Wednesday, September 30, 2020

My Teaching Library REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

As a homeschooling mom, I am always on the lookout for good homeschooling resources.  I am more of an eclectic homeschooler so a good variety of resources is highly desired by me.  Getting a free annual membership to the Download Club from My Teaching Library has been an absolute blessing!!  There are so many resources to choose from for pre-K through 12th grade.  You can choose to either purchase resources individually, through an annual membership, or through a lifetime membership.  The resources can be used by anyone in your family and once downloaded can be used multiple times.  As a Download Club member, we have UNLIMITED downloads for the next year!

There is such a large variety available to choose from.  Subjects covered include:
  • Arts (Art, Crafts, Music)
  • Electives (Architecture, Religious Studies, Home Economics, Health, Economics)
  • Languages (ASL, French, Spanish)
  • Science
  • Character Education
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Social Studies

Resources can be searched for by grade, subject, or through miscellaneous topics that include the following to just name a few:
  • Skills and Concepts (by grade)
  • Family and Home
  • Seasonally Themed Learning
  • Holiday Themed Learning
  • Interactive Learning (Lapbooking, Notebooking)
  • Instructional Videos (science)
  • Puzzles and Games
  • Skill Review Packets (pre-K to 3rd grade)
It's easy to navigate around the site and files that you choose (purchase - free with your annual membership fee) for download are stored in your account online until you are ready to download them to your personal device.

Downloads on your Account page

I was excited to find the state coloring books that included state birds, state flags, and state flowers since we are covering geography and the states this year.  Amongst many other resources, I downloaded the State Flowers Coloring Book, State Flags Coloring Book, and the State Birds Coloring Book.  Little Bug LOVES to color and even though the pictures were simple and probably geared for a younger age group, they made nice coloring books.  I printed out the pages and bound them with my binder.  They made really nice keepsake books for her learning and personal artwork.

State Birds

State Flags

State Flowers

Another one we will be working on is the one for the State Presidents that includes President Trump.

I was mostly interested in this for my 2nd grade daughter, but I am so happy that I can also use it with my 11th grader.  There are lots of options for posters, worksheets, notebooking, etc. I downloaded the Visual Algebra Glossary, the Anatomy Circulatory System Posters & Worksheets, and the Generic Vocabulary Terms - Definitions Worksheet.

Samples of 9-12th grade resources

There is even an interactive calendar that has links to further resources for learning opportunities.  I need to check more of this resource out. Some blog articles with teaching information are also available.

Blog articles

I found this resource to be very useful in our homeschool and I would recommend that you take the time to check it out.  I give the Download Club from My Teaching Library a thumbs up!  You can connect with them on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.

You can also check out some of their resources in the FREEBIE section of the website.

Please also be sure to check out what my fellow Crew members have to say about the Download Club and My Teaching Library by clicking on the graphic link below.

My Teaching Library Download Club {My Teaching Library}

The Ducks Are Back!


I really missed them!  They are not back because I missed them but because they just would not acclimate to their new home.  Perhaps with time, they would have, but after a week they still were not trying to integrate with the other ducks and they refused to go to the pond again.  That was one of my main reasons for rehoming them was so they could free range and enjoy the great outdoors and even a pond if possible.  They kept coming back up to the house area where they had some pens and wanted to go into the pens.

They were raised as cage ducks and I guess they just felt safer in a caged area.  Kinda sad, but let me know that they are not that unhappy here in their cage if that is what they are used to and seem to prefer.  I'm happy to have them back and I am enjoying their antics and quacking again.  I so missed the quacking!!  It was just too quiet with them gone.  Don't get me wrong, they are not noisy, but they do quack at times and I just love that sound!

Welcome home Rosie and Rowdy!!

Friday, September 18, 2020

I Miss Them!


Rowdy and Rosie.  Our ducks.  Well, they were our ducks.  Not anymore.  Don't worry, they are OK, at least for now.  I made the very difficult decision to rehome them to a better place.  We were never set up for ducks but I had always wanted some so when the opportunity came up to rescue a couple of ducks I jumped on it.

They were only about 2 weeks old when we got them (they are about 1 1/2 years old now - Easter babies).  They grew quickly and we tried to accommodate them.  They have lived in such a small pen area for a little over a year and I just knew I had to do better for them.  I was going to rehome them before but couldn't imagine what it would be like with them gone.  I had grown so attached to them.  I miss the quacking the most.  I have several friends who are able to free-range and have really nice ponds on their property.  I finally decided to ask a 4H girl I knew if she would consider taking them.  She said sure!  She has a really nice mini farm with ducks, chickens, guineas, goats, and bunnies.

They have LOTS of property to free range on now, a HUGE beautiful pond, no cages, and lots of duck friends!!  There are two LGDs on the property and she said they haven't lost any fowl since bringing them on.  I was sad to let them go but happy at the same time for their exciting new life.  I am so glad they can stay together and they were just so happy when they found the pond!  Rosie is such a mud duck and she is definitely in her happy place!  Rowdy is happy if Rosie is happy.

