Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Littles Learning Link Up: August 22, 2017: The Solar Eclipse


 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

We have been enjoying our break between our summer session and the first day of school for the 2017-2018 school year. Last week we visited with the grandchildren a couple of times. Last Monday we got to see four of our granddaughters. The children got to play with their nieces at the park, then we went out to eat at Denny's. I shared lots of fun pictures on last week's Wordless Wednesday post. Then on Saturday we stopped by the hospital to see our newest granddaughter. Sadly she was struggling to breathe and was in the nursery. She was sent to a different hospital and is doing much better, hopefully going home today. We also got to see little Annika, plus we got to see the other granddaughters again at the drive-in. I'm going to share those pictures in this week's Wordless Wednesday post.

Wednesday through Friday were busy days because we had VBS. The focus was on Creation, Noah's Ark, and Jesus. We learned about how much God loves us, plus the importance of obedience. They had the opportunity to learn between 3 and 8 memory verses so they could earn scholarships to camp next year. My kiddos all learned between 7 and 8, so they earned the full amount possible. 

Of course, I was also busy last week writing my posts for the 5 Day of Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, along with my fellow Homeschool Review Crew Crew Mates. In case you missed them, here is a list of my posts:



Yesterday we joined our community at the park for a Eclipse Picnic/Party hosted by our local library. There was a gentleman there who taught the kids a bit about the solar eclipse. He had brought a telescope along for us to view the eclipse through (yes, it had a filter and was safe). I had also found an idea for making our eclipse glasses safer by attaching each one to a paper plate so the children wouldn't accidentally glance above or below the glasses. Ingenious idea actually. 










The following pictures were taken through the telescope, so the images are reversed.




After the eclipse was just about over, the gentleman with the telescopes and the hubby figured out how to project the eclipse from the telescope onto a piece of cardboard.


We had a wonderful time viewing the eclipse. How did your eclipse viewing go?

Let's take a look at that review schedule:

A couple of weeks ago I posted my review for Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! from Greek 'n' Stuff . This week I will post my review of The Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking. In September I will be posting reviews of the Charlotte's Web E-Guide from Progeny Press, four books by Carole P. Roman, a juvenile chapter book from Barbour Publishing called Imagine. . . The Great Flood by Matt Koceich, and Let's Go Geography.

Some things I would like to share with you:

Back to School time is almost here (or is here for others), plus fall is right around the corner. Seems like the perfect time to share my Apple Fun Round Up.


And here is my


I recently started a new weekly feature called Fun Fiction Friday, where I share the books the older girls and I are reading, sharing their thoughts on the books, and possibly even a review of a Juvenile book I am reading. 

A couple of weeks ago I started Picture Book Saturday (though it posted on Monday)These posts feature the picture books we read during the week, with the children each sharing which one was their favorite. I shared the books we had read about Australia and Coral Reefs.

Hoping to make both of these consistent, weekly features here on Tots and Me...Growing Up Together. I didn't have a chance to post last weekend, due to being so busy with the blog hop, but I will make sure to get posts up this coming weekend.

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 10 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share. Sadly, there were no clicks again, so I won't be able to share a "Top Clicked On" post.

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:


Stacey from A Moment in Our World shared Mary Had a Little Lamb Printable Pack.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.






Monday, August 21, 2017

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- August 22, 2017


Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday and Picture Book Saturday Break

I know I have said I would like to make these two posts regular weekly features here on Tots and Me...Growing Up Together. And I know I said I would share our other Australia books this weekend. Unfortunately, I just haven't had time to get the posts together this week, and I haven't even had time to read any of my books. Between VBS and the 5 Days of Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, I haven't had any time for anything else. So, I wanted to apologize, and I do plan on bringing them back next week.

For now, I would invite you to stop by and check out my previous Fun Fiction Friday and Picture Book Saturday posts. Also, don't miss all of the Back to Homeschool posts. Here is a list of what I posted about (and don't forget to check out the posts by my fellow Crew Mates linked up at the bottom of each post).



Monday: Our 2017-2018 Curriculum Choices
Tuesday: Supplies I Can't Live Without
Wednesday: Planning and Recording Our Homeschool Year
Thursday: Homeschooling Outside the Home
Friday: Dear Homeschool Mom - Encouragement From the Homeschool Dad

See you next week for Fun Fiction Friday and Picture Book Saturday.
Don't forget, I do post Littles Learning Link Up on Tuesdays. You can stop by there to see what we've been up to, plus link up your posts sharing ideas for young children!

Friday, August 18, 2017

The 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Dear Homeschool Mom - Encouragement From the Homeschool Dad


Dear Homeschool Mom

Welcome to the final day of the Homeschool Review Crew 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Today's topic is: Dear Homeschool Mom




For today's post, the hubby has once again taken over my blog. He wrote a letter to me, the homeschooling mom, a very sweet letter. Here, I'll let you read it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear homeschool mom,

I've been watching you.  For the last 11 years I've been watching you.  I've seen you at your worst, and I've seen you at your best.  I've even seen you in ways nobody else has.

I've watched you utilize our library for the abundance of free resources it supplies. You use more library books then anybody I know.  They even made an exception for you with regards to the maximum number of books one can have out at one time.  You get to take out 100.  You've earned their trust.  I've watched you somehow, miraculously, keep track of all of these books and/or movies. Always knowing where they are.  You are amazing.

I've watched you work with our children on a daily basis.  Marveling at their accomplishments. Worrying they aren't grasping a concept.  Always trying to help them learn and delighting in the fact that they have.

I've watched you balance home making and home schooling.  I've watched you make sure I had a hot meal before leaving for work even if you were making supper for the rest of the family an hour or so later.  I've never been hungry when I've left the house for my 12 hour shift.  Thank You.

I've watched you teach our children about God.  I've seen them learn of his greatness through you. You even find time to volunteer at church.

I've watched you be there for me when I needed it most.  Over the past 11 years, there have definitely been circumstances in my life that were devastating.  They would have been 10 times  worse if I hadn't had you to lean on.  Quite frankly, I'm not sure I would have made it through without you. Thank God you were there.

I've watched you when we are together.  This is something I really like. You are relaxed then.  Not thinking about lesson plans, curriculum, or anything else except the moment.  You need more of this.

I've watched you when you are sleeping and I can't.  You are relaxed.  Recharging your batteries for another day.  You are at peace and it is beautiful.  Sometimes, I lay there for hours just enjoying the peaceful look on your face.  Other times, I go downstairs so I don't disturb you.  I help where I can in my feeble attempt to make your day better.  Morning will come much too soon and as I'm starting to doze off, your day begins again.

I've watched you come out of your shell.  When we met, you were broken and defeated.  Now, 11 years later, you are confident and whole. You believe in yourself and your abilities.. I'm so proud of you and how far you've come.

Dear homeschool mom,

You've got this.  You are doing a wonderful job. I love you.

Harold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm so blessed to have such a loving husband. One that stands by me as we raise our children for the Lord. Reading the above letter brought me to tears, knowing how much he loves me and supports me. I know how hard it is to have a "husband" that does not support me. So, it means even more to me.

So, Dear Homeschool Mom or Dad who may be reading this post, remember to be there for each other, support each other, remember, you have to count on each other, and the children are counting on you too. 

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Homeschooling Outside the Home


Homeschooling Outside the Home

Welcome to the fourth day of the Homeschool Review Crew 2017 Back to Homeschool Blog Hop. Today my fellow Crew Mates and I are going to focus on homeschooling "Outside the Home."



Honestly, most of our homeschooling takes place in our home. I know it is said that we are learning all the time, so even when we go out, we are learning. I do agree with that. However, I am not comfortable counting every little thing we do and place we go as a "school day." Activities that I, personally, would count as school time outside of the home include homeschool co-op, field trips, phys. ed. and other classes at the YMCA. Do we do some of our lessons outside the house? Occasionally. For example, sometimes we go out to the yard to do some exploring, but, I don't consider that "homeschooling outside the home." To me our yard is part of our home. And we have been known to take work to doctor appointments, so I will count that as a school day. 

Homeschool Co-op

We have been a part of our local homeschool co-op since Tabitha was in kindergarten. I wanted to make sure she had a chance to, yes, socialize and make friends. She knew some of the children who went already, through church and playgroup. And now she, and my other children, have made additional friends. 

I appreciate the way our co-op is organized. All of the parents have to help either teach a class or be a helper. Personally, I enjoy being down in the preschool, coming up with crafts and reading stories. I don't think anyone who reads my blog would be surprised by this. I have also taught classes to the older groups. I prefer the K-3 group, though I have taught one class for the 4-8 group. I prefer to NOT teach high school however. 

The school year is broken into different sessions. There is a fall session that lasts from the beginning of October to mid November. Our last day before the break is always a harvest type party with crafts and a special dish-to-pass lunch. Then we take off until the beginning of January. Each month (Jan through April) is a "session." 

