Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Garden Up Date

 The garden is growing this year it's actually growing. We just harvested enough green beans for a hole meal. This is a first for us, never before have we been able to pick enough green beans at one time to actually make a meal. We planted 23 strawberry plants this spring. I am happy to report that all of them are alive and well and we even got a small hand full of strawberries the other day. I planted 4 new blueberries bushes but we lost one to some kind of fungus that attacks young blueberry bushes thankfully it was just the one bush. We will replace it in the spring with a new one. We planted two thorn-less black berry bushes. Both are doing well and about knee high. Hopefully we will see some blackberries come off it next summer.

Today I noticed the wild blackberries are almost ready. This means a blackberry picking adventure with the girls in another week or so. We will have to keep a close eye on them so we can pick them just as soon as they are ready. If we wait to late the birds and deer will get them all. We never get a lot off the wild bushes but we do get enough to make some smoothies and to snack on. The girls like getting to hike and spend time together.

May be Hotrod girl will take some pictures of the garden and I will share them next week.

My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping) Review

MySchoolYear.com Review
A new school year is about to begin. Yup its that time of year again where I begin to prepare for the new year. I love trying out record keeping programs to see what they can do for me and my family. I think I try a new one every year. This time we are trying My School Year (Homeschool Record Keeping). You can find it here MySchoolYear.com. It has lots of great goodies so I hope you will stick around all the way to the end of the review.

I would like to point out that MySchoolYear.com is designed to work on tablets and smart phones as well as computers. It's an on the go kind of program. You can use it for as many students as you want, it has secure cloud storage and its affordable. I started out by getting logged in and getting my school set up. This included setting up the length of our school year, holidays and length of school day. This was a snap and only took me about 20 minutes. The hardest part was deciding what holidays we wanted and that took up most of my time.

Next I got my students set up. I have two students this year a 2nd grader and a 4th grader. I entered there names and info then I selected what classes they were going to take this year. Once your classes are assigned you can then begin putting in assignments.

With my new work schedule having all my assignments laid out for the year is a big deal for me. There are two ways to input assignments using the create-a-plan section. There is the rapid repeat and quick split.  Rapid repeat will create a pre-selected number of lessons. Quick split will divide up material into evenly spaced lessons. You would use this if you were assigning something like a book that had X amount of chapters. I mostly used the rapid repeat feature. Rapid repeat has a place to put in the starting lesson # and ending lesson #, a place for pre text and post text, type of grade ie test, homework etc. Amount of time spent on lesson and materials used. Once you fill out these areas you can then choose to share the assignments with another student. After that you get to take a look at the lessons and then assign them. I have two classes that the girls share assignments on. This made my lesson planning go so much faster. I completed an entire years worth of assignments for two classes in under 30 minutes. I am stoked that my lessons are planned and assigned before the first week of school. You also have the ability to copy classes/lessons/ reading logs/reschedule classes/lessons and track attendance.

The next feature that is super important to me is the Reading Log. This little gem is straight forward and super simple. You go to your students name in the upper right of your screen click Reading Log. When it opens you hit New Reading. This gives you a place to put in the book title, type of book, reading level, and completion date. My kids read a lot so this is a great tool to keep track of all the books they read during the school year.

MySchoolYear.com Review
Now for my most favorite part of the hole program. I love reports, they just make my life easier. MySchoolYear.com offers some wicked cool reports.This thing will make a report for awards given, course descriptions, events, extra curricular activities, instructional hours, lesson plans, materials-lesson plan, materials-reading log, reading log list, report cards, standardized test, and transcripts. See it does everything but the dishes.  I personally use the reading log list, the lesson plans, course descriptions, materials, and instructional hours reports. The lesson plan and the instructional hours are the most important for me. The instructional hours report breaks down the class/assignment hours by core and non core hours. It gives you a total for each and then gives you an over all total. My state requires so many hours for core and non-core classes and then an over all total number of hours. I love love that MySchoolYear.com went out of the way to add this break down in the reports for us. It saves me hours every year from having to add up my core and non core hours by hand. Reports download as a PDF file and print nicely. The reports are easy to read and should fit most state homeschool requirements.




Home Room is a place in MySchoolYear.com that you can go to get an over all look at your child's progress. It shows a graph for attendance day, attendance hours, events, awards, reading etc. It makes it easy to check on progress for the year with out having to generate an actual report.



There are also places for you to enter the extra curricular activities your kids do and a place to add events. I use the extra curricular activities section for things like summer camp classes that they take and volunteer work. I use the events area to track the field trips we will be taking this year.

Over all I am very please with MySchoolYear.com the price is affordable. I love that they have a price lock guarantee on the annual membership. If I order it this year I will get it at the same price every year guaranteed. You actually save quite a bit by doing the annual membership and and as a single mom that savings means some extra fun stuff for my kids.

Don't forget to click the banner below, every Crew Member liked something different about the program. So you are going to want to read them all. I would love for you to share this review with others. Don't forget to follow my blog so you can keep up with all the great Schoolhouse Review Crew reviews.
Homeschool Record Keeping {MySchoolYear.com Review}


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families ReviewIts Math time everyone LearnBop is the name of the game. We have been testing out a 12 month subscription to LearnBop for Families  family plan for 2-4 students, as part of our summer learning program. They also have a plan available for a single student. 

LearnBop is a self-paced online math program. It is designed for grades 3-12. It gives you child a one on one learning experience that provides immediate math help. It can be used on a PC or a tablet. We tried it out on an Ipad as well as a PC. Both worked equally well. 

You start out by choosing a road map for your child. You can choose between grade levels or just. Once you have set up the roadmap your child then does a warm-up for each unit to identify any gaps in knowledge that they might need to work on. LearnBop then personalized the roadmap to fit your child's needs. As they work through the roadmap they learn from thousands of videos and step- by step instructions. There is a great progress tracker for the child so they can see how well they are doing along the way. There is also a parent section that shows you just what your child is learning and how they are doing on each section.

My soon to be 4th grader was the one to use this program. Math is her least favorite subject. She started off frustrated, right out of the gate she felt overwhelmed by the questions that were offered on the warm-up. The first one was a word problem and she feels overwhelmed with those. I told her to just do her best and move on. She got through the warm-up and was placed at the beginning of 3rd grade which discouraged her. Multiplication and division are not her strong points in math. She just needs more practice so I encouraged her to start at the beginning and give the program a chance. As she moves through the bops. It gives her a math problem if she can't answer it she can click Hint and it will give her a hint on how to solve it she can also click next hint if she still needs more help. If you do a problem wrong it gives you a chance to try again. If you get it right it tell's you GREAT JOB! and you move on to the next questions. She loves seeing it tell her great job. There are video lessons available. We like video lessons both of my girls find video lessons helpful. After working through several videos I ask her what she though of them. She said the videos explained the lesson well and she could usually understand what she needed to do. They were a step by step kind of video lesson which I find works well for my kids. She doesn't seem to mind watching them which is a plus. I think the combination of videos and hints when she is working on a problem is slowly helping to build her confidence. It is good to see her work through each bop at her own pace. 

She is slowly working her way though the road map its taking time we probably are not as far as some of the other review families, but she needs that time to improve those skills she struggles with. I am seeing subtle improvements in things she was struggling with before. She is working out problems faster and she is less fearful of the word problems that intimidated her before.We will be continuing to use LearnBop as our summer math program to continue building on those areas that are still hard for her. 


Each Crew member used LearnBop in a different way or on a different level. Be sure to click the banner to read what they have to say. I would love for you to share this post on your facebook accounts.


LearnBop for Families Review

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Father's Day Craft IDEA

I got this great email from Kwik Stix today. These are a couple of great things you can do with those Tempera Paint Kwik Stix's I reviewed a few weeks a go. I think the girls will be making some Father's Day Cards for POP this week. ENJOY!


Father’s Day Cards
Brought to you by:


What you need:

ü Kwik Stix  (assorted colors)
ü 2 White sheets of paper
ü Paper plate
ü Tape

          http://www.rampantscotland.com/know/graphics/scotch_tape2a.jpg



How to:

1.     Use Kwik Stix to paint a coloring page with a Father’s Day theme. Or, create your own Father’s Day Theme! We used “#1 Dad” and “I love you Dad”.
2.    When you are finished painting, cut the words out.T his is the front of your card.
3.    Fold a blank sheet of paper so that it is the same width of your cut out words. Trim paper to the width of the front of the card.
4.    Write a message on the inside of the card.
5.    Attach the front of the card to the back.

