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Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to 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, July 31, 2014

Field Trip #134 Friday Blog Hop–A Pow Wow Howard County, MD

Field Trip Friday!
Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!
Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE


    Since we are studying US History this year, we took advantage of a local Pow Wow at the fairgrounds.  It’s an annual event, this year was their 20th one. 


    After the event, the boys all wanted bows and arrows of their own, so my husband made them some. 

    The event does cost, but we received a coupon from emailing the person in charge.  There were lots of vendors selling things, and lots of dancers.  They had a nice presentation, but my kids were kind of board after a while.  We are still glad we went though, it’s a great introduction to our Native American unit we have coming up, as we also talk about Squanto at Plymouth.

    The link up will go live just after midnight August 1st and run for the entire month. 

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Workbox Wednesday #11

    Chestnut Grove Academy

    Welcome to Workbox Wednesday!  If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

    Please visit my co-host at Tots and Me

    Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc.  The favors will be returned!  Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!


    We are off this week, just doing a really light load and nothing new to share workbox wise.  However, fell free to link up what you are doing!!  Next week should be our Fall Unit of Earth Science K-3 Open-mouthed smile

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Review: Hewitt Homeschooling (TOS Review)

    Hewitt Homeschooling Review
    Hewitt Homeschooling Review
    We really enjoyed our review product from Hewitt Homeschooling.  We used Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Student Workbook and
    Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 1 Teacher's Guide.  If you are a regularly follower of my blog you may recall that my oldest (almost 8, 3rd grade) is not a fan of writing.  He struggles with it a bit, so I opted to try out the Grade 1 curriculum.  It is recommended for Grades 1-2.
    This curriculum is literature, composition, writing and grammar.  Each week focuses on a new book chosen from a wide variety of children’s classics. 
    Here are a few of the book selections for this curriculum.  Many listed were books that we already owned.  They are common, popular childhood stories.  They are easily found for purchase or at your local library.
    2014-07-28 20.51.27
    The curriculum is designed on a 4 days a week program, with the 5th day as a catch up (if needed).  This worked well for us, as we typically only school 3-4 days a week.  Each week the lesson is based on one book.  Since my son is older and is an avid reader, he was able to read the literature choices himself; sometimes I read them to him (he still likes to be read to).
    The teacher’s manual contains comprehension questions to go with the stories, as well as other teacher directed activities. The writing process for the final paper of the week is written out in a step by step, day by day process.  This was nice, because it made the task of writing a story, much simpler for my son.  He didn’t feel overwhelmed with the task, he had several days to plan it out, we talked about it, and then sometimes he would dictate and later copy, or he would write a rough draft himself and then a final copy.
    The student workbook has colorful pictures, easy to read instructions, plenty of writing space for the assignments.  In addition to the workbook and literature choices you also need a journal or writing paper for the weekly writing assignment.  The workbook pages are labeled by days of the week, which can be a bit confusing if you aren’t following that schedule precisely.  I would prefer if they said Day 1, Day 2 – instead of Monday, Tuesday…
    We tried at first to keep the pages in the book when working on them (to keep them all together), but the book was too thick and it became difficult for him to write.  The pages do easily rip out though and they are hole punched to place in a binde.
    The writing and grammar was my main interest with this curriculum, since writing is our struggle. He enjoyed the subjects assigned each week for writing.  I feel that the subject of writing improved quite a bit with the use of this curriculum over the last several weeks.  My son had a great time revisiting old stories (ones he had read in the past).  He completed the assignments without too much complaining. 
    Some weeks have alphabet pages where you list a wide variety of words in a particular subject (ie fruits and vegetables, emotions, reptiles and amphibians).  He had fun learning new words. 
    2014-07-09 11.58.512014-07-28 20.52.50
    We did not start with Week 1, we went with what books we had on hand and did the lessons in order starting with the first book we had, and moving forward that way.  Ideally this curriculum would be used in order, as the lessons to build on each other grammatically and also with literature terms.  Most of the grammar covered in the books we have already covered, so that was not an issue, our main focus was to work on writing. 
    This curriculum could also be used to focus on comprehension and literature alone if you have an early reader who isn’t strong in writing, or would be a perfect balance and combination curriculum for reading and language arts.  It could easily be adapted to fit your child’s learning needs. 
    We will be continuing with this curriculum for writing practice mostly at this stage.  Since my son is 3rd grade and we have covered most of the literature and grammar concepts.
    I love the use of literature to teach reading, writing and language arts!  It’s a great combination and made it much more enjoyable for my son.  Writing truly has been a struggle for us, and this helped ease the painfulness of it for both of us!
    The teacher’s guide is available for $29.95 and the student workbook is available for $49.95.  I only wish they had PDF versions available!  Grade 2 and 3 programs are in the works, I’ll be keeping my eye out for them! 
    Find them on Social Media:
    Google Plus
    Hewitt Blog
    Click to read Crew Reviews
    Crew Disclaimer

