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Thursday, May 29, 2014

What We Believe- What on Earth Can I Do? Apologia - Review

Apologia Review


"With God's Power Working in us. God can do much , much more than anything we can ask or imagine. "

Ephesians 3:20, NCV




 


I have yet to come across anything at Apologia Educational Ministries that I was not completely ecstatic over. I don't think I could ever say enough wonderful things about their curriculum. Up for review today is Volume 4 of the What We Believe Bible Series by John Hay and David Webb. A study for children grades 1-6 but I was able to adapt it for younger and older grades.

What on Earth Can I Do?  (hardback)  $39.00

What on Earth Can I do? Coloring Book  $8.00

What Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal $24.00


What Can I Do? Notebooking Journal  $24.00




What on Earth Can I do? Hardback

This book is Volume four of the What We Believe Series a biblical worldview of stewardship. Beautifully written with very clear expectations and the artistry of the textbook is appealing to young and older students. This is one bible curriculum that can be used for the whole family. Nothing is comparable to being able to share God's word with my children at their level but on the same topics. Most of the lessons are presented in two-three week segments. Some might take a shorter or longer amount of time depending on the interest of the children. A particular lesson might look something like this...



The Big Idea- Introduction and Overview



What You Will Do- Learning Objectives



Short Story- Each lesson contains a short story that tells of a child about the age of your children. These children are from another country. Children can see the similarities and differences in the others lives. Helping to build compassion of other cultures.



Think about it- Comprehension Questions



Words you Need to Know- Vocabulary



Hide it in Your Heart- Bible Memory work



Integrated Learning-  Additional Articles



What Should I do?- Character Trait that child can begin to emulate.

Prayer



Parable of Jesus-
Teaching story Jesus told through his ministry here on Earth.



Going Deeper-  More Discussion



House of Truth- The house of truth is something you would use and build across volumes 1, 2, and 3.
(Who is God? Who Am I? and Who is my Neighbor? ) A three dimensional model to create the concept of thinking about the lives within the Kingdom of Truth.








How we used this book:


I used the bible curriculum with my children ages 4,8 and 14. We used the suggested plan from the book but modified it slightly. The book suggests working 2 days per week for 3 weeks on a particular lesson. We worked 3 days for two weeks for each section. The little ones would sit around my older son as he read to them. They would often use the coloring pages while he read. This was great for my extra fidgety little guys.  Then we would work on a suggested activity, bible memory, or notebooking in their selected age leveled book. This worked extremely well and the kids often worked as a team to help each other with ideas for their notebooks.





What on Earth Can I do? Coloring Book



The coloring book was great for my four year old. It gave her something to do while my older son read stories out loud. The Jr. Notebook had some of the coloring pages in them as well. In addition to the story related coloring page there is also a bible verse page related to the bible memory for that lesson.







Jr. Notebook



 
The Jr. Notebook just brings everything to life for your child and allows them to hold a wonderful keepsake as well to look at later. My son age 8 used the Jr. notebook. He is a new 8 year old so this book was prefect level for him. This particular lesson represented above was our very first. Here my children began to learn that they are not the center of the world. All around them a bigger picture is unfolding. They begin to realize that God is in control and that they should rely on Him.

For this lesson we *colored and listened to a story
*Completed Fill in the blank questions with a words supplied. (great vocab)
*Completed a word search (shown above)
*Learned a new bible verse and put it to memory
*Made a collage of pictures from My sons life (see photo below)






 

Wrote notes about our reading
* Drew pictures related to our reading
* And used foldables from the back of the book to create a mini book about what we learned

In addition to this we did some of the Find out More activities...

*Read the book V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet by William Anderson

* Read Tapestry : Grandma Sews a Glimpse of Heaven by Bob Hartman

*We watched The sound of Music and the Prince of Egypt.

* We also sang O my soul by Audrey Addad
and Lead me to the Cross by Brooke Fraser


There were many more ideas on the Find out More. That secretly is one of my favorite parts. I love finding additional activities that relate to our study.


 

 






Notebooking Journal






The notebooking Journal is similar to the Jr. Journal except that it is written for the older child. My 14 year old who is in 7th grade didn't have an issue with using this book. I thought he would think it was younger than him but he did not. In the lesson represented here my children ask themselves if they will be found faithful? (lesson 3) They learn about the struggles of sticking up for your faith. They learn the joys and rewards of that strength. In this particular lesson my notebooker completed...

*notes from the reading
* Answered questions form the story Fire in the sky
*Vocabulary and definitions
*learned the bible memory verse
*completed a word search
* Did an interview with a nurse from our church
*Made a mini book form the story of Joseph
* Cut a baby spider plant and repotted it
(being a good steward)
*Did a crossword puzzle
*Answered discussion questions
* drew pictures

And we did some of the Find out More

*Pictured above we made a Joshua basket or in our case I found a decorative box for it to go in. You are to use stones to remember the wonderful things God has done for you. They can represent specific things in your life. We decided to use word rubbings form the craft store. You just peel and then rub the word with a popsicle stick to make it stick. We put these words on our rocks to remind us of all of the Joys in our lives. After doing the rubbings we later added specific dates and times to additional rocks. Some of the rocks above have dates on the back of them.  We are planning to keep this in our summer house. I have a clear vase that I am thinking about putting them instead of the box  so everyone can read them.



My thoughts


As I mentioned at the beginning of my review there isn't anything that I have ever reviewed from Apologia that I didn't like. Over time I hope to have a collection of their curriculum. It is very precious to me and to the kids.  I particularly liked  the big worldview of the book. In it is text the kids can relate to their lives. There are stories that kids can understand and history lessons that they may have already heard in their history books but never related to bible principles before. There are so many activities and resources that we could spend more than 2 weeks on any given lesson. Apologia always approaches lessons with the visual, auditory and tactile learners in mind. Young children will love the hands on approach. You don't just get a notebook you get a keepsake you can save for years to come. A book that one day their kids can look at and learn.
Would I purchase this book and the journals? Yes and Yes. I plan to purchase book 1 as soon as we are ready and go back to what we missed.


 If you would like to read more reviews on Apologia's What on Earth Can I do? What we Believe Series click the schoolhouse crew graphic below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Crew Disclaimer

Watch Dogs Puppets- Virtual Refrigerator




Sorry I missed posting last week. It was a crazy week. We are winding down a lot of our school activities and stepping into the beginning of our fun summer. It sort of mixes together which makes things a bit busy on our end.


Today I wanted to share with you our simple paper bag puppets. I drew the head and legs for our puppets. The kids added details and used  paint dots for spots. Somehow in the photo a little baby doll shoe showed up . I was going to take another but thought Nahh ... See if you can spot the pink shoe. Hee hee. We made these along with a bible lesson from the watch dog club. You can find the lessons on
Daniellesplace. The idea of the lessons is to teach children to be careful of their actions and words. My little ones have really taken to it and can't wait to do dog club each week.










Do you have some art to share. If so drop in and add yours to the Fridge anytime. :)




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 !


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Virtual Refrigerator Art on Pinterest.



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



Warm Blessings,

Nikki

E= Equal Learning




 

Welcome once again to Homeschooling through the ABC's. I am so glad to have you back. We have been able to cover so far...
A = Accept the CallB= is for Basics (Getting Started)
C= Choosing Curriculum

D= Determine a Schedule



Today I bring you the Letter E = Equal learning Teaching Multiple Children and Grade Levels.

Hi everyone. So glad to have you again today. I just posted the letter D yesterday . I had gotten behind but with today's we will be back on track. So if you missed it stop and read Determine your Schedule. Today I'd like to share with you some tips for teaching multiple children. Giving Equal time to each child can be a challenge if you have multiple children. At the moment I have four children at home. They are varying ages which means their grade levels are rather vast. In the fall Princess will be 17 and starting 12th grade, Superboy will be 14 starting 8th grade, Spirit will be 8 starting 3rd grade and Sweet Pea will be 5 and we will continue with Prek/K levels. Having a preschooler and one graduating 2015 will be a challenge. Incidentally my college student will graduate as well and we have a wedding too.

I have to stop here and just say how much I will cherish this upcoming fall school year. This will be my last child homeschooling and oh I know the time will go so fast . Just as fast as the others.

Having such varying ages I thought I'd share with you tips for teaching multiple ages.

1- Combine subjects - Typically I can combine Spirit and Sweet pea and then Superboy and Princess . I just teach at different levels. For example in the fall Spirit will learn about the Rainforest and Sweet pea will learn about the different animals at her level. While she is working on a craft activity or other hands on project. He will be digging deeper into the Science of it. Another area I can combine is History. 

2. Allow an older child to teach- Superboy and Spirit are studying the same history in the fall. So I thought it would be great to have Superboy a day ahead of Spirit in his reading. Then Superboy can teach the history to Spirit at his level. It might not work everyday depending on topics but I know from experience that teaching something to someone really helps you remember it. They both will be able to enjoy hands on projects together surrounding their topic with a bit of supervision from me.  So it will be a great way to manage that. Art and music as well can be combined just at varying levels . Some things can't be combined well like Math but they can work on them at similar times depending on how much help they will need. Princess will be learning Calculus this year and so she can be available for questions with Superboy who will be in Algebra. Superboy could field questions for 3rd grade math and Spirit can help his little sister learn her numbers. It is good team building to allow them to work together. You have this large family so use it to your advantage.

3. Discussions grouped - We can also group bible discussions into two groups and literature readings.
Spirit can read to Sweet Pea. Superboy and Princess can have book clubs together. This will help each of their vocabulary improve since they will have someone near their age to share ideas. With Bible I will just keep them all together and teach at each level . Who knows what the little ones will pick up along the way. Sometimes we limit them by our own belief in what they can and can't do. Open things up there are no limits.


4. Schedule work time with each child. In the morning I like to schedule time with the older kids to make sure they know what the plan is for the day and look over anything I think might be of trouble to them. A lot of the teens work  can  be done independently. Any independent work is time I can work individually with the little ones since they need more assistance from me. I also like to provide hands on activities for the little's when I need to step away for a bit to help an older child. If I don't hear much from a child all day I will then meet again with them at the end of the day to see what progress they have made on a their work or if they have any unrealized questions.


5. School might take longer- With my kids so stretched out in ages I have to realize that school may take a bit longer than most. So I have to resolve to that and prepare my mind each day for the challenge. It's not a cake walk for sure.


6. Be prepared- have supplies readily available. A huge time waster is searching for missing items. Keep books and supplies as organized as you can.
Make sure you know what lesson will be covered this day and when .  Have a plan of attack for your day. If you aren't prepared the kids will know it and cooperation might be lacking.


