Monday, December 9, 2013

Our Time4Learning Experience {Review}

I tried Time4Learning for one month in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed here are honest and my own. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for after school enrichment and for summer skill sharpening.


For the past 30 days, Kelly and Lyssa were given an awesome opportunity of trying out Time4Learning. Time4Learning is an online learning program designed for:
  • Homeschool
  • After School Learning
  • Summer Use
It's a perfect combination of technology and fun wrapped into one all the while learning, learning, and more learning!

Since we are homeschoolers, we viewed it as a homeschooling supplement as we are pursuing the eclectic approach this year, it makes it fun and never boring. You can however even use Time4Learning as a full homeschool curriculum as well as there are even printables and tests and online quizzes to keep your child on their toes. They keep records and printing reports easy.  The site's navigation is very easy and welcoming.  Parents and students can create their own logins.  The children get to select a cute profile photo as their login icon.  They really liked that a lot.  Each time they login counts as attendance for that day.  You can allow them to do as many lessons you wish along with printables that go along with the lesson.  It's great!




Not sure what level your child is at?  Time4Learning allows you to go a grade forward or back or whatever fits your child's needs.  This is a definite plus. I would love to be able to give them more time with the program to see what their potential is.  Getting them ahead is my goal.

Since Kelly is in the 5th grade, her account was created through the "Upper Level" {4th-8th Grade}.  Lyssa's account was created in the "Lower Level" {Pre-K-3rd} as a 2nd grader.  They were able to select science, math, language arts and social studies along with Language Arts extensions.  I loved how they incorporated learning videos and ideas to keep kids engaged.  Kelly loved the learning videos.  Lyssa enjoyed the games on Time4Learning.  Each child also has a playground that offers all sorts of fun and educational learning games.  We utilized the playground after they did the core subjects.




Do I like Time4Learning?  Yes, I do.  I am still back and forth if I would use it as a full curriculum or as a supplement.  Either way, I would love for my children to utilize this online program. I am currently trying to determine if it will be in our budget as I really would like to continue.

Did  my girls like the Time4Learning experience?  Yes they did.  In fact they loved it!  They actually asked and looked forward to going on every day.  This is a good sign for a learning program that offers what children need in specific grade levels as well as specific learning needs.

With that said, I would recommend Time4Learning to any family whether as a homeschool curriculum or as a summer school supplement or even after school supplement.  Kids all learn at their own pace so a program like this is worth looking into.



If you are unsure, they allow you to try Demos before deciding to sign up. They also have a parent forum where you can connect with other parents regarding the online program.

Once you are a member of Time4Learning, what are the actual benefits?
  • 24/7 access to interactive lessons for Pre-K to 12th grade.  Yes, they offer some high school now as well (4 courses).
  • It's a safe learning environment without those annoying ads.
  • Detailed every day lesson plans with automated reporting and guides for parents.
  • Flexibility to start or even cancel account at any time.  No penalties.
  • You can contact Time4Learning staff easily by phone or email.
Definitely great benefits!  You may be happy to know that Time4Learning is:
  • Family Friendly
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.  Cancel membership during the first 14 days and then they will refund your money. Valid for new members only.
  • Time4Learning received the 2012 Homeschool.com Seal of Approval.
  • They are an accredited business by the BBB.
What do you think? Do you think you would like to try Time4Learning for your homeschool or specific needs?

If you have tried Time4Learning with your kids, did it work out well for you and your family?  Feel free to share.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fun Thanksgiving Unit Studies and Printables






I think one of my favorite things about homeschooling is the flexibility.  Granted, this wasn't easy for me in the beginning. (Queen of Structure, haha)


I have had so much fun researching and finding seasonal and holiday unit studies and lapbooks.  What a fun and better way to learn something!

With Thanksgiving next week, I found some fun Thanksgiving unit studies and printables for the girls.  So far they have loved it.  The unit studies include science, history, language arts, etc.  It's great!

Here is what I found for our homeschool by www.roadto31.com.
Thanksgiving Writing Prompt from www.123homeschool4me.com 

What fun Thanksgiving unit studies and lapbooks have you utilized with your homeschoolers?  Please feel free to share along with the link to where you got it.  I love finding new unit studies.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time4Learning Review-Dislosure



I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cool and Unusual Finds in Nature

Well, I know it has been a while since I last posted.  Our schedule has picked up quite a bit, but I definitely want to stay on top of our homeschool blog as much as I can.  It's priceless, ya know?

When we took our northern adventures trip, we did a fun nature study on the property.  The girls' goal was to search out things that are {Cool and Unusual}, not things you would normally see every day outside in nature.

They were on board with this assignment and had a blast.  Check out our pics of Cool and Unusual Finds!














Until next time.........

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bethany's First Preschool Field Trip










Thursday, October 11th, 2013, Kelly, Lyssa, and I got to tag along on Bethany's class field trip to
Apple Orchard (Plymouth Orchards). It was a beautiful fall day and sweet Bethany was beyond excited to see her friends and her teachers. 

I have many great memories of this apple orchard as I came to this particular one quite a few times on field trips as a child.  I hadn't been to this particular one in so long, it definitely brought back memories.


 
Upon arrival we were to wait for Ward preschool classmates and parents (Tuesday and Thursday morning classes) over by the pumpkins and cute photo props.


 

After everyone arrived we were directed to a barn where one of the workers put on a presentation about bees to the preschoolers.  She was pretty hilarious and the kids loved her.  I can't remember her name but she included the fathers' that were present that day.  The majority of parents were mothers' and about 8 of them were fathers.'  The orchard worker was very sure to emphasize this in her presentation which was pretty funny.  Each father was asked to be a drone and put a bee puppet on their finger and buzz around a fake apple blossom tree that was in the center of the room as a prop.  She then had them shake their tushies as it's what drones do. HAHA!  They were such good sports. The children were roaring with laughter and all of the moms where just laughing hysterically.  It would have been so great if their daddy could have been there for that one, haha!  So fun.

Sweet Bethany
Serious Kelly

Silly Lyssa
 








After the barn presentation, we went on a wagon ride over to the apple orchard where we all got to pick an apple from the trees.  The children were taught to twist and pull and not yank as to not hurt the trees.  They all seemed to do a really good job of that. 

After all the apples were picked, we rode the wagon over to the pumpkin patch where all the preschoolers got to pick their very own mini pumpkin.  Bethany found one with a very cool and bendy stem.  She was very proud of it.



After the wagon ride, we headed inside and enjoyed a yummy cinnamon donut and fresh apple cider.  Delicious!  Believe it or not, Bethany did not like the cider.  She said it was too sour, haha!  She dove into the donut though....of course!!!

After that we were dismissed so we went through the market and picked up a few goodies like pumpkin butter, popcorn, peppermint sticks, etc. 



It was time to head home and pack up for our up north trip!  I will post those pics soon.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spunky Monkey Adventures



Sweet Bethany bean was selected to bring home her preschool class mascot for the weekend; Spunky Monkey.  Her teacher included a journaling sheet with instructions to bring back up to 7 photos of Bethany and Spunky, friends, adventures, etc.



What a weekend for Spunky Monkey to come to our house.  Here is our adventures with Spunky Monkey.
  • Thursday, October 3rd- Spunky went with Bethany to ballet class.  So cute! I think he learned a few moves. Hehe!
  • Friday, October 4th- Spunky and Bethany went shopping with daddy and then shopping with mommy for cousin Owen's birthday party for the next day.
  • Saturday, October 5th- Spunky went with our family to my nephew's birthday party.  He enjoyed the bounce house, a wagon ride, and lots of fun and friends.
  • Sunday, October 6th- Spunky came to church with us then off to lunch at Red Robin and Target.  Afterwards we went back to church for Kelly's drama rehearsal and hung around in church café for two hours.


Phewww, poor Spunky and Bethany were super pooped, but they most definitely had a blast.  It's so cute having a preschool mascot in our home to teach language development.  I miss teaching preschool!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Learning the Presidents' of the United States Lapbook



Just the other day when I was doing research for our homeschool, I came across a Yahoo headline about how many Americans can not name (in order) the first four Presidents of the United States.  Talk about crazy, right?  I had to do a refresher for myself.  Thankfully I remembered them, but  I just had John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the wrong order.  Can you name the first four presidents of the United States?

