Tuesday, June 6, 2017

K5 Learning {Homeschool Review}

K5 Learning
K5 Learning

K5 Learning is a fun, online supplemental reading, math, and spelling program for children from kindergarten to grade 5. We were kindly given a 6 month membership.  

My 9 year old son has really enjoyed K5 Learning.  Its been a bit crazy around here lately, and its been nice to tell Cody to do his K5 and know he is doing something fun yet educational while I'm busy with something else!

We have saved K5 Learning into our favorites and he is able to just click it and get started on his own.  He has his own account and a password.  I love that he can do his work independently.

When we first set up our account, he had to do an assessment. This will help them start your child at the correct skill level. Kids work at their own skill level, not grade level.   My son really struggled with the assessment (mainly the reading part), so I emailed them and they were kind enough to just set the level for me so he could get started.  

Once you are logged in you have a main screen like this:
You have the choice to do Reading & Math or Spelling.
You can see here where you have access to worksheets as well.
And as a bonus you get a riddle everyday, which my son loves.
The answer is hidden until you click it.

He loves the math program.  It may have a little something to do with a boy and a skateboard as the narrator.  I love how it often reinforces what we've just learned or prepares him for something he'll be learning soon.  In the photo above he was learning about how much change he would receive if his bill was a certain amount and he paid with another amount.  I was surprised at how quickly he caught on to the concept.  

I will say he has spent more time on the math than the reading, but he has done a bit of the reading program especially when the lessons are about bugs or animals.  He especially enjoyed the lesson on spiders.  ->

The reading curriculum covers 5 basic skill areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.  It includes lots of fun learning games, stories, and more.  I enjoy sitting and watching him learn and have fun at the same time.  Lessons are divided into 5-10 minute segments.  

The grade 4 reading included phonics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.  Again, K5 Learning is a supplemental program, but it covers so many areas.  I love how it reinforced things we have already done or are doing.

The K5 Learning includes worksheets as I mentioned above. On the left Cody is doing a word search.  I believe every lesson I saw him do included worksheets.  We didn't print all of them, but we did print off quite a few of them to do and I plan to include them in our portfolio.  I've shared a link below where K5 Learning offers free worksheets.  Check it out!

We didn't use the spelling program as much as the Math & Reading, but I wanted my son to play around a bit with it. While he did enjoy the games, he does not enjoy spelling, so I didn't push it too much with him.  Which of course when you decide to not push your child to do something, they find their way back to it.  I do see him doing it on his own, which I count as progress!

Overall, I'm quite happy with K5 Learning.  I also wanted to mention that there is an account for parents where you can see your child's progress.  I didn't access this too much, as I could see from my son's account how well he was doing.  We plan to continue using K5 Learning as a supplemental program for our homeschool.  If you are interested, but want to try first, they have a 14 day free trial click here for more information.

A short video from K5 Learning:

K5 Learning

K5 Learning

Check out all the free worksheets -  click here.

K5 Learning is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

For more reivews on K5 Learning click below...
K5 Learning {Reviews}

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Marsh Media {Homeschool Review}

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }
Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

Marsh Media has been providing educational materials to Schools since 1969, and now they are looking to branch out to the homeschool community.  I was given access to 54 online videos on topics that ranged from puberty, hygiene, safety, head lice, nutrition, and social skills.  I want to share a bit more about a few of the videos that we watched.

One of the videos we watched was on head lice.  Although my kids haven't had lice in awhile, it's something I wanted them to learn more about because it is quite common where we live. The video explained in detail what lice is, how one can get it, how you can keep from passing it on to someone else, treatment of lice, and finally how to prevent spreading lice and having them return.  I liked that the video explained that it is common and it's nothing to be embarrassed about.  Next to the common cold, head lice is the most common communicable disease among kids.  "Be informed and be careful.  No more head lice!"

