In Light of Recent Events

Debating issues and what changes are needed is not bringing change about. It has not yet.

I respect your opinions whether I agree with them or not.

There is a reason why we must, as parents, be diligent and pay attention to our children. The internet has a side YOU as an adult have most likely never even heard of. I can guarantee you most 12 year olds know way more about the dark net than you do.

Even the best parenting can be undone by the internet.
Even the sweetest of children can succumb to peer pressure or bullying.

I will not say spanking is needed. I will not bring up guns. I will not address mental health issues. I will not say prayers are needed in school.

The arguing back and forth is solving nothing other than to share opinions. This is not action. And I see in the comments of these opinions being shared how adults act like social bullies. Now imagine a young, undeveloped mind experiencing this behavior.

Pay attention.

And remember these faces and these names each time you decide to allow your children to go on line.

7 year olds with cell phones…in Toys R Us, playing on the phone and not the toys…….ūüė≥

I know this is hypocritical but perhaps us all posting and debating less on line and setting the example by actually spending more time with our children is one small way to bring about the change?

By the way Kira read this and pointed out a few grammatical errors for me. 

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Returning From Holiday

There is nothing that can compare to a beautiful vacation aboard a cruise ship.¬† Sailing has always been my preferred method of travel.¬† In fact, I have not even been on a plane in over 30 years. If I had my druthers, I would live on a yacht as opposed to being on land. There is something so tranquil and calming¬†that the ebb and flow the ocean provides. It can rock me to sleep like a mother gently rocking a cradle.¬† The beautiful salt air from the sea soothes my soul. It would seem for me, the roughest days I have experienced at sea were still more relaxing than the calmest of days on land.¬† Let me not forget to mention the glorious sunrises and sunsets at sea.¬† The horizon unfiltered by the congestion of buildings and clutter of man….simply stunning.

sunset at sea

Granted, planning a vacation at sea can be a bit nerve wrecking at times. Especially when hurricanes are involved. Last year’s hurricanes devastated many of the ports which cruise lines frequent.¬† Several of our cruise ports were shifted.¬† For me, this is honestly not a matter; I feel worse for those who have suffered living at the regions affected, and find it incredibly selfish when those who are vacationing complain about not being able to travel to these destinations.¬† A vacation is a vacation, regardless of where you go. This was the second time I had a plan to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico that was altered due to a hurricane.¬† The last time was in ’98. Eventually, ¬†I will visit Puerto Rico.¬† In the interim, however, I am praying for those who live there and the horror they have experienced after the devastating effects of the 2017 hurricane season.¬† And to the passengers who insist on complaining, ¬†I offer you this; imagine, for a moment,¬†¬†that you were on the ship during the hurricane.¬† Redirection of ports is not that horrible, it is inevitable.¬† Nature happens.

wreckage

In all of my years of cruising, and there are¬†many, I must say NCL is by far the best cruise line I have ever been blessed to sail on.¬† They have, what I believe to be, the friendliest and most talented of staff. NCL’s crew always make us feel like family.¬† Being an OCD neat freak, I must add that NCL is also the cleanest line.¬† A spec of dust cannot be found! NCL has become our preferred choice for sailing for 14 years now. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who is considering a vacation at sea.¬† I realize have had been a little bit annoyed at times with the experience as a Latitudes member, (example is our cruise this past¬†Thanksgiving, article click ¬†here)¬†¬†however, overall no other line comes even close to the wonderful vacationing experience NCL provides.

ncl

Now, some may say my daughter is pampered.¬† I mean, how many 14 year olds can tout that they have taken fourteen 7-14 day cruises in their life time? We have incorporated these cruises into Kira’s home school lessons, however! Each port has a rich history.¬† Even the ship provides education.¬† We loved Kira’s questioning the knots to miles conversion! There is a¬†learning opportunity everywhere you look.

