A New Direction

I’m so excited to be taking over the reins of this blog. My name is Dawn Peluso and I was one of the folks that helped Diane with the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook page.  I’m a homeschooling mom of 3.  Our children are 11, 9, and 3.  We live in Eastern, NC and enjoy hiking, the beach, and spending time with family. We are active in our church and strive be a family that follows Jesus.

We use a variety of materials and methods in our home school and like to say our style is “Charlotte Mason Eclectic”.  In particular, we enjoy using lots of good books, nature study, hands-on history, cooking, and traveling to create a family culture of learning and growing.

Look for more posts over the next couple weeks with information about book reviews, fun home school ideas, and more.

My plan for the blog beginning in September is to have a weekly post about the history that we are studying that week (my husband and I are creating a hands on American history program for our kids and I will share that plan and the resources that we are using,  in case anyone else wants to join us on that journey), Product reviews, a monthly book review of a book for Moms, lots of guest posts from other homeschooling moms about what they are doing in their home schools and a variety of other content.  I’m very open to hearing from our readers about what you would like to see and making sure we are meeting those needs.

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Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith (Review)

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This past Christmas my 12 year old son received his first comic book and really enjoyed it. So, he was very excited to get the chance to read and help me review Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith by The Captain Sun Adventures. This comic book is more than your average comic book, it is part comic book and part devotional written by Bryce Morgan and illustrated by Mitch Martin.

The comic is not a Bible story but in the words of the author, “a Christian Worldview tool”. The comic gives the story of the hero’s origin and how he used his powers against the villain.  Throughout the book there were pages that looked like the front of a newspaper. These pages have devotional like information that connected what was going on in the story with a Biblical lesson.  For example the first one was titled “The Origin Story” and talked about how we were created by God and are given a new identity in Christ. There is a question for them to think about and a Bible verse to connect it all together on each of these pages.

At the end of the book there is a list of questions that correlate with each chapter for parents to discuss with their children. For each chapter there is a question that relates to the story, such as “What did the story reveal about where Captain Sun came from?” and also follow up questions about the lesson/devotional.  An example of a devotional question that goes with that chapter is, “What does the Bible reveal about where we came from?”

 

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My son really liked the illustrations. He felt that they did a good job portraying the story.  He felt that the comic was very easy to read and understand; even asking if there were more in the series. I was happy to be able to tell him that there are indeed two more books in this series. This was a fairly short read for him and only took him about an hour to complete.

He said his favorite part was how everyone was waiting on Captain Sun to appear and he just came out of nowhere. He was able to fly in and save the city. When I asked him what he learned from this story he said that evil never pays off.

As a mom, I love that they provided a fun and entertaining story that reflected our faith and worldview. There are some comics that we feel send the wrong message in their stories and values but this one clearly pointed back to Christ. We love finding resources like this that can engage our children in a fun way.

If you have a child that enjoys comic books and graphic novels or maybe struggles with the length of many typical novels this maybe a great fit for your family. My son doesn’t mind long novels but I know many children who struggle with the length and this may be a great way to give them something shorter but still age appropriate to read. You can find out more, download coloring pages, and check out the other two books in the series at The Captain Sun Adventures. Also, don’t forget to check out the other reviews of Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith by Review Crew members.

Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith {The Captain Sun Adventures Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Letter C Preschool Activities and Printable!

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Our second week back was quite different than the first! This week has been a whirlwind for us as we prepare for Hurricane Florence. I’m writing this and setting it to post on the blog just before she hits so that you will have next weeks letter resources even if we do not have power. We had really hoped to do bird study to go with the letter B but between hurricane prep and many of the birds leaving before the storm we have delayed that part of our lesson. He did enjoy ‘reading’ the new Young Naturalist Backyard Birds Field Guide that I picked up for him. It is perfect because it has most of the birds we normally see on our walks but isn’t’ so long as to be overwhelming to a young child. Hopefully once the storm is over we can get back to our walks and identify the birds that we see.

The letter B was a review for him because it was the very first letter that he learned since it is also the first letter of his name. This was a blessing this week with my limited time. He was able to practice writing the letter B and review A by painting them with his paint brush. We also looked at the picture cards and have plans for him to use his sensory bin while we are hunkered down waiting out the storm. It should be a good quiet activity for him.

