A Living Geography That Takes Your Family Around The World

Seriously I have nothing but the best things to say about Around The World Stories. Yesterday (St Patrick’s Day) we listed to 3 stories from Ireland. Then today at lunch (left over baked potatoes) we listed to the last story, The Potato Fairy. You should have seen the extra happy faces when I pulled out the coloring pages that the folk at Around The World Stories included with the story.

Since we first started listing they have upped their game with their Make It Interactive section that is included with each story. It has everything I would want to take the story to the next level with the ease of clicking on a link. No Pinterest searching needed…but if I did want to take it further, well they have Pinterest Boards too.

These stories not only teach us about other countries and cultures, but they are full of moral choices and inspiring characters. Characters and stories my children ask to hear again and again.

Well, the one story was not going to cut it today and while they requested to listen to the Ireland stories all over again. We had nothing on the agenda so I suggested one of the new Asian Stories from China instead. China was met with more giggles, and requests for another. Since we were not focusing on “lessons” today I let them listen to a Denmark story as well that included a trip to Lego land. Not to shabby for a Sunday afternoon.

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Fun- Schooling in Survival Mode

I’m not going to lie, I did not take my advice this past year and I spent most of it in survival mode. Hopefully, my suggestions will save others and myself future stress and drama and bring fun back into our days even when it feels like I’m drowning.

Keep it simple! No really, that is it…keep it simple! It’s not rocket science, it’s survival. What HAS to be done? For us that is Bible, Language Arts and Math. I know, some days it feel hard to do just those. Don’t try to add more than what your really NEED to do.

I have this great little 90 day book that helps me. Sarah’s Secret 90 Day Pocket Planner “The easiest way to live your dreams and get out of survival mode.”  It asks you, mama to look at 4 important things or 4 necessary things each day. For each of that it will be different and from day-to-day it will change too. Let’s remember that we are not only their teachers, we are their moms. Most likely we are also the cook, maid, consoler, driver, social director, wife, friend…and so much more.  But even while we DO IT ALL…we don’t have to do it all, all the time.

For Bible, it can be as little as YouVersion verse of the day and Amazon Music Hymns or Psalty’s. My oldest does copy work and we pray. We pray our praise and our needs and lift up others.

For everything else the Fun-Schooling Core Journals like this one that covers a whole year or my sons Minecraft Journal is perfect for when I am pushed to my limit. It covers ALL subjects he needs except for math. (And while in survival mode, Khan math and other apps work pretty great. Once he is reading more independently his normal math is perfect for self-directed learning as well.)

With my little two, we read books. They also play learning games on their kindle or have more story time with Epic.

Does that sound too basic or simple? It really isn’t. Now personally I believe, while in survival mode, it is important I would even say necessary for me to make positive connections with my kids. For me that is going to be lots of snuggling while reading books, watching shows and listing to audio stories.

Audio stories tend to be a favorite for all of us, because they like it when mama breaks out the treats and doodle or coloring or some other type of art pages and sits at the table with them and DO side by side while we listen. We have a collection of audio books that appeal to my oldest and I more than the younger too. But it’s the Around The World Stories that engage all of us the most. (I don’t let us binge listen to these, we have to wait at least till the next day or even a whole week. We treat them like an old fashion radio show and it really builds our relationship with the characters and what we are learning about. You can read more about our love of these stories here.)

Playing games is another fun way of learning and creating positive moments in the survival of the season. Hedbanz is one that we like playing during meal time and Bean Boozeled gets all the happy endorphins going. Hit the Habitat Trail covers all things science and Brain Quest Smart Game give us a bit of learning in all the subjects. And did you know that you can play a game instead of “doing a lesson” and you have still done “a lesson”?  Yep, that is fun-schooling!

Also getting outside with them! Even if all I do is sit and sip tea in the sun while that run about it makes a difference. Getting that Vitamin D naturally, or in a supplement (The kids and I LOVE this one) and other nutritional supplements is needed when in survival. I can’t begin to explain how LOW I was feeling this past year as I let my eating get out of control (sugar is NOT my friend) and didn’t have my vitamins. Proper nutrition, rest and movement make a difference when you are wanting to thrive not just survive.

 

 

Winnie-The-Pooh Party & Audiobook Review

This morning I woke up to my oldest dressed in his Christoper Robin Costume and his bear dressed in his Winnie-The-Pooh costume. Their bed was set up clean and neat with his old Pooh Bear blanket hung like a banner.

This boy of mine melts my heart all the time! He is all for pirates and zombies and studying WW2 but he also loves Winnie-The-Pooh. I credit this love to our Winnie-The-Pooh audiobook.

This audio-recording of the book is so very lovely and it’s all of them! And the narrators are British, they do a much better job of reading these stories then I could.  I find myself fully enchanted and giggling at the original story. (Disney does a good job but A.A.Milne is brilliant!)

I know that most of us consider that Silly Ol’ Bear something for babies, but the original story really speaks to the heart of a child heading off or recently off to school. That being said, my Pumpkin thinks Christoper Robin should have been home schooled so he could have had more time for adventures with his friend.

Well thanks to his love we all had a lovely morning in the 100 acre woods and there is a little sister and little brother who are discovering the wonder much earlier then he or even I did.

Shhh…I totally plan on buying my one day grand-babies all things Pooh!

For more audiobook suggestions check out Listing Time.

This post does contain affiliate links, but only to things I love.

Listening Time

If you are an introverted mama like I am, or if your kids no longer nap and you need a quite time activity for everyone (with secret hopes that they will all take a nap anyway). Or if your just tired of being the one to speak and you need a moment from listing to their non stop narration. (Anyone else with extroverted family members?) May I suggest Listing Time!

Listing Time is choosing an audio-story, educational teaching or music to listen to. Pretty simple isn’t it. Listing Time is also a part of our Slow Loop for when we listen as a family, but we also listen during some one on one time and on our own.

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Today, my oldest woke up way too early and was super emotional and we ALL needed a break. So I had them make a bed on the floor and I turned on Ballet Stories. We listened to two of them and all felt happier when we were done.

I have Listing Time with my children but I also have Listing Time by myself. Podcasts or audio-books via headphones while I watch my children play outside or while I do some stand still housekeeping. Dishes and laundry are a great time to sneak in some listing time for mama. Right now I’m listing The Zoo Keepers Wife via Prime and its captivating! It is one I for sure will listen to with the kids when they are older, so much history and nature in it. Total living book and the narration is beautiful!

Sometimes I will listen while the kids are within hearing but otherwise occupied with play. Pumpkin discovered Jane Austin this way and was captivated by the BBC audio-drama  and fell love with Anne as well just as I did when I was his age in the same fashion.

“Mom, you may NOT listen to this book with out me! This is a book we have to share together….okay?”

Like I’m going to deprive him the love of literature or Anne or the quality time sharing books together. Books are my favorite thing and so far he is my book buddy.

Audio-books are a favorite of ours. Before we hit the road we would check out CD’s from the library, after we became a full time traveling family investing in Audible was worth it for us. And since I still lean towards the frugal side I take full advantage of my membership.

So each month I pay my monthly subscriber fee to Audible and that fee gives me a credit. I then make sure that each credit I receive is used on books that cost more then what I pay for the monthly subscription. There are even search features to help narrow that down! You can Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.

I will also buy  eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App and choose the add narration feature, I have gotten some great deals on books that way. And if you happen to already have Kindle Unlimited you can get the audio on lots of books without actually buying the ebook and instead just purchasing narration. (FYI Kindle Unlimited is AMAZING and feeds my book addiction and they have an amazing selection of children books as well. They even have a 30-Day Free Trial!)

These are some of our favorite Audible books so far. I will try to keep this list updated as we discover new books we love.

Also, not all narrators are wonderful. I super suggest that you listen to the sample of the book before you make your purchase to make sure the narrators voice is pleasing to your ear.

This post does contain affiliate links but only to things that I love.