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Getting Ready for Another Whole30

I have decided to follow a menu plan this time. I want to make foods that will keep the children excited about eating.

I purchased Practical Paleo a few weeks ago and love the book. There are menu plans for different reasons, autoimmune, thyroid, and the one we will follow, Squeaky Clean Paleo. I'll have to tweak a little because during the W30 we are not allowed any maple syrup or alcohol which is in vanilla.

Today I went to Sprouts and spent $130.00. That included all the veggies and some meat. I still need a some more meat but I'll get that later. A friend suggest I buy a turkey, cook it up and have that on hand.

Right now I am making ghee. I'll look over the menu to see what I will make tomorrow. I'm still not sure if I should start tomorrow or Sunday. Tomorrow the kids will be with their dad all day fixing a rental, so Sunday seems like a better day to start but Annette is ready. She wants to start tomorrow.

I think this Whole30 will be a challenge for Caleb. He is my snacker (mamas fault). He likes to eat just to eat. Poor guy. He also likes to have an occasional soda pop.

With Annette, she'll be fine, well almost. She does want a victory shake for helping fix an apartment up but she won't be getting it any time soon. Poor gal! Other than that she has already given up a lot of foods that she never thought she could.

Week 36!!!!

Excellence in Writing
Lance School
This week is going to be a bit on the lite side with school. We all need a break. I have some items that I am reviewing so I don’t want us to stop school just yet. I have been so blessed with IEW, Moving Beyond the Page, Latin, and a computer programing course for the children. I just forgot one thing. We were suppose to take a week off!!!!

Now we will school through June and take some time off after we are done reviewing the above items. My eyes just about popped out of their sockets when I saw all the wonderful vendors and I didn’t plan accordingly.

Thankfully the children are real troopers. The next 6-8 weeks will be TOS School. I’ll take them to the donut shop down the street when we are done and maybe the coffee shop too! I tell ya, I have the best kiddos.

Today we went to the park for an hour. Annette would like to practice her kicking. She wants to be ready so when AWANA starts up again. She said the other children know she’s not a good kicker too, haha. She is so cute! Her dad is suppose to practice with her too!

My next few post might me Atkins/Whole30 related, so sorry if you all are getting bored with my weight loss/better health journey. I was thinking of setting up a separate blog for it but I like having everything in one place.

More homeschooling post will come soon as I need to start writing about next year. This year was a hard one and I’m ready for a better one next homeschool year.

I’m still pondering about starting the new school year in Jan. but it all depends on how we do this summer.

Fat Head

This is so worth watching. It's a bit lengthy but worth your time.

If you all watched Super Size Me (which I didn't) Fat Head exposes the truth about it. I don't recommend one eating a fast food diet but this was an eye opener. There is also some good information about cholesterol.

It's over an hour so get comfy. I watched it at midnight so it was quiet. There are ads that pop up now-and-then, just hit 'skip'.


Happy 15th Birthday Joshua

My oldest turned 15 years old today. He wants his driving permit. I found him on his (K-9 protected), computer at the Texas Driver Licenses site. Oh my, so soon!
Here are the last pictures of my son at the age of 14.
Happy Birthday
Yesterday Annette went with her Grandpa Joe to the grocery store so she could buy some ingredients to make her big brother his favorite breakfast! What a sweet sister he has. She woke up at 6:00 a.m. to make him some crepes.

Caleb helped too, Josh is sure loved.
May 018
Annette is wearing an apron she made.

We’ll probably celebrate his birthday next Sunday.

Salad~In~A Blender ;)

I’m always trying to fit more greens in my diet (to think I’m the mama who rarely ever ate veggies before Atkins). I have been eating a lot more since I started Atkins. With the Whole30 I was eating even more. Most all my carbs would be from vegetables.

Now that the W30 is over I decided to blend up some veggies because at times I have a hard time eating a variety. I kind of stick to the same set of veggies. Currently I have been eating cauliflower for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It taste so good when you shred it, sautee it with onions, salt, and pepper. Yum!

Here is what I call my Salad-In-A Blender. I had it with my lunch which consisted of almond flour coated chicken cooked in ghee and served with my cauli-rice.
Here is what I put in it:
  • Handful of spinach
  • cilantro
  • 1 med. tomato
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2 celery sticks
  • Arugula
  • 1/2 tsp Himalaya salt
  • MCT Oil
  • water
I blended it all up and enjoyed a refreshing semi smoothie.
Blender Salad
The Ninja that I have doesn’t get it super smooth. There are very small pieces.
Green Machine Veggies
About two months ago my sister Cynthia gave me some clothes. Sadly they didn’t fit, so I put them with the other cloths that didn’t fit toward the back of my closet. Well yesterday I tried one on and it fit. Today I thought I’d try the other one on. It matched my green drink, hehe.

A month ago it was tight, I didn’t even bother buttoning it all the way. Today I was pleasantly surprised that the top is loose.
I also have a shape again too. Before the Whole30 my waist was more straight.

Today is my 2nd day post Whole30 and I haven’t had a desire to add anything other than my packet of Truvia in my once a day iced coffee.

My ghee is almost gone so maybe next week I’ll try adding butter and see what happens. I do plan to make more ghee though.

Tonight I need to make:
  • Make mayo
  • Coconut Creamer for my coffee
  • Soak some steel oats for the family (hopefully some day we’ll give up the oats too. I need to do some more research)
  • Put roast in the crock-pot

Completed My 1st Whole 30 Atkins Style!!!

Well today is my day of freedom from the Whole30 but you know what? I don’t want to be free. I have learned so much during that time. It literally changed the way I think abut food.
May 023
Here’s a picture of me today. My first day after the Whole30. I feel so much healthier. Why would I want to go back to eating processed foods? If I could give Dallas and Melissa Hartwig a hug right now I would. It’s because of them that I have gone further with changing what goes into my body.

Get this. I haven’t had any heavy cream today. You all know how much I loved, loved, my cream. I feel liberated from my cream. No cravings for it!

I am not craving sweetener either. This morning I had a coffee with no sweetener. I figured if I’ve been drinking my hot cup of java without it why add it back. Now iced coffee that is entirely different.
No matter how much I tried I just couldn’t get my iced coffee just right during the Whole30. I finally had to give it up. Thankfully one of my Atkins friends, a true angel at that Winking smile found a recipe for me. It’s a non dairy coconut creamer and guess what!?!?! It doesn’t separate and have icky floating things. I make mine without the sweetener or vanilla though because those aren’t allowed during the Whole30.
I am sipping my iced coffee as I type. I added one packet of Truvia.
coconut creamer
Look how yummy that looks. So beautiful too!

Another Atkins girlfriend pointed out how some of us stopped counting our carb intake. I was one of them. I mentally calculated but didn’t weigh my foods. I even had a cup of blueberries a day. I listened to my body. I ate only when I was hungry. Basically I ate three good and healthy meals a day.

Before the Whole30 I would have a midmorning snack, then another snack at 2:00 p.m., and one after supper. I was also hungry before going to bed at times. For the last two weeks I haven’t been doing the snacking thing.

Guess what, I lost weight! Thank you Lord!!! Do I dare write how much I weigh? Okay here it goes. I’m down to 150lbs. I lost 5lbs during the whole30, for a total of 18lbs since I started Atkins 1/14/13.
I still have that pooch though.
I’d like to thank my wonderful Lord who sent his precious son to die for me, thank you Jesus for loving me. You are always there for me even went I don’t deserve your precious love. Thank you to my wonderful hubby. He is willing to try so many different foods, food that most men would balk at. He is huge encouragement. Has loved me at my highest weigh of 168. Has always made me feel beautiful. My children, they continue to encourage me on my Atkins adventure. They also have changed the way they eat and I’m so proud of them.

A huge thank you to my Atkins buddies. They were a huge source of encouragement. We all had our ups and downs during the Whole30 but we were there for each other. I really appreciate each one. Boy do they make some awesome foods. I learned so much from my lovely Atkins friends. Thank you ladies.
For my FB buddies. We have a secret group, haha. They cheered me on and let me post almost daily how I was doing during this time. You ladies rock! Thank you for not getting sick of me and my Atkins/Whole30 talk.

