Saturday, August 19, 2017

Time-4-Learning Curriculum Review (Pre-K-1st Grade)

I have tried this curriculum twice. Once with Pre-K/Kindergarten and once with Kindergarten/1st Grade.

Image result for time4learning logo

Pros: It is well rated, includes multiple subjects that can be tailored to fit the child's needs and it's affordable.

I really liked that it is self-paced and I could adjust each subject by grade level and skills. Several programs I looked at and have tried can't do this including ABCmouse. I was able to choose Math at a 1st-grade level and Language at a K level.

We have been using ABCmouse (which I love for under 1st grade), but I decided to try Time-4-Learning because my son has learned to guess through the ABC mouse lessons.  I wanted something that graded and checked his knowledge and understanding at the end of the lesson.

Con: Tablet Apps Stinks.  The first time we tried Time4learning was at the beginning of Kindergarten.  His tablet skills were still new and the program was not friendly to selecting incorrect items on the screen, so he would easily get kicked out of the program. I would have to monitor what he was doing.  My goal is to facilitate learning and not have to do every lesson with him.

When I  tried it again this year at the beginning of 1st grade, he did much better with the app and understanding what it wanted him to do, but not all the activities worked on the tablet.  He would lose momentum and interest when an activity didn't work.  I would have to stop my work to set up the computer and log him back in. And he could no longer complete learning on the couch, in his room, or on the go.  Flexibility is key for us and I believe it facilitates learning.  Most children aren't meant to sit still in a chair all day.

Next time we try Time-4-Learning, we will have to make sure he has his own computer (with a touch screen), which is not financially feasible right now.

Image result for time4learning logo

Pros: Yes, we will try Time-4-learning again because it is self-paced, flexible, can be tailored to the student, is an all-in-one curriculum, and is affordable.  Did I say affordable!

All-in-all I will try Time-4-learning again when he gets older.  I could see the 1st-grade curriculum was much more engaging and age-appropriate than the Kindergarten curriculum.

But with only using a tablet, Time-4-Learning is not feasible for us at this time.

Conclusion: We will be doing a compilation of programs (more reviews to come).  We will continue to use  I am testing MobyMax (see future review).  We are currently doing a 6 week trial of Reading Eggs, and I am seeing results, so I plan to purchase the year plan.  I have some other supplement tools when needed, but for the rest of their education we will do the Finland educational approach and let the kids be kids and play, play, play.

Other good reviews of curriculum can be found at:

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Do you want more reviews, lesson plans, activity ideas, and more free resources? 

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Note: This blog post does not contain any affiliate links.  The only way I earn money for this blog and support my family is if you (1) purchase a lesson plan from My Store ,(2) click on one of the adds on the right, or (3) if you share this blog post with your friends.  Thank you for your support.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Eclipse Lesson & Activity Ideas

Are you looking for a fun way to teach your kids about the upcoming Eclipse?  I have looked at a few activities posted on the web, but this one is my favorite.

Join the National Park Service & Bill Nye and complete the Junior Ranger Eclipse Explorer Badge.

This is an activity book that spans all ages groups from 3-18 yrs old.  My 3 year old completed the Junior Ranger Badge at Yellowstone last year and loved it.  They didn't care that he was only 3.  When he gets older we will do it again.

The activities are broken out into three groups (Earth, Moon, & Sun) so kids of all skill levels can be involved.

I loved Bill Nye the Science Guy as a kid, and I am excited to introduce my kids to him.

Here is the activity guide
Junior Ranger - Eclipse Explorer Activity Book

The park service says, "You can download your own copy of the booklet from this website by following the link or by visiting a National Park site near you. Simply by completing the appropriate amount of work in the activity book and taking it to your local National Park site, you can even earn your own unique Eclipse Explorer Junior Ranger Badge!"

