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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday photos from a 2 year olds view.

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Clued in Kids Schoolhouse Review Crew Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews

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Clued In KidsReview
Did you ever want to have a scavenger hunt but just cannot get past the fact that you need to come up with all the clues and they need to all make sense and get the kids to the end result? I know my boys love scavenger hunts, in fact we do one ever year at Christmas, this is how the boys find each of their gifts. We had the opportunity to review a couple of scavenger hunts from Clued in Kids. I had a hard time choosing just 2 titles, there are so many fun ones to pick from.  After much deliberation we decided to that our 2 hunts would be Halloween and (5)Multiplication Dragons Printable Treasure Hunts sent to me by PDF download. I think have one choice be fun and one be educational was a nice mix. Although all the options end up being fun whether they are educationally based or not. Who doesn't like to hunt for treasure.  These are perfect for 1 child or groups of children up to 10. They are also physical copy choices too. You will just have to visit Clued in Kids to see them all.

We will start with the Halloween hunt  selling for $5.99, since this candy filled holiday just happens to be this week. We had the opportunity to try this one out while we were camping, our last weekend at camp for the season is always the big Halloween celebration, and while I am not a big fan of the Halloween traditions, we love to participate in the last hurrah of the camping season. This always takes place the first full weekend of October. I like this because normally it tends to be still pretty nice weather wise. This year was not the case, it included wind, rain and hail that all made it extremely cold. SO it did not go as planned as I had dreamed of sunshine and mild temps and lots of friends and family to join in, and in the end it was a just us and it was miserable weather but in the end it was still fun.
Clued In KidsReview

  I will say that after I printed out the clues and went through them to see how to set it all up I did have to tweak it some, for instance one of the clues leads you to the dishwasher. I had to end up giving the kids a clue, since obviously we do not have a dishwasher in our camper, so ours ended in the sink. You just may need to get creative like we did not have a laundry basket but we have a hamper for dirty clothes at camp instead. It just made it a bit more challenging and when they were done they found the treasure of a pumpkin filled with candy and treats.

     I love how these only take a short 8 minutes or even less to set up. When I have done scavenger hunts in the past without the help of Clued in Kids it often takes me hours to think up all the clues and get it set up for the kids. Taking the fun out of it for me. This was a such a refreshing change for me. I truly enjoyed setting this up and did not dread it at all. I simply printed the scavenger hunt at home which only took a few minutes and was great that 2 parts printed out on a sheet of paper and all I had to do was cut on the dotted line to separate them.
 
   There are 12 clues in all, with number 12 leading you to the treasure, you also get a handy answer key that will help you give extra hints to the hunters, if they need it. I loved having the answer key and I just jotted down our answers that we had to tweak next to the original answer. Each clue is a different puzzle or game to do or play in order to get the answer to the next clue. This type of hunt keeps the kids busy for about an hour or longer if they struggle with some of the clues. Working in teams may help the kids to be able to put their heads together to solve the riddles and be on their way to the next clue.  This particular hunt is good for folks of all ages, I think even adults would have fun with it.
Here is a cute animation that shows how one of the hunts are done.

The 2nd hunt we received was actually 5 in one, it is the Multiplication Dragons treasure hunt and is 5 hunts for the price of $19.99. These hunts cover multiplications facts from 2x-6x. They are geared for ages 7-9. Each fact group is a hunt all in it's own. You can start with 2x or start with 6x or any number in between. They are all independent of each other which makes it nice. You could do one a week or one every day for a week. Something fun to break up the monotony of the school week. 
Clued In KidsReview
These are all run the same but with different clues and problems for each set of times tables. There are 11 clues in all and the 12th card is an activity. This activity is the children reciting the entire set of times tables for that number so we will take 6x for instance. At the end of the hunt in order to get the treasure the children need to recite all of the 6x tables. After they have done this correctly they then get their prize. This was the only one from this pack we did as I felt the lower numbers were way too young for my boys. I may use it with one of my classes at my co-op though. I think the younger kids would enjoy these. After my boys completed the hunt their reward was a coupon to go to the candy store. I had purchased a groupon for the local penny candy store and I thought this was a perfect treat. They thought so too. I thought all of the clues were clever and really made the boys think even being older, they did not all come easy to them as they had to solve puzzles and riddles to check the answer and hope that the results landed them at the treasure. 
All in all my kids and I found these scavenger hunts enjoyable and I would be happy to try out some more. You can receive a free Homework Reward treasure hunt when you sign up for the Clued in Kids newsletter. This is a great deal as this is a $5.99 value. You can also read up on the family behind Clued in Kids and what prompted them to start their business. You can also visit Clued in Kids blog to read all about their Christmas products and happenings. You can also visit all of their social media links below. Please be sure to check out the crew banner below and see what hunts the crew and their families picked for their review. 
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Anthem for a Nation Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews

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New Liberty Videos Review

   History is one of the boys favorite subjects and they are especially fond of realistic history. So we were delighted to have the opportunity to choose a title from New Liberty Videos. We settled on Anthem for a Nation.  All of the New Liberty Videos are History from a Christian point of view and they sell for $19.95 each. It sure was a hard decision to pick just one, they all sounded equally as interesting as the one we chose.
New Liberty Videos Review

  All of the videos including Anthem for a Nation have a rating of G that is for General Audience. This however does not mean you sit down with all of your kiddos and just watch, I highly suggest you preview all media before allowing your children to view it beforehand. Only you know what your kids are ready for and what you may want to avoid. I know this is one of the privileges of homeschooling I hold near and dear to my heart. The right to keep certain subjects away from my children.

   Anthem for a Nation is 42 minutes in length and while I had all intentions of splitting it into 2 segments when I sat down with the family to watch it we ended up watching the entire video in one sitting. This video is not really a movie, it is more of a documentary. There are sections that are "movies" and then there is actual footage and documents shown. It has made me even more ambitious about taking a trip to Washington D.C.  There is a narrator and he starts off the story at the beginning, right where it should start. Talking of the deep Christian heritage of our nation. There was many references to how we need to put God and the Gospel back into the government and schools. I strongly agree with this, so I was very intrigued. The boys found the facts of all of the hidden Christian messages in the Nation's Capitol, amongst the buildings and landscape. I don't want to give them away but our favorite has to do with the layout of the monuments and how they form a cross. We all were so pleased to watch a History video that is so deep in Christian views. Those pertaining to abortion and the Holocaust and putting the Bible back in the public schools. All of these are important stances.

   Now some of those topics might be too deep for your kids depending on how old they are, for my boys being almost 15 and 16 these are topics we have discussed before so it was nothing the boys had not heard before.This is where you come in, when you get your DVD this is why you want to screen it, not so you can say this is not for your family because despite some of the heavy issues discussed this is a fantastic historical documentary, you will want to screen it so you know which if any parts you need to skip over. No matter which parts you choose to view this will unlock countless conversations amongst you and your family. Invoking numerous hours of research to unlock more.



  My boys asked many questions that I did not know how to answer so we took the time to research more so that we could all explain it to others. We knew before but definitely know now that we need to get back to the country we were when it all began and only then will it be right in the world again. My boys are equipped to share these stories with others and to help spread the word of our founding fathers. We look forward to taking our next road trip adventure to Washington D.C. so we can see all that we learned about up close and personal.

   We are also anxious to choose another DVD from the New Liberty Videos collection to see some more History rich in Christian details. Unlock the true meaning of History with any or all of the DVDs for only $19.95 each you will be giving your family the gift of true History.

As always click on the banner below to see what other crew members had to say about the DVD they chose from New Liberty Videos.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmomma

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Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I am always game for trying something new and with the boys getting older we are looking to supplement certain subjects so that we are sure they are getting enough to claim a complete credit on their high school transcripts. So I was interested in the opportunity to have a chance to review the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses from Standard Deviants Accelerate.
They have offer a variety of courses for grades 3(age 8) and up, with the majority being for middle school and high school levels.  They are available for $24.95 per month per student for regular core classes or you can get AP class access for $14.95, or you can get a year's worth of access for $99 per student.  
Here are the class choices so you know what is offered.
Arithmetic - Grades 3+
Fundamental Math - Grades 4+
Earth Science - Grades 6+
Nutrition - Grades 6+
Algebra - Grades 7+
Biology - Grades 7+
Chemistry - Grades 9+
English Comp. - Grades 9+
U.S. History - Grades 9+
AP Biology - Grades 11+
AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+
Now the set up for the programs are all the same and each student will each need their own email address to make this work. This was not a problem for us as my boys already had their own email, but if your kids don't getting a kid friendly email is easy, aol is a great option with parental controls. 
First you set up your teacher account and choose the course or courses and pick who you are going to assign them to. This prompts a code to be generated and sent to the student's email, this is how they go about setting up their account and gaining access to their classes. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
For my boys I picked Nutrition for both of them to help supplement our Health credit and they also used the Chemistry. We are currently using Chemistry for Science this year so I thought this would be a great way to beef it up and give them an opportunity to learn some on their own, since our current program is something we work on together. The only thing is with our crazy schedule this year, we are only getting to do that 2-3 days a week so this was a great option to help add to that time with a program that was self paced. This way they could do on their own according to their schedules. Nutrition was a wonderful option for self paced learning as well. They each used both of these subjects 3-4 days per week depending on their own individual schedule.
All of the classes are set up in similar fashion, First you click the tab and watch the videos,which are presented in a fun way as to keep it from getting boring and monotonous. Next you move onto the Vocabulary words, I took these and used them as our spelling words so that they could get more practice. Third there was the Diagram tab this is where the worksheet like pages are. Then of course you have a quiz tab, this helps you as the teacher gauge how the student is doing, if they are retaining the information they are learning and where they might need to go back and repeat. This is extremely helpful and it was nice that I did not need to grade it, all I needed to do was log into my teacher account and check out the grades and progress. The final tab is the Written Answer tab, this is where there are reading comprehension questions and your student should have a workbook handy to write down their answers.
The nutrition class is for geared for grades 6 and up and touches on the topics of ...  
Intro: Cells and Macronutrients, What Your Body Does with Food, The Food Spectrum, Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals, and Water, Preventing Nutritional Disorders, Eating In Context ,Where Does Your Food Come From?, The Savvy Eater. 
I was happy to have this opportunity for the boys to get started learning about these topics while I was awaiting a curriculum to come that I had ordered. Now we are ready to dive right in and we won't have to spend as much time on it as we might have had to do without this supplement from SDA to help pave the path for us. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
The Chemistry unit is geared for 9th grade and up and covers topics such as ...
Atomic Theory and Structure, Bonds & Molecular Structure, States of Matter, Solutions, Acids and Bases, Chemical Reactions & Equilibrium, Stoichiometry, Thermodynamics. We have been studying Chemistry for a couple months now, so the course from SDA helped cement things that we have already touched on as well as lay down the ground work for those topics we have yet to reach in our main text book. 
I liked the fact the boys could work on this at their own pace, Taylor during the day when Alyx might be at work or Alyx when Taylor is at some of his other classes. They could work independently and at their own convenience. SDA has helped bridge gaps and has eased my mind a bit because of our overloaded schedules. 
The boys thought the site was easy to navigate and enjoyed the variety of tasks so that it made it enjoyable to do the assignments. They were not long and drawn out either which is always a plus in all of our books. 30 minutes tops each day they work on it is enough to accomplish more than a couple lessons. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I have enjoyed knowing that the boys can continue to learn even when our schedules do not allow for us to have a lot of time to sit down and do book work. I was starting to stress about that especially with Alyx being in 11th grade this year and with Taylor right behind him in 10th, time is running out to fit it all in. I want them to be able to have all of the outside class opportunities we have found without jeopardizing our core studies. SDA helps fill in the gaps and gives me a peace of mind that they are getting some core learning in even in our busy lifestyle this year. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I think this is a wonderful supplemental program fit mostly for middle school and high school levels. There is a class for everyone and I am sure you would get your money's worth with just one class but you have access to them all with your subscription. The cool thing is you don't have to take my word for it or that of any of the reviewers from the crew although I do hope I have helped. You can test drive it yourself.
For a very limited time you can get a 6 MONTH FREE Trial. How is that for a test run, I don't think I have ever run across such a generous preview time. This is surely enough time to get into a class or two and see how this could benefit your students and your homeschool as a whole. If you have gaps to fill in or if there is a class you just are not getting to as much as you would like. Maybe they need some reviewing? Just remember these are not meant to take the place of your primary books, the SDA classes are to be a supplement to your program not a replacement. 
SMALL DISCLAIMER:(This is a secular program so be forewarned that there is a talk of Evolution in the Biology course but it is minor and should not deter you from the program, I just want you to be aware.)
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Things I am pondering? What do you think about?

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1. Why do people feel the need to belittle others
2. Why does a person choose to be a bully?
3. Why do adults for cliques? I thought we outgrew that after High School
4. Why do people choose to gossip?
5. Why can't everyone just be friends?
6. Why can't I be honest without fear of backlash?
7. Why are people so judgemental?
8. Why do people not take care of things that are not theirs? or even their own for that matter.
9. Why do we care so much about what other people think?
10. Why is it so important for us to fit in to a mold that others create?



 These are only some of the things I have been thinking about lately, what are some questions you often wonder about?



Friday, October 17, 2014

One Thousand Gifts #1000gifts

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  We had a speaker at our Mops/MomsNext group at our church Wednesday night, it really touched my heart and so yesterday I set out to find a copy of the book One Thousand Gifts. I cannot wait to get started on it tonight and it has already evoked some thoughts in my head that I cannot wait to share with others just by reading the back cover. I know many special ladies that will be getting this for Christmas from me this year. I highly recommend it and I am super excited to begin my 1000 gifts journey. Why don't you pick up a copy today and begin the journey with me. I would love to start a link up where we share a blog post each week sharing our weeks' gifts.



