Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 BACK TO SCHOOL BLOG HOP Day 1 CURRICULUM

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017
Curriculum. That's a dreaded word this time of year it seems. Families all around are scratching their heads wondering what to buy, what not to buy, what will work, etc. What editions do they need to upgrade, what can they pass along to a younger child, and so many more questions.

I only have Mr. B, so I can't say too much about passing curricula on to other kids, but I can speak from a special needs point of view. It seems like our brand of special needs is often overlooked. We aren't the severely academically challenged, so the "special needs packages" don't work for us. And I have to tell you, those pre-formed packages really tick me off in way I don't think I could properly convey. Most companies just slap a "special needs" label on K-2nd...maybe 3rd....grade material and call it a day. Seriously? Why? Just....WHY? Why insult us in that way?! Sure, my son may have difficulty writing sentences properly, or forming a full paragraph. But does that mean he also desires the subject material of a 2nd grader? "See Spot run." can only get you so far in life people! Something needs to be done about this. That was my issue with public school. They wanted to more or less hold him down. They actually told me they never really expected him to read, write, form a solid paragraph, etc. When I called concerned because he was 9 and not writing 4 sentence paragraphs, they told me it was ok...he was special needs, and it was required. WHAT?! I mean...WHAT?! I don't care what is and isn't required, no ceiling is to be placed on my child's learning potential! No cap is to be placed on what he can and cannot achieve. That's just ridiculous, and sadly...that's the same feeling I get when I see pre-made "special needs packages." It truly infuriates me. That is why I work so hard on these reviews to make sure you get a true sense of how they work, how they can be adapted to a special need lifestyle, and if anything could make it better. OR, if something just flat out doesn't work, why not? What could change could be made to make it work?

This is what we are using as our main core this year, and why. Keep in mind, we will work in review items as needed, or change it up if Mr. B becomes bored.

Language Arts: WinterPromise LA6. I chose LA6, because academically the level just fits better, and because of the overall theme. Mr. B is really into all things universe/solar system/outer space right now. The theme of this is about space aliens. So far, Mr. B is eating it up! He loves it! He loves how he's made a space adventurer in the lessons. For example, in the first lesson of spelling, his pencil is now known as an E-Liminator lol. He was murmuring to himself about how those evil space aliens weren't going to beat him. That's the kind of engagement I want to see in my son. He truly learns more like that.

Reading: We plan to use the Sea and Sky reading package from WinterPromise this year. It goes along with the LA6 and everything is already planned out for us. I wish there was more in the way of reading comprehension guides to go with this. I would love to see some included worksheets in the LA6 set to cover this (or your chosen package) but that's not the case. So I plan to look for study guides, etc. to accompany the books. Right now, we're on A Strange Intruder. It's not exactly his favorite to read on his own, but he loves to be read to. So I will gladly read to him according to the daily schedule.

Social Studies: Speaking of Sea and Sky, we have that. It covers more than just history, bringing in some science and geography too. But I plan to keep it mainly a social studies only requirement for him this year since the science part is meteorology and astronomy, and we've exhausted those already. I chose this because of the themes of weather, space, and airplanes. He loves it so far. The Captains Log is a lot of fun, and I like how detailed the plans are.

We are also using MasterBooks Biographies of the Revolution. When he finishes that, I plan to purchase MasterBooks World History Vol. 1. Mr. B Loves history, so I know these will be big hits.

Some may say, WHOA, that's WAY too much. BUT, Sea & Sky is ranged from 4th to around 9th. We have the younger reader set AND the older reader set that was bought for him by a family member. So we can really spread this out for a while, and use it to the fullest over the next few years.

Math: We are going to continue with CTC and UnLock Math this year, supplementing with Math Essentials. He's not quite up to the level of using Math Essentials as a full curriculum, so we will plug in as we can. I will use a selection of workbooks and printed worksheets for extra practice, and we will move slowly when needed.

Science:  I'm going to use Apologia and Masterbooks. I am doing this because I'm not 100% sure where he is level wise here. MasterBooks I know will be a breeze for him because it's 4th-6th grade zoology, but it's kind of reading intensive at times, at least for him. The Apologia is going to be used as a challenge for him. We have been using Apologia Marine Biology, and he LOVES it. And I have Swimming Creatures that he's going to use after this review, and General Science.

