Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

When musical doodles during a church meeting become a mini-music lesson from the big sister.



Friday, September 13, 2019

Easy Grammar (A REVIEW)

We have needed a quick easy way to get some grammar in every day for my 3rd grader, so I was thrilled to try out Easy Grammar:  Grade 3. I needed something that is straight to the point, and doesn't need a lot of teacher prep or wading through books.  Easy Grammar Systems has some great curriculum for just that. I love the short lessons, and the practice to go along with each lesson is straight to the point.

Easy Grammar: Grade 3 book
I was happy to receive a physical book for this review so I didn't have to print anything out, but these books are also available in e-books. I did have to consider taking the pages out or copying the pages as all the answers are right there in the book on the opposite page. At first, I was a little put off by this, but it really is a thick book and working with only a few sheets at a time is preferable.  I also realized it is kind of like a teacher's book. So, I have opted to just tear the pages out as he works through them. There is also a student workbook available for purchase that doesn't include the answers, but I didn't receive that for this review. If I were purchasing this on my own (which we have in the past, many years ago), I would definitely get both this book (to use as a teacher's copy) and the student workbook so I didn't have to tear the pages out. It seems much easier to have that extra book.

The Grade 3 book includes grammar lessons for prepositions, verbs, nouns, adjectives, conjunctions, interjections, adverbs, types of sentences, pronouns, capitalization, punctuation, and writing letters and sentences. There are assessments and reviews at the end of each section as well. It is a complete workbook including all the answers and the teacher helps.

An example of the layout:

The book starts out with prepositions and suggests memorizing them. Following the list of prepositions, there are several pages of questions and activities to help with learning all about the use of prepositions, with lessons included. At the end of the preposition section there are a few pages of review, and then a test.


My son is not a fan of grammar. He doesn't like writing and will fight me to write more than a sentence or two. I love that this book breaks things down, and has very little overall writing. He doesn't have to do a ton of rewriting of sentences to show the answers as most of the questions have space to just write the correct answer down. The title doesn't lie, it really is Easy Grammar!

I love the quick lessons all throughout this book. We have used them in the past, and I am excited to be reminded how much I love the Easy Grammar Systems books. We haven't been keeping up with grammar because it always feels so time-consuming, but with these books, it doesn't. If you'd like to see what other crew members had to say about this and other levels of Easy Grammar Systems you can click on the banner below.

Easy Grammar, Daily GRAMS & Easy Grammar Ultimate {Easy Grammar Systems Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

24. The homeschool groups we are a part of, and the friends we find there.
25. The signs of Autumn all around and in the air.
26. New and old homeschool books being pulled out for the new school year.

This is a continuation of my thankful list. My last thankful Thursday post was on 8/29/19.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Oregon Garden: Homeschool Day

We had a lovely visit to The Oregon Garden for homeschool day. It turned out to be perfect weather. I seriously considered whether or not I wanted to go when it was forecasting 85 for the high, but the morning turned out to be overcast and almost a bit cool. We left just after lunch when it started to warm up. All the flowers seemed to pop with color.


The children's garden was sweet.




We went with friends, and the kids just had a great time together. All the boys in our group just loved the felting station including my 3.


The forest station.


I am fascinated by cattails. I remember as a child thinking they were just a weird plant. I never knew what they were, or why they looked like they did. I'm now wiser with the many nature studies we've done with them. Knowledge is wonderful. I wish I had realized I could learn more about them when I was younger just by looking it up. For some reason that never occurred to me! I always just wondered.


That wraps up our visit to The Oregon Garden! We got our fill for the year!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Zeezok (A REVIEW)

We had a great time exploring composers with Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades from Zeezok Publishing. This curriculum is packed with a ton of musically inspired learning about some of the world's greatest musicians. While there are only 7 artists covered in this book there are months worth of lessons to cover giving a good scope of each musicians life.

Music Appreciation for the Middle Grades Activity book and guide.

We received all (but one that came as a pdf) of the physical books needed for Music Appreciation for the Middle Grades, including the readers that go along with each of the great artists. The books included:

  • Music Appreciation for the Middle Grades Book 2 activity pages and guide
  • Frederic Chopin--Early Years
  • Frederic Chopin--Later Years
  • The Young Brahms
  • