Archive for June, 2014

Tot School

15
Jun

Hunter is 29 months.

Tot School

I can’t believe we are almost done with the alphabet!  We will be going through the alphabet again in the fall when we start preschool… well that is the plan at least.  We will see how it goes with a newborn in the house :-)

Letter U activities:

(Printables for the letter U are from 1+1+1=1 and Confessions of a Homeschooler.)

Tot School

Hunter used water colors to paint his letter U paper.

Tot School

 Hunter loves these pages- he is getting better about stamping the marker in the circles.

Tot School

 He really enjoyed stamping it hard enough to make the ink splatter (and smear all over his arms).

Tot School

 U is for Umbrella

Shapes:

Our shape this week was the square.

Tot School

Hunter put square pieces of tissue paper onto a square piece of contact paper, that we made into a sun catcher.

Tot School

Hunter had some square crackers for a snack.

Sensory:

Tot School

Hunter played with these foam insect creatures in his sensory bin.

Tot School

Another day I put these rocks meant for a fish tank in his sensory bin.  He was playing with them so nicely that I left the room for a minute to put a load of laundry in the dryer.  Soon, I heard Hailey yelling.  When I came back to see what was going on, Hunter was pouring these little rocks down the back of her shirt.

Other:

Tot School

When we came home from Disney World I decided it was time to get down to the potty training business.  So, Hunter put on some underwear and did an excited dance around the living room to celebrate.  He did really well and only had a couple of accidents.  For the most part he went on the toilet and even told me once when he had to go.  He was so excited!  The next morning when he woke up he said, “Today I want to wear my Minnie and Mickey diapers.”  And he has not wanted anything to do with the underwear again.

Tot School

We have been having fun learning all about worms and at the end of our worm unit, we made dirt pudding with worms (chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos and gummy worms).  Hunter loved it!

Tot School

We learned how important worms are to the earth, so when we finished observing our worms, we let them go in our garden.

Tot School

Hailey helping Hunter practice his shapes during calendar time.

Tot School

Hunter loves books!!  I love how he goes and finds a book and lays down to read it!

Stop by 1+1+1=1 to see what the other tots were up to this week.

Be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest so you don’t miss any of our fun activities.

Week in Review

13
Jun

Week in Review

Here is a little peek at what we’ve been up to:

Language Arts:

Week In Review

We had some great weather and it was perfect for getting outside to do a little reading.

Science:

We finished up our worm unit.  Any of the printables you see are from The Razzle Dazzle Classroom worm unit.

Week In Review

Hailey created an All About Worms book using the information she learned during our unit.

Week In Review

Here she is drawing a picture to show how worms help the earth.

Week In Review

Hailey drew an observation of her worm habitat on the day she made it and then again a week later.

Week In Review

We finished up our unit by making yummy dirt pudding with worms (chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos, and gummy worms).

Week In Review

Hunter and Hailey both loved it!

Week In Review

Hailey’s finished book about worms.

Week In Review

We learned how important worms are to the earth, so when we finished observing our worms, we let them go in our garden.

Be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest so you don’t miss any of our fun activities.

We Choose Virtues Review

11
Jun

I have seen We Choose Virtues mentioned on several blogs in the past and everyone always seemed to really like the program.  So, I was really excited when we were given the chance to review the Parenting Cards from We Choose Virtues.

We Choose Virtues

We Choose Virtues is a fun curriculum used to help teach your children about virtues.  There are cute characters that the children will remember, and this will help them to remember the virtues they have been learning about and practicing.

We Choose Virtues

The Parenting Cards are teacher cards to be used at home, basically the homeschool version of this curriculum.  There are 13 cards, which are on printed on a card stock and are 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches big.  These cards are an important part of the program and will be used every day.  They are meant for kids ages 3-11 and cost $38.49.  Each card includes a Bible verse and you can decide if you want it to be the NIrV or KJV.

We also received the WCV Download Bundle, which is for kids ages 3-11, is priced at $7.99 and includes the following items:

  • Teacher’s Handbook
  • Family Character Assessment
  • Coloring Pages
  • Butterfly Award
  • Sing-along-Song sheets

We Choose Virtues

This a closer look at what the cards look like- each card has a virtue and then a simple sentence or two about what that means in terms that kids understand.  Under that is a Bible verse that goes along with the virtue being taught.

We Choose Virtues

The back of each card has some teachable moments that give several suggestions for how to teach the virtue you are studying.  There is also a little story to go along with each virtue in “The Kids of VirtueVille” section where you get to meet one of the characters from VirtueVille.  The story always ends with a question to make kids think about why the character made the choice he or she made.

So, how did we use We Choose Virtues?

We Choose Virtues

I started off by introducing what we were going to be doing.  Hailey and I then both took the Family Character Assessment (PDF download).  This was great to look at to find the areas that we both need to work on (and to see what our strengths are too).  It is definitely easier to see the flaws in someone else than it is to see them in yourself…

Each week I chose a virtue card and added it to our calendar board.  On the first day I read the story on the back of the card and we talked about what the virtue meant.  The Teacher’s Handbook (PDF download) had some cute ideas to use to introduce and teach the virtues- so I used some ideas from there.  Each day I did something different that was listed on the back of the card- none of the ideas take very long, they are very simple to do, but they really get the point across.  They are a great parenting tool!

