Sunday, October 31, 2010

What we did this week 10/31

We have been in a steady enough groove, even with ALOT going on in our personal life, that I am finally beginning to feel comfortable posting a weekly update. 

One thing  that has made our school time much easier is that I began putting Tyler in his highchair up to the table with us. I TAPE a paper down, draw a simple picture and write his name on it, and give him a few (2-4) crayons. 

He is happy for at least a half hour or so doing this.    It gives us a great opportunity to work on other crafts at the table without him whining.

Tommy has been moving right along in Life Of Fred, Fractions. 

Emily has been learning her times tables through Hooked On Math and Math U See Skip Count Cd, and by playing Timez Attack.  She also uses Usborne’s Wrap Ups and Math Bop It, along with some plain ol flash cards and Timed Math Drills.

Katey’s math has been learning how to recognize numbers, working on counting higher and higher, and learning the calendar.   We also read an alphabet book each day.  Along with the Alphabetti books at Progressive Phonics.  She is on book 1-2 right now, and we are taking our time. 

Together we have been learning about Georgia.  We had a Georgia inspired lunch; Brunswick Stew, Peaches, and Grits and Sweet Tea. 

In history we have continued reading in ' target=_blank>' target=_blank>The Story of the World.  We have covered 3 chapters about Julius Ceasar and Rome.  We made Roman mosaics, we played a Ransoming Ceasar from the Pirates game.  (battleship type game).  We also colored pictures of the Statue of Julius Ceasar.  We measured ourselves with our own feet.  Tommy, Emily and Katey were all about 6 1/2 feet tall (measuring with their own feet).


We continued right along with our lessons from Vocabulary Cartoons.  We put our botany study on hold in order to study spiders and Yuck for science.  We did lots of Halloween Art.

We also went on a field trip to a farm, which you can read about tomorrow. 

This post is linked up to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap up.

This  post is also linked up to Homeschool Creations Preschool Corner and 5k too.

Halloween art



We checked out this very cool Origami book from our local library, we have been doing “Horrorgami” all week.  We even had some neighbor kids over with us doing it.  We just used construction paper that I cut down to size.  Emily was able to make some very cool spiders that we hung up for Halloween decorations.   


I gave Katey some simpler projects, she made a shape spider.  I had her draw a triangle and cut it out for the body, 6 rectangles for the legs, and 3 circles for the eyes, and then she glued it together and we bent the legs so it would stand, and we put it by an origami tree that Emily had made.


In the spirit of Halloween, we have been learning about spiders this past week. Each day I had them do a spider craft, or coloring page as I read a spider book to them.  We learned about different types of spiders, the life cycle of a spider, and the different places they live.  One day we learned about spider webs, and we made our own out of yarn and a paper plate.  Then we hung pipe cleaner spiders from it.



We also checked out a book on drawing goblins, witches and warlocks.


Here is one of Tommy’s drawings.


It broke the drawings down into very simple steps.  Tommy and Emily were both very proud of their drawings.  I think they did a great job too.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BOO at the Zoo!


We took our youngest two Trick-or-Treating at the Zoo. 


It was perfect cool fall weather, and it was a great opportunity to take them Trick-or-Treating during daylight hours.


She got to take her pictures with many characters.   She also got to hive five, hug, and/or shake hands with many more, such as a crab from Joe’s Crab Shack, Clifford the Big Red Dog, alot of the “booths” there were passing out free kids meal coupons along with candy, if they were restaurants.


It ended up being a good thing we did this, because it began raining hard towards the evening.  The kids both seemed fine not going out when the older kids were out. They got plenty of treats at the Zoo.  In fact Katey loved handing out candy to the kids that came to our door (in the rain).  She kept calling them customers.  She loved to choose the type of candy they got, and she loved to tell each one

 “Happy Halloween!”

Are your students unorganized?

Just think how essential it is to teach your children time management skills.   With organization and proper time management skills you children are well on their way to success. 

