Pennsylvania Unit Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Pennsylvania Unit Study

Homeschool Review Crew 

I love to do unit studies!  We just finished a Pennsylvania Unit Study are based on a good book.  We recently received Pennsylvania ~Here We Come to review through the Homeschool Review Crew.  By the Way Book Series has several titles focusing on states and fun places that can be used for a great base of a unit study. I’m pretty excited for an Ireland book coming out this year(in 2017)!  I think our next unit study will be focused on Ohio.  My best friend just moved there which makes it a great choice!

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

Unit Studies From a Book

Do you enjoy unit studies and adding more to a book?  Reading at our house is a favorite past-time.  Everyday we sit and read books.  Unfortunately, not all books are equal in the knowledge area.  When I look for books most contain fluff, not facts.  Being Charlotte Mason fans, fluff is bad.  This recent book about Pennsylvania contains quite a bit of information. Because of all the information contained, it doesn’t require much extra though I tend to over add and over teach!  

Pennsylvania ~Here We Come focuses on two children who get to go around the state with the state mascot, Penny.  They fly all over the state to fun places.  They meet new people while also learning history and about nature.  It’s really a great way to teach all this to young readers.  My younger kids have asked me to read it several times as it does engage them.  

The book is 49 pages long.  A great length for kids to read themselves.  The length is perfect for breaking up into smaller chunks for reading to younger children as well.  It’s written in an engaging way that brings the history to life as the two characters are learning it.  I loved adding bits and pieces to it to make it into a Pennsylvania Unit Study.  We really love history which means we took a few days just to study the Civil War battles and what role the state played in the war.

 

Pennyslvania Unit Study

About the Books 

Written by Joy Budensiek and Illustrated by Stephanie Robledo, this is a very colorful book that keeps kids focused on what they’re learning and interested in what is to come next.  I have to admit that I found this a very cute book myself.  Fun facts pop up everywhere!  I didn’t know half of these neat facts that my kids can now spout off.  

The By the Way Book Series is a nature book series with a Biblical worldview.  You can definitely tell that these are a great Christian book series.  I like to follow a Charlotte Mason type approach to homeschooling and this fits right in.  It’s a book I won’t mind having on our bookshelf for years to come.  That’s how we judge books here.  No fluff and stuff in this one!  Just pure knowledge and information for the kids.  

My Thoughts

As I’ve stated above a few times we really enjoyed this book.  I could find my children off somewhere curled up with it over the course of the review on any given day.  When I’d need the book to work on part of our Pennsylvania Unit Study I’d have to search the house to find what child had it hidden away.

Want to learn more about this book and the others in the By the Way Book Series?  Go to the Main Blog Page for the Homeschool Review Crew and check out all the reviews.  Also find them on facebook.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

 

Renaissance Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Renaissance Study

Homeschool Review Crew

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
 

We love history and so we jumped at the chance to review History Through The Ages Project Passport World History Study Renaissance and Reformation through Home School in the Woods.  We’ve loved all the studies we’ve used from Home School in the Woods and were eager to start a new one!

As a member of the Homeschool Review Crew we were given a choice of several different history times to review.  While Ancient Egypt was appealing, I really wanted to do more with the Renaissance period so we chose Renaissance and Reformation.  It’s a great period of history that requires a lot of studying before you can fully grasp it all.  Other time periods that we’d love to explore at another time are Middle Ages and Ancient Greece.

 

Renaissance Study

 

This series of History studies is growing!  They just released Ancient Greece and are working on releasing Ancient Rome in 2018.  I love ancient history so much and can’t wait to be able to delve into these titles.  But first, the Renaissance study we have!

One of the reasons that we love the project passport series is that it makes history come alive!  It’s like you’re actually taking a vacation through time and across continents.  We go to several different places.  With this history study we have 25 stops that we make.  This means we get 25 different experiences from this time period in history that we can visit and learn from.  

Our Experience

Some of the study is up to you of course.  It isn’t going to come alive for your children if you don’t put some effort into making sure you are following the instructions to make it fun.  This is another part I love.  It’s all set up.  I don’t have to do all the leg work to figure out how to make this fun and what stops to make or what we should do at each stop.  

