March 31, 2006

Bad News and Good News

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good thing is, I have MORE good than bad. I'll get the bad over with first:

Morgan is sick today. She had a sore throat and now has a fever and "gunk" in her throat. She's been napping a lot today and is miserable. I feel sorry for her. Keep her in your prayers. Also, my husband's truck is still dead... but a nice man from church is stopping by tomorrow to give it a looking over. I'm praying he can get it going without us having to come up with money to fix it. I really need my vehicle if I'm going to take a trip to Texas in May!

Kaden is well, and feeling spry. The kids have gotten along all day, and our day has gone much better than yesterday - even though we didn't do very much school today due to Morgan's illness. Not sure you could really compare a partial school day with a full school day, but I'm really glad they are not out of sorts like yesterday.

My mom called me today to tell me about the tests she had run yesterday. The specialist told her he doesn't think it is an aneurism, and that he thinks her diabetic retinopathy will not cause her eyes to get worse right now. He said she actually saw 20/20 with her readers on, and he was very encouraged by that. This is really awesome news, and I'm very happy that God is giving us such a blessing!

I have a little bloggy secret to tell you all.... which is another reason I've been so happy today (aside from the fact that Hobby Lobby's stickers were half off today and I had a gift certificate to buy some for our lapbook we are finishing up). My secret? I hired a sweet Christian blog designer to "skin" my blog. Mom 2 Mom Connection calls it a "bloglift". So, although it is in the works, it will be a little while before the unveiling. I have to finish paying my sweet Christian blog designer first. The first tiny bit came from my tip jar.... so I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who's put a quarter or two in there. I actually had a little over 14$ to pay towards the final bill (which is much more than 14$). It was nice to get the ball rolling. I am a blog design enthusiast... and drool at all the wonderful designs I see on the net. I'll have to do a Sprittibee's Design Pick blog series and offer an award or something. Not like these designers would care to have a silly award from me... but hey - I absolutely love seeing art in action - blog style! I can't wait to let you see the final product! I'm suspecting it may be done around the end of May. This will be an end of school treat for me, and hopefully make surfing Sprittibee a lot easier and more fun for YOU.

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March 30, 2006

Educational Computer Game List for Kids

This post will qualify as part of my homeschooling series because these games are educational for the most part. Unlike the previous list I posted, these games involve some type of discovery learning in one subject or another. From the previous post:

We have a ton of computer games since my husband is a computer nerd and I used to work for a computer company. We have sold some of these games since we used them. They hardly play any of the PC games we have left since we bought them an X-Box. The kids will tend to get STUCK on one or two of them now and then, and that's it. The rest of them seem to just collect dust. While I was formatting this list, however, I got an earful of information from them about which games were their favorites and requests for me to resurrect a few from our shelf for future gaming.

I try and limit gaming (even educational games) to an hour a day, and if the chores or school-work don't get done properly (without complaint or hesitation), my kids get grounded from games. I have found that at their ages (7 and 9), it tends to motivate them when they know they run the risk of loosing "Screen Time". We have also tried earning stars for game time, but have slacked off on that lately. The kids only got about an hour of game time in last week (yesterday morning).

The games in RED are our favorites (or were our favorites at the prescribed age).

The games in YELLOW are good, but we don't play them enough (or didn't play them enough at the prescribed age).

The games in GREEN are ones the kids have not played in a long time, and requested that I get down because they were fun.

Those in BLACK/normal lettering are games that you'll have to check out on your own (we either have not used them yet, or I can't remember what they are like because it has been too long!).

Obviously, with my kids in 2nd and 3rd grade this year, we haven't tried the upper level programs yet. Hopefully they will still be valid games and usable by then! We have way too many games! I'm glad I posted this, though... I see a few on the list that I didn't even know I had! Time to pull them down from the shelf.


Visualize World Geography in 7 Minutes a Day (Audio CD) - came with a book!
Answers in Genesis - Creation - video
Scripture Solitaire
Knowledge Adventure - Jump Start Phonics
The Bible Library - New International Version
Living Books - Arthur's Reading Race
Knowledge Adventure - Jumpstart Spanish
Sesame Street - Elmo's Reading
Sesame Street - Reading Basics
Reader Rabbit - Math Ages 4-6
The Learning Company - Zak's Look It Up
Tivola - Max On The Moon
Living Books - Arthur's Birthday
Richard Scarry's Busytown - Activity Center
The Learning Company - Reader Rabbit - Thinking Adventures (age 4-6)
The Chessmaster 4000
Disney Toy Story
Bugs Bunny and Taz - Time Busters Game
Disney's - Tarzan Activity Center
Star Wars - Early Learning Activity Center
The Amazon Trail (3rd edition)
Microsoft - Encarta 98 (Encyclopedia)
The Learning Company - Word Munchers Deluxe
DK Multimedia - My First Amazing World Explorer
School House Rock - America Rock
Star Theater 2
Barbie As Sleeping Beauty
Star Wars - Jabba's Game Galaxy (Math)
Clifford Thinking Adventures
Blues Clues - Blues Birthday Adventure
The Learning Company - Reader Rabbit Preschool (Sparkle Star Rescue)
Learning Buddies - 1st and 2nd grade Math
Waypoint Software - Dollarville
Lego Chess
Reader Rabbit - First Grade (Capers on Cloud Nine)
Adventure on Mutchneed Island (ver 1.0) - Bible Game
National Geographic - Trip Planner Deluxe
Bible Works
Disney - Little Mermaid - Digital Coloring Book
Jumpstart Learning - Spelling (ages 5-8)
Blue's Clues - Blue's Art Time
Veggie Tales - Jonah
Clifford The Big Red Dog - Musical Memory Games
Crayola 3d Magic Coloring Book
Ultimate Children's Encyclopedia
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
Internet Coach/Liftoff to Lizard Island/Q-Notes/Search for the Black Rhino
Knowledge Adventure - Bricks (the ultimate construction toy)
The American Heritage Talking Dictionary
ABC Wide World of Animals
Ultimate Writing and Creativity Center (K-6)
The Oregon Trail - 3rd Edition (K-6)
Reading Blaster (age 6-9)


Chronicle of History Encyclopedia (grades 7-12)
Art Dabbler 2.1 Metacreations (grades 7-12)
ABC 3d atlas (grades 7-12)
Score Builder for the ACT - The Learning Company (grades 7-12)
Score Builder for the SAT - The Learning Company (grades 7-12)
The Learning Company - Success Builder Geometry (grades 7-12)
Math Soft Study Works - School Edition (grades 7-12)
The Discovery Channel - Invention Studio (grades 7-12)
The Learning Company - Grade Builder Math - Algebra 1 (grades 7-12)
Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Space and the Universe (grades 7-12)
Body Works ver 6.0 - a 3d Journey through the Human Anatomy (grades 7-12)
Student Writing and Research Center - The Learning Company (grades 7-12)
Mapquest, The Mystery Trail (ver 1.11)
Cornerstone (college)
The Princeton Review - Word Smart (college)
The Learning Company - Student Writing and Research Center (college)
Math Soft Study Works - School Edition (college)
You Don’t Know Jack Movies (college)
Higher Skills - Softkey Internet Publisher
Compton's Home Library - Delux Compton's 3d World Atlas
Astronomy 2000
Transparent Language Transparent Language - Hebrew Now (version 8)
Vietnamese Everyday

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March 29, 2006

More Random Links...

