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.

Hymn Study: America the Beautiful

america the beautiful graphic

 

America the Beautiful seemed like the perfect hymn for July as we celebrate Independence day and thank God for our blessings.  This song was written by Katherine Lee Bates, a teacher and college professor. She wrote the hymn in the summer of 1893 after having hiked to the top of Pike’s Peak.

The view and resulting conversations inspired this now beloved hymn of thanks.  In her own words Bates said, “One day some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse.”

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

 O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

 

As we study and learn about this hymn this month, we plan to spend some time talking about all of the blessings that we see around us. From the fields of food growing along our roads, the beautiful river that runs through our town providing beauty, enjoyment, and food, and all of the other beautiful things that God has provided us.

In addition to our regular hymn study activities, I thought it would be a lot of fun to take a virtual tour of Pike’s Peak, the place that inspired this beautiful hymn. Due to the current pandemic situation, you can take a tour of the peak as well as some other virtual activities here:Pike’s Peak Virtual Tour.

If you would like to add some art to your study this month, Nana has this wonderful chalk pastel painting of “the purple mountain majesties and the amber waves of grain”. this painting is absolutely beautiful, but also simple enough for even younger children to participate. As always, her hymn studies are included in the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership.

I pray you enjoy time with your children studying this hymn this month. As we celebrate our nation’s independence, I hope we always remember to give thanks to God for all of our blessings.

Hymn Study Resources:

Pike’s Peak Virtual Tour

America the Beautiful (Story and Lyrics)

America the Beautiful (Ray Charles)

America the Beautiful (U.S. Navy Band)

America the Beautiful (Willie Nelson and More with tribute to 9/11)

America the Beautiful (Cedarmont Kids)

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

America the Beautiful copywork

 

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

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

 

 

 

Homestead Homeschool: Meet Wilhelmina and Other Updates

 

If you have been following along with our homestead posts, you know that we dabble at homesteading in the midst of a busy life. We enjoy being outside, learning to grow and raise our own food, teaching our children responsibility, and the taste of a garden fresh tomato!! Since my last post about gardening a couple months ago, we have added some new friends to our homestead, had a few successes and some challenges.

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

New Animals

A few weeks ago we added three turkey poults to our homestead. These, along with the nine that we are getting next week as a part of a 4-H turkey show, will be raised by my oldest three children and then processed in late October or November.

Next, we added guinea keets last week. My children had been asking for guineas for awhile now and we decided it was finally time to give it a try. Guineas are different from our chickens and ducks because they are much more independent. They also need very little feed and will forage for most of their diet. They should be a benefit to our homestead by helping control the snake and tick population. During the spring they will also produce eggs, which my son hopes to incubate and be able to increase our flock as well as sell some keets.

Finally, just this week we were able to find a good companion goat for my daughter’s show goat. This goat’s original name was Amara but my daughter has named her Wilhelmina Amara. Her show goat’s name is Houdini (because he is an escape artist) and the real Houdini’s wife was named Wilhelmina. We are excited for this addition to the homestead and enjoying watching the two goats play together.

Homestead Homeschool.

Successes and Challenges

One of the biggest challenges we are facing right now are the deer who think our garden makes for a wonderful buffet. We have a fence and first they were just eating what was up against the fence but most recently they are jumping the fence to dine on our garden. I love watching the deer grazing on the grass in the back yard, but we are working on solutions to keep them out of the garden. I have some netting ordered to see if that will help keep them out of the fence. If you have any solutions that have worked for you, I would love to hear about them.

On a happier note, the garden is starting to really yield its harvest and we are enjoying the ‘fruits of our labor’. We are currently harvesting blueberries, yellow squash, and cherry tomatoes. With-in the next week we should also be getting patty pan squash and slicing tomatoes. The potato crop is growing nicely and we have some baby eggplant and peppers that will be ready soon as well.

My children participated in a virtual chicken show this month and did really well. My son did well enough in the first round to move on to the finals and placed fourth in his age group. They very much miss their in-person events but were grateful for the chance to show virtually.

How are things going where you are? I would love to know what you are harvesting from your gardens and any tips about the deer!

 

Affiliate Disclosure and Resource Library

When you sign up for our 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

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

How to Make: Prayer Shadow Boxes

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Several years ago I saw a cute Facebook post where a lady and purchased bow ties as a reminder to pray for her daughters future husbands. I can’t remember where I saw the original post, but ever since then I had been wishing I could do something like that for my children’s future spouses.

