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Friday, June 27, 2014

Go Science Review #hsreviews

Go Science Review
When it comes to science my girls love experiments. Sometimes we don't have all the equipment or I will admit that if we are running short on time then that seems to be the thing we skip. Lately we have been watching experiments from Go Science DVD Series 2 from Library and Educational Services
Library and Educational Services is a family wholesale distributor that serves schools (including homeschools), churches, resellers, and libraries. You must create an account and show that you belong to one of these groups to purchase their products. They offer books, DVDs, and CDs that are in harmony with Christian values & morals. I have a been a member of Library and Educational Services for many years. Every time we order we receive our selections in a very timely manner. 

There are 7 titles in the Go Science DVD Series 2. The DVDs are recommended for children ages 4-12, and are available for $8.97 or you can purchase all seven titles for $59.82.
  • Volume One~ Sound, Gravity, and Space
  • Volume Two ~Life Science, Weather, and Light
  • Volume Three ~ Air
  • Volume Four ~ Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
  • Volume Five~ States of Matter and Water
  • Volume Six ~Chemistry
  • Volume Seven ~Engineering, Design, and Flight
Ben Roy is the teacher in this series. He teaches science methods at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has also been the director of Channel 9 Science Theatre, and has produced science lessons for the Weather Channel, and a Christian satellite broadcasting Network. We received Volume Four and Volume Five, and all three of my girls have been watching this series. 
Go Science Review
Go Science DVD Series Volume Four is 55 minutes long. It covers Motion, Friction, Electricity, and Light. Each topic has a couple different experiments. Motion contains the Tablecloth Trick, High Bounce Ball, Marble Gravitron, Yo-Yo Big Spool, and the Bowling Ball. Friction has experiments for Friction and Floating Rice. Electricity shows a Simple Motor, Nail Magnet, and Jumping Rings. Light contains Food Coloring & Bubbles.  
Go Science Review
Go Science DVD Series 2 Volume 5 is one hour long and covers States of Matter and Water. The experiments for State of Matter are Ice Cream, Oobleck, Density Column, Ice Block Melt, Run Through Corn, Starch and Water, Pitcher of Cold Water, Put in Hot Water, Putting in Ice Water, Float or Sink, Making Butter. For Water we see experiments on Traveling Water, Antimagnetic Water, Pouring Water, Burning Money.
On each of the experiments Ben Roy is in front of a group of kids. He shows them everything he is going to use and asks questions as he goes about what he is doing. He also relates science and his experiments from a Christian perspective. He does a very good job at relaying to the kids what is happening and why. 
My girls really enjoy watching the experiments and I think it is unanimous that they loved the burning money the best. Even though we have completed some of the experiments before I really like how Ben Roy gets the biblical point across to the kids in a way they can understand.  
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

VBS Skits

Every year at VBS we have a short time at the beginning where all the kids sing songs together and then we tell them a story, put on a skit or a puppet show. This year we have several kids who are to old for VBS, so then they become helpers. This year those kids decided to put on a skit each day. We didn't decide to have VBS until a couple of weeks before it started. I think they did an amazing job in just a little time.

Day 1 ~ This skit was the very best because the kids had worked on it the most. I was videoing with my iPhone and it quit videoing in the middle because my memory was full. Thanks to some little nine year old taking tons of pics and videos.
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bible Boot Camp Vacation Bible School #VBS #ArmorofGod #BibleBootCamp

This year for Vacation Bible School we chose a free program we found on the internet about the Armor of God called Bible Boot Camp. The ladies at church weren't sure we could pull off VBS this year, and didn't decide for sure until two weeks before. I am always in charge of crafts, so as soon as we picked this curriculum I started thinking about what we should make. I try to make a craft that goes along with the story, but sometimes I just want to make something I think the kids will really like.

The crafts we made were:

Belt of Truth ~ I had the older two classes make a belt out of clothesline from the dollar tree. The preschool class made hand print frogs.

Shield of Faith ~ We made a chalkboard shield for this day. This was actually completed on several days. I had previously cut shields out of cardboard, so we had to paint them with primer one day, then two coats of chalkboard paint. On the last day we added printed duct tape for a boarder and to cover up our cardboard edges.

Breastplate of Righteousness~ For the breastplate we made spoon puppets. Not all the kids made a breastplate, some of the girls still made theirs look pretty.

Sword of the Spirit~ All the kids made a sword. I used 1/2 of a pool noodle and inserted an 8" piece of pvc pipe in the end for a handle.

Kids love to use permanent markers, so I let the kids draw on ceramic tiles with the markers. The little kids used alcohol to smear their scribbles, and the big kids used that for their background.

We also made some goop out of Elmer's glue & liquid starch. once we got it mixed together to form a smooth ball. We used a small straw to blow big bubbles.

The last project we completed didn't have anything to do with our lessons. We decorated cake. I baked the cakes & cupcakes prior to class. The older two kids decorated small cakes & the small class decorated cupcakes with icing & sprinkles. We have done this several times in the past, but the kids love it & I had a couple of them ask me before VBS if we could decorate cake again.

I think all the kids had a great time of fun and fellowship with each other while learning about God.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

David & Goliath Puppet Show

Some of the youth at church have been learning how to perform puppet shows. This one is about David and Goliath. They made their puppets out of plastic stirring spoons.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Learning Palette Review #hsreviews

Learning Wrap-Ups Review
No matter what kind of drills we used for math facts my kids get tired of them after awhile and like to change it up a little. Recently Alaina has been using from Learning Wrap Ups for her drills.
Learning Wrap Ups have actually been around for a long time. I remember when my older two kids were younger they played with a set of these at the house of a local homeschooling family. The idea behind the Wrap Ups were so the kids could wrap the string around the plate to the correct answer & when they flipped the plate over it should match the lines on the back side. Since then they have added a lot more to their company. They now have the Learning Palette Math Resource Kit  and is the online version. offers help in Math and Reading for grades K-5. The math help offers 6 different levels, and the reading offers 4 levels. Each level covers several different topics. The math sections covers topics from matching and early numbers to algebra, geometry, statistics, and probability. The reading sections starts out with the alphabet and moves up to grammar, synonyms, homonyms, and antonyms. 
Once you log into you get to choose math or reading and the level you want to work on. You will actually get a palette with questions in the center and you will move the correct colored disk for the answer into the empty circle around the outside. 
 Once all the disc have been placed in a circle a screen will pop up asking the student if they are done, then they are able to move on or go back to the main menu. does not have to be worked on in order. You may choose what topics your child needs to work on each day. You are free to move back and forth through the topics. 

I used with nine year old Alaina. She is my math loving girl, so of course she used this primarily for the math section. This is an online program, so it is very easy to get started using on any device. I really liked the looks of this product and thought she would be thrilled with the colored discs, but she didn't like it as much as I did. She thought the words on the higher level reading section were too little. She could read them all, I think she thought it was too busy. She also said she didn't like having the numbers upside down. I think it might be better if the problems went around the outside and the colored discs were put into the center. That way the actual problem would be easier to see.

The is $25.00 for one student or $59.99 for up to 5 users for a one year subscription. You may also get a 20% discount if you use the coupon code HOMESCHOOL.

Members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew were offered both the physical and the online products from Learning Wrap Ups. You can read those reviews at the Crew Blog. 
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kinder Cottage Publishing Review #hsreviews

Kinder Cottage Review
Alaina loves stuff! She gets very excited when she gets anything in the mail. She was overjoyed when we received a package one day when I told her it was just for her. She was very delighted to find in it two books from Kinder Cottage Publishing. She received Peter Rabbit's Birthday and Peter Rabbit at the Farm.
Kinder Cottage Review
Kinder Cottage was started in 2012 because Howard and his wife Ann wanted their children to grow up with a love of literature, history, culture and Christian faith. Their goal is to offer products that help parents educate their young children. They started their company by offering books about Peter Rabbit and Wizard of Oz. New book series are already in the works targeting Primary and Elementary age students. 

