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Monday, November 24, 2014

H- is for Halloween


Halloween Yeah.. I'm a bit behind in sharing this one with you but didn't want you to miss out on some of our activities. We did a lot of Activities that week and many I missed taking pictures of and documenting. That happens from time to time. I did want to share with you my Sweet Peas adorable little painted pumpkin. We like to paint them when they are this age. I then sprayed it with a clear gloss spray to make it look shiny and professional. She loved that.





We are still working on learning our numbers from 1-5. I want her to recognize the numbers when she sees them. We made these cute little monsters to help with that. I laid out number cards and she would count out that many lil monsters.




To go along with our monster theme for Halloween we made this monster number book. One hair, one eye, one mouth, one nose and then Two hairs, two eyes, 2 noses, two mouths and so on until we reached five. There were loads of giggles with this activity.



We also did our usual Handwriting without tears writing. We used our song book and our pocket chart material just like we did with the letter A.





We also added this Handy Horse in our ABC book!
H= Horse.









Just a few shares today.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki


Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Randomness



1. I am completely swimming right now in everything. It feels a bit overwhelming but I'm working on digging out little by little. I keep telling myself one thing at a time. It is all paper... lesson planning, grading, blogging, church planning and a house cleaning. Ok well its not all paper.


2. Lately I have been babysitting and I am loving these little ones. I go to their house which I like even more than being here because I can focus solely on them and not so much on my own messes.



3. Tomorrow is our Church Bazaar and I'll be working in the children's room. I have all the crafts prepared completely but one which will take me 5 minutes in the morning to finish up.



4. After the church bazaar we will be heading over to my grandsons house for a double birthday party. I know its going to be a fun long day.



5. My daughter picked her Bridesmaids dresses. I will share better photos soon. This is from her phone and as close as we could find but I think its a bit of a darker blue and more sheer compared to this one. Can't wait to see all of this together and yet there is so much yet to do.    







Warm Blessings,


Nikki




Friday, November 14, 2014

Little Love



I found this little sweetie on my laptop this morning from my sweet little one. It is so nice to bloved.These moments make being a mamma worth more than money can buy.






Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Out of the Box Games- Snake Oil Party Potion- Review


It's time for some fun with Out of the Box Games and the Game Snake Oil Party Potion. Snake Oil Party Potion is a $14.99 Value.  The kids love games ! It's just so fun to gather with the family and enjoy each others company. This particular game is for children ages 8 years and up. However I think younger children can play if the cards are read to them.

The party potion Game is a new add on to the snake oil family. It is a smaller game and more portable. You can play it alone or add it to the original game to make more card combinations.
Out of the Box Games Review


How to Play:

You will need 3-6 Players to play the game.

Each player receives 6 cards.
One of the players will need to be the customer. The customer in the game will choose a customer card and take on the role of the card. Such as caveman or maybe a clown.

The player then choose 2 word cards from their pile of 6 cards to create a product that the customer might like to purchase. The players have 30-40 seconds each to try to convince the customer to choose their product.

The play that the customer choses becomes the new customer and receives that persons customer card.
You can see who can collect the most customer cards by the end of the game. There are other variations of the game that you can try.
We played the Game and what a riot. The kids had a good time creating products. My kids are extremely creative and I just sat back and laughed.

What I liked out this game is that it has educational value without the kids even realizing it. They learn to speak clearly, creativity, innovation, and other verbal skills. Great fun for all of the family.

We absolutely love this game and I hope to add the original game to our game stash as well. I loved how it fit in with a wild west sort of theme and could be played along with this type of study for a fun additive.


If you would like to connect with Out of the Box.
You can on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheBoxGames
https://twitter.com/OTBgames
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYAQiV5S9ZQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUTEAg1uDVwq0LNxFAwM7N5Q
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Warm Blessings

Nikki
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Purposeful Design- Understanding the Creation (Review)

 
Of course I say... that I love teaching bible to my kids. The bible is such an exceptional book for teaching and sharing the love of our Lord. This great big book though can sometimes cause me to wonder... Where do I start? Well, why not from the beginning with Creation. Purposeful Design has this lovely hard bound book to help you understand creation. It is a nice supplemental book to use along with your bibles.



