TOS - homeshool expo and more

The 2011 Schoolhouse Expo

The Schoolhouse Expo will help recharge your heart for homeschooling as you enjoy live sessions with an incredible array of speakers at our fantastic, online, five-day conference! Covering a vast amount of information, you’ll hear about ways to improve your homeschool and plan for the upcoming year.

We bring the speakers right to you! You can attend right from the comfort of your own home! It doesn't matter if you live in the states or internationally, you will benefit from the Schoolhouse Expo as you join us for five days of interactive sessions with dynamic speakers, a virtual vendor hall, fabulous door prizes, and free gifts valued at over $200 for every attendee!

Mark your calendars:
Monday, May 16, to Friday, May 20
Bonus Preshow Sessions: Tuesday, March 15, and Tuesday, April 12

Right now, you can buy your ticket to the live 2011 Schoolhouse Expo for an amazing price! We're thrilled to offer you a savings of $20 off the regular ticket price during the Early Bird Sale. This special offer won't last long! The Early Bird Sale ends February 9 at 11:59 p.m EST.

Homeschool Dollar Store

E V E R Y T H I N G . . .
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Grab NEW and exciting products you’ve wanted to explore with your family at rock bottom pricing!
Get going . . .
Browse our huge selection of over 300 products!
Enjoy convenient shopping—NO shipping costs!
Check back often—products change, and new items will be continually added!
(If you see it and want it, don’t wait—it might not be there next time.)

2011 Freebie Directory

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

In the homeschool community, it's a reality, particularly when you come to The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine's annual Homeschool Freebie Directory. In these pages (and on our website) you will find a good number of freebies and samples to get you familiar with what this vast community has to offer. Start contacting these companies for YOUR freebie gifts today. And tell your friends! It's all FREE!

Wannabe/Curiosity Files CDs

Did you know that TOS has put your favorite unit study resources on CD? Right now YOU can enjoy a 9-pack unit studies bundle from Curiosity Files™ for just $49! The WannaBe Series™ CD pack includes 10 unit studies for only $39! These are exceptional items at extraordinary prices.

Sketch Tuesday - Science

This week's assignment due Monday, January 31, 2011:
Sketch something you study in science.

They will be posted next Tuesday at Harmony Art Mom's site.

We also played an oceans card game.
And practiced writing numbers and letters on a chalk board.

Oh... And we did an experiment inspired by mommy drawing out an experiment we did a while back of how does water and oil affect how things float or sink. When I'm feeling more brain awake I'll try to write out the experiment and what we found interesting about it.

We had fun just playing as well. Good to do things like that. :)

What we Learned today - January 27, 2011

George Washington unit study from Amanda Bennett's Unit Studies.

We did parts of day one and day two. We learned his favourite subject, the story of the cherry tree, where he was born and much more. Lots of drawing and gluing today. :)

We also learned that Virginia has a state fish! We thought that was funny. :)

Later on we played with Lego. Then the lad chose to work on building a cat trap... an invention out of his own head. When he was done that we listened to three books from this site, and then listened and answered questions about two different books. MightyBooksJr looks to be an interesting site and I am happy that a fellow homeschooler directed me to it.

Our exercise for the day was tobogganing at the Pinery and our first attempt at skating. :)

St. Mary's Museum

Yesterday we went to the St. Mary's Museum with a part of our homeschool group HOPE.

We learned about the toys that children used to play with.

We learned they played with marbles "Ring Taw", slappers (metal toys that made noise), corn husks dolls, wooden dogs, thumatrope, and zoetropes. Hoops and graces were another game. These games often had the side benefit of teaching important skills of hand-eye coordination, body-eye coordination and so forth. Skills important to survival. Tops was also a game they used to play.

They also had these really neat wind-up toys that were a big hit with the children.

The children all had a chance to make their own thumatrope.

Yesterday and Today

This week we're going to work on lesson two of this kindergarten curriculum book. I'm starting to teach him the "I'm a little teapot" song which actions. It's a good "T" letter song and the focus this week in the letter "T", the Number "0" and something else I can't recall at the moment.

and we did another five pages in this book on Tuesday. Matching of upper and lower case. We did this in the basement as that's where our alphabet chart is. he pretended he was a little rabbit learning the alphabet and that I was the teacher rabbit. Made it fun for him. :)

Yesterday for exercise we did Cardio Fit by Billy Blanks Jr.