B painting

We also thoroughly enjoyed ‘B’ foods this week. The big kids got into figuring out ideas and we went a little further than normal. We had bagels, breakfast burritos, bananas, blueberry dessert, and even biscuits. My daughter cooked the biscuits and surprised him with one in the shape of a ‘B’.

This week we will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “C” snacks, sorting through the cards from all three of the letters, and doing some camping themed ideas. We had actually planned a three day family camping trip and the timing was working out perfectly, however, the storm has postponed that trip. Depending on the weather and storm damage we will either camp in the backyard one night or set up a ‘tent’ in the living room and pretend to camp.  I even have a great book of camping poetry that we can read together.

Coloring is always a fun activity. He can color the letter ‘C’ or just his own creation. He also really enjoys the chalk pastel lessons from ‘You Are an Artist‘ so I will be sure to include a couple of those if we have power and internet.  He knows his colors but does sometimes get a couple of them confused so we might do some fun activities with colors to reinforce that concept.

I would love to do a nature study on creeks because there is so much so see and do at the creek. They are great places for play and exploration (supervised of course) under normal conditions. However, with the predicted flooding we will probably postpone that study as well. If you are in an area not affected by the storm I highly recommend spending some time observing at a local creek.

Please share your ideas for letter C in the comments below!

Snack Ideas:

  • Cheeses
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Clementines
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Crackers

 

Extra Resources:

Letter C Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter c Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Coloring

Work on Crunchy/Soft concept

Nature Study on cicadas, creeks or crickets depending on what you have nearby.

Camping (real or pretending in your living room or back yard)

Homework and Horseplay has some great ideas for a camping themed tea time!

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter C sensory bin pictures  to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Guest Review: Easy Peasy and Genesis Curriculum

I am pleased to bring you this wonderful guest post review by Emmy Daniels.

 

Easy Peasy

 

This review is about two different curricula, Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool, and Genesis Curriculum. The same person created both of these, but they are two different curricula with completely different styles. I am going to give an overview of each one, what I like and dislike about each one, and how I personally am going to be using them this coming year with my four children.

Easy Peasy

Easy Peasy is an all-in-one complete curriculum that is free to use. It goes from preschool (learning to read) all the way through high school. The content is based on what the creator, Lee Giles, was using for her own children. She saved all the books and sites, links to videos, worksheets, etc., that she was using so that she could re-use the same things for her other children. She then decided that she could make it available for others to use. I love that she keeps her curriculum free, and she does that because she has a desire to make home schooling easy and possible for more people.

Easy Peasy is divided into levels and years. The levels are roughly equivalent to grade levels, but they tend to be a bit advanced in the reading, so there are placement tests available. The years include math, reading, writing, and LA (grammar and spelling), with thinking and computer every week or so. At the middle school levels, Foreign Language is added. Everything is online, but Lee has started to make LA and the readers available in book form. There are also four “years” to choose from, and those cover Bible, history, and science daily, with health/PE, music, and art every week or so. There are two levels in the years: L for 1st through 4th grades, and M for 5th-8th. This is designed to be done together, so that all levels are learning the same things, with the higher “M” level going a bit more in depth. You cycle through the years twice, once at the L level and once at the M level. The year subjects are: Year 1 — Biology, Ancient History, Matthew and historical books of the Bible; Year 2 — Animals, Early American History, Mark and New Testament minus the other gospels and Revelation; Year 3 — Earth Science, Geography and Cultures, Luke and Psalms and Proverbs, and Year 4 — Physics and Chemistry, 20th Century History, John and Prophets.

The best thing about this curriculum in my opinion is the lack of lesson planning involved. I love that it is laid out day by day, with instructions for each day. My kids like that they can do it themselves and work at their own pace. There is enough variety with online games thrown in, an occasional video, and a few projects as well. The curriculum is challenging enough without all the extra busywork that can drag a subject out. I don’t love all the screen time, but I have started to buy the readers, which cuts out a lot of the online reading. My husband and I own a computer repair

business, so luckily we always have computers that he can refurbish and we have enough computers for each kid to use. Others families with several children and not as many computers may have to take turns, which could make for longer days. My younger two especially like the online games that are included in the curriculum.

