Large Family Freezer Cooking

Large Family Freezer Cooking

Homeschool Review Crew

MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
 

Recently through the Homeschool Review Crew we received a Premium Annual Membership to MyFreezEasy to help with our large family freezer cooking.  Our MyFreezEasy.com Freezer Meal Plan Membership gave us access to many meal plans including specialty ones like the gluten free that we need!

With our membership we are able to have access to meal plans.  Most meal plans include five recipes.  Our membership allows us to customize meal plans as well.  This is great for me since we also have some tried and true favorites that I like to freeze and have on hand for meals.  A huge selling point for us on this program is that each recipe includes modifications for making them gluten and dairy free.  Since we have two little girls who can’t have dairy this is great for me.  It means that when I’m doing our large family freezer cooking I don’t have to do that all on my own.

 

Large Family Freezer Cooking

 

 

Meal Plans

There are different meal plans to choose from including Traditional meals, Gluten Free meals, Clean Eats Meals, Chicken Only Meals, Ground Beef Meals, and Slow Cooker Meals.  Also different months may bring different plans, for instance in October there is a Pork only meals as well.  I primarily browsed and used the Gluten Free meals, Clean Eats Meals, and Slow Cooker Meals.  I could also see us using the Ground Beef meals in the future as we buy half a cow and get quite a bit of ground beef to use in casseroles and such.

Large family freezer cooking can seem daunting.  Now, you can’t just pop onto a meal plan and follow it to the letter and get a meal for your large family with this plan.  You are going to have to do some multiplication as well but it’s not that difficult if you’re used to making meals for a large family.

 

Large Family Freezer Cooking

 

 

What We Used

For the month of October some of the Clean Eats meals are really good!  We made the Paleo Chicken Taco Salad and it didn’t even make it to the freezer.  By the time I was done with the prep I’d decided it was supper because I wanted to eat it ASAP!!  I did go back and make some to freeze as well.  This recipe is written to serve 4 so I multiplied it by 3 to get to 12 servings which is enough for our family of 11 eaters.  Baby doesn’t count yet since he’s still only 4 months old!

A recipe from the Clean Eats meals that went straight to my freezer and is going to be coming out on Wednesdays to go into the slow cooker is Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Vegetables.  It was super simple to make and easily put in the freezer. The directions show you how to make two meals of four servings each so I just multiplied again by three so I could make two meals of 12 servings each.

I’m greatly enjoying this program and think most families can benefit from it.  It’s so nice to have meals in the freezer ready to go.  Simply take one out the night before you need it and tada you’ve got supper ready to go the next day.  The only planning involved is getting it out of the freezer!  I love that this program also provides the labels that you need for the dishes as well so it’s easy to tell what you have in the freezer and how to prepare it.

Learn More

If you’d like to find out more about large family freezer cooking of the MyFreezEasy membership please go to the main Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out all the linked up blog posts.  You can also find MyFreezEasy online on facebook, instagram, and pinterest

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Letter Sounds and Shapes {TOS Crew Review}

I have a three-year old and a just turned six-year-old who are learning their letter sounds and shapes.  The six-year-old is behind developmentally and is close to the three-year old level so I decided to start them both doing preschool together this year.  We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Talking Fingers Inc. was a vendor on the TOS Crew list this year.  The product we are reviewing from them is a one year online subscription to Talking Shapes: A Supplemental Curriculum for Early Literacy

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
Obviously, most wouldn’t consider a six-year-old on the early literacy scale, but my three-year old fits in.  Actually, Talking Shapes is written and recommended for preschool and kindergarten students.  So even though my six-year-old is considered behind for her age she does fit into the recommended age range for this product.  I also have a five-year old who fits into the age range, but she’s already done a year of kindergarten and knows all her letter sounds and shapes.  She in fact is reading small words and phrases on her own now. 

While your child is learning letter sounds and shapes they are also having fun with Talking Shapes.  They’re learning to read but in a way that is fun and engaging.  The program is all online.  With one computer my two girls didn’t get to use this as much as we would have liked.  Instead of doing it individually we did it together.  I would sit in the computer chair with a girl on each knee and we’d go through some of the program.

 

Letter Sounds and Shapes

 

There are a total of seven stories to work through.  Once done with the program all 40 phonograms have been learned and the beginning stages of reading met.  The stories are engaging for the age level they’re directed at and tell the story of how the alphabet was invented by two sisters a long long time ago.  

