Thursday, February 27, 2014

Science4Us.com {Schoolhouse Review}

We were very excited to be selected to review Science4Us.com Online Subscription with the Schoolhouse Review Team this year.  Science4Us.com is perfect for younger children in Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  This program was developed to make Science education easier for students and teachers alike.

Science4Us.com was developed by the creators of VocabularySpellingCity.  Because of the success in educational learning through VocabularySpellingCity, the creators wanted to bring that same educational success to students for Science education.  Science4Us.com provides the same educational support and value to students that VocabularySpellingCity has done for Reading and Vocabulary learning over the years.

Science4Us.com is a fun, innovative program that allows students to learn important scientific facts right in their homes.  It makes science education easy for both the student and the teacher, providing everything needed to learn through the website.  Children work through the lessons with the help of their teacher, following along and completing each task as they go.


Science4Us.com Online Subscription covers Early Elementary Science for children in grades Kindergarten through 2nd and allows for science education review for students who are older and may need remedial scientific skills to be retaught.  This program is great for both students learning and relearning about Science.


In the Kindergarten level of the program, students learn what materials are and how they mix to create other things, such as the chemical processes used to make drinks or simple foods.  They learn about energy sources like the sun and indoor lighting and how each affects us.  Students learn how things move through motion and force.  They learn the basis of scientific tools and about various plant and animal types.  They also learn about environments and weather and how they affect our lives, and those of the plants and animals they are learning about.

In the First Grade level, students learn about different types of matter.  They also learn about different energy sources and how they affect us.  Students learn how energy transforms as it's used by living things.  Students learn how magnets are used.  They learn more in depth about scientific tools, animals, habitats, and weather.  Students learn about food webs and how they relate to living things and the cycle of life.  Students also begin learning about the planets and universe beyond Earth as their home planet.

In the Second Grade level, students learn to observe matter, it's different states and the changes within matter.  More information is brought forth on energy to further their knowledge of this important life source.  Students begin learning about simple machines and how to use them for making life easier.  Students dive more into force, plants, animal, the food web, and living and non-living things.  Habitats are explored through this level.  The history and materials of Earth are also covered in the Second Grade level of Science4Us.com.

http://www.science4us.com/index.php

This website is fun.  I used it with all three kids, giving the older kids a review of science past and reviewing some things we've learned already and other things that we missed along the way since most of our science is hands-on.  The site was perfect for Laycie.  The video's were entertaining for all the kids.  The science projects were interesting and easily done on our own to help build upon what we learned.  Science is a favorite around our house because it's messy and artistic, all things we love!  Science4Us.com was immediately popular and a favorite right away.


This program is designed to be used several times a week with your students.  It's great for the younger kids, as it's created for Early Elementary students.  The videos are interactive, allowing students to join in, not just listen and follow along.  Their are questions at the end to help expand learning further.

There are over 350 lessons provided on Science4Us.com.  Lessons include the wonderful interactive videos that I mentioned above as well as worksheets that are just as interesting and fun to complete.  The lessons aren't too long and definitely are far from boring, making Science something children enjoy and keeping it fun.  The worksheets are fun to complete as well and help ensure the student is grasping the lessons being taught.

Science4Us.com Online Subscription is available for $7.95 per month per child.  This includes all three years of lessons and access to the extensive Teacher Lesson plans provided by the website, all the printables for the lessons, videos and more.  You can purchase a month to twelve month subscription when you sign up for Science4Us.com through their website.

You can learn more about Science4Us.com by following them in the following ways:

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KinderBach {Schoolhouse Review}



KinderBach is a program designed to allow music via piano lessons into the a simple home setting.  Designed for younger children around ages 3-7, KinderBach makes learning music fun.  This simple, low cost program is easy to use by everyone.

The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner is a complete piano music curriculum.  Parental involvement in the program depends on your child's ability to learn.  Children who are able to view the videos on their own will need less involvement from a parent than those who are younger and less skilled in learning.

Since this is a full curriculum, it includes video instruction to show children how to use the piano through online lessons.  It also includes worksheets to be completed which bring the lessons offline and into their daily life for practice and learning without a computer.  A piano is also needed to provide correct instruction on playing this wonderful instrument.


