Monday, August 31, 2009


Combining sales with coupons is really is a good way for single family incomes to save money. Most homeschooling families are single income families or run a business from their homes.

Last week I shopped at CVS and Walgreen. My Walgreen receipt started out at $38. Then off came the Walgreen receipts, then a $5 Walgreen register buck, then my coupons from the Sunday paper. I walked away paying around $10 for 4 deodorants, 3 shampoos, 6 candy bars, 2 boxes of band aides and a Free air wick fresh matic ultra machine.

Then we went to CVS. I got a free welches grape juice and stocked up on rechargeable batteries. I got two brands--for a total of 4 packs of batteries. Name brand ones were on sale for $7.99. I bought 2 because I earned $5 back for spending $15 on energizer products. Then I bought 2 packages of the CVS brand batteries as they were buy one pack, get one pack free. Rechargeable batteries are another way we save money here at our homeschooling farm. We now have (along with what I bought the last time they ran the same sale) rechargeable batteries ranging from 9V to AA, AA, C and D. We now have 2 sets, so one set can be on the charger while the 2nd set is in the camera, flashlights, weather radio and lantern. Before winter I would like to get one more set of batteries for the flashlights. We have our share of ice storms in northern MO. On this trip I also got some free air freshener, and BIC razors for 50 cents.

Anytime I can get a nonperishable item for free or near free by combining coupons with sales I do. As long as it is stored properly, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, razors and such will have a fairly long shelf life. I would rather get it for free now and store it than pay for it at full price later.

I also don't drive to a store and waste fuel just to get one item. I shop at the CVS that is near the library we visit, and the Walgreen that is near our church. I am not brand loyal except for a few items. Even on those few item may still get them to donate.

Now, for this weeks deals go to I recommend you sign up for a free account. You can select your state for special deals. This site shows you what i on sale and what coupons from your local paper you can use for the very best deal. They also have additional coupons you can print off.

FREE is the best price--Get Super Drugstore and Grocery Savings 8/30 to 9/5

New feature! Print coupons for sale items directly from our individual store deals lists--we'll tell you all the printable and electronic coupons available for each sale item so that you can save the most and stock up on more than one deal! Check out our drugstore and grocery deals lists to see how easy we make it for you to save!

CVS deals this week include FREE Bic products, FREE Cover Girl products with purchase, FREE glucose monitors, bargains on Revlon, Sally Hansen and Dawn dish liquid.
Walgreens deals include FREE Carefree liners, FREE Colgate toothbrush, FREE monitor, FREE Mens razor system, FREE Rembrandt toothpaste and more!
Wal-Mart deals include bargains on Clairol haircolor, Febreze, 409, Hartz cat treats, Pringles and more.
Rite Aid deals include FREE GE light bulbs, FREE Reeses candy, FREE Listerine, bargains on Clairol haircolor, Maybelline mascara, Emerald nuts, Sea Breeze, and more.
Target deals include Edys ice cream 48 oz. for only 50 cents (or free if you have the Target printable too), FREE Schick razors, only $1.54 for Tide Stain Release, and more.
Find hundreds of deals at thousands of grocery stores across the country with our deals lists in our Grocery Deals by State section !

Newspaper Coupon Preview! There will not be any newspaper coupons this weekend since it's Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

free PE classes for homeschoolers (St Jo area)

The PE Dept. at Missouri Western is looking for homeschoolers to volunteer
to be in various P.E. classes so their student teachers can practice with
school-aged students.
This FREE opportunity has benefitted many families through the years!
Please register with the professor, Dr. Nannette Wolford, directly and do
not reply to this email.

PED 380 Creative games and exploratory activity with manipulatives
while working on locomotive movements.
Ages: Children in kindergarten-2nd grade
Dates: September 2, 9, 16, 21, 23, 30, October 12, and 14th
Meet: Arena in the Looney Complex
(These M-W classes run from 2:00 to 2:45)

PED 370 This class features games that teach health and fitness concepts
for ages Kindergarten-4th grade
Dates: 9/2, 9/9, 9/11 (These W-F classes start at 10:15 and run to 10:50)
Meet: Arena of the Looney Complex
More Dates: 9/16, 9/18, 9/21, 9/23, 9/25
(These M-W-F classes start at 10:00 and run to 10:50)
Meet: Arena of the Looney Complex

PED 382 Elementary games and activities that involve some sports skills,
fitness testing, parachute, cage ball, scooters, fitness activities,
challenge activities,
jump rope skills, tag games etc.
This class is for children in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Arena in the Looney Complex
Dates: 9/15, 29, Oct. 6, 8, 20, 22, 27, 29, Nov 3, 5, 12
(These T-Th classes run from 10:00 to 10:45)

