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.

EdAlive Typing Tournament Online and Math Invaders Online (Review)

 

We recently had the opportunity to review Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online from EdAlive. The children are always excited to try out new online learning opportunities especially when they are in the form of games.

Ed Alive Pinterest

I used Typing Tournament Online with both my seventh grade son and my fifth grade daughter. The program is set in medieval times with knights and dragons. This makes it a bit more interesting than just typing practice. My daughter really liked that it was teaching her new typing skills and not just providing practice. She said, “typing is a lot of fun and I learned very quickly and it helped me to increase my speed.”

The program starts with lessons and practice at each level and then progresses to games that you can play once you are comfortable with the level’s material. If you win the game, it lets you take the test to move up to the next level.  There were several games but her two favorite games were the Dragon Chase game and Siege.  In Dragon Chase, you are racing a dragon to get to the castle, you type words to race and the higher up in levels you get the faster you have to type. Siege is another fun game where you type words that are attacking the castle, as you type them it blows up the words, if the word gets to the top of the castle you lose and have to try again.

 

If your student already has some typing proficiency, they can test out of levels until they reach their current level of proficiency.  I really liked this part of the program because it kept my children from being bored in the early stages. Once you complete (or test out) of all of the levels on the map you earn a movie. My daughter was very excited to earn the movie, though she was not overly impressed with the movie itself once she watched it.  You can then go back in and set a higher goal and continue working. My son also enjoyed Typing Tournament Online  but has not quite finished the map yet.  There are also some great parental reports to help you track progress.

 

Maths Invaders Online was a math review program that takes the form of space games. The two main games are Galactic Campaign and Space Rescue. Galactic Campaign was the main program and by scoring well you could earn the opportunity to play Space Rescue. We had a little bit of a false start in this program because we did not realize at first that you could change the level. This meant that, much to their delight, my fifth and seventh graders were doing lots of basic addition and subtraction. Once I realized that we needed to go in and set their levels it was more challenging for them and more beneficial. I do wish setting the levels would have been explained a little more clearly so that we could have started out on the right track.

 

Maths Invaders Online is not a game that you would use to teach new math skills but provides a fun way to review their current skills and increase speed and proficiency with math facts.  You can choose for them to work on a certain grade level material or even go in and choose a particular skill that they need to work on. For example, I was able to go in and choose fifth grade level fractions for my daughter to review because that was a skill we had just covered in her math book.

 

There are a variety of reports in the parent portal that let me know what skills they have mastered, how many questions they have answered during a given activity, percentages, correct, and it can even correlate their work with several different sets of standards if your instruction is based off of one of those sets of standards.

Overall, we enjoyed both of these programs but the favorite for both children was Typing Tournament Online. We felt that it really helped them to improve while enjoying their typing time (they would even use it during their free time).  I encourage you to visit the EdAlive website to check out these two programs as well as their other products. You can check out how other families used these programs by clicking on the link below to view the other reviews.

 

Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive 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.

God is Better Than Trucks (Picture Book Review)

God is Better than Trucks  sounded like the perfect book title for my son. This alphabetical picture book is written by Sarah Reju and published by Christian Focus. The overarching message of this book is, “Trucks are powerful, big and fun! BUT GOD IS BETTER THAN TRUCKS!”

This hard-cover picture book includes fun and colorful illustrations on each page. It is an alphabetical book that features a different mode of transportation for each letter. Each letter also included a Bible verse that correlates to that page. The text of the book shares what is wonderful about each mode of transportation but then reiterates that God is better than each of those things.

PINTEREST TRUCKS

For example, for the letter ‘U’ they showed an underwater submarine. The text for that page was, ” THE UNDERWATER SUBMARINE explores a mile DEEP, but God made the whole ocean. God is better than UNDERWATER SUBMARINES!”  Then they shared ” The sea is his, for he made it…” Psalm 95:5 as the verse for that page.

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I read this book several times with my five-year-old son, who really enjoyed the pictures. By the end of the book he could say the last line of each letter, ” God is better than …” One of the pages featured and ice cream truck handing out ice cream at the beach.  He said that was his favorite page because he loves ice cream.

