TOS sale

I wanted to let you all know about a special on a great homeschool magazine going on just this weekend. The Old Schoolhouse is a quarterly publication with over 200 pages in each issue. I have appreciated the many articles on homeschool organization, maintaining your focus, and special tips to add some fun to your day. Once or twice a year they have a great sale going on the magazine, and one of those times is this weekend.

If you missed attending a homeschool convention this year, or find yourself needing a little encouragement as we head into a new school year, you will enjoy the free gift that comes with a 2 year subscription — Schoolhouse Expo to Go. Read about the deal, and check out the link below:

TOS Magazine has a VERY exciting special happening from now until August 1, only. Normally our two-year subscriptions are $39, but right now they are $17.95 AND anyone who subscribes for those two years will receive for FREE our Schoolhouse Expo to Go which is hours and hours of our recent (Spring) online convention recordings. Speakers like Susan Wise Bauer, Diana Waring, Todd Wilson, Mark Hamby, Deborah Wuehler, Andrew Pudewa, Carol Barnier, Amanda Bennett, and more are all YOURS, free with a two year subscription. Here is the link to check out and share:

If you already subscribe you can add on during this deal to get another 2 years and the free Expo.

Hope you find this helpful!

Fall High School Science classes

Check out Kathy Wentz’s website with all the details on the classes she teaches for homeschoolers at the McHenry County College.

Here is some of the info:
Environmental Chemistry Lab ($99)
This course consists of 16 hours (over 8 weeks) of high school level Chemistry laboratory exercises and related discussions while stressing the Chemistry of Earth’s environment. Lab work will include lessons in lab safety, metric measurements, density, acids and bases, titration, precipitates, endo and exothermic reactions, chromatography, and more. Students should be currently studying Chemistry or be prepared to do some reading in between classes. These labs follow every major curriculum’s scope and sequence.  Oct 1-Nov 19


Biology: Microscopic Survey ($99)
This course consists of 16 hours (over 8 weeks) of high school level Biology microscope exercises and related discussions. Lab work will include lessons in lab safety, microscope work (including making and staining slides, cytology, mitosis and meiosis), DNA, and microscopic life. Each student will make their own lab notebook of algae, protists, and microscopic life forms and learn how to use a biologic key. Students should be currently studying Biology or be prepared to do some reading in between classes. These labs follow every major curriculum’s scope and sequence.  Fri. Oct. 3-Nov. 21

TOS Minicrew

My minicrew – The Crow’s Nest

As mentioned previously, this year I will be bringing various reviews to this website. Through The Old Schoolhouse’s Crew a group of homeschoolers have the opportunity to receive items to use and then share their thoughts with others. This year the Crew consists of over 250 homeschoolers from around the world, but mostly based in North America.

Each month we will receive a handful of products from different vendors to use and enjoy in our home and then we will post about them on our blogs and websites to hopefully expose you to some useful new products or some needed help for your homeschool experience.

As my second year on the Crew I have been assigned a small mini-crew of amazing ladies as we try out products designed especially for homeschoolers with younger children, defined as sixth grade and under.

Our mini-crew will help give you a view from the Crow’s Nest, looking ahead to sites you may not have seen, and sharing our honest opinions about how these products worked, or didn’t, for us.

Without further ado, I want to introduce you to the rest of my team.

Terri blogs over at Days of our {School} Lives where she shares about life and learning and all the other incidentals that find their way into a typical homeschool mom’s life.

Brandi hosts a number of reviews and giveaways, as well as other great posts, that you will want to check out at Living Sola Gratia. You can definitely count on getting an honest and complete perspective from Brandi.

At Adventures in McQuill-land, Jennifer gives you a peak into their home. I especially enjoy her inspirational meme that comes up each Monday, Making Memories Monday.

And, a brand new blogger, L and Co is getting her feet wet at Proverb 22:6, which is a private blog at this point, so I can’t show you her blog right now.

You can also always check in with the main Homeschool Crew blog for the re-viewpoints of about 100 other homeschoolers as well for each of the products we highlight.

The next review you will find here is Peterson Directed Handwriting coming up at the end of August.

Bon voyage!

TOS Crew Review — Travel the World

Homeschool energy tends to ebb and flow. And, while many find themselves in the summer doldrums, they may be looking for something a little educational, and yet a little fun, to liven up their summer siesta. Or, maybe you are plugging away at your regular homeschool routine, but would like to add some extra flavor to the mix.

The writers at The Old Schoolhouse completely understand the need for variety in the homeschool situation. And, they also know that you have little extra time to plan and prepare those “extras” since your time is consumed with all that is required of you in a given day.

They created monthly modules to meet this need. These handy modules were created to go along with their homeschool planner. But if you don’t have the current planner (I don’t either — although it does look amazing), these modules are also made to stand alone in bringing a little kick to your school day in the form of a unit study.

The June Module, entitled Travel the World brings a fresh look at Geography to your students. Inside you will find links, activities (both online and print), copywork, lapbook printables, recipes, basic geographic information, and extra activities to challenge your older students.

Travel the World

Product: Travel the World — June Module
Details: Travel the World is a 52 page ebook with ideas for teaching any age child a bit more about the world they live in. It offers you a prepacked, preresearched unit study that you can pick up and run with no matter how old your children are or how many you have.
Price: $7.95 or bundle it with two other modules for $17.88 or the whole set of 12 for $83.95

What we loved . . .

