American History Videos


This is the time of year I start to think of new things to do and learn in our home.

I have really had the desire to start some American History with the kids.  It has been years since we have really dug into and studied the history of our country.

I have the tendency to kind of switch gears at this time of year….I don’t know what it is about late winter/pre-spring but it seems that other homeschoolers in general tend to do this too.  I really like the things we are doing now and don’t really want to switch gears completely I just want to add in some things.

I have been in search of some movies or videos to watch that can give us a visual of past times.  I found this website and wanted to share with you.   It looks like they have tons of videos to watch.  Last night we watched a documentary on the early 1900s.  The name of the video we watched: “Ford’s Mirror of America” It was so fun to watch!

This makes me really wish we didn’t have an internet usage limit.


We are participating in the Apologia Blog roll 2012-13.   The plan is to post some of what we are doing in the Apologia pages found in the tabs above .

Apologia has 6 different subjects at the “elementary level”: Astronomy, Botany, Anatomy and Physiology, and Biology(3 separate books-Swimming Creatures, Land Animals, and Flying Creatures*not pictured)

The texts at the “High School” level are: General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Our 15yo is studying Apologia’s Physical Science this year.  She is really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it.

Apologia, in my opinion, does a fantastic job with their curriculum.  The books are filled with tons of information, plenty of hands-on experiments, activities, great pictures, and they explain things in great detail yet at a level that my kids can understand.  My kids love science!  It is easy for me to use, we work at our own pace, requires very little to no prep time, I can easily add things to our study when I am feeling ambitious and creative.  The “elementary levels” can be used for any type of homeschool approach.

Our 6 yo and 12 yo are studying Botany this year(2012-13).   We have one book that we share-we read it together.  They both have their own Apologia Notebook to use with the curriculum.

Notebooking w/ Apologia:

  • You can either use your own notebooks which is what we did the first year or two, the kids enjoyed designing their own.
  • You also have the option to purchase the Apologia “Notebooks”, which I have found to be worth the money.  Seen above is the Jr version.    This is our first year purchasing the Jr Version for our 6 yo.  He loves it. They have great coloring pages.  We will not be using the entire notebook for him because he isn’t ready for all of what it offers, so I am making copies and placing in a 3-ring binder.    I did not want him to have a notebook that does not look complete at the end.   The other benefit is that we will be able to save the notebook for the next kid/s.
  • Apologia’s website offers free notebooking pages to print off.  Here are the free Botany Notebooking pages

We are not using the curriculum in the order it is written.  We will be using the suggested order for colder climates.

We are currently on lesson 2(seeds).  Our 6 yo enjoyed making a “Sprouting Bean” book that I found on Enchanted to go with our study.  Here are some pics:

These links will allow you to view sample pages of the Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany.

Table of Contents: Apologia_Botany_TableContents

Introduction to Botany:bot_intro

Course Overview: Botany

A sample lesson(lesson 2) this link will give you a good idea of what an Apologia Text(elementary Level) looks like. Botany_sample_lesson_2My Joy-Filled Life

learning about elections

This will be a good week for our family to discuss and learn about elections, US government, etc.  My plan is to have the kids utilize the website.  I have printed, from this site, a “How to Become President of the United States” poster.  I also printed a few coloring sheets for Sam and a word puzzle for Joe.  I will have my them read through some, if not all, of Ben’s Guide.  If you go to this site, notice that there is an age/grade level option above Ben’s chalkboard.

I have printed out the election notebooking activity that we will do this week.

I would also like the kids to take a virtual tour of the White House.

If we have time we will see if there are any good books at the library on the subject…something simple that Sam could understand.

I would love to make a lapbook on this subject but have not done enough prep for that at this point.

I am looking for more ideas to use to teach on this subject…do you have any to share?

Eclectic homeschool, eclectic blogger!

This new blog is the big talk at our house today.  It has taken up quite a bit of time and this is only my 3rd post 🙂  But we are so excited and have so many fun ideas!

Here are a few of the ideas we have brewing for our new blog

Curriculum talk:  Kay, our oldest daughter, loves to teach her 6yr old brother.  Last week she borrowed a bunch of books on castles and medieval times, and chose from our personal library, “The Knight at Dawn”(Magic Treehouse) as a read aloud(she is reading to him).   She is writing her own literature based unit study on medieval times!  All of our kids love to draw.  Joe is drawing a castle to use as a coloring sheet in this unit study.

The kids want to write their own mad libs to share.

The websites we like to use

The different books and curriculums we use.

I would also like us to work on building our own American History Unit Study(Literature based).

A book list

Other talk:  Homeschool topics, homemade products: deodorant, laundry detergent,etc.  Food, nutrition, goat milk, cheese, homemade recipe ideas.  Money saving tips, random tidbit info, dairy goat care, a family comedy comic strip.  Okay…the list of ideas does go on.

We are so excited!

I want to make our posts unique by offering a resource suggestion at the end of my posts(this will most often be a book-did I hear “library!” 🙂 ).  That being said….

Suggestion: Help for the Harried Homeschooler by Christine Field

Love to Read


I was one of those kids that never loved to read.  After I started to have children of my own it was my goal to foster in my children a love for reading, even before I realized that I would one day homeschool.  So… how do you get your kids to love to read?  Number ONE:Read to them!!!  Offer them a variety of books.  Take them to the library.  Read to them.  Let them see you reading.  Read to them. Wait until they have established an enjoyment for reading before you start to require them to read certain books.  Do not stop reading too them.  

As for reading instruction(teaching a child to read) start out slow, simple, and try to make it fun.  Keep it simple and do not let frustration seep into your reading time!!!

Curriculum suggestion: We use Alpha Phonics and Bob Books to teach our kids to read…so far it has worked out great.