Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Inventors Lapbook - A Journey Through Learning {TOS Review}

Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide

We have been working through The Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide, published by A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.  This is one of many lapbooks they offer and one of several we have done in our homeschool through the years.   A Journey Through Learning was founded by 2 friends, Nancy Fileccia and Paula Winget when they recognized a lack of hands-on activities that covered their favorite homeschool subjects.   Convinced by their husbands to make their own materials, A Journey Through Learning was born and they now offer a wide variety of fun, high quality lapbooks, binder builders, and unit studies in many different topics!  We were so excited to be given a digital download of The Greatest Inventors to complete.

What is lapbooking all about?
In homeschool circles "lapbooking" is very popular!  A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks refers to lapbooking as "educational scrapbooking."  Using file folders and printable cutouts the child assembles the lapbook creating a wonderful learning opportunity and a lovely keepsake of their study.   You can become more familiar with lapbooking by watching this video on the What Is Lapbooking section of A Journey Through Learning's website!  Once we started lapbooking we were hooked and have completed several over the last few years.  A Journey Through Learning makes lapbooking simple with step-by-step instructions to guide you through each component.

What We Thought of The Greatest Inventors Lapbook:
We love science and we love history so we were pretty excited to review a study of The Greatest Inventors Lapbook with Study Guide which combined these two favorite subjects!  This was our first time creating a lapbook that came with an accompanying study guide and we found it to be really beneficial to our study!  The lapbook packet includes a one-page spread on each inventor allowing for you to read and fill in the components of the lapbook patterns.  We studied a LOT of inventors including:  Johannes Gutenberg, Benjamin Franklin, The Wright Brothers, John Deer, Louis Braille, Eastman and Marconi, DaVinci, Galileo, Edison, and several more!  We also focused in on what defines an invention and coming up with an invention idea of your own!  In addition to the lapbooking components, the packet also includes detailed assembly instructions with a map of pattern placement, a recommended schedule for completion & tips for various study choices, itemized list of needed supplies, a bibliography, suggested book list for additional reading, book log and extra notebooking & report pages!  

This was a one-stop shop for a complete unit study.  We were impressed by its simplicity and educational value.  The instructions were clear enough that both girls, working together, assembled the lapbook with no adult help.  

I do want to share a few more of my favorite things about A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks!  

While they offer a wide sweep of lapbooking unit studies and topics, they offer note booking & journaling pages and copywork, plus this is one of the few companies that offers curriculum specific lapbooks designed to match up to your favorite curriculum!  Apologia!  Berean Builders!  Classical Conversations!  4-H!  And a whole lot more!

  They also offer great Express Lapbooks that can be completed in just one week using a single folder!  There are SO many varieties and types of lapbooks and they are all SO good!  

Just to give you a small idea of our love, here are the lapbooks that we, prior to this review, have completed in our homeschool!  
Prairie Primer - Binder Builder
Classical Conversations Cycle 1 and 3
Science in the Beginning - Binder Builder
Cooking Day

My girls enjoy lapbooking!

You can stay up-to-date with A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks by following them on Facebook and Twitter!  And I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter!  Right now, when you sign up you can get a free 17th Century Lapbook plus, they offer sales often and I snatch up a lapbook nearly every time they have a sale!

A Journey Through Learning
Many of my fellow crew mates enjoyed reviewing products from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks too!  Some reviewed the Classical Conversations Lapbooks, Apologia Science, 20th Century and Inventors.  To read their reviews, follow the linky below!
Thank you so much for Swinging By!
Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer


Friday, August 25, 2017

What We Are Reading {BiblioPlan Weeks 1-4}

I can hardly believe that we are embarking on our 6th year of BiblioPlan!  This year we are studying Early Modern History, BiblioPlan's Year 3.  We started school pretty early and we have already slipped into week 4 before I realized that I haven't shared what we have been reading!  

The last few weeks we have been reviewing Columbus, Mary Queen of Scots, and King James. But the majority of our focus has been learning about the founding of Jamestown, Virginia.

What we are reading:

Our spine is BiblioPlan's Remember the Days Book 3, Early Modern Times.  This is new this year and recommended for K-6th grade.  We struggled a little with it last year and often supplemented with Story of the World to make it more clear for Maggie.  So far, this year we haven't had any trouble and have enjoyed it quite a bit!  It is really refreshing to just read from a single spine.  It frees us up to enjoy a wider variety of readers but also simplifies and streamlines our history studies.

Surviving Jamestown The Adventures of Young Sam Collier.  In this story, Samuel Collier is apprentice to Captain John Smith.  Starting in 1607 and ending in 1610, we follow the Susan Constant across the sea, arriving in the new world, and barely surviving the Starving Time.  Well written but the chapters are pretty long and we've had to divide a few of them up.  BiblioPlan schedules this over 4 weeks. 

Since we read every night, we often manage to finish a recommended read aloud with a week or more to spare.  Which works out just fine because it gives us and opportunity to read even more.  After finishing Surviving Jamestown we had a little over a week to choose another read aloud before dipping into the next scheduled reader (in week 5).  We chose to read from the My America series, starting with My America Book 1: Our Strange New Land.  This book nearly picks up where the other left off, starting in 1609 with the arrival of women and children into Jamestown.  Told from the perspective of Elizabeth we also make barely it through the starving time in Book 2 and finally a brighter future in Book 3.  These are short and we were able to read all 3 book in one week.

We also enjoyed reading the book Miracle: The True Story of the Wreck of the Sea Venture.  This is out of print but we were able to get a copy through interlibrary loan.  A very fascinating read that tells the story of the lost ship that didn't make it to Jamestown one year late.  Sea Venture ship wrecked in Bermuda where the colonists thrived, rebuilt their ship and finally limped into Jamestown.  (If you have younger kids I would highly recommend the reader "A Lion to Guard Us."  We just read this book over the summer and it is the story of the Sea Venture told from the perspective of a little girl.) 

For Maggie's history reader she chose Pocahontas and the Strangers.   

And Kayley is reading The Captive Princess: A Story Based on the Life of Young Pocahontas

I usually enjoy reading something from the High School selections but I'm afraid that I just haven't had time to get started!  Hopefully next week!

Thank you for Swinging By!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Everyday Homemaking - Everyday Cooking {TOS Review & Coupon Code!}

Goodness knows I have upwards of 20 cookbooks clogging my shelves at home, gathering dust, and otherwise just making me look more like a "cookbook collector" and less of an actual cook.  Thankfully I have found a cookbook that is working well for our busy family!  We are enjoying the newly revised, digital edition of Everyday Cooking by Vicki Bentley from Everyday Homemaking because she makes getting a delicious dinner on the table simple and fast!

Everyday Cooking

Growing up, my mother was alway good about having dinner on the table every night.  When my Dad walked in from work it was common place to sit down at the dinner table and enjoy food, conversation and fun.  Sadly, in many homes family dinner seems to be a thing of the past...  Our busy schedules often keep us from meal planning and meal preparation.  But, what if you could have yummy home cooked meals on the table in no time flat?  Well you can with Everyday Cooking!

What is Everyday Cooking all about?
Everyday Cooking began as a small chapter in Vicki Bentley's book Homeschooling 101.  The book Everyday Cooking was born as a result of readers asking for more tips, ideas, and recipes for budget-friendly family meals.  Everyday Cooking is more than a cookbook.  It offers everything from how-to's, time saving tips, kitchen equipment (including pressure cooker use), measurements, recipes and even a section that helps the homeschooling Mama build a curriculum around cooking!  I think this cookbook would be a great gift for newlyweds because it is user friendly to the novice cook.  For me, it answered several questions that I have always been too embarrassed to ask!  

What did we think of Everyday Cooking?
We had a great time experimenting with this cookbook!  First of all, it is just a really good read.  It has several different sections that shows you how you can cook large quantities once and then package them for freezing or refrigerating to make meal prep later in the week a snap.  Things like cooking a big pot of rice and dividing it into bags for freezing, pre-cubing your chicken into bags, salad toppings, and other chopped veggies.  I tried this with ground beef (I hate cooking ground beef from frozen).  I cooked up several pounds at once and then divided the cooked meat into several bags for freezing.  Worked like a charm!

