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Monday, July 31, 2017

English On A Roll Review #hsreviews #EnglishonaRoll #grammar

English on a Roll
We know using manipulatives for math is a huge benefit to kids, but what about using them for English grammar? English On A Roll uses word cubes for their English Grammar Teaching Method.

English on a Roll
English on a Roll was created by Linda Hopkins Koran in 2001. She was teaching English to students that did not speak English and she did not speak their language and she needed to find an easy way to teach them English. She came up with the idea and started with wooden blocks and paint to help them learn. 

English On A Roll can be used with any one ages 5 through adults. It can be used with students that are in special education, that have autism or dyslexia, students learning English as a second language, regular students learning English Grammar, a spring board for creative writing, or just for fun.
The English Grammar Teaching Method comes with the Instructor's Manual and one Cube Set that can be used with up to six students.

The Instructor's Manual is a 142-page softcover book. There are 37 lessons, a cube guide, and a section about English On A Roll. The Cube Guide lists all the blocks including the words on each block, their part of speech, the color of the letters, and their function. 

Each lesson is set up the same way to make teaching easier and includes a Prep, Notes and Vocabulary, Teach the Concepts, Games/Conversation, and Written Exercises section. The Prep section tells you everything you need for the lesson including which cubes to use, and what pages need to be copied and handed out. The Vocabulary section gives us the part of speech and examples or definitions. Teach and Concepts is written to the instructor and tells you exactly what to give each student and when. Conversation/games suggest games that can be played to go with each lesson. Finally, the Written exercises include fill in the blank sentences. 

The Cube Set comes with 40 cubes and a sheet of blank stickers. All the cubes are white with different color lettering according to their group. The pronoun cubes have blue letters, questions words are green, nouns, articles, and prepositions are dark blue, verbs are red, adverbs are orange, adjectives are purple, and punctuation & conjunctions are black. There are two blank cubes that can be customized with the blank stickers. The cubes are about an inch on all sides and they roll very well. 

Delaney loves words. She loves to write, spell, and correct everyone else's spelling mistakes!! Amber writes very well, but she doesn't love it like Delaney. Alaina is 12 and she is the one that struggles to write. She is the main one that has been using this method. The lessons start out pretty easy so we went through those pretty quickly and actually started in lesson 12- Adjectives and Adjective Phrases. It didn't hurt for everyone to go over the rules for each part of speech. Of course, the favorite part of the program are the games. They really liked rolling the cube to get the words they needed instead of just a bunch of sentences already made. Being able to move the cubes makes it easier to see what needs to be changed in a sentence to make it singular or plural, a statement or a question. We also like using the cubes for creative writing. It is fun to roll the cube to come up with a starter sentence for a short story or paragraph. This has been helping Alaina not be so fearful of writing. 

There is a great video on English On A Roll webpage that shows how this method in action. You 

English On A Roll will give you the first ten chapters of the Instructor's Manual and you can watch their video of the method in action
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English on a Roll {Reviews}
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nichole Nordeman CD Review & Giveaway #everymilemattered #FlyBy

I'm so excited to share with you Nichole Nordeman's new CD Every Mile Mattered. Nichole says these songs have been working in her heart for years before they became songs. To her, every mile matters and these songs are mile markers even if she sees thing differently now. She wants theses songs to offer grace when we stumble. 

This new album has 11 tracks and I'm really having a hard time choosing the song I like the best. If you listen to Christian radio I'm sure you have heard Slow Down. I really like that song as well as the rest of the album. The order of the songs does tell a story that we can all relate to.
  • Every Mile Mattered
  • You're Here
  • Dear Me
  • No Longer
  • Lean
  • Hush, Hush
  • Listen To Your Life
  • Beautiful Day
  • Sound of Surviving 
  • Anywhere We Are
  • Slow Down
I love when I get a new CD. My kids usually hog the radio and CD player in the house and the car. I do like their music, but sometimes I would rather listen to something else. When I have a new album they are nice enough to let me listen to it over and over. They do like Nichole's music and they have been singing along. 

Moms everywhere like the song Slow Down and now Nichole has a book celebrating the everyday moments of motherhood coming out August 22, 2017.

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I have an additional copy of Nichole Nordeman's CD Every Mile Mattered to giveaway to one of my readers in the continental United States. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Phoenix Homeschool Literary Magazine

The second edition of The Phoenix literary magazine has been published & Delaney has a story printed in it as well. Make sure you check out page 37. This time she stepped out of her comfort zone to write a sci-fi story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Activa Quik-Sculpting Kit Review #hsreviews #activaproject

ACTÍVA Products
Alaina is my crafty kid, she has always got a few things going on and a lot more she is thinking about. Her newest projects she created by using the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTIVA Products. We received the kit along with the free eBook ACTIVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
The Quik-Sculpting Kit includes:
  • 2-  4 inch X 5 yard rolls of Rigid Wrap
  • 1-  8 oz package of CelluClay Instant Papier-Mache
  • Complete instructions to make 12 different projects
You will need water and an armature to make your shaped projects. Paint and embellishments will also need to be purchased separately. 

Rigid Wrap comes in a roll that looks like gauze and already has the plaster on it. Once you choose the sculpture you would like to make you cut the gauze into smaller pieces, dip into a bowl of warm water and lay it on your armature. While applying the plaster gauze let the water drip off each piece and then smooth it down on your sculpture form until you no longer see the holes in the gauze. You will continue this process until you have the desired thickness for your papier-mache craft. Drying time depends on how large and how thick your project is. The drying process can be sped up by using the microwave as long as there is no metal in your framework. 
The CelluClay is not really like clay. It comes in a bag and is really like instant papier-mache. It is very powdery and is recommended to mix some of the dry CelluClay and water in a baggy. It becomes like clay and you can roll it out flat on a shape or you can use it to add dimension to your projects. The drying time will vary on this as well depending on how large and how thick your piece is. 

The free eBook of ACTIVA's Products' Favorite Sculpture Kids Crafts is a 29-page pdf that includes step-by-step instructions and colorful pictures for twelve projects. Some of the projects are for bead making, a snowman ornament, a silly spider, butterfly, pumpkin, and even a piece of cake.
Once you create your project out of Rigid Wrap or CelluClay you can add more dimension to your piece by adding on more CelluClay. Once everything is dry the piece can be painted and then embellished with other art supplies. 
Alaina is twelve and is very crafty so she used our Quik-Sculpting Kit on her own. She is a collector of all things pretty, small, smelly, anything really so she decided she would start by making a cute little bowl to store some of her things. We already had some silver spray paint and she decided to paint her bowl silver and then paint some details on top.
She had covered the real bowl with saran wrap before applying the Rigid Wrap so it would be easier to remove. After spraying the inside of her bowl with the silver spray paint, she said she should have smoothed out the inside with water or CelluClay to get rid of her wrinkles because it looks like aluminum foil. Alaina likes the rigid wrap and said it was a fairly quick way to create a project.

Alaina decided she wanted to make an ice cream cone, after making the ice cream part she decided to make a mug to look like a latte with lots of whipped cream. The lid comes off so she can put more things inside. 

One day while Alaina was crafting we were watching my friend's two-year old daughter and of course, she had to get in on the fun. She really just liked playing in the water, but it kept her occupied for a long time and didn't make a huge mess. She didn't actually make anything, but she thought it was fun and it is non-toxic so it is safe for children of all ages.
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay are a fun way to create papier-mache projects without a huge mess. It is very easy to use for children of all ages and adults. Alaina really enjoyed this review and we plan on looking at the rest of the Crew reviews together to see what everyone else created.
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Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday July 19

My friend's son got married this past weekend and the bride's grandma made the cake. I made the groom's cake. Since they both like fishing that's what was on the cake.

My girls and I were also in charge of cutting and washing the fruit, veggies, candy & the chocolate fountain.  
Delaney & Alaina prepared all the veggie trays. 

Doctor Aviation Review #hsreviews #Aviation #AviationHistory #DoctorAviation

Doctor Aviation
I have always been interested in flying. My oldest child and only son loves anything to do with flying and is actually studying to become an aerospace engineer. He was involved in CAP when he was younger and this aviation video training from Doctor Aviation would have been perfect for him. Because my son loves to talk about aviation to all of us I thought it would be good for my younger girls to learn aviation education so they would understand more of what he loves.

