Sunday, May 31, 2009


The timeline is now up!! I used my front entryway(we are not afraid to admit we homeschool and use it as our decor) to make a wall timeline for us! I love it!! I am such a visual person that it makes so much more sense to me when it is all right there like this - I hope this will work for the boys too!!!

Using 4 different colors of painters tape(in case I need to take it down the wall will be okay) and I sectioned off the different time periods. I got the idea from Homeschool in the Woods . Purple-Ancient, Darker Blue-Medieval, Green-Renaissance, Blue-Modern. I used return address labels to put up the dates - I just wrote on them with sharpie and stuck them to the tape.

I found another use for paint chips and glued the timeline pieces we used this year(i just took them off our old timeline) to the paint chips to make them a little sturdier and you know how I love me some color!!! I then used sticky tack to put up the pieces. I thought about laminating the pieces but decided not to - too much work!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am Guest posting at Today's Housewife today

Please go over and check it out They have some great posts with lots of info on their blog - go on over and visit!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Paint Chips are Fun

You have to go over to visit Momma Snail and see what she is doing with paint chips - great ideas, fun colors and they are free!! I have made a couple of my own games and thought I would share those.....

I found these stickers in the dollar spot at Michael's - they have an upper case/lower case letter and a pic on each sticker. I bought 2 sets of stickers and made 2 sets of cards to use as a matching game. I want to teach Thomas upper and lower together so these were perfect for me to use with Thomas. I couldnt figure out a good way to keep the cards and then it dawned on me to make it into a file folder game so I am still working on that! I will have to cut the chips down a little to get 26 of them into a file folder but it will be worth it!

The stickers above were packaged just like these ones - in case you go looking. These ones were also in the dollar spot at Michaels. I found some smaller individual paint chips at Home Depot today and I am going to make these into a file folder matching game as well. I am going to put a capital on one chip and a lower case on the other chip. I am planning to use these with Ben and reinforce the letter sounds while we are at it!!!

I have also found some great animal and bug pics in the clip art at that i will print out and put onto the chips to make a matching game for Thomas as well!!! This could be done with stickers as well!!

I would love to hear some of your ideas for paint chips......or games!!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More workbox Stuff

I made some cards today that I am hoping will help eliminate my concerns about how to put something in each box when we all do everything except math and LA together! I made them in microsoft word, printed them, put them on an index card, cut them to fit the laminating page size I was using and then ran them through the laminator. I made one for snack, recess - 10 minutes(the boys wanted it to say recess instead o f break), read - your choice 15 minutes, art, science, history, bible and calendar. I made 3 of each so I would have 1 for each boys box. I think this will help me to remember to do things - like calendar - since the card is in their box they have to do it so they can take the number off the box! I have my own box that has all the stuff I need for our together things!!

For tomorrow I put the bible card in everyone's box 1, the calendar card in everyones box 2, the history card in everyones box 3 - we are going to do just a smidge about what is memorial day and what we are celebrating and then we are doing a craft together!
Now - tomorrow is off because we are doing everything together since it is a holiday and w eare just doing a little bit of stuff!

I will be more than happy to email you a copy of the cards I made - just comment with your email and I will send it your way! I am also going to post it on the yahoo groups for workboxes if you want to head over there and grab it!!

Friday, May 22, 2009


The other day the boys and I were discussing school and what we were going to be doing this summer and both Stephen and Ben piped up that they were very glad they didn't have to go to 'normal' school - they like being Homeschooled!!! PRAISE GOD!!! Stephen has come a long way for him to say that - he has hated it for the past year and a half so God is doing something good in our house with these drastic attitude changes!!!
Anyways - part of the conversation then was about how they would be able to learn things here at home that they wouldn't learn at school - like cooking. Well - they went crazy and were so excited that they were going to learn to cook becasue they wanted to know how to cook eggs!

So....we learned how to make scrambled eggs and cook them......


Needless to say - we have eaten alot of eggs this week!!!!

other Blogs using Workboxes

When I linked up to this linky I forgot to mention it here at my blog so anyone who visits me can also visit The Work of Childhood and visit other blogs for their ideas using the workboxes!!!
Go...take a look....there are some really neat ideas floating around out there!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I found this website - Games to Make - and went a little crazy! Over at The Homeschool Classroom she has it listed as one of the top 25 websites you should have bookmarked! There are some great games and so I decided to make a few(really - almost all) of them!! Anyone who knows me knows I am just a little bit OCD and so once I got this idea in my head - it had to be done(and is still being done)! I have literally spent the past 3 days copying, cutting, laminating, cutting again and organizing(any suggestions on how to keep all these wonderful games once they are made??) game after game for reading at all 3levels we are at and some math but mostly reading. I am thinking these will be great to use this summer instead of the workbook pages we usually use(Explode the Code mostly) so the boys dont get too bent out of shape about doing school over the summer!! I am also thinking the games will travel very nicely(so as not to have to lug a few workbooky things around) for all the trips we are making!!
Any good games you like to use for school???

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I love these books!! They are full of info and hands on detail stuff that is just perfect for the boys!! They are done by Candle discovery Series.

Living in Bible Times has these awesome detailed pics of the inside of an egyptian pyramid, the desert tent temple, houses of bible times, herod's temple, the great theatre in greece and a roman trading ship
Journey through Bible Lands has detailed maps of abrahams travels, moses' escape, canaan, jesus traveling to palestine, jesus' last week in Jerusalem and Paul's travels for jesus

Each 2 page spread is info on one page and this cool pull out map on the other page!

I just got the Roman Ship Model one and I couldn't stop looking at it - I was so excited when it arrived!! It has info about the first boats, egyptian boats, the sea people, ships in the bible, roman ships and lots of details about paul's voyage and his shipwreck. In the back is a cardboard model of a roman ship for us to build - totally cool!!!

I got all 3 of mine from Library and Educational Services. You have to join but it is soooo worth it and it is free!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The first Day of Work Boxes

I must say it went a little smoother than I thought it would considering i got a little frazzled thinking of how to do the combo stuff last night!!! It did just dawn on me that we will only be doing the bare minimum this summer - just to catch up - so I won't have to worry too much about that right now but it will come into play in the fall. This sytem is going to mean i have to be on my toes and organized about what we are doing each day and it will be more work than I was doing but I think it will be worth it in the end run!! Even if we just use it this summer to establish a routine for ourselves it will be worth it!
I have been prepping the boys for a couple days about the boxes and how they will work so they were ready this morning when I said it was time for school. The boxes didn't eliminate the complaining and the negotiating but they did give the boys an end in sight and a motivation to get done!! I was pleased with how well they did with them - they just got their box - did the work and then put the number on the schedule so they knew when they were done! Now - Ben did complain during phonics and Stephen negotitated his way out of doing ALL the math sheet but all in all it was a good start considering our school year has been so sporadic!!

We started off by doing Bible together. I have abunch of different devotional books and since we will be studying the bible in history I picked one that was about animals! It is called Glow in the Dark Fish and we loved it! It really sparked some cool conversations! Todays was about how God created patterns in his creation and how this is evidence of our creator's work! We also learned about Fibornacci numbers - that was cool! I can't wait to see what tomorrow's is about!!

Stephen had his Bible reader in his Box #1 so he grabbed his box and headed to the couch - not a peep out of him until he was done! Stephen is all about doing everything on the couch during school so that is where he curls up and gets to work!! Stephen has not wanted to read or have anything to do with until a few months ago and ever since he decided he was ready he has taken off and is just moving right along! I am so glad I didn't push him and that I was able to let him set the pace and do it in his time - it has made such a difference for him!! That was probably the best advice that I ever got when we first started homeschooling!! he loves the Bible so he was especially happy when I brought home an easy reader Bible - anything to get him to read!!!

Ben needed a little bit more direction but once he got going he was gone!!! He loves school so he was okay until I pulled out this new phonics program(Alpha-Phonics) that was recommended to us by a friend - never hurts to try!! We have been using Explode the Code and will now use both of them together.

Do NOT let this cute little face fool you - he cried and fussed all morning long and he is NOT doing the work that mommy put in his baskets!! He got thru #2 and that was after he cried and fussed for quite awhile because I would not put on Indiana Jones for him until after school. He loves Indiana Jones - it is just too cute to hear him playing Indiana Jones!!! Please know that I did not make him do any work or boxes - he could do whatever he wanted - he chose to cry and fuss right next to us all morning long!! This lasted for a few minutes and then he was off again.....

