Education, Homeschool, Parenting, Reviews

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review!

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Today I am reviewing Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership. I am always on the hunt to find good solid learning resources that I can use as a supplement or as a curriculum for our homeschool. Schoolhouse Teacher offers parents the ease of having a solid curriculum and resources without all the hassle.

What you can expect from SchoolhouseTeachers.com this is an online product with downloadable, printable elements as well as online classes and video components. There are products for all ages and grades; including moms. You will find curriculum with lesson plans and an abundance of resources. You will have the assurance that all the core subjects, electives and unit studies are covered. I love unit studies and this is exactly what I was looking for to help me build my units.

Family

This year is our math year and we concentrating heavily on mastering basic math skills. My son craves variety during math lessons. I am also looking for ways to keep math fresh and fun. The Everyday Games section for 1st-4th grade gave me a huge selection of games with lessons plans to keep things fun and both of us happy! As a homeschooling mom, a lot of our lessons tend to follow my son interest lesson. He loves science and he isn’t exactly on the 1st-grade science level he is more at 2nd and 3rd grade. I was relieved to find the science section work to our advantage. I was able to lesson plan at a higher level on certain subject areas instead of having to buy two sets of curriculum. He really enjoys the challenge and I really enjoyed the flexibility.

Flexibility is a huge advantage with SchoolhouseTeachers.com the Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership does not limit what grade level you have to work within. You are able you move around in all the levels that best fit your family. For large homeschool families, this may be a huge saving.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is not just your typical curriculum website they have thought of everything. In the resource section, you will Monthly Menu ideas for your family. Talk about life and sanity saver because I don’t know how many times I have been at a lost with planning meals and adding variety to our rotation.

Speaking of resources I was amazed to find World Book digital available to families. If you aren’t familiar with World Book digital it’s a great platform that basically has taken the hard book resource and made them available in a digital platform, therefore, keeping them always up to date and offering interactive activities for students as young as Preschool.

The website also has an extensive video library that is stocked with wholesome and clean videos for curriculum and research purposes. They also have religious videos for children and religious study.

I am a planner and I like schedules there is a custom schedule builder also to help you, this is a major plus in my opinion. I also was impressed with the Achievement Certificate Library, there have been times in which I have wanted to award my son a special certificate for his lesson and Schoolhouse Teachers make this possible hassle free and at no additional cost.

So there you have it my review of this wonderful website. I feel like this website would be a great fit for families looking for hassle-free learning and everyday family life. at half the cost of purchasing box curriculum. I also feel like this is a good option for large families. Everything you need is right at your fingertips interested in getting your own membership here is a discount code for joining.  Discount Coupon Code:  CREWFOLLOWER

Be sure and click on the banner to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership.

Until the next,

Little Learner and Mom😊

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Quality Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Quality Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}

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Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool, Osmos, S.T.E.A.M

Detective Agency Review from Play Osmo’s

We have been huge Osmo’s fans since the launched in 2013. We are pretty strict around here in regards to screen time and we are selective about what he is allowed to watch and play.

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On October 25th Osmo launched a new game Detective Agency.  Osmo’s products never disappoint…the moment he saw the box was from Play Osmo’s he was jumping up and down with excitement. We are members of the Osmo’s Social Club and the anticipation of the new Detective Agency has been a huge topic in our household. The new game is for ages 5 and up, I can also see a younger sibling maybe 4 years old teaming up with a parent or sibling to play. In true Osmo tradition the new Detective Agency challenges your students to learn geography, culture and to use their critical thinking skills.

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The new game comes in with easy storage case with 5 maps and interactive magnifying glass for your little sleuths to use on their adventures. You will need to have a Osmo Stand in order to play, as well as download the app from iTunes! You can play from your iPhone, iPad and if you own the newly released Kindle Fire Osmo Genius Kit. Your students will be engaged as soon as they load up the game. Children will be asked to solve different cases all over the world. The maps are vibrant and easy to read but challenging, children will be exposed to various cultural aspects of each country.  Kids meet some new Osmo characters along the way and can easily follow the story mode on their own!

