Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crew Review: IXL

We don't do alot of formal math as part of our "school time". We DO end up having very interesting conversations about math at other odd times . . . my dad recently was teaching the girls about square roots LOL. However, we do end up sometimes reviewing math products for the Crew. When we were asked to review IXL, MiniMe was acting abit burned out on math and Sassy was seeming to want to keep learning, so I decided to just let her review this one.
IXL approaches math from all angles, so that children of all learning styles can understand math in their "language".  It is an online program for practicing math skills from Pre-K through Algebra.

Since IXL is for practicing math skills it can be used alongside any math curriculum to reinforce the skills learned. However, we don't have a formal math curriculum at this age, so I just turned Sassy loose with it and let her choose the math skills she wanted to work on.

I love the reports IXL sends to the parents each week. It's great to not have to think to go in and check her progress, I get a summary right in my in-box and can click through to the site to see more detail if I want.

IXL Family Reports

IXL Awards and GamesSassy seemed to enjoy earning awards and certificates, and when I'd ask her if she was ready to move on to something else, she'd say "wait, I just have 10 more questions to answer to get my next award!" I think that's a pretty good sign that it works well LOL.  When I asked her what she thought of it, her only "complaint" was that it doesn't TEACH her how to do the math skills she doesn't already know, but obviously, that's not the intent, so we can hardly hold that against it LOL.

You can read about pricing and plans here. In a nutshell, a family membership of up to 3 children is $9.95 per month or $79 per year.

If you're looking for a fun, interactive way for your children to practice the math skills they are learning in other curriculum or through life, this seems like a great option! I love that Sassy enjoyed it, I love that it took essentially NONE of my time, I didn't even have to remember to go check her stats, they sent them to me. I love that one membership can be used for the whole family.

To see what other members of the Schoolhouse Crew thought of this product, and how they used it in their families, check out their reviews, here.


Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are those of myself or my children, as stated.

Weekly Wrap-Up -- June 17

This past week we've been busy getting ready for campmeeting.

Sassy is our breakfast cook this month, so she dove in and made up big batches of Breakfast Cookies and Granola for us to have at campmeeting.

The kittens continue to be a hit.

MiniMe was very happy to have her piano lesson this week, after a couple weeks off because her teacher was on vacation. It's fun to see how much she is loving this.

Sassy's been reviewing a math program (that I need to write the review for).  So it's kind of worked out that MiniMe is reviewing the typing program we have right now. If/when time allows I'd like Sassy to use it some too.  We've also been enjoying reviewing a Bible curriculum, and of course, continue to enjoy reading tons of fun books for history.

We also had our end-of-the-year evaluation for homeschooling. One of our state's (many) requirements for homeschoolers is to have an evaluator, meet with the child(ren) and look at samples of their work and such to confirm that they are learning. I'm sooo blessed to have teachers in our local church school who are extremely supportive of homeschooling, so one of them kindly did our evaluation. The girls adore her, and she has a very hands-on teaching style, so it's a wonderful fit! We've been playing schedule tag, so now that I have her signed letters saying the girls have learned something (LOL), I need to get their portfolios sent in to the state and then get busy with the paperwork for NEXT YEAR (that starts in July), sigh . . . this is when I start muttering about moving to a state with less regulation LOL.

I feel like I'm forgetting some of the stuff we did this week, but that's at least a brief overview. . . .

which leads us to Friday. The plan was to pack things up for campmeeting and a whole bunch of odds & ends that I needed to wrap up.  Unfortunately, I had a bad headache (never had them diagnosed as migraines, but think that's what they are), and pretty much needed to just sit as still as possible, with my eyes closed, and direct traffic.

