Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mom University (Mom U)

Hi Milk N' Honey Friends!  I have been mulling this over for quite awhile.  I read numerous books about parenting and sometimes I just don't have time to write a review.  But I do want to share them with you in a more personal way.  That's when I thought of doing Mom University!  I plan to make videos and share these books with you by video!  Yikes, that means I have to dress up and put make up on too.  Ha!  I look forward to sharing with you what God has been speaking to me as I read these books.  I will do one a month starting in September.  And if I read more then I will share those too. 

Some of these books I have already reviewed on my blog, but I want to add my personal touch by video.  Here is the breakdown of the school year:

*September-A Gentle Answer by Christin Slade (from Joyful Mothering-subscribe to receive FREE ebook)
A Gentle Answer
*October- Become the Confident Mom You've Always Wanted to Be by Susan Heid (The Confident Mom) (Kindle)

*November- No More Perfect Moms by Jill Savage
*December- Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

*January-The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill

*February- Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster

*March- Mindset for Moms by Jamie Martin

*April- The Unwired Mom by Sarah Mae
TheUnWired Mom300size
*May- Parenting from the Overflow by Teri Lynne Underwood

Most of these books I have on Kindle or downloaded for FREE along the way.  Have you read any of these?  I can't wait to share them during my monthly Mom U!  Be sure to subscribe to my blog and also to my YouTube channel to get all the videos.  Thanks!

And I will also give you a sneak peak from a book I will be reading a chapter from each month from The Power of Moms- Deliberate Motherhood.

Friday, August 30, 2013

FREE Homeschool Resources

I never started out my idea to homeschool by using FREE resources, but when I first found Brightly Beaming Resources to use for my 2 year old son, I fell into this hole of searching for free materials to use for homeschooling.  However, I have found some great websites that do all the hard work for me.  I just recently started subscribing to these sites, but I have found simply amazing resources that will help me to homeschool for FREE!!

Here are the websites I recommend:

*Free Homeschool Deals- My favorite one!  I subscribe to this blog.  She posts daily. (FREE ebook for subscribing)
*CurrClick- LOTS of free stuff here.  Be sure to create an account.
*Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies
*Blessed Beyond a Doubt-  Free Printable Friday

I suggest you subscribe to these websites and download the day you get the email.  Some downloads are only available for a limited time.

Right now I'm starting to organize all my downloads into subjects and grade levels.  Here are some of the downloads I have:

*Mammals Lapbook- Kirsten Joy Awake
*A Poetry Unit for Preschoolers- Preschool Powol Packet
*Magic School Bus Science Lesson Plans
*World's Greatest Artists- Confessions of a Homeschooler (monthly specials!)

ALSO, I'm part of a great group on Facebook called Christian Homeschooling Moms where there is tons of great advice, free curriculum links, good suggestions and a place to ask questions.

Another great resource is Teachers Pay Teachers.  And there are TONS of FREE downloads there.

I'm so excited to have found these resources.  As a teacher I used very traditional curriculum and I probably will still purchase some of that, but I also will utilize many of the FREE materials that I feel are the quality resources and that I will enjoy with my children.

Also, be sure to LIKE my Facebook page Milk N' Honey Learn and Grow as I post free links I find there ALL the time!  Thanks!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Healthy Lunchbox by Katie Kimball Book Review with Great Deals!

The Healthy Lunch Box eBook by KitchenStewardship
It's that lunches!  Whether you are packing lunches to go or need lunches at home, this is the book for you to trade out the same old PB&J for healthy lunches that don't even require a sandwich.
Katie is never without great ideas for helping you make healthy choices.  She begins the book with 10 secrets to successful lunch packing.  She has recipes for Meats & Mains, Side & Salads, Breads & Not-Breads, Dips & Dressings, and Snacks & Sweets.  The tips and suggestions are not only interesting, but creative and fun!  Parents will look forward to putting together these healthy alternatives knowing that their children will benefit from the good choices and the kids will look forward to trying yummy food that will entice them to ask for more.

