Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review: Let’s Go Geography

Let's Go Geography
Issac has become pretty obsessed about geography over the last year or two.  He often drives his siblings crazy with his talk of oceans, continents and the like.  Enter in this homeschool geography curriculum and we have found a way to help his love for geography blossom!  

Let's Go Geography
We will be studying the following countries in this first year:

We haven't really studied any countries before, so Issac was excited to start learning.  Since we hadn't studied any countries previously I decided that we'd just go in the order that is listed.  One thing that is really cool about the subscription process is that you can work through the countries in one of two ways.  You can go to the Let’s Go Geography and work through the countries any way you like.  You can also get an email each week with the direct link for that week's country. This second option is pretty neat because it helps keep the parent organized and on a good timeline whereas sometimes we might fall from what we had planned to work through.  The recommended ages are Kindergarten-Fourth Grade.  Issac is in fifth grade this year, but I just knew that he would love this program and we had to try it.  I figured if it seems a little easy for him we could add to what is recommended or we could just move quicker through the program.  We first printed off our passport and our dividers.  The first week we were exploring the United States and I was pleasantly surprised at all the activities that were given to us.  We had some map work, so that we could locate the area we were studying. There were then just a few questions to help us navigate the area.  We had several videos where we got to listen to the anthem as well as exploring and sightseeing.  There is also a flag activity, a coloring page, a page for you to write what you learned and a craft.  Each country has the same basic plan with your student doing the following:

Here's a sample of a few of the pages from the program.  

Issac doesn't really enjoy coloring too much, so for each country I showed him the coloring page and asked him if he wanted to do it.  I also showed him the craft and gave him the choice whether he wanted to do it or not. Some coloring pages he chose to do and others he didn't.  He did the same with the crafts.  I was fine with him doing that because there were so many other activities to do.  

Issac is really loving this program and we will continue moving through the countries until we finish them all. There are several review weeks built into the schedule and even a break week.  The schedule is planned out for 36 total weeks to finish the year 1 program.  We are almost to the first review section, so I jumped ahead to see what we'd do to review.  One of the things is trying to see if the child remembers where the countries are located.  

Reviewing the equator, latitude and longitude.  

There are different options for the way you can try the program out.  You can buy just one semester at a time or the full year.  

Here are a few of the things we did while we were working through Let's Go Geography.  

The above is one of the pages we were able to print that showed some of life in Haiti.  

This was the page where we glued all the flags we colored for North America. 

Map activity for Hawaii.

These are little picture pages that are to put on your continent dividers.  We wanted an easy way to flip back through the countries, so we taped post it slips on the first page of each country for an easy way to find the country we were looking for each time. 

Lighthouse craft for North America.  

Owl craft for Greenland.  

There are plans in the work to make a second and third year.  Not sure when they'll be released, but this will be the schedule for when it does come out.  

Let's Go Geography

If you are interested in more information please check out this video on a typical lesson from Let’s Go Geography about how this wonderful homeschool geography program  works.  You can also follow them on their social media sites for updated information.  

Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

Barbour Publishing

Imagine you got to experience one of the greatest events in history.  Imagine that you were alive during the time that God told Noah to build the ark and take his family and all the animals into it.  We recently felt like we were able to experience that great event by reading Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich by Barbour Publishing.  We were thrown right into the preparations of the loading of the ark!

IMAGINE... The Great Flood

The story starts out with ten-year-old Corey, his mom and his dog, Molly, taking a walk to the park.  Corey's family is planning a move to Florida. Corey isn't excited about the move, but his mom tells him that sometimes God calls us to places even though we aren't sure what will happen when we arrive.  A storm is approaching and the thunder and lightening is getting worse.  Molly has run off into the wood chasing a ball and Corey runs off to get her before the storm hits.  As Corey jumped over a log rushing after Molly, he trips, falls and blacks out.  

