Friday, October 12, 2012

"Children in Church" - a book review

Curt and Sandra Lovelace are the authors of a new book called "Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship". The book is being published by Great Waters Press, who also published "Raising Real Men".

A little about Curt and Sandra Lovelace: This couple has served The Lord in many different capacities over the last four decades. They have served all over the world from the United States, Europe, Africa and the Carribean. They currently live and serve in the Czech Republic. They have raised 2 daughters and have a very Biblically based approach to child-rearing.

"Children in Church" gives a Biblical basis for bringing children in to the main worship service instead of having a separate children's ministry for them. They point the reader to many Biblical reasons as to why our children should learn from the very beginning to worship with the entire family. They also give practical ways to integrate children in to the service.

The Lovelaces tell many stories of how they have been received in various ministries for keeping their children with them during the service. There are several anecdotes about how they spoke to leaders of ministries and shared their reasoning behind what they were doing, as well as the different responses they have gotten from various church leaders. The anecdotal stories of how children acted in church were quite humorous. They give real examples of kids who get a little unruly in church and how that should be dealt with. They give some great ideas on how to keep kids occupied but not disruptive during services.

The chapter titles are:
1-Bringing Them In
2-Understanding the Elements
3-Counting the Cost
4-Laying the Foundation
5-Getting Ready
6-Packing the Bag
7-Drawing the Word
8-Preparing a Plan
9-Facing the Challenges
10-Growing as Disciples
And a section written directly to church leaders

The Bible is used throughout the book and it is obvious the Lovelaces are passionate about this topic. However, they are not "pushy" and simply lay out the facts as they feel the Bible presents them. They then leave it up to the reader to pray and ask God what is best for their family. I love this aspect of the book. I don't necessarily whole-heartedly agree with their take on the issue but I still really enjoyed reading and seeing a different perspective from my own. I think there is a time to integrate children in to the service, and we do that in our family.

Personally, our kids have their activities on Sunday mornings and they attend the service with us on Sunday evenings, beginning at age 3. We do not allow our children to color or play or do anything else during the service. Our first was great with this. Our second child was a little more of a challenge, but now that he's 7 most Sunday nights he sits quietly and behaves. He fidgets alot but he knows the rules and the consequences. Our third, being a girl, can sit still without any issues and does great. For us, its a balance of allowing them to be kids in their morning classes, which are still structured Bible study times where they have lessons on their level and also allowing us to have some uninterrupted concentrated time to listen to the preaching on Sunday mornings. Then on Sunday evenings we are in the main preaching service together, and we love that time with our entire family together. Next year, as a 7th grader, our oldest will then be in the main service with us for all services. He has been learning to sit still and listen for many years now, but he has also had great Biblical teaching on his level. Now that he is old enough to move on to more in depth Biblical teaching he is ready for the main preaching service all the time. He has learned a great deal from the wonderful Sunday School teachers and Children's Church workers he has had over the years. Some of them have provided great role models for him and a young boy can never have too many strong Christian male role models. I know that wasn't necessarily part of the review of the book, but I had to share that there are different ways to integrate children in to the service when they are ready. It also shows that even though I have a different approach I would still recommend this book. It gives you alot of Biblical facts to process, and "chew-on" to decide what is best for your family!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the above book for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions given are my own, honest opinions.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zoo Whiz - a review

Zachary loves animals, actually I think love isn't a strong enough word. He adores animals and knows alot about them. He is constantly blowing us away with his knowledge of strange animals. He pours over animal books for hours each day. So, when the opportunity to review an online educational "game" called Zoo Whiz I knew it was definitely something we needed for our homeschool.

Zoo Whiz is designed for students between ages 5-15. It is a wonderful educational tool that works on math, reading, grammar, vocabulary and word skills. There are two ways to sign up. You can be a zoo keeper and have access to a great many of the features for FREE! If your child loves it, like mine does, you can easily upgrade to a Premium Membership for a limited time for $14.95 for the entire year, and your child becomes a zoologist. Check out what you get with the Premium Membership

When your child logs on for the first time they get to pick their "character". Zach picked the little boy on the far left since "he looks like a zoologist" according to Zach!

