“When Calls The Heart” Hallmark Premiere & Giveaway

Are you, like me, a confirmed Janette Oke fan?  Years ago when I was pregnant and on bed rest, I discovered her wonderful books and read all of them that she’d published up to that point.  I have loved her ever since!

Imagine my surprise when, several weeks ago, I discovered that some of her books have been turned into a series on the Hallmark Channel!  We only watch a couple of shows on TV, and frankly, I must admit that I’m not that aware of television programming outside of those two!  However, when the opportunity to preview the first episode of season 2 of “When Calls The Heart”….AND to giveaway a DVD collection of the entire season 1 of the series, I jumped at the chance!  WCTH 1

In case you’re not familiar with Janette Oke, she writes heartwarming and faith-filled novels.  Many of them are set in the Canadian West, during the 1800’s-early 1900’s.  And they are truly wonderful: characters you bond with immediately; wholesome stories of young men and women who face challenges of every nature, yet who meet those challenges head on with faith, hope and purity.

Hallmark Channel, and Michael Landon, Jr., have taken Janette Oke’s stories and turned them into a wonderful television series starring Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing and Lori Loughlin.  Elizabeth Thatcher, a wealthy young woman, has taken a position as a teacher in a small, coal-mining town in the wilds of Canada.  She is befriended by Abigail Stanton, owner of the local cafe who was widowed when her husband was killed in a mine explosion which took the lives of many of the men of the town.  Mountie Jack Thornton serves as constable in the town, yet he and Elizabeth are drawn to one another.

In this premiere episode of Season 2, there is a lot going on!  The widows are seeking justice for the mine accident that took their husbands and sons; Abigail and a mysterious man embark on a friendship; and Elizabeth and Jack continue their deepening friendship.  And Elizabeth discovers that her mother, back at home, is seriously ill.  But that’s only in the first few minutes of the show.  You’ll have to watch it to find out what happens next….and it’s not at all going to be what you’d expect!

My husband, son (a 7th grader) and I were able to watch the first and second episodes of season 2’s “When Calls The Heart” early….the season premiere will actually be on Saturday, April 25th on the Hallmark Channel.  (Don’t miss it!)

I mentioned earlier that we only watch a couple of TV shows.  And I really wasn’t sure what my son would think of “When Calls The Heart.”  He is actually more interested in ninjas and comic book heroes, and he’s not someone who’d normally watch movies about the days depicted in this series, or in the Canadian West.  However, all three of us enjoyed it thoroughly; so much so that I have put all of season 1 of “When Calls The Heart” on hold at our local library, so we can get caught up!  The story and characters are so engaging; the show itself is sweet; and it’s really great for family viewing.

So definitely—mark your calendars for April 25 and watch the season 2 premiere of “When Calls The Heart” on the Hallmark Channel!  And even better, I have a fabulous giveaway for U.S. and Canadian readers!WCTH 2

Word Films has graciously provided me with the entire 10-DVD collection of “When Calls The Heart” Season 1, for one winner of my giveaway!  Enter in the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Enjoy!  –Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Amazing Art at Home with ARTistic Pursuits ~ A TOS Review

ARTistic Pursuits 2One of our favorite homeschool subjects is always art!  So, we were thrilled to be selected to review ARTistic PursuitsMiddle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and CompositionARTistic Pursuits has an entire line of art curriculum books for the homeschooler, starting with preschool and going all the way to grade 12.  We were particularly excited to use this book  for middle schoolers as it teaches an entire scope and sequence on both color and composition, using hard (chalk) pastels and oil pastels.

The Book

ARTistic Pursuits Review
ARTistic Pursuits does an excellent, organized job of teaching art through both concepts, history and projects that put both of those into play.  This book provides enough lessons for the student to complete two per week over a 36-week period.  Middle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition emphasizes the color wheel, and teaches the student about:

  • How colors combine
  • Layering color
  • Warm and cool colors
  • Monochromatic art
  • Composition and balance….and more!

In each lesson, students learn about a particular topic, an artist and his work, and specific techniques; and then they complete a project using what they’ve learned.  And, it’s not only one art project per lesson that students can complete.  Rather, each portion of the lesson has some artistic activity so that the child can immediately put to use what is being learned, and have the opportunity to do art on a very regular basis.

Art supplies for Middle School 6-8 Book 2

Our art supplies


Of course, if you’re going to create art, you must have some art supplies!  Middle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition utilizes the following supplies, which can be purchased separately from the book:

  • Hard (chalk) pastels in colors and neutrals
  • Oil pastels
  • Colored pastel paper
  • White pastel paper
  • Chamois
  • Kneaded and vinyl erasers
  • Sharpeners (for oil pastels)
  • A paper stump

We actually owned the hard pastels already, and purchased everything else on the list.  And the student really does use every single item listed above.  The first 2/3 of the book teaches the student how to create various types of art, using the hard pastels.  The last third covers oil pastels.  And, as you might imagine, they are extremely different in use, application and result!  Hard pastels are somewhat powdery, and a fixative (ARTistic Pursuits recommends hair spray as a safe one) must be added to “set” the work.  They produce rich and vibrant colors, and blend easily.  Oil pastels, on the other hand, must be sharpened but never need a fixative, as the oil in them helps adhere them to the paper.

The Projects

Since there is an entire year’s worth of lessons in Middle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition, we haven’t completed it yet.  But both my son and I have learned so much about the use of pastels in art and how to create with them.  Here’s a sampling of some of our projects:

  • Smooth and Rough Surfaces (texture) in art (hard pastels)
    Drawing of a cat from a photo

    Drawing of a cat from a photo


  • Color and Still Life (hard pastels)
    A still life with onions

    A still life with onions


  • Landscape work with blending (hard pastels)
    A bridge landscape

    A bridge landscape


  • Imaginary beach landscape (soft oil pastels)
    Oil pastels landscape

    Oil pastels landscape


Each week, we worked on art projects for 2-3 days.  In the book’s lessons, some of the projects are for learning technique (cross-hatching, layering, balance and so on) and others are quick-draw outdoor activities.  Still others put to work the different techniques and skills taught in the lessons.

Our Impressions

I love ARTistic Pursuits books, and Middle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition in particular, for many reasons.  One of the best is that these books make it so easy for a parent, whether she’s artsy or not, to teach a well-rounded and fascinating art class to her children.  The projects are both interesting and useful, and students learn crucial techniques in art, color, and composition.

Jackson (my 7th grader) and I worked on the art lessons together, each of us doing our own projects.  And we both really enjoyed the curriculum; but we had opposite impressions of the art media involved!  He didn’t really like working with the hard pastels but he loved the soft pastels; the vibrancy of the color, the feel of the pastel crayons moving against the paper.  I, on the other hand, didn’t really like the soft pastels but really enjoyed the hard pastels.  I loved how beautifully and easily the colors blended; the ease of use; and the finished products.

I especially loved how even unskilled students can create wonderful art using these lessons.  The book’s instruction on how to use pastels safely and effectively was simple to follow and understand, and we were able to complete each lesson and project while growing in competence in the skills and techniques being presented.

In conclusion

I am happy to say that I can genuinely recommend ARTistic PursuitsMiddle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition for your middle schooler.  My son is in 7th grade, and the lessons were right on target for his age group.  Parents will love the simplicity and ease of the lessons, as well as the amazing art their children will create!

You may purchase Middle School 6-8, Book Two:  Color and Composition  from ARTistic Pursuits.  And, if your child isn’t a middle schooler, you’ll find books at their website for all the other grades!

Other reviewers utilized many different ARTistic Pursuits books with their children. You can read about their experiences at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.  And, if you’d like to see another ARTistic Pursuits review that Jackson and I did last spring, you can click over to our ARTistic Pursuits’ Sculpture Technique: Construct review.

Crew Disclaimer
Enjoy! –Wren

Things we love…Irises!

Iris 3

The most beautiful Irises are blooming in our yard; they are a lovely shade of purple/blue and must be about three feet tall! I wish I could say I had something to do with their planting or nurturing, but nature and my husband get credit for that!

