Blogging Through The Alphabet with Books!!

I am so excited to tell you about this new series that I’m taking part in with a group of other wonderful bloggers. We will all be blogging through the alphabet with a new post each week! You will have a chance to read about many different topics for each letter, but to help keep me focused I chose a theme. If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen the poll that I did a couple weeks ago to let you help me choose the theme. Books had more votes than nature study and so I am excited to share a new children’s book with you each week.

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I have loved books since I was a small child and they make up a huge part of our lives now. My husband runs a used books store, we all love to read, we listen to audio books as a family, and there are bookshelves in every bedroom and most of the common rooms in the house. I have made many mistakes as a parent but one thing that I’m glad I got right was passing on a love of books to my children. I hope this journey can help children fall in love with reading.

Some of these books will be picture books and books for young children, but I am also looking forward to sharing some great chapter books for middle grades students. You will probably see some older classics that you already know but hopefully also some new books and ideas to help you find new books for your students. I may even throw in a few books for the moms throughout the alphabet.

I would love for you to share some of your favorite books with me in the comments. Click below to find out more about the other bloggers that are joining us on this journey through the alphabet and make sure to join me right here on the blog next week as we start with the letter A!

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 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)

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Through The Year in Foot Prints: February

I love Valentine’s Day , though we don’t celebrate in the most traditional way. I love my husband very much but for our family Valentine’s Day has become a great reminder to celebrate the love we share as a family and the love of God with others. The children enjoy making and sending cards to various friends and relatives, we give away candy to various folks that we see throughout the day (postal workers, sanitation workers, etc), and over all just try to share love and joy. We also eat ice cream sundaes for lunch but that is a story for a different day.

Foot Prints Across The Year February Pinterest

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

That made choosing this month’s craft super easy for me. I loved the idea of being able to make several of these and send out for Valentine’s Day and so I decided to use his feet to make a simple heart that we could send out to the grandparents, as well as keeping one here. There are many variations on this craft that involve poems or sayings and other decorations. You can keep it simple like the one we did or spend a bit more time dressing them up. I will share links below to several of those projects to give you some ideas if you wanted to add to the craft project.

Supplies:

White Cardstock

Red or Pink Paint

Markers

Instructions:

I simply put red paint onto a plate, dipped the baby’s foot into the plate and pressed it onto the cardstock at a slight angle, then I repeated with the other foot creating a heart. I then drew a heart around the footprints and added his name, year, and a Valentine’s greeting. You could cut out the heart, add a poem, or even frame it as shown in some of the links below but we thought that keeping it simple was best for our purposes.  My four year old wanted to paint with us as well so he tried a hand print heart. The feet did a little better at making the shape but he had a blast and I think it still turned out cute.

 

 

I hope you enjoy this craft. I would love for you to share your finished projects or ideas with us!

Links to Similar Ideas:

Framed Picture

Salt dough foot print heart

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 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)

Heirloom Audio: For The Temple (Review)

Often when a new review opportunity is posted I take a look at the product and then talk to whichever children would be working with it during the review period. This gives me a chance to get some input from them before making a decision about whether or not to request that review. However, when a chance to review the newest Heirloom Audio came through I knew there was no need to ask for their opinion, they love audio books, and the GA Henty audio dramas from Heirloom are among their favorites.

For the Temple Pinterest

We had grand plans of listening to this particular drama, For The Temple,  on the ride to and from an aquarium field trip that we had scheduled last week. Unfortunately, instead of the aquarium we ended up at home sick with a stomach virus. However, we made the most of a difficult situation and gathered together in the living room and listened while we rested and recovered.  They were even able to work on a little drawing, weaving, and slime creation while they listened.

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Playing with slime while she listens to For The Temple!

For the Temple is based on the novel by G.A Henty by the same title. This is the story of John, a vinter, who lives near the Shores of the Sea of Galilee. More importantly, it is the tale of the battle over the Temple in Jerusalem and its fall in 70 AD. In classic Henty style the story tells the true history of this momentous event through a fictitious story. While many of the characters are made up, you also hear the names of the very real people, such as Josephus, that played key roles. This story is mostly a tale of battle, determination, political unrest, and adventure. However, for those romantics in the group we do get John’s quiet love story woven throughout the tale.

