Saturday, November 2, 2013

Time4Learning: Online Educational Program

                                            home education

This post may contain affiliate links.

I received a trial subscription of Time4Learning. I was compensated for time invested. All opinions expressed are honest and I was not required to write a positive review.

As of late, I have been looking for a program to help supplement our school subjects and decided to try out Time4Learning for a month. I have heard about this online program from many other homeschool blogs and it sounded like a good fit. 

What is Time4Learning: 

  • Online educational curriculum
  • Can be used as alternative to tutoring
  • Can be used for homeschools, after school programs and summer school
  • Can be used with preschool to 8th grade
  • Correlates with state standards
I was super excited to try this out especially with Little Bits, she is only three but loves the computer. She watches her brother play on it all the time. 

Before my children were able to use the program I had to set up an account for each of them. I liked the freedom of setting up an account because I was able to place my son in different grade levels for different subjects. This is a plus because my son, like many homeschooled children, is advanced in certain subjects and at grade level in others. Setting up an account was relatively easy, as a side note, it took a couple of days for the accounts to be created. 

Little Bits enjoyed the program. Of course, I had to help her log in and use the program. I loved how the graphics were very colorful and engaging. Topics such as, shapes, colors and rhyming were covered in the preschool portion. 

This program was a great supplement for Lightning and he also enjoyed it. He did lessons for language arts and math, then took quizzes. I liked the fact that after a quiz it was required that my son showed me his results. I also enjoyed the supplemental worksheets offered.  Lightning's favorite part was the moment he was able to play his first game in the playground. The playground is an area in the program that your child is allowed to play a variety of games for a set portion of time.  

Overall, we were overjoyed with the program and for a low monthly cost it is definitely worth it. If you would like more information visit the Time4Learning website.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What's In My Heart

It seems like so long ago that I started this homeschooling journey with my son who was 3 at the time, now will be 7 in a couple of days and I reflect back at how far we have come in this journey. There were moments of discouragement and doubts, fear and anxiety and joy and triumph. Through it all the Lord has been faithful reminding me, "Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. " {Philipians 4:6} . His words of comfort always where there when I needed them, "So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up. " {Galatians 6:9} These word the Heavenly father would whisper in my ears and my heart in the midst of the sometimes chaotic days we would have. That promise that there will be a harvest don't give up, don't grow weary.  And my mind would reflect back to this simple picture that I seen on Facebook a couple of months back.  A Little bird weathering a storm on a very rainy day. Sometimes there are days when school is stopped, prayer is needed, and character development and heart development trump "education".

Always remembering that through the storm there is hope in the Rock of our salvation." but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint." {Isaiah 40:31}. Not only will you get through those tough days, but through it your strength will be renewed in Him our Lord. Just wanted to remind you and myself to stay focused because the Lord has a plan for our little ones. If there is something that is not working pray about it and allow the Lord to show show you a better way. That is what I am doing this weekend, not because I know anything about homeschooling, but because I know the one who formed my children in my womb before I even knew them He already had a plan for their lives {Jeremiah 29:11}. God bless and have a great homeschool week. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Free Calendar Cards

September Calendar Numbers free printable from Homeschool Creations                                 

Wanted to share these calendar pieces. Go to Homeschool Creations to grab these super cute calendar pieces to use for your calendar time this September!

Freebie: Kinder Binder Covers

Sitting here prepping for my co-op class that starts this Tuesday. Putting everything together. I just thought I would share this binder cover I made for the kindergartners this semester. If you like it or want a different grade please leave a comment in the description box.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Our First Week Of School

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links.

Well, today marked the end of the first week of school. After all the distractions caused by these two:


Things settled down a bit and we started getting into a routine. I told the kids they could play with the puppies before school as long as their chores were done, breakfast was eaten and it was before 8. They have started waking up at 6:30. 

We have been spending the first hour of our day in Bible study. Which includes a journal entry for my son and a craft for both of them.  Here is one of our crafts for Jonah and the Whale.

The pattern and instructions for this craft can be found at Danielle's Place. My inspiration was from The Preschool Experiment . She has some amazing ideas. 

As things settled down yesterday brought THIS ....

We did not get flooded but under all that water is my neighbors yard and a number of trash cans. It brought much excitement in the house and a great opportunity to talk about weather and God being in control of all things.

All week the subject that was one of the least favorites was Apologia Astronomy. We have never used Apologia and I was beginning to think that it was not a good fit but then the Jr. Notebook arrived in the mail today. Lightning's eyes lit up as he opened the package. When I heard, "This is mine! It's really cool!".

