9.22.2016

KidsEmail.org ~ REVIEW



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Do you have a separate Email Account for your Kiddos?  I mean their just Kids....I didn't get an Email until I was 22 years old.....wow have the times changed.  Kaden was 6 when he opened an account, but he never checked it, it was basically for log in purposes for games on his tablet.  But, now at 9 he accesses it pretty often and many times honestly I'm not there.  And without my watchful eye I worry.  Just the other day he asked me what Sexy meant?  Where did he see this word?  An add popped up on the side bar.  Yes, it provided a moment for me to educate my Son and to talk about a topic I was hoping we could wait a few years before addressing.  Thankfully his innocence only took a few minutes to smooth over until he was back doing what he was doing.  But, in time 2+2 will add up and he will have many more questions.  When I heard about KidsEmail.org I was wide eyed and bushy tailed!  We were Blessed with an Annual Subscription from them in exchange for my Review of my experience.  YAY!!
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This service is geared toward younger children which was perfect for 9 year old Kaden, but they also have an older Kid option that gives a more grown up look.  I decided to have Mahala use the older option since she is 16, almost 30....hahahaha! :)  The set up and log in was very easy and fast.  I was super impressed with the ease and organization.  Nothing stinks more then being excited to set something up and realizing you need a special college course just to set it up, let alone use it.  I will be honest Mahala wasn't really on board with the whole thing....she felt like it was too juvenile.  Note to self...Maybe I shouldn't have sprung this on her while I was surfing through the younger Kiddo set up.....picture Below!
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Not Mahala's Thing!

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More Mahala's Thing!!!!
Kaden, was much easier...he didn't really care he just needed to make his deals on a few games.  Unfortunately, he has been on some of these games for a few years and we had to send in written requests to get his email changed.  We haven't heard back from them yet.  So, we have not been able to swap his game emails over to this new account.  But, as a personal email to communicate with his cousins and Aunt this works perfectly.  He uses it like I use my phone to text.  I didn't let him do that before because I was worried about what would pop up.  

So, what exactly can we do with this service to provide safety to our Kiddos.  You can control who your Kids can send to or receive an email from.  You can control who is on their contact list....all of these things are able to be customized, for Kaden he has a set 5 people.  But Mahala I have allowed this to be done with her and she can add anyone.  I feel comfortable with that because I get a copy email of all incoming mail.  You also can decide if pictures, attachments and links are ok to receive and or send.  This was when I did a Happy dance.....I mean can I get my own account PLEASE??? 
I'm not done yet...my Favorites are coming up.  You can have commonly known Bad Words taken out, place a tag line at the bottom of all communications so that the recipient has no excuse to not know your Kiddo is in fact just that a Kiddo!!!  And probably one of Mahala's Favorite options is you can have a Special notification set up to be sent to all Senders that their email is delayed at the moment pending on parental approval.  Yes, Mahala Loves this, because she doesn't want to deal with creeps.  She's a Teen, but knows as her Parents we have her best interest at heart.  The Notification looks kind of like this.... 
Dear bugmenot@hello.com,

MyDaughter@kidsemail.org is only allowed to receive email from approved senders. This means that your email to MyDaughter@kidsemail.org will be delayed until the parent of this child reviews and approves the message. There is no guarantee that your message will be delivered to its intended recipient

Can we all just sit back and Smile a little here!!! :)

There are many other options too, You can ground your child from using their email by putting a lock on it.  I'm assuming this would be great as an incentive to a Teen.  We have not had to use that, but it is available, along with a time frame.  I wish Social Media came with a shut off timer. :)  You can modify the look, so your Kiddo has several styles and colors to choose from and they can totally make it their own.

So, what did we think about the Annual Subscription?  I Love it and so do the Kids....especially Mahala who wasn't on board at first.  But, from her mouth she said I am happy to not have to see or worry about seeing anything surprising.  Kaden, is like whatever...he just knows that Momma has his Best interest at heart and that's all that matters to him.  And That's good enough for me.  I think it's worth it to have your Kids step out into this world slowly with the comfort of having someone there giving some protection as they slowly grow into responsible young adults.
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Check out what's new over at KidsEmail.org with Social Media today!!

