Posted on Leave a comment

Spring is Finally Here!!

Image

Well, Minnesota has finally decided to give us spring!! We have been having so much fun outside without the extra winter jacket bulk! It’s not very often that we can play in the snow in a t-shirt!!

We started some bean seeds, first in a plastic bag so that we could watch them root and than transferred them into cups and soil to watch them sprout and grow. The kids are having a competition over whose is growing faster! We have still been doing our “school”, only we are doing that right away in the morning and later in the afternoon. During the middle of the day when it is gorgeous out, we are outside too!! Hey, one of the benefits of homeschooling I guess 😉 I love the ability to do that with the kids. We can do whatever the day brings as long as we complete our lessons for the week.

I would like to finish the day with a prayer request for my cousin and her new son. She delivered him 4.5 weeks early and everything seemed to be going good. They soon found out that he will need heart surgery and it sounds like today will be the day. Prayers for him, mommy, daddy, all family and surgeons would be wonderful!! Thank you so much!!!

Posted on 4 Comments

Time4Learning Review

About a month ago I got an email asking if I would like to do a review for the Time4Learning website. I jumped at the chance because I wanted to try it for my oldest son.

Our first day on the website was just setting everything up. Ray Ray was excited to be able to try something new on the computer. Since he is 4 I signed him up at the Pre-K level and found that he lost interest within the first week. I couldn't figure it out, than it hit me, it was too easy for him!! We moved him up to Kindergarten level and is always asking about doing school now!!

Now, when J took a look at the site it was just disappointment. He didn't want anything to do with it. I asked him why, telling him that I was going to do a review and wanted to know what needs to be different for him. All J would tell me was that he did it at public school and didn't like it. The next day we sat down to get started. I have him set up at the 6th grade level (except for math which we have a different program for) and had him start. All upset I was making him do it, J sat down, took a look and had a huge smile on his face. "I get to do this?!?! I didn't get to do this at school, I had to do little kid stuff on here while everyone did this!!" I was shocked!! And disappointed in the school system yet again, but happy that we may have found something to work for us!

We had some off time due to my great grandma passing, but we have loved this website every time we sit down to use it. J loves being able to move about as he needs and wants to. I love being able to pull up the grades and lessons that have been done.  We have begun using this as our complete curriculum, except math like I said earlier, and have just added some extra reading and writing assignments in with it. I also add some extra worksheets when I notice J having trouble remembering things. 

My only complaints about this whole website, is trying to figure out how many questions were on a quiz or assignment and how many J got right or wrong. Most have 10 problems and I know that 90% would mean he got 9 right, but when I am told 83% I get lost :-). I also wish there was an easier way to study for the quiz, or a better way to know which vocabulary words need to be studied.

J is out oldest and he is adopted. He deals with ADHD and FASD on a daily basis and finding school that covers what he needs AND keeps his attention has been a challenge, but Time4Learning has fixed the daily struggle for us. We are able to see what needs to be done, and the curriculum follows what the state says we need to cover, which takes the stress away from me.

After comparing prices for different full curriculum vs using this website for both of my children, we have noticed that this website would be saving us a large sum of money each year! As a family we have decided this is the website for us and our homeschool!

As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. Write your own curriculum review or learn how to use their curriculum for homeschool, after school study or summer learning.

I really did like using this website and plan on continuing with it for as long as we are able. If you are interested in signing up, let me know and I can send you a referral email.

Have you tried this webiste? What do you think about it? Do you like it, hate it or love it? I would love to know!!!

Posted on Leave a comment

My Great Grandma

 

meandgrandma

 

It was a long two weeks. My great grandma passed away at 92 years old. She was able to spend her last days at her house on the lake. It was a Tuesday morning after having everyone down and visiting her all weekend. We sat next to her in her room, praying with her and singing with her. We downloaded the song God Bless America and she sang it the whole time :'-) The morning she passed started out "normal". My aunt had been spending the night there and has called to update me on how it went overnight and than she left for work. Shortly after that, my great grandpa (98) went in to give grandma her good morning kiss. He than went and got his breakfast. When he went back in, she was gone.

My great grandma was a special lady to me. I spent many nights at her house on the lake with my younger brother. I loved growing up with her as a strong example of what a wife, mother, friend and grandmother is supposed to be like. My grandma is the only one who would call me "Mrs. Hopkins". I will miss those phone calls. It is because of my grandma that I know what hard work is about and what a praying woman is all about. When spending the night, I would fall asleep listening to her pray the rosary.

My daughter has her great, great grandma's middle name. When people ask what her name is, they always question the "old" middle name and I am even more proud now to tell them what it means and who it is for.

My 4 year old, Ray Ray, has been the perfect example of how open to death we have to be. He has opened my eyes in so many ways and I tear up just thinking about them. The little man tells me that grandpa doesn't live alone in his house, grandma's angel is with him. And he talks about his two grandmas and one cousin who are his angels in heaven that are waiting to spend forever with him. So sweet!

Now that we have laid my grandma to rest (with a send off of tiny bubbles, like the song she loved), we are getting ourselves back on a normal schedule for school. This week will be our first week in over two weeks that we will be on our "normal" schedule. I am hoping we transition back into this quickly and can stay on track to getting everything done early in the day so we can spend time outside, if it's not raining.

I hope you all have a good week!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Did You Know That?

