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Things to Read.....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HomeSchoolPiano Review!!



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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! 
 

HomeSchoolPiano uses a particular Teaching Method for ease and mastery of skills.  I love this!!  If I took or taught piano I would think this is the way it should be done.  It's a very natural approach.  Mahala had problems with the teaching style from her Piano school.  
So, I was very excited for her to try out HomeSchoolPiano for her to compare. The teaching Method is Pretty Simple... Prepare - Present - Review.   It follows a 6-step Cycle that adheres to the National Standards for Music Education to develop a well-rounded music curriculum that touches all of the NAfME requirements

Here are the 6 steps:
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  1. Technique - Developing speed and dexterity are key goals in this section.
  2. Rhythm - It all starts with Rhythm...very important component!
  3. Ear Training - Strengthening your ability to hear rhythm, melody, and harmony.
  4. Reading - Step-by-step instruction on learning how to read music, which will make it easier to learn and compose songs.
  5. Song - No boring exercises here, just making some great music!.
  6. Improvisation - Mahala's Favorite part!!  Kids are encouraged to take what they've learned and create their own music. :)
So, let me back track and tell you exactly what my Family has been using.  I received a One-year Subscription that gave me access to all 4 books. I also want to add that members get Unlimited online access to the music and over 20 hours of streaming lessons. This lifetime subscription that You can start right now is only $299 and you will have: 
  • Unlimited, lifetime access to HomeSchoolPiano.com
  • Record keeping and quizzes for up to 5 students
  • Unlimited lesson streaming to your tablet or phone
  • Unlimited music downloads
  • Unlimited video lesson downloads
  • Downloadable Jam Track CD :)
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Here is a Quick look at the 4 books included:
  • CorePiano- Very NEW beginner
  • Book 1- Beginner with some piano knowledge
  • Book 2- Beginner to intermediate (has more complicated concepts and songs)
  • Book 3- Intermediate (midpoint into this book you will find much more advanced curriculum)

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Here at Our house we logged on with our tablet, phone and the home computer almost daily.  We loved that you could have multiple Kiddos on using different devices.  Kaden and Mahala did a lot of their piano playing together, even though they were in separate books.  Before each lesson I found the kids enjoyed a little free play on the piano for about 10 minutes.  I guess it got their creative juices flowing.  We took out whatever worksheets needed and then watched the lesson.  I couldn't get enough of the downloaded songs, such a great extra.  The quizzes were straightforward with no fuss, that was a plus especially for Kaden.  After we would finished a lesson once again the kids would play for little bit longer.  I loved how they encouraged one another and gave positive feedback to whoever was playing at the time. 

I have to admit I even learned a few things....Willie is an AMAZING teacher, Mahala has had a few for me to compare him with.  We were very pleased at the way he taught the lessons....Straight to the point in a creative way.  :)
Anyway, back to the reason why you are reading.  The main thing that I loved about this program besides the amazing teacher was that I could download and print as many copies that I wanted to from our Piano Books.  When I didn't want to print we would just sit the tablet up by the piano.  Mahala has done well and plans to continue all the way through.  Kaden on the other hand needs to take a little break.  It was a little hard for him as far as coordination goes.  But, he was drawn to the program and gave it a good try.  He practices still almost a half hour every single day after Mahala's practice time.  He just will need additional time to complete his books.  Thank goodness we have a Lifetime to do it!  HAHAHA

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I did have only one complaint and that was sometimes the website would not load properly or a video.  But, it would only take a quick refresh to get it up and running appropriately.  So, it's something we can definitely live with.  I guess you already know, but I will say it again....I Love this Program.  I think any family who has at least one person longing to learn how to play the piano can benefit from HomeSchoolPiano BIG time.  You will be just as impressed as I am!


HomeSchoolPiano has 2 Payment Packages-

1. Success Package (One payment of $299)
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all the Extras (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.

2. Payment Plan (Payments of $99.97 per month for three months):
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all the Extras (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.

Don't Forget to Connect with HomeSchoolPiano 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolPiano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jazzedge
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jazzedge/

 
Click to read Crew Reviews

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.  

Who would have thought that 27 years later I still wouldn't have what I longed for that night.  I'm still searching for love, safety and wholeness.  I've found that those things don't come in the form of a house, kiddos or a husband.  Those things are never guaranteed to last.  Stuff can break and people will let you down all the time.  Only one thing can give you Love, Safety and Fulfillment and that's a Relationship with God.  My whole life I chased what I thought happiness looked like, I never measured up.  I always came up short and I used relationships as a gauge to what my self worth was for the day.  Mix in a bunch of unhealthy people with major problems of their own and you have a huge problem.  That was my life!

I've been a Christian my whole life.  When I was going through years of abuse and living on the streets I had faith.  When I lost my parents, suffered physical and emotional abuse I still loved him.  Even when 2 of my Kiddos almost died and my youngest was diagnosed with Autism I never stopped believing, not to mention battling this crazy Lupus!  But, it wasn't until I received the worst news of all, I can't even say it right now.  It wasn't until this happened back in December that I had No choice but to fall at the Lord's feet and completely rely on him.  When I did that I began to see a shift in my heart.  Here it is July and I see some light, it has been a ROUGH 8 months.  I will not lie to you, every day is a struggle, but everyday I feel Loved, Safe and Fulfilled.  I feel like I matter, I'm enough because God says I'm enough.  Even on bad days I know if someone looked into the window of my heart they would see me sitting down with Jesus laughing, talking and enjoying the highlights of the day.  I know now that all along I had my "window", I was just looking for it in the wrong place.

I am Truly, Madly, Deeply Blessed

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Moving Beyond The Page~ Review


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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

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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.
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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.  




Friday, June 27, 2014

Why she put the Pillow over my Face

When my parents died I stayed with a cousin for a short time in Florida until school was out, then I stayed with a family friend until all Hell broke loose. (more on that later)

The night I was placed in the Foster care system was a night I will never forget.
I was a scared child with a heart so filled with guilt and sadness that I hardly even sounded like a child. I didn't look like a child. I was a child, a child that had a story. And this story she wanted to share but who would listen? Who cared? Who would save her?

Savings for Your Homeschool you Can't Miss!

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Their introductory prices will be ending soon, so if you have been curious about their products, now is the best time to buy!

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Normally, Philosophy Adventure™ digital curriculum is $39.95 for the complete set. With the coupon code ANNIVERSARY40 it becomes $23.97!

This is the BIGGEST DISCOUNT EVER on Philosophy Adventure™!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Go Science Series 2 Review!!!

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The past few weeks we were able to add some Science Pizzazz to our days.  We were given the opportunity to Review two New Go Science DVDs (Series 2), provided by Library and Education Services.  This Series is Recommended for Kiddos 4-12 yrs old and cost $8.97 each.

Library and Educational Services is a Michigan based Family owned business that has been providing CDs, DVDs and carefully selected books to ensure that they provide Christian values and evolution-free science resources for all ages.  They have been working with schools (including homeschools), churches, libraries, daycare centers, missionaries and resellers for over 35 years. 
Our Family has always loved Science, honestly I think who wouldn't love it.  :)  I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I bet you would change your mind after whatching this New Series.  Ben Roy is the host and is a Science Educator at the University of Tennessee.  He is so enthusiastic and makes learning fun.  I enjoyed watching with Kaden and we had fun trying to recreate some of the demonstrations.
Something Kaden picked up was...Every episode you hear Ben's Famous words, "every time we learn more about science, we learn more about our Creator, God!".  

Kaden went to Social Skills last week telling all the other Kiddos about the New Series and he had the Teacher write Ben's Famous words up on the board.  He is always shining his light for God where he can.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Slimmmmy Sisters?


Mahala was so Sweet the other day.  She made up these different bowls with sensory items for Kaden to play with.  


















She used different bowls and placed some pasta, flour and rice with food coloring in each of them.  She also added different flavoring extracts.  He had to smell, feel, taste and guess what it was.  He Loved mixing the flour and slime and smoooooshing it with his hands. 


Friday, June 20, 2014

Meltdowns, Stubbed Toes and Water Guns

 
What a super busy week it's been.  I'm so exhausted, I can hardly see the screen to type.  Hmmmm, what do I need to give me a little jolt?  Organic, GF Peanut butter cups.  :D  At least that's what I'm telling myself....it works for me.

Today was Kaden's last day of camp.  We had a great BBQ Family Fun Day to end the week.  Well, it ended it alright, he ended up having one of the worse meltdowns ever.  


My heart was in my throat the whole time.  After 20 minutes or more of screaming, hitting and punching himself, Skylar scooped him up and restrained him as we walked to the van.  Once there we couldn't leave for almost 30 minutes.  When we finally made it home I gave him a shower because he was covered in dirt and black stuff from the parking lot.  His knees and hands were cut up and swollen.  Not to mention Skylar's face from Kaden's punching.  :(  
 
A few hours of relaxation and love from Homer helped settle him down to the point we could talk.  I love Homer, as soon as Hurricane Kaden entered the house Homer ran straight up to him and Kaden immediately started petting him.  Later today we had Homer give Kaden pressure.  It seems to help when Homer does this and we talked about what happened at the church.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Let's Chalk it Up!

Life's simple pleasures....New Chalk and a cool Summer day with lot's of drawing Space.  One of Kaden's favorite things to do is use chalk for hours.  That was something as a kid I couldn't do.  It made my teeth hurt just thinking about touching chalk.  :)  He will lay on the cool concrete and rub his nails over the chalked surface.  I'm like see ya, got to go!!!! 


I can't tell you how much chalk we have gone through in Kaden's life.  We do buy it when I find it on sale, but we also like to make it here at home too.  It's a super fun project.....

All you need is:
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tempera Paint
  • Warm Water
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Silicone Molds
  • Wax Paper
  • Duct Tape
To make for an EASY Clean Up we used plastic cups to mix in, and plastic knives to stir with. 

Mix 1 cup of Plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup warm water first. Then add a Few squirts of tempera paint and stir.
Note: Be careful not to add too much paint, it will change the consistency of the chalk, and will crumble easily. No more than 2 teaspoons will work great.

You will want to use a different cup per color, and then pour into silicone molds and toilet paper rolls that's lined with wax paper first. For the toilet paper rolls, you should also create a base by taping off the bottom with some duct tape.
Afterwards, they just needed to dry. They should be hard and ready to pop out of the silicon molds within a few hours.  But, the toilet paper rolls may take a full 24 hours before they are fully ready.

Let me know how your Chalk Making goes.  We are making some this weekend, Kaden is gathering supplies and making a shopping list right now as  I type.  :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

First Day Jitters

Kaden went to his first ever VBS/Summer Day Camp this week.  I was a wreck Day 1....and that's putting it lightly. :)  We have never been able to leave him at Sunday school so I was excited to give it a try.
 
This New Church we go to has an Excellent Special Needs program that basically gives each child a Buddy so they can experience Children's Church with the typical Kiddos.  What this means for Kaden is that his Buddy helps him feel comfortable between transitions with activities if he stresses.  Is there when he feels overwhelmed or needs to take a break from something.  Also, sometimes Kaden can be too literal or is unfamiliar with what peers are talking about.  I love that it gets Kaden to interact more too with the other kids.  If it was up to him he would get in and get out without one ounce of communication with anyone.  
We were lucky that his Buddy could come to camp with him.  We also had one of his BTs come with him too at first, but was able to fade her out quickly.  Now it's just Him and his Buddy, crafting away, playing in water, singing songs and learning about Our God.  Ok, maybe he isn't doing alllll those things, but he's at least being exposed to them and tolerating it.  :) 

I was overwhelmed myself at first with all the people, lights and music.....hahahahaha  But, he handled everything like a Pro!  Each day he comes home complaining and and a little overwhelmed.  But, after a nice lunch, a few minutes with Homer and some down time he's good to go.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Youth Virtue Journal ~ REVIEW

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I get to share another Great Product with you today, the Youth Virtue Journal from We Choose Virtues.  Heather McMillan started We Choose Virtues because of her love for children and the desire to see them reach their full potential. What an Amazing Passion to have and she clearly has a gift that is easily seen in the products she provides.  Learn more about her and her Fabulous Team HERE.

