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Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Have Found The Perfect Gift For All My Coworkers!

Cabin_cuddler

I work, the 11-7 shift, two nights a week. It is a very old building, with a heating and cooling system, that does not work effectively. In the winter, you roast to death, and in the summer you freeze to death. Because it is nighttime, and there is less activity going on, your tired, and add the ineffective cooling and system, and tada you are very cold. I am from the north, so this does not bother me, as much as my coworkers.

Cabin Cuddler
Introducing, the Cabin Cuddler. I think this would be a great gift for anyone, who is very often cold. My mother, for example, suffers from Fibromyalgia, and any hint of cold air, makes her muscles hurt that much more. Even in the summer, when it is steaming hot, here in Florida, air conditioning can just cripple her muscles. She works in an office, where they like to set the air conditioner to 69, and she just freezes to death. Back in NY where, it will once again, be wintertime soon, this would be great to snuggle up and watch your favorite movie, read a book, or just sit by the fire. Of course if you are someone who travels alot, this compact, portable Cabin Cuddler, could be very beneficial for layovers, cold planes, trains, or even buses where blankets are not offered, or charged a fee for.

travel blanket
The Cabin Cuddler is basically a tote bag that turns into the following:

1- The bag itself can double as a clean hygienic pillow,
2- Once unfolded, it has its own blow up pillow,
3- It has a special, patented pocket, that you can put your feet in, to make sure your feet are never cold,
4- The blanket itself, has special contouring, so that every inch of your body is covered
5- Most importantly, it is compact, and portable. It folds up to a nice neet tote bag, and can be transported easily with you anywhere.

blanket
So in conclusion, you can see why the Cabin Cuddler, would be a great gift idea, for anyone on your list this year. This 6 in 1, blanket and pillow, comes in two colors, black and red, and can be purchased for the great price of 29.95. Get your Cabin Cuddler today, and scratch some people off your Christmas list.
Sponsored by Cabin Cuddler

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Evaluation Saga Continues

So I thought I had found someone to do DJ's evaluation. It isnt due until September, but I am not the kind to dilly dally. Well good thing, because my original evaluator, is much busier than she originally anticipated. She is quite a ways away too. So I started my search all over again. I was starting to think there were absolutely no other homeschoolers here in this very rural part of Florida. But after many hours of searching I found a website called Titus 2 Homeschoolers. There listed they had some listings for teachers that were able to do homeschool evaluators. I contacted them all. I got one response from a woman who lives in Bronson. I called her, and DJ's evaluation has been arranged, for August 22nd. This is such a relief. I think this aspect, has been the most difficult part, of our first homeschooling year. If anyone else lives in the Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist country areas, and is in need of an evaluator she has given me permission to post her name and email address. Her name is Sherri, and her email address is brice4christ@bellsouth.net I also learned they have a small homeschool group, which I hope to have the information for soon. Titus 2 Homeschoolers is a homeschool group, serving mostly Alachua county, their website can be found at http://members.cox.net/mandjstewart/t2/

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Prehistoric Planet On Discovery Kids

With summer vacation still going on. I try to encourage my children to still learn, even through the summer. Anyone who has kids, knows this can be a challenge. Discovery Kids, an afternoon set of shows on The Discovery Channel, has a show called Prehistoric Planet. We spent a great deal of time, in second grade, learning all about Dinosaurs. This show reinforces what we learned, and teaches so much more than we did. It keeps my son, and even my daughter, enthralled, and not just wasting time lounging around. It is on every afternoon, during the week, at 2PM, on the Discovery Channel. Check it out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some Of The Critters You Can Find In Our Yard







Anyone, who has ever lived in Florida, or any tropical climate, knows the critters can be large and many. These are just some of the criiters we have photographed living in our yard. There is the really large frog, that was sitting right on my front door. Then the lizard, that is at least 4 inches long, which yes to me is large. He must be the big daddy, because I have not seen any larger than him. We have lots of these little lizards running around our yard. Did you see that huge grasshopper. That thing is at least 6-7 inches long, and was just hanging out on the back porch screen, like he owned the place. We have a pair of these, a male and female, and they have the prettiest pink wings. Then there is my crazy dog, Krypto, who thinks the yard is his domain, Ha I think all these critters would beg to differ. He barks and chases them, but they return. The last picture is of my front yard, after a heavy afternoon thunderstorm. It was taken from my front porch, and we are quite a ways back from the road. Welcome to summertime in Florida. I tried to get a picture of the snake, but he hasnt returned thank goodness, and the very large spiders that I scare away as much as possible. I honestly cant believe, how big the spiders are here. Where do you live? What kind of critters can you find in your yard?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

