Can Do Cubes ~~ Schoolhouse Crew Review

We are currently having a blast reviewing some great materials from Jolly Literacy!  I wrote the other day about their fantastic grammar and phonics program; today I am sharing with you the fun we are having with Can Do Cubes from (just2ducks LLC). Can Do Cubes are super sturdy, little wooden blocks.  Each one has a letter (or letters) which are designed to help children learn phonics as well as phonemic awareness through hands-on activities. And if yours are anything like mine, learning happens the best when its something they can do.

I just love this duck! It makes me smile (my kids too) every time!


For this review we received quite the package. Wow! Included was the following:



  • A complete set of Can Do Cubes with two cardboard student trays (one for Stage One and another for Stage Two)
  • A DVD with full pronunciation guide. This included instruction books, and also word charts.  The DVD has a couple different parts; one for playing the program, another for program subjects, sounding out (with a loverly British accent). There is an introduction to the cubes for you to view as well as a demonstration, the phonemes are sounded out too. They have an introduction to synthetic phonics and also a guide showing how to apply the system for Stage One and Stage Two. There is an extra which contains the weblink, pdf instructions of the hard copies provided in the box), credits and a thank you.
  • A CD of the Teacher’s Guide and Template Book-The CD contains the complete workbook; each workbook contains a section (1-Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, & the Alphabetic Principle; 2-Blending; 3-Segmenting; 4-Dictation, Handwriting, & High Frequency Words) of teaching instructions and phonics worksheets to use along with the cubes.
  • Home Edition-Stage One: This is the simple alphabetic code booklet: The booklet really explains the early processes of acquiring language and literacy, the alphabetic code, letter and sound correspondence, tips for supporting the beginning stages of reading and writing, and explanations of the processes involved in teaching early literacy. (I love this one especially!)
  • Stage Two Enjoying Synthetic Phonics: A multi-sensory approach: This booklet speaks to the more complex aspects of the alphabetic code. It discusses split digraphs, consonant phonemes, double consonants, capital letters and punctuation. This book includes reading activities,  spelling activities and games: there are also words lists to use.
  • Two At a Glance Word Charts for Stage One cubes: These give us the new phoneme/word to be presented and show which cubes will be used with each new set of phonemes.
  • Synthetic Phonics Overview Chart: This contains phonemes that are heard, the simple code for the sound and the complex code graphemes used for that sound.  Also included are some VERY helpful teaching points.



If you are not familiar with the concept of synthetic phonics and the science behind these little cubes you can learn all about it here! This was all very new to me, but I have to say, I was quite impressed with all that I read. And it really made me even more excited about this “something new” for our homeschool!  It’s nice too that these can be used on their own, or with any complete phonics program (we are using it with the Jolly Phonics program we received).






We used these with both my 5 year old daughter who is really just beginning to learn how to read and then also with my son who is 6 and struggling in his learning. Both of them really like these cubes by the way. These are super sturdy; I love how clearly the letters are laser-engraved on the blocks. They come in a cardboard holder (nice way to keep them together when not being used). Stage 1 has 27 blocks and Stage 2 has 30 blocks. Each side of the block has a letter on it except for a few which are blank. They also have a small number mark to help determine where they go in the tray when done using them.  Nice little help for keeping them all organized.

With my five year old daughter we used these both to learn and strengthen letter recognition and also for sound recognition. She liked rolling one of the blocks to see what letter would come up and then having to make the sound and the corresponding sign for the sound (this is from the grammar and phonics program we also received from this company).

With my six year old son, we used these more for spelling activities. He enjoyed trying to make words out of a handful of blocks (sometimes he would roll them an sometimes would put them in a pile, close his eyes, and pick a couple to use). He enjoyed building words with these blocks vertically, horizontally, and one time even in the form of a crossword puzzle! (why didn’t I take a picture of that?).




I think my personal favorite in all of this were the handbooks that came with the Can Do Cubes. These were so full of great ideas and really helped me to use these in a way that was most beneficial for both of my kids. From fun activities for those not yet reading, to learning the alphabetic code, there is so much help they provide! The second handbook goes into details regarding vowel phonemes, split digraphs, consonant phonemes, double consonants, capital letters and punctuation. Again, so grateful for these handbooks because I have to admit, I needed a refresher on a lot of this myself. And I love to learn and for my kids to see me learning at their side🙂  For my little ones who aren’t really fans  of daily handwriting and copywork (one is really just beginning) we have made it more fun with this catchy phrase we learned from one of the handbooks, “Froggy legs at the bottom of the painted part, with the log under.”  This helps them to remember where thumb and fingers should go; a good pencil grip really does make a big difference!


We really are having so much fun with these cubes. This is such a wonderful way for our kids to learn reading in a way that is much more hands on! And while I was unsure about this in the beginning I especially love seeing how much these have helped both of my younger ones! These are definitely worth having in your homeschool! We will be enjoying these for many years to come, I am sure of it! Of course this is not something you can just take out of the box and begin using, but the time invested in studying and learning how best to use this program, it’s so worth it!



Can Do Cubes Facebook:



Let Us Give? 

I was recently approached to teach a class for my kids speech and debate group this fall. We’ve been a part of this program for a couple years now and it has blessed us in so many ways.

So why was I so hesitant when asked if I could help? It seems this year they have many new families and the previous teacher is wanting to spend some time engaging with her own kids who she has sacrificed so much for in the past two years. It’s time for someone else to take a turn.

I admit I had many reasons why I could not teach this class. My almost 18 month old daughter who is very clingy and likely won’t take the nursery. And I admit a lot of it is a hesitation because I tend to lack those organizational skills that you need to have to occupy a bunch of 7, 8, 9 ,10 and 12 year old kids for two hours. And what if I just can’t keep it all together?

As I went through these many reasons why I simply cannot do this I heard that voice in my head. You might know the one. I always know when God is speaking to me because often it’s what I don’t want to hear. Honestly. It’s truth and off and it stings just a bit. But I remind myself in those times to love him and thank him for his correction and guidance.

I heard that voice tell me that we are here to serve. We are here to sacrifice and love one another. And these relationships I heard that voice tell me but we are here to serve. We are here to sacrifice and love one another. And if he’s relationships but I haven’t spent much time cultivating in the past, perhaps now it’s time to begin. We cannot Minister and we cannot reach out without having that relationship in place.

I was also reminded that my God is a God of order and not of chaos. While there is nothing wrong with winging it now and then there is a time when we must put things in order. In our home and in our homeschool and in our days in general. There are so many blessings to come from having things in the right place. And of course that doesn’t mean that we can’t just have fun now and then following any rabbit trails that come our way.  But it is good to use the time that we are given in the right way.

Ironically I was recently gifted a couple of boxes that are full of unit study materials. I initially accepted these in the hopes that I could begin doing more unit studies with my kids but how good is God to put these things in order for me? Perhaps I will need to make a few copies and obtained a couple books for craft materials but for the most part it’s all right there.

There’s a time and a season for everything.  I am reminded again and again of how blessed my children have been by the teachers end of the friend they have gained through this program. I know without a doubt that there is much that would not be if it were not for the time and dedication that this teacher is invested in each other children. And I am so appreciative of the way they have encouraged my oldest son to come out of his shell and speak.

We are called to be Salt and Light to the world.  Let us be without hesitation always ready to show ourselves as that Salt and Light.  Let us remind ourselves what challenges come our way that they are really simply opportunities that God has put before us. These are simply opportunities for us to grow and show His love and goodness to others! ♡♡

