Thursday, November 29, 2012

Currclick’s Stocking Up Your Shelves Sale

Our biggest event of the year! Stocking Up Your Shelves sale.  1000s of homeschool resources discounted by up to 75%

Currclick is now running their annual “Stocking Up Your Shelves” sale. If you’re re-evaluating your curriculum choices mid-year or just looking for fun supplements (lapbooks, copywork, games) to add to your curriculum, this is a good time to purchase. Many of Currclick’s publishers are offering their books at up to 75% off from now until December 16.

All of my Super Star Speech books and Super Star Games are now on sale for 25% off.

Super Star Speech and Language Lessons….sss cover tinylang lessons cover







15 different Homeschooling Games—ready to print and play ($2.62-$3.00 each, or even less in bundles)….


Insect Game cover

Covering the continents cover

Galloping Greece

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Matanzas Fort National Park

Fort Matanzas was built in 1740-42, fourteen miles south of St. Augustine by Spain as protection against British encroachments on St. Augustine. 

We had an enjoyable afternoon visiting here. We visited the small museum and watched a film, then took a ferry over to the small fort. A storm was approaching and there were cold 30mph winds on the ferry ride, but I was glad we could squeeze this adventure into our Florida trip. 

The park ranger was quite the talker—he loved his history and went on and on and on! He taught us a lot about the everyday life of the Spanish settlers in the St. Augustine are and it was quite interesting! Did you know that many of the businesses were owned by women? Or that a young man had to have at least 4 teeth to be eligible to marry?

If you’re in the area, I recommend visiting this (free) attraction.






Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Am Thankful…

This Thanksgiving week, as I think about what I am thankful for, a few things come quickly to mind…

  • my family,
  • good friends,
  • a wonderful church family,
  • my home,
  • and life in a country where I am free to pursue my dreams and to homeschool my children,
  • spending Thanksgiving weekend with my parents, three sisters and their families.

There are other things for which I am thankful that are perhaps not quite so typical…

  • I’m thankful for the financial hardship I’ve had over the past few years. I’m learning to fully trust in God and have the privilege of seeing His provision.
  • The years of separation from my husband have been difficult, but I’m thankful for the stronger bond that I have with my daughter since it’s just the two of us now.
  • I’m thankful that I am learning to love even when it is not reciprocated.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Marine Science Center

On Friday, we had a nice visit at the Marine Science Center in Daytona Beach. This facility rehabilitates sea turtles and birds that have been injured. There was also a nice educational area where visitors can pet sting rays, view aquariums, and learn about sea birds and turtles. (I also received my first “senior discount” on admission. Yikes! 50 is a senior? At least I saved a dollar! )
We learned about the protection of nesting turtles and were able to view the area where injured turtles are cared for before they are released back into the ocean.
Petting sting rays—They feel very soft and a little slimy.
The bird rehab area….
We also were able to view a talk on predatory birds.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fun at the Beach

We are so blessed to be staying just across the street from the beach this week. It hasn’t been quite warm enough for swimming, but we’ve enjoyed taking long walks on the beach each day and Emily has enjoyed playing in the sand and wading.







Monday, November 12, 2012

Decorating for Christmas (Giveaway)


One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the decorated house. I love the homey feel of sitting by the twinkling tree on cold evenings, reading a book with a scented candle by my side.

We usually pull out all our decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving and work as a team to put everything around the house. We have a LOT of decorations, but make pretty quick work of putting everything up by working together. We  have a tree-trimming party in the evening, complete with cookies and hot chocolate.

We add a few decorations every year—either items that we make, are given as gifts, or that we pick up on sale.  The K-Mart Christmas Shop is a great source of reasonably priced decorations—either in-store or online. I’ve been enjoying browsing through the store looking for ideas.


Image of a GE Collection Christmas tree


Trim A Home® 2pk Stocking Holder - Snowman at

I love these snowman stocking holders.



Lemax Village Collection Christmas Village Porcelain Lighted House - Engine House No. 23 at



This might make a good a good addition to my Christmas village….