In addition to the audio drama Heirloom has created an over 50 page study guide that can be used with this story. The study guide has comprehension questions to go along with each chapter as well as addition discussion and thought provoking questions for the chapters. As we listened, I was able to use the study guide to help guide some discussion and make sure they were understanding the story.  I think it is a well thought out guide that adds to the study of the story. I will note that it does not include an answer key so whoever is checking or assisting with the study guide will need to have also listened to the story. This worked well for us since we did it as a family, but would be important if you were assigning it as an independent project.

In a very convenient coincidence, this audio drama was based off of a G.A. Henty novel that my son read just a couple months ago as part of his literature course. This added to our discussions by allowing us to discuss the differences in the audio drama and the book.

I do want to note that I think due to the nature of this story there are some scenes that may be difficult for younger listeners. They are handled well and are not overly graphic but there are scenes that involve, mass murders, bodies being thrown off the walls, crucifixion and other persecution of Christians. I do not think you could leave them out and keep the story historically accurate but I do think parents of young children need to be aware before making a decision for your family.  Heirloom recommends this story for ages 6 to adult but while I think younger children could listen along I would recommend this more for children 8-10 years old up to adult.

Heirloom Audio dramas are a great supplement to your history program or a fun just to listen to together as a family.  Check out their website for more information on For the Temple. You can also check out my reviews of two other Heirloom Audio titles: St. Bartholomew’s Eve and Wulf the Saxon. For more reviews of For the Temple, click below and see what the other Review Crew families thought.

For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer 

What’s Coming Up in February?

I know people have been talking about how long January was (and some days sure felt long) but the month seems to have flown by for us. We took a big field trip/ mini-vacation to Myrtle Beach to visit WonderWorks and Medieval Times, we made good progress on our school goals, Matthew got his 4-H pig for this year, and I finished reading two books.

What is Happening in February at Schoolin' Swag_

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

I completed Becoming Mom Strong by Heidi St. John and Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt in January. Both of these book are books that I would recommend reading. Becoming Mom Strong gives solid parenting encouragement with a Biblical background and stance. Just Open the Door is a book full of advice about Biblical hospitality. It gives practical ways to show hospitality both formally and informally. I loved how she included a variety of ways and simple ideas to help make your whole family demonstrate hospitality.

 

I am excited about what February will be bringing. My preschooler who has been begging for more school work has the opportunity to try two new programs, Dimensions Math and Homeschool Complete for which I’ll be sharing complete reviews. My older children are also hard at work on a few reviews including the newest Heirloom Audio, Victus Study Skills, and some great novels.

 

February is full of small holidays which can add a fun change to the day to day. I hear many say that they start to feel burned out in February between the cold and the after effects of the holidays. Spending just a little time to enjoy holidays like Groundhogs Day, Presidents Day, and Valentine’s Day can bring a bit of refreshment to your homeschool.

I am also very excited to be getting ready to start a blogging through the alphabet group. Stay tuned next week for details and more information but I am excited to be sharing a new post in that series each week with you.

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It has been awhile since our last online book study because of the baby and then the hurricane, but I am excited to be jumping back in with Girls’ Club: Cultivating Lasting Friendships in a Lonely World. I have had the privilege of previewing the first three chapters and the full book arrived in the mail this week! I’m excited to finish reading it soon!

For the most part we were enjoying our curriculum choices from the beginning of the year but time constraints caused me to switch a few things up. I’m still working on tweaking our new schedule but I hope to share that with you over the next few weeks. If you want to see what we started off with you can check out my posts about preschool, fifth grade, and seventh grade.

All in all February is shaping up to be a busy but fun month. I am looking forward to checking out all of these new programs and sharing them with you, my wonderful readers. I also joined Pinterest though I’m just getting started. I would love to have you follow me there. What is happening at your house this month?

 

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.

 

February Hymn Study: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

 

This is one of my favorite hymns. I love the lyrics and the meaning but it also brings back fond childhood memories.  As a young child we often sang this as a hymn of invitation at the end of services, inviting those who had not yet accepted Christ to come forward, accept him and be baptized. As a young child we had on minister with whom our family was very close to his family.  I remember it as the hymn we sang on the last night he was at our church prior to moving to a different congregation. As a side note, he was the pastor that later performed my wedding ceremony.

