Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Meal Planning



Tuesday - Day 10 

Meal from Club... Beef Bulgulgi, steamed veggies, rice and a mini eggroll

Wednesday - Day 11

Chicken Alfredo with whole wheat noodles and salad

Thursday - Day 12

Grocery shopping day - Pizza from PizzaRev with beef meatball, artichokes, tomatoes, basil and feta cheese

Friday - Day 13

Asian chicken with brown rice and steamed green beans

Saturday - Day 14

Chicken Parmesan with whole wheat spaghetti noodles, and salad

Sunday - Day 15

Zuppa Tuscana

Monday - Day 16

General Tso's chicken, steamed veggies, and brown rice

Tuesday - Day 17

Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles with salad


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Meal Planning


Wednesday - Day 4 on 21 Fix

Lunch - Open face omelet with tomatoes and spinach

Dinner - Asian chicken (wasn't impressed with this)

Thursday - Day 5 - (And my husband's birthday)

Forgot to take picture of lunch

Dinner - Honey mustard salmon with roasted asparagus with cave cheese

Friday - Day 6

Brunch - Breakfast Enchilada with salsa 

Dinner - Mac and cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Saturday - Day 7

Lunch - picnic lunch while hiking - turkey sandwich on 12 grain bread, banana, cheese stick and a fruit leather

Dinner - Steak chimichurri with baked potato and jalapeno poppers

Sunday - Day 8

Lunch - hard boiled eggs with Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Dinner - Healthy Hamburger Bowl with Romaine, Tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, cheese and homemade sauce

Monday - Day 9

Brunch -  Egg scramble with tomatoes, spinach and a bit of cheese. 

Dinner - flounder Mediterranean en papillote with cauliflower rice and broccoli

Thursday, October 8, 2020

NatureGlo eScience (A Homeschool Crew Review)

 Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For the last few weeks, we have been supplementing our science curriculum with online classes from the NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle from the NatureGlo's eScience website. 


Taught by Gloria Brooks who holds a BA in K - 12 education, certificates from the Wilderness Awareness school, and over 20 years of eclectic teaching and child self-directed learning experiences in private schools,  Gloria now teaches online science course for homeschool students through the NatureGlo's eScience website. 

NatureGlo's eScience is a one stop eLearning website for ages 10 and up to help encourage homeschool students to fall in love and appreciate the natural world through online streaming science courses.

 NatureGlo's eScience offers a large selection of learning ranging.  Students will easily find something that will catch their interest.  From learning about insects, cute marine mammals such as dolphins or scary deep ocean creatures like the angler fish, the delicate patterns in snowflakes, or the life and mathematical art of Leonardo da Vinci, there's sure to be a number of courses to strike any student's fancy.

Just a small selection of the courses available

Each course offers video learning taught by Ms Brooks as she walks the student thru the topic using slideshows and discussion. Students are able to download a copy of the slide show, as well as resources and a study guide to use along with the class. 

The study guide consists of a short PDF containing fill in the blank style questions pertaining to the topic.  The questions can easily be answered from the video lesson or from reviewing the slideshow presentation for the lesson.  These are easy to download and print out for the student before the start of the course.

How We Used It

For this review, I have been allowing the kids to pick and choose from the various different online courses available from the NatureGlo's eScience website.  We have been trying to complete one class a week.  This has been easy as a number of the courses available have been short in length, allowing them to complete both the video lecture as well as the activities within an hour.  However, we are beginning to branch out and are starting to use some of the courses that are are in depth and take a longer period of time (about 3 to 6 weeks) to complete. 

Each week, we have been alternating between letting the kid choose which course they would like to watch. 

For our first course, Garrett decided he wanted to watch the course about the Giant Redwood trees.  We have taken a few family camping trips to the Sequoia National Park and it's turned out to be one of his favorite places to go, so the course quickly caught his eye. 

Ashleigh and Garrett in front of a Giant Sequoia tree

This course took less than an hour for us to complete and by the time it was completed, Garrett and Ashleigh could describe the differences between the Coastal Redwood, the Giant Redwood and the Dawn Redwood tree.  This even included being able to recognize the tree based on it's pine cones.

Both kids were able to pay attention to the class without any attention issues.  The video lesson itself was roughly 30 minutes, with a second video from National Geographic that really showed the size of the Giant Sequoia trees.

Ashleigh selected the second course that we viewed, which was on Tide Pool communities.  This class ended up being a family affair as the extra videos included for the activities allowed the kids to see some really neat sea creatures such as a tiny octopus, a sea snake, and a few other really cool critters using videos from Coyote Peterson. 

We also really enjoyed the Wildcat course, again, another pic from Ashleigh.  This is part of the Mammals: Wildcat, Wolves and Right Whale course.  We will actually be viewing the Wolves portion of the course this week.  This course is a three lesson course, with one lesson each dedicated to the wildcats, followed by wolves and finally lesson three discussing Right whales.  The first lesson introduced the kids to the Scottish Wildcat, how the domestic cat came to be, and about cat's in literature and mythology. 

Students are also given achievements for taking courses.  After the kids complete a lesson, they are awarded an award for completing the lesson, followed by an award for completing the projects, activities and videos that go along with the course.  I thought these were a neat way to entice the kids to look forward to completing courses to see what the next achievement would look like.


Overall, I've been enjoying adding these lessons to our classroom.  It's fairly easy for us to fit a course in on Friday and the kids have really been enjoying what they are learning about.  The guides and slideshows also make for easy reviewing of the material to be sure that the kids picked up most of the material.  

