Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Homeschool Mothers Journal

June 29th, 2013

In my life this week...

Life has been interesting....
We went to a birthday party. The kids had a blast on the water slide! 
Took the kids to see Monsters University...
Then we had a great game night with friends...
Our week went downhill after that, Little Monkey ended up with Pink Eye. (Sigh) 
The next day I was at the doctors with Monkey Man for an ear infection. (Sigh) 
Middle Monkey had a couple doctors appointments this week. She finally got approved for OT services! This is huge for us. 
Then we ended up back at the doctors, since Monkey Mans ears were not getting better. 

In our homeschool this week...

We worked on our normal studies Math, Grammar, History, and Poetry. Monkey Man is also doing a book club for the summer. Due to sickness we didn't do a field trip this week. 

 Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...

Think about making Friday's a fun learning day. My kids look forward to it, since they know we will be doing a field trip or something. 

Places we are going or people we are seeing..... 

This week we are going to a party tomorrow for friends that are getting married very soon. 
Book club, library summer program.
Maybe a summer movie, trip to the playground.
Not sure what else comes up! 

My favorite thing thing this week...

Not really sure it was a rough week...

My kids favorite thing this week...

Going to the movies! 

Things I'm working on...

Some more field trips for the summer

I'm cooking...

Keep losing power due to the storms, so we are having 7 layer dip 

I'm grateful for....

The speedy recovery of my kids

I rewarded my kids with...

going to Monsters University

A photo to share...

Yummy Ice Cream!!!! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

First Family Trip of the Summer- Part 2



Yesterday you read about our trip to Fort Knox. While since we usually have Daddy take the day off to go on any big field trips with us, we like to make good use of our days. So we decided to drive another hour and go to the coast. I love the coast!






I decided to take the kids to somewhere special to me. When I was a kid my dad worked away most of the time, and for one whole summer he worked in Rockland, so my mom and I would come down and stay in a hotel so we could see more of him. We would go to the beach and look for shells and star fish, and it just really was a place I loved. So I wanted my kids to get to see it too.





First we walked way out to the lighthouse admiring the views along the way. It is a long way out there! Then we walked back, and walked along the shore. The kids were trying to find shells, crabs, and star fish. They didn’t have much luck. They found a few shells, and a couple dead crabs. No luck on the star fish! Maybe next time!










They really loved walking along and looking though. Since they were so good, we took them to dinner on the way home to celebrate a really great day!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Family Trip of the Summer- Part 1



Our first Field Trip of the year was to Fort Knox. I have been their as a child, but honestly don’t remember it. So it was nice to go with the kids and experience again. Monkey Man being my history buff was right in there listening to all they had to say. Plus he has to write a paper for me about it, since he has to take a semester of Maine Studies this year!


A little background for those of you that have never heard of Fort Knox. In 1812 the American Revolution and the war brought enemy British ships to the Penobscot River. By 1825 the nation’s defense plans included the fort. However, no funds were actually provided for construction until nearly 2 decades later. Lieutenant Isaac Stevens, a young West Point graduate was placed in charge of this massive project, and so construction began in 1844. The first thing they built was the gun batteries, and then in 1853 they started excavation for the main fort. From 20 to 54 troops were garrisoned to the fort during the Civil War. Since at the time the fort was still under construction they lived temporally in wooden buildings behind the fort’s granite structure. No actually war was ever seen at the Fort. It took nearly one-million dollars to build Fort Knox, and it is still not complete. Construction finally stopped in 1869.


Here are a few shots from our day!













Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:



HMJ SUMMER logo landscape


June 22nd


  • In my life this week…

We have been super busy…
Middle Monkey finished school…
We said goodbye to someone in our Service Unit…
The kids and I spent some quality time at the park…
Planted our garden finally!!!
went on our first Field Trip of the new year…
and enjoyed a birthday party!



  • In our homeschool this week…

We started our new year..

Not sure if the kids are liking it or not

Little Monkey is deep in grammar/phonics this year, Math, and Earth Science right now

Monkey Man is in 6th, so I did a lot of tweaking to his schedule….
I anticipate lots of arguing this year, hope I’m wrong…
He has a few things of grammar, Pre-Algebra, Earth Science, and Poetry
along with whatever else comes our way. Plus he is doing a Book Club with the library for the summer.


We took our first Field Trip of the year… (look for more on that this week)



  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

If you school all year round, be sure to include some fun things in there..
We do fun Fridays, were we do lots of hands on learning, or Field Trips!



