Thursday, June 30, 2016

Traveling Thursday~ Harpers Ferry, WV

Recently our Catholic homeschool group had the wonderful opportunity to travel and tour historic Harpers Ferry, WV. We had a wonderful turn out. Over 20 families from our group attended with more than 60 children eager to explore this historic site.
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As a Catholic homeschool group, we were thrilled to get a personalized tour of the historic St. Peter's Church. We were taught about the history of the church and the people that helped build it.




After our tour of the church, we were able to celebrate Mass with one of our Priest from our parish. Father is a huge civil war buff, so he joined our group on our tour of Harpers Ferry and blessed us with Mass in this beautiful church. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.




Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis!


After Mass, we had a picnic in town. We ate at a few picnic tables in the area. It was nice, except the area was very buggy. The gnats were horrible. It was a little hard to eat, so lunch was rather quick but that just gave us more times to tour historic Harpers Ferry.

The town is filled with a variety of shops, stores, and museums to visit. The allow visitors to get a glimpse of how life was back in the good old days.


We visited the dry goods store, the clothing store, the blacksmith shop, the industry museum, the wetlands museum, the John Brown museum, the taverns, and so much more.









During our walking tour, we stopped by and had ice cream at a local shop. It was a wonderful treat for the kids. After our ice cream, we headed over to John Brown's Fort!


At the fort, we were told a little but about John Brown. We then took part in a play or reenactment. Most of the members of our group were given a part to play. Michael volunteered to be Robert E. Lee. I was chosen as a narrator. The play helped the kids to learn and understand the event that took place many years ago now referred to as John Brown's Raid. The two park rangers that lead our group were fantastic. They were friendly and very knowledgeable. If you're ever in the area I highly suggest a visit to this charming historic town.


We followed our history lesson up with a wonderful walk around the river. The area is absolutely breathtaking!


“The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent.
On your left approaches the Patowmac in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder and pass off to the sea. The first glanceof this scene hurries our senses into the opinion that this earth has been created in time, that the mountains were formed first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in this place particularly they have been so dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains as to have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at last broken over at this spot and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base.
The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disruptions and avulsions from their beds by the most powerful agents in nature, corroborate the impression.

                                                                     ~Thomas Jefferson



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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wordless Wednesday~ Summer Time Rainbow





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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

TOS Review~ Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from NotebookingPages.com





Today, I get to share with you another wonderful homeschooling resource that was developed by a fellow homeschooling mother. NotebookingPages.com has a variety of notebooking pages for use with children of all ages. For this review, I was given a Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership. This membership gives me and my kids access to all the resources offered by NotebookingPages.com.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
What is NotebookingPages.com?

NotebookingPages.com is online resource for notebooking pages (and more) created by Debra Reed. Debra is a homeschooling mother of 10 children, so she has a lot of experience behind her. Her goal behind NotebookingPages.com was for her children to learn and retain the information they had learned. She didn't want them to learn the information for right now and then not remember a thing in 20 years (or the following week). I think we can all relate and understand her wish. As a homeschooling mother myself, I definitely want my kids to really get involved in their learning. actually remember what they have learned, and for me to feel like I haven't wasted hours teaching them useless information. No learning facts just to pass a test in this house! We are life-long learners.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
NotebookingPages.com offers free resources for homeschooling families, but offers even more resources for members of the site. Right now, the site offers thousands of  topical pages, themes, and designs. You'll find pages for art, geography, history. science. nature, timelines, copywork, etc. If you want it, it is probably there. Even better, Debra has created pages for all ages. You can find simple pages for  young learners like alphabet pages, as well as pages for older students studying famous people, science, or history. 

So What is Notebooking?

Before I get into the review, I'll explain a little about what notebooking is for anyone that is new to the idea. Notebooking is a creative way for children to compile a personalized notebook for a particular subject they are studying. This creative notebook allows student to comprehend what they have learned, draw a corresponding picture, and write down what they have learned. Notebooking helps the child take what they have learned, process it, and write it down in their own words. Notebooking is a great way for student to test their knowledge without filling in a boring fill in the blank worksheet. Children can be creative while they write down their notes. By taking the information they have learned and putting it in their own words, they are comprehending the material they are learning.


Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews

How Did We Use the Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership?

There is so much offered to parents under the lifetime membership. I spent days just searching the site to see all that was available for use. The main page has tabs to help locate what subject or area you would like to use. 




When you click a tab open, a new page will load and you will see a list of pages available for you to use with your child.


There are so many pages listed, I honestly believe you could find something for every subject you are studying in your school year.
Not only does the site have journaling pages for every subject imaginable, but NotebookingPages.com offers a variety of other useful pages for parents and students.