Crew Disclaimer
KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription

9.20.2016

Eat Like a Camper



I get asked frequently how in the world do I cook while on the road and stick to all our dietary needs!?!?!  Well, the answer is....I don't!  I decided when we were going to take this little adventure that somethings were going to need to be tweeked and some where going to get tossed right out the window.  And you know what?  Nobody has died yet!  There are several things that we wouldn't give up or tweek like daily vitamins and essential oil routines.  Water only has been mixed with a few rootbeers and gatorades.  We have had not a drop of milk and only dairy free cheese.....but our lips have touched real icecream.  Veggies have come strait from a dag and we have even bought bagles and bread.  I figure it's a rhythum in our lives right now and I decided to go with it and as long as we are semi happy then that's good enough for me.  One thing I'm proud of is I can say we are still Big Yellow Arch FREE....4+ years still, I can almost count on both hands how many times we ate outside of the campground on this 9 week journey.....not counting the week Skylar and Leslie flew out and met us. 

Normally, on days we are driving inbetween campsite...like if we are dry camping or waking up early to drive 6 hours to our next destination; we will pull out the blender or as healthy of a muffin I can find.  I also, use premade breakfast sandwiches from time to time.  But, nothing beats eggs and sausage cooked outside with a nice hot cup of joe in your hands.  This is what we eat most days or an omelet.  
Lunch is always leftovers, salads or now sandwiches.  We have been staying away from bread for a loooooong time.  But, this trip we have had to modify that and we tend to do helf sandwiches, meat and cheese roll ups or salads.  Most of the time the bread is not finished on mine and Kaden's plate and we are the ones who need to stay away from it.  Both Kaden and I will have our hot dogs and burgers bun-less though....some things have not changed.  I love to cut up melons, grapes and apples and stir in a little lemon and some orange slices.....toss it all in little ziplock bags and when we hike, go to the pool or for a quick snack we just grab a few of them.


Dinners we tend to grill up a ton of seasoned chicken breasts once a week, grill a few burgers and hotdogs and throw meat in the instapot for stews or pulled pork sandwiches.  These are divided out over quinoa, salad, steamed veggies and a few times we have had GF noodles.  We aren't super exciting....but it keeps my kid's bellies filled, warm and happy......also the bonus of finding a fantastic ice cream brand that we can't get back at home so we have been splurging BIG time!
Time to wash up some dishes....till next time!
 

9.17.2016

Teaching Your Kiddos While Your On The Road

We took a nature hike today and I was impressed how eager Kaden was to get out and explore.  Mahala on the other hand was fine doing book work in the air conditioned RV.  Our plan is to do an hour of book work a day while we are on our trip.  The important thing for me is to remind myself we are not just camping.  We are trying full-time on to see how it feels.  Will it work for our Family?  I most definitely could continue full time in this RV from here on out.  But, will it be right for us at this point?  Is it going to work with Kaden?  How will we work and make money?  What about Dr.'s appointments and therapy?  We have a lot to think about these next 2 months....and having a routine and sticking to it is crucial, especially with a child on the Spectrum.

Part of our routine is personal health, chores, Spiritual growth, exercise and learning.  Our kids read like it's their full time job.  In our RV right now we have over 100 books that we brought with us.  We are crazy readers, a few days a go we literally bought 3 additional books.  Not to mention I brought my Kindle with us too and I have 100's of books on there.  So, we get our reading done for sure.  I'll talk about all the things listed up there, but today I was going to talk about the learning on the road situation.


For this trip we brought a little something for every subject area.  Kaden only brought books for English along with his daily journal.  But, Mahala brought her complete English curriculum including Spelling and Vocabulary.  Every day they read and journal and then an hour of whatever book work they want to do.  While we are on the road driving we stop at least once at some sort of educational museum or monument.  While there we go around as a Family to look, read, explore and ask questions.  I want my kids to seek out education, not be hand feed a bunch of facts and dates only to recite them once or twice and then forget them.  We are a very hands on Family, we learn by experiencing and doing.  We take every opportunity we can.  Like the other day we ate on a Train that was converted into a diner.  While we were there we looked up the year of the train, where it's original routes were.  We talked about the different types of engines, who shoveled the coal, the cost of the 1st tickets, who traveled by train back then, who invented the train, train robberies, wild west transportation, the economy in the West, trading, the Indians......here comes lunch!  Our conversations grow and grow and I love when the kids bring up a place we have gone to or plan to see into our discussions.  It's by doing this that they retain what they are learning.....because it is important to them and has meaning.  Why?  Because it's learning with you, their Family! :)

Once we stop and get settled for at least a night the next day we grab a collecting box, Ziploc bag, binoculars, gloves, magnifying glasses and our notepad.  And we explore the area and find new things we have never seen before.  Kaden is such a black and white thinker, so it warms my soul when he picks up a rock or stick and tells me what it resembles or he drops off into imagination land for a minute and pretends he's a Pirate.  These moments come on strong, but fade too quickly and I feel Blessed to be able to be there when they happen.

