Classical Conversations ~ Review Fishing Game

This easy Classical Conversations review Fishing game was a hit with my Abecedarian kids!  Bonus is this game is quick and easy to make!  Branches, hot glue gun, scrap yarn, safety pins, magnets, and some “fish” are all you need.

Easy Go Fishing Review GameThe whole project starts with some tree sticks.  I cut off the “nubs” and rough edges on the stick and then sanded all those edges smooth.

Next I tied some yarn to the end with a double knot and a dab of hot glue.

Glueing the String to the Easy Go Fishing GameAfter you glue the strain gtonto the end, it’s best to wrap the string or yarn around the end to secure it further.  You can add some extra glue for the yarn to adhere to.

Cut the yarn the appropriate length then tie a knot on the end.  Attach it to a magnet
and sandwich another magnet to the other side of the string.

Sandwich the Magnets together to form the end of the fishing line for Go Fishing Game


Now for my “fish”…I found this sweet little fish sheet online.  They do print out smaller on an 8.5″ X 11” sheet.  Mine were printed larger but that was in error.  The fish for printing are here: Fish Game


I made mine one-sided and laminated them for durability.  Then on the backside I wrote the review subject.  Since we have 7 subjects, I took 1 of the fish and wrote, “Go Again!” so one lucky student gets another turn.

Now to make the “fish” magnetic, I simply attached a safety pin to the mouth end.  You can slip the safety pin to the end and don’t have to make a hole in the “fish”.  I chose to go this rout instead of paper clips because they stay on there much stronger.

That’s it!  Super simple and like I said, the kids loved it!


Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 1 ~ Wrap Up

We made a dramatic change in our homeschooling this year!  We started Classical Conversations a few weeks ago and today I’m excited to share what we did for Cycle 3 Week 1 at home and as an Abecedarian tutor.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Week 1 Wrap Up

For all you Abecedarian tutors, hopefully my ideas (many gleaned from others) are helpful.

For class we followed the basic format of….

Say > Children Repeat > Motions or Point (for Geography) > All together with song


I used my big Hand Pointer to help highlight the state on the  United States Scrunch Map.  This map is also available at Hobby Lobby (and it is less expensive especially with a 40% off coupon).

The children sat at their table and pointed to personal size maps with a expo marker while we sang.

I printed and laminated blown up maps of the Northeastern portion of the U.S.  Make sure to explain that this portion of the U.S. is  part of the big U.S. map.  My map came from here. (awesome site for all printable maps)

(at home) Besides review, we covered blob mapping the U.S. Fun!!!

Our Blob Map of the U.S.


I had my timeline cards on the magnetized board and they were displayed until we finished with the Timeline.

We said and did the motions for timeline card #1 > #1 & #2 > #1, #2, & #3, etc.

Lots of repetition!

(at home) We put our labels on our homemade Accordion Fold Timeline from Half a Hundred Acre Wood.


Basic Format.  Since the Abecedarians are mostly non-readers, I started incorporating hand drawn pictures on my whiteboard week 3.

(at home) The Story of the World: Vol. 3, Chapter 1.

English Grammar

I used the English song for week one from the user, “marykbry”.  LOVE her song and so did the children!

(at home) I printed some sentences off for my older children to identify the infinitives.  Simple.


We chanted the Latin grammar this week and listened to another one of marykbry’s songs during review.  To get the kids feet moving, we stomped our feet. (the song was a huge hit though so I decided to do song for the new grammar portion as well next week.


We sang the math skip counting songs and passed bean bags around the circle.  I didn’t have bean bags for everyone so this was a bit of a mess and confusing for the kids.


Basic Format.

Fine Arts

We covered Oils and the children practiced.  Afterwards the children played a Crazy Critter Dice Game from Expressive Monkey.  They loved it and came up with some cute critters.  During review, we also played with OiLs on the board and the kids were able to demonstrate the elements of drawing on the board.

(at home) The kids and I went through this art lesson on how to draw an owl.  My kids are still drawing owls almost a month later.

Science Experiement

In class we followed Miss Wizzle’s lab sheet. (Wonderful resource available from CC Connected uploaded by user: loriberlie)

Review Tool

I didn’t make this but it’s SO worth sharing! This Cycle 3 Memory Work Flip Book is so handy and convenient.  It comes from user “melodystroud” on CC Connected. Check it out!

Album for Memory Work

For the album you can just use a cheap album with 24 pockets for inserts.  Perfect for 24 weeks of CC. This particular album is 36 pages which gave me some extra pages to add info later.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Memory Work Flip BookIs this NOT adorable!?

Classical Conversations Memory WorkBecause we are learning the songs this year, I can not seem to remember the tune for skip counting. SOLUTION: tape a post it note flag and label the songs.  SO much easier!

This booklet has gotten tons of use already.  I bring it in my purse to review on the go.  And I use it for review in my class.

That wraps up our Week 1 of Classical Conversations. Next time around I’ll share some of my review games for my Abecedarian kids too.


This post has been shared at the CC Weekly Link-Up. Click below to see some more great ideas for week 1.
Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

Finding Our Bearings

I haven’t updated in a while and it’s been a monkey on my back so today serves as a catchup of sorts.