Genesis Curriculum

Genesis Curriculum is a completely off-line curriculum designed to be used as a one-room schoolhouse type curriculum. The parent reads the material to all students. It is best for about 3rd grade until 8th, although it can be used for high school as well with more in-depth study added. The main curriculum book includes Bible, Greek or Hebrew, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing, science, and social studies. (Reading is not included). There is also math you can purchase separately, along with workbooks for each child, an answer book, and a map book. What I love about this curriculum is that all of the lessons are based on the Bible reading. There are 4 years in this curriculum: the Book of Genesis to be followed by the book of Exodus, and the book of Matthew to be followed by the book of Acts. In each one, you will read through the book of the Bible, and the science and Social Studies lesson will come from something in the reading. Each week there is a memory verse to learn together. In the Old Testament books, you will learn some basic Hebrew, and in the New Testament ones, you will learn basic Greek. I love this style of teaching! I read to the kids and we can all have a discussion about what we learned. I also like that the lessons are varied. One day you may learn about a type of animal, and the next you are learning about how an engine works. I tend to get a little bored when studying one subject for too long, so I personally like the variety that this curriculum provides. The vocabulary will generally come from the Bible passage of the day, with review days thrown in, and the writing assignments are based on the things you are learning. This curriculum is extremely affordable as well.

Last year I used the Book of Matthew with all four of my kids, having the older two do the “Explore More” section, which is an option for further study for each day. I didn’t use the writing part of Genesis curriculum; instead, we used Easy Peasy language arts along with the reading. We did do the spelling, vocabulary, and grammar in Genesis curriculum, though, so my kids were sometimes getting double language arts. I am ok with that, though, and I am amazed at the progress my kids showed in those areas last year. My kids enjoyed the time spent together with this curriculum.

This year, I am using Genesis Curriculum Book of Acts (it follows the Book of Matthew and will continue where we left off with the Greek lessons) with my younger two children (ages 8 and 10) and my older two are using Easy Peasy High

School (ages 12 and 14). My 12-year-old daughter is a bit ambitious and wants to do high school level classes for credit during middle school and get college credit while in high school, so she is doing the Easy Peasy High School level courses. Although you can use Genesis Curriculum in high school, I personally think Easy Peasy is a better choice, because they provide everything needed as far as how to grade and how many credits to give for each course. One thing I’m excited for this year is a Learning to Draw class my oldest will take, available on the high school site. My younger two will use Easy Peasy for LA and writing, and my 8-year-old will also use a cursive handwriting curriculum. All four kids use MathUSee for math.

If you are looking for a comprehensive and affordable curriculum, both Easy Peasy Homeschool and Genesis Curriculum are excellent choices! They are easy to use, complete enough without a lot of “fluff,” and they both have a lot of support with Facebook groups and Lee Giles herself available to contact through Facebook or email. I highly recommend both of these, and I am so thankful to have found them to use in our home school journey!

About Emmy Daniels:

This is the start of my 10th year homeschooling. I have 4 kids who are currently 8, 10, 12, and 14 (later this month). My husband works from home as the owner of a computer repair shop, and I am a mostly stay-at-home mom who works a few hours a week at our local recreation center and also takes care of my disabled mother in my home. With so much going on, we love that home schooling can be flexible to fit the needs of our family! Our family loves the Lord and we like to read, hike in our beautiful mountains, hunt, camp, and participate in 4H.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Last Call! Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

The World of Peter Rabbit and His Friends Only .99 on Kindle! We love Beatrix Potter’s stories and this one includes her original illustrations.

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Sunny Under the Sea  Free (always double check because Amazon changes prices regularly!)

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Barbour Publishing Kingdom Files Biography Series (Review)

Barbour publishing

We wrapped up what we came to call our ‘summer of reading’ with a read aloud of  Who Was Jonah? which is a part of the Kingdom Files series by Barbour Publishing. This review book along with another book in the series Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? proved to be a great fit for our family. These are fun and fairly short chapter books that feature a biography of a Bible character, an investigation into their lives, and lessons that we can learn from those stories.

We read Who Was Jonah? together and really enjoyed it. The book starts with a Fact File that gives basic information about Jonah. I really appreciated this because even as an adult I sometimes struggle with the timeline of events in the Bible . Then comes the Action File. This section of the book was the story of Jonah and included great illustrations and clues that you could apply to your own life and to help you understand the story of Jonah. For example, “No matter what you’re going through, your heavenly Father sees you and accepts your prayers. That should be as comforting to us today as it was to Jonah. ” There were also some very well done black and white illustrations of the story in this part of the book.

Barbour Publishing2

Another feature of the book that I really enjoyed are the scripture references for the portion of the story that he was telling. The story of Jonah was told through the words of the author but the references allow you to go and read the actual scripture for yourselves and compare it to the book. I found that the book did a great job of following scripture while also using a writing style that was very engaging for the children. In the Power File section, each ‘Power Up’ or lesson has a memory verse as well.

For Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?,  I had my daughter read it independently. The short chapters and engaging narrative made it an enjoyable read for her. This book was set up in the same style as Who Was Jonah? with the Fact File, Action File, and Power File.   While she enjoyed reading it and I think these books are fine to be read independently, I really think that they worked best for our family when we read them together. There were so many great lessons to be learned that I felt it was ideal to be able to pause after the chapters and have family discussions about what we were learning. I did not get a chance to use them for this reading (which we began while we were on vacation) but Kingdom Files has some great educator resources and games that you can print to take your study even further. These include word searches, creating trading cards, and mapping activities just to name a few.

These biographies can be read independently (recommended for ages 8-12) or used as a family read aloud or part of your Bible study time. I highly recommend checking out this great series. Our family is hoping to purchase some others in this series, particularly Who Was David? and Who Was Esther? Tell us in the comments which book you think your family would most enjoy and check out the other Crew Reviews below!

Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Letter B Preschool Activities and Printable!

B

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Our first week went wonderfully! I know that it may not always be as smooth but he was so excited to have his own work and feel like one of the ‘big’ kids. He loved learning all about letter A and practicing finding it and writing it. He also loves our nature studies so he enjoyed finding ‘ants’ and learning about them.  I thought we were going to work with shaving cream and drawing our letters but we switched it up and made the letter A with Play Doh for one of our tactile activities.

This week we will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “B” snacks, doing some physical activities with balls, and a study on birds. Now that we have two letters worth of cards we can also start working on sorting them and matching the picture with the beginning sound.

I’m really excited about the bird study because my son loves birds! We often take walks to look for birds and we even got him an inexpensive bird feeder to hang in our front yard so that he could watch the birds from the kitchen window. Bird studies can be as simple as sitting outside and watching for birds. If your child shows interest there are also some great simple bird guides both in print and online to help you identify the birds. You could even just talk about their size and colors.

bird picture

He has a set of sorting bears that we may use to work on the concept of big and small in keeping with the ‘b’ theme (big bears). This is a great way to also help develop fine motor skills. You could also use stuffed animals or other household objects.

Remember that it is important to keep it simple and engaging. Children learn best through play, so while we will learn about the letter B I want to keep it fun and active. This is one letter that my son actually already knows (it is the first letter in his name) but I think it will be fun to review the letter. Also, keep in mind that letting them help prepare the snacks can be a great way to start teaching them the valuable life skill of cooking and preparing food.

Snack Ideas:

  • Banana
  • Biscuits
  • Blueberries
  • Bagels

Extra Resources:

Letter B Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter b Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Play Ball (This is a great way to get in some physical activity and work on gross and fine motor skills.)

Nature Study on Birds or Bees ( This can be done for free by just going outside and observing nature at your home or local park, but if you want to attract more birds to your yard or make it an on going project you can add in an inexpensive bird feeder or this simple field guide for backyard birds.)

Work on Big/Small or Bitter/Sweet concepts (You can use sorting bears or choose activities from around the house to work on big/small and for bitter/sweet you can choose simple foods like lemon juice/ candy or fruit)

 

 

Don’t forget to download your free letter B sensory bin pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is on sale only through 9/10. Normally Healthy Living isn’t a big part of what I blog about BUT one of the courses that I love for our homeschool, the Fit2B Girls E Course is included with this bundle AND the entire bundle is cheaper than the ecourse is regularly priced by itself.  There are 96 wonderful products included in this bundle with resources for your whole family.

 

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

SoTW Ancient History Week 1 and a few other fun lessons!

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We eased back into our homeschool routine this week after enjoying some summer fun last month. While not perfect, I was pleasantly surprised at how the transition went. It can be really hard for my children to transition from the freedoms of break to the more structured ‘school days’. I intentionally kept this week just a little lighter and shorter to help ease the transition and we were finished most days by lunch time.

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For our first week of volume one of Story of the World we did the introduction lesson. This is a shorter chapter that explains history and archeology. This was very much a review for my older children and we kept it fun and simple. I read the chapter aloud and then we did a fun chocolate chip cookie archeology activity.

