Keeping my 6 year old busy with Educational Apps

by Jessica Lieb on October 23, 2014 · 1 comment

7 educational apps for 1st gradeWe’re about halfway through our 1st week of homeschool. I’m still waiting on some of our curriculum that I ordered to arrive, in the meantime I’m improvising. Everyday I have Jude work on reading, writing, spelling, and math then we just sort of wing it. I’m hoping to get connected with a local Classical Conversations group which will help with everything else.

My biggest challenge is keeping him busy. He always needs a job to do or a project to work on. It only takes him about an hour to complete his school work (I may need to add a little more, we’ll see what the rest of his curriculum requires when it arrives) so by 10am he’s ready for the next activity.

In the meantime I’ve downloaded some great educational apps (most are trial versions for now) that keep him entertained but also teach him stuff.

Here are a few of the Apps we love (so far)

Kodable App Kodable – Kodable teaches kids the basics of any programming language in a fun game! Completely self-guided and designed for kids 5 and up.
Cost: $Free

Montessori United States of America

Montessori United States of America – Learn the names and locations of all the fifty states in America with this app that complements the geography materials used in the Montessori Classroom!
Cost: $2.99 (free trial version available)

Interactive Time Telling

Interactive Telling Time – Interactive Telling Time is great for kids from ages 3 to 12 and comes in 5 difficulty levels so that it helps kids master telling time progressively (statistics is provided to help keep track of your child’s progress).
Cost: $2.99 (free trial version available)

Lumio Farm Factor

Lumio Farm Factor: Multiplication & Division Basics – Ready for a crunchy, farm-fresh math treat? Solve satisfying veggie number problems and unlock two harvest adventures as you progress.
Cost: $2.99 (free trial version available)

Bible for Kids

Bible for Kids – The Bible App for Kids is the newest member of the YouVersion family of apps. Available now for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, the Bible App for Kids is always completely free!
Cost: $Free

Disneynature Explorer

Disneynature Explore – Explore the outdoors like never before through the world of amazing animals!
Cost: $Free

Spanish School Bus

Spanish School Bus – Quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary with exciting, colorful, and addictive game play through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Cost: $4.99 (free trial version available)

I’m constantly downloading new (free) games to try so if you have any great suggestions please send them my way.



{ 1 comment }

An Accidental Home School Mom

by Jessica Lieb on October 17, 2014 · 1 comment

Home school mathSo after much prayer and counseling we decided to home school Jude for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year. We planned on withdrawing him from school the end of October but after several discouraging turn of events we thought it was in his and our best interests to do it immediately. So yesterday afternoon Joe picked up Jude from school and that is that… I’m now a home school mom.

I never thought I would home school my children and at this point we aren’t planning on doing this forever or for all of our children but right now it is the best option for our family. We are jumping into this home school thing completely blind and are praying we don’t screw anything up. Thankfully I have a number of friends who home school and are involved in local communities that can offer us advice and support.

My biggest hesitation with home schooling Jude this year is simultaneously managing 2 toddlers plus caring for a newborn (in just a few more months!). However, we’ve decided to enroll Noah in preschool for at least a few mornings a week so I will have a little more opportunity to teach Jude, plus Noah has been begging to go to school.

Jude is a very bright young boy and I worry that I don’t be able to keep up with how quickly he learns things but we’ll just take it one day at a time.

I was surprised to find so many curriculum and subject options but I think we’ll start small and add new books as needed. This is primarily to keep me from feeling overwhelmed.

So now I need to set up our home school (anyone have suggestions for a name?), order some materials and make a plan. But today we’re taking it easy, no school work just relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day with my family.

I’m both excited and nervous about this new adventure but ultimately I feel a sense of peace, knowing that right now this is the best decision for Jude.

{ 1 comment }

Light in a Dark Place

by Jessica Lieb on October 15, 2014 · 1 comment

I woke up this morning in a dark place. It was literally storming outside and the thunder woke me up. Usually the little baby that sleeps on my bladder wakes me up but not today. I got up to pee then climbed back in bed hoping to get a few more minutes of sleep before a certain early-bird three year old came knocking at my door. But my over-packed brain had other ideas. All the worries and stresses of these past few months and the upcoming months flooded my mind and thus ensued a panic attack.

Joe woke up to me crying and gasping for breath. (Not how you want to start your Wednesday, or any day really) He just held me for awhile and then offered comforting words. He didn’t try to “fix”anything because we both know our situation is way beyond anything we can realistically fix. As we both sat in the darkness, holding on to each other, we realized there was nothing we could do to escape this season of our life. We felt very alone and left only clinging to God as our hope.

The remainder of the morning was pretty slow. As the rain continued to fall I spent some time in the word, talking to God and cuddling 2 sweet little boys. Throughout the day Joe sent me text messages or instant messages with encouragements. Then I started to receive texts and messages from family and friends that wanted to encourage and help us through this difficult season. As the sun started to peer through the clouds the tiny seed of hope in my heart started to sprout. God was showing me his faithfulness in a very tangible way, through the body of Christ.

People actually wanted to walk along side us through this valley. They wanted to bring us food, watch our children, lend a listening ear and pray for us. This is truly what the body of Christ is intended to look like. People that use actions before words. People that speak life and not condemnation. People that will sacrifice their daily needs to get down in the trenches and walk with you in the mud.

This season of life led me to a completely broken and dark place. I’ve felt abandoned, abused and mistreated. But I know that God is using these difficult life things to draw me closer to him. And if all of this pain and hardship is just to bring me into the light of his glory… so be it.

{ 1 comment }

From the Lips of Children

by Jessica Lieb on October 14, 2014 · 0 comments

We’ve had a rough couple of days, weeks, months….

It seems every time we turn around some new difficulty befalls our family. So yesterday afternoon when Noah fell off the top bunk and broke his collar bone the only thing left for me to do was laugh. The last few months have been filled with a series of unfortunate events. We’ve dealt with Jude’s school struggles, a death in the family, sick children, financial hardship, injured children, an uncomfortable pregnancy, and many more hard life things.

broken collar bone

At this point Joe and I are running on fumes most days and our daily life is more about survival than anything else. However, I’m extremely thankful that through all of this pain and suffering Joe and I are working together and growing closer. We realize that the depth of our suffering is beyond anything we can fix and the only way to survive is to turn to God.

In all honest it took me a little while to finally give everything over to God. Jude and I were riding in the car. I was worrying about money while Jude was jabbering on about one of his favorite shows. Then suddenly he stopped talking and quoted verbatim Provers 28:11.

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

As I sat shocked that Jude just quoted a scripture verse I had no idea he knew God reminded me that I am not in control. My wisdom and understanding is extremely limited. I am unable to see the full picture God has painted of my life. Even though I know that worrying and stressing about my life situations won’t solve anything it took the words of my son to remind me that God is in control.


An Update On Jude


Tomorrow we finally have an appointment with a child psychologist to discuss a full evaluation for Jude. A few weeks ago we learned the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist after our health insurance mistakenly set us up with a child psychiatrist who just prescribes medication and doesn’t offer any evaluation. You live and […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


The other night Jude and I went to a preview screening of Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” I had some reservations about taking my 6 year old to see this movie but ultimately we both really enjoyed the film. I thought the film would be one of those hard […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Perfect Fall Day


After several days of sickness everyone is well. We spent the morning at Pullen Park playing, looking at ducks, riding the train, boats and carousel with Grandma. It was a perfect fall day.

2 comments Read the full article →

Tweetsie Railroad’s Ghost Train Halloween Festival #Giveaway


Tweetsie Railroad is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ghost Train Halloween Festival. On Friday and Saturday nights starting September 26 through November 1 Tweetsie is transform into a frighteningly fun world. Ghost Train passengers will travel back in time to the scene of one of the worst (fictional) accidents in railroading history. Old-timers swear […]

0 comments Read the full article →