Follow Me on Pinterest Instagram Google+

Things to Read.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner ~ REVIEW

 http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/7-Minute%20Life/5139df6b-8d7e-455e-b7e9-701ec8d2cde1_zpsc9f52ca5.jpg 
One of my Favorite things to do is to crack open a brand new physical planner.  So you can imagine how fast I was to offer my honest review on The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner ($24.95) from The 7 Minute Life. 
 I will admit I was a little afraid that what normally happens when I get a new planner would happen during my review time period.  Can you guess what that would be?  Well, for starters I would rush home all excited and totally convicted to turn over a new leaf.  This was it.... organization and structure was going to seep from everyone of my pores if it had to kill me!!! I would be pretty "gung ho" for about 3-4 days and then slowly but surely my scattered thoughts and piled up "to do" list would completely overwhelm me to the point of disgust.  
So, with that happy thought hanging on in the back of my head I was determined to try my very best to make this planner thing work.   So, was it a hit, did it work for me?  I'll tell you that answer in a minute, but first let's go over a few things about this planner.


 The 7 Minute Life is a time management company created by Allyson Lewis, a motivational speaker and author of The 7 Minute Solution, The 7 Minute Difference, and The 7 Minute Daily Planner.  I connected to her instantly because she has battled with health issues too.  Since my health decline 10 years ago because of Lupus my priorities changed Big Time!!!!  I love knowing she believes just like me....Life is a Gift, a Blessing Beyond Measure.  Through her products, Allyson encourages everyone to prioritize, organize, and simplify.  This Planner is a sturdy 7.3" by 8.5" spiral bound physical planner, consisting of 271 total pages and was design to allow us to each be our own Architect and Contractor in our lives.  What a Concept!! :) 

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/7-Minute%20Life/pos_artwork_zpsc6dc0c03.png 
I will admit that it does feel more geared to someone in the workforce or that has a home based business.  But, with a few changes you can customize it yourself to make it work for anyone business or no business.  I do hope and pray that maybe in the future Allyson may create a planner just for the stay at home or homeschooling person.  Hint Hint! 

In the very beginning of the Planner you will find an extensive introduction.  How to get started is mapped out for you step by step.  It is quite the journey to go through.  Once you are ready to join the "7 Minute" Revolution the magic begins.  



You start out with a worksheet on Prioritizing the values most important to you.  This was eye opening to me.  It's one thing to know what's important to you, but to write it out is another.  I think that's one of the points in doing this.  :) 
The next page helps you unlock your purpose and passion.  I I had a hard time with this.  My life growing up in foster care didn't really set me up on a bright road ahead staring what I could do in life.  I was taught that I had no purpose, so why even try.  Just existing was problem enough for this world.  Thankfully through God I know this to be different.  But, it still isn't any easier to put out in black and white.  So, honestly that page is still blank in my planner as of right now.  
One of my FAVORITES in this Planner is the Mental Clutter page!!!!  With a task and action column.  I am nothing but 1,000 sentences swirling around in this head of mine.  Allyson wants to slow that swirling down.  Get it out and on paper!  She says it takes up your valuable time and diverts you from success!  I so agree with that, what about you?
Next you will find pages for 90-day, Financial and Life Goals...pretty self explanatory.  Unfinished Work and Home tasks along with Home repairs, you have work and personal connections list.  I mean there is something in here to fit just about every need.  The 90 day Calendar worksheets, Monthly Calendar at a Glance and Grocery List check list is easy to use too.  

 
But the Star of the show is the 90-Days worth of 2 page spread Daily Progress Reports.  Here you will find sections that may or may not work for each household.  Daily Contacts on the left I turned that into my Family To Do list for the day.  
My most life changing addition to my Daily routine thanks to this Planner is the 5 before 11.  The night before I write out 5 things that have to be done by 11am.  What makes this so effective is the night before you don't have emotion wrapped up into what needs to be accomplished.  So, it's not mixed in with a million things that come up magically overnight.  :)  I have all 3 of my Kids doing this every single day even on the weekends.  Even Dad hopped on board with this and is using it at work.  
 
I also find the What I Spent Section helpful.  Just a quick total everyday keeps a little handle on extra spending.  The extras like water intake and meals is a great bonus too.  And right there in the right hand corner is the daunting question....Did I do what I said I would do today?  Yes, it sure is right there in your face.  Become woman and men of your word.  This has been a hidden blessing here in my house.  I am always the first to make up an excuse for myself or anyone of the kids.  Well, not with that question!!!  :)  I need that yes or no box checked every night, what about you???

So, what did I think?  Well, I love the Revolution behind it and everything it represents.  Having had a home-based business for almost half of my adult life I appreciate all the components of the planner.  Right now in my life there are a lot of sections in the Planner that needed to be renamed to work effectively for my daily life.  Does it work for me a Homeschooling Momma?  Yes, it does....with some crossing out and re-purposing.  What about with a business or 9 to 5 job?  For sure, and what a major change in your daily life you would see.   Check it out now and let me know what you think about this Quality Planner!!!
 Crew Disclaimer

Head on over and Learn more about The 7 Minute Life™ online!
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/The7MinuteLife
Twitter - http://twitter.com/allyson7minutes
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/the7minutelife/
Google+ - http://plus.google.com/+AllysonLewis7/posts
You Tube - http://www.youtube.com/user/AllysonLewis

Click to read Crew Reviews

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Christian Audio Drama: Under Drake's Flag ~ REVIEW


http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/2014%20Vendor%20Graphics/Under%20Drakes%20Flag/85664583-37ff-4885-a389-393990846e02_zpsa49746de.jpg 
How cool to start the school year off with a Bang!!!  A few weeks ago we were asked to Review Under Drake's Flag from Heirloom Audio Productions.  The kids Love Audio Dramas, so of course we were all pleased to jump on this boat! :)  It was Perfect for us, because I am running a little behind in the curriculum department.  It's been a L-O-N-G summer.



Under Drake's Flag is a two-hour audio drama that comes in 2 CDs and is based on the book, Under Drake's Flag by G.A. Henty.  The 2 CD set costs $29.95 and it also comes with a simple outline and study guide, but you can also download a longer PDF version of each story(chapter) from their site, this is what we used.  The three Bible Studies included really work on showing what it is like having Godly Character, True Manhood, and Confessing Christ.  This was a little bit over Kaden's head, but I will be thrilled to do this again with him in a few years.  The study offers scripture references so you can go deeper.  You will find that along with the study guide you will get a helpful quick Bio of GA Henty as well as Sir Francis Drake.  

There are 3 sections in the study guide for each chapter.  Listening Well, Thinking Further and Defining Words.  This is where you will find comprehension questions about each chapter.  Think Who, What, Where, Why and When.  It really makes your Kiddo put themselves in the story and to dig a little deeper in thought.  Your Kiddos will have fun searching for the New vocabulary words listed.  Kaden and I raced to see who could find them faster in the dictionary.  :)

The recommended ages for this Audio Drama is for Kiddos 6 and up, of course Adults too. This Adventurous story combines both fiction and real historical events. The fictional characters in the story are, Ned Hawkshaw and his best-friend, Gerald.  Ned is seen in action as he executes a surprising rescue.  He catches the eye of Sir. Francis Drake, an English explorer who helped take over the Spanish Armada.  Sir. Francis Drake promises Ned that he can be one of his Newest crew members.  I don't want to spoil all of their Adventures that they have while being on board Drake's ship.  I'll just tell you that there is tons of excitement from the very beginning that includes Sharks, Dungeons, lots of close calls and a lot of Faith.

What did we think?  Well we are very Visual over here in the Manic house.  Usually Kaden has No problem at all listening to Audio Dramas.  But, this one was a little more difficult.  I feel the main reason is the amount of what was happening.  Sometimes it was a little unclear who was talking, they had a little accent, so I think it was a bit confusing at times for him to keep up.  There was a lot of background noise, but understandable background noise.  I mean they were on a boat out at sea a good portion of the story.  HAHAHAHA  But, being Sensory Sensitive like he is, he did find it more difficult to focus.  Other Kiddos without this issue would probably not even notice the extra clanking and murmur of sounds. 

So, I needed to make the story more visual and hands on, so I set out to learn more about Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Inquisition.  We made boats out of clay, made meals with fish and learned some Pirate and Spanish words.  We even used an old fishing net to capture the vocabulary words and their meaning.  Did that help?  Yes, it did, that and just listening 15-20 minutes a day.  
All in all he loved the story and all the new vocabulary.  I just tweaked it a little to fit his Sensory issue.  We will be keeping this in Our Tool Box and hopefully when Kaden is a few years older we can try again.  I think it would be a great addition to a History Unit Study or as a break during Reading time.  That's why my Kiddos love Audio Dramas.  They can sit back and listen as their imagination runs wild!!!

Remember Under Drake's Flag is a 2 CD set and can be purchased for $29.95  Or you can digitally download it for only $20!
 You can find Under Drake's Flag on facebook

Crew Disclaimer
Under Drake's Flag Reviews

Monday, September 8, 2014

Yard MakeUnder


 We are currently looking at getting our backyard done.  Basically it looks like we are living in the middle of the desert, minus the sand.  Almost a half acre of rock and weeds.  Yep, fun stuff over here and we need to get the shovel moving before the Holidays are knocking down our front door.

So we had a guy come out over the weekend and I was explaining what I wanted.  He summed it up that we basically want a unique collection of organised rocks and weeds.  Hmmmmm, yep that just about sums it up.  :)  I want no mulch, no organized formation of rocks, plants and trees and I will puke if I see a concrete fountain situated straight in the middle of it all.  
You can see in the right of the photo our neighbors collection of twigs, mulch and rocks.
When I look at all my neighbors yards they are exactly the same.  Mulch galore with a massive amount of stick trees vomited up onto their slops surrounded by a circle of bricks or rocks.  
I want our yard to look like it's been there for years.  I want people to wonder is that a weed or an unusual plant.  I want a side fountain to drain through our future garden and down the side of our slope.  Unfortunately because of the slope we need concrete retaining walls for the garden area.  But I plan to cover it up with plants and our growing food.  :)

We are all so excited to get this started, it's been a year of dirt, mud, dirt and more dirt.  When the rains come the mud is crazy to try and control, especially with the dogs.  So, this winter is going to be way more enjoyable.  Now we are looking into different trees and plants to use.  Living in Northern CA and it seems like we are always on water restriction I really need drought resistant landscaping.  I was at a Friend's house not too long ago and Kaden loved her little Garden and it truly sealed the deal in us making our garden the focal point of our future yard.  After dinner we went over to see her neighbor's house....it was like Disneyland to me.  The landscaping was filled with succulents and plants that you would have found here naturally a 100 years ago.  LOVED IT!!!





  I will have to update as soon as we break ground hopefully in the next few weeks.  Green thumbs crossed!





Thursday, September 4, 2014

A little Hop in Kaden's Step


The weather is getting more tolerable in the late afternoon around here, so we have been venturing out of our Home Cave more frequently.  The other day Kaden was going out to jump on the trampoline and he found a little friend.  It was a huge grasshopper.  I figured he would run screaming from it, but to my surprise he was very interested, fearless and so gentle.  
He tried to get it on a stick for almost an hour.  He went inside to look at it then it hopped on the outside and visa versa.  Quite the ordeal to get a little peak.  But, I was thrilled to see him doing something not video game related that I volunteered to document the whole thing.

 Kaden in the past has very little patience for the small things in life.  It's moments like these that I try to capture and hold onto, because these activities and moments in his life I feel will soften his emotional anguish and give him more peace within himself.  Our Focus this year in our homeschool for him is going to include lots of nature and art.  Up until now it is been overloaded with Math and Science.  Not saying that's a bad thing, but I feel he is already so rule and logic based that he needs a little softer edge to his day. :)
Once he got him off the net he was careful getting him to crawl on his stick.  He was so proud of his hard work, I was too.  Kaden thought he was so unusual because of his coloring, he was gray and brown.  He decided to name him Hopsie.  We looked up what grasshoppers ate and how to build a small habitat for him.  We had gathered all the supplies into the container and as soon as we put Hopsie down he hopped like a million feet into the air.  Ok, maybe a few less then that....but it was far.  
After the initial shock I immediately seized inside because I knew he was going to blow up and be really upset and overwhelmed.  But, to my surprise he was very calm and collected.  He was tremendously sad, don't get me wrong.  But, he was in control of his emotions and they were appropriate for the situation.  Thank you Lord!  

I spent the rest of the night before we just couldn't see anymore looking in the yard for the runaway grasshopper.  We never found Hopsie, but it did give Kaden and I plenty of time to chat about animals and their natural homes.  I was able to talk to him about patience and acceptance.  He displayed both that day and I was extremely proud of him. 
Every time he walks outside he says Hello to Hopsie.  Dad told Kaden that more then likely he has hopped on his way to a new yard or out in the field.  Kaden agreed, but he said you never know Dad he could still be here and I don't want him to feel sad and think that I have forgotten about him.  How sweet, I just Love that little boy of mine!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UberSmart Math Facts~ REVIEW




http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/2014%20Vendor%20Graphics/UberSmart%20Math%20Facts/ubersmartmathfacts_zps1d9ef10d.png 


I was able to get in on a Great Math Flash Card program a few weeks ago and now I get to share my Review about the product with you.  UberSmart Math Facts from UberSmart Software was created by Homeschooling and Computer Programming Dad, David Kocur when he was given the task of finding a Math Flash Card Program by his wife for their Kiddos to use.  After looking and not finding exactly what he wanted he decided to make one on his own.  This was really inspiring to me and I could not wait to see what he had come up with.  One of David's Daughters has a learning disability and she has grown leaps and bounds.  So, could this help solidify the Math Facts Kaden already knows?  I was ready to find out....not to mention one of my older Kiddos could use a little refresher on her Math Facts also!  :)  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pretend Wednesday



I used to post the 7 whys of Wednesday. Let's pretend today is Wednesday and that I have 7 things to share...

1. Why can my Son read the whole "Twilight" series (4 huge books) in 6 days, but takes a whole month to read half of "A wrinkle in time"? Ok, I guess I know why...I just had to get that off my chest.

2. Why do I love coffee soooo much, but after half a cup I have to go to the bathroom? And I'm not talking about going to tinkle.

3. Why doesn't Subway have a drive thru?

4. Why does cotton have to shrink, even when it says that it's pre-shrunk?

5. Why do people have such a hard time at 4-way stops. It's just like what we learned in Kindergarten.....take turns. You go, then you go and I go.

:)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Kids Songs ~ Review


http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Happy%20Kids%20Songs/happykidssongslogo_zps0adf7190.png
 
I Love Music and having Kiddos gives me an excuse to listen to not so "grown-up" tunes!  :)  Shhhh, don't tell anyone! 
One of my recent products to try out and Review this Summer was from Happy Kids Songs.  They sent me Three downloadable song sets (15 songs total) and the Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social and Emotional Skills ($12.56).  Why wait till the end of the Review....can I just say that I am Thrilled, Impressed and totally over the Moon in Love with this product.....

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Happy%20Kids%20Songs/HKS-Workbook3D_zps652c8700.png 
Here are the Different Sets we had a chance to Review.  Remember that even though these Songs are geared for kids ages 3-8, I'm sure your whole house will be singing after you listen to them.  Each set has 5 Exciting Songs that can be bought as a set for just $4.95 or downloaded as single songs for only .99 each.  You can then burn them onto your own CD if you want to.  You will also receive a free download of all the song lyrics and activity sheets.  You will have some Happy Kiddos!  The songs are written by Dr. Mac, he is a child psychologist, school consultant, lecturer, and award-winning songwriter.  He wrote and directed the music for the PBS hit kids show Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo ~ Review


Have you heard of Wizzy Gizmo?  I haven't until I was given the opportunity to Review one of their products a few weeks ago.  And I'm so thankful I was given one of their awesome products to use in my homeschool. 

Wizzy Gizmo is an Amazing Inventor that's a Genius who Loves God and the Bible. He's a Wiz when it comes to technology and you can always find him making some kind of Gizmo.

The Product we were given to try was the Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament Cards. ($14.99) They are recommended for Kiddos 2yrs and up.  Each of the cards are double sided and made with quality, heavy card stock.  Nothing is worse then flimsey flashcards, no worries here in that department.  :)  I know you will also find it incredibly helpful that each of the cards are 5 by 9 inches.  So, not only are they physicaly sturdy and pretty, but they are substantial in size which makes it easy to use them no matter the age of your Kiddos.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pluck and Toss!


This look should say it all...Kaden has lost so many teeth that he literally just plucks them out and lays it on the table and walks away.  My other two Kiddos would make this huge production, talk about what they were going to do with the money.  Even show of their prized tooth to everyone that dared to walk within 20 feet of them.  Three teeth were tossed in the trash before I even got to see them.  Luckily I caught this one in time!!!!  So, I had to share...my Boy is growing up way to fast!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Looking for New Stars and Lady Bugs





A talk Kaden and I recently had:  

 He tells me almost everyday that he is different and that it's ok.  Just last night he said to me..."Mom, my brain sees this activity different then your brain.  I see it as a way to touch planets we have never gone to yet.  I see groups of stars that you don't see because your brain's eyes are closed"  That night we were using a fantastic App called Google Sky Map!!!  I love that Boy, he is so precious to me and he surprises me everyday.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

StayCation~1



A few weeks ago we decided to have a StayCation.  Sometimes you just want to skip over all the traveling, reserving and packing to just head straight for the super fun part!  That was us this year, we knew we needed to get away and reboot our Family connection.  But, we wanted to spend all that time and money on the actual act of doing it not the place we were sleeping and gas in the van.  It was so much Fun that we decided to do it twice a year every year!


 

So, we kicked off our week with a trip to Our Kiddo's Favorite place to play...Dave and Busters.  It's like a Chuck-e-cheese for older Kiddos and adults.  I decided to have our first activity to be a Big deal, to create excitement for the week.  

Looking back now, I would probably used this as a midweek outing.  Just to break things up.  I had only planned 2 bigger outings for this StayCation, so I guess it still worked out fairly well.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mathletics ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Mathletics/bca7bfc0-020d-4ac1-add3-f8b9f190d0e1_zpsa528cdf6.png 

Who here Loves Math???  In this house that's a loaded question, you'll find those of us with Math fears and sad stories and then there are 2 people in the house that Math comes to them as easy as breathing. :)  Luckily we were able to try a Online Math Curriculum called Mathletics from 3P Learning.  To Review, we received a full year enrollment for both Kaden (4th) and Mahala (Algebra 1).  Thank You!!  Mathletics is designed to be a Supplemental math activity for your Kiddos in K-12th grade.  There is a wide variety of activities that gives Kiddos tons of math skill practice while having fun doing it.  I just found a day or two ago that they also provide an App available for iOS and Android, need to download that asap! :)  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Little Sugar on those Words

My sweet Kaden is such a neat little guy. And those that know him well know that he is the most straight forward, no nonsense kid and his emotions are limited to say the least.  I have been struggling with that for a few years now.  Because it is hurtful to not get hugs when wanted or to have your child ask u to leave his room because it's his "alone" time.  He's very rigid and demanding of himself, he really could care less to ever interact with others unless he absolutely has to. 

I remember like it was yesterday, one morning Kaden came to the table and sat down like he was expecting a response from me.  I was like hey there!!!  He looked at me.....crickets, crickets in the background!!!  So, Kaden do you want to hang out, maybe play a game?  He says, I guess we can, but only because there is nothing better to do right now.  

 Now, a typical child I would think how rude.  But, Kaden said it so dry and monotone, not in a rude, ugly way. He couldn't tell it even bothered me, to him it's the truth and that's why he said it.

I did say to him that he should reword his sentence to be more kind towards others feelings.  I gave a few softer approaches that he could have used.  He replied back to me that there really is no need to waste useless flattery on people in your family. But if I need that then he would try harder....so would you like to play monopoly now?

That's my Kaden! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hewitt Homeschooling ~ REVIEW


http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Hewitt%20Homeschooling/3437_zps7f10c966.jpg
This Summer has been filled with some really great Homeschool finds. And Hewitt Homeschooling's Lightning Literature and Composition is no exception.  I was thrilled to be given the chance to check out this program and give a review.  It's recommended for Kiddos in grades 8th-9th, so it was perfect for Mahala.  We were given three products to use and review... Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 8 Student's Guide($25), the Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 8 Student's Workbook($25) and thankfully the amazing Lightning Literature and Composition: Grade 8 Teacher's Guide($20).

Lightning Literature and Composition is a complete course that you will be able to use for the whole year.  You will be able to watch your Kiddos fall in love with Literature by exposing them to different books they may not normally pick to read.  Their writing technique will improve too, Mahala needed that big time.  Since we read so much I was mostly excited for her to get the Composition help. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beyond the Book Report~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Analytical%20Grammar/95345b7a-fb58-4c02-a22e-e2850b584bb5_zps7e736b0b.jpg 

Mahala and I were given the chance to Review Beyond the Book Report from Analytical Grammar which is a Middle School and Early High School language arts curriculum. This Program was Newly developed by Erin Karl and her Mom, Robin Finley.  They have a true passion for Grammar and Literature and it shows!  They both believe Middle School kids aren't just short Future High Schoolers.  That this is the time to really cover all those previously learned Elementary skills and get them totally prepared for High School Literature and Writing.  

Beyond the Book Report is designed to work along with Analytical Grammar for the perfect, complete Middle School language arts course.  Beyond the Book Report (Seasons 1 and 2) are for grades 6th-8th and (Season 3) are recommended for grades 8th-10th.  Each Season Costs only $24.95.  Or you can buy the whole bundle of the Three Seasons together for just $69.95.  We were Blessed with all Three Seasons for this Review...let's take a closer look at them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms~ Review

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Flourish/Flourish-cover-tn_zps5dd5b588.jpg

I LOVE Books and Trying to get my Life more together then it already is.  So, I was thrilled to be chosen to Review Mary Jo Tate's latest book, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms from the Amazing Apologia Educational Ministries.  Even though this Book is for us Moms, I had my Teenage Daughter read it also.  She will have a Family one day herself, so I figured she would get something out of it too.  She found many Gems throughout this book.

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Apologia%20What%20On%20Earth/apologialogo_zpsb033acf0.png 
I know I've said this a Million times, but I truly feel Blessed whenever I purchase or receive anything from Apologia Educational Ministries.  Our Homeschool day wouldn't be complete without so many of their amazing curriculum and products.  They are a well-known, trustworthy Company that provides us homeschooling families Amazing, Quality Materials.  


This particular book is Only $15 and is just right for any Mom out there!  If your New to Homeschooling you will find Sanity, Peace and a Plan.  If your a Veteran Homeschooling Mom you will find your path back to your Reason and Balance again or for the 1st time.  Even if you aren't a Homeschooling Mom this book will quench your thirst for connecting dots in your life that you haven't been able to do on your own.  Here is a little of my experience....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Math Game to the Rescue!

Kaden LOVES anything to do with numbers!!!!  Can I multiply those numbers for you Mom?  I hear it every day?  Everyday Kaden asks, "whats this times this?  Do you know if you multiply this with that it will be this?"  I reply....why yes Kaden or no Kaden Mommy wasn't thinking about that right know because she's trying to take a shower. :)  Lord grant me patience......

So, here is his Iguana Factor Game he loves.  I hide it sometimes, because to me a little math goes a loooong way.  :)  If you have a little one who loves to multiply this is a fun game.  And if you have one that struggles in math, this would be a great alternative to constant book work.  We have games for Math, History, Science, Grammar, Writing, you name it I have a game for it.  It just breaks up a normal week of school and allows lots of laughter.  :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HomeSchoolPiano Review!!



http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Homeschool%20Piano/logo-hsp-stacked-2x_zpsb5886c08.png 

I'm thrilled to share with everyone this little Musical Gem I have had the privilege to Review the past several weeks.  HomeSchoolPiano has given us a subscription to HomeSchoolPiano- Complete Set of Books, which gives you access to Amazing Online Piano Lessons taught by Willie Myette. Willie attended and graduated from the Berklee College of Music.  Both of my Kiddos found it exciting to learn that he toured and preformed across America and Europe. And that his music has been played on almost 100 different radio stations across the country.  Willie also is the founder of JAZZEDGE, JazzKids, PianoWithWillie.  So, I didn't have to pull any teeth to get the Kiddos to sit up at the piano, they wanted to learn what he knows and to listen to what he had to say.  I wonder if he could help me out with Trigonometry too?  :)  Just Kidding, but a Mom can dream!

A few years ago we had to stop Piano for Mahala, it just was too expensive and the 45 minute drive there and back was not worth the 30 minute session.  Just thinking about it know seems crazy to spend almost 3 hours of my time for 30 minutes of instruction.  Well, I can tell you now with this Program every minute now is spent wisely not foolishly.  

One thing I think that this program has over many others is that Private Lesson Feel.  This is not like other online programs, I promise you it will seem as if he is teaching you in your own living room! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Looking through Windows

I'm almost 40 and every year that I reluctantly grow older I reevaluate my life and readjust who and what I allow close to me.  I thought when I was a young Mom in my early 20's I would have everything worked out by the time I turned 40.  HAHAHAHA  How funny are the lies we tell ourselves in our youth to sleep more soundly at night.  I longed for the day all my furniture matched, all windows had cute coverings and all my ends met without something having to be sacrificed.  