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

With three sons and one daughter, I didn’t want to do bow ties. I decided on necklaces but then came the task of finding necklaces and deciding how to display them. Back in the beginning of March we purchased some clearance inventory from a Christian bookstore as a part of our business. In that inventory, I found three beautiful feminine necklaces for my sons’ future wives and one more masculine necklace for my daughter’s future husband.

For the last several months, those necklaces had been sitting in their boxes on my dresser. A couple weeks ago I found some adorable shadow boxes half price online at Micheal’s (similar to these). I decided they would be the perfect way to display the necklaces.

shadow box pinterest

 

To put them together, I cut small slits at the top of the back of the shadow box. This allowed the necklace to sit into the grooves and hang down the back of the frame. Then my daughter cut out a piece of fabric and used s line of super glue to keep it in place. All that was left was to put the necklace on the fabric and hang the excess down the back using the grooves.

My husband hung them on the walls for me and now I will see them each time I sit in that room (which is most mornings when I do my quiet time). It is my plan to use them as a reminder to pray for the women and man that will one day join our family through marriage. To pray for them now and to pray for the relationships that will come from those unions.

While I used these as reminders to pray for my childrens’ future spouses, you could use prayer shadow boxes with reminders about other people or things that are on your long term prayer list.  Simply find something that would remind you of whatever you wanted to pray for. You might choose the map of a country if you are praying for a missionary, a picture of a loved one that is not saved, or some other symbol of the requests on your heart.

I would love to know what reminders you use to help you with your prayer list or other ideas you have for shadow boxes.

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

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

This is What Real Love Looks Like… Happy Father’s Day to My Husband

Several months ago, when life was still ‘normal’, I began thinking about how much I appreciated my husband. I thought about how much I hope that my daughter will one day marry a man that loves her as much as my husband loves me and our children. When we were first married, I sometimes had unrealistic and unexpressed expectations about how his love should be expressed. I assumed that he should know what I wanted and what I needed without me ever telling him. I would drop hints about what I wanted as a gift (which worked well for my mom or my friends) and get upset when he didn’t pick up on them. Yet through it all, he has been showing me love in so many ways that are far more important and far more real and lasting than a gift.

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Today, the world looks a bit different than it did when I first began composing this post. We have been in the midst of a pandemic that turned our world a bit upside down for the last several months. While I miss our extended family, there is no one I’d rather spend time with than my husband and children.  This week as we celebrate Father’s Day, I wanted to share a short list of the ways he shows our family his love on a daily basis. I hope my daughter (and yours) find a man, that will really love her in the day to day. Not with fancy rings or expensive gifts, but with the hard work and dedication that is shown everyday.

Dear Daughter,

I pray that one day you find a man who will love you second only to God. A man that will show that love in real and practical ways.

He will…..

  • sit at the table and help your teenager with algebra
  • play ball in the front yard with your children
  • listen to you cry and complain and tell you it will be alright
  • pick up your favorite treat when he goes into town, just because…
  • encourage you to take time for a walk
  • share his bowl of ice cream after a long day
  • take the baby and walk the halls while you sleep when you just can’t do it anymore
  • work hard to provide for your family
  • buy you fried chicken every Tuesday during the pandemic when he goes out for groceries because it makes you smile
  • get up and check the house in the middle of the night because you heard a noise (even though he was sleeping comfortably)
  • he will be a constant in your life in good times and bad
  • he will support you even when times are challenging

I could list a hundred more little things that your dad does for me and other people’s list may be completely different from mine.  While the specifics may look a bit different from person to person, real love is giving and sacrificial. Real loved is lived out in our day to day actions. When you are old enough to begin dating and looking for a husband, find someone that will care for you for better or for worse. Find the man that will be there for you when life feels crazy. Chose the one with whom you can enjoy being ‘quarantined’.

Love, Mom

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This Father’s Day, if you have a father or a husband who has made a difference in your life and shown you real love, make sure to let them know it is appreciated. I don’t know that words can truly express how thankful I am but what a blessing for us and our children to have such role models in our lives. I would love for you to share in the comments some of the ways your husband shows his love for you and your family.

Also check out all of the other Father’s Day posts over at the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.

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

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

 

Exploring The US Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

When the opportunity to review Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities   by Rebecca Locklear came up, I immediately thought of my oldest son. I knew he was very interested in history and we had talked and learned about the US Life Saving Service in our study of the Wright Brothers a couple years ago.

us life saving 1

When asked about this review he was very interested in giving it a try and the plan was for him to go through a couple of the units as an independent study.  However, when I received the e-book I realized that it was set up more as a teacher’s manual and would be a challenge for him as an independent study. Each section is set up with objectives, materials lists, introductory information, and a variety of activities and answers that relate to that topic. The units varied in difficulty, some of them being suitable for students as young as fourth or fifth grade and others being better suited for high school students.

The activities were varied and included such things as group discussions, matching games, recipes, art projects and more. The section that he was originally most interested in, Prepare to Stay Alive, was not really going to work well as an independent study. So we decided to start with the introduction and work together through some of the other units.

Throughout the different units you are able to learn about almost every aspect of the lives and work of the men in the U.S. Life-Saving Service. You find out about where they lived, the rescues they made, their hunting and fishing for food, the ships they used, and even information about staying alive in dangerous conditions. There were fun activities that discussed appropriate manners and had the children become familiar with how the social rules of the time would have worked. They had to determine whether it would have been appropriate for the men to wear their hats in various situations.

US Life Saving Pinterest

One of the facts that I learned, is that the men only had leave one day a week and that was often the only day they saw their families. While a few stations had family houses built next to them, for most of the men they stayed at the station and only went home on their one day of leave each week.

Our family loves to eat and incorporate food into our educational activities. We were excited to find information about what the men of the U.S. Life-Saving Service would have eaten and recipes that we could try. One of my son’s favorite activities was baking the gingerbread muffins after learning about how they used molasses. As a bonus, they made for a great breakfast that I didn’t have to cook!

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Overall, while Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities  didn’t work quite the way I had envisioned, I think it has a lot of great information and activities. It would be perfect for a co-op or family unit study.

You can find out more about this book, check out the authors other work, and get updates and information by clicking here and signing up for the e-mail newsletter.  I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out all of the reviews of Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities as well as The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today.

 

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Mom’s Summer Reading List 2020

Last week I shared some of the books that my children were reading over the summer. This week I wanted to take just a minute and share with you some of the books in my summer reading stack as well as a few I read this spring that you might enjoy this summer.

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

First, on Mother’s Day, I had the chance to read Sisterchicks on the Looseby Robin Jones Gunn. As a teenager I enjoyed her Christy Miller series and was excited to check this one out. It was lighthearted and funny, written for adults but still clean and wholesome. I decided that I would read through as much of the series as I could get to this summer for my light reading. I often find myself reading non-fiction books for knowledge and growth, but I have been focusing on adding in fun books. I feel that it is beneficial for me to read for entertainment and also good for my children to see me reading for entertainment.

2020 books mom

I also have started reading, The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller. This book is written by a public school teacher but I think that  much of what she has to say about creating readers applies to homeschool as well.

I am also finishing up Parenting Beyond The Rules by Connie Albers. This book is about helping build and strengthen your relationship with your teens. Speaking of teens, my fourteen year old son and I are both going to read Debt Free Degree and discuss it together. I am hopeful that this gives us ideas and motivation as we create a four year high school plan that will help him achieve his college goals.

Last month I took advantage of the time that I was watching the children swim in the pool and read Moms’ Night Out. This book is hilarious and completely unbelievable. There were certainly elements of relate-ability to the characters but the premise of all that happened in one night was a bit far fetched. That said, I enjoyed reading it and laughed out loud several times while reading.

Over the spring, I read When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley and Better Togetherby Pam Barnhill.  When Less Becomes More is a great book for helping you focus on what matters in your life. Better Together is a great book about using morning time in your homeschool and helping you create that time for your whole family to learn together. I thoroughly enjoyed both books.

I would love for you to share with me what you are reading this summer!

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

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

Critical Thinking Co (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

who is that kid

I started homeschooling when my oldest was in first grade and he will begin his ninth grade year in the fall. I remember teaching him to read and now he is reading the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Time has moved quickly and it is hard to believe that it is already time to be planning for college and his future. As we work towards coming up with a good four year plan and helping him prepare for college, I was excited to get the opportunity to review Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! from The Critical Thinking Co.™.

critical thinking college

I received the e-book version of this book for this review and was able to print out the sections that my son was working through. We did just a few pages each week as we began to work out way through this journey and the discussions that arose from it.  The first section was helping the student work through thinking about themselves and learning how to describe themselves well for colleges and interviews. It was really interesting for me to see what characteristics my son thought describes him and what other family members had to say when they chose.

The next portion of the book helps students explore a variety of college options. It helps them find out more about colleges they might already be interested in as well as looking into other colleges that they may not have considered. The worksheets help them gather information and compare the various schools. This section also walks them through asking questions about the colleges, in person and virtual tours, and other aspects of finding the right college fit.

Part three walks them through college applications, essays, and interviews. Part four gives a calendar of monthly actions that should be taken by juniors and seniors as they work through the college admissions process. Finally, part five is a glossary of terms that students need to know during this process. It includes such terms as humanities, pass-fail, resident advisor and more.

