Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Has Brought Changes Already!
The end of last year I had to say goodbye to being a stay at home mom and hello to working part time for Wal-Mart. I loved and cherished my time as a stay at home mom over the last seven years, but I felt a desire to go back to work. I really feel only the Lord could give me that desire. It was hard to find a job only two places considered me for a position. After being out of work for so long and being a 36 year old mom of four with limited availability I wasn't "a catch" for some places. Anyways, I decided to go with Wal-Mart. It has been great. It is close to home and they work with my availability. So, I am able to continue homeschooling. I see God on a daily basis whether I am at home with my children or at work. He makes me smile. I have to guard my heart and check my attitude more now that I am out in public, it is easy to get angry or upset over just about anything, Negativity rubs off fast, it spreads like a wild fire. I have also noticed that if you are kind and gentle of spirit that is also catching. So anyways, I try to keep my joy while at work and with the Lord's help most days that is possible.
Well now, a few months back I posted about being able to review some great homeschool books by Thinking Tree. We have decided for this new year to stop what we were doing and begin fresh with books from Dyslexia games and the Thinking tree. This has worked well with having to go back to work. The children are able to work more independently and they are able to choose topics that interest them. 
Over the month of December I kind of prepared them for the change. We had a low key month of December. We read lots of books about Christ and Christmas. We did the advent book thing this year. Wrapped up 24 books and unwrapped and read one each day up until Christmas eve. It was a hit. I ordered books that kept the focus on Christ. Mostly picture books but we has some other chapter books for the older children, They did math and we did a unit study together by Notgrass. We didn't finish the unit study but it was fun and we may try again next year. So as my books from Thinking Tree were coming in the mail I would show the children and explain what we were going to do. I started picking out books for me to read. I have a huge "to be read" list. I started coloring in my journal and making it ready for January. Well my eight year old got excited about it and began to do hers all on her own, without me asking. I was thrilled.
I would like to show you what I as a mom have been doing the last couple of weeks. It has been fun and refreshing for me. I tend to get overwhelmed and get nothing done. So now since I have to be to work at a certain time then it forced me to make a plan. It has flowed together so nicely that is how I know God gave me this plan. It feels like all the loose ends in my life are being tied together and this year I feel we will see real progress in areas we haven't before.

These are the books I chose to read while working on my Mom's handbook.  I bought that cube shelf from Wal-Mart and it works great. We each get out own square.

Here is my square.
I picked a wide variety of books. Here is a photo of a page in the Busy Mom's homeschool handbook.

1. Daniel fast for Weight loss (this is a two birds with one stone read I need to review it and I want to lose weight)
2. Learning to See Creatively
3. Give them Grace
4. The Bazaar Stories of Bad Dreams (don't judge me... I enjoy Stephen King books and my husband bought me this one for Christmas)
4. The total money makeover (the new plan for our lives includes financial freedom)
5. The Bible ( I would love to read the Bible daily again, I fell out of that habit)
6. How to homeschool
7. Life, Love & Dyslexia
8. For the Children's Sake

So basically I read a few pages from each book and do a page or two in my Mom's book. Some days I may feel like reading more in one book than the others. I just play it by ear. The children have really enjoyed seeing me do "my school work". we show each other what we have done. Also by them choosing books they want to read, it has sparked conversations between us that we hadn't had before. We are two weeks in. There has been some whining but the positives I have seen have out weighed the whining by far.

I bought these markers from Amazon. I like them but they do bleed through some. I love to use  Prisma colored pencils. It has been fun exploring my creative side again. In high school I loved art class. Being a busy mom I kind of let that go. Picking it back up again has brought peace and joy into my day again.

This is a little pursed sized book. We do it together on a daily basis. It has allowed us to set aside a time to spend in the word together. Something we use to do, but fell out of. It is a great little book. In the back there is a plan to read the New Testament in 90 days. That is what we are doing. There is a verse at the top of each day. Places to write and color. You can see my review here on Amazon. I really love it.
This is another pursed size book. I was curious more than anything and that is why I bought this one. I am glad I did. It is allowing me to think and reevaluate my homeschool. You can buy it here on Amazon.
I wanted to read Sarah's story so I bought this one. It is great so far. I will review it when I finish. You can get it here on Amazon.

