Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July America!

May God keep you, shine his face upon you, bless you, and give you peace, always and forever, until the day of His return!

God bless America!

 

A few gifts for you to enjoy:

My Beautiful America by Charlie Daniels

Gather Band singing The National Anthem

Essential Oil Kit Giveaway

I am personally giving away a doTerra Introductory Kit of essential oils to every new person who joins me with a Wholesale Membership by July 30th, 2015.

Introduction To Essential Oils Kit

This kit includes a bottle of each of the 3 most used essential oils: Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint. It also comes with instructions for a variety of uses from personal care to home care and everything in between.

I am building a team of healthy minded folks who can encourage and support each other on the journey to a better life.

Health & Wellness

 

Why join?

First of all, with doTerra Certified Theraputic Grade Oils, you can help yourself become healthier, boost your immune system, and clean up your act (what you put in your body and how you care for your body, your home, your kids, your pets, etc)  with everyday essential oils and personal care products at wholesale prices.   Health and wellness begins at home and you are making a wise choice to add essential oils into your health and wellness journey.

Certified Theraputic Grade

Diamond Essential Oils Kit

Then as a member, you can get certified as a Wellness Advocate and help your family and friends become healthier too.  Share the good news of your new cleaner and greener lifestyle with them.  They will want to join you on the journey.

Third, you can improve your finances.   You can earn free product points (spend like cash) for all of your purchases.  You can also earn money for your sales when others place orders with you.

Wholesale Membership in doTerra is a win win for everybody!

 

 Wholesale Membership:

Wholesale Membership in doTerra Essential Oils includes:

  • wholesale discount savings on every purchase,
  • your own website to place your orders and customer orders,
  • earns sales commissions on products you sell,
  • earn free product points (PV) for each purchase you make,
  • free product of the month club for loyalty orders (LVP),
  • free trainings to become a wellness advocate,
  • product promotions,
  • online support groups,
  • opportunities to travel, meet new people, and attend conferences too.

There are different levels of wholesale membership.  But every level will recieve the Introduct giveaway from me as my special gift to you to help you get started. Find the level of membership that best meets your needs. Everyone who joins me through my website by June 30th will receive the Introductory Essential Oils Kit Giveaway:

Membership Options:

7 Wholesale Membership Options.

Each option listed below includes wholesale membership.  Choose the option that fits you the best.  You can choose a basic Wholesale Membership or you can take to a higher level by choosing a combo Essential Oil Starter Kit with Wholesale Membership Enrollment at a huge savings:

Enrollment kits

  1. $35 basic Wholesale Membership
    (earn free product points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  2. $150 Membership plus the Family Physicians Kit (save $16.67 and get free membership)
    (110 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  3.  $195 Membership plus the Cleanse & Restore Kit  (save $64.93 and free membership)
    (125 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  4. $275 Wholesale Membership plus the Home Essentials Kit (save $91.57 and free membership)
    (225 PV, earn free products points each month for purchases, and earn 10% for sales)
  5. $550 Wholesale Membership plus the Natural Solutions Kit (save $113.25 and free membership)
    (400 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 15% for sales)
  6. $1585 Wholesale Membership plus the Every Oil Kit (save $284.70 and free membership)
    (1400 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 20% for sales)
  7. $2550 Wholesale Membership plus the Diamond Kit (save $730.93 and free membership)
    (2000 PV, earn free products each month for purchases, and earn 25% for sales)

Ready to get started?  Then go to my doTerra Weiser Natural online store and fill out the information and submit your wholesale membership.   When you join my team by JULY 30th, I will ship you the Introductory Kit to Essential Oils free as my special gift to thank you for you joining me.

Health and Wellness Starts At Home

Be wise and be blessed!!!

 

Please help me get the word out about this wonderful giveaway and share this post with your friends and family, your co-workers, groups you belong too, on your facebook page, etc.   Thank you in advance.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch Review

We have been having so much fun reading Tales from the Circle C Ranch.  We love these books! This is the second book by Susan Marlow from Circle C Adventures we have had the privilege to review.

Circle C Adventures

What We Received:

We received the Tales from the Circle C Ranch book, and also a PDF download of the corresponding Andrea Carter’s Tales From The Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook and Study Guide for the purpose of this review.

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

Tales from the Circle C Ranch

by Susan Marlow
Historical /Christian / Fiction /
160 pages
Paperback Book
For ages 9-14
Retails for $7.99

Lapbook

A Journey Through Learning: Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch, Learning Lapbook and Study Guide.

E-book PDF digital download.
39 pages
Instructions, study guide pages tying each chapter of the book with historical facts, and printout activities to create fun learning lapbooks.
Retails for $7.00

Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a book about a young girl named Andi (Andrea Carter) who lived in the late 1800’s.  The book is a collection of short stories about her life between 1874 to 1881 (about ages 6-13) and relates to the other Circle C series of books.  The author wrote this book to answer questions about Andi’s life sent in by her fans who read one or more of the other books.  Andi has a lot of fans!

How We Used This In Our Home.

We are having a blast with this book and study guide-lapbook combination.   Lapbooks and unit studies are some of our favorite ways to study.

