Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal~Week 1: CHANGE AHEAD~Watch OUT!

The Homeschool Chick If you are a frequent reader then you will recognize that this is a new meme for SisterT, but having a new beginning in our homeschooling LIFE, a new meme would be a great addition~so we are joining up with The Homeschool Chick and doing The Homeschool Mother's Journal each week.  Wow~so many new cool things happening~

Each week she will post some questions for us to answer~and we will all go to the central local and read up on all the answers~soo cool...sooo IF you are stopping by for the first time, welcome! Check out my tabs~especially the Free/GiveAway section or maybe a specific age group. I've been collecting free homeschooling/education web links for sometime. If you find one that doesn't work, please let me know so I can correct it~Thanks so much for coming and also let me know you came with a shout-out~I'd love to meet you!

In my life this week...

Ice storm and snow were the rule of the week~and on Wed evening took the youth group sledding and snowboarding. What fun~I'm working fitness and weight goals and these have continued to go well.  Today marks 17 weeks TOTALLY OFF sugar and white flour. Wt loss has been 41 lbs and exercise goals are being met so far so good...

In our homeschool this week...

CHANGE hallmarked our week with a bit of a rush/crunch that has gone on.  We worked HARD to finish up our 1st Semester curriculum so I could submit final grades and transcripts to the virtual academy we are beginning next week.    Part of this was finishing up some construction we were working on so that we could have NEW work spaces for homeschooling~more traditional work spaces: desks and shelving in a central location.  You can read about it HERE!  

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We're high schoolers, so we do get around some, but a lot of our time is spent getting our schoolwork done. We do go to the YMCA for exercise doing either the track, swimming or workouts which of course are our PE credits.  We try very hard to do this as a family~even taking Grandma with us as she lives with us~the whole family~fun!

I'm a youth worker at church and this week we went tubing/snowboarding with the group. This was loads of fun~I was amazed to see my kiddos snowboard FOR THE FIRST TIME! whoot! 

A big thing today was that they both did monologues for their homeschool Drama Club and my daughter was awarded two parts in the spring production of Charlotte's Web.  This is such a highlight each semester and they are earning a credit in this area.  You can see a past performance picture in this post about Extra Curricular Activites! And how cool Drama Club has been for my kiddos!

We're church attenders, so tomorrow we will participate in our house of worship. The kids are in the choir and we all attend Sunday School...guess it helps that Dad is the pastor..huh??? lol!

My favorite thing this week was...

Not an easy pick, but probably getting the plaster dust OUT of my house. This ole house has been a redo nightmare and ongoing project for over 2 yrs now...that's what we get for a PRICE IS RIGHT home...LOL..but praise God, the plaster work is done FOR NOW...more coming...but right now, I can breathe! LOL...Interested in our house REDO?? You can read about this particular phase of our remodel

Oh, it was GREAT seeing my kids do their monologues AND snowboard! They AMAZE ME!

What's working/not working for us...

Well, it all went back to that conversation back in December and subsequent conversations~you can read about it HERE!

And we are keeping HOMESCHOOLING~just changing to include some things...LOTS of things... 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

I literally CRIED in relief when we were in the orientation class together on Thursday. I NO LONGER carry the burden fears are not totally relieved, but...I have help...thank you, Lord!  

I do have a nagging thing inside with some concern for the content of the virtual academy as it is a public school curriculum~but I KNOW this, that I have taught them and it ULTIMATELY is the choice of every person~to accept Truth or reject it...I am still praying... 
A photo to share...
My son is working on the assessment testing at his new workstation in our new school room space.  This is a miracle!

Thanks so much for coming by~please let me know you came!  I am blessed by your presence! Head over HERE to read the other Mother's Journals~Woot!
SisterTipster ;-))

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FREE: Elementary Level Spanish For Kids~Gr 1-4

Spanish For Kids

First DAY of the REST of Our Lives~THIS Semester!

It really WAS a struggle figuring out that we needed to sign up for a home based Virtual Academy, but in the decision came some relief and much needed prep work.  We had to rethink environment, styles, and TIME.  Our learning environment went through an overhaul. For years, we have schooled without a specialized SPACE, but just in our cozy comfy den chairs and sitting at our kitchen table~our style was relaxed and unpushed mostly~sometimes it got harried~but mostly it was get up and get going by 10 and work it TIL we were done which meant at least 3PM, but IF we had appointments or I had errands, I'd leave an agenda or TO DO list~and scoot~they'd handle it! Then there was the TIME factor of the past~our schedule was OUR OWN...nobody to do any dictating to SisterT and her littles...except IF we wanted or truly needed (like doc and dentist appoints OR traveling...) to change it up~AND WE DID...also our times to do our work could vary too.  TIME WAS OURS...But something told me on Thursday as we all three were sitting in our den, each with his laptop in an online Virtual Academy orientation session~Some things ARE about to change...

