Homeschool Log | October 27-30

Timothy’s Age: 2.5
Samuel’s Age: 5

A lot has been going on in our world in the last month-and-a-half including a cross-country move. I am eager to start sharing our homeschool logs again. Despite my desire to plan and prepare, there is something said to truly following the interests of the boys.  So, without further ado, here is some of what’s been going on in our house this week.


10/27 Tuesday

We are all sick today, so structure has pretty much gone out the window. Despite our tiredness, scratchy throats and runny noses, lots of learning has been going on.  This morning, Samuel was talking about the hundreds of songs in his head and asked to listen to the “Dun dun” song by Mozart. We read a little bit about Mozart and listened to some of his works all morning long.

The boys exercised fine motor skills while tearing paper and making tiny paper balls for their recycling truck. Timothy learned about physics with our marbel works set.  He actually did a really amazing job of figuring out what pieces to put where for his marbles to do exactly what he wanted.  Both boys have also been having fun with their toolset, learning about the names of the different tools and putting on their worker hats, pretending to be construction workers.


10/28 Wednesday

We were waiting for the FedEx man to deliver several packages today, so as we waited, we practiced using our observation skills. We counted birds, talked about the things we saw, compared sizes and played logic puzzles (i.e. how do you know that tree is in their back yard?). We also read lots of books while we were waiting.

Samuel learned a bit about plumbing while helping daddy hook up the diaper sprayer; and once our packages FINALLY arrived ;), Timothy got to practice his fine motor skills with nothing else, but beloved bubble wrap. :)


10/29 Thursday

We have had so much fun with one of the packages that arrived – felts.  The boys have been having fun making up all sorts of stories as I finish cutting out each piece.  They have also taken a cue from all my cutting and have enjoyed coming up with their own cutting projects.

We have been continuing to enjoy learning about Idaho state history.  Our favorite part has been reading “The Boy Homesteader” by Mabel Rosamond Brose. It is beautifully written and filled with all sorts of true stories about a family homesteading in Boisie Idaho in the late 1800’s.  Not a day goes by where we don’t read at least one chapter. and we have learned about a lot of old tools and farming methods.  It’s been fun for everyone.

10/30 Friday

We did a lot of reading today.  Mostly about camping (in preparation for our weekend camping excursion), and fire safety/firefighters (in preparation for our visit to the fire station on Thursday). Needless to say, the boys are super excited about both events.  Timothy is excited about sleeping in a tent and Samuel is excited about being outside ALL DAY! :)  Samuel is learning how to stop – drop – and roll, and Timothy is having loads of fun pretending to be a fire engine, and then a firefighter.

Samuel is learning how to be a super duper vacuumer – going around the edges of the room and vacuuming in lines to be sure he doesn’t miss a spot.  He is doing great, and will soon be able to take over that portion of Friday chores all by himself. :)
Our main focus of the day, however, were social skills.  Both boys were having a hard time today, so they needed extra help learning how to share, work together and manage emotions.  I think we often forget that these skills are a VERY important part of school for littles, and on days like this I feel like I’m getting nowhere, but young children need lots of hugs, support and guidance.


This week, there has been a lot of learning going on, but I think the biggest learner has been me.  I am learning to let my kids be kids and follow their lead. They naturally WANT to learn, and I need to trust that and be there to facilitate their curiosity. What about you? What have you been doing at home? What are you learning? What about your kids?

A New Beginning

Act II: A New Beginning | Sowing Joy

I posted this a few days ago from a joint blog my husband and I started a while back. There is a lot going on in our world right now. :)

Homeschool Log| May 17-23

My boys are two and four. They aren’t quite old enough for “school” yet, but we like to do a lot of learning around here.  Although we don’t have a required curriculum or set schedule, I do try to provide lots of rich learning opportunities.  Sometimes learning happens thorough things I set up, other times, the boys figure it out all on their own. I thought it would be fun to chronicle some of the highlights each day from the school of life.  And these are my highlights, if the boys were writing, they may pick totally different things! :D

Usborne book shipment

5/19 Tuesday

We spent a lot of today looking at the fantastic shipment of books we got in for the year! :)  Samuel has been enjoying reading about Mummies and Pyramids and Emergency Services. Timothy has been having fun with his truck sticker book and reading Busy Trucks on the Go.  One of the characters looks like a friend of ours, so he has named them Silly Mark and Alex. It has been a reading kind of day – which means lots of learning!

DSC075725/20 Wednesday

DSC07574This morning for worship, we were reading about the Isrealite’s escape from Egypt.  As Samuel is interested in Africa, and we have been reading about Mummies and Pyramids in Egypt, we took a few minutes to look up Egypt in our atlas and found the Red Sea, the Nile River and even where mount Sinai was.

As we were driving to see Daddy’s new office, we saw lots of construction vehicles working on a road nearby.  Samuel quickly noticed the hydraulics system on the diggers and was talking about how they work.  He learned this when we were reading one of his new books yesterday.  It was cool to see things clicking for him. :)

Amma (Grandma) visited today, and Samuel found her Snap-n-Learn Number Bugs in the car and wanted to play with them. We had fun doing some basic addition by putting together different colored bodies and finding the right number for the head. It was a lot of fun. :)

5/21 Thursday

Samuel made a “whisper machine”.  He taped a bunch of toilet paper tubes together.  He discovered that if he held it up to someone’s ear, he only had to whisper very softly for them to hear what he was saying.  We talked about how sound travels and what makes the whisper machine work.

5/22 Friday

Anna HibiscusWe started reading Anna Hibiscus, about a little girl who lives in Africa. “Amazing Africa.” We talked about family structures and how Anna lives with so many people in her house.  We talked about all Samuel’s aunties and uncles. When we were done reading the first chapter, we tried to figure out where Anna Hibiscus might live.  Because the author is from Nigeria, we guessed there.  We looked it up on a map and saw where it was compared to Egypt.  We read a lot of things in our atlas about that area in Africa.