He literally was ecstatic about doing astronomy today. He even went on to say that some day he wants to work for the NASA, as an engineer of course, so he can build cool robots.  

How is your week going?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Puppies and Chaos, Oh My!

This post contains my affiliate link. 

I would be lying if I said we had a great day. Our day was filled with some chaos, many unexpected interruptions, but I am so thankful that we made it through the day. There are a number of things that are going to be changed to fit both my children. 

Our first day begins... with a little madness

4:20 am- I try to get up in a failed attempt to make my husband breakfast before he leaves to work. My husband leaves really early in the morning, tomorrow I am going to try to get up at 4:00 am. 

7:30 am- both the kids are awake and begging for breakfast. Mommy is still reading her Bible and getting ready for the day. Waking up earlier is scheduled for tomorrow. There is nothing like spending quiet time with the Lord, when things are still quiet. 

8:00-9:00 am- Dishes are washed and breakfast is served.

This is a very late start for us, considering it was the first day of school, we are easing back into our not normal "normal" schedule.

Sometime around 9:30- 10:00- I decide to let the kids go out and play before we sit down to do school. Why not it's the first day, right?  So we are outside and the neighbor's puppy escapes (one of two) me being a sucker for all things small and cuddly decide to allow the kids to play with them. Play time over back to school. 

10:30 am- I put the neighbors puppies back in their yard and usher the children back in the house for school. 

Interruption #1 - a handful of puppies. After everyone is inside I look outside to see if the puppies are okay, one has escaped. I pick him up and try to figure out how it escapes and fix it so I can go back in and start school. I ask my son to hold the puppy while I patch a hole in the fence so it cannot escape. Grab brick, patch hole go back inside. 

10:40 am- Go over rules, make a list of things we want to learn about, and pray.

10:45 am- Bible Study time. This is one of my favorite times when me and the kids dive into the word of God together. Currently, my daughter has been stuck on the story of Jonah so we read that from her beginner bible. After we pick up the Jesus Storybook Bible  and read the Singer, the part of the Bible where Jesus is telling people not to worry taken from Mathew 6, 9 and Luke.

I cant say enough about how much I love the Jesus Storybook Bible. I love how the Bible stories are told and how they all point to Jesus. 

11:30- 12:00 pm - Bible notebook/ Craft/ Break

12:00- 12:30 pm- Apologia Astronomy- I am super excited about starting astronomy, my son not so much, my daughter bored out of her mind. At this point I pause and give my daughter a small activity to do with water beads and a medicine dropper while we continue astronomy. 

1:00 pm- Lunchtime/ Recess- on the menu PB and J with strawberries, baby carrots and whole wheat goldfish. For recess play outside with the puppies.

1:40 pm- Naptime/ Geography  

Interruption #2- After the puppies were put back I went inside got Little Bits ready for her nap, started reading her a story when I heard one of the puppies crying. Another puppy escaped. I ran outside to put it back and figure out how it was escaping. Another brick was needed I went to the neighbor the right of me borrowed a brick and patched the whole.

1:45 pm- When I walked into the house there was chaos! My little one running around in her underwear and my son trying to barricade her and prevent her from going outside in her undies . I read Bits a story and put her down for a nap and gave Lightning some independent work while I took a much needed mommy break.

1:50 pm- Mommy break over :( my son needed help with what he was working on and my daughter refused to take her nap. My little one had to stay in the room until her nap time was over.

2:30 pm- Around this time I am thinking of calling it a day but my son is begging to do geography so we continue. We get through geography and I call it a day.

Unforgettable moments:
  • Losing our geography curriculum and frantically searching for it in my "organized" house. I really thought I had everything organized. 
  • My son overcoming his fear of dogs.
  • Holding two puppies in the heat trying to figure out what to do with them, I felt like I was on an episode of  I Love Lucy.
Linked up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop hosted by the IHomeschool Network. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tasty ...... Thursday

Today on tasty Thursday me and the kids whipped up a couple of batches of snickerdoodles. I have to admit that I have tried a number of snickerdoodle recipes always trying to duplicate my mothers' recipe, she makes the best snickerdoodles, but I have not found it yet. These cookies are easy to make and come out soft and moist. The best part is the opportunity for little hands to roll the balls of dough in sugar cinnamon goodness. Let's get started. Preheat oven for 350 ° This recipe yields 6 dozen. 

3 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
6 TB. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon


1. Start by mixing flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl start mixing the softened butter until it is fluffy then add the sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla until well blended.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones by mixing them slowly together. 