7. Some days won't have Equal time- I am sure you want to give each child equal time but just as you can't divide their needs into neat boxes neither can you divide that workload time. Some children are more independent workers compared to others. So in reality that equal time might not exist. Its ok if it doesn't . Just make sure that they do Equally feel valued.

8. Perfection doesn't exist-  Keep in mind from the start that perfection doesn't exist. Don't try to handle more than you are capable. Who says what your school is supposed to look like. Only you know your model and what your goals are for your children. Talk to your husband about what those big goals will look like and work toward them. Remember that that word perfection doesn't apply to your kids either so keep your expectations in check.


9. Family First- God is first of course but what I mean by this one is that don't allow errands to take away from your kids or volunteer position etc... You are ministering to your children. You took this job on so that you can teach them about God. Keep the focus and unhook the phone. (Internet too?)


10. Expect bad days- Yep everyone had them and with more people in the house you might be fielding issues all day. The only way for a mom to handle all of that is support from other homeschoolers and much prayer with God. Take each moment as it comes. There will bound  to be one moody soul in a given day and if you get lucky with everyone feeling Joy that celebrate that.



I hope my tips will help you. Most of all you find your niche by trial and error. If it doesn't work for you change it. Change can be good for all.


Warm Blessings,


Nikki

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

D= Determine a Schedule

 


Welcome to the ABC's of Homeschooling. I am linking up again with Ben And Me.  I will have D and E for you this week since I got a little behind but no worries as I have a lot to share with you. So far in the series we have done ...
A = Accept the Call
B= is for Basics (Getting Started)

C= Choosing Curriculum


Today I want to talk about Determining a Schedule. Ick not always something homeschoolers like to think about. If you are just starting out or are feeling a bit scrambled lately then a schedule can really help you feel like you have it a bit more together. Schedules can be very strict by the hour or they can be just a flexible outline of what you want to get done for that day. I know that there are some homeschoolers who don't feel the need to be tied down with a schedule and that is great if it works for you but if you are feeling like your overwhelmed with chores and school, then ask yourself. Are you trying to just get it all done? Are you running from thing to thing accomplishing nothing? Then this is something you might want to try out.

Before I share the how's I'd like to give you  my personal feeling on schedules. If you have one or maybe two children it might not be needed for you . However when you have multiple children a schedule could be detrimental to your day. Having a plan of attack for your week really can make things move along more smoothly. I also feel like kids will eventually need to follow time frames when they are in the work force. Some might venture out and start their own businesses but will also need to be consistent with their work and play time or the business will likely fail. Teaching my kids time management to me is just as important as the actual words in the books. Without learning that skill could mean their success or failure .

Lets get to scheduling...
Before you go filling in your entire day , I would start out a bit slower. Begin by establishing morning routines and bedtime routines. Perhaps you already have them. I try to have the kids during a school week in bed at the same time and up at the same time. We are a little lax over the summer for special activities. My grandmother is 80 some years old . She is a very active 80. She tells us the key to living so long is getting plenty of rest. She says she gets to bed at a certain time and wakes at a specific time. This routine means her body knows when its time to rest and time to be up. It helps her have a restful night. If the kids are going to sleep at different times they might be tired during the day and not get the most out of their lessons. Their bodies are confused about rest time and need that consistency.

Some of us bulk at routine but for children routine means stability. The more stability you give them the more readily they will be to cooperating with you. Little basic rituals such as ... Waking in the morning, Making their bed, getting dressed, brush their teeth and down for breakfast. Or for evening... Pick up toys, take a bath, brush teeth, read aloud time with the family and bed. These things do matter and help to transition children to the next thing. Anywhere you can add a transition or routine activity the better. It says to the child. Its time to_____. Say you have trouble getting your elementary child to the table for book work. Choose a time of day to start the routine. Everyday at the same time they will know what to expect. Perhaps you will ... Do some exercises, read a devotional, hop to your math book (literally) and then work through the problems. Once that is done next you have a snack. Routine is the key to cooperating children. It takes time to build but it will happen. If math is the harder subject the treat will be the upcoming snack or even some playtime. You decided but it only works if the kids know what is next in your routine.

Not only can the routine help the kids transition but it will help you too. Again I don't do a tight schedule this time is this and 2:22 I do this or 4:15 I do this . That isn't me. I create those routines in the day . They know morning routine, lunch routine, afternoon routine, dinner routine and bedtime. Sometimes they change some. For example on Fridays the routine changes because we do a limited time of school and chores then head out for errands. The kids know this is what happens on Fridays.  Now moms and dads to help yourself make sure you add in various chores you want the kids to complete each day and make time for the things you need to get done as well. Think about what your kids can be doing while you are doing wash, preparing dinner or reading that book you wanted to read.  Will they have playtime, will they be doing some quiet reading in their rooms, or will they be outside playing in the yard.  If you think now what they will be doing it will help you be able to complete what you need to get done each day because lets face it the chores only grow as we are all really living in our homes. Put a little thought in it because you don't want them doing something that will require to much of you because you need to be doing whatever you need to do. So make sure it is something you can monitor but not be entrenched in. The other thing I want to mention is to try to avoid TV as the baby sitter. It might seem like a good idea at the time but once that time is over and your ready for the next thing. Keep in mind  kids get tired of sitting. So when you need them to sit for an activity you may be setting yourself up by putting that Dvd in while you do your chores. Make sure you add in time with your kids. I know that sounds silly we are with them all day right? What I'm talking about is real mom time. Not teacher school time, or chore time or whatever. I mean time devoted to just talking and playing with them.

I often have had families ask me how I do so much. The house is fairly cleaned up, I mow the grass, we do a meal plan,  I exercise, we school everyday, craft, do a lot of fun school things, write for the crew, write book reviews, blog, host book launches and teach Sunday School and am available for volunteering quite often. I promise you if I didn't have an organized schedule I wouldn't be doing it all.
I will be honest when I say that I don't feel rushed and I have down time. The routine had provided that for me over time.


One more thing...

Planners can help you or they can hinder you. It depends on your style of organization.

Now I don't like to waste a lot of time with planners. What I love to use is the Daysprings planner. What I like the most about them is this...



I can see the entire week at a glance and there is a ton of space to write. I like to makes lists of things that need done on each day. Then on notes I put things that should be done by weeks end. Now this won't work for everyone but it works for me the "list maker" . You just have to find that thing that works best for you. Some work well with planners and some people hate them. Try different things out and once you find that thing. Stick with it. (more routine)


I would love to hear how you schedule your day.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Monday, May 26, 2014

Exercise - Consistancy





How things are going

Wow the week is slipping away from me. I have had such a hard time getting myself reset with my diet plan but I am finally truly on track again. It's so easy to fall a way and then keep making excuses for why you aren't doing something. I had gained 4lbs with my little hiatus but thankfully when I jumped back on I lost the four rather quickly. I have set a new goal for myself for the upcoming beach trip. But first I have to reach my first goal and I'm still that one lb away. Not to far. Hoping to get past that and get to the next one I set for myself.

How do I plan to push to the next step?
Being stuck at the same weight really had me struggling and so I had to make a new plan. That gave me power over myself to get going again. I decided to make a commitment to exercise. I know I have to have consistency with it. Yesterday I mowed the grass and counted that as my exercise. We use a self propelled but our yard is all hill and the house sits on top. Very little is flat ground. So it can be a real workout. At times the self propelled was pulling me along. I still have the steepest part but had to rest yesterday. I was afraid I would fall if I didn't. Today its rainy and so I did some floor exercises. I have a goal for myself by the end of the month to be able to do more reps of each. Each day I will up that reps. Don't quite have a set goal with that. Just want to consistently add some to each week. I'll have to add that up and see where I should be by the end of June. Some I do one rep of each and some I can do two it just depends on the exercise.


Food changes
So far I am still eating clean but I did come across Trim Healthy Mama and am reading that book. I was able to try a few recipes at a THM meeting. They were amazing and healthy. Eating clean is good but I get tired of the same things so hoping to add some of these to my diet. As long as nothing is processed we will be good and on the same page. Reading it slowly . More to come I'm sure.


Well that is where I am this week. If you are on a weight loss journey I'd love to read your posts too . Perhaps we could encourage one another. It would be nice to have an accountability partner.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MicroBusiness for Teens- Review


Homeschoolers don't always do things like "normal"
teens do. We like to think outside of the box. We tend to like to try to figure things out from books and learn though experience. Why then wouldn't our teens be interested in working on their terms just like they school? Of course they would and Micro Business For Teens by Carol Topp CPA will show them how.




Micro Business for Teens Review



Starting a Micro Business
- $9.95 paperback
and $4.95 Ebook

Micro Business for Teens Workbook- $14.95 paperback and $9.95 Ebook


Running A Micro Business- $9.95 Paperback and
$4.95 Ebook


These books are suggested for children 10-18. Although I did find a little information for this homeschooling mom as well. It's wonderful to be able to help out a little bit with the family income and still teach our kids at home. If you don't have kids in this range and would like to start your own micro business for yourself then this might contain the information you need to get started. Not just for teens in my opinion.


Micro Business for Teens Review






You will want to start out by reading Starting a Micro Business. This book goes along with the Teen workbook. The workbook will guide you through the reading and then you will complete the corresponding pages.  Your student will start out by learning what a Micro Business can mean for them, like freedom to manage their own time.  Most teens don't have a lot of time. They need to spend time on their studies and balance home life and fun as well. Creating your on business can be enjoyable and manageable. It also can take some of the burden from parents as far as first time jobs go and transportation. Parent and child will learn how their time can work for them. Perhaps your teen/teens already have an idea they would like to try or maybe they would like to choose one that Carol Topp suggests in her book. Either way there are plenty of ideas to get theirs flowing. It is a good idea to have a brainstorming session. You might want to stretch this out over a few days. I found this activity very enlighten as students think of ideas. You really can see where their interest lie.  Once your child chooses a business it's time to write a business plan.


Micro Business for Teens Review

 
Writing the plan might seem difficult but your workbook will take you through it step by step. You only need to fill out each section. There is research that goes into it depending on what your child's interest might be and it might take some time to get things going and off the floor so to speak. Before you get going you will want to talk finances. Will there be start up costs and if so how will you pay for that? If there are not start up costs how do you keep track of your finances? All this is answered and more. This book is a great teacher even if they don't go through with the actual plan. It would be a fun start to a financial planning activity and learning about that side of business. I also think it would make for a exciting co-op course.  The kids would have someone to bounce their ideas off of and help to establish their plan. They would also have others that are going through the same things in starting up their business and being motivated to go for it. I envision them reporting back to one another and truly being a support for their project.

Micro Business for Teens Review


 
Now that your teen has their business going or are about to get going. They will want to start reading Running a Micro Business.  They will learn about managing their time, Serving the Customer, Bookkeeping, tracking income expenses, marketing and social aspects of having their own financial security. You will find as you work through  these books that you may be pulling up websites and digging out recommended books and doing even more research. Not only can it be used as a course of study but for real life. These are the courses that parents love, hands on real experiences.





How we used the books:



I used the books with my 14 year old Son and my 17 year old daughter. I started out by reading the Starting a Micro Business book in its entirety to get a feel for what we were going to be doing. The kids had preconceived ideas on what they thought they would like to do as their first start up business.

My son has always made these cute little pipe cleaner animals. Now you might be saying to yourself how could you make a business from that but honestly somehow there is a market for sales. The kids at our church are always saying he is the balloon animal guy of pipe cleaners. We have found sites online that sell them and frankly some of his stuff is even better than what they are selling. The going price for an animal online is $6.00- $20.00 . Seriously who knew right. He first got this idea because as odd as it sounds he would walk around with his pipe cleaners in a ziplock bag and would ask people every where we went what they would like made for them.  One particular day we went for pizza and the owner of the restaurant saw his creations. She asked him to make a few cats for her daughter. He made some for her plus some other things he had in mind and when he gave them to her she handed him $20.00. This started the idea that he could make these animals for money. Pictured below is him with one of his creation a hulk. Ignore his silly look on his face he was in one of his goofy moods but you get the idea of what he can do. I asked him to share some of his creations with me but he had given all of them away and needs more pipe cleaners. This one is an older one he had left in his bag. So there will be a small start up cost but nothing we he can't handle. He can use his sales to purchase more stock.







We worked on his business plan. He had the idea to sell them online maybe in Etsy or we also talked about maybe doing some kids parties like balloon guys might do. We could do a combo of both. With Etsy he could sell his wire art , puppets, and other things that he creates.  Now if he goes the party route. He can make pipe cleaner animals or he does balloon animals too . I really think the parties might be doable. We have had that request before as well so it might be something he could do for some of our church families for a few dollars per animal. The cost of pipe cleaner isn't that high if you buy in bulk like we do. He could also do a combination of the two balloons and pipe cleaners. He is very creative and the kids usually flock around him. I think parties would be key for him for exposure. He has a lot to think about. We have more to do with our plan but I will update you as we get things figured out and started.


Now my daughter she had a harder time. She struggles with knowing what she wants to do with her life so choosing a micro business I knew would be hard for her too. She is not crafty and likes more physical work like mowing the grass, trimming weeds or working on small engines. She also has a love for animals. She started out with two ideas. One was to mow yards over the summer but she felt like that would be harder to keep up and she would have to have  the equipment to travel. We live along a highway so we wouldn't have assessable neighbors. She doesn't drive yet so driving would fall to me. This wasn't a lucrative option at this time but we wrote a business plan for a possible future plan. She decided on dog walking or pet sitting. We do have a nice yard area and some neighbors to the back who live a short distance that have pets. Her plan isn't as far as my sons because it took her longer to choose one. She may not take it to an actual business but it is a good learning experience for her. I do see my son following through on his plan.

Now I mentioned before that I got a few things from this book too. I have been wanting to sell Ebooks but had a lot of question in regards to how to get started. In the book Carol Topp has a section where she shared various resources that we could reference or check out. Through that I was able to get my questions answered. As moms who school our kids at home it is always a good idea to add a manageable income to our family. I have a plan now for myself and will let you know when I have the first book up and ready for sales.


I have hopes this fall to use these books and the workbook as a study for teens. My plan is to ask our local library if we can use a room there and invite other homeschoolers to come and learn about Micro Business. I am that excited about it.


If you would like to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Crew on Micro Business. Click the graphic below.






Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Crew Disclaimer
Monday, May 19, 2014

Nutritional Monday Diet Journal - Wonder Women or Olive Oil



Are you a Wonder Women or an Olive Oil?


When I was a little girl my brother was into the DC Comics. There was a TV show too I don't even remember it but I bet if I asked him he would know. I think it was called the Justice League. Don't boo me comic fans. (Grin) I was sort of at his mercy because if I wanted to spend time with him I was watching these shows too. I really wasn't a big comic fan or super hero fan but what could a little sister do.


Anyway if I had to watch it then I might as well relate to the only girl hero on there. So I would often pretend I was Wonder Women. To me Wonder women did it all. She was everything to everyone. She was powerful and had it all together. She was looked up to and had things in control. Wonder women got the job done. Sometimes she even beat out the icky boys. (cough)


Another show we would sometimes watch was Popeye. Now Olive Oil was a different sort of gal. She was always in trouble and always calling for help. She seemed weaker and less together. Sometimes though at the last minute she would surprise you in her weakened state and whip the guys into shape. She would find her strength in a time of affliction.


If your anything like me you can relate to either of these gals. I want to be Wonder women and conquer all of my fears all of my struggles and do it with strength and dignity but honestly most of the time I look a bit like Olive Oil. I don't always have it together and usually I whip something out and surprise everyone at the last minute. This diet I am doing this food change this lifestyle change. Ughh.


One day I feel empowered and the next day not so much. Its a roller coaster ride of emotions. Today I had so much energy. I cleaned the house, I schooled the children, I cut the grass , I exercised and I ate well. It was a Wonder Women day. Not everyday is like that some days I feel weak and want to give in then I power past it and knock it out like Olive Oil. If only everyday could be a Wonder Women day but it can't. So you celebrate today. You give yourself the pat on the back and you hope tomorrow is another strength day but if not... Don't give up because you can pull it out of no where and whip those boys... ummm  I mean your diet into shape.  Before you know it every day will be a Wonder Women day.



Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five Random Things...

I'm again linking up with Miranda @ Pebble Pond
I enjoy the 5 random things posts.. Thanks Miranda.

1. My little one hates having her hair put up but it got so hot she allowed me to do it. She left it in for a whole 10 minutes. Oh well maybe by summer end it will stay in.





2. Mother's day was nice. We are mothers every day of the year when we have kids but it is encouraging to have that one special day to feel loved. The kids made me some cards. I got flowers, a college T-shirt from my older daughter and a college Mom mug. Loved it.



 



3. I have been a scattered mess lately. Yesterday we went to our second funeral. The first was my oldest Child's step mother and now My great Aunt passed away. Just feels like my thoughts are elsewhere. Death tends to get you thinking about your life. I wish I could have a few do overs.


4. The kids and I are counting down the days till the pool opens. We are so excited it sort of marks the start of our summer. We love spending lazy days in the sun and playing with each other in the water. Summer barely feels hot when you can swim.


5. Right at this moment I should be doing laundry and cleaning up the house. Instead I choose to talk to you and write.








The Pebble Pond

Sunny Art On the Virtual Refrigerator



This week the little ones and I created some Sunshine art. We are so close to our summer break and it's on all of our minds.

How we made them


We used large 18x12 sheet of what paper. I had the kids use blue for their sky ,orange, reds and yellows for the sun. We tried to create some sort of texture in our skies. The little ones didn't quite understand that but It was fun anyway. Then I pulled out my scrapbook book and allowed them to choose a piece of paper. We cut that into strips for our suns rays.
I then created a glue wash by adding a little water to the glue. We used a paint brush to put the glue on the back and we did a wash over the top as well.
They turned our pretty Great . This art will grace our hallway walls for the summer.







This one is mine. Sometimes it's just fun to paint along with the kids no matter how simple the project might be.





This one is Spirits Age 8




Sweet Pea Age 4 made this one. It is so great so see how much she is developing and changing. You can see it in her art.


Do you have some art to share. If so drop in and add yours to the Fridge anytime. :)
 






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 !


Follow Jennifer Miller's board Virtual Refrigerator Art on Pinterest.



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



Warm Blessings,

Nikki

C- Choosing Curriculum





Welcome to Week Three of my ABC series on Homeschooling. This weeks letter is the letter C. In homeschooling the Big C word is definitely Curriculum. Usually that is first time homeschoolers biggest question. What curriculum will I use?  And How do I choose? Choosing curriculum can be daunting if you don't have a plan or if you don't know your child's learning style.



What is my Child's learning Style?

Before you begin scouring the web for catalogs and curriculum I would suggest taking a look at your child's learning style. If you are new to homeschooling you might want to do a few simple learning  activities with your child to see how they learn. Try finding which ways your child seems to pick up the activity the fastest. You may find that your child is a combination of two learning styles. When I teach I try to hit the two that I know are most dominate for my child when I'm teaching.

Auditory Leaners learners learn best through listening. So activities like discussion, read aloud, audio books and repeating what they just read or want to put to memory are ways they have an easier time learning.



Visual learners are those that learn best by pictures. Using photos, charts, graphs, reading texts or watching a video might be the way this learner learns best.



Kinesthetic are those that learn with hands on activities such as crafts, building, touching , feeling and doing.



It is often helpful to figure out yours as well so that you can see how the two will cross and mix while teaching. Once you figure that out  you will want to think about what you want to teach. What topics will you teach for which grade level.  There are books on the market that tell you what your child should know at which grade levels. You can use those as a guide if you are lost. Just type in amazon What your __ Grader needs to know. Fill in your child's level.


Take advantage of your child's input as well. If you have your child's interest then learning won't seem like work at all and your child will get so much more out of it. Sit down with your child and jot down their ideas. Using this brainstorming technique you can figure out a general plan. You can then add in the things that You as their mom want them to know.




 It is still not quite time to pick out  curriculum. Before you start browsing and looking you also will want to look into various teaching styles. Perhaps
Charlotte Mason , Classical, Unit Studies, Traditional , Unschooling and Eclectic.  Homeschool Creations has created a nice article explaining all of these Teaching Styles. If you are not sure what approach you would like to take then I would suggest going over and reading about them and researching any that catch your eye.

For some it may be simpler for you to choose a box  style curriculum the first time around. You won't have to make any big decisions and can follow the curriculum as a guide. "Box Style" refers to a package deal . You just choose the grade level and the company provides you with all you will need to teach that grade level. ( with the exception of basic supplies of course ) Some examples of those are
Sonlight , My Fathers World , and BJU. Just to name a couple there are many more out there.




What I like to do is pick and choose curriculum and use the ones that work best for that particular child. One child might be great at math but struggle with literature. Whatever that reflects depends on the program I would choose. A good place to find resources is the
Schoolhouse Review Crew. The Crew takes 100 or more bloggers and allows them to review products in exchange for their honest reviews. If you read my blog you know I'm a reviewer. You can find all of my 2013 Reviews (there are 49) and this years 2014 Reviews. This list will continue to grow all year. I highly recommend reading reviews because you can find the bigger picture about a curriculum and see if it is a right fit.  I also started a pinterest page for
Homeschool Shopping .  This shopping list is a guide of all of my favorite curriculum hot spots. Many I have purchased from and many I want to purchase from.




To me gathering all of my catalogs and choosing my favorites is one of the many things I love about homeschooling. It is so fun to make that choice. Just remember your Call with God while doing so and make right choices that would honor Him. Making sure you pray about it before you make these decisions will probably save you a lot of heart ache in the long run. If you do start a curriculum that isn't working for you don't hesitate for a moment to stop and try something else. We all makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are needed for us to learn and grow as a family and as teachers. God knows what we need at that time.





Good luck choosing and if you have any questions
feel free to ask them.





Warm Blessings,


Nikki
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Golden Prairie Press- Review

Golden Prairie Press Review

I will be honest with you history is one of my favorite subjects to teach. It is funny because when I was in school I disliked history. I think that I love it so much now because as homeschoolers we can really dig into history with a lot of hands on learning.


 

Of all the time periods in history my very favorites come from American History. I have tired a lot of different history curriculums over the years but  I would like to introduce to you the Company Golden Prairie Press
and share with you their Curriculum.


Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past : American History Curriculum  a $98.99 value. This includes

Heroes and Heroines of the Past Part 1
1000-1837

Heroes and Heroines of the Past Part 2
1837-Present

Heroes and Heroines of the past is a hands on American History Curriculum that makes history simple for any homeschool parent.  The curriculum is  thirty weeks in length beginning with Native Americans , moving through explorers all the way to the here and now. The first Book Part 1 is 388 pages in length and Part 2 is 408 pages. As you can tell there is a lot of content within this curriculum. The curriculum is for children 1st grade to 6th grades. Although I think it could be modified for younger or even slightly older students. Each history lesson is divided into two sections. The first section has a larger font for early Elementary students and the next section has the same information but at a different level for 3rd-6th graders. Heroes of Heroines uses living history through stories and various activities. When there are difficult words Definitions are provided with in the text and a suggested memory verse. You will step into history with many hands on activities. You will examine historical Art, play games, complete crafts , sing , act out skits, Listen to history, and complete experiments . This curriculum takes you across education by including writing assignments that will help your child remember the information presented.

There are Questions as well to see if your student is comprehending what they learned. You could do these questions verbally or have them write them in a notebook. All of the answers to the questions are in the back of the book. These history lessons take about an hour to complete. Sometimes it took us longer depending on what we were working on.

    What Supplies will you need:
    You might need general school supplies like pencils, crayons and paper. You also will need a printer or have the ability to print out the various timelines and activities. Your computer also should have speakers and volume for the songs and listening activities. Along with the software to listen to them.  Each activity in the guide has the supplies listed so that you can easily see what is needed for that week. There may also be book suggestions that you might want to pick up too as additional reading.



    Historical Skits Volume 1
    There are 19 skits in this volume. They begin with Columbus and go to World War 2. My boys had a good time with these. ( More on that in a bit.)




    Sing Some History

    I really liked this part too. The kids can sing some of the old songs from history. There are 20 songs on the CD such as Yankee Doodle, Hail Columbia, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, Oh! Susanna and many other good songs. There were many I sang as a child and love that this is included in the curriculum.


    Listen to Some History
    Children will also have the opportunity to listen to various speeches in history, poems, sermons and documents. It helps the child with understanding complex words or older style writings. Your child will hear Mayflower Compact, Model of Christian Charity, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, On the Method of Grace, To King George on the Repeal of the Stamp Act, To My Dear and Loving Husband, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death and  The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, just to name a few. Along with several stories related to the historical time period.



    And Additional Materials Download

    Here you will find timeline printable (which I love)  instructions , videos, artwork, coloring pages and much more.






Golden Prairie Press Review

 
 
 
How We used it:

We typically do a block style schedule for History and Sciences. So We worked on History a little each day during the time frame of our review. I used the curriculum with my 2nd grade son and my 7th grade son. My 7th grader is older than the suggested age but it worked just fine. He likes to work with his little brother so it wasn't an issue at all.

We started out by reading from our history text about Native Americans. I would print out the pages for each child's reading level. The boys took turns reading. My younger son read his first and then my older son read his. I think them hearing both versions helped them  in understanding and remembering the history . We would then read our memory verse which I put on an index card and posted on our refrigerator so the boys could see it daily and review it easily. At the end of each section we would answer questions verbally and then do the writing assignment in our notebooks. Which we deemed History Record Notebooks. After that we would complete other activities that were suggested like a craft, song, listening activity etc...




This is my older son with his Tepee. The boys were to make a large one that they could go inside but we didn't have the large sticks available to us. The kids used sticks from the yard and made mini tepees.




This is an example of Christopher Columbus coat of Arms. Here Spirit had colored it and is sharing it with you. This Activity is one from the Additional materials activities. We did have a little trouble printing this one. I think only because the print was slightly off of black and I only had black ink. I am sure if you have color it would have printed nicely for me. There are so many activities in this e-book but it is organized well and easy to find.


