Essentials for a Homeschooler’s Day Outside

Essentials for a Homeschooler’s Day Outside

Although homeschooling enables personalized learning wherein parents adapt to their children’s abilities, it does leave much to be desired in terms of outdoor experiences. Homeschool children need to spend time outside. Outdoor environments promote healthy emotional, physical, and social development. In a study on the importance of outdoor activities, Janet Loebach suggests that being outdoors creates diverse opportunities for unstructured play as well, which stimulates a kid’s creativity and problem-solving skills.

Outdoor environments encourage exploration and independence in children. From equipment for park strolls to museum dates, here are essentials you should pack for your homeschooler’s day outside:

1. Spare clothes

Indoors, you don’t have to worry as much about soiled clothes, especially not when your child’s closet is only a few steps away. However, unforeseen weather conditions or accidents can result in messy clothing when you’re taking your homeschooler outside. Before heading out, pack a change of clothes with you. We also recommend checking the weather forecast for rain later in the day. This way, you can come prepared and bring a raincoat or a warmer jacket to prevent your kid from getting sick. After all, catching a cold can put a damper on your fun learning trip outside.

2. Stroller

With young homeschoolers, carrying a stroller is best if you plan on taking them to sprawling places such as parks or planetariums. As the iCandy strollers prove, they allow you to stay mobile for a day of play and learning. If you’re worried about transporting the stroller, don’t be. Today, strollers come with car seat adaptors and seamlessly convert to a complete travel system, allowing you to use them with your car seat rig. If you have a packed itinerary that entails flitting from one museum to another, rest assured a stroller’s your best bet in ensuring a smooth trip.

3. Picnic Necessities

Taking your kids out for a picnic is a novel experience, especially when their lunch breaks are regularly taken inside the house. Eating outdoors can provide a much-needed break and change of scenery to your homeschool day. We recommend making an event out of the picnic, even if you only head out to your backyard or nearby park. Pack paper plates and plastic utensils, paper towels, and a picnic blanket alongside an insulated picnic bag and your kid’s favorite snacks. You can get all these from REI, a brand that offers an assortment of picnic tools, such as lightweight blankets that are resistant to the elements. All that’s left is to relax with your curious student as you help them identify different cloud formations in the sky.

4. Art Supplies

In our previous post ‘Summer Activities Your Kids Will Love’, we shared how kids enjoy using paint brushes to create different shapes on the sidewalk (yes, even with just water). Although art activities are easy to implement into your homeschool day, being outdoors exposes your children to new sights. To nurture their creativity, equip them with a small sketchbook and a set of colored pencils the next time you visit a park. It’ll be interesting to see them sketch several bird species or various colored flowers on paper. While these are objects you can show through books or on a screen, nothing beats seeing and capturing them in the flesh.

5. Game Equipment

A day out can be an opportunity for active play. When you take your kids outside, bring game equipment, such as jump ropes, hula hoops, or balls, with you. Ball play, for example, would entail bouncing, catching, dribbling, and throwing items. In an article on motor performance, Bouwien Smits-Engelsman explains how ball skills help build balance, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness skills in children. To maximize your homeschooler’s day out, have exciting and educational game equipment on hand. This way, they can stretch their limbs as they learn a thing or two about hand-eye coordination.

Social Emotional Learning with LuvBug Learning

Social Emotional Learning with LuvBug Learning

Social emotional learning is such a buzz word these days, especially in the education community. But what is it exactly? Social emotional learning is simply the process of developing self awareness, self control, and intrapersonal skills. That’s it. Social emotional learning occurs is all sorts of situations, like in the home, play dates, co-ops, sports teams, and so on.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free, and I was compensated for my time for this post. As always, my opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with these productand services.

Sometimes, however, we want a more focused learning environment for our kids with regards to social emotional learning. This is why I was thrilled when I was introduced to LuvBug Learning! LuvBug Learning is an online play-based SEL curriculum that is perfect for your elementary aged child. Keep reading because I have a DISCOUNT code for you!