These studies are meant to last 8-12 weeks.  Because we love history so I often add other books to our repertoire and make our study last longer.  So for us, I’d say it does normally take the 12 weeks to finish it.  With that in mind we can do about four studies a year since we homeschool year round.  I really want to add some others in this year!  We’re loving Renaissance and Reformation.  Next I think we’ll swing into the Middle Ages.  After that Ancient Greece then Ancient Egypt and hopefully Ancient Rome will be available when we’re ready for it!  I’ve got it all planned out!

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
 

Because this is a well thought out and planned history curriculum you can easily use this for your main history.  If you like to flesh it out a bit with extra reading it can be your reading as well.  Add in a few science experiments or some study on science of the time period(especially during this study!!) and you’ve got another subject covered.  I love to get the most subjects from our studies.  This is an easy one to add to and make it cover more than just history. Plus, it’s one the kids love to do!

My kids have loved using this Renaissance Study and are eager to get to it first thing.  They’ve always loved history but actually “going” back in time and making it like we’re visiting so many fun places has really helped to make it come alive.  I only wish we were closer to some historical type villages from this time period.  That would be amazing!

About the Curriculum

A little about the curriculum.  I’ve already mentioned it’s an 8-12 week course.  You can purchase it as a CD or as a download.  We received the download to work with for this review.  Personally, I am more of a physical girl and print mine out.  I print the whole thing out once and then only print off the pages we need as we need them for the students.  Having it all in a 3 ring binder so I can read ahead and see what we’re going to need makes using this unit study easier for me.  Reading on a computer just isn’t as much fun for me.  Paper has a special place in my heart and I love flipping pages!  Just a little quirk of mine.

This study is geared for grades 3-8.  So, with that age limit in mind, we used this with all of my children that are in school.  I have a girl who is 6 who is doing K/1 this year plus two boys in 2nd this year and I wanted to include them in this.  Modifications are super easy to make so that you can adjust this to different grade levels as needed.  My two preschool girls sat in and listened as well but most of the activities they did not do.  They loved the art related items though.

There is so much extra with this curriculum.  You’ve got audio adventures to listen to, which are great by the way.  They’re not dull or boring and hold kids attention well.  A fun newspaper is also available to help you brush up on your “current events”, fun writing projects of your own, and so so much more.  We love that the audios are set up in a fun way.  Basically you’ve got a tour guide giving you a personal guided tour of all the famous sights and things going on in the time period.  Definitely worth it for this curriculum if you’re looking for something to engage your kids and help them learn.  You might even learn a thing or two too!

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about this particular passport study or some of the others that were offered for review to members of the Homeschool Review Crew please pop over to the main Blog Page and check out all the reviews linked up.  We’ve reviewed different ones and you’ll see those in the link titles.  You can also find Home School in the Woods on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google +.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

Traditions within your homeschool are a wonderful part of homeschooling.  They’re something unique to you and your children that set you and your homeschool apart from all the others.  You may have traditions without even realizing it.

 

Traditions Within Your Homeschool

 

When I started thinking about traditions within our homeschool, I wasn’t sure we had any.  So I started thinking harder.  And then I asked my kids what they thought our traditions are.  Find some fun traditions we have and we’d love to hear about some traditions within your homeschool!

A fun tradition that I’ve done with my children is studying holidays and their history.  We love learning about why we celebrate certain holidays and why they are important.  It’s not only a fun tradition but also a great history lesson.  History is our favorite subject!

Something I never thought of as a tradition was my love for read alouds.  We have several different read alouds at different times in the day.  Normally we have four different read alouds going on at a time.  One at breakfast, one at lunch, one at supper, and one at bedtime.  I’ll add to this and the why of it in a separate post. 

Other traditions include doing a lot of subjects revolving around farm life.  This includes gardening and having a specific vegetable that they cultivate.  Or chores.  Farm chores are a part of our homeschool and they reach each level of chores by being responsible and keeping up with their school work.

A fun tradition we’re starting is doing a hymn study first thing in the morning.  I’m tone deaf and had always found this to be intimidating, but with technology(and me learning how to use it) I’ve finally found a way to incorporate this.  Along with the hymn study is Bible verse memorization.

Play might not make it as a tradition in your homeschool, but for us it really is.  For children play is such a part of life that it needs to be incorporated into school and into learning.  I’ve found that we learn so much more when we learn it through play and fun.  It also tends to stick in minds longer this way.

In the last year I’ve also started diffusing essential oils during our school day.  This helps with focus and attention during school.  I’ll be sharing more about this in a separate post as well.

Need some encouragement?  Check out this post too!