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This book is great for young children ages birth to six or seven. The younger children will enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to it being read aloud. Many children on the older end of that range are fascinated by various cars, trucks, and trains and may enjoy reading about the different types. In addition to using it as a read aloud book, you could pick a page to focus on each week and memorize the scripture and maybe find out more about that type of transportation.

In addition to God is Better than Trucks, the Review Crew had the opportunity to review a variety of different books from Christian Focus. These included another picture book, God is Better than Princesses. Some families also reviewed a biography of Elizabeth Prentiss and Big Bible Science. which are for older children. Be sure to check out their website and use the link below to check out reviews from the other Crew members!

Big Bible Science, Elizabeth Prentiss, God is Better than Princesses,  God is Better than Trucks. {Christian Focus 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.

M is for Mandie

When I was a young girl I fell in love with the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard. In a time before Amazon and other online retailers, my mom would take me to our local Christian bookstore and I would purchase one or two new books. I would begin reading them as soon as we got into the car and often finished at least one of them before I went to sleep that evening. They were engaging, entertaining, and full of adventure.

Mandie Pinterest

Fast forward a ‘few’ years and my eleven year old daughter is now also enjoying these books. I even found out that there were movies made about the first few books and we have enjoyed watching them together. We even found out that the movies were filmed in our home state and we had been to the ‘mansion’ in the movie that now serves as a visitor’s center for a park.

mandie mansion

These books tell of the many adventures of Mandie and her friends Cecilia and Joe. Mandie is helped by her Uncle Ned; who is a Native American friend of her father. After her father dies, she goes to live with her uncle and continues to find mysteries to solve. Adventures seem to await her with every turn of events. Mandie goes through some difficult circumstances during the course of the book, but she learns to trust in God to help her through adversity.

While the main character is a girl, these books are truly fun for girls and boys. They are clean wholesome fiction that will excite and engage readers. I would recommend the Mandie series for upper elementary and middle grades readers.

Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter M. Have you read any of the Mandie series?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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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

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

May Sale

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

The Tummy Team is having a 35% off sale! This makes for some very reasonably priced online rehab programs or esessions. I am excited to be getting a course to help me get back to being in my best health! I have loved the other courses that I have taken from them and they are so  helpful and supportive. I know this one is not directly homeschool related but it affects so many moms that I wanted to share.

Summer Plans: Rhythms and Routines

Last summer we had the ‘summer of reading‘. I tried to incorporate as much reading, both on my own and, with the children as I could fit into those three months. It was a great turning point in helping me make more time for reading, which I enjoy, but had pushed to the back burner. I am pleased that the focus on reading has stuck and I find myself reading more and more. This summer I plan to still incorporate lots of reading, I will even have a post next week about our summer reading plans. Today, I want to focus on reestablishing rhythms and routines in our lives, just like how I reestablished reading in my life.

Rhythms and Routines-4

The devastation caused by Hurricane Florence, and the time we have spent focused on relief efforts, made this a year like no other.  I have no regrets about the time we spent helping with those efforts but it did cause us to lose some of our normal rhythms and routines. My goal this summer is to get those things back on track and well established so that it will be easier to stick with them when the new school year begins again. I’ve found that time management is much like diet or exercise. All are challenging to establish, but once they become a regular part of your life it is so much easier.

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My Bible time has been more hit or miss than I’d really care to admit lately. I have been working through studies with the children, going to church, and such but my personal time has suffered from a lack of routine. Some weeks I did a good job being consistent and other weeks not so much. I’m really praying that I can be consistent this summer and make it into a firmly entrenched routine that is easy to carry over into next school year.  I’m looking forward to spending some time meditating on the word and using my coloring Bible. I also want to make sure I am working on helping my older children strengthen their daily quiet times. They listen to the daily audio Bible app but I plan to help them start journaling about what they are learning while they are reading/ or listening.

My children have had chores for many years and some of those chores have continued throughout this past year. The dishes have been done, toys put away, laundry turned, animals fed etc. However, I have found that as we got busy many of the chores started being done with less attention to detail and others fell to the wayside. We are going to spend some time during the first part of the summer re-teaching chores so that the expectations are clear. I am also planning to create a checklist to help me do a better job monitoring chore completion. I am hoping that by working on this, while not also balancing school, we can get back into good habits that are easy to continue once the school year begins again.