We also tried several different recipes.  Sections divide the recipes into Appetizers & Dressings, Bread & Grains, Main Dishes, Soups & Sides, and Desserts & Snacks.  We were so pleased with the Zucchini Muffins (pictured above).  They were perfectly moist and even my kids insisted they could NOT taste the zucchini at all.  A win-win!  Sneaky veggies!  Happy kids!

We also gave the kabob marinade a try.  They turned out amazing.  The chicken had such a great flavor that we would definitely do this one again.  It was so easy to make that my girls, age 7 and 11, put it together with very little help...

Did I mention that our Kabobs turned out Ah-Mazing??  Yum!

Here is the part of this cookbook that I am most excited about...  My mother has a food allergy to capsaicin.  This is found in pretty much everything spicy.  Jalepenos, Cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.  This means that there are many canned foods that she cannot eat.  And it's always risky when foods are listed as seasoned with "spices" because you just don't know which spices.  With her allergy there are several things that she just couldn't have...but this cookbook was an answer to that!  I have never been one to cook from "scratch."  The very idea just seems overwhelming, but I was so pleased to find very simple recipes for a couple of things that my Mom has been unable to eat all this time.  With each recipe broken down, I was completely aware of each ingredient...  I've never tried to make my own sauces before, but,  I thought "why not?"  

So, we tried the Sloppy Joe.  Yes, it was very different than what you get from your canned sloppy joe sauce in ground beef...and we ALL thought it was SO much better!  We made it with turkey and nobody could tell a difference...  I admit that the addition of corn threw me, but we all enjoyed it and even my kids liked it!  Do you hear another win-win?  Hidden veggies!  Happy kids!  

We also gave a go at the Barbecue Sauce.  It's simple ingredients made throwing this together quick and easy.  We served this homemade barbecue sauce over pulled pork and were delighted that it tasted great!  It had been years since my Mom enjoyed barbecue and my kids liked it because it was not spicy!  We can't wait to try this one again over chicken on the grill.

There is a great section in the back of the cookbook that walks you through basic menu planning including sample menus and charts!  Another really great addition that I am looking forward to working through is the list of basic cooking skills for youth.  You can build an entire home economics course around this book!  

Oh, and earlier I mentioned that it answered some questions that I would be too embarrassed to ask.   Vicki teaches you through this book how best use a grain mill, a Bosch mixer, non-stick pans, slow cookers, a pressure cooker and more!  She also includes sections on how to cook healthy with low-carb and gluten-free sugar substitutes...

There are so many more recipes that I am looking forward to adding into our menu plan and sitting back down and learning more about cooking with a pressure cooker (not something I've ever been brave enough to try!)  

I highly recommend taking a look at Everyday Cooking!  As a special Thank You to TOS Crew reviewers and our blog readers, Vicki Bentley is offering a special coupon code!   
Hurry!  It expires soon!

Enjoy 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day (9/4/17)! 

Use Coupon Code:  TOS10books 

You can keep up-to-date with the happenings at Everyday Homemaking on Facebook!

Everyday Homemaking
Many of my fellow crew mates enjoyed reviewing Everyday Cooking, but many also enjoyed reviewing the Everyday Family Chore System!  Check out their reviews by clicking the linky below!  
Thank you so much for Swinging By!
Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Veritas Press Phonics Museum App {TOS Review}

Teaching a child to read can be a daunting task!  While I do consider my upcoming 2nd grader to be a relatively proficient reader, it was really great to go back and focus on phonics while exploring the new Phonics Museum App by Veritas Press!  A perfect supplement to any homeschool early learning program, the Phonics Museum App is great for families who often take learning on-the-go!  We tend travel often for various activities and we were excited to review this digital homeschool phonics app that we could download onto our iPad or iPhone for busy days!  We ran it with no problems on an iPad mini running iOS 10.3.2.

