Wednesday, December 29, 2010

21 Days to getting Organized!

I stumbled upon a challenge to help get me organized and I'm so IN!  Hopefully it won't be another one of those things I start and don't finish! Here's the link... come on, you can play too!

Prissy Pants is a Smarty Pants

Since starting PP with official math curriculum last year I've learned that anyone can be a math whiz!  Sure, some will pick it up easier than others, but really it just takes learning it the right way and getting an understanding of it to become a math whiz!  In the public school setting it takes someone with a natural knack for numbers to truly succeed and especially to retain it.  Math just isn't taught correctly and there is not enough one-on-one for it to make sense to each individual child. In my opinion.

When choosing a math curriculum I did my "homework" and read countless reviews.  I don't personally know anyone who uses Math-U-See but the reviews sucked me in.  Just the name was convincing enough for me!  I want my kids (and myself along the way) to be able to SEE the reasons behind math.  To really understand it and not approach it as a four letter word like I did through my entire 13 years in public school!

PP and I both were excited to start our new math workbook, Math-U-See Primer, last year for Kindergarten!  There were a few instances of struggle, but it mostly revolved around learning to ignore distractions and focus on the task.  Overall, she proved to be a math whiz and loved opening up that workbook the entire year!  This year we've moved on to Alpha and more times than not she's working alone and I'm checking it when she's done - I wasn't expecting that to happen for a few more years!  She loves math and never complains about having to do it.  I'm even learning a few things myself and I'm actually looking forward to the middle school and high school level math!  I can't wait to finally get it! Math-U-See was definitely the right choice for our family and we highly recommend it! What mom doesn't want to see their child smile this big when doing math? MUS = two thumbs up from each of us!

Since PP finished learning to read with Reading Made Easy last year, I wasn't sure what to do about reading this year.  I decided to work on reading comprehension.  Every day PP grabs an early reader from our stack (that we received from a teacher friend a few years ago), she takes it to her room, reads it twice, then comes to me for a "quiz".  I thought being able to comprehend what she reads would take some practice, but I noticed even last year while learning to read that she was really getting what she was reading. Needless to say, our reading comprehension is going extremely well this year!  Most days she pretty much recites the book to me!  I can always tell when she's got toys on the brain and really just wants to finish reading and go play, but even still, she's doing fantastic!


My kids abilities to learn so quickly and easily never cease to amaze me! Thank God for children who love to learn and who can understand and retain it!




Monday, December 20, 2010

Rosetta Stone Giveaway!!

Now is the perfect time to give your child the gift of possibilities for the holidays with Rosetta Stone Homeschool — and you can WIN a Level 1 Homeschool program, language of your choice (valued at $249)!




Right now Rosetta Stone is having a special Holiday promotion on our Homeschool Edition program and we’d like you to help spread the word! Everyone can save up to $150 on Rosetta Stone Homeschool by visiting our website at http://www.RosettaStone.com/hsw1110.



By helping us spread the word you can win a Rosetta Stone Homeschool Edition Level 1 program, language of your choice, valued at $249.



This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever!





Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.



To win this program, copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR post about this contest on your facebook page. Then go to the original page at

http://www.othersuchhappenings.com/2010/12/rosetta-stone-giveaway-yay.html

and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post, and good luck!

K 4 Z

My sweet baby Z Girl is 4 years old and has been doing K work in school this year. She learned to recognize, name, speak, breathe, juggle, and be friends with the entire alphabet and numbers 0-10 last year. Shapes and colors, been there - done that. She's pretty much done everything PP has done from the very beginning and learned right along with her, it's amazing! I teach PP, and both of them learn! How cool is that? So anyway, Z was bored to tears with PreK stuff but I was afraid to buy her K curriculum this year since villain #4 was due to arrive just as school was starting and I didn't want to overwhelm myself (pretty sure that was a run-on sentence. That's right, I be teaching my kids at home!). I ended up getting Z a huge K workbook from the bookstore and every day she wanted to tackle it like 6 pages at a time! And now she's finished it. Smarty pants. If I can ever get my Math-U-See account and my visa check card on the same wavelength then Z will get her Primer workbook and start official math.



We have, however, started learning to read with Valerie Bendt's 'Reading Made Easy'. This is what PP used to learn to read last year and it worked fantastically! I wasn't sure how Z was going to do with reading since she's only 4 and went into it with expectations of going very slowly. But, Reading Made Easy doesn't require the child to recognize the letters or know their sounds in order to start, so Z already knowing them put her at an advantage (as it did PP last year). Z is doing so well, of course, she's always one step ahead of me! She's reading short sentences and last week started learning how to read words with silent letters in them! Way to go Z Girl! In our house, Reading Made Easy makes learning to read easy and fun! Hopefully it will prove consistent with FB and the Boy!


And now, for your viewing pleasure and because her eyes and smile are too stunning not to share, here is my amazing Invisible Z Girl who comes out every so often for a good photo and leaves me speechless! 

 
Just look at those lashes!




Friday, December 10, 2010

Little Learning

FB did some hands on color matching with primary colored blocks and bears in school yesterday. She enjoyed it very much!

First we reviewed the colors


Then she got started


Just look at the concentration on that face!

WAY TO GO FB!
 
Eventually color matching turned into kissing bears
 
And a little later it turned into bucket head.

But, 'Bucket head' loved the blocks and bears and we'll definitely be doing that again! We can also use them for sorting and counting, we love manipulatives in this house!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Portrait Perfect

My family was in dire need of family portraits and since I've always done the "set the timer and run" thing, I wanted to find another, more professional, photographer to get some great shots of us. I looked around, and WOW, professional portraits are expensive! I know there is a lot of work put into taking and editing pictures (I do a fraction of it fairly often and it is tedious), but it looks like I'm just gonna have to get better at setting the timer and running into position!


So that's what I did. I dressed my family in coordinating outfits, chose a location, and did my best. My ideal location was completely full of people, so we settled on a place nearby. Funny Bones' nap ran late that day so we ran out of daylight before I was happy with what I had. My flash battery was dying so it only flashed some of the time and I had great shots that I couldn't recover. It was getting chilly so after our group shot we bundled the boy up in his car seat so I didn't get any shots of just him. However, despite all the frustrations and my lack of photo taking and editing knowledge, I was still able to get some good shots. Not having the money to pay a professional just means more practice for me, right?


Drum roll, please...















Those were my favorites of the bunch.  Hopefully next time we'll have more daylight, charged batteries, warmer weather, and a more knowledgeable me!!

Sneak Peek!

I'm working on a few projects as Christmas gifts and they're all new to me! As usual, I gave myself a goal that is probably just out of reach and will make myself get there anyway. I'll be exhausted when it's over, and probably a little stressed, BUT when I see the surprise on the recipient's faces it will all be worth it! I actually wish I could add more cool projects but don't think I'll have time. If time slows for me in some miraculous way that enables me to complete my mandatory projects in plenty of time, I may tackle the "wish I could" project. We'll see! I can't give any hints or clues since someone reading might be a gift recipient, but I will give a sneak peek that shouldn't give away the end result.


This is one type of project but for three different people. Aren't these prints beautiful?!


And these fabrics will all make up one project.



I'm so excited about these and can't wait to share the real thing! When the time comes I may post a tutorial for you all!


Have a great weekend!