The girls were AWESOME!! (Granted, THEY are the ones who love campmeeting). They packed up the stuff I asked them to pack, loaded the car, wiped down the table we wanted to have outside at campmeeting. Sassy made tabouli for potluck essentially on her own (I chopped the onions & tomatoes but left her to put it all together and do everything else. . . it occurred to me, Sabbath morning, when it was too late to do anything about it, that I had never even TASTED it to confirm that it was ok. But it was. . . Thankfully by "naptime" my head was starting to feel slightly better so I felt safe to drive while Lina napped. Was honestly perfectly content to sit in bumper to bumper traffic half the way there, it only one lane each direction so none of the stressful lane jumping that makes me nervous in interstate bumper-to-bumper, and meant I could safely lean my head back and rest my eyes for 1/2 a second every so often because I was stopped. . . Got up there and was to the point of functioning, slower than usual, but functioning. Still, MiniMe put away all the refrigerated/frozen food, both girls unpacked and put away their own clothes . . . they did a good job of proving that when they need to, they ARE responsible and capable, now to translate that into day-to-day, non-crisis mode life :)

They are enjoying campmeeting as always. Little Bit isn't so sure . . . we shall see how she does as the week progresses :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crew Review: Creation Illustrated


I love the idea of magazines, and I personally enjoy reading them. When they come, I put them somewhere like the car where I can leaf through them when I have a few minutes here or there. But when the girls were younger we had magazine subscriptions a few time and it seemed like reading the magazines to the girls just didn't work well. I kept the magazines we got, and have some in the car that the girls read now, but I'd pretty much written off our family as "not very into magazines". Even so I was happy to get a chance to look at Creation Illustrated, I've seen advertisements for it many times and been tempted . . . 

PhotobucketInstead of giving us a regular subscription, which would, obviously, mean we only got to see one magazine during the review period, Creation Illustrated chose to send an entire year's worth of magazines (4 magazines: Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012) in one bundle so we could see them all. They came and I opened the package and started leafing through the first one. I hadn't really decided whether I'd try to find specific things to read to the girls or how I'd incorporate them into our homeschool, but as I was reading through them to get a feel for them, Sassy found one laying on the bathroom counter, and started reading it herself. She came downstairs all excited about it, and telling me all about the animals she was reading about and really excited about it!! That, of course, got MiniMe excited too, and thankfully where they normally would end up fighting over the magazine, I could pull out the stack and say "look, there are 3 more, you can each choose one!"

A little bit later it was strangely quiet in my house, and I looked out on the porch and found this (the white doll blanket on MiniMe's lap is hiding the kitten she's holding, I guess she thought it was cold or needed darkness for it's nap or something) . . . 

Can't get a much better endorsement than that can you? :)

So, what IS Creation Illustrated? It's a quarterly magazine, published as a private, non-denominational ministry dedicated to sharing Biblical truth through God's creation. You can read the interesting story of how the magazine was started, here.

PhotobucketThe first thing that struck me when I got this magazine was how BEAUTIFUL it is!!! Pictures really just don't do it justice. The paper is thick and glossy and it just feels "rich"! I love it!!!  Each magazine is divided into 3 sections: ". . . In Nature", ". . . In Scripture", and ". . . In Living".  This magazine is a good mixture of informational, but interesting, nature articles, fun stories (after reading the first magazine, Sassy handed it to me and said "You have GOT to read the story about the bunny!"), and, much to my daughters' delight, recipes!! We enjoyed "Mint to be Green Smoothie" for breakfast last week, thanks to these magazines, YUM!!! And of special interest to homeschoolers, there's an "Instructional Guide" near the back. This gives you the option of using comprehension questions, some recommende reading, and activity suggestions to teach your children with this magazine!

What did we do? Well, as I mentioned, I happened to leave it laying around and that's all it took! Since they are loving reading these magazines, I'm more than happy to let them enjoy them fully, and in their own way! I'm happy to help them out by getting the ingredients they need to try recipes, and listening as they excitedly tell me the new things they've learned, to me, THAT is what learning is all about and I'm thrilled to have a great, creation-based, Christian, resources to turn them loose with. As I mentioned above, if you prefer a more structured approach, this magazine makes that easy with the Instructional Guide.

My girls are loving these magazines! I haven't had much chance to read them because the girls keep carrying them off. When I asked them what I should tell other homeschoolers, they said "tell them to buy them!! They're wonderful" Both girls mentioned the recipes, and articles/stories. And perhaps the most telling thing, within about a day of having these, they decided to pool their money and buy their own subscription, I'd say that pretty clearly shows how much they like these magazines!

You can order a 1 year subscription (4 issues) for $19.95. If you're not sure, you can order a free issue here. And, if you're sure you want to order, still, go to this page, and click on the "Pay Now" link, to get $5 off your subscription price.

