Tag Archives: preschool

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks Review

Practice makes perfect, and My First Letters from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks is a perfect fit for my son who is learning his ABC’s.

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks are consumable student workbooks that have a patent pending method for handwriting practice.  They may look simple at first glance, however they have several special features that helps kids improve handwriting skills.

The special features in all of Channie’s Workbooks include a thicker quality recycled paper that won’t rip as students write on it.  They also give the student the option to write on the pages while in the workbook, or remove the pages and then write on them if desired.  Every page in these workbooks includes color-coded shaded “writing blocks” with lines (both vertical and horizontal lines) that clearly establish the placement of the upper-case letters, lower-case letters, and numbers. These writing blocks are the key in establishing mental habits of neater writing skills. The goal in using this product is that through confidence building and repetition of consistent letter placement within the writing blocks, a student’s handwriting skills will become neater and independent.

These workbooks were created by a mom who wanted a better way to help her son improve his handwriting skills.  The method she developed made a big difference for him.  Since that time she has created several easy to use resources (nearly 26 items for sale including bundled options) to help kids practice and improve their handwriting skills.  Her products are available for sale on her website and several retail stores.

These are just a few of the products Channie’s has to offer:

  • My First Letters: Is an 80 page handwriting pad with letters to trace, corresponding pictures to color, and shaded blank lines to practice handwriting letters of the alphabet. (PreK – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Easy Peasy Alphabet:  Is an 80 page workbook with two letter tracing pages for each letter of the alphabet and blank pages to practice handwriting. (PreK Grade – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Quick & Neat Alphabet Pad: Is an 80 page handwriting pad with blank color coded pages for handwriting practice. (PreK – 1st Grade) $12.95
  • Easy Peasy Cursive: Is an 80 page color coded writing pad for practicing cursive handwriting.  It includes pages with letters to trace, pages with words to trace, and blank pages too. The vertical guide lines are slanted to help improve proper letter placement. (1st Grade – 3rd Grade) $12.95
  • One Page A Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook:  Is a 50 page math and numerical writing workbook.  Each page contains 25 double digit math problems to solve.   These pages help children learn how to consistently write numbers correctly and neatly in line for addition and subtraction equations, and improve their math skills.  (1st Grade – 3rd Grade) $12.95

This video helps explain more about this patent pending handwriting method in Channie’s Workbooks.

Our Experience:

My youngest son is enjoying using the My First Letters Workbook.   I have added it to his daily homeschool workbox and it only takes a couple of minutes for him to do.  We have used some printable worksheets for handwriting practice so far this school year, but he is a beginner and is not confident in writing just yet.  Having this workbook for more practice with the correct letter placement and confidence building is a nice to addition to his daily routine.

Inside the front cover is a reference for each letter and number the kids will practice while using this workbook.  There are 3 practice pages per letter, including tracing the capital letter and coloring a corresponding picture, tracing the lower case letter and coloring the corresponding picture again, and writing both upper and lower case letters repeatedly without tracing.

My son did not want to write the letters without tracing during this review, though I am sure he will embrace this task as his confidence increases.  So after a few tries getting him to write them, I decided I would not push him to write the “on your own” letters yet, and let him just work through the tracing pages for now.   So we mainly concentrated on tracing the capital letters for the purpose of this review, and will practice the lower case letters and writing the letters without tracing soon.

He was aware when he slipped with the pencil and missed tracing on the line.  The shaded color coded boxes with guide lines make it very easy to see when you get off track.  He tried to erase a few of his stray lines and re-trace them, but I told him not to worry about trying to do it perfectly and just give it his best try and we would move forward so he did not become frustrated with this task.

We are still working on how to hold the pencil correctly and he insists on holding it his own way.  However, at age 5, I am not pushing him to be perfect with these skills just yet. We have an upcoming review on a pencil gripping device for beginners that will hopefully help him improve his pencil holding skills which will help him complete this handwriting workbook with even greater accuracy .

As long as he is trying his best, that is acceptable to me.  I have raised 6 kids, and 5 of them are boys, and most boys seem to do things their own way at this young age.  I have noticed that as they get older, they develop a desire to perfect their skills, so I am not worried about perfection right now.  My daughter was always more receptive to instruction about “how” to do a specific task correctly, however her brothers on the other hand at this age and seem to be more of the mindset when they tackle a task to just “get it done”.

These handwriting workbooks are very easy to do, they take very little time, and are practical for teaching kids how to write neatly.  I would encourage everyone to pick up a few of these books for daily practice at home and on the go.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks on their social media links for all the latest news, tips, and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/channiesworkbook

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWgCFOVT77TeTsf_5fzufA

BLOG: https://www.channies.com/blog/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Novare Science and Math in their home.

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Greek ‘n’ Stuff: Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Review

Want a fun way to learn Greek?  Then check out Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set by Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

We have been using the Student Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD from their Level 3 Greek language course.  I am really impressed with this curriculum.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Student Worktext 

Soft Cover

Spiral Bound

Retail $21.95

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext
  • Alphabet and Vocabulary review
  • Greek Grammar
  • Masculine and Neuter Second Declension Nouns
  • Present Active Indicative Verbs
  • Movable nu
  • Read and Write Simple Greek Sentences
  • Matching, Dot-to-dot, Puzzles
  • Flashcard Pages (printed on normal workbook paper at the back of the workbook)
  • For Older Students (upper elementary – adult) and Students Who Have Completed Level 2

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

WorkText with Answer Key (Teacher Manual)

Spiral Bound

Soft Cover

Retail $21.92

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext with Answers
  • Teacher Tips
  • Translation Helps
  • Sample Lesson Plan Schedule
  • Big Picture You are Here – Grammatical Overview Charts
  • Some English Derivatives of the Greek Words Taught In This Level
  • References for Further Study
  • Recommended for those who have not had previous experience with the Greek language.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Pronunciation CD

Level 3 and Level 4

Retail $10.00

  • Biblical Greek
  • Level 3 and Level 4
  • Pronunciation of New Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation of Paradigms
  • Indexed to the Workbook Level and Page (this is very handy)
  • The Alphabet Song

Our Experience With This Course:

I am excited about this course!  The Worktext teaches kids (and adults) Biblical Greek in a fun, familiar, and interactive way.

This course feels similar to an early learning English course.  In the beginning, my son learned the alphabet and practiced writing the letters, he practiced saying the letters and voicing the sounds each letter makes, just as he did when he learned English.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek Level 3 course is a beginning level Greek course for students 10 – Adult.  Each level is color coded and we are using Level 3 with the “green” color for beginners.  Level 3 is also a continuation level of Greek for younger students who first used Levels 1 (dark pink) and 2 (blue), and younger students who are reading and writing at least at an upper elementary age.

If students are younger than 10 they are encouraged to start with the first two levels that have less information per page and less writing. Kids younger than 2 grade should start with Level 1 and kids older than second grade but younger than upper elementary age should start with Level 2.

36 Lessons

There are 36 Lessons in this curriculum and it is intended to be used as a full school year (or 36 weeks) of study.  Each week begins a new lesson and each lesson has daily assignments for that week.  

There are both written and verbal practice assignments and to do the course well, students need a minimum of the Worktext, a Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards (either from the back of the Worktext or purchased seperately) to master the lessons.  The lessons included in this beginner’s language course are:

  1. Alphabet review – Part 1
  2. Alphabet review – Part 2
  3. Vocabulary review – Part 1
  4. Vocabulary review – Part 2
  5. Accusative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  6. First person – singular and plural (present active tense)
  7. Genitive case – plural (second declension masculine)
  8. Genitive case – singular (second declension masculine)
  9. Vocabulary review – Part 3
  10. Vocabulary review – Part 4
  11. Third person – singular (present active tense)
  12. Nominative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  13. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 1
  14. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 2
  15. Third person – plural (present active tense)
  16. Nominative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  17. Moveable v, vocabulary and sentence practice
  18. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 3
  19. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 1
  20. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 2
  21. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 4
  22. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 5
  23. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 6
  24. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 7
  25. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 8
  26. Second person – plural (present active tense)
  27. Dative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  28. Dative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  29. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 9
  30. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 3
  31. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 4
  32. Nominative and accusative cases – singular and plural (second declension neuter)
  33. Second person – singular (present active tense)
  34. Vocative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  35. Final review – Part 1
  36. Final review – Part 2

Appendix

Additional “Help” pages are available in the back of the book.  There are several Appendix pages including:

  • Glossaries
  • Greek Alphabet
  • Vowels and Diphthongs
  • Punctuation
  • Breathing Marks
  • Word Order
  • Voices of the Greek Verb
  • Moods of the Greek Verb
  • Present Tense
  • Gender of the Greek Noun
  • Cases of the Greek Noun
  • Second Declension
  • Bible Copy Work
  • Index
  • Feedback Form
  • Flashcards (printed on paper in book to be cut out if desired, or buy additional flashcards printed on heavy cardstock with metal ring available on the website.)

We have enjoyed using this course so far.  After a few weeks of using this with my 12 year old son, I could not believe how easily he learned Greek using this method.  He worked on a lesson a week and completed various workbook pages each day.

Getting started with Greek.

We took a mini-break from school for a couple of weeks this summer, and he got right back to it when we got home and has already made it to Lesson 4!  He is motivated to learn and really likes using this.  He has never had Greek before, this was his first exposure to the language and I am very pleased with how well this curriculum is working for him.

Practice writing and pronouncing Greek letters.

At this level, learning is familiar, even though it is a different language. Similarly to learning English, with this Greek Worktext, as he learned the names of letters, how to write them and pronounce them, then he began learning how to put the sounds together to pronounce words and eventually learn to use those words in phrases.

When you look closely at some of the pictures, you might notice my son’s Popsicle stick bookmark he was using.  He wanted a quick way to find all the letters in the Greek Alphabet on one page, and the Glossary of word definitions.  He marked these quick references found at the back of the worktext in the Appendix with a Popsicle stick.  The resources at the back help a lot in seeing the big picture and understanding.

The Teacher’s Worktext with Answer Key has helped me understand what my son is learning.   This book has everything in it that the main worktext has with the addition of the answers and several teaching helps.  So even though I have not had Greek language training, with the help of the book I can help my kids learn the material in their worktext and we can discuss it.

The CD is an invaluable resource for learning how to prounounce the letter sounds and words correctly.  The repetition of practice with the flashcards and the Worktext help reinforce what he is learning.

More!

I have been so impressed with using the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD  that we were sent for review. I am especially impressed how well my 12 year old son has progressed through it, that I decided to purchase two more copies of the student Worktext, three sets of Flashcards, three sets of the Quiz and Text Booklets, and a set of the Greek Alphabet Bookmarks (no more Popsicle sticks!).

Our additional books arrived last week!  Now the 12, 14, and 17 year old boys are all learning Greek.  Thank you Greek ‘n’ Stuff for creating these resources!   Though the two older boys are just getting started with theirs and are a few weeks behind their younger brother, I have no doubt they will be able to catch up with him and they can learn with this method together and this will be even more beneficial for all them as they journey this course together.

All of the resources are great!  I would encourage everybody to get the flashcards and bookmarks too.  They are not expensive and they are an invaluable resource.

The bookmarks have the complete Greek alphabet.  This resource includes the capital letter, small letter, Greek name of the letter, short vowels, long vowels, and dipthongs.  The bookmarks are inexpensive and come in a set of 5.  Since I only needed three for the boys, that left one for my husband and me.  I love it!  I am using it to mark where I am reading in my bible.  It is a really handy resource to have.

These Flashcards are wonderful too.  They contain 78 cards already to use, so I don’t have to cut them out of the back of the student Worktext.  They are sturdy and made with a heavy duty paper so they will hold up to repeated use.  They are printed double sided, so the word my son is learning is on one side and the meaning is on the reverse.  Also on the reverse side is the Greek Level and Lesson Page # so he can go back and review the lesson again when needed.  The cards are also hole punched to keep them organized on the provided metal ring.

I am considering getting the Level 1 and Level 2 for my younger three children so they can work through the beginning level for younger students together too.   The younger level has coloring pages and fun activities and is much easier for young kids just starting out.

Additional Level 3  Supportive Products Available:

Though you can master this course with the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD, I personally think it would be worth your time to check out the additional supportive materials and bundled sets Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer. I would especially encourage families to at least add in the sturdy Flashcards and Bookmarks.

Each level is numbered and color coded, so be sure to buy the supportive materials that match the level you are using.  We are using the Level 3 (green) so when purchasing supportive products, I made sure each one matched with the correct number and color.

A few of the additional Level 3 items available for this course include:

Flashcards. (78 Cards + Metal Ring)$8.00

Bookmarks (Set of 5) – $6.00

Sheet Music for the Greek Alphabet Song – $2.95

Quizzes and Exams – $5.50

Answers only key – $6.00

Bible Copybook – The Gospel of John – $25.95

FREE STUFF

Be sure to check out the FREE Greek Sample Pages Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers on their website.  They offer free samples of Greek, as well as Latin, and Bible curriculum.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff

Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers 8 levels of Greek language training.  The first three levels are for beginners.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff also offer student worktexts in Bible Studies, Songs, Readers, and Copywork in the Greek language too.   But that is not all, they also have language learning products in Latin and French, and have several Bible Studies too.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Greek ‘n’ Stuff on their social media for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreeknStuff/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/heyandrewteachmesomegreek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreeknStuff
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kuriakos/greek-n-stuff/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmohs/

Homeschool Review Crew

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew recently had to opportunity to review several of the great products Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2 Set

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set

Alone with God Bible Studies

I Can Study Jonah & Ruth Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Esther Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study I Samuel Alone With God Bible Study (39 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) KJV or NIV

Be sure to check out other reviews written by families on the Homeschool Review Crew about using these products with their kids.

Please share.

WordsBright Review

Need a fresh new way to teach the ABC’s to your little ones?  Then you might want to explore S is for Smiling Sunrise by WordsBright.

S is for Smiling Sunrise

S is for Smiling Sunrise

For children 3 and older
Beneficial for learning the English alphabet in a hands on cross curricular way.
32 pages
Hardback book (other options available)
Free MP3 song, poster, and teaching guides for teachers and parents.
Retails for $16.95

a is for art

When you purchase this book, it also includes several free items to further the learning experience:

Free word poster
Free MP3 song
Free parents guide
Free teacher’s guide

Screenshot (12)

About the Author

Vick Wadhwa is a father, author, entreprenuer, and pharmacutical scientist.  He wrote this book with his daughter in mind, to further her understanding of character qualities while learning her ABC’s.  He wrote poems for the alphabet and then put them to song music, and eventually created an award winning, brightly colored, fully illustrated book to enjoy and share the experience.

colors

Awards

Won several “BEST” awards:
2015 National Parenting Publications Award
USA Best Book Awards Finalist
I Love To Read Month featured book

How We Used This In Our Home:

We were really excited to be chosen to review this book.  My three and six year olds couldn’t wait for it to arrive. The three year old was especially excited and claimed the book as his own, letting all the other children know that this was his “schoolwork”.

reading

He loves listening to the song and following along in the book.  He asks me several times a day, “Play my song mommy!  Play my ABC song!”  He also loves to have an older sibling or mommy read the book to him.

abc

The book:  Each letter in the book shows the upper and lower case letter and features a special word as the focus. Under that is a brightly colored picture that relates to the word.  Under the picture is a poem that relates to the word and picture, and also includes descriptive words to explore further.   See the picture posted above for examples of “A  Artwork  a” , “B  Butterflies  b” and “C  Colors  c” and you can see examples of how the book is layed out.

The Song:  Puts the read aloud book to music.  Fun to sing along and look at the pictures.

Teachers Guide: Follows a pattern of teaching and exploring language and living ideas using each letter in the book.   Concepts like Beauty, Goodness, and Wonder are explored through rhymes and brightly colored pictures in the book, as well as a series of questions and activities for the parent /teacher to explore further after reading and singing each letter.

The same pattern is repeated for each letter to explore:
Concepts of living: How the word or related word picture relates to every day life, how it enriches life, how it relates to character, virtue, manners, and appreciation.
Questions: provoke deeper thought using the picture to spark ideas and discussion.
Vocabulary Words: from 3 to 12 new descriptive words that relate to the letter word.
Activities: hands on learning adventures to explore, create, and do with the child.

We were able to combine several learning activities while using the book, song, and guides. So many great ideas are included in the suggestions within the Teachers Guide. Many of these activities complimented the other learning activities we had going with the older kids.

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Some of the suggestions throughout the book include fun activities like:

Field Trips: go outside on a walk, visit the zoo, visit a planetarium, play at the park, visit an art museum,
Art: paint, color, sing, dance, crafts, etc.
Science Obeservations: butterflies, heart beat, observe nature outside, observe the night sky, plant a garden, observe colors, nutrition,
Math: time, time of day or night, observe parts of flowers, observation of time,
Character Virtue and Manners: give a gift, say thank you, inner and outer beauty, honesty,

and so much more.

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This would be a really fun book to make a scrap book of all the learning activities for, and do it like “rowing a book” or as a “letter of the week” and do a unit study for each letter following the suggestions in the Teacher’s Guide.

Video

Here is a video of the book, song, and activities in action:

Social Media

Be sure to follow on social media for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook www.facebook.com/wadhwavick

Wordsbright Review

Find out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using this product in their homes.

Crew Disclaimer

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Hewitt Homeschooling Review

logo

Hewitt Homeschooling has some great products for homeschool families. We are reviewing My First Reports: Bugs and Worms by Hewitt Homeschooling, and we are learning lots of great information and having fun at the same time.  If you are in the process of putting your curriculum choices together, I would encourage you to add products from Hewitt Homeschooling to the list.

pic of homeschool help

 

My First Reports

One unique product Hewitt Homeschooling offers is a curriculum supplement called My First Reports.  My first reports uses a step by step approach to help elementary age children learn about a subject they are interested in and write a report about it.