I have Reviewed products from We Choose Virtues before, they were more for Kaden's age.  This time we received the Youth Virtue Journal which is a paperback book recommended for ages 12-18. The Journal sells for $17 and includes PDF files for a Mentor’s Handbook, a Youth Character Assessment, Scriptures that go along with the Virtues listed in the book and a Mentor Meeting Report Form.  A lot....I know!! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

LearningPalette.com~ REVIEW

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Kaden and I was able to Review another Great product for the past several weeks.   We received a full year's Subscription to LearningPalette.com from Learning Wrap-Ups .  The subscription included full access to all the levels of Reading and Math cards for up to 5 users.  There are over 7,000 questions available and the Kiddos get to work through one card after another.  And receive instant correction if they answer wrong.  I had never heard of this product before so I was really eager to get started. These are geared towards Kiddos in grades K-5th.   
The Cost for the Online Program is only $59.99 for up to 5 users.  (Get an Additional 20% discount when using the coupon code of  HOMESCHOOL)
Check out a Free Demo of the Online Program HERE.

The card format looks like a painter's color palette.  Each card consists of a circle divided into pie pieces. Each pie piece has the question or answer on it and a Brightly Color coded disc.  The Kiddo is to match the question and answer with the coordinating Brightly Colored disc that's located on the left-hand side.  This is done with the mouse by dragging the correct colored disc to the answer on the palette.  The Instructions are very minimal and really is designed to be for practice or review.  This is not to teach your Kiddo new concepts.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Horse Therapy for Autism


Kaden LOVES going to ride the horses.  Some of the things we are working on while we are there is his social skills, communication and body awareness.  We thought he would enjoy grooming Sunny before going out for his ride. This would be a great way to show affection to the horse and give him a sensory outlet.  After brushing for only a minute he stopped, without saying a word.  And Mahala asked him if it was fun, he just nodded his head no.  I was surprised, I thought he would like it.  But, he was just ready to ride.  In a few weeks we will give it another try.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Awake in God's Love

Life is getting to be a little more normal around here.  We had a huge Family situation back in December and honestly it has taken till recently for me to understand that I am not going to die from it.  I can say the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel.  I feel like a weight has been lifted and I know It's because my relationship with God has increased.  Let me rephrase that...my relationship with God now exists.  It has been awakened because nothing else was going to change what we were going through.  Finding comfort and strength through him has once again pulled me out of a deep pit.  I am forever thankful for his Love and Unfailing Faithfulness to me.

Up until recently just taking care of the basics in my home has been about all I could manage to do.  Everything has taken a back burner so that our Family could heal and recover.  We are a Strong Family as long as God is in the Middle.  I know now it's not a Strong Mom that keeps a Family together.  It's a Strong God, Our God that keeps a Family together. 
Thank You Lord so much for Scooping me up in Your Loving arms during this time of need.  I feel like I can walk again...still tightly holding your hand.  I'm never letting go again....Never!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Life in Balance ~ REVIEW

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I was recently given the PDF version of the book, A Life in Balance by the Learning Breakthrough Program to Review. I thought that A Life in Balance, which was written by Frank Belgau (as told to Eric Belgau) was very fascinating to me.  
I was totally excited to see what other options I had to offer Kaden and my Mahala.  Kaden is our Sweet Spectrum Kiddo and Mahala has been newly diagnosed with ADD.  Our oldest, Skylar who just turned 20 last month was diagnosed with Dislexia back in 2nd grade.  The Educational System slapped him into a Special Education class and basically gave up on him.  Finally, when he was in the 6th grade I brought him and Mahala home.  I knew I could give them a better education right here at home.  Now that Skylar has graduated he has an amazing job working with Kids with Autism and in College.  I would say he has done well for himself.  

