Sunday, November 30, 2014

Choral Society Christmas Concert

Morgan and Maggie are members of the Sevier County Choral Society.  This program offers a generous scholarship for high school students who participate in their rehearsals and concerts.  This is Morgan's third year participating and Maggie's second year.

 I think he needs a haircut, but he is still very handsome in his tux.
 Maggie is growing up right before our eyes.
 The first portion of the concert was a little too soothing for Melanie.

Blue Manor Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum Review-Giveaway!

We were recently given the opportunity to review The Blue Manor Preschool curriculum
eBook Set includes 23 individual books and an additional "how to" teaching manual

and the Kindergarten curriculum 

I was provided with a free digital copy of each curriculum in exchange for this review.  Blue Manor offers several freebies on their website and has graciously offered to give one of YOU a digital copy of either the Preschool or the Kindergarten curriculum.

My youngest is 7 and while she excels in some areas, other areas have been more challenging for her.  As a homeschooler, I try not to pigeon hole her into a specific grade.  Instead, we work based on her needs and abilities.  We are thoroughly enjoying both of these sets.  We have not encountered anything in these books that was completely new to her, but they have been a fabulous reinforcement for concepts we've previously covered. Melanie enjoys looking at them on her own and reviewing them with me or one of her older siblings.  They have been wonderful for building her confidence in both reading and basic math.

The quality is incredible, beautiful pictures and easily understandable concepts.  Even my 9 year old has enjoyed reading them.  I can easily see how this would be a full year curriculum for a preschooler or kindergartener. The e-book format makes it easy for us to take it with us without fear of losing anything. 

Blue Manor also offers other sets, individual books and games, some of them are for older children.  I am very impressed with the quality of these books and will be purchasing the next level when Melanie finishes working on level 2.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post.
 Extra Entries:
Go to the Blue Manor website and come back to leave a comment about what Blue Manor games you think your kids would enjoy.
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Tweet about this giveaway once a day for an extra entry and leave a comment

I will pick a winner on December 9th. The winner will have 48 hrs to get their info to me or I will have to pick a new winner. If your e-mail isn't in your profile, be sure to put it in all your comments so I can contact you if you win.

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

 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

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 The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

 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.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween Pictures

I worked on Halloween, Hubby took the girls up to Gatlinburg for some Trick or Treating
 Marissa is a vampire, Maggie is a pirate cat and Melanie was a fairy
Hubby was a very scary Scarecrow.  Lots of people stopped him on the streets of Gatlinburg to have their pictures taken with him.