Thanksgiving Unit Study for Your Elementary Students (HUGE FREEBIE!)

Thanksgiving Unit Study for Your Elementary Students (HUGE FREEBIE!)

If it’s not apparent by all the fall/Thanksgiving posts on my blog (like this free packet, this printable calendar, and this act of kindness kit), I REALLY LOVE THE FALL SEASON. One of my favorite aspects of fall is obviously the weather. Living in central Alabama means that we deal with insufferable heat and humidity most of the year. We are very much a “2-season” state. Our fall and spring generally area about 2 weeks long, but OH how glorious they are!

Since our fall season is so short, we like to take full advantage and spend as many hours out of doors as possible. Even on 10 acres, my little ones can somehow manage to grow bored with the scenery. I find that a sure-fire way to keep them engaged with exploring nature is to start out by directing, guiding, or employing them in some way. Then, once their creative and observational skills are all fired up, they’re happy to engage with nature and explore on their own for hours at a time.

Read More

Beautiful Feet Books Geography Through Literature Review

As my blog has grown, I’ve had the opportunity to do a few reviews. I’ve learned that it’s important to me that I really LOVE anything that I review. I don’t want to hand out a negative review, but I’m also going to be 100% honest. I’m thankful my caution has paid off, and I’ve received a product for my honest review that I can say I HONESTLY love.

Beautiful Feet Books is known for it’s simple, easy-to-implement, open-and-go curriculum guides combined with exceptional literature. When the books are this perfect, you don’t have to add much to it, especially in the grammar stage.

I chose to use Beautiful Feet Books Geography Through Literature program with both my 6th and 9th grader girls. My oldest daughter already has much geography included in her Tapestry of Grace core curriculum, but I thought it would be wonderful to have an additional “fun” thing to do with her as well. So, aside from our “Lunch Basket” (what we call morning basket), this is the only thing we do all together.

Read More

Hooked on Phonics Review

Hooked on Phonics Review

Hooked on Phonics may be a program that you’ve never really considered before as a homeschool mom. It’s not something that sprang to my mind as I researched various phonics programs for my children. I think I didn’t realize that it is a FULL, solid program, with MANY levels that is just as complete and thorough as any phonics program I’ve seen.

I shared all of my thoughts on Hooked on Phonics over at HomeschoolGiveaways.com, including my honest criticisms as well. I would love for you to head there and check out that review if you haven’t already!

Read More

You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

You've Been S'Mored! FREE Act of Kindness Kit + Preschool Printables (CUTE!!!)

Who doesn’t love smores? Even with gluten, dairy, and corn allergies in our home, we’ve managed to still enjoy them. They’re a fall staple in our home, and we enjoy them immensely. A few years ago, I was thinking about s’mores and had a brainstorm for a random act of kindness. What if we chose several friends whom we love and packed s’more baskets up just for their families?

We decided to do just that! They were extremely popular. We got found out pretty quickly (despite our excellent ninja-skills), but we continued to do them each year. This year will be our 4th year and we are so excited to get them packed up and ding-dong-ditch them next week!

Read More

Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

Give Your Family a November to Remember! {FREE Calendar + Ebooklet}

I am so so so excited that you have found Thanks-GIVING For Your Whole Family! The fall months and the holiday season have always been near and dear to my heart. I love the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings- cool crisp air, pumpkin pie scented candles, marshmallow-loaded hot cocoa, a crackling fire, and all of my loved ones close at hand.

Obviously, this means I also love Thanksgiving. I get to spend time with family, and there’s always a good football game. In celebration of Thanksgiving and anticipation of Christmas, it’s generally my goal that November would be filled with acts of service that demonstrate our gratitude and worship.

A couple of years ago, I developed a schedule of thanksgiving celebration in which our family focuses much more on genuinely giving than just saying how thankful we are (which, there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!). I am convinced that it creates the perfect space in our hearts to enter into worship in December.