Jolly Phonics & Jolly Grammar ~ Schoolhouse Review

We love to learn, all year round. With two little ones who really want to learn how to read it just doesn’t seem right to me to take a break from things right now. Of course since every one of our kids is so unique and different, I am always eager and happy to review materials that will help one of them, or both of the littler ones, to gain some strong reading skills. And wow, (just2ducks LLC) has a most amazing and comprehensive reading program they blessed us with!  It includes the Jolly Literacy Teacher’s Book (print letters); the Jolly Phonics Student Books, 1, 2, and 3; The Jolly Grammar level 1 Teacher’s Book (print letters); the Jolly Grammar level 1 Student Book; and Jolly Songs (print letters).  We also received My Personal Dictionary from Primary Learning and a catalog of other Jolly Literacy products .  This is some really good stuff!  For this review we received the following materials:

  • Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher’s book in print letters
  • Jolly Grammar Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters
  • Jolly Songs CD

Can I say thank you? What a blessing!!!



My kids love this logo! A duck, reading, under an umbrella, in the rain. y kids all agreed this could easily be their momma; if I was a duck! lol  My daughter just turned 5 yesterday.  We did some very basic preschool and even kindergarten for the last few months, and she is still really learning how to read.  My younger son is 6 and a struggling reader although he wants to read and so is eager to do whatever it takes to be a stronger reader.  We began with the Phonics Book 1.  I love how simple and short, the lessons in this book are. My daughter had a blast working through each page since every letter had a corresponding action that went along with it. For “S” we weave our hand about in an “s” shape’ for “I” wiggle fingers at the end of your nose like whiskers and speak just like a mouse would. Even my younger son got a kick out of the actions that they had paired to each of the letters in the lessons.







The Jolly Songs CD is full of fun songs; quite catchy too.  Since my daughter loves to sing and we have found that she learns fast when something is set to music, we definitely used this one a lot. Each son is designed to help teach the sound that each letter makes. I would put this on, often, while working with my other kids and she would sit and just sing along happily!  Can I just say I love how the songs cover every letter with the same action used to teach in the workbook and then also covering sounds for letter combinations like “ou” and “qu” and “ch”.  There is even a song to help recall the vowels!


We have not yet completed the Phonics program yet (there are three books in all) but we are slowly getting there. As we got closer to the end of Book 1 I found that my daughter began to struggle a bit more with remembering and distinguishing the sounds of the letter combinations in the last few pages. So we have slowed down, are revisiting some of them and working on listening and identifying the sounds in words. “Sh” in sheep or “ch” in chain. Once we begin Book 2 I think she will become much more frustrated if we do not strengthen her skills now. We are really looking forward to completing this program together though. She loves having her own “school books” and time with momma. I think this really encourages her too because it is fun! Even as we advance in the program the activities within the lessons are still fun; lots of opportunities to draw and color throughout these books too! And I do love encouraging art so this is great.  As we have not completed Phonics, of course, we did not yet start the Grammar book that was provided but I am quite excited to do so. I have really considered using it with my younger son, who is six, but don’t want to remove him from his current program since he seems to be okay with it for now. But I do love the looks of the Grammar book too! As with the Phonics books, this is full of fun opportunities to learn and strengthen grammar. From dictation exercises, to sentences to be reviewed and then corrected; alphabetizing, blending consonants and plurals. There are even fun activities to help them learn adjectives, nouns, verbs and pronouns. There is an exercise to help our kids familiarize themselves with using a dictionary and then lots of pages for spelling tests at the very end of the book.  This is good stuff!  I cannot wait to get there.🙂





   Now if you are someone who isn’t very comfortable with teaching grammar or phonics, never fear, the Teacher’s Book is here. And these things are amazing! A bit overwhelming initially but WOW…I love both the Teacher Guides: Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book and the Jolly Grammar Teacher’s Book.  These are full of introduction and even instruction on how to help our kids learn the letter sounds, letter formation, tricky words, reading and sound identification. It goes on in so much detail to help guide us through every part of every lesson. From the fun but simple story that is included for every letter to helping us to introduce the various things that need to be taught as we begin with each letter. This includes tip on formation, blending, dictation and sounding it out. There are also a couple great ideas shared to continuing to teach for each letter. One idea we had lots of fun with was cutting up an apple and using them to print shapes. Another activity we enjoyed was using the ends of toilet paper tubes to make octopus pictures (we added legs with yarn my daughter found in my knitting basket ~~ I don’t knit ~~ not yet anyway).  These books are just amazing!


