Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WAY Comes Home - homeschool wellness


Last year, our family tested out a wellness program tailored to homeschoolers.  WAY Comes Home was a positive experience for us, so I'd like to share a little about it with you.  Way is more than just "homeschool PE."  It's a comprehensive wellness education program that includes a PE aspect.

We received a box of supplies that included things like glitter glue, marbles, a balance scale, a binder, paperback student notebooks, dvds, flash cards, and more.  The WAY Comes Home program is currently on sale for $99.95.


The entire program, all 3 levels, was a little overwhelming at first, but once we got into it, it was a lot of fun.  We'd watch a segment of the exercise DVDs and work out with the class on screen together.  We had discussions.  We did activities.


Being homeschoolers, we tailored the program to our family.  With the vocabulary words, we might use them for handwriting, creative writing, or use them for brainstorming and discussion.


I think sometimes as parents, we assume that by living a reasonably healthy lifestyle, our kids will just know why we make the choices we do.  WAY gave us the opportunity to discuss that reasoning.


One of the activities involved sorting cards into the 3 baskets provided.  Then we acted out some of the cards.


Which is easier for some cards than for others!


This is the periscope of Jack's submarine poking out of the "water."


Brianna drew "skateboard."


I was happy to help her act that one out.  Oh, and I drew elephant, so I was an elephant on a skateboard in this picture.


Even now, almost a year later, this was one of the most memorable activities.


I squirted some glitter glue into each of the children's hands, and then we shook hands with each other, to illustrate the spread of germs.


This was a fabulous way to learn about good hand washing techniques!  With a built in self check, "Is there still glitter there?" it helped the kids realize how long they should be washing to get rid of all the germs.  And it very clearly explained why we wash frequently.  My kids will still ask for hand sanitizer if we're away from a sink when preparing to eat something.  (As an aside, I'm really liking Honest Hand Sanitizer the purse sized natural spray sanitizer from Honest Co. - affiliate link)


Another favorite of the kids was when we used the balance to show how food (energy) in, and energy expended through activity balance each other out.  We talked about what happens when you're lopsided one way or another.  It was after this activity that Eli said, "We should walk there, to use more of our energy!"  I could tell the lessons we were learning with WAY Comes Home were really sinking in.


There are 3 levels to this program, broken down by age range:  Health Safari, for K-1st grade students; Me Mysteries, for 2-3rd grade students; and Innerspace Adventure, for 4-6th grade students.  The Parent Guide pictured above offers suggestions for including other levels in certain activities specific to one level.  We did everything as a group, and I would guess that the feedback they got from most of their homeschool family testers indicates that many other families did, too.


Because we were "testers" prior to the product launch, we were sent additional Student Notebooks from the updated final run.  One of the features that makes these notebooks unique is that although the notebook pages are colorful and engaging (center above), the covers (above right) are blank!  The creators of WAY did this on purpose, so each child can personalize the cover and feel ownership of their notebook, and by extension, their wellness choices.  Once we get a little further into our school year, I am looking forward to starting this program up again with the boys in their new Student Notebooks.

You can connect with WAY Comes Home on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more wellness ideas!


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Alpha Omega Publications GIVEAWAY


Our family got the incredible opportunity to review for Alpha Omega Publications.  Jack is currently working through their 5th grade math Lifepacs.


It's going really well, and I'll be sharing my full review with you soon, but in the meantime, a fabulous giveaway!

We are blessed to bring you an amazing giveaway from Alpha Omega Publications Homeschool Division. The winner will receive one subject from each of the main product lines plus a $50 Amazon gift card. That could be a retail value of $450! To enter, please use the form below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Our Third Week of School


Last week, we lost days due to illness and surgery.  This week, we also lost time, due to homeschool co op starting (which, yeah, I get it, counts as school time, but it's not getting anything on the lesson plan accomplished), and a morning at the dentist.  But we're working hard on catching up.  We're finished with Week 2 now, and I'm hoping that by the end of next week we'll be fully on track again.


We watched more movies than usual the first couple days of the week, giving Katie a chance to rest.  She is up and running again now, doing great.


Samuel appears to be practicing his levitation skills.


Or maybe that's Eli, using "force pull" to suspend him in the air.  


Not sure why they thought jumping with a bunch of hard plastic bottles was going to be fun...?


Katie (right) and a couple friends playing in the little house at homeschool co op.  Eli and Jack are in separate classes by age, but they're each taking art, science, and PE.


Eli's painting from co op.  Pretty sure this is not his best work.


I wanted to take a picture of the molecule models they made in science, but by the time I got to him, this was what I got.  Tasty molecules, it would appear.