What about you?  Do you have any fun traditions in your homeschool?  Any traditions you want to start?

 

Math by Mastery

Math by Mastery

Math Mammoth Light Blue CD Review

 

Math By Mastery

 

There are several ways to learn and teach math when you homeschool.  You can do math by mastery, integration math, etc.  Most of our homeschool journey thus far has been using a math that is integration in nature.  It takes a new concept and teaches it, plus integrates everything they’re learned up to that point.  This means that your child is doing a new concept plus several old concepts in each lesson.  Math by mastery is giving them a new concept and having them do several of that type of problem until they have mastered it.  Simple.

For some reason, maybe because it was such a simple approach, I never used any type of math by mastery until now.  We recently received a CD in the mail.  This was not a music CD though, oh no.  This was a Math CD!!  You’re not likely to believe all the excitement my kids showed when we took this out of the package.  It was like they couldn’t wait to do school!  And in fact, they couldn’t wait!

Excitement

What could cause such a response?  Math Mammoth.  Math Mammoth is a mastery based math program(math by mastery).  We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  This CD contains all that you’ll need to teach math for grades one through seven(1-7).  Each grade contains two workbooks, books A and B.  It’s all downloadable.  You can download it from the CD onto your computer and have your child do it right there or you can print it off and put them in a binder for your child to use at their desk or table.  

I have also found that my child who is five and is in the second book of kindergarten math from another company is able to do the beginning grade one(1) math with ease.  They do mention on their website that you should have your child take at least one placement test before starting Math Mammoth as they can be a harder curriculum than others.  I did have my older children take the placement tests.  Most were placed in the same grade they had been working on but others who do struggle with math went down a grade.  I’m hope that the math by mastery technique is going to really improve their math understanding.

Math Mammoth is aligned and goes above and beyond the Common Core Standards.  I don’t look at those and they don’t mean anything to my homeschool, but I did want to share that for those who follow their guidelines.  

Math Mammoth and the Large Family

The Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD is a large homeschooling families dream.  Or at least a long hoped for dream of this mom who has ten children!  I’ve dreamt of being able to not spend so much on supplies to homeschool my brood and this is it for math!  One CD to homeschool all my children through the 7th grade.  Plus, it only costs $180.00 through the Educents website RIGHT NOW to purchase it.  

Let’s do some math.  Ten children times seven years of math each equals seventy total grades to teach(I might have just exploded my own head).  $180.00 divided by 70 grades.  That’s only $2.57 per grade per child!  You can’t buy workbooks for that price.  Trust me.  I’ve been buying them.  Less than $3 for all that I need.  Of course, if I print off materials I’m also going to have to add in paper and ink and printer wear and tear, but you get the picture!

Right now I’m homeschooling the older eight of these kids with Math Mammoth.  I’ll talk briefly about each child, their age, and where they are in Math Mammoth plus what they enjoy or dislike about the program.  I do have some children who are considered special needs due to Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD), ADD, ADHD, Dsylexia, and general delays both physical and mental.  

Kids Views

For the kids views!  I have two who are done with 4th grade math in a different curriculum.  By the placement test they had mastered most of the 4th grade but we decided to start with 4th grade Math Mammoth.  We started at the beginning which meant they could whiz through it and then slow down when they get to a concept they don’t know.  Pretty sure they’ll be in the next grade sometime this fall.  Their ages are 11(girl) and 9(boy).  My son within a few weeks already is in the second book.  He loves math and really loves doing it on the computer.

Doing math on the computer is fun.  Or at least that is what my children tell me.  Both of the above kids love doing their school on the computer and they can do it independently of me which is a plus in my book.  So while one of them is doing math the other can be working on a different subject at the table and then they switch.  They each of course think they need their own computers.  Which brings me to the fact that you can use Math Mammoth on multiple computers.  

Even More Kids Views

Next I have an 11 year old girl who is delayed.  She just finished 1st grade math.  I decided to start her in the second grade level to see how she would do.  So far she’s doing really well but does not do well doing it on the computer.  This brings out another great point that I like about Math Mammoth.  I can print!  So, I printed off the first book for her and she is working through that with her pencil.  She’s happier and learning which makes me happy.

On down the line I have a 9 year old girl who I started in 3rd grade math.  This was a bit much for her as she is also delayed and has some learning problems.  I backed her down to 2nd grade math(love the flexibility) and she’s doing much better.  Some of her work she does on the computer and then we print off extra papers for her to use if there is something she’s struggling with.

