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Friday, August 22, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

Welcome to Random 5 on Friday. Each Friday I like to share 5 random things about our week ...

1. This week we celebrated 2 Birthday. On August 19th my little one turned 5.  She is probably my last child and so it is interesting to have a life without diapers. Things are definitely different.  She had to have this mini mouse dress for her birthday. Little girls and tulle.

2. My older daughter turned 22 on Aug. 21st. I can hardly believe this women is my daughter. She will be getting married in June 2015 and this is her engagement photo.

3. We are starting school on Monday. Summer sure did fly by. As I was out an about yesterday I hit the perfect yard sale. It was a daycare center. Oh my I bought ABC stamps, Abc mats, Number mats, lacing cards and the cutest squirrel game called The sneaky sneaky squirrel. If you have little ones you just have to look it up. So cute.

4. My boys participate in 4H. I have a special post on their recent activities. Yesterday we added a new Friend to our fur ball collection. When they brought him I couldn't figure out which end was the head and which end is the bottom. He is one big fluff.

5. This weekend we have a busy weekend with Youth lock in , A baby shower and a family reunion. It should be a fun weekend.

Warm Blessings,


Happy Kids Songs - Review

Happy Kids Songs Review

This year as part of our School day we are meeting together in a morning meeting with the youngest two ages 8 and 5 to work on a Character Study. Our Bible shares a lot of Character and how as Christians we should present ourselves. I want my children to focus on those character qualities and practice them as well.

Happy Kids Songs provides children with a fun way to explore Character, Social skills and Emotional Skills all through Song. I was able to review 3 Sets of music as a digital download and the Happy Kids Workbook.

Friends And Sharing (set 1)
(5 songs, download)- $4.95

Happiness and Attitude (set 5)
(5 songs, download)- $4.95

Manners and Character (set 6)
(5 songs, download) - $.4.95

Happy Kids Songs Workbook Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social, and Emotional Skills
(physical workbook) $12.95
Ideal for Children Ages 3-8

Friends and Sharing Download
Happy Kids Songs Review

All three of the song sets present music to children sung by children. Each has catchy tunes that children will pick up on quickly and soon be singing along. The Friends and Sharing set provides you with 5 songs.
Sailing the Seven Seas- Mixes rap and singing in the chorus in an upbeat song about Consideration, Concern,Communication,Caring, Commitment,
 Communication, Curiosity and Cooperation. (The Seven C's ) It talks about what to do when things get tough and what it means to be a friend to someone.

Everybody wants to be a Friend-  This song is a bit slower and talks about what it is like to be alone and to feel left out. It shares to the shy child that they should talk to others because everybody wants to be a friend.

Sharing Friends- This song is great. My little girl needs this one. The song is about playing with more than one friend. That its good to share and play with more than two. This is a catchy tune.

Happy as Happy Can Be- This song is cute it is about things that go together but it is insinuating that friends go together. It compares it to flowers and bees and a lock and key.

Together- This is a goodbye type of song. It would be good to play this one at the end of a classroom activity in a co-op for little ones or even for a Sunday school room. It talks about being friend , begin together and saying goodbye until the next time.

Happiness and Attitude

Happy Kids Songs Review

Shake it out and Dance- Is an up beat and high energy song. I actually thought it reminded me of a song from the movie Fame. (hee hee so cute)  This song is a great one for brain breaks when the kids need to get up and get moving.  It tells the child to shake their head, feet fingers, etc... My kids love this one.

Who knows What's a Kudo- This one is about doing something nice. Helping out mom or giving a compliment. Very up beat as well and catchy tune.

I don't understand- I loved this one. Only because one day we were struggling with math and getting really upset. So I put this one on and I had giggles. It is about not understanding. The child is to ask questions and not complain. This child is inquisitive and wondering about everything. Much like the stage my five year old is in right now always asking questions.

Be Good to Yourself- This song reminds kids to have a happy attitude. That by doing so they will be being good to themselves and have a happier day.

Better Together- This song is for the child that likes to play alone. It reminds them that its good to play alone but also to play with others too.

Manners and Character
Happy Kids Songs Review

H-o-n-e-s-t-y- The song on this Set really aligned with my Character study. This particular song is about being honest and telling the truth. On occasion the younger kids tend to tell extended stories. So they learned that the truth is always the best way.