They are then taken to the "map"

There are 4 places they can visit.

"Learn and Earn" is where they choose what educational activity they want to work on. Now, the parent must go in when setting up the account and choose what level they want their child working on. I love that each subject can have a different level. Since Zach's Math levels are not quite where they "should" be but his Reading skills are quite accelerated I was able to set them at different levels so he could work on the skills he needs to work on. The students earn coins for completing activities. There are lots of skills to work on at all levels.

They can also visit the "Biodome", which is Zach's favorite place. This is where he buys his animals and then can go in and learn all about those animals. There are real and mythical animals to buy. Zach loves the real ones because, like I already mentioned, he LOVES animals. He has also enjoyed saving for the "bigger" animals and it has taught him a little about saving.

The "Arcade" is another fun place to visit where the student can use their coins to play games. Some games are just for fun, and some are educational. Zach did not use this feature often because he did not want to "waste" his coins. The coins were precious to him for purchasing his animals!

The "Milestones" is where students and parents can go to see what they have been working on and the progress they have made

This program could not have come at a better time for our family. Zach loved it from the start! Now, with me on hospital bedrest and Daddy trying to "hold down the fort" it is a great way for Daddy to keep some schooling going and make the kids happy at the same time. I cannot tell you how much Zach has loved this program, he is learning without even realizing he is learning, and then he gets to learn about the animals that he loves learning about so much!

Disclosure: We were given a 12 month premium subscription to Zoo Whiz for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions given in this review are my own, honest opinions.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

playPLAY Games - a review

We love to play games around here, and they are a regular part of our school day. The kids don't even realize they are learning, and they all get to play together! We were thrilled to review a set of three games from "playPLAY games"

We reviewed a set of three games that are available to purchase individually or as a set. The set is designed for ages 5 and up and helps to promote creativity and imaginative thinking.

Since we regularly incorporate games in to our day I just put these games into our game pile and waited for the kids to ask to play, which took about 30 minutes for them to ask. I really like the games because they are short (about 20 minutes to play) so they hold everyones attention, including Zach, my attention deficit 7 year old. They also let us have the break of playing a game but don't take the entire afternoon.

PaintPlay Game

This game is created for ages 6 and up although my 5 year old had no trouble at all with it, and I think even kids as young as three could play if they like games and are assisted by an adult. This game was so much fun! Everything, including the paint and paper is included to play. However, there is not a lot of paint, so you may have to replace that after several games. You will also have to provide your own paper after 4 games (There are 4 sheets of paper included). But, for us, that's not a big deal because we keep paints and paint paper around at all times. This game was not only fun for my 5 and 7 year old, but even Paul, at almost 11, really enjoyed it. And I enjoyed that it was just the right amount of painting and creativity without being too messy, but still a great deal of fun. This was our favorite of the three games, and we have already gone through several extra sheets of paper and another set of paint. This game is all about using your imagination and painting things that you would not normally paint. For instance, my kids love when they draw the card that says "Think about how a mushy banana feels in your mouth. Add that feeling to your painting", or another favorite is "make a shape that looks like it is going to explode!" At first the mushy banana feeling was a bit tough, now they get pretty creative with it. The game also encourages working together since everyone shares the "canvas".

ColorPlay Game

This game is intended for ages 5 and up, although, again I think it would work for a child as young as 3 with adult assistance. This game has three ways to play "Puzzle It", "Shape It", and "Build It". It encourages color, pattern and shape recognition, as well as encouraging creativity. My 7 year old was actually quite bored with this game. And Molly, at 5, was a little bored. I think the 3 to 5 age range would be a more appropriate age range for this game. My two did enjoy playing with the pieces like a puzzle and creating all kinds of crazy shapes. They are just way beyond color, shape, pattern recognition so it got a bit boring for them.