I have Decided

I often find myself singing this song in my head as I go throughout the day. It is also one of my go-to songs for singing when I’m trying to get the baby to sleep. I have always seen it as an encouragement to keep the faith, but I never knew the back story until I began researching the hymn for this post.  It was ‘written’ by a man in India who was facing martyrdom. It is said that he spontaneously composed and sang the verses even as he watched his family being killed for their faith.  This part of the history is sad but what happened next is an amazing display of God’s power and goodness. The very people who killed him for his faith realized that they wanted what he had and came to know Jesus. Because of his death an entire village was saved for all of eternity.

My children can probably already sing all of the words to this hymn because they have heard it so many times, but I look forward to really looking at the meaning behind the words and using the copy work to help internalize them. I have included links to several different versions of this song that you can listen to as you learn this hymn as well as the link to the story behind the hymn and sheet music if you have a student that plays a musical instrument.  I hope you enjoy this song as much as we enjoy it.

 

Hymn Study Resources:

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus Sheet Music and Hymn Background

I Have Decided (Elevation Worship)

I Have Decided (Bill Gaither)

I Have Decided (Cedarmont Kids)

 

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (Copy Work)

 

 

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.

His Mercy Endureth Forever: A Picture Book Review

A few months ago I had the privilege of reviewing T is for Tree and so I was excited when RFPA contacted me to ask if I might also be willing to review a copy of His Mercy Endureth Forever: Psalm 136 which is a beautiful picture book based on the Psalm and illustrated by Kathleen DeJong.

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I had not told the children that the book was coming so they would be surprised when the package arrived.  They love opening mail and finding out it was a new book was very exciting. My four year old couldn’t wait to see the pictures and have me read the book, so we read it aloud that very night.

The first thing I noticed was that the outside of this hardcover book was simple but beautiful. It is a depiction of the night sky. The title is written in a mix of print and cursive. It is beautifully done, but may be a bit difficult to read for a new reader with the change in font and style.

On the inside, the words are quoted from the King James version of Psalms 136. This is a beautiful section of scripture that is great to speak into the hearts and minds of our children. The illustrations are lovely. There is writing on every other page with a full color illustration on the opposite page.  The pages with the words also have small monochromatic illustrations.

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Since there are a few words in that chapter that might be difficult for young children they have included a one page glossary in the back of the book. This page helps define words like endureth, mercy, and smote. They recommend the book for ages 6-9 which I think is a good range for independent reading but I think it is also a great book for reading aloud to younger children. The repetition in the Psalm makes it very appealing to preschoolers.

All in all, I thought this was a great way to share scripture with my children. The beautiful pictures helped to engage them with the words and I expect that this is a book we will return to time after time. I really appreciated that the scripture was exact and not paraphrased. If you are looking for a beautiful way to enjoy scriptures with your children, I encourage you to check out His Mercy Endureth Forever.

Disclaimer
I received a FREE copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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 NEW color edition of All About Reading is ready to order! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

LAST DAY FOR THIS SPECIAL PRICING ON SCHOOLHOUSE TEACHERS!!

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

 

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!

 

Kids in the Kitchen: Knife Skills

 

When people watch my children in the kitchen, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, “Aren’t you worried about them using a knife?”.  While safety is very important and we are always reminding them to use their knives safely, I do not worry because we have spent the time upfront to make sure that they have the knife skills they need to safely do the job. There are a few keys to good knife skills for children that will help them be able to use knives appropriately in the kitchen.

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

Choose the Right Knife for the Job

This is one area that is challenging for a lot of parents. How do you choose the right knife for the child and the job? First, we need to understand that ‘dull knives’ are not the solution. This particularly applies to knives that are supposed to be sharp but are not and in cutting things that do not cut easily. If you are trying to cut something with a dull knife you are more likely to slip and cut yourself.

When we start our children with a knife (somewhere around 2 or 3 depending on the child and their interest/development) we start with a butter knife and a lettuce knife. While a butter knife is not a particularly sharp knife, it is not designed to be sharp, and is used to cut things that are soft and easily sliced. This works great for soft fruits and cutting up veggies on their dinner plates. For harder vegetables and fruits that need a sharper knife you can use a lettuce knife. I love these knives because they will cut right through many foods but will not cut your child. As soon as we introduce them to these knives we begin instruction so that they learn to use the knives properly and safely.