The Magic Word- Of course moms and dads you know the magic word is "please" This one reminds children to use their please words, Can I and May I . Manners today tend to be lost. I love that my kids have them.

Quirks- All of us our different and this one tells us some of the things that make each person unique. This would be a cute one to do with an All about me lesson.

The Golden Rule- This one talks about using nice words when talking to others. The old "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all."

Six Little kids-  It is a cute song about 6 little kids and their different perspectives at a circus. It teaches children to respect others views.

Happy Kids Songs Workbook Hands-on Activities to Build Character , Social and Emotional Skills
Happy Kids Songs Review
The workbook is an 125 page activity book that comes with all of the lyrics for all 8 download sets.
Along with each one your child will be able to complete an activity page or a coloring page depending on the particular song. The  activities vary per song. In some cases you might do a word search, matching, coloring, drawing, writing , fill in the blanks and so on.

In the back of the book you will find an activity guide of things you can do with each song. For example for the Sailing on the Seven C's song you find the focus which is understanding Friendship. The social and Emotional concept is listed.  Then It suggests making index cards with the seven C words written on them as an introduction to the song. It provides a bit of question and answer along with your conversation time on the C words.

You are provided with a game that goes along with the skill. For this particular song the game is Charades. To explore how actions show how we feel about ourselves.

Another activity in this section is encouraging children to make cards.  And then there was a classroom activity which we did but was to easy for everyone because we live with each other. (hee hee)
You had to write three things about yourself and then mix up the pile and guess whos belonged to whom.

There are activities such as this for each song.

My thoughts:

What I enjoyed most about these songs is that it took my children across their learning styles. It wasn't just happy tunes to listen to in the car. It taught them lessons that they can live with and use in life. The workbook provided an opportunity to hit all of my children's learning styles. The Lyrics and puzzles provided something for  the visual learner. The songs themselves provided something for the auditory learner. The arts, craft and games provided activities for my hands on learners.

Recently I read an article that said that music is the only thing that causes our entire brain to work at the same time. It just lights it up. That is definitely what we want in our homeschools . Lite up brains.

We really enjoyed the music. It was a bit of a stretch for my 8 year old. He is wanting to choose more grown up music but I definitely would like to purchase the rest of the set for my 5 year old. These were perfect for her little radio. She has a radio that you can hook mp3 music too and I was able to do that with these downloads rather easily.

There was one song my active 8 year old loved and that was the Shake it out and dance song. My son has a brain break jar with activities that are short and easy to do , So that we don't get to distracted from our lessons. They complete the activity and then move back to our book work. This is great for his busy active boy self. We added the Shake it out and dance song to the Brain break jar at his request.

I would like to use these in my Sunday school classes. Over the summer we like to make our lessons lighter. I think doing these character activities would be great. I also probably can incorporate them in our bible studies as topics match up. I have hopes to purchase and download the rest of the Song sets.

If you would like to read more reviews about Happy Kids Click the graphic below.
Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo- Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament Series- Review

Wizzy Gizmo Review

Today I'd like to introduce you to a company that is very new to me Wizzy Gizmo. Wizzy Gizmo is a company dedicated to teaching and telling stories of the bible. If your children like to listen to stories on audio then this company might be for you. They have many Audio's available for purchase. We were able to review their Fast Track Bible Pack : New Testament
  Cards a $14.99 Value. These cards can be used for all Ages.
Wizzy Gizmo Review


There are 27 Cards to the set which would be one card for each book of the New Testament Mathew all the way to Revelations. The New Testament series comes with a card that gives you an overview of all the books. There is a chart that shows you the name of the books in order, the theme , the date the book was written, the author and how many chapters are in that particular book. You will find all this information as well on each of the cards.

On the front of the individual cards you will find a brief summary of that particular book of the bible. For Example the Matthew card tells us that it was the first book of the New testament ever written. It tells of Jesus calling his disciples to come follow him. Other interesting facts such as that Mark and Luke did not mention Matthew's past as a tax collector but Matthew did ! What a demonstration of humility.

In the upper right corner you see the number of chapters, the author (in this case Matthew was a tax collector and also known as Levi)  A small timeline chart to show you when it was written. At the very bottom the general theme. In this case Jesus is the King. At the top of the card is a number so that you can order the cards by books.

On the back of the card you are given more information. It starts with an outline of what the contents are of the book and it shows you which verses you will find this information. For example Matthew starts with The Presentation of the King 1-10 and so on.

The next section shares with you the key chapters and lets you know what those are about. Such as ... 13- Parables.

The third section gives you a list of Key passages. My cards are NIV.  For example 1:23 "Behold the virgin shall be with child... Immanuel... Prophecy of virgin birth of Jesus fulfilled.

At the bottom you find Key doctrines which gives you several verses you can look up and key people.
(in this case Andew, Annas, Caiaphas, John the Baptist, Herod, Pilate, and Simon of Cyrene. 

How we used the Cards:

Our first goal was to learn the books of the bible. I laid out the cards and had the kids put them in order. You have to do this face down because there is a number order on the front of the card. We started with a couple of cards (about 4) and then would add to them each day. The kids have gotten pretty good at doing this. It has become a game to see who can go  the fastest. The younger guys are still working on the gospels.

After this we worked on reading the summaries and memorizing a few key verses. In the morning we have a group morning family meeting. During that time we would read the cards and work on the verses we wanted to learn.  The kids surprised me because they really had fun with them. There is a guide as well on the Wizzy Gizmo website sharing ideas on how to use the cards. You will find it at  Fast Track Bible Pack : New Testament scroll down a bit toward the bottom for this information. There is a list of suggested ideas by age!

I really think that these would be great as you work through your bible reading. Each card would make a wonderful opening to a bible study on that particular book and a nice review at the end looking up all the verses that are shared.

We really enjoyed the New Testament Series. I know I will use these in our homeschool and in our church environment. I can only hope and watch for the Old Testament cards.

If you want to read more reviews from Wizzy Gizmo click the graphic below. This will also include some of their audio products.  

Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Crew Disclaimer
Friday, August 15, 2014

Putting ART Into Your HOME

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Welcome Back to the Back to School Blog Hop.
I am excited about todays topic because I absolutely love Art and most kids love to explore different media even if they aren't the next Michelangelo. Before we talk about putting art in your homeschool I want to remind you that a few of my friends are joining in as well. Don't forget to visit them.

Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Melanie @ finchnwren
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda's Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio

I wanted to chat a little with you about putting art into your school. Yes I know what you are going to say but Nikki I don't like the mess. We don't do art, its not my thing . Or I'm not creative like you. (Ha ha I added the like you. I love art) The problem with all of these statements is... they are all about YOU.


  They aren't about your child and their learning. Don't allow your fear of art to keep you from allowing your kids to explore it.  The great thing about art is that nothing you do in art can be wrong. So grab all those art supplies and let the juices flow free. Remember you don't need a piece of art that the kids copy. Those pieces have their purposes . They are called Product art. You end up with an end piece with a desired result. Sometimes kids need to just use the tools and explore them. That is process. The end result isn't always lovely or something you want to keep but they learn so much in the process.

Another thing I often hear is we don't have time for art. When are we doing that?  Honestly there are a lot of ways to explore art across the curriculum if you don't feel like you have time for it. One way in particular is to add it to your history lesson. There Is a lot of art out there that tells the story of that time period. Just look up an artist  from the time period you are studying. Art can definitely be an enhancer to your study. You can also study the architecture of that time, the styles of clothing , pottery or jewelry.  It's a Great way to explore  history and art at the same time.

Another thing you can do is a picture study. I just joined a co-op for this year that does a picture study as part of one of their classes. What a great idea and simple too. You can do this along with your morning Calendar time. Show the children an art print and discuss what you see. Here is an example...

Say you show them Van Gogh's Starry Night.

You can have them point out the warm colors
Talk about the brush stokes
Talk about the feeling of movement
Share about the artist himself
Look at Van Gogh’s painting of Starry Night and describe what you see in the painting and how it makes you feel. Do the stars in Van Gogh’s sky have five points? How would you draw stars?
 Look at the air . Do you think it is windy or still?
How does the artist show this?

If you need help with picture study check out
Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study

Once you have created some art. No need to hide it. Share it on your blog or share it with me . I can post what you want to share on our weekly meme the Virtual Refrigerator. Each Thursday we share our child's art and link so that others can see what we are doing too.  Often the best ideas come from other homeschoolers. Take a peek at some of my friends who participate weekly as well.


Another way to add your art ...
Good News. Jennifer the Creator of the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop has created a pinterest board of our Art. So now you can go and see all of our past art projects. Yeah... Thank you Jennifer !

Another Warm Blessings,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Resouces list of Free Planners

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Back to school means planning time begins but finding the right planner can often be difficult. I have found that for the most part I have to piece together exactly what I'm looking for my notebook. I also don't want to be spending a lot of money on this tool. I like to keep my money for fun resources for the kids. Today I'm sharing Free Planner resources. Have fun putting together your planner.

Living Well Spending Less - Daily Section, Student Goals, and Quarterly planning pages

Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus - Great day at a glance page. I love this one! If I didn't already have a page for this it would be my next choice.

Proverbial Homemaker - I am in love with these pages. They work from the perspective of routines instead of schedules which is largely how I operate. I am not a slave to time by the hour. More so by our routine whether it starts a 7 am or 10 am. or even later it still begins the same. The use of canning jars is extremely creative.

Learning Tangent- Nice selection of pages Daily plan, week at a glance and more.

Everyday Snapshots- Get an 11 page editable planner by being a subscriber to Everyday Snapshots. Forms can be edited in Adobe.

Our Journey Westward- has a Charlotte Mason planner for those of you that use her style of teaching.

Money Saving Mom- Shares a free Unit study planner.

Donna Young- Has every printable imaginable for creating the perfect planner for your family.
Calendars, day at a glance, Monthly and weekly looks. Including many other forms for every subject. Shares various form they found online. There is a week at a glance page which is very colorful. Plus a unit planner. Most of the forms on the page are for a public school teacher classroom but these two forms stood out .

Handmade Home - Shares a very colorful planner. I love this but would have to have it sent to a printer or it would be to much color ink for me here at home. Very lovely though.

This should get you started and as I locate more
I will share them here. If you have a free planner please share the link in comments we would love to add your pages to our notebooks.

Warm Blessings,


Goal Writing

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Welcome to the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.
So glad to have you come to visit. I hope that you can get around to even just a few of my blog friends . Here are a some you might like to go visit...

Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Melanie @ finchnwren
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio


I am hoping to start school in almost 2 weeks but I'm a bit behind in my planning. Before I begin planning one of the things I like to do is write goals for our family. It helps me to align my values with my children's education. Aligning your values and goals sometimes seems like a difficult task. I thought You might enjoy seeing and reading how we find our start to the new school year.

Before I really start thinking about what we are going to accomplish for the year. I like to start out by writing what I want for my kids. I want a starting point on my stance and my teaching style. Something I can refer to when there are times of struggle.  I sort of ramble along and just write from the heart. Here goes...

I love my kids and I want them to know that. I don't want school to be long or boring or frustrating. I want this time with them to be enjoyable and fun. I need to have patience with them and take the time to model things explaining the steps as we go. I want them to be thinkers not just doers of what they see.  I want their core value to be loving Jesus. I need to make sure that I put his love in all that we do.

Now that I have my statements I highlight the words that stand out to me. I can break this down now to make it clearer (this was my rough draft)  and what I want to accomplish for myself as their teacher. This will be my new source when things get hard. I will look to this statement to remind me what the value is that we strive to meet.

I'm you mom and teacher lovingly guiding.
I will step back when needed and allow you to explore and learn. I will wait till you are ready for the experience and watch with hopeful eyes. I will model behavior and academic steps when needed. You will not see condensation on my face but only a loving heart. Jesus will be at the forefront of our door. He will be my example.  Always guiding and shining through in love. This experience is worth our time.

Now that I have my statement/ goal for educating them.  I can think along those lines of what I want for each child this year and how we will accomplish that. Before I begin to look at the how I have to decide on the what.

Sweet Pea (age 5 on Friday! ) - Will join our school this year with Preschool. She will have lots of hands on learning. Here are her goals in no particular order.