  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This week, we have a few appts,
going to see Monsters University, Monkey man has Book Club,
Library Summer Program, Girl Scout Day Camp (1 day), and then
we have an engagement party on the weekend.



  • My favorite thing this week was…

A trip down memory lane on the coast



  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Our Field Trip to the coast!



  • Things I’m working on…

Getting some posts done,
mowing the lawn,
and making summer plans.

  • I’m cooking…

Shrimp Linguine


  • I’m grateful for…

The time I get so spend with my family, the memories we
make, and the wonderful times we have!



  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

taking them out to dinner last night and ice cream.
They were so well behaved yesterday…


  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

A new tent… but still doing some research



    • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

      Daddy and the Monkey’s on Father’s Day

Andy & Kids2 edited

Friday, June 21, 2013

The adventures of dance…

Like most girls, my girls love to dance! They are always twirling around the house, and making up some new dance moves.


This last fall we were looking for things for Middle Monkey to do to help with her SPD. Movement like dance, and gymnastics' is great for them. We tweaked our budget a bit, and decided to enroll her and Little Monkey in dance. They started at a little place her in town, so we didn’t have to go far.


Middle Monkey decided to go with tap, jazz, and ballet. I had Little Monkey start with just tap, since it was her first year dancing. Middle Monkey has taken tap and ballet in the past. They loved it! They came home and danced through the house even more than before!


This past weekend was their recital. Nerves were high, Middle Monkey was scared she would mess up. Little Monkey was counting down the days for it to arrive. Finally the day came!


We spent all day at a local High School auditorium getting ready for the recital. It was worth every penny, and second though to see their faces! They did so good! I’m very proud of both of them!


Great job girls! You are amazing!














Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Softball season comes to an end…



My kids are not super athletic, but they like to try sports occasionally. This year the girls decided to try softball. Neither one had really ever played it before.


Middle Monkey was super excited, and I thought it would be a great thing for her to help with learning how to get along with others, and be part of a team. (Huge issues with SPD) She caught on really well, and did a great job playing! I am very proud of her.










Little Monkey on the other hand has only played T-ball once, and at that time had no depth perception (little did we know) so she got frustrated easily. This time around, she did so much better. She was catching better, and even batting a lot better. (she could finally see the ball!) She played on a younger team, and did really well too. I’m so proud of both of them!









The season has come to an end, and they both got a trophy. They were so happy! While I may have been tired and running between games, and looking like a chicken with my head cut off for a few weeks, it was worth it to see them grow.


Do your kids play sports? Which ones?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Berenstain Bears: Golden Edition Review



I don’t know about you, but finding good shows on TV for my kids is difficult these days. Cartoons are just not what they used to be when I was a child. (Yes, I know many moons ago that was)

Recently my monkeys and I got the chance to review The Berenstain Bears: Golden Brother Edition, as well as The Berenstain Bears: Golden Sister Edition in celebration of their 50th Anniversary!

My monkeys are a bit older now, but my youngest little monkey still loves her Berenstain Bears. So this was really more for her. Upon receiving them in the mail, she was so excited to open up the box! Containing her excitement was hard!



The Berenstain Bears: Golden Brother Edition comes in a cute box, with the movie and a small brother bear 10 inch plush. The DVD contains the story about Brother Bear and the many sports that he enjoys while being a role model. All taking place in bear country. The movie runs approximately 120 min.

Episodes in this DVD:

  • Catch the Bus
  • Jump Rope Contest
  • The Hiccup Cure
  • Moving Day
  • Double Dare
  • Lend A Helping Hand
  • The Big Election
  • Trouble with Money
  • At the Giant Mall
  • Showdown at Birder’s Wood
  • Grow It




The Berenstain Bears: Golden Sister Edition was no different! This one came in a nice gift box as well with the DVD, and a cute little Sister Bear 10 inch plush.  Sister bear is a cute spunky character. This movie also runs approximately 120 min.

Episodes on this Dvd:

  • Go up and Down
  • Count Their Blessings
  • Slumber Party
  • Homework Hassle
  • The In Crowd
  • Trouble at School
  • The Female Fullback
  • That Stump Must Go
  • Big Bear, Small Bear
  • Hug and Make Up
  • House of Mirrors


Little Monkeys Thoughts:

She absolutely loved these DVD’s. Her favorite two episodes were “The Hiccup Cure” cause she always has trouble with the hiccups. As well as “Slumber Party” since she is dreaming of a big slumber party with her friends when our house construction is finally done. Little Monkey really loves the music, and stories that the Berenstain Bears bring to our house.


