Friday, June 29, 2007

Weekly EduLinks 06-29-07

It didn't take me long to get tired of the whole "Linkapaloosa" thing so hopefully "Weekly EduLinks" sounds better. I'm always open to suggestions though. These will be stored under the Weekly EduLinks tab so be sure to check there for previous posts containing educational links.

Here are the chosen five educational links for this week. I think starting next week I will begin adding a link to a homeschooling blog as well. I've come across so many wonderful homeschoolers online and I think it would be fun to introduce you to some of them.
So here we go... Great site filled with lesson plans, games, crafts, resources, and it's also home of the fantastic Hippo Harry blog! You can sign up for their great free newsletter which Kimberly emails to you weekly. We've really enjoyed it so far.

Sacred Spiral Kids- The home of free activities for Pagan and Earth Spiritual children, homeschoolers, organizers, and teachers. They have something for every subject and even if you're not Pagan there are still many wonderful Nature based lessons that you can use. This is one of our faves!

Unschooling.Info- Considering trying unschooling or maybe just curious to find out what they do? A great collection of articles, resources, and even a message board. If you're a fan of Sanda Dodd then definately make sure you visit their forum.

Wilderness Kids Club- If you don't check out any other link I've posted then make sure you don't miss this one! They provide natural science curriculums and really get kids into nature. Your children can "meet" other wilderness kids, learn how to keep their own wildlife journal, make an insect zoo, and enough other activities to keep them going for a long time!

Bravewriter- Julie Bogart is the owner of Brave Writer Online Writing Services and without her and her site I don't think I would have made it through this past homeschool year. The Bravewriter site is where I learned about Copywork, Tea Time, Artwork Narration, and many other Charlotte Mason techniques. Not only does she help get kids writing and reading but she makes sure that parents are enjoying and joining in as well.

There are your five for this week. Please enjoy them and if you have any links you would like me to share please feel free to email me (email address is in the sidebar) and I'll do my best to include them.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This section is where you will find my reviews of products, toys, services, curriculum, books, websites, and anything else I can think of.

The products I review will be everyday items that you use and can find almost anywhere. I'm frugal when it comes to buying and I'm sure you are too so I won't waste your time talking about stuff you have no use for.


This section will hold interviews I do with authors, website owners, bloggers, public school teachers, parents, and whoever else I feel like making talk to me.

About Us

The Cast:

Jo- I'm the mom and star of the show of course (just let me pretend okay?). I'm a homeschooling mom to my three heathens, wife to the hubby guy, professional product reviewer & toy expert, published poet (had nothing to do with either so shoosh), freelance writer (I write for a few websites and hope to be in print soon), two time cancer survivor (while still having one of the buggers renting space in my body), and MEN2a advocate.

I love doing product, toy, and book reviews because they are fun. I also love to write and this is one way I can have fun with my writing. I don't do this for "free stuff" which is why I don't ask companies for certain products.

Hubby Guy- Yes, I have one but with working graveyard shift and attending college part time he doesn't get to be around much. We celebrated our seventh anniversary on May 6, 2007 and while it's been a rough road at times, it has definately been worth it. Hubby works in avionics (ex-Air Force) and helps keep the Air Force in the air. He will be the first to tell you he doesn't agree with my choices all of the time but when it comes down to it he is my biggest champion and I love him for it.

Big B- My oldest son who turned 16 years old this year. He started homeschooling in November of 2005 so every day is a learning experience for us. He hopes to someday play football in the NFL and buy his mama a house! That's my boy! B also is learning to play guitar, studying Physics and Philosophy, beginning German, has his mama's sense of humor & sarcasm, and is just an amazing person.

He helps me with reviews of computer programs, books, techie toys, board games, and video games.

Sissy- My middle child and only girl. She turned 13 years old this year (yeah that sound you hear IS me crying) and has been homeschooling since March 2005. She has really come a long way since public school and I am very thankful for that. She wants to one day be a Marine Biologist and Firespinner and I have no doubt she will do both. Sis is learning Spanish, is in SpiralScouts, has her own Dog Walking business, and loves to practice her firespinning with the practice poi a friend got her last year for her birthday.

She helps me review books, "girl" products, board games, video games, make-up, shoes, and hair accessories.

