Category Archives: homeschooling

Homeschooling is messy.

Homeschooling is messy. Very messy.

It’s perpetual snacktime (and sweeping crumbs), spelling lessons, paint and markers, and unending pencil shavings all mixed together.

It’s also grouchy moods from lack of sleep, annoying siblings, complaining about chores, curious toddlers, 3-5 sinks of dishes every day, and an exhausted mama.

All that stuff sounds pretty ugly right? Well, in the moment, viewing it from the midst of it, it is.

messy table with art supplies and snacks

 

But when you step back and view it from a different angle….

it’s not.

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It looks like little growing bodies and minds and time spent being creative. It looks like being able to rest when rest is needed (sometimes in a blanket fort), learning patience, love, kindness, work ethic, and how to be a friend. It looks like having fun, having full tummies and hearts, a family reading together after lunch, and a mama learning daily (and teaching her children by example) to lean on God.

Homeschooling is beautiful when we take the time to see it from His view.

 

kids coloring together

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Tennessee Safari Park

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We’ve said for years we’d like to visit a drive-thru zoo, but we never got around to actually doing it. Until our vacation this past Fall! We headed out on our family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN several hours earlier than originally planned, and when we passed a sign advertising the Tennessee Safari Park my husband, who is normally Mr. By-the-Book-Has-to-have-a-Plan, surprised us all by stopping!

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There is a billboard advertising the Tennessee Safari Park in the city where we grew up, and now we do a lot of our shopping, so I was somewhat familiar with it, but had never researched to see what they actually had to offer or how close it was too us. Had I done so, we’d have visited much sooner! The Tennessee Safari Park is located in Alamo, TN (about 30 minutes northwest of Jackson, TN), which is an easy drive from Northeast Arkansas.

The zoo today includes over 700 animals of over 100 different species. What started as a family homestead of cash crops and livestock in 1858 is now a nearly 200 acre zoo and conservational breeding center.

 

The park now features a drive-thru zoo and a walk-thru petting zoo. Buckets of feed can be purchased at the park entrance, which I highly recommend. We had a blast feeding the animals. There was lots and lots of laughter in our car! We got an up-close encounter with llamas, camels, Axis Deer, Fallow Deer, Common Elands, zebras, emus, and more!

llama waiting to be fed

A few things we learned:
Bison are even more beautiful in person.
Llamas are hilarious.
We really don’t like ostriches. Really. And my husband thought it was hilarious to roll down MY window every time one came near us.

spotted deer lying in grass

 

When we finished the drive-thru portion, we parked our van and made our way over to the petting zoo. Unfortunately we were there on a pretty warm day, so many of the animals in the petting zoo area were in their shelters to get away from the sun, but that certainly didn’t stop our kids from having a good time. The water sprinklers set up were a nice touch on a hot day too.

 Tennessee Safari Park gets 12 thumbs up from our crew (two for each person that can give thumbs up at this point)! Our experience was well worth the time and money.


 

Want to plan a trip for yourself?

Hours:
Monday – Saturday:

Gates open at 10:00am
Last car in at 4:30pm

Park closes at 5:00pm

Sunday:

Gates open at 12:00pm
Last car in at 4:30pm

Park closes at 5:00pm

Ticket Pricing
$12 / adult
$8 / children
*Group and field trip rates are available*

Tennessee Safari Park
637 Conley Road
Alamo, TN 38001
731.696.4423

For more information, visit: http://www.tennesseesafaripark.com/

Or visit them on Facebook.

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Filed under entertainment, Experience Review, field trip, out and about, Reviews, travel

Ripley’s Guinness World Records Museum

sign for Guinness World Records Museum in Gatlinburg TN

 

Ripley’s Guinness World Records Museum was another fun stop on our recent vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. This museum may be small, but my husband and boys agreed it was one of their favorite activities of the week.

We received complimentary tickets to this attraction in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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Located just a couple of doors down the street from Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze, the Ripley’s Guinness World Records Museum is full of fun exhibits telling about amazing world records and cool facts.

For instance, did you know that the Tulip poplar is the largest tree in the Smoky Mountains? Some of about 8 ft. in diameter can be found near the Ramsey Cascades!

We also learned about the world’s largest rubber band ball, the largest bubblegum bubble blown, the most backward free throws in one minute, and a ton more.

The entry level was a pretty quick walk through, and we were a bit unprepared for the flight of stairs with our big double stroller. However, with myself and my husband, it wasn’t a huge problem. For others with little ones, I’d recommend leaving the stroller in the car and using a sling or carrier. The bottom level of the museum was well worth that small bit of effort though!

