Just wanted to pop in today and let everyone know we are doing great and keeping very busy! I'm not posting as much as I use to and want to, but I will get there! :)
The Embark studies are going great! My son was really reluctant to using a mouse at first, but he is doing just fine now. He's a little pro! What helped me to encourage him to learn how to use the mouse was to go to his favorite TV show websites. Most of the kid shows will have online games for them to play. This is how my son started learning the mouse. At first he wouldn't do his online lessons because he was frustrated with the mouse. Not anymore! We used the website for Peep and also the Disney Junior websites for his other favorite shows. IT WORKS! :)
With all that said, I'm still a firm believer in limiting technology for the kiddos this young. He is now 4 years old and gets about 1-2 hours of TV and Kindle time. I still sometimes feel this is a bit much especially after adding in the 15 min. Embark lessons. So we shall see how that goes. If need be I will cut back somewhere. The good thing is that he will still prefer playing outside or with his toys over the TV or the tablet.
I'm still working very hard at eating healthier. We have come a VERY long way in the last year. I read about 2-3 books a month just on nutrition and health. I also follow a few pages on Facebook that encourage nutrition. I also watch many videos on Youtube when I have the chance. For me this keeps my health and awareness to the foods I eat front and center. It keeps it in front of my face so I am constantly reminded to take care of myself. If not I will slip back into my old habits. For me this works. I encourage anyone who is looking to become more healthy to do at least one of these things. It really helps to keep it in the forefront. Here are a list of the newest books I've read on nutrition. Click here for other great books I have read and recommend. As always check your local library first before you buy! Free is always good! :)
Get Naked Fast
Simply Raw Kitchen
I have about 6 more new books other than these, but these I have read front to cover and I can easily recommend. I'll add the rest as I go through them.
I hope this helps and encourages you to look more into what you and your family eats. It's a slow journey, but well worth it! Plant those seeds of knowledge now by reading a book!
So as stated in a previous post here is the review I promised! So it is still a bit early, but I wanted to try and list a few things anyway. First off I would like to state that when you are ordering the course to be sure you check your "Start Date". You will not have any access to any of the course materials until this date arrives. Until that date you are going to be locked out. This is because it is a yearly subscription to the course. I thought I was buying unlimited access to the course materials, but that is not so. So please be aware of this. Another note is that I did order all of the extra manipulative sets for this course. There are 3 that you can add on. I think it is well worth the money and saves time from having to go hunt down these items yourself. I just want to state that if you have been homeschooling already or have older kids, that you might have some or most of the items on hand already. For instance I had the magnetic letters, counting bears, globe, etc. on hand already. I guess it's not a bad idea to have back-up, but this is something to consider. The book set that you add on is TOTALLY worth it! You get SO many books and it came out so much cheaper than buying them separately. Just note that if you have a well stocked library nearby then you might be able to find these for free at your local library. We have an amazing library, but things are never in stock. So for me, this was worth it. I did our first lesson last week and it went really well. The course guides will give you lots of information on how to teach the material, what items to use, and what books to use. It also gives you ideas for group teaching and also one on one teaching. Then to break it down even further it also gives you ideas on how to teach the entire lesson to the younger kids. So there are defiantly different modifications given in the courses and exact instructions for each. It really gave me some great ideas on extra things to teach my son that I didn't think of teaching a preschooler. Like parts of a book, past tense verbs, what an author does, what an illustrator does, etc. So it is expanding my teaching skills as well. Never under estimate how smart preschoolers are! When I went over these concepts with him he took interest and picked it up right away. Little sponges I tell ya! :) We are also loving the online courses that came along with the course. My 4 year old is use to touch screens so it was a bit difficult to encourage him to learn the mouse, but he is getting there. So I hope this helps anyone considering this course. I definitely would recommend it.
