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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

2015-2016 Year in Review

I just finished assembling portfolios for the boys to have them reviewed.  I can't believe we're already wrapping up our "formal" school year!

Yes, it's a little earlier than I usually do our portfolio review, but with the upcoming move, I wanted our paper trail closed for the year.  Not that the learning stops just because the school calendar ends.  We're still memorizing poetry, and learning new geography related to the move, and reviewing a video-based science curriculum, and we have co-op tomorrow, and you know . . . all that other fun stuff that is really educational that goes on around here!

So what did our year look like?

That's just a snapshot of our year.  It doesn't show that Emory learned to read, or has a passion for nature.  It doesn't show how hard Elliott worked to master multiple digit multiplication, or how he's a STEM kid.  It doesn't show that Eleanor knows her letters and their initial sounds, or that *aha* moment when she realized there were two letters that make the /k/ sound.  It doesn't show that Eloise has some serious gross motor skills and can run and climb like a five year old or the way she nods her head for each syllable when she's saying Emory, Elliott or Eleanor.

It does, however, show the moments.  The family-style learning that brings us together each day.  The hands-on, experiential learning.  The laughter.  The memories.

Blogging Through the Alphabet” style=

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Quite awhile ago, my husband had an employee who gifted us some of their homemade soaps and lotions.  This included a body cream with emu oil.  I never thought much of it.  I just set it aside, until one winter day when my hands were chapped and a very popular brand of lotion made my skin burn.  I pulled out the natural lotion, and immediately felt soothed.  Since then, it has become my absolute favorite for my skin.  As we no longer have a contact for the family who made the lotion, I do not have access to this lovely cream, and was becoming a little worried when this little container was starting to empty.  Then I was given the opportunity to review GREEMU, from health and beauty company Devonian.

Review:  GREEMU from Devonion

What is GREEMU?

GREEMU is a plant-based beauty oil designed as a green alternative to emu oil.  It can be used to nourish and protect your skin and as a treatment for dry hair.  For those that desire an animal-free beauty oil, Devonian has developed GREEMU to replicate the properties and compositions of Grade A emu oil, except that it is made entirely from plant oils and butters.

I received a 4 oz bottle, with clear directions for either skin or hair use.  It does also include a warning not to use if you have allergies to plant oils, and of course to discontinue if any irritation occurs.  GREEMU consists of five ingredients:

Macadamia Oil
Palm Oil
Shea Butter
Sunflower Seed Oil
Rice Bran Oil

These ingredients are known for their moisturizing, healing and antioxidant properties.  I've never used straight emu oil, but I have heard good things about it.  So I decided that if it's supposed to work like emu oil, I might just try to see if GREEMU could eventually replace my beloved emu-oil based body cream.  I had a dry spot on my ankle and elbow, and decided I would give those spots special treatment with my new oil.

What did I Think?
The oil is a thick, almost-clear oil that only requires a small drop or two.  You just spread it and allow the skin to absorb it.  If you use too much, you will feel oily for a bit, but it's easy to moderate and feels better to apply than lotions.  It has no odor or smell, which is nice.  After the first two weeks, I can't say that I noticed any positive difference in the areas I was specifically treating for dry skin.  I decided to increase the frequency of use, to see if there were any notable changes.  Unfortunately, the slightly dry spots both started to feel scaly and appeared ashy in color.  I'm not sure why this happened to me, but it was certainly unsightly.  It's hard to say how this would compare to pure emu oil since I've never used it, but I have not seen positive results at this time.

Want to Know More?
Greemu is distributed by Koru Naturals, and you may remember I have reviewed some of their natural products before.  I loved their soap and have my eye on some other products as well.  You can also find out more on their website, Facebook and Pinterest.

The good thing about the Schoolhouse Review Crew is that you can get multiple perspectives of the same product, so be sure to check out more reviews!

Greemu Devonian Review

Crew Disclaimer

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

52 Lists: Week 16 ~ Favorite Books

This week's list is Favorite Books.  If this task had been given to me while I was still in school or a newlywed, I'd never finish, because I was a voracious reader.  My reading now has slowed down due to the nature of parenthood.  Then when I do read, it is almost always about children or children's books, but that is not a complaint.  Merely a fact that I'm in a beautiful stage, and I do cherish it dearly.

The Bible
In time of need, prayer, praise and joy, this is a constant reminder of a loving promise.

For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley
This was one of the first homeschooling books I read, and one of the few that has kept a place on my shelf.

A Charlotte Mason Education:  A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison
This is more of a practical how-to for the Charlotte Mason method, and an easy read.

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
An interesting look at what we can do for our children to improve their relationship with nature, and the effect it has on their lives.

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
A practical resource for nature study.  I use it as a reference before we dive into an unfamiliar topic.

Five in a Row booklist
It would be too cumbersome to list every book this curriculum uses, and honestly, we haven't read all of them, but we have thoroughly enjoyed every book they have selected.  Even if you don't use this curriculum, the book selections are delightful.

James Herriot's Treasury for Children by James Herriot
There is just something heartwarming about these stories.

The Random House Book of Poetry selected by Jack Prelutsky
This book has traditional poems for all ages, and silly and fun selections as well, which makes it the ideal read for children of all ages.

More come to mind, but I'm out of time.

Next week's prompt is people you admire.  We are moving next week, so there's a chance I'll be late to post, or I'll just do two lists the next week!

52 lists with Chasing Slow

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