A Ray of Sunshine

Ohhhh the Meltdown, it can happen at any moment over just about anything.  It can be Fast and Furious or Slow and Dreadful.  I'm on a Mission right now to understand Meltdowns, Kaden's Meltdowns.  When he is calm and clear headed I have been lightly questioning him on his thoughts about them.  The word he uses often to explain is Overwhelmed.

I get Overwhelmed, we all do.  What Overwhelms him to the point he punches himself and screams bloody murder?  All I did was tell him it's Bath Time or we need to go to Social Skills or to eat Dinner. 


Mango Languages - Mango Homeschool Edition Review


Just saying the Word Mango makes me Happy!  We were given the Opportunity to try the Beta Version of Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages over the past several weeks. I am always Thrilled to try a new Foreign Language program.  I have a little Back Story about my Luck and Foreign Languages that involves Me, Three Semesters in College and a Very Nice Spanish Professor.  Let's just say I continuously try to redeem myself. :)  

Anyway, Mango Homeschool Edition is Recommended for ages 6 - Adult.  Mango Languages has been around for about 7 years. They started in the public library sector and are expanding from there. This Program is Super easy to install, you can use it on Mac or PC and any Browser will work just fine (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome).  One of the Great Advantages to this Program over others I have worked with in the past is that there are No restrictions on how many Languages your student gets to learn and it's self-paced.
Over the next several months, they’ll be introducing other exciting features like:
*Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring - including seat time (for students and parents)
*Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)

*Resume and Portfolio Builder
With a Membership You currently get:
Over 60 different languages
Progress Assessments

Built-in journals, discussions and wikis
Collaborative learning spaces
eNote messaging
/chat rooms

Access to embedded/downloadable content

Support from other community members

Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups

Mango Languages Introductory Prices 
1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total 
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total                     
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total                   
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total               
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total
Anything over 6 subscriptions is a special Group Rate that will depend on the number in the group. 
Mahala wanted to Learn Vietnamese and brush up on Chinese.  Kaden wanted to work more on Spanish.  The kids did a Semester last year learning Spanish.  And last, but not least I decided to brush up on my German Skills.   I will say the format of the program worked well for Mahala(14), Kaden(7), not so much.  Kaden wanted more interaction, he suggested fun games or an offering of multiple learning styles.  I agree with him, for older kids and adults this is a Perfect Program.  But, for Elementary Kiddos it may feel a little Repetitious.  It could be just Kaden, but he asked to study words on flash cards and needed to write out the new words as he learned them.  He loved hearing the pronunciations and would often play them over and over until his tone matched the speaker's.  I liked that you could repeat sections and even whole lessons over and over.  Mahala and I had a totally different experience, she liked that the Lessons were fairly Short and Easy to digest.  I never even had to ask her to do her lessons.  For me, I looked forward to getting through each lesson and feeling like I walked away knowing just a little bit more.  Mahala and I kind of had a little Contest going to see who could get through the most lessons.  She won and I had to take her out for an ice cream!!  :) 

So, would we use Mango Homeschool Edition from Mango Languages?  I would, but only for Mahala and I.  I personally am pleased with the Pronunciation and Grammar help the program offered. And I also thought the Phonetic Spelling in the lessons helped make it less difficult to learn a New Language. 

Go on over to the TOS Review Crew to see what other Reviewers thought of this program!
You can find Mango Languages at Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Click to read Crew Reviews


Green Rainbows!

Mahala has been playing too much Minecraft lately....she's grown an Orange Mustache!  

Just had to share a few of Our St. Patrick's Day pics.  It was a Fun Day overall, Kaden never caught the Leprechaun though. 


Homer wore his Stache with Pride!!  We couldn't get Kaden to wear one to save his life.  But, it was kind of Fun chasing him around the house trying to get one on him.  :)

Kaden did Enjoy his Pot of Skittles though, but there was no Rainbow he said kind of in a disappointed voice.  I told him Maybe next year! :)


Ultimate Homeschool Radio Retwork- Review

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network 
Awhile back I was asked to be apart of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network Launch Team.  What a Blessing it has been for not just me, but my Family as well.  Since I've been apart of this awesome team of ladies Our Family has taken many different twists and turns.  We have been through some hardships and difficult times.  It hasn't been so easy to just pick up a phone and call someone to talk to.  What I have been able to do it scroll through the many Prerecorded Podcast Radio Shows and recieve guidance and Encouragment.
There are many different Radio Shows that happen weekly and Special Events to speckle your calendar with.  I don't always make it to the live shows, but sometimes just having them on while I finish the dishes or fold cloths is like having an old friend in the room.  Much more comforting then a tub of ice cream I promise!!!

Bubbles and Dog Treats

We have had Homer now for a month today.  It feels like we just brought him home, but it also feels like we've had him forever.  That's having a Good Dog for You, they grab hold of Your Heart and suck you into their Puppy Love! 

I have Loved watching Kaden bond and fall deeper in Puppy Love with Homer.  Yesterday we took Homer to get a bath.  Kaden jumped over many Sensory Hurdles to be right there with Homer. 


A Light on Easter

The Light shines in the dark and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:15 

Easter is right around the corner.  Where has the time gone?  Every year we participate in Our same Traditions to Remember Our Lord and Savior.  This year is a little bit different, we were given an Early Easter Surprise from Egglo Entertainment.  
In exchange for a Review I was given several Awesome Products.

Egglo Entertainment was Created by Darcie Cobos. She had a burning Desire to help show her own kiddos the whole meaning of Easter.  Darcie shared her Passion with children at her church and watched it grow into an a Huge ministry. The message behind the glow in the dark egg hunt is that Jesus is the light in the darkness and that we are God's people that also become a light in the World.


Math Tutor to the Rescue!!

Math has never been my Favorite Subject....we all know this.  To be honest, in School I would do almost anything to get out of Math Class.  That being said, I have enjoyed freshening up my Math skills the past few weeks with the Mastering 5th Grade Math- Volume 1 Essentials of Fractions DVD from ScienceandMath.com.  The Kids and I had the opportunity to Review this Math DVD Course Created by Jason Gibson. 

Jason Gibson is the Creator of ScienceandMath.com.  He's been Creating Award Winning Science and Math videos since 2004.  You can hear his Enthusiasm and Passion for Science and Math in his voice, and I could use a Lot of Help in that Department!   
I want to ensure my Kiddos don't just know enough Math to pass a Test, but that it's really Concreted into their Brains.  I want them to want to be Hungry to Learn and Discover.  
I agree with Jason when he said, "Unfortunately, in the public school system students never learn how to use Math.  We spend an insane amount of time trying to teach fractions and algebra, but never show why it is useful".  I think that was where I became lost in the Math Shuffle.  I was one of those Kids that needed to "See" the Math in Action not just be fed directions on how to get the Answers.


We all Need a Clean Plan!


I Love a Good Planner and a Clean House....mix the two together and You get Motivated Moms.  I would call myself a Planner Snob I guess.  I'm so picky when it comes to How I get some sort of Organization in my day.  I have to admit I was a little skeptical when I was offered a Review Opportunity for Motivated Moms Ebook Chore Planning System.  But, after checking out their Website I knew this was going to knock my socks off!  

I'm one of those people with a wall paper Calendar and one that's a huge Dry Erase board.  I have my Homeschooling and Blog Planner.  I have a separate Holiday Planner that consists of 3 Binders.  When it comes to Preparing and Planning I'm all there with a Pen!!!!  But, keeping a Clean House is another story.  I have a problem with going to do something in one room, see something else that needs to be done and start cleaning that mess up.  Then something else catches my eye and well you can see that this story literally NEVER ends.  Basically nothing gets completed and I feel exhausted like I just finished a marathon.  

In the past I have done online communities, lists, a few gimmicks here and there.  Still nothing clicked, I needed something straight to the point, simple to use and it needed to not feel like an extra chore to do.


Green Foot Prints on my Counter.......

Last year Kaden had a Surprise on St. Patrick's Day.  
"We were Invaded last night Mom by a little Green Man.........a Leprechaun!!!"  Kaden was so excited to wake up and see little tiny foot prints leading to a loot of Gold chocolate.

Last year was my 1st year doing anything like this for him.  He really wasn't able to focus on any real tradition or have excitement towards anything that didn't include a chess board or sequence of objects.  But, the past few years we have seen so much progress in him.  Now to plan something Neat and Green for him this year is going to be FUN! 

Once he found the Gold of course he needed to investigate.  He just knew it was paint and had to take a closer look.  Out came the magnify glass. :)  But after careful observation he noticed it was slimy like soap.  Oh no...........

 I used a Max Steel boot and diluted soap colored with green food coloring.  Luckily Kaden's investigation wasn't too long, because the Loot of Chocolate Covered Coins at the end of the trail was too tempting!  I guess the Luck of the Irish was on my side last year.  :)  

What are Your Plans this year?  I need some fun ideas to incorporate into Our week long Ireland Unit Study this Month.


Past Post March Fun!

  YAY!!!!  It's time for all the little leprechauns to show there cute faces and everyone to get pinched.  So, to start off the festivities I decided to do a st. Patrick's Day Unit study....more on that later.  And we will be packing and crafting like there is no tomorrow.  This will actually gear us up for Easter.  Can I just say now I Hate it when it's in March.....I love celebrating Easter for the whole month of April.  We still are going to do that, just start a few days into March.
Colorful Answers

So, first off I have some cute ideas for Kaden.  He is so bored of math.  I have him in a 3rd grade book and I truly don't want to move him up another year, so I decided to do fun math activities the rest of the school year.
I just wrote out problems in rows shaped like a rainbow.  Kaden likes problems with multiple steps.  So, the more I use them the happier he is. 
When he figures the problem out he glues the answer on and Ta-Da, you have a rainbow, minus the happy Leprechaun and pot of Gold!

It took Kaden only a few minuted to finish this, so next time I will make it harder!  ;D  I am also going to do one for Spelling words and vocabulary.  You can make a truck, dinosaur, space rocket, the sky is the limit.  Let me know what you create and how your kiddo did with it.  Kaden gave it 2 thumbs up!!!