Book Wishes

Our Journey through Books, Happiness, and Home Education

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Around the World ~ Learning about Russia (Books, Crafts, and More for Children)

Around The World with Book Wishes! Russia Unit (come learn all about Russian Culture)Learning about Russia this last week has been so much fun for our family. This was the first country we stopped at on our journey Around The World! Here are the wonderful crafts we made, books we’ve read and recommend for learning about Russia, with your family!

Russian Dolls

Learn about Russia with Book Wishes, Russian Unit!Matryoshka nesting dolls or sometimes called Babushka dolls are wooden stacking dolls, handmade in Russia. These dolls are a symbol of motherhood, therefore, perfect to start our Russian unit with. Read more about the history behind these dolls on Russian Legacy. I purchased our Matryoshka doll, as well as, the porcelain Babushka doll from Great Russian Gifts.


Along with playing with these wonderful dolls I wanted Elion to make her own as well.

Printable Nesting Dolls on Book Wishes Around the World Russia Unit

Click over to Activity Village for your printable nesting dolls. We laminated our dolls and added magnets to the back! Elion, loves playing with these on her white board.

Come Study Russia with Book Wishes! Our homeschool Russia Unit

All my kids loved making Russian faberge’ eggs, click here for directions from My Kid’s Adventure!

Building a Pretend St Basil's Cathedral

Build your own St. Basil’s Cathedral – We took ours further and made a St Basil’s Cathedral that we could play in and pretend!


If You Were Me And Lived In Russia by Carole P. Roman

If your Were Me and Lived in Russia by Carole P. Roman (Our Review)

Babushka's Doll by Patricia Polacco

Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco (Our Review)


Russia ABC’s by Ann Berge

Other Wonderful Posts for Russia Educational Ideas

Mom to 2 Posh Divas (Exploring Russian Stories and Folklore)

Planet Smarty (Christmas in Russia)

Follow my Culture and Geography Board for future ideas!

Have fun studying Russia with your family!

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What I Do With All My Un-Used Mother Goose Time Curriculum .VS. What I Would Do!

As we finish up the monthly theme with Mother Goose Time Preschool for Elion, I am a bit sad to move on like we do every month, but then I am excited for her to learn something new with Mother Goose Time. This last month, I have felt a bit overwhelmed with life, sickness, and more that life brings. Good and Not so Good! So what do I do with all the un-used months as a Mother Goose Time user. Well, the truth is that I box them away and do them on the weekends which turns out to be not too often so the box of unused days stays full and growing.

I am a Mother Goose Time reviewer, therefore, I have to move on to the next month. So all my wonderful readers can learn more about Mother Goose Time each month and the current theme. However, I thought about being a homeschooling mother who was not a reviewer and what would I do with the left over MGT days. The answer is simple, I would not have any left over days. As a homeschooling mother of 5, I am on a budget for my children’s education. I’m not a paid daycare provider. I don’t get paid for anything here on my site, so we are a one income family.

I would use the curriculum the same as I do now.  I do preschool with Elion but not 5 days a week, everyday Monday through Friday. I never push her in learning because she is so little. I want education to be fun and some days we don’t use everything or do everything for that day. I do save it for the next day. If I was not on a time frame for my readers to see all this wonderful stuff, I would take longer. I would still purchase the next month of Mother Goose Time, however, I would not have to start it on the first of the month.

I could prolong my time on that theme. We would still be learning about It’s A Small World because little Elion was sick this month for over a week. Of course, I still tried to fit MGT in and have fun but admittedly it was a lot less than ever before.

I keep to a routine with Elion. She is a preschooler so she also runs on her own clock, as well. Sometimes she really wants to move on to the next theme and I get her excited about the next month; however, this month she felt she missed so much that she is having a little trouble moving on to Space.

As a homeschooling mother, I would use all the days.There is no rule saying you can’t buy the next month and keep it in the box while you finish this one. Take your time with your preschooler don’t hurry to the next month and then the next just to let unfinished material that you paid for pile up. I am a huge non waster, I recycle, reuse and teach my kids to do the same.

I asked myself how I would use this curriculum if I wasn’t reviewing it as a homeschooling family. My answer is I would spread it out over more time, because I’m on a budget and I also want to make sure Elion learns all the material that Mother Goose Time gives to each preschooler!


Starting Your Around The World Unit **Ideas ,Resources and Books**

Come Learn About World Culture, Geography, Learning Resources and More with Book Wishes Around The World Study Unit for Children!

We recently decided to travel around the world without leaving our home. That is the beauty of homeschooling. You can learn about wonderful places that interest you and your children. The excitement for my children started when Elion was about to get a box from Mother Goose Time with the theme, It’s A Small World. Before she receives a box each month, I research the topic and try to find a book to read to her to get her excited about the next month. That’s when I read It’s A Small World to all my children! This book also comes with the musical CD!

It’s A Small World by Richard M Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, started our travels around the world!

Around The World Study Unit - The WorldAround The World Study Unit - The WorldAround The World Study Unit - The WorldAround The World Study Unit - The World


First, we had to decide where we wanted to go! My children decided they wanted to travel around Europe. I found this great printable map from Montessori print Shop along with the flags that I attached to toothpicks. I then put the map on a big piece of Styrofoam that I had for other projects. Montessori Print Shop has maps and pins for all over the world and the world itself as a whole!

Around The World Study Unit - The World


Our First stop was Russia. I was amazed at how many books they have for children on Russia. So, we picked out some and off we went. I will be sharing the crafts and books we did with each country throughout the next few months, starting with Russia!

Here are some books about World Geography that we loved!

Children Just Like Me Encyclopedia of World GeographyWonder Around The World book from Mother Goose Time


I also printed flags for the kids, laminated, and added sticks. Then, I placed them in a little container of rice for them to play with or learn about. I made sure to write each country on the back of the flag before laminating them.  I also printed out people from around the world and did the same thing for the kids to look at the cultural dress of each country. You can print them out and see where I got the idea on My Princess World! This is a great site for ideas although there last post was in 2013, so I’m sad to see that she is not writing anymore.

Around The World Study Unit - The World

Around The World Study Unit - The World

Resources for our around the world study:

Galloping the Globe - now with CD-ROM

Galloping The Globe from GeoMatters – This is a great resource, that gives you ideas for books, scriptures, information, games and fun for my children for each country!

World Map Laminated, from GeoMatters- I wanted a big world map for the kids to see!

World landmark Printables from Only Passionate Curiosity – FREE right now so hurry and download

Items we have not ordered yet but plan to:

A Globe from World Globes

Eat Your Way Around the World

It’s a Small World Unit from Teachers Pay Teachers

All the Maps that GeoMatters Has! I’m a greedy momma who needs them! LOL

The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide by GeoMatters

Around the World Unit with Book Wishes!


So far, I’m loving our travels Around The World. My children have completed their Russia Unit and we are on to Netherlands and Denmark! After that, we are going to dine in France and see the sites! I love sharing this journey with all of you, family is everything. What a beautiful gift to learn about the world together! Have fun on your travels. I will share our trip to Russia and all we did there this week!





If you Were Me and Lived In Russia by Carole P. Roman and Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco (Our Russian Unit Books)

If You Were Me and Lived In... Russia by Carole P. RomanWe have been studying Russia in our homeschool this month with Carole P. Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In…. Series. Studying Russia is fun and exciting for my little one Elion. Author Carole P. Roman introduces young children to culture, allowing my Elion to see how it would be if she lived in another part of the world.

If You Were Me and Lived in… Russia!

What is not to love with this children’s book. I have not found another children’s book culture series that we love more. This book gives Elion a chance to see where Russia is on the map, what wonderful places that children there see, what common names Russia has, and what kind of homes they have. Elion gets to read about the different toys, clothes, and food there is and along with reading, the pictures are wonderful! I love how Author Roman gives children and parents who are reading her books easy to understand pronouncing quotes. That helps me as the reader so Elion and I know that we are saying something like Matryoshka (Mart-tree-osh-kah) dolls correctly.

This book is a wonderful addition not only to our culture study around the world but also as a fun book for Elion to read when she is able to read. If You Were Me and Lived in.. series is wonderfully written to entertain Elion and is not just basic facts that she will not understand!

I will be introducing all the If You Were Me and Lived in series to my children over the next few months! Must Haves!

5 out of 5 Children’s Book

Babushka's Doll by Patricia Polacco

Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco is a fun book for any age! I love author Polacco. She is an amazing children’s writer so of course I was not disappointed to add this book to our at home library. This is a wonderful book that teaches children how to be patient. Babushka lets her impatient granddaughter to play with a doll that is high up on the shelf. Soon after Babushka leaves the store, the doll comes to life giving the granddaughter a taste of her own impatience.

5 out of 5 Stars – I loved how fun loving and cute this story is. It made my children laugh and smile!

Two great books that I recommend! We are sure glad we have them!



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Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.


My children have been passing around a cold these last couple of weeks and it has not been very fun. So this mom has been burned out and on overtime. When my little ones are sick, I worry but with our schooling not so much. I decided years back that life throws you lemons sometimes and I love making lemonade, no really its fun!  Instead of getting stressed out, I bask in the beauty of homeschool!


No Set Time! Yes, so when Elion wanted to snuggle lay down and sleep, she did just that. However, when she awoke and saw me cutting out a collage for St. Basil’s Cathedral that was part of her Mother Goose Time preschool, she wanted in. I sat on the floor with her and played, snuggled, and talked about the unit together. School time while snuggling, only in homeschool! YES, I love it.

Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick. Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.


Then, the next day she was feeling a little better so we decided to build a pretend St Basil’s Cathedral and she loved it. Even watched Liberty Kids while resting in her pretend St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick. Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.


By the end of the day and two sets of Pajamas later, yes her cough is making her throw up a bit, she wanted to read a story together. As I snuggled with her, as well as, her older sister who was sick as well, I read the Mother Goose Time book for this month Wonder Around The World by Leslie Falconer and Designed by Michael Kania. This is a beautifully designed book with wonderful real life pictures about the wonders around the world. Both of my daughters loved this book. They took time to really look at each wonder; for example, The Leaning Tower of Pisa. After each picture, the next page has some wonderful facts about that wonder written, so Elion understood the fact. She wanted to know more and loved the book! At the end, she and her sister where ready to call it a day.

Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.

The next day at breakfast, I asked my kids what they wanted to do for school. The ones that were feeling better wanted more. The ones that were not, tugged along with some copywork, maybe 20 min of reading time, and rest. Then, we stopped for some mommy and me time.

Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.

There is never anything wrong with taking the day slow, breaking a little routine so your little ones can recover from illness, surgery, or something that needs rest. I like to stick to a routine on a daily basis, but when life throws you lemons, make that yummy lemonade. Give your kids choices when they are feeling down with sickness because they know when there body needs rest or needs time to heal.

By the end of this week, instead of our nature walks for fresh air, we had a nature drive. We saw some deer, parked, and rolled the windows down and watched the deer. Hopefully, this little bug is making its way out of the house soon and healthy little homeschoolers are running around again!

Having Fun Homeschooling with Mother Goose Time. When you Little One is Sick.

Hope this finds your family healthy and not stressed about homeschooling if you are a bit under the weather.

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St. Patrick’s Day Puzzle Fun **Review** Plus St Patrick’s Day Crafts

St Patrick's Day Puzzle Fun from Educents only 3.99 Plus St Patrick's Day Sensory and Crafts for Children!Can you believe St Parick’s Day is almost here? Neither can I. We just flew threw the winter and here comes spring. Get your children excited for St Patrick’s Day with this fun, printable pack from Educents!

St Patrick's Day Puzzle Fun from Educents only 3.99 Plus St Patrick's Day Sensory and Crafts for Children!

St. Patrick’s day Puzzle Fun is a printable pack that you can download instantly from Educents. This pack includes:

  • Wordsearches
  • Secret Word Trails
  • Code Breaker Fun
  • Word Shapes
  • Alphabetical Order
  • A couple coloring pages
  • Bookmarks to color and more St Patrick’s Day Fun!

After I downloaded and printed out this St Patrick’s Day Puzzle Fun, since we are a homeschooling family, I split the items in the packet up. Allowing all my children to take part in the fun. With my oldest Einstein, I had him do the hard word searches. Then, with my littlest Elion, she colored the bookmarks and 2 coloring pages that are included. We did all this St Patrick’s Day fun while wearing our Irish hats and listening to Irish music. We had a blast.

St Patrick's Day Puzzle Fun from Educents only 3.99 Plus St Patrick's Day Sensory and Crafts for Children!


This packet is created as busy work for early finisher for teachers in a classroom. We did all the pages as a fun exercise to get ready for our day as homeschoolers. The entire packet consists of 43 pages mixed color and black and white. My children loved the green colors and the graphics (the bear on the front, adorable).

The only item I would have liked to see in this pack was for instruction for the word challenges because I have no idea how to do them. Although the packet comes with a simple answer key, there is no instruction for the word challenges and as homeschoolers we have never done them before.

I would recommend this packet for 1st grade and up. Simple, Fun, and Festive for St Patrick’s Day!

Purchase your St Patrick’s Day Puzzle Fun for only 3.99 on Educents! HERE and Hurry before you get pinched by all your little leprechauns!


Additional, St. Patick’s Day Sensory Bottle and Crafts!

educents6How to make a St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bottle

Items Needed

  • Plastic Bottle with Sticker removed (I use peanut butter to remove the sticker completely and goo)
  • Glitter glue (Gold)
  • Green glitter
  • Gold plastic coins
  • Distilled Water
  1.  Fill bottle about three quarters full with distilled water.
  2. Squeeze glitter glue in the water as much as your child would like. We used a medium bottle. Elion used it all, no surprise she is 5! LOL
  3. Then add green glitter to the water.
  4. Add your plastic gold coins or other St. Patrick’s Day fun (shamrock buttons etc..)
  5. Then fill the rest of your bottle with distilled water.
  6. Last step, I hot glued Elion’s bottle shut to avoid messes later.

educents3Then, Elion had so much fun trying to find her gold coins in her new St. Patrick’s Day sensory bottle.

To see other wonderful St. Patrick’s Day crafts visit Book Wishes St Patrick’s day Board. HERE



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The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu **Giveaway 50.00 Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card** **End 3/19**


third TwinThe Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia’s guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything.

The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they’d never, ever be with in real life.

Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect—Alicia. The girl who doesn’t exist.

As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer . . . or Alicia is real.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

add to goodreads


“[An] original, riveting thriller.” — Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made for You

“Delicious and deceptive, The Third Twin is a twisty-turny thrill ride! I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough!” –Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series and The Taking

“A classic whodunit.”–Kirkus Reviews


CJCJ OMOLOLU is the author of the ALA-YALSA Quick Pick Dirty Little Secrets and several other YA novels. She loved to read but never thought to write until she discovered that the voices in her head often have interesting things to say. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons.

Website * Twitter




$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/19/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wars Around the World Lapbooks by Knowledge Box Central **73 percent off with Educents** Review


Our family fell in love with lapbooks a few years ago! I love how they engage each of my children in the material and give them a completed project at the end for future reference. Then when they are done with that unit or book they have a resource to look back on for questions later on. Recently, we added Wars Around the World Lapbooks by Knowledge Box Central to our homeschooling. I added Wars Around The World by Knowledge Box Central to Einstein’s (age 12) and Curie’s learning (age 11). Since we are studying black history this month, focusing on slavery, Einstein and Curie worked on the American Civil War Lapbook together.


With Wars Around the World: American Civil War lapbook, right after I printed the packet we were able to dive right into learning about the civil war. There is no guess work on where to place each lapbook piece or how to use the lapbook. Knowledge Box Central gives simple to follow instructions for me the teacher, as well as, simple to follow instructions for the student. Your student can just complete the lapbook very easily themselves or, in our case, I helped Einstein and Curie with each booklet asking questions along the way and making sure they were understanding the material in each section or booklet.

Although there is some suggested websites for further information, I loved that I didn’t have to purchase an additional book to go along with this lapbook. It gives you everything you need to learn about the American Civil War. The complete Civil War study guide is full of information. My children understood each section they read. I had them read it aloud and take turns reading so they could help each other. The images are clean and crisp for your student, no blurry pictures. The total lapbook printed out including the information given is 64 pages.

With the American Civil War lapbook, when you complete the entire study guide your student will have 4 lapbooks in total and you can put them together as one big book!


My children look forward to completing the other lapbooks in the Wars Around the World.

  • War of 1812
  • French & Indian War
  • American Revolution
  • Spanish American War
  • American Civil War
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • World War I
  • World War II (package of 2 lapbooks for this one)
  • Holocaust

As a homeschooling mom, I know these lapbooks will make a great addition to our learning. They are recommended for ages 5-15, however, I would use your judgement as a parent. These are lapbooks about wars in history so, personally, I choose to use these lapbooks with my middle schoolers. Curie, age 11 and in the 6th grade, and Einstein, age 12 and in the 7th grade.

