Friday, July 10, 2020

Progeny Press Study Guide Review - Animal Farm and My Side of the Mountain



Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.


We recently had the opportunity to review two e-study Guides, My Side of the Mountain e-Guide and Animal Farm e-Guide from Progeny Press.  These guide introduced new books for our teenager to enjoy, but it also gave me help to keep up her reading comprehension lessons for summer reading with little work from me!


Progeny Press has written these study guides, E-Guides from a Christian perspective, so applicable scripture memory and questions are included with each chapter.  The mission statement for Progeny Press has caused me to love their materials even more.

"To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!"


Progeny Press Study Guides combines literature, critical thinking skills, along with Biblical text.  The Study Guides provide a great way to encourage your student's love of literature, and also give them scriptural reminders about behaviors to discuss. 

When classically educating your child, one thing parents can do is draw out as many educational experiences as possible in literature books.  This can become a time consuming endeavor, but Progeny Press has done all of the work for you.  


My Side of the Mountain is the classic tale of a young man who sets out to find himself.  After being told by so many that he was not made for the outdoors and working in the outdoors.  He sets out with only $40.00 and a few tools and string. Will he be able to reach his family's homestead in the mountains?  Will he be able to make it there?  Sam captures and befriends a falcon, who makes a great friend and helps with supplying food.  Does Sam really find a place where he belongs?

The My Side of the Mountain - eGuide  can be used at your own pace.  The questions are very though provoking with each chapter.  They encouraged Caty to really think.  But at the same time, due to her learning disabilities, she struggled a bit with writing the answers and really getting her thoughts lined up.  The My Side of the Mountain - eGuide really adapt to their learning style by allowing them to move at whatever speed they are most comfortable.  One day I had her just type up her answers to the questions, instead of handwriting out the responses.  The eGuide gives students the ability to type in their answers and print the pages if that is what they need at that time.

Each eGuide breaks down the study/reading of the book into a certain amount of chapters being matched up with questions.  Included also are questions and activity suggestions that include areas of interest in geography, science, math, and also language arts.  So when using a Progeny Press Study Guide, you are really getting a total study unit.

The other tale that Caty has started is the Animal Farm eGuide and store.  Animal Farm is a classic tale of a farm that is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals.  This tale has shown to be sort of a fable for grown-ups exhibiting the evolution of a revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism state.  It is required reading for many high school students in literature.  


This tale is causing Caty to struggle a bit more, since it is for high school level literature classes.  So the critical thinking questions are a lot more challenging for her.  But she is enjoying the story.  I definitely rate this as an excellent study to use for your high schooler in their studies.  I am going to use this with Lydia when she finishes up her current eGuide.

Vocabulary is presented in terms of both definition and use of sentences.  I really liked how this was presented.  It wasn't just presented as, this is what this word means.  Caty had to create sentences using the vocabulary in her own sentences also, looking at the means and also the antonym of the word too. Since vocabulary is a weak area for her, this really pushed her brain to look for answers. 

Each guide includes ideas for field trip activities (which we really could not take too many of due to our restrictions), art, research/science questions.  For example the My Side of the Mountain - eGuide includes ideas on researching types of plants in your area.  This is something that Caty is really into right now.  She wants to learn about edible plants.  So this was a fun science activity to do alongside reading this book.

We have had nothing but success with any grade level of eGuides that we have gotten from Progeny Press.  They are definitely a bonus for homeschool families.  They are easy to use.  Packed full of information.  Completely budget friendly for families.  The bonus for our family is that they are written with a Christian viewpoint, so when a student is struggling to understand how material could fit into their lives, there are scriptural points that they can use to point them in a direction to turn to their Bibles to help them apply it to their lives.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review various eGuide literature studies from Progeny Press.  Click on the link below to see what materials they reviewed and how they used these products in their home.

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}


Thursday, July 9, 2020

MaxScholar - MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software Review



Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.



We recently had the opportunity to review the MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar.  This program can be a big help to families with students who are struggling with reading skills due to conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD, processing disorders or other learning disabilities.

MaxScholar is based their program on the well-known Orton-Gillingham reading approach and strategy.  The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program can be used on both computers (PC/laptops) and tablets.


Caty has a comprehension delay in her processing of material, which causes her trouble breaking down words whiles she is reading.  This is something that she has struggled with.  She reads very well.  In fact, she can read above her grade level.  But she does not always understand vocabulary by just reading the words around the word, and she struggles with remembering letter sounds. This has created frustrating learning times for her.

