The product showering rambles that go where tractors can’t

Something surprising is going on ranches in the little Focal American country of El Salvador. Numerous fields, for the most part of sugar stick, are currently being tended by rambles.

Substantial unmanned hexacopters fitted with 20-liter tanks for conveying compost or pesticides take after pre-mapped courses and splash trims as needs be.

This isn’t an instance of new tech supplanting old ranch gear – a portion of these fields are being splashed for the specific first time.

“We’re splashing crops that already have not being showered,” says Scratch Nawratil, head working officer of Hylio, the firm behind the preliminary.

“That is one enormous open door that automatons are opening up.”

In a nation where access to fields is frequently troublesome for tractors and even planes, rambles are indicating extraordinary potential. Mr Nawratil figures yields could enhance by “many percent”.

The automatons require human groups to mange them, however work is less expensive in developing economies

Right now, the vast majority of the work with agriculturists in El Salvador is preliminary based, however Hylio is making a great deal of progress. Mr Nawratil says that in one morning a solitary splash group can benefit 40 hectares – generally an indistinguishable zone from 40 global rugby pitches.

He’s seen with his own eyes the amount all the more rapidly sugar stick, which can develop to be 20ft (6m) tall or more, shoots up in the wake of accepting manure.

Automatons are touted as valuable flying farmhands since they can, in principle, enhance the exactness with which manures, pesticides or fungicides are connected. This is because of their capacity to splash particular volumes on GPS-characterized courses through a field.

One South African agriculturist as of late asserted that utilizing rambles decreased the pesticide use on her ranch by 30%.

El Salvador’s territory can be troublesome for customary ranch hardware to explore

This enhanced proficiency could go some approach to easing fears about the natural harm that abuse of pesticides and composts can cause, for example, lessened biodiversity and the harming of oceanic life when synthetic substances pursue off into waterways rain.

For creating nations in profoundly focused worldwide agribusiness markets, rambles are unmistakably enticing. The Philippines as of late reported that 5,000 hectares of vegetable homesteads would be utilized to test edit splashing rambles, for example.

Later on, will cultivating be completely mechanized?

Also, in India, a comparable pilot venture on cotton ranches was uncovered by state experts in May.

A couple of years back, Stelios Kotakis and associates at statistical surveying firm IHS Markit anticipated that there would be around 400,000 shipments of automatons to firms in the farming and ranger service parts in 2017.

Multispectral ramble sensors can likewise observe infrared and bright wavelengths

“From a [follow-up] review we did over the business, we were really near that number,” he says.

There are numerous tech organizations that claim their automaton based cultivating frameworks can expand ranchers’ yields – among them US-based PrecisionHawk and Airinov in France.

For Airinov’s situation, multispectral cameras are utilized to break down nitrogen retention at specific phases of a harvest’s improvement, outlined on what’s known as the Zadoks development scale.

This enables agriculturists to work out the best time to include manure and where it is required most, diminishing wastage of this costly asset.

An expansive French cultivating co-agent called Ocealia has seen a normal 10% increment in edit yields, as per the firm.

Airinov’s lightweight settled wing crop observing automatons can be propelled by hand

Multispectral sensors can record non-unmistakable wavelengths, for example, infrared radiation and bright light, and in addition obvious light, empowering them to distinguish supplement insufficiencies, bug harm, and water inadequacy.

Automatons might be computerized yet regardless they expect people to pilot, program and administration them, which raises the cost. Be that as it may, in creating nations where work is less expensive, rambles appear to be all the more financially engaging.

“In nations where labor is less expensive, it has a tendency to be more broadly utilized than in nations like the US and UK,” says Philippe Simard at Simactive, a firm that gives programming to process symbolism from automatons and satellites.

Mr Nawratil says that in El Salvador, Hylio’s dependence on nearby work dodges work misfortunes.

An armada of automatons transport tea leaves over sloping Zhejiang Area in China

“We don’t have Americans down there running these automatons, we prepare local people, local people are the ones giving the administrations,” he says.

Mr Simard’s organization offers ranchers the capacity to transform ramble caught symbolism into 3D maps of their fields to demonstrate how water may stream crosswise over them – valuable while deciding how flooding or run-off might influence harvests and soil.

Different things appear in the symbolism also, however. An ongoing task in Brazil utilized the framework to distinguish centipede harm on plants, finding where in the field this was an issue.

Yet, regardless of these promising contextual investigations, rambles in farming still have a great deal to demonstrate, says Bruce Erickson, agronomy instruction separation and effort executive at Purdue College in Indiana.

“It’s been exceptionally hard to change over the symbolism to a money related return for the rancher,” he says.

This is on account of agriculturists, who for the most part have long periods of experience doing what they do, are extremely aware of the way that yearly variety in their yields is ordinary. Such variety is additionally controlled by an extensive variety of elements including climate, atmosphere, irritations and supplement levels in the dirt.

For extensive ranches, checking reliable increments in yield and enhanced monetary returns because of automatons is as yet cutting edge.

However, Mr Erickson conceives that the diving expense of automatons and sensors is probably going to empower more effective utilizations of the innovation on ranches. At the end of the day, it won’t be long.

“There is certainly not a solitary individual that I converse with that doesn’t think this will be standard methodology later on,” he says.

Android Pie: Google includes Advanced Prosperity controls

Android Pie – Google’s most recent rendition of its portable working framework – has been discharged. 
The product acquaints another route with track use of applications on a cell phone or tablet and gives constrains a chance to be set, including the expulsion of shading from the screen at a picked time. 
The ninth release of Android likewise offers all the more intense notices and guarantees to broaden battery life. 
Yet, Google keeps on confronting issues with the dissemination of its updates. 
As indicated by its own figures, just around 12% of being used Android gadgets were running the past adaptation – Oreo – starting at a fortnight back. 
Google says that it hosts worked with third-gathering gadget producers to make it less demanding for them to check and convey the updates than previously. 
Be that as it may, until further notice, the new overhaul is just being made accessible to its own Pixel telephones. 
Why Pie? 
Google dependably picks a pastry or ice cream parlor based moniker for its versatile OS, moving one letter along the letters in order each time. 

Google says different producers should discharge updates to Android Pie in the pre-winter 
Past cases have included Jam Bean, Pack Kat, Candy and Marshmallow. 
Tech Tent: Would you pay for Android? 
Android telephone for kids on appear at MWC 2018 
Psion PDA gets Android makeover 
There had been hypothesis that the following name could be Pistachio Frozen yogurt, Pop-Tart or Pumpkin Pie. 
Be that as it may, the head of Android’s London designing group clarified that there had been a think choice to keep things basic. 
“It clues at similar objectives we have with Android when all is said in done,” said Andrei Popescu. 
“We need to improve the UI, we need to make the utilization less complex and more instinctive. 
“What’s more, I surmise that sort of resounds with an extremely basic and wonderful name like Pie.” 
Will it truly influence me to utilize my telephone less ? 

One of the new programming’s feature highlights is its new Advanced Prosperity controls. 
These are to a limited extent a reaction to feedback that shrewd gadgets can be “addictive” and troublesome to our rest designs. 
A dashboard gives approaches to perceive how much time the proprietor has spent utilizing their gadget, with a breakdown of the hours and minutes devoted to their most well known applications. 
Clocks would then be able to be set to restrict use of particular projects. 
At the point when the cutoff nears, clients get a notice – and when it is achieved the application’s symbol moves toward becoming turned gray out to keep it from propelling. The lockout can, notwithstanding, be superseded. 