Have you thought about how you are going to teach this?  I decided for us living it would be best for my children to learn.  So they got The Old Schoolhouse Middle School Student Planner.  

This planner is so cost effective for us, for one price you get to download the planner and print off as many of each page as you would like.  So I really got 2, (or more) planners for the price of one. 

I also have to tell you how much more than just a planner The Old Schoolhouse Middle School Student Planners are, they are chock full of resources, from articles, such as Creative Writing and Making Friends to informational-must know lists, such as Modern Art Movements, Cloud Forms, Mountain Ranges of the World, and so much more!

Back to the planner part of this planner; there are so many homeschool forms such as, daily, weekly monthly, yearly, planning and goal pages.   A test preparation checklist, library log and science lab sheets are also found in the homeschool form section of this planner.  Plus many many more.

Then there is still another entire section of organizational forms which include forms such as community service logs, loaned and borrowed lists, wish lists, address and phone books, and website log in forms (so they don’t forget usernames and passwords).  Daily schedule, extracurricular activity schedule and musical instrument practice sheets are all also found in the organizational form section of this planner.  Plus many more.

Some of our favorite and most used pages right now in The Middle School Student Planner are the week-at-a-glance form, attendance chart, books read form, and the Daily Chore Form.   

With 278 pages in this planner and a Parent Pack (some quick articles for parents), you are bound to find this planner useful.

The Middle School Student Planner $19.00 is geared toward children grades 7-8, while my children are a little younger than this (grades 4 and 6) I felt like this planner was the right fit for our family. 

They also offer the following planners (all prices listed are for the download versions)
Primary School Student Planners grades K-3 for $9.95. 
Secondary School Student Planners grades 4-6 for $9.95.
Middle School Student Planner grades 7-8 for $19.00.
High School Student Planners grades 9-12 for $29.00.
The Schoolhouse Planner for adults for $39.00.

The Old Schoolhouse has just what you need for your homeschooling needs. 

{I received The Old Schoolhouse Middle School Student Planner for review purposes. This review is my honest opinion, and as always your experience may differ}

Friday, October 29, 2010

Science can be Yucky!


I decided to teach my children how to use a scientific observation sheet.  We received YUCK just in time. Yuck is a polymer, that expands with water. 

S3010076We started out by documenting how much dry Yuck we had.  (2 T) Then we documented how much H20 (water) we added.  (1/4 c) Then we documented the measurements of Yuck after 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours.
We were able to watch it expand and contract over time. 


bagNext we played with it.  We had Chunky, Saucy, Sticky, and Snowy. 

Yuck was a lot of fun, the kids all thought that it was so fun and cool.  It really helped us learn about polymers, expansion and contraction with water and how to fill out a scientific observation sheet.  We also talked about how important it is to keep a control, such as the same temperature of water used each time. 

I think that Yuck would be fun for our slip and slide, but it was too cold outside.  So we will definitely be getting snowy yuck for summer fun. 

When you buy Yuck you get a some suggestions on how to use it.  Some fun ones are to fill a kiddie pool with it and play in it.    You can even have a Yuck fight or a Yuck relay race.  So as well as being educational it can be used for parties or just family style fun!

Yuck sells for between $16 and $20 a pound. 





Buckets of Fun also sell a wide variety of other fun products.

{I received a sample variety pack of Yuck in order to write this review.  As always your experience may be different.}

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keeping your family safe on the internet.

PhotobucketHow would you like to keep track of your children’s internet usage without standing over them non-stop?  Would you like to set a time limit on the computer for your kids, and be able to keep it?  There are times when I say “20 minutes of screen time, that is it!”  And I forget to set a timer, I get busy, and next thing I know they have been on for an hour, or more. (gasp, I know)  Well PG Key is just that, you plug it into a  USB drive on your computer and set it up, then when your kids get on and sign in, it is customized for them.  You can block websites, or set up search word notifications, you can set a time limit, you can even go back and review what they did. 

