A Review: Clued In Kids

clued in kids

 

What kid doesn’t like a treasure hunt? I don’t think I know a single one.

Clued In KidsReview
Clued in Kids has come up with a product that is sure to delight kids and parents alike. Parents are going to like the Clued In Kids hunts because they are fun learning, easy to set up, and exciting for the kids to do. Kids are going to like them because they are fun, it is exciting, and they get a treasure of some kind at the end of it.

Clued In Kids huntThese hunts teach can work on academics, such as math, nutrition, and history. They definitely strengthen social skills and teamwork. Each hunt consists of a series of clues. Each clue will include an activity to do, a problem to solve, or a puzzle to work. When that has been completed successfully, it will reveal the location of the next clue. After solving the final clue, they will find the treasure or reward. This treasure or reward is something that is chosen by the person hiding the clues and the treasure and can be anything! We have used tiny packages of pop rocks candy, gummy bracelets, and other small candies but the treasure can be anything. These hunts will work for either a single child or multiple children working as a team. Many of the treasure hunts are PDF files that you download, print off, and use after purchase. A few of the hunts (Princess, Pirate, Christmas Hunt in a greeting card, and more) are physical products that will be sent to you.

We have been reviewing some of the Clued In Kids Treasure Hunts. Specifically, we received the Gluten-Free Printable Treasure Hunt and the Multiplication Dragon Treasure Hunts. They have all been a hit!

Gluten-Free Treasure Hunt

Clued In KidsReview
The Gluten-Free Treasure Hunt is a single printable hunt and is priced at $5.99. This hunt was appealing to me as a mom because we have a family member that eats gluten-free and I want the kids to understand a bit about that. At the time the girls did this particular hunt, we were eating gluten-free for one of our children as well. It is good for them to understand about those kinds of decisions, when possible. I was hopeful that this hunt would help in that area.

The girls answered all of the clues by filling in the puzzles, answering questions, or drawing a picture, though I did have to explain a lot of the information for them to be able to finish the clue. I had to use different words and help them through some of the scientific information that they had never heard before (such as how antibodies work to attack germs). Some of it is very advanced, such as enterocytes, zonulin protein, cross-breeding corn, and more. I think they understood about half of the information. The information is not bad but it is presented with a very short explanation and that is just not enough for understanding.

This particular hunt could work from a 5 year old with help from someone older to a teenager who would be better able to understand the information presented. Both ends of that age group do present some possible issues: the five year old cannot understand all that is presented (My 5 year old giggly girls was lost on a lot of it.); the teenager might balk at having to draw food on a dinner plate.

All in all, this was an interesting hunt and the girls enjoyed it mightily.

Multiplication Dragon

Clued In KidsReview
Multiplication Dragon is a series of 5 printable treasure hunts, working on the multiplication facts 2 through 6. It is priced at $19.99. Each hunt contains 12 clues. I assigned a child to each clue by placing the name of the child that had to solve it in the blank at the top. This allowed me to keep the 5 year old involved in a way that was meaningful for her. I was able to give her the easiest clues to solve and assign the older two girls the harder ones. I assigned the more abstract clues to the 10 year old who is just reviewing multiplication facts and the more concrete clues to the 8 year old who is learning her multiplication facts. The five year old got the clues that work with where she is in math – creating sets.

These are definitely lots of fun and the activities are helping all three of the giggly girls see multiplication in a different light. Because the clues run the gamut from simple (drawing sets) to complex (mental creation of a mathematical sentence), it is showing how multiplication can be used in a variety of ways. The same concepts, for example drawing sets, can be seen in actually having to draw three groups of three or in circling groups of three. This variation in examples has been quite good for E, our 10 year old. She is seeing the application of multiplication where she didn’t see it before. Best of all, they ask to do math if it can be done as a treasure hunt.

The Multiplication Dragon hunts are recommended for ages 7-9. I would suggest that a group of children with varied abilities in multiplication would be ideal for this group. As I mention in how we used these, there is a fairly wide range of the skills within each hunt.

Clued In Kids

This company’s founder is living her childhood dream – creating treasure hunts. I think that is incredible! Not many of us are able to keep a dream the same from childhood into adulthood. Even fewer are able to make that childhood dream a reality. But that isn’t the part of this family’s story that touched me. They are living this life as an answer to an uncertain question about what life will bring. I would highly suggest you read their story in their own words.

