Nov 29, 2010

This Is The Season For Giving and Charity!

  I wanted to post about charity, and giving of ourselves this season, and all year long. In the fall and winter months the giving spirit is on our hearts at least it should be. We can use this time to remind ourselves of the things we can do for others throughout the entire year, especially as we approach the new year. Thanksgiving was established as a national day of Thanksgiving, a time to Give thanks to God for all that he has given us especially the essential fall harvest which made all the difference to a people relying on the harvest to feed them in the dangerous winter season. It was then, and still is a time for Thanksgiving and also a time to make peace with those you may have hurt or just fighting with.  Many people choose this time of year to do charity work, usually with established organizations who distribute Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner to those in need. Which is a good thing, and anyone who is able should find the time at least once in a while to do something of this nature.

Time is not the only thing that we can donate to help others, many of us will give a few dollars here or there to those who are asking, in order to use it for a cause. It is nice when people get together and help those in need and I am happy that so many do help out! Still there is something that bothers me and I have seen it over and over again. It is all good as I said before to do what you can for others, but what about at home, your family? Charity begins in the home I am sure you have heard that before. While you are out doing for strangers is there a grandparent you haven't seen in a while or a parent you have neglected even just a little. Have you been fighting with a sibling, and have not made up yet. Is someone in your family in need of you, your support, your friendship even just for you to give a call and say hello.

Many of those who are quick to do for strangers I feel fall short when it comes to their very own family, so is it really giving? You know who you are. We are called to adhere to the golden rule, Do unto other as you would want them to do unto you! As you read this with a giving spirit think of your own family, is there a parent you never call or have not seen for a long time. What about a grandparent you only see every couple months or years or not ever at all, or a sibling you don't even call anymore. These people love you, and even though they to have made mistakes and don't always do what they should have done in the past they are your family none the less. I know we are not perfect and make mistakes we all do but isn't the time now to do more than we have been. Now is the time to forgive and forget. The past is gone, the future doesn't exist yet and all we have is right now to make the changes or at the least make steps toward change. Put all of your negative feelings aside, life is to short, remember the power of forgiveness, give a call and send that Christmas card this year!

We are all in this world together and we are all apart of everything around us and everything effects each of us. Never stop learning! Learn how to be a better you! That is what I strive to do every day sometimes I admit I fail miserably and other times I am proud of all the things I have allowed my self to learn from those mistakes. You will learn more from your failures then from your successes!  Here is a great thing to say as you start your day "Today I will be better then I was yesterday."  When you do better and become a better you it will affect everyone and everything around you!

If you like this you may also like;

The Christmas Story

Is Easter Pagan 

The Hanukkah Story 


The Passover Holy Day

Thanks for reading please share!

Joanne Utke

Nov 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and fun with the family this week!

Nov 21, 2010

Art Inspired By The Wall E Game and Movie

Wall E Game For Windows is a great game and my oldest son has now about beat the whole game. They were inspired by the game to make some pictures. It started with my youngest then my oldest wanted to make some too. This is what I am sharing with you today!

Wall E by son age 4
Eva by my son age 4

Wall E by my son age 4

Wall E by my son age 7

Nov 18, 2010

Hart Ransom Home Based Charter School

   Hart Ransom is a A Home based Public Charter school in Stanislaus County. They offer a great home based program k-8. We are with the home based program and have been for three years. They offer various classes for the children to attend and fun field trip experiences. The staff is very friendly as well as the teachers. Each student gets the expert assistance and advise of one of the advisory teachers. The advisory teachers are their to assist you and your family through this home school experience. They also assist you in curriculum selection for your student you then get the curriculum for the year and your teacher is always their to help if you need it. What are the responsibilities of the student and parent? Each student must complete three samples work pages a month as well as AWR paper work that you the parent must fill out it is only one page per student and very reasonable. Every year a Winter Reception is held and entertainment provided. We like it and have has a great experience so far this last three years and look forward to many more years. This year or next my youngest will also be enrolled so he also can take advantage of all the great classes and opportunity that my oldest can enjoy. For more info Hart Ransom Home Based Public School program.

Also see: Modesto CA Home School Group

Home Based Charter Schools

Nov 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Free Printable Thanksgiving Coloring Pages. Great Thanksgiving color pages for the whole family. Free printable thanksgiving color pages for your kids.

More Thanksgiving Color Pages.

Nov 6, 2010

Home School Progress Report 2009

Home School VS Traditional School!

I just read this great article about homeschooling and traditional schooled children. This new study provided by HSLDA Home School Legal Defence Association paints a good picture of how home schoolers are doing compared to institutionalized educated children. This study showed only slight differences among home schoolers academically and huge differences among home schoolers and traditional schooled children. This study looked at home schoolers from all areas including family income, children per family and more. This is definitely worth reading and it didn't take but five minutes.

You can read this report here Home School Progress Report 2009

Nov 2, 2010

Make Money HomeSchooling!

You Could Replace Your Families Income Without A Job!

Getting Started In An Online Family Business. 

It is my belief that anyone can do anything, there are no excuses! Now more than ever before it is relatively easy to start a business online. All you need is a product a few new skills and some information........

To read more about making money homeschooling please go to the original article. Make Money HomeSchooling article published at Hub Pages.

Oct 26, 2010

Chelene Nightingale, California Vote 2010

Chalene Nightingale For Governor Of California 2010!

She wants to uphold the Constitution and ttraditional American family values. She is for the rights of the unborn human person and all of us to have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness! She believes in the rights of homeschooling families to educate their own children and supports other education choices for American children and families.

Oct 22, 2010

Modesto CA Home School Group

Modesto Home School Group: As seen at

ATTENTION: You will have to log in to FB to join and view this group.

After loggin in you may click on the link below and it should take you to the group. Then join group. I will contact you and approve you in the group. I will see you there! Joanne Utke

Oct 14, 2010

Why Homeschool: Scholarships for homeschoolers - the website

Why shouldn't their be Scholarships for home schoolers? Check out how a family is making it happen for some homeschoolers and this is just the start. I hope one day their are Scholarships available to every college bound home school student! 

Why Homeschool: Scholarships for homeschoolers - the website

Oct 13, 2010

Free Printable Cursive Pages

   My son has shown an interest in learning cursive so I found a couple of great free printable cursive packets. We printed out both packets I have listed here and it will be the cursive curriculum for a long time. He is seven and he wants to do about two pages a week. I have posted the packets here, they are free printables.

Cursive Alphabet Practice 12 pages  I found this at TLS Books

I have also found a free printable cursive packet of 26 pages containing all the upper and lower cases at ABC Teach.

Oct 12, 2010

Parenting, Discipline and Kids.

  This content was move to Hub Pages you can read  Parenting, Discipline and Kids at Hub Pages. Comments always appreciated and you can leave them here or on Hub Pages.

Thank You For Your Support!

Joanne Utke

Oct 7, 2010

Standardized Testing And Home School, My Thoughts.

    I have been doing some thinking on the pros and cons of standardized testing in schools and among homeschoolers who are forced to partake in this ritual. The method of state standardized testing is a way of tracking the academic progress of school children, testing them on basic knowledge. The student is given a score and placed among a statistic for their age and grade. Schools like this because they feel it gives them an idea of what the students know and if they meet the standard for their age and grade set by our education system. Schools are then commended for high scores among the masses of their students while low scoring schools, students and teachers are looked down on and encouraged to raise those scores. This may increases the stress of the teachers and students only making the problem worse! Standardized testing says that all children at like ages and grades must know generally the same information in the same way. Standardized testing does not take into consideration the home life of the student, the people who talk to them and don't, as well as their ability to learn at the same rate as other kids who are taking the same test.

The reason why schools are so fond of standardized testing is because it provides them cookie cutter information for the cookie cutter society they are training kids for! They can weed out the "fast" learners to the "slow" learners and label them accordingly. This may produce stress and depression for the "slow" learners and high levels of "self esteem for the "fast" learners. "Great job you have a high score" as they get a pat on the back for all of their hard work. The "slow" learners just get "you need to do better or you will fail" then they are placed in a class where they can "improve" and continue to do work that offers little to know challenge. That was me in the resource classes sitting their with the other "slow learning" or lazy kids who just wanted to get by and get out! I loved to score low on tests, and I loved the easy classes, there were less kids and the classroom was open for free conversation with the teacher as well as more art time. Yet that didn't change my self esteem, I always thought I was one of the dumb ones or at least that is what I was led to believe.

Deep down inside I knew I could do it if I really wanted to but why? so I can keep up with the other kids labeled "smart" and "good students" I didn't want to keep up I wanted to just learn and find my own way. I finally got out of school early thanks to independent study, finally I was allowed to learn at my own pace and surprise surprise I had the time to learn even more and of all the things I found that I have always wanted to learn! I finally felt like an individual. Anyway, this is about standardized testing and home school not me. Like most parents I want to do all I can for my children without doing to much damage lol! We are using a public Charter for our home school needs and he is in 2nd grade and will be required to do standardized testing in May. I have my reservations however and I am sorting it all out hence my post. He has already been tested on reading and was not allowed to participate in the program two years ago for Kindergarten until he had the assessment test. A passing score meant he was ready for Kindergarten curriculum, he passed but what did this really prove? It proved he was in line or even ahead of other students his age and was capable of doing the State mandated curriculum. Possible useful information for a cookie cutter life in a school that wants all the kids to learn, think and act in a certain way. I am not trying to say anything bad about the home based Charter school we use, but I have realized that it is still a public school with minds sets much the same. You need to take this into consideration before using a Public Charter Program. Learn more about home based Charter School Programs.

When I began this home school journey I wanted freedom to teach my kids in a way that was all them not every other kid. I am learning now about real education and how my own kids learn. Do I really want them to learn in a way that makes them better capable to score high on a test or learn in a way that speaks to them and actually allows them to learn and use their God given minds as an individual who they are made to be! Fortunately the program we are in offers much freedom and control on my part and we are happy with it so far (still way better than a regular public school).     

About standardized testing, I did try to see it the other way and have for many years. I said why not Standardized testing after all kids must have a basic knowledge so that they at least know what people are talking about in general conversations as well as do basic math and write a book report. We must know how kids stack up to other kids in the nation and we must track their education with tests made up with information they probably memorized anyway! When you spell it all out it really sound ridiculous, I am realizing that as I write this lol!

Standardized Testing: What Can It Hurt Anyway? I will explore this on another post in the mean time please comment and tell me your side. I want to hear the opinions of many people so please share.

Thanks for reading, to your families success!

Joanne Utke

Oct 1, 2010

How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor.

I am currently reading for the second time, How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor

Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more. I heard about this book a few years ago while doing research about vaccinations. This book is not all about vaccines but it has a chapter in it on the subject. This book helped me to understand more about how the medical establishments work especially pediatricians and how to protect my children from them.

Some of the best chapters in this book are as followed.

Most things get better by morning
Parents and Grandparents are wiser than Doctors
How Doctors make healthy kids sick
Immunizations against Disease: A medical time bomb?

And more...

I feel this in one of those books that everyone should have.

How To Raise a Healthy child in Spite of Your Doctor.

Sep 21, 2010

FREE Education Games And Other Activities

       Here are the fun and educational game sites we have found. More added monthly! Many of them we have played on but some of them we have not yet. These sites are FREE to use online and can add to a great day of learning for you and your children. They are placed in the category of relevancy but most of the sites listed do offer many games for other subjects. We hope you enjoy these sites with your family!


Social Studies:



Language Arts:


Aug 29, 2010

Our Home School Begins Another Year

    We officially started on workbooks again, this year we are not focusing to much on workbooks but I feel they have there place. My son started 2nd grade home school and my youngest is starting to learn pre k reading. It was nice to have a break and we all needed it.

