Category: Books

Book Making Tips and Resources

I have been making books with my daughter this school year.  You can read one post about that here.  Today I will be doing a periscope about some of our books and wanted to provide these links.  You can follow me on Periscope – @chantellegrubbs and catch my replays at

This is an affiliate Amazon link to my laminator and the off brand laminating sheets that I love:

This is an affiliate Amazon link to my Proclick:



Homeschooling Update

I have not done many homeschooling updates this school year.  Honestly, I am just so busy.  This year we added Classical Conversations to our curriculum and we are schooling 9th grade, 6th grade, 3rd grade and pre-k.  It’s. A. Lot.  Many days I’m at my wits end and we don’t even finish everything we need to do.  It has been a lot to adjust to, and now that we have a baby on the way, I’m even less sure about what in the world we will do next year.

The kids are loving Classical Conversations.  They enjoy the community day and I do, too.  I LOVE my little class of 1st and 2nd graders.  I didn’t realize how much I have missed being in a classroom with other kids besides my own.  We have a lot of fun each week and I enjoy every one of those precious children.

However, adding CC Challenge for the 9th grader has required a good bit of my time. Though I’m quite sure this would also be true with other high school curriculums, as well.  Noah is no longer doing any subjects with his siblings, which has been a big change for us. We still complete Morning Time (Bible, scripture memory, hymn study, poetry and Shakespeare) and a read aloud together each day, but really these aren’t subjects in the terms of work and grades.  That means I have to work with or at a minimum look over and grade all the subjects he is doing.  We generally work on Algebra I, Latin and Logic every day.  He is also working on debate topics and mock trial topics, in addition to science and writing which has to be reviewed and edited by me.


During Foundations community day the other 3 kids cover several topics including history, science, and art.  At home we practice our new grammar a few times a week, and complete additional learning on history and science.  At home we cover math, spelling, and grammar separately.  Eli is taking the CC Essentials class so his grammar, spelling and writing come from that program, but we still have to work on it every day.  This year with Zeke I’m really focusing on his reading and physical writing, since these are things he struggles with.  And I have to sit with him while he does every step of this work.

Here is a glimpse into our week:

Noah had his final presentation on his science fair project:

Noah science fair

Zeke has really enjoyed reading Germs this week.  We work on grammar and writing using either First Language Lessons or journal work.  He is also learning cursive.  We are back to using RightStart D for math.  I just wasn’t that happy with the monotony of Rod & Staff and it just wasn’t teaching the mental math skills and multiple topics like RightStart.

DSC_0137 DSC_0136 DSC_0142

I’m also having Zeke work on a poem all week.  We are reading the poem each day to help in fluency and then he his marking rhyming words, digraphs, or whatever phonics topic he is covering for the week.

Eli often shies away from the camera, so no pictures of him.  He works on Math Mammoth 6, Essentials spelling/grammar and IEW Writing daily.  He does some note taking, summarizing or outlining from our history studies and reviews the science info from CC. He is currently reading Only the Names Remain.  He is also working on his cursive.

Essie begs all day to do school!  She enjoys playdoh, painting and mischief making!

Essie playdoh Essie mitten match DSC_0135 DSC_0139 DSC_0141

This week we’ve been working on letter M so we matched mittens with uppercase/lowercase alphabet and read Jan Brett’s The Mitten.  She painted a mitten and I printed out pictures of the animals from the book for her to put in the mitten as we read the story.   We’ve also just started Handwriting Without Tears Pre-k book.  She loves the songs and we are just working on one page a day for right now.

So that’s a little glimpse into our week.  It sure doesn’t seem like a lot when I post it like this, but I promise you I go non-stop all day keeping everyone on task, teaching lessons, reviewing work, supervising and cleaning up snack eating/lunch making/chore completion, along with dinner preparation, laundry, etc.