Here are some other eclipse activities I have come across:

  • Nasa Sponsered Activities
  • Eclipse Viewer Box -  When I was looking for a fun way to teach my son about the eclipse, I came across this. Of course, you can do the eclipse glasses thing. But, here is the cereal box viewer. I remember my dad doing this with me when I was young. 
  • Video: Total Solar Eclipse - Youtube

  • Video: Getting Ready for the Eclipse - Youtube

  • Video: Total Solar Eclipse Explained for Kids - Youtube

Would you like More Free Lesson Ideas

Do you want more lesson plans, activity ideas, and more free resources? 

Please subscribe, follow, and visit the following:

Facebook – Kid Wisdom
Pinterest – Sunny Jones - Education
My Store: Also, for additional learning resources – lesson plans and curriculum please visit my store on Facebook  @sunny.jones.MEd 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Active Lesson Plans for Early Learners

Here are some of my favorite active lesson plans-kid tested, parent and teacher approved.  I teach kids 1-18yrs old physical skills, life skills, and martial arts skills at my school - Flying Tiger Self Defense.

These lesson plans can be used by teachers of:
-Traditional P.E.

If you are like me, sometimes you just don't have time to create a full lesson and need some inspiration.  I can help you with this.

To view all my lesson plan, go to My Store.

If you would like to have my Active Early Learners Lesson Plan Guide for free, please subscribe to the link on the right of this page.


What's Bugging You? 

The goal of this lesson is to teach social and emotions skills while playing games. This will give you activities you can play all month long with your kids.

Learn about the Furious Fly, the Sad Spider, and the Anxious Ant, plus much more.

Let's Move 

Let's get the wiggles out. This lesson will help your students develop coordination, balance, strength, and get their wiggles out. I recommend it for Pre-K to 2nd Grade, but it could easily be adapted for all ages.

Jump, Run, Hop, & Shuffles with lots of activity ideas and variations provided to keep the skills fun and develop coordination, strength, and balance.

Autumn Fun

Teach your kids about autumn while playing active games.
Suggested Age - Preschool - Kindergarten, but this can be adapted for any age.

We had lots of success last year with this lesson and I plan to use it again this Sep and Oct. Lots of imagination and movement. Crawling through haystacks, pumpkin rolls, Owl eye spy and much more.

October Fall Fest 

Teach your kids about the traditions of October with these active games that will help them develop strength, coordination, and balance. Easily tailored for any kind of teacher for young kids: preschool, kindergarten, karate, jiu-jitsu, dance, music, tumbling, and gymnastics.

Bob for apples, play pumpkin pass, pumpkin balance beam, pumpkin rolls, and fly like a bat.



Want More Free Lesson Ideas

Do you want more lesson plans, activity ideas, and more free resources? 

Please subscribe, follow, and visit the following:

Facebook – Kid Wisdom
My Store: Also, for additional learning resources – lesson plans and curriculum please visit my store on Facebook  @sunny.jones.MEd 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Homeschool Curriculum Guides

Introducing a simple, stress-free, and fun curriculum guide for homeschoolers. Kid & parent tested and approved.

Why did I create a Curriculum Guide?

I find that parents want to homeschool and believe in the benefits, but find it hard, difficult, time-consuming, and eventually, lose motivation.

So, I put my knowledge, experience, and skills on paper in a written guide for you to make homeschooling simple, stress-free, and fun. Honestly, it doesn't have to be hard.

I have done the research, testing, and organized a plan for you.  All you have to do is skim through the guide, make a few choice and start making learning fun and easy. Kid tested and approved.

Why a Curriculum Guide and not a Day-by-Day Curriculum?

Because not every child and family is the same and has the same needs.  There are hundreds of great curriculum out there, and I recommend my favorites in the guides.  I tell you how to use them.  I give you a structure to follow, but I leave you options for flexibility.

I don't believe in pinning every child to one curriculum. This is crazy.  Isn't that one of the reasons you choose to homeschool? The all-for-one common core is failing and wasn't working for you and your child.  You want to tailor your child's education to your beliefs and their interests.  I have designed an easy curriculum guide so that you can do this.

How much time is required? Homeschool seems to take so much prep.

