Winter Wonders is Complete!

If you missed my first post about Download n Go, you can read it here

Pac Man finally completed his Winter Wonders Download n Go unit!  It took us a lot longer than it should have, I actually think they all will. I am glad I didn’t order the full year all at once!  It has taken me even longer to write this update post (he actually finished WW a few weeks ago, I am just now getting around to sharing)

My thoughts after completing an entire unit…

  • Pac Man loved it!  He loved the layout, the various activities, and the things we learned about.  I was right in thinking that this type of thing would be perfect for him, it was!
  • Other than preparing the notebook ahead of time (which was a bit time consuming), there was little for me to do as we worked through it.  Getting the links opened up on the computer each morning was the biggest thing.
  • Speaking of links…we enjoyed the many You Tube videos, however…watch out for the ads that display on the sidebars before you launch the site in front of your child.  Most of the ads are harmless, but I did get one that popped up that bothered me.  Thankfully Pac Man wasn’t sitting with me (I open all of the links for the day in tabs before school so we can just click on the tabs as we work through the book).
  • Some days were more in depth than others, we ended up not doing 1 day at a time, just working through on our own timeline.  I still liked it divided into the 5 days though, it helped me see where we were in the study.
  • We did most, but not all, of the pages and lapbooking items included.  You could easily skip the entire lapbooking portion of this and still have fun and learn a ton.
  • Overall Pac Man reviewed many things and learned many new things.  We loved learning about the Iditarod, different animals, and the history of hot chocolate!  There were many learning opportunities presented that I would have never thought of on my own.  I loved how diverse it was, so did Pac.
  • My final thoughts at this point…definitely glad I ordered these.  They do take much more time than I realized, but that’s ok-we’ll just spread out the activities more.  I am really excited to learn new things right along with him!!!

We did not enjoy the Valentine’s unit as much-it was too much about LOVE for his taste ;-). His favorite was making thumbprint hearts…as many as his age 7 1/2.  He thought it was hilarious that he made half of a heart ;-).IMG_0532

We are currently working on the Amelia Earhart unit and both loving it!  it is very in depth so far and the first day of activities took us a whole week to complete!  Today we learned how an airplane flies and I learned something new right along with him, I Love that about homeschooling-I am so much smarter than I ever was before!

Download N Go ~ Initial Thoughts…

We went ahead and began our first day of Download N Go instead of waiting until Monday. {We usually have school M, T, W, Th and Sat…taking Fri and Sun off-because of our ministry schedule}. We started with the first unit, Winter Wonders.

I know those of you who are considering buying these units are wondering if they are worth it, and since I did go ahead and buy them, I wanted to share my thoughts to try and help you make your decision.

There is a lot of printing involved, so there is an additional expense to consider {and prep time}, although you do not have to print everything, I did for the 1st 2 units so I could get a feel for it. I am creating each unit in a 1/2” binder {I get these in bulk at Costco} to make it easier for Pac Man to work through. After he completes the unit, I plan to put them all nicely in one bigger binder for storage and to look back at! IMG_8957

Each unit is 5 days worth of material, which I divided in the notebook so he will know where to begin and end. You can see the tabs I made on the right. I put the Daily Objectives in the front of the notebook.IMG_8938

One aspect of each unit is vocabulary/spelling words. I really like this aspect, but really wanted 1 sheet with all of the words for the unit in one place, so I made this myself, that’s what you see here. The little snowman cards are provided to write words/definitions on. I keep these in the front inside pocket of the binder for him to do 2-4 words per day.IMG_8945

At the end of each tab I placed a clear sheet protector which holds the lapbooking components for the day. I cut out and prepared these for him, so all he has to do is go in and complete them.IMG_8952

The extra lapbook pieces {pockets and such} are stored in the back flap of the binder, this is also where I will have him put completed lapbook components until we finish the unit and put the lapbook together.IMG_8946

You do need a computer with internet to take full advantage of these units. There are MANY links right in the PDF files. Today we watched videos, read articles, and went to a cool website for kids about seasons. I hope to teach him to work more and more independently through these units as time goes on and the format is repeated.IMG_8950

As for Pac Man’s thoughts? He LOVED It, actually way more than I thought he would. He seemed to like the layout, the division of activities, and the changes between what we did {watching videos, reading, drawing, writing, etc.} He was blown away with one particular aspect {which is actually the main thing that drew me to make my final purchase}. He was reading the page below, and ran into the room I was in with Ladybug and said, “Mom, you have to come see this.” He then showed me a line that said… God created earth in such a perfect way that we experience these four seasons in just the right order and at just the right time to help things grow and for people to be able
to live here.” IMG_8969

Pac Man was so excited that this would be a Christian based unit!!! I was obviously thrilled to see him so happy about that!!! This is one of my favorite things about these awesome units.

