Posted by: Heather | May 14, 2010

Check out Simple Schooling’s new website

Fantastic forums, interesting information, and lotsa love for homeschoolers 🙂

Posted by: Heather | June 17, 2009

Please vote for me

I entered the Homeschool Classroom Contest at

To cast your vote go HERE and vote for The World Is Our Classroom. That’s me 🙂 The winner gets free curriculum from and free is GOOD!

Posted by: Heather | June 11, 2009

Used curriculum sale

Last month our area homeschool groups had a used curriculum sale. It’s called Books ‘N More because …well, there’s more than just books there. I was astonished at the low prices and the stuff we found in free boxes.

I’ve decided I’m not buying ANY actual “textbooks” next year. Everything except Math (which I already have books for- Singapore) are going to be learned using real books (and the occasional workbook/worksheet if they want it).

DK Math Made Easy grade 3 ~free

DK Life Science booklets (6) ~ free

Boys Life Magazines (11) ~ free

Lego Magazines (3) ~ free

1960s Superman comic ~ free

1980s Wonder Woman comic ~free

The Complete Book of Grammar & Punctuation ~ free

Learning Resources Magnet Mania ~ free

Mad Libs books (2) ~ free

Easy Reading Shakespeare books ~ free
– Taming of the Shrew level 5
– Measure for Measure level 2
– Much Ado About Nothing level 3

Bring the Classics to Life books ~ free
Captains Courageous
Robin Hood

McGraw-Hill Test Prep grade 4 ~ free

A Beka Place Value Concept Cards ~ free

Complete Train Guide (3-ring binder full of pages of information on every train you could think of) ~ free

Wonder Tree Woodgets (kind of like Tinker Toys) ~ free

Usborne Time Traveller’s Book of Knights & Castles ~ 25c

Draw Write Now book 1 ~ 25c

Blood and Guts ~ 25c

Cat Warriors Graphic Novel #2 ~ $1

Cat Warriors Graphic Novel #3 ~ $1

The Tale of Despereaux Graphic Novel ~ $2

Walter the Farting Dog (hardcover) ~ $2

Walter the Farting Dog: Trouble at the Yard Sale (hardcover) ~ $2

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 ~ $3

If You Lived in Colonial Times ~ $3

Star Wars Light Saber Battle Game ~ $5

Leapster L-MAX w/ 7 games, charging dock, and backpack $20
I think we made out pretty well. The following week one of our libraries had a used book sale. We got a box full of great books (and a couple of movies) for less than $5.

Posted by: Heather | June 10, 2009

What we have been doing

This time of year seems to be very busy for us. The weather is nicer, we get out of the house a lot more, and just generally do more things.

The boys were interested in learning more about cats. We read Snot Stew by Bill Wallace.  A very cute story told from a kitten’s point of view. We watched several cat videos on National Geographic online. Then we did a Cat Lapbook. They enjoyed it a lot. I think they enjoyed the putting together a lot better than filling in all the information.

Coincidentally, we also got a new kitten this week. Her name is Mollie and she’s just the sweetest little cuddler ever 🙂 The hazard of having a daughter who volunteers at the SPCA.

Since June is Dairy Month, we went to our local Dairy Festival with some friends. They had a great time. We saw baby goat, chickens, angora rabbit, and baby sheep (no pic)

They learned about all kinds of dairy products and nutrition. They got to try out a few crafts, got free cheese, yogurt, cheese, chocolate milk, cheese, maple popcorn, cheese (lol), and ice cream. They even got to milk a fake cow:

We even fit in a little seatwork this week 😀

Posted by: Heather | June 4, 2009

Library Visit

I’ve decided to keep a list of the books we get at the library. We have two libraries we visit frequently. One is within walking distance, the other we have to drive to as it’s on the local military base. Also, this will (hopefully) make it easier for me to remember what books we have out and to which library they belong.

