Monday, September 30, 2013

Funnoodle Review

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This was a very exciting review to do!
Vender: Fundanoodle
Age: Pre-K to K
Price: $5.99

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This product was used for my 5 year old that is just starting to learn his letters.  We worked on a new letter each week.  We would start on Monday with getting our letter and we would use the dry erase board to practice writing.  I loved how it is blocked letters so he could see that you didn't make a T go across the complete page and so forth for similar letters. 
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We would spend a day using this board and practicing as long as he could handle it.  Other days we supplemented with other fun projects making the letter and the sound.  We ended each day with practicing on the board once again.  Being able to use fun colorful markers made it that much better.  Although Micah is a man of blue :).  

On the last day of our week we would break out the workbook and write our best letters.  He was very pleased to know once he finished a page there were some cool stickers in the back to put on it.  The hard backing of the workbook allowed us to school in bed as well.

We also worked hard at our desk!

Yes we generally school shirtless :).  Shirts become a detraction to those little ones with SPD and ADHD and more pulling, tugging, and chewing go on than concentration at work.  Also if you notice carefully to the hand on his forehead for his deep concentration.  After this lesson he told me he couldn't do anymore or he would pass out.  Silly boy!

For good measure he does own shirts! 

Overall my favorite thing about this product is having the option to practice with dry erase.  Having a child with attention issues already sometimes he feels the need to scribble out the page when he gets frustrated.  This is good because he can just easily erase when that happens.  Once he is confident in writing the letter we are able to move onto the book and not have any frustration issues.  Plus it is fun to be able to use for drawing on as a reward for working hard at the end of the lesson.

The workbook its self is great.  The cute pictures that go with the letters are easily recognizable for the kids.  After the page is complete the back has a sheet of stickers with the matching picture and the letter bold faced on the word so they can search for that letter to put on their page.  I also like that it is not in alphabetical order.  They start with the simple stick letters (L, F, E, T) and then move on the the harder ones through the book.  I think this builds confidence in their writing skills which helps have them pumped up when it comes to writing the harder ones later on.

I can't really say that there is anything that I did not like about this program.  The dry erase board was also very thick and sturdy which is great for those rough little boys (and girls :P).  Also the binding on top makes it easy for a left or right handed kid to be able to write with ease.  My 5 year old is a righty but something like this would have been so much easier for my daughter that was a lefty.  She always complains about the bindings on books.

Don't forget to check out other reviews from the crew.  Click below!
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fine motor skill practice

So I was thinking about my childhood and I remembered taking a loop of yarn and making things out of it with my fingers.  I am completely unaware of what the name for it is though haha.  So after much practice I remembered a few and was showing my 8 year old how to do them.  She ended up searching more on YouTube and teaching her 5 year old brother them too.  I was really surprised that he caught onto it but he did.  

Kailea took some video's of herself doing them.

This one is the Kitty Whiskers and Jacobs Ladder

I thought it was great practice for fine motor skills for the kiddo's plus it teaches creativity.  They were coming up with their own things as well.  With my 5 year old having ADHD it is really hard to keep him entertained into something very long but this kept his attention great!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fun Friday

So each Friday seems to always bring an adventure to my house.  Today the little decide no shirts during school time!  One of the many little perks to homeschool, we do not have to fight to get kids into a dress code and no shoes allowed!

So while they are doing that sitting behind me I am looking and some fluff for the new baby.  If I was not a poor girl I could go nuts on some cloth diapers. 

What do you do when you get a bit of browse time while kids are doing their work?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Being a single parent

My reasons why!

Before my life got really crazy busy I was helping write blog posts for So You Call Your Self A Homeschooler? Sadly life caught up with me and I had to bow out and concentrate on other things in my life.  Today I was thinking about it and I really liked one of the posts I made on there and felt the need to share it.

There are so many "types" of homeschoolers out there and I know the first thought that crosses most peoples minds is "Can I really do this?"  The answer is yes!  If you have the calling to teach your children at home God will provide a way.  For the majority of the year I only have about $1200 in income.  There are a lot of scarifies to be made but I am happy to do without so my children are learning what I want them to learn.

Check out my post on Is It Possible to be a Single Parent and Homeschool?!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Logic of English Review

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Product: Foundations A
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Price: Teachers Manual (print or PDF) $34.20
Workbook (print or PDF$16.20
Handwriting Reference Chart $9.00
Phonogram Game Cards$9.00
Basic Phonogram Flash Cards$16.20
Student Whiteboard$10.80
Age Range: 4-7

I was very excited to get the chance to review this product.  My daughter is 7 and technically in 2nd grade but has really struggled with learning to read.  The fun looking dragons on the cover were also a hit!  Foundations A is a complete reading, phonics, spelling and handwriting program.  The workbook is colorful and fun.  

The teachers manual is a must!  It has everything set out for you to be prepared with everything you need at the beginning of each lesson and what you will be going over.  The bulk of the learning/teaching things are in the teacher manual for you to do with your child. The work book just has some added activities to add into that as well as some easy readers.

Kiya really loved this program so she insisted on working on it all the time so we were able to zoom through some of the book quickly and she was actually retaining it with the ways that it was teaching. This has been the first curriculum that has taught my daughter something in reading and she was able to remember it later that day.  When we started the program she was unable to even read sight words, and now she can read the words that are in the books.  We worked on each lesson about 30ish minutes.  Most days we spent more time and did more lessons because we were both so excited with the progress.  

There is a white board that comes along with this and allows for practicing handwritting as well.  The tactical cards allow her to feel how the letter is written then she can draw it in the same fashion that she felt it.  The book also gives words to say to the child and they must pick out the phonogram in that word.  We would either write the phonogram or we would use the cards that came with the program to show me which sound was being made.

Each lesson starts with new words and sounds and a game to play in order to practice them.  The games kept her engaged and made it fun to learn them.  The white board is always fun to use since we can pick whatever color we want to write with.  Kiya still writes letters backwards and having the tactical cards there helped her be able to feel hands on how to write them the correct way.  There are lots of hands on activities in this program which I think is great for children.  

We will continue to use Foundations with Kiya, and have already purchased the Foundations B book.  I will be trying it with my 5 year old soon as well.

Also check out the overview page of all the levels Foundations has to offer.  They are A-D with D being for those that are independently reading second grade books.  I can't wait to get to that point with Kiya.  It has been a log struggle getting her to the point that she could read anything.  She now is enjoying sounding out words and even trying to spell words on her own, which she would have never even tried before.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

September is here!

We are finally well into September. I love this time of year because it means cooler weather is around the corner.  With the cooler weather we will be able to start out field trip Friday's without worrying about melting.  We are wanting to make it to a farm and watch the milking process too. Back in July Arkansas made it legal to start selling fresh cows milk for human use. I think the kids would really enjoy seeing the true process of the healthy stuff being able to be made. It also brings the chance to get some and the cream and come home and make some butter! I remember being in school as making fresh butter in baby food jars and ice cream in the metal style coffee cans! I live that homeschool gives us these options!
Farms are a great place to learn many things. They are also very fun! Then before we know it October will be here and the corn mazes and pumpkins will be on our list of fun!