Thursday, July 2, 2015

Homeschooling Year Round

We made the decision to homeschool year round for the first time. Monster and I have been going at it for 2 weeks now. Our plan is to go for 5 weeks and then take 1 week off. We will see how it works.

So far he is doing great and it is taking us around 2 hours to get all of the work done.

For Math he is currently using CTCMath. He is working in 3rd grade. He just finished up with times tables and patterns. He will be moving onto division and fractions next. Monster should be done with 3rd grade Math hopefully before Christmas break.



For Language Arts we started our Yellow book from Learning Language Arts through Literature. So far Monster has really enjoyed this. We will start reading books and doing the lessons on them when we get to lesson 6. Right now it seems like review over compound words, suffix, nouns and all the basic things. This usually takes us 20 mins or so to get through. I think once we hit the books it will take us a little longer, but we are ok with that. 


Daddy went to Vegas this week for a convention and brought him back this hat. He loves it. 

For Science, we were working in the Apologia book: Animals of the 6th day. We did one week of it so far and then this week we started an activity that I had gotten and forgotten about. I pulled the Coal lesson out instead and Monster really enjoyed it. You can see some of what we did here

We might go back and forth in Science. I feel like the Apologia books have so much reading in them and words that seem better for older grades. We haven't officially decided yet, but we may be saving the Science book for later and finding other projects to do for now! Great thing about homeschooling, being able to change up curriculum for what works and doesn't work! 

For History this week, we are studying about the United States of America Flag. We are studying the meaning behind the flag, what the colors represent, and why we have the flag. We are also learning the full Star Spangled Banner poem. I got a free unit from SchoolExpress



We also learned how to correctly fold a flag. Using a blanket of course :) 

For Reading, I am allowing Monster free reading time during the summer. We will begin our chapter books in a few weeks during our Language Arts time. 

We have also been getting in some swim time and some art time. So far the first two weeks have been pretty smooth. Lets just hope it stays this way till the end of 3rd grade! 





Monday, June 29, 2015

Learning about Coal

Today we put aside our Apologia Science book ( Animals 6th day). We pulled out a lesson on coal instead.

A couple of months ago I got this free kit in the mail. I thought we would do it right away and we never got around to it. So, today we pulled it out and started it.

Monster enjoyed it. There are a few reading pages the children can color and then they have some activity pages as well. We were also sent samples of coal to explore, which is something we love when we are sent items to do hands on learning with.

We will be studying coal for the rest of the week as well. Here are a few photos from todays lesson:

We are not sure what the gold stuff is. Monster said it was real gold and we are rich... sorry kid it does not work that way lol.









We used our microscope Monster got for his birthday to look up close and take photos of our coal samples! If anyone is looking for a wonderful microscope click HERE


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stained Glass (art project for kids)

I love finding new art projects for children to do. I also love finding all the different ways people post how to do the same project.

One art project that has been on my art bucket list for the summer was stained glass windows.

I have seen these made in so many different ways.

Here is what we did.

I got 4 frames from the dollar store, Elmers glue and gel food coloring. We mixed the glue and food coloring into bowls and made four different colors. I put everything on the table and let the children do their own thing.







They turned out beautiful. The twins took theirs home to their mom and she hung them up in the window.

We are going to visit them in Sept for two weeks and I have more art ideas to do with them. They both love doing art so it is a great way to keep them busy! 


Tissue Paper Vases ( art project for children)

While my niece and nephew were down, we made sure to do plenty of fun activities with them.

Some of those included art projects. Art is one of my favorite things to do with children. It is always fun to see how they do their projects from each other.

Our first project was decorating vases with tissue paper.

I choose bright colored paper since it is summer time. I got the vases for $1 at the dollar store. I set everything out and let them go to town.

They each cut their paper and glued everything themselves. This kept them busy for an hour and thirty minutes. It was also a rainy day so i was glad this kept them busy awhile.

Here are some photos from our fun little activity.

They were working so hard and just talking together. It was so sweet. 














Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers Review ( SmartKidz Media)

SmartKidz Media Review
We were recently given the chance to review a full year of SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers from SmartKidz Media

About the company:
SmartKidz Media is an online subscription based media library for homeschoolers to use. SmartKidz Media offers homeschoolers a wide selection of comprehensive catalog of digital media topics and themes. Anything from History and Science to Animal Kingdom and Sports. SmartKidz Media has a huge selection of digital medial for all ages. SmartKidz Media host several educational and entertaining medias. You will also find games, ebooks, music and so much more. 

About the product:
We were given a full year of SmartKidz Media Library for Homeschoolers. This gives us complete access to all items for the year online. We could choose between watching a video or playing in the fun zone. We can use the SmartKidz Media any time of any day. Right now you can use SmartKidz Media on most streaming devices. Including, TV, computer or mobile device as long as there is internet available. They are currently working on an Ipad/Iphone app. SmartKidz Media can be used independently by children 13 and over. Younger children should be supervised by an adult as suggested.

How we used the product:
I allowed Monster to use this as we were learning about different themes. I also allowed him to use it just for fun on days that he just wanted to explore the site. Monster is 8 years old and was able to use the site on his own with no problems. 

What we thought of the product: 
I really enjoyed using this product along side Monster. Monster was able to use this product with no problems. One great thing about SmartKidz Media is your child can watch a show more than once. Monster found a dolphin movie he really enjoyed and watched it several days.
 
I also really like that there are health and fitness movies on SmartKidz Media as well. There were several rainy days here in Texas and this was a great way to use the online programs for kids exercising. Monster loves to move, so turning these on gave him the chance to get the movements out while stuck indoors. 

Another great thing about the videos are the time lengths. Some are shorter than others and I think this is a perfect way to keep them focused and entertained. 

Something great I noticed while using the site, there are no ads. Which is a great because there is no chance your child will accidentally click on something they should not click on. All of the movies are family friendly. 
Although Monster can read chapter books alone, he really enjoyed using the online ebooks as well. He loves audio books. So being able to use these books online was another fun way to get him reading.  I do wish they would include some ebooks for children over 8. My son would love more books on his level to read online like they have for the younger ones. Most of their ebooks are for 8 and younger. Yes, Monster is 8 years old, but his reading level is above that. 

One thing I noticed is there is no search tool. I would love if they could include a search tool. Monster and I were looking for books about predators. It would be great to have a tool to search labels like those and it show you which books would be great to use. 

I would recommend this to my homeschool friends for their children. If you are a homeschooling family and would like to check out this great online program you can for free for 14 days! That's right! They are offering a free 14 days trial right now. 

You can also sign up for a subscription for:

$10 monthly 
or
$99 yearly

Click here to view more information and sign up for your free trial today! 
You can also follow along with SmartKidz Media on:

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If you would like to know what others thought about this product, please feel free to click the banner below. 
SmartKidz Media Review
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

VBS last week ( it was AMAZING!!!)

Last week we had some special visitors come stay with us.

Our niece and nephew.

They are four and full of energy!

They normally live in Houston with their Mom and Granny-ma, so we borrow them for a week here in Dallas.

We had a blast with them. Since they stayed with us the week our church was doing VBS, they got to experience VBS for the first time ( the preschool way!). They loved it!

They were ready for VBS!!!! 

Performers on stage on the first day! 

This is just a small portion of the amount of children we had! Here is a better picture of the whole room. 

From both sides of the room! 

Monster has always been in Groovy Green! 

He has always had some amazing leaders and this year he was paired with two of his favorite people and then a new friend as well! 

Monster LOVES the music part! 








On the last day of VBS the K-4th get blow up slides. This year my husband was in charge of rec time, so he also included a few different games so the kids weren't having to wait in those long lines! 

Our preschoolers also get bounce houses and our 5th graders get their own stuff over at what we call Beach Blast! 

I think my husband enjoyed his first year as Rec leader as well....

Give him a microphone and a megaphone and he is all set! 

Now for some facts about our VBS:

2,572 -- the number of kids who attended VBS last week
911 -- the number of volunteers who helped lead them through an amazing week
36 -- number of kids who prayed to receive Christ
349 -- number of kids who indicated they are ready for baptism
$21,000 -- dollars raised to go towards mission work


Talk about amazing!!!! We already can't wait until next year!!