Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review of My Homeschool Grades

I really wasn't interested in My Home School Grades because in Prairie Peace Home school, I do not track grades. My children are still in elementary school and I don't feel it's necessary. That being said, I am glad I had the chance to check it out. I still don't give my children grades, but it has been helpful in allowing me to see the progress my children have made in certain areas.

My Home School Grades was created by a homeschool Dad and a recent homeschool graduate. Who better to know what homeschool families need? They really created a great product with My Home School Grades. Not only can you access it on your home computer, they have created an app that will work on your tablet or smartphone!

To get started all you need to do is enter in your students. The whole process is so easy! They also have "how to" videos for those that may need a bit of help. I just entered my two oldest children for now. I'm sure I will add the younger two later .

Then, you enter your classes for each student. To test it out, I just entered our Spelling Mechanics plan into the system. This proved to be super simple! It just took a bit of my time and I was off and running. You can choose to display grades by number, letter or letters with + & -. I chose the letter option. It was really easy to enter their grades into the system also. Grades can be entered as letters (A+, A), as numbers (96), or as fractions (16/19).
There is even an area to enter your extra curricular activities!

As time goes by, I am sure I will use the transcripts part of this system. Being we are still in elementary grades, it is not needed at this time. I am excited to be able to use My Homeschool Grades for transcripts though. Just like every other aspect of this program, it is super simple! My homeschool support group just had an educational evening on how to create transcripts. I think my eyes glossed over at some point. I actually left that meeting confused and concerned that I would not be able to handle transcripts. In came My Homeschool Grades and their simple program! I am no longer concerned that I won't be able to create transcripts for my children.
Even the price is simple! At $49.99 for a LIFETIME membership, I believe that any family can make that happen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Teach your children to do better...

Bullying. It's become a buzz word of sorts. Do we really know what it means?

How about the kid that gets called a "Scaredy Cat" because he won't jump off the swing? 


The girl who gets poked fun of because her hair is too frizzy.


The boy who is picked last in gym class because he's not that athletic. 

Do we turn a blind eye to it and say, "Oh, kids will be kids."? I say, if you do, you are no better than the bullies on the playground or in the hallway at school. Kids will be kids, but it's up to us as parents to teach them how to be GOOD kids. The teachers that turn a blind eye are no better. They end up becoming a bully of sorts when they ignore it. They empower that bully to continue. 

Parents, if you hear of your child being a bully, even if you think it's just normal kid stuff, do something about it! Talk to your children. Search your own behavior. Kids do what they know. 

We can't let this go on. If you see a child being pushed around, either physically or emotionally, become an advocate for them.  I've stopped in the middle of the road while driving to stop a group of boys beating up another child. I sent them all home and made sure this poor boy made it home too. 

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
~ Matthew 25:40

Friday, May 17, 2013

Waterproof Bible Review

I am so excited about this Bible! When I first heard about the Waterproof Bible, I will admit that I was skeptical. I honestly didn't believe that any book could be truly waterproof. Well, I can assure you that this one is!

I received the Waterproof Bible ESV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. We really put it through the test. As a lover of books, this was especially hard for me. I pushed through and we did it anyway. We fully submerged it in a bowl of water, tossed it in the mud and tried to rip the pages. It still looks as new today as the day I got it in the mail. It will be put through a summer long test this summer, as we go camping quite often. We are tent campers, so it won't even get the protection that an RV has.

Here are pictures to prove that we did fully submerge it into the water. Another cool thing about this Bible is that it floats!  I took it out of this bowl of water and dried it off with paper towels and we were good to go.

This Bible is amazing! If you do anything outdoors, this Bible is for you! They have ESV, KJV, NIV, NKJV and NLT available! Prices range from $24.95 for a New Testament to $44.95 for a full Bible. In their store, you can also pick up a Waterproof Bible jacket, journals and notepads.

I have been singing the praises of the Waterproof Bible since the day I received it. I recommend this to everyone! It doesn't matter if you are a stay at home Mom (kids spill things), a college student (people spill things), an outdoors-men (or woman), camper, teacher, brother, sister, etc. I could go on and on. I think everyone needs to own a Waterproof Bible.

Review of Ooka Island

Ooka Island is meant for Pre-K to 2nd grade children to learn to read. I had my 5 year old follow this program, so you will get his opinion as well as mine.

I was given a 3 month subscription for my child to use. The company sent me a disk and once I loaded it onto my computer we were off and running! My first impression was, "Wow! This is neat!" Hurricane has had so much fun playing around with it. I have just turned it on for him and let him explore on his own. He has been able to navigate it quite easily without guidance from me. This is awesome! He would sit for hours if I let him! There have been days that he begs to play Ooka Island.

Though it has been really fun, I'm not sure it has done much to teach him to read. This could be caused by a few different factors and I don't think the program is the problem. He is still young, in my opinion, to be reading. I don't think he's ready yet. That being said, this program is still a welcome addition to this home as it is still educational and I know he is getting some information from it. He is still learning his letter sounds and the games included in this program help with that. They also helped him learn the order of the alphabet. He has been able to recite the "ABC's" for a long time now, but Ooka Island helped him understand how to put them in order on "paper" or screen as it is in this case.

Another cool feature in this program is the "lighthouse." The lighthouse is where parents can track their child's progress. Being that I just let Hurricane do his thing, I used this a lot. It let me know where he was at and how he was doing. It was fun to see what he could do!

The cost for a homeschool family with one child is $12.95 a month or $124.95 annually. If you have more children, you can purchase this program for $19.95 a month or $149.95 annually for up to 4 children.They also have a home edition and a school edition available to purchase.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finishing Up Our School Year

We are at then end of our school year. May is the month we start looking forward to summer and all of the events we will be doing then. We have a full summer of camping, swimming lessons, Roots and Shoots and Bible Scamp.

Among all of this, I still like to find time for some school. Mainly math and reading. I have found that if I let them go for too long without working on these subjects, they start to "forget." I don't know if it's forget as much as it is just getting out of the habit.

So, yesterday I sat down and planned our school work for the rest of May. We will finish everything that I wanted to by the end of this month! Yeah! We will have just math and reading for the month of June, take July off and the first week of August. Then, we will start to get back into the school habit the last three weeks of August with just math and reading again.

I created a planner document just for this. I don't need as much space for the summer as I do during our school year, and I didn't want to fuss with a whole planner. This is just one page with space for two children. My younger two are still learning through lots and lots of play, so they didn't need a column. You may download this and use it as you wish. All I ask is that you don't link directly to the document. If you would like to share it, please link back to this post and give me proper credit.

You can go here to download this item. It is a free document.