We must make some changes. This is spun from a text I sent to a friend, but I would love more advice from many of you seasoned mamas. Basically without getting too many names involved, where we live we either have to be in an umbrella, or distance learning private school, or with the county. For my oldest, we have chosen to have her in a distance learning private school which was great until they changed all the requirements this year the day before classes officially began. It has been a stressful nightmare. It is no longer homeschool but school at home with crazy busy work and deadlines that just don’t work. My daughter is seven, working mostly at a third grade level in fifth grade math. With certain things she needs a bit more time but can do it. But with their new deadlines it doesn’t matter and no. . .
In the past few months I have noticed a drastic change in our homeschool. It was stressing me out. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was stressing all of us out. I realized that we were having a stress-filled homeschool and I needed to stop re-evaluate and possibly take a break. In truth, we have been homeschooling for about five years now, as we started when AppleBlossom was quite young and vying for educational inspiration and exploration. We jumped right in, and I couldn’t keep up with her thirst for knowledge and budding learning skills. Teaching her has been a delight and looking forward to learning more and going deeper has been a dream to contemplate. But that is not how the last few months, or school year, has played out… There are quite a few new elements. Toddler Rascal brother in the background as well as five-year-old attention span of. . .
My oldest daughter has long said that she desires to be an artist when she grows up. She specifically wants to be a painter, but to use all sorts of mediums. Lately, she has discovered writing and asked if she could be an author. When I told her she could be both, she had glitter in her eyes with the possibilities and excitement. While we are trying to education in a Classical Christian Education manner in our homeschool, I often am trying to find ways to bring in art to let her work her artistic muscles and pursue her dreams. Art is a broad and important part of life, and fostering artistic expression in kids sets them on a positive path, whether it’s hobbyist, professional, as an outlet or pure aesthetic expression. The common thread is that it is creative, expressive, it can inspire us, and lead to. . .
Lately, I am doing a bit of upkeep behind the scenes on the blog. Pretty much our Christmas gifts have been purchased and this year it is my oldest that is getting the big gifts. Under the tree when we get to Grandmama’s house she will discover the first box of a Little Passports subscription to Science Expeditions as well as a second envelope containing the first package of a subscription to Discover the Little Passports USA Edition. So while I’m updating my affiliate links and banners, right now I’m seeing all the excitement and secretly knowing how delighted she will be to open those packages in the next few weeks!
While quite often we use a full curriculum, every once in a while we really want to focus on something to firmly learn a skill. This is one of the things that I adore about The Critical Thinking Co.™ and I have found myself super excited about their brand new Sentence Diagramming: Beginning (Grades: 3-12+) book. We have been doing lesson after lesson and really enjoying ourselves as well as learning and firming our language art skills previously worked on in the past as well. For the purposes of this review, we received a 68-page paperback 8×11″ book with 12 lessons through out on a beginning level. I believe there will also be a next level 1 and level 2 books available soon if they are not already available. Last year, we worked with another of their language arts books featuring Fun-Time Phonics!. In this review period, there are other homeschool families. . .
Last year, I discovered the wonder of Homeschool Legacy and the unit studies that Sharon has written to share with other parents in our own organization of teaching a particular topic in a great immersion for several weeks. Last year, from my time with The Forest for the Trees Homeschool Legacy unit-study I knew there was also a Lewis & Clark study, and this would be the perfect time to look into it! This year, we have actually been working on the Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea (7-weeks) as well as this review product Christmas Comes to America (4-weeks) Once-a-Week Unit Study. With the foundation of Homeschool Legacy’s Once-a-Week Unit Study Forest for the Trees I feel inspired about our learning possibilities and encouraged to run with enthusiasm to topics that inspire and delight. This feeling continues into my experiences with Christmas Comes to America as well! The joy. . .