Copywork Pages
Dictation Pages
Lined Spelling Paper
Spelling Log
Covers & Dividers for Notebooks
Grammar Pages
Reading Logs
Artist and Picture Study Pages
Maps
Timeline Pages
Science Experiments Pages

After searching around the site. I settled on trying the character study cursive copywork pages, the artist and picture pages and the science anatomy pages since we were going to be studying the human body in science.



I also looked at the national parks, national monuments, national memorials, and U.S. state pages. We are planning a cross country vacation and the pages will be a great way for the kids to record all the wonderful sites they see and visit. The notebooking pages will be a great writing lesson since we are going during the "school year", but more importantly the kids will have a wonderful record of their trip.



So What did I Think of the Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership?

There are so many resources! I can easily find something to go along with what we are learning. Science, History, Art, Music...it's all covered! We never got to the human anatomy pages, but I'm extremely excited to use them next year. They have notebooking pages, labeling pages of the human body, and so much more. 
I can't recommended enough this amazing product. The lifetime membership actually saves you money. You'll no longer need to buy 2, 3, 4, or  even 5 separate workbooks. Using notebooing pages is great for families with multiple ages because the pages can be easily adapted to different learning levels. This is perfect for a classical education approach. 
The Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership gives access to everything you could possibly need during your homeschool journey. This is wonderful resource if your kids dread workbooks, boring worksheets, and test. I love how the pages help the child become a better and stronger writer!

The only complaint I have is wish there was a preview button of the pages before I downloaded them. This would allow me to see them and figure out if I really wanted to use them for what we were studying. With our limited internet download capacity, I hate downloading things I'd never really use. When going over a 1 GB cost $15, you get a little picky on what you want to download.


What see more of the great notebooking pages NotebookingPages.com has to offer?
 Stop by to see what the other members discovered.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews

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Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday- 6/27/16


Good Morning! of maybe I should be saying Goof Afternoon!

Today was an early day of running errands for us. I wanted to get out and beat the heat. 

The weather~
Hot! Hot! Hot! Today is going to be 90 degrees and sunny. A great day for the pool, but we had errands to do. They are also calling for thnder storms in the afternoon. It's summer...every day has a chance of afternoon thinder storms.

What's on today's agenda~
Shopping! We needed to make a run to the feed store. All the animals needed food.  No one around here wants to run out of food with hungry kitties. They can be very noisy if they don't get what they want. After the feed store, we headed to the grocery store. We needed. some fresh veggies and fruit to plan this weeks menu

What I'm reading~
I have 3 books I am reading right now. For our mom's book club, I am reading Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather. It's a wonderful book about the early lives of the french setters in Canada. I;m also reading 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Father Gaitley and The Biblical Roots of the Mass by Thomas Nash.

Of course, I am reading various textbooks right now planning next year's lessons. I am almost done. I have a few more books to order before I can finish up all the lessons. 

On the TV~
Michael has taken over the television this week since it's SHARK WEEK! I really don't understand why anyone in their right mind would want to get into the water with this huge beasts. They have way too many sharp teeth for me. 

What's is my sewing pile~
Lots of goodies. Two skirts for my friend's daughter. She wanted some modest, longer skirts. Two dresses for Therese that were modest so she can wear them to church. A dress I am working on to add to my shop I am trying to get up and running. I found the cutest little fabric with foxes on it. My pile includes numerous projects I have started and never finished. I keep telling myself to sit down, sew through the pile and clear stuff out. There just is never enough time in the day it seems.

My to do list~
Laundry like every week. Normal weekly cleaning, I do want to work on the porch and the basement. I'd love for the kids to get rid of some of the stuff they have outgrown. They have a hard time letting go of toys.....even if they haven't played with them in a few years.

What I'm praying for~
Families and children. Lately there seems to be a lot kid bashing. It saddens me that children our now looked at as a burden. Society seems to care more about animals and trees than they do children. Very child is precious. I look at my two babies (who are no longer that little) and can't imagine life without them. They have brought so much joy, happiness, sadness, and tears to my life. I wouldn't change it for the all the money in the world. 

From the camera~
Summertime fun!



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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Living Like a Saint~ St. Augustine




"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul."

~St. Augustine


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Friday, June 24, 2016

TOS Review~ My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping System)


A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to use My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping System) from MySchoolYear.com to plan and record our homeschool lessons. For this review, I was given an annual membership to this program. A annual membership costs $40. You can choose to do a month by month plan for $5, but the yearly membership saves you money. Who doesn't want to save money. Please be sure to check the website for current up-to-date pricing since pricing can change. MySchoolYear.com does offer a free 1 month trial. This allows you to see what they have to offer to decide if the program will work for your family and you.
MySchoolYear.com Review
My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping System) is an online planner for homeschooling families. This homeschool organization tool helps parents get their homeschool lessons into order. It offers a variety of tools to accomplish this! This homeschool planning tool allows parents to plan, organize, record lessons, track grades, and report grades. It gives homeschool parents the organization tools they need to stay on top of it all.