Daryl Smith is Doctor Aviation. He was a Command Pilot with over 2,000 flying hours and 24 years with the Air Force. He has flown a variety of aircraft over the years as a pilot and an instructor pilot. He was also a research pilot during the Strategic Defense Initiative or The Star Wars Program, and has written an aviation book, taught aviation at the US Air Force Academy and is a current college professor. With all of his knowledge of flight and teaching, he wanted to bring the world of aviation to lifelong learners every where, so he created Doctor Aviation to do just that.

Doctor Aviation is an online course with video lectures given by Daryl Smith. There are five sections that include 15 sessions covering the Aircraft, Air Traffic Control, Maintenance, Airfield Operations, and The Aircraft Part II. With each session, you have a video lecture and downloadable resources including Guided Notes, and To Learn More. If you are taking the course for credit there are exams available by contacting Doctor Aviation.

The video lectures last around an hour and they all cover Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft/Events. Each video segment shows Doctor Aviation standing next to an airplane. He likes to cover the history of things he is talking about before studying the topic to help us understand why they came about. During the video, we are also shown photos of people and things he is discussing.

The Guided Notes should be printed before watching the video segment. They include the session objectives, fill in the blank note sections for the technical trivia, the notable aviator, and the important aviation events. The notes are important information about what is being discussed including the character traits of the people, timelines, measurements of aircraft, abbreviations, and more.

The download section To Learn More offers book lists, website links, and more topics to further your study of the topics and people covered in each video session. There are also recommended activities such as touring airports, making propellers with ice cream sticks, finding a pilot at your local FBO that will show you their aircraft, and more.

I have been going through this video course with Delaney (high school) and Alaina (junior high). Amber hasn't had as much time while working her summer job, but she caught the end of a segment one day and she will be able to work on it when we start school back up. We have been learning a lot! My girls don't sit around and read anything and everything aircraft like their brother did although we still have a lot of his books. We love having the fill in the blank note pages especially for the technical part of the video. That has been my girls least favorite part of the course and appreciate having some of the information already written down. I think the fill in the blank note taking pages help students learn what is important to write down when taking notes for other courses. My girls really liked learning about the notable aviators and events. They knew a little about some of the people and events but not in so much detail.

Doctor Aviator can be used with the entire family and you could make it as simple or detailed as you want. A younger child interested in aviation would benefit from watching the lectures, and high school students and adults can add in all the resources and gain so much more. It would be worth high school credit with so many options for further study.

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Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust Fund Movie Review #hsreviews #trustfundmovie #family #movienight #moviereview #familynight #familyfun

Mapelle Films

I always like to see what homeschooled children decide to do with their lives. Isaac Alongi was a homeschooled child that had a passion for photography and filmmaking. He just produced an independent movie with Mapelle Films called Trust Fund. The book Love Was Near is a great way to get more out of the movie and there is also a Study Guide available. 

Trust Fund Movie
Trust Fund is about a young lady, named Reese, that enjoys the finer things in life and would rather follow her dream than work at a real job to earn them. She learns her dad is keeping a big secret from her and her sister, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. She falls in love with the wrong guy and moves to a different country to be with him. Once she hits rock bottom she decides to move back home. She learned the hard way what love is and who she can trust in her life. 
Love Was Near Book
Love Was Near is a 225-page softcover book that was written as a companion to the movie. During the movie, Reese is always writing. This book is what she was writing and it contains things we need to be discussing with our daughters. Sandra Martin looked for someone else to write the book, but she couldn't find anyone so she decided she would give writing books a try because she wants us to question our own purpose and plan for our lives. There are three parts to the book with 28 chapters and some of the pages are consumable. She discusses lying, money, love, friends & feels.

The 12-page Study Guide makes a great addition to the movie and the book. It contains scripture and questions that make you think about the decisions that the people make in the movie. It looks at the character of some of the people and why they might feel the way they do.

Trust Fund has a story line like the prodigal son in the bible. Both Reese & the prodigal son just wanted to cater to themselves and have a good time. They thought the money was rightfully theirs to do with what they chose to. This movie shows us how easy it can be to trust the wrong people and to think the people that should love us are not taking our side. We watched this movie together and now my 16-year-old is reading the book. The book is helping her to look at what Reese was thinking when she made the decisions she did. Her thoughts can very easily be or become our own thoughts. We may not have the amount of money she had at her disposal, but the thought process is still the same.