We got to spend some time with Brayden this week.  Katie and Hannah's dresses for the wedding arrived, but they run really big, so I had to order a tinier one for Katie and Hannah will wear the dress originally intended for Katie.  I just ordered Eli & Jack's wedding wear.  I know December is going to sneak up on me if I put it off, so I'm trying to outfit the family a little bit at a time.


Little Miss Katie is doing well, despite her "mitten" bandages.  I've become convinced that they will NOT be lasting 4 weeks, and the lovely folks at Shriners will just have to chill when I bring her back in with different wraps.  The pink one is already filthy, and I'm sorry, just thinking about her using the bathroom and not being able to wash is grossing me out.


It's still warm enough for water parks, but feeling much more autumn like.  Not the weather, but more the time of year, I guess.  Seeing Halloween stuff in the stores, getting ready to go to Apple Hill, things that say it's autumn, even if it's 100* out.  


This week, we learned about cells.  Jack is copying my cell drawing and labels for science.


He did a good job!  I like his ribbon-like endoplasmic reticulum.  Learning cell parts was interesting for me, because when Luke's neurologist says he might have a mitochondrial condition, it suddenly makes more sense to me.  And why genetic testing--from within the nucleus of the cell--is so expensive.  Those are some seriously tiny pieces we're talking about.


We also watched a video about cells from a new review program we're checking out.


Our craft this week was scrolls, from the book How the Bible Came to Us (affiliate link).  I'm liking this book so far, even though we're only a few pages in.


We cut strips of parchment, taped toothpicks on the end, and rolled our scrolls up.


Eli looks very scribe like here.


"To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child."  Eli's scroll features a quote from Cicero.  We read about his death this week, as we studied the time period between the death of Julius Caesar and Octavius' rise to power.


When I told the boys to put the scrolls with our Bible craft from week 1, Eli said, "It's like the library at Alexandria [Egypt]!"  Ancient books and scrolls.  I was pleased with the comparison.  They brought out some Lego guys to enjoy some light reading.


I'm having a lot of fun with my boys this year.


Sam came home, battered from football, to discover a brain in the kitchen.


We've been using up a bunch of Jello to save the boxes for an upcoming project.  Eli is my Jello cook.  And if seeing somebody eating out of a brain mold isn't creepy enough...


He calls this "brain surgery."  Nice serving technique, son.


We had 2 lessons in art at home this week (in addition to art at co op).  We learned about foreground, background, and perspective.


I just found out we were selected for a review involving a treasure hunt, and I ordered something very cool to be the treasure.  It will involve art, but I'm pretty sure the boys will like it more than the directed drawing exercises we've been doing lately.  

Luke's class had picture day this week.  Not sure when those come back, but I'll be sure to share them.  He had appointments at The MIND Institute and Shriners, and there's nothing especially new to report.  It seems that some of the tests we thought had been ordered were not put into the computer correctly, so the results we were really hoping to find out haven't even been run.  As an aside, I'd like to know what they did with all that blood they took, if they didn't run the tests, but whatever.  Right now, we're waiting for a follow up call from The MIND Institute to let us know to go have blood drawn again.  He's got 5 upcoming appointments scheduled, so maybe we'll be able to hit the lab when we're already at one of the medical buildings.  

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Weekly Wrap-Up

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Sacramento Zoo


A crazy thing happened recently:  Paul and I found ourselves alone with only one child.  We could hardly believe it all came together, but it did.  So, we took just Katie to the Zoo.


Here she is, checking out the flamingos.  Funny thing, every time I took her OUT of the stroller to see the animals better, she wanted to get right back IN the stroller as soon as she was done looking.


No running off with this kid.  She is content to be wheeled about like a princess from exhibit to exhibit.


Daddy lifting her up to get a better view of the munching giraffe in the background.


Sacramento Zoo is a small zoo.  It doesn't take very long to walk around the whole place.  They don't have the variety or the quantity of the larger zoos.  But we did have some fun sightings, like this snow leopard, above.  And we did get to see one of the large cats getting a check up and blood draw in the veterinary hospital viewing windows.


Female lion, cat napping


Male lion, pacing and looking at Katie and another small child like they would make a tasty snack.


Somewhere, I have pictures of my big kids all lined up on this snake slide.


Miss Katie was hesitant at first, but she went up a couple times.  They have a new playground on the other side of this structure now, although they've taken out the spider web rope climber.

It was a nice morning out, just the 3 of us.  Paul said people probably thought we were an infertile couple, out with our only child.  Made me laugh to think about, but then when I was made eye contact with a very pregnant mama, who was chasing 3 stair step boys, I realized how true it was.

Although we had fun together, Katie was happy to see Hannah when we picked her up from school.  She's not used to being alone.

Chestnut Grove Academy Field Trip Friday Blog Hop

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