Posted in $ Language Arts, $ Online Games, $ Reading, Uncategorized

Rosetta Stones Reading Program ****

reading

I mentioned yesterday I would share with you what we are currently using for reading help. So when I found out my daughter had dyslexia it was overwhelming and a relief. I was ready to do the work we needed but felt helpless.  You can purchase it

So I started looking into different programs. None of the free versions seemed to work long-term and some of the paid programs were so expensive. In my search, I came across Lexia Reading Core 5.

It is a bit repetitive but that is just what my daughter needs. So while it can be a bit much at times. It is so worth it. In 3mths, I could tell the difference in her reading. She was gaining confidence and is enjoying it more because she is seeing the fruit of her labor.

I first found about it was here. However, it won’t take you long to realize it is marketed to public schools, not the homeschool family.

When I called them they sent me here. The price tag while pricey was better than some of the ones I had seen. However, I didn’t quite seal the deal there because I wanted to do this for both my girls. It can be used for a remedial or a new learner.

Thankfully, I came across it cheaper and did sign the girls up. The difference it has made in my daughters reading skills is awesome and makes me want to give it ***** but there are some things I am not too fond of, like the way it repeats lessons; the kiddos can be on the same exact problems, if they are struggling with a topic which can be frustrating doing it over and over again.

The difference it has made in my daughters reading skills is awesome and makes me want to give it ***** but there are some things I am not too fond of, like the way it repeats lessons; the kiddos can be the same exact problems, if they are struggling with a topic which can be frustrating doing it over and over again.

It appears to be a time-based thing rather than completion which would be good if the screen stopped when the time was up but it doesn’t; it could just go and go, and go if you let them or rather if they let you.

I do love that they have a behind the scenes grading system with more detail than teaching textbooks. Also, there are printable lessons if I need to teach the concept they’re struggling with to give them a better understanding.

Overall, the proof is in the pudding, and it’s working. So whether I like certain things or not if it works, it works.

This is where I found the best deal. You can purchase it here. Additionally, if you purchase it from the link I shared I will get a bonus as well through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

Enjoy!

Posted in Online Games, Reading, Uncategorized

Teach Your Monster To Read ****

read

If your stumped and looking for a freebie to help your kiddo with reading. This is a good one that is free. We now use a paid version from another company; I will tell you more about tomorrow but this is where we started.

It covers the basics of sounding out letters and moves kiddos up to blends in a fun interactive game for kiddos. Warning, we were in a hurry to try this freebie and we didn’t pay attention to the game rules and suggestions. My girls ended up hoping there would be a point that told them they were done for the day and kept playing and playing and playing. The eventually burnt them out on it after a while. There is a spot where you save your progress.

If you want to find out more specifics, go here and check our what each level covers. They also have some demos you can try out before you sign up and you can find them here. If you already know that is what you would like to get here is their home page.

It’s FREE online!

Enjoy!

 

Posted in Apps, Language Arts, Multiple Subjects, Reading, Uncategorized

Grammarly ****

gram

So as I mentioned in the post yesterday I am going to share with you Grammarly.

I do love Grammarly. We only use their Free Version. It has been a life saver for my kiddo and me too! I am not the best at spelling and grammar, as you may have already noticed. Grammarly is like a spelling and grammar checker you can take with you to a lot of places on the internet. I use the Google Chrome extension.

However, I give it only **** because it doesn’t catch everything but it does come very close and better than spell checker on Word.  Also, because they have a premium account but I understand, they wanna make money too but the premium is pricey.

So without further ado… Grammarly. ( I do want to note this is a referral link and if you sign up for your free account, it will allow me to have a week of the premium account.)

Enjoy!

Posted in Language Arts, Multiple Subjects, Planner, Reading, Uncategorized

Google Docs *****

doc

We love google docs. My son is not especially fond of writing, even though he is a great writer. My daughter is not very good at spelling, but she loves to write. I was desperately searching for a way that would work for them both.

You may hear me talk from time to time about my daughter having dyslexia. That was part of the reason the school system was failing her but that is for another time.  But Google docs helped me, help her.

First, I should probably tell you what Google Docs is… Well, simply put Google docs is Google’s version of Microsoft Word Suite, but different and in some aspects a cooler. It has a version of Word (docs), Powerpoint(slides), and Excel (sheets).

One of the things that I love the most about google docs is multiple users can work on the same sheet at the same time. That is how I got my son to actually write. He and his friends started writing Minecraft stories online together. Sometimes, they would write the same story and sometimes, they would edit each other’s stories.