I really like this new system especially for the geography aspect, we found ourselves pulling the maps out just to look at them while we were doing our China history lesson. The game is very interactive which is great because it removes the thinking that geography is boring. This is a great new resource for teaching geography Osmos did a great job selecting a country to represent of 6 continents, there is also a world map and Osmo Town.  Overall I give the new system a thumbs up as holiday gift and additional resource for your home school or home for learning geography.

So what does my son have to say about the new Osmos Detective Agency, ….he loves Brazil and wants to go there!  He likes capturing the bad guys and he wants to play all day.

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The Detective Agency retails for $39, don’t forget you need the stand in order to play. For those who have Kindle Fire tablets you can purchase the Osmos Genius Kit which comes with the Kindle Fire Stand and you can purchase the Detective Agency kit  and then download the app from the Amazon Store.  For IOS user download from iTunes for free the name in the App Store is Osmo Detective Agency. If you are interested in checking out our youtube review click here.

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Why We Home School!

I think that a lot people people believe that African-Americans home-school solely because of the fear that our children will encounter racism within the school systems. This assumption is the farthest from truth. The majority of us do it because we feel it’s in the best interest of our families. Every family has their own reasons for deciding to home-school, and for our family we had several reasons why we made the decision.

We both attended public schools and private schools growing up. My experience in public school was horrible, I was so lost in math that it wasn’t until I attended a private high school and took the entrance exam that I got the help I needed to get caught up. I had to work super hard and attend summer school classes for 3 years to get caught up. My husband was also lost in his academics and he also had to work hard to keep up. These experiences led us both to the conclusion that any future children we had would be homeschooled.

When my son was born, I knew I had to get things together for Operation Homeschool. I did tons of research, so when the time came we would be ready. Early on, we realized our son loved to learn, He showed an interest in music and letters when he was 9 months old. We followed his interests and began to do Montessori at home with him. By 12 months old, he knew his letters and sounds. At 18 months he fell in love with the Trombone and could name and categorize all the instruments in an orchestra. We knew trying to find a preschool to cultivate his love for both music and learning was going to come with an expensive price tag if decided to rethink our decision to homeschool. Besides we were confident we could give him what he needed at home.

Homeschooling for us meant we could encourage his interests and follow his lead and not have to worry about anyone stifling his learning process. Furthermore, we could let him be himself and learn best at his learning style. We also wanted to instill our families values and his ancestry within his education. Homeschooling also allowed us to work on his strengths and zero in on weaknesses.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are some great schools and teachers. I honestly know teachers have their hands full with the pressures of test scores, paperwork, over-crowded classrooms and behavior issues that it can be difficult for them to reach every student. We just didn’t want to have to deal with all that and expose him to certain behaviors and situations.

Now as almost 6 years old and a first grader, he is thriving. He is a confident trombone player and making strides in his learning. He attends homeschool activities with other students, is an avid chapter book reader, is conquering math facts and continues to learn about his African-Latin heritage. He loves all things science and is free to follow his interests which at the moment happens to be coding. His lessons are a combination of hands on and curriculum based learning. He is an auditory and kinesthetic learner, so I make sure his lessons cover both of these learning styles.

We ask him often if he wants to go to traditional school. His response is always, “Why? I like our homeschool.”So when people ask me why we homeschool, I tell them because we did what we knew was in the best interest for our son. I don’t ever regret our decision because I know a traditional school wouldn’t have been able to give him what he needed.

In conclusion, we are homeschooling and loving it. We have met a lot of people and continue to learn what he needs. We are solid in our decision and look forward to this journey. We homeschool year-round, but things are lighter in the summer. Homeschooling, in my opinion, is a way of life and takes dedication and patience. We love this life we have created, and when he wants to make a change, that’s when we will. Until then, we are schooling in PJ’s 😊!

