Heroes of History ~ Harriet Tubman ~REVIEW

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I have been inspired, encouraged and totally amazed by a lady named Harriet Tubman the past few weeks.  We were able to learn about her through the Heroes of History- Harriet Tubman Book and Digital Unit Study Curriculum Guide from YWAM Publishing.  I remember very little about Harriet, The Under Ground Railroad and Slavery from back in high school.  I knew Slavery happened, it was awful and I didn't want to relive it or think about it.  But, this year as Mahala has been reading Uncle Tom I have had some pretty deep conversations with her and have had pieces of my heart touched. 


The Typing Coach ~ REVIEW

The Typing Coach

I remember my typing class back in high school.  I sat behind an old office electric Brothers typewriter.  Yes, friends back in the early 1990's we still used those contraptions. :)  Needless to say I was a two finger kind of typist.  But, I didn't care....I was young and I knew things.  Who needs to be able to type I have a thing called an ink pen, Hello! :)  Yes, even back then kids thought they new everything and I was one of them.  So, fast forward back to today and you obviously know that we are behind a keyboard a lot, like more than a lot.  I use it to write, work, teach my kids...you get the picture.  I never thought to teach my kids how to type the correct way, they just learned on their own.  I was very interested to see what The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach would be like.  I was surprised to see most things haven't changed from high school.


New Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc. ~ REVIEW

I know you have heard me sing the praises of Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc. many many times, but I'm here once again to show you what Kaden's been up to with these New Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors.

The Last Star Blog Tour and Giveaway!!

I'm pretty new to The 5th Wave party, but my daughter Mahala was bouncing off the walls excited to hear that there are more books to come in this series.  Sadly not many details yet, but for now You can try to snag this Awesome Giveaway down bellow and make sure you share that today is the Paperback Release Day for  
The Last Star!!


The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora Blog Tour & Giveaway!!!

It's Summer time, so in my house that still means school time with a lot more free time though.  And my kiddos like to read in their free time.  So this Mama is stocking the shelves with some fun new exciting books. One of them happens to be The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora written by Pablo Cartaya.  I've never read anything from this Author, but I was excited to add it to our library for a few reasons.  One we are originally from Florida and have family living in Miami where this story is so lively situated in.  And two it's about Family and my life is about Family, loving each other, standing up for each other and fighting for each other.  This book also lets me peek into the spicy flare of the Latino culture.  The Spanish dialogue mixed through out the book added an authentic experience to the story I wasn't expecting, but loved and appreciated.  The Author is already very descriptive and detailed, but they way he writes I could smell the foods laid out onto the Family table.  I could feel the love... my feet almost swayed as I imagined music in the background.  I definitely was taken back in time to when I was a young 13. :)


Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL? 

For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela's restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute girl who moves into Arturo's apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn't notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.
Pablo Cartaya has always been a hopeless romantic. In middle school he secretly loved reading Shakespeare’s sonnets (don’t tell anyone), and he once spent his allowance on roses for a girl he liked. He also wrote her eight poems. Bad ones. He’s been writing ever since. Pablo has worked in Cuban restaurants and the entertainment industry, and he graduated with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. All of these experiences have helped him write stories that reflect his family, culture, and love of words. Pablo lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, surrounded by tías, tíos, cousins, and people who he calls cousins (but aren’t really his cousins). Learn more about Pablo at pablocartaya.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (ARV: $16.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 15, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Week One:
May 15 – Ms. Yingling Reads – Review
May 16 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Guest Post
May 17 – Folded Pages Distillery – Review
May 18 – All Done Monkey – Review
May 19 – Margie’s Must Reads – Guest Post
Week Two:
May 22 – Four Violet – Review
May 23 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
May 24Little Earthling Blog – Review
May 25The Reading Nook Reviews – Review
May 26The Boy Reader

1980's Summer

The 1980's was filled with many Summer Memories of fun childhood wonder.  Growing up in the 80's was a different time, I collected Garbage Pail Kids not Pokemon.  I was fighting Bowser and traipsing through the Legends of Zelda, not kissing vampires and navigating through the web of Social Media.  So, this Summer..... I'm bringing back the 80's.  I'm pretty excited, we are still going to do our homeschool but with a fun twist.  
I'll be posting everything here and obviously on Instagram!!!!


Captain Absolutely ~ REVIEW

 We have another book to Review today, but this one is a little different.  We had the opportunity to read Captain Absolutely from Focus On The Family.  This book is different for a few reasons.  One, it's a Graphic Novel and two it's Faith Based.  So, that means clean language, appropriately dressed characters and a little Biblical Wisdom.  Sounds like a win win situation to me.  We have loved Adventures in Odyssey since the kids were young so this was going to be fun to add to our family library.


Homeschool Rescue ~ REVIEW

Not a week goes by that I don't question myself in some way regarding my Homeschool.  I worry how I'm going to teach next year's Math, will they be able to write beautifully in Cursive.  That's surface stuff....I worry are they getting what they need to be productive people in this world?  How am I going to solve World hunger when I need to get Mahala's transcripts updated for her Senior year?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed, I can't be the only one....right?  Obviously not, because this next Review Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity is a New Self-Paced Program that is designed to throw us Mamas a life raft!  So, if you feel like you have been sinking or even floating around in those waters, this may be just what you have been praying for.


Sensory Seeker

Kaden is a huge Sensory Seeker...all day every single day.  As long as he is in control, if we walked into a room with loud music and strobe lights we would be in for a long meltdown.  But, I have seen him roll around on the floor for over and hour with his blinking light thingy we bought at Disney last year and have absolutely no problem with it. 

These days I'm pretty happy with my Autism Mama Skills these days.  Long ago are the days when I tried to squeeze a typical day out of not so typical kid.  And we are all much happier for it. I used to go by the seat of my pants and do a workbook approach with Skylar who was public schooled through 6th grade.  He was very much used to workbooks and taking tests.  Mahala has been homeschooled since the end of 2nd grade.  I did a laid back unschooling approach and we worked on Mastering subjects.  We used a rough outline with Sonlight.  We focused on Good Books and burning through each grade level.  This way burned her out a little, because I think it became mundane and not fun or exciting.  

But, this was also the Season of life we were living in.  From the time Kaden was 4 ears old until  he was a little over 8 we had people in our home 40 hours a week doing ABA therapy with him.  And before that we were in over our heads and didn't know what we were going to do.  We did the best we could during that time.  This past year has been a huge difference in so many ways.  I'll share some of the changes later this week, but here is what my little Sensory Seeker has been up to this week.
Of course reading is a Major thing for him.....he reads constantly and always 2-4 books at a time.  I should share Kaden's reading List.... :)

Any time he can get into water he takes the opportunity.  Add a little essential oil and or bubbles and you have one happy boy.  We have recently been combining water beads and Homer to his trampoline time too.  Homer provides pressure and company as Kaden soaks in the sun.  And the water beads are a texture treasure in his eyes.  We do this also while we read, practice math facts, do oral spelling tests, narration and listening to audio dramas.

Hamster Princess Giant Trouble ~ Review, Craft & Giveaway

 What do you think a Battle Quail eats?  What exactly is a top knot?  How fast do you think Mumfrey can run?  Can you eat goose eggs?  I could go on and on with the questions Kaden asked while reading the 4th book from Ursula Vernon's Hamster Princess Series.  I'm not quite sure why he Loves this book so much, I take that back.....I know why.  First the vibrant glittery cover caught his sensory seeking eyes and drew him in immediately.  Kaden usually doesn't relate well with fairy tales and I was a bit shocked he continued reading after recognizing the story line from Jack and the Beanstalk.    But, I finally figured out that I think it's because the characters are animals in this series and not people.  In Kaden's world of Autism he has always been drawn to animals rather than people.  And this story captured his heart and sparked his imagination.  


High School Essay Intensive ~ REVIEW

"Mom I'm going to go upstairs and write," said my daughter.  What?  Yes, you read correctly.  Mahala has been writing her little heart out since we discovered the High School Essay Intensive from Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I couldn't have been any happier when I found out that we would be able to use and review this program in our Homeschool.


