Usborne Christmas Stained Glass Coloring.

A Christmas coloring book with 12 see-through pages to color.

Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!

Today I am sharing a couple books I received from Alexandra. Since Christmas is just 9 days away, we are going to show you what we have been doing. I absolutely adore this coloring book from Usborne. The pages are just the right thickness and the coloring are so beautiful. 

Inside you will find a Christmas/wintry themed picture already colored. On the right, there is another exact picture to color for yourself. Each picture has a stained glass look, which really makes the color pop. 

My daughter seemed to really enjoy coloring in this book. She said is was easier to stay in the lines and make it look really nice. With this book, you can use color pencils, markers, crayons or even Gel pens. Her choice was markers, as you can probably tell. 

Most of our coloring books are collecting dust. You will usually find my kids drawing their own creations and coloring them. So, this Christmas Stained Glass Coloring Book was a huge hit. I don’t think she wants to share!

I would also like to share what is in the back of this coloring book. I find it pretty handy for the kids. Check out the photo below.

How to use this book.

Next I will show you one of their cute tiny Christmas books. It is a hard book, so perfect for little toddler hands. My littlest one, who will be 2 right after Christmas, loves it. It is really the perfect size for little hands. Usborne’s Very First Christmas Carols, has all the popular Carols, including ones I haven’t heard.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Silent Night

Away In a Manger

I Saw Three Ships

The Holly and the Ivy

While Shepherds watched their Flocks by Night

We Three Kings of Orient Are

O Come all ye Faithful

We Wish you a Merry Christmas

This book has become a special read in our house already. However you celebrate Christmas, I believe this is perfect for little ones. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

I hope you enjoyed our little review. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday or Winter Solstice. No matter how you celebrate, I send you positive vibes, prayers and well wishes! 

You probably won’t see me around until after the New Year, so Happy New Year to all!

PS: Oh, don’t forget to go check out Alexandra’s Facebook page, aka The Sleepy Storyteller! 


This is how my 5-year-old is learning to read and enjoying it!


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Good afternoon,

I know it has been awhile since my last update. As usual, life has been busy. We have had two birthdays in March. I now have a ten and eight-year-old! I cannot believe how fast they grow up. My March babies have come so far in their reading. They amaze me every day.

Today, however, I will be telling you all about how my 5-year-old son is doing with his reading. If you have not seen the post about the unboxing of the All About Reading program, check it out here before moving on. We have started with level 1 because I have not used an official curriculum or program with him before.

Before starting the All About Reading program, I used Progressive Phonics stories and taught letter sounds with games. We have always used a variety of things online. Of course, lots of reading together as well. It is important for you to know that I have worked with him prior to AAR, but not consistently.


Some things you should know.

On average, we finish 3 lessons a week, sometimes more. I like to have him practice in between, and let me be real here, I don’t always have time to sit and work on lessons with him. That is just how it is right now.

We have just wrapped up lesson 13. Up until this point, it has finally gotten a bit challenging for him. Although, not really so much. He does so well sounding out the words when he doesn’t remember. I am honestly so surprised at how easy it is for him to catch on to new words and sounds.

Now for the review.

I will start with the Teacher’s Manual. I think it is important to know what the curriculum consists of and how it can help you. At first, I didn’t think I would really need this. Once I began, I realized that of course, I did need it and how it made it so much easier!

The manual gives you a condensed list of what you will be using and what the child will be learning in each lesson. For example, In this lesson, students will read a short story and practice reading sentences with periods and exclamation points. It also states what you will need from the student pages, word cards and what story you will be reading.

It is broken down into sections, like, Before You Begin, Review, New Teaching, Activities, Read-Aloud-Time and tracking your progress. This really saves me on time and helps me stay organized. It is all done for me and that fits perfectly into our busy lives.

The Student Workbook has all activities for each lesson ready and easy to tear out when needed. So far we have played bingo and made little word books for extra practice. He really enjoys cutting and pasting activities.

The Readers are books full of simple, short and 100% decodable stories, that will encourage fun reading. Each story has fun illustrations. Although they are not colored, they are still pleasing to the eyes. Pictures are important to youngsters! I have included a video of my son reading from one below.

The Letter Tiles of consonants and vowels help with hands-on and a visual approach to learning sounds and sounding out new words.

The Review Cards are in the box shown in the picture above and below. These are basically flashcards for practice. In the box are dividers that help organize what needs to be reviewed again or what has been mastered.

How AAR is working for my son.

In the beginning, AAR level 1 seemed to be far too easy for him. I was a little worried I may have chosen the wrong level. However, if I chose the next level, it may have been a little advanced. Although it was a really easy the first 10 lessons, he is having to work hard to remember certain words. Overall, I would say it is working well and presently it is great practice. It is also very reassuring to me that he is on the right path.

What we liked most.

What my son seems to really like the most are the activities. He loves hands-on learning. Sitting and listening too long makes him bored. So, I really try to do the reviewing of previous words quickly or spread them out throughout the week. One specific activity he said he enjoyed was the “Is it dangerous” activity in lesson 13.