The song book and listen book were good too. The boys didn't get into the singing to much like I had hoped but they still enjoyed listening to them. What they did love was the skits. They had a good time acting them out and just being silly boys. I liked that the boys were reading and cooperating all the while learning history.
 






We enjoyed Golden Prairie Presses hands on approach to history. There are so many activities you can do with American history that it was nice to have it narrowed down for me and ready to go.


If you would like to read more reviews click the graphic below.









Click to read Crew Reviews



Warm Blessing,

Nikki
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Logic of English - Foundations Level A (Review)

Logic of English Review





Teaching a child to learn their ABC's and their phonetic sounds is a real joy. It is an abundant moment when your child begins to put those letters to sound. It is the beginning of their academic career and that is always so exciting.


Logic of English Review

Logic of English Foundations A has simplified the process. They have laid out the plan for you so that you can enjoy your time with your little ones. 

The Foundations, Level A has the Teacher’s Manual -$38.00, student’s workbook- $18.00 and the extra hard backed book Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds - $15.00 and the price is $71.00 for all of the books. The age range suggested on the site for this program is 4-7 years old. Included with the review I was also given the



Reusable Resource...


Basic Phonogram Flash Cards, $18.00
Manuscript Tactile Cards, $28.00
(also cursive tactile available)
Half size white board, $9.00
Rhythm of Handwriting Chart, $10.00
Blue Book Face Game Cards, $10.00
Red Manuscript game cards, $10.00


About the Program:

Foundations A begins by teaching your child the lower case letters from a-z. They will begin to read and write letters. They will play various games and perform different activities to begin decoding the sounds. By the end of the curriculum your child will be able to read 25 high frequency words, spell and read short vowel words, consonant blends,  and comprehend simple phrases.



There are 48 lessons, 40 instructional lessons and 8 Assessments and review lessons. 22 phonemic awareness games, 28 phonogram games, 10 reading comprehension games and 2 high frequency word games. Children may need to also have with them extra dry erase pens, eraser, Crayons, glue and scissors to complete the activity in the workbook.

In the teacher guide each lesson begins with objectives for that lesson and materials needed. There are times you may need optional items such as a mirror, legos, various toys or a book like Dr. Suess.
These activities are under the optional category but only enhances what you are doing with your child.

In the guide you are given exact wording as to what you will say to your child and how you will implement the lesson. On the right hand side of the page you will find color boxes that share with you teacher tips , book lists , sensory fun, speech tip  and vocabulary.

Your child will begin by practicing sounds verbally , then work on writing them on the LOE white board or in the workbook. The workbook provides various lines so that the student can write at their size. They can choose which size is comfortable for them. You can have them write all of the sizes or just choose one or two that works best for them.

As mentioned above there are also games you can play and activities you can do with in the workbook  such as finding sounds, matching sounds to letters or picking out word pictures that rhyme.


How we used Logic of English:

(And will still be using beyond the review period)


I am using Logic of English, Foundations A with my preschooler. She is four years old and will be five in August of this year. She has been a bit of a late bloomer. She is the youngest of 5 children. When we started out I was afraid that she wasn't ready for the writing sections but as we went and she grew it has become something she can do. The beginning pages start out with curves which can be difficult for younger children to start with. We completed the workbook Activity pages in those beginning pages and skipped the writing curves for now. She was able to handle the word games we played so we played them often. I took this curriculum at my daughters pace. She may have gone slower or we worked on the same concept for a few days before she would get it. I have a couple of kids in our family with dyslexia, adhd and add. So I am used to working at the child's pass. It was very workable for her level.

We also enjoyed sitting together and reading through the doodling dragon book. As she began to recognize more letters and starting to match sounds the book became more fun for her. Below you see her on the right enjoying doodling dragon and to the left she is playing one of the games on Unit 12. For this game she is playing guess the food. The teacher guide provides some questions about the sound the picture word will make. For example... "I am thinking of a food that begins with I. Which food begins with the /I/ sound? Course she pointed to the Ice Cream.
There are other fun games through out the book that reinforces the concept of the day. At times we would go back and play a game again as a reminder of if she forgot a particular sound.





Her favorite activity was to write on her dry Erase board to practice her writing. As you can see she mastered the curve with the writing of C in her lesson 12. In the photo to the left you can also see the Red C card from the game cards. I would often pull one out for her to use as she wrote her new letter on her board. Our week might look like this again much slower than you would probably need to go but this is what worked for my girl.


Our Schedule


Monday- Talk about letter sound, review doodle dragon , and play a game

Tuesday- Review sound again with the same game as a reinforcement, then work on writing on the dry boards.


Wednesday- We would write in the workbook and practice our letters and review the sound again.


At this point she probably will have it but if not we
continue on Thursday and Friday with various other activities sound activities along with more writing.

The great thing about Logic of English is that we could work through it at her pace . She really enjoyed the games and activities.









Will we continue with LOA. Yes, we are going to finish this book and then hopefully move into Logic of English B. As long as she continues to love it like she does right now. She begs me to do "her school" with her. I even heard her argue with her brother that she loves school. She is at that point where she is ready to soak it all in


If you would like to read more about Foundations A
or if you would like to take a peek at other levels then click he graphic below to read more reviews.




Click to read Crew Reviews

Warm Blessings,

Nikki

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I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

Rejoice in the Lord Always.