The Dashboard gives proprietors a few different ways to envision their gadget utilize 
Slow Down Mode is expected to go about as a further incite to put down the gadget by the day’s end. 
At a pre-chosen time, the screen changes from shading to greyscale – meaning all symbolism is found in shades of dim. Also, the Don’t Irritate mode is actuated, hushing approaching calls and alarms. 
Apple is presenting its own Screen Time controls to iOS 12 with a comparative objective. 
However, one physiologist said grown-ups and youngsters alike should be taught about the advantages of the new offices to guarantee they are broadly embraced. 
“These are great measures, yet there are as yet going to be many individuals who don’t think they have an issue,” said Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, creator of Sleeping soundly, Wide Conscious. 
“In this way, there will in any case should be a ton done to teach individuals about the entanglements of winding up horribly subject to the utilization of their telephones and applications.” 
How have warnings been made strides? 
Pie adds pictures to the cautions – indicating both a little photo of the individual who reached the beneficiary, when significant, and sneak peaks of any photographs or other media they may have shared. 
In excess of 140,00 individuals volunteered to test the beta variants of Android Pie before its official discharge 
Furthermore, the working framework will now enable clients to answer to got messages by means of the notices themselves utilizing a Shrewd Answer office. 
This will endeavor to foresee and offer the coveted reaction, enabling the proprietor to send it without having write it in themselves. 
How has Google helped battery life? 
The tech firm has adopted a two dimensional strategy to the basic grumbling that gadgets come up short on control too rapidly. 
Right off the bat, it has endeavored to exploit a typical component of current versatile processors to limit battery utilize when the show is killed. 
Numerous CPU (focal handling unit) chips currently include “enormous little” engineering, whereby some processor centers organize speed while others center around being more power-proficient. 
The Versatile Battery work utilizes machine figuring out how to choose when applications can do foundation undertakings 
Android Pie currently plans a large number of its experience procedures to keep running on the more proficient “little” centers so as to expend less power. 
The second approach includes attempting to anticipate what Google portrays as “terrible battery days”. 
To do this, the framework thinks about a proprietor’s conduct keeping in mind the end goal to envision when they will need to utilize certain applications. 
By doing this, it can stop probably not going to-be-opened applications utilizing the CPU and battery to do errands that could be conceded until later when the gadget is energizing. 
Huawei as of now offers something comparable in a portion of its telephones utilizing its own particular machine learning procedures. 
What else is new? 
Cuts gives clients a chance to utilize applications without opening them 
The other greatest development is Cuts, which brings parts of an application’s UI to the fore without requiring the proprietor to open the program. 
For instance, entering a taxi application’s name into the pursuit bar may raise data about how far away the administration’s closest auto is and to what extent it would take to get the client home. 
In any case, this office isn’t set to go live until in the not so distant future. 

Application Activities attempt to anticipate what the client will need to do straightaway 
Different developments that will be offered at dispatch include: 
Application Activities – an expectant capacity that attempts to figure out what errand the client will need their telephone to do next -, for example, to call a particular contact, demonstrate chosen notes or play a most loved collection. The gadget at that point displays two or three these recommendations close to the highest point of its screen so they can be accomplished with a solitary tap 
a screen brilliance office that reviews how a client modifies their show in light of their environment, and afterward attempts to roll out the improvements consequently for their sake 
new signal controls to make it less demanding to switch between applications

Virtual Refrigerator – Confetti

Welcome to the Virtual Refrigerator art link-up! Thank you for joining us as we share what we’re creating in our homeschools. We cordially invite you to add your link sharing artwork that’s on your Virtual Refrigerator and then hop over to the other blogs and admire what’s on their Fridges too! The Virtual Fridge link-up is open all month, with anchor posts planned for each Wednesday.

You may remember that Kennady and I went to a Twenty One Pilots concert last week. Apparently it is a thing for fans to collect the confetti from concerts as a souvenir. I thought this a little odd when Kennady and others did it at the Pentatonix concert, but I’ve been schooled since then! And there was an abundance of confetti at Twenty One Pilots:

Kennady was among those who gathered up a handful – or a bandana-ful – of the stuff to take home. (I was just glad she did not lie down on the floor to have her picture taken like I saw many others do. Gah.)

Homeschool Highlights – The Week With the Big Concert

Welcome to Homeschool Highlights! 
This weekly link-up is your opportunity to share some highlights of what is happening in your homeschool and in your world each week. If you write a wrap-up post at the end of each week, like I’ve been doing, we’d love to see what you’re busy with from week to week. If you’d like to pick a favorite post from your week that spotlights a resource or activity in your homeschool that you’d like to tell others about, we’re interested in those too. I’m keeping the guidelines as simple as I can, and they will appear at the bottom of each post, along with the link tool. I look forward to getting to know you, and I hope this will be a source of encouragement and good ideas for all of us.
Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!

Death Wish coffee seems appropriate for the time of year, and because I needed some extra caffeine this week!
Homeschool news  . . . This was another week with family here visiting, so Kennady got a bit of a pass on schoolwork. Not much though! She still had a lot of reading to do for History class, a couple of writing assignments, and all her French and Speech homework. She did get all of it done, with the exception of finishing the book assigned in History. But the teacher didn’t read it either, so the discussion of the book is postponed until next week’s class. (The teacher is me, by the way.) Anyway, it appears the only subject that is suffering because of grandparents being more important than school is Math, and honestly it would have suffered no matter what!

Other news . . . We’d sort of hoped to go to the B&O Museum on Saturday, but decided that it wasn’t a good day for us so we looked for something a little closer to home and requiring a bit less time. To our amazement, when asked for ideas of what they would like to do, the kids expressed interest in going to an antique mall. This from children who used to moan and complain about how b-o-r-i-n-g it was when the hubster and I browsed antique malls occasionally when they were younger. So anyway, that’s what we did on Saturday afternoon – explored an antique mall not too far away from us. The boys headed home because Landon had a Civil Air Patrol event to get to, but Kennady stayed with her parents and grandparents and got treated to a very nice buffet dinner too!

Sunday was pretty relaxed, which was a good thing, because we’ve been running all week! On Monday evening, Kennady and I attended the first of the grad planning meetings. Whaaaaaat???? Our homeschooling days will soon be drawing to a close. Not sure I’m ready.

Along with all the usual busy-ness, Kennady and I had a really special day planned on Wednesday. She and I picked up her two friends in the late afternoon and we made our way to DC for a twenty one pilots concert! Another Year of Music goal met! It’s been a pretty great couple of months for Kennady as far as live music. She’s seen her two favorite musical groups live and had awesome “seats” for both. (Pentatonix was the other one – if you remember, we originally had seats in the stands, but Kennady was offered passes for the pit, so we were right up front for that!) We had floor tickets for twenty one pilots, so we were pretty close to all the action! (Unfortunately, there were a fair number of rude and inconsiderate people, so we had to endure smelly jerks getting in our personal space and took the risk of folks not really being in control of the adult beverages they were waving about as they “sang” along. )

What’s Important . . . this challenge and prayer, especially for the young adults. Put your name in the place of “man of God”.

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling?

No matter how long we’ve been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! This series will try to answers some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another. 

Do You Take Holiday Breaks from Homeschooling?
Yes, we do take breaks during the holidays, but it’s kind of on an as-needed basis rather than saying “okay, Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so we’ll take Monday to Wednesday off and be back on Thursday.” This is another area where the flexibility of making our school schedule suit our life is such a benefit!

Actually, when the kids were young we took a lot of breaks around the holidays. In fact, there were some years in which it seemed we barely touched our books between Thanksgiving and New Years! We tried to start school around the second Monday in August so that we had covered enough by the end of November to take as much time off as we thought we needed. And in those early years of schooling, it was relatively easy to get somewhat caught up again in January. Or close enough.

We also took breaks from regular curriculum to do things that were focused on the holidays. No matter where we were in our History study, we certainly had time to learn about the first Thanksgiving celebrations or the historic St Nicholas. We could easily take a break from Science and instead do Christmas crafts or baking.

A project from the 2017 Christmas Craft Breakfast

With older students, it’s not quite that flexible any more. For the last few years we’ve stuck to the books as much as we could all the way through November and December. We’ve taken Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off during Thanksgiving week. And we plan on taking about two weeks altogether around Christmas and New Years, depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on.

Now that we have a co-op class, we do have to work our holiday schedule around that to some extent. We meet on Thursdays, so obviously there’s no class on Thanksgiving. Today wound up as a snow day, so we will all have some catching up to do!  Our Christmas break from co-op seems very short as well, with just two weeks away from the classroom.

Even though I’m planning our school days right up until the Friday before Christmas, we are able to take a pretty relaxed approach to it. I know there will be days when we will set aside History for a bit so we can go Christmas shopping, and evenings when French homework might get put off until we get home from an evening out with friends. Having so much control over our schedule, and having co-op classes just once a week allows us to shift things around in our routine so we can do the fun holiday things and still (hopefully) get assignments completed on time.

And now, for us, the Christmas break has to allow time to spend with our youngest family member, and it takes time to be a good auntie!

Guitar 360 Method – A Homeschool Coffee Break Review

If you’ve been around my blog much, you have probably picked up on the fact that music plays a very important role in our family and in our homeschool. My daughter Kennady is the guitarist in our family, and although she’s been taking lessons and plays regularly at church, our schedule has been so crazy so far this year that we haven’t been able to fit her studio lessons in. What a timely privilege it was to be able to review the Semester 1 Bundle from Guitar 360 Method!

itar 360 Method is a 13-week self-paced course that does a lot more than just teach students the basics of playing guitar. Instructor Krisz Simonfalvi has an extensive performance and teaching background, and has designed this course to be both practical and comprehensive. Along with learning chord shapes, fingerstyle, and strumming patterns, students learn music theory and develop their own creative skills and ability to hear and identify notes and chords. All of it is very hands-on. Krisz teaches in video segments that clearly show what he is playing on the guitar and have on-screen diagrams as well.