Last year we took on a lot of book work and didn't finish all of the workbooks we had but my son still did very well. So this year we are only using the workbooks needed for basic knowledge and this year we have picked curriculum that are more straight to the point and easy to follow along.

That way we can focus more on reading great books and doing fun activity instead of workbooks all day. My son loves video games so we incorporate educational computer games into our day, and my kids can play on their own while I get some stuff done.

Not to mention it is a great incentive to getting workbooks done!

This year we have chosen Pathways for our reading curriculum and I am very happy with it. Pathways consists of a chapter book and a workbook the child does a page before the section of the book is read and then does a page after. There are also phonics pages to do anytime, this is a straight forward curriculum in reading and hits all the important parts to reading. Pathways was created by the Amish to be used in their school houses. Pathways chapter books are filled with great stories that children love as well as character building scenarios.

We are using Math Steps for our math curriculum. This curriculum has a teachers guide as well as a great easy to follow workbook that gets right to the point of each math lesson.

We also are using a vocabulary workbook called Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier Oxford. This one has a teachers guide and it is also very user friendly and hits all necessary vocabulary skills.

For spelling we use Spelling Connections by Zaner Bloser also a user friendly curriculum, this has a teachers guide and a workbook that gives a spelling list at the beginning of each section. The student practices the words by doing the corresponding work pages and then a challenge page that introduces more challenging above grade level words.

In English we are using Houton Mifflin.
Science is Mc Graw Hill.
Social Studies is California Vista this curriculum is standard for CA public schools.

There is not much to say about the last three, but we read them do the workbooks, activities and discuss the information. Later we may read other books and enjoy Field trips to places where we can further our education on the subjects.

Thanks for reading I just wanted to post something about our curriculum choices. We will not however be focusing our day on workbooks. I feel that curriculum has its place in home school especially when it comes to a basic knowledge which I feel essential in life but not solely obtained in a strict curriculum program.

We get all this curriculum for free provided to us by our Home Based Charter program provided to us by the state of CA. There are many Home Based Charter programs for your homeschooling needs, also see Online Home School Programs.  Home Based Charter Schools

Aug 24, 2010

Critical Thinking And Reawakening That Professional Question Asker Inside You!

      It is my opinion that the general population of Americans and around the world, don't question authority much or what seems like authority. From the time we are born we are told different things some true, some false and some things just out right dangerous.

We grow up listening to Doctors, teachers, religious organizations, our well intended parents and the government, without really putting a lot of thought into it. As children we ask questions and accept the answers and most of the time we are not really taught about critical thinking and how to question authority. Our parents usually just answer the question to the best of their ability and we just move on not really thinking about the information that has just been fed to us.

Eventually we grow up as a product of whatever information and experiences that were fed to us and in many cases still fed to us, throughout our daily lives. Few question enough, compared to the majority who simply follow along the same path or paths as their parents, siblings and peers. Many people grow up confused or extremely stubborn even after truths have been revealed to them and many just don't want to know.

From the moment we can observe the world around us we had a natural curiosity and tendency to question the things and events around us, it is a natural state of being. As soon as we start to move around we are told No, don't touch that! Even when it is relatively safe many parents get in to this habit, forgeting that touch is a big part of our development.

We were professional question askers at one point in time. As children we asked many questions, the quality of the answers dependended on who we were asking, but it is my opinion that "there is no such thing as a stupid question," many of us were even told to stop asking so many questions! When a question arose which challenged the opinions and beliefs of authoritative bodies we were told "because that is the way it is" we were rarely given an explanation of the answers we got and were conditioned to take it on face value.

I even experienced silence as my answer as a teen after making a rather serious but inquisitive remark, I see that moment as a time that really had an impact on the choices I made. Once in school in wasn't much different, we had to sit and be quiet in many cases and the over stuffed class room setting allowed very little time for honest questioning and discussions over topics.

We were given a curriculum picked for us by the school or state and a full school day would be seven hours and by the time we got home more like 8 or 9 hours of our day.Coming home tired and hating school we had to do our home work, eat dinner and perhaps socialize with our family and friends for a few hours before climbing into bed to do it all again.

We had little time for true learning, which I consider to be asking questions, finding and getting the right answers, called truth! In many cases it is not until later in life that we really start to learn, if we are so lucky. Many of us have been conditioned in such a way that we would not question the things we have always believed to be true even if detrimental to our life, health and well being.

We are told to go to school, get a job, and work for the rest of your life and if your lucky! You can retire at 62 but we are also told not to count on that, without even an explanation or a morsel of what we could do instead. We accept this life as the life given to us and not as the life we can make for ourselves. In most schools we were not given any other options and since we are products of our parents and environment, most of the time at home we are not given them either.

We go to the doctor and take our children to the pediatrician who's answer to every thing is a drug that only covers symptoms. We give our children vaccine medications from the time they are born with little thought as to what is in the drug, what will it do, we don't even read the paper work the nurse gives us just before allowing them to inject a foreign agent filled with toxic chemical poisons and biological products into our children!

I will add there is a reason why they give you the paper work just before the shot is administered, without giving you time to question it let alone read the documents mandated by law to give you! When you ask the Doctor is it safe they say yes it is, and we trust them.

They tell you it is good and you have to do it, you have no choice. Many people go about actually believing that they have no rights and surrender to the system. Sure we all have a responsibility to seek the truth and we are all capable of doing so, but it is apparent to me that we are conditioned not to!

The thing is when you can control how people feel you can control what they believe, you can control what they do! We are programmed every day by everyone and everything around us some good and some bad, it is what makes us who we are. It is in our human nature to absorb information, that is how we first learn to walk, talk, and do everything else that we do.

The problem is when this is done with little to no critical thinking. We are conditioned by our environment not to be to critical, and that it is rude to ask to many questions or specific questions, especially questions that challenge the opinion or beliefs of the person and or authority being asked, as I explained earlier.