We worked our way through part one and plan to continue to work our way through the book as we go through this process of getting him ready for college. I would recommend the book for any high school student, and ideally start it not later than your junior year in high school. However, if you have a rising senior it could still be beneficial.

Overall, I think this is a great resource for helping students learn more about the college admissions process, helping them learn more about themselves and find the right fit for a college.The less than $15 you pay for this book could easily save more than that in helping them find the right fit before they pay application fees and in increased scholarships because of well written applications and essays. In addition to this title, the Review Crew had the opportunity to review a wide variety of titles for various ages.  I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out all of the different The Critical Thinking Co.™ products that the other reviewers tried with their families.

 

Creative Problem Solving, Dare to Compare Math, Mastering Logic & Math and Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know! {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews} 

Math Shed and Spelling Shed (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Learning is always more fun when you can turn it into a game. Math Shed and Spelling Shed do just that. These two computer programs turn math facts and spelling into a game. I received these products to review and over the last month my six-year-old son tried out Math Shed and my daughter used Spelling Shed .

 

When I received my subscription to review, I was able to go in and set up each child as a student. This allowed them each to work and get their own ‘honey pots’ or points if they scored well in the games. However, since each one was doing a different subject and they were working on the same laptop they ended up deciding to save one log-in in the laptop and use the same account to work from. Thus they were able to score more points quickly. Since I was not using the points for anything other than motivation for them, this worked well for us. However, if you wanted to track more data or have students competing against each other, they would each need to use their own log-in.

ed shed 1

My daughter enjoyed the spelling program. When she went into Spelling Shed she could choose the level of the words and the level of difficulty of the game. In the lower levels on the easy setting, it would give you only the letters you needed for the word and you just had to put them in order. When you chose more difficult settings, it would give you lots of letters to choose from and you had to determine which letters were in the word and their order. As a parent I could have gone into the parent dashboard and assigned her certain spelling lists, however, I chose to allow it to just be random practice.

My son did most of the math, though my daughter also tried it out once or twice. There were a variety of different types of math problems to choose from including: number bonds, times tables, add & subtract, powers of 10, and negative numbers. Since my son had just finished up kindergarten level math, we chose to focus on addition and subtraction. When we went into that section, he could choose to focus on addition, subtraction, or both. He could also choose how high the numbers would go for the problems. We stayed with the 0-10 range and worked on those basic facts. From there you could choose the level of difficulty. He typically went with easy which gave him three answers to choose from. Each round of the game lasts for one minute and he had to answer as many questions and possible by clicking on the correct answer choice. This program reviews and reinforces concepts that have already been taught but does not have an instructional component.

ed shed collage

Overall, my children found these games to be engaging and fun. I thought it provided practice with important skills and was a good way to get them engaged and enjoying schoolwork. If you wanted a program to give your child extra practice with math or spelling skills in a fun and engaging way,Math Shed and Spelling Shed might be a great fit. I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews to see how different families used these programs in their homes.

Spelling Shed & Math Shed {Education Shed Reviews}

Summer Reading List 2020

I’m still working on determining my own personal summer reading list, but I thought I would share with you today some of the books my children are reading this summer in case you still needed some  ideas.

summer reading 2020

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

This year I decided that both my twelve and fourteen year olds were going to be responsible for reading three ‘classics’ over the summer. I had a fairly broad definition of classics and I let them choose as long as it was one they had not yet read. They, of course, also both have stacks of fun books that they intend to read over the summer. Current favorites include anything about Duck Commander, The Callahan Cousins, Nancy Drew, and anything by Robin Jones Gunn.

Goldtown

My twelve year old daughter has chosen, The Hobbit, The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe, and Little House in the Big Woods.  She wanted to read the Hobbit so that she could watch the movie with us and her older brother. She has started reading it and we have also started watching the movie so she is getting the experience of both at the same time.  This is a good book, but a little dense so I don’t’ recommend it prior to middle school. The movie is rated PG-13 because of the violence so I do not recommend it for younger children. We do not watch many movies with that rating in our family, but felt that the overall plot was worthy of watching with the older children.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a family favorite and my daughter has listened to it on audio but had never actually read the book for herself. I personally think you can never get too much of C. S. Lewis so I was happy to have her choose that as her second book.

Finally, I’m not sure how she managed to get to seventh grade without having read the Little House series, but I think she will fall in love with the series when she reads the first one and I expect she will end up reading the rest. We have the collection of them because my son read them all.