The part we really loved at Ripley’s Guinness World Records Museum? The bottom floor of the museum is filled with over 20 interactive games and challenges that allow you to test your own skills at some fun world record activities! No, the results aren’t actually recognized by Guinness World Records, but we sure had a blast trying.

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This interactive area is where we spent most of our time. My boys competed against each other (okay, and myself, and their dad 🙂 ) at speed drumming, soccer, hopscotch, and even breaking concrete blocks! That last one proved to be hilarious. 😀

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The kids also did some speed boxing, started their own rubber band balls, and a whole lot more. Needless to say, we had some happy and exhausted kiddos when we left. The Ripley’s Guinness World Records Museum provided an afternoon of family-friendly fun.

Located at:
631 Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Open 365 Days a Year:
Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Tickets:
Adult: $12.99
Child: $7.99

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Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies


Last month our family was blessed with a much-needed break from the real world as we traveled to Gatlinburg, TN for a week of family time and relaxation. It was wonderful. We truly didn’t want to leave.

While we were in Gatlinburg, we got the chance to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which happens to be right in the midst of Downtown Gatlinburg.
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We received complimentary admission in exchange of this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are mine.

Sidenote: Having never visited Gatlinburg before, I was surprised at how many shops and businesses were packed into one street. I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe a bit more spread out across town like Branson, MO? Anyway, it was really cool to see a large Aquarium sticking up in the middle of all that!

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We were a bit worried about parking at first. There is ample parking spaces, but there’s no way our big van would fit in the parking garage. There’s a large parking lot just down the street though, so it wasn’t a big deal at all.

Anywho, back to our trip to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies!
Lots of oceanlife, hands on learning areas, 2 play areas, a snackbar/restaurant, a Pearl Harbor exhibit, and more! Yes, you can see all that in one building, in Gatlinburg, TN. Yes, sharks and penguins in the mountains!

The main level exhibits start just a few feet from the front door, and they did not disappoint! Beautiful, exotic fish and amphibians, a waterfall, many types of jellyfish, seahorses, crabs, and other sea life. I really enjoyed moving from display to display as my boys told me things they already knew about many of the species and my oldest read some of the information provided about others we weren’t familiar with.
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I could have watched the jellyfish for hours. They are just amazing creatures – as long as they are in an aquarium that is. 😀

There are so many fun and interesting things to see an do at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you will have to check it out for yourself. I’m certain with 5 kids in tow I missed some things. However, one exhibit I found to be very unique was the aquarium filtration and monitoring systems are visible to guests and explained through fun, interactive displays!

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The most impressive feature of Ripley’s Aquarium for our family is the Shark Lagoon exhibit. With a moving sidewalk, you can ride through the 340 feet long tunnel as sharks, giant stingrays, sawfish, tarpon, and other sea life swim around and above you. (Our crew had to go through multiple times.) We happened to reach this area just in time for the sharks’ lunchtime! That was awesome. My boys are still talking about it.

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Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has two playground structures for the kids to climb and slide to their hearts’ content while parents can sit on benches nearby and rest their feet, feed babies, etc. Much to this mama-of-five’s joy, the two structures, which are beside one another, have entrances on separate levels of the building and are NOT connected. So don’t worry – your little one can’t enter on the ground level and escape on the second level. 😀 My kids had a great time playing though.

Throughout the aquarium, I was very impressed by the hands-on and interactivity elements of so many exhibits. From touching crabs, rays, and jellyfish, to being under and inside tanks and exhibits, my children loved every minute of the experience and learned a lot.

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The newest exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium is the Pearl Harbor Exhibit, a one of a kind exhibit, combining both history and aquatic life!

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Again, more interactivity! I was pleasantly surprised at how much my boys really enjoyed the Pearl Harbor exhibit – playing, reading, learning, observing, and asking questions! The Pearl Harbor exhibit is brand new this year, and just like Ripley’s Aquarium’s other exhibits, this one has something for everyone. Visitors of all ages were enjoying it the day we were there.

As a homeschool family, I was also excited to learn that Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers special programs for homeschool students! Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to attend one on this trip, but if you would like to learn more, they have information on their web site HERE. They also offer several other unique experiences for all visitors. (Swimming with a stingray, anyone?)