Teaching Feelings with LuvBug Learning

LuvBug Learning is the leading gaming platform for social emotional learning. Children do not even realize they are learning important life skills as they interact with Pixar quality characters and games. These characters exist in various worlds where you child will engage critical thinking skills while learning all about feelings and good character qualities.

These include things such as:

  • Gratitude
  • Empathy
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • The Golden Rule
  • Honesty
  • And so much more!
Scavenger Hunt Extravaganza

The graphics on LuvBug Learning are one of my favorite key features. I have shared before how a couple of my children, as well as myself, are neurodivergent. The animation on LuvBug Learning is so engaging and captivating for my children. They already love games like Roblox. However, with LuvBug Learning they are getting filled up on that dopamine, all the while learning skills they will utilize in every day life. In my opinion, it is vital for neurodivergent kids to have a focused SEL curriculum, because it is easy for them to miss certain social cues or rules of ettiequte in every day life.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Emily Sewell (@intentionally_well_blog)

What is Included with LuvBug Learning

LuvBug Learning has a variety of subscription options, with the best price per month option being the annual subscription. Furthermore, I have an additional discount code just for you! Use code: LUVBUG5 for your annual subscription to only cost $5/month! Although LuvBug Learning offers deals throughout the year, this is the best you’re going to see. This offer EXPIRES October 15, 2022, so don’t wait! This price gets you one child account and one parent account, but you can easily add additional users for a small fee.

Furthermore, each child on your account will have their own dashboard. What I love about LuvBug Learning’s platform is how customizable it is. Parents have the ability to filter and tailor their child’s experience based on their individual wants and needs. Parents also can also track their child’s learning progress in a very easy and concise way with the Social Emotional Pillars tracker in their dashboard.

Join LuvBug Learning today!

With beautiful and FUN graphics, characters, and games, LuvBug Learning is an obvious choice for social emotional learning for you elementary aged child. Join today and grab your discount with code: LUVBUG5, and let the fun and learning begin!

Pin it!

Catch Up on Math Skills with CTCMath

Catch Up on Math Skills with CTCMath

As homeschooling parents, we know every child will have different strengths and challenges. We all do our best to choose primary curriculums that fit our children’s needs, but sometimes we need a supplemental resource to reinforce things we are learning. So, when I found CTCMath, I knew I had to share it with you! Ever since I was introduced to CTCMath, I have been so impressed. Their Homeschool Family Membership is an excellent tool to help students catch up on math skills.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free, and I was compensated for my time for this post. As always, my opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with these productand services.

What is CTCMath?

CTCMath is an online supplemental math curriculum created and founded by Pat Murray. Pat Murray is an Australian educator with more than thirty-one years teaching and tutoring experience. Personally, math is and has always been my favorite subject. However, I know so MANY adults who still claim to hate it based on their negative experiences in school.

As we know, math is a subject that builds upon itself continuously. If one concept is not mastered, it can, and will likely, create future stumbling blocks. Children fall further behind and often lose confidence in their own abilities. This is why it is so important to have supplemental resources to help kids catch up on math (or any subject they might be struggling with!) available to homeschoolers.

This is where CTCMath can step in and fill in any gaps your child might have. With CTCMath and the Homeschool Family Membership, children will:

  • Have access for all grades K-12
  • Have lessons taught in a concise manner using animation
  • Learn at their own pace
  • Catch up on concepts not fully mastered
  • Gain understanding and confidence in areas of previous struggle
  • Develop an individualized learning routine where they succeed
CTCMath has won multiple rewards as a result of their success in helping kids match up on math skills.
Check out CTCMath today!

How Does CTCMath Work?

CTCMath utilizes a multi-sensory approach through visual and auditory learning. Every lesson introduces concepts with a four to nine minute animated video. These videos are simple and concise, which is wonderful if your child can be easily overstimulated. Additionally, each lesson contains a printable PDF, so students can have something tangible in front of them to use as a guide and/or take notes. Children then assess their understanding of the lessons through interactive questions.

On CTCMath’s dashboard, parents have the ability to assign lessons and track progress. Searching for lessons is so simple. It is very easy to filter the entirety of CTCMath’s lessons by grade, topics, and lessons. You, then, assign lessons to your student, which shows up on their own personal dashboard. Furthermore, as your child progresses through their lessons, they celebrate by earning awards.