Since we are products of our environment we need to be careful about what we watch on TV as well as our impressionable children, this is so important. Many television shows and movies are filled with propaganda meant to shape what you feel and believe.

This is done by the media, government, religious organizations, product manufacturers and television networks. Much like the Internet television is a "advertising tool" it is meant with one main objective in mind, to sell advertising space to millions of relevant ad watchers. The television programming you get is just the vehicle used in which the ads are put in front of you the consumer.

This is apparent when watching teen shows for example, that infuse a feeling of materialism / consumerism on your children, even sexual behavior, without you or your children really noticing, and why would you if you are being conditioned not to question what is being fed to you. Really the list of propaganda, anti truths, and out right destructive information is being fed to you and your children on a daily basis, the good new is you can control much of it.

You can as our family does choose not to view much television and when you do be selective. Use critical thinking when choosing things in which to entertain your family. Ask your self, is it this really good for me and my children to take part in? Will the information that will in fact be fed to me and my children be productive or destructive? Will is shape our minds for greatness and success or not?

Well, today is a new day and you are reading this article, you may be hearing some of this for the first time and are not sure about it, or you may totally agree with me. I challenge you to think about it, critically, but not dismissively just because it may be contrary to what you currently believe. 

Don't take my word for it seek the information for your self, ask questions then find out if you got the right answer. This article is based on my personal life experiences and the things that I have learned and continue to learn. I do not ask you to substitute my judgement for your own, I only want to invite you into my way of thinking and challenge you to look at things a little differently.

We must reawaken the professional question asker in us that was present at early childhood but unfortunately stifled in many cases. We must not be afraid to challenge authority by asking the tough questions and we must be brave enough to seek the truth and act on it no matter how it contradicts with our current belief systems.

We deserve it, our children deserve it! We must take the time to read and read a lot and encourage our children not to just accept things on face value but to seek and demand the answers for them self. If you are home schooling this can be more easily obtained but even if your kids attend school encourage them to challenge their teachers and even you the parents and ask tough questions.

Think critically, objectively and with a sincere heart and you and your family will go far!

Thanks for reading!

Joanne Utke

If you like this article perhaps you will like this one too.

The Media Destroys Kids And The Parents Let It Happen!

Jun 16, 2010

Box Tops For Education

Box Tops For Education Scam?

            Box Tops For Education is a General Mills promotion going on among many packaged food items. They are tiny pink labels located on the top of the packaged item, you may have seen the commercials or heard about it from your kids school. Parents and school children are encouraged to collect the tiny labels and turn them in to the school, the school then turns them in to the General Mill Box Tops For Education and 10 cents is given to the school per pink label. Schools can earn extra cash for some of the things they need, and of course any little bit can help and it is better than doing nothing. But is it enough, and can Box Tops For education and the product manufacturers do more? Is it all gimmick and product promotion, or are they really trying to do something to help schools and kids.

According to The Center For Education Reform, there are about 98,793 public schools in the us. Toady's public schools spend $528.7 billion dollars annually, that's all public schools combined, and $10,889 dollars is the average district public school per pupil expenditure annually. General Mills Box Tops For Education since its start in 1996 has given 300 million dollars to 90,000 participating schools. Not bad, but when you do the math it really doesn't equate to much, at 10 cents per label if a school collected 5,000 labels that would be only 500 dollars. A school would have to collect 10,000 labels just to earn 1,000 dollars. Now I can see the earning potential provided that all students and families or at lest most of them will actively participate in the program, but what are the odds that a typical school will collect that many labels or more.

First you have to buy the Box Top products, sure some of them you may buy anyway but the Box Top promotions are intended to sell more of the products and you may be going out of your way to purchase things you may not have purchased otherwise. Then you must remember to clip the label off the package before you trash it, store them in a safe place, be sure not to loose them, and get them to your kids school or Box Tops For Education before the expiration date. General Mills does give about three years to the expiration date, so the biggest problem really is trashing the labels or loosing them.

The General Mills Box Tops For Education is a fair program and great marketing promotion, they have a website that you can join and see the earning of your child's school as well as participate in extra earnings for the schools. Upon signing up for the emails you will receive coupons to purchase more Box Top labeled products and recipes using participating products.

If you diligently collect the labels and encourage Friends and family to do it as well it may be more worth doing, the more the better. Consider this, you pay about five dollars for a box of cereal that has the box top and only 10 cents is donated if and when you turn in the label. And most participating products will cost you 3-5 dollars with the exception of some smaller items. The promotion is designed in a way were you will probably purchase the items because of the Box Tops but not remember to turn them in. This program is definitely more gimmick and product promotion then actually wanting to help US schools. If you are going to buy the product anyway then save the tops if you like but don't go out of your way to purchase things you would not have in the first place.

Considering the profit potential that The Box Tops For Education promotion is generating I feel more than 10 cents per label can be achieved especially in these times when schools really need it. Perhaps General Mills could match the earnings, doubling the donation that is going to the schools. I say try it out diligently, learn about it, keep track of the earnings for your kids school and stay active in your kids schools, donate your time and money when you can as well as the box tops. Help your school think about an event that can raise money for the school, their is much you can do.

Jun 7, 2010

Andrea Bocelli tells a little story about abortion

          I think this video speaks for itself!

Visit my UnbornHumanRights channel help support Unborn Human Rights share the videos, thanks.

Jun 2, 2010

Unschool Adventures

 Anything Can Be A Unschool Adventure Too               

             Unschool Adventures, An Unschool Field Trip: Today my kids wanted to come in with me to pay our electric bill so naturally I had them come in. We went in and looked around the room as we stood in line then my kids wanted to go sit in the nice comfy chairs so I let them go. We noticed after that they had a light bulb usage display and it looked interesting, after I paid we went and took a look at it, it had a hand crank to generate the power and light switches to switch the lights on and a meter measuring the usage, the kids loved it. Then they had a bunch of free stuff for the kids, coloring books about water safety, pencil, stickers etc, of course they had a paper about saving energy and I took one.. We said thank you and our little unschool field trip was almost complete, tonight when we read before bed we will read our coloring books and free paper and I am sure we will learn a thing or to about power, water safety, and saving energy in them..