Each week of lessons begins with a video explaining the goal – for example, the Goal in Week Four is Rhythm Guitar Dynamics and Structures – and giving an overview of the lessons. The video lessons are short (most are around 5 minutes), and can be played over and over again. Along the way, you’ll also find some Ear Training exercises, a few Quizzes, and downloadable chord diagrams and other printables. And the Practice sessions – these are great! These are where you get to put the lesson to use and play along with Krisz and the background tracks and get a pretty good feel for what it would be like to play with a band.

Krisz plays an acoustic guitar in some videos and an electric in others, and all of the lessons can be done using either. He explains that while some of the skills and techniques are most often associated with one or the other, they can certainly apply to either instrument.

When Krisz demonstrates a skill, often there’s a split screen so you can see a closeup of both the left hand and right hand. This is really helpful!

How did we use it?  As I said, Kennady has already had a few years of guitar lessons, and I may be a bit biased, but she certainly has a natural talent as well. And she loves to play, so she’s worked on her skills a lot already. She clearly didn’t need the Absolute Beginners lessons (which are free, and I’ll talk more about those in a bit!), and had already learned a lot of the basics in the Semester 1 course. Ideally, she would have started at the beginning of Semester 1 and gone through all the lessons in order, even if she breezed through a lot of them very quickly.

So personal disclaimer here: Although I allowed her to jump around in the lessons available and work on whatever skills she was interested in, and in whatever order she felt like, the only reason we did that is so that we could get a feel for the whole program in a short period of time. Even if you already play guitar well, I strongly recommend doing all the lessons in the order they are presented. There’s a reason and methodology behind the order, and skills are built on foundations laid in earlier lessons. I do plan to have Kennady go back and complete all the lessons in order. Since the course is self-paced, she can go quickly through lessons that cover skills or theory she already knows well, and then slow down whenever she encounters something she needs to practice more.

There’s another super practical reason to do all the lessons in order. Guitar 360 Method Semester 1 is accepted as a College Accredited Course at Visible Music Collegewhich we’ve already started researching a little as a possible higher education destination for Kennady. In fact, this is the same curriculum Krisz uses at Visible Music College, which he describes as “practical, real-world musical mentoring”.

So anyway. Yes, I let her skip around. Week Three turned out to be a favorite. It taught solfege, which she already knows really well from being in chorus, but of course it’s applicable to guitar and any other instrument as well. It also taught articulations and different methods of expressive playing using a simple major scale. In the Practice, there was opportunity to play in a simple and expressive style, to add creative and individual touches to a simple melodic idea in order to improvise. In other words, your lead guitar solo! This practice session featured a close up video of Krisz playing along with cues for what to play (Sparse and Expressive, Repeating Idea with Variations, Go For It!). The student is instructed to listen to how he uses articulation and dynamics to create the expression and variations on the theme, and then to play along with the track making the solo their own. If it works, I’ve got a video of Kennady trying this that I’ll include in a bit.
She looks pretty relaxed but she’s focused on the screen!
I thought it was great that students are playing real music that’s interesting right from the start, and that it makes scales and chord structures relevant to creating interesting melodies and accompaniment. If you’re going to practice your scales, it might as well be in the context of using them for a great lead guitar riff!

Every skill and technique taught is demonstrated clearly so you can hear and see what to do. And everything is applied to actually playing great-sounding music! The explanations are clear and easy to understand. Kennady complained a little that she didn’t think vibrato was that important to learn, mostly because she didn’t like trying to do it – it didn’t come easily! I mean, we’re all tempted to just give up on something that is difficult. But she tried adjusting her finger position a little bit, tried a couple more times, and I noticed that she made a pretty good job of vibrato the next time she played along with the practice. Apparently a little different perspective and an explanation of how vibrato can add richness to the guitar sound might have given her a little motivation to keep at it.

By the way, I should also mention that your progress in each lesson is shown by a progress bar in the Contents list, and a check mark when it’s completed. You can click a box to mark a lesson complete too. So as you go, you can see everything you’ve completed, and if you might have missed something along the way. And more good news – just because a lesson is completed doesn’t mean you can’t go back and review it and practice it as many more times as you like.

