Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Caty's Fourth Grade Curriculum Choices

I thought I would share the materials that we are "starting" our year with.  We all know as homeschoolers, things change as we adjust to our children's needs.  But so far these have been a good fit for Ms. Caty.

Now these are not all typical 4th grade level items since Caty is slightly delayed in math and reading (but almost caught up).  But she's on grade level with other subjects.


Life of Fred - We started at basic for her early in the summer to help her get caught up.  It's definitely clicking.  She'll be on track by winter at her current rate.

Math Lesson for a Living Education - Book 3


Super Seatwork Series

And as she finishes her phonics review, we are going to work on just basic spelling lists.  I found some fun Dollar Tree books that will help her with that.  If she makes the progress I am expecting, she'll start Spelling You See by January and be up to grade level soon.

Language Smarts - Level E


From Adam to Us - Part 1 Creation to Cathedrals


Let's Go Geography


Draw Write Now Series


We will be doing Science Club again this year.  Various topics would be animal adaptations, habitats, chemistry and oceanography to name a few topics.  We meet weekly.

Foreign Language

Spanish 1- Middlebury Interactive


Caty has asked to take drum lessons.  So we are working on getting her into a drum program near us.  She also will continue active in American Girl Book Club, 4H and Girl Scouts.  We'll also have a bunch of field trips to go along with various studies.  For Sports, she just finished competitive cheer.  She'll be continuing in Bowling, Basketball cheerleading, and Youth Basketball.  So we definitely have a full schedule!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Journey Through Learning - The Greatest Inventors Lapbook Review

We recently had the opportunity to review The Greatest Inventors lapbook from A Journey Through Learning.  What a fun way to study history!

Journey Through Learning was created by two homeschooling moms Nancy and Paula, who never intended on running a business.  But they wanted more quality hands-on learning products for homeschoolers.   A Journey Through Learning lapbooks were born.

Now I will admit that my kids are not huge fans of lapbooks.  They have never been.  Generally we do things a little different at our house.  We have had the opportunity to use several of the wonderful lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning.  You might ask, "Why keep returning to A Journey Through Learning if your kids do not like lapbooks?"  ....  Because I love the materials provided!!

The kids and I generally use learning notebooks, instead of the typical file folders that make up lapbooks.  A Journey Through Learning provides parents and students with wonderfully written research material.  To be honest, unless you are really wanting your child to write extra research reports, the material that is provided in A Journey Through Learning lapbooks is just right for children with short attention spans.  It's thorough, but not overwhelming.  Depending on who they were reading about that day, I didn't actually bother to even check out a bunch of extra library books.  I would look up a short kid's documentary video to go along with the person they were reading about that day and between our reading and the video, we were set.

The Greatest Inventors lapbook that we reviewed was available in a PDF format.  The file was very easily downloaded and opened quickly on my computer.  That was the most prep that I had, other than printing out the materials that we would be using.  

The Greatest Inventors lapbook contains a wide variety of great inventors to study.  

This list of historical legends cover a wide list of inventors and modern conveniences that we take for granted.  There are actually 18 inventors that you could study.  You could easily spend just a week studying these individuals quickly or spread them out over a more extended period and study each inventor indepth and look up some extra hands-on activities and/or videos to go with each.  We chose the route of letting the boys do more extensive research and Caty only using the materials that are provided by A Journey Through Learning.

If you chose to go the lapbook route, A Journey Through Learning makes sure to include full instructions on how to create the lapbook and add each of the elements.

Components of the lapbook can be printed in black and white or color.  It's your choice.  We have done pieces both ways, it usually depend son the ink levels in the printer at that time.  But to be honest, the color pieces do look much better if you are creating a book that your student will be referring back to in their studies.

A Journey Through Learning has really created a wonderful product in not only their The Greatest Inventors lapbook, but in all their lapbook creations.  I encourage you to check out all the materials they offer, there's something for every age level, subject and topic.

We will continue to work on The Greatest Inventors lapbook, and can't wait to use more products from A Journey Through Learning.  Their materials make my lesson planning so much easier since I really need to just choose a topic, then print and go!

I cannot recommend A Journey Through Learning to fellow homeschoolers a lot.  They are one of my favorite resources for lapooks and "unit" study materials.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review various products from A Journey Through Learning.  Visit the link below to see how they enjoyed these products.

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Favorite School Supplies

It's that time of year again.... and I was actually disappointed that we did not need that many school supplies.  So I don't get to have a big shopping trip.  But I thought I would share a few of our favorite school supplies that are used everyday in our house.  A few are just for fun!

1.  Clipboards

I actually bought several animal and character clipboards from Staples a few years ago.  The kids each have their own.  They use them daily for worksheet and drawing even.  But then again our kids love just sitting on the couch, so it's helpful for them.  Plus they can keep their to-do list on them so it doesn't get lost.  You could also buy a bulk set off of Amazon and decorate them yourself with sharpies.  What a great art project!