AND they have changed. Yesterday was our very very first day of working within the confines of the Virtual Academy~AND it was different.  Good.  But definitely different.  All we did yesterday was continue to work the very last of our school work (from me) AND do some initial testing for assessment.  In this came the need to address ALL those things that we've done so differently~like setting up the NEW SPACE.  There were new desktops put into place and a new book shelf as well.  One computer had arrived~DID I SAY that they provide the computers and all books and materials? I couldn't be more excited JUST on this feature ALONE!  But setting the space up meant taking some time to room arrange and vacuum.  I mean: construction MAKES dirt! LOL...sooo we had some housekeeping too, and all that where our NEW quiet and non (HOPEFULLY) distracting, but close by MOM area...I'm liking this myself.  ALL that school stuff near them...but also neat and organized..well, it WILL's still arriving in great big boxes...daughter's stuff is ALL yet to get here...but it will...and we'll get it put into place and even have plans to add shelving OVER their work stations as well as a cork board to post up for THEMSELVES their calendars and agendas...or anything else they might need to highlight in their space.

On a light note about the space, I did get to hang one of my very very fave pics in it as it matches just perfectly.  It's a Victorian Era mother teaching her little child to pray~I love it! And in many ways it has symbolized my heart about homeschooling even if the actual scene here wasn't all that serene as we did our schooling.  Something calming and inspiring about this picture..just plain pretty imho.  ;-))

But the environment isn't done.  There's more painting to be done~the trim around the new back door is just wood, but it's present and all drafts are sealed! woot! AND then our sheetrock doesn't meet our ceiling b/c in the future~the ceiling will be redone and maybe the space reconfigured...maybe...but anyway, the long term purpose will be addressed soon too..but for now, it's a school room..YES IT ISssss!

Our Time changed in that we were on a mission to accomplish this testing that I knew would take AT LEAST two hours or more...ENTER MO for both kiddos...tiring/taxing TESTING...but it had to be done and since the probability of being HERE to take it on Monday @2 is remote IF they both get parts for the new Drama Club spring production, Charlotte's Web~we had to do it...YESTERDAY!  Soo I set it all up~and off they went...It seemed to work well for them..I can only HOPE...

And of course, our schedule got a kiax yesterday because with monologues due today, I normally would have allowed a short school day and not worried if the Advisor or teachers were available in their office hours and holding classes/answering questions...THIS IS ALL SO NEW~but good...seems good...will be GREAT!

Okay, so all that nagging NAGGING fear is somewhat lessened...somewhat.  The proof is in the pudding so they say, and in TIME we shall see...We SHALL...and it's coming pretty quick!

So today, this mama, SisterT is heading out to run errands to further organize up future TIME~so I can have them up, on tap and READY FREDDY come Monday~the TRUE VERY first day of this semester, which is THE FIRST DAY of the rest of our lives...

See you soon. Thanks for coming by~leave me a shout-out about what's going on at your place! HUGS!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

For the LOVE of Dolls~

Bet you didn't know SisterT is a doll collector? I love 'em! In fact, I have so many that I'm pretty picky over WHICH ones I display~and I even sew and crochet for them sometimes~Well, being a collector, I love Barbie by Matel too~In fact, I have a few of them myself~even a few from my childhood~Bet you played with one too~most of us did! Well, interesting FUN FACT is that Barbie and KEN are 'getting BACK together' LOL! Oh yeah! LOL...sooo let's see HOW the publicity spin will work in connection with romance, marriage and family for the long-time duo!

Here's the article I found...HERE on the Barbie/Ken reunion

and a little FuN Barbie history~TOO CUTE!

MORE Silly Barbie FUN!
Gotta go FIND MY Barbie...oh yeah!! LOL...

REVIEW: TenMarks Math Online Learning

~Strong Foundation 
Strong Future
Website:  HERE
Ages: Elem 3rd gr-HS~Alg 2 and Geometry
Cost: $10 mo subscription
I say:  Useful and Helpful
I received a subscription to TENMarks online math learning website as part of The Old Schoolhouse CREW review team in exchange for my honest opinions with no monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.
I'm the GAL with math terror~remember ME?  Well, it's been my quest to find the perfect program that will really teach math to my kids and lesson the burden placed upon me~something about just looking at numbers and my palms sweat, heart races and my brain TURNS TO MUSH~Soo when we were asked to review TENMarks, I sighed...oh no! NOT an online math program~HOW AM I GONNA do that? AND can I get my kiddos intrested~DID THEY inherit this dreaded math terror? ? ?