I have a few more links saved up that I wanted to share (some are old, I warn you) with those who might have not seen them yet. Thanks for the prayers for those of you who have prayed for my mom and my son. Kaden woke up feeling better today. He just has a runny nose and a small infrequent cough today (no more sore throat)! I'm glad it wasn't strep like I had worried about (since the neighbor had strep a month ago). God is good. Enjoy these links! Have a great Wednesday. We're enjoying a day off school with Daddy today.



Great Bush article for you Christian Bush fans.


Just in case any of you haven’t seen the Iraqi advertisements that the Kurdish people put on after the “war” was over, you really should check this site out. You can keep up to date with developments in the region by regularly viewing.... and – Keep Iraq in your prayers!


Interesting article about the resurrection of retro gaming. Remember all those great arcade games? Well, it’s interesting how they all have made it out of the melted toys and forgotten warehouses of plastic junk. Read up!


If you are interested in helping out a good cause, please consider Trevor’s Footsteps. Trevor Aston was killed in Iraq a little over a year ago… while serving with the United States Marine Corps. Some of Trevor's friends have started a charity that is already up and running, sending shoes to kids that need them.

Here’s what his Mom said in the email that was sent to me by a family member who knew him:

“Your sweet face is burned in my memory. The light of my life.....I was always proud of the way you lived your life, but never more than now. As I once watched over you, you now watch over me. Thank you Lord for allowing me to have him for 32 wonderful years. You will always be my hero.”

Trevor’s memory lives on in the ministry that aims to help others just as Trevor did while he was alive.

I also sent this info to Phil over at Camp Katrina, so you might hear about it over there as well.


Thanks to Danny over at (linked in my homeschool blogroll on the sidebar) for this article:
Think twice before you apply that foundation, ladies! Click and read to find out just what may be hiding in your make-up jar.

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March 28, 2006

When it Rains....

This is a depressing post. If you are taking Prozac, you might want to skip it.

I couldn't find the words to say. I looked up sites to find a pretty poem, but nothing seems to fit. There's no way you can describe a mother's place in your heart. No sweet poem about lollipops or home-made pies can really do your mother justice. Your mother is your biggest fan. She's the "only one who really loves you" - my mother once told me that. I do believe a mother's love is different than most all others. Sometimes you'll find the same kind of love from your dad as well - I know my husband's dad loves him like my mom loves me. Regardless of our parents' humanity and mistakes, we all know deep down that we will miss them above all others on earth once they are gone.

I think deep down, mothers have a tiny piece of God's heart inside them... knowing the anguish of holding a life in their hands and having to let it go. I think it's why we cry when we realize the baby in the bassinet won't ever kick inside our belly again... and we cry when we can't remember the last time we picked up our nine year old and carried them when they were sleepy. We sob when we realize that our teenager won't ever sit in our lap again like they used to do during movies.

"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." - Tenneva Jordan

I received some bad news from my mom tonight. My mother told me she's been having headaches for five days now... and that she went to the eye doctor (she has diabetic retinopathy) again. He told her she has cataracts in both of her eyes and needed surgery again in them... but that her headache and eyelid problem in one of her eyes could possibly be a degenerative condition that wouldn't get better due to her diabetes (only worsen), or that she may have an aneurism. She is going to have to go see another doctor soon... for more tests. I've been really worried now about her for a long time. She went completely blind in 2003, and lived with us for a while. After they did surgery on her eyes, her eyesight was restored... but her eyes are not as good as they once were, and she has been living in fear that she would loose her sight again.

I have heard it said that bad news comes in "threes". Well, in my case today, that would be true. My son came down with a sore throat today (a week before our medical insurance goes into effect), and my husband's step-mom lost her father. It is hard to live so far away from family who need you to be there. Please keep our family in your prayers. I know God holds us all in His capable hands and all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). I just need to keep my head in my Bible and my knees on the ground - keeping a thankful heart and waiting on Him for answers.

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

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March 27, 2006

Homeschool Link Explosion

I typed this last night before bed and lost the post. It pays to copy the whole thing before you click "Publish" in Blogger. I was too tired at 11pm to re-write it all ... and angry. So here's last night's post:

You'll have to pardon me today. I was distracted by all the mundane chores I had to accomplish, making Swedish Meatballs for supper, and spending the day with the children making a lap book. Poor Morgan "helped" me stir the gravy in the kitchen and now has a burn mark to show for it. Kevin's truck is broken down again, so we had to drop off and pick up Daddy at his office, too. That wouldn't have been so bad if he worked normal hours. He got off work at 8pm. The kids have been watching endless amounts of Schoolhouse Rock and building with Lincoln Logs also. I have a mountain of laundry to fold on my bed between now and about 30 minutes from now.... so I'm going to run.

Best of all, I was very side-tracked today by prayer. One of my best friends in Texas just had a brand new little girl today. I was praying for Mom and Baby, and am so glad to know she arrived safe and sound. God is so awesome. I wish I could be there to see her in person. It "almost" makes me want another one, too! I flip flop back and forth on that.

I've had a bunch of things on my mind to blog. I'm not sure when I will be able to get to it all... and some of these links are kind-of old. So.... I thought I would just vomit them out here for you all to sort through. I apologize in advance for the lack of formatting and cohesion. Just scroll through and see if there's anything you are interested in. I hope you find something that you like.

Good night!




An encouraging homeschool article on


Interesting article at ... here's a snip:

For "Stupid in America," a special report ABC will air Friday, we gave identical tests to high school students in New Jersey and Belgium. The Belgians trounced the Americans. We didn't pick smart kids in Europe and dumb kids in the United States. The American students attend an above-average school in New Jersey, and New Jersey kids' test scores are above average for America. "It has to be something with the school," said a New Jersey student, "'cause I don't think we're stupider."

She was right: It's the schools. At age 10, students from 25 countries take the same test, and American kids place eighth, well above the international average. But by age 15, when students from 40 countries are tested, the Americans place 25th, well below the international average. In other words, the longer American kids stay in American schools, the worse they do. They do worse than kids from much poorer countries, like Korea and Poland.


Not long ago, there was an outcry for prayer and support of our brothers and sisters in the "Land Down Under" who homeschool. Although it is too late to send a letter to the Aussie parliament, I request prayers on their behalf that the decisions made will not take away their freedoms to homeschool their children in a manner they see fit. You can get updates on homeschooling around the world at HSLDA.


Knives in school? Read this disturbing article.
And we thought WE had problems!
**Canada backs Sikh dagger rights **
A Canadian Sikh boy wins the right to carry a ceremonial dagger at school, in a landmark Supreme Court ruling.


Look what snuck into Christian Literature! I've been warned about a set of books called: "Conversations With God" and "Conversations With God for Teens". They apparently have some un-biblical advice about homosexuality and living together before you get married. If you have a teen or know someone who has one, be sure to pass these books up on the shelf at your favorite book store!


I think PHAT Mommy deserves a big hand for a wonderful Carnival of Homeschooling last week! If you haven't read it yet, please stop over at the The 12th CoH. I can't wait to read the next one... it comes out today at Why Homeschool!


Crayola is offering three free sample products for registering with them. If you have not yet registered at their site, you'll have to register, come back to this original link, and click it again--and then it will give you the options for choosing your free products.


One of the creative minds behind the KONOS curriculum, Jessica Hulcy, gives a safety lesson that results in a saved life!


Test your knowledge of the South American countries and their capitals on this simple, but fun interactive map.


Here's a homeschool mom's dream link: Printables Online (more than you can shake a stick at!)


Here's a new search engine that has a cute little Zebra as its mascot. My kids love to see it hopping around, looking silly.


This blog got mentioned at The Parenting Weblog recently. Stop by and see an outside perspective on homeschooling that is refreshing to read.

Hope you've enjoyed my links! Have a super Tuesday!

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March 26, 2006

Computer Game List for Kids

I thought about doing a K/1 post like I had previously planned... but instead of doing that, I thought better of it. You see, we have a ton of computer games since my husband is a computer nerd and I used to work for a computer company. We have sold some of these games since we used them. They hardly play any of the PC games we have left since we bought them an X-Box. The kids will tend to get STUCK on one or two of them now and then, and that's it. The rest of them seem to just collect dust. While I was formatting this list, however, I got an earful of information from them about which games were their favorites and requests for me to resurrect a few from our shelf for future gaming.

I try and limit gaming (even educational games) to an hour a day, and if the chores or school-work don't get done properly (without complaint or hesitation), my kids get grounded from games. I have found that at their ages (7 and 9), it tends to motivate them when they know they run the risk of loosing "Screen Time". We have also tried earning stars for game time, but have slacked off on that lately. The kids only got about an hour of game time in last week (yesterday morning).

Some games on this list are NOT what I would consider educational. A few of them are mainly my husband's games. I have a rule about no shooting or blood. No killing people. Some of the games have shooting at planes or robots, even dinosaurs... and I really don't much like all that either. The kids rarely play those. The games in RED are our favorites. The games in ORANGE are good, but we don't play them enough. The games in GREEN are ones the kids have not played in a long time, and requested that I get down because they were fun. Those in black/normal lettering are games that you'll have to check out on your own... or ones that the kids really don't remember or care much about anymore. Some of those we have already sold.

Fun and Semi Educational Computer Games

Lemmings Revolution
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds 2 (Daddy’s Game – they Sometimes Play)
Lego Racers
Sim Town
Lego Creator Knights Kingdom * Great for our Kings and Queens Unit!
Lego Stunt Rally

Mrs. Pac Man
Star Wars - The Phantom Menace, Pod Racer
Myst - Masterpiece Edition
Lego Racers 2
Star Wars - Jar Jar's Journey - Adventure Book

Sim - Theme Park
Star Wars - Episode 1 Insider's Guide
Lego Island Extreme Stunts
Lego Soccer Mania
Trespasser - The Lost World
Sim Coaster
Aklaim Revolt (Remote Control Car Game)
LegoLand Theme Park Creator
Lego Loco (Create a Lego Train System)
Lego Friends
Lego Alpha Team
Lego Creator (Create Your Own Lego World)
Railroad Tycoon * Kids say it was too hard - even for Daddy! Ha!
Disney Atlantis - The Lost Empire - Trial by Fire
Sierra - Lionel Train Town
Disney - Monsters Inc - Pinball Panic
Jurassic Park - Dino Defender
Jurassic Park - Dinosaur Battles
Monopoly Junior

Veggie Tales - The Mystery of Veggie Island
Atari Arcade Hits (Asteroids, Centipede, Missle Command, Pong, Super Breakout, Tempest)
Disney Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Game
Lego Island 2: the Brickster's Revenge
Blue's Clues - Blue's Treasure Hunt Disk 1 and 2
Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron - Forever Free

Pac Man Adventures in Time
Candyland Game
Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 - Battle for Europe *Mainly a Daddy Game

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March 24, 2006

K/1 Homeschool Year Field Trips

As promised, here's the list of field trips from our Kindergarten/First Grade homeschool year in 2003-4. You can view the previous year's field trips (PK/K) at the following link. For more on this series of homeschooling curriculum, field trips, computer programs, learning enrichment ideas and book lists.... please see this post. As I update my "Field Trip Foto Friday" Series, I'll try and stop back in here to add links to my detailed reviews of these field trips.

If I've done a review of the field trip, I'll link it below and mark it with asterisks (***) so you can go view the review.I have more photos from this year than the first year, since we finally got a digital camera late in 2003.

In the 2003-2004 School Year, my son was 6.5, and my daughter 4.5. I am pretty sure we haven't included every field trip we took in this list, but I have done my best to get most of them. I wrote all my year's events, lists, and accomplishments in a teacher's lesson planner in microscopic penciled-in print at the end of each day (or sometimes a few days later if things were piling up). Hopefully the records here are as complete as possible. We had a lot of fun, despite many challenges (moving, flooding, my husband's job changes/commuting, and financial strain). God was the master planner because even though I felt "out of control", He managed to pick us up and carry us through the year. I give Him all credit for my "material" on this site. If it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be homeschooling. As with most homeschoolers and parents of young children, I can't remember how many times we went to the park, the library or the zoo. Go as much as you like! It's good exercise; even if you tire of smelling the camels and watching the lions sleep.

2003-2004 Field Trips (Kindergarten & First Grade)

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Uranus and Nep-Toot

Boy, have we been going through the awful planet jokes in our family lately. I've been told my anus is full of deadly gases more than I can count. It sometimes makes me wonder if my children having a smaller vocabulary might bring a little more peace to my life. All that aside, we are enjoying our planet unit. We have a field trip (for our next unit) today to attend at a pet store. The owner is taking us on a tour and explaining all of the animals in the store. We are getting ready to go do that... but I wanted to stop in and let you all know that I'll be back in tonight to post my next part in the 2003-4 Kindergarten and First Grade Series. I think the next post was field trips! What fun! Be sure to visit later... or in the morning tomorrow to see it. I probably won't post again until tomorrow night after I get the field trips up tonight.

Have a super Friday! See you then!

March 23, 2006

Yet Another Reason to Homeschool

I think this article on (linked behind the title of my post) really speaks for itself. Imagine if this were your 14 year old daughter or son. Click the link above to read the full article.

(CBS) Now that state prosecutors have dropped charges against Debra Lafave in Marion County, Fla., it appears the former teacher won't be spending any time in jail for allegedly having sex several times with a 14-year-old student.

On The Early Show Wednesday, CBS News legal analyst and former prosecutor Wendy Murphy called that "jaw-dropping."

Lafave faces three years of house arrest and seven years probation in Hillsborough County, Fla., where she was charged with having sex with the teen in a classroom and her home. She pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery under a plea deal there.

In Marion County, she was accused of having sex with the boy in a sport utility vehicle.

The decision to drop the charges was announced hours after a judge rejected a plea deal for Lafave in Marion County.

It means the teen won't have to testify, something his family was pushing for and that prosecutors cited as the main factor in their decision to drop the charges in Marion County.

Watch RAW video of Lafave's reaction to having the charges against her dropped.

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March 22, 2006

When Life Gets in the Way

We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today. - A. W. Tozer

I was feeling down a while back because I didn't have anything I wanted to blog about... and was feeling "un-blogish". I've been kind of in a dump about wanting to do a blog redesign, but lacking the skills to pull it off. Well, within just a week, I have been bombarded with ideas to blog about and have a full file waiting on me to have spare time to bring life to them. I'm not sure how it happened, but it will take a long time to flesh them all out. It is a lot like life - feast and famine... the roller coaster we all are on. I thought I would listen to the Spirit's urging and reach out to whoever this message is for today... because I know it is not just me that struggles with feelings of inadequacy in being a mother, a wife, and a homeschooler.

I have a friend who I have been discussing some difficult issues with regarding my son getting his Math worksheets done on time. Yesterday, she wrote to me that although it had been HER giving advice to ME... she felt the Lord had humbled her and had given her a really rough day (or in her words, a "h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e, "I'm puttin' 'em on the bus tomorrow" day). She called her experience "a big ol' slice of humble pie". Isn't that true of all of us? If all our days were perfect and we moved through this universe like Martha Steward mixed with June Cleaver... would we really understand the need for a savior? If you can wake up each day, keep the house immaculate, look like you stepped off of the cover of a magazine, have all your books in order and your lists checked off, teach a few kids while flawlessly following lesson plans, drop off dinner for a shut-in, pray for the world, work out for an hour at the gym, plan a party for your pregnant church buddy, and make a perfect three course dinner by 7pm for when your husband comes home from work, then what do you need Jesus for?

Sometimes we expect ourselves to fit into unrealistic molds. We set the bar too high and feel sorry for ourselves because we never reach our goals. I am one of those people. You could call me a perfectionist. You could say I was a tad on the "anal retentive" side. My kids would not disagree - especially after I did a "chore check" to make sure they REALLY cleaned their rooms. So what can I do to feel good about myself when I am NOT PERFECT and CAN'T BE SUPER-MOM? What are some realistic expectations I can have for myself instead of my three-page, multi-column, fine-print, double-sided list I want to accomplish by the end of the week? I'm researching this as I type, so bear with me here!

First of all, I covered the topic of simplification a while back. But simplifying your surroundings and expectations are not the only way to tackle this issue. I believe you first have to figure out the cause of your feelings of being overwhelmed. Some of us have been "blessed" with ADD (as I recently discovered). We have a tendency to remain in this constant pattern of "HUGE LIST" - "NOTHING DONE" - "WOE IS ME". Feelings of guilt and inadequacy usually follow. Especially for us ADD Moms, we need to know how to overcome (check out this post for ideas on how). Others of us are just going through life changes or upsets which throw our regular patters out the windows (such as moves, divorces, death in the family, lengthy travels, job changes, etc.). Another culprit in my life for chaos is when I try and lean on my own understanding ("rely on my own strength") and I slip into prayerlessness and lack of Bible-study. God has a way of halting the "busy-ness" to return you to the "RIGHT PATH". I find this is true in all areas of my life. If my relationships, children, homeschooling, housework, or friendships are suffering... most likely God and I have not had any time alone for much too long! If you've been spending time in the Word and you still are struggling with your daily life... maybe you should consider this: Sometimes God will re-direct our path to fit more closely to what HE WANTS for our lives.

Kneeling before Knocking it Out
The first place we all need to go is to the Father's feet in prayer. I have started writing in a prayer journal and this helps me to go back and see how God is moving in my life and through my prayers. Sometimes my plans have been usurped by His purposes. When I prayed in the fall of 2005, my prayers were markedly different than in July of 2006. You can see your life's movement with a bit more objectivity when you have it on paper. I have also noticed that keeping up with my prayer is sometimes the ONLY thing that differentiates a day that succeeds and one that goes down the "toilet". I have heard it said that God is in the details. I believe that is true. The details all seem to come together for good on days when my heart has already been placed before His throne for strength and encouragement.

Life in the homeschool/homemaking trenches is in some ways as hard as the battle fields on foreign soil. We are expected to raise up Godly offspring with flawed tools (fleshly selves and lots of unexpected interruptions). The only way to accomplish an impossible job is to go to the Miracle Maker to request intervention. One of my favorite prayers is "MULTIPLY MY EFFORTS" and "HELP ME PRIORITIZE". When God is at the top of my list... I tend to see the "trickle-down effect" without much effort on my part. My list almost checks itself off!

Recognizing Road Blocks
Our family can attest that life changes get in the way of your plans. If any of you reading this have been following me on the blog through the past year, you know we have lived in a few places, a couple of states, and have been "through the ringer". Some of us are dealing with other issues such as death of friends or family and sickness, which are also major roadblocks to our plans. I am unhappy when life doesn't move as smoothly as I have planned, as most people are... but I realize that life changes are eventually going to get in my way. When these things come, the best thing to do is take a deep breath, say a prayer, and tackle each thing in front of you as it comes. Make a priority list. You can start with a simple triangle with God at the top. You should put yourself next (taking care of your health can greatly reduce your negative reactions to the stresses around you). Then you would add your spouse and children. Maybe it is time to say no to some outside commitments and re-focus on your inner circle. When you have your situation assessed, you can more realistically set expectations.

Realistic Standards
If you just moved in to a new home, it is not realistic to expect your children to do a full day of school. As in gardening, we can not expect a ripe crop of tomatoes from the seeds that we just planted yesterday. There are some constant steps we must take to help produce the desired result. Not just sunshine, water and dirt goes into homeschooling... but all three should be added in good measure. This is one of the areas in my homeschool that is lacking: recess - "time off for good behavior". I tend to be more of a drill-master, and less of a "FUN" mom. I will usually put the crafts, park, and play-time off for days if we are behind in Math or other assignments. We need to realize that the people in our life need time to unwind. Adding in proper nutrition and exercise, exposure to sunlight, and reasonable bed-time routines can go a long way in reducing stress and improving your mood.

Why is it that we KNOW these things and still have trouble sticking to them? Because we're a fallen people... and like the Israelites in the desert who saw God in the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night... we need lots of reminders. A good way to help you stay on track is a reward/sticker chart. Most all of the teacher planners I have bought have a section dedicated to creating WALL CHARTS for students with rules, calendars, incentives, and such. Maybe we should put our schedule on the wall and get help in being accountable. Another way to create realistic standards is to quit comparing yourself to other people. God made you just the way you are, and he knows you are human and in need of His help to make improvements.

