To Read through...

Too Smart for CM?
Found that post when, by accident this blog entry made it's way into google reader.

Wanted to remember them, so I'm linking to them here.

12 days of Homeschool

TOS Planning

Organizing and Planning Your School: Your Special “OPS” Mission

Cheryl Allin, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine


ugust is here, and it’s time to gear up for a new school year. Once again you begin to explore new ideas to organize and plan so that this year will be even more efficiently run than last year. What worked well? What can I do differently? With the kids a year older, and perhaps a new one on board, adjustments need to be made. Or perhaps this is your first year. Whatever your situation, we have a mission for you!

Your mission: a three-phase plan to get you and your family off to a great start.

Phase One: Organizing Your Space

It will take some time to organize your space, but spending a little time now will save you a ton of time later.

Materials needed:

· Home and school planner

· Three empty bins or laundry baskets labeled: keep, donate, and sell

· Trash can

· Different-sized totes, boxes, bins, or baskets, some with lids

· One pencil box per child and one for you

· Masking tape and a permanent marker for labeling bins

· Paper and pen to inventory supplies

· Blank, colored circle stickers (yard sale stickers)

· Cleaning supplies—rags or paper towels and soap or furniture polish


· File cabinet

· Plastic drawer organizer

· Recycling bin

· Bookshelves

· Wrapping paper, brown paper sack, or newspaper comics

· 1”x 3” x 4’ piece of wood

· Wood clothespins

· Wood stain

· Clothesline

· Labeler

· Manila folder

· Hanging file folder

· Timer

Step 1: Organize Your Equipment and Papers

Organize important information: Place all important information like Web passwords, budget records, and car maintenance schedules in a home management folder or planner. Organize your address book by updating addresses and phone numbers and add this information to your planner. Immediately open all mail when you receive it and throw junk mail in the trash, file important paperwork, and place current items (bills, coupons, letters) in a manila folder labeled “pending.” Check this folder daily. 1

Computers: Start by organizing your computer favorites and files. Dedicate folders to homeschooling and the subfolders to subjects in both your bookmarked Internet sites and all computer documents. By doing this you can easily access a Web site or file that you need.

For E-Book (and other large file) storage, you may want to use a USB flash drive. An excerpt from the E-Homeschooling: Embracing the E-Book Revolution (a free TOS E-Book) explains:

Once the (computer) subdirectory gets too full, I remove it to a plug-in flash drive . . . devoted to homeschooling resources, and only plug the flash drive into my computer when I need an E-Book, want to peruse my E-Books, or add E-Books. It's a really quick process since the flash drive acts as a mapped drive. I keep a directory printout of all of my E-Books for easy reference (and because I like paper directories).

File cabinets: This is a great organization tool to systemize all important papers both school- and home-related. Contemplate what your needs are to determine the cabinet size. There are many types of cabinets from an inexpensive, portable plastic one to the large, traditional, office file cabinet. Purchase manila folders and hanging file folders and label each by topic. If you already own a cabinet, start at the top drawer and go through each folder, throwing out, recycling, or shredding unwanted papers.

Make your own manila folder by folding large pieces of construction paper in half. If you do use manila folders, write on the tab using a pencil instead of pen (that way you can erase and reuse the folders when you are done with them) and set them in a 14” x 12” cardboard box. Cover the box with wrapping paper, brown paper sack (the children can decorate), or comics from the newspaper for a fun decorative touch. 2

Teacher’s materials: Place all teachers’ guides, planners, and workbooks in a school bag, crate, small box, or a spot in your teacher workspace. Make a pencil box of your own and fill with pens, pencils, hole punch, scissors, and other daily-needed items.

Instead of buying pencil boxes, wash and reuse plastic containers like sour cream, butter, whipped cream, or baby wipes containers. Each can be labeled and decorated with a permanent marker. 3

Step 2: Organize Your School Room

Bookshelves: Homeschoolers usually have more than one bookshelf, even with the E-Book craze! It’s time to organize them.

