Wednesday, September 30, 2015

World History, Weeks 4-5

    We wrapped up the final two weeks of block 1 with a study of the Hebrew people and the beginning of our study on Ancient Greece. Chapters 2-3 of our text, Western Civilization, by: Spielvogel, were covered during this time. We continued using the same resources mentioned in previous posts.

Lesson 7
1. Maps:
  • The Descendants of Noah
  • Called out of Ur
  • Abraham's Journey
  • Exodus From Egypt
  • The Promised Land
  • 12 Tries of Israel
  • Israel's Golden Age
2. Watch: The Bible Homeland (Netflix)
3. Homework:
  • Read and take notes on pages 33-44.
  • Watch: The Bible: Kingdom, Survival (Netflix)

Lesson 8

1. Maps:
  • Solomon's Kingdom
  • Israel's Divided Kingdom
  • Neo-Babylonian Empire
  • Assyrian Empire
  • Persian Empire Under King Darius
2. Read and take notes on rest of chapter.
3. Homework:
  • Complete chapter outline
  • Chapter summary
  • Timeline
  • Study for exam on Monday
Movies and videos to watch:
Mankind, The Story of us All: Iron Men
From Bronze to Iron
The Book of Daniel (Netflix)
The Ten Commandments (YouTube)
Esther (Netflix)

Lesson 9 

1. Videos:

2. PowerPoint: Geography and Early People of Greece
3. Maps:
  • Early Greece
  • Greco-Persian War
4. Homework: Read and take notes, pages 54-68
Movie Suggestions:
300 Spartans (Netflix)

Lesson 10

1. Power Point: The Persian Empire and Persian Wars
2. Handouts:
  • The Making of a Spartan Soldier
  • Comparing Athens and Sparta
  • Persian Wars
3. Finish reading chapter 3.
4. Homework

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Extra en espanol Episodes 1-8

Image result for extra en espanol 

A few years back, I purchased Rosetta Stone Spanish for my children. It was one of the most expensive homeschool purchases I ever made but one of the most valuable. My children enjoyed the lessons and the knowledge gained more than prepared them to take their formal high school Spanish courses. My eldest child completed his first high school Spanish course in less than 14 weeks with an A average. Since then, all 4 have completed their first year of Spanish and 2 are half way through their Spanish 2 courses. All scoring A's in their courses. I truly believe that Rosetta Stone provided them with a very good foundation, but my goal is to ensure that all four of my children are fluent in Spanish.

   In order to assist them with the fluency in Spanish, we will be watching a series of videos titled "Extra en espanol." The videos are all about 24 minutes long and are great learning tools. I was able to locate transcripts for each episode, written in Spanish. My children will be translating them into English. In searching for resources, I was also able to locate a few valuable sites as well as some awesome worksheets on Teachers Pay Teachers/. 

     Below you will find links to my lesson plans, curriculum list, videos and worksheets that I've chosen for the next 8 weeks. I've included these links, not only to share the resources, but to also provide an example of how you can create your own lesson plans using a variety of resources. These documents are also things that we would include in our required portfolios. I hope these documents and this post will help to not only improve your Spanish learning activities, but also empower and inspire you to create more awesome lessons of your own!

Episode 1 

Free worksheet adapted from: Celebrate Languages Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Free worksheet: Extra Episode 8 by: David LaBoone

Peace and blessings,


Monday, September 14, 2015

World History: Week 3

     This week we wrapped up our study of ancient civilizations covered within our text. We spent some time on the Ancient civilizations of China and India and reviewed what we learned about the previously studied civilizations of Africa and Mesopotamia. We incorporated the use of timelines, chapter outlining, and chapter summaries to reinforce learning.

   Being able to retain and understand the material learned in history can sometimes be a challenge. My children tend to be much more visual and hands-on learners so we are always striving to add these types of resources and activities. Our timelines are one representation of that.

They are made using a simple seventy sheet sketch pad. 

We are using the  History Through the Ages timeline figures by Homeschool in the Woods and I have supplemented the figures by creating figures that were needed but not within this pre-assembled packet. In order to increase our productivity during class time, I cut and bagged the timeline figures by chapter in advance.

