Archives For Child

ScoobyDooLogo

Do you need some last minute help for your child’s wish list this year? If your children love Scooby-Doo, try going straight to the source and have your children visit the new Warner Bros. “Scooby Mystery Workshop” site where they can customize their own holiday gift list!

The site offers Scooby-Doo games, toys, costumes, and fun bedding kids can check off into their wish list to help Mom and Dad solve the holiday shopping mystery.

scooby doo

Scooby Doo Mystery Workshop

Once their favorite Scooby-Doo items are selected, kids can print or email the list to a parent. The site also provides additional fun for your child, such as helping The Gang pick out gifts for each other through an interactive poll, competing to win fun prizes, or playing games with Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. Check out the Scooby-Doo Mystery Workshop site here.

 

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Scooby-Doo. I received a product sample to thank me for participating”

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Join the Compassion Blogger Network
This week, my blog assignment is to write a letter to God about child sponsorship.

Dear God,

When I think about these children, I feel frustrated. I shrink back from the images of children who are hungry and dirty. I think about all the things I feel my own children need. Then I feel angry that I cannot do much. I worry about how to actually take away from my children, my family in order to help at all. I know, deep down, that if I just gave up some lattes, or did a better job juggling the shopping budget I might could help more.

I wonder why you do not suddenly produce a way to help more. Then, I remember that when we do help out, when we do tithe and give to others, there always seems to be little coincidences where we have enough. I know we are not to test you, Lord, but I do remember this and I know that you would make this all come out right in the end.

Of course, what is the end? What do we need to give up to make any difference? Many people are saying not much, if we all do a bit. I know many people honestly do not have that bit right now and I pray that you multiply for those who will care and share and make it possible for them to do so. I pray that you help me to find a way to gather resources together that can be offered to touch just one life. I pray that others may be able to do this as well. There are many children who have been waiting a long time for a sponsor.

Go take a look at the Compassion page.

child using e-reader on iPad

It is Summer! An extra good time to relax and learn while having a good time…

As a home educator and a mom, I really count on technology to provide my kids with all kinds of resources and activities.

The tech resource getting the most use lately in our homeschool and home is my our iPad.

From using safari for quick research, to watching documentaries, to reviewing apps with whiteboards and algebra, my teens get a lot out of the iPad. My youngest really likes the iPad most for watching shows and playing games. I am okay with that, but I try to find at least educational games and things for her on there.

A new e-reading platform launched by Ruckus Media Group called the Ruckus Reader turned our iPad into a fun e-Reader for my baby!

The Ruckus Reader IS the main technology. Within that, there are loads of digital storybooks you can download for your children. Right now, I think there are about 30 titles that work with this format. The titles range from the storybooks to interactive readers (iReaders and eReaders) that have both the story and then games and maybe video as well, and also some of my favorites — the video books, great stories narrated by celebrities.

The titles are basically for kids 3 to 8. You will see old favorites like My Little Pony, Curious George, Crayola. Many publishers are working with Ruckus Reader, so there are many ebooks so far, and more are being added all the time. I just got a notice to go update and get a new ebook that was just added, in fact.

I like that there is a real variety of fiction and non-fiction, and the videos and such. My daughter is already a good reader, so I am not using the app to teach reading so much, but for the younger children, many of the titles are designed to build upon each other and help children learn to read, while the included games actually measure the child’s progress.

You can download Ruckus Reader titles individually, but it is great to download the whole library! The price is very reasonable at $24.99 for six months, as you get access to over 25 titles. OR, you can get the first title in a series for free, then pay $3.99 each or 2 for $5.99. My daughter and I loved getting the entire library, it felt like Christmas downloading like crazy!

Our favorite titles in this Ruckus Reader?

I love, love the SeaWorld Bookshelf. This includes Sharks, Penguins and Whales.

My daughters favorites include My Little Pony and Transformers.

We are both looking forward to one that is coming: Cyberchase!

There is a nice twist on this App, as it keeps track of my child’s progress and emails me updates, called the Reader Meter, weekly.

So what are the Cons?

  1. I worry that I will lose all the ebooks we have if I do not get this again in six months.
  2. I wish all the ebooks would stay under one main icon on my iPad (I hate having lots of icons all over the screen)
  3. Although the technology for the reading is designed around state standards, it is still a new technology. So far, my meter reader is a little off and doesn’t “know” that my child is a good reader. I have seen this with several of our technologies that keep track of childrens progress. It is still a developing technology.

What are the Pros?

  1. I have tons of really well designed eReaders, iReaders and Videos right on my iPad desktop.
  2. With the six month subscription, I have almost 30 ebooks already, o that is less than .99 cents an eReader, iReader or video. And, I will continue to get more.
  3. All are educational in nature and suitable for her age. She does not get frustrated and need help, but sits and plays.
  4. The titles include tons of characters she knows like Curious George and My Little Pony, plus old classic stories that she enjoys.
  5. Most of these titles have options so they can read the book to the child and they lead the child in the games
  6. The reader meter does keep track of what my child spends time on and I can eve email that info to her dad and grandparents (you can set it to email to up to four email accounts)
  7. The App notifies me when new titles are available.
  8. I love the little library shelves in the App. Adorable setup

All in all, I really recommend the Ruckus Reader App. Go take a look! You can connect with Ruckus Reader:

Website

Facebook

*I received a trial membership for Ruckus Reader in order to do this review. I have given my honest opinion.

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How gorgeous is she?? I love her eyelashes:)

How gorgeous is she?? I love her eyelashes:)

Have you ever bathed a teeny baby? Did it scare the heck out of you? I remember how carefully I held and bathed and wrapped up my first child. I was so afraid I would break him!

I was so glad my Mom was with me to help hold him and guide me. To this day, I remember how we had a little yellow spongy babytub liner placed on the counter and a soft, snuggly towel at the ready.

I also remember my next child…the wild one. The child I chased around the living room, trying to get at least a towel on that kid!

Fast forward twenty years and I find bathtime a breeze and Mama isn’t chasing anyone. But, I am looking for healthy, natural and organic solutions for all my children’s needs. Green, reusable, sustainable is important to me.

Out of the blue, I heard about Maaman Aacua through Moms Meet. What a genius idea! This baby towel combines all the things I wanted for my each of my children. What a great product for new parents! I immediately wanted one to review for my new little niece. (The adorable one pictured above:)

The maaman aacua is a 4-in-1 bath towel that triples as an apron, baby wrap, and toddler bath wrap. This modern, stylish special design allows you to have your hands free while you bathe a baby, while the same design can easily wrap up a toddler.

How adorable and functional is this?

On top of that, the aacua is made of soft, absorbent, 100% cotton. One-size-fits-all (newborn to 35 pounds), and you can choose from natural or white, with five bright trim colors: orange, green, yellow, teal, or pink. It retails for $42.

So what did the new parents think of it?

“hey! the towel is awesome! how cool of a story of the lady that invented it!”

This company is on the right track!

I appreciate the statement on their website:
“maamam aims to improve our lives as parents by creating unique products that are modern, functional, and most importantly safe for our children. Founded and operated by mothers, maamam is a private company that strives to achieve social, ethical, and environmental sustainability”

We are all really impressed with all of maaman’s products. It is nice to have things done right!

maamam-banner-1

This is definitely a company to watch to find useful and adorable baby and child products. The aacua would make a fantastic baby shower gift or gift for the new mommy!

Find them online at:

Want to win one for your little bundle?

maaman and Moms Meet have graciously offered to let me do a giveaway~hooray!

A winner will be chosen on September 15, 2011. I am opening this until Sept. 17th due to a mistake I made in closing comments!! I apologize to anyone who had trouble entering.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.
mommyandem

Do you know the joy of having a heart for your kids?

We hear all the time that children are a blessing, a gift from God, our most precious possession.

And, when they are new, aren’t we so careful with them? We spend so much time just looking at them, loving them, teaching them, praying for them, thanking God for them.

And, for most of us, even as they get older, we continue on, loving, teaching, praying. Sometimes just looking at them and being happy for the fact that they are in our lives.

But, other times, we begin to take them for granted. Our culture does not cherish our children. Our culture tells us we can do things faster and thus, better. Even our child raising. We worry about what we should be doing with them. We become busy, tired…in a worst case scenario, our children become a burden. We forget to praise God for the simple fact that we have children.

In the middle of all that, we can lose our heart connection with our children.

Sometimes, this can happen in small ways. Some days I can look at a particular child being rebellious or such and it stops me in my tracks and I think, shoot, “I don’t have that child’s heart right now. What is going on?” I need to stop and think. And pray.

Only, some days I don’t stop and think…or pray. Now that I am getting to be an “old” mom, I often remember to stop and regroup. When I was younger, not so much! Suffice it to say, we all survived.

However, I wish I had owned Rachael Carman’s new book, “How to Have a Heart For Your Kids,” when I was younger.haveaheart

Why do I like this one, especially? Between you and me, I have gotten two books this year in the midst of all my school plans that stopped my racing mind and reminded me of why I homeschool. This is one of them.

Carman speaks from her own experience as a mother to seven. Seven. Also a national speaker, she has spoken to homeschool mothers over the years on the topic of How to Have a Heart for Your Kids.

