Monday, January 30, 2012

ilikebook a fun journey for a child

The ilikebook is an amazing way to tell your child all the things your love about them.
This compact little book is full of fill in the blank style entries for you or any one to write something you like about your child and add a date
I am giving each of my boys a copy for Valentine's Day this year. I am going to have aunties, grandparents, uncles, etc.. each fill in a passage. My goal is to help them see even when things aren't going the way we think they should , they are loved.
As a homeschool Mom, I am always looking for other ways to use things, and this book is no exception. I can see it as a book for the boys to fill out about the people around them. Actually when I first saw this book that is what I thought it was for, the child to fill out each spot about a person they like.  Either way filling out this book is a great way to share and create a treasury of memories for your child.
Now for the fun part. theilikebook is available on Mompact where Moms support Mom inventors in business, but this week you can enter to win your own copy of the ilikebook along with a Zatswho photo flashcard kit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a copy of the ilikebook as part of my MomPact consultant kit, links in the above review may contain affiliate links where I receive a percentage of sales

Monday, January 23, 2012

Math Monday #homeschool

We decided to come back yo Math-U-See for math this week. To celebrate the boys combined their blocks to create a tower. They worked together and shared blocks without arguing. Happy Mommy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Choosing Virtues is hard work even in #homeschools


PhotobucketBeing good isn't always easy. Thankfully there are helps out there including programs like We Choose Virtue. We Choose Virtue provides an assortment of Character Training  Curriculum and teaching aids.   Heather McMillan the creator of We Choose Virtue sent the TOS Crew Virtue Clues CardsThe Teacher’s HandbookKids of Virtueville Coloring Book, as well as free downloads from their website: Family Character Assessment, and Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes & Truths.  This assortment of products is just a small sampling of the We Choose Virtue program but was enough for us to really get excited about it.   I printed the coloring book for each of the boys and wrapped them up for Christmas/ Hanukkah week last month. The boys thought the characters were fun and engaging. We introduced the cards and immediately the boys saw the challenge before them. While we have not succeeded in a lot of changes, I have noticed a more willingness to help at least from my oldest. 
PhotobucketThe Virtue Clue Cards are on sale for just $7.95 each, and they come in a handy dandy, take-everywhere pouch.  While they are small, they pack a lot of information into each card. The characters and the cards themselves are very colorful and eye catching. 
The coloring book is a $3.00 pdf download and includes each of the Virtueville Characters.
PhotobucketI love the coloring book in pdf format so I can print multiple copies, I started out with 1 full set for each of the boys, but since they had so much fun. I am printing our focus character as part of their Monday scripture activities. 

PhotobucketThe Teacher's Handbook is packed full of ideas and simple steps to teach your children strong character education. The Handbook is available as an e-book for only $4.99 and has ideas for homeschoolers as well as Daycare/ Preschool teachers.
Be sure to check out what the rest of the crew thought of this program HERE

Check out WE Choose Virtue on Facebook for inspiration and ideas to go along with the program.

We received the products listed in this post as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange we have shared our honest opinion of the product.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY magnetic poetry

I love re-purposing and creating learning activities. And I am now officially addicted to Pinterest.  I love being inspired and finding used for all the stuff I have managed to save for future uses.
I hosted a House party event last year and had a stack of magnet cards left over. I had seen a couple of blogs were they reused them and decided that would be a perfect idea.

Found an older package of Avery return Address labels in the homeschool closet and decided this would be the perfect size. I think the packaging has changed at least twice since I bought this package of return address labels, and I'm not sure but I think I have found more uses then just address labels for these little guys.
Since the Laser printer's cartridge is almost empty (less that 15% remaining) I decided I would hand write all the words. I think each sheets has 80 labels, I used 4 sheets of labels and most of the labels have 2 words. I used a combination of the Dolch word list (complete) and the a sheet of words I found on I wrote the words in fine point sharpie marker in a variety of colors

Here is one of the magnets ready to cut up.

I want to seal them before I cut them since the labels were older and might not stay on the slick surface of the magnet as well as I would like. I am going to use a mix of Elmer's White school glue and water to seal them.

On a side note this week while we were cleaning up the boys' bedroom I found the set of magnetic poetry that I had been looking for in a corner of their room... Oh well, I guess we will have the ultimate collection of magnetic poetry words.

