Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review ~ Middlebury Interactive Languages


Earlier this summer I found out that we would have the opportunity to review one of the foreign language courses from Middlebury Interactive Languages.  I talked to our daughter about what language she would like to learn and she chose French.  I received Elementary French 1 intended for grades 3 to 5.


What Is Middlebury Interactive Languages?

Middlebury College Language Schools have been teaching languages for nearly 100 years to educators and business leaders.  They designed Middlebury Interactive Languages to be an online interactive language curriculum for grades K to 12.

Middlebury Interactive Languages offer courses in:


I decided to go with Elementary French 1 because although we have studied some French over the years, it's been a while and I thought dd12  had forgotten some of what we had learned.

I can say that dd is LOVING learning French with Middlebury!  Middlebury Interactive uses an immersive approach to learning languages.  At first my daughter found this very frustrating, but by the end of the first lesson she was loving it.
Her first lesson started off right away with watching a children's story all recorded in French.  It was the story of Little Red Riding Hood.  At first her perfectionist personality took over.  She couldn't understand what the story was saying and was frustrated.  Then I explained to her that it's ok, she is not expected to know what the story is saying right now.

After watching the video the program moves into a lesson that teaches a few words from the video. Then the video is watched again, now the child can understand some of what they are watching.  Then there is another activity to practice more words from the video story.  There are activities to repeat back what you hear, to sort and match words and pictures. Quizzes are spaced throughout the units and the results are recorded in the Gradebook.  The Gradebook is easily accessed at the top of the page in the menu tab.


In the past when we have learned languages I've used book based resources or tape recordings.  I have to say that we are enjoying this type of interactive language program much better.  I find that our daughter really enjoys using the program and wants to complete more then one unit a day.  I love that the Middlebury Interactive lessons are completely self paced.  If your child needs to move at a slower pace they can, although each course is 6 months/1 semester long.

There are two versions of Middlebury Interactive lessons available.  The version we received to use was with out a teacher and the price for that is $119 for 6 months.   Their is also a version that comes with a teacher and that is $294 for 6 months. 

Middlebury Interactive Lessons are intended to be used with one student.  However  we are using this with more then one student.  When our younger children ages 8 and 10 are interested they sit with our older daughter and watch the lessons together.  Then they take turns entering answers in the activates.  They also have fun "teaching" each other the words they have learned.  Since Middlebury Interactive is intended for use with only one student, it only records the grades for one student in the gradebook.  At this level of work we really are not using numbered grades for this type of work.  So having the kids share the course works well for our family.  If you need individual grading then you would need to have a separate subscription for each child.

I've been very impressed by Middlebury Interactive Languages and I plan to use this program again when we need high school level language programs.  I would recommend Middlebury Interactive Languages to any child wanting to learn a foreign language.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun

Last weekend was our Canadian Thanksgiving and we had so much fun!  Hubby the kids and I spent  Friday cooking.  We like to do as much a head of time as possible so we can try and visit with our friends.  So Friday we made dinner rolls, coleslaw, cranberry sauce and prepped the sweet potato casserole and dressing so it could be just popped into the oven on Saturday. We had a great day visiting with friends on Saturday, then Sunday we took the kids out to the park for a nature hike.  It was cool in the morning but started warming up half way through our walk.

IMG_3985  IMG_3938

Baby girls first long walk at the park.  She loved it and was so ready for a nap by the time we were done. lol IMG_3939 IMG_3940 IMG_3942 IMG_3944

Yes dd’s jacket is to small.  Silly girl grabbed the wrong coat and we didn’t notice until we got to the park. LOL! IMG_3946

I LOVE the fall wild flowers and leaves.  They such a pretty colour this time of year. IMG_3949 IMG_3951

Finding treasures AKA pine cones. IMG_3952  IMG_3955  IMG_3958 IMG_3964 IMG_3973

Finding caterpillars    IMG_3981

Looking at but and woodpecker damage on trees. IMG_3982 IMG_3984

It was a fun weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish all my fellow Canadian family and friends a very happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review ~ Get to Know Apostle Paul by Nancy I. Sanders


Get to Know Apostle Paul is part of the Get to Know series of books written by Nancy I. Sanders.  This series also includes Get to Know Jesus, Get to Know Mary and Get to Know King David.  Get to Know apostle Paul is a biography for children.  It is 120 pages long and done in full colour.  It focuses on the life and character of Paul and uses photos, maps and many visuals to help children understand the story of Paul’s life. 

Chapters include:

  • A Boy Named Saul
  • A Hebrew of Hebrews
  • Destroy the Church!
  • The Road to Damascus
  • Preaching in the Synagogues
  • Christians: Followers of Christ
  • The First Missionary Journey
  • The Jerusalem Council
  • The Second Missionary Journey
  • The Third Missionary Journey
  • Appeal to Caesar
  • From Paul in Rome
  • Timeline of Paul
  • Glossary
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Source Notes
  • Student Resources
  • About the Author

(Disclaimer Amazon affiliate link)

What Do I Think?

We really enjoyed reading the book Get to Know Apostle Paul.  It is an easy to manage paperback book, but the pages are a good quality thick paper and glossy.  The book Apostle Paul is filled with beautiful photos and maps including full page photos that give children a wonderful visual to connect with.  I really liked that there is a lot of review through out the book but it is done in an easy way.  At the end of each chapter is a short summery of what was just read.  It also includes interesting facts and vocabulary definitions.  These are done in a different colour text then the reset of the chapter and help to grab the children's attention.  This is a wonderful Christian biography for children.  I would think it would be good for ages 8 and up or used as a family read aloud with younger children.  I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series!


Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Love The Colours Of Fall ~ Photos

We have had such nice warm weather this past week, but the colours of fall are still starting to show!  Our dogwood bush is starting to turn a scarlet red.


IMG_3602Frost has hit the pumpkins, but the plants are still hobbling along.  The smaller pumpkin is almost turned all orange but the larger one has a ways to go still.   Dd7 is so very happy that her pumpkins grew and produced this year.  She is looking forward to helping me cook them down soon.  We’ll have to make lots of pumpkin bread and of course pumpkin pie!IMG_3594 IMG_3595 IMG_3596

Dd10 has been having a lot of fun taking photos with my camera lately.  Below are some photos of  “fall” she taken this week.IMG_3625 IMG_3719 IMG_3686 IMG_3704 IMG_3705 IMG_3706

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review ~ Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet


I recently had the opportunity to review the e-book Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet by Kendra Fletcher creator of Preschoolers and Peace.


Who Is Kendra Fletcher?

Kendra Fletcher is a Christian homeschooling mother of 8 children ranging in age from 21 down to age 6 years old.  Kendra has been homeschooling her children since her oldest was school age and often had little ones in the mix.  Kendra is the author of one of my long time favourite blogs Preschoolers and Peace and the book Circle Time: Plan the Best Part of Your Day that I reviewed last year.

Preschoolers and Peace Cover

What is Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet?  & What Did I Think

Preschoolers and Peace is a 47 page e-book for the homeschooling mother with little ones at home.  It costs $2.99 at the time of this post.

Chapters in Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet:

  • What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
  • Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
  • Planning Around Preschoolers
  • How Do I Keep Them Busy?
  • What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
  • How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?
  • How Not to Just Kill Time
  • Circle Time: Or How We Pull the Little Ones In
  • Preschool Boys
  • When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
  • Preschool Chores
  • Planning for Preschool
  • When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
  • Meal Planning 101

Early last year I really thought that my days of having babies or young children in the house were over.  Little did I know that the Lord would bless us with a 6th child!  So Kendra's book Preschoolers and Peace comes at a great time.  It wont be long really before our wee babe will be running around getting into everything!  Since it's been a few years since I've had a preschooler in the house I thought I could use a refresher. 

I love that Preschoolers and Peace starts out with the homeschooling MOTHER in mind.  The first chapter What a Homeschooling Mom Needs, talks about how we can fall into thinking of ourselves as just homeschooling mother.  We can become so wrapped up with thinking about all the things we DO instead putting Christ at the center.
The second chapter Preparing Yourself to Homeschool older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot, focuses on prayer.  Two ideas I loved from this chapter is creating prayer binders and prayer boxes.  For the prayer binders Kendra shared a super sweet idea of tracing your children’s hand shapes onto a piece of paper, then writing inside the hand shapes things you want to pray for each child.  I think that would be such a sweet idea, and if you did this each year a nice thing to look back on over time.
I just loved this quote from chapter 2.

How could my busy, crazy homeschooling moments be different if I’m
looking at life from a perspective that says, I am already accepted and loved
and valuable simply because of what Christ did for me and not because I
chose the right curriculum or am the perfect parent?

Preschoolers and Peace is filled with ideas for scheduling and I love that it is more routine based then at 9:00 do this and at 9:30 do this.  I found out long ago that that strict style just does not work for my family.  But a routine, yes that helps sooo much!  Kendra shares sample routines that have worked for her family during different stages.  There are also many ideas for keeping little ones busy.  I love the lists of ideas, many are things you are likely to already have in your home or can find inexpensively.  One idea is about keeping bigger toys stored away and only bring certain ones out once a week.  I used to do this when our oldest children were little.  I found that it was like having "new" toys each week.  The little ones were more happy to play with them for a longer time period, because it was "special".   I think I originally found this idea on Kendra’s Preschoolers and Peace blog!

Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet is an easy read.  I read the whole book while I was nursing our little one.  Of course it helps that I was interested in the topic, but Kendra's writing style is very easy to read and relate to.  I guess that's why I've been such a huge fan of her blog for so long!  I would recommend this e-book to any mom of little ones or anyone who often cares for young children.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Raising Our Monarch Butterfly

A few weeks ago our oldest daughter was so excited that she had found a Monarch caterpillar in the milkweed.  We always have some milkweed growing in the flower garden to attacked the Monarch butterflies, and every year we have searched for their caterpillars with out luck.  But this year dd12 found one!  She added it to her bug jar and picked milkweed leaves every day for it.  It was already a large caterpillar when she found it so with in a week it started to form a chrysalis.  Then the wait was on!

It took a few weeks but one day we were out and came home to find the butterfly had come out of it’s chrysalis!  It was already getting dark, so we kept it over night.  The next morning before breakfast we took the Monarch outside to let it go.  It was a beautiful site to see it fly off!

Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly chrysalis

I thought the empty chrysalis was so pretty!  You can see the impressions of the wings so easily.  When it first was made it was a dark green.

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