Small People

Small People

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carlito C. Caterpillar's Math House Game Card - Review and Giveaway

I love getting to teach my children. I especially love teaching them when they're young and getting to see the "light bulb" turn on. There are so many fun activities to use with my young ones, where they don't even realize that they're "doing school". The new Carlito C. Caterpillar's MathHouse Game Card set is full of those fun activities, teaching children concepts in quantity, numeration, and operations in just 20 steps. The 2 games in each step are designed to build on the knowledge that the young child already has.

The cards are sturdy, printed on heavy card stock and lacquered to protect against spills, and attached to a ring so that you can easily flip through them. Most of the games are played with common household items, like socks, goldfish crackers, Cheerios, etc. There are also some supplemental materials used in the games that can be found for free on the C3 website. Here is an example of one of the printouts. They're brightly colored and really kept Sassy's interest.

I started these games with Sassy last week, and she is having a great time with them. Step 2 had a game called "Hungry Lion". This was one of her favorite games. We substituted M&M's for the healthy snacks that the cards recommended. (The child would live on M&M's if I let her.) She had to face the plate with more candies. Then she got to eat the candies on that plate. Needless to say, she LOVED this game. (Please ignore her interesting outfit. I'm letting her pick out her own clothes and that always is interesting.)
I can't wait to finish going through the steps with her.

Important info:
You can find these cards at Carlito C Caterpillar's Math House Games. The cards are only $23.95, which includes free shipping. You can also find out more about them at their Facebook page.

Here's the fun part:
One of my lucky readers will get a chance to win a set of these game cards. To enter, simply leave me a comment on this post letting me know why you would like to win.

For extra entries (Make sure to leave a separate comment for each item):
  1. Follow me via Google Friend Connect on the right side of this page. (Leave a comment letting me know.)
  2. Like Carlito C. Caterpillar's Math House Games on Facebook. (Leave a comment letting me know.)
  3. Share this giveaway on Facebook. (Leave a comment letting me know.)
  4. Share this giveaway on Twitter. (Leave a comment letting me know.)
Please make sure that you leave me your contact information in your comment so that I can get in touch with you if you are the winner. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, October 9th. The winner will be announced the morning of October 10th.
“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week in Review - Week 5

Bible - Our study of Joseph brought us to the time of the world-wide famine and Joseph's brothers journeying to Egypt to buy grain. We also began memorizing the books of the New Testament. It is so precious to hear Sassy Pants saying them, "Matthew, Lark, Luke, John."

History - We discussed Roman family life and clothing. We learned how wealthy Romans gave their infants jeweled rattles and made our own jewels.

At one point Sassy was creating something that resembled a pig face.

Sassy's final creation - notice the pig face has morphed into a snake.

Science - The girls spent the week studying the Digestive and Renal Systems. The Boy learned about the scientific method. The four older ones finished the week with a field trip to ScienceSouth, where they spent the morning using the scientific method experimenting with how many drops of water will fit on a penny and making a balloon car. They had a great time and are looking forward to October's class on ecology. Sassy enjoyed the 2 hours of having me to herself.

1st grade - Little Red's reading is improving each week. She even told me that she thinks her phonics work is too easy (it isn't, but I'm glad she thinks so). She's mastered reading words with silent e, and is now working on other ways that long vowel sounds are made.

Preschool - Sassy used the pegboard and stacking pegs to sort by color and make color patterns.

Read-Aloud - The Bronze Bow is the book I'm reading with the older ones. With Little Red and Sassy, I read books by Margaret Wise Brown. One of our favorites was The Little Scarecrow Boy. After the story, Sassy and Red practiced their (not-so)scary scarecrow faces.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Shunning DVD - Review and Giveaway

I absolutely love Beverly Lewis' novels. I discovered them this past spring and have now read almost all of them. I read The Shunning this summer, and when I got the opportunity to see the DVD based on the book, I was excited to get to see it.

Beverly Lewis' The Shunning - About the Movie
Before she succumbs to cancer, the dying wish of Laura Mayfield-Bennett is to be reunited with the daughter she never knew. Unfortunately, that daughter, Katie Lapp, is a member of the Amish order. Katie is about to be married, but uneasy about the path ahead.  Now she discovers the secret her parents have kept from her: she's adopted. 
The film is based on the celebrated first novel of the best-selling "The Heritage of Lancaster County" book series from author Beverly Lewis. Stars Danielle Panabaker & Sherry Stringfield.

This Hallmark Channel movie will definitely pull on your heart-strings as you watch Katie and her Amish parents deal with the decisions that they have to make. As with any movie based on a book, there are some differences between the two, but for the most part, the storyline was the same.

Did I mention that I really love author Beverly Lewis? I highly recommend checking out her novels based on Amish life. Here is a little background information on her:
BEVERLY LEWIS - Author of "The Shunning"

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty books.  Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide.  A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Lewis to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with "The Shunning," which has sold more than one million copies.  In 2007, Lewis' "The Brethren" was honored with a Christy Award.

Lewis has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC.  Lewis lives with her husband, David, in Colorado. 

For more information about The Shunning, check out the Hallmark Channel website or the Facebook page. You can also see a trailer for the movie here

One of my lucky readers will get the chance to own this DVD for themselves. To enter, simply leave me a comment letting me know that you would like to win.
Bonus entries:
  • Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect on the left side of the page. Leave a comment letting me know. (1 entry)
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know. (1 entry)
  • Share this giveaway on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know. (1 entry)
Please make sure that you leave me your contact information in your comment so that I can get in touch with you if you are the winner. The giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, September 25th. The winner will be announced the morning of September 26th.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week in Review - Week 4

Another week with very few pictures, but a lot of work done.

Bible - We studied Pharaoh's dreams of the fat cows and skinny cows and the fat ears and skinny ears and created a page for our Joseph books.
History - We continued reading Augustus Caesar's World, discussing how Herod became the King of the Jews and the marriage of Antony and Cleopatra.

Science - The girls finished their study of muscles by creating a newspaper article and a lift-the-flap book about muscles.

The Boy began the unit on Scientific Inquiry.

1st grade - Little Red continued marking the vowel sounds with short, long, and silent markings, and her reading is progressing quite rapidly now. Praise the Lord!!

Preschool - Sassy Pants and I worked on one-to-one correspondence. She recognizes all of her numbers to 10, although it took her a couple days to stop calling "10" twelve. We also worked on comparing numbers - Which number is bigger, 3 or 7? Which number is smaller?

In our extra-curricular activities last week, The Boy had his first referee job. Over the summer, he took the class to get his ref license, and last week he got his first paying job reffing both a 1st-3rd grade soccer game and a 4th-6th grade game in our local private school league.

The coin toss

Last year, Robb began a homeschool sports association for the homeschoolers in our area. We are in our 2nd year of the Palmetto Homeschool Athletics, and The Boy plays on the 4th-6th grade soccer team that competes in the private school league. We had our first game of this season last week. We got off to a great start with The Boy scoring the first goal of the game. In all of our games last year, we never had a lead, so this was a nice change. Unfortunately, we weren't able to hold on to that lead, and we lost the game 2-1. Even so, GREAT JOB, Warriors!
Going for the goal!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Week in Review - Week 3

While we got a LOT of learning done last week, I didn't take a lot of pictures.

Bible: We will be studying Joseph for a while. Last week we learned about the dreams of the baker and cupbearer who were in prison with Joseph and how God gave Joseph the interpretation of those dreams.

History: We continued reading in Augustus Caesar's World about the time period when Octavian was a general and was co-leader of Rome with Antony. We also learned about Roman gardens and how they decorated their homes with mosaics and frescoes. We made our own mosaics using small pieces of paper.

Our finished mosaics:

Science: The girls began learning about muscles and why exercise is important for building strong muscles. The Boy completed a science lab about density, seeing how water, vegetable oil, and corn syrup settle into layers when poured into the same container. He then dropped in a rock and an ice cube to see where they would go in the layers.

