Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Rough Days

So I know as large family moms we're not allowed to complain about anything. It was kind of an unspoken rule for a while until another blogger called it out, I can't remember who, but she hit the nail on the head. But how do we ask for help? We can't complain because "we chose this life" and "if we couldn't handle it we shouldn't have had so many kids" etc, but honestly, what if we need help? Because of this inability to complain, people around me think I have it all together and I don't. 

I think that many of you mom’s, or stay at home dad’s, can relate to this. Ya most of us did choose to stay home and take care of the house and children. That however doesn’t mean that it doesn’t include stress or heartache. Just like any other job in the world there are going to be bad days. There will be good ones too, but it seems in the stay at home world you can only speak of the good ones. When you stay at home you do not get time off, or an uninterrupted lunch hour. Doesn’t mean we are not glad we get be the ones to take care of our family if we have a bad day. It means we are human and we need to open our hearts and mind up to stay at home parents just as we do to working parents that need help or to vent. 

Let’s be there for each other and lift each other up daily! If you have it in you reach out to another mama that looks tired and worn out. Then hopefully it will come back around to you on a day you are just done. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Critical Thinking Co. Review

The Critical Thinking Co.™
The Critical Thinking Co.
Understanding Pre-Algebra
Age: Grades 6-8
Price: $42.99

Understanding Pre-AlgebraAbout:  The Critical Thinking Co. has always been a favorite of mine.  I am always excited to be able to review their selections.  So when I was given the chance to review Understanding Pre-Algebra I jumped on it.  I decided to use this with my emerging 8th grader.  We were planning on getting ready to start Algebra for the new year so getting ready with Pre-Algebra was great. This book is to teach math concepts and critical thinking skills that are needed for Algebra 1.  The following are some of the things included in the book:
-Family of Numbers
-Working With Integers
- Working With Rational Numbers
                                   - Ratio, Proportion, and Percent
                                   - Understanding Functions
                                  - Two Dimensional Geometry
The book is 448 pages long with colored pages. This is a full curriculum that could last you all year.  We have decided we would continue on with this for 8th grade then move on to Algebra 1 in 9th grade.  I think this is a great book with lots of skill building to keep the child engaged and learning. We used this daily for about an hour a day.  It probably wouldn't take that long to do a lesson but we like to really go over and make sure we know everything each day.  Plus we have required amount of hours in our state we have to reach daily. Each chapter is split up into different sections. Each one of those sections has the instruction and then practice problems.  There is color in the pages, like each of the math rules are in colored blocks to help them stand out.  They also use mnemonics to help remember rules.  At the end of the chapter there is a review to go over everything you should have learned. I do believe the book explains the lessons very well. Usually better than I have been able to do with my daughter.  I do think this could also be used to supplement certain sections and areas your child may just need extra work or a different way of teaching something.

The Critical Thinking Co. has many other great curriculum books.  Be sure  to follow the link below and see what my crew mates thought about Understanding Pre-Algebra as well as some of the other wonderful books that they have to offer. Also at the bottom of my post there is a code for a wonderful discount that The Critical Thinking Co. has offered to my readers.

The Critical Thinking Co.™

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A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!

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Free Shipping + 15% Off Any Size Order! Use Coupon Code: TOSCREW18. Expires 12/31/2018.
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Home School Navigator Review

Home School Navigator
Product: One year subscription to Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum
Price: $97 per student
Age: Elementary Age

About: Home School Navigator is an online Readinng and Language Arts program. This includes a schedual abs online portfolio maintenance to keep track of their work and the samples you may need for your state. Since all children learn at their own pace they have made six different levels. The hlevels are color coded as follows; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo. Each one of these levels includes:
A 36 Week Course
· Daily Reading, Writing, and Word Study Lesson Plan (including flex days for your busy schedule!)
· 60 Instructional Videos
· Word Study Program (including word wall headings, cards, and games)
· Activities That Encourage Multiple Learning Styles
· Monthly Skills Checklist
· Portfolio Maintenance
· Monthly Goal Sheet/Portfolio Check-In
· Downloadable Review Games
· Interactive Notebooks
I was using this with two of my children. We used the blue and green levels. I really like the idea of levels being named by color instead of grade level. My children have some learning disabilities, dyslexia, and sometimes it’s a bit of a downer when they see something that is labeled for a younger grade than they are in. 

They use picture books that are short sweet and to the point. This is great since my one child hates reading anyways. So she is able to read at her level but not have to sit through several chapters to get to the ending. This gives her more motivation to finish it all and know what happens knowing it isn’t going to take days or whatever. 

