I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Well, once again, it appears that I bought my weight in books at the used vendor fair of my state convention. I've learned over the years that I must shop the book fair with a "buddy" who can help talk me off the ledge. I just simply can not be trusted to maintain my composure or my budget when surrounded by so many great treasures. Seriously...I morph into a crazy woman waving muppet arms and throwing cash at people while demanding that they relinquish all their books right.this.minute. 

Luckily for me, my trusty side-kick for the weekend was a man-of-my-dreams type with unwavering sensibility and big muscles...big enough to lug a heaping load of books on his back for two days straight.

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Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}

In a post-convention wrap-up, I'll be hosting a momma's show-n-tell with two friends in a few days. But, I thought you might like a preview first. 

Here's a peek at the EXTRAS I bought this weekend...you know, the "jazz hands" that make an otherwise boring lesson just a wee-bit more interesting. Of course, I did buy plenty of "regular" curriculum, but who wants to see workbooks and teacher's guides?! There will be plenty of time in the coming days for all that "black-and-white". Let's start with the "color" instead, shall we?

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}


Hail to the Chief- a presidential trivia game that we picked up for a friend whose daughters are walking presidential encyclopedias

Somebody- We plan to do one semester of human anatomy next year. I picked this old, but still-in-great-shape game for my youngest kids to be able to review the different parts of the body as we learn them.

Tri-ominos- I love games that appeal to all ages and levels. This one is already an instant family hit. 

Animal Dominoes- I always try to bring home a delight-directed game or book for each one of my kids. The Little Dude loves to play games with his sister each morning before school. I thought this one might make a great addition to the arsenal.

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}

Learning Aids

a home-friendly version of a multiplication math chart

plastic coin manipulatives- We never seem to have the REAL coins when we need them during math and my original plastic set has slowly wandered away down a black hole somewhere.

drawing pads and various writing tablets for notebooking and copywork from Miller Pad & Paper

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}

Delight-Directed Resources

These are materials I picked up with specific children in mind. With the exception of the Human Body book that will be used for science next year, all of these are resources that I will strew around the house to further fan some already-growing flames of interest. 

The Children's Night Sky Atlas- We were gifted a pro-grade telescope this past winter. I thought this month-by-month look at the sky with transparent overlays would make for a great resource for all our star-gazing.

Uncover the Human Body- Each of the pages of this book contains one or two plastic replicas of internal organs. As you turn each page, the organs and skeletal parts detach from the rest revealing the complex puzzle that is the human body.

How to Build Treehouses, Huts, and Forts- Hopefully this step-by-step, pictorial guide can put a little method to all the fort building madness that goes on around here. 

Whales- I have one little boy who has been obsessed with all-things-under-the-sea for about six months. He pretty much spends every free moment of his day at the kitchen table drawing pictures of sea life. This coloring book/field guide will add some inspiration AND some learning.

Learn to Draw Sea Creatures- An obvious choice for a boy who loves to draw sea creatures!

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}

World View & Christian Living

These books will be woven into next year's curriculum and will hopefully continue to help my children establish a Biblical worldview and a lifestyle of seeking God and His Word.

Who am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?)- This is the second book in an excellent worldview series by Apologia Press.

Celebrating Biblical Feasts- I was born part-Jew and re-born as a Christian. Now, as I lead my children to follow Jesus and explain what it means to be adopted into the family of God through salvation, I feel compelled to teach them to celebrate as He did. This is an easy-to-read, HOW TO book for establishing Jewish celebrations in your Christian home.

Boyhood and Beyond- This is one in a trio of books for boys written to lead them into Biblical manhood. Sadly, I have found it difficult to find anything like this for boys that is not filled with crude jokes and traditional school scenarios. THIS series, however, is perfect for homeschool boys!

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends- Sweetie Pea and I had the privilege of attending a mother/daughter conference hosted by the three sibling-authors of this book. When I first picked it up a few years ago, I assumed it was a HOW TO book for parents to read. But it is really written to tween and teens and contains lots of personal stories, Biblical wisdom, and thought provoking questions to consider.

Homeschool Convention Show-n-Tell {Take a peek in my shopping bag}

Home Library Books

While we check out dozens of books from our public library each week, I like to have a well-stocked home library to help establish a reading culture in our days. I never want a lack-of-a-good-book to be an excuse for lazy reading habits. Plus, in purchasing these books from homeschool vendors that I have come to know and trust at my annual convention, I feel confident that they are appropriate reading material for my kids without having to pre-read/skim them myself...which is not always the case with the books from the public library. 

God's Adventurer: A Story of Daring, Danger, and Dependence on God- a biography of famed missionary Hudson Taylor 

James Herriot's Dog Stories- My kids all absolutely love the James Herriot's Treasury for Children, a beautifully illustrated book of memoirs from an English country vet. Now that some of them are older, I'm hoping that this chapter-book-style collection of dog stories will become a family favorite too.

We Were There at the Battle of Gettysburg- My oldest son loves to read fiction based on famous battles throughout history. 

A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor- I purchased this from a vendor that I have learned to love and trust. However, after bringing it home and really flipping through it, I am a bit disappointed in the disrespectful sounding language found throughout it. I am going to hold off giving it to my son until I can read it myself...perhaps the main character learns a valuable lesson about how to treat those in authority...perhaps not...

George the Drummer Boy- We check this one out from the library quite often. I thought it might be nice to actually own it.

A Question of Yams- This is an early-reader fiction missionary story based on real events. Since it is difficult to find missionary stories at the 1st and 2nd grade reading level, I knew this was a MUST BUY.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood- just another Great Illustrated Classic to add to our collection


  1. I am curious to know what you think of a boy at war. I flipped through it and saw boys smoking and looking for girls. Let me know if I am wrong! I was looking for my 8 yr old and thought those 2 things to be too old for him.

    1. I have noticed an overall disrespectful tone in the entire thing and have decided to pull it from the shelf until I can read it for myself. Thanks for brining this to my attention. The lesson learned here is that even reputable, trusted vendors can miss the mark sometimes.

    2. Thanks Jamie. I really, really love your book lists. I really appreciate the post you did about "award winning" books. That was a nice eye opener for me. We took our first trip to the library in 5 years and I turned on my phone to pull of the list of books you recommended for boys because looking around was overwhelming because I know that just because it's in a children's library doesn't mean it's suitable. So glad I had your list!!!

  2. Btw- I have one 9 yr old boy and 4 girls (8,4,2 and 6 months). So, opposite of you!

    1. I'm not even sure what I would do with that many girls! How fun!

  3. I think this time of year must be a homeschool mom's favorite time. I know it is mine. I love to find wonderful books to add to our home. We have several that you picked up. I look forward to your next show and tell.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. For sure! It's definitely one of my favorite times...a refreshing getaway with my husband, a chance to commune with other families of like mind, and an opportunity to peruse new curriculum. Love it!

  4. Boyhood and Beyond is EXCELLENT! One of my favorites...ever! My 11 yo son started off the year reading a chapter per week, but after reading it myself, I decided to read it aloud instead. We have both been convicted and I have even shed a few tears (it's not hard with me). There is a chapter near the end about how having a sister is practice for a future wife. The author talks about treating your sister well, and one will know how to treat his wife. It changed my son. I need to write the author and thank him. I have thanked God over and over again. Next year, we are moving on to the other books...can't wait.

    1. Oh awesome! So glad to know. It is one in a collection of about three by the same author. With four boys, I can see us eventually owning all three.