Organizational Tools
Automated Attendance Tracking
Automated Grading
Lesson Plan Generator
Lesson Rescheduler
Teacher's Aid

Tracking, Reviewing, Reporting Tools
Activities Tracking
Reports
Class Grade Review
Lesson Plan Sharing
Dashboard
 

So How Did I Use My School Year Homeschooling Record Keeping System?

Since I already had this year's schedule already done. I started working on next year's school year.
The set up section requires the most time. Under the set up, section I found the following tabs Grading Scale, Materials, Schools, Students, Subjects, and Terms(school years). The grading scale was already done, but if I wanted to  make a few changes to the scale I could. I was able to set up grading using numbers, letters, and pass/fail. Under materials is where I added all the books we would be using for the upcoming school year. I could add textbooks, workbooks, manipulatives, software, and videos we would use for our lessons. The material tabs included a section to add a reading log for students. This will come in handy to keep track of all the books the kids will be reading. There was a separate section for authors. I didn't use this section. A separate section didn't make sense to me. I think it should have been included with the reading log or with the lesson plan material list.
The next two sections were the school and student tabs. Here is where I added our school's name and added my students. They ask for a lot of information for the students. I didn't fill in half of it. Date of birth, email, cell phone number, etc. My kids don't have email addresses or email accounts. This probably would be useful if you had older kids.

homeschool organization

The Subject tab is section. This is where I added all the subjects we would be doing next year. They give you a list of standard subjects like Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, History, etc. I was able to delete subjects, like Logic, and add subjects, like Geography. I tailored it to our needs.
The final tab under the set-up section was Terms. This is where I set up our start date, end date, days we attend school, schedule our days off, and enroll your students into the school year.
Wow....that took awhile. Now we were all set up.

Now that I was all set up, I could get down to work. Lesson planning is always tedious. It doesn't matter whether you use an online or paper planner a lot has to be accomplished. This is where things became a little confusing for me. It took me a little while to figure out how to plan my lessons with this program. I even walked away from the program because I became frustrated. I always came back to it. I really wanted to figure it out. After a few days (maybe longer) of struggling to figure this program out. I finally did. I learned a lot about the program by pocking around myself and a by receiving a few helpful hints from the other members of the Review Crew.

homeschool organization

Since our school year hasn't started yet, I can't explain how all the recording or grading works. The Homeroom tab is the one stop spot to see all that is going on in your school. I can't wait to see things move once we started recording everything.

What did I think?

The initial Log in and set was a little time consuming (you have a lot of information to enter). Like any planner set up always takes the longest. Once I got into the actual lesson planning, I was completely confused. The process of adding classes and lessons was a different from other online planners I have used in the past. I 'll admit I really started to dislike the program. I felt it was talking too long to figure it out. So I took a few days away from the program and than came back to it. After taking some time to learn the program, I realized it was rather quite simple to use. I honestly believe I was over thinking the whole thing. My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping System is the 4th online homeschool planning tool I have used. I have to say that it is one of my favorites. I honestly can't decided between this one and the one I had been using. Both programs are pretty amazing. They both offer a variety of tools. I will be honest ans saw that I stopped using the other online program half way through the year last year. I went back to my old paper and pen planner. I guess I'm an old fashion kind of gal. Since I haven't been able to use or see all that My School Year has to offer, I'll leave my decision undecided. I am looking forward to using this homeschool planning system this year. We tend to fall behind a little (o.k. maybe a lot), so I am looking forward to see how  can adjust my schedule with the Lesson Rescheduler.

Want to check out My School Year Homeschool Record Keeping System for yourself?
Visit their website MySchoolYear.com and sign up for a free one month trail!



Want to learn more about My School Year homeschool record keeping system?
Stop by to see what the other members have to say about this planning tool!

Homeschool Record Keeping {MySchoolYear.com Review}

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Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Traveling Thursdays~ Celebrating America


Our day at Shenandoah Caverns was filled a variety of fun filled activities. We toured the caverns, strolled down main street, enjoyed a picnic in the Shenandoah Mountains, and toured a very large exhibit called American Celebration!



American Celebration is a extremely large colorful display of parade floats.
The American Celebration display showcases 20 full size parade floats!


The floats have been collected over the years from Presidential Inaugurations parades, the Rose Bowl parade (you know you watch it every year), and other celebrations. 


The kids loved this museum. It was color, large, and absolutely incredible to see. Many of them had never seen anything like it before. Many of us parents had never been up close and personal with floats that large. 


You could get fairly close to the floats, so the kids were able to see how the were made.
A few of them were even hooked up to buttons. The kids could press the buttons and the floats would come to life!



It is a wonderful exhibit to explore.

Michael's favorite float


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Please Note~ This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click on a link, add it to your cart and complete your purchase, I will receive a small percentage. We are very grateful for this additional source of income. Thank you. 

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