If you would like to add these wonderful historical lapbooks to your homeschool, head over to Educents where you can download all the wars mentioned above for 73 percent off at 14.99. Each book comes with a complete study guide and all the resources of information are citied at the end of the packet!

I cannot wait to complete the next book. We started working on the Holocaust.

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Create a Lava Lamp with No Heat Required (Great Science Project!)

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!Making your own lava lamp with no heat required is, fun, simple and safe.

Items Needed:

  1. A clear plastic bottle, we used a smartwater bottle because they are longer than the average water bottle. To get off the sticker, I find the best way is to use peanut butter.
  2. Vegetable Oil
  3. Vinegar
  4. Food Coloring
  5. Alkaseltzer Tablets

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!

Fill bottle with vegetable oil half way.

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!Fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar, leave a little space at the top.

Making sure to not over flow when you add the Alkaseltzer, later.

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!Add food coloring of your choice. Just 2 or 3 drops is enough.

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!Shake your bottles lightly to mix the food coloring, don’t over shake. Then allow your bottles to rest about 10 min.

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!Add the Alkaseltzer tablet, one is fine or you can use more. Add them fast and then replace cap fast as not to overflow.

The picture above does not capture how neat it looks! My son loved it!

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!This is so much fun with no heat required. I must admit my son has plenty of Alkaseltzer tablets I bought him a box of them. Have fun making your lava lamp with no heat required!

Make your own Lava Lamp with No Heat Required. Fun Simple and Safe for your Family!

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Nature Study in Homeschooling **Where to Begin, Curriculum Recommends, Charlotte Mason**

Nature Study in HomeschoolingNature Study, Where to Begin: Right Now! Nature is fun for the entire family, so you can start in any season at anytime of day.

Prepare for the weather! Always think about what weather you are heading out into and prepare for the nature hike in advance. Make sure you dress for the weather, take plenty of water, and remember the camera. I want to get my children cameras next year so they can start taking pictures of nature for their journals.

A nature curriculum does not have to be expensive, in fact, you really don’t need a curriculum at all if you don’t want too. Just grab a nature journal for your child and head out into nature. However, I have found some nature curriculums are excellent resources, not only for outdoors, but also for the books that they recommend. Living literature books that teach my children about that season or about something they have seen or found along our adventure. I also love the ideas that I get with nature curriculums. I find the nature curriculums I have purchased are wonderful, non-replaceable for my homeschooling.

Charlotte Mason Homeschooling

My favorite curriculum’s for nature learning:

So far, we have used Shining Dawn Books in our homeschool. Nature Study through the Holidays, Nature Study through the Holidays: Advent, Remarkable Rain, Snow and Ice, and Animal Signs.

Handbook of Nature Study, I need to purchase the membership this year. There are 3 levels that you can purchase and for us I believe the 45.00 Ultimate Naturalist is going to be worth it. Saving the money in our budget these next few months!

The Handbook of Nature Study is a wonderful resource to use on its own or with the outdoor hour challenge from the Handbook of Nature Study Website.

Simply Charlotte Mason has some wonderful books including Hours in the Out-of-Doors A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Handbook.

Field guides. There are so many to pick from but my favorite is A Golden Guide Books from St Martin’s Press. Field guides allow my children to identify trees, birds, wildflowers, and so much more. Plus, they can learn all about that species right there while admiring it in nature!

Nature Bags and Journaling are also very important in your nature study. I have each of my children carry a nature bag when they hike. Nature bags are for them to gather items that have fallen on the forest floor never picked. We take pictures of items that are still on the trees and plants. This year we have gathered sticks, bark, leaves, rocks, and dirt to take home and do projects with or to remember our nature hike. My children have also been wonderfully blessed to find quartz or precious stones as well.

Since right now we are in cold weather, I have my children complete their nature journals indoors after we return home. However, in the spring and summer it has been so much fun to take time together to draw and write in their nature journals. For ideas on nature journaling, follow my outdoor education and journaling on Pinterest.

When doing Charlotte Mason Education it is important to have an outdoor study. Charlotte wants your child to interact with nature and bring them closer to Heavenly Father. If you experience nature first hand, she felt that you would learn the living ways of Heavenly Father. So, when we enter outside , my children and I can not only have fun and explore, but learn.

Her philosophy is to educate the whole child (mind and heart) and give the world to them through education!



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