Monday, November 25, 2019

Menu Monday

We are gauging back our schoolwork this week.  Just math and literature.  But lots of events and activities still need to be finished.  I won't call it a complete week  

B- Yogurt, cereal, fruit
L - Leftovers
D- Oxtail soup w/ yorkshire pancakes (we have been watching a really neat Colonial cooking show in history class....this was a William Penn meal)

B - French toast w/ ham
L - Pot Pies
D - Baked cheeseburger casserole

B - Crepes w/ cream cheese
L - Geography meal - Illinois - Some sort of pizza
D - shredded chicken with stuffing

B - Corn dogs
L - Packed lunch (Co-op day)
D - Chili cheese dip w/ chips and veggies (baking the whole evening...need simple)

B - Pumpkin muffins and fruit
L - Lots of food
D - Lots of food

B- Pancakes with ham
L - Turkey and noodles (family favorite)
D - Take out

B- Breakfast pizza
L- Leftovers/sandwiches 
D- Kings Island.... amusement park food!!!

Why I plan.....
Who isn't busy?!?!  Kids schedules, schoolwork, work, WOW!!  Life just does not stop!

When I create a menu, I include our schedule on it also.  In fact, I type the schedule into the table that I created first.  Then I know what is going on that day, and I can plan crockpot meals or even know if I need to have a make-ahead meal ready.  I do not use a fancy downloadable calendar, I simply use Microsoft Word.  I have a table I created on there.  At the bottom, I keep a running list of menu items that either I want them to try or food that is loved by all.

Hope everyone has a great week!!  See everyone next Monday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thinkwell Homeschool - 6th to 8th Grade Math Program Review

Anyone that follows our blog and homeschooling journey, knows that I love using online math programs to teach this subject.  We had the opportunity to review a new the Thinkwell Homeschool, 6th to 8th Grade Math Program.

Every child has a different learning style.  That's a benefit of homeschooling, the ability to adjust to each child's learning style.  Math is one of those subjects that everyone learns differently.  Thinkwell Homeschool online math program provides parents with online instruction video based learning.  This math programs for students in Grades 6 - High School, includes even advanced math honors courses and college level math.

Thinkwell Homeschool offers placements tests so that you can match up your student into the right program for their skills and abilities.  If you have a student who struggles with note-taking for classes, they also have printable notes that you can purchase extra to help them achieve the greatest success. 

The online format allows students to have access to their materials 24/7, so you can use them anytime that is convenient for you.  We were also able to work on several different devices.  If we were at home, Caty worked on her laptop.  But when we were road-schooling or at co-op, Caty was able to use my tablet to access her course through a web browser.  You do need internet access for this program though, so remember that if you are looking at the portability aspect.  

Thinkwell Homeschool does provide lesson plans include day-by-day and week-by-week schedule that allow parents to keep track of student's progress and keep them on track to finish their program.  But if your student is struggling, Thinkwell Homeschool provides flexibility for families that allows you to adjust to a schedule that works with your student.

We worked through the 6th Grade math...topics that are covered in the syllabus for this level include:

This was a true introduction for Caty into pre-algebra.  It seemed daunting to her.  But the video lengths were perfect for her.  She was able to watch these, only roughly 5-7 minutes a piece so far, and then work her way through the questions.  You can see the breakdown below for the first few chapters.

She has access to discussion boards about mathematical topics.  They also have extra resource links to help students tackle their math topics.

There were some extra notes that she could print and keep in a notebook as reference as she works through this program.

If a student does need extra help, videos can be re-watched until the student has mastered the topic and is ready to move on.  There are also graded practice problems and quizzes that give immediate feedback. This ensures that the student can see right away where they stand, and if they have retained the information they have been studying or if they need to practice more.  

Thinkwell Homeschool has provided a new approach to help students excel in their mathematical skills.  This different approach has really appealed to Caty.  She has been using another online program for a couple of years now.  She has done well, but I had not renewed her for the next level yet.  After trying out Thinkwell Homeschool for the past few weeks, she has requested to continue with Thinkwell Homeschool math as her program.  

