Friday, January 31, 2014

Christian homeschool curricula

A couple of days ago I posted a list of "secular" homeschool curricula.  I said I would make a list of Christian homeschool curricula, so here is that post.  If any of the links don't work, PLEASE let me know.

A-Beka (full)
ACE (full)
Alpha-Omega Publications (full - with 5 different choices of curricula - Monarch, Swithed-On-Schoolhouse, LIFEPAC, Horizons, the Weaver Curriculum)
Apologia (mainly science with some geography and language arts)
Bob Jones University Press (full)
Christian Liberty Press (full)
Christian Light Education (full)
Cornerstone Curriculum (math, science, art, music, Bible)
KONOS (everything but math, I believe)
Landmark Freedom Baptist Curriculum (full)
Learning Language Arts Through Literature (through Common Sense Press; they have other subjects but grammar/literature is their main one.)
Math-U-See (math)
My Father's World (full)
Notgrass (history and government)
Rod & Staff Publishers (full - the link on this one takes you to the site that Rod & Staff would send you to)
Sonlight (full)
Teaching Textbooks (I'm not 100% sure about this one, but I do know that other Christian curricula recommend it and many of my friends use it.  I watched a sample and am seriously considering switching to this for math)
Timberdoodle (full)
Total Language Plus (language arts grades 3-12)

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  If I had more time, I'm sure I could find many more curricula online.  However, since I don't have unlimited time to spend on this, I will list a few more sites that you can explore on your own.

CLASS - helps you choose curriculum
Christian homeschoolers - provides another list of Christian curricula
Homeschool Curriculum Explorer - has some excellence points on why to choose a Christian curriculum
The Educational Freedom Coalition - has a very comprehensive list of which curricula are aligned with the Common Core and which are not; you have to click on the individual tabs to see the different lists

I hope this is helpful to someone.  Feel free to share this list with others.

Until next time...


Olaf's cousin?

Olaf's long-lost cousin? lol  Maybe

Until next time...


Thursday, January 30, 2014

snow adventures

Our water pipes are frozen. I feel like I'm living half in the past and half in the present! We're melting snow for water to go in the toilet tank and basic cleaning. We have some store bought water for drinking. And yet, I'm able to post this on FB via internet (our electric is still on thank God). And our heaters are running! Yay! Snow adventures! lol

Other activities involving the snow are building weird two headed snowmen,

throwing snowballs at each other,

and being dragged behind the truck on a sled. 

Yeah, sometimes we're just redneck.

Yikes!  The driver!! lol

Don't worry, we were going veeeerrrrrryyyy ssssllloooowwwww. lol

Calling it a day.

Until next time...


"secular" list of homeschool curriculum

 Disclaimer:  I have do not know anything about these curriculum choices.  I do not agree with using K-12 because it is just an extension of public school.  However; there are some people that do not want to use a "Christian" curriculum and yet want to homeschool their children.  I would not ever want to discourage that.  So here is a list that I borrowed from a fellow homeschool mom on Facebook.  I tried to post it to a page there and after much trial and tribulation I think I managed to get it on there.  But just in case it doesn't work, I'm posting here and will share the link on FB.

Here goes:

All in One:
Moving Beyond the Page
Oak Meadow
Build Your Library

Easy Grammar
Daily Oral Language Carson-Dellosa
Daily Grams
Wordly Wise
Growing with Grammar
Michael Clay Thompson

All About Spelling
Sequential Spelling
Soaring with Spelling
Spectrum Spelling
Spelling Power

All About Reading
Hooked on Phonics
Spectrum Reading
Explode the Code
Wordly Wise

Winning with Writing
Michael Clay Thomas
Spectrum Writing

Focus on Science
Interactive Science by Pearson
Reading about Science
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey:
Life Science
Earth and Space
Elemental Science
Supercharged Science
Exploration Education
Joy Hakim Story of Science
Science Fusion

Mathematics: (method type, S:Spiral, M:Mastery)
Singapore math
Math Mammoth
Mathematics Enhancement Programme MEP
Critical Thinking Company Mathematical Reasoning
ALEKS Math (M)
Calvert Math
Saxon Math
Beast Academy

Pearson Learning/Core Knowledge
History Odyssey
History of US by Joy Hakim
Mosaic History
The Story of the World

Also!  I am in no way, nor ever will be a supporter of the Common Core.  If these are aligned with it or whatever I have no idea.  Do your own research, these are just a guideline.

Now if you want a list of Christian curriculum, let me know and I can write another post.  I can also provide a list of which curriculum are aligned with CC or will be changing to align with it, or do not plan to align with it.  In fact, I think I'll do just that.  Watch for a future post on Christian curriculum and CC alignment. :)

Until next time...


Monday, January 20, 2014

yum! banana pudding

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding from Paula Deen

We used vanilla wafers instead of the chessmen cookies.
See the recipe here.

This banana pudding is really, really yummy. :)

Until next time...


Monday, January 13, 2014

confession is good for the soul...and it may help someone

I am writing this post because it came to mind the other day to share our past shame.  Our embarrassment.  I have no idea if this will help anyone or not.  If someone is out there going through the same thing we did and is too embarrassed to speak up.  If someone is just as frustrated and fed up as we were and nothing they do seems to help.  Take heart; there is a solution. 

