Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
We get to review a lot of product in our home and school. Sometimes they are new, some have been around for awhile, and sometimes they have been updated. We have been playing a brand new game from Sunya Publishing. Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Science Shepherd Introductory Science Review #hsreviews #homeschoolscience #onlinescience @scienceshepherd
I have seen several of my friends talking about Science Shepherd on social media, but I had never had a chance to look at it. When Introductory Science came up to review I showed Alaina and she was excited to try it.
The video segments are from a guy sitting at a desk talking to us and then there are students that demonstrate what he is saying or pictures are shown while he is speaking. These students also perform the experiments and activities for the lessons. Some of the video activities show a picture and then ask a question to go along with it. There are answer choices that the students must observe, think, and predict to choose the answer. They can write their choices in the student workbook and the instructor explains the answers to them. There are so many introductory science topics covered in this program including creation, meteorology, geology, oceanography, biology, and more.
The student workbook is spiral bound with 383 pages. There are one or two pages per day and a review at the end of each week. There are short answer questions, matching, multiple choice, crossword puzzles, word searches, and activity pages to go along with the video activity. The Answer Key is a 41 page softcover book and contains all the workbook answers.
Scott Hardin, MD is a homeschool dad of six children. As his children got older he developed the Biology program for high school students, and Life Sciences for middle school that was easy to implement and allow parents to feel confident in home educating through high school. And then he decided to make a science course for younger grades.
Since Alaina is 11 we chose Level B for her to use. Being the youngest of five homeschool kids she is always so excited to get something new that is just for her. She watched the video segments from her iPad mini. I created a short cut on her home page so she could easily log on. She really liked watching the video especially when then young science students were on them. She also liked the workbook. She liked that there were different types of questions and puzzles.
Alaina is also my organized child that needs to know how much work she needs to finish for each school day and week. She was thrilled when she first opened her notebook and saw that each new worksheet is clearly labeled, so she new exactly how much she needed to do per day and for the rest of the week.
I think this program is very well done. It is very easy for Alaina to access the video and know exactly where she needs to be for the day and what worksheets she needed to complete. The variety of questions and activities are a good mix, and the supplies needed for the activities are easily attainable. Although Alaina really likes this program and she even asked if she could work on it through the summer, she did say it was pretty easy. She is an avid reader and reads above level for her age, but I think this would be better suited for ages 9-10.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Two years ago Mike and I decided to buy an espresso machine and coffee grinder for our anniversary present to each other. We didn't want to spend an large amount of money, but we also didn't want a cheap machine that we wouldn't be happy with. After doing a lot of research, watching Youtube videos and reading a lot of reviews we decided to buy the Gaggia New Baby from Whole Latte Love.
It has lived up to our highest expectations. We use it daily and I would purchase the same machine over again if need be.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew received the Book of Astronomy Set, the Traditional Logic I Complete Set, and D'Aulaires' Greek Myths. You can read those reviews on the Crew Blog.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
- Teacher's Manual~ This is a two hundred page spiral bound book. The introduction has so much information on why it is important to memorize plus how to use the book. All the poems are included with teacher notes in the page margins. The first four levels include poems and level five offer speeches. There are also lesson enhancements included in the appendix.
- Student e-book~ This is a free 177 page download that can be printed for all of the students in your home. IEW actually sent us the spiral bound copy of the Student Book. All the poems in level one include a cute little picture to go with the poem. The first part of level two does also and then they gradually decrease as the book progresses. The speeches in level five do not have any pictures. After each level there is a blank page for the student to choose their own poem and there is also a Certificate of Completion to reward the student.
- Five CDs that include a recitation of all the poems and speeches. They come in a beautiful brown case embossed with IEW. You also receive access to the files as MP3 downloads from the website if you wish to put them on a mobile device.
- Seven audio MP3s:
- Nurturing Competent Communicators
- Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
- Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
- On Listening
- On Speaking
- On Reading
- On Writing
- Bonus DVD: Nurturing Competent Communicators ~ This is the seminar given by Andrew Pudewa to a group in 2015. Andrew talks about why there are so many people that cannot write properly and how we can make writing easier for our children through memorization and reading aloud to them.
This is a very easy program to implement. You can actually pick up the book and get started right away. I read the introduction and watched the DVD Nurturing Competent Communicators before we began. It was very encouraging to understand why memorizing can be beneficial to our children. It made me feel like we weren't just memorizing something cute and then forget it soon afterward. I have always had my kids memorize scripture but I have never understood the importance of memorizing other works until now.
I gave each of my girls a copy of the poem and the we listened to Andrew Pudewa recite the poem on the audio CD as we read along. We would also repeat the poems at random times throughout the day. The first few poems are short and were very easy to memorize quickly. Once we learned one poem we added the next and would recite them together. The poems advance in length as you get further into the book and they take longer to memorize. Right now my girls (ages 11, 13 & 15) are all staying together, but that may change once they get longer. My girls really like the check off sheets for each level. They could mark off the day they have recited all of the poems they have learned. I also think the pictures in the beginning poems are great for kids to have a visual of the poem in their head and help to recall the stanzas.
After getting started using this I realized that my oldest child would do this with his memory work for youth camp. Each grade level had a list of 14 memory verses, 16 challenge verses and 8 longer bonus verses that would give their tribe points if they were memorized. Since most of the kids attend every year they could get the list for the next year as soon as camp was over. Michael would start working on his list as soon as he got home. He would start with the first one and as soon as he memorized that one he would add the next one. He would recite the ones he had memorized every night before bed and then work on the new one. The first day of camp he would find a camp instructor or helper and recite all memory, challenge, and bonus verses at one time. The higher the grade level the longer the verses they had. This has helped him tremendously with his oral communication. His college speech classmates are in awe of how well he can give a speech on any topic without using his notes to help him.
I really wish I had known the importance of memorizing poetry years ago. My oldest daughter had trouble memorizing scripture like her brother but she probably could have memorized some cute poems easier and could have eventually worked up to memorizing longer scripture passages.
We are having a lot of fun memorizing together and the poems selected are all really good. My girls have read ahead because they like them so much. They have also read some of the speeches to see if each other could guess who gave it. They are all wondering if they'll ever be able to memorize the longer speeches, I'm sure they will be able to when we get there.
If you have never heard Andrew Pudewa speak you are missing out. He offers such valuable information on teaching our children and he makes it all seem so simple.
If you have never heard Andrew Pudewa speak you are missing out. He offers such valuable information on teaching our children and he makes it all seem so simple.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
The League And The Lantern is a new adventure book for middle school aged children. It takes three junior high kids on a mystery adventure lasting 48 hours in the streets of Chicago. After escaping from a school field trip that goes wrong Jake, Lucy, and TJ have to solve a mystery that dates back to the Civil War. They learn they cannot trust anyone and must rely on each other.
I decided to read this book out loud to my family. The girls all liked it, especially Alaina. She thought so many things were funny. This is a great read for older elementary and junior high aged kids. I think boys would especially like it.
The League and the Lantern was written by Brian Wells. He was having trouble finding engaging entertainment option for his kids. Knowing that other families had the same problem he decided to create a fast-paced adventure with humor that included family, friendship, and compassion. Brian decided to take 140 top vocabulary words that middle school children need to succeed and used them in the story. He also has the characters learn lessons in mercy, compassion and charity through events that kids deal with on a daily basis and in not so ordinary events.
When a hardcover copy of The League and the Lantern is purchased from LeagueandLantern.com another free copy will be donated to a child who would not be able to purchase one.
I have one copy of The League and the Lantern to giveaway to one of my readers. To enter use the Rafflecopter Below.
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Friday, May 13, 2016
ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique Review #hsreview #homeschoolart #artinstruction #artinstruction
- Unit 1~ Creating Form in Papermaking
- Unit 2~ Creating Planes in Cardboard
- Unit 3~ Creating Motion with Papier-mache
- Unit 4~ Creating Volume with wire
The table of contents also includes a list of all the supplies needed by unit. Then each unit starts by discussing the material needed, the tools and equipment along with basic instructions and safety issues. Form, planes, motion, and volume are also discussed and samples of each are given. The instructions are very easy to follow in the whole book. There is a picture depicting each instruction to make it clear what needs to be done. There are also colored pictures scattered throughout which shows people completing the project and finished pieces. At the end of each unit there is an evaluation to reflect on what the student has accomplished.
The units do not need to be completed in order the book is written. We just purchased a new water heater and we had a couple of big pieces of cardboard, so Alaina decided we should start with Unit 2: Creating Planes in Cardboard. There is a great description of what cardboard actually is and how it is put together and made. Our first project had the girls put together a 2-D construction to show the relationships of planes. Different forms are discussed and there are templates in the back of the book to create different three dimensional shapes. Several different techniques for combining cardboard pieces together are also discussed and demonstrated. The final project is an 3-D architectural model.
