Friday, September 19, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ September 19th

1.  This has been a great week.  The husband was off, and I'm pretty sure this was the first time he's ever taken a whole week off that wasn't for our vacation.  Or the birth of a child.  It was so nice to spend a week doing "nothing" even though we kept busy.

2.  Since husband was off, we got a lot of house cleaning done.  We're purging, and we removed tons of clothes, junk and useless clutter.  It is so nice to see the transformation of our house coming together!

3.  It's apple season!  I've made applesauce and apple muffins so far, and caramel apple pork chops for dinner last night.  I'm undecided on what else to make, though I saw an apple salsa recipe that looked good, so I'm debating on it.

4.  I have a thing for Applebee's fiesta lime chicken.  I found a fiesta lime chicken copycat recipe and we had it for dinner tonight.  We *loved* it.  It was delicious, quick and easy, which is my favorite dinner combination.  It is definitely going on our dinner menu rotation!

5.  Even though we've been on vacation this week from school, I've still seen the organic learning.  I've seen math skills with budgeting spending money, language arts with reading/writing comics, practical household skills with helping us clean and do minor repairs, and nature study with the apple picking and fishing.  They had a great time fishing and made sure to tell me everything about the boat, how the GPS worked, how Emory wasn't scared of finding juicy worms, and every other detail.  I forget how easy it is to find those natural learning moments, the ones that make learning come alive.

The Pebble Pond

©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Random 5 on Friday - September 12

1.  The husband and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary.  He's the definition of an amazing husband, plain and simple.  Faithful, loyal, loving, considerate, and not to mention a wonderful Daddy.  I am so blessed.

2.  I've never really gardened before, but I am seriously thinking we might be adding some fruit trees and berry bushes next year.  My kids are massive fruit eaters and by the time the trees would really start producing, the boys would be pre-teens.  So now I'm researching my head off.

3.  My husband and Elliott both mentioned to me (without knowing of the other doing so) that they wanted cherry trees.  Husband wants a lemon tree.  He also mentioned that the grew grapes along the barn as a kid.  I was thinking of the obvious, like apple and peach trees people.

4.  I need some new audio book suggestions for the boys.  We're finishing up the first book in The Boxcar Children series (which is where Elliott's initial cherry tree request came from) and we have 2 & 3 on audio book as well, but with the amount of time we're in the car, it doesn't take long to get through a book.  I do have Stories of the Pilgrims from a previous review but I'm thinking I'd like to save that for November and perhaps use some of the suggestions from the study guide to make a fun seasonal unit study for the boys.

5.  Co-op finally started.  The boys were so excited afterwards that they were talking over each other to tell me about their day.  Apparently the teacher of the LEGO class was amused with the 5 year old and his imagination.  HA!  It was a Free Build today, but I admit, I wonder how he will do in future classes with the more structured activities.  He is the creative, outside the box, doesn't want to be told how to do his LEGO creations kid.

The Pebble Pond

©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Kids Songs {Schoolhouse Review}

Do your kids like music?  Are you trying to teach them positive behavior and character traits?  Are you looking for a fun and memorable way to combine these two?  How many times do you get the lyrics to a song stuck in your head?  There's just something about dancing and singing to a catchy tune that makes a lesson more memorable, especially for kids!  If you're wanting some music that is both kid-friendly and adult-approved, you might want to look into Happy Kids Songs.

Happy Kids Song Review

What is Happy Kids Songs, you ask?
Happy Kids Songs is an award winning series of full-production songs brought to you by Dr. Mac.  You may be be familiar with Dr. Mac already, an award-winning songwriter, and director of music behind the children's PBS hit Jay Jay the Jet Plane!  Also a child psychologist, school consultant and lecturer, Dr. Mac designed Happy Kids songs to help children develop stronger social and emotional skills.  The music is also meant to bridge the gap between preschool music, which some kids might find "babyish" and mainstream artists who typically have lyrics and themes that are definitely inappropriate for children.  As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure the music our children are exposed to is not just entertaining, but also purposeful, edifying and appropriate for the maturity level of our little listeners.  Dr. Mac makes that easy!

The Schoolhouse Review Crew was recently asked to review three downloadable albums:  Friends & Sharing, Happiness & Attitude, and Manners & Character.  The sets each have five songs and are available for $4.95.  They come with a free download of the lyrics, as well as coloring and activity pages.

Happy Kids Song Review

Also made available was a physical workbook called Happy Kids Songs Workbook:  Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills.  This book ($12.56) has 125 pages to cover all 8 albums from Happy Kids Songs.  It includes the lyrics and a coloring/activity page for every song, as well as over one hundred lessons and activities, which include everything from arts and crafts, games and kinesthetic activities!  I love that they have included activities that will appeal to different learning styles, because we all know that every child learns differently.  Between the music and the variety of activities, this is certainly a multi-sensory program.

Happy Kids Song Review

Friends & Sharing includes songs that cover topics such as being a good friend, including others in your play and saying goodbye.  The playlist:
Sailing on the Seven Cs
Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
Sharing Friends
Happy as Happy Can Be

Happy Kids Song Review
The songs on Happiness & Attitude are about positive thinking, complimenting others, and knowing how to handle limitations. They include:
Shake it Out and Dance
Who Knows What's a Kudo?
I Don't Understand
Be Good to Yourself
Better Together

Happy Kids Song Review

Some of the themes on the Manners & Character album include honesty, appreciating differences, learning your manners and having consideration for others.  The five titles:
The magic Word
The Golden Rule
Six Little Kids

As you can see, Dr. Mac understands the types of issues and behaviors that children this age struggle with, and has worked to create a unique way to reach them.  The songs are performed by children and adults alike, and the program is geared for children 3-8 years old, but the music may have appeal to older and younger kids as well!  You can listen to the samples for yourself, but even my toddler liked to bop along.

Aside from the three albums I've already mentioned, there are five other titles in the Happy Kids Songs series!  Here is a list of the full collection, so you can see how encompassing the program really is:
Friends and Sharing
Social Skills and Bullying
Feelings and Fears
Practice and Success
Talking and Listening
Manners and Character
Happiness and Attitude
Respect and Responsibility

In addition to family use, this would be perfect for the car or even quiet time music.  With listening the music, singing along, dancing, and thee workbook component, this would also make a fun class for a co-op!

You can find more information about Happy Kids Songs on their website, FacebookTwitter or YouTube, and of course you can read more crew reviews!

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©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.