PED 245 Tennis skills and drills are taught; All equipment provided.
This class is for children in grades 4-12.
Meet: Tennis courts on the North side of the Looney complex.
Dates: 9/28 & 30 (This M-W class starts at 12:00 noon and runs to 12:45)

Badminton - Drills and lead up activities for badminton skills; all
equipment provided.
This class is for children in grades 4-12.
Meet: Old Gym in the Looney Complex
Date: Oct 14
This Wednesday class starts at 12:00 noon and runs to 12:45

Remember to email me at MWSU with your child's name and your phone number
before you come.
Please include the names, ages and reason the child wants to come.
I am looking forward to working with your child/children.
Nannette Wolford

Pre ACT testing for homeschoolers

This is part of an email I received. Please direct questions to the email address below, not to me. Thanks!

These are taking place in the Kansas City area.

Dates and locations have been set for the pre-ACT test, the PLAN, for October 2009. At this time there are only 2 dates and locations. (I am still looking for a Missouri location south of the river. If I am able to obtain one, I will add another date at that time.)

Mon., October 19 ~ Harmony Vineyard Church, 600 NE 46th Street, Kansas City, MO 64116

Thurs., October 29 ~ Brighton Academy, 10100 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212
Brighton is located in the Emmanuel Baptist Church

This is a test designed by the ACT college entrance exam company. It is specifically designed for 10th graders, but all high school students are welcome to take it. The test covers the same areas that the ACT test does: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning. Test results can be used to obtain good student discount rates with insurance companies as well as giving students practice for taking the college entrance exams. After the test, you will receive the test questions, along with the answers your student gave on the test, and the correct answers, if any are wrong. This will make it very easy for you and your student to understand what they missed and why.

It is a one day test. You may pick the most convenient date and location. Testing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and be over no later than 1:30 p.m. The cost for the test is $20 for the Missouri location and $27 for the Kansas location. You need to send the registration form and 2 self-addressed stamped business size envelopes, one with a $.44 stamp and the other with a $.61 stamp, along with the check made out to Monette Anderson. Registration deadline is October 5 for the Missouri test and October 15 for the Kansas test. If you have any questions, please contact Monette at or feel free to call at 816-781-5531. (Most days calls are being screened due to homeschooling needs.)

Student's name __________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________


Phone # ________________________ email: __________________________

Parent's names __________________________________________________

Please send all information by October 5 to: Monette Anderson 901 Cambridge Circle Liberty MO 64068

I will email you confirmation of receipt of your registration when I receive it, so please print the email address carefully. Thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Future Vets

Whopper the cat (given her name because she 'whops' the dog) and I had a run in this morning, with a vehicle...I got her back left leg and her tail. So, the girls are playing vet and taping her up with vet tape. The grey cat watching is her brother Smokey.

The girls have worked some at my cousins vet clinic, for a homeschooling 'internship' and are rather good at wrapping animal legs. (Now, if we could just teach the cats not to sit on top of the tires or sleep under the cars.)

She can walk on it but doesn't like to and complains loudly when she does. I think part of it is for the human attention and extra treats.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We passed!

Today Emily and I took 2 of our required tests for the fire department. We took NIMS 100 and 700. I am happy to report we both passed. Next we get to do our hazmat testing, then our first responders class and test. (I've been told that the hazmat one is much harder, rather a bear of a test. I took one years ago, but I am sure like everything else it has changed.) What we did today had a lot to do with the chains of command during an emergency or event. I think I will give Emily some social studies or civics credit for it.

For those of you who may have missed it in an earlier posts, she is a fire cadet and JD and I are also volunteers with the local fire department. I do give my kids credit for the volunteering they do, as they do learn from it.

Free Homeschooling 101 classes

These are through the Trails Regional Library system and free to all. Don't worry about registering-just show up!

Thursday, August 27, 10am-noon
Odessa Public Library
107 W. Mason
Odessa, MO 64076

Friday, August 28, 10am-noon
Holden Public Library
207 S. Main
Holden, MO 64040

Here is the schedule of Homeschooling 101 Classes being offered through Mid-Continent Public Library for the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 4. FHE Board members will be teaching all classes. Register through the Mid-Continent branch the class you wish to attend is being held at. You can do so online at or by calling the branch.

9/1/2009 2:00 PM Oak Grove
9/1/2009 7:00 PM Kearney
9/3/2009 7:00 PM Riverside

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This weeks specials

I did good last Saturday at Walgreen. They had some toothpaste for $1 for which I had $1 off coupons for, and deodorant on sale for $1.99 that I had $1 coupons for. They also had cereal on sale for less than the grocery store and again I had coupons. I ended up with about 6 bags of items for under $15 and got a Walgreen register reward for $5 off my next visit. So, we are stocked up on toothpaste, deodorant and have a weeks worth of cereal.