Extras

These extra papers come from the Soft-Pak math software that also comes as part of the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  There are six programs on this part of the CD and you do have to download and install it.  With Soft-Pak you get Math Maker, Math Master, Math User, True/False Math Challenger, Language Arts Master, and List Maker.  

I love being able to make my own worksheets focusing on what area that child is struggling in.  I have not explored all the add ons with the Soft-Pak but what I have used I love.  It’s great for the parent and helps enhance the learning experience for the student.

Lastly I have three students doing the 1st grade level of Math Mammoth.  They are two 8 year old boys and one 5 year old girl.  My six year old girl is not ready for this level of math yet.  All of these three students have finished or are close to having finished the kindergarten level in another math program.  They are each moving at different paces and loving getting to use the computer for their math.

Cons

I do have one issue with this program . . . . I don’t have enough computers!!  We only have one computer currently for our family and my husband also has to use it for his self employed business.  We’re looking into getting a few more computers or possibly some tablets.  This will make doing math much easier for us as more than one can do it at the same time and I won’t have any negatives about using it!

I can whole heartedly recommend Math Mammoth and math by mastery to all other homeschool families.  Particularly those who are going to be homeschooling more than one child and would like to save themselves money.  Do I think this will work for everyone?  No I do not.  In fact, I may even have some kids who would do better with a different math, but I can endorse this math program as being one that my kids enjoy and do well with. 

Homeschool Encouragement

Homeschool Encouragement

Homeschool encouragement is something every homeschool mom needs.  Face it, the days are long.  Somedays you don’t know that you’re doing the right thing or if your children are learning at all.  Other days you’re ready to throw in the towel and maybe even didn’t do school.  And yet, there are those days where everything clicks and falls into place where you know this is what you’re called to do.

 

Homeschool Encouragement

 

So how do you get the homeschool encouragement you need?  There are several ways but it all depends on your needs.  For me, a major factor is having other mom friends who homeschool.  We encourage each other.  It’s important to have homeschool mom friends who have homeschooled longer than you as well as ones new to homeschooling.

The variety in your homeschool mom friends is needed so that while you are being encouraged, you are also encouraging.  Doesn’t make sense?  Think about it.  You are encouraging the new homeschool mom because you’ve stuck with it and are at a place in their future.  Likewise the mom who has homeschooled longer than you is now encouraging you.

Homeschool encouragement can also come from reading blogs like mine and all the other TOS crew members.  We share some of the nitty gritty of our days so you know you’re not the only one struggling.

I have to say my greatest homeschool encouragement doesn’t come from a fellow homeschool mom.  It doesn’t come from my family.  In fact, it doesn’t come from a mom at all.  My greatest homeschool encouragement comes from a good friend.  She’s single, she has no kids, but she knows me and she knows the challenges I face.  She lifts me up and encourages me while also making me laugh and view myself as a person separate from just a mom or just a teacher or just a homeschool mom.  I have an identity all my own and she makes me remember that.

I do also talk to homeschool moms.  Also, I love going to a local homeschool conference every year.  This year I’m going by myself sort of.  My youngest will only be ten months old so he’s still a nursling and will be attending with me.  It’s such a wonderful encouragement to go and hear other homeschool moms talk about their journey and answer questions that I might have.

Each of us will need a different level of encouragement.  We may need several homeschool mom friends.  Maybe we need to read several blogs or homeschool help books.  Your greatest encouragement might be seeing the love of learning ignite in your child’s eyes.  I have to say that is definitely a wonderful thing.

The Beginner’s Bible {Crew Review}

The Beginner’s Bible

Homeschool Review Crew

 

The Beginniner's Bible

 

Do you use a Bible with your youngest children?  We love The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz and recently received a copy of their new and improved version through the Homeschool Review Crew.  This Bible is geared towards ages 4-8.  It’s to be used as a read aloud with ages 4-6 and children ages 6-8 can read it independently.

Why a redo of a great classic?  Well, it’s the 25th anniversary of The Beginner’s Bible so they redid it to include new three dimensional artwork.  How cool is that?  My girls are loving this new Bible.  It’s great for our read aloud time.  The girls I have using this are ages three, six, and six.  One of my six year olds is able to do some beginning reading on her own.  She’s been reading us some of the stories with a bit of help while the other two just listen and enjoy the new art work.