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Poppins Book Nook–Pirates!! (with Giveaway)

    Poppins Book Nook
    <div align="center"><a href="http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/2014/02/poppins-book-nook/" title="Poppins Book Nook"><img src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n597/enchantedhomeschoolingmom/ProfileImage_zpse3f27ae8.png" alt="Poppins Book Nook" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
    Grab the code above to come and link up each month and share what YOU do with the theme!  We look forward to hearing from you!

    This Year’s Co-hosts

    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

    PicMonkey Collage
    Get them HERE

    See links below to view our pirate activities and FREE printables!

    Workboxes and FREE Printables

    PicMonkey Collage

    More Pirate Books, Movies and Apps!


    I’m so excited to be able to provide the prize for this months giveaway!!  Check it out!

    Poppins Book Nook Pirate Plunder Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month weare partnering with Jennifer Altman an Usborne consultant to bring one lucky entrant a chance to win a copy of either the Pirate's Handbook(recommended for 8 years old and up) or Pirate Stories for Little Children (recommended for ages under 8 years old)books. One of these books is sure to add to your pirate fun!

    The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Prizes will be issued by Jennifer Altman who is an Usborne consultant. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here

    Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway Have a Pirate Themed Post you want to share?? Link up below:

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Classical Composers Monthly Birthday Sale!

    Birthday Sale

    Such an easy way to incorporate Art and Music Appreciation Studies!!

    Also includes famous Scientists and Inventors! 

    See my review

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Share it Saturday

    Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

    new share it saturday hosts
    Please visit my co-hosts:

    Karyn from Teach Beside Me
    Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
    Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
    Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
    and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road


    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Field Trip #133 Friday Blog Hop–Sharp Farm (Howard County Maryland) and Kings Dominion (Virginia)

    Field Trip Friday!
    Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

    (does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

    Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!
    Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos

    **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE


      We have been to Sharp Farm before, they have some great classes for Homeschool and are lots of fun.  My kids always enjoy it there, and we have met lots of great people.

      This trip was a class on worms and composting.

      Collage 2014-07-22 10_24_41

      Next trip was King’s Dominion.  This was a total blast from the past!  I grew up going here every summer, and most of the time had season passes!  It was really fun to take the kids as part of our Roller Coaster’s unit.  My oldest rode a few of the calmer coasters, and enjoyed most of them….my 5yo was apprehensive, but once we got him on a couple, he regretted not having gone on the others.


      Wednesday, July 23, 2014

      Summer Studies TOS Round Up

      Come and see what the Crew has to share!
      Click to read Crew Reviews

      Workbox Wednesday #10–Third Grade Boxes

      Chestnut Grove Academy

      Welcome to Workbox Wednesday!  If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

      This week in our Third Grade boxes:

      2014-07-22 09.10.012014-07-22 09.10.15
      I made a new task board for assignments that are on the computer/iPad.  This way they don’t take up workboxes, I will still put some of the core subjects in the workboxes even if electronic if there is room.  This year we have a lot more media supplements due to reviews we are doing and things we have continued with after review. So on the left is his media task board, he has Mathletics (review item), News-O-Matic, Essential Skills Advantage (review item) and Skrafy Minecraft Astronomy (review item).  After completing tasks he moves the button to the blue book that is hanging on the left (this goes for workbox tasks too). 