CTCMath parent dashboard helps parents assign lessons to help their children catch up on math skills quickly and confidently.
The parent dashboard is so easy to navigate!

Final Thought on CTCMath

CTCMath is an excellent choice for homeschooling parents who are looking for a resource to help their child catch up on math skills. Their lessons are simple and clear. This curriculum is the perfect choice for a student who struggles with overstimulation and overwhelm, because of the way lessons are presented. I know that when your child is needing extra help, you want them to master skills quickly and effectively. CTCMath enables you to track your child’s progress easily, so that you can move on as soon as a skill is mastered. Check out CTCMath today with their FREE TRIAL and HALF PRICE DISCOUNT!

Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

Homeschooling online can be greatly beneficial. Every student has different learning styles, needs, and preferences. It can be hard to tailor your homeschool to the varying needs of your children with an “all in one” or “open and go” curriculum. That’s when homeschooling online shines. With so many web-based options out there, it can be hard to choose with one to go with. That’s why I am excited to share BrainPOP with you!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free, and I was compensated for my time for this post. As always, my opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with these productand services.

BrainPOP was created by a leading educational technology company. It is used by over six million educators in both traditional and home education settings. BrainPOP is like many other online platforms. You have a dashboard and create an individualized class with up to 4 learners. However, what makes BrainPOP so unique, in my opinion, is it’s appeal to neurodivergent learners.

Check out BrainPOP today!

Homeschooling Neurodivergent Children

Homeschooling neurodivergent children is no small feat. I am not a doctor, and I do not have any specialized training. Yet, two out of my three children are neurodivergent. Additionally, I was given a neurodivergent diagnosis earlier this year. How neurodivergence impacts our family is one of the major reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place. So, when I find a resource that appeals to this group of kiddos, I want to shout it from the rooftops! BrainPOP does just that.

Every topic of learning in BrainPOP Homeschool is introduced with a “movie.” I use quotations, because these are actually short animated videos, but they are super engaging. Throughout the video there are questions for the learner to answer to make sure they are understanding the topic. You, as the parent, have the ability to tailor these questions to your child’s grade level. So, right off the bat, learners are visually stimulated, and their comprehension is immediately evaluated. This creates an active learning experience from the start.

Additionally, BrainPOP encourages high order critical thinking skills. This focus is vital for developing executive functioning skills for neurodivergent kids. Making a concept map, creating a movie, and inventing a new game by coding are all ways executive functioning skills are stimulated and practiced. It is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Girl homeschooling online with BrainPOP. She is watching a video about weather on a laptop in a homeschool room.

Core Subjects or Supplemental Learning?

So, I bet you are wondering if BrainPOP Homeschool is designed for core subjects or supplemental learning. While all subjects are included, BrainPOP is best viewed as supplemental learning. Designed in units, you and your learner can choose topics like Greek Gods, Weather, Algebra, Conflict Resolution, Grammar, and so much more. Seriously, there are so many great topics. However, you would need more for a full year’s curriculum.

Furthermore, BrainPOP showcases a “Topic of the Day” on your homepage, and they will even give you recommendations based on your child’s grade. When you sign up, you get to choose from BrainPOP Homeschool, BrainPOP Homeschool Jr., or BrainPOP Homeschool Combo depending on your family’s needs.

Pin it!

Final Thoughts on Homeschooling Online with BrainPOP

While BrainPOP Homeschool is meant for all kids, I am so impressed with how their lessons and format appeal to neurodivergent kids. Because neurodivergence is a core characteristic of our family, I am always viewing resources through that lens. BrainPOP gives kids autonomy in how they learn, and feel ownership over their experience, which is a big deal to neurodivergent learners. When you sign up for an annual membership, you get two weeks free AND 28% off, so check out BrainPOP today!

Homeschooling with Education Perfect

Homeschooling with Education Perfect

There are so many online homeschooling resources on the market. It can be SO hard to sort through all of them. Well, I am thrilled to save you some precious time and tell you all about Education Perfect. Education Perfect is a personalized online platform committed to developing independent learners through technology. With more than 40,000 lessons, experiments, and games across dozens of topics, children can easily gain access and knowledge in their area of interest.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

Education Perfect logo

How Can Education Perfect Elevate My Homeschool?

