Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lapbooking 101 Basic Information

This is a video of our very first lapbook that we completed. I will do some more videos of more recent ones so you can see the variety available, later this week. I am so sorry for that thick accent. I had no idea how Texan I sounded until I listened to that video! Luckily, my husband thinks it's endearing! The template for this lapbook can be found HERE.

Lapbooking is essentially a unit study that is cut out and and glued into a file folder(s). Lapbooks can be very specific such as these math lapbooks or can be themed, but broad in what subjects they cover, such as this Madeline Lapbook, which covers everything from some basic science to reading comprehension. There is a lapbook for virtually everything and best of all lapbooks offer a hands on learning approach that is a lot of fun . Lapbooks offer something for every age range and learning ability and come in a wide variety of price ranges as well from free up!

This video is a short tutorial on how to create the lapbook. Lapbooks usually come with a layout suggestion, but you can do your lapbook anyway you like.

Here is a list of lapbook resources:


Hands of a Child

Lapbook Lessons

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Freebie Friday Thursday Edition

Because I have been called in to sub tomorrow I am going to post this today. A bit outside what I normally post but who doesn't love freebies?!

Better Oats Oatmeal Sample

Free Natural Nibbles Dog Treats

Free Dove Samples and Coupons

Free Oxy Skincare Sample and Coupons

Several Walmart Freebies

Check out My Points. All you do is click on the emails they send you and you earn points towards different gift cards! I save mine up and do my Christmas shopping with my points!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Texas Catfish Fry

In Texas everything is done big, and our family catfish fries are no exception! In my opinion there is no atmosphere like the one at a fish fry. Typically, the fish is cooked over a stove, and we grab and go as the fillets are taken out of the pan. No plates, no cutlery; just your fingers and a napkin. Oh and if you want some catchup with your fries, just dip in the big pile that someone squirted directly on the pan!

Of course, this means there is a big mess and a lot of grease spattered all over the kitchen - not a fun after dinner treat to clean up. Now, we've gone "Texas sized" and everyone gets to eat at the same time. And the greasy mess is confined to the great outdoors. This is thanks to the latest addition to our cooking equipment, a large three basket fryer.

In a matter of about 10 minutes, fish, fries, okra, and everything else we choose to stuff ourselves with is all brought to the table, Grace is said, and it's a free-for-all at the serving platter.

Now, I happen to think that the big daddy frier takes away from the casual atmosphere somewhat, but still nothing beats a summer Texas catfish fry!

To cook your catfish southern style:

Store your cleaned and filleted catfish in a bowl of ice water while you prepare the batter

Batter: 2 cups corn meal, 1 TSP flour, salt and pepper as preferred
Batter fish on both sides and drop into 350 F oil.
If you deep fry take fish out approximately 30 seconds after it begins to float.
If browning in a shallow pan cook fish approximately 2 minutes on each side.
Fish will flake easily when done.

Gas flame preferred!

Thanks to my guest blogger Regina(momma!) for helping me out with this blog post!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Learning with Chocolate

I was so excited when I found this CHOCOLATE LAPBOOK! I'm always looking for ways to keep my homeschool co-op group engaged and this was a great way to cover a broad group of ages!

The Chocolate Lapbook lays everything out for you to do a complete lapbook and has some recipes in it to make the lessons more interesting, but I supplimented it with more recipes and a field trip to Mary Puddin Hill in Greenville, Texas.

We work in 6 week blocks, two days a week, so to make the Chocolate Lapbook fit into that time frame here is my lesson plan and the extra recipes we will be doing. I will also try to do up a supply list.

Week 1:

Day 1:

Read Pg 10-12

Start vocab activity 1 (this is worked on a little each day)

Activity 2

Day 2:

Read P. 13-16

Look at a cocoa pod and beans

Recipe: chocolate covered marshmallow animals

Work on vocab

Finish activity 2

Week 2:

Day 1:

Read p 16-17 Kinds of chocolate

Blind taste test different types of chocolate

Activity 3

Day 2:

Read p 18-20

Activities 4&5

Recipe: hot cocoa

Week 3:

Day 1:

Activities 6&7

Day 2:

Activities 8&10 (older children may want to do 9)

Recipe: fudge

Week 4:

Day 1:

Activities 11&12

Day 2:

Activity 13

Recipe: chocolate cake

Week 5:

Day 1:

Activities 14&15

Recipe: chocolate chip cookies

Day 2:

Activities 17&18

Recipe: chocolate covered oranges

Week 6:

Day 1: Field Trip to Mary Puddin Hill

Day 2: Finish up Chocolate Lapbook

Recipe: I will bring my chocolat fountain and provide various snacks to dip into the chocolate

If you have done this Chocolate Lapbook or are going to and have made different lesson plans I would love to see them!

