Thursday, September 29, 2011

Aletheia ~ TOS Review


As a homeschool parent who loves to write I often wonder if my children will pick up my love for writing poetry or perhaps branch out into novels or short stories. I love seeing young people get published but I had never been aware of a publication that makes it easy for homeschools to do so. I had the opportunity to get acquainted with a magazine that does just that, Aletheia.


Aletheia is a Christian magazine for teens 13-19, and while not specifically aimed at homeschool writers does feature many pieces written by them.

My oldest is a great writer but does not like writing himself. He does enjoy animation and video games so when he grabbed the magazine and disappeared with it on numerous occasions I knew this was a good thing.

He finally let me read it and I loved the stories and articles, but my favorite feature was the photos that accompanied the writings. All of my children love taking pictures and this was a great opportunity for them to have a goal with their hobby.

Aletheia cover page

I think the only complaint from my son was that he would like the writings to be organized into sections. I think he is just logical like that, so for him all the poems should be together, all the short stories together, articles together, you get the idea. While this might be good for my Aspie it is in no way a problem with the magazine. I personally thought the layout was good.

A subscription is 4 issues quarterly at $26/year and guess what shipping and handling FREE!


You can view a sample of their Spring 2011 issue here.

Please click the TOS banner at the top of this post to read what other Crew members thought about this magazine.


Disclosure: I received the Fall issue of the above publication in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week In Review–9/16

Bigger Unit 4









Math-learning 3 digit addition and subtraction





Art-Indian blanket




History-learning how explorers and American Indians used the barter/trade system



Geography-Graham Cracker Continents








Narration- Copying the main idea









Science-evaporation of salt vs. fresh water



CTC Unit 3 & 4


History project


Poetry week 3






History Notebooking Week 3





Poetry Week 4




History Notebooking Week 4




Obviously this is more than just one week. I decided to let C-man off this week and work one on one with B-rad to fix some kinks in scheduling and where and how to do certain work. I am hoping it sticks and he remembers what we discussed so he doesn’t have so much to re-do. We really didn’t have a method for his bible study, extension, and storytime narrations and he needed to be more in depth with some others.

So now both boys will be working on the same week from now on (unless we need to do some later adjusting). I would have posted this last week with just week 3 CTC and week 4 Bigger but this way my posts will match what we are actually working on!

I also wanted to mention how much I am loving HOD. My absolute favorite thing is that my hubby can quite literally walk in and take over classes, which since this pregnancy is a bit harder on me than previous ones helps soooo much! I Red heart HOD


Thursday, September 22, 2011

AIMS Getting Into Geometry ~ TOS Review


Recently I had the chance to review a product from the AIMS Education Foundation. AIMS stands for Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science and is a non-profit publisher of hands-on instructional materials that build conceptual understanding. Beginning with a grant in 1981 from the National Science Foundation AIMS Education Foundation set out to make math and science fun and exciting to students through their materials, and help educators gain expertise in teaching math and science through their sponsorship of a national professional development program.


I was so glad to get this particular book, Getting Into Geometry, which is geared toward grades K-1, because I have a 30 month old daughter who is chomping at the bit to do school. The layout of this book is in 3 sections, lesson plans, games, and literature selections. I love that the lesson section can be used in any order you like, for example the section on 2D shapes has a number of activities you can choose from. The games reinforce the lessons in a fun and laid back way. The literature selections section has many books that are great for children to enjoy as a read aloud over and over.


Each lesson has a topic, key question and learning goal, materials list, and for those of us that like to check things off standards and topics met in the lesson. Any needed background information and prep work is noted, and the procedure is step by step for easy implementation. Most lessons have more than one activity that can be done using the materials and concludes with a list of learning connections. After each lesson is a copy master for the materials needed for the lesson work, however a CD is provided with a PDF of each lessons printables.

We loved how easy it was to use and how the CD was provided so I could just print out what we needed at the time. I am very excited to use this full time with my youngest as she gets older and is better able to fully attend to the lessons. Each lesson was so simple and the materials needed were on hand and fun to use. For a hands on math you can’t do better than AIMS.

You can check out the other AIMS titles HERE.

Getting Into Geometry can be purchased for $24.95
Don’t forget to check out the free activities page here for a sample of how the lessons are laid out.

Be sure you visit TOS Blog to check out the reviews on this and other products by AIMS by clicking the TOS Crew banner at the top of this post.


