A Place to Put My Oils!

We’ve been using Essential Oils from Young Living for a while now, but have had no place to really put them nicely.

My husband saw this on my Amazom wish list, and one day, it was delivered to our house! Here he is with my son installing it:

A,d. Voila!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox {Review}

I remember playing Chess with my dad when I was just a girl but I’ve forgotten a lot of how to play, so I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to review Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox because now I can re-fresh my own knowledge and help my special needs boys learn this game as well!

While uou certainly can play chess in the standard way with this set, it has been formatted in such a way that anyone, whether they are trying to re-learn the game for themselves or they want to help someone with absolutely no knowledge of how to play to learn.

Fun Family Chess comes with a very sturdy, well made wood box, which is both the chess board and storage for all of the components.

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One of the things I really like is that there are pictures of the different pieces right on the board, so that we know exactly what goes where.

Inside, the other parts of the game are packaged very nicely in the velvet lined inner halves.

You can see that the light and dark pieces each have their own soft (and now I notice, covered Shiloh’s hair) velvet bags, and nestled in with them you can also see a full color instruction book, reference cards, and the chess die. The wood box/game board closes with two metal clasps to keep everything neatly together.

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Each person will roll the chess die during their turn, and it will show them which piece to move. The player then checks the color coded reference card to find out how that piece is allowed to move. Here is a short video from the Brain Blox company which explains the moves each piece can make in chess:

Not only is the storage box/chess board good solid wood, the pieces are as well, plus they are coated on the bottom with felt to keep them from scratching the board.

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A couple of my boys have cognitive issues and have difficulty when it comes to strategy, so this is a very good way for them to learn this game. Here is just one of their games in progress:

They are enjoying learning the game of chess in a no pressure way. They do not have to already know how each piece moves in order to be able to play, because the whole idea is learning while playing. With the die and the reference cards, they can check how each piece moves each time it is their turn. Eventually, they will have the pieces and their moves memorized, and won’t need to refer to the cards anymore! It really is as the box itself says:

“Earth’s Most Dandy and Delightful, Refreshingly Refined, Easy-Peasy Way To Learn Chess!”  

Please click on the banner just below to read the fair and honest thoughts of 56 other Review Crew Members!

Fun Family Chess {Brain Blox Reviews}

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under Brain Blox, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Homeschooling Chess, Learn Chess the Easy way

New Nails!

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Progeny Press Study Guide (Little House On The Prairie) {Review}

 I really like using a good unit study to go along with good books, and Progeny Press has a good number of them! We have been working through the Little House on the Prairie Study Guide.

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This is not our first study guide from Progeny Press. We have done a few others, which you can read about here.

My son chose the study guide he wanted to do. He has always really liked the television show “Little House on the Prairie,” and has been surprised at how different the book is from it, although I personally thought that the pilot episode came fairly close to this book!

“The Puzzler” has been slowly working his way through this one. I say slowly because he has real comprehension problems, and other learning delays. In the past when we have used study guides, we have mostly done them orally with all of the boys. This time, I thought we’d try having “Mr. Puzzler” use the interactive PDF, and type in his own answers.

This has actually been working fairly well! He doesn’t like to do a whole lot of hand writing, and he is very picky about how it looks, so usually it just takes forever with erasing and rewriting. Typing in the answers allows for him to more easily correct his errors (although I did just realize that he spelled griping with two p’s) This also has allowed him to work mostly on his own, which he’s been enjoying.

This study guide suggests reading the entire book and then doing each section of the guide, but since each section covers about five chapters which is an easier bite for “The. Puzzler,” he has been reading the book one section at a time and then answering the questions for that section. Admittedly, this is taking a good bit longer that suggested by Progeny Press, but the beauty of homeschooling is that we don’t HAVE to stay on schedule, we are able to work at the pace my kids can handle, and thus retain what is learned.

There are a variety of activities the student can do throughout this guide. One that I was able to catch in pictures was making Molasses Milk, which we’d never heard of.

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Pretty much all of them said it was definitely not something they’d ever ask for again!

This study guide covers a lot of things, not just language arts. We have looked at history, geography, social studies, Bible, etc. I specifically mention Bible because I so appreciate the Mission Statement of Progeny Press:

“To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!”

The Little House on the Prairie Study Guide uses the following as the format:

  • Vocabulary – he has been exploring synonyms, similes and personification.
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Think about the story
  • Dig Deeper – Thinking about the situations in the story with a Biblical perspective, with verses to look up and ponder.
  • Class Debate – We use as discussion questions.
  • Optional Activities

Having the option of doing the study guide orally, print the guide out and write the answers in, or use the interactive function and type the answers in has allowed more flexibility for us as my kids have moved from one to the next with the different guides we’ve used. Progeny Press is a wonderful choice for our family, and maybe it will be for you, as well! You may check out the sample here.

To see the honest and fair thoughts of 47 other Review Crew Members, please click on the banner just below.

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}Crew-Disclaimer

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

 

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Filed under History, home education, homeschool unit studies, homeschooling, Language Arts, Literature Study Guides, Liturature Based Unit Study, Progeny Press

Life Schooling

What is “Life Schooling” you ask? Well, it is working “school” around life, instead of the other way around. It is using life as a series of learning opportunities. And, in our case, it is taking time to minister to others, even if doing so happens during conventional school hours.

Today, all 3 boys are at a fellow church member’s home, helping to clear some land so they can put up a large dog pen, and then helping put it together.

