Book Wishes

Our Journey through Books, Happiness, and Home Education


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Spelling You See ** Helping a Struggling Student **

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My 9-year-old son struggles with lessons, especially sit down and write out lessons. I have attempted to get him excited about paper/book lessons over the years. I am not the kind of home-educating mom that pushes curriculum on my children. I know that I have to try different ideas and think about what fits for that child. Everyone of my children learns in a different way. Some of my children, like Einstein loves to read text from a book because he loves book work. My oldest daughter loves to get her hands dirty. What I mean by that is, she likes to get into her work. If she is learning about animals she wants to see them and touch them. Therefore, our family visits a farm. I have a son that learns by helping or teaching others and he is in the 2nd grade and really loves multiplication. He loved to help other children with flash cards, therefore, he learned math while helping teach it, unbeknownst to him. LOL

With Franklin, my 9-year-old, he has trouble retaining information in his long-term memory. So, when we started Spelling You See Book C a few weeks ago and I was interested in how well this curriculum would work for him. So far so wonderful.

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With Spelling You See, the material is interesting to Franklin. He is not just handed a list of spelling words. Franklin started out learning a simple rhythm. Then, he moved onto blocking the vowel chunks. The time it takes for each lesson is not long for him; therefore, his attention span stays during each lesson. With a little help from me, Franklin knew what to do with each page. He didn’t have very many questions because the directions with Spelling You See are simple for Franklin to understand.

Spelling You See even has an area for Franklin to be creative and there is even a section for him to draw. Then copy the rhythm or add a story of his own. Franklin chose to add a story of his own. I loved how creative he was with each story. Writing each story was a joy and so much fun for him.

How do I feel this has helped my struggling student?

Well, over the course of a few weeks with Spelling You See, Franklin has retained items in his long-term memory. Like what a vowel is versus a consonant. He is even smiling while doing Spelling You See. There has been absolutely no struggles in getting him to do his spelling work.

With children it is easy to get in a routine of doing the same thing for each one. Over the years, I have learned that every child learns at his or her own pace with different techniques. The goal is to instill the love of learning and the gift of education in each child. I am doing that with Franklin in his spelling with Spelling You See.


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New Liberty Videos ** Warriors Of Honor **

New Liberty Videos Review
Warriors of Honor is a video about the civil war. This is a documentary video that gives insight into some major figures of the civil war including Thomas Jackson, otherwise known as “Stonewall Jackson”, and Robert E. Lee. If you are interested in learning more about the civil war, Warriors of Honor is a great video. Warriors of Honor would make a great Holiday gift for the history lover in your family. I was given a physical copy of Warriors of Honor to watch and review to share my thoughts on.

New Liberty Videos Review
You can purchase Warriors of Honor for 19.95 to enjoy in your home. Warriors of Honor is meant for general audience. This is a documentary of the civil war, therefore, I would use your best judgment for your family in showing this video to little ones. The content is not graphic at all, however, the documentary would be hard for little children to understand. Warriors of Honor is 1 hour and 20 min in length and also includes bonus segments about slavery, Sam Davis, and The Palmyra Incident.

When we received Warriors of Honor, I decided to watch this video with my husband as a date night. Yes, this is what history buffs like us do for a date!  Warriors of Honor plays just like a documentary style movie as it is straight, direct, and full of wonderful information for the viewer. I will have to admit that I never really have been too much into the civil war. I don’t know why but the civil war has never really sparked too much interest in me; however, as I started the video within the first few moments, I was choked up by the information and I never knew how much of a blood bath the civil war was and how many men died for the causes that they believed in (north and south). I am a veteran of the United States Navy, therefore, war is no stranger on my doorstep. As the movie progressed, I was impressed with how the information was presented. This video talks about faith, God, and honor. These were the things that our country was founded on and how these men (Jackson and Lee) had faith in God.

I found it interesting to watch about the confederate side of the war. I have personally watched documentary’s on the Union side or North side of the civil war. The north side is what I personally take interest in, however, this was a fascinating take on history through the confederate side.

Some interesting facts that Warriors of Honor gave me:

  • General Robert E. Lee married a woman named Mary who was the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington and together they had 7 children.
  • Thomas Jackson prayed before, during, and after battle.
  • Thomas Jackson would distribute bibles to his troops because he wanted them to not only  be good solders to their country but also good soldiers to the cross.

Along with all those interesting facts, I also saw how Thomas Jackson received the name of Stonewall Jackson. I will not spoil that for you if you don’t already know.

Overall my Thoughts:

I would have liked to watch this video with my children, however, I felt Warriors of Honor documentary would be way over there heads right now. I liked the information given in the video and how this particular video focused on the importance of God in our country. I truly believe that we need to remember what principles our country was founded on and this video helps keep them into prospective with the past. My husband also enjoyed Warriors of Honor and he commented on the vast amount of information that you receive. The leaders that you watch helped shape our country. I didn’t know that much about them. I will continuing learning about the civil war thanks to Warriors of Honor. I am interested in this time period.

 

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Jim Hodges Productions ** In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce ** Audio Book and Study Guide

Jim Hodges Productions ReviewObviously, we are book lovers. The title of our site is Book Wishes! So, when we had the opportunity to listen to one of the audio books through Jim Hodges Productions I was so excited! If you are looking for a great way for your child to know history and really know it, then Jim Hodges Productions audio books are a wonderful resource for history. My son Einstein and I listened to In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce taking place in year 1296-1314. Jim Hodges Productions offers several different audio books along with study guides for your student to get more than just a listening experience. We were given a physical copy of In Freedom’s Cause, that is playable on a MP3 player only, along with a PDF study guide to review and share our thoughts with all our readers.

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In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce can be purchased for 25.00 for the physical CD. These are MP3 computer CD’s and cannot be played on anything but a MP3 CD player. We found the best way to play these was from our personal computer. In Freedom’s Cause is meant for children ages 10 and up.

How we used In Freedom’s Cause:

When I downloaded and printed the PDF for In Freedom’s Cause, I divided the study guide into sections as not to overwhelm my son. The study guide is 66 pages in length, however, there are a lot of questions in the study guide which goes in depth with the history. I split the study guide into 12 pages at 1 time. Then, as we both listened to the audio book together, we stopped and read the questions to see if we could answer any of them. Also, I wanted to stop frequently so my son could understand what was happening in the book and I also wanted to answer any questions he might have during the break.  We have taken this book very slowly because Einstein has had a hard time understanding this book. The total length of In Freedom’s Cause is a little over 11 hours. As time progressed with the story, I really did not think that it was getting any easier for Einstein to understand. So, I decided to not have Einstein do the study guide and just listen to the story along with me. After a short time doing that, I then took over and decided that I would be the one reviewing this on my own. I listened to the In Freedom’s Cause and looked at each question on the study guide to give a good review of both the audio book and the study guide. Einstein seemed to overwhelmed by the study guide, as well as, the audio book.

My Mom Thoughts:

I know that these are meant for ages 10 and up, however, I will not have my children complete this audio book and study guide until they reach high school. I feel these audio books are a wonderful historic resource and fun. Along with the study guide, your student will learn a lot about each time period and gain vast knowledge in history. The audio book reads very smoothly, however, if you do not have a liking of history you might get a little bored with In Freedom’s Cause. I love history, therefore,  I really enjoyed the knowledge I gained through this audio book. The study guide is very hard for children and the questions are worded harder than average literature study guides. Einstein is a gifted student at the age of 12, however, literature is not his strongest gift and the words in the study guides are extremely hard, even for me, (college graduate). If you are looking for a good history audio book for your child, these are good and I would suggest your student be older. Therefore, this did not fit for our family, yet, but I do believe in the future when I have older children, this will be a great fit. I enjoyed listening to In Freedom’s Cause as a adult.

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Clued In Kids ** Princess Clue Book and Gluten Free Treasure Hunt Review ** Fun for the Entire Family!

clued in kids

Do you want to have some fun with your children this holiday season or just a fun surprise for your entire family? Have fun with Clued in Kids treasure hunts. There are so many to pick from! We picked the Princess  Clue Book , as well as, the Gluten Free Treasure Hunt for our family. With two daughters in our house, princesses are so much fun. Clued In Kids even has a Gluten Free Treasure Hunt and I was so delighted because my family has been gluten-free for 2 years now ever since my daughter and I were diagnosed with Celiac disease. We received a clue book (physical) and a hunt (PDF) from Clued In Kids. Our princess clue book came in the mail while our gluten-free hunt was emailed right to us for instant fun!

Clued In Kids has a variety of treasure hunts to fit your families interest. Our hunts did not include the treasure. In the pictures I display about our hunt, all treasure items were purchased by me. You can purchase The Princess Clue book for 8.99 and the Gluten Free downloadable Treasure Hunt for 5.99.

