Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Kids Songs

 


Happy Kids Songs is a company that teaches music to happiness and success through the magic of music.  They have 8 award winning albums- each with 5 songs.

I received 3 albums, they are:

  • Friends & Sharing (Vol.1)
    • Sailing on the Seven Cs
    • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
    • Sharing Friends
    • Happy as Happy Can Be
    • Together

The albums are available as MP3 downloads for $4.99 each and the workbook is $13.95.

Music is such an influential part of people life. According to Neuroscience research, music is one of the most complex things we can do.  In short, and my favorite part of this experiment is that they showed that songs carry a tremendous ability to provoke emotional responses.  Music is so influential. 

So don’t you want your children to listen to music that is going to be a positive influence on them?

Dr. Mac and Brian Mann are the creators of Happy Kids Songs.

Both of them are singer/ songwriters.

Dr. Mac is also a child psychologist, school consultant, lecturer, award-winning songwriter, and writer and director of music for the PBS hit, Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

The songs are geared toward kids ages 3-8. They can work for younger and older. 

I loaded these songs onto my phone and we would listen to them in the car, during the day as background music and sometimes we would just turn them on and dance.  My 5 year old boy loved most of them.  He did decide on his favorite ones and they are the more upbeat songs.  My 9 year old did not choose a favorite and said some of them were just not her style or too young for her.  I did notice her singing along occasionally.  Also the some of the songs seemed to get stuck in our heads.  With songs like this, it was a good thing.

The workbook was fun and a way to really drive the message of the songs home.  The workbook is not necessary but it was such a great item to have.  It has the words to the songs as well as an activity for each one.  There are a total of 8 albums and we only have 3 of them.  So there are many unused pages in our workbook, they can be used when talking about the traits and characteristics they emphasis. Or if we purchase the other albums.

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Happy Kids songs can be found on these social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/happykidssongs
Twitter: @howsyourfam
YouTube:
www.youtube.com/user/4DrMacMusic


To see what others think of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

 Review Crew


Friday, August 15, 2014

First Day Homeschool Traditions

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Starting school for some seems like an exciting time.  For some it’s just another day.  For others still it is a real drag. 

A few things to do on the first day of homeschool are:

We draw self portraits.  This has been a tradition for a while.  For the last few years I have just had them keep them in their sketch books. One day I will go through the sketch books and take out the self portrait pages and put them all together in order by year.

Some people don’t even do schoolwork.  They take the first day of the local public school off.  They celebrate their homeschooling freedom. They spend the time at the park, or have a picnic.  Maybe even have a party. 

You could just do school as usual.

I usually make it a point to start school the week after public school.  This year I revamped our schedule and we will actually be starting before the public school.  This will allow us to take weeks off here and there for our scheduling chunks. 

What kind of things do you do to make the start of your school year special?

I’m not the only one blogging about this!  Check out some of my awesome bloggy friends.

Photobucket http://thissweetlifeofmine.com Homemaking Organized Tots and MeAcorn Hill Academy

Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint
Anne @
Upstate Ramblings
Julie @
Nurturing Learning

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Motivation and Encouragement for moms! Social hour!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

It is truly amazing and interesting how much my social life has turned around in the past year, or two.  I will share with you how I reached out and found friends who like me for me. 

I will share with you where and how I get my encouragement.

Finally I will share with you where I get my motivation from. 

Just having friends can make a huge difference in my frame of mind.  3 1/2 years ago I moved to a small town where I knew literally no one.   I joined a local homeschool group on yahoo. Which I quickly found out was very slow.  No one really got together.  Then I decided to jump out of my comfort zone and plan a Valentine’s Day Party. It was a huge hit.  Things were still slow on the Yahoo group and then someone created a group on Facebook and it just exploded. 

The year I held the Valentines party at my house we had 5 families.  The next year we had 60.  This past year we had 120.  As of now our local Facebook group as reached over 200 families.  They are screened that they have to live local and be homeschooling or looking into homeschooling. 

valentine party

This group, I call a co-op is really a commonwealth of parents.  It works for us.  It has gotten so big now that classes fill up super fast and some moms have chosen to start smaller co-ops within the commonwealth.  This group is usually just used for homeschooling teaching and questions.

I also am a moderator of my local moms group on Facebook.  This group is a lot more strict.  We have a code of conduct, an application process, participation requirements and more.  We have activities weekly.  This group does things like park days, freezer meal swaps, craft days, moms night out and more.

I am also a part of some online groups.  The biggest and best one in my opinion is The Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Along with the review items we get, we are part of an amazing forum and it keeps me blogging.  I am part of some smaller homeschool and homemaking pages as well.  I read blogs because I feel like I can relate and it makes me feel social.  

I am a member of a local Teaching Self Government Circle.  This is a very small group of us (10).  We meet monthly for this. This is great and probably my favorite one.

I have actually been so busy with my kids and these social things that I have had to cut back on some social offerings in order to be a mom and homeschooler.

How do you meet friends as a homeschooling parent?

Check out some of my awesome bloggy friends, who are also blogging in the Back to Homeschool Hop!

Photobucket http://thissweetlifeofmine.com Homemaking Organized Tots and MeAcorn Hill Academy

Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint
Anne @
Upstate Ramblings
Julie @
Nurturing Learning

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Breaking the school year into bite size chunks – Lesson Planning

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

PA291285Lesson Planning has been fully underway for me.  I do feel like some changes had to be made this year.  We had lesson plans and all last year, but there was too much flexibility in them and we took advantage of more opportunities than we should have.  Not that the opportunities weren’t great, some of them were even necessary.  It’s more along the lines of we did way to much. I realize that spontaneity is in my families nature, and we love to travel.  So I needed lesson plans that were realistic and flexible. Here is what I have come up with.

PA291291

I began by choosing our curriculum. Then I am planning it out in chunks, or blocks. I have been using the Hey Mama Planner from The Old Schoolhouse. They are supposed to average about 6 weeks.  However after looking at our calendar and some travel plans I decided to work those in to our schooling.  We have some 5 week blocks and some 6 week blocks.  After every block we get anywhere from 3-5 days without plans.  The kids can use that time to catch up if needed.  They can also just take a break, or dive into a subject they want. They may need this time to finish up work missed due to a family event that we chose to do.

Our first block is planned out and looks like this:PA291287

I also did our plans weekly within our block.  That way the kids know what they have to accomplish in a weeks time.  Last year I gave them to much freedom and we got off track so that when the end of the year came we had to work hard, too hard really to get where I wanted us to be.  We never did make it as far as my original goal.  That is life. 

So instead of taking a full summer we will take a shorter summer with these breaks built in. This has made lesson planning less intense, it opens up opportunities for change as needed.  It gives us a little break when we need it for trips, like weddings, seeing out of town family, and traveling in the off season!

This is making so much sense in my head that I really believe it will work better for us. 

Check out some of my awesome bloggy friends, who are also blogging in the Back to Homeschool Hop!

Photobucket http://thissweetlifeofmine.com Homemaking Organized Tots and MeAcorn Hill Academy

Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint
Anne @
Upstate Ramblings
Julie @
Nurturing Learning

Monday, August 11, 2014

Wow! - is it really that time. Burnout from last year and changes we are going to make. Curriculum

 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Last year was rough on me. Along with life’s regular hiccups, I ended up working almost full time for a few months, and then cut back to part time.  My brother moved in with us.  My husband switched jobs.  We had to find a new normal, and every time I thought we had it, we didn’t. 

We are in a good groove now and I hope we can keep it up! I have faith!

This year I have made my curriculum choices based on what has worked for us in years past.  My older kids do really well when they have independent work that is different from each other.  I do better when they have curriculum that is the same.  I am attempting to fix it by meeting in the middle.  They will both be doing Lightning Literature, but I will have Tommy through about 1 month worth of it before I start Emily in it.  Science, they will still just work out of the same book to make labs more interactive and fun.

Their personal finance class will be done together through our co-op.  The Promises of the Constitution will be done together as a family.

We are changing up our schedule this year.  In years past we work independently in the morning.  Things we did as a family, read alouds, character lessons, discussions, etc, were all done after lunch.  This caused this to get pushed to the wayside often, as the kids wouldn’t be done with their independent work, or I would have an errand to run, or my husband would come home and interrupt our schedule. 
This year we will meet at 10-11 every morning, except Wed. (Co-op Days).  We will do family school first and then they can do their independent work around that schedule.  I will also be starting my youngest in 5K.  He will need me with him for about 1 hour a day.  I plan to devote about 1 hour to each child per day.  Some of the kids will get the hour in chunks throughout the day.  Not that I am limiting the time to an hour, just that I am devoting at least one hour.

To see an entire list of my curriculum for this year, check out this post!

The crew is blogging about this same subject!

I’m not the only one blogging about this!  Check out some of my awesome bloggy friends.

Photobucket http://thissweetlifeofmine.com Homemaking Organized Tots and MeAcorn Hill Academy

Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint
Anne @
Upstate Ramblings
Julie @
Nurturing Learning

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coming Soon! Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

My week of blogging will look like this:

Monday- Wow! - is it really that time.  Burnout from last year and changes we are going to make. Curriculum

Tuesday- Breaking the school year into bite size chunks – lesson planning

Wednesday- Motivation and Encouragement for moms! Social hour!

Thursday- My sanity saver tips.  White board calendars- Menu planning- check lists- schedules- routines

Friday- Starting with a bang – First day traditions. 

Many of my crew friends are blogging about this topic too.

Check out some of my awesome bloggy friends and what they have to say.

Photobucket http://thissweetlifeofmine.com Homemaking Organized Tots and MeAcorn Hill Academy

Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint
Anne @
Upstate Ramblings
Julie @
Nurturing Learning

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Update~ Where is my blog headed? Where is my life headed?

 

WOW!  I have done so much self discovery over the past little while and I am so excited for what is in store for us.

I am going to change the feeling of my blog.  I am going to post some real life in the action posts.  I will share with you the truths about our homeschool.  You will see up close and personal the challenges we face.  I am not going to keep the rose colored glasses on any longer. 

I am going to tell you about the bad days, the bad weeks, even the bad years! Don’t you worry, I am also going to tell you the good, the great, the fantastic.

Over the next week, (or possibly few) I am going to reintroduce my family to you. I am going to also start posting some weekly updates of our life.  Including the weeks where we barely get any schoolwork done. 

 

I am feeling fresh and revitalized.

I can’t wait!  I hope you are excited as well.


 

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