Empty each bookshelf by sorting items into the correct bins, and clean the shelves. If you need to keep an item but will not use it until next year, put it in an empty tote with a lid. Label the outside of the tote with the item name and store in your garage, closet, or attic.

Separate magazines by title and place each title in a separate magazine holder and return them to the bookshelf.

Use cereal and pancake mix boxes for magazine holders. First, cut off the top flaps. Next, cut half way down one small side, and place your magazines inside! 4

Group books by genre and use the color dots to catalogue the books. For example, blue stickers for non-fiction, red for fiction, and green for reference books. Also, label curriculum items the same way, red for math, green for spelling, and write the grade level on the sticker. Replace them on the shelf spine-out by color, grouping as needed. Take this time to make note of what you have and what you will need to purchase for the new school year.

Drawers, cubbies, and desks in the school area: This can be an overwhelming task, so empty one drawer at a time, placing items in the appropriate bin or trash. Wipe the drawers clean. Check that all pens, markers, and art supplies are usable, and throw out what isn’t working. (This is a great job for the kids!) Find a special place or consider buying plastic drawer organizers for supplies, and label each drawer with scissors, pencils, lined paper, white paper, crayons, markers, construction paper, glue, stickers, paints, and brushes. As you work, write a list of school supplies you need for the school year. Situate children’s curricula and pencil box, globes, microscopes, computers, and charts close by their work station.

Watch the sale ads for back-to-school specials, and stock up. Instead of using a plastic drawer organizer, use plastic gallon-sized zip bags and place in a sturdy, decorated cardboard box. 5

Last year’s school work: File the papers and projects you need for your records in the file cabinet or tote. Throw away or recycle the rest.

If you find yourself wanting to save everything, consider taking a digital picture of the item and download it on your computer in a file labeled (Child’s name) schoolwork. Dispose of the item. 6

Step 3: Organize Children’s Supplies

Make an area for each child’s supplies: a bookshelf, a drawer, or a book bag. Include a pencil box with 3 sharpened pencils (who likes to hear the electric pencil sharpener when instructing!), eraser, calculator, markers and colored pencils, and crayons. Any workbooks, textbooks, and manipulatives they use daily will go in this area. Organize by color coding. Each child gets one color for all their folders and notebooks.

Group manipulatives in see-through containers, such as clear plastic bags or plastic sandwich meat containers, so children can easily identify the contents. 7

If you don’t school in just one area during the day, you might also consider mobile storage carts for moving your school supplies to other areas of the house. In the E-Book Dreams and Designs, you will find details on how to do this:

“Narrow computer desks with an upright CD storage area, built in shelves, and a roll-out keyboard space . . . are ideal to convert to rolling storage carts because of their narrow style; they can roll through halls and doorways more easily . . . “

Step 4: Keep Clutter Away

What to do with all the paperwork: At the end of every school day, take any papers and projects and either file them in the child’s portfolio, display them on the wall (see next note on how to display work), take a digital picture, and throw it away or recycle.

Display your child’s work: Make an inexpensive display wall for art projects and special papers out of a piece of 1” x 3” x 4’ wood board with clothespins glued every foot. Your children can color the clothespins with their assigned color and use them to hang their work. Stain the wood and secure on an empty wall with screws and wall anchors. Remember to rotate out work as the year progresses, filing what you need to keep and throwing away or recycling the rest.

You can also hang a clothesline across the wall and hang items on it with the clothespins.8

Step 5: Finish

Schedule a time in the next week to donate all items and a time to sell the others at a book sale or on eBay. Follow through!

Step 6: Keep it That Way!

Clean up every day. At the end of the school day, set a timer on ten minutes and involve the whole family in a quick pick-up of the school area. File papers and put items in their assigned spots. Be consistent, and you will be amazed at how organized you stay.

Phase Two: Planning the School Year

Time is something we can never get back, so planning ahead for a smooth school year is top priority.

Step 1: Your Mission Statement

Create or reevaluate your homeschool vision statement. This is a statement that you create as a family and is the foundation of your homeschool. It includes the purpose, mission, and goals of your school.

