Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Scripture 8/25

II Timothy 1:7
... God hath not given us the spirit of fear ; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We are not created to fear; God created us to reflect his love and his mind. He is all power and we are created in that image and likeness.
What stands out to me is how beautifully God's  power created us to glorify him. We are called to share the gospel and glorify him in all we do, I am grateful for that calling, even if it is to only my children at this season. I know that I am planting the seed that God gave us within the blessings he has bestowed upon us.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Command Central, New Resource Room part 1

Our new school year kicks off this coming week and I am happy to say we have found a system that I think it going to work.
We re-purposed an old literature rack and took the divider out to accommodate two columns of folders/ notebooks.  The notebooks will hold notes , worksheets, etc.. related to a given assignment each day. The daily subjects will be all in one folder (4 math sheets, Bible notes, Spelling words and activity suggestions). I printed labels for the folders so I can write the subject and assignment / suggestions on each folder. I may end up putting contact paper over the label so I can reuse it , but for now I will just print new ones for week 2 and 3 as I have a huge box of shipping labels that I can use from.
The bulletin board for Weekly Words to Learn is divided just like the folder rack, blue for Cameron and Green for Nathan. The goal for the board is weekly spelling lists and vocabulary words including Spanish and Latin (once we add Latin to the mix in October). The 2 anchor charts above the word wall are Adverbs and Adjectives; I also hung the suggested word list for over used verbs. 
I have a thought about putting a TV tray or small table under the sign for pens, pencils, etc... along with a spot to check your work before returning it to the rack.
On the door into the room we have a colorful 10 Commandments poster that the boys have always liked. (on the back of the door is a pocket thing currently holding various flashcard activities that needs to be gone through).
 I still need to work on the bookshelf next to the command center for various Montessori themed options for Nathan and various Command Card activities for Cameron, but I feel like I got something pretty big done with this project. Now to fill the first 8 folders and find our rhythm for the new year.

My goals for next week is the giant magnet board over the dryer and the crates in the middle of the room. If I can get those handled I would also like to get the cubbies all flipped the right direction and load the appropriate books into the cubbies.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Geometry Notebook connect the lines and angles for learning fun

If you have been following our homeschool journey you know In the Hands of a Child is one of my favorite companies, so when they came up as a vendor with the Schoolhouse review crew I was happy to work with them to review a project pack.  It was actually a bit of a challenge to select a project to review that I didn't already own (I'm a little addicted). I decided to go with the Geometry Notepack (I already have the Lapbook project as well as the coordinating younger student lapbook so it made sense).

This was not our first In the Hands of a Child, if fact since we began homeschooling 5 years ago, the boys have completed more than 20 units. This time we used the laptop to read the research guide from (usually I either print it out or load it to my Nook). I also printed 2 copies of the notebook pages as Cameron's friend who is one summer break was spending a lot of time around the house and when asked to participate in school he was willing and eager.
We actually did the project in 5 sittings as I printed a couple days combined.  I love the lesson plan guide in the front of the pdf file, it makes it so easy for me to plan our sessions and gives the kids something to check off as we complete the activities.
This unit is geared to grades 4-8 (Cameron is going into 5th grade , and his friend is also a 5th grader so it was a perfect match)  While the older boys worked on the Intro to Geometry unit, Nathan also worked on the coordinator K-3rd grade unit Shapes: Simple and Solid and had fun adding his own style to the lapbook project.
The Intro to Geometry notepack retails for $12.00 is has everything you will need to read and complete the notebook as well as a reading list of books you can add to the unit.  During August and the Back to School sale this unit is on sale for only $5.00 (the sale ends August 20, 2013)
I love that I was able to teach Cameron and his buddy more than the basic geometry terms and shapes, we also talked about occupations that use geometry and even got hands of with teaching and understanding the Pythagorean theorem (I didn't understand it myself until my freshman year of high school). Making the learning fun and hands on and having a finished notebook made the whole project that much more fun for both boys. We even talked about angles and such incorporating the concepts into their bike jump building. Keeping 2 10 and 11 year old boys engaged can be a challenge but thanks to In the Hands of a Child we not only kept them engaged but also taught them something that they will use again before their school careers are over.
 In the Hands of a Child was founded in 2002 by 2 homeschool Moms, (Niki and Kim) in 2005 they brought Katie on board and since the first pack , Plants was published have published over 450 units in a variety of topics and a wide range of grade levels.  What makes  In the Hands of a Child  different is the research guides written for each unit. Everything you need to complete the unit is included, from lesson plan ideas to answer keys, from research guides to graphics (notebook pages or mini books for lapbooks). Many of the units come in a variety of types from basic lapbooks to lapboos with a type it in feature to Notebook packs all as pdf files and even printed materials; some of the units even have full kits where everything is printed and ready to put together.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a variety of the  In the Hands of a Child  and share their thoughts on each product, check them out by clicking on the button below.


