We Choose Virtues Family Character Training

The We Choose Virtues Character Training program is definitely something that fills a huge need in our homeschool!  Learning about and practicing virtues is such an important thing.  In fact, one of the major reasons that we homeschool is to be able to teach our children virtues on a daily basis – like Attentiveness, Contentment, Diligence Forgivness, Gentleness, Obedience, etc.  When we are dealing with little ones with sinful natures it’s certainly not something that can be perfected overnight or over one lesson.

We Choose Virtues is NOT just a lesson a day then you’re done curriculum.  Once you introduce a virtue the children have opportunities to practice them daily and often.  Each virtue has a character and a catch phrase that the child learns to give them something to help remember it.

One of my favorite things about We Choose Virtues is the Family Assessment form.  You fill out one of these for each member of your family to see which virtues you’ll need to work on first.  I highly recommend going through one of these with each of your children as it will bring on some wonderful conversations.  You also might consider going through it for yourself.  We can all use some improvement in these areas, and this can be very eye opening.

As a family, we chose to do the Obedient Virtue first.  Obedience is such an important thing for the children to learn.  Once you introduce the character and the catch phrase the family has an opportunity to “practice” the virtue.  I love the idea of trying to “Catch them” being virtuous and reward them at times.

My younger ones especially love the coloring pages to go with each virtue!

Our family is loving the We Choose Virtues program, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to teach these to  their children.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of We Choose Virtues in order to facilitate this review as part of the Homeschool Mosaics Review Team.  However, all opinions and stories in this review are mine.

Creating A Masterpiece Art Instruction DVD

Isaiah 64:8 —- But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we are all the work of your hand.

Have you seen all the wonderful Art Instruction DVDs from Creating a Masterpiece?  One of the things that my kids love to do is create art.  I am always finding their doodles and drawings all over the house.  While they are definitely very artistic, we’ve never actually tried an art curriculum.  Art always seems to be one of those subjects that I always would love to add, but never get around to it.

This is where Creating a Masterpiece comes in.  Creating a Masterpiece is a wonderful company that has several different art instruction videos to choose from.  They have so many choices like Acrylics, Copper Tooling, Pastels, Sculpture, and more.  I had a difficult time deciding which one we wanted to use, but went with the sculpture DVDs.  My boys love to work with their hands, and I thought this would be a great creative outlet for them.  I couldn’t wait to see what they came up with.

There are 3 different Sculpture instruction DVDs to choose from at Creating a Masterpiece.  We decided to go with The Turtle first since my boys had never had any experience with sculpting other than with modeling clay.  I love how Creating a Masterpiece has a list on their site of every single item you’ll need to complete each project.  I was able to pull it up on my smart phone from the craft store and get everything we needed.

The boys had such a great time making their turtles.  While I have 6 kiddos, I only had my 4 oldest do the sculpting.  All 4 of the boys, ages 7-10, were able to follow the DVD instructions easily.  Sharon Hofer is an excellent instructor, and explained difficult tasks very well so that they could understand them with no problems.  There were 4 different sessions on the DVD, but we decided to go straight through with all of them.  They really wanted to keep going so they did.

I was so impressed with what they were able to accomplish with the instruction on the DVD.  Their turtles look so great!  They weren’t able to paint them yet because it takes almost a week for the clay to dry, and that has to happen first before you can paint them.  I’ll be sure to post a new picture of the painted ones once they’re complete.  Isn’t it amazing that those cute turtles can come from just a big blob of clay!

How would you like to share these amazing DVDs with your kiddos?  Here’s your chance.  Thanks to Creating a Masterpiece one of you will be able to win your very own Sculpture DVD!

It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is leave a comment with your answer to this question?

Which Creating a Masterpiece DVD would you love to try first? See choices here.

The will be chosen on Monday April 8th.

This is a compensated post, but all opinions are mine.

 

Teaching Children to Manage Money with FamilyMint

There are so many things that I would love for my children to master before they leave our home.  While there are some things they will just have to learn on their own by making mistakes and learning from them I would love to give them a strong foundation so that those mistakes can be minimized or at least not be devastating.

There are a few crises going on right now with our young people in this country.  On of them is the fact that so many do not know how to manage their money.  There are so many people going further and further into debt until they are in such a financial hole that they cannot climb out.    This was us at one point, but thankfully we are doing much better.  As of this month we have finally become DEBT FREE except for our home mortgage!  It was not an easy road, but it’s done and we are so thankful  We have no intentions of going back into debt, and I want to teach my children those same principles.

