Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 22nd

Today is day 22 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge and today I am thankful for a comfy bed. We had a good bed, but after about 8 years it started to wear out. Mostly because my son slept in our bed with us and the middle was a lot higher than the sides. lol

Well, we bought a bed from Sears. A Sears-o-Pedic. We went with a firm. I don't know why because we like soft, but the one in the store felt like a firm plush to me.

It was awful. So we exchanged it for the plush version. It was softer, but it was not comfortable. At all.

Well my husband finally said to return it, but two weeks after the 30 days was over. Well, I called and luckily they said I could return it since we had so much trouble with the beds.

Well, they came and picked it up and we had no bed. lol

Anyhow we finally went and found a bed. A comfy bed. So I am very grateful to have a comfy bed to sleep in.

What are you thankful for tonight?

Monday, November 21, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 21st

Today is day 21 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, and I am bummed that I missed posting over the weekend. I totally forgot.

Today I am grateful that my son slept in his own room last night! He was OK and is going to start sleeping in there now! We finally get our bed back! lol

It is good and sad at the same time, ya know? It is hard to watch your babies grow up. I am happy he is sleeping in his room now, but you know how it is as a mommy. He is still little to me and it is different not having him right there to keep an eye on him, but I know it will be OK.

I did sleep good last night without being smashed all night. lol

He can still come sleep with us sometimes. That will make me, umm, him happy. lol

The Reading Game/ TOS Review


My son and I have been playing a new game from the author of WORDLY WISE, Kenneth Hodkinson, called The Reading Game. 

The Reading Game is very reminiscent of the Memory Game. It is played in the same way except that in this game your child is matching words.

The game comes with six readers, and six sets of cards, with six levels per set.

You start with set one, level 1 and you place all the cards face down. You and your child take turns trying to find a match. If you find a match you take the cards and say the word out loud several times.

Each set has five new words. You continue to play the same level until your child can read all of the words easily.

Once your child has finished set one, your child will know 30 new words and will be able to read the first book. (Skunk)

Play is essentially the same for sets one through six. Students are basically learning to read these words by sight. This is where I am hesitant about the game. My son is just learning to read, and I don't want him to learn all of these new words by sight, especially the ones that can easily be sounded out. I don't want to confuse him.

Set 1 has really easy words: can, cat, is, me, not. But the words quickly increase in complexity.

Set 2 contains words such as: mouse, tree, forget, meal, agree, mistake, and treat.

Set 3: awake, know, bear, honey, steal, and thing.

Set 4: fish, penguins, right, below, ice, and seven.

Set 5: behind, castle, because, people, again, and unicorn.

Set 6: alphabet, wombat, yak, zebra, dolphin, should, and once.

As you can see, there seems to be no real pattern. You are not learning with phonics. The author says that phonics can be incorporated after your child learns all of the words.

I like this game, but we are still in level one, because I want my son to sound the words out, not just remember them. Of course there are some words that can't be sounded out, so I have him remember those by sight.

I am doing what all homeschoolers do when something doesn't quite work for them. I am tailoring it to my child, and how he learns.

The point of this memory game is so that your children can learn to read a book easily and fast.

I think whether or not you would like this game is really a matter of how you are teaching your child to read.  If you are focused on phonics only, then you may not want to use this game in the beginning of learning to read.

If you are teaching by sight, or even a mix of phonics and sight, this game may be great for you.

If you are teaching by phonics only, like I am right now, then you may want to wait until after your child has a better undertanding of how to read. But you can still use this game. It is a good concept.

Your child is only learning a few words at a time, so it is not overwhelming. We are using this game alongside our phonics program. We are sounding out the words that we can, and if we come to a place that it becomes too difficult, we will just put it aside and come back to it later.

I asked my 6 year old son what he thought about The Reading Game, and this was his response: "Yuck".

I asked him why he said yuck, and he said "Because it is boring, and it is about reading". I asked him if there was anything he liked about it, and he said no. He did say that if it were about animals or anything other than reading he would like the game.

See, he does not like learning to read. He is getting better at reading, and I see his confidence growing as he becomes more proficient at reading, but he is still in the avoid reading at all cost mode.
He just doesn't think reading is fun yet.

I honestly think that as he learns to read a little more that he will like this game. I really feel that his feelings about the game aren't really about the game, but reading itself.

So I still recommend this game as a great supplement to your reading program. We will continue to use it, but I may put it up for a while until he has mastered the basics of reading.

I really encourage you to read my fellow Crew mates reviews on The Reading Game, because there are so many different types of children, and there will be many different points of view. So be sure to check them out and see what others thought about this game. 

This game can be used with children of any age that is ready to learn to read. You know your child best.

You can purchase The reading Game here for $24.95. You can get a $15 discount on orders of 8 or more.

Have fun reading with your child!


*I have received The Reading Game, free, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, in return for my honest opinion.
No other compensation has been given to me.*

Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 18th

Today is day 18 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, and today I am extra grateful for all the work that my TOS leaders do. I have recently started to understand a little more about what all they do, and all the stresses that their job can bring. 
I am so grateful for you all. I really appreciate everything it takes to put this Crew together. I am still amazed to be part of this team!

Thank you all of my TOS leaders!

Math Mammoth/ TOS Review


Math Mammoth is pretty well known, but just in case you haven't heard of it, let me tell you what it is all about.

Math Mammoth is a curriculum for grades 1-12 written by Maria Miller.

Maria strives to offer quality materials at an affordable price. She does this by offering several different packages. You can download curriculum for your kids starting at only $2.

The options available are:

As you can see there are many options to choose from. Math Mammoth is really awesome because you can get an entire curriculum for your elementary students, or you can pick and choose from specific topics. 

If your child needs help in one specific area, say decimals for example, you can purchase a set specifically on decimals, and not have to spend your money on an entire curriculum.

 Math Mammoth Decimals 1 math book cover

All of the Math Mammoth sets come in download form, and some have a CD option. This can be a great money saver if you have more than one child. You can print off as many pages as you need for multiple children, or save the curriculum for younger children. 

Another benefit to being able to print off the pages is that you can do the same page over again if your child needs more work on one area. You can't do this with a typical workbook. (A hint about printing: If you print in draft or grey scale the cost of printing is very small. )

Your younger children will love the colorful pages and the reasonable amount of problems per page.

Math Mammoth used to be mainly for students in grades 1-6, but recently Maria has added the Make it Real Learning series, which can be used for grades 3-12.

The Make it Real Learning series is the answer for when your children ask you the dreaded, "When am I ever going to use this" question. Here are a few examples of the Make It Real Learning series. There are more to choose from though so be sure to check them all out.

Make It Real Learning Arithmetic workbook

Make It Real Learning Fractions, Decimals, Percents I workbook

Make It Real Learning Linear Functions I workbook

Make It Real Learning Calculus I workbook

Make It Real Learning Periodic and Piecewise Functions I workbook

You can download a FREE activity sampler (a PDF file) that contains 10 sample activities from the Make It Real Learning product line.

"Besides the workbooks mentioned above, Make It Real Learning also has a series of smaller workbooks called States by the Numbers. This series contains 50 workbooks — one for each state in the United States. The data in each workbook is taken directly from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States.
Each of these workbooks includes basic instruction and 80 practice problems. Additionally, the “What's the big idea?” pages give learners the opportunity to reflect on the things they've learned. Throughout the workbook series, we have consistently sought to address the content and process standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Read more about States by the Numbers series workbooks here." (Taken directly from the website.)

And something else new for this year:

November 2011 - the PDFs in the download version of this product are now enabled for annotation!
This means that if you prefer, your student can fill them in on the computer, using the typewriter and drawing tools in Acrobat Reader version 9 or greater.

Maria offers a variety of freebies and tours to help you decide which sets will work for you.

You can download a PACKAGE of over 300 free sample worksheets so that you can get a feel for the program, and see where your child needs to be. I have downloaded this sampler and it is awesome!
You will not have a doubt about whether or not this program is what you need if you download the sampler. There is plenty to work on.

You can also find placement tests here.