Some recipes I would like to try:
*Creamed Cauliflower
*Mexi Bean Dip

Tried these:
*Rice and Veggie Muffins- YUMMY!!
*Stovetop Cinnamon Rice Pudding- A WINNER!!
*Classic Granola Bars- Be sure to let them cool and then eat!!
Katie's new ebook is absolutely fantastic.  I can't wait to start making healthy and delicious lunches for my kids!!  Check out the great deals this week as you consider purchasing this ebook. 
* 35% off through Thursday night (8/29)
* coupon inside the book for 50% off the companion eBook, "The Healthy Breakfast: Cereal-free Secrets to Starting the Morning with Real Food" which will come out later this year.
* TEN bonuses with the premium package!
* 45 recipes, over 100 links to more resources
* five pages just of "what to pack" ideas
* coupons embedded for other cool lunch and green products
* 20 winners for over $700 in back-to-school prizes
 Get your copy today!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 1 from Queen Homeschool

I taught Kindergarten for 12 years and I was given curriculum to teach.  Some of it I liked and some of it I did not, but I had to teach it.  Now that I'm a homeschool Mom, I get to choose what curriculum I want to use with my kids.  This past year I have been anxiously looking for just the right resources to use for PreK.  I am very pleased with what I have decided to use.  I have also found that I am not going to be too traditional in my approach to teaching.  I love to be in a box...but not really!  One of my friends showed me this book and I found it online and decided to use it this year to see if it's something that I will keep up with for Language Arts. 

Language Lessons for Little Ones Volume 1 - Click Image to Close

Language Lessons for Little Ones by Sandi Queen
Perfect for the beginning student, these volumes for ages 3 - 5 introduce a young child to his alphabet letters, picture study, narration, poetry appreciation, and more, while volume 2 adds phonics, copywork of short vowel words progressing to sentences, with nice, largely-spaced lines to write on.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Toddler Learning Notebook (age 2)

My little girl turned 2 in May.  When my son was 2 I used Brightly Beaming Resources (FREE)  as a fun way to make learning intentional.  I will be doing the same with Jessna starting in September!
I plan to do two lessons a month.
This time I have made a Toddler Learning Notebook just for her to do while big brother is working on his.  I include in it all lesson plans, printables, Bible verses and other resources that I will be using.
What is in the Toddler Learning Notebook?
*Printed lesson plans from Brightly Beaming Resources
*Nursery Rhymes- Nellie Edge
*Bible Verses (Songs for Saplings) - Totally Tots
*Practice Writing page- Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve (she will most likely doodle, but we will cut out pictures that start with A and glue on this paper)
*Letter pages from Toddler Learning Notebook- 1+1+1=1
*Early Emergent Mini Reader- This Reading Mama (Reading the Alphabet Appendix) 
Here is a video of all the printables that I have listed here:

I will most likely be adding more things to this notebook as the year goes along.
I did not use a notebook when my son was 2 and I honestly don't like worksheets for little ones so young, but for me this is a way to organize what I want to do with my little girl and IF she wants to color, draw or do something else, that is perfectly fine.
I do not recommend worksheets for little ones, but I'm just putting this together as I see the resources are available.  I may abandon the worksheets if she has no interest, but I thought I might try.  I am very hands on and this will be just another hands on activity- fine motor skill of holding crayons and do a dot markers.
Since I have an older child who will be using his own notebook, I thought it would be fun for little sis to copy him.
Stay tuned as I will be sharing HOW I will be using this notebook for learning time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PreK Daily Learning Notebook (age 4-5)

I am so excited about this year!  I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my son and all the pieces are falling into place.  I stumbled around all last year due to the fact that my daughter became mobile and I felt like everything was falling apart.  My teacher instinct (12 years in the classroom) felt all out of place.  So, I have literally been spending lots of time scouring the internet for what will work best for me with minimal preparation and LOADS of learning combined.

