Sick Day for Little Helpers!

Another weekend of sickies and softball.  Thankfully my throat could handle homemade french toast this morning.  Yes, I have to have the flu or something really debilitating to keep me away from the breakfast table.  Breakfast is my favorite eating time.  There is absolutely not one thing on a breakfast menu that I don't like.  Most of my kiddos are the same way.  
I like to start the day with an iced or hot coffee.  Then I usually ask Kaden what he wants and the norm is sausage in eggs.  But, sometimes I can get him to entertain the idea of french toast, omelets or biscuits and gravy.  Mmmmmmm biscuits and gravy, sounds heavenly!!! 
I love having little helpers in the kitchen, Kaden is my sweet helper most of the time.  Since he's been sick, I've missed my little guy bumping into me in the kitchen.  Hopefully soon him and I can whip up something yummmy together. :)


Tales from the Circle C Ranch Book and Lap Book~REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/-2015%20CREW/Tales_200_zpsg6g28vw9.jpg Once again our Family has been given the chance to read and review a book written by Susan K. Marlow from Circle C Adventures.  The book is called Tales from the Circle C Ranch.($7.99)  It is a little different then most of her books, because it's a collection of short stories based upon questions sent into the Author about other books she has written in the Circle C series and not just one long story.  We were also given a PDF lap book, Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning that goes alongside Tales from the Circle C Ranch.

I feel so Blessed to have children that Love to read, they are just like their Mom. :)  I'm always on the look out for wholesome books for my kids to enjoy.  I hit the jackpot when I found these books about Andrea Carter and all her wild adventures.  I wished I would have had these for Mahala when she was younger.  Mahala has enjoyed reading a few of the books so far, now to introduce Kaden.  I'll be honest the main reason I like her books is the way she writes.  It's very much like sitting around the campfire and telling stories past down through the generations.  And I love that the characters deal with real life problems, not gossiping about who likes who or superficial worries.  I mean have you looked at some of the books for youth and teens out today?  It's scary people, I know I don't want my kid to pick up a book and drift off into LaLa land like they would if they switched on the tv screen.  In Susan's books your kiddos will read about characters that have to weigh out pros and cons about right and wrong to make the best decisions.  They will be able to see themselves in many of the characters too.  Learning how to deal with kid tough obstacles never seemed so entertaining before.  Around the Circle C it's cool to follow the path towards God and to listen to what your Parents have to say.  Passing that on to my kids through Susan's books makes me one happy Momma! :) 

So, earlier I said that I wanted to introduce Kaden to the Circle C Ranch.  This is the most perfect way to do it too because the Tales from the Circle C Ranch offers 11 short stories that explains the answers to Fan Questions.  
Here are the short stories included:
Part One: The Early Years:
1.) Britches Are Not for Little Girls
2.) The Best Gift of All
3.) Aunt Rebecca and the Hat
4.) White Christmas

Part Two: The In-Between Years:
5.) Prince Loco, Chad's Crazy Horse
6.) Hurrah for the Forth of July!
7.) A Matter of Honor
8.) Snakes Alive!
9.) Virginia's Riding Lesson
10.) Where the Trees Meet the Bay
11.) Adios, Jeffrey Sullivan

Other Must Have Books from Susan K.Marlow
So, it's a different kind of a book.  I thought Kaden would like the flow of it and having this secret info about some of the other books I thought would be extra exciting for him.  And I was right, he already has a list of books he would like for me to order for him.  Being that we live in CA and that he loves History Andrea Carter was speaking right to his little soul.  
 photo tales_lapbook_cover_zpscsguvgpb.jpg

As for the Lapbook I was super excited to do this with him.  We have had very little success before as far as lapbooking goes.  But, given that it was so easy on my end to prepare for actually doing the lapbook itself it made it doable to tweak it here and there to work for us instead of against us.  We just did it in a different way.  He decided to do a notebook instead of folders.  And he didn't want to color or cut anything out.  So, how did I get it into the notebook?  Very carefully.....no actually we just printed and paper clipped everything into the notebook where it should go and he wrote some notes and answered questions right in the notebook.  A little different, but that's why we homeschool.  I was just happy that he was into it and was learning while having a ton of fun.  His favorite activity in the lapbook was learning about General stores in the 1800's, about state fairs, the History of fireworks and the section on limericks.   My Child LOVES Limericks......who knew????