When I received our Princess Clue Book in the mail the first thing I did was laminate it because I knew this would be something my children would want to do again and again. In order to keep the clues organized after I laminated the sheets, then I hole punched the top corner and placed them on a ring so I could make sure the clue book stayed together for future fun.  Clued In Kids treasure hunts are for a variety of ages. All 5 of my children participated in the princess hunt ranging in age from 4 all the way to 12. Before starting this hunt, I went to the dollar store to purchase prizes for my children and I wanted to get items that related to the hunt. You can purchase whatever you want and they do not need to be expensive or relate to the hunt. I decided to go all out for our first Clued In Kid hunt. My items included anything princess for my 2 girls like wands, crowns, and necklaces (plastic play jewelry). For the boys, anything Knight related like dragons, swords, and I threw in a few things that weren’t related to the hunt; however, I knew my children would love them.

Then, it was time to get started. Before going on the hunt, I wanted my kids to know exactly what we were going to do. Therefore, I showed them this cute video from Clued In Kids.

Then, we set off on our Hunt! I had the kids hide in a room while I hid all the clues. It was simple and easy. Total time it took me was about 5 minutes. We have a small home, therefore, the set up was not hard to run around and place a card for the next clue.

cluedinkidsI was impressed how my older children helped my younger children. Elion is only 4 so she could not read the clues and everyone helped her. Clued In Kids is not only fun but builds teamwork! Here they are above helping each other solve a clue and then on to the next.

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Clued In Kids Princess hunt did not just provide clues and then on the next. Sometimes, in order to get the next clue, my children had to do an activity which they seemed to love. Even my older children loved the cute activities in this princess hunt. They are practicing good posture to get the next clue by balancing a book on their head. Every gentleman or princess needs great posture!

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When they were on the final clue, all my children ran to find the hidden treasure. The picture above are items that I purchased for the treasure. They were so surprised at the end. However, even though the treasure is fun to have, my children have completed this hunt many times without treasure. One time my oldest daughter hid for our youngest and Elion pretended to have clues given to her by a wicked queen and Elion our youngest had to rescue her sister. So, her big sister was the “treasure”.

The Gluten Free Treasure hunt was just as wonderful, however, because of the questions, this hunt was for the older kids. All 5 of my children participated but the little ones were just tagging along having fun. The clues in the Gluten Free Treasure Hunt are wonderful for a nutritional excercise for your older children. A basic understanding of science, I feel, is needed in this hunt as well. I used my gluten free carob chip cookies for the final treasure in the Gluten Free Hunt.

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Overall Mom Thoughts:

I cannot wait to try some of the other Clued In Kids clue books and treasure hunts. They are fun, colorful, and simple. I love a fun activity that does not take me a lot of time to put together. I was impressed with the 2 hunts that we tried and both were a hit with my children. I do recommend that if parents want to do them more than once that you laminate the hunt. After I laminated the princess clue book, I had my children write on the sections they needed to write on with dry erase marker. It also makes it nice when you have friends or even relatives over and your children can enjoy the hunt with them. We did the Gluten Free Hunt one day without it being planned and I just decided to have a hunt to cheer up my children. It worked and I think this would be a great tool to cheer them up or even rainy day fun! I highly recommend Clued In Kids for fun all year long!

Clued In Kids has some wonderful Christmas items as well.  Check out all the items that are perfect for under your tree this hoilday season.

Clued In KidsReview
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Using the Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Books as a Home-Education Resource! Plus fun Astronomy projects!

astronomy

Building home-education lesson plans with the Boys Scouts of America handbook as a resource.

When my son started cub scouts years ago. I never knew how valuable scouting would be for education. Now, I have 1 son in Bears, (Cub Scouts), and my oldest in Boy Scouts. I have grown to  appreciate the education that scouting gives boys, also the values. Boy Scouts, have merit badges boys can earn. To start each merit badge, we purchase the merit badge book that goes along with that badge.

We are currently working on the Astronomy merit badge. My oldest son is the one achieving the badge for scouting, however, my entire family is getting the education along with him.

What do I mean using the BSA Astronomy Merit Badge book as a resource?

I use the book as a lesson plan guideline. My son wanted to get the astronomy achievement so we have done the items in the book together, learning about astronomy. I added more items other than just the ones in the BSA handbook; so little children can join into the study as well. So I have come up with older and younger activities. The merit badge series book are wonderful lesson plan guidelines. If you are in doubt on how to teach First Aid, Geology, Theater, or any other subject. Where a study unit or online lessons are hard to find. With, the badge book you have a lesson guideline along with activities and educational resources for little cost.

To earn the Astronomy Merit Badge the guidelines can be found on the BSA website.

Additional resources to help:

Learning about the Constellations ~ Racheous Lovable Learning

More Constellations ~ Babble Dabble Do (These are geoboards, I had my older son, Einstein cut his out then place pin holes in the constellations, then we laminated it.)

Moon Activities ~ Learn Play Imagine

Tour the Solar System ~ Homeschool Astronomy (for older children, perfect for your boy scout)

The Sun and The Planets ~ Teachers Pay Teachers

Solar System Trading Cards ~ Amazing Space

I have pinned all of the wonderful science resources for Astronomy to my Pinterest board titled Science for Kids. We have really enjoyed using the Boy Scouts of America merit badge book series to help with subjects in our homeschool. I find most activities are adjustable for younger children, as well. Even if you don’t have a scout, or any boys at all. These books are designed for children to learn. What a wonderful resource. The Astronomy book, has every thing your child needs to know about each topic, along with the activities that are so much fun for the family.  Each book cost about 5.00, that is a great price for a wonderful guideline to get started with difficult subjects like law, or American Heritage and so forth.

My boys love scouting and next year all three of my boys will be scouts, I love the motivation, education and morals that scouting gives young boys and young men. Even if I was not a parent involved the scouting program, I would use these books in our homeschooling. My entire family benefits from the merit badge book series.

 

 


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Building Self Esteem through Music (Mother Goose Time)

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Elion loves music and she loves to dance. I watch her learn through music everyday with Mother Goose Times Circle Time CD that comes with the Mother Goose Time Curriculum. All I have to do is start to play the music and Elion comes running ready to learn and start her day. As I play the music each day, I watch her smile grow. This last week we spent time learning about rainbows, snow, and wonderful weather. Her favorite part is the music and singing.

When Elion was learning about rainbows, she learned a new song. She wanted to sing this song to everyone in her family. Through music play, a child can gain more self-esteem and confidence. Confidence in themselves and confidence with the material they are learning. She knows she is having fun singing, playing, laughing, and dancing. As her mom, I am watching her grow with learning, gaining knowledge,  and watching her love for learning grow. Music builds her self-esteem and she gets that great feeling we get inside when we are loving something and that makes us happy. It is so beautiful.

Elion does her Mother Goose Time for preschool everyday and I don’t have to ask her if she wants to because she loves doing it. We have found a wonderful preschool curriculum that fits our family. Take a look at some of the fun activities Elion did this week with Mother Goose Time!

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She learned about rain and rainbows. I loved when Elion began to make her rainbow craft. She wanted the colors to be just like the one in the picture you see above. We first talked about rain and rainbows before we began our day. I started asking her at the breakfast table about rain and rainbows. She immediately remembered the sponge activity that we did last week with Spongy Clouds. She told me about the sponges (or clouds) and how they soaked up the water. I was thrilled to listen to her excitement because she knew about rain! How wonderful! She was ready to learn that day about the rain and rainbows.

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Elion sang Rain Rain Go Away. She held up the wonderful poster and sang the words and it was so super cute. She then put her craft together consisting of a cloud that she opted to add glitter glue to and a paper chain resembled the colors of the rainbow that is pictured in the unit.
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The crafts with Mother Goose Time are very fun, simple, and easy for your child and for the parent.  Over the last week, I have noticed the ease that Mother Goose Time allows the parent and the child. Art is age appropriate and does not take time before hand to put together. Elion does the art with minimal help from myself and she loves that. At 4 years of age, she is very independent, therefore, I am very happy that mom is not doing all the work in the art for her.
While Elion was working on her rainbow, I played the Weather All Around Us CD that came with this months Weather All Around Us unit. She loved the song Drip Drop Rain because she was making a rainbow. After completing the project, all my children joined in to dance around to the Weather All Around Us CD. Music while learning is so much fun for children. My family loves music. There is nothing more fun than being silly in the middle of a school day to play with Elion. Her happiness is contagious!
After we were done having fun with dancing, I grabbed a few items from my kitchen to make an Outdoor Rain Station (part of this wonderful Mother Goose Time unit). She was Discovering Earth Science right in your backyard. As Elion played in the water, she was not just playing but discovering.
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The station ideas for Mother Goose are my favorite as a home educator. Elion has loved them all so far. My favorite, as a mom, are the Outdoor Stations and the Dramatic Play Station. Even though the weather was a little chilly outside the day we did rain and rainbows, we were in luck because the sun was shining brightly. So the weather was so wonderful for water play!
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Making our Outdoor Rain Station is simple and easy. Ours had a strainer to make rain and several different water holding buckets or Tupperware. I brought out more than 1 because my other children joined in the fun. Mother Goose Time gives you ideas to help you with each station. You can add to those they pick or just do what they have in the book. We also included the sand to make mud. If you notice, there are no pictures of her playing with mud because this mom’s children were having so much fun, I decided to join in  and put my camera down! We were making a mess with memories included thanks to wonderful Mother Goose Time and Elion learning about rain and rainbows!
This week has been so much fun. Elion also learned about snow. She made a sled that was tons of fun for Elion and her sister. I posted a wonderful video of Elion singing on Book Wishes Face Book Page along with some wonderful pictures of her sled!
Mother Goose Time incorporates so many ways for your child to learn while gaining confidence in learning and in themselves! This week, as I watched Elion learning, I really focused on her favorite part, the music. Music has been known to speak to people in so many ways. In my Elion, the music with Mother Goose Time has heighten her self-esteem. She is learning so much but the most important part to this home-educating mother is that she is loving learning. Learning is so much fun to her and she is not bored or tired with Mother Goose Time. She is excited, upbeat, and ready to start learning more each day.
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Middlebury Interactive Languages (Elementary French 1) ** 5 Star Review**

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
I am overjoyed to share Middlebury Interactive Languages with all our readers! My daughter, Curie, has asked to learn French for sometime now and I have never really known the right program to choose for her, until now. Middlebury Interactive Languages Elementary French course was the perfect fit for our homeschooling French needs. Curie received Elementary French 1 for grades 3-5 for 6 months. Therefore, we could share our thoughts on this wonderful language program with our readers. Middlebury Interactive Languages offers an array of different languages and levels for K-12.

Middlebury Interactive Languages offer:

Middlebury Interactive Languages ReviewI choose Elementary French 1 for Curie because she has never taken a language course before. I was unable to decide what would best fit her needs; however, I will admit I was a little intimidated by the online courses available.

Curie is loving learning French with Middlebury. I know this because she doesn’t just do a lesson and walk away from the computer. I have to tell her when her time is up. Curie added French into her daily routine after one lesson. She wanted to do her online French with Middlebury every day and she has. My daughter is practicing French when she is not on the computer. She is teaching the new French she has learned to family and friends which shows me that she loves to learn French with Middlebury.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
Middlebury is a very unique interactive language program. They start off with a story entirely in French. In fact, there is no English spoken in the program. This gives the student the ability to master the French words. There are activities along with each lesson that give the student a better understanding as well. All the lessons are self paced, therefore, Curie could slow it down or speed her lessons up depending on her learning level. I was impressed by the navigation of the lessons in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I can access all of her lessons and see how she is doing with each one. The stories that Elementary French gives the child to learn are stories that they most likely already understand in English; therefore, this program will not confuse them at all. Curie recognized all the stories and related to them.

Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
I thought I would need a paper program as well with this online language program, however, Middlebury is a complete language program. With Curie, she is getting the French lessons that she wanted that are at her pace 5 days a week. Curie is learning French fast and I would not be surprised if she moves on very quickly from elementary level 1 to elementary level 2 before the end of this semester.

The program also records your child speaking the language, as well as, giving your child a chance to know how she/he is doing in speaking the language. That impressed me as a home teacher. Curie’s French is progressing very well. When I am just sitting with her, occasionally, during the lessons, I have also learned French which is my fathers native tongue.

Overall Mom Thoughts on Middlebury Interactive Languages:

The program we received for review is without a teacher. The price for 6 months or 1 semester is 119.00 without a teacher. There is also an option for a teacher price, that we did not receive. Elementary French 1 with a teacher is 119.00 with an additional 175.00, (total 294.00), for 6 months or 1 semester with teacher included. I want to get the interactive French with the teacher next time to try the difference. I was impressed with Middlebury at the simpleness of their site and how easily we navigated through it the first time we logged in. I love my daughters excitement with learning French. I feel the program is balanced well with listening activities and interactive activities. We will continue our lessons with Middlebury French as long as my daughter loves it. Seeing her excitement, I think that will be until AP French grades 11-12. I would like to see more languages in the future. My son has taken Latin in the past. I would love for Middlebury to offer Latin in the future.