This year I am doing PreK with my son who is 4 and will be 5 in November.  It's going to be a great transition year as we look toward Kindergarten in 2014. 

My greatest idea this year was to make a notebook that contains almost all of what we will be doing this year.  I know this will keep me very organized and I can always add things to it and it won't get lost my piles of paper.

First, I downloaded this FREE PreK Daily Learning Notebook from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I sent it off to be printed by FedEx.  Now, I can start adding to it!

*What's in this PreK Daily Learning Notebook?

So, in this notebook there is a weekday sheets, weather and time, I can write my name, 100 days chart, month charts, weather graph, number pages, letter pages, and shape pages.

*What else do I add to this?

Here is a list of what I have added to this notebook: all are FREE

K4 Letter Hunt- Confessions of a Homeschooler
K4 A-Z Handwriting- Confessions of a Homeschooler
K4 1-20 Numbers Writing- Confessions of a Homeschooler
Bible Memory Verses- Raising Rock Stars Preschool at 1+1+1=1
Bible lessons- Calvary Curriculum
The Gospel in the Bible theme page- When You Rise
Report Card- Confessions of a Homeschooler (Preschool Assessment included in a free planner)
PreK Assessment sheets- Me & Marie
All About Me Safety Organizer- This Reading Mama
Goal Setting for Kids- I Can Teach My Child
Preschool Chore Chart- Homeschool Creations
Who I Am in God- Homesteader Homeschool (I couldn't remember where I found this when I made the video, but it is free too!)
Calendar Add in- Mama's Learning Corner

More printable ideas:
First School

There are a few more things in here, but you get the basic idea!

Video of our PreK Daily Learning Notebook-

And if you want more ideas about PreK, just visit my Pinterest Board.

I will share a run down of my curriculum and how I plan to do homeschool this year in late August.  I am starting "school" on September 9 since we have visitors coming and several things to wrap up before summer ends!  Love that I can decide this!

Also, we are not going to have a wall calendar like they do in school since little sis keeps taking off the numbers.  We'll utilize that in a few years when she is older.  I'll highlight  special days on his daily learning notebook calendar. 

And stay tuned as I break down how I incorporate how I will use this during my homeschool day!

Next, I'll be sharing what I will be doing with my 2 year old daughter!

Click to see our PreK Curriculum and Toddler Curriculum plans.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Learning with Thriving Family this Summer

This summer I used Thriving Family's Summer devotion: Around the World in Sixty Days.

We had a map, passport, stamps and lots of learning activities with Bible verses.  All of this was FREE!!  And you can also subscribe to get this magazine for FREE!

Video of the kids saying the names of all the countries we are studying:

Monday, August 12, 2013

I have a WINNER!!!

Last week I shared a giveaway from a curriculum that I will be using this year and got a GREAT response!  Thanks so much for joining my blog.  I can't wait to share more of what I will be doing this year. 

But now, it's time to announce the WINNER:
Kimberly- I have emailed you!

If you did not win and would like to purchase this fabulous curriculum for the low price of $10 (over 1500 pages!!), please click HERE.  I appreciate your support of my blog as well as enjoying the great resources that I am sharing with you.

Reading the Alphabet Bundle Pack | This Reading Mama

MOB Society Book Club: I'm Outnumbered by Laura Lee Groves starts TODAY!!

Join the MOB Society Book Club

Come join the MOB Society with their new book club starting August 12.   We are reading I'm Outnumbered by Laura Lee Groves.  I read this book a few years ago.  Here is my review: I encourage you to sign up for this study.  I really enjoyed the last study with Wild Things by Stephen James and David Thomas.

To sign up, click the link below for the registration form and leave your name and email address!  Then, check for an email with your confirmation link - make sure you click on that link or you won't receive the weekly emails!  Next, request to join our private MOB Book Club Facebook group for more discussion.  You'll receive a weekly email with all the information for that week's chapter, links to any videos or extra resources, and then we'll work in our Facebook group for some added discussion about what you're reading!  Be sure to grab a copy of "I'm Outnumbered: One Mom's Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys."  It's going to be a great time!

