Archives for January 2010

Tot School ~ Barely

~Krash is currently 44 months old~

Learning Toys/Trays

We didn’t really have Tot School, but we did have some learning fun!  The boys did some school and played a lot with many new toys, I just didn’t have my camera out a lot!  I did capture a few moments form the week though!

The boys got the ZOOB 125-Piece Set for Christmas and we all just love these!  We played together one morning making some fun creations!     IMG_8919





I caught a sweet moment (which were actually a bit rare last week) between the boys as Pac read our Dinosaur Roar big book to Krash and they giggled together!IMG_8913



Theme ~ Winter

We didn’t actually begin our winter theme yet, but I did get the winter books out and Krash immediately wanted to read Biggest, Best Snowman, and then we just had to make snowmen together with Play Doh…IMG_8889

While visiting Jolanthe, he got to make snowball treats (think he is excited?).  We will be doing many more ideas from the winter posts on Totally Tots this month!IMG_8847


Life {FUN} School

Krash really enjoys cooking and had fun with our college “daughter” as he always does!  They made cookies together and she got some cute pics of my little guy working hard!IMG_5784


We will be back to a normal schedule {finally} tomorrow!

Download N Go ~ Initial Thoughts…

We went ahead and began our first day of Download N Go instead of waiting until Monday. {We usually have school M, T, W, Th and Sat…taking Fri and Sun off-because of our ministry schedule}. We started with the first unit, Winter Wonders.

I know those of you who are considering buying these units are wondering if they are worth it, and since I did go ahead and buy them, I wanted to share my thoughts to try and help you make your decision.

There is a lot of printing involved, so there is an additional expense to consider {and prep time}, although you do not have to print everything, I did for the 1st 2 units so I could get a feel for it. I am creating each unit in a 1/2” binder {I get these in bulk at Costco} to make it easier for Pac Man to work through. After he completes the unit, I plan to put them all nicely in one bigger binder for storage and to look back at! IMG_8957

Each unit is 5 days worth of material, which I divided in the notebook so he will know where to begin and end. You can see the tabs I made on the right. I put the Daily Objectives in the front of the notebook.IMG_8938

One aspect of each unit is vocabulary/spelling words. I really like this aspect, but really wanted 1 sheet with all of the words for the unit in one place, so I made this myself, that’s what you see here. The little snowman cards are provided to write words/definitions on. I keep these in the front inside pocket of the binder for him to do 2-4 words per day.IMG_8945

At the end of each tab I placed a clear sheet protector which holds the lapbooking components for the day. I cut out and prepared these for him, so all he has to do is go in and complete them.IMG_8952

The extra lapbook pieces {pockets and such} are stored in the back flap of the binder, this is also where I will have him put completed lapbook components until we finish the unit and put the lapbook together.IMG_8946

You do need a computer with internet to take full advantage of these units. There are MANY links right in the PDF files. Today we watched videos, read articles, and went to a cool website for kids about seasons. I hope to teach him to work more and more independently through these units as time goes on and the format is repeated.IMG_8950

As for Pac Man’s thoughts? He LOVED It, actually way more than I thought he would. He seemed to like the layout, the division of activities, and the changes between what we did {watching videos, reading, drawing, writing, etc.} He was blown away with one particular aspect {which is actually the main thing that drew me to make my final purchase}. He was reading the page below, and ran into the room I was in with Ladybug and said, “Mom, you have to come see this.” He then showed me a line that said… God created earth in such a perfect way that we experience these four seasons in just the right order and at just the right time to help things grow and for people to be able
to live here.” IMG_8969

Pac Man was so excited that this would be a Christian based unit!!! I was obviously thrilled to see him so happy about that!!! This is one of my favorite things about these awesome units.

Being someone who creates stuff myself, I am VERY impressed with the quality of graphics, layouts, links, font choices 😉 and so on. They are really well put together units. I am loving it so far and will continue to share how it’s going.

As for how I plan to fit this into normal school days…I am having Pac do these in the mornings while my main focus is on Krash. I am not going to be strict about finishing each day in ONE day, but working along as much as we can each morning ~ I want these to be really fun for him. We’ll see how this aspect goes, because as I prepared both notebooks, I did notice that some days seemed to have more work than others. I will probably be able to judge better after we have a few weeks in.

