Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks

A Journey Through Learning
A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks was created when two homeschool moms who happened to be best friends decided that there were just not enough fun, hands on learning material for homeschoolers and started their own business.  They began with a unit study and then started creating lapbooks, which are like educational scrapbooks.  Making lapbooks is a fun way for children to learn about a variety of topics and showcase what they have learned.  A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks offers a wide variety of subject areas and even create (with permission from the publishers) lapbooks for well known curriculum companies such as Apologia, Classical Conversations, Truthquest History, Geography Matters, and Jay Wile Science.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review The Greatest Inventors.

Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide

The Greatest Inventors Lapbook is recommended for grades 2-8.  It can be purchased as an instant download for $8 or pre printed for $18.  The lapbook is a 3 folder lapbook.  If you have never made one before, don't worry there are plenty of included instructions to get you started. A study guide is included for this lapbook so it is a stand alone product with all the information you need to complete the lapbook included.  You can do further research and read other books for areas your child is especially interested in if you choose.

We received the download version.  It is a 67 page download that you can print in color or black and white.  The lapbook includes information on making a lapbook, a diagram showing the layout of each piece, information on each inventor being studied and the mini-books to cut out, assemble, and fill out.  In the back of the download you will find a bibliography, some suggestions for further reading, a printable book log, a biography book report form, a NICK list form to help organize notes, a narration form for young learners, and a narration form for older learners. 

The Greatest Inventors Lapbook includes the following topics:

What is an Invention?
Johnannes Gutenberg
Benjamin Franklin
John Deere
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Guglielmo Marconi
George Eastman
Louis Braille
Eli Whitney
Leonardo da Vinci
Robert Fulton
Thomas Jefferson
Galileo Galilei
George Stevenson
Thomas Edison
Jonas Salk
George Washington Carver
Henry Ford
Alexander Graham Bell

I have been working on this lapbook with my 8,10, and 12 year olds.  We have been working together to make one project.  My children really like science and have been fascinated with the inventors that we have studied in the past so I thought this would be a fun way to start off our school year. We worked on 2 inventors each day and I had the children take turns filling out the information in the mini books.  We chose not to do this as a traditional lapbook.  Instead we put each of the mini books on a piece of cardstock to 3 hole punch and place in a notebook.

We have enjoyed going through this study.  We have had an opportunity to review some things we have learned in the past but also to learn things that we didn't already know.  The information included was just an overview on each person but you can dive in deeper to any person that your child finds especially interesting.  I love all the extra pages in the back of the download that you can use to turn this into more then just a simple lapbook.  Going through the Greatest Inventors Lapbook has been a great way for us to kick off our new school year.

Members of The Crew also reviewed some of the Classical Conversations products, Apologia products, and An Overview of the 20th Century.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 2

This week some kind of cold virus infected my house.  It started with Christian on Monday.  He started complaining of a really bad sore throat that came on all of a sudden.  I thought it was just his allergies (he has bad seasonal allergies), but the next evening Anthony was sneezing, then Emmie had a sore throat the next day and then Nick, and Lily.  Mine started in the middle of the night Thursday.  I've decided that children bounce back from this stuff faster then adults.  While all of the children have been sick they still have been up and around and playing.  I stayed on the couch for 2 days and did not feel well enough to go to church today.  Along with the sore throat (that as Lily said felt like a cactus was in her throat) , we had some low grade temps, headache, constant runny nose and sneezing and even some body aches.  Alex and Art seemed to have escaped it so far, and hopefully Liam who was here 3 days this week.

We did not have a regular school day on Monday.  After we got home from taking Nick to school, we took care of our chores, did some quick house straightening up and waited for some friends to come over.  We turned on coverage of the eclipse and used our eclipse glasses to go out and view it a few times.  We also did an eclipse craft.

We are not yet up to a full schedule and probably won't have all of our subjects added until the week after the fair (the fair starts a week from Monday!)

Christian working with a stubborn goat

Bible:  We read through chapter 3 in the book of Luke.

Geography: In this week's Let's Go Geography lesson we learned about Hawaii.  We labeled the 8 major Islands, read facts about Hawaii, watched some YouTube videos about Hawaii (they were especially fascinated watching the erupting volcano), and did a coloring sheet about green sea turtles.

History:  We started lesson 2 in America's Story on Leif Erickson.

Science:  This week we studied about Thomas Jefferson, Galileo, George Stevenson, and Thomas Edison in our Greatest Inventors lapbook.

Math:  Lily, Christian, and Anthony completed 3 lessons in Math Lessons for a Living Education.

Spelling/Reading: Emmie has been using her Phonics Museum App working on a few lessons a day.  She also completed lessons 8 and 9 in All About Reading Level One.  The boys completed Step 11 in All About Spelling Level 4.  Lily completed lessons 31, 32, 33, and 34 in All About Reading Level 3. 

Alex 8th Grade - Monarch from AOP-In History Alex is learning about the Explorers.  He did lessons called when East meets West and Spain's Treasure Hunt.  In Language Arts his lessons were on using nouns and personal pronouns.  In science his lessons have been on Methods of a Scientist and in math he completed lessons on properties of real numbers and exponents.

Nick 10th Grade- In Nick's Robotics Course at the public school they took apart computers and put them back together.  They also did computer coding this week.  He completed lesson 2 in Math U See Algebra 2, completed lesson 4 in Total Health, is approaching the end of unit one in Marine Biology and completed the second week's lessons in Notgrass World History. 

We did not have any outside activities during the week this week and I was thankful!  During Nick's class we were able to go to the park for 3 of the days and walk on the walking trail and play on the playground.  We have a really nice park and the weather was pretty all but one day that was pouring down rain.  We went to church so I could work on some Kid's Club stuff that day.
Anthony had just found a painted rock

Lily found a painted rock and then hid it again

It was only 71 degrees that morning so Emmie was cold!

Saturday our chickens had to get blood tested for the fair.  Right after that the boys had a 4H Stem club meeting.  I was not feeling well so Art took them and there are no photos.  Later that afternoon Nick and Alex had to be dropped off to go to a Christian concert with our church youth group.

My pretty sunflowers

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Review: Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

Book Description " Dana has already learned that love isn’t safe . . . but could it be different in Rock Harbor?

 As a 911 dispatcher, Dana Newell takes pride in being calm in tough circumstances. In addition to her emotionally-charged career, she’s faced enough emergencies in her own life. She recently escaped her abusive fiancĂ© to move to tranquil Rock Harbor where she hopes life will be more peaceful.

But the idyllic town hides more danger and secrets than it first appeared. Dana is continually drawn to her new friend Boone, who has scars inside and out. Then she answers a call at her job only to hear a friend’s desperate screams on the other end. Soon the pain in her past collides with the mysteries of her new home—and threatens to keep her from the future she’s always wanted."

Beneath Copper Falls is the newest book in the Rock Harbor series.  It can work as a stand alone novel because it deals with new main characters Dana and Boone.  If you read it as a stand alone you will get the complete story of Dana and Boone, you will just miss some of the back story of the other characters in Rock Harbor. I have read a few of the Rock Harbor series, but not all.  It is one of my favorite series by Colleen Coble and I really need to go back and read the ones I missed.

Beneath Copper Falls is a faith based, romantic suspense novel.  One of the things I like about Ms. Coble's books is that they are suspenseful with the romantic element without being overly gory or vulgar.  I think that portions of the story were predictable, but she does try to throw some twists and turns in to keep you in suspense.  There are definitely portions that are not realistic, but it is a story.
Overall I really enjoyed Beneath Copper Falls.  I love the stories of Bree and Samson and was glad that another book was added to the series.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Phonics Museum App

Veritas Press

My youngest is 6 years old and learning to read.  We were familiar with Veritas Press from their Bible and History curriculum (both of which we loved!) and were excited to have an opportunity to use and review the Phonics Museum App.
Veritas Press Phonics Museum
The Phonics Museum App can be purchased through iTunes and can be used on iPhones, iPads, or iPod Touch  with iOS 9.1 or later.  The app is recommended for beginning readers around ages 3-7.  Young children will go on a journey through the Phonics Museum learning how to read through a variety of muti- sensory interactive lessons.  You can choose to purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99 per month or pay $99 per year.  Up to 3 children will have access to the app.  They offer a two week free trial of the app to try it before you buy it.

Veritas Press Phonics Museum

Once you have the app downloaded to your device and create your account, your child chooses their avatar.  Then they move through each lesson step by step working their way through the museum floor to floor.  Lessons are taught with a corresponding theme.  For instance "a"  "a, a, apple " has a painting of apples that the child jumps in to for each lesson.  Letters are not taught in alphabetical order, they are taught in a way that will allow children to begin blending and reading faster. Each of the lessons has several short parts to it.  Videos are mixed in with games, songs, reading  and writing activities for a total of over 900 activities.  Each activity is unlocked after the previous activity is completed. The main characters are Miss Biddle, the quirky, funny museum curator, and Percival the suit of armor.  Along the way children are introduced to several other interactive characters. After each lesson is complete, children earn virtual stars and trophies.
Veritas Press Phonics Museum
Emmie was super excited when I told her that I had a new app for her to play that would help her learn to read.  She is very eager to begin reading big books like her older brothers and sisters.  The Phonics Museum App has a lot to it and took a  long time for us to download and install.  Once it was all done, we were eager to get started.  Emmie completes several lessons a day and often requests to do Miss Biddle on the iPad.  In fact, she loves it so much that she really, really wants to meet Miss Biddle in person!

I really love the entire concept of the Phonics Museum app.  Yes it teaches children to read in a fun and interactive way, but it is so much more then just a reading app.  Children will learn about beautiful pieces of art and the artists that painted them.  They will also learn about history and nature naturally through the course of the lessons.  I love that it includes a "real" teacher and not just a cartoon.  

Emmie loves the videos and the activities.  I was afraid that since she had already learned all of the letters and their sounds and you have to start the program at the beginning and work your way through that she might become bored.  But that has not been the case at all.  It has been great reinforcement for her and helped improve her blending and reading skills.  I like that writing is also included.  Even very young children will be able to "write" by tracing the letters.

We live in the country and have rural internet.  This has caused us some issues with the app.  The videos can be slow to load.  We often have to pause the videos for several minutes before we can watch them. You do need to have WiFi in order for the app to work.

We love the Phonics Museum App and will continue using it for the rest of our subscription period.  It is another great product from Veritas Press that I have been very impressed with! It is a great learning app for beginning readers.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 1

We survived week 1!  Only 17 more weeks to go in the semester.

Really it wasn't that bad.  It can just take some time to get used to a new routine.  Children that go to public school are used to getting up and heading out the door early in the morning every day.  My children have never experienced that, so it's a bit of a change.  But we did get up and out the door on time every day this week.

We have to leave by 7:25 am.  All of our breakfasts this week were foods that could be taken on the go ( by Friday the girls were eating dry cereal in ziplock bags, but it worked.)  We drop Nick off around 7:50 and have to pick him up by 9:35.  It takes around 20 minutes for us to get to town, so going home isn't an option.  I hope to spend some time each day at the park, but this week it rained every day but one!  Monday-Thursday we went to church so I could work on things for Kid's Club.  Friday we went grocery shopping.  Wednesday we did get to go to the park for a little while.

After we pick Nick up, we head for the house and feed the various animals.  Our school day started around 10:25. We did not do a full schedule of school work.  Some subjects we will add in the next few weeks.

First day of school photos

Bible: We started reading the book of Luke and read through the birth of Christ.

Geography: We did week 1 of unit 1 of Let's Go Geography.  We learned about the Northeast part of the United States.

History: We completed lesson one of America's Story on Native Americans.

Science: We are working on A Journey Through Learning lapbook on inventors and studied several inventors this week including: The Wright Brothers, John Deere, Louis Braille, Marconi, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci.

Math: Christian, Lily, and Anthony all started their new Math Lessons for a Living Education books this week and completed 4 lessons.

Reading/Spelling: Emmie completed lessons 5,6, and 7 in AAR Level 1.  Lily completed lessons 29 and 30 in AAR Level 3.  Anthony and Christian completed Step 10 in AAS Level 4.

8th Grade -  Alex completed all of his assignments in his AOP Monarch.  The program schedules out his assignments and grades them for him.  It is hard to give a wrap up of he has done when I haven't been in on the lessons!

10th Grade-  I usually grade all of Nick's work on Sunday night.  This is where I confess I completely forgot!  I know he completed 4 lessons in Algebra 2, and his week 1 assignments in history, literature, Bible, and health, but I have no idea what the topics were.  I will have to grade his work tomorrow evening!

We had no outside afternoon activities this week.  For that I was very thankful!