We are learning a lot this week. It has been busy, but we are enjoying it.

First, I need to vent…my son was using our Time4Learning trial and was really upset because he didn’t like it at public school. I told him that was fine, I wanted him to use it at home and to tell me the fun and not so fun about it so I could write my review (coming up in a couple more weeks). His first day of sitting down with it and he gets all excited…”I get to do this? I never got to do that at school, I had to do the little kid stuff on there!” So I ask what the other kids in class were doing and he said the stuff he got to do right now. Now, I thought we were supposed to help kids achieve more when it came to school, not make them feel stupid and make them do below grade level stuff when “everyone” else is doing grade level. I told him he was a 6th grader and would be doing 6th grade work because of that.

Alright, now that I have that off my chest…I feel better! J-man is doing good with settling in at home and RayRay loves playing on the computer for school. We are doing a variety of things for him since he is Pre-K. Anything to do with letters, shapes and numbers seem to satisfy him. Now just to get him to start working on his writing skills…hmm.

Little Miss is just growing bigger and bigger…I love watching her as she learns new things. I can’t wait until she is ready to sit and color more than scribbles…but I love that too!!

We are learning about Nevada for geography/history right now. We have found some really fun things on SchoolHouseTeachers that have us really interested in learning more. Today was some learning about the Hoover Dam. I never thought I would get J-man to sit and enjoy reading, but he kept asking for more and more today…and finding pictures online was fun for me too!

I hope you all have a great week and stay warm!!

Posted on Leave a comment

A day of Home Ec.

image

J was able to have fun yesterday. He took a class in making a “blankie” from his great grandma. He had to pick out the fabric, tell how much he needed,  pin it together and sew it. He got to do all this without his little siblings around, which was his favorite part.

Before he left we did our math and some of our reading. He wasn’t too happy about that, but than again he doesn’t care for those two subjects anyway.

For reading we are doing a unit with Old Yeller. He doesn’t care too much for it right now, but as the activities go on he may just get into it.

Math has always been tough, but we are trying a few different things there…hoping to find the one thing that clicks for him.

Little man, RayRay, has been working on his letters. We tried some new things, but he really likes anything on the computer. I don’t mind that too much, but I need him to work on his handwriting.

Little Miss loves to do everything with RayRay. She will be the smart one 🙂 When I call him for his school, she comes running and sits down with him to watch and say everything he does.  I love watching her learn from him!

Now I am off to watch my kids learn and have fun again today! It might actually be nice enough to go outside today!!

Posted on Leave a comment

I Love Mondays!!!

Yep, it’s Monday again…and I don’t have my homeschool week planned out at all! Good thing I don’t have to turn anything in and my kids are flexible like me! We have our plan, and know the basics of what we need to do, now just to get it done!!

Today we sent daddy off to work again. We hope that he will be home as much as possible, but with him being a truck driver, we know we can only take those days as gifts from God. It sure was nice to have him home all weekend though! We spent a cloudy Saturday sitting around doing nothing at all and it felt good!!! Sunday we got a new a headboard for my oldest and him and dad got to spend time building it together!

In other news: I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

That was my weekend. Hope you all had a good weekend and may God bless you and your families!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Field trip Friday

image

We didn’t want to be stuck in the house on the nice day yesterday,  so we went to grandpa’s farm and called it Field Trip Friday!

The kids were busy playing in the snow and asking Grandpa all sorts of questions about the cows. He loved just having us there for the afternoon.

We did do a spelling test before we went and of course our reading, but from there it was a day of living and learning. The farm has so many different playing and learning opportunities than our in town backyard. I wouldn’t trade days like that for anything!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Gym Class? What Gym Class?

My big kid (12) has been asking me why we haven’t been having gym class. I thought a moment and said…”You have been outside going up and down that sledding hill in our backyard every day for hours each day! You are doing gym class.” He didn’t believe me…until I asked him questions like if he was sweating, out of breath and if his heart was pumping. Every answer was a yes and than it hit him. He was doing a funner kind of gym class than he would ever do at public school!

Now this sledding hill didn’t just happen when it snowed. We have a base hill, but daddy spent a whole day outside with the kids building a bigger, steeper and funner hill. Now we have the best snow hill in the neighborhood! Too bad all the other kids have to go to school during the week days!!

Posted on Leave a comment

I don’t want to learn today!!

That is what my 12 year old said, as he was helping four year old G practice his writing skills and math. That was fine by me…what do you want to do I asked? I want to do a project. Got the perfect idea!!

I pulled out the lapbook for the Ancient Egypt unit, since we were finishing that up today anyway I had him work on that. He has never loved doing something so much!! He kept asking if there was something more he could put in there! Talk about not wanting to learn!!

After that was done and complete the two boys were playing together. I asked them if they wanted to make something for me. They did of course and I asked for a Lego Pyramid. Now you would think that would be something simple…only it wasn’t. They pulled out our library books and had to read about how they were built first, no learning there! Than they added a tomb and a mummy to the mix, of course they just knew that and didn’t learn it… I guess they knew that the mummy needed some food and jewelry to take with him to the next world, because they added that too. Oh, and who could forget the gate so nobody would come and steal anything, because boys just know that kind of stuff.

Now we have the problem of them not wanting to stop playing mummies and pyramids…so much for learning today. Oh well, maybe tomorrow!!