Learning to manage your money is not just something that “clicks” once you move out and get a job and have bills to pay.  Once that happens the credit card “offers” start coming in and before you know it you’re in huge debt and paying the minimum payments on credit cards that will take years to pay off.  This is why I believe there is a HUGE need for a curriculum for homeschoolers and families to help teach our children how to handle their money.  We can tell them what to do, but until they try it for themselves they just don’t exactly “get it”.

FamilyMint has stepped up in a huge way to meet that need with the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program.

What is FamilyMint?

The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program is A Complete Step-by-Step Program for Learning Money Management.  FamilyMint will teach your child the following very important concepts:

  • Tracking their money
  • Creating SMART goals
  • Easy budgeting
  • How interest works
  • And much more!

There are 2 parts to the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program.  There is a workbook that you can go through with your child which has exercises and activities they can go through that will teach them about managing their money.  The workbook is ideal for kiddos ages 10 and up so I chose to use it with my oldest who will be 11 in July.  He was very eager to get started!

The second part of FamilyMint is their online application that allows your children to put what they are learning into action.  They can keep up with their allowance or other money coming in and set savings goals.  You can set up multiple children on one account so it’s really great for families like mine with multiple kiddos.

I really love how you can use the workbook along with the online application.  My oldest loves doing things on the computer much more than filling out worksheets on paper so I am so glad that there’s the option to do many of the activities online rather than in the workbook.  My son keeps his workbook next to him as he works along with the online application.

It took me only a few minutes to get my 2 oldest boys set up on FamilyMint.  The very first thing my oldest wanted to do was change his avatar to a picture of himself.

We already have a chore system in place.  We use an iPod application for the kiddos to track their chores each day as they are done.  They receive points for each chore and at the end of the week they can trade points for screen time or money.  FamilyMint will be a GREAT place to keep track of the money that they are earning.

We then deposited the balance of Elijah’s piggy bank into his account, and he wanted to set up a savings goal.  He’s been wanting a Wii U for a while now, and so he’s going to start saving up for one.  Reality kicked in when he saw that it was going to take him until next May to save up for it if he saves half of his allowance.  I LOVE how FamilyMint automatically calculates that for you.  I pray that he is able to meet that goal because I think it will teach him many good things like patience, perseverance, etc.  He also added a shorter term savings goal for a small toy he’s been wanting to buy.

The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program starts the child off with teaching them to track their money, and then moves along to setting goals and setting up a budget (So Important).  I wish I’d had a  program like this when I was younger.  It certainly would have kept me from making so many financial mistakes as I “learned as I went a long”.

In Summary, Here are my favorite things about the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program:

  • It is an easy to use but VERY affective program that will teach your children how to manage their money.
  • The program actually walks them through doing it rather than just telling them about it.  This is great for most folks who can learn better by doing.
  • I love the online application portion.  It is a perfect fit for our family.
  • It is a great bargain at only $29.99 for the entire program!

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who would like to help their children understand the value of being good stewards of what God has given them!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of The FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program in order to facilitate this review as part of the Homeschool Mosaics Review Team.  However, all opinions and stories in this review are mine.

 

 

Girl in The Woods Blog Planner Review

If any of you are running a business or a blog from home then you know how important it is to be organized. Well, honestly even if you’re not running a business it can be tough to fit it all in.  It’s so easy to let things slip through the cracks when you’re having to balance all the mom stuff, homeschool stuff, and work stuff into one day.  That’s why I really NEED to get organized with my blogging. I always have ideas for things I’d like to post, but they never make it to paper.  Therefore they don’t make it to the screen.

That’s why I think it’s time for me to start using a Blog Planner.  There are so many to choose from that it was really difficult to make a decision.  Until I got to this one.

Why did I choose the Girl in The Woods Blog Planner?

Well, those who know me will see it right away.  If you didn’t already know I am a HUGE coffee lover!  I very much look forward to a big ‘ol cup of coffee every morning while I’m working on my blog so the graphics on this planner drew me in immediately.

I also really love the pretty colors.  They are so pleasing to the eye.  For some reason the colors didn’t print correctly on my printer, but it still looks great.

Another reason I chose The Girl in The Woods Blog Planner is for it’s simplicity.  I am an online organizer kind of gal so I really loved that this provides me with a quick at-a-glance view of what I’m supposed to be doing for the week.

