Archive | June 2018

Makeup Monday: Drama

Today’s look was inspired by this colorful sequined shirt that I picked up from Ashley Stewart. This shirt features my favorite phrase for the past 10 years, “no more drama.” When husband said we were heading out for some Saturday errands I decided to throw this on with some jeans and blingy sandals. The shirt definitely catches the eye and I thought the makeup should too.

On the eyelids I placed a light coat of turquoise eye shadow and a bit of fuchsia in the crease. Then, I finally enhanced the look with a hint of black and dark purple on the outer edge. All shadows used are from the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette which I received for Christmas.

To take this look to the next level I added a mix of turquoise, green, and silver holographic glitter eyeliners over the lid. All of the glitter eyeliners used to enhance this look are from NYX Cosmetics and BH Cosmetics which can be purchased online or in various makeup retail stores.

This look is all about the drama so I added a full strip lash from Kiss. Then I piled on the mascara for the top and lower lash lines.

Usually when my eyes are super busy I stray away from using a pigmented lipstick. But since we are going for the drama I opted for Mac’s Viva Glam Miley to set off this look.

The best part about this colorful creation is that even though during the day it looked good, at night time it looked grand! Hubby and I enjoyed our date and no drama, other than my makeup, happened that day.

Make this week drama-free,

Ta’Neisha K.


Home Depot Humvees (Art Appreciation Vlog #2)

We have been enjoying our art emphasis while we are on summer break. Art is usually a subject that we don’t get too often during the school year so I like to take time during our breaks to focus on art projects. For today’s our project we created wooden Humvee cars with a free kit from Home Depot. These kits were given out at our local arena basketball game.

Check out our vlog via this recent YouTube video

This art project was also completed as part of a collaboration can I participating in. This collaboration was created and hosted by Our Realistic Homeschool Life. Be sure to visit the playlist to view the other videos featuring creative art projects by children.

CLICK HERE if you missed our first Art Appreciation Vlog


What awesome art masterpieces have your children recently created?

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Review: MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs

For the past few months, Bam Bam has been mastering phonics via the Reading Intervention Programs offered by MaxScholar. This unique, multi-sensory, mobile, activity-based program was designed specifically to help students with Dyslexia, ADHD, and other reading processing problems. I decided to review this program for additional assistance in correcting our four-year-old’s speech impediment. We used this program at least four times each week and the lessons took approximately 7 to 15 minutes to complete. Let’s walk through the website and discuss how each part worked for our homeschool.

Assessments for each reading program offered is available when your child logs into MaxScholar for the first time. Scores indicate your child’s placement and level of difficulty within each intervention program. I helped Bam Bam take the phonics and reading tests. The phonics portion was too long for a young child and there was not an option to pause testing and come back to it. Because of the time that it took us to work through phonics, we decided to take the reading test the next day. He passed most of the reading comprehension questions because he was able to look at the picture while I read him the story and then tell me what was going on. Since my son is currently learning how to read he was not able to work through most of the reading test. I had to use the skip option for a least 70% of it. Based on the final results he was placed in Level 2 for phonics and Level 0 for reading which was accurate for him. His dashboard only provided options for phonics and reading but there are five additional programs offered.

The MAXREADING section was the least used out of his two options. The directions are for the student to read the story, highlight various aspects, and answer questions. The reading program is designed with stories that have chapters unlock after you pass the comprehension test. The stories were long and included too many words for his level of a reading. Even though he could not read the text he was able to listen to the story, read by me, and answer the comprehension questions out loud. It showed that he did understand what was going on but does not know how to gather (read) the information himself.

Though this section was not a favorite for us I do think that highlighting important things, understanding the main idea, and answering comprehension questions are all great skills to learn at this age. I also believe that a picture book option should be made available for children who do not know how to read. Sight words flashcards and adding audio to shorter stories are also other options that should be looked into.

Our favorite Reading Intervention Program was MAXPHONICS because of the layout and activities. We are currently working on reading lessons and this program lined up perfectly alongside that. Each lesson includes introducing a letter, hearing the sound, learning words that start with that letter, and writing practice. Some letter sounds work great and is accurate but others are quite confusing. For example, the /f/ sound is not at all similar to that heard in any of the words shown. If more emphasis was added it would be easier to hear in the video example. In the end, a master exam is given which includes working through each activity again. Once your child scores a 100% on each activity that letter is considered mastered.

Since Bam Bam has a speech impediment it has taken us quite some time to work through the phonics. He needs a lot of practice saying each of the letter sounds and over time he gained confidence in this area. The program will repeat each lesson until your child has mastered it which was a definite plus for me. I want to ensure that our son has a clear understanding of phonics because that is the baseline of his speech therapy. I didn’t mind him having to repeat lessons and made sure that I monitored his progress as he worked through the program. Once he mastered a letter no one was happier than his father and I because we know that they sounds did not come easily to him.

Upon logging into the teacher account you are greeted with a welcome sign and the dashboard menu. I thought that the layout for the dashboard was convenient and easy to use. In the Reports section, your options include looking at reports for individual students or an entire class, which is good for those of us who have multiple children. A generated report includes percentages for each available activity. The length of time the app was used for each day. The Materials section provides instant downloads of articles, teaching aids, and printables for your child. The other portions of the dashboard menu were not applicable to our homeschool because I only had one student enrolled.

You also have the option to preview some lessons and activities available via your dashboard by clicking Go to My Max. In this section you are shown an example of what year students dashboard would look like. From there you are able to click through the program and see what is offered. The only con for this section is that I believe that it should highlight where your child is specifically so you can view that first. I like the chance to get an overview of the entire program and seeing what is coming up so I can plan accordingly.

This is a convenient, easy to access, and user friendly website. It is recommended that you use this with a Chrome browser which does allow the audio instructions to play automatically. We tried this on a different browser and the program worked well. This website can be used on various devices but I strongly recommend using it on a tablet or computer. Cell phone view is a bit skewed and we had to constantly rotate the phone for the best view.

The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs offer a variety of activities that can be catered specifically for each child in your household. Though all the features weren’t available to us, the phonics program did work well for Bam Bam and helped improve his impediment. Frequent use of the website and practicing letter sounds did build his speech confidence therefore, we will continue to use this program. With consistent use, people with other learning disabilities or struggling readers might also benefit.

Click the MAXIMUM SIZED picture below to hear what members of the Homeschool Review Crew think about all MaxScholar’s Reading Intervention Programs have to offer.

Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Celebrating Fatherhood

Fatherhood is a job that cannot be fully described because it takes on so much. Not just creating the child but strengthening, protecting, guiding, teaching biblical values, and providing as children grow is only part of the job. I’m grateful for all the faithful fathers in my life!

This time last year I posted a Happy Father’s Day message to six men and within 365 days our family has lost three of them. My father-in-love in July 2017, my grandfather shortly before Christmas, and my husband’s grandfather just last Monday. As I’m writing this, I seriously can’t believe how much we have dealt with in one year but God has comforted us through it all. Our family is grateful and blessed to have had many years with these phenomenal Christian men before they rested.

Over the years I have been so confused at how minimal emphasis is placed on Father’s Day because the Father is extremely important to every child. I know every paternal relationship is not perfect but that can all change with forgiveness. Choosing to forgive and move forward is important to create a loving, peaceful environment. Both you and your father deserve that. If your father has passed on, you can still forgive, make peace, and move forward.

Let each of us make today about the special men in our lives! Buy some cards or make some with your children for the fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great grandfathers, and uncles that make a difference. Call or Video chat with them, (DO NOT text) and spend a couple of minutes expressing gratitude. If your father is no longer here, join in with other family members to appreciate your uncle or grandfather. A balloon release is another way to remember your loved one and even younger children can participate in that. Visiting a nursing home or Senior Care facility is a great way to spread the love on Father’s Day too.

Hope your week is off to a grand start. Enjoy the day celebrating your father or the father figures in your life.

Celebrate life,

Ta’Neisha K.

Check out these videos for more on the importance of fatherhood:

Makeup Monday: All About the Eyes

Today’s makeup look features some new goodies that I received for my birthday. I’m thinking of doing a whole video later on to show you everything that I received. But for today, let’s talk about this palette that has made my eyes pop like never before.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Prism Palette is a recent clearance purchase from Sephora. For today’s eyeshadow look I used Throne (center), Obsidian (outer v), Saturn (transition), Parallel (transitiom), and Pyramid (inner). These colors provided a smoky outside and gleaming inner corner.

I finished the eyes with tons of mascara, black liquid liner on the top, and a dark brown tight line on the bottom. I also added Osiris under my eyes for extra dimension.

Next up for this look is the cheeks that are always blushing because I’m in love with Kevin. But, I think that Love Thing by Mac is also a reason for the rosy color.

My lips are featuring a new gloss by Anastasia as well called St. Topez . This is a gorgeous pearl pink with gold shimmer added. When lightly applied, it complimented the look perfectly.

I hope you enjoyed a quick look at this face of the day. It feels good to be able to get all glammed up with high quality, clearance priced makeup. Even without the added lashes my eyes still popped and I receive compliments all day.

Though the Prism palette is no longer available at Sephora online, you might be able to catch it on clearance in store or at a different retailer.

Make this week glamorous,

Ta’Neisha K.

Textured Finger Painting

While watching YouTube I came across a fun video by Our Realistic Homeschool Life featuring a fun, new way to finger paint. Her video featured adding texture to the paper which gives the children something different a feeling as they are creating their masterpieces. Here’s a list of the supplies you will need for this activity:

  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Paper or styrofoam plate
  • Paint
  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Mixing mediums (optional)

I had a my oldest son help the children create their glue stick art. Next, they were able to freely use the color palette to create the cutest pieces.

The in results where amazing because all the children, even my oldest, enjoy this project and were able to truly express themselves in a really meet away. Each of their masterpieces perfectly display their personalities and I was so happy to try this art project with them.

Be sure to check out a tutorial and a blog featuring this cool way of finger painting.

Also, don’t forget to check out the original video that inspired me as well.

Make this week artistic,

Ta’Neisha K.

Review: Classical Composition I Fable Set

For the latter part of our school year, Bear has been using a unique writing program derived from the lessons of the world’s greatest writers. Classical Composition I: Fable Set, by Memoria Press, presents traditional writing techniques, vocabulary lessons, improves handwriting, and enhances communication.

This Classical Composition curriculum was designed based on the lessons that were used in schools for nearly 1500 years and taught by great teachers and speakers like Cicero and Quintilian. This program uses the ancient Greek progymnasmata approach. This method taught students to speak with proficiency and prepared them to create literary works that appealed to vast audiences. Classical Composition I: Fable Set includes a Teacher Guide, Student Book, and Instructional DVDs. The entire course covers 20 of Aesop’s Fables.

The Teacher Guide begins with a detailed breakdown of all the instructional components. The lesson is structured to read the prevented fable aloud, repeat and learn any vocabulary words, and then narrate from memory. Next, you help your child work through several paraphrasing exercises to better understand the meaning of the fable. After that, you guide them through the plot structure by writing a summary of the story. A grade based rubric is also included that provides appropriate variables for 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Each lesson includes a screenshot of the Student Book with a myriad of examples for the vocabulary words as well as sample answers for the rewrites and paraphrases. Within the appendix, located in the very back of the book, you can find figures of writing descriptions with detailed examples for each. There is also an essay about the progymnasmata teaching style which includes a bit of the history and how it is a being applied currently in an updated way.

The Student Book begins with the aforementioned breakdown of all the instructional components. I used this portion of the workbook to explain what the curriculum was about and answer any questions Bear head prior to beginning the lessons. Each lesson begins with a written version of the fable and has separated response sections for every part of the lesson. The response sections are lined similarly to college rule paper which didn’t work well for our son. He writes neat but still rather large, even in cursive so more room was needed for some answers. The appendix, located in the back of the book, includes the previously mentioned writing descriptions with examples and the essay.

The DVD set comes with four instructional discs, each housing five lessons. The main menu gives you the chance to pick which lesson you would like to go over. After you pick, each lesson has its own menu which includes the separate sections of it. From there you are able to decipher which portion of the lesson you would like to go over. The vocabulary words shown in the student and teacher books are provided on the screen for the student. The video lessons are approximately 30 minutes each. There are mentioned moments to pause the DVD so your child has the opportunity to fill in their answers. Upon return, the answers are displayed on the screen and explained. I like the idea of having the instructional DVD however, you do miss the opportunities for discussion with your child. Talking with Bear is one of my favorite things to do as his homeschool teacher. I also found that when we did it by ourselves it did not take them for 30 minutes as presented by the videos. Each portion of the lesson is broken down well but the instructional DVD didn’t work for us. However, I do think this would be good for students who have trouble reading or prefer video lessons.

The first DVD includes a course introduction which you can view, along with a sample lesson, via Vimeo.

As usual, Memoria Press has found a unique and updated way to use classical education to teach and perfect a new skill. With Classical Composition I: Fable Set Bear was able to learn and expound upon his writing and communication skills. We used this program twice a week and each lesson was completed within twenty minutes. I saw improvement while using this program and we look forward to continuing it when our next school year starts in July.

Be sure to CLICK HERE to read other reviews by the Homeschool Review Crew members. We each took various products and used them with our children. I have enjoyed all the reviews I’ve read thus far and I’m sure you will too.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.