Veritas Press Phonics Museum
What is the Phonics Museum App all about?
Veritas Press is a leader in Classical Christian Education and the Phonics Museum App is a great way to get your child started on the path of reading confidently.  The Phonics Museum App is multi-sensory and perfectly designed for children ages 3 - 7 as a way to get them reading through appealing songs, games and fascinating museum exploration!  Children will learn fine arts, history and more as they investigate the Phonics Museum with the help of 2 friends, Percival the Knight and Miss Biddle, the museum curator!  
Veritas Press Phonics Museum
Set up is a snap.  After downloading the app Maggie began her exploration of the Phonics Museum by following the prompts to set up an avatar.  She chose a spunky little girl avatar!  Once that was set she begin learning right away by taking the elevator to the first floor where each step of the app was intuitive and encouraging.  Upon exiting the elevator she would "jump in" to a painting where she would spend time learning with Miss Biddle, Percival the Knight (technically he is talking armor) and a whole host of other fun characters.   At each stop she would learn a new set of letters, their sounds, play a game and trace the new letters using her finger on the iPad.  We haven't made it that far yet (we are on the 4th floor) but by the end of the app, with Miss Biddle and Percival's help, your child will be reading words, then sentences and then full books!
Veritas Press Phonics Museum
As Maggie has made her way through each floor of the Phonics Museum I receive an email from Miss Biddle letting me know what she is learning and how she is progressing....

There are many other areas to explore in the Phonics Museum!  
From the foyer of the phonics museum you have the option to go to view the paintings you have already learned...each one representing letters learned on each floor.  You can also go to the game room where you can play completed games again and listen and review songs that you have already learned.

What we thought of the Phonics Museum App:
Even though Maggie is already reading, she has really enjoyed working her way through this app!  She loves it!  There is much to learn, even for a child that can already read.  What is great about the Phonics Museum App is that it provides your youngest children with the same high quality videos that you would expect from Veritas Press's self-paced video courses.  They didn't cut any corners with our young learners, the videos are interesting and engaging!
I asked Maggie what she liked best about the Phonics Museum App and she said, "I like the games and the lessons.  Miss Biddle is fun and creative.  Percival is silly.  I already know how to read but if I had a friend who didn't this would be good for them."

We have enjoyed using this product from Veritas Press and I admit, it makes me want to take a much closer look at some of their other products, especially the self-paced video courses! I know they go on sale every year for an amazing low price!  

Veritas Press

You can keep up with Veritas Press by following them on Facebook or Twitter.  Don't forget to check out their Pinterest Board!  It is full of fun ideas to help you in your homeschool!
Several of my crew mates also enjoyed reviewing the new Phonics Museum App from Veritas Press! You can read their thoughts by clicking the linky below.
Thank you so much for Swinging By!
Phonics Museum App {Veritas Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Outside The Home {TOS Back to School Blog Hop}

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

Today we are blogging about what kinds of things homeschoolers do outside the home...  We do a lot!  I think it is a blessing for us to have the flexibility to go and do things while other kids are in school.  For us, we really LOVE a good field trip!  I think field trips are a fantastic way to bring learning alive!  We have enjoyed a variety of lessons through the zoo, museums, and more plus we having amazing neighbors that take the time to teach my girls things that I couldn't not teach.  
I'm excited to share our Top 10 favorite ways to find learning opportunities outside of the home!

#1.  Swimming Lessons
We have been taking swimming lessons at Diventures for 3 years now.  We usually only schedule swimming lessons for about one semester each school year.  Since we have to drive about 35 minutes one way, we get a little tired of all  the traveling, but we have found it to be worth it.  
We count it as PE credit.  

#2.   Piano Lessons
We have a next door neighbor who teaches piano!  It is wonderful to be able to send my kids next door on a bike or on foot to piano lessons.  I required 2 years of music and promised that, if they hated it, they could quit after the second year.  Well, this is their 3rd school year learning piano and I am so glad that they are enjoying it enough to continue.   