Maestro Classics Swan Lake dances its way into our #Homeschool #hsreviews


PhotobucketI love classical music and actually am very blessed that my boys don't mind listening to classical music either. I was so happy to receive the Maestro Classics CD "The Story of Swan Lake" as part of the Homeschool Crew before the Holidays got really crazy.
The CD includes a booklet with background information on the Story as well as Tchaikovsky. There is almost an hour of music included on 7 tracks.
When I was younger I danced although never Swan Lake, I have always had a love for the classic ballets and their stories. My boys have seen variation for Swan Lake on stage put on by a local dance school so there were familiar with the music as well as the story.
PhotobucketMaestro Classics offers a variety of CDs featuring classical music stories along with resources on their website  to help add the classical music to your homeschool , as well as fun coloring pages to coordinate with the CDs.  Maestro Classics also offers downloads of their albums if you prefer to add them to your portable device or computer.  I love sharing classical music and stories with my boys and Maestro Classics has helped share my love of music with my boys.  As I began writing this review I checked out their web store a little more and found they offer CD packs, the 9 CD collection, the Classics Pack, or the Story Pack.

Follow Maestro Classics on Twitter and Facebook as well as YouTube

Check out what the rest of the crew thought HERE

Thursday, January 5, 2012

REAL Spanish for the #homeschool classroom #hsreviews


PhotobucketWe live in a rural area with a large Hispanic population and while we don't have a lot of interactions with the Hispanic community I know as my boys get older there will be more interaction and potential for interaction and I want them to be able to communicate with the community. That said I had about 4 weeks of Spanish back in junior high and a little exposure to the language over the years in different jobs I held, but not enough to really teach my boys much.  When we were given the opportunity to try another Spanish program designed for homeschoolers I thought it can't hurt to try another option.
Homeschool Spanish is a whole Family learning experience with a multi media element.

I received the program as a downloadable product which sells for $59.95 as of this review and includes the the Homeschool Spanish curriculum, an Activity Book, an Answer Book, Daily Curriculum Guide, and the audio tracks as MP3 files. The same package in print retails for $99.95 and all the components listed above in print and the audio files on CD.
The website also includes Culture links so that you can learn more about the culture to coordinate with the language.  The Culture links section is full of activities and links to music that compliments the program.

I printed the Activity book's first 2 chapters figuring we would get through those before the holidays got too crazy. I also copied the remaining books to my Nook to save paper. I also copied the MP3 files to my Nook (I have an older Nook that has an audio player) so we could listen not only during our lesson time but also listen in the van while running errands.
A couple of things I noticed , the audio files move pretty fast and seem to cram a lot into each track. During our table time  I had to pause the tracks often to make sure the boys were saying the words.
I used the Daily Curriculum Guide to mark the audio times on so I could easily find different points in each track.
Overall the program is very flexible and would work well with a large family or a family with a larger age range. I did find at times the lessons were a little above my boys and I needed to have something for them to color or draw as we were listening to the unit.

Do I see value in this product? Yes and yes I do think $59.95 for the download is a good deal. I don't know of many other programs that you get everything including a complete lesson plan guide for under $100.   I definitely see us using this product more over the next year or 2.  If your children are younger than 8 or 9 I would recommend downloading some of the samples before you decide to buy.

PhotobucketCheck out what the rest of the Crew thought of this program HERE

I received a downloadable package as part of the TOS homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking ahead while looking back #blogboost

Looking ahead while looking back on this year here at the Spot.

I started this blog in late 2010 to move back to blogger and change the focus of my blogging. Over the last 14 months I have grown as a blogger and met some amazing people along this journey. 

I try and share things I enjoy as well as things I hope will help someone out there. I often make a dinner for my family and take pictures of the process, after we are eating dinner I will ask them " is this blogable?" and if they say yes then I will share the recipe.

I love to share crafts, but I tend to craft simple so many crafts never make it to the blog because they are too simple, at least that is my feeling toward them. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time; I really want you to get something from this Spot

I try to balance the posts here, I don’t want to share all paid / sponsored posts, but don’t think I really have enough other content to move away from the paid/ sponsored posts.  I also love sharing Book reviews but haven’t had the time to read / catch up on reading to share them with you.

This month I really want to get caught up on Book Reviews (I have several books I’m reading for reviews), but I also want to share some fun stuff as I participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge again this year.  The goal is to share 31 posts with you over the next month. I am trying to come up with new and interesting posts to write and improve the content for you the reading and me as the blogger.

Happy New Year to all my readers, here’s to looking ahead and not focusing on the past too much.