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I received the reading book in the mail, and the lapbook PDF came in an email link.

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When I received the link to the PDF download, I printed it and put it into a three ring binder.

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The Lapbook is 39 pages, and is made up of a little less than 1/2 study guide (17 pages), and 1/2 activities (22 pages).   I printed off a copy of each of the activity pages for the kids, but did not print the study guide pages for them.  I have 6 kids and 22 pages a piece is a whole lot of printing!!!  I also glued two folders together for each child, that will hold their activity pages and eventually become their lapbooks.

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Instead of each of the kids having their own copy of the study guide, we read from the study guide pages from the main copy I put into the binder.  That way each child only had to keep track of their own activity pages, and I kept track of the main copy (study guide, instructions, activity pages) in the binder.   This method worked out well for our family and helped me save a lot of ink and paper!

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I also opted to save more money and printed the lapbook activity pages in black and white and let the kids color them while they listened to the book being read aloud, in instead of printing them in full color.   By having to color the activity pages instead of choosing them pre-colored, it helped them be even more involved in the learning process, and personalize their lapbooks so each one looks a little different from their siblings.

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For this review, each day I gathered all of the children together at the table to learn as a group.  One of the reasons we love lapbooks and the unit study approach to learning is the fun we have learning together.

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Our oldest son read the book aloud to the kids.  He read one short story a day to them, but he also enjoyed reading ahead on his own too.  Several times I found him reading after we were all finished at the table.  He couldn’t wait to get to the next story in the book.

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While he read the book, the younger children colored the corresponding lapbook worksheets.

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They loved coloring while listening to the story.

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After he read the chapter, he would then read the corresponding page about a related history subject in the study guide.  Then I would give the children instructions (cutting, stapling, and arranging the booklet position, and gluing it into their folders) to complete their lapbook assignment.

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The older boys preferred to just listen during the story read aloud, and then work on their lapbook worksheets afterwards while the study guide was being read.

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After completing the lapbook pages for each chapter, the children glued the finished activity into their lapbooks.

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The kids really enjoyed reading this book and creating their lapbooks. They have several things in common with Andi (Andrea Carter).  They could relate to her even though she lived during the late 1880’s.    This made it really fun for them to follow along in the story.  For example:

  • She has several siblings and we have a lot of siblings.
  • She lives on a ranch and has chores and we live on a homestead farm and have chores too.
  • She has horses and we have goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs as well as a big garden and several acres to play and run on our homestead.
  • Andi is a Christian and grows her faith through the experiences she lives out, and we do the same.  The kids can identify with her trust in the Lord.
  • In the book she buys a gift for her mom for her birthday, and we did something special for dad for Father’s Day and celebrated 2 birthdays during this review.  We celebrated each of these with gifts, cheesecake, and vanilla cake  and chocolate cake.

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There are several things I would like to do before we finish this fun learning adventure.   I hope I can schedule a field trip to take the kids to see some other things relevant to Andi’s life and the experiences shared in the book.

A few additional things I would like to add to this learning project is:

  • take the kids to see some horses, learn about different kinds of saddles and tack used to care for horses, get to feed the horses, maybe find a stables where we can ride horses on a trail, or take a carriage ride.
  •  I hope to find a good youtube video of a recent horse race for the kids to watch.
  • Visit the ocean.  Find a crab and clam shells.  Taste the salty ocean water.
  • Visit a nature center and hold a snake.
  • Attend a ball game.
  • Create some fake snow to play in since it is not winter here, but if you read this book in the winter, be sure to include some snow activities.
  • Visit a photography studio and learn how they process photos.
  • It would be awesome to be able to take a trip out west to see California, Oregon, and Washington where the story takes place.  I visited these states in my youth and those are awesome memories.  But I don’t really see a cross country trip to the west coast happening anytime soon though.
  • Cook food from the 1800’s that Andi mentions in the story, like Molasses Cookies, Crab, Flapjacks, Peppermint Sticks, Apple Pie, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Cake,

I hope round out this book, lapbook, and our own unit study of this time in history by planning a field trip to a pioneer village from the 1800’s,  an outing at county or state fair, and to visit a horse ranch, as well as cook a couple of recipes like the ones mentioned in the book that were served for dinner, to enhance our learning even more with this study.

You will enjoy this book by itself or with the additional lapbook.  You don’t need anything other than a desire to read and learn to use either.  But you can also really enjoy this time period in history by including a few fun projects to enhance your child’s learning too.  Either way, this book is a winner and goes into a permanant place on our family book shelves to read again and again for years to come.

About the Author:

We fell in love with the books when we read Thick as Thieves earlier in the school year.   We couldn’t wait to get a hold of more books by Susan K Marlow !   Susan is a homeschool mom who has dedicated her life to her family and to writing wholesome Christian fiction books for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Susan Marlow

Susan Marlow has authored over 17 books and workbooks for children. She offers several free study guides to enhance the learning too.   The sequel to the Thick as Thieves  book we read earlier this year for the 12 and older age group is called Heartbreak Trail and is coming out later this summer.  My older sons are begging for me to get it for them.  I don’t know of too many boys who beg their mom for more books, (especially books that center around a girl character), but these books are a winner!!!