Seeking Encouragement
Never underestimate a good friend's power in helping you stay the task. If you make a list of habits you want to begin or end, sharing the list with a friend might help you stick to the process. Studies show that when people enlist a friend to walk/work-out with them, they tend to continue exercising a lot longer than those who go it alone. Reading a few good books/blogs that encourage you to stay on track is also a good idea. The book "A Purpose Driven Life" was a great inspiration to me. I also read "The Organized Homeschooler" every year to encourage me to get my paperwork and goals in order for the kids. Do some research and see if you can find a resource of positive information, or even a prayer partner for your venture. Two heads are better than one!

Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 15:22 - Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Staying in the Race
Remember that we all fall down. No one is immune to stress, failure, setbacks, negative circumstances, or the occasional need for some time off. You can add a few "teacher in service days" to your yearly school schedule and plan a few fun trips to McDonalds just to let the kids play when you are having a bad day. Changing the course of a bad day is easy if you throw your hands up and LAUGH about it. I am preaching to myself here as much as anything else. I ran across an article once about a mom who was having such a bad day at home that she took the kids to a hamburger joint and ordered them a shake. They had been expecting to be yelled at and punished, but instead, the mom realized that SHE was in as bad of sorts as her children, and there was no way to redeem the lost time... so she wanted to "START OVER" with smiles. The day ended up being a complete success. After the shakes and fries, the kids went home to help her clean and cook... and behaved for the rest of the day like little angels. Sometimes we get so upset over spilled milk that we forget the hearts we are in charge of (our real purpose)... we forget that they are children and that milk is going to be spilled - sooner or later.

Speaking of spilled milk, I read a wonderful story about spilled milk in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book (copied below). I have never forgotten the story. Sometimes we need to just view our lives as one big HUGE opportunity to persevere in times of trail. After all, I don't think that is an unbiblical view of it. Jesus would agree.

James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Perhaps the best goal to aspire for is not perfection, but God's pleasure and our family's well-being. You can be a mother, wife and homeschool teacher who is flawed and imperfect and still live by God's grace. You can be called blessed by your husband and children despite how many items on your checklist were checked off today. Remind yourself what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman and a daughter of the King. If God is able to be patient with us, shouldn't we be patient with ourselves?

Proverbs 31:26-28
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her


Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, tells this delightful story.

A reporter asked a famous research scientist: "Why do you think you are so creative?" "Well," said the scientist, "I think it came from an experience I had with my mother when I was almost three years old."

He had been trying to take a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip and it fell, creating a sea of milk all over the floor. When his mother came in, rather than scolding him, she smiled and said, "Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made!"

As they worked together cleaning up, his mother said, "Robert, what we have here is a failed experiment on how to carry a big bottle with two small hands. Let's go in the back yard and fill the bottle with water, and see if you can figure out a better way to hold it.

The little boy did discover a better way; and he never forgot that lesson.

I pray that you are encouraged today, as I have been while researching this topic. May God guide you into a new chapter in realistic expectations and right priorities that center around Him.

More Links on Related Topics:
Stressing over schedules.
Realistic planning.
Benefits of the Simple Life
Success at Homeschooling
Yielding fruit with time.

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March 21, 2006

K/1 Homeschool Year Curriculum

I know this is going to sound like a broken record to most of you who read regularly (and to those of you who read the PK-K curriculum post). We recycled a lot of curriculum that we had used the previous year, and it is mentioned here again. Please forgive me. In case you are just stopping in for the first time, looking for ideas for your homeschooling adventure... I started homeschooling in 2001, and my kids were 2.5 and 4.5 when we began. You might check out the following article for links to our first year book lists, software, curriculum, computer games and field trip ideas. This list is composed of the curriculum we chose for the second year we homeschooled.

There are so many wonderful choices out there, but I feel that God led us to exactly the mix we ended up using. I had very little money to spend on supplies and curriculum (just like the previous year), so we were very thankful that we had such a wonderful year without much drain on the pocketbook (again!). Please be sure and hover your mouse over the underlined links to follow them. Many of the products I used are linked in this message in case you wanted to pick up a copy for your own little Kindergarten Student or First Grader.

Sprittibee's K-1 Grade Curriculum Choices:

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons -

This is the Distar Phonics program. The book claims that your child will be reading at a second grade level when you finish. Both of my children were reading well enough at the half-way point through the book that we gave it up and just started using Phonics workbooks and reading early readers. We also added Easy Readers/Rainbow Readers/Hello Readers to our reading program and sets such as Bob Books and Playful Pals. My kids Looooved the Playful Pals set of books. I highly recommend them to beginning readers:

Konos -

There is no way for me to express my absolute adoration for this curriculum. Konos (meaning CONE in Greek) is a character based Christian curriculum that uses the "unit study" method to bring learning to LIFE. I am going to post a few of our favorite memories from the year that had to do with our use of Konos this second year tomorrow. I hope you will stop back in to read it. Konos is also a wonderful way to incorporate multi-level learning in your homeschool experience. In other words, if you have a fifth grader, a third grader, and a first grader (and a few preschoolers), you can all study the same topic at the same time... you just adjust the assignments for each child based on their abilities.

If you know how much other "packaged" curriculums cost, you will see that the expense for the Konos Volumes is miniscule compared to these other curriculums (and you only have to buy ONE Konos book - or splurge and get all three!) instead of one SET of packaged curriculum PER CHILD. I have all three volumes of Konos, which are so packed full of wonderful learning activities and creativity that you can use them for the entire grammar years and then again during your child's junior high years. You progress deeper into the subjects as they get older. With Konos Volumes 1, 2, and 3 - you have your entire curriculum (minus Phonics and Math) until your child is ready for high school. If you use Konos, I would also highly suggest buying the KONOS Compass. It is an important part of the process. For more on planning your unit studies, see my KONOS planning post.

Workbooks -

Don't ever underestimate the value of cheap Workbooks! That's my motto. We used up many of the workbooks I got the year before at Sam's Club and I just picked and chose which pages they needed to use. Another great workbook we used was found at a teacher supply store: Geography - "Exploring our World with Maps" Workbook. Sam's Club has History Workbooks, Grade Level workbooks, Animal Workbooks, Language Workbooks, and more. Some of our favorites were Learning Horizons Math Workbooks, Mc Graw Hill, and School Zone Publishing.

Miquon Math Workbooks/Cuisenaire Rods -

Cuisenaire Rods are little plastic colored blocks of varying sizes that allow your child to manipulate them as they learn value, placement, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and even algebraic concepts. You can buy the Miquon Math Workbooks to accompany them, and there are other workbooks that go along with them as well. We started out the year using Miquon, but gave it up eventually and just stuck with A Beka. I was able to get a Kindergarten book from a teacher friend, and my son was able to take his books when we pulled him out of private school.

