Category Archives: Online Resources

Excited about school.. all over again!

Did you guys think we had disappeared? 

We’re still here, occasionally doing our school work out of the car while Daddy is in an interview, but we’re still here.  This momma was almost too busy praying for an answer from this one company to worry about school.  Then an ‘out of the blue’ play date refreshed me!

A new friend of mine came by yesterday with her daughter, also 7, also in the first grade.  She’s new to homeschooling, started in Nov or Dec I think, and already she further than us in the Math and Language Arts curriculum we use.  (She purchased the same one I did) 
I do more subjects then her and do more internet supplements but still…  geez…  3 workbooks ahead of me… SO…

I went online with her to show her some of our favorite places to find ‘things to do’ and to introduce her to the world of lapbooking.  Boy oh boy did I find some fun stuff…. 

Here’s the lapbooking links (some of the coolests were links I followed FROM here…)

Homeschool Helper Online

Homeschool Share

and I just joined up at Lapbook Lessons!

For those of you brave enough to make up your own lapbooks here’s a great tutorial (with pictures) on how to make your own templates in MS Word.

We have officially decided to have a lapbooking day next week (cross fingers) since we’ve done one once from a kit and once from stuff we made up and since I have way too much paper and glue and it needs to go somewhere.  (Lucky me found my colored folders last night too!)

Well, after she left I found the COOLEST new beta site.  It is NOT interactive, but rather a worksheet generator for printables…

“You will not find anything on this website that is designed to interact directly with a student. Our guiding principle is that paper-based documents are the best way to help kids learn. There are many good sources of computer-based educational materials, but we have learned through experience that they simply do not compare to a quality printed worksheet. Numerous studies of the effectiveness of computers in the classroom support this view. “

I printed off several worksheets for the girls last night.  An addition ‘word search’ type puzzle,  an alphabetizing practice sheet, magic squares, and fractions  (it’s gets cooler when you get out of First Grade).

They even have a worksheet where you can type in the copy work text and they will shadow it on the paper for them to trace! 

It’s called and it’s awesome!!  If you already know about it then pretend I’m not a total late bloomer and cheer with me anyway (LOL).  I just clicked on their “site for parents” button where they have a whole bunch of homeschool friendly sites listed by popularity!  It just keeps getting better and better!


Since it’s 6 am, and Tader is still on the couch with me coughing I guess I better go wake up the coffee pot, no going back to bed now.  I’ll leave you with my field trip tip from last week…

When you spend two days telling your kids they are going to the caverns (aka Daddy’s job interview 2 plus hours away in the mountains where someone is probably going to hurl on the way up or the way down) and you GET there to find out their website LIED was misleading as to their true operating hours you can always pretend they went by stopping by the local Shoney’s and grabbing  a bunch of brochures on the caverns instead.  Tader Bug can now differentiate between a stalagmite and a stalagtite and she’s never actually seen one!  WHOO HOO! 

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Story Time ! (with a freebie)

In keeping with my slacker style, we skipped our book work yesterday for a “Sunshine Day”. When winter clouds bring gloom, without even a hint of fun snow, it’s easy to get on each others nerves. Once the thermometer reached 55° I decided it was time to go play outside!

(according to TaderBug, their jackets got wet and they just HAD to come off… you know, because mud is different…it’s not wet right?)

Well, they were just having so much fun soaking up the vitamin D, and learning very scientific hands on information regarding the effects of water on soil, sand, concrete, baby dolls, cotton pants, and cats. I didn’t have the heart to bring them inside.  (Or, maybe I was just enjoying the peace and the opportunity to do a load of dishes without stopping 15 times to dry my hands and button a costume or clasp a necklace or wipe someones bum!)

After a very warm bubble bath (it took two baths to get it all off), we gathered all our silly instruments in the living room.  My little sweeties insisted on providing accompaniment to my attempts at practicing piano.  I cannot even begin to describe how difficult it is to play “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” with a 4 year old drummer and a 7 year old guitar player!


This morning, anticipating short attention spans caused by a light dusting of snow, I decided to have Doodle’s tackle her schoolwork before the sun came up and she could see the white wonderland outside.  I’m not dumb enough to wake her up that early on purpose… but since she was up….

While she finished up her Math Quiz, I worked up a little story page for her to do for fun.  I’ve added it here and to my Free From Me page! It’s a pdf file and includes a big box on top to draw a picture!  There is a list of words to help new spellers and new writers with their sentences.  This page has a ‘Park’ theme!

It took Doodles a few tries to really understand what I was asking her to do; however, now that the story page is done she is following me around trying to finish the story.  I’m not sure why I thought I could say ‘just two sentences’ and have that actually work!

The handwriting is sloppy thanks to our lazy attitude this morning but the story was told…

Time to eat some oatmeal and bundle up for the blizzard (NOT).
Happy Tuesday!

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Free Elementary Math and Spreadsheet Practice!

I’m always looking for fun new ways to “feed” my bugs the information they need to learn.  For one whole semester, Doodlebug has been fascinated with the ‘Speed Drills’ that come in her Christian Light Curriculum Math books.  All of a sudden she has forgotten how to write, or how to read, or maybe it was how to add 1 plus 1 but either way she is adamant that she can NOT do this anymore.  This means only one thing, she’s bored.  I saw it coming, way back at Thanksgiving when she started writing her numbers backwards or going back and connecting them claiming to be writing in cursive.  She was getting bored then and now it is officially just too boring for her.  So momma is going to spice it up a bit. 

We’re going to feed her the same information, the same drills, in a new way.  Last night I created a practice spreadsheet. 