 

horses aruba

aruba horses2From¬†the¬†significance¬†of¬†Horses¬†in¬†Aruba………

 

truman key west

the impact Truman had on Key West, Florida….

cayman

to the relations of the United States of America and The Cayman Islands!

cayman 2

Not to say that we did not manage to have a little bit of fun amidst Kira’s cultural/historical and artistic educational experience.¬† After all, the entire point behind this specific holiday was the celebration of our little girl turning 14!!!

bday decor

kira bday cake

And NCL helped us by having our cabin fully decorated with cake ready when we first arrived!!

We had a glorious 11 days at sea in celebration of Kira’s turning 14.¬† The only down side was we are all sick now.¬† Evidently, someone on board (actually several someones) were ill.¬† Upon our arrival to land, we all fell ill.¬† Kira’s fever finally broke at 102.4 the other late evening/early morning.¬† I, myself, have been in bed non-stop. We feel a bit miserable, but it is quite worth our epic adventure.¬† After all, without the bad, how can you truly appreciate the good?? I finally felt able to move to my computer and try to post. I have managed to fall quite behind on things in my illness stupor!

There is a big artistic significance behind this vacation as well.  I will for now, however, leave that for a separate post.

 

Happy New Year

New Year 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you all good health, happiness, and love throughout this new year.

We are beginning our final review of 8th grade and beginning 9th grade here.  Someone please tell me how that is possible. How is my baby turning 14? I swear to you, she was just born.

Kira has been studying hard for her final exams.  Presently she is right proud about her B+ average, as am I.

We look forward to the wonderment that the forthcoming  high school curriculum provides. Although I must admit, it seems scary to even think my little girl is starting high school and beginning college prep.

Amidst Kira’s final testing and preparing for high school, I am illustrating a few children’s books and negotiating possible work on illustrating a young adult story.¬† We are also leaving the country for a bit to celebrate Kira’s birthday.

It is extremely hectic here now.

I look forward to sharing our year with you throughout 2018.

Happy Educating!

No-Nonsense Algebra From Math Essentials (A Review)

No-Nonsense Algebra

From

Math Essentials

 

Today, I am reviewing No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials.

Kira has always been a bit behind when it came to math.  Much like me, Kira tends to excel in English/Creative Writing, and math seems to always be a little bit harder.  This year, starting 8th grade, has changed that.  We were excited to receive No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials. It was wonderful to know it included video lessons taught by Richard W. Fisher.

With the curriculum I have set in place for Kira’s 8th grade lesson plan, we had Pre-Algebra set as the level Kira was ready to move forward with.¬† She also has been using online aides, and is well past pre-Algebra, and is amidst Algebra I. I knew that ¬†No-Nonsense Algebra¬†from Math Essentials¬†would be the perfect supplement to help affirm her lesson plans, and only strengthen Kira’s math skills.

The minute No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials arrived, Kira began to read it.  Mind you, this was after her school day had finished,  (Her father brings the mail in each day when he comes home) when she is normally reading for fun or, most likely, drawing. At first glance, Kira was EXTREMELY nervous. Kira expressed that these were all similar to the previous math problems that she was struggling with.  Nonetheless, Kira was excited for the opportunity to unlock the mystery that was Algebra!

We scheduled No-Nonsense Algebra¬†from Math Essentials¬†into our daily lesson plan, as a supplement to the Pre-Algebra, as well as Kira’s online math lessons.

Each day, without fail, Kira went for the No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials first. This is always a good sign.  Kira set a personal goal of two lessons per day.  Mind you, I have a very lax homeschool style.  I do not force more than what is required legally, but Kira, however, sets personal goals. Providing they are never unrealistic, we allow her to do so.  It was wonderful to also know that it included video lessons taught by Richard W. Fisher.  However, Kira never needed to use them!

As of right now, Kira is up to lesson four of chapter four within ¬†No-Nonsense Algebra¬†from Math Essentials.¬† Kira has expressed how excited she was to finally take end of chapter reviews and actually get all of the answers correct.¬† Compared to previously, this was quite an accomplishment and had helped build Kira’s own confidence in math!

The simple fact that  No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials  along with the video lessons taught by Richard W. Fisher, iterating that the student should work through each example on their own, is what made the difference for Kira.  Never before had any of our lesson plans suggested this.  I personally had never even thought of it myself.

