Back to School Review

There are so many things I want to get posted up here, so many ideas of what I want this year to look like, things we are doing, and what is going on at the Farm!  Ugh!  I cannot seem to find the time to do it all!!

But I have to share an amazing book with you that I cannot wait to hold in my hands – that is going to be such a blessing to our historical schooling this year!!

I was so excited to be able to review a digital copy of Knowledge Quest’s A Child’s Geography Volume 3 : Explore the Classical World!  I loved this book.  As I read through it I got more and more excited about how this would really help our historical lessons of history when we re-do the Classics. 

We are doing Ambleside Yr 6 this year, so the first part of the year we will be in the 20th century, but by Christmas we are going to be starting the whole timeline over!  One thing we are doing different too is I am going to start all 4 kids over.  We are going to start at the beginning together and use different books for different ages to help them get it.


This book : Exploring the Classical World will be for all 4 of my kids – and for me too!!  I loved it.  It is told in a story like manner by a narrator. 

Here is a brief description:

Imagine walking in the footsteps of Socrates, Alexander the Great, the Apostle Paul… See and understand ancient civilizations and great empires from what has been left behind and carefully preserved. Hear the stories passed down from generation to generation, before the advent of paper and printing presses. As we explore the Classical World, you and your family will delight in incredible, mysterious landscapes, hidden wonders and beautiful peoples – all created in God’s image.


Download the first 3 chapters to read
and try for yourself!

Why did I love it so much?  Because of the way the book is written you will really imagine all that is going on as you “walk” through the places.  You will hear sounds and smell scents (at least in your mind).  I am excited about trying some recipes of local places and simply feeling like we are really there and not just reading a boring book.

I read this book rather quickly to review it, but I am so looking forward to savoring each and every chapter this year as we walk through it together.  I love how Knowledge Quest makes maps a part of every day learning too.  I love that you do not have to look anywhere else than this book and you will have the history and geography in ONE place!!

I loved this book, and I hope you do too!!

NOTE : I received a digital copy in exchange for editing the book before print, and a soft copy in exchange for an honest review, by Knowledge Quest.

Getting away with some Sally (pt 2)

Did that first part of my weekend sound like fun??  Oh it was.  It was great to be in a room with almost 800 other moms who want to really lead their children’s hearts and not just their actions.

It was great!!

So, after having a quick supper and some visiting, we got back to our seats to settle in and hear what Sarah Mae had to say!!  Oh my, what a sweet young mom!!  I just loved getting to chat with her very briefly at our table, and then loved listening to her story even more! 

Sarah Mae wrote Desperate – a book recently released – that she co-wrote with Sally Clarkson.  (HOW COOL IS THAT!?)  I have had the book in my hands for several weeks, but I have not finished it, shame on me – I know!  But it is so good.  Sarah’s kids are a bit younger than mine, but I still feel like her message is very relevant to me.  And it is not about feeling desperate because your kids are out of control, more that we feel desperate because we are not plugged in to the right source.

Anyway, loved her talk – she talked about being a Free mom – we are unchained.  We have grace and can and should offer it to our kids.  That we are not perfect … and neither are those little ones.  She reminded us that we need to let go of the “but” in the “yes, we are saved by grace, BUT….”

Did I mention she is a blogger too?  Of course.  Her blog is SarahMae – and check her out too!!  My favorite thing she said was a caterpillar has 100% butterfly DNA – even though it looks like a caterpillar – and our kids are more than they look too.


Then evening ended with Sally again, this time she shared how we need to inspire and allow our children to dream.  Her children’s stories are amazing, and boy have they dreamed!!  She used the illustration that our purpose is to light the fire within our kids to do great things for God.  I loved that.  I want to light the fire within them – I want to dare them to dream, and to be bold enough to follow those dreams!!

There was so much to take in on Friday afternoon and evening.  It was just what my weary soul needed.  The main theme of this conference was hope.  Hoping for what we do not see, the future of our kids, of our family. (I needed to hear this)

Another great line was the we are all clay and only the potter can mold the clay.  I cannot mold myself, nor can I mold my kids, I need to let God mold me and my kids.  That was good.

Day 1, whew.  It ended late.  It was good.  Good time with good friends! 

