10 Books We Love to Read Together

This week’s 10 in 10 is Favorite Read Alouds.

We never get tired of reading these books together!

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Owl Babies

Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball

Hank the Cowdog series

Over in the Meadow

Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes

The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury

Farmer Boy

The Sign of the Beaver

What’s on your list?


{Books for Sale}

We are remodeling our gameroom and some stuff has to go! I will be adding more to the list in the coming week.

Items are in good condition unless noted. Pay by money order or non-cc Paypal (or good ol’ cash if I know you!). I am willing to make a deal for multiple items purchased. Also, see my wish list @ the end -maybe we can make a trade! Email me at  toombstown @ gmail (dot) com if you are interested.

Mystery of History Vol 1   $20 ppd  SOLD

All About Spelling Level One book only  $10 ppd (see my review hereSOLD

Simply Grammar  $8 ppd  -shelf wear on cover; pages in great condition

Family Math  $8 ppd  -shelf wear on cover; pages in great condition

Creative Hands-On Science Cards & Activities   $6 ppd

Exploring Creation with General Science  $15 ppd -older edition ©2000 – wear on edges of cover, pages in good condition

Writing Strands Level 3  $10 ppd

Over Our Heads in Wonder  $6ppd  (see my review here)

Student of the Word Year 1  $100 ppd w/delivery confirmation  -includes teacher edition, resource edition, worksheets & audio tape

Presidential Penmanship Italic Complete Program CD $15 ppd  – has title marked out on cd, but I received it like that from the publisher -used 1 time to review (see my review here)

Gymathtics  $9 ppd  (see my review here)

Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class Vol 1  $15 ppd  DVD and book  (see my review here)

Maestro Classics Tortoise and the Hare CD   $6 ppd  (see my review here)

Basic Math Word Problem Tutor DVD  $12 ppd  (see my review here)

Read and Understand Fiction   $6 ppd

Reptiles Hands-On Science Activity Pages  $4 ppd  -ink spot on top of pages but does not affect inside of book

Space Exploration Hands-On Science Activity Pages  $4 ppd

Month-by-Month Poetry: March, April, May & June  $4 ppd

Menu Math  $4 ppd

US History Maps  $4 ppd

How to Teach Spelling Without Going Crazy  $4 ppd -gr. 4-8 Monday Morning Books

~My Wish List~

Life of Fred Math: Decimals and Percents, Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics

Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, Zoology 3, Anatomy & Physiology

Explode the Code books 2-7

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind Levels 3 or 4 instructor guide and student manual

our first week

We had a great first week of school – I think we were all ready to see summer break go!

Here’s a look at what we did:

~Back to School Fun~



We’ll see how much fun is had next week when we are back to our full schedule HA HA!

You can read more Weekly Wrap-Ups HERE.

howdy pilgrim


I am really pleased with my choice of  Truthquest History this year, and I’m excited that our study of the first colonies just happens to start in November.

Here are some good resources if you are studying the same thing:

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving is a free site from Scholastic. You can read historical fiction letters, find grade-specific lessons, and print out activities.


A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840

We are loving this book! It goes through the day-to-day life of the fictional Robertson family. The time period is a bit later, but we are reading it now while we have a little more time.


Hands-On History: Colonial America

The older girls are making a notebook using this book. It is filled with interesting activities which are great learning tools & not just a bunch of fluff.


History Pockets: Life in Plymouth Colony

The two younger will be making history pockets.


Who’s Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage?

We learned all kinds of interesting things in this true story about a 13 year old boy who lived in the Jamestown settlement.

Do you have any favorites to share?

review – Guardian Angel Publishing


We received 5 e-books from Guardian Angel Publishing to review. You can also purchase the books in CD or print form. I’m really impressed with the educational books, like the bones & earthquake titles. The are full of interesting information and very enjoyable to read – not dull or dry. I would prefer to read a story book in print form, but the science books worked great for us on the computer.

Here are the titles we read:

an1No Bones About It!

