Thursday, May 24, 2018

Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum Review




We recently had the opportunity to review Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum from Home School Navigator.


Home School Navigator has been created for elementary level students.  It takes classic story titles that kids enjoy and correlates them with essential writing, vocabulary and grammar skills.  All the work for parents is done.  You simply login and follow the lesson.  Everything is arranged in Weekly order.  The only work I needed to do was to order the books from the library, or when our library did not have a title, we were able to find a video read-aloud online.

I was able to log in at the beginning of the week when I was planning and see what worksheets I needed to have printed for the girls.  There are six different levels for students, ranging from Red to Indigo.  After going through the book lists, I ended up placing both girls in Level Blue.  So I printed a Book Master List so that I knew what books to have on hand and what time frame I needed them in (so I could track them down through the library system).  I placed the girls not based on their reading level, but on their grasp of language arts topics.



Once we started working, Home School Navigator was very easy to use.  Each girl had their own login.  Once logged in, your student will have a daily list of activities to go through.  These include reading of the story, vocabulary and phonics skills.  At the end of the list, there is even an area where you can load/attach the work that your student has completed so that you can track their work for assessments and year end reports for school districts.

Many of the sections have videos for your student to watch.  They can work along with the videos.


Each days work was roughly 20 - 30 minutes in length, depending on the length of the story that day.  The girls attention level also factored into our time frame.  Each week of the 36 weeks worth of material is set up for a 5 day school week schedule.  At first I felt a little overwhelmed, since we currently are not doing a 5 day a week "at home" schedule.  I quickly was able to adjust down though and printed materials that I could and put in their Homeschool Navigator at just two-days a week for full table lessons.  It will take us a little longer to make our way through the materials, but some days we have been able to actually complete 2 days worth of work in one lesson sitting.  

Daily students could be working on writing, vocabulary, poetry skills, grammar and sentence structure.  All centered around different stories.

There were several things I love about using Home School Navigator.  In our crazy lives, I loved that I could easily adjust the material to work around our current spring schooling schedule.  I can continue this as we merge into our summer schedule.  The girls can still complete their lessons, just in a way that works best for them.  So even if they need a little extra time to work on a poem or some writing, they can. 

The video lessons are wonderful.  I love how much work that I do not need to do!!  I am there for help and guidance, but all the work has been done for me.  For a super stressed homeschool mom, Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum is an answer to the "What am I going to do?" question we ask ourselves while planning.

Storing materials is very easy.  I chose to simply kept all the girls printouts in a folder, so that I can show their assessor some of their completed work.  But you can upload pics online.  Also instead of having a bunch of books, including teacher manuals to work on Language Arts, they have a folder, a storybook and a computer login.  So if you are schooling in a smaller space, Home School Navigator is definitely something for you to look into.

I love how the creators of Home School Navigator encouraged reading and language arts through literature.  The titles were very easy to gather from the library or through read-aloud videos from various online sources.  

Home School Navigator has everything laid out for parents.  You really just need to print the materials out.  Several of the weekly lessons, include video instruction, which you can see Lydia watching above as she works on her worksheet.  What a great tool for busy homeschool parents.  You can create individual accounts and track your students in different levels with no trouble.  Making your job as a homeschool parent even easier. 

As we continue into our Summer School plans, I plan on leaving Home School Navigator on our lesson plan.  The girls are enjoying the videos and even progressing on writing skills that they were struggling with.  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the various levels of Home School Navigator.  Click below to see how they used this program in their homes.

Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum {Home School Navigator Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer


Meme Thursday





Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meme Thursday





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Kids Email - Kids Email Safe Email for Kids Review




Things are so different from when I grew up, since I didn't have email and social media when I was a kid.  But Kids Email has created Kids Email Safe Email for Kids to help parents keep their kids safe online.

The boys have basic gmail accounts, and Lydia does too.  But it's harder for me to monitor their interactions.  Generally they only use them to email me, but that's where Kids Email Safe Email for Kids can come in.


Kids Email Safe Email for Kids offers parents several options that sets them apart from typical email accounts.  They make monitoring your kids very easy.  You can authorize who can email them.  They may only be allowed to send emails between you and maybe grandparents.  If someone tries to email them that you have not authorized, you can see who this is and what the email is.  There are no inappropriately placed ads.  You can also set time limits, so that kids are not using their email during certain times.

Caty is our only child that does not not have email account.  We have truly not had a real problem with our other three kids, but she has a bit of a problem with self-control online.  So I have been putting it off, even though the other three kids use their accounts really just for schoolwork with me.  So Caty was very excited to get started.