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Overall, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies was one of the highlights of our vacation. I’m really glad we chose to visit at the beginning of the week, when our little kids were more well-rested and could enjoy the experience as much as the big kids. Definitely plan to spend at least 2-3 hours on your visit and have exhausted kiddos when you leave! We had a blast splash!

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To order tickets or for more info:
https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/gatlinburg

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is located at:
88 River Rd, Gatlinburg,TN 37738

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is open 365 days a year, but hours of operation vary by season. That info can be found HERE.

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A Reason for Homeschooling

We’re going into our third year of homeschooling at our house! Wow. That’s so crazy to think about. I read once that most people give up on homeschooling in the first three years, so that has been my goal – 3 years. Do it three years, and if then it isn’t a fit for our family, we can try something different. Well here we are, entering year 3, and I’m not thinking about quitting anytime soon.

I don’t think I was ever asked my reasoning for choosing to homeschool until this year. Then out of nowhere I was being asked over and over, “Why do you homeschool?”

There are several reasons our family homeschools, but I’d like to share just a few of them with you today. Hopefully I can provide a little encouragement to someone that is on the fence about it or is having a rough day. If you’re 6 weeks in (or 6 days or 6 years), and wondering, “What on earth have I gotten myself into?” take heart. Breathe deep, and remember that His mercies are new each morning. Is it all roses and fingerpainting? Nope. Some days there are tears all around. Some days are exhausting and overflowing with to dos, as there just aren’t enough hours in each day. Some days my husband comes home and I go hide in my room to cry because I’m certain I’ve failed terribly and I need to repent to God and my children.

If you’re on the verge of submitting that intent to homeschool form, but are scared to death, say a prayer, take a deep breath, and go with the Lord’s leading. I always tell new homeschool moms, “Find your why and write it down. Go back and read it as a reminder on the hard days.”

So why do it?

Some days ARE all roses and finger painting – on the front porch, with school books and cups of lemonade scattered around. In winter, some days are books read aloud, all of us curled in a pile in front of our fireplace with little ones on top of me and bigger ones next to me, sketch pads and Lego blocks strewn about. They also get to explore their own interests. Today we’ve had lessons in sewing, and my crew is currently working to plant their own winter garden.

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Family time. My husband’s job is demanding. It’s not uncommon for him to walk in the door, just to turn around and leave again 3 minutes later, or 30 minutes later just as I’m setting plates of food on the table, only for him to return long after the kids are in bed. When he’s off work, we soak it up. When he has a Friday off, we have a family day. There’s no rush to get everyone up and out the door. We can run errands as a family or just hang out at the house. When my husband works on Saturdays, we take that time to work ahead in preparation for the days he is off.

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Relationships. Watching my 6 year old son teach his 3 year old sister how to fold laundry. Or all four big kids having piggy back races through the house. Just this morning Ihad a conversation with my older boys about my number one job being to teach them to love God and love others. If they can recite the entire Declaration of Independence or multiply 5 digit numbers in their heads, it means nothing if they don’t love God or each other.

Because I was called. My number one reason. This is what keeps me going on those hard days. Even when I start to daydream about handing the teaching over to the local school district, I know in my heart I would be disobeying God. That is not His Will for our family. Does that mean we will homeschool forever? I have no idea. God’s plan for our family may look different in several years, or it may look much the same. But for now, this is my calling, my family’s calling, and we are thankful for the opportunity to  make it happen and the blessings it brings with it.

 

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5 Thrifty Tips for Building Your Home Library (Homeschooling on a Budget)

We have 5 kids, and live on one income. For many, that in itself seems like a major feat. Add in homeschooling, and it can quickly appear overwhelming for almost any budget. That doesn’t have to be the case though! There are lots of ways to give your children a quality education at home without spending more than you have. Homeschooling on a budget is very doable.

One of those ways is by offering them lots and lots of opportunities to read about a wide variety of subjects. (Like with our 100 Books in August challenge!) We love reading in our house! I believe that helping them gain the ability to read well and instilling a love for reading in my children is a very important part of their education. In order to encourage a love for books of all kinds from an early age, I love having shelves filled with books of all kinds of topics that may interest the children – fiction, biographies, how-to books, travel books, books of famous artwork, storybooks, etc. At first glance, our shelves of books would seem like a huge investment, but I’m going to share a few tips for building a home library on a budget.

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This article contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them will not alter your pricing, but it will benefit my family and this blog.

1. Thrift stores and second hand bookstores – This is probably the most obvious place to start. We are not lucky enough to have a second hand bookstore nearby, but I love searching through the stacks of books when I do come across one. Many thrift stores also have a sale schedule that allows you to buy items at an even bigger discount.