What makes this program unique is that the letters aren’t just written letters on a page.  Instead, my children see the letters as pictures.  The letters are inside of or embedded into the pictures which helps cement in their brains the letter sounds and shapes in correlation with where they are. 

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
 

This would be a great program to use with a touch screen computer or tablet.  Our computer is very old and is the only one we have in our house.  Because of this I did have to do the entire program with my girls as neither of them can work the computer mouse correctly yet.  While I didn’t mind this, it did limit when they could be working on their program and for what length of time.

I have seen great improvements in both girls with letter sounds and shapes recognition.  We were on a bit of a drive or road trip(we call them field trips) yesterday and my three-year old was able to tell me some of the highway names when they were letters.  It’s great to be able to see that our children are learning.

This is a four step program.  First we listen.  Then we draw.  Next we play games.  Finally we read.  By doing all the steps the learning of the letter sounds and shapes is cemented.  Each of the seven stories introduces at least six new phonemes.  While learning children sound out and spell three-letter words while they are playing games.  Not only is learning taking place but having fun as well.  Learning should always be fun. 

 

Talking Shapes {Talking Fingers Inc. Review}
 

We approve of Talking Shapes and learning letter sounds and shapes with their program.  My girls thought it was fun and were always begging to read the story on the computer.  They’re going to continue to have great fun and learn for the rest of our subscription.  Here’s hoping for more computers soon or a touch screen so they can do it all on their own!!

If you’d like to hear what other Crew members thought of the program hop on over to the Main TOS Crew blog and see all the reviews.  You can also find Talking Fingers Inc. on facebook, youtube, and twitter to learn more about their company and products.  

 

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Homeschool Printables for ALL Subjects {TOS Crew Review}

I have long wanted to create my own printables, but I’m not very good at it.  It’s not my strong suit.  So I was very happy to get a year subscription to a website that offers homeschool printables for ALL subjects.  You can even design your own!  Where might this be?  Why Super Teacher Worksheets of course!  I received an Individual Membership which is a year-long subscription to ALL the homeschool printables!

 

Homeschool Printables for All Subjects

 

To say that I was beyond excited to dig in and see what all I could find is an understatement.  I was thrilled to see that they really did have homeschool printables for all subjects and all ages.  With having 9 children ages ten down to two years old it is not often I find something that I can use for all of them.

And when I went to dig in I was overwhelmed with all the material at my fingertips!  So many subjects tailored to so many ages.  I could search for a certain subject or browse an age range or even do a very specific search.  I have not been disappointed with the level of information that I can now easily use with my children.

 

Homeschool Printables for All Subjects

 

While I did check out the create your own worksheets and even managed to make a few(shocking I know), I really enjoyed the variety of worksheets that I could find already made and ready to go.  I’m excited to create some mini unit studies to go solely around the worksheets available!  We’ll have a weather one and a holiday one, etc.  

I tend to print out one worksheet from the website.  Then I will make however many copies I need of the worksheet.  Next I put the worksheet in a sheet protector and put it in a binder.  I’m thinking I will eventually need a binder for each subject and for each grade, but for now they’re all going in the same binder but ordered out by subject.  I like to be organized and to be able to come back and find things again when my next child needs it!

 

Homeschool Printables for All Subjects

 

We have taken to adding at least one or two worksheets to our daily school schedule.  If I’m not finding one specific to what we’re studying that day I’ll add in just a problem solver or puzzle worksheet for the older children and a color by number style worksheet for the younger children.

There are literally thousands of different worksheets that you can find and use on the Super Teacher Worksheets site.  A year subscription is only $19.95(I got a year free thanks to the Crew) which to me is a great price for the resource you’re getting!  Think of all the extra curriculum you won’t have to buy!  I will have to say that I did have to buy more printer paper!  Who knew that making worksheets for nine kids was going to use paper.  I wasn’t stocked up.  I now know that I need to make sure to budget printer paper into our homeschool budget.  My husband didn’t appreciate me stealing all of his that he keeps stocked for his business!  Buy paper in bulk and print away!

 

Homeschool Printables for All Subjects

 

I loved that the homeschool printable covered a wide range of subjects.  You can find them for math, science, history, etc.  You can find maps or cloud formations or simply a fun worksheet to help on addition and coloring!  Really and truly you can find almost anything you can think of.  Also, it covers a variety of ages from preschool/kindergarten all the way up through high school though the greatest concentration of worksheets is for the kindergarten through middle school crowd as they are by far learning the most things.  I don’t think I realized until I started homeschooling just how much and how quickly our young children learn.

 

Homeschool Printables for All Subjects

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Super Teacher Worksheets please feel free to read the other reviews on the Main TOS Crew page as well as check them out on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest.   I know we loved being able to use this program and are enjoying getting to share that experience with you!

 

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Mayan Mysteries {TOS Crew Review}

I don’t often let my children play games on the computer.  They never do so on my phone.  But recently we were allowed to review Mayan Mysteries from Dig-It! Games with the TOS Crew.  This is definitely an exception for me and a learning game which puts it more in the school category!

Dig-It! Games has created online games and apps to help your children learn.  Their main course is history with a side of puzzle solving, math, geography, and adventure!!  These games will keep your children entertained while also working their minds and broadening their horizon of learning.  Right now they have several free apps that you can download!

 

Dig It! Games Review
 

The online version of the games can be purchased for a single user or an entire classroom.  We were given the single user version of Mayan Mysteries to review.  My son who is 8 has enjoyed doing the game himself as well as with his daddy.  I’ve never been big on computer games myself but loved watching him learn!  In fact, we have had to have the whole family research and learn more about some of the artifacts and sites of the Mayan people he has learned as well as more about the Mayans themselves. 

Mayan Mysteries will introduce you to seven different unique Mayan sites.  While looking at these places you’ll face 25+ challenging puzzles that will stretch your mind and improve your problem solving skills.  With this online game you get 9+ hours of unique game play.  Depending on the age of your child they may have more play time as well as it takes them longer to solve the puzzles.  The game has wonderful graphics as well as great music that does not detract from the game.

 

Dig It! Games Review
 

This particular game is designed for grades 5-9.  My son who is 8 is doing fourth grade work.  He required minimal assistance with this game.  Mainly, he worked on the game himself but often called his daddy over to work with him so he could show him how the game worked and what he was working.

A quick overview of the game simply put is that you are to discover who is looting artifacts from the ancient Mayan culture and put a stop to them.  You work alongside a team of others known as Team Q.  It’s a great educational game!

You can also download and print off lesson plans to go with the game.  Because I wanted to use this with all of my children in a way(not actually doing the game but learning none the less) I did create my own set of lesson plans to incorporate the knowledge from the game.  However, my son using the game used the lesson plans.  They are well written and do help cement the learning as well as allow your child to dig deeper and explore more.

 

Dig It! Games Review
 

To make more of the game and to improve the minds of all of my children, we began small unit studies on each of the artifacts and Mayan sites that were visited in the game.  We also researched the Mayan people and how we came to find them in the new world to correlate them into our history time table.  

To help build excitement and a sense of accomplishment before mastering the entire game, achievements are awarded along the way.  It’s always fun to see how you’ve progressed and what you have left to win over!  

 

Dig It! Games Review
 

I love that in their description of this game they tell you that it is for history, geography, social studies, math, language arts, and critical thinking!  Oh and to help enrich their reading and vocabulary!  So many things being done with just a game!  Great reminder that nothing is just a game or just a book when you homeschool!

Within the game is an encyclopedia with a score of knowledge that your child can call on to help them solve the mysteries.  If your child is anything like my son, they’ll love the independence that being able to use and look things up in their own little encyclopedia can create.

 

Dig It! Games Review
 

If you’d like to learn more about Mayan Mysteries or Dig-It! Games please read the other reviews of Crew members over on the TOS Blog Main Page.  Also feel free to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!  Members of the TOS Crew were allowed to choose between reviewing Mayan Mysteries and Roman Town!  My son now wants to play all the other games that Dig-It! Games has to offer.  They really are a great learning resource.  I hope you’ll check them out.

 

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Problem Solving for Preschoolers #hsreviews

La La Logic Review

Have you ever wondered how you could help your children think?  Now I don’t mean that their brains don’t work, but that they haven’t developed that critical thinking skill or looking at things logically.  This is where La La Logic comes in.  With La La Logic you’re getting problem solving for preschoolers.  As part of the TOS Crew we recently received and reviewed their Preschool Curriculum.

 

La La Logic Review
 

Some of you may be scratching your heads wondering why you would want to teach problem solving for preschoolers or anyone under a certain advanced age.  Well, simply put, the sooner they learn to think logically and problem solve the better it is.  You want your children to develop these skills early on so that they are deeply ingrained and a part of their thinking before they reach high school and college.