Have you heard of Graze Boxes? They are only $6 a month for 4 different snacks. Right now they are offering up your FIRST month FREE and if you like it and stick around you also get your fifth month FREE to! So two free months FREE! SWEET! Simply use this code: N921KY5LP
So if you know me I LOVE teaching my son! Yes, we are going to do the whole "homeschool" thing. Why is that when I say that I feel the need to hide behind a wall to avoid shoes being thrown at me? I think it is actually more accepted today than it use to be, but you still come across those people that think homeschooling is for weirdo's. LOL! I'm not going to list all the "why's" here because it would take up the entire post. So I'll save that for a later date. :)
Anyways, I just ordered the K12 Preschool course. I didn't even realize they offered it. I don't think I will be choosing K12 for the majority of our homeschooling journey for various reasons, but I am really excited about the preschool course. I couldn't find any reviews on this course so I will do my best to give a good review on it when it arrives and after we have used it for a while.
I chose the comprehensive course because I like the one on one with my child. I don't like the idea of sitting my child in front of a computer and walking away when I can very well be hands on with him. I'll save that for later when the more difficult courses come along. ;) So stay tuned! I'll be posting a review sometime this February.
So I know how it is. We are so busy these days that it is hard to just slow down. There is so much to do in such a small amount of time. I just want to let you know that it is SO very important to STOP and take care of yourself. I know that this can be a challenge. It has been for me. I will run myself a nice soothing bath and get in only to start thinking of all the things I "should be" doing instead. If you are like me and you have ever felt this way, then it's time to change the way you think.
We are so busy taking care of our house chores, our kids, our husbands, our pets, but when it comes to ourselves we tend to put ourselves last. Why is this? I don't have an answer for that, but I can tell you that this is not good. If you keep putting yourself last then you are going to burn out! So do not feel guilty for taking out some time for yourself! You need to refresh your mind and your body so that you can do everything there is to do to the best of your ability. It's no fun to burn out and then do things half heartedly only to have to turn around and do it over "the right way". Been there, done that!
So here is my challenge to you. Take some time for yourself if you are not already. The more you can do this the better, but let's start slowly for those who are new to this. Every two weeks set aside a full hour just for you! To pamper your mind and your body and totally just refresh yourself. It's like hitting a reset button and it can totally change your perspective! You will feel better about yourself and you will have more of yourself to give to your family. More focus and more patience, yes please!
Here is my suggested SPA DAY layout. This routine works great for me and it really helps me to slow down and relax! No guilt is allowed! This is your time! I do this every two weeks after little one is in bed.
Start off your spa day with some dry skin brushing! If you can, do this every night before bed. You only need 3-4 days in a row to convenience yourself that this is worth while! Your skin will glow and it will be silky smooth! It also helps with detoxing and will help you to feel your best the next day! I use this one by Earth Therapeutics. It's under $10 and will last you a very long time! It earns it's keep! Just be extra gentle on your tummy and back until your skin gets use to the brush. :)
Next give yourself a nice manicure and pedicure. Now I'm not the kind of girl that will usually do this. I don't normally paint my nails, but I do for this. I don't paint my fingernails since I cook a lot, but I do paint my toe nails. I feel so girly and pretty after! I really recommend this! Give your hands and feet a good massage as well!
Next run yourself a nice warm bath. I like all natural baths so I use Epson salts (for detox) and essential oils. This is is my favorite thing to add to a bath for sore muscles:
And this to distress:
They are definitely my splurge items since they run around $15-$20 a bottle. It is all natural and they are worth every single penny! If you cannot afford to try this stuff out then you should add this to your Christmas list!
After your relaxing bath try rubbing on a soothing body oil. This is great anytime after dry brushing as well. This is my favorite coming in under $10 and it will last you quit a while to!
Now snuggle up in bed with your favorite book until you are ready to drift off into a peaceful slumber!