Other ways we learn on the road is educational movies and shows, board/card games and the computer.  Kaden and Mahala both use sites like Khan Academy and several other programs that makes learning possible no matter where you are or what you want to learn about.  How do you school on the road or at home?  I would love to hear all about it! :)

9.15.2016

Help Teaching Pro Subscription ~ REVIEW


Like I have said a million times before I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of Homeschooling Momma and my Kiddos have become accustom to waking up to something new each day.  One of the pitfalls to that is maybe not always having a full days worth of material on hand or enough pieces to pull together a memorable unit study.  This especially happens when it comes to working with Kaden.  He is always exploring new ideas and investigating Historical people.....this keeps me on the look out all the time for what I can stash away or add onto something I have planned in the near future.  Right before we left on our RV trip I was Blessed to be able to have another round at Reviewing the Help Teaching Pro Subscription from HelpTeaching.com

9.12.2016

Finding Peace Amongst the Stucco


Being on this trip has opened my eyes to a lot!  Honestly, this should be a prerequisite in life....get an RV, some road maps, limited funds and see the country.  I think it's because we have soooo many distractions in the "real world".  We allow non-important things to take our focus away from what really matters the most.  For me that's trying to be better then I'm even capable of being..... expectations through the roof!  That's seeing my child with Autism as a round peg that I'm trying to squeeze into a neurotypical square hole.  That's me basing my Marriage on Ideals I've made up in my mind through dreams, shows, self-help books and once again the almighty expectations that I've glued my life together on.  
Living day to day in a 4,000 sq ft house in Suburbia where everything is manicured and everyone smiles makes a person look at themselves with criticism on their tongues, no matter how ridiculous it may be.  It's real, the need to be better...perfect...other then who you woke up as is strong.
Now, strip away the house, the Whole Foods, internet, nosy neighbors, to do lists, running water, reality tv and add an RV, some spotty cell phone reception, a generator, sunscreen, maps, Family and time.  This will give you a wake up call.   That first morning that we were on the road I woke up and thought....is this legal....can we just drive around and live out of this thing....are we qualified?????  Here we are week 5 and I'm more in-touch with who I am then ever before...sounds crazy I know.  But, I've lived a life of pleasing others and living up to unobtainable expectations.  Only recently through my Husband's addiction have I regain self worth and took my life back that I so freely gave away as a child. 

So, what does this look like?  For me it has given me Freedom to spend my day on my terms, for my benefit....not just the benefit of others.  I have reconnected with Nature....being Native American feels real to me now.  Used to it was just something I knew I was.  But, to walk where possibly your ancestors have walked and to be surrounded by untouched nature in the Smoky Mountains that once surrounded them brought it to life for me.  Being there aloud dots to be connected and peace filled me.  I live in an area where the support sticks are bigger then the actual trees.  I'm surrounded by stucco, roads, people and things to do next a mile long.  But, for me to truly Thrive and not just Live I need Nature, Peace and Solitude. 

Being on the road we would wake up each morning and look forward to where we were going, discovering places on the road and off the beaten path have been therapeutic and healing for my heart.  I'm sad that it will end soon.  I could spend the rest of my life doing this.  Hunting, Collecting and Creating Moments to share with my Family.  No more will I worry about what I don't have or what it may look like to others when Kaden is having a meltdown.  I will not get caught up in the act of rushing through my to do lists or sign up to be apart of every Bible study, book club or play date.  As long as the Lord has me in Suburbia I will be creating my own little piece of Nature and Solitude right there in the middle of all the crazy....

9.08.2016

CHSH Download Club ~ REVIEW

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2010 by Lynda Ackert, a Christian wife, mother and veteran educator of 20+ years. She began her career as a public school teacher and taught both in the states and overseas for the Department of  Defense before becoming a mother at the age of 33. It was at that time she began homeschooling. As part of her passion for teaching, she discovered her love for creating educational materials for teachers and homeschoolers and has chosen to give back to the educational community through her efforts to create and maintain this community. - See more at: http://www.christianhomeschoolhub.com/pt/About-CHSH/wiki.htm#sthash.ksmBJlDX.dpuf
2010 by Lynda Ackert, a Christian wife, mother and veteran educator of 20+ years. She began her career as a public school teacher and taught both in the states and overseas for the Department of  Defense before becoming a mother at the age of 33. It was at that time she began homeschooling. As part of her passion for teaching, she discovered her love for creating educational materials for teachers and homeschoolers and has chosen to give back to the educational community through her efforts to create and maintain this community. - See more at: http://www.christianhomeschoolhub.com/pt/About-CHSH/wiki.htm#sthash.ksmBJlDX.dpuf
So, this Summer we were preparing for our cross country trip and school kind of took a back burner.  We planned to school through the trip and keep up on our journals.  Looking at all the books we were planning to take was a tad overwhelming and I was worried about keeping up with it all.  Along came a golden opportunity....we were given an Annual Subscription to the CHSH Download Club to REVIEW from CHSH-Teach.com
Lynda Ackert created CHSH after more then 20 years of educating Kids in the States and Overseas.  Once she became a Mom she decided to Homeschool and found a Passion for creating Educational Materials for Teachers and Homeschoolers.  And I know I am Thankful she took a leap of Faith and started this Amazing Community that offers over 50,000 Educational Downloads for grades K-12.