My daughter also got interested in it too!  She and a friend would write poems, short stories, and she even created her own little magazine.

They have a great editor view; that allows me to make corrections but not change it until she sees it. Remember all those red marks on our rough drafts in English class? Yeah, that’s editor mode.  Plus it saves on paper!!!! Like I need any more paper piles in my house…no thank you!

On a side note, we discovered a free grammar editing program that we use with google docs too. I will write about tomorrow and share with you but that helped her tremendously with spelling and grammar. ( And me too!)

Even more than that, though, I have used the sheets to share a budget with my husband. Create a game plan for my school year. Also, I have used it for power point presentations! It’s a keeper!

You can check it out here.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Posted in $ Math, Uncategorized

Teaching Textbooks ****

 

teaching

I love Teaching Textbooks curriculum! We tried a couple other programs and they were time-consuming, to say the least! Teaching uses what I think is a spiral pattern of teaching to math. It revisits concepts taught so the kiddos can master them and they can’t just memorize it and forget it. Also, their newer versions have a self-grading system

Also, their newer versions have a self-grading system so more time for mama-yes, please! It’s not completely hands off. You know those clever kiddos that realize you’re not checking so they just pretend they are doing it…yeah I know one.

The lessons are taught via the computer and it gives an explanation how to do missed problems. The kiddos can skip them but you can see in the grade book if they watched them and there is no skipping them in my house!

These tend to be on the really pricey end for me but they are so worth it. Trust me. They cover 3rd grade up through Pre-calculus. You can check them out here.

But if you’re cheap like me… You’ll search for the used ones. 🙂 And if you’re a rule follower like me too, don’t worry they allow their CDs to be resold an unlimited amount of times…YES! Don’t believe me? Look here, it’s on their site. But beware if you’re buying them used not all are self-grading.

Oh and I forgot, they also have a workbook for those that prefer written work rather than online work. But I don’t really worry about that my kiddos use scrap paper to get the answers to the problems.

Enjoy!

Posted in Art, Language Arts, Math, Online Games, Science, Uncategorized

Free Rice Vocabulary Builder ****

rice

So this game, if you would call it that, gets **** not because it is the most exciting game because let’s face it, it’s not. But because you are able to help feed the hungry for free and build your vocabulary in return. You can check it out

Now they do not donate much per correct answer but hey, it’s not costing you anything AND you are learning something. Why not?! You can check it out here.

Additionally, they have other categories if learning about vocabulary is not your thing. They have Art, Math, other languaes, Geography, Anatomy, and more. I used it as an excuse sometimes to get the kiddos to learn or practice something and do it for a good cause. If you want to go straight to the other categories go here.

Enjoy!

 

Posted in $ History, $ Language Arts, $ Multiple Subjects, $ Reading, $ Science

Evan-Moor Products *****

pic

One of my family’s favorite things to do is Evan-Moor’s History Pockets. We are working our way in doing all of them. They have some for grad

They have some for grades 1-6 but honestly, I edit it to accommodate older and younger kiddos if I need to.

We enjoy doing them in a group setting with some friends and including a food element to it which is not part of the book.

I prep them ahead and use cardstock so they stay together better. I do some of the cutting so that way it is more fun for them and less time consuming for me when we are actually doing the class.

The girls also enjoy doing their literature pockets.

These pockets have a varying range in the price you can check them out at their store over here.

Evan-moor also has a few things that we enjoy doing from time to time. We enjoy their spelling test. Also, their Big Ideas, which are their Daily Science workbooks. However, this is not something we do from cover to cover. We are just not that kind of people; we like flexibility.

Because we enjoy them so much and I am not a millionaire. I opt for their teacher file box account. It is a bit tricky to manage at first but it is worth the flexibility to me. You can find pricing and more info here.

They even have a free trial so you can check it out with a limited number of downloads so use them wisely. 🙂

My family gives the products I mentioned above a ***** rating. Info about my rating system here.

Posted in Family, Planner, The Kids, Uncategorized

The 2017 Quality Time Calendar

qtime

So as you may have noticed, I am in the process of planning out 2017. Yesterday, I shared with you the 2017 Unclutter Calendar, and today I am sharing the 2017 Quality Time Calendar. Before I share with you more about that calendar, I wanted to share with you the ‘why’ behind why I am doing these calendars.

I am a former bullet journal planner user and a new-found Happy Planner user. I will probably share with you about the Happy Planner another time, but in short, it’s a fully-customizable planner. Personally, I resize and put the calendars in my planner so I can view them with my daily plans.

