By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom | October 11, 2012
Well.. I went over to the dark side and gave up on Apple and iTunes and now an Android Devotee. I don’t play many video games or apps on my phone/tablet.
I have a Nexus 7 Tablet and a Razr Droid phone and tend to use them for email and browsing as well as the occasional blog post. A few months ago I was really into Draw something and that was the last game I could spend more than 5 minutes playing.
This week I discovered Zynga’s Scramble With Friends and have been playing often. It is basically Boggle but you play against other people. Boggle is one of my favourite games and I sure hope Boggle is getting some of the cash from this game!
I play against my 9 year old son and find it really helps with his word building. The incentive for finding new words in a game seems to be enough :-)
Some Hints and Tips For Playing Scramble with Friends
I am a not bad Boggle player but there are something in Scramble with Friends that are a bit different from Boggle. Biggest thing for me to get used to is using 2 letter words ( which you cant do in Boggle) Also making use of the double/triple letter and word scores.
Some quick tips that will immediately improve your Scramble with Friends Score:
1) Learn to swipe letters and not press each one. I do find that swiping increases chances of making mistake or misspelling a word but speed increase out weights the errors.
Best Power Up’s to Use with Scramble With Friends
2) Using Power Ups. I prefer to use “Freeze” power up. Mainly because it automatically kicks in at end of game if you forget to use AND gives you extra time. You get extra 20 seconds with each Freeze. If you are wondering why the person you are playing consistently beats you by a couple of hundred pints- this is why.
If you have enough coins then get 2 of the Freeze power up for Scramble with Friends.
3) Look over word lists of your opponent. You will discover word combinations you didn’t think of and tons of 3 and 2 letter words you never heard of.
More Tricks for Playing Scarmble With Friends
4) Another quick tip is if you have 1 or 2 seconds left in game quickly press common letter ( like T or S) and after game is over you will couple of seconds to come up with a word before game wont let you play anymore.
5) Stick to cluster of letters and then move on. Try and squeeze out as many words as you can when playing in an area on the board. This is key when you are playing with double/triple word and letters in last rounds of game.
6) Looks for as many plurals as you can- adding an “s” to words. Keep I out for other ending and prefix’s like “-ed” “-ing” “-er” “est” “-pro” “-Pre”. etc
Cheat for Getting Free Coins in Scramble with Friends
I blew through my first free coins without thinking and knowing what I was doing. Having to wait for these coins is ridiculous and total cash grab which really bothers me. You have to pay a coin every game to play. You also get one free power up and can buy more.
I did discover trick for getting free coins with Scramble with Friends and don’t feel bad at ALL for using it. Pretty much all you have to do to get free coins with Scramble with Friends is close the app (I use task killer to make double sure) then go to your phone or tablet setting and go to date/time and change auto to manual. Set the date one day forward. Open Scramble with friends and you will have 14 coins. Go back and change date back to “auto” set.
Good Luck- the game is a lot of fun and highly recommend!
By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom | September 25, 2012
Well.. I have often made the promise to myself but not ever really carried through. ALOT has changed in the 30 years since I first tried to learn guitar :-)
I first tried to learn when I was in high school. I went to a VERY alternative high school in Toronto and was almost a prerequisite to play chess and guitar!
My quasi-boyfriend at the time was a very gifted guitar player ( he is now pretty famous as a guitar player!) And at the time I was pretty intimidated and felt like if I could be GREAT at it why bother? What a terrible attitude that permeated my youth. If I couldn’t be the BEST at something then why bother at all.
The last few summers I made promise to myself that I would try and learn at least THREE songs to sing around the campfire…. and then promptly forgot about it.
Well- this summer made same commitment to myself in August and so far so good!
One thing unexpected that I discovered while trying to learn- practising and playing guitar has become not so much as learning songs to play by campfire- but I GREAT way for me to escape for a few minutes and take my mind off of things… I find it a great stress reliever and wish I had kept pursuing it. I really am enjoying learning to play an playing for myself- the sense of accomplishment I get is very fulfilling.
The internet an ddigital tuners have been a LIFE SAVER! I have studied music in the past and was not bad it despite being tone deaf .. I just work really hard at it. The biggest frustration as I recall when I first started to learn to play guitar was tuning the guitar- no way can I do it. If you told me you would give a a million dollars if I learned how to do- still no way I can do it. I am totally tone deaf.
My daughter who has AN amazing voice and perfect pitch has no problem but she also does have a digital tuner to tune guitar which is a GOD send! I also got a couple of apps from my phone to tune ( gstring_) but I much prefer the clip on tuner you just camp on guitar, strum then it shows you visually if you are sharp/flat and when you get it just right. I have this guitar tuner, the Samson Clip On Guitar Tuner and vert happy with it. I paid close to 40.00 for it but see Amazon has it for 15.00.
My guitar is CRAPPY 60.00 one I bought at liquidation place ( Canada X-Cargo)… I know… horrible, eh. I couple of my guitar playing friends tell me it sounds better than most enrty level guitars. I have told myself that if I continue to practise and enjoy I will invest in better quality.
I also started learning a few things over the interet- first with http://www.justinguitar.com/ who is totally free and quite good. He was good to get me staretd.
I wanted somethign more in depth and did tiny but of research an dthen just jumped in and took plunge and am currently using Jamplay, which is a paid service. I paid 19.95 for a month of access to their site and zillion videos.
I did a google search on which Jamplay artist was best teacher and for beginners I saw the name Steve Eulberg over and over so I use him. He is a bit folksy at start but after a few lessons you realize he really knows his stuff. I find the theory he injects a but overwhelming but can see how over time it will sink in.
I am finding that the lesson are challenging ENOUGH but no so easy I am bored. # weeks after using I would recommend giving Jamplay a try.
So far I am on his beginner lesson 4 chapter 8. I have learned 4 chords- G, C, D7, Em and Am , some scales and getting pretty good at some strumming patterns. With Justin I learned D, A and em as well and very comfortable with these chords. C chord I find tricky but have not hit the dreaded F chord yet.
I have found it KEY to play every day. I try and play in morning and before I go to bed. I find that whatever I play at night comes so much easier in morning and can feel the progression coming along well.
I will post regularly of my progress :-)
By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom | April 17, 2012
“Draw Something” is an app for iphone, ipad, android, etc. It is sort of across between pictionary and hangman.
You can play against your friends and family by searching for them via email or Facebook- or just have random games with random people around the world.
You get a choice of three words easy, medium and hard and earn 1-3 coins if other person guesses your word.
You Draw images that help your team mate guess, There is also a letter scramble below to help them guess.
Doesn’t sound like much but REALLY fun! I like it because you can play with any ages- I play with my 8 year old son. It is nice way to connect with him when hje stays at his dads. He plays on his itouch and I play on my android ( Motorola RAZR )
You would be AMAZED at some of the drawings people come up with!
You don’t have to be a a talanted artist to play- I am AWFUL at drawing but can be pretty clever with choice of images and word play. i.e.
convey the word “blonde” with 3 stickman, one with black hair, one with yellow hair and third with red hair and then draw arrow to the yellow hair.
Check these out:
Believe me ours dont look much like this!!!!!
Although my say bf came up with a really good “Rocky” last night. will see if I can get him to duplicate tonight.
What is your favourite Draw Something picture?
By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom | April 12, 2012
I have to say I am really pleased with the response The Hunger Games has had. A book featuring a female character, Catniss Everdeen and her “female-ness” is secondary to the story line.
If you read the book you a struck by how she cares little for her appearance, her hair and her clothes. What she does send time on is her relationships with her family and people close to her. Catniss also fights for something she believes in – her values not a man or a vampire :-). Not the man she loves but a system of beliefs. All very honorable and admirable.
Next way on the other end of the spectrum is Adele. So REFRESHING. We are oh so politically correct when saying the we are not judgemental when it comes to women being overweight and fat can be beautiful but how often do we see fat chick on the cover of Vogue Guess what??? Now we do!
Finally a real woman a real girl who is GORGEOUS and who embraces her curves. An overweight girl that young girls and teens WANT to look like!
Adele has really broken though this barrier and shown that you can be overweight and sexy and confident at the same time.
What women do you admire this year?
By Lisa - Homeschooling Mom | March 2, 2012
One of my best friends is heavily involved with hockey with two of her kids- She has homeschooled for 20+ years! Yikes. Her youngest is 4 so she has LONG road ahead of her.
My thoughts are with them today as they head out to hospital.