Start making time for yourself! You will not regret it! :)
You can save so much money going to the library! I checked out about 8 books that valued over $100 and I got to read them for FREE! As stated in a previous post, I am on a healthier food journey and was going to the library to get some books. You can also read my Healthy Eating Series to see why I am changing my diet. Also besides all those fun facts in the series, I am mainly looking to boost my health and my immune system. I was recently diagnosed with Asthma at age 33 and RX meds are not working and have horrible side effects. I believe true health starts with a healthy diet. That all being said it's HARD to change your diet. At least for me it is. I've been living on processed foods, meats, and diary all of my life. So this is a hard change for me. I have a huge book of go-to recipes that we all love and that I can whip up easily, but most of them contain ingredients that lack true nutrition. So it's back to the drawing board for me! New recipes are in order and new education on diet is also in order. So here are the books I have read and I will outline which are good and which ones to skip. My goal for healthier eating is cutting out processed foods and cutting my meat and dairy intake by 75% or more. My ultimate goal is to be a vegan, but I'm taking it slow! :)
First up is "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone.
This book is REALLY good! It is in line with all of my research on healthy eating. The best thing about this book is that she talks in a calm non-judgmental manner. Some books I have read in the past give you a feeling of "eat this way or die a slow horrible death". This book is not like that at all. She also gives you 3 options to start the diet. Flirt, Going Vegan, and Super Hero. So you do not feel the pressure to be "perfect" right from the start. That's awesome! The only downfall to this book is the Super Hero section does have a lot of hard to find ingredients.
Next is "How to Cook EverythingVegetarian" by Mark Bittman
Okay people, this book is HUGE! I mean REALLY! There is no way I could go thru this entire book. There is so much information in here! This is one of those books that you are going to want to keep on hand for a good reference. The recipes looked pretty simple as well.
Next is "The Flexiterian Table" by Peter Berely.
This book is really good for those who are not aiming to become a vegetarian or vegan. For me this book had to many recipes that centered around animal products. I am not aiming to cut out all animal products at this time, but they are not going to be the center of my meals. I will only use them in extreme moderation. This book had to much of an emphasis on this for me. I feel others who are not worried about this will enjoy this book.
Next, "Deliciously G-Free" by Elizabeth Hasselback.
This is a great book for anyone who is gluten intolerant. I for one don't think I will be using this book. I was hoping for some recipes to use up some coconut flour I bought. This book is for those who are looking to strictly cut out gluten. It does use eggs and diary in a lot of the recipes which is the only reason I passed on this book. I did read thru some of it though and it is an easy read and therecipes did look tasty.
Next, "Eat To Live Cookbook" by Joel Fuhrman.
WOW! The BEST BOOK I have read since the 80-10-10 book!! I love this book so much that I want to buy a copy for everyone in my family! Very practical advice! I was thinking this was just going to be a cookbook, but the start of the book has TONS of important information. It explains why we need to eat this and why we need to stay away from that. Lots of research is shown to back up the claims and is also in line with a lot of books I've read for healing yourself with diet. It gently nudges you toward a more vegetarian diet. It is full of recipes with EASY TO FIND ingredients(hallelujah for that!).
Next, "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" by Ani Phyo.
I love this book! Great information about eating raw foods. I do not ever plan to go fully raw (though I did enjoy 80-10-10 very much), but I do plan to include LOTS of raw foods into my diet. They are the most nutrient dense, cleansing, and healing foods that we have! Raw food recipes have intimidated me in the past, but these are super easy and also include EASY to find ingredients.
Next up is "Eating Well Comfort Foods Made Healthy" by Jessie Price.
Okay, I couldn't find some other books on my list to check out and came across this book. On a whim I checked it out. Not what I am looking for at all! Lots of animal centered recipes. Some of the recipes are high in calories and lack efficient amount of nutrients to meet my goals of clean eating. If you are not worried about that, then you might like this book. I would definatly check it out from your library first and skim thru it and be sure it is a fit for you and your family before purchasing.
Last is "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen.
GREAT BOOK! I love this book very much! Lots of great information and cooking tips for eating healthier. The recipes are YUMMY and easy to follow. My only warning with this book is TO READ your recipe thru and thru before starting it! Yes, you should do that with any book. True, but this book requires you to soak some of your ingredients over night. So you will need to plan ahead.
So that is it! That is my library round-up! The books I love the most I am buying so I have a hard copy in hand. Those books that are true winners for me are:
-The Kind Diet
-Eat to Live
-Ani's Raw Food Kitchen
-The Conscious Cook
Hope this helps to save some of you time and helps to point you in the right direction. :)