Showing posts with label homeschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homeschooling. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2022

Homeschooling for the second year


We aren't new to homeschooling (we homeschooled my nephew who we have had since he was a baby) and wish we really did it with our first child and continued with all of them. With that being said on July 27,2021 we made the decision to homeschool our youngest child. Between Covid -19, remote learning, and the public school system doing a great disservice in teaching my children (at least the last two) we felt we needed to take the reigns so our youngest child would be better prepared for what the future may hold for her.

Little did we know I would find out that soon after that I had cancer and then find out it was Stage 3 Colon Cancer. My immune system was horrible, to begin with, Chemotherapy didn't make it any better so it was the right move at the right time. Even though last year threw us curve balls we made it through, seeing our child start to blossom, and finding out what she really enjoyed and what she hated in school was worth it. 

We are of course better prepared than we were last year and so far the school year is going well. 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Narnia Night

 This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Some of you might remember that we started family reading. Kind of like a book club for our family so we could read the same book at the same time.  We usually have discussions on it and when there is a movie we would also celebrate the ending of the book with the movie and then critique it to see which parts we liked best. Spoiler for our family it is usually the book that wins. 

Our first book was "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" written by C.S. Lewis. You can read all about why we started family reading here. We just finished reading it this last week and set Friday as our movie night to enjoy the book we read in movie form. We chose the 2005 version. We also ordered Turkish delight to have as a treat during the movie as a surprise for my daughter. 

We bought both the fruit and nut versions of Turkish Delight because we couldn't decide. 

My daughter called earlier asking us to watch my grand daughter for the weekend we call her Beaner. Of course we said yes. We enjoy almost all of the time we have with our grand daughter. My hsuabnd and I had decided earlier in the week as we were nearing the end of the book that we would make it a themed night so we served buttered toast with Sardines, cut up boiled eggs, and tea as well,  before we pulled out the Turkish Delight just as Edmund was about to bite into his piece. 

My grand daughter really was excited about everything and wished she had read with us over the summer. We told her she could still read the next book we pick out with us. We now have really neat gadgets and apps like facebook messenger, zoom, etc to be able to do everything in real time together. This whole thing really got my daughter excited about reading more books as well. 

We are going to go back and read book one in the series since for some reason I didn't know that this wasn't the first book. That is OK though, sometimes that is just how you find a new author to read, and then go back and read all or most of their books. I can't count how many authors and book series I started in the wrong order and have gone back and read them in order, and then picked up other series they have written and read those as well. 

Was Family Reading worth it? For us it really was and I hope to enjoy many more books with my family in the years to come. Here is to a new family tradition. Are there any new tradtions you have added over the last year? 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Family Reading

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Over the years I have read many books to my children, the children I have cared for, my grandchildren, and even to myself. My husband and myself have read many books together and also shared our own genre of books with each other. I have a long time love of reading books. The love of reading books comes from my father who took the time each night to read to me till 4th grade when my reading level was college level and my father wasn't sure what to do so the Dr. told him to just read anything to me and he started to read medical journals, Life jornalism books, National Geographic, and the old Readers digest books, pretty much anything he could think of. 

We were not rich by any means but I know there were always books for me to read, magazines like Highlights, Ladybug, Cricket, Jack and Jill, Spider, and Humpty Dumpty. Book sets delivered to our home that I devoured some with help, most without. 

Years later when I would have my own children I just expected them to read like I did. At three years old my parent thought I had memorized the books I was reading and the Dr. told them that I knew how to read and wanted to know who taught me. They hadn't, they had just been reading to me and somehow I just picked it up. So when my children struggled with reading I didn't really know how to teach them because it had just come naturally to me, but thankfully my husband had learned to read the good old fashioned way so between us we did OK until the kids went off to school and let them take over. 