Designed for ages 9-18, Education Perfect comes alongside you, regardless of your homeschool style. They assist parents in a way that works best for each individual family. While Education Perfect offers a variety of subjects, they really shine in their foreign language studies. As someone who struggled through Spanish class in high school (and college), I really appreciate self-paced language learning curriculums. The foreign language options EP offers are OUTSTANDING. They include:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese

I was so excited to see Arabic listed under the Content tab. Our neighbors immigrated from Egypt, and their primary language is Arabic. My children and I were so excited to have the opportunity to learn this beautiful language and practice it in real life. Also, I love that students have the option to switch to an immersion approach once they have progressed far enough along in their language studies. I was so easy to set up assignments for the entire week for my children from the Teachers Portal. My children were provided a link to their tasks. This meant I did not have to set up their lessons each day. They just had to point and click to get started!

A young girl is sitting at a desk completing a lesson in Arabic from Education Perfect.
My daughter learning how to introduce herself in Arabic.

In addition to online lessons, students have the opportunity to participate in monthly homeschool festivals and competitions. They earn certificates and chances to win prize money (hello!) for all their effort. I know my children will do just about anything to earn their own money. What a great concept to apply that motivation to schoolwork! I really feel Education Perfect does a magnificent job in creating a sense of community among their clientele. That is quite a unique and special quality to find in an online curriculum.

Outstanding Communication and Customer Service

Education Perfect has the MOST user friendly and easy to navigate website I have ever seen from an online homeschooling company. Seriously. Just about every page on the website has a video or tutorial to make sure you know exactly how everything works, as well as knowing every feature. It’s so nice to not have to waste time by clicking around and trying to figure every thing out on your own.

Use CODE: SAVE20 for 20% off (expires 10/31/22

In addition to all the website help, you will receive informative emails to to get you and your students started off right, as soon you register. Furthermore, every homeschooler has the option to book a platform demo lesson with an Education Perfect member to assist you through the registration process. The personal connection with EP staff doesn’t stop after you’re registered. Nope. Weekly homeschool training lessons are available for you to participate in. Have you ever heard of another company going this far above and beyond, so their clients are set up for success? I definitely have NOT.

Info graphic showing customer service support for Education Perfect.
The BEST client support!

Overall, Education Perfect is a first class option when looking to add a high quality online curriculum to your homeschool. After your FREE trial period ends, this program costs $25/month or $250/year. This includes one parent account and five student accounts. You can save 20% off your purchase by using the code: SAVE20 at checkout (expires 10/31/22). Check out Education Perfect for yourself. I would love to know what you think in the comments below. Make sure to share this post with your homeschooling friends as well!

Homeschool Preschool Essentials

Homeschool Preschool Essentials

I am here to share with you what I consider to be homeschool preschool essentials. The pressure to buy all the things is strong when your kids are young, and they are just beginning their homeschool journey. I am a former preschool teacher, and I also operate within a real life budget.

My youngest child was in a Mother’s Day out preschool when we decided to start homeschooling. We decided to keep him enrolled, even though I would be teaching my older children at home. However, this year he will be home full time with us. I am so excited! He will be in pre-k, which is the last year of preschool. Because he is my last child, I do not want to spend a lot of money on things we will only use for a short time. So, I am sharing with you what I consider to be homeschool preschool essentials.

Essentials You’ll Use for Years

Table top easels are great because they take up less space and can easily be stored. I love easel work because it hits so many learning points for preschoolers. For example, did you know that easel work teaches pre-writing skills by encouraging top/down hand motions?

This marble run kit is a favorite for all three of my kids! However, I plan to utilize it most for our preschool. So much STEAM activity is involved in planning and building these structures. And preschoolers LOVE it when they finally get to release the marbles down their creations. 

This set of gears provides another opportunity for planning and creating with a big reward of action at the end. We work on building gears on the flat surface first, then we start working on vertical structures. 