      2014-07-22 09.10.252014-07-22 09.10.31
      Draw, Write, Now Pilgrim Page and Lightning Literature & Composition (review item, stay tuned!)  We picked the first grade level of this curriculum, the reading is easy for C, but we are focusing on the writing and composition part.  Stay tuned for the review.

      2014-07-22 09.10.352014-07-22 09.10.41
      Church History Storied Scriptures, All About Spelling, The box above spelling is media for math – Ubbersmart Math Facts (review item).  We are focusing on memorizing facts right now before moving on with Math U See.

      2014-07-22 09.10.462014-07-22 09.10.50
      Read to Self – Pilgrims Fact Tracker and Read Aloud with Mom – Pilgrim Stories

      Please visit my co-host at Tots and Me

      Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc.  The favors will be returned!  Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

      Tuesday, July 22, 2014

      Review: Apologia–Flourish (TOS Review)

      Flourish Book Review
      Flourish Book Review
      We just finished the awesome book, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms from Apologia Educational Ministries as a review!  Those of us who are moms know that being a mom is hard work.  Being a homeschooling mom is EVEN harder!  There is always so much to do and it never seems like there is enough time to do it all!
      This book has been really great to help better plan and time manage.  It is filled with lots of great tips, great quotes and scripture too!
      The book is written to help you put into action the concepts being taught.  When you purchase this book you also receive free downloadable pages for taking notes, implementing lessons and keep track of goals!
      2014-07-21 20.31.13
      At first it may seem like not all of the chapters apply to you (Mary Jo Tate, the author, talks about home business for example), but everything in this book can by applied.  Whether you homeschool, work, or do it all and more!
      She talks about the need for Organization, Routine, Accountability, Goals, Planning, Good Attitudes, Balance, Priorities, Family, and more.  She has great ideas and examples to help add all these things to your life!
      You start this book with a self evaluation questionnaire:  (see picture above).  This book gives you a lot of time to reflect as part of the learning process.  There are many days I feel as if I have run around like a chicken with my head cut off and accomplished NOTHING!  (Please tell me we all have days like that!).
      It was great to be able to see what I HAVE accomplished, what I could have fit in if I had planned a little better, and more!
      One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
      “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.  It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”  - Margaret Thatcher
      That is especially true for me, a to do list, DONE gives a great feeling of satisfaction to me.  This is what I am striving for, yet…this book helps to keep that TO DO list realistic, manageable and achievable! 
      Flourish Book Review
      author Mary Jo Tate
      One awesome strategy introduced in this book is the STOP DOING LIST – deciding what you spend time doing that is NOT worth your time!  I thought this was great, how many times do we fill our time with menial tasks, things that don’t really matter in the long run?  Things that we don’t want to say NO to, because well, we are too nice to say no?!  Sometimes we have to say NO, sometimes we need to put less important (but good) things to the side to make room for the better and the best.
      Other important bits – Establishing boundaries, letting go of guilt, having a positive attitude. 
      Each chapter ends with a section titled TAKE ACTION! 
      This is definitely more than a book you read idly.  You’ll need pen and paper to get the full use of this excellent read!  A self-help book that requires immediate action!  You can get the book for $15.  I recommend it for all MOMS!
      Social Media Links:
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlourishAtHome
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryjotate
      Click to read Crew Reviews
      Crew Disclaimer

      Monday, July 21, 2014

      Jelly Thumbprint Cookies–Dad and Kids in the Kitchen

      2014-07-13 17.45.39

      2014-07-13 16.55.162014-07-13 16.55.432014-07-13 17.11.41

      My husband has far more patience when it comes to cooking with the kids!  Honestly I try to avoid it, he does it on a fairly normal basis.  This was the first time (in awhile) that he had all 3 helping hands involved.  Currently only my 3yo is interested whenever he is in baking mode, but he was successful in roping all of them in this time around. 