In his book, Frank Belgau starts out by telling us a bit about his past.  We really get to know the real him as a person and see how his life shapped into this Amazing Breakthrough.  And this is where you see the starting point for his discoveries in learning. Being able to read the details of Frank’s life was truly enjoyable for me, he is an Educational Pioneer.  He tells you his experience about life growing up in a large Family with very smart siblings all the way to his time being in the Military loving the hands on learning of life as a mechanic.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

TOS REVIEW ~ Progeny Press

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We are loving our two Interactive Literature Study Guides that we received from Progeny Press to Review.  Mahala and Kaden each chose one to complete.  Mahala couldn't pick between two of the books.  So, she decided to officially read The Hunger Games ($21.99) and to read Anne of Green Gables ($18.99) along with Kaden.  Progeny Press Study Guides are very easy to use and has everything you need, you just need to add the book. Even the Answer Keys are included too.

Reading is a main part of our daily life.  We read aloud as a Family, independently for fun and to enhance the Kiddos' education.  After the Kids read a book I always have them write a short summary to share with the Family.  I love when a book is reread by a Sibling, because they always pick up different details in the story or have other ideas about the book.  Every now and then we try to jazz things up, but this is a whole new concept and I have to say....Momma Likes it! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Apologia Educational Ministries - Worldview Curriculum ~ REVIEW

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I was given the opportunity to Review another Amazing product from Apologia Educational Ministries. It's the 4th book in their What We Believe Christian Worldview Series.  The 4-Volume Series is recommended for grades 1-6, does not need to be read in order and can be used as a Family Devotion or in your Homeschool. 

We received the following items to review:
We have been using this series for the past 2 years in Our Homeschool.  While using the What We Believe Series, Mahala has grown in her Faith so much and the Character Qualities I have seen her learn and actually apply in her life are Priceless to me.  This was the first time using it with Kaden who is 7, Mahala is 14 and LOVES the Series.  Kaden takes a little longer to get through the reading, because some of the Reading lessons are a little long for the younger kiddos.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cardboard on Wheels


 For Christmas Kaden's stocking was filled with lots of crafty things, puzzles and small gadgets.  This cool race car puzzle was one of them.

After many long minutes of fiddling around with this cardboard contraption "we" finally finished it.  Kaden refused to use glue, so it was a wobbly situation from beginning to the end.

In the end his smile was all worth it!  Even though we had to eat hard, burnt fish sticks because we lost track of time.  :) 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A change is coming to Our Spectrum

A Blast from the Past.....My 1st Post ever about Kaden before we knew he had Autism.  I was struggling and saw NO end in sight!  Wow, what a difference 2 years of ABA makes!!!!  Kaden's last Official week of ABA is over......it's a New Day.

It has been so long I feel drained just looking at the date of my "real" last entry.  I have missed being here so much it hurts.  It's like coming home after a long vacation.  The smell of piled up laundry on top of a mile long to do list, mixed with the remembrance of sandy beaches and an umbrella drink I can't even remember the name of.
Well, life has been many things for me lately and none of it came with a little umbrella.  But, I'm here now and I have so much to share.  I feel like a tea kettle that's been boiling for a few hours....days. 
Let me start with  complaining first.  It's always good to clear the air and let it all out.   My love bug Kaden is about to turn 5.  And we have had struggles with him for a long time.  I just pushed through and parented the best I could.  I never said a word about his behavior, just kept loving him.  And after a season of watching the show Parenthood I secretly thought to myself I wonder if Kaden has Aspergers.  This new season started and Kaden became more Kaden and I knew I needed to say something.  I talked with friends first and they all gave me the line, "he's 4 years old".  Yeah, a 4 year old that has been reading since he was 2, has an obsession with numbers and self taught himself multiplication by the time he was 4. Not to mention the amazing vocabulary and need for organization that he can not even enjoy himself.    The violent rages bring the whole family to tears, loud noises bring him to tears.  The constant counting and lack of expression from him has worn me thin.  No one sees this because I keep it to myself, I've never shared it even here in blogland.  Everyone thinks I'm lucky because he's so smart and advanced.  But, with that is a great responsibility that makes our family exhausted. 
My hardest part of the day is keeping him from getting so angry or upset that he hurts himself.  And keeping his brain challenged.  He reads 2nd and 3rd grade books and wants to learn division.  But, the problem is his maturity level.  Just because he can explain to me what enursha is and his favorite number is infinity, he is only 4 years old.
Back to the point, I talked with Thanh and he thought I was crazy, that he was just smart and a typical boy. So, I decided to take it up with the pediatrician.  He told me I should have told him a long time ago, not to question my judgment.  So, tomorrow we are going to a specialist.  My friends still think I'm crazy, but I have Thanh on board with me after spending 2 weeks at home over the Holidays.  He got to see first hand what it was like homeschooling 3 kids with our Sweet Kaden. 
I love him so much, I just want to give him the best start in life.  I need to learn how to discipline him without causing him to downward spiral. I want to know how to teach him how to thrive in life with this small speed bump.
I have been searching online for helpful websites.  And what has got me aggravated is how many sites took you to books to buy or websites you have to pay for for support and advice or discussion boards.  I was disappointed, because I'm desperate for help and in need of answers. 
Tomorrow I will have a new start, a new start for Kaden.  It's been a long, lonely road and I have a feeling it will still be long in our future, but not so lonely.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Micro Business for Teens ~ REVIEW

