Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love Your Local Library

In honor of National Library Week I wanted to share about how we use our local libraries.

Here are links to our most used library resources:
PLAC card - our Public Library Access Card allows us to get a library card at any library in the state. There is a fee for this card but since we homeschool I feel that it helps me have to buy less books and is very worthwhile.

Hoopla - Borrow free video, music, and audiobooks with your library card.
Enjoy on your PC, tablet, or phone. This was particularly helpful when we had a road trip last fall. We loaded several great audiobooks onto my husband's smart phone and we listened to a couple of classics on our long drive.

Evergreen - Is an open source integrated library system that includes more than a hundred libraries in Indiana. It has been a great resource to me in the past school year since we started using it. I can go on the website and search for books, videos, etc related to the topic that we are studying in school and it will allow me to put a hold on books from any library in the system and they will bring them to my local library and then notify me when the books are ready.

Throughout the school year local libraries often have programs on a variety of topics and subjects for all ages. Library summer reading programs are a great way to encourage kids to keep reading through the summer months.

It has been our experience that most library staff is very helpful and Nate has gotten pretty comfortable asking the librarians to help him find this or that. At times I have gotten great suggestions on new books for Nate to read. Different series of books that I hadn't heard of that are similar to ones he has already read.

Simple Homeschool shares how she used their local library early in their homeschooling years.

At Your Library featured an article sharing 60 Ways to Use Your Library Card.

Our Journey Westward has a printable scavenger hunt to help your kids get to know your local library.

How do you use your local library?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Pinterest Inspired Photo Collage

For a long time we had three large frames with pix of the kids hanging in the living room. And for awhile it was great. But my kids are pretty darn cute and I while I wanted to hang new pictures, I hated taking down the old ones. So I wanted to find a way that I could display more of the great pictures we have of our cute little family.

So to Pinterest I went... I was inspired by this pin.  There were several others that I liked too but this was one of my faves. I love the combination of pictures and other items and the unifying black frames.

In preparation, I spent months collecting black frames in all shapes and sizes from Goodwill. They cost anywhere from $.49 to $2.99.  The fancy "swoopy" frames and the non-photo frame pieces I got from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. They ended up sitting in a box atop my dryer for months waiting for us to tackle the task of hanging them.
 My hubby was such a huge help when it finally came time to hang them.  He was right there with a level and duct tape to make sure each and every frame was level.  There are some perks to having an OCD husband.  ;-)
And here is the view of this side of the living room. We even have a family pix on the tv!  ;-)  I am so happy with how it turned out. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Carly's Voice - Autism Awareness


I just watched this video with Nate a couple of weekends ago. I explained that a girl who is nonverbal and not unlike Joe and Christine helped make this video to show what its like to be inside her mind/body. It shows how sights and sounds are amplified. Nate asked if that was how Joe and Christine see and hear things. I said probably and asked him what he thought of it. He said it was a little scary. It breaks my heart when I think about Joe and Christine being so frustrated and misunderstood all the time. But after learning more about Carly Fleischmann's story it also gives me hope and a little better understanding of what my own children might be dealing with on a daily basis.


In honor of Autism Awareness Month I want to encourage you to help raise awareness and acceptance of autism and other developmental disorders. Currently, 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism. Frankly, I had hardly heard of it before we began our personal journey into the special needs world. Now I hear the word everywhere.

I know it may not always easy to understand people with disabilities, but we can treat them with compassion and caring instead of pushing them away. If there is someone that you know who has autism or has a child with a disability, try reaching out to them. Remind them that they are not alone.