Step 2: Know the Law

Research that the laws have not changed in your state: Check the HSLDA website for any changes, as well as the number of days your school must be in session.

Step 3: Organize Your Plan

Homeschool planner: Everything will be much easier to plan if you have all of your important papers, both home and school, in one folder or planner. When you need to reference something, you will have it all together. See a sample of one here.

Develop a yearly plan: Jot down your thoughts on these questions:

· What do you want to accomplish this year?

· When do you want time off for birthdays, holidays, and vacations?

· When and where will you have field trips?

· What is the start and end date of the school year?

· What subjects do you want to teach this year?

You can get a rough idea of your school year by placing this information into monthly calendars from your planner. For example, if you want to do a unit study on Thanksgiving in November and take some time off in May, write each in the appropriate month. Next, consider your curriculum. If your math curriculum has 36 chapters and you are schooling twelve months, you should average three chapters a month, so write what chapters you should be working on during that month. Scheduling this way will give you a rough estimate of where you should be if you get off schedule due to unavoidable circumstances.

Phase Three: Implement the Mission!

Complete one or two chores a day for the next few days, and you will see how easy it is to organize and plan for the next school year!

1 Save time making charts and forms by purchasing The Schoolhouse Planner from The Old Schoolhouse®. This planner has done all the work for you and combines homeschool and homemaking. It boasts four years’ worth of calendar pages, countless informative articles and charts, mouth-watering recipes, and over 150 charts and forms to aid you in planning your school year. Included are worksheets for keeping track of books on hand, teaching supplies, craft projects, field trips, repair projects, budget, and much, much more.

2-8 Ideas found at

Copyright 2008 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

The Old Schoolhouse is having an

After Christmas Sale

The Schoolhouse Store is running a new contest . . . 11 winners per day for 6 days starting December 26! Each day, the first 10 customers in the store to purchase $15 or more win a gift package worth $122.38. In addition, the biggest ticket of the day will win the same gift package.

The gift package includes:

· And Then Mama Said . . . It Takes Time to Learn to Read—value = $9.95

· Homeschooling Methods—value = $14.99

· Publisher's choice of a TOS audiobook—value = $17.95

· Daystar Gift Certificate—value = $10.00

· Greenleaf Handwriting by George—value = $10.00

· Sue Gregg Cooking with Children CD—value = $10.00

· 2-year TOS Magazine subscription—value = $39.00

· Sir Kendrick & the Castle of Bel Lione from Perfect Praise Publishing—value = $8.99

· The Mitten book—value = $1.50

Total value = $122.38

Besides the 11 winners per day, the store has over 38 vendors participating in a HUGE sale. Over 200 items will be marked 20%-50% off. Sale ends December 31.

Organization Sale

Here's a link for a free E-Book, The New School Year: Planning Your Course and Letting the Lord Determine Your Steps. Many parents are choosing to start homeschooling in the middle of the year, and this would be a great resource to share with them.

The Schoolhouse Planner December 2008 Module
The Schoolhouse Planner
One-year print Canadian subscription.

TOS news

Customer #128,000 Takes All!

Have you heard about the Win Big promotion at the Schoolhouse Store? Customer #128,000 gets $499 worth of gifts to include: Biology 101, The Richest Christian Game, Homestead Blessings DVD’s, music CD’s, a $45.00 gift certificate to the Schoolhouse Store, and much more!

But hurry, the store is already on customer #127,257!

Here is the link for more details on the Win Big opportunity:

Click each link below for more information about each product. Free shipping at the Schoolhouse Store! (U.S. only)

November 2009 Module

Molly’s Money Saving Digest: November 2009 Photography

Gift Subscription The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine (don’t forget the coupon code below for the $7.95 sale)

Winter Issue Subscription (include the coupon code below for $7.95)

Text “Use coupon code $7.95”

Use coupon code SUB795

Download and Go Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett

40% off Canadian Subscriptions to TOS

This Old Schoolhouse (TOS) is a really good resource for homeschoolers.