Here is the link for this weeks sales and specials. Remember the best way to save is to wait for a sale and combine the sale price with a store coupon and the manufacturer's coupons. (yes, you can use both coupons on the same item) Also, don't be brand loyal-go with the best deal and sometimes the best deal still tends to be the store brand or a generic. Some stores, such as CVS give you extra discounts if you have their free register card.

CVS deals this week include free Carefree liners, free Reese's candy, free 3-day sale composition books and 125+ more deals.
Walgreens deals include bargains on Chinet plates, Goody hair accessories, Crest toothpaste, Kelloggs cereals, Scotch mailing envelopes, Scotch tape and many more deals.
Wal-Mart deals include Disney vitamins, Mead notebooks, Reese's candy, pet food and more.
Target deals include Hilshire Farm lunchmeat, grapes, Glade starter kits, Reeses 8 pack candy bars, Yoplait yogurt and more.
Rite Aid deals include free Colgate toothpaste, deals on Kotex pads and liners, free Mead composition books and notebooks with coupons and rebates, free Tylenol, 20-cent Reeses King Size candy bars, 50-cent Rubbermaid Take Alongs or bottles. Save even more when you Print a coupon for $5 off $25 at Rite Aid, too!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer Education Tips

I should have posted this earlier in the year, at least before summer started. This is a copy of an article I wrote that has appeared on some other sites. I was asked why I didn't put it on my, here it is. In the orginal article there are fancy graphics and the ideas are numbered. I could not get any of that to transfer over.

The topic I was orginally asked to write for was "Ways to Help Students Not Forget Over the Summer". But, these are things that can be done at home year around.


Play Math BINGO, I made mine from the plain (inside) cardboard on cereal boxes. I made squares and put numbers in each square. On small pieces of paper I wrote out all the multiplication facts through the 12's. The caller reads the problem, such as "6 x 6", and the kids look at their card. If they have a 36 on their card, they cover it (we use pennies as our covers). You could vary this game according to your child's math level for addition or subtraction.

Keep a critter's notebook. Each week or every few days, add a new animal or insect. You can add coloring sheets, research the animal in books or on line and write a report about it. My kids are older so their book is divided into the various animal kingdoms, and each animal is put behind the proper tab. You can take this with you when you visit the zoo and take animal pictures to add to your pages or to create new pages.

Discuss various businesses and call ahead to arrange for field trips. My kids have visited the bank, post office, grocery store, feed store, vets office, doctors office. By asking for a tour, you get to see the "back rooms", have inventory and business practices explained to the kids on their level. Many businesses, such as banks and the post office also have free literature to give to kids.

Have the kids shop. This uses home-ec, finances, math skills. Give them each a list, money and have them look for coupons and the best deals.

Discuss nutrition and have the kids each plan a menu for a day or week or month (depending on their ages). Then, they can shop and cook or help cook what they picked. Menus must meet the food recommendations.

Build medical models. We have built several skeletons and various organs. Older kids can learn the names of the bones. Get a newspaper end roll from your local paper. Lay out a long piece. Have the kids lay down and you can trace their body. Then they can color it all in. Little ones put on their face and clothes. Older kids draw in their organs and bones. Can be hung on their bedroom doors when finished.

See if your local library has a summer reading program, or a kid's book club. Read out loud together as a family. Also read a book, then see if the library has a movie of that book. You can discuss how it was the same and different. Learn the books of the Bible

Watch "Mr Smith goes to Washington" with Jimmy Stewart in it. It's an old clean movie that describes how the government works. Pick out several presidents and study them.

Find some educational place mats in the housewares area at Walmart. They have for 99 cents ones with the presidents, solar system, map of the world and more. Rotate them out every few days.

Get a free state map from your license bureau. Look up interesting areas in your state and then visit them in person or on line. Do you have a state park nearby? Visit the ranger station. It is free at most parks.

Have kids gather leaves. Take rubbings and then look up and find out what the leaves were from. Learn animal tracks, poisonous snakes and plants, then take what you learned with you and go camping.

Find the oldest cemetery around you and visit it. Read the tombstones. Who was the oldest? Who was the youngest? What is the oldest grave you can find? If you find a lot of people died the same year find out why? What illness or weather pattern killed them?

Work on family genealogy. Take the kids to visit older family members. Have them tell a story and have the kids tape record or video it to save for future generations.

Small kids can learn over the summer the months of the year, to tie their shoes.

Visit your local police and fire departments. Most will show kids the trucks, cars and give them information. Then come home and have kids create a safety drill for your home. Make maps and mark exits, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

Have kids learn to make butter, bake a loaf of bread or some cooking lessons.