Everything is planned out for you which is really nice and helpful. The portfolio maintenance allows you to take a screenshot or a picture and upload it to the page to save. This is great for those states that require the portfolios and keeps down on the actual paper upkeep you have to find a place to store. The program also contains interactive notebooks. We didn’t use these because my kids see them as art time and want to work great at cutting, pasting, and coloring but they don’t want to actually take the time to fill them in correctly. 

I don’t believe that this was good for grammar study though. While there were some work with it there was no actual instruction. It was like a review of things they possibly should have already known. So you would want to make sure you had a good starting to grammar or a supplement to go with it. The instructional videos were nice to help. Only one student can be logged in at a time so that does mean you can’t work on it together you less your children are at the same level. I do wish since it is online you could do the work online too and less printing would have to take place. Overall I do think it has a great approach to getting the kiddos reading and excelling from where they were. I do find it is more parental navigating the site as the kids didn’t seem to get it very well. It can be tricky. I think this is a good program for parents to get for their child. Really good for those in states that need that portfolio because this really does well building it all up for you. 

Be sure to check out what my other crew memebers had to say about their experiences. 

To learn more about Homeschool Navigator, Come visit their Social Media Pages:
· Facebook: Home School Navigator
· Pinterest: Home School Navigator
· Instagram: @homeschoolnavigator

Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum {Home School Navigator Reviews}
Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum {Home School Navigator Reviews}

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Toes in the Sand

Sometimes you just have to sit back and put your toes in the sand and let the world melt away! Sometimes it is best to drown in the sounds of the waves crashing on shore while the hot sun warms your soul. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment like it maybe your last. 

We all face hard times in our lives and we all have things that we do to cope with those times. I use the beach, even though I feel like I am a million miles away from it.  I remember as a kid moving away from the mountains and telling my parents daily I hated where we moved to.  I never felt like I was at home again after that move.  Then one day as an adult I moved close to the ocean.  I never in my life felt like I would ever think of a place feeling like home again.  However I found home again.  I moved away and moved back and finally away again. Sometimes life doesn't allow you to be "home". I will tell you when I get to go back I enjoy every minute of it as it could always be my last time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Six Flags Read to Succeed

MAY 1ST was the deadline to get all the entries in to get your tickets! I hope everyone remembered as they are supposed to be sending out the tickets sometime this month!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Let's get crafty!

First fun craft is a stained glass window.

Take a 50/50 combo of water and glue.
Paint your window with the mix.
Take torn up peices of tissue paper and sick to the window.
When window is covered paint over the tissue paper covered window with your 50/50 mix.

Now you have a pretty stained glass window.  To removed just spray with water and let soak in then scrap all the paper off.  Then clean windows with vinager or windex as you would normaly.

Second fun craft is a fish bowl!

Draw a fish bowl and color it in blue.
Cut out and paste fish into the bowl, or draw them in.
Decorate your fish bowl as you like.
When done paint the water part of your picture with corn syrup.  Let dry for a bit then cover with plastic wrap to cover the sticky. 

Now you have a real looking fish bowl!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Apologia Review

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
Price: $29-$49
Age: The Notebooking Journal is for grades 3/4 and older. The Jr. Notebooking Journal is for K-2/3.

About: Apologia is one of my most favorite all in one curriculums. I was very excited to get to review yet another great set they have, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. We got the entire set which included the following:
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD
It is a great set that allows you to teach multiply grade levels all at the same time. Since you can match the Notebooking journal to the grade level that works best for your child everyone is learning at their correct level. The journals are already lined out with a schedual that will be enough for all years worth of science for you. There are four to seven assignments per lesson with at least two lessons per week. There is an audio disk that comes with this. If you don’t want to read the book you can listen to it. This would also work for road schooling. Or for children that don’t read as well. They can listen to the disk as the follow along in the book. There are lots of amazing experiments to do in the book. One is the edible cell. I remember making this in school myself. I did a cake using all kinds of candies for each part of the cell. So we of course did the same thing, but ate it before we could even get a picture haha. The notebook has scripture copy work to do for each lesson, vocabulary crosswords, and more suggested experiments. It gives a space to create notes and interesting things your child has learned through each lesson. But done in fun ways. The jr notebook is similar but the puzzles and diagrams are more simple to do. Once again Apologia does it all to lay out your lessons so you can grab and go. The only prep work needed is on days you wish to do the experiments, you would need to gather or purchus the things to do those ahead of time. I love this for busy moms and those that are schooling several and don’t have the time to plan all lessons out. However it would be easy to do your own lesson plans with it as well if you wished. 

We had loads of fun learning about the body. I like how the journal goes along with the text and gives them something to do, even if it is just coloring for the younger ones. It is a great way to learn about the body and have fun while doing so. We used this with my kids that range from 9-13. 

Don’t forget to check Apologia out on social media as well as see what my fellow crew mates and their families had to say about the curriculum. 
Social Media Links: 

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews