Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network ~ Review

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The new year is upon us. It is time for those resolutions again. May I make a suggestion to you? Some mommy time each week. Time for you to sit back and laugh, learn and enjoy. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home! How you may ask? Over at the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

Ok, so you're interested, but wondering how much it costs? Guess what?! Felice has made all of these shows on the website FREE! Yes, you heard me right, I said FREE! 

I have been so blessed to sit down and listen to these shows, or have the volume up on my computer while I cook supper or lunch and listen. And the best part of these shows, you can listen to the live show and ask questions via the chat box, or you can listen to the recording later when you have more time. There are no worries about "not having the time" like many of us mommies are always saying.

So, what kind of shows can you find? Almost anything you can think of! Here are a few of my favorites:

 

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Hal and Melanie Young have so many good topics! I had honestly not heard of them this time last year, but I am so thankful that I have and LOVE listening to everything they have to share! They talk about everything from "How to Fight so You Both Win" all the way to "Raising Real Men". As a mom of boys and a wife, they have touched on so many topics and are so down to earth and REAL!!

 

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What about listening with the kids to "Current Issues & the Contitution" with Woody Wilson, or by yourself 🙂 This show helps with understanding of the current political issues we are facing. Have a copy of our Constitution with you while you listen to many different topics of our daily life, like Budget Talks, Health Care, Homeschooling Laws and Ron Paul's Curriculum. I personally enjoyed listening to Ron Paul and I don't care for political anything…but these are issues we need to know about. Woody has helped me listen to more with his way of talking…it doesn't sound quite so…boring, and I actually feel sad when the time is up!

 

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The title says it all for this one! Any homeschooling mom will laugh and cry at this one! I took one look at the title and knew I wanted to listen to Dr. Melanie Wilson! I fell in love with this from just the introduction to the show! Dr. Melanie brings in co-hosts to help us mommies learn how to deal with many different things from how to easily teach math (big problem here!) to help working on your blog as a business and even how to create a parenting plan! If someone can have 6 kids AND a sense of humor, she is well worth listening to in my opinion!!

 

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Who could pass on a Mommy Jammies Night??? I listened to the monthly episode with Crystal Paine and was so encouraged by the time the night was over. A monthly date with other moms in my jammies…this makes the whole month for me! When it comes to homeschooling, we need to be there for each other, even if it just over the internet! This show airs on the second Tuesday of the month and usually involves a Facebook party to start the night off with!

 

These are just a few of the many shows that are hosted weekly, and monthly on The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. I have had so much fun these last eight weeks and will continue to listen to these shows for as long as they are available!

 

Want to stay in touch with The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network? You can head over to the website and subscribe for emails, or join them over on Facebook.

 

Read more reviews here at the Bow of Bronze Link up!

 

Have you listened to any of these shows yet? What are your favorites? If you haven't listened yet, what are you waiting for?!

 

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Why I Give Activity Book ~ Review

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(Affiliate Links are used in this post. They help support our homeschool and this blog. Thank you for using them!)

Do you need a way to teach your kids about giving during this holiday season? You want something that isn't dry and dull? Here is the answer! Why I Give Activity book by Corine is a wonderful activity book for the kids. This is a 64 page pdf download that goes along with Corine's Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time. Although these go together, you can use just the activity book and still reap all the benefits!

 

We used just the activity book at our house and we loved it! I love having a pdf of an activity book because I am able to print a copy of each page for each kid. When it comes to the instructions on making things, I can print one and we all share it. And there are some cute activities to make in this book!

 

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One thing we noticed with homeschooling, our kids LOVE to color and draw. I am able to give the kids a page to color, and read the bible verse about giving while they keep their hands busy. I love seeing the pages where it asks the kids to draw a picture of different ways you can give. The stories and pictures we get…and they continue to draw those pictures on regular paper after.

 

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Activities that are included are things like coloring the stars to see a special message. Making a special rock paper-weight, or a simply no-sew fleece blanket. It was so fun to show the kids the different projects and let them pick out what we would be making for everyone for Christmas this year! (I would show more pictures, but I know there are people reading who are going to receive those gifts 🙂 ).

 

Why I Give is priced just right at $4.99 for the pdf download. You can find this and Corine's other books at her BooksbyCorine.com website.

 

We found an activity book we will be using time and again! I love hearing what can we give so and so instead of this is what I want! Such a nice change!

 

Want to read more? Head on over to Bow of Bronze and see what other moms are saying about this book!

 

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“Virtual” Field Trip Friday ~ Thanksgiving in 1621 Review

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We had a lot of fun this week in our learning about the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe. We sailed over to the "New World" on the Mayflower and Moe Man loved reading the story to the littles. We were able to find this book at our library. The pictures in here are beautiful! This is going on our Christmas wish list!