I Am Intolerant

A little OT again, but a conversation I recently had got me thinking...

If being tolerant means that I must accept that sin is ok...Then I am intolerant.

If being non-judgemental means that I must never state my God given convictions for fear it might upset you...Then I am judgemental.

If being enlightened means that I must accept that there are other ways to heaven besides through the redemption of the one and only Saviour, Jesus Christ...Then I am deluded.

If being reasonable means that I must accept that science disproves God's hand in all things including creation...Then I am unreasonable.

If being free means that I believe that I can not be happy being in my God ordained roll of being a wife and a mother...Then I am enslaved.

If being educated means that I must have a degree and/or career that supercedes the above stated role...Then I am ignorant.

Yes, by the worlds definition I am all of these things. But thank God by HIS definition, when I am walking in HIS word and inside his plan, I am none of these things.

John 8:36
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Down Two to Go

That is if Keira and Colton actually follow through with their plans to wed. Yep, our 5 year olds have decided, with absolutely no prompting from their parents, that they are betrothed. I'm not really sure when it happened, but now the two of them can't get enough of each other. They have planned it all out from when the wedding will be (sorry hons if I have to sign paper work for you to get married you are too young!) to what Keira will be wearing (I think she pulls off Sleeping Beauty wonderfully). Before we left for England Colton gave Keira a dog that she sleeps with every night, and he has even bought her a ring ($.25but its the thought that counts right?).

Of course, we don't really know if they are going to get married, but these two have the most unique friendship I have ever seen at this age, and I hope that they carry it on no matter if marriage is in the future or not. But just in case it is, Colton, you are prayed for often!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Montana Introduces New "Health" Education Plan (not for younger readers)

I try to keep things pretty light around here. After all there are plenty of blogs that deal with the heavier side of homeschooling. But every now and then something comes up that really can't be overlooked. In Helena, Montana a new sex education program has been suggested. Under this plan children beginning in Kindergarten would be introduced to sex education. Here is an article from CNN.

(CNN) -- A proposed health curriculum in Helena, Montana, public schools has riled up some parents who say it starts teaching students about sex far too early.

Several hundred parents in the mountain state's capital packed a school board meeting earlier this week to debate the 62-page proposal. It includes four pages of charts listing what elements of human sexuality should be introduced at which grades.

"Ninety-five percent, if not 99 percent, is really, really good stuff," Helena parent Brian Ackerman told HLN's "Prime News." But he added, "It's not something we can attach 100 percent agreement with all of the committee members."

The proposed curriculum guide is part of a broad range of health courses that also teach nutrition, disease prevention, anatomy and environmental health. It would teach students as early as second grade that using anti-gay slurs is hurtful and teach children in older elementary grades about sexual harassment and abuse.

Students would be told as early as kindergarten to properly name body parts. The concept that people "can love people of the same gender and people of another gender" would be introduced in first grade, though homosexual relationships aren't discussed until fifth grade.

Fifth-graders also would learn that sexual intercourse "includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration." Teachers would start discussing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and drugs and alcohol with middle-schoolers, while high school students would learn about sexual orientation and the "legal implications" of some decisions.

Ackeman, who has two elementary-age daughters and a third approaching kindergarten, said parents should be told "who decided this, when did they decide it and how did they decide it?"

"We really haven't seen where that age-appropriateness comes from," he said. In addition, he said the district has not figured out how to implement the program.

"There isn't any sort of implementation in place right now that says this is how we're going to teach this," Ackerman said.

Bruce Messinger, Helena's school superintendent, said the guide was drawn up by a committee that included parents, teachers and administrators. That committee used local practices and examined national guidelines, including those put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics, he said.

"It establishes that between the ages of kindergarten through grade 4, vocabulary would be introduced so a student has an understanding," Messinger said. "It doesn't specifically say what would happen."

Implementation plans will be developed later, he said -- and if parents object, he added, "They have a right to opt out."

The last school board meeting drew not only critics but supporters. And Cathy Areu, publisher of the Latina women's magazine Catalina and a former high school teacher, told HLN the standards sound defensible and age-appropriate.

"It sounds like they are teaching body parts and things that are facts of life," Areu said. "I feel more comfortable with my daughter learning about this in a classroom than from a boy in the hallway."