      2/3 c butter
      1/2 c sugar
      2 egg yolks
      1 t vanilla
      1 1/2 c all purpose flour
      2 slightly beaten egg whites
      1 c chopped pecans
      strawberry (or other flavor) preserves

      Preheat oven to 375

      Beat butter, add sugar and continue to beat until combined.
      Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.  Combine.
      Add flour and beat until too thick, then stir in remaining by hand.
      Cover and chill dough about 1 hour in fridge (or we tossed in the freezer for about 10min)

      Grease cookie sheet; set aside

      Roll into 1 inch balls (they used the 1 t scoop from Pampered Chef, but I think it made them big b/c the original recipe said makes ~42, but we got about half of that).  Roll each ball in the egg whites and then coat with pecans.  (They had an assembly line going).  Press thumb into the center of each ball.  Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are light brown.  Let cool on a wire rack, then fill center with jam.

      My aunt said these cookies tasted like Pecan Sandys with Jam.  They were not very sweet like a sugar cookie, but had the same sort of texture (not including the nuts).  They were quite tasty!

      We used homemade jam that was made from our strawberry picking Open-mouthed smile

      Saturday, July 19, 2014

      Our Picks for 2014-2015 (3rd Grade, Kinder and Preschool) with Link Up to Share your Picks!

      You may find that a lot of what we are using this coming year is what was listed for last year….we ended up doing a lot of our own stuff to be on an even more flexible schedule due to pregnancy sickness, pregnancy loss, pregnancy sickness AGAIN, new baby, and moving 6,000 miles away!  The benefit of homeschooling.  So we dove into our actual curriculum plans REALLY late in the game, and we have added a few new things to the mix too.

      We are VERY ECCLECTIC homeschoolers.  You can read more about our homeschooling styles and why I supplement curriculums by reading my guest post over at Tolivers to Texas Blog.

      Third Grade

      US HistoryVeritas Press – Self Paced History – Explorers to 1815, with suggested literature, (This was a recently reviewed product that we absolutely loved and will be continuing), as well as literature from Beautiful Feet Books and some Golden Prairie Press.  Follow my History posts to see what we do with each subject (books read, movies watched, field trips, as well as activities done). 

      us history series

      Language Arts/Writing - Essentials of Writing – Level 2 (We will be finishing up Level 1 very shortly) and Grammaropolis

      Math - Math U See – We are finishing up Gamma and starting Delta.  We will supplement some with some computer games – right now we are using (and liking)  UbberSmart Math and Mathletics (stay tuned for reviews on both!)

      ScienceElemental Science – Earth Science/Astronomy – I’ll be supplementing some on this program too, so stay tuned for posts about it.  I have also designed the Preschool/Kindergarten weekly workbox curriculum around this topic.  We have been in and out of this curriculum for awhile with reviews and stuff going on in between.  We started out with Astronomy, and then moved to Earth Science and will revisit Astronomy at the end. 

      Spelling - All About Spelling – We are finishing up level 1 and moving onto level 2

      Reading – wide variety of literature based on topics of history and science, we will be starting Essential Skills Advantage for a review (stay tuned!)

      ChineseRosetta Stone

      Handwriting – I opted not to have an official handwriting curriculum this year, we may finish off the 2nd grade Handwriting without Tears book…but, I don’t think he is ready for cursive yet (may try that in 4th), and with the increase in writing he is doing we will just focus on handwriting on those assignments (especially spelling) instead of adding another thing to the list.

      Skrafty Minecraft Homeschool Classes– Right now he is doing Astronomy, we are looking at Geology and Mine Through Time US History for the fall.

      *Programs used for supplementing Science and History – Streaming TV (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime), Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr, Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett, In the Hands of a Child Lapbooks, Moving Beyond the Page Units, EnchantedLearning.com and more.


      Math Seeds & Reading Eggs

      Handwriting without Tears – Kindergarten

      Touch Math K

      I plan to incorporate All About Reading Level 1 at some point during the year, based on his readiness.  We tried it already and decided it wasn’t the right time yet.