Self Control - wait turn to talk
Obedience - Learn to accept mommy's no's
Work on communication skills/expressing herself
Work on personal care
Work on Left to right progression
Learn to distinguish sounds, read and write letters
Practice listening to stories and sharing our own experiences about the topics.
Learn directional words
Explore books through play
Working toward playing structured games and following the rules.
Count to 20
Recognize numbers to 20
Learn shapes
Begin basic addition and subtraction skills
practice fine motor skills
Lots of exercise and movement
Work through reading her beginner bible

Spirit Age 8- Spirit will be in the 3rd grade this year. My expectations are higher for him.

Learn to take his time with tasks
Will continue with some reading aloud but will soon break off to reading silently to himself
Learn cursive this year
Practice addition and subtraction to become faster using timed math sheets
learn multiplication facts with X's tales the fun way
Begin to formally develop writing skills
work toward focusing on a task
Practice fine motor skills
Improve spelling skills
Learn about Bible through a biblical World view
Work on thinking things through and expressing the results of that thought
Work on doing small chores and complete those tasks

Superboy age 14- Superboy will be in 8th grade this year. Math is something he excels in so other than continuing that with Alg. 1 this year I have no specific goals for him. His goals lie in his writing.

Improve on spelling
Begin broadening writing skills ( I do have a writing plan ready)
Learn to express his thoughts about writings and great literature. Move his creativity to thoughts and put them down on paper.
Begin the habit of a sketchbook for his art portfolio
Begin saving various pieces of work from different multimedia. (we will touch on this this year and dig deeper next year my son has a desire for an art career)
Practice organizational skills (I have two tools to achieve this task as well)
Work on comprehension of reading material
(Plan to use Charlotte Mason techniques)

Princess age 17- Princess will graduate this year. Princess is rather self sufficient. This year she will complete requirements and should graduate. She will be taking calculus/ Trig course for math. A touch of both.

Double check requirements
Improve spelling
Learn to drive
Get a part time job
Work on volunteer opportunities with the SPCA
Look into the seeing eye dog program
Explore different career options with animals

Honestly I don't have to many goals for her she handles herself well at this point. Far from the girl who couldn't read in 2nd grade that I pulled from public school. What an amazing transition. I actually think our Senior year will be rather lax.

I hope you enjoyed my goal writing. I may come up with a few as we go. It is good to re- evaluate these goals on occasion so that you can assess where you are and need to go.

Warm Blessings,


Friday, August 8, 2014

Random 5

1. My daughters Senior pictures are done.  They were taken by my oldest daughter who does photography on the side as a part time way to make a little extra money. Now I have the difficult task of choosing photos to print.  Please tell me which one is your favorite. I have them through todays post. There were over 100 pictures to pick from which was pretty challenging.

2. This week is the boys 4H fair. On Saturday they will be showing their rabbits and entering in various contests. I hope they do well. It's our first year.

3. We will start school in about two weeks. I am excited and worried at the same time. I am working on my plans but I have so much to do until that day. I have been looking for something fun to do on the first day to get them excited. There is so much on the web we could choose from.

4. I have a new love for Raspberry iced tea. No change that Turkey Hill Raspberry Iced tea. The only problem is I am terrible on caffeine. It keeps me awake at night so I can only drink one cup when I do and early in the day. Little known fact. ha ha.

5. My house is organized for school this year. Usually that is half the battle. Having a clean home. I do want to clean out Sweet peas rooms a little she has outgrown some clothes and toys. Did I mention there is two weeks till school starts. I'm going to miss summer.

Don't forget to share with me which is your favorite Picture. I'd love some advice.

Warm Blessings,


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bowling Pins- Virtual Refrigerator

The boys completed their bowling pins from last week. We started them for our 4H fair. The project was to create a super hero. Spirit (age8)  picked Superman as his hero. He is just so cute.

Here is he from a side view. He has a corrugated cape. I loved the texture on it.

Superboy age 14 did Darth Vador not really a super Hero but he got special permission. I think he has all these great ideas for it but never got to completing them all. He had wanted to draw some of the main characters and add those to the cape but best laid plans I guess.

He is pretty awesome the way he is.


Jennifer the Creator of the Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop has created a pinterest board of our Art. So now you can go and see all of our past art projects. Yeah... Thank you Jennifer !

Check out some of the other Bloggers co-hosting this fun Hop each week.