Susan Marlow Books

Each skill level / age level has it’s own series of books to read about Andi’s life as she grows up. To access the various levels of books, from the Susan Marlow web site, you will see this info-graph I have posted above.  Once you click “enter” on the picture of the series or learning level you are interested in, a whole web site for that specific learning level appears with books, study guides, lapbooks, more articles, and fun photos about Andi.  Susan Marlow has done a wonderful job organizing her website into an easy to navigate, and user friendly resource for families.

Susan Marlow lives on a homestead in the state of Washington.   She also teaches writing workshops, and hosts a writing contests for youth too. Her connection with homeschool life and homesteading really comes through in her books and my kids can relate so easily to Andi and the other characters even though the stories are written about a girl and her friends and family who lived in a previous time in history.

I haven’t yet told my kids that Susan also wrote a series of books about a 12 year old boy named Jem who grew up gem mining during the Gold Rush in California.  We enjoyed gem mining and gold panning few times while we lived in North Carolina where the Gold Rush began.  My kids have fond memories of those fun times.  I just know they are going to want every book Susan Marlow has ever published about Andi and Jem as these stories are so exciting for kids to read.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow the social media links for Susan Marlow to find out updates and more about the adventures of Andi’s life in all the wonderful series of Circle C books, study guides, lapbooks, coloring pages, and more.

Andi’s Blog: Circle C Adventures   http://circlecadventures.blogspot.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircleCAdventures
Twitter http://twitter.com/SuzyScribbles
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/susankmarlow/
Writing Contests
(enter 9/1- 1/10) http://www.circlecadventures.com/Writing-Contest.html

Dynamic Literacy Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.

Crew Disclaimer

Avoid Unhealthy Food

Here are some things to think about regarding healthy and unhealthy foods for you and your family. Check out the link for more information. Be wise and be blessed!

9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

This infographic “9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid” uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/9-unhealthy-foods.jpg" alt="9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">This infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/unhealthy-foods.htm">9 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid</a>"" uncovers shocking facts about unhealthy foods found in your local grocery stores, and why you should absolutely keep away from them. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>

CTC Math for Homeschoolers Review

What is our favorite Math curriculum?  After using this math curriculum for 1.5 years, I can honestly tell you we love the 12 Month Family Plan for Homeschoolers from CTC MATH.

CTC Math

If you have you ever wished for a math teacher for your kids that you could understand then CTC Math is the answer. Their curriculum is a virtual math teacher / tutor that is available to come right into your home and help you and your kids master math 24/7!  We were sent a subscription to the 12 Month Family Plan For Homeschoolers to try out and tell folks everywhere about this program.  My kids math skills have improved a lot using this program.

CTC MATH for Homeschoolers 12 Month Family Plan

Unlimited online access of over 1,367 teaching videos, and 57,000 questions and activities, for up to 10 students, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to all lessons and all grade levels K-12 for one affordable family price!

CTC Math Classes

Currently this great resource is on sale for homeschool families with 2 or more students for $118 a year. (It normally runs $297.  This current sale is 60 % off and saves you $178 which is a huge savings!) Check out the website for single student use and other pricing options too.

The virtual math teacher is Pat Murray from Australia.  He speaks English with an Australian accent, and is easy for kids and adults to understand.

Video of how CTC Math for Homeschoolers works:

How we used CTC Math For Homeschoolers In Our Home:

We were thrilled to be chosen to review this fantastic curriculum.   All of my school aged kids are using it. We fell in love with CTC Math a year and a half ago, and have stayed with it.  When our yearly subscription ran out, the kids literally cried.  We start the academics of our school day everyday with CTC Math.

We are currently using it in K, 1st, 4th, 6th, and 8th grades.  It’s hard to believe that five of our six kids are school age now.  We love this math curriculum and don’t want to miss anything even if it is review, so we chose not to test out of any sections, and worked through the lessons one by one even if it was reviewing a concept they already knew.   I usually ask the kids to complete at least one, and often two lessons a day.  The lessons are short, and they can easily complete a lesson in about 20 minutes or less. So doing two lessons, gives them about 30 to 40 minutes of good math instruction and practice each day.  I receive reports from the program when the kids have achieved various levels in a section: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and weekly updated summary reports too. I can choose to save the reports to my computer, or print them out and put them in my kids portfolio, and also print out the kids certificates too.

My oldest is 14 and is working through the 8th grade level.  Last year he reviewed the 6th grade level, then progressed through the 7th grade and now is finishing up the 8th.  I am so proud of his accomplishments.   Last year it was his idea to go back through the 6th grade math level as a review first to be sure he had a good handle on it before he moved ahead.  He wanted to spend more time on certain skills to develop more confidence.  By going back and reviewing the previous level, he gained a strong grasp of division, fractions, and skills he was struggling in before.   He likes using the Speed Skills Practice challenges to improve his skills.  He loves to work on improving his score and doesn’t mind redoing the assignments to improve his grade.

