Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adventus MusIQ - A TOS Crew Review

In February, my family was blessed to be included among those families who would reviewing Adventus MusIQ HomeSchool.  The is a program to teach the whole family how to play piano! The Adventus music programs are adaptable for anyone pre-school through adult!

I have a son who has a keyboard. He does not always take instruction well, but

Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Monday - 3/25/13


I am learning to eat Paleo, but I'm not "there" yet. So feel free to comment if you see me listing something that I need to know not to eat. I have a family member who still wants starches and grains, so ones that I am not eating will be in parentheses.


Breakfast: Three eggs, fried, in a pat of butter, coffee
Lunch: Leftover vegetable-beef soup
Dinner: Ham steak, green beans (white potatoes, maybe mashed)
Snack: banana/apple


Breakfast: Two eggs, two slices bacon
Lunch: Leftover vegetable-beef soup
Dinner: Spaghetti (Squash) and Meatballs, Salad (TX Toast)
snack: berries with coconut milk

Breakfast: Two eggs, two slices bacon
Lunch: Leftover vegetable-beef soup
Dinner:  Kale and sausage soup, salad (rolls) 
Snack: small handfill of mixed nutes

Breakfast: Two eggs, bacon
Lunch: Leftover Kale/sausage soup
Dinner:  beef goulash, salad, rolls

Breakfast: Two eggs, bacon
lunch: leftover soup or goulash
Dinner: rib eye steak, butternut squash fries, broccoli

Breakfast: Two eggs, bacon
lunch: leftovers from dinners
Dinner: Fish cakes, spinach (noodles)

Breakfast: Two eggs, bacon
lunch: leftovers from dinners
Dinner:  Lemon roasted chicken, broccoli, (rice)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Notebooking Pages Promotional

As I have mentioned before, I am a Notebooking Pages affiliate. I am an affiliate because I love Notebooking Pages.  [Not that I've ever received anything from being an affiliate... or that I'm even a very good affiliate, since I don't post all their sales and specials... But I'm trying!]

They are currently having a promotional that I wanted to tell all my readers about:
NotebookingPages.com 50% off Geography Sale
They have added more country studies to our product line. The 50% off Geography Sale continues through Sunday, March 31st.
 Notebooking Banner

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Wrap-Up 3/22/13

This was a good week, in some ways, and a difficult week in others.  Last week, after an emotional student breakdown (all I did was ask him to read the next poem in our book), my son and I had a chat and did some research that led us to the conclusion that he was, basically, addicted to Mine Craft.  So he had us disable it on his computer. (He was willing that we should remove it, but another authority in our home didn't want to do that... Don't ask!)

So, it was a difficult week in that he was having to adapt to that change, but it was a good week, nevertheless, because his behavior was so much improved now that we've gotten this addiction out of his life. (Addicted behavior included anger, impatience, disrespect, rudeness, lack of desire to do anything in "real life", but a driving desire to finish whatever he had to do to get back to his gaming.)

So, yeah, a better week. So here are the things we worked on this week.

We were working on reading the Bible through in a year, but in light of events in "the student"s life right now, I decided to switch and read things that would specifically minister to him. So we switched from our readings in Deuteronomy (or maybe Exodus), and read some in Ephesians and Phillippians, and are now reading each day some from Romans and Psalms and Proverbs.

I am also working on learning piano, and reading music, and have been working on playing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God". The old hymnal version. There's a place for remakes, but I'm mostly interested right now in the older versions of hymns. They minister to my soul. Next week I think I'm actually going to pull out the hymn book to keep on the keyboard.

My son has worked on a lesson a day. This week my son took Test 9 and did lessons 91-95.
This week we've been working on Supercharged Science, specifically the Electric Unit and some Solar Electric projects that my son came up with on his own.

JD also attended his 4-H Club and worked on the project that the club members are currently working on.

This week we continued to work our way through Reconstruction and Reform.  Related historical reading, we have been reading Then Darkness Fled, a biography of Booker T. Washington.

Language Arts:
JD has continued his work in Latin. This week he finished chapter 7.

We have also continued to work on Excellence in Writing.

We also worked this week on The Art of Poetry. We will be setting this aside now, and will pick it up again next school year.

In the general area of reading, we finished our biography of Ralph Moody, the 2nd book in the series, called Man of the Family.
We also continued our reading in The Pilgrim Adventure, by Sue Kilbride; we will finish it next week, and I'll write a review.
We also began working our way through The Hobbit, and are working our way through the Progeny Press Study Guide for the Hobbit simultaneously.


We have been working our way through With Stanley in Africa for many weeks.
It was really cool the way this readings in With Stanley in Africa dovetailed with our readings in Halliburton's Book of Marvels, The Occident. This week our readings in The Occident were also about Stanley and Livingstone's discoveries in Africa. Very cool.

Well, we've really dropped the ball on art this week. Next week I'm hoping to start JD on a paper mache face mask made over an inflated baloon.

This week Jonathan wanted to listen to Ravel's "Bolero" again, so we did. 

We've also been working on learning to play the keyboard with Adventus MusIQ, a program that I will be reviewing soon.

We had continuing discussions about internet game addiction, as well as discussions about acceptable alternate activities. In addition, it was necessary to have discussions about the importance of respecting adults in his life, which he really struggles with. We went to a college fair, where the college representatives were treating him with great respect, which he craves, and I tried to help him understand that other people in his life will be better able to respect him if he begins by treating them polite and respectfully. We went over scriptures about "Do all things without grumbling and complaining," etc.

JD walked on the treadmill several times this week. He had a Boy Scout 10 mile bike ride last Saturday, and has a 30 mile bike trip with them tomorrow. It's been difficult to get him to go outside to exercise this week because 1) it has been very cold this week, and 2) there are some boys in the neighborhood harassing and bullying him over something that he did which he shouldn't have done and regrets. How they knew about it (a private matter) is beyond me, but now they bully him and harass him every time they see him.

The Art of Poetry - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

In February I was delighted to receive in the mail a copy of The Art of Poetry, by by Christine Perrin (Classical Academic Press), for my son and I to try out and review.
Now, I need to let you know at the start that I approached this product with a clear bias: I love Classical Academic Press! Good. I said it. Now, my review.

In educating my son, since he began Kindergarten, I have always included a poetry component in his scheduled studies.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blogging through the Alphabet

 I have decided to attempt a weekly excursion into blogging through the alphabet with Ben and Me.  

Today is brought to you by the letter A.

I am trying to get better at being disciplined and prepared, but yet again I am approaching a blog entry with little-to-no preparation. So I will start the letter A with the obvious:
A is for APPLE.

In our house we love apples. I used to love Delicious apples, but I think now they have been so genetically modified that they have next-to-no taste and their pulp is the consistency of solidified mush.

So our current favorites, which we even happen to have in stock, are MacIntosh, Gala and Honey Crisp. Can you tell them apart?

 Here are activity ideas, a unit study, and a free apple lapbook link.
A is also for AVOCADO!
Can you find them in my fruit drawer?

A is for "All Creatures of our God and King!...
...one of my favorite hymns. Here is a link to the song on YouTube (sorry for any commercials):

A is for ASLEEP...
...which my student isn't supposed to be, but he is, so I'm blogging. 

I'll cut him some slack; he does do school work at night, because he finds it easier. He's awake anyway, having trouble sleeping, and it makes his school day a little shorter the next day, although you can see sleep in the night time is just being traded for sleep in the school hours of morning.

Thanks for reading!

Menu Monday - 3/18/13


So, here's the thing.

I've been following a vegan diet for one year and four months. I have not been following it well -- I've been more vegetarian than vegan, with soy milk, ice cream, and chocolate sneaking in daily. Plus, my hubby has been very unhappy with our dietary division.

But even more important than that, I just haven't been feeling well lately. No, not like I am sick, but like I am not well. I suspect it has to do with my diet, with insufficient vitamins, minerals, etc. And I know I haven't been taking my vitamins the way I should, but nevertheless...

My brother has been following a different diet about the same amount of time as I have been following my diet, and he is doing better with his diet than I am with mine. I mean, he is more successful with his weight loss (well, he did have more to lose than I did...), and he seems to ...well, he seems to feel great!

So, well, don't consider me a traitor, but I'm going to switch from the vegan diet and change my mindset to the paleo diet for awhile and see how that does. I think  I will list what I am serving, not what I am eating, so you will see things like legumes, potatoes, grains, but that doesn't mean I am eating them.

So here is my transition week. I need to transition into my paleo diet, because I need to eat the food I have already purchased, my leftovers. And I need to figure out this week how to do paleo.

