Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

August 21, 2012

25 Real Life Homeschooling Stories {eBook Release: You Can Do It Too!}

I have some really exciting news! A new friend of mine, Lorilee Lippincott of Loving Simple Living is releasing a brand new book called You Can Do It Too! : 25 homeschool families share their stories. And our story is included in this amazing book as one of the 25!!! I met Lorilee online last month and instantly felt a connection with her as she is a Christian wife and homeschooling mom who loves to live a simplified life. Her blog is filled with all kinds of wonderful ideas for living a life that honors God by focusing more on relationships and less on stuff.

So, let me tell you a bit about her new book...Lorilee has compiled real life homeschooling stories, interview style, from 25 different families who have answered the call to homeschool their kids. This book is filled with encouragement, inspiration, truth and honesty about what homeschooling looks like on a daily basis for each of these families. It's the kind of book I wish I had been able to read when we first started our homeschooling journey and it's the kind of book I am thankful to read now to know that I am not alone on this path.

I am beyond thrilled, honored and blessed to get to share our story with others in this way. I am also hopeful that this book will encourage someone who is either thinking about homeschooling, just beginning or is even several years into their own journey and just needing to relate with others who are traveling the same road. I have to say that as I read each one of the real life stories in this book, my heart is uplifted and I feel like I'm breathing fresh air.

Book Details: Right now the book is available as an eBook in PDF and Kindle versions. It launches on August 23rd, and can be purchased for only $9.99. Click here to purchase You Can Do It Too! (or on the image below). What a great way to begin your school year, right?! This 253 page eBook is a must read for anyone thinking about homeschooling, just starting out on their journey or any parent needing a dose of encouragement.

And for those of you dying to know who is featured in this book, here is a list of the 25 homeschooling families (plus one more as an added bonus!):
  1. Kristen: The Frugal Girl 
  2. Lee Binz: The HomeScholar
  3. Nancy: Nancy Sathre-Vogel
  4. Natalie: Visionary Womanhood blog
  5. Carlie: So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?
  6. Lorilee: Loving Simple Living
  7. Liz: The Hesitant Housewife
  8. Jill:
  9. Stephanie: Keeper of the Home
  10. Heidi: Mt. Hope Chronicles
  11. Heather: OMSH
  12. Wendy: Homeschooling Blessings & Hip Homeschool Moms
  13. Teri: TommyMom
  14. Tabitha:
  15. Bambi: In the Nursery of the Nation.Lilla Rose hair accessories.
  16. Marcy: Ben & Me
  17. Carisa: 1+1+1=1
  18. Joy:
  19. Megan: House of the Rising Sons
  20. Toni: &
  21. Mandi: Life Your Way
  22. Danielle: Organizational Hysteria
  23. Kerry: How To Homeschool My Child
  24. Nicole: By Word of Mouth Musings
  25. Kelly: Generation Cedar
  26. Leo: Zen Habits &

This post contains affiliate links. Using them doesn’t change what you pay, but it helps support this site. Thanks so much! (Disclosure Policy stated at the bottom of this page)

Linked up with:  Women Living Well & The Better Mom

July 13, 2012

Learning with Unit Studies

When our boys were little and there were only two of them, we discovered the joys of going to the library. There were imaginary worlds and interesting insects to discover. Animals we'd never heard of and stories of knights and dragons graced the pages of beautifully illustrated children's books. We fell in love with the characters of so many wonderfully written stories and discovered the joy of nonfiction. Biographies of great explorers and inventors, big colorful reference books about outer space and hundreds of books about underwater sea creatures. It was all there. Anything we wanted to learn about, we found in a book.

At that time, when our boys were only 2 and 4...we had made the decision to homeschool, but had no idea how to do it. I didn't even know there were "methods" of homeschooling your children. Words like Classical approach, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, School at Home, Unit Studies, Waldorf, Notebooking, Lapbooking and Eclectic had no meaning to me....until I did my research and realized we had already chosen our preferred method of homeschooling and didn't even know it at the time.

Whenever we went to the library, my oldest son would choose books from the children's section that interested him, like Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan and then we'd head over to the "real life" books, as my son called them. We'd browse those aisles, make our selections and come home with bags full of books. Every time I sorted through them to put them on our "library shelves" at home, I would notice that there were "real life" books related in some way with some of the story books we had chosen.

And this is how we began our Unit Study approach to homeschooling....a natural wonder and curiosity to find out more and more about one thing at a time that interested my boys.

My friend, Carlie from So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler? has an amazing Summer Series going on over at her blog called Homeschool Methods & Approaches. Each week during June and July she features different homeschoolers who use different methods to teach their own children. I am so honored to have been able to be a part of this series as I wrote a post about our Unit Study approach for her series.

You can read more about how we include unit studies in our homeschooling days by visiting Carlie's blog. 

I'd love to hear about what works for you. What method or approach to homeschooling works best for you and your kiddos?

June 19, 2012

Loving, Parenting and Homeschooling Out of the Overflow

June 20th marks the official first day of Summer! And boy am I thankful. After a long school year and outside commitments that kept our family busier than usual, I find myself already re-evaluating and planning for our next school year. So, instead of schooling through the summer, we are taking a break to enJOY this precious time.

I also want to use this time for planning and preparing for next year as we will have a Kindergartener, First grader, Third grader and a very VERY active 2 year old, along for the ride. Although I am definitely thinking about curriculum, lesson planning, managing our household and how I will organize and redecorate our school areas...I'm doing a lot more thinking about the "how" and "why" of it all. And I'm realizing that as a wife, a mom and a teacher, the wisdom I seek in planning, must first come in preparing my own heart.

Please join me over at the Hip Homeschool Moms site to read my post about preparing our hearts for loving and teaching our children and three things we do to make this happen. 

Linking up with: Women Living Well

May 23, 2012

3 Part Series on Teaching Your Kids American Sign Language

Many of you already know why we began using American Sign Language (ASL) in our family, but did you also know that teaching your children ASL can help improve their reading and spelling skills, encourage an interest in books and even improve their confidence and self esteem? THIS is true for all children, whether they hear well or not. We experience all of these benefits daily and it is why we continue to learn ASL.

Did you also know that, from an educational standpoint, ASL qualifies as a foreign language in most states?

To read more about how you can make learning and teaching ASL to your kids a very natural and fun thing to incorporate into your days, come read my post over at The Homeschool Classroom. This is the first in a three part series on the subject. 

And, just in case you're wondering....YES, all of these ideas can be applied whether you homeschool or not.

April 30, 2012

How to Work Through Sibling Rivalry

Do you ever have days (or whole weeks, even years) when you wonder if your children will ever truly be friends? With each other?
Will the bickering, arguing, fairness issues, offensive nature and general annoyances toward one another ever end?
I wonder. All. The. Time. 
Truth be told, I worry about it more than I’d like to admit. In a house filled with boys, we battle these issues regularly. But, I know from other moms I’ve talked to, that this can happen with all boys, all girls or a mix of both. Where two or more siblings are gathered, there’s bound to be some rivalry. 
To read the rest of this post, please join me over at Hip Homeschool Moms to read how we are learning to work through sibling conflicts and character training. 


Linking up with: 
The Better Mom
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April 16, 2012

Celebrating Each Day Of The Year With Mini Unit Studies

I've shared before that we are a family that loves unit studies. To us, they just make sense and work well for this crew of four very active boys. Today, I'm very excited to share my first published post with you over at The Homeschool Classroom. 

If your homeschooling style includes unit studies or you're looking for something new and fun to do with your kids, come check out how we celebrate each day of the year with mini unit studies.There are so many well known holidays celebrated throughout the year, but even more that are less known and can make for great opportunities to teach your kids how to be thankful for every single day of the year.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm  118:24

I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the amazing writing team over at The Homeschool Classroom. If you have a moment, take some time to check out the many posts written by some very talented moms. These are moms like you and me....loving and teaching their children every day.

Linking up with: 
The Better Mom

March 21, 2012

Biblical Truth in Science Experiments

Recently, I joined the writer's team over at the Hip Homeschool Moms. I had no idea what a blessing this would be to me. I am honored to be a part of this incredible team of women who love their families as they journey through homeschooling. I appreciate and am thankful for each one of them.

My very first post is up on their site today. I'm talking about how we can teach biblical truths to our kids through science experiments and have tons of fun doing it! Come on over and check it out at: Hip Homeschool Moms  

***UPDATE*** This is one of my most favorite science experiments to do with my boys. They ask to do this one over and over again and can tell you the biblical truth we attached to this activity by heart. If you try this at home with your kids, I'd love to hear how it went. What did they think of the experiment itself and did the biblical truth shine through and make sense to them? It's so fun to come up with these truths together as dive into science! Leave me a comment about the kinds of science experiments you're enjoying with your kids. I'd love to hear about them.

Linking up with No Time For Flashcards and I Can Teach My Child

January 30, 2012

Sam Saves the Day!

O's Karate teacher, Sensei Michael, asked the kids if any of them would like to write a short story to be published in the next Karate Newsletter. So, O spent some time last week writing a story and then drew a picture to go along with it. We sent it in to his Sensei, who loved it. (We do too.) He really enjoyed the writing process, which of course is so near and dear to his parents' hearts. O even spent time fleshing out his characters with me before beginning the story. (LOVE that!) He had much more detail, but wanted to be sure to keep the story short enough. It was also very important to him that Sam be an "ordinary" kid...not extraordinary or one with superhero strengths.....just your average everyday kid wanting to help someone in need. I smiled at this, because I think any child (or person, for that matter) willing to stand up for another is extraordinary indeed.

Sam Saves the Day

Sam is an ordinary 8 year old boy who has three younger brothers and loves Star Wars and Legos. He is learning Karate and loves that too. 

One day, Sam was playing at the park when he saw a little boy playing on the monkey bars. Then, he saw an older boy bullying the little boy. The bully punched the little boy off of the monkey bars. Sam thought he should help. 

So, he jumped up and ran over to defend the boy. The bigger boy said, “Hey, get out of my way!” Sam said, “You’re not going to hurt this little boy again!” The bully tried to punch Sam, but missed because Sam blocked his hand with one of the Karate moves he had learned from his Sensei. Sam moved to the boy’s right, then tapped his arm away and punched him in the ribs. This made the bully run away as far and as fast as he could. 

Sam said to the little boy, “Hi, my name is Sam. What’s your name?”

“My name is Eli.”  

Sam asked him if he was OK. Eli said, “I’m OK, but where did you learn those moves?” 

Sam said, “I learned them in my Karate class. Would you like to come to one of my classes with me?”

“OK!!! Thanks for saving me Sam!” 

We don't use our boys' names on our blog, so I covered it up, hence the yellow "star" at the bottom.
Linking up with:

November 4, 2011

Back to Blogging

So, after a LONG break from blogging and all (most) things online, I'm slowly making my way back. I miss writing and keeping up with some of my favorite blog friends. I also miss the plethora of ideas and encouragement I always get from visiting others' blogs.

I will say, though, that the time away has given me some much needed perspective about what is important to me with regard to how I spend my time online. Now that we have two kiddos to account for in (home)school, a preschooler and a very busy toddler...I find that it's not easy to sneak in a blogging break. More often than not, I am choosing to sneak in moments with Jesus instead. He's what breathes life into my soul and keeps me going each day.

So, I'm revisiting the eBook, Notes to Aspiring Writers: Your Dream, God's Plan. Still, writing is my passion, my dream....but we'll see if it's God's plan. For now, I'm content to write here and get back to my passion of blogging about life with our four little men. They are such a blessing.

February 14, 2011

Conversation Starters

I came across this incredible idea somewhere online not too long ago: CONVERSATION STARTERS. For the life of me, though, I cannot remember which blog I found these on, but I do remember they were listed as a free download to anyone who was interested in using them for their own personal use. So, I'm passing these along to anyone who may be interested in using them with their kids. 

Here is how we've used these conversation starters (and plan to): 
  • Last Christmas I printed these little thought provoking one liners up on colored paper, cut them into strips and put them into a recycled peanut butter container. Then I decorated the outside with a sharpie pen and stickers. It made a perfect gift for our friends who also have four kiddos, 10 and under. 
  • We use these as conversation starters around the dinner table. Each one of us takes turns picking a strip out of the container we made for ourselves. Sometimes we take turns answering the same question and other times we each choose our own. Great way to share in family discussions and get to hear what's on our kids' hearts..
  • Often, if I am needing a major shift in our day, I'll grab our container and tell everyone to pick a strip. Works like a charm every time when there's dissension going on between our boys. 
  • Because our container is compact, it's easy to take on the road with us and is a great way to pass the time while driving. 
  • With our oldest son, these make excellent writing prompts. 
  • These conversation starters also make a nice gift for any mom with kids for any and all occasions. 
I added quite a few of my own questions toward the bottom of this list and will continue adding more as I think of them. I like being able to add to the list when I  think of something I'm interested in knowing about my boys.These conversation starters have been such a great way to tap into their hearts and minds. I'm often surprised and so thankful after hearing (or reading) their answers. Many of these questions are such simple things, but in our busy day to day...sometimes I forget to ask them what they think or how they feel about certain things. 
I hope you enjoy them! If you decide to print them out and use them, let me know. I'd love to hear how you'll use them. And if you have more questions you'd like to share to add to this list, let me know. I'd love to add them.