I asked what she has liked about it so far.  She said that her favorite part is that she is watching the video of a real person.  Not just hearing a voice and seeing the figures appear on the screen.  She is watching someone actually solve the problems as they explain the work to her.  This made a difference she said as she was watching the problem being solved.  She could go back and re-watch him work if she needed to.  And the videos were not overwhelmingly long.  She said they were the perfect length, especially since she could re-watch the material.  The amount of questions at the level she is work was also not overwhelming.  She said too many questions overwhelm her.  

When she does go through the 9-10 questions at the end of each section, they give her instant feedback and an explanation as to why a problem is right or wrong. This information allows her to change her approach to the next problem.

I really did like that I could print extra worksheets to sit down and go through with her if I saw her struggling on any material.  This has been great for me.  I did not have to chase down worksheets to help her.  I can also track her finished work so that I know what she has and has not completed.  I also like that they have included some good outside links for games and websites to help explore more if she is still struggling in any area.  We are definitely enjoying and sticking with Thinkwell Homeschool Grade 6 Math for Caty!!

For the last several weeks, families with the Homeschool Review Crew have been using Thinkwell Homeschool at various grade levels in their homes.  Make sure to check out what they say about Thinkwell Homeschool by clicking below.

6th to 8th Grade Math (Pre-Algebra) and High School Math  (Algebra to Calculus) {Thinkwell Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, November 18, 2019

Menu Monday

I haven't been keeping up our Menu Monday post for several months.  I have really found that menu planning is essential to keeping myself a bit organized.  When I create a menu, I include our schedule on it also.  In fact, I type the schedule into the table that I created first.  Then I know what is going on that day, and I can plan crockpot meals or even know if I need to have a make-ahead meal ready.

B- Yogurt, cereal, fruit
L - Sandwiches and soup
D- Homemade pizzas (Joe and Caty had cauliflower crust...working on this since Joey is allergic to almonds, so cannot use almond flour for him)

B - Oatmeal or yogurt with granola, bananas or apple slices
L- Geography meal - Steak Fingers w/ fries
D - Pierogis and sausage

B - Poptarts (Treat breakfast)
L - Salads w/ shredded pork sandwiches
D - shredded chicken with stuffing

B - Corn dogs
L - Packed lunch (Co-op day)
D - Take Out 

B - Pumpkin muffins and fruit
L - Idaho lunch - Teff flour pancakes with huckleberry syrup
D - Taco soup in crockpot

B- Crescent roll pizzas
L - Leftover soup with cheese quesadillas
D - Butter chicken with rice and broccoli

B- Biscuit sandwiches to go
L- Lunch at Basketball Tournament
D- Taco dip w/ chips and veggies

It is very hard to plan with all the dietary needs in this house.  Between Caty, Brayden, and Joe's lower carb eating, and I see the need to push Joey further in this direction, it is hard to plan and balance.  Even though Carbs are listed heavy for breakfast, I do keep an eye on what the rest of the day's eating entails.  Also, Joe does not get to eat all those extra carbs.  I have a separate breakfast I make for him daily.  I keep that on my weekly meal that I have posted on the cabinet.

Hope everyone has a great week!!  See everyone next Monday!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rough Health Week, But Pushing Forward

So I had some pretty weird and rough.  I started out the week with more leg swelling, and it only got worse from there.  I had a very horrible appointment with an allergist CNP which left me in tears.  So I got up and walked out.  Then after a 6 hour ER visit, an emergency appointment with an Internal Dr.  Lots of blood work and NO real answers and explanations.  But no matter how I was feeling, life goes on.  I was physically exhausted and experiencing massive edema issues, but life still went on.

I'm taking advantage of whatever extra time I can to work.  I am so behind on creating classes for our Minecraft school.  I'm trying to catch back up.  I was watching Hulu and working in the van during the Volunteer Awards banquet at the zoo.