I'm doing two things with Cardio Fit. I'm trying to teach the lad that through perseverance that he can master any skill he sets his mind to, and get us exercising and using our bodies. After we finished exercising...which involved moving and twisting our bodies and stuff...hard work, The lad played with some building toys while I did my back and stretching exercises.

Then it was time to go to a funeral.

Today I have bible study in the morning, so the lad will go to story hour where he will play, hear a bible story, and make a craft. I can't recall what we're doing for bible study.

This afternoon we are going to be busy! We have time at a museum in St. Mary's with the homeschool group, and then off to London so I can get my shears and then go the children's museum there for an hour or so. Busy day, but tomorrow is a stay at home day so it will all be good. :)

Friday activities

Yes, I know I'm posting two days late, ah well. :)

Friday was a fix the computer day. It finally decided that having the internet was optional, and was moving dead slow so... Jim "killed it"(my language). I saved everything I could to the external drive and he saved the rest there as well. We mostly have it working again.

Justin and I worked on a Moses activity book and played a game or two. We also practiced some letters. He had to think and memorize. He asked lots of questions about why would God send all those bad things to the Egyptians?

Bible Sticker Activity books : The story of Moses (isbn 0-8423-2017-2) is the booklet that we used. I got it years ago from Focus on the Family I THINK. Hmm... the book came up on Amazon, but without a price so not sure if it's still available through them or not.

Moon Books

We borrowed these books for our study of the Magnificent Moon.

The Moon by Paulette Bourgeois. Good book. had experiments in it we want to try.

The Jumbo book of Space. Good book. Also had experiments in it we want to try.

Moons by Vogt. moons from all the planets. Interesting read. Experiments in it to do as well.

Sky by David Allen. Couldn't find a link to this one anywhere. It was very simple, and not entirely accurate, but not a bad introductory book.

The Moon. David Jefferis. Good book. Gives a nice overview of the earth's moon.

The Kids book of the night sky. This book had some ancient stories in it of how the moon came to be.

The solar system. simple book, the lad liked the pictures.

SPACE, magic tree house research guide. Two pages in a larger book. All black and white. Brief overview, decently done.

First space encyclopedia. Two colorful pages in this large book. Lad liked the pictures.

Today.. THE MOON!

The Moon. It's magnificent, it's magical, it's the source of many a poem, but the lad says "There's no bunnies or cats there!" (ergo in boy language...why bother learning about it).

We skimmed and picked our way through the last four days of Magnificent Moon. Day one is HERE. Since doing this study was NOT a hit with the lad (for the fore-amentioned reason) I thought picking and choosing what we did would be more beneficial to him learning something. This is something that I LOVE about Amanda Bennett's studies. They are SO easy to pick and choose from. Seriously... if I don't want to study tides.. I don't have to and it doesn't affect the integrity of the rest of the units. If I want to amaze my lad by showing him that the moon is sometimes orange/red or sometimes blue and sometimes it's hiding...I can do that! It's all good.

So today we looked at moon colours, we followed moon trees around the USA, we located the different moon landings and had a ton of fun zooming in and out on google maps with those landing sites. We found the "bunny in the moon", and found out that the moon gets colder than colder and hotter than hot. We had a hoot building our two stage rocket and even more fun learning about eggs and gravity. We watched interesting videos, went to a whack of different websites, and thought hmm... that looks like an interesting experiment... Which I would list here...but my computer is being stupid and I'm borrowing hubby's so that will have to wait.

our two stage rocket. Take two balloons, one paper cup with no bottom, and voila...a two stage rocket.
Learning about gravity
should mention that I made a point of boiling the eggs first
I have a five year old.
Eggs, water, gravity = mess
therefore boiled them. still had a mess, but not a goopy one! :)

Oh... and while the boy was playing trains (which is what he really wanted to do instead of take part in homeschool) I read every single one of the moon books we got out of the library to him. He would stop once in a while and ask questions. We found some of the old stories from different countries funny about how they thought the moon came to be. We know the truth... GOD made the moon and the sun. They mark the seasons, and light the day and night. But "the stories are funny mommy" or "That's wrong mommy". I know buddy, but sometimes people don't want to believe that God can do it all, so they make up stories to explain things in ways that makes sense to them. AND sometimes they don't know the truth and they have to learn it.