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black
Lunch: leftover mushroom/barley soup with spinach leaves;
Snack: mixed nuts; soy mocha from 'bucks
Dinner: corned beef with cabbage; potatoes; apple cider

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black
Lunch: leftover corn chowder; salad
Dinner: Leftovers (probably leftover mushroom/barley soup and salad)

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black
Lunch: leftover spaghetti; salad
Dinner: Beef vegetable soup; salad; rolls

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black
Lunch: leftover beef/vegetable soup
Dinner: hamburgers (served with flats/rolls), sliced tomatoes, lettuce, pickles

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black 
Lunch: leftover mushroom/barley soup with spinach leaves
Dinner: salmon, yams, spinach

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black 
Lunch: leftover beef/vegetable soup
Dinner: Roast chicken, rice, broccoli

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries; coffee, black 
Lunch: leftover beef/vegetable soup
Dinner: ham steak, potatoes, green beans

Friday, March 15, 2013

Essentials in Writing - A Schoolhouse Crew Review

In February I was delighted to receive Essentials in Writing--Where Students Learn to Write, Grade 6, by Matthew Stephens to try out with my son. I was permitted to indicate what level of the program I hoped to receive. I chose 6th Grade level

Monday, March 11, 2013

31 Day Blog Challenge


31 Day Blog Challenge -

This is my humble announcement that I am an epic fail at the 31-Day Blog Challenge. I should have known better than to think I could do this. The only way I could have succeeded would have been if I had known about it in advance and prepared some of the posts in advance, scheduled to post on the appropriate day. Starting late and thinking I could keep up... I was wrong. I can't. So rather than continuing to try, I'm going to fess up that this was a bad idea for me, and I'll leave it at that.

 Now back to our previously schedule blog entries... :)  

Menu Monday - 3/11/13

Here are the meals I have planned for the upcoming week:

Hot Dogs, Hamburgers (veggie burgers), baked beans (vegetarian), cole slaw (sour crout), chips, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc.

Orange glazed turkey cutlets, orzo, spinach (vegan leftovers -- black beans and rice or corn chowder)

Baked rotisserie chicken, broccoli, rice (brown rice, faux "chicken" patties)

Tacos (bean burritos), chips, salad

Salmon, potatoes (yam), Brussels sprout

Spaghetti (whole wheat spaghetti), sauce with meat (crumbles), salad, Texas Toast

Mushroom/Barley Soup, salad, muffins

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Composer Study: Bach

Composer Study, Ambleside Online, 2012-2013 TERM 2
 Johann Sebastian Bach

 (This term's artists are Ruisdale, de Hooch)

Listening selections for this term:
  •     Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047
  •     St. Matthew Passion (for 4 weeks)
  • Opening Chorus:
  •  Part 1 -
  •  Part 2:
  •     Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 (consists of one toccata and one fugue; do-able in 2 weeks) **This one is awesome!

  •     Well-Tempered Clavier (Prelude and Fugue in C minor, Book I), Goldberg Variations

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Menu Monday for 3/4/13

Here are the meals planned for this week. Vegan options are in parentheses:


Steak, salad, parmesan noodles (baked potatoes, broccoli, vegan chili);


Minnesota Wild Rice Soup vegan style (never got it made last week)


Beef enchiladas (bean enchiladas); refried beans, chips


Teriyaki chicken, white rice, green beans (vegan "chicken" patty, brown rice)


Fish and chips, cole slaw (black beans and leftover rice, salad)


dinner out for us this week


Smokey corn chowder (half vegan, with almond milk and no butter, no meat); muffins, salad


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 2 -- Favorite Quote(s)


From Dr. Who:

 "Scared AND holding a gun. 's a good combination; do you wanna risk it?" ~Martha Jones 
From The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:

"Is he—quite safe?"
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver [...] "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."  


Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
- Winston Churchill


Day 1 -- Self Portrait and Five Random Facts


I was planning to take a photo just in my blue sweater, but it was too chilly. I always seem to be in my WS fleece jacket these days. I want spring!

Five random facts:

1) I have never been off North America.
2)  I once took shorthand at 140 Words Per Minute.
3)  I am the 3rd born child of a 3rd born child; I married a 3rd born child, and I have a 3rd born child.
4) I know how to play guitar.
5) I know American Sign Language.  

31 Day Blog Challenge

So... I just saw this challenge... So I've already failed. But I liked the idea. So I'm about to begin working on getting caught up with this so I can blog through March.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday Wrap-up 3/1/13

Homeschool has been feeling disjointed this week. JD is finally starting to take ownership of some of his subjects, and now the challenge for me is to follow up, make sure he did the subject that day, and correct his work. I think he will do more if I get his work written out on a student planner, and then if he checks off that it is done that will also solve that issue.

So here is how things went this week.

We got to our Bible reading most, but not all days this week. JD is also working on his memory verses for church youth group. He is also supposed to be working on Awana memory verses that he hasn't been. He'll probably do more work on that before Wednesday. We also usually include "Hymn" as part of "Bible". I neglected Hymn this week. It is a new month. I will be posting shortly a link for the focus hymn for March.

Working on Horizon's Pre-Algebra. JD finished lesson 80 yesterday and took test 8. I haven't corrected it yet.

So, that means he is halfway through the curriculum. As I look at my planner I find that we have 70 days left in the school year. That means we won't finish the book, or we will work into the summer. Probably I will just decide not to finish the book, or to do the remaining ten lessons at the beginning of next year. We will have done a full year; it's just that I did other material at one point to help cement certain math concepts.

We started with Apologia General Science, which he hated. He wanted to do astronomy, so I switched to Apologia Astronomy (because I own it), but it is too low a level for him (even though it could be fairly challenging if he would actually work to memorize facts like who Imhotep was and such, but who really needs to know that kind of stuff?).  He has been working throughout the year on nature study as well. This week we saw a really amazing woodpecker, and he managed to catch it on video tape. I'll try to post it soon. And he has developed an interest in electric motors. 

I am going to have the opportunity to review Supercharged Science soon. I will be transitioning to that as my source for materials. I suspect we will park, first, in the unit on electricity. Also, JD's 4-H club is the Advanced Electric Club, so if that's what he is interested in, then that's the direction we'll go. Or, if he is still interested in Astronomy, and yearning to learn it at a higher level, then we'll go there. Stay posted.

History/Social Studies:
We are currently working our way through the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. We are reading from The History of US: Reconstruction and Reform. We read about how Rutherford B. Hays was elected because of voter fraud! And my husband came across an amazing clip of a movie that was made in 1992 called An American Story, about an incident I'd never heard of, where post World War II vets came home and found their city's politics had been taken over by fraudulent, dishonest politicians, and the people took up arms to protect the right of the voters to have their ballots correctly counted at election time. It's amazing. Take a peek:

It doesn't apply to the period we're studying right now, but it helps one to understand how election fraud has long been an issue and can be very difficult to overcome. I heard there were precincts in the last Presidential election where the vote was counted 100% for Obama, and folks came forward saying, "I voted there, and I voted for Romney!". Or precincts where the count came up 113% for Obama. What? How can that happen? The issue of permitting people to vote without checking ID is crazy! People are bussed into voting precincts and are voting under names of dead people. I really think this needs to be changed. In this day and age, how many voting aged individuals don't have one photo id? Let the government provide it for free if necessary. ::sigh::

Oh, and for Geography we are reading from with Stanley in Africa, about David Livingstone, and we are reading from Halliburton's Book of Marvels: The Orient.  We read a chapter or two from each this week.

Language Arts:
JD is really loving First Form Latin these days, and that is making me one happy momma!  He is also working his way through material in Essentials in Writing, Grade 6, which I will review for you in a couple of weeks. And we are working our way through The Art of Poetry, which I will also review for you in a couple of weeks.  He is showing some areas where his spelling still has some holes in it, so I am planning to create a weekly spelling plan for him from Kathryn Stout's Natural Speller. In the area of Literature, we finished Ever Hopeful, Hannalee, and are almost done with Lassie, Come Home.  We are working our way through Little Britches: Man of the Family, which my son doesn't care for for some reason. We are also reading Our America... The Pilgrim Adventure, by Susan Kilbride, which I will review for you in a few weeks.

I think we kinda failed in Artist Study, but JD enjoyed making a lot of projects out of fusible beads, and also taught himself how to make "Chinese finger traps", which he made over and over and over. It requires weaving. One time he made one with such small segments that he was weaving 16 different strips of paper!

We've been working on Adventus MusIQ's Piano Suite program, which we finally got up and going. I will be writing a review about it for you near the end of March.

Phys Ed:
The most consistent thrust of our physical education through this year has been weekly bowling. Well, that is over. JD was having a bad day bowling, was angry, and stormed off. I was informed that his behavior had been a struggle (for the league president) all year, and she said he was off the league. It was her opinion, and she's sticking by it. There are league by-laws that give her the right to do that, so even though there are others who disagree with her decision, she has apparently been endowed with all power, so that's over.

So we'll have to see how I handle PE for the rest of the year. I have Family Time Fitness, but my house is really too small to use much of the program indoors, and I lack a certain level of follow-through that I really need to acquire somehow. The weather is getting warmer, so between having a treadmill, having FTF, and just having the great outdoors, we should be able to get something regular going. Right now JD is on Wii Fit with dad doing bowling.

We took advantage of the Zane Education health materials this week. We also had many conversations regarding adolescent boy issues. 

This blog entry is linked up with:   


Friday, March 1, 2013

College Common Sense - A TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

For the past month or so my son and I have been looking over a program by  College Common Sense called Going to College and Paying for it Online Video and Workbook.

Have you ever experienced a situation where there was something that you didn't know about and you didn't know you needed until you got it, and then you