Hey, It's Jade!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Homeschool Recap, Sept 30th (Wk 4)

In my life this week...
It was another busy week for us.  I guess I should probably just stop saying that, 'cause life is just busy for everyone in general, right?  I had several Usborne things and random appointments.  Preston had a dentist check up and everything looked great, praise the Lord!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
Last Saturday, we participated in the Walk for a Cure JRDF benefit.  It was so fun, and a lot easier than I expected.  Lol!  I've never done one of those things and I couldn't quite wrap my head around 5K... now I can, and I'd love to do it again some time!  Wednesday evening we spent with some friends, one from out of town, and got to meet her precious baby!  He is 6-months old and weighs the same as Callen, who's 18 months old!  I really do need to get my baby on Pedia-sure!!!  Haha.  It was nice to catch up with them!  Then on Thursday, I did an Usborne party at another friends' house and I had a great time getting to show them our books.  Preston had a blast playing with their 4-yr-old.  And today we've got a playdate with our homeschool group and we're having some people over for an Usborne/Scentsy party.  Pretty excited about getting to see so many people lately... I've been missing people like crazy!
After the walk on Saturday.
Praying for...
Guidance.  In many forms. 
Also, it's kinda silly, but I really want to meet my Success Bound goal for Usborne by my cut-off at 10am on Monday.  It means a lot to me and will greatly help our team - and I'm close, but I need a few more retail sales to get me there.  Praying that some of the people who said they'd purchase books, really will, and soon!!!  I had three parties scheduled for this week, one cancelled and another had no guests, so.... yeah.  Definitely praying God moves some people!  Lol.

In our homeschool this week...
Tot school:  Haha, yeah, right.
Bible: Talked about how the Bible is made up of 66 little books in one Big Book. We also read more stories from our Hands-On Bible. Memorized Proverbs 23:12: "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge."  Really proud of Preston, he is doing so great with the memorizing... he can tell me this one along with the previous two with only a little prompting!

Reading/Writing: Worked on more short vowel sounds: e, i, o and u.
MFW workbook & blocks!
Math:  This week's theme was counting.  Something Preston rolled his eyes at me about, of course.  Lol.  But the books we read were fun (see widget below) and the pages from Complete Book of Math were super easy for him, so we breezed right through it.
Working together!
Science:  We talked about how flowers grow.  We started an avocado seed on Sunday.  So far all it's done is start splitting in two, and I think we can see the beginnings of a root growing out.  We'll definitely be keeping an eye on it for a while.  We attempted the flower dye experiment (went out and gathered petals from a bright pink bush, added some water and kneaded it to try to get a pinkish dye... kind of a bust).  Read some more fun flower and plant books, including one of our new Usborne books, How Flowers Grow.

Art/Music: We practiced using the 5 elements of drawing and drew some random lines, circles, dots, etc. I also showed Preston a portrait by Goya and we talked about what the little boy in the painting was thinking, why it was so dark, etc. We talked about piccolos and flutes and I showed Preston some youtube videos of people playing some popular tunes on these instruments. We were highly impressed with this one:

Spanish:  Still working on numbers 1-20.  He's growing tired of it, so we're moving on next week instead of spending another week on it.  The book moves up to counting in 10's to 100, but I think we'll stick with 1-20 for now and move on to the Spanish Alphabet next week.



Books we used this week in addition to our curriculum:

We are using My Father's World First Grade. See our curriculum here.

Blog Hoppin' with:
MFW Blog Roll The Homeschool Mother's Journal Hip Homeschool Hop Button Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Photobucket
Happy to say I was featured on the "Friendly Friday" link-up from Thanks, Mail Carrier!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Busy Week Ahead!

Looks like it'll be another busy week ahead, and I'm glad!  I have three Usborne parties coming up this week, closing out my incentive period.  Hoping to hit my Success Goal by Sunday!  I have several eShows closing at the end of this week, so if you want to support any of these people/organizations by shopping through their link, click on the image to go to my home page - then click on their name and have fun browsing!

