Sunday, February 27, 2011

BLOG CRUISE: SisterT's Talkin' About HSing Around Appointments

TOPIC:  How do you juggle homeschooling a child with special needs, therapy, etc? I'm part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew review blogger program and we have a weekly question that we can all participate in to answer~

Here's my take:

Boy, have we been THERE! Frankly, I've been sooo there, that I've not been at home as much as I would have liked!  To stay at home as much as I could, we actually had therapy come to us. All this running and hoop jumping really began before age 3 and so since we had baby interventions at home, and then when he was in preschool for a few hours each morning he had therapy~we've navigated all kinds of appointments!

How to make homeschooling WORK when you're not home much because you have a child with a special need can be a huge challenge!  Just having a special child is in itself a challenge and then ADD all the interventions making it EVEN rougher~I came to the conclusion YEARS AGO that it seemed like the interventions were aimed at making ME feel like we were doing something~something to help~to detract from the issues and pervasive issues that have minimized, but never quite gone away.  Oh, don't call SisterT negative  b/c I've seen tons of progress~but jumping hoops is such a challenge to families with already weakened links that just being drawn and pushed all over the place can make it even harder~I speak this from the heart.  Appointments did make it harder.  It really did. But while my child has needs, so does the entire family~each member needs things and EDUCATION is just one small facite when there are special needs to navigate that require all kinds of time and resources to make appointments all over the place.   

In hindsight we did make it.  We are now highschoolers as you know, and so we have overcome and pushed through much of the running here and running there, navigate this therapy and that intervention that honestly now seems like a far off misty dream!  ONE DAY I will graduate all of the homeschooling and appointments and wonder just where all that time went ~and HOW we made it.  To get us through, I devised some strategy.  It took STRATEGY to make it. It still does but for different reasons~isn't it GREAT we homeschoolers are so elastic and flexible?  Just call me, FLEXA-MAMA! ...LOL...

Things we did to MAKE IT:
When it came to going out of our home to appointments, we had to make some plans.  First I had to know what we needed to cover on the appointment day, so my schedule was huge for me. Then I had to find a way to fit it all into our day even if we weren't at home, so I found a rolling book bag and packed it the night or morning before leaving for the appointment so we'd have 'activities' to do while we were waiting or in transit.  Being prepared was huge as I just couldn't sit there waiting OR allow my kids to just ride and not make use of that time. We have always lived further out from most bigger cities near us, so even if it was just 20-45 minutes to ride in the car, it was well worth having something they could do on the way or waiting.

RIDE School:
I guess it's a cool idea to ride or travel and school. I had no idea I was doing something faddish when in fact, all I was trying to do was survive and keep us going. But things we did in the car were listen to tapes/ cds which could house a world of stuff~things such as our multiplication facts were learned in songs called skip counting songs...also we could listen to stories or books on tape.  We sang and practiced our facts/information whether it was math or definitions such as spelling and vocabulary.  I'd have a child read aloud to me and the sibling too~This worked great! What skills were developed in the car as we traveled to our appointments!  I would have one child read to another~this was great too! Also I would even use small manipulatives for various things~sometimes coloring activities were done too...depended upon the distance. We were always busy in the car~and IF Daddy was driving which he did on long hauls, I would sit in the back and work with them.  At that time, we had a large leisure van so this worked really well...I wonder if my kids remember that?  

Waiting Room School:
When we got into the appointments and had to wait, if I was allowed to go back with my son, I did~but that generally left my daughter with my hub or in the waiting room alone.  Either way she needed stuff to do. No TV watching or just milling around for us!  She kept busy while my son was in his therapies.  Of course, they shared and still do some doctor appointments and now that they are MUCH older, I can leave one at home to work.  Either way, we don't quit working just b/c someone has to get out for an appointment.  
Learning can occur ANYWHERE so we have taken advantage of that fact...We sung a lot too~we drilled, we did whatever we needed and could to keep up our schedule and lessons, even schooled on Saturday and Sundays if the week got too tied up~Schooling was our recreation as well with more relaxed activities, and we schooled EVEN WHEN it didn't feel like school. Educational films, read alouds and craft projects and even Bible studies centered on topics we covered in our schooling so they were natural extensions of our educational week that got too jammed with  appointments so to keep going we did these and we learned. Until  studies helped us here as the extensions were endless covering many many modalities of learning!  We hauled coloring and art and all manner of stuff~Get yourself a rolling book bag~they work great for hauling it ALL with you! An example of this is our Bible studies for our History lessons, where as the teacher the whole class has been taught early church history via ME so my kids had an additional class in it each week~WHY NOT when all the teens under my guidance need to know this stuff? KNOWLEDGE isn't just for homeschoolers! LOL

I also tried to protect our days as much a possible by scheduling appointments TOGETHER and getting providers as near to each other as possible. Just this alone allowed us to stay home more and keep up a good solid school and family routine in our household.  When we had to go it was usually a long drawn out day, but we didn't go as often as we might have if I hadn't planned it this way.  Think about how MUCH your children can take and IF being home would serve your family better~CAN YOU find a way to bring services to your home? Recently I have requested tutoring for my kids for their weaker areas and my special learner,  but I had the choice of going to a provider OR having one come to me. Frankly, I'd rather have them come to my house so that the instruction/provider time is maxed, and it's their travel time, not mine. HOW MUCH can a kid take is a question I ask myself when setting stuff up. Oh, well, I don't always like for providers to 'intrude' if you know what I mean in our little sanctuary (home) but it ultimately works out better by relieving some of the stress of leaving the home during our schooling routines.

So HOW do you handle such situations like doc, dental and other appointments? Do you have multiple therapies to navigate each week such as speech or occupational or physical therapy? What are YOU doing? 

Thanks for stopping by and if you are interested in the Crew's ideas go                ! Leave me a comment so I knew you were here~ God Bless!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal~WK 5: ROUGH WEEK BUT Made It!

The Homeschool ChickI'm participating and if you want to, join up~love to hear about your week!

You know, when the weather is GORGEOUS like it was last weekend and you can get out and play like you haven't for a whole season, THEN...you almost need  to expect something DIFFERENT~yeah, that's what happened to me~I got out last Saturday and then by Monday the world turned to ICE and then we got dumped on with snow~YEP~loads of the white stuff..now, no need to complain, but just sayn' that it impacted me MORE than I was expecting!  I really was working it by getting out more and accomplishing things~THINKING spring! Well,,,,I shouldda KNOWN....lol...

In My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
I'm now taking a lesser role in our homeschooling with my son. I am giving him more freedom to make choices so he can figure out JUST WHAT it's gonna take for success~I know this sounds kinda silly! But this is giving ME some more freedom. I'm not attending classes with him nor watching what he's doing AS MUCH~I'm still responsible, and CARE, but I am letting him DO...better at 15 than 18 and fall flat b/c he's not gotten his feet under him! Soo in my life, I am continuing to work my food plan and also to exercise. I am looking for a stationary bike so I can move more.  I've been researching nutrition and health.  Can't go wrong there~and continue teaching youth on Wed nights~it's a busy busy life...We also signed up for a field trip in May to go on an actual archeology dig~woot!! AND daughter got her prep work on her teeth for that cosmetic dentistry since her braces are off~...BTW~yesterday early evening I got a vicious virus that shut me down and so we've had to redo all of my programs and files..NOT FUN!

My Favorite Thing This Week was...
That my daughter is pulling her math grade up~It's Amazing! whoohoo!!  It's the only class she struggles to have an A~GO GIRL!

What's Working/Not Working For Us...
What's working is that I'm feeling BETTER and that I want to DO more~what's not working is that I am worn out. I've been on a marathon for about 2 mo and I'm exhausted. Everyone in my house is...

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
What value are some of the things I am doing? Like all my computer time or phone time or...But WHAT ELSE am I gonna do? WHAT IS my life? WHAT AND HOW does it help my kids? Just thinking...

Here's a pic~
mama and me~Feb 2011








Thanks for stopping by~Leave me a shout out,plz! And if you wanna read mo, go           !

REVIEW: Math Rider~FUN WAY to LEARN and RETAIN MATH! Woot!

Galloping horse on a mission to save and defend~speed and agility~All connected to math skills~Your kids will love Math Rider!

I got a download of Math Rider as part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review program in exchange for my honest opinions without monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.

From the website:

Latest Generation Math Game, using Artificial Intelligence

Ride your horse on noble quests through the magical MathLands. Math Rider combines fun game play with a highly sophisticated question engine that adapts to your child. The game propels your child to mastery of all four math operations using numbers 0 to 12.
Math Rider was developed from personal need, because we wanted to help our own children who were struggling with fundamental math.
I enjoyed this interactive game. First it's for math fundamentals: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The faster you can type in your answers the faster the horse will run~and what's more is that you can set up an account for multiple children~all for the one low price~$37 normally $49 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE~woot!.

Features of the game (from the site)
  • You will know when your child has completely mastered an operation. And more importantly, your child will know it, too!
  • This is the fastest way to mastery of all four math operations. The artificial intelligence rehearses what is needed most, at a rate that is tailored to each player.
  • The game recognises and rewards improvement, not just perfection. This builds confidence and propels children naturally towards complete mastery.
  • Noble quests exemplify positive values such as family, caring, honesty and kindness.

I like the full color animation that plays in Adobe Flash~which is a free internet download. In just a short time, your child will love playing and increase his mental math skills~THESE are so essential and WHY fight over them or DRILL and KILL with flash cards?

Check out that sale HERE!  I say mostly elementary school kids, but youngers like preschool and kindergarten could play it if they already have mouse/keyboard skills and then some jr highs would love it, but others find it not action enough~Mine weren't challenged, but I say, they're just fuddie duddies in teen suits! LOL...

The Crew is talking about it              !

You won't go wrong when learning IS FUN!

Thanks for coming by, leave me a kind word~how's your math skills?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday WK 8~Still Working, But Hit a Glitch~


It's a little glitch, but still a big one in many ways~I have not gotten to the Y as much as I need to this week~in fact, it's Wed right now when I am beginning to write this post and all that yucky snow and ice that got dumped on us on Sunday night-Monday really slowed me down...and then it kept going on Tues..but today, I've been tied up helping the kids get back into the schooling routine as we were off on Monday too...ha! Soo much for increasing my exercise! BUT you do have to know something about me~I have been continuing to MOVE MORE inside my house and have committed to HUNTING DOWN a stationary bike so I can begin working on it each morning before I start my day~just a few minutes of fast peddling before I go down the stairs to begin with God, my friend who prays and studies with me each day~and then breakfast~ALL days except Sundays when I am in a RUSH to head to church...oh yeah!  Well, so I've not found a bike YET, but I am thinking about hitting the Y after church tonight and swimming for an hour...hmmm...I COULD do that...yeah, gonna run it by the clan to see if they wanna~

Soo I am thinking MORE exercise is beneficial. My neuropathy is improving~My body is shrinking. You know, I never measured to begin with, but those smallest jeans are now gettting loose~whoohoo! I am drinking more water and working my body at intervals throughout the day~seriously..while I'm not full blown aerobic shape exercise potential YET, one day, I will be...

Also my son's PE class is discussing nutrition. I am NOT thrilled with all that I see b/c it's still too sugar based, meaning that there are too many grains in the overall make up of the suggested diet~grains however unrefined STILL turn to sugar~albeit slow..so watching them and eating them as natural as possible is a huge thing in reducing the glycemic index of a food plan. I'm thinking diabetes PREVENTION, here!

Here's some links:
Centers for Disease Control

I really like that this site is a STOREHOUSE of most anything health including current stats on the health of the nation and it doesn't help that I met someone who worked there once who said that the CDC is basically in the KNOW about all things health in our nation...okay, sounds credible to me...since I have a nursing background, this makes sense to me even more!

Okay, today is NOW Friday and I am way behind getting this post up~but I am struggling. I need to weigh and measure my food EACH meal and I don't *like* doing that~sooo I made a commitment yesterday to do this and guess WHAT? FAIL~sooo since I've had breakfast and lunch already~I will do it TONIGHT~oh boy!  I'm also snowed in so can't get out~have a level 2 travel advisory so this means I am STUCK in here~but going to begin my exercise bike research~I WANT one to begin each day with some riding~woot!

Still staying clean with the KINDS of foods~just want to address amounts at this time~AGAIN! BELIEVE it OR NOT~you CAN get fat on celery~don't believe 'em when they say YOU CAN'T...LOL...eating healthy and with proper portions with exercise fuels and keeps this body going!

Thanks for stopping by to ck on me~the pics are all Dec-just a week or two back in church~BE BLESSED and KEEP UP the great work. To ck on other Fit Mommys~go HERE!  You wanna join? GREAT, come on!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Eternal Encouragement 's Newsletter~Encouraging Moments

MOTHERHOOD IS NOT for the faint of heart~nor the cowardly~NOR the profane...
SMART MOUTHED~Disrespectful~UGLY talk~RUDE~DISOBEDIENT~HURTFUL CHILDREN~and so on...are in a family's future IF some action isn't taken early in a young child's life... I ought to know...I have TEENAGERS~YIKES!  As a mom of two, I am living today the results of the upbringing and socialization of my precious children~do dare I admit they can be such?  Oh course, they can. But am I thrilled? NO.  In fact, honesty, purity, sweetness, obedience, grace and more are what I hope to have given them...but did I?  I tried.  I did.  But I haven't been perfect either~and while I have great kids, perfect they are NOT...but they are blessings to me...and they do soo try to do what is right, which pleases me, their father and our Lord.  

Since motherhood is totally TOUGH, along the way I've needed...sooo needed encouragement and HELP! HEEELP! When they were littles I listened to a radio program that discussed all things Christ-like womanhood and mothering that was a local pastor's wife in the area where we used to live...and I have found another source of support for today~Encouraging Moments~Our Moments Are Short and Sweet, the official newletter of Eternal Encouragement Magazine~formerly TEACH Magazine HERE. Yeah, for sure, my moments ARE so that~in fact...WHERE did time go?  Where DID the little babies go and bring me these great BIG adult sized children?  Life is marching by...and I desire support and some salve for my soul...a reprieve for my weary days~


Sweet kids...
Encouraging Moments won't take loads of time to dive into for you to gain that needed little nudge to keep you going. These E-newletters that are easy to join are concise timely nuggets designed for a quick pick-me -up to brighten and spur us onward in the ways of Christian mothering and womanhood.  Topics are around spiritual areas with Biblical emphasis and instruction.  This is some amazing stuff~and if you desire MORE than a weekly nudge, then you can subscribe  to the magazine Eternal Encouragement.  Mrs. Lorrie Flem is the publisher and has the depth and heart to show us Christ as we walk to do our roles in our homes~she's a wife, mother and has also homeschooled. 

Sweet kids again...
Inside you will find (from the website):
  • Encouraging you with wisely spoken words.
  • Convicting your heart as He refines you into His image.
  • Challenging you to continue to strive for improvement.
  • Touching your spirit with heart-warming stories.
  • Entertaining you through life-learning lessons.
  • Inspiring you to immerse yourself in the holy promises that are yours.
Each issue of TEACH covers a specific topic, topics that are relevant and revealing for homemakers and homeschoolers. You will love the tips and advice from our team of wonderful writers, or should we say experienced wives and mothers, ladies just like you?

All the sweet kids a few yrs back!
Who wouldn't WANT what this stuff? I certainly do! AND I sooo need it too~everyday...

When I received the Encouraging Moments newsletter, I found that the segment on teaching children obedience to be very good~some moms may not know how to do this in a positive way, especially if their mothering didn't model these kinds of things~The fact that it is multimedia presented Chick Flicks For Mom in a short film format made it interesting and sincere.  For their own sake, children must learn to do well in their heart which ultimately effects their actions.  Beginning now, with Encouraging Moments teaching and encouraging godly Christian character training and motherhood to we moms, our children have a better chance at life and pleasing the Lord in their future.  Christian family life and womanhood ideals are areas that Encouraging Moments is keen on, and you will find a wealth of all things from that perspective HERE!


I just had to post up a pic Maxine~as far as I know, she isn't a mom~but boy~howdee...I wonder about HER kids??!! ;-))  I definitely want to AVOID that trap...being a good wife and mother is very important...

Head over HERE to sign up for Encouraging Moments and give your spirit some support!  

Wanna know more? Go HERE to see what the other Gabby Moms are saying too! 

Thanks for stopping by~Leave me a shout out to let me know if you signed up~HUGS!!          

I am reviewing Encouraging Moments as an official member of The Gabby Moms blogging program for Eternal Encouragement magazine.  I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions are solely my own.