A Beka Math and Language Worksheets -

The bright and colorful pages with pictures and catchy poetry are pleasing to most kids, but can also be a bit of a distraction. My son is easily distracted, so he has always lagged in Math and Language when left to do his worksheets on his own. We still have a problem with this today. I was unable to afford to try Math U See, so we went ahead and stuck with A Beka. They have a solid program, and quite honestly, I think they are above public school standards.

Flash Cards -

We used flash cards with our kids from the time they were babies. We had numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and sight words. We used Spanish flash cards for their first year of school at home, and again during our second year. We also added addition and subtraction for our second year of homeschooling.

Copy Work -

We copied names, letters, Bible memory verses, sentences I wrote on the white-board with my Expo Marker, poems, and facts from books pertaining to our studies. Copying other's writings teaches more than just handwriting skills. It also teaches grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary! What an easy and cheap way to maximize your learning for free!

Kent Hovind's CSE Creation Seminar Videos -

There are a LOT of sources out there that offer great Creation Science tools for your education experience. I know that Answers in Genesis has a website that has wonderful tools as well as CSE, but I absolutely LOVE Kent Hovind's seminars. He also has a ton of other homeschool curriculum, books, charts, dinosaur relics, articles, and other interesting stuff to buy, browse, read, and look at if you visit his site at Dr. Dino dot com! The seminars consist of 17 hours worth of mind-shattering evidence that completely debunks the theory of evolution. My children like Video 3 the best - it is all about dinosaurs and dragons! We usually watch these each year or so.

Phonics Through Poetry by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz -

I met Babs at a homeschool book fair in Houston once, and she had a lot of funny children's books and explained to me why I shouldn't let my little wee ones go without poetry in their lives. I love poetry myself, and it has meant a lot to me over the years, so I purchased her phonics book, which is geared towards PK-1st Grade. It is has been a wonderful tool for adding that extra oomph to our phonics program. My kids hated to part with this book, so we still have it - even today at the end of 2nd and 3rd grade. They love the silly poems and like to read them even though they both have mastered reading and don't really need phonics anymore. Here's a link if you would like to add this resource to your homeschool bookshelf:

Science Labs in a Box -

This is a masterful program that allows the parent to sit back and relax (except when you are helping the kids blow things up). It comes with a box full of science materials (all you need to do 8 experiments per semester or so), worksheets, and videos that instruct the class and provide more than just science lessons. The teacher, Mr. Bolinsky, has a long list of credentials and is engaging and fun. He tells stories about his life and everything (including the science) is tied to our Creator and a Christian Worldview. I plan to continue to use this program through the entire breadth of our schooling. I will say that it is much more fun to co-op and share materials. The only drawback is that you only get enough materials for ONE kid in the box. That means you will have to go and search out some supplies on your own. Even so, it will be well worth it! The only drawback to this program is the cost. I got this program on a discount, but would not have been able to afford it otherwise.

Spanish Tutor (outside the home) -

We had a teacher from our private school that agreed to let us come up to the campus after hours and take Spanish once a week. She was a great teacher, and it was really fun... but it was cut short. Half way through the school year, she was unable to continue... so we went back to our flashcards and singing songs again. I was unable to buy another program, but did a lot of research the rest of the school year. We missed our Spanish teacher after we discontinued our lessons.

Daily Bible Reading -

Of course, this goes without saying. We read on our own on days when we didn't have a KONOS assignment pertaining to memory verses or examples that fit the unit study we were on.

Big Truths for Little Kids (Bible Devotional Book) -

I really loved this book. It was awesome. I believe it was written by a Catholic Family, and even though I may not be a Catholic, really enjoyed this book (as did the kids). It has many life-examples of behaviors as you travel through short stories and questions about two children and their parents. It brings the concepts of virtue down into bite-sized morsels that little children can assimilate. I think I gave it to a friend when we stopped using it. It has been my favorite Devo book we have used as of yet. I'm always in the market for a good devotional book. If you have ideas, please leave them in the comments section! If you want to pick up a copy of this book, here is a link:

A B Seas Alphabet Game -

This game is essential with a preschooler. Not only does it teach both upper and lower case letters in a really fun way, it provides hours of entertainment for the kiddo who wants to "DO SCHOOL" and feels left out while Mommy is preoccupied with older brother. Since my copy came out, they have updated the game to include the Spanish and French alphabet also! You can't beat a trilingual preschool game!

Test Logic - Grade 1 (My Electronic Tutor) -

I bought this game at Wal-Mart (near the school supply isle) during or school year to see where my son was when we took him home from school in the first 9 weeks. He made an 87% out of 100 questions. I am not sure how accurate this game is in testing knowledge needed by the end of First Grade, but my kids really enjoyed it nevertheless. It is a small spiral bound book with lovely colorful pictures and it comes with a "pen" that is similar to a leapfrog wand which beeps when they miss a question.

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March 20, 2006

Pray for Abdul Rahman!

I need to interrupt the regularly scheduled program today to bring you a prayer request. Please pray for 41-yer-old Abdul Rahman.

The Lord is merciful and abounds in love. He hears the prayers of His saints. Far be it from us to sin against each other by not praying for each other's needs. The Bible says this about our duty to pray for and help those in chains:


The Sheep and the Goats

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Hebrews 13:3 - Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Please go read the article at the Boston Globe for more information:
Headline: Afghan Christian could get death sentence
Date: March 19, 2006

"An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday."

I try and stay away from religion bashing and other senseless arguments... but I don't see that this man was causing any threat to Islam. What in the world would they want to kill him for? God has never FORCED anyone to believe in Him. That is why He gave us free will. He beckons us to CHOOSE LIFE, and he reaches out to us to draw us to him with "chords of loving-kindness"....

Jeremiah 31:3 - The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

Just as Jesus prophesied, so it is true:

Matthew 24:9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me."

How could anyone hate a man that gave his life to save us all? My heart breaks for humanity. If only they all knew the love of Christ and the peace that is found in Him.

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March 19, 2006

K/1 Homeschool Year Book List

As promised, here are the books we read in the 2003-4 School Year. Again, our kiddos were 4.5 and 6.5 at the time. This was a year when both my children were learning to read. We were also using the Distar Program (Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons), and used a few box sets (Bob Books, etc.) as well as Mommy reading to them constantly. Today, my son has told me that reading is his favorite subject in "school" and that is no surprise! He devours books (even encyclopedia-type books) and his sister is not far behind him. She gets a little flustered by medical terms, scientific terms, and really unusual "25-centers"... but for the most part, she is a reading pro.

Many of these books can be read at a much older age level as well, so don't let the grade level fool you. That's just when WE read them. You can read them any time you like. The books that we enjoyed the MOST are bolded. Many of those were so good that we went out and bought our own copy to add to our library at home. The kids love revisiting those and if we don't have them, they don't hesitate to re-check them at the library. I left out a few books we re-read from last year's book list (which you can read by clicking this link: First Year Homeschool Book List - PK/K). Enjoy!