Samuel decided he wants to write letters to someone in Africa – preferably Anna Hibiscus, but if she can’t do it, someone else his age would work just fine. ;) We wrote the first letter and he’s eager to get it off in the mail (I happen to know lots of missionaries that might know a family or two we can write to).  Then we looked at Australia in the atlas – he thought that was pretty cool too!

*This post contains affiliate links to I am an independent consultant for Usborne Books and More. This post contains links to my personal store.

Daria World Music for Children


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Instruments, music books, CDs, videos, coloring pages, crafts and more – all about world music! Wow!

I was looking for resources to compliment the Early Explorer’s world music theme from Little Passports, and I was blown over when I found  My search is over.  I have everything I need. :) Daria is a children’s performer who loves to travel the world. Her website is an amazing archive of instruments from all over the world.

I really like the page of crafts and coloring pages. You can make instruments with recycled materials from around your house.  If you have a colorer, you can print out coloring pages.  She also has an instrument section where you can listen to sound clips of the instruments.

There is so much more on her site than I could possibly cover here.  If you are learning about world music or cultures with children, you have to check it out!!

Have you found other great resources for exploring music around the world? Please share in the comments below!

Homeschool Family Tree Resource

I just found a fantastic resource for our homeschool! Samuel (4yrs) and I have been learning more about our family history – what a great place to start history lessons. I am working on organizing our study a bit more.  In my quest for useful tools, I found  It’s such a wonderful starting place!

It has all sorts of resources and ideas for learning more about your family history.  It’s great for older kids to use on their own, or for younger kids (like in our case), parents can find some great ideas and pritable worksheets and activities to do with their kids.

Our plan is to print out the family tree and spend about a month (give or take) working on each branch. We plan to use some of the interview questions they provide as well as many of the other great resources.

If you are working on family history or genealogy as part of your homeschool curriculum, I highly recommend this website. :)

Isabella: Girl on the Go – Book Review


While looking for a book to compliment the Early Explorer’s landmarks unit from Little Passports, I stumbled upon this gem.  Isabella is a little girl with a big imagination.  While her father solicits her help for things from gardening to painting to fixing her fort, Isabella imagines away her duties as she digs in tombs of kings (Pyramids of Giza), builds a wall (the Great wall of China) to protect her people, and so much more.  After her eclectic world travels, at the end of the day, Isabella discovers that the most wonderful place is her home.

Isabella: Girl on the Go is a book of imagination. I can see my son so much in Isabella – both in her response to chores and in her incredible imagination. I am a fan of realistic illustrations in children’s books.  The artwork in this book isn’t particularly realistic, but it fits the flavor of this book quite well. I find some of the wording a bit awkward.  For example, Isabella is referred to as “the girl” and, her father as “the father”, so phrases read like this: “‘Then who will help me tend the garden?’ asked the father.” There are also several puns in the book.  This makes reading a lot more enjoyable for parents and older children, but again, some of them are a bit awkward.

As a stand alone book, I would say this one is . . . meh.  I would give it three out of five stars.  It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t have any reason to get excited about it.  However, it is a perfect companion for the first unit in the Early Explorer’s curriculum!  It introduces children to four of the five landmark souvenirs that come with the unit and all but one of the landmarks in the book are on the Little Passports wall map! It is a great way to open conversation. Samuel asked questions like, “Why does she paint at the Eiffel tower?”, “What is a mummy?”, or “Why was she a warrior?”  It also opened the door for creative play as Samuel promptly stood his post as Lady Liberty. I also really appreciate the section in the back that gives a brief description of all the places mentioned in the book as well as explanations of the characters Isabella pretended to be.

My only true disappointment about this book is that I didn’t have it when Samuel first received his package from Max and Mia at Little Passports.

Bottom line: For the average 3-7 year-old, this is a fun read, but you could take it or leave it.  However, for an Early Explorer with Little Passports, this is a MUST HAVE for your library. 

If you haven’t heard about the Early Explorer’s program by Little Passports, or if you want more supplemental ideas, check out my review here.

*All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this review, nor was I asked to write it. This post contains no affiliate links*


Taj Mahal

Photo by Subhadip Mukherjee

Photo by Subhadip Mukherjee

When Samuel expressed his interest in learning more about the Taj Mahal, I immediately imagined the captivating story and accompanying activities I would write for him. Then, I came back to reality.  The only thing I knew about the beautiful structure was it’s name and that it stands in India. Not much to go on for a thrilling tale. After realizing the hours it would take to research and write for such a venture, I settled for compiling information from other sources.  Here are some of the best resources I have bumped into about the Taj Mahal.  If you are using the Early Explorers program by Little Passports, or are investigating the Taj for any reason, you may find some of these links and ideas helpful.  Are there any other fun ideas or resources you and your kids have enjoyed about this captivating palace? Please share them in the comments.  I would love to add more to this list!

Start here if you, like me, know nothing about the Taj Mahal.  A little dense for the youngest learners, this a great place for parents or older kids (8 and up) to brush up on your Taj history. It also has great pictures for all ages.

My favorite intro story to the Taj Mahal from PBS – This is well written and leaves out unnecessary violence – great for younger learners.

Tour the Taj Mahal with Google 360 degree street view map.

Taj Mahal Photo Gallery.

Guided tour of the Taj Majal
Engineering the Taj Mahal 
Basic Introduction and Fun Facts – this video requires reading, but is fun. :)

Taj Mahal Coloring Pages
Cut out, color and build a paper model

Continued Learning
Here are some other ideas of things you might explore to expand the learning experience across subjects.
Gems used in construction
Learn more about working Elephants