Tip: To create a sturdier card, use a paper plate or light cardboard as backing to the front and back of your card.



How to:

1.     With a blank sheet of white paper, fold each side so that they meet in the middle. (Make sure that the paper is in a landscape orientation)
2.    Next, fold the top of the touching corners to create the collar of the shirt
3.    Use Kwik Stix to paint the shirt. Add details such as buttons, pockets, and fun patterns that remind you of your dad.
4.    Write your message on the inside of the card. You can add designs or pictures if you like.


No I did't receive any compensation for sharing this I just though they were some cool projects. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Forbrain by Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review

Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review
Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd ReviewThis review is about an amazing product called Forbrain-Sound For Life Ltd. This is probably one of the most unique and coolest products I have ever reviewed. Forbrain enhances your voice patterns and delivers them directly using your bone structure. This is called bone conduction and it transmits the sound of your voice 10 times faster and with better clarity than air conduction. Which is how you normally hear things.  There is a special filter in Forbrain called a dynamic filter. This filter enhances specific frequencies of speech that increase memory, attention and sensory processing. This helps to correct the way you hear your own voice and leads to better speech, increased confidence, improves concentration, memory and attention.

My oldest has focus issues. She really struggles to stay focused on each task. It is heart breaking to watch her be so easily distracted and struggling to keep her self on task. She also has trouble with memorizing number facts. When this came up for review I was more than excited to see what it could do for her. Forbrain actually came while we were camping, we made a mad dash home to get it just so we could start using it right away. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge before you can use it but the battery last a long time. It charges via USB port on your computer. The directions say not to use Forbrain for more than 2 hours at a time.

The girls started out using it for about 30 minutes a day. At first my oldest used it during math fact practice. It took her a few times of using it to really get into it. But I quickly noticed that she could complete all of her multiplication fact practice with out getting off task. Every day she became less resistant about having to practice. She is still not jumping for joy when it comes to practicing but she is less resistant and just says ok when ask to practice. After a couple weeks she ask if she could use it during her independent reading time or while she was reading her history assignment. I gave her the ok and waited to see what would happen. Over the course of a few days I noticed that she was completing her history reading assignment much faster and is paying more attention. She also seemed to be remembering more of what she was reading long term. It was thrilling to see her get through an entire assignment with out getting distracted. She still has her un focused moments but over all I am noticing such an improvement. She will continue to practice with it every day.

My youngest wanted to give it a try. What big sis does little sis wants to do too. She has a few letter that she doesn't always pronounce quite right. I set her up with Forbrain and a book and off she went. The next day she was practicing with a different book and came to me to ask if she really sounded like that when she pronounced a word. I told her yes that some times she does. Now she is making more of an effort to use those specific letter sounds correctly. She enjoys reading out loud more now which is surprising me. I think it helped to build her confidence in her ability to readout loud. She has recently started to use Forbrain while practicing math facts. I have yet to determine if its helping her remember them but am excited that she wants to do it.
Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review
I have been using Forbrain my self for a couple of weeks. I have some 10 codes for work that I have been working on memorizing. I have always struggled with memorizing things. But after seeing improvement in my oldest I decided that I wanted to give it a try my self. So far it seems to be going well. I am staying a little more focused on practicing them and I think that is helping me remember them easier. Forbrain has made me fall in love with bone conduction technology.

I am really going to encourage you to click the banner on this one. Every reviewer used this product in a slightly different way and for different reasons. Each of these reviews can give you a look into how Forbrain can be used.


Forbrain – Sound For Life Ltd Review

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Divorced mom problems

Being a single mom is hard every day I am on my own. I have to be strong enough to be both mom and dad. Every moment of my day is about my kids, providing for them, making sure they are loved and nurtured, cared for in every way, raised in a Godly manner. I have to be both the good cop and the bad cop at all times. It's a day to day trial and its tough. I never thought there would be anything harder. Then suddenly it was time for summer visitation and they were gone for a week, a hole week 7 days. I have never gone more than 24 hours with out seeing my girls. How does a mom make it through a hole week with out the day to day fun of raising two wild girls. 

You get FACE TIME!