This really is such a fabulous program! I love how it is so colorful; so inviting and engaging for our younger ones. My daughter loves and looks forward to doing school each day with this program and that makes me SO very happy! There is nothing greater to me, than seeing my children having fun AND learning. Eagerly. When it comes to reading and writing, too, I do believe this is something that we need to make strong within our kids. If you can read and you can write you can learn to do anything in life. So a strong foundation matters! I am really looking forward to using the rest of this program as we slowly and gently work through it, my daughter and I.  I am very excited for the rest of the Grammar program too. Although we did not receive all of the books for that program, I do plan to use them in the future with my daughter once we get to that place. For now though, I definitely encourage you to consider Jolly Phonic and Jolly Grammar!



Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review


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Crew Disclaimer

It’s so Naturally unNatural

I remember years ago before I had any children of my own thinking that motherhood what is something easy. It was a piece of cake. And then I had my own children. My first son was so easy it confirmed in my mind the simplicity of motherhood. Then we had another little boy and then a girl and then one more girl. We are very blessed.

But in all I expected too much of myself. Expected to be the perfect mom. The mom who was able to do it all. As you can imagine it’s hard to enjoy motherhood that way. We begin to dislike motherhood. We don’t see it for the gift it is. 

My children and not to be a burden they are to be something that brings us joy. I love motherhood is never easy and there are times that our children will bring us sorrow we have to keep our eyes on the Lord. And we have to be realistic about what it really means this motherhood thing.  

I admit being a bit of a perfectionist myself. You can ask anyone I’m very driven and motivated to be the best. And unfortunately my definition of what it means to be the best isn’t always so accurate.  

It’s hard for me to acknowledge that I struggle when it comes apparently. But it’s true and so I am always seeking things that can help me to grow as a mom. I mean these children that God has entrusted to me, this is a really big deal and certainly I can’t do it without Jesus.  But I also have to remember to remain humble and teachable because isn’t it true that things change so quickly when it comes to our children?   

As I read (Un)Natural Mom I was really inspired to take a good look but my own self. As I tried I was walking through each personality and shone simple concrete methods that can be used to strengthen the positive skills and to change the negative ones. In all of this of course the scripture is moving within to remind us about need for Jesus and to give us constant hope.  This is a wonderful way to learn not just had a parent but how to grow yourself. It’s also a wonderful reminder that God created each of us with a unique purpose and we need to embrace the differences but are within us.  

As you spend time with in the pages of this book the lessons that are learned are priceless. I have gained such a greater understanding of what temperament really means and how to truly manage it as well as use it in a positive manner while training up my children.  We are all uniquely created there is no doubt about that. But we need to accept we are all uniquely created there is no doubt about that. But we need to accept and embrace how you make sleep we were created to be so that we can truly do all that the Lord has for us to do.  

When it comes to our children that’s nothing really easy. And so it’s always good to remember and take the time to consider ourselves.  How important it is for us to be mindful of the things that we say and do. How we react and respond.  A little eyes are watching and little ears hear even when we don’t think they do. All for God’s glory.  

FlipStir Puzzle Fun ~ Schoolhouse Review

Shake. Stir. That’s all you hear my kids saying while they try to figure out how to complete this latest review product. My younger son is always trying to figure things out so puzzles are one of his favorite things. My oldest is very creative and while he enjoys puzzles; they don’t take him long. And us girls? We do enjoy a good challenge. And watching our boys attempt to solve various puzzles together. So I was definitely interested when I learned of this new and exciting puzzle – great for home or out and about – no worrying about lost pieces or anything like that. Since the boys love puzzles too, we didn’t have to be asked twice to try theTyrannosaurus Rex FlipStir Puzzle from Enlivenze LLC.






FlipStir Puzzles Reviews  

Flipstir Puzzles are something quite unique.  Its a 3D puzzle, inside of a clear cylinder.  At the top of the cylinder there is a metal “stirrer” that you use to move the pieces about on the inside, as you try to get them in the right order.  And while this sounds easy, it really isn’t! ha-ha


There are a couple different levels to choose from: Level 1 and Level 2.  The Tyrannosaurus Rex that we received for this review is a Level 1 puzzle.  Two other Level 1 puzzles available are the Solar System and Rainbow Pencils.  Level 2 puzzles available are the Statue of Liberty and the Periodic Table.  Don’t those sound fun?





Since I am big on limiting screen time and really like to encourage my kids to choose games and puzzles, this sort of thing is right up our alley. I always enjoyed doing puzzles with my grandmother when I was a kid; I remember them often having one laid out on the table when I would be visiting with my parents. It was addictive! And it was so fun; a way to exercise the mind, while also being able to engage with others in conversation. What a fabulous exercise in critical thinking and problem solving skills too.




No doubt this is mind boggling! Lots of fun too! No lost or damaged pieces either (and with a small one in the house that is a huge bonus). While my little ones — almost 18 months and 4 years old — really were to young for this, my youngest loved shaking this. Ah the noise it made. What joy it brought to her! My four year old daughter loved rolling it about but definitely is a bit too young for this kind of thing. So it was mostly my boys who are 6 and 10; I dabbled with it a bit as well I admit.



I have to admit, we have not yet been able to get this puzzle in the correct order. It’s definitely a challenge; not for those who are easily frustrated! Regardless, this is one of those things that I know, you could do again and again. Never getting bored. Every time we have shaken this up, tipped and tilted it this way or that, it has been an all new experience in trying to get things into the right order. And while we have not to date been able to successfully complete this, we are not done trying.



We really are enjoying the FlipStir puzzle.  My boys have already picked out the next ones they want to get, and I can definitely see it being worth it to get every one of these puzzles.  As we are out and about more (and have a big road trip coming up in the winter) I can see these really helping to keep everyone engaged and focused (no fighting in the car please!) while we travel down south for a little vacation. These are fabulous! What a great idea ~ An excellent example too of what it means to be creative and innovative.  Not just fun but inspiring for our creative kids; what will they think of next?



FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

FlipStir Puzzles


Enlivenze LLC



More Rest Less Turmoil in the Home

One of the many things but I have been focusing on as of late is our home. And how to make it a place that is welcoming and restful rather than chaotic and full of mess.  

I know that I have suffered from days I’m just wanting to get out and I am sure the rest of my family has to. Well we do live in a small house there’s no reason why we can’t have it be a place that is restful too. And doesn’t the Bible even say our home hot to make us glad? I do so want our family to enjoy one another and when we are home be glad.  

It’s hard to admit because I am someone that really feels the need to do. I need to be doing something. There are so many things to do. I admit to feeling guilty when I put aside the things that need to be done and just relax with my family for a day. If the Bible clearly tells us that we need rest. God even commands it. And if God commands it shouldn’t that tell us it’s something worth doing?

How about my for children? My husband and I were talking the other day and both acknowledged that as they are getting older things should be getting less difficult around the house. That said are we all working together? I think too often I spend time pointing out whose mess it is rather than encouraging everyone to work together.  And I admit I’m not very good at delegating tasks. 

Togetherness. Isn’t that what makes resting so much more powerful? Relationship with rules. Rules without a relationship. We need to have that down time and we need to have it everyday. Since we homeschool I honestly have to admit that there’s no reason we can’t. Other than but I call it work trying to get my kids to rest.   

That said we know that kids imagine rest as being something that they do quietly perhaps in their rooms. Not doing anything only resting. So perhaps we need to redefine what rest really is. It doesn’t mean that we are just laying there staring at the ceiling and it doesn’t mean that we have to sleep. I have begun encouraging my kids slowly to have a time of rest each day. During the time of rest they can quietly play with Legos or read a book. They can use their snap circuits or play a card game but it has to be something that they are doing calmly and quietly. We also do a lot of reading. I read and they can engage in some quiet activity while I do so. This also counts as a time of rest for our family.   My husband on the other hand is quite fond of video games and movies and for him that is a form of rest too ( for me on the other hand it is stressful and too much work haha).  

