Sep 172014
 

The following is my honest review of Mango Languages. I received the product for free and was compensated for my time in putting together the review. All opinions are my own.

Language learning online that goes with you! On your desktop, tablet, or smartphone, you can learn new languages wherever! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

As the we enter a more and more connected world, learning foreign languages is incredibly important! Not only in the business world, but also as more families and friends are separated by oceans, not just state borders. There are lots of foreign language resources available, and our family has tried quite a few of them, but none that I have been as impressed with as Mango Languages.

My personal aim is to learn Arabic for the purpose of taking higher level Islamic classes one day, in sha Allah. I’ve noticed even in local universities, to take the Masters and PhD level classes, you have to know Arabic. Kira, on the other hand, wants to learn enough Chinese that she can go to China with a foreign exchange program. Both of us are looking for everyday conversation to get us to our goals.

More than just language learning

Have you heard of Mango Languagues? Easy language learning online! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

Not only are we learning a new language, but Mango Languages also teaches tidbits about the culture where the language is commonly spoken. Between various lessons, you’ll learn about how people use the language, common phrases, and other gems you should know if you’re visiting a country where the language is largely spoken. Grammar is also integrated into the program, so you don’t just know the gist of what you’re saying, but you know how it would actually be translated, making it easier to come up with your own phrases and questions as you become more proficient. As a homeschool mom, I feel I need to incorporate these elements into my child’s language lessons in order to give them a high school credit. Just learning phrases to get around town isn’t enough.

Step by step pronunciation

Have you heard of Mango Languagues? Easy language learning online! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

In every other service I’ve used to try to learn languages online, it is on a phrase by phrase basis. I loved that with Mango Languages, you learn the phrase, but then focus on each word, and within the lesson you cycle back to each word to really drill it in.

Have you heard of Mango Languagues? Easy language learning online! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

With a foreign language, you need a lot of repetition for each phrase to stick, especially if you’re like me and consistency is a problem. How are you supposed to remember a new phrase if you just practice it once a week? Repetition is the answer!

Intuitive

Have you heard of Mango Languagues? Easy language learning online! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

Isn’t that home screen easy? You have your one language (or more), and some fun conversation pieces you can learn, if you’re interested. I loved that as soon as I had an active account, I could start using Mango Languages. It’s so easy to use and intuitive, you don’t need a tour or how-to video to navigate your way through. Just choose your language(s), click on it, and get started! The system remembers where you left off, so you can start where you finished last time with ease. It’s rare that I can finish an entire lesson in one sitting, so it makes it easy to just keep moving forward since I don’t have to start from the beginning of a lesson when I log back in.

Learn multiple foreign languages

Have you heard of Mango Languagues? Easy language learning online! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

Kira wants to learn Chinese, and I’d love if she learned Arabic so she could understand what she’s memorizing in her Qur’an class. With Mango Languages, I don’t have to pick one or the other. Heck, she could learn Pirate, too (under Specialty Courses)!

Free trial and giveaway!

I know that if you give Mango Languages a try via their free trial, you’ll fall in love. Whether you use their website or the mobile app, you have a new foreign language at your fingertips.

Plus, use the code HS5PM, and get $5 off the monthly subscription rate. Sweet!

Enter the giveaway below for a FREE Kindle Fire, fully loaded with Mango Languages software. The perfect way to get your language learning goals headed in the right direction!

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Sep 142014
 

What essential oils should you have on hand for everyday use? These everyday oils area staple in our home, whether we diffuse or apply.  - www.MiddleWayMom.com

When I was re-introduced to essential everyday oils earlier this year, I had high aspirations to start taking classes to learn all about essential oils, make my own blends, and fill my closet with many single oils because surely, I wouldn’t need a pre-blended mix with my amazing essential oil skills!

Yeah right.

One day I will remember that I have small children, and taking classes is very rarely a luxury I have the time to afford. I still use many single oils, but I do depend on blends in many cases as well. Please feel free to stop by my Doterra Shop to check out the oils and make an order for those that seem fitting for your family!

Doterra Wellnes Advocate

 

 

Remember, for all single oils, I dilute them! I never use undiluted oils on myself, and definitely not my children. There are various schools of thought on the use of essential oils and what’s best practice, but I err on the side of caution and dilute my oils: 3 drops to 10ml. You can find 10ml roller bottles online, or at health food stores.

Also, my recommendations here do not replace medical advice. Seek medical attention for any serious ailment or injury.

Itchy skin/rashes

My Aamina (almost 4 years old) really likes using oils, so she will often say she has itchy skin, or some other ailment that would prompt the use of oils. For simply itchy skin, I give her lavender, which is great to calm your skin from various ailments. Now, if she has an actual rash, I first apply melaluca/tea tree and normally follow up with lavender if it’s still itchy, or just to give it a more pleasant aroma. For more serious rashes, I mix oregano, tea tree, and lavender in a roller bottle (diluted, of course). If the rash feels warm for more than one day, it’s time to head to the family physician and find another way to attack the issue.

Cough or congestion

Here’s where I count on a blend to help our family work through a sickness. Amatullah recently was quite congested, so I applied Breathe blend to her shirt, and on my chest before she would nurse so she could breathe it in without it being applied directly to her skin (there are sources that discourage use of essential oils on the skin of children under 3 years old). Alhamdulilah, it helped her sleep better through the night, and therefore everyone else slept better.

