Monday, September 28, 2015

USAolopy Review

 USAopoly Review

We were recently given the chance to review Tapple-Fast Word Fun and Wonky:The Crazy Cubes Card Game from USAolopy.

USAolopy is company determined to bring fun games to families. USAolopy has been bringing fun games to families since 1994. A great way to bring fun, laughter and memories to families all around.

About the games:

 USAopoly Review

Tapple: Fast Word Fun- is an award winning game. A faced paced word game for ages 8+. This game gives family and friends excitement as they rush to beat the timer!

Simply pick a card from the stack, ( 144 fun categories) white and blue side are easier and the red and yellow side area little harder, announce the topic and push the buzzer and pass to the next player. You have 10 seconds to push a letter and say a word that starts with that letter that goes with the topic! You can play with 2+ players. ! First person to 3 cards...wins!! This game is great for family time, friends visiting or even to help with vocabulary! When you're done playing, the cards hide away on the back/bottom of the game. Perfect for keeping up with them. You will need two AA batteries for this game.

USAopoly Review
Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game- is a fun filled card game where you build wobbly towers with odd shaped blocks. Trick your opponent as you play a small block on a large block. Then they have to find a way to add another block without tipping over the whole tower! You can also play a reserve card for payback! Play all your cards without tipping over the tower and you WIN! 

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game comes with 9 odd shaped blocks ( Wonky blocks have 3 flat sides and 3 curved sides) and 54 strategy cards. Can be played by children 8+ and you need 2+ players. When you are done playing you can place all pieces in a storage bag that comes with the game. 

Both games retail for $19.95

What we thought:

Monster and I were both so excited to open up and try both games right away! 
Tapple: Fast Word Fun- Monster and I both loved right away. It came at the perfect time too. Monster was learning Verbs and Adjectives and both of those were topics on the cards! We were able to use both of these as a learning tool to go along with our lessons! This game is also a great way to get your mind thinking. I really thought I would be able to fly though it, but some of them make you think! 

For the easier cards I think younger kids could play along if you don't use the timer. I know the timer makes it more fun, but for younger siblings ( or in our case nieces and nephews) who want to play and learn the game, not using the timer is a great way to get them started! We have played this game several times and it pretty much stays out and ready to go when we want to play a round. Right now we are visiting family in Houston and even brought this game along. The adults even enjoyed playing against each other last night while waiting on dinner to cook! This game is faced paced so you can get a few rounds in very quickly!

Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game- We also had a blast with this game. Not knowing which card your opponent was going to play was nerve wrecking and fun all in one. It is interesting to watch though and see how the tower can be built without the blocks falling over. Also learning how to set the blocks on the other blocks so that balance out. Monster learned very quickly which blocks were best to play first and then which blocks to try and use last. It is great watching his mind work and watching him figure out which block he should and can play next! 

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 USAopoly Review
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Meet em' Mondays {The Ahlgrims}

Welcome to Meet em' Mondays. 

This week we have the Ahlgrims family from Oklahoma with us. 

Family Name: The Ahlgrims

Ages of your children:
Vesper is 3, and Grey is 2.

How long have you been homeschooling?
Two months

What state do you live in and is it a homeschool friendly state?
Oklahoma, and yes, it is a fantastic place to homeschool!

What is homeschool to you?
Creating an environment that promotes learning in all situations for our children. It also means the freedom to tailor lessons to the learning styles for my children in order to set them up for success in the future.

What made you initially decide to start homeschooling?
I was an education major in college and my husband and I always knew it was something we wanted to try. When we realized our oldest was advanced, it only reaffirmed our decision to do so!

How do you choose your curriculum?
When I first began doing research, I thought that I would need to choose a style and a curriculum right away. But because we're only doing PreK/ K, that hasn't been the case. Instead of using an out-of-the-box curriculum, we chose to create our own Unit Studies with a theme for each week. We cover reading and writing every day, and then down either Math, Science, or Art. We're using the few couple of years as a trial period to figure out what type of curriculum we'd actually like to use in the future!

Do you stay with a schedule or are you more flexible?
We stick pretty closely to a schedule, as my kids tend to respond better to having a predictable routine. But our school only takes about two hours each day, so we're flexible within our schedule as well!

How do you handle the family schedule?
I keep a paper calendar and one large family calendar in the kitchen so everyone knows what's going on and when.

How do you make sure your child has regular interaction with peers?
We are very active in our church and attend there about three times a week for various activities. We also do one of our schooling days at a local Early Learning Center- a "Mother's Day Out" of sorts- where they have a regular teacher and classmates and attend music and PE classes as well as work on things like letters and colors. Additionally, our daughter is enrolled in Tap and Ballet classes at a dance studio.

What resources are available if you do not understand how to teach the material you are supposed to teach?
Luckily, we haven't run into this yet! But I take comfort in knowing that our area has plenty of local co-ops to attend, and I have lots of online groups of other homeschooling moms and teachers that are more than willing to lend a helping hand. The homeschool community really is one of the most generous I've ever seen! Sharing knowledge is a really awesome thing!

What has been the most surprising part of homeschooling?

We originally started homeschooling because our oldest was already beginning to read at 3 years old. She craves school work and I knew she would really excel- and she has, but the most surprising part is the benefit her little brother has received from our homeschooling! He is only 2.5 and has had little interest in learning traditional things so far (letters, colors, shapes, etc) but lately, just being included in our daily school time, he has really started to open up and spout off answers when he knows them! You can tell he's so proud of himself, and it really makes my heart happy as his momma!

You can follow The Ahlgrims family on their blog at: Everyday Light

Thank you so much Chelsea for sharing your beautiful family with us! 

Monday, September 21, 2015


Well, as you can see we do not have a Meet em' Monday this week. I have sent out questions to other families, but have not received anything back from them yet :( I am starting to rethink this idea.

We had a pretty good weekend. Hope everyone else did as well.

Monster got up this morning at 11am and I am sure he needed that extra rest. He got up and ate breakfast and then he got started with his work. I was surprised this morning when it took him all of an hour and a half to finish up all his school work. He even did 3 Math lessons, Spanish, Reading, Language Arts and Science. It was a great way to start the week.

Math this morning he worked on Volume and he has to use multiplication in this, so it was a great review. He also worked on two other lessons that had to do with directions.

This is him working this morning in his adorable new shirt from OshKosh B'Gosh. I am loving that store. 

Monster and I last week. 

Last Thursday we got to go to Sea Life in Grapevine with some awesome friends of ours. This is their first year homeschooling their 5 year old. He is so adorable. Monster had so much fun walking around and looking at the animals with him. 

We loved getting to see all the different animals. We even did a workshop class on Octopus and Squid. 

Nothing exciting planned for this week, but next week we leave for Houston! We are going to visit family for the week! Another great thing about homeschooling is being able to go visit family whenever we want! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets {Review}

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

We were recently given the chance to review an Individual Membership to Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets Individual Membership gets you online access to hundreds of different types of worksheets. They have worksheets for:
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Handwriting ( both print and cursive)
  • Grammer
  • Spelling List (grades 1-5)
  • Holidays
  • Worksheet generator
  • Phonics
  • and several others! 
You are able to use these worksheets for your children and can print off as many worksheets at one time as you like! Every worksheets is two pages long. One page includes the worksheet and the other page is the answer key. I love that they include the answer key.

The individual membership gets one person unlimited access for a year for only $20 a year! How great is that! I really consider that $20 to be doable for as many different types of worksheets you can get with this program, plus even being able to create your own worksheets if need be! 

What we thought:

We have been using Super Teacher Worksheets since the day we got it. We have used worksheets from this site almost every day. I have loved having a website that I can go to and print off extra worksheets to go along with our lessons. I have even added in extra lessons to using this worksheets from this site. I love that I can use the search tool to find worksheets to go along with our theme. 

Monster and I recently studies Communities and I was able to use this website to pull several worksheets to go along with our theme. 

One thing I have really loved about this program is I can easily use it with Monsters Math program. Right now his Math program is online and has no worksheets. I can easily log into Super Teacher Worksheet and find a worksheet or two to go along and print it off. 

The worksheets can be printed in black and white or color. I love the bright colors they use on their worksheets as to me, that is just an added bonus for the children!

I love that they have such a great variety of worksheets as well. I can use worksheets from this site for almost every single lesson I have been doing the last few weeks. I was even able to pull some Reading Comprehensive worksheets as extra practice for Monster here and there. 

So far, Monster has loved having extra worksheets. He has even asked for me to print off some extra brain teasers and puzzles for him to do for fun on the side of his work! 

Here Monster is using two different worksheets that we used when working on Calendars and Months in Math. 

This one has been a favorite of Monsters. We learned all about communities and Monster was able to print off a Rural, Suburban and Urban Community that he colored, cut and put together to make his own little towns! 

Here, we were able to find worksheets on Synonyms and Antonyms and use them for extra practice! 