C'Elles Caring is Sharing Promotion

C'elle Client Testimonial

Now I know some of my readers may find Stem Cell Research, to be controvertial, or even taboo. I understand that, and respect that. However, C'Elle offers a very unique method of collecting stem cells, that you may not be aware of. Please read the Testimonials above, and view the image below, which is an image of the kit you will receive. C_elle_kit_image

I too, must admit, stem cell research is both an exciting and promising tool, yet scarey. Through the production of stem cells, there can possibly be found cures for such debilitating diseases as Diabetes, Alzheimers, Heart Disease, Stroke, and many NeuroMuscular diseases such as Parkinsons. Anyone who has had a loved one, that suffered from one of these diseases, knows exactly the effects they can have on a person, and their family. For me I had a great grandmother with Alzheimers, she couldnt even remember her own family, or how to get dressed. My mother suffers from Fibromyalgia, a very debilitating muscular disorder, that I only hope and pray myself nor my children will get. Cancer, Heart Disease, and Diabetes, all run in my family as well, with Cancer on my husbands side. All these diseases are scarey illnesses to have looming on your mind. About the Science

With C'Elle, and their limited time Caring is Sharing promotion, you can now purchase and receive a free service, to give as a gift to a friend or loved one.

So what exactly is C'Elle? You would purchase one of their stem cell collecting kits. Then that month, when you menstruate, you collect the blood, your body naturally expels from your body. You then send it to C'Elle for processing, and removal of the stem cells. Your stem cells are not only stored for later use, should you acquire one of these diseases, but may be specific to your children as well. Your menstrual cells, are a 100% match to you, and may match your first degree relatives. So maybe even a sister, or brother, could be helped with these life saving stem cells. This may sound gross, to you, but think of the positives that can come from your bodies natural way, of removing these cells from your body. Where do they go, down into the sewage.

C'elle

Now I am not going to sugar coat this. This is not for everyone, but at least look at the video, review the testimonials, see what amazing things can be done through the science of stem cell research. Visit their website, and make yourself knowledgeable about the process, and then think on it.

Dont forget, their Sharing is Caring Promotion, is only for a limited time. Be sure to purchase your kit, before the promotion is up.

I think with education, proper techniques, knowledge, love and care, Stem Cell Research can be an integral part of the prevention, and treatment of debilitating diseases.

Sponsored by C'elle

Our Local Library: 3 Rivers Florida Library

We use our local library, often for lots of different things. My daughter, hopefully, will be attending their free preschool class once a week starting in the fall. They have a nice variety of books, friendly service, and if they dont have what you want they will get it for you from one of their other network libraries. It is a small library, but they do offer a quiet place to study, do research on one of the computers, or just read and browse their selection of books. My kids love going to the library, every other week, and choosing all new books to read and learn. DJ, will always pick me a book, and I am always curious as to what he gets. He usually picks me a cooking book, gardening book, or a gemstone book. Sweet Huh. Your local library, can be your best friend. I cant stress how important they are, in our community.

http://www.3rivers.lib.fl.us/

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Revised 3rd Grade Reading List, Magic Tree House Books

In my archives is a suggested reading list for 3rd grade. That list will now become, our default list, should he complete this new reading list. He has been wanting to get Magic Tree House Books. I finally won a lot of them on ebay, and have put them in the order that DJ will be reading them, for 3rd grade. He will read at least one chapter a day, with a book report following all chapters being read. I list them here on my blog, for record keeping, and then when my evaluation is due next year, I can refer the evaluator to this blog, and so family can keep track of the things we are learning.

1- Dinosaurs Before Dark
2- Knight at Dawn
3- Mummies in the Morning
4- Pirates Past Noon
6- Afternoon on the Amazon
7- Sunset of the Sabretooth
9- Dolphins at Daybreak
10- Ghost Town at Sundown
11- Lions at Lunchtime
13- Vacation Under the Volcanoe
19- Tigers at Twilight
20- Dingos at Dinnertime
21- Civil War on Sunday
23- Twister on Tuesday
24- Earthquake in the Early Morning
25- Stage Fright on a Summer Night
26- Good Morning Gorillas
30- Haunted Castle on Halloween Eve
33- Carnival at Candle Light
37- Dragon of the Red Dawn
Season of the Sandstorms
Rotten School, Battle of the Dum Diddys by RL Stine

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Friday, So How Was Yours?








