Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shout Out! ;)

A fellow homeschooling mom filled me in on a site I am having WAY TOO MUCH fun with. :P
It's They have a fantasic puzzle maker that allows you to create your own word search puzzles!
I second her recommendation. ;)
Here are two I created, based on the books of the Bible:
The children are having a lot of fun with these puzzles. :)
These are reinforcing which books are in the "front" of the Bible, and which are in the "back." The children are being strengthened in the correct spelling of the Bible books.
Patience, determination, and confidence are beneficial elements of incorporating word search puzzles into school curriculum. Also, allowing the children to make their own puzzles will allow independent learning and creativity, which makes this site even more fantastic! By being able to invent their own word puzzles, the children gain a sense of responsibility for contributing to a part of their learning activity. ;)

"Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for." - Heb. 11:1

In celebration of the Memorial of Jesus' Death, the children found ways to show their appreciation for the hope Jesus' ransom sacrifice provided to all mankind.
Isaiah 65:21-25: "And they will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance; because they are the offspring made up of the blessed ones of Jehovah, and their decendants with them. And it will actually occur that before they call out I myself shall answer; while they are yet speaking, I myself shall hear. The wolf and the lamb themselves will feed as one, and the lion will eat straw just like the bull; and as for the serpent, his food will be dust. They will do no harm nor cause any ruin in all my holy mountain, Jehovah has said."

This is the theme for the Little Boy's picture, "A Day In Paradise." He spent an entire day, meticulously coloring this attractive scene. His hard work and attention to detail demonstrated how much he appreciates the hope of everlasting life on a Paradise earth. While coloring, he talked about what was happening in the picture, who the people are, and what he looks forward to. The picture came to life so beautifully and is now adorning a wall in the Little Boy's bedroom. :)

Little Miss wrote a poem about Paradise.

"I put my trust in Jehovah God,
That this wicked system will soon be gone.
Times now are critical,
But paradise will be beautiful.
We will enjoy the animals,
As they will pose no threat to us.
The birds will sing,
And bees won't sting.
Predators will lie with prey,
And humans will not sin.
No more sickness,
No more death,
All that stuff will be put to rest.
I look forward to that time,
That perfect time of paradise."

Little Miss really showed from her heart how deep her hope for the future is. It's heartwarming to read her expression of faith in the promise. This, too, is on display for all to enjoy. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little Boy's Going to be a Junior Engineer in July

Mad Science ( offers tons of programs from after-school activities, preschool groups, summer and vacation programs, workshops, to hosting special events and parties.
Sparking imaginitive learning, the Mad Science summer program "Junior Engineers" offers Kindergarteners through 5th Graders the opportunity to join in discovering how things move with science. For 5 days during the summer, the Little Boy will be taking apart pellets to see what an owl is not able to digest, making a camera obscura, building bridges, domes, cubes, and pyramids, assembling pulleys, levers, catapults, simple machines, and megapinchers, and making his own sidewalk chalk, crystal gardens, and chromatography-dyed T-shirt! :)
How cool is that?!?! :D
What's a camera obscura, you ask?
It is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen, used in drawing and for entertainment. The camera obscura consists of a box with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and reproduces the image upside-down on a surface while preserving color and perspective. The image can be projected onto paper and traced. :)
I think the Little Boy is going to have a lot of fun being a Junior Engineer this summer! ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Different Kind of Lesson on Farming

On March 27, 2007, I received a call while I was at work more than 60 miles from home. Little Miss, then 11 years old, was in a panic because her beloved pony was showing signs of labor.

A year earlier, Little Miss witnessed the mating of a handsome Arabian stallion with the Hackney-Arabian-Shetland pony she rode and loved so dearly. She had been told the foal to be born would be her very own horse.

The entire time the pony was in foal, Little Miss was a proud little mommy. She took such good care of her pregnant pony and found herself spending hours in her bedroom compiling a list of baby names.

How could I not go rushing home once that frantic call came in?

I arrived home an hour-and-a-half later, gathered the important things we would need to have with us while at the barn (like the camera), and off we went to help the pony through the birth of Little Miss's baby.

The experience was amazing. Some don't like to see the story in pictures, as the entire event is documented. We, however, love reliving the moment as many times as possible. Especially the one that happened at 9:42 p.m. ~ when Little Miss saw her colt for the very first time.

Though not the first time Little Miss witnessed the birthing of a foal, this was special in more ways than one. The only other time she watched a foal born, the foal was not alive. It was heartbreaking for her. Surely, that traumatic experience contributed to her nervousness this time around. Also, this was the pony she loved so dearly who was giving birth to a horse that would be her first horse. Her horse to name, her horse to train, her horse to ride whenever she wanted, her horse to love and grow up with.

