Friday, February 10, 2017

Kwik Stix Thin Stix

I have posted my glowing reviews of The Pencil Grip's Kwik Stix several times before. We love the no-mess and no water needed paint sticks. We use them for a variety of arts and crafts activities as well as for school work.

Kwik Stix sent me a package of their new Thin Stix to review, and they are just as wonderful as the original Kwik Stix. These paint sticks are thinner and longer than the original ones, with smaller tips that help with control and adding detail to artwork.

My kids are always pulling out the Kwik Stix, and now the Thin Stix, to paint with. They know I don't mind them painting when they are using Kwik Stix. There is seriously no mess to clean up! If they happen to draw a little off the paper, onto our countertops or the floors, it wipes right up. It washes off their skin easily, too. They dry in 90 seconds or less, which is a big plus when you have young children who are impatient for their creations to dry!

Kwik Stix would make a great Valentine present for the sweet little kids in your life. We made a few Valentine crafts today!
Check out Kwik Stix HERE!

D: Doodling and Drawing

It's week four of Blogging Through the Alphabet, which means the letter of the week is D, and I'm going to talk about one of my hobbies - drawing and doodling.

I've always loved drawing, painting and writing scriptures. Recently, I've decided to practice more and try to get much better at it. I've fallen in love with hand-lettering. I've purchased two books to help me, and I do plan to buy a few more. I mainly use Sharpies to hand-letter, but I just bought some calligraphy markers. I've been trying to figure out how to use them - they are a little more complicated! There is some calligraphy instruction in both of the books I have, so that has been helping some. I've also been using watercolors to give my hand-lettering prints some color.

I love to draw and doodle in the margins of my Bible, but I don't have a journaling Bible (yet). Most of my journals and notebooks are full of doodles and pretty letters and words. I have been making time each day to work on it because it's important to me.

My 9 year old daughter has also picked up the hobby! I bought her her own hand-lettering book and sketchpad for her birthday on Monday, and she has been doodling and drawing! Anytime I get mine out to work on, she gets hers out, too!

Join us for Blogging Through the Alphabet!
A Net In Time Schooling

Thursday, February 2, 2017

C: Chores

It's week 3 of Blogging Through the Alphabet, and I'm going to talk about chores. When you homeschool, and you and your kids are home all day everyday, having your kids perform chores is vital to keeping your house clean and organized. Even the youngest of your children can do chores and contribute to a clean house. Here is a list of chores that I have my children do, organized by age.

Ages 2-4

Even young toddlers can do chores. Of course, I teach my kids how to do these things and supervise them while they are doing them, but this is the perfect training age!
  • Folding small rags and kitchen towels.
  • Dusting furniture with a damp rag (no chemicals).
  • Picking up toys and putting them in a toy box.
  • Using a dust-buster or other small vacuum to clean up crumbs or couch cushions.
  • Putting a new garbage bag in the garbage can.
  • Collecting dirty laundry from bedrooms and bathrooms and bringing it to laundry room.
  • Matching clean socks.

Ages 5-7

This is another great age for training your children in more difficult chores. After this age, you shouldn't have much training left to do. Some of these chores should be supervised, but most should not.
  • Folding towels and rags.
  • Dusting furniture with cleaner and a rag.
  • Cleaning (low) windows with glass cleaner.
  • Using a Clorox wipe to clean bathroom and kitchen counters.
  • Make up their own beds.
  • Folding T-shirts and socks.
  • Using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Feed and water pets.