Aren't they cute??? This is the first time they have ever worked side by side without bothering each other!! It was a good day and we will be using these boxes for as long as they are successful!! The main problem today was that Box #3 was a book I was reading to both of them so Ben had to wait around for Stephen to finish his math to get to #3. Ben went ahead and did #4 while he waited but next time I will put all together stuff at the end or at the beginning so as not to make them each have to wait around for the other one!
We did play a game together at the end which they enjoyed and seems like a good way to end the day!!!

We don't have school on Tuesdays becasue daddy is home so I will have all day tomorrow to play around with the boxes and some ideas for weds morning school!!! Actually we will do school Tuesday night since we are playing catch up but the boys will be okay with that because they will have had all day to play with Daddy and new stuff in their boxes!!

Typical Ben

Today we started using a program called Alpha-Phonics with Ben and the first thing he did was put two sounds together to make a word. Well - the first letter was a and the second letter was s - do you see where I am going with this??? My sweet little ben was thrilled that he got to say the "a" word over and over again!!!! Only Ben!!!!
I have pics to share later!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The boxes are ready

I got the work boxes filled for tomorrow - as best as I could! I only did 6 for each of the boys and I had originally only done 3 for Thomas but he needed 6 like his brothers had 6 so he now has 6 as well!! Since it is summer and we are playing catch up I didn't want to go crazy with school work. In the fall they will only have 9 boxes because that is all that fits on my shelves and I dont feel the need to buy a new shelving unit!!!

I hit a snag that I worked around for tomorrow but I am hoping to see if anyone else has this issue as I search around other blogs......Thomas's(preschool) box I had absolutely no trouble filling and I can fill his for months to come with all the stuff I have gotten free off the internet and that I have collected from thrift stores and from use with the other 2! I did print off a whole bunch of the free stuff last night and I am in the process of 3 hole punching it and putting it in a binder so it is right at my fingertips when planning for each day and week! I really do not think about going to the computer(unless i am looking for something special) to look for things but I will pull a binder off the shelf and use what is in it when planning!

My problem is with Stephen(2nd) and Ben(K/1st). We do everything together except language arts and math. How do I fill their boxes with the same thing for those subjects?? They are both still learning to read so they don't do alot of independent work - which is one reason why I am using this system is in hopes of fostering some more independence in their school work - so I can't set them loose - they need me to help them read directions and whatnot?? Do I put a note in one boys box and the book or activity in the other box? Do I not even put that work in the boxes and just do all the boxes then do the together work?? but that defeats the purpose of the system eliminating the 'when will be done' questions all morning?? I am confused!!! I was so excited and then tonight when I started filling their boxes I was stumped as to how to do this.....I so need help!!!
I have got to go to bed - do you realize it is 1am?? Once again I am up late and will be tired and grouchy tomorrow - I have got to stop this pattern - it is making us all crazy!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Work Boxes

I don't know if you have seen these but I follow a couple blogs that are using this idea and so after being up until 2:00 last night looking around at all the ideas and whatnot I have decided to adventure into the land of work boxes!!! I absolutely cannot afford the book so I am going to try it from reading what others have done - I feel guilty not buying the book but it is just not affordable for us right now and I think the idea will soooo help the boys and me with schooling that I think it is worth trying!! I am aiming for the book after convention or maybe at convention!!
I went to dollar tree and exchanged some boxes I had previously bought for a different project for ones that will work for this idea! I didn't buy the clear ones because they just aren't colorful enough for me and they are too wide for the shelves I already own to use for them!! I also only bought 6 for S & B and 3 for T. It is summer and since we are playing catch up I don't want to do as much as we would during the year and I am going to add in games and group things to their schedules that they won't need as box for anyways! I am off to rearrange some books on my bookshelves so I can make room for the work boxes!!! I am sure I will post pics after I get it all set up and to let you guys know how it is working for us!!!
I am really excited about this idea especially after reading how it has worked for so many other ladies!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lending Library