And then of course the Math ones that we use daily!! 

You can find Super Teacher Worksheets online:

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Super Teacher Worksheets Review
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Follow Us Fridays { The Niebling Family}

Today I want to introduce a new series on the blog that I hope works out. This is our first Follow Us Fridays.  For Follow Us Friday, I asked the family to share with us a day in their homeschool life.

Today's Follow Us Friday comes from The Niebling Family.

Wednesday 8:15-Breakfast with Mysteries of the Universe, 3rd episode, Thin Blue Line about the atmosphere, then we watched the Magic School bus episode about bees
9:30 -head downstairs to start our book work. Avery is in 1st/2nd with most of her work in 2nd grade. Alex is in 4th with a few 3rd grade books in there to help and Jack is in 5th. We are eclectic homeschoolers and don't follow one particular curriculum. We do about 3 hours of book work and the rest of our time is spent doing group activities in science, social studies, geography and history.  
Here is an example of our daily activities:
Avery- picks 6 pages from Brain Quest (she is a bit stubborn sometimes and if she picks her own pages she gets it done), reads 4 pages from Hooked On Phonics, 1 page from Harcourt Math, and a few pages from Scholastic 100 words kids need to know then does Mystery Science website on the computer with activities. Today is "why do plants grow fruit" and a hands on activity after.
Alex- Spectrum Spelling 4th grade, writing prompt (what my favorite cartoon character is, and why?), Spectrum Phonics, a story from his reading book, Houghton Mifflin math-multiplication tables , Mystery Science website: what makes a roller coaster go fast-with an  engineering activity including: designing our own roller coaster and playing with the marble mania play set we have.
Jack- writing prompt (If I had a million dollars), McMillan/McGraw Hill Math- dividing by 2 digit divisors, Spectrum Geography-reading a population map during colonial times, Spectrum Spelling and Language Arts,Houghton Mifflin Social Studies (actually done with all the kids) colonel studies, McMillan McGraw Hill Reading book and Math book. Mystery Science magnets.

After a break for lunch we make the bagels from a recipe from a story we read during school.
Then they have the rest of the day to play.
We live in Georgia so we are required to do 4.5 hours a day, 180 days a year. We choose to be all year around school and end up doing about 200 days because I take days off here and there to run errands and go to playgroup. 
We are part of a home school group and all of the moms work together to plan field trips, we do about 1 to 2 a month.  
We also belong to a Gem and mineral Society and attend field trips with them on our own.  
We have our own pool and swim every day.
 Avery has soccer in the fall and the boys are taking golf lessons in the winter.  
We attend free days at the Art museum once a month and try to go to as many community events that we can. 
We travel across country during the summer to visit family all over the country. We live on a farm and the kids are starting to help with farm chores as well.
Art lessons are about once or twice a week. Science experiments day is about once a week too.  We have playgroup on Thursdays, so it's easier to just do experiments or art during morning hours then go to playgroup. 
Ruth Patrick Science Center, looking through the telescope at the moon and Jupiter. 

Cripple Creek Colorado on a tour we took down in a real gold mine. 

Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.

Alligator farm in southern Colorado we visited last summer.

Thank you so much to the Niebling Family for sharing what a day in the life of your homeschoolers is like! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Meet em' Mondays { The McKinney Family}

Welcome back to Meet em' Mondays! We took the Summer off and now we are ready to get these Mondays started again!

This week I would like to introduce to you The McKinney Family.

Family Name: The McKinney Family (McKinney Academy)
Ages of your children: 11, 6, 5 and 3
How long have you been homeschooling? 8 years (Started the oldest in Preschool)
What state do you live in and is it a homeschool friendly state? Kentucky, it is yes homeschool friendly. Very laid back and the laws are easy. We simply have to keep records, attendance and notify the BOE