StoryPlay Game

StoryPlay is designed for ages 7 and up. My 7 and 10 year old were my "test" subjects for this game, although Molly did try, it was a bit too tough for her since she is still a beginning reader. There are three ways to play this game. My favorite was the "Let's Story Play" game where the players work together to create a story. There are word cards and a white board for the story. It was tough for Zach at 7, but he did enjoy it and learned a lot while playing with Paul and myself. The kids favorite was the "Name It and Draw It" game. The player creates crazy (and trust me with two boys the drawings get rather crazy!) based on randomly drawn word tiles. The third game is "Totem Pole" where the player draws random word tiles and draws an image and then the next player does the same thing on top of the last picture. The boys played this once, but were not impressed. I loved the first two games and played with them a couple of times, and loved to listen to them work together and laugh while they played.

These games really promote cooperative play, and not just a winner and a loser. I do like this concept and it's been great for my kids! They are all so competitive that it's nice to play a game together and not have someone upset because they lost. No one really loses in these games! It's just fun for everyone. Don't get me wrong, I am not the type that thinks no child should ever lose, kids have to learn to lose or they won't work hard in life, but that's a different topic for a different day! It's just nice for them to play together and not have to worry about that element of game play!

These games would make great Christmas gifts. You could purchase the entire set and split it up between three different recipients or give them all three to one person. Even for a busy parent squeezing in a 20 minute game with your child is much easier then some of the much longer board games that are typically played.

PlayPLAY games can be purchased at retailers such as Toys R Us, Barnes and Noble, and other specialty shops. They may be purchased individually or as a set.

Disclosure: I received the above games for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions are my own, honest opinion. There was no other compensation given for this review.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Vocab Videos - a review

Over the years people have always commented on what extensive vocabularies our children have. We attribute this to not "dumbing down" our conversations with them. We have always used "big" words around them and when talking to them, thus increasing their vocabularies. They are also read to a lot, and not just books on their level, but books just a bit beyond their level and this to leads to a more extensive vocabulary.

Them hearing words used in context is, in my opinion, the best way to teach new vocabulary words. Long lists of words that they have to memorize the meaning to is just not as effective as actually hearing the word used. This is the concept that Vocab Videos uses to teach vocabulary. The program is designed for late middle school and high school students to prepare for the SAT. It is a great concept, and a great way to introduce vocabulary. Each word has a short episode that uses the word in a "real world" situation. There are 20 words for each set of episodes. After your student has watched all the videos there are worksheets and quizzes they can take to make sure they have retained the knowledge. As I said, this is an amazing concept. Students are going to retain more information if it is used in a real way, and not just a list in a vocabulary book.

Paul is a little young for this product, being only in the 6th grade. However, I felt he could benefit from it because he does have a strong vocabulary and loves to increase his vocabulary. It ended up that I used the program some for myself, and did not allow him to use it. The concept is wonderful, and for most high school students, most of the content is appropriate. However, for my 10 year old, I was not ok with some of the content. The videos are inundated with poor attitudes toward authority figures as well as terminology that I don't allow used in our home "oh my God", "Good Lord", and several slang terms that I don't want my children listening to.

On the whole this is a phenomenal way to increase vocabulary, and I totally understand that many people do not have the same views as our family does and would see great benefits from this program.

It is also very reasonably priced at $24.99 for a 6 month subscription or $39.99 for a full year. This individual subscription gets you full access to the library of 500 videos as well as all the study resources (quizzes, worksheets, flashcard maker and crossword puzzles.

Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for a review on my blog. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions stated here are my own, honest opinions.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Math Made Easy - a review

We have reviewed several Math programs in the past that have worked on memorization of math facts. They have been fun, but nothing has "stuck" with Zachary and his addition facts. Neither of my boys are strong in Math, so I remember going through this with Paul. It took until he was probably 9 before he got his addition facts. I am trying to work on Zach's now, but trying not to push too hard.

I really wanted him to have his addition facts down before we moved on to other Math concepts. I decided that this summer we would exclusively work on addition facts. So, it was perfect when I was given the opportunity to review Math Made Easy. We reviewed "Addition: Teaching and Learning Made Easy". This curriculum is for 1st and 2nd graders but could also be used for an advanced Kindergartener or for an older special needs child. It is reasonably priced for $24.95 and you are given permission to photocopy the pages for use within your own family.

The concept of the curriculum is to learn all the addition facts in 6 weeks. The beginning of the book explains that the 0's and 1's are so easy that those are taken out, and then after the child learns the commutative property of addition (ie: 4+2 is the same as 2+4) then there are basically 36 addition facts left to learn. If you break that down in to 6 weeks there are only 6 addition facts to learn each week. "Math Made Easy" intentionally makes the 6 facts for each week random, they do not teach the patterns of addition. For example, the equations for week one are 2+6, 3+9, 6+8, 2+5, 4+4, and 3+3.

The curriculum is one book with worksheets for each day of the week for 6 weeks.

The worksheets vary slightly from week to week, but in general there is a color by number for Monday, a code to figure out on Tuesday, a cut and paste for Wednesday, a simple addition worksheets on Thursday and then a "problem of the week" on Friday. In the back of the book there are perforated flash cards labeled for each week. And a couple of games on card stock to review the facts each week. There are also review exercises at the back of the book to use for each week. The lesson plans at the front of the book give you a general guideline as to how the program works and also encourages you to use whatever manipulatives you have on hand to introduce the facts.

What we like:

Zach really enjoyed the worksheets and they gave him the right mix of variety and consistency. It was a great way for us to review the facts and really get them in his head. Since he has had exposure to the facts they weren't new and therefore it was perfect for him. He has really made a great deal of progress on getting those facts memorized, and enjoyed it at the same time.

What we didn't like:

This should actually be what "I" didn't like because Zach did not complain at all. The games were pretty simple and he was bored with them quickly, but he never complained about it.

Personally we have always used patterns in math to teach addition. For example, we have taught adding 9's by making 10, and adding doubles has always been taught together, so we would work on 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 etc at the same time. This makes sense to me in my very "pattern oriented" brain. This program doesn't teach the patterns at all. It is just random facts. I think that for Zach who finally understands the concept of addition, and has some of these patterns in his head already this program works well for reviewing and concreting those facts. I would not use it if I were just starting to teach addition. It also does not offer a lot of review in the worksheet portion. We reviewed each week with the flashcards and games from the previous week, but the worksheets themselves only offer that weeks equations.

Again, this is the perfect solution for a child who has the concept of addition down, and knows the patterns in addition but needs some extra work on memorizing those facts. It has worked perfectly for Zach, and I am so thankful that it came at exactly the right time for us to use it...isn't God amazing!!!

Math Made Easy also offers the same program for multiplication. Some of our TOS Homeschool Review Crew got to review that program. You can see reviews for both programs by clicking on the banner below.

Disclosure: I received the above product for free in exchange for an honest review on my blog. There was no other compensation given for the review. All opinions are my own, honest opinion.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

New Doctor...New Thoughts!

I mentioned in my last post that we would be seeing a specialist (perinatologist) this week. We saw him yesterday, and wow, do we feel better!

The first doctor I saw, after a little bit of a scare, gave us a bigger scare and put me on bed rest just over two weeks ago. They said this would be how it was until the baby was born, and that would probably be extremely early with lots of time in the NICU. We know we have a BIG GOD, and knew He was capable of changing this. So, we did what the doctor said and prayed that whatever happened we would end up with a healthy baby.

We were originally supposed to see the perinatologist or high-risk doctor in mid-August, because of my "advanced maternal age". With the other "complications" the appointment was moved up to yesterday. The appointment could not have gone better. I have been released from bed rest and told I could do "whatever I feel like doing"! This does not mean that this pregnancy is going to be without complications, and I am still dealing with two very large fibroids that are actually quite painful. But, for now, I am up and about, and couldn't be happier! The doctor was very encouraging and much more knowledgeable about the fibroids and how all this is going to go. I will most likely end up on bed rest again, but for now I am happy to be up and moving!

Here I am at 19 weeks:

So, on to the even bigger news...
The baby looks perfect!