We had such a goodtime today at Chuck E Cheese. I had never been before, so I was not sure what to expect. It was not nearly as expensive, as I expected. 48 dollars got us pizza, 4 drinks, and 140 tokens, which was way more than we ever needed. It was a little too noisy for me when we first got there. I adjusted quicky, though. My little one is sensitive to noise but it didnt take her long to be on the move. The slide, jungle gym thingy was free, and they would have just stayed in that all day, if they could. They had all kinds of cool simulators, for cars, and rollercoasters, and even little kiddie games for the younger kids. Of course dont forget about Chuck himself. When he came out, all the kids went wild, chasing him and grabbing at him. Definately not a job I would want. They got to play, and socialize with a ton of different kids, from all walks of life. Of course, there were prizes and balloons to be won. A Chuck E Cheese lollipop, some dinosaurs, and some kind of weird candy, was the only way out the door. The trip home was brutal. No air in the car, and at least 95 degrees of heat and humidity, for an hour drive. Yucko, is all I can say. We arrived home to a nice cooling thunderstorm, and a freaked out dog. A call from my husbands job, got me out of the 11-7 shift tonight. So Ha, I got to do my drops, add some posts, and even some comments. So how was your Friday? And oh yes, how could I forget. I have been putting off buying a new computer monitor, because I didnt want to spend the money we have been saving. But it decided to die today, so I got a nice new shiny flat screen monitor to boot. Not a bad day all in all.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Whew I Finished My First Homeschool Porfolio, What A Task

It took me almost all day yesterday, but DJ's second grade portfolio is done. This is my very first one, so I wasnt exactly sure, what I needed to include. I had to go over every piece of paper, and project we did, and there was a lot. What I ended up doing, was keeping all his book reports, all art projects, handwriting sheets, and then all weeekly tests. I didnt add all the craft projects, because they take up too much room. I added most of the science and social studies work, because those were only done once or twice a week. Our focus this year, was reading and math. I also added my curriculum, reading list, youth baseball records, library visits, and any other social activities. Our evaluation, is not due until September, but I wanted to get this task done especially since I had no idea how long it would take. It is a huge load off my chest. For third grade, I will be sure to just separate the tests, and projects I want to showcase, for next years portfolio, and save myself some time. In Florida, we have to keep every piece of school work done, for two years, but you only need a sampling for your portfolio. Now DJ just has to decorate it, to his liking, and we will be all set for our evaluation. To all my dedicated readers, tomorrow we are going to Chuck E Cheese, so I will not be able to drop cards, leave comments, or add new content. If I get a chance in the evening, maybe, but I do have to work 11-7 tomorrow night, as well, so I probably wont be adding any updates until Sunday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Make Bookends With Your Childs Artwork Great Homeschool Craft

I found this in a magazine, I had kept for some reason. Well this craft, is why I kept it. I keep magazines I read, and then go back through them to see what I wanted. Usually it is a recipe, or craft idea. I really should start just ripping out, and keeping the one page in the magazine I wanted lol. Anyway these would make great gifts for Grandparents, your kids friends, or even just to keep for yourself. They are simple and affordable.

1- Have your child draw or paint pictures to fit in two 5 inch by 7 inch clear plastic box frames. I know Walmart sells these, so I am sure they are available at any craft store. Then have them decorate coordinating strips to fit along the side and top edges of the frame.

2- Pull up the easel, on the back of the frame. Insert small rocks into the back of the frame, about halfway full will do fine. Fill the remainder with crumpled tissue paper, then press the easel back into place.

3- Use non toxic glue or adhesive, to fasten light cardboard across the entire back, then you can cover the cardboard with felt to help it look nicer.

4- Use a glue stick to fasten the artwork to the boxes, and inserts them into the frames. Then you have made bookends.

This will definately be one of our art projects, this school year. Enjoy

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Learning Via Video Games?

We all know kids love to play games. Board games, outside games, card games, all kinds of games teach them various learning skills.

What about online games. Do you let your kids play games online? For me the answer is yes. There are so many great websites, that offer strictly educational games. Some of our favorites, are Funbrain and Funschool, plus Nick jr, and Noggin. There are many others, alot of which can be found in my archives, if you are interested.

So what about video games, do your kids play those? This was a tough one for me, but lets face it video games are fun. We played them when I was a kid, of course it was Atari then, lol. I wish playstation made educational games, then I would probably like it more. I have to say though, that since I have allowed my son to play a playstation 2, his dexterity, and hand eye coordination has improved. Some of the smaller kids games, like dora, and blues clues, are more educational than the older kids varieties. We also have a Leapster L-Max, which is a portable gaming system, that has only educational games. During the school year, my son plays only educational games on this, and playstation only on free time or weekends. My 4 yr old, has learned to play it, and is now doing preschool and kindergarten work. It is an absolutely wonderful system, in my opinion, and well worth the money we spent on it. It was a definate investment piece, and investment in education. You can play any leapster game on it, it doesnt have to be just L-Max, so that makes it very versatile too.

So in conclusion, yes I am a big advocate for playing games. Educational, age related, and that serve a purpose. Of course you have to monitor what your kids play, being sure they are age specific, and dont contain any subjects you may deem inappropriate, such as sex, drugs, violence.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Join the Alzheimers' Memory Walk

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

When I was a kid, we walked in the MS Walk A Thon, and the Crop Walk for Hunger. Now there is the Alzheimers Memory Walk. The Alzheimers Memory Walk, is just like any other walk for charity cause. You agree to get sponsors, who will pledge you to walk a certain amount of miles. You walk the miles, and the money you raise goes to help fund Alzheimers research, and care for those who suffer from this debilitating disease.



As a nurse, for 21 years, and having a great grandmother, that suffered from Alzheimers, I have seen first hand the things this disease does to your mind. It can start at a fairly young age, right up to 80 or 90. People who suffer from Alzheimers, may look healthy and normal, but their brain does not function the way it used to. They forget to do the simplest things, like feed themselves, or dress themselves. Alot of them will just sit and stare at their food, if someone does not tell them to eat. It is a very sad disease, that with research hopefully they can find a cure. You can help. They are currently in great need of Team Captains, and walkers to raise money. If you have a little time to spare, you can help this great cause. As a homeschooler, I think it is important to teach our children love and kindness, and the gift of charity.

If you would like to be a Team Captain, or just be a sponsored walker, click one of the available links provided. Help find a cure, for this debilitating disease.

Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Learn With The Magic School Bus Free Site

I can not tell you how much I love this website. As I stated previously, I am constantly searching for new ideas, and sites that offer affordable or even better free schooling items. Scholastics The Magic School Bus site is chock full of tons of fre things to do with your homeschooler. This week their science project is making a rainbow. This website is geared, for children under the grade of 5th grade. I think it is also great for any child that needs a little extra help with certain subjects. It is all free, and easy to use. To check it out go to http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/simplescience/feature.htm Be sure and check back often, I am always adding new and interesting information, and sites.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kids Art Lessons With Billy Bear

Art is a big part of our homeschool education, as some of you may have already read. I am always searching, and looking for new, and affordable, lesson plans on art. This site is completely free, and the lessons are good quality lessons, geared toward younger artists. You can print off the directions, or if you have a laptop, they can view the lesson why they draw. I love this new site, and I cant wait to have my kids give some of the lessons a try. Go to http://drawsketch.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=drawsketch&cdn=hobbies&tm=8&gps=337_705_1012_574&f=20&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//www.billybear4kids.com/Learn2Draw/Learn2Draw.html To view all the lessons available. If you know of any kids in public school, especially where funding has been cut, be sure to share these lessons with them too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Brett Farvre, The NFL, and a Lesson in Pride and Respect

First off let me say, I am a huge football fan, and huge fan of Brett Farvre. He is undoubtedly, one of the greatest quarterbacks, to ever play the game. For those of you, that may not know the story, Brett Farvre, retired from the Greenbay Packers, at the end of last season. He had talked about retiring for sometime. Most experts would probably agree, that it was time for him to retire. There was alot of sadness, and respect in Greenbay for the beloved Farvre. It has been reported, in the last couple of weeks, that now Farvre wants to return. But that is not the part that stinks. He either wants to be the starter in Greenbay, or he wants them to trade him to another team. Greenbay, has moved on to Aaron Rogers, as their starter. For Farvre to make these kinds of demands is not only disrespectful to his fans, his teamates, the coaches, the NFL, his family, but most importantly to himself. He is selfishly only thinking of himself, rather than thinking of the impact of his actions. To me that is disrespectful. Pride is a sin, and for a good reason. It clouds your judgement, and makes you act in ways you might not normally act.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dress codes: Good or Bad Idea?