Disney Mickey Christmas Porch Greeter at


I found lots of Disney themed decorations….




The new Shop Your Way Rewards program awards points for purchases at K-Mart, Sears, Lands’ End, and other stores. These points can be redeemed for dollars-off savings on future purchases. If you’re a frequent shopper at these stores, be sure to sign up for this program!

Giveaway! Would you like to win a $15 K-Mart gift card (provided by and K-Mart) to help you get started on your Christmas shopping? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Smiley360 and K-Mart provided me with a K-Mart gift card in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Blogger Circle

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Last week, we toured the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse near Daytona Beach. This complex included several buildings that were the original homes of the caretakers and have now been converted into museums with displays about life in the late 1800’s, lighthouses,  and lenses and optics. We learned that this is the tallest lighthouse in Florida and one of the tallest in the U.S.



203 steps to the top…


Views from the top….



Friday, November 9, 2012

Vocal Coach (Schoolhouse Review)


Have you ever wished that you or your children could take voice lessons?  I’ve sung in a traditional church choir and am currently singing with our church’s praise band. I also directed a children’s choir at church for many years. However, I’ve never had any vocal training other than what I’ve picked up at choir practices or through teaching materials for children’s choirs.  Emily has had a little choir experience, but I have been wishing that she had a way to improve her singing techniques as well,  especially since she enjoys acting and would like to try out for musicals.

I was very excited when Emily and I had the opportunity to try voice lessons at home through Vocal Coach. Vocal Coach products are a much less expensive alternative to a private voice teacher. The creators, Chris and Carol Beatty are professional musicians who have a passion for teaching new singers. Their products include CD’s, printed materials, and DVD’s.

We used Vocal Coach Singer, which is a complete program for middle schoolers through adults.

Vocal Coach Singer Includes:
7 Training CDs:
  • Getting Started
  • Complete Breathing
  • Complete Warm-Up
  • Complete Tone
  • Complete Expanding Your Range
  • Complete Diction
  • Complete Performance
4 Workout CDs:
  • Daily Workout High Voice 1 & 2
  • Daily Workout Medium/Low Voice 1 & 2
Plus these great educational tools:
  • Guidebook – Full-size Instructional Guidebook to Ensure Success
  • Printable Lead Sheets – each exercise in our course, plus track lists
  • Personal Singer's Journal (Getting Started Journal & Workout Journal) to Track Your Progress
  • Vocal Coach Song Evaluation – Evaluation form to enable you to make more intelligent song selections

This is a fantastic resource! I thought that the instruction was excellent and was helpful in improving my singing techniques and tone right from the beginning of the course. I was glad that printed (pdf) music was available for me to look at while I was doing the various exercises, since the instructor usually sang the first two repetitions of each exercise, then I was expected to continue on my own with the music. Someone who could not read music might have to listen to the exercises a few times to learn the harder ones. Because this resource is so comprehensive, I haven’t yet worked my way through all of it, but plan to continue using Vocal Coach.

Emily found Vocal Coach easy to use as well and we were able to practice our skills together each day. Emily said “it was fun and the teachers are good singers.”

Compared to the cost of voice lessons, this is a huge bargain!

Vocal Coach Singer sells for $119.99 for the cd set and $99.99 for the mp3 download set. Other members of the Schoolhouse Crew used Vocal Coach’s Teaching Kids to Sing,  so if you have younger children, be sure to read those reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I received this product in exchange for my honest review.


Nature Walk

We’re currently in Flagler Beach, FL, visiting a friend for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, we took a lovely stroll down a boardwalk/ trail through mangrove marshes and along the Intercoastal Waterway. We took the same hike when we were here 2 years ago.







Thursday, November 8, 2012

Melissa and Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway!

Are you looking for holiday gift ideas for your children? Melissa and Doug’s Terrific Twenty list is out with lots of great ideas for children of all ages.

Here are a few of my favorites….

