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Armor of God

Recently, Ace attended a Bible class about the Armor of God. At the end of the three-day class, his class put on a presentation for the parents, which included: marching for us, describing Roman armor, and also explaining the meaning of the fiery darts. He really enjoyed himself and learned a lot about the practical application of Ephesians 6, but the best part was the armor that he made. He was very proud of his armor and strutted around in it a for quite awhile at home after the class was long finished, and even went on to make some for his little sister and his big brother.

Armor of God

Cheers to his very excellent teacher (my cousin) for teaching a class he will never forget!

Preschool Art Lapbook of Sorts

Since my third grader made a lapbook about Leif Erikson, my preschooler wanted to make a lapbook too. She totally designed this all by herself, (Act surprised!) because that’s what preschoolers like to do. Sometimes it’s just fun to let preschoolers do what preschoolers do, (other than when you have to clean up.)

It’s pretty though. I decided to document it, just because I like it.

Preschool Modern Art Lapbook



Leif Erickson Lapbook

My third grader and I are doing the Early American History Study by Beautiful Feet. We just finished our first unit in the guide—Leif Erikson. We read the book, Leif the Lucky through two or three times, just because we enjoyed it so much. It’s not only well written, but has great illustrations, and that makes a book a win-win for an early elementary student. We also had lots of fun researching online about Vikings and Native Americans that Leif may have met.

Leif the Lucky

And, of course, Ace thought that being Leif Erikson was one of the best parts of the unit.

Ace The Viking

Ace made a lapbook to show some of the things that he learned about Leif Erikson. Here are a few pictures.

Leif Erickson Lapbook Cover Leif Erickson Lapbook Spread Leif Erickson Lapbook Spread 2
Vinland Natives Leif Erickson Map Viking Ship AnatomyViking Gold Coins Erik & Leif Erickson Bio Erik & Leif Erickson BioErik & Leif Erickson Bio

List of sources for the lapbook (Some are affiliate links):

Cover picture from Exploration of North America Coloring Book (Dover History Coloring Book)
Map from Interactive 3-D Maps: American History by Donald Silver
“Who Were the Vikings” and “Vikings Were Also Called”  both from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Blog Vikings Lapbook
Northern Lights from Google Images
“Native Americans in Vinland” from Google Images
“Father & Son Explorers” from History Through the Ages Timeline Figures
Viking Ship from Homeschool Share Viking Multi-Theme Unit
Coin idea from Homeschool in the Woods’ Great Empires Activity Pak
Viking mask from Funnycoloring.com
Paper Ship Model from forbicolla.com (not in English)

So far so good, as far as the Beautiful Feet Guide. What a nice pick of books they have made for this age group. Next comes Columbus, but first we are working on finishing up a science project.

Back at the Creekbank Album


Okay, I just can’t contain my excitement! I recently found that a couple of albums that I loved as a kid have been remastered for CD. I’ve ordered both. We are playing the first one that arrived just now. In fact, it arrived yesterday evening and we must be on our tenth round about now. My kids like it almost as much as I did as a kid.

This one is called Back at the Creekbank. It is the story of kids going fishing at the creek bank with Mr. Jenkins, and includes songs to teach great morals for kids. My favorite songs are “Drop a Pebble in the Water” and “God Paints the World with Love.” My kids’ favorite song is the same as mine was when I was their age—”Riddle Me, Riddle Me”

I have to be just a little sentimental too. My brother Ben and I sang two or three songs from this album for special music as children. I can remember that one or both of us were missing teeth when we sang one of these songs and were lisping with the best. Wish I had a recording of singing with my little brother. It makes me miss him. He would enjoy listening to this album with my kids as much I do.

Tree in the Trail Map

Tree in the Trail with Map

At the end of the summer, my poor little third grader couldn’t stand not doing school any longer, but his poor teacher wanted every minute of break possible, but I can’t hold out when kids beg to do school! We read the book Tree in the Trail a few times and then colored in this map together with the assistance of his older brother. It was a fun story and a great geography lesson.

Hand Colored Tree in the Trail Map


Beautiful Feet offers an entire geography course based on four of the Holling C. Holling books and make and sell the corresponding maps. The maps are beautiful, but I didn’t feel like making an entire unit study at the time, so we just read the book and looked at an atlas to figure a few things out that were mentioned in the book. Sometimes keeping it simple is best, at least for me.

Canning Peaches

We managed to can over 100 quarts and to freeze about 50 quarts. We will be enjoying lots of peaches this winter, especially peach smoothies from the frozen ones. Yummy! Can’t wait!

We like our set up pretty well, we keep all the mess outside.

Canning & Freezing Peaches Sept. 2104

Canning Peaches Sept. 2014

I consider canning to be a very educational experience and it does well to teach everybody to work as a team, but I never count it as “school” because it doesn’t get the algebra done.

Now off to can pears or do algebra.

Flowers around the House

We sure have been enjoying flowers around our house this summer. Zippy snapped these beauties with her phone. Phone cameras are pretty nice these days. Especially as hers is a very old hand-me-down, actually.

