Happy New Year!!

WOW!!  What a year this has been.  Sorry for being so quite on the old blogger.  Our preschool is gaining a new student.  Tom and I are happy to announce baby #4.  It's a BOY!!  Little Thomas will be due in May.  Tom and I are seeing that our Highschool to Preschool will pretty soon be just preschool.  Katie and Mary have one more year of highschool when they finish with this year.

It may be time for a blog name change soon... COLLEGE to Preschool, wow, that is scary!!  I think with the new year coming and so many changes with our family that I made need to make some blog updates.  I'm in the "blog cleaning" mood!!  Is anyone with me???

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!  May the light of God shine down on you and your family!!!

The King's Christmas List Review

If you are looking for a way to teach your children the true meaning of Christmas, this book is a great way to help you in that.

The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson illustrated by Bonnie Leick is a great stroy that tells of a girl named Emma and her little dog Shu-Shu who are invited to the King's birthday party and they must find a special gift to bring.  Along the way to the party they  meet with some strangers who they find they are able to help, yet when they arrive at the party they are cold and empty handed.

Wait till you read the wonderful message the King has to share with Emma and Shu-Shu.  This could make a great family tradition to read while preparing for Christmas or to share with a childrens Sunday School Group.  The last few pages has ways you can share in the King's party with web sites to visit as well.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FREE Books, No Really

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation
You don't have to purchase a Kindle in order for you to take advantage of their FREE books (which are classics!!!).  You can download their Kindle Ap for your computer and read these great books.  Here is a link to GREAT instructions on how to do this.
How To Read Kindle Books On Your PC

This is GREAT for those homeschoolers who use:
Ambleside Online which is under the Charlotte Mason style and if you are into Charlotte Mason, here is another link for you.  Simply Charlotte Mason

These links are GREAT for those of you who are using The Well Trained Mind which also use the great classics for a Classical Education this is another great site.  There are SO many homeschool sites that offer great information to help you get started.  If you are looking for a place to find FREE 'old' classical literature this is an amazing site here... Project Gutenburg!  Hope you enjoy these links and take advantage of these to help you in your homeschool adventure.

Not Back To School A Day In The Life

First let me say that I have enjoyed this blog hop SO MUCH!!  Thank you to everyone that has stopped by to get to know our family and to those who follows us.  I appreciate you very much!  I have found some wonderful sites myself and I will share those in another blog post.

Now for OUR day in the life... This is how I would love for our school day to go.

High School starts at 8am with Bible first.  Christia and I join Kaite and Maryanna for the beginning of Bible class for Christia just loves to sing with the girls.  I enjoy it as well.  While the older girls get started on Bible, Christia and I go downstairs for our school time.  We start our day with prayer and then we start on our colors.

9am the older girls move to Geometry while Christia and I clean the kitchen.  Well, I clean the kitchen and Christia will have free play time.  When I'm done with the kitchen I start a load of laundry and Christia and I will read a story or play a color game.  10am  the older girls move to English and Christia and I work on her letters and numbers.  By this time Christia is ready for a snack, so we snack while we learn some table manners.  11am the girls come down for a snack themselves and they start working on Chemistry.  I start folding the laundry I started earlier and think about what's for lunch.  At noon everyone breaks for lunch and a movie {this includes Dad}.  1pm it's time for Spanish.  Christia loves to listen to Mrs. McLamb speak spanish so we will sit on Spanish 2 class for a while and I will let Christia play upstairs for a while OR we will go for a walk.  We love to go on walks when the weather is good and we will go on short walk when the weather is HOT...which is MOST of the time here in Texas!!  2pm and it;s the girls final class of the day US History.

NOW for the REAL day in the life at our house...
Christia and I got up today around 8am only to find out that this was NOT going to be a day that would go by the schedule.  Christia is teething and so she is running a fever and Katie and I just got finished cleaning up the floor and ourselves for Christia just threw up ALL over us and herself!  SIGH... school started late so that mean it will finish late  The girls eat their lunch while doing their Chemistry to try and make up for some lost time.  Since they did NOT finish their history homework that put history behind as well.  Christia and I just hung out on the couch for most of the day since she was not feeling well so no school work for her.  It's amost time for dinner and I have yet to go to the store for supplies.  Welcome to the real world.  I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

I'm Getting A Kindle!!

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation
I'm SO EXCITED!!!  I'm getting a Kindle for my 19th wedding anniversary!!  I say getting for they are on back order.  I have been looking at this cool gadget for quite sometime and now that they have come down to a more reasonable price I'm on the waiting list!!

I LOVE to read and when we travel it's hard to find the extra room for books.  I'm thinking that if I like it and love the way it works I may get the Katie one for her 18th birthday and Maryanna one for her 16th birthday.