Lil Man- This is my 5 year old little tornado of terror. There were no Terrible Twos but you can bet we hit the Terrible Threes full blown and hard! He's a sweetheart though and very easy to love. He's also a dinosaur expert who constantly blows me away with the amount of knowledge he knows about them. I think he's proof that children really do learn on their own and in their own ways. He is learning to write and spell his name, loves paleontology, thinks Animal Planet is the only channel in existance, and is a Firefly in the SpiralScouts.

His job is to help review toys, games, and anything he finds that looks like fun.

All together we are a family who has three people with a rare cancer causing disorder, two kids who have already had surgery to remove cancer once, and a mom who has had two cancer surgeries, is missing several organs, and because we caught one cancer too late I will always live with cancer. Thankfully it's not aggressive but chemo having no effect on it is somewhat of a bummer.

Daily we are just the same as everyone else (just a little more scarred is all) and just try to live life to the fullest each day that we can. Making memories is a big part of our life and probably why I post on this blog about not only strictly homeschool related things but the fun activities we do as well.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy.

Homeschooling Resources

Check this section regularly for updated links and info on everything homeschooling whether it's new books, curriculum, websites, magazines, or anything else I think you'll find interesting.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Linkapaloosa- 06/21/07

Just a recap from last week- What is Linkapaloosa? Well it's my own goofy and possibly lame title for posts that I hope to do regularly featuring great website links I've found and want to share. There is no catch with these links (as in no one asked me to post them or paid me to talk about them) or this post, just fun things I've found and couldn't wait to show everyone else. I'm going to try to keep it to 5 links per post. So I hope you find at least a few new ones!

And here is this week's links. If you would like the link to your homeschool or education blog added to our blogroll then please feel free to leave me a comment or email me.

Dositey- They offer Math and English software but are nice enough to list their free games right there on the front page for you to use/try. They also offer many free printables and their program is available for sale if you want the whole kit and kaboodle!

The Homeschool Cafe- The brainchild of several Mississipi homeschooling mamas who wanted to help keep others in the loop with political opinions, educational issues, and general discussion. Always something interesting to read and their list of blogs/sites will keep you reading for hours!

Spatulatta- Cooking for Kids by Kids! This site is fantastic and even includes a short video with each recipe to show your child how it's done. We'll be making the chicken swarama!

Teen Space- An internet public library for teens! Lots of information to help your teen with life, school, friends, and work.

Windows Into Wonderland- Thanks to the National Parks Service you can enjoy a field trip to sites and parks all over the United States! No matter where you live these electronic field trips will make you almost feel like you're really there! Great for those days when a field trip you had planned gets rained out.

I will usually try to get these posts up on Wednesdays but if I don't it's probably because I'm sick. Still, I will try to get them up on time or as soon as possible.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Linkapaloosa Issue One

What is Linkapaloosa? Well it's my own goofy and possibly lame title for posts that I hope to do regularly featuring great website links I've found and want to share. There is no catch with these links (as in no one asked me to post them or paid me to talk about them) or this post, just fun things I've found and couldn't wait to show everyone else. I'm going to try to keep it to 5 links per post.

So I hope you find at least a few new ones!

This is from the National Parks Service and ALOT of fun. Your little ranger can have their own ranger's office where they do fun things like activities to earn badges for their sash, share stories and pictures with other little rangers, view national park webcams, and even print out their own membership card. My 4 1/2 year old was playing on the site earlier and couldn't get enough!

Word Game Boards
Tons of great games for all grades and subjects that you can print up and use in your homeschool, daycare, or even preschool. I went through the site this morning and only a few of the links are now dead but by the time you get to them you really don't care because you've already saved alot of others!
Mr Donn has made my life so much easier with this website. Loads of subjects, free lessons, activities, and much much more all arranged in a neat easy to find way.

Weekly Reader Kids
A great site for kids by Weekly Reader. Here kids can read interviews, color, enter the Mystery Photo Contest, do crosswords, be a Weekly Writer, and lots more. Even my almost 13 year old daughter enjoyed this one.

Thought Audio
Free MP3 audio downloads on alot of great books. Great site and a good idea for long trips in the car or just sitting around listening to while you or the kids relax. The only thing I wasn't too keen on was the voice on some of the books. It got on my nerves for some reason. LOL.