Click here to shop!
Hate to say it, but the holidays are most definitely creeping up on us!  Books make wonderful gifts!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homeschool Recap, Sept 23rd (Wk 3)

In my life this week...
We got up early on Monday and took Michael to work so that we could make use of the car.  And boy did we - I crammed so many errands into one day it made our heads spin, but we got it all done!  Callen had his 18-month check up: Healthy, but underweight (4th percentile - that's where Preston was most of the time too, so I'm not too worried). He's 32.5" tall and just 21.5 lbs. 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
On Monday, we also stopped by Gorbella's so the boys could play a little.  And on Thursday, I had a few friends over with their kids for a playdate.  The kids had so much fun.  The ages ranged from 4-months to nearly 6 years old, but they all did well together.  I had a nice time getting to hang out with a couple of ladies I didn't previously know very well.  I can't wait to do that again soon!  We also spent some time at our park this week... so glad it's within walking distance!

I'm grateful for...
the fact that Fall is officially here.  I love Fall.  It is my FAVORITE!  And this morning even FELT like Fall out there.  Makes me all giddy!!!

A quote to share...
This morning I told the boys I was going potty and would be right back.  Callen started fussing because I had left him in the playpen and he was tired of it.  This is what I heard...
Preston: Don't cry, baby.  Mommy isn't going to a party you're not invited to.  She's going to to the potty, not a party.  And I wasn't invited either."

In our homeschool this week...
Tot School:  Ehh, not going as planned as far as having specific things scheduled to do with the baby.  But, I am able to find things to occupy Callen for little bits of time so Preston and I can work together, or at least so Preston can work on something independently while I play with Callen.  And I leave anything that needs a lot of concentration for when Callen is taking a nap, that way Preston gets complete quite and attention from me.
Making sweet music!
Bible: We learned and memorized Proverbs 10:5 "He who gathers crops in the summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son."  And he still remembers last week's verse, woo hoo!  We also read from our Hands-On Bible.

Reading/Writing: Finished up practicing letters and created our Alphabet Scroll.  Started on short vowel 'a.'
Our ABC Scroll is finished!
Math: This week's theme was sorting and classifying.  We read some fun books about sorting, like The Button Box and Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop.  Preston sorted his pattern blocks, lots of buttons, his bag of animals and all kinds of other things.
Little Brother "helping" to sort animals
Science: We discussed Seasons, which was pretty timely considering today is the First Day of Fall!  We read a book every day (see below) about the seasons.  Preston illustrated what a tree looks like in each season.  One of the books we read was Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic.  A very cool, beautifully illustrated book using each letter of the alphabet to make little poems about the specific words using those letters.  Preston thought this was so neat, and spent most of the day trying to come up with his own.  He hasn't figured one out just yet.  =)
Seeing the earth rotate!
Art/Music: We talked about and listened to music played by a soprano recorder and bagpipes!  We also looked at a landscape painting from our book and talked about the basic elements of drawing (circle, dot, straight line, curved line and angles).

Spanish: Working with numbers, but moved up into 11-20.



Books we used this week in addition to our curriculum:

We are using My Father's World First Grade. See our curriculum here.

Blog Hoppin' with:
MFW Blog Roll The Homeschool Mother's Journal Hip Homeschool Hop Button Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Photobucket

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Read Aloud Thursday: Sept 22nd

Read-Aloud Thursday @ Hope Is the Word  is a fun weekly meme to showcase the books you are reading aloud to your children.  It is so important to continue reading to your kids, even after they've learned to read themselves!  Read to them until they move out if you can!  I read to my 5 1/2 year old a book or chapter every nite at bedtime, and read to him and his younger brother all throughout the day.  Sometimes my older reads to my little, which always blesses my heart!  I also use this opportunity to highlight some of the great Usborne Books & More titles I have to offer.

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We read one or two books each day with our schooling in addition to other books throughout the day or at bedtime.  We read books that we have or check out from our library to go alongside the topics we're discussing in science and math.  This week we are discussing Seasons, and we read a really cute book yesterday called A Bear for All Seasons, written by Diane Marcial Fuchs and illustrated by Kathryn Brown.  It's about a Bear who is all snuggled up and ready for his Winter hibernation nap, but is kept up by his Fox friend.  Fox keeps reminding Bear about why the other seasons are better than Winter... and then he ends up complaining about each one as well.  That doesn't phase Bear, though.  He continues to declare that each season is FAVORITE for different reasons, usually based on the foods he eats during those times.  It's a sweet story with lovely illustrations of the woods and the friends doing seasonal activities like picking berries, swimming, fishing or throwing snowballs.  My son liked this story because he thought it was funny how the Bear was so sure that this season was his favorite, then would turn around and turn his mind declaring that no, THIS season is his favorite.  A Bear for All Seasons is a great way to emphasize the features of each of the four seasons while not coming across as a mere book of seasonal facts (my son wasn't as interested in those books this week). 

I've started reading to my little one before he goes to bed.  I hadn't before simply because it's been a difficult time getting him into a bedtime routine and it was just better for me to put him in his crib and leave him so he could put himself to sleep.  Lots of trial and error on that one.  But the past few nites, I've taken him alone in his room (Big Brother was occupied playing Angry Birds with Daddy, ha!), sat in the glider and read to him before placing him in his crib.  We read Are You Ticklish? and How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors?.  We have many Jane Yolen books, and have always adored them.  They were some of the first books that Preston learned to memorize and recite back to me before learning to read them.  If you haven't read any of the dinosaur books to your kids, PLEASE find some and do so!  They are too fun!


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And now a spotlight on an Usborne book we read from this week: Find The Duck! This book is a crowd favorite amongst kids and parents alike!  The kids enjoy finding the little yellow duck (the Usborne mascot!) on each page and get such a sense of accomplishment by doing so!  I used this book at a story-time I did a few weeks ago, and the kids went CRAZY.  They all wanted to be the first to point on the little yellow guy.  Honestly, I'm not sure they heard any of what I read from the book, they were too busy yelling "THERE HE IS!" but it was such a lot of fun anyway!  The kids even took turns with it after I was done reading it to them so they could look for the duck on each page themselves.  I love the interactive books that get kids excited like that!  There are several other books in this series as well.  You can Find the Teddy, the Kitten, the Bird, the Piglet and the Puppy.  The illustrations are all equally adorable and fun!  The little yellow duck is a reoccurring character in several Usborne books, including the The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales, where he appears on every page!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Get Outside and Play!

Now, it's been summer here in Texas... forever!  We broke a "hottest summer" record.  Woo hoo?  Blech!  It's been too hot to step foot outdoors and my kids and I are getting stir-crazy!  But, at last... the Fall is coming, the FALL IS COMING!  I am so ready to get out, stretch my legs in the nice, crisp, cool weather and get my kids to burn off some of their energy outside of our home!  I am looking forward to walks, trips to the park, picnics or at least just running around our yard playing ball!  Come on, cool weather, COME ON!!!  I had a good excuse to be lazy during the summer, but no more... cooler weather equals more outdoors time equals more activity for this family!

This Saturday, September 24th, Clorox 2® is sponsoring Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play, challenging families to get outside... and well, PLAY!  Pretty simple idea, huh?  But sometimes we need that extra push, don't we?  Take your kids on a walk, ride bikes, draw on the sidewalk with chalk, play tag or football.  Do something outdoors, away from the tv, computer and video games! Show your kids how important it is stay active, excercise and have fun!

My family and I are going to be walking in the JRDF Walk for a Cure 5K, supporting a sweet family we know that has a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes.  That way, we're not only being active and spending quality time together but also supporting a great cause! And, according to the forecast, it's going to be a perfect day for it! Hooray!

You can go online and make a pledge to take part in the Day of Play, at http://clorox2play2day.com.  You could also score some coupons or even a prize by registering at that link!  Sweet!  I know that when I get outside and have fun running around with my kids I feel like a better mom and a healthier person.  Kids love to run free... don't keep 'em cooped up!  And not just them... parents need to get out there if you can as well! We spend so much time indoors, at our computer, in our office, in our cars... we need some fresh air, grass beneath our feet and wind in our hair to keep us going strong too! Be a good example for your children. So, this Saturday, get out there and challenge your kids to a game of tag or hide and seek! Just get outside and play! 

[Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.]

Curriculum Clean-Out Giveaway!

Winner has been chosen! Congratulations to Lindsey Aylward, entry #62. Thank you to everyone for entering, following, commenting, etc. Have a great weekend!


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From September 21st – October 1st Jolanthe, over at Homeschool Creations, is hosting a Curriculum Clean-Out.  These giveaways feature stuff that we've gathered or hung on to over the years but never used, or used lightly, and are willing to pass along to someone else that might be able to use it.  It's also a fun way to discover new books, curriculum and homeschool resources for FREE!  You can find out more about how these giveaways work here, if you'd like to join in on the fun by hosting a giveaway too!  And don't forget to check out the other blogs participating and enter all the giveaways!