Amazon gives a great description about them and the things they are able to do.  Take a look it's amazing!!
Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation

They offer a TON of FREE books, which are AMAZING.  Most of them are classics which is what our family reads the most of.  I will let you know if it's all I think it will be.

Not Back To School Student Photos

This has been a FUN month!!  I have enjoyed learning about so many new homeschool families!  Thank you everyone for sharing. 

Here is our school photos:

This is our oldest Katie.  She is a hard worker and a FABULOUS cook.  Katie is very talented in the kitchen and with a needle.  Even though I have not shown her how to work the sewing machine, she made a skirt by HAND for a costume party of one of her friends ( she won first prize for BEST costume)!!

Here is daughter number 2 Maryanna.  We were so excited to see her honor roll student certificate from A Beka!!  She keeps my life organized (I would be under a mountain of paper work without her) and makes THE BEST homemade chocolate chip cookies!!

This is our youngest "Bean" (as we call her) Christia.  She is such a wonder!!  She is full of life and smart as can be.  This was taken at the library.  She LOVES books!!  She loves to dance and sing around the house.  She has made my journey with homeschooling continue...Thank you Lord!!

This is our schools {handsome} principal that we like to call Dad!!  He is SUPER!!

And this is Me {Lisa} the Teacher.

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know our family!!

Not Back To School Our School Room {s}

I'm LOVING the 'Not Back To School' Blog Hop!!  I have enjoyed reading others blogs and finding new cool ideas!!  I'm late in posting our school room for I could NOT find the cord for the camera so that I could download the pictures.  FINALLY, I found it!! 

Okay, this week is about the school room.  I have to say that I am VERY blessed this year.  We have moved to a new home and I'm loving the space we have now.  Let me just say that it was not always this way.  Our family lived in a 750 square foot apartment one year and even though it was 'close living' I would not have changed a thing about moving there!!

Here we go:

This is called the 'game room' {which is upstairs} but we call it our high school!!  The girls set up their tables and chairs each morning before the start of school.  They have plenty of room and a nice view. 

Here you can see that our little "Bean" claims every room in the house!!

This is my desk.  I just love this area.  I have tons of storage space {which I need to organize!!} and plenty of counter space.

This is called the 'study or office' {which is downstair} but we call it our preschool!!  "Bean" and I have her school here.  If I bring her upstairs she wants to play with Katie and Mary and well....they just can't get school done, so.... I thought it would be could and since we have the space to have her downstairs and in a nice little room of her own.

I just LOVE her new table and chair set.  My darling M-I-L {mother-in-law} bought this for her as an early birthday gift... THANK YOU!!!  She just loves it as do I.  It was expsensive but this is a piece that can be passed down from family to family {I just love that idea for I have my husbands grandmothers dinning room set}.  We found this at Pottery Barn Kids.  Do you need this to teach your child??? NO, my older 2 did not have this and came out just fine!!

As you can see I try and keep colorful things all around.  She loves to sit at her chair and read her books.  No she is not reading yet, but she thinks she is...LOL!!!  I have my laptop computer set up in here as well and I have Pandora playing classical music while we learn.
Here is Dad and "Bean" color sorting cookies!!  We found this darling set at Lakeshore Learning.  Most of their items are expensive but I will stash back extra money in case I find something really cool there.
My rooms are neat as neat and organized as I would like them to be but we do enjoy our school rooms.

Not Back-To-School Blog Hop A Beka Academy

I'm so excited to be part of the 2010 NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop!!  Our school year started early this year (July 12,2010)  Reason...The older girls will be celebrating their 16th and 18th birthdays this year so we will be going to the beach in late September to early October.  I always like to have a 'cushion' so that if we have special things coming up OR even just unexpected sickness so we don't get behind.

We will be using A Beka Academy (DVD) for the older girls {11th grade} and I will be using A Beka Nursery books for our little one this year who will be 2 in December.  I never used curriculum for the older girls when they were young.  We just had fun and enjoyed ourselves and learning in the kitchen and at play.  My little "bean" has shown interest in learning, she loves books, blocks, coloring, etc. So we have decided to start early with her and see how it goes.  This is what I LOVE about being a homeschool mom.  You can change to what your family needs when they need it and not have to follow someone else plan that may or may not be good for your child.  So...