There is a bunch of information packed into this little book. Each page has several facts about bones & the body, and then there is a catchy little rhyme at the bottom that teaches the names of the bones in order. The pictures might be a bit graphic for the squeamish, but my gang loves that kind of silly stuff.



This very energetic, colorful book looks at what causes earthquakes and how they are tracked & measured. A few easy activities are scattered throughout and there is quite a bit of info on being prepared in the event of an earthquake. (We don’t have much of a need for that in this area, but I hope they come out with a similar book about tornadoes!!)


Andy and Spirit Go to the Fair

Andy has some physical disabilities, but he is able to overcome some challenges with the help of his horse Spirit. We just recently attended our state fair, so this book had good timing. This was not one of my favorites, but I think a little horse lover might enjoy it.


Maybe We Are Flamingos

This book is too cute! Little Flora and Fernando are worried that they will never be pink like the other flamingos. They find out that the pink color comes from their diet and start imagining what they would look like if they ate broccoli or tacos. This would be an adorable book to read with your pre-k/k child and then do a drawing activity like they did in the book.


Rainbow Sheep

The illustrations are what make this book so sweet. All of the characters are created from felted wool and they are beautiful. A big bonus: there are four pages at the end that give instruction on felting wool and show a few felted projects.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • e-books are $5.00
  • e-book CDs and printed books start at around $10.00 + shipping

Things I Like:

  • The educational books are packed with information.
  • The pictures and writing are very appealing.
  • The e-books are affordable.
  • Even though I prefer a physical book, these were very easy to read when I chose to view them in a 2-page layout.

Value: I think the e-books are a good value. I can’t really give an opinion on the printed books without seeing one.

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Guardian Angel Publishing.

review – Sarah’s Wish


I curled up with the free copy of Sarah’s Wish that we received and had a hard time putting it down! Jim Baumgardner, the author of the Sarah Book Series, wrote this book for his nine grandkids. He describes it as Young Adult fiction written by a Christian author. He makes history come alive for his young readers.

Sarah is a twelve year old girl living in 1858. She helps her mom hide runaway slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. Her mom tragically dies in an accident and now Sarah must be brave, keep her secret, and help deliver the “packages”. (My daughter & I are both a little bummed that a parent always seems to die in stories these days.)

Mr. Baumgardner has done such a good job of creating interesting characters that pull you right into the story. He comes across as quite a likeable character himself in his emails! Our book included a link to an audio download that our whole family will listen to as soon as I can figure it out 😉 We are studying American History this year and we are eager to read the entire series.

The Nitty Gritty: free s&h and books come autographed

  • Sarah’s Wish  $9.99       (126 pgs.)
  • Sarah’s Promise $13.50 (248 pgs.)
  • Sarah’s Escape  $17.50 (304 pgs.)

Things I Like:

  • There is a glossary at the beginning of the book.
  • We would much rather learn history through a living book than a dry textbook.
  • The book includes a link to a free audio download.
  • Our book was autographed and included a beautiful butterfly sticker.
  • The author is a hoot! He has a wonderful monthly newsletter full of info about the olden days. (See top right corner to sign up.)

Value: I think you get your money’s worth on this one. Your purchase includes a personalized autographed book, an audio version, and a monthly history lesson delivered to your inbox. This is a put it on the shelf & keep it book. This would make a great gift.

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Sarah’s Wish!

a is for apple


A is for Apple in our little schoolhouse this week.


Apple Accordion Doll

Cut & Glue Letter A

Apple Number Match

Apple Lacing Card

Apple Tree Math

Apples & Bananas Song

Johhny Appleseed Craft

or Johnny Appleseed Art

Johnny Appleseed Day Research Activity

and Crossword Puzzle for the older girls

I think we will finish up the week by making these Harvest Apple Squares

More Apple Resources

The Virtual Vine

Pratt’s Educational Resources

Kinder Printables

Books We Are Reading

How Do Apples Grow?

