Reading Eggs and Math Seeds for Your Homeschool

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
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I need to get the garden picked, and dishes done … and help with the animal chores. But first I want to tell you how much we have enjoyed Reading Eggs! This subscription includes both Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, their math program.

We have reviewed this interactive reading program before, and my children all enjoy it. This time I used it for the younger two, and they had so much fun. The program is suitable for children 3-13! Yes, you read that correctly- up to 13.
After farm chores, or school time I would let them each take a turn working through their level in the program. They enjoyed making their own little character, and working their way through the reading map.

Reading Eggs

I love that there is the option for desktop or an app for Reading Eggs and Math Seeds.

Students can (and should) take the placement test which is simple, and takes the guess work out of trying to find the just right level; the program does it for you! The placement test was right for both of my girls, with no problems. If your student is not familiar with using an online program/app (like my 5 year old) I would say help them with making the choices/moving the pieces during the placement teat, because that can obviously impact their level. But after a little practice of using the app, it becomes pretty intuitive for them.

My girls progressed well through their levels. I love that the added reading practice is fun for them; it helps on days when I may not have time to put together something fun for their practice, or we need a change up from the typical school day. My children usually get a little screen time after cleaning day is over, so Reading Eggs is great for that, too! They like having something new to try and I like that it is educational and helping with their foundational reading.

The parent’s screen for each child lets the parent know how that child is progressing, what they have read well, where there may be struggles for added practice purposes. There is even data for their growth in each area. This is great for anyone needing to give a district or state data, as well as just wanting to track progress for yourself.

Then there is Math Seeds! Math Seeds is an interactive math program for children ages 3-9 that helps them with problem solving and solidifying math skills. The structured lessons are fun and inviting for kids and easy for parents to set up. As you can see below, there are different areas to choose from in Math Seeds- after taking the placement test, students can begin lessons at their personalized level.

There are options for lots of fun games and skill building, test taking, spending points earned in the shop, and there is even a play room for children to explore. I remember doing some old school programs back in the 90s that had rooms like that- and I *loved* them. If your kids are anything like mine, they will love this! And you can rest knowing they are learning and spending time wisely.

Math Seeds

 

I think Reading Eggs and Math Seeds are great for foundation skills in both subjects; it is also a great supplement to your current schooling situation, whether at home or elsewhere.

Connect with Reading Eggs

Read more reviews from The Crew of Reading Eggs and Math Seeds by clicking the banner below:Learn to Read with Reading Eggs
Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using Christian Light Education for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in Saxon K worksheets  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do the Anatomy and Physiology  if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in No Sweat Nature Study again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Not Back to {Home}school-first day memories

August 16 was our first day “back to homeschool”, but it looked nothing like what most people would consider a school day. The joy of homeschool?- it doesn’t have to! We spent the day finishing the de-stemming process of this year’s elderberries, and then turned them into elderberry syrup.( I can share that recipe, soon!)

I’m not a super fun crafty mama that makes all the fun things, or plans events for the first day of homeschool.

Like most things we do around here- we try to keep it simple. We have a homestead, and there is a lot to get done this time of year (which is also why I usually school year round and take a short break in August for harvesting. But this year was just a bit different).

Most years we enjoy box day a week or 2 before school begins- this is the day that we open all our homeschool orders, and peruse the books, games, and curricula we will explore together for the next year.

Homeschool Box Day 2021

Then I get everything organized and put away for our first day. This includes organizing our Sonlight core books, tearing apart workbooks to be organized by weeks, and making everyone’s laminated weekly routines so they know what to cover each day.

The first day of our routine is usually just a school day. Our box day gets my kids pretty excited for the new school year, so we don’t typically have problems starting our homeschool days. But there are always small growing pains (mostly for me) as we get the routine down, especially on years we add a new student to the mix.

We have a rhythm that works well most days:

  • 530/600 Mama has coffee and Jesus time cause this gig requires a lot of Jesus 😉
  • 700 everyone out of bed- bedroom & farm chores
  • 730 breakfast and get baby up
  • Then I walk (or workout) while the kids play first thing, or do something farm related like massage a goat’s bloated rumen until she is better, or put up tomatoes for the freezer because they’re everywhere, or chase cows down because they escaped.
  • Then we all meet back for morning basket together
  • From there we move to table work
  • after that is lunch (usually about 1130/12:00)

Morning basket can take us a while, we do a lot of reading. Like. A lot. But that’s just how we roll; we love books and our core curriculum is literature based, so it just takes a while to get through it all. My kids color while we read and they could sit for hours to listen and discuss, I think.

