Monday, April 29, 2019

Sick Days & Low Days (What to do) Plus a Video!

I just posted a video where I chat about homeschooling during sick days, low energy days or those seasons of chronic illness.

I've had more of those recently than I should have. 

Needless to say, I haven't felt very productive. 

In the video, I give 3 basic points. 

1. Foster independence in your kids. Teach them to learn. 

2. Plan ahead for those rough days. 

3. Let go of the guilt. Give yourself grace. 

Of course, I don't have all the answers in the world...there are many who are doing it much better than me. But I want to at least share my experience. 

Such as it is... promised...I am going to share a few resources with you. 

Encouraging Independence

Resources for Your Lists (this is a paid subscription, but worth it)

Encouragement For YOU

I'm sure I could dig up dozens of links for you.., But you get my drift. 

In the meantime, you can watch the video here if you have just checked in on the blog. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Everybody enjoying spring so far? 

We had a glorious Easter day. The weather was magnificent. Now it is raining. And raining. 

I didn't get one single picture the whole Easter weekend. We had a community Good Friday service and then, of course, Easter Sunday. 

Both services were just inspiring and special....but by Monday we all felt like we had been dragged through the back 40 a time or two.  Have I ever mentioned that holidays are HARD for Pastors and their families? 

But...we've made it through this week fairly unscathed and I've had a few victories. 

My kitchen is fairly clean. If you would have seen it on Monday...

Everybody has had a clean towel this week. 

Josiah caught up on some school work. I told him he needed to get himself in gear if he wanted to graduate in a timely manner. I didn't have to threaten certain death or the removal of all electronic devices from our home. 

We haven't eaten out a single meal this week. No last minute runs for a couple of cheeseburgers from McDonald's, etc. This is HUGE. The past few months have been tough on everybody. 

I was able to host our weekly Ladies Bible Study yesterday. It had been a bit. I fixed a healthy breakfast. It was a nice time together. 

It's nice to feel more like myself. Though I still have a little ways to go until I am feeling the way I want to feel. But...I'm heading in the right direction. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

CrossWired Science (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

We recently had a chance to review a fun new online subscription science. CrossWired Science provides online science learning in a fun and engaging way with Sound, and Fluid Dynamics.

CrossWired Science is a self-paced science program with a Christian worldview. It is divided into two levels: First Timers and Second Timers. The bulk of the teaching is done by engaging videos that is followed by online tests. There are also a variety of resources and activities that allow students to "Dig Deeper." In addition, there are Bible studies, reading recommendations, fun field trip ideas, and experiments.

CrossWired Science is in the process of growing and creating, so we got to see the progression of the program…which is really exciting.  The core lessons are intended for ages 4-18, but CrossWired strongly encourages families to learn science together.

So let’s talk about the Sound unit and the Fluid Dynamics section separately.

Fluid Dynamics has 8 core videos presently:

FD and Bernouli
Wrights and Foils
Carb Venturis
Planes & Whiskers & alulas
Hummers & Dolphins
Boxfish & Penguins
Nose aerodynamics
Dogs, Slobs & Cats.

The Sound unit has 8 core videos, as well. They include:

Audible Vibes
Sonar and Infrasounds
Bats and Moon Explosions
Elephants and Lanternfish
Dolphins Fat Football
an Ear-ie Journey
Bird Songs Wow
Cochleas and Whale Belting.

Before I move on, I need to tell you that the CrossWired Science site is BEAUTIFUL. They have really done a great job and you can tell how excited the creators are about science. Their love for all things “sciencey” and for God is contagious.

I had a good time poking around. Let me show you.

Each lesson starts with a core video. We are going to look at the First Timers round…cause that’s what we are. Get ready for a lot of screenshots!

I’m excited to share!

This what we see when we click on the Fluid Dynamics unit. You can see by the little green checkmark (or lack of them) on the right-hand side of the screen that only one lesson has been completed. The screen scrolls down to reveal quite a few little boxes, but we are going to turn our attention to a second little box. It is Lesson 2, Wrights and Foils. If you have guessed that this particular lesson is going to talk about the Wright brothers, you might be right. 

When you click on that little box you will see a directions tab on the right-hand side. This little tab just gives you a little bit of information and directions on using the lessons. At this time, I believe that these directions are pretty general for each lesson.

The Core video is just over 5 minutes long. It's engaging and pretty cute.

Immediately following the video is a quiz. The quiz grades itself instantly and also shows the taker what questions he or she missed if any. I believe the Second Timer route has content that is more difficult.

 Lesson 2 doesn't have a worksheet at this time, so I downloaded Worksheet #3 from Lesson 3 to show you what the worksheets generally look like.

All the extras with this Unit are super duper! This is the Experiment section. Not all of the experiments are completed yet (as far as I know), but you can see the potential.

 The tabs open up to a PDF. The page outlines all of the directions, etc. you will need to complete the experiment.

The Research box takes you here. If you scroll down you will see all manner of good stuff and research topics idea.

This little section of "Extras" is fantabulous and there are even more than featured here. Under each tab is listed a plethora of resource lists and more. 

I also had to share the recommended reading box. There are even reading schedules to download.

 And extra videos to watch from outside sources!