Read More

Elementary + Middle School Science Resource Pack

Elementary + Middle School Science Resource Pack

Sometimes you just need a few visuals to help your students get the full picture. This year, we are using a living books science curriculum from Beautiful Feet (read a review here) for my 6th grader, while my older daughter is utilizing Sabbath Mood for her 9th grade Biology 1. Both programs are beautiful, thorough and engaging. But around here, we love a great display for visual reference as well as notebooking pages.

Notebooking pages are so simple. Honestly, it’s kind of silly. Why do those engage better? I have no clue. But they DO. When my girls have a topic-specific notebook page, they just get more “into” it. Maybe it feels more official than plain old notebook paper?

Read More

Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Top Preschool Books For Fall (AND an AWESOME Fall Printable!)

Our entire educational endeavors surround two things in our home- nature and books. We spend our days either outside or with little ones in a lap, perusing our latest library haul. Fall is a fantastic time to make a sweet connection between those two loves. What better than a stack of books that speak to the changing of the seasons- from miserably hot to crisp and cool. Fall brings a much needed change here, after a long, humid summer and begins to usher in the excitement of the holiday seasons.

I have two things to share today. First, the book recommendations. Some are favorites in our home and others were highly recommended by Life, Abundantly readers on Facebook.

Down below the book recommendations though, you’ll find a DELIGHTFUL FREE download that includes 11 pages of super sweet, really adorably worksheets created for the K3-1st Grade crowd.

Read More

I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am Using a Living Books Science Curriculum with my Dyslexic Daughter

I am so excited to get to share about the Beautiful Feet Books' HISTORY OF SCIENCE program! If you're like me, you never really entertained the notion of a science program from the perspective of history. When I first ran across it, I thought that it might not be very hands-on (meaning all books, no experiments) or that it wouldn't be "thorough enough" since it's not specific to one area of science--like biology, chemistry, botany. 

Oh my, how I was wrong! I received this curriculum to use with my 6th grader for my honest review. She is a very hands-on kinesthetic learner, who- despite being dyslexic- learns best through real, living stories. When she is involved in a story line, she will remember every single detail of that person's life. Living books are hands-down the best way to get lasting knowledge and true education into her heart and mind forever. You do NOT have to avoid living books for a dyslexic student! 

Read More

The Beauty of Tapestry of Grace in the Rhetoric Years (a very detailed review)

The Beauty of Tapestry of Grace in the Rhetoric Years (a very detailed review)

Homeschooling high school was always something that I looked ahead to with both excitement and fear. When my children were in elementary grades, I felt confident teaching according to a classical model, but as they grew into the middle and high school years, I felt intimidated by the challenging literature and history and by my own lack of knowledge in these areas.

I was excited to learn alongside my kids, but also afraid that I would not be qualified to teach upper level courses. I knew I would need a curriculum that could guide me as I redeemed my own education.

A dear friend had been telling me for a few years how much her family loved Tapestry of Grace, and I could see the results in her son. He was able to carry on deep discussions about topics in history, literature, philosophy, and government with such thoughtfulness and a depth of understanding that I wanted for my children and myself. I had looked at so many other classical courses for high school, but I kept feeling called back to Tapestry of Grace.

Read More

Make Your Own Home Organization Wall {On a Budget!}

Make Your Own Home Organization Wall {On a Budget!}

I llooooooveeeee organization. I will also quickly admit that I’m not the best at “maintaining” said organization, but I am a PRO at setting it up. I have learned, over the years, with a lot of failure, that simple works best. I’ve also learned that no organizational systems matters a lick if you don’t have the self-discipline to utilize the system. Being a self-proclaimed scatterbrain AND perfectionist, wrapped all into one, creates a very interesting dichotomy that I’m confident my family total loves (not at all).

As we approached this school year, I had a vision in mind for bringing the spreadsheet system I’ve used for years into a real life, adjustable, very visible, attractive wall system. (If you’re curious about how I use a spreadsheet and generally plan our days, check out this detailed post and free spreadsheet.) I am probably the most “out of sight, out of mind” person you’ve ever met. It frustrates me immensely, but I also just accommodate this insufficiency with various tools, like my phone alarm and calendar.

Read More