Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Simply Music - Music & Creativity - Foundation Course


Music lessons can usually cost several hundred dollars, and this does not include vehicle wear and tear with mileage.  We were excited to review a new online music program, Music & Creativity - Foundation Course from Simply Music.  It save money and maintenance on our vehicle and most of all it's fun and easy to use!
Music & Creativity - Foundation Course is a breakthrough musical educational program created by Neil Moore that allows anyone to learn how to play the piano right from the comfort of their own home.  It is a self-study program that incorporates classical and modern contemporary pieces from the very start.  There is no dependence on learning small children nursery rhymes as your first piano pieces.  This makes Music & Creativity - Foundation Course great for all ages and skill levels.  The interest in learning to play the piano is the only prerequisite.

Instead of just tapping away to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, you will be taught with repetition and immersion in full songs from the beginning of the program.  You will need a piano or full size keyboard to use Music & Creativity - Foundation Course effectively.  All the books and materials are provided for you once you have created you account to login.

Each lesson is short and created with students who struggle with attention span in mind.  Music & Creativity - Foundation Course draws on your own musical rhythm that everyone already has, and yes we all have some sort of musical sense.

The sign-up process was very easy.  And the best part....Music & Creativity - Foundation Course is FREE!!!  So even if you are the parent who has been driving kids to lessons for years, and currently broke from all those summer camps, you CAN sign up and take those lessons that you have had on your bucket list too!

All the materials that you need are included with the program.  They are simple PDF files that you can download and print on your own, or just read them on your computer screen.


You can see in the photo above that there are audio files also included.  These audio files allow you to play along and hear the song that you are learning to play.  

The Music & Creativity - Foundation Course has 19 lessons for you to work through.  This new program keeps adding materials that are available for users.  It has been an amazing and super easy program to use.  You do not need to be a computer expert to use their classroom area.  The videos are well made and easy to understand also.  

When you open each lesson, you can easily see what materials you will need from the PDF books and also soundtracks that you should have downloaded and opened.  

So not only can you download the files before you get started, but he makes it so easy for people to use by also including the materials needed inside each lesson.  This makes it super organized for those who struggle to work independently with other types of learning materials.

Lydia struggles working independently.  She loses track of what she needs to be doing and even in what order.  Working out of a textbook is hard for her.  Having the lessons laid out like they are has been a great organizer for her and a timesaver for me, since I do not have to work overtop of her all the time.  

Each lesson is repeatable and encourages you to practice and keep working.  During the review period, Lydia has been progressing.  Since it's summer, she is definitely not wanting to spend a ton of time in front of her keyboard.  She wants to be outside and playing in the pool.  The Music & Creativity - Foundation Course with it's video lessons has made her learning more advanced piano skills very nice.  Since she can be so distracted, I like that she can listen to the lessons repeatedly and keep working toward mastery.  She can also see where she left off, when I tell her to go and work on her piano.  The lessons are marked when she has completed them.

There is even a Facebook group community that you can find support in.  I am finding that the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course is a great fit for our family.  Since sometimes we do not have a set time we can commit to setting up evening lessons, due to her sports schedule, the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course has allowed her to continue her summer music lessons and keep improving her skills since she can use this program anytime we can fit it in daily. 

After you have finished the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course, you can advance on to the Foundation Enhancement course for a very budget friendly price also.  Simply Music has definitely created a budget friendly music lesson program that is allowing families to start and continue music studies that they may not have been able to before.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Simply Music - Music & Creativity - Foundation Course.  Click on the box below to see how they used it in their homes and what they thought of the program.

Learn to Play the Piano with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course {Simply Music Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Dyslexia Gold - Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle Review




Do you have a student who has dyslexia or who is struggling with reading or spelling?  Dyslexia Gold generously provided us with the opportunity to review a family license and lifetime membership to the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle.  

Lydia struggles with comprehension skills due to her learning disability.  Caty has the same delay.  They both can read words, but do not always understand fully what they are reading.  Lydia has caught up almost to her level, but struggles and Caty struggles with spelling still because of this.  So we were excited to get the opportunity to see how Dyslexia Gold could help them out.  

Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle is an online reading tutor program that specializes in helping students to develop the essential tracking skills they need for reading and writing.  Dyslexia Gold goes beyond just regular phonics and using various fun programs and games to help students to improve their reading and comprehension abilities in just a few months.  

Students are encouraged to work on Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle daily using three different programs to improve their skills.  The three different programs include:


Engaging Eyes is a vision training program.  Students are encouraged to wear a pair of specialized glasses, that arrive separately with your subscription.  Many students (including our girls) have tracking issues with their eyes.  They cannot follow along well, so they are not getting the most from the material they are reading.  With Target Practice, students are forced to track what is happening on their screen.  Their eyes are trained to track letters across the screen.


Caty and Lydia both enjoyed working in the Target Practice areas.  I have noticed that Caty is making improvement in her reading skills.  Lydia is still working in this area.  I haven't seen the same improvement with her.  It shows that every student is different and some take longer to gain strength in some areas than in others.  Lydia is still relying on audiobooks to read her lessons to her.  But the Whack An Alien game is very fun and the girls both love wearing the Target Practice glasses.


Fluency Builder teaches students to find and recognize the sounds that they hear.  It recognizes the long and short vowel sounds and consonant sounds.  Students are even learning basic spelling words as they build the words they hear.



Spelling Tutor helps to teach students in a repetitive spelling program that teaches more than 1,000 commonly used words.  You can personalize and add words to the program as you go.  Parents/teachers are encouraged to work through this program alongside their students to check their work and keep track of their progress.


The Spelling Tutor encourages parents to work with their students using this program.  Students also need a notebook or paper to work on.  During each lesson, words are read to the student and they are encouraged to write it by sound first.  Next on the screen, students are given the sentence that they can check their work against.  


Caty really worked in this area.  But she got frustrated when she could barely understand the sounds that were being read to her.  Some of the words were hard to understand.  


Students are encouraged to use Dyslexia Gold daily for a minimum of 10 minutes with each program.  Dyslexia Gold advertises improvement in skills and confidence for students in just a month.  I can see improvement with Caty, and Lydia is making slower improvement.

I do like that the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle can be used with students of all ages.  Yes there are games, but even a teenager that is struggling will be able to use this program without feeling that it is too "kiddie" for them.  Dyslexia Gold can be used alongside a full reading curriculum, it is not a stand alone reading program.  It was designed to help students improve and master skills they are learning.  So even if your student attends a typical school (and you do not homeschool), Dyslexia Gold  Full Bundle would fit great to help them with the struggles they are facing at school.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle.  Click on the link below to see how they used this program in their homes and how they felt about it.

Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle {Dyslexia Gold Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer


Sunday, June 30, 2019

State Summer Games, Lots of Cooking, and I Set A Movement Goal!!



It was a busy Sunday.  Lydia worked at the zoo.  I did a bunch of lawn work, but we were excited to go on a short date with friends of ours to a local park and watch a local band.  They were good.  Played a mix of their own songs and a few other hits.  Then we got ice cream before heading home.



We have a lot of cooking projects to get done for 4H.  Everyone will be eating good the next couple weeks. 

Joey made a coleslaw with SF Honey mustard dressing.  Joey said it was tasty.



Lydia created her own hummus sandwich with cucumbers.  (She is totally going vegetarian on us.)


Joey made a slow cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken.  So I helped him start it before he left for work.


And this was the result that he served over rice.  He really liked this.  Joe said it was pretty good too.


This week was the countdown to State Summer Games with Special Olympics.  On Tuesday, the Special Olympics Torch went through our county.  Caty, Joey, and I were able to take part in the walk.  Brayden and Lydia were at work.





It's a long walk through Napoleon.




Not everyone from Joey's Day Hab were able to walk.  They were cheering from a house along the street.  They had signs cheering on the people walking.


But we had fun.  Then Caty and I went to the local library and she got to choose some space food to snack on.