I like Apologia because the student journal is really great. He likes using it, and sees it more as a fun activity than actual school work. Masterbooks is great because the lessons are short, and the lesson plans are very easy to use.


As you can see, none of these are labeled Special Needs, but we are easily able to adapt them to his level rather choose a package that is more infantile in nature. I prefer things that are already planned for us, and planned in a way that is easy to understand and follow. I need in your face, right there plans to follow because I don't have time to go searching for stuff. All of these programs are great for us, and in my opinion, perfect for our needs. They are a blend of Charlotte Mason and traditional methods, for the most part, and most combine a multi-sensory approach or hands on. That's what works for us! Let me know in the comments what your plans are for the year!



Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

2017 BACK TO SCHOOL BLOG HOP!

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

It's that time of year again, friends! Time for the Homeschool Review Crew 5 Day Back to School Blog Hop! Here, you'll find a whole host of bloggers who will be writing about various themes of back to school goodness! Be sure to check it out! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra with Math Essentials (REVIEW)

Math Essentials
Math can be a daunting subject for even the most seasoned veteran homeschooler. I can't count how many times I've helped parents overcome their fear of math. Math Essentials has taken some of that fear away with their No-Nonsense Algebra workbook.

This book starts with a pre-algebra review, and progresses through the ins and outs of Algebra. Included with the book are free online video tutorials to help your child get the most out of this complete Algebra book.

For this review, we received one physical copy. 
No-Nonsense Algebra
How we used this:

This could certainly be a full algebra course. This book is thick and full with practice work. Each lesson is broken down into short, and easy to understand components. I love that. It's easy to get lost in the process, but Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra takes that process and breaks it down into its smallest parts for easy understanding. 

Ignore the fact I really need to work on my nails...

Like I said before, this book is thick. I truly wasn't expecting it to be this full. I do wish there was more in the way of practice on each lesson. For example, on the picture below, I'd like to have another page just of that to use for practice, or even two pages per lesson. I think that would make for a much more comprehensive book. With that said, review is seen throughout the book, so previous lessons are reviewed, but I'd just like more review at the time.


The pages have easy to understand and read instructions. There's no flashy stuff to distract your student. It's very straight forward. There's not a ton of empty space for use as a workspace, so you may need some scratch paper.

I had Mr. B work on these first few lessons more because he had some issues with it. We used the included online video tutorial, and then I just hand wrote out some more problems for him to do to try and get more practice in. I wanted to make sure the "easy" stuff was solidly mastered before moving on.



I thought I'd show some from the middle of the book, as well. This way you can see a little more. Each lesson is presented the same way. There's your actual lesson part, then the review. Some of this is very new to Mr. B, so I had him work at a slower pace at the start in order to lay down a solid foundation. You can see there is ample instruction and samples to see. Each lesson builds on the next, and your child reviews previous material all through the lessons.


I really like these tid bits of encouragement or useful tips. These are interspersed throughout the book. It's a nice addition that allows your student to stop and pause, and think about what they are doing, and how. I can see these helpful hints being useful across the spectrum on schoolwork, not just with this subject and product.

Overall, we plan to continue using this as a mix between a main core and a heavily used supplement. I like the layout of the book, and the fact it's not overly flashy and distracting. I'm not sure if we will fully progress into the main algebra part this year, since that's still a bit advanced for him. I like the shorter lessons that are more concise and easy to understand. I would highly recommend this to others, especially those whose children have trouble focusing for long periods of time.


Does Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

This a physical book, so there's no time constraints that you'd find with a fully online program. I would not skip ahead at all because the lessons build upon each other. It would be very easy to skip ahead if your child has already mastered Pre-Algebra. 


2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This is good for middle and high school levels, or even as a refresher before college algebra. I know this would have been very useful for me when I went back to school after a number of years away from the classroom. There are no hidden fees. 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

The name says it all, "No-Nonsense." There's nothing flashy or extravagant that could clutter to pages, or be a distraction. Lessons are pretty short. Mr. B can do a lesson in 15 minutes or so. As far as boring and engaging, there's no game like feel or anything like that. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This is simply just Algebra. 

Other members of The Homeschool Review Crew were given copies of No-Nonsense Algebra. Please click the banner below to see what they have to say! 
No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday


Greek 'n' Stuff REVIEW

Greek 'n' Stuff
I had never heard of Greek 'n' Stuff before this review, so I was really excited to check out the Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 3 Set .

