resources available in the program's Teacher's Guide.  Much of it was taken or adapted from another Big Ideas Press product, Hands-On Geography.  Another Big Ideas Press product I have reviewed in the past was a favorite of ours, Young Scholar's Guide to Composers

I have really enjoyed incorporating this product into our current history curriculum and I know that it will be a staple in our history from here on out.

*Disclaimer* I received this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

See the Light

See the Light is a video art course we reviewed, taught by a Master Artist, Pat Knepley.  We reviewed the first 4 lessons of the 36 lesson series.  The lessons were created for elementary aged students, but the quality of instruction would be great for middle school, high school or even adults who have little or no artistic training.  Bible passages are also incorporated into each lesson.

Isabel completed the first four lessons with three of her friends and they were all very engaged with the instruction.  All four of the girls learned a lot about the basics of drawing and were quite pleased with their individual art work.  They all would like to continue the entire series next school year.

Only basic supplies were needed for the first four lessons: pencil, eraser and paper.  Other than making sure the supplies were ready, there was no other parent prep needed.

There are several purchasing options available for See the Light.  You can order the entire 36 course DVD set for $99.99 or you can purchase an online subscription for $10 a month.  You can even try out the course for free!  You can request the first DVD for free or watch the first three lessons online.   

Other products available from See the Light are The Crossmaker DVD and The Gift of Love DVD .

*Disclaimer*  This product has been given to me free of charge for the purpose of my review.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

As a family, we really make an effort to try to eat healthy and take care of our bodies.  We try to make better food choices for ourselves, but don't always know exactly why these are better choices.  I was very excited to be able to review Nutrition 101: Choose Life! (priced at $99.95 for the book, $79.95 for the cd-rom, or $129.95 for both) by Growing Healthy Homes.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a fantastic, colorful, 488 page, unit study on the human body, how it works  and it's nutritional needs.  It doesn't just tell you what to eat and what not to eat.  It gives you tons of information about different foods and what each one does to or for your body.  You are then able to make informed choices.  The book includes six units:

  1. The Brain and Nervous System
  2. Digestion and Elimination
  3. Respiration and Olfactory
  4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  6. Endocrine System and Emotions

Each unit includes hands-on activities (elementary and secondary) and recipes that include the foods that help that system of the body!  My favorite part of the book is the Appendix, with over 125 pages of various printable lists, charts and recipes. We plan on printing many of the reference pages for daily use in our kitchen.

Click here to see a sample.

Tomorrow (April 21, 2011), Homeschool Blogger is offering a FREE webinar from Nutrition 101: Choose Life!.  To sign up, follow this link to register.

I am looking forward to both the webinar and to the rest of the unit study. While I thought I was ahead of the game, knowing a lot of the good and bad foods, I realized that I didn't know what the effects good and bad foods have on the body.  What we have covered so far has been extremely fascinating.  Some of it has been over Isabel's head, but she has gotten so much out of it.  Something I would have liked to see, though, is more pronunciation guides.

Other products by Growing Healthy Homes include Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies... (which is a free download in April) and  The Raw Food Feast: 7 Days Through the Rainbow .

Growing Healthy Homes is offering a 15% discount for blog readers.  Just enter code TOScrew11.

*Disclaimer* This product has been given to me free of charge for the purpose of my review.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Latin Alive

We have been reviewing Latin Alive Book One bundle by Classic Academic Press for several weeks now.  Latin Alive is a Latin language program designed to be used by Middle and High school students.  The Latin Alive Book One Bundle, priced at $139.95, includes Latin Alive One, Latin Alive One Teacher Edition and Latin Alive One DVD/CD.
The Latin Alive program has been very easy to use and learn from with no prior study of Latin.  Logan (13) is the one using the program and was only familiar with Latin roots from his Language Arts program, to aid in his English vocabulary.  This program has been very user friendly for me, the parent, as well.  

You can buy the book itself for $24.95, but I definitely recommend the use of the DVD.  The DVD is basically a Latin class taught by one of the program's creators, Karen Moore.  She goes through the chapters, exercises and answers with the viewers.  It is great to hear how the pronunciations are suppose to sound and hear explanations and comparisons to English grammar.

Several things about this program really held Logan's interest.  One is learning about the Latin on United States and State seals and why some of the symbols are included in them.  Another thing is the Chapter Reading and Culture Corner, which include stories and facts about Roman Culture.  He has always enjoyed Roman culture, history and mythology, so it makes it relevant to his interests.

For the parent, there are a lot of helpful teaching tools.  There are online games that kids can play, to reinforce their new vocabulary.  There are tons of pdfs, charts, correction sheets and an mp3 on the Free Resources page.  One of the greatest tools available, is a yahoo group you can join and ask any questions you have, that can be answered by other parents or the program creator, Karen Moore.

Other products that are available from Classical Academic Press are Latin For Children and Song School Latin  both have also been reviewed by The Homeschool Crew.

*Disclaimer* This product has been given to me free of charge for the purpose of my review.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's JournalIn my life this week... This week was really cold.  We had rolling blackouts and realized how cold our 115 year old house can get, even if the power is only out for 30 minutes!  The kids were hoping for snow, but all we got was some freezing rain.

In our homeschool this week... We took a break from formal work this week.  After the freezing rain, the kids went outside and explored outside.  They (Logan) knocked down the icicles from the walkway roof and were fascinated with the ice covered plants.  

Places we're going and people we're seeing... All of our activities were canceled for the week, so we stayed home and relaxed.

My favorite thing this week was...Warming up when the electricity would come back on.

What's working/not working for us...As we did no formal work this week, the week was filled with exploring, imaginative play, tv and video games.  It all worked.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... I am just thinking about getting this week planned.  I am hoping our next review, Latin Alive, arrives so we can dig in.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share... I really want to make this Monkey Bread Recipe this week, using the dinner roll recipe I love!

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