#hsreviews #homeschoolscience #homeschoolmath #homeschoolmarinebiology #homeschoolunitstudies #unitstudies #onlineunitstudies

For more information about NatureGlo's eScience, be sure to visit the vendors website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:


Fifty reviewers from the Crew have been using the various classes from NatureGlo's eScience with their students in their classroom.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews and see what courses they used today.

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle { NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Weekly Meals

Another week of dinners.  Although, now that I started the 21 Day Fix this week, I'm going to start adding breakfast, lunch and dinners.   We started the program on Sunday and are going to go thru a full cycle of 21 days and see if there's any differences in our weight afterwards.

If you're not familiar with the 21 Day Fix, it's a program produced by Beachbody that helps to learn proper serving sizes.  The program consists of a series of colored containers that represent the various food groups and each day, you eat from a set number from each containers.  For example, the purple container is fruit and you would eat from it 3 times, a red container represents protein and you eat from it 5 times.  

My husband and I started the program on Sunday, so you'll see the shift from high carb laden meals to the whole food, smaller portion meals.  LOL

Wednesday -  Spaghetti, homemade meatballs, salad and garlic bread

Thursday - Grocery Shopping Day - Burgers from the Habit


Friday - Chili dogs with chips

Saturday - The Last Hurrah before our diet and Garrett's Birthday meal - Popeye's Chicken Tenders, red beans and rice, Mac and cheese, fries and a biscuit

Sunday - Started 21 Day Fix.  Forgot to take photos of our breakfast, lunch and snacks, but for dinner we had almond crusted chicken breast with steamed vegetables.

Monday -  Day 2 on 21 Day Fix

        Breakfast -  1 banana and 1 clementine

        Lunch - Egg Benedict on whole wheat English muffin, steamed cauliflower and pepper strips. 

        Snack 1 - Protein shake post workout with 1 banada

        Snack 2  - Celery and Carrots with hummus


           Dinner - Pork tenderloin, Pumpkin spiced apples, green beans and a small baked potato

Tuesday  -   Day 3 on 21 Day Fix

            Breakfast - I'll be honest, forgot to eat breakfast

            Lunch - repeat of Eggs Benedict 

            Snack 1 - Apple with peanut butter (no sugar)    

 Dinner - Kale Nachos with Lean beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, black beans and hot sauce.

Snack 2 -  Quinoa parfait with nofat greek yogurt, berries and a bit of honey (for sweetness)


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Simply Coding (A Homeschool Crew Review)

 Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.


For the past few weeks, members of our family have been reviewing Coding for Kids Annual Membership from Simply Coding.  

 Simply Coding cofounders Seth and Joe were both very amazed that all throughout both their high school and college experience, they were not presented with a formal opportunity to learn computer sciences, a skill they both needed for their career field. Both realized that there was a need for children to be given the opportunity to learn these skills in a technology growing world. The result was the creation of a series of computer courses designed for students ages 11 to 18 to provide access to these much demanded skills.

The website's name, Simply Coding, is a bit deceptive.  There's much more available on the website than just coding course. Simply Coding offers a wide variety of courses, from learning about designing websites, designing Minecraft mods, learning about photography and videography,  and mastering programs such as Excel and Powerpoint. 

An annual membership gives the student unlimited access to the website's full pathway of homeschool computer coding courses for one year!  The Single student annual membership is priced at $149 and a family membership is offered for $229, however, the company does offer sales and discounts (currently the website is running a special for 33% off the Single Student membership for $99 and family membership for $179).   Simply Coding also offers a 10 day trial to the full website prior to annual payment so that parents can test drive the courses to see if they are the right fit for their children and live chat support is available 9am-6pm CT on Monday-Friday with email support available for evening and weekend hours.

Our Experiences

Sadly, I found the lessons for Minecraft Mods extremely confusing for Garrett, who couldn't make heads or tails of the lessons.  I'm sure this is because it's Garrett and when Garrett gets frustrated, Garrett shuts down. We tried to get through the first few lessons and had to stop because we weren't getting anywhere with it and resulted in Garrett shutting down as soon as we mentioned it was time for computer work.

So for the review, we switched strategies (and kids).  Instead, we decided to try Ashleigh on the program with the Digital Photography 1 course.  This course we found much less confusing as the course is video based and pretty straight forward.  The course consists of a video component teaching the material, followed by a short multiple choice quiz after each section that the student has to complete to move on. 

We did run into one small snag that doesn't have anything to do with the program, which has slowed us down in our progress though.  The photography course requires students to submit their photographs in order to progress to the next module.  I recently had to purchase a new computer and did not realize this particular laptop does not have a SD card slot to allow Ashleigh to upload her photographs that she takes to the course to unlock the next set of lessons.  I had to purchase an adapter to allow us to use the USB port, but sadly, we are in a holding pattern waiting for Amazon to ship it so that we can get her photographs into the computer to upload. Minus that, we are enjoying the photography course and are finding that Ashleigh is learning quite a bit about using the computer.

I also decided to check out the Adobe Photoshop 1 course. I currently use Lightroom to edit my photography, and while I have Photoshop, I tend to not use it because, I honestly don't know how to use it.  Through the course, I've learned how to use layers, which is something I had never tried previously.  I was able to download a photo that I took back in March from my facebook account and use it to do some fun stuff with it. 

Here is the original photo that I took on a spring visit to the Mojave National Preserve.

After learning how to use layers and other tools in Photoshop, this is what I ended up with. 

Overall, I think the Simply Coding courses are well done and I plan on giving Garrett a bit of a breather and then introduce him to another course on the website, such as the two Scratch courses available. 

To find out more information about the many courses available from Simply Coding, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:


Be sure to click the banner below to read the reviews of other Crew members and see what courses they used with their families.

Coding for Kids Annual Membership {Simply Coding Reviews}


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