 And here is a little shot of the Teen devotional from this Unit.

 I didn't even share all that is offered. And while the site is not perfect or complete yet, you can see the potential for something wonderful. That being said, CrossWired Science is pretty great as is...I'm excited to see the progress. 

Right now, I am unsure if CrossWired Science could be used as a complete science curriculum. I think it is completely up to how a family uses it. It is completely flexible. There is a suggested schedule on the website (under the General Info tab) that recommends how many days to complete each activity. 

There is also a sample unit available for you to check out on the site. Be sure to check it out. 

I also need to mention the excellent Sound unit. We have looked through several lessons and it all looks like a lot of fun and so very interesting. Bats and Moon Explosions is especially fun. 

CrossWired is also working on more Core units. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. As I said, their excitement is contagious! 

Don't forget to check out more reviews by clicking on the banner below. 

Sound, and Fluid Dynamics {CrossWired Science Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 12, 2019

Transcripts Made Easy (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

So the opening lines of the preface of the book, Transcripts Made Easy, go like this.

“Dear Friends, So it’s time to think about High School!

Noooo!  Didn’t I just graduate High School, myself?

Okay…so that might have been a bunch few years ago. AND my son is ending his High School career next year sometime. Can I fill you in a little horrifying truth?

I am not prepared.

That being said, when I had the chance to review Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High School Paperwork from Everyday Education I was all in.

Transcripts Made Easy was written by the very wise, Janice Campbell. She is all the Homeschool Things I want to be. And believe me…that is a thing. She not only has successfully graduated four homeschool boys but she has written several excellent resources for homeschoolers and runs the Everyday Education website.

What I Received

I received an e-book copy of the fourth edition of Transcripts Made Easy. The book also comes in a print edition. 

The book itself is divided into six parts. Here is a little bit of what is included in each.

Meet the Transcript: Part 1

You probably know what a transcript is…or at least in theory. It is basically an educational resume. But how does one go about creating a transcript from scratch when you are a homeschooler? And how respective are potential colleges or employers to homeschool transcripts?  In this part, we are encouraged to start where we are and what we need to do right now.

Plan With the End in Mind: Part 2
This section talks all about making most out of those high school years and beyond. I really could have used this before we began. There is a little bit of everything for every flavor of homeschool. Study habits and scheduling options. Standard tests and how to get the most of that first year in college.

I REALLY appreciated the section on alternatives to college degrees. We aren’t quite sure what is in Josiah’s immediate future after High School. There are a great list of resources for us to peruse. 

This section also talks about how to prepare your student for college in a practical way behind grades. 

Keep Simple Records: Part 3

Thank you! I needed to see this for myself. I tend to go overboard or not at all. If you need someone to hold your hand, this section will help you organize yourself.

I have to tell you that this was my favorite section of the book. It shows us how to name those classes. In particular, how to name those classes you aren’t quite sure what to call. I know I have a few of those.

Another terrific part of this section is how to homeschool struggling learners to the end. What do you need to do about test accommodations? Should you disclose on a transcript? What kind of plan will you need going on into college if that is what your child desires to do?

Grades, Credit, and the GPA: Part 4

Do you struggle with how to assign a grade? Or how to grade? How do we calculate a GPA? This section helps us work through it all.

There is advice even for unschoolers! And it is not to stop “unschooling.” It gives you excellent tips on how to plug all of those wonderful experiences into credits.

Create the Transcript: Part 5

Here is the magic, my friends. This walks you through the nuts and bolts of the creation of the transcript, itself. She gives you examples and a couple of blank reproducible forms. There is even a step-by-step walk through on creating a diploma…even down to the kind of font you should use.

References, Resources, and Reproducibles: Part 6

These are all of those reproducibles you ever need in your life. I immediately printed them out and start working on the subject worksheets. I even used the Reading Log to record what we have read this year.

The Subject Worksheet below is for math. There is one just like it for every subject.

My Thoughts

Occasionally, one of those homeschool FB groups I belong to will absolutely blow up. And it is usually some momma in a panic about their High School student getting into college with a homemade transcript.

I usually have to click off the conversation because they ALL make me nervous.  It’s not that I’m afraid that the Transcript Police will show up at my house tomorrow (though some of those poor mommas seem happy to be part of that squad). It’s just that some folks seem so emphatic that the rest of us are doing it all wrong.

If you are of the number that needs some hand-holding (of which I am) and some reassurances (of which I am) and some excellent advice that calms your fear of the Transcript Police…this book is one you need.  It just has some plain good advice…practical advice that you can use immediately. I am so glad I got to add this book to my resources.

You need Transcripts Made Easy in your life! 

You can connect with Everyday Education via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.


Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork {Everyday Education Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 8, 2019

FREE Gardening Printables

I meant to have this post up a long time ago.

But then the Influenza invaded my body. And now I'm getting over a vicious stomach bug.

I've had a few other things going on.

Which means that this will be short and sweet. 

Hard to believe....I know. I had grander plans for this post and more printables, but I am still working on it.

For now...

This lovely zentangle is another one of my momma's creations. It is called Spring Fling.

Just click on this link and download to your heart's content.

I hope to include more FREE gardening printables as time goes on. I'll update as needed.

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