It is amazing the things you can learn just around your town. One thing we like to do when we go places it take any available pamphlets that they may have take them home and read them. You and your kids will not only be reading about the places you visit daily but you will also be learning about the places you spend your money, and you may as well know who gets your money!

That was our Unschool Adventures for today!

Thanks for reading.

To your families success!

May 8, 2010

Everyday is Mothers Day Happy Mothers Day!

Every second of everyday a Mother is made and a human life conceived see the miracle of  life and Motherhood watch the video with music On Eagles Wings sung by my cousin Nokomis..

Everyday is Mothers Day, Happy Mothers Day today, tomorrow, everyday!
Celebrate life, celebrate Mothers..

Apr 26, 2010

I like To Think Of Unschooling As "Consequential Learning"

Message From A New Unschooling Mom

         I like to think of unschooling as "consequential learning." Learning is a consequence of life and life is a consequence of learning. For us, our daughter is six and so far unschooling is working for us. She sees the logic and reasons behind learning something to accomplish something else. When she learned how to write her name, she used all capital letters. She saw no need to write lower case letters - "Mom, I can already write my name." I could have forced her to practice writing lower case, create issues and a hate for writing. Instead she later wanted to learn how to write lower case letters because she saw how that is how most words are written and she wants to "sign" her name. She had practiced writing lower case letters for almost two hours on her own. Now when I point out that she hasn't practiced in a bit, she will sometime during the day practice in her books. Of course, I leave them conveniently open and ready for her. No fighting! That is just one example of how she is involved in her learning. She also watches PBS shows and we spring off them for extra activities - things she is interested in. I believe it does take an involved parent(s) to see and observe their children to take advantage of learning opportunites based on their child's interests when they happen. Or to let daily life activities teach, for example, as in math and science in cooking . Perhaps when she is older she may require or want a more structured approach. Perhaps...

Unschooling Mom from Michigan

Apr 23, 2010

Unschooled Children Learn Because They Love Life And Learning!

"The Best Way To Learn Is To Teach!"

A great saying but if you are an unschooler you might prefer this one.

"The Best Way To Learn Is To DO!"

I agree with both, unschooling as well as homeschooling is a one of a kind learning experience for the whole family. The parents learn by guided teaching and answering the many questions of a young healthy mind. And the kids learn much, much, more by doing things them self, looking up a topic and searching for the answers. The children learn because they love life and learning! And the topics they study are topics they have chosen to learn.

The fact is you learn and absorbed waaaay more when you are interested in the topic, you have a driving desire to learn it. The information has more value to you, you will remember it and be more likely to use it.. Not only that life experience is a great teacher and can teach us all the subjects as long as we stay active! Homeschooling / unschooling is not for the lazy, but active life loving learners.

If you went to school like me you would probably remember constantly being forced, bribed into learning and absorbing info that you just were not interested in at the time or not at all. It was a chore to learn and not fun ( so not what learning should be about ) and all so they can test you on it later. In unschooling you and your children learn because you want to know about something.

No stickers, or points are earned for learning, or bribed to the child in order that they make them self learn. The only reward is self satisfaction, a great self esteem, and the all around good feelings of bettering ones self.

Not that these things can't be achieved in a school, only that these things are achieved as unschoolers feel in a better way and without all the extra negative stuff that can come out of public school or even a private school. Homeschooling provides a safe place where your children can learn about them self, their family, the world and anything else they are interested in! Apposed to being away from their family 7 hours a day Mon-Fri most weeks a year, were they are taught in a production line fashion.

In conclusion to this post, I feel that homeschooling and unschoolng offer us freedom to learn and grow in the direction our hearts take us. I am glad I am learning about unschooling as well as homeschooling and the best part is I am absorbing everything I learn because I want to learn it.

I love to learn about many things and have only begun my education since I have been an adult. I went to school my whole childhood up until I was 16 years old were I finished school at home. That is when I really started educating my self on topics like health, and exercise. I even loved learning about it so much I got my personal training certification at 18 years old and worked at a gym.

I can honestly say that school taught me how to read, write, spell, and do basic math. My real education was the unschooling I provided myself at the age of 17 when I graduated from high school independent study.

I hope I have inspired you to look into homeschooling and the unschooling philosophy for your family. If you already home school I hope that by me sharing with you what I am learning about it you may also have the desire to continue to learn about this wonderful way of living life with your children!

More from this blog on Unschooling:

Eclectic Homeschooling

What is Unschooling? Home Schooling

The Unschooling Handbook

Apr 21, 2010

The Unschooling Handbook

A Great Book For Any Homeschooling Parent

            I have just started reading the book The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith. I want to learn about the unschooling philosophy and methods. I feel it can really help me to understand how I can be the best teacher mom I can be and also allow the world and children to be the teacher.

Basically unschooling is a way to allow the child who is an individual the opportunity to learn what they love when they feel like learning it. Typically unschooling requires no special curriculum, testing and schedules. You simply live your life spend time with your children learn together, play together and just enjoying your life and family the education is a bonus.

The fact is you learn the best when you are into the subject you are learning and you can spend as much of your free time doing it as you like. A 10 year old unschooled child may love to learn about model air planes and he may love it so much that he spends many hours a day on the subject. He will build model air planes, read books about how they fly or how to build them from scratch. This will eventually lead to using math to measure wing spans, calculate speeds, etc..

A 13 year old unschooled girl may love baking and cooking so much that she reads about it, watches television programming about it, she may even cook and bake for the whole family most day of the week. This would also lead to math skills and much more who knows the child will lead their own mind. Education is not a problem because the child learns about the real world and all skills necessary to be a productive adult and then some!

I do like this concept and feel it is a key factor missing in education today, I would like to explore these ideas more and see how they can fit into my families home school experience.