2. Yard sales – This is a favorite of mine. I picked up a huge lot of Magic Treehouse books, a favorite series of my oldest son, for 10 cents each last summer.

3. Amazon used book dealers – This is another favorite of mine. Many books can be found for as low as 1 cent, plus $3.99 shipping. I check out the vendor’s ratings before ordering, but I have not had a single bad experience with buying books this way. The next time you click over on Amazon, don’t assume that Prime price is the lowest you can score. Look for the used prices too.

4. Bulk book sellers – Yes, you can buy books in bulk! One book seller I’ve used is Books by the Foot. You can purchase books about a specific topic, art or golf maybe, by the foot (usually 6-12 books per foot, their site gives numbers for each subject). They also offer boxes of children’s books! Some new, some used, and some boxes can be a mix of new and used. You don’t get to pick the titles, so it was a fun surprise to sift through the big box and see what treasures had arrived! I purchased a box a year or so ago. Some of the books we already owned, and some I just didn’t care for. Those few, I separated out and sold in a yard sale of my own. 🙂

5. Local library sales – Most people think of the library as a great economical way to read. Endless shelves of books you can read and return for free! But most libraries also sell their discarded books. Our small town library has a shelf tucked under a window where they keep piles of books that can be purchased for a quarter or two. The larger library about an hour away has two rooms full of books available to be purchased! A few months ago I happened to be able to stop by while they were having their monthly bag sale. That means you can fill one of their blue bags with as many books as you can cram in it, and they will all be yours for $2. Needless to say, I didn’t stop at 1 bag. 🙂 I purchased 2 bags for a total of 29 books at $4! That’s less than $.14 per book. Of course not every book was for the kids – 2 or 3 were for me. 🙂 Go check out your local library, even if it’s a tiny one!

We still use and love our libraries borrowing great books, but I also love having all our own books. Some books might not have looked exciting enough in the moment to be chosen at the library, but on a shelf at home, will be later discovered at the perfect time, as a treasure by one of my kids when a new interest is sparked!

 

 

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100 Books in August (2016)

It’s that time of year again! Boxes are arriving on our porch daily, filled with colorful new books, art supplies, and even several DVDs that I will be using to educate my children this year. (I’ll be sharing all about our curriculum choices in another post.)
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Once again, this year we are kicking off our school year with 100 books in August! This will be our third year for the challenge, and we’re all excited to get started. We have a stack of overdue library books to speed through, (Thank goodness for small town libraries that don’t charge late fees!) and are also enjoying The Long Winter, our current read aloud.

The goal of this challenge is for us to read 100 books in the month of August which will help us get back in the swing of reading together, and if we reach our goal (we always do), we earn a fun family activity! Once again, my kiddos have chosen Chuck E. Cheese as their prize. I may try to convince them to take another option.  🙂 This is a fun way to get us excited about getting back into our school lessons, and it gives the kids motivation to spend those super hot afternoons reading together instead of begging for screentime or whining about being bored. You’re kids do that too, right?

(This article contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them will not change your pricing, but will benefit our family and this blog.)

My 6 year old loves to read, but doesn’t usually want to read aloud, so this challenge is also good motivation for him to practice his reading skills to his siblings. This year we will follow the same rules as last year for my 6 year old’s reading to count toward our goal. Here are a few of our guidelines:

  • If he reads a book, he has to read it aloud to his siblings (because this is 100 books for everyone!), bring it to us, answer a few questions, and then read a bit of it aloud to us, for it to count. If it is listed, he will also be taking a book quiz on BookAdventure.com
  • Our read aloud chapter books will count as 1 book per chapter.
  • Books such as our science textbook for school do not count.
  • While I want to include as many different books as possible, my kids will be choosing the books most of the time, so I know I’ll be reading some books multiple times.

Join in! PRINT YOUR OWN STICKER CHART, decide on a prize for your family, and share your progress and  book choices on Instagram, Twitter, or Instagram with #100BooksinAugust! I love to see what everyone else is reading!

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Bill & Alice Nix Petting Zoo at ASU

Our local homeschool group was recently invited to attend the Bill & Alice Nix Petting Zoo at the ASU Farm. It had been a few years since I and my oldest two sons had visited the petting zoo, so I was excited to take them back and take their sisters for the first time. We were not disappointed. 🙂
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The Bill & Alice Nix Petting Zoo has been located in the old beef barn on the Arkansas State University Campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas since 2006. It is free and open twice each year – once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Group tours are done during the week, and Saturday it is open to the public. (That’s also a good time to check out the ASU Regional Farmers’ Market.)

