Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Homeschool Group Activities

We have a growing homeschool group in our town.  I am not sure how many families actually belong to this group at this point, but since the beginning of the year, we have stayed quite active, with quite a lot more things planned in the coming months. 

We have a homeschooling Girl Scout troop.  Here is Princess Tarja and Princess Abbey selling Girl Scout cookies:

We went as a group to the 4H barn tours during the week of the stock show:

Then, we had a Valentine party.  Each family was asked to bring a creative dessert using Girl Scout cookies.

Today, we had our state fair.  The state fair begins with each family choosing a different state for which to do a unit study and create a presentation for the group. We had a party, let the kids present their projects, and then had a little geography bee, which consisted of moms going around writing down questions based on what as on the project boards, then asking and giving the kids points for correct answers.  We had  a lunch made up of state foods.  The Princesses did New Jersey, and brought corn, peaches and mashed potatoes to represent crops grown in New Jersey.  After all of that, we went out and broke a U.S. flag pinata.
Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Monday, February 18, 2013

This morning, Princess Abbey started her very first job as a mother's helper, and was thrilled.  She got such a tremendous response to her advertisement that she is going to have to keep a calendar and maybe even a ledger to track her income and outgo.  I am very excited that the princesses have the initiative to recognize a need and then do something about it.  Mothers need helpers, and princesses need money for their princess supplies.  It's a win-win situation. While she was out doing that, I got my Avon order ready and turned in.

After that, we had our Girl Scout meeting.  At Girl Scouts, we made memo pads out of recycled Girl Scout cookie boxes.  We actually removed the boring covers from cheap, 35 cent memo pads, used those as templates to cut out new, more colorful covers from the cookie boxes, and put the pads back together. 

From there, we had to make a mad rush to take Princess Melody to work.  Princess Abbey, Princess Tarja and I, decided that popcorn would make a nice snack, and microwave popcorn would not do, so we stopped at the grocery store for that.  As soon as we got home, I got a call that a Girl Scout needed cookies from our troop, so I met her father at the Scout Hut to make that transfer.  THEN, I came home and started to read The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill to Abbey.  This very dry reading led to all Princesses falling asleep.  I completely forgot that Princess Abbey has a 4H meeting and archery tonight.  Holy Cow!  I am thankful that a sweet Princess from a neighboring kingdom called to remind me.  There is no napping allowed in the palace! 

I did a little dollar store grocery shopping and determined that with a very inexpensive can of cream of mushroom soup, we can have tuna and rice casserole for supper.  After archery, we will finish up any studies that we didn't have time for earlier in the day, and I will work on crocheting some little ruffly socks for Princess Ivana while I work on 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where Did My Blog Go????

Where did my blog go????  For the past few weeks, I have been busy from the time that I've gotten out of bed, until the time that I go to bed, which is usually so late that it's early.  I meant to post about our daily homeschooling experiences, but it hasn't worked out that way.  This post is all about catching up with posts that should have been posted a long time ago.

What are the Santiagos doing for school these days?

Princess Abbey and Princess Melody are both volunteering at the animal shelter now.  Abbey is learning dog grooming by helping to bathe and groom the rescue dogs.  Melody is serving as their volunteer secretary. 

We have been selling Girl Scout cookies.  I was goofy enough to consent to being the cookie manager for our town.   Don't get me wrong.  I love Girl Scouts, and I love the Girl Scout cookie sale, but if you ever think that you don't have enough to do in your life, get involved in Girl Scout product sales. 

Princess Melody and I took Girl Scout leader training together.  It was a three hour training session.  Melody plans on becoming a Girl Scout leader after her 18th birthday in May.

Princess Abbey has been taking archery through 4H.

The local 4H had a barn tour for the schools at the start of the annual stock show.  Our homeschool group went, and it was a lot of fun.

We have gotten to know a new homeschooling family in town.  They joined our homeschool Girl Scout troop and our homeschool group. 

The homeschool group had a Valentine party yesterday.  Our new members organized a dessert contest that used Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient.  Each family brought desserts made with cookies.  Princess Abbey made millionaire pies using shortbread cookies as the crust instead of graham crackers.  She won a prize for the best tasting and another one for it being the dessert that most people would like to take home. 

For our twirling class, we are working on what I hope to be a great show.  I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this group, and I'm trying to book lots and lots of performances for ourselves.  While I'm washing dishes, folding laundry, or out running errands, I get all kinds of ideas streaming through my brain like a Roku channel. 

As for lessons, we are about finished reading Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, and will choose another book out of the 8th grade box.  Some of the books in the box for this year are fun and some will be rather dry, but I give Princess Abbey credit for paying attention and making an effort to learn even from the books that aren't as much fun.  Mere Christianity has been one of those books that she hasn't enjoyed as much.  I actually am loving it and feel blessed to have had a chance to read it.  For Bible, we are in the book of Luke.  I found my old Living Bible, which is a great deal easier to read than some other versions.  We have enjoyed Luke from this Bible so much that Abbey suggested that we reread John, so that she can have a better understanding of it.  We are using Youtube and online resources for Spanish.  For Grammar, we have Our Mother Tongue and The Grammar of Poetry.  For math, we are still using, which is the best math program that I have found so far.  Not only does it teach, but it grades and emails progress reports to me.  Since I am not a math person, this has been wonderful.  For science, Princess Abbey is still working on, and almost finished with her Forestry and Wildlife Conservation course.  I am so excited and proud for her. 

Have a Great Day!
Laurel Santiago

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm pretty excited about getting to review  This has been a very new homeschooling year for us, because I have enrolled each one of my children into some sort of online program.  Even Tarja, my four year old, has been taking her preK and Kindergarten lesson on  Well, I discovered in my email, this morning, that I have been invited to review  Spelling practice is a big part of our Charlotte Mason ways of teaching and learning, so it makes sense to try this out for my family.  I'm going to use it for at least three weeks, and will let you know how it works out for us.  Keep in mind that I have a wide range of age levels in my household, so it should be a well rounded experience.


I've been given a Premium Membership to for a candid, personal, online review.
VocabularySpellingCity helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as Unscramble, Hangman, WordFind, and Crossword Puzzle. Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of free teaching resources on topics such as Multiple Meaning Words and Possessive Nouns . Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.

I plan on putting some Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University tricks into play this year.