 

If you’re not sure that you even want to teach problem solving for preschoolers in your home, you can sign up for a 30 day free trial simply by going to the La La Logic home page.  I know, that when I started homeschooling I didn’t realize how important the preschool and kindergarten years were.  I really had no idea.  Now I think I fully understand.  And yes, I think teaching problem solving and how to learn to our young children is important, but I also feel it is still very important to not formally do “school” with our young ones.  They need time to play and explore and learn by doing.

This is why I like the Preschool Curriculum from La La Logic.  It’s a short time period each day, you don’t have to do it every week, and it’s fun.  Your child is essentially learning by doing.  My children are learning a few computer skills but also the fine motor skills that are so important to young children.  We have adopted children, we have biological children, and we have children by guardianship.  Some of our children never developed their fine motor skills as young children and now as they’re hitting the ages of 8-11 they struggle with simple things.  Never underestimate the power of cut and glue in children!  Sorry, that’s a rant for another day!

 

 

La La Logic Problem Solving for Preschoolers

 

Want to know more about this awesome program?  Keep reading!  But what if I tell you all this is being done in 10-20 minutes per day?  It is!  Really and truly.  So in around on hour each week you are helping to instill life skills and working on problem solving with your child.  Sounds like a good idea to me!  You will find as you progress in the Preschool Curriculum that the lessons will get harder.  Not only are you teaching your child how to problem solve and critically think but also to learn.  They are being taught how to learn, with or without a teacher.  I love that my children are excited about learning and want to continue and do more!

La La Logic Review
 

This unique curriculum is online based.  Simply put this means that the learning is done online.  I’m not huge on having my young children sit in front of a computer for all their learning though so I was ecstatic to learn that not only did La La Logic offer their online Preschool Curriculum, but they also had printable worksheets and enrichment materials to go along with it.  That is huge for me!  I love to print things off and hold them while we work.  

 

La La Logic Review
 

This program, teaching problem solving for preschoolers, is geared towards children ages 3-6 with 100 weekly schedules.  I love things that can be used for more than one year!  I’m also a fan of things that I don’t have to take time to plan out.  This makes La La Logic ideal to me because it’s all already planned for me!  All I have to do each week is log into my little ones account, print off the schedule and any worksheets we will need for the week and we’re all set!  I like order though and tend to print off a month at a time and place the worksheets(with hole punches) into a binder.

 

 

La La Logic Review
 

So, the week goes smoothly using this problem solving for preschoolers.  As I mentioned there is an online aspect to it.  While I’m not a fan of computers and screens for young children I do recognize that they are going to have to learn how to use them and that they do learn very quickly when they are young.  The key to remember(at least for our home) is moderation of screen time.  The maximum we allow our young children is 30 minutes per day.  We can easily get our La La Logic done within that time frame(at least the online portion).  

 

Each week you get fun activities to do as a parent/child combination.  In our house this looked more like mommy and the two four-year olds combination activity.  That’s right!  I have two four-year old little girls with blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses(just like mommy).  They loved working together and helping me(mommies aren’t always very smart and need help a lot) learn all about what they had to teach me.  Again there was the online portion and the worksheets to go with the weekly activities.  The online activities are meant to train your child’s brain to see patterns and discern such things as order while doing simple counting exercises as well.  Having taken the ACT myself I can see how this is preparing them at even a young age.  But, they don’t know this!  They’re having fun playing a cool game on the computer!  And since computer time is a privilege in our house this makes it even more fun for my girls. 

 

 

La La Logic Review
 

Real quick, let’s talk about these printables.  Do you need them?  Of course!  Well, you could probably raise a smart child all on your own without them, but I love printables.  With these printables your child will be working on fine motor skills such as cutting, pasting, tracing, coloring, etc.  Yes, learning to think logically and teaching problem solving for preschoolers are great, but your child also needs to be doing these activities as well.  As a mom of many I can say that sometimes the arts and crafts get pushed to the side because it’s a lot of work and a mess for me to clean up.  That’s part of the reason why I love that this Preschool Curriculum offers this up as part of the course in a simple easy to use printable.  All I have to do is provide the girls with the tub containing their scissors, glue, etc and be available to help them.  Talk about easy!

 

Want to learn more about La La Logic?  First hop over and check out their facebook page.  Then head on over to the TOS Review Crew Main Page to see what all the other reviewers thought of their Preschool Curriculum as well!  Problem solving for preschoolers has never been easier!  We have enjoyed our review period and look forward to continuing to use this program as we were given a lifetime subscription in exchange for our review.