So, in a nutshell this is a terrific book for any child's collection.  These stories are wonderful in the ears of both girls and boys.....parents too.  But, don't just take my word for it go ahead and read some of the other Reviews from the Crew.  
And follow them on Social Media too.

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Dynamic Literacy Review


SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers~REVIEW

 As you know we just went on a vacation to Malibu and Disney and that means a long car ride for the Family.  I normally have a no technology rule for the car trip and once we get to our destination, but we changed it last year to only eliminate technology once we arrive at our destination and just limit it on the car trip itself.  It actually works quiet nice for us, we get all the Family time we want on the actual trip.  And on the car trip we can relax to music or listen to books or shows on CDs together or separately.  Kaden hates the time in the van, it's like a punishment for him.  We try to distract him and this year he has his tablet for added entertainment.  What I don't like is the worry of pop ups, ads and any other nonsense garbage that creeps in through the Internet.  I have forever wished for a Family Friendly website to let Kaden wonder and learn from without me having to be over his shoulder the whole entire time.  Well, wish no more.....when I found out there was a Review opportunity for a product that would offer just what I was wishing for I couldn't sign up fast enough.  Honestly this review has been the most anticipated review ever.  I had BIG hopes and expectations!!!  SmartKidz Media has gave our Family a whole year subscription to SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers.  


We have a Popsicle Farm

What a week we have had last week....Kid's Camp at church, softball practice and the hours of coughing up a lung has kept us more than busy.  Kaden and I are still coughing.....I'm scared it will never end.  It was super nice to be able to have one on one time with Mahala while Kaden was at church.  We were able to complete 5 weeks of English in just 4 days.  I mean she was determined and I was just along for the ride. :)  I love that I can do whatever works for us at the moment.  Sometimes we focus just on one or two subjects and sometimes we spread the love amongst the normal 5-6 different subjects a day.  We like to do more of a course study hands down.  It's less planning on my part and I feel that the kids retain the new information better. 

Four days since I started writing this post....

Kaden is still coughing...poor little guy has been throwing up and has pink eye in both eyes since Saturday.  He is so agitated and at the sound or touch from anyone sends him into a raging fit.  And that brings on more coughing and then that brings on the projectile vomiting.  So, we have been laying low and trying not to disturb the beast while still taking care of him.  Lord, when will the coughing in?????


Kid's Camp, Coffee and Dog Toys

Working with Mahala today one on one because Kaden is at Kid's Camp this morning.  He went last year and he did pretty good, a few meltdown moments here and there.  But, I'm expecting this year to be totally different and I'm optimistic that he will participate more this year.
Today was Glasses day....it's a Science theme this year and that makes him super excited!  When we pulled up he was jumping around just at all the balloons in the front entrance.  After we dropped him off Mahala and I enjoyed a coffee and a short trip to the neighborhood dog store for a few treats for Homer and Rocco.  I Love finding time separately with each of the kids.

We hardly ever buy anything for Homer because he tears everything up as soon as you give it to him.  I've seen him slice open Kong toys.  Yes, Kong Toys in his mouth sliced open.  And he's a service dog....Mahala said she wouldn't want to mess with him in a dark ally.  When we were at the store the lady suggested this Tuffy Toy......so we bought it, gave it to Homer.....and 20 minutes later we find this. 
Yeah, he's not getting anymore toys, an occasional bone maybe.  But, other then that we are going to be a dog toy free zone.  :)


Discovering Nature on Vacation

Oh what a fun exciting vacation we had!!!  We went to Malibu for 5 days and then spent 5 days at Disneyland.  We were greeted by familiar squirrels at the campground, it was like we had never left.  That's why Malibu is so magical to our Family.  We haven't been in about 5 years, I know sooooo sad!  But, for the 5 years before that we had went every single year.  I plan for us to continue now and to not skip another precious year. 