Finally, I have to get a firm handle on my fitness. I have been working on it off and on and I have seen improvements but I am still not as consistent as I need to be. While I have been walking three or four mornings a week with my younger two children (they get outside and I get exercise. Win, win!)  I need to be more consistent about adding in some strength training. I have loved the workouts that I’ve been doing with Fit2B. They have such a variety and I now just need to make sure I am utilizing them more frequently. I have set a goal of doing at least four of their workouts each week. I plan to bring out some special toys for the baby to play with during that time to keep him occupied and get my workout in before breakfast each morning. My children also enjoy the children’s workouts and I may try to join them for some of those to combine exercise and a bit of family fun! (They are having a 25% off sale through 5/18 with code mothersday25off.)

fit2bnew

If we can get into the consistent habit of these rhythms and routines, it should make the 2019-2020 school year flow much smoother for our family. It will allow me to better balance schoolwork with the other important tasks for the day. I know that once something becomes habit it is much easier to maintain.

What rhythms and routines do you need to work on this summer? In addition to all the fun summer activities, what can you do this summer to make next year smoother?

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

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

May Sale

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Pre-K Farm Study Ideas

My sweet, sassy, short attention span five year old is enthralled with farms and farm animals. I decided that I wanted to spend a couple weeks doing a farm themed unit study with him for his ‘school’. He just turned five so he is not officially in Kindergarten yet but he loves the idea of ‘doing school’ like his older siblings. I want to encourage his love for learning without burning him out with too much work, so this was a perfect way to get him actively engaged on something that he loves, work on a few skills, and spend some time together.

 

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

I spent some time each day working with him on different farm activities and then gave him some free time to play and explore using his farm toys and the other farm activities that I put together. One of his favorites was harvesting letters. I took out our set of magnetic letters, some black beans that we had for a sensory bin, and a couple of toy tractors that he had in his farm set. Then I put the beans and the letters into a large metal pan (you could use any deep dish). I explained to him that the beans were ‘soil’ and he needed to use his tractors to ‘harvest’ the letters that were planted in the soil. He would scoop up the letters and then we would talk about what each letter was before putting it into the bucket and scooping up another letter.  He thought it was great fun and it helped him get a little practice with his letters.

Next, we did some shadow matching, puzzle making and cutting practice as a part of this fun on the farm printable pack from the multitaskinmom.com. We did not do the entire pack but picked a few activities that he would enjoy each day.

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We added in some art by using these fun preschool You Are An Artist Barnyard Art Lessons. He did the chick hatching out of the egg the first day and then did all the rest of the lessons the next day because he was enjoying them so much. I pulled them up on the computer and he was able to work on the independently while I was helping my older children with some of their schoolwork.

Throughout the week, we read a variety of farm books. Some of my favorites are the Usborne On the Farm Shine a Light Book and Farm Animals. We also have the Baby’s Very First Tractor Book which I read with both my five year old and the baby.  Another farm favorite in our house is the Otis series. These fun books about Otis the tractor get requested over and over.

 

For a more hands-on component of our study, my five year old helped his older brother tend our chickens and plant some squash and pepper plants in the garden. If you do not have room for a full garden, it would be lots of fun to plant a small container garden. You could plant lettuce which grows fast and can be harvested multiple times, or our family favorite, tomatoes. Herbs also tend to do very well in containers.

For some fun independent play my son has a Fisher Price Little People Farm set as well as a variety of other farm toys. He can use his imagination to set them up and ‘play farm’. He loves to build farms and create stories of the events that are going on at the farm. I am blessed that my older son is gracious enough to often get on the floor and play with him. It is a great bonding experience for them. While we have cleared out a lot of his toys because he was struggling with cleaning up and clutter, the farm set has been a staple for several years.

 

Finally, I scheduled our unit study around a fun farm field trip. We had some friends invite us on a field trip to an alpaca farm. My son loves llamas and I knew that since they are so similar, he would really enjoy the alpaca farm. We were able to see the different alpacas, learn about how they care for and groom them, and see various products made from alpaca wool. My five year old really enjoyed it and my older children are dreaming of starting an Alpaca farm.

 

As luck would have it, our church also had a farm event going on during our study. One of the generous families from our church invited all of the families with young children out to see their farm. We were able to pet a cow and some sheep, take a hayride, and hang out with the chickens. This was a great time with friends and perfect for our farm study.  If you do not know of a field trip in your area, check with local farms. Many of them will welcome scheduled groups to see their animals or crops. You can also contact your local cooperative extension to see what activities might be available.

We had a great time with our farm unit study and home you get some ideas to help you teach your children about farms. I would love for you to share any other ideas you have in the comments!

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

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

May Sale

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

The Tummy Team is having a 35% off sale! This makes for some very reasonably priced online rehab programs or esessions. I am excited to be getting a course to help me get back to being in my best health! I have loved the other courses that I have taken from them and they are so  helpful and supportive. I know this one is not directly homeschool related but it affects so many moms that I wanted to share.

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing (A Scriptural Picture Book Review)

Nothing by Natalee Creech from WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group was a fun book review. I requested this review to read with my five-year-old son and I am so glad that I did!  He was excited to get the book in the mail and had me read it to him as soon as he opened the package.

nothing cover

The first thing that I noticed with this book was the adorable cover. The dust jacket on this hard cover book is an adorable illustration of a rocket ship at the top and a scuba diver on the bottom. The fun illustration by Joseph Cowman makes you immediately want to open the book and find out more.

I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created. Romans 8:38-39 CEB

The book is based on Romans 8:38-39, which talks about how nothing can separate us from God’s love. The author includes that scripture in the beginning of the book and then goes through and explores that thought throughout the book. After the scripture she asks the question, ” Can anything separate me form God’s love?” and then on each page she talks about different things and how they cannot separate us from God’s love. For example, the deepest sea, an overseas flight, the desert, moon, etc. It even talks about how doing what we shouldn’t do, doesn’t change God’s love for us.

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One of his favorite pages!

The illustrations are beautiful and full color. They help really engage the young reader (or listener as the case may be) into the story. I love how it really brings a verse of scripture to life. In addition to listening to me read the book, my five year old enjoyed looking at the pictures on his own. He was even able to ‘tell’ the story as he looked at the pictures once we had read the book a couple of times. Though he did not know it word for word, he understood the pattern of the story and the pictures gave him plenty of clues.

Nothing Pinterest

This was a great way to help my son internalize this scripture verse and it would make a beautiful gift for a birthday or Christmas. I would recommend it for ages 3 to 6 as the simple nature of it makes it easy for a young child but might be boring for older children. I encourage you to check out the other reviews from the Review Crew at the link below and visit the WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group website to learn even more about Nothing by Natalee Creech.

Nothing (Nothing Can Separate You From God's Love) by Natalee Creech {WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group 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.

L is for Lemoncello and Lifegiving

Today I want to share a children’s book and a mom book for the letter L.  I thought that I was going to tell you about a series of three children’s books that my children thoroughly enjoyed; only when I went online to find the link for you I realized that as of this week it is actually a four book series! The Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series is a funny series that encourages reading and having fun with books and libraries. We have not yet read book four since I just found out about it, but I think we will use one of our audible credits so that we can listen to it on our next long car ride.

l is for pinterest

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

My friend Jennifer, who blogs over at Homeschool Fanatic introduced me to this book series a couple of years ago and the children fell in love with it. The books tell about the eccentric Mr. Lemoncello and the games and adventures that he orchestrates, including saving a library and hosting crazy library games in which children compete for prizes by finding answers using the library’s resources.  These chapter books are great read alouds for elementary through middle school or independent reads for late elementary or middle grades. They are light and funny but have a great message. So grab a few glasses of lemonade, and enjoy these books with your children.

When I think of books that begin with L and moms, my mind immediately goes to the Lifegiving Home and the Lifegiving Table. These wonderful encouraging books by Sally Clarkson are perfect for encouraging women to create a home environment that is life giving for their families and for those that we invite into our homes. I have found that these books both encouraged me and challenged me to create an environment that shares God’s love with all of those whom enter my home or sit at my table. There are practical ideas and lofty ideals all wrapped up in an easy and enjoyable read. If you have not yet had a chance to check these out, I encourage you to purchase a copy and read them this summer. You can find out more about these books by reading some of the blog posts I did as I worked through them as a book study.