This independent film is great family entertainment that is faith-based. It is refreshing to watch a movie without all the inappropriate language. Trust Fund is very high-quality work you would never know it was an independent film. We were all surprised at how well done it is. 

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Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wordless Wednesday Cake

Make-a-StateActivity #hsreviews #HistoryUnitStudies #HomeschoolHistory #lapbook #handson

Home School in the Woods
When my kids were younger they loved hands-on school projects they could create together. We've made a lot of memories and keepsakes by using Home School In The Woods over the years. At least Alaina still likes them and this summer she has been learning about the state of Nebraska using the Make-a-State Activity which is part of the Activity-Paks.
Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State
Activity-Paks are designed to be used with the curriculum you are already using or as an independent study. The Make-a-State is an Activity Pak and they also offer one for the Old Testament, New Testament, Composers, and Artists.

The Make-a-State Activity Pak is available on CD or as a download. It comes with 20 projects and two bonus projects that include creative writing, map skills, research skills, and coloring. This one Pak can be completed for any of the 50 states and Washington DC. Some of the projects are state specific and some of them are generic and the same project is completed for each state. The state-specific projects for all 50 states are included. Students will create brochures, newspapers, sports jerseys, and more while studying your state.

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State
When you first access the Make-a-State it opens in a web browser. From there you can see each project listed. You can click on the page that needs to be printed and you can also view pictures of the project as well as the completed lapbook to see the exact placement of the projects. The Project Directions are very easy to follow. They tell you exactly what to print for each project and list any supplies that you may need. There are also pictures that show each individual project to help you see how they go together. The Introduction includes books and websites that may be helpful in your studies. 
Each project has you researching normal things like the origin of the state name, the industry, agriculture, the state seal, and motto, but they also have you researching other things as well. Like the state song, recipes, and wildlife. Alaina really liked the recipes and although we aren't into a lot of sports she did like coloring the jerseys, and making the collector cards. She wasn't too thrilled about researching the government, but coloring the state coins and creating a landmark brochure made up for that. 
Alaina is 12 and she used this Activity-Pak. Her sisters aren't really into making lapbooks anymore, but she did share a lot of what she was learning with the whole family because we all enjoy learning new facts about our state and others. We live in Nebraska so she used the Make-a-State for it, but we just traveled to Indiana last week and although she didn't complete projects for other states she did research some of the facts for states we were driving through. 

The lapbook and projects use basic things you probably already have at home. The lapbook is made with file folders and some projects should be printed on cardstock and others on paper or colored paper. Double sided tape, glue sticks, colored pencils, crayons, or markers and a good pair of scissors are the only other things you'll need. Alaina likes for me to print everything on white paper and cardstock because she likes to color everything. 

Not only was this fun to complete for our home state, it would also be fun to use if you are studying the United States and want to add fun projects to a notebook. 

Home School in the Woods just started offering some of their products as À La Carte Projects. This means you can pick and choose what you want to purchase. Currently, they have 50 projects available and they will add hundreds more if this is a success. Right now in honor of 200th anniversary of the building of the Erie Canal anyone can get that project free by using the code: alacarte. Maybe you are intimidated by creating a lapbook you may want to start with a few projects to go along with what you are studying instead of completing the whole project. I'm thinking this might be a good option for Alaina. I'm sure there will be a time when she won't want to create lapbooks anymore, so I might just let her choose some things here and there that she will want to make. I'm thinking the file folder games would be great to have because our whole family will want to play them. 

Years ago we purchased the Timeline Figures CD from Home School in the Woods and we have reviewed several more of their products. My girls and I have enjoyed everything we have used from them. This time around the Homeschool Review Crew could choose products from the Time Travelers American History, Activity-Paks, Lap-Paks, Make-a-State, or the Timeline Trio.

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Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Southern Indiana

I am originally from southern Indiana. I still have family there and we try to visit at least once a year. I love the rolling hills and all the trees in Indiana. In 1868 the Baltimore and Ohio railroad built this double arch so the trains could cross the river. It is still standing today on my dad's land. I love going back to the double arch it is so peaceful!

I remember going back here when we were kids and playing in the creek. My dad farmed a field on the other side of the arch and we would drive the truck on the limestone in the water to get back there.

A few years ago there was a flood and it was powerful enough to move big chunks of rock and send them down stream.

This is one of my favorite places to go. What about you? Do you have a place you like to visit?
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