Our Family

Our Family

Monday, February 29, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Zonderkidz

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}
Zondervan has been publishing Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, and resources for over 80 years. Zonderkidz is the children's division of Zondervan. They have many amazing resources just for children.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz.
Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}
The Faith Builders Bible is a great Bible for the young people in your life.  It contains the New International Reader's Version, which is a simplified version of the NIV.  The Faith Builders Bible uses the theme of  brick building pieces to draw children in to reading the word of God and build their faith as they read.  Included in this Bible are 24 full color illustrations of models built out of bricks to enhance the Bible stories.  Illustrations include:

Books of the Bible
Noah Builds An Ark
Animals 2x2
Building the Tower of Babel
The Ten Commandments
Building the Tabernacle
Solomon Builds God's Temple
Bringing Down Jericho
Samson's Demolition
David Defeats Goliath
Psalm 23: A Psalm of David
Jesus is Born
Feeding a Crowd
A Change of Heart
Jesus Walks on Water
The Last Supper
Jesus and the Cross
The Lord's Prayer
The ABC's of Salvation
The Fruit of the Spirit
Building With a Strong Foundation

Each of the illustrated pages has a building block verse that the child can memorize.

Take a peek inside.
Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}
Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

Not only can children read this Bible on their own and see the models being built, they can also memorize the Building Block verses, and build similar models on their own, making using this Bible a very interactive experience for children.

You can purchase the Faith Builders Bible for $24.99.  

I was so excited to be able to review this Bible!  Two of my boys, ages 8 and 10, are reluctant readers.  I have been trying to encourage them to read more on their own.  We do a Bible study every morning, but it mostly consists of me reading out loud and them listening and memorizing Bible verses.  My boys love building brick models.  I can not even tell you how many LEGO they own!  
They were thrilled when the Faith Builders Bible arrived (it was a surprise.)  Christian decided he wanted to build the nativity first.

And Anthony wanted to build a cross.

We have been using the Bible for our morning Bible study and instead of me reading all of the verses to them, Christian and Anthony have been volunteering to read to us!  They take turns looking up the verses and reading them out loud.  That has been amazing!  We are working on a Bible Study about the days leading up to The Resurrection.  Next they are planning on building the Last Supper model.

They give their most prized possessions a place of honor in their beds.  They have been taking turns taking the Bible to bed with them and also who gets to take it to Sunday School on Sunday mornings. I think I may have to purchase another.

The simplified NIrV is great for younger readers.  The Bible is hardcover and very sturdy.  We absolutely love all of the illustrations in the Bible.  This is definitely our most favorite Bible!

To see what my Crew Mates had to say about the Faith Builders Bible, stop by the Crew Blog.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 23

Even as I count down the weeks of our school year writing these wrap up posts it doesn't seem possible that we have already completed 23 weeks of school this year! And yet some moments (like listening to a young reader read aloud or waiting for your child to complete their math assignment) seem to drag on forever!

23 weeks completed.  As much as we have accomplished so far, there are always things that we do not get to.  Some lessons take much longer than I have planned.  Sometimes children do not learn things as easily as I expect them to.  Sometimes real life just gets in the way of book learning.  I think as we go about our days it becomes so easy to ficus on all the things we didn't do. Even when it seems like we haven't done enough school or gotten all the chores finished we really have done more than we think. I choose to try and focus on the accomplishments rather than the things that were left undone and I bet if you look at all of the things you've done instead of what you thought you should've done, you'll be amazed too!  And friends even when you do get as much school work done as you think you should when real life gets in the way. I promise your children are learning through every experience even more than we ever realize!

Week 23 in our Homeschool

P.E.: We did 2 days of yoga and 2 days of Family Time Fitness.
Funky the Monkey joined us for yoga 

Bible: We completed lesson two of Grapevine Studies The Resurrection.

Read Aloud: We read 4 chapters of Corrie Ten Boom Keeper of Angel's Den

History: In The Mystery of History Vol IV we completed lessons 61-63 on WWII Part 3, WWII Part IV, and The Start of the Cold War.  These lessons were a bit more lengthy then usual as there was a lot to discuss.  Instead of completing the history lessons in 2 days, we needed 3 days to get everything done.  Honestly you could spend a lot longer if you were doing the additional activities and supplemental suggestions. After the readings the boys completed their worksheets, timeline figures, and memory cards. They also completed a map of WW II battles.

Science: Nick and Alex completed the first lesson in Intro to Archaeology and Geology from Master Books.