Sometimes, it’s helping set up for a big occasion at church, and sometimes, it’s going out on a weekday with the Youth Pastor to visit others.

Sometimes, it’s doing odd jobs for pay, and learning to tithe off their income.

It has been going with me to help carry a meal from the car to someone I’ve cooked for, or just out to help me at the grocery store!

School doesn’t have to be just sitting at a table doing bookwork and paperwork. In fact, that is the smallest part of school for us! We learned a long time ago that while “school in a box” works for many people and their kids thrive on it, our kids do not, so we gradually changed to what works in our family.

If you’ve thought about homeschooling and been afraid you couldn’t, just know there are many ways to homeschool. The only “wrong way” to do it is the way that doesn’t work for YOUR kids and YOUR family. And, there’s nothing wrong with learning alongside your kids, either, I often find myself learning things I was never taught before!

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under family, home education, homeschooling, Life-schooling

Online Times Alive From City Creek Press, Inc {Review}

Memorizing multiplication facts can be boring. In fact, I never learned them. Yes. Yes I did just admit that! To be fair though, Nobody ever taught the multiplication tables in any class I was in. But, with the Online Times Alive subscription from City Creek Press, Inc. YOUR students (and you!) can learn math facts by watching videos and practicing math facts.

For many people, learning facts (of any sort) is easier using rhymes or songs. Based on the best selling book Times Tables The Fun Way Book for Kids, Online Times Alive uses both of these, along with short stories to teach the multiplication tables. Mnemonics have always been a great help to me ( “In 14 hundred and 92, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” ring a bell? )

Here is a quick little video to give you an idea of the fun way students are brought to a knowledge of multiplication facts:

I decided to have “The Artist” be the student on this one. Both “The Batman” and “The Puzzler” are very delayed in math skills, and are still trying to learn basic addition and subtractions. With their developmental delays, this may take a long time, or may never happen, but we do keep trying. “The Artist,” however, has had some work in Pre-Algebra, but definitely needs to learn multiplication facts. He (and I) know how to multiply, but memorizing the multiplication table certainly helps to get to the answer quickly.

The thing I like the best about Online Times Alive is that “The Artist” was able to be totally independent! Once logged in for the first time, the program gave him a pre-test, after which the program gave him a set of lessons in a table.

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At this point, “The Artist” simply clicks on the lessons in the order given, and away he goes! The filled in circles indicate completed  lessons, while the white, unfilled circles indicate that those lessons have not yet been started. If a circle is half filled in, it is a lesson which was begin, but not yet completed.

This is the beginning of the lesson for 8×8.  I just asked, and “The Artist” says that he remembers this fact (8×8=64) because the snowmen look like 8’s and the fire at the end has flames which look like 64. There is also a sign by the fire which says sticks (6) are for (4) the fire.

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The program keeps his records, but it is important for you to be aware that the student must use only the device he or she initially logged into, and remember what neme exactly they used to log into. The records and progress are kept on the one device, so this is important. I do wish that they were kept online, because at some point after beginning the review period “The Artist” received a Chromebook specifically for school use and switching him over meant he had to start all over.

Speaking of records, as you can see in the above picture, there is a red bar at the middle bottom of the screen. Clicking on that got me this:

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The picture below is what “The Artist” sees after watching the video in any given lesson. He tells me that this excercise is to see if he remembers what the lesson taught.

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He says that periodically the program gives a comprehension quiz or a test. The Artist really has been enjoying this! He also has some developmental delays, thoughv he’s not quite as delayed as his brothers, and this has been a great fit for him! Check out Online Times Alive and see if it’s a good fit for you! The cost is $9.95 / month with an initial $6.95 sign-up fee, but my readers can use the code  lovetolearn to have the sign up fee waved.

Please click on the banner just below to read what 44 other reviewing families think of Online Times Alive!

Online Times Alive {City Creek Press, Inc. Reviews}Crew-Disclaimer

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under Homeschool Math, Multiplication Tables, Times Alive

Yummy Freezer Meals!

Today, “The Artist” and I put together 11 meals for the freezer!

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“The Artist” is making the Baked Apricot Meatballs, while I make the sauce to put on them.

Here, we have the really good smelling topping to add into the Baked Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops. I wish you could smell this, instead of just seeing it, because it just smells so yummy, and I’m sure it’s going to smell even better baking in the oven!

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This is all 10 of the meals from the recipes above, 2 of each, plus a package made using the extra pork chops and Vidalia Vinaigrette, so a total of 11 meals.

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And finally, 11 new supper main dishes in the freezer to add to whatever meals were left from the last time we did this!

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We have a membership with My Freeze Easy, and every few weeks I just go in and create my own menu plan, but you don’t have to. Each monty there are 12 new menus to choose from. Each recipe will make 2 meals for the freezer, and we chose to use 5 recipes this time. I also set my meal portions per meal at 8 so there will be leftovers, often enough for a second supper the next day! If you click the link earlier in this paragraph (affiliate) You’ll find the join page, and also a “try it free!” click at the top. We have been using and loving this for almost 3 years now, and my crew loves it! We get so much more variety now, and I never have to worry about having something already prepped to just thaw and bake, slow cook, Instant Pot, or skillet! Another reason I started doing this is that I’m part of the “Care Bear” ministry in our church (Mesa Baptist Church). I never have to say no anymore, because there are always good meals in my freezer, which enables me to do a meal for someone in need wil very little notice. I like that!

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Filed under family, food, Freezer Meals, Freezer Prepping