REVIEW & GiveAway: Cinnamon Burst Cheerrios ~woohoo! And Prize Pack!!

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My kids LOVE Cheerios~and we were given the op to ck out the newest flavor~Cinnamon Burst Cheerios~and they loved them~in fact, the box didn't last the first meal with those two...lol!  They are crisp and sweet~just right so my kidos tell me~I was also sent a neat Fit N Fresh food carrier, the Fresh Start Breakfast Chiller~Love the color, a pretty soft orange/tangerine color and opaque with white trim~there is also aSpark People~Make Your Life An Adventure FREE (you know, SisterT loves FREE) fitness/food program link for tracking and tailoring a program to meet your needs! You will also get a set of four white sleek cereal bowls~just right for a healthy serving! Do you see that candle in the pic? It's a beautiful smell that we have really enjoyed! Totally a mind, body and soul prize pack!  I'm cking out SparkPeople.  I've used another site, but this one looks pretty good~Soo cool~

Included in the information is information so useful to me~appropriate serving size info~Did you know that fruit and veggies should be no bigger than your fist or a small baseball per serving? NO MO huge bananas for SisterT...or those great big apples that are so yummy! If you are attending to health, and we ALL should be, watch the portions~ AND go ck out sparkpeople.com for loads of great info and inspiration!  




Here's what they said about the cereal:
Made with real cinnamon, new Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal will delight your taste buds! This newest edition to the Cheerios line-up allows you to provide your family with a delicious and nutritious breakfast that contains 20% of the Daily Value of fiber (or 5g per serving), has 9g of sugar, is low in fat, saturated fat free and naturally cholesterol free. Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal also provides at least 8g of whole grain per serving; at least 48g recommended daily. A true crowd pleaser, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal is sure to kick-start any morning!

I get to GiveAway a price pack to a fortunate reader~ALLLL you gotta do is leave me a comment for one entry~OR for five entries blog my giveAway and leave me the link on your entries~THAT'S IT!  ENDS 3/1 11:59 EST ;-))

I hope you can get out and try some of this great breakfast food with your kiddos~it's really good!

Disclaimer:  I received a box of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios along with a gift pack of the above mentioned items as part of the MyBlogSpark program in exchange for my honest opinions without monetary compensation.  My opinions are my own.

Just Talkn'...

Sometimes you just gotta talk.  I do or else it will all bottle up inside and I fear I'll go MAD...mad at everybody~mad at life~just plain ole MAD~Today my world of green grass and fifty degree weather turned BACK into an ice/snow castle.  Oh it's pretty, but I'm longing for spring! And well, we are back to the dry dry heat running full force in our home~yeah, we're nice and warm...but...I WAS HANKERING for SPRING!

Yeah, the ice and snow HAD all melted away~all but just the tallest of PILES where those essential snow plows had done their job to keep the paths/roads/ways as clear AS THEY COULD~but today it's all OUT THERE again...a desert of snow with a layer of slippery slidey ICE~just enough to take one's life in a bad bad fall.  And falling would be really bad...but alas, Sister and her family so far have gotten to stay home and snuggle and cuddle up right in here~but I had sooo wanted to get out of this place~to be free and roam the wide green areas of terrain...but not yet...

Guess the old groundhog decided winter needed to hang around a bit longer...maybe he wanted a longer nap...Well, picture postcard winters are okay~but it's enough, now~ LET THE GREEN begin!

And it will...it's coming...I'm waiting... ...

Monday, February 21, 2011

SisterT's Talkin' About Her Kids and THEIR Dreams For the Future~

The TOS CREW Blog Cruise question this week is:  What do your children want to be when they grow up and what are you doing to help them pursue their field of interest?

When my children were little, I had BIG dreams as do many moms as they hold their little babies and look into their innocent eyes.  I dreamed of lofty things like doctor, lawyers, Indian Chief...mother, father, teacher, preacher, singer, dancer...well, you get the idea~I DIDN'T KNOW what the future would hold, but I did have some idea that our future would be tied very tightly to our past~and just what we did and do~day by day...tht would equal OUR FUTURE...

Sooo when they were little toddlers and so active and energetic, I would take them to story time at the local library that had a park just across the parking lot~it was shaded with tall, tall pine trees and had picnic tables and benches along with all kinds of climbing and pay equipment~it was fenced in and safe...a GREAT place to spend the days away~library and then play...before naps and meals/clean ups...I believe it was in this environment that the love of books and reading began~blossomed with an eye to the future and desire for MORE...today...

A love of books and STRONG reading skills has to be, BESIDES the love of learning, the greatest academic skill a person can CULTIVATE...oh my! And this is an area we have pursued with passion~all of us...save one...and I'm still working ON HIM...lol...but we have invested our time and energy in a vast collection of books and reading activities as well as goals~each summer my children have participated in the local library summer reading program~You can imagine what this did to my daughter~HER DRIVE to win along with her love of books took her to hold the county we lived in~to have read the MOST books ever~over 1K..NO LIE...and today, she boasts a reading rate of somewhere between 800-1K words per minute..and she WORKS at this...reading IS a huge key to her successes~I certainly don't read that fast, nor type as fast as she does...never will...but my son who has struggled with reading reads, but at a much slower rate~unfortunately he HATES to read~but we continue to persue this for him~

Soo I had to ASK THEM what they WANT to do...

GirlTHINGOne says, "I don't know, exactly.  I want to write a couple of books, and make big money."  Okaay~GREAT...but...of course she talks about everything from law, doctor to...uh...coffee shop proprietor...LOL...WHO KNOWS what will become outta this...LOL...she's putting tools in her arsenal for live~she's driven~she has stick-to-it-NESS~soo what ever it turns out to be~it will be something else! I'm sure!!

BoyTHINGone won't even talk to me about it~"It's none of your business," he's said...OKAY...well, yeah. Maybe NOT, but dude, as long as your plans are to GET OUT of my house at some point and support yourself in an honest and meaningful say~GO FOR IT....The choice IS yours...with love, Mom.

As the Mom of teens, life can sometimes be on the rocks~meaning it isn't always fun or easy~but their dreams are theirs~and it ultimately IS up to them...As for what I'm doing TODAY~I'm refraining from ... uh...lol... and letting them continue to 'live' here and mature..so that they WILL be grown UP...(just kidding!!) But seriously, I have enrolled them into the Virtual Academy k12 school and working to support htem in their journey hof homeschooling~which is QUITE different from what we've done in the past.  They had expressed a desire for a diploma so I am supporting this~also they want college~I probably will go back to work to support that too~in fact~our whole lives are changing.  With the improvement in my health and their change of methods for dreams (me totally schooling verses this online academy) things are definitely different~DIFFERENT..and changed~for the better...

Son HAS GOT to get it in gear...and let me say this...LOL...this ole fat mama is a believer in LOGICAL NATURAL CONSEQUENCES:  son will be old enough to get a permit soon...right??? Oh yeah, and of course HE WANTS to drive.  What 15 year old doesn't want that privledge??  Well, this will bring about a NEED for car insurance right?? Pricey~right??? Okay...Dad won't PAY for car insurance~UNLESS the kids have the good grades discount...KWIM????  LOL....NOWWWWWWW you get the picture...

When my son was little...very little...he put red fingernail polish ALL over his door knob to his bedroom AND on the wall~'gorgeous' art that HE was soo proud of...well, instead of taking it off right away, I left it...for a god wile and said, "Mama doesn't like that~boys paint ON PAPER!" and showed it to him whenever I was in that area of his room...well, fortunately he NEVER did that again...and a little paint took care of it...I've done this sort of thing over the years~my daughter cut her hair~SHE WORE IT for a looooong time..my son saved off his eyebrows...HE WORE IT...for a very long time...uh...seeeeeee the pattern?  LET THEM experience the consequence as much as it's safe to do...then teach around it...so I'm NOW allowing my son to find his way in his schooling~I've taught HOW and WHY~now HE HAS to DO...b/c I can't for him...and if I did~what a cripple I'd be creating...

I have GREAT FAITH and believe they are going to do VERY well~and in God's time and way...who knows but the LORD how it will all turn out...I'm trusting HIM in this...one day at a time~

The CREW is buzzing about this              Ck it out~and let me know what you're up to or what you think~BE BLESSED!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

REVIEW: Kid Scoop's Reluctant Reader Solution

Kid Scoop's Reluctant Reader Solution~
Ages: 1-6th grades
WEB:  HERE
PRICE:  $97 with 365 Day~Unconditional Money Back Guarantee
I say: Very useful to encourage reading with real life information and fun!

I received a download Kid Scoop's Reluctant Reader Solution as part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew review team in exchange for my honest opinions without monetary compensation. My opinions are my own.
 Reading is a great skill and the GREATEST academic skill besides a love for learning we can give our children!  Strong reading skills are a huge asset! And being a reluctant reader~a struggling reader is a challenge for a child. I know. My son is a struggling reader. Over the years, I have worked more phonics and speech with him~and my daughter~literally a speed reader and tonight she's showing me a site where she's practicing reading upwards of 1K per minute...I AM NOT kidding! But to let you know, I researched that the average reader for a teen is about 250 wpm....READING IS A MUST~literacy skills are one of the keys to a good future~Are you building that future for your child working with their reading skills? 

Kid Scoop is dedicated to enhancing kid's learning with activities, games, puzzles and all kinds of pencil grabbers to get kids to WANT to learn and to READ...  "Kid Scoop believes kids want to learn and that learning is fun!" The Site has a vast array of resources to make it fun for a kid and easier for parents! If you have a reluctant, struggling reader, help is here~

Kid Scoop's Reluctant Reader Solution is a program of downloads that are a combination of reading activities, stories and fun in activity sets according to theme and ability.  Included are 365 fun Kid Scoop worksheets in sets of 5,6 or 7 by theme or chronology~these are awesome and are categorized by theme with a calendar or by chronology with a table of contents.  These work to get a kid who is having trouble to LOVE reading~with downloadable Kid Scoop News Online (12 issues)  and also the Fun Sheets! There are lesson plans included on the website to use the newspapers and also many other resources that you will want to investigate on the Kid Scoop site that are categorized by user~

The Kid Scoop News Online is a download beautifully illustrated 20 page action packed curiosity builder READ for your child~ha! The January issue even perked my interest PROMISING in Feb to TELL~how lead gets into pencils~HA HA! I wanna know, and I bet most kids want to know, too! There are jokes and riddles and challenges of ALL kinds~Definitely NOT boring!


The topics are:
backpacks
baseball
bees
big food
blooming creative
bubblegum
budgeting
butterflies
Cinco de Mayo
Clay day
Columbus Day

There are 365 topics with activities like word search, writing exercises and more!