  1. George Washington (Everyone should realistically know this)
  2. John Adams
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. James Madison
Since this really struck a chord inside of me, I went on the search for free lapbook studies on the presidents and came across a great one on Homeschool Share

The Presidents of the United States Lapbook study includes printable:
  • Research (Basic info on the Presidents)
  • General Mint Books which can be used with any President
  • President Matchbooks
  • President Layer Books ( It covers up to the 43rd President of the United States)
I cannot wait to get started with the girls on it, it looks like a fun way to learn all of the Presidents of the United States.

It's so important that our children learn about our country.  It's often overlooked so I am glad that the article reminded me of this!

We are hoping to start our labook next week.  I am going to let this be a group project as there is so much information to include in the lapbook.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Agent E is Ready for Her Mission!


Our sweet Kelly girl went to her very first audition for an acting role in our upcoming children's church Christmas program: We Three Spies!

It's an exciting Christmas mission.  Agents E, L, and F are "recruits with the CIK (Christian Intelligence Kids)", they are a group of spies who {Secretly} bring Christmas cheer to those who need it.  Their obstacle? Ms. Harriet (sounds like Har-et) King, is a mean, cold-hearted landlord wants to evict them from their headquarters, take away donations, and cancel the Christmas program (Nativity).  The spies' mission is to change her tune and her heart!

Kelly auditioned this past Sunday, September 22nd.  I received an email with the cast list on it just today.  Kelly really wanted to be one of the spies, Agent E in particular.  Well, her little dream came true!  She got the part of Agent E!  Go Kelly! We are so proud of her determination.  Now the real fun begins.  Learning her lines! 

There is also awesome music for the children's choir.  Lyssa will be in that with her pretty little voice. This is also very special to them because it's their first time participating in children's church programs.  Ron's brother is the children's pastor at the new church we are attending which makes it even more {Special} for the girls. We were originally a part of a precious home church (which my parents' ran) doing other work that God had called us to do. It was a beautiful blessing, but now God has other plans for our kids and our entire family.

I'm looking forward to when our little Bethany will be old enough to participate as well.  So much fun!

Can't wait to see this Christmas program! It's going to be awesome!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Preschool, Baby!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Clicking on them supports our homeschool budget.  Thank you for supporting our homeschool.


I can't believe it.  My youngest sweet girl has entered preschool.  I decided to sign her up two mornings a week at a private preschool called Ward Preschool.  It's a Christian program and the tuition isn't too bad.  They use the play based through learning method which is totally awesome.  They use Handwriting without Tears and I am excited to see how much our little Bethany blossoms through the year.


Many of you may be wondering as to why I am not homeschooling my preschooler and it's simple.  Because I need it and she needs it, haha.  As a former preschool teacher myself, I know that preschoolers are hands on and very busy creatures.  I feel like my little one is not getting what she deserves at this point.  After the year is up, I will pull her back in to homeschool for Kindergarten.

It's also great too because I get to stay in the building and homeschool Kelly and Lyssa.  No time wasted.  A major plus for this mom! I couldn't be more thrilled.  Bethany is happier and ready to learn and make friends.

Her teachers are Mrs. Paluk and Mrs. Richters.  They are sweet and loving teachers.  Bethany already loves them.  So sweet.

Her schedule is pretty standard from free play to circle time, snack, and gross motor.  She absolutely loves preschool and lights up like a Christmas tree when entering the room and seeing her teachers.  So precious!

Preschool Daily Schedule

9:00-10:00 am- Center Choice Time
Blocks, Dramatic Play, Toys, & Games, Art, Literacy, Science, & Discovery, Math, Sand, & Water, Writing, and Journals.

10:00-10:10 Clean Up

10:10-10:30 Opening Circle
Introduction of Letters and Letter Sounds, Spunky Monkeys Adventures (This is the name of her classroom), and Weather Reports.

