Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: WorthyKids/Ideals


We have been so blessed with great children's books to review this year!  Our most recent review has been for the first two books in the series The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls from Worthy Kids/Ideals.

We reviewed:

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1)
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2)

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls books were written for beginning readers who are ready to read short chapter books, but the stories can be enjoyed by older or younger children as well.  In the series, Peter, Mary, and their dog Hank go to stay with Great Uncle Solomon who is an archeologist.  Solomon discovered some ancient scrolls that have the ability to send who they choose back in time.  Peter and Mary are chosen by the scrolls and in each book travel to a different time in Bible history.  Along their journeys they are helped along the way by the angel Michael.  They have some rules on their adventure.  They cannot tell people they are from the future, they cannot try to change the past, and if they don't solve the mystery on the scroll in seven days they are stuck in that time period.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

The Beginning Book #1 is a 108 page paperback book with 12 chapters.  In this book, Peter and Mary, and Hank are taken back in time to the Beginning and are able to view the creation of the world and everything in it.  During this adventure they have to deal with a slithery snake who tries to convince the children that God has not been there or created anything, that the world had always been there.  When he cannot convince them he takes the children captive.  They are rescued by Michael , get to see Adam and Eve created, and solve the secret just in time to be able to return home.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

Race to the Ark Book #2 is an 118 page paperback book with 13 chapters.  In this adventure, Peter, Mary and Hank go back in time to right before the flood.  They discover that the world is not a very nice place and people ,with the exception of Noah's family, don't believe in God.  While helping Noah and his family, they have another run in with Satan, who at the time is called the Dark Ruler.  They are locked in a dungeon and rescued by Michael.  Noah tries to convince them to get on the ark, but they must stay to solve the secret of the scroll so they can return home. 

I was glad to have an opportunity to review these books for my 8 year old daughter Lily.  She loves to read and likes mystery books.  I went ahead and read both books myself because I did not think that she would be able to finish both books during the review period, but she has enjoyed the parts that she has read so far.

I love the idea behind these stories.  They are great mystery books with a Biblical story line that has fiction and fantasy added in. The Biblical time period will be very familiar to young readers but will help children to put themselves in Mary and Peter shoes and see these events happening.  Each scroll teaches an important lesson for children to remember.  The suggested age range for the books was 6-9. I think they would definitely fall in the later end of this age range and even beyond. Some of the vocabulary in the books may be a bit challenging to young readers so if you have a child that is just starting to read chapter books, you may want to read along with them or read it aloud.  I look forward to more books in this series being released. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 5

My husband had to go out of town for a few days to attend some meetings in North Carolina.  He left early Sunday morning and was back at bedtime Tuesday night.  Sunday night our junior and senior high youth meet for an hour.  Every year though, in September they do a two hour event that includes a homemade water slide.  Art usually drops the boys off at youth and then goes to the gym, but since he was gone I had to take them.  I decided to stay in town rather then make the drive back and forth again.  I packed a picnic supper, dropped the boys off at church and took the others to the park.  We have been spending a lot of time there lately and after an hour (it was pretty hot!) they had had enough.  So we went back to church to see what was happening there.  They were so excited when they were able to go down the waterslide too!  They had the best time!  (Nick decided not to slide this year.)

Monday Lily and Alex's music lessons were cancelled because their teacher was sick.  Christian and Alex had a soccer practice that evening.

Tuesday required some juggling.  The girls gymnastics is from 4:30-5:30.  Alex and Christian had to be at the park by 5 to start practicing and the game started at 5:30.  Nick had to be at church at 6 for youth.  I took the girls, watched them for a bit, then left and ran all the boys to the park.  Went back to gymnastics, made the girls leave a few minutes early so we wouldn't miss the beginning of the game.  Got back to the park and Nick left to walk to church (thankfully it's right across the street!) 

Wednesday was Kid's Club.  Just as we were getting ready to pull out of the driveway I heard a loud popping sound and then a whooshing sound of air leaving something.  My tire had blown.  I was very thankful it happened in the driveway and not when I was going down the road.  My very capable teenage boys changed the tire for me and we were on our way.

Thursday Christian and Alex had another soccer game.  Unfortunately I had the time wrong, but thankfully we made it in time anyway!

Friday I was thankful that after grocery shopping we could stay home the rest of the day!

Week 5 in our Homeschool

P.E.: We did a lot of walking at the park this week.  After we finished walking the children played on the playground.

 Emmie wanted to visit the dinosaur footprint in the park

 They were playing quite a game that they made up.  At one point they were in the belly of some sea creature (this slide) and were trying to avoid being digested.

Bible: We read from Luke 7:17-8:25.

Poetry: We are still working on the Duke of Plaza-Toro.  They don't love this poem.

Geography: This week we learned about the country of Nicaragua.

History: We read Lesson 5 in America's Story on the Pilgrim's voyaging to America.  One of the assignments was to draw a comic about the voyage. The boys did a great job with this!

Science: We read lessons 3 and 4 in Science in the Age of Reason.  The book focuses on scientists and what they discovered. Lesson 3 was on Farenheit and we did a cool experiment with a marshmallow, potato, and ivory soap to see what would happen to them when heat was added.  Lesson 4 was about Thomas Fairchild and hybrid plants.

Math: I started Emmie on CTC Math (upcoming review) at the first grade level.  She really likes it so far and completed 4 lessons this week.  I had Christian do a few lessons on multiplication on CTC as well.  I am hoping using this as a supplement for him will help him gain some confidence.  Lily, Christian, and Anthony each completed 4 lessons in Math Lessons for a Living Education. 

Language Arts: Anthony and Christian are reading Johnny Tremain and working on the lessons to go along with it in Readers in Residence.  They did an assignment that had them search for vocabulary words that were new to them and started describing the characters in the book.  Lily worked on some grammar worksheets on nouns from Super Teacher Worksheets (upcoming review.)

Reading/Spelling: Anthony and Christian completed step 14 in AAS Level 4.  Lily completed lessons 38,39,40,41, and 42 in AAR Level 3 and Emmie completed lessons 15 and 16 in AAR Level 1.

Alex 8th Grade: Time management continues to be a problem.  I'm trying to get him to realize on his own that the work doesn't go away and by not completing it when he is supposed to he just causes it to build up.  But, in math his lessons were on solving one and two step equations and equations with real numbers.  Science lessons were on size, distance, and area.  History lessons were on the English face Unknown Horizons and Dutch Trading Interests.  In Language Arts he had a lesson on homonyms and a spelling quiz.

Nick 10th grade: Nicholas completed lesson 5 in MUS Algebra II.  In  health he read chapter 5 of Total Health on infectious diseases and in History completed lesson 13.

Liam has learned to roll over!

I have pumpkins growing in my front yard that I didn't plant!  I think they came from carving pumpkins last year.  The first few plants I pulled out but then I left one to see what would grow.

Goats are still nosey!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Let's Go Geography

Let's Go Geography

This year I wanted to do some geography with the children, but I did not want to use something that was incredibly time intensive or had to be used every day.  I was excited to see Let's Go Geography appear on our vendor list and thrilled to have an opportunity to use and review their weekly homeschool geography curriculum.  We were given a one year subscription to year one of this three year elementary geography curriculum.
Let's Go Geography

Let's Go Geography is a digital geography curriculum geared for ages K-4.  Each week's lesson covers a different country.  There are lesson plans for a 36 week school year with a week's break every 9 weeks and review lessons built in. You download the PDF for the country to your computer.  You can print out the entire lesson or choose to only print the pages the student needs to complete.  Each of the lessons follow a similar format.   The first part of the lesson is an Are You Ready section that gives information on the country's size and languages, plus an itinerary, and list of other things you might need. The next section is the Map It section and includes a continent map, and a map of the area to be labeled and/or colored.  Next you will find the flag section with a country flag to be colored and added to your map or travel passport.  The Music is the next section with the National Anthem for the country and a link to listen to it. The Let's Explore section contains fun and interesting facts about the country, links to YouTube videos to watch about the country, along with suggestions of where to look in the library or online for additional information.  There are also pictures to look at highlighting specific things from that country.  The Create section of the lesson has a hands on craft to make and a coloring page.  It also includes a notebooking page for students to record the information that they think is important to add in their notebook.  The last section has the printables that need to be printed out to be completed.

The lessons go in a specific order, but you can choose to do them in any order you wish. Each lesson is a stand alone lesson and does not build on the week before. Year One covers the following countries:

U.S. The Northeast
U.S. Hawaii
South Africa
New Zealand

I have been using Let's Go Geography with my 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th graders.  We are completing one lesson each week.  We work on geography every Monday and it takes us less than an hour to go through the lesson.

We really have been enjoying Let's Go Geography!  I like the way the lessons are laid out.  It is very easy to teach.  The night before I download the lesson and print the pages that we need.  The rest of the lesson I read off of the computer so it is easy to get to the items that are linked.  I love the information that is included with each lesson.  Last year when we were studying geography I wished the curriculum we were using had included links to videos so we could see what they were talking about.  I just did not have the time to hunt down information. I was so glad to see video links included in Let's Go Geography!  It has been so cool to see volcanoes that are erupting or different views of the country we are studying.  It helps the children really understand what they are learning about if they can see it themselves.

I love the inclusion of a hands on craft or coloring sheet.  There are times that there is a lot going on in our lives (like the last several weeks!) that we just do not have the time to do a craft.  I have been thankful for the coloring pages the last few weeks.  But when things slow down a bit or on days when the weather is bad and children are stuck inside, its great to have a craft included. 

We are loving our geography lessons with Let's Go Geography!  We will be continuing to use this curriculum and can't wait for years two and three to be released.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Homeschoool Crew Review: Barbour Publishing

Barbour Publishing

I love to read and am always on the lookout for great books to read aloud to my children.  Our latest review opportunity came from Barbour Publishing.  They sent us one of their newest releases, Imagine...The Great Flood by Matt Koceich.

IMAGINE... The Great Flood

Imagine...The Great Flood is a 112 page paperback book written for children in the 8-12 year old age range.  It is the first in a series of books that brings Biblical history to life for young readers. 10 year old Corey follows his dog into the woods and falls and hits his head.  The next thing he knows he wakes up and is face to face with two lions. Somehow he has been transported back in time to when Noah and his sons are preparing to board the ark.  During his time in the past Corey meets Noah and his sons, the many animals that board the ark, sees the first rain, and battles the giant Nephilim and the evil Elizar. Throughout it all he has to learn to trust God with every part of his life.

I read a chapter of Imagine...The Great Flood aloud each night to my 6,8, 10, and 12 year olds.  They were interested in the story as soon as we started reading and often asked for one more chapter.  I love the idea of bringing Bible stories to life for young readers and teaching them important messages.  The story is a historical fiction, so it is based on a historical event but has quite a few embellishments to give some added drama and conflict to the story.  The major conflict is between Elizar and the Nephilim trying to stop Noah and his family and Corey from getting the animals and loading them in to the boat.  Throughout the book there are reminders to trust God in ways that children can relate to and understand.

One thing my children wished was different was how Corey gets taken back to the present.  We know that somehow a head injury in the woods takes him from the present to the past.  Then in the past he is swimming towards the ark when a Nephilim grabs him and pulls him under water.  A blurry figure pulls him up and he hears a voice that sounds like his mother calling him.  Then we are three months later in the present then when we started.  Corey and his family have moved and he is at a birthday party for a friend. We found that a little strange. We expected him to wake up in the woods with his mother finding him.