The kids had regular practices this week.  We had more people join the youth team which is awesome!

Our big puppy Saige is such a lover.  I was getting my shoes on to take the boys to bball practice and she knew I wasn't feeling great and jumped right in my lap.

All the kids have great coaches and they play with a great group of athletes!!

One of the DSPs from Joey's office sent me a picture of him working.  They were doing yard work around the main office.

The girls are still chugging away at co-op.  Lydia is taking a montessori knitting class along with piano.  Caty is taking sewing 2 (She's making a Tinkerbell dress in this picture), Montessori knitting, and a makers class.

For more than a week and a half I was experiencing severe leg swelling and abdominal bloating.  I gained 22 pounds in under 2 weeks.  It was so bad the day I went to get bloodwork, that I waddled (notice I didn't say walked) to the Emergency Room.  I had been monitoring my blood pressure and heart rate (I have an Apple watch), but still needed something to help.  Six hours later...and NOTHING!!  The edema in my legs was awful.  I was having lower hip pain and lower back pain.  But kidney and heart issues were ruled out.  I had an appointment with an internal doctor and she knew nothing either.  More bloodwork and still no answers.  The swelling comes and goes.  So I made an appointment for a phone consult with a naturopathic dr.  Have to wait until January.  So I am self-medicating.

Got home frustrated, and Saige gave me hugs and laid on me to make me feel better.

Lydia saw me crocheting and decided to try on her own.  She tried crocheting a few years ago, and struggled so bad.  She now had the single stitch mastered and is working on a gift for a friend.

Monday night was the Volunteer Banquet at the zoo.  Zooteens were invited.  I arranged for Lydia to take one of her friends with her as her plus 1.  We had time to kill after geography fair, so we hung out at the coffee shop until it was time to drop them off for the dinner.

This week was the Geography Fair that I host for our homeschool group.  So many very cool projects.  Lydia did her project on Chincoteague Island, and Caty on England.

In history this week, they finished up learning about Jamestown and John Smith.  The girls built these paper models that I have had the file saved for a really long time.

They also talked about the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving.

Some more history books from the week.

Our state to visit this week was Georgia.  Here is our reading material for the week.  We also watched Aerial America Georgia and State Plate - Georgia.

Our geography meal was Shrimp and Grits with peach cobbler.

After such a long week, I took the girls to see the new Harriet Tubman movie.  It was very well made.  Caty studied her for Living History last year and really wanted to see this.  She noticed a few discrepancies in what she learned last year and what the movie portrayed.

On Friday night, Lydia was also able to visit the local planetarium with the Zooteens.  She fell in love with the stars, again....

Friday evening, I made a big crockpot of chicken noodle soup for a friend.  We put it in small, single serving bowls to make it so she can freeze it too.  Caty has requested soup now.

Saturday was busy.  Delivering soup, we had a memorial service, and the Hoops for HOPE fundraiser.  This fundraiser allows athletes to raise money for our county's self-advocacy group.  The girls had fun shooting baskets and playing games.

Saturday afternoon I cooked a turkey for us to eat on over the weekend and part of the week.  Caty fell in love with the turkey and has requested this more often.

More pics of Saige.  She is such a lovey dog and wants to cuddle.

She's a good ride buddy too, except when she wants to give hugs while I am driving.

I finally got the kids fall pictures edited and printed.  They are now on the ladder shelf on display.

I'm accepting my current health status as a new norm for us.  I'll keep chugging along and looking for answers to allow me to keep up and hopefully help some issues until I can see the naturopathic dr.

Brayden started his new job, so he now works two jobs during the week.  He doesn't overwork, 5 hours at one job, and 5 hours at the other.  But it's an additional slot on the calendar and something else to balance.   Our calendar is pretty slammed Monday through Thursday with jobs, practices, and classes.  I look forward to a lull in March after bball season is over and before other major sports take back over the calendar again for summer.

I hope everyone had a great week.  Linking up with other moms at Homeschool Coffee Break.

Homeschool Coffee Break