This year our first “homeschool routine day” was on a Tuesday, so we met daddy for Taco Tuesday after work, and took our first day of school pics with nice clothes on 😆 normally it would just be pajamas…

We are all excited for the school year, learning new things, and reading all the books! The Kindergartener is especially enthusiastic for the start of her first real school year.

What is your first day of homeschool tradition(s)?




 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Bible Curriculum: Positive Action Bible Curriculum

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons for homeschoool- we “year round” homeschool, but take it pretty easy for a few weeks during summer. During this time we add in new supplementary programs/ books, do more nature study, and play in the pool a lot. My oldest (almost 5th grade) has been enjoying a Bible program, 5th Grade – Possessing the Land, from Positive Action Bible Curriculum. I have to tell you, it’s probably something we will add in from now on for Bible studies at this age. It’s a great program, easy to use, and we love it!

 

Upon opening our box from Positive Action Bible Curriculum, I found the soft over student book and the teacher’s guide binder. The teacher’s guide contains the answers on exact photo copies of the student pages. The guide is easy to use, and will help you with scheduling lessons; there are 5, 4, and 3 day options. In the past we have torn out pages from our books and put them into folders by weeks; I still like to do that with a lot of our curriculum. But for some of our work, I like to just have the kids do a lesson or 2 a week, and that’s what we have done here.

The student book has very high quality binding-no sheets falling out, yay!-with thick pages that have beautiful color illustrations. The images are not distracting, but are helpful to the lessons.

Each lesson is broken into 3 parts- A, B, and C. I love that in the front of the student book, there is a timeline of the Old Testament- this is such a great visual for students and parents. Each lesson contains vocabulary, a section to work on/ in verses that support the lesson topic, and other activities to get students into the Word of God. My 10 year old really enjoyed numbering order of events, the comprehension sections, and applying critical thinking to the meaning of verses.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

I love that she is learning a bit of basic theology regarding foundational themes in the Bible; we love having Bible time as a family, and I see her growing even more during those times. I also like that because Possessing the Land isn’t dry and drab, it encourages students’ love for learning the Bible, and getting closer to God through his Word. Each lesson shows the character of God, His faithfulness and unchanging love. You can find the scope and sequence for Possessing the Land Here.

Possessing the Land covers 35 weeks of lessons including topics such as:

  • sin and redemption
  • the mercy of Joseph
  • the law of God
  • our Holy God
  • the loyalty and reign of David
  • the suffering of Job
  • songs of Praise
  • wisdom and vanity
  • the minor prophets

The pictures are colorful, meaningful, and include maps and other visuals that help students understand the Bible in context. Some sections that require students to fill in verses give help on where to find the answers; this is so helpful for students who are just learning their Bibles, struggle with memorizing, or those who just need an extra help. I know this was encouraging for my daughter.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

The teacher’s manual is one of the easiest I’ve ever come across while homeschooling. There is no drawn out script or confusing charts to follow. Each lesson has an overview for teachers/parents, and is then divided into sections just like the student’s book-A, B, C. It gives discussion/explanation points and a Target Truth 💜 such as If God is with us, we don’t need to fear, and God does not forget about out His children. I love these. The teacher’s guide is really helpful and full of valuable information in a concise format. Thank you!

I don’t want to forget a little gem from the teacher’s guide, found in the back of each week- a character trait activity! Each week focuses on a character trait that can be learned from the lesson, but then also applied and discussed as a family. We are faithful when we keep our word and stay worthy of trust. God is always faithful to His children.

Man. Y’all. This really is one of my very favorite products we have used in our homeschool. It is such a  simple program to implement, but so impactful.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

If you’re looking for a Bible curriculum to supplement your homeschool, I would definitely recommend Positive Action Bible Curriculum. I’ve tried adding in other Bible programs and they’ve always been too dry or too fluffy (ear tickling theology). The pace of lessons in Possessing the Land make it something we don’t dread doing. My 10 year old really does enjoy it, so adding it in was seamless. I love that it isn’t preaching to my kids, but instead has them involved in their Bible, studying and thinking about what they have read for understanding.

I will definitely be adding other levels from Positive Action Bible Curriculum into our homeschool. I think my soon to be 9 year old will love it, too. Check it out here: 5th Grade – Possessing the Land

Connect with Positive Action Bible Curriculum

 

Read more reviews for Positive Action Bible programs from the Crew:

Positive Action Bible Curriculum Reviews

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Emergent Reader Fun with one More Story {a review}


Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

You may have seen me posting about One More Story over on Instagram. This has been so much fun for our family. One More Story is an app (or website, we tried both ways, but settled on the iPad app), where children and families can enjoy being read precious picture books. There are currently over 87 books to choose from, on five different book cases, with more to come!

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

After logging in, there are different ways for children to use the program. First click on the book cover to hear the title and author/illustrator. Then:

  1. Select the book you want to read, then click the green button below it
  2. Click Bendy, the bookworm site host, to have the book read to you, and pages turned automatically
  3. Click the green arrow in the bottom right corner to have the book read to you with the pages turned manually. You will continue touching/clicking the green arrow in that spot to turn each page.
  4. Click on the I can Read badge on the left to read a book on your own, with the sound track turned off. Any word can be clicked to hear it read by the narrator. Click the E in the lower left of the text post to hear the entire text read. Children can “echo” back the words.

There are also vocabulary words for each book (woo hoo!- I see a whole creative unit to be made using books from One More Story).

In both automatic and manual modes, the words are highlighted as the narrator reads, which is a proven way to help emergent readers understand text on a page- this is similar to following the words with your finger while reading to children. Pointing to/highlighting the words in a book teaches early readers that words have meaning on a page, and that we read left to right on a page. These aren’t just valuable, they are necessary pre-reading skills for children. Thank you One More Story, for adding this into your program! Emergent readers are actively learning, while reading a book, which is just what we want as teachers.

When a book is read in the I Can Read mode (number 4 above), any word the child clicks to have read to them, is added to the My Word List. This gives a young reader the opportunity to identify, review and master words that cannot easily be sight read for them. When a word is mastered, it can be dragged on My Learned Words. The My Word List badge is displayed on the last page of a book so that children can review the words they have learned from that book! This is such a great motivator, and an easy way to see how far your children have come. (Below I’ve added the word said to the My Word List.)

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

I love that the books have background noises/music to go along with them. The stories really are brought to life in this way; it makes them more real, and reminds me a lot of watching Reading Rainbow (throw back!). Maybe that is because it is original music by Sesame Street vet Robby Merkin. These stories are books we have on our shelves, or would like to- and that’s how I know they’re high quality. No twaddle here! Plus the narrators are just delightful-so much expression and easy to understand/listen to voices.

We found a new favorite book, Rattletrap Car, by Phyllis Root. This farm family is getting ready for a trip to the beach. But on their way, first a wheel falls off, then the floor falls out, the gas tank falls off, etc. Each time there is a catastrophe, the children have a creative way of fixing the car from their packed goods. (This is the perfect chance to make a family book club/activity and enjoy some chocolate marshmallow fudge delight. Mmmm) There are so many sound words (onomatopoeia) in this book, kids are going to love it! Mine definitely did, as did I.

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

One More Story-the best picture books read aloud any time, anywhere

We have really enjoyed using the One More Story subscription in our home. It is going to be perfect for a cross country car ride to the beach this year with young children. We are also going to enjoy adding it in as part of our summer homeschool.

Connect with One More Story

Be sure to check out the Review Crew blog to read more reviews!One More Story Online Library Reviews

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Easy Homeschool “Beauty” Resources

Maybe you’ve heard it before, “homeschooling isn’t school at home.”

It isn’t crisis schooling, or virtual school. Homeschooling goes beyond “school time.” Homeschool is where we can explore art, history, music, handicrafts, Shakespeare, astronomy, and creation without limits. These (and other) subjects are often what we call the “beauty” subjects.

Homeschool is about keeping the love of learning, that fire of curiosity God gave us at birth, lit. Homeschool mamas (and dads, too) want to educate our children well, but do it in such a way that encourages our children to be life long learners.

We have an abundance of resources at our fingertips to help add a little excitement and beauty to our homeschool.

Pic Source – CC0 Licence

What’s In The Mail Today?

My children are obsessed with getting mail. One set of grandparents sends postcards from all of their travel locations, and the kids send and receive letters to all their grandparents. How exciting! If you dont live near town, there are lots of places that sell stamps besides the post office . You can set up a writing station (my kids use a giant boot show box) with envelopes, stamps, pens and paper. Let them write to their little heart’s content. We still have a lot of practice to get writing friendly letters down, but the 9 year old has it down just about perfectly.

of course it is also a perfect way to connect with those we love.

 

Listen To That Music

 We know music is excellent for brain development so adding it into our days has been important to our family.  It can also be great to create a calming environment for children (and mom) to work, so this could be something to think about.
However, if you do have instruments in the house, then you may want to include these in your plans. After all, it’s always more fun to use our bodies, rather than just work with paper.

Something like a keyboard and an app is simple and fun. Piano Maestro is one of our favorites; my kids have learned so much by using it just 1-2 times a week. We subscribe to Practice Monkeys for violin and will soon start piano.

Some of our Favorites

Resources such as Read Aloud Revival Premium Membership, You Are an Artist!, and Audible can all be great additions to homeschool.

Encouraging a love for learning can be as simple or as involved as we want. How you educate your children is up to you. And it is beautiful!

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Learning About Other Cultures in Your Homeschool

In our homeschool, we love learning about other cultures. We have done so by using Sonlight Curriculum, watching documentaries, and doing fun activities.

When our kids go to interview for a job one day, there’s a strong possibility that the person on the other side of the desk isn’t part of the same culture that they are. Learning about other cultures promotes respect for others, love, and a true Christian attitude.

One of my very favorite resources for teaching world cultures is Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time.

Featuring a carefully curated reading treasury of the best children’s literature for each area of the globe, as well as practical parenting suggestions and inspiration, Give Your Child the World helps moms and dads raise insightful, compassionate kids who fall in love with the world and are prepared to change it for good.

Learning about Other Cultures

Pexels Source CCO License

 

Experiment With Cooking 

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to explore a new culture is with cuisine. You can think about trying out some different recipes in the kitchen, and letting the kids join in on the fun. The best part is a lot of these recipes aren’t difficult to learn or master and they are healthy, too!  For instance, try a recipe for Sambar that can be prepared in minutes and is sure to be a family favorite.

Try a New Experience/Trip

After reading good books and trying new foods from another culture, you might want to go on a trip somewhere. Obviously, there are some highly popular options for kids’ vacations. But to immerse them in a new culture, you may want to think outside the box here. There’s a ban right now on a lot of European countries due to the Coronavirus. However, this will likely settle down by the summer.

During this time, you should have a wide range of options for family travel. But even looking in your own backyard at cultural grocery stores, shops, and experiences will be enough to create a family memory.

Provide Them With The Right Resources

This could be as simple as choosing a different type of film for a movie night with the family- Disney+ and Amazon Prime are full of documentaries. Instead of the classic Disney film, why not explore some of the options from other cultures on your fav streaming service? You’ll find that there are some fantastic possibilities here. 

Sometimes we have friends or family that can help us submerge our kids in a new culture- spending a day with someone cooking foods, preparing for a celebration, or just chatting is a great way to learn about areas and peoples of our world.

Our favorite way to learn is through good books. There are so many wonderful children’s books that help kids understand how other cultures live.

So often we grow up only knowing and understanding the tiny bubble around us. Learning about others creates adults who don’t see color or differences as a prejudice, but as a celebration of who we are.

learning about other culturesPic Source Image Credit CCO License


Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Horses in History with Mattie Richardson {a review}

Y’all know when there is a chance to review a book in our home, we jump on the chance. =) We have been reading the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. Formerly known as North Dakota’s Teen Author, Mattie has written a series of books your children and family will love!

Appaloosy Books by Mattie Richardson

Each book centers around the story of a horse (or horses) from history-of course as a mom and homeschooler, this greatly appeals to me! My history buff daughter, 9, also loved the historical aspect of the books, and how the stories were told from the horse’s perspective. Mattie has written books full of love, adventure, integrity, and strength. All characteristics we want for our children. I hold my book standards pretty high; we don’t need ugly words and harsh language to get a point across, and these books definitely held up to my standards.


The first portion of each book begins with a dedication, which sometimes offers some insight to the author’s inspiration for writing the book. Dusty’s Trail, told from the view point of a horse on the Pony Express, begins with an article about the Pony Express, first published in 1860. Next, the reader will find a section of Words and Terms You Should Know. This section is in each of the books, with a small variation. In Day and Night, Mattie has made Civil War-era Words and Terms Used in this Book section. Golden Sunrise offers a Spanish Words Used in this Book section. So each book has a great intro to the topic through a helpful guide in the beginning; my daughter often referred back to this while reading, as did I. Appaloosy gives us the Nez Perce Words and Their Meanings as a helpful glossary to better understand as we read.

