Apr 16, 2014

2 - Minute History Date Review!

I've LOVED all the important dates in history that we learned this past year in CC! And I've just loved them so much that I do not want Mary (or myself!) to forget them. So, I've come up with an extremely simple way for us to review the dates:

Easy cheesy match-up!

In the center of our dining room table, I have a little basket of stuff (art cards, opera cards, etc.). This game also stays in the basket, and we pull it out and do it about three times a week at snack. All I did was take a piece of yellow construction paper, write the name of the wars and other major events and their corresponding dates, cut them into strips, laminate (always optional, btw), and viola!

This quick review literally takes about two minutes, and I love it! And obviously Mary's very pleased with herself when she matches everything up correctly. ;) Love that girl!

Want the game?

Click here to download!

In other news, my Usborne Books & More kick-off par-tay is TOMORROW! Eeeek! I'm SO excited about beginning this new chapter in my life! Click here to learn why I became a consultant for Usborne.

If you'd like to shop the eShow (which will be closing this week) and get exclusive customer specials, please click here. There are just an insane number of books to choose from (over 1,400 titles!), so I made a list of my favorites for the upcoming Cycle 3:

We've had some friends already shop the eShow, and I thank you so much for your support! I'll be starting a VIP guest program soon, too. I'll share more details in just a bit, but basically when you shop with me five times and each order is $35 or over, you'll get a $25 gift certificate after the fifth order. Isn't that awesome?! So, if you shop my eShow and your order qualifies, you'll automatically be entered into the VIP program! I'll keep up with it all - no hassles for you! (yay!)

And if you're curious about how all this book party stuff works, I'll be posting pictures and an update when mine is over so you can see what it's like. Can't wait!

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Apr 11, 2014

EOY and Geography Fair!

Tonight was our CC End-of-the-Year (EOY) Celebration and Geography Fair!

Here's a quick glimpse into our evening:

In the picture above is my sweet class. LOVE them! Can you tell which on is my distractible child? Yeah...

Above, the two younger classes combined for their presentation. All the classes had their turns reciting some of the memory work from this cycle, and then they all came on stage to sing the Doxology. It was beautiful.

Congratulations, Memory Masters!

Time to party! This was our third party of the DAY, for real! Anna had a party at her preschool, then we went to a birthday party, which was immediately followed by our EOY Celebration. Don't even ask me what my kids ate all day! ;)

The Geography Fair was so wonderful! I was truly blown away by the amount of time and effort these kids put into their projects!

This was our campus's first year, and it was amazing. I'm so blessed to be a part of such a supportive group of families! Our campus, however, is multiplying (splitting just sounds so ugly), so next year will bring new families and friends to our community. I'm very excited to see what God has planned!

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Apr 10, 2014

Tutor Idea - Around the World (and Being Replicable)

Yesterday was our final day of CC for Cycle 2. 

(can't believe I just wrote that!)

I knew the kiddos would probably be very excited, so I wanted to do something different to keep them interested while also giving them the freedom to move around.

So, we went around the world! 

(which was really just around the room to different 'stations')

We always start with Geography at the table, and then we moved to Math, the red sign in the back.

King Arithmetickle was happy to explain the final Math law of his kingdom. (You can see me holding that puppet, right? I mean, I can see me, too, but the kids act like I'm not even there! They're mesmerized by this crazy puppet!)

Then we continued our trip around the world by moving six feet to the left and arriving at History. ;)

I taped the History Sentence cards for Week 24 under the sign, and we said the sentence with some motions. No frills, except the cards.


I usually use my iPad to play the history sentence song, but I'm not going to do that anymore in class. For me, it breaks the flow (and eats into the 4 minutes) to say, "Okay, now that we said the sentence, let's listen to the song and sing along."

Changing it up like this was a BIG HIT with the class - and me! Moving around so much let them get their wiggles out, they appeared to be more engaged because it was something new, and I liked that I didn't have to add 'extras' to keep their attention (aside from a puppet or two). I felt much more stick-in-the-sandish!

Another sidenote:

I'll be leading Foundations tutor training at a couple of Parent Practicums this summer, which means I've been getting lots of training myself. As a tutor, one of my main jobs is to model for the parents how they can review the memory work at home, and I think I've really missed the mark sometimes on this.

I am supposed to be replicable

Parents are supposed to be able to go home and replicate (if they so desire) what we're doing in class.

With my Mary Poppins bag of tricks, I don't think I've been very replicable at times. I don't know...

If a parent sits in my class and thinks, "I could never do that," then I don't think I'm doing my job.

This is why CC's so big on 'stick-in-the-sand.' We should be able to introduce new grammar on a beautiful tropical island, next to a clear blue lagoon with our toesies in the water, using just a stick in the sand (this is my secret mental picture every time someone says that!). If we add a bunch of bells and whistles, are we really being replicable?

I know that no tutor feels like this picture with the stick-in-the-sand analogy, right? Right...

Ha! I know, I know, but we have technology now, what's wrong with the iPad and PowerPoint and my phone?! Hello! This is the 21st century!

Yes, yes, I hear you.

But, the truth is, Tutor, not everyone has what we have. If we make introducing new grammar look hard or 'magical,' as in something only we can do, our parents may become discouraged or overwhelmed. And I know nobody wants that to happen, because if you're a tutor, you love these kids. And because you love these kids, you love their parents and want to equip them for success at home.