Now forward past my first 4 children to my last two girls and I knew something just wasn't clicking for them and thought that the school had it all covered. In steps Covid-19, remote learning and the thrown in my face fact that the school had let me and most of all my chidren down. Not to say my kids haven't had great teachers because they have but the teachers can only do so much with the time they have when the government or state gives them a timeline to adhere to even if the kids are left behind (No child left behind is far from the truth of things). The truth is if the child falls behind they are usually left there to fail with little or no support to help them. 

So our family after my 18 year old and 5th child graduated 12th grade by the skin of her teeth and my now 13 year old were done with school this year, we decided we would homeschool our youngest through High School. We want her to learn to read better, to understand what she is reading, and actually hold on to some of that knowledge before being rushed on to something she doesn't even understand (like algebra when she doesn't know her times tables). 

Back to reading before I get going off to far in the wrong direction. This summer we decided to start family reading, where we all read the same book together at the same time. To make sure our daughter is staying up with us we all take turns reading passages so that we can help her with words she doesn't know while modeling what to do while reading. Such as pausing for commas, showing emphasis,  how words look or sound the same but are very different from each other, and how to find out which to use in a sentence. We just want her to be better prepared for the future then her sister is at this time. We have just lost too much time trusting that the school would do the work for us. 

So here we are on our first book The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe written by C.S. Lewis, which by the way I thought was the first book in the series The Chronicles of Narnia not the second so we will be going back to book one The Magician's Nephew at some time in the future. Learning never ceases even as an adult. If you are interested in The Chronicles of Narnia check it out below. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Getting Ready to Homeschool

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

With everything that is going on in the world and our wake up call when the kids went remote that the school was not doing them justice. I won't go on about how far behind they are from other students or that they are were being asked to do work when they couldn't do the work leading up to that work, so they felt  defeated everyday because they just didn't understand how to do the work. Yes my oldest child graduated by the skin of her teeth but that is a whole other story for another time. 

Right now is where we are at. My now 13 year old daughter Dorothy has been asking to be homeschooled for a few years now and after what we have seen, we decided to take our cue from her seriously and take the plunge again. We have homeschooled before and enjoyed it. Looking back I wish we had homeschooled all six of our children right from the get go. With that being said he we beginning our journey into Homeschooling once more this coming fall. 

We ordered our learning curriculum which has arrived (our state has strict guidelines to follow) and now we are looking at school supplies that will work with our families needs. We know we didn't really need a lot so we are just filling in around what we already have available in our home. 

Since my daughter is entering 9th grade and with my health some of the days will be spent traveling or even at her sister's house we went with a system that would allow her to take her basic school needs with her where ever she might be learning on any particular day. 

One of the big items we provided for her was a computer for home use, a microscope which will be coming in soon, and this ZIPIT'N'GO Organizer which will hold all of her books she is working on. We went with a system that has smaller workbooks that can be changed out as the year progresses, so they fit perfectly into the acordain file system that is built into this binder. 

What I love most about this case is that once closed it zips up so nothing will be lost when in transit from place to place. There is a front pouch for holding pens, pencils, calculator, etc. A 3 ring spot for regular folders, dividers, paper, etc. A nice flap on the back where you can keep a flat pad of paper or store other projects. It has lots of different pockets built in to store pretty much everything you would need for a day of learning. 

There is also a detachable strap for the binder so you can carry it with you and have your hands free for
other tasks. You can also use the handle to carry it, or use the the tried and true in your the crook of your arm hold. Either way you are sure to be organized and ready for the day. What I love most is that it has a lifetime warranty which means they really stand behind their products. 

We have had many ZIPIT products over the years and we have yet to have one fail us, now it is our turn to try out this and put it the test. Make sure to check back with us at the end of the school year to see how it held up. Find the ZIPIT'N'GO Organizer at Walmart

Check out ZIPIT on






Disclosure:  MarksvilleandMe received one or more of the products mentioned above as part of a promotion. Regardless, MarksvilleandMe only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. Some of the links in the article may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive compensation.  If you would like MarksvilleandMe to review or promote a product or service please contact us at

Monday, August 19, 2019

College Prep Science Giveaway

This is great for those homeschooling out there and regular students who will be pursuing Science after they graduate.  