Two Starfall.com Journals!
My giveaway is for two new, never used Starfall.com Reading & Writing Journals, a Level I Manuscript and a Level II Block Print (the one I have is a different edition, but similar to the one linked here).  These books can be used well along side the free lessons at Starfall.com or separately for additional writing practice.  Grade level K-2.  Enter using Rafflecopter below... [Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment so that I can contact you if you win!]



Monday, September 19, 2011

Mama Jenn Review, eShow & Giveaway!

Mama Jenn
Oh my stars, I adore Mama Jenn.  If you don't know Mama Jenn and her fantastic websites, you are MISSING OUT!  She is amazing.  She is a homeschool mom of 5 (she has TWO sets of twins, ya'll, c'mon!!) who blogs super creative and inspiring ideas and offers tons of free, fun printables to use with your kids.  I completely stole her ideas for my Morning Board which I just absolutely LOVE.  I have her My Father's World First Grade Proverbs printables, which we use every day now!  And I have my eye on her neat Education Cubes program next!

Anyway, the wonderful Mama Jenn wrote a review on a couple of Usborne products I sent her.  That's not all, though.  She's doing a giveaway and hosting an eShow as well.  So, go check out her post - CLICK HERE!  Enter the giveaway!  Shop her eShow!  And then make yourself cozy and check out all the other awesome things she has for you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Call Away by Brenda Warner

I had the privilege of attending Women of Faith Conference in Dallas a few weeks ago, and Brenda Warner was one of the speakers.  I knew nothing about her before the conference, and only vaguely knew the name Kurt Warner (yeah, I don't follow football.)  Throughout her time with us there, she told us bits and pieces of her story, her testimony.  And it was touching.  I knew I wanted to know more, so I was thankful for the opportunity to review her book, One Call Away: Answering Life's Challenges with Unshakable Faith.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I cried while reading this book... what Brenda went through, and did, in fact, face with "unshakable faith" is astounding.  Her first born sustained a head injury resulting in brain damage.  The doctors didn't expect him to ever be able to sit up by himself.  Her first husband confessed he was having an affair, causing Brenda to leave him when she was 8-months pregnant with their second child.  Both of Brenda's parents were suddenly killed in a tornado.  What's truly amazing is that Brenda never once seemed to doubt God's presence or love.  And while her story is far from over, right now... she has a loving husband, 7 healthy kids and the opportunity to touch lives for Jesus.  Happily ever after?  Pretty much.

I really enjoyed Brenda's willingness to be honest, even when it didn't paint her in the best light.  She gets real and that makes it a refreshing read. Her story is mixed with devastation, hilarity and profound insight - a wonderfully, intriguing, true-life fairy-tale.  It is so breathtaking to see how God works in people's lives, and God is certainly working in and through Brenda and Kurt's lives.  I am glad that they are outspoken and willing to share it!  This is a wonderful book, and I hardly wanted to put it down.  But I will warn you, have tissues within reach!

I review for BookSneeze
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

Homeschool Recap, Sept 16th (Wk 2)

Our first full week was a bit crazy. I had Usborne events on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of this week, which only disrupted our school a smidge. I am thankful for the flexibility homeschooling provides!  We can school in the morning, or the evening... or a little of both even!  On Monday, I did a story-time/Usborne Book Party with Gorbella's and got to read to the kids some of our fun books.  The kids had a great time helping me out with animals noises and finding the ducks.  Then they spent a good while playing hide and seek in Mochalux Coffee.  If you're in the Arlington area, you should definitely check out the Monday Gorbella's events and the coffee shop as well.  Mmm, Banana Mocha Frozen Coffee - so yummy!

Bible - Worked on memorizing the first and second part of Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."  Read from Adam & Eve to The Tower of Babble in My First Hands-On Bible.  We also created a neat Jewish calendar.

Reading/Writing - Practiced writing letters G through R, and worked on the scroll sheets.  This is NOT Preston's favorite part of the day, but he's been mostly cooperative so far. 