Teach kids to sew. Start with a simple project such as a pillow.

Have kids take apart nonworking and unplugged items such as old clocks, radio, TV telephones and see what is inside.

Make a crystal radio.

Get a microscope and study bugs, pond water, hair, leaves, skin cells.

Visit your state capitol. Learn about your state and your state flag.

Contact your local conservation office and get posters of local wildlife, plants, trees, fish.

Study fish types and then go fishing.

Work puzzles. That uses the same brain cells that math problems use.

Watch such TV programs like "how is that made", and the history channel. If you watch Little House, notice and discuss how their life is different from ours today.

Fire Department and higher scores

It is official. Emily is now an official fire cadet for our local fire department. We live in a rural (very rural area). We have one fire department that covers both town (under 3,000 in population) and this part of the ruual county area. All members, except for the chief are volunteers. Our department has a cadet program for youth 8-18. Emily is one of about 3 or 4 cadets. To be a cadet the kids have to have a B grade average or higher and attend the training sessions, which are generally held weekly. Last night she was issued her bunker gear. She will respond to fire calls with JD (who is a full fledged fire fighter/EMT). She will get her own pager also, but they didn't have one available last night.

I, am now a member of the rehab team. The rehab team has a bus that goes to fires. The bus is loaded with snacks and water for the fire fighters, some medical equipment and operates as a rest station. We also monitor the fire fighters vital signs during an event and help back up the local ambulance district. In a few months we will have also completed the first responder training which is a step down from an EMT.

A few posts ago, I shared a letter that discussed test score results with homeschool vs traditional/private/public school students. A question was asked why homeschoolers general score higher.

There are several answers to this question.

First, is the student to teacher ratio. I don't have 26-30 students in my class room. I normally have 3, sometimes a few more if homeschooling friends are visiting. Less students means more time to devote to them.

Secondly (tying in with the first reason) is since we are smaller, we don't move on to the next concept until we understand the first one. In a traditional setting, the teacher moves on, despite the fact one or more of the students don't grasp the concept. She can not afford to slow down as it will put the rest of the class behind. In a homeschool setting, you keep doing it until you get it right.

Third, you can adjust your lesson for the students learning style. Some students are visual learners. Others are hands on. You can have one read about it while another watches a video about it.

Forth-time is saved that can be spent doing further learning. We don't waste time waiting in line to go from class to class or to lunch, taking lunch counts, attendance, bathroom breaks and time to pack and unpack backpacks. As a subteacher, I can tell you that almost 1/4 to 1/3 of a traditional day is spent doing these things. We also have the time then to do other activities, such as Emily participating in the fire cadet program, or the girls observing/intering in my cousins vetinary clinic.

Free Kansas City Zoo trips for teachers & 3 family members

The Kansas City zoo has partnered with the Kansas City Environmental Educatior's Network (KCEEN) to host a day at the KC zoo for teachers.

This event is on September 26, 2009 from 9:30-2:00 at the zoo.

You must present a teacher ID upon admission.
Free events include admission for yourself and 3 family members, rides, giveaways and a sneal preview of educational resources and programs to use in the classroom and at the zoo.

For more info, visit
Reervations are needed, email to by September 23. Include your name, school, grades teaching and number of people attending,broken down by # of adults and children and the ages of the children.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeschool Stats from HSLDA

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement
Ian Slatter
Director of Media Relations
August 10, 2009

Each year, the homeschool movement graduates at least 100,000 students. Due to the fact that both the United States government and homeschool advocates agree that homeschooling has been growing at around 7% per annum for the past decade, it is not surprising that homeschooling is gaining increased attention. Consequently, many people have been asking questions about homeschooling, usually with a focus on either the academic or social abilities of homeschool graduates.

As an organization advocating on behalf of homeschoolers, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) long ago committed itself to demonstrating that homeschooling should be viewed as a mainstream educational alternative.

We strongly believe that homeschooling is a thriving education movement capable of producing millions of academically and socially able students who will have a tremendously positive effect on society.

Despite much resistance from outside the homeschool movement, whether from teachers unions, politicians, school administrators, judges, social service workers, or even family members, over the past few decades homeschoolers have slowly but surely won acceptance as a mainstream education alternative. This has been due in part to the commissioning of research which demonstrates the academic success of the average homeschooler.

The last piece of major research looking at homeschool academic achievement was completed in 1998 by Dr. Lawrence Rudner. Rudner, a professor at the ERIC Clearinghouse, which is part of the University of Maryland, surveyed over 20,000 homeschooled students. His study, titled Home Schooling Works, discovered that homeschoolers (on average) scored about 30 percentile points higher than the national average on standardized achievement tests.
This research and several other studies supporting the claims of homeschoolers have helped the homeschool cause tremendously. Today, you would be hard pressed to find an opponent of homeschooling who says that homeschoolers, on average, are poor academic achievers.