You can read what other members of the Crew thought here.


Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are those of myself or my children, as stated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up - June 11

Hmmm . . . what DID we do last week?

We played with the Discovery Scope. We played with kittens. . . . yeah that took up alot of our week LOL.

Sassy and MiniMe got to go along when Rodney's boss went to get fish for the pond at the office. They thought that was pretty cool!

We're reviewing several things right now.

Sassy is reviewing another math program (long story short, it had gotten set up for one student, and since I knew they were kind of burned out on math anyway, I decided to just have Sassy, who's shown more interest in math recently) do it, rather than go to the hassle of figuring out how to add an additional student)

We're reviewing a typing program.

I was all set to start our "new year" of Bible, but then we got a chance to review a Bible curriculum, so we're reviewing it before starting the "new year".

So that, combined with our on-going history, and of course, the discovery scope, has kept us busy.

Little Bit continues to enjoy her "school", and asks for it often.  Her new thing is to finally start enjoying being read to. It's never been her thing, but something finally clicked and she's enjoying it now.

We enjoyed a very interesting audiobook for history, but most of the time lately we've been enjoying Adventures in Odyssey tapes in the car.

And I guess that's about it around here . . . a quiet week, which is always nice. Especially when the weather's pretty nice and there are kittens to cuddle :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crew Review: Discovery Scope


I was SOOOO excited when this review opportunity came along, and even MORE excited when I saw my name on the list to actually get to review it!!! My kids love examining all kinds of weird things they find in nature and I just new they'd LOVE this.  So what is this?  THIS is the Discovery Scope!!!

scope1It is a hand-held wide-field microscope.  It's SMALL, and LIGHTWEIGHT!! I can literally throw this in my purse and have it with me (if I could get it away from my kids long enough to PUT it in my purse). This is something that can come with us when we travel, it can even come with us when we go to the playground, or to a national park or . . . ANYWHERE!   We received the Basic Kit which includes the discovery scope and several accessories for looking at various things.  In the last few weeks we have looked at kitten ears and paws, our clothes (seriously, Sassy was fascinated with the close-up look at the weave of her dress one day in the car), mushrooms, bugs, leaves . . . I lost track, and half the time they were dragging it off with them into the woods or wherever so I didn't even get in on the fun.

The site says this is easy-to-use for ages 6 and up. I definitely agree that it is easy to use for kids and adults, I think, with a little more help, it could probably be used even younger. I don't THINK Little Bit (just past 3) could quite get the knack of looking at things, though she oooh'd and ahhhh'd when her sisters let her look at things they were raving about, but I think in another year or so, she'll be fighting for her own chance at it.

This is an amazing product for homeschoolers of all learning styles (well, I suppose if you absolutely forbid your children to ever do anything hands-on or lab-oriented, but I don't know of anyone like that) and if you don't homeschool, what better thing to keep your children entertained all summer while they're not in school? For that matter, even if you don't have kids, or your kids are grown, YOU will love this too!!

The Basic Kit that we received is $40.  For $15 more you can get the Naturalist Kit that includes a (very cool looking, in my opinion) case to keep everything in.  There are also a variety of Accessories, and a guide book and camera adapter in their Misc category.

I originally planned to snap a few pictures of the girls bent over the Discovery Scope looking at things, but then other members of the Crew started talking about the really cool pictures they were managing to take using their iPhones, and 4+ hands (in other words, they have older children and/or children who SIT STILL enough to hold the Discovery Scope really still while they took the picture), so I didn't bother. I always recommend reading the other reviews, but this time, SERIOUSLY!! Go read the other reviews!! Even if I've completely 100% convinced you to buy (or not buy) this product, go read the other reviews because some of them have some really cool pictures!!! And then wait until next Friday when ALL the reviews should be posted, and go back again and read the reviews you missed, there are some AMAZING pictures! My favorite is the video of the snail!! You can see all the reviews here.


Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are those of myself or my children, as stated.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tot School - More Letter Fun

Little Bit is 38 mo old

With everything else that's been going on I haven't managed to write a post every week about Little Bit's "Letter of the Week" activities. Suffice it to say that we've been doing similar things for each letter, and this week we are on G (we skipped the week we were at my parents' house and . . . maybe one other one? I don't remember now).  She is LOVING it and has taken to pointing out letters on random signs, books, etc. "That's a letter we learned about".  The "bean  bin" (or this week, the "green bin" (with green split peas) continues to be a huge hit.  I thought I'd share a couple random pictures I've taken over the last several weeks and then hopefully get back to weekly, more detailed, posts . . . oh who are we kidding, campmeeting is coming, I won't manage weekly, more detailed, posts for a few more weeks.

Cutting and gluing.  She LOVES this!! She gets to cut out the animals (just straight lines around the pictures) and then glues them onto a pattern of the week's letter.

Another fun activity that gets more fun each week. We keep adding new "roads" to our collection as we add letters and she drives matchbox cars, as well as having various plastic animals and/or squinkies walk on the "roads".

You can see what other tots are doing here.

Book Review: Pursuit of Proverbs 31 by Amy Bayliss

As part of the CWA Review Crew I had the opportunity to review Pursuit of Proverbs 31, by Amy Bayliss.

In this book, Amy takes a new look at the Proverbs 31 woman, dispelling the myths and showing that God isn't interested in our works, but in our relationship with Him.

This book has a format similar to many devotionals, with recommendations to read scripture, and suggested questions to consider and actions to take at the end of each chapter.

My initial thought, upon receiving this book, and seeing the layout, was to use it for my morning devotions. What I discovered was, as a busy mom of little ones, the chapters were too long to fully digest a full chapter each morning. So I slowed down, and was enjoying reading just a portion of each chapter each morning until I realized that I wasn't going to finish the book in the time allotted for the review. So, I finished reading the book straight through, without taking time to read all the suggested scripture passages or truly digest the end-of-chapter thoughts. I plan to revisit this book at my own pace, for morning devotions, in the near future.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I find the title somewhat misleading. The references to Proverbs 31 are pretty much just at the beginning. If you are looking for an in-depth look at Proverbs 31, or a verse-by-verse (or topic-by-topic) study, this isn't it. This is a book that points out, at the beginning, some of the misunderstandings about, and misapplications of, Proverbs 31. The rest of the book is really just a book focusing in what our priorities, as Christian women, should be. If that's what you're looking for, this is a great book!

I especially like the reminders to pray, and what to pray for, at the beginning of each chapter and the section at the end of each chapter that includes "Focused Thoughts", a memory verse, and then suggestions of ways to implement what the chapter has been discussing.

You can purchase the Kindle version of this book here or a .pdf version here.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Maryland/West Virginia Field Trips, continued

I'm finally finding a few minutes to finish telling you about our field trips while we were visiting my parents last month. You can see this post for the first several field trips of our trip.

Monday was a rainy day, so we decided to do a couple of shorter, indoor field trips.  First we headed to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. My parents have a membership that's about to expire, and all 3 girls love it, so we wanted to visit one more time before the membership expires.

By far, the favorite thing at this museum for all 3 girls, is the caboose that you can go inside. They love "playing house" in there, pretending to cook on the small cookstove, etc.

Little Bit is finally big enough to climb up to the upper seats all by herself, so she had great fun climbing up and down over and over and over.

The big girls, my dad, and I enjoyed a steam engine tour that explained how steam engines worked, while Little Bit and Mama played in the toddler area, which would have been more fun if someone hadn't walked off with all but one of the trains at the Thomas Train train table. Oh well, Little Bit's pretty good at creating her own entertainment LOL.

After we left the railroad museum, we head to Brookside Gardens and their annual "Wings of Fancy" live butterfly display.  We've visited this display most years since the twins were a couple months old (somewhere I have pictures of mom and I sitting on a bench holding 2 sleeping babies). This year we hit the PERFECT weather! It was warm enough that the butterflies were super active, but overcast, which made it not so unbearably hot for us warm-blooded types.

Little Bit was napping when we got there, so I stayed in the car with her while Mama & Papa took the big girls in. When Little Bit woke up and we went on in, we discovered this gorgeous blue butterfly had landed on MiniMe, so I managed to snap a picture before it flew off. What's cool is that we've wanted a picture of this particular type of butterfly with it's wings open for YEARS, but never managed to get one. The butterfly is a boring brown when it's wings are closed, so it's fun to finally have a picture of that brilliant blue!