Very little prep and time. Remember, the goal is stress-free and minimal experience required. You become the "facilitator" of learning, not the "teacher." This means less fighting, arguing, and stress of preparing lessons.

Homeschool needs to be fun, tailored to your child and stress-free for you.  I believe I have made a curriculum guide that does this.

Honestly, a daily lesson doesn’t need to be tough or long.  Studies have shown that over 50% of a child’s day in traditional school is spent waiting on the class while the teacher deals with disciplinary issues. When you subtract administration time and recess, the strictly academic time is only about 10-20% of the day.  So in a 4-hour traditional kindergarten class only 20-45 minutes maybe strictly lessons on any given day.  So, keep it simple at home.

Daily lessons don’t have to be long and boring.  You can also break up a lesson into multiple segments throughout the day and keep each segment to as short at 10 minutes. Repetition is key, so choose the activity that fits your child's interest.  Keep the learning segments to 30-45 minutes max, and you will have success.

Featured Seller: LearnToMod Minecraft
(affiliate link)

Will my child meet grade level expectations?

This is a can of worms question that can lead to lots of debate.  But, the simple answer is YES! Chances are your child will be on grade level or ahead. And your child will be better off than thrown into the masses of the public school system. Really, how many of those kids are on grade level?  In my area only 50% meet the grade.  I'm not taking my chances with that.

Don't worry about grade level and if your child is doing enough. Your child will learn at their own pace, and this is why you are homeschooling.  So DON"T WORRY ABOUT IT! Yes, I am shouting at you. This is a traditional school mindset that has to be overcome if you are ever going to enjoy and excel in homeschool.

Honestly, we don’t worry about time, age, grade, or schedule. We just learn. If it’s an off day, we don’t worry about a formal lesson. That is usually a great day for a “field trip.” While camping, we find ways to explore learning subjects or we throw in a learning activity when down time is needed.

I find that even with this flexible schedule, my kids spend less time completing formal lessons than traditional schoolers and they are on grade level or ahead.  However, I don’t worry about grade level. If they struggle in a subject, we work on that subject at their level and not at their assigned grade level.  All kids learn at different rates, so we follow their learning pace.

Click to go to My Store

Why are you waiting?

So, why haven't you visited My Store and purchased my curriculum guide yet? For the cost of two cups of coffee, you will have a simple solution.  If, nothing else, subscribe to get my free Pre-K Curriculum Guide to see if you like my learning approach and to receive other free resources.

Are you still not sure?  Do you still have questions?  Message me through Facebook and I will see what I can do to help you.  Follow us on Facebook at Facebook – Kid Wisdom

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Free Pre-K Curriculum

Preparing your child for Kindergarten doesn't have to be expensive or a struggle. 
Don't know where to start? 

Well, I have done the work for you. I've done the research and testing.  

Our curriculum is approved by kids and Mom.

Subscribe at right to get our Free Pre-K Curriculum.  It's stress-free and affordable.

I hope you find this sample curriculum beneficial. 
If you do, please like us on Facebook and follow this blog for additional free resources which are posted often.

Also, for additional learning resources – lesson plans and curriculum please visit My Store.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Will things ever return to normal?

Part 1: Will things ever return to normal?

Light at the End of the Tunnel
Today was the first time, I have felt my normal life returning after having baby number two.  He is now 15 Months Old, and I write this to give mamas of young one's hope.

I have asked myself so many times over the past year, "What was I thinking?" and "Will it always be this hard?" Truth told to you here - two kids is 3 times as much work as one kid.  

I can't really explain why I feel life is returning to normal, but I do.Things just seemed easier today. Routines happen, my work was completed, school work was completed, we had a play date, and I was able to go to the gym for myself without a struggle. Boys were in bed at 8 and 9 pm respectively and I didn't have to fight them.  All this was completed on Day 2 of Daddy working overtime and Day 5 of playing Single Mom (he works 15 hr night shifts and is only home to sleep, shower, and leave for work).

