8/27/2014

Resources
















I am always looking for resources to use in my homeschool. I have found several free printables for the curriculum I am using. One thing I have not found is the phonics charts for special sounds for Abeka. I decided to just make some plain black and white printable phonics charts to help others.

Click here (or the pinnable image) for the phonics chart printable.

Some other Abeka resources I found are:

Blend Ladders

Addition Flashcards

Alphabet Flashcards

Number Concept Cards

ABC Bible Memory Verses

8/26/2014

UberSmart Software ~ Review

UberSmart Math Facts

My eight year old daughter has struggled with math from the beginning. I always like to try new things with her to help her become better at math. I was given the opportunity to review UberSmart Math Facts with her.

What is UberSmart Math Facts?

UberSmart Software was developed by David Kocur, a homeschool dad. UberSmart Math Facts is a Windows based downloadable software. The program teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The program is designed to be used with children in grades K – 6, but can be used by any child that needs help with math facts. There is also a beginning level that uses dot cards.

UberSmart Math Facts is available (as a download) for $24.95. It only works on Windows 7, 8, XP, and Vista. A 30 day trial and free worksheets are also available.

ubersmart

There are six sections when UberSmart is open- learn, practice, test, compete, report, and maintain.

Learn: This tab allows the child to learn the math facts. You are able to choose between dot cards and regular flash cards. They can be learned in order or shuffled.

Practice: This tab allows the child to practice what they have learned. Again, you are able to choose between dot cards, keyboard entry, and flash cards. Keyboard entry is practicing typing numbers onto the cards (see picture below).

keyboard

Test: There is an assessment test for beginners or a mastery test for intermediate. The assessment test allows you to examine what the child already knows. The mastery test allows your child to be tested on a skill (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division), a number (one family, two family, three family, etc.), and can be timed or not timed.

Compete: This tab is a timed test where your child gets a score.

Report: This tab is where you, as the parent, can see your child’s progress.

mastery

Maintain: This tab allows you to adjust settings for each student and check for updates.

maintain

How we used UberSmart:

My daughter, who is just beginning fourth grade, used this program during the review. It was easy to download to the computer and easy to get set up.

I did not have her do the assessment. Since her most difficult area is multiplication, I had her start with multiplication. She started working with the three family (zeros, ones, and twos she already knows pretty well).
After she had done the learn portion of the program, she would do the practice, test (untimed and timed), and compete for each.

What we thought about the program:

She did not like using this program much, but it did help her learn her multiplication facts. She would rather it be more like a game than just going through flash cards. The program did help her to master some multiplication facts that she did not know very well.

I thought the program was helpful. It does help children learn their facts even though it is not “flashy” or game like. I liked that it did help my daughter learn her math facts.



8/22/2014

Quiet Time




















This picture was actually taken at sunset, but I liked the verse. For me it is difficult to find time to have my own quiet time. I try to get up earlier than the kids, but that doesn't always work out great. I don't live where this picture was taken. I live 45 minutes from there. It would be a lot easier to have my quiet time if I lived at the beach.

In trying to find ways to have quiet time while still homeschooling and doing all the other jobs that a stay at home mom does, I have found that I need to make an effort to get up before the kids. I am not a morning person, but I want to change that. I also have a difficult time in the evenings to have my quiet time because I am so exhausted.

The point of this post- just to motivate myself to get up and have quiet time before all the activities of the day begin. Maybe I also encouraged you to do the same.

8/21/2014

Happy Kids Songs ~ Review

Happy Kids Songs


My little girl, who is three years old, loves to dance around and sing songs. She can learn songs quickly. She had the VBS songs from this summer memorized in just a couple of days. I was recently given the chance to review Happy Kids Songs. We reviewed Volume 1, Volume 6, and Volume 7.

What is Happy Kids Songs?

Happy Kids Songs entertain children while, at the same time, teaching them character traits and social skills. Dr. Mac, who is a child psychologist, has produced eight albums of Happy Kids Songs.

~ Friends and Sharing (Vol.1): This volume contains songs that help teach children about friendship. The songs on this album are as follows: Sailing on the Seven C’s, Everybody Wants to Find a Friend, Sharing Friends, Happy as Happy Can Be, and Together.

~ Manners & Character (Vol. 6): This volume contains songs that teach children about manners and being honest. The songs on this album are as follows: H-o-n-e-s-t-y, The Magic Word, Quirks, The Golden Rule, and Six Little Kids.

~ Happiness & Attitude (Vol. 7): This volume contains songs that are about happiness and giving compliments. The songs on this album are as follows: Shake It Out and Dance, Who Knows What’s A Kudo?, I Don’t Understand, Be Good to Yourself, and Better Together.

Each volume contains five songs and is available for $4.95 or they can be bought separately for $0.99. These songs are appropriate for children ages 3  - 8. You can listen to sample songs on the website.

We also received the Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-On Activities to Build Character, Social, and Emotional Skills to review. The workbook is available for $12.56. The workbook contains 122 pages of fun activities and words to the songs.

How we used Happy Kids Songs and What we thought:

I downloaded the songs to my computer and just played them from the computer. I played each album once a week. So we listened to the songs three times a week.

My three year old loved listening and dancing to the songs. My eight, almost nine, year old thought some of the songs were too babyish for her. For most of the review, it was my three year old. She really loved the songs. She has most of them memorized already and asks to listen to them. Some of the activities in the book were a little too difficult for her, such as filling in the missing letters, so we did the activities that were on her level (coloring). I discussed the songs with her to make sure she understood what the song was teaching.

I enjoyed listening to the songs with her. I liked that the songs had catchy tunes, but I also liked that they taught the child a character trait. I caught myself humming the songs throughout the day. I would recommend these for younger children.



8/19/2014

Wizzy Gizmo ~ Review

Wizzy Gizmo Audio Drama

My kids and I were recently given the opportunity to review Audio Drama One: "Who Created Everything?" from Wizzy Gizmo. I’m always looking for new audio dramas for my children to listen to at home. My children love listening to audio drama’s on the radio and love when I get something new.

What or actually Who is Wizzy Gizmo?

Wizzy Gizmo is an inventor who creates all types of different gadgets. In addition, Wizzy Gizmo offers books, audio drama, and flashcards that are designed to help children learn more about the Bible.

About Audio Drama One: “Who Created Everything?”

Who Created everything? is written by Chris Del Aguila and Justin Cummins. This is a 36 minute Bible audio drama CD that is based on Genesis chapter one. There is also a bonus of 24 minutes of soundtrack on the CD. The bonus tracks are music tracks. This CD is recommended for ages 4-12 and is available on the website for $14.99. There are also samples available to listen to on the website.

wizzygizmo

The CD starts of with a catchy tune and you are then introduced to the characters. A new boy has just arrived in town and he sets out to meet new friends. The children take Eli, the new boy, to meet Wizzy Gizmo. Wizzy loves to invent things. In fact, he has just invented the Gizmovision. This new invention is able to take any book to take you right into the book to experience all the sights and sounds of the book.

Their first adventure takes them back to the beginning- Genesis chapter one. There they are able to see and hear the days of creation. As you travel through the days of creation, the narrator reads the Bible verses from Genesis that go with each day. There are also some fun songs throughout the story.

How We Used the Audio CD:

I put the CD into my laptop after we received it and my 12, 11, 8, and 3 year old listened to it. The first time we listened from beginning to end. When we listened to it again, we just listened to the story, not the music tracks. We did listen to the whole CD several times. My girls (8 and 3) really enjoyed listening to the CD. They also enjoyed listening to the music tracks at the end. The last time we listened to this was when we started school last week. We are doing Mystery of History Volume I this year, so we listened to the CD after the first lesson on Creation.

What we thought:

My boys, even though they are 12 and 11, love listening to audio dramas. They enjoyed listening to this one several times. They said if there are any more Wizzy Gizmo dramas available or coming out that we should get them. I hope there will be more audio dramas to add to our collection. This was really fun to listen to. My girls also can’t wait for there to be more Wizzy Gizmo dramas. I enjoyed the songs in the drama. They went along great with the story. Overall, we give this audio drama 5 stars!