As they get older and begin to use regular kitchen and chef’s knives, we make sure they are kept clean and sharpened. You want them to be able to slice what they are cutting and not feel like they have to ‘hack’ at it. It is also beneficial to choose knives that fit well in their hands so that they are able to handle them comfortably. My two older children both received a Sabatier-K chef’s knife for Christmas a couple of years ago that works very well for them. It is a high quality but reasonably priced knife that fits well in their hands. We purchased ours from their outlet store but they are also available on Amazon. At 11 and 12 they can both do any cutting that is required for the meals that they cook.

knife skills pintrest

Quality Instruction

Instruction is vital to good knife skills. While a young child’s fine motor skills may not allow for perfect knife skills in the beginning, you do not want bad habits to develop. For older children or if you need a little refresher yourself, Alton Brown has an episode titled American Slicer that can help with knife skills.

You want to make sure they learn to curl their fingers under and away from the knife, to have a good surface to cut on, to cut or peel away from their bodies, and to be aware of what is around them as they are cutting (make sure baby’s hand isn’t on the cutting board, etc).  They need to learn not to run with the knife, to carry it point down like a pair of scissors, and not to swing it around like a toy.

When you begin teaching about knives it is important that young children understand that they may only use the knife with permission and under supervision. As they get older they can be allowed more freedom.

Practice

It is really important that we give them opportunities to practice. It can often seem easier and certainly quicker to just take care of it ourselves. However, giving them multiple opportunities to practice will help grow their skills and confidence. Like many life skills the more they practice the easier it will become, just be sure to continue to monitor for safety until you are confident that they are consistently using the appropriate safety measures.

Teaching children to use knives can feel scary at first but it is a life skill that is so very important. Accidents do happen, but proper training and experience greatly decreases the risk! I highly encourage you to take the time to teach them well and enjoy the shared time in the kitchen.  What kitchen skills are you wanting to teach your children?

 

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!

 

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week ! The NEW color edition of All About Reading is ready to order! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

LAST TWO DAYS FOR THIS SPECIAL PRICING ON SCHOOLHOUSE TEACHERS!!

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

 

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!

 

 

Field Trip Friday: WonderWorks

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The amazing upside down building!

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

Last week I shared with you about our little mini vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC and our visit to Medieval Times for a history experience. Today I want to share about our visit to WonderWorks. With its creative architecture it is hard not to notice this venue as you drive through Myrtle Beach. We had seen it several times on past visits but never had the opportunity to visit. Thankfully we had done some research before this visit and realized that it was home school days and the perfect time to check it out.

When I told the children (and my parents) that we would be going to WonderWorks I called it a science museum. While this is a true statement it is more than just a science museum. I would say it is a cross between an amusement park and a science museum. They call it ‘edu-tainment’ for educational entertainment. There is lots to learn but most of it is very hands on and often active.

What to expect from a trip to WonderWorks Science Musuem

It would take a small book and not a blog post to do justice to all of the various exhibits but I will give you an overview and tell you more about some of our favorite exhibits. We spent between 3 and 4 hours there and easily could have spent a whole day if we had the time.  They have a cafe where we ate a late lunch, but you can also leave and come back with your ticket and hand stamp.

The first room included a Titanic exhibit in which you could put your hand into the freezing water, a hurricane exhibit where you could feel the hurricane force winds, and a computerized display and game about other weather disasters. We were having fun and enjoying our visit in this room, but soon learned that most of WonderWorks was even more interactive. For example, in the next room, you could use a pulley system to pull yourself up a tower, play various ball games (football, baseball, etc) by throwing the ball against an interactive video screen to see how well you played, and if you were brave enough even peddle a bicycle upside down and in a 360 degree turn.

In one room they had a bed of nails that you could lay on. This really interested my older children because they had recently seen a performance where the guy laid on a bed of nails. They enjoyed trying for themselves and learning about the science behind why it works. My daughter said this was her favorite exhibit, but she also spent quite a bit of time on the glow in the dark ropes course that was hanging above the top floor. She spent almost 30 minutes just climbing/walking around on the various obstacles that were suspended above the over exhibits.

