Wednesday, December 7, 2016

One and done

Just like that, Asher turned one on November 16th. Yes, this post is late- but better late than never! Here's the traditional birthday video below, I can hardly believe a year has past.  It seems like just yesterday he was cuddled under last year's Christmas tree.
As I reflect on this past year with this third boy of ours, I have nothing but abundant thanks for every precious day passed. It's true you know, the more babies you have the more you realize that they don't keep! I can say without regret that I have truly hugged this babe tight and savored up every chunky bit of him.
At one year old, Asher Elliot is silly, thoughtful, content and loved. He is a people person and has the BEST smile. His disposition is somewhat serious and laid back most of the time(thank God for an easy baby!) and that makes his dimples all the deeper when he smiles and laughs.

His favorite food is anything cold and sweet, most recently a vanilla frosty from Wendy's. While he isn't as into the television, he does love Elmo and has started to become interested in turning the pages of his board books. Other favorite interests include bathtime and any kind of ball. More than anything though, he loves and is adored by his brothers. Nothing beats spending time with the big boys-little do they know they are all each other's best gift!

We are so thankful for you sweet Smash, happiest birthday love!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Once-a-Week Unit Studies by Homeschool Legacy

If you are a fan of unit studies, you will love using the historically rich and engaging Once-a-Week Micro-Studies from Homeschool Legacy. These compact unit studies are so easy to sprinkle on top your regular homeschool routine, and really help to bring history to life. 
The Once-a-Week Unit studies are very low maintenance and yet so much fun to incorporate into your homeschool day. I love that they are intended for the whole family to enjoy together with great read aloud suggestions and user friendly activities. Whenever I come across materials that embody the whole idea of the "one room schoolhouse" I wholeheartedly embrace it-Homeschool Legacy offers just that. The Unit Studies are designed for 2nd through 12th grade and to be used-you guessed it-just once a week! Similarly, the Once-a-Week Microstudies are geared towards 1st thru 8th graders, to be used in 3 separate 30 minute lesson times. 

Since we love learning about the presidents, my boys were excited to review the Once-a-Week Microstudy "Cooking Up History with the Founding Presidents." Who knew that Thomas Jefferson helped introduce french fries and creme brûlée to America? Thank you Mr. President, much appreciated!
This interesting study on our founding fathers came in a 21 page downloadable packet, and covered cooking through the lens of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. We especially enjoying baking up a delicious cherry pie in honor of George and Martha Washington! Cooking is a great hands on activity that you can do while talking about history. In my experience it's always a plus to give my boys something productive to do with their hands as they hear-helps to focus that fidgeting!

Aside from favorite foods, this unit study also did a great job providing a biographical sketch of each president, included links to videos, explanation of language words, and other fun facts.
I also have to note that these "grab and go" easy downloads come at a great value. The Once-A-Week Micro Study we reviewed is only $12 and is available in paperback OR conveniently as a digital download. Other titles in the Unit Study series include:
  • Christmas Comes to America
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Knights and Nobles
  • Lewis and Clark-from Sea to Shining Sea
  • Victoria and her World
...and so much more! You can get ready for Thanksgiving by adding the Once-A-Week Microstudy "Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims" by Homeschool Legacy to your schedule!

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Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The State Fair 2016

The sights, the sounds, the smells...nothing comes close to the NC state fair! A hallmark of Fall, we were all excited to go to the fair this year and eat our share of kettle corn and cotton candy. As usual, it was an experience.

Over the years we've built up our own tricks and trades of the infamous North Carolina state fair. We know where we park, have our favorite fried foodie stands, and by now have developed our own family fair route of sorts. To avoid the crazy crowds, we go during the week and midday. However, as much planning you can put into a traditional outing like this, there are some things you just can't control and don't plan for. This year, it was the near 90 degree weather in October. And so, we took home pink faces for souvenirs!
Asher's first fair!
...because it's tradition.

Future pilot?? I wonder...
Mother Nature was a new addition this year
In ride news, the boys rode their first roller coaster this year. Chris said they were probably the most terrified pair on that kiddie coaster, which made their reward all the sweeter. If asked they will say that was their favorite part of the fair, and that it was "SO COOL!!!!!"
The carousel will always be my favorite ride.
 Last but not least, our traditional family photo at the hush puppy mill. We started taking this picture over 9 years ago on one of our first dates to the fair. Suffice it to say, it has changed a lot!

Another fair in the year we will not miss the ribbon fries or pig races. Always something to look forward to. :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service, a Review

Educeri.....Educeri a division of DATAworks offers lessons for grades k-12 in a wide variety of subjects available with the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. For those multi sensory learners out there, using a tool like this helps to reinforce and explore concepts in a new way.
Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
There are over 1000 ready to teach lessons available with the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. As an example of the variety provided, here is a screen shot of a simple search I put in customized to our homeschool. That is, first grade + language arts. 
As a mom to a first grader, I loved that the lessons are very colorful and utilize fun characters and bold prints to visually engage the student with whatever concept he/she is working with. 
Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
Organized by grade level and subject, lessons are easily navigated by teacher and students alike.  Also, each lesson comes with an easy to download handout to print for extra practice. This is a huge bonus for those of us who are more tactile learners, and can be helpful for the younger ones who aren't using the computer as fluently. 
Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
Most lessons are presented in what I would refer to as "slideshow" style, and are very colorful. While there is no audio provided, the concepts are easily laid out for the teacher to dictate. If your child is older and reading fluently on his own, the lack of sound is probably less of an issue. Here is a screenshot below of an example of a slide in the "Blending Sounds" lesson. You can see that the dictation style makes it easy to clearly communicate the concept with your student. 
Overall I did enjoy using Educeri and would recommend it as a reliable resource to have at your fingertips when you need to fill in a quick lesson plan. The variety of subjects offered over all grade levels and easy at home or on the go access-plus printable materials- makes this a great homeschool tool.
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Twitter:   @educeri
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Educeri Lesson Subscription Service