Appaloosy Series

The books are nicely bound, with a colorful paperback cover. Day and Night comes in at the thickest with 148 pages, Appaloosy with 125 pages,  Golden Sunrise with 98 pages, and Dusty’s Trail at 66 pages (plus a few un-numbered informational pages). Some books have a few illustrations throughout, the text is appropriate for early readers (not too small), and the pages are a smooth, high quality, crisp white.

Appaloosy is about a horse who wants nothing more than to be wild and free, until he finds the love of a girl named Faith. But when he is stolen and escapes captivity, Storm must decide if he wants his freedom or to go back to Faith on her family’s farm. My 9 year old says:

Faith gives her locket necklace to take Storm home from the man who had him. She was only the 2nd person he let ride him, of all the people that had owned or ridden him. I like his decision and the way the book ended.

Golden Sunrise tells the story of Cheyenne and Jared- “Jared is a man who wants to marry Olivia; they’ve been courting for about a year. But then he has to go off to war to fight for Texas’s freedom. He rides Cheyenne throughout the war, and they are buddies. Cheyenne becomes friends with Davy Crockett, which was really funny. I won’t tell you the end, but it is sweet.”

Golden Sunrise

Day and Night was my daughter’s favorite of all the books. “This book is about 2 horses, Shiloh and Tucker, they take turns having a chapter, so it can be confusing if you don’t pay attention. Tucker is the older horse and Shiloh is the younger sibling horse. Shiloh is lighter in color and smaller; he is gentle and gets very attached to people he likes. Tucker is older and brown. Neither of them wanted to fight in the war but Shiloh was stolen by a girl in the Confederacy, and Tucker got sold to the US army. You will have to read and see what they go through and if they find each other again.”

We also enjoyed using Mattie’s Enrichment Guide for Day and Night, along with the answer key. It includes: vocabulary, history, comprehension, creating your own stories, further reading, and even more! These include activities, coloring, developing character attributes for a story, biographies, geography, and the list goes on! This is definitely worth the small purchase price, and something you can integrate into your homeschool for a large range of ages.

 

Dusty’s Trail is about a boy, Levi who runs away with his horse, Dusty, to join the Pony Express. “When someone starts stealing the horses and killing their riders, Levi and Dusty push through more runs  (I think 3?) until they find someone they can tell. Eventually Levi gets captured, Dusty gets separated from him … and you have to read the rest (haha).”

Dusty's Trail

As you can see, the books were greatly enjoyed by my oldest daughter. They will be wonderful reads for my horse loving 5 year old. These books will be best understood by those 8 and up, but I think they can be read aloud to just about any age.

Mattie Richardson is clearly a talented young lady, she has more books coming out, that I know we will be reading! We have enjoyed the Horses in History Series immensely. There are countless way to use it as part of a homeschool curriculum, and they are wholesome books.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Auditory Health for Children

baby hearing screen

Image Credit: Pexels

As a parent, there are many things we have to look out for when it comes to the health of our children. We feed them nutritious food, make sure they’re moving their bodies, brushing their teeth and take care of them when they’re sick. It is easy to let hearing and ear health get overlooked. If a child has a problem hearing, it isn’t visible, and often, until talking age, a hearing problem can go unnoticed. 

For the sake of child’s development, it is essential to look out for any hearing issues as early as we can, because from the moment we are born, we begin to develop language- which means any hearing loss needs to be detected and treated as early as possible. If you are worried about your own hearing health, then you can click here to find out more information about what you can do about that. 

If you have a young baby, there are some essential hearing milestones to look out for. Most newborn babies will startle or jump if they hear a sudden loud noise. Then by three months a baby usually recognizes their parent’s voice, and by six months a baby can often turn their eyes or head toward a sound. By twelve months, a baby can usually mimic some sounds and produce a few words.

As your baby becomes a toddler, signs of a hearing loss can include limited, weak, or no speech, being frequently inattentive, having difficulty learning, or becoming easily frustrated when there’s a lot of background noise. These can also signal sensory processing problems, so make sure you’ve done a little homework before speaking to your pediatrician. They can recommend a good occupational therapist if needed! You can use ear defenders to reduce background noise when you are in a noisy environment; we use them often in our home during homeschool. It helps my 7 year old focus on his work while I am teaching the 5 year old to read.