Monday, August 19, 2013

It is Schoolhouse EXPO week and I can't wait!

Schoolhouse Expo

This week is Schoolhouse Expo week and I can't tell you how excited I am , even my husband is looking forward to the talks. 
I've printed my schedule and circled all the talks I want to listen to, since they are recorded I can listen later if I have to miss one, BONUS!

Today I'm looking forward to  hearing Bob Irvin and Lori Scheele talk about and getting Organized as well and Barbara Beers talk about Spelling, Grmmar and Latin, and then ending the day with Antony Kolenc and mistakes Homeschoolers make....

Tomorrow is another full day as well!
It isn't too late to purchase a ticket 
I received my ticket to this event in exchange for sharing before and during this event.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reading Kingdom, an online reading support program

Reading Kingdom logo photo readingkingdomlogo_zps9012735a.jpgWe received a subscription to Reading Kingdom to review and share our thoughts with our readers. We previously reviewed Reading Kingdom with the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so we were familiar with the program going in. Nathan was eager to start the program and began using the program with very little encouragement

Reading Kingdom is a subscription based program retailing for $19.99 after your first 30 days free trial. You can also purchase an annual subscription for $199.99 a year for the first child and $9.99 a month for each additional child.The program is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 10. Nathan is nearly 8 and familiar with the program.  The program teaches basic reading and writing/ spelling skills needed to be successful readers. 
While Nathan isn't the strongest reader he is a willing student and will try something new if it means he can improve his skills. He is also willing to try something again after a break. Since we had not used Reading Kingdom lately he asked me to give it a try again. Of course we had a computer system crash during our review period, but thankfully since the program is online it didn't effect using the program. 
We did find a couple of minor issues related to successfully using the program. Our computers aren't new machines (actually most of the machines in this house are at least 7 years old), older machines don't always respond as fast on webpages as newer machines. We found that even with a high speed internet connection, we still experiences some delay in the response to answers with the activities; that delay caused some frustration for Nathan as he was always waiting for the next question or waiting for his answer to appear on the screen. (I am working on fixing some of the issues on our end). 
The other thing we found frustrating was the story books seems slow to respond and they seemed to have a lot of graphic effects that we had to wait for to move on. 
Both Nathan and Mommy really wanted this program to be a huge success and I think it can be as we improve our computer situation. We are both enjoying the time on the computer and the colorful images that go along with the program. Nathan is nearly 8 years old and reading below his marked 3rd grade level, however is comprehension level is far beyond 3rd grade at nearly a 6th grade level, so we are working toward improving his reading through computer games as well as focused reading time . We are also using flash card and sight words to improve success with the basics. Thankfully we found a free resource on Reading Kingdom  with their Super Sight Word list. Nathan also has a magnet for his activity scheduler featuring Reading Kingdom, he still insists on putting his Reading Kingdom magnet on his schedule and is determined that we will use the program at least 3 times a week. I am grateful for his determination and drive to improve his skills .
You can follow Reading Kingdom on Twitter, and even check out their Facebook page.
You can even read what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of the program by clicking on the button below.


Sunday Scripture 8/18

I thought I this week's post figured out, but this morning sitting on church I heard the verses with a new  meaning, so  I changed the verses for this week.

Psalms 35:9

King James Version (KJV)

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Psalms 144:15

King James Version (KJV)

15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Just thinking about being Joyful and Happy in the ideas of God, this coming week is filing up with commitments and activities that I am looking forward to, but at the same time I crave that quiet time with God where I can be filled with joy knowing that our time together makes the rest of the activities during the week happier occasions. 

And on another note, also from this week's lesson. A passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy in this week's lesson  really makes me think about what we do to encourage our Godly thoughts. Am I really doing what I need to in order to fill my mind with right ideas?

SH 60:29-9
Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul. Higher enjoyments alone can satisfy the cravings of immortal man. We cannot circumscribe happiness within the limits of personal sense. The senses confer no real enjoyment.
The good in human affections must have ascendancy over the evil and the spiritual over the animal, or happiness will never be won. The attainment of this celestial condition would improve our progeny, diminish crime, and give higher aims to ambition.

Thoughts for the week!
Have a blessed week !

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sunday Scripture 8/11

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The idea that what we see materially is not the real focus in our lives in a pretty big idea. We need to continue to stay focused on God and his amazing Love for us, that is the eternal thought
Keep your eyes and thoughts on God and reflecting that Love.