Now here’s that video of Kennady practicing that I promised (she did say it was okay to share). At first she is watching and listening to Krisz play, then she takes over.

That Beginners Course I mentioned?  First, I wish I’d had time to borrow one of Kennady’s guitars and try it, because I haven’t played in years and years, and it would be fun to see what I could do! Also, one of my adult sons said not that long ago that he might like to learn guitar, so I told him if he could get permission to use a guitar, he could start any time. He was kind of peeking around the corner one evening, so maybe he will do it. Anyway, there is a FREE guitar course for beginners offered! Even if you have never touched a guitar before, this course will quickly get you familiar with the parts of the guitar, teach you to tune your own guitar, and have you strumming your first chords in no time at all. In just three weeks or less, you can go from total noob to playing your first song.  And then check out the Bonus Songs – Beginners can learn to play “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and “Rejoice” by Israel Houghton. 

What we liked best:

self-paced so you can go at the speed that’s right for you, and you can repeat and review anything you like
learn to play real songs right from the start, and enjoy practice that’s really a jam session with a good backing band
very clear, high quality sound and video, with several different camera angles so you can see exactly what the instructor is demonstrating
all the music theory that is covered is applied practically to making good music
creativity and improvisation is encouraged right from the start
What I need to mention:
as of right now, Weeks 12 and 13 in the Semester 1 Bundle aren’t on the website. That content will be available in just a couple of months though. Keys 360 Method and Drums 360 Method are in the works as well, so stay tuned!
Our bottom line:  This is a great course for anyone who is motivated to learn guitar or work on their skills. Because of the emphasis on playing creatively and learning the use of varying strum patterns and fingerstyles early, I think it would be good preparation for someone wanting to play guitar in a church worship band or similar setting. 

Would you like to make music with Guitar 360? Here’s what you need to know:

Visit the website:

Pricing:  The Semester 1 Bundle, which includes the entire 13 week course, plus the 3 week Beginners’ Course and the 2 Bonus Song mini-courses, is available for $149. Guitar 360 Method is generously offering a 20% off coupon code to homeschool families reading the Crew reviews! Just use the coupon code HOMESCHOOL20 at checkout, and the price will be just $119.20.

Age recommendations: Best for ages 15 and up, although it’s quite suitable for younger students if they really want to learn!

You can follow Guitar 360 Method on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog for more information and to read other reviews.

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Homeschool Highlights – The Week With One Extra Hour and Lots of Extra Work

Welcome to Homeschool Highlights! 
This weekly link-up is your opportunity to share some highlights of what is happening in your homeschool and in your world each week. If you write a wrap-up post at the end of each week, like I’ve been doing, we’d love to see what you’re busy with from week to week. If you’d like to pick a favorite post from your week that spotlights a resource or activity in your homeschool that you’d like to tell others about, we’re interested in those too. I’m keeping the guidelines as simple as I can, and they will appear at the bottom of each post, along with the link tool. I look forward to getting to know you, and I hope this will be a source of encouragement and good ideas for all of us.

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!

Homeschool news  . . . We did our best to get back to normal after the family visit of the past couple of weeks, but still found that we were scrambling to get everything done. Somehow Kennady managed to get all her French homework done, complete her Writing assignments, and do all the reading for History class. Well . . . probably not all the reading. I don’t think she finished Davy Crockett. Our two usual at-homeschool days were interrupted by other activities, so overall I’m not disappointed with the week’s results.

We also had to make a special shopping trip so she could turn the above collection of confetti from the concert last week into the souvenir jewelry below.

Other news . . . Early on Saturday morning, the hubster and I drove my folks to the airport, and stopped for breakfast on our way home. By the time we got back to the house, the boys were gone on a camping trip. Yes, a camping trip in November. And it was a cool, rainy weekend too. I took Kennady to do some shopping in the afternoon and then delivered her and a friend to a sleepover. Both the campout and the sleepover were sponsored by the new young adult group at church. The young men (or Big Boys Doing Big Boy Stuff, as they like to refer to themselves) went on a campout, and the young ladies had a sleepover. Since we were on our own at home, the hubster and I treated ourselves to Chinese takeout for dinner.