Hello Spring!

IrisIris 2



Family, Fun & Homeschooling ~ Meet Jennifer from Chestnut Grove Academy

Welcome to this week’s Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

F,F & H finchnwren.comToday, I’m so happy to introduce you to Jennifer from Chestnut Grove Academy.  She’s a fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew blogger who–like us–loves field trips!  She even has a linkup party to share their favorite ones.  Read on to learn more about that, and about Jennifer and her family!

Tell us about your blog.  What was the spark of the idea that enabled you to create your blog?
I decided to start my blog as a way of being accountable to myself.  I was worried about losing motivation; I figured if I had to post about what we were doing, I’d make sure we were doing something to post about!  Plus there are so many great blogs out there that I have gained ideas and inspiration from, I wanted to give back a little, and hoped that I might be of help to some others.

Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?
I’m pretty passionate about Field Trips and Workboxing; those are my main blog posts, I host link ups each week for those topics.  I also like to do unit type studies (I’m very eclectic) and some ideas for toddlers.  I wish I had more time to blog about crafting, but I rarely have time to craft!

Jennifer's beautiful family

Jennifer’s beautiful family

Tell us about your family.  How did you and your husband meet?  And what would you like to share about your children?
I have 4 kids – 3 boys, 1 girl.  They are 8, 5, 4 and the girl is 15mos old.  My husband and I met while serving in the Army in Monterey, CA.  We were attending our training school there.  We are both civilians now; I received a medical discharge for Fibromyalgia after 2yrs 8mos in and my husband served his full 6years, with one tour to Iraq.  We will be celebrating our 13year anniversary the 15th of Feb!

What made you decide to homeschool?
Homeschooling is not something I ever thought about before having kids.  When my oldest was about 2, I really started to look into it.  He was advanced for his age, and I was worried about him being bored mostly, I thought I would homeschool at least until he was old enough to enter the magnet program in our county…but we are in it for the long haul now (I think).  Every day (it seems) I find more and more reasons why I’m glad I homeschool, which is good, because it’s not always easy!

What does a typical day in your homeschool look like?
I roll out of bed about 730/8 and make breakfast.  I used to be a morning person, but since having kids enjoy the quiet house in the evening WAY too much.  We try to get school started by 9/930.  I encourage my oldest to do some of his computer school work before that (he is an early riser).  I start with my 8yo first, and then about 10am I encourage the other 2 to do school as well.  We typically finish up about 1230 and have lunch.  Our afternoons are usually pretty busy with sports, speech, etc..  My oldest also has to do his computer work if he didn’t finish it in the morning.  We like to watch topic-related shows in the afternoons as well, and play games…when there is time.

Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?
Date nights are hard to come by with 4 kids…BUT…I am lucky enough to have an aunt that lives nearby and can usually snag her once every other month to babysit.  My parents are also about 2hrs away and if we get really desperate will come up.  We like to have a quiet dinner with kids!  We also enjoy attending the temple (we are LDS).  Really just having quiet, non-interrupted conversation is golden!
What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?
We have a rotating date night with our kids.  So I have date night with one each month for 3 months (the baby isn’t in the rotation, yet) and then my husband has one a month for 3 months, and then my turn again.  I wish we could do it more often, but I do really enjoy just having that one on one time for even a small bit.  I think it’s something they really enjoy and look forward to as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Life as a mom, especially a homeschool mom, can sometimes be discouraging, hang in there!  Remember the great moments, even if they seem to be few and far between, they make it all worth it!

Thank you for joining us for this week’s Family, Fun & Homeschooling!  If you’d like to hop over and see more about Jennifer and her family, fun and field trips, visit Chestnut Grove Academy.Jen Altman blog button

And join us next week for another episode of Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

Enjoy!  –Wren

Star Toaster’s “Orphs of the Woodlands” ~ A TOS Review

Our newest review item from the Schoolhouse Review Crew is one that’s truly unlike any we’ve ever used before!  Star Toaster‘s “Orphs of the Woodlands” is a wonderful adventure story that will involve your 4th-7th grade child not only in reading….but in solving problems in math, science, language arts and more!

Star Toaster Review

As a homeschooling parent, I am always on the lookout for creative subjects I can teach at home.  I am also a huge fan of reading and reading aloud.  So, when I was offered a year’s subscription for this online book from Star Toaster to use and review, I jumped at the chance!  My son Jackson is in 7th grade, and he was quite interested as well.

Star Toaster has produced an incredible online experience, in which the student reads a captivating adventure story.  It is more than just a story, however.  Scattered throughout the narrative are activities in math, science, art, language arts and character building.  And students also have the opportunity to complete “jobs” which earn them “goldstars,” the legal tender of the Woodlands.

The Story

In “Orphs of the Woodlands,” students are introduced to a young squirrel, who’s the protagonist of the story.  They can personalize the squirrel by giving him a name, character qualities, a favorite color, and so on; and then throughout the story he’s called by that name.  (We named our squirrel “Alpha.”)  This squirrel was orphaned when his parents’ lives were taken by the Night Creatures, who terrorize the surrounding countryside and cities. He, now an orph, has hidden ever since in a gnarled old tree; lonely and without family or friends.

One day, all of that changes!  The squirrel finds a letter on his doorstep from the WAK Underground.  It invites him to join the fight, as a secret spy, to defeat the Night Creatures.  For the trustworthy applicant, it promises great adventure…doubtful pay…and a dicey long life.  So, that is not all that promising.

However, it does offer him the chance to discover and defeat the Night Creatures who took his parents from him.  So he agrees, and applies.

Upon his acceptance by the WAK Underground, he receives little in the way of instruction…until the enormous parcels of books are delivered to him.  Books on math; on science; on vocabulary and wordsmithing….all things he has little to no interest in studying.  He discovers, too late, that he should have spent time in the books when they’re all stolen by an invasive group of Night Creatures….while he hides.  He is left with only one book.

The squirrel is left with no discernible options, but to head off to the city, along with the only book the Night Creatures left behind.  On his journey he’ll learn many things (even about invisible ink!), begin to care for some young orphs, and face great danger.  Will the squirrel learn more about whether Abba is real or just a story….and will he defeat the Night Creatures?  “Orphs of the Woodlands” will have you reading as fast as you can to discover the squirrel’s…and the Woodlands’…fate!

A Variety of Subjects

While reading “Orphs of the Woodlands,” students are exposed to a plethora of interesting lessons, just for being involved in the story!

  • Vocabulary skills are honed when the student clicks on highlighted words and sees the definition.
  • Math problems provide reinforcement for what the student’s studying in his regular math course.
  • Latin phrases are used and defined.
  • Students experience zoology by learning about the many creatures who reside in the forest.
  • Life skills are enhanced when students learn about nutrition and even prepare Woodlands recipes with their parents.
  • Thinking and character skills activities are also offered.


Star Toaster Review


But, what encourages the student to complete tasks on all these subjects while reading the book?

Like the squirrel in the story, each student creates an orphanage where he can support a number of orphs!  And each time he completes a job, he earns goldstars which contribute not only to the upkeep of the orphanage, but also food, clothing, medicine and other necessities.  When enough goldstars are earned, the student can build another orphanage and support even more orphs!

This is actually a genius way to keep children involved with the story and the skills activities offered in each chapter.  And while the students are working to earn goldstars to care for more orphs, they’re learning in many subjects!

Parents’ Area

You can keep track of your student’s progress in the story, the skills attained and the jobs completed (and orphs rescued) in the parents’ area.  I also chose to read along with Jackson.  “Orphs of the Woodlands” is an incredibly humorous, creative and engaging story.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Star Toaster also sends a weekly email detailing your child’s progress and informing you of upcoming lessons and experiences.  I found this very helpful, and it explained so much to me about the learning process Jackson was in.

How We Used “Orphs of the Woodlands”

Jackson spent about a half hour 3-4 days each week reading the story and completing the jobs in each chapter.  It was quite simple and enjoyable to add this to our homeschool days.  Because we have one PC that we use for schoolwork, I read the “Orphs of the Woodlands” on my Kindle while he worked on the computer.  He did struggle with some of the sadder parts of the story (like the orphans, for example), yet we found it quite interesting and there are some great redemptive elements.

