Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not so Wordless Wednesday Duck Racing at the County Fair

Pin It Now! This year at camp I had the pleasure of going to the county fair with a friend and her 6 year old daughter. It was sure fun seeing the fair through the eyes of a child. One of the most fun things we did was race Mallard Ducks. It was a Splash of a good time. Abby won and we had a bunch of laughs. This was a new event at the fair and I am so glad we got a chance to enjoy it.

UberSmart Software Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #mathreview

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UberSmart Math Facts Review

     Do you and your kids like flashcards? Whether you Love them or Hate them I have a product for you!! UberSmart Software has a math review program for your kids. It is called UberSmart Math Facts. Geared for kids in K-6 and selling for a $24.95 for up to 8 children and additional options available for more kids than that.This is for Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista only, it is not available for iPads or Android tablets. It is not a subscription it is a license to the software, so you own it forever it will not expire like other programs at the end of your school year.

  My kids have a love/hate relationship with flashcards and review in general but my youngest struggles with Math fact memorization and we continue to plug along and try anything that comes our way to help remedy that problem. He was a little apprehensive about trying yet another program and especially when he read that it is for up to 6th graders, he is in 10th and he then feels like he is behind. and he really is not it's just a memorization issue. Once he realized that it could truly help anyone of any age and that it was a review program to help with memorizing his math facts he settled in a bit more, I assured him that this was not to be our sole math program and we were not going backwards in Math just seeking some extra help and drill practice. Sometimes you just need to know how to speak your kids language.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
There are several areas as you can see by the graphic above. Learn, Practice, Test, Compete and Report as well as Maintain. This gives the ability to review and practice Math facts several different ways. My son struggles particularly with timed test so the one of the sections Compete deals with having to beat the clock or competitor. I am hoping that with time this will help him fare better with standardized tests and not have so much test anxiety. I like that it has adjustable time limits on the tests, so that you can slowly decrease the amount of time given as the student becomes more confident. It also weeds out the problems that the child or adult in my case has already mastered alleviating the boring redundancy of other programs and math helpers.   The report function allows you to see how many problems were answered and how many were correct or not. This helps to see what areas the child is still struggling with. This definitely helps to see what we still need to work on and then areas where they have already mastered. 
UberSmart Math Facts Review
The progress window at the bottom of the screen as shown above helps the child to see how much farther they need to go to complete the session, this was a definite helpful attribute to help my visual learner son. 
UberSmart Math Facts Review

UberSmart Math Facts Review

            My son liked that there were different versions of learning like dominoes verses traditional flashcard style, so if he got bored one way he could change it up and it also helps with being able to count objects quickly. For instance at the fruit market, picking fruit and multiplying to make sure you have enough of what you need. Visually and quickly. This has definitely been a struggle for him.

  So to get started you simply need to visit UberSmart Software and then head to UberSmart Math Facts and buy your software download for just $24.95 and you and your kids can begin your journey to Math Fact memorization today. You simply need to make your purchase and then create your account add your users and then get started. You can use it right along with your kids, I know I sure am. Who doesn't need a little help with their memory these days. I know my mind is not what it used to be.  You need to train your brain to stay sharp. I know it has helped me and my son  with just 3 days a week and we will continue to use it at this pace and I know it can help you and your kids too, but if you don't want to take my word for it then head over the the Crew Blog by clicking the banner below and read what everyone is saying about UberSmart Math Facts. You won't regret it and for $24.95 you can hardly deny it is a great value and valuable learning tool.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

End of Summer Catch Up!!

Pin It Now!   I am sorry to say over the Summer I have been a blogging slacker. Life has been anything but calm and I am happy to say we are returning to our new normal.

   So what have we been up to? Well if you have been keeping up with my Wordless Wednesday posts you have seen a snapshot of what has been going on in life but I will try to recap it as best as possible.

   First and foremost my oldest son Nickalas graduated from High School. SO of course we had to have a party. The weather was perfect and we saw old friends that we have not seen in a while as well as the ones we see regularly. My best and oldest and dearest friend Lea was in with her twins from Texas so even they got to come too. It truly was a wonderful day.

  Grandma turned 94 and we are continually blessed by her still being with us. If you would have asked me when Nick was born if she would live to see her dream of watching him walk across the stage to get his Diploma I would not have believed it. Now she may not have truly understood what was going on but we knew she was there and we have the pictures and memories to last us all a lifetime. Now we pray she is with us to see the last two graduate as well and with only 3 years until that happens our wish may come true. Blessed we are to still have 3 generations to celebrate such momentous occasions.

  Alyx turned 16 and became a licensed driver, the first of my boys to do so. It has already been a huge help to me, he is always eager to run errands and give his poor mom a break. I am blessed.

  Alyx has also been busy with Civil Air Patrol this Summer, along with his regular meetings he also attended an Encampment, in Alpena, and Search and Rescue Academy in Grayling. Search and Rescue Academy is a HUGE accomplishment and he is now the proud bearer of the SAR Academy Patch and he is one of only 300 cadets to have this honor. It was one of the hardest things he has ever accomplished but it has truly changed him for the better, if that was even possible.