Of course, we were on worship team on Sunday, so I had to drive out and pick Kennady up in time for that. Even with the “extra” hour of sleep, I was plenty tired and slept most of Sunday afternoon!

It was a busy workweek, as I agreed to work an extra day. We are down a manager at the coffee roastery so I filled in the full day this week, and will probably work an extra half day every week through the end of the year. While I’m happy for the extra income, it’s hard to be out another day.

Kennady and I also gave up our afternoon at home on Tuesday. Our church just welcomed a new Children’s Pastor and her family, and they arrived on Tuesday morning. Since there are two teen daughters in the family, Kennady and I offered to take them out for ice cream that afternoon. The older girl accepted our offer so we went for a drive, got pie and ice cream, and got to know each other a little bit.

Reader Favorites . . . some of the most read posts here on Homeschool Coffee Break over the past month or so – thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing!

How Do You Find All the Curriculum You Use? (Join the Homeschool Review Crew!)

No matter how long we’ve been homeschooling, we are curious about how other homeschoolers do things. And homeschoolers who are newer to the game obviously have lots of questions! This series will try to answers some of the questions homeschoolers ask each other. Questions about how we handle some of the little details and about our opinions on different aspects of homeschooling. Questions that we all might answer differently because what works great in one family might not work at all in another. 

How do you find all the curriculum you use?

When I started homeschooling, I bought a complete set of first grade curriculum from one of the publishers (I was aware of only three homeschool publishers at the time) and went with it. In my second year, I stuck with that publisher for most things, but found one or two subjects from another publisher. By my third year, I was a free range homeschooler, mixing and matching and cobbling together my own courses. And even then I guess I must have been doing some things that were a little unusual, because I started getting this kind of question.

Fast forward several years during which I continued to look for new and different things to use in our homeschool, and make up custom courses, and that’s when I was introduced to the Homeschool Review Crew. (At that time it was called The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.) This was a group of homeschool bloggers that reviewed curriculum and resources for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s website and blog. I joined and boy, did I ever find a lot of really neat curriculum!! That is the short answer to the question of how I find the stuff we use in our homeschool. But there’s more to it than that, because the Crew exists to share these finds with other homeschoolers too. Obviously, I write reviews (which you can find on the My Reviews pageor using the TOS Homeschool Crew Reviews label, or by checking out the current year reviews in the sidebar); and I write about the other curriculum and resources we use too. Every Crew review I write is just one of fifty to one hundred other reviews written by Crew members, so you can always find other opinions too. Just go to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to find all those reviews – not just the things I reviewed, but tons of other products as well!

But maybe you’d like to be involved in writing reviews and getting to try out new curriculum for free! If so, the Crew is now accepting applications to join us for 2019 – stop by the Crew blog and find out all the details. Or read on for some more questions and answers about reviewing with the Crew.

What do Homeschool Review Crew members do?

We agree to use – really use – homeschool products and write reviews based on our real life experience with the products. We are real homeschooling families and we actually use the curriculum and resources in our homeschools for several weeks before we share our reviews on our blogs. Our honest and thoughtful reviews are sought out by many publishers of homeschool resources, and we do more than just browse a sample. We get to use the full versions of the products, and we’re committed to genuinely using them regularly so we get to know how these things really work in our real world. And by the way, the products are ours to keep even after our reviews are posted. We get to review products from veteran big name homeschool publishers and from new innovators and family businesses just starting out. And it’s not all curriculum – often we get to review things like audio dramas from Heirloom Audio, or art kits, or even games.

Do you ever review something you don’t love?

Sure, we can’t possibly love everything we try! We do have the chance to give feedback on which products we most want to try and which ones we can’t use or don’t think are a good fit. I’d say that most of the time, we find lots of good things about the resources we review, even if they aren’t a perfect fit. We write reviews that are honest, explaining why it didn’t work out for our homeschool, as well as all the things that are great about it. When we find something we DO love – we keep using it, we keep talking about how much we like it, and we even become loyal return customers.

How do you use it all?

Well, it does depend on the ages and personalities of our students. I did a lot more reviews when I had younger students, and we were willing to give all kinds of things a try. The last couple of years, I’ve had just one high schooler, so I had to be picky about how many extras we try to fit in. Some products we review work well as supplements, so we can add them to our regular line-up fairly easily. When we review something that requires more time, we might put something else on hold for a bit, or even cobble the review product into our current study.

