Tag Archives: J

Giraffe Party – Blogging Through the Alphabet


Miss J just turned 8! I can hardly believe how fast the years are going, but I know every parent must feel that way. She invited her friends over for an animal party, though her focus was on giraffes. This is her favorite animal and has been for several years now.

She asked her friends to dress as their favorite animal, so, of course, she dressed as a giraffe. This was the easiest costume. Ever! I got a brown shirt that she had and turned it inside out. Using making tape, I just stuck pieces of different lengths on at different angles until the whole shirt was covered. I did the same with a pair of brown leggings that she had. We added to this a headband that I taped ears and horns (not what they are really called) onto. After putting her hair in a bun, she was the cutest giraffe I have ever seen.

We played pin the tail on the giraffe. For this, I gave each child a small piece of paper and had them draw their own giraffe tail. We had printed off a coloring page of a giraffe that I found through a search engine. We printed it on multiple pages and taped them together. Easy – peasy. Bonus? It is now a poster in Miss J’s room!


We ordered pizza because salad, the food of giraffes, is just not the favorite thing for this 8 year old. We put her newest addition to her toys, Squinkie animals, onto the cake for decorations. We had blue kool-aid since giraffes drink water. Truly, easy party, y’all!

We had lots of fun and enjoyed our time with friends a lot. And now, I have an 8 year old.


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Electrical Circuits – Blogging Through the Alphabet


A while back, my dad pulled out a couple of electrical circuitry boards that he had used to teach my brothers some things about electricity when we were all younger. He gave them to us and I set them aside for another time. Well, that time came last week when we were all feeling a bit under the weather but we still wanted to accomplish something. You know that place, right?


Well, electrical circuits to the rescue. The day was saved. At least for Miss J. She was terribly excited to see these and to try them out, now that we had bought the right batteries to run them. We have to boards. Both of them are by Science Fair. One is 60 In One Electronic Project Kit. The other is 160 In One Electronic Project Kit. We started with the smaller one.

Turns out, these were WAYYYY easier to use than I had expected. The booklets that come with them explain how to hook them up, the order in which to hook the wires up, and what each setup is supposed to do. Then, it explains why it works (or it should – we did have a couple not work correctly).


We worked on a basic on/off switch. We tried out hand at traffic lights (something didn’t work there). We used a reed switch to turn on and off a light. We did two or three other small projects and then we put it away for the time being. It won’t be put away for long and it is much closer at hand now than it was before.


There is probably a good reason to work through the projects from the start of the book but we just picked a chose. It was an exploration project at the time. I imagine we will take this up a bit more regimented at some point in the not too distant future because Miss J was so interested in it.


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Blaze Books


One thing that always thrills me is when I stumble upon a book that Miss J loves. This happened a couple of months ago when I somehow came upon the titles for a series of books about a horse named Blaze. These books were originally written back in the 1930s and are just wonderful! The drawings are imaginative and simple and the writing is superb.

These are early chapter books but they are not too hard for Miss J. In fact, they were the perfect fit. The branch of the library we normally go to did not have any of these books so I had to request the first one.

blaze-booksI got it home and had Miss J begin reading. She was hooked. She requested and read every single one our library system had.

The premise of the story is a friendship between a little boy named Billy and a horse named Blaze. They have adventures and get into some tight situations together. Through it all, the friendship grows stronger and stronger. These books are fun and simple and just right for a young reader.

The series by C. W. Anderson includes:

  • Billy and Blaze
  • Blaze and the Mountain Lion
  • Blaze and the Forest Fire
  • Blaze and Thunderbolt
  • Blaze and the Gray Spotted Pony
  • Blaze and the Lost Quarry
  • Blaze Shows the Way
  • Blaze Finds the Trail

I think there are a few more but this gives you a pretty good idea of the extent of the series. Each one is about 50 pages long with stunning drawings. Each story is a thrill with a happy ending. Just what I want my younger child exposed to for now. The other stuff will come along soon enough.

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The Giggly Girls’ Perspective – Back to Homeschool

Giggly Girls' Perspective

I decided this year, I would give you a little bit of insight into the giggly girls’ perspectives on homeschooling.

E, age 11

E – age 11

What I like about Homeschool:

  • We don’t have an exact schedule.
  • We get breaks whenever we want.
  • We get fun field trips even when we’re older.
  • We’re on a review crew so we do most of our school on those products.
  • I only have 2 teachers! Yay!
  • I can learn things like sewing and cooking.
  • We can watch TV.

What I don’t like about Homeschool:

  • Everything is harder!
  • Reviewing math programs!

L, age 9

L – age 9

I think homeschooling is really fun. I like it a lot, and for a lot of reasons. One reason is because we, well, I, get to learn cursive. My mom says that public schools don’t teach cursive anymore, which I think is wrong. I also like it because while I do my writing, cursive, memory work, history, art, science, and math, I never feel pressured, like I sometimes did at public school. There it sometimes felt like it was about finishing your work, not learning. And, in first grade, my teacher only taught me half of telling time! I like homeschooling much better, and here, we add in God!

J, age 6

J – age 6

What I like about homeschool is the math and the writing.

Truly, these are their own words. We edited spelling and some of the grammar together. But, I did not edit their sentiments at all. Ya’ll, kids get the difference. I felt really, really happy when I read what L wrote about the pressure. She was 6 at the time. 6! And feeling the stress and pressure of completion, but not learning. It just makes my heart sing all the more that we brought them home.

When you start looking at research, there are so many reasons to bring them home. As E gets into her teen years, I see the difference that sleep makes. She is able to get the sleep she needs, which makes her attitude and ability to learn better. There is research being shared more often now that shows that the accumulation of lack of sleep is detrimental to young people. I am so glad that we can allow them the sleep they need, the learning the yearn for, and the enjoyment of subjects that “float their boat.”

I am not knocking public schools but I understand their hands are tied. My children are worth the investment of my time, effort, and money (yes, money – homeschooling is not cheap, though there are plenty of ways to cut costs – check out this post for some of my ideas). Not parenting them, of which overseeing their education is a part, has much, much too high a cost – our children.

I am so thrilled at the joy my girls are finding in education at home. Not school at home but education and learning. We are looking forward to a fun, enjoyable year filled with a variety of Review Crew products and delight led learning. Bring on the horses, sewing, cooking, writing, and math.

A list of all posts related to the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop 2015 came be found under the Back to Homeschool page.
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Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

This post is part of the Back To Homeschool Blog Hop, sponsored by School House Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection. There are over 50 bloggers participating in the blog hop so you have lots of reading to do! Click on the picture to be taken to the listing of all participating bloggers and find something to encourage you today.

Review and Giveaway: Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers

I received a copy of this book from Family Christian in return for honest feedback and this post.


“I like that it talks about God and that it doesn’t sound sassy when you read it.” According to a six year old, that is all it takes. J loves this book on prayer!

Prayer Treasury

Prayer. It is such a beautiful thing. We are shown the perfect model of a prayer in Matthew 6 when Jesus is speaking to his disciples, teaching them to pray. We should follow his example and teach our children. Teaching our children about prayer is one of the best things we can do because it opens up their own personal conversations with God. Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers is a sweet collection of prayers that children can relate to every day and in all parts of their day.

The contents tell it all. With chapter titles like “Good Morning, God”, “In My Play and Through My Day”, and “Good Night, God”, from sun-up to sundown, there are prayers to fill your child’s day. To help him see that God is always there to hear him and to talk with him.

One of my favorite things about this collection is the use of Bible verses as prayer. There are a good number of prayers that are praying a Psalm. But it is not just Psalms. You will find Judges, Luke, Revelation, II Chronicles, Philippians, and more.

Along with God’s word, you will find examples of verses you might remember from your childhood.

p 85 excerptp 78 excerpt

You will also come across excerpts and verses and prayers from a number of well-known authors, including St. Francis of Assisi, Isaac Watts, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others.

illustrations 2aaThroughout this collection, your child will be thrilled with the bright, colorful, playful illustrations. The illustrations capture the child’s imagination and propel her forward with the desire to keep reading and revisiting the book often. I often found J sitting with the book, mesmerized with the lovely pictures.




A beautiful way to teach children to pray is to pray with them and illustrations 1aashow them examples of prayer. This collection is done is such a loving way that even beginning readers can read from it. J and I would sit together and she would practice her reading by reading prayers from this collection. (She is in Kindergarten and has about 100 sight words under her belt. That should help you see just how accessible this book is for children.)

We have really enjoyed getting review the >Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers by Max & Denalyn Lucado, illustrated by Lisa Anderson. You can purchase a copy through Family Christian.

We are also excited to be announcing our first ever giveaway, sponsored by Family Christian. Family Christian will send one winner a $10 gift certificate to be used on their site or in one of their stores. Click on the link below to be taken to the Rafflecopter. Good luck. At Home.


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Rafflecopter Giveaway for $10 Family Christian Gift Certificate

Be A Star! Reading Chart

Here is the next installment of reading charts. I have this set for 10 books a week because that is what the goal is for J. Please leave me a comment if you would like for these to not designate a length of time in which to read the books and I’ll leave it off of the next one so it is more useable for you.

Be A Star!

Be a Star Reading chart by At Home: where life happensBe A Star reading chart PDF
(click above for a printable PDF file of the chart)

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K is for … Keeping Track

K is for Keeping Track with a free printable chart from At Home: where life happens

As we get further along the reading trail, I find that it is so easy for me to lose track of what we have done each week. Part of this is because I have been a little lax about setting goals. The other part is that J doesn’t have a good way to tell what progress she is making. So, I have decided to make both of those concrete this month and into the future.

The goal: 10 books on level per week. More if she can but at least 10.
Progress measure: a chart that she can mark off.


K Keeping TrackK Keeping Track PDF

J asked for a chart so I created one for her. We are printing it off and posting it. Each time she completes a book, she gets to put a sticker over the next number on the chart. (Bonus: number practice and as she completes charts, counting by 10s.) She loves giraffes and purple so I chose those for this first chart. As we move along, I will be adding more charts for her and I will try to remember to share them with you all.

If you would like your own copy of this chart, just click the link below the picture for a PDF file to print.

I would enjoy hearing about the various ways you have kept track of reading with your students. Please share your ideas in the comments. And as J takes off with reading, we will be marking off numbers and completing charts. At Home.

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