I have been busy doing nothing that pertains to actually schooling my children but one thing does pertain to homeschool and I wnat to share my ideas and what I have been up to for the past weeks in regards to thi sidea of mine!!!
About a year ago I started thinking about what it would be like for homeschoolers to have their own Library they could use. We would be able to check out books, games, dvd's - whatever the library was stocked with - for a whole semester - not just the 2 weeks the library gives you! I don't know about you guys but I end up going slower than I anticipated and have already returned the book by the time I need it or I want to reference back to the book but it is at the library!! This year I tried to buy more books so I wouldn't be giving most of my hubby's salary to the library for overdue fees and i probably spent way more than I should have but it was nice to have the book on my shelf and be able to pull it out when needed!! I have also already found out that not every book the curriculum recommends is necessarily right for us and so I have now bought a book that we will never use - how many of us have done that a gazillion times???? So it was my big idea to figure out a way to create a library for homeschooler's with copies of curriculum that could be looked at and tried out before bought, filled with living books that we might use, missionary stories, resource books for homeschoolers, christian fiction and much much more!!! Well - the idea was squashed for a time but it has been brought back out again and is being brought to fruition - in my garage for now(alot of cleaning was happening last week for that to happen)!!! I already have my first box of donated books, I get to peruse the donated books at convention, I am going to be getting the word out for fellow homeschoolers to donate books that they might want to see in the library and a friend's hubby ha svolunteered to make bookshelves for me!! God squashed the idea for a little bit but he brought it back with his hands all over it and I am so stinkin excited to see it all come together!! It is definately a work in progress but what an awesome work it is going to be when it is done and on it's way!!!

Now - I am off to read up on this workbox system everyone is blogging about - maybe it will keep me alittle more organized in my day and on track??????

Monday, May 4, 2009


I found about this and wanted to pass it along ......This website Learning A-Z has a bunch of freebies all week long - all oyu have to do is register!! I have just been looking through it and going crazy downloading stuff.....Have Fun and pass it along!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This year we used My Father's World Adventures in My Father's World for school. It is a quick overview of American History specifically geared for the younger ones. I love the way MFW is laid out and she tells you exactly what to say and do each day and there are a lot of hands on fun activites - which the boys need right now at their ages!!! I also love their philosophy and the way they have set up their curriculum in the 5 year cycle of history but.....I am a curriculum junkie and love to try new things and I get excited about lots of stuff that is available and it is sooooo hard for me to make decisions!!! We didnt finish the whole curriculum this year because of my work and because they went more into state studies and the boys really want to learn more about the wars and such so we will spend this summer reading books that we have about the people and places of american history - they like that and it will work for the summer to keep us doing something!

I am very anxious to start studying History from creation on and so I have been looking at a couple of different things for next year to get us started on the cycle(which to my understanding means that we will do history from creation to modern thru a couple of times over the yearas and they will learn more and more each cycle). I always go to MFW first because I love it and I had decided on Creation to the Greeks even though it is geared towards older kids - I can easily dumb it down and leave stuff out. I looked at Mystery of History as well and those were the two I was struggling to decide between. I was able to get my hands on both of the Teacher's books for these curriculums and read thru them and loved them both but decided on MFW because I really liked the idea of all the bible history that it goes thru! So - i jumped the gun and decided we would get started now - why not??? We lasted a week - there is way too much Bible(i know I probably shouldn't be saying that since I do want them and myself to learn history from a biblical view) but it was too slow and we were talking about things we have focused on alot in Bible so I was back to square one and stumped......

Then....the Winter Promise catalog came in the mail!! Have you guys ever seen WP?? It is incredible!! We did Animals and their Worlds the first year we homeschooled and I loved it but was totally overwhelmed by the TM - they have it laid out good but it was too many choices for a first year homeschooler who couldn't discern what to do and what not to do so we canned it after a couple months - I will be doing it again though sometime along the way!! I started looking into their program called Hideaways in History. I was up all night looking it over and looking at all the books online and I love it!!! It is totally geared towards Boys and just looks like such a fun way to learn about bits and pieces of History without overwhelming them just yet!! So I decided that they are still young and there is no reason we can't have more fun along the way and that we are soooo gonna use this next year!!! They will build forts, castles, battling arenas and such with cardboard boxes(which I have already started collecting)!! I can't wait to start school next year and knowing me - if i get all the books at convention - I just might start it this summer!!!