Monday, July 31, 2006

Praiseworthy Blog: Cajun Cottage

Cay Gibson writes one of my favorite blogs, Cajun Cottage and today she has a great post about being the kind of mother whose life is wrapped up in her children. Cay is a homeschooling mother of 5 and the author of A Catholic Mosaic. She describes her blog as "...about life in a Catholic, Cajun family: our lifestyle, our faith, our culture, our learning experiences, and our interests. It will also include my writing and reading material."

If you like reading about homeschoolers, mothering, or like me you are always looking for good books for your children to read I urge you to check out her lively, witty and often poignant blog Cajun Cottage.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Praiseworthy Book: Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew

I have reviewed Teaching the Trivium in the past and I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Bluedorn's. You may not know that their daughter is also a published author and illustrator.

Here is some information about the author from the Bluedorn's website Trivium Pursuit:

Johannah Bluedorn , a self-taught homeschooled artist, won her first art prize at age 14 and published her first book at age 17. She has illustrated several children’s books, including Alphabet for Biblical Greek, Become a Civil War Reenactor, The Lord Builds the House, The Story of Mr. Pippin, My Mommy My Teacher (all published by Trivium Pursuit), and Raising Maidens of Virtue and From Dark to Dawn: A Tale of Martin Luther and the Reformation (published by Books on the Path). She also designs and sews 19th and early 20th century costumes and raises Jersey cows and Quarter horses on her family farm. Johannah lives with her family in New Boston, Illinois.

Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew is such a wonderful way to introduce children to a foreign language. The illustrations are sweet and beautifully rendered. The text is simple and straightforward in the style of traditional ABC books. Each page features a letter of the Hebrew alphabet with a guide word, the steps to write the letter and a small drawing to help remember the sound. For example one page features the letter He. The texts states, "He sounds like the h in hat. He is written in 2 steps." Then the two steps are shown. There is a large picture of the symbol for He on the left hand side of the page and a drawing of a boy with a large hat with the symbol for He on the hat. At the back of the book is a chart of the biblical Hebrew alphabet containing the characters, name of the letter and prompts for pronunciation. Especially helpful for mom!

The book is a small 7 X 5 inch board book. The pages are sturdy and laminated in the style of most board books today. The pages are in full color and the illustrations are very colorful and detailed. There are 26 pages in the book. This book is an excellent resource for any age really. My children are 5 and 8 and they enjoy looking at it and can read it themselves as well. It is modestly priced and an excellent value for the money as it can be used for years to come. To purchase Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew or the newer Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek check the website at The website itself is interesting with several resources and free downloads.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Once upon a time in a land far, far away I worked in a book store. One of my fellow employees left for the summer to work at a camp in a beautiful, isolated location. When he returned we asked him how it was living in such beauty and tranquility. He told us that he had discovered something about himself. "I am an info-junkie, " he said. He had become so used to reading the latest books, magazines and newspapers while on the job in the bookstore that when he no longer had this infusion of information, he just about lost his mind!

Well, I'll have to admit that I'm the same way. I love to read and I like my reading to be informative and thought provoking. In the last year I have discovered blogs as a wonderful, cheaper alternative to magazine subscriptions. The problem was that I found so many lovely blogs that it was difficult and time consuming to keep track of them! So they were often neglected.

Then a wonderful friend introduced me to Bloglines. With Bloglines you can subscribe to your blogs and they will kindly keep track of all of them and let you know when someone has posted something new. No more flipping through all the addresses looking at each one to see if something new is there. In just a few minutes I can open my Bloglines account and see if anything new has been posted and take a minute to read it. My reading time has become much more efficient which is important to a homeschooling mom! So hop over there yourself and check it out!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Praiseworthy Blog: Kiddley!

I love this blog. The author endeavors to post a new activity for kids almost everyday. She is about to have a baby any day, so that might slow down. Don't worry, there are plenty of things in the archives to keep you busy. The posts include ideas, activities, tips, and web resources. The illustrations are bright and fun. Take a look at Kiddley!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Win $100 Shopping Spree at Old Schoolhouse Store!

The Old Schoolhouse is one of my favorite Homeschooling Magazines, but that is a post for another time! I wanted to let you know that right now they are having a drawing to win a $100 Shopping Spree at their site. The shipping is also free for winners! What an awesome deal!!

All you have to do is browse the store for a favorite product and leave an honest review letting other customers know what exactly you liked or didn’t like about it and what makes it special. For each completed review you will be entered into our random drawing for a $100 Schoolhouse Store gift certificate!

For more information please visit the publisher's blog here.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Praiseworthy Review: The Mystery of History

Part of the reason I homeschool is to be able to teach my children about our faith. I really wanted to blend chronological biblical history with our history studies. I looked at several ways to do this. I previewed some other biblical history curriculums, but found that they included a lot of extra-biblical information passed off as fact. Then I found this curriculum and my search was over.

The Mystery of History is a history curriculum written by Linda Lacour Hobar for all ages really. It's published by Bright Ideas Press. The book is 472 pages and jam packed with information, projects and teaching helpers.

Linda Hobar has done a fantastic job of reintroducing biblical details into the history our children learn. This book contains clear instructions for how to use it as well as activities for different age levels at the end of each lesson. There are pretests and quizzes, maps, book and video lists, and an answer key in the back. It's so easy to just pick up the book with a little bit of materials gathering and use this curriculum. My children love it and I love it. One of the perks of homeschooling is filling in the gaps of my own learning and this book has taught me so much. I find that I better understand the big picture of God working in our world after using this book. I used Volume one with my 7 year old and now she is eight and we have moved on to Volume Two. I will be cycling back through these when we repeat our history rotation and using the projects for older children at that time.

I highly recommend this book and Volume II which our family is now using. It's easy to use and highly readable. You won't be sorry. If you do decide on this curriculum, then consider joining one of the yahoo support groups for The Mystery of History. Linda Hobar is frequently writing on the list answering questions and giving updates on what is happening with the other books in the series. It has been a good place for me to glean ideas and learn from others.

Or check out the website at here where you will find sample pages as well.