Skills used in My First Reports include:

Research
Organizing
Sorting
Writing
Penmanship
Vocabulary
Reading
Critical Thinking

There are several My First Reports to choose from and they are geared for different ages, but all are flexible and can be used for grades 1 – 8 depending on the skill level of your student.

My First Report: Music
My First Report: Transportation
My First Report: Weather
My First Report: Me
My First Report: Famous People
My First Report: Wild Animals / Large Mammals
My First Report: Wild Animals / Small Mammals
My First Report: Pets/Farm Animals
My First Report: Bugs and Worms
My First Report: Birds
My First Report: Reptiles/Amphibians
My First Report: Plants
My First Report: Solar System
My First Report: Marine Life
My First Report: Olympics
My First Report: Outdoor Activities
My First Report: Sports
My First Report: My State
My First Report: Eastern United States
My First Report: Western United States
My First Report: Middle United States
My First Report: Southern United States
My First Report: Lewis and Clark Expedition
My First Report: Focus On The World

You can purchase My First Reports individually for $8.95 , or buy 14 titles as a bundle for $69.95 and save nearly 40% off retail.

 

Our Experience:

Bugs and Worms

We chose My First Reports: Bugs and Worms for this review.  It is designed for kids in 3rd – 4th grades, but can be used for younger students in 1st-2nd grades or older students in 5th-8th grades too.  My First Reports: Bugs and Worms contains 52 pages including reproducible forms, worksheets, suggested reading and resources, and a unit study.

When we received the packet from Hewitt Homeschooling, I placed the pages into a binder.   The pages come already hole punched so you can put it into a three ring binder for convenience, or into your students completed notebook if you desire.  I am a unit study “collector”, or perhaps a unit study nerd might describe me better.   I guess and I love being able to insert them into a binder and keep them for future use.  If someday I pass along our schoolroom to my own grown kids, or to another family, hopefully all the unit studies we have acquired or created over the years will be easy to just grab and go because they are arranged neatly in their own binders.  You could fill a whole book shelf with them.  Ooohhh Awwhhhh.  Yep, I am a unit study nerd!

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We were very excited about this curriculum.  This package covers information about 12 different bugs and worms:

Grasshoppers
Flies
Ants
Bees
Fireflies
Crickets
Ladybugs
Spiders
Caterpillars
Butterflies / Moths
Dragonflies
Worms

DSC01865

 

 

Unit Study Approach

This set is designed to used for 12 weeks, in a unit study method, covering one bug or worm and corresponding worksheets and suggested activities per week.  Being a unit study, many different ages of kids can enjoy it, and it is cross curricular for many different subjects and covers:

Math
Reading
Social Studies
Music
Art
Language
History
Science
Health
P.E.
Bible
Suggested Field Trips

DSC01754 (Picture my son took of hundreds of new born baby spiders emerging from their nest on a tiger lily).

During the process of learning about a bug or worm you will also do many activities mentioned in the accompanying unit study.  For example, various activities to choose from might include:  geography you will take a map of your state or a region and list bugs found there.  Younger students might cut out pictures and paste them on the map and older students would likely create a map and write a list of various insects identifying  them and their locations or to add in an art aspect, they might sketch them too.  In the bible they would learn about insects mentioned in various verses.  For reading and literature they would read various books, magazines, news articles, and poems about bugs.   For Language you would learn insect vocabulary words and spelling of each insect, as well as answer the report questions on the worksheets. You might create word puzzles and give an oral report too.  For Math, you put the insects in order based on a category such as length or color or weight ect.  Perhaps you could make a graph for comparisons.  You might calculate speeds and distance traveled or the amount of food they eat.  For Science you will make comparison graphs for body characteristics, learn about habitats and how to classify, catch-observe-release different insects when you are studying each one, etc.  One suggestion is to build a wormery when you study the worms section.  For art and science you might make a kite and then for P.E. you would go outside and fly it.  Also for P.E. you would take a hike through your neighborhood or a park to look for insects and study where they are found, what they sound like, etc.  For music you might study and recreate the sound of various insects, sing songs about insects and songs about creation including songs and praises to God.  Art has so many suggestions like making a spider web, visiting an art museum, making collages or mosaics, sculptures, and various crafts.  Field tips ideas include hikes or nature walks in various locations like parks, nature preserves, zoos, museums, the insect section of the library, a honey farm, or other farms where insects are used in some way, nature store, etc.

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While learning about each “critter”, my 3rd grader completed a worksheet for each bug we learned about.  The worksheet includes a picture of the bug, its class and scientific order, vocabulary words, and several questions to research further.   He is encouraged to write complete sentences when answering the questions.  When the week of learning about the insect is complete, and he has answered all the questions, he can transfer that information into a finished report by using his answers to help create paragraphs for a report about the insect he is writing about.

IMG_1593

I have always loved the hands on aspect of Field Trips.  My kids love the adventure and learning outside the classroom / house.  We took a field trip two weeks ago to the Creation Museum to learn more about the history of insects and see various species in their collections.

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This is a great curriculum resource and I would encourage other homeschool families to work it into their learning adventures this school year.  My First Reports would also be a great adventure for summer school, Sunday School, or afterschool learning adventures too.

Social Media Links:

You can follow Hewitt Homeschooling on their social media to keep up with all the latest news and updates.

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/HewittHomeschooling

Twitter
https://twitter.com/HewittOnline

Pinterest
http://www.pinterest.com/hewittonline/

Google Plus
https://plus.google.com/b/115323246990194958229/+HewittHomeschoolingResources/posts

Hewitt Blog
http://hewitthomeschoolingresources.blogspot.com/

Click to read Crew Reviews
Be sure to check out what other families on The Old Schoohouse Review Crew had to say about using various products from Hewitt Homeschooling to meet your homeschool needs.

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Activity Bags

Do you want a learning activity that is quick and easy to do with your kids? I am a busy homeschool mom with 6 kids, and I am frequently looking for a quick project the kids can do. I don’t know where the time (or my energy) goes, but there are days we need a fun project that is already prepared and easy to implement.

Roll and Color Activity Bags

Do you want something for kids to do that is portable? Do you need a quiet and busy activity for the younger, or older kids? Do you want a fun project that is easily adaptable to do with various ages, and with both small or large groups? Need a fun activity to do with your coop, church group, club, birthday party, or neighbor kids? Do you want to give homemade gifts that kids will love?

I have found a great solution to fill all of these needs:

Activity Bags Logo

Activity Bags are simple project bags you create. Yes, YOU build them! I love projects that my children and I can build ourselves. I don’t like complicated projects. I need easy, fast projects that we can build together and projects that include the oldest down to the youngest and we all benefit from. Activity Bags definitely meets my needs.

Activity Bags We Made

The method to build the bags, and all printouts are provided for you in an eBook (pdf) downloadable form. Every step is simple and easy to follow and projects are designed to cost about $1 +/- by using a few low cost items and household supplies.

Activity Bags, LLC was created by two busy homeschool moms, check out their ABOUT page. They know the needs of moms with kids of various ages. Sometimes you need a busy activity for the toddlers. Sometimes you need an independent activity for the older kids. These moms got creative and turned their activity ideas into a business to help moms everywhere provide fun, educational, and inexpensive activities to their own children.

Below is a list of the current Activity Bags eBooks available. If you click on the PRODUCTS link, there will be a link for an explanation of each eBook. On each product page there is another link to view free samples if you would like to see what’s included and try it out for free before you buy. There is also a free Coordinator’s Handbook if you plan to use your activity bags in a swap. Also there is a free download sample eBook sent to you in exchange for filling out a short survey and signing up for the email newsletter.

Preschool Activities In A Bag eBook 1

Preschool Activities In A Bag eBook 2

Preschool Activities In A Bag eBook 3

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 1

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 2

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 3

Reading Games In A Bag eBook

Travel Activities In A Binder eBook

Math Games In A Bag eBook

Daily Activity Journal eBook 1

Daily Activity Journal eBook 2

Coordinators Handbook eBook FREE

Be sure to watch for more subjects in the Activity Bags product line. We heard there was a Crafts In A Bag eBook coming soon. I can’t wait to try it. I also want to try the Preschool In A Bag and the Reading In A Bag. Oh who am I kidding? I want to try ALL of the ” …… In A Bag” Activity Bags! They all look great and I know my kids would have fun learning with all of them.

SCIENCE

I am currently reviewing the Science eBooks 1, 2, and 3. Each Science eBook costs $15 and includes 25 activities. Discounts are available when you combine purchases and order several eBooks at a time. Check the website for full discount details. Printables included for each experiment include a supplies list (with supplies calculated for 1, 10, 15, and 20 bags), a project label, an experiment project sheet with step by step instructions to do the experiment, a scientific method observations sheet with questions about the project, a warning or disclosure statement to remind parents about safety.