So we started with the MaxReading and she took the pretest. Since this program was created for kindergarten and up, it's important to test student's on the basics and make sure that they understand.  Caty passed through the MaxReading placement test and the program then adjusts to the level that she needs to be starting to work on.

She and I have separate logins.  Under my account, I can get a reading report of what she scored.  Many days she works through her materials on her own.  She is older and this gives her a sense of independence.

MaxScholar does not leave parents in the dark about using the Orton-Gillingham Software.  There are downloadable instruction guides to use the program properly.




There are several tutorials that MaxScholar provides for parents to make sure that you are using the program to the fullest.


Other new programs added to MaxScholar include MaxPlaces.  This allows children to explore throughout the world.


MaxBios introduces kids to historical and cultural individuals from around the world and cultures and careers.

MaxMusic is becoming a favorite of Caty.  She is loving reading musical lyrics from favorite songs.



We have been using MaxReading the most with Caty.  It was created for Kindergarten and up.  Many students will start at the first level, which is MaxPhonics.  There is also a vocabulary program called MaxWords.  When students first login, they will take a placement test.  The MaxScholar program will place the student at the level they need to be at automatically.  It's very important that you do not "help" the student through the placement test, so that the program gets an accurate test of what the student's struggles are.

I have used the paper Orton-Gillingham book system when Caty was first starting to read.  I struggled to keep the lessons together.  I LOVE MaxScholar.  I like the way that lessons are presented.  I literally need to do nothing more than track her progress and watch for areas where she is struggling.  The program grows with your child as they are making improvements in the skills they are struggling with.  I would recommend it even for older students who are struggling and need some extra help.  They are the ones that want to use online material and yet do not want the cartoon characters, because they feel they are too old for that.  MaxScholar has been created to keep the student's attention and not be overwhelming with too much sensory.

We will continue to include MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software in Caty's weekly schedule.  She has started to grasp the elements of literature, including the main idea and supporting details.  Her comprehension skills continue to improve, as well as her spelling skills with the use of MaxWords and MaxReading.  The confidence that is she building is perfect as she is approaching her middle school career.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were asked to review MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar.  Click on the link below to see how they used this program in their homes.
MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Planning for High School and Beyond



I have been searching the internet for some extras for the girls.  I wanted to share some programs that I found (Not all links are free.):


Home Economics 
Home and Economics with Howcast
High School Home Economics with Plain and Not So Plain
Creative Living Skills from Glencoe
An Old Fashioned Education
Cooking/Food Safety
Cleaning
Teaching Your Child to Clean with FREE Homeschool Deals
Chore Cards from Five J’s
Lessons from Clorox
Printable Chore ChartHome Cleaning with Pinterest
Gardening

Kids Gardening
My First GardenGardening for Kids, Fun and Inspiring Ideas
Sewing and other Needle Crafts
Crafts and Fabric LinksSewing Book, Lessons for beginners
Online Video Lessons by Craftsy
Easy Sewing Projects for Kids
History of Fashion and Design Tutorials
Share your designs on DIY!
Crothet Lessons with Craftyminx
Managing Money
Practical Money Skills Lessons,  Resources,  and GamesVisual Economics for Kinder-2nd grade
Hands-on Banking for All ages
Checkbook LessonsMoney Instructor, “a reality based personal finance course for young adults”
Financial Literacy for High School
Consumer Math Worksheets
Economics Lessons for Elementary to High School
Family Online Links for Economic
Dave Ramsey Foundations
Nutrition
Social Media and Technology
Other Life Skills


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Homeschooling in Ohio



The upheaval in public schools is unbelieveable.  Are you considering homeschooling? It is incredibly easy to homeschool in Ohio.  So do not feel overwhelmed.

Below I'm going to highlight some of the Ohio Homeschool Code that take effect for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  These do affect EVERYONE that reports in the state of Ohio.  (***I'm not an attorney and only helping people see the changes.  Contact the HSLDA for further information or if you are having district troubles.)


Brief overview of the current requirements to homeschool in the State of Ohio:



Parents agree to:
  1. Provide 900 hours of instruction per year;
  2. Notify the superintendent every year; and (**This has changed for next year!***)
  3. Provide an assessment of the students work or standardized composite score from National Standardized Test
How the certain sections of code were changed....

§ 3301-34-01 Definitions 

  • " (E) "Superintendent" means the superintendent of schools of the city, local, or exempted village school district in which the parent resides. " 
This part has been updated to include clarification as to where you send your Notice of Intent to Homeschool.  You are to send this notification to the superintendent of the district in which you reside.  Not to an educational service center.  This will help you when the district wants you to send it elsewhere.

§ 3301-34-02 Statement of Purpose  

  • This section was deleted, but the text and meaning of what was written there was moved to Section 3301-34-03 (A), instead. See the next section.

§ 3301-34-03 Notification

  • The following bolded text was added (with most of the first paragraph coming from what used to be in Section -02, as noted above:
"3301-34-03 (A) Consistent application of procedures and practices throughout the state by superintendents and parents is essential for children receiving home education and helps to safeguard the primary right of parents to determine the appropriate education for their child(ren).   

A parent who elects to provide home education shall supply the following information to the superintendent "no later than the first week of the start of the public school building the child would attend in the school district of residence or within one week of the date on which the child begins to reside in the district or within one week from the child’s withdrawal from a school: "

Until now, there has not be a "due date" for the Notice of Intent to Homeschool that we send to the superintendent of the district that you live in.  That has now changed.  Parents must notify the school district in which they reside by the end of the first week of school.  If you pull your child during the school year, you have one week to send your Notice of Intent to Homeschool to the superintendent's office.  If you move districts, you also need to inform within one week of you moving into the new district.

There is now a "due date" attached to our Notice of Intent to Homeschool.  I know I personally shoot for the first week of August to send in our Notice of Intent.  I'm now setting our due date for August 10th.  That will get it to our district in plenty of time with certified mail.  Wouldn't it be great if everyone in Ohio got their notices sent in during that 2nd week of August??  The schools would be bombarded with thousands of pieces of mail at the same time!


Another changes is the addition of the email option for contact....

  • 3301-34-03 (A)(2) Name of parent, address, email and telephone number (email and telephone number optional); 

Email was added as an optional contact method, along with phone number.  Ohio Law states that this is optional.  The district wants an easier way to contact you with questions.  But Ohio Law states all methods of official communication should be through mail, so basically in writing.  This helps to keep a paper trail.  If we provide them with that information, some districts have not been following proper procedures.  So we do want to be careful about the amount of information that we are providing to the district in this respect.
__________________________________________

Again, these rules apply to homeschooling.  Many parents think that online schools such as OHVA, fall into the category of home schooling, but this is NOT true. In Ohio, some online schools are considered community/chartered public schools.  If the online school is out of state and you have to pay tuition, or for the curriculum, you must register as being home schooled with your resident district superintendent, this is still considered home schooling.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me... renita@krazykuehnerdays.com.  I'll be more than happy to help you out or point you in the right direction.  Also if you are on Facebook, I highly recommend you find some local homeschool moms in the groups on there!
Happy Homeschooling!!!



Monday, June 29, 2020

Menu Monday





Joe and I are getting used to working extra and also I'm studying to get my TEFL certification to teach online.  I'm also teaching Outschool classes in Minecraft.  So between the virtual sports and this, we are a busy family again. 

Here's what is on the menu this week....

Sunday
B- Biscuit sandwiches
L- Leftovers
D- Baked chicken and rice


Monday
B - Cereal and fruit
L - Hot dogs on the grill
D- Cube steak and potatoes/gravy

Tuesday
B - Open
L - Tacos
D- Sp. Bolognese 

Wednesday
B - pancakes and bacon
L - 
chicken salad or crab rolls
D -Leftovers catch up

Thursday
B - Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
L - Leftovers

D- Enchilada skillet

Friday
B- cereal and yogurt
L- Sandwiches
D- 
Butter noodles and meatballs

Saturday
B- biscuit and gravy bake
L- PB & J sandwiches
D- Grill night?!?


Why I plan.....
Who isn't busy?!?!  Kids schedules, schoolwork, work, WOW!!  Life just does not stop!

When I create a menu, I include our schedule on it also.  In fact, I type the schedule into the table that I created first.  Then I know what is going on that day, and I can plan crockpot meals or even know if I need to have a make-ahead meal ready.  I do not use a fancy downloadable calendar, I simply use Microsoft Word.  I have a table I created on there.  At the bottom, I keep a running list of menu items that either I want them to try or food that is loved by all.

