There be Changes! New Site for Kri’s Kurious Korner

Good evening, my pretties!

 

I would like to direct your attention to my new website where Kri’s Kurious Korner will now be hosted. Please make your way over to Kridina.com and don’t forget to join my email list for the new Kurious Newsletter!

 

Thanks so much for your support and I hope to see you on the other side.

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The 5 (6) Paragraph Blog: Resources for your Home-School, High-School Edition

When our family started this home-schooling adventure, it was such a big and scary thing! As the years went by, it did not seem such a big deal and my boys were frequently complimented for not only their knowledge, but their behavior and kindness towards other. Then, the High-School age began to loom over us and I was uncertain how to handle it as there were not so many helpful blogs and services out there for that particular age group at the time. In fact, the few places I could look went from education in a fun and interesting way to a sudden dry and uninteresting format. As if people hit a sudden block to making learning fun in the high-school years. It’s bull.

I must not have been the only one to feel this way, because more and more authors, blogs, sites, families, companies, and more began offering ideas and products that continued to make learning fun even for the maturing high-schooler. I was thankful and so were my boys. There is so much out there for high-schoolers these days, but perhaps you are wondering where to find them? We have free services, boxed curriculum,  and the more niche fitting curriculum a person can use.

So…free you say? yep, there are free and good resources out there for high-schoolers, such as Easy Peasy All-in-One High School, which I consider very user friendly. For a more classical approach, some free resources are: The Classical Curriculum and Ambleside -leaning towards Ambleside more-However, not all materials and needs that go along with it will be free. You can do further research to find matching/similar  free book materials here. Ambleside does have some links to free resources available and I feel the format is a bit easier to follow. Still, neither is as easy to follow along as Easy Peasy, which is also pretty all-inclusive when it comes to curriculum needs. One last free resource I think is fabulous is Khan’s Academy. I can not say enough about it. it’s good and can help even the most math reluctant individual out there into learning something.

One site I have used and found great and chock full of helpful utilities at a fairly low cost is SchoolhouseTeachers.com. You can find my review for them here. You can also look into a really fun math and science focused site called Supercharged Science. They have a lot of free online classes and events as well as paid for services (Money Back Guarantee, even). My boys always enjoyed her classes in the past. Another fairly low-cost option is Time4Learning, though we have chosen to go other routes.

For our family, we tend to prefer a combination of resource types and do not rely on only online. In fact, one year we stayed away from it entirely due to the fact one son was not very good at staying away from games and videos having nothing to do with his schooling. Hard to block such things when many online curriculum happen to use the same sites! Not to mention, teenagers figure it out, hmm? For years we relied on My Father’s World curriculum. It was fabulous until High School, where it suddenly got dry and boring and my boys were really unenthusiastic about it. I still think it is wonderful for the grade-school ages, but for High-School we went with Master Books curriculum, which my boys enjoyed far more for their High-School needs.

The thing about learning is this: It truly is life long! Not only do my boys use books, videos, curriculum, and multiple resources to expand their knowledge, I do as well! You are never too old to learn something new or to increase your knowledge on an already known subject. The resources I listed are only a drop in the hat. We are so fortunate to live in an age where so much is at our fingertips. Take advantage! Whether you home school, are seeking additional schooling support, or just want to learn for yourself, these resources are sure to help you get there.

 

Until next time

*This post contains a few affiliate links, though no one asked me to write it and I was not provided any incentive to.

The 5 Paragraph Blog: Those First Steps

Steps…what the heck? Yup, I am talking about walking. My journey (Ha! – see what I did there?) to walking more for health and fitness began when I saw a post from a personal friend of mine regarding her new job. She had gotten a Fitbit and posted how many steps she had taken that week. I recall it was over 15,000 steps for just 1 day- 3 times the amount the average American walks each day. I’d been trying to think of ways to fit in more activity despite being busy and not finding time to actually make it to the gym now that I was frequently stuck at a house caring for an infant…and trying to make sure I did a certain number of steps each day seemed something I could accomplish no matter where I was!

So, I did a little research to find out how many steps was considered “active”. I found that a relatively inactive person does less than 3,000 steps a day, so I thought “I’ll aim for 4,000 so I’m not considered inactive and go from there”. So, because I did not have a Fitbit, I went and downloaded a step app for my phone. I was ready to go! And then I realized a couple things. 1. I don’t always carry my phone around the house, especially if I don’t have a pocket. This meant I was missing out on steps I’d actually done. 2. Making at least 3,000 steps a day while doing Nanny work wasn’t so difficult, but while at home? Sad to say I can tell you of one day where I did under 400 steps. Go ahead and take 400 steps and you will realize how little that is for an entire day.

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So, I started looking into the Fitbit idea more and more. Oh, and before you start thinking this is a review or that the links I offer in this post will make me money, they don’t. I did not receive a Fitbit for this post. I simply just found a way to be more active and healthy and wanted to share with you my experience. Perhaps it will motivate you just as seeing my friend’s post motivated me. Anyways, the more I looked into it, the more I liked the idea of something I could wear and not worry about forgetting when I ran up the stairs to get the baby I cared for from a nap or to make a change.

So, there is a wonderful thing about birthdays. You get to tell people what you want for yours! So, I went to my dear hubby and informed him I wanted a Fitbit for my birthday. And yes, for those that know me well, Doctor who was mentioned. I always want Doctor Who stuff, but the Fitbit was top of my list this time! This year my birthday, March 6th, fell on a Monday, so we celebrated it mostly the weekend before and I received my lovely Fitbit Flex 2 from my hubby. My daughter made a big deal of it and said “See, I told you he listened!” He did, indeed.

It will be 2 weeks this weekend since I received my new wonder, and I went from aiming to 4,000, then 8,000, to getting a wee bit competitive using the “Work Day Hustle” challenge feature between my friend and I. Now I’m walking over 15,000 steps every day this week thus far. Made surviving Universal Studios yesterday a breeze! I think I might be OK taking it down a notch this weekend and just try to make sure I move a little every hour and do my usual activity. But, maybe I wont be satisfied if I don’t get in some good walking each day. we shall see.

Steps

Exploring Your Passions and a Review!

It’s another home-school day in the gamer’s household. For me, it means contacting my sons from where I am working and going over things when I get off or on days I don’t work. Needing to work has added more challenge to our home-school, but I don’t worry too much because they are well into high school curriculum and can pretty much take care of it themselves. Working outside the home hasn’t been the only recent challenge, though. Helping my sons find their passions and utilize it as growing young men (and very soon adults!) can be hard! Well, let me clarify. It’s not so hard for Sir A. But for Mr. M? He has his passions, but certain things get in the way. Like having Asperger’s and tibial torsion.

For those that don’t know, Asperger’s is a high functioning autism and tibial torsion means Mr. M’s lower legs do not grow straight. He is actually very fortunate as many with his condition can not walk or run, much less ride a bike. While he finds it uncomfortable, he can ride a bike. One thing he can’t really do well at is standing in place for more than a couple minutes. So, when your passion happens to be all things military, this presents a problem. But, perhaps the Home School Adventure Co. could help with that?

I have noticed Mr. M does like camping, fishing, and traveling to a certain extent, which is why I when was offered a free copy of  WALKING WITH THE WAODANI STUDY from the Home School Adventure Co. I thought it might be right up his alley. Except, I’ve been having a very hard time getting Mr. M motivated to do anything all this school year! He is now eighteen and now understands his limits much better and it seems to have taken a toll on his enthusiasm. So while Sir A. and I found the unit study interesting, I really had a difficult time coaxing my eldest to care about it.

Still. I have a review to write and perhaps you don’t really care about the plight of Mr. M. But, frankly, your just going to have to deal with my writing about both! Perhaps others out there know my frustration and his pains. I know my son, and I know he would love to go on a mission like the one covered in the unit study. I also know that he’ll most likely have no problem doing it in the fall when he does not have his mind set on the curriculum already presented to him. Mr. M. Has a one track mind and it’s very difficult for him to switch tactics, making my being on the Homeschool Review Crew in the middle of his school year something he’s just not been very gung ho for. I still keep showing Mr. M the different opportunities, and as time goes by, he seems to showing more and more interest.

So! Walking with the Waodani, eh? What is this and why would I think teenagers would be interested in such a thing? For one, it involves a true and sincere story of another young man, a teenager himself, wanting to follow in the footsteps of some brave missionaries to Ecuador. Imagine being the parents of such a young man and having to make the decision on whether or not to allow him to go on such a journey? Ecuador is not well known for its safety to outsiders, especially from the Waodani, but their story and eventual acceptation of the Christian faith is an amazing testimony of love and forgiveness.

Walking with the Waodani

This unit study shares a fabulous and inspiring story that began in 1949 when the mission aviation base was established in  the abandoned Shell Mera oil base. A group of missionaries reached out to the Waodoni in 1956, which ended in tragedy. But, this tragedy did not stop the spirit inspired hearts of the family members of those lost. It is their story that inspires the young man in this wonderful unit study to go to Ecuador himself, decades later.

Edible palm weevil larvae (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) from the AmazonHungry for more??

So, how did our family use this unit study? With curriculum already in place and a son who isn’t very receptive to changing stuff up, it forced me to think of ways I could…sneak it in! First, we already have a required reading time, so I had them read it on their own time. We then used dinner time and other impromptu moments to just talk about what was read. I used the including worksheets and questions as the basis for our discussions and then allowed the conversation to flow naturally from there. Let’s just say grubs and spaghetti dinner wasn’t well liked by their father, but it did give us a very interesting and energetic meal time conversation and quite a bit of laughter!

Home School Adventure CompanyOne benefit of getting snippets of new curriculum such as this unit study is it helps me gauge what my boys might be interested for the summer or fall, and I can say that my boys would be quite happy to compete this study with all the different activities found within it. Even my eldest, reluctant, son easily participated in the conversations and because he does like to read, he got more out of it than I had originally anticipated  . So, it goes to show you that introducing new things, no matter the age or challenges involved, can help open up a new world of opportunities you might have otherwise missed. Don’t give up if your child is in a difficult emotional spot or having to come to terms with things that might limit them. Be sure to apply this to yourself when it comes to your own challenges and limits.

MOVING ON…

I really do think you would be fascinated by the story of the Waodani in Ecuador. Interestingly enough, my youngest son found one thing that stuck out at him the most. The Waodani was known to be one of the most blood thirsty tribes in the world. So blood thirsty that when they began to seek a more peaceful life style, they ran into a problem. What to do as they got older! You see, they were usually killed and unable to experience being an older person! My son’s comment on this, and I believe it’s echoed in the study itself: It’s a good problem to have, don’t you think?

Andrew on puter March 2017Sir A. watches one of the videos about the young man’s experiences on HomeSchoolAdventure YouTube channel

I’ve been trying to think of a witty conclusion to this post, but the funny thing about life? it sorta just keeps going even when you are ready for an off day. or week. Nah, I’m looking for a month, at least! Yes, being on the Homeschool Review Crew has been challenging, but it’s given me and my family such great opportunities to explore possibilities I would not otherwise have, such as getting a sneak peak at the study about the Waodani in Ecuador. Soon, you should be able to find it on Amazon, and I’ll be sure to update this post with that link when it is. This price is subject to change, but they anticipate Walking with Waodani to be $14.95 for the digital edition and $18.95 for the print edition. Also, to see more ways other families are using this study, check out other reviews here! Keep and eye out and I’ll be around.

Until next time, my pretties.

Crew Disclaimer

The 5 Paragraph Blog: When Gaming Feels Like a Job

It should be no secret by now that I am a gamer. I’ll play games on the table, the PC, a console, and on the run with my iPhone or iPad (Think Pokemon Go). Mostly I like PC games. I also happen to like people and I seem to like them better while playing on the PC. It seems the types of games on the PC attract a certain type of player. However, because of my disabilities and challenges I found myself frequently trying to run groups with an eye on helping others, like me, to enjoy gaming without the stress of some of the more militant groups. IE: I run a guild and have for years. I play games to have fun and to take a break from the every day grind and pains of life. Happens to all of us, after all. But, sometimes it feels like the game becomes the job and it loses it’s ability to provide a positive outlet for my recreational time.

One key factor is trying to gather people for set days and times. One would think this would make life easier for all. They would know when to meet up and can plan accordingly. The problem with this is that many people, including myself, have jobs, families, problems, and things that just crop up. Some days…weeks..no months..ok for the past…forever..I feel like this happens to me and others all the time.

The problem isn’t always that things happen. That’s life. The problem is few want to take my place when life comes at me hard and fast. I don’t blame them. It’s a lot of work running a guild. See, there is that word: Work. Most hard working folks with families and health issues don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to take on such a task. I am not bothered by this. Happens to me all to often. What bothers me are the people who give me and other leaders a hard time for having to put “real life first” who either were not willing to help or had not offered to help. They want someone to do all the work and they resent that you are no longer doing that for the moment.

This is where you find out who really is someone that gives a damn about the people they game with. They will stay in touch. Check up. Reconnect when things are smoothing out enough in their lives for them to do so. If you have to take a break and someone bails for another group, unfriends you, and leaves no trace of the fact you had counted them as one among your group…you can pretty much be assured they were only there for what they could gain.

Sadly, they missed out on the biggest gain of all: Lifelong friendship with understanding people that will be there for you when life throws you a curve ball. Because, when I come back..I come back for them and for those that are still there over the years cutting me some slack, happy to hear my voice, catch up on whats been going on, and load up that next game….dude, that’s fun. Not a job.

The gospel of Trump – it isn’t working

Read before you decide what it’s going to say.

just a jesus follower

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Like many Americans, I’ve watched this politically charged season on the edge of my seat. I’m not one to speak out much on politics. I make my voice heard in the polls, but outside of that I tend to stay pretty quiet.

However, in the world of social media, no matter how much you try to avoid the political tension, you can’t.

It screams.

LOUDLY.

You scroll through social media and see posts on: women’s rights, immigration issues, health care, LGBTQ equality, etc.

And people are MAD.

REALLY MAD.

Now before you decide where I’m headed with this post, let me just say, this is not a commentary on my personal stances on these issues. Although at some point I will most likely speak out, for now, this is simply a response to the noise – to all the fighting, the name calling and the division.

People who support

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