10:30-10:45 Snack

10:45-11:00 Music and Movement

11:00-11:30 Gross Motor Development
Gym or Playground

11:30 Closing and Dismissal

We have noticed a nice change in our sweet girl already and it's only been a few weeks.  This mom is ecstatic as it was getting difficult to homeschool a 2nd and 5th grader.  I don't know how you moms of 4 or more children do it!  God bless you all.




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lunches Around the World

This post may contain affiliate links.  All clicks and purchases go towards our homeschool budget.  Thank you for supporting our homeschool.
 
Lunches Around the World with Little Passports!

Kids around the world are preparing to go back to school—that means homework, new friends and … lunch? Yes, that’s right! Let’s visit different countries and see what yummy food the school kids eat every day!

France- French children enjoy a 3 or 4-course meal that is made from high-quality ingredients, and are mostly made from scratch. The children all sit in the same eating area, the cafeteria. An interesting fact is that there are no vending machines in schools, because they’re banned due to the high sugar and fat content of the treats they carry. Typical school lunches here can have a variety of dishes and ingredients, such as grilled fish, salad, red beans, seasonal vegetables, garlic sausage, fruit salads and chocolate flan (just to name a few). Another perk is that the food is served on plates and eaten with real silverware!


 



Japan- In Japan, the school lunch ingredients are locally sourced and almost never frozen; in addition, the schools employ nutrition experts that work with kids and teach them the importance of good eating habits. Like the children in France, Japanese kids also eat in a community-like setting with their peers, and even their teachers! The children also wear white hats and robes to serve their classmates, which teaches them teamwork and respect. You can expect to find lots of rice, vegetables, fish, soup, and meat on the plate.




South Africa- South African school meals have natural ingredients such as corn, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. There’s also rice, soft porridge, and meat that is sprinkled in with the vegetables. A special stew is made called potjiekos (named after a potjie, a three-legged pot), which originated from Dutch settlers. The cook puts vegetables, meat, potatoes, and spices into the pot, which is heated by small amounts of wood and twigs. After cooking, the result is a delectable stew!




Colombia- Colombian school lunch ingredients usually vary from region to region, but can contain rice, potatoes, fruit, beans, meatballs, and vegetables such as corn and avocados. There’s a special vegetarian menu also available, and children from 2 to 5 years old have their food cut and portioned into smaller sizes.




We hope you enjoyed our lunch trip around the world, and perhaps found inspiration to try new foods at your own dinner table!

Friday, September 6, 2013

15% off Blurb for Thanksgiving!

This post may contain affiliate links.  The percentages earned towards the links go towards our homeschool budget.  Thank you for supporting our homeschool!



This year, use Blurb to make a small book for each of those relatives or good friends you want to say thank you to this Thanksgiving. Create your books now and give yourself more time to shop for Thanksgiving dinner! Blurb makes book making simple and from now through 9/9, get 15% off with the code: TAKE15!!

This offer is good for 15% off your product total up to a max discount of $150 USD, CAD & AUD. Each code may only be used once per user and on books made by you. Offer expires at 11.59pm (local time) on September 9th, 2013. Offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offers, volume discounts or retroactively applied to any previous orders.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan Part 3

I hope you enjoyed Part 2 of our Fort Michilimackinac adventures thus far!  Now it was onto the cannon demonstration!

Getting ready to shoot the cannon.

 
The younger fellow was pretty hilarious and did an excellent job!
 


Kelly caught the cannon ball after it was shot off! JUST KIDDING! Haha! We got to feel how heavy it was.  Definitely heavier than it looks.

 
No off to tour the houses again!  Pretty fireplace.
 
 
Now we are visiting the Commanding Officer's House!
 
 
Next, the British Trader's House!
 
 
Now we are visiting Treasures by the Sand: Archaeology at Michilimackinac.
 
 
Some facts about Michigan archaeology!
 

 
Scale model of the fort and past digging sites.
 
 
Reconstruction facts about the fort.
 
 
This is quite interesting.  Just wait for the next photo!
 

 
Here's the fish skeleton!  The girls maybe looked at this for maybe 3 seconds and moved on. LOL
 
 
A cellar from one of the original buildings. (1700-1800s)  So cool!
 
 
Next up, picking herbs for a fresh stew.....Yum!

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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