Each chapter has some jobs that the student can complete, simply by recalling the lessons that each chapter has taught.  Students may miss a few here and there, but if they pay attention to the events and lessons described, they’ll be able to successfully complete the jobs and gain more goldstars.

Jackson reading a chapter

Jackson reading a chapter

Here’s what Jackson has to say about “Orphs of the Woodlands”–

“”Orphs of the Woodlands” is a very good story.  I would recommend this story only to older readers or very tolerant young readers, because there are some mildly disturbing elements in certain chapters.  Overall, it’s a good story and worth your time.”

In Conclusion

If you have a child who:

  • loves reading
  • doesn’t particularly enjoy reading
  • is seeking a great adventure story
  • is looking for an interesting summer reading activity
  • or, if you’re just looking for a new and different way to bring literature to your children,

then Star Toaster‘s “Orphs of the Woodlands” is for you!  You can even sign up for a free trial, which will give you the first 100 pages of the story and 50 lessons.  Just click on the banner below, which will take you to the Star Toaster website and the free trial page.  60-day subscriptions are available (covering up to three children), plus one-month extensions can be purchased when necessary.


Star Toaster Review

I really recommend that you try this out.  It’s a very unusual way to learn….but such an enjoyable one!


Crew Disclaimer

Star Toaster Review

Enjoy!  –Wren

A new way to look at Popeye!

We were fortunate too see the Jeff Koons Popeye statue located at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. Although my phone pic doesn’t quite do it justice. The 6 foot statue purchased by owner Steve Wynn for a whopping 28.2 million is pretty amazing. And yes, there were 2 security guards standing by at all times. Love the can of Spinach!!


Jeff Koons

For more about the incredibly talented Koons: www.jeffkoons.com



Tuesday, April 14..National Pecan Day!


Today is National Pecan Day, a food holiday celebrated each year on April 14!

The pecan is a species of hickory.  In the United States pecans are native to Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana  Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“Pecan” is from an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack”

Enjoy a slice of Pecan Pie today!


gMovies Review, Giveaway and Freebie!

Are you like me?

Do you find it difficult (read:  challenging, frustrating, next-to-impossible) to find television programming that you can enjoy together as a family–regardless of the ages of your children?

This has been a challenge for us, since our son was very small.  If the programs themselves don’t have objectionable content, the commercials can be….at the very least….unenjoyable.  We love to watch “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Master Chef Junior” together; but what kid wants to see pharmaceutical ads, or worse?

If you’re experiencing these same challenges–or even if you’re not, but are looking for great family and faith-filled shows and movies–then gMovies might be the answer for you!

gmovies imageCreated by the UP channel, gMovies is a movie/tv streaming service.  For only $4.99 (and no subscription is required; one can cancel at any time) you can access nearly 300 movies and series, all of which exemplify great family viewing.  You can access these on your computer, or download the free app from The App Store or Google Play, and then stream them on your mobile devices.

On gMovies, you’ll find sports movies; kid movies; biblical dramas; and comedies.  You’ll also find adventures, animated films, documentaries…and even sci-fi!

Since we’re very interested in films that kids can enjoy as part of family movie night, I wanted to share some of the titles available in that category:

  • All the Mandie movies
  • The Davey and Goliath and Hoop Dogz series
  • Episodes of The Sugar Creek Gang

There are also quite a few amazing documentaries:

  • Missionary dramas from the Torchlighters series, including films about Gladys Aylward, John Bunyan, Eric Liddell, Amy Carmichael and many others
  • Movies about America, like Faith of Our Fathers and A More Perfect Union
  • Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which our family reviewed and loved last fall

You’ll find nearly 300 movies, documentaries and tv shows, which you can stream to your PC or devices.  And while you will need to exercise some wisdom in choosing what’s right for your family and children, you’ll have a plethora of wonderful programs to choose from!

If you’d like to see more of what’s available, you can view the program listing at gMovies.  But in addition to those I’ve listed above, you can also see Kirk Cameron in the “Left Behind” series, or an amazing Erwin Brothers film about 9-11 and the cross at the site of the Twin Towers.

Best of all, I have a 6-month subscription to gMovies to give away to one blessed reader.  But don’t despair!  Even if you aren’t the winner to the 6-month subscription, I have a free 2-week trial for anyone who’s interested!  Just enter FREETRIAL67 at gMovies and you’ll get two weeks of awesome family programming, absolutely free!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And we have a winner!  Congratulations to Amanda S., who won a 6-month subscription to gMovies!

Enjoy!  Wren

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Family, Fun & Homeschooling – Featuring Leah from As We Walk Along the Road

F,F & H finchnwren.comGood morning, and welcome to Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Leah from As We Walk Along the Road today.  Leah is a friend from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  She hosts an interesting linkup every week called Read-Aloud Wednesdays, where she discusses a new book each week that she and her family have read, and where other bloggers can link up their book finds.  She’s even written an ebook, So You Want To Be A Homeschooler?, which you can also find at As We Walk Along the Road.

Without further ado, here’s Leah!

Tell us about your blog. What was the spark of the idea that enabled you to create your blog?

I began blogging in 2009 because I loved the homeschool support that I could find in the blogging community.  As time went on, I wanted to grow my blog and be an encouragement to other homeschoolers.

My blog began with the name, “The Courtney Six” because that’s our family nickname.  A couple of years ago, I changed the name to As We Walk Along the Road.  It comes from Deuteronomy 6:

4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Homeschooling allows me to teach my children the things of God as we walk along the road.

Do you have a favorite blogging topic that you return to again and again?

I seem to blog about whatever season of life I’m in.  So, right now, I have quite a few posts about teenagers.  I also have a passion for reading, so I have lots of reading related posts:  read aloud, book units, book suggestions.

Tell us about your family. How did you and your husband meet? And what would you like to share about your children?

I met my husband in college.  He was actually a senior in high school because he’s four months younger.  We’ve been married 20 years, and he’s still my best friend.  We have four children, ages 15, 14, 10 and 9.

Leah's lovely family

Leah’s lovely family

What made you decide to homeschool?

I had a desire to homeschool my kids since I was in high school and had some friends who were homeschooled.  I would have loved to be homeschooled.  Thankfully I had a spouse who understood and agreed.

I was a school teacher before my kids were born.  I actually have an undergraduate and graduate degree in education.  The plan was always to homeschool until the youngest was in school and then put them all in school and teach.  But… we loved homeschooling.  So we are still homeschooling, now for 10 years.

What does a day in your homeschool look like?

I’m not sure any day is typical.  But, we usually try to begin with devotions around 9:30.  After devotions, the two high schoolers go off to work, and I work with the younger girls together.  We do our together work until lunch time.  Then I finish any together work with the younger crew, and they do their independent work.  The kids are involved in all kinds of extracurricular activities, so that usually takes up our afternoons.

Do you have a favorite “date night” you love to do?

With four kids all at an age that they go, go, go, we don’t get date nights as regularly.  If we happen to have all four kids gone, we really like to stay home together and just hang out instead of being busy the whole time going out somewhere.

What are some of your favorite mama-child activities?

Read aloud is probably my favorite bonding activity.  I love reading aloud, even with my older kids.  We also like board games.  My 14 year old son especially is my game buddy.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Homeschooling is such a blessing even though it isn’t always easy.  We have kids now who are really getting to the age that we can see benefits of the time we’ve been able to spend together homeschooling.  I’m thankful for every minute- even the really hard ones.

Leah Courtney button

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four.  She was a schoolteacher in her former life and now loves homeschooling her children.  Recently she began the adventure of homeschooling a high schooler.  She loves reading and reviewing and blogging about life and homeschooling.  You can visit her at As We Walk Along the Road.

Wasn’t it amazing to meet Leah and hear her story!  Be sure to check out her blog, her Read Aloud Wednesdays, and her ebook!

And we’ll be back next week to feature another homeschooling blogger next week in Family, Fun & Homeschooling!

Enjoy!  –Wren

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