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Our Journey through Books, Happiness, and Home Education


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Essential Skills Advantage **Review**

ESA

Essential Skills Advantage is for children in grades K-6. This is an online program to help children with reading and language skills. How is ESA different from every other online learning program? Essential Skills Advantage takes each individual learning style into account with your child. Some of what they will learn is phonics, sight words, spelling, vocabulary building, and reading comprehension with so much more for each child to learn while having fun! Our family was given a 1 year subscription to Essential Skills Advantage premium plan to review and share our thoughts with our readers. You can purchase a premium plan for only 4.99 a month with this wonderful coupon code “TOS50″. This code is for the premium plan. As a “reminder” to our readers this coupon code will expire on October 1st, so HURRY and purchase Essential Skills Advantage! The regular price is 9.99 a month to sign up without the code.

Essential Skills Advantage ReviewWe used Essential Skills Advantage in our daily routine as a home educating family. My 5 children including, Elion (preschool), loved Essential Skills Advantage in its entirety. After all our book lessons are done at the end of the day, I allot my children online learning time. With my older children, I was able to get other things done because the program was so easy for them to navigate and it allowed them to learn with little supervision or help.

My older children, Einstein (grade 7), Curie (grade 6),and Franklin (grade 4), really enjoyed this program. Einstein’s favorite part of the program was the vocabulary builder 6. He had so much fun in the homophones word search. Einstein would set a timer to see how fast he could go through the word search as a game. He had so much fun on this program even though Einstein excels in reading. Essential skills gives him a fun way of going over spelling, grammar and language skills in the areas he needs work on. Einstein is in 7th grade, however, he really liked learning with ESA!

My younger children Hubble (2nd grade) and Elion (preschool) also really liked this program. I did not ever hear any complaints about getting on ESA. From the start, my daughter loved the Kindergarten complete reading. Elion says, “Mommy I make it look so easy!” One of the catch phrases when you do a great job on the lesson was a little dog that came on and shook his hips and said, “You make it look so easy!” I thought that was so cute.

As a family, we have been looking for a program that our children would love to learn that had multiple learning areas. We found that with Essential Skills Advantage. It is really easy to get started, log into, and navigate. I did not need a HUGE instruction manual to get around. I am impressed at how easy ESA is to use for parents as well. The parents account has updates, as well as, progress for each child. With our youngest daughter, Elion, I had so much fun sitting with her to see her face light up with the lessons. The lessons are not confusing for children. For example, with the Complete Reading for Kindergarten, if your child needs something to be repeated, there is a picture of an ear to have them repeat the word or instructions. I like the voice for our children because it is clear. The pictures were very good for our littlest to understand and there is no guess-work.

We will continue to use ESA next year as well. My oldest son would like to see the grade levels increase so he can continue using this program through middle school. I would love that! My daughter, Elion (preschool), was frustrated when she played the word matching games. With every correct match, the card would disappear to expose a piece of the picture behind it. Sometimes the picture was a dog or some other fun, friendly picture for children. Elion expressed that after she was done with the matching and won, the picture would disappear to fast. She needed more time to see her accomplishment. While we are on the subject of accomplishment, ESA gives the kids printable certificates as motivation for children! In some states, having those certificates is a must. I personally do not live in a state with those laws, however, I like to have them on file for my children in the future!

The only negative that I can find with ESA was the login process. You have to log in and out too many times with each child. I would like a place to login as a family then a simple button to switch users until we log out. I understand to keep good records for each child you must have a login process, however, less time would be great with one family page!

Essential Skills Advantage Review
Overall Thoughts:

I am impressed with Essential Skills Advantage giving my family a program that makes learning happy and fun! My 5 children liked learning through Essential Skills Advantage. With online programs, our oldest son is hard to impress, he would rather write it in a book; however, he really enjoyed this program. I liked how he took to ESA with ease while having fun learning. All my children are gaining confidence in language skills because of this program. As a mother of 5 homeschooling children, I like how this program goes over so many things that are beneficial in my children’s learning needs. ESA is great if you are a home-educating family or you can use it as a supplement program after school as well. I liked how ESA focuses on learning, not games for children that are educational, but real learning!

Essential Skills Learning does offer a program that is completely free to use. You can sign up completely FREE! As a member, you can enjoy every course that ESA has to offer. However, there will be some of the available features missing with some advertisements included. I did not review the FREE program. Our thoughts and review is on the Premium Plan. Why not log on to sign up for your FREE membership, then if you like it as much as my family, upgrade to the premium plan. Don’t forget to use the 50 percent off coupon code at the top of this review!

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UberSmart Math Facts **Education Review**

 

UberSmart

Are you looking for software on your computer for math that is not another yearly subscription online math program? UberSmart Math Facts, through UberSmart Software ,is a downloadable program for your computer that you can use for all of your children that are ready to learn or practice their math facts. As a math lover, as well as, a homeschooling mother, I understand the need for children to practice math daily. Wheather your child is in school or home educated,  UberSmart Software is a great tool to help your child excel in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more.

We were given the home downloadable software for review for all of my school aged children to share our thoughts with our readers. I will admit when I first downloaded UberSmart Math Facts, I thought my children would not like it; however, I was wrong.

UberSmart Math Facts is a Windows-based program that is super easy to download. The home software download is only $24.95 - that’s it! No monthly fees and no other charges. You don’t even have to worry about renewing a subscription.  You also get free upgrades and support with your purchase. As an added BONUS, you can download UberSmart Math Facts for your family with 30% off starting September 1st by using the coupon code “v4 Early Bird”. HURRY because that coupon code only lasts until September 30th!

UberSmart Math Facts Review

I used UberSmart with my children in grades 7, 6, 4 and 2. UberSmart is designed for children K-6, however, this software can be used for any age that needs math facts reinforcement. Before our family started with the math facts themselves, each of my children took a test to see what UberSmart recommended as a starting level. I love the tests (did I just say that?). Most children find tests intimidating. UberSmart re-assures your student from the start to relax, because this is not a pass or fail test. With each student, UberSmart designs a report that is personalized to them which includes their name! Two of our children were recommended to start with the 10-key (keyboard entry) practice before starting the math facts. I love how UberSmart gives parents a detailed report keeping the parent informed with details of what your student needs to work on. There is no guess-work involved at what level your child should start, or what your child should be practicing based on the testing. I personally found it helpful to print the report and gave myself the notes and records of what my children needed to work on and/or practice.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

UberSmart is so much more than just a flash card program. It is a way for your child to succeed in math facts while learning how to be quick in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Our daughter struggles in her multiplication tables, however, with this program I saw her improve on a daily basis with repetition. UberSmart is simple to navigate and easy to use. I thought the program lacked  appeal in some ways. The background was always the same. There were no great graphics of characters or wonderful noises. My 3 oldest children used math facts 3 times a week for 20 minutes. The youngest Hubble (2nd grader) used math facts 3 times a week but only for 15 min a day. I saw so much progress in each of my children within 3 weeks of getting this program. I will be excited to see the progress at the end of our school year for my daughter, who will continue using UberSmart.

One of my children out of the four that tried UberSmart liked this program. I believe if you have a learner that is great with computers, as well as, a visual learner, your child will like UberSmart. If you have a learner that is more hands on with math, this program will not be a great fit for them. I also recommend not having your child be on it for a long period of time. These are practice math facts that when done right will help your child succeed and grow in learning math skills. In my experience with my own children, practice is wonderful while in small amounts, especially with math facts, but anything in excess can cause some children not to like math.

UberSmart Math Facts Review

Overall, even though I saw progress with this program,  I will only have one child continue using this program. My daughter age 11 in 6th grade seemed to be the only child that really liked using this on a daily basis. I might have my children use UberSmart when they want too. I like the concept and believe that this program is a wonderful asset to a family. Not every child will like this program, but if your child likes computers and is a visual learner, this is a good fit; however, if not, this might not be the program for you.

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The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich By Marcia Lynn McClure **Book Blast 50.00 Giveaway**

secret blissThe Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure

“Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!”

“Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine,

More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being.

In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.

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marciaAuthor Marcia Lynn McClure

Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.”

Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.

 

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Happy Kids Songs **Review**

 

happykidssongs

We love music around our house and my favorite is classical music. My kids love to dance. They love music with words. What better way to let your children have fun than to dance around to uplifting music through Happy Kids Songs! We have a great opportunity to review for you some amazing music through Happy Kids Songs and to get your kids rockin while learning! Each song has a beautiful message for your children to love, embrace, and have fun playing too.