The method to teach with these is to use the ADR method:
A~Ask questions about the content~let the things there perk your child's interest!
D~Do~let your child do the worksheet and look at the newspaper~let draw your child in...
R~Review the information on the page to reinforce learning~

Newspapers is the area where one can access the information about the Kid Scoop News which is a great tool for teachers, but also is included in many publications across the US as an enhancement for children. Let's face it, anything done to encourage kids to read HAS to be good, and I like Kid Scoop for its content as well as layout~it is appealing to kids! You can see an example:












































These Kid Scoop News content can appeal to different learners~a younger child version which is My Kid Scoop, Spanish version as well as a regular version with a sample VIEW . There's also The Scoop, A Blog for Newspapers for those wishing to discuss Newspapers in Eduction to chat with Mrs. Whitting concerning Kid Scoop use in publications~this is very cool~a cool way to get kids and their parents READING! I love it!! You won't be disappointed with the resources available~HERE!  To access these, you will need to sign up for a free account ;-))

You can sign up for Make Reading FUN Daily eTip to help you know what to do to teach your child~With loads of resources, you will want to have your child  Sign Up for a free Kids Scoop E-Scoop Newsletter just loaded with fun learning teasers!  There are more FREE resources in theWebliography area where there have been collected many many FREE resources on various topics such as animals, craft projects, financial literacy, character education, government, history, language arts...Oh my! THIS IS a very cool resource! I like that there are professional websites as well as some blogger type sites with information on them which represents an array of knowledge! I like that they are really organized in a colorful and cheerful way too~easy to navigate! That's soo helpful to me!

In all, Kid Scoop Reluctant Reader Solution is a great add on to a reading program for a child who might be a bit older who would appreciate some fun, but who is struggling OR for the younger child who is advanced beyond Dick and Jane.   As you can see, they are loaded with images and are really engaging!

Go   to see what the Crew is saying! Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think! ;-))

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fit Mommy Friday WK 7~Research Equals POWER and MOVEMENT; MY RESULTS

I've been doing water aerobics, but they aren't overly stressful, while I am gaining endurance. I'm NOT like the other Fit Mommys who have either NO weight to loose or who have 100 or less to loose, and their exercise/fitness goals are more maintanence than restorative~not so with ME...actually I have much more than that to loose, but the greatest thing I will loose is my life IF I  don't do something~so here I am ...and I want to reach out to those LIKE ME who think it's hopeless...it's not. HOPE comes from God~not ourselves.  Any problem we have is something HE can fix~and He does...but the biggest thing I'm learning is that a food plan alone is just a DIEt and it won't work for me.  I need something more~I need a focus on my spiritual health~mind and spirit~that helps my body~AND looking to God helps me on this path. He's my source and strength.

Recently, my son enrolled in an online PE course which is exploring all kinds of activities as well as the information on how to become fit and stay that way..WHAT A BOOST for me! I am so thrilled to get access or maybe not access~but to have this info put before me~AND I also won a fellow Fit Mommy's giveaway for a Denise Austin book...I'm MOVING ON UP, folks!! YAY!

Okay, so I want to link up and share what I am exploring. So beginning today I am going to give you these links and some highlights as I explore them.

Strength Training:  About.com Weight Training 101
This site is pretty extensive and exhaustive about lifting weights. Two tips would be to warm up and then do all muscle groups to prevent uneven building and possible injury. I also figure that I need a Workout Finder Suvey  to be able to know what level~or just HOW beginner I am ...I mean, I am way way out of shape~Also you can sign up for a FREE Exercise Newsletter via email on that same page~sounds great to me!

Okay~it put ME in theExercise for Beginners  page which looks pretty good. Some of it I have accomplished and others I can read and figure out...The part about gym intemidation is pretty good b/c while I go to the Y to swim, believe me, it's embarressing. I don't like *that* part...but~it's MY health...and I gotta DO IT!

Beginner Goals has some pretty good info on HOW to set attainable goals. Believe it or not~this is probably the area that FIRST we all need to address~HOW dumb would it be to set an unattainable goal for myself and then GIVE UP because I have *failed*!  Duh...WHAT did I expect, but to fail~and what's worse than failure AT my own hands? Not much! So in being kind to me and living in honesty, I know it will take some time to undo my damage. Death by Fork is one thing that will take some time to undo in my life...TIME is on MY side~I pray...


Okay~so here's my progress this week:

Exercise: I've begun putting into place some exercises here at home that are little five-10 minute repetitions of movement in between the swimming. I've committed to getting to the Y 3 times a week...I also calculated how many calories I am burning for this water aerobic exercise and at my size, it's pretty good....yup~I'm still going to do these! Yay!


My food continues strong, although I awoke from a nap on Sunday afternoon after DREAMING I had scarfed down three cookies in my sleep~YIKES! Well, I didn't praise God! I am still sugar FREE...and tomorrow makes 20 weeks! YAY!


Okay~I weigh in on Monday~don't think it's going to be a huge loss, but I am hoping for a good result based on my efforts and the way my clothes are fitting~

Thanks for stopping by and cking on me~You can read about the other Fit Mommys OR join up for encouragement and inspiration~Just click HERE OR on that button up top~Leave me a shout out~I'd love to hear from you! ;-))

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: WK4~Proof IS in the Pudding!

The Homeschool ChickWell, not exactly pudding! But the proof of a good education and homeschooling is when our kids ARE put to THE TEST~and yeah, I've done that...it's called LIFE...and joining into the mix of second semester virtual academy K12.  Oh yeah! We have been challenged and put to the TEST~But I am feeling a little bit better about it all this week and last week's meltdowns are over~BoyThingOne has got to do his work on HIS OWN or FAIL and reconnoiter to figure out HIS OWN WAY~after the last 10 years of pushing, pulling, tugging and towing, I have learned that I MUST let him DOooo even if it isn't just perfect or WHAT I'd like to see...and surprising is how well he's doing~I am impressed with his strengths and that he's adapting and learning HOW to proceed with an education that HE WANTS~  Proof for my daughter is her tenacity and work. I am sooo impressed with her too~WHAT JOY to know that the time I've spent, my own heart's investments are returning full fold in my kids MAKING IT~and thriving,  not just surviving!

If you are interested, here is last week b/c I just figured OUT lol that these things go in on Friday~HA! NOT Monday...LOL...

Okay, so how did my week really go?


In My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
Well, I've stayed on my food & exercise plan, and I got to bump up my activity a good bit~loving that! My kids are doing better in virtual academy~we are still spending waaaaay too much time on this, but their time investments are paying off in good grades and they are becoming accustomed to the new routines.  It's definitely a  change~but for the better!

My Favorite Thing This Week was...
Hub and I went on a date to the movies on Valentine's Day and I laughed and laughed...it was a side splitter movie~too funny! Had such a good time! Want to laugh some more, it really changed my outlook and made all the ice and snow melt from my soul~good thing too~the temps have warmed and all our snow is now MUSH and SLUSH! Woohoo!  

What's Working/Not Working For Us...
What's working is the new routines and structure, but what's not working is the TIME involved. School should BE DONE by 5 or 6 at the LASTEST~but we are working loads longer than this most nights ALL week long..this has GOT to change! 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
Will I always want to do some of the things I am doing now in my life such as blogging and reviews? Just sayn' because life does seem to be more about doing...doing differently~I dunno...just sayn'...what's wrong with a little inside ck up?

A photo to share...(maybe a few...)
DNA model for Biology! Another meaning to CANDY!













self pic that HE sent to his math teacher...LOL...













MY valentine! LOL...
 













You can read more about homeschooling OR join up~just click on that box above! Thanks for stopping by~leave me a kind remark! THANKS!! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: K 3~PROGRESS Not Perfection~

The Homeschool ChickIn My Life and In Our Homeschool This Week:
 What's that saying, MODERATION in ALL things?  I'm beginning to wonder if our lives are going to settle down any. We're been on a marathon for a few weeks now~over a month since coming into the decision to change our homeschooling methods to a virtual academy online school verses ME doing all the planning, prep and execution (TEACHING LOL) of everything.  You can read about our progression
HERE where I've listed the links to the posts I made along our journey. You see, this all began with a poll I gave my kids back in December when I asked, ASKED them..WHAT they think about homeschooling and HOW we are doing~YIKES! Sometimes TRUTH HURTS and to have not addressed it would imho been criminal~sooo we have logged some SERIOUS changes and you can read about them: room gut and remodel, desk building and set ups, uh...revamp of the WHOLE deal...at the first link above...BUT~

We are NOW heading into week 3 of Virtual Academy and it's feeling pretty good except for the exhaustion.  We've had to adapt to changes and new routines. Not entirely fun, but very rewarding.


We've learned some things~ 
My children are prepared. 
I can praise God for this, and before, while I BELIEVED they were/are prepared, who wouldda known without putting them to the test? They didn't know, which was ONE of the big why to our change~they didn't have any confidence....NOW it's growing b/c they CAN...and DO...praise God!

There IS quality education beyond what I can offer~AND they will partner WITH ME...
I would have never believed it before, and somehow I sunk down into the mindset that I had a handle on it all~which is the first step to becoming a fool I might add~The Bible talks a lot about fools...GOOD to have avoided being a fool~for NOW...LOL...opportunity is ALWAYS knocking, isn't it?? LOL....But back to the help we are receiving~my son struggles in one area and my daughter in another. Both are gifted in other completely different areas~but to have teachers who LOVE to teach~I'm telling you, that I CAN TELL these people LOVE kids and LOVE teaching~it's showing and this skeptical mama WOULD KNOW...and I'd tell you, too...remember the name of my little blog here...I am Telln' It! Sure am!! LOL....With the difficulties of a learning disability and being thrown into the academic arena that we have never been in before~my children are demonstrating incredible courage, strength, character and abilities~AND...these teachers are recognizing my wonderful children and stepping UP to help when needed joyfully so...I could not EVER ask for more. NO! I couldn't! I am praising God for wonderful teachers and advisers...

I know it's just week two completed, but we are learning about ourselves too. Our Daddy has stepped to the plate and is helping in my weaker areas, and together this whole family is doing the job of living and loving while learning!  What a blessing! I'm figuring out, too that we can have some fun along the way~We're looking for moderation, as our days have been incredibly long thus far. It's taking THIS to accomplish the tasks and learn the information, but I am so well pleased by their tenacity. BTW~both children have said, "Mom, wish we had done this sooner!" WOW...WOW...and of course they know WHY we didn't, but that they wanted to despite this huge learning curve that has required LOADS of extra effort on their parts? I AM TRULY impressed...yeah, SisterT has GREAT KIDS~I am seeing and knowing this too!

As for me, I'm still working on ME~my health: mind, body and soul.  I'm learning that my physical is so related to my mental and spiritual self.  You can read about that HERE!

Places We're Going and People We're Seeing...
I made it out a few times this week and my kids and I got to go sledding and snowboarding on Wednesday at Youth Group~this is a hoot~We have a great group of kids my kids are apart of~WHAT A FUN TIME~also they went to the Y with me last night~this was fun too!  Last Friday night my daughter and a friend went to a youth square dance with other homeschoolers~Woot!  Otherwise, it was mostly a week of schoolwork dawn til dusk..but hopefully THIS WEEK will be better...here's hoping!  BTW~there is a Spring Dance (square dances~VA Reel, ect....) coming in a few weeks~The pic is from last year:

My Favorite Thing This Week was...
Seeing how wonderful my children's tenacity and efforts are producing fruit. I also got testing results back that are very encouraging~I can only give God the credit and praise! Also right NOW our Daddy is running the electrical lines to all the equipment in the new schoolroom AND had installed a shelf~NEW pics coming...What a joy for it to be coming together!