Please don't think I'm preachin' to you, because I'm really thinking about myself here. I'll definitely be making some tweaks to my class for Cycle 3. I'm just bringing it up because if these thoughts are crossing my mind, maybe they've crossed yours, too? 

And, I'm not talking about review games. I love me some bells and whistles and hula hoops and bean bags and sticky hand slappers during review time. Bring it and bling it, I say!

So, as tutors, that's just something to think about...

Are we replicable?
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Apr 8, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday's Link-Up #12


No, it's okay, you're at the right blog; this is Melody!

Colleen at Sola Gratia Mom and I are buddies. We've connected as bloggers and also as moms to special needs kids. I've cried on her shoulder during hard days when my sweet Anna has been misunderstood and I've been heartbroken. Colleen's been such an inspiration and source of encouragement for me (love you, girl!). 

I'm honored to be hosting her link-up this week! Check it out, and whether you're a blogger or not, I hope you'll chime in with a post or photo. Directions are at the bottom.


And here we go!

Welcome to Week #12 of the Wonderful Wednesday's Link-Up!  This Link-Up is for anyone who would like to share how they are creatively teaching their children the various subjects, including fine arts, at home.  All curriculum users are welcome! 

Last Week's Top Two Featured Posts...

Tracey at We Made That linked up a great experiment (and easy-peasey! YES!) to show her girls frost up close and personal. The materials needed are a tin can, ice, and salt. I love easy and quick Science stuff!

JMommyMom at Highhill Education shared a fun way to look at shapes and symmetry in math. Her older kids couldn't resist joining in the fun, and they made some great designs! 

Your turn!

Being creative can be something crafty or it can be something unique with your own hands on approach to teaching your children.  It can be a video, picture or a blog post.  Share it here!  Let's put our creative genius together and inspire others to reach beyond the pencil at times!  My goal isn't fun -but rather, to encourage our children to become life long learners and see the joy in learning because that is FUN!  So mark your blogging calendars and plan to stop by each week and LINK-UP!  

NEW!  If you aren't a blogger - no problem!  You can still link up your fantastic creations by using your FlickrPhotobucket or other online photo sharing account.  Just post your photo's URL from the account, by clicking on the "you are next - click here" button below!  It can just be a cool picture of something your family made or a dress up your child did!  We'd love to see (you can ignore the "blogger rules" below if you don't own a blog and aren't posting from it).  If you aren't technical and still want to share a photo or video - you can e-mail me to submit via solagratiaclassicalacademy@gmail.com.  Can't wait to see!  

Link Up Rules:
  • Link directly to that post using the URL, not the blog in general.  
  • Appropriate posts are things such as: educational crafts, experiments, fine art creations, unique field trips, posts on teaching creatively various subject matter, education themed dress up or re-enactments, dioramas or projects.
  • State your post topic in the link description and pick a relevant thumb nail so your blog topic can be easily identified by viewers - DO NOT post links to your general blog name.  Use the specific URL for that post you are wanting to share*.
  • Please place the Wonderful Wednesday's button below, somewhere on your blog's webpage.
  • Try to visit at least one link to show some blogger love and support to others. 
I am looking forward to seeing what you all are creating out there!  I would love to see any link ups that were inspired by a Wonderful Wednesday idea too - copy cats are very welcome!!!

Grab My Button for you Post


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Apr 7, 2014

Usborne Books and Cycle 3

There are soooo many excellent Usborne books that match up with Classical Conversations Cycle 3 for next year! I had the opportunity to visit an Usborne book fair today and check out these titles up close, and they are phenomenal! I'd like to share with you some of my favorites that I've either already purchased or plan to do so after I host my party next week (because an Usborne hostess can get $300 in free and discounted books!! SOO excited!).

Since my kick-off party is in presale mode, I've linked back to my personal eShow so you can take advantage of the customer specials!

Click here to see the exclusive customer specials reserved only for home show and eShow shoppers.

Okay, what's first on my Cycle 3 wish list? Click on the books for more details.

General Reference Materials

Remember this guy?

Yeah. I never flipped through those babies for fun. However, I've heard many people say that their kids will sit down and just read these Usborne encyclopedia - without being asked! Bring it!


Mary LOVES Flip-Flap Body and has read it countless times on her own.

The sticker book is so cool! I flipped through it today at the book fair; it was hard to put down!


Usborne's collection of World Wars books and cards is pretty massive. I love that these books will be used for two cycles!

These See Inside books of the wars (above) are INCREDIBLE! I looked through them at Teach Them Diligently last month, and I will definitely be getting these with my free hostess books next week!

Mary loves these sticker books, too.

This next cycle is the perfect time to introduce Mary to one of the most fascinating events in history:

We'll do this Week 16 of Cycle 3, and I can't wait! There are just so many valuable lessons to be learned through this tragic event.


What a fun way to spend a little more time with numbers!

And there you have it!

These are my Usborne picks for the upcoming Cycle 3. Best thing of all: I'll get most, if not all, of these free when I'm a hostess next week. SO excited!

Oh, wait!

You can't make it to my house for the party?

What a bummer!

But you can still come to my eShow, and you can come in your jammies and fuzzy bunny slippers. Oh, and you can do it right now, too, if you'd like! Click on the invitation to start the party!

My personal eShow will close next week, too, which means you won't be able to get the customer specials after that. So, if you're ready to get the BEST educational children's books on the market at great prices, click here to go shoppin', friend! :)

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