We’re Back!

It has been a very long time spent away from our diffendooferous blog.  With that said, I am pleased to announce that my diffendoofers have been progressing along wonderfully.  We have a few changes that we have made this school year.  Firstly, Princess, has changed her online username in some circles, such as with National Geographic Kids, to username,  “Tomatoes”, and Spiderman has changed his online username in some circles, such as with Nabi, to username, “Spiderboy”.  Secondly, we have decided to use primarily, Easy Peasy’s Free Online Curriculum along with MobyMax this year.  Finances were questionable to make any kind of year long commitments to other curriculum that would end up costing us a bundle of money.  Both of my diffendoofer students have new tablets.  Spiderboy has a Nabi 2s tablet, and Tomatoes has a MobyMax tablet.  The Nabi 2s was $189 + tax, and the MobyMax was $69 + $9.95 for shipping.  The Nabi 2s comes preinstalled with many educational applications for Spiderboy to learn from.  Wings Challenge, and Chores List is among two of the learning apps, for instance, that come preinstalled on the Nabi 2s tablet.  The MobyMax tablet doesn’t offer a lot of preinstalled apps.  Only the MobyMax application comes preinstalled with the MobyMax tablet.  However, there are so many free educational applications that can be downloaded and installed onto the MobyMax tablet for Tomatoes to learn from.  Both tablets can access the web using the online web safety features, which allow for me as their parent/teacher to only allow my students to access websites I have pre-approved.   MobyMax offers through their website a subscription to access additional features, such as access to progress reports, and a few other features not offered for free, for just $99/annual subscription that is renewable.  Be sure to mark down the start date of subscription with MobyMax onto your calendar (highlight all of your annual subscriptions in red with dollar amount) so there won’t be any surprise when $99- is deducted from your bank account/creditcard account and applied to your MobyMax account for the following year.  There have been many educational applications and websites I have come across over this past year, and here are just some of our favorites we have been using a lot;  Kindergarten Sight Words, BrainPOP Jr., National Geographic Kids, MobyMax, Smithsonian Kids, NASA, PBS Kids, Reading Rainbow, EPIC, IXL Math, Starfall, Notebooking Pages, Notebooking Nook, 1+1+1=1, and Slim Goodbody.  There are many more educational apps and websites we use and love.  I will list these all a bit at a time to a later blog post  or on a dedicated page which will include the websites, or applications that I will make linkable, and provide an about brief description of each to allow my readers and to remind myself to know about what each website or application offers eg. educationally, and for what kind of user(s), age or grade level the website or app is designed for.  In regards to MobyMax, Tomatoes, has been assessed to be 3rd and 4th level Math and Vocabulary, and other subjects were 1st and 2nd level just within 2-3 days of doing assessments and lessons.  I think MobyMax may not be a very reliable means of assessment as far as providing where your student may really be at with his or her learning, and retaining the knowledge your student learns from the MobyMax lessons just by itself.  I think the lessons are great, and would be best used as introductory lessons and/or supplemental lessons to provide your child with.  I am using MobyMax as both introductory and supplemental lessons.  Overall, MobyMax would give a homeschooler a means to provide their school district with progress reports of what a child is learning and where they are at with the rest of the Local, State, and Nation wide common core learning should this be required from your school district to have something significant to show them of what has been covered in homeschooling your child.  I am not a common core advocate by any means, however, given that public and online schools appear to be using commoncore, and knowing it could become complicated to show districts of what I have covered with my two students should they ever need to attend public school, MobyMax makes this a breeze for me to keep track of and show significant proof of where my homeschooled students are at each day of each year.  If I ever did need to enroll my children to attend public school, I will be most assured these MobyMax progress reports will take a majority of the guess work out of the equation for myself, and for any public school towards figuring out where my children are at with their comprehension, learning and skills.  On a different note, I will soon be using Kahoot! with my diffendoofers to help them with learning via online interactive game quizzes, etc.  You can learn about this website and application here…

http://blog.getkahoot.com/post/88279784407/kahoot-user-guide-weve-created-this-kahoot

http://blog.getkahoot.com/post/47536212854/a-year-9-class-at-ratton-school-in-eastbourne-are

In closing, and forgetting to mention, we have moved south again, and the following is a brief overview of some of what our diffendoofer days look like for us right now.  For the time being, we have been doing some of our learning in an actual classroom setting.  This classroom is located at our community resort activities building, and is made available for resort residents to use freely when not in use for any events that are going on for the resort community.   We also take many nature walks, along the beach or the duck pond just a very short stroll from our condo.  It is getting a bit cool now to daily use the outdoor pools for our swimming lessons.  So, we either use the gym, or indoor swimming pools a few days each week as part of our getting fit and staying fit routine.  Speaking of, we also have signed up for and joined our local Fun Warehouse, Kids Skate Free program, which my diffendoofers get to rollerskate two times each week here for free, paying just $2- per child for rollerskate rental.  Tomatoes will hopefully be able to join Girlscouts this year, as a Daisy.  I haven’t heard back from the local girl scouts here, or from Awanas yet.  Spiderboy is too young for Tiger Cubs still.  I received an immediate reply back from a local boyscout troop regarding Spiderboy being able to join.  Certainly we have plenty to keep us busy here not only at the resort but throughout Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach area.  Other activities we have available to us at the resort here include, being able to go everyday, at high noon, to the lazy river to race rubber turtles.  Winners of the rubber turtle races receive a free Frosty Jr. from Wendy’s.  At 4:30 p.m. each Tuesday we play Bingo with residents at the North Tower.  Winners receive a package of candy or snack food of their choice.  I am happy to report I have won 3 times, handing some of the goodies over to my diffendoofers for participating as players with me.  With that said, and pun intended, this blog post is a wrap!  🙂

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