9.07.2016

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ REVIEW

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We have been huge Apologia Educational Ministries fans for a long time now.  We love Science in this house and almost everything that comes with it...minus the messy clean up duty that generally follows every Science experiment we've ever tried.  But, it's ok, I enjoy learning and having fun right along side my Kiddos.  When Kaden was just 4 years old I ordered the complete Exploring Creation Series.  And he's been done with all of them for some time now.  When I heard that they were coming out with an Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition I was excited.  I was excited to see how they could possibly make it any better then what it already was.  The past several weeks I have had the opportunity to use and Review the Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition from Apologia Educational Ministries with Kaden.  The Author Jeanie Fulbright has worked with NASA Engineers to expanded the curriculum by including new Amazing full-color visually stimulating illustrations along with updates info that's transpired in the last 12 years.



It was late the night before we were supposed to leave on our cross country RV trip and Kaden noticed I had placed the New Astronomy Set in his Work box.  He was like what is this...I want to read it now.  I wanted to see if he noticed that it was the same thing he had done a few years back, just revised.  A few minutes in he looked up and and looked at the cover and then read some more.  When we were finished loading up the RV I sat down beside him and asked him about what he read and he chatted on and on about the first few chapters.  And like I predicted he did remember a lot of it and recognized it was similar to what he had learned before.  I told him about the Review and showed him everything that we received.....
Before we used the Jr. Notebooking Journal, so this time he was excited to be able to use the regular Notebooking Journal.  As he flipped through it he pointed out the differences between his finished Jr. Notebooking Journal and the new regular one.  He said it was better because it didn't have coloring pages.  He's not thrilled with coloring. :(  

So, let's see....how did we use this product?  We are on the road, so I had to be a little creative.  Normally I would start from the beginning and go straight through.  There is a wonderful schedule provided that we normally would go by.  But, for this time in our lives we need even more flexibility, so we skipped around depending on what was available and where we were.  Let me just say that most days Kaden listened to the Audio CD with no complaints and it was a lifesaver on days we were driving or busy.  Then we would pick out possible activities and he worked in his notebook a few days a week.

One of the things I liked the most is the color pages in the Notebooking Journals.  Wow, it really makes a difference....having full color on the pages is friendly and cheerful.  Before it was harder to get Kaden to complete the pages, but this one was no problem at all.  He was always willing to complete his work....that made me a happy camper, literally!!  The major thing that I like about using this curriculum is the way the information is presented.  They leave room for your child to be inspired and to go off on their own to create or explore their world for themselves.  Kaden used his legos to build many creations after reading about space rovers.  Listening to him talk about what he's learned while walking through Disney's Epcot last week assured me that this curriculum has all he needs to thrive and excel in Science.  

A Bonus I recently found out that just recently they released Astronomy 2nd Edition Science Kit.  This Kit gives you 62 amazing activities*****21 of them are exclusive to this Kit.  Your Kiddo will be able to take what they learned in the book and workbook to the next level....check it out, I'm ordering mine asap!

Would we use this again?  For sure, this will be our main Science this year until he finishes.  We have projects lined up for when we get home and his calendar for the year is marked and ready to go when we get back.  If you like a Godly World View curriculum this is your ticket to success!  If you like an independent program that allows some hands on this is for you....especially if you like a slightly relaxed schedule that doesn't require a ton of planning and organizing on your part.

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Be sure to pop over and see what Apologia Educational Ministries has going on through Social Media!!