Registration form

Here's a quick message from the author:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two Great Deals Ending This Weekend!!

Reading the Alphabet Bundle Pack | This Reading Mama
Reading the Alphabet Giveaway ends 8/11

I'm gearing up for the fall.
I am working on lesson planning.
Can't wait to share what we are doing this year!
See you in September!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sukey's Circle Volume 3 Mini Shows in English and Spanish DVD Review

My review:
There is nothing more exciting for me to see than when my little daughter watches Sukey and starts singing along.  Sukey has a magical presence onscreen that mesmerizes little eyes and minds.  Her short songs, stories and activities are perfect for engaging young children and teaching many skills and concepts.  Sukey's giggle is infectious.  She is having fun and it overflows to her audience.  She invites children to copy her movements and play along with her.  She interacts with her audience and explores many simple movements, songs and stories.  We have fallen in love with Sukey, Sunny and Tick Tock.  Sukey's playroom is adorable and my kids would love to play with her there. Sukey also has beautiful dance movements and her sweet nature is charming!  A special bonus feature of this DVD is that the 15 episodes are in English and Spanish.  Children will learn so much from Sukey!

Check out this trailer for Sukey's Circle!

*Thank you to Elizabeth Frazier from Waldmania for sending me a copy of this DVD to review.  All opinions are my own.*
As Seen on BabyFirst!  In both Spanish and English!




"Sukey is undeniably today's Mr. Rogers."
-- Celebrity Parents Magazine

"One of the best music videos I've seen in a long time.  It doesn't try to be something it isn't.  I can watch this over and over."
-- NAPPA Award review of Sukey's Circle! Vol. 1
 NYACK, NY -- Fans of award-winning children's entertainer Sukey Molloy's televised videos on BabyFirst can look forward to the July 30 release of Sukey's Circle! Vol. 3: Mini Shows, a bilingual DVD comprised of all 15 of Sukey's made-for-TV mini episodes. (PlayMove&Sing, Inc., $15.99, run time 33 minutes, for ages 2 - 5).  BabyFirst is broadcast nationwide on DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, and cable networks such as OneLink and Sky Angel, in addition to being broadcast throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Each Sukey's Circle! Vol. 3: Mini Shows episode is presented in both Spanish and English and is imbued with the gentle, magical atmosphere and up-close, personal style that has become Sukey Molloy's calling card.  Since 2005, Sukey's DVDs and CDs have been honored with Parents' Choice, NAPPA, Children's Music Web, Preferred Choice, Creative Child, and Mom's Choice Awards.

Throughout Sukey's Circle! Vol. 3: Mini Shows, Sukey Molloy exudes a sense of fun, wonder, and joy, while presenting age-appropriate lyrics, rhythmic melodies, and colorful images that young children can easily grasp.  Using live action footage and colorful felt animation, Sukey, with her lovable "Sunshine Family" friends Sunny and Tick Tock, models simple, realistic music-and-movement play activities in a series of 2-1/2 minute videos that encourage participation, learning, and thoughtful quiet time.

While Sukey Molloy's lyrics and melodies express a sweet, childlike nuance, she doesn't compromise when it comes to musical integrity and production values.  Joining Sukey as co-producer for all her recorded music is Grammy-winner Larry Alexander, who has worked with some of the biggest stars in the music business, including Diana Ross (six albums), Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Bon Jovi, and David Bowie, to name but a few.

Check out Sukey's website at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reading the Alphabet Review and Giveaway!!

Reading the Alphabet Bundle Pack | This Reading Mama

Recently I shared that I would be using Reading the Alphabet for PreK this year.  I was given the curriculum by Becky from This Reading Mama in exchange for a review.  I had the whole packet printed off and put in binders- all 1500 pages.  Becky has done extensive work to make this curriculum user friendly and fun for the kids.