8/18/2014

Menu Plan Monday

MPM-Summer

I'm linking up with I'm An Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday.

Here is my plan for this week:

Monday ~ Salmon patties, baked potatoes, summer squash, green beans
Tuesday~ Baked chicken fajitas
Wednesday ~ Crockpot Italian chicken
Thursday ~ Hamburger steak, rice, veggies
Friday ~ Lentil sloppy joes
Saturday ~ Leftover day or BBQ Chicken
Sunday ~ Roast beef and veggies

8/12/2014

Family Christian Books


*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links*

I recently was given the chance to become a Family Christian Bookstore blogger. I love books and love to share books with others. Family Christian has more than books. They have DVDs, Bibles, music, kid's stuff, etc.

These books listed are available for pre-order right now. Click on the book name to pre-order your copy.


First up is Living Courageously by Joyce MeyerFear commonly affects our ability to live fully, holding us back from what enriches our lives and the lives of others. But our quality of life will improve when we learn how to be courageous in the face of fear. 

In Living Courageously: You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid, Joyce Meyer explains how, as Christians, we can overcome the paralyzing power of fear by calling upon the Lord. "Fear not" is written throughout the Bible. God knows His children will be confronted with fear, but He can help us resist it. 

It is your inherited right as a child of God to live life to the fullest and to enjoy it. Joyce will encourage you to be expectant as you learn to conquer fear, become all God wants you to be, and do all He wants you to do. With a blend of personal insight and inspiring Scripture, this book will help you employ the power of God to overcome fear and achieve your best. 

Next is A.D. 30 by Ted DekkerA sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine. A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all. Step back in time to the year of our Lord...A.D. 30.
The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father's warriors--Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. But Maviah's path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people--and herself.

Last up for pre-order is Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions by Aaron TaborBased on the major themes found on the most active Facebook page in history, Jesus Daily is a 365-day interactive devotional that goes beyond even the fan page to create a deeper experience and cultural movement that celebrates your redemption in Christ. It presents a devotional thought but also challenges you to respond to each daily reflection using a variety of social media tools. 


Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to post about these books in exchange for a gift certificate. Also, purchases made through the links above may make me eligible for additional gift certificates, in addition to the affiliate income. This post is an endorsement of Family Christian, but not necessarily of the specific book titles.

8/11/2014

Pinterest

For the letter p this week, I wanted to share my top five most pinned posts.

Coming in at number 1 (and it actually starts with the letter p):

~ Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe























My number 2 most pinned post is:

~Preschool Coloring Freebie

Number 3 is from letter h:

~Homeschool Organization

Number 4 is:

Free (or almost free) North Carolina Field Trips (working on doing a 2014 update)


















And number 5 is:

~Using A Box Curriculum

8/08/2014

Organization

Back when I was at the letter 'H' for blogging through the alphabet, I did a post for Homeschool Organization. I was going to save that and do that post for 'O', but had trouble coming up with an 'H' post.

Anyway, I just wanted to add on a few things that I am trying to keep me better organized this school year.

I have files on my laptop desktop to keep me organized:









And I am using file folder boxes to keep future work organized:




















I also cleaned out a file cabinet to use for keeping completed work:

8/02/2014

No Rules


Recently, in a group I admin on Facebook, there have been several complaints of the rules. The rules of the group are not very strict, but several ladies are wondering why we even have rules in the first place.

Being a Christian and being a Christian group, my first thought is "Why should we not have rules?" The Bible is our rule book and we should live by it. God gave us rules that we are to follow. We should live our lives following His rules and one of those is to obey those in authority over us.

Now, yes, I am their same age or older than some of the women, but seeing how I am the admin, it should be clear that if there are rules in the group, others should follow them without complaining.

We did compromise and have rewritten the old rules to be more clear and a little less strict. Everyone seems happy now and that is an accomplishment for 4,000 women.

Everywhere we go in life, there are going to be rules, whether we like them or not. The simple thing to remember is to follow those rules, because it will keep you (and me) out of trouble.


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