Sweeties: A Homeschool Mom Interview

I’ve wanted to interview you guys for a while.  My first sweetie up is Kelly.

Below you will find out more about her and her homeschool day!  I think many of you will be able to relate!

How many children do you homeschool?  One, my 10 year old son

Did you plan to homeschool?  No,  we didn’t plan it but after a long period of bullying with no resolution from the principal, we pulled him out.

What method(s) do you use {eclectic, Charlotte Mason, etc.}?  Right now we are unschooling with a little bit of structure sprinkled in.

Is there any curriculum you absolutely love?  I love the Sonlight series but with so many free resources on the web, we don’t buy very much.

Do you use techniques such as project-based learning, lapbooks, notebooking, etc.?  I am trying to get the hang of lapbooks, but we mainly use computer based lessons right now.

What one piece of advice would you give other homeschoolers?  Don’t try to cram everything into a structured schedule.  When I tried to keep to a strict schedule, my son would not respond as well as if I let his interests guide us.

Do you enjoy attending homeschool conventions? Why or why not?  I have not been to one yet but I think it would be an invaluable source of information.

Are you working through any trials in your homeschool, or have you before?  The only trials we have had are with me!  I started out trying to mirror a school setting and my son did not respond very well.  I realized I was expecting him to do well in the same atmosphere we pulled him out of!

How do you get through these?  I just try to relax and not stress too much.  When I fit lessons into everyday life, we retain much more than with a structured day.

Are you homeschooling a special needs child? Have you identified any helpful information you can share with other parents?  Yes, my son has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a mild form of autism.  Children with Asperger’s tend to be OCD and they do not do well under pressure, which is what we found when we started out.  If I appear to be relaxed when I teach, he does so as well.

Do you have unique aspects of your homeschool that you’d like to share?  I just try to find lessons wherever I can.  A trip to the grocery store is a math lesson, the trip to the park is a science lesson and a story on Egypt is our social studies lesson.  I make suggestions and my son chooses what interests him the most.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?  Just relax!  Don’t panic if you can’t get your lesson completed within the time limits you have scheduled for the day.  If you get to everything, that is great and if you don’t, that is ok too.  Kids feel our stress and if you are stressing, so will they and then teaching is out the window!!

Thanks Kelly!

If you’d like to be interviewed just let me know!


Twitter Par-tay! Join Me for #PaperCrownSadie!

Join me for a Twitter Party to talk about the new children’s book Sadie: The Paper Crown Princess!

Sadie is a spunky princess-in-training whose big ideas keep getting in the way of her earning her tiara.

Her journey takes her from the Princess Academy on an around-the-world adventure where Sadie learns the meaning of being a real princess.

What: #PaperCrownSadie Twitter Party to celebrate the launch of the new book Sadie: The Paper Crown Princess
When: Wednesday, May 16 from 3:00-4:00 PM EST
Hashtag: #PaperCrownSadie


Special Guest: Author of Sadie: The Paper Crown Princess

Prizes: Six people will win Sadie swag including books, t-shirts, and prints of their choice from the book’s illustrations!

There will also be exclusive free downloadable content and activities that you can only find at the party!

Pre-made Tweetgrid can be found here.

Pre-tweet to win! Anyone who tweets this before the start of the party will be eligible to win a copy of Sadie: The Paper Crown Princess!

You can learn more about the book and pre-order your copy here. See you at the party! Questions? Email ashley at freckleberryfinds dot com.


TOS Sweet Critique: “Inference Jones”


What:  Inference Jones

Cost:  $11.99

Recommended Ages:  Grades 3 & 4



Inference Jones is a workbook that helps students build inference skills.

By using short reading passages followed by true/false and multiple choice questions, students practice making inferences.


I was excited to receive this product as this is something I’m still trying to teach to Babydoll.

I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve found that making inferences is something hard for me to teach.  I just can’t explain it well.

At first glance, Inference Jones seems to be pretty basic.  And, in a way, it is straightforward, which is a good thing.

After just a few minutes of reading through the teaching suggestions, though, I learned a key bit of information I’d never heard before:

After reading the passage, liken the story to something in your child’s life.

This helps them see the correlation.  They can see how you don’t always have all the facts but you can infer something from a situation using clues.

That alone was worth the price of admission!

What I also liked about Inference Jones is that the questions are usually divided into three sections:

  • True or false
  • Multiple choice
  • Probably true or probably false

Other products we’ve used have had the child write out lengthy answers to questions, which for a kid like Babydoll, doesn’t work.