Sassy wanted in the WORST way for a butterfly to land on HER, but for some reason, MiniMe was the butterfly magnet this year.

Finally, dad found a hurt butterfly that he was able to carefully pick up and put on her shoulder, so we at least got a picture of her with a butterfly LOL.

Little Bit was SOOOO excited to see all the butterflies flying around when we went in. She actually tried (for about 2 seconds) to sit still so a butterfly would land on her, needless to say, it didn't work LOL.

Little Bit was interested in the "touch table" where they have some of the dead butterflies for the kids to touch and look at with a magnifying glass and such.

So Monday was a busy, but fun day for all of us.

Our plan was to just stay home on Tuesday and recuperate from all the running around. But then when we looked at weather reports, we decided that it made more sense to go to Harpers Ferry on Tuesday morning, and stay home on Wednesday.

So, Tuesday we headed over to Harpers Ferry. John Brown's raid isn't something we've ever really learned about, but usually the Junior Ranger programs are designed such that they do a good job of "teaching" about the events surrounding a site all on their own.  Unfortunately, that's not the case with the Harpers Ferry one.

One thing we REALLY liked about the Harpers Ferry Junior Ranger program is that, instead of being age-specific, it allows everyone to earn up to THREE badges, depending how much they're willing to do. If you do all of one color's activities in the book, you get the Apprenticeship badge, if you add the next color, you get Journeyman, and if you finish off the entire book, you get Master. More badges is always a good thing.

Things I wasn't so fond of: (1) a growing trend seems to be to require the children to do ALL of the activities in the book. This really frustrates me because it means that we have to waste spend a good portion of our time at the park doing things that I consider "busy work".  I'd much rather they be doing scavenger hunts or asking rangers questions than doing a word search or even a cross-word puzzle (at least a cross-word puzzle DOES require them to learn about the topic, but it's not ideal for their learning style).  That is really why we ended up not learning much of anything about John Brown's raid  after spending several hours in Historic Harpers Ferry, they spent most of the time we were there sitting on a bench filling in "workbook pages".  (2) another time consuming thing that I felt didn't add to their learning about Harpers Ferry was an activity that required us to go to the C&O Canal. We LOVE the canal, HOWEVER, we already HAVE the C&O Canal Junior Ranger badge. The wording led me to believe that we only had to do that one IF we were planning to go to the canal anyway, which, of course, contradicted the wording at the beginning of the book that said to do ALL activities. When I asked the volunteer at the ranger desk, about it, he said "oh the canal's right on the edge of town, it won't take long." Ummm . . . perhaps if it was just me, by myself, on a mission to get the thing done immediately, that would be true. However, "right on the edge of town" was actually across a walking bridge spanning the Potomac river (not the Mississippi, but not a stream either) and down a ton of steps at the other side of the river and then, of course, find all the things the bingo thing required us to find, and draw the picture it required us to draw (that's what Sassy's doing in this picture) it's pointless to do any of this if we don't actually ENJOY it, and they're KIDS, so they wanted to explore things, and really, once we hiked all the way over there, we might as well explore things so we probably spent close to an hour of our time at Harpers Ferry fulfilling that ONE Junior Ranger requirement that had NOTHING to do with historic Harpers Ferry! (yes, I was rather annoyed by that).

So anyway, the girls had a good time, and earned two badges, so I guess the day was a success. And we're getting ready to learn about the Civil War on our own, and Harpers Ferry is pretty close to my parents' house so we can go back. So the plan is to learn about the raid, and THEN go back to Harpers Ferry and finish up the 3rd badge, and make sure we actually learn about the history of Harpers Ferry even if the Junior Ranger doesn't "teach" us.

It will work out fine for us, but if you don't live in the area and only have one shot at visiting Harpers Ferry I would highly recommend either skipping the Junior Ranger altogether, or make sure the children know the basic history of the town before you go and then plan to just earn the Apprentice level badge and spend the rest of your time actually visiting the museum and such that we never even got inside. (and if it were me, unless you WANT to see the canal, I'd argue pretty strongly for NOT wasting the time to do that requirement if you have limited time, but I tend to be abit argumentative at times).