Tell me what books come to mind when you think of the letter L. Have you read any of the Lemoncello series or the books by Sally Clarkson?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

abcblogging

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

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!

May Sale

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

The Tummy Team is having a 35% off sale! This makes for some very reasonably priced online rehab programs or esessions. I am excited to be getting a course to help me get back to being in my best health! I have loved the other courses that I have taken from them and they are so  helpful and supportive. I know this one is not directly homeschool related but it affects so many moms that I wanted to share.

The Critical Thinking Co. Middle School Math Games (Review)

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Teaching his sister how to play “Sum It Up”.

My seventh grade son worked hard and finished his math curriculum in April. I did not want to start him on a new one yet or give him work that made him feel like his hard work just meant that he had to do even more math. However, I did want to keep his skills fresh in his mind. I was very excited to see if Middle School Math Games by The Critical Thinking Co. might be just what I needed: a chance to review skills while having fun with games.

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We received the digital version of this book, which allowed us to print out the games as needed and print out extra copies of the score sheets for those games that used score sheets.  There are 16 different games included in Middle School Math Games and each game also includes several different variations.

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When we first reviewed this book, it had been my hope that my son could play these games either independently or with his slightly younger sister who is finishing fifth grade.  However, most of the games really required at least two people to play them and the math required was too difficult for my daughter in many cases (which is very understandable since it is supposed to be middle school level). Therefore, either I helped my daughter a bit or I would play with my son.

I loved that the games really reinforced the math concepts. I think games are a great way to reinforce learning but sometimes educational games can be mostly fun and very little learning. These games were very tied to the math concepts. For example, one of our favorite games was “What Are My Coordinates?”This game was very similar to a popular board game from my childhood where you tried to guess the location of ships using coordinates. Instead of ships, you were guessing at the location of quadrilaterals with the help of area and perimeter. This was a great review of coordinate planes, area, perimeter, and various quadrilaterals.

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Game rules, materials, and skills were easy to read and understand.

Another game that they enjoyed was, “Lets Sum Up: Odd or Even? Positive or Negative?” This game used dice and an activity sheet to work on positive and negative numbers, odd and even number concepts as well as critical thinking skills. The children decided on various operations to do with the numbers rolled, on the dice, in order to try and achieve a specific result.  If you wanted to make that game more challenging you could add squaring and square roots as possible operations. My two oldest children played this together but my daughter needed a lot of support.

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Bingo is always a hit!

Another game was number bingo, not identifying numbers but solving equations and then locating that number on their bingo boards. There were several different sheets of equations so that you could play multiple times. They also did a great job of allowing as many students as needed to play this game by having blank bingo cards with the answers down at the bottom as a list of numbers. Before the game, students could each write the numbers on their cards in whatever order they chose.

There were games that had students trying to guess the operation, make a certain number with a given set of numbers using any operations they chose, ordering decimals, working with prime numbers, and even reviewing math vocabulary.

The games were generally very ‘print and go’ making them easy to set up. The few supplies that were required were basic supplies like graph paper, dice, and index cards. In addition to basic math skills, the games did a good job of having the students apply those skills using their critical thinking and not just do basic computation.

We felt like this book had a lot of great games and ideas but it was challenging to make it fit into a one middle schooler homeschool. With the games generally needing at least two players the parent needs to plan to play with the child or have another middle school or above student who can also participate. I think it would be a perfect fit for someone who was teaching at a co-op or had two students in middle school or above.

In addition to this Middle School Math Games book, the Review Crew has reviewed a variety of wonderful resources by The Critical Thinking Co. and I invite you to use the link below to take at look at all of the different options. The Critical Thinking Co has also been generous enough to offer my readers Free Shipping and 15% off any order through 12/31/2019. I encourage you to go to the website and take a look at all of their wonderful products. You can also check out the review I did last year of their Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary book.

Critical Thinking, Math, Vocabulary & Writing Skills {The Critical Thinking Co. 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.