Mom, I miss you. I know you would have joined me on this Whole30. At times I ache for your company but I know you are disease free and loving your time with Jesus. One day mom we’ll be together. Love you so much! Thanks to you I trusted the Atkins diet. God has been so wonderful to me mom. I do so many things that remind me of you. Even that cough that you use to do that I couldn’t stand, ha, he has a sense of humor.

(5/25/13) Edited to add : I’ve lost another 2lbs. I’m at 148!!! The only thing I have added to my diet is Stevia. I continue to drink my hot coffee black. Iced coffee with non-dairy coconut creamer and a packet of Truvia.

Yesterday 5/24/13, I made a shake that contained whey, almond milk, greek yogurt, and kefir. I don’t know what I was thinking when I made it because it was around 12 net carbs and I ended up having almost 50 carbs. A first since I’ve started Atkins. Thankfully it didn’t do anything and I still lost a pound.

I don’t plan to make yogurt or kefir a daily thing just yet but will have it occasionally.

5-29-13~I lost another pound. I weigh 147. I still have not added in dairy. I might have a muffin in a mug on Friday but that’s still up in the air Winking smile

God Bless,

Week 35 (TOS School Day)

This week Caleb (6th), Brent (5th), and Ethan (4th), started a review item this week . . . Excellence in Writing~Student Writing Intensive Level B. I was really excited to be picked to review this item.
The children absolutely loved Mr. Pudewa. He just had them laughing at his funny jokes. I seriously thought they were going to be bored with the student dvd set. Boy was I ever wrong!!!
Excellence in Writing
The ‘class’ lasted about an hour and twenty minutes because I would pause the dvd to let the children think of a sentence from their key word outline. Then we’d play the dvd to see what the other students would say. The kiddos liked that and would smile and laugh when their sentence was the same as one of the online students.

Brent and Caleb did really well. Now my Ethan who is Mr. Drama King, well he took forever to write his paper. I stuck to it though and had him finish. He needs more structure so this is really good for him.
My Annette has really enjoyed another review item See the Light. It has inspired her to try her own letter or word art using chalk.

First she made a rough draft of what she wanted.
See the Light
Here is her completed work. She is becoming quite the artist thanks to Heart of Dakota Curriculum and the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
See the Light
She made a house with the letter ‘L’, a pool with the letter ‘O’, a garden with the letter ‘V’, and a barn with the letter ‘E’. She wants to extend it by adding more pieces of paper to write a message.
Prima Latina
The children and I started week 3 of Prima Latina. It’s a bit simple for my 5th and 6th grade children but we are all having fun with it. It’s just right for Ethan though.

I already have plans to purchase First Form Latin for Annette, Caleb, Brent, Ethan and have their big brother Josh, sit in on our lesson. Lance will start Prima Latina next school year.

As you can see today was a Schoolhouse Review Crew school day.

Atkins Day 131/Whole 30 Day 29

Today I took the day off from teaching. I HAD to clean my kitchen. We had a busy weekend and my poor kitchen paid the price.

Tomorrow will be my last day on the Whole30. I am shocked with how fast it went. I will admit it was not always easy. The first 15 days were the hardest. I wanted my cream (cheese no, cream, yes!) and sweetener in my coffee. I should have just chucked the coffee to kick the craving. I did for a few days and didn’t miss it much.

The actual turning point for me was around day 18. I finally decided to STOP trying to make my coffee taste pre-whole30. I needed to stop that insanity and just enjoy it black. That’s exactly what I did. From that day on I stopped trying to turn my coffee into something it was not (without cream & sweetener). You know what? I enjoyed that coffee and have continued to enjoy my coffee black.

I did however give up my iced coffee and replaced it with passion tea (no sugar) and other teas. I found I like tea without sugar. Well it did take a few days to really get use to it like that.