Another part of having a home that allows for rest it’s just having the simple things. We don’t need all the stuff we have. Most of us have far too much. In fact the other day I heard someone say but it’s silly how we go out to buy all kinds of stuff to organize the stuff that we have. Adding more stuff in an attempt to organize our home only adds to the clutter.  How about just keeping it simple?

I have been going through closets and drawers and bookshelves slowly and very methodically. As I do so I ask myself and sometimes my kids too: Do we need this? Why do we need this? When was the last time you use this? And my favorite question: What purpose does this serve?

I want them to be surrounded by things that are encouraging and inspiring. I think of toys that allow for imagination. Ilove art supplies which foster creativity. And not just any book will do for my family. I want books that have Rich stories and are engaging and have characters that just come to life. Books are such a powerful tool to use in learning. Out with the twaddle! 

And how about Mom and Dad? We need to be restful to. And that can be a struggle for me since my husband’s way of resting and mine are quite different. But we strive to take time together to watch a show or sometimes sit back and read a book. There are also times it’s good for us to just be together quietly.  

It’s a slow process but it is one that I think is well worth the effort. And as I go through everything and every closet and drawer and shelf there’s something refreshing about seeing all of this stuff being removed that takes away off of my shoulders.  I feel more at rest when I look and see things in a place and not just strewn about the home.  What a joy it is to come home from whatever we may be into out and about and be able to just sit down rest.   

We need this rest mommas. So important for us to have it everyday. And as we cultivate this home that is warm and inviting and encourages us to rest I promise we will find more joy in being with our most precious ones. We won’t be distracted by the mass and we won’t have to worry about that list of things to do that’s going through our minds but instead we will be intentional in every moment we spend in our home and with our family.  

“I Love You Just Because” Review

I Love You Just Because
by Donna Keith is a book about a family of bears; all very different yet all together in one place, for God’s purpose.

“Three very different bear cubs live together in one place,

Each chosen for these parents by God of love and grace.

And when the cubs ask why they’re loved, their parents often say,

‘We love you just because you are God’s gifts for whom we prayed.’”


This is such a wonderful lesson for all of us when we feel we just don’t belong or perhaps we cannot understand why we are where we are. Our family is such a blessing; God knits us together. How priceless, for our kids to know, that God chose them. To be my son and daughter. God chose them to be the brother and the sister. He chose their momma and their daddy. All things are by His design and for His purpose.


This book is full of sweet, gentle illustrations by Alison Edgson and rhyming text, “I Love You Just Because” will help little ones understand their parents’ love for them and God’s too.  That love isn’t something to be earned but that which is given. It is simple and unconditional. A true gift. With the same friendly bear family from Donna Keith’s first two books — “I Love You All the Same” and “I Love You Even When” — the sweet story of this book will remind you that family members love each other … just because. No matter how different we may be; no matter the struggles we may face, we all love one another. Always.


This 20-page board book is for children 4 to 8 years old and was published by Thomas Nelson on June 7, 2016.



Learn more about this book and others on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more about Donna Keith on Facebook.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids ~~A SchoolhouseReview

I am a big advocate for learning foreign languages in our home. There are so many reasons for our kids to explore the different languages out there; its a great way to exercise and grow your brain! It also improves memory and focus; languages enhance performance in other areas of study too. Add to that a growing love for different cultures and an openness to new things…Why wouldn’t we learn a language? Or three maybe? That said I was eager to experience a new Spanish program with my kids: Starter Set 1 by Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids. Foreign languages taught by kids, to kids – What a fun way for our kids to learn, right?




The Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Starter Set 1 is designed to cover basic Spanish levels 1-3:


  • Basketballs Aren’t for Breakfast – Level 1
  • The Little Magic House Part I – Level 2
  • The Little Magic House Part II – Level 3


Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids is recommended for children as from 3 years old to those in their early teen years.




Starter Set 1 includes the following materials:

  • Spanish DVD – Volume 1 – videos are for all 3 levels
  • Spanish Stickers – 9 pages
  • Spanish Flashcard Set – flashcards for all 3 levels
  • 3 Spanish Student workbooks – one workbook for each level
  • 3 Spanish Teacher’s guides – one guide for each level
  • Go Squish card game




This program is SO much fun! It is full immersion so while initially the videos may not make a lot of sense, as our kids go through the program they will begin to understand more and more! It really is a great way for language learning.  The videos are about 10 minutes in length (great for my kids with their short attention spans) and they really are entertaining! My kids got such a kick out of them, more after they began to grasp what was being said.  These are very engaging amdreally just Basketballs for Breakfast, the title alone, had my oldest so very intrigued. I have to say these have also inspired him in his learning, to be a kid teaching other kids. I do appreciate how this has encouraged him. I have to say I have found quite a variety of videos on my phone since he began this course. Mostly him teaching his little brother and sister how to speak in French and Chinese, and Spanish too.


This program is chock full of so much additional information too.  They aren’t just learning Spanish but they are also learning about delicious dishes that can be made as well as geography and all kinds of neat cultural details.  It’s a great way to experience both the language and the culture. We learned about Llamas and my kids thought it was great that when they get stressed, they may spit at you! I thought it was fascinating (I had no idea) that my favorite bear, Paddington, was born in Peru and then sent to England – Did I miss this in the story? We also learned about Ceviche, a favorite Peruvian dish, made with fresh fish and citrus juice – Definitely on my list of things to try in the near future!




We really enjoyed how each level was a different “flight” so Level 1 covered Washington, DC to Lima, Peru. Level 2 (or Flight #102) was from Lima, Peru to Bogota, Colombia. As we travelled about, there would be puzzles to complete, we learned a bit of grammar and completed some fun exercises to reinforce what we just learned. There was the Geography in Jiffy that compared the size of the country we were in to Texas; for example we learned that Colombia is actually the size of California and Texas combined.  Wow!  We had a blast with the Fast Facts learning fun traditions and common greetings like “Pura Vida”. We also learned about “Tico Time” (my kids new favorite way of telling time by the way).  Not sure if that’s a good thing. haha





We are really enjoying this program! We really are. All three of my children really do look forward to spending time in this program each day! From the videos to the super fun activities in the workbooks this really is a blast to use. The flashcards are a great way to encourage the kids to study on their own, or even together, sometimes they quiz each other with them to see how many words they each know.  There are also lots of fun games in the teacher’s guide to encourage our kids to study even more and the games are so fun, who realizes how much they are actually learning? One of my son’s favorites was Rapid Review; he likes to shout and in this activity he gets to shout out the Spanish words before they are shown on the screen. As the other two get involved, seeing the fun he is having, you can imagine it gets kind of loud around here! My boys were a bit disappointed when they learned about the Dice Off game, mentioned in the teachers guide (I cannot believe they were perusing my book) so the pressure is on to get that one so we can include it in the daily lessons.





I cannot believe how much we have all learned from the short period of time we have been using Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Starter Kit 1.  If you are looking for something will encourage and inspire your kids to learn another language, I do believe this is it. I cannot say enough how much we have truly enjoyed using this. And the variety of material within this program is truly amazing. We have learned Spanish but we have also gained an amazing understanding of the countries which speak it and their culture. What better way for our kids to learn than in a way in which they not only learn from other kids, but also gain a greater appreciation for the world they live in and the differences around the world. We are, I hope, going to be using more of their materials in the years to come!



Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

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We Must be Thankful

I have to admit there are days that I just don’t like what I see in me. There are times that I know without a doubt I am far from what the Lord would have me to be. Yesterday was one of those days. Funny right? Sunday being known as the Lord’s Day and all. David said I was glad to go to the house of the Lord. I admit I wasn’t so glad myself.

