Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homeschool Planning 101

So much planning goes into each homeschool year, and when you are just starting (like me) it is really easy to become overwhelmed! So many choices in curriculum and planning ideas; not to mention how to schedule your day! I have collected some posts to help you (and me) get it all together before it is time to actually start!


I think the first thing everyone worries about is choosing curriculum. For good reason! There are so many choices in so many price ranges, and they all fit different learning and teaching styles. Some are time intensive, some are packaged with lesson plans included, and some choose to make their own! Where do you even start???

Planning with a Purpose with Curriculum Selection and Making Your Own fro Are We There Yet

Tips on Finding the Perfect Curriculum form Mimi's House

Curriculum Choices from the Folks over at Curriculum Choice

Curriculum Cost for their first year of homeschooling at Hiding the Peas

Curriculum Choices for preschool, high school, and elementary over at Good Work Academy

How to Make Homeschool Unit Studies from How to Homeschool my Child

Free Printable Curriculum Wish List from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom


Once you have the curriculum you have to start thinking about a schedule.  How often are you going to teach these subjects, and for how long each time? Where will we fit in extra curricular activities and that dreaded socialization? (please note the sarcasm)

How to Create a Homeschool Schedule from Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

More on Scheduling your Homeschool with free printables on Thinking Kids

Tips on Creating the Perfect Homeschool Schedule from Upside Down Homeschooling

 Days to Scheduling Your Entire Homeschool Year with The Unlikely Homeschool

Steps to Planning your Homeschool Day from Homeschool Creations

 Parts to a Homeschool Schedule from Hodgepodge

Advice on Homeschooling the Large Family and How to Get it All Done from Abundant Life


Have a schedule idea in your head, better write it down before it gets lost among all the other things you have to think about right now! You will need a planner for that, and there is a lot of selection there too! Here are some printable options and tips on how to make your own!

Free Printable Calender from My Joy Filled Life

Printable Curriculum Planner from Vicki Arnold

Do-it-yourself Homeschool Planner from The Hands-On Homeschooler

Printable Lesson Planning Page and Elementary Grade Book from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom


You have curriculum, a schedule, and a planner, and now you have to organize it all! Keep things easy to find with these tips!

Tips on Organizing Curriculum from Chestnut Grove Academy

Tips for organizing students assignments from Loving and Learning on the High Plains

A behind the scenes look at Filing and Organization over at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Virtual Workboxes from Good Work Academy

General Planning

Still overwhelmed? here are some great posts with steps to take and general tips to keep you on track!

Before starting Define Your Intended Outcomes at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Set Your Homeschool Goals with Forever, For Always, No Matter What

Tips on Planning Your First Year of Homeschooling from House, Barn, Farm

7 Steps to Homeschooling Planning from Upside Down Homeschooling

10 Things to do when Planning a New Homeschool Year from Apron Strings and Other Things

Now it looks like I need to get some reading done, so I can get started on our own homeschool planning!

Thank You July 2013

A big THANK YOU to all the great blogs who featured my posts (or my guest posts) this month! 
Lots of great ideas everywhere, so be sure to visit the links and see what everyone else has been doing!

Adventures-in-Mommy-Land - Hey Mom, Look What I Did
A Mom with a Lesson plan - It's Playtime Road Trip
All Things with a Purpose Thursday Link-Up
Kids Co-Op - Pretend Play
Highhill Education - Hobbies and Handicrafts
Homeschool Creations - PreK and Kindergarten Community
Adventures in Mommydom - Science Sunday
Fun-a-Day - Fun, Simple, Kids Activities
KC Edventures - Ice and Water Play
True Aim - Recipes to Make with Kids
Pounds 4 Pennies - 10 Healthy Snacks for Kids
Fantastic Fun and Learning - Patriotic Crafts
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Hearts for Home
Look We're Learning - Hearts for Home
Crafty Mom's Share - Sharing Saturday
I Can Teach My Child - Show and Share Saturday Link-Up
KC Edventures - Fireworks Activities for Kids
The Educator's Spin On It - Water Fun Learning
Powerful Mothering - Pin it Tuesdays
Like Mama ~ Like Daughter - Eco-Kids Tuesdays
Pounds 4 Pennies - Summer Craft ideas for Kids
Family Fun Crafts - Pipe Cleaner Bubble Wands
Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails - Fun Finds at Mom's Library
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Hearts for Home
My Joy Filled Life - Hearts for Home
Teach Beside Me - Keeping Kids Busy
Cheerios and Lattes - Saturday Show and Tell
The Jenny Evolution - Monday Kid Corner
One Perfect Day - Tuesday Tots
Preschool Powol Packets - Teach Me Tuesday
The Real Housewives of Riverton - Riverton Housewives Round Up
iGameMom - Non-traditional Art Projects
A Mom with a Lesson Plan - It's Playtime Back to School
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails - Sensory Play
3 Boys and a Dog - Homeschooling on the Cheap
High Hill Homeschool - Hobbies and Handicrafts
Happy and Blessed Home - Family Fun Friday
The Good Long Road  - Sensory Play
Today's Mama - Salted Caramel Desserts
The Chirping Mom's - Super Summer Saturday
The Educator's Spin On It - Summer Science Experiments
True Aim - Unique Learning
Crystal's Tiny Treasures - Campground Kitchen Fun
Fantastic Fun and Learning - Ocean Crafts
Kids Activities Blog - Summer Snacks

If I missed you, I'm sorry. Please let me know when you feature me, so I can make sure to see it!

A HUGE THANK YOU to all my readers too! Without you there would be no reason to write! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Outdoor Features to get Kids Moving at Mom's Library

Welcome to Mom's Library!

Filled with parenting tips, activities for young children, devotionals, crafts, recipes, and more!
Check back again and again to see the new posts!

(We have a great Giveaway too!)

 If you enjoy the link party, please follow Life with Moore Babies by email or RSS feed.

You can also follow us on FacebookGoogle +Twitter, or Pinterest!

Outdoor Features to get Kids Moving! 

School Time Snippets shared a fun Color Matching Golf Game!

Lalymom created an adorable Circus Obstacle Course!

Fun-a-Day has been moving and cleaning at the Car Wash!

Moments a Day has 5 fun activities that get kids moving and Teach Perseverance!

The Taylor House has a collection of Scavenger Hunts for Kids!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom shared a bunch of ideas to get Moving and Learning with Sidewalk Chalk!

And we here at Life with Moore Babies had fun Snapping some Starting Sounds!

If I have featured you please feel free to grab my featured button!

For more great features visit my fellow Librarians (Please follow them too!):

Want to see all the great posts added last week? Click HERE to see the whole collection!

Want to see even more featured posts? Follow the Mom's Library Pinterest Board!

Our featured Giveaway this week is a Kidori Stylus for Kids! For more information read the Review over at iGameMom!

Kidori Stylus for Kids Giveaway

And don't forget about my Blue Manor Academy PreK/ K Curriculum Giveaway! Click HERE for more information!

Would you like to Participate?

If you are new and would like to link up please checkout the Mom's Library Page.Support your fellow bloggers and comment on at least 2 other links.

Thank you for participating; we love to see your ideas! Please grab the button and share!

parents as teachers

*By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or re-post photographs from your blog or website.

They Called Him a Traitor
In 2010, Julian Assange became "public enemy number one" in the United States for posting material on the Internet concerning airstrikes in Iraq, U.S. diplomatic communications and other sensitive matters.

A new movie produced by Stephen Spielberg's DreamWorks, The Fifth Estate, will focus on the controversial website and the disintegration of the relationship between founder Assange and former spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

The film will debut at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival in October.

Among the classified information leaked on WikiLeaks were U.S. military videos of 2007 combat actions in Baghdad that had resulted in the deaths of two Reuters news staff -- a release that immediately sparked a storm of controversy.

The WikiLeaks controversy was not unprecented. The addition of digital cameras on cell phones, for example, as well as software apps that allow for photos or video to be uploaded to social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr or distributed via email has been a boon to street reporting.

During 2006 military operations in Lebanon, Israeli conscripts filled the Internet with personal photographs and videos -- some compromising the security of ongoing operations. Others were used by Hezbollah forces fighting them to generate anti-Israeli propaganda.

In his book Wiki at War: Conflict in a Socially Networked World, author James Carafano discusses WikiLeaks, social media and street-reporting tactics enabled by Web 2.0.

"While street journalism and blogging can be powerful weapons in the hands of bad people, both have been enlisted in the fight for freedom," says Carafano. "States such as Iran and China have pioneered efforts to keep the voices of freedom off-line. In some cases citizens have fought back."

Carafano, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation's international studies institute and director of its Center for Foreign Policy Studies, says the war for winning dominance over social networks and using that dominance to advantage is already underway.

For more information on Wiki at War, click here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fighting Fire with Fire

Before people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, wildfires were essential to the American West. Plains and prairies burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

Now scientists are trying to bring fire back to the land, though they are finding that many humans do not understand the purpose.

"I know that every time we've done burns we get a lot of calls to the fire department, people saying, 'Oh, no, why would you do that?'" Grace Stanley of the Montana Conservation Corps told NPR. "People don't really understand that fire regenerates, and it's a natural process that the earth needs."
In Montana government decided to stop all wildfires a century ago -- a move that upset the balance of the ecosystem. Now, scientists are doing controlled burns to burn off high grass and undergrowth, which are often fuel for out-of-control wildfires that burn everything in their wake.

For more information on controlled fires and Montana's efforts to prevent wildfires and promote regenerative growth, read the story on NPR.

Texas A&M University Press offers a comprehensive guide for controlled burns, aimed directly to landowners and other professionals. For more information on Conducting Prescribed Fire: A Comprehensive Manual, click here.


Poppin's Book Nook #5 Ladybug Girl at the Beach

Poppin's Book Nook is heading to the Beach for the month of July! There are lots of books about the beach, but one of my girls favorites is Ladybug Girl at the Beach. If you know much about Lulu (aka Ladybug Girl), you know she isn't scared of much, but on her first trip to the ocean, she was scared to get in. She has lots of fun on the beach with her dog, and finally when she braves the ocean as Ladybug Girls she realizes how fun it can be too!

I was thrilled when I found a unit study over on Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Member's Only Site  to go along with the book.  The girls enjoyed this quick little unit and then we moved on to a craft!

We live no where near an ocean, but we do live near a lake with a beach! We headed out there equipped with a tub of plaster, a measuring cup, a stick to stir with, and lots of baby wipes to make some hand prints (I got the idea HERE)! I figured the swimming area would be crowded during the hot summer day, so we chose to go to a quieter area of the beach. Obviously a lot of people with dogs had been down there too from all the tracks we found! 

Using the water from the lake I mixed up our pottery plaster. (If you try this I would recommend taking another bowl to mix in; it was hard to mix all of it in the tub!)

Then I had each kid make foot and hand prints.  I had to push down on their feet and hands to get deep enough imprints (which is why we are lacking pictures). After the prints were made we filled them up with plaster and waited.

It took 30 minutes before we could dig out our plaster, so we explored the beach. We found a few shells, lots of rocks, and way too many dead crayfish (ick)!

We went back, and I started digging around on plaster prints and scooping them up with plenty of extra sand.  Eli immediately stepped on his footprints and broke them both!   A few of the other broke off fingers or toes (my guess is they weren't deep enough), but I have at least one complete print from each kid.

I left the extra sand around them for 24 hours before I rinsed them off with the hose.

I figured by that point they were completely hardened!  I took the hose and rinsed them off leaving only the sand that was embedded in the plaster.

The hands seemed to work a little better then the feet to me as long as you got the fingers deep enough that they didn't break while digging them out.  I was surprised more sand didn't stay. I bet if we had went to the swimming area with the nicer (less clay like) sand, more would have stuck. It is still nice to have some imprints of little hands and feet.  This would also be a fun thing to do as a vacation memory!

Be sure to stop by and read all about the sandy fun all the Poppin's Book Nook Bloggers are having!  Then next month we are living Happily Ever After with our Fairy Tale theme!

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Royal Baloo - 3 Dinosaurs - Monsters Ed - Chestnut Grove Academy - Growing in God's Grace - Royal Little Lambs - Life with Moore Babies - Teach Beside Me - The Usual Mayhem - Mum Central - Fantastic Fun and Learning - Kathys Cluttered Mind - Play Create Explore - Toddler Approved - Growing Book by Book - Adventures in Mommydom - B-Inspired Mama - The Fairy and The Frog - Edventures with Kids - Learning & Growing the Piwi way - A Gluten Free Journey - Mom to Crazy Monkeys - No Doubt Learning - Preschool Powol Packets - To The Moon and Back - Our Craft ~N~ Things - Farm Fresh Adventures - Proverbial Homemaker - Look Were Learning

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blue Manor PreK & K Curriculum Review and Giveaway

Blue Manor Review

Today I am pleased to be reviewing both the Blue Manor Academy Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum! Both of these curriculum are made up of a series of ebooks that cover a wide variety of topics with life like pictures.

Books included are:

Preschool Curriculum: 

Teaching Manual and Quick Start Guide
Letters, Phonics Level 1, and 3 Early Readers
Colors and General Concepts
Learn to Draw
Shapes, Counting and Numbers, and Money Recognition
Vocabulary Builders (Animals, Food, Electronics, People and Occupations, and Transportation)
Anatomy and Senses
Seasons and Weather
Strength and Ability
Character and Etiquette
Bible Story
Printable Bible Verses, Responsibility Charts, and Prewriting Worksheets

Kindergarten Curriculum

Quick Start Guide
Phonics Level 2 and 3 Early Readers
Anatomy Systems
History (God and Mankind, American History, Nations and Empires)
Book of Virtues
Signs and Signals
Basic Drawing
Geography (United States, World Geography, Terrain Features)
Math (Addition, Subtraction, Time, Memory Building, Understanding Patterns)
Vocabulary Builders (Building and Places, Food Recognition, People and Occupations)
Printable Prewriting Worksheets, Penmanship Worksheets, Drawing Worksheets, and Math worksheets

**You may have noticed similar titles in each set, but they are not the same book. The kindergarten level is more advanced then the preschool level.

Let me say, I typically shy away from all electronic curriculum just because things go on my computer and have a tendency to be forgotten. I also like the feel of a book in my hand, call me old fashioned. This curriculum was a bit different though as it can be printed out or even better, viewed on the iPad. My kids love the iPad, so that was actually a big plus!

At first this curriculum appears a bit simplistic because of the lack of large amounts of worksheets. This actually works to its advantage for my kids, and really for most kids in the age range. I have found that large amounts of writing tends to frustrate young kids who are just beginning to gain fine motor control needed for writing.   

The other good thing about the simplicity of the curriculum is it is there are no set lesson plans making it easy to follow the interests of your child, and if you follow their interests they are much more likely to learn. You can read and reread any book they are interested in on a particular day. The books are not terribly long and the lifelike pictures seem to hold their attention well. The first day we looked at ours I think the girls went through 7 books before they wanted to move on!

Not only can you follow interests, but you can also be sure to cover the information you child has trouble with more often. Since the curriculum is mainly books, they are meant to be read and reread often. The more you repeat it the more likely they are to remember it! If you notice you child having trouble in one particular area, you can make a point of reading that book more often!

Blue Manor Preschool Curriculum iPadBlue Manor Kindergarten Curriculum iPad

Blue manor Curriculum computer

There are a few worksheets included for the writing and math sections especially in the kindergarten curriculum when kids can handle more seat work.

Blue manor Curriculum WorksheetsBlue manor Curriculum Worksheets

We went through most of the books  in the few weeks we took to review this curriculum, and my kids really seemed to enjoy them.  They already knew most of the information in the preschool curriculum which allowed them to show them to Eli too. This was great because he loved the life like pictures, and they enjoy teaching him which is also a great way to reinforce information!

Blue Manor Curriculum iPad

The other good thing about the simplicity of this curriculum is all the flexibility it gives. As is, it works well for auditory and visual learners, but it leaves time to add activities for the kinesthetic learners as well.  Mine are visual and kinesthetic learners, and I intend to continue using this curriculum along with what I already have this next year!

The strengths of the curriculum can be drawbacks for some. This curriculum has no lesson plans, so if you are someone who needs things planned out, I wouldn't use this exclusively. The books would still work well to supplement though!  

I asked my kids which books their favorites were and I was not at all surprised by the answers. Bria said the Early Readers (because she can read them), Nadia liked the Animal Recognition, and Eli liked the Transportation!

Each complete curriculum is $39.99 which is not bad for a full curriculum, or you can purchase sets of books (like all the early readers or all the vocabulary builders). Now through the end of July (I know not much time left) you can save $10 on your order with the code July10Gift! That only lasts for a couple more days, so head over to Blue Manor now!

Blue Manor Academy has also been generous enough to provide a copy of either the Preschool or Kindergarten Curriculum for one of our readers! 

(Click on the link below to enter!)