#3.  Handicrafts
I outsource this kind of stuff all the time!  Kayley really wanted to learn how to sew and we were excited that a different neighbor offered to help Kayley learn how to make some Christmas gifts for her family!  She goes every other week to work on sewing projects for about 1.5 hours.  Maggie is also making Christmas gifts by completing some no-sew projects with Gramma.  We have enjoyed learning crochet with Aunt Becky in the past and plastic canvas boxes with an elderly sister from church... There are so many older sisters from church who would love to help the girls with projects.  

#4.  Zoo
The zoo is such a great place to learn about animals.  (Of course!)  Animals are science...and science is cool!  Our zoo, The Dickerson Park Zoo, offers a homeschool class each semester called Zoo Keepers.  In Zoo Keepers the kids learn how a real zoo keeper works each day.  They clean out the enclosures, they brush the animals in the petting zoo, they prepare food, and make "enrichment materials" for the animals to play with.  The zoo also offers other classes during the year, but unfortunately, they fall on a Sunday and we have chosen not to attend.

#5.  Children's Museum
Our local children's museum is called The Discovery Center.  They offer amazing classes each summer!  Everything from Nano Technology to Chemistry to Anatomy.  The classes are a little steep, price-wise, but they have a lot of take-home science projects and it can be logged for several hours of science.  Our museum also offers parent/child dissection labs about 4 times a year.  How cool is that?

#6.   Inflight Entertainment
While traveling to and from many of these fun places, we enjoy squeezing in a little learning time by listening to audio books or having the girls watch the Inflight Entertainment.  We have a DVD system installed into our mini-van, which can be really handy for longer car trips!  Many times I do not offer choices for movies...sometimes you just have to tune-in to what is playing.  For instance, today we headed down to Branson...it is about a 1.5 hour drive and today's inflight entertainment will consist of  Getting to Know the World Greatest Artists: Rembrandt, NEST Entertainment's version of Pocahontas, and Torchlighter: The William Tyndale Story.  Art, History, and Church History!  Each compliments Week 3 of BiblioPlan Year 3.  Inflight Entertainment can also includes audio books and radio dramas.

#7.  Backyard Nature Study
Sometimes getting out of the house is as simple as getting out into the yard.  We just got our Nature Journals from The Good & The Beautiful and can't wait to get started with them.  There is SO much to see and do and it is all right outside our door.

#8.  The Bucket List
Many of the items on our bucket list are educational.  For example, Crater of Diamonds (geology), Fantastic Caverns (geology), The Magic House (science), Butterfly Palace (biology & botany), Crystal Bridges Art Museum (fine arts), Civil War Cave (history/science), and State Parks/National Parks.  National Parks are great because they offer the Junior Ranger Programs!

#9.  The Nature Center
Our local nature center offers the Conservation Kids Club.  They hold classes a couple of times each quarter about various topics.  This month is Insect-O-Rama.  We will learn about bugs and even get a chance to "eat a worm."

#10.  The Library
What more can be said about your local library?  Books, videos, games, and many other resources are found at your local library.  

And that is our Top 10 List of where we find learning outside of the home!

Thank you so much for Swinging By!

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Our Top Ten Favorite School Supplies {TOS Back to School Blog Hop}

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017
Today we are blogging about school supplies!  I love back-to-school time when all the school supplies are cheap and in abundance.  I thought that I would share my top 10 favorite school supplies that I use all year round.  I only have a few things that I consider "must haves" but I am happy to share each one with you!  I'm sure my Type A personality is flashing with blinking lights during this post.  Haha!  Enjoy my list of Favorite "Must Have" School Supplies!

#1.  D-ring binders
Nope!  Not just any old binder will do in this house.  They absolutely must be D-ring.  They keep your pages neat and tidy and the pages turn so easily in a D-ring.  They also must have a clear plastic sleeve in the front so that I can insert a binder cover.  I require D-ring binders in various widths and colors...because I color coordinate whenever possible.  It's all about organization and looking pretty.

#2.  Bic Xtra Strong, Break-resistant lead pencils
The 0.9 mm lead is what makes this pencil so awesome.  I have 2 girls who push HARD on their papers when they are writing and we often end up with broken lead.  (And I'm always afraid that the little lead piece is going to poke someones eye out!)  Tracking down a pencil sharpener is frustrating too and they only sharpen so-so, soooo clickable pencils are great!  Plus these particular pencils erase cleanly!  We buy these pencils in bulk!

#3.  Time-Timer
We received this as a review product over 5 years ago and we STILL use it nearly every day in our homeschool!  Time-Timer has come a long way since then and is now available in more sizes and even in "fashion colors!"  It is pricey, but I cannot believe how much we have used this awesome little timer!  It is quiet so it works so perfectly for reading time and math timed worksheets and so forth.

#4.   Reading Window
(I suppose this is technically not a "school supply")  I know, most people have a reading basket or bin but we have taken advantage of this window that looks out onto our screened in porch.  This year it is decorated as Hogwarts library!  I put library books on display in the window that I hope the girls will pick up and read out of interest.  I have found that having living books on "display" makes it more likely that one will catch their eye!

#5.  Double-sided Tape
I can't believe I didn't start using double sided tape sooner.  It works great for nearly everything that kids would normally glue...only there is no goopy, sticky, white, slimy mess!  We have used our double sided tape from everything to sticking little paper thingys on worksheets to assembling entire lap books.  Loooooove double-sided tape!

#6.  White Board
Why, yes, I do have a big white board hanging in my kitchen!  Doesn't everyone?  LOL!  We use this board for everything.  Diagramming sentences?  Spelling practice?  To-do Lists?  Menu planning?  Yep, pretty much everything.

#7.  Student Planner
Our favorite is the God's Word in Time Student planner.  I got mine from Christian Book Distribution.   They are inexpensive and sturdy.  I do end up writing things in duplicate because I write one for each girl every week, but they really seem to encourage independence.  A plus: they file away neatly with each child's schoolwork giving a record of our accomplishments for the year and checking the box needed for our state's homeschool requirements.

#8.  Colored & White Index Cards
We use these for everything.  Spelling lists, flash cards, spines in a 3 ring binder, little stand ups for reminders on the table...  We like the color index cards because, well, YOU know!

#9.  Headphones
For math videos, for piano, for audio books...  Ahhhh...  blessed peace and quiet.

#10.  A good printer and printer paper
I print a lot.  And I mean, a lot a lot!  I love PDF downloadable curriculum that allows me to print something, throw it in a binder or have it spiral or comb bound.  Then I can change my mind and re-print, print more copies, or scratch the whole thing and start over if needed.  I always feel that I have to keep hard copies neat and clean, but with PDF downloads I can write all over them, file them away...and print them again later!

I look forward to seeing what the favorite school supplies of my fellow crew mates might be!  I will enjoy hopping through all the blogs to find out!  Thank you so much for swinging by at Swinging On Small Hinges!

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017


Monday, August 14, 2017

Our Favorite Curriculum {TOS Back to School Blog Hop}

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

Hello!  Welcome to Swinging On Small Hinges!  

If you are visiting for the first time from The Old Schoolhouse blog I am so grateful that you took the time to swing by Swinging On Small Hinges.  I hope you enjoy your visit!

When I first started homeschooling I was SO nervous that I immediately jumped into an all-in-one video based curriculum.  I was so scared that I would mess up.  While we still have fond memories of that first year of homeschooling kindergarten I have since, over the last 7 years of homeschooling, loosened up a bit and have felt confident enough to branch out and try many new things.   And when I say many...I mean many.  Flexibility is one of the blessings of homeschooling!  Thank goodness for that because we have already made a couple of changes this year!

Some of my readers know that I posted our curriculum choices for our 2017-2018 Hogwart's Themed school year not too long ago but, believe it or not, we have already made a couple of changes.  (I bet you do believe it!)  The problem we ran into within the first week was that I once again have tried to do too much...  Does this happen to you too?  We barely started and I realized that our lives are just too busy to try to do the amount of work I had scheduled in a week.  Oops.  Somehow it didn't cross my mind that with piano, swimming & sewing lessons, doctor appointments, and a lot of service through our church...we would not be able to do that without stress and frustration.  I guess Mom is just a little too ambitious...  I streamlined almost immediately and had to put aside my pre-done, home made schedules in favor of a week-by-week schedule.  It just works better for our family...

