Apologia General Science Labs – The Roundup!


Apologia General Science Module 2


Last year my middle schooler used Apologia General Science.  We’ve documented most of the labs here on the blog. Interested in how we did it?  See below:


Module 13 – Human Digestive System 

Module 12 – Energy and Life

Module 11 – The Human Body Wonderfully and Fearfully Made (notes)

Module 10 – Classifying Life

Module 9 – What is Life?

Module 7 & 8 -  The Fossil Record AND Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism.

Module 6 – Foundations of Geology

Module 5 – BONUS LAB:  Mineral Identification Supreme! (Archaeology, Geology, and Paleontology)

Module 4 – Science, Applied Science and Technology

Module 3 – How to Analyze and Interpret Experiments

Module 2 – Scientific Inquiry 

Module 1 – A Brief History of Science



Be the Voice for Persecuted Christians – I Am Your Voice Campaign


Christians are fleeing Syria and Iraq to escape the brutality of ISIS and other militant groups. Thousands have already been martyred, their cries falling on deaf ears.  Turn on mainstream tv and it is doubtful you’ll hear much of their story.

“And as ISIS controls further territory in Iraq, more than 1,500 Iraqi Christian families have sought refuge in Lebanon, and we are expecting more Iraqis to arrive.”

Pray for the persecuted #IAmYourVoice www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg

 “Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death.”  Proverbs 31:8 (BBE)

Food for the Hungry is partnering with The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development to provide food and other relief support to help those who were forced to leave everything behind as they ran for their llives.   They report:

 “Our Relief and Develop program is supporting between 6,000 to 7,000 vulnerable Syrian families in Lebanon and in Syria…We have been called to provide for Christian Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, and we expect to have a growth in Iraqi refugees in the coming months.”

We are asking you to be the voice for the innocent.  To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves both in prayer and in action.  This is a call to prayer, a call to share this campaign with those you know and a call to give support to those being persecuted.   This powerful video explains more.     Join us Thursday, September 18, 2014 for the I Am Your Voice Facebook Gathering.   http://talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/i-am-your-voice.jpg


Car Schooling: Favorite Audio Resources for Learning on the Go!


affiliate www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com


Homeschoolers are a busy bunch, frequently running here, there and everywhere.  It’s a wonder more of us aren’t known as “On-the-Go Schoolers”!


Just because your crew keeps a busy schedule doesn’t mean you have to limit your learning time.


Drive time is the perfect opportunity to listen to that audio book OR any other educational resource.


Here is a few of our favorites that have brightened our trails throughout the years:


Car Schooling www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com


Jonathan Parks :  Creation Science adventurer!  From Astronomy, Geology, Biology, Oceanography and Archaeology,  scientific facts are skillfully interwoven into a story complete with drama, suspense and scripture.  Young and old will enjoy these gems!


Car Schooling www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com


Most people are acquainted with Susan Wise Bauer’s Classical History curriculum, Story of the World.   My kids have enjoyed listening to these cd’s and use them as jumping off points for further historical explorations.




Ah, and what drive wouldn’t be complete with some soothing classical music?  Learn all about a myriad of Classical composers while partaking in their historical compositions with An Introduction to the Classics.  No doubt you’ll find yourself conducting right alongside your kids!  We are currently using these cd’s as we study art and music in the context of 17th century history!


Now that we’ve shared a few of our favorite audio resources, what are yours?  How do you make the most of drive time?


Apologia Physical Science Lab – Module 1


Exploring Creation with Physical Science Labs

It’s a new year and that means a new round of Apologia sciences! This year my oldest is doing Physics and my second born is doing Physical Science.

Since we are handling the Physical Science Labs in house, I’ll be able to document and share them.

Let’s start at the beginning with Module 1:  The Basics!

Experiment 1.1:  Atoms and Molecules


In this experiment we are looking for a molecule (water) to break down into two gasses made up of it’s two constituent atoms (Hydrogen and Oxygen gas)

Armed with water, wires, a 9-volt, and baking soda we submerse each end into the liquid.

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.1b

At first we have some fizzing, which signals an active current.  After about 10 minutes, we have greenish water and the positive lead corroded.  We made copper hydroxycarbonate!


Experiment 1.2:  Cubits and Fingers

In this experiment we use the ancient measures of cubits and fingers.

First, we measure a “cubit” (note:  my son is holding the string oddly for the picture.  We measured correctly using two people prior to the picture)

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.2a

And next a “finger”….

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.2b

Then we measure the “finger” against the “cubit” to get a converse relationship.