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Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review

9.05.2016

Disney with Autism Post Coming Soon

Disney World was more then we could all handle.....it will be a LOOOOOONG time before we go back.  But, we do have a plan to go to Disney Land in the New Year.  We found many differences between the two parks as fare as having a child with Autism in your party.  I have lot's to say, some good and some not so good.  I just want to share my opinion, our experience.  We went to both Land and World this year and both experiences were highly different.  This will probably take a few posts, but, I just wanted to pop in while we are recuperating and let you know what I'm working on.  Kaden is alive and semi well, minus a nasty cold.....but, we barely escaped our Disney Vacation in one piece.  More to come on this subject as soon as I can. :)

8.31.2016

WAY Comes Home Kit ~ REVIEW




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For a few years now we have tried to change our lifestyle and become more aware of what goes both in and on our bodies.  Having a child with Autism creates dietary struggles and it effects the whole Family.  We have changed numerous things, but I don't want Kaden or anyone in the Family to think of it like we are doing without or they are missing something.  We try to include as much investigation as we can as a Family, like for over a year now we keep a loose food log.  Not for counting calories, but more for like a "Belly Check" to see how our bodies react to certain foods.  Since we have been more conscious of what we put in and on our bodies I was interested in adding Health and Wellness to our Homeschool.  I've done so with cooking classes, physical education and workbook programs.  I was excited to see a Review opportunity from HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company pop up.  Their WAY Comes Home Kit touched on all the things I was looking for in a Health program for our Family.http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/08%20-%20August/29%20-%20%20HomeSchool%20Scholastics/WAY-CH-Still-14_zps1uwetnd7.jpg
The WAY Comes Home Kit is specially made Health and Wellness program for Homeschoolers by Homeschoolers.  I found out that this program is very Hands On and there is totally something for every kind of learner.  The program comes with hands on activities, workbooks, videos and tools to use and really take what they learn and put it in action....not to mention it's all centered around a Christian perspective.  Kaden has enjoyed tying his daily Bible reading into many of the lessons we've done with this program. :)

When we opened our box when all our materials arrived it was like Christmas!  Kaden was so excited when he saw the Stethoscope....yes, a Stethoscope! :)  Here is a quick list of the goodies we Received for this Review.

*Parent Guide *3 Way Journals *My Plate Booklet *Cardstock Cutout Activities * HUGE MyPyramid for Kids Poster *Stethoscope *Scales with weights *Finger Printing Kit * DVD and even more Goodies to have Fun and Learn with the Whole Family! 

Once we organized all our essentials in a Rubbermaid for this program I decided to skim through the Parent Guide.  I was happy to see how clear and helpful it was.  Sometimes I feel the Teacher's or Parent's guides get the short end of the stick as far as the amount of effort that's put in creating it.  Not with WAY Comes Home Kit, the Parent Guide is colorful, easy to read and is filled with helpful hints, reminders and even Extras to do with your Kiddos on the weekends.  The Parent Prep was majorly helpful....especially right now as we are cruising on our RV trip and still happily doing our Health and Wellness Program with WAY Comes Home Kit.
I decided to have Kaden work through the program on average 3 days a week.  We used the WAY Me Mysteries that's geared for grades 2-3.  He really like detective work and observation and that's exactly how this portion is set up.  YAY us!  Right away it started him off walking.  We were about to start our cross country trip when we began this program.  I knew there was going to be a ton of walking so this was perfect.  He would grab Mahala or Dad and start walking, especially down by the lake.  Every single day, it was for school and our health he would say. :) Kaden's Favorite part was the exercise and dances from the DVD.  And he really enjoyed incorporating the Bible into his study with the Pray and Reflect section.  He also LOVED using the stethoscope and scale.  

My Favorite part of the Program was the WAY Comes Home to MYPlate.  We struggle with Kaden's eating, from what he can and will eat to when and how much.  A lot of the times his eating patterns are based on his Sensory needs....not a good thing.  With this Booklet I was able to gather the whole Family around the table and educate us all.  We Kind of did this our way and based it on our needs.  We decided 2 times a week we would spend time as a Family working through it.  The first week we talked about the old pyramid and how it's changed.  We also discussed dietary issues our Family faces.  Then we focused on Fruits along with Veggies the following week.  Afterwards we went through grains, but for our Family we really limit all grains so this took us off onto another path.  I appreciate that even though this is a planned organized program you can still customize it to fit your Family and their Needs.  Right now we are learning about Proteins and still need to cover oils and Dairy.  

So, what did I think?  I Loved this program and plan to continue using it.  The DVD was fantastic, not too silly that Kaden would lose interest....a major plus in my book.  It was easy to slip into our schedule even on the road.  I think any Family would benefit from using this program as a Family Project to get to know what your putting in your body without all the loaded down version in huge textbooks.  Just simple facts with hands on activities for the whole Family to improve their Health and get their Bodies moving!!!!
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Be sure to head on over with Social Media and see what's going on with HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company.
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WAY Comes Home Kit Review

8.17.2016

FlipStir Puzzles ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/08%20-%20August/17%20Enlivenze/FS2-SOLSYS_Main-cut_hr_zpsf5gimhde.jpgWe love games and puzzles in this house and we incorporate them in our daily homeschool when we can.  We had been planning our cross country RV trip for a long time now.  Even though we do bring multiple games with us we have not yet brought a puzzle along.  When I heard about FlipStir Puzzles from Enlivenze LLC.  I was intrigued by the name right off the bat.  I was offered the Solar System puzzle to try in exchange for a Review on it.  I thought wow, I have this cross country RV trip this would be perfect to take along with us!   And that's what we have done, here it sits in the cup holder of our RV and trust me it has come in handy more then once on our dusty trail cross country! :)

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/08%20-%20August/16%20-%20%20Foreign%20Languages%20for%20Kids%20by%20Kids/beginner-spanish-set2_zpsomki6k3q.jpgI know I have written many many times how I have tried to learn Spanish in college and along with the Kiddos during various Spanish Product Reviews.  I have yet to find something that broke down my language barrier, but the Kids have had a different experience when it comes to learning languages and I am thankful for that.  Recently we were given the opportunity to Review the Spanish Program Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids.

8.14.2016

Teaching Your Kiddos While Your On The Road

We took a nature hike today and I was impressed how eager Kaden was to get out and explore.  Mahala on the other hand was fine doing book work in the air conditioned RV.  Our plan is to do an hour of book work a day while we are on our trip.  The important thing for me is to remind myself we are not just camping.  We are trying full-time on to see how it feels.  Will it work for our Family?  I most definitely could continue full time in this RV from here on out.  But, will it be right for us at this point?  Is it going to work with Kaden?  How will we work and make money?  What about Dr.'s appointments and therapy?  We have a lot to think about these next 2 months....and having a routine and sticking to it is crucial, especially with a child on the Spectrum.

Part of our routine is personal health, chores, Spiritual growth, exercise and learning.  Our kids read like it's their full time job.  In our RV right now we have over 100 books that we brought with us.  We are crazy readers, a few days a go we literally bought 3 additional books.  Not to mention I brought my Kindle with us too and I have 100's of books on there.  So, we get our reading done for sure.  I'll talk about all the things listed up there, but today I was going to talk about the learning on the road situation.


For this trip we brought a little something for every subject area.  Kaden only brought books for English along with his daily journal.  But, Mahala brought her complete English curriculum including Spelling and Vocabulary.  Every day they read and journal and then an hour of whatever book work they want to do.  While we are on the road driving we stop at least once at some sort of educational museum or monument.  While there we go around as a Family to look, read, explore and ask questions.  I want my kids to seek out education, not be hand feed a bunch of facts and dates only to recite them once or twice and then forget them.  We are a very hands on Family, we learn by experiencing and doing.  We take every opportunity we can.  Like the other day we ate on a Train that was converted into a diner.  While we were there we looked up the year of the train, where it's original routes were.  We talked about the different types of engines, who shoveled the coal, the cost of the 1st tickets, who traveled by train back then, who invented the train, train robberies, wild west transportation, the economy in the West, trading, the Indians......here comes lunch!  Our conversations grow and grow and I love when the kids bring up a place we have gone to or plan to see into our discussions.  It's by doing this that they retain what they are learning.....because it is important to them and has meaning.  Why?  Because it's learning with you, their Family! :)

Once we stop and get settled for at least a night the next day we grab a collecting box, Ziploc bag, binoculars, gloves, magnifying glasses and our notepad.  And we explore the area and find new things we have never seen before.  Kaden is such a black and white thinker, so it warms my soul when he picks up a rock or stick and tells me what it resembles or he drops off into imagination land for a minute and pretends he's a Pirate.  These moments come on strong, but fade too quickly and I feel Blessed to be able to be there when they happen.

Other ways we learn on the road is educational movies and shows, board/card games and the computer.  Kaden and Mahala both use sites like Khan Academy and several other programs that makes learning possible no matter where you are or what you want to learn about.  How do you school on the road or at home?  I would love to hear all about it! :)

8.13.2016

We made it to Downtown Bentonville Arkansas

My Favorite Place so far has got to be Bentonville Arkansas!  It is so Beautiful and quaint....I picked up some real estate papers while we were out and about today.  It is a little humid and it would take some getting used to, but the greenery and people are just amazing.  I Love stepping into a town that makes you feel like you are already apart of it.  Open windows, freely given smiles and hellos....not to mention all the people out and about enjoying their town.  Such great vibes here, here is a little video of the town center!
video

8.12.2016

Dealing with Meltdowns in the RV

Dealing with the meltdowns.....
Wow have we had some doozies, we knew they would happen.  We just wasn't prepared for them to be so frequent.  Not only is he having his normal flares, but now he had new triggers.  These would include things like smells, new food, unfamiliar places, overly tired, overly excited and changes in his schedule.  Life on the road you can't always eat lunch at 11:32.  Especially as we cross through these time zones....they are Killing us!  For instance the other day we ate a late lunch which was fine he dealt with it.  We climbed back into the RV and it was almost 2pm.  We traveled for awhile and then made a pit stop, not realizing we crossed into another time zone.  What was 4 was now 5, we weren't hungry but he knows at 6pm we eat.  No amount of explaining was going to get him to let go of there needs to be food entering my belly in less then an hour.  So, he got an approved snack at 6pm and we waited until we pulled in for the night to eat our meal.  It worked out, but there was a lot of confusion and fear.  