A child’s ability to hear can also influence social skills, the ability to both read and write, and learning to assess their environment- so the right medical and occupational therapies are important when needed.

To develop spoken language, children must be able to hear speech clearly and also to hear themselves. Although hearing loss occurs in the ears, the real affect is on the brain, as it is the auditory center of the brain that make sense of sound. The ears receive sounds and send signals to the brain, where they are processed to give meaning. 

If you are worried about your child’s hearing and have noticed that they are asking you to repeat yourself more often, or you think they’re not paying attention, then perhaps it could be something more. It is important to go and get it checked out early on, by a professional, who will be able to give your child the right treatment. 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Mid Homeschool Year Update{2018/2019}

You’ve been asking, so here it is:

We have made it to March, which is actually pretty far past mid year. I will break things down per student/age and what we do as a family.

This is going to look like … a lot. I think I say that all the time. We loop schedule our extras, so extras are on a continuous loop that we don’t fret over doing every single day. Because my 8 year old is a very independent learner in most areas, she has a lot of independent-learning-style subjects, as you will see.

Keep in mind we do a LOT of oral learning via reading, memory work review, and research interest led learning. I have each child tell us what they’re learning about so everyone can learn from everyone, in a school house style environment.

Mid/End of Year Homeschool Learning Update

In our homeschool, like most, learning time isn’t confined to the table, so while we do the things listed below, learning expands over our entire day, our entire life.

Family Learning:

  • Sonlight Core B: History, read alouds, and Bible reading. We have LOVED the read alouds this year! (I paired up the SL read alouds with different Arrows from Brave Writer for my oldest, to make a LA program.)
  • Free Writing: We journal and freewrite as part of our family culture. All of my kids enjoy writing stories, and are especially into poems right now. Sometimes I choose something the kids have written to edit and revise together, so they can make their favorite freewrite into a polished piece. Most of these are in their personal journals or school writing notebooks. My husband often gets them journals when he travels to different places/countries, and they are filled quickly! I keep them in hope chest downstairs when they are full.
  • Science/Nature Study: We are currently working from Anatomy of Nature and Anatomy of a Farm; from these pages I choose a topic to study. We recently did honey bees and butterflies. Soon we will begin pond life, because spring is the perfect time to study from our pond! We have also touched on anatomy this year, and a few other topics as interest has arisen.
  • Handicrafts: We do a LOT of handicrafting around here. Almost 100% of it is child led-they have free access to most of our crafting supplies, so crochet, hand sewing, embroidery, whittling, wood working (simple with hammer and nails/saws) ink making, and the list goes on, are done by them during their free times. Thankfully, homeschool allows for a LOT of free time; boredom = creativity and problem solving.
  • Art: We follow a few favorites on youtube and online for art.  Our Read Aloud Revival premium access membership has live artist workshops we attend to learn to draw with wonderful illustrators and authors, these are my kids’ favorites! We also enjoy ChalkPastel.com’s tutorials, and may add their membership to our wish list next year!
  • We use the IXL app on the ipad (read my review here) for extra learning practice because they love it. Because I limit what they are allowed to do online for now, this is something special and educational for them =)
  • Games are part of our schooling and family time. We love games like 4 Way Count Down, uno, and Pass the Pigs. Any GameWright game is a hit here (I don’t do super complicated games). We add family games via Christmas gifts, birthdays, spring basket, and of course, homeschool box day!
  • Morning Basket: (AKA any time of day basket) This is just a fancy homeschooler term for circle time… you know, the thing we all did in preschool through elementary school? Calendar, read a book, learn about something new, review something, sing songs, listen to music, read poetry, do a fun activity, share knowledge, and/or handicrafts? Yep. That’s morning time basket.
  • Read Aloud Revival premium access membership: I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this resource! We missed this months events, due to illness (the flu had us sleeping/resting a LOT), but you can see the schedule

8 Year Old/2nd Grade

Lady works on different levels, anywhere from 2nd+; we still struggle with reversals but writing and spelling continue to improve with cursive and lots of oral practice. Numbers and math operation orders can be difficult with reversals, including reversing math signs. But she knows her stuff and likes oral math challenges against her little brother 😉