We enjoyed the book and look forward to reading others in the series.  The next book is called Imagine...The Ten Plagues and it will release in March 2018.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 4

We were back to school this week after a week off for the fair.  We also added in some language arts, poetry, and started our new science curriculum.  I have been reading aloud to the children in the evening before bed all summer long but want to start at least one read aloud during the day.  The book I wanted to start with though, Walk the World's Rim, is out of print.  I read it aloud years ago to Chelsea when she studied American history in elementary school. I may try to order it used from Amazon if my library doesn't have it.

Week 4 in our Homeschool:

P.E.: The weather was beautiful this week.  We spent three mornings at the park.  Two days the children skated or rode scooters while I walked then played on the playground.  By the way I learned I should check my first aid kit to make sure I have bandaids before allowing scooters in the park.  No major injuries but my Emmie always needs a bandaid when she gets a scrape.  The third day we alternated jogging and walking around the mile loop.

Bible: We read Luke 6-7:17.

Poetry: We went over a few of the poems from last year each day and started working on The Duke of Plaza-Toro by W.S. Gilbert.

Geography: Our Let's Go Geography lesson was on Haiti this week. 

History: We completed chapter 4 in America's Story on the lost colony of Roanoke. Jamestown, and Pocahontas.

Science: We completed lessons 1 and 2 in Science in the Age of Reason on Edmund Halley.

Math:  I have been doing flashcards with Anthony and Christian every day.  We are working on multiplication 3 and 4's.  In Math Lessons for a Living Education they each completed 4 lessons.

Language Arts:  I started the second module of Reader's in Residence with Anthony and Christian.  For this module you choose your own historical fiction to read.  I chose Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes for both boys to read.  We will be working on reading this book and completing the activities over the next several weeks.

Reading/Spelling:  The boys completed step 13 in AAS Level 4.  Lily completed lessons 36 and 37 in AAR Level 3 and Emmie completed lessons 13 and 14 in AAR Level 1.

Alex 8th grade:  I'm not convinced that Monarch is the best curriculum choice for Alex.  Middle school ages are hard anyway/  I was hoping having everything scheduled out for him would help keep him accountable, but so far that has not worked too well.  Time management is a problem that hopefully will improve.  This week in language arts he worked on lessons on pronoun/antecedent agreement, using pronouns, and using the right prefixes.  He also had a spelling lesson on easily confused words.  He had a quiz in science, a test in science, and a lesson on metric measurement.  In history he had a quiz and a test and lessons on competition for colonial control and new France's southward expansion.  In math he had lessons on simplifying and translating expressions and equations, a quiz and a test.

Nick 10th grade:  Nicholas completed lesson 4 in MUS Algebra II.  In Total Health he completed chapter 4.  In Apologia Marine Biology he started Module 2.  In Notgrass Exploring World History he completed lessons 10, 11, and 12. 

Other Activities this Week:

Monday Lily and Alex had music lessons.

Tuesday Lily and Emmie had gymnastics, Alex and Christian had soccer, and Nick had youth.

Wednesday was the first day of Kid's Club and Jr. High Youth.

Thursday Alex and Christian had soccer.

Friday we attended a picnic at a friend's house.

Liam was trying to help hold his bottle the other day. 

I have been doing a terrible job feeding my family.  They haven't gone hungry, but we have  been eating way too much takeout (expensive!)  over the last couple of weeks.  So when I made my grocery list for Friday I planned 5 freezer meals that I would make 2 of each meal for a total of 10 meals.  I used MyFreezEasy (aff link) and created my own meal plan. As soon as we got home from shopping Friday, I threw together the meals.  It took me a little over an hour and a half.  Hopefully this will help me not buy takeout!  I made beef stew, Dr. Pepper pulled pork, beef taquitos, triple cheddar mac n cheese, and BBQ chicken sandwiches.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!