Tuesday, October 17, 2017

State Fair of Texas 2017

You know that Fall has arrived in Texas when talk of 
the year's finalists for the State Fair's fried food 
winners are announced!

The State Fair would not be the same without BIG TEX!
Howdy Folks!

A Texas sized turkey leg!


Kids animal farm

Texas Skyway


Until next year.....


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Brinkman Adventures ~ A Review

My daughter loved listening to the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 from Brinkman Adventures. I received the 4 pack of CD's which includes 12 action packed adventures. The Brinkman Adventures is an exiting radio show that tells true, modern, missionary stories through the eyes of the fictional Brinkman family. 

All of my children really enjoy listening to audio dramas and books on CD. They are great for   long car rides, breaks between schoolwork, hospital stays, and bedtime wind down time. 

A Paradise Lost
Remember Nhu
Aisha’s Fear
Heart Song
The Crashed Kitchen
Crisis In The Congo
The Mysterious Palm Feller
War of the Raccoons
The Five Guys
Toughest Man
Cambodian Quest
What Brings Us Together

Each episode is about 1/2 hour in length and the episodes build upon each other. 

My daughter said, "One of my favorite episodes was Aisha's Fear and that episode was about, Aisha's husband beat her a lot and there was a Christian doctor across the street that wanted to buy from their shop but no Chrisians could buy from their shop. One day her husband got really sick and Aisha called the doctor and he came and her husband finally let the doctor look at him. The doctor started coming on a regular basis. He told them about the Lord. Aisha's husband became a Christian. Aisha's husband died. After her husband died Aisha started building a friendship with the doctor and became a Christian herself. This is just one of the many amazing stories that I heard as I listened to the Brinkman Adventures. Another episode that I really likes was Remember Nhu which was about a guy who has a dream and the Lord says to go around the world and find Nhu. He travels and finds someone who will help him. They look for two years and find her. The guy goes and sees her. She is a slave. The guy who helps find her is actually her uncle. The guy who had the dream starts a home for girls just like Nhu. The first episode, The Paradise Lost, the Brinkman's go to a family camp by a lake. When they get there the lake drains up. The bridge breaks and no one can leave or get to the camp. They make the best of the situation by creating their own activities. One activity was avoiding adults and the adults were trying to get the kids inside because there was a huge storm. The kids were running away from the adults. They finally got all of the kids safe inside. The bridge got repaired and everyone got to go home." 

I really enjoyed listening to the Cambodian Quest with my 9 year old. The theme of this episode is going deeper with God. They are helping fix sewing machines to the Nhu house. Kitry doesn't want to help fix the machines. She rather explore Cambodia. Her heart is in the wrong place. Kitry gave a man in the market the Nhu house address. A girl in the market is very ill and and gives Nhu her baby because she can no longer care for her. Kitry continues to stir up trouble by thinking of her own desires all the while putting Nhu and the girls at the home at risk. The stories are based upon real missionary stories. You can read the stories behind the episode adventures on this page.

Some of the themes that your child will learn about while listening to the adventures are: obedience, recognizing God's power, finding courage, our weakness and God's strength, and God's Sovereignty.

Travel with the Brinkman's from Ecuador to Kashmir and from Africa to Alaska as you follow their adventures in these episodes and discover God’s wonderful truths.
I would definitely recommend Brinkman Adventures to others. Definitely check out the whole all of the seasons on Brinkman's website.  

To read more reviews click here.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

CTCMath ~ A Review

My 4th grader has been working on CTCMath over the past weeks using their Single Membership subscription. Right now homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 months free through November 15, 2017. You can also get a free trial. CTCMath is an online Math curriculum for grades K-12. CTCMath is a full curriculum but beyond 8th grade it is recommended that it be a supplemental curriculum. The program runs on all modern HTML5 platforms, including iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones, and Android devices.

So how does CTCMath work? Each lesson tutorial is about 4-9 minutes in length. Lower grades are on the shorter end. Concepts are taught step-by-step. As the instructor teaches the math concept is displayed on the screen. 

After the tutorial students are then directed to go onto the interactive questions. The student inputs the answers to the questions and if the question is answered correctly they will get a green checkmark. If the answer is incorrect they will receive a red x with the correct answer written off to the side. The program automatically keeps track of your students progress. If your child does not receive a high enough grade they will be asked to repeat the lesson before advancing to the next lesson. For those that prefer working with a worksheet, no problem. You can print out the lesson, work through the problems, and then input your answers. CTCMath also offers students one page summaries of the lesson tutorial that can be printed out. This is a great option for students who may want to keep a binder of the lessons to refer back to. After a lesson is fully completed students can print out an answer solution page. This is simply every problem that was in the lesson worked out with the answer. 