I love that they teach such great values and lessons. Yet, my kids don’t see it as a lesson. They just think they are watching a fun show! I’m so happy that some of the great shows from my time have made their way back. I also loved that these two movies gave me and my Little Monkey a chance to have a nice movie evening to ourselves, while the other monkey’s were gone. Those moments came very far and few between.


Buy it:

You can purchase these special edition DVD’s at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the U.S. They are $19.99 a piece.


We hope that you enjoy them as much as we did!





*Disclosure: All reviews and opinions on this blog are mine or my monkeys. As a member of Team Mom, I received both gift sets to review. I got no monitory compensation.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Homeschooling Mother’s Journal: June 7, 2013

  • In my life this week…
We played softball…
had dance…
Boy Scouts…
went to the dentist…
attended a funeral…
went to the doctors…
watched a friends kid get an award….
and had our dance pic’s taken!!
Super busy week!!!

  • In our homeschool this week…
We prepped for the start of our new year
in one more week
and made a game plan.
Read some books, worked on some math..

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
If you school year round, be sure to not go to intense
during the summer…
Enjoy some fun activities, and Field trips!

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This next week we are having another
crazy week.
I’m going to pick up my friends wedding dress with her.
We are going on a Field Trip to a Tomato Farm…
A couple softball games…
and my girls have their Dance Recital!!!
Gonna be a great week!

  • My favorite thing this week was…
Seeing my Little Monkey’s 1st Softball game!
She did so good… I’m so proud of her!


  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
Middle Monkey went on a school field trip to
a planetarium.

Little Monkey had two softball games.
Monkey Man got his merit badge at Court of Honor.

  • Things I’m working on…
Planning out our field trips for the summer..
(its when we do the most of them)

  • I’m cooking…
French Toast
Middle Monkey has been asking for some all week!

  • I’m grateful for…
the laughs with my friends when I needed it.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…
Having a movie night and watching
“Escape to Planet Earth”

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
A few new books…

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
Playing with my camera again… love to see what I can come up with for a shot.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

TOS Review: Motherboard Books




Technology plays a huge role in our lives now. I hate to see kids spending lots of time on the computer, but the reality is we have to teach them certain skills to have that leg up when they get out of school. My hubby went to school for fixes computers, I’m pretty computer savvy, but one of us needs to learn our way around the computer! LOL!

Our latest review from Motherboard Books was to review their E-book Let’s Make a Web Page.


About the Program:

This is a quick program designed to teach children about web design. The book was written by Phyllis Wheeler, who is nicknamed “The Computer Lady”. She is a homeschooler and mechanical engineer. After looking for a curriculum that taught homeschoolers these skills, and not being able to find one, she developed one.

In order to use this program you need to download a free trial version of software called Coffee Cup Visual Site Designer. However, you can only get the free trial for 30 days, otherwise it is $49. The program is compatible with windows computers, but not Macs. There are other programs out there to use, but this is the one she recommends and gives instructions for.


This program is meant for kids ages 8 and up. I found that mine needed a bit of supervision. Little Monkey who is 8, needed the most help. Monkey Man could get around fairly easy, but didn’t understand a few things.


What you will find in the 60 page book. . .

  • An Interview
  • Download and Set Up the Program
  • Add Text
  • Make a Table
  • Add a Photo
  • From the Internet, Add Animations
  • Browser Check, Backgrounds, Photos
  • Sound
  • Links
  • Post Your Work
  • How to Upload to the Internet


Our Thoughts:

We really had fun using this. Monkey Man now wants to set up his own web page. I learned many things that I didn’t know. I was very impressed. I think we would love to expand on this in the years to come. Little Monkey still had a ways to go with using it independently.



You can purchase this E-book for $19.95


See what the rest of the TOS Crew had to say about this program and Logo Adventures.




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

TOS Review: Math Mammoth Gold Series



Math is one of the things we love in this house. So when we got the chance to review Math Mammoth, Gold Series. I was super excited!

Why you ask? Well, we have tried Math Mammoth before. I have to say we really like them. I was eager to try another part of there products. Monkey Man has always been ahead in math. Trying to find that perfect curricula for him has been really hard.


Now that he is venturing into pre-algebra, I’m worried that I won’t find the right one.


About Math Mammoth:

It is developed by Mara Miller. She is a math teacher that became a housewife, and homeschooler. She has a master’s degree in mathematics, and a minor in physics and statics. Mara started working on the books in 2002, and started selling them in 2003.


Her goal is to make the books with simple terms, but concentrating on the understanding of concept. The workbooks like the Blue Series, and Light Blue Series are good for homeschoolers since they are self-teaching.




