Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Preschool Sunday School: The Kind Man

We know the story as "The Good Samaritan," but for Preschoolers, "The Kind Man" is a title they can relate and connect to. 
In one of our centers, we doctored hurt babies:

I visited the 2's and 3's across the hall...they were learning about "The Kind Man" as well.  They were having fun with the doctor kit and taking care of their babies.
Ice pack for boo-boos:

In the block center we worked our Bible Verse Puzzle: 

Now to try it without the help of the picture: 


Our Bible Story Picture: 
Be kind to one another.  Ephesians 4:32

Monday, July 29, 2013

Free Issue: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (July/August)

Go HERE to read the most recent issue of The Old Schoolhouse.
You'll find lots of articles on foreign languages and grammar in this issue. 
I highly recommend the article, "I'm Done with Homeschooling!" 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Speech and Debate Camp

      This week my oldest son embarked on a new adventure: Speech and Debate.  He LOVES it!  (And Mama is so happy about that...I just had a feeling he would!)  The club we plan to join in the Fall starts off their year with a week long camp.  My son attended everday this week from 9-3.  He made tons of friends and got a huge "jump start" on learning all that he'll need to know for the upcoming year. 

The first day of camp...just getting started.  I think there were nearly 40 kids at camp. What an awesome bunch of kids!

     I was a camp a few of the days, in and out---learning too!  In club, my husband or I will be required to be at all club meetings each week.  I need to know what I'm doing so I can help out my son...and other kids in club.   I've learned a lot...all about IO's (Illustrated Oratory), LD (Lincoln Douglas), HI (Humorous Interpretation) and much more.  I'm telling you...there is an abbreviation shortened term for most everything in Speech and Debate!  :)  (Ok...and to be honest I missed all the classes on Lincoln Douglas or Team Debate. I have lots to learn in those areas!)
     The thing that brought me the most joy to me was seeing the friendships being formed during the week.  How neat to see a bunch of Christian, homeschooled kids encouraging, teaching and challenging one another as they seek to learn to communicate with others in our world! 
     Our Speech and Debate Club is a member of the NCFCA (National Christian Forensics and Communications Association).  Their mission is: The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association (NCFCA) believes that formal speech and debate can provide a means for homeschooled students to learn and exercise analytical and oratorical skills, addressing life issues from a biblical worldview in a manner that glorifies God. 
     The week ended with all the "newbies" giving speeches at the Parent Show.  They had only 2-3 days to work on them.  They all did well.  Some of the students (including mine) plan to take these same speeches and work on them all year, developing them into something even better.  We are so excited about this new adventure in our life!  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TOS Review: Picaboo Yearbooks

     Way back when we first started homeschooling, I had a fun idea to "scrapbook" each of my boys their own yearbooks.  I really like them, and so do they.  Only one problem.  I'm about 5 years behind schedule.  I have since discovered Picaboo Yearbooks.  I am proud to say that now I at least have a yearbook for the 2012-2013 homeschool year!  (And it only took me several fun hours in the evening to complete!)
    I was excited to have the opportunity to create and review Picaboo's 20 page softcover yearbook.  I had never made any type of photo book online, so I was a little bit nervous to try it out.  It was really simple to get started.  Their website is very easy to "learn as you go".  Navigating just took a little practice.  I found it very easy to download pictures from my computer.  (I downloaded about 5 at a time, which seemed to make it more manageable for me.) 
How it works:
1.  Create an account.  I found log in very easy each time.
2. Choose a yearbook to create.  I choose the 20 page softcover.
3. Create "sections" for your yearbook.  Mine included things like: field trips, holidays, art, etc.
4. Decide the number of pages for each section. 
5. Download pictures for those pages/sections
6. Choose the page layout based on the number of pictures per page.
7. Add in pictures
8. Choose backgrounds, text, stickers, etc. for each page.
9. When you are pleased with a section you can "lock" it. 
10. Lock all sections when done and click on the prompts to purchase.
11. Wait for your yearbook to arrive in the mail.  (I was very pleased with the quick turnaround!)
     There were things about creating my yearbook with Picaboo that I really liked.  The Picaboo program saves your work automatically.  This was a huge bonus for me.  Sometimes I would accidentally click out of a section, worried I had lost all my work.  But, to ,my relief, it was saved! 
     Another thing I really liked was how easy it was to reposition pictures.  You are given several options for each page.  There are lots of ways to position 4 pictures on a page, for example.  Once I loaded my pictures onto a particular format...I could then easily change them all around by just using my mouse!  Wa-la!  Just the way I wanted it!  Another thing that is so easy to navigate on the page is the text.  You can move that all around too.  (There are numerous fonts.)
     One other thing that was just so fun (especially for a wanna-be scrapbooker like me!) are all the "paper" backgrounds and "stickers".  Too much fun!  (I probably could have made my yearbook in a much shorter time, but I had so much fun with this aspect of the program.)  The only thing is that I wished they had more of a wide variety of animal and sports stickers. 
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Not just for Yearbooks
Although the company has "yearbooks" in the name, you are certainly not limited to yearbooks.  You could create a book commemorating an anniversary, special vacation or mission trip.  The possibilities are endless!  (I'm thinking I'd like to get each of my kids their own hardback yearbook the year they graduate...looking back over all their homeschool years.)

Yearbook Price: The 20 page softcover year book is a very reasonable $8.49.
 Yearbook Shipping: Shipping for the 20 page softcover is $8.99.
SO....that means you get a 20 page softcover yearbook for a total of $17.48.  (I don't think I could scrapbook for that cheap!)

