Monday, May 17, 2010

If you teach a 3yr old a Kata?

If you teach a 3yr old a Kata , can they do it? Absolutely. Tonight Miss Maggie impressed me by learning her very first karate kata at the tender age of three. Of course she will need to keep practicing it and refine it but I was so proud of her.

Maggie looked so darned cute in her karate Gi and her Sensei thought it was the cutest thing he has ever seen. He's also convinced it helped her do better with her karate too. I'm also so proud of how far she has come as well. When we first started Maggie was so scared of the Sensei's. She was scared to take gymnastic class. She's been scared to do most things. But now this evening I was able to sit and visit with a friend of mine while Maggie lucked out and had one on one attention with her class since the other two kids didn't show up this evening. She had her teachers all to herself. She didn't cry or anything. She is even going and doing her gymnastics all by herself. I no longer have to sit next to her to do warm ups and there are no tears. Maggie still has a long way in learning to trust those who aren't her mom, dad or grandma. But this sure is one awesome positive start that's for sure.

Maggie loves her karate class as well as the older girls. They are determined to get their Green Belt. I wish I could help them more at it. I've been able to find a few videos on the strikes, kicks and such that they need to know. But not to much. If I could just find a good video on Goshin JuJitsu to help us practice more.
In all actuality I need to get my butt moving and start taking karate myself. I've held off because I don't have anyone to watch Maggie after her class. But if there is a will there is a way that's for sure.

Dishonest Curriculum Sellers

Okay. Well I can't post who they are on other boards. But this is my blog and I will all let you know that I just have delt with one just recently.
I had never bought from Homeschool Classifieds before and was looking for a cheap copy of the Saxon 6/5 book to use with Marilyn over the summer to catch her up in math a bit here.

So I responded to an add where someone was selling the tests, answer key and book for $13. What a good deal I thought. I patiently waited for my books and they did come. Problem was when I looked at the package it was to small to be holding three books. It had a small tear but nothing big enough for a book to fall out of. Surely the seller must have packaged it seperately. So the good seller and buyer I am I promptly emailed the person to see if I just needed to wait for the student book.

Nope. She responds with I sent the book with the others. Umm, nope. I would know if there was three books. I would have told her I recieved three books and to have a great day. So being the person I am I ask her to check to make sure the book didn't get taken off the pile by a rouge toddler or child. I had that happen to me once when I sold something. Here to find out my toddler took it out of the box and hid it under her 3rd sister's bed. I promptly found the book and sent it to the person and profusely apologized. Had I not found the book I would of refunded that part of the money so the buyer could of found another book.

This transaction did not go this way at all. I was pretty much had. The woman never apologized once for the book not being there in the first place. I even kindely took pictures so she could see that it didn't fall out of the package and that there was no possible way she of packed three books in this package. I also asked if it was the packaging she packed it in. Which by the way DONOT wrap books in a grocery bag and expect it to come through the postal system unharmed in anyway. Know that if you sell something I bet that person would rather have to take a pair of scissors to get through the layers of packaging tape that you wrapped around it then to have a packaged damaged or a book lost or whatever.

Anyways so the woman insisted she put the book in there and that it was my problem and she wasn't going to do anything further to help the problem. Even after I told her I spent my last $13 on school books. It is my last because I don't want to buy anymore school books with my girls going to attend brick and mortar school this year.

The moral of this story is if you can't be honest, don't sell. Homeschooling families aren't made of money and we need to get the curriculum for our children for a reason. Also don't sugar coat it and tell the person who bought from you if your co-op has an extra book that you would send it. What about homeschooling boards that sell these items? You could have easily have gone on Homeschool Classifieds, Well Trained Mind, Vegsource to find another book to send to me. I took the time to find you so I could buy my wares from you.
Plus if you are a dishonest seller, know that the money you are taking is the last of what someone may have for a while..
Isn't that right

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pennywise Learning Giveaway

This weeks giveaway for the week of May 7th. I copied this from the blog as I have never used the product but it looks oober cool.

This week at, we’re giving away an Ein-O Science Nature Explorer kit.

Explore 10 Gritty Activities

- Nature Lab (plants)
– Growing Plants
- Plant Survivors
- Bug Eye
- Nature Lab (bugs)
- Light Shelter
- Antzville
- Germiniator Lab
- Plant Preservations
- Bug Viewer

Click here to Enter

Finding the right math program

I'll admit, after all of these years homeschooling you would think I would have it all down pat as to what curriculum works best for us. Sadly after eight years I still have much to learn as what curriculum really works best. We've had our fair share of duds as well as that great curriculum.

I've found that I really like Christian Light Curriculum. I think for the price and how the curriculum is put together its well worth it and children really learn quite a bit from it. I really liked the Christian Light Math when I used it with Marilyn. Thought it wasn't her favorite her math skills really improved quite a bit that last half of the year.

I have found that curriculums like Calvert and K12 , though very good in their own right are to time consuming for families that have more than two children. Sometimes it can be to time consuming for even those with more than two. I think it would work well if I just had one child. But since I live in the real world I don't I have four and the more independent the curriculum and the less lesson planning I have to make the better.