Since Kaden was like 3 the last time we camped there it was like a whole new world to him.  He was in his element that's for sure.  Not once did he say he wanted his tablet, computer, tv or that he was bored.  He climbed trees, played with sticks, found bugs and made friends with the squirrels.  He was on an adventure from the moment his eyes opened and he was usually the first to crawl into the tent at the end of the day.  That boy was worn out every single day!

Seeing him so engaged with nature and truly having fun with little to nothing I have been inspired.  I am going to try and bring the outdoors indoors.  It's hard, because we have no back yard at all, just a bunch of dirt, rocks and weeds.  But, that kind of describes the campsite too.  We just need to add some sort of shelter from the sun and we are going to be good to go.  I want to try and be outside more then inside, not counting night time though.  

Since Kaden has very little interest in things he tends to sit in corners and read or play on his tablet.  The tv is kind of new to him, some time late last year I was flipping through the channels and he saw Spongebob.  Life has never been the same, he can recite every single episode......oh the horror!!!  So, in order to give him another look at like I really want to bring him away from technology and back to nature and all things unplugged.  We will see how it goes....say some prayers.


Field Trip Journal from Apologia ~ REVIEW


Do you take your kids on Field Trips through out the year?  I do and I love every little part of the process from planning to rehashing about it on the car ride home or the day after.  Due to some events within our Family the past few years, Field Trips have been kind of on the back burner.  Only a few here and there and not a lot of rehashing going on.  I've missed this part of our Homeschooling experience so much and had vowed that this Summer was going to be different.  The start of new experiences and exploration along with many visits to some Family Favorite locations.  Since this was on my heart for awhile now I was thrilled and my heart skipped a beat when I saw that Apologia Educational Ministries was offering me the opportunity to Review their New book, Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal ($22).  Seriously, how cool was that and at the most perfect timing possible! 

Once I received the Journal I was so impressed with the products look and quality.  But, I wasn't surprised really because I have Never been disappointed with any thing I have ever used in my Homeschool from Apologia.  They have only the best curriculum and resources to offer their Homeschooling Families!  The Journal is Spiral bound with a glossy front and back along with heavy pages to write on.  This book has a scrap-booking, collect and keep look to it.  It's bright, fun and It's divided into easy to use sections with directions for you to use completely or tweak to fit your needs. 

Here are a few of the Sections in the Journal:
  • Places I’ve Explored in your State, the United States and in the World – Here you can record all the places you have seen from locally and far, far away. 
  • Field Trip Pages – This section is the bulk of the book where you get to share details of all your field trips.
  • My Special Spot – This is very unique and I wasn't sure the kids would even use it, but surprisingly they had their own ideas on what to put down on those pages before I had come up with a bribe to get them to do it.  I was Happy about seeing them unleash their creativity!  This section here you can share details of your special spot in nature in  each of the different Seasons with details.  It's a way for you to stop and recognize subtle and not so subtle changes to your special spots.
  • As I See it – Here you can record your special thoughts, ideas and drawings. Some pages have words and pictures for prompts while others are completely blank to give your kiddos room to let their imagination take them where ever they choose to go!
So, this is how we used it.....we decided to have both Mahala and Kaden collectively use the journal for this review period.  We knew we were going to Malibu on a camping trip and we were going to Disneyland for 5 days during the review period so we had a perfect opportunity to use this new resource. I almost forgot to mention that you will have at your finger tips everything you need to prepare for your field trip in a section of the Journal called Preparing for a Field Trip.  Checklists for the week before the actual trip, the night before, on the way to your trip and at the field trip.  Lot's of information and tips to make your experience more fun and less stressful!  Love it!!!!  

Also, I found that the grids filled with over 100 Field Trip Ideas...."off the beaten path" and "from your backyard to half way around the World" was more then helpful.  And it added a few extra stops to explore on our to-do list this Summer! ")
We went through and filled out a few of the pages in the Places I've Explored Sections.  Mahala just went on a Mexico Missions trip so she was excited to fill in that info.  Afterwards we went to the Special Spots section and even though we couldn't get to them during the review period we have them on our list to go to through out this next month.  I had each child pick a season, luckily it just worked out for us perfectly, but I can see that I'm going to have to get another one so that they can each have their own and they can personalize it how they want.  