We Choose Virtues

Hailey and Hunter both love to color, so each week they colored a page from the Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Pages (PDF download).  The picture they colored was a picture of the kid they met on the virtue card.  As soon as they finished coloring, Hunter wanted me to hang up the pictures right away- they are all hung up in a row and he really enjoys looking at them.

We Choose Virtues

The week that we learned about being a helper was one of my favorite weeks- we learned about finding things that need to be done and just doing them without being asked.  Hailey was amazing!  She was constantly looking for things that needed to be done- like in the picture above, she decided to help by wiping Hunter’s desk clean after we had done a messy activity.

We Choose Virtues is a great way to help your kids learn and remember virtues.  It really only takes a short amount of time each day to cover the virtue and to do an activity from the back of the card, but they teach some great lessons.

Here is what is boils down to for me:

Pros:
Easy to implement
Only takes a short time to use each day
Cute and memorable characters to help children remember the virtue
Hailey (age 7) and Hunter (age 2 1/2) both really enjoyed the activities we did and it is easily adaptable for a variety of ages.

Cons:
I wish that the Teacher’s Handbook was available as an actual book, rather than just a PDF.  It is not necessary to print it, I just used it on my computer, but I really prefer to be able to hold a teacher’s guide in my hands when I look at it.  This is definitely not necessary, just something I like and I am usually willing to spend a little bit more to be able to have an actual hard copy.

Right now there are a couple of discount codes that I am excited to share with you!
For the rest of June, use Promo Code BIG50 for 50% off a set of 12 11×17 Kids of VirtueVille Posters
For June-August, use Promo Code BTS20 for 20% off anything in the We Choose Virtues Store.
(You can only use one promo code per order.)

Want to see some more?  Check out We Choose Virtues here:

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LearningPalette.com Review

10
Jun

LearningPalette.com

We were given the chance to review LearningPalette.com which is made by Learning Wrap-ups.  I was given full access to LearningPalette.com which can be used for math or reading.  The cost of a yearly membership to LearningPalette.com is $25 for one user or $60 for 5 users.  There are pricing options for more users, up to 1000, so this is a product that homeschoolers or schools can consider.  This product is geared for kindergarten through 5th grade.

LearningPalette.com

LearningPalette.com is an online product, so you will need reliable access to the internet in order to use it.  They also have hands on products you can purchase at Learning Wrap-Ups.

It’s hard to describe how LearningPalette.com works in words, so I took some screen shots while we used the product to better show it works.

LearningPalette.com

This is the first screen in the math portion of the program.  There is a basic level up through level 5.  Once you pick your level you can pick the topic you want your child to study or review.

LearningPalette.com

After you choose a topic- in this example I picked level 3, Numeration Step 3 -you are then given 12 cards to pick from for your child to work on.  You can see that some of the cards have a little green circle next to them- those are the cards that Hailey completed  in this particular topic.

LearningPalette.com

After you pick a card, this is what you will see.  This particular example is in math, level 3 and covers multiplication and division.  (It is a bit hard to see, but if you click on the picture you can see a much bigger version.)  So, once you click on the card your child will need to solve the math problem.  After she has an answer she will need to look for the answer around the edge of the circle.  Then she has to find the colored circle on the left hand side that corresponds with the question, and click and drag that to the correct answer.

LearningPalette.com

The reading portion is similar to the math portion.  There are 4 different levels- basic through level 3.  Within those levels are different topics, and then the topics have 12 cards with different questions.

LearningPalette.com

This is an example of a vocabulary card in level 3.  This is the same set up as the math- your child will read the question, find the answer around the circle, then find the colored circle on the left that corresponds to the question and put next to the correct answer.

So, how did we use LearningPalette.com?

LearningPalette.com

Hailey used levels 2 and 3 in both math and reading.  We used it as a review or practice for things we had already covered.  I didn’t find there to be any actual teaching, just questions that would go over things that had already been covered.

LearningPalette.com

This is a screen shot of one of Hailey’s completed cards- it tells how long it took her to complete it and tells how many she got correct.

Usually Hailey really enjoys using activities on the computer, but when I asked her how she felt about LearningPalette.com she said it made her feel frustrated.  I also used it and it was very confusing for me.  I could easily answer the questions that were being asked, but to actually match up the correct circle- figure out which color to use and whether or not is was supposed to have a hole in it, then find the correct answer on the outside of the circle, made me confused.  Another problem we had was that sometimes Haiely would “lose” a disc.  If the colored circles got too close the edge of the screen they disappeared and there was no way to get them back.  The system also did not keep track of all of the cards she completed.  There were some cards she finished that were never counted as done.

Here is what it boils down to for me:

Pros:
We had access to all grade levels.
Hailey was able to work at her own pace- if she didn’t finish a card, she could come back later to finish it.
The card was immediately corrected so that Hailey could see what she had right or wrong.

Cons:
There are just too many steps to complete to answer each question- even though I quickly knew the answers, it took me a while to figure out which disc to put where.
It frustrated Hailey and confused me.
The cards are timed, which bothered Hailey because she felt like she was rushing to get it done rather than just figuring out the problems.

Overall, this was not a great fit for us.  I definitely encourage you to read the reviews that others have posted because this is simply my opinion.

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