In summary, the past 3 weeks we’ve:

  1. Said goodbye and shed tears with some of the best friends we’ve ever had.
  2. Driven 1,834 across country with 4 children, a dog, our 96 Winnebago, and our minivan.
  3. Enjoyed eating Chik fil A 3 times.
  4. Chased down our master escapee dog 5 different times, once near a busy street.
  5. Had the brakes fixed on the Winnie unexpectedly in Birmingham.
  6. Met a dear online friend in Birmingham.
  7. Pulled the RV through Nashville during heavy traffic for a stop at Trader Joe’s. INSANE!!
  8. Enjoyed the white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast.
  9. Got sunburned at the campground pool.

So now we are trying to find our bearings and settle into some sort of normalcy.

Mark started work just a few days after we got here and the kids and I have been plugging away at school. The campground we are at has a nice pool that’s been luring us out on warm days.

But there are 2 issues that have been especially hard.

Issue #1

The lack of friends for the kids. . .

I love how my kids make friends easily. However, In this campground, there are very few kids. The kids that have come by, leave after 3 days it seems.  So I’ve been busier trying to help them wade through this time.

I think this would come with any move but maybe the camper situation makes me even more sensitive to the absence of friends. They are adjusting.

Correction – we are adjusting.

Which brings me to our 2nd issue.

Issue #2

We lack a 2nd vehicle.

This of course limits us to do much outside the campground.

By moving here, were were able to reconnect with friends from San Antonio and Germany. The friends we’ve met up with from Germany are letting us borrow their vehicle this week.  Oh it’s been so nice!!

Some may say, “Just buy a vehicle.”  Yes, we could do that.  But financially, it is not as easy as it would seem.  We are nearly debt-free and not about to add more debt or payments to our plan.

Overall as a family, we are striving to be content.  Striving to be in a place of joyfulness and embrace where we are at this stage of our lives.  Never have we been less burdened with debt or commitments.  We are in a place where God can move us or tell us to set down roots.  We’re open and listening.

I realize more and more that my life is full of an attitude of discontentment.  It’s always been something with me.  For once I just want to rest and be content.

So my goals are to:

  • Grumble less.
  • Unplug from the Internet more.
  • Play with and enjoy my kids.
  • Pray often.

Simple goals really, but I’m a simple gal who needs simple goals.





Our Top 9 Tips for Teaching Kids Gun Safety

Now that everyone has recovered from being sick, we’re finding that we have more free time. It’s been nice the past couple days! So nice!

Since Mark was off of work the other day, we decided to fire a few rounds at the gun range.

Black Hills during fall

Kids are posing while their Dad sets up.

The Gun Range

Gun range is a pretty lofty title for the place where we go shoot.  How to describe the “Gun Range??”

It’s an unmanaged unofficial range up on Beretta Drive in the hills.  I don’t know who owns it, but Mark’s co-worker told him about shortly after we moved to the area.

It’s pretty laid back at the range.

So laid back, in fact, the day we went to the range, the cows were loose!  A picture would be perfect right here.

Now all you gun haters out there…don’t be hatin’ on guns. We are not a gun-loving family by any means! But we think the right to bear arms is pretty rad and we choose to exercise that right.

Back to the pasture range…we brought our .22 survival rifle (which is compact and really a cool little gun). And our little itty bitty .380 with a laser that is not sighted in yet.

Survival .22 & .380

Survival .22 & .380

We have started teaching the kids about gun safety and drilling them on how to handle guns. They can answer basic safety questions pretty well and we run a TIGHT ship out at the range.

So here are our top tips for teaching kids about gun safety. And no, we are not trained professionals, just concerned parents.

Gun safety tips for kids

Mark helping L get set up

Our TOP 9 Tips for Teaching Young Children Gun Safety

  1. Never, EVER point a gun at ANYTHING unless you intend to shoot it.
  2. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
  3. Do not put your finger near the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  4. Always point a gun toward the ground. And not at your shoe because your foot is in there ~ that is E’s contribution.
  5. If you don’t know what to do, stop.
  6. Slow and calm movements are controlled and safe movements.
  7. The parent assisting must tell the child they are free to fire.  Without our go ahead, they are NOT allowed to pull the trigger.
  8. They (the shooter) yells “Fire” when they are ready to shoot.
  9. Hearing and eye protection are to be worn at all times while at the range, (unless they are in a vehicle).

L show-casing the ear plugs

Mark is always helping them, and right beside them.  One child is shooting, everyone else is in the van.  We go for 1/2 hour or less, short for the kids.  That’s it.

Me & Mr. Z, cozy in the van.

My Initial Reservations

In the beginning, I didn’t go with two older kids and I didn’t want Mark taking them to the range. But because our kids are fairly well behaved I wasn’t concerned with them not listening to us.  I think it was more the stigma associated with firearms and just fear of something going wrong.  Let me tell you…

Stigmas are stupid.

AND something can go wrong anywhere.

The benefits – which I’ll cover – outweight any negatives.  Truly, it’s been a positive experience.

Kid's Gun Safety Gear

Here is E with his hearing and eye protection

Why This is Beneficial for Children.

  1. We get to demystify guns and take Hollywood out of guns.  Remove the mystery.
  2. This allows us to squelch the desire to “play” with guns because they can appropriately use them under our direct supervision.
  3. They get to learn how to safely shoot them (at an age-appropriate level).
  4. They understand guns are dangerous and we are instilling respect for firearms.

So there you have it.  Any tips or benefits you’d like to add?