Monday, November 2, 2009


And we're off to Russia for a week or so.  We're reading chapters 17 and 26 in Story of the World, Vol 3; learning about Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grammar worksheets

I've scaled back a little to just Reading, Writing, and Math for the time being.   Here are a bunch of grammar worksheet links that I've found...a lot of them go along really well with First Language Lessons, Level 3.  I don't have the student workbook, and even if I did, I think I would still need some more reinforcements, so this is what I'm using and it works great!

1,025 noun worksheets (and more)
6th grade grammar worksheets - yes, I think they could be used for 3rd grade *cringe*
Daily Grammar - these are great, short little sheets, perfect for quick review
a blog with a bunch of grammar links....maybe they're the same as what I'm putting up, lol.  I haven't looked through it all yet, but there's a lot!  Very helpful!
Gigglepotz - ??? about the name, but a bunch of different worksheets
Language Arts worksheets
Fantastic worksheets - this is the site I go to first.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Preschool/Kindergarten activities/file folder games

I have a few links on the side from when I first started this blog and my oldest was only in preschool.  I was really excited about FFG and the kids liked them, but eventually things tapered off.   Well now that I have a 3,2, and almost 1 year old, I'm looking to get back into file folder games and other bagged activities for preschoolers.  It's becoming clear that it's a necessity.   I'm going to spend a few days, hopefully, working on making a bunch of things and organizing it all and having a preschool bin for them to get activities out of to play with during school.  So hopefully I'll have some pictures soon, since pictures are fun! 

In the meantime, I was reading a thread on the WTM forums about this very thing and found a bunch of great links, and I also went through my bookmarks folder and here are a bunch of links about preschool activities and file folder games:

My old preschool/kdg links
my old 'lots of games' links

preschool centers ideas/links
preschool activities ideas
LOTS of preschool activity ideas
Montessori preschool ideas
Tot School
ChildCareLand FFG
more TotSchool stuff
Totally Tots - cute blog
Shirley's Preschool Activities
Preschool Education
Preschool Express
a blog with ideas
another blog

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Aztec, Inca, Maya

Maya, Aztec & Inca Hands-on Heritage Activity Book
Life in Ancient Mexico Coloring Book
Time Travelers New World Explorers
Story of the World Vol 2 and 3
Trail Guide to World Geography

We actually made it through Meso America in about 3 weeks.  And I had it scheduled for 2 weeks, so that's not bad for us!

We did Lesson 11, 13, 12, and 14 out of the Time Travelers, covering Pizarro, Magellan, de Soto, Verrazano, Cortez and Coronado.  Along with that, we used SOTW Vol 2. chs 32 and 33, and ch 1 out of Vol 3.

For the first week we did week 6 out of Trail Guide - Mexico geography and the second week was week 7 - Central America.   (I love Trail Guide.  It's so fast and easy and the kids are learning a lot through it.  It takes some time to actually memorize the countries/capitals and we're not totally there yet, but it is a very thorough geography curriculum! And very easy to move weeks around to tie the geography into history.)

We did a Stone of the Sun worksheet from the activity book and looked at pictures of it online.  We also looked at a fantastic photo set of Peru/Macchu Picchu on flickr.

We watched a History Channel movie In Search of History: Lost City of the Incas and
Treasures of Peru: Dr. Merry's Nomad Travel  and Mexico to the Max.

We also colored Mexico coloring pages, a Mexican flag, a pueblo diorama from Time Travelers, and an Aztec war club and 'feather' headdress from the activity book.    There is also a neat Inca artifact craft in the Time Travelers that we didn't get to, but probably will eventually just for fun.  I just never had the supplies for it.  There was also some handwriting/penmanship sentences in Time Travelers that we used.  We also did the explorers books/maps/timelines in Time Travelers....when we get to the end of the unit I'll post pictures of all of that.

