Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meeting generations

Got a pic of Grandma and get great great grandson!

It is not often that my family gets together. My aunt had her birthday recently and came to my grandmothers for a get together.  I happened to be in town with my dad as well to get my stuff from my storage unit so we got to join in the fun.  It is nice when family can get together in peace because in this family it does not happen often.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UberSmart Math Facts Review

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Price: $24.95

Age: K-6

About- UberSmart Math Facts is a Windows based download to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. It uses memorization using timed test in order to teach your child the facts. It is the same principal as old fashioned flash cards, dots, and key entry. The addition and subtraction facts go up to the 9's and the multiplication and division facts go to the 20's.

The UberSmart Software only works on Windows 7,8, XP or Vista.  The download includes a lifetime licence for you to use as long as you wish.

How we used: I used this with 2 of my kids regularly and got my younger child to use this sporadically.  He is just now starting school so I didn't want to push much on him. My 2 older ones were able to log on themselves and start working.  This was nice because if I needed a minute with one I could let the other just take off on the program to occupy them for awhile with something productive.

I loved the dots option because I have a dyslexic daughter and having the visual is what she needs to learn.  We always have problems with numbers and never have used a program that used dots to that was nice. She put up much less fight to do the work than she normally does. The dots were also good for my new kindergartner that does not know his numbers yet but can count. It made it so he was able to still use the program and learn while we practiced numbers during a different time.  He will be able to go right in with the flash card part once we learn his numbers and already know how to use the program

In the program you first learn the facts then you move on to practice the facts then you are able to test on what you have learned. There is then a tab to compete with others to see how well you are doing. The last section is maintain, which is pretty much your settings of the program.

UberSmart Software I think is good for both homeschool and public school children that need some practice with their math facts.

Thoughts- Overall I think this is a great program.  We are not one to do time tests but even so this program worked out well for us.  The kids, even timed, could work at their pace and it just records their pace and they keep working at it until they get better.  The options of using dots versus the numbers is my favorite part, it gives a bigger range of the type of student that can use it. The only part that I did not care for was the compete part.  I do not believe learning should be a competition in any form. I also think it is not good practice when you have multiple children using the program, you do not want them to feel one is smarter then the other.

We will continue using the program with all of my kids and let them work on gaining a better grasp on the math facts.  After all these are the facts that lead them in the rest of their math work later on in life. It is always a blessing to find a program your children do not fight you about doing.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
UberSmart Math Facts ReviewUberSmart Math Facts Review

Check out what other members of my crew had to say about the program below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Favorite Drink...Tea

Being a southern girl I love me some tea...
but not any tea, it has to be SWEET TEA. 
It is so sad that The more north you get the 
less you can find it.  I get told that yes they
 have sweet tea and I am given a unsweet tea 
and told to use sugar packets.  Anyone who 
knows sweet tea knows the sugar has to be
 added to the tea in a HOT state so that it is
 able to mix in the tea.  Otherwise you are 
drinking tea with sugar grains. YUCK!

How do you like your tea?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Kids Songs Review

Happy Kids Songs Review

Vendor: Happy Kids Songs

Product: Three sets of downloadable songs:
Friends & Sharing

Happiness & Attitude

Manners & Character 

Physical book:
Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills

Age: 3-8

Price: Each set is $4.95 or you can get the individual songs for $.99 each and the workbook is $12.56

About- Happy Kids Songs are downloadable and you can listen to them from your device you download them to or you can burn them to a CD.  We just left them on the computer as when we are doing learning we always have our computer near us.  These songs are produced by Dr. Mac who is a child psychologist.  He is also a writer and director of music to a popular show called Jay Jay the Jet Plane.  The songs in this review are meant to help build social and emotional skills for children.

How we used it- I have been running a local co-op class at a park that has a big outdoor stage.  I thought this would be perfect as most of our kids are in this age group and we have this huge stage that we never get to use except for the shade it provides.  So I downloaded all of the songs to my laptop and for these past few weeks we would play these songs at the start of co-op and let the kids sing and dance with them.  After a couple days of learning the songs I would stop them after each song and we would have a group discussion on the topic of the song and ways we can behave the correct way.  My co-op group is a secular group so this fit in with them as some are not Christian families but still supported good morals. 

Since we also got the workbook we also played along at home with these songs so my children could use the workbook. It also gave us a chance to further dive into the songs. This is the list of songs for each song set.