I get the digital subscription because I find that otherwise it's just TOO expensive to get the magazine what with shipping charges and what not between Canada and the US.

BUT they are having a 40% off sale until October 30 (I know, not much time).

They are having a sale on Canadian and international subscriptions. Save 40% on one-year, print subscriptions to Canada and other international locations. Canadian one-year subscriptions are only $17.95, international one-year subscriptions are only $27.95. Very Cool is it not? :)

For those of you who live stateside, they are having a sale for you too! :) What...have one without the others? I think not! :)

Subscribe or renew for one year (U.S., print) and pay only $7.95.
PLUS, receive 10 FREE gifts.

There are 19 gifts from which to choose and you won't even have to pay shipping--that's free too.

Here is a sampling of the available gifts:

• How about a portrait from Sears®?
• Or a $20 gift card from Franklin Springs Media?
• Maybe one year of writing instruction from I Can Write Online?
• Or $49 worth of science software?

Hurry! The 10 gifts are gone at midnight on October 30!

How do you get the 68% savings and 10 free gifts of your choice?

It is so easy to get all of these goodies!

Here's what you need to do:

1. Place the one-year, print (U.S.) subscription in your cart. Or you can purchase a one-year subscription plus current issue (U.S.) for only $5.00 more. Or purchase a gift sub for friends!

2. Enter coupon code 10GIFTS at checkout.
3. Complete the checkout process.
4. We will email you a gift selection form after your purchase.
5. Complete and return this form via email.
6. We'll U.S. mail you 10 gift cards which can be redeemed for the gifts via U.S. mail, though several companies will allow you to redeem online or by phone. All of the companies will pay the shipping to get the product to you--no strings attached.
For our returning customers, you'll enjoy a FREE bonus gift.

With your renewal, you'll receive a FREE copy of Dreams and Designs--Homemade Supplies to Complement Your Homeschool! This bonus E-Book is in addition to the 10 FREE gifts!
So to get your subscription, go here or check it out here. :) Here is the link to the one-year plus current issue subscription and the link to the one-year gift subscription.

Tree Rubbings and more :)

As part of our unit study on Trees, Justin and I headed to the local dam for a walk. We talked trees, rocks, beautiful day, and did some tree rubbings.

We started with practicing with cedar tree leaves.

We did cedar leaves, maple tree bark, birch bark and ??? tree.
We took the leaves home and will put the leaves and rubbings in a book to look at later.

We moved on down the trail where Justin thought that gathering up all the corn leaves would be the safer thing to do. He didn't want people to trip or slip on the corn leaves...because they sneaky mommy! They make you slide and fall!

See that path? it's made by a snapping turtle.
It was at least 16 inches across, led from corn field to the lake.


Our curious of us guests. they got brave enough to come within 30 metres.

Crafting Pages

Make a hand-print turkey.

Justin liked this idea as well, and we have LOTS of baby food jars yet. Stained glass votives.

Fizzy Balls
You just mix 1/4 cup of baking soda, with 4 Tbs. water, and a few drops of food coloring into a dough. Put your little treasure in it and roll into a ball so that it looks like a stone. That's all. Just let them sit in the open air to dry overnight. (hide a small treasure inside)

The next morning you can just put the fizzy stones all in the GladWare box, and put it in a gift bag along with your bottle of vinegar.

You'll want to have a clear measuring cup or bowl handy so that you can pour the vinegar in and watch the magic happen.

The vinegar does lose its potency fairly quickly though so after doing a stone or two, you need to dump out that vinegar and get more before adding another stone.
Personalized memory Game. Thought this one had potential.


Here's a sheet to print off for finding the consonants vs. vowels. :) and another by the same folks.

From TLSbooks comes Consonants worksheet and this one too.

Check out this website for free phonics materials which includes learning the consonants!

Kidzone has this page.

Phonicsworld has all kinds of pages.

Free Kindergarten worksheets.

Fun Fonix.