A progress page displays your child's lessons, attempts for each lesson, lesson grade, and date completed. 

Students receive certificates of completion. 

My daughter working through some of the long multiplication problems. 

My 4th grader is really enjoying CTCMath. We have a really solid math curriculum that we already use and like. I intended to use this more as a supplement but my daughter is really embracing the program. She HATES math and actually looks forward to doing math. I never thought I would be saying those words! I have decided to let her use CTCMath until Christmas and then reevaluate where she is in comparison to where she would have been in her other curriculum and decided what we will do in 2018. I will definitely continue to use it whether as a full curriculum for as a supplement. 

I would definitely recommend CTCMath to others. Over my 18 years of homeschooling I have used many math curriculums both book, online, and CD and I can definitely say that I am not a fan of many of the most popular ones on the market. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Super Teacher Worksheets ~ A Review

Super Teacher Worksheets is an amazing online resource treasure trove of educational materials for educators and parents. An Individual Membership can be purchased for $19.95 and allows unlimited access for an individual user. 

As educators, we sometimes find that our students need extra practice in order to master specific skills. Other times, we need worksheets to help fill in the gap where our curriculum may lack a bit. Or maybe, like my children, they just like worksheets. Sounds strange, right? In their words, "Worksheets are fun". I still haven't figured out how worksheets are different than their normal schoolwork, but I am not questioning or complaining. I usually try to fish around for the "fun" ones first and then mix in more needed ones as I see fit. You would be surprised at how even "fun" worksheets according to kids truly are learning worksheets. 

Super Teacher Worksheets has worksheets in the following categories:

  • Math
  • Reading & Writing
  • Phonics & Early Literacy
  • Handwriting
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Chapter Books
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Holidays
  • Puzzles & Brain Teasers
  • Teacher Helpers
  • Pre-K & Kindergarden
  • Worksheet Generator

With Fall finally here we decided to dig into the Fall, Halloween, Autumn, and Thanksgiving Worksheets. Isn't this "Fall is Here" crown the cutest thing ever!

What would Fall be without a scarecrow. 

Even though Thanksgiving is over a month away it is never to early to do a crossword, right?

It took multiple attempts at this graphing activity but my daughter FINALLY accomplished the desired result, a happy JACK-O-LANTERN! She was so excited to do this activity. She had never graphed before. Her first attempt was a mess of lines. I sat with her again and showed her again how to do it. She was mixing up the "x" and "y" axes. In the end, success!

Taken from the Reading Comprehension section, "America's National Bird: Eagle or Turkey?" was a one page write up followed by two pages of follow up. One page has statements and the student has to answer whether the statement is either fact or opinion. There are a couple of short answer questions and one multiple choice question. Another fun activity was called "Letter Mix-Up" where the student cut out the letter that spelled the word THANKSGIVING. They had to come up with as many 3 letter, 4 letter, and 5+ letter words as they could.  

This fun little turkey came as a template (feathers and body). The kiddos color the feathers and the turkey and then put him together. I used tape because it is fast, easy, and less mess. 

An Indian headpiece. 

I did find a great section of cursive writing worksheets that I will be using with my 4th grader. There are these full alphabet sheets as well as worksheets that are focused on single letters too. 

My 4th and 6th grader had fun doing a competition round of who could come up with the answer faster with this States and Capitals Quiz. I would say the questions out loud or write clues on a board. They had so much fun. Great way to learn! 

I would definitely recommend Super Teacher Worksheets to others. It is a great online resource for worksheets. Whether you looking for a specific subject and concept that your child is struggling with or you just need something to help keep your kiddo busy look no further. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for you can create your own worksheet via the worksheet generator. Super Teacher Worksheets will also save your content in a section called "My File Cabinet" so that you can easily access your material when you need it again. Definitely go check out the site for yourself. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dallas Children's Theater


My kiddos and I had the opportunity to see Goosebumps at Dallas Children's Theater yesterday afternoon. We always enjoy each and every performance that DCT performs. This one did not disappoint. The singing and the acting was captivating and performed. Unlike me, my kiddos already had the phantom already figured out.

The set was simple yet perfect. Lighting and smoke added an extra feel of eerie. Transitions were flawless. I loved how they utilized the space within the audience. It is always fun how the characters come out and meet the kiddos afterwards to take pictures and sign programs.

The music that DCT comes up with for their musical's are catchy and infectious. We all loved the music that they came up with for this performance. It was awesome!!

Thank you DCT for yet another wonderful production!!!!