What's most interesting about this whole proposal is that Planned Parenthood is actually on the committee advisory board for this whole disgusting fiasco of a plan. Talk about conflict of interests!

Besides just the obvious grossness of this proposed plan, has anyone stopped to think about how intrusive this is to parents? It is another step towards the government controlling when, where, how and at what age our children are taught their values (or lack of rather). When we will stop? Math, English, Science, Sex... Is that what their schedules need to look like?

I'm a Christian, so it goes without saying that I would also have severe problems with people teaching my child values that we do not believe in (homosexuality, sex before marriage, abortion). I pray that if this does pass that every Christian parent immediately pulls their child out of those schools. Thank goodness that at the moment we still have a way of protecting our children from this.

So there it is, I'm not so eloquent with words when I am fired up, and fired up this definitely has me! Sex education is a parents responsibility, not the schools.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Skipton Castle and Castle Resources

You can't go to England without going to see a castle. This year we chose to see Skipton Castle, one of the most complete castles in England. Skipton castle is about 900 years old, is built on a steep incline and has a moat to protect it from intruders. Half of the castle is inhabited. To read more on the history of Skipton GO HERE.

We had so much fun exploring this castle and the girls searched everywhere for the princess. Alas, she escaped us. We think she might have been at one of her other many castles and we will look for her at a different one next time. At least we didn't come across the dragon!

What could be more fun than learning about castles? We will be incorporating a Castle Lapbook into our history this year!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zoobooks Subscription Give Away

Zoobooks Magazine

This year for Christmas I decided to get the girls a subscription to a magazine. I searched high and low and considered many different ones but finally settled on Zoobooks is a great children's magazine that features animals. Each magazine focuses on a different animal and you can chose to from three different age appropriate magazines, Zoobies for 0-2 years, Zootles for 2-4 years, Zoobooks for up to 12 year olds.

Zoobooks magazine for kids 6-12, Zootles magazine for kids 2-6 and Zoobies magazine for kids 0-2. Founded in the 1980, we want to encourage a lifelong love of reading and nature in our subscribers. $10.50 for every paid subscription and 25% on product sales is our current offer. Zoobooks is designed for animal lovers. Award-wiinning photos and amazing illustrations captivate kids. The articles are packed with interesting, kid-friendly information. Teachers recommend Zoobooks because of the quality but also the fact that kids love animals and are highly motivated to read more about them. Zootles Magazine for Kids 2-6 is full of animal fun. It's written just for preschoolers!. The illustrations and stories are charming and educational. We have tons of activites for kids and families in the magazine and online. Zoobies is also our newest magazine for 0-2 year olds. It's like a little board book full of eye-popping photos and simple text for the youngest animal lover. Introducing our newest addition - Zoobies puts the animal kingdom into a toddler's hands.

We have had our subscription (Zootles and Zoobooks) for a while now and I can tell you that my kids can not wait until they get their magazines. If you are looking for a fun educational magazine for kids this one definitely has my recommendation!

Now for the fun stuff: I have been given one subscription for to give away to one lucky reader! All you need to do to enter is to follow my blog (you must confirm your email address). Want two more chances to win? Follow me on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook (one entry for each) and post a separate comment for each entry. That's it! I will draw a random winner using a random line picker on Friday July 23rd.

This blog is representative of my personal opinion and not that of I was not compensated for this giveaway.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pantry Challenge

We are all guilty of it. We buy something and forget we have it and before you realize it, you are throwing it out(or in the case of the 25 boxes of jello I have found, just storing it long term). Now that we are back from England and I have restocked our food I am sitting down to menu plan. I had joked with Karl earlier in the week about having one of those smart fridges that tells you what you can cook based on what you actually have in stock. Well, turns out the fridge is a bit beyond our price range (and I am not sure it actually exists yet), so I did a search on the internet.

SuperCook is a FREE recipe generator that allows you to input your stock into a data base and pulls out recipes that use ONLY the ingredients you put in! Other great features include a suggestion bubble that allows you to click on the item to add it, saving you time, and by clicking on the specific items it will pull recipes that use that particular item.

Registering is pretty straight forward: username and real name, email, age and gender are required, but you do not have to activate the account to get started. Oh, and did I mention that it's free?!

There are a few problems, the main one being that it doesn't recognize some of my stock items (apple cider vinegar for one) but nothing that has turned me off of the program.

My goal is to use SuperCook to use up some of the items I have purchased that are just sitting in my pantry. This is especially great for us couponers that tend to end up with items (for free) that we normally wouldn't purchase but thought we might use eventually.

Join me in using up your stock items!