 Just got this one the other day. My new coloring book. I love Sarah's drawings and now that I am reading her story I see that her drawings have been in her even a s a child. It will be fun and relaxing to color. You can get it here on Amazon.
This is my homeschooling journal. Each of the children have their own homeschool journal. They are all different.  You can see my review of the Mom's one here on Amazon.

So as you can see things are looking different at my house. We are excited though. Blessings to you on your homeschool journey.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Fun-Schooling Journal ages 3 to 7

My five year old was very excited when I bought him his own journal. He started it right away. This journal is geared toward children ages 3 to 7 but my 8 year old daughter also enjoys doing it. I often find her doing it in her spare time. Over the next couple months I plan to do several reviews of different books from this same author. 

First, I came across Dyslexia Games (The Thinking Tree) a couple years back, when my 12 year old daughter was having  a difficult time learning to read and even recognizing numbers. Her younger sister was getting ahead of her. I began to research Dyslexia and found out that I myself have some form of it. I ordered the Dyslexia Games Series A and B in e-book format. I used those with her and her sister for a few months. It seemed to be working. She was able to recognize differences she couldn't before. She was able to concentrate. I was very excited. She began reading and gaining confidence.
Well, to be honest, we sat the Dyslexia games aside for a while and went about homeschooling. I then decided we needed so changes in our home school. Things were feeling out of wack. So, I started praying and talking to God about what I would like for our home school. I have a love for books and I really would like to share that love with my children. All they want to do is play video games. So anyways, I buy books as I come across them load my shelves until they are overflowing and all they do is sit there and collect dust. While we go about follow curriculum X. Curriculum X is great, it's just not what I am looking for. So, some how I find my way back to Dyslexia Games face book page and low and behold they are asking for moms to review their new journals. I am thrilled to say I was chosen as one. 
Now, my five year old is just now learning his sounds for letters, he is still in the pre-reading stage. I am taking a very gentle approach with him. After the nightmare I went through with my darling 12 year old, I have learned to follow their lead. They let me know when they are ready. 
Back to the journal, sorry! This Fun Journal is just that...FUN! Ans best of all we get to use all those books I had been buying and collecting the past few years. You start off by letting your child draw four things they want to learn about. Then you get books on those topics and go from there. 

My little guy said he wanted to learn about:

1. Coloring in the lines
2. The Moon
3. Spaceships
4. Spelling
What is great about #1 is the journal is full of awesome pictures to color and he now uses his "special markers" to color in the lines. Before it was I hate coloring, I don't want to do this, this is boring. Now though, since he decided he wanted to learn this he takes his time and does a great job.
We went to the library and found loads of books on the moon and spaceships and read them together. It sparked interesting discussions. Spelling we haven't worked on much but the door is there. 
So, yes these journals may seem like basic bare bones to some. But they are meant to be used as a starting point. You add the books, activities and discussions. For my family it has been an answer to prayer. The children get to learn more about things that interest them and we are finally reading the books I have so longed to read with them.  We are having fun while learning and creating awesome memories together. 

Keep a look out for more reviews on these great books. 
Here are some links:


Sarah Janisse Brown is an pen & ink artist, dyslexia specialist, world traveler, pancake flipper, potty trainer, happy wife and a homeschooling mother of ten. The Brown family started The Thinking Tree Publishing Company in 2009 and they publish outside-the-box curriculum and dyslexia therapy books. They focus on the needs of active and creative children who learn differently.

Sarah began creating unique activity books in 2008 to help her own dyslexic children to learn to read, write and spell. Her goal is to encourage creativity and help each child to develop their talents, skills and abilities. Learn more about her unique homeschooling methods in her small book "How to Homeschool".

Sarah's most popular activity books are her beautiful "Homeschooling Curriculum Journals". Moms love the books because they help the children to become more independent in their learning while using FREE library books as the core of their curriculum. Kids love the books because they are fun and interesting. The books use the Open Dyslexic font, so they are easy for all children to read, even dyslexics. The books include many right-brain activities to help children to remember without memorizing. Most activities are based on the concepts of "Delight Directed Learning" and "Organized Unschooling" - Sarah calls it Fun-Schooling. Sarah has also been able to assist over 10,000 children in overcoming reading problems through her Dyslexia Games Therapy.