College Prep Science #Homeschool #HomeschoolScience

About College Prep Science

College Prep Science is a Christ-Centered Focus Program. The purpose of "College Prep Science" is to give homeschooled students access to high level science that is focused on scientific inquiry, critical thinking, process reasoning, data collection, and the graphical and written representation of research. Greg Landry, Founder, College Prep Science, says, "we want to prepare competent, confident students for their remaining high school years, their college years, and life. The fact that our classes and labs are taught from a Christian / Creationist worldview does not mean they're 'watered down.' Quite the contrary - they are very challenging."
Meet Greg Landry:
Greg has spent the past 20+ years teaching science. He taught at a university, taught thousands of homeschooled students, has mentored students planning to pursue science / pre-med degrees, has designed and directed a university anatomy and physiology / biology / cadaver lab, has academically counseled hundreds of college pre-professional (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy, etc.) sophomores and juniors, has designed science labs for homeschooled students, published and presented scientific research, AND has written science lab manuals!

College Prep Science #Homeschool #HomeschoolScience

College Prep Science Giveaway Prize Details!

The College Prep Science Back to School Giveaway Grand prize winner will receive a Full School Year (Two Semesters) Online Science Class ($680 value)! Live Online Classes are more than just a once a week teaching engagement. Students are assigned homework, take exams, and are provided with an end of course grade that can be retained for your student's homeschool portfolio and high school transcripts.
Live Online Classes at College Prep Science are available for Biology | Life Prep Biology | Chemistry | Life Prep Chemistry | Physics | Life Prep Physics | Human Anatomy & Physiology | Exercise and Sports Physiology | Pre-Anatomy & Physiology | Pre-Chemistry | Pre-Biology | Pre-Physics | Forensic Science & Human Anatomy | Embryology - The Magnificence of Human Development | Introduction to Biochemistry/Microbiology.
Visit the Live Online Classes details page to learn more about the classroom dashboard and high quality virtual lab service. There, you will also find answers to your questions on attendance requirements, class times, and school schedule.

REMINDER: Fall Classes Start September 9th!

Visit College Prep Science to Register Today!

College Prep Science #Homeschool #HomeschoolScience
The College Prep Science Back to School Giveaway Runner Up Winner will Receive a 2-Day Biology or Chemistry Lab Intensive ($280 value). Science Lab Intensives are offered in 15 cities during the Fall, 2019 and Spring, 2020. Each two day intensive is the equivalent of a full school year of labs! Intensives can be attended by future, current, or previous Biology or Chemistry students. There are no prerequisites to attend! Appropriate background information is presented prior to and during each lab that is performed.
Visit the Science Lab Intensives details page to find course details, event locations, daily schedules, and how each child will be able to apply what they have learned with "real-life" knowledge.

Back to School with College Prep Science #CollegePrepScience #Homeschool #Science #BTS
Two Winners!
Runner Up will Receive 2-Day Biology or Chemistry Lab Intensive ($280 value)
Grand Prize Winner will Receive: Full School Year Online Science Class ($680 value)
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 8/24 at 1159 pm est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

MarksvilleandMe would like to wish all those who enter
Good Luck!

Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by College Prep Science and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook, Participating bloggers, are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by any social media outlet including, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Please contact Victoria (at) regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.
College Prep Science Online Classes for Homeschool Students and 2-Day Lab Intensives in 15 Cities Across the Country 2019-2020 School year

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Zapzapmath through the Summer

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Summer vacation is just around the corner for my children while others are well into their vacations. As a mom I don't want my children to fall behind with their math or reading skills so I like to keep things on hand so they stay on level and maybe gain a few things too. The object for me is to make it fun as well as educational.

I found a great Math app to add to our lineup called Zapzapmath which you can find out more about here. I have a list of specs below for you as well. I was able to get ZApzapmath Home Premium to try for my girls and so far my oldest is loving it but have to wait for my grand daughter to get her so she can check it out as well. Make sure to read below for a nice discount on this app before buying.  