What I like most about AAR, are the Readers. I love that I can rely on these books that will help my child learn to read with confidence, instead of an application or online program. As much as apps and games are helpful, a good phonics reader is important.

What we didn’t like.

There is nothing we don’t like! I asked my little guy personally, “What don’t you like about your reading lessons?”. His response, “Nothing.”, while shaking his head with enthusiasm!

How I have adapted it to his learning.

First, something I haven’t mentioned is the letter tiles. The set consists of consonants, vowels and vowel blends. Each tile comes with a tiny magnet so you can use them on your whiteboard. This allows for a visual and hands-on approach. We haven’t had to use them too often. I break them out when we get to more challenging words.

So, I guess that is one way I have adapted this program to his learning. I can use or not use certain things that are not needed. On days we don’t do a new lesson, he reads the stories from the readers for practice.

My thoughts overall.

I am beyond grateful to have this program for my son. It has been such a lifesaver. It has saved me time and allowed me to see what my son needs help with. It has helped me keep my son busy, which he loves. It has built his confidence in his reading and we are able to use it at our own pace. No need to rush him through lessons!

I highly recommend All About Reading!

Want to see what AAR looks like up close? Take a look at my video below.

I hope that I have covered enough for you. What do you think? Would this program be a good fit for your little ones?

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments or contact me directly at

All About Reading



Nature Study & Outdoor Science Journal

Aww nature…I absolutely feel free when I take myself outside around the trees and the chirping birds. The smell of the grass and the sound of rustling leaves above my head are all comforting to me. In Autumn, it is the smell of bon fires and the chill in the air that I love most.

The Thinking Tree Nature Study & Outdoor Science Journal

Getting to my review…

Another amazing journal I’d like to share with you.My kids call them their fun school books. The Nature Study book is intended to get your kiddos outside. For the child that is always bored, the child that can’t sit still, and even for that child that hates doing any type of book learning.

This journal is also intended for child-led learning. The child chooses what they want to learn. Next, you take them to the library to get a few books. Then, all you have to do is release them into the wild or the backyard is fine! Like the other books from The Thinking Tree this also include things to color and inspire. The artwork is amazing! You really must see for yourself.

So what do you think? I think I want one for myself! You can order one on Amazon right here.

I received this free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. Thank you!

The Story of the World: Review

Volume 1: Ancient Times

“What terrible secret was buried in Shi Huangdi’s tomb? Did nomads like lizard stew? What happened to Anansi the Spider in the Village of the Plantains? And how did a six-year-old become the last Roman Emperor?

Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, THE STORY OF THE WORLD covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas–find out what has happened all around the world in the centuries before ours and in our own time. This read-aloud series is designed for parents to share with elementary-school children, or for older readers to enjoy alone. Introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world’s civilizations!”

About the Author

Susan Wise Bauer is the author of The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to Classical Education You Never Had (Norton, 2003) and co-author with her mother, Jessie Wise, of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (revised edition, Norton,2009), a book which has rapidly become an educational standard. Susan teaches literature and writing at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Visit her home page at

Well-Trained Mind Press sent us their Volume 1 (Ancient Times) The Story of the World history and activity book. This amazing book presents history to children in an interesting narrative story! I absolutely love it. I was not one to enjoy history as a child. In fact, I fell asleep during most of the class time. I honestly don’t know how I made it through school! I am getting the opportunity to learn all over again, but this time I get to have fun! I am all about enjoying life. Below I will give you an idea of how the story starts out.

The First Chapter

The Earliest people: The First Nomads & The First Nomads Become Farmers

Here, children are introduced to what the first known humans were like in written history. They will learn how they lived, what they ate, how they dressed and what they had to endure and learn to survive. The author helps you paint a picture in your mind using a story about a little nomad girl and her family. Instead of reading facts and boring information, we get to picture what it must have been like living so long ago.

After Each Chapter

After each chapter, I referred to the activity book for review questions and narration exercises. The book also provides encyclopedia cross-references, an additional reading list, activity projects, and corresponding literature suggestions. So, if you would like to add more learning to each chapter they make it easy for you to find what you need.

So far I just went over the questions for review and had the kids share the activities which included map work and coloring pages. With 5 kids there is not much time to prepare. I really love how easy it was to get started on this history book. My kids have really enjoyed the story so far. They remember almost every detail and are eager to learn more.

I have focused on one chapter a day so that their minds can absorb what they are learning. The activity book is simple to use. Everything is in order by chapter and student pages that you can tear out. You can even make copies if you have more children that are sharing the books. I plan on making copies later on.

The Story of the World also counts as Geography. Your children will learn about the different places the First Nomads had to travel and the maps make it simple to understand.

Coloring page from Ch 2: Egyptians lived by the Nile River

What my kids think of The Story of the World: Ancient Times

“I think it is amazing! I actually feel like I am learning. It is just SO interesting!” Annabelle

“It is interesting and the activities are fun! I love when Mama reads to us and we are learning together.” Cheyanne

Out of the mouths of babes! My girls are 7 and 9 (above) and these are their own words. It is good to get a review from the actual learners!