He gets fearful of the unknown and even the possibility of change.  We are hoping that with this trip we can help him feel more comfortable when life calls for changes.  Gone are the days when he couldn't get into the van after a movie until all the credits played or not be able to cross over different types of flooring until he touched it with his check.  So, I know he can continue to grow and learn to trust in life's little surprises that they aren't all bad.  Sometimes change is good, even better then what was originally planned.  
It's just one step at a time.....right now we just keep him safe from hurting himself and ignore.  When I say ignore I mean we don't feed into the meltdown by asking questions and trying to calm him.  That creates too much stimuli and makes it even worse.  We average about 5 a day with only having to restrain him maybe 1 or 2 of those times.  We are looking into other options when we return home.  We know it is only a matter of time when we may not be able to keep him safe from himself.  Right now is so important to try and help him as much as possible!  I'll write soon about the oils we are using right now for him and the whole Family!

8.07.2016

Camping with Autism

Having a child with Autism on a 2 month long RV trip has it's obstacles, but it also has many advantages.  While we adventure cross country and camp I plan to share our experiences and our methods of dealing with the ups and downs.  I'll be sharing how we homeschool, eat, remain sane and feed our soul.  I'll also share videos and tons of pics, so come on and join us on this next chapter in our life!

8.06.2016

Heading North Before East

 
First off I have to say I do not like driving at night and hopefully I’ll never have to drive in the dark again……especially in this RV.  Going up and down the mountains at 10pm is not my idea of a good time, but we did it to catch up and quickly decided 3 hours of driving like that was enough.  We pulled over at a Cabela’s and stayed safely there for the night with several other Travelers.   We slept like babies…this RV is truly a Blessing.  The Lord provided everything we needed in an RV.  Funny thing is we had a list of must haves and wants.  Everyone told us we probably wont find an RV with everything on our list, so we were prepared to pick a few of our important needs and compromise on the rest.  But, we didn’t have to compromise...shockingly we got every want and need on our list!

We made it to Salt Lake City.....the Salt Flats were something I have Never Seen before, not on tv or even a picture.  So I wasn't sure what to expect and my eyes were filled with this magnificent  view below.  I was like a child on Christmas morning!!  




8.03.2016

Angry Neighbors Sweet Apologies

What an amazing trip so far…….. last Tuesday after they fixed our RV we decided to finish filling it up and to just go.  We wanted to try and make up for the time we lost.  We have been planning this trip for years and actively investing a lot of preparation time for about a year now.   So, to be almost completely packed minus just clothes and pillows Last Friday and find out you can’t go is devastating.  We had to wait out the whole weekend because nobody was opened.   The following day as we were emptying the food and essentials to put back in the house our neighbor came over.  I was shocked to hear him very upset that our RV was still out in front of our house.  He was tired of looking at it.  At first I thought he was just kidding…..but he was for real, even had a written letter that he was going to send in to the HOA.  We explained the situation and I tried to assure him that we were getting out the necessities and taking it back to storage.  After hearing the whole story he was embarrassed, apologized and we proceeded to clear out what we need from the RV.  Before heading back to his house he told us that we must be mighty good people to be going through what we were and having a neighbor come over and spout off at you the way I did.  I told him that I knew God had a plan and it was literally out of our hands.  It would be a waste to turn our energy into frustration, anger and worry….there’s no point in it. 
That weekend was a little slower than normal, we just took the time needed to do other things around the house.  Our neighbor came over with his Wife and gave us a pie.  That was so sweet and we once again assured him there was no hard feelings.  Monday morning we finally got in touch with our Dealership.  We woke up at 6am to get it to the service department on Tuesday morning…. praying for an easy fix.  And you know what the Lord gave it to us.  The part that needed to be replaced was right there just waiting on us.
I think it pays to try and be calm while letting go and letting God.  So much of our lives we think are in our own hands and it’s not.  We have to know when to let go and when to push forward.  I’m a work in progress when it comes to that.
Tuesday night we made the 2 hour trip back home, finished packing the RV all back up again, ate dinner and left.  We just wanted to get going to see what the Lord has in store for us.  Follow along with us as we journey cross country!