There are 31 lessons and for each week there is a 5 day lesson plan.  There is a short list of materials that you probably already have!  Each lesson builds on the next.  In each lesson there are seven learning areas: new letters and sounds with review, sight words, phonological and phonemic awareness, book and print awareness, fine motor skills, numbers 1-20 and patterns, reading and matching CVC words.  As you can see, each lesson is loaded with multiple learning opportunities!

We did Lesson 1- Letter T with sight word: a. 

Week 1: Letter T
Letter Tt book

Poke sight word: a
Tracing Letter T- using 1+1+1=1 printable

On Day 1 we read through Letter T book with 6 pages of sentences including the sight word: a.  We did a poke page with sight word: a and held it up to the window.  Cool!!  We traced letter T and played on Starfall for letter T.  All of this took about 15 minutes which was enough to keep my son's attention and also sneak in lots of learning!!

20 grid
Sight word maze
Color pictures that start with T

On Day 2 we read Letter T book again and I pointed out the sight word and emphasized the beginning sounds of all the pictures and we looked for t's in each word.  We played the 20 grid using dice and blocks.  We rolled the dice and placed the blocks on the grid from left to right and top to bottom (great reading skill!).  We used do-a-dots for the sight word maze and we colored the letter T pictures together (the same pictures from the book).  My son was really enjoying the different learning areas.

Pocket Chart Book
Syllable counting
Find the sight word: a

On Day 3 we recreated the Letter T book in a pocket chart.  Shrade was matching words and pictures.  Then he read through it a few times.  See video below.  We also did a syllable sheet.  I used blocks to count the syllables.  After placing all the blocks on I had Shrade touch each one as he said the words.  We also did a search for the sight word: a.  There was one other activity that we did not get to on this day, but I will squeeze it in another day.

Working with numbers 1-10

Tracing T and a turtle

Rhyming page

On Day 4 we did the pocket chart book again.  We pointed to each word as we read it and I also emphasized the sound.  Shrade likes to take turns when we do school together.  So he reads it and then I read it.  Next we worked with numbers 1-10.  Number cards are included in the appendix.  I just glued them on sturdy paper and put contac paper over it and cut them up.  He turned over numbers and placed a dot on the correct number on the turtle.  I love those do-a-dot markers!  Next, we traced over letter T and the turtle.  We do this together.  He is so much more willing to do a paper if I do it with him.  And last, we did a rhyming paper with words that rhyme with top.  He cut out all the pictures and glued them on the paper.  Only 1 more day!!  So much learning this week!

Print Awareness
Cut and glue a pattern
Day 5- our last day with T!  We reread Letter T book.  Since we worked on it every day it was very familiar and he even read with expression.  The print awareness activity was probably my favorite.  I cut out the sentence, told Shrade what the sentence was and he put the words in order.  Then he glued them on the paper.  Then he drew a turtle.  This was his first time drawing something other than people.  Then we cut and glued patterns.  Shrade came up with them all on his own after I modeled one way.  The last thing which we didn't do yet was put our sight word on a word wall.  I need to figure out where to display our sight words.
And that's it!  There were several other pages which we didn't get to, but whenever there is a spare moment, I'm sure Shrade would be excited to do the activities on his own.
I can't believe ALL the things we did in one week!!

My thoughts:
I can tell that this curriculum will provide so many great learning experiences.  My son just loves the activities and he asks to do them again and again.  What I really like is that that everything is easy to use.  The lessons are prepared the same every week. All the downloads except the one from 1+11+1=1 are included in the bundle packet.  All lessons have a link to This Reading Mama if you want to see how she used them with her child.

I was impressed with the quality of the printables (pictures, activity ideas, variety).  There is minimal preparation.  The kids are engaged, the parents are engaged and the learning is unique. All 26 letters have their own special week and there are 5 weeks of review.  A sight word is learned every week and each lesson builds on the next.  The pace is slow, yet steady toward increased learning and mastery. All lessons are completed in 15 minutes but could take up to 30 minutes if you want to play around more.  And it does feel like play!