      Weekly Workboxes



      All About Reading Prelevel

      Touch Math PreK

      Handwriting without Tears – Preschool

      Weekly Workboxes

      Extra Curricular

      I’ll admit these are the FIRST things to get left off when we run behind or are burned out or otherwise tired.  I’m trying really hard to work them in this year,they are actually requirements this year since we moved to MD…so my goal is PE/Health (formal lesson) 1-2 times a week, Music and Art 2-4 times a month (so either once a week or once every other week rotating, though if we do a piano program I would like them to practice several times a week).

      Health/PEFitness for Families, Homeschool Swimming, Soccer, Trampoline, Gracie Bully Proof (my husband does this with them 1-2 times a week), Variety of books and videos. 

      Music – I’m torn and still trying to decide between KinderBach and Adventus – both programs we loved and didn’t get to take full advantage of after the reviews due to the reasons mentioned in the opening paragraph.  I think Kinderbach is a bit young for my oldest, but the younger two like it.  My 5yo falls in line with either program age wise, but it’s pricey to do both.  Decisions, Decisions!! We will also use Maestros Classics and Beethoven's Wig for composer studies.

      ArtHome Art Studio as well as artist studies.

      Nature Study/Journal – Magic Tree House Journal


      Co-op – Every other Thursday

      Wide variety of apps for Kindle and iPad as well!  We follow Smartappsforkids and SmartappsforAndroid and load up on the free ones! 

      *Plus whatever review products come our way – some we keep, some we don’t, some we save for next year!   We constantly change things around based on what is working or not working.  I wish we could do EVERYTHING!  There are so many great choices and we review so many great products, but we only have so much time to do ‘school’ a day. 

      Circle Time

      Circle Time will consist of Prayer, Scriptures, Spiritual/Inspirational song, Calendar, Pledge of Allegiance (on Monday) and I would like to incorporate a daily journal page for my oldest – but we may hold off on that for a bit.

      We have gotten out of habit with Circle Time with all the changes; I want to get back into it, but shorten it up a bit. 

      {Some links are affiliate links}

      Link up your curriculum choices here, please indicate which grades!

      Friday, July 18, 2014

      Share it Saturday

      Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

      new share it saturday hosts
      Please visit my co-hosts:

      Karyn from Teach Beside Me
      Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
      Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
      Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
      and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road


      Thursday, July 17, 2014

      Field Trip #132 Friday Blog Hop–Michael’s and Sykesville Pottery and Art Center

      Field Trip Friday!
      Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

      (does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

      Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!
      Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos
      Michaels is hosting children’s workshops over the summer.  It only costs $2 per child, and it’s a 2hr class.  I’ll be honest the first one we attended was a cluster, not very well organized and the project was not well thought out for the age group (IMO).  BUT…luckily I stayed and was able to help my own kids.  Now, the projects are the same across the stores, but I think this particular store was not well organized.  You have to pre-register for the class, yet they did not have enough supplies (had to share scissors, had to go make more copies, had to set up more chairs, etc..).  In the end the project turned out, but the kids were all getting really antsy.  I felt bad for the staff, not sure if it was their lack of prep or if it got thrown at them last minute, but we all know that kids eat you alive when you are not prepared!  lol
      We have another one we are registered for, so hopefully that one goes better.  I am tossing around registering for some more.  It is set up so that you can do them all and collect things, but most don’t fit with our busy summer schedule.
      The classes are called Passport to Imagination.  They also hold regular Saturday workshops for kids throughout the year.
      Collage 2014-06-18 15_03_50
      Now, this field trip was for ME!   I bought my mom and I a Groupon for a local art studio painting class.  We had a lot of fun!  The studio is called Sykesville Pottery and Art Center.  It has classes and paint your own pottery.  They also offer homeschool classes. 
      art class
      It is something that I would definitely like to do again!
      Sykesville Main Street is a cute little place.  The first Friday of every month they have live band and other things going on.  If you live close by, check it out!


      **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE



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