He is mastering the lessons and gets an average of 95% to 100%.  He can get a bit upset with himself if he gets anything below this level and really tries hard to understand and do a good job on the lessons.   One great thing about this program is that the kids can repeat the lesson questions and bring up their average scores on each lesson. So if he got 90% the first time, and then re-did the lesson and got 95% his second time, and 100% his third time, then his average score for the lesson rises to 95%. He usually scores high his first time through and doesn’t need to repeat it, because the teacher / tutor explains the lesson so well. But I have seen him get a 97% and want to raise his average and retake the lesson two more times. So 97%, then 100%, and 100% raises his overall score to 99%. He loves this opportunity to raise his score!

Video Lesson PreAlgebra: Learning to Calculate the Volume of a Cube.

My 6th grader also works independantly with CTC Math.   This son went through a big maturing process last year.  Schoolwork used to be a chore, but he likes it now.  He processes information differently than his older brother, and it takes him longer.  He used to get frustrated easily and would give up.  So it has been a huge challenge for me to help him master some of the skills.  Thankfully we have gotten over that hurdle and he is motivated to do his schoolwork.  He does very well with a combination of the video (he is an audio visual learner) instruction plus writing to learn concepts.  He started reading well last year, and is doing better at remembering details, paying attention, and with all these skills coming together, his math grades and all his skills showed huge improvements.  Last year when we first got CTC Math, it was and still is the answer to my prayer for this son!  He is just as proud of his grades in math as I am.  He tells me “Mom, look what I did, I got a 90%.” or “Mom, I love how the teacher explains this one, look I got a 100% on this lesson!”. He is very proud of himself and I am too. His average scores range from 80% to 90%! He pauses the video for each problem and writes the math problem down on paper and work it out before he works it out on the computer screen.  HE GETS IT!  He has improved so much!

Video Lesson 4th Grade: Learning Grid Coordinates.

My son in the 4th grade is also doing very well with CTC Math and school in general.  This is a huge improvement for him as he doesn’t like to sit still very long.  He wants to play, or build, or go outside if the weather permits.  He is working at grade level in CTC Math, watches the videos, completes 1 or 2 lessons a day depending on his mood, etc., but does not like going back and repeating the lesson questions if he didn’t pass.  This has remained consistent since the beginning.  He doesn’t want to repeat the lesson if he doesn’t score high enough.  I want him to repeat the lesson until he understands the concept.  So we struggle with this sometimes.  In CTC Math, you don’t pass the lesson unless you reach a score of 80% correct or more. His scores range from 70% to 95% correct. He does not want to go back and repeat the lessons he did not get a passing grade on. It is just not his personality and he is not motivated by this method.  His two older brothers love this opportunity to improve, but this son sees it as a form of torture to make him try again, and he would rather not. He is doing well with reading the questions, but if he doesn’t pay attention to the video instruction, he misses how to apply the method to solve the problem.  Since starting the program, I have wished there was a button we could push, and the virtual teacher could read the problem to him, and perhaps there be a back button he could click that would instantly go back over that portion of the lesson.  This would be a great help to struggling readers and for audio learners.  Overall, he likes using CTC Math and is learning a lot of math concepts and skills, but he doesn’t care what the score is.

My son in K completed his K level and moved up into 1st grade level a few months ago.  He is showing maturity in math skills, and sitting still to learn lessons, and moves along pretty quickly. He actually begs to get on the computer to complete his CTC Math lesson.  My daughter is also working in 1st grade level and moves at a slower pace than her brother.  This curriculum is so nice because it lets each child move along at their own pace.

Video Lesson 1st Grade: Recognizing 3D Objects

I am thankful for this opportunity to use this curriculum.  With the 12 Month Family Plan, our whole family can use this curriculum for one affordable price.  We can have up to 10 students using it at the same time.  Wow!  We have never had such a great curriculum resource so easily accessible and adaptable for everyone in our whole family!

All of my kids and I think this math curriculum is really AWESOME!  Though it is not fun and games, it is still fun because it challenges you to get better and reach your goal.  it is serious math instruction.

I would encourage homeschool families to check it out and see if it meets their needs too. I think CTC Math would be a great resource for college students to review and improve their math skills too. It sure would have helped me get through college Math 101 and 102 if I had a resource such as this.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow CTC Math for news, updates, and information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ctcmath
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CTCMath/videos

CTCmath Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using CTC Math in their homes.

Crew Disclaimer

Why Are Some Foods Banned?

Do you ever wonder why some foods are allowed in our country, but have been banned in other countries? Is there more we need to know to make informed decisions about what we eat and what we feed our families?

Check out this info graph about 10 foods that are allowed here, but banned in other countries. There is so much more to know, and you can read about it at the link posted. Be wise and be blessed!

10 Banned Foods to Avoid

Are you eating food that’s already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/superfoods.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong&gtfood that's already banned </strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website. </p>

IEW Teacher and Student Writing Package Review

If you haven’t yet heard of the Institute for Excellence in Writing  (IEW) curriculum company, I would encourage you to check them out.  We were sent their Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, Student Writing Intensive Level A  Package for review.  This would be a great curriculum to add to your schedule this coming school year. 

IEW Writing Level A Package

 

Teaching Writing / Student Writing Package Level A

Package Combo Retails for $249 (Save $49.00!)

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar

Student Writing Intensive Level A

For Elementary Grades 3-5.

Grades

 

What We Received

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD Package Level A:

12 Seminar DVDs 

  • Nine DVDs with instruction on the nine structural models and multiple stylistic techniques (14 hours total viewing time).
  • Three DVDs of sample Student Workshops at four different grade levels.

TWSS Seminar and Practicum Workbook

  • 3 ring binder with dividers  and printouts.  The binder serves as the syllabus and workbook for the seminar and contains charts, word lists, sample lesson plans, and more.

1 year Online Subscription

  • Streaming video of the entire Teaching Writing: Structure and Style teacher training course, providing instruction on the nine structural models and multiple stylistic techniques (14 hours total viewing time—may be watched all at once, or viewed one disc at a time throughout the school year)
  • Streaming video of sample Student Workshops at four different grade levels to help you with the first lesson
  • Free access to our monthly training webinars, August through May
  • Audio MP3 downloads of Andrew Pudewa’s most popular conference talks
  • Several PDF downloads

Student Writing Intensive Level A
5 DVDs
SWI Level A Student Notebook with student handouts, a student 3 ring binder with dividers, and daily lesson suggestions for the teacher/parent

Here is the author Dr. Pudewa, explaining more about the program.

 

How We Used IEW Writing Curriculum

We did a trial run for a few weeks at the end of our school year to see if we want to include this curriculum in our studies this fall.  I was really impressed with the quality of the materials we recieved.  The 3 ring binders are heavy duty and we were sent over 100 pages plus nice dividers to put into each of them and help us stay organized and on plan.  The case that holds the Teachers Seminar DVD’s is really nice too.

I found the Level A Package to be a wonderful writing program and useful for teaching English to Elementary 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  This curriculum fits right into our life right now as we have several in this grade range, and some older ones who can sharpen their skills too.  This program is helping improve my skills as a teacher so really all of my children will benefit from this.

For this review, I used this program with my 12 year old to help him get a better understanding and improve his writing skills. This program will work great for older students who might not like writing.  My 12 year old does not enjoy writing and would much rather do math. This curriculum would also be useful for teaching English as a Second Language, and also for remedial learning for older students who need more practice with writing skills.

IEW has put so much together for the parent teacher.  The Teacher Seminar gives you the tools you need to confidently teach your students to write well, think and express themselves clearly. It helps parent teachers learn how to effectively teach their kids to:

  • Outline and summarize
  • Write paragraphs
  • Create stories
  • Write critiques and reports
  • Develop essays
  • Communicate their thoughts and ideas into writing
  • Change sentence structure
  • Use vocabulary in interesting ways

When we first received the materials, I put the binder notebooks together.  Then I viewed the lesson on the corresponding disk in the Teacher’s Seminar DVD’s before having my son watch it with me. Then we watched the lesson together, and followed the teacher notes and presented the lesson to my son.

The lessons are designed to do one a week, but some students will take two weeks to do a lesson. The teacher’s portion of teaching the lesson and use of the DVD takes about 1 hour at the start of the week.  Then he can work on the daily practice assignments the rest of the week. We did not need to watch the Student version of Structure and Style overview as it is basically the same as the teachers DVD.

After watching the Lesson on the DVD, we used the checklists to complete the lesson assignment.  The workbook has sample assignments and ideas to help,  and there are also student workshop videos to watch that can help give more ideas on implementing the lesson.   I found these to be very helpful.  In a nut shell so to speak, my son is learning how to create an outline from a paragraph using key words.  Then learning how to use his outline to write and add adverbs and verbs to make it more interesting.  He is learning to be more creative in writing stories.

Our first few weeks of lessons:

Teacher’s Notes: Lesson 1

“Sea Snakes”

Key Word Outline,

Composition Checklist

Key Word Sentence: 1 word

Key Word Sentence:  2-5 words

Key Word Sentence:  6 words

“Desert Tarantula”  Optional Resource

Repeat steps learned

“Pillbug” and Composition Checklist

Repeat steps learned

Teacher’s Notes: Lesson 2

“The Boy and the Nuts”

“The Cocks and the Eagle”

Once we complete the first lesson in the teacher’s seminar (or student set), we can move ahead and master the material in the next one.   Not all of the lessons use the disk system, some can be completed without it.  For example, Lesson 1 used the disk, but Lesson 2 did not.  You can easily keep track of what’s what as everything is layed out very nice and easy to follow.  I am saving the rest of the work to begin in the Fall at the start of our school year.

IEW

IEW Review

Before we start our next school year, I hope to get a couple of my boys set up with this curriculum too so they can work through it together.  You are allowed to make copies of the student workbook for use within the same family, so this will be really nice to have the boys working on this together and strengthen their writing skills.