We haven't finished our painting of the moon craters yet. Need to find the paint first! (what can I say, renovating issues)!

This overall is what we studied.
Day 1: What Exactly Is a Moon?
Day 2: Getting to Know the Moon
Day 3: The Story of the Moon
Day 4: Science Secrets of the Moon
Day 5: Cool Things About the Moon

These unit studies come ready to use. Copy and paste into your word processing program OR just print as is. It's all good. Colouring, drawing, writing, thinking, laughing, it's all part of this study. Enjoy it! For despite the lack of bunnies or cats...we had some good learning going on today. :)

Here's the link to the post on the books we used for this study.

And to think... you can do this too. Just go here and get it! :)

First of all, the Cabin Fever Fun Pack, which includes Magnificent Moon, Winter Wonders, Expedition Canada, and Popcorn is currently on sale, and will be through 1/31/11 for $20 (regularly $28). The link for this product is:

Guess what... we are going a giveaway! The contest will run from 1/24-28/11, with the drawing at 9pm on 1/28. We will be giving away 2 standard Moon Maps from National Geographic, valued at $16.99 each. The link to the maps is:
Here's the link to the giveaway.

Just so you know, I got a free copy of this study so that I could give you my honest opinion of it. :)


Human Body - lots of links on this page.

Valentines Day

Last Night's Experiment - Capillary Action

Last night we added food colouring in 8 different bottles: yellow, blue, green, red, orange, purple, light green, and blue green.

We added celery to each bottle.

We let them sit overnight.

This morning we took a good look at each of them.

This is our results in Justin's words.
blue-green - the leaves have colours in them mommy!
yellow - did nothing
orange - this one has nothing either mommy.
blue - it has blue dots on the top!
green -oh rabbit nuggets...this one has nothing mommy!
red - this one has dots mommy! See them!?!?!
purple - has dots on it mommy, but they are differenter then the water!
light green - nothing mommy

I hope you can see how the blue worked really one on this one.

I would like to try this experiment again using white carnations, see if that makes any difference in what happens.

Who Am I?

Today the lad and I worked on finishing a model train house. He had to listen, follow instructions, and then set things up. He needed to practice some good hand eye coordination and he had to help his mommy figure out how some things got put together. It was a good brain exercise for him. Afterwards we had fun playing with our HO model train.

In the afternoon we focused on a lesson plan on Who Am I? I made out this copy work sheet Who Made You?
We also took weights and measurements and did some drawing. I used lesson one of this kindergarten curriculum book.

Snow Cats!

So we managed to get some homeschool done using a book that I have upstairs. We did another 5-6 pages, and I learned something. The lad has a problem with figuring end sounds. He's getting better, fairly good actually at knowing beginning sounds, and we have fun doing rhymes, but ending sounds, he just needs a fair bit of help yet.

The one thing I don't like about this book is that it uses a lot of pictures, and things, as we all know...can have a multitude of words given to them that are descriptive, but if you don't have the right one...the exercise is meaningless. But other than that, it's a pretty good book. Makes the lad think and doesn't have endless exercises in a row of all the same type of thing to do.

I've added a physical exercise component to our days. Every day we are going to get some type of exercise. We planned to go for a walk today, but when we got outside we noticed the snow...and it's texture and said hey... Let's build a snow cat!
there are two cats here even though they are hard to see
a boy lion and a girl lion who was going to have babies

"The boy lion is protecting the girl lion from the wolves that
are hurting her because they don't want the baby lions to
hurt their baby wolfs"

It turned into quite the adventure. Some foxes ended up joining in with the wolves and they all gathered under Bunny town's lions gate to talk about it all. And we had to go back there to help them learn to be friendly with the lions because the lion babies wouldn't hurt the wolfs babies because they wanted the antelopes! :) Our planned half hour walk ended up being a fun hour outside on a nice day playing with the lad. :)

Later on he watched some TV while I made supper. He helped count out how many Tortellini's he was willing to try and helped get out the parmesan cheese.

After supper we worked on building the model building for our railroad. We hardly got anything done on it, but the glue has to set and dry and the pieces aren't numbered like they are supposed to be so we have to do picture matching to make it work.

From TOS, these links

Check out's large list of teaching and reading resources. is full of printables and online games with bright colors and great graphics.

Need help teaching your child to read? has great research-based ideas.

Find lots of reading activities at is full of resources perfect for families learning together.

Find online games, printables, and other educational resources at has a large variety of online games for many subjects ranging through all grades.

Online games, printables, and activity ideas are available at

More online games are available through with their free trial.

Check out for puzzles, connect the dots, mazes, and more.

Find resources at for ideas on how to teach children to read.

Look for theme-centered literacy games at

Find reading center games at

Make reading fun with activities from

Find free downloadables, online games, and teaching ideas at

Print out literacy games and play them online at

Need help and encouragement about reading? Get it at

Request kits for hosting a Family Reading Night at

Get tons of information and printables at

Find great ideas for reading activities for all age ranges at

Learn more about reading theme ideas and activities at

Read about how to teach literacy at

Find online printables and ideas at

Kitchener's Children Museum

Kitchener's Children Museum organized by H.O.P.E. (my homeschool group)

We had fun today.

The lad had a hoot. We went because of the Titanic display. The lad loved the iceberg! Did you know that salt water icebergs are colder than freshwater ones? Me neither.. it was just one of the interesting facts given to us at this display.

We toured the rest of the museum, even laying of bed of nails. The water table was a place of fun and observations. But the heat sensor was the highlight. It was a machine of some sort that showed the temperature of your body. It was interesting to see.

Oklahoma homeschool

Oklahoma homeschool

Magnificant Moon - Day One

Today I worked on Magnificant Moon with the lad. Some of what we learned was kinda interesting, some of it well...wasn't, at least to a boy child age 5.

One of the questions asked as "would you like to go to the moon?" and his very prompt response was "NO!"
"how come" I asked.
"Cause I"m interested in cats and bunnies, not the moon!".

We learned about Neil Armstrong and his interest in planes when he was a lad. We learned that the moon is dust and rocks (Boring said a boy child). And considering what his interests you blame him? :)

He found the rocket video interesting, so I pursued that a bit. interesting to see how a two stage rocket works. I found this as well as this (a PDF) which outlined a study one could do using a film. It was useful as a question generator.

We did find this experiment on making a two stage rocket using balloons that the lad wants to try. You need a long balloon, a paper cup and a round balloon. We're going to add a long piece of heavy string and a straw, because we want to direct it's flight up the stairs. :) You cut the bottom out of the paper cup, put it around the long balloon small end toward balloon tip and blow it up. DO NOT TIE OFF. Hold the balloon end against the cup so the air can't escape, then put the round balloon between the balloon and the cup and blow it up. Once it is sufficient size to hold the first balloon tight release that end, then blow up a bit more. Should show the effects of a two stage rocket. We need to find the long balloon yet...but otherwise we're set to do it. Hopefully will get pics to share.

Oh... I used this copywork sheet generator to make some copy work for the lad. I made it a bit too long for a five year old, but otherwise I was pleased with my efforts. You need to print from the site, the work does not copy over well...even as a save image file.

He had fun discovering and then singing "J is for Justin and for Jupiter" over and over again when learning that Jupiter has 63 moons. That was one thing that simply astounded him... 63 moons!!!! It's good to see a lad being amazed at something that God himself created. :)

Library Day

Today we had plans to get lots done, but everyone got up late today so that didn't quite work out.

So we managed to get some homeschool done using a book that I have upstairs. The lad learned about reading book titles, how to take care of them, and did some letter recognition work. He did some good thinking today, and some, at times, easy work. "I know how to do this mommy, I'm good at circling". He also is starting to see that some words not only sound the same, but they are spelled the same as well. :)

We went out for lunch to subway as I needed to go there anyways to pick up my pay stubs and what not. Had a bit of a visit with the girls. :)

Then off to independent to pick up a couple of items and then over to the library where we picked out moon books, some reading books, and played with the train table.

Over to Dollerama to get some experiment supplies and got sidetracked by a couple other things. :)

Did laundry throughout the day. Talked with the boy a fair bit and played some.

At home we had a "grub it meal" in we found food, we ate it. Nothing fancy by any means.

Tomorrow is another day indeed. :)

Winter Wonders

We started working on the Winter Wonders unit study/lap book from DownLoad N Go.

We actually completed all of this unit study and I was certain that I had posted on what we had done for days 3-5 but alas, I cannot locate it, or maybe the computer glitched or something. Anyways, day one and two are here. :) Day 3-5 are in hinterland.. but they inspired us to do make this bird feeder which is here. :) Day 3-5 consisted of lots of drawing, nature walks, examining snow and what not.

Now what can I tell you about downloadngo unit study/lap books? They are super easy to do. They come loaded with links, videos (embedded youtube for safety), suggested reading, lap book activities and materials and much more. They are NOT highly indepth, they are overviews of studies. Going in depth of course, is not an issue since lots of reading materials are suggested.

This particular unit had tons of drawing which an art minded lad thoroughly enjoyed AND.... it had BUNNIES!!!!!!!!!!! We studied the snowshoe hare. We did it more in-depth than the unit called for but my boy and bunnies...what can say.. he LIKES THEM. :) He found it fascinating watching the videos of them... and there lies my one complaint about this study. Putting a video of an artic hare in with the study on snowshoe hares is just a trifle confusing...similar colour and adaptive abilities but DIFFERENT animal. One is bigger than the other, and they have somewhat different behaviours and locales. An update: my comment re the artic hare was noted by one of the powers that be and they acted on it immediately. No more artic hare video in the study on the snowshoe hare. How's that for proactive service? I thought it was very cool. :)

Each day we study something different.
Day 1: What Is Winter?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Winter
Day 3: People and Places of Winter
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Winter
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Winter

I find it funny that he often talks about the bird thieves .. the sparrows and blue jays of the world. And how the squirrels can be bad squirrels stealing the birds food.
j -"Do you think mommy that they are playing tricks on the birds"?
m -"Yes, buddy, I'm sure that's what they are doing. Silly squirrels, silly birds... why can't they just share"?
j -"They should all be friends mommy, and not steal from each other."One of the things that I liked in this study was taking nature walks. We went to a local park and on a 30 minute walk found turkey footprints, rabbit footprints, and deer footprints as well as lots of people footprints. We watched birds at a bird very pretty grey and red one was there. Don't know what kind it was, and lots of sparrows and chickadees. We spent time outside tobaggoning and examining snow. We even froze some to see if it would change in the freezer - it didn't expect when we took some out and it melted a little bit, but it still tasted like snow.

To find this unit go to Download N Go where you will find it here, listed for $7.95. :)

You can read more reviews here. And if you want to read more about Amanda Bennet the creator, you can go here. :)

I received this study in return for my fair and honest review. This so far has been our most enjoyed study from DownLoad N Go. It was just FUN. :)

Bird Feeders

as part of the winter wonders unit study we made a bird feeder,
My lad being the boy that he is, decided that making a simply bird feeder was NOT what he wanted to do. He wanted to make a bunny hotel.

so we put three pop bottles side by side and attached them together using a long branch. and then tied it all together using an old shoelace.

We put individual sticks and bird feed holes in each one as well.

We got ideas from these sites: How Stuff Works. Ehow. Helium. Home For Wild Birds.

The young one is curious about how long it will take before the squirrels become thieves and chortles with anticipation. I'm merely curious about how long it will take the local blue jays, sparrows and chickadees to arrive. Time will tell.

Father and son left afterwards to go tobaggoning at the local hill. Hoping they have fun while I enjoy a quiet house for at least an hour. :)

London's Art Museum

Did you know that London has an art museum? Parking is $2/hour. Admission is by donation.

It is housed in what looks to me like an old horse barn, but that's neither here nor there. We headed there as a family today since I decided that since my lad likes art (always has pen/paper at hand) that exposing him to different types of art would not be a bad thing. I hope to go every other month, just for an hour or so to let him see new ways of doing art, and to try to show him different ways of doing art as well.