The pukes

Oh, how one person puking turns into the whole family puking. Alhamdulilah, we now live in a larger home with three bathrooms, but just last year four of us were puking one day and we only had one bathroom! Ah!! That was a bad day. Not long ago, after we had moved to our new home, Amatullah was throwing up one night and while taking care of her I was wondering how far it would spread. How many people were going to be puking in the next 24 hours? The next morning I put OnGuard blend in my diffuser, and alhamdulilah, even though Hubby and I both had rumbly stomaches, no one puked.

Crabby kids, crabby mom

I was re-introduced to essential oils this past winter/spring, during a time where I was feeling very on edge, and generally burnt out. I needed some respite, but nothing was on the horizon until the end of the school year. I remember feeling really frazzled when I was at my first Doterra home class, and trying Balance blend and I didn’t think much about it after applying it, but after a couple minutes, I took a very deep breath and felt so much more relaxed. Balance blend is my go to blend for calming my nerves when I’m feeling rushed or anxious. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen I was using it in my diffuser as I was anxiously awaiting our central AC to be replaced during the hottest week of the summer.

For my kids, I’ve noticed Serenity blend works nicely. If they’re a bit rowdy, I’ll put a couple drops in the bathtub as I’m filling it up, more so they can breath it in than anything else, and it helps, alhamdulilah! Now that I have the diffuser, using that rather than putting it in the bathtub would be more efficient.

Now with my preggo fatigue, I need a boost sometimes, and if I’m really needing a nap, coffee won’t do it for me. Citrus Bliss blend has been my coffee replacement many days, plus it smells amazing! Sometimes I’ll wear it just so I smell nice when Hubby gets home from work.

Like I said earlier, when I was re-introduced to essential oils earlier this year, I was burnt out, and my main goal was for emotional and anxiety support. I purchased the Mood Management Kit (search for “Mood Mgt Kit” on the online store; for some reason, it’s hard to find just browsing), which comes with their four emotion balancing blends (Citrus Bliss, Serenity, Balance, and Elevation), plus three bottles of their unscented lotion to mix them with. This kit has really come in handy for both bringing me down from feeling anxious, and lifting me up to get me going, alhamdulilah.

Stinky laundry

I know I’m not the only one who forgets laundry in the washer for a couple days. It’s gross, and regular detergent doesn’t always get that musty smell out! I find an item in the wash that wouldn’t be awful if it got a little bleached (though, I’ve never had it happen, still, I don’t want to be surprised with something I like!), and put 3 drops of Lemon on it, then run the wash on rinse. This works too, if you have a load in the dryer that didn’t get completely dry and smells musty after a couple days!

These are just a few quick, simple ways we use essential oils in our home. How do you use essential oils?

Doterra Wellnes Advocate

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Sep 102014
 

Studying for a CLEP, DSST, or AP exam requires intentional studying! Learn some quick tips for better success! - www.MiddleWayMom.com

I haven’t talked about credit by exam for a while, but with the new school year underway, it’s about time to get some new exams on our schedule. CLEP, DSST, and AP exams are no easy task to take on, so you can’t expect to study for them casually and still pass. Kira has learned the hard way that there are some study skills that I nagged about last year that are really important. Maybe not as fun, but much more effective when you wish to pass an exam.

Take active notes

Highlighting doesn’t count. You have to use good ‘ol pen and paper to write down summaries, questions, interesting points, and anything else to help you remember the content. I’ve been amazed at how much I remember if I stop at the end of each section and come up with a one or two sentence summary of what I’ve read. As smart as you might be, your eyes glazing over a page of words isn’t going to fare well come test day.

Don’t listen to music

At least not the type with words. You can’t reliably expect your mind to block out words from music all the while taking in words from a page you are reading. If you really do better with background noise, try something without words or even better, nature sounds. Even with changing to wordless music, my gut tells me that having headphones in is a bit too much to block out, but you have to weigh the pros and cons. Our house has a bit of chaos from time to time with the little kids, so headphones might be a better option than listening to nature sounds and screaming kids.

Be alert

Sure, you can read 100 pages from your favorite novel at 11pm, but that might not be the best time to study US History. Again, eyes glazing over a book does not equate to quality studying. Most people can study earlier in the morning, after breakfast (or at least after waking up a bit), and again after dinner. Mid afternoon and late night tend to be brain drain times, at least in our family.

Study, double check, and study again

Do not leave anything unturned. If you have a book, flash cards, and an online practice test, use them all. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure if you are consistently answering a type of question wrong, you go back and study that section in your study resources. Ensuring you can answer that one specific question correctly likely isn’t going to help you pass the test. You have to know the material through and through. All tests come with some guide on what topics are covered. Make sure you are following that guide and mastering all topics.

Be over prepared

Yes, it takes more time to be over prepared, but if it means you only have to take the exam once, it is time well spent. We believed that if Kira got more than 75% on a practice CLEP or DSST test, she could go in and take the exam. Wrong! We are now aiming for closer to 90% because she didn’t pass multiple tests after only using the 75% mark. It’s better to think you can teach the class because you know the material back and forth than thinking you have a good enough score to pass.

Any time you think you have done good enough to pass, go back and study again. Good enough is never the phrase you want to use before taking a college level exam.

What study habits have you learned through the years?

This post is linked up across the web!

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Homeschool Wrap-Up August 2014

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