My Father's World Adventures: This week we learned about Robert Fulton and the first steam powered boat.  We completed Indiana and Mississippi in our state study.  In science we talked about juice and did an experiment squeezing different types if juice out of different fruits.  Our read aloud is still On The Banks of Plum Creek.

Math: Everyone completed lesson 22 in their books.  Math time is my hardest time of day, especially on Mondays after they have watched the new video.  It seems they all want to ask questions at the same time every week! I remind them often that there is only one of me and that they have to be patient while I am working with someone else.  Nick rarely needs help.  He watches the Algebra 1 videos and works out the problems on his own, consulting the teacher's manual if he has a problem.  I do ask if he has any questions or needs help but so far he has managed to do most of it on his own.

Art: I read a lesson on Expressionism to the four younger children and left out their supplies again this week.  They were supposed to do a painting of an animal in a background.  They did very good work!  The project I picked out for next week is going to require some help from me and it is going to be messy, but I think they will enjoy it.




Grammar/Writing/Literature: No writing this week.  The main reason I have been leaving it out is because of the review we are working on for reading/spelling/grammar.  It takes longer than our regular reading/spelling so we have not had time to do writing as well.  We completed lesson 25 of Fix It! Grammar.  Alex completed lesson 3 in LLALT.

Reading/Spelling: Alex finished lesson 20 in The Phonetic Zoo.  Lily finished lessons 4,5, and 6 in AAR Level 2.  I am working on a review of Logic of English Essentials 2nd Edition with Anthony and Christian has been helping us do parts of it and learning the lessons along with Anthony.

Horizon's Preschool: Emmie completed lesson 113. I am just picking and choosing things for her to do.  Not completing the whole lesson.

Other Activities this Week:

Monday was gymnastics.

Wednesday was Kid's Club.
We were trying to keep the baby from crying by blowing bubbles the others were entertained as well!

Friday we went to the park for lunch and to play with some friends before grocery shopping and running errands.  The children decided to play in the sand put and built some sand castles.

We are going to be doing a review of Stopmotion Explosion.  Our kit came on Friday right before we headed out for the day.  We opened it yesterday, loaded the software, and started reading through the book.  Anthony made a short stopmotion film called LEGO Pizza Making which I think was great for his first attempt!  Today he has been working all afternoon to make things for his next movie.  His creativity amazes me!

The work on the bathroom stalled after last Saturday. The tub we had bought had a crack in it and Art could not take it back until Friday after work.  They did not have any more in stock so we are still without a new tub.  This weekend the boys have been doing the roof.  The shingles have been in the shop for a long time but every Saturday that Art has been home it has rained.  The bathroom will be a work in progress after we are able to get the tub!
the girls dressed as ninjas one day Emmie said she was Ninja Baby

I hope you had a great week in your homeschool!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Schoolhouse Crew Review: SimplyFun

I'm reviewing  The Climbing Knights, one of four SimplyFun new releases.

SimplyFun Review

SimplyFun has a variety of educational games for children of all ages.  In 2012 their games won over 50 awards.  They believe that play is an important part of children's emotional, academic, and social learning process and that through play you will build smarter kids and stronger families.  

Last year we had the opportunity to review Expanders from SimplyFun.  You can find my review on that here.   We were quite excited to see them on our vendor list for this year and thrilled to be able to review one of the new releases, The Climbing Knights.

The Climbing Knights is recommended for ages 8 and up.  2-4 players can play at one time and the game takes around 30 minutes to complete.  The object of the game is to be the fastest knight to climb the tower and retrieve both of your coat of arms. In the game box you will find:

One castle (this does need to be assembled each time you play)
4 magnetic knights
2 guard pawns
8 coats of arms
3 dice 

The first thing you have to do in order to play the game is to assemble your castle.  There are 3 main parts: bottom, middle, and top, with a triangular piece to go in between the pieces and at the top, and a base for the castle to sit on.  The gray guard is placed at the starting space of the lower level walkway and the black guard is placed at the upper level walkway.  The coat of arms are put at the top of the castle and the knights at the bottom on either of the climbing walls.  Each player rolls all three dice at one time.  The black die tells you how to move the black guard.  The gray die tell you how to move the gray guard and the white die tells you how to move your knight.  You must get your knight to the top without the guards seeing you or you will have to go back to the bottom of the castle and start over.  

