Sep 30, 2011

Last beach day of the year!

Since today appeared to be the last 80 degree day for a while we decided to ditch our plans and head to the beach this morning! It was so beautiful, peaceful and fun! We had a great time!

We usually don't bring much home with us, but this time K really wanted to bring some periwinkles home. She has been enamored by them since we went to a night tidal pool class two years ago. I figured just a few periwinkles wouldn't hurt! 

Sep 29, 2011

Fall Session Began

We started our fall session this week and things have been smoothly sailing along. KM really seems to like the choices that we made this time around and she is feeling confident that she is doing just the right amount. In another attempt to build some time management responsibilities, I have tweaked her assignments a bit for Biology and U.S. History so that she is given the assignment a week before it is due. She can either complete parts of it over the course of the week or she can do it all on the day it is due, that is up to her. I have struggled with feeling like a nag in the past when she has assignments are that are due and she doesn't touch them, but I am trying really hard to let this go and not mention it to her. So far I have only had one slip up, this afternoon, when she asked if she was done with everything and I simply said "if you aren't going to work on your other assignments, then yup that is all." This wasn't so bad, but I really want to just let it go. There is no need for me to say anything, it won't effect me if she doesn't get it done on time. She will have the natural consequences of having to do it all that day - simple as that.
Wish us luck on my control issues and her procrastination issues!!!

more Bizzarro Black Birds!!!

Wednesdays must be good for traveling blackbirds as they were all over my yard again!!!

They don’t need socialization! They need FRIENDSHIP!

Check out my latest article on Unplugged Mom -

They don’t need socialization! They need FRIENDSHIP!

Sep 28, 2011

Dolphin Tale - Cheers, Tears, and MORE CHEERS for this incredible movie!!!

This was such an inspiring movie on so many levels. If you have not been to see it go tonight!!! I am telling you everyone can learn so much from this film!

The kids I brought were cheering when they saw this scene!!! 

Beyond the incredible plug for independent learning, homeschooling and educational intentions in general this movie had more twists and turns, tear jerking moments and laugh out loud scenes than any I have seen in quite some time!

Scholastic has a huge amount of resources, links and videos to expand this movie into a unit study - Meet Winter the Dolphin. Homeschool Movie Club also has a unit study guide - HERE.

Sep 27, 2011

itty bitty HeartBeats™ - Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

My nieces came in handy for this incredibly cute review!!!  itty bitty HeartBeats™ is a super cute animated musical series for girls and boys ages 2-6 - just so happens SC is 4 and GC is 2!

Through humor, friendship and original songs, the itty bitty HeartBeats help children on Earth solve problems and "do things from the heart."
With engaging animation and upbeat melodies this series touches on a variety of subjects such as long distance friendships, sharing troubles, and being afraid of the dark. The itty bitty HeartBeats™ emphasizes three core values:

  • Living a healthy, nutritious lifestyle
  • Having a healthy heart, both physically and emotionally
  • Teaching positive life lessons

SC was engaged from the get go, but when I took out the SweetHeart doll, she was even more on board. GC stayed engaged for a short time while watching the video, but really liked the coloring book and the music. They both declared that BabyHeart was their favorite! I think that SC really understood most of the concepts, while they definitely went flying over the head of GC, but exposure is sure to bring results and help to set expecations! The emphasis on being kind and caring for others is what really resonated with us. This is truly a wholesome kids show, with great values, morals and viewpoints! CJ said it reminded him of a very well done cross between the smurfs and the care bears! I am very hopeful that this series will be expanded. 

BabyHeart - The Girls Favorite!
Now for the giveaway!!!
One lucky reader will receive - 
1 itty bitty HeartBeats DVD
1 plush doll - CoolHeart or SweetHeart
5 sheets of stickers

I have a few ways you can enter, please submit separate comments for each method so that I will have a number for each one and make sure that I have a way to contact you! 

  1. Head on over to itty bitty HeartBeats™, watch an episode and come back here to let us know what you think, who your favorite character is or what your favorite song was! 
  2. Tweet about this giveaway making sure to mention both @theittybittys & @gckhomeschool
  3. Follow @theittybittys & @gckhomeschool on twitter - or let me know if you already do! 
  4. Share this giveaway by linking it through a blog or website.
  5. Share this giveaway on Facebook.
  6. Share this giveaway with Google+1. 
Entries will be accepted from Tuesday 9/27/11 through Tuesday 10/11/11 10/4/11 10pm EST. Winner will be chosen on Wednesday 10/12/11 10/5/11 and announced no later than Friday 10/14/11 10/7/11.

CONGRATS TO Kathryn at Cummins Life the winner of this great prize pack! Hope your kids enjoy!!!

~~~Disclaimer: I was contacted to do this review and giveaway, but this review is completely unbiased. I was given materials to review, but was not compensated in any other way for this review. Itty Bitty HeartBeats will be filling the giveaway and is solely responsible once the winner's information is sent to them. 

Sep 24, 2011

Battleship Cove - Field Trip

One of our favorite parts of home educating, is FIELD TRIPS! Today we went to visit Battleship Cove and we were commenting on how INSANE it would have been trying to fit through all those tight spaces if you were there with an entire class of kids! There was so much to see, I had a very hard time selecting which shots to post!

Sep 22, 2011

Black birds galore ----

I looked out yesterday and there were blackbirds EVERYWHERE in my backyard! Then we were driving through town and they were ALL OVER!!! It had to have been some sort of freak migration or something!

Sep 19, 2011


It's my birthday!!!! YAY!!!

14 ---- TODAY!!!

Happy Birthday KM!!!
Every year I am more and more grateful for the incredible relationship that we have and I truly believe that if we didn't home educate, it would be a completely different dynamic! 

 We had her birthday party on Saturday. It was small, but they had a great time!

Sep 14, 2011

Where in the states is CJ? - U.S. Geography with a Twist!

With CJ going over the road now, we are going to utilize his travels to reinforce our U.S. Geography! We are using a topographical map, that though it has cities, capitals, and a very light outline of the states, their aren't named on it. So KM uses our atlas to locate the town CJ is in and then locates surrounding towns to coordinate his location! Even when he is not here he can still be part of her education!

Sep 12, 2011

You Tube Monday - Author Jan Irvin: Mind Control and The Dumbing Down of Society 1/2

Almost forgot to post today!!! But then I remembered and thought of the Trivium presentation on Unplugged Mom I re-listened to this weekend  and wanted to share a clip from Jan Irvin that really resonates with me. Irvin really explains the trivium and quadrivium in a way that makes more sense to me than anything I have heard in YEARS! If you haven't had a chance to hear, watch or read his materials - TAKE THE TIME TO!!!

Itty Bitties are getting BIGGER!

Went to visit the Littles and the Itty Bitties today and since the Littles were quite occupied with the neighbor's I was free to play with the Itty Bitties and they are getting soooo BIG!!!



At four months they are getting so vocal, expressive and oh so slobbery

Sep 9, 2011

Immense Praise for Joy Hakim’s A History of US

Immense Praise for Joy Hakim’s A History of US - OFFICIAL REVIEW on Unplugged Mom!

I have previously reviewed Joy Hakim's Story of Science series and since I was so enamored by her writing, I bit the bullet and bought the 11 volume set A History of US for Kali to use for her U.S. History studies. AM I EVER GLAD I DID!!! I had planned on glossing over the content so that I could figure out when I would need to order additional reading material and movies from our local library to supplement and ended up not being able to put the book down! I am no history buff, but this book captured my attention and I literally couldn't put it down.
I love that she points out what our family calls "duh" moments, things that when you are reading you think why doesn't every textbook take this approach. "When Leaders say something is all right, most people agree, without thinking for themselves." p.113
Hakim has a way of writing that just captivates and inspires you to want to keep reading. The story unfolds as if you are in a time machine looking down on what is going on. Her writing flows in an engaging and thought provoking way as she is constantly asking you to analyze and question what is being said in a conversational manner. She manages to cover even some of the more gruesome facts without getting graphic, which makes this a perfect multi-age resource.
Hakim challenges the reader to question history and emphasizes that "No one knows what happened in the past - at least not we don't know the whole story"..."You gather pieces of information and try to discover how they fit." p. 9 
When I was in school I was never taught about anything before the James Town Settlement, sure we were taught about Christopher Columbus sailing across the ocean blue in 1492, but they never mentioned all that went on from one point to the next, it was basically as if they left out the 16th century all together! And I took U.S. History in college. In Hakim's text she is truly telling the story of US, beyond the United States, but in depth to how the Americas were formed. Begining back with Beringia she has the audacity to discuss how there are actually no "NATIVE" Americans as we all came from somewhere else. She delves into the formation of settlements in the Central American islands, the Spanish onquests of Mexico and also defends the Indians, repeatedly making note of the "arrogant European" behaviors.
My favorite quote has to be - Looking back, today, it seems as if people and nations were acting just like silly little kids. Each one saying "My religion is better than yours." p. 139
I have only read the first volume, but I have already absorbed more information from this book than I did in my entire college semester of U.S. History. I highly recommend this series as a first rate, informative, intelligent text that will surely make a history lover out of the most resistant person.
I will be getting Volume 2 off the shelf as soon as I finish typing this!