A Note: When you are setting up the treasure hunt, you might want to check through it before you plan to set it up. Some of the hunts may have things that you will have to be creative about. An example: one of ours called for the clue to be hidden in a mailbox. Our mailbox is down the road a bit but the girls have created paper “mailboxes” to leave each other notes in and taped them to their doors. That is what I use for the clues when it calls for the mailbox.

finding a clueClued In Kids is a fun little addition to our homeschool day and we will continue to pull out Multiplication Dragon once in a while as a fun, different review. I definitely think this company is worth checking out a bit more. It is fun and unique. Treasure hunts simplified. At Home.

 

You can visit Clued In Kids in social media at:
Twitter: @cluedinkids
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cluedinkids
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cluedinkids/

You can find out more about some of the other treasure hunts by visiting The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. Just click on the banner below.

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Exploring Space

 

Exploring Space 2

This month, we did something a bit different for the Poppins Book Nook. We did not focus on a single book. Instead, J and I read a lot of books, explored some videos and did a craft that we let the older girls participate in. L and E each created their own unit study, answering a question they wanted to know more about. I think they all learned a bit more than average since two of them directed their own learning and J got a bit more one-on-one time than average.

Books We Borrowed From The Library

 space books

What We Viewed On The Web

Final Launch of Discovery

Bunny Hopping On The Moon

Fun In Space

Parents.com: The Space Shuttle Blasts By Our House

Parents.com: The Future Of Space Exploration

 

Craft We Made

The craft was a useful one. We had spent some time with the stars already and we enjoy looking at stars when it is dark enough. I stumbled across a constellation viewer in the November issue of Family Fun. It was not a simple craft but it came out cute. You can see that craft by visiting their website. We followed their directions. It didn’t work exactly like they suggested it would but that could be that we were using a flashlight that was a tiny bit too small. It could also be that I was expecting more out of it when it was being shined on the wall. All the same, it works great when you just hold it up to the light to look through it.

Unit Studies We Did

L chose a unit study on a star’s life. E chose to create a unit study on meteorites. Using The Joy of Discovery (click HERE to see our review of this), they planned their units with my guidance. Then, using their planning sheets, they followed each step, asking for help when they needed it, and completed their unit studies.

This is L’s completed project.

star unit by L

E is still working on hers. She is designing a book cover for a book.

I will feature the whole unit study that each of them created in a separate post. Those should come out in the next week or two. Space is a fun study. At Home.

 

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

The Poppins Book Nook was working with the theme of Beyond Our Planet this month. Pop over to some of the other co-hosts to see additional books and activities that you can do to stretch your learning about space even farther.
Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Visit the Poppins Book Nook on the web at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Clip Art By Melon Headz https://www.etsy.com/shop/melonheadzdoodles

Quadri- what? Help with Four Sided Figures

Quadrilateral Title

Math is not my strongest link. My husband can tell you that. (Ask him about how I got through college algebra.) Unfortunately, my kids are learning about my weakness, as well, though I am getting stronger. I am blessed to have a husband who is strong in math, enjoys it, and is available at times during the daylight hours to be able to instruct the girls.

Recently, I completely confused myself and E when we were working with IXL (watch for a review of this wonderful resource coming up in early November). We were dealing with four sided figures and I had a feeling that I was steering her wrong. (I was. Insert sad face here.) We put it aside until her dad could help her and he did a wonderful thing for her (and me!). He drew up a graphic.

Starting with the most broad category and moving to the most specific category, he boxed everything in. One layer at a time, explaining the differences and giving examples. And, it made sense. So much so, that a few weeks later, it still makes sense and I can remember it!! I decided that meant it needed to be shared with you. Hopefully, it will help someone else out, too. At Home.

Quadrilateral image

Click the link below to download and print the page above.

Quadri-what_ Four sided figures PDF

Feel free to print this off for your use and please share it with others by linking back to this blog post. Please do not sell this or include it for sell in anything and please give credit where credit is due. Thank you.

Z is for…Zoo

Z is for zoo

Can you believe that we are already at Z in our ABC Blogging? It seems to have just zipped past!

This week’s letter was an easy one – ZOO. We love our zoo and we go fairly often. Truthfully, we tend to go more in the spring and fall. So, it is the time of year that we go more regularly. We went last weekend with Kidz Club. This is what our church calls the kids that are 6th grade and younger. We had a blast! And, best of all, the kids grew closer together as a family. I love to see them growing as friends and family and this picture of E with one of her friends just makes my heart smile and sing.

Z friends

We all have our favorites at the zoo and when you have an opportunity to see or do something different, your experience is enhanced. Well, this is what happened for us during this visit. We were treated to some very special experiences.

Baby Orangutan

Z orangutan baby and momOur zoo has a fairly new baby orangutan. Batari was born May 17. When we arrived at the Asian Forest exhibit, Batari and her mother Mei had just been given their breakfast and were sitting down to open their bag to eat. The kids got a lot of enjoyment watching baby Batari climbing over Mei and up the fence, trying to get at the food. We spent quite a while just observing. KJ, Batari’s daddy, was also out in the exhibit eating his breakfast. We watched him for a bit, as well.Z orangutan eating

 

 

Mukah’s Football Picks

Z football picks

The other male orangutan at the Cameron Park Zoo has a weekly job during football season. Mukah picks the winners for the upcoming weekend. Each Saturday, he makes his choices for the next week and they are published in the local paper. We were allowed to watch Mukah and his keeper Olga working together. Olga explained to the kids that they had to be really quiet and allow her to concentrate since Mukah has the strength on 9 (yes 9!!!) professional football players. She could get hurt easily if she doesn’t pay close attention. We watched Mukah go through his picks and then Olga talked to the kids a bit about orangutans, their habitat in the wild, their abilities, and what they do at the zoo to help them. She also allowed the kids to ask questions. We learned a lot and enjoyed that experience.

Giraffe Feeding

When we got to the exhibit that the giraffes are part of, the zoo had a booth set up to allow the kids to feed the giraffes (with payment and supervision, of course). Since they were low on food and the kids have a generous youth minister, he paid for one and they let any of the kids that wanted a turn to feed the giraffes. This was a great experience for the kids and it made J’s day! She got to feed Penny! Giraffes are her favorite animals ever and she got to feed one! One of the guys helping with the feeding was talking with us and we learned a bit more about giraffes.

Z feeding giraffes L Z feeding giraffes J Z feeding giraffes E

Z feeding shore birdsFeeding Shore Birds

 

Another really neat thing that the girls and other kids from church got to do at the zoo was to feed the shore birds. The zoo had cups of fish available to purchase to feed the seagulls, pelicans, and other shore birds. The fish were a few inches long and dead but they still smelled! The girls had fun tossing the fish to the birds and watching the pelicans scoop them out of the water with their beaks.

 

 

 

Z whistling duckPetting A Whistling Duck

When we were about to leave the area where the shore birds were, a keeper came up with a duck on her arm. Yep, really. On her arm. And the duck was whistling. That is seriously what the duck sounded like! It was a beautiful brown color and it was just whistling away. She allowed the kids to pet it and talked about its habitat a bit. The girls thought petting the whistling duck was neat.

 

 

 

 

These were the unique experiences that the girls don’t have every time. But there is one thing that we just cannot visit the zoo without doing:

Z otter slideThe Otter Slide!

The otter slide is a clear slide that the kids can go down. It goes through the water of the river otter exhibit. If the otters are in a playful mood, and they were Saturday, then they will swim over and around the slide while the kids are sliding down. It is always a lot of fun but we have to limit how long we stay or the giggly girls will stay there sliding all day long!

 

 

 

As always, we had lots of fun at the zoo. We’ll visit again soon and see what else we can learn about the animals that we come in contact with there. At Home.

This post is linking up with ABC Blogging hosted by Benandme.com.

Ben and Me

A Review: Middlebury Interactive Languages

Middlebury title

“Hello.”
“Hola.”
“Hello.” (with more emphasis)
“Hola.” (with equally more emphasis)
“Hello. Hello. Hello.” (said in frustration)
“Hola. Hola. Hola!” (said with enthusiasm and understanding)

With this exchange in the first lesson, J was hooked on Middlebury Interactive Languages. J has been wanting to learn another language, preferably Spanish or Hawaiian, since her sisters are learning those languages. However, programs we have experienced are not easily accessible to a pre-reader or early reader. She was ecstatic when Middlebury Interactive Languages came up. It has been a great fit.