Getting away with some Sally!!

One of my favorite weekends of the year is when I get to run away Sally-12-25-2011and see Sally Clarkson!!  I love to get away with a few friends, catch up, think clear thoughts, have some Starbucks, and get filled by a seasoned Homeschool mom of 4 who has walked this road before me. 

This year was just what I hoped it would be!  I got to get away with a friend who is expecting her first bundle of joy, a friend also homeschooling her two, and then also got to meet up with a few friends from Mansfield/Arlington days.  I almost gave up my seat to the conference this year so a friend could go.  In fact, I told her she could have my seat and then I planned to go and just have some alone, quiet time in the hotel room during the conference.  Honestly, that was just as appealing as hearing someone speak. 

However, God had other plans.  I told God I would give up my ticket so my friend could go, and if He wanted me to be in that conference there would be a ticket available on the wait-list.  And low and behold, I got the call.  I was offered another ticket and so I was able to go. 

And guess what?  It was the best conference I have been to yet.  It was perfectly what I needed to hear.  The sessions spoke to my heart for the season I am in right this moment.  It was such a blessing!


“Scripture tells us that the disciple becomes like his teacher. So, the teacher must be and live out what he wants his pupil to know and be. What you are in your home is what you are.”

Sally @


First, Clay Clarkson, Sally’s husband spoke about his book Heartfelt Discipline, which I am LOVING!!  Clay’s approach to discipline is not the normal rod style discipline.  Instead his approach is more heart based.  In the past I have read about this approach, but this time is clicked, and I am so excited to move toward applying more of this in our home.

Next was Sally to complement Clay’s talk, she talked a bit more nuts and bolts to his ideas.  I so appreciated her honesty of where they have been with this children and painting a picture of where they are now.  Seeing their family gave me tremendous hope for our future.

kat-lee-headshot-100pxThe next session was by Kat Lee, an amazing young mom with a powerful story!  She writes a blog at Inspired to Action – check her out!  I loved listening to her story and her message – to empower moms!!

That was it for our Friday afternoon sessions – then we met up for dinner in our room.  A time of food and fellowship – does it get any better??

Check back tomorrow to hear more about our weekend away –

Still to come……..

{Sarah Mae & more Sally}

Day 5 {Maryland}

This was by far, our best day in Maryland!!  The kids were so excited to visit Ft McHenry!


My kids are huge history fans in general, but being able to walk around Ft McHenry and see so many great things!  We were even blessed to be able to see some re-enactors!  It was great to hear about the history of the fort, why this war (the War of 1812)  was started and how it was fought.  We loved watching them fire the cannon – and then we enjoyed walking around!!

the gang

After our trip out, we came home to an afternoon of playing and movie time. 

To close out time together we enjoyed some yummy dessert to celebrate 2 upcoming birthdays –  my boy P and their boy Trey.

birthday dessertP bday boyT bday boy

So, tomorrow we head out to Maine!! Yeah!!  It will take all day, but we will be sleeping at the Point tomorrow night and waking up on Monday to the sound of lobster boats!!


It seems I am more motivated when we travel than when we are home, when it comes to fun school/educational stuff.

We have so much fun stuff planned for this trip!  But what I am most excited about right now is our nature/art journals.  Yes, I am merging the two.  I hope that we make entries each day on the nature side, whether sketching something we see, or journaling what we want to remember.  Also, I plan for us to do an art page each day.  I am using tons of suggestions from Art Projects for Kids – a favorite blog of mine!!

So, I invested in some new journals – the kind with blank pages.  I found our sat Hobby Lobby for a fair price, and no shipping!! 

So, I unhinged the spirally part on the back, took off the covers so we could decorate them and then cover them with contact paper to protect them.  Then I dug out some nature-ish paper, some stickers (from my scrapbook days) and we got busy!!

journal 2

journal 3journal 4journal 5

I love how they turned out, and I cannot wait for us to work on them once we get to Maine!!  What a treasure these books will be when they are full!!  I am hoping for the kids to make some gratitude journal entries in there too!!  Yes, we are using these books for many purposes!!

We have tried journals in the past, but I always used composition books with lines and all.  I am hoping the blank pages elevate the “value” of these books – I hope the kids really want to own them!