Our family reviewed

The Happy Kids Songs Workbook

Happy Kids Songs ReviewAlso: 

Friends and Sharing (set 1)
Happy Kids Songs Review

Song Titles:

  • Sailing on the Seven C’s
  • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
  • Sharing Friends
  • Happy as Happy Can Be
  • Together

 

Happiness and Attitude (set 5)
Happy Kids Songs Review

Song Titles:

  • Shake It Out and Dance
  • Who Knows What’s a Kudo
  • I Don’t Understand
  • Be Good To Yourself
  • Better Together

 

Manners and Character (set 6)
Happy Kids Songs Review

Song Titles:

  • H-O-N-E-S-T-Y
  • The Magic Word
  • Quirks
  • The Golden Rule
  • Six Little Kids

All these songs above and more are available for  easy download. If you would like to download all the songs in a set, the price is 4.95 for 5 songs. Listen to samples of all the songs before you buy. Each Happy Kids Song is also sold separately for 99 cents. This is a great price for a wonderful product that you will be sure to love.

When we received our songs, we went right away and burned them to a CD which made it possible for us to play them where ever we went. My children loved these songs in the car or at home! The Happy Kids song book is a companion that comes along with the songs as an added bonus! You can download and print The Happy Kids Song workbook for FREE with lyrics that go along with each song or you can purchase a copy already bound and printed for you for 12.56 on Happy Kids Songs site.

Happy Kids Songs Range in Age from 3 years of age to 8 years of age. I will be playing these songs with the next little one from birth up!

Happy Kids Songs Review

Our thoughts and how we used Happy Kids Songs:

The first time listening to Happy Kids Songs my 2 children, ages 4 and 7, fell in love with the melodies, vibrant singers , and messages that Happy Kids Songs is all about. Friends and Sharing is all about friendship and respecting each other. I had each of my children pick out a favorite song from set 1, Friends and Sharing.

Elion (4) chose Sailing on the Seven C’s. This tune is catchy and upbeat. I love the message this song gave her of the seven c’s of friendship: Caring, consideration, commitment, communication, concern, curiosity and cooperation. We had so much fun dancing to the amazing beat. I found it helpful for Elion to read along with the lyrics on the workbook. That gave her a better understanding of the songs. I know these are excellent lessons for all my children to hear. I was so happy when Elion picked the Happy Kids Songs to be played on our trip in the car. We had fun and gained amazing memories that these songs gave us on our trip! We are looking forward to have more songs on our next trip!

Hubble (7) chose Happy as Happy Can Be. This song has some great singers and not only were the lyrics amazing, but the singers were a mix of adults, as well as, children singing making the song come alive for my children. Happy as Happy Can Be is catchy with high energy and lots of fun!  Hubble says,” I like this song because it means I can be Happy!”

As a mother of 5, the lessons my children get when listening to these songs are so valueable. Lessons that even us as adults in listening with our children should remember. Most of these songs in all the sets we were given for review are spot on and wonderful! A few of them just did not fit me and so I love the option to listen before you purchase an entire set (sample). I personally didn’t like the song Talkin About Talkin, where it explains to children that you never say never, always, or forever. I found it funny that the song’s lyrics say “never say never” when they just said it; moreover, in my beliefs I personally believe you can say always and forever. I understand what the song was trying to say, however, personally some songs just weren’t for us. I highly recommend sampling the songs and love that Happy Kids Songs gives you that option.

These are not your average kids songs where every songs starts to sound alike. Happy Kids Songs are different not just for the lessons and motivation they give but because all the songs have different beats. Some have adults singing the songs, some have a mixture, and some have children as well as adults. The instruments are wonderful and there are even background surprises like birds chirping with so much more. I found the songs entertaining, even though the lyrics are catchy, they do not overwhelm you with that bugging feeling as a parent. You know that feeling of “OH NO NOT AGAIN!” that we all say when we are listening to kids music. I enjoyed these songs and even found myself putting them on without the kids asking!

We found the workbook to be so helpful with the songs. Elion, Hubble, and myself would sit down and listen to the songs while singing the lyrics together. Then I would have Elion and Hubble go do the activities for those songs. The activities in the workbook include coloring pages, missing letters, word search, finger puppet drawing, letter tracing, and so much more. We loved doing the activities in the back of the workbook while listening to the songs for some summer fun. Our favorite was the puppet friends which goes along with the song, Everybody Wants to Find a Friend.

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Hubble making his Puppet Friend!