My children were thrilled when the box arrived and could not wait to start playing.  I glanced quickly at the directions and was happy to see that setting up and starting the game would be fairly easy.  It can be very hard to try and figure out a new game that has complicated directions when you have eager children.  I was worried that the castle would be flimsy and not stay together well, but those fears were put to rest right away.  The castle itself is very sturdy and the walls were much thicker then I expected.  The pieces fit very snugly into each other and it only takes a few minutes to set up and take down.
Even though the game is recommended for ages 8 and up, younger children can play as well with a little bit of help.  I had my 4,6,8, and 10 year olds all playing the game together.  It has become one of their favorite games and they have taken it out and played it on their own many, many times over the last several weeks. 
The skills listed that they will learn through their play include:

Spatial Reasoning: Players have to figure out how to move their knights without being caught by the guards.  Hiding under window ledges is a favorite way to hide.

Strategy: Players must consider at each roll of the dice how it will impact the guards and where the guards might move. My children like it when the guards go to sleep.

Members of The Crew reviewed both The Climbing Knights and Archery Dice.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog.  I am heading over to read the reviews of Archery Dice.  The children love to play games and I love when they are fun and educational!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 22

This illness we have had is still lingering on, but I am happy to say that it seems to be drawing to a close.  No new fevers, just continuing cough, runny nose, and sore throat, especially at night.  We did get in a full week of school this week, and had a few extra activities as well.

Week 22 in our Homeschool

P.E.: We did three days of yoga this week.

Bible: We completed lesson one in Grapevine The Resurrection.

Read Aloud: We read 4 chapters of Corrie Ten Boom Keeper of Angel's Den.

History: In The Mystery of History Vol IV we completed lessons 58-60 on The Spanish Civil War, WW II Part 1 and WWII Part 2.  We still have 2 more parts to cover on WW II.  The boys completed their worksheets for each lesson, added our timeline figures to the board, and completed memory cards.  The map assignment was a map of Europe.

Science: We finished lesson 14 of Exploring Creation With Anatomy and Physiology on human growth.  This was the last chapter in the book.  Next we will be moving on to Intro to Archaeology and Geology from Master Books.

My Father's World Adventures: This week we learned about Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase.  The state we covered was Louisiana.  We also read about Francis Scott Key writing the Star Spangled Banner.  In science we are talking about plants.  Our experiment was to try to sprout popcorn. One setting used wet paper towels and the other used dry.  Each day they had to check their seeds and draw what they looked like.  The boys knew which ones were going to grow, but it was still fun to see the little sprouts!

We are reading On the Banks of Plum Creek.  One of the chapters we read was when Laura is tempted to go to the swimming hole that has deep water after being told she can never go there.  On her way, a strange animal she has never seen before is in her path.  After she confesses and receives her punishment of having to be watched an entire day, she and ma go to look for the badger's den. They find it but never see the badger again. Anthony said he thought God sent the badger there to save Laura from drowning.

Math: Each child finished lesson 21 of their math books.

Art-I have been feeling so guilty that we have done next to no art this year and have been trying to figure out how to fit it back into our homeschool because it really needs to be there and the 4 younger children enjoy it so much!  Usually in the mornings after P.E., Bible, and Read Aloud, the 4 younger children are excused to go play while I read to the older boys.  On Thursday instead of sending them to play I read a lesson out of ARTistic Pursuits to them on Kandinsky abstract art and complimentary colors. I set the supplies they needed to do the project out on the table.  They did some beautiful work!



Grammar/Writing/Literature: No writing this week.  We completed Lesson 24 of Fix It! Grammar. Alex started Lesson 2 in LLATL.

Reading/Spelling: Lily completed lessons 1, 2 and 3 in All About Reading Level 2.  Alex finished lesson 19 in Phonetic Zoo.  Christian and Anthony are helping me with a review of Logic of English Essentials 2nd Edition.  We completed lesson 1.  They also completed lesson 28 in AAR Level 3.

Horizon's Preschool: Emmie has completed through lesson 112.

Other Activities This Week:

Monday: No gymnastics because the public schools had the day off.

Tuesday: 4 H Bread and Cookie Contest
Everyone's entries

Wednesday: Kid's Club.  One of the things discussed during story time was that the reason we should or shouldn't do things is not because someone tells us to but because God tells us to.  I hope this is something that the rest of my children listen to.  We don't just make up rules just for no reason but rather we choose to do or not do many things because of what God's word tells us.

Friday: We had a great time at Frontier Days for Homeschoolers at Historic Washington State Park.

Our chickens started laying again!

And the pink bathroom is no more!

I hope you had a great week in you homeschool!