 

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week (Free Printables)

I just wanted to take a few minutes and let you know how appreciated you are this week! If you were working in a traditional school you would probably get gifts, snacks, or maybe even a special lunch.  I can’t offer you those things but I did want to take a minute and remind you that you are appreciated and the hard job you are doing is worth it!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

Your children may not tell you and may not even realize it themselves yet, but the time you spend with them is such a blessing. Knowing that you are always there for them, helping them learn, cooking their meals, being a listening ear is so important. The days can seem long and often like we are not making any progress, but they are learning and growing in so many ways! God sees the hours and days that you are pouring into these children that he has blessed you with and you are appreciated.

Take a few minutes this week and enjoy a cup of coffee with another homeschool mom or all by yourself. Have a piece of chocolate as you sit outside and listen to the birds chirp, call a pizza delivery place and give yourself a night off from dinner, or even check out some of the great deals going on right now and treat yourself. You could even add a few flowers to your grocery order this week or light a candle and enjoy some quiet music. Know that even though you may not hear it from your children and there is no homeschool mom PTO to provide you with little gifts this week you are appreciated and your hard work is not in vain. Don’t forget to the other homeschool parents in your life that they are appreciated.

What are some simple ways that you can celebrate other homeschool moms or give yourself a little treat this week? Share your ideas in the comments.

Updated 5/9/2019: I wanted to give you a gift for Teacher Appreciation Week and since I couldn’t buy you all chocolates I thought I’d create a few free printables. These are encouraging verses that you can print out to encourage you on the tough days!. Just click below to download. I ask that you please do not share the files but feel free to give friends the link to this blog post.

Biblical Encouragement Posters

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

Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a May sale if you missed out on the April $1 sale.

May Sale

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Tummy Team is having a Mother’s Day sale! 35% off all online Rehab programs!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

FREE Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond from Write Shop!

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!

Freebies and Deals, Deals, Deals

I had several blog posts that I had hoped to share with you this week, but life has been busy. I think this is one of the busiest times of year as we wrap up all of our spring activities, finish the school year and prepare for summer! I am so excited for summer and the chance to relax with the kids as well as get caught up on some blogging and share some great ideas and resources with you. I have several fun things in the works that I can’t wait to share.

May Deals and Freebies!

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

I did want to take a few minutes to tell you about some great deals that are happening right now. I didn’t want to spam you with too many deals posts so I put them together right here. I encourage you to bless others as well as our family by sharing this post with other mom’s that might benefit from these deals.

First, The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is on sale this week! It is only available for a short time and is an amazing deal.  The bundle includes 104 products worth $2,294.37. This includes 30 eCourses & Videos, 28 eBooks, 25 printable packs, 16 workbooks, 3 summits & 2 membership sites and some really great bonuses! You may be thinking that you really do not need that many items and you would be correct.  Most folks can’t and won’t use all of them, but at less than $30 for the whole bundle, using even just a few items can save you money! We are really enjoying the bookroo bonus, the Fit2B bonus (if you are not already a member you can get 2 months for free or get a $15 store credit for current members), and the soap from Puro Co.  I am also loving some inspirational printables and can’t wait to try out some of the homeschool planning sheets as well as the homeschool conference workshops this summer as I reset our homeschool for next year.  I encourage you to take a look and see what courses and printables might be helpful in your homemaking. this would be a great early Mother’s Day present.

Second, The Tummy Team is having a 35% off sale! This makes for some very reasonably priced online rehab programs or esessions. I am excited to be getting a course to help me get back to being in my best health! I have loved the other courses that I have taken from them and they are so  helpful and supportive. I know this one is not directly homeschool related but it affects so many moms that I wanted to share.

Third, The Productive Homeschooling site is now up and running and offering special pricing through May 10th! You may have heard of NotebookingPages.com but they have opened a new site with notebooking pages, apps, and so much more all on one easy to use site. They even have some great free resources. I encourage you to check them out and see what they have to offer.

Finally, Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a May sale if you missed out on the April $1 sale. You can get a monthly subscription for $9.95 or a year for only $99. If you want to know more about Schoolhouse Teachers you can always check out my post about our hobbies.

May Sale

 

Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.

Freebies!

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

FREE Writing About Books: Book Reports and Beyond from Write Shop!

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!

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.