Love is in the air...Homeschool love that is...

Today is Valentine's Day, but in our home today was like Christmas. Our package arrived from High Country Christian Depot!!

I have not received any compensation or benefits for writing this blog post.

 The Homeschooled Young Man could not wait to tear open this package and see what was inside!


When the Homeschooled Young Man see's bubble wrap, he knows it's gonna be a good day! 'Cause any boy knows that bubble wrap serves 3 purposes.

1. Bubble Wrap protects our purchases
2. Bubble Wrap makes for great workout routine jumping up and down on all the bubbles
3. Bubble Wrap drives a Homeschool Mom crazy with the popping sounds and the jumping up and down in the house!


The box is not yet unloaded and the Homeschooled Young Man has the book open and is reading through the lessons...lol...ah, the glory of homeschooling. 


Have you ever seen a child hold up in classroom all day, 180 school days per year that is excited when their Apologia Physics Instructional DVD arrives in the mail? Yes, I know, we are weird, we homeschool, need I say more?

Praise the Lord for the learning everywhere about everything mindset. Our world is our classroom and we are loving it. Learning is not a chore it is a lifestyle.

Moe
p.s. High Country Christian Depot carries both the Apologia Biology ($95.20, regularly $140) & the Apologia Physics ($100.80 regularly $140) Instructional DVD's. I could not teach either of these subjects very well without these instructional DVD's. Now through 5/31/2015 you can save an additional 10% off by using the coupon code HOMESCHOOL10. 

I have not received any compensation or benefits for writing this blog post.


Apologia Science Book Review & A Coupon Code


We had seen Apologia in the vendor hall and heard them speak at our homeschool convention. We sort of drooled over the Apologia curriculum, but in keeping with tradition we continued with our ‘boxed curriculum’ that we always used. “Why change?” Well let me tell you, once the Young Explorer Series Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology showed up in the mail, it was like Christmas at our house, ripping and tearing of the mailing bag, paper flying all over! Our son was just going crazy over the color pictures, upcoming fun experiments and the activity pages in the Anatomy Notebooking Journal $19.44 (for either the junior or regular).

 My readers will receive a special discount when shopping through the High Country Christian Depot's website using the coupon code homeschool10 one coupon per order, one time use only, valid through 05/31/15.
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Young Explorer Series Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology (hardcover) by Jeannie Fulbright and Brooke Ryan, M.D. Grades 4-6.
The student textbook is hardcover and looks as thought it would hold up well for use by more than one student.
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Young Explorer Series Anatomy Notebooking Journal for Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology $19.44 (spiral bound) by Jeannie Fulbright. Grades 3-6.
The Journal is spiral bound with a soft cover and it has yet to tear by the spiral, most of our spiral bound textbooks/workbooks from other companies seem to fray quickly and eventually tear at the first few spirals.



Even though our student is in the 7th grade, I felt that this would be a good fit for him since science has always been a struggle for my normally sharp student. The boxed curriculum that we had been using pretty much focused on memorizing terms and answering questions: BORING! Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology teaches from a different angle. “This K-6 science curriculum uses the Charlotte Mason methodology to give young students an introduction to the incredible human body.”

1) The book is hardcover “I can toss it in my book bag to take in the car and it does not get all bent up.”

2) I like the full color photos and crisp pages.

3) “You always get to do something fun in the Try This section. ”
 4) The course website book extras were GREAT!!! “I had fun going to these websites to read more about what I was learning in each lesson.”
 
Things that our student did not like about Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology:
 
1) "NOTHING, I LOVED IT AND CAN'T WAIT FOR TOMORROW'S LESSON!"

What this Momma did not like about Young Explorer Series Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology:

1) I thought that the MP3 audio would be great, until I found that it would only play in our computer. The MP3 does state that “you must play it in an MP3-compatible CD player or on a computer”. I was thinking that it would have been great to take it on car trips or for our student to be able to listen to it in his room on a CD player.