They are dearly missed, but close enough that I can visit them often enough.  I'm just happy they are happy.  She said they haven't integrated with the others yet, but they are doing well.  I hope to post updates in the future on how they are doing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It's Apple Season!

It's the season for apples.  Yummy apples.  My family loves apples, apple sauce, apple butter, apple pie, you name it. They love apples!  We were recently blessed with an abundance of apples and though it has been a lot of hard work, I have been busy canning applesauce and apple pie filling (for apple pies).  Next will be canning apples for eating and for just plain baking for any kind of recipe.  I just love being able to preserve this yummy goodness for future recipes and meals.

I was looking in my Ball canning book and saw all kinds of neat recipes.  One I am definitely going to try is the cinnamon apple one.  It reminds me of those cinnamon apple rings I used to love as a child.  Blast from the past!  I'll try to remember to follow up on some others if I try them too.  What have you been canning lately?  Anything different or really interesting from what you normally can?


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Reading Eggs New Features REVIEW 2020

 Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

One of Little Bug's favorite programs is Reading Eggs from Blake eLearning Inc.  We had a chance to review for them again, but this time we have some new features to share with you!  We received a 1-yr subscription to this digital online program.  You will need an iOS or Android device, desktop computer, or laptop, and internet access to use this program.  Check out the Technical Requirements to review the minimum requirements and to see if your device is compatible.

We have had fun with previous Reading Eggs reviews in 2018 and 2019.  The new features that have been added include:

This program has won many awards and is proven to help kids learn to read.  There are over 2,500 digital story books available for your children to read.  Please do be aware that this is not a Christian based program so there will be instances of evolutionary and other secular content in the reading.  The Library includes books from the following areas:
  • Space
  • Science
  • Animals
  • Plants
  • Earth Science
  • Art
  • Ocean
  • Comedy
  • Myths
  • Adventure
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi


You can search for books by visiting the Find a Book section and be sure to check out the Book of the Day.

Find a Book section with several different search parameters

Reading Eggs is recommended for ages 3-7.  Reading Eggs Jr. is recommended for ages 2-4.  Reading Eggspress is recommended for ages 7-13.  Fast Phonics is recommended for ages 5-10.  Fast Phonics teaches not only the 26 letters of the alphabet but also the 44 sounds in English including blending and spelling skills.  There are 20 "peaks" in the program (currently only 11 are active, it is a work in progress) that introduces and teaches the letter sounds systematically.  There are videos, games, and books in each peak that keep your child engaged and excited about what they are learning.  Little Bug just loves to read so even though she is very advanced in this area, she still enjoyed the games.  We use the Reading Eggspress and Fast Phonics daily.

Mathseeds is for ages 3-9. The Mental Minute has 145 timed sprints that increase in difficulty as your child progresses.  It's designed to build math fact fluency.  This is a good challenge for Little Bug, but it does frustrate her at times.  She doesn't like being rushed and the timing stresses her out.  We do some for fun, then stop.  We only do these a couple times per week.  The sprints are only a minute long.

There are placement tests that can be taken to properly place your child.  Their progress for lessons can be seen and monitored in the Family Dashboard area.  It allows you to adjust their levels and lessons as needed or they can retake the placement test(s) and it will adjust it for you.

Activity Sheets can be printed under the Bonus Materials tab.  A Parent User Guide and some other valuable information are also available under this tab.  The activity sheets are available in Spanish too.

Phonics activity sheet

Handwriting activity sheet

Finally, just in time for Back to School: Sign up today and watch your child become a stronger reader this Back-to-School season!🌞  A multi-award winning online learning program for children ages 2–13, Reading Eggs supports the essential foundations of reading with its highly engaging lessons, games, and e-books!  Claim 30 Days Free Now

As I said, Little Bug is having fun, and that is always a plus when they are learning.  We give Reading Eggs two thumbs up with their fun new features that include phonics work, handwriting, new monthly themes, and math drills.  We do not have an Android device to use the app on but she has used it on our iOS mini iPad and iPhone.  I really wish and hope they develop an app for Kindle soon!!

You can connect with Blake eLearning Inc on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE. Be sure to click on the graphic link below to see what my fellow Crew members thought of these new features and how they used it.

Reading Eggs Subscription {Blake eLearning Inc Reviews}

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Golf Ball Eggs?


So are we laying golf balls now?  I think I've seen it all, LOL.  These hens this year.  I have a lot of older girls and they just aren't laying like they used to.  We have a lot of "free loaders" right now, thus the purchase and hatching of new little ones this past spring/summer.  We should be back in business by next spring.

When I saw this egg I just had to laugh.  When you have chickens, you inevitably get the odd shaped one every now and then, but I must say I have never had one quite this round and large before.  Generally a hen will lay the same shaped egg her whole life, with just a few anomalies here and there.  I'm pretty sure this is from my easter egger hatchling, Matilda, from last year.  What odd shaped or odd eggs have you seen in your flock?

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