I love this dinosaur balancing game. This kit works on proprioception skills as well as fine motor movements. Start with the animals on a flat surface, then work up to using the included curved base. My preschooler also really enjoys doing pretend play with this toy.

I love these blocks so much. I had them in my classroom when I taught preschool. Every piece is the exact same size and weight. That might sound boring, but it actually fuels creativity. Because all the blocks are equal, it makes it easy to build amazing structures that are stable and don’t fall over easily. 

Essentials for Arts and Crafts

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I am not a crafty mom. When I taught preschool, my co-teacher did all the arts and crafts, because I just didn’t enjoy it. However, they are SO important for preschoolers. Crafts provide opportunities for so much exploration and learning, so of course I will be doing all the crafting with my preschooler this year. Below are a few things I consider to be important to always have on hand, but might not be obvious. Additionally, most of these products can be used in other subjects as well, such as math and science.

These Dot Markers were a last minute addition to my homeschool preschool essentials, but I am so glad I bought them. They are easy to hold for kids who might not have a great pincer grip yet, and they practice the handwriting skill of using appropriate pressure. Use these to create artwork, or you can use them to learn all about patterns in math.

Everyone knows about construction paper, but using cardstock paper is really great for preschoolers. Cardstock is, of course, thicker than construction paper. This means when your child uses 10x the amount of glue necessary, the paper won’t tear as easily. The same is also true when your little one colors with markers in the same spot a little too much. Cardstock is also great to build on established hand strengthening skills like folding, tearing, and cutting.

If your preschooler is still struggling with their pincer grip, triangle crayons are awesome. They encourage proper grip, which means you’re having to correct your child less. Added bonus is these crayons won’t roll off the table. 

Essentials for Sensory Play

Finally, we need to talk about the importance of sensory play. My preschooler has ADHD, and he needs sensory input throughout the day. Even if your child is not neurodivergent, sensory play is essential for early learning. It fuels learning and curiosity for preschoolers (and all children, honestly). Below are things that I have on hand for sensory play at all times.

Last year I added a fidget station to our homeschool, and it was such a huge hit. Every child has their own preferences with fidgets, so this kit provides a little bit of everything.

Any time I am talking about sensory needs and children, I share this vibrating cushion. It is probably what gets the most use, in our home, out of all our sensory tools. A child can sit on it, and it will automatically start vibrating. This provides LOADS of proprioception input. My preschooler likes to use this cushion during meal times, as well as when he is upset and needs help calming down. 

This Ikea Trofast storage bin is what I am using for a sensory box. It is big enough to provide enough room to play, but small enough to be practical. I also like how it can be used for water play. I switch up what is in here every week for my preschooler. For our first week of school, I put soapy water in it along with his little construction builder trucks. His activity was to wash and dry them. He loved it!

And there you have it! I wanted to keep this list sparse, containing only what I consider to be homeschool preschool essentials. You can always add more once you begin schooling and notice gaps. But this list will get you a great start to your homeschool journey! I would love to know what you think is a must have for homeschooling preschoolers. Also, make sure to share this post with your friends!

Online Homeschool Classes with Allschool

Online Homeschool Classes with Allschool

Do you use online homeschool classes? This is new territory for us, but let me tell you, I am loving it! For a long time, I thought I would only use hard copy materials in our homeschool. That was ridiculous of me! I limited my resources so much with that line of thinking. I also limited fun and engaging avenues for my children to learn. Now that I’ve seen the light, I am so excited to share Allschool with you!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

What is Allschool?

What exactly is Allschool, you ask? Allschool is a platform jammed packed with a variety of online homeschool classes for students ages 3-18. They encourage students to pursue their interests through interactive classes, teacher feedback, and parent resources. You can search for classes by age, subject matter, time of day, and even language. I signed my four year old up for a class about the great white shark. The process was so simple and easy. Additionally, I really appreciated the questionnaire you fill out when you fill out your learner’s profile. This helps Allschool to have a rough idea of where your child is academically.

Allschool interactive online homeschool class logo.
Allschool is a great way to include interactive learning into your homeschool.