 

If you are looking for some amazing, uplifting, vibrant songs with beautiful lessons to share with your entire family, Happy Kids Songs is what you are looking for and you will love it: We do! I cannot wait to download more songs for my children for us to listen to in the car or at home dancing around. Happy Kids Songs is a ton of family fun. I recommend the downloadable activity book to give your children some activities to go along with the songs. They will understand why friendship is important, why we should have great character, and happiness is so beautiful. You will see your children super HAPPY with Happy Kids Songs!

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Homeschooling PreK and Kinder For Less. Wonderful Resources for Every Family!

preschoolandkinder

I’m part of a homeschool group online/offline in the area where I live. Since school has started I have been reading so many questions for new homeschoolers on PreK and Kindergarten learning. Being a frugal homeschooling mom, myself, I thought I might share with my readers some answers to the questions that all new homeschooling mothers have when starting home education. I have homeschooled 4 children through PreK and K. This year I am homeschooling number 5 through PreK since she is 4 years old. I also know we will be homeschooling more through the years so I have some experience, however, I am always learning more.

Question: Do you have to purchase expensive curriculum? No, I love the early years of homeschooling there are some wonderful other moms that love to share ideas, curriculum, printables and more. Of course you can spend money on curriculum for PreK and Kinder, however, you don’t have too. Here are some great resources, that I have used with my family. Most of these are low cost or free for your family.

 Alphabet

Zoomin Moving Alphabet by Royal Baloo FREE printables , super cute we are using these this year! You can download/print each letter separately super easy. We are doing 1 letter a week.

Romping Roaring ABC Packs by 3 Dinosaurs FREE printables I used these with my son he loved them and learned quickly! You can download/print each letter separately for free or purchase them all. I like that these packs include some 3 letters in 1 for advanced kinder.

Confessions of a Homeschooler has Free printables on her site or you can purchase Letter of the Week for 15.00 download we have not used the Letter of the Week. We have used the K4 curriculum for our son and I recommend anything from COH because she has awesome lessons! K4, is 15.00 for a download we purchased the CD for 20.00

Sightword Fun

Make, Take, Teach has a fun Sightword Activity Kit (once you make one you have the skills for more)

Ready, Set, Read FREE printable books for early readers

Emergent Readers by The Measured Mom FREE

There are lots of low-cost printables on Teachers Pay Teachers that are worth it. I love this resource that teachers as well as home-educator share wonderful resources. If you have not joined it is FREE, and you can get lots of FREEBIES. Along with very low cost items.

Reading/Literature

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These are just some books that I highly recommend for 3-6 age group. For book projects that go along with some of these books. Homeschool Share has 25+ FREE units based on Classic picture books. I loved these units what a fun way to get your little one interested in reading!

FIAR is a great concept for little ones learning literature. If you are unfamiliar with Five In A Row you can visit FIAR website and read more about this wonderful concept. I have also started a pinterest board of my own recently for Five In A Row ideas. Come follow me, promise there will be a lot more pins over the next few months. Please also comment here and let me know you follow so I can re-turn the follow.

Preschool and Kinder FUN Packs

Royal Baloo FREE

Buggy and Buddy FREE

I will be writing more about some fun resources for this age group later this month as well.

Green Jello with Carrots I LOVE THEM! I have made so many wonderful, games, fun packs, file folder games, dress up dolls for boys/girls and so much more. This site has low cost items and some are FREE. Here is a direct link to their wonderful shop! Also they don’t just have LDS downloads there are downloads for Christmas and others that are Christian based as well. Along with non-faith based items for fun for everyone.

Poetry and Writing

Poetry Journal for PreK and K (Hurry and Download for FREE now)

Mother Goose Pack (15.00 lifetime membership) I love Enchanted Homeschooling Mom I purchased this lifetime membership last year and it has helped our homeschooling so much! Must for any family with little from PreK to 3rd grade. Plus E.H.M is coming out with more curriculum for older students as well! (The picture at the top of this page is our daughter using the Mother Goose Pack)

Handwriting Without Tears

Letters and Numbers for Me

Cost for this book is 8.50. Although, there is a little cost to this book I highly recommend this for young ones learning to write. We love Handwriting Without Tears!

Writing Fun with The Measured Mom FREE early spring readers to print and writing pages

 Math

Shapes with Felt by Plain Vanilla Mom

Printable Shape Pig FREE (hurry and download)

Cut and Paste Patterns on Free Homeschool Deals

More Math fun for all ages on Math for Kids Pinterest Board

I have found some wonderful math resources at Walmart and the DollarTree in our area. Also ask around for friends if they have already schooled all their little ones chances are they have some things leftover. I have learned with ages 3-6 anytime is a learning time, even shopping in the food market or playing in the stream! Making learning fun at this age is FUN!

Science

Weather Detectives   If you decide to purchase the lifetime membership please use this affiliate link for Book Wishes to help support our homeschooling. Thank you.

This is the first year we are going to use weather detectives, if you have used it or will be come back and let me know your thoughts.

Butterfly Unit by Spell Outloud FREE

Resources for FREE Butterfly Units from FREE Homeschool Deals FREE

Frog Unit by Notebooking Nook FREE

I also recommend Magic School Bus DVD’s from Scholastic great investment for science

Bible and Scripture Study

Scripture Study with your Toddler by One Willis Family

LDS Notebooking Pages

Book of Mormon

Discover the Scriptures Book of Mormon Study This is a download for 19.99. We have used this for 3 years now, our children love it. Uses the illustrated version of The Book of Mormon. Even though this book says, grades 1-3. I used this book with my son in kinder and it was great. I had to help, but the knowledge he received was wonderful.

Book of Mormon Study for children by A Few of My Favorite Things I love this site so many ideas I have used and love! With FREE printables

Holiday FUN

Give Thanks from Discover the Scriptures

Holiday Printables by Royal Baloo

I use pinterest to gather all my ideas for having a Christ Centered Christmas and this year I will be sharing before the month of December all those wonderful items. Holidays are the happiest times of year with family and friends. I just let the fun flow during these and focus on the family.

These are just some of the resources for PreK and K that I recommend and love. The second question that was asked in the homeschool group.

Is it time-consuming and hard to teach PreK and K.

Time consuming, YES, what you rather be doing? I love watching my little ones grow and learn. You are going to spend a lot of time printing and preparing when you don’t buy ready-made for you curriculum. I love doing it, I feel like a little kids when everything is done. Exciting to see my little child’s face so excited and the accomplishment you get as well as them when they are learning. Hard, sometimes, however parenting is from Heavenly Father. They are gifts given to us on loan. He didn’t say it would be easy he did say it would be worth it.

Last, take your time. Have so much fun learning and growing, loving, playing and laughing. Family is everything, in these early learning years you don’t have to break the bank to be great! If you have a resource you would like to add, please comment below!

 

 


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Pulled at the Heart Strings! *Newbery Book Review*

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Looking for a family read that will pull at your heart-strings? I have found it, The Family Under The Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson with pictures by Garth Williams! Set in Paris, France this book is about a man named Armand that has chosen to live his life homeless. Refusing to let a job or love tie him down until he stumbles upon a family that recently became homeless. Armand’s entire life changes. you can read the synopsis as well as purchase this book from Barnes and Noble.

I read this as a Read-A-Loud with my family, I was so glad I did. This book will  remind you of the blessings of life in a fun way. A short read at only 123 pages long making it great for little ones as well. Also a Newbery Medal winner! Take a journey with the main character Armand who just happens to find the Calcet family living under a bridge in Paris during the winter. The Calcet’s have become homeless after their father died leaving the mother with 3 children. Not wanting to separate her family mother Calcet hides her children under the bridge during the day while she attends work. Armand looks after the children by his own choice, even sharing food with them. Armand feels the pure heart of a “starling” that is what Armand calls a  child. Changing his life forever.

Armand being homeless for so long is afraid to love again, his heart opens up and he begins to become a ‘grandpa” to this small family. During the story the children take adventures with Armand around the city and even to visit Father Christmas. During the visit with Father Christmas the children ask for a present that Armand feels is impossible. I really loved Armand’s character, he grows with love and compassion. I believe he changes his heart because he has chosen this way of life but as for the children they have not. So he is soften to help.

The mothers character is very irritating during this story, she refuses to think of herself as needy or poor. Often looking down upon Armand, as well as, some gypsies that have saved her family from the cold. The gypsies offer warmth, food, and support. The mother is too stubborn to see the good in people. I would have loved this story to be a little longer to read about the mothers progress in loving others.

The Family Under The Bridge is well-written, with cute pictures for the children. My children were taught so many wonderful things from this book as well as myself! Bring your tissue and cover your heart this is a great read! I highly recommend this book to all families. If you are reading through medal winner books add this one to the top of your list for reading this year!

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars- I do wish it would be just a little longer or they had a book 2, you will love the ending!

 


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Are you really going to Breastfeed that child, RIGHT HERE?**Judgments/Tips**

ourbaby5

Breastfeeding can be hard, some judgments I feel breastfeeding mothers face….

1. “Why are you feeding that hungry baby in public, don’t you have any decency?”

What the breastfeeding mother hears and why she is hiding herself in the bathroom, dressing room or in the hot car to nurse her hungry child!

2. “How dare you expose any part of your skin/breast, there are children present!”

What the breastfeeding mother who is feeding her child, at the park, in a restaurant, maybe even a school hears!

3. “How old is that child your feeding, they should be done breastfeeding by now!”

What the breastfeeding mother hears, who has a child anywhere near, around or past the year mark.

ourlove

These are just some of the judgments breastfeeding women/mothers face daily from society or social media.

Let me start with reason 1, why is that mother nursing her baby in public? Because that mother has decency, she has morals, she loves her son or daughter. I nursed my children in public without having my breast hang out. Well, I did not nurse our first child in public because I was too afraid at what people said or thought of me if I nursed in front of them (I got over that, quickly). I have morals, also I have a hungry child that needs to be feed. If my child were screaming out in hunger would you think I was a bad mother? So do not judge the good mother who needs, yes needs, to feed her child! Let her be if you would rather not see it, our heads and eyes are able to turn away. A breastfeeding mother rather not have you stare at her anyway. Most people who have a problem with this are OK with men taking off their shirts in the heat, women at the pool in barely nothing bathing suits. A woman feeding her child is just that she looks for nothing except to be a good mother and feed her child, let her.

Addressing reason 2, children do not care about mother’s breastfeeding it is adults who care. Children are innocent and what they see is a mother feeding her child, innocently. Not a lady letting herself hang out. Please tell the breastfeeding mother what you really feel, or better yet please don’t. Would you rather your child  see a pop star with nothing on?  Or a magazine that makes women so thin they have eating problems! Talk to your children and explain what that mommy is doing, most of the time they won’t care anyway. I nursed all my children right in front of the other while they played, read books, went about their day. With no blanket, I tell my children Heavenly Father made mothers to feed babies, play with them, love them and be good to children. Let them know that breasts are not sexual objects but needed for mothers to help their children get nutrients and be healthy! Educating your child, instead of trying to hurt another mother.

I believe that my children will grow to understand a woman’s body is not to be looked at negatively but with beauty. Mothers are to be respected as well as encouraged!

On to number 3, my children were all breastfeed until the 2 year mark, one or 2 just under that  2 year mark. Some doctors say you should breast feed until a year, some 2 years. I don’t live my life around doctors I live my life with prayer and understanding. I know my child best and Heavenly Father knows me best, with prayer and love I will breastfeed  until we are both ready to stop. That said I don’t see a point if a child is going to Kindergarten to be breastfeeding. That is between the child and mom, be respectful, be loving and most of all be kind.

Why are we having so many problems with women nursing their children in 2014? I cannot understand why so many feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding?  I am not saying if you bottle feed you are a bad mother at all. I just wanted to write about breastfeeding mothers and their current Judgments.

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Breastfeeding Tips for New Breasting Feeding Mothers

Give eye contact with your baby while breastfeeding, this helps the child be comforted and bond.

Don’t be afraid of others, breast is best. If they don’t know you personally don’t take it personal!

Lanolin is your best friend for sore nipples. You can purchase pure lanolin at your local health food store, don’t pay huge prices.

Breastfeeding is hard, don’t give up!

Surround yourself with other moms who are supportive in your nursing! Also make sure your partner is supportive

Don’t ever feel ashamed you are a good mother! Don’t HIDE

Have a healthy diet, eating the correct food, maybe even see a dietitian to help

Stay Calm, Your child is just as new at this as you are

Don’t worry, stress can hurt your milk supply

Don’t go too long in between feedings to avoid engorgement

A baby loves you to pat his/her butt

Sing, that is the best to bond with your child

Have a spot that is regular in your home so your child get comfortable there

Keep the noise level done, with little ones at your feet. Try a quiet box we love them (I will be posting ideas soon)

Enjoy the moment this is not going to last forever

Take a picture to give to your child, just like a pregnancy picture a nursing picture is special as well

Awesome Breastfeeding Articles to read

Breastfeeding Duties for Dad

Increase your milk supply Naturally

10 Tips for getting Breastfeeding off to a good start

 

Breastfeeding is wonderful, being a new mother to your first or your 5th can bring stress. Even though I am book obsessed woman. I personally would not recommend books on this subject I would recommend experienced mothers, nurses, or Leche League. When it comes to breastfeeding mothers always have the best advice, tips and experience!