We have tried Greek in the past, but the program was intended for students with more experience, so it didn't really work for us. Greek 'n' Stuff is different. It comes from the perspective that the student has never had Greek before. Everything is broken down into simple, easy to understand parts. For this review, we received the Level 3 Set. Included in this set is the Student workbook, an Answer Key, and a pronunciation disk for levels 3 and 4. There's also a Level 2 Set, but it is recommended for students in 4th grade and up, with no prior experience, to go ahead and start with Level 3. I was a bit iffy on it since he doesn't have a solid background in Greek, but so far it's been a good fit for us.

Mr. B has been wanting to learn Greek for quite some time. There was a long stint there where he kept answering all of his school work assignments in Greek, using a translator app. He also took it upon himself to try and learn the Greek alphabet on his own. Being completely honest, his love of Greek taught me a greater appreciation for the old phrase, "It's Greek to me" because that's exactly  how I felt. I was so overwhelmed due to a lack of understanding. I mean, it's a whole new alphabet! HAHA! That's what kept getting me! If it was letters like I'm familiar with, sure...but this was different. Thankfully, Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! came along and helped me, too!


How we used this:

I first sat down and just looked everything over really good. Since this is completely foreign to me, pun only semi intended, I wanted to get a good grasp on it myself before presenting it to Mr. B. First thing I will tell you, you NEED the pronunciation disk. There's no way I would have been able to help Mr. B without that disk, or the answer key.

The Answer Key is great in and of itself. First, it's a complete copy of the student book, just with the answers in. I like this format because I can see exactly what he sees, so if he has a specific question, I can answer with ease.

After I was comfortable with everything, Mr. B sat down to work. There are weekly lessons, with daily assignments. 5 assignments per week. We tend to do a 3 to 4 day week in the summer, so some days he did 2 lessons, and a couple of weeks only 3. We managed to get through about 4 1/2 lessons during the review period.

He was immediately drawn to the cover art, which is quite lovely. He loves the game like feel of the assignments. We spent a little more time on the alphabet since he had tried teaching himself, I had to sort of break the incorrect information he had taught himself. We spent about a week or week and half on the alphabet. I fully admit that we spent this time because I was learning, also. Did you know there's upper and lower case letters? I didn't. Well, that may be an incorrect way of saying, and we may be completely wrong because the text only shows the letters in the book, and there was no "triangle" type for Delta, so Mr. B says the triangle shape is the upper case form? Here are some photos to show his work.

Do you notice how the text shows you how to say each letter? We were quite surprised to find out we were saying some of the WRONG! For example, Iota is not pronounced with a long I, but actually with a short I like you'd say in the word "put." 



I think he did a great job! 


See gamma there? He said those are upper and lower case letters.


I love this cover art! 
I will say, this is one definite time I HIGHLY urge you to get the answer key AND the pronunciation disk. These have been instrumental in teaching this course, and learning from it. I can't stress that enough. 
Hey, Andrew!Teach Me Some Greek!
Overall, we really REALLY like this program! It's fun, easy to use and follow, and we are both learning a lot from it! I love going over the work with him and following along. It's been a great experience, and I plan to continue using this as one of his electives for the rest of the school year. 
Does Greek 'n' Stuff Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

These are physical books, so there's no time constraints that you'd find with an online program. I would not skip ahead at all. If your child already has a good background in Greek, then you may be able to move a little faster in places, but I would not just outright skip. I also wouldn't take an extended break just due to memory retention. Other than that, you can work at it at your own pace, though the suggested pace is 1 assignment each day for a lesson each week.  


2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This is good for upper elementary through adult, so yes...it covers a wide range of ages. You are not locked in to anything since this is a physical product. What you buy is what you get. There are NO hidden fees. 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

Mr. B has thoroughly enjoyed the challenge this has presented to him. the lessons are not too long, nor are they boring. The pages are just black and white, so there's not a lot of distraction to them at all. I think it's great.  

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This is just straight up Greek, but it would fit along quite nicely with any ancient history you're doing!


Greek 'n' Stuff was kind enough to allow The Homeschool Review Crew to review a variety of their great products, please click the banner below to read more! 


Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}

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    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    The odd things that just "work"

    This past weekend, M and I took Mr. B to Toys R Us to get some car track. He had been exceptionally well behaved, and truly earned it. While there, I noticed they were having a sale on book bags. You got a free lunch pack ($9.99 or under) with the purchase of any book bag priced at 12.99 or higher. I thought about it a lot, and I thought it would be a good idea to grab one at that cost. M thought I was nuts. We have other book bags here, and he viewed it as more clutter and a waste of money. I told him I thought it would be good because Mr. B is always wanting to take books in car, everywhere we go. Then he leaves them in the car, or they get lost in a restaurant, or whatever. I thought having a "special" on the go bag for his books would be a great idea.

    Well, I can say it certainly has been one of my better ideas to date! Mr. B has 4 books in it (light weight) and trying to get it on his back is therapy in and of itself. It's great practice for putting on jackets! He took it with him to the doctor, in the restaurant for lunch, and brought it in from the car. He took it outside to read on the porch, and then back in again. He loves his new, special book bag, and really takes care of it-thus taking care of the books, and keeping things neat and tidy. The front pocket is also insulated, so he can keep a bottled water in there to stay nice and cold, just like he likes it.

    And one of the best parts? It was priced at 12.99, rang up as 9.99, and I still got the insulated matching lunch pack for FREE!

     

    Sunday, August 6, 2017

    Reinforcements part 2



    Ok, back to the whole reinforcement thing. As I said, there are different kinds of reinforcements, and often times parents think of them as bribes. BUT there's a huge difference in the application of a reward/reinforcement vs. a bribe. A reinforcement is presented from the start. "If you pick up all of your crayons, you will earn a quarter!" A bribe is presented after the negative behavior, "If you stop crying, you can have an ice cream." We aren't bribed to work a job, we are rewarded with compensation. The same is true with rewards for good behavior.

    There are different types of positive rewards. There's tangible rewards such as a candy or small toy. There's social rewards such as time with mommy/daddy, Praise,family game time, a family outing, swim time, etc. There's rewards that your child can "spend" such as points, tokens, stickers, and even money. The idea is your child can exchange this "spending" rewards for actual items like a candy, toy, movie, etc. There's extra time on the computer, TV time, food, etc. I won't bother with the definitions of each kind of reward, as that really doesn't matter a great deal. The important thing is to have a variety of rewards in place.

    Trial and Error may come into play. Perhaps your child is motivated by M&Ms to eat her vegetables, but only motivated by extra TV time to clean up her toys. Maybe your child will eagerly do his homework for a quarter, but is motivated by extra swim time to put away his laundry. Each child is different, and the reward should match the activity. You can't expect a large behavior from a small reward, and you wouldn't reward a small behavior with a large reward. Weigh the reward with the behavior.

    I'm going to include a printable worksheet for subscribers to use to help narrow down rewards they feel will work for them. Here's a sample of how to use the worksheet.

    Date: 8/6/2017

    Location: Home, downstairs



    Behavior: Non compliance with clean up time.

    Reward:  $1.00

    How it was presented: "You will earn $1.00 for your savings bank if you help clean up today. Let's start with your crayons. Pick those up first. GREAT JOB! Here's a quarter so far. Now, let's get those books up, ok? AWESOME! You've already earned another quarter!"

    Outcome: He whined at first, and complained the entire time, but ultimately he complied on the first request. He was happy with his dollar, and asked to do more chores to earn more money.

    As you can see, I've mixed the rewards here. He's getting praise after each small accomplishment, and also earning a quarter to help keep the momentum going. At the end will earn the rest of the money. He's happy, and so am I. This works for us, but it may not work for everyone. That't why it is important to log the rewards and the outcome. 

    We also earn points, and he can trade the points for apps on the iPad or for in app purchases. He's not always aware of the points ahead, as these are in a true reward fashion. If he's exceeded my expectations, in any capacity, I will tell him he's earned X amount of points. Now, Mr. B loves the extremes HAHA. So he may earn 500 points for going out of his way to help me. Or he may earn 1000 points if he's behaved exceptionally well on an outing. He can then trade 1000 points for .99 worth of app purchases. Now, points can also be fined. And if he behaves very poorly, he can lose points. This has worked VERY well for him to give him a visual of what is and isn't acceptable.

