Thursday, August 21, 2014

New U.S. Presidents Resources!

I'm so excited to tell you that over at Classical Composers Monthly, we are branching out into resource collections about the U.S. Presidents!  Our first "presidential six-pack" is ready for you now!  It includes:

George Washington
John Adams 
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams

You and your children will love the informative biographies and interesting videos.  You'll be inspired by the stories of the determination, innovation, and character that these men showed as they worked to get a new nation successfully underway!  Obviously, this is a perfect accompaniment for all of you that are studying US History this year, or any year--because once you purchase, this will continue to be available to you indefinitely!

We also have a GREAT new freebie for you.  It's all about the U.S. National Anthem, which turns 200 next month!  You can check it out here, and feel free to share the link with anyone, including on your pinterest boards and facebook pages.

We are celebrating this new collection with a sale!  From now through the weekend (Aug. 24) use coupon code NEWPRES to take 20% off of the regular price of this and any other collections you would like!  


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Star Spangled Banner Turns 200!

Did you know that next month will mark 200 years since the Star Spangled Banner was written? Wow!

Enjoy this *free* resource collection and learn about Francis Scott Key, the War of 1812, the political issues of the time, and more.  You'll love the stirring videos, the historical reenactments, the beautifully-sung renditions of our national anthem, and all of the fun and educational resources we found, too!

Feel free to share this resource with anybody else that you think would enjoy it, and add it to your Pinterest pages too!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Back to School Printables!

I loved these First Day of School printables last year.  I'm scheduling this post a year in advance, hoping they will still be available!  Clickety-click!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Birthday Sale at Classical Composers Monthly!

Classical Composers Monthly (my business!) is 2 years old this month, so we wanted to celebrate with you!  (Just in time for you to stock up for the school year, too!)

You can get our Grand Birthday Pack of ALL 15 of our current collections for over 40% off!

You can buy individual collections for 25% off using coupon code BDAY.

And for your Party Favor, everybody that makes a purchase will get our Great Works of Art (other than paintings) collection for FREE with any purchase!  This collection regularly sells for $14.95!

Sale ends July 31, so hurry and stock up for the school year!

**Don't forget!  ALL of our collections give you Lifetime access for ONE low price!  And we send you emails periodically so you won't forget what you bought or how to find it again!

Come Party With Us!
Classical Composers Monthly

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Great Deal on Composer and Artist Resources!

My business, Classical Composers Monthly, is offering a huge, awesome deal for newbies!

Get ALL 3 of the composer collections
BOTH of the Fine Art Pages collections
BOTH of the artist collections
for a whopping 40% off!

This is a GREAT value for so many resources that you will want to use again and again through the years as you homeschool!  This sale runs through Tuesday, Dec. 3, and won't be repeated this year, so hurry on over and get this deal while it's hot!  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Something fresh and fun for your homeschool!

In the 17 years since I've been homeschooling my six children, I've found that it is really helpful to bring fresh, fun new resources into the mix in the middle of the school year.  It livens things up and puts a spring in the step of our sweet kiddos, which is great for moms too!

Well, my friend Diane Hurst from Gentle Shepherd curriculum offered to create a special deal just for you guys that I think you will enjoy!  This 3-ebook bundle includes a sweet and simple alphabet and number pictures book, and two different picture and writing books for both younger and older children.  All of these ebooks offer a nice balance of structure, writing prompts, and space for your child's creativity!  If you have little ones that are eager to "do school" or slightly older ones that need something that gives them a little bit of structure while also being creative, these will be *perfect* for you!  I also love it that these ebooks will not use much ink at all, and that you can use them over and over again with all of your children.

Diane has put this set together at a nice big 30%  discount for us, so go on over and check it out.  I can easily imagine how helpful it will be for you in the busy days between now and Thanksgiving to have these fresh pages to occupy your children while you work to prepare for the holiday!  This offer is good til the weekend, so hurry and take advantage of it!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

1940s Dance Night!

The Danville Community Arts center is hosting a ballroom dance night with a 1940s theme!

Friday, November 1, 2013.

8-9pm is a dance lesson

9-10pm is open dance

Admission:  First timers are free, others are $5 per person.

Everyone is welcome, from beginning dancers to those who have been dancing for years!  We would love to see our Challenge friends there!

You can dress up in a 1940s theme if you want to!  (you don't have to, thought!  Don't let lack of costume keep you away.)

Ladies, here are some ideas for how to do 40s hairstyles:

Guys:  Here are some hair styling tips for you!

Wondering what to wear? Here are some ideas!


 This brings tears to my eyes. 

 This is the reminder that

 ~anything is possible

 ~that our society does not know to value the abundance we have

~that our opportunities are so, so valuable.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Columbus Day Freebie

As a busy homeschool mom, I know all too well how some “lesser-known” holidays come around and I haven’t had time to prepare anything special to teach my children about it. Well, over at Classical Composers Monthly, we are aiming to make things easier for you by doing all the legwork! Our hope is that this Columbus Day resource collection will make it super simple for you to just jump in and enjoy sharing the information with your kids. We have bunches of printables, videos, and interesting things to learn. Whether you have little tykes or teens, there is something for everyone here.  You can help yourself to the collection by clicking here.

Would you also let other homeschoolers know about this free resource?  We'd love to share it with all of them!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CC Art Week 5: Perspective

My very favorite project to do with my class for week 5 is a One Point Perspective project.  I have done this with kids 9-12 years old with good results. I first learned about it on Deep Space Sparkle.  The original site for it is here, and it includes step-by-step instructions, which I absolutely, positively recommend that you write down and practice and then take your class through.

I start the lesson by explaining what perspective is, how perspective changes a square into a cube, how it can give depth, etc.  I bring some art to show some examples.  If you can bring a laptop and show the pictures on the original site for this project, that would be perfect.  I get big pieces of paper ready ahead of time, by either folding the horizon line and the diagonal lines, or lightly drawing them on with a pencil.  This just saves time and frustration since we only have 30 minutes in CC to do this project.

I tape my own sheet of paper to the white board and I draw every step along the way, explaining and showing as I go, what they are to do.  I think it helps them to see the actually demonstration.

We go through each step.  Room moms help make sure the kids are understanding and following instructions.  The process is quite counter-intuitive, so there may be some erasing involved.  Explain what parallel means, because it will be a helpful word for them to understand!  I found that the step where they put the sidewalk lines in is pretty hard for them.  They all want to make the lines diagonal, but they need to be parallel with the bottom of the paper.  (straight across)  Have extra pieces of paper ready because some will need to just start over rather than erase madly.

In the half hour that we have for art I have always been able to have all the kids have the street, trees, buildings, and some windows and doors on the buildings.  We just sketch it all in pencil.  Encourage them to take it home and add color to it!  Or, for week 6, since it's sort of a free choice week, you could have them continue to work on this piece.

My students this year (11 and 12 year olds) seemed very excited to realize that once they understood the concepts for the slants and so forth, that they could apply this to make different types of landscapes and scenes that they were interested in.

Good luck!

Challenge B: Linnaeus resources

Here are some resources that I found related to our study of Linnaeus for the science project in Challenge B.

Here is a chart showing the Linnaean Classification System.
More information here on classification.
Information about Carl Linnaeus from the Encyclopedia Brittannia.

Challenge A week 5 Geography: Central America, etc.

I thought I'd share (when I'm able to) what we're doing to help get through Challenge A, in case it is a help to others.  I was completely lost and struggling my first year.  This year is somewhat better.

I have chosen not to have my children do the freehand drawing for geography.  Instead, we label blank blackline maps.  (they do show the outlines of the countries and the features.  I just made copies of the map provided in the ChA guide.)  I choose features and capitals as I feel they are important.  We do leave some stuff out.  My goal is to have my children master the items that we do learn, rather than barely know a bunch more.  So, we spend about 45-60 minutes a day working on learning and adding on bit by bit.  I aim to get as much of it as possible, and get it well known by my kids.

This video might be a help to you:

What I did for Day 1 of learning this area:

--I gave out a blank blackline map of the area and a labeled version of it as well.  You can use the blank map in the ChA guide, or you can print from this site.

--We went through the main countries and labeled them one by one in this order:  Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama.  After labeling, we chanted through, and I would say the country name and the kids would repeat and point to the country.

--Once we had that, we went on to the Greater Antilles.  We went in order, labeling one at a time. One helpful thing I did was I used a highlighter and went around from child to child, highlighting the next item that we were labeling.  This way they knew how to spell and what country we were looking at.

--We chanted and pointed through those as well.

--We then added some bodies of water:  Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.

That is all we are doing for Day 1.  Tomorrow I will build on it, starting with giving everyone a blank map and asking them to fill in everything they can remember.  After they get as much done as they can, we will look back on the labeled maps to see what was missed, and fill in those.  Then we will add on some additional items.  We will repeat like this each day until we have everything that we want to get on the map.

At some point I will work on teaching the capitals for the countries.  We will probably not learn every single island in the Lesser Antilles, and I seriously doubt we will learn the capitals for the ones we do learn.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Getting easier!

Encouragement of the day: Consistency pays off.

We have been doing school since Aug. 1. Many of the things we are doing are short little things (like a 2-3 minute timed test for math, 15 minutes of practice on penmanship, etc.) and it is so nice to see that now, a month later, there are less groans, and more confidence!

One son, who tends to believe he is not going to be good at a lot of things, is coming into his own and going a beautiful job in so many areas. It feels so good to see this and I know it feels good to the kids to gain confidence!

 I think the biggest key is to do a little bit, consistently, with gentle love and encouragement and fun. (and cookies! Sometimes I start handing out cookies when times are tough at the desks!)

There is no need to be cross and pushy and grumpy with your children.

If something is really, really hard for them, think of a way to help.

Maybe ask for less for awhile.

Maybe hand them a cookie or two.

Maybe find a different way to do the thing. (I found that using the white board to help kids get the hang of difficult cursive strokes really helped. Making the letters bigger helps them see the parts of the letter, and it involves more muscles when they make it. And you can use fun colored markers, too!)

