Avoid Summer Slide with Evan-Moor Daily Summer Activities Workbook K-1 (Review)

Balancing four children, ranging in age from two to thirteen can be a challenge some days, especially when you add in homeschooling. I want to be sure that I am giving all of my children the time and education that they deserve and for me that often means utilizing resources that can help simplify our homeschool.

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

I personally believe that kindergarten work should be short and allow for lots of time for play, reading, and life skills. I also know that retention will be better if we keep doing at least a little reading and math through the summer.  I love how the Evan-Moor K-1 Daily Summer Activities book gives me age appropriate activities that reinforce key skills in just a few simple minutes a day and help us avoid the ‘summer slide’.

 

Evan Moor pinterest 2

The K and 1 Daily Summer Activities book is designed to be used during the summer between kindergarten and first grade.  We started using it as a supplement to some of the work our six-year-old was already doing  to see if it was a good fit for him as we are finishing up kindergarten and preparing for summer.

I really liked the fact that it is very open and go, there was no preparation needed on my part and each page or activity took just a few minutes to complete.  This book includes activities that cover reading, math, spelling, critical thinking, and geography skills. There are ten weeks worth of activities. Each week has five days of activities with two pages per day. There is a sheet at the beginning of each week with stars representing the different pages. The student can color in the stars as they complete each page. This is great motivation for young students. Each week also has a space to draw something fun they do each day and to track their reading time each day.

There is also a great chart at the beginning of the book that shows which skills are covered each week. In addition to showing you what skills are being covered through the summer, this gives you the opportunity to skip around and focus on skills that your child may need reinforced or skip activities that your child isn’t yet ready to complete.

In addition to the skills chart, there is a great book list with suggestions for books to read together and ideas for learning excursions and other ways to encourage your student and set them up for success.

Each day’s activities only took a few minutes to complete which is perfect for keeping students engaged and on track through the summer, but still allowing plenty of time for fun and recreation. Each page has a couple of different activities, from tracing letters, simple math facts, drawing, following directions, and matching sounds. There are even some fun mazes and dot to dot activities to keep things interesting.

20200420_111529

At the back of the book there is an answer key for parents. While I did not really need the answer key for this level, this feature will come in handy at the older levels when I don’t’ want to have to try to figure the math out in my head. It is also helpful if there is ever a question about an activity. There is also a page full of stickers that you can use to reward your child for a job well done.

Overall, my son really enjoyed this workbook and the quick review.  I loved having the review for so many subjects all together in one easy to use resource. I think this book is an easy way to keep children on track and ready to go when instruction starts back in the fall.  While he did the K and 1 level, they also have a book for the summer between PreK and K and levels that go up as high as the summer between 7th and 8th grades.  They are available directly from Evan-Moor or on Amazon and only cost $12.99 (Amazon price may vary).  Be sure to check them out and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer:
I received a FREE copy of this product through from Evan Moor 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.

 

Adding Music To Your Homeschool (When You Aren’t A Musical Mom)

Anyone who knows me well, knows that music is not my gifting. I love to listen to music, but I do not have a talent for making music. I took piano lessons as a young girl, audited voice lessons in college, and had to learn the recorder for my Elementary Music course in college. However, I was never proficient at any of those and my ear just doesn’t hear tone the way some people can.

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

My children, however, decided that they really enjoy music and wanted to work at becoming proficient musicians. This put me in a situation where I needed help them learn content that I myself was not proficient with, but there are some wonderful resources available to help me encourage them in their musical passions.

adding music pinterest

It all started with a three-month review of  Practice Monkey violin lessons. My daughter enjoyed the lessons so much that she has continued for about 18 months and just passed her assessment to move to level six. In addition, both my five-year-old and thirteen-year-old sons are taking lessons. My daughter also began piano in January.  These online lessons have been a real blessing to our family because they offer the musical structure my children need, but the time flexibility that we needed for our busy schedules. Their teacher, Mrs. Sarah Van Kleeck is wonderful!

We had been taking the children to local symphonies for years to give them exposure to a variety of music. However, once the children started playing, they really developed a deeper interest in music. Since they had such an interest and passion, I have been working to include music into our home and school in a variety of ways.

For my two younger children, I wanted some additional music instruction. We found another online program, Musik at Home. These are membership based on line kindermusic videos. There are a variety of courses geared towards babies up to about age seven. These lessons help teach rhythm, tone, repetition and more all through fun songs and movements. Some days, I just let them watch and participate as they desire and other days, I work through the videos with them, waving our scarves and tapping our rhythm sticks.

Next, I wanted to focus on exposure to good music and music appreciation to support what the children were learning in their Practice Monkeys lessons. One program that I have loved for music appreciation is SQUILT music. We have used two different programs from them depending on what else we have going on in our school at the time. The first thing that we used was their monthly music calendar. This super simple and inexpensive resource is a calendar with a link to a different piece of thematic music each day of the month. We loved using it at Christmas to hear a variety of pieces from Handel’s Messiah as well as other Christmas music. It only takes about five minutes a day but it exposes them to so much good music. During months when we have had a little more time, we enjoy the SQUILT membership. This gives us access to several live classes that focus on different music each month, as well as recordings, worksheets, and other resources. In January, they did musicals and my children LOVED the lesson on Mary Poppins. If you want easy ways to incorporate more music appreciation into your school, I highly encourage you to check out SQUILT!

music 1

Last year, we had an opportunity to review the Zeezok Music Appreciation  course for middle schoolers. We enjoyed it while we were working through it but found we were having a hard time making time for the whole course in our busy schedules. However, since it is very literature heavy with biographies on the composers, I am going to use it as the base for my daughters seventh grade literature course. This will combine her love of reading and her love of music for an interesting and personalized course.

20190721_085643

My son is going to be a 9th grader next year. This is an exciting (if a little scary) time for us. Since he is enjoying his violin lessons, we are going to turn that into a high school elective for him. He was very excited to know he could get credit for work he was already doing for fun.  In addition to the lessons and practice, he and my other children are playing for residents at a local nursing home each month. This blesses the residents with music and gives me children a chance to practice playing for an audience. I will also be including some music appreciation into his high school course to round it all out.

No matter whether you are a talented musician or, like me, can only play the radio, there are many wonderful resources to encourage your children’s passion for music. I hope you find these resources beneficial and I would to hear about your favorite resources.

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

Play Beside Me Challenge — Hands on As We Grow is offering this FREE 5 day challenge to help out with activities that can keep younger kids engaged in play for 15 to 20 minutes while you get something else done. Great for those with toddlers and preschoolers.

Fit2B Sale If your gym is closed or you can’t get out to do your favorite workouts, you can try my favorite online program. They are having a great 41% off sale on March 26th and 27th!

Misfits Market Box, finally if you are having a hard time getting fresh produce in your area or you would just like the convenience of food being delivered to your door you can use code: COOKWME-IW0OPU to get 25% off your first Misfits Market produce delivery.

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.

Some of my favorite homeschooling people are joining together to do a FREE gala all about one of our favorite book series! I highly encourage you to sign up for the Green Ember Gala that is happening on April 2nd at Noon! You will get an art lesson, a nature lesson, and a chance to hear from the author himself!

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)

The Kingdom Code Journal #8

In the last lesson of  The Kingdom Code that we shared, my son learned about making sales calls and using his calendar to track his business obligations. Lesson 8 is titled, ” Are Your Books in Order?” and was a much needed lesson for my son.

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

Key to the Lesson: ” With my calendar and ledger, I will stay organized so I can have a successful Treasure Builder”

My son has a wonderful work ethic, but is not always great about being organized. This has caused challenges for him personally and academically, so this lesson was a great way to help him make sure it didn’t cause problems with his business. Hopefully, what he learned is helping him in other areas as well. I know that he is getting better about using his calendar for other obligations as well as his business.

20200310_133659

My son learned that he should keep all of his business materials together in a bag, so that they are easy to find when he needs them. We found him a bag that he could dedicate to his sales folder, receipt book, pencils, business cards, business wallet, and thank you notes. Since he does lawn care and is often outside, he chose this heavy duty bag to protect his books and stand up to the elements.

Next, he learned about bookkeeping in his business. The Kingdom Code program comes with a KCK ledger and this lesson teaches students how to use the ledger to track income, expenses, and money in hand for the business.  This was a little tricky for my son at first as he learned how to use the form, but once he had practiced a couple of times he got the hang of it and was on his way to keeping good records.

Stay tuned  for lesson nine of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

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.

 

The Kingdom Code Journal #7

After the review and presentation work in lesson six of  Kingdom Code we are ready to move onto making a sale in lesson 7. Even as an adult, making sales calls can be a bit unnerving so, I think this lesson was really important in helping them to be proactive about growing their business.

20190613_113107

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

Key to the Lesson: ” With practice I am boldly prepared to make sales calls.”

This lesson started with reminding the student that they can be bold, because God gives us strength. Next, they gave a lesson on sales calls, which taught the student about gaining confidence by practicing and continuing to try until they reach their goal.

For my son, one of the most important parts of this lesson was learning how to use his calendar. This was something he had struggled with in the past, but this lesson and the encouragement from the program helped him to become more committed to using a calendar to track his business as well as personal obligations.

This lesson taught a really great acronym about professionalism: LAPS

Look Good!

Act Awesome!

Pay Attention!

Speak with Confidence!

The lesson then went through and explained those points in more details and talked about using good manners, paying attention to their customers, etc. They also gave information and help about the three types of sales calls: telephone, face-to-face, and written.

One of the bonus activities that my son really enjoyed was a project where you make fliers about your business with tear off information tabs. As the weather warms up and lawn care business gets going again, he plans to hang some of these at a couple of local businesses.

Stay tuned  for lesson eight of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

 

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

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.

 

The Kingdom Code Journal #6

Last week, we shared about how my son learned about advertising and marketing as well as making a financial plan using lesson five of  Kingdom Code . In lesson six, we reviewed what he had already learned and he had a chance to finish up a presentation on his business.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Key to the Lesson: ” I will enjoy learning and show perseverance by reviewing what I have learned “

This lesson went fairly quickly as a review lesson, but was a great chance to make sure that he had a good grasp of the material and was ready to move on. We went back over the clues from the first five lessons:

  1.  All Knights need to put on the full Armor of God for protection.
  2. Treasure Builders make money by selling inventions, services, and goods.
  3. An entrepreneur takes a risk to start a business build on supply and demand.
  4. KCKs make plans so their Treasure Builders are successful.
  5. To be successful, KCKs know their strengths, study the competition, and have a winning strategy.

 

Next, he learned about Joan of Arc and her hard work and perseverance. Then he spent some time using the forms provided, finalizing a presentation on his business. He practiced giving the presentation to family and may at a later time get the opportunity to give that presentation to potential customers. We have the advantage here of having participated in 4-H public speaking events since he was about 5 years old.  That experience helped him have the confidence to be able to speak in front of other people and this course gave him a good outline of how he should present his business. Between the two, I think he has a winning combination.

Stay tuned  for lesson seven of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

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.

 

The Kingdom Code Journal #5b

Earlier this week, I shared about how my son had completed his marketing survey and learned about advertising strategies for his  The Kingdom Code book work and his business. The second part of that lesson involved financial planning and goal setting.

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

Key to the Lesson: ” I can reach my goals because I am aware of my strengths and have a winning strategy. “

During this portion of the lesson, my son had the opportunity to work through a variety of the financial aspects of his business. He learned about start-up capital, customer and income goals, and determining expenses.

20200310_135345

This lesson included some very important vocabulary such as: advertising, capital, and financial.  It also included a valuable lesson about being successful. ” To be successful, KCKs know their strengths, study the competition, and have a winning strategy.”

To wrap up this lesson, he began working on a presentation about his business. He will finish this presentation in lesson six.  Younger students are also encouraged to spend some time working with money and practicing making change for customers. This is a great skill both for running a business and just for general shopping and transactions.

Stay tuned  for lesson six of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

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.

 

The Kingdom Code Journal #5a

I am so excited to be back sharing with you about our Journey through the Code. The nature of my son’s business (lawn care) and the busyness of the holiday season made us decide to take a break for a couple of months. However, as spring is arriving, he is ready to jump back into both his Kingdom Code book work and his business.

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

Key to the Lesson: ” I can reach my goals because I am aware of my strengths and have a winning strategy. “

He completed through lesson five back in the fall before we took our break and it was really beneficial in helping him get some details of his business worked out.

amazon-photos-shared-media287131530711203713Prior to beginning this course and making his business ‘official’, he often charged people whatever they felt was appropriate. This normally worked out OK for him as he was working for family or close friends and they treated him fairly. However, we knew that as he grew his business to work for others and prepared himself to run a business in adulthood, he would need to have a more specific pricing structure.

 

 

 

During this first part of the lesson he had to do research into potential customers and his competition. This helped to give him the information he needed to know how much he should charge.  He also learned about advertising and various ways that he could share about his business to get new customers.

 

20200307_152028
Spring Maintenance

 

He completed a marketing strategies ideas activity as well as compiling his survey results into pricing data. This was very eye opening for him as he started to think about the possibilities for gaining new customers.

Stay tuned  for the second part of lesson five of The Kingdom Code and don’t forget that you can get 10% of this program using Coupon Code:  10TKC08! If you have any questions about our journey let me know in the comments and I will be sure to try and address them in our next installment.

Disclaime 2 x 7 - 3

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.

 

Evan-Moor Top Student Workbook (Review)

Kindergarten has been an adventure with my five-year-old son. Some days he loves it and will do any work put before him and some days you would think I had asked him to write a dissertation and not merely his own name. Since he can be so moody about school, I am always looking for ways to get it done well but simply and quickly. I was excited to try out the Top Student Workbook because it included so many subjects all with-in one book.

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

evan moor pinterest

The kindergarten level of the Top Student Workbook includes: alphabet; math; shapes, colors, and patterns;phonics; mindful moments; early reading; reading comprehension; science; STEM; geography; social and emotional learning; and computer science. This makes it great for review and in many of those subjects this workbook could be a complete curriculum.  The workbook is over 300 pages with a variety of activities to keep a student engaged and interested.

When it arrived, he was excited to check it out! He loved how colorful it was and that the different subjects had different color borders on the papers. This made it easy to flip between sections and for him to identify the sections he needed.

He has a tendency to leave his papers and work in various places and they can get lost or torn up by the toddler. However, having so many subjects located in one book meant it was easier to keep up with and no loose papers to get torn up by the toddler. We have been working hard to have him remember to put the workbook in his schoolbag when he is finished with his work.

Another feature that I appreciate as a mom is the answer key that is located in the back of the book. This might not be a huge deal for the kindergarten level, but these books go all the way up to 6th grade. While I can do the work in those upper grades, it saves a lot of time to have the answer key right there instead of having to work out the math problems.

 

 

We used the book in two different ways depending on our needs for the day. Some days I assigned him a page or two based on what we were working on in our primary curriculum. For example, when we worked on letter c in his new reading program I had him reinforce what we had learned by doing the letter C pages in the phonics section of the workbook.

20200215_173324

Other days, I allowed him to pick what subject he was interested in working on. He really enjoyed the STEM section which taught about water being able to be both a solid and a liquid. There was information that we read together, simple questions for him to answer, some matching and word tracing, and finally a science experiment that we could do together.

Most of the pages were simple workbook style activities that were done right there in the book and only needed a pencil. However, they also included a few more hands-on activities like science experiments, cutting and pasting, and optional craft activities to keep things interesting. For example, at the end of the alphabet section there is a letter dress-up project.  The student would pick their favorite letter, pick a word that started with that letter, and then decorate the letter like that word. They gave examples of a B that was decorated like a bee and a U like a unicorn.

Overall, my son really enjoyed the colorful pages of this workbook. I appreciated having the review for so many subjects all together in one easy to use resource. I recommend this workbook for any parent that is looking for a resource to help them teach or review a variety of topics. They are also very reasonably priced at only $14.99. They are available directly from Evan-Moor or on Amazon. Be sure to check them out and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer:
I received a FREE copy of this product through from Evan Moor 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.

 

2020 Reading List February Update

I have been really enjoying my reading time in 2020! I have tried to be very intentional about using spare minutes to read instead of browse the internet and I am finding that I have more time to read. I am also trying to go to bed a bit earlier and read a chapter or two in the evenings.

2020 Reading List Update

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

So far, I have completed The Hobbit which, I was reading with my oldest son. I am not always a huge fiction reader but I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy later this year.  I also read Better Together by Pam Barnhill. This was just the motivation I needed to really get our morning time back on track. She had so many good ideas and real life strategies. Finally, I am in the process of reviewing The Unbreakable Faith course by Pilgrim’s Rock and I read The Box as a part of that review. I will be sharing a full review in a few weeks but I think it is a great introductory book for those wanting to learn more about apologetics.

I am also currently in the process of reading another five books.  That sounds like a large number to be reading, but several of them are intentionally read over a longer period of time and I like to keep a couple of different types of books so that I can chose depending on my mood. We are using Core 52 as a family in conjunction with my church and really enjoying digging deeper into God’s word. I am also enjoying the encouragement of Mom Heart Moments by Sally Clarkson when I can steal a few minutes of quiet in the morning.

I have started Plan Your Year by Pam Barnhill. I love planning but was feeling a little stressed about next year when I will have a high school student, middle school student, 1st grader, and a two year old.  That is a wide range and I want to make sure that I can create a realistic plan for meeting everyone’s needs. One of the things that I have really enjoyed with Plan Your Year was creating a vision for our homeschool that really clarified my goals for our children. I am looking forward to continuing to work my way through the book.

Nurtured by Love was written by Shin’ichi Suzuki and is recommended reading for anyone with a child in Suzuki music lessons. I didn’t take the time to read it when my daughter started violin almost a year and a half ago, but given that she is now in both violin and piano Suzuki lessons and two of my sons are in violin I decided it was time.  So far, it has been a very interesting read. I do not necessarily agree with all of his conclusions, but I think he had some wonderful ideas and his music program is very effective.