2) I did not care for some of the printing fonts used in the Anatomy Notebooking Journal, I thought that they were very hard for me to read. And might be especially hard for younger children that are not yet seasoned readers. The fonts used on many of the pages are bubbly or squiggly shaded fonts that are really hard on the eyes, otherwise the rest of the type is fine throughout the journal.  I get that the digestive system is squiggly because it's the intestines, but for a struggling reader, this might be hard to read. They are very cute and fun though.

Things that this homeschooling Momma liked about Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology:

1) Penmanship, it always seems like such a chore in the homeschool, read just about any homeschooling blog or website and you will see Mothers chatting about handwriting. The Anatomy Notebooking Journal incorporates copy work right in to their lessons. It’s all blended together in the learning process and as an added blessing the copy work consists of Bible memory verses!!

2) I like the answer key being in the back of the textbook, it’s nice not to have an extra book (answer key) to hunt for when grading work. The lesson planning guide is included in the Anatomy Notebooking Journal, yet again one less thing to have to hunt for :O)

3) Love, Love, Love the different skin tones of the paper dolls to pick from in the Personal Person project.

4) The section of the student textbook called “How To Use This Book: A step-by-step guide and the Items Needed to Complete Each Lesson were WONDERFUL!!! There was no hunting for supplies or starting a lesson only to find out that there is an experiment that day needing XYZ that you don’t have on hand to complete. It’s all right there in the front of the book listed by lesson. How easy is that for a busy homeschooling Momma!!

5) I like how the Apologia website offers sample pages of all the textbooks so you can look through them before buying. Very nice feature.

6) I had to have surgery during this review and ended up with a post-op infection, and was hospitalized for 13 days, many days of laying and doing nothing on pain meds. My son was able to move forward all by himself in the material, that was a huge blessing and he learned a lot. I was very impressed with his drawings of the human cell, normally he hates drawing in science and would whine and carry on if he had to draw anything besides a Star Wars action guy! lol. But he really had a fun time with the Anatomy Notebooking Journal.

Looking back at our years of struggling with science, I wish we had decided to use Apologia Educational Ministries, INC long ago!! Our son would like to go back and do the other Apologia science books: Zoology, Astronomy, Botany, Flying Creation and Swimming Creation. So I think we will be spending our summers under a shade tree or at the beach with some new Apologia science books.

 My readers will receive a special discount when shopping through the High Country Christian Depot's website using the coupon code homeschool10  one coupon per order, one time use only, valid through 05/31/15. Our mission at High Country Christian Depot, is to provide affordable products that teach, inspire, and encourage the hearts and minds of believers.

Taming The Electronics Monster

I thought the blog title Taming The Electronics Monster is pretty telling. Electronics can become a monster in our home and eat up lots of our valuable time. I recently read a blog post by Sports Mom Survival Guide. She has a really cool idea and a printout to make your own printed "Electronics Tickets" for your children. You can print out 15 minute or 30 minute tickets to give to your child.

click here for FREE printable
Up until 7th grade we had implemented no media during the week and then 30 minutes per day on Sat/Sun. After that we have done 30 minutes per day and 60 min on Sat/Sun. For our family media means radio, TV (which we only have FREE TV channels), DVD's, VHS, Internet, Amazon Prime, video games and educational games). An extra 30 min can be earned through extra chores.

There are two areas that I am lenient on, one being in the car I have on talk Christian radio, Dave Ramsey, Medical School HQ podcast or a CD with a homeschool convention speaker.  The other being on Saturday mornings, the Homeschooled Young Man likes to listen to some young adults Christian radio programs. So while he is doing his chores or lounging ni his room he has free rein to listen to those programs.

Now on rare occasions (Mom is ill, Dad is off a day etc) then we will have a media frenzy, but it's very rare! Maybe 3x per year. It's usually either a Bugs Bunny or Deadliest Catch marathon...lol...yes, I know weird picks, but we like them!

I have printed mine out and and laminated them. Pretty cool idea!

How does your family Tame The Electronics Monster?

Moe

Review of my favorite place to shop for homeschool supplies!

As a single income family and busy homeschooling Mom, I am always looking out for the best deal on homeschooling supplies. Today I am sharing with you my best kept secret and my favorite place to shop for homeschool materials. I have received a gift card in exchange for my time to write a review on my blog about my personal experiences with High Country Christian Depot.
A bonus for my readers is that you get a discount coupon code good to use on anything from their website. Heather from High Country Christian Depot offers a wide variety of products for kids, youth and adults including gifts, homeschool resources, books, church supplies, and Bibles all at everyday low prices. She says, "Our mission at High Country Christian Depot is to provide affordable products that teach, inspire, and encourage the hearts and minds of believers." Heather goes on to say "we are a group of fellow believers who understand the importance in having a Kingdom mindset in the midst of everyday distractions and view our business as our ministry to serve you."

A little background on how I came across High Country Christian Depot on the web. I've always been an avid Amazon.com shopper looking for the best deals on Christian supplies for my home and homeschool. A couple of years ago I started buying from High Country Christian Depot on Amazon and have experienced great customer service.

Fast forward to 2015 and I am still buying my homeschooling materials from them, but now they have launched their own website with a GRAND OPENING! I am really excited about this! They still have the same great deals on gifts, VBS materials, homeschool supplies, home decor, toys, books for children, youth and adults, Bibles, video titles  and more (over 7,000 items) all at up to 50% savings everyday! Keep reading, my followers get an extra special savings coupon code!!

Heather and staff offer great customer service at High Country Christian Depot. You really never know just how good a company is until you have to deal with their customer service department. As a crazy busy wife, Mom and homeschooler, I get a tad bit disorganized in the area of what curriculum I own and what I need to buy. Imagine that! I had the homeschooled Young Man sort through our materials for the upcoming school year and he told me what we needed. I ordered it and guess what? The box came just a few days later and I knew that I had seen that Apologia MP3 somewhere before, oh, yes right there on the bookshelf. GGRRR!! So I emailed High Country Christian Depot and got a quick phone call back saying that I could just exchange the item. I picked out a few new items that had been on my wish list and mailed back the still in the shrink-wrap MP3. Simple as that. I got some very helpful and fun Study Guide Flippers in exchange for the MP3.

Their website is very easy to navigate and best of all they have very reasonable shipping rates! Before you buy your curriculum at a homeschool convention this year, checkout the prices at High Country Christian Depot on over 7,000 items and use your exclusive coupon code found below. I think you will be surprised at the savings. If you don't see what you are looking for on their website contact Heather at  (800) 682-5031 or contact@HCChristianDepot.com. You can become a follower on Twitter too.

Thanks for taking the time to check out High Country Depot's website, I would also like to ask you to head over to their Facebook page and "LIKE" them. They have deals of the day and deals of the month. Now for an exclusive coupon code for you, homeschool10, use this code on your next purchase to save an extra 10% off now through May 31, 2015. Please feel free to share this code with your friends, on your facebook page and in your homeschooling groups.

Moe

Gluten Free & Weight Gain?

I found this interesting article from Schar and thought my gluten free readers would like it.
Have you gained weight since you started eating gluten free? Click here to find out why.

Yes I have! Well, at first I lost 20# in less than two weeks and totally freaked out my doctor. That was almost 4 years ago, since I have gained 30# eating gluten free.

I have to agree with the article, I think I eat a lot differently now than I did when I first went GF. At first I had no idea what I could eat, so I stuck with plain meats, veggies and fruits. Then as the years went by I started adding in gluten free convenience foods, pre-packaged foods.
Moe's Pizzeria
Yep, you guessed it gluten free PROCESSED FOODS have been a down fall for me. The article from Schar really spoke to me. I have done Weight Watchers in the past and I pretty much can tell you the Points Plus value of foods, well the other day I got out my Points Calculator and started figuring up points for my gluten free foods. HELLOOO!! Major wake up call. My favorite go to Udi's pizza crust, sauce, cheese, pepperoni and green olive pizza was 24 points!! And I was still hungry after eating it. YOZZAA that is like a full day of points right then and there. My favorite GF blueberry muffin 8 points!

I'm starting to see where my 30# came about! I never looked at the carbohydrates of foods until this article and I am a bit shocked. The carbs in a slice of wheat filled white bread is much lower than a slice of gluten free white bread. The Points Plus value is higher too and the gluten free bread slice is tiny!