Mahala did a page on Disneyland and Kaden did one on Malibu.  I loved how it prompts kids to write down key information, but still leaves the door wide open for their own style to shine through.  They can add a little or a lot to their pages.  I think having the kids write out what they want to see or do for sure during their trip helps them have focus and gets them to think about the event before hand.  My Favorite part is the section "Story of My Day"....it's not a book report or a list of 20 questions.  Just a place for the kids to recreate a section of their day.  To sum things up instead of dragging out a long 6 page essay on what they got out of the field trip.  Mahala really connected with the section"Something I Never want to Forget".  How sweet and Special.  Just a few lines for a moment during the day that your kiddo never wants to forget.  I mean let's face it, with age things start to look a little fuzzy! :)

Did I like this resource?  Yes, like crazzzzzy I did!  Where has this sweet Jewel been all my ears of homeschooling???  I think this is a great addition to your school because we all go on field trip, maybe not as much as you want, but they do still happen.  And when we go we like to document and make sure they kiddos actually got something out of the experience.  This combines the both of those into one neat little book.  It would work with any homeschooler with or without Special needs.  There is no rules to follow, just add what you want and totally personalize it as you explore your world together with your children.
You must at least check this out......Find out more on Social Media!

 Crew Disclaimer
Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review


The Book of Ancient Romans~ REVIEW


We love History around here.  It wasn't always like that though.....It took a lot of fun exploring deeper into the lives of people from the past and several independent projects and lap books, but I can certainly say we enjoy History a lot in our home.  Several weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to Review The book of Ancient Romans, originally written by Dorthy Mills and Edited by Memoria Press.  We received a Beautiful Textbook, a Student Guide and Teachers Guide. (All 3 pieces~ $39.95 and is suggested to use with Kiddos in 6th-9th grade)

I was thrilled to see that the text book reads just like a story.  I love this way of teaching, I think that kids retain more and are able to relate to it better then staring at a list of dates and facts.  So, this was very appealing to our Family.  If you have a student that's reluctant to learn History or who loves a good action story this is for them.  They will learn all kinds of knowledge regarding the Ancient Romans, along with some hidden gems that you probably had never heard of. :)  The Textbook has a sturdy cover, my kids spent several minutes rubbing their hands across it, because they said it was so soft and smooth.....I agreed with them.

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/-2015%20CREW/Book-of-the-Ancient-Romans_zpsp9dro2jj.pngThe Student Guide is very simple, not all junked up with extra, unneeded pizazz and very to the point.  My kids eat that up, they are not bells and whistle kind of people.  It starts out each chapter with Facts to Know and Vocabulary.  What we did here is we did this part first before we would read.  We worked through this program 3 times a week.  So, the first day we did that and then on Wednesday we would Read and complete the comprehension questions.  Towards the end of the week we would complete the extra Activities they listed.  This is a great way to wrap up your week and add some fun into your school week.  Through out the program you will have Reviews and Drawing Pages.  We LOVED doing the Drawing pages.  I wished I had some to share, but right now we are at Disney and I can't get access to my pics.  When I get home next week, I'll edit and add them.

What I truly Loved about the Teacher's Guide is that it is sooooooo simple to use and it's fool proof as far as using it for grading and checking your Kiddo's work.  I have used programs in the past that lists just answers and are so confusing to keep track of where you are and what you are actually grading.  I'm thrilled to say that you will not have that problem here.  The Teacher's Guide is simply just like the Students, except with the answers written out right underneath the questions asked.  Super simple and easy.....can't ask for anything better! :)
So, would I use this program again or with my other Kiddos.  Well, yes I would.  I already have my little guy looking at it in his free time.  I will continue the rest of the book and will use it with Kaden.  There are many other programs to look at too with Memoria Press, you should check them all out!  Let me know what you think, I just know that you too will think this is an affordable History course that will make teaching History even more enjoyable then ever.



Crew Disclaimer

Memoria Press Review