Tonight, Little Miss and the Little Boy are at the barn to once again watch the birth of a foal. This foal is not becoming part of our family, although it is related to Little Miss's horse because the sire is the same handsome Arabian stallion. Still, to watch a foal enter into the world is an amazing learning experience that very few actually get to see.

As I type, the text messages are coming in from the excited Little Miss. The mare's gone down and she's pushing! No, sadly, I am not able to be there with the children to share the thrilling moment with them. We're a one-car family and daddy needs it tonight. There's no way Little Miss will allow anyone to miss out on the action, though! The latest message was, "she didn't break yet she goes." It won't be long now...
The Little Boy was only 5 years old for the birth of the colt. This is the second time he gets to see the miracle of horse birth. Being that he's now an 8-year-old, this lesson in farming is sure to make a more lasting impression. ;) I wonder how he's doing?

These kinds of things are true privileges of being homeschooled. It's a Tuesday night - a school night - and the children are able to be at the barn at 10:00 p.m. to watch a horse come into the world. Really, how many children get to do that? Children can read about foaling, watch movies, or see stuff online, but nothing compares to actually being present for such a miraculous event. Not only seeing the first seconds of a horse's life, but enjoying the interraction of a mare with her new foal and watching the foal stand and take its first steps just moments after it's born. I didn't get to take part in such a momentous ocassion until March 27, 2007. I was 29 years old. I loved sharing the joy with my children and will never forget that night. I love that my children are able to see it for the second (or third, in Little Miss's case) time in their young lives and hope that it's something they will never forget having the privilege of being a part of.

...The text has come in ~ the new COLT is here! :D
At 10:10 p.m., Little Miss's horse's half-brother was born. He's a bay colt with a star and a left hind sock, she tells me. Other than the left hind sock, he looks just like his big half-brother. :)

I can't wait until the children get home to tell me all about what happened at the barn tonight.

"Why do you homeschool?"

Hundreds of thousands of parents in the United States are teaching their children at home rather than sending them to school. Homeschooling is gaining popularity among parents who are concerned about drugs and crime in public schools and about a decline in the quality of teachers. What is my reason? Mary and Joseph had six other children after Mary gave birth to Jesus, and Mary was a spiritually minded woman. I endeavor to imitate Mary’s fine example of working hard and selflessly to fulfill Scriptural obligations. I strive to be a devoted wife and mother who displays patience and endurance, keeping spiritual matters ahead of my own desire for comfort and pleasure. I know, as Mary did, that worshipping God together with my children strengthens and unifies the family. Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to "train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it." God requires parents to train their children. He wants children to be happy, as Ecclesiastes 11:9 brings out: " your youth, and let your heart do you good in the days of your [youth]." In the world today, young ones are often marred by painful mistakes and bad judgment that can leave deep emotional scars. Children tend to imitate their parents, either for good or for bad. So, as a parent, I want to be setting a good example by centering my life and decisions on true worship. God’s law must first be our family's priority so that our children become God-fearing children. By striving to apply Bible principles in everyday matters, Little Miss and the Little Boy should be able to conclude that Bible principles are really important and practical. As a Christian parent, I realize that my children require more than material things. I don't want my children taught to pursue goals that would serve only for their material advantage, in harmony with the counsel found in Ecclesiastes 7:12, which states, "wisdom is for a protection the same as money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners." Jesus taught his disciples to make spiritual values and pursuits their priority. (Matthew 6:33) Therefore, in imitation of Jesus, I also strive to cultivate in my children a desire to pursue spiritual goals. I want my children to have wholesome associations and to become acquainted with those who share enthusiasm about the joys of serving Jehovah. As my blog profile lists, I believe homeschooling means having a pro-active lifestyle based on our Christian beliefs and values. The children gain positive social skills, such as leadership, humor, empathy, reasonableness, reverence for life, selflessness, joy, and good work ethic. They learn to be discerning and use good judgment based on their Bible-based training. Children are a gift from God and I want Little Miss and the Little Boy to want to please God by learning his ways, and to make it their goal to live in harmony with his purpose. My children know they can trust me to do what's best for them even if it's hard for me, and I won't turn my back on them. When love and skill work together, you can expect a masterpiece. I seek to help my children develop a mind that knows Jehovah and a heart that loves him. Jesus spent time with children and was interested in their thoughts and feelings. Jesus also provided children with a fine example of interest in spiritual things. There is too much pressure to succeed in today’s world. I want to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of my children. I want to help them set reasonable goals and help them reach those goals. If children’s emotional needs are not met at home, they will go elsewhere for the affection and recognition they crave. I want to foster a spiritual environment for my children. “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need,” said Jesus Christ.—Matthew 5:3. I want the best for my children because I love them and I love Jehovah. I want to be their example, companion, communicator, and teacher, helping my children form close personal relationships with Jehovah God. Their relationships with God will encourage them to be happy as Christians, striving to live up to their faith even when faced with temptations. I want to help them appreciate this precious relationship. No school is going to do that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fewer than 50 days left already?!?!