  • LA/Writing: We are using Brave Writer Arrows for copywork, and supplemental focus areas (in grammar and spelling), as a literature based approach. We are finishing a Narnia Arrow, because we read, The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe together this winter, and will continue the series through part of spring. All of my kids have just loved this, as have I (since I never read the whole thing as a child-fantasy wasn’t my favorite).
  • Reading: Along with the Arrows that go to read alouds, we are also working through AAR 3. This is not something we do often, because she is such a great intrinsically motivated reader. She needs more emphasis in spelling, so we do way more spelling practice than reading at this time. She does read aloud to me throughout our daily life, a LOT, so we call that reading =) We mostly use AAR when we “do” reading, because she really likes reading the readers to me-haha. At this point, the Arrows from Brave Writer are really enough for her reading and copywork.
  • Spelling: We are using AAS Level 2 with resources from Level 1
  • Vocabulary: We really enjoy the Wordly Wise books, especially their crosswords puzzles and activities found in them. She has learned a LOT from these.
  • Grammar: Along with the grammar topics discussed/pointed out in our Arrows, we are using Easy Grammar. Lady does this independently, without much help from me. We apply what she learns when writing spelling sentences, journaling, freewrites, etc.
  • CLE Math: Lady is working through grade 2 CLE math. We use Saxon math worksheets as a supplement-FYI-I do NOT have her do every page from Saxon. We use the even lessons, sometimes skipping some lessons between. Saxon and CLE are similar on levels, but each approaches their questions and answers differently, and I like this! I feel like it gives her a different way to approach math, and Saxon is good about reminding us to get our hands-on learning things out for practice! Sometimes we don’t even use the worksheet, but just set up hands on learning activities that fit what’s on the paper. It is really just a jumping off point for me, as well.
  • Extras: We loop extras throughout the week. Lady uses CLE’s geography and science workbooks. I am not a huge advocate of workbooks, however, the CLE books are very nice! The illustrations are simple, and very … nature study-ish; they’re lovely and fun to color with pencils if you have a art lover on your hands like I do. She is a visual and audio learner, so reading is one of her best learning super powers, however, she needs practice writing, which the CLE books provide. They bring us both joy, so we stick with them. I also find they are great for her to open on her own when I need to work independently with another child; I love hearing about what she’s learned in these!

Regarding workbooks– These are going to depend on your family’s learning style. Each child is different; some will be bored to death with workbooks! My 4 year old loves them, my 8 year enjoys them, my 6 year old is reading independently enough to do his math alone, and some language arts, but isn’t in love with workbook style learning (with the exception of CLE Bible 1). I am 100% okay with that, so for his age and development we keep them to a minimal.

6 Year Old Boy/Kindergarten

  • Language Arts: We are using AAR Level 2 for his reading. He just finished level 1.
  • LA Extras: We are using The Good and The Beautiful Level 2 for him as well. This is a beautiful curriculum that includes grammar, spelling, and reading, however we don’t use it that way. I will try to make a video on how we implement the program, but we use their spelling list for sight word spelling/common words, and enjoy their readers for extra practice. I really LOVE their practice pages and the grammar concepts covered. This is working better for him than Easy Grammar, at this point. Easy Grammar is a bit more dry and fill in the blank (again, my 8 year old begs to do this!), and that just isn’t Mister’s jam.

**I do not believe there is ever such a thing as too many books or readers at appropriate levels-hence me using so many different ones. Variety is the spice of a nurtured reading life haha**

  • Spelling: He is doing AAS 2 with his sister. Mister is a natural speller, and things that are harder for my 8year old (due to dysgraphia symptoms) are easier for him right now, so they’re actually in the same level.
  • Math: He is using CLE math 1. Math is super easy for this boy, he flies through his books and often asks for more than 1 lesson. He loves dictation word problems, writing math problems, and speed drills.

4 Year Old Girl/PreK

  • This one tags along, and we are slowly going through AAR 1. She can read CVC words pretty well.
  • We use Handwriting Without Tears; next year she will move into A Reason for Handwriting like the others have.
  • Math is Math Eggs K, she loves this book.
  • We also are using Rod and Staff Preschool Set, because *I* love them. They’re so simple, much like the CLE books we use, but they allow her some independent style work, which she likes.

The toddler tags along, of course. As summer creeps upon us, I won’t be doing as many “extras.” We strip down to basics when the weather is nice to allow lots of outside play-we have a farm that is blooming into spring and full of life, so we need to enjoy it while it lasts!

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

 

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