Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lego Quest #5: Tool

Design a tool.

This can be something that already exists in the tool world, or it can be an invented tool for a particular job that you have in mind. This can be very simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. Maybe even think about some of the first tools ever invented by man or animal to serve them.

Here is the definition of the word tool:


1. an implement, esp. one held in a hand, as a hammer, saw, or file, for performing or facilitating mechanical operations.

2. any instrument of manual operation.

3. the cutting or machining part of a lathe, planner, drill, or similar machine.

4. the machine itself, a machine tool.

5. anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose: Education is a tool for success.

6. a person manipulated by another for the latter's own end; cat's-paw.

7. a means to an end, (a book cover can be a marketing tool).

By AA, age 10.  A mortar and pestle for mashing fruit. Submitted by Leigh

By RA, age 8. An axe. submitted by Leigh

"Minecraft Pickaxe" by AS. Submitted by Heather S.

Lego Quest #4: Two Dimensional

This weeks challenge is to create a Two dimensional design.

Two dimensions is having only the dimensions of height and width, like a square. Three dimensions is having height, width and depth, like a cube.

This can be almost anything. It can be a representation of an object, a piece of artwork (realistic, or abstract), a mosaic, a colour study, a picture from your favorite book?

The idea is to keep it flat. Pretend like you are drawing or painting or taking a photograph, but try to create it out of LEGO. Have fun, only play along if you feel inspired!

By RA, age 8.  A Beach Scene. Submitted by Leigh

By AA, age 10. A Minecraft Zombie, Person, and Animal. Submitted by Leigh

"Minecraft Person" by AS. Submitted by Heather S.

This is a zebra made by DM, age 5.5. Submitted by Amanda.

Lego Quest #3:

Quest #3 - Vessel

Design a vessel. Here is the definition of the word vessel.

1. a craft for traveling on water, now usually one larger than an ordinary rowboat; a ship or boat.

2. an airship.

3. a hollow or concave utensil, as a cup, bowl, pitcher, or vase, used for holding liquids or other contents.

4. Anatomy, Zoology. a tube or duct, as an artery or vein, containing or conveying blood or some other body fluid.

5. Botany. a duct formed in the xylem, composed of connected cells that have lost their intervening partitions, that conducts water and mineral nutrients. Compare tracheid.

6.a person regarded as a holder or receiver of something, esp. something nonmaterial: a vessel of grace; a vessel of wrath.

As you can see, you have a lot of options here, have fun!

By AA, age 10. A Chalice...submitted by Leigh

By RA, age 8.  A mug. Submitted by Leigh (RA filled the mug with water and drank from it!)

"The Tour Express" by PS.  Submitted by Heather S.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Free Webinar on Homeschool Burnout: Its Causes and Cures

Hosted by Christian Heritage Homeschool Educators of Washington State

Free Webinar on Homeschool Burnout: Its Causes and Cures

Tuesday, March 5, 7 PM
Are you bogged down?
Do you have a worn-out spirit?
Does the daily grind now supersede your once high-held vision of educating your own children?
You are not alone, and there is hope! 

Following the first very popular webinar, Christian Heritage and Renee Ellison, one of this year's speakers at the upcoming conference, are excited to address this real and important issue. 

Whether you're on the mountaintop or in a valley right now, you will find Renee's practical strategies encouraging and inspiring. 

Registration is an easy, one-time process that will also sign you up for the remaining webinars in this series including: Raising Your Family in Light of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Go here to register:

Master World Geography in 7 Months or Less


Knowledge Quest is providing free curriculum in PDF download for world geography.

Follow this link.  I am not sure how long it will last.

Parent Workshop on Teaching Writing

From one homeschool mom to another:
Teaching you so that you can teach your child HOW TO WRITE

*Where to begin and what to expect
*Building upon the basics
*The importance of critical thinking
*Preparing your child for the SAT essay exam

I will be teaching a writing workshop on Saturday, March 9, and I thought you might be interested in attending.  I have been teaching literature-based writing classes to home school students for about 10 years.  In addition to teaching my own four children, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching other home school students.  For the past several years, I have been primarily teaching the college prep level, but every now and then I get the chance to have fun teaching our younger students as well.

Not only have I enjoyed my time in the classroom, but I have also cherished the opportunity to work with several other teachers who have joined me in teaching our literature-based writing classes.  We have been able to work together for the past several years, and each year we work to fine tune our instruction – always looking for the most effective methods for teaching our students.  And this is what I look forward to passing on to you.  It is always a blessing for me to meet with parents and teachers who understand the importance of teaching children proper writing skills.  As you know, it’s not easy! 

 You will also need the exact address of this event – which is yet to be determined.  We have a couple of options, so I will wait until I have a head count and then decide on the location (in or near Orangevale, CA  - a suburb of Sacramento).  Feel free to call me if you have any questions (916-725-6473).

Kris Cordell

WHEN:  Saturday, March 9

TIME:  10:00 – 3:30

WHERE: Orangevale, CA  95662
(Contact Kris for address)

COST: $20.00–Including lunch and syllabus
or $10.00 if you bring a friend

BRING A FRIEND AND save $10.00 each

Yearbook Photos and Pages Due!

