I’m making progress! This is Frivols kit #1 – Kindred. Hello Darling fabrics by Moda.
My son loves learning different languages, which I think is great because learning a foreign language early in life is very beneficial. His interest in foreign languages started a couple of years ago, when we were able to review a Latin curriculum. He looooved it! Who knew? Since then, he’s thoroughly enjoyed learning Spanish. He tells me he wants to learn French next, but I think we’re going to have to slow down and master a language before we move on to any more.
Teaching a foreign language can be difficult if you don’t already know the language yourself. Thankfully, there are some great options for homeschoolers out there. One of those options is Middlebury Interactive Languages. Over the past few weeks we have been reviewing Middle School Spanish 1 (Grades 6-8) by Middlebury Interactive Languages.
Middlebury Interactive Languages
Middlebury Interactive Languages is an online foreign language program that provides language courses for children in all grades including elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). It offers four different languages to study:
For my review, I received a subscription to a full semester (6 months) of the Middle School Spanish 1 course. This immersion style program is self-paced but in order to complete the program within the time frame given, you do need to complete about three lessons per week. There is also a Middle School Spanish 2 course available for those who have completed the first course.
The middle school and high school courses focus on four language skill areas:
Cost per course is $119 for learning done independently. For $294 Middlebury Interactive Languages will even provide teacher support. We were given the independent learning course for review and did not receive the teacher support. You do need internet connection to use Middlebury Interactive Languages, as you cannot download the program to your computer.
Thoughts and Usage
Once we were logged into the program the layout was very simple and easy to navigate, which I really appreciated.
The table of contents in the left sidebar contains the lessons and the exercises the student works through. You can always see where you are in the program by looking at the table of contents. As my son completed each activity, he received a green checkmark. I really liked how the lessons were broken down into smaller sections and my son enjoyed seeing the activities being checked off as he worked.
Lessons usually took about 30 minutes for my son to complete. I sat with him as he did the lessons, not because he wouldn’t be able to do the activities on his own, but he did better if I was there to guide him along.
The variety of exercises incorporate different skills including, listening, speaking, grammar, sentence structure, reading comprehension, and more. It definitely is a comprehensive program that covers absolutely everything a foreign language program should. There were several different interactive games like matching activities and fill-in-the-blanks. I liked the cultural information presented along the way, too.
Clicking on the little audio buttons allowed my son to listen to conversations or words in the Spanish language. For the speaking part, my son practiced the Spanish speaking parts with me since we haven’t been able to get the computer microphone to work with the program yet.
The printables have been very handy. I printed out the handouts and taped them to my son’s desk so that he could see and study the words/greetings/vocabulary whenever he sat down to his desk.
The format of this course really seems a bit mature for a young middle school student. Most of the graphics are of adults or high school students and the way the information is presented was a bit intimidating to my son. I feel that the program would be great as an adult course, but is really too advanced and moved too quickly for my middle school student.
Because we wanted to take the program a little slower, I really wish that we could have more than 6 months to complete the semester. I felt like we were being rushed and therefore could not get as much out of the program as we could have.
Overall, we would really like this program if my son was a bit older and we had more time to complete the program. As it is now, I don’t think it is a very good fit for us, as we need something a little lighter and more appealing. However, if you have an older middle school student that enjoys straightforward simple lessons, this program may suit you perfectly.
Please read more reviews to see what others have to say about Middlebury Interactive Languages.
Oh my goodness…I have the quilting bug! I’ve been working on a little mini quilt and as I’m nearing the end of that project, I’m looking around for what project to start next. More on that little project to come…
Looking around for patterns and projects, though, I recently discovered Tilda fabrics.
Aren’t these gorgeous!?
These beauties just arrived today in the mail. I can’t stop staring at them! They’re so pretty! And they came all the way from the UK, too. Tilda fabrics are so hard to find from US sellers…
This line is called Memory Lane. I love the olive greens, muted blues, soft pinks, and pops of bright pink.
This line is called Autumn Tree by Tilda. My daughter and I both are in love with these. She loves all the purples. It’s her favorite color. I’m hoping to make a pillow for her bed out of these lovely fabrics.
Are you working on any projects right now? Do you have any project suggestions for these fabrics?
Remember when we used to write letters?
Actual letters on pretty stationary. With stamps and stickers and personal touches. Remember when someone actually took the time to sit down and write a personal note in their own handwriting? And it took three to five days to get to where it was going?
I miss that.
I have a friend, a very dear friend, that moved way too far away and I wanted to send her something special. Whenever I need inspiration I go to Pinterest and I was not disappointed. After watching several “Happy Mail How To” videos, I had all sorts of ideas buzzing around in my head. My daughter helped me and we came up with our own little fun bits and pieces that we turned into “Happy Mail” for my dear friend.
Happy Mail Ideas
If you are looking for some creative snail mail ideas here’s a list of the things I put together for my friend:
- tea bag
- sticky note pad
- silver confetti stars
- a variety of stickers
- some of my favorite washi tape wrapped around a cardboard tag
- Bible verse coloring cards – you can get them HERE
- encouraging quote cards (from Project Life)
- a personal note
- heart shaped paper clips
- pad of lined paper
I tried to choose things that were flat and not too bumpy, so that it would go through the mail easily. That said, it was pretty thick so I did put it in a padded manila envelope.
Wrapping it All Up
I had a lot of fun wrapping everything together in a cute and attractive way.
First, I arranged everything from largest to smallest. I used some washi tape to hold it all in place and keep it from shifting in the mail
Next, I took a piece of pinked edge fabric and folded it along the side of my stack of goodies with a paper doily over it. I used baker’s twine to hold it in place by wrapping it several times over the entire stack. I knotted the bakers twine and covered the knot with a pink paper flower and a mini clothespin.
I didn’t take a picture of the front of the envelope but I wrote my friend’s address on a paper doily and affixed it to the front. I covered it in clear packing tape to keep it from being damaged in the mail.
And what Acts 20:35 says is true, “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” As much fun as I’m sure it is to receive goodies like this in the mail, it gave me so much more joy to put it all together.
Happy snail mailing!
Thankfully, this past month MyFreezEasy saved me from my daily dinner dilema with a MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership. Now instead of frozen hot dogs or pizza, I have an assortment of wholesome homemade meals stocked up in my freezer to choose from. And I love it!
For my review, I received the Premium Annual Membership to MyFreezEasy. With my online subscription, each month I receive eight new freezer meal plans, along with recipes, shopping lists, and meal assembly help instructions.
With eight different meal plans you’re sure to find something that fits your family’s needs.
Meal Plans Include:
- Traditional Meal Plan
- 20 Meals Plan
- Gluten-Free Meal Plan
- All Pork Chops Meal Plan
- All Ground Beef Meal Plan
- All Chicken Meal Plan
- Clean Eats Meal Plan
- Slow Cooker Meal Plan
Each plan includes 5-10 recipes, which makes 10-20 meals. For example, I used the Clean Eats Meal Plan with my family and for the month of September I made the following recipes:
- Dutch Oven Italian Chicken and Potatoes
- Paleo Minestrone Soup
- New Mexican Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Filling)
- Beef Stew Foil Packs
- Lentil Chili
The assembly prep directions is for two meals, so I made two meals from each recipe equaling 10 meals total.
Erin Chase, the founder of MyFreezEasy, provides videos, a facebook group, and a free freezer cooking workshop for those who are new to feezer cooking. So, you’re never left feeling overwhelmed or confused. She’s provided lots of support.
One really neat feature of MyFreezEasy is that you can swap recipes on different meal plans to create your own custom meal plan that works for your family. The website is really easy to use. You just drag recipes out that you don’t want to use and drag recipes in that you do!
Thoughts and Usage
Honestly, besides being a busy overworked homeschool mom, I hate cooking. I’d rather clean bathrooms. It’s that bad. So the thought of being able to make 10 meals in one hour made my giddy. Yes, please! Let’s get this cooking thing out of the way in an hour and put 10 meals in the freezer. I’m totally in.
I started out by printing the Clean Eats Meal Plan and labelling my freezer bags. The Clean Eats Meal Plan works for those who want to follow a Paleo or Whole 30 diet. All ingredients are free of sugar and grains. I really appreciated this because it’s hard to find online meal subscription plans that work for clean eating.
Before you begin your meal assembly, Erin Chase recommends setting out all your ingredients. Doing these little things, like setting out your ingredients, will save you time in the long run. After I set out everything that I needed on my kitchen counter, I began prepping my ingredients (chopping onions, carrots, etc. and browning the ground beef).
The Clean Eats Meal Plan included a nice variety of meals – soup, stews, chili, and a wrap. All the ingredients were easy everyday grocery items. All things that I’m familiar with and buy often. So many of the meal subscriptions I’ve tried have the weirdest most obnoxious ingredients like veal scallopini, capers, jicama root, chile paste, duck, and shrimp. I’m a very simple home cook, not a wacky exotic chef with strange tastes for wild birds and sea creatures. So, thank you Erin for creating recipes for moms like me who feed their families normal easy meals with chicken and beef!
I also really appreciated that there wasn’t any lengthy ingredient list for any recipe. If a recipe ever has close to like 20 different ingredients listed, I’m not even going to attempt it because gathering those 20 ingredients will take me an hour right off the bat and ain’t nobody got time for that. Erin’s recipes are simple and easy and I so appreciate that!
Being an inexperienced freezer meal girl, it took me four hours to make my 10 meals, not an hour. But I think with practice I could get it down faster. I’m pretty slow in the kitchen anyway and even though it did take me four hours to make these meals, I think I still came out on top. I usually take a solid two hours each evening to make a meal. So if I multiply two hours by 10 meals, I get 20 hours of time in the kitchen. Four hours beats that by a lot.
I realized that using freezer meals does take some planning. I couldn’t just take a meal out of the freezer at five o’clock and assume that it would be ready to eat in an hour. Lots of the meals require 8 hours in the slow cooker or thawed first and then cooked for an hour. The thawing process takes awhile, so if I wanted to use a freezer meal on any particular day, I needed to get it out in the morning and throw it in the crock pot or let it thaw first in the refrigerator.
All in all, I’m very happy with MyFreezEasy. I already have the October Clean Eats Meal Plan all printed out and ready to go. I am looking forward to putting 10 heathy meals in my freezer again this month!
My daughter and I are doing My Father’s World for our kindergarten curriculum and we are on Lesson 4, the letter A. This lesson is all about apples. I thought that instead of learning from a book how apples are grown, picked, and processed, we ought to go out and visit a real apple orchard. So that’s what we did.
It was a gorgeous day and there wasn’t anyone but us and the bees at the orchard!
We picked two different kinds of apples: Winesaps and Arkansas Black. These are the Arkansas Black apples, below. They are sweeter than the Winesaps, which are more tart, but great for making applesauce.
The trees were marked with ribbons so we could tell which apple trees we needed to go to. The orchard was also harvesting Golden Delicious and Sleeping Beauty apples.
We picked two buckets full of apples in a little over an hour.
The apples that we couldn’t reach we could pick by using this wire basket type rake. It picks the apple and catches it in the basket. Sometimes the ones up high looked so perfect but then after we picked them, we’d notice a worm hole on the other side. Yuck.
The orchard also sold honey and fresh apple cider. Fresh apple cider is a million times better than the stuff from the store. Wow! It was so good! I wish I could get it all year round.
We usually like to warm our apple cider on the stove with a few cinnamon sticks but this cider didn’t need anything. We just enjoyed the fresh apple flavor alone. It smelled amazing.
So far we’ve made apple crisp, applesauce, and apple muffins with our apples. Fresh picked apples taste so much better than the ones that have been sitting around in grocery stores for ages. So good!
To make applesauce, we filled our crockpot to the brim with apples and let them cook overnight. Crazy how in the morning all those apples had condensed into a fourth of the size! It was good just the same. We didn’t even need to sweeten it. It was delicious over pancakes that morning. Below are the Winesaps that we used for our applesauce.
My daughter got to learn how apples are grown, picked, and processed by seeing it first hand. This is what I love about homeschooling, hands-on learning in the great outdoors. So much better than learning it at a desk from an encyclopedia.
And I’m pretty sure this trip to the apple orchard is going to be a new fall tradition for us. I’m already looking forward to more of that fresh apple cider.
What I’ve been up to lately… Related posts:Free Scripture PrintableAutumn ColorsOur Messy VacationCan This Happen?
We just received the newest audio drama, The Cat of Bubastes, from Heirloom Audio Productions and it did not disappoint. If you are unfamiliar with audio dramas, they are different from ordinary books on tape, where a narrator reads a story aloud in a mostly monotone voice. An audio drama makes a story come alive through real-life sounds, music, and a variety of different […]
I was an 80’s kid. You could find me sporting all of the most ridiculous fashion trends. I wore my t-shirt knotted with a pair of parachute pants, a side ponytail, jelly shoes, a variety of friendship bracelets on one wrist and a scrunchie on the other, a hip pouch (that wasn’t too hip), and maybe a slap bracelet or two. But what really defined me […]
I’m so excited because I have a super fun review to share with you all today! Out of all the products we’ve reviewed over this past year, this is probably my son’s very favorite product review. And for good reason… Have your kids ever asked to have their own email account and you kinda just shrunk thinking about the dangers of giving your […]