Well, as it happened, Boy Thing One (God bless him!) got finished with his preAlgebra studies with our current math program and so we had some time to work TENMarks and give it a go~  I set the program up for him and each day reminded him to do lessons~

Here's what the site says:

TENMarks is the only online math program that helps students refresh, learn, and master math concepts - in their own time, at their own pace. Each child receives a personalized curriculum to help them master the concepts quickly.

Here's some of the features of TENMArks:

  • Online learning~
  • Math videos that can be played over and over~
  • Hints available while working the worksheets~
  • Customizable learning~parents can assign topics~
  • REWARDS~kids get to earn online games as they complete work~AND certificates of completion which are pretty cool if you'd like to print them for your child.
  • Email reminders to do worksheets with the assigned dates to parents~
  • A PLACE ON HOLD button for stopping the worksheet generator progression if you need to slow it up~
  • Testing throughout as well as initial Assessment for placement~

Okay~sooo HOW did this grumpy, attitudinal TEENAGER do given he was just coming out of preAlgebra and had never truly seen some of this stuff~First, he seemed to like that it went fairly fast~he could do a lesson in 1/2 an hour or less.  As a parent, I'm not sure how effective this was~and if he had found some loopholes~he's prone to do that...but some lessons he scored the TEN and others he was less~I PUT into place that he needed at least a NINE to progress...sometimes he didn't make it, but I also noticed that he wasn't watching the instructional videos either.  I had to go back and remind him and literally insist.  Perhaps they ought to play ANYWAY whether a kiddo thinks he needs them or not and THEN be available for a re-run!  This Mama thinks so! But he did end up earning some certificates, which I did print and are pretty cool looking~but as for the games, they were a wash. I have no real way to ck this behind him~it's set up pretty independently, but he says he played the racing game and the warehouse game. Okay, just so you know, there are games that are earned as lessons/worksheets are completed. But for a teenager~particularly THIS BOY, they were...well....ineffective as a motivator. I quote:  "I can play them in my sleep!" Oh brother! I have no way to know this either~but IF it didn't motivate him, it just didn't.  Okay, he also said that he has 'these' games on a disk..dunno...really don't..but either way~it didn't motivate him at 15...BUT for a younger kid, they would most likely work to play the games~sooo if you are push pull tugging and towing a teen, just know that the games may or may not be a motivator~but kudos to TENMarks for attempting to MOTIVATE~I like this a lot!

I am thankful for this opportunity as it has helped my son prepare and practice. I am unsure that TENMarks would adequately teach my son Algebra I, but for sure that it did give him some introductory information and practice~I guess I've just become a believer in text books and loads of paper and pencil power~

Another positive is that I like the pricing. Of course, SisterT advocates shopping the market for any product, but I like the subscription pricing~YES I DO~this could work for my budget whether I used TENMarks for the full coursework OR supplemental~LOVE IT!

Thanks for stopping by and go            to ck out the CREW about TENMarks!

CHANGE~A New Method For Our Homeschool

We'll soon complete 10 years at home together homeschooling our two, and it was becoming evident it is time for a change. This past few weeks, I interviewed my kids about their opinions regarding homeschooling~to hear some of their truth~what they think~their dreams, goals and ambitions~AND fears. My kids have worried about not being prepared.  I've worried about them NOT being prepared. I've studied and read all the stuff out there~I've shared much of it here~I've talked to other parents about their homeschool graduates~I have DONE my homework...but I could never EVER wrap my mind around that in the end~WHAT I DID or DO will be enough. I'm no teacher~well, SisterT isn't half bad as a teacher, but I certainly don't know it all~(despite those who *might* say otherwise that I THINK I DO...LOL)...and fear not only HAD them, it was nipping at my heels too...(READ what they told me~ HERE!)
Read more about the new schoolroom HERE!
We've made a change. It's a big change. And I am so excited! In fact during the orientation of the online process, I began to more is the burden totally mine...I share it with an online academy~We BeGiN on Monday~wooot!  Not only am I thrilled, but so are my teenagers who are so excited too! We've reworked some space here in the house and materials began arriving TODAY~

Soooooooooooo what's in store NOW for SisterT? Well, I'm still homeschooling but with MORE support than I dreamed~and the freedom is going to beeeeeeeeeee soooooooo nice!

Yes, they are still home. Yes, we are still family and the bonds are present and growing...YES~I have wonderful kids and BELIEVE in HOME EDUCATION~but in our 9th hr, I needed to be SURE that our education we were giving was going to DO WHAT A SOLID education needs to do~

Thank You, Lord!
He has blessed us~
Look for posts concerning our NEW journey in homeschooling~Virtual Academy! Thanks so much for stopping by and I plan to share about upcoming Drama Club tryout happening in less than 48 hrs~BOTH kiddos are trying out~WOOT! Production this spring is Charlotte's Webb~

Let me know if you have these same thoughts and how you are coping with it~What are your plans for your high schoolers to get them diplomas?  Is a GED equivalent in your estimation? Ring in~Thanks for stopping by and caring enough to drop me a shout-out~HUGS!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday: WK 4: Down BUT Not Out~

So I'm feeln' kinda outta sorts. This snow and ice is getting to me~and I'm still plugging, but not feeling like DOING IT~I've overall been very much on my POE~lost an additional 2#s for total of 41#s~woot! Week 17 is completed with no white sugar or flour.  Here's a flyer I received on sugar FYI~

Sorry it turned out so small, but hope you can read it if you need some sugar FREEing inspirations!  I certainly do. But let me say that I FEEL so much better physically that I don't WANT to eat white flour and sugar~period. Like I don't eat pork either. When a food makes you feel so rotten, you have no trouble giving it up~but it's a mind game about the sugar, b/c since I've given it up, I don't miss it~MOST of the time...and less sweet tastes plenty sweet to me.
Here's my week:
Fri~YMCA water exercises
Saturday~Stretching and moving.
Sunday~Nothing. DAY of REST ;-))
Monday~Stretching and exercising at home.
Tuesday~Water aerobics at the YMCA
Wednesday~Stretching at home~
Thursday~In with a tummy ache~(NO MO sugar free candy for me!)
Friday~YMCA swimming and workout.

Head over HERE to ck out the Fit Mommys!

GiveAway: FREE Copy of True Treasures

Wanna win a copy of True Treasures of TEACH Magazine?
Read my review: HERE! Head HERE! for the giveAway~
Ends 1/31/11

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

REVIEW: True Treasures 10 Yrs Of TEACH Magazine

True Treasures 10 Yrs Of TEACH Magazine
compiled by Mrs. Lorie Flem
Website:  HERE
 Price:  $19.97  order your copy before 5-31-11 get $4 OFF/code: GabbyMom 
I say: Instant encouragement!

I received True Treasures From TEACH Magazine as part of The Gabby Moms review team for my honest opinions without monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.
 Need a little lift?  Want THE BEST of THE BEST of TEACH Magazine? How about a CUT to the CHASE of what TEACH soon to be called Eternal Encouragement (FREE SAMPLE) has to offer?  Grab a copy of True Treasures  for it's just that, a rare gem and FIT FOR A QUEEN! I found myself glued within its pages reading to satisfy my otherwise burned out-fried soul~There's some great stuff in this short read, and I'd have to encourage you to read and then go back~read it again. This is a book that is so rich, it could take some time to work on your heart~it did mine!

This is a softcover bound book has six divisions with articles within each to bring warmth to the heart. I particularly enjoyed the homemaking and marriage sections. What ENCOURAGEMENT!

HERE are some article samples and the index~

Head on over HERE to read what other GabbyMOMS are saying! woot!

INTERESTED IN A GiveAway? Head HERE! (Ends 1/31/11)

REVIEW: Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids
Age:  3rd-up (possibly adults with little knowledge~the format and color would make less intimidating.)
Web:  Lifeway StoresPrice: $14.99
I say: I truly love it~This is a wonderful resource MUST HAVE for a good introductory study of the Bible for children and up.

