Friday, November 22, 2019

Mud Ducks

Ducks and mud, they go together, always!  It doesn't help that I indulge them with an extra container of water to play in.  My Pekin, Rosie, voices her great displeasure on days I don't fill their water pan.  They always have a bucket to dunk their heads in, but in the colder and freezing weather, no water pan.  She pouts.  Rowdy is a Rouen drake and he takes care of Rosie.  He was a very shy standoffish little one, but has come into his own the more he matures.  They are both only about 6 1/2 months old at this point.

Ducks love mud!

I had always wanted ducks but when I learned how messy they could be I decided maybe not right now.  I then settled I would get some Muscovies that are land ducks and really don't want/need the extra water.  When these ducks needed a home, I reluctantly agreed to take them and have fallen in love.  I had a chance to rehome them, but then couldn't part with them as I have become quite fond of them (mud and all!).


Rosie has been giving us beautiful, large eggs (more like extra jumbo) for months now.  They are seasonal layers, more so than chickens, but she's been laying almost non-stop so far.  The last week or so it has been almost every other day so I wonder if she is going to take a break for the winter.  If you have considered getting ducks, just do your research on which breeds would be best for you and then just do it!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Elephant Learning Math REVIEW

How is your math curriculum going?  Would your child benefit from some tutorial help?  When I had a chance to review Elephant Learning Math Academy a few months ago I decided it might be worth checking out.  Little Bug is doing ok in math but I felt my high schooler needed a little review help.  I received a 12 month subscription to the online math program.  It is available for your computer using Chrome or Safari, or as an app using iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire.  We used it as an app on Kindle Fire (I LOVE when apps are available for Kindle Fire!).  It is recommended for ages 2-16 and depends on your child's language abilities and attention span (it covers counting to algebra--but not high school level).  It was developed by a University of Denver math professor and one of his former students.  I really like that for every paid subscription they give one away to a family who is unable to pay the full tuition.  They offer a scholarship program on their site.

Notice browser requirements.
It works best on Chrome or Safari or as an app.

Child dashboard

Sample lesson

This online math subscription is for a family of up to 7 children.  You also get a parent account so you can easily check progress and even check out the lessons without affecting your student(s) score(s).  There is quite a bit of detail analysis of lessons skipped and completed.  The child always has the option to "skip" a question.  The program is intuitive and will work to advance your child as necessary.  They guarantee to advance your child an entire year in just 3 months.  Your child is only required to practice at least 30 minutes per week.

Student Dashboard

Analysis Overview

Playtime Analysis

Detailed history of lessons (allows you to try the lesson yourself without affecting your child's score to give you a better idea of what they are learning.

There are 32 games for your child to choose from and they all cover various areas (depending on their elephant age and progress).  Little Bug's curriculum currently covers:
  • Addition Subtraction: Comparison
  • Estimate Numbers to 100
  • Number Composition
  • Skip Count to 20 in the Line
  • Counting to 1000 in the Line

Choosing a game

Your child's dashboard gives you detailed information on how they are progressing and what areas they need help in.  There are even suggestions for you on how you can help them in an area. To tell you the truth, the amount of detail is almost overwhelming to me, yet the information is great to be able to see where your child's weaknesses are and where they need help and how you can help them.

Shows area of weakness and activities to help with math concept

When your child begins the program it will assess and learn where your child is academically.  Little Bug was almost 7 when she started but registered on the program as 6.1 years elephant math age.  She is now 7 and registering at 8.1 elephant math age.  She has advanced 2 years in about 10 weeks.  I'm not sure I agree that this is actually 2 academic years, but I do know that I have definitely seen a great improvement in her math skills, especially in the logic area.  She usually has fun with the games but does get frustrated a lot.  It is not a hands-off program and if I make myself available to help her when she gets confused about a question she does a lot better.  The program addresses your child by name and she was very upset that it kept pronouncing her name wrong.  I finally figured out how to fix that in the settings!