**A special Thank You to a wonderful Bookwishes reader that emailed me a question on breastfeeding and my thoughts with having nursed 5 children. Thank you for inspiring this post!**


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The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman **Review**

 

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I was so delighted to read The Whipping Boy to my children, I must admit the cover made this book exciting to me. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman’s cover is interesting, grabbing to the eye. Also The Whipping Boy is a Newbery Medal Book, BONUS! Only 96 pages this is a short read. I read The Whipping Boy as a read aloud.

What I liked about The Whipping Boy was the interesting story line, a boy who gets into so much trouble. Not the whipping boy himself but the prince! A whipping boy, is a boy who gets whipped when the prince gets into trouble because it is against the law to whip a prince. So bad and totally unfair, I would not want to be that little boy even if you do get to wear fancy clothes and eat at the castle. NO WAY! So you can understand our interest especially when the prince runs away getting himself into a HUGE mess the whipping boy doesn’t take pleasure in seeing the prince suffer. Throughout the entire story, the whipping boy is trying to help him. Lesson for my children, two wrongs do not make a right. Love that lesson as a mom! I found Jemmy’s character (the whipping boy) so relatable to my children. Although he thought he wanted to get even with the prince he was a soft soul. All my children have such wonderful hearts. I liked how Jemmy was written. Secretly, I did want Jemmy to get even with the prince he was a brat. I would never tell my children that….SHHHH….

There were a lot of parts in The Whipping Boy that I couldn’t stand not because of the story line but the way the characters spoke. I do not suggest reading this book as a Read-A-Loud because the dialogue can be confusing when not read yourself. If that makes sense, LOL. I would not have my children read this again, although the storyline was good, some parts of the book just seemed to drag. I was so glad that this was a short book!

My Rating – 3 Stars I did rate this book a 4 star on Goodreads. However, when I had more time to think about the book the less I liked it. Maybe it will be a 2 star several months from now I have no idea. This book is for children ages 7 and up. You can purchase your copy on Amazon


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Random 5 on Friday **August 1st** (a little late)

I’m a little late on posting my Random 5 on Friday! Life gets you going and it is hard to slow down, however, I am here and slowing down a little.

The Pebble Pond

Book Wishes Random 5

1. This next week is my daughter’s 11th birthday! We have so much fun together, crocheting, being Jane Austen buddies, crafting, shopping and so much more. Our relationship as mother and daughter is wonderful. For her birthday we are giving her a ring that my husband gave to me when we were dating it has a ruby heart. My husband wanted to give it too her for a “promise” ring. Since she is getting older, she is a modest, sweet girl a Daughter of Heavenly Father. The ring is a symbol of her promise to Heavenly Father to stay virtuous and a promise to her dad to always choose the right with modesty as well as all the choices she makes in life!

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2. I am overwhelmed by social media, I love my blog but other social media sites can be overwhelming for me. I had too much stress when I was in the military so I try to avoid it at all cost. These next weeks I will step back from social media. I regret already joining some social sites. Long pause……sigh…..I just need to post and leave.

3. This week I am reminded how wonderful friendship can be for our family! I have some awesome friends that I love and I am so glad Heavenly Father put me them in our life! I also love that my friends have the same moral values as my family. Also it is not how many friends you have it is the quality of those friends that matter. I can say my children, my husband and I have some great quality friends!

4. I am thankful for my herbal knowledge, using essential oils in my home. My knowledge of herbs and essential oils has grown so much in these last 2 years. I love that our home is chemical-free. My medicine cabinet is herbal and holistic. It is a great wonderful feeling. I had a friend this week do an energy help for my Celiac Disease and I think I would like them to do that with our daughter because I have been pain-free all week! YIPPEE!!!!

