Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kelly Kits for Christmas

Being a homeschool mom planning is a major marker of a successful day. My children love being creative but sometimes what I plan is not enough or I don’t want to get out the messy art stuff (even though it is my favorite) because we are in tight quarters right now. The best solution I have found is to use Kelly Kits. You have 2 options to choose from: The Monthly Delivered Art Subscription is a prepackaged kit in one of the five art disciplines with enough materials to complete one art lesson. Gift Packs are prepackaged kits that contain enough supplies for 2 children to complete 5 activities.

I think we will be so happy using this as our art curriculum for the rest of this year because it is all planned and I do not have to go searching for supplies which means we will be doing more fun stuff!

From the site
    “Kelly Kits encourage art play using a wide variety of creative tools & materials beyond what coloring books can offer and are the perfect holiday gift for your creative kiddo!  For 72 hours only Kelly Kits is having a site wide sale where all products are 10% off!  Get your favorite little artist a years worth of art kits or a special gift pack with 5 activities that explore the five discipline of art:  Drawing, Painting, Print Making, Collage & Sculpting!”

Right now Kelly Kits is having a couple of great promotions. Check them out HERE






You can follow Kelly Kits on FB HERE

Have creative Holiday everybody!


Monday, June 18, 2012

My First Guest Post

Over at So you Call Yourself a Homeschooler Carlie is hosting a summer series on homeschool methods and approaches and I am so excited to be a guest poster. I am writing about how Charlotte Mason has influenced our schooling and how we are using her methods in our home. I hope you take the time to visit and read all the posts by clicking the button below.

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Simple Woman’s Daybook 06/15/2012


The Simple Woman's Daybook
Outside my window...Warm, still and clear...
I am thinking...I should have woken up earlier…
I am thankful children and being able to teach them…
From the kitchen...lunch being prepared…
I am wearing...jeans and a gray tank…
I am scrapbook layouts…

I am going…to the library later today… 
I am reading…Engaging The Prodigal… 
I am oldest son enjoyed his stay at camp this past week…
I am hearing…my middle son reading By the Great Horn Spoon

Around the daughter’s toys are strewn about…

One of my favorite things...waking up early and feeling awake instead of wanting to crawl right back under the blankets…

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Packing up books from this year and beginning to plan for our new curriculum… 
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Summer School


Saturday, June 09, 2012

A New Endeavor

Ever since I was introduced to scrapbooking I have been in love. I even became a Stampin Up consultant and enjoyed it immensely. Storage was a problem and so I began looking at digital scrapbooking but never really felt drawn to it. Now that I have a good digital camera I began looking more seriously.

After seeing a few freebie sets put out by others and asking about what is the easiest and most cost effective product, I decided on Photoshop Elements 10, which I received this past Mother’s Day from my awesome family. I am still learning but have realized designing Digiscrap sets really isn’t all that difficult for me. So, here is my first attempt:


So, what do you think? Four papers with a slight shimmer and great texture. I am thinking after much practice that I may even make sets to sell. I would love comments on improvements, tutorials, pricing suggestions, and how to get started. If enough of you like these papers I’ll post them on here for free.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Heritage History~TOS Review

As a homeschool family we own a lot of books both in physical and e-book format. I try to purchase physical books whenever possible but with hubby out of work for a year and a move to a much smaller space that has been cut back this year. Not to mention I am beginning to run out of book shelves. I was so grateful to be chosen to review Heritage History’s Classical Curriculum-Young Reader’s Library.
From the Website:
“The Heritage Classical Curriculum is the easiest, least expensive, and most enjoyable way to learn traditional history. Our "living books" reading program uses narrative histories that were popular with young people of earlier generations and features books of interest to students of all ages.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Write Shop ~ TOS Review

I love to write and so does my husband. I write poetry, short stories, pretty much whatever comes to mind while my dearest writes things of a more technical nature. This has not been the case with our 2 oldest sons.
While the 16 y/o will at least put pencil to paper and write something when required, the 9 y/o will balk and whine. Not a happy school day when that happens let me tell you. To his credit he has dysgraphia which makes writing painful and difficult for him. To combat this we began with minimal writing for him, focusing on penmanship and how to get the letters to flow. Slowly we have increased his workload to include more writing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judah Bible Curriculum ~ TOS Review

One of the places we really struggle in our day to day school life and outside of school as well, is remembering to work on and implement Godly character. I think this is probably the most important thing we as homeschoolers should be working on but for some reason it is always the first thing to let slip when things get crazy. We recently decided to cut back and simplify to really focus on this.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Homeschool Library Builder ~ TOS Review