Now I am sure someone is saying, you homeschool, why write about a dress code. While that is true, I do have friends with children in public school. One of my friends, who has 5 children, all in public school, states every year she votes yes to having uniforms at her school. Why, you ask? She thinks, as do many others, that if they all wore the same outfits, there wouldnt be such peer pressure to have certain shoes, and articles of clothing. There would be no reference to sex, drugs, smoking, racism or any other controvertial topics. When I went to school, many years ago, while there was no formal dress code, we were expected to dress a certain way. If you did not, your parents were called and you were sent home. Of course we werent allowed to wear pants, back then either. I wore dresses or skirts, right up to fifth grade. So for me, that would be a definate negative. If they made the uniforms, uncomfortable, or unreasonable. That would be a no vote for me. For my kids, when it is school time, they are expected to be clothed properly, and clean for the duration of school. To me that teaches, responsibility, manners, and hygiene. If my kids were still in public school, I would vote yes to school uniforms. What about you. Please I would love to hear from homeschoolers, and public school parents.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reading A-Z the online reading source

This is another great site I found, and added to my list of favorites, for future use. You get 30 free samples of weekly readers, with worksheets. You can also purchase their yearly membership for 50-80 dollars. If you are having trouble teaching phonics, to your homeschooler, this site may be just what you need. Check it out at http://www.readinga-z.com/phonics/reading-phonics.php Be sure to bookmark my site, and check back often, for more great sites. I will do the searching so you dont have to.

Sez Who, teams up with Entrecard, some controversy

Sez Who, and Entrecard have created a partnership, to help Entrecard members get more comments, and thereby more traffic to their blogs. I personally think this is a neat idea, and concept. I have read several posts today, some that are irritated with the whole idea. For me, it will not technically change how or when I comment. If they happen to have sez who, on their blog grea, if they dont, that is ok too. I only comment on things, I find interesting, or have some knowledge of. Like I visit a golf blog everyday. I have not one concept of golf, I still give him my visit, but dont comment unless something comes up that I know of. For my two blogs, melissas homeschool, and melissas jewelry and gemstone blog, if I find people commenting in order to just win more points I will delete the comments. I want people to comment on my topics that they are truly interested in, find interesting, or have knowledge of. The same as I would do for them. I think the Sez Who and Entrecard partnership, is a great thing, and will take some getting used to. Just like anything else that is new to us.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keeping an Intex Easy Set Pool Clean

I am sure, there are many of you, that have an easy set pool. They are very popular, for their affordability and durability. This is the 3rd year, with ours, and we love it. However, they are somewhat of a pain to keep clean. This is the first year, that we have been able to keep a handle on it, mostly because we moved it to where it was not under a tree. Of course that leads to the water becoming too hot, but at least it is clean. Here are some other tips:

1- Buy the 6 in 1 shock. It is a little pricier, but it is worth it. You wont have to by all the extra other stuff.

2- Shock your pool once a week.

3- Change your filters twice a week. It says once a week, but by then they are not working effectively. Twice a week is much better. You dont have to buy new filters all the time either, we rinse them off with the hose and let them dry in the sun. If they are real dirty, we soak them in bleach water.

4- Do buy the clarifier liquid. If your pool gets cloudy, in between shocking, put that in and your pool will be beautiful the next day.

5- Let your pump run at least 8 hrs per day.

6- Dont pour all those other chemicals in your pool, it just screws up the balance.

7- Last but not least, once a week wipe down the inside walls with a old towel. It will keep algae from forming, and the filter will suck it out.

Enjoy your swimming pool. It is a great investment, and if there is ever a long power outage you can use the water to flush your toilet, or wash clothes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Now is a great time to teach Simple Economics to an 8 yr old

With the economy in the dumps, and people starting to feel the heat, I think it is a great time to teach simple Economics to my 8 yr old. He has already taken a cut in his allowance, not for being naughty, but because as I explained to him, economically right now we cant afford it. Now yes I could afford to give him his full allowance, but I am trying to teach him that when money gets tight, you have to make cuts in some places. Much like Employers, are doing. Cutting jobs, to save money, and hopefully stay afloat. We also have cut out, eating out, except maybe once every two weeks. We dont drive as far, unless we have to. We buy less expensive food, and make sure we eat the leftovers. We have taught ourselves, to grow vegetables, still a work in progress I might add. We would have starved, if we had to count on the garden lol. But we did better than last year. I teach him, and his sister, they have to take good care of their toys. If they break them, being careless, it probably wont be replaced. We send emails, and use instant messenger, to talk to families back home, rather than running up the long distance bill. Writing letters, too, is a great way to practice their writing skills, and not use the phone as much. AC is set at 81, if their isnt a lot of sun, 79, if there is. This has saved us appx 75 dollars per month, over last year at the same time. I am sure there are tons more things, we can do to save money, and it is a work in progress. I hope my children, learn from these things I teach them. When things are a little more abundant, it is ok to splurge a little. But being able to cut back, and save money, is just as important.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Try Charter for 14.99/mo, and get a free 25 dollar gas card free

Charter internet

Do you have dial up? High speed, with really high prices, that seem to continue to go up? Then you need to check out Charter.

Charter, is offering high speed internet service, for only $14.99/mo. Plus you get a free $25 Shell gas card, for free, just for tryint the service. You have 30 days to cancel, so the offer is completely risk free. But you have to hurry, to take advantage of this offer, it ends July 31st 2008.

These are the benefits you will receive, with Charter:

1- Get the fastest, and most reliable internet speeds, up to 5Mbps,
2- Automatic protection from viruses, hackers, and spam,
3- 10 Email accounts, plus 20MB of web space,
4- Download in seconds, not minutes, fast, reliable, always online service,
5- Get your news, weather, local movie listings, plus much more right on Charter.net

Don't forget, this offer expires July 31st, 2008.

To visit Charter's website, and get more information, about this great offer, click the link below.

Sponsored by Charter

Cool Preschool Websites

I have been looking for preschool websites, for my daughter. Caitlin will be starting preschool, in September, while her brother starts 3rd grade. I am not real agressive about preschool, and will probably only do 1-2 hrs a day with her. I found some sites that I really like, and I will be listing them below. I thought of doing them all singly, on different posts, it is a little slow in the summer for posting ideas lol. But then I decided to just put them all under this post. I use only free sites, some may only offer a free trial, so feel free to visit and check them out.

http://www.atozphonics.com/preschoolphonics.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/wordsandpictures/clusters/index.shtml

http://www.zoo-phonics.com/Free_Lesson.html

http://www.kinderplans.com/content.cfm?pageid=120

http://www.littlekidsgamesonline.com/preschool-online-games.html

http://www.littlekidsgamesonline.com/preschool-online-games.html

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Homeschooling Record Keeping Does Your State Have Requirements?

I am curious about homeschoolers in other states, and record keeping. Does your state have strict laws, about record keeping, or just relaxed on the issue? Here in Florida, you have to keep all school work, per homeschooled child, for 2 years. The school district can request, to come in and inspect, but they have to give at least 2 weeks written notice. At the end of each school year, a certified teacher must do an evaluation, of your portfolio and submit it to the school. You can also take the standardized test, or have your child evaluated by a psychologist. Because there are no laws, stating what a homeschooled child has to learn, only that they are showing progress in their learning activities, the portfolio can contain whatever you choose to put in it. I am getting ready to do my first evaluation, in September. I have just started putting the portfolio together. So how about in your state? Do you have to keep specific records, for the state?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Teacher Created Resources

I received this catalog, in the mail yesterday, for Teacher Created Resources. I have no idea how I got on their mailing list, but I am sure glad I did. They have tons of great learning, and creative teaching options. Their prices are very reasonable, and quite low compared to others I have seen. If you want to check out their website, and possibly get a catalog for yourself, go to http://www.teachercreated.com Another very good website, I would like to tell you about is Busy Teachers Cafe. I found their site, while looking for writing tips, for young children. Their site is geared for k-6, and they offer a free monthly calendar, of writing ideas. They have other great things, as well, but the writing ideas is what I use the most. Check them out at http://www.busyteacherscafe.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Do you want free gas?

