Saturday, April 30, 2011

Called to Service

I believe we have been called, called by God to serve our fellow man. I have had the tornadoes that have hit the US on my mind lately. Who hasn’t right? Houses and businesses leveled men, women and children missing, injured or dead it has devastated so much and broken so many hearts. Where we live we were lucky and I feel God’s blessing in that!
My husband was trapped in a small gate house on the flightline of the airport at which his Air National Guard unit is housed. The destruction there is obvious but miraculously no one was seriously hurt

Friday, April 29, 2011

Greek N’ Stuff ~ TOS Review

I had a wonderful opportunity to try teaching my children Greek. I would never have normally thought to teach my children Koine Greek, common Greek spoken during NT times. However by using this curriculum it was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
I received Hey Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! level 3 from Greek N Stuff. I have to tell you not starting with level 1 was no biggie. I admit I felt a bit disadvantaged not having any previous knowledge. After looking over the materials I was immediately put at ease.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Did You Know That?

Today my kids took an impromptu reading assessment. They were less than thrilled but since today was a short school day they did not complain too much. I like to have them take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or TAKS, because it gives them the free test online and spits out the scale scores to me which makes it super easy to see where we are. I hate standardized testing even though I see it as necessary for college bound kids at the vary least to be ready for test taking. This being the case I prefer to give it in my home in this way so they learn to concentrate and take tests even with distractions.
I sent my DS8 up to his room to quietly do something so as to minimize those interruptions (I don’t expect them to take a test during a 3 ring circus you know) that do occur. DD2 was napping in her room so we were all set. So I thought. Soon I hear talking from upstairs and thinking “What in the world” went to investigate.

TOS Review-Writing Tales

My favorite subject to teach has always been English. Now that being said I did not always like the ways that were available to teach it. I despise textbooks and would much rather sit down with a good piece of literature and “borrow advice” from a good grammar text. I suppose this is why we have followed Charlotte Mason’s methods  from the beginning. You can read more about that by clicking on her name.
While Classical in nature some things we do are not what would be strictly considered so. Language Arts is one of those areas I have never purposely tried to do in the Classical method. I get all confused by the 12 levels of the Progymnasmata from the Greeks but I realize the value and wish it was something I could put into practice.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rebuilding Japan with Art

Do you know Japan is still dealing with aftershocks? I do not watch much news so I did not realize this until my son who loves all things Japanese showed me a website he came across, Manga University. On this site you can learn Japanese, how to draw Manga, and how to cook Japanese food. When you make a purchase from the site 10% goes to the Red Cross Japan.

See The Light ~ TOS Review

Art is my favorite subject to teach my children. I love seeing what they create. I am very particular as to what curriculum (or not) we use. I was very excited to be able to review the first DVD in See The Light Shine’s Art Class curriculum.
Art Class is a “club” taught by Master Artist Pat Knepley which teaches kids the basic fundamentals of art and intertwines it with bible stories. Appropriate for ages 6 and up 36 step-by-step lessons  contained on 9 DVD’s provide a full years curriculum. There are also bonus lessons on chalk art, creative lettering, and the joy of art.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Growing Healthy Homes ~ TOS Review

I have been looking for some time now for a really good Health curriculum for my son as an elective for high school. I thought I would never find one as it seems there is only 1 or 2 out there that satisfy our need for Godly instruction combined with solid information backed by scientific research.
Well I must have hit the jackpot because I have found Growing Healthy Homes Nutrition 101. I can’t say much about the book format since we received the eBook format but it is a wonderfully illustrated, Bible based, textbook style book that is chock full of all the things my entire family needs to know in order to live a healthy life as God intended.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All About Reading ~ TOS Review

Since this is my second year of homeschooling my children and we have a daughter whom we will homeschool from Pre-k on, I have been a little thoughtful on how I am going to teach her to read. When we brought the boys home they could both already read. Connor and I did well last year using CM methods to improve and strengthen his reading but he was already reading, albeit reluctantly and hesitantly.
I admit I am a bit nervous about it all. I want her to have a love of reading in addition to being able to read well. When I got the chance to review the newly released All About Reading Pre-level 1 from Marie Rippel (Yes the All About Spelling lady) I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Science Weekly ~ TOS Review

Science Weekly is a fun way to incorporate a cross curricular science program. A four page module focused on a single topic is presented in newsletter format and comes in 5 grade levels. Each one includes a front page article introducing the topic, the other three pages have activities for a lab/experiment, vocabulary, math, writing, and a fun puzzle or challenge activity.
Included in the subscription is a Teaching Notes supplement which includes information on the labs, background on the topic, questions to get the kids thinking, tips for each activity and answer key for each lesson. Additional resources are included on the back page to assist with planning.
Science Weekly is published 15 times a year: 2/month September – April with the exception of December which is only 1/month.
Here is a link to a sample module on Coral Reefs.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Kinderbach ~ TOS Review

I was a little skeptical at first with a product that teaches piano to preschoolers. After watching the weekly lessons I have to say Kinderbach is a very fun and engaging music curriculum. While piano is the instrument being taught, music theory is a core component.
I have to laugh as my two boys (one of whom is a big boy, at 15) really enjoyed these videos. They got involved and fully participated in each lesson. My 2 year old daughter thought the music and characters were fun and enjoyed dancing. Getting everyone settled down after our piano lessons was a bit of a struggle so we usually used them at the end of the day as a reward for diligence in work.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

GoGoKabongo ~ TOS Review

Do you have one of those kids who really loves video games? Well I do and they will play any kind of video game even if it is educational so I try to limit our video games in our school time because it is always a pain to get the kids back on task. We were recently able to try a early reading website based on video games called GogoKabongo, as soon as I saw it I knew it would be a hit.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Zeezok Publishing ~ TOS Review

If you always wondered how to incorporate great films into your school plans Zeezok Publishing has a wonderful new product out just for you. I personally love seeing a great book transformed into a special memory on the silver screen. I will never forget Dorothy and her trip to Oz or Elizabeth Bennet’s disdain for Mr. Darcy. I love great literature and it thrills me to be able to see those stories played out in front of my eyes. By using the ZGuide To The Movies I can ensure my children can have those same thrills, enabling them to love great literature and wholesome movies at the same time.
As the family of an archeologist BML (before military life) we are huge history buffs, the older the better we like to say.


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