My four year old helped me bake cookies with chocolate chips and pecans in them. Then each child was given a cookie, a toothpick, and a pastry brush.  They used the ‘tools’ to excavate the cookie and count how many chocolate chips and how many pecans were in their cookie. Then we snacked on cookies and milk! The activity was a big hit but if I had it to do over again I would have purchased some small paintbrushes to use instead of the pastry brushes just to have the sizing work out better.

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Then one night this week we settled in for a family viewing of The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells. This fun and lighthearted show has a great explanation of archeology and had the children laughing while they learned. If your children are new to these concepts, you might want to include some of the other activities from the activity book or our free lesson resources guide.

In other Story of the World news I have updated the book list through chapter 26! I’m hoping to work on it some more this weekend and I am still on pace to be finished by the end of September with all 42 chapters. Check it out and let me know in the comments if there are any great books that I missed.

Next we will dive into chapter one and learn about the earliest people and the nomadic way of life. I’m looking forward to letting them do a cave art activity. We will be reading the chapter and completing both the map from the activity guide and a Nomadic Life notebooking page. I am hopeful that the notebooking pages will be a good way for them to show me what they learned and help it ‘cement’ into their memories.

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In our Apologia Science text we were learning about gravity, friction, traction, and drag. This was a lot of fun and they are excited to finish the chapter next week. We had the chance to look at their bikes and the hand brakes that they use to see how friction is used to stop their bikes. In addition to a few other small science experiments that were included with that chapter, we decided to make a homemade slip and slide and test out what they had learned about friction and using a lubricant to reduce friction. It maybe September here but the weather is still quite warm so this was a fun way to cool off on a Friday afternoon and probably their favorite activity this week.

The preschooler had great fun learning about the letter A and doing chalk pastel art lessons on his trampoline! We have all been enjoying working through the Forensic Faith book that we are reviewing and I can’t wait to share more about that with you in a few weeks.  The older children did a wind in the trees art lesson that turned out really cute. Just in case you think that our week seems to have gone too smoothly or easily, I will say that we lost a DVD that was integral to my son’s writing curriculum and my daughter is missing her science notebooking journal. There were also some moments where we had to work through issues with them, but all in all it was a good first week back and we are excited to see what this year brings.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is on sale only through 9/10. Normally Healthy Living isn’t a big part of what I blog about BUT one of the courses that I love for our homeschool, the Fit2B Girls E Course is included with this bundle AND the entire bundle is cheaper than the ecourse is regularly priced by itself.  There are 96 wonderful products included in this bundle with resources for your whole family.

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

What About Dad?

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Everyone’s family situation is different but whenever possible it is a great idea to involve dad in your homeschool. This can be a way to connect as a family, give mom a little break and bring a fresh perspective to your studies.

Schedule

In our family my husband runs his own business which means that he has a fairly flexible schedule but also that he works more than the standard ’40 hour week’. Prior to running our home business, he had a non-traditional schedule and worked shifts that meant he might be home on Monday and working Saturday one week and home Thursday the next week. If I kept to a strict Monday through Friday school schedule we would lose time together as a family. We have learned that by being flexible with our school schedule we can spend more time together as a family and my husband can also be available to help in the areas that we need assistance.

Evening Education

We have found that our Evening Education time is a great way for my husband to be involved in our schooling in a fun and positive way. It allows him to support our schooling and stay involved without the children feeling like all of their time is spent ‘doing school’.   We pick a few fun subjects and activities that we can do in the evening together as a family. For example, we can do our music studies or watch Drive Thru History as a family. Check out our Evening Education post for more information.

Subjects

Another way to utilize dad is to let him help in the areas that he is strong. If dad is a biologist, maybe he can take the lead in science. In our situation, my husband loves American history and so he does a lot to supplement our history studies. He can also provide a fresh perspective when that math concept just is not clicking.

Field Trips

Field trips are another way that dads can be involved. This looks different depending on your situation, but maybe you save field trips for dads day off, or maybe you turn your family vacation into a giant homeschool field trip. If dad has flexibility, maybe he could get off early and meet you for local trips. These could be elaborate trips to see the monuments and buildings in Washington, DC or a several hour trip to a local museum or historical site. It could even be a nature walk at your local park.