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When we where asked to Review curriculum from Micro Business for Teens, geared for Kiddos between the Ages of 10-18 I was Jumping for Joy.   
The curriculum we Reviewed included 3 books:  
 ~$4.95 (ebook) $9.95 (print)
~$4.95 (ebook) $9.95 (print) 
~$9.95 (ebook) $14.95 (print) 
 
What is a Micro Business? It's a small business - usually just one person, often home based, low risk, low or no start up cost.  
*The Goal is to Learn and Earn!*

Mahala has always had an eye to see things differently then what they originally were made to do or be.  She would say, "It's not just a bottle cap Mom, it's a base for a pin cushion, a landing pad for a tooth for the tooth fairy or an excellent tool to cut out Macaroons".
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In the 1st book, Starting a Micro Business, Carol Topp explains what a Micro Business really is.  She tells Teens how it's possible for them to start their own businesses and how to do it successfully.  She not only gives several ideas for a Micro Business, but shows possible pitfalls, how to put together a business plan, how to find the financing, and tons of other Useful tips to get you off on the right foot. I think she covers anything and everything you could possibly imagine needing to know to get started.  I found that her style of writing was encouraging and offered many bird's eye views of other successful young Micro Business Starters.   
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In Running a Micro Business, Carol Topp teaches your teen all about Sales, Marketing and Advertising.  She Explains what it is to have Customer Service, successful record and book keeping and Time Management.  And let's not forget about Licensing, a Tax ID Number and Business Insurance. There is a lot to think about and Carol leaves No stone unturned.
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The Micro Business for Teens Workbook is supposed to be used along with the Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business books.  This Workbook has you take what you have learned and begin your Adventure.  You will find Oodles of helpful Charts, and Worksheets to walk you through step-by-step. 

Now that I've told you the Facts, let me tell you how we used this Awesome Program.  Mahala got started right away once we downloaded the books.  She was Pleasantly Surprised at how it was so easy to Read, was Straightforward and not Dry or Boring.  After each lesson she eagerly completed the Workbook Pages. Each lesson helped her see her potential and the areas she needed to focus on.  
I let her work on this independently for the most part.  She spent at least 4 days a week working over the past month and has learned so much.  This program helped her Narrow down what she really wanted to do and what was possible to make money doing and what should just stay a hobby. :)  


In the end she has come up with a Great idea and has flyers made, a bank account, a few investors and plenty of confidence thanks to Carol Topp's Micro Business for Teens.  I think this is a wonderful program for all kids to take, even if they have no desire to start a Micro Business for themselves.  It's interesting to see what all goes into having a business.  But, if your Kiddo has ever expressed any interest in starting a business or making some extra money of their own, I would highly recommend this program.  Also, these books would be wonderful for adults wanting to start a business too, with little or no start-up money.
 Connect with Micro Business for Teens




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