7.23.2016

Getting Familiar!

Oh my goodness we had an amazing time in Northern CA last week.  We took one last trip before the BIG ONE and boy am I happy we did.  It was a tight squeeze to get everything planned and ready, but it was worth it.  Now when we get into the RV it's like Home, an old hat, just another thing we do.  But, I remember when we first got it I even walked lighter, I was worried I'd break something.  I forgot where I put things and I kept finding new hiding holes everywhere.  It was a whole new world then, now we climb aboard...everything has it's place and we are ready to roll at a moments notice.  A huge change and much appreciated.  Because before we set out on this 2 month long journey with Kaden we had to have some sort of familiarity built up or Kaden was not going to be a Happy Camper, which in turn would make us not so happy campers as well! :(

I would say for the most part Kaden is adjusting nicely, but we still have bumps and hurdles to jump just to make it through the day out on the road....more of that to come in future posts.


7.21.2016

Beric The Briton ~ REVIEW

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/07-20%20Beric%20The%20Briton%20Heirloom/Beric%20The%20Briton%20Cover%20Image_zpswtfjirrr.jpgWe love Audio Dramas around here, we have a whole case full of them in the van.  We have been doing a lot of prep-camping for our Big RV Trip, so I was excited to tell the Family about my newest Review from Heirloom Audio Productions..... Beric The Briton!  To make our experience even better we also received access to special bonuses along with our CDs.  We received a Full Color downloadable Study Guide and Discussion Starter, a mp3 Soundtrack, 2 mp3 Files of the Audio Drama, Beric The Briton ebook, a Behind-the-Scenes Video, and Posters.



Beric The Briton is the Newest story in the Audio Drama collection based on the Adventure books by G.A. Henty produced by Heirloom Audio Productions.  It offers over 2 hours of entertainment with a twist of Character building and Faith strengthening.  And I must not forget...it's packed full of suspense and action!  Our Family enjoys all things History, so Kaden was the most excited to hear that the setting is in Ancient Rome.  We decided to take it on our last 10 day camping trip.  We were quickly taken back to the days of Ancient Rome first century AD, during the time when Nero was the Roman Emperor.  The story shows Courage, Faith and Sacrifice as it follows the life of Beric the Briton, a young man who takes on the Romans.  He is captured and forced into the Gladiator world and rises quickly into a High Power position of Honor....compliments of Nero.  But, it doesn't last...he has convictions when he is introduced to the forbidden Christian faith and he must decide how far he is willing to go to follow orders over what he believes in. 

We did not bring the Study Guide with us on our trip, but I was able to revisit it once we got home.  But, as we were listening the things that caught Kaden's attention was the life of a Gladiator.  He could tell the struggle Beric was going through and the moments that Faith stepped in Kaden beamed.  This is big for him....having Autism makes it difficult to relate to people.  And he was relating to this character.  The roaring and noise at the Colosseum was so realistic....Kaden had his feet up under him and literally was on the edge of his seat listening to every word.  After listening we talked about the way it would have been to live in Faith back then in Rome.  He was able to express feelings and connect his book knowledge to emotions.  

Once we got home we broke out the library card and checked out some Ancient Roman books, several on Gladiators and even poetry.  We went through the Guide and he really enjoyed the extras, honestly we probably should have looked at it first before we went to the Library....but that's ok! :)  Kaden had full comprehension of the story and that shined when he answered every one of the Listening Well Questions.  Even most of the Thinking Further Questions were in his reach, only a few caused a little frustration.  But, mainly because Kaden struggled to find the words or how to not just see Black or White.  The Vocabulary Words and Amazing Bible Verses were all icing on the cake.  

So, what did we think?  Well, we Loved it....I loved the Message, the Quality and the Precious Time I was able to share with Kaden.  All while learning and growing together as a Family.  This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Homeschooling so much.  Amazing products like this makes educating at home easier, more enjoyable and memorable.  I think this would work for any car trip or for down time, while you cook or get ready for an outing.  If we wouldn't have listened on a car trip I would sit out some quiet snacks and curl up on the couch with the kids while listening. 

http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb374/TOSCrew2011/2016%20TOS%20Crew/07-20%20Beric%20The%20Briton%20Heirloom/HeirloomAudio-Logo_zps9ifyc6tc.jpg

Make sure you head over right now and see what's going on with Heirloom Audio Productions on Social Media.  Even check out the Special FB Pages for both Beric The Briton and the G.A. Henty Series!


*Beric The Briton Facebook Page

*The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty Series Facebook page


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Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review