If you are looking for an awesome language program for your child, whether they are in school, (brick and mortar building) or homeschooled like mine, Middlebury Interactive Languages will not disappoint you.

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Standard Deviants Accelerate **Review**

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Are you interested in a supplemental course online for your child that is fun and easy to navigate but not your average online course?  If your child is studying any one of these courses:

  • Arithmetic
    Fundamental Math
    Earth Science
    Nutrition
    Algebra
    Biology
    Chemistry
    English Comp.
    U.S. History
    AP Biology
    AP Chemistry
    AP U.S. Government & Politics
    AP U.S. History
    AP Eng. Composition

Then, adding Standard Deviants Accelerate is a plus to give additional education in those courses. Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses are meant for ages 8 through adult. These courses are all online. We were given access to all of the courses above from SDA (1 year subscription) for us to review for our readers! You can purchase each course to use for one student for 99.00 a year. Or you can purchase 1 course per student for 24.95 a month. The AP courses are available for 1 student at a cost of 14.95 a month. These are prices for homeschoolers per student.

Admittingly, I was super excited to get to review this online program for 3 of my children ages 9,11 and 12. My oldest is very gifted, so I was delighted to get access to the AP courses to see how he would like them in our homeschooling routine. Quickly, after we received Standard Deviants Accelerate, I was given the opportunity for a free webinar. I was impressed with the customer service that I received. The webinar was very helpful and I was able to navigate the site very quickly. I did have to email customer service once and received a quick response from them. The question I had was addressed and I was back on track with my children using this wonderful SDA program.

How we used Standard Deviants Accelerate and what courses we used:

We included SDA in our weekly routine using the program anywhere from 3-4 times a week with my oldest son, Einstein. Einstein is 12 years of age and is a gifted student. The courses he is doing with Standard Deviants Accelerate are Earth Science, Nutrition, Algebra, AP Biology, and U.S. History. We plan on completing more courses next semester with SDA. Right now those are the courses that he choose to work on. Einstein completed his book work and then was able to choose the course he wanted to complete each day. For the first few videos of each course, I would stay and listen to the video as well (helping if needed). As time progressed, I let Einstein work on his own as he became familiar in navigating the SDA site. Einstein enjoyed all the videos, however, there is humor on the videos that he found unnecessary or went over his head. Einstein did not struggle with the material in most courses. They are extremely fast paced courses and he did express the need for the videos to slow down a little. He took full advantage of the note taking part of the program (there is an area where your child can take notes by typing them). This also gives them better typing/computer skills. Einstein loved the ability to take notes and save them to a “locker”. I must admit this frustrated me at first, I was not able to save them to his locker correctly. Losing notes that he had taken in that particular course. This was why I contacted customer service just to find that it was an error on my part, not the program. Overall, Einstein did like each of his courses and wants to complete more courses. This is a break for Einstein and a refresh to me as a HS teacher because Einstein usually loves book work and not online programs. Therefore, I was happy to see that he can do both book courses, as well as, computer courses with an even balance in our homeschooling.

Standard Deviants Accelerate ReviewFor my daughter, Curie, who is 11 years of age, she choose the Nutrition course, as well as, the Fundamental Math course. She was excited about the online courses choosing to work on a Nutrition course  3 days one week then switching to work on Fundamental Math 3 days the next week and keeping that rotation in her schedule. As with Einstein, I was concerned about the Nutrition course. Our family has 2 Celiacs, (myself and our 4-year-old daughter) and most nutrition courses add in wheat, as well as processed foods. We do not eat gluten (wheat) and try not to eat processed foods. I also do not eat dairy or meat, therefore, my concern was the main teaching of the course. To my surprise, I found the course super informational for her. Instead of directing her what food too eat, they have just given her information on foods and health. This turned out to be less opinion and more informative. I loved that and so did Curie! Thumbs up for this health nut mom. I hope that it continues on and I will then have all my children take the nutrition course when they are older.

With my son Franklin, it was a bit more difficult picking a course because of his age. He is 9 years old. I had him start with Fundamental math. Franklin has a learning disability, therefore, that course was too complex for him at this time. So we tried Arithmetic which is for grades 3 and up. He is liking that course, so far, but it is hard for me to get him to sit and follow the course. Like I mentioned before, some of the humor could be taken out because it is confusing to a child his age. At the end of each section, there is an exam that the child will take. Franklin was frustrated that he could not take the exam that is given more than once. There should be a way for the student to go back and take the test again to help them improve and get a better grade. Also, the tests are hard for a child his age to understand. I am a firm believer in challenging a child’s mind to get them excited and wanting to know more about the subject; however, the test should not be only allowed 1 completion.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
My mom’s thoughts overall.

These are supplemental online courses for students that are older, not younger. Both my older children enjoyed these courses and look forward to doing more over the course of this year. I would take advantage of the SIX MONTH FREE TRAIL that Standard Deviants Accelerate has right now to see how your child likes the course. I will continue to use SDA for my older son even though some of the humor went over his head. I know the humor is meant to make the course fun and exciting to students.  I believe that both (Einstein and Curie) enjoy the videos, tests, and writing assignments that are offered in the courses that they are taking. Please remember that these are supplemental online courses and not a full course for a student. These are meant to go along with the subjects the student is learning. I would suggest to SDA to have a completion certificate at the end of each course for the student. Therefore, the student has something to print as a form of achievement for completing the SDA course. I also looked over some of the other courses that my children did not take. I will continue to purchase any courses that I believe would benefit them in the future. The AP courses are looking awesome to this homeschooling mom!

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
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Learning about Weather All Around us with Mother Goose Time **This week sunshine, wind, and clouds**

 

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There are so many wonderful things a child learns with Mother Goose Time. Elion, my 4 year old, loves all the learning fun every week. She starts her day with circle time. The songs are so much fun for children. This week, Elion, got to learn so many wonderful things about Weather All Around Us! Weather All Around Us is the theme for October from Mother Goose Time.  Mother Goose Time offers an array of educational activities for children ages 4-6, brought right to your doorstep.

This week, I watched as Elion used her 5 senses to discover the weather all around her! When she learned about sunshine, she got to feel the difference between hot and cold. Through water play, we set out two different water bowls one with ice water and one with warm water.  We then put the water outside and I asked her what would happen to the ice. I could see Elion thinking hard at what would happen. She new the ice would go away but she wanted to know why? I loved how she reached further with this project as she wanted to know more about the sun!

Later, Elion learned about dark and light! Learning time with sunshine had Elion hooked on learning about weather!

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With All About The Weather, you get this wonderful book entitled “Does a Bear Wear a Hat in the Winter?” I love this book and it is so cute for children. Does a Bear Wear a Hat in the Winter?teaches children about animals in the weather. I was so impressed with the quality and the illustrations were vivid! Elion loves this book! You can tell by the smile on her face in the picture.

As we learned about the wind this week, I took Elion for a walk just myself and her. As we walked, I asked her questions about the wind. What did she feel, what did she hear. When the wind blew harder, I asked her what she thought the wind tasted like. She thought for a little about her response, “nothing mommy, just cold.” For the indoor activity we tested the wind!

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Elion put foam shapes on her shape mat to form patterns. As we placed the shapes, I asked her if she could tell me what ones were rectangles! I was surprised to hear her never miss one. I owe that to the wonderful circle time with Mother Goose Time that we do each morning. This month the shape is the rectangle! Then we took turns blowing the shapes off the mat; as though it was the wind. I want to comment on the colors of the items we get in Mother Goose Time acitivites, as well as, the print outs. They are beautiful, colorful and they grab your child’s attention. They stand out for me as a mom. I love to see Elion excited with each project and learning activity or just writing her letters in her new journal!

Learning about clouds this week was her favorite. Elion loves to look at each shape in the clouds. So, the first thing I did was have her lay down at the park and look up at them. She asked so many questions and that got her so excited about learning!

Projects that we did together with Mother Goose Time:

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Clouds on the Cover – have your child discover cloud cover and the fog!

Spongy Clouds – learning about how clouds soak up the water and then it rains. This was so much fun my other children joined in! Elion would soak up the water with a sponge! Elion loves making a mess and what 4 year old doesn’t?  While she was doing this project I thought of all the wonderful things she was learning with Spongy Clouds!

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  • Imaginary Play-pretending the sponge was a cloud.
  • Scientic Reasoning- as she played with the sponge she predicted how the sponge would react to the water. She concluded it happened this way in the sky, as well.
  • Social Skills- because my other children wanted to play and there were only 3 sponges, I watched as Elion had to communicate who was in charge of the sponge next.

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Elion also competed a cloud sculpture

I cannot wait to spend tomorrow discovering snow with my daughter! I admit, I am giddy in the morning as a homeschooling mother that my 4 year old is so excited to start her day and learn. With Mother Goose Time, I have noticed a change in my daughter. She looks at the world in a different way. The hands on activities are wonderful, but the confidence that she is gaining is so important. Mother Goose Time is not just your average “curriculum” because they have your child in mind.

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Elion’s finished cloud sculpture! I am not sure that this will ever dry. She keeps wanting to wet the starch noodle and start over!

Thank you Mother Goose Time for an awesome week in learning!

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Apologia Educational Ministries iWitness **Review**

Apologia ReviewLooking for a historical account of the New Testament, Old Testament or Biblical Archaeology to have your child read? iWitness books by Apologia Educational Ministries are a wonderful addition to your life. I love history, as well as, biblical history! I was excited to have the opportunity to review 3 iWitness books by Apologia, Biblical Archaeology by Doug Powell, Old Testament by Doug Powell and New Testament by Doug Powell, (physical copies). All three books are soft cover with wonderfully illustrated pages. The length of each iWitness book is not long but gives you good historical facts without boring you or your child.

iWitness books by Apologia are meant for all different ages. If you are having your child read these book themselves, the recommended reading level is for ages 11 and up. Each book is priced at $14.00.

Our family started with iWitness Biblical Archaeology. As a family, I read this book as a read-a-loud to all of my children ages 4,7,9,11 and 12. Each child had their favorite parts of this particular book. My youngest enjoyed the pictures in the book. Along with illustrations, this book has writing instead of typed words to make it feel more like a hand written journal than a textbook or history book. Many of the pictures of people are placed like a scrapbook; therefore, this gave a fun feel to all the books! I read a little each day over the last few weeks. We completed all the books together as a family. Our 4-year-old, Elion, was very interested in the pictures. To keep her with us while we read these wonderful books, I printed out pictures of Jesus or other biblical figures for her to color while we read.

Apologia Review
iWitness Biblical Archaeology was my favorite out of all three books. I loved how author Doug Powell gave facts and comparisons. Author Powell does not express his personal opinion on the facts in this book. I loved this book because it is written as a historical account. Biblical Archeology was my favorite because of the subjects written about. When I was growing up, I had a fascination with the Shroud of Jesus, otherwise known as the Shroud of Turin. I was so excited to share the facts on this Shroud, as well as, all the other wonderful history. Biblical Archaeology will get your child’s mind intrigued with all the history within the bible.

The only idea that I did not agree with in the text was that the bible was not a history book. I personally believe the bible is a great history book, giving the life history of Jesus Christ himself.

Apologia Review

iWitness New Testament is a book that has you think and then conclude your own thoughts. Personally, I was afraid of reading this book with my children before reading the text myself. My faith, Latter Day Saint, many times, in books that go in depth about the New Testament, write things about my faith because they have no understanding of the LDS religion. I was impressed by the text in this book. Although I didn’t like it as much as Biblical Archeology, I still enjoyed reading it with my children. I was fascinated by the facts about the rejected books of the New Testament. This gives your child a look at ancient texts of the bible. My children loved looking at the writing and  wondering how anyone could translate those!

Apologia Review

iWitness Old Testament was my least favorite book to read with my children. I disagreed with the way some of this book was written by placing the prophets of the Old Testament in categories, such as, major or minor prophets. My thought is there can be no major/minor prophets and all prophets are called of Heavenly Father and to rank them in catagories I did not like. My children also struggled with this book; however, that could of just been because they were done with bibilical facts after a few books, but I doubt it. My son is currently reading the Old Testament. I was going to have him re-read this book at the end of his reading but quickly changed my mind after we finished this book.

Overall, I really liked these 3 iWitness books and I am looking forward to reading more by Apologia and author Doug Powell. I did notice in the back of the book that their are 2 new iWitness books coming in 2015! I cannot wait to read those books. I loved the knowledge that not only my children obtained from these books, but myself as well! I enjoyed the raw facts and accounts that were given in each book. These are a great addition to our homeschool/history shelves.

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