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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Weekly Recap: with the demolition!

I didn't keep track of much of what we did last week.. I must have been busy. Or forgetful! But there was one giant item... we started demolishing our fence! When we moved in over 9 years ago, it was clear that the fence needed to be replaced soon. Within the last couple of years we've had to patch a couple of spots, and our neighbors have both replaced theirs. We've been saving, paying off things, etc. but we finally felt we had enough set aside that we could put it towards a fence!


Some assembly required!

Also in other news, I made schnitzel for a family dinner. YUM. It's time consuming, but oh so delicious! M helped me and did a great job, maybe she will do it next time!

School highlights:

History lesson on Abraham Lincoln, from his childhood up to when he was elected.
Literature - we began studying Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates.
Science was about being good stewards over our bodies, and we learned how they are like a temple.
Geography was about the types of government over time in South America.
Our art lesson was about Albert Bierstadt and the Hudson River School.

See you next week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Super Beads Review

All of my children enjoy craft projects so we were excited to try Super Beads from Zirrly. We chose the Mega Pack because it seemed the most logical choice for four children who might want to use this neat product at the same time.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Á La Carte Projects: A Review

We have used products from Home School in the Woods in the past, so we already know that we love their items. Recently they offered Crew members the opportunity to try out their Á La Carte products. I was so happy when they announced this section on their website last summer, and we found a lot of neat products that we could use!

What are Á La Carte projects?

Home School in the Woods is a very user-friendly company. They know what it's like to homeschool because they are a homeschool family themselves! They realized that families doing unit studies might like a project or two to include with their lessons. Or maybe there is a specific item in their larger curriculum packages that you'd like to use, but just don't need the entire package. That's why they have separated many of their projects out in this Á La Carte section. When we reviewed their Make-A-State Activity Pak, they had just released an Erie Canal Lap Book Project. That was very convenient, because we had just studied the Erie Canal and my son had chosen to do a New York lapbook!

The War Between the States Timeline:

Just a few weeks ago we started studying the Civil War time period, so this was a perfect addition to our lessons. When we studied the American Revolutionary War, we made our own smaller timeline and added a single card to show the war on our wall timeline. There are so many events and items that influenced or occured the Civil War, that I was planning on doing this the same way. I was very happy to have most of the work already done! I have read reviews for Home School in the Woods timelines in the past and LOVE them. I dream of owning their large set. I knew this timeline would be perfect for our lessons.

The project comes as a PDF download of 29 pages. This file is clearly organized into sections - instructions, a blank timeline (which has suggested placement in small letters), five pages of timeline figures, and a completed timeline. I printed the first three sections on different papers.

I followed the instructions to assemble the timeline, then sat down with the kids and asked what we had already learned about. We picked just two items, or "timeline figures." As we have held our history lesson each week, we look over the timeline figures and add what we have learned about. Each child is helping to assemble our timeline, though I could have chosen to have each child assemble their own.

Our lessons, as written, will not cover all of the Figures included with this timeline. That's pretty neat because as we look over the blank spots I anticipate the children will ask what or who that Figure is, which will give us an opportunity to further explore the Civil War period. If we choose not to explore every item that is okay too! But with Home School in the Woods, there's always an opportunity to dive as deep into a subject as you desire. That's one reason I love this company so much.

My kids love timelines and have seen the value of them from the very first week we began homeschooling, so this timeline just fits into what is natural for us. My girls love that they get to color the Figures before gluing them to the timeline, my son likes that I am not making him cut and color so many pages as he has had to do with other projects from this company. But it's true, everyone appreciates having a timeline that is specific to our current lessons.

Another item that I found intriguing is The War Across Five Aprils File Folder Game. This would have gone along with our studies of the Civil War and would be a fun way to review events.

The Art of Quilling:

This project was originally a part of "Time Travelers: Colonial Life." This is a smaller PDF, only six pages. It has basic instructions and tips for how to quill, a little bit of history, and a pattern to complete (shown below.) Even though the file is small, this is a great introduction to quilling and provides enough information for a beginner to get started.
My sister, who has great quilling talent, recently gave my daughter, M, a quilling starter kit. M thought this Á La Carte project sounded like a fun way to practice her new skills, and it worked out perfectly that she already had the necessary tools and supplies! She says the history about quilling was interesting, she had no idea that this wasn't a modern art.

She got started on it right away and completed the project in just a few days. Then she started working on other projects to practice this skill. She had played with the quilling kit a little before this, but these flowers were one of her first full projects.

She did mention that this project doesn't give suggested paper lengths to coil, so she had to experiment with the coils to get them the right size. (The pattern is a light outline drawing, you can see that if you look closely at the lowest leaf in her project above.) In the instruction books that came with her tools there are suggested lengths. She felt this project was a little more difficult because of that, but I felt that was a good way for her to expand her skills and enhance her creativity as she figured out what size each coil should be.

You can read our previous reviews of products from Home School in the Woods here:

Be sure to check out the rest of the Crew members reviews, we picked quite a variety of the Á La Carte projects! Which one will you pick to use with your lessons?

Where to find Home School in the Woods:

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Friday, March 16, 2018

"A Refuge Assured" Book Review

I was sent a copy of a new book by Jocelyn Green to review. I have never read one of her books before so I was excited to read A Refuge Assured. This book is historical fiction and describes the difficulties of the people who lived during the French Revolution and were loyal to the royal family.

Weekly Recap: With the last level of reading!

We're stuck in this Utah weather that can't decide if it's winter or spring. It's a fun time of year with lots of rain and snow, and warm sunny days randomly sprinkled in between.

I finally started getting better... my fever went away completely! But I had lingering coughing and tired days. And my neck and head were in so much pain, so much that it was hard to lay down and relax.

The kids had regular activities all week and stayed busy, plus M and J went to the temple one afternoon. We put the trampoline up and the kids have enjoyed playing on it again.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Weekly Recap: with the snowy miracle

School Highlights:

  • Our history lesson was an introduction to slavery. We're working toward the Civil War, this lesson was eye opening for some kids. We've talked about slavery in the past, but we really talked about it this time.
  • We studied Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. We really like this poem and it was fun to learn more about it.
  • Our science lesson was about the sense of touch.
  • For geography we talked about the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South America. It was prophesied that the church would grow there, like an acorn grows into a might oak tree. We looked at when the prophecies happened, and how church membership grew. Pretty neat! Then we worked on religion reports for our chosen countries.
  • Prokofiev was the subject of our music lesson. What a great musician!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

CursiveLogic and The Art of Cursive Review

We had the opportunity to review the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic. I'm going to be honest... this is one of the reasons I joined the Homeschool Review Crew! They reviewed this when it was brand new a few years ago. Ever since then I've been waiting for the right time to buy it for my youngest. Well, we are really glad that we got to review it! If you're interested, check out the discount code towards the end of my review.

What is CursiveLogic?

We received two different items. The CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack consists of one copy of the workbook and access to the instructional video. The workbook has thick, heavy pages with two laminated pages in the back for dry erase practice. It is full color with basic instructions throughout the book.

The lowercase letters are taught in four lessons, each lesson split into four days of work. The letters are grouped by similar shape so that a string or group of letters are all taught together. The uppercase letters are taught in six lessons, again with similar shaped letters grouped together. The method is intended for ages eight to adult. We are using it with a first grader. She has a little experience with cursive, and because she's younger we sometimes took five days to teach one lesson.