The Whole30 is not about losing weight but I would hope a few pounds or inches have left this body of mine.
What I learned:
  • I thought I had stopped eating a lot of processed foods (and I did) but I was still eating them, they were just hidden. Now I buy tuna at Sprouts. It’s the only place I can find it in water only. All other brands that I have found has ‘broth’ and I don’t trust that.
  • Eating whole foods I no longer felt hungry between meals. This didn’t happen right away, maybe toward week two. I had to make sure I was eating protein with each meal.
  • That sugar (not white but sweetened) still had a hold on me. Boy did I want that sweetener. Not in a cookie per se but in my coffee. I wasn’t tempted to have a piece a cake or anything but just wanted my sweetened coffee. I have now conquered the sugar dragon as they call it.
  • I found that I can do this. I can eat well. I knew I could but didn’t. A year ago I would have said, I could never do the Whole30. I feel I am walking away from this W30 journey stronger and more educated about food and my body.
I would encourage one to try the Whole30. It really changed my life. When I read things like that from other people including the authors of It Starts With Food, I thought, yeah right, but now I know what they meant. It truly did though. I look at food so differently now. It’s like I see the ‘food’ light, hehe.
If you would like to do the Whole30 I would suggest:
  • Get the book~ It Starts with Food. This book is amazing. I absolutely love it. Very informative. It explains why grains, legumes, dairy, etc. can cause gut issues. This includes grains like Quiona and Chia seeds.
  • The cookbook Well Fed has Whole30 recipes. I have made a few recipes. The Jicama Home Fries were so good, even the children liked them.
  • Practical Paleo, another super good book. This book not only has some great down-to-earth recipes but also touches on why we should stay away from certain foods. Lots of color in this book. This is great for the visual person (like me).
  • Everyday Paleo Cookbook so far with this and the Practical Paleo book I haven’t found anything that is not Whole30 approved but I haven’t read every recipe in both books yet. Both these books give tips with menus and what to make ahead of time like mayo and sauces. Everyday Paleo has a wonderful introduction of why she changed her families eating habits. Great story.
  • Know how to make your own mayo. While on the Whole30 you can’t consume soybean oil. I haven’t found any mayo that is made without it.
  • Find a buddy, see if a friend will make the Whole30 commitment with you. I have a wonderful supportive husband. He would cheer me on and encouraged me throughout the Whole30. I also had some online Atkins’ friends and that helped tremendously. We all chatted with each other via the Atkins’ forum and encouraged one another.
Both Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook and Practical Paleo are very good books, especially if you need some food ideas for the Whole30 BUT if you decide to do the Whole30 and are limited financially, get It Starts With Food. The book explains everything as well as reintroducing the food groups that were eliminated during the Whole30.
It Starts With Food
(see, I love this book. Sparkly mouth, can’t wait to get rid of the braces. Ha,ha!)

If you have some extra dollars I would choose one of the above cookbooks as well. I didn’t have any cookbooks when I started the Whole30 so you don’t need them but they are great to have. I think my next Whole30 will go much smoother with all these wonderful recipes.

I don’t have a lot of health problems (thank you Jesus!) but I have noticed:
  • Less allergy symptoms
  • I sleep better
  • My skin is less itchy (although this was improving ever since I had stopped eating junk, fake, foods).
  • I don’t know if I lost any weight but I have had a few people say I look thinner. I noticed that my chipmunk cheeks are not so chipmunk-y anymore.
  • My SIL told me my face (skin) looks so much healthier
If one does have health problems the Whole30 may improve those silent inflammation related diseases. One thing that really jumped out at me was the “What About Genetics” page. Here is a quote from the book: “Your genetic makeup certainly plays a role in everything from height to eye color to health. But even more important than genes in your DNA sequence is which of those genes get turned on. A gene that isn’t turned on doesn’t actually do anything. It’s the intersection of your environmental inputs and genetics that is truly relevant to your health.” and a paragraph below, “While we are all born with a certain code, we are also born with switches that tell the code what to do. Our environmental input (diet, exercise, air quality, etc.) activates those switches. Thing about it this way: Genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger”.

Related to Silent Inflammation:
  • acid reflux
  • allergies
  • bipolar disorder
  • celiac disease
  • chronic pain
  • crohn’s disease
  • dementia
  • eczema
  • fibromyalgia
  • Grave’s disease
  • high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides
  • joint pain
  • lupus
  • lyme disease
  • migraines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • obesity
  • psoriasis
and that is only some listed in It Starts With Food. As you can see, I’m really impressed with the Whole30. 

I am anxious to see what foods trigger my allergies and not-so-restful nights. This is the beauty of the Whole30, getting to know your body. As you add foods back in slowly you will find which foods your body can handle and which food cause gut issues (inflammation). Because I’m on Atkins I won’t be adding grains and legumes just yet.

Schoolhouse Review: Science Naturally

One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science was a fun review. I can tell the kiddos liked it as well because they would ask me to read the book almost daily.


Science Naturally not only has science mysteries to solve but math mysteries as well! You can see all their fun and entertaining books here.

You can own One Minute Mysteries for $9.95. Currently they are having a special, you can purchase three books for $19.95 plus $2.95 shipping by using coupon code 3SPEC, that’s a $12.90 savings!

One Minute Mysteries is geared toward children 8-12 but my 13 year old daughter loved the book as well. Of course most of the mysteries she was able to solve rather quickly.

Science Naturally

The authors of the One Minute Mysteries series are a father/daughter team. They both have a passion to increase science and math literacy. I know for many homeschoolers science and math can be intimidating subjects. 

One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Can Solve With Science also includes 5 bonus math mysteries.

Here is what you will cover with these fun mysteries:

  • Life Science
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Physical and Chemical Science
  • General Science

The one minute mysteries were a perfect addition to our homeschool days. With the younger children I don’t always get to science. It’s usually one of the first subjects that gets pushed to the sidelines when I get busy teaching so many other subjects.

Science Naturally gave me a fun way to fit this subject in especially on those busy days when one has appointments and errands to run. No need to skip science we would just bring our one minute science mysteries along with us.

My children ages 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13, wanted me to read this before bed time as well. We would all sit in the living room and enjoy 3-5 mysteries. Usually it was one of the older children who solved the mystery but they were very kind and always let Lance try before they guessed and/or I read the answer. Each story/mystery was one page long and the answer which was the ending of the story, was on the back of the page.

What I loved about this book is it made the children think with the brain teasing mysteries. Anything that has my children using their critical thinking skills gets A+ in my book. You can read a few to your children today by visiting the Mystery of the Month page.

I am always looking for a science read aloud book and this one fit the bill with 65 short stories.

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Schoolhouse Review: High School Prep Genius

With one of my children in 9th grade I have been eager to review anything that will help guide us through the high school years. I still can’t believe I have a high school student.
High School can be a little bit intimidating, so I was really happy to review High School Prep Genius.
High School Prep
Jean Burk a homeschooling mama herself, is the creator of College Prep Genius curriculum. She has helped many parents and student navigate their way through the SAT & PSAT. She currently travels around the United States and abroad teaching student’s how to improve their standardize test scores.
The first 88 pages of the book is the Introduction (Part 1~Introduction):
  • How to Use This Book
  • College and Career Notebook
  • Student Timeline: Before High School Begins
  • 9th-12th Grade Timelines
The introduction provides checklists for your four year plan for your student’s notebook. To name a few there is one for Test Prep Examination Inventory, Student Profile, High School Graduation Checklist, Community Service Log, and more.
I would have loved if there was a cd or pdf file of all the forms included. It would be wonderful to print them, 3-hole punch, and add them to the binder. I’m not real nifty with the computer to make the forms, logs, and spreadsheets look nice, so this would be a huge bonus.
Part 2~Foundation for Personal Success
  • Personal Development
  • Interests That Make You Interesting
  • Own Your Beliefs
  • Building a Healthy You
  • Your Financial Independence
  • Building a Strong Support System
Part 3~Foundation for Academic Success
  • Academic Development
  • Effective Studying
  • Tests and Papers
  • Getting Organized
  • High School Mechanics
  • Going Beyond the Basics
Part 4~Foundation for Future Development
  • Future Development
  • Choosing a School
  • Standardized Test Prep
  • College Application
  • Paying for School
  • College Essentials
As you can see a lot is covered in this 440 page book! There is also a section in the Appendix on How to Build a Homeschool Transcript!!! Yes, I’m excited about that chapter. 
High School Prep Genius
Recommended grade: 9th-12 or you can read through the book and decide how much you would like to share with your 7th and/or 8th grade students. There is a student timeline before high school.
Cost: $29.95 (very affordable)
Each chapter can either be read together or you can have your child read it on his own. At the end of the chapter is a Think About It section. This has question for the student to answer. Here are a few from Chapter Six:
  1. Using the Above Criteria, am I a good friend?
  2. If no, how can I improve as a friend?
  3. Which friend(s) is a good influence and wants only what is in my best interest
  4. Which friend(s) is a bad influence and creates an unhealthy relationship?
Each chapter also has a Guide for Parents and Parents’ Homework section.
I chose to read High School Prep Genius with my son. I would read the chapter and we would discuss the questions together. The Think About It questions gave us chance to have some pretty good discussions. Some of the questions really helped Joshua to dig deeper within himself. For instance in chapter 1 there was a question that asked: Do I take responsibility for my actions, or do I tend to blame others for what happened? For the most part Joshua does take responsibilities for his action but as we discussed and really talked about it, he found that there were a few times where he could have improved in this area.

Josh and I read one chapter a week spending about an hour each time. For the remainder of the week I would have him think about what we read, pray about it, find verses that would help him better himself and pertaining to what we read.

Chapter 3: Own Your Own Beliefs, I would suggest the parent pre-read it first. I didn’t and as I was reading it I felt a bit uncomfortable. I understand that it’s important for children to know why we believe what we do and I think it’s good that children ask questions. With that said, this chapter just didn’t sit or feel right to me. Thankfully though, Joshua and I read this together. I would stop and we’d discuss what the Bible had to say.

The second half of chapter 3 was about cultivating a desire for virtues which I liked much better. Some of the questions that were asked was how Josh can better cultivate the virtue of temperance, patience, honesty, justice, frugality, and more.

My final thoughts: High School Prep Genius touches a lot of topic that I’m interested in and has been helpful. A few are Essential Coursed Students Need, Homeschool Transcripts, Homeschool Administration Responsibilities, CLEP, Dual Credit and Early Enrollment. These are things I have been concerned about, so thankfully they are covered in the book. I’m not feeling so intimidated with the high school years. I would have loved to have found this book a few years back before Joshua entered high school. It would have helped make the thought of high school a bit less overwhelming.
If you have children in elementary or junior high, I would encourage you to purchase the book now and read through it.

I am pleased with the quality of information and would recommend this book to my homeschooling friends and family. In fact I hope to purchase College Prep Genius DVD Set soon. I would love to go through this course with Joshua.
Joshua 9th Grade

Quote from Joshua 9th grade: “High School Prep Genius has helped me become more aware of thinking about my future. Some things like the virtues were obvious but can slip to the back of my mind when I’m so busy. I was reminded that I need to continue to work on them and not let them be pushed to the back of my mind.”

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Mama’s Day

I had the most wonderful Mama’s Day. I was spoiled rotten.

Lupe and I taught Sunday School and of course we didn’t wake up super early. Instead of a mother’s day breakfast we had a picnic in the backyard.

I stayed on my Whole30. Lupe bought Chicken Express for the kids, my sister-in-law and her children. I made a delish shrimp soup. We all ate outside. The weather was gorgeous.
Happy Mama's Day
My niece made a cake for her mama and I. I thanked her kindly but couldn’t eat not one little piece.
My hubby gave me some flowers.
April 006
My sister-in-law in California had my hubby buy flowers from her as well. How sweet!
Joshua made these beautiful cookies that I could not eat.
Happy Mama's Day
Annette made me a card. She added some scripture and had the rest of the family sign it.
From Caleb
Caleb gave me a card. What a sweetie!
From Caleb
My niece gave me a balloon and wrote me a very nice poem.

Annette read Proverbs 31 and Joshua read a poem that he wrote all by himself. Joshua said he was short on cash.

I had a wonderful Mama’s Day. It was relaxing and I just enjoyed being with my hubby and family.

Ethan’s First Outline

We’ve been blessed to review Excellence in Writing. I’m still going through the material but wanted to start with Ethan right away. We started a day after receiving our package, so I’m not sure if we are doing it the correct way just yet.

Yesterday I had Ethan read from an old Rod and Staff Science book. I don’t even think they sell this one anymore. So if any of you have the second book I’d be happy to buy it.
Rod and Staff Science
Once we read the selected paragraphs . . .
Rod and Staff
Together we outlined each paragraph. He selected three words from each sentence. I helped a little.
Today I had him reread the paragraphs, then look at his paper and go through each sentence. As he orally gave me a complete sentence, I copied it down (we did this for the first paragraph only). Then I had him copy the paragraph in his writing notebook.

Tomorrow we’ll work on his second paragraph. I know it’s not exactly the way IEW is suppose to be done but I’m still working through the material. Next week I’ll start Caleb and Brent with it as well.

Schoolhouse Review: Spanish for You!

Having my children learn Spanish is very important to my husband and I. We both believe this will benefit our children as they choose their path in life. In fact when working with their dad in a  mostly Hispanic community they do see that if they knew Spanish they’d be able to understand and communicate with them.
Of course when Spanish for You! became available for the Schoolhouse Review Crew to review the children and I were pretty excited to be selected to review it.
We reviewed Estaciones, the theme: Seasons. Your child will learn to say:
  • Days of the week
  • Months
  • Phrases of the weather, like “It’s cold”, “It’s hot”, and many more.
  • Colors
  • Other related words to weather like winter clothing.
What I received:
  • Soft Cover Book
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for grades 3-8 in pdf format
  • Worksheets and Answer Key for grades 3-8 in pdf format
  • Mp3 audio download of the entire book by the author
  • Flashcards/Activity Pictures in pdf format
  • Mp3 audio download bonus book of Native Speaker
You can order Grades 3-8 Package (as mentioned above) for $64.95. If you would like to order a specific grade you can do that as well, each grade level (3-4, 5-6, 7-8) will cost $39.95. An extra book can be purchased for $12.95.
What I really like about Spanish for You! is the weekly lesson guides ( I call them lesson plans). Everything for each week is well organized and has everything you need to do listed. For instance each day will have what pages you are to listen to via the mp3 audio book, any worksheets, if your child needs to make some flashcards, what sentences to translate, and/or optional games to play. So I absolutely love the lesson guide.

The program uses different ways to help your child learn Spanish, by listening, copying and translating sentences, filling out a weather chart (my kids loved doing this), repeating words, phrases and sentences, and doing commands.

By commands, the children will listen to a command in Spanish and do what they heard. An example from the first lesson is draw “It’s nice out” or “Write the word enero”.

I used all three levels of Spanish for You! four times a week with my crew. At first I was printing things out weekly. Around the second week I decided to print all the schedules out because I was forgetting to print things out over the weekend.
Spanish for You!
I printed each child a schedule because there are sentences that need to be translated. It was easier than having two children share one schedule. The answers to the translations are at the bottom so I would put a sticky note over it. When they were done they could check to see if the wrote the correct translation.

We would go over the words using the Mp3 audio book. The Mp3 is absolutely wonderful. I don’t know Spanish so having the words pronounced was a huge plus. This was a time saver. I didn’t have to take the time to figure out how to say the words. You know how busy we mamas are!
We would also practice our vocabulary words together, play with the flashcards, and I ‘d drill the children by calling out a word in either Spanish or English and they would give the correct corresponding word.

Then I’d read off to each child what they needed to do and hand them their schedule. Pretty much they would do the rest on their own.

I purchased a composition book for each child and had them copy all the verbs for more practice. They would write all their sentences in the composition book as well.

My final thoughts: This is a fun way to learn Spanish. I loved that it catered to the needs of the child. If your child likes games, Spanish for You! has you covered. If they do better with listening or writing it’s all in the program.

I’m a worksheet kind of homeschooling mama and Spanish for You! has the children complete a few a week. I liked that the worksheets were not just an add on to keep the children busy. There was thought put into them. When completing the worksheets I had my children try to do as much on their own and what they didn’t remember they were allowed to find the answers.

If you would like to try Spanish for You! there are free mini lessons and worksheets at the Spanish for You! website. Annette used a few mini lessons before our review items arrived.
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