Finally, I have been reading Rhythms of Renewal. In our fast pace society it is so easy to be over committed, over tired, and burnt out. I love the idea of intentionally setting up rhythms of renewal. I have been enjoying this book so far and gleaned some great ideas about creating rhythms in my own life.

I look forward to finishing Rhythms of Renewal and Nurtured by Love this month.  Once I have finished those books I will probably start Parenting Beyond the Rules. I also hope to read When Less Becomes More in March. I will also be starting Little Women with my daughter in March once she has finished the book she is currently working on in her literature program. What books are you reading this year? I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these or recommendations of what to add to my list.

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

 

Little Women is only .99 on kindle right now! (Amazon prices subject to change always check before purchasing.)

FREE Baby Yoda Art Lesson from Nana!

All About Learning has released the best deal of the day: A FREE Snowman Pack with reading and spelling activities for a variety of ages.

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

Smartick (check out our full review here) is offering a 25% off discount if you use this referral link! Elizabeth is still loving this program.

 

 

 

LitWits Kits Review

LitWit Pinterest

I have not been this excited about a literature unit study in a long time!  LitWits was generous enough to give us four of their LitWits Kits to review. We love to read and we have used and enjoyed a variety of studies but this one fit our family perfectly. While I personally think it is important for students to occasionally analyze literature and learn how to really break it apart, I think it is far more important that they learn to enjoy reading and making connections with what they read.  These kits did just that and as an added bonus to this busy mom, they were super easy to implement.

We were able to choose which titles we wanted from the 46 available titles. I was having a hard time choosing because there were so many wonderful titles, I ended up choose two and allowing my 6th and 8th graders to each choose a title.  We chose The House of Sixty Fathers, My Side of the Mountain, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler, and All Creatures Great and Small.

LitWit3

We got started by using My Side of the Mountain as a family. I purchased the audio version of the book and we listened to it together before completing the activities that went along with the book. We had the extra benefit of listening to this on our way to a short family vacation in the mountains which tied in beautifully (but is certainly not required to make this unit study wonderful.) The study suggested that you use props to help the children connect to the story. I thought the actual mountain camp site made a great prop and loved how they were making connections to Sam’s adventures. They found Hemlock trees like he used to make his home, rocks for fire starting, wild edibles, a stream, and more. Then we adapted the prop process when we got home and I had them find and collect props that went with the story and share them with the family. They found some of our homemade jam to represent the jam that Sam made, rocks, leaves, sticks, and more. Even the five-year-old was excited to participate.

“Here’s one critical thing we do – or rather, don’t do – to make great books fun for kids: We don’t ask kids to read with assignments in mind.” From LitWit e-mail

Next, there were a list of hands on projects that could be completed to go along with the book.  There was an idea for a poster to advertise the tree he lived in, an opportunity to make a clay pot, sketching on bark, and a play demonstrating the character of Sam.  I decided to allow each of my older children to decide which of these projects they wanted to complete. My son and daughter both chose to make a pot like Sam made for his jam.

Then, together we made breakfast using their ideas that were based off of the book. We had cornmeal pancakes with blueberry jam and watered-down root beer that served as sassafras tea. I loved that they were not all that fond of the watered-down root beer but they realized that if they were not used to having so much sugar, it might taste better. It was a really fun way to connect with the book.

The LitWits Kits also contained a great list of links to help you take your study of topics from the book further. For example, there were links to falcon videos because of Sam’s falcon, links about some of the other animals he encountered, music links, and even links about the author.  There were also downloadable worksheets that you could use to assess understanding of story line, vocabulary, and other aspects of the book. We chose not to use them with this book but may use them for some of the other titles.

LitWit2

All of these components combined to make a fun and enjoyable book study. Sometimes, when a study over analysis a book it can leave a student ready to be done with the book and move on. These fun and engaging activities had my children talking about the book and making connections throughout their day.

The kits for the other titles are set up in a very similar fashion. I am choosing to have my children independently do the title that they chose and then, after the holidays, I plan to use All Creatures Great and Small as a family study. I am excited about learning more about some of the veterinary topics as well as English culture and I know that my daughter will enjoy the chance to make hot tea and Yorkshire pudding.

LitWits Kits can make a great independent literature study but I think they are even more amazing as a family study. The opportunity for us all to share the same wonderful story and a variety of fun activities really fits into what I want our homeschool days to look like. I wish I had known about these kits years ago! be sure to click on the graphic below to check out the other titles reviewed by Crew Members!

LitWits Kits {LitWits 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.