There is one problem, however. Rudner’s research was conducted over a decade ago. Without another look at the level of academic achievement among homeschooled students, critics could begin to say that research on homeschool achievement is outdated and no longer relevant.

Recognizing this problem, HSLDA commissioned Dr. Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the non-profit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), to collect data for the 2007–08 academic year for a new study which would build upon 25 years of homeschool academic scholarship conducted by Ray himself, Rudner, and many others.

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.

The Results

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.

National Average Percentile Scores

Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50

a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

There was little difference between the results of homeschooled boys and girls on core scores.

Boys—87th percentile
Girls—88th percentile

Household income had little impact on the results of homeschooled students.

$34,999 or less—85th percentile
$35,000–$49,999—86th percentile
$50,000–$69,999—86th percentile
$70,000 or more—89th percentile

The education level of the parents made a noticeable difference, but the homeschooled children of non-college educated parents still scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average.

Neither parent has a college degree—83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree—86th percentile
Both parents have a college degree—90th percentile

Whether either parent was a certified teacher did not matter.
Certified (i.e., either parent ever certified)—87th percentile
Not certified (i.e., neither parent ever certified)—88th percentile

Parental spending on home education made little difference.
Spent $600 or more on the student—89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student—86th percentile

The extent of government regulation on homeschoolers did not affect the results.
Low state regulation—87th percentile
Medium state regulation—88th percentile
High state regulation—87th percentile

HSLDA defines the extent of government regulation this way:
States with low regulation: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact or State requires parental notification only.

States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.

State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).

The question HSLDA regularly puts before state legislatures is, “If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschoolers why is it necessary?”
In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts- moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).

As mentioned earlier, the achievement gaps that are well-documented in public school between boys and girls, parents with lower incomes, and parents with lower levels of education are not found among homeschoolers. While it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion, it does appear from all the existing research that homeschooling equalizes every student upwards. Homeschoolers are actually achieving every day what the public schools claim are their goals—to narrow achievement gaps and to educate each child to a high level.

Of course, an education movement which consistently shows that children can be educated to a standard significantly above the average public school student at a fraction of the cost—the average spent by participants in the Progress Report was about $500 per child per year as opposed to the public school average of nearly $10,000 per child per year—will inevitably draw attention from the K-12 public education industry.

Answering the Critics
This particular study is the most comprehensive ever undertaken. It attempts to build upon and improve on the previous research. One criticism of the Rudner study was that it only drew students from one large testing service. Although there was no reason to believe that homeschoolers participating with that service were automatically non-representative of the broader homeschool community, HSLDA decided to answer this criticism by using 15 independent testing services for this new study. There can be no doubt that homeschoolers from all walks of life and backgrounds participated in the Progress Report.

While it is true that not every homeschooler in America was part of this study, it is also true that the Progress Report provides clear evidence of the success of homeschool programs.

The reason is that all social science studies are based on samples. The goal is to make the sample as representative as possible because then more confident conclusions can be drawn about the larger population. Those conclusions are then validated when other studies find the same or similar results.
Critics tend to focus on this narrow point and maintain that they will not be satisfied until every homeschooler is submitted to a test. This is not a reasonable request because not all homeschoolers take standardized achievement tests. In fact, while the majority of homeschool parents do indeed test their children simply to track their progress and also to provide them with the experience of test-taking, it is far from a comprehensive and universal practice among homeschoolers.
The best researchers can do is provide a sample of homeschooling families and compare the results of their children to those of public school students, in order to give the most accurate picture of how homeschoolers in general are faring academically.

The concern that the only families who chose to participate are the most successful homeschoolers can be alleviated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of parents did not know their children's test results before agreeing to participate in the study.

HSLDA believes that this study along with the several that have been done in the past are clear evidence that homeschoolers are succeeding academically.

Final Thought
Homeschooling is making great strides and hundreds of thousands of parents across America are showing every day what can be achieved when parents exercise their right to homeschool and make tremendous sacrifices to provide their children with the best education available.

Free classes for Missouri homeschoolers

The following is a list of FREE homeschooling classes being offered by FHE Board members in upcoming weeks. If you know of a new homeschooling family, please pass this information along so they can get a good understanding of Missouri homeschooling laws, what FHE does for home educators in Missouri and an opportunity to meet other homeschool parents to build support.

Tuesday, August 18, 7-9pm: Trails Regional Library, Warrensburg Branch - Homeschooling 101, Kim Bowlin
Register by calling Kim Bowlin @ 850-3992 or e-mailing

The Good Shepherd Academy is pleased to sponser free August workshops. Space is limited. Please call 816-295-1481 to register.
Saturday, August 22, 2:30-3:30: Homeschooling Through High School Deana Haines
Monday, August 24, 4:30-5:30pm: Teaching Children With Special Needs Kim Bowlin

Mid-Continent Public Library:
Homeschooling 101
Are you thinking about homeschooling, but don't know how to get started? This session is for you! An experienced home educator examines the benefits of teaching children and teens at home, explains Missouri Law and discusses curriculum options. Information about local support groups and opportunities will be shared. Please come and learn more about this exciting education option. You can do it! Even if you're already homeschooling, this program can be helpful to you, too!
Registration is required. Register online at or call the branch where you plan to attend.

September 1, 2009, Tuesday at 2:00 PM Oak Grove
September 1, 2009, Tuesday at 7:00 PM Kearney
September 3, 2009, Thursday at 7:00 PM Riverside
September 10, 2009, Thursday at 7:00 PM Grandview
September 15, 2009, Tuesday at 7:00 PM Antioch
September 17, 2009, Thursday at 2:00 PM Dearborn
September 17, 2009, Thursday at 7:00 PM Parkville
September 22, 2009, Tuesday at 7:00 PM Liberty
September 24, 2009, Thursday at 7:00 PM Buckner

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homeschool Choir

A new Homeschool Choir will be starting in September in Grandview, MO.

This group will meet on Fridays from 3:00-4:00.

A parent's meeting and registration will be held at 3:00 on September 11, 2009, at First Baptist Grandview, 1416 Main, Grandview, MO. 64030.

This group will perform at least three times during the school year.

For more information: Deana Haines 942-8897 or


It is only Tuesday, and we have almost 20 hours of school in for this week. Sunday we got in hours for reading, Bible and math. Yesterday math, reading and social studies/geography and reading. Today, we have done math, computer skills, spelling, PE, social studies/geography, reading and reading comp as well as journals.

We went to the library this morning, and the girls all played computer games for an hour. I count that as computer skills as it is a fun way to learn where the keys are on the keyboard. They also all checked out some books. For PE they rode horses in the arena tonight for about an hour.

Some of our subjects do "double duty". If, for example, we are reading a non-fiction book, we may count that as history instead of reading. All of our reading comprehensions are factual stories. Sometimes we read about science, or history or as in today about the planet Saturn. Our spelling words this week came from today's reading comprehension page.

One of the advantages of homeschooling year around is that we go for shorter periods each day. We also have the flexibility to take a day off or have a short day if something comes up.

Tonight the girls helped fix taco's for supper and Rebecca made brownies for desert. When they help cook that goes toward home-ec time, as well as cleaning and laundry. When I lived in a college dorm I couldn't believe how many girls couldn't cook or wash their own laundry. You won't be able to say that about my girls!!

This afternoon Emily got come eggs from our chickens going in our incubator. Hopefully in 21 days we will have hatched some baby chicks. Our hens have been molting, so our egg production is way down from usual.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Math Bingo

We have played a lot of multiplication bingo this week. We use coins for markers. At the end of the game the kids get to keep their markers--it keeps them motivated to answer and to want to keep playing. I made our game--it was simple to do. On the BINGO cards, I wrote numbers that are in the multiplication tables. Ten I "draw" the math facts. If I read 4 x 5, the kids have to look at their cards and see if they have a 20. If so, they cover their 20 with a marker (penny, dime or nickle). We usually play blackout, which is until the entire is full. I count this time as math review--usually a game with 3-5 players will take 30 minutes or so. If they don't know the answer, I say it the 2nd time I read the math fact.

I covered our cards in clear contact paper to help them to last longer. You could also do the same for addition facts.

Cool time at Cool Crest

Friday we took the gang to Cool Crest in Independence MO. It was an event sponsered by JD's employer. For 4 hours we had unlimited mini golf and go carting. They also fed us pizza and gave each person 30 tokens for the arcade. The kids loved it. It was hot out, so on the way home we stopped for ice cream.

All week we had this debate as to who was going to win in the go cart race. I am happy to announce I beat JD once, and he beat me once. Of course, he won't say I beat him, just that I was ahead of him.....

JD got my new chicken coop moved last night-right before the storm hit. I plan on keeping new chickens in it. We have some eggs now that we are getting ready to put into the incubator, once it reaches the proper temperture.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For those in the KC area....

This is from an email I received. It is for all kids, regardless of if you are homeschooled or not.


Heartland Singers is a fun singing opportunity to learn and perform quality music literature. Participants will focus on good choral singing including the elements of diction, harmony singing, tone quality, and musicianship. Cost includes enrollment fee, music, and T-shirt. Directed by experienced music specialists, the Heartland Singers will have a great time preparing concerts and other performance opportunities.

This choir is for kids in grades 4 through 7.

(my daughter was allowed to join last year in grade 3. If you think your child is mature enough for a choir experience, attend the audition and give it a try. They must be able to concentrate and sing for a full hour at each practice)

Interested singers should come to the Choral Room at Antioch Middle School (Room 137 - use east entrance) for a 5-10 minute audition from 5:00 - 7:30 pm on either of the following dates: Tuesday, September 9, Wednesday, September 10, or Thursday, September 11, 2009. All singers will need to audition.

If selected, you may call to enroll at 816-413-5494.
Please also use this number for more information or questions.

There are still openings remaining at this time.

Instructor: Regina Kellogg

North Kansas City Online Course Catalog;

Heartland Singers; Begins; 09/21/2009 through 12/07/2009
Mondays from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Meets at Antioch Middle School
12 Sessions
$ 50.00
(last year this was the cost for the full year)

My daughter and 5 other homeschoolers were in this choir last year and had a great time!! It was a very positive experience, and she is so eager to do it again this year. Last year we had two concerts at Antioch Middle school, and performed one at Crown Center during the holiday season as well.

We would love to see more of her homeschool friends join us! This community choir is open to both boys and girls!!

If your child is worried or nervous about the audition--don't be. It was very fast and painless. The kids go into the music room privately with a teacher and their parent. They are then asked to sing something simple like Happy birthday or Twinkle Twinkle little star. It is very brief and they just want to see if your child can carry a tune and is not too afraid to sing in public. I think our audition took about 2 minutes total. My tip is to arrive for the audition about 5 to 10 minutes early, and then you wont have to wait in line for your turn, which usually increases nervousness!

Hoping to see other homeschool singers!!

Stephanie K

Farm visit

This morning we had a daycare come and visit the farm. This was their 2nd year to come visit us. I am not sure if the highlight was the tractor ride or hunting for eggs in the hay or chasing chickens. The kids also got to hold rabbits, pet horses, the cat and the pigs. It is warm out, so the cows didn't come up from their shade tree by the farm to visit, but the kids could still see them from the fence. They ended their visit with swinging on the play set for awhile.

While I was with the daycare kids, MY kids hosted a tornado that came through the house (which was clean when I went out). I followed the tornado trail to the TV...Must have been some storm, as there was clothing & food & dishes everywhere,......So now...I have 6 kids outside pulling weeds.....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Deals from

"FREE is the best price--Get Super Drugstore and Grocery Savings 8/2 to 8/8

CVS deals are GREAT this week, Weeklong deals include 99-cent Softsoap wash, 74-cent Dawn dish liquid, and FREE Blink Tears drops. This list has a new feature: The CVS Deal Preview! Beginning Saturday afternoon, look for the link on the CVS list that says "Preview Next Week's Deals" to see next weeks sale prices matched with the new week's coupons.

Walgreens deals include stock-up prices on school supplies for pennies each. Get Kelloggs cookies and Cheez It crackers practically FREE by combining Register Rewards, sale prices, and Sunday's coupons from the Kellogg's coupon circular. Print this Keebler cookie coupon (you can print 2) to pay only $3 for 5 packages of Keebler cookies when you combine the $5 Register Rewards savings with the two $1 printable coupons and the $2 sale price. Also get 99-cent Clairol haircolor, 50-cent Crest toothpaste, 75-cent Oral B toothbrush, FREE 2 pack Gum toothbrushes, 25-cent Kraft Jello, $3 Loreal haircolor, and FREE Vitamin shampoo. See our complete Walgreens list for details and more deals!

We're the only game in town with a full list of Wal-Mart deals, over 200 every week. Your store's exact prices may vary slightly, but you'll be able to use our list as a helpful guide. Use this week's newspaper coupons to get great deals on Vaseline lotion, Suave deodorant, Tag body spray, Oust spray, Glade spray and more.

Find the best Target deals when you combine Target coupons with your newspaper coupons, including FREE Mars candy bars when you combine the Target printable store coupon with the newspaper coupon from 8/2RP. Check our list for details.

Rite Aid deals include a $25 prescription transfer coupon in the ad, and too many FREE deals to list, including Renu solution, tape, Garnier hair care products, Gillette Venus razor, Werners candy, Zantac, Crest toothpaste, GE lightbulbs and more--ALL FREE! Plus, print a 10% off coupon for Rite Aid so you'll be making money on your mail-in rebate items!"

Go to for the rest of the info!