Free printable phonics worksheets, free printable activities, printable workbooks, and phonics worksheet makers from Fun

Fun Fonix Intro: hard consonants and short vowels with writing practice for each letter

School Express this site has tons of stuff. Will take a while to go through it all.

More links to free sites

Homeschool Resources by the same person who does Mama Jen. From the welcome page:
As the homeschooling mother of five little ones, I am always on the lookout for inexpensive homeschool resources. This is a collection of resource sites that I have found or have been referred to. Many of the sites are completely free! ........ As I discover new sites, I will add them to the list. If you know of sites that should be added, please leave me a comment or email me so that the site can be added. If we put our minds and efforts together, we can spend more time homeschooling and less time searching for resources! So, please check back often and as always,
Happy Homeschooling!!!
More File Folder games

and more FFG again :)

watermelon File folder game

Make your own game boards! This site looks cool!

Activity Village has these file folder games.

Free Reading, a free on-line program for teaching reading Kingergarten to grade three. Here's one program.

Teaching counting skills. These put out by With Preschool worksheets and much more. has a variety of resources as well.

This is cool! Make a wind chime! :)

Variety of things

Child Care land has free stuff! :) Lots actually. Rather a fun find!

Mathwire. A site for teaching math to children. Looks interesting.

Learning Treasures. Here's a link to a page on Using Mice to learn counting. :)

Kinderplans They have a variety of themes/studies. here's one for working on Number 1-10.

Worksheet Universe. Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade One.

Primary Games. Needs a certain skill with the computer.

AAA Math. Math for children. Looks to have a variety of games/worksheets.

Suite 101 often has articles with links to a variety of resources. here's one for Learning to count.

Using the Spud of Bob the builder to learn counting. On-line activity.

Anyways, I'll add more as I discover them! :)

TOS Information

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Spice up your homeschool with sweet apple cider, pop some corn, and decorate with colorful autumn finds! Embark on a wonderful learning adventure about this season and all that it holds. Your child will examine how seasons change, find out what autumn is all about, discover the life cycle of pumpkins and apples, see how candy corn is made, and much more.

Where Unit Studies and Lapbooks Come Together
Easy . . . Innovative . . . Effective . . .

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The learning process is on GO from that point on--let the fun begin!

Units are theme based and full of exciting discoveries and motivation to develop lifelong learners.
• Each study is one week in length, having five daily lessons with lapbook components for each day.
• Each student creates a complete lapbook--a finished capsule of learning.
• All the research and preparation have been done!
• Hyperlinks are embedded right in the study--saving you time!
• Integrated studies include history, geography, reading, science, spelling,
vocabulary, writing, art, and more.
• Units are reusable year after year--nothing is consumed.
• There are no expensive resources required!
• Includes a great list of books that you can use to enrich your study, but
they are not required.
• One week of hands-on learning adventures for kids from K – 4th grade.

Check out some of the fun and unique upcoming themes for 2010:

Seasons Americans that Made a Difference
Places in the World Toys and Gadgets
Presidents & Patriots Sports
Ocean Animals Literary Giants

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Go for learning. Go for fun. Go for adventure!

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1 Semester of Download and Go

Full Semester of Download and Go

Get in on the special introductory pricing and save 20%! Purchase one semester of Download and Go™--19 weekly studies--Regularly priced at $114—Special introductory price of $92!

Pre-pay for a full semester-an entire school year--38 weekly studies--Regularly priced at $190--Special introductory price of only $152!

What a bargain!

When you take these two, outstanding, homeschooling resources (TOS and Amanda Bennett), along with the best learning components, you have a superior product . . . one that blends the unit study concept and lapbooking fun into one great adventure!

Welcome the opportunity to use Autumn Treasures in your homeschool.

It’s a $7.95 value—yours for FREE! Download it now.

Memory Card Maker

My hubby sent this link to me. Once I figured out what it was useful for I thought COOL!

Anyway, it's a memory verse maker.

I'll have to do a search on-line to see if there are any others out there.

