Collage Friday from FPEA

Collage Friday

I'm writing to you from Orlando, FL and the Florida Parent Educators' Association Conference

(If you every want to choose a conference to attend, this one might be it -- if for no other reason than the GORGEOUS venue, the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center!) 

It's been very exciting for me because I am giving a workshop on behalf of LEGO® Education - a workshop about their StoryStarter curriculum. 


*** For detailed LEGO® Education curriculum reviews visit the LEGO Learning page. ***

As you can see from the collage this is a beautiful place, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn and grow while I am here. There are homeschoolers running around everywhere and the exhibit hall might just bankrupt me - ha! 

After this convention I hop in a car and drive a few hours south to spend a couple of days with my mom and dad. I'm so looking forward to being with them, because this year has been full of major health challenges for them. 

Not much has gone on in our week other than preparing for this trip and also speaking for an afternoon session of our local Classical Conversations' Practicum (which I will post about soon, because it was a great time to see our young people shine). 

Collage Friday from FPEA 2015

Collage Friday Summer Break

Collage Friday will be going on a summer hiatus. I love this community and posting each Friday, but I need a break -- and truthfully our summer activities won't be all that exciting. 

My husband has some traveling this summer and we may tag along with him. My daughter has a week of camp and a week of a mission trip.  Grant will be keeping busy with baseball and drama activities. 

It's all GOOD.  We are blessed and I am thankful. 

The next edition of Collage Friday will be August 21, 2015!   Happy Summer!

Please feel free to join the Collage Friday community. Link your post with photo collages here, or you can also link a photo collage on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #CollageFriday.

Then, be sure to find others participating and visit their posts to gain ideas and offer encouragement! 

American Sniper Giveaway

When American Sniper was released in theaters earlier this year, my husband and I went to see it right away.

Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of Chris Kyle’s autobiography is moving and meaningful filmmaking, depicting the heroism of both the service member in combat and the family left stateside.

It told a story we NEEDED to hear.  

It is a story about the costs those on the battlefield (and their families) pay to defend our freedoms. 

Win a Copy of American Sniper on BLU-RAY+DVD

This is a subject near and dear to me. My brother is a veteran - a chaplain who served in Iraq on two different occasions. (In fact, he wrote a book, No Atheists in Foxholes, about his experiences there and as the chaplain at Camp David during 9/11.) I know firsthand the effects of war on our soldiers and the price a family can pay when one serves their country. 

This week, American Sniper was released on DVD+BLU-RAY.  Warner Bros. is donating a dollar from the sale of each DVD, up to $1 million, to the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission is to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.


I am HONORED to have even a small part in helping raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. 

I am also thrilled to be able to give away FIVE COPIES of American Sniper. 

Simply follow the Rafflecopter widget instructions below to enter.  

US residents only, please. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Grace Hill Media. I was not compensated in any way and wholeheartedly recommend the movie. It is rated R, and because of violence would NOT be suitable for young children. 

American Sniper giveaway at Homegrown Learners

Ancient Times - Simple, Effective Resources For Your Homeschool

Simple is best. 

Educating my children Classically has proven to me that using just a FEW beautiful resources faithfully and well makes our learning most effective.

As we prepare for Classical Conversations Cycle 1, I have been gathering a few things we LOVED during our last study of the Ancients, and I've added a couple new things, too.

Remember, I keep all to ONE BOOKSHELF, and by limiting myself in this way I am deepening our homeschool through SIMPLIFICATION! 

(I'm also trying to educate from a place of rest, so simplification is essential!)

Ancient Times: Simple, Effective Resources for Your Homeschool

*This post contains affiliate links. 

As my children have gotten older, our plan of attack for history has changed.

When they were younger we did many hands on projects and LOTS of reading aloud.  

Now that I have a 9th grader and a 5th grader, times are changing. Our homeschool is changing, too. We are more purely Classical than ever before, and in that spirit we are focusing on memorizing, conversations, and quality literature, along with an intensive study of Latin. 

I am having to spend more time redeeming MY OWN EDUCATION - therefore I need resources to be simple and meaningful.  

The following resources have been picked carefully to ensure success and retention in our homeschool next year. 

A New Approach to Learning History

The biggest change for next year (for my 10 year old) is that he will be learning the bulk of history through Veritas Press' Self Paced History Course

I have heard such good things, watched all of the promo videos, and asked my son if he would like it (I got a resounding YES!). 

I pulled the trigger and purchased the course (for $100 off -- only until May 25).  This course will cover Ancient History - it is self paced, includes tests and games, and will give him some much needed independence. 

I encourage you to check this out if you want a quality history course, taught on the computer, self-paced, and engaging. It also aligns closely with the CC timeline and history sentences! 

History Spines/Texts for Ancients

Next year during Cycle 1 I have not planned everything out WEEK BY WEEK.  I have done so in the past, and been lead quickly to disappointment when I fall behind or miss a resource I had put down for a certain week. 

Again -- my philosophy of LESS IS MORE is in the front of my mind as I pick just a few resources we will spend A LOT of time with during Cycle 1:

  • Pages of History Volume 1 - this history text (really full of great stories!) is so exciting to me! It is on the bookshelf just waiting for next year. This will be our family read aloud as time permits during the school year. 

  • The Story of the World  Volume 1 - We have used this extensively several years ago and my son wants to go through the book and activity guide again.  I imagine we will read this as a read aloud and pull activities from the activity guide as time permits - again --- not committing ourselves to anything, but having it available when we can use it.   (Have you seen my page dedicated to SOTW?  Lots of information there!)

  • The Story of the World Volume 1 Audio - We have this from the last time around, and it's particularly good for in the car, or for on those days when mom just wants to rest but the kids want to keep learning. I highly recommend these recordings by Jim Weiss! 

Resources for Studying Ancient History in Your Homeschool


We are big fans of the card games by The Classical Historian.

This cycle we will be using the Ancient History Go Fish  and the Ancient History Memory Game

That's it. Nothing more, I promise. 

(Well, if something out of the SOTW activity guide strikes my fancy we will create that game and play, but I'm not PURCHASING anything else!)

Add to this the memory work games that all Foundations students love to play and I think we will be set! 

Quality Read Alouds/Alones for Ancient Times

Again, I will keep it VERY simple. 

No fancy booklists - just a few tried and true resources that will take a special place in my son's memory.

I have these books on the shelf that I have committed to read aloud to Grant, and I am sure through library trips we will seek out other books for him to read alone. 

Notebooking the History Sentences in Foundations

During Cycles 2 and 3 my son would notebook each of the Foundations history sentences. 

This was just good practice in research skills, writing skills, and many times it was used as his presentation for the following week. 

I anticipate we will do the same thing again. I will read the History Highlights (found on CC Connected) to him, and - using our Notebooking Pages subscription - require him to write a page about the history sentence. 


Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Memberships


That's our SIMPLE plan for studying Ancients next year. 

I'm BEYOND excited about the ages of my children and the DEEP learning that will take place next year.  (I'm also pretty excited that this planning is done NOW, and I can relax a bit this summer in anticipation of a busy and rewarding year.)


Do you have any fun plans for studying Ancient times in your homeschool?  I'd love to hear about them!