Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks

A Journey Through Learning
The older Issac has gotten the more interested he has become in history. He will get interested in one specific subject or area and tell us all the facts he's learned over and over again until we all know them as well. We have recently been working our way through An Overview of the 20th Century from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.

Overview of 20th Century Lapbook with Study Guide

 Issac and I have been doing more lapbooks this last year and it seems to work well for for him.  He likes being able to give out short amounts of information and the mini booklets are just perfect for that.  Even though he's starting fifth grade he still struggles with writing. He's a big guy, but his hand strength isn't that great and it causes lots of issues with his writing.  I typically write in the booklets for him because he often writes so large and he gets frustrated fitting in what he wants to say.  I downloaded the book and looked through to see if I wanted to pre-print all the booklets. I decided that since there was basically one page to read and one booklet per section that I didn't need to prep this time.  Issac gets bored if he's left sitting too long while I cut booklets, but these were super quick to cut and didn't take much time. I really enjoy lapbooking because you can get as detailed as you want.  There is typically a question for each booklet and I usually ask Issac the question and just write what he tells me.  If it's just putting in dates or something that doesn't require much writing than he'll do it. He really enjoyed the surprise word search when we were reading about WWII. The nice thing about An Overview of the 20th Century is that we are touching on lots of different topics, but it's not done in an overwhelming manner.  We have a page to read the basic information and then a little booklet to do.  I have to admit that I've really been enjoying doing this lapbook.  Often when we are studying history we are just given lots of dates and not so much fun information.  A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks is given us lots of interesting information.  We've been working through the following areas :

Here are some of the facts that Issac and I found interesting:

When we were reading about the Great Depression there were some recipes included in the study.  We decided we'd try one and see what we thought.  We were having stew one night, so decided to try the Poor Man's Bread with our dinner.  Here is the recipe:

Issac got really excited when he was me cooking these because he thought we were having pancakes for dinner!! I told him they did look like that, but we were having poor man's bread.  It was probably the most tasteless thing I've eaten if you ate it alone.  We added butter since we were having it with dinner and it helped a little. I can't imagine eating something that has no taste all the time like that.  Ironically every piece was eaten, so I guess it ultimately wasn't too bad.  

My husband was born in 1959, so Issac was excited to read about the 1950's. Issac hadn't heard of any of the shows that we read about.  He did think it was cool that Matchbox cars were made near the time of when his dad was born.

One thing I really like about lapbooks is that there aren't many materials you need.  Here is basically what you need:

You can also check out library books to further delve into the different topics.  If you want to just read the page given here and do the mini booklets that's good too. A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks has given us the basic tools to complete An Overview of the 20th Century and it's up to us how we decide to go on the journey.  If your interested in checking out all the products they have to offer follow them on their social media pages: FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Instagram. The crew reviewed the following lapbooks, so there will be lots of different thoughts and looks to how the lapbooks were put together.  

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

Sunday, August 27, 2017

First Week of School 8/26/2017

Monday was the first day back to school, so this week has been an adjustment (LOL) I typically try not to schedule anything the first few weeks, so that we can ease back into the swing of things! I had a kitten getting spayed on Monday, so the first day of school I was up and out of the house at 6:30 to drop the kitten off at the clinic.  Came back and we had homeade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. I started the cinnamon roll tradition I believe when our oldest started kindergarten.  Some years we buy the tubes from the dairy section and some years I make them. I don't know if the kids care either way, but if I didn't have them they would ask.  It's not a big thing to do, but it's just one of those little traditions that we've done over the years.

 The day went pretty good.  Issac and I are working on a few things for upcoming reviews.  We worked in our An Overview of the 20th Century lapbook by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.  Issac is really enjoying some of the information he's learning through this lapbook.  I like these because you can do them as is, add books, add projects or whatever you want.  We are also reading Charlotte's Web and using the Charlotte’s Web E-Guide by Progeny Press.  Charlotte's Web was one of my daughter's favorite books growing up.  Even though she's not doing the study I've noticed a few times she's answered the questions for Issac just because she knows the book so well (LOL) I like this study because there is vocabulary work, some short answer questions as well as some more comprehensive questions. It's been a good intro to more in-depth book studies for Issac.  We've also been reading Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich as our nighttime reading.  This book has really caused Issac to think and has started some great conversations. I think if he had to chose his favorite subject of the week it would be Let's Go Geography. He's really enjoying his venture into studying North America.  He asked me to take school pictures which is another first day tradition. I got ready and then he was "busy", so he said later (LOL) So far the first week is gone now and still no pictures (LOL) He kept talking about his sister taking pictures and she's refusing :( Hopefully tomorrow we'll get some :)

I think my daughter had a good first week. She seems to be enjoying her Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set by Apologia Educational Ministries.  I think her second favorite subject of the week was probably her World History & Cultures from Abeka or her Wordly Wise 10. Seems like yesterday she was 4 and wanting to do work like her older brother. I included her in whatever she wanted to be a part of and actually started her doing Reading Made Easy because she wanted to learn to read.  I have this picture of her in my head in her pajamas, asleep in the rocking chair holding the Reading Made Easy Book.  Seems not that long ago and yet here she is starting 10th grade and will be graduating in three years. The time goes by so much more quickly than we can every imagine.  This is the first time in quite a few years that I've only got two kids at home.  I'm so proud of my oldest and all he has accomplished.  I know he as well as the other two will go far in life.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Thankful Tuesday 8/22/17

Another week that I'm late posting, BUT I really wanted to post what I was thankful for this week.  I'm super thankful for my children's friends and the kindness of strangers! Yesterday was our second day of school and I didn't want to leave the house, but I had to get to the bank. My plan was to be there when they opened at 8:30, but it was closer to 9:00 when I got there. I did my banking and drove across the street to get gas because I was on empty.  My youngest was with me and wanted to go in the gas station to get something. He told me he'd locked his door and went on inside. I finished pumping my gas and went to open the van door and it was LOCKED!! I normally keep my door open, but yesterday had pulled too close to the pump and so it was closed. I never thought a thing when he said he'd locked his door. Not sure why he did it, but we were locked out and my cell phone was IN the van :(  I went inside and asked the clerk if I could use the phone because we had gotten locked out of our vehicle. She wasn't very pleasant and told me I'd have to wait until her truck downloaded on the phone. No problem, we can't go anywhere anyway (LOL) We waited and waited and she said it would just be a minute. Another clerk walked up and told me she could help me on the next register. The first lady told her I was waiting for the phone. The second lady told me I could use her cell phone! What a blessing she was. Thankfully Zachary answered on the first try and I told him what I needed. I knew it would be hard because he was due at work in less than 1 hour and he was helping a friend with his car. He called back a few minutes later and told me the friend was coming because he had to get to work. At first I thought how crazy is that, but then I thought what a good friend that he would drive 20 minutes to bring me the spare key. The second lady in the gas station gave Issac a drink and talked to us most of the time we waited. I was so thankful she was there and for her friendly attitude.  I hope all my children end up with friends that will help them AND other family members in their times of need. I know he's not reading this, but a huge THANKS to Skylar!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Everyday Homemaking

Everyday Homemaking

Chores has been something that has been hit or miss in our house. When my first child was born I included him in everything. He helped me around the house cleaning, cooking, etc.  When the second child was born we continued pretty much in the same manner. The third child was born early, spent some time in the hospital and then there were constant appointments and therapies. It seemed that somehow chores started falling away.  My oldest seemed the best equipped to do any chore or activity that was given to him.  My daughter was pretty good, but as she got older I realized there were some things we needed to work on more.  The youngest is the one that seemed the least capable of doing the chores required of him.  I've looked at several programs or systems, but they just never seemed to work well for us.  Enter in Everyday Homemaking and I think things are looking up!

The Everyday FAMILY Chore System
The book, The Everyday Family Chore System, arrived nicely bound and just waiting to be put into use! I spent a few days reading through the book and looking at the printable pages.  There is a basic principle of assigning chores, teaching your child the chore, making sure your child is successful with the chore and rotating those chores. There were also several suggestions on how to implement the chores.  One idea I liked for younger children was to use clothes pins to clip their chores on their clothing. That keeps them focused on the job at hand. I decided to go with a basic chart and put both the daily and weekly chores on it.