 

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We have read stories that are included in our Thanksgiving in 1621 unit study from Spirited~Autumn~Hope that include The Colony's Beginnings, Building the Colony, and Meeting Native Americans. We have been able to compare housing, clothes, food, and school between the Pilgrim children and the Wampanoag children. We tried our hands at boiled bread and making Pilgrim hats.

 

As fun as all those things were, we had the most fun on our "virtual" field trip to the Pilgrim village. We are a family that loves going "back in time", so being able to see this villiage on the computer was fun! Moe Man was a tad disappointed when we found the Pilgrim village on the map and seen how far away from us it was.

 

On our short, 18 minute, visit to the village we were able to visit the homes, gardens and fort. We got to "talk" with the guards at the fort (meeting house) and learn about their jobs and their weapons. We got to "meet" Stephen and Elizabeth Hopkins (yes, the kids loved them the most because we share a last name). From these Hopkins, we got to see the houses and compare them to our own. We visited with a lot of people and learned a lot in this short time.

 

"Talking" with the people helps us to make our history more "real". Who cares about dry textbooks when you can learn from those who were there! I get to surprise the kids later today when we head on over and take another "field trip" over to the Plimoth Plantation!

 

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We are loving this fun study and learning a lot! You can still get this study over at Spirited~Autumn~Hope and get in on the fun!

 

Read More Here:

Part 1

Part 3

 

 

 

 



Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

 

 



 

 

 



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Hearts for Home Blog Hop #38

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Welcome everyone!! Don't forget to head over Upside Down Homeschooling to read about the Host and Co-hosts of this Blog Hop!

 

The most popular post from last week was:

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Help Young Writers Edit: Get a Spelling Dictionary for Kids! from The Measured Mom

 

A few of my favorites were:

 

* Bible in a Year with Your Kids Intro Post from Growing in God's Grace

 

* 31 Days of Emergency Preparedness from Mama Kautz

 

* When You've Reached Your Limit from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

 

Congratulations if you were featured this week!! Grab a "I was featured" button to proudly display on your blog!

 

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Now, for the blogs for this week! Hearts for Home Blog Hop is for any post that shows your heart is in your home. It can be anything like homeschooling, homemaking, parenting, marriage, faith, family, friends, you get the idea right? We just ask that you would link back to this blog or display the Hearts for Home button within your post or on your sidebar.

 

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Here we go!! Go ahead and link up your family friendly post below!

Time4Writing Final Review

 

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Well, we are in the middle of summer. What a busy time this has been!! I can't believe how fast it has gone by. Right now in the house we are working on a solar system unit with all ages. We just got over that nasty head cold and now Little Miss is working on getting her two year molars!! How does a mommy get anything done??

When it came to helping Big Kid with his writing, I cheated during all of this. I used Time4Writing.com. It was so nice to have someone else telling him what to change, or keep the same about his writing. I would have to say this was my favorite  thing about the whole program. He knew that I wouldn't be the one grading him, so he slowed down a bit more. I also stepped back from helping him as he got half way through this program. Big Kid wasn't too thrilled the first time he got an email back telling him he had to re-do half the assignment, but I knew that I was helping too much. 

The teachers of this program were wonderful. Within 24 hours we would have his written assignments graded and ready for us to review. When he had a hard time focusing and had a lower grade, he was given a second chance. I love second chances! When I noticed him having a hard time, or getting a re-do, we would sit down together and go over the lesson and make the corrections that were needed. 

Another thing we found during our second half of using T4W was the videos!! Big Kid did his own orientation, so I didn't know there were videos, but I love those! Big Kid likes to read, but if something is "boring" he skips. When he listened to the videos, I noticed he got a better score on the assignments. Those quick little videos were our life savers!

Big Kid loved that the program was "easy". Not the writing itself, but the using of the program. He was able to get on the site and know what to do.  There wasn't a lot of extras to get in the way, but still enough to keep him interested. 

We did the basic mechanics program, so there wasn't much for the "creative writing" side of things. But I am not complaining about that. We are still working on pulling that out of Big Kid. We did a lot of looking for errors in the sentences and correcting them, or adding the missing part of each sentence.

My biggest dislike of the whole thing is the price. It is $99 for the eight week course, which isn't bad considering you have a teacher helping you at home, but I can't see fitting that into our budget right now. Besides that, I really don't have anything to complain about!

Big Kid said it was hard, yes after he said it was easy. This is where I asked for clarification, and found out that the website is easy, the course itself made him think. Do I find that as a downfall to the program? NO! Does he feel that way during the summer months? Yes, as any 12 year old boy would 🙂

Other than it being "hard", we had no other complaints from Big Kid either. What a wonderful thing considering he doesn't like to write and I made him do that over the summer!

