Friday, May 1, 2015

May the 4th Be With You Star Wars Ideas

My hubby and kids LOVE Star Wars.  Me....I live with it.  But they love all forms of Star Wars whether it's the movies or an animated cartoon.  I am surprising the kids with a Star Wars Days next week. 

I have some themed foods planned for our meals and snacks.  We are going to watch the Star Wars Mythbuster Special and I plan on doing some Star Wars Science and Math activities.  

I wanted to share some of the resources that I have found while doing some research....

Star Wars Math

Addition - Carrots are Orange

Multiplication Pack- Royal Baloo

Star Wars Math worksheets

Star Wars math Centers

Multiple Digit Addition & Subtraction Sheets


Star Wars Writing

Write your Star Wars Name

Yoda Face Maze

Star Wars Notebooking Pages

Star Wars Labeling

Star Wars Build and Write Cards

Star Wars Science

Save Hans Solo

Liquid Lave Slime

The Homeschool Scientist

Star Wars Biomes Project

Preschool Packs

Royal Baloo

3 Dinosaurs

Unit study Ideas


Homeschool Encouragement

Star Wars Party Food

Here Comes the Sun

Pinterest Board of Star Wars Party foods

Craft/Art Ideas

Bedtime Math - Lightsabers

Princess Leia headband

Catch the Possibilities - Star Wars Scavenger Hunt 

****None of these links are affiliate links.  I just sharing these sources in one location to help you out.****

La La Logic Online Preschool Review

Sometimes we want to be super-parents.  But we all have to admit, that we can't be that way all the time.  We do need a little help.  We recently had an opportunity review a preschool lesson planner, LaLa Logic.  This was help that I wished I would've had at least 4 years ago!

LaLa Logic Curriculum from La La Logic is a 100 week program that provides parents with weekly lessons that parents can do with their preschool children.  Written for ages 3 - 6, La La Logic provides online brain challenges for children, as well as daily activities and a printable worksheet.  It is meant to work with small children's attention spans, and yet still allow them to reach for their fullest potential.

Caty loved the brain games online.  She looked forward to working on them each week.  Some of the activities were very easy for her, but due to her visual perception delay, a few of them provided some challenge for her.

She looked forward to these activities each day, and if I told her that her work was done for the day she would remind me, "You forgot my computer game."  

La La Logic also has a printable worksheet each week.  These are very simply and encourage scissor skills, gluing and other fine motor skills.

The worksheets are not "flashy" and simple.  I was able to print them easily (even while traveling) from the hotel computer.  You can see above that they encourage math logic, science, and visual perception activities.

The daily literature activities were very easy to incorporate into our weekly material.  Reading and discussing books together.  The best thing, you can really feel like a super-parent using La La Logic with your preschooler.  It cuts your planning time down to nothing.  You simply gather the few supplies needed and print your worksheet.  I really like the suggest family activity each week. 

Each week's activities are spread out daily, and short in time.  Children between the ages of 3 - 6 have shorter attention spans.  La La Logic takes that into account and this helps children to learn in a short, fun bursts with their parents.  There are also weekly family activities suggested to help encourage togetherness.  

I really wish I would've had this program for all my kids at that age, especially with the girls.  We did fun activities, but I planned forever.  I can't emphasize how easy this program is to use.

I am going to continue to use La La Logic with Caty through the next few months.  She is enjoying the challenges and it is so easy to include in our weeks. Since La La Logic is based on scientific studies and reading readiness and IQ tests, it really works as a therapy for Caty without being the boring software she hates doing for therapy.  The worksheets are really a nice easy addition also, so that she is not just working on the computer.

La La Logic is a great value for families.  I remember that we spent a few thousand dollars on Lydia's preschool education.  (Another reason I wish I would've had La La Logic a few years ago.)  La La Logic is only $29 for the 100 weeks of lessons for your kids and family.  It's a wonderful addition to help out parents whether you are planning to homeschool or not.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out La La Logic.  Take some time to see how they used this program in their homes by visiting the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

La La Logic Review
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!!!

May your showers be short
Your lunch organic without pesticides
And your day be bright!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Artistic Pursuits - Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition Review

Art can be so many things.  It can help a person express their personality.  It can tell a story.  It can be used for advertising.  Art is really all around us.  Lydia loves to work on art projects and enjoys drawing also.  She has construction paper art down, but she needs help in the area of drawing and adding details.  So we were pretty excited to get a chance to try out Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition ($47.95) from Artistic Pursuits

Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition (Grades 4 -5) helps to direct students to draw more realistic drawings.  The learn how to add texture to their art and details such as shading.  It teaches how to add more depth, instead of just drawing circles.  Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition provides instruction on 68 drawings for your student.  And all the drawings will be their own works of art.

Students can work independently to learn the basic elements of drawing.  They work on projects taht show how to use space, lines and shape to create their drawings.  Lessons are also given in how to add details and show depth.  The lessons are not only shown through simple drawings/illustrations in the book, but they also are shown beautiful works from the masters to find the elements in and see how they were used by those art experts.  

Lessons are also not long.  There is a short amount of reading and then lots of fun drawing.  Lessons that lean heavily in the reading area are not a favorite of Lydia (or most kids), so that has helped out a lot with using this program.

The materials for Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition are simple.  Drawing pencils, good colored pencils, sketching pad, scratch art paper and scratching pencil, and wide tipped black marker is all that is needed.  So I have really enjoyed the limit of supplies that are wonderful when we homeschool on the road.

Like I mentioned earlier, students can work independently.  You can see below that details and steps are laid out for students to follow.

Explanations and examples are given with each project.  Projects are assigned and it also lists the supplies that the student would need to use.

We are having fun!!!  Lydia has been doing two lessons a week currently.  We changed up a couple of the assignments because of the trip we were on.  

She has a thing for owls.  She chose to draw one of her toy owls.  She didn't need to add much detail to this project.  She was working on using the space wisely on her page.

 This was a little more difficult.  She was drawing green Peeps.  She is working on spacing also.

 She was trying to add small details.

 This one was the most accurate.  She drew her new robot dog.

She is working on drawing a tree outside the hotel room door.  

Lydia is enjoying the Artistic Pursuits Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition .  Even with her hand tremors, having the examples to see how to add the details to her drawing is helping her.  Since she is considering a career in graphic art the Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition seems to be the place to get her going.  She can see the difference between basic drawings and adding details that provide a look of texture.  

This is our third book from Artistic Pursuits and we will keep using their program since they are so easy to use. We will probably go through Elementary 4-5, Book 1 The Elements of Art and Composition one more time just to give her extra practice because she does struggle with tremors.  So she can get frustrated quickly.  You can easily reuse their books with all your children, you only need to get more supplies.  No need to spend a ton on expensive art classes when your child can learn at home.  Saves you gas money and travel time also.  

Artistic Pursuits provided several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew with copies of their various art programs.  If you have younger or older students, be sure to take a few moments to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see how the other books worked in their homes.  

ARTistic Pursuits Review
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Week 46 - The One Week We Had Vacation

So believe it or not, we took a vacation.  No we didn't go anywhere exotic.  We were at Home....yep, just at home.  We spent the week cleaning out our basement and garage area.  The front office where Joe works when he is home was in desperate need of help also.  Cases and cases of stuff has been taken from our house.  The sad part....there is still a ton to declutter.  I come from a long line of packrats, so I admit I need help.  Some things I need to hang on to, others are just taking up space.  So trying hard to simplify, simplify, simplify.

Lydia had two riding lessons this week.  Her first was with the equestrian team that she will be riding with this year.  They restarted the season this week.  And then she had her standard lesson.  She helped out a little at the stables too by cleaning some tack.

 She's not as nervous about cleaning the hooves.
We finally got Caty back in for a lesson too.  She has been scared since she was thrown off of a horse a couple months ago.  So we haven't pushed her, but kept encouraging her to try again.  Fortunately she did.  So hoping she sticks with it.  I know she enjoys riding, but just have to help her anxiety and memory of falling.

Joey worked on one of his presents from a few weeks ago.  He and his dad put together his Star Wars LEGO AT-TE...he did a great job

I had a histamine reaction this week that took me down energy and health wise for a couple days.  I have to be even more careful for a few weeks because of all the buds/flowers opening.  Spring allergies on top of the histamines in the food sent my body reeling this week.  Sometimes I can sneak a higher histamine food, this week I wasn't able to do that.  I spent most of Thursday trying to work and taking frequent rest breaks.