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
 

So, how are we using this new Bible?  I find that The Beginner’s Bible is amazing added to our school day.  As we start our day I do a devotional with the kids after breakfast.  While the younger girls can sit and listen they rarely take away any of the big picture that the older children get from the devotional.  I wanted something that they could understand and also glean something from.  Something that was going to stick with them.  

Enter The Beginner’s Bible.  We read one story a day as we start their school.  I use one curriculum for my older kids and one for my younger girls.  There are just the three younger girls in their curriculum so I work with them first.  We read a story from our new Bible and talk about what the story means and how we can apply it to our lives.  Next, it’s easy to step right into our school lesson.  I particularly enjoy it when I can match a Bible story with what we’re learning that day.

My older kids even like our new Bible!  They had the original edition as part of their school curriculum when they were little and are loving comparing the artwork in the two editions as well as reading it straight through like a chapter book.  I’m blessed with kids who love to read so I’m not going to discourage them from grabbing this Bible geared to younger kids and reading it quickly in a sitting.  Who knows what they might pick out from a story that they didn’t understand all over when they were younger?

I personally recommend this Bible and think that The Beginner’s Bible makes a great gift for the young children on your gift list.  Whether it be for Christmas or a birthday or a just because they’re going to enjoy this book.  Definitely a book I feel should be on every homeschool library shelf and every little kid Sunday school shelf.

Want to learn more about this new Zonderkidz edition of The Beginner’s Bible?  Check out the main Blog Post where everyone has linked up their reviews.  You can also find them on facebook, twitter, pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Pirate Unit Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Pirate Unit Study

Homeschool Review Crew

Were they pirates?  Or were they really privateers?  That’s what our newest unit study from Homeschool Legacy is asking.  Once-a-Week Micro-Studies Pirates or Privateers: You Decide has been so much fun for us!  Keep reading and you’ll find out what my kids decided using this pirate unit study we received through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Pirate Unit Study

The unit study we chose to use is titled Pirates or Privateers: You Decide.  There were so many awesome choices it was really hard to choose just one.  This happens to be a time in history that all of our family likes though so it is the one that won out.  

Micro Unit Study

Technically this is a micro unit study.  This classification comes from the fact that it only should take four weeks to complete.  It’s geared towards grades 1-8.  This meant for me that all of my children got to be included in the unit study.  Well, almost all of my children.  My youngest is 5 months so he really didn’t care about the unit study.  My three year old loved learning about pirates and playing sword fighting with her older siblings though.  The 5 month old got lots of laughs and giggles from this!

All it takes time wise for this pirate unit study is thirty minutes three times a week.  That doesn’t seem like much at all really.  And it’s not.  This pirate unit study is really simple and fun.  I’ve used unit studies before(most from this same company!) and have to say that this micro unit study is even simpler than the normal ones.  It’s easy to use and doesn’t take a ton of prep work.  I like that idea!

My kids loved this unit study and really begged to do it on the days we weren’t using it(three days a week, thirty minutes per day) so I did some digging and came up with some books to use on those off days.  I created a book basket full of books on this time period both at sea and on land.  So we learned about the monarchs of countries, what wars were going on, what they were wearing and eating, etc.  Such fun!  My kids loved having new books in their book basket and I loved that they were spending extra time reading and learning.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

A note from a mom to a mom.  

This unit study gives you an optional read aloud suggestion of Treasure Island.  We read this.  It took over one of our read aloud spots for the day so we were reading it daily instead of just on the three unit study days.  We finished it rather quickly so we then added The Swiss Family Robinson to our read aloud time for the remainder of the unit study.  There are also some movie night suggestions.  One of our favorites to watch is Muppet Treasure Island so we made to sure to watch that on one of our normal movie nights during the course of the study.

A couple other Micro Studies that piqued our interest and are on our must try to purchase list are the Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims micro study and Victoria and Her World Mico Study.  They’re both also geared to grades 1-8 and look like loads of fun!  Another unit study that is on my list is Christmas Comes to America.  Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up so these would be wonderful to study RIGHT NOW!!

Want to learn more about this unit study or some of the other unit studies offered through Homeschool Legacy?  You can find all of the blog reviews linked up on the Main Homeschool Review Crew page.  Also find Homeschool Legacy on facebook.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Elementary German {Homeschool Review Crew}

Elementary German

Homeschool Review Crew

One of the many many languages I have always wanted to learn is German.  I want my kids to learn several languages as well.  Recently through the Homeschool Review Crew we got access to an elementary German course from Middlebury Interactive Languages.  Their German Courses are available for grades 3-12.  We received online access to their Elementary German program for grades 3-5.  