In this pocket size, hardback book, she wraps up all her wisdom into five chapters and presents it to Mothers with a beautiful cover and an easy to remember acronym:

  • H – Have a heart for the things of God
  • E – Enrich your marriage
  • A – Accept your kids
  • R – Release them to God
  • T- Teach them the truth

Here are a few excerpts from the chapters I enjoyed:

H- Having a heart for the things of God: “My beginning point was to realize just how much I needed him”

E – Enrich your marriage: “It is from watching their parents marriages that our children learn trust, sacrifice, loyalty, teamwork, forgiveness…perseverance, joy, diligence,…it is from our marriages that they learn grace.”

A – Accept your kids: “Genuine acceptance of our kids means a radical change of perspective-a paradigm shift. It means seeing our children as gifts.” And, Your kids were sent right on time, on purpose, “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

R – Release them to God: “That’s what it means to train up a child in the way he should go-to help him go in the way that God directs.”

T – Teach them the Truth: “You must live truth every day and in front of your kids. It is not enough to breathe life into hundred and thousand-year-old stories, no matter how factual and inspiring. Your personal and daily example will either negate or reinforce what you read.”

I found the book a delight to read and finished it very quickly. I then went back and underlined some things I liked and wanted to remember for myself. Her narrative voice IS really just like talking to a friend in the kitchen, which I liked so much. And she gets right to her point and uses lots of scripture and stories to support her ideas. She really doesn’t do any “fluff.”

Trust me, this is a book worth reading. The cost is minimal, $13. I like that the book is hardback, because I can see pulling this out and re-reading portions for years to come. You can purchase the book on the Apologia site.

See what my crewmates have to say about How To Have a Heart For Your Kids

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I received How to Have a Heart For Your Kids, from Apologia through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

School? Oh not yet!

July 12, 2011
There goes my baby!

There goes my baby!

I am enjoying Summer. No curriculum notes. No organizing. Just hiking, feeding, a bit of my youngest making me let her cut her hair. Why do they all grow up just when I’m getting the hang of being Mom? {sob}

Anyway, while I’m trying NOT to do any real work, I have seen tons of little items around the net I would love to share. They are all random ~ health topics, education, blogging stuff for Mamas, just fun.

Linked only by the fact that I think they are great tools to check out! (no affiliates here today, haha) So, grab a cup of coffee and see what you think!

1. Healthy Child, Healthy World

I adore this site and all their fantastic information. Don’t be overwhelmed by how much info is on there, just dive in and take a tip or two… and grab a free, new APP to help you chose wisely for your family:

Download @Healthy_Child’s FREE app 2 get quick tips 4 safer products & healthy living! http://healthychild.org/live-healthy/pocket_guides/

2. The Team Umizoomi Fan Club

I got an email about this this morning and my 6 year old is super excited. What is Umizoomi Fan club? Based on a Nick Jr show, this online club offers games, printable activity packs and coloring books, a fan club newsletter and monthly special stuff just for members. A great way for your kids to be learning without even “working”  Free, easy to sign up. Perfect.

3. “The 40 Coolest Apps for Homeschoolers”

I just got a link to this new post and I agree that they have found all kinds of cool educational Apps! Many, I recognize, as I have been able to use the heck out of some of them:) A few were new to me, so go peek and find something to surprise your kids this morning! I’m partial to “This Day in History for iPad” while my kids may like that “Star Walk for iPad” I haven’t seen those! Some Free.

4. Math Blaster

I get to giveaway a 3 month subscription to this one next week! This is a Math offshoot from Knowledge Adventures (You may be familiar with Jumpstart, which is fun, too) Math Blaster is a browser based virtual world at www.MathBlaster.com for kids 6-12.

My daughter is just loving playing with her Blaster avatar; she’s a cadet at Blaster Academy. Let your kids check out arcade style math challenges, race through high speed missions…voyage to strange new worlds and enjoy wacky alien races…all while practicing their math skills! Free trial period.  But, Shhh, don’t tell them they are working. Ruins it everytime.

5. The Lunch Love Community Documentary Project

If your kids will be going back to school this Fall, be watching what they are eating! Check these out:

**The Parent Factor** http://www.lunchlovecommunity.org/the-parent-factor.html ~ Against all odds, a group of visionary parents came together in the 1990s to organize and change the way Berkeley children would eat in school.

**But is it Replicable?** http://lunchlovecommunity.org/but-is-it-replicable.html
Visitors from West Sacramento tour the Central Kitchen and Dining Commons wonder what can make a program like Berkeley’s work for them.