Pictures of bedbugs

Do you know what this is?  This little critter above?  A bedbug.  That's right.  I bet some of you didn't even think that little nursery rhyme said at bedtime had even a hint of reality.  I didn't.

 Bed bug pictures

I found out 3 years ago that these things really do exist.  In fact, the last few years there has been pretty much an epidemic (don't believe me?  Google it).  Here in Pigeon Forge almost every hotel/motel had problems.  One even closed down an entire floor during the busiest part of the tourist season.  It's a serious problem.

Bed bug pictures
(disgusting, I know)

These little bugs are an annoyance.  Thankfully, so far, I haven't read anything about them carrying diseases.  But they are bothersome, gross, and downright embarrassing.  Yes, that's right.  When you hear of someone being infested (because that's about the only way to describe it - infestation), you tend to want to stay away from them.  There is a stereotype associated with bedbugs, with vermin, with anything even remotely connected to that.  You're unclean.  Well, I'm here to tell you that it isn't true.

Sometimes these things happen for a reason.  Don't ask me what, I'm still trying to figure that one out.  When we moved into our current residence we had no idea we would spend the next 2 years fighting these unwanted, unwelcome house guests tooth and nail. 

We moved in March.  It was still fairly cold as the winter before had been pretty cold.  By the way, these things are not very active in the cold.  But when the weather warmed up they invaded.  Oh how they invaded.  In a matter of a couple of weeks every one of us had been bitten at night.  We got rid of all of our furniture.  Beds, couches, chairs...we had dining room furniture, a rocking chair that I refused to let go of, and our blankets.  Anything a bug could hid in we disposed of.  We slept on the floor on pallets (blankets made into a padded sleeping area if you don't know what that is).  We washed and dried every thing.  We would run clothes through the dryer before we went anywhere so as not to contaminate anyone else.  We cleaned.  We scrubbed down the walls (they loved our log walls and could hide like a special forces team).  We had an exterminator in twice; he lamented with us over the walls also and described how they could basically hide and wait out the poison.  We tried every device and gimmick known to man.  Every marketable item that claimed to get rid of bedbugs - we tried it.  You know what happened?  It didn't work.  That's right.  It actually seemed to enrage them.  They would come back full force, seemingly with revenge on their tiny little minds. 

It was driving us crazy.  Finally, FINALLY we found out what would work.  No it's not a gimmick, it's not on an infomercial, and it's certainly not cheap!  But it worked!!  Praise God it worked!!!  No more bites, no more itching, no more killing the little blood-sucking creatures bent on making our lives miserable!

 Bed bug infestation
(dead! yay!)

We have been bedbug free for several months now and it is so nice to sleep in a real bed for a change (my kids will vouch for that).  It's a relief not to have to wake up in the middle of the night to scratch from the dozens of bites on your extremities.  It's wonderful not to have to dry everything before leaving the house.  It's a relief to realize that we can practice hospitality again. 

So what was the wonderful miracle cure?  Something so dangerous that only a handful of people in the whole United States are qualified and licensed to work with the substance.  It's worse than tear gas used in the military.  When they treat a house, the person has to wear protective gear, including a breathing apparatus.  They house is sealed up and a notice placed on the door.  The place is uninhabitable for 24 hours or longer.  We had to leave everything.  We even left purses and wallets and only took our necessary I.D.  We treated the clothes we were wearing and the ones we would change into.  We even left our vehicles and borrowed a van for the day.  They treated every building on our property that there was the remotest chance a bedbug could hide in.  (By the way, those things can live for a year without eating.  Pretty scary.  They can last longer than a cockroach.  *Shudder*)  Oh yeah, what was used?  Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.  Commonly known as DDT.  Wait, they outlawed that didn't they?  Hmmmm...wonder if there is a connection?  Outlawing DDT and bedbug epidemic.  Yeah, I think so. 

So if you have this problem or know someone that does.  Don't wait.  Find the nearest qualified exterminator; and it probably won't be the local Terminix or Orkin guy, and schedule an appointment today!!  I say schedule an appointment because the guy we used was so busy that's the only way he would treat anyone.  That was all he did and he worked 12-15 hours a day 7 days a week.  Pretty sad, huh?  He covered all of east TN and some of the surrounding states as well.  Don't hesitate.  Make the call.

The pictures on here were not taken in my home.  I tried to avoid all proof that such a situation existed.  I copied them from this website.  They have plenty more if you are curious or want to see what a bedbug infestation looks like.  As for me?  I've lived it thank-you-very-much.  I'll pass.

Until next time...


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lego learning

Honestly, I can't take credit for this idea.  My creative husband came up with it.  May be a guy thing? 
A way to learn reading using Mega Bloks (or big legos as I call them).  You may have seen the thing using legos to teach fractions in math.  A great idea, I had just never thought of using them for reading. 

The individual blocks are the letters. 

The doubles are blends.  (sorry it's blurry; it's qu)

Use triples and quads to put the letter on to make up words. 

You would have to combine some to make words of five or more letters. 

Until next time...