Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bread Machine Rocks!!!

I'm so totally addicted to my new bread machine!! My mom had one and I even borrowed it once but never actually tried to make anything with it. I went to a church fundraiser and found one that was like new so decided to try one more time to see if I would get the bread making maching bug.

Who would have thought this little mechanical box could bring so much happiness in our home. It actually sat on the shelf for a month before I got the courage to pull it out and search the Internet for a recipe. That coupled with the fact that there were some ripened bananas on the counter just screaming to be cooked into banana bread.

I searched the web and found a recipe for chocolate chip banana bread. Poured all the ingredients in...clicked all the special little buttons and watched the glob of ingredients turn into a masterpiece. The bread was such a hit with the family, that I decided to make a few more loaves. I especially liked throwing all the ingredients in before church and coming home to a fresh baked loaf of bread.

So feeling totally confident in my "bread making" skills, I decided to try a new recipe and picked a chili bread. I tweaked the ingredients a bit and as the bread was mixing, rising and baking the scent filled the air of our home. I think this particular bread is going to be our favorite as it has a bit of spicy taste to it and will be perfect with a little cream cheese spread on a slice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sue Patrick's Workbox System

The one size fits all statement isn't always true in the home school world. Some families have systems already in place that are highly effective and get the job done. Other families struggle for organization and can't seem to find a way to get everything done in a day.

Our family happens to be one of those families that DOES have a system in place that works for us. I have mentioned before that the way that we home school tends to make my boys more independent in their learning than the traditional style of education. In addition to homeschooling our boys for religious reasons, we have found that our style of homeschooling has fostered a love of learning in our boys. That is something I would never want to compromise.

Sue Patrick's Workbox System is for the families that are struggling to find a way to get their children to finish all their work. It is also for families looking for a way to organize their day to day activities. It is for the families that have an autistic child that are scrambling for ideas on how to create an environment that he/she can thrive in.

One of Sue Patrick's reasoning behind her system is that it will create independent learning. Her program also outlines a structured organized way to get your children through the day very similar to what you would have in a public school. However because of the box system that she recommends and that the children are told which classes to do and in what order, it wasn't going to work for our family from the inception.

She also states that in order for the system to work to its best potential that you have to do things exactly the way that the manual describes them. Homeschoolers like our family hardly ever fully use a curriculum exactly like it was designed by the author. We tend to tweak things to fit our particular child or family. Some of the ideas will be continued to use in our home, however, many of the things like the workboxes will not be used. We also do not have the room nor the finances to set up the desks and workboxes exactly the way that she recommends which also was a stumbling block for our family.

Had my oldest child been home schooled this year, this system would have worked for him. He is one of those children that thrives on structure and complete scheduling. He likes to know exactly what he is supposed to do and in what order. He thrives on it...which is why he is doing well in a public middle school. This system is for a child that needs structure, scheduling and directed organization in order to thrive in his/her education.

My middle child and youngest child, like the flexibility of home school. While we do have a "schedule" and they have a set amount of work that they have to get done each day, they like being able to "mix-it-up" and do their classes in the order that they want to. Having boxes all over the place all the time for us would create more chaos and clutter.

If you have a child that is like my oldest and needs a visual picture of what they need to do and what order, I highly recommend this program for you. It is also highly recommended for families with children with autism as well.

The book for this program is only $19.95. You can also purchase this book with four months of personalized consulting with Sue Patrick for only $119.95.

Sue Patrick's Website is HERE if you would like more information.

The Workbox System manual was given to our family to review as part of being a member of The Old Schoolhouse Crew. The opinions expressed her are my own after my family has had a chance to review this product together. To get more perspectives of this curriculum, please click on the Crew button at the top left of this blog to see what other members thought.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where did fall go?

As I'm driving my oldest son to school today, I am wondering....where did fall go? We have had two snow storms already. One just 13 days ago and again one today. I was also thinking how spoiled I was last year not having to wake up every morning and drive in bad weather.

I'm also bummed because I wanted to get some fall photo shoots in this week! These pictures are from last year because it has been too wet to get any pictures. For those of you who have seen the pictures from last year before, you know how our back yard, drive way and front yard is just filled with leaves this time of year. Well now our driveway not only has a "leaf" storm of leaves 1 inch high (that we hoped to get cleaned up this week)'s now snowing on top of them which will be really interesting when we go to clean the driveway later today!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Amazing Bible World History Timeline

Ever wanted to see a timeline of the earth from time of Adam to the present? You can with the Amazing Bible World History Timeline from Bible Maps and Charts, LLC.

This was sent to our family as part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team. My husband I think was the most excited to see this timeline as he is an avid history buff. I love the way that everything is laid out on the chart so that you can visually see our Biblical history. I love the size and colorfulness of the map. Even my five year old was fascinated with this amazing Bible resource.

The map comes to you safely shipped to you for only $29.97 plus $6.00 shipping and handling. We plan to frame ours and display it in our family room. You also get two free digital downloads with the purchase of this map and if you would like to purchase a second one for a friend or for a gift to your church, you can purchase two for $49.97 and still only pay $6.00 for shipping and handling.

Click Here to get your copy of this amazing Bible history reference for your family.

These books were provided at no cost to our family as a part of being a member of the review team for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. The opinions are mine after reviewing the products with my children and husband.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sarah Books - Sarah's Wish

Take a journey into the world of the Underground Railroad with Sarah's Wish. The Author Jim Baumgardner had me absolutely captivated with the story of Sarah and her plight to find a new family as well as talking about a part of the Underground Railroad that had not been in a lot of the historical fiction books that I have read. I had read many books about the southern plantation owners or books that talked about things from the slaves perspective before, but this book shows you a child's perspective of helping to hide slaves on their way to freedom. I can't wait to read the next two books to find out what happens next to little Sarah and the amazing other loveable characters in this series.
Sarah's Wish, is currently on sale for the amazing price of $9.99 and this includes a special autograph from the author for the recipient. What a very special birthday or Christmas gift for the young girl in your life. You can also get all three books in the series for $39.95.

This book was given to me by the author to review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Review Crew. The opinions expressed in this article are my own after reviewing this book with my husband and children.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Goodnews Express from Passkeys Foundation - Thanks, But No Thanks

We recently reviewed The Good News Express - Thanks, But No Thanks by Tony Salnerno. Your child goes on an adventure with Finney who learns that being thankful is very important when he goes into a land where everyone does not say "thank you". It's a great way to get across the point of being thankful to your children in a fun and creative way.

Just one look at the book and my boys were scrambling to the computer to get the disk in to listen to this book. My eight year old loved the songs and especially liked the fact that he could read along with the book while the CD was playing.

There are four books in this series:

The Birthday Gift - This book emphasizes the importance of giving and sharing.
The Special Wish - This book teaches children to value people more than things.
Thanks, But No Thanks - This book as mentioned above talks about thankfulness.
The Cheerful Grump - This book teaches about having a good attitude.

You can get all four of the books with cd's for $20.00 or an individual book and cd for $7.50.

Visit The Website for More Information

You can also find out what other TOS Crew Members thought of these books by visiting The Old School House Crew Blog. Just click on the button at the top left of the blog to see reviews of this book as well as many other great homeschooling products. This book was provided to my family at no cost as part of my membership of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine review Crew. The opinions expressed in this article are mine after reviewing this product with my children and husband.

Guardian Angel Publishing

We received free e-books to review for Guardian Angel Publishing. I actually am coming to like the concept of e-books especially with our overflow of books throughout our house. I have started organizing my e-books and worksheets by subject on my computer which makes my "computer library" much more organized than the shelves and crates of hard copy books in my home. The Sum of Our Parts: No Bones About It by Bill Kirk, had a lot of facts that were fun for my boys, however the graphics and drawings in this book were not impressive and pretty simplistic.

Stubby's Destiny by Dixie Phillips was my favorite of all the e-books that we reviewed. Follow the story and his dream to carry a king...little does he know that God has a very special plan for him.

Andy and Spirit Go to the Fair by Mary Jean Kelso was an outstanding book teaching children about how even someone in a wheelchair can achieve their dreams. Andy is a lovable character in this book and I loved how he persevered and won the event even through the taunting and laughing of members of the audience.

Hamster Holidays by Cynthia Reeg was a great book that goes through the year and uses color coded words to emphasize nouns and adjectives. I particularly liked this book as sometimes it's hard to fully explain to your child the difference between a noun and an adjective. This visual tool is perfect for a child that is struggling with that particular concept.

Earthquake by Susan Berger was once again a very factual book about earthquakes. While the graphics and illustrations were much better the the book about bones, it was still hard to compete against the other science books in our family library.

The books are very reasonable on this site. You can download a PDF file of a book for $5.00. A CD of a book runs around $9,95 plus shipping. If you are wanting a printed copy of a book, they run around $10.95 plus shipping and handling.

Visit the Guardian Angel Publishing Site!

These books were provided at no cost to our family as a part of being a member of the review team for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. The opinions are mine after reviewing the products with my children and husband.