We survived the zoo

Today JD and I took 8 kids to the Kansas City zoo. It took 2 vehicles to haul everyone. We took 2 strollers and that was a big help. We had the 2 babies in one, and the food in the other. The kids had blast. It was a little on the crowded side, since it was $2 day, but it was a well behaved crowd. The weather was good, but a little on the hot side after lunch. The morning was overcast, with no rain so that helped. We walked and walked and walked. We should all sleep well tonight. The kids took a swim in the pond when we got home to cool off. I know for a few years it seemed the zoo was getting a "tired" look, but it was clean and had several exhibits that were not there the last time I visited, which was in 1998.

We took a lot of animal pictures which we will print off and work into our animal books. Some were animals we already studied, but we came across a lot of new ones as well.

Tonight we are making home made ice cream, butter and having BBQ chicken wings (from JD's grilling) and watermelon. Earlier this week we got a gallon of cream from Shatto Dairy in Osborn. The kids were all excited to make the ice cream and butter, but no one wanted to crank. So, we replaced the old Daisy for the night with the Kitchen Aide mixer for the butter and are using an electric ice cream freezer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monster cookies and swimming & singing with cows


1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's plain chocolate candies


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper or a silpat mats.
2. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter with the sugars and butter. Use an electric mixer to mix until well combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the oats and baking soda. Then stir in the chips and M&M's.
3. Drop the cookies by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. If you'd like your cookies to look pretty (like the photo), dot a few extra M&M's and chocolate chips on each mound of dough before baking.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Tomorrow is our big trip to the KC Zoo. Admission is $2, train rides are $2 and hotdogs are $2. This afternoon we baked "monster cookies" to take with us. We will buy hotdogs for our lunch, but are taking our own cookies, fruit, chips, pudding/jellos, and bottles of water. Our water bottles we will refill and add drink mix. (By the way, wylers mix for water bottles are only $1 a box at walgreens, as compared to $2.50 at the grocery store. Often they have coupons out so that you can get them for free. There are 8 in the box.) Each of us will have a back pack with our nonperishable foods and the kids are taking their animal notebooks.

When we return from the zoo, we are planning on making homemade ice cream and we will have a "fishing tournament" in the back pond. Last year the tournament turned into the kids against JD and I.

If you missed an older post about our animal notebooks.....part of our homeschooling is animal notebooks. (This counts as part of our science.) Each girl has a binder that we add a animal to weekly. They file the animal in their books under the proper classification (books are broken down by mammal, insects, rodents). We will be taking pictures and gathering facts about animals we don't have, and adding info to animals we do have.

This evening the girls went swimming in the small front pond while JD cooked on the grill. For awhile the cows joined them, and the girls sang to the cows. Needless to say, the cows didn't stick around too long. After supper we had a snack of monster cookies (to make sure they were really good enough to take with us tomorrow...) and shattoo chocolate and strawberry milk. Yum Yum.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Week of the Cousins"

No, its not a new horror film (not yet anyway)...This is the week that we have the cousins who are all around the same age as our younger 3 girls come and spend a week at our farm. Our week started yesterday.

Yesterday was our annual Shinabarger Espey family reunion in Maryville MO. We had a smaller number than usual, as one was in the hospital, one was with her sister and some went to bike week in Sturgis. But still, there was plenty of good food and visiting. My parents and my brothers family went up several days earlier and camped at Lake Monzingo. The first night that they had the tent up, and huge storm came through and they split up and ended up in the RV with my parents and part in a vehicle for the rest of the night. Typical camping... After the reunion we brought back a suburban full of kids. So, for the week, we have 2 4th graders, 2 5th graders and 2 th graders.

Today we went to the Shatto Milk Dairy in Osborn MO. If you haven't been there, homeschooler or not, I recommend you go visit. If you call ahead, you can arrange a tour. From their store/gift shop they have windows where you can stand and watch them bottle the milk and make cheese. While we were there, they were bottling strawberry milk. (We looked for the pink cows when we left, but didn't see any). We bought some cream and some chocolate milk and strawberry milk. Wednesday we plan on making ice cream and butter with the cream (after we get home from the zoo).

After we visited the dairy, we stopped by the conservation area that is just off of hwy 33. They have several ponds there which are fish and release ponds. The kids had fun exploring the ponds and finding fish in the water. Of course part of the fun was seeing how much noise they could make while stopping on the metal dock.

On the way home we stopped by one of our local cemetaries and visited the grave of Plattsburgs claim to fame--the president for one day, David Rice Atchison.

So far, the most drama this week has been a lost hair brush and lost rubber bands for braces. But, both were found (Yes the bands are on the braces now!!!)

JD has mowed around the swimming pond and around the fishing pond. The girls have gone swimming twice now and Sam helped JD dig some post holes. Later this week they plan to move my new chicken coop and then set up the fence post-(weather providing). Since Sam is the only boy, he and JD are pals this week. Later this evening they plan to go fishing.