I was happy about using this program and glad we were given the chance to! Have you tried Time4Writing? What are your thoughts about the program? I would love to hear them!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Click here to read my full disclosure policy. I received this 8-week course from Time4Writing.com for free in return for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Planning the New School Year

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So, here I sit. I am busy planning and thinking and planning some more. I am planning the lesson plans for the fall. I am going to have a 7th grader, a Kindergartner and a Tot-schooler! Where have those years gone?!?!

 

For Big Kid, we are going to do more living books this year. He loves to read and loves history, so I want to build on that! We are going to work on Singapore Math, and master those pesky math facts that keep tricking him! He wants to learn cursive! Public school thought it would be too hard at the time the rest of the kids were learning it, and never followed through to see if he wanted to learn later. So now we are! He is also going to work on learning computer programing, something he is excited about!

 

Ray Ray is going into Kindergarten!! My "baby" isn't a baby anymore! We are focusing on his handwriting this year!! We are using a combination of Erica's K4 program from Confessionsofahomeschooler.com and some from Carisa's Raising Rockstars Kindergarten program over at 1+1+1=1. We are also doing A reason for Handwriting and Singapore Earlybird Math. 

 

Little Miss will be doing some Before Five in a Row and learning what the letters and numbers look and sound like. Not too much, but enough to do something like her big brothers.

 

But today it is time to play outside and maybe learn something about art…maybe 🙂

 

 

 

Disclosure: I am not receiving any compensation for the links and products listed above. These are my own choices and items that I look forward to using.

 

 

photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom via photopin cc

Ten Things I Love About Homeschooling

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I haven’t been homeschooling for a long time yet, 5 months to be exact, but I love it!!! Yes, there are some days I wonder what I am doing to myself, but those are so little compared to the perks of homeschooling. Here are my top ten reasons that I love homeschooling.

1. I love watching my kids learn through everyday experiences.

My kids are learning so much everyday just by doing things they love. We are now able to be outside more with the nice weather, and my goodness do they have questions, but I don’t mind answering them, or telling them lets look that up!

2. We go at their pace, not the school’s pace.

Having kids with special needs is hard. What’s harder is when school thinks they need to do so much each day in order to proceed. I have noticed many changes in the love for learning just by slowing down (or speeding up) in the areas that need that!

3. There are no more bullies.

Unless you count when the siblings pick on each other 🙂 All the kids feel safe and aren’t afraid to ask a question that others might think is “dumb”. We are seeing our true kids and not the ones school and other kids want them to be.

4. We can teach them about God and not get in trouble.

We don’t have to keep God out of our school. Enough said!

5. We use the style that works best for them.

Each one of our three kids is different. If that is true at home, I wonder if it’s true at public school? We are teaching each kid in a different style here at home and they are doing great at that, which brings me to number 6.

6. My kids are excelling where they weren’t before.

Jordan used to be in a math level below his grade…now that he is at home and working at his pace, using the style that works for him, he is doing grade level math!! Yay him!!

7. The kids get more beneficial sleep.

There is no get up at 5:50am to catch the bus in the mornings. The kids get to stay up late when daddy gets home and sleep in in the mornings. I know that they are getting the full amount of sleep that is required of them, and that helps them do better at school.

8. They are forming strong bonds with their siblings.

What better friend to have than one who has the same values and rules as you. All the kids love each other and you can see that. They love playing with each other and keeping each other in line. I know that this will be something they continue to do for many years in the future.

9. They are forming stronger bonds with us, their parents.

With Daddy being in the truck, there were many times when the kids just wouldn’t be able to see him because of the schedules we had to keep for public school. Now that we make our own schedule, we are able to spend more time with Daddy. If it means we do some school on Saturday because Daddy was home on Friday, we do it. The kids love being able to spend that time and not miss anything!

And finally 10. We don’t have to worry about our kids, physically, mentally, or emotionally.

This is a deep one…I don’t have to worry about my kids while they are at school. I know that we are teaching them right and wrong instead of just what is required. I know that there won’t be any physical, mental, or emotional harm done to them while they are here, and I know that we have the control over how they learn how to deal with these problems as they come in the future. I am not saying that because kids go to public school you have to be worried senseless, because 99% of the time you don’t. I am saying, with my kids and their learning styles, I feel better knowing what they are learning and having the control, with my husband, over that. Every kid is different and I feel that we were called by God to do this with ours as the best way for them to learn and succeed.

 

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

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!!

A day of Home Ec.

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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!!

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!!