The Unschooling Handbook

Mar 19, 2010

Dinosaur Theme Activity Pages

My son is interested in Dinosaurs so I have found some great activities to go along with our book reading. I hope you all enjoy these resources too!

Dinosaur theme worksheets and activity pages


Mar 9, 2010

Free Printable St Patrick's Day Color Pages

Links to great St Patrick's Day free printable coloring pages, coloring fun!

Leprechaun Coloring Pages

Pot of Gold Coloring Pages

Ireland Coloring Pages

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick History

St Patrick, St Patrick's Day, Irish Saints
We love to celebrate St Patrick's day usually we make cookies, do crafts, and read about the life of St Patrick.

Saint Patrick was ordained by St. Germanus, the of Auxerre,
whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well). Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock? Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity,
and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps: Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us.

He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Saint Patrick Pray For Us!

For more on St Patrick's Day:
More Saint Patrick History
St Patrick's Prayer.

St Patrick's Day Shamrock and Links to Color Pages for the Kids

Mar 3, 2010

Educational Worksheets

Worksheets Works Educational Materials Made Right Now To Your Specifications

I found this great site for educational work sheets, this is a new site were you can find educational worksheets of all kinds and you can even customise them to your child's needs and print them out all for FREE.

Great for homeschooling curriculum or just to supplement your children's learning at home, get worksheets for math, reading, vocabulary, English, geography, even brain puzzles and much more..

I will definitely be using this site more and I know you will like it too!

To Your Success!

Mar 2, 2010

Home School Business

Family Entrepreneurship And Home School Business

Is anyone interested in getting their teens and family involved with owning and selling their own product online? WAIT PLEASE JUST READ THE REST!

I am not trying to sell you a business opportunity heck no we don't like those, and I would never ask you to join one!

What I am talking about is the real world of business and entrepreneurship, and learning some great skills.

We have a course that my husband created to teach about how to use hosting accounts and set up private label rights products or master resale rights products, like software and information products. We also have affiliate programs that pay 75% commissions which is free to do, all someone needs to do is learn about marketing and advertising.

Being a entrepreneurial homeschooling family our self and in business for many years we understand the value of real world business skills, and getting our kids started early is key to their future. In our home we talk about business and how to make money all the time and our kids are still young but we want to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in them so they can have more choices in their life to choose what ever it is they want to do. They will not have to have a job and worry about loosing it they can create income in any situation and any economy and do it ethically.

If this is something you and your homeschooling family is interested in and would like to learn I will let you in the course for free just give us a testimonial for our site that will help us out for the launch..

It will be a great learning experience for the whole family and you could even make some money later as you learn more..

A win win situation!

Let me know if I could help, we love to help families and the Internet is growing faster than our kids so we need to keep them informed of were the world of business and entrepreneurship is moving!

Are you ready for your home school business education?

Joanne Utke

Digital Product Boot Camp

Feb 20, 2010

Inspirational Lyrics

The Roses of Success

Every bursted bubble has a glory!
Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray,
Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble,
next time you'll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes grow the roses of success!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!
For every big mistake you make be grateful!
That mistake you'll never make again!
Every shiny dream that fades and dies,
Generates the steam for two more tries!
There's magic in the wake of a fiasco!
It gives you that chance to second guess!

Then up from the ashes grow the roses of success!

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!

Disaster didn't stymie Louis Pasteur!
No sir!

Edison took years to see the light!
Alexander Graham knew failure well,

he took a lot of knocks to ring that bell!

So when it gets distressing it's a blessing!

Onward and upward you must press!
Till up from the ashes grow the roses of success.

These fine motivational words are from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We watched to movie the other day, it is a great motivational family movie with a inspiring message of perseverance. I especially love the word to this song so that is why I am posting it now, these words are to profound to be ignored! Watch this move with your family, they just don't make movies like they used to..

peach roses, peach rose meaning
Peach Roses

Peach roses portray feelings of gratitude, admiration, sociability, success and friendship.

Feb 8, 2010

Have A New Kid By Friday

I am reading a great book called Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 DaysHave a new kids by friday, parenting books by Kevin Leman.

I always thought that I would never have a kid that thinks he runs the show.
I always new that I did not want to parent my kids the way my parents did.

Growing up we always ran the show and we did pretty much whatever we wanted, we still had rules and such but mostly got our way. As a result of that which I have come to know as permissive parenting my younger sister and I resorted to rebellion and lack of respect for our parents or little of it.

Now I have two boys and WOW! It is not as easy as I thought, the good thing is I am not as permissive as my parents were. Reading the book however I now know that I am a permissive/authoritarian parent which is not good either and the reason why I need to read this book in the first place lol!

Here are some of the things I am learning in this book so far and you will learn too.

I learning in this book that it is not OK to ask kids questions this leads to defensive behavior instead only ask open-ended statements.

And always say "tell me more about that" instead of "why would you like/do that", "that song is stupid" or "that is silly". Instead be interested in what your kids like and join in and have a relationship with your kids.

If you don't like something your kid does say something like "I don't think it is for me personally but I would like you to tell me more about it, it sounds interesting", and actually have a conversation with the your kids.

Something I need to work on is, it is OK to disagree but not OK to be critical, argumentative, confrontational and I think that is key.

He says you want to be a authoritative parent not authoritarian parent or permissive. Both permissive and authoritarian parents are only setting kids up for rebellion.

He explains all that in the book and how to know what type of parent you are.

Anyway just what I am learning in the book Have a New Kid by Friday and it applies to us all and is just good info on how to get along with others.

This is a great book so far I started it on Sunday, I have read three chapters and look forward to tomorrow to read another.

I will do another post about this book later thanks for reading.

To Your Families Success!


Jan 31, 2010

Hazards Of Sugar And Kids

Do you notice a change in your kids after they eat sugar?

I wanted to post about sugar and how I have observed it affects my kids and I assume it affects others in a similar way.