Purposeful Design Review


Purposeful Design- Understanding the Creation by Jay Schabacker is a hard bound book valued- $18.95. The book is meant for all ages to be read.

I was so excited when I got my book to see that Jay had signed it. Nothing warmed my heart more. Thank you Jay Schabacker for taking the time to put such love and care into this book Purposeful Design Understanding the Creation.



This book is different than any other creation book I have encountered. It isn't just about the creation story but it takes you deeper. Helping you to see the glorious miracles right from God's hand. These things seem everyday to us because we wake to them and leave them in sleep each day but they are so worthy of our questions and attention. God is so awesome and powerful. Purposeful Design will help your child realize all that is around them.
Purposeful Design Review


The Chapters Represented are as follows.
  • Chapter 1: The First Day: Creation of the Heavens and the Earth, The Foundation of it all
  • Chapter 2: The Second Day: Creation of the Atmosphere and Water
  • Chapter 3:  The Third Day: Creation of the Dry Land and Vegetation
  • Chapter 4:  The Fourth Day: Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
  • Chapter 5:  The Fifth Day: Creation of the Birds and Fish
  • Chapter 6:  The Sixth Day: Creation of the Land Creatures and Humans
  • Chapter 7:  The Seventh Day


    Each chapter of the book takes you on the wonderful discovery of God's creation. For example in Chapter 1 you read the biblical account of the start of our world but then you look into how the Moon and stars orbit our earth. You learn how everything occurs to the second and no other could plan so well but our Lord and Creator. When you look at things like this your mind cannot fathom all that God is but you realize that you are a part of a greater unity than you can possibly understand.

    In Chapter two we took a look at the water cycle, which by the way fit nicely into my third graders Science and literature unit. We have been studying the water cycle and then reading about it from a weather magazine. So we had another source to look at and a very different perspective then from a secular magazine.

    Another match up in curriculum was from Chapter 3. We learn of the plants that grow on our earth and how each is made specifically for us. This one fit nicely with my preschoolers study on apples. You will take a closer look at an apple and learn how it is useful to you. Very interesting ,things I had never considered. We are given these things and we just enjoy them. We don't stop and think of their benefits. It just reminds me that we should stop and thank our Lord for all of our blessings.

    Skipping around a little on the 5th Day God Created Birds of the air. Our study on animals and their biomes later matched this look at God's wonderful creation. I was pretty happy that so many of the chapters could be related to lessons that we were already doing.

    You will also learn about the seasons, instincts of salmon, (I always found these fish fascinating) Cattle, Camels, and the amazing Human body.  The chapter on the Human design would be a great precursor to a more intense study. It talks about the brain, skull, hair, ears, eye, mouth and nose.

    And then on the Seventh day God rested. He modeled for us that our bodies need that day of rest. God wants us to rejuvenate our souls and sit in quiet worship with Him. It closes with Proverbs 19:21, Romans 8:28, Philippian's 2:12-13 and Ecclesiastes 8:17 and 12:13-14.


    Along with this book you can head over to Purposeful Designs website to get your free study guide to go along with your book. It's called
    Young Explorers Club. You would be able to use this guide with Upper elementary and older. There are fill in the blank questions from the book to help you solidify the material. We did not use the explorers club although it is a nice additive. We are more hands on homeschoolers but I can see this being a wonderful resource for those that enjoy worksheets.
    About Jay
    I wanted to add here that I was impressed when reading about Jay Schabacker. I like to take a look at the writer of my children's books to make sure their beliefs align with ours. I was impressed by the fact that He in essence is a scientist but also  maintains his faith. Sometimes not an easy thing. If you would like to read more about
    Jay Schabacker you can learn more on the website.