I received the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids as part of The Old Schoolhouse CREW review team in exchange for my honest opinions without monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids ~
This is a beautiful hardback book with 212 pages with really cool features to teach children the historical and practical information to unlock the Bible for them.  My teens think it's a great resource for kids, and I find it useful too in teaching the Bible. The format and layout~by alphabet is a very good way to find just what I need.  The features include:
  • Reconstructions~like a drawing of NT Rome. Very coool!
  • Illustrated Charts~like Foods in Bible Times:  Do you want to try something 'different'? Ever eat a fig?
  • Charts~The Apostles: I'm teaching about them right now in Youth Group @ church~sooo useful!
  • Entries~The KJV Bible is used in the defining and descriptions of each subject defined.
  • Pronunciation Guide~Ever wonder just HOW to say those funky names? Here's a great resource!
  • Photographs~My fave part~ACTUAL beautiful color photos~This feature alone makes this book AWESOME!
  • Realistic Illustrations~Drawn pictures of the Bible stories to depict ACTUAL HISTORY~woot! No kiddiefied stuff here!
  • Definitions~Bio info about the REAL PPL of the BIBLE~HISTORY has COME TO LIFE!
 Each topic/subject is catagorized by alphabet.  All A, B, C stuff is together so it's easy for little hands.  What an awesome resource for anyone teaching or learning the Bible YOUNG AND OLD alike! Kids of ALL ages will benefit. I find the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary For Kids useful for every level.  Your kids will love it~and what better way to deepen their Bible knowledge than with a beautifully written full color resource that they can definitely understand.  Of course, there can be more study added to the topics, but it's not overly simplified what is here~soo why NOT begin with a great many facts and continue to build their knowledge?  

Read           to see what the rest of the CREW is saying~ 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Award: Stylish Blogger~Woot!

SisterT is so thankful for her friendships in bloggy world, and dear Sheriff Sheri over at 1of100 PLUS 25 TOS CREW Reviews has honored me with the Stylish Blogger Award~whoodda thought?  Here's what I need to do to accept this award and what my nominees will do:
1.  Award to 15~NOPE, I'm gonna do at least five, but it could be more when I get going...LOL
2.  Tell 7 things about ME~ha! You might be surprised to know...(READ ON....LOL)
3.  Head over to my nominees' blogs and let them know~
4.  For my nomiees LINK BACK to me~whoohoo! (Thankyaverymuch!)

Drum Roll PLEEZE~


Guiding Light Homeschool (Dawn)Clark Clan Craziness (Jill)
Mindful Ramblings(Julie)
Adventures in Unsell Land (Jennifer)
Our Village is a Little Different (Catherine)
The McClanahan 7 (Lisa)

Seven Facts About ME:
1. I like the color black and wear it a lot.  I have it in almost every room of the house in my decor.
2. I'm a lefty and when I played softball in 6th gr they called me "Lefty." LOL
3. I have three hole in each ear, but only wear two pair of earrings at a time ;-))
4. I secretly LONG to go back and finish my nursing degree~AND WILL one day...
5. We're doing construction in our home in a renovation. Plaster work is done in one area and now it's time to paint. 
6.  I LOVE bubble gum!
7.  I can draw, paint and love to do crafts~got my beads out today~I'm feeln' that urge to create something!

Thanks again, Sheri~you made my day! ;-))

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About BURN OUT~YIKES!

After almost completing 10 years, does SisterT know ANYTHING about burnout? I betcha she does! In fact, burnout has been battled on more than one occasion in her hsing career with her children.

I can say that burnout is something we really don't want to talk about as homeschoolers~BUT most of us have experienced it, and if you haven't, I'd say that it could be coming.  It's so common that I'm really thankful for this opportunity to share how I've dealt with it and what new change is up for my family.

Recently I came to the conclusion that something wasn't working well in our homeschool.  CALL IT ME~I wasn't really wanting to work anymore, and then after I had some heart to heart with the kiddos, I realized that they too were having some misgivings.  We all were thinking about the future and our chosen path of homeschooling through high school~and getting SCARED.  Fear was really gripping my daughter who desires to be THE TOP of her class~but with no class~how could she achieve this? She had no peers with which to compare or compete.  We can say it's silly, but my daughter was really struggling with fear of inadequacy.  I COULD tell her a zillion times how talented she is and how well I believe she is doing, but it did nothing. NOTHING.  She was the one who was concerned about getting into college~AND WANTS COLLEGE~soooo this Mama had some soul searching~AND thinking to do.

Was this JUST a case of my burnout and my desire to 'quit' or revamp what we are doing or was this a valid and truly wanted change from our chosen path of education?  I began praying too. I believe these decisions are best loaded into the hands of the Heavenly Father, and so I began asking in earnest that He intervene and show us His way.  I began calling around looking for options too.  Did we want to dual enroll in a local college, begin a high school career track technical school program, look into GED stuff, enroll in an online school~enroll in the local public high school~W H A T ? ? ? was up for my family?