Ages 8-12

This is a 4 year age gap, but I find that this age group can complete most of the same chores. Of course, each child is different and only you know your child's abilities.
  • Wash and dry dishes.
  • Unload and load the dishwasher.
  • Hand clothes in closets and put clothes away in dresser drawers.
  • Clean windows.
  • Sweep and mop.
  • Clean their own rooms.
  • Clear the table after a meal.
  • Take out garbage.
  • Change bed sheets.
  • Put away groceries.
Ages 13 and up

This age group can do almost any chore or household duty. Here are some that my children are responsible for.
  • Cleaning out the refrigerator.
  • Clean out the microwave.
  • Sweep and mop.
  • Cook a meal.
  • Wash dishes.
  • Put away leftovers after a meal.
  • Wash and dry clothes.
  • Fold and put away clothes.
  • Clean toilets and showers.
  • Clean the yard.
  • Vacuum the house.
  • Wash the cars.
  • Organize closets.
  • Baby sit.
What are some chores that your children are responsible for?

Linking up with:
A Net In TimeSchooling

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mom School: Week 1

My friend, Linda, is starting a link-up for moms who are learning and doing school right along with their children called "Teach by Example - Mom School". For a while now, I've been "doing school"; rather, I've been educating myself and learning new things. One of my goals for 2017 was to learn some new skills and refresh myself on some others.

This week, I've been using my new book "Creative Handwriting and Beyond: Inspiring Tips, Techniques, and Ideas for Hand Lettering Your Way to Beautiful Works of Art". Wow! What a title!

I have always loved hand-lettering and doodling, especially using scriptures. It's a way that I worship God, even if that sounds sort of far-fetched. By taking my time to write out His Words in a beautiful way and illustrate them, I am meditating on them and putting them in my head and heart. It's really very relaxing for me and lots of fun.

I have decided that this year, I will invest in myself - my hobbies, my skills, and my past-times. I don't bat an eye when I purchase something for the kid's education, so why shouldn't I be just as eager to buy things to enhance my education and my skills? And, yes, calligraphy and hand-lettering are skills.

I have also decided to dedicate a 30-minute block in the afternoons each day for my kids and I to practice our skills - whether it be hand-lettering, painting, knot-tying, sewing, cooking, baking, piano, karate, whatever! I think having a time set-apart for myself to learn something will make sure I get it done.

Plus, I've discovered that anytime, and I mean anytime, I get my sketchpads, markers, and book out to start practicing, my kids either do the same thing with paper and markers, or find something similar to do. I realized I can be such an example to them, to show them that even moms want to learn new things! I want my kids to know how learning can be fun, and I hope that they will see me enjoying myself while learning.

Here are some of the practice pages I've been working on. I am getting better, but still not "good" yet! My daughters love my pages, though, and think I'm "the best ever".




I even bought Mercie, my almost-9 year old, a hand-lettering book for children, sketchbook, and box of 100 thin markers for her birthday next week. She loves to hand-letter and doodle with me, so I know she will love having her own supplies!

I am also helping my 9th grade daughter with her algebra daily. She is not a math-y kid, and I'm not a math-y mom. I bought my own notebook in hopes that I can start doing her lessons each day on my own. I would love to be proficient and quick in algebra.

The other book I am planning to read this week is "The Signers". Eli checked this one out at the library, but I literally know nothing about anyone who signed the Declaration of Independence, so I'm hoping to read this through and take a few notes.

What are you learning, Mom? Link up:


Sunday, January 29, 2017

What We're Reading This Week (week 1)

I would love to start posting the library books my older 3 kids check out from the library each week. Their choices are usually very different from each other, and I always like wondering why they choose certain books. I always enjoy seeing what other kids with ages similar to my own are reading, so maybe you will enjoy this!

The only requirement my kids had this week was to choose one book that was on the presidents, American history, or government. I'm appalled at how little most kids know on this subject, and even how little I myself know! I told the kids they must choose one book on this subject each week for the rest of the year. They have to read the book, and then at the end of the week give an oral report to the family. That way, we can all learn something!