Safe Email for Kids allows kids to set up their own email screens.  She really had a lot of fun with this option and changes it a lot.


Her biggest thing is sending me funny memes that she likes.  She is working on typing more, which goes hand-in-hand with her spelling and writing struggles.  



I am able to email her with information like logging into her accounts (she needs constant reminders about online class information).  I can also email her a daily list, etc.  


As Caty grows though, I can also adjust her settings.  Internet safety is the whole reason that you want to start using Safe Email for Kids.  But as kids learn and show their new responsibility, settings that you initially set up for them can be adjusted.

As kids grow and become teenagers, you can also adjust their address to go from @kidsemail.org to @kmail.org.  You can still monitor their emails, but their email address is more for teenagers.

Safe Email for Kids also offers a Read It feature for students who are still learning to read.  This is a great option for students who may struggle for certain words.  It wasn't a feature that Caty used, but she knew it was there if she needed it.


There is also a fun Drawing Board feature that lets children be creative and send out cute emails to family and friends.  (Sorry I can't find my email from Caty when she was playing with this feature.)


Caty is really enjoying having her own email now.  She keeps her screen open on her laptop, to watch when I email her with assignments for extra links.  You can choose a monthly fee to try it out, or pay annually for all the features that Kids Email has to offer.  It's very budget friendly, and really does help keep our kids safe on the internet.


Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Kids Email Safe Email for Kids from Kids Email.  Click on the link below to see what they felt about this program.

Safe Email for Kids {Kids Email Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kayla Jarmon Books Review




We recently had the opportunity to review three books from author Kayla JarmonThe stories were A Boy and His Dog, Don't Forget Me (Discussion Book Series), and Dying is Part of This World (Discussion Book Series).  



There is such a bond between children and their pets.  In most cases, their pet is really their first best friend.  It usually doesn't matter whether it's a reptile or a dog.  They feel the pain their friend feels.  In the story, A Boy and His Dog, the young boy wakes up each morning with his best friend right by his side.  And like most of our dogs, his best friend stays at his side and is up for almost all the adventures that the boy wants to go on.  

A Boy and His Dog is a very cute story of adventures that many kids do not even get to do in our modern age of technology.  Kids just do not get outside and play in the dirt.  I really liked this aspect of reading this full-color story.  Lydia looked at me and asked why they would dig for no reason...lol.  A Boy and His Dog is written for elementary aged kids, but I could really see this being a great gift for older boys and their best friend.  I'm envisioning putting his dog's paw print inside the front cover and dating it as a memory book for when he becomes an adult.

A Boy and His Dog is a great reminder of the strong bond between pets and their human!


Kayla Jarmon also has started releasing a Discussion Book Series.  These stories are meant for story times together with parents and children.  They open up discussions about tougher topics.  Don't Forget Me is the story of an unborn child who is having conversations with God.  As we were reading Don't Forget Me was a cute tale of this baby who is learning about all the sounds it is hearing from inside the womb.  The baby is speaking with God and having discussions about the parents and even about the new room that they will be gaining soon.  But most of the conversations that the baby was having ended up God telling him....



Even when the mother was giving birth to the baby, God reminded the baby that even though he was listening to both the baby and his Mom at the same time, God has the ability to hear all.  And he doesn't leave people alone, even if we feel like we are all alone.  This was a great lesson and discussion to have with the kids.  That's why I took a screenshot of the above page....it's a great reminder for us all on a daily basis.

The second book in the series was Dying Is Part of This World.



Dying is Part of This World is an easy-reading chapter book.  There are illustrations throughout the book, as well as scripture references to read with your children.



The young girl fears the death of her loved ones.  Her mother has a discussion with her about her feelings and how she should does not need to have those fears.  Even though we all die, we have hope.  At the end of each chapter, there are also Discussion Questions to help carry on this hard-to-have conversation with your children about death.


Kayla Jarmon used her very own feelings to write this story.  It is written from the heart and the content shows the thought and caring in the pages.  The best part of this book, you can actually prepare your children for feelings they may have in the future should they lose someone they care about.  It is written with a heavenly view.

Kayla Jarmon is a talented children's author.  She writes her stories from a Christian view, as you can see through her Discussion Book Series.  I highly recommend checking out her titles with your children.  We can't wait to see what else she has in the works!!

All of these books will soon be available with an audio option for struggling readers.  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review these stories by Kayla Jarmon.  Click on the link below to read their experiences with using these books in their homes.

Discussion Book Series and A Boy and His Dog {Kayla Jarmon Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

10 Commandments of a Homeschool Mom