The Awesome Features of Allschool

Allschool has so many wonderful features that make it a clear choice when looking for interactive online homeschool classes such as:

  • Small class sizes
  • Variety of topics taught, including special interests and core subjects
  • Interactive and immersive classroom experience
  • Option of one-on-one classes for individualized learning
  • Responsive and helpful online customer service
  • Free worksheets to further learning
  • Personal feedback from teachers
  • Safety protocols to keep a positive and peaceful learning environment
  • Experienced and professional teachers

All of these features enable homeschooling parents to rest assured in their choice of Allschool. However, I have to say that my favorite aspect is the number and variety of classes. There are literally hundreds to choose from. This means that wherever your child is in their academic journey, there will be a fun and engaging class that’s right for them.

Allschool free online small classes for your child
Sign Up for Allschool Today!

How do the Classes Work?

Searching for the right class is very easy. You are able to filter the search engine. Because I wanted my four year old to enroll in a class, I searched by age. Out of all the choices, he chose a class about great white sharks. After completing the check out process, I was able to set my son’s profile up. Allschool classes are done over Zoom. You can find your Zoom link in your child’s profile, which houses your class schedules.

Preschool boy watching an online homeschool class about sharks.
I set my son up at my desk with his lunch and my laptop.

I was so impressed with Teacher Amber and this class! The maximum number of students in the class is set by each teacher, and our teacher had a max of 8 students. But there was just my son and one other child in the class. Teacher Amber was so engaging. She called each student by name, which really helps to keep their attention. Also, she didn’t mind at all that my son was wiggly and playing in my desk chair. The class lasted 30 minutes, and my ADHD preschooler was engaged the whole time. That is a BIG deal!

Preschool boy watching an online homeschool class on a laptop.
Teacher Amber was so much fun!

Overall, I was highly impressed with Allschool. I definitely plan on using this awesome resource for our homeschool in the future, especially for my preschooler. Make sure you check out Allschool and snag their offer of one free class. Have you ever tried online homeschool classes? What did you think? I would love to know in the comments below! Also, make sure to share this post with your friends.

Pin it!

Exciting On-Demand Dance Classes in Your Home

Exciting On-Demand Dance Classes in Your Home

I searched for on-demand dance classes to add to our homeschool routine for quite some time. I wanted something that offered various styles of dance for my children to try, but also I also wanted quality instruction. You cannot imagine how thrilled I was when I found YouDance.com! The Subscription to YouDance.com checks all of my boxes for what I was looking for. And, it’s your lucky day! Keep reading to enter a special giveaway just for you. Lifetime Access to YouDance.com valued at $180!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

Learn to Dance Online

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want my kids to have the opportunity to explore new interests without having to drive them all over the place for in person classes. So, when I found this program, I was hooked. YouDance.com was started by a homeschooling mom. It is a safe place for kids to learn all types of dance, including ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and even clogging. Furthermore, there are no ads or any way to click into something we don’t want our kids having access to (unlike YouTube). My children are beginners, but there are multiple skill levels to choose from.

Get your FREE trial to YouDance.com today!

How Does it Work?

My first grader chose ballet, and my third grader chose jazz. I really appreciate how just one subscription to YouDance.com gives you full access to every type of dance on the platform. Each lesson includes short instructional videos on various aspects of that style of dance. The videos are shot from behind the instructor, who is looking in the mirror. This mimics in person classes, as well as makes it easier for my kids to follow the foot work. Additionally, each lesson includes a short quiz. The quiz covers the information taught in the lesson. I appreciate this, because it helps me to gauge how much my child is paying attention.

This online dance class mimics the perspective of being in a dance studio by watching the instructor from behind while facing a mirror.
All of the novice ballet lessons take place at the barre. Kids can use any sturdy surface in your home for balance.

However, I want to give a slight heads up if you have young children. You might need to do the quiz with your child. A couple of questions were a little mature. For example, when asking about the ballet barre, one of the answer choices mentioned a bar you would go to get drinks. Additionally, the history of jazz video spoke about how jazz originated with enslaved people in America. I love that the lesson taught this full and true history, but I was also glad I was there because my child had additional questions. All in all, I think these things are minor, and they don’t hinder how comfortable I feel using the program.