What I love most about this is that one account can hold up to 3 children so you save even more if you have multiple children. I downloaded this on my Apple system, and it can also be downloaded on Android but please be aware that they do not support Kindle which was a bummer for us because they are the tablets we ended up going with when we upgraded everyone. 

This is great for both the child who loves math and those who need to like it more then they do. While playing each child can accessorize their Avatar and build their own little world. Just think while they are having fun they are also learning which is a win win. 

With zapzapmath home you will also get fun learning & math tools which are awesome to have on hand too. This is my opinion and one I think most parents will share with me. If you make learning fun then a child seems to learn better and they retain it much longer then if they just are working through something they don't like or do well at. Giving your child the right tools to succeed is so important in today's society, so why not make it fun too.

Zapzapmath goes from grades K-6 so this will take your little scholar a long way. You get 10 apps with over 180 games.

Check out the video below to find out more about Zapzapmath

Looking to give your kids quality screen time while having fun learning and practicing math? Zapzapmath Home comes to the rescue!  With Zapzapmath Home, you can enjoy:
  • Enjoy over 180+ math games from K to Grade 
    Add up to 3 kid profiles
    With just one Zapzapmath Home Premium Membership. You get full access to all 10 apps:
    • Grade K to Grade 6  (7 Apps )
      • Over 180 fun math games covering all math topics

      Fraction Basics App
      • Learn fractions easily from all 12 animated videos

      Fraction Calculator + Decimals App
      • Check your fractions homework easily and speedily

      Multiplication Flash Cards 
      • Practice your multiplication in a fun and engaging way

      Download all of Zapzapmath Home apps here:

    “ Review: 4.5 Stars - Excellent App!”
    All these for just USD19.99/year  
  • but my readers will get 10% off  which brings the price to 17.99 USD at this link.

Find out more about ZApzapmath on:

Disclosure:  MarksvilleandMe received one or more of the products mentioned above as part of a promotion. Regardless, MarksvilleandMe only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. Some of the links in the article may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive compensation.  If you would like MarksvilleandMe to review or promote a product or service please contact us at

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Rock N Learn

My 8 year old who is a bit behind in reading is enjoying these and once she is done these are going to my grand daughter next. I love how they learn with this set of DVD's and their site has even more learning DVD's to choose from.

We are interested in a few for our daughters. Learning through and with music is a great way to pick up things, while being able to remember and use it over and over again. Like the old school house rock cartoons which we own as well.

There is so much here that my daughter is still making her way through these DVD's over the summer to keep her ready for next year.

You get 10 DVD's in this set that each have their own place in teaching your child to read. Great for schools, home schooling, or just plain having around to help your child learn.

You can find Rock N Learn on their website and on Amazon.

What Rock N Learn has to say about their product.

Let’s Learn to Read is a series of 10 DVDs and optional activities that provide a fun way for kids to build reading skills, from beginners through second grade. Entertaining music, humorous characters, and engaging stories help learners stay focused. By covering phonics rules and sight words, this collection offers the best of both worlds. And it's sequentially paced to work well with our free worksheets. Learners move on from one DVD to another, as they are ready.

Phonics skills include vowels, consonants, blends, digraphs, diphthongs, silent consonants, rule breakers, and more. Over 170 sight words help build speed and accuracy for the most common words used in children’s literature.
 You can find out more about Rock N Learn on:

Disclosure:  MarksvilleandMe received one or more of the products mentioned above as part of a promotion with Tomoson and Rock N Learn. Regardless, MarksvilleandMe only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. Some of the links in the article may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive compensation.  If you would like MarksvilleandMe to review a product or service please contact us at

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Match It! Trilingual Colors and Shapes

This is a great learning toy/puzzle for those who would like their child to learn new languages. Each piece matches up with the words in English, Spanish, and French. A great way to give your child a heads up on learning languages early in life.