I'm so bad about doing the food in the Time Travelers, but I bought some instant mesa flour to make tortillas with the kids for Aztec food.

I have the first Classical Conversations audio cd, and we did history tracks 16 and 17; songs about Meso-America and the Aztecs.

3 more craft ideas I found:
Aztec calendar
Mexican pottery
Aztec Sun

The handle-less clubs and headdresses:


We made the paper dioramas from the Time Traveler's's so funny to see the difference between boys and girls.  Aiden's Coronado is getting ready to kill, and his soldiers are getting ready to steal a donkey, and all of Alysa's soldiers and Indians are friends.  They loved doing this, and this was a fairly easy project to do.   The paper people don't really stand up that well, so I taped them down.

Aiden's diorama

Alysa's diorama

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Renaissance/Reformation quotations

Here are some more quotes I've found for this time period....I actually don't know when Thomas a Kempis lived, LOL, but he was in the christian history book and they had a couple of quotes that I just loved so I wrote them now I won't forget them, lol.

“The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.” - Leonardo Da Vinci



“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” - Leonardo Da Vinci



“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.: - Leonardo Da Vinci


In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

— Galileo Galilei


I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. — Galileo Galilei


Jesus has many who love his kingdom in heaven, but few who bear his cross.

- Thomas a Kempis


They who love Jesus for his own sake, and not for the sake of comfort for themselves, bless him in every trial and anguish of the heart, no less than in the greatest joy.  And were he never willing to bestow comfort on them, they would still always praise him and give him thanks. - Thomas a Kempis




“...I stand convicted by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s Word, and I cannot and will not recant anything.  For to act against conscience is neither safe for us nor open to us.  

        On this I take my stand.  I can do no other.  God help me. Amen.”

– Martin Luther

Friday, March 13, 2009

Multi-Mental Vitamin

Someone linked to a couple of posts by MMV and they were so great and encouraging, I'm linking them here......

Simple ways to inject fun into your children's learning days

Thoughts on education and parenting- lots of links here

Advice to a new homeschooling mother

We do not bounce off the walls in this house. We only bounce on Dad.

When a parent asks you to do something, you do not whine or complain or refuse. You do it. After you do it, you may whine or complain. And then we can refuse to let you [insert favorite activity here].

It all begins with me.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming...


Feed a cold; starve a (spring) fever?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Books, books, books

We're still plugging away at Explorers...................slowly.     I'll have to do another post soon about where we're at.   I unpacked more books from the basement and got them on the shelves!  Now the kids have almost all their books on their own bookshelf.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

pictures from my bookshelf

My favorite children's book ever: The Riverside Anthology of Children's Literature

up up up up up!!!  I love it.  I can't even reach the top shelf without a chair!  The shelves stop 6 inches away from the ceiling!

my favorite part of my bookshelf - the coloring books!   I want to eventually own almost all of Dover's coloring books, LOL.  I have a decent selection so far.....these aren't for the kids to color in; I use them to make copies.   And no one yell at me I have 5 kids, I'm not going to buy 5 copies of each coloring book when we only use a couple pages out of each one

Trying to be more disciplined

I really am trying to post regularly on this thing and be disciplined about recording what we're doing....2 steps forward, 1 step back, I guess.    We've taken a few weeks off because of a wonderful distraction.  I always feel bad when we get way off schedule but I suppose with so many littles, and then life on top of it, I suppose it's ok to cut myself a little slack, but it's hard.  Anyway. 



