Summer is mandatory, this year…

I am absolutely a lover of the idea of a Sabbath school schedule, or year-round schooling. But this year. We need a summer. Last year was a trying school year with a high level of stress increased by the emotions of a miscarriage and successful pregnancy. The baby Mermaid Warrior is two months old, the toddler Rascal is turning three this week, the Princess (still toddler in many ways) is turning six in August, and the eldest – my super hero loving adventurous bibliophile is turning eight in the end of July. Summer vacation = Rascal’s birthday through AppleBlossom’s birthday and on until right after the Princess’ birthday. Our summer will be birthday season. While this will not qualify in the future for Mermaid Warrior’s birthday, she can stand in as an anticipation celebration about the break of schooling to come. So many things in our non-class time is educational.. . .

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Homeschool Planet (Online Planner) {Review}

    Several years ago I discovered the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and ever since I have been delighted with the organization and have made many purchases. It is a blessed time again, and thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we are once again reviewing an updated Homeschool Planet online planner and their new Lesson Plan Marketplace features. I truly enjoyed Homeschool Planet, when we first reviewed the product in 2015, and I have used it often since then. My favorite preference is especially when scheduling something that uses the computer as it makes things so easy as a click for my daughter. For the purposes of this review, I was given a 12-month membership to the planner as well as life-time of the product access to one lesson plan that I can add to my overall planner with a few clicks. (And again in the future, when my next child comes up to. . .

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Whistlefritz Francais (French) PreK/Elementary Language Lessons {Review}

My foreign language choice in high school was French. I took years of classes, but it was not until I went and spent a near-month in French-speaking Canada completely immersed that I truly got a solid hold of the language. (Though, I could use a good review!) Through the blessing of the Homeschool Review Crew this language immersion program for PreK/Elementary school came available from Whistlefritz and I am delighted to be reviewing the Educator’s French Collection.  For several years now I have been searching for curriculum to start exposing my children to the French language. My French-Canadian God-mother sent us some fairy tale books and reusable workbooks, but they were more of a second level introduction and I was unsure how to really get us started. With Whistlefritz, I have discovered that truly jumping in is a great way to do it!   For the purposes of this review, I have been. . .

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Learning Activities: Greatest Number

There’s strategy in numbers! Challenge your first grader for the best score in this math game. Players take turns examining the cards and picking up the ones with largest value. Add up your cards to see who’s won! This game is a great way to improve critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in math. Your children will use their knowledge of numeric value and combine it with strategy in order to win the game. Practice makes perfect, and this is definitely a game you’ll be wanting to play again and again! What You Need: Deck of playing cards (with face cards removed) Paper Pencil What You Do: Shuffle the deck. Arrange the cards face up in a 6 x 6 grid. Discard the remaining 4 cards. The first player picks up the highest possible card she can find. The second player then picks up the highest possible card that he can find. Continue. . .

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Thin Stix (Art Supplies) {Review}

My oldest student, for years now, has imagined herself an artist. While her talent is still in it’s fledgling state, she has a passion for art and so far for all mediums. Thus when there was an opportunity to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. through the Homeschool Review Crew, we were excited to jump in to see what we might think. In short, we have found a new staple to keep supplied in our art box! My seven-year-old third grade daughter (eight and transitioning to fourth this summer) loves them. She says they are usable like crayons, but go on more like paint. They dry super super quickly, and after a bit do not smudge either (but you have to wait a minute or so for that). The colors we have a vibrant and perfect for any picture you want to draw. She made a. . .

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Art Books {Guest Post}

Art Study with Creative Madness Mama

I have had a long running series on my blog, doing art books. It’s fun to see the variety of books out there and put them to use.  🙂 I thought I would tell you about some of my favourites. It’s hard to pick I have to admit, but I think I’ve winnowed it down to my top few. Get Into Art Places: Discover Great Art And Create Your Own!. This is a fantastic book that I wrote about here.  It’s not very big at 32 pages but it’s chockful for art and ideas about how to try out the type of art on your own.  I’ve used it with art classes and my students had a lot of fun with it. At the back of the book a Project Checklist was provided, easily letting me know what supplies I would need to complete each project. Fantastic Planet: A Coloring. . .

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ArtAchieve (online subscription) {Review}

I have three children that love to color and create, but it is my oldest that verbally states she wants to be an artist when she is an adult. Thus when a review opportunity arose to check out ArtAchieve and their Entire Level I program, we were very excited to volunteer and have been blessed to be a part of this tour with the Homeschool Review Crew. For the purposes of this review we were given access to an online subscription and purchased a few art essential supplies. Some materials we were familiar with from trying other art programs in the past, however some were new and took me a while to find in person. I will note that online I was able to find everything easily, but I wanted to try to source supplies locally and it did take more time. If I were planning to only review this program with. . .