After researching the options, and discussing them with my children~WE MADE A HUGE CHANGE.  We will be beginning second semester in an online program call 'virtual academy' in just a few short days.  This program will mean that we are still homeschooling, but that many of the responsibilities of prep and materials is now provided by the school, and my kiddos are essentially a part of a bigger picture than our little homeschool.  In the end, this program is certified for a HS diploma, and there will be no encumbrances concerning university acceptance based on their high school careers.  WHEW~and they are giddy with excitement!  I am RELIEVED.  I am no longer juggling all the responsibility of their future in my hands soley~Hub and I called in the BIG GUNS by giving this over to a program of study.

Now, this obviously is the first time we've met such issues with such measures~but let me say that the burnout of the past~the stressors of walking this path have been dealt with using similar methods.

I have prayed over burnout many times.  BEGGED God to do what I could not~and taken breaks when we all needed them.  The flex of our schedule helped this greatly.  Give yourself much needed breaks, but when it's school time, hold their feet to the fire~YOU WON'T BE SORRY!  I've been a tough teacher~and I'm praying that it will pay off~I've also researched before all of our options. Whether or not you ever take a new path, it's always good to know what's out there imho.  Knowing options makes the present choice more satisfying~we like knowing what we are doing is BEST for us~and that we made a choice!  Also I talked to my kids.  Hearing their heart on these matters is important.  If your child is 'telling' you something with either words or behaviors~listen up! It will never hurt to hear their heart's cry on these matters.  A child may not have the words, but their behavior and attitudes can sure tell us plenty~if we listen!  And lastly I believe that we're forging onward despite fears and misgivings in trust of God that we are doing what will ultimately please Him.  It's a tough world out there and preparing our children is a HUGE deal~but giving it to God in prayer and trusting Him along the way will give satisfaction and a peace of mind that avoidance by shipping our child off could never accomplish~

Soooooooo if you are experiencing this dreaded condition of burnout, give it to God and take a break to regroup.  Then you will have clarity of mind to go back and HIT IT HARD once again.  Remember that commercial years ago~'CALGON~Take ME away!!!" as the woman reclines in her bubble bath?? WE MOMS NEED those kinds of moments in our lives from time to time~and hey, pull out a nice scented candle for a nice effect~mmmmm.....

How ARE you beating burnout?

Head over              to see what the CREW is saying about it

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Speekee Spanish for Children Online

Speekee, Dino and Lupe'
Speekee~Spanish For Children
Age:  Toddler/Preschool to Elementary
Cost:  $7.50 mo  (First 2 wks FREE)
Website: Speekee TV Online also available on DVD format. 
I say: Really cute and engaging~LOVE Speekee!

I received a trial of online Speekee for review purposes from the vendor as part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew review team without monetary compensation for my opinions.
Thinking FOREIGN LANGUAGE for your child's future?  WHAT ABOUT Spanish~the up and coming language in the US~let's face it, there's a great need to know how to communicate mutli-culturally!  GET A JUMP START on those needed high school credits~Let Speekee charm and engage your little one into learning through emersion and activities~SPANISH with Speekee!

SisterT found herself singing along and remembering the dialog in this very cute multi sensory integrated approach to learning Spanish for young children!  Speekee is just a cute little purple puppet guy!  He is funny and quite engaging as the focal character along with Jim and the team of children who speak Spanish with subtitles provided to immerse children into this world of speaking a foreign language.  I love Speekee! Wish that we had had him when mine were littles.  My son watched  few episodes with me, but you can guess what a fifteen year old said about it all~BUT THEN...he can be excused as a fifteen year old, right? I KNOW children will love Speekee.  He is a brightly colored Henson-like puppet that reminds me of bygone days of Muppet mayhem! What fun and activities to get your child learning~SPANISH! 

How It works is you purchase a subscription and then obtain a user name and password to utilize the site on a monthly basis.  It's just a small investment ($7.50/mo) INITIAL 2 WKS FREE! to teach your young child Spanish in a fun way! Each video is really engaging.  Bright colors and practical themes such as the Park, Zoo, Cafe, Classroom and more. This is appropriate for the smallest learner~I actually think it reminds me not only of the Muppets, but also of the quality PBS preschool learning my children did when there were littles.  You can try Speekee  with 2 WEEKS FREE HERE!  What a wonderful opportunity to give your young child an educational advantage... The secret will be playing the films over and over~your kids will love it!...  And then when they are in high school LIKE MINE, they will be on top of the game in high school Spanish~woot! Every child deserves a kick start like this!

So won't you consider checking out SPEEKEE for your littles and give them a huge ADVANTAGE now for the future??

Go HERE to ck out what the Crew is saying!