A long time ago I was 12 or almost 12...I revealed something horrific to my Mother.  It ended our relationship as we had known it for all the years of my life prior.  It was new now and was strained by my revealed secret.  As she screamed and cried I ran out the door.  It was the 1st of many escapes from my past.  I'm still running every time I get triggered, not in the same way but I'm running.  That day as I ran far away from our street I slowed down at a neighborhood.  All the houses mirrored one another, just different colors of trim or landscape.  The sun was almost completely gone and you could see right into their windows.  I was in awe at how happy the families looked sitting around the table for dinner.  Dad, Mom and Kiddos talking even laughing.  I wondered what they were saying....I longed for what they represented.  I felt so sad inside, dead almost to the point that I felt like I could have stood there all night and day and nobody would even know I was there.  As I walked down the sidewalk and looked at life carrying on with or without me I made a promise to have what I saw that night.  One day I will have a safe, loving family.  I felt almost like I was window shopping from house to house.  I left that night with an idea in mind and a goal in my heart.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Moving Beyond The Page~ Review


http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/wp-content/uploads/logo4.png

Recently I received two products to review from Moving Beyond The Page.  Our first product was the Social Studies Package - World Wars I and II.  This package is $42.89 and is recommended for Kiddos 10-12 years of age.  In this Unit Study you will get a physical curriculum guide, All That Jazz - A History of US Book #9 and Where Poppies Grow by Linda Granfield.  

The second set we received was a Language Arts Package - Animal Farm.  This package was an Online Version.  Even though the guides and work is found online we received a Physical Animal Farm book written by George Orwell.  The online Unit Study is $22.92, and comes with online access to everything you need for your Kiddos.  The recommended ages for this package is 12-14.  This was my first time ever hearing about Moving Beyond the Page.  We love Literature based schooling because with a book History and Science becomes alive and exciting!  We were counting down the days till our package arrived and when it did it didn't take long till the books were cracked open. :)


Moving Beyond the Page is a Literature-based homeschool curriculum for Kiddos in Elementary and Middle school (4-14).  It can be purchased as a full year curriculum package or purchased individual Unit Studies to supplement what you already have going on.  The Unit Studies are design to work with your Kiddo's learning style, no matter what it is.  That's because they encourage both critical and creative thinking by giving your Kiddo not only challenging, but engaging activities and projects to do throughout the Study.  All Kiddos will enjoy it, especially those who are creative, gifted or just love that hands on approach.  It's pretty impressive, my Kiddos are total opposites as far as learning styles, but they both were engaged and alert with both Unit Studies we Reviewed.  Moving Beyond the Page curriculum encourages your Kiddo to explore and learn new Information and Concepts with their Unit Studies through Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Reading, and Math.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

What's in Your Quiet Basket?

I found this little Blast from the past......

I find several times a week just needing a moment to fix dinner or put some laundry in the wash without Kaden following me or worrying about what he is up to.  So, to fix this problem I have this lightweight basket filled with quiet activities.  It's filled with small puzzles, mazes, dry erase boards and markers, magnetic boards, small toys and a note pad with pencils and small thing of crayons.  One of  his favorite things in his basket are the Bendaroos, he loves Bendaroos!!!
Here is a video of us playing with them.  I like that they don't dry out and you can make a little dude and then take it apart and make something else.  Check them out and see what your kiddos think.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Veritas Press Self-paced history ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Veritas%20Press/veritaspresslogo_zpsa78f5875.jpg 
Have you heard of Veritas Press before?  I have to say honestly I was a little reluctant to Review another History Curriculum.  Thank Goodness that I did though.  I have 100% fell In Love with Veritas Press Self-paced History.    We were given one year access to Veritas Press Self-Paced History ~1815 to the Present.  I can't wait to tell you all about it! :)

Veritas Press offers live courses and self-paced courses. They provide your Kiddos a classical education that ignite your Kiddo's Imagination and Hunger for education. The company began when a couple wanted a way to teach history chronologically while combining Biblical events.
http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2014TOSCREW/Veritas%20Press/Small_Banner-Self_Paced_History_zps6fdd0d76.jpg 


When I started homeschooling I took a textbook approach and then later kind of went with a more hands on/literature reading stand.  And that has really been where the kids have grown.  So, I thought I was happy and content.  Well, now I'm all flipped upside down.  I never thought to try an online, self-paced route.  And now that I have I think I Love it and have found a perfect fit for the whole Family.

Are you thinking, what does self-paced History mean?  

I know I was wondering what the difference was compared to what I was already doing.