    If you are a subscriber, you should find a new printable on the subscriber exclusives page. If you aren't a subscriber, then please sign up for our emails and you should receive a link that takes you to the page. Please check your spam filters if you don't see an email within 30 minutes or so.

    Friday, August 4, 2017

    All Saints Movie---Ticket Giveaway



    Wow! Just...wow. I am so excited to bring this to you! All Saints is a movie based on the true story of a pastor in Tennessee who saved a dying church with the help of 50 Burmese refugees. This pastor put his faith in God at the forefront, and we get to see how all of this played out in the movie, All Saints.

    PLEASE watch the clips below. One is a clip that talks about the making of All Saints, and the other is the trailer for the film. The movie comes out August 25th, and I have 2 tickets to giveaway so you can watch it yourself! So be sure to enter to win, and check out this great Christian movie that showcases faith in God's will.


    All Saints: The Heart of the Movie




    The Official Trailer

    I come from a small, little country church with only 12-15 people on any given Sunday, so this really hits me. I can't imagine someone coming in and saying 12 people gathering in the name of Jesus is too little. I can't wait to watch this movie, and see how God worked through these people to save this church, and bring hope to the people.

    All Saints Theatrical Release: August 25th!



    Enter below for 2 Fandango Tickets to see the movie! 



    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    **I am receiving a promotion or product for this review. I am not required to write a positive review, nor am I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own, or my family.**

    Confession

    I like peppermints. I always have some with me. I keep a little stash upstairs on the book shelf, downstairs in the candy jar, in my purse, and even in the car.

    Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Audio Drama Excitement! {REVIEW}

    Heirloom Audio Productions
    There are some products that once we try them, they become family favorites. That's the case with Heirloom Audio Productions. We have been so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to review many of their titles, including In the Reign of Terror
    In the Reign of Terror
    Heirloom Audio Productions have allowed my family to travel through time with their amazing audio adventures. These are NOT your average audio book. These are based on the books by G.A. Henty, but these are audio dramas, and are unlike anything else. I have frequently commented on the background, ambient sounds and the acting skills. The words and audio as a whole paint such a vivid image, it's as if we are truly there amidst the action! 

    The latest adventure, In the Reign of Terror, takes us back to the French Revolution. We begin our adventure with a conversation taking place between a young boy and an older man. They are discussing the American Revolution vs. the French Revolution. The older man explains to the boy that there are vast differences between the two, that the American Revolution was a war for independence from an overpowering King and taxation, while the French Revolution was an all together different beast. 

    The story involves a young teenager named Harry, who is an Englishman. His father sends him to live with a well to do aristocratic French family, so that he may teach the children English, and the mannerisms/behaviors of a typical English boy.  The family's son, Ernest, is closest in age to Harry, and the two become good friends. In addition to Ernest, the entire family develops a deep admiration for Harry. 

    While in France, the French Revolution breaks out. This is when we start to learn the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution.  In France, one could, and would, be murdered just because of their blood line and association to a noble family. As you can imagine, this directly impacts the family with whom Harry now resides. 

    In the Reign of Terror takes us through the uprising, and showcases the French Revolution as a man against man mob mentality uprising, rather than an army against army fight like the American Revolution. 


    With the physical set of discs, we also received access to the new Live the Adventure Club during the review period. Here, you can find online streaming of the audio adventures, and bonus content. We received all content associated with In the Reign of Terror, such as the amazing Study Guide, printable Cast Poster, Inspirational Quote printable, and more. If you've not experienced Live the Adventure Club yet, I urge you to do so. 

    The study guide is great. It is arranged by disc and track number, and it also includes the time stamp for each track so you can go right to that point if needed. The questions are though provoking and require a bit of critical thinking, at times. I found this great to use for oral discussions, as well as short answer essay questions. 


    "What man intends for evil, God intends for good."

    The inspirational quote print is simple and to the point. It's a simple red background with the quote in white, and the audio drama logo at the bottom. I wish I could capture it in a small screenshot for you to see!

    Something I really appreciate in the special bonuses is the included script. This is really great for Mr. B to use to follow along, if he so chooses. 



    Overall, Heirloom Audio Productions has another knock out hit with In the Reign of Terror. The Christian based message makes my heart smile with joy. These adventures, especially In the Reign of Terror, are so educational, and entertaining, they are sure to be a hit! With actors such as Brian Blessed, John Rhys-Davies, Cathy Sara, Jack Farthing, Christina Greatrex, and Jill Freud, how can anyone go wrong? It's a fantastic cast for an epic adventure, for sure!



    Does Heirloom Audio Productions Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?
    1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

    You can listen to it at your leisure. We like to listen to it straight through during one of our long drives to medical appointments. We listened to all of disk one and half of disk two while on the way to OT, then we re-listened to it all on the way to mamaw's house and back for dinner one evening! The Study Guide is versatile in that you can use it in a number of ways. 

    2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

    There are NO hidden fees. This is a physical product that kids and adults all will like. 

    3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

    Definitely NOT boring! We love it! It's great for auditory learners, too. It doesn't last too long, because you can choose the length of time to listen. We love it here, and find it to be calming, and entertaining. It captures our attention, and holds it for the duration of the program.  


    4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

    This would be great to work into any study on The French Revolution. The Study Guide alone can provide a wealth of information! 

    Please be sure to check out The Homeschool Review Crew to see what others have to say! 
    In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    Wordless Wednesday


    A Fun Way to Teach and Learn English Grammer

    English on a Roll
    Every now and then, a review product comes up that takes me by surprise and becomes one of my favorites. English on a Roll is a product like that. It arrived and filled a need that I didn't even know I had at the time. I knew Mr. B needed a good English grammar program, but I was at a loss as to what to choose. When the English Grammar Teaching Method set arrived, I knew it was going to be the perfect fit for us. 



    English on a Roll is a fun, multi-sensory approach to teaching English Grammar and syntax. The main component is the set of 40 cubes, or dice as I call them. You roll them like you would dice. then there's the book that has teaching tips, games, instructions, and reproducible to use along side the dice.
    English on a Roll

    Basically, this has the fun aspect Mr. B wants-the dice. And it has the pen and paper quality I like-the reproducible pages.

    It surprised me, because I didn't expect the book to be what it is. I was thinking it was just a book of "how to use these dice" and that's that. I wasn't expecting a book that is arranged around 37 lessons, each with their own worksheet for reinforcement. That's exactly what this book is. The layout is great. I really don't like books that have all of the teacher tips and "how to use this book" stuff in the front, followed by a set of worksheet pages. That's just too bundled for my ADHD mind to focus on. English on a Roll is arranged lesson by lesson.

    Mr. B really caught on to this program fairly quickly. Having the dice color coded with the varying parts different colors REALLY helped him. Seeing Blue pronouns and dark blue nouns helped to link them, yet differentiate them. Also, having everything for one pattern on one die really simplified things down for him, and caused him less frustration anxiety. The blank die is great to fill in with your own word. They've included some labels you can use, and if you need more they are just a standard size you can pick up at any office store. You can use colored pencils or ink to make the words color coded to match.  For this review, I've used a graphics art program to put the word "love" on the die so you can read it easier.



    The worksheet pages are not busy or distracting, featuring just black and white text. However, the font used is a larger scale than most workbooks, and they make use of bold face type which causes the activities to stand out in an easy to see way.



    Lesson 2 "Be Verb" was probably his hardest. He just has a hard time linking is, am, are, was, were, and has been all to the word "Be." I loved the idea of drawing a tree, placing "Be" in the branches, and the words below. That really helped to illustrate it to him, along with the dice used.

    Overall:

    The lessons are short, but cover a lot of ground. The Dice are easy to use and easy to spread among other subjects. We were able to use the dice for writing to help him choose better words, for example. We also had fun using the dice to play silly paragraph games. I really like the included workbook/manual, and I appreciate the layout and arrangement of the lessons.

    Hidden Gem: We are able to play the conversation games as part of our in home speech therapy. We can play these games to work on generalizations, creative thinking, and overall communication. I love a product that can offer so much!





    Please click below to see what others from The Homeschool Review Crew had to say! 
    English on a Roll {Reviews}
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    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    Nichole Nordeman Every Mile Mattered REVIEW


    Do I have a treat for you! The Newest CD from Nichole Nordeman, Every Mile Mattered. 

