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Showing posts from June, 2012

Summer To-Do's

So far this summer has been a busy one for my family. Now busy does not always equate good, but in this case our busy summer has been pretty good. It's also been pretty productive. So I guess you might say it's been really good. A summer that has enabled us to relax as a family and get a few things crossed off the never-ending to-do list.

I won't bore you by blabbing about every little thing we've done. But I will encourage you to think of all the ways this summer has been a blessing for your family (since the whole intent of this blog is to encourage my fellow homeschooling mothers).  How have you enjoyed simply spending time together, doing something you don't do during the cooler months of the year? Any items on your to-do list that you have been able to cross off? And what about any extra surprises that have blessed you, big or small?

We've had some big surprise blessings, some little surprise blessings, made terrific memories, gotten a lot of things done…

A Schoolhouse Crew Review ~ IXL

IXL.com is an online site offering more than 2,000 skills in the math realm from pre-K to Algebra. IXL allows multiple students from the same family to use the website, and has a place for parents to see how well their child/children are learning. Basically, skills are divided by grade and students work their way through problem sets and upon completion of a set of problems, rewards are earned. Questions answered correctly lead to more difficult problems. When a problem is answered incorrectly, the student is given the correct answer and has the option to move on to the next problem or to see a detailed explanation of how to solve the problem correctly. You may want to read that last sentence one more time, because that, my friends, is what makes IXL a program worth using in our homeschool.

Problems in each set are unique, so the student won't see the same problem again and again. And each explanation is specific to each missed problem. These two factors makes IXL an online math p…

A Day to Celebrate Dads

As a mom who has been homeschooling for a L-O-N-G time, a product reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, contributing writer to a few different homeschool publications, author of a Bible study for homeschooling mothers, and owner of this blog, you can imagine how much of my time is focused on "the Mom". Today, however, is all about dads!

A world without fathers would be a terrible place, wouldn't you agree? Our strong and capable leaders, our providers and our shoulders to cry on, our comforters and our biggest fans; that's what dad's are, both to their daughters and to their wives. We often become so busy with our own day-to-day lives as homeschooling moms that we forget how much dads mean to us. We forget how much they do for us. And we forget how blessed we are that God in His infinite wisdom gave them to us. It's a beautiful sign of His perfect love that dads roam this earth. We need them, and today is a great day to let the dads in your life know the…

Schoolhouse Review Crew Product Review ~ Creation Illustrated

Many within the homeschool community have heard of Creation Illustrated magazine. It's a tried-and-true resource for Christians that has been providing quality reading material for many years. Needless to say, I was very happy when I received a full year's worth of issues in the mail! Yea, I did a happy dance...

Before I tell you all about this wonderful product, and share how my family used it in our homeschool, let me give you a little history. Creation Illustrated has been published quarterly by a homeschool family for 19 years. Each issue is divided into 3 sections: Nature, Scripture, and Living. Topics are carefully chosen to provide mental, spiritual and physical enrichment. Beautiful photographs adorn the pages of Creation Illustrated, and Bible verses complement the photos and articles throughout. The magazine is printed on high-quality paper and is made to last for years to come. This isn't a read it once and toss it out publication; readers can enjoy each editio…

Summer Reading

Many homeschooling families take advantage of summer reading programs, mine included. While all five of my children are readers and don't need much extra incentive when it comes to reading for enjoyment, they have all benefited from summer reading programs. There is just something about seeing a list of book titles written down that brings a sense of accomplishment to a young person.

The summer months are also a great time for the homeschooling mother to do a little reading. Plenty of good choices, both fiction and non-fiction, are available. As Solomon said, there is no end to the making of books. But are you sure that what you are reading is choice material? Even Christian books can be less than the best. Susan Schaeffer Macaulay says this in her excellent book For The Children's Sake, "...it must be said that certain Christian books are in fact not so. For instance, some go beyond biblical teaching and, like the Pharisees, burden the people with weighty rules and regu…

Hmmmm...

Now that my family has returned from our trip to sunny Florida, I'm back in full swing as a busy homeschool mom. While we don't homeschool year-round, we are still doing school work and focusing on areas that need extra attention while we have a less structured summer schedule. Things like SAT prep get a lot more attention from the end of May through the end of August. While this summer routine of more relaxed learning is normal for our family, we received some news that is, well, not normal. News that can easily make me say, "Hmmmm....wonder what's next?"

Just before our family left for vacation, my husband lost his job. The company he worked for has suffered some severe economic hardships and has filed for bankruptcy. I pray they are able to keep the company afloat somehow, and that all the good men and women employed there are able to keep their jobs. In this season of our lives, however, God has chosen a different path for my husband.

While we really aren…