She doesn’t like writing anyway, and isn’t a fan of language arts period, so having to write a bunch of stuff made it drudgery.

Letting her just write one or two letters and circle an answer makes it quick and painless.

I definitely think this is my preferred choice for teaching inferences now.


See what other members of the Crew thought about Inference Jones, as well as the other titles by The Critical Thinking Co., they reviewed here!

True Confessions:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

See “Chimpanzee”, Save Chimpanzees!

Can’t wait, I’m taking Babydoll to see this today!


Disneynature’s Newest True Life Adventure Celebrates its $10.6 Million Opening-Weekend Box Office by Extending Benefit to Jane Goodall Institute

BURBANK, Calif. (April 25, 2012) – Swinging into theaters April 20 with a $10.6 million opening-weekend performance, “Chimpanzee” proved so popular among audiences that Disneynature is extending the “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees” conservation initiative for a second week. For every moviegoer who sees “Chimpanzee” through May 3, 2012, Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to protect chimpanzees today and tomorrow.

“In theaters just five days, ‘Chimpanzee’ has already given us a lot to celebrate,” said Alan Bergman, president, The Walt Disney Studios. “Led by a young chimpanzee named Oscar, ‘Chimpanzee’ has won the hearts of audiences nationwide. It’s because of that success that we decided to extend our program with the Jane Goodall Institute.”

“See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees”—initially slated for the film’s opening week through April 26—will continue through the film’s second week till May 3—a first-ever extension to a Disneynature conservation program.

The news was well received by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. “We couldn’t be happier to extend this collaboration to help the Jane Goodall Institute better protect chimpanzees and the places they call home,” she said. “A film like ‘Chimpanzee’ helps spread the passion we have for these extraordinary beings, sharing the truly relatable moments experienced by Oscar and his fellow chimpanzees in a way that will hopefully inspire audiences to continue their support long after the movie ends.”

Rated G by the MPAA, “Chimpanzee” is in theaters now.


Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with “Chimpanzee,” a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his entertaining approach to life in a remarkable story of family bonds and individual triumph. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom, Isha, and the group’s savvy leader, Freddy — navigates the complex territory of the forest. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimpanzees, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimpanzees, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever. Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“African Cats” and “Earth”) and Mark Linfield (“Earth”), and narrated by Tim Allen (Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 3,” ABC’s “Last Man Standing”), “Chimpanzee” is in theaters now. For more information about “Chimpanzee,” visit Disney.com/Chimpanzee, like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/Disneynature or follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature.


Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior started more than 50 years ago—research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian program for youth of all ages, which has groups in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit www.janegoodall.org.


The Walt Disney Company has since its beginnings demonstrated a commitment to the environment that continues to this day. Since its inception in 1995, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) has carried this legacy forward through connections made to inspire people and partnerships to protect the world’s wildlife. The DWCF annual grants program has made a global impact on efforts to expand scientific knowledge, influence leaders to take conservation action and engage communities through education and sustainable approaches to conservation. To date, the DWCF has granted more than $14 million to more than 800 projects in 110 countries, including funding to support lions, cheetahs and chimpanzee conservation. The DWCF also maintains the Rapid Response Fund, which has provided emergency funding to more than 100 relief efforts. To learn more about Disney’s focus on nature visit www.disney.com/conservation


Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire, and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first three Disneynature films, “Earth,” “Oceans” and “African Cats” are three of the top four highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Earth” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Conservation has been a key pillar of the label, and Disneynature films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening week attendance for all three films, Disneynature has planted. 3 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas and protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya.

For more information about Disneynature, check out Disney.com/chimpanzee, like us on Facebook: facebook.com/Disneynature, and follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Disneynature. For more information about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, please visit www.disney.com/conservation.

PRESS CONTACTS:   Walt Disney Studios Global Publicity

Michelle Rasic: michelle.rasic@disney.com

Derek Del Rossi:  derek.del.rossi@disney.com

Disney Pixar’s #Brave Looks So Full of Win!

I don’t know what it is, but this new Disney Pixar movie has got me so excited; I absolutely can. not. wait. to see it!

A movie about a girl who doesn’t want to do what everyone else says she needs to is a winner in my eyes.

I want Babydoll to grow up and know that she can do whatever it is she wants, as long as it does not hurt others.  It doesn’t matter if a girl is “supposed” to do it, if she is passionate about it, she can do it.

I have been waiting patiently for months for this thing to come out; I’ve only got a couple more months to go!!!!

Here’s the newest trailer; I love that it touches on the fact that family is important, no matter the time period.