 

Spanish, French, German or Chinese {Middlebury Interactive Languages}
 

While this course is for Grades 3-5, I find that my younger children can also learn from it.  We love to listen and practice this together as a family during our homeschool mornings.  Even my three year old is picking up short phrases and words.  It’s so fun to see the kids interacting and using German words during our days!

The program itself is fun and engaging.  It uses fun stories and videos to teach language.  It’s a bit of immersion since they tell a story fully in German to start the lessons.  But the stories are ones that everyone will know so you can get the gist and make your own inference as to what the words mean.

My thoughts

I love that at the beginning of the course you have access to a list of all the stories that are going to be used.  This list allowed me time to make sure that I had the English versions in our house.  I’m a bit of a nerd and love to add more literature into our homeschool day so I made sure that we were reading the same books in English and in German at the same time.   Fun for me and the kids!  

Also, when you go back to the section mentioned above, you can click on a button that allows you to see all of the German phrases they’ll show on the screens and the English next to it.  I LOVE this!!!  It’s printed and in a binder for my use with the kids.  This way I can write some of our phrases on a blackboard or whiteboard throughout the house for practice away from the computer.

 

Elementary German (Homeschool Review Crew)

 

Another fun feature I took advantage of was the list of vocabulary for all 15 units at the beginning.  I printed those guys off too!  I have a chalkboard sticker on my refrigerator door.  Yeap vocabulary words in German get written on there!  It also let me plan ahead.  If I knew say we’d be learning fruit words one week I can make sure I have the fruit in question in my refrigerator so we can eat an apple while we learn the word for apple.  I’m fun like that!!

About the Program

Lesson 1 is all about family.  We learn the names for brother, sister, cousin, etc all while listening to the German version of Rumpelstiltskin.  It’s such a cute and fun way to learn the words!  Be prepared for your kids to run around calling each other brother and sister in German.  It’ll happen.  Ask me how I know.  

We’re working through the program doing one unit per week currently.  Though there have been a few weeks we did two units because my kids really got the words learned quickly.  It’s self paced though.  All the lessons are available when you’re ready for them and you can go back and do them again if you need to.

I highly recommend using Middlebury Interactive Languages Elementary German program.  Again, while it says grades 3-4 I personally am using it with some kids who are in Kindergarten, first, and second as well as a few preschoolers in addition to those grades and they are doing really well learning the words.

Learn More

If you’d like to see more about the other languages that are offered from Middlebury Interactive Languages make sure to check out the Main Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You’ll also find other levels of German and more reviews about Elementary German as well.  Middlebury Interactive Languages can also be found on social media through their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

 

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Improve Handwriting {Homeschool Review Crew}

Improve Handwriting 

Homeschool Review Crew

Our latest Homeschool Review Crew review product has allowed us to improve handwriting in our house.  The product is a download of Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting from Everyday Education, LLC.  

 

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

 

I was very pleased to get this review as I myself wanted to use this handwriting course.  Also, I wanted to see my older children’s handwriting improve.  This isn’t just a here is how you form the letters properly course.  It’s more of a here is how to make your handwriting gorgeous course.  And, it doesn’t disappoint.  

Old Made New

Let me touch on the entire product for a few minutes.  This is called Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting.  It’s not just meant to help improve handwriting, that’s just a side benefit.  The actual intent of this product is to teach any child to read and write in 60 days.  It’s a phonics course designed for a beginning reader or as remedial work.  The original of this book is very old and written by Caroline Joy Adams.  It has been redone and a foreword added by Janice Campbell who also happens to be the author of Excellence in Literature.

 

Improve Handwriting {Homeschool Review Crew}

 

We really did not heavily use the phonics portion as I was too excited to use the handwriting in italics section.  The phonics goes in a step by step fashion so that each step builds on the previous one.  As I mentioned above it can be used for a beginning reader, a struggling reader, or as remedial work for an older reader.  

While we did receive the ebook for download and review, a physical copy of the book is available.  If I were to buy this product for myself I would have preferred the physical product. This is just personal preference as I enjoy having a real book rather than just pieces of paper printed out.  I’m a bit old fashioned that way.