   He has also started his first REAL job, he is working at the hardware store and is completely in his element. I am so proud of how far he has come over the last few years. He recently attended a CAP field trip to the Metro Airport as well and toured Delta Airlines. He got to go in the control Tower and sit in the cockpit and first class. He is now working on his next promotion which will be to Staff Sergeant.

   Alyx is also going to be starting a class at one of the local Universities to take a Field Biology Class, he is very eager to start that.

    Nick went up to college a couple weeks ago he is now a PROUD Chip at CMU. He attended Leadership SAFARI which is a welcome week especially for Freshman and he had a blast. He is very fortunate to be rooming with one of his best friends and they share a suite with 2 other friends from their High School. They are all having the time of their lives already. I sure do miss him but text, of fb message of talk to him almost daily so that helps. I am lucky to have  him and his roomie Mike staying with me for the Holiday weekend at camp. It has been fun spending time with them.

   This is the first Summer that Alyx has not camped the whole Summer with me and it did take some getting used to but I am starting to accept the fact that my boys are all growing into Godly young men and will soon be leaving the nest and following the path God has laid out for them.

    Taylor has grown up a ton this Summer too, he is sure looking like a young man and not my little boy. I have been enjoying spending more time with just him now that the other boys are so busy and it has allowed me the opportunity to bond more with him as a young man. I recently won an Intensive class from Landry Academy for Taylor for the end of September so he will be joining me for the first leg of the last camping trip of the Season and I am hoping he will stay the whole 2 weeks with me but we will have to see, he is not much of a camper. His lab Intensive that I won was one that he picked it is a 2 day, 16 total hours all about Blacksmithing. I am so excited for him and I hope it ignites a spark in him to try other new things. We need to help find his niche so we can watch him bloom like Nick and Alyx have done. It is his turn to truly shine. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for him.

   Well I think that is all that has been exciting for us this Summer, I do have some great reviews coming up and one is a planner that every busy Mom needs and I praying it keeps me organized and in turn I will blog more once we get on our homeschool schedule. This coming week is a field trip with co-op friends to the zoo and finishing organizing our school room so we can begin our full schedule on Monday September 8. We got new desks and some new organization and we should be all set to go and it will allow us to be so much more productive.

 Until next time God Bless

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #homeschoolbible

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Wizzy Gizmo Review

    What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Wizzy Gizmo? I bet it is not Bible curriculum.  When I first heard of this new vendor up for review from the Schoolhouse Review Crew I was intrigued from the start. I was given the choice of several different products, I decided on Audio Drama One: Who Created Everything? One thing we enjoy doing as a family is listening to audio dramas and shows. So I knew this would be something we as a family we would use together.
Wizzy Gizmo Review
This exciting audio drama that takes you all the way back to the days of Creation in the Bible is usually geared for 4-12 year olds but my boys being a bit older at 14 and 16 and the rest of our family enjoyed it very much. We used this as part of our family circle time we listened to the entire 36 minute episode at one time. There was also an additional bit of bonus track lasting just over 20 minutes. 
We like to sit with the lights down low, and close our eyes and picture the story happening. It is always amazing to let the kids imaginations run with an audio drama. Each person's vision of what was happening in the story can turn out completely different. In today's society when you watch a show or movie, the element of imagination is removed because you are seeing what is happening. This is why it is so important to give your kids the love of reading and listening to audio dramas, it puts the use of imagination into play. Do you remember when you were a kid and you use to play make believe? Unfortunately many kids in today's society do not know how to play like that. Programs like the audio dramas from Wizzy Gizmo help keep imaginations alive. You are only hearing what is going on you have to imagine the picture in your mind. 
 We received the first in the series, hopefully there will be more to come.  It sells for 14.99 each. They come in a nice folder with the CD enclosed. There is a little quiz at the end that asks questions about what happened in the story, I did find these were a little too easy for my boys and their ages but it was still fun to listen to and answer the questions. Professor Gizmo kind of reminds me of my son Taylor. So now we call him Professor, he doesn't get it but we do. It was so much fun to hear the story of Creation from the Bible and to imagine God creating our world we live in. It is always nice to get a reminder of how and why we walk this Earth. Why we have seasons and animals and people. If you want a fun way for your family to experience the story of Creation then be sure to order your copy today and maybe some of the other products Wizzy Gizmo has to offer.
Be sure to check out the crew banner below and see what the rest of the crew has to say about the product they chose to review with their family. 
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Nick is off to CMU

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Dogs, Dogs and more Dogs

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Roman Roads Media Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #hshistory

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Roman Roads Media Review

    You mention History in this house and my boys are all ears, especially when it comes to studying or learning about any of the wars in History. Throw in Great Classical Christian curriculum and I am excited too!  So I was super eager to surprise my boys with a new review item from Roman Roads Media, we received Dave Raymond's American History 1  DVD. Movies about History are the favorite because they liked to be part of the action and even though its recreated they feel the emotions of the people they are learning about. Toss in the fact that this counts as a FULL High School History credit when used in conjunction with the History 2 DVD and the corresponding student reader and Teacher's guide and you have a full High School History class without breaking a sweat.