 

 

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Manage your Homeschool Online #hsreviews

 

HomeSchool Office Review
 

I’m a pen and paper type girl.  I love to write things with my hands, but I’m pretty horrible at record keeping.  I’m on the computer most days due to blogging so when a review for Lord Heritage came through offering their HomeSchool Office up to those of us on the TOS Crew I applied.  I was granted the review and was very excited to check it out and see what all was available for me to do online!  We were given access for a full year.

 

online record keeping

 

It seems a bit weird to me to start-up with this at the middle of a school year.  You see the state I live in defines the school year as July 1st of one through June 30th of the next year.  So it’s a 2014-2015 school year we’re in now and we’re almost done!  I am enjoying using this program and can’t wait to realize its full potential by starting out a new school year on July 1st(which is also my youngest son’s birthday).

 

homeschool office

 

Setting up the online schedule did take me a while.  There are several steps and then doing each child’s schedule.  There is a lot of setup when you’re using this for several children.  But once I had all the setup done it really is an easy program.  There are a few things I still haven’t figured out.  We do a lot of unit studies and I’m trying to find a way to block off a set of time just for that.  Right now I’m just entering it as an Other-General and putting in notes that we are using the KONOS curriculum and blocking out the hours that we use it.  That doesn’t really show that we’re getting multiple subjects in though so I’m still working on how to do that bit.

This program definitely makes trying to manage your homeschool online an easier task.  No more creating your own forms and copying and pasting everything daily.  Let me tell you a bit about the program now.

 

example of work

 

It is broken into five sections for you to use.  This is called the POWER strategy!  I like what they have to say about POWER and combining it to acknowledging the POWER of God.  Each step also has a verse that goes along with it.

  1. Plan– Jeremiah 29:11- Here you can plan the subject goals, build the master schedule, setup the lessons, create projects, group events, and set up a school budget.  There is really a lot of stuff that you can accomplish in this small little icon.  
  2. Order– 1 Corinthians 14:40- This little icon brings about some individualization.  Here you can make customizable lists for each student that can also incorporate their everyday home chores and activities into their schoolwork.  You can set up important reminders as well as create and schedule your individual lesson plans.  
  3. Work– John 17:4- Here you can view and print individual schedules.  You can also give each student their own login and they can come here to input things.  This is also where you will manage your to-do lists and daily lessons.
  4. Evaluate– Matthew 28:20- If your state requires you to do testing and such this is where you can input and manage that.  This is where you track and enter your hours.  You also can enter your grades here.  Grades can be a verbal discussion type, letter grade, or percentage.  This is also where the daily attendance is managed.
  5. Report– Romans 14:12- Customize your reports and make high school transcripts here(I’m nowhere near needing those yet).  This is also another area that will help you comply with your states reports rules and guidelines.

I like the fact that I can easily copy lessons to other students.  It really does make having multiple students in different grades and subjects easy to keep track of.  I’m slowly remembering more and more to come in daily and enter things so that it’s not so overwhelming.  Record keeping has never been a strong point for me and really is an area I struggle in.  This program has been a great help to me and I can see myself continuing this program for years to come.

 

Manage your homeschool online

 

The above photo is a stock one because I can’t show you what a report looks like yet as we haven’t gotten that far.  It does look like it is fairly simple to use and create though!

So to back track, the only con I have is that there is not a specific way set up already to enter in unit studies.  Not a huge deal, just requires a bit  more work on my part.  Pros weigh outnumber that though as I can easily do a yearly schedule and print it out to place with our daily lesson plans and calculate my hours, attendance, as well as so much more to stay in compliance with our state homeschool records for mere minutes a day once all the setup was completed.

I definitely did not get as much time to play around with this as I would have liked so I’m continuing to play around with it as I use it.  I have a full year subscription so I can see me fine-tuning our account and having much more success at the end of that year.  They also have a great Support staff for if you run into any problems or can’t figure something out.  It is always wonderful when the online programs have a support team who are knowledgeable and eager to help.

Want to see what other people thought of this program?  Several of the TOS Crew members reviewed this as well as myself so check out the main TOS Blog page to find out what others said in their reviews.  I also want to note that this is web-based and you can access it on many devices.  I have not used this feature yet, but it is available to access with your iPhone, iPad, or Android device as well as with a computer.

 

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