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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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!