Here is what our day looks like:
Monday - Friday school starts at 8:00am and the girls follow this schedule:
Bible with Mr. McBride
Geometry (honors) with Mr. Collins
English with Mrs. Schmuck
Chemistry with Mrs. Hicks
Spanish 2 (honors) with Mrs. McLamb
US History with Mr. McBride

Monday - Friday
We will be learning our colors and shapes then we will move on to our ABC's and numbers.  We will also have some great craft projects that we will be doing.  These projects are easy and develope their motor skills.  We will also be reading about Amber Lamb and learning about developing our character.  I also have a great song books for learning fun children's songs and a book full of children's poems and finger play.  All of this we bought from A Beka Book.  Do you need to buy all these books for a  2 year old??  NO for I DID NOT with the older girls.  Christia works well with books and such this why I'm doing things in a different way with her.  At this age the key to success is having fun and make learning FUN for them and they will want to learn all the time.  In all our school time for nursery school be a total of 30 minutes stretched out through the day.  Of course learning will not stop for she will be helping me in the kitchen count beans, and cups.  We will enjoy saying our ABC while washing dishes.  I wash she has fun playing in the water!!  This gets her use to being in the kitchen and learning about the jobs she will be doing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others are using this year.  Happy Homeschooling Everyone!!

FREE Homeschool Blog Buttons

Hi Homeschool Buddies,
Just wanted to let everyone know to check out my new FREE Homeschool Blog Buttons!!  Click on the link at the TOP or HERE for the code to them.

If you have ideas for more buttons please send them my way and I will be happy to try and make more.  I do this in my spare time (which is rare...LOL!!).  ENJOY!!

Preschool Planning

I know that some homeschool famlies don't like to do formal preschool.  This is okay, I didn't do formal preschool with my 2 older daughters either.  They turned out just FINE!!

Now that we have a new additon to our family I had the desire to do formal preschool.  Christia shows GREAT interest in learning and I just feel that this is the thing to do for our family at this point.  If you are feeling the same as me, please read on.  I will share with you our preschool schedule.

You dot NOT have to buy a curriculum.  With the help of the internet and posting a few questions on preschool help on your favorite message boards you will have TONS of great finds to do your preschool.

I will be using A Beka for Christia.  A Beka has a wonderful schedule to go along with their preschool books.  Here is what it looks like.

Language Development- Monday - Friday (10 minutes a day)
Phonics- Monday, Wednesday, Friday (10 minutes a day)
Numbers- Tuesday, Thursday (10 minutes a day)
Skill Development- Monday- Friday (10 minutes a day)

Christia will have about 30 mintues each day of planned learning.  I like the thought of this for she will be doing school while her big sisters are doing school.  This will put her on a schedule.  The rest of the day she will be learing as well, but in a not so formal manner.  She will be in the kitchen with me while I cook meals.  Here she has her special cabinet with bowls, spoons and cups that are hers to play with and cook right along with Mom.  We will have reading time which is a MUST.  I want her to develope a love for books.  There will be "outside" time so that she can get out in the fresh air and just run and play.

She will also have 'quite' time which she will take a nap or laydown and listen to classical music.  There will be certain day of the week that we will go to the park, library, shopping , etc.  This is just a peek into our preschool day.

FREE Blog Resources

Whenever I find something that is useful for others I like to share!!  This is one of my own sites that I have created to help all those bloggers out there.  In the blogging world, "Blog Appeal" is everything.  Let The Blog Diner help you out!

The Blog DinerThe Blog Diner is dedicated to helping bloggers find FREE resources for their blogs. Putting {style} to your blog does not have to be costly. There are MANY talented designers on the internet that are very giving with their creations to help you express yourself with {style} and {trend}.

You will find tutorials, designers, templates, and MORE here at The Blog Diner.

Quater Mile Math Software REVIEW!!

Referral Code DiscountGain math tenacity and speed velocity through the competitive drills in The Quarter Mile Math program. This drill–based program includes over 325 drills, is suitable for all ages.

This math software is easy to operate and anyone can increase math confidence and precision by using it. In the drills, which use dragsters or non-rider horses, players can compete against themselves or in tournaments.

I found The Quarter Mile Math to be the best no–frills, drill–based program to increase speed and accuracy quickly.

This drill–based program is easy to use; simply choose a subject and topic, the type of race you’ll compete in, a non-rider horse race or a dragster race, and the drill starts. When the race begins, math problems appear on the screen and as they are answered the car or horse advances. The races consist of six racers who represent the student and the student's previous scores, so one child can play and compete against their own previous scores. In the school version installed on a network, children can compete against each other in tournaments.

I had no problems installing The Quarter Mile Math program.

In terms of memorization and speed, this is the best program I found. The Quarter Mile Math is based totally on drills; it is suitable for all ages and abilities. This program could even help older students or adults who have gotten rusty on their multiplication tables.

The basics covered include counting, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, measurements and money. However, the program also provides drills in keyboarding, letters, whole numbers, math strategies, estimation and more to total over 50 topics in more than 325 drills.