Science 1

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 1 is 164 pages and includes 25 activities that focus on biology, nature, and general science. For grades K-8th.

Science 2

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 2 is 153 pages and includes 25 activities that focus on chemistry, human body, and general science. For grades K-8th.

Science 3

Science Experiments In A Bag eBook 3 is 151 pages and includes 25 activities that focus on chemistry. For grades K-8th.

MATH

We are also reviewing Math Games In A Bag eBook 1. This is a great hands on resource for math practice.

Math Games

Math Games In A Bag includes 33 activities. It contains 201 pages complete with instructions and printouts. For elementary grades, though I think it is great review for older students too.

WHAT WE THOUGHT ABOUT IT

Fun!

These Activity Bags are fun! They work great for busy homeschool moms. I have used a similar idea to take projects on the go with me to keep my toddlers busy when I had an appointment, and when my older children had music lessons. I have also taken my own version of these on trips to keep everyone busy. I have lots of times each day when I need a busy activity for the toddlers so I can help the older children with their school work. To be honest, I have had times with toddlers when busy activities didn’t keep their attention, and the only option was to go outside and release their energy with play.

Instructions for activity bags

But having someone lay it all out for me in an eBook is such a blessing. I don’t even have to think about it. All the thinking and planning has been done. I just print out my pages, locate the items listed in the eBook for each activity, and place it in the bags. These are easy to make ahead activities. You can choose what you want to do for the week ahead and make them up and place in your students workboxes for a hassle free project for the kids to do.

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I teach homeschool learning programs in the park, workshops, and a science and engineering 4-H club, and I think some of the projects in these science activity bags will work great for these classes. And these bags are such a great way to organize my teaching materials and have everything ready to go. I found several experiments in the Science Experiments In A Bag eBooks that will work great to add to our learning programs for both of the group programs, as well as at home for our homeschool.

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I would love to make up a batch of these bags for birthday parties. You could choose a party theme around a science theme, then choose which science activities to fit the party theme. You could have the kids work on an activity bag during the party. They could also be used as party “take home” favors for the kids. I am always looking for party favor ideas that are more than just candy and stickers. I love giving kids something educational as well as fun at the same time. Activity Bags say they are “fun and education fit together in the same bag”. It works for me!

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Some science / birthday party examples might be: a pirate party (why some things float, salt water salination and desalination, study the ocean, preserving with vit C, wind power, weaponry with cata
pults and combustion); a “mad science” lab party (fun experiments with chemistry); a doctor party (human body experiments); a detective party (fingerprints, secret codes experiments); a summer pool party (water experiments); a garden party (learn about soils, compost, worms, trees, filtration, plant and insect science); a construction party (make geometric shapes, learn about soils, trees, architecture); space party (learn about air, rockets, solar power, make a sun dial); etc.

Another thought I had was to make up several bags to fit into shoe boxes or the USPS postal boxes, and send to kids who may not have access to learning projects such as these. What a wonderful gift these would make! A child would enjoy receiving a bag in their Christmas box like a learning project or math game with dice and everything he or she needed to practice and play with a friend or sibling.

SWAP

Instead of a “cookie swap” with your friends, how about an Activity Bag Swap? Moms can use these bags in their own homes, or give them as gifts. It is a very easy process to do. One person (the coordinator) buys the eBook and organizes the swap. The coordinator sends out the printouts and materials list to each participant. Each person makes enough activities to exchange with their group.

For example, 10 moms could each make 10 exact copies of 1 activity bag, then get together with the other moms for a swap. Each mom would leave the swap with 10 different activity bags for her kids (a larger group of 25 moms would leave the swap with 25 different activities, etc).

A swap would be a great way to use up identical supplies that you otherwise might not need again. For example, I found dice for math games 10 pairs for $1, enough to make 10 math games using pairs of dice or 20 math games using a single die. I also bought wooden skewers 24 for $1, surgical gloves 10 for $1, 10 balloons for $1, etc. If I am only going to need one set of these items to make an activity bag project, I could use the extra sets of supplies for a swap. Instead of buying supplies for every experiment, I can buy bulk supplies of one experiment and let someone else buy the other supplies for other experiments, and we can both reap the benefits.

How to store your activity bags?

Basically any designated box, bin, or container will work for storing the bags. The thinner bags, such as the bags for math, reading, and travel eBook activities will store neatly in a binder, magazine holders, or files. You can 3 hole punch the bags to fit right into a large binder to easily take them “on the go”.