I am so happy to have been introduced to a wonderful homeschool resource recently. Homeschool Library Builder is a company that helps homeschoolers build their libraries at a very affordable price. Run by two homeschool families, HSLB has an amazing free membership that enables you to earn free books with their book rewards program, newsletters with lesson plans and monthly specials, sell your products in their marketplace, and help support Compassion International.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ring Around The ABC’s…

My daughter turned 3 about a month ago and she is forever asking to do school. However, her idea of school is more organic than mine. She is completely happy to jump around while counting or doing the alphabet but me being me I try to teach her. What? She is having none of that, thank you very much!
In order to try and get her engaged in learning the alphabet in order, which I admit in the grand scheme of things doesn’t really matter, I decided to make it a game. She LOVES games! I took the first 6 letters and wrote them on 6 pieces of construction paper (5 3/4’ X 9”) of assorted colors. I placed 6 chairs in a back to back fashion (think musical chairs) and put one letter on each chair seat. I played music and when it stopped she had to climb on the nearest chair and tell me what letter she landed on. Apparently all letters were the letter “A” today but she got the idea.IMG_0553

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Called To A Simpler Life

I recently attended the Midwest Parent Educator’s homeschool conference in Kansas City, MO. I had hoped to turn it into a vacation time for my family along with a refreshing of my momma soul. What actually transpired last weekend was instead an amazingly stress filled wonderful blessing. Yeah that strange! Only God could have imagined this one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012 & Giveaway

I would like to invite you all to join me at the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom! No need to get a sitter the party comes right to your house.
Ultimate Blog Party 2012

AIMS Fabulous Fractions~TOS Review


The latest item I have been reviewing is one that many can relate to. Having a child struggle with math and/or science can put us moms in a hard place. That is why I was so glad to get a chance to review Fabulous Fractions from AIMS Hands on Math and Science. Fractions just seem to be a really difficult concept for most people including myself. This activity book is really useful in helping your child “see” the relationships in fractions.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TruthQuest History ~ TOS Review


We love history here at Miskatonic Prep. Well, all right maybe that is a slight exaggeration (or just wishful thinking on my part), but we do thoroughly enjoy learning about history. We use Charlotte Mason’s methodology of living books so much of our studying is done in the context of sitting down with a good book.


Monday, April 09, 2012

Midwest Parent Educators Conference

Mrs. Mandy’s Musings will be attending the MPE Conference in Kansas City, MO April 20-21.

I am very excited to meet some new friends and if any of you will be there please let me know so we can stop by and say Howdy!



Saturday, April 07, 2012

How do you renew?

When I first began home schooling my children it was just my two boys and I was pregnant with our daughter. That was three years ago. Today we have a teen, preteen, toddler, and another newborn. I never thought I would be pulled in so many different directions. Don’t get me wrong, I love homeschooling our children and look forward to when the Lord blesses us with more.

Somewhere in all I this I realize a need to gather with other like minded mommas. Do you know how hard it is to relate to everyone else?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Amazing Animals by Design ~ TOS Review

Good books that teach my young children about our Lord are always a much needed resource at our home. I am just never sure how over their heads my explanations are, plus I can not convey in words what illustrations can in cute, adorable, and beautiful artwork. Fellow TOS Crew member Debra Haagen, created just such a book when she penned Amazing Animals By Design. You can check out her author site, Debra Haagen, to learn more about her.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Action Alert ~ TOS Review


As a mother I am always aware of the dangers of the internet for my children. I know most of the things my children view are innocent enough but with social media becoming so prevalent in our society it is nearly impossible to keep everything clean. Our family sets rules that keep our children off the internet until they are of an age where they can self monitor what is appropriate and not. We train them in Biblical principles so they know what constitutes sin in this area. Even this vigilance is not going to always keep them safe from everything, however. Action Alert internet safety is one way to keep a constant watch over our children.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Progeny Press Study Guides ~ TOS Review


I am an avid reader but my children, while they enjoy reading to an extent, do not share my passion. In an attempt to help them get the most out of the literature we chose last year we decided to take a couple weeks to really focus on 1 or 2 books. I had decided to use Progeny Press Study Guides. This year I was given a chance to use one of their high school guides and to check out their new interactive PDF formats. All of the study guides are now available in this new format which allows the student to type in the answers directly in the PDF document.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Art of Argument~TOS Review


I have to say I never thought I would be teaching Logic to my high schooler when we began thinking about homeschooling. Lately, however, my wise husband and I have been discussing our children’s need to be able to clearly and effectively get their point across. Things like Speech, Debate, and Logic have been tossed around. When I got the opportunity to review a Logic course from Classical Academic Press I was grateful.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TOS Review ~ Creek Edge Press Earth & Space Science Task Cards


LogoCEPDo you ever have those moments where the day is just what you imagined homeschooling was going to be like. You know way back before reality set in. I have to admit I do, but it is not the norm around our chaotic, happy, loud, messy house. Often we are struggling to get everything finished on time and trying to maintain sanity amid multiple meltdowns over various things from any one (or more of the children). I have recently experienced many more of these perfect homeschool days, however. You wouldn’t think that, considering I just had a baby 2 weeks ago and my dear husband is training with the military in another state, but Creek Edge Press has made it possible. I am so grateful for this resource since it has most likely saved my family from extinction.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Science for the not so scientific


Cruise post goes live every Tuesday

I thought since my blogging has been a bit review oriented lately, what with being pregnant and exhausted and all, I would join the TOS Blog Cruise and talk about what our favorite Science resource is this year. I am by no means a science person, I much more prefer History, Art, and Language Arts. Yes I do know that makes me strange. I understand the need for my children to be taught Science and taught well.

Monday, March 05, 2012

K5 Learning ~ TOS Review


I am always looking for a way to allow my kids to have fun while learning. They are huge into video games and so online learning websites really appeal to us. We had a chance to review K5Learning, an online math and reading enrichment program for k-5th grade.


There are 4 components to the program:

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Reading Eggs ~ TOS Review



I recently began trying to teach my 3 y/o daughter her alphabet and it really has been hit or miss. She never wants to stick with one letter long and tends to not want to work on the activities I set out. So far it is all play and we are ok with that but I want to begin a more structured lesson with her. It has been a struggle with her resistant and me frustrated. Lucky for me I was given the chance to check out Reading Eggs.

Friday, March 02, 2012

All About Reading Level 1~TOS Review


The one thing I always worry about with each of my children and being a homeschool mom is whether or not I will do an adequate job teaching them to read, and read well. I tend to be a perfectionist and scripted lessons are ideal so I can adjust what I need to, yet still feel I have a solid grasp on what I am teaching since I have no teaching experience other than what I learned in college ages ago. All About Reading Level 1 fits this so well for me.


TOS Review ~ Beeyoutiful Skin Care



I have to tell you about something that has been a true life saver for me. You see I just gave birth to my fourth child and have some pretty sore back muscles. I received a product from Beeyoutiful health and skin care called Ow!-Ease which is meant to relieve the pain of bruising, strains and similar ailments.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Apologia Who Am I~TOS Review


Last year I was blessed to be able to review the first volume of Apologia Press’s new line of worldview curriculum, What We Believe series . You may read that review by clicking here Who Is God. This year when I had the chance to review the second volume I was thrilled to say the least. Who Am I is everything I expected and more. This time I received not only the textbook but also the MP3 audio CD, coloring book, and journal. I am blown away by the company’s generosity.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks ~ Early Learning Review

Recently my daughter has been asking to do school which has me thrilled beyond belief. My problem is that she is not yet 3 and I firmly believe structured school time for her is better late than early. I am familiar with lapbooks and having done a few with my boys decided to pull their old ones out for her to look at. She was hooked and began asking for her own books.


I found some free ones online and while they were ok I really wanted one that could become her Pre-K book. I looked for something that had colors, numbers, letters, shapes, basically one we could do a bit at a time and it would last us a long time. I was having trouble so I asked my trusty fellow homeschool moms and was directed to a new-to-me-resource, A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Choose Virtues~TOS Review


One of the important reasons we decided to homeschool was to combat all the bad attitudes/behavior our children were bringing home from traditional school. I began realizing even my youngest at the time in kindergarten was coming home with nastiness in his heart. It only took a short while for us to implement a study on Christian virtues.

While this is something I have always planned myself I often wondered if there was a really good curriculum out there that would be already planned out for me. It turns out there is some wonderful plans out, one of which I recently had the pleasure of checking out myself.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maestro Classics ~ TOS Review


Have you ever tried incorporating classical music into your children’s school? It is something we try to add in each year and each year it just kind of gets put on the back burner. It just seems like we lose steam trying to pull together resources on the time period, composer, and pieces. If you are finding this to be the case with your attempts I am so excited to tell you about an amazing resource that takes all the work out of learning classical music.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Home School Spanish ~ TOS Review


We were contemplating our choices for next years foreign language studies since my teen will be doing his first of two high school credits. He has tossed around the idea of either Japanese or Spanish, so we were blessed to have an opportunity to review a very good Spanish curriculum geared especially to home schoolers called R.E.A.L. Home School Spanish.

I have always wanted to learn Spanish myself but never thought I could teach it unless I did. R.E.A.L. Home School Spanish is a very simple approach to learning a foreign language. In fact R.E.A.L. stands for RELAX, ENJOY, ASPIRE, LEARN SPANISH. sounded like something I could do but would it be enough for my teen.



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