And there a enough pages and activities to stretch the learning time as well as more challenging parts like identifying larger numbers (11-20). 

I like that this reading curriculum also includes math.  I am planning to add science, cooking, crafts, Bible and other ideas to this as well. The foundation of this curriculum is perfect. I would say we will have a very well rounded PreK year!!

When I discovered this curriculum, I knew it was going to be perfect for my son and my situation.  Becky allows you to use your imagination while she has done all hard work of making the printables and creating the lessons.  I would highly recommend sending these off to be copied so you have them right at your fingertips to use.

As a former teacher, I highly concur that this is an excellent curriculum that is usable for one on one or a small group of children.  I honestly look forward to each day I get to enjoy learning with my son.

There are over 1500 pages with lesson plans, printables, resources and more!
The bundle is only $10!!

Reading the Alphabet Bundle

Visit Becky:
Blog- This Reading Mama

And if you "Like" This Reading Mama on Facebook you get a set of FREE 68 page download for rolling letters, rhymes, sentences and stories!

Becky is a homeschooling mama to 4 little blessings who keep her on her toes {and knees}. She is fueled by a passion for literacy and loves to share it with others through printables, reading curricula, and literacy activities. Join her on this literacy journey!

And I am having a GIVEAWAY!!

I am having a giveaway for Reading the Alphabet Bundle (download).  Giveaway ends Sunday, August 11. 

Ways to enter: (Be sure to fill out the entry form at the end of this list)

1. Make a comment on my blog- How would you use this curriculum? (required)
2. Subscribe by email
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
4. Like Milk N' Honey Learn and Grow on Facebook.
5. Like This Reading Mama on Facebook. (Be sure to get your FREEBIE for only likers!)
5. Post about this giveaway on another site (1 entry for each)- Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Other.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back 2 School Survival Guide by The Confident Mom Review and Discount

It's time for BACK to SCHOOL!!  I was a teacher for many years and I love the beginning of the school year, but now the tables have turned and I will be starting school (at home) with my son this year.  I love the routine, new habits, comforting food and sense of excitement that Fall brings.  But for many, the beginning of the school year is daunting.

Susan Heid has a wonderful resource just for you!  It's the Back to School Survival Guide 2013.

This 80 page ebook is filled with practical suggestions for getting your school year started right including schedule changes, basic morning/afternoon/evening/bedtime routines, homework hints and tips, preparing for school, family priorities, teaching responsibility, school lunches and more!

There are also 48 pages of printables:
      Student Planner
      Master Family Planner
      Routine Checklists
      School Information Sheet
      Schedule Adjustment Worksheet
      Countdown Maze
      My Favorites Lunch Planning Worksheet
      Grocery Planner
      Family Fun Worksheet
      Family Meeting Agenda
      School Goals Worksheet
      Classmate Contact Sheet
      Important Dates At-A-Glance Sheet
      Lunchbox Notes, Jokes, and Quotes
      Note to Teacher Form 

Susan's step by step suggestions for back to school success are practical, doable and obtainable.  The best part that really made it a personal planner is filling in your own action steps after each survival tip.  Susan doesn't just tell you what to do, she encourages you to take action.  That makes for a very successful and enjoyable school year for you and your children.

I felt like I could confidently make a purposeful and meaningful plan for my school year with this survival guide.  I know that when I have a plan and I have written down schedules, routines, and the family knows what to expect, the chance for a prosperous and thriving school year is available to me and my family.

This guide is adaptable for both families that send kids to school and those that homeschool.

Starting the new school year can be joyful, fun and organized.  Get your Back 2 School Survival Guide today!!

Regular price: $10
Discount code for $2 off: SCHOOLMOM
Expires: 8/10/13

Get your Back 2 School Survival Guide today!!