The KinderBach curriculum contains 7 complete levels, each covering different aspects of Piano lessons.  Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are also covered as children work through their lessons while using this program.  Learning to read symbols, decoding, learning to identify right and left, coordination, control, as well as rhythm and sequencing are all learned throughout the lessons provided through using KinderBach for music lessons.  

The video lessons used in KinderBach are short but fun.  They capture the child's attention while teaching them important skills.  They also help to build fine motor function as children follow along and practice what they are learning in the program.



The worksheets that are used to bring the program off the computer and into real life for the child are also fun, while at the same time they provide a solid learning foundation to help the child further the skills learned online while watching the lesson videos.  These worksheets give the child concrete evidence of learning and help encourage building their musical skills, helping them to gain confidence in their lessons as they learn.
KinderBach offers a free trial of their award winning program for the first few lessons which can be located directly on their website.  There is also a NO RISK 30 day Money Back Guarantee for this program.

Though we used the KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner for home, there is also a Classroom version perfect for co-ops and schools to use.  KinderBach is for use with children who are ages 3-7 as I mentioned above.  My Laycie was the perfect age for using it at 5 years old.

We have been using KinderBach in our home for about 2 years now and we still love it.  Laycie began using it when she just turned 4 - she turns 6 in April and has been using it off and on.  Emma has also used the program and helped Laycie with some of the lessons.  Both girls enjoy the adorable characters and the simple instructions provided through the program very much.  This is something we use several times a week, allowing them to work at their own pace during lessons but it's not something that we push for learning.  It's just a really fun program that we keep coming back to as an extracurricular activity for all of us. 



 I'm kind of anxious for Jackson to become old enough to use it.  At 17 months, he enjoys watching the videos as well but he's a little too young yet to gain anything from the other parts of the program.  He isn't old enough to know how to use the piano or remember key placement or count timing.  Laycie on the other hand loves doing all of those things and has really enjoyed learning them.



A membership to the KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner is available for one year for a special limited time price of $95.88.  It's normally priced at $130 per year for the program.  


A membership to the KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner gives you access to over 240 sessions in lessons by computer, iPad, and more.  You will also receive access to the lesson PDF's to print and use at home.  Teacher's Corner is included with this membership, allowing you access to the Audio MP3's for each lesson and all materials for Levels 1-6 of the KinderBach program.  Downloads for the lesson story books, song books and coloring pages are also included with your one year membership to KinderBach.  This complete curriculum package provides you with everything needed for one year of learning Piano and Music from KinderBach.

You can find and follow KinderBach in the following places online:

Facebook for Teachers:  www.facebook.com/classroomkinderbach
Twitter: @KinderBach
YouTube: KinderBach Preschool Piano

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Monday, February 24, 2014

We Joined The Gym...

Last Friday, Josh and I joined the gym. It feels good and just a bit scary to say that.  We joined the YMCA last year but failed miserably with it, mostly because the Y is only open during the day and our hours did match with that for fitness.  Our new gym is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We didn't waste time getting started.  Saturday night was our first workout and I chose to take it easy.  I have a year to workout and I don't want to strain any muscles, after all I am a busy Momma and Momma's don't get days off.  Sunday, I felt a little muscle soreness but not too bad so I'm overall satisfied with easing into the workouts.

I must admit that I did overdo it on the ab machine and I'm seriously paying for that.  After 4 c-sections, the muscles in that region are pretty damaged.  I need to ease in slowly to their repair and I'm not rushing at all. I feel like any little bit to reach that goal of a flatter stomach is good.

So slow and steady wins the race.  I aim to lose about 30 lbs.  I currently weigh 151lbs and am 5'5 in height so I have room to lose.  My first goal is to gain fitness to strengthen my muscles and my next goal will be to make it to a number in the 120's weight wise.  Little steps will get me there.

Josh is also working on his abs, arms and legs.  Overall fitness is most important to us both.  He needs to strengthen his weak leg while working on his other areas, while I need to strengthen and repair my stomach muscles while working on the other areas of my own body.  It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

Wish us luck!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Remodel and Update

Tax money came in so now we are remodeling the house.  This is going to keep me very busy for a while.  I plan to update as I go.

