Saturday, August 15, 2015

6 Online Learning Tools for Kids of All Ages

We have really come a long way in the learning tools that we can offer our children. While books and traditional games are still outstanding mediums, the world of learning that is available through handheld devices like tablets boggles the mind. From preschoolers to teenagers, there are plenty of online tools that can help make learning engaging and fun, while also helping with schoolwork.

For Elementary School Kids

Funbrain Jr.

Kindergarteners will especially like Funbrain Jr. The online tool teaches basic math skills, early literary and problem solving through engaging games and stories. The website is user-friendly enough that many young kids can navigate it alone, or you can cuddle up on the couch with your child and enjoy a reading game of “Letter Splash” or the “Mushroom Bounce” math game.

Animal Agentz

Autism Speaks lists Animal Agentz as one of the top activities for kids with Asperger’s, autism or sensory processing issues. The computer learning tool helps kids to manage their stress and anxiety and also boosts the ability to concentrate, all while interacting with charming and colorful animals who teach them coping skills.

For Middle Schoolers

Khan Academy

The series of videos on Khan Academy covers a variety of subjects including math and science. The site is ideal for when your middle schooler needs help with his or her math homework, but you are not exactly sure how to tackle the problem. The free, high quality videos are divided by subject and they are presented in an engaging way that you and your tween will enjoy watching together.

As a friendly word of advice, it’s important to keep online security in mind when registering your child up for this or any other learning tool. While many learning sites are secure and do not sell personal information, signing up for an identity theft protection program from a reputable company like LifeLock will put your mind at ease.


Many kids will write their first “real” research paper when they are in middle school. InstaGrok is a search engine that makes searching for content interactive and engaging. InstaGrok will create a web of related images, articles, videos and terms that are all based on your child’s research query. The tool will also help your child understand how various subjects are related.

For High School Teens


Thanks to Desmos your high school student no longer has to worry about finding the expensive graphing calculator before tackling his or her math homework. The free and fast online calculator can graph any function, which makes it a perfect tool for beginning and advanced algebra courses. Desmos also allows students to save their work.


High school is when many students will get their first taste of a new language. Duolingo can help Spanish, French or German class to be fun and interesting. The language-learning app and website includes guides for nine of the most commonly taught languages, and it’s laid out in an intuitive and engaging way. Instead of endless digital flashcards that quiz your child on the Spanish word for dog, window and car, Duolingo features a step-by-step learning progression that leads teens through the basics while teaching them grammar and more.

Friday, August 14, 2015

You Get Stronger

With each step you take, you are gaining strength.  Keep pushing forward.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Your Body is a Temple - Take it Back!

I think one of the biggest lies of the enemy, one of the biggest deceptions, one of the strongest ways he tries to infiltrate our lives is in the lie that we are not enough.

Not good enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not thin enough.

Not fit enough.

Not not not.


Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.  
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

Ladies, your body is a temple. You were created by God, for God, to please God. In His Holy Creation, God made no mistakes! But in the lies of the enemy, we start to believe we are flawed. It's in that belief that we begin things like emotional eating, feasting on garbage, sitting still and becoming a couch potato, drowning ourselves in empty calories... So today I want to encourage you to TAKE BACK YOUR TEMPLE! Claim it for God.

The Holy Spirit dwells in you so honor Him with a new outlook. And honor your temple with the care and love it deserves.  Praise God that His mercies are new every morning.  Today, begin again!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Stop Giving Up

With whatever it is that you are doing... If you quit, you will just have to start again.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Think About Why You Started

We started our homeschool year on Monday and so far things have been running smoothly.  We did all wake up that day with some sort of cold that made us incredibly sneezy, but we pressed on.  We pressed on because this is what is right for our family.  We pressed on because this is what God called me to do.  We pressed on because this is what works the best for my children.

And then I got to thinking about all the moms I keep seeing in my homeschool groups who are thinking about quitting and just sending their kids to public school this year.  I got to thinking about all the moms who feel like they just can't do it anymore, like they aren't enough or they aren't doing enough.  And I want to encourage those moms today.

What was your motivation for homeschooling?  Has it changed?  If you step back for a minute and consider why you started to begin with, do those reasons still exist?  If they do, what is it that is making you want to quit?  

Is it because it's hard?  Is it because you don't have a lot of spare time?  Is it because sometimes your kids just don't listen?  Is it because homeschooling costs money?  Is it because you feel financial pain and just want to go get a job outside of the home?

Ok... So now think about your why again, why you chose to homeschool to begin with.  Do any of those things mentioned above outweigh your why?

My point here is not to make anyone feel bad, but to really make you think.  Think about your reasons before you throw in the towel.  If it's hard, try harder.  If you don't have spare time, become better at scheduling your time.  If it is because your kids just don't listen, be the teacher they need and forget being the nice mommy for a while.  If it is because homeschooling costs money, research ways to do it for free - a lot of people do this.  It is possible!  If it is because you feel financial pain, consider budgeting stronger or even taking up a part time work from home position.

There are options!  Don't just quit.  Don't just give up.  If it matters to you, find a way.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Get Fit without Squats, Lunges, or Weights...

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Check it out:

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Ready to CIZE IT UP?

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mind, Body, and Spirit: Make a Plan and Stick to It!

The first day of our homeschooling year is almost here.  We start back on July 27.  That means I have been in planning mode.  I've got lesson plans completed for both kids for the first week.  I've got piano lessons scheduled in.  I've got horse riding lessons scheduled in.  I've got everything mapped out for the kids.  Yep, for the kids.  But wait... What about me?

Today I want to talk about me.  About you.  About moms making time for themselves.  It's important and so often as moms we just do everything for everyone else and forget about ourselves.  But we can't do that!  We have to make time for our wellness.  If we don't, we will burn out.  So I'm also scheduling some me time - I'm making a plan.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant always comes out and tells you what to do if there is ever an emergency.  She discusses how if the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling you are to put yours on FIRST and then you can help your family members.  Have you ever stopped to think about why that is?

It is because if you can't breathe, you are useless!  If you aren't breathing, then you are suffering, and if you are suffering, you will not be able to help anyone.

The same goes in every day life.  You need to make sure that you can breathe.  You need to give yourself what you need for betterment.  And that means you need to plan and schedule out time for you to take care of you.  Write it down.  Make a plan and stick to it.

Along with your other mom and wife duties, you need to plan out your time with God, both in the Bible and in prayer.  You need to plan out your time spent working on fitness.  30 minutes a day is all you need and I guarantee that you can fit it in.  You need to plan out time to make sure you are getting healthy, nutritious meals.  No more nibbling off of your kids' plates - you need to think about YOU!

It sounds extremely selfish at first, but I assure you that it is not.  Just as it is not selfish to put your oxygen mask on first, it is not selfish to plan out time to work on your mind, body, and spirit.  Your overall wellness will make you a better mom and it will set a stellar example for your kids.

If you need help figuring out how to schedule time for you, just ask.  I'm here for you.
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