Fit Mommy Friday: WK 3: Workin' It~

SisterT was sick last week, but ended up getting in 3 days of exercise anyway~woohoo! This really is working for me, and I feeling so much better. I also find that my food is doing well too. I cut my calories last week to the 1500-1600 range and have continued with no white stuff eating 5-6 times a day. I did this a total of 7 days and this week have gone back to 3 squares and adding a snack if I need it at night.  This seems to be really working for me, and I am thankful.  My jeans are getting looser and so it won't be long I get to purchase new ones! WOOT! I've not been smaller than the pair I have on now other than in the dissent on the way to the dispear I have found myself when gaining this weight in the first place.  I am truly excited!

This week I began faithfully with a good water aerobic workout for 50 min in the pool on Monday, but we got an ice storm on Tues night~so no go yesterday~was very busy today...  I have been doing some range of motion exercises and movement since I can't go swim in this weather~but..HOPEFULLY tomorrow we can go~There's just something special about that pool and exercising!

Soooo how are you doing ?  Is it working for ya?  My journey has entailed small changes that over time have made a huge impact.  Won't you join me? woot!

Head on over to ck out the other Fit Mommys HERE!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Doc Discussion: Veeeerrry Interesting!

HSing yrs ago...memories...
SisterT took the kiddos to the Doc this morning for their ck up, and in discussing school I learned something really interesting. I learned that our doctor has had a somewhat (not sure how much, but seems profound) change of opinion regarding homeschooling.  Wow! 

The convo went like this:

Doc:  "How long have I been seeing them?"

Me:  Over two years, Sir.

Doc:  "You know how they portray homeschooling. And I don't know...I am into traditional...medicine...I never...I...well..."

Me:  Yes, know it is really up to families what they do~the law allows families to teach as they see it best, and it's so individual...

Doc:  "Six years ago I had never heard of it.  And today, I have a much more open mind..." (looking at the kid on the table:) "And how are you today?"

And my daughter told him...

It's amazing that we really didn't know our physicians misgivings about our way of life.  He never voiced any concerns, but did ask us how we were doing each time we'd come in.  I'm thankful the wheels of thought are churning, and it urges us to keep doing as best we can~

We just NEVER know WHO might be watching...

Monday, January 17, 2011

CSN Stores HAS COOL Stuff~

Sister is extremely excited to review some neato stuff from CSN Stores~Did you know they have loads of EVERYTHING you may want or need right at your mousey-fingertips? You can get cute cookware, cool  fitness equipment, stylish ceiling fans, fun outdoor playsets, and more! I am B L O W N A W A Y by ALL they offer in their 200 online stores~You don't want to MISS this review~COMING SOON!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

GiveAway: FREE OH Homeschooling Assessment

If you live in OH, then you know this is an annual occurrence where kiddos are evaluated~Here's an opportunity to win a FREE ONE~ FREE Assessment/Eval for OH  (ENDS 1/18/2011)

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About Workn' In and Out the HOUSE~

This is a The Old Schoolhouse Crew Blog Cruise post.  You can get over to read more                !

I work, yup~I work.  But do I get paid? Well, not in dollars most of the time, but there have been a few times...but I'm a stay at home mom of two teenagers~My work is mainly homemaking chores and doing the things God has called me to do~like blogging for instance.  But my job mostly is as wife and mother.

How do I do it?

Well, sometimes not so well, but at other times I am on my game~yeah I am! I can really do some stuff pretty well and have a great time doing it~but mostly I enact a little time management and goal setting.  I have been known to make a list or two as well~Sometimes I prioritize.  Looking over what has to be done that's gotta be done first creates some urgency sometimes...but I plug away and manage to get things done and generally on time.  Recently we put clocks in several rooms that didn't have them so I could better stay up with the time. I don't wear a watch anymore so seeing the time and being conscious of it eludes me sometimes...soo my overall best answer IS~


No real magic.  I pray a lot.  Sometimes I find myself feeling anxious over situations in my life, but I am learning to depend upon Him for all my needs and for the needs of my family.  When I feel this feeling, I will not only pray but I will begin taking a slow deep breath~that helps...There's really nothing 'extra' special about what I do~

My kids do a good bit b/c we want them to LEARN HOW to do everything we know how to do and be very practiced at it.  They accomplish many of the chores here in the home and really each of us has a 'domain' that we keep. Mine is dishwashing and some laundry.  My son vacuums~trash and clears the table, my daughter empties the dishwasher~washes the floor~and does some laundry and my cooks and we both dust and clean generally.  Bathrooms are divided up as well as other stuff~But it's TEAM WORK around here~everybody pitching in and how we ADD this to homeschooling is that having our home orderly is a priority so we work it EVERYDAY. Oh I am not Mrs. Clean and Neat or Miss Neat and Tidy~nope! I'm a messy kinda Sister~but I do like to keep the health dpt at bay and OUTTA MY HOUSE with the quarantine sign or the little black flag~