The kids had med checks.  We had a couple discussions with the doctor about guardianship issues and the new HIPPA laws since Joey is almost 15.  I wanted to make sure we have our bases covered.  There are several realizations that are smacking me in the face with the boys.  In my mine I knew some limitations they would face, but hoping that they would be able to overcome them.  Unfortunately though they may not be able too.  So I am starting to concentrate on what their next school year material will be and what focus will be on.

They also had a 4H meeting this week.  The kids are about half-way through all their projects, some a little further.  They had fun at the meeting.  Caty learned more about chickens and they did a chicken craft.

The others had their regular meeting, and then Brayden suggested freeze tag as the game to play.  All the kids liked that idea.  Even Brayden got in on the fun.

Caty started Young Athletes Soccer this week.  She loves going to soccer.  Lydia is a volunteer/helper for the program.  Both the girls love going.  

Realizing I only have 6 more weeks until the start of the next school year has hit me like a brick.  So I am thinking about what we are going to do while I am cleaning off the bookshelves.  I have TONS and TONS of books and curriculum.  Just need to decide.  The kids may have a week of vacation when we get back so that I can work on planning more.  I am going to do my best to theme out the weeks and plan better than I did this year.

Well we are off to DC again for fun.  One more week and then we will have two weeks at home.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!!!  See you next Saturday!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Toaster - Orphs of the Woodlands Review

Like many of you, I am always trying to find a book for my son to "want" to read.  He enjoys science fiction graphic novels, but not I struggle getting him to break out of his "comfort zone reading."  Even his video game choices are centered around his love of science fiction robots.  So I was excited to get a chance to review Orphs of the Woodlands Online Educational program from Star Toaster.

Star Toaster wants to make learning fun for kids.  They wanted to create a program that would encourage kids to learn to take advantage of the educational opportunities around them everyday.  They not only wanted an academic program, but also a program that would encourage children to be better people.  The program that came out was Orphs of the Woodlands ($19.99 for a 2 month subscription for up to 3 students). 

Orphs of the Woodlands (Grades 4 and up) is an online reading and educational program that combines several academic and life skills into one location.  It combines a 3 step learning approach:
  • A Reading Adventure
  • An Academic Adventure
  • A Fun Game

Joey has been using Orphs of the Woodlands for a few weeks now.  He is reading the current book which is, "The Treasure of High Tower".   He is really enjoying the story.  There are 15 chapters  in this book.  Joey is not one for reading online ebooks, so he does move a bit slower.  This presented a challenge for him to read the material online.  On the other hand, one really nice example of why ebooks can be wonderful for kids that struggle with comprehension issues is that Orphs of the Woodlands has vocabulary words highlighted and definitions are provided when you click on the word.  

Short videos are also included in the lessons that helped break up the monotony of reading.  They help draw his attention back to what he should be doing.

After you finish a chapter, you get to do "jobs" to earn money.  These are the educational games that help kids practice and learn new skills.  The jobs (or academic skills) cover a wide range of skills that include math, science, literature arts, history and even life skills.
 I never know how Joey will react to online educational programs, so I was waiting to hear that he didn't like it.  But he is having so much fun!!!

There is a sign in for Joey and a sign in for me so that I can see his progress and areas where he needs to improve.  

Joey is really enjoying Orphs of the Woodlands and we plan to continue as he keeps reading the story.  I love programs that combine many subjects together.  He doesn't even realize that he is learning extra.  I can't wait until the next book is available.  

The one thing that Joey gets frustrated with is that he has to read a full chapter in order to start his next set of jobs.  I wish the chapters were broken into small sections or split the amount of jobs and every so many pages there were more jobs for him to do.  

Something that could be added that would be awesome is having the book read to the student.  I know this is for older students, but for kids with disabilities and reading delays, they may struggle a bit to read these chapters.  Audio reading would be wonderful to help them out.

Several members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out Orphs of the Woodlands from Star Toaster.  Stop by the blog and see how they used Orphs of the Woodlands in their homes.
Star Toaster Review
Crew Disclaimer