Browsing Tag


Geography, Homeschooling

Hands On World Geography with Pin It Maps

After our wonderful experience with the US Geography Pin It Map set, I was ready to give the World & Continents Bundle a try. This year was the perfect time to use it because we are ready to travel the globe as we study World Geography this year.

I knew that hours of pin building were in store for me once the set was delivered, but I was ready for it.

These interactive, sturdy, reusable maps sets are well worth the effort it takes to put the pins together. After all, pin making is a perfect excuse to catch up on a few good Netflix shows. Better yet, invite a friend over to work on their set (or to help you) and catch up over a few hours of conversation.

In the end, you won’t regret it.

Looking for a hands on way to learn World Geography? Look no further than Pin It Maps. Check out how we are using them. Continue Reading

Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

More Than a Shelf of Books

I am not one of those moms who can’t get rid of books. I am a purger. And I have no problem purging books.

The way I see it, that is what libraries are for. Libraries house my books.

But even I have my soft spots and my memories, so I must admit that there is a section of our hallway bookcase that is more than just a shelf of books.

It is a collection of memories that will always be exempt from purging.

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Homeschooling, Music

SQUILT Music Appreciation Review

Last year we spent a semester learning about the orchestra, the instruments, and a few composers as well. We had a great time and I was able to put together my own curriculum that carried us through a basic introduction to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra.

This year I want to build on our foundation from last year and dive a little deeper into composer studies. But this time, I don’t want to have to create the study.

This time I want the plans done for me.

{This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure.}

I want something that is already well-planned but allows for flexible implementation. Because if you know me, then you know I am always following my own inspiration, but I need a solid leaping off point.

I had no idea what would fit the bill until I tried SQUILT music.

SQUILT music lessons are easy to implement music appreciation lessons that are perfect for your homeschool. Read my full SQUILT review and learn how we are implementing this curriculum. Continue Reading


An Open Letter of Love: To My Rolling Cart

{This letter contains affiliate links.  Read my full disclosure for more information.}

Dear Collapsible Rolling Cart,

I didn’t want to face your demise.  Layers upon layers of duct tape were used for almost a year to keep you together but in the end, the tape could hold no longer.  You were finished.  And we had to move on.

The obvious solution was a replacement, but I didn’t want to spend the money.  I know.  I know.  You are the most valuable part of our library trips. But in my frugality, I tried to live without you.


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Homeschooling: Love the Year You’re With

Out of control. Disorganized. Fly by the seat of my pants. Does the start of the school year always feel this way?

I don’t think it does. I am pretty sure that our past school years have followed the plan a bit more closely.  But I can’t be sure.

What I am sure of is that the kick-off for this 2016 school year was far from a touchdown. It feels more like life intercepted the ball and ran the other way with it and I am watching the ball leave my side of the field without a plan to get it back.

Homeschooling: Love the Year You're With

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Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

Top Ten Brave Writer Arrow Guides

I confess.

I am a paper girl trapped in a world of PDF’s.  Despite these handy electronic files,  I continue to print out most everything. And this includes my homeschool curriculum guides.

{This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support of Not Before 7.}

Open my file cabinet in the basement and preview the stacks and stacks of Brave Writer Arrow guides from three full years of subscriptions.  Thirty printed guides are sitting in my files in addition to their PDF counterparts sitting on my computer.  I am not really sure why I feel the need to save the printed copy, but I do.

So as part of my procrastination file cabinet organization, I pulled out all of my Brave Writer Arrow Guides and sorted them until I found my favorite guides released in the school years that began in 2013, 2014, and 2016. This list does NOT include any titles from the current school year (2016-2017).


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Homeschooling, Math

Make Learning Fun: One Simple Idea

{This post contains affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure.}

This school year I bought a few bags of lifesavers and poured them into a bowl.

I announced, “Hey kids.  If you want a lifesaver, all you have to do is solve learning-funa Math 24 card or use one of our Marie’s SAT words in conversation.  Daniel (my 7-year-old) can tell me the time on this analog clock instead of solving a math card.  I’ll set it for him each morning.”

Is there a limit to how many we can get?


What level do we have to solve on the Math 24 card?

Whatever you think is the best one for you.

How will you know that we did it?

Just bring me the card and show me your brilliant solution or tell me how you used one of our words.

And that was it.  Simple.  Brilliant.  Positive learning energy created all over the house. Continue Reading