Warm Blessings,


Roman Roads Media- Old Western Culture : The Greeks- Review

Roman Roads Media Review

Roman Roads Media  Shares a Classical approach , using a Christian perspective to you child's education. The Old Western Culture : The Greeks 

  Which Includes:

Greeks: The Epics

Greeks : Drama and Lyrics

Greeks: The Histories

Greeks: The Philosophers

A total of 16 DVD's, PDF Student Workbooks that accompanies each of the four Greeks, Guide to the Arts for each unit,  a Teacher's Edition, Course Guide for each Unit and 17 different PDF texts.

 I received the course as a digital download product with self- paced online streaming. I also received one DVD the Greeks: Drama and Lyrics to view as an additional gift. The DVD is not a part of the digital self streaming product or pricing. The DVD full curriculum is $224. and the Self paced is $199. Hard copies of the workbooks and texts are available as add on for the DVD version. However it is included as downloads with the digital version. The Greeks are geared toward students who are 14+ years of age.

Roman Roads Media Review

"Old Western Culture" is an Integrated Humanities Curriculum. The term coined by C.S Lewis to describe the ideas of the Western Civilization. This Curriculum brings together literature, history, philosophy, doctrine, geography and Art. The Great Books of the time period educated our forefathers.  The Course is predominately a video course. Year 1 Begins with the Old Western Cultures and Contains 12 video lessons. (48 in year 1, approximately 30 Minutes each)

In year one you will cover 4 Units-

1. The Epics- Iliad and The Odyssey

2. Drama and Lyrics- Greek plays and Poetry

3. The Histories- Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon

4. The Philosophers- Readings from Plato and Aristotle

The Epics
My oldest daughter and I decided to try out Roman Roads Together. Princess is 17 years of age and a Senior in High School this year. As a student my daughter can receive one credit of Literature and one of Social studies. (double credits)   Her mother is well you will just have to guess my age. (wink)  I have this great love for literature so I was more excited than her to follow along. We originally had our eye on Drama and Lyrics but when the course came we agreed it was probably best to start at the Epics and work our way through the course as indicated in the online screen. However you can go out of order if you like by simply clicking the area you would like to work on. However I did note that it would often take me back to the beginning when I reloaded the screen each time which is partly why we choose to start from the beginning. It just made it easier for navigation. Even before the Epics you are instructed on how the course is going to work. You are given download access to various works of literature and are schooled a bit on text and translation. You are given the name of the book that has the best translation however you still have the option of the text provided. This text can be viewed on your computer or loaded onto a Kindle. Personally I often find PDF text not as easy to read on my kindle so I kept it on our PC.

Roman Roads simplifies things by giving you a general guide to follow through a 9 week Schedule. This I liked so much. I'm a schedule type of person so This made sense to me. Although at the beginning of the course my daughter and I did the 1st two lectures in one sitting and then moved on from there. You can adjust accordingly.

See an example of the Epics schedule below... 

As I mentioned above there are 12 lessons. Each represented by a box on your screen . You  click on a drop down box and then your assignments appear for that particular lessons. Before you even click it that drop down box you can see how many assignments are in that particular lesson. Each lesson took us about 30 minutes to view and another 15 or so on the questions from the workbook.  Here are a list of the lessons represented.

     1. Introduction to Old Western Culture
2. The Backdrop to the Iliad.
3. The Anger of Achilleus. (Iliad I-IV)
4. The First Critical Turning Point. (Iliad V-IX)
5. The Deception of Zeus. (Iliad X-XV)
6. The Second Critical Turning Point. (Iliad XVI-XXI)
7. The Death of Hektor. (Iliad XXII-XXIV)
8. The Telemachy. (Odyssey I-IV)
9. The Court of Alkinoƶs. (Odyssey V-VIII)
10. Odysseus Tells of his Wanderings. (Odyssey IX-XII)
11. The Homescoming of Odysseus & The Judgement of the Suitors. (Odyssey XIII-XXIV)
       12. The Legacy of Homer in Western Civilization.
The lectures are on Video and are by Wes Calliahan. You meet Wes in a library of sorts surrounding as he weaves the tales of the Old world. You can tell as he talks that he really has a passion for great literature and knows what he is talking about.  I often sat with a notebook and jotted down things that I wanted to look up later or possibly listen for the next time around. There is so much information in these lectures that it is helpful if you listen to them more than one time. I have windows 8.1 and was able to stream them on my laptop . It worked as well in apps. I do have a higher WiFi connect as we often run 4-6 electronic devices at a time at various times
so obviously we had no issue streaming the videos.  