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The baby really enjoyed the bubble exhibit where we were able to make giant bubbles and pull the bubbles over ourselves. He also enjoyed the giant piano. He may not have understood how to really play it, but he enjoyed hearing it make noise as he crawled over the keys.

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Forgive the glare, but this was a section of the giant pin art board.

My four year old loved the giant 8 foot tall pin art wonder wall. Many of us had a small pin art toy growing up, but I had never seen one this large. Instead of just your hand or nose you could press your whole face and body into this pin art board. We had a great time making impressions, taking pictures, and then starting it over. The baby even got involved with his hands and feet.

My oldest enjoyed the 6D motion theater. They had multiple movies that you could watch in 6D with 3D glasses and lots of movement. Personally, it was a little much for my stomach and I’ll fully admit to closing my eyes but my son and husband really enjoyed it and watched several of the options.

You can check out this educators guide for more information on all of the exhibits that they offer. You can learn about space, light and sound, weather, robotics, gears and more in a hands on way. They even offer laser tag (included in regular admission and a $3 charge with home school tickets). I highly recommend this trip for a fun science adventure. If you are not near or planning to visit Myrtle Beach, check out the website to see if they have another location near you. Also, for more great ideas in Myrtle Beach check out this great idea from my friend Jennifer over at Homeschool Fanatic.

 

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Where: 1313 Celebrity Circle Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Hours of Operation:

Sunday-Thursday – 10:00 AM-8:30 PM

Friday-Saturday – 10:00 AM-9:30 PM

Costs: Adults (13+): $28.99  Children (4-12): 18.99  Children Under 4: Free

Homeschool Discount: If you go during home school days the price is $12 per person (an additional $3 if you want to play laser tag)

Website: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/myrtle-beach/

Food: There are drink machines inside as well as a cafe in the gift shop. You cannot bring food into the museum but you can come and go throughout the day if you wanted to leave for lunch.

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!

 

Exciting news from All About Learning Press this week ! The NEW color edition of All About Reading is ready to order! We use All About Spelling and are hoping to use All About Reading next year with my son who will be in Kindergarten.

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

 

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!

Did you join us for the FREE 5 Day activity challenge? To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

 

 

 

 

What is New With All About Reading?

Testing out All About Reading's new color edition level 4

If you have been following along on our homeschool journey, you may already know that one of the programs that we love and are most loyal to is All About Spelling. My oldest taught himself to read (with a little help from the leap frog videos) at the age of three but struggled with spelling. We had tried traditional spelling books, word walls, copy work, and other assorted programs and styles until I was at a loss. Finally, I found All About Spelling and it really clicked.

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

At that time I did not switch over to All About Reading because both my oldest and my second child were already reading well and I was not looking for another phonics program. However, my third child will be five in a few months and start ‘Kindergarten’ next year which in our home means we will at least introduce him to a phonics program and see how things go. Depending on how he does with it, we may keep going or we may hold off a little longer until he is developmentally ready. In looking at various programs I have been highly considering All About Reading. I know that I will be using All About Spelling with him when the time comes and I love the idea of the two programs that are set up with similar styles and working together for an all around literacy program.

All About Reading's new color edition review

Knowing that I was considering it for next year, I was very excited to learn about their new color edition. The color makes it very visually appealing to young learners and can help with engagement. In addition to the full color activity books and heirloom quality readers they have also fully updated the teachers manuals with full color and an additional 56-72 pages of material per level.

I wanted to dig a little deeper and I was given the opportunity to try a sample lesson. I used a lesson from the level four program and gave it a try with my daughter. I knew going into it that it should be a review for her but I wanted to see how the style worked and what she thought of the new activities. She really enjoyed it and thought that the game she was able to play was a lot of fun. She told me that she thought the reading program was, “cool”. For this particular game she had a set of word cards that had a gopher on one side and the word with another gopher on the opposite side.  She had to pick up each card, read the word on the card correctly and then she could place the card through the slot on her paper that made it appear the gopher was going into his hole in the garden. It was quite simple but as she stated she really enjoyed it and it made the practice more fun.

