Thursday, October 27, 2011

A surprise

Kylie has been sick all month. Her coughing finally got so bad that I took her into the doctors. Sam's leg has been hurting. So much that he's had difficulty sleeping. I took him into the doctors at the same time. Kylie's lungs and heart were listened to. They sound clear, though she has terrible bronchitis. It's viral-not so much a surprise.
Sam got an x-ray on his leg-we'll know tomorrow if it's anything but while he was with the doctor he coughed. The Dr. decided to listen to his lungs again and again and again. He then pronounced that Sam has pneumonia. We could get an x-ray to confirm but the boy has pneumonia BAD. That was a surprise!

I just got a free trial of Netflix. I have it streaming over the Wii. I could really use another Wii or xbox 360 so each sick kid can have control over netflix. I tell you, Kylie has no interest in watching 360 episodes of Power Rangers and Sam has no interest in watching Dr. Who from the beginning! Does anyone want to lend one of these out for a week? But not the Montano's because somehow I can never return things to them in a timely manner. It's terrible I tell you! Terrible! but to show how great they are, they still call us friends! Though they should never lend us anything again ;)

Some of my favorite learning sites

Because I homeschool all 5 children, I am familiar with ALOT of different educational programs. I thought I'd share what is being used in the house this year and what I absolutely love...
is participating in an online high school through K12. I've used K12 for many different grades. It is challenging, engaging, easy to use though time consuming and most of my children have had success using it. Kylie is taking Comprehensive Biology, Honors English, Computer Literacy and Modern World History through K12.

Math: Algebra II through Thinkwell. Thinkwell is by far my favorite online math program. If you have anyone that struggles with math or needs to be challenged check it out. It goes from 6th grade up through college level

Foreign Language: Spanish via Rosetta Stone online. It's a good year for her.

Online high school through K12. She is taking Physical Science, Computer Literacy, Literary Analysis and Comprehension, Modern World History.
Her math is through Thinkwell and Spanish through Rosetta Stone. A very similar schedule to Kylies.

Math: Mathwhizz This is an online math program that is constantly testing, teaching, re-teaching until mastery is achieved. Lilly really likes it. You can get a free trial to the program. It covers K-8th grade. It is for kids who have difficulty in math or are missing chunks. I like it because Lilly likes it :)

Reading: Ticket to Read I can not say enough about this site. It's super cheap-I think $30 for the year. It covers reading speed, comprehension, vocabulary etc. It's fast, engaging and has made a huge difference. For 3rd grade on up. AMAZING!!!!!!!

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone-Swedish

Science: Supercharged Science is a full and engaging online science curriculum. The experiments are fantastic and WORK. It is laid out in an incredibly easy way to use. Works from K-12th grade. I can't say enough about how great and impressive the experiments are. You can sign up for a 1 month trial for $1. It's how we got hooked :)

Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing. aka IEW. (not an online program) I'm a HUGE fan of this curriculum. It teaches every aspect of writing in a fun, engaging way. You watch a video lecture by Andrew Pudewa (who is really funny to my kids) and then you have assignments that take up the rest of the week. I've learned so much. My kids have learned even more. It's worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY in my book.

Spelling: All about Spelling. (not an online program) Did you know that Y makes 4 different sounds? Can you name them? I could name 3 quite easily but it wasn't until I started teaching spelling using this curriculum that I learned the 4th plus so many other amazing things. If you have a kid doesn't retain spelling through rote memorization then teach them the rules and principles. I really like this program

Art: online drawing program Mark Kistler. You can do lots of lessons for free at the site. When you get ready to buy, buy it through Homeschool Buyers Co-op

Math: Khan Academy (which is free-really! check it out) and TenMarks. Sam is really quick in math so I'm always needing to find ways that he can work ahead and at his pace. Both of these sites allow for that. Khan Academy is just fun for him to see how many of the subjects he has mastered. TenMarks moves quickly, methodically, teaches well via video and we like it. It's reasonably priced which makes ma happy.

Reading: Ticket to Read (see above recommendation)

Spelling: All about Spelling

Writing: Institute for Excellence in Writing (aka IEW)

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears This is the only program I use for teaching handwriting. It's efficient, logical, no-nonsense, easy to learn and memorable. It teaches through first time printing through cursive. Love it!

Explode the Code. My kids do explode the code from level 1 through level 8. It reinforces and teaches handwriting, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension etc. They do a lesson per day. It makes me happy and gets in extra practice in those tough to learn skills that need to be developed through repetition and work.

Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone French

Science: Supercharged Science

History: BrainPOP Sam can spend hours on this site watching animated movies about almost anything you can think of -History, Science, Math, Language Arts etc. He is a fact quoting machine partly due to this site. He loves it and chooses to go on it even when it's not school hours. A mothers dream :)

Math: Destination Math. This is an online program that I found via Homeschool Buyers Co-op (it's where I do most of my online purchasing because it is so much cheaper) You can get a free 1 month trial through the co-op. It aligns with Saxon math. Sarah really likes it and spends quite a bit of free time using it.

Reading: Reading Eggs. This is THE GREATEST SITE OF ALL TIME! Did you hear me? THE GREATEST SITE OF ALL TIME!!!! It is fun, engaging and the kids LEARN! You can sign up for a free trial. I dare you to! You will then buy a 1 year subscription to it. It is worth far more than what they charge. Right now it is for K-3rd grade. It offers phonics lessons in a very logical order. Spelling tests, Writing contests etc. They are expanding their website in November to take their curriculum up through 7th grade. I can hardly wait! If you do nothing else, go check out Reading Eggs. (I'm talking to you Kristin ;)

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears, Explode the Code level A B C

Phonics/Spelling: All About Spelling and a lot of lapbooks made using Homeschool Share
Lapbooks are one of the best ways to teach and engage children. It incorporates writing, cutting, coloring, math, critical thinking and great literature. All great combinations. (Kristin you would LOOOVE lapbooking )

In our home, we do a lot of art projects, a ton of reading aloud (I am currently reading The Lost Hero aloud to the kids during our lunch hour) Sam reads aloud everyday to me. I read aloud to Sarah every day. Paige, Lilly and Kylie all read to themselves daily.
We also cook and bake A LOT! Here is the list of baking from this week alone:
Cinnamon Rolls
Cheesy bread knots
Cinnamon rolls
Owl cupcakes
rice pudding
We clearly bake a lot of bread items...but I have 5 kids home all day-they have to eat something ;)

So favorite things in no particular order:
Online programs and resources:

Homeschool Buyers Co-op
Thinkwell Math
Khan Academy
Reading Eggs
Ticket to Read
Homeschool Share
Supercharged Science

In your lap programs:
All about Spelling
Explode the Code

Thanks for letting me share and for those with kids under 7, to check out Reading Eggs now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

How does a year fly by so quickly?

Here is our family status/updates:
Steve graduated in June with his Masters degree from Seattle Pacific University. We are very proud of him and glad we got through that 3 year stint of no hubby or dad on many nights :)

I had the craziest summer ever and am still trying to recover-way too much volunteer work and not enough family time. I just got back from a General Conference Trip with Lilly-it was such a lovely time. Lilly is a lovely, lovely girl!

Kylie is doing online High School and is loving it! She is a Sophomore It's good to have her home with us this year. Kylie is also writing songs and is fiercely good!

Paige is also doing online High School this year. We moved her up a year and she is all of a sudden a freshman in high school. Craazy! She loves early morning seminary. She has been running cross country for Jackson HS and has done great. Paige is a gifted pianist who can play anything you can hum. She can be found at the piano playing and singing constantly.

Lilly is homeschooled-7th grade. She and I were in Utah for a several days for General Conference. We attended 3 sessions. She got autographs of John Bytheway and the actor who played Levi Savage in the 17 miracles DVD. She also got to steal her best friend Elana for a couple of days and we headed down to Moab to Arches. We hiked to Delicate Arch. Amazing!!!

Sam is homeschooled-4th grade. What a kid! Smart, insightful, creative, imagination like you can't believe and a little charmer. His Little League team won the division championship this year (his dad is the coach). It was a really exciting time. Their record was 18-1-1. Championship game? We stomped :)

Sarah is homeschooled-Kindergarten. She is funny, smart, a good friend and the big news is she taught herself how to ride a bike! (Holly Moore gave her a 5 min. tutorial using a magic bike and Sarah was riding on her own 2 hours later-no joke!)

So since last year things I would like to remember and sometime document?
Funeral of Barbara B. Smith and children meeting the prophet
Halloween dinner
Thanksgiving and reuniting with Andrew-a truly miraculous time in our lives
Harry Potter in the snow and the adventure getting back home from Seattle alive ;)
Singing in the Forgotten Carols
Christmas Eve-new candles, friends and chimes
Building a bed for Kylie's Christmas present
Glass Blowing Studio field trip
Paige's diagnosis of a bone tumor and all of the difficulties, tender mercies and soul changing effects this is still having on us
Trek Choir!!!!!!! Come thou Fount, How Firm a Foundation-I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be able to direct those great kids.
Birth of Isa ( I acted as the doula for my sisters natural childbirth-it was awesome)
Chisholm intervention
Lilly graduating from Primary and entering Young Womens
Baptisms for the Dead with all 3 daughters in the SL Temple
Andrew and Karens wedding

Things like this! Whew! Posted before the year mark...way to go me :)