We love field trips! (What homeschool family doesn’t?) This field trip was extra fun because it fell on a day my husband was already scheduled to be off work, so Daddy got to tag along for the fun.

First we headed into the barn to visit with the animals. Some of the animals are contained in gated barn stalls, and others, like the funny pot-bellied pig, wander around freely, plopping down here and there for a head scratch.

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The petting zoo is home to an array of farm animals – sheep, goats, pigs, cows, and even an alpaca! Students from Arkansas State were stationed throughout the barn to assist with holding some of the animals, answer questions, and help ease the fears of some of the younger children. (Obviously there were no fears from my crew though. lol)

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The kids also got the chance to hold chicks and visit up close with a lamb and a rabbit. The fluffy bunny and the little chirping chicks were the favorites of my girls. My boys were more fond of the big steer.

After everyone had a chance to hold a chick and pet all the other animals, our group loaded up into a trailer for a hay ride around the farm. We were accompanied on the hay ride by a few of the university students to tell us about the ASU Farm. While it is a teaching facility, it is also a working farm, raising livestock for meats, wool, and growing hay. They explained what went on in each building we passed and told us some facts about the other livestock we saw on the farm. They did a great job of involving the kids and asking and answering questions.

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After the hayride, several families walked across the street to play and visit in the ASU Display Garden of the Craighead County Master Gardeners. I wish now I had taken photos there. It is a beautiful garden with plenty of open space for the kids to run and play and a picnic area too.

If you would like more information about the farm, upcoming petting zoo dates, or to schedule a time for your group to attend the Bill & Alice Nix Petting Zoo:

Arkansas State College of Agriculture & Technology Website

PettingZoo@astate.edu
870.972.2087

 

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, entertainment, Experience Review, field trip, homeschooling, out and about, Reviews, travel

Exploring Our Solar System with Rachel and the Treeschoolers (a review)

We love everything Two Little Hands around here, so when I got a chance to get a sneak peek at the new episode of Rachel and the Treeschoolers, Our Solar System, I was super excited! I knew my kids would be too. For sure.

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With a new baby in the house, I figured it was the perfect time to pull out our new DVD. Learning, fun, and a few minutes of entertainment while mommy tends to the baby? Yes, please! And unlike most shows for children now, this series is highly educational, based on Ph.D researched curriculum. and actively engages the kids in learning with fun songs and ASL (American Sign Language). My 5 year old often talks of wanting to be an astronaut, so I was especially excited to watch the DVD with him. Once again, Rachel Coleman and her Treeschooler friends did not disappoint!

Episode 9, Our Solar System, revolves around “The Mystery of the Missing Moon.” Simon is very concerned when he sees the moon slowly disappearing! Is someone stealing the moon?  Rachel and the Treeschoolers work together to solve their mystery, and in the process they also learn about the sun, moon, stars, planets, and some scientists whose questions led to discoveries about our universe.

The first time we watched it, I was very impressed by all the vocabulary included. I was so excited about all the things it introduced to my little ones that I hadn’t even thought of teaching them right now. We’ve had some great discussions about gravity, phases of the moon, Milky Way and other galaxies and more. My favorite song in this episode, ABCs of Astronomy, is amazing. It is fun and an easy way of remembering some great foundational vocabulary of astronomy. We have a set of outer space flash cards my boys have been asking to get out. As we went through them one day last week, I was impressed with how much my five year old knew. Every time I asked how he knew something, he said he learned it from, “The Signing Time movie!” Also included in this episode, are more than 50 ASL signs. We’ve had a lot of fun practicing those! Anytime learning can be hands-on is a good thing! It really helps to sink things into the memory around here.

It was definitely another win for Rachel and the Treeschoolers with my bunch. A tv show that was called “just too educational for children’s television,” yet my children, and many others, love it. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of this series!

If you would like your own copy of this and/or any of the other fun episodes of Rachel and the Treeschoolers,head on over to their web site. While you’re there, be sure to request a fun activity guide to go along with whichever DVDs you purchase. These include crafts, games, printables, activity ideas, and more to bring the topics and discussions from the DVD right into your classroom (or to your dining room table for many of us homeschoolers:-) ).

 

 

*I was provided a copy of this product for review purposes. Of course, all opinions are strictly my own. 🙂

 

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Tuesday 10: Carschooling!