    This is a great CD. Her voice is so fluid and soft, and relaxing. The words and meaning behind the lyrics are great. I love love love LOVE Every Mile Mattered. I love the title song. It has such meaning to me. Every step you take, every choice you make, every good thing and every bad thing that happens in your life has brought you to the person you are today. The slightest change in circumstance or choice would have changed who you are today, and the journey is worth it. That is the overall message. Sometimes I sit here and I wonder to myself if I am just wasting time, if I am where I am supposed to be. If what I have gone through or what I have done is even worth it. But like this particular song says, yes...it all matters. It's all worth it in the end. I am here today, the person I am, because of the road and the "miles" I've traveled. You really do need to check this out!


    She has a book “SLOW DOWN” coming out in August. You can pre-order now! If you have never heard the song, you must. You just must. I can't listen to it without crying, so I know the book is going to be AMAZING! The takes us through the early days of childhood and telling our children to slow down and not grow up too soon. It's......ok, I'm crying NOW thinking back to the lyrics!


    Be sure to check out her blog at http://www.nicholenordeman.com/!

    I honestly LOVE this CD. And I would like for you to have a chance to win it yourself! Just enter below for your chance to win!


    a Rafflecopter giveaway




    “Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  
    Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

    Learning State Facts with the USA Activity Bundle {REVIEW}


    Mr. B LOVES all things U.S.A related. I knew he would be thrilled to receive the USA Activity Bundle by The Crafty Classroom. This bundle set contains three books full of state learning awesomeness!

    U.S.A. State Birds features matching cards, realistic drawings to color, and fact sheets about the state birds for each state. There are 27 birds in this book to learn about!

    U.S.A. State-By State 50 States Mazes is a lot of fun! Here, each state is represented in a fun and challenging maze!

    U.S.A. State-By-State Activity Notebook is a great tool to have if you are studying the 50 states. Your child will learn the location of each state on the map, the capital, and a few other facts such as the state flower, abbreviation,  and the flag.

    For this review, we received all three of these in the USA Activity Bundle
    USA Activity Bundle
    How did we use this?

    Normally with something like this, I would print it off one page at a time so that Mr. B could work on specifics when I wanted him to do so. Since he's an older student, I printed off the whole bundle, and separated out the books so he could work on them as he wanted with no set plan in mind. He loves geography, especially United States geography, so I knew he'd really do well with this.

    His favorite part has to be the Mazes and the Activity Notebook. He likes the State Birds too, but his preservative thinking is on the state facts right now, and not the birds.

    These were great to print off and stick in a binder, separated using dividers. I actually separated them by state. So I printed off everything, and then each state had it's activity page, maze, and bird right there. Then we arranged in alphabetical order because it was driving me crazy having them arranged by order of when they were admitted to the union haha!

    Mr. B was able to take these with him to his mamaw's house to keep him occupied, and he also took them while on out of state doctor's visits. We also worked out of these books when the weather outside was too hot or rainy-which has been several days during this review period. 

    I have REALLY liked the State Birds pages! I love learning about the birds, and their names, the watching around the house to see if I can identify them myself. It's also been quite therapeutic for me to curl up with a page printed off, on a clip board, with my handy colored pencils! 


    Overall, these have been a real hit! I would recommend them for any study on the United States or U.S. Geography. They are colorful, but not distracting. They cover enough material to spark interest for independent study, and the lessons are short, hands on, and fun.

    Does The Crafty Classroom Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?
    1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

    These are physical downloaded PDF eBooks. You can use them as you like. For us, I arranged in ABC order. You could choose to do them in whatever order you wish. At first, we were going to go in chronological order, but decided against that. It is perfectly fine to jump ahead, and skip around.  


    2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
    I would personally say this is best suited for the younger student-around 2-3rd grades. Mr. B just enjoys doing this kind of thing, so he liked it. You could use it for an older student as a supplemental thing. 
     
    3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
    We did not find this boring at all. The mazes are quite challenging, and fun. And Mr. B enjoyed looking to the state flags and facts. Each page is pretty short. 

    4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

    YES! This is great to supplement with any sort of United States history or geography. 

    The Crafty Classroom sent The Homeschool Review Crew a variety of products to review. In addition to The USA Activity Bundle, you'll find products such as the Pre-K 26-week curriculum program called Alphabet Curriculum Notebook, or the Kindergarten Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook, and more! Click the banner below to check them out! 
    Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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