Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Locks of Love

This week my girls did something very special. They both decided to donate their hair to Locks of Love. They both donated a little over 10in of hair. I though I would share these great photos of the girls.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

La La Logic preschool curriculum Review

La La Logic Review
La La Logic is the newest curriculum in our classroom. We received the preschool curriculum several weeks a go, and quickly jumped in. You can check out the La La Logic site at This preschool curriculum has been designed to teach kids to think logically. This program is designed for kids ages 3-6 years old. Every week has a online brain challenge, a printable worksheet, and extension activities to do together with your kids. There are 100 weeks of fun material, so there is plenty to keep busy with. A weekly schedule is included for mom so planning is easy. There is a place for making notes for each child's progress. How ever I have not discovered a way to print them. You can also check off when each week has been completed. I found the weekly download simple to download and print. Lessons are done 4 or 5 days a week, and only take about 15-20 min each. The price for this program is very fair. Its a one time fee of $29 per house hold and tracks up to five children. The program is child safe. There are no outside ad's or odd pop up's while your child is using the program. This would be a great program for families with multiple children.

The online brain challenge is the girls favorite part. You can use the online brain challenge on pc, mac, iPad or android tablets. It is made up of FUN "brain training" exercises that look just like a game. The exercises are full of color and grab your attention. The girl couldn't believe I was letting them play a game during class time. They hardly ever need me to give them directions for the brain challenges. They can usually figure out how to do it long before I do.  We have tried La La Logic on both the PC and Ipad. It runs great on both, but the girls prefer to use it on the iPad. I believe they prefer the Ipad, because they can tap and touch and move the things on the screen using their hands. The online activities change over time and get more difficult as your kids progress through the lessons. The automatic progression keeps them challenged. Snoopy is 5 and she has the attention span of a gnat some days. This is our go to program on those days.  The lessons are designed for a young child's attention span. So they don't take hours to get through. The lesson gets them thinking and doing quickly. Each lesson changes enough to keep her attention as we progress through the week. Lessons are done in 4 or 5 days. Snoopy can do them in about 10-15min.  These are her favorite type of brain challenges. She loves these puzzle type challenges.

La La Logic Review
La La Logic also includes printable worksheets. The worksheets are used to strengthen a child's critical thinking abilities and problem solving skills. The worksheets are also an amazing way to improve your child's fine motor skills. There is cutting and pasting and coloring and folding etc. We have really enjoyed these worksheets. I print off a few of them for the weeks lesson on Saturday night. Hotrod girl is 7 and says they are "boring" so Snoopy has been the one to use these the most. She seems to struggle with cutting things out, and the pintables have really helped. Her find motor skills have improved a lot since she first began with the program.  She even ask for more pages that involve cutting and pasting.  She is not a big fan of coloring so she has mostly been doing the cutting and pasting pages. Hear is a small sample of the worksheets that are offered with the program.
La La Logic ReviewExtension activities or enrichment activities are offline fun family type activities. You can do them with things you already have around your house. It includes things like scavenger hunts(one of our favorites) dramatic play, puzzles, nature study's, word games. There have even been some story time and discussion assignments. Enrichment activities often incorporate science, literature, language and communication skills.  Both girls participate in the enrichment activities. The girls really like scavenger hunts the best. How ever the song and movement activities come in a close second. The other day we did the head, shoulders, knees, and toes song. The activity has you touch each body part as you go through the song. We chose to get faster and faster each time we sang the song. Bye the time we sang it through a few times, the girls were giggling so hard to take a break.  After the song activity ask us to discuss some questions like which finger is shortest. We found the enrichment activity to be a huge blessing when it is too cold or hot to play out side.
I don't think you can really go wrong with La La Logic.  I would be hard pressed to find something that I truly dislike about it. You can click the banner below to hear what other parents are saying about La La Logic.
La La Logic Review
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Running low on curriculum

We are nearing the end of the school year and we are also running low on curriculum. We have officially finished all of our main curriculum, except for science. We are now reviewing and relying on our Schoolhouse crew review products more and more. The girls are enjoying the new products and I am enjoying writing about them. This is a busy time for me with lots going on. I have to decide on what curriculums we will be using for the upcoming school year. Summer is on its way, the garden is in the ground and starting to sprout. Lawns need to be mowed, brush needs to be cleared. We are getting engine mounts set on the 53. So much to do and so little time to do it all in. Its a good things days get longer this time of year. I need the extra hours in order to try and get everything done. Soon we will take a break from school for a couple of weeks so the girls can attend camp and do a little horse back riding, go camping with the family etc. Then we will start back to our regular school routine. Hopefully I will have our curriculum choices decided on by June. We are going to do some really great things in the upcoming school year. The girls are excited to be getting ready to go to the next grade. We have decided to try a color coding system this year. I am hoping it will help keep me from getting the girls books mixed up. They are fussing over what color of binder and note books they want for the new grade. I think we will even color match the pencils this year. What do you think good idea or bad? Does anyone else color code your kids school supplies?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Memoria Press Review

Memoria Press Review
For the last few weeks the girls have had the honor of working with a great product by Memoria Press. We received a copy of new American Cursive 1. You can check it out here This level 1 book is geared for grades 1+ and sells for $22.95.

American Cursive 1 teaches beginning cursive writing. The book was developed by Iris Hatfield. She has over 35 years of experience in handwriting. By using NAC's simplified strokes New American Cursive helps children learn cursive at a younger age. The book uses a character Mr. Meerkat, to guide your child through making letters step-by-step. The directions are clear and easy to understand. It uses arrows to show your child the correct directions for forming letters. It gives lots of practice pages for both tracing and free hand. The New American Cursive book is also bound at the top instead of the side. This type of binding is a HUGE thing for us Lefties. We don't have to fight the binding.

I am using this book with Snoopy my 5 year old lefty. Though I started out with Hotrod girl using it. Once Snoopy realized it was bound at the top she threw a fit that it was for lefty's only. She thinks all books with binding was at the top are for lefty's. Sister is a good sport and gave up the book. So now Snoopy is writing in the book and Hotrod girl is waiting for hers to come in the mail. Snoopy has declared that she loves the book. She says that it is much easier than the last cursive handwriting book we tired. The directions are written so simple that even Snoopy can read them on her own. She says the arrows really help her out a lot. Being left handed she tends to want to start her letters from the right hand side. The arrows are a nice reminder of where to start and which direction her pencil needs to travel in.

It takes snoopy about 20 min to do the days lesson. A teachers guide at the front of the book will help you get started. I like that the program uses steps to help your child learn the letters.
The steps they uses are:
Introduction: How to form the letter.
Practice: They trace and then write the letter.
Play: These are exercises with a free space for drawing or trying out a new letter.

The teachers guide has you use a simple multi-sensory approach to learning the letter. This is how we are doing it:

1. I say the letter and use a few words that begin with that letter. 2. We feel the letter: This means we write the letter in the air and on our boogie boards. We talk about the strokes that are used in the letter. Are they curved or straight etc. Then she traces over the large letter on the instruction page in the book.
3 Write the letter: This is where the practice pages come in. Snoopy will basically trace and write the letter free hand on these pages. While I make sure she is holding the pencil correctly and is sitting straight at the desk. I also check to make sure she has the paper angled the right direction. For my righty she would tilt hers to the left. For my lefty she tilts hers paper to the right. After she has  finished the practice pages she is free to draw or write what ever she wants in the blank play space.

This is a picture of the one hand writing pages HotRod girl
did before snoopy took the book from her. Snoopy wouldn't let
me post a picture of hers. She says its not good yet.
So far New American Cursive has worked out really well. Snoopy's hand writing is improving and most importantly she is having fun. Hand writing is something she struggles with. It is good to see her starting to enjoy writing in cursive. We cant wait to try the next book. Hotrod girls is waiting for her book to come in the mail.

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Memoria Press Review
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Field Trip Time

This last weekend we took a trip to Twin Pines Conservation center. The conservation center does an annual Heritage day event.  This event helps kids and families see how pioneers in Missouri lived. There are so many things to see and do it takes us several hours to see it all. They have a historical log cabin complete with stone fire place and a rope bed with straw mattress. I can only imagine what it would have been like to cook for a family of 5 in that fire place.

The is a historical one room school house on the property. It is open to the public and contains all the things that would have been in a school house of the time period. Most of the items are historical and were donated to the conservation center. It is complete with oil lamps, wood stove, real black boards and desk. The girls got a kick out of seeing the old desk. The fact that there Nana sat in one when she was in school was even funnier. They were surprised to see that the school house had the same type of slate boards that we use in our class.
There were people making lye soap. This is something my grandma used to do as a child. I heard her tell stories of stirring the soap over a open fire for hours. Grandma told of how her mom made the lye from wood ash. We finally got to see the soap making process from start to finish.  Soap making is a skill I have been wanting to learn.
There were two women weaving baskets. They showed step by step how they were made. Everything from splitting the wood down to thin strips to soaking it to make it pliable. Basket weaving is not a skill I have learned. Though it would be fun to try. We may use this as a art project this winter.
This year the girls got to climb up and sit in a real working stage coach. The stage coach has been restored and they man that owns it travels around to different events and trail rides. He still drives the coach which pulled by a team of horses.
The girls got to make jump ropes by hand and they even got to go fishing for the first time. The conservation center is a great place to learn to fish. They keep a stocked pond and offer poles, bate, and tackle for anyone who wants to try it out. Both girls caught good sized fish. I am told they are blue gill. Though I wouldn't have a clue if they really are or not.

We always have a blast at these events.  If you are ever in Missouri I hope you get the chance to catch a Heritage day event.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Field Trip

We were blessed to have a friend of my sisters offer to let the kids come out to there ranch and visit with a calf. They are currently bottle feeding a calf named Titan. His momma would not take care of him so he is being bottle fed. The little guy weighed almost a 100 lbs when he was born. He was a huge calf. I don't know how much the girls actually learned but they had a blast trying to feed the little guy. They even got to take him for a walk. Check out the pictures of our fun filled afternoon learning how to feed a calf.

There is a gallon of milk in that bottle. It was heavy and the girls had to have help holding it up.