Here’s how I put The Girl in The Woods Blog Planner to use:

  • I printed out a couple of months worth of sheets, and put them in a 3 ring binder.
  • I also printed out a calendar for March and placed it in the front.
  • I made a pretty cover for the front of the binder, and voila, now it’s ready to set on my desk and refer to as I’m working on my site each day.
Note:  If you come back tomorrow I’ll have some pictures to illustrate how I am using the planner.

 

Reading Lesson at The Creation Museum

We had an opportunity to go to The Creation Museum in Kentucky a few months ago, and it was an absolutely wonderful experience.  One of my favorite features of The Creation Museum is the gardens.  They are absolutely beautiful!  My children love walking through and seeing the wildlife, and getting up close with God’s creation.

One of the things that is so special about The Creation Museum Gardens is the presence of Scripture. There are verses scattered in various places throughout the gardens reminding us of The Lord’s Words while we are enjoying His creation.

I was looking through photos from our trip, and I found this video that I made from an impromptu reading lesson while we were in the gardens. This video is such a blessing to me as it reminds me of the wonderful time our family had.

 

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.

Sweet Kids.

 

Silly Kids

 

This post is linked up at Homeschool Link Up Fridays.

Curriculum Sale

I have accumulated quite a collection over the years of excellent homeschool curriculum.  Some we have used, and some didn’t work for us, but I have lots to sale right now:)

I accept Paypal only.  Fill out the form below with interest.  Items will be shipped via media mail.

My Father’s World

Adventure’s in My Father’s World First Edition: Includes Student Sheets and The Story of Us — $60 Shipped

My Father’s World From A to Z Kindergarten Teacher’s Manual $40 shipped

Sonlight

Note:  None of these are the latest versions, but I compared the schedules to the current samples on the Sonlight site and they still use most/many of the same resources.  All have writing on some pages.

Grade PK 4/5 Exploring God’s World: Not the Current Version, $15 Shipped

Grade K Intro to the World Cultures: Also includes Language arts and Readers Schedule.  Not the current version.  $28 Shipped

Grade 1 Intro to World History (Four Civilizations) Instructor’s Guide:  This is an older version of the Core A product found here.  There are notes handwritten on the pages.  Includes History, Math, and Reader Schedule – $28 Shipped

Grade 2 Intro to World History Instructor’s Guide: Not the Current Version $28 Shipped

 

Other

Writing Strands Level 3 $8 shipped

Tapestry of Grace Writing Aids – Book only, no cd $15 shipped

Peak With Books: An Early Childhood resource for Balanced Literacy $15 Shipped

First Language Lessons level 1, Like New $10 Shipped

Honey For a Child’s Heart $6 shipped

The Well Trained Mind, 1st Edition hardcover $12 Shipped

The Latin Centered Curriculum Like New $6 shipped

Charlotte Mason Companion Used Condition(some writing on front) $8 shipped

Winterpromise Hideaways in History (Previous Version):  Also includes On-The-Spot History Fun.  $40 shipped

 

This sale is linked up at The Happy Housewife’s Used Curriculum Sale.

 

 

Streamlining Our Homeschool – Switching Curriculum

I’ve always been what I would consider an eclectic homeschooler.  Maybe it’s because I have such a hard time making up my mind about things.

There are things I love from Classical Homeschooling and other aspects I love from the Charlotte Mason Method.  We also tend to do a lot of unschooling around here especially in the early years, but I throw in a workbook or 2 every now & then as well.

Yes I’ve used curriculum like My Father’s World(Love it), Rod & Staff(Love it), and Heart of Dakota(also..Love it).  But…I always tweak, do different things for different kids, etc.

This method(or unmethod) has worked well for us up to this point.  My kids are enjoying school and increasing their knowledge at the same time.

However…I am ready for some more structure in our homeschool.  Here’s Why:

  • I’d like to get started with the a chronological history cycle.
  • I want to teach them Latin(and learn it myself)
  • I want to simplify our homeschool – I need a schedule right now that someone else made.  I want to be told what to do and when to do it (for now anyway;)
  • My kids are excited about something new.

With all that said I am doing something that I’ve never done before in our family’s homeschool history.  With much prayer and Bryan’s approval we are going with a certain company’s curriculum, using their lesson plans along with ALL of their recommendations for each subject.  

I know..I don’t have to do that to start the history cycle & teach latin, but I NEED this right now!

I have admired Veritas Press for years, and have used many of their books so when we decided to go with their curriculum it was actually a no-brainer and quite a relief.  Their scholars lesson plans will tell me what to do & when do do it including Latin and the 4 year history cycle. Another HUGE plus is that they recommend Institute for Excellence in Writing products with their scholar lessons.  The ONLY thing I will be adding is Apologia Zoology science since they don’t include it in their lesson plans.

My kids are so excited to get started and so am I!

Photo Credit

Easy Onion Bagel Pizza

A while back I got a great deal on bagels. I think it was like a quarter per pack or something like that.  I went ahead & stocked up on several different kinds like plain, blueberry, whole wheat, etc.  I also decided to grab a couple of packs of Onion Bagels.  I had not tried them before but thought they might be good for something.

I was working on my meal plan for the week & decided I’d try to make bagel pizza with the onion bagels.  It turned out really well, and my kiddos liked them alot so I wanted to share my recipe with you today.

What You’ll Need:

  • Shredded Cheese(I used cheddar because that’s what I had on hand, but any kind will work)
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Cans Water(use the tomato paste can to measure)
  • Bagels

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °
  • Pour the Tomato Paste, Brown Sugar, Italian Seasoning, and Water into a saucepan.
  • Stir.
  • Cook until warm.
  • Spread the bagels(halved) onto a baking sheet
  • Spread the sauce onto the bagels (tip: If the sauce is too runny just add 1 tsp of cornstarch at a time to thicken it up)
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top(I left the cheese off on 2 of them for my kiddo with a milk allergy)
  • Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

And that’s it!  You could add more toppings if you’d like, but this was just perfect for a quick weekday lunch. Another bonus:  I had half the sauce still leftover so I just stuck it in a freezer bag & put it in the freezer to use another day:)

Easy & Frugal Mod Podge Mosaic Candleholders

Mosaic Candleholders

I saw this really cute idea in the latest Taste Of Home, and decided to try it myself. They used jars for theirs, but I decided to try it with some tealight holders from the Dollar Tree.  My kids had a blast making these, and they were super frugal!

What you’ll need:

  • Glass Candle Holders from the Dollar Tree($2.00)
  • Ribbon – You can use 2 different kinds like I did or just one.  I got these when Hobby Lobby had a half off sale so total cost for all 4 was $4.00.
  • Mod Podge – This was the biggest expense at $6.99.  I didn’t have a coupon with me, but this would be a good thing to use the frequent 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Etc.  There was PLENTY left for other projects though!
  • Tissue Paper & Streamers- The red & yellow came in a multi colored pack from The Dollar Tree, but I also wanted orange & black which they didn’t have tissue papers in.  I ended up getting streamers for those colors which worked beautifully!  Total cost $3.00
  • Paintbrush(free, already had one at home

The only thing I used up was the candleholders.  There was plenty of supplies left to make many more.

Instructions

  • Cut up the tissue paper and/or streamers into smaller pieces.  We kinda ripped the paper for the Autumn one to make it look more like leaves, but used scissors & cut squares for the Black & Orange one for a different effect.

  • Spread Mod Podge with the paint brush all over the outside of the candleholder.

For some reason I didn’t have any photos of the rest of the steps, but it’s really easy:)

  • Stick the paper onto the glue.  Just stick it all over & make sure to distribute the colors evenly & fill in all the clear spots.
  • Paint another layer of Mod Podge over the paper.  Cover it Completely!
  • Cut the ribbon to fit & place it around the holder.  I used 2 different kinds, but you can just use 1 or none — be creative:)
  • Paint another layer of Mod Podge over the ribbon
  • Let it dry.
  • Enjoy!

Funny Story: When The Bad News is Disgusting

Ok, so I just had to share this conversation I had with my 5 yr old this morning.

Just a little history first — Last night right before bed he found a keychain with a verse on it & asked if he could have it. My answer was “yes, if you go to bed good”(I know, bad grammar, sorry).

Here’s how it went this morning when he woke up and came to me in the kitchen.

Him: Here, Mom(handing me the keychain). I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.

Me(mom): What is it? (As I’m taking the keychain from his hand into mine)

Him: Well, The Good News is that I went to bed good last night

Me: What’s the bad news?

Him: The Bad news is that I dropped that keychain in the toilet.

Me: (Now noticing that the keychain that I now have in my hand is dripping a little)

EWWWWWW!!!