Each Wednesday we meet from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. There are three classes each session, one of which is always gym. And in the last few months of the school year, one class for the older two groups is always for getting ready for the end of year play. Other classes may be cooking, geography. art, science, economics, whatever different topics we come up with in our parent meeting that someone wants to or is at least willing to teach. We try to make it more hands-on and fun, things that may not be getting taught at home. 

I love that they have taken the kids on different field trips that I wouldn't have been able to do with the children. They've been to such places as the bank, the post office, different farms in the area, the library, and the one ice cream shop. 

Some co-op fun:







I asked each of the children what they liked the best about co-op and this is what they had to say. 

Tabitha liked doing the play this past year. (She actually had a decent amount of lines too.) She like outdoor survival and the gym classes where they learned and played soccer and basketball. She also enjoys art. 

Amelia likes gym the most. One of her favorite games is octopus tag. 

Hannah enjoys art, gym, snack time, and field trips. She said her favorite trip was to the bank. 

Harold just enjoys co-op. He enjoys doing the crafts, having snack and lunch, and playtime. Which is most of what they do down in preschool.

There are years I have debated not going to co-op, because there is a bit of a financial strain plus added stress, but the children enjoy it very much and get upset when I mention taking a break from it.

Moving on to:

Field Trips

We don't take field trips that often, but we do enjoy them when we can do so. Once again, there is the added cost, even if the destination itself is free or low cost, living in a rural area means there is going to be gas money and food money that needs to be spent. We do try to bring our own food, but it never fails that we end up having to buy something while we are out.

A couple of years ago we were reviewing the Field Trip Journal from Apologia. It was during this time that I really started looking into what might be available in the area (you know, that whole living in a rural area dilema). There are also places I had heard of, but had never gotten around to visiting in my 20-some years of living in the area.

Some fun, localish places to visit here in northern Pennsylvania (and western NY) are Animaland, the PA Grand Canyon, the Black Forest Trading Station, the Lumber Museum, Sinnemahoning State Park, and Rock City Park. These are all within a 1 hour drive from our home. For a bit of a longer drive we can also visit the Corning Museum of Glass, Erie Zoo, and the Pocono Raceway. Those are some of the places we have visited within the last couple of years.

Some field trip fun:





When I asked the children what their favorite field trip(s) were, all of them had the Erie Zoo in their answer.

Tabitha said, "I love animals and they have cute animals and the huge rhinos, and zebras, and all the animals there." It was a first time experience for her. She also liked Animaland but didn't care that is smelled. She did like getting to feed the animals.

Amelia loved the sand cat at the Erie Zoo, and Hannah just loved that there were animals. Harold said he liked Erie Zoo because he "got to see all the animals I never got to see before. He also mentioned liking Animaland, Rock City Park, and the Pocono Raceway.

The YMCA

We joined the local YMCA in January of 2016. At first the children didn't have much to do besides sitting in the Child Watch. However, this past fall they were able to take the ballet class, which they really enjoyed.


After the dance session was done, the Y offered a homeschool phys ed class which we took advantage of. Even though they have gym once a week at co-op, I thought it would be fun for them to interact with different children and learn some different activities. Sadly, there was only one other child who participated. So, it wasn't quite what we were hoping it would be. I guess it is all for the best, because I decided we wouldn't be doing it this year if they offered it again. This will save our finances a bit, plus keep me less stressed as I won't have to break our Monday's up anymore with trying to get to phys ed. Tabitha (and occasionally Amelia) joins me in Zumba once or twice a week.

So, that is the extent of our homeschooling outside the home. And as you can see, there will be even less this coming school year.

So, what kinds of activities are you involved in outside the home?

Tomorrow I will be sharing the post from my hubby: Dear Homeschool Mom. It's sort of become a tradition for him to contribute to these blog hop posts. 

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Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #165: August 17, 2017

Welcome back to... 


I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around August 17th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)


Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Ritsumei from Baby Steps shared 


To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.



Happy Throwback Thursday!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: August 16, 2017 (w/linky) : Fun With the Grandbabies

We finally had a chance to visit the grandbabies the other day. It has been almost a year since we were up that way. Boy has the littlest one gotten so big. Of course, so have the other three girls. The children loved visiting and playing with their little nieces (one of which is actually older than Harold). They also enjoyed being able to try out a new playground. Then we went out for dinner at Denny's, which was sort of cool. I've never been to a Denny's. The food was pretty good, and I was able to stay on plan.














































Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.
No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.



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