Vocabulary Book

Vocabulary Book

Vocabulary Book

Vocabulary Book




Museum of Glass

If you are ever in Tacoma, Washington, I have two tourists stops to recommend: the Point Defiance Zoo and the Museum of Glass. This post is not about the zoo though, it’s about the Museum of Glass. (Hence the title.)

The museum of glass is one of the neatest places to visit. Some of the art pieces are almost like eye candy, they are just so colorful and pretty.

Glass Exhibits outside of the Museum


There is a bridge next the museum that goes over the highway, and has all sorts of interesting pieces of art. The above picture shows a pair of art pieces. The two pictures below show the ceiling that looks like it is full of colorful jelly fish made of glass.

Ceiling in Glass Bridge

Ceiling in Glass Bridge

Along the bridge is a wall a glass vases of so many sizes, colors and designs, that it is just stunning.

Glass Bridge


You also get to watch glass blowing. They actually have a glass blowing institute in the museum, so there are very good artists in there teaching students their different techniques. It’s very interesting (and warm).

Watching Glass Blowing

My favorite exhibit at the museum (a traveling exhibit, unfortunately) was the Paul J. Stankard exhibit. (Click on the link to see some of his pieces.) They are so much prettier in real life though. The next time it’s back at the museum, I will definitely go.

Curriculum for 2014/2015

Well here it is—another school year is upon us. Last year I managed to hardly spend any money on school supplies, this year caught me by surprise by the expense. The really expensive part is that my daughter will be taking Biology this year. Hopefully we can use some of this stuff three more times for all the younger people.

We have decided to take a slightly different approach to some things this year. My oldest starts high school this year and my youngest is now four and I’m getting pulled a lot of directions. We have purchased some prepackaged curriculums that were put together by homeschool families. We are not going to be combining everybody into one unit study. This is partly because my kids are taking interests in different directions and also because I decided that studying the ancients with my 7 year old last year didn’t go as well as I liked. This means that we will have two different history time periods being studied and two different sciences being studied. We will continue to do our Bible class together.

Here it is.

Zippy — age 14

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Ancient History (starting in the middle as we did part of the Beginnings/Ancients by Truth Quest History last year) then Beautiful Feet Medieval History
  3. Mathematics: Saxon Algebra 1, third edition, probably with a tutor
  4. Science: Apologia Biology with the new DVD course
  5. Language Arts: Student Writing Intensive Level C in conjunction with history
    also Spelling Power for spelling.
  6. Music: Piano and violin lessons
  7. Other electives to be determined by real life!

JD — age 11

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Ancient History (starting in the middle as we did part of the Beginnings/Ancients by Truth Quest History last year) then Beautiful Feet Medieval History
  3. Mathematics: Saxon Math 8/7
  4. Science: Noeo Physics 2
  5. Language Arts: Student Writing Intensive Level B in conjunction with history
    also Spelling Power for spelling
    and Italic Handwriting Book F for penmanship
  6. Music: Piano and violin lessons
  7. Etc.

Ace — age 8

  1. Bible: Desire of Ages
  2. History: Beautiful Feet Early American History for Primary Grades
  3. Mathematics: Math 3 by Teaching Textbooks
  4. Science: Noeo Physics 1
  5. Language Arts: Rod & Staff and Christian Light Readers
    and Italic Handwriting Book C for penmanship
  6. Music: Piano and cello lessons
  7. Lots of nature study

So there you have it. That doesn’t count everything, I guess. It counts everything that I had to spend a lot of time and money on. If you looked at our curriculum choices last year, you will notice a few changes—Saxon math from Teaching Textbooks, Beautiful Feet History from Truth Quest History and Noeo Science from Apologia Elementary Science. It’s not that we disliked our choices last year. We were happy with all of the things we used last year, but for various reasons, we decided to do something different.

The reason that we chose Saxon is because my oldest is in high school and we had always intended on using Saxon for high school. You’ll notice that my 8 year old will still be using Teaching Textbooks. From the reviews we’ve read, it seems that Saxon is a bit more thorough than Teaching Textbooks, and better prepares kids for college and hopefully scholarships.

The reason we went with Beautiful Feet History is because, I needed something that my older two could more easily follow on their own so that I could spend more time with the younger ones on American History. I will be doing history with the older two, but they will need to be somewhat independent. Beautiful Feet just lends itself more to that for several reasons—it has a schedule; the specific books are chosen; the activities are already planned out. The reason that I have used Truth Quest History for so long is that it made it easy to not use fiction. I will still be substituting non-fiction for the fiction books assigned in the Beautiful Feet program.

The reason that we switched to Noeo science is that we were ready to read some other authors. We have enjoyed the Apologia Elementary books that we’ve done, but I like variety. Also last year, we read a lot from the book The Way Things Work, and my boys wanted to do  more physics and learn more about electricity. Noeo is a bit for Science like Beautiful Feet is for History. They gather up books from several different publishers and authors, which we hope will add to the interest.


Best Friends

For some reason no matter what is outside, looking out the window is more fun with your best friend.

It's more fun to look out the Window with Your Best Friend


My little girl and her best friend always enjoy their time together.