Today we are posting this giveaway for (1) Subscription for 1 year to Miss Humble Bee’s Academy! It will end on May 7th at Midnight edt. The winner will be emailed and given 48 hours to respond, so be sure to check your email on Thursday morning!
Without further ado, I present to you… The entry form. Have fun! Be sure to come back and tweet/pin each day for more entries.
A few months ago I was feeling lost when it came to tracking how well my 4 year old non-verbal autistic son, Johnny Ben, was doing academically. Sure, I would see him accomplish things and notice where he had issues. However, I just couldn’t get him interested in certain activities and it was taking me a long time to sit and chart where he was thriving and lacking. We had tried a few online programs and apps with him in the past, but they just didn’t seem to get his attention or were not available on a tablet. (He lacks the coordination needed to use a mouse, but he’s getting close!) I whispered a prayer that God would help me find a preschool curriculum that would match his needs, be fun, and challenge him but also not break our bank. It wasn’t but a few days later that I received an email from Miss Humblebee’s Academy asking if I would be interested in reviewing their program. (Can you see where this is going? It’s pretty exciting!)
Immediately I went to MissHumblebee.com and started looking around. First off I noticed that the program worked on a tablet. Perfect! It may not be an app, but that’s okay. It loads easily on our Android tablets. Second, the characters, music, prizes, and everything else were fun and very animated. Then that was when I saw it: All instructions are audible so that the child can hear what they are to do. They could even be repeated if needed by the press of a button on most lessons. Since my little guy is just coming around to following instructions, this is a MUST HAVE. But would it cover as many subjects as I needed it to? I went on to look at what the lessons consisted of. This is where I was completely sold, because Miss Humblebee doesn’t just cover math and reading, but also science, social studies, art, and music. Not just a little here and there, either, but hundreds of lessons. This wouldn’t be a temporary fix, but something that we could continue to do over time. I can’t imagine what I looked like reading all of this, but if Mary Poppins were in my living room she probably would have told me to close my mouth because I’m not a codfish. This was exactly what I had prayed for!
Now, if you’re at all familiar with special needs children, you might know that they live for routine and hate change. It took a couple weeks of just getting him to want to acknowledge Miss Humblebee. He wasn’t interested in creating his own avatar like most kids would be. He would look out the corner of his eye at what was on the screen, but it took awhile to get him to acknowledge it was there. Being we had done this before, I knew it had nothing to do with Miss Humblebee’s Academy and more to do with it being new to him. I pressed on in a way that would not upset him.
In the beginning he would give in and do a little after a some guidance then push it away, but I could see by the look in his eye that he was intrigued. This was more than just another learning tool, this was fun and like a game. We took our time and warmed up slowly. Sometimes he would only do a little, other times he would just look around at the different options. Options like “Art Box”, “Music Room”, “Choose A Lesson”, “Rewards”, “Sticker Room”, and more. After showing him the classroom every so often, he gradually did a little bit more each time. He loves all the characters, Miss Humblebee’s voice, the music, and the “games”. I’ve never had to help him, nor did I ever have to show him what to do. Miss Humblebee made it all so easy, flying around the classroom and guiding him through the lessons.
What he surprisingly shows no interest in is the rewards/stickers/puzzles, but I’m assuming that is because he doesn’t quite grasp the concept. Miss Humblebee also offers printables, which is a great addition so that you can work on motor skills while keeping with the theme of the curriculum, but Johnny Ben just seems to hate paper (Maybe it’s the sound of it rustling?) so while I printed a few out, he wasn’t having it. So unfortunately I can’t give you an opinion on those aspects. That being said, Johnny Ben’s 2 year old little sister, Molly, is VERY interested in what all Miss Humblebee has to say and offer. So much so that we will be purchasing a subscription for her soon after her 3rd birthday as well. For now we have had to cut back our lessons to when Miss Molly Pop is napping or distracted. 😉 I really wish I had Miss Humblebee when 6 year old Tommy was in preschool also. It’s so fun, easy, thorough, and extremely interactive.
So, I’ve told you that Johnny Ben grew to love it and my toddler is aching to get into Miss Humblebee’s classroom… But how am I tracking Johnny Ben’s progress? Every week I receive an email to let me know that a progress report is available. When that email arrives, all I have to do is click on the link and it’s all right there in my account for me to see. How many lessons he’s completed, how many prizes he has earned, and how much artwork has been saved. I also have access for past progress reports so I can see how he’s coming along. It is exactly what I needed.
I do still believe in hands on constructive play for preschoolers. But these lessons are a great addition to all of the other things we are doing without becoming overwhelming. Besides, it is so much more fun that filling out a worksheet! Again, a complete answer to my prayer!
The price of a subscription to Miss Humblebee’s Academy is $12.95 a month for 1 child and $5 for each additional. Another option is a yearly subscription at $129 for 1 child and $60 for each child after that. Not sure you want to make a commitment just yet? There is also a free 1 week trial so you can see if it’ll work for your child.
Stay tuned to Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven… A giveaway for one 12 month membership to Miss Humblebee’s Academy is coming soon!
Do you have a young baby, toddler, or preschooler and want to begin working with them? Not necessarily “school”, per se, but educational activities that help them thrive and learn? Maybe you have older children, and the little ones want to have something of their own to do. Problem is, coming up with the curricula that would be flexible and beneficial with little stress would be a silly dream… Well, maybe before, like when I started homeschooling a few years ago, but not now!
Let me introduce you to Flowering Baby, LLC, a curriculum company founded by a Mother and Daughter for ages birth through five that has taken the time to do the research, make the lessons fun, and package it all up so that all you have to do is run to the library and pick up a few books… Because most likely you have everything else on hand! Everything is in PDF format on a CD that will work on your computer regardless of it’s a Windows or Mac, and it is SO easy to follow. No having to read and re-read the instructions here!
The sections are divided up first by years, and then by month. For Birth through Three, it is by age. For Three through Five, it is by calendar month. Also, years Three to Four and Four to Five have a monthly schedule that is accompanied by a list of themes from which you pick 2 for each month. See how little time you have to put into it? It’s already all put together for you!
To give you an idea of how the years are split up, I’ve listed their names with a link attached. If you click on the link and scroll down to the bottom of each page, you’ll be able to see a sample of that year. I’ve also included their prices below:
For our family, we used year One to Two starting in the 19th month with my youngest child, Molly. I had intended to include my second to youngest, Johnny Ben, in this set also. He is 3 1/2 with developmental delays that we are in the process of having assessed and evaluated. While he participated to some degree, he really didn’t follow along, so I will only share how it worked with Molly.
Starting out was way too easy. The author lists a set of books (she states you may be flexible and choose a similar book if you don’t own the title or are unable to find it at a library), music, and supplies you will need for the month. For the first month we needed 3 books, a total of 6 supplies, and music by Tchaikovsky. The only supply I had to buy was some dry beans. I was able to use Pandora for the music, and we just so happened to already have the books. (I’m a book hoarder… Shhh…)
“Reading” one of our books that we read with the curriculum. Ignore the fact that the book is upside down, please.
I never had a set time to complete our lessons. If a moment was available while doing school with my Kindergartener, Tommy, and Molly was interrupting then I would have Tommy work on something he could do solo and do Molly’s “school” with her. A few times we waited until after dinner to help wind down the night. A few mornings we did it right off the bat, and the rest of the times we did it right after lunch or nap. Naturally, there were some days that it just didn’t happen, but that’s okay. The curriculum is set up so that it is not done every single day of the month. So if we missed a day, we just picked up where we left off the day before. It is EXTREMELY flexible.
Most days the lessons were short and sweet, being completed in about 30 minutes. Reading a book or stating a poem/nursery rhyme and looking at pictures while listening to music. There were lessons that had us focus on speech by talking and saying words to each other. On some days, motor skills like walking on a curb or throwing a ball were covered. There were nights we all danced together. Every day is different from the day before or the day after, but kept simple and right on their level. I think Molly’s favorite was the day she was Mommy and I was the baby. Blame her? 😉 Tommy also enjoyed it, and invited himself to join in on just about every single lesson. Molly loved that, it made her feel like a “big kid.”
And yes, of course, there are a few messy lessons… I feel like I should include that note… Because if you’re like me, you hate messes and messy lessons. But you know what? I couldn’t resist. The activity sounded fun. And being that I was raised in one of those “no play-doh, no markers, and definitely no paint” homes, I decided I should give my children something I didn’t have. (Pardon the messy video editing, this was the first time I’ve ever done it!)
All in all, I have to say I LOVE Flowering Baby. Being so busy it takes out so much guess-work and makes teaching easy and learning fun. Besides, while I’m a homeschooling mom, I am in no way an expert on child development. Having a curriculum that was designed with whole child development in mind put me at ease to not feel at all like I was forgetting something that she needed. If you are looking for something for your littles, I would recommend Flowering Baby. (Sticky) hands down.
Interested in purchasing a copy of your own? Flowering Baby is offering a 10% discount to our readers when they use the code “Blog10” when ordering.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse 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. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
My 3 year old, Adah, started preschool on the 15th. I was instructed by her on more than one occasion to not cry. “Mommy, you’re not gonna cry. You’re not. ‘Member I told you the other day you are not gonna cry.” Guess what? I didn’t. I couldn’t help but smile at her excitement. She just couldn’t wait to go play and have fun.
I was honestly worried. My entire morning’s entertainment was now going to be gone to preschool, and I’m still sad about that. I’d much rather watch Dinosaur Train with her than by myself (no, I didn’t watch it without her being there, geez!). But let me tell you, in her first 30 minutes home, she more than made up for it. She sang for me the songs that she learned (almost word for word) about dinosaurs and fish. She told me that she had “ba-sketti” for lunch and that she got to wave at sissy. She said she looked at a spider with a magnifying glass and she pooted in class. Yes. Adah poots. She thinks it is hilarious and she gets it from her daddy.