As a writer, Sarah's stories have appeared in Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Above Rubies Magazine, Countryside Magazine, Mother Earth News, as well as several small newspapers. Sarah and her husband Joshua met at Calvary Chapel in Cincinnati, Ohio when they were young teens and were married under a bright blue Indiana sky seven years later. The first baby was born ten months later. He was so cute they decided to have nine more. After several years of competing in the rat race, and adding a new baby to the family every year or two, the couple decided to pack up the kids and follow their childhood dreams. So in 2012 the family opted out of the American Dream, sold everything (or gave it away, because most of it was junk that came from yard sales and thrift shops) and moved to Europe. Josh sold his computer service business and Sarah resigned from her seat on the Fortville Town Council, where she had been serving as vice president. To survive they started selling
workbooks for Dyslexic children online. You can read more about Sarah's family in the book "Windows to Our World".

Joshua and Sarah are the developers of creative curriculum and therapy for children with Dyslexia, Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. They have a heart to help children who struggle with schooling, like Sarah once did, as well as their own dyslexic daughters. Their online business -, allows them freedom to live and work anywhere on earth... with an internet connection. Recently the family appeared on the reality show House Hunters International, when they moved from Fortville, Indiana to Veneto, Italy. Back in Indiana the Browns were known for the unruly urban homestead, complete with goats and ducks, that they created in their own backyard on Main Street.

The Browns now enjoy a life full of love, adventure, sailing, serving and learning wherever they may go. The family now travels the globe together and enjoy a life of mission work, fun-schooling, and travel. They have missed many trains, planes and buses, but they never miss out on the things that matter like love and laughter! As of 2015 they are serving in Eastern Europe as missionaries.

In her free time, she fills her journals with poetry and prayers, paints murals and mindlessly says "yes" to every child that asks to keep a stray kitten.

Linking up with Homeschooling 6


The Time Chamber

By Daria Song

This is the second book in series by Daria Song. I enjoyed the first one so much that I asked to review to second one too. I think this is a clever book. You get it all, the imagination and wonder of the story. Plus you get to color it the way you want it. I love art and creating things so this is right up my alley. I plan to gift these to my daughter. I think they will encourage her to read as she colors. She has had a difficult time with reading but has over come obstacles and is excelling now.

Back to the book. It continues where the first one left off. The fairy comes from the clock to seeour world in front of her full of wonder and excitement. I would recommend these books to anyone who likes to color and/ or read fantasy/ fairy tale type books. They would make great gifts.

Thank you blogging for books for my free copy to review.

About the Author

DARIA SONG is an author and artist with a master’s degree in fiber arts from the Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Fine Arts. Winner of the Kyung Hyang Arts Contest, Song has exhibited at numerous galleries and museums in Korea, Singapore, Turkey, and Hong Kong. She is a lecturer at the Kaywon School of Arts and her illustrations can be found in Amore Pacific and SK Planet. She spent five years of her childhood in San Francisco before returning to Korea, and the sense of wonder and mystery that comes from living in a far-off place inspired her internationally best-selling adult coloring book, The Time Garden

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Time Garden

By Daria Song

I have never seen anything like this before. I think it is a wonderful idea for children and adults alike. It is a story of a young girl and a coloring book as well. The pictures you get to color are beautiful. I will definitely be getting more of these as they come out. The pages are thick, so you could use felt markers or color pencils. Lots of details in the pictures. Fun to color and the words blend in with the pictures so they do not distract from the beauty of the pictures. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys coloring.
I received my copy of this book free from blogging for books. Thank you!

From the Back Cover:
A dazzlingly beautiful coloring book for all ages, The Time Garden will sweep you away into a whimsical cuckoo clock–inspired world, created in intricate pen and ink by the internationally best-selling Korean artist Daria Song. Then, explore the magical world outside the clock through the eyes of a fairy in the sequel, The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book.
Journey through the doors of a mysterious cuckoo clock into its inky innerworkings to discover a magical land of clock gears, rooftops, starry skies, and giant flying owls—all ready for you to customize with whatever colors you can dream up.

Cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . cuckoo . . . When the clock strikes midnight, you’ll wonder, was it all a dream?

The Time Garden features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

About the Author

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dyslexia Games ( The Thinking Tree)

The wait is over! I was very excited to receive my box of homeschool books to review. The company generously sent me 7 books. I have children ages 16, 12, 8 and 5. There was something for everyone. They even sent me a The Busy Mom's Homeschooling Handbook.  