This week I am embarking on eating less processed and more meat/veggies/fruits. I had some $$ left on a gift card from Amazon and I bought a cool little gadget to makes veggies more fun...hahaha, if that were truly possible. It shipped yesterday, I will try it out and report back to you.

How about it? Have you gained or lost weight being gluten free?

Moe

p.s. This blog post contains a number of references to products, I have not received any compensation for these product mentions.




Announcing the MOST POPULAR BLOG POST of 2014!!!

Gluten Free McDonalds Iced Cheese Danish Recipe. Yep there you have it folks...the MOST POPULAR BLOG POST of 2014!!!

Anyone ever remember eating a McDonalds Iced Cheese Danish back before going gluten free? Those were my favorite with a nice hot steaming cup of coffee! Which would then turn into running to the bathroom for the next 2 hours, terrible stomach cramps and bloating. Well fast forward to today and see how this recipe was born. I had posted this recipe gluten-free homemade culvers butter burgers buns and as I was thawing out the buns and eating them one by one through out the month, I thought, hhhhmmmm something tastes familiar here. Well I came across a recipe for cheese danish that was made with gluten ingredients. I toyed with the idea of making a gluten free danish, and thoughts of the McDonalds Iced Cheese Danish began to dance in my head! lol.


So here is what I came up with...

Make this recipe with me...bake a batch of the above recipe from my link, using milk (whatever kind you want, not the water, I like the water ones with hamburgers and milk ones with the danish recipe).
After the buns cool, slice them in half to separate the top and bottom bun. Then whip up this recipe...

Filling:
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (dairy, light, non-dairy)
1 cup sugar (try fake sweetener if you like that instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar (I used corn free)
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 350* degrees and grease a 9x9 or 9x13 inch baking pan (depends on how many you make). Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth. Place buns cut side up in the baking pan and spoon on the filling. Bake for 20-35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes. These are great frozen too. I placed them in sandwich baggies and have eaten them frozen for breakfast. Using soy milk 2 danish (equal to a full bun-2 halves) is 6 WW points. YUM!

Not burned, but caramelized, oh, these were mighty fine!
These were so good! They may not be as pretty as the ones from McDonalds, but my family loved them...lol. I made them some special ones just for them. I took whole wheat bread, buttered it, sprinkled it with sugar and then added on some of the filling, baked it just like above and added glaze after they cooled. BIG HIT!!
Enjoy!
Moe