1st grade: Little Red learned how to mark cvc words with a short vowel mark to help her remember how to read them.

Preschool: Sassy Pants and I worked on her large motor skills by trying to mirror each other's movements.

Pre-Algebra: The Boy finished Module 1 and took the test, making an A. I've spent some time wondering if I made the right decision, putting him into Pre-Algebra this year when it's usually an 8th grade level class and he's only 6th grade age. During this first module, The Boy's shown me that he is definitely ready for this level math. It hasn't been easy, but it's not too difficult for him either.

Language: Soccer Girl and Ballerina memorized the poem "The Land of Nod" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The small people have been working hard and are really learning a lot.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ginny Owens "Get In, I'm Driving" Review and Giveaway - 9/15

I was given the opportunity to preview the newest release by Christian Artist Ginny Owens. Her CD entitled Get In, I'm Driving is scheduled for release on September 13th.

When I was asked to review this CD, I didn't really know much about Ginny Owens. After reading the following, I knew that this was definitely an artist that I wanted to check out simply because her story alone is inspiring.

A three-time Dove Award winner, including the Gospel Music Association’s 2000 New Artist of the Year recipient, and multiple ASCAP Award winner, Ginny Owens has sold nearly one million albums. A top performer on the Christian radio charts with hits like “If You Want Me To,” “Free” and “I Wanna Be Moved,” among others, Owens’ music has impacted mainstream audiences at Lilith Fair, the Sundance Film Festival and the White House. Her music has received widespread film and television placement, including songs on the popular WB series’ “Roswell” and “Felicity.” Owens was featured on national television, including NBC’s “Today” and CNN, for her contribution to help rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., Owens was discovering melodies on the piano almost before she could complete a sentence. Songs began to emerge from her fingers as the vision began to leave her eyes and by the age of three.  A degenerative eye condition left Owens completely blind.  Despite her physical challenge, Owens pursued a music career.  Songs provide a window into a world Owens can’t see and an outlet for her to express her thoughts and dreams. Owens’ unique musical style and inspirational lyrics continue to appeal to Christian and mainstream audiences alike.
In 2005 Owens launched The Fingerprint Initiative, a hands-on, non-profit organization designed to “bring hope to the world, one project and one touch at a time.” The organization has partnered with  and raised money for groups such as Compassion International, International Justice Mission and Habitat for Humanity.

It turns out that her music is just as inspiring as her story. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this CD! There are 11 tracks; each with its own unique message and feel. The blues-y feel of the music really makes it relaxing.

Like I said, her CD will be available on September 13th. Until then, you can check out Ginny Owens at her website, her Facebook page, or her Twitter feed. You can also find her pre-release single "Before You Fly" at her iTunes page.

One of my lucky readers will also have a chance to win their own copy of Ginny Owens' "Get In, I'm Driving". This giveaway will be open until 11:59PM on September 15th, and the winner will be announced and notified on September 16th.

Here's how to enter:
Mandatory Entry - Visit Ginny Owens' website and leave me a comment about something you learned about her or her music.

Bonus Entries -
  1. Follow my blog using Google Friend Connect on the right side of the page. Leave me a comment letting me know. (If you already follow this blog, leave me a comment letting me know that.)
  2. "Like" Ginny Owens' Facebook page. Leave me a comment letting me know.
  3. Follow Ginny Owens on Twitter. Leave me a comment letting me know.
  4. Share this giveaway on Facebook. Leave me a comment letting me know.
  5. Share this giveaway on Twitter. Leave me a comment letting me know.
Please make sure that you leave me some way to contact you in your comments. Thanks!

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:
"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, September 5, 2011

WonderMaps Review

We spent last year doing a year-long world geography study and discovered the importance and the fun of map work. Knowing where important events in history occurred helps make learning much more concrete so this year, we are continuing to use maps for both Bible and history.

WonderMaps, a product of Bright Ideas Press, is an incredible product that will add so much to our map work. This software includes more than 350 maps in 4 different categories:
  1. World maps - 60+ maps of continents, regions, and nations
  2. United States maps - 60+ maps of states and regions
  3. Historical maps - 125 maps, including 25 biblical maps, featuring maps from The Ancients, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance and Reformation, and Revolutions to Modern Times
  4. Thematic maps - Explorers, American History, Chinese Dynasties, and more 
WonderMaps also includes the complete map sets for The Mystery of History vol. I-III and All American History vol. I and II.

One of the best features of WonderMaps is that you can customize the maps by deciding which layers to use. Each map has a variety of layers that you can turn on and off, including:
  • Latitude and longitude lines
  • Country borders
  • Country names
  • City/town locations
  • City/town names
  • Topography in color or black/white
  • Historical boundaries for historical maps
  • And much more!
There are so many things I am planning to do with these maps.

First, we're studying about Joseph in our Bible study. One of the historical maps is of Joseph and his brothers. I printed the map with just the cities labeled and had the older kids draw the journeys of Joseph and his brothers to match the key on the map.

I can't wait to do similar things with the historical maps as we continue through our study of Rome to the Reformation in history and as we study through the Bible.

I printed out some continent maps with just country outlines for the kids to color/label depending on their ability level.

I also am teaching a world geography class in our homeschool co-op this year. These maps will be very helpful tools for this class.

WonderMaps will work on both PC and Mac and requires Adobe Flash Player 9.1, which is a free download.

WonderMaps can be purchased at Timberdoodle for $44.95, a great price for everything you can do with this software.

If you are interested in other hands-on geography or geography puzzles, you should definitely check out Timberdoodle. Check out their Facebook page or request a free catalog.

Review disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team, I received a complimentary copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Week in Review - Week 2

I'm still running a week behind trying to blog what we've done each week. These first few weeks of school have been busy, busy, busy! I am steady working with the small people doing school from 8 am to 2:30 pm every day. Then we start with the afternoon activities - ballet on Monday afternoons for Little Red and Sassy Pants, ballet on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for Ballerina, soccer on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for Soccer Girl and The Boy, boy scouts on Monday evenings for The Boy, and church activities on Monday and Wednesday evenings for the family. I know that as we get adjusted to the schedule, it will calm down a bit.

So, what did we learn last week?

Bible - We are studying the life of Joseph. Last week, we studied how his brothers sold him as a slave. We talked about how jealousy and lying anger God.

History - We are still learning about Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. We learned about how towns were set up in grid patterns and about the layouts of the houses of the wealthy people.
We began reading Augustus Caesar, where we learned about the assassination of Julius Caesar and how Octavian and Antony began their attempts to control the Roman Empire.
image from
We also learned how to play a game that was popular in Ancient Rome, called Odd or Even. To play this 2-player game, you need 20 small stones (or something similar - we used the pieces from our Mancala game). Each player starts with 10 stones. The first player hides any number of stones in his right hand. The 2nd player must guess if there is an even or odd number of stones in the hand (saying only "even" or "odd"). The first player opens his hand. If the guess is correct, the first player gives the 2nd player a stone. If the guess is incorrect, then the 2nd player has to give a stone to the first player. Then it's the 2nd players turn to hide stones in his hand. Play continues until either one player has all the stones, or a set number or time.

1st Grade - Little Red continued her review of the letters and their sounds.

Preschool - Sassy and I spent time learning about shapes. We used the Lauri Fit-A-Space puzzles to sort shapes and play games with the shapes. One game we played was Sassy had to close her eyes and choose a shape out of the pile. Keeping her eyes closed, she had to determine what shape the piece was by feeling it. I absolutely love how she says the word "parallelogram".
Sassy's still trying to adjust to the idea that my entire day will not be spent teaching her, but it's getting better.

Also last week, the Children's Choirs at our church performed their summer musical. Each year, the rising 6th graders perform the drama for the musical and all of the choirs (grades 4k-6th) sing with it. Since The Boy is one of those rising 6th graders, he was a part of the drama. This year's performance was Kings, Dreams, and Schemes, and The Boy had the role of King Belshazzar. He did a great job!

 The older three girls enjoyed singing.

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