YouDance.com instructional jazz video is being viewed on a laptop.
My children like to watch the videos first before practicing.

The Benefits of On-Demand Dance Classes for Homeschoolers

The benefits to on-demand dance classes speak for themselves.

  • Explore new interests
  • Gross motor activities all year around, regardless of weather
  • Meet P.E. requirements for homeschooling
  • Ability to set your own pace and schedule
  • No need to be a chauffeur to weekly classes across town
  • Exposure to various types of music
  • Build confidence and self esteem

The YouDance.com Subscription hits all the marks, and I really love that we all have the opportunity to explore so many styles of dance under the umbrella of one product. And I have to say, it has been really nice being able to work on one-on-one teaching with one child, while another child learns a new dance completely independently.

There are even videos meant for exercise available, which is my favorite way to workout (anyone else remember the Zumba craze from ten years ago?) It’s not often you find a homeschool product that also has something for mom, but YouDance.com once again comes through. It warms my heart to think how Courtney, the founder and creator, thought of us when making this program. Check out YouDance.com today, and I can’t wait to hear what you think. Make sure to like and share this post with your friends!

Are you ready for the AWESOME giveaway? Enter below!

 

Self Paced ASL Classes for Your Homeschool

Self Paced ASL Classes for Your Homeschool

Discovering Mr. D Math’s ASL: Elementary 1 was like finding a treasure chest for our homeschool. Mr. D Math offers a variety of classes, and we enrolled in the self paced ASL (American Sign Language) option. We decided this year that ASL would be our long term foreign language study for our homeschool. I learned a few basic signs as a child, and I knew some baby signs as well. However, my children came into our study knowing nothing.

Because I came into our ASL study with such limited knowledge, I had no idea where to begin. We tried to find YouTube videos. But there are so many that I didn’t know where to begin, much less make an impactful linear study of the language. When I was introduced to Mr. D Math and the self paced ASL class, I knew I found what we needed to ensure a proper, respectful, and comprehensive study of American Sign Language.

Bring world class teacher into your home!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

The High Quality of Mr. D Math’s ASL Elementary

Mr. D Math is an online platform offering a variety of live and self paced classes for every age. We chose Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1, which is a self paced ASL class. To be completely transparent, I have been hesitant to use any online classes in our homeschool. I felt like if we were going to do home education, then I needed to be teaching only out of hard copy books at all times. Friend, don’t box yourself in like that. As soon as we started learning ASL, I knew I needed a curriculum with actual teachers who were more knowledgeable than me. I needed someone to come along side me to teach my children, and Mr. D Math does just that.

This image shows two children engaged in an online ASL lesson. One child is shoeing the sign for letter P.
Each lesson is straight forward and highly engaging for my children. They love ASL days!

Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1 includes 32 lessons, which is a great amount for a full school year. Our teacher, Thia S., graduated from Gallaudet University, which is the only Deaf college in the world. It is so important to have qualified instructors when learning ASL. The deaf and hard of hearing community feels very strongly about this, and I am so glad Mr. D Math respects and supports that. I also really appreciate how I have the option to message our teacher if needed.

The Ease of Self Paced ASL Classes

One of my most favorite things about homeschooling is the individuality you can infuse into every part of education. Like I mentioned before, I had been hesitant to add an online curriculum to our schooling. Part of that hesitation was rooted in the fact that I didn’t want the pressure of being on someone else’s schedule. Let me tell you, the self paced ASL class has eased all of my fears.

Each lesson includes a video where our teacher introduces new signs. She is so fun and engaging. Furthermore, she encourages children to turn off their voices and practice their signs in daily life. My seven year old especially loves doing this! There are review worksheets and coloring pages, as well as a short review quiz for all 32 lessons. The course is well tracked through the online portal as well. It keeps track of our progress (I am learning too!) and quiz grades automatically. We usually do two to three lessons per week, but you can go as fast or as slow as your children need to.

This image shows two elementary aged children coloring their review worksheet from their ASL lesson.
Birthday sign review coloring pages were definitely a hit!

Is Mr. D Math Elementary ASL 1 Class Worth It?

