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Friday, December 30, 2011

Homeschool Spanish

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My girls are very imaginative, they love to come up with characters, plays, and stories. Some days they are animals, characters from books, characters from the stories their dad tells them at night, and they each have a made up fancy name for the times they are at elegant restaurants. Since we started using Homeschool Spanish they have come up with new scenarios. They now each have a Spanish name and use what little Spanish they know with each other.

Homeschool Spanish is a curriculum for the whole family. Their motto is to Relax, Enjoy, Aspire, Learn Spanish. Dr Williamson-Cora developed the curriculum to use with her own children because she didn't have time to sufficiently plan using other foreign language curriculum. She is French professor and wanted something that her kids could communicate with after learning it.

We received a download that contained the Curriculum Book, the Activity Book, the Daily Curriculum Guide and the Audio Files for the program and sells for $59.95. You can view a sample of each at their website.

  • The Daily Curriculum Guide contains a 48 week lesson plan. There is a column for prep for each week along with a plan for each day. It includes activities that your children will enjoy like creating board games, putting on puppet shows, and playing regular games using Spanish words instead of English. I think that the plan is very easy to read and follow. Even if your children are younger or older it would be very easy to extend or shorten the plan as needed. We tried staying right on target but with holidays and so much company it didn't always happen.
  • The Curriculum Book  is 105 pages and is divided into 10 units. Each unit is divided into a general category such as greetings, food, sports, etc. The units are divided into sections with new vocabulary words, phrases, tips & ideas to help teach the new words. Some units also deal with grammar.
  • The Activity Book contains word search, crossword puzzles, dialogue completions, cryptograms, matching, and other fun activities and is 179 pages long.
  • The Audio Files are actually 2 sets of recordings. There is one set for the Curriculum Book with 32 recordings and one set of 18 recordings for the Activity Book. Both books have a picture of a speaker where you should listen to an audio recording. The dialogue is written word for word in each book.

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I am using Homeschool Spanish with all three of the girls. Amber (age 10), Delaney (age 9) have been completing all the worksheets and activities while Alaina (age 7) listens to the audio conversations and just repeats what her sisters tell her while they are playing. The program is very easy to use with very little preparation time. The program is taught in a conversational way by learning words that we use everyday right from the start. This made it very easy to remember and to use throughout the day. We all listened to the audio and then talked about our new vocabulary words and used them with each other. Amber & Delaney would then complete the worksheets that went along with each lesson. Some weeks we worked on Spanish everyday but with company for the holidays some weeks we did fewer days. With this program it was very easy to change our schedule and the girls actually remembered what they had learned even after a couple of days of no school.

There are several options when purchasing the curriculum. The download starts at $49.95 or $59.95 with the curriculum guide. The hardcopy is $89.95 and $99.95 with the curriculum guide. They will be offering a high school supplement soon.

Sail over to the TOS Crew blog to read what other homeschool families thought of Homeschool Spanish.
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As a member of the TOS Crew I received the download version of Homeschool Spanish free of charge to use with my children in exchange for my review.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Purex Laundry Detergent Review & Giveaway


Unless you are one of the lucky few who can afford to hire a housekeeper we all have to wash our clothes and at my house this in never ending. I try to make this household task as pleasant as possible by choosing a laundry detergent that works and has a wonderful scent. As a Purex Insider I would like to introduce you to the New Triple Action Purex.
The R&D scientists have come up with a new formula, but one that will continue to stand up for it's name.

The new formula is now available and comes in 6 different scents. After the Rain, Lavender Fresh, Original Fresh, Linen & Lilies, Lilac & White Lavender, and Free & Clear.

My 7 year old daughter has a thing for smells, she loves to smell perfume, air freshener, hand soap, and yes even laundry detergent. She thinks the stronger the smell the better. I would have to disagree with her. I like more subtle scents, the kind you can smell but not over power you. That is part of the reason I like the new Triple Action Purex with the Mountain Breeze scent. It leaves your clothes feeling clean and smelling clean for half the price of the leading brand.

Since I bought my high efficiency washer I have made sure that my detergent was safe for my washer. The new Purex is safe to use in all machines.
I just found out that you can get a free laundry app for your Blackberry or iPhone, iTouch, or iPad. Now there is no excuse not to get those stains out.

Starting early in 2012, Purex will be offering free samples of the new Triple Action Formula at FreeSamplePurex.com.
I have some great news. I have 3 coupons for Purex Triple Action detergent to giveaway to my readers, 3 lucky people will win 1 coupon.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The World's Greatest Stories

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If we are going to be in the car for very long or if we are going to be cleaning for awhile the girls and I like to listen to audio CD's to make the time go by faster. They like to listen to any story but I like to have good stories that they can learn from that is also enjoyable. The World's Greatest Stories gave us both.

The World's Greatest Stories are actual, word for word, Biblical accounts. The storyteller is very dramatic and brings bible stories and characters to life with only music and sound effects added to God's Word. There are 6 volumes available for $7.95 a piece in either NIV or KJV of the Bible. If you purchase all 6 CD's together you will receive free shipping.

We received a sample CD and volume 1-The Prophets. The sample CD contains a short selection from each of the stories as well as some general information.
The Prophets CD contains 5 stories:
  • The Blazing Furnace
  • The Handwriting on the Wall
  • Daniel in the Lion's Den
  • Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
  • The Prophecy of Jonah
The stories are very dramatic and my girls thought that the storyteller sounded a little weird in a few places but they still wanted to listen to them again, I think Daniel and the Lion's Den is their favorite. I really like that they are taken straight from the Bible, so many Bible stories that are retold add things that are mere speculation. You can tell that George W. Sarris really enjoys telling stories and he does a great job in keeping everyone focused on the story.
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George W. Sarris has been telling live Bible stories since 1985 in churches, conferences, schools, retreats, and camps with audiences from several to several thousand. He has been a spokesman for radio and television commercials and films for companies such as AT&T, IBM, American Express, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Sprint, and Honda in Boston and New York City for 30 years.

Sail over to the TOS Crew blog and read what other members thought about the World's Greatest Stories.
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As a member of the TOS Crew I received a sample disc and volume 1 The Prophets from the World's Greatest Stories free of charge to use with my children in exchange for my review.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Magazine Christmas Trees


These cute little Christmas Trees are impressive and are very cheap to make. I usually find old magazines at our local library that are on the free table. Thicker magazines give you a fuller tree.
They make wonderful Holiday decorations, gifts for friends and I have handed them out to people when we go Christmas Caroling.

Supplies Needed
Magazines (any size)
Spray Paint (any color)
Glitter (any color)



1. Open magazine and bend binding backward up and down the spine.

2. Fold top right corner of page into the center of the magazine.

3. Grab the top right corner of the page you just folded and fold into the center. You will have a point sticking out the bottom of the magazine.

Repeat on every page.


 4. Fold pointed corner in between both folds.

5. Repeat on every page. Your tree should then be able to stand up on it’s own.
6. Spray tree with spray paint in a well ventilated area.
6. While paint is still wet sprinkle with glitter.
Let dry and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pitsco

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Amber is a very determined hands on learner. She loves to craft, build, bake, cook, and even work on cars with her dad. I wonder where she gets that?? But unlike me she will read the directions. The UPS guy doesn't come to our house until around 6:00 pm and on the day we received our box from PITSCO we lost her for the rest of the evening.

We received the Medieval Machines Pack and it includes a Trebuchet Kit, Catapult Kit, Mass Plates, and the Siege Machines book along with some clay. This kit is a Pitsco exclusive that is manufactured at their facility in Kansas and retails for $21.95.
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The first night Amber (age 10) put the Trebuchet Kit together. It came with everything we needed except the super glue which we already had. Amber likes to do things on her own until she absolutely can't figure it out on her own. I sat with her while she completed the Trebuchet and she didn't need help until she was ready to tie the sling. The next day she assembled the Catapult without any help. The directions were very detailed and easy to follow.

The 31 page Siege Machines book explores the science, technology, engineering, and math of medieval siege machines. Although this was mainly Amber's project she had to make sure that we all knew the history of siege machines that she had learned from the book. We covered History, Math, and Science all in one. The activities cover Tension and Torsion, Mass and Distance, Metric Conversion of Length, Calculating Averages, Elasticity, Prediction, Force and Motion, and Weights vs Wheels.

This Siege Machine Unit was very educational for the whole family and it was so much fun. The girls used clay and other objects laying around the house in the machines to knock down walls built with their math manipulatives and to see whether the catapult or the trebuchet would throw the farthest. When their big brother was on leave from the Army he even had to get in on the action.

PITSCO Education combines hands-on activities and a student-directed learning environment in core courses and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. After 40 years of innovation they now serve more than seven million students a year.

The Siege Machines are available in other kits and there are many other items at the PITSCO store that we have added to our wish list. They offer race cars, aerospace, structures, robots and so much more starting at $10.95. Amber is really wanting a hot air balloon now.

We would definitely recommend PITSCO for great hands on learning.

Sail over to the Crew Blog and read other Crew reviews.
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As a member of the TOS Crew I received one set of 2 Siege Machines from Pitsco Education to use in our homeschool in exchange for my review.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Greetings

The Christmas Greetings for 2011 from The Old Schoolhouse magazine is free to everyone. Take a peek and see how homeschool families celebrate Christmas. Make sure you look at page 74 & 75 to read my greeting and see my recipes.
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