    My thoughts on the BookWhat I liked the most about this book was that I could really relate this to my children. They were able to stop and smell the roses so to speak taking a good look at Gods design and it's purpose for our lives. The pictures in the book are attractive to children. I specifically enjoyed that I could relate parts of it to each of my children and even learned a good bit myself.  Since we are hands on homeschoolers I did kind of wish there were some suggested hands on activities however, this momma is pretty creative so it didn't cause a big issue for me.


    If you would like to connect in other ways with Purposeful design you can locate them...


    Blog:
    www.Jayschabacker.blogspot.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaySchabackerAuthor

    Twitter: www.Twitter.com/Jayschabacker (@Jayschabacker)
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    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    IXL - Review

    Christmas Book Review


    Practice, Practice ,Practice... Sometimes with certain topics all the child needs is a bit more practice. My daughter who has dyslexia would often need to see a concept more than one way. It would be that 130th time that I showed her that she would have it and retain it.  She was my first at home child and I soon learned that practice was sometimes all we needed to succeed. IXL will give your child all the practice they need. I love this quote off the IXL website..."Practice is like Play. " A perfect why to explain IXL.

    IXL for one student is $9.95/month for one subject, or $15.95/month for both math and language arts. Additional students is only an extra $2 per month.

    An annual subscription is $79. for one subject or $129 for both math and language arts. Each additional student is only $20 per year.

    IXL gifted the crew a one year Membership for up to 5 students. That included IXL Math and IXL Language Arts.  Math covers topics from Prek-to 8th and then includes Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre Calculus. Language Arts runs from 2nd -8th grade.

    I started out using it with my Pre-K student and my 3rd grader but later had my 8th grader do a few things in it as well.  Parents have their own log in so that they can keep track of students usage, progress and achievement. IXL will compare your child's scores to state standards and is Common Core Aligned. Here in the parent account it will calculate the data you need for your child to excel. There is an easy to use tool bar that shows you all of your child's content and what they might need to practice more.


    When you open your IXl you will choose which level you would like to work in. There is a list of skills under each grade level for math and for Language arts. You can pick and choose which skill you would like to work on or you can have your child work in order through the program.  Once your child is ready or finds the topic they need. They simply click that link and begin working. Remember this is a program meant to be used in addition to your regular curriculum. It is a wonderful way to supplement what you are using and get in that extra practice as it is needed.




    When I received the program I began using it with my preschooler. In the mornings I have her preschool day set up in blocks. So that in the morning she works on a little bit of math skills and in the evening language arts skills. There are no language arts skills in IXL for Preschool. Our language arts time at this level is reading stories and working on our ABC recognition.  In the math program she was able to practice shapes, numbers to 3, 5 and then 20. Classifying, comparing, position and money just to name some of them. My girl knows her shapes well but has been struggling with reversing 3 and 5. This worked well in trying to solidify what I was trying to show her. This must be a typical problem because there is a specific 3 and 5 section. Your child will count and then they can practice the number recognition.  We are still working on it but I really saw improvement with the practices.






    My 3rd grade son utilized the program practicing his multiplication facts. Math was the area he needed the most practice.  There are many topics in the 3rd grade math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, time lapse, measurement , graphs, decimals, statistics, and more. As I mentioned above we have been working on our multiplication facts. There is an introduction to math facts and then a skill building section. Each fact is represented so you can practice 2's, or 9s or whatever you want to practice. You can even practice them all together. What I was surprised about when beginning our introduction to multiplication is that is aligned perfectly with our current math curriculum. We were able to practice any of the sections from his math book. I really like to give the kids as many different ways of learning as I can. This provided a visual that I could not have provided in the way it's resented. Kids at this age love playing on the computer so it felt more like play than study. If my son was correct it told him immediately and if it was incorrect it showed him why.







