Friday, November 21, 2014

Math App Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click the rafflecopter above to enter.  We are using the FREE version because my little girls are not quite ready for 5th grade math yet.

Here is the description: With more than 3575 activities, iTooch 5th Grade Math is a fun way of practicing and learning Math for fifth graders.

Used by more than 2,000,000 users, iTooch apps provide comprehensive learning solutions which help parents, teachers and students to identify and address learning needs in a fun and motivating way. 

Unique features:
  • A clear, simple and engaging interface so that children learn with fun
  • Speech synthesis option to help users in reading and text comprehension
  • Multi-player managment
  • An embedded scientific calculator
  • A virtual blackboard
  • A lesson summary attached to each chapter
  • In-app feedback to send suggestions to the author
  • Font size adjustment to suit everyone's needs

Friday, November 14, 2014

Disclosure Policy

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 This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Free Unit Study for Teens on the Villians of Pilgrims Progress

I first heard of Pilgrims Progress when I read Little Women as a child.  At the time I didn't realize it was a REAL book.  A few years ago I acquired it as a free Kindle download.  I have always meant to use it with my kids and now I have found the perfect way to introduce it to my teens.  From now until Nov 11th, Intoxicated on Life is offering this unit study for FREE!  Use code pilgrim  at checkout to get your free copy.

Foes, Fiends, and Failures is a study for teens that focuses on the most memorable villains of Pilgrim’s Progress. Bunyan had a knack for creating memorable characters, and in this story we meet many devilish, deceptive, and dangerous characters on our way to the Celestial City. From the battle with the demonic creature Apollyon to the trial at Vanity Fair to the dark dungeons of the Giant Despair, teens will be given an in depth understanding of these and other villains and their relevance to our lives today.

What this study guide includes:

  • A brief introduction to the book itself
  • A brief biography of the author, John Bunyan
  • 13 lessons, each providing detailed outlines and character sketches
  • Reading assignments for each lesson
  • A list of Scriptures to explore with each lesson
  • A list of application questions for each lesson
If you don't own Pilgrims Progress, there are several options to obtain it for Free as well. 

Does the Elf on the Shelf put too much emphasis on Santa?

Over the years we have tried to distance ourselves from Santa.  He still brings gifts for my kids stockings and leaves something small under the tree, but Christmas at our house is NOT about Santa.  I have watched the Elf on a Shelf craze over the last few years and while it looks like a lot of fun, it doesn't fit with our Christmas.

Soon I will be reviewing an alternative product that puts the emphasis on Advent and Jesus.  Stay tuned, I'm really excited about this new product. If you are wanting to focus more on the true reason for Christmas, this may be the perfect product for your home during the upcoming Advent Season.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Homeschooling Update

School is going even better than expected for us.  The kids are LOVING Co-op.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know more homeschooling families. The kids are learning new things in new ways that I never would have thought to teach them and I am assisting in two classes that are very different from my previous experiences.

In addition to our weekly Co-Op classes we are thoroughly enjoying our homeschool PE class at the local community center.  This is the first year it has been offered and the response has been HUGE.  Most of the things we did last year seemed to be centered around the youngest kids, this class has as many teens as it does elementary age kids, sometimes MORE.

My favorite materials that we are using this year so far are: Apologia Science and Explode the Code.  My 7 year old has been a resistant reader for the last 2 years, but thanks to Explode the Code we are seeing rapid progress.  We are also using the Brain Quest workbooks, I like the way they are laid out and the girls like that they are not overly repetitive.

The teens are now involved in Homeschool Student Council and preparing to start on a brand new local homeschool newsletter that will be produced through the library.  Book Club is still the highlight of their month, but Student Council events have also become a priority.

4-H is another area that we have started to explore this year.  The little girls are enjoying their once per month horse project.  All of the kids earned community service hours collecting canned food for the local food bank.

Morgan earned his lifeguard certification and is getting work experience through his new lifeguard job.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pictures from Wizard of Oz

Morgan, Maggie, Marissa and Melanie all auditioned for the Wizard of Oz this past Summer and were cast.  The Celebrity Youth Theater is a new program in Sevier County.  Our experience was not completely positive, but the kids enjoyed performing.

 Maggie got sick the week of the performances and was unable to participate, her head shot is included on this board.

Morgan was the Tinman.  His costume was amazing!!!

Melanie and Marissa are Munchkins 
Melanie was also a snowflake
 Marissa and Melanie were also citizens of Oz

 The cast worked very hard and put on an extremely cute show.

The male leads at Denny's after the final performance.
 We are not able to devote the time and resources that it takes to continue to participate in this program, if it ever truly becomes a non-profit organization that helps kids learn about theater through performing, we will be eager to audition again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A few things I LEARNED at the homeschool conference?

Organization Skills:  I need to make a loose daily schedule for chores and assign (delegate) chores for each child.  Amazon sells a timer that has 6 alarms with verbal (recordable) prompts....this can be used for frequent reminders to help keep everyone on task. The kids and I had a planning meeting on this subject and have come up with a few ways to implement this on a daily basis.

Multi-Level Teaching: teaching everyone the same things (on their own levels) will make it easier to remember what we've covered and it will allow me to have more time to enjoy my kids. Letting the kids check each others work and practice skills together will encourage team work and reinforce what they are learning.

Notebooking: Creating a journal or notebook for any or all subjects is a fun and creative way to keep track of what the kids are learning, give them a way to display their work and encourage them to do their best.

Micro-Business: Creating multiple streams of income not only helps the kids to figure out what they want to do when they are grown, it also helps to provide them with spending money and would give us a cushion should we have any unexpected expenses.

Aquaponics: Year round gardening is possible using a green house and live fish to keep the plants healthy.  The fish can also be eaten.  I need to do more research on this one, but it definitely touched a nerve for me.

Physical Fitness: We are not martial arts type people, but EVERYONE loved learning about Krav Maga self defense. With very little equipment this is something that Hubby could do with all the kids as part of our PE time this year.

Survival Skills: This guy was very informative and covered quite a few things that Hubby and I hadn't considered. 
We both have military training, but have never made a disaster plan or even discussed survival skills with the kids.  As a direct result of attending the survival training sessions, we are discussing food storage, planning to take the kids hiking and planning a once per month "survival day".  On Survival day we will practice living without electricity, running water and electronics.  We also plan to teach them basic first aid skills.

Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed the Home School Conference.  We are already making plans to attend again next year.