4 Surprising Reasons Your Child May be Struggling in School

If you’re like most parents, you want your child to excel in every area of life. This includes academics. Yet in some cases, parents are disturbed or disappointed to find that their young girl or boy is struggling in school.

When this is the case, it’s important to identify the issues that may be preventing your child from operating effectively within the educational setting. Below you’ll find four surprising reasons that your child might be struggling in school.

Continue reading “4 Surprising Reasons Your Child May be Struggling in School”

How to Organize an Affordable Family Vacation

The best time of the year is in front of you and your wish is to take the whole family on vacation. While this decision has its positive and let’s say less positive sides, if planned and conducted correctly, the trip has the potential of becoming one of your life’s most treasured memories. The text below will remind you of some of the crucial steps you need to take before going on a family vacation, so feel free to go ahead and start planning along this post. 

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Someone Special Books Presents Maya Makes A Friend #Review

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MayaMakesAFriendBook

About Someone Special Books

Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books creates personalized picture books for children with special needs. Through kid friendly language we create books for children with special needs/conditions/syndromes such as Autism, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, ADHD, food allergies, hearing and vision impairments, speech impairments, and physical disabilities.

Someone Special Books is known for personalizing children’s books. However, Maya Makes a Friend is the non-personalized version of “Someone Makes a Friend”. Maya is a typical young girl who meets a boy with a disability. In this whimsical tale, the two unlikely pair become great friends. It is truly a delightful story  of courage and kindness.

Maya Makes a Friend is an easy read that flows with rhyming words. The message is dear to my heart. My youngest daughter has a vision impairment and wears a patch with her glasses. She gets called pirate all of the time. I find the patch hidden all over the house. It disappears quite often. 

Someone Special Books teach good character qualities that have fallen by the wayside these days. In this beautifully illustrated book there are talking points on the back page that allow you to lead a discussion with your children. It teaches them how to show children with disabilities kindness, respect, and acceptance. Overall, this is a delightful story that you and your children will adore!

Children can be born disabled or become disabled from an accident or illness. You can’t “catch” a disability from someone else, and you shouldn’t be scared of someone with a disability. ~ Maya Makes a Friend

This book is recommended for ages 0 – 10 yrs. Want to learn more about personalizing a Someone Special Book? Visit their website and view the collection. They make great gifts!

Vector hands in the form of heart - love and charity concept in flat style

Someone Special Books gives back! Each month they donate a portion of their proceeds to a charity, organization, classroom or family that supports their vision of acceptance, awareness, and kindness!

Images Courtesy of Someone Special Books

Little Pim – Language Learning System for Children

Little Pim sent me a copy of Fun With Languages – the English version of Little Pim’s Eating and Drinking DVD to sample with my children.
little-pim

 

Little Pim is a language learning program that is designed for young children ages Birth – 6 yrs. old. It is amazing that children can learn up to 3 languages with ease during this age period!

Each DVD features a friendly Panda, Little Pim who teaches a language using colorful visuals.  I can see how the repetitive teaching style demonstrated makes learning easy in the DVD. Each part introduces new words that incorporate with words previously learned.  All words eventually create simple sentences.

For Example: In the DVD  milk, water, apples, and bananas are introduced. Then, “He is drinking” and “She is drinking” milk or water is added. Part two introduces eat. Then, “He is eating” and “He is eating a banana.” is added. The DVD goes on to include Place Setting, Eating Breakfast, Making, Cutting, Cooking, Pouring, and Stirring.

I reviewed the English version of Eating and Drinking Disc 1. Now that I understand what Little Pim offers, I want the Spanish DVD!  I am convinced that it will teach my children the Spanish language with ease. Little Pim is available in 11 different languages!! In addition to learning a new language, the playful panda will win the hearts of your little ones. They will want to watch the DVDs to see Little Pim. 🙂

Learn To Read Online with Reading Eggs

Reading has always been challenging for my two youngest children.  I am getting ready to try an online reading program called Reading Eggs.  I wanted to share it with you guys because right now they are offering a free five-week trial offer. You don’t have to submit a credit card to take advantage of this offer.  This is exciting because I have heard rave reviews of this program!  Good now through 9/30/13.

The Reading Eggs program was developed by a highly experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators and web developers.  The program is designed for children aged 3 through 12.  They even have apps for learning how to read on mobile devices!  Parents, grandparents and/or teachers are welcome to join the free trial offer.  If your child or a child you know struggles in reading, give it a try.  What do you have to lose? 

Free Online Homeschool Resource Roundup!

When I first began homeschooling I was told that you can basically homeschool for free using the web.  Well, I was a little bit skeptical and went out and purchased books anyway.  After three years, I’ve gained a little more confidence and realized that it’s okay to try things until you find whatever works!

computer and books
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan

Here are a few of my favorite resources for teaching at home.  You can use these as a full curriculum or as a supplement – even if you are not a full time home educator.

Star Fall – Learn to Read with Phonics {Free}  Pre-K and Kindergarten
This is and was a great resource for my kids when they were just starting school and learning how to read.  It offers games and makes learning fun.  Your Pre-K student can navigate this site easily.  They are so adorable when you see that little hand on the computer mouse working. 🙂

All -In- One Homeschool – Complete Online Curriculum {FREE}  Pre-K – 8th
Luckily, I stumbled upon this at the end of the last school year.  We had previously purchased a full online curriculum for $500 that just did not work for my daughter.  She was bored out of her mind with it.  So one month before school ended, I switched curriculum.  Crazy right?!  What can I say?  She loves A-I-O-Homeschool!  There is so much to offer – from foreign language, computer basics, building a blog?!! Yes you read that right :), and music!  There is even a FB group for support.  High school courses are being added too!  You can watch the video to see how it works here.

Kahn Academy – K – 12 Math {Free}
Kahn Academy teaches through videos.  There are sample problems and additional problems offered if your child needs a little extra practice.  Kahn Academy is always adding new content.  Besides Math, they are currently offering science including biology, chemistry, and physics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinning Insects – Homeschool Project

pinned insects

Have you ever pinned a bug? 🙂 I admit it – I was not looking forward to our upcoming insect study.

We attend a co-op class on Fridays. There, we meet with other homeschoolers for a science class. Initially we were told to catch bugs and kill them. Well, we couldn’t go through with that plan! 😉 It wasn’t like smashing one with your shoe or the fly swatter. No, we needed them intact to study. 🙂

Luckily a friend of mine found some insects that were already dead and saved them for me. (True Friend!) Other brave souls caught them and placed them in a jar with an alcohol saturated cotton ball. Some even froze their bugs to kill them. If you choose the freezer method – beware! They may just wake up after thawing out. 😉

The kids identified the insects, studied them, named them, and then we pinned them.  One super nice lady even had extra insects and gave one to my son. My only advice to you is make sure your insects are dead before you pin them! Once we got home my son realized the bee that the super nice lady had given to him was still alive! Yes, pinned and alive! The only thing I could think of was to put the container of insects into the freezer!

After a couple of hours we peaked inside the box and didn’t notice any further movement. Whew! Let’s just say it is a study we will never forget! 😉

Fling the Teacher! Simile & Metaphor Game {extra practice}

teacher

Here is a fun game to teach your child the difference between a simile and metaphor. I used it for my 5th grader for extra practice yesterday and she played three times. 🙂

The student can create their own teacher with features.  (I just snipped a preview above)

Then, they have to answer all 15 questions correctly to build a catapult that will fling the teacher at the end. 😉  Fling the Teacher is a fun way to practice skills.  They will want to keep going until they answer all questions correctly!

Recommended for 4th and 5th grade.

 

Learn the Instruments and Sounds in an Orchestra!

orchestra

This is a fun Homeschool FREEBIE!  Teach your children about music.  In the New York Philharmonic KidZone you can view each instrument, read about and learn the history, and listen to what each one sounds like.  In each room you will find a selection of instruments including Percussion, Brass, Woodwinds,  and Strings.

This was our lesson today in Music. I love finding lessons that I can teach all of my children together. They were really interested in learning and that makes it FUN! Look in the “Instrument Storage Room” to share this goodie with your children. 🙂