My Amazing Pen Pal

I came across this program and it looks like so much fun! My Amazing Pen Pal is a monthly program that is about a man named Greg who travels around the world sharing his adventures with your student. It is designed for children ages 6-11 and a subscription can be either for 6 months or a year. Your daughter will learn about culture. traditions, crafts, foods, and animals for each of the onsite locations to which your amazing pen pal travels.

A monthly package arrives at your door that includes links to weekly videos to learn about culture, traditions, food, and animals of the region he is traveling. There are weekly videos, activities,  recipes, and games to play. Your son will learn several phrases in the language that is spoken in that country and will also work on history, geography, math, and problem-solving skills. It is also interactive because you can email Greg with questions that he will answer! How cool is that? If I were a child I would be begging my parents to join this program. (No, I am not getting any compensation to write this review. 🙂 )

For more information, you can go to My Amazing Pen Pal’s website. Please let me know if you decide to do it and tell me how you like it. My Amazing Pen Pal


Video Resources: Health and Safety

I was at the library and thought I would peruse the shelves to see if there were any videos I could find on either health or safety. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were two videos for each topic. You may not have the same titles at your library as I do, but why not check your system or drop by your library to see what they have? This is an easy way to meet the Ohio requirement for health and fire safety for your homeschool. 🙂


Part of the description for Lots and Lots of Fire says that, ” You’ll see the biggest collection of firefighting and rescue equipment ever recorded on DVD.” I think that is pretty cool! Also included in the DVD are segments about topics such as Stop, Drop and Roll, and creating your fire escape plan. It is a 30-minute video and more information can be obtained by going to

The 12 minute Timon and Pumba Safety Smart Honest and Real video is twofold in nature. Described on the back cover of the DVD case, it not only talks about topics such as travel, internet, and fire safety, but it includes developing character issues such as kindness, honesty, and responsibility.


For grades K-3, Goofy’s Health Hits has two segments concerning health. The first is 13 minutes and is about Goofy going to the dentist and learning about dental health. The second 10-minute section has both animated and live action about the transmission and prevention of cold viruses. It also discusses the importance of nutrition and exercise.

Here are worksheets to accompany the videos. They can also be used alone if you prefer.

The American Dental Association has downloadable coloring pages, word puzzles, How to Brush pages, and certificates to print.

Let’s have Fun with Fire Safety is a free 12-page downloadable informational coloring book that discusses home and kitchen safety and fire escape routes.

Turtle Diary has several  Personal Hygiene worksheets including sequencing of washing your hands, and taking a bath and showering.

Have a great day!

~ Lisa ~




I am beginning to wonder if Winter will ever leave our lovely Ohio valley. But, I know Spring is here and I just need to be patient because the snow has limited days and will give way to warm temperatures and beautiful flowers.

This is how life is sometimes. Winter seems to drag on and Spring seems like it is never coming. But, be encouraged! The days of warmth and sunshine are coming! As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven.”  If you find circumstances are difficult, children are being uncooperative, dragging their feet on getting their work completed, and the dog is always wanting to either go out in the goopy yeard or come in, remember, “Spring is a coming!” This will not always be the case in your life and better days are ahead. Remember life will get better; hold yourself and your children accountable for schoolwork to be finished, and I have no advice or words about the dog! lol

This colorful snack can’t help but bring a smile to your face and help brighten your day. These made me happier just looking at them! It is made with a few simple things that you likely have on hand in your house.  Here are the directions if you and your children would like to make them. GO HERE


source: juggling with kids

6 Things to Remember for Homeschool Conventions

imagesIt’s convention time! While it can be exciting to hear the speakers and see all of the fabulous books, curricula, and fun things to add to your classroom, it can also be hugely overwhelming. As a speaker, as well as an attendee at past conventions, here are a few things I have learned and you may want to remember before you go.

Study the map of the convention building and speakers. Look at the list of vendors and where they are located. I look at the list of vendors and locate some of my favorite shops such as Rainbow Resource and Homeschool in the Woods. I star those on the map and anything else that looks interesting so I am sure to visit them. I also read through the topics that are being offered and plan the time and the room where I need to go. Otherwise, I will happily spend the entire time looking at curricula, talking to people, or looking at other booths and miss great speakers I wanted to hear. Or, miss my own speaking engagement! 🙂

imagesMake a list of curricula in which you are interested. There is nothing better than getting to peruse a book after you have read reviews about it. What seems like a great idea for your student may not be what you envisioned once you actually get to see it yourself. However, if you don’t make a list before you head into the vendor hall, all of your thoughts will go out your head once you see how many exhibits there are in the gargantuan room!

