Thursday, August 15, 2013

"On Track to AWESOME"

Love our theme this year "On Track to AWESOME".   My AWESOME Brother-in-Law Mark is a high school science teacher.   He came up with this slogan for the new school year and his peers voted to use it for the school motto.    I thought it was AWESOME too.

Btw, Batman thinks Uncle Mark is totally AWESOME!!!

I made a tree and have a mixture of paw prints and apple cut outs.   Each time Batman does AWESOME with his school work (test, project, etc.) he will get a paw print to put on the wall with the reason printed on it.   I can't wait to see the tracks going up and down all over the wall.   Have a positive attitude and earn an apple for the tree.   
10 Apples= Reward
10 Paw Prints= Reward

 History & Geography
 Batman loves his desk by the window!  Love this organizer that I found at Michael's.   Keeps our pencils, tape, markers, etc. organized in one place.
 Can't forget the ceiling!
How many days are in each month?
  Love this...
"It's a Great Day to Learn Something New"!
 and again!
 Our daily schedule includes the two charts on the right.   Bottom left shows "specials" that Batman does like on certain days.  These include art, music, computer lab, etc.
 Love this chart.   The goal is for Batman to read 50 books.
 Weekly Spelling and Vocabulary Study List.
We're going to try boxes this year to keep our daily work organized.
Language Arts review and game.
Totally fun math game that I will use every morning as we start our day.
 We go on amazing field trips.   Pretty soon Batman can post pictures of his adventures with his friends.
 Basic calendar and schedule.

Batman is so excited for the new school year to start because he LOVES his classroom!

He's excited so I'm excited!


A few months ago a friend told me all about the Learn Our History DVD series.  This animated program teaches your child about American history.  Children learn about important historical figures and events that helped shape our country.  Best yet, they'll develop a deep appreciation for American and the freedom we have.

"Positive, Patriotic. and Unbiased US History"

In each video a team of five kids travel through time on a bicycle and discover what life was like in a specific historical period.  My six year old "Batman" and I sat down and watched The American Revolution: The Birth of a Revolution.  The teens traveled back to Boston, Massachusetts in the 1700's and learned about the events that led to the Revolutionary War and thereafter.   Inspired by the Bible and their strong views against British taxation and oppression, the colonists broke away from England to form a new democratic republic.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how well Batman understood the concepts in this dvd program.   He had a very clear understanding about taxation and why the colonists and loyalists fought.  I liked how the teens in the program also asked questions and got clear answers.  That clearly was helpful to my son.   Best of all, the film is presented in a patriotic and faith based way.  It shows children how people can contribute to their country by serving.  They also can appreciate that America has provided for them in so many ways.

The simple graphics were nice.   Not overly done though or to the tune of Pixar animation.   That's okay too because this is simply history and it doesn't need to be done.  The story sells itself.

Each film in the Learn Our History  series  comes with a learning guide and supplements that are downloadable free.   Timelines, discussion topics, biographies, games, quizes and so much more.  I especially liked the discussion questions that allowed Batman and I a chance to further talk the program in detail.   The timeline is great since it helps kids understand the different chain of events over time.

Can I tell you another item that I LOVE about Learn Our History?  Kids can enjoy the videos any time and anywhere.   Play the series on your computer, ipad, iphone, ipod, or any internet-connected device that's equipped with a web browser.  SCORE!!!
Batman watching The American Revolution on the ipad.  

There are 20 Learn Our History dvd's online.  Click on a video for a FREE preview.  LOH is offering a free dvd for you to try out at home.  All you have to do is pay shipping and handling.  Try it out!  
If you like the program (and I know you will) then you get each dvd, online streaming, and the lesson guide for just $11.95 a month plus shipping and handling.  Each month you will receive a different program and something new to learn about.  Just check out their website at Learn Our History.
Satisfaction guaranteed!!

I'm really happy with this program and I have decided to use the entire package as part of Batman's history curriculum this school year.  This program is perfect for all ages.  Adults will love it too.   


I received a free dvd for this review from Learn Our History  I received no other compensation.   My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, August 12, 2013

from A+ Tutorsoft Math

Hello friends!  Don't miss this exciting giveaway this week.  I'm so proud to be part of the launch team and get to tell you about this amazing company.  You don't want to miss entering this giveaway.  The prizes are awesome!!!