Now, Kira says that math is fun, and getting easier for her! Her improved test scores throughout her regularly scheduled lesson plans serve as proof that No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials was the perfect supplement!

 

Kira and I both highly recommend No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials to any child struggling with math!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2 From Greek ‘n’ Stuff (A Review)

Reviewing

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! РLevel 2 

From

Greek ‘n’ Stuff

 

 

 

Today, I will be reviewing, Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2¬†from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

We were extremely excited to be a part of reviewing this product! The most Greek we knew was the word ŌáőĻŌĆőĹőĻ (Snow) which is the name of one of our cats! Okay, so why did I name our white cat Snow, seems like a silly question, but why Greek? Well, that question is easy, I have been in love with everything Greek since I was a small child. ¬†I have passed this love down to my daughter as well! We are so blessed to live a stones-throw away (55 minute drive)¬†from a lovely Greek community. One of our favorite pastimes is driving down there to enjoy a Greek dinner.

Kira was elated when her package arrived from ¬†Greek ‘n’ Stuff.¬† The package contained the worktext book, the CD, the answer key and the flashcards, (which are in the worktext book) normally, the lesson is two letters per day at first, but as Kira is older, we did four letters per day.¬† There is a quiz available on the ¬†Greek ‘n’ Stuff¬†website to help you determine which level is best to start out with.¬† As Kira knew virtually nothing, we opted for ¬†Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2.

The pace is easy to follow with one page a day.  30 lessons are included.  There are wonderful flashcards which Kira had an absolute blast memorizing.  This time, Kira decided to include her father in on the fun.  It became an evening routine.  Every night when he came home, before dinner Kira would hand him her flash cards and let him test her.  I think he, too, was learning some Greek! Kira says the repetition of the cards helped her immensely.

Each lesson is clear and concise.  Kira enjoyed herself immensely, learning a little more Greek each day!

There, thankfully, is a pronunciation CD.  Although the book does provide a phonic spelling, I still recommend the CD.

Now, Kira loves learning, especially a new language.¬† She has been studying Spanish for a few years now.¬† Within as much, I knew she would not have an issue trying to learn another language.¬† When I asked Kira about¬†Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2¬†from Greek ‘n’ Stuff, she boasted how much easier this lesson was compared to her other language lessons.¬†¬†She touted that an actual text book as opposed to a strictly auditory lesson makes a world of difference.

Although Kira is certainly not ready for us to take that 55 minute drive and order her dinner completely in Greek just yet, she certainly is learning more Greek than I had ever imagined.  The fact that her father has helped is also an extra big bonus for me!

I look forward to getting Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set next.

Both Kira and I highly recommend Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2¬†from Greek ‘n’ Stuff. This wonderful program will have your child speaking Greek in no time!

 

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Fascinating Education, Fascinating Chemistry (A Review)

Reviewing

Fascinating Chemistry

From

Fascinating Education

 

Today, I will be reviewing, Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education. 

Science was one of my favorite subjects in school. I always found the how and why of it all very interesting.¬† I know I can directly attribute my love of science to Mr. Hubert.¬†¬†I fondly remember this fascinating educator I was blessed to have while I attended Miami Shores Elementary, many, many years ago.¬† Mr. Hubert made science seem fascinating and magical. His educational approach made all of the difference in my own personal desire to learn all things science.¬† Between Mr. Hubert and the Mr. Wizard’s Science Show, I was destined to love all things science related! It was no surprise to find that Kira loved science. If you could have only heard the squeal she let out when she learned she would be learning Chemistry!

 

Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education¬†is simply a wonderful lesson.¬†¬† Dr. Sheldon Margulies‚Äô approach to science education is quite fantastic.¬† The lessons’ approach teaches in a straight-forward but fun way, thus enabling the student to not only learn, but to enjoy themselves while doing so.

The layout of the lessons keep your child interested.¬† Dr. Sheldon Margulies speaks in clear layman’s terms that any¬†child can understand.¬† The lesson, script, and test layout are a perfect way for any child to grasp.¬† There are even fun labs. Perhaps my daughter’s (and mine, but shhh, don’t tell) favorite part of any science course! With 12 labs available in this course alone!

