Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday–Family Pictures

Remember back in August when I posted about a friend doing an adoption fundraiser by raffling off some amazing prizes? Well, I won the photography package from Jenn Eileen Photography!  We were able to get our pictures done two weeks ago, and I’m very happy with how they turned out. I also had help from the stylish Amber over at The Closeteer, who accessorized Kahlen and I from Florida :-) Seriously, if you need help with anything fashion or clothing related, call on her mad skilz.

ANYway, here are some of the pictures, enjoy!

2012-10-19 Family Pictures (25)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (7)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (10)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (17)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (19)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (24)2012-10-19 Family Pictures (9)

And these aren’t even my favorites (You’ll have to wait for our Christmas card for those) :-)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–Samson’s Classroom

Speak Up Saturday

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Only a few more TOS Crew reviews left before my tour is over…

Today, the review is Samson’s Classroom, online reading software for grades K-5. They say the best way to understand what their website is all about is to watch this 3-minute video.

Basically, there are three main areas to their program: sight words, spelling, and reading. We tried a little of each area to see what they had to offer.

The sight words has five activities for each sight word list, starting with learning the word and moving all the way to picking the correct word (and spelling of the word) to go in a sentence. Kahlen really enjoyed this section. Each activity was engaging, not too slow, and provided her with enough practice to get the words correct. Most of the ones she was working on were review for her, but I wanted her to start from the beginning anyway so that she wasn’t frustrated by the program AND the words, which has happened before. Currently, one of the things that I need in software is for her to be able to do it completely on her own once I get her started. That’s the life of a mom with littles, right? Samson’s Classroom, particularly the sight words part, does that beautifully. She was able to navigate from one step to the next easily and it was not confusing at all what she was supposed to do when an activity was completed. Another thing that I liked about the program is that is focuses on mastery. If she did an activity, but did not get 100%, it would show up red instead of green, and then she knew that she needed to go back and try it again.

2012-10-05 Samson's Classroom (1)

My daughter continues to amaze me with her reading skills. The reading section of this program looked to be too advanced for her, but I thought we’d give it a whirl anyway. It’s reading a long passage of text (4 paragraphs!) and then answering 7 comprehension questions. I had her read the passage out loud to me and then I read the comprehension questions to her but had her click on the correct answer. She was able to read the entire passage and got all the questions correct on the first try! The reading part was a struggle for her, though, and she asked me if she could be done before she was actually done with it. She stayed the course, though, and was very proud of herself when she finished :)

The spelling part also proved to be a bit above her level, but doable. The five activities offered in this section do not take into account the beginning computing level of early readers. Kahlen does not really know how to type yet, although we’re certainly working on that. One of the activities has you type the word that you hear, but it’s timed and you get eaten by a walrus if you don’t do it in time. She was very frustrated by this one and another of the spelling activities that had a similar problem. The part that I *did* like about the spelling section is that you could put in your own list or use one of theirs, which included grade appropriate lists as well as sight words and word family lists.

Overall, we liked the sight words portion the best and will continue to use this part. I will probably ask her to do some more of the reading section as well to stretch her reading abilities, but I know I’ll hear about it.

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Pricing varies by how many users you will be adding. An individual is $30 / year, and a family is $50 / year for up to four users. They also offer classroom and whole school plans.
 
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~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–Crossbow Reading Rulers

Speak Up Saturday

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If you’re a blogger like me, do you ever have about a dozen posts all written in your head but can’t find a moment to write them down? Or maybe I’m alone in that…

ANYway, that leads me to today’s review, which I wrote out in my head on Saturday while driving to Denver to go to CostCo.

As you’ll know if you’ve read any posts of mine about Kahlen lately, she’s starting to read, which is awesome! One thing I’ve noticed that she struggles with, and I think all emerging readers do, is keeping her place on the page. Enter Crossbow Reading Rulers!

The Eye Level Reading Ruler is a colored overlay text highlighter about the size of a six-inch ruler. Discreet and portable, the reading ruler is made of a combination of opaque and transparent plastic that both underlines the text and highlights it in a colored tint. Simply read the text through either of the tinted plastic strips of your selected color, and track down the page: broad strip for paragraphs; narrow strip for single lines.

2012-10-25 Crossbow(Here she is reading with her ruler)

The set that we received included 10 different colors, so that you can pick the one that works best for you. The main use for these rulers is to assist with visual stress and dyslexia. imageI do not think that Kahlen has either of these problems necessarily, but hubby used a full page overlay during college and it helped a lot.

Kahlen has really enjoyed using these rulers. They have helped her read longer paragraphs and to keep her place while she’s doing copywork. For her level, we’ve used both the big side and the small side, depending on the size of the words in whatever book or paper she was reading at the time. She didn’t tell me if one color worked better than another, so I think we’ll have to keep using them to find the perfect one for her.

I feel like the Reading Rulers have helped her with her reading and her schoolwork, just by helping her keep her place. They are a bit wide for regular reading books, but for all of our school/text books, they are great!

I would recommend these Reading Rulers for anyone who struggles with visual stress, mild or severe dyslexia, or other conditions which makes reading large amounts difficult (like ADHD, like my husband). The 10 pack is only $16.95 plus shipping, while a 5 pack is only $9.45 plus shipping.

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You can find more about the company and the other products they offer here. They have essential oils, makeup, skin care, vitamins, and more.
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~S

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wordless Wednesday–Sneak Peek at Halloween

Kahlen designed our Halloween costumes this year, I just have to make them :-) I’m almost done, I just have to do the finishing touches (like eye masks and treat bags) on the kids and finish sewing daddy’s. Yep, we all five will match. Hey, that means I really *am* super-mom! ;) Anyway, I let them wear their capes and shirts to the park the other day, right before it got cold; it snowed the next day!

2012-10-23 Super Costumes at the Park (5)2012-10-23 Super Costumes at the Park (2)2012-10-23 Super Costumes at the Park (7)2012-10-23 Super Costumes at the Park (9)

~S

Linking up at:

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Tots and Me

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tot School–Groceries

Tot School

Nathanael is currently 39 months

Okay, people. I am seriously behind in Tot School posts. So, you get the plan sheet and the pictures. If you have questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them! :-)

Theme:__Groceries____________

Day 1:_______________

Verse Song:

Proverbs 15:1

Story

Something Good

Don't Forget the Bacon!

Shopping With Dad

Craft

Sort Clipart – Good food / Bad Food (Lapbook)

Color Matching (Lapbook)

Vegetable Prints

Song

Apples and Bananas

Verse & Goodbye Song

Game

Good and Bad Pictures Cube

Grocery Relay

Snack

Fruit Salad

Video: Bebe Goes Shopping

Theme:__Groceries_____________

Day 2:_______________

Verse Song:

Proverbs 15:1

Story

Ten Items or Less

Put It On the List

Tommy at the Grocery Store

Craft

G is for Groceries cut and paste

Grocery Cards Game – Puzzles (Lapbook)

Lacing Grocery Patterns

Song

Game

“Grocery store” outside

Clean up grocery store and recycle boxes

Snack

Trail Mix made by kids

Video:

2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (1)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (2)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (3)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (4)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (5)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (6)2012-10-01 Tot School Groceries (9)

Day 2:

2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (2)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (4)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (5)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (12)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (14)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (17)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (18)2012-10-04 Tot School Groceries (21)2012-10-06 Tot School Groceries

Resources:

~S

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