As Corey awakes he's in Mesopotamia 2400 B.C.  Corey is confused, is looking for his mom and dog, only to find two lions watching him.  Corey is terrified and asks God for mercy.  He hears a voice telling him that the lions won't hurt him.  He opens his eyes to find a robed man with a shepherd's staff near him.  The man introduces himself as Shem.  He proceeds to ask Corey to help him get the two lions onto his father's ark.  Corey is shocked to realize that he's looking at Noah's Ark! Shem explains to Corey that God commanded his father to build the boat because soon waters would cover the land.  He soon meets Shem's brothers, Japheth and Ham.  They explain that they need to move quickly because the Nephilim will try to stop them from completing their mission.  Corey tried to remember what the Nephilim were, but he quickly experienced for himself what they were and what their plans were.  

As the story progresses Corey experiences how the Nephilim try to stop Noah and his sons from loading the ark.  The weather turns stormy and Corey and the brothers realize they don't have much time to get the ark loaded with the remaining animals.  Corey is warned to stay away from Elizar.  He is told that many people would say he could help Corey get back home, but Shem warns him that his name means "The One Who Deceives" and that Corey should stay away from him.  Elizar and the Nephilim try to stop Corey and the brothers in their track.  As they try to get to the ark Corey realizes how much he needs God in his life and all that he does for us. He realizes that he had been putting his faith in himself and not God. He knows the only way he'll possibly make it out alive is by trusting and having faith in God.  

We enjoyed reading this story as our bedtime story.  Issac is ten, so I thought he might connect a little with Corey. I thought he might enjoy reading a book about a child his age having such an adventure.  The chapters were just the right size to read to Issac before bed.  I prefer shorter chapters because if they get too long then he'll fall asleep and I always feel we didn't have a good stopping place. I was able to easily read one chapter a night to him and we were able to discuss the book the next morning.  He's heard the story of Noah and the Ark many times over his life, but reading it in this context made him ask questions I hadn't heard before.  He really wondered about the Nephilim and compared it to a tv show we had watched about a hunt to know if giants ever really lived on the earth.  He just couldn't imagine how anyone got these animals to the ark as well as into the ark.  This historical fiction version of the great flood really got him thinking and exploring what he would have done.  

Matt Kocheich has given us a great Christian Fiction book for kids.  It's getting harder and harder these days to find clean books for kids.  Society is throwing things at them so early now due to all the social media and technology. It's nice to be able to sit down, read a book and know you don't have to worry about bad language. That's always a BIG plus for me. Add to that we are reading about a child who is learning to trust in God and count on him to guide his life makes it's even better.  

Issac really enjoyed the book and said he would like to read other books with a similar story line.  I would highly recommend Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing.  It's a wonderful read aloud or could easily be read by most kids from fourth grade and up on their own.  Follow them on social media as well as read what my fellow crew members thought of this wonderful story.  

Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich {Barbour Publishing}

Friday, September 15, 2017

Week Ending 9/15/2017

This week has been THE busiest week since we started school.  Sadly, almost NO school has been completed.  Issac has been having some headaches and dizziness that I chalked up to allergies. After it happening Sunday night and again Monday morning I took him in the doctor. She felt it is allergies, but was concerned that his blood pressure seems to continue to be elevated.  She asked that I call his cardiologist and get in before our yearly appointment next month.  Tuesday Issac had OT as well as his 4 month check up with the developmental pediatrician. We talked about how therapy is going and the struggles he's continuing to have. I told her I felt that Issac falls through the cracks because he seems "ok" to most people and they have no clue what we deal with on a daily basis. He doesn't have some of the physical issues that many have, so it's not as noticeable to others.  Because of Irma we had quite a bit of rain on Tuesday, but it wasn't as bad traveling as I had worried.  I treated Issac to Chipotle which was SO amazing!!  We used to eat there ALL the time when we lived in California and it was nice to have lunch there.  Wednesday we had our co-op classes.  Issac is doing a Live and Learn Under the Oceans class that he is really enjoying. He's also doing an intro to spanish class.  This week was the first week for drama, so there was lots of talk about which parts to try out for next week.  Thursday we had counseling and Issac had the cardiologist.  He put him on a 24 hour monitor. He feels the pediatrician is right that the blood pressure being up now is going to cause big issues by the time he's thirty. He's going to contact the electrophysiologist about us going to see him.  He feels we should probably do the exercise test again and possibly do medication at this point.  Today was the end of the day and we had zoo club. Issac didn't have a pleasant time because a snake was brought out. He was so terrified and I felt so badly for him. I can only wonder if the heart monitor went crazy during that time :( We've done minimal school this week, so we'll be working on some tomorrow.  I only got to read one book this week.  

It's been a super rough week and I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow and get a little school done. Have two reviews to write this weekend.  We've got Let’s Go Geography as well as Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Carole P. Roman

Carole P Roman Blog
Issac enjoys reading short stories that are related to history and/or geography. He enjoys hearing about different time periods in history or reading about a specific area.  He always enjoys when there are beautiful graphics that grab his attention.  We recently had the opportunity to pick two books from the multiple series that Carole P. Roman has written.  Our choices were from the following:
If You Were Me and Lived in… Cultural series
Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Kenya, Mars, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Turkey

If You Were Me and Lived in… Historical series
Ancient China, Ancient Greece, the Ancient Mali Empire, the American West, Colonial America, Elizabethan England, the Mayan Empire, the Middle Ages, Renaissance Italy, Viking Europe

Captain No Beard (A Captain No Beard Story - The Series)
Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life
Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience
Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing
Strangers on the High Seas
The Treasure of Snake Island
The Crew Goes Coconuts!
Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis
Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles
A Flag for the Flying Dragon
Being a Captain is Hard Work

Bedtime Stories
Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?
I Want To Do Yoga Too
One to Ten: Squirrel's Bad Day

Early Chapter Reader Books - Oh Susannah series
Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag
Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump

So MANY great choices that it was hard to know what to chose! Issac and I looked over them and he chose If You Were Me and Lived in...Viking Europe as well as If You Were Me And Lived In...Elizabethan England.  We were also blessed to be given two additional books that were the author's choice.  We received A Captain No Beard Story: Being a Captain is Hard Work as well as if you were me and lived in...Colonial America. There are truly so many great choices and I think Issac would have been happy with pretty much any book that was sent to us.  I let Issac chose which book to read first and he picked If You Were Me And Lived In...Elizabethan England.  We typically read when he gets in bed at night, so these books seemed like the perfect size.  There were 41 pages, basically one large paragraph per page. There were two pages listing important people to know of the era and then seven pages of vocabulary words.  There is also additional resources on her blog at caroleproman.blogspot.com.  The book started out with two pictures of London, one from the 1600's and the other from current time.  The question is broached asking what the differences are in the pictures? We learned that things were changing after the Middle Ages.  It was a time of Renaissance, or rebirth, and that it's referred to as the Elizabethan Age because Elizabeth I was the queen of England.  We learned what some of the common names were such as Mary or John.  We read about where you might have lived and how your home life might have been.  We learned that the streets were dirty and that people often threw their trash into the streets to rot! We read about the differences in eating and dressing habits were for the merchants and the rich.  School was not something that everyone got to attend.  Girls didn't attend and usually only the oldest son was sent to school.  The cost was high and the son was expected to come back into the family business and help with what he had learned.  The pages were short and easy to read, but each and every line imparted so much information.  These would be great for a child that is interested in learning many new things, but struggles with reading large books.  We were very pleased with our first choice and couldn't wait to move on to the next one.  

