Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teaching History through movies.

That’s right, this is us getting reading for a history lesson.  We are learning about the Boston Tea Party.  We watched the movie Johnny Tremain. 
Now we didn’t just watch the movie and leave it at that.  We had a Zeezok guide to the movies.  The Johnny Tremain z-guide has activities that go along with the movie.  Majority of them were questionnaires, which sometimes required us to re-watch parts of the movie.  We weren’t able to memorize everything.  Some of the activities are, a crossword puzzle, coloring pages, a Declaration of Independence memorization activity, activities about silver-smithing and apprenticeship.  There is even a section labeled for family discussion, and additional resources for further study section.


We loved the movie, the history lesson, and the time together as a family.  I think we all learned more about the Boston Tea Party, and the Sons of Liberty from watching this movie.  It is geared toward older students.  The Johnny Tremain guide is geared toward middle school students.  Tommy and Emily did great with it, and Katey stayed for a while, but ended up going and playing with Tyler. Paul and I really enjoyed it as well, we even printed out the questionnaire for us to do along with the kids.   While I think we all enjoyed the challenge of having to answer questions during the movie, there were times when the kids did get a little frustrated with how fast the answers to the questions came.  We solved that by pausing the movie, at times, and I also told them it wasn’t essential to answer all of them, they just needed to do their best, and that we would discuss the answers after the movie.  The only thing I wish there would have been more of, is the additional resources section. 

This did make for a fun history lesson.  We turned it into a movie night, with snacks, blankets, pj’s, the whole deal. 

Zeezok Publishing offers many z-guides to the movies.   They are $12.99 each.  They also offer the movies to go along with them for reasonable prices which is nice, because Johnny Tremain was not available on Netflix and it had a short wait at my local library, which is where I ended up getting it from.


To see what other crew members said about Zeezok’s guide to the movies, check out our post here.  There was a big variety  reviewed.

{I received this for free in order to write this honest review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are my own and this was my experience.  Yours may be different.}

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Classical Academic Press- Latin


Many of you may have heard of Classical Academic Press.  They have many classical education products.  We were given the opportunity to review Latin for Children Primer A Mastery Bundle from our voyage with TOS Review Crew.  

We received:
The first year of Latin for Children (LFC) includes the following modular pieces:

  • LFC Primer A — Student text and workbook. The foundation of the curriculum
  • LFC Primer A Answer Key — features the actual text with answers in bold print
  • LFC A DVDs & Chant CD — offers chapter-by-chapter training by the author with 2 students. The chant cd contains all 240 vocabulary words chanted and sung in both the classical & ecclesiastical pronunciations.
  • LFC A History Reader — Read Latin stories from history that are geared toward the grammar and vocabulary being learned in each Primer.
  • LFC A Activity Book! — Play games and puzzles that help students master the Latin vocabulary and grammar from each Primer.
Along with these free resources
Free Extras

What is this?
Latin for Children Free Resources
Latin for Children Suggested Weekly Schedule
Latin for Children FAQ

I have always known how English and many other languages are derived from Latin.  Also many professions use Latin.  (Doctors, Veterinarians, Biologists, Scientists, etc.) This alone makes Latin a great language to study.  One thing I did not realize was how much grammar and more you learn from Latin.  Here is this directly from the website.

Latin is a rich, ancient language, and is still very much alive in the languages that we speak today. It plays a vital role in a classical education, training students in grammar, how a language works, and how to think critically. Learning Latin greatly expands English vocabulary and introduces students to the original work of some of the most influential writers in history. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), these programs have made Latin the favorite subject of many students around the nation!
So for me Latin was so much more than teaching my kids just a language.  It is a great language program, vocabulary, grammar, critical thinking.  So much.  I also am going to let my children choose which language they would like to learn when they get a little older.  So I hadn’t thought about using a language program yet.  (By the grace of God, I was sent this.)  Now my children are having so much fun learning Latin, they don’t want to stop, and I don’t want them to stop either.  Since many languages are derived from Latin, whether they study Latin, or French, Spanish, or many others they will have a jump start. 

What makes this program fun, is that it has so many games.  It has an activity book, full of puzzles, word searches, mazes, matching games, carnival shoot out, crosswords, treasure map, and so much more.

They also have Latin history readers.

The video you watch to go along with each chapter has cheesy homemade type videos using dolls, which as long as you don’t take it too seriously are entertaining. 

Along with the free resources, there are online games, movies, and stories, using Latin.  There are also free flashcards to print.  The movies were a little silly as well, but the having to decode Latin words kept Tommy interested.

The CD has chants that make memorization easier.  Tommy has told me he has them stuck in his head all the time.  I have even heard him singing them in the shower.  

It is geared toward. 3rd –5th grade.  For me, Tommy is my main Latin learner right now, he is 12, in 6th grade.  This definitely does not seem to young for him. 
30 minutes per day, 5 days a week.  Your children can learn Latin and enjoy doing it.  See, I think I see a partial smile on Tommy’s face.  He never lets me forget to teach Latin.  He even asks for it on the weekends. 

They have many other levels of Latin, such as Song School, for grades K-3rd  and Latin Alive for 6th grade and up.  Latin For Children, and Latin Alive both have 3 levels.  Essentially to be used over a 3 year period. 

The Master Bundle that I received is priced at $99.95. 
With that I received some of the stuff that made it more fun, over the Basic Bundle.  Such as the activity book and History Reader. 

To see what other crew members had to say about Classical Academic Press check out our post here.  We tried out the levels best suited for our families.  If you think this level is not quite for you, check out the other levels reviewed as well. 

{I received this for free in order to write this honest review, no other compensation was received.  This is completely my experience, and yours may differ.}

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When I grow up….


The kids all love it when daddy is getting ready to go out.  He works on the oil fields and is gone alot.  So when he is packing for a job, it becomes a family occurrence.  The kids love to wear his gear. 


Tyler checking out his hard hat and his TV.


Tommy trying it out.


Emily’s turn.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Somewhere Over The Rainbow.



The other day when we were driving we saw the most amazing rainbow.  We were able to see both sides of it.


This sparked an interesting conversation about rainbows.  It was spectacular.


  I am grateful for the relationship that I have with my children.  I love that we are able to have conversations about anything. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Big IQ Kids

Big IQ Title Banner
Big IQ Kids is an online learning program geared toward K-8th grades.  It has 4 programs that are free; Spelling, Math, US States, and Vocabulary. 

They also have a spelling game and vocabulary game for free!

They also have a free interactive E book, and a free vowel program. 

Can you believe all this free stuff?

It gets even better, they have a Premium section as well.  Check out the difference between the Free vs Premium here
Check out premium pricing here.  They have many pricing options depending on what you want.  There is even a package discount.

I received the Premium programs to review as part of TOS Review Crew.  All of my experiences are based on Premium levels.

Big IQ Kids

I have been mostly using this program with Emily. My 10 year old.  At first I was using this as more of a reward website.  When she did extra good work, or earned free time on the computer.  I just had this website added as one she could choose to go to or not. 

I noticed she was going to this website almost every time.  It was easy to know when she was on it, because every time you get on the website there is a computer generated voice that lets you know you are there.

She loved the spelling program.  She was a decent speller, but came to me with spelling questions often.  Since using this program she has came up 3 levels in spelling.  The Spelling program has premade lists to learn or you can customize your own list.   Be sure you have speakers so they can tell you the word.

The Math program is also customizable.  You can set it to the level your child is at or let the computer generate a level for your student.  I decided to let the computer generate a level for Emily.  That way she could get reinforcement in areas she had already learned but needed additional help in. 

The US States program teaches children the Name, abbreviation, capital, location and general facts.  We had been using other things to learn these, such as flashcards.  So this was just an added practice for her.  She is still working on getting 100% to received her State Master Certificate. 

The Vocabulary program is very similar to the spelling program.  It has preloaded lists of words, or you can customize your own. 

Since the beginning, I have changed this website to be a learning time website, but it is also on our free time website list.  I still find her going to it during free time. 

PhotobucketI would have to say this website is a hit with us.   It is definitely worth checking out the free portions.  You can also get a free 7 day trial of the premium packages.

Check out what other crew members said about Big IQ Kids Here

{I received a year premium subscription to this website in order to write this honest review.  No other compensation was exchanged.}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!

It is my birthday today.  Yeppers it is!  So I want to tell you all about ME!

We drove back to the city to have my party at my in laws house.  We had other things to attend to over the weekend as well.  Such as a Jr Jazz Basketball end of season party, for the team Paul was coaching before we left.  He turned the team over to one of his friends.  Who did an amazing job.  But enough about that, this post is about ME!

We celebrated my birthday on Sunday.  I received a new camera!  WHOO HOO!  If you remember I had a camera tragedy a while back and I have been using my back up camera.
 Old camera picture
I also got an iHome for my iPod Touch.  I have been wanting one of these for a while! 

 Old camera picture
Then the fun began.  By fun I mean cake and ice cream and games of course! 
From here on down they are NEW CAMERA pictures!  Dang, you can see every speck of dust.  Haha!
We played Phase 10- a family favorite game!
Emily practiced Yo-Yo tricks.
Katey tried to make a blurry picture  dancing with my phone.  (Nope clear as the clear blue sky!)
Paul was showing off that he had 2 skips.  None of which were ever used on me!
Me trying to dance to make a blurry picture.  Nope not happening, although I kinda wish my face went blurry.  (I did not realize that this here is my dancing face!)

Grandma dancing- well really waving her hands- trying to get a blurry picture.  Nope, man this new camera is awesome!
Paul took a close up of me, checking my email.  Wow, this camera is amazing!

In an effort to write at least one post about me, let me tell you a little bit about myself. 
  • I am very much in love with my husband!
  • I love to have fun, I am rarely serious.
  • I am very spontaneous.  I mean we got married in Vegas after only dating for 1 month to the day!  After 7 years we are still going strong!
  • I love love love change.  In fact I NEED change.
  • I have struggles with who I am, and who I want to be.  But that just happens most when I need change.
  • I love outdoors, camping, boating, fishing, swimming in a lake, sitting, having a campfire, well you get it. 
  • Homeschooling was one of the best decisions I ever made.  It has really helped me re-establish my relationship with my children.  They are also able to discover who they are without pressure to be someone else. 

Well thanks for reading all about ME!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ARTistic Pursuits

Emily my 10 year old daughter is very much into art!  She loves it.  For Christmas she asked for a “real” easel and quality colored pencils.  She saves her money for oil paints.  She was ecstatic when she received all that for Christmas.  You would have think that Christmas just happened again at our house. 
We were thrilled to receive ARTistic Pursuits.  She received book two Grades 4-6 Color and Composition.  With her never having any formal art instruction she was able to jump right in and get going.  You just need basic art supplies for this curriculum. (colored pencils, sketch paper, etc).

PhotobucketThis is not your typical learn to draw type book.  This book teaches you how to observe art and use your imagination.  There are 16 Units. 7 on color.  You learn tinting, color wheel, primary, secondary, intermediate and neutral colors, along with values. There are 9 units on composition. You learn point of views, face, interiors, rhythm, direction and movement, buildings and figures.  This allows you to draw what you like, what you are interested in using these techniques.

Each page is written to the student, and does not take any prep work, as long as you have all the supplies on hand.  How great is that?  Each lesson so far has taken approximately 1-1 1/2 hours.  Often times she doesn’t want to stop.

This book costs $42.95.  It is non-consumable.  You can use it again and again.  Since Tommy didn’t have very much room in his schedule right now, I plan on using it over the summer with him.  If you do 2 lessons a week, this book will be a years worth of curriculum. 

Artistic Pursuits has art curriculum for ages Pre-K through High School.

To see what other crew members thought of Artistic Pursuits, some of them reviewed the other levels, check out this post at our crew blog.

{I received this product for free in order to write this honest review, no other compensation was received}

Chickens update.


So we have had our chickens for 3 weeks now.  They are in the garage.  They are getting bigger every day.  Their little feet, well, aren’t so little anymore. 


They are getting feathers under the down.  They are really growing up into mini chickens. 



My father in law is hard at work on the coop.  It should be done in a few weeks. 


We went out of town for a few days and left them.  We cleaned the tote they are in out.  We replaced the pine shavings with new ones and the water and food was cleaned and fresh right before we left.  We came back to some big chickens!  When I say we, I really don’t mean it.  It was Paul.    The chickens are not getting held as much now that they are out in the garage.  Which is a problem.  I read the more they are held when they are younger the nicer they will be to humans as they get older.  So we are going to work on spending more time with them. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brill Kids Aesop’s Fables~A Review!


Some of you may already know about Brill Kids.  They  have a great Teach your child to read program, that I reviewed a while back.  Tyler still loves it!  Now they have sent me books, not only did they come with the digital books that go with Little Reader, but I also got regular, hold in your hand books.
I received Volume 1:

  • The Lion and the Mouse

  • Photobucket

  • The Fox and the Grapes

  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf

  • The Turtle and the Rabbit

  • The Fox and the Crow

  • These books are not just normal books. They are unique in the fact that they have a lightly illustrated flap.  So when  you are reading the book the flap covers the pictures.  This gives your child special separate time to focus on the words in the book versus the pictures in the book.

    For us right now, Katey is still decoding words often times using the pictures of the story to help her.  We use these books by first reading the book, without using the flap, which is done easily by tucking it to the back of the book.  Then we read through the book a second time using the flap.  That way she only uses the words to help her decode the book. 

    With these being fables, I feel they are fun lesson teaching stories.  They are kept short and simple with one sentence per page, perfect for early readers. 

    These books are recommended for ages 3 months and up.
    This is normally $50 but right now they are on sale for $37.50

    Also keep your eyes out on the Little Reader website for Volume 2 which will include:
    The Goose Who Laid The Golden Egg
    The Dog and The Bone
    The Crow and The Jug
    The Wind and The Sun
    The Ant and The Grasshopper

    This set is not released yet but coming soon.
    To see what other crew members thought of these great books, check out our crew post HERE!
    {I received these books to review as my part of TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was received}

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Sunday Drive



    With the weather getting warmer, the snow is melting, when the snow melts you get run off.  We took a pretty canyon drive on Sunday and spotted many run off points.  They were like mini waterfalls.  We talked about the water being so brown/ red as it is coming down due to erosion.   We also noticed that their was a type of pattern when we would see one.  It had to do with the most indented place in the canyon. 

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Daddy time.


    With Paul starting a new job and doing schooling for it, he has been gone a lot lately and when he is home he is so busy studying.  He was taking some time with the kids the other day and I couldn’t help but take a picture when I saw this.  So cute!


    Donkey Basketball….. Say What?

    That’s right, we are learning what small town life is like here.  I have always been a supporter of community family events.  When I saw this on the bulletin at the grocery store I knew we just had to go.
    Yep, it’s exactly what you thought.  Basketball being played while on a donkey! 

    It was funny to watch.  One of the rules was that you had to hold onto the reins if you got off your donkey, which was funny.  Donkeys really are so stubborn!  The kids would try to pull them to reach the ball, and they wouldn’t move.  It seemed to me that the kids that stayed on their donkeys made better progress than those that got off.

    It was divided up by the local schools.

    The half time show was the men’s drill team.  Which was really one of the teams put hoodies over their shirts and had a dance performance, which was hilarious!

    This was so much fun.  Paul and I were thinking about not going.  We were just tired and just wanted to stay home, but boy are we glad we went.  The kids and us laughed the entire time!

    The pictures don’t do the whole thing justice, so I took a quick video of it!

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Park Day


    Since moving to a completely new town where we don’t know anybody, or where anything is.  We are learning.  We drove around looking for a BMX track we had heard of, and we found out where it used to be.  Everyone was really bummed.  That means the closest track we know of is about two hours away.  When driving around we found a park that looked like so much fun.  We had to go play to lift everyone’s spirits.  The weather was so nice too. 

    S3010557 S3010558

    Tommy really enjoyed the curvy rock wall.


    Emily enjoyed peeking out from it. 


    Katey kept getting dizzy.


    Tyler loved that there was toys just for him.


    Katey climbing around.


    Emily getting dizzy.


    Tommy getting dizzy.


    After being cooped up in the house from there being so much snow and it being so cold, this felt great!  Everybody loved getting all their energy out.  Tyler even began to go down slides all by himself for the first time. 


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