The children were excited to start using these. I gave each of the older three there own journal to try. My youngest kind of tags along side them. He is holding the DIY Field Trip Journal.

So the first two books you see here are DIY Field Trip Journal and The Busy Mom's Homeschooling Handbook
Let's first talk about the  DIY Field Trip Journal. It is a small paper back book with black and white pages in it. There are places for photos or drawings and lined spaces for writing. Beautiful borders that could be colored. Just like the title states it is a DIY (do it yourself). I think it will be a great addition to our homeschool. An easy and beautiful way to record field trips. I have provided links to all the books I am reviewing. You can purchase directly from Amazon.

Next, The Busy Mom's Homeschooling Handbook. I really love this. I like to doodle and color anyway, so this is right up my alley. I have a book addiction and I have some many TBR (to be read) books it's unreal. What this journal does is gives you a place to brainstorm and organize. Often I put my own needs and wants aside this will help me make time for myself. Again very beautiful pictures for you to color. Places for you to write prayer needs, recipes and even a spot to evaluate your mood. I enjoy it's simplicity. All I need to do is grab a stack of books I have been wanting to read and some markers or colored pencils and I am ready to go. I really love this book. As it states on the front cover over 180 delightful activities to help organize your day and inspire a passion for learning in your children.
We were sent three different DIY Homeschool Journals as you can see in the photo above. 

They are all the same as in your child picks out 9 books that interests them. Your child will use those books to complete their journal. They do about 10 pages of the journal a day. Also supply them with markers, colored pencils/ pens or crayons. There are opportunities for them to color, doodle and be creative. It's fun and many children prefer this method over regular text books. They are still learning and having fun doing it! It's a win, win in my book. In my opinion this is a great back bone for homeschooling. It allows you to have a record of all you are doing each day and it's all in one place. The company allows you to photo copy the pages for use in your own family, which I think is great. I think I would prefer my children to each have their own journal because it would make a great keepsake later for them to enjoy. 
See we have lots of books to read!

I am always excited to find new ways of hiding the word in my heart as well as my children. So I was happy to get the 100 Easy Bible verses. It combines Bible, Reading, Writing and Spelling. It is great for quick lesson. I think elementary to middle school would benefit the most from this book, but we do together as a family. As with all these books beautiful doodles and pictures to color if your child wants to. 
The Spelling time is great for those who know the basics but need to master commonly misspelled words. I think middle and high school would be the best. A wonderful mix of activities to help you master the 150 most commonly misspelled words with out memorizing. So it is different from the regular memorize and take a spelling test method. 

I have not been disappointed by this company. Everything I have gotten has been fun and has helped my children learn new things. I like how it gets them thinking outside of the box. How it allows them to be creative and learn things that would normally bore them. This handbooks have so much potential. The could be used for any grade level. For the child to be more independent, they would need to be reading already. But I see that I could even use this with my youngest and help him with it. So head on over to Amazon and see what all they have to offer. 
I still have several books of theirs I want to try. They have multiplication and drawing books too.

Here is a direct link to  their FAQs Page

Thank you for stopping by. Happy homeschooling!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So Dyslexia Games is letting a few mom bloggers review some of their products. This is wonderful for me. I have bought and used some of their workbooks for my children. They were a God send. I saw a vast improvement in my child's learning skills. She was able to concentrate and learn her reading and math easier. It has been a hard road for her. When I saw the new items Dyslexia Games had to offer I was excited to try, but it hadn't fit in our budget this year. So I am more than excited to review for this awesome company.  So many great books to choose from. I home school four children ages 16, 12, 8 & 5.  Here are my top choices for review:

These are Christian books but they do offer a secular option as well. So hop on over to their Facebook page or their website. They have lots to offer. Also, they have treated me nice as a customer on more than one occasion. Look for my review of their products soon. 
Happy homeschooling.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My First Hands-On Bible

New Living Translation

I was so excited to get this Bible in the mail. I began to read it immediately to my five year old. He really seemed to enjoy it. It sparked questions in him and we had great little talks. We have the blue one of these. It is geared at ages 3-6. I think it is the perfect bite size pieces for children in that age. 85 Bible stories are recorded and are very easy to read and understand. Beautiful color illustrations. Each story has a Jesus connection and activity. It makes learning the Bible stories fun and engaging. This would be a great gift. I received my free copy to review from Tyndale.