This is a type of tool that would also be useful if you are taking online classes, you can review something that had been posted. 

I like PG Key for many reasons, I like the features it offers such as website blocking, search word notifications, time limits, and reviewing. You can even shut the internet off completely.   I like that it is simple to use.  I like that it is NOT A SUBSCRIPTION.

Since we mostly use laptops I noticed that I wasn’t able to keep it hidden from my children.  They knew it was there and why.  But if you had a desktop with a USB in the back you could plug it in back there and they would be less likely to notice, it is also less in the way back there.   I am not really the spying type of mom, I haven’t really had to be, but my children knowing this is on the computer is a great motivator to not steer off course.  

PG Key is $49.99 it can be purchased locally at Office Max, and Fry’s or at Name Your Link' target=_blank>Amazon.

You can see what other TOS Crew mates thought about PG Key HERE.

{I received PG Key free for review purposes, as my part on the TOS Crew.  All opinions expressed are my own. }

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tag, your it!

I was tagged by Penny over at Homeschooling, Autism and Stuff.  Her questions were:

Chocolate: Milk or dark? Milk.


Do you have an accent or dialect? I am gonna go with, No.  However I am sure that if I went to another state, they would say yes.


Is there a food that you detest? Detest, no.  I am very picky on what I do eat though. 


What is your favorite time of the year? I love Fall, it feels so fresh and crisp to me. 


Did you (do you) have a favorite color in the big 64-count Crayola box? I love all colors!


Have you lived in one place all of your life, or have you moved? I have lived in Utah and Colorado.  That is it.  Though, I have moved around Utah a few times.


Favorite Bible verse(s)? Hmmm, hard one for me.  I like them all.  

Paper or plastic? Actually I use cloth or none, I do most of my grocery shopping through a food coop and we take a laundry basket to carry our food home in.  LOL. 



Now for my 8 questions; 


What is your favorite place to read with your children?  Ours is the park.  We pack up books and snacks often and head to a nearby park and read aloud or silently. 


How did you meet your spouse? I met Paul at an Alan Jackson concert.  I had won front row tickets from a radio station and he had been given tickets from a friend. 


Is there anything you want others to know about you specifically?  I get so busy and wrapped up in my own life, that sometimes I let things like friendships and housecleaning, blogging and more go on the back burner.


How does your family make money? My husband works full time for a crane company.  I work part time nights as a waitress. 

Pepsi or Coke?  Pepsi all the way baby!

Did or do you have a childhood nickname?  I didn’t that I know of.

What are your hobbies?  I enjoy camping, boating, blogging, watching my kids BMX race, homeschooling and crafting with my children.

What type of books are you drawn to? I like reference and self help books.   

I am not going to tag anyone specifically, since it took me FOREVER to answer my questions.   But I would love for you to tag yourself with my questions.  Let me know if you do, and I will link this up to your blog. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Reader

Have you ever thought of teaching your baby to read, I have.  I just figured I could never afford the program, nor would I have time with 4 kids. 

Then I was given the opportunity to review Little Reader from Brill Kids. 

I decided that there are moms that homeschool many more children than I do, and I would make the time to try this with Tyler.  So for the past 6 weeks we have been trying this.  I will start off by just letting you know that Tyler has not read any words yet.  But he has been loving this time with me.  It has been a special time that is for just us.  The lessons only take about 5 minutes twice a day.  However, there are times when we are enjoying ourselves so much that we repeat a lesson.  He sits on my lap and we snuggle up with the computer in front of us.   I do feel like this is a great program for teaching babies (6 months – 3 years) to read.  It has been fun for us to spend time together. 

It has really made me decide and realize what a difference 10 minutes a day can make with your children. 

I will give you a future update on Tyler’s progress in reading. 

Little reader teaches using digital flashcards and you can customize the pictures used (ie; brother, sister, family, etc).  I would really recommend checking out there website, where it is full of information, as well as videos of young ones reading, if you are thinking about teaching your baby to read.   Your child does not need to know how to talk in order to read.  For example they can see the word hair, and point to their hair, or see the word brother and go get their brother, etc. 

I have yet to make my decision on how I feel about it.  I think it can be a good thing however, I do feel as though I have seen people use it as a type of show off.    For me, I am going to continue this with Tyler for a while, mostly because I like the time we are spending together and he really does enjoy the flashcards. 

Little Reader Basic is $149 for a 6 month curriculum package, or $199 for an an entire year, both include access to many more downloads.  

Little Reader Deluxe is $360 which includes all of the software in the Basic, as well as many hands on items such as flash cards, plus much more. 

To see what other crew member say about the Little Reader Basic Download check it out HERE!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quick stop at the top.


We were visiting someone near downtown Salt Lake, and if you know me, I don’t travel downtown very often, so since I was already down there with my family. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to tour Our Church Office Building


We learned a little about pioneers and saw some great paintings, and learned more about how our religion has evolved over the years. 


The best part it going to the top.  S3010107

The views are amazing! 


The whole family thought this was so neat and it really only added a half an hour to our downtown visit.  I am so glad we took the time to do it. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harvest Party


We had our homeschool coop Harvest Party this week.  It was full of fun and games.  Here we are getting ready for the pumpkin decorating contest.  I had to go to work, so I got out the art tote and let them at it.  My husband was home but he is far from artistic. 

S3010079 Emily's Pumpkin Tommy's pumpkin Katey's pumpkin

“The Brain Cake” we took for the cake walk.  


I saw this in cupcake form.  I decided it was easy enough.  I baked a boxed cake mix in a glass mixing bowl.  Then I colored some store bought frosting and frosted it back and forth to look like a brain.  Everyone loved the cake and I loved how simple it was.

S3010085 S3010086

They had some of the highschoolers doing facepainting.  So the girls got some cute butterflies.


We had a cake walk. 


I was in charge of the cakewalk prize table.  Along with my helper, Tyler. 



And there was a pumpkin decorating contest.  (every pumpkin won an award)  It was so fun to see all the creative ideas the kids came up with. 



It was so fun and a great change of pace for us. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Read, Write, Type

I am a huge fan on combining subjects.  I love when you can learn so much from one “main” subject.  With Read, Write, Type, you are not just learning letters and their sounds, you are learning how to type as well.   I also feel that typing is a necessary skill to posses.  So I thought this is great.  This is a multi-sensory learning program, you can get it online ($35 for one membership)  or order the software on CD ($79).  Both options include worksheets, stories and a portable keyboard for practice.

I set Katey up on this program.  She loves computer and game learning.  She was doing really great and moving right along, however as more and more letters were added it began to get hard for her.  She was not quite coordinated enough to use the correct fingers clear across the keyboard.   One great thing about this program is that she is able to repeat it as many times as she needs.  It scores the lessons for you, and YOU, THE PARENT, SET THE PASSING SCORE! That is a huge plus in my book.  As valuable as typing is in life, I feel that phonetics is more so.  So as she struggled with the typing instead of lower the score due to typos I decided to let her use the fingers that felt most comfortable for her.  I LOVED HAVING THE OPTION! 

I wish that I had set up Tommy and Emily with this one as well.  They do not need to work on phonetics but this makes the typing fun.  They also have a Wordy Qwerty; a spelling typing game, and Jingle Spells; spelling rules rhyming songs or cd or Itunes. 

Read, Write, Type is a great program and is definitely worth the price. It is geared toward 6-9 year olds.  and I do feel that Katey may be a little young right now for it.   It is so fun that I will remember this when I feel she is ready for the typing too. 

To see what other crew members thought of Talking Fingers and Read, Write, Type check out our crew blog post.  This review is posted here

{I received a subscription to Read, Write, Type as being part of the TOS Crew.  All opinions expressed herein are my own, and not influenced in any way.}


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