... Oh, and by the way... the books/DVDs in green are labeled so due to a clash in "world-views". Holding true to a "6-Day Creationist" belief, we have a real problem when 1/4 of a history book is all about evolution and pure theoretical speculation given as fact (as if it were HISTORY, and not scientific theory). I can forgive a LOT of "millions and billions of years" fluff in books, but NOT when it comes to history books or science books that are supposed to be talking about a particular subject, but rather spend time cramming evolution instead. The rest of the books that are NOT bolded are probably great, too. Our favorites are subjective and you should read these for yourself to find out what your family's favorites are!

If you enjoy using our book lists and ideas here at Sprittibee's Homeschool Blog, please consider dropping some spare change in the tip jar - no donation too small! We could use a few dollars to buy more books with!

You can also check out my little Amazon book store up at the top of this blog by clicking the bookstore link, or clicking the text in this sentence! Many of our favorites are there and sorted by category. If you purchase them through our referral, my kids might eventually get a free book for their library. It's a win-win situation! You get great books, we get a few pennies for telling you about them.

Second Year Homeschool Book List - Grades K-1
My Trip to the Zoo - Mercer Mayer
Beach Day - Mercer Mayer
Show and Tell - Mercer Mayer
The Noisy Airplane Ride - Mike Downs
Puss in Boots - Paul Galdone
Our Park - Mercer Mayer
The Mixed up Morning - Mercer Mayer
The Caboose Who Got Loose - Bill Peet
The Moon was at Fiesta - Matthew Gollub
Worse than Rotten Ralph - Jack Gantos
WATCH: "Learn to Read with Phonics" (Video) VHS
No Roses for Harry - Gene Zion
Molly and Emmett's Camping Adventure - Marlin Hafner
Whale Journey - Vivian French
Mary Had a Little Lamb - Sarah Hale
Chattling - Shirley Hughes
Field Day - Mercer Mayer
A Yummy Lunch - Mercer Mayer
Art Dog - Thatcher Hurd
Ox-Cart Man - Donald HallThe Bug Cemetery - Frances Hill
Even If I Spill My Milk - Anna G. Hines
Giving - Shirley Hughes
Metropolitan Cow - Tim Egan
The Mommy Exchange - Hest
Thomas and the Hide-and-Seek Animals - Random House
The Cow Buzzed - Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
Inspirations for Daily Living - Wallis C Metts
Usborne Encyclopedia of World History
WATCH: Kingdom Chums Top 10 (Video by Squire Rushnell) VHS
WATCH: Veggie Tales Videos/123 Penguins Videos (VHS)
Bertie was a Watchdog - Rick Walton
Practice Makes Perfect for Rotten Ralph - Jack Gantos
Dora's Book of Words/Libro de palabras de Dora - Nick Jr.
Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween? - Linda Hacon Winwood
WATCH: Imax Destiny in Space DVD

Egad Alligator - Harriet Ziefert
The Big Bug Dug - Mary Serfozo
On the Move (Minipedia)Our Tree House - Mercer Mayer
Class Trip - Mercer Mayer
Big Truths for Little Kids (Devotional Book) - By Susan and Richie Hunt
Flying Bats! (Hello Reader Grade 1, Level 1)
Bats (A New True Book) - Susan Heinrichs Gray
The Bat - Nina Leen
Magic School Bus Fact Finder: Bats
New Kid in Town - Mercer Mayer
Goodnight Little Critter - Mercer Mayer
Rude Giants - Audrey Wood
Happy Holidaysaurus! - Bernard Most
Do You Know How Much I Love You? - Donna Tedesco
Curious George and the Dinosaur - Margaret & H.A. Rey
The Squeaky, Creaky Bed - Pat Thomson
WATCH: Nest Home Videos (New Testiment Series) VHS
Sweet Tooth - Laura Nyman Montenegro
The Brave Little Tailor - Peggy Thompson
Wild Horses - Glen Rounds
Three Blind Mice - Paul Galdone
The Truth About Cats - Alan Snow
Lost - Celeste Lewis
Cayote & the Laughing Butterflies - Harriet Peck Taylor
WATCH: Bat Adventures - Audubon Society Video (VHS)
Little Fish, Lost - Nancy Van Laan
Strudwick, A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing - Robert Kraus
Garfield Discovers America - Jim Davis/Jim Kraft
The Legend of the Empty Bowl - Frances Jones
A World of Holidays: Thanksgiving - Marilyn Miller
Batbaby Finds a Home - Robert Quackenbush
Stellaluna - Janell Cannon

When it is Night/When it is Day - Jenny Tyers
Thomas and the School Trip - Random House
My Tooth is About to Fall Out - Grace Maccarone
The Steadfast Tin Soldier - Hans C. Andersen
Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel - Virginia L. BurtonDo Donkeys Dance? - Melanie Walsh
Night Creatures - Scholastic First Discovery
Baa Baa Black Sheep - Iza Trapani
Wait Till the Moon is Full - Margaret Wise BrownWATCH: Hello Kitty's Paradise: Vol 1 (DVD)
If the Dinosaurs Came Back - Bernard Most
Ollie the Stomper - Olivier Dunrea
The Story of Chicken Licken - Jan Ormerod
The Christmas Story - Isabelle Brent
The Tinderbox - Hans Christian Andersen
The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin - Betsy Bang
Bambi - Disney
The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
Shortcut - Donald Crews
Helping - Jane Buerger
Christmas Feasts & Festivals (A Holiday Book) - Patterson/Garrard
One, Two, Flea! - Allan Ahlberg
Handa's Surprise - Eileen Browne
Have you Seen the Crocodile? - Colin West
Dandelion - Don Freeman
The Christmas Knight - Jan Louise Curry
My Happy Week - Yvonne Patterson

Dinosaurs Day Out - Nick Sharrat
The Golden Sandal (A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story) - Rebecca Hickox
Sleeping Bunny - Emily Snowell Keller
The Whispering Rabbit - Margaret Wise Brown

The Berenstain Bears & Too Much TV - Stan and Jan Berenstain
Benji and the Tornado - Gina Ingoglia
Sea Sums - Joy N. Hulme
WATCH: "Titanic - The Nightmare and the Dream" (Public Media VHS)
The Story of Daniel - Dandi
Clifford's Family - Norman Bridwell
WATCH: "The Lorax - by Dr. Seuss" DVDWATCH: "Little House on the Prairie - Premier Movie" DVD
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr.Canals are Water Roads - Lee Sullivan Hill
WATCH: "Lost Ships of the Mediterranean" National Geographic VHS
Magic School Bus Sees Stars
Penguin Dreams - Otto Seibold
Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss (retold by David Goin)Sharing Makes Me Happy (Happy Day Book) - Dot Cachiaras
The Foot Book - Dr. Seuss
The Titanic - Lost and Found - Judy Donnelly
Rock-a-Bye Farm - Diane Johnston Hamm
Go, Dog Go! - P.D. Eastman