There are some additional items available through IEW to help with this curriculum.  I hope to purchase the Portable Word Walls and A Word Write Now before our Fall school year begins too.   IEW also has a clearance section and you can find a lot of discontinued items there. Many of these are previous versions that have now been updated. For example, I found some Word Walls and Bible Based Writing Lessons workbook on clearance for 4th-12th grades. Kids learn to outline bible passages, diagram them, and write paragraphs retelling the story. There are also US History Writing Lessons too. How cool is that?

I can really see how this curriculum is going to help my kids learn how to write with excellence and help me learn how to better help them too.  I am thrilled to schedule this material for their daily writing curriculum for the coming school year.

I hope you will check it out IEW, and all of their various writing curriculum products and see if their curriculum would be a good fit for your family too.

IEW Writing Packages

 

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IEW Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using IEW writing products with their families.

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Field Trip Journal Review

Our family has always made field trips a priority in educating our kids.  We want to take them on adventures to inspire, explore, inquire, and gain knowledge from first hand experience and hands on explorations.  Apologia Educational Ministries has a new resource to help your kids capture their field trip experiences, thoughts, and fun memories in the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal.   We were sent one for review a few weeks ago. We were excited about trying out this scrapbook-journal method for creating a memory book of our fun learning adventures.

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Apologia is one of our favorite homeschool curriculum companies.  They have a wonderful variety of high quality products, and we were pleased with this new addition to our homeschool.

Field Trip Journal

Field Trip Journal

For Kids of all ages.
Spiral Bound
Heavy duty
64 colorful pages printed on card stock
Retails for $22

Encourages kids to write about their field trip experience in creative ways.

Table of Contents

  • Prepare a field trip (with helpful tips like check lists for planning, before, during, and after).
  • Over 100 Field Trip Ideas
  • Places I have explored maps (for your state, country, and world).
  • How to use Specific Trip Pages
  • Field Trip Pages (for 10 field trips)
  • How to use My Special Spot pages
  • My Special Spot Pages  (a special spot is a 20 x 20 spot you sit and draw what you see 4 times a year, 1 time during each season, and notice how things change with the seasons).
  • How to use As I See It pages
  • As I See It (pages at the back of the journal can be used for illustrating what you see).

How We Used This In Our Home

I was really excited to receive the Field Trip Journal from Apologia for review and I was hopeful this would give us motivation to start creating a memory book of our fun learning adventures. I take hundreds of pictures of everything we do, daily, but seldom print them off my computer other than to create a yearbook page or mail to family because printer ink is expensive.   Most of the time, pictures just stay in digital format and get posted on social media or on this website.  But I realize that isn’t always the best thing.  Kids like to look over pictures too, and I hope this Field Trip Journal will get us int the habit of printing a few of our pictures, and writing down what we learned.

Working in his Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal.

Working in his Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal.

For each field trip, my son included a small map to show the location, and one picture (we tried to use two to three pictures per page) as well as a description of the field trip and any books you read, and what he did and what he wants to remember about it.  I was thrilled that he was motivated to use the journal.  He plans to use every section of the journal from cover to cover.  He did say he wished there was room to record more than 10 field trips, because we do so many, but I told him if we need to, we can convert other pages at the back of the book.

Here are four of our recent field trips completed during this reivew and recorded in his journal:

Nature Study Field Trip

Field trip to explore nature and small waterfall along the creek.
Field trip to explore nature and small waterfall along the creek.

Hueston Woods State Park Field Trip

The way I see it, kids need to experience life hands on, and they can’t experience much in an 8am-3pm classroom sitting at a desk.  Kids were made to move, explore, touch, run, laugh, and learn through play and hands on explorations.

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We have dumbed kids down both mentally and physically in the USA, by locking them into an 8 hour a day public education system that restricts physical movement.  This can causes childrens growing spines to become disfigured and grown in an S shape instead of a J shape.  Sitting in classrooms all day leads to week core muscles from a lack of activity, even though some kids play sports, the majority of kids have weak bones, week muscles, and a week spine.

Observing wild geese at the lake at Hueston Woods State Park.

Observing wild geese at the lake at Hueston Woods State Park.

Many kids are medicated to force them to sit still and be quiet in class.   Besides making them more prone to to back pain, joint pains, and serious health concerns, many children end up with a life long battle with meditations to try and fix the lack of physical freedom they experienced in childhood.

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Field trip to the Lake. It was such a beautiful day.

I would encourage families to explore the option of taking family field trips, and homeschooling and all the wonderful learning opportunities and physically freeing opportunities homeschooling offers for developing bodies and minds.

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Investigating the water’s edge at the lake.

I remember school days being so boring growing up. I enjoyed after school activities, and a few electives like music and track, but classroom time was usually a snooze!  I would literally stare at the clock watching the seconds and minutes pass by in most of my classes.  It was torture to have to sit still all day!  We only took a school field trip once or twice a year and had a field day once a year.  What kind of life is that for a kid?  Forget that!  I am forging ahead and excited about the next adventure.

Jimmy John’s Field Trip

We set out to find out if Jimmy Johns was as good or better than Subway.  Was it as good as everyone says?  How does a restruant like this become so successful?

Our stop at Jimmy Johns was a new experience for us.  The shop has a fun atmosphere and special names for every submarine sandwich.

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The sandwiches have a fixed description, and that is what is in the sandwich.  This is the real secret to how fast you are served, no one is standing around deciding what fixings are going in their sandwich.  Instead you choose the sandwich design from the menu that best fist your tastebuds.

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We let the children choose their sandwich, and choice of chips, and we all had waters to drink. The bread is very soft and fresh.

Jimmy Johns

Field Trip: New restrurant experience. We took a trip to Ohio and stopped at a Jimmy Johns sandwich shop because we had never been before.

I have another post for you to read more about this fun field trip to Jimmy John’s and all we learned.

Loveland Ohio Castle Chatue Laroche Field Trip

Castle Field Trip

Field Trip to Loveland Ohio to see the Castle.

My kids go on field trips at least 3 to 4 times a month!  It is a regular part of our school learning. They know they can look forward to going somewhere each week.  So they work hard on their school work and projects early in the week and prepare to go on some kind of adventure towards the end.  Sometimes we go on Fridays, but most of the time, we go on the weekend so we can include Dad in our learning adventures too.

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Overlooking the river from the castle balcony.

The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal has helped us keep up with a scrapbook style journal of our recent outings.   We usually keep what they want from our trips (brochures, pictures, postcards, etc) in their portfolio.   But now with this journal, they have a fun place to record their memories too.

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Castle Field Trip: standing beside a knight inside the castle.

The way I see it, kids need to experience life hands on, and they can’t experience much in an 8-3pm classroom.

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Castle Field Trip: playing old fashion games.

Check back soon to read the post about our field trip to the castle.

I would recommend school aged kids everywhere keep a fun journal of their learning adventures.  This will be a great way to look back on your year and be reminded of the wonderful time you had and all you learned about.

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Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

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Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

This dish smells amazing!  It is fast, simple, and nutritious!  I am putting one foot in front of the other as I make wise choices to eat healthy.  Healthy doesn’t have to mean you spend hours in the kitchen.  Healthy meals can come together fast and easy.

Talk about fast, this meal comes together in 5 minutes by premaking some ingredients once a week and storing them in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them.  I make a big batch of several healthy foods like quinoa use them for several dishes throughout the week.

I use my premade quinoa, and fresh salsa from the fridge to make this quick lunch.   But if you don’t have those on hand, allow yourself an extra 15 minutes or so to cook your quinoa (dry quinoa and water and heat for 15 minutes), and to chop your fresh salsa veggies.

Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

Black Bean Quinoa Pilaf

1 can Black Beans, drained

1/2 to 1 cup fresh salsa

1 cup pre-cooked quinoa, (or use 1/2 cup dry quinoa plus 1 cup water )

1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)

1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

1/4 tsp sea salt

Heat everything in a sauce pan over medium heat about 5 minutes if using premade quinoa.  You will need to cook for 15 minutes with a lid on if using dry uncooked quinoa and add the extra water.  Don’t cook too long or you might over cook your quinoa.  If you like your beans softer, heat them on the stove first until they become the texture you like.  Then add your quinoa after that.

Use this dish as the main meal, or as a side dish.  For the main meal, you can serve it with a side salad and fresh cucumbers, or use it as a filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, stuff it into peppers or potatoes or zucchini  or serve it like a taco salad, or blend it smooth into a dip and serve with veggies or tortilla chips for dipping.  You can also put this in the blender and cream it with water, broth, or milk of your choice to make a smooth protein packed soup and serve with tortilla chips or warm bread.

My personal preference is to make my quinoa ahead and add it with raw salsa both right at the end so this dish stays nice and fresh tasting.   I keep a double batch of quinoa so I have this ready to go in my fridge and another batch in my freezer to use for super quick nutritious meals.  It’s all good!!!

Latina Christiana Review

We are getting our curriculum for next fall ready, and took the opportunity to review Latina Christiana 1 Complete Set from Memoria Press.

Memoria Press

We are preparing classes and goals for my soon to be highschooler.  He studied Greek and Roman History and an introduction to the Greek Language this year.   As we set goals for his upcoming school year, we wanted to see if this introductory course to Latin might be a good fit for his Foreign Language requirement.

Three main reasons to Study Latin:

  • Helps kids master the English language.
  • Improves test scores.
  • Kids who study Latin score higher on SAT test than the average student.
  • Encourages mental discipline.
  • Encourages cultural understanding of the Greeks, Rome, and the Christian faith.

Latina Christiana

Latina Christiana 1 Complete Set

A beginning Latin Course
For students of all ages
Grade 3 and Above
Retails for $98.90

This Latin course is recommended if your student is:

  • In at least Grade 3 or higher, even if your child is in Highschool 12th Grade,
  • If they have had no prior experience learning the Latin Language.
  • It is also recommended for teachers who have no prior experience teaching Latin.

What We Received

With this program we received the complete set which includes:

Student Workbook:

  • 25 Lessons plus 5 Review Lessons.
  • Includes 10 vocabulary words, maps, song lyrics and exercises to go along with each lesson.
  • Sayings that teach Christian

Flashcards:

  • Includes card stock printed vocabulary cards with Latin and English to go along with each lesson.