He found it interesting. I pointed out the difference between water colours and oil.

He's not a stand and stare at things kind of lad, but if you ask him what he thinks, or what he thinks the painting/object is trying to say he'll give it this look and try to come up with something.

We each found something that we liked, and it was all different.

Jim found a painting that looked like trees/tree stumps all jumbled that he liked.

I saw a painting with oxen pulling a hay wagon that I thought was good, and a more abstract one that to me looked like lines dancing on water. The lad thought the same picture was worms in water so we had a different interpretation. Which is part of what art is right?

The lad liked the colours in a group of painting on a wall, but he didn't like what was painted on them. :)

They had this children's art area, the lad chose to make feathers for the cats. It was a collaborative effort since he had trouble tying the string. So he held, mommy tied. The cats enjoyed their feathers when we got home. :)

Look at these sites a bit more

Bunny Colouring Book

Save our bunnies

at the bottom of the page is a link to a bunny colouring book. has some good pictures in it.

What we Learned today - January 5, 2011

We used this book today in our homeschooling. We'd done part of it before so today we finished it off. It was a good book to do, some easy parts, some not so easy parts. Some I made more challenging by changing it up a bit. It was particularly enjoyable to write a rebus story together, using the stickers they provided and a child's imagination. It covered phonics, reading, and math.

A real sense of accomplishment when he was done working through it. The toughest part for him was figuring out the ending sound of words so we worked on that for a bit. He learned to laugh at himself when he made a silly mistake.

We also worked on the directionals of horizontal, vertical and diagonal. We used popsicle sticks to make designs using these directions. I figured it was good for him to start figuring some of this out.

Snow Alphabet

Out shoveling snow this morning. The lad I thought was off playing in the backyard.

Out he comes with his wagon and shovel.
"I"m helping too mommy"!
"great" I said as I continued to shovel snow.
"NO!!! don't take that snow mommy! I'm making letters"!
He made a B, J, H, O, A. He was quite pleased with himself. I"m pleased as well. Nice to see a boy writing his letters and then singing the alphabet song, mostly correctly. :)

It was a good time outside in the snow. Not too cold, pleasant conversation, and a job well done. :)

What we Learned today - January 4, 2011

Today we worked through a book on sorting, seasons, bigger than, less than, the same, and rhyming. The lad had fun "x-ing" out any pigs he came across. "why don't you like pigs J? "they are too noisy mommy".

It was an easy book, but at times the lad had to think. It's good to see that he knows some of this stuff, and good to see him think.

We also did our "forms of beauty" lesson from a kindergarten curriculum that I have. This consisted of taking four pieces of coloured paper and arranging them in a balanced pattern. He also experimented with taking two pieces of paper and making them balance out. he thought a pause sign was a very nice form of beauty, as was a plus and an "x". :) I made a somewhat bigger one myself simply because it's fun to do.

Afterwards the lad made solar panels from our paper cutouts to make solar panels on Rabbit and Tagu's house (a large cardboard box).
Yellow and black construction paper made the best looking solar panels.

Later on it was time for some boat play. We used that time to just have fun and to make some observations about our boats. The boats we were using were styrofoam meat trays, individual salad bowls from McD's, and pudding cups. After doing some experiments we learned that stryrofoam meat trays make the best boats, but the Salad bowls seal nicely so when the bunnies from Mars get their machine working and they lift the boats up, when it starts to rain, the boats that are sealed fall nicely into the water without spilling out all the bunny town rabbits out.
boats in the water

the bunnies from MARS have come

Did you know boats WON"T float if a bad egg sticks a needle in them?

the judge of the boats

We did some experiments with the pudding cups as well, using water and friction and the breathe power of a five year old.

I found this experiment interesting, and unexpected. I did not expect the two cups to hold the water in. I was sure it would leak out. BUT it did not. It only leaked out if the lad blew hard right at where the two cups joined up. The power of what... friction?? He played around with this for quite a while. And then he of course made a "bunnytown game" where he had to pour water from one cup into the other while not spilling any of it. He won apparently, while I somehow managed to lose.