It’s so fun!  She can just type the answer into the green box and immediately she’ll know if she has answered it correctly!  SOOO, since I’m not the only one with child in need of a change, I’ve uploaded the xls file for you!  Click on the image above, or go to our “Free From Me” page.  Most Excel spreadsheets can be opened in OpenOffice, but if it doesn’t work for you just let me know and I’ll try to convert it for you!

There are four quizzes, with 15 problems on each quiz.  The formula cells have been protected so little fingers can’t get “type happy”. 

Please let me know what you think!  Have fun and happy schooling!

**  it’s 14 degrees this morning, and they closed the local school not because of snow, but because they didn’t want underdressed children to get frostbite standing at the bus stops…don’t tell Doodlebug but she’s going to have school anyway!  LOL   I *heart* homeschooling!**

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A lesson in tooth decay….the hard way.

This mom is having a mouthful of dental issues.  Next week, I’ll be having an abscessed tooth removed.  In the meantime, Momma Taderdoodles is more than willing to remind her children how incredibly painful this is, to have a hole in your tooth, to have it be all infected, and on and on and on.  (quietly giggles)

Can anyone guess how many times my girls have brushed their teeth in the past couple of days?  I still can’t get either of them to use their fancy blue stuff that tells them where the plaque is but their brushing, and that is what is important.

I started remembering those times in school when the dentist would come visit.  He’d pass out those red tablets, and we would all get a new toothbrush.  Being a homeschooling family, we don’t have a dentist coming to visit for a fun school day.  I don’t see dental appointments as the same thing, definitely not as much fun.

I went looking today for a few fun websites to play on, for worksheets to print out and some other fun avenues to help my kids learn a little bit about what’s happening in mommy’s mouth and their own.

Crest had a cool “eggsperiment”

so did (not to mention a really cute animated graphic of a tooth brushing itself 🙂  )
has some fun games (can you say Whack a Molar), with the National Museum of Dentistry has an amazingly packed site in English and Spanish! Tons of stuff for teachers too!

and it was fun playing “To Tell the Tooth” from!

Take a moment to try a new subject! Make a day out of exploring your teeth!

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Back to School 2008!

Welcome First Grade!  Welcome Preschool!  And within the next few weeks we’ll begin our real life Child Development class as we welcome our newest addition!

We started school officially this past Monday and it went great!  DoodleBug is very excited about her new curriculum.  Even TaderBug is getting into the swing of school even if it is mainly coloring and providing endless distraction for Doodles.  We chose Christian Light Education curriculum for her this year because it was clear cut, easy to follow, promotes independent working, and….  dum dum dum dum….  it’s pretty inexpensive.   It’s not free, but it is way cheaper than the cost of public school.

The amazing part is that for now we can get the basics done in less than two or three hours!  We’ve decided not to schedule a lot of extra activities until after the new year (in order to give us time to adjust to the baby).  I’m hoping that I can count on the baby sleeping at least two hours during the day!  🙂

I also revisited a few of my favorite websites, bookmarked them, and prepared for those days when momma just wasn’t feeling up for school.

our always favorite

and when I need to print extra stuff for Tader’s,  I love my subscription to Enchanted Learning (of course, most of their stuff is free, just easier to print as a member)


I was just totally interrupted in the middle of my post!  UGH…  completely lost my train of thought.  The girls went to the in-law’s house for a bit and my Father in Law just brought them home.  I wasn’t feeling well this morning so we didn’t get around to doing book work until late (totally her idea, not mine at all).  She came in and wanted to finish her Bible lesson and her Learning to Read lesson (with my FIL here of course!).  We finished and now she wants to do more math….  so off we go!

Practice Practice Practice…

This link was shared with me by one of my local homeschool mommy friends…

I’m checking it out now, hoping to find some fun stuff for Sam to do today (so she’ll stop driving me bonkers! 🙂  )

Starting the Journey-Step Three “Curriculums and Methods”

Step One
Step Two

Curriculums and Methods

One thing you probably noticed while you were finding friends and learning your child’s learning styles is that we all do it differently. Some of us use textbooks, some are more strict and classical, some are very relaxed, some “appear” to barely do school at all. That’s because, as homeschoolers, we are blessed with the ability to customize our curriculum and alter our methods to best fit our family situation and our children’s needs. Even when your state requires testing or virtual schools, you, as the parent, still have options.

Currently, we are probably in a mix of Traditional and Unschooling. We do workbooks, but we also just randomly study what we are currently interested in (see the post about tornadoes). We are planning to try out a full, and somewhat structured, curriculum next year for First Grade. I personally am making this change more for me than for Sam. I think having a guided curriculum will help me feel more secure that we are, in fact, learning something. Even then, I don’t expect to do everything in it, rather I expect to compliment it with lapbooks, field trips, and random research. has a great list and descriptions of different methods of homeschooling.

They also have a great list of curriculums and links! (One that I noticed is not listed is Christian Light, I was put on to this by a friend who uses some of their subjects with her youngest son, whom is easily distracted by colorful pages. Christian Light’s workbooks are simple and in black and white. Christian Light has no website, but a catalog can easily be requested by phone. I’ll try to find their phone number and post it here soon.)

Check out the homeschool groups you’ve joined from step one, ask your friends. If you already homeschool, then please leave a comment letting us know what worked for you!

Remember, just because you pick one today doesn’t mean you can’t change it tomorrow. We’ve been homeschooling for all of three months and already I’ve changed the game plan twice. I had no idea she would pick up on new stuff so quickly, and I had to adjust in order to keep it all interesting.


Step Four-Curriculum Fairs will be posted after Christmas!