I know this may not seem like much to some, but it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels like I was just handed an award for "Great Mom." Really, I can't tell you how many times over the past year, I have planned to something for myself and someone got sick, or someone was crying nonstop, or something else happened. (See my previous posts if you don't believe me.)  I have even been dressed and ready to go to the gym a few time and bam, something happens, and it is not worth the battle. You know, Mom always is last even when she tries to put herself first.

They say, "Make time for yourself." They say, "When times are the hardest, you need personal time the most." But, the reality is many times it is not possible and others come before Mom.

I try not to get mad and resent my husband, but sometimes he just doesn't even get it or see it. Don't get me wrong he is an awesome Dad and Partner. But as nature has it, the list is usually Boy's needs, Daddy's needs, then Mom's needs even when he and I try to put my needs at the top of the list.

So I send you hope, Mamas. 

Maybe this feeling will only last one day and won't return for another few days, weeks, or heaven forbid months, but I am cherishing the accomplishment of today. Today, the world didn't feel out of control. I felt like myself.

Part 2: Will my Post Partum Body Return?

Today my body felt mine again. My pre-pregnancy weight and size haven't returned but my fitness, strength, and stamina have. I once asked my midwife how long will it take to return my pre-pregnancy weight and size. Her answer, "It takes 9 months to put it on, it will take 9 months to take it off."

Once again Mamas - here is the truth (at least for me).  It is been 4 years 2 Month since pregnancy number one and I am still 30 lbs up from my ideal weight. I tried for 2 years and couldn't loose more than 15 lbs from my delivery weight.  On pregnancy number 2, I only gained 15 lbs since I was already 30 lbs up from my first pregnancy and I knew it just wouldn't want to come off.  My pregnancy was healthly and my midwife approved (no hate mail please).

I have tried everything sensible under the sun.  I have changed birth control medications, gone with out chemical birth control medication, counted every calorie for months, breast fed for 1 year for each child, and stayed 500 calories below burn amount for months.  I have a Fitbit and MyFitness Pal account to prove it.  I may not have made it to the gym every day, but I am still a very active person- walking, martial arts, hiking, camping, etc.

Just trust me (don't judge me), something in the chemical or genetic makeup of my body doesn't want to let the weight go.  My doctor and I are now looking into autoimmune issues. But ladies, it may never come off...

But what about the hips?  Sorry ladies, they are just wider. Even if the weight ever does come off, the hips may always be a size or two wider. Sorry ladies, I hope this doesn't happen to you.

Mamas of babies - Hopefully, you will feel like yourself and have your pre-pregnancy energy (and body) back between 12-18 months postpartum. Some may be super moms and have it done under the first year, but here is my reality.    

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kill Summer Boredom

It's hot! In the middle of the day, my kids feel trapped inside by the heat.  Here are some ideas to "kill the boredom."

Get the Wiggles Out

  • Cosmic Kids Yoga

  • Preschool Dance Beats–Dance and Beats Lab 

Calming & Quiet Time Activities

  • 10 Minutes of Cosmic Kids Zen Den

  • Reading or Listening to Audiobooks.  
Check out your local library online to check our audiobooks for free. -
Amazon Audiobooks

Here are some of our favorite books for K-3rd Grade.
My Weider School Books (aff link)

Junie B Jones Books (aff link)

Tip: I check out one or two books per week to listen to them during quiet time and while your kids are doing other activities.  I download audiobooks onto their tablets and show them how to get into the app so that they can always listen. It also works as a good bedtime story for kids who struggle to go to sleep.

2nd Grade Super WorkbookStar Wars Workbooks 1st Grade 3-Set

Educents Subjects Coloring Book The Original Spirograph Coloring Book Color-In' Books - Cozy Critters
Play-Doh Fun Factory Playgo-PLAY-DOUGH-WAFFLES-amp-ICE-CREAM-4-Colors-of-Play-Dough-Included-NEW

Please follow me on Facebook for more ideas weekly.

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Homeschool Curriculum Guides

Introducing a simple, stress-free, and fun curriculum guide for homeschoolers. Kid & parent tested and approved. Why did I create a...

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