What is in the Gold Series:

We tried out the Gold Series this time. Which covers many grades. I opted to get Monkey Man the Grade 7 workbooks. They cover all pre-algebra topics. In book 7-A  (76pgs, 71 worksheets) you will find:

  • The Language of Algebra
  • Integers
  • Solving One-Step Equations
  • Factors and Fractions
  • Rational Numbers
  • Equations and Inequalities


We started with 7-A and I have to tell you I was so happy with the first section being about the language of Algebra. He went through them and got himself acquainted with them. This made it so much easier when he dove in.


We haven’t gotten to the second half yet, but the next part 7-B (86pgs, 80 worksheets) includes:

  • Proportion and Percent
  • Statistics and Graphs
  • Probability
  • Geometry
  • Right Triangles
  • Polynomials


Flipping through, I was very happy with the layout. Monkey Man is not a fan of word problems, so we may have a bit of a disagreement when we get to them!


If you are not sure where your child should be you can take a placement test here.


Our Thoughts:

Monkey Man really enjoyed this one. He liked the way it was laid out, and that each worksheet only concentrated on one thing. So he wasn’t totally overwhelmed. He did one worksheet a day, so we have only made it half way through the first workbook.

As a teacher the only complaint that I am not strong in math, so the answer book wasn’t the best for me. I couldn’t help him as easy when he got them wrong. I wish that it showed out the work, so I could walk him through it. Other than that, I really like the work.


Where to Buy:

You can find Math Mammoth Products at Kagi Store,, Lulu, and Rainbow Resource.

They come as PDF files, so you will need Adobe Reader to view them.

Gold Series 7-A  is $7.75 Download & $2 for the Answer Key

Gold Series 7-B is $8.75 Download & $2 for the Answer Key

Or the Value Pack for Both and answer keys is $14.50



I really think that all Math Mammoth products are a great value! We will be buying more for sure!


See what the rest of the TOS Crew is saying about this product!





Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal:

  • In my life this week…
We were very busy. . .
when we weren’t busy some of us were sick. . .
spent time with friends. . .
enjoyed some lovely days. . .
played in the rain. . .

  • In our homeschool this week…
Still not back to school yet,
almost. . . I decided to wait till my middle monkey
was done with school, so much going on.

We are going on a few field trips coming up though!
This week, we didn’t get to much in. . .
Did go to a Used Homeschool Curriculum sale,
were I stuck to my motto of I’m here to make money, not spend money!
I only bought a couple things for a total of $4, so
I think I did good!

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This week we are super busy!
Middle Monkey has Field day at school that I am helping with,
then we have library, dance, and Court of Honor for Monkey Man.

Getting some work done of Girl Scout Events coming up!

Dentist appt, and lawn mowing, and gardening!

Middle Monkey is going on their end of the year Field Trip to a
Planetarium and museum. 
I will be attending a funeral to say goodbye to a dear friends dad.
Softball practices, and games!
4-H,  and Dance Pictures. . .

  • My favorite thing this week was…
Was spending time with my Monkey’s at the Memorial Day parade!



and spending time with my family for my birthday!

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
The parade, Middle Monkey got to go to a Minor League Baseball game
with her school, and swimming!

  • Things I’m working on…
New Menu, and putting down floors and walls up in my new school room!

  • I’m cooking…
Not sure, its so hot out! I don’t want to eat.
What are you having?

  • I’m grateful for…
An amazing family and friends!
They really lifted my spirits this week!

  • I’m praying for…
The victims of the Tornado’s in Oklahoma

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…
Taking them swimming yesterday after we did everything we had to do!

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
Some really cool cabinets for my new school room!

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

Can you see both rainbows?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Calling all Homeschoolers. . .



Check out this awesome new opportunity from the Schoolhouse. Getting some materials are so hard. I know we struggle in getting things sometimes. Now you can get 175 E-books or audio books! Check out some of the popular publishers included!

  • YWAM
  • Draw Write Now Sampler E-book
  • Amy  Puetz
  • Map Trek
  • Write Shop
  • 15 audio E-books from My Audio School in history and literature
  • Hands of a Child
  • Video from Jessica Hulcy
  • From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms from Mary Jo Tate


I know there are some really great ones in there that I like!


Stuff for all ages, whether you are teaching preschool or high school! Lots of topics. . . including-

  • Bible
  • Electives
  • Government
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Economics
  • Spelling
  • Encouragement
  • Organization
  • Special Needs
  • Nature Study
  • and so many more!!!


You can join today! For a one time fee of $25!

Go check it out now at the


I can’t wait to try it out!