    Later I had my 8th grader join in. I didn't think he would be able to use the program at first but he could. In fact all my older students would benefit from this practice. I honestly wish I had loaded all the kids. I only added my younger two but allowed my 8th grader to try a little under his sister so we could explore the language arts program.


    You see in 8th grade our big nemesis is grammar. I have never been that great a grammar and so I am not very good at teaching it. I have to learn first and then teach him. It is often rather wobbly. When I looked over the language arts I wasn't sure what to expect but you can imagine my euphoria when I saw all of these grammar concepts...











    If we didn't quite have a concept we could look in the 7th grade program as well and work our way up to something.  Honestly this practice was perfect for him and for me. Recently we have been working on prepositional phrases. Below is an example of what my son came upon .



     
    When he selects the phrase it highlights the text. If he is correct it tells him and if he is not correct .... It tells him why. Big Big Big when you are in he upper grades and really need the why something isn't correct. I can use my teacher guides all I want but if I can't tell him why it is wrong. What use is it to him.  I was a little disappointed IXL ended at 8th grade but the good news is that it is a work in progress and the upper grades are coming soon!




    My thoughts on IXL
    IXL is a very basic program. It excludes the bells and whistles but is about content. I like that for my learners that do not need the distraction. Often times I would find my child struggling a bit with a topic and we would turn to IXL for more practice. It is a wonderful supplement to what you are already doing. My oldest daughter later this year will be doing Pre Calculus. I can only imagine how much this will helps us as we go. Honestly right now I wish Chemistry was there too. I can only see IXL growing as the years go and can't wait to see what else is added in the future. Thank you IXL for all the practice. Mom sure needed it.



    Want to Connect with IXL...?
    https://www.facebook.com/IXL



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    Warm Blessings,

    Nikki

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    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Weekly Randomness...

    Time to share a little Randomness.


    1. The fire photos were taken at our Co-ops Safety day. It was an Awesome event. There were probably over  10 community workers there who would speak to the kids for about 15 minutes or so each and then they would move on to the next. Some gave out goodie bags and some didn't . The kids came home with so much information. It was a great day!




    2. Nov. 5 was my Birthday. We spent it at home doing our school work having a regular day . My parents stopped in for lunch. They brought pizza and cake. I really am not a big lets celebrate my birthday sort of girl but it was a nice day.





    3. I like using Body Spray over using perfume. I especially am in love with Bath and Body works . I love the sweeter scents and fruity.  



    4. The boys had some fun at Rabbit club too. They dressed their rabbits in costume . Then they had an achievement night. At Achievement night the boys each received gold ribbons for their rabbit notebooks!
    In their notebooks they learn more about taking care of their rabbits. They keep track of their care and their show material. I am so proud of all their hard work.









    5.. Its out just for a short time. My favorite Sierra Mist Cranberry Soda. I so love it. So I am scouring the stores looking for more. I need to stock up because it soon will be gone.



    Warm Blessings,

    Nikki
    
    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    David Nicholson - If He Had Not Come - Book Review

    In years past we have made the count down to Christmas memorable in several different ways. My favorite way has been reading a new Christmas story each day up until Christmas starting December 1. Over the years I have collected some treasures and I have collected a few fluff books too. If He Had Not Come is not one of those fluff books. It is perfect for putting the focus back on the reason for the season.  




    Christmas Book Review

    If He Had Not Come  is reintroduced by David Nicholson a 18.95 value for a hardbound book and $3.99 for the Ebook version. The book is in picture book style Illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz.

    This book is written for children ages 6 years and up. Although as the parent I would review the book first and make a decision about that based off of your knowledge of your own child.
    Christmas Book Review


    About the Story:

    The story is about a young boy named Bobby who is excited to wake up Christmas morning and open all of his Christmas presents.  Before he heads to bed on Christmas Eve his father opens his bible and reads from it. The verse there that reads "If I Had Not Come" stays in his mind as he heads off to bed.

    When Bobby wakes up in the morning he races down the stairs only to find nothing... no tree, no parents , no gifts. He seeks out his family and tries to find them at work. Only to come across grouchy people with no spirit for our Lord and Savior. He is briskly sent on his way and he seeks other avenues of help only to be turned away each time with the people having no knowledge of Christ or Christmas.

    He  eventually comes across an elderly man needing medical attention. In his effort to seek help he is unable to find anyone willing to help. All the homes and shelters no long exist because people aren't willing to help without Jesus.  Bobby is happy to find that it is all a terrible Dream. He wakes up less worried about his gifts and more focus on the Reason, Jesus Christ.


    Secretly I suspect the world would be a lot worse than portrayed in this children's story but it gives the kids something to think about . Christmas isn't all about getting it is about Jesus' life and giving.


    There is more than just a story.In the back of the book you will find resources to go along with your story.


    Interactive Topics for families and Sunday school teachers -  This section provides discussion questions that go along with the story. They are in chronological order so you can ask them as you read or come back to them at the end. This is one page in length.


    Going Deeper- Takes you to the bible. It shares bible verses pertaining to some of the questions that are raised in the interactive topics section. This guide is also one page in length.

    Gospel Message- Outlines the New testament message. (1 page)

    Lastly there is a suggested crafty style activity in the very back.


    My thoughts: I work as a Sunday school teacher and as I read this story I kept trying to seek the deeper meaning. I read this story to my 8 year old son and he picked up on it quickly. When the story was over I felt like there was so much more I could do with this story.  Jesus was born to save us from our sins. His birth also sparks many charities and pushes people to want to do more and give more of themselves. As I read I kept thinking this would be a great book to use when introducing the Christmas Child boxes that our church sends to other countries.

    This will definitely be a story we read again at Christmas time and will be a part of our days before Christmas story time. Our church this year on Christmas Eve will be hosting a Pajama party for our children and I thought this may be the story we read to the kids this year. So much to think about the night before his we celebrate His birth.


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    Warm Blessings,

    Nikki
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    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Fascinating Education- Chemistry

    What do you do when you get to High School and your not sure you can teach those higher education subjects?  First don't let it scare you because you can do it. There are some really good resources out there on the market that can help you make it through and Fascinating Education is one of them.  

    Fascinating Education Review


    Fascinating Education provides an online curriculum for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.  Typically for Middle school and High school students. It was created by  Dr. Margulies. He uses colorful illustrations and video crossed with text to teach to the student. The course is $79 for one full year. Get two courses for $125 or three courses for two years for $175.


    Fascinating Education Review


    My 12th grade daughter used Fascinating Chemistry with her studies and my 8th grade son used some of the videos to go along with his study that touches on his Chemistry. He didn't take any of the tests that went with it because I had it set up for his sister but he was able to view some of the videos and follow along nicely. Fascinating Chemistry is in plan English with out an excess amount of Science terminology, which makes it easier to learn.  
    Fascinating Education Review

    We received our password via email and then opened our Chemistry course. Below is what you will see once you are in the Chemistry course. The headings are marked lessons but they really remind me of one unit. There are 18 lessons as indicated ...
    Lesson 1: The Intermolecular Bond
    Lesson 2: The Ionic Bond
    Lesson 3: The Covalent Bond
    Lesson 4: The Polar Covalent Bond
    Lesson 5: The Metallic Bond, Part 1
    Lesson 6: The Metallic Bond, Part 2
    Lesson 7: Heat
    Lesson 8: Air Pressure
    Lesson 9: Properties of Water
    Lesson 10: The Mole
    Lesson 11: Gases
    Lesson 12: Solutions
    Lesson 13: Chemical Reactions
    Lesson 14: Orbitals
    Lesson 15: Electrochemistry
    Lesson 16: Polymers
    Lesson 17: The Nucleus
    Lesson 18: Final Problems


    Fascinating Education Review



    Under each lesson you have three choices. The Lesson tab will bring you to a page that looks something like the one below.