I heard about this program, on Fox News, this afternoon. I checked it out, and we dont qualify, but I would like to share it with all of you who may qualify. It is a website, where various advertisers pay you with gas cards to advertise their business on your car. You dont need a fancy car, just not a junker. You do need to drive at least 1,000 miles per month, to qualify, and probably if you live in the city, or drive major highways frequently, you would be the best to qualify. If you want to check out this cool site go to http://www.freegashelp.com/ and check it out. Please note, this is not a referral program. I do not get any benefits from you signing up, other than helping a fellow out. If you get accepted, I would love for you to comment here though. Good Luck

Monday, July 7, 2008

Do you want to Monetize your Blog?

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Some of DJ and Caitlins artwork











This is just some of DJ's newest art work. He bought a set of colored pencils, with some of his birthday money. The pictures came out kind of dark, but I think you will still be able to see them. The first one my 4 yr old did, and she was so proud of her bird.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Some unconventional ways to teach science

Because my children are still young, we can use some very creative ways to teach simple Science lessons. We plant vegetables, and flowers, to teach about the plant life cycle, and why and how things grow. We start them from seeds to add more effect to the lesson. I collect gemstones, and using a simple microscope, my children inspect them under the microscope, and read about them in my gemstone books. We bought a very simple kids microscope, from Walmart, for 15 dollars. We use it to examine the gemstones, plus tons of other things like sand, rocks, leaves, bugs, food, and anything else we can think of. In our yard, there are numerous creatures to examine and learn about. For Habitat studies, we take various animals from our yard, and look them up to learn their habitat, what they eat, and how they survive. This includes, various insects, lizards, birds, and even a snake. We talk about stars, and the moon, constellations, and the planets, by inspecting the sky at night, and then looking up what we see. So you see there are many, many ways you can teach your kids, without books and curriculums, just from your own home and yard. DJ got for his birthday a very cool science kit. I wanted to share it here, because I think it would be awesome as a science project for homeschoolers. It was purchased on ebay for 8 dollars. It is a T-Rex excavation kit. It comes with the bones buried, in a clay like substance, and the child digs up the bones with a tiny shovel. When all the bones, have been removed, he/she can put the dinosaur together, and have a cool model dinosaur. I know I will be looking for others, to enhance our hands on learning.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July

I am posting one day early, because I dont think I will be able to post tomorrow. So I would like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July. The 4th has special meaning at our house. Not only is it the birth of our country, but the birth of my son, who will be 8. My husbands birthday is on the 5th, so we have a busy weekend. Tonight I work 11-7, Friday is grocery shopping and fireworks at night. Saturday, is the birthday parties, and back to work that night. So I have a busy couple of days coming up. I hope everyone has a very safe and very happy 4th of July. Happy Birthday to DJ, and Craig.

July 4th Comments
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The first 30 days of Summer Vacation

It is hard to believe, that 30 days of summer vacation, has already passed. The first 30 days have been good, somewhat quiet. My son DJ, who will be starting 3rd grade in Sept, has read 3 Magic Tree House Books, and is working on his drawing skills. I have to say he is pretty good. He borrows books, on Dinosaurs, Fish, and Birds from the local Library then he draws them. He still plays on his favorite sites on the computer Funschool, and Funbrain. He also used the Leapster L-max for math and word learning games. My little one, who just turned 4, conitnues to mostly learn through play. She did just learn to write her name however, and she was so proud. She has a Barbie computer for learning activities, and also uses the Leapster L-max, she is learning to draw as well. Yesterday we made tissue paper flags, you can find the instructions in my archives. They were a little time consuming, but came out nice. We swim everyday, or almost every day, library every two weeks, and making plans for some of DJ's baseball friends to come visit. I dont force my kids to continue school work over summer vacation, however I am glad they like it enough to do it on their own. As for me, I am tweeking my 3rd grade curriculum, for DJ, and starting Caitlins preschool curriculum. I work every weeekend, on the night shift, working on my blogs, and learning to make extra cash online, and of course my jewelry making. We also have cleaned out closets, and donated a bunch of stuff to Another Way. A non profit group that helps battered women and children start a new life. So how has your summer vacation been so far?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I joined Technorati

I joined Technorati today. I have seen it advertised on other peoples blogs, and thought I would give it a try. All traffic is good traffic.

Technorati Profile

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