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England
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England

Jul 28, 2014 by

The first country of our global geography adventure is ENGLAND! This was a great country to start because this is where my parents were born and the majority of our relatives live today.  I remember visiting England a couple of times when I was little and have a few strong memories.  The double decker red buses.  The cobble stoned streets. Tall skinny brick homes....

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where are we going?
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where are we going?

Jul 14, 2014 by

We’ve been dreaming about our ideal geography program and now it’s time to take action and figure out how to accomplish it. We’re super excited to start! But first, I need to think and plan WHERE we’re going …. in order to get organized. Pebbles wanted to start last week ! So…. I better get my act together. Perhaps we start where our ancestors...

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design your own geography buffet
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Researching various world geography curriculum and quickly, and rather shockingly realized that it’s just as complex as language arts! There are so many variables in geography: map reading / navigation skills (compass rose, latitude/longitude, magnetic north, scale, distances etc.) physical geography (weather, land formations, erosion etc.) different kinds of maps (political, geophysical, weather, nautical, landmarks, populations, economic etc) cultures around the world (people, government,...

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pre-K math JOYS
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pre-K math JOYS

Jul 6, 2014 by

Joy and Math.  Not usually something that computes normally. Finding your little guy UNDER the coffee table, in his jammies, head on his stuffed friend along with his dog nearby doing math by choice on his own.  I was so joy filled at the cozy sight that I grabbed my camera snuck up behind the table as quiet as I could to not ruin...

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classic book list & literature guides
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Great literature has been on my mind lately. One of my favorite courses when finishing my degree was English Lit.  I LOVED finding the symbolism and major thematic ties in great stories.  Just as Common Core is looming to slash the importance of analyzing literature I’ve been feeling a stronger pull to introduce my now 5th grader to the depths of the great stories...

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an impromptu Passover Seder
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For the very first time ever, I decided that we would attempt to pull of a Passover Seder dinner this year.  Didn’t know much about it.  Didn’t plan it. Was just on my heart to try it out!  I knew that while it’s a prominent annual Jewish holiday – I also know that many Christians do observe it as well.  After all…. Jesus celebrated it...

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Lunar Eclipse
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Lunar Eclipse

Apr 17, 2014 by

Staying up to the wee hours of the morning of April 15th to watch the lunar eclipse was SO worth it!!  The time span of the complete eclipse was from April 14 at 9:55 pm through til April 15 at 3:36am. We had a quality pair of binoculars through which we could see every nook and cranny of the moon’s surface as well as...

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in the shadow of your wings
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Ever had one of those weeks when you keep seeing the same person over and over again in unexpected places? I have learned that in the scriptures if the same words or phrases are repeated over again a few times that it is like having a neon sign saying ‘did you miss it? just in case here it is again…. and again here.’  What...

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Can we get some ketchup and a Bible to go with our fries please?
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  After eating In-N-Out COUNTLESS times I noticed something tiny and monumental while taking a juicy mouth watering bite of my cheeseburger. In tiny point 6/7 font on the bottom of the white paper burger wrapper was some familiar words: Revelation 3:20 Huh ?!  I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering a secret message under a stone ! On a mission, the kids and I...

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Compose your own music with MuseScore
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If you or your child enjoys composing your own music – then you must download the FREE MuseScore program. We stumbled upon it when Pebbles was required to start composing her own music at Phoenix Yamaha Music School. A part of the program involves not only writing your own music for piano by ear, but then transcribing it with pencil onto paper, and then...

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picture planes for drawing
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Last semester I taught a Beginning Drawing class at our co-op ‘Branches Homeschool Community.’ One of the 12 weeks of classes was inspired by one of the “Drawing on the Right Hand Side of the Brain” YouTube videos from the classic book of it’s same name that I remember from way back in design school. The tools that Betty Edwards used are a product...

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review: Camp Chef Artisan Pizza Oven 90
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Making fresh pizza is something that we’ve done as a family for many years. The kids love making it and we love rolling out the dough and personalizing the toppings. Up til now, we either try grilling it or pumping our oven up to max heat and pre-heating our pizza stone for a long time. So far…. our most favorite ingredients have been from...

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igneous rock is delicious !
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In science this week (R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey – Earth & Space) we read about igneous rock – and one of the labs included the making of our own – chocolate marshmallow fudge ! The chocolate chips and marshmallows represent rocks and minerals that are pulled into the molten mantle.  The heat within the mantle melts these and turns into magma. Magma if it moves...

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review: My Home School Grades
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Newly updated with powerful lesson planning features – I’m finally excited and ready to share my review on ‘My Home School Grades’ with you. I am writing this review on my own accord – they have NOT asked me to write a review at all so everything that I say is from the heart, and my honest opinion after using it for a few...