Alaina started on a project she wanted to make. She had no trouble deciding what kind of structure she wanted. She did have trouble getting her pieces proportionate so they would fit together. She had Amber help her draw them out so that they would fit together and Amber and I cut them out. The girls spent several days working on their architecture. Alaina didn't really understand the 2-D structure until they started working on their buildings and then she figured out what we were talking about.
A week or so after the girls had been working with cardboard Amber & Delaney were going to the homeschool teen banquet. The theme was fairy tales and the girls were supposed to dress up. Delaney wanted to be the Mad Hatter and Alaina suggested making her hat out of cardboard. They used some of the things they had learned in the Sculpture Technique book to construct the hat and then covered it in felt.
All three of my girls want to go back to Unit 1 now to learn to make their own paper and create objects with it. The Schoolhouse Review Crew members received several different books from ARTistic Pursuits. Head over to the Crew blog to read those reviews.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Our homeschool group has a teen banquet every year. This year the theme was fairy tales and the kids were to dress up. Delaney knew right away that she wanted to be the Mad Hatter.
Amber couldn't decide. I told her with her dark hair she should be Snow White or Dorothy because when she braids her hair she looks like her. We started with Snow White since that costume was easy.
This is what they ended up looking like. They had a lot of fun eating and playing games with other homeschool teens in our area.
The Music Appreciation Book 1 covers seven composers from their childhood to their adult lives. It consists of a student activity book, seven composer biographies, music CDs, and a lapbook CD. The composers can be studied in any order you choose. Since Alaina is my only elementary student left at home I asked her who she would like to start with. She decided on Paganini because she didn't know anything about him and she likes his name.
We started with the Nicolo Paganini section in the activity book. Alaina used two book marks to keep her spot. One she kept on the weekly lesson outline and the other she kept on the page she was working on. She loves when her workbooks have an outline of what she needs to do. She is my checklist kid and she draws a little picture next to each assignment as she completes it. The activity book pages are very pleasing to the eye and there are 33 pages that cover Paganini immediately followed by a quiz and the answers to the questions. There are plenty of colored pictures, photos, maps, and more. A small icon is at the top of each section indicating the different activities. There are character qualities, comprehension questions, tidbits of interest, when to read, when to listen to the CD and when to complete a lapbook project. Since Paganini was born in Genoa, Italy there is a map of Italy marked with all the places he traveled. A hands-on project included an Italian recipe for spaghetti soup that Nicolo may have eaten after a long day of practicing. Of course we had to have it for dinner and everyone liked it and we wrote in down in our everyday cookbook.
I'll admit I was interested in learning about Paganini too, so I decided I would read the first chapter of the biography out loud to Alaina and then let her read the rest of the book. My husband was home at the time and of course the other girls wanted to listen. Well, we were all enjoying the book and I read several chapters at once and I ended up reading the whole book out loud in just a couple of days. Alaina went back and read it herself as she worked on her study. The biography was so interesting, it reads like a story and is full of information. As a young child Paganini heard a "sick" note that his father played on the mandolin. His father decided right then that it was time for Paganini to start studying music. He had such dedication and determination growing up by learning to play to the best of his abilities starting on the mandolin and eventually playing the violin in front of friends, congregations, audiences, even royalty on some very rare instruments. Despite his unhappy childhood he went on to give his first concert at age 11 and later wrote compositions that were so hard accomplished musicians struggled to play them. There is also sheet music for Rondo and Allegro for the violin with piano accompaniment. Amber and Delaney can both play the piano part of the song, but Delaney has only been playing the violin for a little while and can't play the violin part yet.
We listened to the Paganini tracks from the Music Appreciation Music Discs right away and then listened to the rest of the CD. There are five CDs that include music from all seven composers. We have had one of the CDs in our CD player ever since we got them in the mail and then Alaina went back and listened to the Paganini tracks during her study when indicated.
The lapbook CD contains the templates and a picture of the completed lapbook pages for all seven composers. I used the menu to go straight to the Paganini lapbook and printed just the pages we needed right away. The pictures are in color, but Alaina loves to draw and color so she wanted them printed in black ink only so she could color them herself. The activities included a Nicolo Paganini Character Trait Wheel, instruments he played, special things about a violin, definitions, a few Italian words, and more.
Alaina is 11 and she has been using this on her own. She is loving this study and is constantly telling us about things she is learning. Even my older girls who have taken classical piano lesson for years learned a lot about Nicolo Paganini. Alaina has decided to start on Joseph Haydn next because she thinks he has the second best name of the classical composers that are included in this music appreciation study.
The Music Appreciation Book 1 would make a great addition to any homeschool or for any child that wants to study composers. There are enough variety of activities for just about any learning style.