As I was getting ready to walk her to the door on Day 2, she said, “I’m so excited! I’m gonna go hang my backpack up!” I had to make her turn around and come back to me so I could give her a hug!
Long story short- Naomi and Adah are having a blast and are learning so much. They are handling it well…..and so is Mommy. I even had time to write without interruption–which is unusual–but I’d welcome that interruption if it meant they were here. Thanks for your prayers! And keep them up because they are working.
Well, it’s official. My oldest has started kindergarten. I took it better than I thought I would, but I’m still not very excited. :/ Naomi absolutely loves school and learning, and thoroughly enjoyed preschool. She’s the type that wants to do homework. She’s been ready for kindergarten since preschool ended.
I wasn’t this emotional during preschool, but preschool wasn’t all day everyday. AND as Naomi is starting kindergarten, Adah is also going to be starting preschool. This mommy needs prayer!! It was one thing to have one child in school, but now that both will be going (even though Adah’s is only half a day), I’m trying to keep my emotional wreck in check. Adah keeps telling me, “Mommy, when school is over and you pick us up, you’ll still get to see us.” Remind me to remind her of that when she has kids. :p
Naomi did a great job on her first day yesterday, but my heart about broke this morning when I dropped her off (second day). Mommy and Daddy got to walk her in on day one, but not on day two. As I started to pull forward from the drop off, I noticed her pause before she turned to go in. She had this look on her face that said, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Mom!” and I could tell she was starting to cry. It was so hard for me to leave her in the care of the school/staff. Instead I wanted to run to her and scoop her up in my arms and take her back home with me, but I couldn’t. However, I am blessed to have her in a school system with wonderful staff/teachers that called to let me know she got into class fine and was having a great day. I know it’s going to be a wonderful year and she’s going to love kindergarten, but I’m still struggling with handing her over.
That being said, I’m praying for all of you parents/guardians out there who are dealing with these same emotional feelings. Especially you stay at home parents that are used to having your kids around most of the time. You’ll have to pray for me, too!
Even though things are changing, one thing will definitely stay the same- I’m going to keep my girls enrolled in “Mommy School.” Despite the fact that I don’t have a teaching degree, I’m still their most important teacher. At least I can find a little comfort in that!
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
I couldn’t wait to teach this verse to my girls, mainly because I learned a song as a kid that I wanted to share with them. This verse always reminds me of that song, but we’ll get to that later. 😉
They did a great job with this one. Even Adah, who will be 3 next month, says it correctly. I think this is an important verse to learn, because a lot of times we get caught up in the cares of this life instead of the One who controls them. The Bible says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you;”- Psalm 55:22 We tend to forget that, when God begs us to remember.
The McGregor brothers came to our church for revival when I was a little girl (and many times throughout the years) and taught us a song called “Cast Your Burdens.” I was so excited to teach my girls this song with it’s movements to go along with this verse. I was even more excited when the McGregor brothers came to our church for revival this month and the girls got to sing the song with them. They had a big time and I loved seeing a fun tradition being passed along.
Below is a video of The McGregor brothers (Johan, Gershon and Manuel) along with my daughters, Naomi and Adah, my niece Essie (her mother is my sister and fellow blogger, Karen) and their friend Hannah (who is Angie’s 2nd cousin) singing “Cast Your Burdens.” I hope you enjoy!
Cast Your Burdens
Cast your burdens all to Jesus for He cares for you!
Cast your burdens all to Jesus for He cares for you!
*This isn’t exactly about a memory verse that I taught my girls, but is more about the lesson plan I came up with to teach them about communion. I didn’t have them memorize the scriptures used in the lesson, just used them to get the message across.
Even though my children are still young, I felt I needed to start now in teaching them about communion. At our church, we try to partake in communion at least once a month, sometimes more when our Pastor feels led for us to do so. On one occasion several months ago, as we were getting ready to have communion, my oldest daughter, Naomi, wanted to do communion with us. Naomi is 4 1/2, but she thinks she’s at least 12. 🙂 Her dad and I talked it over and we decided that we wanted to go ahead and teach her about communion. We wanted her to know what it means and why we do it, so that she could understand and have part in it.
Photo Credit: Martin BOULANGER
I did a little bit of research, but for the most part, I created a lesson plan that I believed fit Naomi’s level of comprehension (preschool/kindergarten). Through the lesson, we taught her the importance of communion and that it is a very serious event. Although it’s a kid-friendly lesson, it still shows the significance of what communion is all about. If you’d like to check out my lesson plan, you can find it here.
I also found a coloring sheet online at sermons4kids.com and printed it off for Naomi to color after the lesson. You can find it here.
Once we completed the lesson, we prayed together and held communion as a family. Now when it’s time for communion at church, Naomi is allowed to join us because she has an understanding of what is going on. Through the lesson, she realized it’s more than just grape juice and communion bread. It’s more serious than that.
How about you, Moms and Dads? Do you realize the seriousness of communion? Or has it become just grape juice and bread to you? Maybe we could use a refresher course on the importance of communion ourselves…It’s really all about how much love our Savior has for us. And that love is a LOT.