 I sat down and first thought long and hard about what chores I thought the kids should be assigned.  Our oldest is 18 and is pretty busy with work and school. I decided not to include him in this and just ask him when I needed certain things gone. Previously I assigned the kids one chore to do for the month. They switch off on taking out the compost, recycling and trash. I decided to leave the oldest with that one chore and focus more on the younger two. I came up with a daily and weekly items and then I started writing out my cards. I've heard of this before where you write down everything that needs to be done for the chore. I've honestly never tried it, but really like the idea.  It was interesting because a few cards I had to write over because I missed something.  It really makes you think about all the steps in doing specific chores. Also, there shouldn't be a problem with it being done completely because the children have all the requirements listed for it to be done correct. 

I really like the idea of making the cards because if I check behind them and something is incorrect I can just go back to the cards with them.  I also explained that if they mark the item off on their chart and I go back to check it there shouldn't be an argument on their end if it's not done correctly. If it's marked off then I take it that the chore is completed and done correctly.  My kids like having the same chore all the time, but I know they need to learn to do everything around the house.  My plan is to continue to tweak the daily chores as well as the weekly chores. I like the idea of them doing something for a month because that gives a decent amount of time to work on the skill. I'm going to probably give them another two weeks and then adjust the chores. I plan to switch some of the weekly chores and possibly add others. 
My daughter doesn't like the idea of the chart because she really feels she's too old. I explained to her that this will help communication between the two of us. We consistently have issues where I say I told her to do something and she says I didn't. I explained to her that this way what I expect is right there in black & white. I can tell with one glance if she's completed it or not and that should cut down on any miscommunication we have been having.  

Here are a few examples from the book.  One is a list of ways to use the system which I really liked. It showed me from the very beginning that I didn't have to do it one specific way, I could adjust it to our family. Blank printable cards are in the back for you to fill out as you need/want. There are also cards ready for you to copy with the way Mrs. Bentley used them. I chose to fill out our own because I knew my youngest would get confused if there was the slightest difference in how we do it.  

If you are interested in additional information check out their Facebook page.  For this review we had the option of The Everyday Family Chore System or Everyday Cooking. I've heard there are tons of yummy recipes in the Everyday Cooking book.  If your interested in any of these items Vicki Bentley has generously give us a code to share with everyone for 10% off either of these items!! The code is TOS10books.  Here is a quick note from Mrs. Bentley regarding the code: they can apply it to as many books in their cart as they'd like, but they do need to shop first, apply the 10% discount code last. (Sorry -- eccentric cart function) Expires Sept 5.

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thanks Rush Revere!

We recently got to review the Adventures of Rush Revere books and Issac just loved them.  I had previously heard great things about the company and it just continues! I received a very nice note thanking me for my review and that they were so happy that we enjoyed the books. Yesterday UPS drops off a package from Rush Revere! Issac was so excited to open it and I have to tell you the package made his day! There was a lovely thank you card in there to us for reviewing the products.  We also got an audio cd for Brave Pilgrim, a wonderful cup and a stuffed LIBERTY!! That was the highlight for Issac. He slept with Liberty last night and again tonight. He introduced Liberty to "Tiger" and apparently they had issues yesterday, but are getting along today :)

If you haven't heard of these books or you want more info check out the Adventures of Rush Revere series.  There area also tons of fun activities here for the kids. They are truly trying to reach out to homeschool families and really bring history alive for us all.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thankful Tuesday 8/16/2017

I know I'm a day late, but I still wanted to post :) This week I'm thankful for:

So thankful to have friends that listen and are so supportive.  I've had one of my friends since I was 15! We've birthed 5 children between the two of us, survived a cross country move as well as a move to another state.  Another dear friend I met when I was pregnant with Zachary.  We shared a love of books, General Hospital and Krispy Kreme donuts.  Other friends I've know for a few years or even less.  Some homeschool, some don't and some I've never even met in person. If not for the internet I wouldn't know some of these wonderful ladies.  They all bring a unique and special perspective to my life.  There have been good and bad times, but I'm so thankful for them all.  

Yesterday I got to spend time with two special friends. One was a planned visit where the moms got to talk as well as the kids hanging out. There was even a little Nerf war happening :) I picked up a cat from the Spay/Neuter clinic and I'm thinking what's for dinner?? I decide to run into Food Lion to grab something and my daughter runs right into a friend I haven't seen for several months. I used to see her weekly at our homeschool co-op, but she's moved out of the area and we only see each other once or twice a year. It was so great to be able to chat with her unexpectedly and it seem like I just saw her yesterday. So thankful for all the wonderful ladies in my life. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Tessa Bauer believes she's in love with Hans, but he doesn't return that love.  He only has eyes for Betsy Zook.  Tessa wishes that Betsy will go away, so that she can have Hans for herself.  She never imagined that Betsy would be captured by Indians and taken away from them.  Hans is beside himself and because of his grief starts to do things he might not otherwise do. Tessa feels it's her fault that Betsy was taken.

Betsy struggles in her new life, but she is soon left in a place that changes all that for her. She is taken in, cared for and loved. As time goes on she starts to feel somewhat comfortable. During this time she makes a friend in Caleb. He ultimately becomes a larger part of her life than she could ever imagine.

Out of the blue Betsy reappears back at the Bauer home.  Everyone is amazed that she is alive and Hans feels like life will go back to what it was.  Nobody could imagine the turmoil within Betsy and the struggles she now feels on a daily basis.

Checkout this contest for a chance to win your own copy of this book.

** I received this item free for my honest review.

Review: Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan

I truly enjoy reading books about times where life was much simpler.  In Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan we are transported back to a time where farming was deeply ingrained in most people's lives.  We meet Grace who has longed for a family, but with her husband having passed away she feels she's lost that chance.  She's trying to maintain the farm while caring for her ailing father.  It's a daily struggle and she just doesn't know how she'll make it.  She finally decides she must place an ad for help in the local mercantile.  As she enters the store she notices three unkept children that are eyeing the candy display.  She buys them each a stick of candy and wonders who they belong to.

Unbeknownst to her Robert Frasier has arrived in town with three children.  When he married he had no idea he was becoming a father to three children.  Now that his wife has passed he feels he's to take care of them. Not knowing he was going to be a father, having no experience with children and needing to provide for them all has made life a daily struggle.  He's looking for a way to support them and goes to the mercantile looking for work.  He's told about Grace's job opportunity and decides it's something he'll go speak to her about. He is given the job, but not believing that someone will hire him knowing he has three young children to watch over he leaves them at the campsite each day.  One day on a walk Grace happens upon the children and is shocked to find out they have been left alone each day while Robert is working at her farm.  Always longing for children she insists they come to the farm and live.

Grace had longed for children, but would never truly know that joy until the children came to live with them. Life seemed so much happier for she and her father. There was life on the farm now and a truly wonderful reason to get up each day!

** I received this item free for my honest review.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Week Ending 8/12/17

Spent some time working on school this week and of course reading :) I know with school starting on the 21st that my reading time will be cut WAY down. I'm trying to finish the stack I have and somehow managed to request about 20 new books to add to it (LOL) This week I've read the following:

The Perfect Stranger

The Doctor's Blessing

An Amish Christmas

Plain Promise

Marshall's Law
 A Reluctant Bride

A Reluctant Bride

A Road Unknown

I ordered the last thing that I needed for Brianna's school which was Wordly Wise 10 and the answer key.  I also ordered The Smart Alex Series: Reading Comprehension 4.  Issac's reading has really improved over the last year, but I still don't want to push him too much. He enjoyed the 180 Days of Reading Grade 4 that he did last year. When he did his CAT testing at the end of the year I paid an additional fee for curriculum recommendations. This is one that was recommended, so I figured we'd try it.  I've ALMOST decided to order Math Mammoth Grade 4 to use for this year. He was ahead in math for a few years until we hit multiplication/division. That really slowed us now and we haven't moved forward much really in the last year.  After two reviews this past year: Times Tales the Fun Way and Math Mammoth multiplication/division got better for Issac. I had planned to finish using Teaching Textbooks 5 this year, but he doesn't want to work on it anymore. He really liked Math Mammoth and it seemed to click for him, so I thought we'd do some of their units. When I looked at the placement test I realized he probably couldn't even pass the 4th grade placement test. I decided we might try using their entire level this year and see how that goes.  We just got some exciting news this weekend that we got the Let's Go Geography review, so I'm SUPER excited about that. I think it's going to be one of Issac's favorites this year.  I was able to prepare the dividers, his passport and the first two lessons today.  I've got a few more things to prep before school starts and hopefully we'll have a great year.
The two youngest kids and my husband are in WV this weekend for a karate seminar.  I hate to admit it, but it's been SO NICE AND QUIET since they left yesterday (LOL) I love my family, but it's nice having no music/tv/kid drama/etc :) They'll be home tomorrow, so I'd better enjoy the rest of my evening and what time I have tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

UDN PEER Group's First Newsletter

I've written a few times about our experience with the Undiagnosed Disease Program.  Issac has been followed by a geneticist since he was one year old. When we moved to NC our new doctor had some different ideas and some different routes to take. While getting some information that didn't exactly give us answers we were invited to be one of the first to attend Duke's new Undiagnosed Disease Program.  We spent a week there and despite the 12+ tubes of blood taken, issues over an IV for a brain MRI and all the appointments Issac STILL asks when we get to go again!! That's my boy. He loves pretty much any appointment he has to go to and is always great even when he's not happy with them.

I was asked in late 2016 if I wanted to be part of a new PEER group to connect parents, patients and medical staff to help spread the word about the UDN.  I was very nervous about flying alone to Boston and meeting tons of people I didn't know, but I really wanted to be part of this group. We all met in January and have had several phone meetings as well as emails passed back and forth. We decided we wanted to put together a newsletter that would be shared with people that have gone through the UDN program. Most parents that have any type of medical issue with their child feel alone and struggle with all the unknowns. We wanted to let people know that we have been through the program and are here to help answer questions or just be a friend for the future. I'm super excited to say that our first newsletter came out this week and can be found HERE. The second newsletter is being worked on as I write as well as additional in person meetings in October and January.

I'm so thankful to all the people involved in the UDN. We learned information about Issac, but yet in some ways we really don't know much still seeing as there have only been 6 people found. Check out the participant pages and see some of the people that the UDN is working hard to help.  Our little guy is #5.   I think whether you have a specific answer or not you are always worried about your child and their future when there is a medical issue at hand. I'm thankful to all the people that are working so hard to find answers for us all.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Thanksful Tuesday 8/8/17

Today I'm thankful for my deep freezer! We bought it used, it's beat up and not very attractive. I can't imagine living without it! We are a family of 5, but we have had some kind of deep freezer since Carl and I got married. I just can't imagine life without one!! This is such an old freezer that I have to scrape the ice out every so often. Today I decided to do that and organize everything in it because it was getting messy.  It's not beautiful, but I love it and am truly thankful for it. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Review: Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

I have enjoyed the Elite Guardians series from the very first book I read. In Chasing Secrets we meet Haley Callaghan.  She hasn't had an easy life, but she's never been one to feel sorry for herself.  She had to take care of herself when she was younger and even lived on the streets for a bit. She's always tried to help others and has no idea that she has a family across the world in Ireland. 

 She meets Detective Steven Rothwell after an unusually tough day and could never imagine that that her involvement with him will help end a twenty-five year old case that she didn't even know she was involved in.  Haley had no idea that her parents were killed when she was younger and the lady she thought was her mother was really her nanny.  

 This series always keeps me interested with the way Lynette Eason develops her characters and intertwines the mystery throughout the story. She has a way with leading you in one direction about who you think is responsible for Haley's parents deaths and then turning you in another direction completely.  Once I started this book I couldn't wait to finish it because I was so involved in Haley's story and wanted to know what happened. I'm hoping this isn't the end of the series and that there will be more to come from the Elite Guardians.

** I received this item free for my honest review. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Week Ending 8/5/2017

I've been trying to work a bit on school planning this week.  It seems a little strange to only have two kids to teach.  Our oldest only did one class at home last year, so he really wasn't around much. Now he's working full time, he's the manager at his store, and plans to go part time to study computers.  I think I have most of my 10th graders stuff planned out. I'm trying to let her schedule be a little lighter this year because she really felt stressed last year.  This is what I have planned and scheduled so far for this upcoming 10th grade year:

Unlock Geometry We reviewed this item recently and my daughter told me this was the best math that she had used.  She doesn't like math, so I ran with it when she didn't have anything negative to say about this program :) If you want to check out the program here is my referral link.  You'll get $50 off an annual purchase!

Brianna really liked the Abeka history she did in 8th grade, so we are going back to them.  We are doing the World History & Cultures this year.  I like Abeka because they don't have a ton of questions in each section and that makes my daughter happy. She also really seems to retain the information well!

For English this year she'll be doing Movies as Literature as well as Wordly Wise.  We tried Wordly Wise for the first time last year and my daughter was the only one out of the three that liked it (LOL) I've realized in this last year that even if I want to try other things if the kids are doing them without argument then I should probably just stick with them :) Movies as Literature I've thought about for a bit and even thought about it for the oldest.  I actually gave my daughter the choice of Movies as Literature or going with Abeka like she did last year. She liked the Abeka, but I think she liked the idea of watching movies all year!

I haven't figured out what she'll do for Bible this year and I'd like another elective for her. We did more art last year than we have in the past and both kids really like it. I'm trying to make a decision on which program to do.  I really need to figure out what I'm doing for Issac, so hopefully in this next week I'll get it finalized :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: In the Reign of Terror by Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio Productions

Audio books are something that we have listened to over the years.  I have to admit that I have never been so engaged in an audio book as I have in listening to In the Reign of Terror by Heirloom Audio Productions. This is not your average audio story, but rather it's like listening to a very dramatic play.   This audio story is based on one of G.A. Henty's novels as well as being part of The Extraordinary Adventure Series of G.A. Henty.  This was our first experience listening to these audio stories and I was so pleasantly surprised with the wonderful quality of their audio products.  We received the cd set as well as access to all the special bonus materials.  The cd set has 2 cd's with over 2 hours of an exciting story about the French Revolution.  This story was made with children 6-16 in mind, but I have to tell you I was hooked within the first few minutes.  We listened to it several times and each time I seemed to hear or learn something I didn't remember from the previous time. I think this is one of those items that everyone in the family can listen to and enjoy!  

The story starts out with a young boy comparing the American and French Revolutions. An older man states that they really are not that similar and offers to tell a story to explain his response.  His story starts as young Harry has been sent by his father to live with a French Aristocratic family.  He is there to be a companion for the oldest son, but he is hoping to learn from them as well.  He could never imagine how his life would change during his stay with them.  He is warmly welcomed by the father, the Marquis, but the children treat Harry as though he's not as good as them.  As time goes by Harry proves his loyalty to the family as well as shows his faith in standing steadfast in what he believes and knows is right.  As the turmoil amongst the people starts to increase Harry knows he needs to stand up for his beliefs as well as protect the family that took him into their home.  The family is being persecuted because they have "noble" blood running through their veins.  

In the Reign of Terror
As part of reviewing In the Reign of Terror I received access to the newest edition to their site, the Live the Adventure Club.  There I had access to listening online, the original e-book, the official soundtrack, a printable cast poster, an inspirational verse poster, desktop wallpaper, the official script as well as a pretty intensive study guide.  I checked out the guide and really liked that they had three main sections to their way of studying.  The Listening Well questions are to help your child remember what they have heard.  The Thinking Further section is to help your child think more deeply, look up items that were mentioned, draw conclusions or speculate and ask follow up questions.  There are also Defining Words which gives you the chance to enhance your child's vocabulary and understanding of the story.  I asked Issac a few of the questions here and there, but we didn't truly use the study guide like it could be used. I really felt since it was summer that we would just listen to the story several times, discuss what we heard and just truly enjoy it for the dramatization that it is. I would definitely use the study guide as well as the other fun activities in the club when listening to additional stories.  