Math - This week's theme was patterns and sequences.  Did several of the sheets from the Math workbook, worked with the Pattern Blocks and the Pattern Animals book, along with making lots of our own patterns out of things around the house.  We also read Bees, Snails & Peacock Tails, a fun book about natural patterns.
Making patterns
Science - The science theme was "Close to the Ground" so we talked about earthworms, snails, ants, mushrooms, moles and more.  Read several books we checked out from the library about these things.  Preston created a cute "Worm Facts" book from here. We set out some bread with honey and watched the ants go after it.  Preston drew some great illustrations of things you find close to the ground, including a worm, a mole and a jack rabbit.
Watching the ants come
Art/Music - We did our evaluation drawings for the Monart lessons, and I'm pretty sure we're both Level 2.  Lol.  We listened to some hymns to get a good idea of what those sound like before we really start our hymn lessons.  We also talked about and listened to some orchestra music that showcased many of the different instruments.

Spanish -Still working on numbers, trying to get those down.  One of the sheets had Preston write his favorite number.  He chose "4" or "cuatro" and drew four adorable monkeys to go along with it!




Books we used this week:

We are using My Father's World First Grade. See our curriculum here.

Blog Hoppin' with:
MFW Blog Roll The Homeschool Mother's Journal Hip Homeschool Hop Button Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Photobucket

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walk to Cure Diabetes...

My family and I will be walking in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, September 24th.  Why?
Because of this little girl.
Meet Elise.  Isn't she gorgeous?  She's a precious 4-yr-old girl who has Type I Diabetes.  We have known her since she was born, as her parents are dear friends of ours.  Fred and Jo are absolutely amazing.  They always have been, of course, but especially ever since the big D-word was brought into their life, when Elise was diagnosed right in the middle of her FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!  They are practically superheroes, as are all mothers and fathers who care for children with a disease.  Especially one that requires so much constant attention.  I am constantly in awe of this family!

Type II Diabetes runs in my family.  My mother has it, and is able to control it with medicine and diet.  I know that makes me a target as well.

I pray that somehow, some way there will be a cure for Diabetes in the future.  My family is supporting this organization in an effort to help make that possible!  Won't you join us?  It's too late to join the official Team Elise walkers for this year, but it's not too late to donate to our cause.  Please make a donation in our name (Jade, Michael, Preston or Callen Clark) for Team Elise.

Click here to read more about sweet Elise and how you can help!  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WonderMaps Review

When I was given the opportunity to review WonderMaps, I was pretty excited.  I am not so great at geography, so any help I can get FINDING things is definitely appreciated.  I especially liked the idea of being able to have historical and Biblical maps to use along with our studies!  I received the link to download the maps to my computer and it was so quick and easy to install!

War of 1812 Battles
As it was downloading, I told my husband what I knew about the program.  That we would be able to customize all kinds of maps, having them fully details or not at all details so they can be filled in as a "test."  Also, that it includes lots of different maps and options.  My husband jokingly said, "Yeah, well, can you find me a map of what America looked like in 1812?"  Within about 30-seconds of having the program downloaded, I turned to him and said, "Well, actually, yes I can.  Here you go!"  Haha.  It was amazing!

Click! Click! Click!
WonderMaps offers historical maps with lots I showed the program to my son, Preston, who is 5 3/4.  He had such a blast clicking on all the options and taking them off.

Some of the layers you can add or remove are "city names," "capitals," "rivers," "color" and more!  This makes it easy to customize and get exactly what kind of map you want.  You need a full-color, labeled map to teach a lesson, you got it!  You need a blank map for the kids to color and fill in, you got that too!  And, best of all, it's so easy... just click the layers on or off.  I am really impressed with the user-friendly style of this program.

Jonah's Journey!
We talked about Jonah's journey, and the program already had a map created that we could use showing where Jonah started, where he fled to (and ran into the whale!) and then, where he ended up in Nineveh.  So great to go along with our Bible studies and make it more come alive!  The program includes many Biblical maps, including Abraham's journeys, Jesus' ministry, Paul's ministry and so many more interesting treks.  It also includes thematic maps that can assist in lessons about the Chinese Dynasties, Native American locations, Explorers and this program has specific maps that can be used alongside The Mystery of History and All American History curricula.

Bright Ideas Press, the creators of WonderMaps, have really thought of it all.  This is a great program for anyone to have, especially if you enjoy teaching your kids at home. It's wonderful to have so many educational resources at your finger tips that you don't even have to go Googling for!

Timberdoodle is a fun site for all kinds of homeschooling resources, manipulatives, games and more.  Check out their facebook page for news, sales and promos!  Check out their free homeschool catalog too!

Because Mom SaidAs a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.  The words written above are my own, honest opinion.