Monthly Archives: September 2010


Billy & Baab, April 2010

If you read today’s THM, you probably know that our old horse, Billy, isn’t doing well. In fact, we thought that last night was going to be his last night.  I’m happy to report though that he’s still hanging in there.

I can’t kid myself that he’s actually getting a lot better. The vet doesn’t think he will. He said that he’s simply at the end of his life and that his organs are shutting down. But perhaps he still has some good days in him.

For a few hours last night, he laid down and couldn’t seem to get up. We all sat with him, told him how wonderful he was, cuddled with him and scratched his favorite spots. We made sure that he had a fresh pile of hay to lay on and decided that it was time to go in the house and give him some peace and quiet. I looked out later and there was his beloved friend, Baab, laying near him. And then a little later, Billy was standing and walking around, all the while with Baab by his side.

I suppose they are an unlikely couple, but our swayback quarterhorse and school bus shaped sheep are friends, and watching their friendship is a blessing to me.

Two are better than one . . . If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10

Ree’s Blogging Tips

I was scanning through my Bloglines (which is about to go the way of the dinosaur) and saw a great post from The Pioneer Woman where she shares Ten Important Things I’ve Learned About Blogging.

It’s really good stuff. I especially appreciate her humor.

And I think she’s right about blogging often, it’s just that I’m kind of lax in that area. I have good intentions really. I even craft blog entries in my head. And now that HSB has the whole auto-post thingie, you’d think I’d do a BETTER job. But alas, I am me, and I just can’t always seem to get around to posting as often as I should.

But I do appreciate those of you who read my humble sporadic little blog. If nothing else, maybe it helps you feel better about YOUR blog.

I do what I can to be an encourager.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Madeline Lapbook

As my friend and I scanned the Five in a Row books, we looked for titles that we thought would be particularly interesting for our children and that we already had or could find easily at the library. Honestly, when we decided to do Madeline the main reason was that the library had two copies of it available at the time. We’re total literary snobs. Ha!

We wondered if the boys would think it was a “girl” book and balk at it, but the boys LOVED the story and actually asked to read other Madeline books. SCORE!

Again, my main resource, other than the Five in Row book was HomeschoolShare. Here is their page of Madeline resources.

And here are a few of the specific links I used:

Madeline coloring pages

France’s flag

Clip art for vocabulary words

Again, I used the opportunity to emphasize rhyming words and since Jon was still working on his letter sounds, I had him search for words that started with M. This story also lent itself to counting by 2’s so it was nice to work some math in there as well. :O)

Walking by the Way has a great entry on her family’s Madeline FIAR style and I loved all of their hands-on activities! That’s the nice thing about unit studies, you can really make them as simple or involved as you like, and each family can do them with their own style. If you are new to lapbooking, I hope I’ve given you some ideas. And if you’ve been lapbooking for awhile, feel free to post a link to your blog entry about lapbooking or unit studies.

Happy Homeschooling!

My other lapbook entries:

PS: Want to know one thing that I would do differently?

I would make sure to have my child write their name and the date on each lapbook. We love looking back on these, but I hate not being able to remember EXACTLY when we did them.

Make Way for Ducklings Lapbook

I’m quite an eclectic relaxed homeschooler.

  • We value the skills we learn in everyday life.
  • We love learning from real books and the great outdoors.
  • We enjoy using the computer and learning online.
  • We totally appreciate a well-done textbook at times.
  • We take a multilevel unit study approach to many topics.
  • We even use notebooks and lapbooks sometimes!

If you missed my entry on how we decided to do lapbooks with a Five in a Row study, just click here.

Meanwhile, I just have to show you the lapbook Jon did for Make Way for Ducklings. I was trying to pick books that built on his love for animals and Make Way for Ducklings fit the bill (Bill! ha ha, I crack myself up) perfectly! I think I found most of the activities on HomeschoolShare, but sometimes I’d just google for Make Way For Ducklings Lapbook and get ideas from other bloggers. Hooray!

Try not to be jealous my son’s exquisite coloring skills. I *loved* coloring growing up. And honestly, it can still be a pretty relaxing activity for me. But my boys, not so much.

Nonetheless, we focused on the rhyming words on the page and just pushed through it.

Here’s the link to the vocabulary words. I’m not sure where I found that map of where the ducks went, but here’s a link to some even nicer maps you could print and use.  (Note to self: don’t wait 3 years to blog about a project.) We also matched parent and baby animals. And found a short quiz online to check their comprehension.

Want to see how someone else took more of a notebooking approach to Make Way for Ducklings? Check out this great entry from Heather at Blog, She Wrote

My other lapbook entries:


FIAR Lapbooks/Peter Rabbit

A few years ago, a friend and I were looking for some fun activities to get our boys interested in reading and work on a few other skills. We decided to use Five in a Row, pick a book for the week, read that and use some of the activities at home with our boys at home, and then get together once a week to let the boys put their lapbooks together.

Jon was probably 6 when we did these and my friend had boys 3 and 8.  The nice thing was that Five in a Row gives lots of options for different activities and you can pick and choose which are best for your child. All of our boys enjoyed reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit and it had us digging out other books by Beatrix Potter.

Some people go ALL OUT with their lapbooks. Lots of information and decorations. We are minimalists. Ha! If you’ve been intimidated by those kind of lapbooks, mine should put  you right at ease.

We found a lot of great things for the Five in a Row lapbooks on HomeschoolShare. Here is their page for The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  I decided to focus on vocabulary, finding things that begin with R, finding England on a map,  identifying the English flag, and discussing rules and obedience.

If you decide to do lapbooks with your child, you just have to determine the purpose of your lapbooks. Do you primarily want the child to assemble them with information to review? Or do you want them to do more of the creation to show what they learned?  I felt like we did a lot of behind-the-scenes work for these – searching websites for printables, etc… That was how most people did lapbooks years ago and it’s probably still the most cost-effective way to do them if you don’t mind spending the time to create or find the things you want for your lapbook.  There are a TON of free resources on the Internet.

However, many homeschool companies decided to gather materials for lapbooking parents so that it would be easier for them to just jump in and get started. Check out Egghead Academics and Download N Go.

My other lapbook entries: