Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Today our oldest is twelve...where have the years gone. He has gone from a precocious little tot, to a rough, active, adventurous, little boy, then a stubborn, strong willed youth ready to conquer the world...and now he wants to be a man. Full of promise, and passion and ready to tackle anything, no plan in site, but sure of victory...he is and always was all boy.

Here is a pictorial history of life with Nathan. I had to okay the pictures first in order to reduce the embarrassment factor of a pre-teen and unfortunately the bare bottom photo was voted out, but I have to say it is definitely one of my favorite and oh so very cute.

One month
Three months and already knows
  how to be cool.
Eighteen months
Always liked being just like  his Daddy.

Two years old - Always the artist

Three and a half years - A man of
 intrigue and disguise

Four years -
Puddle jumping explorer
Granny's Fig Tree

Four and a half years
Very discriminating sense of  style
Uncle Philip's Wedding

Five years old
Big move to Oxford ,  Mississippi
Five and a half years
Noah arrives

Six years
First trip to a real beach
Mobile, Alabama

Seven years old
Trip to Fort Worth
Star Wars Exhibit

Seven and a half  years
Jacob arrives

Eight years old
Cub Scout Summer Camp

Nine years old
Fun with Brothers...Noah attacked
with a bucket of mud.

Ten years old
Crawfish Boil at the new house

Ten and a Half
Evelyn Arrives

The biggest snow EVER!
Eleven and a half
Grilling Chicken

Twelve Years Old
...and yes he blew them all out

So here's to the first twelve years of the Saga of Nathan. There have been ups and downs, smiles and frowns. Lots of laughter and some tears. We have weathered all the storms and are still here. My birthday wish for you is countless blessings, lots of love and joy, the best of everything that life has to offer and many, many more years to come. May your journey in life take you far and the adventure always be exciting...

Friday, January 6, 2012

K5 Learning Review

For the last six weeks we were given the opportunity to review a new program geared toward young students Kindergarten to Fifth grade.  K5 Learning is an online program to help strengthen math and reading skills; it was created as a supplement for students as an after school program, but as a home schooling family it also fit into our schedule well for enrichment and further learning.

The program has assessments to see where your child is at on the learning scale between Kindergarten and Fifth Grade, or where there are problem areas that need to be strengthened. The lessons are created to build on what was learned previously and the students are able to do the work on their own at their own pace without a lot of overseeing. The program keeps a record of how each student is progressing, so you know what subjects need extra attention. 

We had two of our children on the trial program and it was enjoyable for both of them. We had the 4 year old and 6 year old working on the program. They both really enjoyed the time they spent working on the programs. The 4 year old caught on quick and was able to work through the Alphabet introduction, and simple math skills with very little help. Sometimes I had to limit the time he spent working on the computer. My main reason for testing it was the 6 year old. He is having a difficult time with reading and I thought that this might help him to get past his troubles. He also picked it up really easily and jumped right in. His lessons were more difficult, but the way the program was set up allowed him to progress through the lessons and give him confidence to continue even though they were tough to begin with. Over all we really enjoyed the program and I am considering a subscription at least for the 6 year old, especially right now because of the difficulties he is having with reading.

One thing that I do have to point out especially for other homeschool families, the program, although enjoyable, can be noisy because of the cartoon-ish nature of it. It gives a lot of positive feedback during each exercise, but if you have other children studying is can be frustrating. It is best to use the program at a time that is not designated as "school time" for homeschool families. (Note: It was suggested that headphones be used to alleviate the noise issue and that it would have helped with some concentration...wish I would have thought of that.)

So to conclude we truly enjoyed this program, I would highly recommend it to other parents with children in this age group. My boys were very disappointed that their "computer homework" was no longer working and I am pretty sure that they would recommend it also. It is a great tool for families that want extra enrichment, those who have struggling students, and those that have little minds eager to know more.  It is fun for kids, but the program is more about education than entertainment, and that is why I would recommend it highly. 

Happy New Year 2012

Hope everyone has had a wonderful start to the New Year. Last year past by way too quickly with lots of projects either left unfinished or never started. Yet again we get a new start at a new wonderful year full of opportunity and promise.

Wishing you a happy, prosperous, joyful new year filled with love, wonder, and all the promise of a new and successful beginning.

We are looking forward to many adventures in education,  Boy Scouting, Cub Scouting, probably some girly adventures added in this year, gardening and landscaping, chicken raising, soap making, bread baking, continuing to learn to be sustainable and good stewards of what we are given to use while we are here...and whatever else decides to cross our paths this year...a lot of the same stuff as last year, but hopefully with new challenges waiting.

Blessings and Love,
-The Zerangue Family