The lesson we worked on taught the ph phonogram. First with the flashcard and repeating after the instruction that ph says /f/, two letter /f/. Then after a bit of review and practice you moved onto reading words using that phonogram and the other letter tiles. First together and then independently. Once you felt they had grasped the concept you could move onto the activity and further review as needed.

All About Reading is a great systematic way to teach phonics. Much like the spelling program it goes through each step making sure to teach both the rules and the exceptions. They do a good job incorporating various learning modalities throughout the program. I have found that even though I have memorized how to read or spell a word, there are rules that they teach that I never learned. This new updated program keeps all of those positives and adds in some extra helps for you as the teacher and the addition of the beautiful full color pages. I highly recommend that you take a look and see if this might be the right reading solution for your family. You can even try the sample lesson!

All About Reading

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!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

Changing Up Curriculum Without Overspending!

It is January, a new calendar year, but for most folks the middle of a school year. It is often a time we reevaluate what were are doing in our home school to see what is working well and what needs some tweaks. Sometimes we can make minor adjustments and see big changes. For example, I shared last week about how I switched my son from regular chalk pastels to chalk pastel pencils and renewed his love of art. However, sometimes you need to make bigger changes.  It could be that the spelling program you are using just is not working for your child, or they are frustrated and not understanding math because of the way it is presented.

How to stay flexible and change curriculum without wasting money.

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

It can seem so simple to change things up on one hand, but I also know that curriculum can be a financial investment. It can feel like a waste to toss aside old curriculum without using it and purchase more curriculum (which may or may not be the right fit).  However, continuing on with a curriculum that is not working is not just wasting money but time. So how do you manage to not waste money or time and still have the flexibility to find the right fit for each child?

One solution is to buy used curriculum. If you can find the curriculum you want used you can save money upfront. Assuming that it is not a consumable product you should also be able to sell it when you are finished or realize it is not the right fit for your family and recoup much of your investment. You can ask around on your local homeschool Facebook groups or e-mail loops, your local homeschool store (if you are lucky enough to have one), or check online at places like Amazon or eBay.

What if you want even more flexibility or do not want to hassle with buying and selling curriculum? You might want to the ability for your children to pick out some of their curriculum based on interests or to add electives as the year progresses. This is where a family membership to Schoolhouse Teachers can be the perfect solution.  They have a variety of classes for each grade level in most subjects with a total of over 425 courses for the whole family. This means that if you are working through one of their 7th grade literature courses and decide it is not quite right, you just switch and take a different one. All of the courses for ALL of the students in your family are included for the same low price.  You can also combine courses or just do certain lessons depending on what you need for your child.

I personally use a combination of both of those approaches to give me flexibility to work with what each of my children needs, to change things up as we go along, and yet to stick to a reasonable budget. We use math from other programs, but love the literature courses on Schoolhouse Teachers. I love the fun hands on courses for my preschooler and enjoy being able to give my children access to instruction in a variety of electives based on their interests.

If you were looking for an inexpensive way to change things up or just wanting to add in some fun electives like music, drama, bread making, photography, homesteading, graphic design, or wild life adventures, you should consider a membership to Schoolhouse Teachers. Right now they are running a great special that makes their already good value even better. You can get access to all 425+ courses, World Book resources, and lots of parent resources for your entire family for only $90 a year. You can pick and choose as many or as few courses as you would like and change them whenever you see fit. You can do lessons from various courses or do the entire course straight through.

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!

 

My Snowman Paul is Free on Kindle and many others in the series are less than $1.

2019-fresh-start-new-year-1st-pinterest-768x1024

WriteShop

Are you looking for a free Bible study that your whole family can enjoy? The Proverbial Homemaker is offering up a study of James that is FREE for a limited time.

Did you join us last week for the FREE five day activity challenge?

To keep the fun going, and keep making memories with your kids, Jamie has a program called The Activity Room that I know you’ll love, so I have to share about it just a bit, plus it is only open for enrollment a few times a year and enrollment JUST opened TODAY.

What this means for you, right now — is that The Activity Room is open for enrollment only through this Thursday, January 24th. After that time, she’ll close down to focus on her members and won’t open the doors again until May.

NOT CONSUMED is having a great sale on her Bible studies right now as she prepares to make some changes and additions to the age levels.  There are some great deals at clearance prices. We are currently enjoying the one on the ‘Fruit of the Tongue‘.