Does the Crew offer anything else?

It sure does! There’s way more to the Crew than just reviewing curriculum! We have a private forum where all the news and information about the reviews is shared, and it’s also a home base for this friendly and helpful group of homeschool bloggers to get to know each other. We talk about the reviews we’re working on and ‘business’ things, and we also share funny stories, prayer requests, and discuss all kinds of homeschool-related things. We also talk about non-homeschool things! It’s a supportive and diverse group that develops a special bond each year. We do our best to help new Crew members learn the ropes and feel welcome!

The Crew blog hosts blog hops and round-ups, and there are guest post opportunities as well. Crew members learn more about blogging and social media from each, and support each other in the various link-ups that we host. The art link-up I co-host, Virtual Refrigerator, was originally started by a Crew member; and many Crew members join my weekly link-up, Homeschool Highlights.

Another perk of being on the Crew is a subscription to!

Would you like to join us?

Here’s the thing – my remaining days with the Crew are few, because I’m almost finished homeschooling. I would love to be able to pass the torch to other homeschoolers who would like to be part of this dynamic and supportive group! The Homeschool Review Crew is looking to expand in 2019, doubling the number of reviewers, so now is the perfect time to check out the Homeschool Review Crew blog to find out more. Go take a look at this post on the Crew blog: Homeschool Review Crew Needs You to see the requirements and the link to the application.

Leave a comment and let me know if you apply to the Crew or have any questions about the Crew – or just leave a homeschool question you’re curious about.

This post is linked at the Homeschool Linky Party on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.
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RHYTHM GUITAR 017: Creating Rhythms (Country)

The 17th lesson of “Rhythm Guitar” shifts to a new practice routine that has the sessions start including composition. Each of the remaining Rhythm Guitar episodes will not only include stylistic examples, but they will also include a section for students to create their own original rhythm jams.

A bonus for BASIC and PREMIUM web-site members are the (9) MP3 play-along tracks that will help with learning each rhythm example. 

Paid Web-site members (BASIC and PREMIUM), can watch the associated video lessons and download the detailed PDF handout, along with the MP3 clap /strum play-along tracks… 

Join the member’s areato download the PDF handout and MP3’s. Study all of the examples with full access to both video lessons. Be sure to spend some additional time on learning the “Rhythm Jam Challenge” piece that I performed at the start of the lesson in the “Part One” video...

The lesson plan for episode 17 is dedicated to performing country. Four examples in the lesson will focus on covering; Back-Beat Country Accents in a mixed feel, Triple meter Country Shuffle in 3/4 time, the faster feel of American 16th-note Country and the performance of melody line lead-ups (filler lines) based upon arpeggio tones.

Watch the Part One Video FREE on YouTube:

PART ONE (free on YouTube):  Example one, breaks down the back-beat accent (mixed) country feel. The groove applies a blend of 8th and 16th note feel to create a strongly accented effect with a series of open position chords.

PART TWO:  In example two, our feel will switch to the triple-meter country shuffle. It is based upon 3/4 time signature and is one of the most popular feels found in old-time /classic country. 

All Songs Sound the Same (SONG RUDIMENTS)

Have you ever noticed how many songs seem to sound the same? A lot of songs will often share similar chord movements, they�ll share nearly the same structure and they will often share the same scales. It�s extremely common to find this happen in music, especially in popular music. But why is this – and what can we learn from it?

In order for you to gain the necessary skills to learn songs by ear, it is important to be able to understand what to listen for. In this lesson, I�m going to focus on three areas that you need to start getting really tuned into.

These areas include; chords, scales and rhythm. Once you can learn to notice the ways that each of these musical ideas are used in popular music, you�ll find it a lot easier to learn songs by ear and you�ll be able to learn songs by ear much faster too.


For most guitar players, one of the first things that we tend to focus in on are the chords in a song. Guitar players like to know what the chords are as quickly as we can, because that way we can back up singers, play with other instruments, and just plain old understand where the song is going, (especially if there�s singing involved).

So, you�ve got to understand that most songs operate around very similar group of chord movements. These will include; the �I-IV-V,� the �I-VI-IV-V,� and the �I-III-VI-IV-V.� Play through each of these in the key of �C Major� for you, so that you can hear what they sound like�

The �I-IV-V

The �I-VI-IV-V


The “IV-Chord,” often swaps out with the “II-Chord”