Throughout the videos you are often introduced to various vocabulary. At times the vocab and their definitions appear at the side , bottom or top of the screen with their definitions attached within a grey box. These are good times to have your teen jot them in a notebook. With it being on  video you can pause it and get all the information that you need. I later printed maps to add to our notes and we colored and marked areas that were discussed. You are also taken down the timeline as well. All good things for a notebook. This was not part of the curriculum but that is how my daughter learns best by taking writing things down. It was a nice addition to the study.

The Screen below is an example of what you might learn on these videos .Wes shares with us the Greek Language from the Iliad. Very interesting to hear. As he read the words they were highlighted so we could follow along. The purpose of this activity was to help the children hear the rhythm of the writing.

This is another example of what you will see on the videos. This particular one was on the Beginnings of the Iliad. Wes shares with us that the Iliad was created during the dark ages when literacy was the last thing on the peoples minds. He later goes on to set us up for the beginning of our reading. By sharing with us a bit of Greek Mythology and about the Trojan War. The stories are captivating and kept both of our interests. 

It worked best for us to print out the workbook pages and try to fill out as much as we could after the video. If we missed anything we would play it back again and listen for the questions that we missed. Below is an example of some of the pages. There are also discussion questions and other resources if your teen would like to dig deeper. If you struggle with any of the questions the teacher guide provides the answers. Once we completed this we added it to the notebook we started. 

To move on from the videos we would simply click next and it would take us chronologically through the lesson. After the video there was often an Assessment of about 10 questions. They were usually questions from the student workbook pages.  You would just click the circle in front of the correct answer and click submit. After you completed the Assessment you were able to go back in and see which questions you had correct and which ones you missed. If my daughter missed any we would go back and see if we could locate the answers on her student pages or in the video.


By the way Homer lived in Ionia, which is modern day Turkey.

The next part of the lesson was reading the "Great Work" In this case the Iliad and later the Odyssey. The reading could be difficult to understand at times but Wes suggested that we read with the rhythm. He also suggests you read using the punctuation. This seems obvious but with poetry people often stop at the end of a line and should follow the correct punctuation for breaks. Another tip was to read it aloud, which  really worked well when trying to understand the text. It just sort of fell together after awhile and you could picture what was going on although you may not understand ever word.

Another Add on of the curriculum is a PDF file of various art relating to the story and time period. We are an art family so it was so wonderful to me to have this included .

This is not considered an art course but you the parent could dig deeper with this and make it an add on to the existing curriculum. There are 100 examples of art throughout the course. The art with in the video course is not talked about as you go through but there is an art PDF that touches on some of the important paintings and explains some background and history.
*Note occasionally some of this art contains nudity.

At the end of each Unit your child will have an exam to take. There are two options to the exam. You will first take Exam A but if your child does not get a 90% or higher you can review the material and when you are ready  you can take Exam B.  Once your child has their set grade you will be able to print out the Roman Roads report card and write in the grade.

The Greeks : Drama and Lyrics
I was also given a DVD course to try out. This particular one was on Drama and Lyrics.  I tried to watch this on my laptop and was unable to preview it in this way. You will more than likely need a DVD player. My son has one up in his room. This wasn't ideal for us but it was easy to move it to a general location for our studies.

What was included was 4 DVD's and a small booklet that has the schedule and art inside. The booklet comes inside the DVD Case.

Roman Roads Media Review

The Greeks cover the beginning of drama , comedies and tragedies. This course includes lectures on Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides and Aristophanes. As well as Greek Lyric poetry of Pindar, Sappho and Quintus of Smyrna. There is also a lecture on the poetry of Hesiod as a compliment to the Epics. Below is the title of each unit provided. 1 - Background of Greek Drama: Development of Theater
2 - Background of Greek Drama: The Period, the Poets, and the Presentation
3 - Aeschylus' Oresteia: The Agamemnon
      4 - Aeschylus' Oresteia: The Libation-bearers and The Eumenides
     5 - Sophocles' Oedipus the King
     6 - Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus
    7 - Euripides' Medea and Trojan Women
      8 - Aristophanes' The Frogs and The Clouds  
9 - Lyric Poetry: Sappho and Pindar, and Theocritus    
10 - Lyric Poetry: Hesiod
11 - Lesser Epics: Quintus of Smyrna, The Fall of Troy 
12 - Lesser Epics: Apollonius of Rhodes, The Argonautica