Baby weighs in at about 10 oz, which is in the 50% for the gestational age. Every measurement they took was perfect. The fibroids are still there and very large. One is above the baby and one below. But, baby has lots of room to grow. The doctor said my uterus was plenty big enough for everything. Steve commented to him that he was calling me fat! He said Steve was putting words in his mouth!
And, the news everyone was dying to hear after they heard the baby was fine....

We went out today to run a few errands and Paul found the perfect shirt for his new baby brother:

And then an outfit to fit Zach's taste:

Praise the Lord that everything looks awesome! We serve an AWESOME God. He has a plan, and we just trust in HIM and know that He is in control! That's not always easy, but it's what we have to do!

I will go to the perinatologist every four weeks for now and that will probably be more often as I get further along.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bed Rest Day 14!

Today marks 2 weeks of having to lay around the house and do nothing! Steve says he wants to try it for just a day or two! I keep telling him it's no fun, but he thinks he could handle it for a while.

Speaking of Steve, I have to say I have the most amazing hubby ever! He has been both Mom and Dad during these past two weeks, and has done an amazing job. The house is still standing (and actually fairly clean!), the kids all have clean laundry, we have all eaten, he has not missed any work, and he has been so caring and loving toward me. He has taken the kids swimming and four wheeler riding and even pulled off a birthday party for Zach. His sister was a huge help there! He has had some amazing help from our moms, sisters and our church has been such a blessing bringing meals by all the time. But, overall, the majority of the work has fallen on him, and he has handled it so well! I am amazed! And so glad the Lord gave me such a wonderful man as a husband and a Daddy to our 4 amazing children!

It is such a blessing to see how many people care about our family! I am amazed at how everyone pulls together and helps. The kids have been so good too! They have played way more Wii and watched way more tv than normal, but that's ok too!

Now, tomorrow I get to get out of the house and go to the specialist (high-risk dr). We are hoping for a little more information and maybe a temporary release from bed rest. We know God is in control of this pregnancy and we know He is amazing and can work miracles, that is what we are praying for. He is our Support and our Comfort during whatever the appointment holds tomorrow. Please pray for the baby's health, and the wisdom of the doctors!

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Water Hose Fun

While I was soaking in some sunlight in my lounge chair yesterday the two little ones decided to play with the water hose. They thought this was the best game ever!

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Bed rest Day 11

I think doing a little journaling as this bed rest thing lingers on will help me pass some time, as well as work through some of my own anxieties. These post will most likely be a lot of rambling. Some may have a central theme, but most probably won't.

Today, first I want to address what I have had many people ask, "why don't you put your kids in school while you're on bed rest?". I know everyone that says this is well meaning, but I really don't understand this question. I'm on bed rest so I'm going to give up on educating my other children, I am sacrificing for one baby, but not for the other three children that are already here. All of our children are our world. Steve and I feel that raising this family is our calling from God. My kids are my ministry at this point. Why would I throw them into a school system just for a little convenience. What is that telling them? I want to teach my children that when things get tough we lean on God. We don't give up on God's calling for our lives because it's a little tough for a. We want to teach them that this time of "inconvenience" is when we need to depend on our family the most. We need to lean on each other, support each other, help each other, and grow closer to each other and to our Lord and Saviour!

Secondly, on a lighter note, bed rest is SO boring! I have read every blog I can find on anything that I am interested in. I have played countless games of Sudoku. I am an Olympic official for the last two days and am so tired of watching volleyball. I sure wish they would show a little more gymnastics! I am not usually a big Facebook person but I have checked it more times then I care to count over the last 11 days. I have looked at Pinterest until I can't take it anymore, because I can't do any of the fun projects I would love to do! All in all, I'm bored! But, I know I am also very blessed, so I'll quite complaining and lay here and pray that God moves time quickly and that this sweet little one will continue to grow inside of me for many weeks to come!