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked
Johnny Appleseed

The True Tale of Johnny Appleseed

review – Hank the Cowdog


“Stricken with Sneezaroma Because She Whacked Me on the Nose with a Wooden Spoon” is one of the chapter titles from The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse, our first experience with Hank the Cowdog.

We LOVED it!!

Hank is the Head of Ranch Security and Drover is his trusty sidekick. They spend their day getting in and out of hilarious predicaments around the ranch. My husband read 2-3 chapters each night before bed in his best Texas twang. This book had us clutching our sides – my husband even had trouble reading some of it because we were all laughing so hard.

Tales and Tunes of Hank the Cowdog has excerpts and songs from ten of Hank’s books. It was amusing to listen to the song that we had just read in the story, but overall my kids were not crazy about this. It’s only $3 though, so worth the price I think.

tornadoCoverThe Tornado Game got a much warmer reception. If you are familiar with the game of Sorry, then you will know how to play Tornado. I really like how all the pieces are stored inside the folding plastic gameboard. This would be a cute gift for the little Hank fan.

A Word of Caution: The Hank series uses some words that may not be allowed in your family. Examples: dadgum, stupid cat, boy calls his mom dummy (and is then disciplined). It would be very easy to edit these books if you read them out loud. [Our kids are not allowed to say some of these, but we live in Texas and they grew up hearing others speak “Cowboy”. LOL]

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Paperback book  $4.24
  • Tales & Tunes CD $3.00
  • Tornado game  $12.99

Things I Like:

  • our whole family looked forward to storytime every night because we knew this book would have us in stitches
  • they want to read the whole 54 book series!
  • the Tornado game was fun for all ages and folds & locks for easy storage

Value: I think you get a lot of bang for your buck.

See what my TOS Crew Mates have to say about Hank the Cowdog!

our first day


We had a lovely first day of school today!

We did some group activities and focused on getting notebooks organized – the real academics start on Monday!

We have a new student this year. My niece (11) is joining us each morning and we are enjoying her lovely spirit. Her bloggy nickname will be Niecey. (What can I say? I’ve used up all my creative brain cells planning our school.)

Here’s a look at what we did:

~ Sticks & Stones– We each got a body cutout with our name on it. We passed them around the circle, making sure to add a wrinkle or tear to each one as we passed it. They were a wrangled mess by the end. We then talked about how using our words as weapons does the same kind of damage to each other. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

~ We made get-well cards for my grandparents who are both in the hospital.

~ The 3 older girls filled out a Learning Style Questionnaire and How Many Ways Are You Smart?

~ The 2 younger colored & cut out a dog mask to go along with our Hank the Cowdog bedtime story.

~ We read the first lesson out of Over Our Heads In Wonder and then headed outside with this cloud paper to record our sky views.

~ Creating a September Nature Calendar was last on the list.

Tomorrow we will add journal writing and math to the mix. It’s going to be a great year!

hands-on math


I have some great Math links that I’m sharing with my friend, so I thought I would post them here for everyone to enjoy. I bookmarked them to go with our Charlotte Mason education, but they would also be great summer fun when it’s just too hot to go out!

Living Math! don’t miss the literature list

Living Math Forum yahoo group

Math Benchmarks a useful guide

Let’s Play Math! blog full of lots of great ideas

K-12 Math Resources love this! I will be printing some of these to use in our workboxes. (I’ll be posting lots more on workboxes in the coming weeks!)

Figure This! math challenges for Families

Hands-on Fractions

Fun Mathematics Lessons

Hands-on Math

Living Math – Squidoo

Our Journey Westward blog with lots of ideas

Dr. Mike’s Math Games for Kids

Math Their Way

Helping Your Child Learn Math click arrow at bottom – math at home, at the grocery store, on the go

Khan Academy video library

The School Bell fantastic site put together by a retired teacher. You could put together an entire curriculum for younger kids just using this site!

Math Cats math crafts and a great idea bank

Family Math Bookstore we had the Family Math book & I highly recommend it – wish I had kept it!! I got mine off of PaperBackSwap. I think I’ll go there now & add all of them to my wish list!