4. Set the dough aside and in another small bowl mix 6 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

5. Scoop out dough by the Tablespoon and using your hands roll into a ball, then roll ball in sugar and cinnamon mixture until coated.
This was their favorite part! 
6. Place dough on prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-16 minutes. 

7. Enjoy with a glass of milk and share with a couple of friends!

Note: Be careful not to over bake your cookies, they are ready when little cracks appear on the top of the cookies and they no longer look doughy

If you have a snickerdoodle recipe we can try out please leave it in the comment section.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to Homeschool 2013 Pictures

It's that time of the year again the first day of school pictures. Technically, we don't start school til next Tuesday but we are sharing a week early. I love taking our back to school pictures. Little Bits said she wanted to dress like a princess and Lightning was not so thrilled but  he obliged.
Lightning is going into 2nd grade. He is a fun loving kid and a complete bookworm. When I think he is goofing around I find him in his room quietly reading a book. He is the big brother in the house and man of the house when Daddy is not home. He squashes any bugs and comforts his sister when she is hurt or cranky. He wants to be an artist when he grows up and a chef. This year we will be focusing on his desire to learn about art. I am excited to see all that God has planned for my son this year. 

Little Bits will be entering Preschool this year. She is the fireball in our house and also has the gift of giving the best hugs. Looking forward to having fun with her learning letters, counting, and learning about Jesus. Her favorite toy at the moment is her little stuffed dog she has affectionately called Lucy.  She wants to be everything when she grows up. But for now she is content being a princess. 

The photo props that I used can be found at Skip to My Lou

Thank you for stopping by we are linked with the Not Back to School Blog Hop.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tasty.... Thursday!

Funny for the day. Me and the kids made blueberry muffins and we gave them away to some women around our neighborhood. One of the women knows I homeschool and she was like "Oh, wow, homemade from scratch, blueberry muffins. You must do everything!" I had to laugh I took it as a compliment but at the same time was thinking no I don't. I barely cook and I am really trying to be a better homemaker. I follow a lot of homesteaders and they amaze me with all they accomplish in a day.

School for us starts in another week so we are doing some baking before it starts and warming up those math skills in disguise. Why blueberry muffins? I always try to get fresh berries from the farmers market but a lot of times they get forgotten and not eaten. By putting them in  muffins it helps them get consumed and not wasted.

Let's Get Started .... 

This recipe yields 12 muffins. You can double the recipe and make some to freeze for later. 

Next you are going to make a mix for the struesel topping. This step can be skipped if you just want your muffins plain.

Strusel Crumb Topping Recipe

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Make topping and set aside.\

Muffin Recipe: 

1 1/2 cup of flour
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/3 cup of milk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Bake for 25 minutes at 400° F or 200° C.

*When combining ingredient mix dry and wet  ingredients  separate and then combine the wet ones with the dry ones.
*mix the ingredients on medium to low and hand mix berries in the batter.
 Tip: If you add the struesel topping a little bit goes a long way. I like to only put a small spoonful on each muffin.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Homeschool House

Like many homeschool families we do not have a homeschool room, that being said, every year I pray and ask the Lord to give me vision of what will work for our homeschool house for the upcoming year. Most of our schooling takes place in the first room in our house the living room.

The first thing you will see as you enter our house is the bookshelf right by the front door.

Reading is very important in our house and fostering a love for it is definitely a priority. 

As  you continue to walk in our living room you will see our easel (a simple inexpensive easel from Ikea) and cork board which usually holds what we are learning for that time of the year.
We use a lot of anchor charts and do a lot of writing and math practice on the huge notepad and when my little one gets bored I take it off and let her draw on the paper with smelly markers. Those are some of her drawings. 

Right next to this area is my Little Bits preschool stuff. 
This year we are going to do what I have called Fun in a Box! The labeled buckets on her book shelf will have a fun activity in each one. They will be related to the letter we will be covering for the week. Tins were purchased at the dollar tree and the labels can be found at TPT for free they come in 6 different colors!

On the opposite side of the room Little Bits desk can be found.
She loves going to this table to draw, play with play dough, paint. Its covered in chalk paint so sometimes she will just get some chalk out and start drawing.

Next to her table is Lightning's desk.
This is where he keeps his notebooks, workbooks, and school supplies. 
Not pictured is our couch were a lot of reading takes place. 
Thank you for stopping by our little homeschool house come by and visit us again for next weeks, Not Back to School Blog Hop.
              Curriculum Week in the 2013 Not Back to School Blog Hop

Monday, August 5, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum Choices for 2nd and Pre- K

2013-2014 Curriculum 

Choosing curriculum can be extremely nerve racking. Time is invested in choosing the right curriculum that fits your child's learning style, your budget, and is fun and engaging for you for your child. All that being said here is the list of curriculum that we will be using this year in Pre-K and 2nd.

~Pre- K~
Hope you enjoyed the list of curriculum that I have shared. As always things change through out the year so stay connected as I give updates of what is working and not working. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

I’m linking up with iHomeschool Network for the annual Not Back to School Blog Hop! Come see what other homeschool families are doing this year.
                          Homeschool Curriculum Choices

{This post contains a few affiliate links}

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Favorite Apps in the Homeschool Room Part.2

Today I will be sharing with you our favorite elementary apps. These apps are the ones that help solidify grammar, reading and math concepts. Once again most of these apps were found on the website Smart Apps for Kids. I would encourage you to follow them on Facebook and check out the selected apps that are reviewed and categorized by age and subject.

Early Elementary Reading and Math Apps. 

Operation Math- My son loves this app because it is fast pace and fun. In the game you are a secret agent and you have to stop a bomb from going off but in order to do that you have to unlock doors to get to the bomb. In order to unlock a door you have to enter in the answers to addition questions before the timer goes off and triggers the bomb. Each time you stop the bomb you go to a next challenging mission.

ScootPad-  This by far is one of my most favorite apps that has really helped my son in math. I love this app because you can set up a class for your child which consist of selecting, by grade level, what concepts you would like them to practice. This includes reading and math. The best part is that they earn coins for each correct answer which are able to be used to earn rewards. You as the parent are able to set up whatever rewards you want and determine how many coins they will need to earn that reward. After consistently using this app for a week I seen a huge improvement in my son's math skills.

Grammar Wonderland-  My son loved this app because it felt more like a game and less like a learning activity. You have the option of being a polar bear in space, flying through the sky in an airplane or traveling through the desert all while learning. This app covers many grammar concepts such as nouns, verbs, pronouns and more.

Brain POP Jr-  We loved this app because every week it offered a free video about something that interested my son. Videos range in topic from science, social study to even language arts. 

Bible and Character Building Apps

The Pilgrims's Promise App- When I first downloaded this app I didn't think my son was going to like it because it was not colorful like other apps but I wrong. Both my children love this app! The app consist of the actual text of The Pilgrim'S Progress and a children's animated version of the story. I love this app because it shows the journey of Pilgrim and the various people he meets along the way. This app really helps in starting discussions based on our own attitudes and characteristics followers of Jesus have.

The Beginner's Bible App-  We love this app, it has an option to read different Bible stories or play fun games based off the stories. 

There are so many great apps out there, please share your favorite apps in the comment section below. Also, join me tomorrow will be hosting a giveaway as part of the Curriculum Clean- OUT hosted by Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations.  

Favorite Apps in the Homeschool Room- Tot Edition

Entering into the last week of our "official" school year, YAY! I am excited to share our favorite apps of 2012-2013. Most of these apps are free and thanks to the website Smart Apps for Kids they are easy to locate. I love this website because it has the apps separated by age and subject. If you follow them on Facebook they share a good free app(s) of the day and discounted apps.

Favorite Tot Apps

1. Endless Alphabet- my new 3 year old love this app. It is updated regularly and new words are continually being added. The basic premise is a word is shown, the letters get knocked out of place by running monsters, your job is to put the letters back back in place. The neat thing about this app is when a letter is moved it makes the noise of the letter.

2. Alien Buddies-  Another favorite of my Little Bits. This app covers matching shapes, colors, letters (capital and lowercase), and numbers. This app is fun because when you play you drag little aliens into the correct spaceship. There are also puzzles and dot to dot games.

3. Toca Doctor- Any Toca app is fun and addicting! This one allows your child to be the doctor and fix any problem the patient has, from splinters to ridding teeth of plaque.

4. Little Explorers ABC Wildlife- any  Little Explorers ABC app is fun and informative! We love this app because every letter is represented by different animals like C, crocodile. This app doesn't just have pictures of the animals but also videos of the animals doing cool things.

5. Mc Graw Hill - Little Red Riding Hood- My little girl loves this app. There are two options either to read the book or have it read to you. As the book is read there are sound effects and animations.

Honorable Mention Tot app: Once Upon a Potty- This year Little Bits was potty trained and this app helped! It is available in a boy or girl version. The story is read, other options include a potty singalong song.

Thank you for joining me for the Tot edition of our favorite apps. Please come back tomorrow for our list of elementary apps. Leave a comment below and let me know what apps your little ones enjoy.