Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Marshall Publishing: Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks #hsreviews #homeschool

Do you have a kiddo that loves Firetrucks?

I do, and actually I have 2 that love firetrucks.
When I received the Lots and Lots of Firetrucks DVD and book from Marshall Publishing my boys immediately put it in the DVD player and watched it through twice to make sure they didn't miss anything.

Lots & Lots of Fire Songs & Safety Tips DVD along with the book Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks & Firefighters  is a great set for any Firetruck enthusiast but is especially designed for younger kids with fun and engaging songs.  The DVD is set up so you can watch just sections or the whole video and includes  instructions and tips for fire safety along with the traditional messages.   My boys thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie and singing along to the fun songs.  The book has also become a favorite with both the boys. They love to flip through and look at the pictures then go play firefighter with the toy fire trucks.  I love when the boys can incorporate the books and movies we've watch into their play time.

 The set I received currently is listed on Marshall Publishing website for $29.95  and would make a great gift for any Fire Fighter fan.

Marshall Publishing has a wide range of media available and very reasonable prices. I also received a copy of  George Washington Carver His Life and Work which I previewed and am going to show the boys when we begin our unit follow the Civil War and move into the Reconstruction and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

You can check out what other members of the TOS crew thought of both these videos HERE

***I received both movies listed above as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for my review of the products.  All opinions are my own. ***

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 10/26 homeschool

this is my non-coloring student...
he decided to draw and color today!
p.s. it is a self portrait of him as a rockstar

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Moon and Fall Food Crafts

So unvlDad and I decided to go Festival of the New Moon this coming week with the boys.
I am planning on doing some fall food crafting as well as scripture activities.

Here are a couple of the food crafts we are going to try:

Six in the Suburbs: Chocolate & Peanutbutter Acorns: aren't this the cutest!

Moon Cookies I'm thinking of trying this or using a basic sugar cookie recipe and rolling the cookies out.

Here are some reference sites and activities we are going to use:

I also found a wonderful craft idea creating a felt Torrah scroll. Thanks to Dixon Homestead Academy for the idea

While we don't celebrate the Old Testament festivals often I try and interject them into our lessons when I can.
This year the harvesting season has taken a front seat to our studies and I want the boys to know that this year has been a huge blessing and accept it with a grateful heart.

Friday, October 14, 2011

First #FieldTrip of the #Homeschool Year: #Aquarium

Thursday was Field Trip Day at Unionvale Homeschool.

We traveled 2 hours South West to Newport for a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The boys received a Groupon gift certificate from Auntie for Easter this past year and it was about to expire so off we went.  We made a stop in Lincoln City at McDonald's for a quick lunch (I didn't have enough time to get a lunch packed in the morning...)

We finally made it to the Aquarium and headed in. The path from the parking lot is a very nice paved nature trail with a small stream which Nathan was very interested in. He wanted a picture of the stream and plants so I let him take the photo.. Not too bad for a 6 year old wild kid.

 The boys thoroughly enjoyed the touch pool although at first they weren't sure if they were going to actually touch any of the creatures. I told them it had always been my favorite part of the Aquarium when I was little and showed them it was ok to touch the creatures, then they started gently touching each different star fish and anenomi. We spent probably 20 minutes exploring the tide pool , touch pool.
 We all found a quiet solace in just watching the fish  through the glass. And even more so once we made it to the tunnel to walk through the water and see all the fish in their own environments.  We sat on the floor and got lost looking up to the fish.

 We found the children's outside play area and all enjoyed the animal statues to climb and sit on. Even unvlDad got in on the fun.  It isn't often you can get my boys to sit together , this was about as good as it gets.

We made our way back to see the Aviary , the seal lions, and sea otters  The Aviary was actually really neat we got to see the birds up close. It was amazing to interact with the birds as if they understood what we were saying. The boys had a lot of fun with that.

 We left the Aquarium and headed back across the Yaquina Bay Bridge to find some beach to play on. We ended up at a neat little park with a very long windy path down to the beach.  The boys and Mommy played in the water while Daddy hung back and rested a bit.  Yes I was in the water, I hiked my skirt up so I wouldn't get too wet.

We ended the day with a drive back to Lincoln City for dinner at the McMennamin's Lighthouse Pub where we reviewed all we saw and drew pictures. After all was said and done I had to see the sunset on the beach so we went around the corner to Road's End beach park to watch the sunset before we drove home.

Review: @VisualLatin #hsreviews, have you done your Latin today?



I have always wanted to learn Latin and I want my boys to have the foundation for learning languages so when Visual Latin came up on the Homeschool Crew I immediately applied. I received my DVD with lessons 1-10 in the mail and was very excited to get started.
The DVD includes .pdf files of the worksheets to go with the various lesson as well as the videos to watch the lessons.  I put the DVD in the computer printed out the first lesson's worksheets and tried the program for myself. (I try and preview the programs before I introduce them to the boys.)

Nathan noticed I was watching something and of course wanted to watch it too. (I had not intended to introduce Latin to my 6 year old). He thought the program looked pretty cool, but got bored pretty quickly (he is only 6 so I didn't figure it would be a good fit). As he was leaving he told me the teacher sounded like a fun teacher, so I guess that says something.

I decided Cameron was still a little young for the worksheets (he is almost 9) but I wanted him to at least watch the videos with me.  Nathan continued to "watch" some of it with us when we watched the videos.
Cameron thought the teacher was fun and a little goofy. (coming from Cameron that is a compliment).
Since we scaled back a bit this year with the variety of subjects, I am definately going to come back and watch the DVD and do the worksheets again with Cameron later in the year as I feel strongly about adding language to our curriculum.

So what do you get with Visual Latin?
Each DVD has 10 lessons complete with worksheets. The program is also available as a download.
We reviewed the DVD Latin1 which retails for $30.00
The downloadable version retails for $25.00 and the complete DVD collection 1-3 retails for $90.00 but as I am writing this it appears the complete DVD collection is on sale for $80.00.

Photobucket One thing that I really liked about the program is the classroom feel. I know as a homeschooler people assume I am against the classroom environment but sometimes the subject matter calls for the formality of the classroom.  The setting of the videos is clean and uncluttered leaving the student to focus on the teacher.

The website says it best really.

Add that to Dwane’s ability to address your children directly and your kids have their own personal Latin tutor right in your home.  They will smile, chuckle and even laugh at him as he teaches, whether it’s making a pun or making a mistake.
That’s right – we let the camera roll so every now and then Dwane slips up and corrects himself. It happens in a real class, right?  And kids make mistakes themselves, right?  This is something kids can relate to that builds great rapport. Furthermore, it relaxes them.
Overall there is a good combination of structure and the relaxed comfort of a personal tutor. 
Check out what my crew mates think of the program HERE 


I received the DVD copy of Visual Latin 1 as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew to review and give honest feedback here on my blog. All opinions unless noted are my own.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Issuing tickets in homeschool for breaking the rules?

I received an email from one of the Yahoo groups I belong to referencing the ticket method of Discipline and I was intriqued. I clicked through the link and found the following webpage.

The Ticket Method of Discipline - Home:

I love the idea and will be considering this as an option for our homeschool and our household, but need to consider the option of allowing the boys to issue tickets to Mom and Dad as a checks and balances system. I am going to revisit the site including their "ticket" document later this week and might even bring it before the boys (and Daddy) to discuss the option of using this.

I do want to bring back the poker chips we started the year with (I dropped the ball), this might be a good thing to include in the poker chips (they could pay their fine for their ticket with poker chips or a action...) just thinking out loud.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 9 of the #homeschool year, what is in store this week?

I haven't done a lesson plan post for a while so I thought I would share what we have in store this week.

Cameron will be working in Time4Learning on his Language Arts, this seems to be a good fit for now.. Last week he actually scored a perfect 40 in one of the sections (he had been scoring 35 out of 40 as he was having the program read passages to him rather than reading them himself).  He will also continue with Math-U-See Foundations unit 13, we are working on multiplication so I will also have him do his math drills in BigIQKids.  On Monday he will have his usual Scripture assigned copywork, this week the verse is: Isaiah 45:22, although I'm not sure if I will have him do the King James version or the Contemporary English Version that is listed in his lesson for the week. I'll have to think about that one.

Nathan's week will play out a little differently as he had a minor crash with Daddy and the riding lawn mower... We will be doing more motor skill activities as a kind of physical therapy to deal with a sore shoulder. He will also be working on Spelling in BigIQKids. and money in  Math-U-See  Introduction. I am also introducing him to a new (to us) phonics and reading series that he seems to be enjoying. Last week we did the first 2 stories in the primer book and he stayed on track so I'm going to keep on moving us through. The first book is" Join the Circle" from Scribner Reading Series  and I have the workbook to go along with it, however we are not writing in the workbook we are just doing the exercises verbally. (I want to pass the set on to a friend when we are done with it)

I am also going to have all 3 of us working on Visual Latin. I worked through the introduction and first unit myself last week as a precursor to introducing it to the boys.

So that covers Monday, Tuesday , and Thursday activities. Wednesday is co-op group so we don't do a lot of school time mostly a quick activity on BigIQKids and Friday Mommy gets to go to Women of Faith in Portland so it will be Daddy School time (in other words, lets play outside in the shop and build stuff)