You can print the following 180 Conversation Starters below by clicking HERE.

The easiest way to way to print this these up is to just copy and paste the entire list into a word type document and then print it out. Hope these Conversation Starters serve as a fun way for you and your family to enjoy deeper discussions and furthering the lines of communication like it has for us. 


P.S. Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first visit to House of the Rising Sons...welcome! Part of what I love about writing here is getting to know other moms that I otherwise would never have the opportunity of meeting. I would love to hear from you. And if you'd like to join my own little circle of moms and friends, you can add us to your favorite reader, find me on Facebook and even on Twitter. 
Writing Prompts

What is something you do well?

What is your favorite room in your home and why?

What is your favorite time of day?

What is something you are hopeful about? 

What is your favorite song and why?

What is the best birthday present you ever received?

What is the best birthday present you could receive?

What is something that makes you feel sad?

What is your favorite book and why?

What is something that really bugs you?

What is something that really makes you angry?

What is your favorite holiday? What makes this holiday special?

What is your favorite day of the week?

What is your favorite month? Why?

What would happen if you could fly whenever you wanted? When would you use this ability?

What would happen if there were no television? Why would this be good or bad?

What if cows gave root beer instead of milk?

What would happen if people never co-operated? Why do you think it is important to co-operate?  

What would happen if it really did rain cats and dogs?

What would happen if animals could talk? What are some of the questions you would like to ask animals?

What would happen if you could become invisible whenever you wanted to? What are some of the things you could do that you cannot do now?

What would happen if everyone wore the same clothes?

What would happen if you threw a piece of trash on the ground? What if everyone did?

What if you could walk up walls and across ceilings?

What would happen if you loved your neighbor as yourself? What if everyone did?

What would happen if you grew taller than trees? How would this change your life?

What would happen if there were no cars, buses, trains, boats, or planes? How would this change your life?

What if everyone lived under water? Where would people live? What games would children play? What would school be like?

What would happen if you found gold in your backyard?

What would you do if a bully bothered you?

How would you cheer up a friend who was sick or had a broken leg?

What would you do if an hour before a friend’s birthday party, you remember you don't have a gift?

What would you do if you found a magic wand?  

What would you do if you wanted to be friends with someone who spoke no English?

What would you say if someone told you it was all right to steal?

If you could have been someone in history, who would you have been?

Who are your closest friends and why?

If you could give any gift in the world, what would you give and to whom?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

If you could do whatever you wanted to right now, what would you do?

If you were the teacher in your homeschool or traditional school, describe how you would teach.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

If you were lost in the woods and it got dark, what would you do?

If it were your job to decide what shows could be on TV., how would you choose?

If there were no rules, what do you think would happen? 

If you could participate in an Olympic event, which one would you choose and why?

If you had to describe yourself as a color, which would you choose?

What do you think about when you can't fall asleep?

What do you think courage means?

What do you think makes a good friend?

What do you think makes a happy family?

What do you like most about yourself?

What do you like to do in your free time?

What kind of animal would you like to be and why?

What kind of trophy would you like to win?

What TV or movie star would you like to invite to your birthday party?

What are you afraid of? Why?

What are junk foods?

What are some nutritious foods that you like?

What are some rules you have to follow at home?

What makes your best friend your best friend?

What makes you feel safe?

What makes you laugh?

What would you invent to make life better?

What would you do to entertain your family without spending any money?

What talents do you have?

What three words would describe you right now?

What four things are most important in your life?

What color makes you think of happiness?

What kind of pet would you most like to have--  monkey, snake, goat--why?

What parts of nature do you like best?

What is the funniest outfit you can think of?

What is the funniest dinner you've ever had with your family?

How do you feel when it's your birthday? Why?