We have a busy school year. We are learning lots of subjects, but my students always want a bit more than I have time to teach. One subject that my oldest daughter really wants is the French language. It was providential timing that the Homeschool Review Crew participating in a review for Middlebury Interactive Languages. For our family, we have been blessed with access to review Elementary French 1: Grades K-2. My daughter who is the main student for this class is working mostly at a third grade level, but she is only seven years old and a complete novice at French. Add on to this the tag along of her Kindergarten sister, and this is the best course for our family. While browsing their website, I discovered that they not only have Elementary French for the primary grades, but levels of courses that go all the way up through. . .
Some days my mama-teaching brain just doesn’t want to function, but was have got to get some learning accomplished. In my opinion, that is the best time to bring out the Educeri website! Educeri ……. Educeri a division of DataWORKS is an online website full of lesson plans and lessons. In a school setting, I image they would set up well with a whiteboard program. At home, they are a great supplement, but I bet you could plan around them as well. For the purposes of our review with the Homeschool Review Crew we have been granted 12 months to the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. The subscription is open-ended as in it is good for K-12 grades and all lessons, not just a certain range! Because we came into this already into the school year, we are set for the most part with certain subjects, so I chose to use. . .
A few weeks ago, the Discovery Park Museum of America had the traveling Lewis & Clark Discovery Expedition of St. Charles visit and we went for the day to see reenactors in person and get a glimpse of what it was like for these two men. At the same time, our library gave out the recommended read for the Homeschool Book Club including Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale. All of this seemed perfect timing. Last year, from my time with The Forest for the Trees Homeschool Legacy unit-study I knew there was also a Lewis & Clark study, and this would be the perfect time to look into it! I contacted Sharon and told her of our study plans and we were soon off and ready to start collecting books! While on our trip to the Discovery Park, I let friends and other homeschool families flip through the get a. . .
As you may have noticed, I am a book review blogger through and through. We are also a classical and living books homeschool family and love to read and enhance our learning topics by reading more and further on a topic. The variety of books, from Carole P. Roman, are right on target for what we need. For the purposes of this review for the Homeschool Review Crew, we were sent four books to use in our homeschool from a series, If You Were Me and Lived in… brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com. We also have since bought others on Amazon Kindle as well. *Within the rest of this post you will find Amazon affiliate links. The use of my links will not affect your prices but will bless my family. Thank you for your using them!* If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece (An Introduction to Civilizations. . .
For over the past three years working with the Homeschool Review Crew, one of my favorite things is getting to review products on my wishlist. Another one of my favorite things is discovering companies and products of which I was not yet familiar that I find are delightful for my homeschool and I cannot wait to recommend them to others. Today, I get to introduce you to Everyday Education, LLC from where we were blessed to receive a digital version of their product Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting. A writing program for handwriting that is appropriate for either an elementary student or one of any age for remedial practice, even adults! The Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting program includes 60 step-by-step lessons and is completely phonics-based using an italic handwriting technique. The program itself is available as an eBook which I was given but also as a print perfect bound, consumable 8.5 X 11″ book or. . .
Within the last few years, a really amazing company I discovered is Heirloom Audio Productions. Right now, they are designing an audio theatre series based on the adventures of G.A. Henty novels. We love using audio books, and audio theatre to enhance our studies and this years option for review was perfect timing as we are wrapping up our Egyptian study series. I was absolutely blessed to receive for review an Audio CD copy of The Cat of Bubastes and a download of extras including a Study Guide, Soundtrack, MP3 of the material from the CD and more. At home, we have listened to the CD in our living room while working on other activities. We have added it to our three hour Wednesday drive and listened more than once. We have also listened to it again while headed to Ballet & Lyrical lessons as well as to the library when checking out. . .
As I have added more children to my homeschool routine, I have discovered that each student is a different learner. Right now I have a very advanced young third grader, and a five-year-old kindergartener just on the very beginning of her adventure to learn how to read. Thus, it was perfect timing to discover Spencer Learning and their Ultimate Phonics Reading Program and try it out with my younger daughter. The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is a downloadable software. For our purposes, we downloaded this program to my personal iMac computer running iOS El Capitan. We have had no technical issues to remark of. When we open the program and click on fill screen, or full screen, I love how it is the same size as it was before I clicked the button, but it just blacks-out the background and removes all distraction while you are working on the phonics lesson. This. . .