Monday, October 31, 2016

Our FIRST - First Friday Friends

After waiting, and wanting to start a "First Friday Friends" group for the past couple of years... I finally got it launched.  (Believe it or not...I wasn't sure if anyone would want to join me)

Our group kicked off with 9 families represented by 17 girls (ages 7-16).  It was an instant blessing!

We use the Leader Guide and Girl Guide.  This is a fabulous product - it contains everything you need to host, plan and inspire your group.  NO - this is not a sponsored review, I just LOVE this so much I had to share.

We started the night off with a fun Get-to-know each other game.  Then we cuddled up in my small music room and read a story that corresponds to our monthly theme.  This month was "A Heart of Friendship", all about choosing good friends and being a good friend.

For our craft activity, we made friendship bracelets.  My daughters had an absolutely wonderful time getting a chance to be creative with friend.  Our bracelets were simple with colored beads, a cross charm and hemp cording.  (and inexpensive too).

The night ended with plenty of snacks, giggles and "girl time".  New friendships were born :-)


Moms and daughters can continue with the Girl Time book and spend some quality time together during the month too.  


My house and heart were full - and we are already looking forward to next month!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

CrossTimber: A Homeschool Crew Review

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews
Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Christmas is around the cornerr...I am delighted to introduce you to the one-of-a-kind, perfect gift for everyone on your list!  CrossTimber is the creator of beautiful, personalized name gifts.  They rearch names and their meanings, write name stories and create unique one-of-a-kind gifts. Some that they offer include:
  • Framed Plaques 5 x 7 or 8 x 10
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Music Boxes
  • The Names of God plaques
I was so excited to begin.  Their website is easy to use, and their customer service can NOT be beat! I decided to get a framed plaque for my daughter named Selah.  She has a unique name, and it isn't usually one I see.  But,  CrossTimber had a sample with her exact name - Selah Marie! 

I was trying to decide, and noticed the "chat box" for help.  John, the owner, immediately responded and even provided a link right away.  When my gift came, it was carefully packaged, and a card with MY name and meaning was included!  (Renita is another unusual name!!)  Even their customer service is personal :-)

I love the names of my children, all carefully chosen for what and who they represent.  But more importantly is our name to GOD.  This reminder card was tucked into my package as well.  I love it.

John has a great story about Driver's Ed class and how his company and  the name meaning cards got started - be sure to read John's experience.

But, truly - LOOK AT THIS!  It is beautiful, and meaningful.  The perfect Christmas present, if I can keep it secret that long... It fits my daughter exactly.

Each name gift includes  the origin, cultural meaning, Life meaning, and a hand-picked Bible verse that connects with the meaning.   You can add extras to your order as well - items like bookmarks, greeting cards or even a PDF you can print.

This family owned company is budget friendly as well. You can mix and match, and the discounts are great.  These deals will let me buy for the whole family.

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

CrossTimber is giving you the chance to win your own personalized name gift (personalized mug, name plaque, or 8X10 name plaque or one of nine (9) to win a $10 gift certificate).  Be sure to head on over and enter at: CrossTimber Name Meaning Giveaway.  (Ends December 4th 2016)

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

High School Spanish I from : A Homeschool Crew Review

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
High School Spanish I  from Middlebury Interactive Languages

High school means learning foreign languages (at least 2 years for most college admissions...).  We have been enjoying a new approach this year - High School Spanish I  from Middlebury Interactive Languages.

This is an online program for grades 9-12 that targets four key language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are introduced via an immersion approach to vocabulary themes, grammar concepts, sentence structure and even culture through detailed online instruction, guided learning and progressing at their own pace. 

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}

There are 36 units in Spanish I.  Each unit is further divided into 5 lessons.  This is an easy-to-use program, it even keeps track of progress and begins where your student left off.  They can access lessons via the Table of Contents or a Calendar screen.  The program also automatically grades all their exercises/quizzes and creates a printable record for you.  So easy!

The program is designed for your student to work completely independently,  a very good thing for our high school students.  Best of all, there is NO PREP for mom!  Your student does NOT need any previous Spanish to jump right in and begin learning.  Online access is available 24/7 to learn at their own pace.

My tester is in 10th grade.  He was a bit skeptical at first... but, after just a few lessons, he was hooked.  One of his favorite parts of this program is the variety and repetition. 

Lessons involve all areas of learning a new language.  Lessons that require listening, reading, writing and even speaking  (you do need a microphone for this) include: 
    Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
  • matching exercises
  • fill-in-the blanks
  • listening to an audio and answering the questions
  • typing sentences
  • reading passages, and more.

 The exercises help with correct pronunciation, and my tester is getting a chance to practice his accent by speaking into the microphone.  (He claims the program advances, no matter what he says...)

The culture sections are very informative, and interesting.  This area uses multimedia, and video presentations.  He has been learning about Mexico - food, landmarks, and even the quincenera (15th birthday celebration).  One of our issues was with accents and tildes (Spanish punctuation) our keyboard didn't have the correct options, so he would get those incorrect.  

By accessing the "Gradebook" I can see his progress and grades on all his exercises and quizzes. This has been our most user friendly approach to high school foreign languages.  

Middlebury offers K-12 language courses in 4 languages.  Be sure to check out the 

Find Middlebury Interactive Languages on Social Media:
Twitter:   @middinteractive

Hashtags: #hsreviews #foreignlanguage #bilingualism #languagestudy

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Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Coop Literature:Adventure

For our literature class at coop this year - I am teaching by studying each genre.  We began our 2-3rd grade year with "Adventure"

We are reading "My Father's Dragon".  I decided it would be fun to start with a craft.  We made these adorable paper bag dragons,  so easy!  A quick trip to my Pinterest page will link you to the downloadable free template.

 Here's another page that had tons of ideas to go with this book - check it out. The girls and I loved this one.

We're ready for another adventure!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Art History

This year I get the privilege of teaching Art History at our small Co-op (and literature, writing, speech)

We are starting at the beginning and walking through history through art.  Our first discussion was Preshistoric art.

Of course,  we made our own "cave paintings".  I encouraged them to use the same materials to paint that prehistoric people had - leaves, rocks, sticks.

I like how they turned out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A weekend Home!

This is a tad late getting posted, but...better late than never!

We brought the first born home from UMHB for a weekend.  Can I tell you how wonderful it was to have all of them back under one roof!  (it's only been 2 weeks...but it feels like forever!)

So, what did we do?

We played Pandemic...alot!

We ate - we made every favorite meal and feed him continually....Including the special sister cookies for the dorm!

We made music together - my favorite part of the weekend!

We drafted our Fantasy Football teams (Go Precious Lil' Players!)

We chased each other in the backyard

We danced in the rain - really... King TUT!

And,  we loved every minute together!

 Dropping off at college the second time was not easier... We cried all the way home.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS: A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS 

  I love to plan the "perfect lesson", don't you?  But, I have a problem spelled T-I-M-E (the lack of it...)  Let me tell you about a new treasure - Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS .

This online subscription allows you to access over 1000 resources and lessons that are already planned for you!  For grades K-12, there are lessons in Math, Language Arts, Science, History, and much more. 

Educeri is not a complete curriculum, but it is just what you need to add to your existing plans to keep it new and fresh.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service ReviewsEduceri Lesson Subscription Service ReviewsEduceri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
Its a very easy to navigate site.  You can search for lessons by topic, or by grade.  After you log on - you can access the lessons as you want to - everything is available 24/7 at your convenience!  We are currently studying ancient history and I found the perfect supplements in Grade 6 - History.

The lessons are created with classroom use in mind, but work well in our homeschool setting.  They would be excellent additions to your co-op classes.  Each lesson is a series of slides. All lessons are correlated to Common Core standards (if you care...) and are professionally produced.   Each teaching point is highlighted for you and answers show up in red.  Everything you need to know to teach the lesson is right there for you.

Since we have several high schoolers, I spent a good amount of time exploring the options for my older learners.  Science was filled with great lessons, and I let them explore on their own as well.  The lessons include passages to read, and identify key points.  Great practice for standardized testing, and a fun alternative to the average textbook.

But, my favorite lessons were found in high school English Language Arts (ELA).  There are great resources for helping you tackle upper level literature.

But, not only for the older kids!  The elementary ELA is fantastic as well.  Let me show you...
This is a lesson from Grade 2 - Describe Characters, Setting & Plot

Many lessons include downloadable worksheets and/or quizzes.  This is the student worksheet for this unit:

As you follow through the slides (this unit had 18) the concepts are taught.  The side bars offer teacher tips and answers highlighted in red.

Additional ideas to explore this topic were included as well.

How easy is that?  I love this site - be sure to check it out with their FREE 30 Day Trial   

Find Educeri .......  Educeri a division of DataWORKS  on Social Media:

Twitter:   @educeri

Hashtags: #hsreviews #educeri #educhat #dataworks-ed 

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