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom

Education, Homeschool, Mom Life, Parenting

Our Day and a Life in Homeschooling!

I am seriously a type A person, I crave organization and planning. There is a huge issue with being a Type A person and homeschooling you have to be able to create balance for yourself and a relaxed learning environment for your student.

November Schedule

My day typically day starts at 5/5:30 am…with prayers and trying to collect my thoughts before the day jump starts. My son is up every morning by 6:30 am, I know yikes!! We spend some time talking and cuddling and then he gets up and gets dressed and makes his bed and plays. Breakfast is at 7/7:30 am while he eats and watches Arthur I clean the kitchen and check in with the hubby and take out dinner and prep his snacks for the day for him.

We keep it pretty simple for breakfast…I always make enough pancakes on Sunday for 3 days. After breakfast he brushes his teeth and does his chores and then starts his independent board work. I write his board work on the board after he goes to bed at night so it’s ready in the morning. While he does board work I check emails and do some work at the computer, chores and then I join him at the table.

Home School Time

This is how our day runs for home school we typically start at 9am!

We kick the day off with Math! Why you may ask? Math is the area of study we are really concentrating on this year. I needed this subject to be first because his mind is ready and sharp! Math is divided into 3 areas:

  • Hands On Activity
  • Review and Teach
  • Lessons
  • Math Fact Fluency

After math we have brain breaks!! Brain breaks can be listening to music dancing and acting silly or letting him hang out with GoNoodle Plus!!

Once we are done with brain breaks we move on to handwriting! Handwriting I rotate what he is working on throughout the week:

  • M-F Learning Without Tears
  • 1 day a week Journal
  • 2 days a week Spectrum Handwriting
  • Chalkboard review (this targets any letter that needs some support)
  • 1 day a week copy work

Reading and Language Arts are the areas that he breezes through super fast these days so I tend to leave this to the end of our morning! At some point between these subjects he grabs a snack! I like to break these areas down also:

Reading

  • Phonics cards (5 mins)
  • Sight Words (5 mins)
  • Spelling box (10-15 mins)
  • Daily lesson (30-40 mins some time less)

Language Arts

    Grammar work (10 mins)
    • Hands on activity (10- 30 mins)

Time for Lunch

During lunch we eat together and that’s when I do our read aloud. Sometimes I let him watch a show on PBS Kids or Netflix. During lunch we typically talk about what he wants to do in the afternoon. We clean up lunch and then we head outside for some fresh air or we go out and run errands.

Afternoon

Normally the afternoon is when we do our electives we rotate them, but as of lately he has been requesting to do them all especially science. He also has taken a liking to social studies. Geography and History are defiantly rotated throughout the week. He grabs a snack while doing these electives. Our electives take about 45 mins – 1hour to run through! By 2:30/3 pm we are done for the day!

The afternoons are also reserved for special interest activities and extra curricular activities and knowledge box, but typically he just does whatever he wants. He is a HUGE Osmo fan and loves to code!

His Time

The one thing I make sure I do every day is make sure I set aside at least 30-60 mins where him and I just play. Some days he doesn’t want to play together but he just wants me in the room with him just so we can talk and he can show me what he is working on or whatever he wants. I think this is an important aspect for our day because he gets to have me in his space on his own terms! Don’t get me wrong we play all day while doing school and talk but this time of the day is special for him because he is in charge.

Late Afternoon

Daddy is usually home and they hang out for a little or he plays and helps me with dinner. Once again Arthur is watched or Odd Squad these are his two favorite shows. He can’t watch them until he has done his 20 mins of required reading.

Early Evening

We always eat dinner as a family and talk about our day and do our High’s and Low’s. My son usually finishes up dinner before we do and he clears his plate and and puts his pajamas on unless it’s bath night. He heads back downstairs and helps me clean the kitchen while we groove out to 90’s R& B on Alexa Amazon Music!

Bedtime

Our bedtime routine has been pretty much the same since he was a baby! My son is usually in bed no later than 8pm and sleep by 8:15 pm. There are some rare occasion when Daddy is working late but on those days he Face-time us so he is still apart of this special time.

The one thing I have learned is to follow his lead. No day is perfect, I just pause and rewind, reevaluate and let go. If he is showing an interest in something I just let that interest direct our day. Are there areas we could improve in? Probably so, but the wonderful thing about choosing this path to be a homeschooler is we are not on a clock. I want to enjoy our time together and for him to continue to develop a healthy love for learning.

So I am keeping my type A personality in line and balancing what he needs as well. If that means I do laundry at night after he goes down that’s fine. If only 50% of the things in my planner gets done I have made my peace with it. My planner is only a blueprint and not the final design of our week.

There is no such thing as a perfect homeschool, I try to let my followers and friends know that we are far from perfect in this house. There are days the house could use a little more TLC and I could make that uploaded picture on my Instagram look blemish free, staged and photoshopped, but why? That’s not real it’s fake and it applies way too much pressure on new families who want to take on this journey.  I have decided to keep  it real I am doing the best I can to make it through this crazy life and doing what matters.

So, if you happen to catch us on Instgram or swing by our way on Facebook, feel free to reach out to me because I am never too busy to lend a helping hand or just need a coffee chat with a fellow mama. Enjoy your children and let go of perfect and make everyday count!

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom

Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool, Morning Basket, Parenting, Science

Why We Like Zoey and Sassafras!

I first came across the Zoey and Sassafras series when a good friend of mine started her Melanin Books 4 Melanin Kids  Facebook group she posted about a book that was diverse and told a story about a little girls love for science! I was instantly intrigued and decided to check it out for us.

Over the last several years schools and companies have been focusing on the need for children to study more about S.T.E.AM ( Science,Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). While we love technology in our home we try to find a balance so our son stays up to date, but also enjoys hands on learning.  At the time I was in search of a good read aloud that introduced science to him in a fun way but appealed to his natural curiosity to learn about a topic.

We hit the jackpot when we read the first Zoey and Sassafras book Dragons and Marshmallows he was instantly hooked! There are now 6 books in the series and we have read them all. The books are easy to read and the illustrations are cute. He has learned about the scientific method, journaling and other fun topics. I love how the author uses real science terminology throughout the book that appeals to the child’s understanding.

In this series you will find:

  • Positive Family dynamics
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Clean literature
  • Strong Science Connection
  • Exploration of Nature
  • Fun and Humor
  • The series makes for a great read aloud and can be easily paired with a science unit study!

We were so excited about the newest book release Unicorns and Germs we held giveaway on our Instagram. My son was thrilled about the new book we received it on Tuesday and we finished it on Friday!  All he can talk about is doing the experiment from the book, so we are waiting on his The Magic School Bus: The World of Germs to show up so we can test what we learned from Zoey! If you are looking for a series to help your child learn more about science and how fun it can be I would definitely recommend checking out this series. This also a great series for girls in science and also for the inclusion of more diversity in science.  Zoey is a sweet little girl with some special abilities and your child will grow to love her family and friends!

Be sure to stop by the authors website Fun At Home With Kids to find out more about fun things you and your child can do.

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom

 

The following post includes affiliate links and I receive a small compensation when you click the links at no additional charge to you!

Chess, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Homeschool

Story Time Chess Review!

Over the weekend we started playing chess as a family. My son immediately took to the game and also took my Knight in the process…😱!! My husband who is already an excellent chess player was happy to join in and gives us a few lessons along the way.

As new chess player I knew I still needed help to teach myself and my son the game when daddy wasn’t around. So, I enlisted the help of Story Time Chess newly launched at home curriculum. I have been watching this company for over a year now and heard such wonderful things about the program. One of the things that appealed to me was the use of literature based learning of the game.