I absolutely believe this self paced ASL class is worth it. If you are looking for a quality curriculum to fill any possible gaps in your homeschool, Mr. D Math is a great place to start your search. You can really tell this company wants to empower home educators. There is even a podcast by founder Dennis DiNoia. Additionally, for the price of $197 per self paced course, you get so much. Before I was introduced to Dr. D Math, I was scrounging YouTube for our ASL lessons. I didn’t always know the credentials of the person making the video, and there was no route to achieve our long term goals of becoming proficient in ASL. I fully intend to stay with Mr. D Math ASL classes until we progress beyond them. Check out Mr. D Math today and let me know what you think!

Social Emotional Learning with HeyKiddo

Social Emotional Learning with HeyKiddo

Social emotional learning is a framework that helps students to better understand their emotions, to experience those emotions fully, and extend empathy for others. Learning about feelings and how they effect relationships is vital for children to develop into well rounded healthy teenagers and adults.

As I’ve shared before, I have two children with ADHD. Did you know emotional regulation is an extra challenge for neurodivergent children? Because of this, we spend a LOT of time discussing feelings in our family. Additionally, I really believe spending concentrated time learning these skills when children are young results in positive outcomes as they grow. It only made sense to incorporate social emotional learning into our homeschool. This is why I was so excited to discover HeyKiddo Huddle by HeyKiddo.

Built for busy homeschooling parents (you, mama) by expert psychologists and educators, this digital curriculum fits seamlessly into your existing homeschool rhythm and routine, all the while helping to build skills like self-awareness, mindfulness, positive mindset, empathy, critical thinking, resilience and so much more. Read on to the end for a chance to win a one year subscription!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and true to my personal experience with this product.

Social Emotional Learning Starts with Family

We take family and sibling relationships very seriously in our home. Because I am an only child, I know how precious it is to have siblings by your side. We tell our kids that their siblings are their forever best friends. Deep relational bonds only occur if a person has had appropriate social emotional education.

Desiring our children to mature in their social emotional skills is one thing, yet knowing how best to teach these skills can be another. This is where HeyKiddo Huddle steps in. HeyKiddo, with the backing of the National Science Foundation, comes along side you with a weekly curriculum to teach important skills such as self awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making, and SO MUCH MORE. They say it takes a village. Why not take the opportunity to fill ours with expert psychologists and educators?

Sign Up Today!!

How Does HeyKiddo Huddle Work?

HeyKiddo Huddle is comprehensive social-emotional curriculum for homeschooling parents that spans 36 weeks. Everything you need to teach each lesson is located in your online portal. Additionally, you receive weekly emails with that link to all the materials you need. Your portal also houses a progress tracker for each child, as well as additional resources. The portal is incredibly simple and easy to navigate.

Your portal houses everything you need for each lesson.

Lessons, or huddles, take about 15 minutes each day, or you can dedicate one hour once a week. I really appreciate when curriculums are not extremely time intensive. For each lesson, you come together for a huddle (how cute is this concept?!) and discuss one question per day. The discussion questions are designed to integrate critical thinking skills into daily learning. One of my favorites is, “If you were a color, which would you be and why?”. Furthermore, an activity or craft is associated with each week’s focus. Parents are responsible for gathering the materials for these activities, but they are simple things like colored paper, scissors, etc..

I really appreciate the Educator Responses section of each discussion question.

Here is Your Chance to Win!

Enter to Win!

I have thoroughly enjoyed digging into this curriculum with my children. In the beginning, it felt a little awkward having these conversations, but we quickly found our groove. Better yet, the kids have so much fun during our huddles. I think it does a wonderful job filling in the gaps we, as parents, sometimes have when teaching our children about emotions and introspection.

Huddles are simple, but they are so impactful!

The only thing I would adjust in this program is allowing total access to all the lessons up front. You have the full 36 week curriculum outline in your portal, but it only gives you the topics. My type A planner self would have liked to be able to view all the lessons I wanted, so I could customize our journey through the program more. However, that is such a minor thing (can you tell I sometimes live in the details, ha!), and I really do love HeyKiddo Huddle for social emotional learning. I can already tell a difference in my children’s emotional awareness with using this curriculum. Check them out today! As always, I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.