Magic Mine Wooden Train Tunnel Set

Magic Mine Wooden Train Tunnel Set

Item # : 619

Price: $29.99


Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board

Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board

Item # : 3745

Price: $19.99


Suspend Family Game

Suspend Family Game

Item # : 4371

Price: $16.99




Here are 2 ways to win a free toy:

1. Every day, the Melissa and Doug Facebook page is giving away one of these great toys. Enter daily for a chance to win!

2. Melissa and Doug is allowing me to give a Suspend Family Game to one of my readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am receiving a free Suspend Family game from Melissa and Doug in exchange for writing this post.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Growing Up Wild (Schoolhouse Review)


Growing Up Wild” is a collection of DVD’s  featuring the lives and adventures of the four Wild brothers, whose parents serve as missionaries to the Wano tribe in Papua, Indonesia. Each episode features a different aspect of their lives, from home construction to gathering supplies to culture and food.


It was fun to see these American boys running around with their Wano friends, fully adapted to the culture, bravely eating foods that I would be hesitant to try, and even having their noses pierced with a sharp stick in Wano style.  Personally, I was fascinated with the episode that demonstrated the Wild family’s indoor plumbing, complete with sink, toilet, and washing machine, all using water brought to their home solely by gravity through a hose from a spring at the top of a mountain. Throughout the episodes, the narrator (the Wild brothers’ Mom) reminds the listener about God’s creation and about our call to spread the Good News to every part of the world.

This video series was a family project, but I am very impressed with how professionally done the videos are. The photography is beautiful and everything is explained from the viewpoint of the boys. Each 15 minute episode is followed by a short segment suggesting follow up activities to do at home. These activities range from building a model Wano home to looking up Bible verses, to making charts comparing Wano lifestyle with American lifestyle. The companion cd includes all the printable pages to correspond with these activities as well as a few additional activities.

I will caution that portions may not be appropriate for the very squeamish, with scenes involving giant spiders, snakes, and nose piercings. I had to turn my head away a few times, although Emily didn’t. Most kids, especially boys will love them, though!

I would say that the target age for these videos is 5-12 years old, but they are fascinating even to adults! If you would like your child to get a glimpse into a different culture, you will love these DVD’s! 

Each Growing Up Wild Volume (3 episodes plus a activity guide) sells for $18.99. All five volumes cost $80.99.

DVD 1: Home Sweet Hut, Supply Trip, Sun and Water

DVD 4: Amazing World, Adventures in Culture, Tribal Calling

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I received 2 volumes of this series in exchange for my honest review.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Grace and Truth Books (Schoolhouse Review)

The Little Medicine Carrier

The Reward of Childhood Truth










 The Little Medicine Carrier  ($4.75) and The Reward of Childhood Truth ($4.75)  are two of the eleven books in  Grace and Truth Books’ Character Building Collection. These sweet stories were written in the nineteenth century and have been reprinted for a new generation.

This is what Emily had to say about the books:

I like The Reward Of Childhood Truth and The Little Medicine Carrier because they teach lessons in a fun way! The books taught me lessons on temptation and honesty. I think that kids who read these books will be motivated to resist temptation and lying if they try very hard.  They put the lessons to be learned in a book about lying and temptation in a way that kids will be reading about the consequences of what happens when they disobey or give in to Satan.

The Little Medicine Carrier shows not to be tempted into things that are not right or to waste time doing something else. This book is about a young boy who seeks a job from the doctor. The boy goes through many obstacles of temptation but always ends up resisting. The Little Medicine Carrier is my favorite book because its a little bit more interesting than the other book. I like this book better because more happened in it! This book was just more exciting and fun to read than the other book!!

The Reward Of Childhood Truth shows not to lie. For if you lie there will be consequences, but if you choose to tell the truth then you will be rewarded!

I liked these books because they teach me about lying and temptation. And they were well written. The books inspired me because I learned more about God and how I should behave.


The suggested age level for the books in this series is 8-12, although I think that younger children would also enjoy them as well.

Members of the Schoolhouse Crew also reviewed other books from Grace and Truth. Click the banner to find out about other selections.


Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Crew, I received these books free in exchange for my honest review