Friday, November 27, 2015

What do you do when Thanksgiving Dinner is over!

What do you do when Thanksgiving Dinner is over ? Make apple butter of course. I know we are a crazy bunch.  A sweet friend of ours donated 40lbs of apples in exchange for a couple jars of our apple butter. After we cleaned up form Thanksgiving dinner and everyone went home. Me and the girls decided we might as well get started. It took us about 30 minutes to peel core and slice all the apples. This is how we did it.

40 lbs of peeled sliced and cored apples takes up two big stock pots. We put them on the stove with some various spices and what not. Then we let it begin to cook down. Takes around an hour give or take a little.

Then you combine them into one pot. Blend it with the immersion blender thingie. Then you have to let it cook some more. I know its thick enough when my spoon stands in the pot.

Look at all those clean jars just waiting to be filled. Ok they had to be heated in the oven before they could be filled but you get the point.  

Ta Da 40 lbs of apples turned into 24 beautiful jars of homemade apple butter. Its all sealed and waiting for us to eat this winter. We will share this bounty with my sisters and the sweet friend of ours that donated the apples. I think its a good trade off for a few jars of apple butter. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!!!

May your Day be blessed with Good Food Good Family and Good Friends. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Times Tales Review

Like me, my oldest struggles with multiplication tables. She has been working on them for months now and cant seem to get past her 3's. I discovered Times Tales on accident I was surfing the internet looking for something that might help her. I came across it in a google search and though that's a new idea and started checking it out. I emailed and ask about doing a review and they said sure. I received the digital download version of Times Tales you can go here to the exact product  It is currently $19.95 and you can download it right away. I love downloads because well I'm just not good at waiting for things.

Times Tales uses simple fun stories to give your child a "memory peg" that allows them to quickly recall abstract facts. It comes in 5 parts. There are 2 Video files, and 3 PDF files that you download. The PDF files have test, crossword puzzles, flash cards and cube game. The video files are the lessons that your kids watch to help them learn their times tables. We see them more as stories than lessons. In this program times tables are taught in story format instead of the standard hear they are memorize them. They have given the numbers fun names and characters. Then they teach a little story to help you remember each times table. The program covers 3x6, 3x7, 3x8, 3x9, 4x6, 4x7, 4x8, 4x9, 6x6 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 7x7, 7x8, 7x9, 8x8, 9x9. Basically all the really hard ones that I never got memorized when I was in school.

I had hotrod girl start with video 1 she really enjoyed the video I didn't hear one single complaint about having to watch it. When she was done she came in telling me all these silly stories. I ask her show me and explain each story. I have found that having her explain things back to me really helps her. She took me in and showed me the number characters and explained the story that went with each one. I gave her the practice test that came in the PDF file. I had her do each problem and tell me the story as she was doing it. She was able to point to the problems on the practice test and tell me the story that went with the problems. I was blown away after watching it just one time she was already starting to remember some of them. She got hung up on a couple but I am sure a another time or two watching the lesson and a little more practice with the games and flash cards and she will have them down.

I love the combination of visual and audio learning. The stories make them easy to remember. I couldn't believe that she is already remembering the stories after watching it one time. I keep thinking why didn't anyone think of this when I was a kid. It covers all the upper multiplication tables which are the hardest ones to learn. It has some flash cards to practice with and a practice test and then a Test. It also has a dice game that you get to put together your self and a set of instructions on how to play. Its fun and it really does help with remembering them. They recommend you take a week between part 1 and 2 of the video lessons. During this time you should use the flash cards and games to practice. The dice game was her favorite by far. I would like you to check out the sample video below that gives you a great idea of what the lesson are like.

Over all we love the program its fun and it really does help. We are still watching the lessons and practicing but its helped Hotrod girl a bunch she is now doing way better with those upper times tables.  I think its well worth the reasonable price tag and I hope you will give it a try too. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards !

2015 Schoolhouse Review Crew Blue Ribbon Awards
This is it the official end of the 2015 Review Crew. We have all voted for our favorites and if you click the banner above you can view all the amazing winners and you can read post from fellow crew members about how they voted.
Me and the girls really struggled with who to vote for this year we loved so many of the products we reviewed. I think all of our favorites were winners this year. Though I don't think we really had anything that wasn't a favorite we even drew names out of a hat for two categories because we just couldn't decided. 
Hear are the Winners, click the links to read my reviews and other crew members reviews!
Congratulation's to all of this years Blue Ribbon Award winners!
Favorite Reading Curriculum: Reading Kingdom
Favorite Writing Curriculum: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Favorite Vocabulary Program: Dynamic Literacy
Favorite Spelling Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Phonetic Zoo
Favorite Grammar Program: Institute for Excellence in Writing: Fix-It! Grammar
Favorite Penmanship Program: CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum: Progeny Press
Favorite History Curriculum: Home School in the Woods
Favorite History Supplement: Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause
Favorite Science Curriculum: Visual Learning Systems
Favorite Science Supplement: Ann McCallum Books: Eat Your Science Homework
Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement: SimplyFun
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum: Grapevine Studies
Favorite Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum: Middlebury Interactive Language
Favorite Fine Arts Product: Maestro Classics
Favorite Elective Curriculum: Apologia Educational Ministries: Field Trip Journal
Favorite Audio Drama: Brinkman Adventures
Favorite Video:
Favorite Preschool Product: La La Logic
Favorite Elementary Product: Star Toaster
Favorite Middle School Product: The Critical Thinking Co
Favorite High School Product: Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite College or College-Prep Product: Freedom Project Education
Favorite Parent Product: Koru Naturals
Favorite Planning Product: Apologia Educational Ministries: The Ultimate Homeschool Planner
Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed: Homeschool Planet
Best Online Resource: Super Teacher Worksheets
Best e-Product: Home School in the Woods
Just for Fun: USAopoly Kids' Choice: La La Logic
Teens' Choice: YWAM Publishing
All Around Crew Favorite: Institute for Excellence in Writing

Be sure to Follow my blog so you don't miss out on next years Crew Reviews we are going to review some great products and you wont want to miss them!