Once this is done, we also measure the table in “fingers” and using our conversion, convert to “cubits”.  Then, we measure the table in “cubits” and compare.

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.2c.

Our conversion relationship works!  (Though a tape measure is much easier!)

Experiment 1.3:  Concentration

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.3a

In this experiment we see how chemicals behave according to their concentration

For the first part of the experiment we set up 3 glasses.  The first with 1 cup of vinegar, the next with 1/2 cup vinegar and the third with 1/4 cup vinegar and add a Tums tablet to each glass.

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.3b

And we wait…..some fizzing, but, nothing spectacular….

In the second set-up, our first glass contains 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water.  Next glass contains 1/2 cup vinegar + 1 1/2 cup water.  The third is 1/4 cup vinegar + 1 3/4 water.  A Tums tablet is added to each and stirred.

Physical Science Module 1 Lab 1.3c

The first glass, having the greatest concentration of acid, dissolves the quickest, followed by the second glass.  The third glass dissolves the slowest.

Join us next time for Module 2:  Air



The Pioneer Adventure Book Review


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From the Pilgrims, to King Philip’s War, to The Salem Witch Trails, to the Revolutionary War, it’s time to pick up the next leg of the journey with siblings Finn and Ginny in Volume 5 of the Our America Series, The Pioneer Adventure !




Time rules the story as Finn and Ginny set out from Nebraska during the 1800′s searching for their long lost,  time traveling parents.


These youngsters experience first hand the hardships of traveling westward in a wagon train.  They endure flooding, snakes, Indian attacks, disease, wagon breakdowns, poisoning and stampedes in the hopes of reuniting with their parents.

 “The pioneers had to face many difficulties and endure untold hardships in building up an empire where those of later generations may live in peace and plenty.”

-John G. Abbott, who lost both parents and a grandfather on the Oregon Trail

As with the other four volumes, Author Susan Kilbride does a fabulous job of pulling the reader quickly into the story.  Historical accounts are portrayed with precision by realistic characters that carry the story to a breath taking cliff hanger!


Time closes in around Finn and Ginny just as they think they spot their parents….but are they out of time?


….We won’t know until Volume 6!


This series is geared towards 10-13 year olds.  However, my older kids have enjoyed these books tremendously.  They make a great addition to any American History study as they are historically researched and well presented without bad language or witchcraft.


Don’t forget some free Pioneer Activities to go along with this time period from Susan’s site as well!  AND read reviews for the other Our America books HERE.
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Being Kind Counts Challenge – Teaching Children to Get Along



Today is the one year “blogiversary” for Tales of a Homeschool Family.  What better way to celebrate than to pay it forward!

Being Kind Challenge Tales of a Homeschool FamilyBeing Kind Challenge www.taleofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Accepting the Being Kind Counts Challenge, my children and I have decided to take cookies to various neighbors in our community.


I will be nominating two other people for this challenge.  You don’t need to wait for an official challenge to participate!  Just document your act of kindness with a picture, screen shot or blog post and post it HERE.


Teaching Children to Get Along – Team Building!


A few years ago, my three oldest children had a very difficult couple of days which included not treating each other kindly.  Below is how we dealt with their lack of kindness which resulted in a new found gentleness towards one another  - which in turn helped them treat others with kindness.


It was one of those non-stop, raining, icky, dreary days.  My kids were mumbling, complaining, and picking on each other and exhibiting behavior that is not one of the ‘fruits of the spirit’.  Every few minutes I was having to referee some minor squabble over ‘nothing’.

So, I did what any reasonable mother would do….I gave them something that they would HAVE to work together and problem solve (while having fun — should they choose to cooperate with one another).  I gave them a PROJECT.

Teaching Children Kindess 1 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Months ago I bought a Kid Concoctions Kit and put it away for a rainy day.   When I came to the end of my rope, I remembered this little gem and brought it out.  The beauty of using this as a ‘team builder’ is that my oldest doesn’t really doesn’t like crafts and my middle children love crafts, but at that moment, couldn’t find anything to agree one.  They would have to put their differences aside and work together for the good of ‘The Team’ without help from me.

I gave them these rules:  You can do ANY of the projects in the book, but, you must work together and you must come to a consensus.  You must not raise your voice and you must be kind towards one another.

After diving into the box, opening the goodies and paging though the instructions, I was pleased to hear the three of them communicating and working through what projects they wanted to do.  One making compromise here and another one making compromise there.  This was working!

Teaching Children Kindess 2 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Making slime….

Teaching Children Kindess 3 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Gluey Gems in the works!