(Puberty videos, separate videos for boys and girls)

Marsh Media is know for their videos discussing puberty.  They have separate videos for boys and for girls, and also have separate videos for grades 4-6 and grades 5-7.  I watched the video called "Just Around the Corner for Boys" (for grades 4-6) with my 9 year old son.  The video discussed puberty and changes that will occur in your body.  It discussed physical and emotional changes, hair growth and body odor, the importance of good hygiene, and more.  It is designed for boys, so I wouldn't recommend it for girls, same goes with the girl video, don't let your sons watch it.  It shows a pencil drawing with the male body parts and explain changes that will occur.  It was a short part of the video, but I felt it was helpful to my son.  Because my son is 9, he wasn't too embarrassed to watch this with his mom.  In another year or two he probably wouldn't want me to sit with him. Haha!

Another video we watched was called "Take Care of Your Teeth!"  This one seemed like it came from my childhood (80s).  My 9 year old watched it with me.  Annie and the Funsters explained the transition of baby teeth to adult teeth, how to take care of your teeth, and what happens at the dentist for a routine checkup.   My son isn't a fan of brushing his teeth, but when the video was over he went and brushed his teeth.  So, maybe we need to watch the video 2x a day?!!

We enjoyed watching the Marsh Media videos.  There are lots of great topics discussed.  There are some topics you may not feel comfortable discussing with your child.  Marsh Media is a great option is clearly explaining the topics and how to handle them as well.

Marsh Media is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.
For more reviews on Marsh Media click below...
MarshMedia Reviews
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Kids' First Performance

Thanks to NT School of Music my kids have been taking guitar lessons.  I'm so impressed with how much they have learned in just 2 terms.  This past week they had a music day for STEM week.  This meant that every child learning an instrument came together and practised for a performance at the end of the day.  They had everything from the trombone to the drums to guitar.  There are quite a number of students taking guitar.  They played Ode to Joy for the performance.  Some of the kids played chords while others played the notes.  It sounded great!

My kiddos with their guitars.

Mr. Starr, their amazing teacher!

Because they were at school all day I had to pack them a lunch.  This was the first time I have ever packed a lunch for them to take to school.  And yes, I wrote them a little note.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Typing Coach {Homeschool Review}

 The Typing Coach
The Typing Coach 

There is just something fun about the sound of the keys clicking on a keyboard, but how often do you hear the backspace key several times in a row?  Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.  😊  Well, we have been reviewing The Typing Coach Online Typing Course by The Typing Coach and working on mastering our typing skills.

Take a minute (and forty seconds) to watch this video for The Typing Coach.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course is a self-paced online typing course.  It has audio, video, and written instructions.  We found the course easy to set up and start.

Here is a screenshot of the audio lessons.

The Typing Coach teaches you to sit properly and to type using all your fingers.  No pecking allowed!  If you follow his instructions you'll be typing properly and quickly in no time, with little errors.  He says by the end of the course you will be able to type at least ten words per minute with as little as one error.

Student Packet

The course includes lessons on sitting properly, using the home row, top row, bottom row, shift keys, and then the number row with timed and scored proficiency tests.

The Typing Coach focuses on good posture and accuracy.  There are timed drills, but you cannot use the backspace or delete key.  He wants you to focus on typing one letter at a time, not caring what the words are.  You are reminded to keep good posture and to do the practices with the monitor off or a piece of paper over the screen.  Keeping your eyes on the letters to be typed (not the keyboard!). When a test is taken, you have the option to have print it and/or have it emailed to you.  This is great for your portfolios.  

You do not move onto the next lesson until you've mastered the previous one.  This may get a bit tedious, but the Typing Coach focuses on accuracy, not speed.  Little to no errors is your goal!

One small issue that we had was the keyboard of our laptop.  Because of the space for the mouse, your wrist is  unable to hang off the keyboard.  I did notice this caused problems with accuracy.  I am hoping for a new desk top in the near future with a regular keyboard, so hopefully that will help.

Overall, we enjoyed this course and learned a great deal.  I feel I am a better typist because of it.  I do plan to have my kids focus more on the program when we get our new computer, hopefully before third term.

If you're interested, just not completely sure you want to spend the money, they offer a try before you buy option.  Click here for more information.

The Typing Coach on Twitter - click here.
The Typing Coach on Facebook - click here.

For more reviews on The Typing Coach click below...
The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mother's Day

I shared yesterday how Mother's Day was a difficult day, but I also wanted to share this photo of our mothers at church on Sunday.  We gave them each some flowers and a pen/bookmark set.  Our attendance was low because family was at the hospital, but we had a lovely service celebrating the mothers who were able to come.