Group Pages

Here is a reminder for the photos that are due March 1:
Inner tube Donner Ski Ranch
Roller skating
Valentines party
Park day
Presentation day
Christmas party
Mandarin farm
Sierra Arden food closet
Feed my starving children
State Capitol tour
Bishops Pumpkin Farm
Van Howd Gallery Tour
Apple hill
Country Kids Fun Run Fundraiser
Lake Natoma Kayak
Open House 2012
Violin Tour

Family Pages

Family pages are due March 30

There are 4 ways of creating your family pages:

1.  create a word document with your family page and email to
2.  create it on the memoryebooks website - download photos using the directions from Ashley. (you will need a phone session with Ashley or Lori to complete). 
3.  make a paper copy and we will scan it - the quality will be a little grainy
4.  email photos to with a description of what you would like included, and have Ashley create it for you

I will bring a sample of the yearbook tonight at the meeting.  I have also attached an example (only an example - you can include as much or as little as you would like).  But it should include your family name, names of family members in photos, and age or grades.   Other ideas include:  a list of favorites, scriptures, quotes, sayings, - you get the idea.  

Cost of yearbooks will be between $15-$18 each.  We will also need submit the yearbook order by April 1.  I will need to know who will be ordering yearbooks, how many, and have payment by April 1 (no April fools ;0)

Soooo, if you have any questions, please contact Lori or Ashley at, or 916-632-6886.  

Grace Classical Academy Co-op

Grace Classical Academy Co-op
A Christ centered, academically focused classroom opportunity, for local homeschooling families.
Our Grammar program meets once a week for formal Classical instruction and science, and another optional day for enrichment.
Our upper level students have one day of Classical instruction and another for math and sciences.
Our K-6 program is a co-op with moms participating in the day.
Our Logic Rhetoric program for Jr. High through High School is a more formal drop-off program with experienced, dedicated and mentor focused teachers.
Our like-minded community includes families from Grass Valley to Rancho Cordova.

We are eagerly looking toward next year, and are happy to announce our visiting days for the spring!

Friday, March 15th
Friday, May 10th

*Please note: We do require an RSVP with names of visitors and which programs you are considering.
  All programs are available to view on these days.

Our Grammar co-op program includes K-1,  2-4, and 5-6.
Our formal Logic/Rhetoric program includes 7-8 and 9-12.

While visiting, you will have an opportunity to observe quietly in many of our classes, join us for Chapel, and have an informal Q and A session after your visit.
We encourage both parents to attend, and nursing babies are welcome; however, please make arrangements for your other children.

Please feel free to visit our web site at Many of our details for next year will be up soon!

You may contact Jana Krumal with any questions or to RSVP

Mini Camps in May

New Mini-Camps in May!!
Grades 3-8
Builders and BasketsMay 13th and May 15th
  9:00 am- Noon

Students will start the day off building their very own wooden tic-tac-toe/toss and cross game.  (Project will be completed Wednesday).  We will them break for snack time and then head to the gym for a fun time of basketball.
$85 for both days
$80 for siblings
(Includes wood project)

Grades 3-8

Spies and Sneakers
May 20th and May 22nd
9:00 am - Noon

Students will start the day experiencing the life of a spy checking secret messages for their next mission.  Learning how to make, break, explore the art of codes and ciphering.
After a snack break we will head to either the gym or baseball field for PE games.  (Dodgeball, relay, Soccer, Flag Football, etc.)
$75 for both days
$70 for siblings

Don't forget our NEW Art class
Grades 8-12
Starting THIS Monday 2/25
We still have a few spots left
(Independent vendor- Tim Krumal)

Register ONLINE

Piano Lessons

Hello, homeschool community.

My name is Elsa Gustafsson and I am a homeschooled junior in high school. I have been studying music since age five. My piano education has included private study for ten years with a focus on classical training and theory. I participate in the statewide program Certificate of Merit and am currently preparing for the advanced level exams next month. Piano is my passion and I love to share the joy of exploring music.

I teach piano out of my home in Loomis. Lessons are $15 per half hour or $20 for 45 minutes. I am available to teach beginning to early intermediate students between the ages of 6 and 13. If you would like more information or references, please email me at or call (916) 251-9448.
- Elsa Gustafsson

Online Writing Enrichment Classes

Online Writing Enrichment Classes for Homeschoolers

Due to the popularity of our face to face classes, San Diego Scribblers now offers online classes for students everywhere! 

Class lessons are posted online weekly with assignments due the following week allowing students to work around their own busy schedules! And because learning isn't a one dimensional process, Online Scribblers classes offer a variety of learning activities to captivate different learning styles. Students will journal, complete both written and reading lessons, and complete a longer writing assignment due weekly. In addition, learning check points are provided to let students know when they are on the right track.

Each week, the instructor personally comments, critiques and works with students to develop individual writing goals and processes based on the work turned. If a student has a question, they can ask the instructor at any time. Success will be based on individual improvement rather than competing with other student work. 

Each course runs 8 weeks and costs just $99.

Online Spring Classes are registering now!
Session Begins March 20th

Writing the Short Story: Grades 4-8
High School Journalism: Grades 8-12

For more information visit and click on Online Classes

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lego Quest #2

Pick a colour, any colour, and use only that colour of LEGO.

Build anything. The sky is the limit. A structure, a sculpture,functional, non-functional, anything at all, but you can only use one colour!

By EB, age. 8 Submitted by Mandy.
"Green House"

By RA, age 8. Submitted by Leigh
"Green Alien"

By AA, age 10. Submitted by Leigh.
"Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building.  You choose."

Alien attacking Eiffel Tower/Empire State Building

"The Red Pyramid" by AS

DT.  It is her depiction of a recently rescued white Cremela horse by our next door neighbor. ( He is blue eyed in person and looking for a name . I call him Bing Crosby from the kitchen Window. He is a beautiful boy. Submitted by Colleen.

This is a black robot by DM age 5.5.  Submitted by Amanda.