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My fourteen year old is still working out all of his selections but he wanted to start with Moby Dick and Fellowship of the Ring the first book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  He read the Hobbit this year and enjoyed it and is looking forward to getting more of the story.  He may also read the Father Brown Mysteries. We have been reading the abridged versions as a family and he really enjoyed them.

He is also reading Debt Free Degree by Anthony Oneal. This is the second summer that we have chosen to each read a book and discuss it together. As he is entering ninth grade this year and making plans for college, I hope that this book will give us some great ideas and strategies for helping him achieve his college goals without student debt.

My six year old and two year old will be enjoying a variety of picture books and audio books as we go through the summer. Some of the current favorites are the Goldtown Beginnings Series  and Albert Whitman Boxcar Children readers. We have plenty of picture and simple books on hand, but if anyone has a new favorite to recommend I may pick up one or two special ones for the summer.

If you are looking for ways to help you incorporate reading into your summer, you may want to check out the free summer reading programs from Not Consumed or Pam Barnhill.  I will also include links to a few posts to help you incorporate reading into your days.

Please share with me in the comments what you are reading this summer! Also, check out the other Review Crew summer reading lists here.

Reading Posts:

Our Summer of Reading!

5 Days of For the Love of Reading

Creating a Book Club Culture (Read Aloud Family)

Read All the Books: Free and Discounted Online Literature Resources

Library and Educational Services LLC (Review)

You can also check out the books section of my Reviews page.

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

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale! I have multiple reviews on the blog about different courses we use from them. This is an amazing price for an entire year for your whole family and lots of really neat bonus gifts! Simply click on this link and use code: 19GIFTS

If you are looking for a fun way to encourage reading this summer, check out the FREE summer reading materials from Your Morning Basket with Pam Barnhill. The passport and reading bucket list are a great way to encourage reading!

Homeschool Complete is offering a special 10% off discount to my readers! Just use code: SWAG

Evan-Moor is offering their Daily Fundamentals book FREE right now to help out during this time.

Get a FREE Literature Kit from LitWits using Code 11READ4FUN. We are currently enjoying the Heidi kit but have also previously loved the My Side of the Mountain kit.

IEW is offering some great free resources right now.

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

 

Page a Day Math (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

This post contains affiliate links. See below for more information.

My son finished up his kindergarten math book in April and we were both excited and grateful for a break. I didn’t want to start a new curriculum until the fall, but I knew that he needed to have some practice and review to keep everything fresh.  Page a Day Math was a perfect fit for being simple, short, and easy to use. We received the PreK Math Starter Kit, Addition and Counting Kit, and Subtraction Starter Kit to review.

I looked over all of them and decided to have my son start with the Addition and Counting Kit. As the name of the company says, you simply do one page a day. These pages are relatively short and only took him five to ten minutes to complete. For the addition, each page started with a new addition fact, and shows that fact as counting, tracing, and copying. Then each page has addition facts for them to practice, starting with several repetitions of the fact of the day and then mixed review of the facts that were previously covered.  The numbers are done in a box that has been marked off into a four square grid to help with proper number formation.

One thing I noticed and appreciated about this program is that it is split into manageable chunks. In addition to each day’s work being one page (front and back), the worksheets are split into books that each cover fourteen days. We reviewed this program in a digital format and I could choose to print the whole book or just the pages I needed for each day. However, if you were using it in a physical book format the shorter books may help keep it from feeling overwhelming to a young child and give them a sense of accomplishment by being able to quickly complete a book.  There is also a progress tracker which allows them to mark off each book when they have completed it so that they can track their progress through the kit.

page a day pinterest

There are ten books in the addition kit (not including bonuses), taking you all the way from 0+1 to 10 + 10. The subtraction kit works the same way but goes through subtracting twelve. We have not gotten there yet, but intend to work our way through it once we finish the addition kit.  The books feature cute pictures of funny dogs that my son enjoyed.

page a day review

In addition to the books and progress chart, there are a variety of bonuses included in each kit. There are assessment pages that help you check for fluency, flash cards for extra practice, and even handwriting sheets. Some of the handwriting sheets practice print and some cursive.

All in all, I thought this was a great way to keep my son’s math progress for slipping away, without feeling like a burden during the ‘lazy days of summer’. We will continue to use them 3 or 4 days a week throughout the summer to continue to build fluency with his basic facts. I think this program is great for anyone who is looking for a simple way to increase math fact fluency in children. I did not review them, but Page a Day Math also offers multiplication and division kits that various crew members reviewed. I highly encourage you to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews.

Daily Math & Handwriting (Print + Cursive) {Page a Day Math Reviews}

This post contains affiliate or referral 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.