Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wordless Wendsday

Friday, November 10, 2017

Dispatch Life

When you are a Dispatcher coffee is your best friend. It's just a part of dispatch life. Having a good coffee cup is essential. Meet my second best friend my coffee cup. I had this custom made and I love it. Not only does it look cool but it keeps my coffee hot for hours not that a cup of coffee last for house most of the time. But if it gets busy its almost always hot when I can finally get back to it. Anyone else have a favorite coffee cup. Show them to me in the comments. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer Review

Innovators Tribe

Do you have a child that's interested in engineering or architecture? If you do than this program might be the perfect way to get them started. My 5th grader is currently doing a great program called Thinking Like an Engineer . This program and their sister Thinking Like an Architect is by the Innovators Tribe. This program is for grades 6-12 although my 5th grader is having a blast with it and only needs a little help on certain projects. This is an online course so you must have internet. The classes are not live so your child can do them when ever it fits into your day. The program included video lessons and the 3D software your child will need to complete the course. 

Course length is about 30 hours give or take. You should be able to get at least 1 quarter per course. For an elective that is good. If you have more than one child all of them can take the course as you can use it for more than one child. I feel like this really adds a great value to the program and makes it very budget friendly. You get access to the course for 18 months and the 3D software is yours to keep.

Innovators Tribe What You Get

What your child will learn: Lots....

What an engineer does and the different types of engineers, Math, problem solving, how to think like an engineer etc. 

                                                          What will they do....

Have lots of fun while learning of course...
They will also do challenging activities like how to build a tower or a water filter. They will build and design a bridge, a roller coaster and many other fun and exciting projects using the 3D software. The program also includes printable work pages that go along with each lesson. The printable's are a nice way  to reinforce the information they are getting from the videos and we placed them in our portfolio to document what they studied in the course.

The program says its for a 6-12 grade. I let my 5th grader review this one for me. She was really excited to try it and knew going into it that she might need help with some of the lessons. She was prepared for having to have help with the 3D software.  

I decided I would set her up with her log in and see how far she could go on her own. Right out of the gate she was excited. It gives an introduction that tells them how to navigate the program and lessons. It give all the information they need to get started on their own. She even found and printer her work pages and put them in a binder on her own.  One of her favorite projects was to build a structure out of 1 sheets of paper and 24in of masking tape that could hold as many books as possible. The first one was a total flop it fell after like 3 small books. She took a step back watched the video lesson again and gave her design some more thought. The next one was a better design and held a few more books. She gave it a third try and it topped out at 22lbs. 

She was impressed and eager to move on in to the next assignment. She build a water filter (which I committed a homeschool parenting fail and didn't get pictures of.) She worked on this one for several hours. She tried every thing from moss out of the yard, to scrap fabric of different blends. She settled on a blend of cotton fabric with a coffee filter as a secondary filter. 

She has just got into the 3D software part of the program she is still working on her first project. It was easy to get installed and she is starting to really figure out how to use it. So far she seems to be picking up how to design things fairly quickly and really has not needed much help from me. She is putting a lot of time into getting it just the way she wants. I cant wait to see how it comes out.  We are looking forward to seeing what else we get to design in the course. 

Thinking Like an Engineer

The hands on aspect of this program is priceless. She is having so much fun. I love seeing her excitement as she starts figuring out how to build/design something. She is remembering so much more than what she would have, had she just read the information in a book. Just the other day as we crossed a small bridge in town she began to tell me how bridges are built and the different types. Score one for The Homeschool Mom. Click the banner below and see what other homeschooler are saying about Thinking Line an Engineer and Thinking Like a Architect. 

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Magic Stories Review

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}
We are trying a new reading program in our house. This one is The Magic Stories Reading Program from Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series. This program is designed for readers in grades 2-3. I used it with my 3rd grader. We reviewed the full set it includes 6 Magic Stories, a printable card deck and 4 reading, writing and comprehension worksheets for each of the books. It also includes a parent/teacher resource section on the website. This is a downloadable/printable set so you will need a way to download and print. If you don't have a printer I recommend a local library they will usually let you print things for a small fee. This is not a full years worth of reading curriculum. But it is a great supplemental. If you do the full 6 book set like we did. You could do one book and set of worksheets a month and get 6 months of reading practice out of this downloadable program.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}

The Printable card deck has around 40 sight words on each set. These are intended to be used as flash cards. They contain 40 of the hardest words your child will encounter in each book. You should go over these cards with your child before they read each book. The cards shows the word and an example sentence. We printed ours on regular paper but if you anticipate needing to use them for an extended period of time  I would recommend printing on card stock and laminating with that clear shelving paper. I felt like the card decks covered a lot of the harder words we came across in each of the stories. My 3rd grader seemed to like them well enough and gave no complaint about practicing with them. We currently have them stored in a little container on her desk for review. She did the pre test or assessment with them and was able to read and explain the meaning of each word for most of the books. I did expect this as she is on the upper end of the 3rd grade reading level. But we like to practice and it did have some a few words she was not familiar with.

The complete set includes 6 books. 

    The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}
  1. The Magic Hole
  2. The Magic Ax
  3. The Magic Joke
  4. The Magic Hotdog
  5. The Magic Boots
  6. The Magic Box
We found the stories to be fun and interesting. My third grader was able to read each story in about 20 minutes. If your child is just beginning 3rd grade or is a struggling reader it might take them longer and that is OK. Each book is black and white and does include some pictures or drawings. She chose to color the drawings when she was finished with the book. We store them in a small three ring binder because that makes them easy to access and keeps them all together. You can also download the books to a tablet and your child could just read them from the tablet if they prefer that method. 

The set also comes with worksheets. Approximately 5 worksheets and a Pre/Post Flash Card Assessment for each of the books in the set. These worksheets are used to help with reading comprehension and writing. My daughters favorite worksheet was the Maze. This is a true and false activity where they answer questions about the story with either a true or false answer to get through the maze. Some of the other worksheets include Finish the Sentence, Real and Imaginary, Write the Story etc. I thought the worksheets were well done. A couple of times I felt like the directions could have been a little clearer. My daughter needed a little help understanding what to do on one of them. But I when she was done with each book I was able to look at each worksheet and the post assessment and see that she was indeed understanding what she was reading or if she needed to a little help.

Over all I can say that I would recommend this set it would be great for a 2-3rd grader. Don't forget to click the banner below and see what other crew reviewers are saying about this great reading program.

The Magic Stories {Allsaid & Dunn, LLC. Reviews}
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Not my image I found it on a free clip art site. Thank you to whoever designed it. It's amazing !

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Green House

Tempatures are beginning to drop where we live. I have closed up the green house for the winter to try and keep as much warmth in as possible. I am using straw bails to grow some winter lettuce. I'm not sure if it will be warm enough to keep it growing all winter but I am giving it a try. The straw bails will also help to add some heat in the green house. I have put in a 55 gallon drum of water. The idea behind this is the water will absorb heat during the day and then release it at night when the temps start t drop. Giving my green house a little boost of warmth. I would like to at a couple more drums eventually. Or may be some sort of solar heating that would be cheep and efficient. So here are some pictures. The top shelf has some baby strawberry plants that I separated from the mother plants a week or so a go. I am hoping the protection of the green house will keep them going tell they are established. The long black trays are winter lettuce another experiment to see show it grows in this type of container. I also have some herbs growing and some potatos. Then last down on the far end are some peppers that decided to start producing again and my artichoke plants. These are 1st year plants and I hope to see some artichokes this next year if they do well over the winter.