To get more information on Heirloom Audio ProductionsIn the Reign of Terror or any of their other dramatizations check out their social media pages: FacebookTwitterGoogle+ or Instagram.  As always check out what the other crew members thought.

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Thankful Tuesday 8/1/2017

Today I'm thankful for my mom! She's an amazing lady and has always been there for us no matter what. I was home this weekend to celebrate her 74th birthday. So thankful to still have her here with us and able to spend so much time with my children. Here she is opening her gifts from Brianna that she packaged in a Thomas bag (LOL)

Review: English Grammar Teaching Method by English on a Roll

English on a Roll
It amazes me as I've watched my children grow and learn how differently they each learn. I grew up in public schools and honestly I feel I got a great education.  I didn't struggle too much and I really could have worked harder in high school.  Grammar was a subject that I struggled with and I'm not exactly sure why.  I knew the basic nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, but throw in all the rest and I would get a glazed look (LOL) I don't remember too much hands-on-learning it was really just book work.  All of my kids enjoy games and anything "fun" that doesn't see like "school" so much.   When I first learned about the English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll I was very interested because it's a multisensory English grammar program.  Issac always seems to do better with the multisensory approach, so I was excited to check it out.  It always makes my day when a package arrives, but when your package includes 40 dice it seems more exciting because games immediately come to mind! :) We started looking through our kit and this is what was included: 

  • 40 durable, solid plastic cubes, 38 engraved with groups of related words and 2 blank cubes for customizing
  • Color-coded to facilitate learning by association
  • Easy to customize with additional vocabulary
  • 150-page instructor manual with teaching tips, lessons, games and reproducible materials
  • English on a Roll

I was instantly excited because everything seemed so well made and sturdy and that is ALWAYS needed around Issac (LOL) I sat down and started reading the guide to see exactly how this program worked.  One thing that jumped right out to me is the Cube Guide right at the front of the book.  It lets you know the groups of all the cubes, the colors, the words on them and what their use is.  It's a great "cheat sheet" to help you as you move through the program.  This program was made for anyone five years and up and especially those with English as their second language, Special Ed. programs and those in Beginner Reader programs.  This program can be used in a classroom setting, small groups or one-on-one.  The textbook was written to really have it all set up for the teacher, so there is minimal prep work needed.  Each lesson has the following:

Prep-Shows which cubes to use, pages that are needed to be copied and any additional materials needed.

Notes and Vocabulary-Has tips for teaching as well as any new vocabulary.
Teach the Concepts-Explains exactly how to teach the lesson with the cubes and printed materials.
Games/Conversation: Has games to play to practice any new concepts.
Written Exercises: Has reproducible exercises for additional practice.

I was a little surprised that the first lesson started with pronouns because most programs we've ever used taught nouns first.  Even though this program started out a little different than others we've used Issac was able to follow the initial lessons fairly easily and do the worksheets that were provided.  We printed the worksheets rather than write in the book and that is acceptable under the copyright laws.  I just prefer to print my pages and find we can work easier when we have our worksheets separate from our books.  There are 37 lessons in this program and they include a wide variety of areas.  For us the lessons got a little hard for Issac fairly quickly.  I think the lessons jumped too quickly for him, so we slowed it down and worked at a slower pace than others might.  I found that going back and redoing lessons as we moved through was a wonderful reminder for him. I think our middle child would have been able to move through this program at a little quicker rate than Issac.  Issac often forgets the definitions of things and I've seen that over the last few years with our grammar programs. I think that the multisensory approach is definitely what works best for Issac and we will continue to work through this program at the pace needed for us. That's the great thing about the  English Grammar Teaching Method that you can move as quickly or as slowly as you need for your child.  If you would like to see how the program works I recommend this video as it gives a great view of how the program can be used.  For additional information on English on a Roll you can check out their Facebook page as well as read what the other crew members thought and how they used the program.  

English on a Roll {Reviews}

Thankful Tuesday 3/13/2018

Thankful today for my animals! I'm so thankful that they are there for cuddles and kisses. I'm sure they don't want to be kissed...