This is from the Story Time Chess website I don’t own the rights to this picture!

Story Time Chess is about the adventures in Chesslandia. The children are engaged in the story from the start. What immediately caught my son’s attention was the humor and the mention of pizza! The kids learn how to play through reading the story of each chess piece. After the children read each chapter of the story they are able to practice what they have learned. Each lesson is broken down into 3 parts Story, Chesserecises and Gameplay. The way the story line is set up so even the youngest player will learn the game and love it.

Here is what I like about it:

  • Literature Based Learning
  • Diverse Characters in the Storyline
  • Storyline easy to follow and provides humor and relatable situations.
  • Each chess piece is given its opportunity to shine.
  • Wonderful Illustrations !
  • Easy to follow lesson plans!
  • Encourages physical movement of the child.
  • Low cost and variety of payment plans.
  • The ability to play without having the actual Story Time Chess Board.
  • Appeals to children younger than 5 years old.

My son enjoyed the story and has already asked if we can reread it again. Here it is Sunday morning and the chess board is already out and set up.

What my son said he liked about it:

  • Funny!
  • Pizza part!
  • Easy to play!
  • Not boring Mom!
  • Chesserercise are the best part!

If you are interested in trying out Story Time Chess click here to register for a free trial. The actual game board for Story Time Chess is available for pre-order on the website. Story Time Chess is here to stay and we look forward to all the upcoming lessons to come with the curriculum.

Until next time!

Little Learner and Mom

*This is my own review and opinion!

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Good-Bye Summer…August Recap!

So August has come and gone, September is approaching and time plan for the next month! What I learned this month is that I like the rhythm we have established so far. We do 3 days of the Knowledge Basket and I have scaled back his work box items by 50%. The scaling back of his work box items was a huge hit because over the last past week I have been doing “White Boards at Night”.

I first saw this idea on Instagram from a fellow homeschooling mama @homeschoolinginthed_ and she wrote a wonderful blog post about it that you can find here. This has proven to be the best swap out ever and he likes it. I think one reason why he likes it is because he is going through an independence stage and this gives him the opportunity to be independent. So White Board at Night is defiantly a keeper this year.

I have also started leaving him notes of appreciation on top of his morning box each day, this has proven to be a major day lifted for him and I get extra hugs when he finds them.

We also started going to Home-school Co-Op 2 days a week. It gives him the opportunity to hang out with other kids and I get 2 hours of down time to plan and have adult conversations. We also relaunched our Little Learner and Mom YouTube this month and have some exciting things coming soon!!

As for J he is progressing well with his math facts and grammar this year so far. We are still working on improving handwriting and writing sentences. He is doing exceptionally well with his reading we have moved into more chapter books on a regular. He recently finished the latest The Bad Guys Book 7 along side his reading buddy from @Melanin_Kids_Book_Club. How we love The Bad Guys Series, it will have you and your child in tears laughing.

For the month of September we will finish up our Safety Unit and then move into Chapters 2-4 of Real Science 4 Kids Biology we will be exploring Cells and Plants. Field trips to the Apple Farm, Zoo and Aquarium are in the plans. We will be doing fun activities about Fall in our Knowledge Basket this month. We are super excited about joining the Deep Space Sparklers Members Club and Chalk pastel this school year for art.

This month we kick off his requested study about Asia focusing on the country of China he so happy about this I let him help me plan this unit study!! We will be using the Beautiful Feet Around the World Part 1 Curriculum the first lesson is all about China!

September is looking really exciting I must say myself, but since we are pretty flexible with our learning at any moment things can do a 180. The best part of September is the anticipation of Fall coming. The warm smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice is on the horizon. I am happy to see summer leave us but we plan to take one more trip to the pool and run through the sprinklers.

Until Next Time,

Little Learner and Mom