Tag Archives: homeschool dad

Product Review – Adapted Mind

I am pretty excited to share with you my thoughts on the website Adapted Mind. The company “turn(s) real math into a delightful game”. We signed up for this website in June to serve as a supplemental game for SJ to keep her math skills sharp. The site offers both a family and school account. We signed up for a family account. We received a free month so we tried both the reading and math programs.

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Ease of Use: Lets talk about the math segment first. When the student first logs in they are given an assessment that determines where in the program the student will start. They are then walked through a series of games. There are three modules that are recycled throughout the lessons. The equations change but the format stays the same. SJ was able to stay engaged due to the offering of badges for reaching program milestones.

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There seems to be at least 100 badges. I will catch her exciting the game to check her dashboard for the next available badge. Each “lesson” as it is called provides an assessment of what the child has “learned”. This portion of the program can use revising since the lesson is only taught if the student gets the question wrong. This is frustrating for SJ so I teach her a lesson offline and then allow her to play the game to make sure she understands the concepts. Please be advised this program uses common core so that may be a good or bad thing depending on how you feel.

The reading section of the site features Fairy Tale characters that can be unlocked through the progression of the program. This part did not have an assessment and SJ quickly grew bored of the program despite the unlocking feature the site offered. It seems this section was an afterthought so we opted out of continuing the reading section of the site but we did keep the math.

Introducing New Concepts: In the math section there is no formal introduction of a new concept, topic, or idea to the student. If your child is a perfectionist like mine and the suddenly are faced with an unfamiliar equation then are immediately quizzed it can be daunting. However, the progress report is visible to the student. SJ’s goal is all green’s.

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Parent Resources: Adapted Mine offers worksheets! These worksheets make preparing the student for the upcoming topic easy. They are very plain but serve as a great guide. You can write the problems on a white board and use manipulatives. They take the guess work out whats next while allowing you to see what grade level your child is currently working in.

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My favorite feature is the email the site sends at the end of the day. The email lets your know how much work your child did. What they need to review and where they excelled.

AdaptedMindEmailIt also allows 5 students per family account that is $2 a month per student! I recommend checking it out. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some other sites but it may be worth giving a shot for a free month. Sign up for you free month of Adapted Mind here.

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Homemade Granola Bars

Granola reminds me of early morning hikes, field trips and play dates. It is an all around healthy, easy, guilt-free comfort food. Its also extremely versatile. My kids love to help in the kitchen so this is a recipe they can do alone without much interference. It involves measuring, self awareness, and critical thinking. I ask the following questions to keep them engaged and learning.

What ingredients do you think will make you full? Why?

Which ingredients are sweet?

Why honey instead of sugar?

Which ingredient did we use they least of? The most of?

Once you start asking your students questions more questions will naturally come about as you explore what you are doing and why. Remember it doesn’t have to be a well planned lesson to be a lesson. Look for ways to teach your children as you go about your regular activities.

This is our go to recipe but feel free to sub out ingredients and please let us know your tasty combinations below.

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Homemade Granola

3 cups quick oats                                                                                                                                     1/2 cup honey (replace with Aguava to make vegan)                                                                     1 cup peanut butter                                                                                                                               3 tbs protein powder                                                                                                                             1/2 cup chopped walnuts                                                                                                                       1/2 cup sunflower seeds                                                                                                                       1/2 cup raisins                                                                                                                                         1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix all ingredients. Pack down into a lined square pan and refrigerate for 3 hours. Cut into squares and enjoy!

** If you want granola but not in bar form you can make these into balls or cut the amount of peanut butter and honey to make it more like a crumble.

 

DIY Crayon Circles

We pick up crayons from everywhere! Back to school sales, dollar stores, restaurants, if they are offered to us or are being sold at a great price then we are getting them. This has led to an abundance of broken crayons. My son KJ has a real problem with things that are broken (though breaking things is his specialty) so he fights against using crayons that don’t meet his standards.

This activity was fairly easy to prep. I took all the crayons and put them in a pile on the table. I asked the kids to remove the wrappers which proved tedious so K and I joined in. After the crayons were unwrapped I had the kids sort them using disposable cupcake pans.

I then baked the crayons in the cupcake plans on 300 degrees for about 15 min. Once the crayons were completely melted I took them out the oven and put them into the freezer to harden. They easily popped out of the tins and the kids enjoyed being able to use them right away.

A Day at The Farm

Last week SJ was out of town. She got back Saturday night, we went to church Sunday and started up with school again Monday. She was pretty wiped out and after a week of informal school with KJ we needed something to look forward to. So we told the kids we would go on a field trip and today we went to Riley Farms.

It was really fun. We took a nice hike from the main cabin where we picked up a map to the apple orchards. The hike was less than a mile and the kids got to learn the proper way to pick apples. Once the apples were picked they were weighed and we paid for them.

The grounds are really neat. They have sheep on property, colonial toys, a bakery, even a cabin. The kids and I finished reading Meet Addy which takes place during the colonial era and so we got to go inside the cabin giving them a visual to a setting similar to the cabin in the book.

It was a fun, informative day, and its only 15 minutes from our house so I see many visits to this farm in the near future.

Sight Word Sticker Box

This past week my little ones have been having a hard time sitting still during our morning reading time. It was time to switch it up. We have been working quite a bit on sight words so this morning I decided to try an activity that would allow them to create. 
I found these letter and number craft stickers at Target a while back. I put them in a bin so the kids would have to hunt for the letters. They got to pick a sight word card, find the stickers then tell me the word.
SJ (5) ended up doing five words in the 20 min time frame. KJ(2) did two. Both had a good time but towards the end it got a little competitive since SJ found more words. 
Click here for another sight word game my kiddos love to play. 

Daddy Does School and FREE Phonics Resources

Every now and then my wonderful husband helps with homeschooling. On this particular day AJ (5 mos) was giving me a hard time. She wanted to nurse and sleep in my arms and ONLY nurse and sleep in my arms so it was a long day. Thankfully daddy stepped in and tried to follow my schedule. I battled on wither or not to post this picture since SJ’s hair isn’t done but then I figured, hey this is real everyday life!

As you can see K is teaching the kids sight words. I have have found two amazing sites that I use for phonics and literacy. The first is Progressive Phonics. My kiddos love that these book allow them to read with me. There are words throughout the printable books that are red, these are the words the student reads while the teacher reads the words that are in black. This is a great way to reinforce independent study. I will often give the printed book to SJ(5) and ask her how many of “mommy’s words” she knows.

The next site I use to identify popular sight words for SJ’s age. This is based on American standards. In some other countries children are reading fluently around 4 so I introduce both the previous books mentioned as well as the sight words to KJ (3). I use Dolch Sight Words which is a free site that gives you sight words by grade. They also have printable books.

As the kids are learning and growing I am having a lot of fun seeing what works and what doesn’t. I have found that for us it works best for me if I have general standards or goals I want to reach. I refer to the common core standards for my state. If you are interested you can find yours here. I have not decided to stick to the standards but I do like to have an idea of what others in my daughters age range are learning.

I’ve also learned to go with the flow when it comes to teaching. My kids don’t care what the common core standards are, they don’t want to stick to my objectives for the month, week, or day they just want to discover something awesome, and we get to teach them.