Teaching From Rest

I stumbled upon a great podcast called Read Aloud Revival while hanging out in our basement waiting for some bad weather to pass over.  This podcast features Andrew Pudewa and was put on by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things. I have loved Andrew Pudewa’s humor ever since I met him at the beginning of my homeschooling journey.  This podcast was encouraging and inspiring {and not just for homeschoolers!}
So I signed up for Sarah’s free newsletter and begin reading her blog.  All her posts were inspirational and Christ pointed topics!
Then she released an ebook and I was truly baffled…. Teaching from Rest?  what does that mean and how can you teach from rest?  I’m never rested and always frantic and chaotic!  Doesn’t it take lots of work to homeschool children? 
This is the encouragement I have been needing!
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

These are affiliate links and I will earn a small percentage of the sale price if you purchase through my links.  Thanks for your support!


One of my goals for 2012 was to read 52 books in 52 weeks. 
I am proud (and a little shocked) that I accomplished this goal!  You can check out this post to see the books I read.
I did count some of the books that I read with the kids as read alouds, but only if they were at least a high school reading level.  I read a wide variety of non-fiction, historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, a few classics. 
This challenge helped me to rekindle my love of reading the classics and historical Christian fiction.  I’ve been so busy the past 2.5 years with the demands of homeschooling that I had lost that passion. 
There are lots of changes coming for our family in the next few months so I’m not setting a challenge to read 52 books this year.  But I do plan to keep reading!  Hopefully this year I spend some of my time writing more reviews on the books I do read!

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

On our recent beach trip I selected this audio from our library for listening on the long drive.    I mainly chose it because stories about animals, especially dogs, tend to go over well with all three of my sons. 

I knew Shiloh was an award winning book but I had never read it.  As we pulled out of our town, I loaded it into the CD player and we began listening.

The story is about a young boy, named Marty, and a beagle, who he names Shiloh.  The dog is mistreated by his owner, Judd, and runs away to Marty’s house.  Marty attempts to hide the dog in an effort to protect it.  In his attempt to do this he has to lie and he learns how one lie leads to another and how others then become dragged into his web of lies. He also learns about the harsh reality that sometimes the laws are not always on the side of the person who is right. He is faced with a situation where he has to think about the age old question of, “Does the end justify the means?” 

These struggles with moral issues are the true heart of this story.  The well-written story is a great way to introduce children to these topics, as you feel like you are walking in Marty’s shoes. 

In the end, his biggest lesson learned comes through perseverance and doing the right thing. 

Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody

I learned about Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody through another homeschooling mom when she shared how much she and her children had enjoyed it.  I checked it out from my library and we got started.

The setting of the story is early 1900s.  The story line is about a family who moves away from the city to begin ranching.  It is the story of their successes and struggles to try to make a new life for themselves while ranching.  More importantly it offers up many lessons in values not often seen today such as hard work, honesty, integrity and working for the good of your family (not just yourself) even when you are only a child.

Ralph, who eventually becomes known as Little Britches, meets many interesting people throughout this story.  Hi, the Cowboy, Two Dog the Indian, Mr. Thompson and the Sheriff are just a few of the fascinating characters you will meet.

I love that this book portrays Ralph’s father, Charlie, as strong and wise.  Unfortunately today we don’t see many books, TV shows or movies that portray fathers as someone to respect and admire.   I also love that Ralph cares about what his father thinks of his choices and he often considers his father’s wisdom when deciding how to handle things in his own life. 

There was some swearing in the book, though not by the main characters.  The author makes is clear that his father never swore and wouldn’t allow him to speak that way either.  For this reason, I would recommend this as a read aloud for the younger ages. 

I was very moved by the book and cried through a bit of the last few chapters.  Lucky for us there are several sequels!  We have already started the next in the line of stories, The Man of the Family.

Francine Rivers

I’ve been reading the books in the Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers. 

These books take the accounst of women in the Bible and share how God used them in His plans to bring about the Messiah.   These women were not who the Jews would have expected as “heroines” which makes their stories all the more powerful. 

Francine Rivers takes Bible history and develops it in a story, so that the reader can feel what these women might have experienced.  I have been moved to tears through these books.  And blessed.  Blessed because God used women who were nothing special in the world’s eyes, even “sinners” to the Jews, to establish the lineage of Jesus, our Messiah.

I can not imagine that you could read these books and not be blessed!

Unveiled: The Story of Tamar
Unashamed: The Story of Rahab
Unshaken: The Story of Ruth
Unspoken: The Story of Bathsheba
Unafriad:  The Story of Mary