It is hard to believe that there are less than 50 school days left to the year already. Time flies when you're having fun, so the saying goes. And no ~ I'm not saying it humorously as if I am not enjoying myself. :P
Interestingly, we still have new things happening at Suaemoc. Gearing up for the Suaemoc 'Home's Cool' Farm is exciting. We decided to add a few crops to it. Onions, parsley, and basil seeds are anxiously waiting to be planted in our farm, along with the beets, carrots, and beans seeds. Yes ~ you look at the adorable little packages of seeds on our table and you can tell they can't wait to grow and thrive in Suaemoc 'Home's Cool' Farm. :D We don't have our tomato seedlings yet, but we're sure they'll be equally as anxious to make their way into our farm. ;)
We got a new game, which the Little Boy and I played together for the first time yesterday. To quote LB, "This is fun!" It's Homeschoolopoly. The first thing I noticed and loved about this game is the disclaimer: “2 to 6 Players—Ages *8 to Adult *Homeschoolers tend to be advanced, so ages may vary.” Awesome...
You choose your game piece (either a little girl, little boy, rocking chair, bicycle, globe, or a dog) and being at “Home Sweet Homeschool.” You work your way around the board, landing on fun squares such as “Field Trip”, where you get to collect all the money from the middle of the board paid to “Public School Tax” or the “Family Vacation Fund.” There are opportunities to buy things like a “Family Bus.” Landing on “Grace” and “Mercy” cards gives you the chance to get to participate in a Homeschool Talent Show, Win the Spelling Bee, get a Park Day Card and more. The game revolves around homeschooling and the companies specializing in homeschool materials, publications, and support, as well as homeschool events, the worries that keep us up at night, and the truancy officer that sends you straight to court – do not pass home sweet homeschool, do not collect $200. :P I was able to find new homeschooling resources while playing the game with the Little Boy because the deed cards contain information about the companies. The houses and hotels are stacks of books and Keys to Knowledge ~ how fun! We were playing for almost three hours, though, and did not finish. While there is a "quick play" version in the directions, the game might best be played over the course of several days. (Or with more than two players ~ just a thought.)
The Little Boy finished the Place Values portion of States by the Numbers. He really likes learning the information about Connecticut while doing the math problems. The math is an easy review of skills for him, but we love the twist of adding in social studies. The Little Boy thinks it's neat. :)
Little Miss is completely finished with almost half of her 8th grade books. While planning for the Little Boy's 4th grade year has begun, it's sad to think Little Miss's schooling will be out of my hands next year. In a small way, I'm anxious to be able to focus on the Little Boy's education. I will not say it's easy to be teaching two children who are so far apart in age. However, there is a bittersweet feeling with Little Miss graduating from middle to high school. I have chosen a high school program which will be fantastic for her and I can't wait for her to begin. The program is the Career Prep Diploma Program through The American Academy. One of the career and technical education electives they offer is Horse Management ~ right up her alley! It is divided into units, each with several assignments and a quiz. There is also a midterm test, and a final. The units are: Introduction to the World of Horses, Safety, Equipment and Trailering, Overview of Equine Body Systems, Nutrition and Feeding, Routine Health Care, Conformation and Lameness, Health Problems and First Aid, Life Cycle, Breeding, and Genetics, and Breeds of Horses. I'm sure she will do very well. :) I just hope there's something she will end up 'needing me' to help her with. ;)
Encouraged by our recent Assembly, we also did some brainstorming and comprised lists of our spiritual goals. There are goals LB and LM hope to reach before the last of the remaining 50 or so school days is behind us, as well as goals they hope to reach by the time we begin the 2010-2011 school year. I'm looking forward to the accomplishment of their spiritual goals and discussing a new set of goals with them soon.
So, while some things are wrapping up, some other things are just beginning. After all, does homeschooling really ever see a "last day of school?" ;) Onward to the final weeks of Suaemoc's debut year!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Home Farming

This is an awesome thing that we certainly intend to do. :)