Educational Value:

Children of all ages can benefit from this extremely flexible program. If used often, the Quarter Mile Math program will increase children’s speed, math confidence and memorization abilities.

Any child with a competitive nature will enjoy the challenges presented by this program. This program also builds confidence even in those who are just learning math, since it enables players to compete against themselves, and they can watch how much they have improved by beating their previous scores.

Quarter Mile Math does not include high–end animations or interactive cartoon characters that some young children expect to find in software; however, despite the lack of cartoon qualities, I feel this program would be a good addition to a classroom or for children who need to increase their speed and math confidence.


The Quarter Mile Math program offers email and phone support as well as help within the software; however, the program is so simple that major technical problems are rare.

Purchase NOW and you can receive $5.00 OFF (by clicking our link to the left<< sidbar OR clicking the picture in the post)!!

It's A Mess

PLEASE pardon my mess!!  My site will be taking on some funny designs at this time for I'm in the design and install process.  Thanks for understanding

Getting Started With The New Year

I love to get our ABA order in and start planning for our NEW year!!  I seperate everything out into different piles.  I have my stack and the girls each have theirs.  We then go over our list of items to make sure that we have everything.

I like to then sign on to our ABA account and download our calendar.  I take my highlighter and start marking the "breaks" in pink and the "reports due" in yellow.  I have a notebook style planner that I buy from Walmart for me to use, but I also like to put our school calendar on Google Calendar as well.  This helps me to stay organized.  Some may think this is double work, but since we travel A LOT I feel that I am covered if I happen to forget my computer OR my planner.  {I haven't thought about IF I forget both!!}

Once I have my stack of items, I take my Video Manual and I like to highlight ALL Quizes in pink, Tests in orange and Reports in yellow {my life is very colorful}.  I then start building our calendar.

ABA numbers all their lessons (which I LOVE, it helps me find things).  I then like to build my Google Calendar first.  Right now I'm working on highlighting!!  Happy Homeschooling Everyone!!

Rod & Staff

Our family has not always used A Beka.  Our homeschool journey started with MUCH anxiety.  My husband and I both wanted to homeschool our children.  He was the income maker so I was the teacher.  I will never forget the very first item I every orderd was a Cathy Duffy book.  She gave her reviews on many homeschool curriculums.

I must have read that book over 100 times, and the highlighting!!  Let's just say it looked like a rainbow in that book.  There were coffee, tea and jelly spills on pages.  Dog ears and the side notes.  That book may be out of print now, but I still have it.  I don't think I will ever part with it {it's a memory thing}.

I had my selection narrowed down and showed my husband my picks of what I thought would be good for our family.  Funny thing is... A Beka was my TOP pick only it was ruled out for we just didn't have the money at that time.  We wanted something Bible based and so Rod and Staff was next on  my list.  My husband agreed that if that was what we should try then make an order.

I liked how the Teacher Manual pretty much laid things out for you and step by step {which was what I needed for I had NO clue on how to start}.  We loved this curriculum.  The girls really enjoyed it as well.  We went from 1st grade to about 4th grade.

They offered a wonderful english program.  I became worried though since I knew the girls wanted to attend college if Rod and Staff would be enough.  Some of their terminology was dated and at that time their math only went to 8th grade.  I knew they really needed to find a program that we could stick with all the way through highschool.

There is a lot of busy work, but remember it was designed for a traditional school setting.  So I would pick and choose what to use and not use for each class.  They received a FIRM foundation in Bible which was our main goal for school {and life}.  I love this company and hated to leave it but that is the great thing with homeschooling you can change as your needs change.  I would HIGHLY recommend this program but keep in mind Rod & Staff only goes so high in grade level.

Our Order Is IN!!!

I don't know how it is at your home, but here when our new school books arrive it's like CHRISTMAS!!!  Our new school year should be great fun.  We not only will be doing chemistry and geometry this year but it will be our first year with preschool!!

I never did the formal "preschool" with Katie and Mary but we all wanted to get the A Beka preschool books for Christia.  I must say that I was not only amazed and the quality but impressed with their whole set-up.  Katie and Mary were a little jealous that did not have the cute Button Bear and Amber Lamb books.  A Beka also gives you a print schedule of how you can teach your preschooler.

I think it will be fun that Christia will have her own little set up, for she is in the school room with Katie and Mary already.  Now she will have her special "school books". 

I'm very happy and totally pleased with A Beka Academy.  The girls learning habits have improved greatly.  There is NO WAY I could have taught girls the harder math and science programs.  I love to sit in on some of their class.  Their teachers are wonderful.  I wish I had had them when I was attending school.

My hat goes off to the ladies that teach these subjects.  I will be posting on how our year is going
Happy Homeschooling Everyone!!


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