When mine were littles, like in preschool~I fixed an old butter tub with warm water and soap and gave it to them to help me wash walls, baseboards, floor corners and the like.  Little people LOVE to clean and help, so I let them by teaching them~ I remember how much they would BEG me to clean the windows with spray cleaner and, it's NOT even on their radar in desires for fun, but they KNOW HOW and will do it if I ask them~When I did laundry and was sorting, I had them come into that area and "work with me" so they'd know how to sort and wash appropriately.  It's an art to do these things well~and it takes practice! I really didn't do much growing up myself.  I HATED the kitchen and dish washing so my mother did it ~I guess to avoid my grumbles...and I never learned to cook either...but I can now..and so can my kids!  We're working on stove 'attendence' by Girl Thing One smoked up the kitchen the other day by leaving a pan and it began to throw off smoke~not good in this climate where it's too cold to open a door or window~so she is off the stove and just has access to the microwave and toaster for won't be long and she will be back cooking her breakfasts again~but she's will learn to be diligent...and all these skills take practice. 

Something else I allow them to do, but taught them how is organizing.   When we lived in KY I had two big pantry areas withing a huge butler's pantry and my son used to organize it almost weekly.  I know, it sounds awful probably, but this kid is pretty good this way!  I have a drawer in the kitchen right now that needs HIS special touch~maybe next week, huh?

Well, I just can't do it all, but I can and do my part to add to the work of my family. Even though I am not professionally employed, my contributions to add to the overall health of my family and bring us benefit~WHAT would they do without ME??

Tell me about how you make it work~Are you teaching the littles HOW and let them practice it frequently?

How do you work in and out of the house and homeschool?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

FREE: Funnix ~A Tutor in Your Computer (READING PROGRAM for LITTLES)

Thanks to a Crewmate, I've been shared with that  Funnix is offering their program FREE for the month of January~ $250 Value~whoohoo!  It takes 2G memory so go ck it out~

Friday FarmGirls at Heart~Nothing Like the Present and Crochet Is So...


Addicting? LOL!  Seriously, I love this art form~have for a very long time...but I'm a 'dumb' crafter b/c I don't read the patterns all that well, and I'm impatient.  AND NO~SisterT is NOT going to pray for any patience...she couldn't STAND the results of an answered prayer~the 'process' of developing it~ LOL!! But since I am totally impatient, I love the 1/2 double crochet for a lot of things.  Recently I finished up my son's blanket I began a year ago~it's 100% cotton yarn from Peaches & Cream and is chocolate brown-baby blue-cream patterned with a choco brown edge~

I got into making something quick and pretty easy too this holiday season and just couldn't quit~LOL...POTHOLDERS! NO kidding~ I made some with granny squares and then with 1/2 double or single crochets as well~included were some dish towels to match...These are really servicable and make the kitchen so ole timey and comfy!  At first, I put thin ready made potholders in between the two layers of work and then put an edge to hold it all in place~then I figured out that even though I was using thin ones, the premade ones are too thick, so I recycled some old blanket cotton flannel and doubled the thickness to make the 'just right.'

I also made a purse that you can see~it's lined and has a button closure~my hippie bag!

I am hankering~REALLY dying to get my hands on some sage green cotton yarn that is a 14oz cone from Sugar and Cream sold here locally to make a throw for my den~AND then there is this multi-colored one: purple, sage green and cream...oh oh oh! I can get excited! BUT WHERE would I use it??? I dunno, but I'd be IN LOVE for sure!

Okay, the first three pics shows how they're put together and that stuff I used. Some of the pics are backs and fronts~in that order...

Here's the back of the one above~
Single crochets will stitch it together.

Blue, pink and white set of 2 potholders.
Sachet in front of hand towel
Hand towel.
back of white potholder~
Same both sides~
Sachet and bath cloth.
green and brown front
green and brown back
My fave~brown front
My fave~brown back.
front green/brown
back green brown
front blue
This is a set with 2 dish rags, 2 potholders, dish towel and sachet.
Buttons to dress 'em up!
A little better view of son's afghan~
I'm glad to be back on the saddle the tractor LOL~ with FFG@H with Illinois Lori~Check out the other FarmGirls HERE!