Pack drinks and snacks. Convention food can add up quickly, so pack a snack or a lunch, and be sure to take a couple bottles of water with you. You think you will stop for lunch, but time gets away from you and before you know it, the line for lunch is way too long and you run the risk of being hangy (hungry and angry combo- NOT good!)

downloadTake a rolling cart or a rolling suitcase. If you plan on purchasing more than a couple of items, this is a back saver! The first year I went to a convention, my shoulders and back were so sore because I bought all kinds of goodies and then had to haul them around all day! the next year I took a rolling cart, and it was great. Don’t take something too large because there are lots of people to maneuver your way through and you don’t want your cart to be too unwieldy.

Ask a friend or spouse to attend. I have really appreciated it when I have taken a friend with me to bounce ideas off of them. It also saves money because you can split the cost of parking if you take a friend. Consider getting a hotel room for a fun Girls Weekend. After all, you have worked really hard this year and it’s time to treat yourself! A couple of years I have asked my husband attend and that was extremely beneficial in helping me make decisions about our school. One time we went away and I forgot my bag! My hubby and I had to go and buy an outfit and some toiletries for me! Ooops! 🙂

We are all in this together. There may be someone who you have enjoyed using their curricula or have read one of their books, don’t be shy speaking to them. You can receive encouragement and at the same time, encourage them to continue. You may have a question about using a product or just want to say thanks, please take the time to do this. You will be glad you did and it will help as you go through the school year if you have spoken to the author or someone who has used the curriculum.

Have a great time!

~Lisa ~

Japan Insights

Last week I wrote about our time in Japan and some things I learned. I wanted to continue with that thought and some additional insights I gained.

Different is good. There were so many new sights and tastes that I was overwhelmed for the first two days. With pictures, miming, and a little bit of English sprinkled throughout the country, you learn to communicate. There were many food items I could not even fashion a guess, but I did try some pretty yummy dishes (while navigating chopsticks!) including Japanese beef, vegetarian Raman, and soba noodles.

The Japanese drive and walk on the opposite side of what we do, so this took some getting used to at first. After a while, you become a pro and walk on the left-hand side of the escalator to allow others to pass. Take away: Appreciate the differences of others; I am glad God didn’t create us all the same.  Life would be boring.


Be patient. While walking the busy and crowded streets of Tokyo I only heard one car honk its horn. Pedestrians cross the streets without fear of being run over and people wait at corners for the lights to turn green.  People wait in long lines for food, but I never sensed anyone to be grumpy or complaining. Take away: In this “instant society”, may I take the time to let others go before me, may I wait in line patiently and dwell on all the good things of life. Who cares if I have to wait for a minute or longer than I thought I should?

Be respectful. My daughter-in-law has told me that the Japanese culture treats their teachers with great respect and elders are given preferential treatment. I like that on both accounts since I am a teacher, and well, I am getting older. lol Take away:”Do unto as others as you would have them do unto you.”  May I always treat others better than I want to be treated.

Remember my past.  While in Toko, I saw several older women walking to the market who were bent at 90-degree angles. They had worked in the rice fields all their lives and were now living in the city, being taken care of by their children and grandchildren. Japanese families make sure the elderly are cared for during their golden years. Take away: May I take care to tell my grandchildren stories of their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. I want to leave a legacy for them to remember and uphold.


Diet and exercise. I ate a lot of rice while in Japan, but the biggest thing I did was walk 100 miles in 12 days! It’s a good thing I enjoy walking. Most of the time you come home from vacation and wish you had eaten less because now you have gained a few pounds, right? This was quite the opposite! I lost weight and now have to maintain that weight, or lose even more. lol It is a rare sight to see in Japan is an overweight person.  Small quantities are eaten and you don’t see super-size portions. People walk everywhere too! I didn’t see any Fit Bits because they don’t need them. Take away: I will continue to eat small portions and exercise more. However, I probably won’t be able to maintain that walking pace. 😦  Picture below: Kyoto where we walked over 10 miles that day!


I have made a word find for you to download for your children. Happy searching!

Japan Word Find

Have a great week!

~ Lisa ~