Hope everyone has a great week!!  See everyone next Monday!




Friday, June 19, 2020

Rebecca Locklear - Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 Review



Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.



We recently had the chance to review Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 - 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities written by Rebecca Locklear. It has been a very interesting studying this part of maritime history. 



I have a passion for reading about lighthouses around the world. A few years ago, Lydia and I did a full unit study about lighthouses along the Atlantic Ocean and the women who braved the waters and saved lives.  We have visited several lighthouses and even a Life-saving Station in North Carolina.  So I was excited to get a chance to read more about these important jobs in our U.S. History.


Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 is the perfect addition to a history unit following your study of the Civil War (if studying in timeline order). The U.S. Life-Saving Service was a group of civil servants that were hired to work along the remote areas of the US coastline where there may not have been a lighthouse near by.  These brave individuals were the ones that ships relied on when in distress.  If there was a wreck, they would row out to try and save as many lives as possible.

This is a part of history that most people do not know.  They are real heroes that risked their lives to save many.  This organization was really the first US Coast Guard in America.  

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 was written by a descendent of one of these very brave American surfmen.  Rebecca Locklear wanted to document what these individuals had to endure through their years of service.  As a person who firmly believes that studying the past is essential to our future, I applaud the wonderful program that Rebecca Locklear has created for the younger generations.

Studying history really can be boring.  I love it, my kids not so much.  So I try to make it fun and hands-on.  Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 contains 17 different workshops with over 120 activities.  The activities are written for students in grades 4 through 12, which is beneficial for families who are multi-grade level teaching.  




Each study includes historical photographs and extra activities, making teaching multiple grade levels easy.  You can pick and choose how in-depth that you would like the student's study of this part of history by determining what activities and research you want to assign.  


Other activities include life skill such as cooking/baking recipes, suggested reading and literature studies, and activities that can be included under some science topics also.


I will be honest, I did not even think about adding maritime studies into our history class.  I have read so many local history books about various areas, and those can be a little boring for kids.  The writing style and activities in Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 were written on a great level for kids to really draw them into the excitement of history.

Caty and I have been slowly working our way through Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915.  She is finishing up her study of the Civil War, and I was adding these fun reading sessions into her timeline of studies.  I like that the questions for thought are great and really emphasizes critical thinking skills.  It's great for open discussions.  Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 has been a great addition to our studies, and we love our discussions each lesson.

Rebecca Locklear has some exciting upcoming projects.  You can sign up for her newsletter by visiting her website. I can't wait to see more of her upcoming projects.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review two products from Rebecca Locklear.  Others reviewed Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915 and still others The Mayflower at Cape Cod Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with Life Today.  Click on the link below to see how they used these materials in their homes and what they thought of them.


***


Monday, June 15, 2020

Menu Monday





Joe and I are getting used to working extra and also I'm studying to get my TEFL certification to teach online.  I'm also teaching Outschool classes in Minecraft.  So between the virtual sports and this, we are a busy family again. 

Here's what is on the menu this week....

Sunday
B- Biscuit sandwiches
L- Soup and sandwiches
D- Turkey and Noodles w/ Mexican street corn


Monday
B - Fried potatoes and Eggs w/ biscuits
L - Turkey tacos
D- Homemade pizza rolls

Tuesday
B - Quesadillas
L - Chicken chunks and tater tots
D- Chicken pot pie

Wednesday
B - French toast w/ yogurt
L - 
chili dip w/ chips and veggies
D -Salisbury steak, augratin potatoes and peas

Thursday
B - Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
L - 
Baked fish, peas, macaroni & cheese
D- Enchilada skillet

Friday
B- cereal and yogurt
L- Loaded potato soup
D- 
Orange chicken, rice, and dumplings

Saturday
B- Biscuits and gravy
L- Udon noodle bowls
D- Lemon chicken picatta


Why I plan.....
Who isn't busy?!?!  Kids schedules, schoolwork, work, WOW!!  Life just does not stop!

When I create a menu, I include our schedule on it also.  In fact, I type the schedule into the table that I created first.  Then I know what is going on that day, and I can plan crockpot meals or even know if I need to have a make-ahead meal ready.  I do not use a fancy downloadable calendar, I simply use Microsoft Word.  I have a table I created on there.  At the bottom, I keep a running list of menu items that either I want them to try or food that is loved by all.

Hope everyone has a great week!!  See everyone next Monday!