Working on a lesson

Go into settings to fix the pronunciation of your child's name if necessary.

I was really more interested in this program for my 10th-grade son to use as a review but it has proved to not be such a good fit for him.  That being said I think I am still going to sit down with him and go through some lessons with him.  He is a struggling learner and when things don't go right in his lessons he tends to shut down.  He was convinced the program wasn't working for him but his analysis also showed that he progressed almost 2 years during the time he used the program.

Elephant Learning Math Academy gets very high reviews from other sources and I think it is definitely worth checking out for your child.  I'm not sure it ended up being a great fit for either of my kids, but I do believe that the program does what it is intended to do and as I said, I can definitely see a difference in Little Bug's math skills.  You can connect with them on FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, YOUTUBE, and INSTAGRAM.

I recommend you take the time out to check it out and also click on the graphic link below to see what my fellow Crew review members have to say about this online math program.

Elephant Learning Math Academy Subscription {Elephant Learning Math Academy Reviews} 
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Friday, November 8, 2019

Name Meaning Gifts REVIEW

Amazing Names by CrossTimber

Are you looking for a unique gift?  Do you want to surprise your child or grandchild with a special personalized gift just for them?  You must check out Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! from CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts.  I received a coupon code for a free digital (HD video) version of a personalized video for my daughter.  The video is 28 minutes long.  The code also provided me with 20% off any additional products that I ordered.  I ordered a physical copy of the DVD for 20% off in addition to the free digital version.  When I received the completed digital product via email they also sent some fun activity pages using her name.  CrossTimber is a family (the Dehnhart family) living in a farmhouse in Ohio who have been providing personalized gifts for 23 years.

It was fairly easy to complete my order.  Once I placed my order I received another email with special instructions on how to provide the personal information that they needed to create the video.  Items requested were her name, any nickname, digital copies of her artwork, a personal picture of her, our address, and a personalized letter from her father and me to her.  It was simple to complete and submit.  It only took about 2 weeks to get the finished product back.  I watched it and was very tickled by it.  It was very professionally done and I appreciated the reference of God and scripture throughout the "movie."

Scripture references throughout the movie

The personalized video is not only fun but also has a purpose.  It aims to familiarize and teach your little one how to spell their name, what their name means, how special they are, what God thinks of them, how special their name is, what their address is, and includes a personal letter from you to your special little one.  There are scripture and references to God throughout the film.  When the movie opened and Little Bug saw her artwork on the screen she squealed in delight!  She couldn't believe that the pencil character (Benjamin) knew her name AND her nickname!  She was VERY upset when he drew on her picture.  She said, "He ruined it!"  I think she forgave him once she got through the movie, LOL.

Some of the additional items for purchase are the physical DVD, NamePlaque (with the meaning of their name and scripture), Personalized Character Photo, Origin Scroll, or even Gift Certificate to give to someone else so they can complete the customized order process themselves.

Origin Scroll

Gift Certificate

Little Bug also enjoyed working on and completing some of the activity pages that were sent as a PDF attachment to our digital video order.  They used her name to customize the pages.

Fun personalized activity pages

I didn't notice anywhere on a suggested age for this product but from my perspective, I think it best fits a child of Kindergarten and younger.  Older ones might enjoy it, it just depends on their maturity level and academic progress. At age 7 and in 1st grade, Little Bug knows how to spell her name but could use some practice on her address (my fault, not hers). 

We really enjoyed Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name!  I definitely recommend that you not only check this product out but the many others they have available on their main CrossTimber website.  You can connect with them on PINTEREST and they have a wonderful chat feature on their website and are happy to help with any questions you might have.  They are currently running a GRAND OPENING special on this product for $20 off the regular price!

I also encourage you to check out their FREE NameCard offer on their site and be sure to participate in the free giveaway!

Follow the graphic link below to see what my fellow Crew members have to say about this AMAZING product.

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews} 
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