Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer Staycation Ideas

We have all had those vacations.  You know...THOSE vacations.  Those vacations where you need a vacation, from your vacation.  Things are hectic, too touristy and you are so overwhelmed.

Those are the vacations that you realize.... maybe staying home and watching movies is actually a better option.  So I thought I would look up some ideas for summer staycations!

1.  Get outdoors!!  How many state or even National Parks are within an hour drive of where you live?  Pack a picnic and take a hike.  If there is a lake, pack some swim gear.  Most state parks and national parks are free to enter, or just a minimal fee.  So budget friendly.

2.  What about a food tour of your town?  Visit Yelp or ask friends about their favorite restaurants.  You could plan an international theme even.  Plan out the restaurants you want to visit and do a little research, dress the part even!

3.  Be A Tourist in your Own Area.  Google, "Places to Visit....(list your area)"  You would be surprised how much there is to see in your area!!

4.  Plan out meals, if you are not eating out.  Splurge on convenience items to make cooking easier.  Use disposable paper products to keep dishes simple.

5.  Create a drive-in movie in your driveway.  Bring a television into the driveway or borrow a screen.  Pop some popcorn, get some candy and order some pizza!!  Relax in your lawn chairs or on blankets and pillows!  (You could do this in your living room too...depends on your outside temps and weather!)

6.  Have a water fight!  You can get inexpensive squirt/water guns at the Dollar stores.  Buckets of water and soft sponges replace those messy water balloons (but feel free to use those too!)  My daughter has just as much fun playing in the water while washing our

7.  Let every family member choose something to do that day.  It can be their special day.

8.  Have dessert for dinner at least a couple nights?!?  How cool is that!!  We have ice cream for dinner nights.  It freaks out my kids.  They don't know how to act.  You could even have an ice cream sundae building contest!

Make sure to leave one or two days where you plan absolutely nothing....NO SCHEDULES!!!  I struggle there, even on out-of-town vacations.

Keep an eye on your budget.  Staycations can be just as expensive as going out of town.  So be careful if you are trying to save money.

Everyone have a wonderful summer!!

Math Essentials - Math Refresher for Adults Review

Math Essentials

Sometimes as an adult we struggle with teaching our children math, or are forced to take higher math when returning to college. We recently had a chance to review a great product, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials.  This is just what we adults needed!! Are YOU struggling with math?  Don't let it affect your ability to teach your child math or take on that higher education!

Math Refresher for Adults

Besides being a homeschool parent, there are many times where refreshing your math skills is essential.  You could be going back to college, applying for a job that requires a math competency test, maybe you are preparing a student for their SAT/PSAT....Math Refresher for Adults is a great resource for you.

Math Refresher for Adults takes you back to learning math problems, without relying on a calculator.  It starts out with not only the very basic of addition (3 digit and above) through division.  You will also be taken through fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, charts/graphs, and of course pre-algebra and algebra.  Helpful hints are provided on each page, but there are videos that match up with the lessons.  Then you can use the workbook as practice for what you are learning.

The lessons are brief, but provide enough practice and instruction to help build your confidence in the topic.  The videos are non-distracting, and provide a clear instruction of the topic.  You can see them work a problem and then you get to start working.

I like that the pages are not long, and practice is brief.  I know as an adult, I don't have time to work through a ton of problems.  I'm struggling just to find time to refresh and update my skills to help my kids.  

You can check your work when you are finished.  If you answers is not correct, then you can make adjustments.

Math Refresher for Adults is very budget friendly option for families.  The material covered is review of several grade levels, late elementary through early high school (depending on when you start algebra with your student or when they decide to start that level).  More advanced levels of geometry or trigonometry are not covered in this book.  But they with the basic skills that you are reinforcing, you could easily start tackling those subjects too.

Math Refresher for Adults is a resource that will stay on our shelves for several years to come as I have kids at such varying levels of math.  I know that I can pull it down as a reference and reminder to keep myself going and not let me kids see my lack of confidence in this subject!

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials.  Click on the picture below to see how they feel about this book and if it helped them with their confidence in their math skills.

Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bible Study Guide For All Ages Curriculum, Wall Maps and Time Line Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the Bible Study Guide For All Ages curriculum in the levels of Intermediate (3rd - 4th grade) and Advanced (5th - 6th grade) Levels, as well as the Wall Maps and Time Line and Label Book published by Bible Study Guide For All Ages.

We received lessons 1 - 26, which is the first books in this series that ranges from Beginner (ages 3 - Kindergarten), Primary (1st and 2nd grade), Intermediate (3rd-4th grade) and Advanced (5th-6th grade).  Each level offers you Student Pages and Teacher Pages, which you do need both to complete the Student Pages.  

Bible Study Guide For All Ages is an affordable, and different approach to studying the Bible with your family.  They provide a fun activity page to go with each section of the bible and scriptures you are studying.  Planning is very easy, since you just go in Lesson order.

The reason you need the Teacher's Guide for this program (remember...I'm not a fan of purchasing Teacher's Guides), is it provides extra information for you to read to your child as completing the pages.  It is really necessary and helpful to have the Teacher's Guide to make your study run smoother.

Student Pages

Teacher's Guide 

There are memory questions, and reinforcement from previous pages.

Here are examples of student pages and Teacher's Guide pages.  The top is the Student, bottom is the Teacher's Guide.

You can compare the top Student Pages to the same Teacher Pages.  The answers are provided, along with Questions to ask to draw your student out.  In the above pictures you can really see the extra material provided in the gray area of the Teacher's Guide.

There are also mapping sections.

Depending on your student, the material may take up to 30 minutes to complete.  You determine the pace.  You could easily cover a Lesson a Day, or just 1-2 a week depending on your Bible Study schedule.  I really like that you are able to have multiple levels at same time. The pages are created to their age level.  It does require you buying multiple levels, but while your pre-schooler is coloring a picture, your older student is coloring and filling in a map about the same material.  Saving you time!!

The kids enjoy these pages.  Bible figures are drawn fun and make Bible study a different experience.  The only materials you need are markers, colored pencils or crayons.  And your copy of the Bible.  You can use whatever version your family uses.

We also had the opportunity to review the large Wall Maps and Time Line and the Label Book.

WOW!!  This is such a cool option to add to your Bible study.  My problem, I have a huge area, or so I thought to hang them up and I was wrong.  Even after I quickly measured, I did not have enough room to hang the maps and the timeline.  So we had to improvise and lay it on the floor during our Bible study times.  This worked out well.

We were careful to not apply the labels in the creases.  So we were able to fold it back up easy.

Speaking of labels, you will want the Label Book along with these Wall Maps and Time Line.  This was a great resource!  Not only are the labels already printed and ready for you to cut out, but it is super organized for you.  Each lesson's labels are marked clearly for the Time Line or Wall Map.

And for people like me that need all the help they can get at times....there is a page showing exactly where to place the labels.

So I could easily follow along!

We also received the Bible Book Summary Cards ...These flash cards (which are larger sized and made of sturdy paper) are made to help your students to learn about all 66 books of the Bible.  They summarize in kids terms the information in each one.

Here are examples of the Bible Book Summary Cards:

Using the Bible Book Summary Cards from Bible Study Guide on Vimeo.

We have used all levels of the Bible Study Guide For All Ages curriculum and have thoroughly enjoyed the material.  Each level of 416 lessons will take your student and family through a study of the entire Bible.  You can do this at your own pace and the fact that you can do it with multiple age/grade levels is very helpful!

Still not sure, check out this video from Bible Study Guide For All Ages.

Intro to the Bible Study Guide from Bible Study Guide on Vimeo.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Bible Study Guide For All Ages.  Take some time to read about their experiences below.

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Master and His Apprentices - The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Review

We recently had the opportunity to review The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices.  What a great addition to our art history studies.  I only wish we would have had this earlier in the school year.

The Master and His Apprentices

Available in both print and e-book format, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective was created for students in high school to earn a full elective credit in art study/humanities.  

But what sets The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective apart from other art history programs is the perspective that it has been presented from.  This program presents art to students with a Biblical basis.  It breaks art history down into sections on a timeline and allows students to choose either self-study with this program or it can be teacher led for classroom/co-op use.

We had the opportunity to review the both the Textbook and Teacher Guide for The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective in ebook format.  The Student Textbook is packed full of information.  It really reminds me a lot of my college art history textbook from a few years ago.  The information was very easy to read in PDF format that I chose to use.  The textbook contains full-color pictures of artwork, as it speaks of art from a Biblical perspective.  Scriptures are quoted throughout the lessons.  If nudity is art is bothersome to your and your family, you do not need to worry with The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective.  It does not contain any nude art.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Student Textbook does not contain any type of questions or work to go with what your student is reading.  That information is contained in the Teachers Guide.  The Teachers Guide contains grading information, as well as a suggested schedule to allow your student to stay on track for finishing this program during their school year.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective does encourage important literature/research writing with their program.  Such important skills are needed for college.  There are four research papers that you can assign to your student throughout their art year.  Guidelines and suggestions are provided in the Teachers Guide, so no extra work and planning will be required of you as the teacher.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective Teachers Guide is where student questions and other worksheets are located to help your student to review and retain the information they are reading.  There are also four exams provided for you to hand out to your student, to make sure they are retaining the information they are studying.

Here is a sample of some of the questions from Chapter 3:

These questions are print ready, and before you stress about needing answers for the materials.... they are provided for easy grading.  If you are teaching this class though, they provide you a weekly syllabus and guide for each chapter to help keep you on track.  This allows you to plan out your time schedule for class preparation.

The boys and I read this program together.  I split the material down into smaller sections, so we were able to cover a chapter in roughly a week.  Some chapters took a little longer.  One suggestion I do have for The Master and His Apprentices, would be to make an audio option for their textbook.  With the boys learning disabilities, sometimes the reading out loud was overwhelming.  The boys struggled to read and understand independently, which is why we love to use audio textbooks.  

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a very budget-friendly art program for both homeschool families and co-ops.  They provide the ability for you to purchase reproduction rights to print for classrooms for only $2.00 per student extra.  You can legally print your consumable materials then for larger classroom use.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a full art history program.  I have found it to be well-written and enjoy the addition of scripture in our weekly reading.  As I have been studying artists weekly with the boys to fulfill their art history elective, I really wish that I would have had The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective earlier in the year.  It would have saved me a lot of extra research time while looking for artist/time period information.

I have decided that we will continue to keep reading The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective and using it to review alongside their World History studies from this past year, prior to starting level of that program in September.  We can definitely use this right alongside our history studies, and continue their learning.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, click on the link below to see how they used this program in their homes and how they felt about it.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}

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