So far we have been moving everything out of the living room area and ripping out the carpet.  It's going pretty well but still have a little work to get done.  Thankfully, the subflooring looks great so far.  I'm hoping the rest looks as good when we remove the carpet there.

Picking new flooring has been the hardest part of the remodel.  We have no clue what we are doing, honestly.  I'm hoping we can find a deal and manage to get them done quickly ourselves.  I have a feeling it will be more stress than I am wishing for but well worth it once it's done.

First thing first: I'm going to paint.  I've picked a great blue toned color for the living room, a teal for my kitchen cabinets and a deep gold for the kitchen walls.  These colors should blend well together and look great for our semi open floor plan.  I have also decided that since we don't need as much room for the living room furniture as we do for the classroom stuff, we will be switching the sides these rooms are currently located in.  So the living room will go into the back of the room and the classroom/dining area, in the front of the room.  This will also allow more light for the kids to do work and such during school time since the front is often brighter than the back of the room.

This remodel has been long awaited and I am so excited to get started.  You probably won't be seeing a lot of me for the next few weeks though, since I will be doing the painting by myself.  Good thing I really love to paint, though I'm sure I'll be tired of it by the time I'm done with all of these projects!

We also have an upcoming trip for the little man in March.  He has a in-hospital EEG scheduled right in the middle of all this chaos!  Please keep him and us in prayers while we go through testing with him.  It's a lot to manage.

Thanks all and God bless!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ice Storm Update

It's been a long cold week for us down here in the South.  We were hit by one of the worst ice storms I have personally ever seen.  Tree limbs are laying all over our road sides, taking out power lines all over the state.

We survived the storm by going to my Mother-in-law's house.  Thankfully, she lives next door, has a large fireplace with gas logs and plenty of room for all of us.  We were lucky and only out of power for a little while but the internet has been wonky due to the weather and the power issues throughout the state, making it hard to blog.  I was able to stay in touch via my phone but it doesn't really allow me to blog and share like I would prefer to do.

Hopefully, this will be the last of the ice for a while but we have been told there may be yet another cold front headed this way in the next week or so.  Let's just say I am so so so ready for Spring and so are the kids.  They are ready to get outside and play in the yard, bounce on the trampoline and just enjoy themselves.

So this is my current update.  I have a lot of reviews to come, and several I need to catch up on.  Those are in the process for this week so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Life is a Blessing, No Matter the Challenges {Epilepsy Awareness}

Our life and our days revolve around our life with Epilepsy.  As a child growing up with this disorder, I was never concerned because my Mother protected me.  As a parent raising children who have Epilepsy, I am constantly concerned for the health of my beautiful children.

It's not easy being on either side of this disorder: both as a person with Epilepsy or a parent with Epilepsy.  I'm thankful that I have mostly outgrown the effects of this disorder, that my oldest son, who I often forget to mention, doesn't have Epilepsy, and that my oldest daughter has also outgrown her seizures for the most part.  That doesn't make this life any less challenging to live.

I often find a hard time focusing on the day to day because I'm so overly consumed with waiting on the next seizure.  I often forget things because my brain is always on Epilepsy overdrive.  My constant worry is that one of my three children will have a seizure that day and that they may not come back out of it.  Even though Emma has outgrown her seizures, they could come back at any time with any traumatic event.

This is our life and most days it's hard for me to talk about in person, so I come here to blog it -- I can share, get my thoughts and feelings out without having to be face to face with someone to do that.  I am able to talk, really talk and express myself, our ups, downs and fears through our blog.  It's been a real blessing to be able to share our life with others, to show them a small peak into our world and say "Hey, this is where we are, what we are doing and how it's all going for us".

Life is a gift no matter how challenging.  It's a gift that cannot be replaced and is so short to live.  We must live that life to the absolute fullest and never miss a minute, even while given challenges like living with Epilepsy.

I have to say if my Mom taught me anything while raising me throughout my life as a child with Epilepsy, it is to embrace my life, to allow my children to live their lives to their fullest potential and to let no one hold us back from that.  And I do that for my children every single day.  I'm thankful for the gift they are in my life and even for this dreadful disorder which fills our days and keeps them busy.  I'm thankful for each minute, each second with each of my children as they are also thankful for those seconds with their Mother every day.  Life is the real blessing to live.

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