   

iWitness Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #Apologia

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Apologia Review

I know I say this every time but Apologia Educational Ministries is one of our favorite curriculum companies to use in our homeschool. We have been blessed more times than I can count on 2 hands to have been chosen to review curriculum as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. This time it was for something a little different than we are used to getting, this was intriguing to us from the start. I am talking about iWitness, a 3 book set, that includes iWitness Biblical ArchaeologyNew Testament iWitnessOld Testament iWitness. Now while this adventure is adaptable for students and families so that just about all ages can be included, the reading involved is geared for those 11 and older. This just means that the actually reading needs to be left to those that can read at that level, this does not mean to leave little Joey age 6 or little Jessie age 9 out of the Archaeological Adventure. 

Apologia Review
We received all 3 books I will talk about each one individually and at the end I will summarize our entire experience. First things first we received  the iWitness Biblical Archaeology book, selling for $14.00. This book helps uncover and prove all of the facts that are stated in the Bible, by taking you to the archeological digs and letting you see for yourself the most amazing finds that were discovered. You may have had some doubts as to the stories you read about in the Bible but you cannot dispute evidence that is presented before you in this book. It takes many of the stories we love to read about, for instance The Great Flood and Noah's Ark, my all time favorite and takes you on an adventure through a scrapbook like layout with pictures and the stories of uncovering the facts. All of the writings are portrayed in a manner that they were scraps of documents with original handwriting. It just truly adds to the experience as you read along. There is no real work to be done with this series and I guess that is what set it apart from the all of the other curriculum we have reviewed from Apologia. This is a read along or if you have older students they could read independently. I feel if you have your student read this on their own, you are missing the true adventure as this is something the whole family can get into together. 


Apologia Review
The second book we received was Old Testament iWitness, also selling for $14.00, this book deals with stories of the Old Testament. Doug Powell the author speaks of  how the Old Testament was written and who the Jews believe truly wrote these stories, there is even talk about the little books that are in the Catholic Bible, we do not read from a Catholic Bible so this was interesting for the boys as they had not heard these stories since they were young when we attended the Catholic church with my Grandma. This led to a discussion about why Catholics have more books than we do in our Bible and why are their beliefs so different than ours. This in turn started a discussion of why we no longer practice the Catholic religion and instead have turned to other churches and faiths until we found the one we currently follow. This was interesting to discuss especially now that my boys are older, being almost 15 and 16 you can discuss these things like adults with level headed thinking. While I do not think I was truly prepared for these discussions and they caught me off guard I think it was a great discussion that my family needed to have. 

Another avenue that this adventure took us on was more in depth about the Jewish religion and why they have their scriptures in the order they do. If you do not know that their scriptures are ordered differently I won't spoil the reasons and the order for you I will leave that for you to uncover for yourselves when your family sets forth on this Archaeological Adventure. This was interesting to us as we have several close friends of the Jewish Faith, one of them being my best friend. The boys seem to really be fascinated by learning more in depth of what other religions believe and why. This will lead us into diving in deeper to investigate other religions as well.
Apologia Review
Lastly we explored the New Testament iWitness, once again $14.00, this showed me how much our family still doesn't know about the New Testament and also of how it came to be and why some books were chosen and some were not and why that is. Doug Powell also tells of the different methods of copying the New Testament. Did you know there are "intentional errors" in the words of the New Testament? We sure did not.  While there were somethings I did not completely agree with in this book I am glad we have had the opportunity to review it and it has made us hungry for more. We will be adding onto this as we go in search of some answers of our own. My boys enjoyed learning more of where the Old and New Testaments came from and how other religions use these books in their own faith. I guess that if we were all to believe exactly the same thing the world would certainly not be as interesting as it is today.
 Unfortunately some of this learning has made my youngest voice concerns that Religion causes war and if we believe the some of the same of the bad people that use their Religion as their box to stand on and use it to hurt people he is worried that we as Christians are sharing some of their beliefs. Taylor is a very Analytical thinker and this has opened up some concerns that are a bit blown out of proportion but we are dealing with them as they come up. This is just one of the issues that sometimes come up with Taylor and his Asperger's Syndrome. I was not prepared for his reaction but I am glad his underlying concerns came to light because of these books. 

In conclusion our family truly did enjoy this Adventure through time. It opened up minds for lots of outside discussion and we are definitely going to continues to explore not only our faith but that of others so that we can truly understand why other's may think the way they did. I do recommend this series to all and you will learn as well as your children many things that you may have never given a thought to, but it will wet your appetite for more that I can say for certain. You will start to wonder about why and how many things truly came to be but you can know that there are people out there that are wondering the very same thing. All while there are archaeologists uncovering facts bit by bit to help you understand it more clearly. 

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