There are 10 Peter Rabbit books that are 5X7 hardback and sell for $4.00 a piece or you can purchase all 10 for $30.00. They are adaptions of the original books published in 1917 by Henry Altemus Company. The text is updated, but the color illustrations are preserved from the original. They are recommended for children 3-9 years old. 
Kinder Cottage Review
Peter Rabbit's Birthday is 64 page book about mischievous Peter Rabbit. His sisters are always good, but Peter is always up to something. The night before his birthday he was very good, but things changed the next day. Peter starts his birthday off by spilling the flour all over him and the floor. Then he gets himself into trouble with Mr. McGregor when he goes out to invite his friends over for his birthday party. After meeting the hand-organ man and his monkey Peter lost track of time and when he realized it was already time for his birthday party he started to cry. A caring boy on a bike stopped to see what was the matter and gave Peter a ride home in his basket. His family was very relieved to have Peter home safe.
Kinder Cottage Review
Peter Rabbit at the Farm is 64 page book that Peter Rabbit on an adventure at the farm. After sneaking away from his mother he accidentally ruins Pollie Possum's persimmons. Pollie's politeness made Peter very happy. Then Peter helps Goosie Poosie figure out why there is no water in the pond. After meeting several other animals on the farm Peter gets himself in trouble because he wanted to see where milk came from. His family was very relieved when Peter finally arrived home safe.

Both of the Peter Rabbit books are set up the same way. The story is written on the left hand page and there is a picture on the right hand page. The illustrations are in color and look just like the pictures on the book covers. The stories have been adapted, so the words we no longer use today have been replaced with a more frequent used word of today. They stories still flow very well, but make it easier for young children to enjoy on their own. 

I intended the books for Alaina (age 9), but her sisters had to read them too. Alaina's reading level is beyond the Peter Rabbit series, but she still loved to read them. She doesn't look at picture books as being to little for her, she loves a good illustrated picture book. She took these two books to her room and if she only had a few minutes before lights out she would chose them to read. She not only reads the story, but she studies the pictures. She loves to draw & she lingered over these pictures admiring the details every time she read them. 
This series of the Peter Rabbit books would make a great addition to any of young child's library for years or even older children who enjoy a good picture book. Crew members received all 10 of the Peter Rabbit books and those reviews can be read at the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew Blog. 
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Logo Cakes for Graduation

I am always up for a challenge when I decorate cake. This time I had a request for a homeschool graduate who wanted the logo from her mom's dance studio on it. It is so neat to see a daughter share the same passion as her mom & they both love dance. Their dance studio is called The Stage.
This is the logo to the dance studio. 

Here is my icing logo.
 Add a stage curtain.

The graduate really likes whipped cream icing on her cake instead of buttercream but I knew I couldn't get the logo detail with it, so she opted for buttercream on the logo cake and then a white & a lemon cake with whipped cream icing for extra. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Progeny Press Review #hsreviews

Progeny Press Review
"To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!"
~Mission of Progeny Press
We are always reading at our house. My girls and I all have a list of books to read alone or for me to read aloud when we are finished with the ones we are on. You can learn a lot from reading good literature whether it is for fun or school. The books Amber & Delaney have been reading lately have study guides from Progeny Press. Amber has been using The Last of the Mohicans Study Guide and Delaney has been using the Anne of Green Gables Study Guide.
Progeny Press offers study guides for literature from a Christian perspective. It is a family business operated by Michael & Rebecca Gilleland since 1992. They started their study guides because they could not find literature studies that helped them teach classical cultural literature combined with a Christian perspective. In 1993 they had 18 study guides and today they have over 100. They have guides for lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. They also sell books, and audio cds that go with the study guides. A few teacher props are also available. 
Progeny Press Review
We received The Last of the Mohicans Study Guide Interactive Download. It is recommended for students in 8-12 grade and is $21.99 for the Interactive Digital Download. This 67 page book is divided into 11 chapters covering 3 chapter from the book at a time. In the front of the book is a brief description of the author Lisa Tiffon, a Note to the Instructor on how to use the study guide, a synopsis of the book, information about the novel's author, James Fenimore Cooper, background information, and pre-reading activities. The study guide is interactive, so the student can enter all the information directly in the forms or you may print the entire guide to use. Each chapter is set up the same way.
  • Vocabulary~ The words are worked on in several different ways. Fill-in-the blank, multiple choice, word boxes, and more. 
  • Questions~ These are questions about the story itself and only need a short answer.
  • Thinking About the Story~ Here the student is asked to compare things, analyze sections, look at similes, maxims, and more. 
  • Digging a Little Deeper ~ uses things that happen in the novel and compare scripture to see how they should have responded biblically. 
  • Optional Activites~ are included in a few lessons.
At the end of the study guide is an Overview of the book. It includes the dramatic structure, main characters, conflict, theme, points of view, and more. There are also additional resources & suggested essay topics relating to the novel.  
Progeny Press Review
Anne of Green Gables Study Guide is recommended for students grades 5-8. This 63 page interactive PDF is available for $18.99. In the beginning of this study guide is a brief description of the study guide author, Alisa Thomas. A note to the instructor about how to use the study guide, a synopsis of the book, and a page about the novel's author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and pre-reading activities. There are 6 chapters in the study guide covering several chapters from the book in each chapter. Each chapter in the study guide are set up the same way.
  • Vocabulary ~ The student uses the words in word boxes, uses a dictionary, working with antonyms, matching, and more. 
  • Questions ~ These are questions just need a brief answer about the chapters.  
  • Thinking About the Story ~ The questions here get the student thinking about what is happening in the story and how Anne feels. They learn of personification, allusion, compare & contrast, and much more.
  • Digging a Little Deeper ~ Uses events from the novel and uses scripture to see if they were handled in the correct way. Some of the topics deal with rumor & gossip.
  • Optional Activities ~ These are writing assignments to cause the student to think about what they would do, or what they would write about something that Anne or Marilla had done or written. Other activity suggestions are going on a picnic and writing a character sketch. 

The Progeny Press study guides suggest that the student read the novel first and then re-read it using the study guide. I have read Anne of Green Gables out loud to the girls before receiving the guide, but we had never read The Last of the Mohicans. I chose not to have the girls read the entire book before starting just to make sure we could get farther in the study guide before our review was due. 

I used The Last of the Mohicans Study Guide with Amber (age 13) and Anne of Green Gables with Delaney (age 12). Neither one of them wanted to use the interactive PDF, so I printed both study guides out. We discussed how to use the guide and about the novels and their authors together and then I basically gave them both their book and study guide. 
Delaney is a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables and when she turned 5 all she wanted was a "dress with puffed sleeves", so she was very excited to get started. We were already finished with our regular school work when this came, so Delaney spent more time working on this each day. This study guide helped Delaney to really experience this book. It made her think about how Anne felt in certain situations and we discussed how she should have handled the situations and how we would have responded. This study guide not only helped Delaney understand the English/literature of the story, it has helped her to feel the story. She actually started thinking about how she would respond in the situations she read about. She realized how we should or shouldn't treat people in certain situations and how to compare actions to the bible. 
Amber moved a little slower than Delaney did in her guide, but she knew nothing about The Last of the Mohicans. Amber loves to read anything, but when it comes to answering questions she thinks they are a waste of her time, but she actually likes to answer the questions in this study guide. She liked answering them out loud with me so we could actually discuss the questions instead of her just writing down her answers. 

I love the study guides from Progeny Press because they require the student to actually think about the book, characters, why things happen, and how the people feel. It is great having bible references to be able to go to the scripture to see what the bible has to say on certain situations, and they can lead to great family discussions. 

We have used the Across Five Aprils Study Guide in the past and the Schoolhouse Review Crew was offered several titles this time. You can check out those reviews at the Review Crew Blog. 
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