Prince and Pirate ~ REVIEW

Recently Kaden and I have been reading the most adorably silly, over giggly book written by Charlotte Gunnufson.  We were able to receive our own copy of Prince and Pirate a few weeks ago and I can't wait to share this little "fish tail" with you.


The Secret Bridge ~ REVIEW

I have another Lamplighter Publishing book to share a Review with you today.  This one is called The Secret Bridge written in 1899 by Amy Le Feuvre.  I know I was all crazy eyes over the other Lamplighter books, but this one honestly I have Never seen another book like it.  It is covered in a buttery soft, aqua colored faux leather.  The image on the cover looks like it was carved into it...the detail work is breathtaking.  And at the bottom is the title etched into a gold embossing.  I love filling our home library with books from Lamplighter because their mission is to help develop Christ-like Character one Story at a time.  They do this by carefully editing high quality Literature and reprinting strong Character stories with integrity and good morals.

Art Study for Busy Homeschool Moms ~ REVIEW

I have Reviewed for ArtAchieve before and I was so excited to have the opportunity to try another level.  This time we were given the Entire Level IV and I planned to do it right along with Mahala.  Like I've said many times I love to draw and paint.  I'm more of a free spirit and just start with a blank space and let paint fly.  Mahala is the opposite and usually stays away from creative projects to a degree.  But, recently she has surprised me.....a lot!  We have both been enjoying these Art Classes and I can't wait to fill you in on why this is perfect for Busy Homeschool Moms, but first let me tell you how to get started.


56 Weeks till School is Officially Out!!!

You read correctly.... only 56 Weeks till school is Officially out for my Mahala.  We school year round thank goodness so we have plenty of time to get in all that we need to before she rides off into the College Sunset of her choice.  
I know I sound all Big and Bad, Cool, Calm and Collected.  But, that's because 56 weeks sounds like a long time.  On the inside though I know it will go fast....super crazy fast!!!

Over the past few weeks I have been really working on narrowing down what truly needs to be done and what I would still like to learn or do with her.  So, today we started with History.  I'm kind of going back through what we missed or might have skimmed over.  We did a ton of unit studies and reading with Sonlight for History.  But, there are little tiny gaps.  For instance today we talked about the Salem Witch Trials.  I asked her about it, she had heard of it, but didn't have details to go with it.  So we spent a little time on it and plan for the same tomorrow with a little more deeper digging on religion, Puritans and the the Geography of Salem.  Is it a big deal to know all this?  No, but I want her to have knowledge of it.  She doesn't need to know the exact number of trials conducted or memorize the names of the people that were accused.  But, I do want her to know about this moment in time, like so many others that we will be exploring for the next 56 weeks.  Most likely I will be only doing narration when it comes to testing her knowledge.  Except I do have about 10 research reports and a handful of essays peppered throughout the next 56 weeks.  
Later this week we will be stating a Founding Fathers series.....after going to mount Rushmore last year I'm super excited about this one! 

Other subjects on the books for now....Science these days are relaxed.  But, starting next week we will be adding Chemistry in our rotation. Three days a week we have Chemistry and two days a week she will be doing a Critical Thinking Course along with Nature Journaling with Kaden.  I like when they do things together.  Oh, and speaking of together....they also do Geography three days a week.  We are doing Africa right now!!! :)

I know this is kind of long....sorry!  For English she has 36 books to read, totally doable for her I will probable have to add.  Right now she is reading Pride and Prejudice and Uncle Toms Cabin.  I know crazy combo!!!  She is practicing cursive 3 days a week, working on her writing program 5 days a week and alternating Poetry and vocabulary work every other day.  Math is just reviewing Geometry and possibly after the Summer starting Algebra 2.  She is completing a Health program she started earlier this year and will be alternating Yoga and meditation daily along with herbal studies.  

As for the Fine Arts....twice a week she creates with her hands, the other three days are filled with a Composer and Artist study, Art Piece, Composition or Style study.  And she practices Piano and or her Ukulele.