The Learning Journey International Match It! Trilingual Colors and Shapes teaches shapes, colors, English, Spanish and French. Great for both home and school use. Colorful, fun, and easy to put together.

Match It! Trilingual Colors and Shapes can be found on Amazon or at the website near the bottom of this post.

What the The Learning Journey International has to say about their product.

This colorful set of 30 Match It puzzle cards will provide children with a great introduction to Colors & Shapes – and three languages! Match It! Trilingual Colors & Shapes cards feature a color or shape and the corresponding matching card show the word in English, Spanish and French. Simply match the two pieces together to complete the puzzle and start learning some new words! Each puzzle is self-correcting as no two puzzle cuts are the same. This is a fun way to learn about colors and shapes.  Contains 30 two-piece puzzles cards. Ages 3 + years.

You can find out more about The Learning Journey International on:

Disclosure:  MarksvilleandMe received one or more of the products mentioned above as part of a promotion with Tomoson and The Learning Journey International. Regardless, MarksvilleandMe only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. Some of the links in the article may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive compensation.  If you would like MarksvilleandMe to review a product or service please contact us at 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ultimate Volcano Kit

Just like other products I have reviewed from Discover Dr. Cool the Ultimate Volcano kit is just as fun. Your child gets to pain the volcano and then mix up the volcano mix and enjoy an erupting volcano.

My girls had been asking for one of these and Discover Dr. Cool came through with an awesome project for them to do. They loved it.

A video will be coming soon and I will post the link once it is up.

You can purchase Dr. Cool's Volcano here or on Amazon.

What Dr. Cool Has to say about their product.
  • * Make a volcano erupt and collect 3 real volcanic specimens (pumice, obsidian arrowhead, and a geode)
    * Ultimate kit includes: Volcano Mold, plaster, paints, brush, eruption powder, and 3 real specimens
    * Perfect science fair project or gift for kids 6-12 that are interested in volcanoes, earth science or geology
    * Full-Color Info and Activity guides were written by teachers are filled with cool science facts about volcanoes and puzzles to solve
    * Winner of Gold Award from Family Review Center, Kids Product of the year from Creative Child Magazine, and Seal of Approval from the Toy Directory

We've turned this classic science experiment into the ultimate hands-on volcano experience! First you'll use the plaster and mold included to make your volcano chamber. Then you'll use the brush and paints included in the kit to decorate it. Next you'll make the volcano erupt over and over again with the eruption powder (included). Plus you'll get to examine 3 genuine volcanic specimens including: a real geode, an obsidian arrowhead, and a floating piece of volcanic rock called pumice. The information guide will teach you all about your specimens as well as how volcanoes form and why they erupt. Also included is an activity booklet with 10 fun games, puzzles, and challenges to complete. Because everything is included in the kit, you won't need to run to the store for additional supplies. If you're doing this project for the science fair, you'll love how nice this volcano looks---it's way better then those paper mache volcanoes. This is the perfect science kit for anyone interested in geology, earth science, or volcanoes.

AWARDS WON: Gold Award - Family Review Center 2012, Seal of Approval - Family Review Center - 2012, Kids Product of the Year - Creative Child Magazine -2012 and Seal of Approval - Toy Directory Monthly 2013.

  • Some tips for casting a successful volcano: the Ultimate Volcano directions call for one cup of water to be added to the plaster, and this amount works for most customers. However, if you have added a full cup and the mix still seems too thick to pour into the mold, stir in a little extra water, adding a bit at a time (up to 1/4 cup). The ideal consistency should be thick, but pourable. We also recommend working quickly and using cold water throughout, since warm or hot water can make the plaster harden more quickly.
You can find out more about Discover with Dr. Cool on:

Disclosure:  MarksvilleandMe received one or more of the products mentioned above as part of a promotion with Tomoson and Discover with Dr. Cool. Regardless, MarksvilleandMe only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. Some of the links in the article may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive compensation.  If you would like MarksvilleandMe to review a product or service please contact us at