Cereal box ideas

Jamin's cereal box ideas.

i want to look at the links here abit more, but thought I'd save this before I lost the link.

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I would like to get this book. The Jesus Storybook Bible.

The blog reviews that I read are very positive.

Written for children ages four and up, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the one story underneath all the stories of the Bible and points to the birth of a child, the Rescuer, Jesus. Complete with 44 Bible stories, The Jesus Storybook Bible paints a beautiful portrait of Jesus and invites children to see that he is not only at the center of God’s great story of redemption—he is at the center of their story too. Children and adults alike will be captivated by the beautifully written narrative and the original and unique illustrations by accomplished artist Jago. Lloyd-Jones’ powerful gift of storytelling draws the reader into the greatest adventure of all time in an exciting page-turner that kids (and adults) find hard to put down.

File Folder Games

Have I ever told you to go the The Old Schoolhouse and get on their email newsletter lists? Well, go do it! Free homeschool goodies and oodles of ideas await you!

File Folder games is one such letter they sent out.

In a take a file folder, you put stuff inside it, keeps everything compact and you have a game or activity that your child can do.

I got the preschool set from the teacher's book bag. Our son LOVES the games (most of them). The one I got seems to focus on alphabet stuff...he thinks the honey pot game is just too much fun. :) But he likes the others as well. I don't use file folders as that would have cost more dollars...and I have oodles of card stock because I scrap book! So tape, cardstock, worksheets and voila! I can make a file folder type game/activity for him.

Here are Jamin's freebies on File-folder games. She has more on her page so make sure you go there as well. :)
File Folder Fun offers free file folders for preschool through second grade. You will find file folders for science, language arts, math and more! You can browse by subject or grade level. The more you click the more you find at this website!

Looking for phonics games? Check these out!

Adding and rhyming? Click here.

Simple addition, telling time, and counting money. Click here.

For preschool file folders, click here. (There are 22 to chose from on the yellow sidebar on the left.)

For more preschool file folder games click here. You will find them mixed in with a lot of other free printables for little ones.

and the following list is ones that I've found as well. See...I just love how one list inspires people to look further! :)

File Folder Games and Other Games
Activity Village
Essortment: Preschools educational file folder game
My File Folder games
File Folder game - opposites
File Folder heaven has purchase options as well as free options.

Things to Try with File Folders
File Folder Games for teachers
come up with themes: seasons, months, alphabet books, and such like. Basically whatever you want, you can do if you just think about it.
Come up with different ways to do things: cut outs, hideaway, pop-ups and such like.
Ezine articles

This one I think does more that file folder games but it looked intriguing.
Printables for your classroom.

Handwriting Worksheets

first School
Handwriting and creative writing printable materials to learn and practice writing for preschool, kindergarten and early elementary.

Internet4Classrooms All sorts of sheets to use

TLS Books
Welcome to, where you'll find a variety of free printable worksheets for home and school use. Use our free worksheets to help your child gain valuable readiness skills or to reinforce material they may already be learning in school.
Keep and Share

Our free printable handwriting paper and handwriting worksheets are ideal for home and school lined paper use for kindergarten

, 1st grade & 2nd grade to learn both print and cursive handwriting. Using printable paper & lined paper to practice handwriting for preschool and kindergarten is essential for all young school students.

Each handwriting worksheet is printable in a high quality PDF download. Choose from a variety of lined paper and printable handwriting paper. Printable handwriting worksheets for general handwriting practice.

ABC Writing Worksheets this page links to a variety of resources.

how to mke silly putty

Hubby dear sent me this link on how to make silly putty.

Innovative Classroom

I like this site. It's called the innovative classroom.

it's not a big site. has lesson plans, classroom ideas and such like. Just a nice little site.

Printable Certificates etc for Homeschooling

We all need printables for homeschooling.

123 Certificates gives you forms for almost any school based achievement.

Just mommies
gives you homeschool Report cards! :)

Chart Jungle gives a variety of printable resources. Charts, diplomas, calendars etc.