Having a home garden is easy and fun! And when the kids get involved, it gives them a real sense of pride in taking responsibility for their crops. ♥ Of course, they also get a horticulture lesson, in addition to gaining more appreciation for what our Creator has provided us with. "How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made." (Ps. 104:24)
Triscuit and Urban Farming have joined together for the Triscuit Home Farming Movement. Urban Farming, a non-profit organization, and Triscuit have common goals to create an abundance of deliciously fresh and healthier food for people in need by planting farms on unused land and space while increasing diversity, educating people, and providing an environmentally sustainable system to uplift communities. Their funding of community-based home farms is core to the continued growth of The Home Farming Movement in urban areas and everyone is welcome to get involved. :)
Suaemoc is getting involved! Last season, the Little Boy had a small crop of string beans. He truly enjoyed taking care of his little plants and most truly loved eating the fruits of his labor. ;) This season, we're looking forward to creating a bigger, better "Suaemoc 'Home's Cool' Farm!" The Triscuit Home Farming Movement website has fantastic tips, encouragement, and even a map you can add your own home farm to! :D (Suaemoc's 'Home's Cool' Farm is on there!)
We also learned from the website, that we can have a 4' X 8' raised bed garden in our sunniest spot, where we will be cultivating the recommended beets, carrots, beans, and tomatoes. We will be planting our beet and carrot seeds at the end of March, then our bean seeds and tomato seedlings can be planted the first full week in April. We're really looking forward to it!
Home farming grows joy. ♥ The kids and I really hope to hear about your home farm, too! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

States by the Numbers

Fellow homeschoolers ~ this is a great product!! :)
Make It Real Learning Company's ( workbook series, "States by the Numbers," is a real-data math adventure across the United States. For $3, I bought the Connecticut e-book through The Old Schoolhouse Store ( and printed it out for the Little Boy.
The workbooks focus on place values, rounding, estimation, fractions, and percentages. There are 80 practice problems and a "What's the big idea?" pages after each section for the student to reflect on the things they've learned. :)
The coolest thing is that the data for each problem is taken directly from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States, with State-specific facts! So, it's Math practice/learning and Social Studies all in one! :D
*For example, the first question under "Place Value Practice" is: The population of Connecticut is projected to be 3,577,490 in 2010. What is the digit in the thousands place?
It's just so neat! :)
The Connecticut e-book I purchased has 38 pages (4 are answer key pages at the end of the booklet). These workbooks address the content and process standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The activities are designed specifically for the independent learner. :)
If you have an early elementary homeschooler either learning these math concepts, or needing some reinforcement in these concepts, I would recommend adding one of these workbooks for your State (or your favorite State) to your curriculum.
Happy Homeschooling!! ;)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fun drinks to enjoy with the kids :)

The kids and I found some interesting and yummy drink recipes ~ perfect for taking outside and enjoying a little sunshine for a fun afternoon snack. ;)

The first is called the "Dr. Pepper Cherry Blaster."
*ice cold Dr. Pepper
*sugar-free cherry-flavored gelatin
*light whipped topping
*Maraschino cherries
Prepare gelatin according to package; chill for four hours.
When the gelatin is set, cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Place 16 cubes into a tall glass and add Dr. Pepper. Top with light whipped topping and a Maraschino cherry. :) (If you use diet Dr. Pepper in a 12-oz. glass, this is 1 Weight Watcher point!)

Next, a "Ginger Strawberry Frappe."
*ice cold Ginger Ale (using diet makes one serving 0 Weight Watchers points!)
*quartered fresh strawberries
*ice cubes
In a blender, combine 8-oz. Ginger Ale, 1/2-cup strawberries, and 3 ice cubes per serving. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry. :)

Finally, we like the "Sunkist Sungria."
*diced fruit (kiwi, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries)
*ice cold Sunkist Orange Soda (diet makes one serving of this drink 1 Weight Watcher point!)
*white grape juice
*Canada Dry Seltzer
*orange slices
In a tall glass, add 1/2-cup diced fruit, 6-oz. orange soda, 1-oz. white grape juice, and 2-oz. seltzer. Top with an orange slice for garnish and add crushed ice, if desired. :) Yummy!

If you try any of these, comment to let us know what you think and which was your favorite! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meteorologically speaking...

Always striving to focus on things which are most appealing to the children, Suaemoc now includes weather reporting.
The Little Boy has exhibited profound interest in science; particularly weather. He loves to be hands-on, so the integration of Suaemoc’s Weather Chart is a fun opportunity for him to individually contribute to the classroom.
As our “meteorologist,” he will need to be attentive to the evening newscast and/or research online to obtain the weather outlook. We all know how changeable the forecast can be, so it will be important that he makes sure our classroom’s weather chart is accurate each day and that changes to the weather images are made accordingly.The Little Boy has Suaemoc’s Weather Chart all set up for the current week as forecasted at present. He’s looking forward to fulfilling his weather responsibilities for our classroom, and we are certainly looking forward to his valuable assistance. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

'Homeschool Prizes--Three Customers Will Win All'

'Homeschool Prizes--Three Customers Will Win All'

The Old Schoolhouse is a wonderful resource for Christian homeschooling families. :)
Wonderful products are offered for purchase, as well as weekly emailed newsletters, TOS Magazine, and even fabulous freebies! AND ~ an order during their promotion period could be your chance to win a package of goodies worth over $345! :)