Teaching Children Kindess 4 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

They ended up making 3 projects – Goo, Taffy and Gluey Gems.  More importantly, they saw first hand how speaking to one another in kind words,  compromising on small issues and maintaining unity (as in working with a team mentality instead of a ‘me’ mentality) changed their whole day from a ‘real drag’ into a rewarding experience with those they chose to love.

Matthew 7:12  “So in everything do to others as you would have them do to you.”


The Day We Unschooled



By definition, we are not what most would consider unschoolers.  We have a set structure to our day, but also have plenty of room to chase rabbit trails that crop up in our learning.


Last week my 4 year old decided that he wasn’t into ABC’s and 123′s. No coloring or cutting.  No playing ball or being read to.  He just wasn’t into “school”.  (Notice that school is in quotations!)


Having this resolve firmly in his head, he brought his older brother’s K’nex set to me and declared he was going to build.


unschool 4 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg


My normal response would have been to encourage him to finish the little bit of “seat work” we do and then move on to the active learning.  But, this time I gave in.  I really thought that since he’s no K’nex expert, this activity would not keep his interest for more than the usual 5 minutes.


unschool2 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg


Boy was I wrong!  He took to building these models all by himself like a champ!


unschool3 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg


In the end, he was so excited to show everyone his “scissors” and “wheel barrow” that he built all by himself!


unschool 5 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com.jpg


And that’s the benefit of allowing your child to take those detours in learning!



Cookie Maps – A Delicious Twist on Geography!



In conjunction with our first day of school, I decided to kick off our history/geography studies with a delicious twist.


We’ve done salt dough maps in the past.  But this time I opted for edible, kid decorated Cookie Maps!


With a little bit of planning, these are fairly easy to make.


First, whip up a basic sugar cookie recipe.  (Don’t have one?  Check out these from Allrecipes.)


Next, trace an outline map of the United States on Waxed Paper with a Sharpie and cut out.


cookie map 1 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


After rolling out enough dough for each child, trace around the Waxed Paper stencil with a butter knife and remove excess dough.


Once that is done, it’s time to decorate.  Break out the marshmallows, icings, sprinkles, candy dots and chocolate chips!!!


cookie map 2 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


I gave my kids a fairly light list of geomorphic requirements…..Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, Mississippi River and three cities that have significance to our family.   They were encouraged to put more detail on their map.  And, that meant something different for each child.


A straightforward map by the oldest.


cookie map 3 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


A little bit of everything from the youngest.


cookie map 5 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


A “pretty” map from the daughter.


cookie map 6 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


And a little humor from my second born.  (He doesn’t like eggs….even though it’s mixed into the batter.)


cookie maps 4 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


Upon completing their masterpieces, the cookie concoctions were baked at 350F for about 10 minutes with some very interesting results!


cookie map 8 www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.tabestruths.com.jpg


In the end, each map was a tasty tribute to the United States.  Though next time we’ll go easy on the marshmallows!


If you’ve blogged about cookie maps, please feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments!




“How to Have Fun When Life is Anything But….”


How to have fun when life is anything but.  www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com


All summer long my newsfeed has been filled with family and friends jet-setting here, there and everywhere.


For us, this summer has been a total bust.  Due to circumstances, there were no family vacations.  No smiling pictures in front of historical landmarks or breath taking scenery.


In fact, the summer could have been entitled, “How to Have Fun when Life is Anything But” !


After eating sour grapes, I realize there are “those” seasons in life.  Coveting someone else’s season does nothing to lift the air in my own home.  So, instead of lamenting “woe is me”, I search for things to celebrate.


Wanting to break out of a rut, this morning I turned up some goofy music, danced like no one was watching, got the kids to participate and shared some good old fashioned belly laughs.


Laying aside preconceived ideals, we celebrate the little things:  smiley pancakes for breakfast, swimming while everyone else is at school, making sugar cookie maps for our geography lesson.  But mostly making the best of our situation emphasizing what we DO have.


Here’s the bigger picture….


Each day is a clean slate.  How you choose to fill it is up to you – inspite of  your circumstances!


SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft Review & GIVEAWAY!



Heard about the Minecraft craze, but not sure if it’s right or safe for your child?  Have a child that is into Minecraft but unsure of whom they are interacting with online?  Is your child a Minecraft fan already but want to add more educational value to their online time?

SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft  is just the portal you need to visit!

SKrafty Reviews and Giveaways


It’s back to school time, and for homeschool families – that means gathering curriculum, planning and finding new ways to inspire kids in their studies. SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft is the perfect way to add the fun and inspiration you need.

