Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stick Figuring Through The Bible

Today I'm sharing with you one of my favorite finds for parents of young children. It's called "Stick Figuring Through the Bible," from Grapevine Studies, and it's a great way for children to begin making a bible timeline of their own. This is not just for home schoolers! It's for any parent or bible class teacher who is reading through the bible (or a bible story book) with their kids.

It's amazingly simple and a great way for children to begin visualizing the story of the bible as a whole. Here is a peek at the first few pages of my son's timeline...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Most Fabulous Timeline Notebook, EVER!!!

Timelines are great when learning world history! There are several ways to make one... some people have them pasted onto a huge wall... my sister-law has her kids make note cards that are put into a baseball card album... and others make note cards and file them in order. I like having a timeline notebook. We started out with Charlotte Mason's Basic Book of Centuries, which is free. But we recently upgraded to the Record of Time timeline notebook, which is absolutely lovely!! 

And my sister-in-law gave me a copy of the History Through the Ages Collection CD which is just fabulous. It's a collection of impressively-drawn black-and-white images to print and paste into your timeline notebook. You can use the image alone, or the image with text (including date and a short description). You can print them large (for use on a wall) or small (for use on index cards, flash cards, or pasted into a timeline notebook). I LOVE IT! Here's a peek inside our timeline notebook...

I love seeing how bible characters line up with the rest of world history. The same artist who sketched all the timeline images also produced the Record of Time notebook so they work perfectly together. She even has the dates spaced according to how much you'd be putting on each page. At  first it was hard for me to let go of each page being an even increment of time (as in the book of centuries), but I quickly realized that a book of centuries is a little tricky with the really ancient dates since you can't pin down the most ancient people and events to a specific century. It's easier to place them into a larger increment of time. And besides that, our book of centuries had lots of empty pages/centuries throughout the first couple thousand years. The Record of Time book is spaced in a way that all the printable figures will fit, and you don't have huge gaps of empty pages. So the first couple pages have a thousand years per page, then it "slows down" to spacing every 500 years, then down to 100 years, 50, 10, and even down to five. This way as we progress through time into years about which we know much more history, there is plenty of space to paste in the appropriate figures. Did I mention that I love it? 

It should come as no surprise that this marvelous resource was made by a home school mom. Her name is Amy Pack and you can read about her and see some of her other products on her website, Homeschool in the Woods

Thank you Amy for this wonderful resource!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Movie Screening for Kids

Did you know there are some good websites that help you make a more informed decision on what movies to let your kids watch? 

Here are some of the top sites for movie ratings and reviews for families...
  • Screen it: very thorough entertainment reviews for parents (they offer a paid subscription, but you can use it for free- just scroll to the bottom of the page & check no thanks) 
  • Kids in Mind: movie ratings that actually work 
  • Plugged In: shining a light on the world of popular entertainment 
  • Dove: family approved videos, DVDs, and movies 
  • IMDb: The Internet Movie Database 

Happy Family Movie Night! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Favorite Resources and Links for Essential Oil Users

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about essential oils, click here! And if you'd like to find out how to get quality oils at wholesale price, click here.

If you are already using Young Living Oils in your home, or you just ordered your starter kit, this post is for you! 

How to Use your Essential Oils

I found an incredibly useful book that I'd highly recommend to anyone who signs up to buy essential oils, so they know how to use them! It's called  Reference Guide for Essential Oils. It is a comprehensive introduction to using your essential oils, and a must-have on your book shelf! As one reviewer put it,  "think of it as a family medical book for essential oils." The book has three main uses:
1. To learn the science and application of the oils
2. To look up individual oils and learn all about each one
3. To browse the personal care guide, allowing you to look up a particular use (like disinfectant) or ailment (like congestion) and find out which oils are most beneficial.

Also sure to download this free printable to get you started: 110 Uses for the Everyday Oils Kit

Sites to bookmark & visit as needed:

Printable resources for hosting an essential oils class:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Easiest DIY Batman Cape

Check out this happy little Bat Man!!!

I made the cape using my husband's too-small, 20-year-old Bat Man shirt. I never understood why he didn't get rid of it, since it's too small. But apparently it was meant for the greatness of a certain four-year-old Bat Man fan! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Visualize World Geography Review

Over the school last year, we've been using Visualize World Geography, which is really unique program that utilizes pictography to help you mentally map and memorize all the countries in the world. You know how you can always find Italy because it looks like a boot? Well, this program has pictographs for every country in the world, and you learn them by watching a video for about 10 minutes per lesson. The official site has more info, video samples and testimonials for you to get a better grasp of the program. We saw it at our home school convention and loved it. Kindergarteners have used it. College students have used it. It is for anyone of any age who wants to memorize every country's location. Older students may take the entire course (learning every country in the world) in a year, but since we are using it at elementary level we only did the 20 lessons over Africa this year, with review days in-between. Next year we'll use it to learn countries in the Middle East. It's flexible like that. I will warn you that it is not cheap. But... we will be using this for all our kids over the course of many years.

So after using it this year, here's my take on it...

The good:

  • The kids like it!
  • It works! 

The not-as-good:

  • The DVD's are not professionally made. The actors are high schoolers and the video quality is, well, not exactly fabulous. 

I'm glad we purchased this program because my kids are learning to locate the countries. Just from casually joining in when he feels like it, my three year old can locate more countries now than I could locate in college! That says a lot. My kids aren't old enough to be horrified by the video quality (or lack thereof), but they ARE learning their countries happily and painlessly and that is worth a LOT! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Glass Etching

Have you ever tried glass etching? It's a super easy way to add a touch of cuteness to any glass or mirror, and it's a great way to personalize cheap, plain glass. Think drinking glasses, vases, serving bowls, candle holders, mirrors, even pyrex dishes! 

Here's a candles & mirror set I made my mom: