Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summer Fun {2012}

I think I finally have our summer plans finalized ... as the kids get older I realize it is not as easy as just signing them up for a camp. There are auditions and try-outs to take into consideration before any plans can be finalized. With those things behind us {and final decisions made} here are our summer plans for 2012.

Devin will do travel baseball and my husband will coach the team. It is a commitment of twice a week practices and tournaments, on weekends through mid-July. Devin played on an All-Star team a few years ago during the summer and has been looking forward to travel ball since then.

Lexi auditioned for and was accepted into a summer program at the Georgia Ballet so she will be dancing there for most of June, four days a week. This was an exciting step for her. After the summer program is over we will have some decisions to make about where she will dance this fall.

Ava Mae has enjoyed her after-school soccer program at Timothy for the last few weeks. They have asked her, and one of her best friends, to play soccer this fall on a team. So, it is soccer camp for Ava Mae in June. Ava Mae has wanted to play soccer with her best friend for a very long time - so this is a dream come true for her.  She also wants to do ballet camp... we will have to see if that can get worked into our schedule.

In June, I will be hosting and teaching Camp Crafty Girls for the 4th year. Absolutely love this camp and the little girls who attend!! I have most of my ideas nailed down and registration has begun.

Then there is VBS at our church in June and all three kids want to attend Camp Winshape for one week in July.

It's going to be a busy summer but, we will still have time for friends. I imagine there will be plenty of swimming, picnics, and playdates. Then when everyone else heads back to school maybe a quick trip to the beach. Looking forward to it ... Summer 2012 here we come!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jail Break : Spring Choir Performance {2012}

Tonight was the kids' Spring choir performance. The theme this year was jail break. Always fun to watch these performances. We are blessed to have a wonderful children's choir director at our church!

Devin had a speaking part ... 

And, the girls both performed in the choir.

Highlight of the evening was hearing the original song written by Devin and the other kids in the AMEN exploration group - "Song Writing".


One more event I can now mark off of our "End of the Year" activities as we wind down this wonderful school year!! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TOS Crew Review : Christian Kids Explore - Earth & Space

Bright Ideas Press is well known for their history curriculum - The Mystery of History. I have heard so many great things about it - I was super excited to be able to try out and review their science curriculum, Christian Kids Explore - Earth & Space {just one of the many science books they have to offer}.

"This user-friendly text covers the earth, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and weather in 24 lessons in 30 weeks. Each unit includes vocabulary words; Scripture quotes; coloring pages; resource list; timeline prompts; reviews; hands-on activities (building models, simulating volcanoes and more)." 
First off, love the way this book was written, nothing can put my kids to sleep quicker then hearing me read from a textbook. Christian Kids Explore - Earth & Space is written like a book, not a textbook. My kids were engaged immediately. {Though it is meant to be used with 3rd - 6th graders our 1st grader had no problem following along.}

Loved the questions at the end of the chapter that I could do orally with my three kids. Also, liked the fact that we were given the opportunity to review their CD-ROM component which gives you the ability to print all of the worksheets and other reproducibles that go along with the book from your computer rather than photocopying from the book.

Also, enjoyed the hands-on portion of the chapters - materials were used that are easy to come by and the experiments are written to easily follow. Pictured below our experiment dealing with Clouds.

Bright Ideas Press is a fabulous company with lots to offer for homeschoolers. We will definitely be using their science curriculum in our homeschool. If you would like to see sample unit or a table of contents just click here.

Christian Kids Explore - Earth & Science can be purchased for $34.95 directly from Bright Ideas Press. The Student Activity Book can also be purchased for just $7.95.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of Bright Ideas Press? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: I am reviewing this science curriculum on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than the book - Christian Kids Explore - Earth & Space from Bright Ideas Press, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the product.

Crafting Teacher Gifts

Looking for a new idea this year for a teacher gift ... I am always trying to come up with something different but, meaningful {it also has to be affordable as my kids have multiple teachers at their Friday school}. I was in a craft store recently when I ran across these "design your own" travel mugs. I thought it would be a perfect pairing with a gift card for Starbucks.

The outer part of the mug twists off and I let the kids raid my stash of scrapbook paper to choose colors and designs they thought each teacher would like.

Then it was just a matter of writing on the scrapbook paper a little note to the teacher - thanking them for teaching. After that I reassembled each of the mugs.

Then I just popped the gift cards inside each mug, along with instructions on caring for their travel mug. I also tied a bow around each mug with ribbon I had - though I forgot to take a picture of that.

Linking this post up with one of my favorite blogs:

Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Crew Review : AIMS - Fabulous Fractions

Many times we have the opportunity to review a homeschool product at the perfect time. Just as my girls were both moving into fractions in their math books we were able to review Fabulous Fractions from AIMS Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces books and activities with amazing science and math learning experiences for grades Kindergarten - 9th grade.

Our book Fabulous Fractions, for grades 3rd - 5th, had twenty-two different activities to use - helping students understand fractions. My daughter Lexi is in 3rd grade and fractions in our curriculum had moved on this year to more difficult comparisons and word problems involving fractions. In the past, I had used the kitchen and measurements to help with fractions but, this books had some other great ideas that Lexi really enjoyed. The book comes with a CD with all the printables on it - though you can also just copy them from the book. I like having the option of both. Sometimes for me it is just easier to print something directly from my computer than to worry about photocopying.

We also received a set of Fractional Transparencies . A great hands on tool which helped Lexi "see" the fraction we were working with in her math book.

Fabulous Fractions is available as a soft cover book directly from AIMS Education Foundation for $21.95, or as a PDF download for $19.95. The Fractional Transparencies are available for $14.95. The book and transparencies can be used for several years {grades 3rd - 5th} - which is a huge plus for me when I look at a cost for supplemental materials. 

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of AIMS Education Foundation? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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Disclaimer: I am reviewing this math supplement on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than the Fabulous Fractions book and Fractional Transparencies from AIMS Education Foundation, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the product.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter {2012}

While we did not officially have Spring Break here at our home ... we did enjoy a week off of extra-curricular activities and lots of playdates with friends. Each day last week we either hosted friends or met up with friends. It made me begin to really look forward to summer!

One of our fun activities during the week was to color Easter Eggs ... we used our crayon technique on warm boiled eggs. This year we decided to draw pictures on the eggs and then dye them - they turned out really well. 

For the first time in several years we did not spend Easter at our club - instead we enjoyed a brunch at our home followed by an Easter Egg hunt. 

{Loved decorating the tables and making homemade white chocolate Easter bunnies and white chocolate covered Peeps.}

We ended our day with an Easter Egg hunt ... why is it that there is always one elusive egg that is never to be found at the end?

Blessed to have shared this Easter with a family who we consider some of our dearest friends!