Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Disclaimer: As an independent contractor for TOS, I received a 6 month subscription for 2 of my kids from TenMarks for my honest review of their product.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This book is a good solid, hard cover, thick sturdy 212 pages, world of information that is found in the Bible. There are 750 Bible words, more than 500 of them with illustrations, in this book. And MAPS! Very detailed maps! I loved the maps the most I think LOL Maps of cities. Maps of land. Maps of countries. Cut aways of houses and temples. It sure gives awesome visual of what it looked like in Biblical times. (there are page illustrations to follow). The frog on the front cover looks almost 3D. I half expected it to be embossed when I felt it but it isn't LOL But I digress...back on topic.
To see what some of my crewmates had to say about his Bible dictionary, check them out here.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
But Jesus was "indignant" with His disciples over this. These children were precious. They were the work of His hands, knit together in their mothers' wombs. Jesus uses these as a picture of all who are vulnerable and in need. Just as we are completely dependent upon Jesus for life, so we are completely dependent upon Him for the new life of His Kingdom. Jesus does not want anyone turned away. He desires to welcome and bless the vulnerable.
Jesus said, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the children's friend!
Friday, January 21, 2011
OK - I'm not sure I got that all correct but hey, it was fun trying! Let me tell you a little about what we learned with Speekee and I'll share with you the kids' take on the program as well.
Speekee the world's #1 Spanish course for young children. It is presented along the lines of Sesame Street. Puppets and kids, lots of singing, dancing, and playing. Some of the kids really got a kick out of this. Bet you can't guess which ones! LOL
The kids still debate whether Speekee is a girl (nina) or boy (nino).
Aqui es Dino y Lupi.
Dino and Lupi are Speekee's helpers.
They are sock puppets that speak some of the words extra slow
to help them be understood a little better.
They say te quiero alot (this was a bit annoying for me :)
Te quiero means I love you.
I learned I love you as te amo.
There are 10 videos with Speekee online. I had the kids watch each video 3 or 4 times before pressing on to the next one. With this program, it is full immersion meaning nothing is spoken in English. Nothing is translated except with the subtitles at the bottom (written in both Spanish and English). The words can be shut off too so the older kids can't just read it but actually try learning it.
Each 15 minute video takes us to another area of day to day living, starting with going to the el parque (the park). Then el cafe (the cafe). There is also a classroom, beach, garden, zoo, house, birthday party, market, and one more....hmmm, I forgot. Anyway, it is everyday things which makes it more personable in the kids' lives. Words, objects, people they are most familiar with and therefore can use the words more often.
In the still above, you can see the video and the arrow to start in the middle of it.
On the lower right of the video frame is a way to make it full screen.
That was nice.
Below are the other nine.
To the right are printable worksheets and coloring pages.
This online version is $7.50 U.S. currency per month (4.95 pound).
Not a bad price and cancel at any time you feel you've used the 10 videos to their fullest.
The first two weeks are FREE...even better price.
You can subscribe using PayPal.
Speekee is originally done in Spain. So real Spanish kids, and the program was originally on DVD's. The company decided to expand its market and came up with the online version and the TOS crew is the first to try it out, from what I understand. We, in the U.S. can purchase the DVD set but we have to watch our version of DVD players because these DVD's use the PAL format which isn't typical of our DVD players. So if you choose to purchase them, be sure to check your player for compatability. Anyway, there are 4 DVD's plus 1 audio CD, and a 70 page guide for teaching. The price is given as 95 pounds and the American currency is determined by the conversion for the day, or something like that. Contact them for accurate pricing.
Our homeschool experience with it: I've had two years of high school Spanish and one year or rather one semester of college Spanish. Some of the way I was taught to pronounce words does not coincide with what is taught with Speekee. I talked with one of our employees who is from Mexico and asked his opinion of the difference. Here are his comments,
"Spanish is like English.
There are several dialects and accents.
Depending on which part of the country/world you are from to which one would be used.
It is like us here in the northwest listening to someone from the south or from New Jersey,
they sound funny to us.
Doesn't make their speech wrong,
just a different dialect or even slang.
There is formal Spanish and as well as slang Spanish
but everyone can typically understand each other.
Just like in English."
I did use Fabian to assist me in some pronunciations because Speekee is a puppet
and kids speek fast and I couldn't watch the movements of their lips
to get proper pronunciation.
He was very helpful.
So, although I learned one thing, Speekee taught it differently,
doesn't make them wrong or be forgetful.
The kids' take on using Speekee:
Nicole (16) - I really like Speekee. It is fun to do and I learned a lot.
Jaime Rose (15) - It is a good learning program....for little kids.
Ashley (14) - It is a good program but some of the words are hard to understand.
Donald (14) - It is okay. I don't care for puppets. Puppets are little kid-ish.
Tiffany (10) - I like Speekee because it is fun. I think it would be good for anyone who wants to learn Spanish. This is a fun way to learn it.
Charlie (9) - I don't like it. It is weird talking to puppets and I don't like puppets anyway.
Tawny (7) - I like Speekee because he sings alot. No lo se. (yes, this is her actual wording lol)
Hailey (7) - I like all of it.
Megan (6) -I like all of it too.
Max (4) - Me too.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
For example: I gave Tiffany a grammar workbook. One that she has only five questions/sentences to fix each day; Monday - Friday. On the 6th portion, is the answer key for all five days!!! What's the purpose? Can't cut if off. I could cover each and everyone I suppose but what a lot of paper to do that with. It is bad enough to include answer keys in the back of the book that the first page of answers is on the backside of the last page, but to include it right there with the lesson!?! I like tearing out the answer keys and I staple them together, label the top with who and which book it belongs to then I stick it in the folder. But when tearing them out, I tear out the last page of the last assignment!
Grrr.....very frustrating and you know, just know that a 10-year-old can't resist peeking especially when they are having a bad day.
OK....I've been wanting to vent about that for awhile now. I feel better :) Off to find another grammar book for her.
Have you run into something similarily frustrating?
Monday, January 17, 2011
I remember Travis making a comment when he was a little boy that when he grows up he wants to live where it rained all the time because he likes the smell, the rainbows, the winter fogs, and makes the world look brighter some how. Now, he lives near Seattle. I need to ask him how he likes the rain now that he's lived there for just over a year. lol It is just not the same as we get here I'm sure.
Well, I just needed to grumble this morning. I won't melt in the rain, drown in the driveway maybe, but I won't melt. The kids are actually doing very well being cooped up in the house. Good thing I sent them outside on a scavenger hunt while the ground was still frozen a couple weeks ago. They'd like to get that finished up sometime. Today we'll start studying Blue Diamonds, a unit study in the Curiosity Files from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Look for a review in February. We'll also do a small unit study about MLK today too.
Jasmine will be going home today. She's in public PreK and had no school today so we were able to keep her one more day. I can't wait til this transition is over and she's here permanently so we can get her settled in our school routine. She likes the socialization of the public school because she is such a social butterfly lol but she'll do well here too with this one room schoolhouse of only 10 other students. We picked her up last Friday, early afternoon, and she was with us when we finished up our school day. We did our Spanish class with Speekee (look for a review coming up soon) and she really got a kick out of that one. We'll see what we can get done before she has to go home today.
OK....better get our day started. Praying all ya'll have a blessed "dry" day. What are your plans for today? Taking a school holiday like the public schools or continuing with your school week?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Face it....as homeschooling moms, well even as public school moms, sometimes we need assistance in teaching a concept to our kids. Math and writing especially comes to mind. I remember when I was a kid in school hearing my parents say "I don't understand this new math, I can't help you". Today, I find myself in somewhat the same circumstance. Although these days, I have the teacher's manual and that does help, but I have run across times or problems that the kids just aren't "getting it" the way I explain it or the way I understand the book to tell me to explain it. I can't afford a regular tutor and putting the kids in public school isn't an option I'm willing to consider because they will bring home homework and I'm expected to be the know-it-all come then too.
This is where a program like Virtual Nerd comes in handy. It is like an online tutor. Cheaper than a real life tutor and accessible anytime, not just certain days, or hours each week. One flat rate per day ($5), per week ($19), per month ($49) or even by the quarter ($129). That's convenient. Not something you have to stay subscribed too for a year if it isn't needed. Pay for just one day if you want or keep it for a month to get thru the whole chapter. Pretty cool huh?
Virtual Nerd covers Pre-Algebra to Physics. Pretty intense stuff. First, you click on the grade of your choice then you are given a list of material that is covered in that segment. With each topic there is a drop down menu for more detail type problems. See the chart below of the material covered and you can see the arrows on the right for the drop down menu.
Then.....there is a live person at a white board to walk the student thru the process. With this process, a portion or all the video can be replayed and replayed until the concept is understood. One complaint Jaime had when she first began "this isn't how you taught me". I told her exactly, a second opinion doesn't hurt since she is struggling in that area. Maybe coming from another angle from someone else might help it sink it. To her and my amazement, that is exactly what happened!!
Disclaimer: I am an independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse magazine. I received a temporary subscription to Virtual Nerd for my review on this blog. All opinions are mine and Jaime's from our experience.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Up to this point, Sally Danville's life has played out just as she hoped it would. A beautiful and free-spirited musician, she and her fighter-pilot husband, Jason, live life on the go, free of domestic responsibilities. But with a single phone call from Child & Family Services case worker, Dorothy (Phylicia Rashad, The Cosby Show), she learns that things don't always go according to plan. Sally (Brooke White, American Idol) is met with the news that her best friend from college has died in a tragic accident on a Peace Corps mission and has named Sally the legal guardian of her four kids - 3 of them adopted from third-world countries. Now Sally and Jason (Joe Flanigan, Stargate Atlantis) must quickly learn to parent this instant family and help the kids deal with the culture clash of life in America. The story is both humorous and heartwarming, revealing how fulfilling life can be when you look beyond your own plans and invest in the lives of others.
This is a must see made for TV family movie. It is awesome! It is on FOX this Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 8/7c Bring out the pizza and everyone gather around to watch this. Everyone will take something away from this movie.
This movie is close to my heart. As you know, we've adopted a few kids. Four of them came to us as a sib group in need of temporary foster placement. Even though our plans were for only two adoptions, we had a change of plans as well when these kids became free to adopt, so we put our name in the pot too. It didn't put a damper on our career plans, but a change on our family plans. I'm OK with that as you all know and now praying for more.
Anyway....Check out the Family Movie Night website. With the things on TV these days, it is a nice refreshing thing to be able to turn the TV onto a movie and not worry about its contents. This is what they are trying to do.
Like their Facebook page. Here's a YouTube sneak peek too.
Enjoy! After you've watched the movie, come back here and leave me a comment on what you thought of it.
Have you had something unexpected happen in your life to have a change of plans?
Disclaimer: I received a free download of this movie from Family Movie Night so that I could help get the word out via this blog.