  • Information packed. This module has lots of information along with over 100 links to even more online information. It definitely covers the topic of geography — continents, oceans, maps vs. globes, countries, mountains, etc.
  • Enough activities to savor some later. Of course, you might not get to everything in the time you originally allotted. And, we look forward to revisiting the recipe section of the book. Even the sections full of links will need some more time because they hold too much to digest at once.
  • Flexible. This book does not split up the material in a prescribed format. You decide what you want to cover when and how slowly or quickly to move through it.
  • Time Saver. Usually when I want to spend time on a unit study, I must first scour the internet for resources and information. Inside the module all of that work is already done. You have virtually limitless information at your disposal and you don’t need to waste your own valuable time searching for information, activities, and other web-based resources.
  • Multi-age. Most homeschoolers have a variety of ages in their one-home schoolhouse, and this module will work with all of them. Extension activities just for those high schoolers, and lots of fun activities for other students to complete on their own or with your help depending on their age.
  • Bible based. While the material is mostly based on current geographical facts, the book is peppered with Scripture verses and offers some faith-based reasons for spending time studying geography.

Some considerations . . .

  • Not spelled out. While I love the flexibility of the format, it might confuse  you if you are used to a more scripted or scheduled format. This is just loads of information that you decide how to work into your day. It doesn’t have lesson plans, objectives, or assignments. We could go through as much of the material I wanted to each day, and pick up where we left off the next day. This isn’t a bad thing, but if you like a schedule, you would need to divide up the material on your own.
  • Light on projects and active activities. Especially with my little ones, I love to get moving and get hands on. While the ebook does include quite a few activities, many of them are web based or pencil-paper activities. You might want to supplement for those more kinesthetic learners. It does suggest geocaching or letterboxing which would be a great start. You could also consider making a salt dough map or some other geography related art project.

As usual, TOS offers a high quality product at a reasonable price in this ebook. It comes ready and easy to use with lots of information and learning fun for your kids. If your kids need something productive to add to their day or you are looking for some help in working geography into your school day, don’t hesitate to Travel the World together.

Find more TOS Crew reviews on this product at the TOS Crew blog

Disclaimer: This ebook was provided to me free of charge through The Old Schoolhouse as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

Archery in Dupage County

This Monday check out an opportunity to learn about Archery through the Dupage County Forest Preserve:

Archery for Beginners

St. James Farm (click on link for location)

Jul. 19, 2010 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Discover the history of this classic sport, and learn about equipment and shooting techniques. Equipment provided. Ages 7 and up; under 18 with an adult. Free. Registration begins two weeks prior. Call (630) 933-7248.

Homeschool Mom’s Brunch

No Place Like Home Cordially invites you to kick off your school year with Rob Rienow of Visionary Parenting

Rob is husband to Amy and they have been blessed with six children. He is a speaker, author, and Family Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church in Wheaton, IL. He will encourage us as women of God growing our children in the light of the Lord. As a homeschool dad himself, Rob will share the priority of passing faith and character to our children, uplift us as homeschooling moms and cheer us on in our homeschool year ahead. He will instill in us the godly confidence that homeschooling is worth the difficulty and sacrifice of our time and energy! Come and join us for a lovely brunch while getting charged up for an incredible year of hero building!
Who: Awesome Moms
What: A lovely morning brunch with Rob Rienow
Where: Dunham Woods Riding Club Wayne, Illinois
When: September 11, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
Cost: $20 per person
R.S.V.P. by August 27, 2010
Please mail R.S.V.P.  along with payment to: Michelle Larsen.

Please contact Michelle with questions: or (847) 697-8813

Join No Place Like Home and Rob Reinow for a morning of fellowship, brunch and fun!

Print and mail the following:

Name: _______________________________________________________________________

Number in Party: ____

Please mail along with payment to: Michelle Larsen 1032 Spinnaker Street Elgin, Illinois 60123
(847) 697-8813 or

Hands of a Child Sale

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Renaissance Faire

The Bristol Renaissance Faire started this weekend, and you have a couple months to make your plans to attend. For each weekend until Labor Day you can enjoy this amazing event.

From their website:

Every Faire day recreates a time when knights were noble, maids were merry, and turkey legs, titanic. Once you enter the portal gates, you travel back in time to the year 1574, and you’ve walked right into an exciting village festival day. And what are we celebrating? Queen Elizabeth, Herself, is visiting Bristol! It’s time to eat, drink and be merry! Revelry is the order of the day!

For 9 glorious weekends starting in early July, each Saturday and Sunday, plus Labor Day Monday, visitors take a rollicking romp through Elizabethan England, complete with 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a spectacular cast of characters. The Faire boasts a beautiful 30-acre site with open-air stages featuring Swordfighters, Minstrels and Jesters. Meet Robin Hood or Queen Elizabeth, in person! All entertainment is included in the price of admission.

Nearly 200 artisans display their wares in the Bristol Faire Marketplace. Potters, glass blowers, jewelers and forgers busily go about their work, as shoppers discover rare finds around every corner. Offerings range from sterling silver jewelry, hand-thrown pottery and fine crafted leather works to hickory walking sticks, rich tapestries to hammered pewter.

When: Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day
Jul. 10 thru Sep. 6, 2010
Where: Off I-94 at the IL/WI Border • 10am – 7pm rain or shine
More info, phone: 847-395-7773

This 90 second video will give you an up close look at the Faire:

There are coupons available for this coming weekend and a smaller coupon for the other weekends. So, if you do plan on attending be sure to take advantage of those savings.

Raging Waves

Special Events

Making Waves with Backpacks

July 11th – 18th Blessings in a Backpack Week

You can make a difference in a child’s life simply by bringing in new or slightly used backpacks and receive a discount on your daily admission price all week long. This unique program is designed to feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federal free and reduced meal program, and may not have any or enough food on the weekends. The program is administered through schools and a local grocer partners with the program to provide food in the backpacks. Every Friday, students receive their backpacks with food staples and they return their backpacks on Monday.

For every new or gently used backpack that is donated, you will receive $5 off the regular price of a full-day pass.

Helping others and enjoying big family fun at Raging Waves makes it a perfect day!