As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I had the pleasure of casting my vote in their annual Blue Ribbon Awards. All members of the Crew are invited to share their favorite vendors of the year in a variety of categories, and then the votes are tallied and awards given to the vendors. Here are the winners of 2014 (links will take you to the Crew blog post for the product unless noted otherwise): [Read more…]
A new month means a new reading list! Well, the month is nearly half over (again), and the reading list has a couple of holdovers from October, but that’s okay.
Read Aloud – everyone
We’re still working on The Egypt Game. Because we read Wayside School first last month, we had a late start on TEG, but we’ll definitely finish it this month. [Read more…]
As much as we struggled with multiplication facts with the boys, I was beginning to think we’d never move on to division. But I’m pleased to say that we have done just that.
After Will saw the way our current math program was teaching the topic (it was insanely crazy and confusing, using “longs and shorts” – is this a Common Core thing, does anyone know?), he made the decision I should have: teaching long division the normal way. He spent about an hour with the boys and they came out the other end of that one lesson able to divide.
And now, on to fractions!
Can you sell a torch purse to a princess?
Do you, Miss Princess, have money to burn? Then let me introduce to you the torch purse – it burns your money for you!
How about a bone sandwich to a dog?
Mr. Dog, what you need is to eat a sandwich like your owner does. But peanut butter is too sticky for dogs. Designed especially for you, so the move to sandwiches isn’t too abrupt a change from your preferred food, I give you the bone sandwich!
A colleague of mine through the Schoolhouse Review Crew (Marcy at Ben and Me) has done a “Blogging Through the Alphabet” series several times now, and I’ve never remembered to start when she’s back at “A.” She’s since decided not to do the series, but I think it’s a great idea, so I’m going to give it a go. Alphabet posts will happen once a week in addition to anything else I have to write about that particular week and may or may not relate to each other. Some will be about our homeschooling journey, some will be recipes, and some will simply my thoughts for the week. Enjoy!
So . . . A is for Armadillo. Pretty random, no? Not for our home this week. We just started a unit study on Wild Animals: Small Mammals (from the set of My First Reports by Hewitt Homeschooling) in our homeschool, and the first animal we’re studying is armadillos.
Here’s what’s on tap for this week of our study. [Read more…]
If you’ve been reading these pages for very long at all, you know that I’m a sucker for foreign languages, especially French. For over a year now I’ve been searching for “the perfect foreign language curriculum.” The conclusion I’m coming to is that it just doesn’t exist. However, Middlebury Interactive Languages comes pretty close. For the purposes of this review, we received a six-month subscription to their Elementary French 1 (Grades 3-5). As the product title suggests, this is designed for upper elementary students – roughly grades 3 through 5.
For this review, we were given several options of Middlebury courses – French, German, Spanish, or Chinese, each available in a variety of levels. It was a really tough call for me whether to start the boys with Elementary French 1 (which has no prerequisites) or Elementary French 2, which has the prerequisite of French 1 or equivalent. You know, of course, that we’ve been doing French off and on for a long time with the boys. But I wasn’t sure if the stuff they’d learned up to this point would be enough to qualify as “or equivalent,” so we went ahead and did Level 1. [Read more…]
Inspired by The Unlikely Homeschool, I’ve decided to do a post each month of what’s on our reading list. It’s a little late in the month to be doing October’s, but that’s okay; we’re still reading these books, and likely will be throughout the rest of the month.
Read-aloud – Everyone
We have two. First, we’re reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School. This is a classic from my childhood; it was my brother’s favorite book as an elementary school student. My kids haven’t had the pleasure of hearing or reading it, so I thought it would be a fun one. Plus, it’s a quick read which makes everyone feel like we’ve accomplished something in very short order.
We started earlier this week, and are already about 10 chapters in. The kids love it! And honestly, what’s not to love? Louis the yard teacher . . . Mrs. Gorf, the teacher who turns her students into apples . . . Mrs. Jewls, the teacher who thinks her students are monkeys . . . Maurecia, the girl who keeps ice cream in her desk. Good times. [Read more…]
We are fascinated by things like Biblical archaeology in my house. Get us (especially Will and Seahawk) going on the subject, and an hours-long conversation is sure to ensue. So when I heard that members from the Schoolhouse Review Crew would have the opportunity to review the new iWitness series from Apologia Educational Ministries, I was definitely intrigued. They asked us to review the following books:
Written by Doug Powell, each of these books takes the reader on an in-depth search of different aspects important to the Christian faith. The books aren’t a boring tome, though. Each one is designed to look like a stack of documents, using different graphics and fonts, to introduce you to the evidence that has been discovered over the years. They follow a logical progression, but the goal is not to just tell you, “This is how it is, so you have to believe it.” Instead, the idea is to push you to do your own research and (ideally) come to the conclusions that “Yeah, this is probably really true” on your own. The books are good for a variety of ages (we read them aloud with all three boys), but the reading level is roughly 11 and up. [Read more…]
As a mother with school age children and a little one, let me tell you: homeschooling with a toddler underfoot is hard. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t change it for anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult. Small Fry, much as I love him, makes our school hours a challenge sometimes. So when I was given the opportunity to review the e-book Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success while Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet by Kendra Fletcher of the Preschoolers and Peace website, I was definitely interested. And let me say, I was not disappointed. This resource for moms was a wonderful addition to my e-book library.
This 50 (or so) page book is available on Kindle (currently the only format you can purchase it in) for only $2.99, and I think it would be three dollars well spent for anyone looking for ideas to incorporate your little ones in with your homeschool. Kendra offers loads of tips and tricks for both involving the toddlers in “school time” as well as recognizing the importance of (and giving more tips for) teaching them to play on their own. [Read more…]
I’m not going to beat around the bush with this review; I’m just going to come out and give it to you straight. We love this program! The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has produced a fabulous grammar program for kids 3rd grade and up. We received for review the very first level of this program, Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1). We received both the teacher’s manual and the student workbook. There are currently six levels of Fix It! Grammar available, and each one works with a different fairy tale.
Here’s the lowdown. When you order, you receive the softcover, spiral bound book or books. The copyright allows you to make photocopies of the student workbook for use within your own family, so even if you’re teaching multiple children the same curriculum (like I am), you only need one copy. That is definitely a selling feature in my book. You need some regular homeschooling supplies to work with the curriculum, but nothing you don’t already have (probably): a binder with four dividers, some paper, and a pencil. Other than that, it’s an open-and-go curriculum – my favorite kind! [Read more…]