To purchase this set or any other volumes just click the link in the picture above. You can also follow The Well-Trained Mind Press on Facebook to stay updated on what’s new or if you have any questions just send them a message.

I very much enjoyed reviewing this and cannot wait to finish the rest of the book. If you want to know more and see what we are learning just follow me on Facebook at What’s Happening With Jessica.

So what do you think? Would your kids or even you enjoy this? Tell me your thoughts in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you!

***I received this product free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I did not accept compensation and all words are my own. Please refer to my disclosure in the tabs above.***

Save 50% on Magic School Bus Science Experiments

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SPECIAL OFFER: Through the end of the week you can receive 50% OFF a year’s subscription through Educents… and FREE shipping in the Continental United States! Ships to Canada for $2/month. This deal is amazing… just $10 per month, DELIVERED!

Hello, my homeschool friends!

I know you have probably heard of The Magical School Bus. Who hasn’t? I grew up watching it in school and it was really the only way I loved to learn science. Even my children love it! I am pretty sure we have watched every episode lol!

If you have children (ages 5-12) who enjoy the Magic School Bus books or videos–and if you like doing science experiments with them–then you’ll LOVE The Magic School Bus Science Club!
This is such an exciting offer because it gives you and your child/ren the opportunity to implement what they are learning. Some of you already may know, I love anything that is fun and hands on!
Developed by a team of Harvard graduates, scientists, and educators, the award-winning Magic School Bus Science Kits are delivered monthly right to your doorstep. Children will explore science through experiments that will spark an interest and curiosity in science.

Each kit includes a colorful manual based on The Magic School Bus characters, as well as everything you need to complete at least seven experiments related to that month’s theme.

What is included?

1-year subscription includes 12 Magic School Bus kits + FREE SHIPPING in the Continental USA (Ships to Canada for $2/month).

Each kit includes:

  • Detailed, large 12-page colorful manual that is full of experiments and topic information
  • Each manual is based on the popular Magic School Bus books and TV series
  • Includes an adult section so that adults with no science background will find the kits easy to use
  • Materials and information necessary for a range of interactive experiments
  • Online Clubhouse for further exploration on each kit topic
  • Certificate of Completion
Kit Topics:
Would your family have fun with this? If so, now’s a great time to sign up:

Through the end of the week, you can receive 50% OFF a year’s subscription through Educents… and FREE shipping in the Continental United States! Ships to Canada for $2/month. This is an incredible deal! It’s just $10 per month, DELIVERED!

You can even create and print off your own gift cards to let your children know about the surprise.

Enjoy your exploration alongside Ms. Frizzle!

“I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This is to help support my blog and does not have any impact on my recommendations.”

Discover an Amazing Reading Curriculum with me.

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A brief overview

Good day, my friends! I wanted to check in with you about a reading program that I have recently started using with my five years old. It is from All About Learning Press. I did hear about it in the past.

However, I never gave it much thought because there are so many other programs out there. Since I was sent this for free, it will give me the chance to decide if it is the right fit for us.

Today I am just going to show you some of what was sent to us. A little sneak peek if you will.

So we have our parents book and the students book. The parent is a guide for each lesson. Each lesson is broken down for you and tells you exactly what to do. Very convenient for the busy Mom.

The student’s book has worksheets, activities and word lists for each lesson. All numbered and organized. I love how easy it is to use so far.

The little box is the word and sound cards. I will get into that in my update. We are using this a few times a week. Not every day because he doesn’t always feel like sitting down. Yet, it seems to be working nicely.

All About Reading

His favorite part so far is cutting things out 🙂

I’m really excited to share more in the next few months. I’m also thinking of adding a video next time. What do you think?

This post contains affiliate links. This is at no cost to you. When you click a link, you are helping this Homeschool Mama out.

I received these products free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. I alone have the rights to these words and expressions. I was not paid for my opinion.

Valentine’s Printable

Hey there,

It is almost Valentines Day and I have yet to start any crafts with my kiddos. We usually make homemade cards and fancy them up. We use stickers, glitter, gel pens and more. Sometimes we mail some out, give them to family members and to each other. 

Valentines around here is more about family love, not romantic love. The kids especially love the chocolates and teddy bears we get them. They really love celebrating love. I must have done something right! 

We will soon be working on our cards and lovey notes. I have thought to add a Valentine theme into our school days but I really haven’t had much time. It can be difficult to add more to the busy mix of life. I did, however come across a cute Valentine activity on one of my favorite sites. 

A fun way to add gammar practice is with themed worksheets. Especially, if your kids like busy work. Plus, using activities like puzzles, don’t feel like real work at all. You can just add the worksheet into what they are already learning. 

Practice preposition words with this fun Valentine printable. Head to for more learning activities just like this!

I love word searches! I could do them for hours. I think this will be something different from our usual.I may just go snag a few different activities to hand out.

What do you do for Valentine crafts and activities? Do you go all out or keep it simple like me?