And a picture of what the kids have being doing a lot of with Daddy....riding 4 wheelers to the creek and playing in the creek.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Super Duper Publications - a review

Auditory Memory is a skill that every child needs. I think most kids struggle in this area in todays world. They are so inundated with hundreds of sounds each day they often tune out what they don't want to hear. They get really good at this, and honestly it makes it more difficult for them to remember anything they do hear. We work on auditory memory quite often with my three kiddos, but I have one that really, really struggles with it. Zach cannot remember two step directions.

So, we were super excited to review a product from Super Duper Publications called "Hear Builder--Auditory Memory". This is a CD-Rom designed for Kindergarten - 8th grade students. It is designed to increase a child's auditory memory.

Hear Builder has the child work on a mission with "Recall Agents". They are trying to save the people of "Memory Town" from Dr. Forgetsit. The software is designed to work on 5 key activities.

Memory for Numbers (3-7 digits)
Memory for Words (3-5 words)
Memory for Details (1-4 details)
Auditory Closure ( sentence completion)
Memory for "WH" (who, what, where, when, why) information (2-3 sentences, 2-4 questions)

Each of the different skills is worked on on a different mission. Your child can move at a different pace and progress differently for each skill. This was important for us, and built some confidence for Zach. Because even though he was not able to progress very quickly in the "Memory for "WH" information" he was able to progress very quickly in the "Memory for Numbers".

I ended up using this with Zach and Molly. Molly loved it, possibly because she's very good at it. Zach tolerated it, but it was very good for him. Now, if I can only get him to transfer the skills worked on into real life. Molly asked to play it daily and loved progressing through the levels very quickly. Zach never asked to play it, and sometimes groaned when I told him he needed to, but he didn't want to stop when I said his time was up. The program is said to be for K - 8th grade, however, I did not have Paul work on it at all. He would have been extremely bored with it. I would think, for a non-special needs child about age 8 or so is the oldest a child would find it fun. However, it could definitely be useful for an older child, just not fun!

Check out Super Duper Publications website for all their products.

You can purchase the home edition of the software for $69.95. And currently they are running a special for 30% off if you use the coupon code BLGAM30. This code is good through August 31, 2012. This also gets you free shipping!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this software in exchange for an honest review on my blog. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions are my own, honest opinion.

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Bed Rest with 3 Kiddos....should be interesting!

So, last week I was put on bed rest indefinitely! I am allowed to get up for short periods of time and eat or take care of small things, but for the most part i am to stay in bed "as much as possible"! We are really praying that things look better when we go to the specialist in 3 weeks. But, for now, we are preparing to do this for the long haul! Whatever it takes for this baby to be as close to full-term as possible, and healthy!

We were supposed to start our full school schedule this week. My plan was to start now so we would be able to work really hard for a few months and then take a couple months off before and after baby! Well, as always, God laughs at MY plans! So, new what we can while I am in bed, take time off for baby, and then catch-up later. I had Steve and Paul move all the workboxes in to our bedroom and I worked on putting books in them a few minutes at a time this weekend. I had big plans to really get our schedule laid out and had lots of fun things to add to the schedule this year, but that's not happening! The kids have workbooks and books in their boxes and that's just how it's going to have to be for now.

Today was the big day to start homeschooling from the bed! Then Paul got invited to go to Six Flags with a friend, so off he went, and it was schooling with the 2 little ones.

Zach was thrilled with his new 2nd grade workbooks and worked happily!

Molly moved to my desk for her handwriting practice.

And then to the floor for some educational iPad time. We are in love with the "Teach Me" apps.

Zach loved his new books and read two chapters to me.

And overall it was a great morning. The kids worked on their Math, reading/phonics, handwriting, spelling, and of course Bible.

And so as not to exclude Paul, last week, when Zach was at a friends Molly, Paul and I played some board games from the bed.

We are doing our best to make the most of this. Friends and family have been huge helps, and it's been so appreciated!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Professor B - a review

Math has always been difficult for Zach. He just doesn't get the concepts. Numbers simply don't make since to him. We have worked and worked with manipulatives of all kinds and have drilled math facts until we both wanted to cry. I finally gave it a break and just worked on it a little each day and decided not to stress over it. However, when summer got here I knew we couldn't just stop Math altogether. So, when we were given the opportunity to review Professor B, and computer based Math program we jumped at the chance.