2014 RUNNER UP for the top blog post

Homeschooling Websites To Kick Off The New School Year

Kicking off the new school year with some of my favorite homeschool websites!!!
Some are oldies but goodies and some are ones you may have never seen before. Come get encouraged about the new year! These are in no certain order, just some different sites that I really enjoy and get a lot of help from. I also have these listed in a SAFE folder for the Homeschooled Young Man. So when he has his computer time he can click on any of these sites and freely peruse them. Please let me know if any of the links are bad and I will see about fixing them.
Happy schooling!
Moe
http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/index.html
Homeschooling boys
http://www.spellingcity.com/
LOVE this site! I entered in an entire year of spelling words and each week he uses this site to learn them. There is a ‘teach’, ‘play’ and ‘test’ area. He loves this site.
http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/
Make your own comics, this is a great tool for creative thinking
Thanksgiving ideas
http://localhs.com/holiday/thanksgiving_elemetary.asp
Math games
http://sheppardsoftware.com/math.htm
Tests grade school through high school
http://www.thatquiz.org/
Math games
http://www.quia.com/mathjourney.html
Word scramble and puzzle makers
http://www.theteacherscorner.net/printable-worksheets/make-your-own/word-scramble/
Math & grammar games
http://www.funbrain.com/
Math games
http://www.lizardpoint.com/math/add-ws.html
http://www.keepersofthefaith.com/
Keepers of the Faith
Christianity Today home school info
http://www.christianitytoday.com/momsense/homeschoolcenter/
Lots of neat stuff here for Bible believing homeschoolers & Bible studies & character studies
http://highland.hitcho.com.au/bibleforms.htm
http://www.tlsbooks.com/
Worksheets for different grades
http://www.squidoo.com/50statesnotebook
Great ideas for state notebooks
http://www.bjupress.com/resources/ecamp/
Bob Jones University kids website
http://www.barbarafrankonline.com/
The Imperfect Homeschooler (great encouragement)
Workbox system-we use this system and LOVE IT!
http://wayzleyacademy.homeschooljournal.net/2009/07/31/my-workbox-system/
http://www.wfmu.org/onthedownload.php/album/5654
Neat Christian science/nature programs
http://www.johnsburglibrary.org/
home school resource library
Let’s play math
http://letsplaymath.wordpress.com/
Lessons plans using Legos
http://www.weirdrichard.com/activity.htm
Lego site
http://forum.littlebrickschoolhouse.com/index.php
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/
Lots of printable lessons
http://www.sonlight.com/TF4.html
I don’t use Sonlight curriculum, but the website offers up lots of great info on home schooling, books and has book lists by grades. I enjoy the emails they send too.
Lots of printables
http://www.canteach.ca/
http://www.canteach.ca/links/linkhomeschool.html home school area of above website
http://www.homeschoolmath.net/worksheets/grade_4.php
Math games & printables
http://www.ntm.org/kidstuff/index.html
New Tribes Mission kids website
Info and printables
http://homeschooling.about.com/
http://www.homeschooldiner.com/
Arts & crafts
http://www.sundayschoolresources.com/clipartcoloringpages.htm
Lesson plans
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/dailylp/dailylp/dailylp067.shtml
Resources for Christian teachers
http://www.teacherhelp.org/hs.htm
Crafts/Art
http://www.teacherhelp.org/crafts.htm#recipes
home school info
http://delicious.com/LifeSchool
Physical science
http://www.physicscentral.com/experiment/physicsathome/index.cfm
Free resources
http://www.learningresources.com/category/teachers/resource+center/for+your+classroom/free+activity+masters.do?code=PROMO-WIND09
Coloring pages & resources from National Geographic
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/coloringbook/archive/
http://highland.hitcho.com.au/index.htm
Neat stuff
http://www.unshackled.org/
Pacific Garden Mission-great place to take a field trip.
http://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/
Good info & printables
http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/100-COMPLETELY-FREE-Distance-Learning-Resources-for-Homeschoolers-125.html
Neat free stuff
Homeschool articles
bonajo/index.htm
Homeschool programs
http://caa-archeology.org/html/programs.htm
Math curriculum & games
http://www.mathusee.com/
Evangelism tools for kids & fun stuff
http://www.wycliffe.org/Resources/Kids/RecommendedResources.aspx
Homeschool Classifieds
http://www.homeschoolclassifieds.com/planner_form.asp
This is a funny home school blog a few great articles & links to home school websites
http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/2009/07/my-ten-must-haves-from-back-to-school.html
Timeline helps
http://www.homeschoolinthewoods.com/HTTA/TimelineHelps/
Frugal website (sometimes has home school content, but otherwise about saving money with kids & being frugal.
http://www.livingonadime.com/articles/deprivingkids.htm
Interesting home school blog
http://chocolateonmycranium.blogspot.com/2007/10/homeschool-resources.html
Science homeschooling
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/Default.asp?bhcd2=1256956745
Socialization of homeschoolers
http://www.angelfire.com/mo/sasschool/socialization.html
home schooling forms to print
http://www.donnayoung.org/forms/index.htm
Candy science experiments
http://www.candyexperiments.com/
Geography worksheets
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/geography.html
Scholastic
http://www.scholastic.com/parents/play/games/
Neighborhood Bible Time kids site
http://www.nbtime.org/kidscorner.html
Weather
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/treehouse/
History
http://www.historyglobe.com/jamestown/
Lego building projects
http://creative.lego.com/en-us/FamilyTime/buildinginstructionssecret/BuildingInstructionsBoxSecret.aspx?domainredir=legofamilytime.com
Homemade Homeschoolers
http://hmhomeschoolers.com/blog/category/games-for-learning