The course is set up similar to the Epics . Your child will view a lecture, Complete assignments and answer questions related to the lectures. Drama and Lyrics does have a variety of poets and playwrights available for each unit. Roman Roads has published a reader that includes 7 of the 10 authors. This reading will save you the time of searching for all the books on the authors. Although if you enjoy the readings you might want to search for them anyway. The reader is available in Paper back , Kindle (available soon)  and iBooks. The Ebook is included with the DVD.

Greeks : The HistoriesIn this section students will be introduced to history's  of three influential historians. Students will learn about ...

Herodotus- "The Father of History"
They will read the Histories, and about the beginning of the Greco-Persian Wars. As well as Thucydides' History into the origin of the Greco -Persian War and political philosophy. Last they will read Xenophon's Anabasis which chronicles the march of ten thousand Greek soldiers through their journey home through enemy territory. This account is read as a novel. Below is the Chronological order of the study.
Overview of Greek History 
Herodotus 1: The Story of Croesus
Herodotus 2: Stories of Egypt and the other nations
Herodotus 3: The Beginning of the Persian Wars and the Battle of Marathon
Herodotus 4: The Battle of Thermopylae
Herodotus 5: The Battle of Salamis, and the End of the Persian Wars
Thucydides 1: Introduction, Thucydides' Philosophy of History, and the Beginning of the Peloponnesian
Thucydides 2: The Early Years, Pericles, and the Great Plague
Thucydides 3: Mytiline, Exile, Revolution, and Melos
Thucydides 4: The Sicilian Campaign, and the Downfall of Athens
Xenophon: The March of the Ten Thousand

Greek: The Philosophers
The Philosophers covers the works of Plato and Aristotle including text from Plato's Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, and Republic. You will also cover Aristotle's Metaphysics, Ethics and Poetics. Below is the course of study presented...

 Overview of Greek philosophy, introduction to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
Plato: The Apology: Socrates, St. Paul, and The Doctrine of Wisdom
Plato: The Crito and Phaedo: Socrates, Christianity, and the doctrine of body and soul
Plato: The Phaedrus: Socrates, Augustine, Dante, C. S. Lewis, and the Dialectic of Desire; True teaching
Plato: The Republic: understanding morality
Plato: The Republic: The Forms and the influence on Medieval Christendom
Aristotle: The Metaphysics: Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Doctrine of Wisdom
Aristotle: The Metaphysics: the Cosmos in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Aristotle: The Ethics: Happiness the Chief End of Man
Aristotle: The Ethics: Friendship
Aristotle: The Poetics: Stories, Oedipus, and Jane Austen
- The Lessons of Greek Philosophy      

Both  the Histories and the Philosophers is set up the same way as the other two sections. You listen to a lecture, complete assignments and assess out through questions on their material provided.

My Thoughts: Wow I am so impressed with Roman Roads. I am in love with curriculum. I have a new favorite to add to my list.   I loved how in-depth the curriculum goes in the study. Wes Calliahan is an amazing speaker. It made learning about these "Great Works" So much easier. My love for Literature has only grown. I have high hopes of continuing with the program and possibly adding all the DVD's to my collection of educational material. My high school student will graduate but my son will begin this study and we will certainly move on through the course for his four year school career. I have two other students after him and will enjoy showing them the works of literature. 

I do want to mention that I did feel it was to intense for my 14 year old at this time. Now he is an 8th grader this year and I am wondering how well he will work in it next year . However, we are going to give it a shot. The reading is difficult but I think it has its value to struggle through and perhaps revisit it at another time. As their teacher I want to go through Roman roads myself. I love learning all about these writings in our history. I also enjoy history and art so it was a bonus for me.

I did have one issue with the videos course on one occasion but it was minor.. At one point on the question screens I was unable to scroll down and click submit. I had to remove my tool bar from my window to then be able to move it and submit answers. I mention this so you know what to do if it happens to you. It was an easy fix.

Overall I highly recommend this course for your high school students. Your child will be well versed for their literature/ history course in college.

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