2. Erasable Pens

Our girls are in love with these pens.  They use them constantly.  They erase easily.  So they use them not only for their schoolwork, but also drawing and coloring details in pictures.  They write smoothly and so far we have not had a smearing issue.

3.  Backpacks

Why yes, we use backpacks.  Each child has their own backpack.  I bought them their favorite character/animal, so they felt it was personalized.  The boys keep all their current weekly work in theirs, so they can carry it around.  Joey carries his items to work in his even.  If we are going to be in the van that day, we'll pack them full of their work and library books also.  Backpacks have been very handy in our house.

4.  Gel Highlighters

I discovered gel highlighters last year.  They are now our favorite highlighter.  There's no smearing and there is no bleeding through pages!  Although Caty views them as a cool crayon some

5.  3-Hole Punch

Oh my...I got one on clearance and it was been unbelievable.  I use this weekly as I prep lessons.  This is a must have if you are creating your own lessons.  It will save you time and frustration as you put together their notebooks.

6.  Colored Notebook Paper

I got this one day at Staples and the girls fell in love.  Caty loves to use it for her math problems.  It's just one of those fun accessories!

7.  Electric Pencil Sharpener

WOW!!  What a difference an electric sharpener makes.  Unless you are fortunate to be able to find an old-fashioned pencil sharpener from an old school, I highly recommend just spending the $25.00 and save yourself the headaches.  Ours has survived 6 years now.

8.  Papermate Mechanical Pencils

These have been great for Caty as she is working on her pencil grip.  The boys also like these a lot.  The lead is thicker, so it doesn't break as quickly as other mechanical pencils do.  You can find replacement eraser and lead for these also.  If you have a student who needs a thicker pencil, I highly recommend these.

9.  Scented Markers

This is definitely a fun accessory to have.  The kids love scented markers.  We have both the broad markers and the thin stix.  They are great!

10.  Roku Stick
We find this invaluable.  I can play Youtube videos on the television.  Que up documentaries on Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.  This has been a great addition to our school.  But you do need a new television to plug this into, and also wireless in your house.  ***I know most people do have this, but make sure to read the specs before purchasing this.***

These are just a few things we use daily in our house.  Next week I'll give you a list of our most visited websites for games and also printable curriculum!

Have a great week...linking up with other homeschool moms at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Everyday Homemaking - Everyday Cooking Review

We recently had the opportunity to review the book Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley and published by Everyday Homemaking.  Caty has been in Love!!

The Everyday Cooking ($15.99 PDF) by Vicki Bentley is a family cookbook is packed full of family favorite recipes and helpful tips for the kitchen.  This 198-paged family-style book is filled with tried and true (and tested) recipes, stories and experiences.  You not only get the recipes, but tips on shopping and lists to use.  

Our e-book was very simple to download in PDF format.  The full color pictures looked great on the computer, but we could easily print any pages we desired (in either color or black and white).

Included are full recipes with easy to read ingredients and instructions on making the dish.  These "recipes" include meal options and even recipes on how to make items we use everyday such as Biscuit mix and even help for measuring ingredients.

Helpful tips for planning meals are included.  As well as easy to use meal planning sheets that you can print to fill out and post.  These helpful worksheets help to keep you organized, but also help you to plan healthy meals for your family that are not only good for you but also help you to work on your food budget easier.

There is also a section that helps you to turn this informational cookbook into a study unit for your student.  It lists out how you can easily get this requirement done in your child's education that helps them with ever important life skills like cooking.

There's even a two page section on basic cooking skills that our children (and even ourselves) should know how to do or make.

The recipe format is easy to understand and read.  This is pretty important when younger children are learning to cook and want to be able to themselves.  

Caty loves cooking and the chicken and stuffing recipe was a favorite!!  She has had no problems reading and following any of the recipes that we have tried so far.

The biscuit recipe was very tasty and one the kids have asked for repeatedly.   The breads and grains section is very interesting.  She encourages one base recipe and then you can fix it according to what your family likes.  So if they wanted yeast sweet rolls, you can fix those.  But if you want savory, there are suggestions to adjust the yeast breads recipe to do that and several other suggestions.

Ever hosted a buffet??  This is a skill that many of us learn after much practice.  It takes many years of practice.  Well, Vicki Bentley helps you out with buffet hosting tips.  She gets you set up with many suggestions.

The recipe set-up and all the tips and tricks (including measurements and substitutions) included really make me want to suggest this as a great starter cookbook for those kiddos moving out on their own or even a newlywed couple just setting up their homes.  The price is great for a gift, since you can buy a print copy of Everyday Cooking for only $19.99.

I'm glad we got the opportunity to try Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley.  It's been a great addition to our emerging cooking kiddos.  I even had some great reminders on recipes I haven't seen for a while and tips on how to eat healthy and planning/shopping.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley from Everyday Homemaking.  Some even reviewed The Everyday Family Chore System.  Visit the link below to see how they used these in their homes.

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}
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