Roman Roads Media Review

     Now these are not just for High School kids, they target audience is actually for 6th grade and up. US HISTORY | PART I 4 DVDs, Student Reader, Teacher's Guide sells currently for $75. Remember though that is for a full semester of materials for History with nothing else needed.

 The topics covered in the Part 1 that we received include the following...

Part 1:

1. Orientation
2. The Banner of the Sun: Meso-America
3. Brave New World: The Early Explorers
4. The Colossus of Empire: The Colonies
5. Stability and Change: The Reformational Colonies
6. A City Upon a Hill: The Puritans
7. A Foreign War at Home: Wars of Control
8. Grace, the Founder of Liberty: The Great Awakening
9. Fathers of Independence: Adams, Franklin, Witherspoon, and Henry
10. Liberty or Death: The Declaration of Independence
11. Awesome Providence I: The War of Independence
12. Awesome Providence II: The War of Independence
13. A More Perfect Union: The Constitution

The idea is that you will cover one lesson for 13 weeks and then continue on with Part 2 for the second semester for an additional 13 weeks. So if you complete the entire course you will have covered 26 weeks of materials and 4 projects. This was right up my alley. all laid out in front of me with little to no prep on my part except for gathering the materials for the projects which most of the items needed we already had on hand since we are a project focused homeschool.

  The DVD has the actual lesson by Video so the boys and I would sit downand watch the lesson and discuss what we had learned, yes I admit I learn right along with my boys, I consider it one of the perks of homeschooling. Then using the student reader and Teacher guide we would continue on about that week's lesson we have been doing this on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  In the Summer we only do school on a few days and usually only work on a couple things per week that are both interesting and fun for us.

  Since we were only using this 3 days per week on average it is taking us a little longer than the expected 13 weeks, but since we have not officially started school yet this will align well with our long Holiday break from Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Nick will be home from college for a month during that time and we will want to spend as much time with him as possible, so I was excited that by following a lighter schedule of this and spanning almost 2 weeks for each lesson we will finish up right on our schedule. The student reader lays out a nice syllabus outlining the course showing what is being covered and talking about the projects and listing the assignment for each lesson. There are 5 lectures to cover for each week so you can see why it is taking us 2 weeks at 3 days a week.

  Everyday that we are working on this we pop in the DVD and watch the days lecture and then spend another half an hour or so working through discussion questions to dive in deeper. There is a lecture and an assignment laid out for you to follow making this an easy on your own class for High School level or independent middle schoolers. I can see my boys taking the reins on this one once we get into the swing of our standard academic year. Since there are 2 of them working on this they could easily discuss between them the questions and I could sit in when I wanted to but it would give me an opportunity to catch up on grading papers or making lunch if I wanted to. There are exams at the end of the 5 lessons for each "week". We have done that independently so that I can actually keep tabs on grades to enter into our grade keeper. This way it is easier for me to give a semester grade for each of them.

  The teacher's guide explains how to use the curriculum and gives the syllabus as well as all of the exam answers to make grading a breeze. It seriously does not get much easier than this. The Teacher's guide explains how to get the student reader which is on the DVD and can be viewed by computer and can easily be downloaded via PDF to print out. The teacher guide also includes grading sheets, I have not used this myself as we use a computer based record keeping system but they do seem handy. There is a portfolio that is kept for the students and worked on each day as well we are using a 3 ring binder system for this. The boys have been enjoying working on them and like to refer back to them often. We are just getting ready to begin our colonial map project now that everyone is home from camp and ready to get busy on some hands on projects other than their portfolio that easily traveled with us making continuing on with our studies easy while we were at our camper the last 2 weeks. I save projects for when we are at home and have access to all of our supplies. I can say the boys are least looking forward to their costumed speech project. They neither like dressing up or giving speeches, maybe it is because I told them I wanted to video them and put them on the blog, do you think that may have something to do with it? Probably!

 The most anticipated project is the end project that will be completed when we have finished the course in November. I will be sure to share our projects in a separate post when they are all completed. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with. They love projects and it is fun to see their unique creativity shine through when they are given the reins to come up with it on their own.
One final perk of this curriculum Compass Classroom has a forum that teacher's can visit to get answers to questions or see how others are using the curriculum, it is a nice feature and I find myself there often just to browse around. So be sure to check it out if you end up using any of their curriculum. Not just the History.

  In conclusion we are really enjoying this curriculum and have been moving right along at our own pace. We will most likely order Volume 2 so that we can record a full credit for History. As usual do not just take my word for it visit the other crew reviews and see what they are saying about many selections that we were given to choose from Roman Roads Media. There is something for everyone. Also be sure to visit the Social Media links below as well for Roman Roads Media.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday More CAP awards for Alyx

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