Disclosure: I have received the above product in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation has been received.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Child’s Apron from an Old Towel

I had seen this idea somewhere online before and thought “Oh, that’s looks easy!”  Ummm…yeah if you have a sewing machine that is not possessed and locks up every fifth stitch for no strange reason. I did finally finish my project tonight however and have decided to post pictures so you can try this easy-peasey project for your little one.


1 Hand towel or terry cloth material about 16 in X 24 in


1 piece of 10in X 7in

2 yards of double fold bias tape

Quick Instructions:

  • First measure your child against one short end of the towel and pin where you would like the ties to be placed for the neck.
  • Next measure and pin the long sides where you would like the ties to be at the waist.

Not measured here just to give you an idea of where to pin and cut
Not measured here, just illustrating where to pin and cut.

  • Now take your towel and lay face down on your table. Fold each top corner in toward the center from the pinned top and side this will be your 1/4 inch hem on each side. after sewing trim the extra off.
  • To make the pockets sew your coordinating material with a 1/4in hem all the around, or if you want to save some time sew the long edge that will be the top off the pocket with a 1/4in hem, fold and press the other 3 sides with 1/4in under, center on towel and sew around two sides and the bottom making sure to catch the hem in your stitches. Sewing a straight line down the middle of your pocket will give you 2 pockets.apron3

  • Cut the bias tape into 4 pieces at the length you would like for your ties adding 1 in to each piece. You will turn in the each end of each piece of bias tape 1/4in and sew to give a clean edge to each.
  • Pin your ties to the top and sides 1/2in in from the edge of your towel and sew a square at the end of the tape to attach your ties.

I would suggest stopping and measuring on your child as often as you need to to ensure fit.


Enjoy your new little one’s joy as they help out around the home in their new apron.

I would love to see your finished aprons!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Before Five In A Row ~TOS Review

Since I began homeschooling 3 years ago I discovered our favorite method of learning is through reading living books. With each book our children have a new world opened up before their eyes. I am so excited to begin homeschooling my 30 month old in the same style, reading books with my baby girl is such a joy.
I have a problem trying to figure out just what activities to use to extend the learning with my youngest. I have purchased a couple books and while I really enjoyed the activities in them I felt they lacked the necessary literature aspect. I recently had the opportunity to review Before Five In A Row, an early learning curriculum based on picture books for ages 2-4.
Before Five In A Row is not your typical curriculum for pre-schoolers.  BFIAR is a wonderful resource to gently teach your child all about the world around him. Divided into 2 sections, you can easily do any activity or unit you choose in any order.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week In Review (9/9)

This week was a bit of a struggle as I have not been feeling well and that makes for late starts all around. That, of course, makes for very long days. We did discover Miss D is getting very good at cutting paper, which only a month or so ago she could not even make the scissors open and close, yeah! Both boys have been having fun with their poetry even doing them in Irish and Scottish voices. I am not feeling pressured to “get it all done” which is a huge plus.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Week in Review x 2

I meant to do a week in review each week for each child but already got behind. Nothing new here, right? Moving in with extended family kind of drains you so I am just doing our first 2 weeks at once, I hope you don’t mind all the pictures.
Which reminds me why do we think everyone wants to see our pictures?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New School Pictures

We decided to take first day of the school year pictures every year since we began homeschooling and this years were especially fun. We took it outside this time around and just had fun being cute!


If he would just quit laughing when I take his pic they’d be great. I always here how he won’t smile for others when they try to get his picture but I never have THAT problem it is usually the opposite. So this was the most serious I could get.



He was loving the whole process and posing it up. This one is my favorite shot and he looks so grown up.


  This was another great one but all the bench shots were too sunny to turn out well.






Lil Sis Miss D

She was being such a good sport and even let me do her hair. She was so excited to get her school pictures taken with the boys.












And one of her usual face when I am taking her picture although this one was perfect until I snapped it then she morphed! P8260442

What are some of your First day traditions?


Saturday, September 03, 2011

First Day of School

We started school differently than in past years. I wanted to do something special for the children since this is the first year I am homeschooling all three of them. I had read about another families first day traditions using German schultute, paper cones filled with treats, and thought it was a perfect way to kick off the new year.
I had a bit of a hard time trying to get the poster board to make the right shape but finally with some hot glue made it work. Needless to say I am not an engineer! I filled the cones with small baggies of snacks and single serving kool-aid packets with paper cups and napkins. The children loved them!


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