I am a pro planner kind of mama. But not just any old planner, it must be a planner that works for you, which can take some time to figure it out.

If you plan ahead you know what direction you’re going. You can always change it up; you don’t have to do what you plan out; it is just there if you need some ideas. If I didn’t like writing in pen so much, I would write it in pencil so I could erase it.

This idea leads us to the 2017 Quality Time Calendar. Often times, I hope to spend good quality time with the kiddos and most of the time I do a bit here or there. However, some weeks I realized we were so busy, that I didn’t really spend good quality time with them.

So this coming year I am going to change that! Almost each day, I have planned out one activity that I think my kiddos are going to enjoy, or at least one of the three will enjoy. It will keep me on point to make sure I make small moments with them.

Most of them are free or can be made free with things around the home. I would say they are totally free, but if you don’t have certain things around your house, you may need to pick it up or if you count driving somewhere the gas cost money, so there is that. Don’t forget you can make it free, you just need to get a bit creative in your implementation. Personally, though I am going to actually go out for my date days; so for me, it is not totally free.

You will notice there are repeats of quite a few things. I have tried to leave them vague enough to where it will accommodate most families. However, there are things you may not enjoy like crafts or creative (legos, blocks, etc.). Scratch it out, white it out, whatever you wanna do.

Also, I have left a few days on each month blank so that way you can do an activity you enjoy or maybe you don’t want to do anything those days. I know we will probably put more crafty days on there but I plan on asking the kiddos for what they would like to do.

Now, if your saying, ‘Isn’t planning them out going to make it kind of cold and scheduled?’ I would respond, “Not to me, I’ve got a plan but it’s not like I have to do it. It’s there if I need it but if I feel like doing something else, then I will and I won’t feel bad about it one bit!”

Also, I tried to make the activities work with most ages. There are a few activities that might not work exactly with your age. Swap them out with something else there are no rules.

So without further ado….The 2017 Quality Time Calendar.

It’s yours. It’s FREE.

Have Fun!

 

Posted in Cleaning, Homemaking, Planner, Uncategorized

The 2017 Unclutter Calendar

 

unclutter

So for someone who loves organizing, I have certainly let my home get a bit out of control. We didn’t start homeschooling till a few years ago and I placed all my time and energy into teaching my children. We are now out of the experimenting phase and have found a good bit of what works for us. So now I can place my attention back to my home where it should be 🙂

Since placing more focus on my home I have become a bit overwhelmed by the amount of clutter that is in my home. So I did what I do I searched the web high and low for a good uncluttering schedule.

Everyone I found had some good ideas but man they wanted  you to read 50 articles on their site too! Seriously, maybe some people want or need to read how to organize a silverware drawer but I think most of us would just organize it the way we wanted or were able to anyway. Plus who has time to read all those articles about cleaning! I need to use my time wisely and clean with the little time I have.

Also, I need some grace some blank spaces to be able to accommodate my neverending schedule. So I decided to take some great ideas from those other calendars, collect them, and organize them my way!

and ta dah!  You have the 2017 Unclutter Calendar.

So let me tell you a bit about it.

  • It has simple objectives
  • It starts out in different areas of your home and eventually circles back
  • There are no articles to read.. .NONE! If you need to figure out how to declutter and organize your silverware drawer you can google it if you have time or do it your own way…no rules!
  • It includes all that homeschool stuff! Yes, there days that you can go through that mountain you shoved in the closet and are trying to pretend it doesn’t exist.
  • It also includes some deep cleaning days… yeah we should do it more frequently than what’s on this calendar but if we are honest we forget sometimes… which ones I forget I  am not telling 🙂
  • The whole month of October is purposefully blank. This allows two things some grace for those days you miss. 31 one days of grace to be exact. Or you may have a much bigger house than me and need to declutter other rooms not mentioned or not able to get done in the time frame I put on there.
  • There are days that say something like clean a flat surface or something those are for those junk piles you started again or something that you cannot wait to clean up.

Finally, these are simple for a reason. If you try to tackle too much too fast you will burn out. Don’t do it…. DONT DO IT. Slow and steady wins the race.

Also don’t push yourself too hard. Do what you can maybe set yourself a time limit. Most of these things may be able to be done in 15 minutes others may take 30-40 minutes. Set your own time limit. It doesn’t matter if its perfect whatever you do will be better than it was before just remember that!

So here you go..  the 2017 Unclutter Calendar…no emails required… I think… At least no emails required by me sometimes WordPress has a mind of its own. 🙂

2017-uncluttercalendar

Happy Cleaning!

Sara