Sailing the Seven C's 
Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
Sharing Friends
Happy as Happy Can Be

Shake It Out and Dance
Who Knows What's a Kudo?
I Don't Understand
Be Good to Yourself
Better Together

The Magic Word
The Golden Rule
Six Little Kids

Some of these were just fun songs while others were giving tips. The song titles are pretty self explanatory on what you will expect to hear from it.  Some, like Sailing the Seven C's, only mention topics which you would use to further talk about. Some give the kids ideas I was not OK with from a Christian standpoint. The Six Little Kids were closing their eyes guessing parts of an elephant (of which none have ever seen one before) and even though they all guess wrong they were told they were right. In my life that is not OK. You do not let something be right when it is not wrong when your eyes are closed. The Golden Rule starts out with name calling and I didn't like them learning new ones. Though the rest of the song was great with a good message.Overall these were great songs for kids. The few I wasn't fond of are easily removed from the play list, or just don't burn to the CD.

The workbook had the lyrics to the songs followed by an activity page. The back has sort of a lesson plan ideas. I will say that the songs are good for the ages listed but the work book is more for kids towards the end of the range. The child really needs to be able to read and write or at least have the parent to be able to write for them.


Twitter: @howsyourfam


Click to read Crew Reviews

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Working on a new home

We are moving into a semi tiny home. It is an A frame house and the bottom floor is just over 500 feet and the top floor probably half I that as it is in the peek of the home. The only down side is the people that were in in before trashed it. So I am having to be thrifty and find good sales and used things to refurnish the house all the way down to floors and kitchen counters. Here isy progress so far and I would love to get tips on ways to save money on redoing a home.

This is the before of the top floor as I'm standing in room two of the top.
This is unfinished room two of top floor.

Progress on my super tiny bathroom, it's bright green. It's so small it only has a stand up shower. No tub for mom to soak in. Boo!!
The kitchen, a work in progress. The stove and dishwasher go on this wall. The kitchen ends right in front of where the stove is..told you tiny!

Kitchen meets dinning room.
A you can tell the carpet is trashed. So we are slowly replacing them with clearance finds. We found some laminate flooring on clearance at homedepot which had a lot of damaged peices so we got a decent deal and got just enough for the front room.
Yea the baby couldn't hang!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo Review

Wizzy Gizmo Review

Vendor: Wizzy Gizmo
Product: Book Two: In His Image
Age: 4-12
Price: $12.99

Wizzy Gizmo ReviewAbout- This is a 58 page paperback book.  It is the second book in the Wizzy Gizmo children's Bible adventure series. The book is about being created in God's Image.  The kids of Sunnyville are the stars of the book whom go for a ride and find out why they are special and unique.  This book covers chapter two of Genesis in the Bible.  There are vocabulary words highlighted and a glossary.  In the back of the book you will find review questions.

How we used the book- I have kids at different levels of reading and understanding, but all love the Bible.  So I decided this would be best used as a bit of a family study.  I read the book out loud as the kids sat around me.

The main characters are: Wizzy Gizmo a world famous inventor and professor, Qwacky a robotic duck, Pepe the pet dog of Wizzy, Summer the oldest kid of Sunnyville, Thomas the 7 year old, Eli the 8 year old, and Olive who is also 7.

The book starts out with the kids getting together to go visit Wizzy Gizmo to see his new invention.  They get there and they eat and have some fun.  They then go to visit the invention, which is called the Gizmogardengomatic. This leads to seeing another invention of an ice cream maker that will make ice cream out of anything.  All the kids tried different things are were impressed.  They asked Wizzy how he got so creative.  This lead to Wizzy prompting about other creative people that lived a long time ago.
He opened his Bible and began reading them Exodus 35:30-35 which spoke of God giving the people of Israel the skills they needed to build the tabernacle. This began their disscussion of how God made everyone special and the way they needed to be out of his own image.  Everyone needed a special skill and he gave them one.  This lead them to further talking and to an adventure on the Gizmovision.  They got to see and explore the world right after God had created it. This brought more questions and the journey went on.

I loved this book so much. It was easy for the kids to understand and I loved that it told te actual scripture then explained it in terms that the kids could understand. It was a great way to read a part of the Bible and the kids really understand what it ment. We will be doing the first book soon as well and I suggest everyone else check it out too.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Homemade applesauce

We got the joy of picking fresh apples from the great grandparents back yard! Nothing is better than fresh home grown apples.

First you have to peel and core them. What better way than an old fashion peeler and to have races on who can peel it the fastest.

Then you boil them with a but of water until they are soft. You then get to pull out this awesome old school masher!

It works better than a blender!

Then we poured it into jars and sealed them up. We canned then the old way by boiling them in a large pot of water to seal them up.