How about something new and fun for Tuesday? Tuesday kind of gets lost in the shuffle of the week, but it deserves its own spotlight every once in a while. To give it that bit of attention, how about a random list of 10 things this week?

Today I’m sharing 10 of our favorites for carschooling – learning on the go!


 

This Fall will be a bit busier than last year with the addition of homeschool co-op to our schedule. This summer we enrolled in a (somewhat) local homeschool group. Each Fall and Spring semester our homeschool group has a cooperative learning day on Mondays where parents teach different classes, and the kids get to join their friends to learn new things. This will be our first time being involved in a co-op, so I’ve been a little stressed about how to make sure it is good and fun and not a huge headache for our family. The first hurdle was just how to fit it into our schedule. We live 45 minutes away from where it is held (with no closer options!), so that means we won’t have much time for structured lessons on Monday mornings.

It also means we will be spending lots of time in the car. To ward off some of the whining and “Are we there yet?”, and to save my own sanity from 300,000 games of I Spy With my Little Eye and 4700 “I gotta potty!!” stops for the toddler who is really just bored (and thinks I can be talked into buying snacks like Daddy 😉 ), I started looking for ways to make that car time more fun and useful and less annoying. That has lead to our collection of fun CDs!

(This article contains affiliate links. They won’t change your pricing, but purchasing through them will benefit my little (big) family and this blog. 🙂 )

1. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (audio book)
This classic by Bill Martin Jr. is a favorite in our home and our van. My kids love listening to the story over and over and making all the sounds themselves.

2. Signing Time CDs
Signing Time has been a favorite at our house for years, but just recently did I purchase some of the CDs of songs that go along with the DVD episodes. I absolutely love this program – it’s a fun and exciting way for my kids to be introduced to a second language. And the songs don’t drive me crazy either. 🙂

3. Skippyjon Jones (audio books)
When Skippyjon Jones (by Judy Schachner) entered our world 4 or 5 years ago, I knew immediately he would be around for a very long time. A few years and kids later, everyone still loves this mischievous Siamese kitten who wants to be a chihuahua and all his crazy antics. We all crowd around at bedtime when these stories are read, and in the car we all chime in with “Salchichas! Salchichas! Sausages and peaches!” when we listen to Skippyjon Jones Snow What.

4. Song School Latin – This CD of songs is actually part of our Latin curriculum. Since my boys are only 5 & 4, I’ve stashed away the workbooks for later down the road. For now, they pull out the DVDs at home just for fun, and we sing along to the CD in the car. I’ve been so impressed with not only how much they enjoy it, but also how much and how quickly they are learning. It cracks me up to hear them greet people in Latin!

5. Sounds Like Learning (Discovery Toys) – This fun CD has everything from familiar nursery rhyme songs to songs teaching counting by tens and the months of the year. I can’t honestly say I love every song, the ones we do love, we listen to a LOT. It was very helpful when my oldest son learned to count by tens!

6. Giraffes Can’t Dance (audio book) – This book and accompanying CD by Giles Andreae was a gift to my kiddos from my mother-in-law. (Having a former preschool teacher as a mother-in-law definitely has perks – like her entire classroom collection of books!) It’s a cute story about Gerald the giraffe who believes he is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he realizes that he just dances to a different tune.

7. Songs Kids Really Love to Sing: Bible Songs – This collection of fun bible songs brings back so many memories from my childhood! I love teaching them to my kids! And it’s currently only $1.99 on Amazon with free shipping for Prime members! (Pretty sure I paid more than that for my copy when I bought it!)

8. Rachel & the Treeschoolers – As you may have figured out by now, our family loves everything about Little Hands Productions, and the Treeschoolers series is no different. Each DVD is accompanied by a CD of the songs from that episode, and these have proven to be a big hit with my crew of littles. Fun music, sign language, and science all rolled into one! This nerdy mom definitely approves!

9. Hide ’em in Your Heart – This collection of songs by Steve Green are some of my favorites. The songs are a great way to help my kids (and myself!) learn scripture!

10. The Hollow Trees – FUN music for kids of all ages inspired by traditional bluegrass, country, and folk music. The whole family loves this one, really. How often can you say that you actually love a CD of music made for kids?

So there you have it. The first Tuesday 10 – our family favorites for making car time into learning time without losing my mind.

What about you? Do you have some favorites for learning on the go? Or another list of 10 you’d like to share? If so, be sure to leave a comment or a link and link up on IG with #Tuesday10

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