Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.


TOS Crew Review: KinderBach

My first review for the new year! I was a part of the Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Review Crew for 2013, and am again for 2014. I have several reviews in the works, and my first for the year is for KinderBach. Three of my children, Sterling, age 6, Ruby, age 5, and Charlotte, age 3, have been doing KinderBach for over a month now and LOVE the KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Approach with Teacher Corner approach to piano and beginning to learn more about the keyboard. KinderBach offers 6 levels, each to be worked through four days a week for 10 weeks for a total of 60 weeks of instruction.

Written for ages 3-7, KinderBach had all three of my children in this age range, and my two year old as well, enthralled. The videos are short and colorful, and Dodi the Donkey, teacher Miss Karri, and Frisco quickly became a household phrases, and Kinderbach had them learning a few simple songs just in the first month while we did this review. The kids begged to “do piano” each day and loved all the printables. The printable to do with each lesson are showed during the lesson, so my older children were quite clear on what page they were supposed to be doing each day.

I lined up all of my children to watch the videos each day during our school days. The crowd around the computer became a pushing session, making me think as we continue with our KinderBach membership that one at a time would be a far easier proposition. There’s only so much learning that can go on while you’re getting elbowed in the ribs. Even so, piano quickly became the most-loved subject in Sterling and Ruby’s world. (It was equally loved in Charlotte’s world – it was also her only subject.) KinderBach brags the value of learning piano and it’s long term benefits – and who’s to argue? Learning rhythm, reading notes, and more is a lifelong skill. To begin it so simply, at home, without expensive lessons, on something as simple as a small keyboard, makes this a gentle beginning easy for child and Momma.

For access to all of the KinderBach lessons and levels, the PDF downloadable worksheets, MP3’s and more, the KinderBach website has more information here. Priced at $95.88 a year, which works out to $7.99 a month, it provides a great beginning to piano for homeschoolers and other alike, with lessons that my kids absolutely loved. Their only complaint: the lessons were over sooner than they wanted them to be, so they soon figured out how to watch more lessons and ended up doing more lessons on the computer than they were supposed to. Since the beauty of homeschooling is working at your own pace, I let it go. Those videos were oft-watched and re-watched, while much giggling went on at some of the antics of the teacher and characters on the videos. I did end up slowing them down a bit so they could practice what they’d learned.

A free online trial is available here. Many sample lessons are also available there so that you may better see what the program entails. KinderBach also offers a iPad and iPhone app – I do not have an appropriate device to try out the app, but others on the review crew were able to try that out as well. The Review Crew Blog will give you a chance to read those reviews as well. To read what others on the 2014 Review Crew thought about KinderBach, head over to the Review Crew Blog.

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