The Very Best Book of All (Happy Day) - Fran Flournoy
Benjy's Boat Trip - Margaret Bloy Graham
Ships and Sea Ports (A New True Book) - Katherine Carter
Ships and Seafarers - Erik Abranson
Dinosaur Island - Max Haynes
Reflections - Ann Jonas
The Little Engine that Could - Watty Piper
Road Signs: A Hare-Y Race With a Tortoise - Margery Cuyler
The Original Curious George - H.A. Rey
Dawn - Uri Schulevitz
Bernard - The Angry Rooster - Mary Wormell
The Night Fire - Lori Lukasewich
A Brown Cow - Bijou Le Tord
The Colt and the King - Marni McGee
What Daddies Do Best/What Mommies Do Best - Laura Numeroff
Minas and the Fish - Olga Pastuchiv
Moses and the Burning Bush (Prince of Egypt) - Mary Manz Simon

WATCH: PBS Lighthouse Series DVDSThe Snowy Day - Ezra J. Keats
Something to Crow About - Megan Halsey Lane
Old Pig - Margaret Wild
Beacons of Light: Lighthouses - Gail Gibbons
Red Fox - Hannah Giffard
I Can Help (A First Happy Day Book) - Marie Frost
I Gave Thomas Edison My Sandwich - Floyd C. Moore
Where the Wild things Are - Maurice Sendak
The Three Billy Goats Gruff - Paul Galdone
History Channel Video - Thomas Edison and the Electric Light
Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Merry Christmas - Monique Z. Stephens
Top Cat - Lois Ehlert
What Game Shall We Play? - Pat Hutchins
Light and Color (Project Science) - Alan Ward
Rainbows to Lasers (Hands on Science) - Kathryn Whyman
Clocks, Clocks and More Clocks - Pat Hutchins
Look at the Moon - May Garelick
Shadows and Reflections - Tana Hoban
Little Mouse's Big Valentine - Thacher Hurd
Dick and Jane "Guess Who" - William S. Gray
Dick and Jane "Jump and Run" - William S. Gray
Benjy and the Barking Bird - Margaret Bloy Graham
The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter (re-read/from last year)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Brothers Grimm (Translated by Randall Jarrell)
Clifford's First Snow Day (Scholastic)
Wings Across the Moon - Linda Hargrove
Monster Math (Hello Reader - Level 1) - Grace Maccarone
Telling the Time with Teddy (Brimax Interactive) - Gill Davies
Video: Wild Ones - Mysterious Cougars (& Other Animals that Share it's Habitat)
Keep the Lights Burning Abbie - Peter & Connie RoopStone Soup - Ann McGovern
Noah's Ark - Retold by Lawrence T. Lorimer
Hurry up Noah - Patricia Shely Mahany
One Minute Bible Stories - Old Testament - Shari Lewis
Animal Babies - Harry McNaught
Daniel and His Friends - Retold by Leonard Matthews (Now You Can Read Series)
Elijah (Now You Can Read Series) - Retold by Arlene Rourke
Fox Eyes - Margaret Wise Brown
The Very Lonely Firefly - Eric Carle
The Deep-Sea Floor - Sneed B. Collard III
In the Deep - Mary Carson
A Day in the Life of a Colonial Printer - Kathy Wilmore
Sea Chest - Toni BuzzeoClifford and the Runnaway Rabbit (Scholastic)
Calico's Curious Kittens - Phyllis Limbacher Tildes
The Gingerbread Man - Karen Schmidt (Scholastic)
Wintertime - Ann Schweninger (Scholastic)
Dooly and the Snortsnoot - Jack KentNoah and the Ark - retold by Elaine Ife
Magic Schoolbus Gets a Bright Idea (a Book About Light) - Scholastic
A Child's Book of Hope - Jean Monrad Thomas
Video: Bible Story Lesson - David & Goliath - Hanna Barbara
Roar Like a Lion - Tiphanie Beeke
Dragon for Breakfast - Eunice & Nigel McMullen
Video: Esther, The Girl who Became Queen (Veggie Tales)
King's Stilts - Dr. Seuss
The Kiss that Missed - David Melling
Machines at Work - Byron Barton
The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Magic Media
Videos: History of Britain Series (History Channel) … (some parts suitable for kids)
Cinderella - Leap Frog (Once Upon a Time Tales)
A Lot of Others - Barbara Helen Berger
Time for Bed - Mem Fox
A Bad, Bad Day (My First Hello Reader - PS-1) - Kirsten Hall
The Biggest Snowball Fight (Rhyme Time Readers) - Angela Shelf
Slowly, Slowly, Slowly said the Sloth - Eric Carle
Where Jesus Lived (Little Golden Book) - Jane W. Watson
If you Lived in the Days of the Knights - Ann McGovern
Tinka - Rainy Dohaney
Young Arthur - Robert D. San Souci
Video: Queen Elizabeth I (A & E) … (some parts suitable for kids)
Desert Dog - Tony Johnston
Cat Tricks - Keith Baker
David and Goliath (Golden Bible Stories) - retold by Pamela Broughton
David and Goliath - retold by Mary Auld
Get Well, Good Knight - Shelley Moore Thomas
Saint George and the Dragon - retold by Margaret Hodges

Castles (A First Discovery Book) - ScholasticRumpelstiltskin - retold by Rochelle Larkin
Why Not? - Mary Wormell
The Princess and the Pea - adapted by Alain Vaёs
Video: King George and the Ducky (Veggie Tales)
Video: Castles of Europe - British Isles (TLC)
Jack and the Beanstalk - Alan Garner
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - retold by Rochelle Larkin
Lion's Precious Gift - Barbara Bennett
Springtime - Ann Schweninger (Scholastic)
Video: Castle (PBS)
Video: My Friend Flicka (1943 horse movie)
The Best Tea Party Ever - Sonali Fry
Bubble Trouble - Mary Packard (My First Hello Reader - PS-G1)
The Princess and the Pizza - Mary Jane & Herm Auch
Castles, Caves and Honeycombs - Linda Ashman
A Beautiful Feast for a Big King Cat - John Archambault & Bill Martin
Rapunzel - retold by Amy Ehrlich
Little Lions - Jim Arnosky
London DK Travel Guide (Chick-Fil-A book)
The Kitchen Knight - Margaret Hodges
Cowardly Clyde - Bill Peet
Good Queen Bess - Diane Stunley & Peter Vennerna

Video: The Middle Ages (Just the Facts Learning Series)
The Princess and the Pea - Hans Christian Anderson
Into the Castle - June Crebbin
Hear, Hear, Mr. Shakespeare - Bruce Koscielniak
The Pearl - Helme Heine
The Knight who was Afraid to Fight - Barbara Shook HazenThe King's Equal - Katherine Paterson
My First Phonics Board Book - DK
I am a King - Mary Packard
Video: The Last Unicorn
I Wished for a Unicorn - Robert Heidbreder
I Am Really a Princess - Carol Diggory Shields
The Naughty Prince - Benoit Debecker
The Knight who was Afraid of the Dark - Barbara Shook Hazen
The King Who Sneezed - Angela McAllister
The Knight and the Dragon - Tomie dePaola
Hallie's Horrible Handwriting - Valerie Tripp (Hopscotch Hill School - Level 2)Video: Great Trains of America: Western Railroading (PBS)

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