The pages were also marked with the time periods prior to the start of the course. The only thing left was for the children to review and verify dates from their text and history encyclopedia prior to adding the figures to their individual timelines.

My children finished off the chapter by creating a chapter outline and using it to summarize the chapter.

     We took this first chapter rather slowly. I wanted to emphasize the importance of utilizing good study habits and techniques. This week's activities were great for bridging historical knowledge with language arts activities. The resources that we used to wrap up this week are listed below.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Make it Yourself, Wednesdays: Laundry Supplies


  Laundry, laundry, laundry! It's a never ending cycle around here and it seems that the more I wash, the more dirty clothes my family tends to produce. With the six of us in the home, we still manage to need to wash at least two loads of laundry a day. I still haven't figured out why that is, but that's another story.  With washing so many loads, one can imagine the monthly cost spent on laundry supplies. Detergent, fabric softener, bleach, and fabric sheets, all of these things used to really add up. Well, when you've changed your way of living and you're living on only one income, you have too find ways to cut costs so we began to make our own products to save money. Our favorite 3 laundry items to make on our own have been dryer balls, laundry detergent, and laundry crystals. We make batches in bulk, to last us for months in order to save time.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 boxes of Borax, 76 oz box
  • 2  boxes of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, 55 oz box
  • 2 boxes of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, 1 lb box 
  • 1 box of Oxi Clean, 3 lb package
  • 3 Bars of Pink Zote Soap
  • 2 Bags of Epsom, 6 lb bags 
  • Essential oils of your choice (We use a blend of lavender and lemongrass)
  • 2 packs of 100% wool yarn (We use Wool-Ease, Fisherman yarn)
  • 1 pair of knee high stockings
  • rubber bands
  • 1 metal yarn needle


     First up, replacing dryer sheets with wool dryer balls! This was a must do for us. My husband was partial to Bounce dryer sheets and we easily blew through two large boxes each month. By making reusable dryer balls, we were able to completely eliminate that monthly expense.

Next up, laundry detergent. First thing you need to do, is to break up the bars of Zote. There are several ways to do this, but I prefer to use a food processor. After cutting the bars into small squares, place them into a food processor. Run the processor until te soap has broken down into tiny beads. This usually takes about 3 minutes. 

In a 5 gallon bucket, combine the Borax, Baking Soda, Oxi Clean,  and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda with the soap and mix well. We only use 2 to 3 tablespoons per load!

And finally, the fabric crystals. I loved the smell of fabric crystals but never enjoyed the price. We would purchase between 4 and 5 bottles each month for about $6 per bottle. Something had to be done about that, so we began making our own. To make your own fabric crystals, simply empty the bags of Epsom Salt into a large bowl. Add drops of essential oils and stir in until you get to the desired fragrance. Really, that's it. Store these in an airtight container as well. Or, you can add some of the crystals directly to the laundry detergent. We actually prefer to use that method since we're usually busy with school and rarely go back too check on laundry during the rinse cycle.

That's it! You're all done. You now have homemade laundry supplies that work. You're laundry will be clean and fresh smelling. Now, you can sit back and enjoy the savings!

Peace and blessings,

Saturday, September 12, 2015

World History: Week 2

          This week in World History, we continued to explore the first people. We move from the age of the hunter-gatherer to the dawn of new civilizations. This week, we focused on the civilizations of Mesopotamia and ancient Africa. We studied the various advances in writing, technology, and agriculture. The resources and activities of this week were enjoyed by both of my students and I will certainly use them again for our current middle school children. Here are the resources we used for this week:

Friday, September 11, 2015

World History: Week 1

Chapter 1: The Ancient Near East:: The First Civilizations

     Our first week of World History was spent learning about the first people of the earth. We studied various creation stories of man and the universe.  Of course this all led to some deep and wonderful discussions as they each worked through their thoughts and personal beliefs about the stories of our beginnings. It is all so fascinating to see your children grow from sponges, seeking only to take in info that is presented, into thinking children who have their own views. 

Resources we used to cover this weeks lessons:
  • Reading:
    • Western Civilization, 8th Edition, Chapter 1, pages 1-4
    • The Holy Bible, Genesis 1-4
    • The Holy Koran, Al-Baqarah 2:1-2:36


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