5. I have the most amazing husband in the world, I know some say that there is no such thing as soul mates, however, I know we knew each other in heaven. I was meant for him and he for me. Married 14 years to a kind, selfless, loving awesome husband and father. This week I have been stressed, my husband never fails to support uplift and make me feel like I can lean on him for everything. My children see how he is with me and I know they will accept no less in their relationships in the future.  I am glad I am LDS because my family is together for time and all eternity never a death do we part! I had to go vegan, my hubby a meat and potatoes man was on board. Heck 2 years ago we went gluten-free he was there! I am blessed to have an awesome family. Loving, supportive, and so much fun!

 


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3P Learning Mathletics **Review**

SchoolhousereviewAs a home educating mom, I  look for ways for my children to love math.  We were thrilled as a family to get a chance to review 3P Learning Mathletics. Mathletics is an online practice math program for your child to excel in math! I needed a program that interested my children in math, as well as, a program that helps them gain confidence and knowledge in their math abilities. We were given Mathletics for a year to try for 2 of my children. Mathletics is a computer based program that is designed to help your child practice math online and give them the help they need to succeed. I was not a fan of math because I lacked the confidence that I needed until I was taught to practice math when I attended high school. Mathletics helps children (K-12) gain confidence in their math abilities by making math fun!

Mathletics is affordable

59.00 per student for an entire year of math learning 24/7 access

Age Range for Mathletics is K through 12

Mathletics Online Math Review
We used Mathletics as an online math practice program for both my children.

Franklin is in 4th grade, however, he struggles with a learning disability. The practice is needed everyday in math for him. That way he is able to gain the confidence in math problem solving. Franklin had fun with the great graphics in each lesson. The math lessons were inviting and kept his attention. The problem solving was Franklin’s favorite. The math games were so much fun for him. Each game explains the directions before you play, however, Franklin and I were confused in many areas because it did not always explain the particular game you were playing in the directions. Some math games, I had to help him figure out as we went along.  Rainforest math was his least favorite on Mathletics, because he had trouble navigating the “rainforest”. For a child that has trouble focusing, there just seemed to be too much going on for him to like it. Although we tried several times, he just did not like it. My favorite part as a homeschooling mom was listening to my son sing the Times Table Toons! Times Table Toons are catchy, upbeat songs with a mini animated character singing the times tables! I would love for Mathletics to give customers an option to purchase the Times Table Tunes songs on CD.  I would love to play them for my children so they can all learn times tables wherever we are!!! PRACTICE PRACTICE   PRACTICE

Hubble is in 2nd grade. He is a little more advanced in math. Hubble’s favorite part of this online math program was the Live Mathletics! Live Mathletics enables your child to challenge others across the world with speed math or you can challenge the computer. I really loved how excited Hubble was with this program. The Live Mathletics gave Hubble the challenge that he needs in math. Hubble used Mathletics 4 times a week along with a written homeschool math curriculum.

What I loved about Mathletics

I loved the practice that my 2 children got from this online program. You are able to print out certificates for your children. Both of my children loved hanging up an accomplished math certificate. I loved the printable workbooks. That is what makes this program so unique as an online math program. We have tried a few others and none of them had actual workbooks for your children to download and print. As an added bonus, there are teacher’s guides to go with them! Also every week I received an email regarding each of my children’s progress. I knew what areas I needed to work on with them and what areas they mastered!

 

What I didn’t like about Mathletics

It took me awhile to navigate everything on their site. I also found it hard to pick a grade for both my boys. Being a homeschooling mom, I would love an easier way to pick a grade level. Something that states for example:

Grade 1 Addition, Place Value, Subtraction and Etc.

Grade 2 Fractions, Decimals, Mulitplication and Etc.

On the site, I had to look up the different types of grade levels that they had; however, if your child is in school it would be easier for you because your child would be in CC Grade 3.

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Overall

I will continue to use Mathletics for both my son’s Franklin and Hubble. I was happy after I printed out and downloaded the book from the parent portal on how to use this site. The parent portal is where you can access all your children’s scores and information, as well as, getting help navigating the site. I love the printable workbooks in the parent portal. Those are an asset to this program and I would love a store where we can purchase those printed through 3P Learning! I would buy them! There is a Student App for Mathletics, I personally did not try it because I do not have a tablet device. However, that will be great in the future.

Mathletics Online Math Review
To purchase and find out more

 3P Learning Mathletics Site

Mathletics

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