Professor B is not like most computer based Math curricula where you sit the child down and all the teaching is done for you. Instead, it is a tool for the parent to use to teach Math. Zach was not expecting this. When I told him he had a new Math computer curriculum I am sure he was expecting Mommy to leave him alone to do his thing. He was shocked when I sat down beside him and started reading everything the little bee that buzzes around the screen was "saying".

There are 3 levels of Professor B. We used the first level for Kindergarten-2nd graders. I decided Zach, although technically a rising 2nd grader, could really use the review of starting from the beginning. So, we started at the beginning of Level 1. It was very basic with counting on fingers. We moved through these lessons very quickly and moved on to addition, skip counting, and subtraction. Professor B is based on mental Math which Zachary just does not "get". So, he really struggled. He cannot do the Math in his head and needs manipulatives. A computer based program just does not work for him. He needs more hands-on. I would love for him to be able to work on mental Math but he is simply not ready for that.

There are a total of 3 levels for Professor B.

Level 1 is for Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Level 2 is for 3rd - 5th Grade
Level 3 is for 6th - 8th Grade

All the levels will work for older learners as well. It would make a great summer program for kids to catch up between school years. It would be great for Zach if he were a bit older, and possibly a bit more ready for mental Math.

You can see how you like the program by checking out the Sample Lessons.

There are several pricing options and you can check them out on the website

They also offer physical products you can find here.

Disclosure: We were given a free trial of Professor B in exchange for an honest review. There was no other compensation given for this review. All opinions are my own, honest opinion.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pregnancy Week 16

I am now 16 weeks pregnant! Wow, I hope the next 16 weeks goes by this fast! I am feeling a lot better and have a good bit more energy! Baby is getting bigger and doing well! We hope to find out the gender in a couple more weeks!

Several people want to see how big I am getting so here is a lovely picture of my belly! I am HUGE! No, I am not having twins! Just have a couple fibroids that have helped my belly get bigger faster! Oh well, it's the one time in my life I don't have to hide my belly!

It's becoming more and more real to us, and we are settling in to the whole thought of having 4 children! We know this child is such a gift from God and couldn't be happier!

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Bittersweet Endings

Paul decided 3 years ago he wanted to forgo Spring soccer and give baseball a shot. He didn't know which hand his glove went on! But, he learned quickly and baseball became his love! The boy eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. Often at dinner he will have his left hand in his lap and we will ask what he has in his hand and he will pull up his baseball glove! He is in love with anything to do with baseball. This is strange to Steve and myself because we are not baseball people! Steve knew the basics of the game, but that's it. Oh, now, we know so much more!

So, this year, Paul was thrilled when he was picked for the All-Star team! And, we were thrilled for him! It has been a summer filled with baseball!

He has pitched his little heart out!

He has become the best 10 year old short-stop I've ever seen! He uses his goalie skills from soccer and doesn't let anything get passed him!

He is quite the catcher too!

And, he is hitting 1st or second in the lineup! He can slug the ball, and last night, it almost went over the fence!

His passion is stealing bases, and he rarely gets caught!

He loves to cheer his team on to victory! This was right after a teammate hit an over-the-fence GRAND SLAM!!!!!

And he just flat out loves playing baseball!

They had their last game last night. And though we were sad to see the season end, we are glad to now have our life back! We have played baseball every Saturday since February! And many nights during the week have been consumed with games and practices!

It was a great experience and Paul made some great friends, and learned some life lessons! Sports teaches kids so many things about life!

His best friend on the team, and fellow speed demon! These two were maniacs on the bases! Batting first and second they were pretty well un-stoppable! Paul is, of course, talking in the picture, but it's the only one I have of the two of them together!

Here are the boys getting their last post-game talk after a hard-fought battle! We were so proud of these boys and the fight they put up! They were such a great group of boys! They fought every game to the very end, and never gave up!

Thanks goes to all the coaches that put so much in to this team and these boys!

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