We have since added some trim and other decorations to the doors; we still have a little more finishing work to do and then when it's done done done, I'll post another picture.  I'm so proud of my dh!    He designed it and built it and it looks great!   I combined 3 bookshelves into this one, and also moved the terribly crowded game closet into the cabinet......and now I have a place for all my school books and a desk where I can do my lesson planning and other things.  I love it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Books and Movies for Explorers


I like reading good adult books on topics that the kids are learning about, to refresh my mind and give more details that I can throw in to the kids when we're discussing things.  There are a few books I have read recently that are about the age of Exploration, that I really enjoyed.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

America's Hidden History - Kenneth C. Davis

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World

The author of A Voyage Long and Strange, Tony Horwitz also has another book called Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before, that looks really good.  I'm going to check that out of the library this weekend.  A Voyage Long and Strange was my favorite book out of those - it was amazing.  It fills in the gap that occurs in our traditional American history education between Columbus and the Mayflower.  He actually goes back and starts with the Vikings discovering America, and then goes through Columbus and all the other explorers before the Mayflower lands.  It is fascinating, and very well done.

I don't know if these links will work; they go to netflix. 

Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus  This is a 2 hour 2007 documentary, where they re-enact Columbus' voyage.  It was a tad boring for the kids, but they watched a fair amount of it; I thought it was interesting.

Columbus: The Lost Voyage - this is in our queue; I'll put a review up after we watch it.

Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed - this is in our queue; I'll put a review up after we watch it.

Empires: The Medici, Godfathers of the Renaissance - this is in our queue; I'll put a review up after we watch it.

Rick Steves: Spain & Portugal - I watched this the other night on PBS and it was really good. I want to get some of his Italian ones, too.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - I've heard this is a good movie; we'll see if the kids agree!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Here is a list of what copywork I have so far for the Explorers/Renaissance time periods. There are also copywork sentences given in Time Traveler's as well, that we're using.  They are basically one sentence biographies for the various explorers.  Since I am trying to have dd write one sentence a day, I went looking for more copywork sentences.  Some of these I've borrowed from other people's lists - Trivium Academy comes to mind.


“I believe that this is a very great continent which until today has been unknown.”
Christoper Columbus

Central America

"We are on a crusade.  We are marching as Christians into a land of infidels.  We seek not only to subdue boundless territory in the name of our Emperor Don Carlos, but to win millions of unsalvaged souls to the True Faith." – Hernando Cortes


“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.”
Martin Luther


“It is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams...Through it, God will spread His Word. A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men. - Johann Gutenberg

The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves. - Leonardo Da Vinci

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. - Leonardo Da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. - Leonardo Da Vinci

In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. - Galileo Galilei

I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. - Galileo Galilei

Elizabethan Age

“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.”
Queen Elizabeth I



Sunday, January 11, 2009

First week with Time Traveler's

Well I think I can count this week as basically a success, considering we still had sick kids and a tired momma!  I was able to get up early 2 days this week; eventually I'd like it to be every day.  It's hard getting up so early with the baby still waking up during the night. 

And we accomplished almost everything on our school schedule; very unusual!   Usually we have several items that keep getting bumped back. 

This week started our Time Traveler's New World Explorers unit.  We are not doing every single lesson.  We are also using Trail Guide to World Geography and I've lined up some of those lessons to coincide with our history.

We do history 3 days a week.  So, this week we did lesson 1,3, and 4, covering the why's of exploration and about the ships.   We also did ch. 28 of Story of the World volume 2.  We have been using SOTW as our history, and will keep using it alongside TT.  For geography, we did week 1, world geography. 

About Time Traveler's:   So far, I love it.  The one thing I would recommend, and I did it because I found it recommended elsewhere, is to do all the copying ahead of time.  There is a lot of printing/copying that needs to be done.  I actually did it in 2 big batches.  When I first got the cd, I was so excited that I went and printed out all of the text pages and a lot of the masters and put it all in a nice binder.    Last week when I sat down to do my detailed planning, I printed out the rest of the masters and the things that needed to be put on cardstock.  It is quite a lengthy ordeal.  But it looks great, and once that is done, it won't need to be done again and is easy to use.

The projects in TT are great.  They seem to be varied for ages, so I think when we go back through this again in a few years, there will still be stuff for the olders and the youngers to do.