Mikaela - 14

  • "Whose Haunting the White House? The President's Mansion and The Ghosts Who Live There" by Jeff Belanger
  • "The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty, United States Marine Corpss, Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 1968" by Ellen Emerson White
  • "A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Sniket
Eli - 11
  • "The Signers: The 56 Stories Behind the Declaration of Independence" by Dennis Brindell Fradin
  • "Football Trivia" by Tyler Mason
  • "The Lego Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Lift" by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • "Really Horrible Science Facts" by Jay Wakins
Mercie - almost 9
  • "Who Was Betsy Ross?" by James Buckley Jr.
  • "The Critter Club: All About Ellie" by Callie Barkley
  • "Junie B. Jones Has A Monster Under Her Bed" by Barbara Park
  • "Stranded at Plimoth Plantation 1626" by Gary Bowen
What are your kids reading this week?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Week in Review: 1/23-1/27

This week, we got settled into our rental condo in Alabama. Rod worked almost every day this week, and the kids did school each day. We found the library on Wednesday. It's a really neat library with story time on Wednesdays and a "craft-ernoon" on Wednesday afternoon. We are right on Lake Martin, so the kids have been doing some fishing (but no catching). There's a playground on site, so the kids can get some exercise.

Silas finished Unit 3 in Little Hearts for His Glory this week. Here are a few highlights from his week:
  • He is on Chapter 5 in The Reading Lesson. He can read lots of three and four letter words and sentences. He enjoys the stories in the book because he can read them himself.
  • He learned how to add 3 and 4 (small) numbers.
  • He added The Flood and The Tower of Babel to his timeline.
  • He memorized Proverbs 20:11 "Even a child is known by actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right."

Titus finished Unit 2 in Little Hands to Heaven this week. Here are some highlights from his week:
  • He used pattern blocks to make the letters B and b.
  • He used patterns to build the Tower of Babel with his linking cubes.
  • He made a rainbow from torn paper.
  • He painted the letters B and b with our Kwik Stix.

Mercie completed Unit 20 in Bigger Hearts for His Glory. Here are some of her highlights:
  • Mercie used straws to blow paint on paper, representing the "bombs bursting in air" from the Star Spangled Banner.
  • She is getting quicker with her multiplication facts.
  • We made a 5x5 grid on the floor and I gave her coordinates to find.
  • We read in the Pioneer Sampler each day.
  • She learned about helping verbs in Rod and Staff grammar.
  • We practiced and wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mikaela and Eli both completed days 33-37 in Bob Jones Distance Learning. Here are a few of their highlights:
  • Mikaela is learning how to find percent difference, percent error, and experimental error. She has quite a few word problems to muddle through each day.
  • Eli is learning fractions, which comes easy for him.
  • Mikaela and Eli are both working on adverbs and adjective in grammar, at different levels.
  • In Life Science, Eli is learning about genes and reproduction.
  • In Physical Science, Mikaela is learning about gravity and freefall.
  • In Cultural Geography, Mikaela finished up chapter 5 and is beginning on chapter 6, which is on Canada.
  • In World Studies, Eli learned about European culture, expansion and religion.
Their days are getting much quicker with BJU. I don't know if it's just that they're used to how the program works now or what, but almost every day this week, they were both done by 12! We do begin at 8-8:30 in the morning, and they work until lunch. After lunch, they usually have another hour or two of schoolwork, but this week, they were both finished.

How was your week?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Doritos" - a poem by Eli

Eli, my 7th grader, had an assignment in his Writing and Grammar course today. He was to write a poem from prose. He kind of missed the mark on this one, but it was such a funny poem, I wanted to share it. I hope it brings a smile to your face today.

My favorite chip I'll speak of today
They're so delicious in a cheesy way.
They are the chips for the athletic pros,
Oh how I love you, Doritos!
My favorite flavor is nacho cheese,
Gimme, gimme, gimmie, pretty please!
And now only at Taco Bell,
you can get them like a taco, that's very swell!
You can get them at the store in three different sizes.
When you throw them in your mouth, it's like flavor prizes.
There's one little problem, and that is when
there's no more left and you scream then,
"Sme hent rocaustran mephan trouk"
Oh please don't curse!
There's more in your mama's purse!
See this is a time to keep your mouth closed
because I will say "All Hail Doritos!"
by Eli Russell