**If They Cook It, They Will Eat It** http://www.lunchlovecommunity.org/if-they-cook-it-they-will-eat-it.html
Elementary school cooking teachers Kathy Russell and Brenna Ritch awaken children to the world through the food they cook and eat with one another.

NOW for the Mamas:)

1. Right now, I am finishing up a book called “From the Mouth of Babes,” Stories about life, children, faith, and this world we live in. This is a wonderful book of stories and devotionals written by a good blogger friend of mine, Kimberly. I am enjoying this tremendously.

The short stories are making me think. Each one is helping me to see the little daily activities we do with our children — for what they are — each little thing becomes our way of ministering to and loving our babies. Get yourself a copy!

You can also visit Kimberly on her blog, Until The Day Dawn. She just moved, so go support this busy Mama!

2. Voice Boks

Are you a blogger Mama? If so, go see this new very supportive online blogger community. Friend me when you get there! I have joined several fun groups and even started one of my own:) This is a great way to increase followers and find new blogs. Now, to find the time to play….

3. Are you a blogger who is sitting too much? Join this new meme and lose a bit of weight:) Thanks, April!

4. Are you a Mama who likes her wine too much? (That would be more than you really want too:) Ask me about The Vitamin Cure.

Ok. I think I’m done. Whew. To get more of my random, oldest child thoughts, join me over on facebook. Have a great day!!


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To me, Kinderbach is actually more than piano lessons. In fact, in my teacher plans I label it Music Appreciation, because of the way it is taught. Most lessons have a little bit of playing and coloring and singing along so that your child has a gentle introduction to many music concepts. Here is a little clip:

Each Kinderbach lesson basically includes a video session, with singing and stories, worksheets to color and cut and some type of music practice—whether that is tapping to a beat or playing on the piano. In just the beginning, my daughter learned about reading notes, about rhythm and levels of sounds…and little by little she learned where and what all the keys were on the piano. Additional music pages help kids feel successful in playing simple songs pretty quickly.

See a video about how Kinderbach works on their site.

The video sessions are led by Kari Gregor, creator of the program, who uses a cast of characters to help deliver many of her lessons–small children will love Dodie and Frisco—my child certainly did. The fun videos do all the teaching for you, which I appreciate—I am no piano master!

Online lesson format view

Online lesson format view

You can use the online or DVD versions and move at your own pace. We actually went pretty quickly, sometimes doing a weeks’ worth of lessons in a day as Emma wanted to go forward.

To begin, we were able to look at two weeks’ worth of lessons totally free. You can too—click to see their two week trial. To really enjoy each lesson, for us I found it helped to preview the lessons and print out any sheets we would use in that lesson, so it was streamlined, although an older child could easily work alone.

Originally, before we had a piano, I purchased a little $20 keyboard at Target so we could practice along (a keyboard or piano is necessary). Later, through a gift from grandparents, we were able to move up to a piano.

IMG_0261When we used the little keyboard, I set it up with the computer. This worked nicely at first. When we moved to the big piano, I positioned a little table with laptop in front of her again. My daughter loves this. (I heard some people were able to use the Wii so they stream the lessons onto the television—this would be great!) I am still trying to get my techie son to hook my laptop up to the tv so we can watch in this manner.

Kinderbach is available for home lessons or school lessons. They recommend beginning your child at ages 3-7. Prices: An annual payment is $95.88—this comes out to a very reasonable $7.99 a month for over 240 lessons. If you purchase monthly, the cost is 19.99 per month. You can also buy the DVD/CD packages starting at $40.45.

Overall, we think our music appreciation class is wonderful alternative to trekking to regular lessons!

See the Kinderbach website to find out more, and  find them on facebook.

See what my crewmates have to say about Kinderbach

I received a 3 month trial of Kinderbach online through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

Do your kids pore over those cool DK science books? Do you? Honestly, I do! I was an English major and I certainly love to read, but there is something about the layouts of this type of reference book that makes reading even more fun–I feel like I’m playing, not learning… So, I was excited to see this kids Bible reference book hit our mailbox:

A great reference tool. 8 ½ x 11 hardcover, 224 pages

This kid friendly book can be a read alone book or as a reference tool as your child asks about biblical times and concepts. The book is geared towards children 5-10 and has 750 Bible terms. Over 500 of the terms have full color illustrations, photographs, maps or reconstructions.

Each entry includes a phonetic spelling and the biblical verse the term(s) is associated with, as below:

My kids find this type of reference book captivating and much more interesting than one with a text heavy page.

Download a pdf sampler on the publishers site.

Purchase the Holman Bible Dictionary at Lifeway Christian Stores.

See what my crewmates have to say about Lifeway Christian Stores Holman Illustrated Bible

I received the above book through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.