April 30, 2011

Houston Rodeo

Still catching up on our busy Spring. Another fun tradition for us in spring time is to go the Houston Rodeo. It is always so much fun for all. We get to see real cowboys compete, livestock shows and carnival rides.

This year Sarah was scared of most animals so we did not stay long inside the livestock part but we did manage to "pose" near a longhorn. The boys are thought it was so funny that we did not go in and pay to stand by the beast but just took the pictures close enough....gotta teach them to be thrifty, right? :)

And yes, I had to ride the pink elephant ride with Sarah and yes I almost didn't fit!!! (sigh)

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Upward Basketball

Noah is doing Upward Basketball at our church's program. He has been asking to play basketball since he was 3! Finally, he got a chance and again, this is such a perfect fit for my high energy boy! He gets to run back and forth with a ball for an hour...a dream come true. :)

He is such a good defender of that ball for his team and not afraid to get in there and block the opposite team....even when he is one of the shortest ones. We already knew his team mates from other church activities but it has been fun to watch them before closer and cheering for each other.

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Upward Baseball

This Spring the boys wanted a break from soccer and try a new sport instead. After a month of games now, it's been fun to watch how their choice truly matches their personalities. :)

Caleb chose basketball. This has been great for him because he loves a good challenge. Here he has to learn to bat and catch and work the field and run, etc. He enjoys the variety and concentration required.

It's our first time to join an Upward team and we have been very impressed with the program. I love the non-competitive approach because it focuses more on developing the skills of the players instead of the competition. It helps the kids grow in confidence and practice true sportmanship.

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All of us

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My Pretty Princess

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My handsome boys

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The kids and the Bluebonnets

Attempting again to load pictures from my computer. Here are some of the cute pictures I tried to post a few weeks ago. :)

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April 29, 2011

Greek N Stuff (TOS Review)

As part of the The OldSchoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I received a workbook and CD of "Greek N Stuff" 's Andrew Teach Me Some Greek! level 1.

Greek N Stuff provides very affordable curriculum for families interested in teaching Latin and Greek at home. They also publish Bible studies for independent readers.

To learn about this company visit the Greek N Stuff website.

Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! is their curriculum for learning Biblical Greek, also known as "koine" or common Greek. This is different from the modern greek.

There are eight levels on this program that progress from learning the Greek Alphabet (level 1) to translating short books in the New Testament (level 8).

I will focus on Level One since that's what we received. The workbook introduces the student to the entire Greek alphabet both written and sounds. Each lesson reviews previously learned material and presents it in a variety of ways. Matching, puzzles, dot to dot and flash cards bring variety to learning the 24 letters.

At the end of the workbook the student can read and write a simple scripture sentence in Greek.

I like that each lesson in the workbook was simply laid out and easy to follow along. An independent reader can do this workbook all on their own. The lessons are short. There is however a lot of handwriting involved as the student will be learning to write in Greek. The amount of writing might prove challenging to some younger children.

We also received a CD that includes a song to review the alphabet and sound bites for each letter. This is good for review and pronunciation.

Click here to see sample pages for Level 1.

The price for one workbook is $14.95 And the Pronunciation CD is $10.00. There are different priced packages for this program. Check out their online store for more information.

To read what other families in the Crew thought of Greek N Stuff curriculum check out the blog tour at the Homeschool Crew blog.

Disclaimer: I received this curriculum free of charge for the purpose of writing an honest review. No other compensation was received.

April 24, 2011

Reason # 15

Christ suffered and make us holy, blameless and perfect.

He has now reconciled (you) in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

Colossians 1:22

"Because of Christ's death we are becoming holy-but we are not yet fully holy. The joyfully encouragement here is that the evidence of our perfection before God is not our experienced perfection, but our experienced progress. The good news is that being on the way is proof that we have arrived." (Piper)

Reason # 12

Christ suffered and take away our condemnation.

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Romans 8:34

"The death of Christ secures our freedom from condemnation. It is as sure that we cannot be condemned as it is sure that Christ died. There is no double jeopardy in God's court. We will not be condemned twice for the same offenses. Christ has died once for our sins. We will not be condemned for them. Condemnation is gone not because there isn't any, but because it has already happened." (Piper)

April 23, 2011

Reason # 9

Christ suffered and died..for the forgiveness of our sins.