I’ve been trying to focus on purging your house and planning our year. We homeschool year round but this summer I felt the need to do a bit less School and a bit more living. We had so much fun and learned about Lots of neat things in our own backyard that we never knew were there. But as the days went by I knew we needed to have a plan in place for the rest of the year.

Okay so maybe I took on too much too quickly and completely overwhelmed myself. I cleaned out cabinets end emptied drawers. All of those books and crayons and pencils and notebooks. It was quite a mess. Maybe I should have taken a picture so I could show you. Haha

Regardless I determined that I was going to get some order to our home. You see we have a pretty small homes. And I love our house. I am so thankful for our little home. But it’s a challenge to keep it tidy and keep order to it with four children. And the exchange students we take it now and again.

But I digress….. so by Sunday morning I had met I was frustrated but I have not found total order just yet. There were still counters that were covered and there was still piles on the floor here and there.  I think I got caught in la-la land when I begin this whole thing and I have this great vision of having a perfectly organized area overnight. Can we say reality check?

And we struggled Sunday morning. Somehow we all got up far too late. And everyone needed a shower and no one could find their church clothes. The kids were fighting.  We were not together in one Accord. Not even close.  In fact Honestly by the time we made it out the door and we’re on our way to church not only where we going to be late but no one was happy to go to the house of the Lord. And I was just tired of Sunday is always being such a struggle for me.

There are quite a few of us that need to get ready so it’s not just me. My oldest son is 10 and my others are 6, 4 and 1. My oldest really does do a great job of getting himself ready each morning but the three younger ones need more help of course. And well some days my oldest is a great help to them other days he’s not. ( I justly cannot comment about my husband here and his role in mornings Lol)  

I know it can’t just be my family but I get tired of are Sunday morning rat race to get to church on time. Every week. What good is it to come before the Lord to worship and praise and fellowship when were in a sour mood and completely frazzled? Now and then we managed to get there on time and how we are blessed when we can come in and sit and spend time with him before the service begins.  

Most of us want to be on time. We know it’s the right thing to do. We show respect to others when we show up on time. So why shouldn’t give you the same when we’re going to the Lord’s House?

My goal, if that’s the right word to use, is to begin really keeping the Sabbath in our home. My husband and I both heard our Pastor speak on the value that  comes from this day of rest that the Lord has commanded us to partake in. But I admit to being overwhelmed with exactly how to make that happen.

This is what I was thinking about while I was worshipping and while I was supposed to be praying. I was thinking about how to finish organizing this area of our home and how to begin keeping the Sabbath. What I didn’t understand was that I needed to place all of this in the Lord’s hands. It is not alone who gives us that rest and there is nothing that we can do to obtain it outside of Him. And I know this. I know that all things we need to give to him. We cast them at his feet and then he directs us.

Instead of enjoying the presence of the Lord and rejoicing in the day which the Lord had given to myself and my family I was complaining. About the many things that still needed to be done. About the things that may never get done. I was forgetting about a sweet Mama but I know whose baby is in the hospital right now struggling to live. I was forgetting about another family I know whose son struggles with a lot of emotional and behavioral issues. I was forgetting about those who are lost and those who have needs. It’s not always about me. Maybe it’s never about me. And I think that could be a  I spent most of Sunday just feeling lost and being in a bad mood. I wasn’t thankful for our service. I wasn’t so thankful for the presence of God that washed over me. I wasn’t thankful for the Lord’s voice telling me to just give it all to Him. 

I spend most of my Sunday irritated and irritable period short with others and just feeling restless.  I was tired and I was weary and I wasn’t listening. He tells me again and again that if I simply come to Him, He will give me rest. And yet… God is faithful and true and always so good! I remember and hold on to the Lord’s promises this morning. He makes all things new and his mercies are new every morning.

I am so thankful for those mercies!

Aren’t you? ♡♡♡♡♡