I went to the library and got some books to go along with what we're learning:
Ships - Philip Wilkinson 387.2
DK Eyewitness Boat 623.8
A 16th centry Galleon - Richard Humble, Peter Bedrick 623.822
Exploring the World - Fiona Macdonald 910.9
In 1492 - Jean Marzollo E M
Around the World in a Hundred Years - Jean Fritz 910.922

Here are some pictures of some projects from New World Explorers that we did this week:

5 reasons for exploration, and anatomy of the ship.  There are fold up boxes that show the answer to what part of the ship it is.

We weren't going to do the 'build a ship' project because of time and space, so on her own - before we even started the unit, actually, my dd drew up blueprints of her ship, and then proceeded to color it, make the flag, and get her dad to help her build it.  I was very impressed.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I'm getting excited about getting back into the swing of things full time on Monday.  We are going to be on Week 15.  I don't even know how far behind that would be from everyone else, LOL.  I know we're a little behind on some things from where I'd like to be, but oh well.  Onward we march!  Weeks 15-27 are roughly planned out, with weeks 15-21 detailed and everything is printed and copied and in a binder so I can just pick up and go each week.  Week 27 ends on April 3rd and I'm tentatively planning on Spring Break the following week.  That ends with us finishing up Paddle to the Sea, but I think I might push Spring Break back another week and extend Paddle into a 2 week unit.  And then after spring break we will do the New World and Pilgirms.  Week 26 is pirates and the finishing up of the Time Traveler's New World Explorers.  So that will be a 12 week unit that we are about to begin.  The next few entries will hopefully be schedules and links of what I want to do.

Where We're At

Just a list of how far we're at, for no particular reason.

History - we started Story of the World Volume 2 in September - we are on chapter 28.

Science - we are doing Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy - We are only on Venus

Geography - we are using Trail Guide to World Geography, and have gone way out of order, but have done quite a few weeks of geography.

Grammar - we started First Language Lessons, intending on doing both 1st and 2nd grade in one year; we are almost done with 1st grade.

Reading - We completed Teach Your Child to read in 100 easy lessons.  Aiden is reading very, very, well.  Alysa has worked through some BOB books, and has also completed ETC book 3, and is almost done with book 4. The goal is to also finish book 5.

Math - Aiden is in Singapore 1 A, and things aren't quite working out like I thought, so I'm going to have to spend some time on that.  Alysa is using Math-U-See and is on Beta and has been pretty consistent at working through it and understanding it all; she is on lesson 17, out of 30.

Memorization - They both learned Luke 2:11-12; Aiden learned Isaiah 9:6, Alysa learned Micah 5:2 and 4; they both know the President's song, and Alysa memorized Rain by R.L. Stevenson, and the Tomorrow speech from Macbeth, and they both learned some of the Classical Conversations history sentences.

It feels like we haven't accomplished nearly what I wanted to by now, but looking at it, we've done more than I thought.  Now I'm even more motivated to really get going this year and be more diligent about our schedule.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Getting ready

I am so hit and miss with this blog.  And I keep having kids and keep having to redo things.....I'll have to change the header picture again since we have  5 now, and the baby is already 8 months old and just cut his first teeth!   I want to try, or 'resolve' as the case may be, to blog a lot more regularly on here.  We'll see how that goes!    I am getting ready to start the Time Traveler's Explorers and it looks amazing!   I'm going to intersperse it with SOTW 2, and even Paddle to the Sea, so it's going to be a 3-4 month long thing, assuming I can even stay on schedule.  But we are working on that.  So, hopefully, I'll be able to chronicle what we're doing and how well the TT is working out.  I always see a lot of people asking about it, and I was too, before I bought it, so maybe this will help someone, getting to see it used. 

New World Explorers

New design

There we go.  A new design.  I need to make a couple more entries to bump off my McCain/Palin rally entry....for some reason the text and pictures don't fit now.
Copyright 2011
Classical Chaos

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