WAY beyond Justin at this point.
This site has free videos on biology, science, maths etc.

The site is called Educator.

How to teach a child to write a novel

I learned about this page through HomeSchool Freebie of the day.

What Little Blue School did was put together a PDF on How to Teach a Child to Write a Novel. My boy isn't quite old enough for this yet, but it looks like something we'll do in the future. :)

Go check it out.

Alphabet Lap books - A

This will of course be a series of 26! After all there are 26 letters in the alphabet.

I am hoping to every week design a week around one letter of the alphabet.

I will hopefully have games to play, poems to read, scripture to memorize and so forth.

I'll be using a variety of sources.

These three to start with:

But I won't of course use everything on the different sites. I'll be pulling off what I think I"ll use and all that. :)

Here's what I have to start
an alligator poem and an apple shaped letter book and a letter size sorting game.

I want to make a stencil of the letter A and put it up on the fridge with "a" pictures we find or can draw so that we remember what letter we're working on for the week. :)

I'm not sure about doing this one from DLTK's, book is cute, but seems Like you need LOTS of paper to do it. So just thinking on it yet.

I used this Letter A reproducible from Innovative Classroom.

Here's a neat site! Teacher Planet. Got a craft idea which I'm revamping to make a construction paper apple.

and then I got this idea, since Justin likes cats, to find pictures of cats that begin with the "letter a", so then I went here which got me cat names, and then all I had to do is find pictures. :) Here is an Abyssinian. American Bobtail. American Shorthair.

How to Do research

I thought this site pretty good.

It's from the Kentucky Virtual Library. Teaches children how to do research. :) It's interactive. Taught me a thing or two as well.

Should mention, it was sent to me in an email from TheHomeSchoolMom.

Independance Day?

I'm Canadian, so doing the whole independance day (US based) is not really my thing.

But I thought I'd post up these links because who knows....maybe I can rework them to do a Canadian theme for CANADA DAY! :)

Homeschooling 4 Free lists off different July 4 stuff
people can do.

ABC teach has stuff as well.

Homeschooled Kids OnLine gives the history to it.

For Horse girls

TOS sent out this as well,
The Girlhood Home Companion’s Happy Trails Horse Club™ is a one-of-a-kind resource for girls who want to learn more about horses and explore the many positive ways to get involved with various riding disciplines. Each month features a different breed and discipline, weaving together a collection of fact and fiction about equestrians from the past and those who are making a difference in the world today.
So know any horsey folk? Perhaps that website might interest them. :) Here's the direct link.

TOS freebies

Have I ever told you to go the The Old Schoolhouse and get on their email newsletter lists?

Good way to get free stuff you can use when you homeschool.

yes, it's a pain to try to figure out the whole storage space thing, but it's free!

And what does it cost yah to get a couple of discs to store things on? not that much!

I'm on one list that sends me out stuff every Friday.

This past week they sent out their October Module from 2008 that normally you'd have to pay $7-12 for. And just by waiting a spell...I got it free! can't beat that now can you? :)

if you go here, you can even see what they've sent out. Happy looking!

Music Appreciation for the summer

Harmony Art Mom has put together a summer music/art appreciation course. It's mostly free! :)

Go check it out.

rather cool crafting site

homeschool freebie of the day sends out freebies to folks that they found here there and all over the place online.

Nice to have them doing the work.

anyways, they came up with this one over at Canon.

not exactly easy to do with a preschooler, but way cool none-the-less. If you have an older ... probably 8 and up ... child, then this site might be just the ticket for the crafty side of them. (if, of course, they have one).

I'm going to try this japanese bobtail one with my cat crazy lad.

Homeschool View Tube

hadn't heard of this site, someone...I think TOS alerted me to it.

anyways, here's the main page link to Homeschool View Tube.

Israel Unit Study

don't want to lose this TOS freebie on an Israel Unit Study.