Friday, May 19, 2017

"She is with the Lord"

Thank you all for praying for Jane.  I've been encouraged with notes and messages from people saying they are praying.  It has taken me a few days to even write this blog post.  

On Sunday (Mother's Day), I spent the afternoon between the hospital and the women's crisis centre.  I had planned to go back to the hospital Monday morning sometime.  I woke up on Monday and went for my walk, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself for not having a relaxing Mother's Day and that we probably wouldn't be able to go out for our anniversary, when I got a call from one of our church ladies saying "She is with the Lord".  The rest of my walk was done with tears streaming down my face while I was just angry with my selfish self.  I had an amazing opportunity to sit with a lady who is having marriage problems, give her a new Bible, share Scripture with her, and invite her to come to church.  Then I spent time with family, praying with them while they are hurting as they say goodbye to a loved one.  And here I was feeling sorry for myself.  I didn't have a relaxing Mother's Day or Anniversary, but I did have opportunity to share the love of Christ with others and that's far more important than anything else.  I am grateful the Lord uses a broken vessel like me.

After I got back from my walk, we went to the hospital and sat with the family.  They asked my husband to pray. We all gathered around the body and my husband prayed.  I heard movement and I looked up to see her husband bending over kissing her face through the blanket that was pulled over her, I couldn't help but shed more tears.  What a special site I will never forget.  I am thankful for this lovely lady and the encouragement and strength she has been to me and my family.  I can't wait to see her again in Heaven someday!

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be. 

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be. 

There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be. 

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day, glorious day that will be!

(On a side note, when an Indigenous person passes away, they don't say their name for a period of time for fear of bringing back their spirit.  A Christian indigenous person knows this is not true, but out of respect for their unsaved loves ones during this time, they don't say the name.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Homeschool Rescue by Only Passionate Curiosity {Homeschool Review}

Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool Rescue

We are in our 11th year of homeschooling!  As crazy as that sounds, it has gone by so quickly.  After homeschooling for such a long time, it's good to step back, see what is working, what's not working, and what needs to change.  Sometimes we just need to "breathe new life into our homeschool".  Years ago when I started homeschooling, I felt like I was one of a small group of people, but nowadays there are some great resources not just for homeschooling, but also for homeschooling moms specifically.  One of those great resources is Homeschool Rescue by Only Passionate Curiosity.

Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool Rescue Homeschool rescue is an online video course created by Heather, a homeschool mom of 4.  It includes lifetime access to 20+ online video courses (audios and transcripts are also available), printable workbook assignments for each lesson, resources for homeschooling, ongoing support from homeschool parents who understand, and bonus content being added regularly.  If you're into planners, also included are also several styles to choose from!

At the moment there are 5 modules included in Homeschool Rescue, each module has 3-5 lessons.  Each lesson has a video (up to 20 minutes), downloads, and resources.  I have found many of these downloads to be very helpful, especially the ones on organising my time and the cleaning schedules!  You can do this course at your own pace, it was recommended to do a lesson each week, but you could easily do several a week.  If you prefer, you can also do the course along with others in a group on facebook.  This is great if you are needing the extra encouragement.  (The next one starts June 1.)  Whether you choose to do it independently or with the group, I believe you will find it to be a great help to your homeschool.  Sometimes it's just helpful to hear from someone else that yes, homeschooling can be difficult, but here's how we can get through this.  

Let's not just survive the homeschool years, but thrive!

Homeschool Rescue is a great online resource for homeschooling moms.  Yes, something just for you!  It's a step by step program to help you get your homeschooling back on track, or on track if it never was.  If you are curious what exactly the program teaches, here is a graphic with more details...
Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool Rescue

I have recently finished the third module and am working my way through the fourth one.  I will say as a mom of a teenager, I am looking forward to the module on Teaching Older Students!  "Teaching your teen to pay attention to the details" sounds like an awesome one.  😀 

Also, as a side note, please check out Heather's website.  There are many more great resources (with lots of free printables) on her site.  Only Passionate Curiosity

Only Passionate Curiosity's Social Media:
To read more reviews on Homeschool Rescue, click below...
Homeschool Rescue {Only Passionate Curiosity Reviews}
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