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Laughing at myself – curriculum thoughts

Today I stumbled across an old forum post that I wrote about this time last year. I hope I’m not too late to join the party! The Princess, is my “spirited” four year old. Night and day scholastic comparison to her sister (my six year old accelerated student, finishing second grade) so it is quite the adventure to try to understand her. We have been using Preschool, then SC:A-C. With the older, it was checkbox it all and keep trekking. With the Princess, we have two good days and then she refuses it all and prefers disruption and drama. I’ve given up on structure with her for now. We pick and choose from the read aloud lists on the levels I mentioned. She also is working on the A-I workbooks after the other A-D series also from R&S in addition to Alphabet Books, Numbers Books, and FSR. She has lost. . .

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Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set (Memoria Press) {Review}

Do you even have to ask to know that this Creative Madness Mama absolutely adores materials from the people behind Memoria Press? In addition to teaching my own children on their level, I am also slowly working myself through the upper levels of material in continuing my own Classical Christian Education. Right now, I am delighted to have started a portion of the eighth grade Classical History curriculum. Thanks to the blessing of the Homeschool Review Crew, I am able to review Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set, a set of The Iliad & The Odyssey curriculum from Memoria Press which makes up the plans for Classical History in the second semester of a planned eighth grade year. What is in the complete set? Our box arrived, and knowing the Memoria Press logo, my third grade daughter was ecstatic. We opened it up and while I was trying to explain to her. . .

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The Littlest Mermaid at school…

How do you confine a non-interested princess to sit and read? Put her in a non-mobile mermaid blanket where she must stay put with a pile of literary material. #amreading #homeschool #kindergarten #harpercollins #childrensbooks #crochet #needlecraft #craftblogger #grandmaisthebest from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2mMWOZG

Greek Myths and the Iliad in our current school days…

What is this pregnant mama doing this morning? I’m studying the Iliad and sharing the adventure with my daughter who is collecting her D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths workbooks, at the time of this photo. #memoriapress #memoriapresseighthgrade #memoriapressthirdgrade #memoriapressfourthgrade #classicalchristianeducation #hsreviews #iliad #homer #homeschool #blackshipsbeforetroy #3rdgrade #8thgrade #greekmythology #ancientgreece from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2nmWobl

Planning Ahead & Changes (Spring 2017)

What do you think it is about February that gets the brain thinking ahead toward the next school year? While this post is intended to be a planning ahead details for what we will do in the next school year, at the same time, I suppose, it is also a what’s up from what’s working and what’s not from the current school year. Hmm… or maybe this should be two posts? I guess I will just start typing and see how things work out in the end. The 2016-2017 school year for us included an advanced seven-year-old book loving third grader and a spirited attention-span of a butterfly fresh kindergartener with not a lick of interest in school. While we started enrolled in a partially online, partially at-home, distance-learning style accredited program – the entire experience was abysmal. Veritas Press, the publisher, has awesome curricula and we will continue to buy. . .

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Memoria Press Second Grade {Review – Part I}

In 2011, I added a second child to the mix and my toddler was antsy to get more attention in addition to being a little mama. We dabbled a bit with a book box curriculum of good nursery readers, however, it was in 2012-2013 that our Memoria Press adventure started. At the age of three, my book loving daughter started in on our K3 Junior Kindergarten with an extremely wonderful year that we still look back on with extremely fond memories. In 2013-2014, it was our K4 year and our curriculum was the Memoria Press Classical Core Curriculum for Kindergarten. In 2014, I added a third child to the mix. At this time, my next toddler was not ready for anything officially school related and she continue to tag along in read alouds and child play becoming the princess she is today. Around this time, Memoria Press started beta releasing their Simply. . .

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Eclectic Foundations Language Arts (with McGuffey Readers) {Review}

My plotting and planning for homeschooling my kiddos has been years in effort. One of my earliest purchases has been a set of the McGuffey Eclectic Readers. I have them, but we’ve never really had a plan about how to go about using them, that is until now with the addition of Eclectic Foundations Language Arts program to our curriculum pile. Thanks to the blessing of the Homeschool Review Crew, we were blessed with a set of Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C materials for review. I am utilizing these with my third grade daughter. She is an excellent reader, and reads all the time, but does not like to read aloud to others much at all and this is a skill that I have always planned to use the McGuffey readers to enhance and strengthen. Eclectic Foundations is giving me the tools to do so efficiently! This language arts curriculum is. . .

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