They had things like Little Debbie brownies, snack cup pudding, crackers, beef jerky, Whoppers, Life Savers.  It was very cool.


Wednesday, Joey was able to have his friend over to build models all day.  He LOVED this!!  I helped him make one of his 4H recipes, bacon fried rice.  They enjoyed it and spent the day doing what they love.





Then I had to go to the doctor and take my mom to her physical therapy.  My poison ivy was not getting better.  I was taking oral Prednisone.  So I had to get a shot.  While I was waiting for my in therapy, I was sitting and relaxing in the lobby.  Looked up...isn't this so pretty!


Lydia had to make minestrone soup for her Sports Nutrition project.


And at the same time, Caty was working on frosting/baking a cake.


And making a lemon meringue pie....my kitchen was NUTS!!





Lydia also made fruit infused drink to enjoy with her soup for lunch.  She chose frozen grapes and a splash of lemon juice.


Thursday, Brayden made dinner.  He had to make a casserole.  He chose to make ham and cheesy potato.  We use turkey ham because of Joey's pork allergy.


And for dessert he made pear cobbler, instead of apple (because of Caty's allergy to apples).




The whole family said it was good.



I have so many autoimmune issues with food.  I found a combo that I can eat....I made lentils and chilled them.  I added lentils, sweet corn and topped with goat cheese crumbles.  Very yummy!!


Lydia's online Outschool class this week has her working on Book 12 for the next couple weeks.  We listened to the audiobook throughout the week and on our way to Columbus....


The kids and I left Friday am for Special Olympics State Summer Games.


I've been coaching the tennis team.  I had 4 competing.  Joey and Brayden were two of the 4.  Caty was down for the cheerleading expo, and Lydia was on the Modified Volleyball team.  Joe had to stay home this weekend and help, we missed him.


One the way down, we stopped and picked up Brayden's new video game.  The guy at the store gave him construction hats to go with his Mario Maker game.


The events started Friday afternoon.  Lydia did not compete in anything on Friday.  She was sitting in the van on her online class.  I love that we can do her live classes on the go.

'
The little campsite I set up in Buckeye Grove for our tennis players.








Dinner on Friday night was in a well air conditioned building.  It was SOOOOO hot outside.  Fortunately in the tennis area, we only had one player collapse.  Hydration and shade was the rule of the day.


Friday night was opening ceremony.  We were on the campus of Ohio State University.  The gentlemen in the picture with them was 3 of our 4 kids gym teacher in preschool.  And he is their Special Olympics Head Coach.  They all LOVE Randy!!







She was tired from the heat and watching clouds in the sky.




So we saw the torch and walked it through Napoleon on Tuesday and then we saw it light the official fire that night as it went through the ceremony at Jesse Owens Stadium. This was so very cool to see.  We have been in Special Olympics for ten years, and this is the first time we have been to Summer State Games.  The kids were amazed.






We had 28 athletes and coaches from Henry County.


Saturday was another day of competition.  There were 80 tennis matches this year.  Highest number ever!  Lydia though hung out with her volleyball and cheer coaches.  She played in a separate arena.  So I spent the day running between the tennis courts and watching her games.


The morning sun over the Horse Shoe stadium!





My guys!!




Our volleyball team placed 2nd in their division.



Then the girls ran through their cheer routine.



The social/movie was on Saturday night.  There was a live band at the social.  It was fun.




I made an endless amount of trips between the social outside and the movie gym, since the boys and Caty were there.  My final fitness standing on my watch on Saturday night...



And Yes I was moving on Sunday am.  Stopped at Starbucks on our way back to the campus.  Caty had been dying to try a Butter Beer.  She was in love.






Our friend Bobby showing off his track medals.


This is the first year that Special Olympics recognizes Competitive Cheer as a Sport.  So they had a cheer expo.  There was a trophy for the team with the biggest spirit.  Our county WON!!!




We had cupcakes to celebrate such an amazing weekend!!!


What a week....Now to bring on the finalizing of 4H projects....Judging is almost here!