Being someone who creates stuff myself, I am VERY impressed with the quality of graphics, layouts, links, font choices 😉 and so on. They are really well put together units. I am loving it so far and will continue to share how it’s going.

As for how I plan to fit this into normal school days…I am having Pac do these in the mornings while my main focus is on Krash. I am not going to be strict about finishing each day in ONE day, but working along as much as we can each morning ~ I want these to be really fun for him. We’ll see how this aspect goes, because as I prepared both notebooks, I did notice that some days seemed to have more work than others. I will probably be able to judge better after we have a few weeks in.

So, yes I am very HAPPY I bought these and very thankful I bought them with the great deal.

What I am Doing…

We were outta town for over 2 weeks and I am home, but still trying to get my head above water! Before I can get back to regular posting, I need to get our kids, homeschool, house, and myself in order. Here’s a bit of what I have been doing behind the scenes {along with laundry, cleaning, and more cleaning}…

I began the Daily Audio Bible (using my iPod touch) and I LOVE IT! I considered the Bible in 90 Days, but for now, at this season of my life, it is just too much for me. I prayed and prayed and even felt guilty as I saw other moms I know online signing up to do it. Finally God brought me my answer when I stumbled across the DAB podcast, and it is just perfect for me. I have listened quietly each day and love it. I started the boys listening to the Daily Audio Bible for Kids too, it is wonderful and will take them through the New Testament in a year.

In addition to my daily Bible listening, I have been more purposeful with my blog reading. As much as I adore reading other homeschooling blogs, I really feel God calling me to read more of HIM online. So, I am focusing more of my reading time with blogs focused almost entirely on the Word. I am really loving the series called Fresh Year, Fresh Start which is currently in progress and is written by several wonderful and inspiring bloggers.

We are revamping our daily routine and discipline plan as we always have to do after such a break in routine (holidays and vacation). Accountable Kids is kicking back into gear, as well as a new iTouch app I got called iRewardChart. I am also re-reading Creative Correction and have been listening to Focus on Parenting podcasts to refocus in the parenting area. We are also gearing up for our Raising Rock Stars family time this Sunday when we will pick back up with Joseph. Daddy has been reading about Joseph each morning during family prayer time to help prepare the boys, it’s been great!

As for ME, I am gearing up to begin the 30 Day Shred, and honestly I am a bit {or, a LOT} nervous ;-). I haven’t done significant exercise since before Ladybug and I am sure I probably won’t be able to move after the 1st day. I plan to begin no later than Monday! We’ll see how it goes, pray for me!!!!

I am preparing tons of homeschooling things too of course. I posted about Download and Go awhile ago and I DID end up ordering it for Pac Man. For us it was a big expense since I usually make our own stuff in the unit-study/lapbook area. BUT, with Pac Man getting older I am out of my early childhood element with him! So, I bit the bullet and paid the sale price for a semester’s worth of weekly unit studies. I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision at first, but now as I sit here preparing our first 2 units, I am really excited! I plan to share more with each unit we do, and also wanted to see if anyone else who reads bought it also and might be blogging about how they are using it with their kiddos? Right now I am coming up with a system that will hopefully work for us each week, I am not thinking we will finish a unit a week, more like every other week. We still have our other full subjects, this is just additional learning. The first unit is Winter Wonders and our second will be Amelia Earhart. I am really excited to begin ASAP!

In case you are looking to purchase any, here are some {limited time} coupon codes for a great discount.

  • 4 weeks Use coupon code DNG4WK and save 20%. Pay only $24
  • *19 weeks Use coupon code DNG19WK and save 20%. Pay only $91.20 for an entire semester’s learning! (*what I bought)
  • 38 weeks–is the absolute best deal! With the special coupon code DNG38WK, you can enjoy an entire year’s curriculum–for multiple children–for only $152! That’s only $4 per week to homeschool your entire family!

Totally Tots is off and running with a new team for 2010, we began the new posting schedule on January 1 with the launch of several new features this month! Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. It has kept me very busy these past 2 weeks, I am so thrilled with how God has led!

Finally, the best news {and the post I am most excited to write} is to share all about my sleepover at this lovely gal’s house! Stay tuned, I hope to be back with many posts soon!