So, yes I am very HAPPY I bought these and very thankful I bought them with the great deal.

What I am Doing…

We were outta town for over 2 weeks and I am home, but still trying to get my head above water! Before I can get back to regular posting, I need to get our kids, homeschool, house, and myself in order. Here’s a bit of what I have been doing behind the scenes {along with laundry, cleaning, and more cleaning}…

I began the Daily Audio Bible (using my iPod touch) and I LOVE IT! I considered the Bible in 90 Days, but for now, at this season of my life, it is just too much for me. I prayed and prayed and even felt guilty as I saw other moms I know online signing up to do it. Finally God brought me my answer when I stumbled across the DAB podcast, and it is just perfect for me. I have listened quietly each day and love it. I started the boys listening to the Daily Audio Bible for Kids too, it is wonderful and will take them through the New Testament in a year.

In addition to my daily Bible listening, I have been more purposeful with my blog reading. As much as I adore reading other homeschooling blogs, I really feel God calling me to read more of HIM online. So, I am focusing more of my reading time with blogs focused almost entirely on the Word. I am really loving the series called Fresh Year, Fresh Start which is currently in progress and is written by several wonderful and inspiring bloggers.

We are revamping our daily routine and discipline plan as we always have to do after such a break in routine (holidays and vacation). Accountable Kids is kicking back into gear, as well as a new iTouch app I got called iRewardChart. I am also re-reading Creative Correction and have been listening to Focus on Parenting podcasts to refocus in the parenting area. We are also gearing up for our Raising Rock Stars family time this Sunday when we will pick back up with Joseph. Daddy has been reading about Joseph each morning during family prayer time to help prepare the boys, it’s been great!

As for ME, I am gearing up to begin the 30 Day Shred, and honestly I am a bit {or, a LOT} nervous ;-). I haven’t done significant exercise since before Ladybug and I am sure I probably won’t be able to move after the 1st day. I plan to begin no later than Monday! We’ll see how it goes, pray for me!!!!

I am preparing tons of homeschooling things too of course. I posted about Download and Go awhile ago and I DID end up ordering it for Pac Man. For us it was a big expense since I usually make our own stuff in the unit-study/lapbook area. BUT, with Pac Man getting older I am out of my early childhood element with him! So, I bit the bullet and paid the sale price for a semester’s worth of weekly unit studies. I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision at first, but now as I sit here preparing our first 2 units, I am really excited! I plan to share more with each unit we do, and also wanted to see if anyone else who reads bought it also and might be blogging about how they are using it with their kiddos? Right now I am coming up with a system that will hopefully work for us each week, I am not thinking we will finish a unit a week, more like every other week. We still have our other full subjects, this is just additional learning. The first unit is Winter Wonders and our second will be Amelia Earhart. I am really excited to begin ASAP!

In case you are looking to purchase any, here are some {limited time} coupon codes for a great discount.

  • 4 weeks Use coupon code DNG4WK and save 20%. Pay only $24
  • *19 weeks Use coupon code DNG19WK and save 20%. Pay only $91.20 for an entire semester’s learning! (*what I bought)
  • 38 weeks–is the absolute best deal! With the special coupon code DNG38WK, you can enjoy an entire year’s curriculum–for multiple children–for only $152! That’s only $4 per week to homeschool your entire family!

Totally Tots is off and running with a new team for 2010, we began the new posting schedule on January 1 with the launch of several new features this month! Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. It has kept me very busy these past 2 weeks, I am so thrilled with how God has led!

Finally, the best news {and the post I am most excited to write} is to share all about my sleepover at this lovely gal’s house! Stay tuned, I hope to be back with many posts soon!

Tot School ~ No School, week 2

~Krash is currently 43.5 months old~

We are busy saying good-byes and packing up today as we prepare to head back up north tomorrow morning.  I didn’t get too many photos of Krash this past week, he spent tons of time with my husband’s parents.  I did get to play with him at Monkey Joes, which is the PERFECT place for Krash!


IMG_8581We’ll be back soon with more normal Tot School posts!!! In the meantime, I look forward to seeing the rest of you who are back on track much sooner than we are!