Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Time4Learning Review

So today is the day! My review for "A Time4Learning" is due in and here are my thoughts:

Overall, the kids liked it. I found it to be too easy. Maybe I didn't utilize it like I should have...I found it to be a bit confusing on the parent side of things. 

Alexis (11yrs), Ty (9yrs), Gabe (6yrs), Addie (4yrs) enjoyed being able to be on the computer. {We usually don't allow the kids to be on the computer, unless it is for a specific reason, and without it being school related, I don't see a reason for them to be online.} 

Here is Alexis' review: 
   I liked being able to get on the A Time4Learning website anytime of day to access my school. That was a perk! I liked that it was "kind of easier" than my regular school work. I also enjoyed the part in which, if you didn't know something, it would show either a video or it would tell you what it meant. I liked not having books everywhere, everything was online. I really enjoyed all the reading that I needed to do (I like to read!) and how entertaining it was. Some of the characters in the videos were really funny!

Ty's review:
    I liked that it felt like I was playing a game, but I was really learning. The math was fun. Geo (a character) taught other people who didn't know about things like subtraction and teaches a lot about math. He really can teach you a lot of things about math! I didn't like the stories that were wrong in social studies. They were weird stories from China about dragons and other myths. I kind of liked making stories with the language arts. I liked that you can stick your own people in it and take your stories to other place like, the beach, the moon, and a kitchen. But, writing is hard for it was fun, but a bit hard. I almost liked everything about it. 

Gabe's review:
   I liked the "Under the Sea" where you put gold and silver coins in the treasure boxes. We practiced sorting. I liked the "Letters & Sounds" part. I enjoyed the story book parts. I didn't like that pink rhino that has a yellow horn and a red stop sign. I liked how much funner it was than real school. 

Addie's review:
   I loved the whole thing! I loved the snake that took a bite of the cake. It was my favorite part. I just loved the whole thing!!! Ok, I'm done.

I enjoyed the time that A Time4Learning freed up for me. I wasn't working directly with the kids for hours at a time. I felt like it lightened my load for sure! I found it mainly entertaining for the children. I know they really liked feeling like it wasn't "real school" as they say. The girls seemed to be excited to do their schooling online (Addie would actually beg to do it 7 days a week), the boys overall enjoyed it, but it was definitely more of a struggle to get them to sit in front of a computer screen and work for a long period of time. They would often say, "I'm bored, do I have to do much more?" Which is a given in most stationary things for boys anyways. 

What I didn't like about it was the fact that I didn't have any say in what was being taught to the kids overall. I never really knew exactly what they were supposed to be on (I'm sure this is my own fault...I was confused as to how the parent end of it worked). I also don't think it is very good for them to be sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time. Not holding an actual book in their hands and always being entertained. (I do know that this is how society is raising kids now a days, but that is one of the many reasons we chose to homeschool, right?) I found it hard to have one computer for all 4 kids to use. It took ALL DAY to do school. So, if we wanted to go somewhere, I couldn't quickly have all of them sit down, crack out their work, and get on the road. We had to either skip a kids work that day, or do it late into the evening. Usually we ended up just skipping it (not a good thing!).

I would recommend A Time4Learning for a supplement to your chosen curriculum for sure! It was entertaining and enjoyable learning for the kids. I wouldn't use it as a core curriculum. I would be more apt to use it for preschool age children. I know our 4 yr old loved it! It would be a good alternative to watching a movie while trying to school the older children. I don't do preschool with our children, so it would be something I would consider for them (and at that age level, it isn't long periods of screen time anyways). 

It was fun for the month that we had to use it, but I think I will dive back into real books and spending that time with my children...teaching them...that is why I homeschool! 


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

{Peep Wars!}

"{Peep Wars}" were created I believe by my mother. :) One Easter we had a bunch of peeps and being the competitive family we are, we decided to have "{Peep Wars}"! 

We decided to continue the tradition yearly. This year we did it the day after Easter (yesterday). So our morning began with a Peep Off. 

The game of "{Peep Wars}" is fairly simple: 

1: You must name your Peep.
2: You need at least 2 people to challenge.
3: You may use different types of Peeps; i.e. bunnies, chicks, snowmen, etc.
4: You need a permanent marker.
5: You need a paper towel or two or three...
6: You MUST have a microwave!
7: A prize...we don't give a prize, we just enjoy the fact that we won! (We are a bit competitive!) ;)

Here are the pics from our "{Peep Wars}"

The Gang getting their positions.
The cheering begins..."Peep Wars! Peep Wars!"

Our first contestants...the peep that grows the tallest wins!

Jonas & Princess (Gabe & Addie)

Our Logo! lol

Set the timer for 1:00 min...stop it around 30 seconds before they explode.

The watchful audience.

Cheering for their favorite!

Around they go...
Jonas takes the win.

Proud winner! That would be Addie, the sore loser in the background.

Bob Wallace & Phil Davis go next (Alexis & Ty)
Phil just couldn't handle it...

Proud winner!

Abe Lincoln & Shelby (Lincoln & Shelby)

Who's it going to be???

President Lincoln takes the win!
Proud winner, he'd rather eat it than cheer!
Wilbur & Cookie (Me & Nana)

Cookie takes it!
Proud winner, Nana!

The Peep Off...


Bob Wallace wins!

Proud winner!

Losers bracket!

Princess wins!

Proud winner, Addie!

The  winner is....

Bob Wallace!

Alexis takes the win! Way to go Lexi!!

All in all, it is much fun and the kids get a kick out of it! AND YES, I know standing in front of the microwave is a HORRIBLE idea, but we are will to take the risk for a few laughs.