I'm really excited to be a part of A+ Interactive Math's launch team for their brand new website.   A+ Interactive Math by TutorSoft Inc. is giving away a Kindle Fire! The Kindle Fire will be loaded with 8 different A+ Interactive Math eBooks for a value of almost $300 total! Kindle Fire is also compatible with the hundreds of A+ worksheets from their computer based math program (available online or as software), so you can take math on the go. They really want to celebrate their brand new website so how awesome is this?
The new website, launching this week, promises a whole new look and feel offering a brand new A+ math experience. The site launch is only a portion of the exciting new changes coming from A+ Interactive Math. There are new programs, books, eBooks & more options coming to help every homeschool family afford a top of the line math curriculum.
A+ Interactive Math also has a new A+ Homeschool blog, and although A+ is a Math Curriculum company, the blog serves to support and inform homeschoolers with freebies, deals and news to make their homeschool journey a great one.
If you haven’t heard of A+ Interactive Math, you should check them out. They offer computer based (online and software) math for homeschoolers. This is a math program that takes pressure off of you as a teacher. You can use it online, or even on the iPad (you’ll need to use a flash enabled browser). The cost for a computer/software based program is right too (especially if you use the discount code shown at the bottom of this post!). The Crew recently reviewed their program and thought highly of it- I bet you’ll like it too!
This giveaway will from August 12-16 ending with an incredible Facebook party at their A+ Facebook page .  There will be exciting door prizes for everyone who attends, as well as over $1,000 in fantastic homeschool giveaways.  Sponsors include:
A+, Master Books, EEME, Winter's Promise, Founders Academy, How to be Homeschooled, Tangram Chess, Kathy Lee-Homegrown Preschooler, HEDUA, CurrClick, AJTL lapbooks, Family Time Fitness, Educents, Brimwood Press, Unit Studies by Amandan Bennett, Heritage History, Creating a Masterpiece, Bright Ideas Press, and more!

Now it's time to enter!  Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open to US & Canada only. A Canadian winner must agree to pay up to
$35 in shipping or forfeit to another winner. Entering the giveaway is
always free. Valued at almost $400! 

I'm not affiliated with TutorSoft and haven't been compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

2013-14 Curriculum Choices & School Theme

It's that time of year again to announce our 2013-14 curriculum choices & school theme.    This is our third year homeschooling and by now I have a pretty good idea on what works best for us.  Below are what I've chosen for Batman who is going into second grade.  

LITERATURE:  Moving Beyond the Page
VOCABULARY:   Evan Moor A Word a Day
SPELLING: All About Spelling
HANDWRITING: PreScripts by Classical Conversations
TYPING:   Still undecided
ROBOTICS:  Select Lego Products
TECHNOLOGY: 2nd Grade Technology
P.E.:  Still deciding

*We will continue to participate in our Homeschool Co-op each week.
*We belong to two homeschool groups in the area.  We will enjoy going to many exciting field trips during the year.
*We also do a once a month science, math, and also a cultural class at the local children's museum.  In addition Batman will be taking a class at the aquarium.

EXTRACURRICULAR (Batman's choice)
Karate (Batman is on summer hiatus after doing it for two years but wants to start up again).
Church Choir

My awesome brother-in-law Mark is a high school science teacher.  He recently found out that his suggestion of "On Track to AWESOME" was chosen by his peers to be the 2013-14 school theme.  It took all of 10 seconds for me to decide to also have it be our homeschool theme for the year.   Wait until I show you how I'm going to make this "AWESOME"!

WHEW!   A lot of thought and planning has gone into this year.  I hope you enjoy a look at our homeschool curriculum and new school theme.   


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

PreScripts: Class Conversation's Review & Giveaway

PreScripts: Classical Conversation's Cursive Writing Series
Review and Giveaway

I was so happy when I was given the opportunity to use PreScripts: Classical Conversation's Cursive Writing Series.   I had been contemplating teaching cursive to Batman but had no idea what program to use.   I had seen a young girl in our homeschool co-op who had the loveliest cursive writing.  I was intrigued and so was Batman.  My hunt for a new cursive writing program started.  Based on a friend's recommendation I tried out Prescripts and I'm so glad I did.

Classical Conversations has designed a truly unique cursive writing program.    It matters not only what the children write but how.   Students who are just learning to hold a crayon can start this program.  Young children can learn visually and kinesthetically by drawing, tracing, and coloring.  Your child doesn't need to be an artist or even now how to write.  This is an easy program to fully develop their entry into the world of cursive writing.

Here is a breakdown of each of the four books in this program:

Medieval to Modern World History
This introduces children to the building blocks of cursive writing and drawing.   Children will finger trace, trace with a pencil, and complete copy work therefore enhancing their fine motor skills.   Coloring pages are included of medieval and modern world history.  This book retails for $11.99.  Beautifully bound in a spiral notebook.  The paper is such a nice quality to use.   A lesson a day is all that I do so it's quick and easy.

This book acts as a building block when writing cursive.  Starts with letters, then words, and then simple sentences.  The book starts with lessons from Proverbs and the book of James.   Students practice their art skills by drawing basic shapes.  Retails at $12.99.

Medieval to Modern World History
 This book has the student writing longer sentences about medieval to modern world history.  Each sentence is accompanied by a related piece of artwork that teaches the elements of composition including depth, point of view, and light and shadow.  Retails at $12.99

American Documents
Students refine their skills by writing longer passages of American documents and speeches.  Students are introduced to the practice of illuminations which brings on new life to their work.  Retails for $12.99.

My thoughts on PreScripts:

*Love the quality of the books.  Each is nice spiral bound notebook.  Paper has a thicker weight and is sturdy.

*I like how this program is a work at your own pace one.   My goal is to do one book every two months, therefore getting the whole package done in a year.   Batman is currently working on the first level book and is really enjoying it.   Takes just a few minutes a day to practice his writing skills AND he's learning about history too.  LOVE!

*Price!  Totally affordable at around $12 a book.

*Love the mix of cursive, scripture, history, art, and famous documents in these books.


PreScripts gave me all four books at no cost.  I wasn't compensated for my review.  All opinions are my own.