You can download a FREE activity sampler that contains 10 sample activities from the Make It Real Learning product line.

You can sign up for a "virtual" email course.

You will receive:

The package of 300 free worksheets and sample pages;
7 math teaching articles
2 emails discussing the books
Maria's Math newsletter

OR you can sign up for the Math Mammoth Tour and you will receive:

A package of over 300 free worksheets and sample pages
7 individual emails on 7 subsequent days that answer the most commonly asked questions, including "What is the difference between all these different-colored series?"  
Maria's Math Newsletter (see archives)
This way, you'll have time to digest the information over one week, plus an opportunity to ask me personally which book would be right for your child or students.

Scroll to the bottom of the main page to find out where to sign up for these tours.

You can even watch videos to help you teach your children. 

As you can see Math Mammoth has a lot to offer. You can purchase your order in either download format or CD format if available. Prices vary depending on which set you choose.


Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was asked to do an informational review on this product.  All opinions are my own, an no other compensation has been given to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The World of Animals

I saw this book and thought it would be cool.  When I got this book I thought it was awesome! 

It is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It has 256 beautifully illustrated pages. 

Once you start reading the introduction, you will see that this book is different than your typical animal fact book. This animal fact book truly contains fact because it tells the truth...that God is the one who created the animals.

You will not see any millions and billions of years in this book. YAY! 

It can be hard, if not impossible, to find good, Christian science books like this one. 

This book contains information from microscopic cells to amphibians, dragonflies, owls, mammals, and everything in between.

My kids love these types of books, and they frequently buy them with their own money. I try to be careful and not get any that are too evolutionist. Now, I don't have to worry about that!!!!

I asked my kids what they thought about The World of Animals, and my son gave me a thumbs up and said "Awesome!", so I think that means he likes it. lol

My daughter said "It is very cool".

I love it because I don't have to worry about it telling my kids that animals have been here for millions of years. I love that the introduction tells them that God is the one who created all of the animals. 

The only negative to this book is that there is not a lot of info on mammals. But it is because it is so full of other things. You usually only find books about mammals that don't include what this book does, so I am OK with it. I do wish they would make a separate book just for mammals though. That would be awesome!

I absolutely recommend this book. If you would like to see more Christian based science books in your home, then this one is for you.

You can find The World of Animals here for $24.99. Well worth it in my opinion. 

*I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing, in return for an honest review. No other compensation has been given to me. 

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 17th

OK, so today I am screaming with joy! As many of you know, I am part of the TOS Crew, and last night I found out that I was chosen to review a product from Toydle! It is a fort! Oh my, I am so thrilled.
I am going to give it to my son for his birthday! He is about to be 7! Wow, I am just so thrilled about reviewing this product, and I am so thankful!  Thank You Brenda!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 16th

Today is day 16 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge. Today I am grateful that my sister has found a home.

Her baby is due in just about 7 weeks, so they were cutting it close! lol

I am very happy for her that she now has a home to come home to after the baby is born.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Everyday Food Storage

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite websites. It is called Everyday Food Storage. You may have heard about it.

I found this website while I was searching for information on Blendtec Blenders. I was debating between the Vita-Mix and the Blendtec. I ended up choosing the Blendtec, and this is one of the videos that helped me make that decision.

I love that she is a mom herself, and that she really uses this in her daily life.

You can read my post about why I chose the Blendtec over the Vita-mix here. There are also a couple other videos on there that helped me in my decision.

Anyhow, after I came across Everyday Food Storage I found ton's of helpful information. If you are interested in food storage, you will LOVE this website.

She has great recipes, tips on food storage, and great giveaways! Check her out!

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 15th

Man, I missed yesterday's Gratitude Challenge. I have tried so hard not to miss a day. Oh well, what can you do right?

I'll tell you something from yesterday that I was very grateful for.

My husband has a signed Kevin Johnson Phoenix Suns jersey, and in all of our 15 years of being married I have never washed this.....Yep, you can see where I am going can't you....Yep, I accidentally washed it. Some of the signature was worn away. I thought he would be so upset. He wasn't. He said it wasn't that important. I was so thankful that he didn't get upset.

Today I am thankful for all of the things we have that make life easier. I am thankful for the simple things like a washer and dryer, a refrigerator, an oven, etc... Just think how life would be different without those things.

I know it is kind of a frivolous thing to be thankful for, but these are things that really do make life easier. Can you imagine not being able to vacuum, or wash your sheets in a moments notice? I know we could do it, but I am thankful that we don't have to. lol

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 13th

Today is day 13 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, and tonight I am grateful that I just received a phone call from my brother telling me that he was going to go into treatment.

I am so thankful that he is going into rehab, and trying to fix his life.

Please pray with me that all will go well tomorrow when he calls for his phone screening. I don't want anything to keep him from getting treatment.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Homeschool Mothers Journal - New Car and Yummy Cookies!

In my life this week… This week has been slow. My daughter and I have both been hormonal and not feeling all that well with that. We have been resting a lot. 

A few weeks ago we bought a new car. Well, a used car. We had a new car, a 2008 GMC Acadia, which we liked well enough, but we really wanted to drop our car payment. So we ended up trading it in for a 2005 Cadillac Escalade. And we love it! 

It is saving us two hundred dollars a month, and it is really nice. The kids love it because it has a DVD player. I love the leather seats, the seat warmers, and the cool wood trim. lol

It is not new and there are a few cosmetic things that aren't perfect, but it is a good car, and we all really like it, and it is saving us a bunch of money. You can't beat that. 
In our homeschool this week… We really haven't done a lot this week. It has been a down week. I have been trying to keep up with my son's reading lessons. We are using Memoria Press First Start Reading Program right now, along with the I See Sam Readers.  

I am inspired by… My Son. When he learns to read something new, it inspires me to keep going too.

My favorite thing this week was... When my son realized that he could also spell the words he could read.

What’s working/not working for us… We are really loving Memoria Press First Start Reading Program. My son's reading has really taken off. He is doing great! It is so exciting to watch your kids learn to read. 

My daughter and I are starting a new Spanish program. We have just begun so I don't have a lot to say about it yet, but it is promising. 

I’m reading…  If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy. This is a great book. I just started it, but it is a book about how to find joy even if your life does not feel happy.

I’m cooking… Bread. I try to always make my own bread, but sometimes I don't. I added some flaxseeds and wheat germ to my bread this time. I also made the yummiest cookies I have ever made. You can see them and the recipe here. They were so good!!!

I’m grateful for… All of God's blessings. I have been participating in the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, and it has been amazing to see what others are grateful for.

I’m praying for… God to really work on our hearts health wise. I want to change my life and my families lives. I want us all to be much healthier.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…



These are my super yummy cookies!!!! MMMMMMMMMM................................

Be sure to visit the other Homeschool Mothers who are journaling this week

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 12th

Wow, it is day 12 of the 2011 Gratitude Challenge, and so far I have made it each day! Yay me!

OK, a few of them have been at night, but I still made it. lol

Today I am thankful for herbal and natural medicines. I am grateful that God made these things for us so that we can treat ourselves naturally.

Now, I am not against doctors, don't get me wrong. I just like to try natural methods first.

I'll tell you a couple of things that we really like.

We use Olive Leaf Throat Spray by Seagate for sore throats. At the first sign of one, we start using it. It has always worked so far.

I also like Seagates Ear Ache Remedy. But something that worked for me when I had swimmers ear, when nothing else would, was to take one tablespoon of olive oil, warm it up, and then add 10 drops of tea treee oil.

And of course, foods can be natural healers as well. 

I have also learned that it may take a little longer to heal when you are letting your body heal itself, but it is worth it.

God's ways are always great!

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge - November 11th

Today is day 11 of the Gratitude Challenge. Tonight I am grateful for my bath time. I know this may sound a little frivolous, but I enjoy my quiet time in the tub. This is usually when I get to do my reading too. lol

My New Adventure! Usborne Books and More!

I recently became an Usborne Books and More consultant!  I am excited because I love books! I want my children to love books as mu...