Post Library:
Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
(the last two we have borrowed at least half a dozen times)

A Kitten’s Year*
Welcome to Kristen’s World: 1854 Growing up in Pioneer America
Johnny and the Bomb
American Kids in History: Wild West Days
Growing up in Colonial America
Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny in American History
Meet the Wards on the Oregon Trail
Expansion of America: The Oregon Trail
My First Cat
If You Were There in 1776
Kittycat Lullabye
Bridge to Terabithia
Saving Shiloh

Local Library
My Name is America: The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins, WWII
Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures graphic novel
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (unabridged)
Bionicle Adventures #2 Trial by Fire
Star Wars Jedi Apprentice The Mark of the Crown
Jigsaw Jones: The Case of Hermie the Missing Hamster
Bed-Knob and Broomstick
Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas
Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt
Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective #1
Frankenstein (adapted version)

I’ve already added the ones I know will get read to our summer reading list. When/If we read the others, I’ll add them. I’m 85% certain we’ll get most of them read.

*Already read

Posted by: Heather | June 3, 2009

My Summer Reading List

Fair warning…I am a prolific reader. I read often and quickly. The list will most definitely grow as the days go by. Here it is my list for the this list for The Old Schoolhouse Summer Reading Splash.

  • Critical – Robin Cook (currently reading)
  • Left Behind – Tim Lahaye & Jerry B Jenkins
  • 1st to Die – James Patterson
  • Blaze – Stephen King & Richard Bachman
  • Nightsong – Carolyn Davidson
  • CSI: NY Dead of Winter – Stuart M Kaminsky
  • The Tale of the Body Thief – Anne Rice
  • Heaven – VC Andrews (re-reading)
  • Dark Angel – VC Andrews (re-reading)
  • In The Dark of the Night – John Saul
  • Black Lightning – John Saul

That’s not including all the read-alouds we will be reading this summer. We’re trying to make it through the “Dear America”/”My Name is America”/”My America” series.

Posted by: Heather | June 3, 2009

Logan’s Summer Reading List

Here is a list of some of the books that Logan will be reading to him this summer. We are posting this list for The Old Schoolhouse Summer Reading Splash

  • Shiloh
  • Saving Shiloh
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Johnny and the Bomb
  • My Name Is America: The Journal of Scott Pendleton Collins: A World War II Soldier, Normandy, France, 1944

Logan is 11 yrs old and will be entering the 6th grade. His favorite books are about soldiers or animals with human qualities.

Posted by: Heather | June 3, 2009

Matthew’s Summer Reading List

Here is a list of some of the books that Matthew will be reading/have read to him this summer. We are posting this list for The Old Schoolhouse Summer Reading Splash

  • Nate the Great and the Pillow Case – Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • Nate the Great Goes Undercover
  • Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas
  • Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – Betty MacDonald

Matthew is 7 yrs old and still an emerging reader. He will be entering 3rd grade. He loves the Nate the Great series and any book about cats.

Posted by: Heather | May 21, 2009

Getting there

Going into homeschooling, I thought I would be the one doing the teaching and my boys would be the ones doing the learning.  Boy did I have that backward.

I’ve learned so much this past school year.  Having them home all the time has really enabled me to really KNOW them.  They are mine again.  No longer do I hand them off to some stranger to enjoy 85% of their waking moments.  I get every bit of them and I don’t feel the least bit selfish about it.

I’ve learned they really do know how to sleep in past sun-up.  When they don’t have to get up at 6:30am to get ready for school they are able to follow their bodies’ natural sleep schedule.  Most mornings they sleep in until 8am. They are both much more pleasant to be around when they’ve had enough sleep.  Getting to that point took about 3-4 months. They are well into a good sleep schedule now.

I’ve learned Matthew is intimidated by the writing paper with extra lines for ‘early writers’.  You know the kind, the primary paper with two blue solid lines and one red dotted line?  He says he can’t remember what’s supposed to go on what line and he gets so frustrated that he doesn’t want to do it at all.  We’ve gone to regular wide-ruled paper and it’s MUCH better.