About The Book

This is a 218 page book or download.  The physical book retails for $29.  I consider this a perfect fit for us with my love of using the Charlotte Mason method for homeschooling.  You don’t have to use or love Charlotte Mason to enjoy the benefits of this program though.  Really, you wouldn’t even have to be a homeschooler, just a parent who wants to work with your child on letter recognition, letter writing, and reading.  Or want to improve handwriting for yourself or your child.

The layout is wonderful in that what you are copying or practicing is on the same page as their example.  No need to flip back and forth through pages to see what the example looked like or to see whether you’ve matched theirs or not.  It’s all their on one page.

Lessons are short and easy to do.  They don’t require any prep work and are simple for the child.  It is recommended to use this daily as the lessons do build upon each other.  I’m looking forward to using the phonics portion with my three year old in the next year or so.  

I used the letter tracing and writing practice with my five year old who can already sound out short words.  This helped her to understand more of how to write the letters plus their sounds.  It also reinforced proper handwriting.

If you’d like to learn more about how to improve handwriting with Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting or the other products Crew members were offered from Everyday Education, LLC please visit the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out all the blog posts linked up.  You can also find them on social media through facebook, pinterest, twitter, linked in, google +, and a second facebook page

 

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History Through Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

History Through Books

Homeschool Review Crew

History Through Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

 

Do you love history?  We do!  I also like using a more Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschool.  Learning history through books is the perfect way to go!  We’re beyond excited to tell you about a new series of books that we’ve recently been reviewing through the Homeschool Review Crew.  It’s the If You Were Me and Lived In . . . . series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.  We received four titles for our review!

The four titles we received are If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Elizabethan England(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 3), If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Middle Ages(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 6), If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Colonial America(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 4), and If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Renaissance Italy(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 2).  

These learning history through books titles do not have to be done in order of volumes.  Which is wonderful!  It allows for kids to pick what time period most interests them and dig in.  No slow going through titles that hold no appeal for them just to get to the fun stuff.

I personally love the Elizabethan England period and couldn’t wait to dig into that book with my children.  Learning history through books is so much fun.  Well, it is to me!  And thankfully my children have inherited my love of reading and history as well. The books are engaging and full of information.  When you travel to Elizabethan England you become the child of a mid-class tradesman.  But, you also learn about the class of people above and below you.  You learn about the entire time period without really realizing you’re learning.  This is why learning history through books is so much fun!   This book is 50 pages long including the important people section and glossary. 

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

After going through the Elizabethan England book we jaunted back into time through the Middle Ages.  It’s a bit longer than the first at 97 pages long.  We could have done these in order probably but I was in a hurry for the Elizabethan England. It’s my favorite time period!  Medieval would be a close second though.  In the middle ages we got to become wealthy(where we were middle class in Elizabethan).  This was a new and fun experience and even my three year old daughter was interested in the book and what we were reading.  Blood letting brought about a very long discussion as well. 

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

We decided to stay with this theme and went to Renaissance Italy next.  It’s again a bit thinner at 53 pages long.  I can’t say that I have ever put a lot of study into the Renaissance though I do like the time period.  It’s not a favorite that’s garnered a lot of attention.  I love that in all of the books they show the city or area that you’re studying in a then and a now picture for comparison.  This is great and leads to a lot of good observations and study.  We also love finding all the names that might have been.  Some bring a lot of laughs from my children.  Studying the Renaissance also gave us more information about why people didn’t drink water.

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

Our last stop brought us to Colonial America.  This would be an amazing book to add to a Thanksgiving unit study.  It is 61 pages long.  There are other books in this series about different periods in American history but this is the one we were sent.  It’s 61 pages long.  You’re in for a fun adventure in this book as you start out in England before going to the Netherlands and finally America.  

This book series brings you history through books in a way that children of all ages will love and enjoy.  It’s not the dry history that makes you memorize dates and names though.  The history you’re learning is much more fun!  Learn the clothes that were worn, the way they wore their hair, the food they ate, etc.  History through books helps bring about the discovery of history through the eyes of a child their own age living in a different time.  It’s fun yet also learning which is the best combination!

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
Learn more about Awaywegomedia.com and the If You Were Me and Lived in . . .  series by visiting all the reviews linked up on the Main Crew Blog Page.  There were several different titles available for review so you’re sure to find a time period that interests you!  You can also find them on facebook, twitter, goodreads, and pinterest.

 

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