Middlebury Interactive Languages ReviewJ on computerJ is using one of the Spanish Courses, specifically Elementary Spanish 1, Grades K-2. She is using the course without a teacher but there is an option with a teacher. I do not know the details of the differences in the program when you add a teacher. She is five years old and working at a K/1 level so she fit this age group well. Middlebury has done an excellent job of exposing the students to a lot of vocabulary in the immersive approach that they employ in their programming.

An immersive approach to language learning implies that the students will be surrounded by that language and it will be the primary focus of the learning that happens. Each unit contains an story, myth, or legend from a Spanish-speaking culture and the materials for that unit are built on the story, myth, or legend. The K-2 lessons focus mainly on vocabulary. The student learns these words through stories, songs, games, and various practice activities. Middlebury uses the immersive approach effectively. You can read more about Middlebury’s use of the immersive approach and their development of these lessons on their website.

Some Kid-related Information

The very first lesson J logged onto began with a click-to-color activity on greetings. Next, she saw a folk tale told entirely in Spanish. It was illustrated with cartoon characters and the words (in Spanish) were on the screen as they were said. It was done in such a way that she paid a lot of attention to it. She picked up several words and their meanings just by watching that folk tale. She was also exposed to some important elements of the culture. In order to ensure that the student understood the elements that were the focus, there was a review and a repeat of the folk tale. This was followed by three practice activities using the greetings from the folk tale in different ways. The lesson ended with a speaking lab where the student can listen to the word or phrase, record their own speaking, and compare their pronunciation.

activities

Two of the pages to print out and complete.

Throughout the lessons that J has completed, the activities have been varied. Some of the activities and teaching modes used have been a video, click-and-drag activities, coloring pages to print off and use, click-to-activate activities, putting things in order, worksheets to print off and complete, answering questions, speaking labs, and more. The variety of activities has been a definite bonus and has helped a lot in making this a program that J enjoys using. She looks forward to using Middlebury because within each lesson there are a minimum of 5 different activities.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

One example of the activities that the student is given.

Each lesson includes what is called a speaking lab. This is an activity that includes a button to click on to hear the program speak the word or phrase. Then it is the student’s turn to record their voice saying the same word or phrase. To do the recording, we used a Logitech camera that plugs into a USB port and has a built in microphone. It worked well on our desktop computer. We would just plug the camera in, hit record and then click allow (only had to click this the first time after it was plugged in), and then speak to be recorded. J really liked having the microphone available to record herself and listen to her pronunciations. She seems to have a pretty good ear for languages and was able to correct some of her pronunciation just by listening to the program and them listening to herself. This was one of the bonuses of Middlebury.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

An example of the Speaking Lab.

 Some Grown-up Information

Middlebury Interactive Languages has a dashboard where you can access the lessons via the calendar or the table of contents, as well as accessing the grade book. For our family, the grade book was not very important. It does show the grade for activities that are graded. They are graded by whether or not the student got the answers correct and it doesn’t affect the student’s ability to move on. If you have a need to see each activity and the date it was completed on, you have to make sure that you check the box “show course work” in the upper right hand corner or you will only see the quizzes and tests. If you need to be able to print a grade report, you have that ability. The only “complaint” that I have about the dashboard is that it is awkward. It is not intuitive to use but it is not all that hard to figure out.

One other thing that was a little bit strange is the way the lessons were scheduled. Middlebury suggests 2 – 3 lessons per week for K-2. For us, the lessons were scheduled on the calendar with five a week. This means that if we looked at the calendar, we were behind. Additionally, that shows up on the grade report. It shows as a due date and a completed date for the course work. This means that the student’s dates will be show up as late after the first day. I don’t know if this is typical scheduling for Middlebury or not. It didn’t bother us at all but is just something to be aware of.

Middlebury Interactive Languages is an online course. You will need a computer with internet access to be able to use this course. For the Elementary Spanish 1, K-2 course, the microphone is optional but definitely made a difference in the experience. You will also need to register and pay for the course of your choice. The Spanish Courses differ in cost. The Elementary Spanish 1, K-2 course is $119 for one student for one semester without a teacher.

worksheetThis is definitely a well-liked program here. J asks all the time to be able to do a lesson. Of course, that distracts E who wants to be a part of the lessons. She is ten and in the 5th grade but these lessons are still fun for her to do and be a part of. We try to schedule the lessons so that J can run the computer and answer the questions with E sitting beside her. But, if we can’t do that, E just comes and redoes a lesson. That is easy to do by just clicking the lesson from the table of contents or calendar and starting it over. It is not graded after the first time a student goes through the activity but that didn’t matter for our purposes.