With all of this said the girls are going to go to private school this fall and the school uses Saxon math. I used Saxon once before with my 2nd daughter Katie and it worked REALLY, REALLY well for her. I had used the K and 1st grade and she just thrived with it. What made me stop using it you ask? Well for one we were with a cyberschool for 1st grade. So I was juggling both Calvert math and Saxon so it lined up with her tests that we had to send back to the school. It worked just fine for 1st for us but by the time we got to 2nd grade we had Maggie and well,,, I then only had time for one math program and Calvert won out since I had to turn in tests to the school. So for the past 3 years its been nothing but tears for math for Katie. Her believeing that she is stupid when it comes to math and in all honesty that's not the case at all. Saxon works for Katie and it also works well for Hannah. I used the K12 math with Hannah last year and it worked just fine with her but not this year. Hannah needs more review just like Katie.
So if you've read this far you will no doubtly guess that I caved in and bought Saxon for the girls. The point is two folds as it will help them to just dive right in with math when they go to St. Thomas this fall and it will help catch them up on the things they just weren't understanding.

So for now Katie is loving math once again. That lightbulb has finally turned back on once again for her. Hannah is understanding math much better finally, and Maggie loves her K math.
I also bought the 6/5 for Marilyn in hopes it helps her. I feel she is lacking in something somewhere and after taking the diagnostic test this is where she placed. Not sure if it was lack of taking the time to do the test or if this is really where she is but we'll go with it and move on from there. I'm not sure if Saxon will fit Marilyn well or not. She is such a picky kid when it comes to school books in general. I think in the end Marilyn is just going to have to get over it and do the math.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pennywise Learning Giveaway

The homeschooling company Pennywise Learning is giving away one Complete Zoo Adventure Guide. I don't know much about it other then from what I've read about it on their blog. So I have copied and pasted the review of this really neat curriculum from their blog.

Sometimes The Best Learning Happens Outside The Schoolroom!

With the Complete Zoo Adventure, a family field trip to the zoo becomes an unforgettable learning adventure with this unique, evolution-free guide to the incredible world of animals!

Did you know:

•That the flamingo’s pink color comes from the food that it eats?
•That the hummingbird’s heart beats 1,000 times per minute?
•That the polar bear has a third eyelid that acts as “sunglasses” to protect it from snow blindness?
The Complete Zoo Adventure sets the stage for learning with “Before the Zoo” preparations, gives you the tools you need for an awesome “At the Zoo” experience, and then continues to deepen the understanding of God’s Creation with fabulous “After the Zoo” activities. Truly a complete guide like no other!


•7 Devotionals
•27 Encounters with God’s Creatures
•“Looking Ahead” – 7 Creation Foundation Lessons
•Detailed Professional Educator Guide
•27 Scripture Memory Aids
•12 Name Badges
•Over 35 Reproducible Activity Sheets
•27 Field Fact Cards
•3 Field Journals
Spiral Casebound • 9 x 9 • 150 pages • 4 Color • Authors: Gary and Mary Parker

You will need to visit the Pennywise blog to enter.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maggie's first Lapbook!

Horray! Maggie made her very first lapbook with her mommy. Though coloring it was quite a chore for her. I can't blame her though as she may not have the muscle strength in her hands due to her hypoplastic left thumb. But she did it and I am so very , very proud of her. By the pictures you can tell she was proud of herself too! The lapbook we chose to do was The Carrot Seed which we got off of the website

The sides:

The inside of the lapbook: We talked about different kinds of vegetables, what seeds need to grow, we talked about different sizes, large, medium and small, the vegetables that start with the letter C, and there is a cute little pull up carrot in the lapbook too.

On the bottom flap we talked about the colors of brown and orange.

Here it the back. I did manage to google a few carrot worksheets from
Plus the Itsy Bitsy Book as well. The seed minibook is from a template from Homeschool Share's lapbook templates and may beans, apples,and tangerines gave their life to sit in this minibook.

So there you go. Maggie's very first lapbook. Our next lapbook we are going to do is called Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb Book. I think it will be pretty fitting to talk about her hand differences with her going to preschool. I know there will be some inquisitive kid that will notice that she has what we like to call a cartoon hand. LOL.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lapbook Giveaway

To celebrate Mother's Day. Lapbook and the Hearts at Home website is holding a giveaway for one of the Homeschool in the Woods Lapbooking CD's.

If your not familiar with Homeschool In the Woods they sell a hands on curriculum for History, Sciene, and Art, and Bible.
We actually own about three of the History Cd's that they sell and let's just say they are really fun to use.
My oldest really enjoyed the Explorers CD's. The history is included along with notebooking pages and lapbooking templates. Also included are some hands on activities that we really enjoyed doing. Last year Marilyn made an adobe hut, which we entered into the fair which recieved first place. We also made glow in the dark constellations with glow in the dark puffy paint.

So check out the giveaway and enter today! Click here : Lapbook Lesson Giveaway