Quick story, we decided to go to Disneyland in 05 my son was two and a half years old. I was about five months pregnant with our youngest son and we wanted to get to Disneyland while we had the chance. The first day was good my son did not have a fit and was really behaving well, we hadn't had a treat yet so the second day we had ice cream and let our son have some too.

About ten min after he ate it he had the worst fit, crying, screaming, he wouldn't calm down!
I had some high protein snacks in my bag so I gave my son some cashews I figured the protein would balance out the sugar attack. A soon as he finished those cashews he passed out asleep lol! so we left for a few hours and came back that night. That was the first time we realized just what sugar does to a child and even now several years later we notice a change in our kids behavior when they have a treat, it is really something.

About sugar: I am sure you have heard that sugar is not really that good for you to eat especially high fructose corn syrup I personally would choose real sugar over HFCS any day. Read your labels if you have to by something sweet make sure there is at least real sugar in it.

I noticed one day that a can of soda has about 25 grams of high fructose corn syrup, and one yoplay yogurt as well as other brands has as much sugar or high fructose corn syrup as one soda!
Instead you can buy a good plain yogurt organic is best and at home blend fresh or frozen fruit in a blender with a little honey and add it to your yogurt as you need it this way you can control the sweetness and flavor of your yogurt.

Artificial sugar is not good either and in my opinion real sugar is better, you just don't need to be eating chemical sugars that affect the body in negative ways. I will post more in detail about these things later.

I do like to bake treats and actually I like baking more than cooking, but my favorite treats are healthy treats and I love to find recipes for treats that do not use butter, eggs, refined or artificial sugars, although I do use sugar for somethings I bake but always cut the sugar in half.
I will post some of my favorite recipes like this another day.

Instead of refined sugar, artificial sugar or brown sugar you can use honey, 100% pure maple syrup and brown rice syrup. My favorite is 100% maple syrup, these foods do contain sugar but in a more natural form, they may not be good for diabetics. I do not know how to sub these things for sugar in a recipe, I just find great recipes that already call for these things and there are many out there.

I find that these treats do not affect my kids like refined sugar does and without eggs and butter these treats are very healthy, but they are still treats. Also 100% maple syrup and raw honey have a nutritional content of minerals that we need for a healthy body.

Check out the Hazards Of Sugar post made by Why watch the interesting video please comment if you can.

Jan 30, 2010

Homeschooling Is Not Easy!

We have been homeschooling for two years officially, I have two children ages six and three. I wanted to do another real post, I do not want to come across as a super mom! I am not a super mom although I wish I was lol! I made the choice to home school because for me and my family it is best and it is not an option for me to send them to public school.

Even though I believe in what I do and would do anything to do it, it is still hard and what is even harder than the actual schooling part is having my children with me 24/7 most of the time it is fine but I wish I had a break and more time to myself that is what makes it so hard, I am just being real. On a positive note I do have my kids with me all day, they go to the store with me we, and most places which is a pleasure most of the time. Also my kids are not perfect and do have some behavior problems ( my oldest the most ) this also makes homeschooling difficult.

Instead of giving up and sending them to school and never dealing with these problems we are able to fix them and teach our kids how to fix them in themselves. I have seen to many good kids being labeled BAD and kicked out of school, or kids who never really dealt with their problems and leave school on their own to early simply for lack of coping skills and the right attention.

My point is homeschooling moms and kids are not perfect and we have problems and good days and bad days but if this is something you believe in you must do it threw good times and bad, don't give up keep moving forward, always change yourself for the good so you can impact your children in a positive way!

Read parenting books and get help when you need to but don't give up!

Jan 27, 2010

Banana Blueberry Oat Muffin Recipe

Healthy Muffin Recipe

We made a banana blueberry muffins the other day and they were very good!

This recipe is healthy and has some key foods for optimal health see my hub article on it and information on the health benefits of the foods contained in this recipe Blueberry Muffin Recipe.

I love to make muffins and they make a good healthy treat or breakfast and anytime for that matter. Please share with friends and let me know how you like the recipe, I will be making these again.

To Your Health!

Banana Blueberry Oat Muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp flax seed meal for added nutritional content (opt)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt ( or you can use buttermilk)
1 cup mashed ripe banana ( about two bananas )
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare you muffin pan with paper liners this way you do not have to use any grease.

In a food processor grind oats until ground well. In a large bowl combine ground oats, flax seed meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, yogurt or buttermilk and mashed bananas, mix well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in blueberries. Spoon into paper lined muffin pan and bake for about 15-20 min or until slightly brown on top and a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.

Want more posts about health?
Healthy cooking
Bobs Red Mill Flaxseed Meal

More Muffins!
Banana Wheat Germ Muffin Recipe

To Your Health!

Jan 19, 2010

Online Home School Programs

    I wanted to post more about home school options this time focusing on online home school programs. There are many choices for home education and some of it may depend on the state you live in. I wanted to give you some information so you can know a little more about what is available to you and your children, and help you get started in finding the right program for you and your family.

Many of these online home school programs offer free curriculum, one on one support with a teacher, online classes the children can attend as well as online testing, I have also seen some that offer free lap top computers for each child enrolled. Many of these programs are Internet based and do require kids to be on the computer a certain amount of the time but even this is dependent on the age of your child and learning skills. I would assume that the average child spends a good amount of time with online activities but that is the world we live in and children need to acquire those skills as well.

Some of these online schools are private which you would be responsible to pay for their services and curriculum, but many online home school do offer the online public school option and these are free to families who live in states that acknowledge these programs.

One option is a online home school program that I have heard good things about in the forums among home school moms. Some said it is way to structured and others say that is what they like about it. It is called K-12 and this online home school is offered to families in every grade K-12. Established in 1999, the K-12 mission "To provide any child access to exceptional curriculum and tools that enable him or her to maximize his or her success in life, regardless of geographic, financial, or demographic circumstance."

"K¹² offers outstanding, highly effective curriculum that enables mastery of core concepts and skills for all kinds of minds"

K-12 does offer the online public school program for elementary to Jr high and high school, in many states, check into it for your state by requesting info from K-12.

Another online home school program that I have heard good things about is Connections Academy. They also offer the free online home school programs and is available in many states as well. 

"Connections Academy schools are growing throughout the United States. Working with state education officials, leading education publishers, and curriculum experts, Connections Academy ensures that our program meets the highest accreditation standards in every state we serve as well as our own standards for excellence. To learn more about our free, quality public education offered in your home state, simply select your local school below."

Connection Academy began operations of its first schools in two states in the Fall of 2002. In September of 2004, Connections Academy was sold. The company now operates schools under management contracts from charter schools or school districts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Connections Academy provides a new form of free public school that students attend from home.

This is a unique program that combines:

Strong parental involvement of homeschooling
Expertise and accountability of public funded education
Flexibility of online classes

I will post more about these types of programs later but these are two of the best in my opinion from what I have heard and read about on their sites. There is a wide range of online home school programs with many different curriculum and methods to choose from you just have to pick what will be best for you family.

We use a home based public school program much like the online options only located in our town and without having to use the computer. I did look into the K-12 and the Connections Academy programs for my kids but chose to go with our local program but I am still open to these programs and may be using one in the future. It is nice to know we could pretty much move any ware without changing schools.

You can visit these sites and request more information if you would like to learn more about what these programs can do for you and your family!

Jan 13, 2010

Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Civil Rights leader, click for my unborn human rights message and videosThe one thing I love is to learn and teach my children about the great people and events that impact our world in the past and today! One of those people is Dr Martin Luther King Jr, what a great Man Of Peace, we love to read about him and did that today.

This month we celebrate his and many others achievements in the Civil Rights Movement, giving black people the right to live free, as we all deserve! Born and Unborn I may add....

I especially love his message of peace, Dr Martin Luther King Jr taught that "We must meet hate with love" and "If pushed, do not push back, if struck do not strike back"

Martin Luther King Jr was born Jan 5, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia. He loved to learn and quickly learned that he was just as good as anyone else and created for success! By the age of fifteen he attended college and by the age of eighteen following in his fathers footsteps he became an ordained minister on Feb 25, 1948.

By 1955 he was finished with his studies and was then called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, that same year he lead the bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama 1955-1956, that event lead to a change in the law giving blacks the right to sit any ware they wanted on a bus, blacks could no longer legally be forced to give up their seats to white passengers.

Aug 28, 1963 Dr King gives his famous "I have a dream" speech in Washington D.C.

He said...

"I have a dream, that one day, in our nation, people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character"

Dr Martin Luther King Jr won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, that same year the Civil Rights Act was passed and the next year the Voting Rights Act of 1965 protecting the rights of people from all races and religions.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr a great leader and man of peace and courage. This is a great topic to study in your home and teach to your children.
My thoughts, from the moment of conception we are created equal and good we deserve the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we deserve the right to laugh, love and play!

You are created for success!

Thanks for reading....

Jan 12, 2010

Home School Business

I always new I wanted to home school and I will admit that even I had second thoughts my husband also was not convinced. Once we thought more about it we realised we are the ones responsible for our kids education and we wanted to teach them so much more than what any school could. We knew it would be hard work and I especially knew because lets face it the mom is usually the one doing most of the schooling, but it is worth it!

My husband and I have always been entrepreneurial and never was comfortable with the go to school and get a job message that seems to be the norm in our society. Not that there is anything wrong with that, absolutely not, we just believe in acquiring education and money in different ways. We wanted to have our kids at home so we could educate them about money, entrepreneurship and everything else that we feel they should know.

I really don't know the point of this post other then to give you a different perspective on home schooling and home school business. Our kids are still young but we teach them what they can understand about money and business, we always have. When they are older they will begin with home school business by helping us with our business and starting out with their own as well.

School just doesn't teach about making money, entrepreneurship , thinking outside of the box, getting creative and making money in ways other than having a job. We have come to realise there is a million ways to make a million dollars, we just have to educate our self to what ways those are and pick one and stick with it! Learn from those who have done it, by reading books and other inspiring stories.

It is very important for kids to learn these things, even if they choose to have a job as adults. One day they may loose their job or become disabled and not be able to work a laborious job like so many do. Or like in the days we live in right now their may not be any jobs at all for most people, that is why we must know how to get creative and entrepreneurial so we can always provide for our families no matter how bad the economy gets and without being on assistance for a long time if at all.

For us we want our kids to have the money, so they can have the time, so if they choose to attend college and or have a career they can do it for the love of learning and helping the world, instead of doing it because they need to.

Yes you can do and teach these things to your kids while they go to school full time but that won't leave time for much else.. For us we didn't want to miss out on are kids and the time we can spend teaching and shaping their future.

My husband and have many online products as well as physical products that we sell online. We have been doing this for five years. Right now we have a information course that teaches others the basics of digital products so they can then create a website that sells a product or products.

If you are interested in learning about making money online you can fill out the form at Digital Product Boot Camp and let us know, we may even be able to get you in our new course for free so you and your family can begin your legit online money making education. All you can do is just get started and if you make it a family event it will be more fun as well! Even if it is not with us no problem just get started reading books, talking about how you can get creative and make some extra income for your family.

Just get started on your home school business!

Thanks for reading to your success..

Jan 6, 2010

Scott Hahn's Hail Holy Queen

Recommended reading

I just got done reading Hail, Holy Queen by Dr Scott Hahn for the second time, I loved it!

This book was easy to read and understand and Scott Hahn explains just how the Blessed Mary fits in with Christianity it is so beautiful and extraordinary. In this book Scott Hahn addresses Marian doctrines and explains them in a loving and easy to understand way.

A great book! I recommend to anyone seeking to know more about Marian doctrine, scripture and Christianity.

Go to your local library and see if they have this book or anything by Scott Hahn for that matter. Scott Hahn is a Professor of Theology and scripture, I am a big fan.

Click the picture for more about the author of this book.

Hail Holy Queen, Scott Hahn