This fall, the class line up is spectacular! If you need homeschool math, science, bible, history, language arts or more . . . you are in for a treat. Using some of your favorite homeschool curriculum companies (including Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and A+ Interactive Math) you’ll learn to incorporate Minecraft projects into your family homeschool.

SKrafty Classes

See all the new classes SKrafty has to offer HERE

Find out more about the fully monitored SKrafty Minecraft server where it is safe for your family and children – and get whitelisted for FREE right HERE.

SKrafty is specially designed and the rules are constructed to encourage good sportsmanship – with no griefing allowed, no bad language or ugly talk, and no sharing of outside links to protect your children. See a full list of rules HERE.

What other parents are saying about SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft:

“Since starting Skrafty my son has blossomed. His typing has gotten a lot better. School work is not a chore any more I just give him the list of what needs to be done and he does it. He finds the lessons entertaining and engaging and he loves the activities that go along with them. We are all very grateful for Skrafty.” ~ Cheryl J.

“My son enjoys playing on Skrafty with other kids and I love that it is a safe, moderated Minecraft server! While playing on Skrafty he has learned creative building, developed critical thinking skills, made friends, and learned to be a team player. The classes have been fun and the reading program has encouraged him to read more than ever. Skrafty has been such a blessing to our family!” ~Julie B.

Special needs learning:

“Skrafty has been a huge blessing to our family! My son with dyslexia is not only learning but enjoying learning!!!! His reading and writing have developed more with Skrafty than any other program we have used. The classes are engaging because they are so hands on and truly turn learning into an adventure. I so highly recommend Skrafty!” ~ Caroline D.

What we learned:

Recently my daughter completed Virtual Field Trip to France.  In it, she learned common information such as the history and geography of this country plus fascinating architecture and regional information through interesting and upbeat videos all compiled in one safe-to-view place.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 2 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

After viewing a lesson, my daughter was directed to the Minecraft France portal where she had weekly assignments, such as:  touring the Eiffel Tower, claim land and try to make a pastry shop.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 4 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

In the next lesson it was learning details about Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo architecture, touring Chenoneau and then creating your own Loriere Valley.

Skrafty Minecraft Skool Visits France 3 - www.talesofahomeschoolfamily.taberstruths.com

Next was a tour of Southern Coastal France visiting Pont du Gard, Monaco Castle, Canal du Midi, Perpignon, Gorges du Verdon Avignon. Afterwards claim a plot of land and build your own Pont du Gard.

Skrafty Minecraft has done a fabulous job in creating these French landmarks AND providing a safe environment to explore, create and connect.  While my daughter was on their server, there was no swearing or rough language.  Administrators are readily available for any problems and scriptures are even posted from time to time!

We do not only manage Minecraft, Server Hardware, Web Design, Research and Development, uptime, builds, events and backups. At SKrafty we also do many things to manage your child’s experience to make it as kid friendly as possible. We have double chat filters that catch all the bad words possible but it doesn’t stop there. SKrafty Admins and Moderators monitor chat, referee issues, mentor children in integrity, humility, leadership, helpfulness etc..”


Extremely affordable classes (between $6.99 – $32.00) make it easy to add creativity and excitement into your education at home. Sign up HERE for live classes or self-paced classes and begin your journey into the world of homeschool Minecraft with SKrafty.

Giveaway Companies – Multiple Winners!

SKrafty Giveaways


Check out all the wonderful companies and prizes you can win for your family homeschool:

3 SKrafty Fall Classes - Value up to $32 each

Mystery of History Volume 1,2, or 3 & Super Supplemental – Value $150

A+ Interactive Math - Family Package for 3 Students – Value $450

Adventures In ChildRearing - Wildlife Adventures bundle- Value $27.99

We Choose Virtues - Homeschool Kit – Value $98.99

Sidetracked Sarah – Crockpot Freezer Meals 3 pack – Value $8.97

Moore Family Films - ABC Say it With Me – Value $15.99

Not Consumed - Back to School 4 Pack – Value $12.50

Teach Them Diligently – Family Pass to 1 Convention – Value $65

Homeschool Adventure Co. – Philippians in 28 Weeks – Value $18.95

Media Angels – Homeschool Moms Rescue Set – Value $9.99

A Journey Through Learning - Math Lapbook - Value$15.00

Dave Ramsey – Financial Peace Jr. – Value $24.95

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This has been a very positive experience and I highly recommend this server and these classes to anyone that is a regular Minecraft player or has wanted to try it out but was afraid of unknown online content.

My daughter is looking forward to doing a science oriented course in the fall!

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