Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rides, rides, rides...

And more rides!  

The girls had the best time at the kiddie amusement park at the beach!  They were so excited to ride all the rides...a lot of giggles!  Priceless memories! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TOS Review: SchoolhouseTeachers.com

 SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the newest creation by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. You might have heard about Teacher’s Toolbox in the past, and this new membership site is a massive expansion on the old. Just wait until you see what The Old Schoolhouse has in store for you!

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is an on-line treasure box full of a variety of educational resources, from preschool through high school.   You'll find new daily, weekly, and monthly assignments for:



What immediately caught my eye was that some of the most respected and recognized names in homeschooling contribute to SchoohouseTeachers.com.

There are currently 16 amazingly diverse contributors.  Each month, new Schoolhouse Teachers will be featured!   

In addition, you'll find even more material just for you!  That's right, material for you, Mom!  

I'm totally inspired by the Schoolhouse Planners!  You can custom design your own planner that fits the needs of your family! The planners are PDF downloads.  Each planner contains helpful articles written by homeschooling experts, interactive calendars, planning pages, household organization charts, and much more! 

There are 5 different planners:

1.  Schoolhouse Planner, aka "The Big Mama"--contains 800 pages of unique forms to help you organize your home and school.  

2.   Special Learners Schoolhouse Planner--contains Homeschool Individualized IEP, medical and therapy forms, and weekly food and behavior diaries.

3.  Primary Schoolhouse Planner--designed for even your youngest students to help them create their own planner to organize home and school tasks and gain independence.

4.  Intermediate Schoolhouse Planner--will help your pre-teen gain independence and organization skills and time-management skills.

5.  High Schoolhouse Planner--will help prepare your high schooler for life after homeschool by developing time management and organization skills. 

  When I first downloaded the Big Mama Planner, I was overwhelmed with 800 pages of information, all very useful, but still overwhelming.  After deciding exactly what I needed to help organize my family needs, I was able to focus only on the forms that I needed.  

I love the option of typing directly on the forms, then printing out!  Here is my monthly calendar for July, hole-punched and placed in my planner.

I only have one complaint about the calendars.  While typing in our monthly schedule, I would like to be able to use the 2-page view, so I can see the entire month at once....

(Half of July calendar on left and half of August calendar on right.)

However, when placed on the 2-page view, you can't see the entire month for one particular month; instead, you see half a page for one month and another page for a different month.  This was a little frustrating.

My favorite educational resources on SchoolhouseTeachers.com are "Pre-K Activities: Read and Play" and "Ditch the Desk: Hands on K-5".

My girls are 3 and 5, so these resources are perfect for their age.  

Pre-K Activities: Read and Plans is created by Wendy Woerner, a Star Contributor and member of The Schoolhouse Writer’s Group associated with The Old Schoolhouse® magazine. This section includes 2-week activity ideas for a list of age-appropriate picture books.  Preschoolers benefit from being read a story many times.  Each time you read a book with your child they will see new things and be eager to explore more.  After reading the book, complete one of the suggested activities to help reinforce the book you are reading.  
    Mac (3) and I read the book, The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid, and had fun completing some of the suggested activities! 

    Sorting buttons by color.

     Sorting buttons by shape.
     Ditch the Desk: Hands on K-5 is a unit study approach that will introduce a new lesson, each week, to help your K- 5th graders explore the world around them.  This section is updated by one of the Star Contributors, Inger Koppenhaver.   

    July--Ocean Study

    Week One -  Eight-legged Math Octopus
    Week Two -  Giant Oceanscape
    Week Three -  I am an Ocean Animal
    Week Four -  Fishy Fishy Snack – Under the Sea

    Starfish Paining from Week 2. 

    I would absolutely recommend SchoolhouseTeachers.com!  

    You’ll have full access to daily, weekly, and monthly assignments for your students and a ton more material for you. Every month after the initial one, it keeps coming—new daily, weekly, and monthly lessons—all for the price of one fancy coffee ($5.95 each month). 

    Join now and pay only $1 for your first month. You also have the option of purchasing a year's membership all at once for $64.26 -- a 10% savings.
     If you're still trying to decide if a SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership is right for you, be sure to look at these sample pages to see what you'll find at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.


    If you're wanting to know more details about other sections on HomeschoolTeachers.com, click HERE to see what other Crew Members discovered.  


    Disclaimer: As a member of TOS Crew, I received a free subscription to HomeschoolTeachers.com in return for an honest review.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    North Carolina Zoo

    The girls love stopping by the North Carolina Zoo on the way to the beach. I'm thrilled that they love seeing all the animals as much as I do! 

     There are two continents to choose from, North America and Africa.  We asked the girls a silly question of which one to go to first...they are in love with Simba from The Lion King, so it was a quick answer! 

     Notice that Izzie has Simba and Mac has Nala.

    Ready for their Safari adventure...

    Mesmerized by all the animals!

    Mac searching for Pumbaa, the warthog from The Lion King!  
    Did I mention that they are huge Lion King fans?

    Pumbaa and a friend!

    The climax of the adventure....seeing Simba and Nala....sleeping!

    The girls were a little disappointed that Simba and Nala weren't talking and playing!  Mac couldn't understand why she couldn't give them a big hug and play with them!

    She settled for a picture with Simba and Nala. 

     Investigating Pride Rock! 

    They had the best time interacting with the lion statues!  They played and played!
    After dragging them from the lion exhibit, we continued our adventure...

     The girls had so much fun watching the baby Chimp play! Again, Mac wanted inside to play with the Chimps!  Maybe, she'll be a Zoo Keeper!

    Giving hugs and kisses to the baby chimp! 

    Elephants are my favorite!  The girls weren't thrilled to see the elephants...they were too far away to really "see" them...however, they had a great time playing with all the props!

    This year's picture on the rhino...


     Last year's picture...

    After seeing all the animals from Africa, we headed along the loooong path to North America.  Did I mention it was 100 degrees with a heat index of 115.  Yeah, it was hot and sweaty!

    Thankfully, between the two continents was a little area for the girls to play and for us to relax!

     North America...

    Carefully, observing the huge bear eat!

     Looking for gators in the swamp!

    Jumping like frogs...

    Izzie insisted on taking her picture on the stump...

    Izzie at 5 years old.

    Izzie at 10 months old on same stump!

    We had a fabulous time at the zoo!  Already, looking forward to next year's visit!

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