How do you feel on the first day of winter? Why?

How do you feel on a warm sunny day?

How do you feel when you want something very badly and you cannot have it?

How do you feel during a thunderstorm?

What are you thankful for?

How do you have the most fun--alone, with a large group, with a few friends--and why?

Explain how to play your favorite game.

How would you describe your house to someone who has never visited there before?

Describe a time when someone showed you compassion.

Describe a time when you showed someone else compassion.

Describe God.

How does God show you He loves you?

How can you show God that you love Him?

What do you think Heaven is like?

Do you have a hobby?

What do you like about school? What don’t you like?

What silly names does your family use for everyday objects?

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? What happened and how did it make you feel?

List 5 things that make you happy. (and mad, sad, excited etc.)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

What have you learned about being a friend?

If you could meet any character from a book, who would it be?

What do you like to daydream about?

What is the silliest thing you’ve ever done?

What is your favorite season of the year and why?

Did you have a special toy as a baby? Tell about it.

Which musical instrument would you like to learn to play?

What kind of job would you like to have when you grow up?

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

If someone gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?

If you could meet any real person on Earth, who would it be?

Write about something that drives you batty.

What are the rules in your family? What happens when one is broken?

What has been the happiest day in your life so far?

Do you have a pet? Tell about him or her.

What is your favorite game?

What has been the saddest day of your life so far?

What have your parents taught you about money?

What have your parents taught you about love?

Do you have brothers or sisters? Tell something about each one.

Tell about the ways that your mom and dad encourage you.

What are some sayings your mom uses?

What are some sayings your dad uses?

Do you have cousins? Tell something about each one.

If you could have an exotic pet, what would it be?

What is the most important thing that you do?

List 5 things that you would like to do this year.

List 5 things you would like to do as a teenager.

List 5 things you would like to do as an adult.

Do you remember losing your first tooth? What happened?

Ask your parents about your first haircut. Tell the story.

If you could eat the best dessert in the world, what would it be?

Where is your favorite place to eat out? Why?

What is the best topping for pizza? Why?

Have you ever done volunteer work? What did you like about it?

Does your mom have a nickname for you?

Does your dad have a nickname for you?

Tell about a family tradition you enjoy.

Where would you like to go on vacation?

Tell about a Christmas tradition in your family.

Tell about a Thanksgiving tradition in your family.

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? Why?

What is the funniest thing you remember as a little kid?

What is your favorite sport to play?

What is your favorite sport to watch?

Do you have a hero? Tell about what he or she has done.

Do you have curly hair or straight hair? Tell something you like about your hair.

Do you have scars? How did you get them?

Tell about a time you were really sick.

Have you ever gone for a ride on an airplane? Tell the story.

If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?

What is your favorite song? Write a verse or two from that song.

Does your mom or dad sing songs to you? If so, which ones?

Would you like to own a candy store? What is your favorite candy?

Have you ever earned any money? If so, how did you earn it?

If you have any money saved, do you have anything special you are saving it for?

Tell about something special that’s yours. Why do you like it?

What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?

What is your favorite color?

Have you ever helped cook or bake anything? What was it? Was it good?

Do you enjoy cooking?

Have you ever gone camping? Tell about your experience.

What is your favorite thing to do in the winter time?

Who do you look most like in your family?

Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? What do you remember?

What’s the most exciting adventure you’ve ever had in your life?

What kinds of things do you like to play with or do with your best friends?

What is your favorite movie? How many times have you seen it?

Name your grandparents and tell something about each of them.

Do you have a favorite aunt or uncle? Tell a story about them.

Would you like to be older, younger, or your age right now? Why?

Do you have a special skill or talent? Who taught you?

Have you ever competed with others in a competition or contest? What happened?

What is your favorite way to spend free time?

Would you like to go to the moon? What would you do there?

Have you ever won anything?

How many schools have you attended? Tell something about each one.

If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

Can you think of someone who needs help that you might be able to help? How can you help them?

What are the Fruit of the Spirit? Tell something about each one.

What is your favorite scripture? How do you memorize scripture?

If you know how to read, how did you learn? If you are still learning, how are you learning and who is teaching you?

What are your favorite subjects to learn about in school?

What are you interested in learning about next?

Do you enjoy drawing? What do you like to draw? 

Have you ever been to Vacation Bible School? What was it like and what did you learn?

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