    Each one of those links is a video that shares that topic. They are basic teaching videos that get right to the point. When one is complete you just click next and view the next one. Each topic is broken down into manageable chunks for easier learning. There is a tab with glossary terms and at the bottom special information about the elements. If you choose to click script then you will have a pdf file of the videos presented. I love this feature especially for my daughter because she is not an audio learner. She needs to read things herself. So following along with the script has been helpful for her learning. My son on the other hand is an audio leaner and does not need the pdf scripts when he studies.

    The video lessons end with a video titled what we have learned so far. I like this it helps round out what you have learned and reminds you of key points.

    Another option you have for that lesson is the test. The tests are laid out with question and answer options. You just click the circle to answer with the correct answers. You can easily see how many questions you have left to complete and can go back to any you aren't sure about.




    The test results are easy to figure out. It shows you what you did wrong and what the correct answer is if you got any wrong. It lets you know if you need to study more or if you can move on.


    The program allows you to stop and start and holds your place for the next time you begin again.






    My thoughts:
    The videos are easy to understand and rather simplistic in nature. There aren't the usual bells and whistles with typical video courses. However for my dyslexic child this worked fabulously when helping her understand the topics presented. I felt like we needed more along with it although the videos could stand alone as the curriculum.

    There are labs along with the courses that are password protected for safety purposes. Several of them should be supervised by the parent. If you are not a science experiment sort of person you can skip them without much issue. Although the labs really do solidify what your child is learning and gives them that hands on learning many teens require.


    Looking to the future of my sons academic career I can see us using this curriculum. He will just be beginning high school next year and will be in need of at least 2 of these courses. My daughter will graduate this year with another Science on her transcript.


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    Warm Blessings,

    Nikki

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    Saturday, November 1, 2014

    Apples



    Apples, Apples Who has the Apples ....

    We DO!!!


    I'm a little late in sharing our apple day. On Sept. 26, 2014 Sweet Pea and I celebrated Johnny Appleseed day with a few apple activities that I found all over the web and some came from my days as a preschool teacher.  Our first activity was apple printed. We did this first because I had the idea to cut out some of her prints and use them for math as manipulates. If you have older students this is a fun way to do math facts and stay with a particular theme.





    I cut the apples so that there were slits on them. Apples can get slippery with paint. Cutting a slit like this makes is so much easier to hold.





    This is her finished Apple art project...







     

    After we watched a video of about Johnny from Disney on You tube. Then we made these apple hats.
    Sweet pea just learned the letter A so she also wrote A's all over her hat and Tried to write her name.



    While we had the paint out we also painted paper plates . When they dried I punched holes in the apple so that it could be laced. We also found A's and highlighted them from a worksheet from a Confession of a Homeschooler.



    

    I found this fun roll an apple game on The First Grade Parade. Sweet Pea loves these type of games. We took turns rolling the apple cube and coloring apples. 





    We painted more apples with dot painters... This apple outline worksheet was easy to find online. Apples are everywhere. I honestly used this one day when I needed to work one on one with the bigger kids.




    Here is an example of our apple cut outs that we used for math. At that time we were only learning 1 and 3 . She can count higher than that but we are working on recognizing them. We are to five but we have been mixing up 3 and 5 so we took time to slow down and keep working on them.




    I found some fun Apple Poems from Homeschool share and Apple parts worksheet . I believe they came from the same spot . I don't quite remember.



     



    There really are thousands of Apple activities we could have done. We also read many books on the topic as well. My favorite is from Usborne books called Secrets of an Apple Tree. As you read you can shine a light and see more on the page. I love the idea.



    Hope you enjoyed our Apple day.

    Warm Blessings,

    Nikki

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    I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

    Rejoice in the Lord Always.