And that was our week of field trips. We were exhausted (and, in fact, when the weather ended up looking better on Wednesday and Dad asked about going to Mount Vernon (which had originally been one of our planned trips, but we abandoned it because of the rain), Sassy said no, PLEASE, let's just STAY HOME! LOL. Proof that even my extroverted, super energetic kids can hit a limit on how much "fun" they can handle LOL.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book Review: Babylon's Falling by William G Collins

In Babylon's Falling, William G Collins takes a new look at the story found in the first six chapters of the Old Testament book of Daniel. Mr. Collins combines the Bible's account with fictional details to tell the story of Daniel and his 3 friends as they are taken captive and live in the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar, and later the Medes and Persians.

I'm a big fan of Biblical fiction, and have been studying the book of Daniel during my morning quiet time. So I jumped at the chance to review the Kindle version of this book. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I found it well-written, with enough details to make a good story and not so much as to bog things down. The one thing that bothered me was the fuzzy timeline. It seemed like things happened too close together, or too far apart . . . history and Bible prophesy give us a pretty clear timeline of Daniel's life and I felt that in some places this book deviated from that. The most glaring, to me, was the fact that Daniel returned to Jerusalem, 3+ years after Cyrus' decree, and stated, on his journey back, that he had been gone for 50 years. This contradicts prophesy (and history) stating that the time from the fall of Jerusalem (when Daniel was captured) to Cyrus' decree to rebuild, would be 70 years.

Aside from the fuzzy timeline, I found this to be an interesting, well-written story that I would recommend to those who enjoy this genre.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up - June 5

This past week was quiet compared to some that we've been having lately, nice for a change LOL.

It was VERY quiet at our house on Monday and Tuesday. Rodney took the girls to his mom's house on Monday and didn't bring them home until Tuesday afternoon. I was able to get some paperwork and cleaning done that I'd been putting off, and they all had fun spending time with Grandmom and Aunt Lynette and Uncle Dave.

One of my projects while they were gone was a new re-vamp of our chore chart. One of this year's seminars at the homeschool convention, suggested using clothespins and I did some "tweaking" and came up with a system that is working pretty well for us. Hopefully I'll find time, soon, to give you the details on that.

The girls continue to love playing with all the kittens. And we've had some lovely, cool days that make it a joy to just sit outside cuddling kittens, so they've done quite abit of that :)

Last fall the older girls went with Rodney to his office's "fall clean-up day" and ended up spending part of the day weeding the patio flower beds. In the process, they discovered that there used to be a small pond off the patio, that had been filled in at some point. They convinced the treasurer, who they were helping, that he should clear out the pond and re-do it. So he's been working on that recently. One day last week we went over to the office to see the progress. The people working on it, ended up letting the big girls help with choosing just the right rocks to put on the bottom, they worked out there for quite awhile, then came inside and Mr. Ron showed them various fish on the computer that he was considering, and had them help him calculate how many fish would fit in that sized pond and such. They had fun, and learned some math and stuff.

While the big girls helped build the pond, Little Bit discovered a wall an some stepping stones and spent forever walking, jumping, hopping, etc. back and forth on the wall and stepping stones.

I think I mentioned last week that we'd decided to skip over westward expansion in history to get to the civil war sooner, in keeping with that, we've been learning lots as we read books, and listen to audio stories, about what slavery was like.

We're wrapping up our last bit of Old Testament notebooking for Bible. I was planning to switch to Polished Cornerstones in another week or so, but we're on the list to review another Bible curriculum, so think I'll hold off and we'll use that before starting Polished Cornerstones.

Another current fun review item is a handheld wide-field microscope. The girls are having tons of fun looking at everything from kitten paws to dead bugs to the weave of their clothes :) So plenty of hands-on science is happening here.

Little Bit continues to love her Letter of the Week learning, I need to do a catch-up post on that.

I also haven't forgotten that I still need to do a post about the rest of our "field trips" at Mama and Papa's house.

But for now, that's a quick wrap-up of what we've been doing around here.