Other Options
 Hardcover Yearbook (20 pages): $18.99
Free eYearbook (no print obligation necessary)
Additional pages: 22 cents
Free Shipping for 50 or more yearbook orders

Here's a peek inside our yearbook...
(We were so excited to get this in the mail!!  It came on the Fourth of July weekend, so my boys had lots of fun sharing their "yearbook" with their cousins and other family members!  They were so proud to have their own yearbook.  We are planning to have everyone who has a picture in the book  sign it. It is a yearbook, after all!)
Our "mega field trip" out West made several pages!

Piano pages

 Art and P.E.
Our back cover


Go HERE to read what the rest of the CREW had to say about Picaboo Yearbooks.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Yes to VBS! ~~2013~~

    Last night concluded another FABULOUS week of VBS!  I have been all about "Colossal Coaster World" since November when I attended my first meeting to be part of the VBS State Team.  Every minute was worth it!  I rejoice to report we witnessed 4 children receive Christ!  Praise the Lord!
Foyer decoration
4-year-olds room
5-year-olds room
Love the ceiling!!

Kindergarten!  Fun!!

What a clever class sign!  (4-year-olds)

Colorful entrance!

Who wouldn't want to attend Bible Study here?

Missions Expo!  (My hubby's class...had fun hanging the parachute from the ceiling!)
Main Gate~Worship Rally

The Apostle Paul (for the week!)  and my assnt. director. 
Awesome helpers!

Me on the last night...we had a photo booth! 
Who's gonna get the pie?  ME! (But in this picture I don't know it yet!  I think my hubby looks worried...ha!!)   The Apostle Paul had the honor of telling the missions totals for the week.  The boys raised the most!  It was gross--but glad to do it for missions! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

TOS Review~~Tunnel of Gold by Susan K. Marlow

     We struck gold when we received Tunnel of Gold by Susan K. Marlow and Kregel Publications to review--perfect timing for summer reading!  If you have big readers in your home like we do, you know the frustration of trying to find decent books for your kids to read, especially during the summer months when they have more free time to choose their own books. 
     Tunnel of Gold proved to be a book we do not have to worry about being on our shelf!  This is definitely a Christian book, not just a book with a "moral".  Scripture and Christian principles are woven throughout, while still maintaining an exciting story.  (In fact, I've recommended this book/author to a church librarian who was in need of good children's books.)
     Tunnel of Gold, by Susan K. Marlow, is from the "Goldtown Adventures" series and is book #2.  (It stood on its own without having to read book #1.)  Book #1 is Badge of Honor.  Book #3, Canyon of Danger will be making an appearance in November of 2013.  Susan K. Marlow has written other series as well: Circle C Adventures and Circle C Beginnings.

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     Tunnel of Gold is about a 12-year-old boy, Jem Coulter, and his adventures in a gold mining town in California.  The year is 1864.  He finds himself in a tough situation with no easy answers.  Will he learn to trust God and do the right thing?  (The book has 18 short chapters and is 144 pages long.)

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     My 12-year-old son read Tunnel of Gold as part of his summer reading.  I had a fun time interviewing him about his reading of the book:

An Interview with my son:

1. What did you think about the book?  The introduction was not as exciting as some other books.  But, after 3-4 pages it got much better.  I was not too enthusiastic about reading the book in the beginning, but it got good after that. 
2. What was your favorite part?  I liked the fighting parts.  The ending was pretty cool, I liked that.
3. Who was your favorite character?  Either Jim or Chad.
4. Who do you think would enjoy this book?  A boy about 10 years old who likes cowboys.
5. Was it easy to read?  Definitely.
6. Tell me about the pictures in the book.  There were just a few.  The pictures were not very big. I wish they had been more detailed.
7. Did you learn anything about history by reading this book?  Most of the history part I already knew, but I learned a lot about mining for gold.   I learned that there are 3 ways to get gold: panning for gold, mining for gold and crawling through "coyote holes" to get to the gold. 
8. Talk about the Christian aspects of this book.  This was a Christian book, but not "in your face" Christian.  It had a lot of Bible verses and stuff like that.  I thought that was good. 
9. What were the Christian principles emphasized in the book?  To obey your parents, God is always with you and forgiveness.

A few notes from "Mom": 
I really like that there is a "Historical Note" at the end of the book.  I love to wrap up a historical fiction with this information.  Not all historical fiction books include this, so I appreciate the added effort on the part of the author.

I think if the cover of the book had been a little more realistic and showed some of the action/adventure from the story, my son woud have been more inclined to want to read it.  As it turned out, he enjoyed the book anyway--but a better cover could have helped to make it more enticing.
Cost of Product: $7.99 for one book, or $13.95 for books #1 and #2.
Also Available: A very impressive Enrichment/Study Guide (free download)that would make a great unit study!
Age Range: The Goldtown Adventures book series is recommended for ages 9-13.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sunday School with my 4's and 5's~~~Joshua and Caleb

This past Sunday we learned about how Moses sent 12 spies into the Land of Canaan.  10 gave a bad report, and 2 gave a good report.  The 2 that gave a good report were Joshua and Caleb.  The trusted and obeyed God.
The spies brought back huge grapes from the Promised Land.  We made our grapes using cardboard tubes and purple washable paint.

A trick I learned a long time ago is to use a paper towel when doing any kind of "stamping" techniques with paint.  It creates a sort of "stamp pad" and has less drips and smudges.

(Before we stamped our grapes the children first drew the leaves for the grapes.)

Building the Land of Canaan.  Do you see the 12 spies?

Love God.  Deuteronomy 6:5