I’ve learned what a great sense of humor they both have.  They make me laugh every day.
Don’t get me wrong, they’ve learned a lot too. They’ve both learned to get along better with each other.  They will be the first to tell you they are best friends (most of the time). Even though they are four years apart, they play together so well.  Logan doesn’t have that sense of seniority over younger kids that public school seems to promote.  He gets along with younger kids just as well as kids his age & older.

Matthew has learned to reign in his temper and ask for help when he gets frustrated.  He has learned that no one is going to make fun of him for asking a question or for not knowing how to do something.  He’s learned to trust me with his questions and frustrations.  It makes me sad that somewhere along the way he lost his trust in people who are supposed to protect him.

They’ve also learned regular school stuff. We’ve explored Alaska, the solar system, penguins, early America, World War II, holidays around the world, and tons of other stuff.

Matthew can add double digits using mental math. He can read with much more confidence than ever before.  My favorite thing is cleaning his room and finding dozens of books laying on/around his bed 🙂

Logan is much better at multiplication than he was at the beginning of the year. He’s interested in learning more division. He’s mastered place value to the billions. We’re learning about fractions and percents in every day life.  He loves science and history.

They both had a great time picking out books to buy at the library’s book sale last week.  I never thought I’d see them excited about books, but they were.

They’ve both learned that they really do enjoy being read to by Mom.  When we first started story time, they both balked. They said they hated it, it was boring, yadda yadda yadda. Yesterday when we were picking out the next read-aloud, they were arguing over who’s book will get read next.

Stories we’ve read out loud this year are:

Farmer Boy  by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater
Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osbourne
Magic Tree House: The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osbourne
Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osbourne
Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osbourne
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCammillo

Now we’re reading The Indian in the Cupboard (Logan’s choice, Matthew’s was to re-read The Tale of Despereaux) and enjoying it very much.

That is not including the bedtime/evening reading we’ve done. Matthew particularly enjoys the Nate the Great series of books and anything about real animals.  Logan likes the Diary of a Wimpy kid series and anything that’s in a graphic novel or comic book.

I’m just so glad we made this choice.  I really believe we are doing the right thing. The only downer about the whole thing is all the reporting/red tape that is involved with homeschooling in NY state.  Maybe some day we’ll move back to Alabama 🙂

Posted by: Heather | April 24, 2009

The word of the week is Busy

This last week has been soooo busy. The older two have gone back to school, I’m trying to get the younger two back into some sort of routine. Who would have thought it would be so difficult to get them to get dressed & brush their teeth every day, not to mention get something that resembles learning fit in the day! Plus this was my grocery shopping week. Being that I only grocery shop once a month, it’s an all-day affair.
In between running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I have gotten quite a bit of knitting done. I FINALLY received the knitting needles I ordered back in FEBRUARY! They were back-ordered through the manufacturer, so not the fault of the yarn store. I will most likely order from them again. They were very good about communicating with me. Because I finally got the needles I needed I could cast on for my Felted Clogs.

They were such a fast knit. I cast on the first one Saturday afternoon and had them felted by Sunday evening. They are the most comfortable pair of slippers I’ve ever had. I’ve decided I’m going to make a pair for everyone for Christmas. I may even buy the children’s version too, even though I only have one kid who needs that size. Even my 10yo has feet the size of mine!

I’ve also been plugging away at a pair of Charade socks for a friend. I’m not liking the pattern much. It’s boring me to tears. As evidenced by the fact that I’m still on sock #1 almost two weeks after casting on. But the result of the pattern is more interesting than plain 2×2 rib.

It’s not all because of boredom though. I have cast on the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery and LOVE IT! It’s so hard to put down. It’s not difficult, but I have pay attention to which direction rows I’m on so it keeps my brain busy.

Next week will probably prove to be just as busy as this last week was. It’s report time. Homeschoolers NY state we are required to submit quarterly reports. It’s not difficult. Just busywork. I do hate busywork.

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