My sweet boys sleeping. <3 B has his arm around his big brother. They’re both very snuggly.
Blake, with great surprise: Why is the peanut butter in the fridgelator?
Me: That’s mayonnaise, baby.
I have no idea when he has ever seen white peanut butter.
B’s computer monitor has a button on the bottom edge that’s hard for him to find, so I just heard this from downstairs:
Mama, can you get my thermonitor on for me?
J couldn’t hear his math lesson because B’s video was turned up too loud. When I turned it down a bit, B said, “I can’t hear that perfectly fine.”
The boys were downstairs playing Minecraft. B ran back up to watch Netflix.
B: Netflix is laggy, too! It must be everything that runs on electricity!
He knows the internet is out there, but he doesn’t quite grasp the concept.
B: Well, that was a dramatic ending.
Dude, you’re FIVE. Stop.
B: How many kinds of turtles are there?
Me, after naming a few: That’s all I know. We can look it up.
B: Is there a turtle wiki?
B, while watching TV: Is he back in time?
A few minutes later: Is he front in time again?
B wanted to buy Minecraft PC for his (my) computer. He had the money saved up, but explaining online purchases to a 5yo is entertaining.
B, looking at the computer tower: Where do you put the money in?
Me: We have to use a credit card or bank card on the website.
A few days later when we went to the bank to put his money in my account so I could use my card: Do they [the bank tellers] know about Minecraft PC?
Me: We’re not buying it here. We’re putting the cash in my account so we can use my bank card on the website, remember?
There are two older X-Box games he wants and I’ve told him he has to wait until his birthday, but from time to time, he tries to talk me into buying them early.
B: Do you still have that card you used to buy Minecraft?
B: Can you use it to buy Spider-Man Friend or Foe on the X-Box?
Me: That’s not exactly how it works…
One of the families in my local special-needs support group experienced a job loss in December and we’re trying to raise enough funds to allow the family to stay until the end of the school year so their son with autism will experience less disruption. You can read more on my special-needs blog, and even if you can’t or don’t want to donate, please help by sharing that post.
My 6th-grader chose to study Korean. Every day, he does one lesson, and he comes to me excited almost every day, telling me what new things he learned. The past few days, he’s been learning numbers, and can now count to nineteen. Today, he learned that there are different names for numbers depending on whether you’re counting or talking about currency. He’s concerned that he won’t remember the different names. I think he’ll be okay. He’s previously dabbled in both Spanish and Latin, so I expect when he finishes Korean, he’ll move on to yet another language.
I took both Spanish and French in high school (back when my brain was younger), and I wanted to use Mango to brush up on those languages and possibly try my hand at one or two others. I haven’t spent as much time with the program as my son has, but I have done enough Spanish to know that I remember…some things. LOL
Mango uses a conversational style of learning, rather than the memorization of vocabulary that was used when I learned languages. This product is suitable for ages 6+, and don’t be surprised if your kids are speaking a new language before you catch up.
Each language includes:
- Audio and pronunciation guidance from native speakers
- Grammar notes
- Voice comparison tool
- Conversation and grammar goals
- Cultural insights, etiquette, and customs
- Phonetic spelling on-demand
Most of the languages have three “Journeys” or sections. Korean only has one (currently). The first Journey includes:
- Greetings, Gratitude, Goodbye
- Inquiring about Someone’s Nationality
- Asking What Language Someone Speaks
- Names and Introductions
- Getting Around
- Shopping and Payment
- Drinks and Dining
- Numbers and Currency
- Getting Help
- Asking for Clarification
Each language also has forum in which students can ask questions of each other and (eventually) those who are native speakers or fluent in the language. (Homeschool is a new market for Mango, and some parts of the program are still in development. I’ll devote more time to that below.)
Mango has been in existence for about seven years. They started with public library courses, and now have courses for public schools and corporate clients. Mango may be available in your library, so you might be wondering what the differences are.
The major differences between the library version and the homeschool version:
⁃ public libraries only have one level of any given language
⁃ homeschooling has all levels and all languages
⁃ homeschooling has the community features (forums and such)
Because the Homeschool product is still in development, there are several new features in the pipeline, with some to be released as early as May. I already love the program, and I’m excited to see how it all comes together!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s currently available and the new features they’re working on.
What is currently available on the site:
- Over 60 different languages
- Progress Assessments
- Built-in journals, discussions and wikis
- Collaborative learning spaces
- eNote messaging /chat rooms
- Access to embedded/downloadable content
- Support from other community members
- Calendars to schedule meetings or study groups
- Enhanced Tracking and Progress Monitoring – including seat time (for students and parents)
- Goals and Personal Lesson Plans (both stand-alone and tied into Mango courses)
- Resume and Portfolio Builder
So what did my 6th-grader think of Mango Homeschool?
“I like it. I like it better than the other program I used.” (When he was enrolled in a charter school.)
There was nothing he didn’t like about it, and he wants to continue using it. When asked what he found cool: “I found it interesting that words like “I” aren’t used. You’re supposed to understand those from the context. And “Hi” is like a five-syllable word and “tomorrow” is a short word.”
How to get it
Pricing is per student. Parents will be able to monitor their children’s accounts, but if parents want to learn a new language (or two) as well, they will need a “student” account.
1 subscription is $18/month or $125/year total
2 subscriptions is $28/month or $175 /year total
3 subscriptions is $38/month or $225/year total
4 subscriptions is $48/month or $275/year total
5 subscriptions is $58/month or $325/year total
Anything over 6 subscriptions is a special group rate that will depend on the number in the group.
*This is introductory pricing and is current at the time of posting.
Emeals is a menu plan that will work for anyone. They have several different plans: Paleo, gluten-free, and clean-eating, just to name a few. (They do have a “regular” plan, if you don’t have any special requirements.) Emeals also offers breakfast and lunch plans. The plans are emailed right to your inbox every week, and they have an app that I just love! The app builds a shopping list, divided by category, based on the week’s menu. If you choose to “skip” a recipe, the ingredients are automatically removed from the shopping list! You can also add your own items to the list.
The recipes are easy to make, and you can also choose whether you need larger recipes or smaller ones, as the plans have a 1-2 people option or a 3-6 people option.
Emeals subscriptions are as low as $5/month, but right now, you can take advantage of this special:
15% Off Your Order at eMeals.com with Bonus Comfort Foods Brochure! Use code Dinner15
eMeals new Dessert Plan is available now for only $3 a month! Get inspired each week to make incredible desserts. With mouth-watering recipes like Chocolate Pretzel Slab Pie, Buttery Toasted Vanilla Clusters or Crunchy Streusel Pumpkin Loaf, this plan is perfect for the dessert lover in all of us. Receive 3 indulgent dessert ideas every week including a mix of Crowd Pleasers, Quick & Easy options, and Skinny Sweets. This variety of sweet endings will fit the bill for weeknight desserts, casual entertaining and healthy treats, too.
Buttery Toasted Vanilla ClustersIngredients
- 3 oz package ramen noodles
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 oz package white chocolate chipsInstructions
- Coarsely crush ramen noodles before opening package.
- Open package; discard flavor packet.
- Saute crushed noodles, pecans and almonds in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until toasted.
- Pour noodle mixture into a large bowl to cool.
- Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions; pour over noodle mixture in bowl, tossing gently to coat
- Drop candy mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto wax paper.
- Let stand until firm, about 1 hour; store in airtight container at room temperature. Makes 3 dozen.
I received a free subscription to the eMeals plan as part of the eMeals Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.