Pronunciation CD:

  • Complete pronunciation of words in each lesson.
  • Also has performances of songs and prayers.

Instructional DVDs:

  • Includes 5 disks (18 hours of lessons)
  • Each disk contains  45+/-minute video instruction for each week’s lesson.
  • Comprehensive instruction
  • Grammar, Recitation, Review
  • Onscreen notes, illustrations, and diagrams
  • Self teaching format.  Complete virtual instruction so that motivated students can do this program independent of having a live teacher in the room.

Teacher Manual:

  • Notes on how to teach the lessons, incorporate the videos, cds, and flash cards.
  • Maps
  • History
  • Song lyrics
  • Copies of the student workbook pages with answer keys.
  • Recitation schedule.
  • Teaching tips for each lesson.
  • Questions for the optional history.
  • Reproducible drill practice pages.
  • Lesson quizzes
  • Review Tests that cover each set of five lessons.

Several supplemental materials are also available for additional purchase including Latin Work Wall Charts ($20), a Certificate of Completion ($.50), and National Exam Guides (3 guides: Introduction, Level 1, and Level 2 (prices vary)), Review Worksheets ($9.95), and additional Student Workbooks ($16).

How We Used This In Our Home

We received the Latina Christiana 1 Complete Set for the purpose of writing an honest review. This material covers 25 lessons, and each lesson is designed to be studied for 5 days or 1 week. For most students this course will provide a whole school year of Foreign language learning. An older student could complete this course in 1 semester if highly motivated and moved at a fast pace.

Latina Christiana by Memoria Press

We finished up our 2014-2015 school year several weeks ago, but jumped on this opportunity to review Latina Christiana 1 when it was offered through The Old Schoolhouse for review.  My son wants to study foreign languages, and started to really apply himself this past year in Spanish 1 and also learning Greek Morphemes.

Maps

He took an awesome online class this school year on the History of the Greek and Roman Empire and New Testament Church History.  He loved it!  He let me know he wanted to learn even more about this period in history and learn to speak Greek and Latin.  This Latin Language course seemed like a good way to introduce him to the language and give him even more experience with learning about the early church.

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He is very smart, but I never in my wildest dreams thought my kids would want to learn how to read languages like Greek and Latin, or learn about early New Testament History.  Not many 8th grade boys think like that!  But he is fascinated with the formation of the Christian church, and comparing how different it is today.  If it is this fascinating to an 8th grader, perhaps everyone in modern day church could learn something from reviewing early church and the Greek and Roman culture in the beginning of it’s formation.   Thank God for the opportunity to write reviews with TOS, because they have provided our family with all of these opportunities to review and learn each of these classes my son has been interested in this year.

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When the material first arrived, we went through the materials together.  We read through and practiced pronouncing some of the letter combinations that would be used in the course.  These are found right in the beginning of both the Student Workbook and the Teachers Manual.   After this initial introduction, and he became more familiar with the materials, he took off like a rocket and my son has mostly worked on this class independently so far.   He always gets to it before I am ready since I have six kids to help.  He does most of his studies independently at this point.  But I hope to get him to slow down a bit and be able to get his brothers in on the fun too this fall.  Honestly I want to learn this too, as I believe I can understand the scriptures even more by learning this language.  I don’t want to be left out and this is my opportunity to learn it right along with the kids.

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Each day my son sits down to the video instruction from the DVD.   She does a very good job explaining things in simple easy to understand instructions.  He has the opportunity to pause the DVD and practice what he is learning and then move forward.  Next he listens to the pronunciations on the CD and uses his flash cards.  Then he completes the related assignment in his Student Workbook.

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He is a very motivated self learner.  He can search out any info on the internet and apply it before my head even grasps what button to push on my keyboard.  So in true fashion to his character, he took the lead on learning this material on his own.  He is thrilled with it, and finds it easy to navigate.  Our toughest challenge has been pronunciation of some of the words is different than they are written.  Some words sound the same as they are written.  So going back and forth and understanding when to use a different sound for the same letters has been the biggest challenge for him to wrap his brain around.

My son found this beginning Latin course challenging, and we are both excited for him to resume learning with it when our new school year 2015-2016 begins this fall.  I plan to purchase the wall charts and certificates and the additional student workbooks for the next two sons right behind him, and one for mom (and maybe Dad) too.  I hope to motivate all three of the older boys to learn this material together during our coming school year.   This class is definitely on our list of curriculum for this coming year.

I would encourage you to consider introducing your students to Latin.  I did not have this learning opportunity growing up and was a bit scared of it at first.   But once we got into the materials, I am excited my kids have this wonderful curriculum resource.

These course materials could be used in a variety of class settings and great for homeschoolers, coop classes, private schools, after school learning, and even bible study enrichment.  This is such a valuable resource and teaching tool so why not use it for Sunday School church classes too.  Think of the fun you will have to offer your students (young or old) a certificate of completion when they have finished! I am looking forward to both my kids and myself earning our certificates too!!

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Memoria Press Review

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