 Reminds me of, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"

What are your favorite ways to add a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Motivational Tickets

So I'm using something new, and I thought you all might find it useful as a jumping-off point in your own homes.

We've had two persistent character issues going on this school year:

1.  Complaining and fussing.  Mostly about school work.  "This is SO HARD!"  "I'm DYING!!!"  (over something so strenuous as 15 minutes of penmanship practice for a 5th grader....)

2.  Mean words toward one another.

The other day at our CC tutor meeting, our director shared Proverbs 12: 18 with us as something that had helped her with her own children.  The next day I made a print out of it, in a modern translation, and we are reading it together each morning before school.  It says:

Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.

I have a roll of those perforated carnival tickets.  (got them in the office supply area of Walmart)  I decided to give each boy two sets of 3 tickets per day.  One set is plain.  One set I draw a red stripe across. They write their name on the back of each one.  The plain ones are for complaining:  If they fuss or complain about something, they pay me a ticket.  The "red line" tickets are for cutting remarks.  (cutting=blood=red)  So if they make cutting remarks, they pay me a ticket.  

The goal, of course, is to still have tickets available at the end of the day.  I have a container that all of their kept tickets go into.  I have a small stash now of tickets that they paid me for complaining or for cutting remarks.

I thought this up on a whim, so didn't have the reward portion of this figured out when I started it, and I don't have it figured out now.  I'll come up with something.  I think that for my sons, just having something tangible to remind them to think before they speak is helpful.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Discover Europe

I've not typically been all that interested in notebooking, but Jessica's fabulous sets have really inspired me!  I already own both the Discovering Africa set and the Out of This World set about planets, and now I am so excited about the Europe set!

Jessica does a beautiful job of designing each page, and since she's a homeschooling mom of four, she knows what to think about for inclusion, interest, and ease of use.

The price is certainly right, especially considering that you could use this for an entire year of Geography, or to teach a small class in a co-op setting or something cool like that!

As a special introductory offer, you can get $3 off the already bargain price on the Discover Europe set by using coupon code backpack3.  Gotta hurry--the coupon expires Sept. 11.

You can also help yourself to some free page about England by clicking here!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CC Cycle 2 Week 3: Saturn

After our science experiment today related to Saturn, my class had so many questions that I decided to find some additional resources.  Maybe they will be of interest to you:

And these:

Monday, September 2, 2013

September: It's Time for a Contest!

One September day last year, we were in the midst of the school day when I declared, "Dance Break!"  I got this song going on the computer and got some of the kids to boogie a little and shake out the school day wiggles.  As I watched that video today and thought about doing another September video this month, I thought:  Why not a contest?

So here it is:

1. Make a September video with your kids using the classic Earth, Wind, and Fire song.  It can be unrehearsed, or it can be scripted and edited to perfection.  It can be just the kids, or it can include you/your husband/other family members/pets.  Just have fun celebrating September!

2. Upload it to youtube, and then  3. leave a comment under this post with the URL of your video.  I'll share it on our facebook page so people can vote for their favorite!  Make sure you've already Liked our page so you don't miss a thing and so you can get your friends to vote!

What will the winner (the video with the most votes) get?

Well, I'm going to work on this, but right now I can tell you it will include a prize package currently valued at over $100:

A set of ALL of our collections from Classical Composers Monthly
A set of ALL of my ebooks from Supermom's Health and Wellness

Depending on what else I can rustle up, maybe some other stuff too.  :)

So, get crackin' kids!  Fun is in the air!

Contest will run for the entire month of September.  I want to see A THOUSAND fun videos!*  (do you think we can do it?)  

Will you tell your friends?  Post this on your blog?  Let's have some fun!

**Fine print, rules, FAQs, and whatnot:

Family-friendly videos only.  Anything deemed inappropriate will absolutely, positively be deleted.  "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

"Can we submit more than one video?"  Sure, if you want to.  The more the merrier.  And, I don't have time to police or enforce anything else anytime.  Again:  "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

*"Did you really mean it when you said you want a THOUSAND videos?!"  Well, um.....yes and no.  See above:  "Ain't nobody got time for that!"  Well, we'll just see what happens, ok?  This is my first time at this rodeo.

"What if we're not homeschoolers?"  Oh, well!  You don't have to be a homeschool family to have fun.  Join the contest!  (And, really--how on earth would I know anyhow?  Say it with me:  "Ain't nobody got time for that!!")

"How do I make a video?"  I don't know.  All I do is play the song on my computer and use my cell phone to take the video.  If you know a fancier way, go for it!  If you want to share a link to a How To for all of us, do it!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Words to live by

"Always remember, Son, 
the best boss is the one 
who bosses the least.
Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men;
the least government
is the best government."

~Little Britches, page 80

I like this so much.  It is very similar to my parenting philosophy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Laminator Pouches!

For those of you that have a laminator, or those who still need one, now is the time to stock up on 100 laminator pouches for a GREAT price! (How does 43% off sound?!)  If you have Amazon Prime, all the better, because these will ship to you fast and free!  The Scotch laminators are still at a great price of only $24.97.

Although this photo shows a box of 200, the deal on the site is for 100 for just $13.99!