I store my bags in an inexpensive hanging file folder box, like we use for our workboxes. When I was a kid, we called them milk crates.

Activity Bags in Workboxes

These boxes retail for about $5 at the local Walmart, but I found some on clearance for $2.50 there during the “off season” too. These boxes will hold lots of file folders filled with bags, but some of the science experiments are too bulky to sit nicely in a file folder. Instead, I can stack my bags in the box laying on the bottom, or stand them up. In the picture above, I have seven bags prepared, and as I filled the workbox with more and more projects, it was easier to stand them up. I wrote the name of the project in the bag at the top of the bags so I could easily read it when they are standing up in the workbox. These workboxes hold way more than I can count of the thin activity bags in hanging file folders, and about 25 or 30 bulky science bags. That is enough activities to keep the kids busy for a long time! These boxes stack nicely on top of each other, take up little space, and are a handy storage storage option with or without using hanging file folders.

Costs To Make Activity Bags

There was very little expense involved in making the actual activity bags. I purchased a box of gallon size zip close bags (20 for $2 = .10 cents each), sandwich size bags (40 for $2 = .05 cents each), and a few supplies at Walmart and the dollar store. The supplies I bought actually had 10+ more items to a package for $1 (10 for $1 = .10 cents each).

Each Activity Bags project is designed to cost you around $1 +/- to put together using some supplies and materials you might already have on hand, and maybe a few things you will need to purchase. We were able to make up several bags with very little expense.

Here are my costs (no cost figured for supplies I had on hand) for just 3 of the science experiment bags we made:

Where's The Water? Bag

“Where’s The Water?” science project cost .20 cents:
.10 for the gallon bag
.10 for the surgical gloves
.00 for the paper cup saved from a hotel room stay. ( .02 cents if I had to buy one)
.00 for the left over diaper kids outgrew before using it. (.50 cents if I had to buy one)
.00 water

Instructions for activity bags

“Balloon Skewer” science project cost .50 cents:
.10 for the gallon bag
.30 for 3 balloons (we actually used more balloons to repeat the 3 experiments in this project because it is so much fun)
.10 for wooden skewers
.00 for a stick pen we had on hand (.01 cent if had to buy, a box of 100 of them for $1)
.00 for a small drop of vaseline we had on hand (could buy a container for lots of needs for $1)
.00 for a small piece of tape we had on hand (could buy a roll of tape for .50 cents)

Marble

“Marbleous” science project cost .50 cents:
.10 gallon bag
.10 sandwich bag
.10 chalk
.20 for 4 clear plastic cups
.00 plastic spoon we had on hand (could by 24 for $1)
.00 paper we had on hand (could buy a pack of paper for $1)
.00 paper towel we had on hand (could buy a roll for .50 cents or less in bulk)

So you can see how inexpensive making these hands on learning activities can be. You can also see where a swap could benefit you if you are getting a bulk package that contains enough supplies of one specific item. You could do the project several times to use up the extra supplies. But even better, you can use up the “extra” by swapping out the projects with friends. I think realistically you might be able to make exact replicas of a project to swap with 10 friends for a $5 to $10 investment, 25 friends for a $15 to $20 +/- investment, and not have supplies left over taking up space in your already space deprived storage closet.

There was some additional expense in printing out the materials. You can print them at home, or send them over to your local office supply / copy store for printing. You can also choose to print on regular paper, or on card stock, and to laminate, or not. It all depends on how much you want to spend.

printouts

I chose to print the activity bag projects on fast draft mode (saves on ink), at home (saves on labor and gas to go to town), and on white copy paper (cheap purchased in bulk). The kids and I cut out what needed separated (flash cards, number tiles, labels, coloring pages, etc.) and the kids had lots of fun helping me fill the bags with our printed materials and supplies.

However, if you really wanted to save money and not print them the eBooks, and you were not doing these bags as part of a swap or gifts for others (definitely print them for gifts and swaps), you could just write the number of the experiment on the bag, and refer back to the pdf on the computer for instructions when needed. This would be a very viable option for folks who don’t have a printer, or don’t want to spend the money on ink and paper. I personally like having a printed copy of everything in front of me. I don’t know if it is just my generation, or what, but I do much better if I have actual printed items in my hands instead of having to read everything on a computer screen. That might change someday if I get a handy gadget like a kindle or ipad etc,( hint, hint…. Birthday? Christmas? Husband I hope you are reading this!) and doesn’t require me to sit any longer than I have to at the computer. Until then, I’ll keep printing!

Activity Bags are a great addition to our homeschool!

Check out what others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about Activity Bags.

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