What is homeschool to you? Homeschool to me is life. We learn in almost everything we do. I am teaching my children to not only be "book smart" but to be life smart. Its not all sit down learning, we are learning to cook, to build, etc. Its not all about the book lessons (though they are important).
What made you initially decide to start homeschooling? My husband, from the time I became pregnant with my oldest he was telling me that we would homeschool, He isn't a fan of the public school system because of personal experience on his part and some other things he saw/heard. I wasn't on board at first (if I'm being honest, mostly for selfish reasons) but we agreed on a trial run, for preschool to see how it went. From day one I was in love with it. Not to say some days I didn't want to pull my hair out or scream in frustration (and still do sometimes) but it's always worth it once we over come the obstacle in our way. I will never forget the first time my son read a book to me. I was in tears.  Teaching how to read is something that takes time and patience, once I taught him how to read I knew we was going to make it. I knew we would (and could) do this together. Now here I am years later, teaching three sometimes four (when the littlest one wants to "play lessons") kids and I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I'm so glad my husband stuck with his guns on this one.
How do you choose your curriculum? I (for the most part) create my own, I do buy books, I love thrifting for books and I  can not pass us a learning/teaching book if I find one. I use various books/brands though and create my own to fit my children. Only thing I would say is a favorite is Abeka Science. I prefer it over any other science program and my oldest really enjoys it as well. He has taken his science book to bed to read at night instead of his normal bedtime stories. We do lots of hands on, it seems to engaging the kids more and make them more willingly to learn, especially when its something they aren't too happy to do.

Do you stay with a schedule or are you more flexible? We are a routine family. We do not follow a schedule (schedules make me anxious, which makes me become grumpy when I don't think we will be where we should be when wee should be,etc) I am flexible about it as long as we get everything done in a day we should what is the rush? That's part of what I love about homeschooling. If we need to go somewhere and not get home until 4 in the evening we can still do our studies. Homeschool teaching never closes, never goes home for the day. It is home.
How do you handle the family schedule? Our family schedule is pretty much nonexistent. I'm a stay at home mom and my husband works full time. Only days we really have a schedule is Sunday because of church and my husband is off that day so its easy to follow.
How do you make sure your child has regular interaction with peers?  We have a huge family,  we have friends with kids (when you become a parent you lose friends, become a homeschool mom and you lose even more) we go to church, we go to play areas. Peer interaction is something I do not worry about it.

What has been the most surprising part of homeschooling? How simple it can be sometimes. Going in to homeschooling I thought it was going to be an uphill battle all the time, that teaching them everything when they knew nothing was going to be impossible. How could I ever do such a thing? Then we start something and BAM they already have it. We are equipped by God to learn. Sometimes it takes more time than others but I truly believe and follow the guideline of when they are ready they will learn. It something  I never truly knew or appreciated until I started to teach my children.

You can follow the McKinney Family and their homeschool adventures at their Facebook page: McKinney Academy

Thank you to the McKinney Family for sharing your homeschooling with us! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week 11

It is Friday already! We are ready for the weekend to start... oh, wait... it already has for us!

This morning Monster and I decided to walk around outside. Well I walked and he scootered. We ended up at the movie theater where we watched Fantastic Four. Then we went home and he worked on a few lessons he had left for the week. Such a great and simple day. Now he is watching Scooby Doo while we wait for his cousin and aunt to come over. d

This weekend we have a birthday party to attend, plus I have Bridal pictures in the evening and then we have Awanas starting back up!

Monday will start back up with our Meet em' Mondays and then Friday we will have our first Follow Us Friday. If you would like to be included or would like more information please email me at: I would love to get more homeschooling families involved in this. d

A few photos of our week:

Monster using a desk I bought as a photo prop. He likes sitting in this little desk. 

Monster is working in a new Spanish program that I will be sharing soon! 

His lovely bruise. This is actually day 3 of his bruise. He was playing around with a friend and fell face first to the ground. Thankfully his teeth and mouth were ok and nothing was damaged! 

This was today while scootering around! It was finally cool outside but it is now hot again. I am so ready for Fall! 

I can't wait to share our first Meet em' Monday! Check back Monday to see the family! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Week 10

This week went by so fast. Hubby has been in London for work for seven days and we have missed him. He should be home within the next few hours! Monster is super excited Daddy is coming home today!

This week we:

Did charts, graphing and subtracting this week in Math. Monster only has a few more weeks and he will be done with 3rd grade math!!! 

This week in Language Arts we discussed Antonyms. We played a memory match game where we had to match Antonyms. That was fun. 

Monster tried new pickles this week, but what is more exciting is that he ASKED to try the carrots that were in the bottom of the pickle jar. He tried them and he liked them! I was so proud of him for trying something new! 

In Social Studies this week we worked on taking notes about Suburban Communities.

He colored his picture to make a Suburban area. He added it to his Rural one from last week and next week we will add the Urban one! 
A few other highlights from our week:

Today we wore blue to support our police 

We also went to our local Steel City Pops ( since ya know it is in walking distance)! 

Next week on the blog we will have Meet em' Mondays return!! We will also start Follow Us Fridays! Stay tuned for those and a few new reviews coming up!