Indirect Support

Many times when we talk about dad being involved in our homeschool we think about them actively teaching or assisting the children with schoolwork. However, I think it is important to remember that there are many ways our husbands can support us that are more indirect. Many times our husbands are working to provide the funds for curriculum and supplies. They can also take the children to participate in other activities while we plan and prepare. My husband also takes the time to listen to my ideas and plans and helps me talk through what will be best for our children.

It will look different for every family, but whenever possible it is beneficial to have dad be involved in your homeschool even if it is only by asking the children what they are learning as you sit down to dinner in the evening. Homeschooling is such a major part of the life and culture of a family and making it a ‘family affair’ builds unity and strengthens both the family and the children’s education. How is your husband involved in your homeschool?

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is on sale only through 9/10. Normally Healthy Living isn’t a big part of what I blog about BUT one of the courses that I love for our homeschool, the Fit2B Girls E Course is included with this bundle AND the entire bundle is cheaper than the ecourse is regularly priced by itself.  There are 96 wonderful products included in this bundle with resources for your whole family.

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Reading Eggs Review and FREEBIE!

When I agreed to review Reading Eggs, I thought I knew exactly what to expect because my daughter had used this program several years ago. We enjoyed the program then, but I was very pleased and surprised to see how much more it included now.

Online Reading Eggs SuiteFor this review I was using Reading Eggs with my four year old son.  I was a little concerned about whether or not it would be too difficult for him as he has just recently started expressing interest in letters and numbers. However, when I logged in I found that not only could he work on the reading eggs program that I remembered but they have a new section that is designed for ages 2-4. This gave us a lot of flexibility.

readingeggs5

When we tried the first lesson of the regular reading eggs (designed for ages 3-7) my son was able to do it but it was a little more difficult and he honestly did not really enjoy it. I feel that it is a great program and some children may be ready for it at age three but some children will need to be a little older before they are ready for that component. It started with the letter m and was teaching the sound (not the letter name) using a variety of activities related to m. He did the first activity or two but grew tired of it before the lesson was over, but he could easily go back and finish at his own pace.

Though my son was not quite ready for that portion of the program it is still a great program. Reading Eggs starts at the very beginning with letter sounds and continues through fluent reading, their highest levels Reading Eggspress works on reading comprehension and fluency for children ages 7-13. It is a fun and thorough program that works great to help improve a child’s reading ability.  Luckily for us, they also now have Reading Eggs Junior.

 

When we tried the Reading Eggs Junior section (ages 2-4), we knew we had found the right fit. He absolutely loved it and could not get enough. They had books that he could look at and listen as they were read aloud, short videos that worked on letters and other educational concepts, and lots of different games to help him with preschool level skills.

readingeggs6

He knows all of his colors but really enjoyed playing the color games where he would match part of an object to the rest of the object in the same color. For example, they might have a purple and a pink car and two cut out circles form the cars (one in each color). He would then have to move the colored circle into the right spot.  He enjoyed a game where he had to sort butterflies onto flowers based on their color.

They also had counting games, alphabet games, puzzles and more. The one thing we noticed with the games is that you needed to be used to using a mouse in order to successfully complete the activity. While many children have this skill, it was not something that my four year old had mastered because most of the time he does his activities on the kindle and uses a touch screen. He did get more proficient with the mouse as he worked through various activities.

Each game/activity is done in a map style layout (see the pictures above) and gets progressively harder. They program will let him return to one he has already completed but it will not let him move ahead until he completes that level. This helps keep the children from getting frustrated by the difficulty level. I should also note that in the regular Reading Eggs program it is set up in a similar manner but children can take a placement test to determine where they need to start so that they do not have to go through the lessons from the beginning.

My one real complaint about the program is that it is not compatible with Kindle. While this will not be an issue for many families, we find that logistically it is better if my son’s programs can be done on our kindle. He is better able to navigate the kindle than our desktop and can be more independent. However, this is still a wonderful program and we will work around the kindle issue using it on our desktop. Thankfully, my older children enjoy helping him and can assist him when I am not available.

If this sounds like a program that might be a good fit for your child, I have a wonderful offer for you. Reading Eggs has agreed to give my readers a FREE four week trial of the program. This is a great way for you to try it out and see if it is a good fit for your family.

In addition to the wonderful online program, Reading Eggs has just released new workbooks to accompany the program. While we did not personally use them I am hearing some great things from the reviewers that used the new workbooks and I encourage you to check out the other reviews to learn more about those.