Things to consider when doing a unit study

Books to use:
Welcome to Israel - Lilly Rivlin
Israel - Debbie Smith

History and Timelines
Learn more about Israel by compiling historical facts and events from its long and eventful history and adding them to your timeline. If you do not have a timeline on the go, you can construct one by following these directions - How to Make a Timeline Easily. Here is a link to a wonderful resource for timeline entries about Israel - Here is another one that you may enjoy perusing or using for dates & events -

A unit study would not be complete without taking a good look at the lay of the land. Click here for both a labeled and unlabeled map of Israel. Have your students mark some of the major cities, the neighboring countries, and the sea to the west, at the least. For older students, have them use your teacher's map and fill in the rest!

Recipes of the land such as

Fava Bean Spread


  • One can of fava beans, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper (more if you like pepper)
  • Pita bread, torn or cut into triangles


  1. Drain the can of beans, and empty the beans into a saucepan.
  2. Heat over low heat, mashing the beans against the side of the saucepan with a wooden spoon as they heat.
  3. Continue mashing until the beans have become thick, pasty, and warm.
  4. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature with triangles of pita bread.


Note: This recipe involves hot oil. Adult supervision is required. Many grocery stores now sell prepared felafel in the deli section.


  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, well-drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅔ cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • Oil for deep frying, enough to fill the pot about 3 inches
  • Pita bread


  1. Mash the chickpeas in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the garlic into tiny pieces. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs to the chickpeas. Mix the ingredients together.
  3. Add the eggs and oil to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat oil in the pot until little bubbles rise to the surface.
  5. Shape the mixture into 16 balls, each about 1-inch across.
  6. With the mixing spoon, gently place a few of the balls in the oil—do not drop them in because the hot oil may splash.
  7. Fry a few at a time until they are golden brown—about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the felafel with the slotted spoon. Drain them on a plate covered with paper towels.
  9. To serve, cut pita bread in half to make pockets.
  10. Put two or three felafel balls into each pocket and drizzle with tahini sauce (see recipe).

Serves 6 to 8.

Tahini Sauce

Some grocery stores stock tahini sauce, already prepared, or packaged tahini mix.


  • ¾ cup tahini (sesame seed paste; can be purchased in stores that sell Middle Eastern foods)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Mix tahini, lemon juice, and garlic powder in bowl until you have a smooth sauce.
  2. Add the water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until sauce is thin enough to pour.
  3. Pour tahini sauce over pita sandwiches; can also be used as a dip for raw vegetables.


2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup pulp-free orange juice

1 cup white flour

1 cup wheat flour – no substitutes

2 tsp baking powder


Beat butter and sugar thoroughly. Add egg and mix until well combined. Add the orange juice and mix again, until well combined. Add flour, ½ c at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly between each addition. Add baking powder with last addition of flour. Refrigerate until chilled thoroughly – a few hours or overnight.

Roll dough as thin as possible without tearing (you may want to roll it between two sheets of flour-dusted wax paper). Cut out 3-4 in [7.6 – 10 cm]circles. Put a dollop of jam in the middle of each circle and fold up sides to make a triangle, overlapping as much as possible so only a small amount of jam shows in the center. Pinch corners to seal. Bake at 350 F [176 C] for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.

Sesame Candy


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 24 ounces honey
  • 24 ounces sesame seeds
  • Juice squeezed from one orange (or ½ cup orange juice)
  • Grated rind of orange
  • Peanut oil


  1. Measure honey and sugar into a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the mixture boils vigorously.
  2. Lower the heat just enough to keep the mixture bubbling. Add the sesame seeds, orange juice, and rind.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with peanut oil.
  5. Pour candy mixture onto it and press down on the surface with a wooden spoon to flatten it.
  6. Set baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into rectangles or diamond shapes.
  7. Allow to cool completely. Wrap pieces in wax paper to store.
And then doing some crafts of toys from there

Hebrew Calligraphy - Learn to write like a Sofer using these handy tutorials! Before long, you'll be drawing like a pro. Here's the link -

Make your own dreidle - Chanukah Dreidels (spinning tops) are a tradition going back to the beginning of Judaism. Here's the link -