October 31, 2014

Family Halloween Party

We don't celebrate with trick or treating on the 31st. We have kids with food allergies and they can't eat 99% of the candy that people would toss into their little bags. Plus, who really needs that much junk? Your kids eat it and then they bounce off the walls for a week before crashing into a cranky zombie-like state. Or, you try to hide most of it from your kids. You tell yourself that you'll throw it away but you end up eating it yourself. M&M's and Twix are my utter downfall. Snickers is my husband's kryptonite.

We have started a new family tradition of having a family fun night. We play games, eat a fun dinner, make crafts, and decorate our own desserts. It's now a much-anticipated holiday and the kids look forward to our fun adventures for weeks.

Here is our plan for this year's party:

Do you have any plans for the holiday?

October 30, 2014

{Review} Word Up! from Compass Classroom

We've been using Visual Latin in our homeschool - which we love by the way. Then we were given the chance to review a new program from Compass Classroom called Word Up! The Vocab Show.

What is it?
Compass Classroom is a film company that produces educational materials in a visual format. They have products for history, Latin, economics, poetry, as well as other subjects. Their newest project is a vocabulary show that teaches words from their Greek and Latin roots.

Word Up! is a vocabulary show hosted by Dwane Thomas (who also hosts Visual Latin). In this program he stars in the role of Greek guy, Latin guy, and game show host (with different outfits of course). He introduces one Latin root word and then introduces multiple words that are derived from that root. There are pictures in the background to illustrate each word. Then he switches into his role as the Greek guy and introduces the Greek root word (that has the same definition) as well as words that use the Greek root.

There are 10 total episodes with each episode being about 12-15 minutes in length. Each episode contains 1 Greek root word and 1 Latin root word - each meaning roughly the same. Then there are multiple words derived from those root words that are introduced and defined.

The 10 episodes are listed below:
  1. Water - Aqua & Hydra
  2. Write - Scribo & Grapho
  3. Earth - Terra & Geo
  4. Many - Multus & Poly
  5. Place - Ponere & Thesis
  6. Time - Tempus & Chronos
  7. Good - Bonus & Eu
  8. See - Video & Skopeo
  9. Throw - Iacere & Ballein
  10. City - Urbs & Polis
Word Up! was created for kids ages 10 and older.

The program also contains links to Quizlet to practice the words and definitions for further study.

How did we use it?
None of my kids are quite 10. In fact, my oldest is about to turn 9. However, we were still excited to try this program. We watched the videos together during lunch or dinner. I had a captive audience around the table and I got to enjoy the videos as well.

We watched the videos many times each so that we could remember more and more vocabulary words after each time. I would try to sprinkle the words throughout the day and point them out when we saw them in our school work or one of our read alouds. 

What did we think?
It's educational and also enjoyable. Actually it's often downright hilarious in a corny sort of way. Some of the jokes were over the heads of my kids, but I definitely got them. They didn't always know why I was chuckling as they watched the show.

While some of my kids are below the target age for this program, they still enjoyed watching it. My 3-year-old would ask every day if they were watching that "Thomas show." She remembered that the host's name is Dwane Thomas so she now calls the show by his last name.

My kids began to apply what they learned through this program during our school time. They've busted out some big words as we've studied together. We've even encountered some of the vocabulary words during our school studies or reading time. Each time my kids scream out, I know that word! And yes, they definitely do!

I learned etymology when I was in school in late elementary. I've always wanted to introduce my kids to the study of Greek and Latin root words but have not yet had time to fit it into our schedule. Using Word Up! made our vocabulary study fun and effortless. It was a time of learning for the whole family as we watched together. 

My wrap up!
Love this program - just as we loved the Latin program! It is hilarious for both kids and parents and it is packed with information about Greek and Latin roots. We learned so much from watching the program.

I'm just waiting to see what Compass Classroom produces next. I'm sure I'll have to buy it for our homeschool.

More thoughts.....
The DVD can be purchased for $9.99 or downloaded for the same price. 

October 27, 2014

Homeschool Super Mom

The Homeschool Super Mom does not exist.  She is a mythical creature that is the embodiment of perfection.  If she were real what would she look like?

Here is the make-up of the Homeschool Super Mom:

  • She can exhibit patience in every situation, even when lunch burns, the toddler cries, and everyone is arguing.
  • She can talk softly even though all children are screaming and defiant.
  • She always corrects her children's behavior calmly.
  • She can creatively come up with discipline solutions to every act of disobedience. 
  • She can cheerfully change a diaper, do the dishes, and fold the laundry even though it's past midnight.
  • She makes a nutritious breakfast and lunch every single day.
  • She also has a fridge and pantry full of healthy snacks.
  • She never uses the TV or a movie to entertain her children when she's tired.
  • She doesn't need to rest or even sleep.
  • She does not sigh or grit her teeth when her child sounds out the same word for the 10th time.
  • She does not get confused by math, ever.
  • She can make every science experiment work correctly the first time.
  • She is never tired of reading aloud.
  • She can patiently pause for every interruption during her school day and then easily resume the lesson.
  • She is a master artist.
  • She can play every instrument.
  • She comes up with a creative art project for every day.
  • She creates her own curricula entirely.
  • She writes detailed lesson plans daily and accomplishes everything on her plan.
  • She loves messy crafts.
  • She bakes with her kids every day.
  • She tries a new project from Pinterest every day and they all turn out beautifully.
  • She creates a new history project every day and reenacts the time period with her kids. 
  • She plans and coordinates a new field trip every week and prepares educational worksheets to compliment each trip.
  • She wears a different (and clean) outfit every day of the week (and pj's do not count).
  • She wakes up every morning overjoyed to spend time with her children. 
  • She greets her hubby with a kiss each evening, a spotless house, clean and cheerful children, and dinner on the table. 
  • She is the sympathetic listening ear to all of her friends who have not yet achieved super mom status.
  • She blogs about her super, perfect homeschool life and is the source of inspiration to every homeschool mom. 

She teaches faster than a child can say, "No!"
Her inspiration is more powerful than a strong-willed toddler.
She is able to leap over piles of laundry and a mountain of excuses.

It's a teacher; it's a mom; it's homeschool supermom!

Hip Homeschool Moms

October 24, 2014

Verse for the Year 2014-2015

I'm blessed to be in a Bible study this fall and we're covering 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. It is absolutely wonderful and even though I'm drop-dead exhausted at the end of every day, I make time to work on my study even if that means I do all of it on the weekends. It is so worth it to me!

That said, I found a new favorite verse in 1 Thessalonians and I've decided it will be my verse for the school year. I'm posting it on the walls so I can see it as a continual reminder of my goal and aim this year.

1 Thessalonians 1:3
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • This homeschool thing is a work of faith. It's terrifying to think that I am responsible for the lives and education of my 5 little people. I'm stepping out in faith and choosing to homeschool because we believe that it is our current calling upon our family. But it's work, oh is it a lot of work!

  • Home educating your children is a labor of love. Many days I don't love it but I love my children and that is what prompts me to continue. I need this reminder that the motivating factor is love. I want to show that love to my children and live out that love as a continual reminder of God's love for them.

  • Homeschooling is an act of endurance. How many times have I wanted to give up? Many! And we're only up to 3rd grade right now. I have to persevere because I have hope that God will work through me.  I have hope that my children will grow into the people that God has called them to be. I have hope that God is guiding our future.

This verse reminds me of the 3 things that will be remembered about me-my faith in Christ, my love toward others, and an endurance of hope. 

Hip Homeschool Moms

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