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multiple column multiplication woes
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Been feeling stuck in the tail end of Gamma (Math U See) for months and months…. just can’t seem to get out of it, finish it and move on to Delta. Here’s our challenge – and I’m sure some of you have been there too: Despite knowing the times tables and fully understanding the process of multiple column multiplication inside and out …. mistakes...

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Homeschool Grad shares her experience and insight
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I’m thrilled to share with you another interview with a homeschool grad.  Her name is Jana, and she was homeschooled from 4th grade onwards. Today, she is a mother of a bright 2-yr old and married to a wonderful husband who was also homeschooled. I truly hope that this interview provides you with insight and new thoughts to ponder.  The beauty of homeschooling is...

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sculpting fossils
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sculpting fossils

Jul 27, 2013 by

Since the chances of us finding real fossils in the ground are pretty slim – this art project combines both history, geology and art all together in this creative activity. We were studying the dinosaurs in our Mystery of History Volume I: Creation to the Resurrection and I remembered that I saw this great lesson plan for “FANTASTIC FAUX FOSSILS” on the Dick Blick...

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free & flexible meal planning
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While tempted to try the groupon for emeals I know that it won’t work for my ultra picky family. It is guaranteed that 50% of the suggested recipes someone in my family will not touch. Until they all become more flexible people and willing to try new things I have to use recipes from our own cookbooks, family recipes or many of the billions...

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minoan fresco secco
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minoan fresco secco

Jul 24, 2013 by

Studying the Minoan civilization with The Mystery of History Volume I: Creation to the Resurrection – we stumbled across this “Pastel Fresco Secco” activity on the Dick Blick website.  They have FREE art lesson plans for educators for all grade levels and abilities complete with supply lists, online videos and PDF step by step instructions.  Since the Minoans had amazing fresco paintings of marine...

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cute little isopods
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cute little isopods

Jul 23, 2013 by

Isopods or affectionately known as ‘roly-pollies’ (or pill bugs) are a lot of fun to study.  Pebbles enjoyed her time studying and playing with them in her R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey – Life labs.  We searched all over our garden for them and just couldn’t find any so we ended up buying them online at www.bugsincyberspace.com  (isn’t that the greatest website name?!) They even have...

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meringue cookies
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meringue cookies

Jul 16, 2013 by

Since we had so much fun making lemon pudding with the fluffy egg whites – Pebbles and I tried making meringue cookies for the first time! Two types – vanilla and strawberry.  This is a hybrid recipe between her kids baking book from the library and searching online for adding Torani syrup.  Not only did we have both strawberry or raspberry Torani in the...

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Ken Davis: Fully Alive
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Ken Davis: Fully Alive

Jul 13, 2013 by

Had to share this video with you!  Ken Davis: Fully Alive isn’t just another comedy of someone poking fun at their own life…. it reveals our own life in the process.   Are we living our lives by routine letting the days slip by? Do we pass up opportunity to stick with the comfy? What does it feel like to have a soul that’s fired...

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reflections of a second generation homeschooler
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Today, we are blessed by the reflections of a second generation homeschooler.  Her name is Stephanie, and she was homeschooled from 5th grade onwards. Today, she is a wife and mother …. and embarking on her next journey as she dives into homeschooling her own children. If you have ever wondered what an adult would think about their own unique homeschool journey in the...

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accountable kids
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accountable kids

Jul 7, 2013 by

This year at AFHE Convention I discovered the “Accountable Kids” program. On that Friday night, I brought the brochure home to show the kids to see what they thought of the idea, checked out their website and watched their videos. Pebbles thought the boards and cards were super cute and said that she couldn’t wait to start decorating her own board !!  BamBam just...

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color sorting + counting
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A fun way for the little ones to practice sorting colors, matching their numbers – and great for their fine motor skills. wash an old egg carton and remove lid use a sharpie pen and write clearly a number in the bottom of each section fine small objects, like beads, and sort by different colors per qty (it’s easier for them to use all...

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pattern block fun
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pattern block fun

Jul 5, 2013 by

Stumbled across our bucket of pattern blocks and thought it would be fun for BamBam to make some designs with the red-white-blue shapes! He preferred to sit and make his own designs – pumpkins, rockets, boats and his sister took a much greater interest in seeing how many different designs she could make with the same red-white-blue shapes on a round plate. This required...

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raising butterflies
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raising butterflies

Jul 4, 2013 by

We were having lunch when suddenly the kids yelled ‘there’s a butterfly!’ A beautiful orange, black and white butterfly was happily dancing amongst our baby citrus trees. It stayed for a long time so we went to take a closer look.  Quickly, we discovered that she was busily laying eggs on all of our citrus trees !! Inches away we could see the egg...

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