What's Working/Not Working For Us...
 How long it's taking to accomplish the days. I am worried that doc and dentist as well as extra curriculars will have to be on the back burner until Summer...not liking this~also our play, Charlotte's Web is in mid-April as well as Graduation Exams and so there are some scheduling/time challenges coming! NOT liking this at all~

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
I am wonder HOW we are going to keep up this pace...so I am looking for help. I've already secured professional tutoring services for them both to come here weekly to help in their weak areas, but wondering HOW this will all work...I am just having to give it to God b/c I just CAN'T fix any of this...it's in HIS capable hands...thank You, Lord!

Thanks for coming by~How's your week?? 
GIVEAWAY:  for the film, MOST...ENDS (2-14 11:59PM EST) 
HUGS!
A photo to share...(maybe a few...)

Gotcha!
Our iced in snowed in home....LOL...
Girl's School desk~
Boys' approach to history...



























































Girl's DNA model build...















Grinning for GREAT grades 13/10~WOOT!
Genius at work...go girl!!
 

Blog Cruise: Grandma to the RESCUE and What Daddy Does~

Long past Winter FUN!
The last two week's subjects have not pertained to our homeschool AT ALL so I took those weeks off, but the question this week is:
How are your spouse, grandparents, or other family members involved in your homeschooling?
 There's an interesting story about my son.  When he was little, he was delayed in speaking and therefore learning to read. When a young baby fails to gain the necessary verbal skills early on, it shouldn't be surprising that these created delays that have been a hallmark in our educational process all along~we are playing CATCH UP continuously~But here's that story:
As part of trying to teach my boy HOW to read, I first began teaching the letters and sounds via ABeka Book curriculum K boxed curriculum. He loved it, and we also played with all kinds of manipulatives and did speech services as well...he also attended 3 and 4 year old preschool which he LOVED~and had speech services, but Kindergarten was the year I brought him home and we began learning to read together. Let me say also that I read to the children, memorized poetry, and did all kinds of stuff when they were littles~but he was difficult to understand~but he did try to BE understood~well, it was a challenge!  But anyway, we began working and learning, but it didn't seem to be progressing~at least not fast enough for me.  I also used Starfall.com for the computer games/interactive reading lessons and even the physical workbooks that they offer to NO avail~then I head about a multi-sensory Sing Spell Read and Write (SSWR) program by Sue Dickson.  Enter in some progress as there are songs, games and all manner of FUN with a race track for a race car to mark the progress like a game~this went on the fridge~the resources were colorful and fun! We worked and worked and played and played...still NO independent reading...very little...
We had begun living out of state from where we are originally from and my mother had come to visit~ENTER Grandma! Grandma began to read a loud with him~or RATHER, he read to HER.  This provided some wonderful bonding between them, but also gave my boy some intense one on one beyond what I was doing or had done AND speech therapists~what a blessing! Well, he showed her...something he wouldn't show me...he could read! His skills were stronger than I knew~ha! AND that booger was READING his online games on the computer too~no kidding! 
 
We were in AWANA at church, and my son was a Sparkie at the time which is K, 1 & 2nd grades...anyway, he was working to memorize his verses, and well, one day, I looked over at him~HE WAS READING AND independently memorizing his verses...Ha! WHAT A STINKER! and sooo from then on, I've known that Grandma has a special touch~and he DOES READ, praise God! Well, the upshot is that today, fluency is still an issue, but it's a speech issue, yet; however, reading is a skill he has/is still mastering. He's a freshman in high school and as such took a test to judge his ability and compare him peer to peer~GUESS WHAT? He's inline with the national average for his peer group~Okay, now, I don't know what THAT IS for the public school and it's a little frightening for me to think about it~BUT...he's in there with the whole lot!! Soooo dear reader, WE PRESS ON...(and this is a topic for another day...LOL!)

Daddy has always been part of our homeschool whether it is directly or indirectly.  Right now, he is serving indirectly as our FRONT LINE technical support, room designer, and  TOTAL principle and math and science tutor~oh yeah, I NEED help in these areas, and he's helped our children when it was beyond me~Of course he is absolute disciplinarian and also the leader of this tribe.  His attitudes quickly become theirs in all things whether it's spiritual or relational~he's our mentor.  Daddies are hugely important, and ours is here! I couldn't do this job without him for the good, the bad AND the UGLY parts of our lives together~oh, it's not all pretty~this thing called, LIFE...but we are in this together...teaching our children directly and INDIRECTLY!
Right now, he's out in a freezing garage (we've had teen temperatures these past few days) creating a book/printer shelf to go over my son's work space in the newly renovated (but not  perfectly finished yet) school area. He did that part too~you can read about that in Revamping and Remodeling  
New Method For Our HSing.
 First Day... 
 Change Ahead...
We're Workn' It...
State of the Union...!)  We are a total work in progress~
Grandma lives with us now and her part today is keeping the food rolling and doing laundry.  I clean and teach~Daddy works and builds...the kids work too~we're all doing it ALL together~each part. Grandma is also teaching GirlThingOne how to cook...BoyThingOne is learning this too...
There are some max benefits to having the family all homeschooling together, and since coming to Virtual Academy, the team work approach is even a better fit. Now we have teachers to help us too~and WHAT a blessing to find just how great this help has been!  
The CREW is discussing FAMILY involvement in homeschooling              ! Go CK IT OUT!! 
Thanks for stopping by~leave me a thought or two~how are you doing this day or week? HUGS!!