Online Reading Eggs Suite {Reading Eggs Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Letter A Preschool Activities and Printable!

A

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

As a part of our relaxed preschool plan and my son’s strong desire to learn his letters we are going to study a letter each week. Each week I’ll share snack ideas, sensory bin cards, crafts and other resources for that letter. I strongly encourage you to use only what seems to work for your child and keep it fun.  It is far better to wait until they are ready to learn than to push them too early.

We will be using the printable cards (free download below) in a sensory bin, eating “A” snacks, practicing making the letter in shaving cream, and doing an ant nature study this week. We won’t be able to pick apples for another couple of weeks but we may also do some fun apple pages from the extra resources depending on how interested my four year old seems to be as the week progresses.

Snack Ideas:

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Asparagus (might be better with dinner but still a fun ‘A’ food)
  • Ants on a Log (celery w/ nut butter and raisins)

Extra Resources:

Letter A Upper Case Craft Freebie

Letter a Lower Case Craft Freebie

Optional Activities:

Apple Picking

Ant Nature Study (you can observe them outside, create a habitat in a jar, or purchase an ant farm)

 

Don’t forget to download your free Letter A Sensory Bin Pictures to use this week!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

Fall in Love with Art - You ARE an Artist Clubhouse

You Are An Artist Clubhouse Memberships are now Open for enrollment! and having a 25% off Sale through September 4th!!

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

Memorable Monthly Musical Genre Study

Music Genre

In the past we have focused our music appreciation on famous composers and studied a single composer for a semester or a year. While I believe these are valuable we wanted to do something a little different this year that would introduce the children to a wide variety of music and help us create some fun family memories at the same time.

A little while back we were camping at a campground in Virginia and the folks next to us were playing some music that my husband and I had listened to when we were a little younger than we are now ( I won’t date myself too badly). The songs would come on and sometimes one or both of us would sing along because we remembered the lyrics even after all of these years.  The children were amazed that we knew the words and wanted to learn more about the music we used to listen to. We realized that we wanted to expand their musical knowledge while still being careful about the language and content that we filled our ears and hearts with.

So this year we have decided to choose a different genre of music each month. Throughout that month we will listen to a variety of songs from that genre and learn about some of the famous musicians. Whenever possible we will attend a free or inexpensive local concert related to that genre. I will mostly use music that is available from Amazon Prime or YouTube to make this an inexpensive study.

Our first month we are starting with Bluegrass music! I know that it is not as popular or mainstream as some genres but I think it is so much fun. I love the instruments and the fun songs. Fall also tends to be a time when I can find more bluegrass concerts available locally. There are always several at our North Carolina State Fair and the apple orchard where we are hoping to pick apples later this month hosts multiple local bluegrass bands (among other genres). If timing works out we will hear a band at the apple orchard and if not we can catch a concert next month at the fair.

 

I have not scheduled out the other eight months because we will use the availability of free or inexpensive local concerts to help with our scheduling. We intend to study jazz, classical, gospel, big band, classic country, blues, rock, and Celtic music. I know that there are many other genre’s and sub genres that we could have chosen but we felt that those included many favorites that we wanted to expose the children to as well as a well rounded variety. Each month I’ll share a short post with the genre we are studying and some free resources that you can use to share with your children.

What favorite genres or musicians do you want to share with your children? Share your ideas in the comments!!

Bluegrass Resources

Please check these before using with your children to make sure they align with your family. I have listened to some of the tracks but not all of them.

Best Loved Bluegrass

True Bluegrass Gospel

A Brief History of Bluegrass

What is Bluegrass?

Bluegrass Instructional Materials

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies!

Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.

Fall in Love with Art - You ARE an Artist Clubhouse

You Are An Artist Clubhouse Memberships are now Open for enrollment! and having a 25% off Sale through September 4th!!

Apologia Digital Back to School Sale 25% off through 9/15!

Wind in the Willows on Audio for only $2.95

Alice in Wonderland on Audible for less than $1!!

FREE: Check out this great new FREE resource for classical and Charlotte Mason education! Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. Great for folks already homeschooling or if you have friends that are looking into it!

FREE Fantasy and Fairytales StoryBuilders from Write Shop!

LAST Day for this awesome sale!

ST-2018-BOGO-back-to-hs-frenzy_meme4