Chelsea's class started this week so we did get to babysit Liam one afternoon.  He was a very good boy!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

3rd Grade Curriculum Choices for the 2017/2018 School Year

Lily will be 3rd grade this year.  She loves reading and math and art.  She is a perfectionist and gets very frustrated if she has trouble with something or doesn't immediately understand something new   ( I have no idea where she gets that from!) She will be joining her older brothers for Bible, science, poetry, history, art, P.E. and nature study.  Math, language arts, reading, and handwriting she will be doing on her own.

Bible: Study of the book of Luke

Poetry: IEW Poetry

Math: Math Lessons for a Living Education Book 3 from Master Books

History: America's Story from Master Books

Science: Science in the Age of Reason by Jay Wile

Handwriting: Pentime Transition from Rod and Staff - I love their handwriting books.  No fluff and inexpensive.

Language Arts: Eclectic Foundations B- These does include cursive handwriting in it, but once they learn all of the cursive letters it does not have any practice doing simple words so that is why we are doing a separate handwriting.

All About Reading Level 3 (aff link)- She finished the first half of this book last year, so we are starting with the second volume.  As I mentioned she is a very good reader and reads all of the time but we are going to finish the program so I can read with her and make sure her pronunciation is correct and that she is continuing to learn the rules for sounding more difficult words out.

Nature Study: Exploring Nature With Children

P.E.- We will be doing PE at the park for the fall semester

Art- We will start the year finishing our ArtAchieve subscription.

Our school year started earlier this week.  So far it has gone pretty well.  We did not do all of our subjects this week, just a few.

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Week in Review (August 7-13th)

Usually I am busy with all of the different activities that the children are involved in, but this week I was busy with my own activities.  I had a Mom's Night Out dinner one night this week, a dentist appointment one morning, a doctor's appointment another day, and another meeting.  The children also had a dentist appointment.  That is a lot of appointments for us in one week, but at least we got them all over with for awhile.

Our goats needed a hair cut.  To be able to give them a hair cut, we had to buy something that hooked to the fence to help restrain them.  You can buy an entire trimming table but those were more expensive.  We also had to buy some clippers to cut the goat's hair and some hoof trimmers.  The boys gave each goat a bath and then cut their hair and trimmed their hooves.  Alex did the cutting and trimming.  He did a great job especially since he had never done it before.  The goats are still coughing.  I guess we just are going to have to deal with it since nothing seems to help.  I just want them to be healthy and for me to survive the fair!

Wednesday my meeting was at the church.  Our church has a Wednesday afternoon ministry called Kid's Club and this year I am going to be the director.  We had a meeting to choose curriculum and make plans for the year. I have been busy this week getting forms typed up and a Facebook page started.  Next week I will be getting forms mailed out.  I am excited about the new curriculum and hope we will have a great year!

Thursday we went to Texarkana to the dentist.  All of the children were cavity free!! Yay!!  They did come and get me to ask me to come back so the dentist could show me something (I really did not like the sound of that!) Anthony has 4 baby teeth that are very loose and may be causing problems with his permanent teeth that are coming in.  So he has to wiggle them like crazy because if they do not come out on their own in the next month we have to take him back to get them pulled.  One came out Saturday so he only has 3 to go.

While we were down there, we took advantage of Kid's Bowl Free and bowled two games.  I only had to pay for shoe rental which was $10.50.  We also got .50 Frosties from Wendys on the way home.

We had to stop by the school that day as well to turn in the rest of Nick's paperwork, get his ID made, and meet  his Robotics teacher.

Friday we went shopping a lit later then usual.  Nick and Alex had a 4 H party to go to at 12:45.  We ran a few errands, went shopping and dropped them off.  It was very hot and humid that day.  We ended up getting quite a bit of rain that afternoon after we went back and picked them up.

I was not planning on doing any school this week.  We were going to start on the 14th.  But Emmie really wanted to do some schoolwork.  She wants to be able to read.  So I got out her All About Reading Level One. (aff link)  The great thing about this program is that they start reading very quickly.  After you complete the first two lessons you get to read the first story.  She was very proud to read the first story!! She completed lessons 1-4 this week.

I can remember feeding the monster with Alex and Anthony!!

When Lily saw Emmie doing schoolwork, she decided she needed to do some too so she got out her new Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 3 book.  She completed the first three lessons this week.

I can't believe the rabbit lets her hold it like that!

I have been writing product reviews since 2010.  I have written many, many reviews.  This week I was very surprised and impressed when I received a Thank You gift from a vendor I did a review for, Adventures of Rush Revere. It was very generous of them to send it and much appreciated! 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!