So, Spanish will continue in the lesson plans with J and E enjoying the unique way Middlebury presents the language. At Home.

You can connect with Middlebury Interactive Languages on social media through the following links.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Middlebury-Interactive-Languages/141015515949753
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MiddInteractive
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/middinteractive/
Google +: https://plus.google.com/b/110371351490550861545/110371351490550861545/posts

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Make It Work Monday – horse jumps

Make It Work Monday Title

All three of the giggly girls love to play. One of the favorite forms of play at this time is pretending that at least one of the dolls is an equestrian. The horses come out with the dolls and all sorts of ideas go flying. During one of these intense sessions of equestrian play, L decided that she wanted a series of horse jumps for her 18″ dolls. She is very creative and an out-of-the-box thinker. She began thinking about how to make jumps. What came to mind was her favorite medium – paper.

She brainstormed a number of ideas but realized that while paper would work for the bar of the jumps, she would need something different to hold it up. Toilet paper roll tubes were the final decision and they have worked well.

horse jump 2

What she did:

  1. Take the toilet paper tube and cut a narrow half circle out of one side of one end. Opposite that at the same end, cut another narrow half circle. This is where the bar will sit.
  2. Cover the tube with paper. You could also color it or paint it but L chose to use construction paper.
  3. Make another one for the other side of the jump.
  4. Decide how wide you want your jump to be. L wanted it to be as long as a piece of paper and a half. So she took some of our pile of scrap paper, taped two pieces together, and rolled up it long-ways. She then used colored scotch tape and covered the whole thing.
  5. Place your bar on the two posts that you made.
  6. If desired, cut some fabric or felt to be the ground under the jump. This one has “grass” under it. We also cut some blue for water and some brown for mud or dirt. Options are always good.

Here is the final product, with her little sister using it for the pets.

horse jump horse jump 3

She has made two of these so far and there are plans for more. They have worked great for the horses, even for the Barbie-sized dolls, as well as pets. Recycling fun! At Home.

Y is for…Yummy!

Y is for YummyLast night’s dinner was yummy! I got it straight from my daughter’s mouth. No kidding! And it included goat cheese and green chili. Strange, I know.

So what was this yummy dinner? Josephina-inspired burritos. We are currently listening to the books about the American Girl Josephina. We are on the last one and have enjoyed them a lot. Josephina is a young girl from New Mexico, living near Santa Fe in the early 1800s. Her little pet is a goat and they talk about goats being needed for meat, milk, and cheese.

I grew up in New Mexico so green chili is in my blood. I LOVE green chili! I put them in lots of things! Tonight’s dinner was a natural outcome of listening to Josephina’s books and loving green chili. Goat cheese and green chili – YUM!!!

Y burritos

On to the recipe -

Green Chili Goat Cheese Burritos

1 lb ground meat
1/4 of an onion, minced
salt – to taste
pepper – to taste
garlic powder – to taste
diced green chili – fresh or canned (I am picky – mine has to be from New Mexico! It just tastes better.)
2-4 oz crumbled goat cheese
flour tortillas

1 – Brown 1 lb of ground meat with 1/4 of an onion, minced, until done. (We use turkey in our house but you could use whatever you want.)
2 – Season your meat to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (I use a lot of garlic powder!)
3 – Add 3 large spoonfuls of diced green chili. (This is probably about the equivalent of a 4 ounce can if you are buying it in a can.) You can add more or less to satisfy you desired heat and flavor level. I would have added more but the girls were going to be eating this as well.
4 – Add 2 – 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese and stir well. As the goat cheese melts, it will stir throughout the mixture well.
5 – Serve rolled up in warm flour tortillas.

Y green chili goat cheese burritos

green chili goat cheese burritos

(Click on the words above for a printable version of the recipe.)

If you decide to try this, I would love to know what you think. Please share your thoughts in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you. At Home.

This post is linked up with ABC Blogging on Ben And Me.

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