Books by Carole P Roman
Next we jumped into If You Were Me and Lived in...Viking Europe.  I think this one interested Issac because he remembered reading about Erik the Red and Leif Erikson last year.  This book was a bit longer then the first.  It had about 61 pages with about four additional pages of Norse Gods and important Vikings in history.  There were also seven pages of vocabulary.  I really enjoyed having the vocabulary in the back of the books for the additional information it gives.  Often times we think we know what a words means, but just aren't sure. This way it's easy to flip to the back and look at the word. Issac also enjoyed just flipping around the pages at the back of the book to see what words were there.  This book had multiple paragraphs on the pages, but again it wasn't overwhelming.  We started the book out looking at what a typical  home on the coast of Norway could have looked like around 870 AD.  Some say the word Viking means bay or creek while others say it means overseas expedition.  Either way the people associated it with those that came from the north.  A Viking was one that explored and often did not have good reputations.  Vikings traveled by ships while Scandinavians stayed home and tended their farms.  Those that moved and settled in foreign lands were known as Norsemen.  We learned that the only coins minted in Scandinavia were pennies.  We also learned that when you were born into a Viking family you were one of three classes.  If your parents were wealthy then you might be a Jarl.  Those that owned land and lived a life of hard work were considered to be Karls.  The lowest class were the Thralls.  They did all the hard labor and were often brought back from raids to be slaves. These are just a few of the things we learned in this book. It seems like every sentence is something new to learn and you could easily read the books over and over and continue to pick up new and additional information each time.  
Books by Carole P Roman
Issac then chose to look at A Captain No Beard Story: Being a Captain is Hard Work.
This book was a little shorter than the others.  There were about 27 pages of text with an additional page that was a cloud key. Helped Issac and I to understand the difference in the clouds.  This book had a fun font which I enjoyed because it added a little whimsy to the book.  In this book we start off with Captain No Beard on the deck of his ship watching his crew.  Mongo tells the captain that there are storm clouds and they could be in for a rough patch.  The captain doesn't want to hear that because he has plans to be at Dew Rite Volcano by dark.  He checks the sky and sees that it's just cumulus clouds and explains that they are fluffy, but don't bring any rain. Mongo disagrees with the captain that the clouds are actually stratocumulus and they mean rain.  The captain decides he wants some chocolate pudding, so he orders some to be made. Others try to tell the captain that it's looking stormy, but he's not to be deterred from his own thoughts and plans.  As the storm approaches closer and closer the captain tells everyone to stop worrying, he's the captain and he knows what he's doing. As the story continues the captain learns that even though he is the captain everyone has to work together and look our for each other.  This was a cute book and I think children as young as two or three would enjoy it as well. It's a great book to read to a child or for him or her to read to themselves.
Books by Carole P Roman
The final book that we got to enjoy was if you were me and lived in...Colonial America.  I think this series really works well with children because they can see what kids their age would have been doing in a different time period.  I think when books have too many dates and facts that don't relate to children it's hard for them to understand sometimes.  This book had about 53 pages of text, two pages about people of the era and about six pages of vocabulary words.  Issac enjoyed reading about the people from that time. He liked when he recognized names such as Myles Standish and Captain John Smith. We learned some of the common names from colonial days as well as how important the Protestant religion was to the people. Issac was shocked to read that in England in the 1600's it was illegal to be a part of a church other than that of your rulers.  We learned about how the Mayflower Compact was written to ensure that everyone could survive in the new land.  Many people died and it wasn't an easy transition.  Issac struggled to understand that the people couldn't just go to the store for food. If they didn't grow it, hunt it, trade it, etc. then they didn't have it.  Children were busy helping their parents to just get through the daily chores, but there was occasion to still have fun.  Life then was centered more on work and less on play where we seem to be the opposite today.  Issac and I talked about how life is so much easier for us than it was long ago.  
Books by Carole P Roman

These books are all wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated.  The pictures easily draw the reader right into the story.  We were all fortunate to get multiple books and from different series.  You'll have to check out Carole P. Roman to see all the books she's written as well as keep updated on new books in the future.  You can follow her on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Goodreads as well as read what the other members were fortunate enough to read.  
Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Charlotte’s Web E-Guide by Progeny Press

Progeny Press

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was one of my favorite books as a young child.  I'm not sure how old our oldest was when we read it the first time, but he was instantly in love as well.  His sister came along a few years later and she loved the story as well.  I couldn't begin to tell you how many times we've read this book over the years.  Our third came along and life got a little rockier.  I don't know that I had ever read the book to him, but he had watched the movie countless times and it was one of his favorites. When I saw we had the opportunity to review the Charlotte’s Web E-Guide by Progeny Press I knew I had to have this! Issac was the only child out of three that hadn't enjoyed the Charlotte's Web book multiple times already, so I felt like this was our time to enjoy it together.

Charlotte's Web - E-Guide
We've done a few literature guides over the years with the older kids, but never an interactive one before. I was excited to see how that worked and if Issac liked it.  We've done a few small literature guides with Issac, but I'm usually doing all the writing. He still struggles with his handwriting due to fine motor issues, so it's hard for him to write more than a few sentences on his own. We've been working on learning to type, so I thought the interactive guide might be just right for him. 

I downloaded the guide and looked through it. I made sure I knew where our book was because more often than not I've not been able to find a book when I was ready to use it :) Our book is pretty worn and it might actually be the copy I had as a child. I have a few favorites that I kept from when I was younger.  

We started out reading about the author and illustrator pages that were provided at the beginning of the guide. There were also some pre-reading activities if you wanted to do those before you started the book.  I thought this guide could be good for Issac because he could work on answering the questions himself as well as work on his typing at the same time. I liked that he could answer the questions and then we could save the entire section. I also chose to print them out after he answered them just to have them for our record.  This is our first literature guide from Progeny Press and I have to say that I was very impressed.  This was a very thorough guide and I felt covered all the material.  The guide was divided into groupings of four chapters. I was a bit worried at first whether Issac would remember the material from four chapters when we sat down to work through the guide.  I looked to see if there was a way to do it chapter by chapter, but there really wasn't.  If I had one thing I would have done to "improve" the guide for us it would have been to label each question for the chapter it came from. That would have helped us when Issac was struggling to remember.  When he struggled with a question I just went back and found where it was and then let him read that section again.  It was a little time consuming a few times, but then again I'm not sure how common a problem this is for others.  Issac often times has a little more trouble remembering than others kids his age. Often times things that are right in his age range can still be a little hard for him.  This guide was suggested for grades 4-6 and Issac's in 5th.  Some things he easily understood and others we had to work on a bit more. That being said my daughter, 15, blurted out many an answer while Issac and I were discussing the questions just because she's heard the story so many times. I really loved that she could still recall such details about the story!  The guide was divided up into sections that varied throughout the guide.  We covered vocabulary, fact & opinion, questions about the story, dig deeper, descriptive writing, etc.  Even with a basic "plan" for each guide the activities still varied. Sometimes the vocabulary was fill-in-the blank and sometimes it was multiple choice.  The questions ranged from being able to give a short answer to needing to expand a little.  In thinking about the story there were Bible verses that we read that helped us to understand what was going on in the story as well as being able to apply the concepts to our every day lives.  The dig deeper and some of the writing was a little harder for Issac. We had to talk through those sections more and I had to continually ask him questions to get a good answer.  There is also a section at the end  with post-reading activities.  You could easily take this study guide and turn it into a unit study with all the activities suggested.  All in all I feel like this was a great literature guide to accompany a wonderful story.  

The above are a few samples of the interactive guide as we worked through it.  Issac really liked being able to type his answers directly onto the guide and not have to do so much writing.  The crew reviewed several different items and ranging multiple age groups.  The following were reviewed this time:

Macbeth E-Guide  Grades 9-12

Check out Progeny Press as well as their social media sites: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube and Pinterest
Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Week Ending 9/9/17

Every week I hope for a smooth week, but it doesn't seem to happen (LOL) This week I thought I was good to stay home all week except for one day and then forgot two things. I do keep a calendar in my purse, but I think Labor Day through me off! We haven't had a very productive week, but I did get a few books read.  That's always a BIG plus :) Here's what I've read in the last week or so:

**There were quite a few in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook that I want to try. **

**Quite a few recipes in Feeding the Kids that we are trying as well.**

Working on a few upcoming reviews.  I posted my review for Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set that my middle child is working through.  This week I'll be posting our review for Charlotte’s Web E-Guide by Progeny Press as well as a review for some Carole P. Roman books that we've been reading.  I hope you've all had a great week!

Review: Let’s Go Geography

Issac has become pretty obsessed about geography over the last year or two.  He often drives his siblings crazy with his talk o...