In Him we have redemption through his blood,

the forgiveness of our trespasses.

Ephesians 1:7

"Forgiveness is giving away the right to get even. That is what God does to us when we trust Christ. If we believe in Christ, God no longer holds our sins against us. That is why Christ suffered and died. Forgiveness costs us nothing. But it cost Jesus His life." (Piper)

April 22, 2011

Reason # 6

Christ suffered and show His own love for us.

Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

"Jesus paid the highest price possible to give me the greatest gift possible". (Piper)

Thank you Jesus that you love me personally!!

Happy Birthday! my first born Caleb!!!
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April 21, 2011

Christ Suffered and Died....

I have been reading a short book by John Piper "The Passion of Jesus Christ:50 reasons why He came to die" and I'll be posting here some of the reasons mentioned in the book.

My challenge for you is that you will take time this week, before next Sunday, to meditate on Jesus and WHY he suffered and died. So that on Sunday you can truly rejoice!!

Reason #1

Christ suffered and absorb the wrath of God

In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Sin=dishonoring God by preferring other things over him, and acting on those preferences.

Propitiation=the removal of God's wrath by providing a substitute.

God commands us to love Him with all of our hearts, soul and might but we fail to do this. This is sin. We choose to love other things, instead of our creator and His ways. This becomes an immense offense to God that deserves punishment. He gave us life and we reject Him. Piper calls it "treason". God is just so He punishes what deserves to be punished but because of His great love for us, he provided Jesus to be the substitute of the wrath we deserved.

"...Jesus Christ, does not just cancel the wrath; he absorbs it and diverts it from us to himself. God's wrath is just, and it was spent, not withdrawn...we will never stand in awe of being loved by God until we reckon with the seriousness of our sin and the justice of his wrath against us" (Piper).

Praise God today that Christ redeemed you and became a curse for YOU! (Galatians 3:13)

Fun Snack Creations

Sarah enjoying a frozen star for before bed treat. She helped me make this simple and fun treat by pouring yogurt into a large cookie cutter on a plate. We put it in the freezer till ready to enjoy.
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April 13, 2011

Color Sorting Cups

Save your Easter egg coloring cups. They can be fun sorting cups for toddlers. ;)
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April 06, 2011

KinderBach (TOS Review)

I'm so excited to share with you all a wonderful resource for those who are looking to introduce their preschoolers to their very first introduction to the world of music.

Many here know that music is huge part of my life. I teach music to preschoolers in two different settings every week and so I was very glad to get a chance to try this at home with the boys.

KinderBach is a resource to learn piano for preschoolers. They are meant to be used at home with either DVD series or an online course.

We received access to the online course. Currently, there are 6 levels of learning. For the purpose of the review I will focus on Level 1.

Each online lesson includes an interactive learning time where he meets the characters, each of which represents one of the music notes on the piano. Dodi and Frisco are the main characters.

Through listening games, songs, following the beat and more the children are introduces to basic music concepts such as: notes can be high or low, music has a steady beat we can follow, the piano keys are grouped in black and white, each note makes a special sound, notes can be played quiet or loud and many more.

Throughout the lessons, the student participates in hands-on activities that are downloaded from their website, where they get to review and apply the musical concepts learned.

My boys really enjoyed the program. My almost 8 year old, thought it was too simple but he already has a few years of music theory under his belt. :) But that didn't stop him from participating in all the lessons. He had fun even when he already knew the material.

My 5 year old LOVED it! He loved the games and characters the best.

One thing I was very impressed with this program was that it is SO MUCH MORE than just a piano course!!! Your child is introducing to ear training, listening skills, music notation, 4 beat patterns, dynamics and even singing with the songs included.

It is very simple to use and any parent could use this at home even if they have no music background. I also appreciated that it makes sure the child has a good foundation on certain concepts, especially following the beat before attempting to play a song in the piano. This is always a frustration with young piano players, they know the notes to play but cannot follow the beat. It sounds so simple but it does makes a difference as the student progress.

If you want to learn more about this program, check out KinderBach's Online Store and website. There are tons of testimonials and information to learn about the program.

You start lessons for as low as $7.99 a month. If you decide to buy the DVD's the cost is $40.45 for the lesson DVDs and worksheets on a CD ready to print at home.

They also have free sample lessons and worksheets available in their site.

To read what other homeschooling families thought of KinderBach make sure to visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog Tour happening right now.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge for the purpose of using at home and writing an honest review. No other compensation was received.

April 04, 2011

Go Go Kabongo (TOS Review)

If you are looking for a fun way to work on your child's pre-reading skills, you need to take a look at Go Go Kabongo.

Kabongo, is an online education game that follows a cognitive approach to learning and helps children ages 4-7 boost their pre-reading skills abilities like...

  • memorization

  • attention and focus

  • visual scanning

  • successive processing

  • phonics

  • and many more...

There are 3 habitats, on which kids play a variety of games to practice these skills. They are rewarded and encourage though their program. The students progress through 6 levels of learning for each game.

We are all about developing thinking skills in our kids so I was very eager to try this program. At first, the program looked a little simple but I have to say it then became challenging as the kids get better at it.

The boys had a blast playing the games and even Caleb who is already reading well benefited from reviewing some of these skills and was even challenged with some of the story comprehension games.

One thing I loved about this resources is the Progress Report, which is available in detail through their website but also a simpler version of it is emailed to the parent.It's great to read what your children are learning and how they are making progress thought the different levels. The reports give you also a good idea on what areas your kids need more practice. They are also very informative to the parent of a pre-reading child because it explains well how each of these skills will play a part later on in reading. The best part of this resource is that you can start using it for FREE today. One of their habitats is free and for a limited time you can get two habitats for free. The other habitat is only $4.95.

Disclaimer: I received access to this resource free of charge for the purpose of trying at home and writing an honest review. No other compensation was given.

April 03, 2011

Expedition Israel (DNG Unit Review)

As part of the Download N Go's Review Team, we received the opportunity to study Expedition Israel. Once again, DNG units never disappoint us!!

With so many wonderful titles to choose from, these hands-on unit studies are becoming our favorite thing to do!!!

"Expedition Israel" is our second DNG unit we do that studies a country. You can read about our adventures with Expedition Australia here.

The five daily objectives for this unit are...

Where on earth is Israel?

Special Places and People in Israel?

A Bit of History

Cool Things to Know About Israel

Fun and Games in Israel

Some of the things we loved about this Expedition Israel.... Me: As with other DNG units, I love the simple and easy to use format of this downloadable resource. I was very impressed with the beautiful images of the different landscapes of Israel. The vocabulary word lists and all the Bible references throughout the units were enjoyable and challenging at the same time. Caleb: Being my animal lover child, he really enjoyed learning about a different animal every day, some known and some he had never heard of. Also, making his very own map of Israel and being able to mark places like the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River on it! Noah: Learning to write his name in Hebrew! And also learning about the different foods from Israel and then reading scripture passages that mentioned them. More reasons why we LOVE all the DNG units....

  • Instantly downloadable PDF document with everything you need for one week study.

  • Hands-on learning activities that can be used with children ages K-4th grade.

  • Written by homeschool mom and writer Amanda Bennett. She understands the needs of homeschoolers and the way children enjoy learning best.

  • Daily learning objectives integrate a variety of topics to keep your student engaged. Geography, writing, spelling, vocabulary, science, math, art, Bible and more.

  • Two different ways to record and assess the learning: notebook pages and lapbook components. Both are fun and beautifully illustrated.

  • Lots of Internet links with videos, images, information pages, games, activities, crafts ideas and printouts that have already been selected for you so you know they are age appropriate and it will save you so much time!

  • Long list of family ideas to expand the learning.

  • Library list with book suggestions for every day.

  • All topics are just FUN to learn about. I find myself learning and enjoying these units just as much as my kids do.

And the price for the unit is only $7.95!

Check out a preview of this unit!

You can purchase this unit and learn more about DNG by visiting Amanda Bennett's site.

If you want to read what other homeschooling families thought of "Expedition Israel", make sure to visit the blog tour over Download N Go.

Disclaimer: I received this unit free of charge for the purpose of using at home and sharing and honest review. No other compensation was given.

Fun Lunch Creations

Noah has been asking to help more around the kitchen as he calls it "make fun food". Well, I finally put some effort into make it happen for him. Quaility time is one of his love languages. :) This past week we worked on making our first fun creation for luch and this is the result. It was fun, healthy and yummy. He was one happy kid. Looking forward to make and share more "fun food" in the future.
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