Either way, without further ado, this blog post marks an "update" to our curriculum choices for 2017-2018.  I would love to share what has been working great so far...and what we have tweaked (or completely changed) this school year.


Click Here to share BiblioPlan! Thank You!

BiblioPlan History remains a favorite.  We have been using BiblioPlan in our family integrated history studies for 6 years now.  We love the flexibility, the readers, Remember the Days, the Maps, the Timeline...pretty much everything about it, but especially the flexibility!  BiblioPlan's family guide makes planning history so easy for all grades.  We love having both girls in the same time period at their own level and we appreciate that you can substitute books and it does not affect the schedule or literature.  I use it as a guideline and I flesh it out as I see fit each year.  This year we are studying Early Modern History, BiblioPlan Year 3.

We were all set to pounce on Guest Hollow for the first time this year with Kayley enjoying Knowledge of Nature and Maggie enjoying Little Otter's Anatomy.  Unfortunately that has pretty much fallen apart due to the sheer volume of living books we were trying to read for both history and science.  We were forced to streamline this almost immediately.  This is totally my fault...self-professed overachiever here!  
What we are doing instead to streamline science:
Kayley is still using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics Text and Notebook for her own personal study as scheduled in Guest Hollow (without the extra worksheets)...but she is also tagging along with Maggie in something we are trying that is NEW!
Maggie is using The Good & The Beautiful Arthropods Science Unit by Jenny Phillips (Kayley is tagging along because she just loves science)  If you haven't explored The Good & The Beautiful curriculum yet, I highly recommend it!  It accounts for the other changes we have made this school year.... (I wish I had found this earlier!)

Language Arts!
We were WAY too ambitious as far as Language Arts goes and within the 1st week I was already regretting my attempts at creating "rigor" in my homeschool....again...(Did I mention I am an over achiever?  I'm sooooo sorry girls).  Anyway.  I convinced everyone to scrap our over-kill Language Arts plans and try The Good & The Beautiful for Language Arts.  
Oh. My. Goodness.  It IS both good AND beautiful.  Not kidding.  It is advanced without being painfully rigorous.  What is amazing is that levels 1-5 are FREE.  Go, check it out!  
(You won't be sorry.)
Now, not only is it both good and beautiful but it really takes all of our different language arts books and complies it into one (or two) neat and tidy lessons!  Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Geography and Fine Arts are all rolled into The Good & The Beautiful.  It has really eliminated some stress for me and the girls.
Maggie is in LOVE with The Good & The Beautiful.  She placed into Level 1.
Kayley is still unsure about The Good & The Beautiful but wants to try "another week or two" before she makes a decision on what she thinks of it.  She placed into Level 5.  
Both girls are also using the handwriting portion of the program too...
Mom (me!) really likes The Good & The Beautiful.  
(I think I will write a review about it one day soon).

We are still loving Math-U-See!  Kayley has used MUS since the beginning.  She thrives under the mastery approach and really enjoys the videos with Mr. Demme.  
Maggie started with MUS as well, completing Primer, Alpha and 1/2 of Beta, but just hasn't flourished with it as well as I was hoping...so this year we are taking a break from MUS and using Christian Light Education Math 2 and so far (2 weeks in) it is wonderful!  Maggie seems to respond well to the flashcards, math drills and other tasks as assigned in the light unit.  My hope is that the more "spiral" approach to math will resonate with her and help her build confidence in math!

Foreign Language!
If you remember, we had big plans to do Prima Latina (Kayley) and Salsa Spanish (Maggie) and we haven't managed to get either of those programs going yet...  But, we are just our first month into this school year so there is still hope!  Right?  Riiiiiiight....  ;)
That's about it for our curriculum this year.  I wonder what everyone else is using?  I can't wait to read through all the Blog Hop link ups to find out!!!  

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

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