Imagine growing your own salt crystals! This first lab was fun and cost us only the few items needed, which we actually already had around the house!  I imagine almost every one would have a jar, water, about half a cup of table salt, stirring rod, fuzzy string or pipe cleaner, and a pencil in their homes.

The lessons can be completed easily one per week.  Each lesson averages to about 45 minutes.  Each of the 19 lessons are exactly what a child needs to grasp the ins-and-outs of chemistry.

My daughter sometimes has a hard time understanding people, especially if they are speaking quickly.  It was wonderful that she was able to go back over what Dr. Sheldon Margulies said as many times as she needed to, or read the script, to fully grasp each and every word.

Although my daughter has not completed the entire course yet, I asked her what she has learned and understands thus far,  I was pleasantly surprised when she answered. Kira quickly boasted about what she has learned of the bond between atoms, the London dispersion force, strong force, and electronegativity! Needless to say, I was quite impressed.

Although not every child is as into science as my daughter is,  Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education is designed to help any child learn chemistry in a fun yet completely educational way!

Kira and I highly recommend  Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education to all home school families. We have enjoyed this experience so very much.  Once Kira has completed her lessons, we are looking forward to completing all of the other courses available from  Fascinating Education!

 

 

 

 

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Beakman’s World was after I graduated high school, so I sadly missed out on that fun and of course this is no longer aired for my daughter to watch.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course (A Review)

Reviewing

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course

From

The Typing Coach

Today, I will be reviewing The Typing Coach Online Typing Course¬†from The Typing Coach.¬†¬†The course is¬†intended to be used at a pace of a lesson per week, over ten weeks, which we followed. Although, at first, Kira’s pace ran a little over a week to master the first lessons.

Imagine¬†if you will, for¬†a moment, a teenager who loves to write books.¬† Now imagine said teenager hating to type.¬† It seems like¬†an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Especially in today’s digital age.¬† However, that is what I had on my hands! Kira would always cringe with her typing lessons.¬† I tried YEARS ago, first with Jumpstart, then with Elementary Advantage and Middle School Advantage.¬† No matter how I tried to help Kira, the connection was simply not being made. My Grandmother gave me my first typewriter when I was only¬†6¬†years old.¬† If memory serves, she purchased it at a garage sale.¬† ¬†As a daughter of a Word Processor, I learned typing quickly by watching my Mother when I would go to work with her.¬† Back then, the typewriters were simply gigantic! As time went on, the typewriters were replaced by computers. I loved to play on the computers at the law firm¬†my Mother¬†worked at, and pretended I was one of her employees!¬† I loved it so very much that I took typing courses in middle school and then business classes in high school. Unfortunately, my daughter did not share in my enthusiasm!

Then we received The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach! As with any subject Kira does not love, there was the initial anxiety.  The angstitude (My regular readers will recognize the term. For those of you who have not read my blog before, I make up words. They are easily discernible as a rule) had begun.

I imagine it comes from her father.¬†¬† He even texts with one finger.¬† His typing….well…you can imagine.

Before giving up all hope and praying for technology to advance fast enough to predict our thoughts and virtually type them,  The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach provided just what Kira needed!

The course layout from the audio and the student packet to the leaning checks and test were just what did the trick for Kira to actually enjoy the learning process into typing.  She went from her angstitute to actually asking if she could do her typing lessons!!!

It was refreshing to watch Kira actually typing without looking down at the keyboard every millisecond and having BOTH hands placed properly on the keyboard!!!!

I asked Kira for her opinion on The Typing Coach Online Typing Course¬†from The Typing Coach.¬† She said, “It is an awesome program! One thing that I like about it is, with other programs I had to type what was on the screen and when I looked at the screen, I could also see the keyboard. In reality, I wasn’t actually learning the keys, I mean I could still see them after all! Whereas, with The Typing Coach Online Typing Course, what needed to be typed was off to the side, not directly on the screen, ensuring I memorize the keys and properly learn them.”

Kira and I both highly recommend  The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach. Whether young or old, this course is absolutely wonderful and can help the worst typing students become a typist!

 

 

 

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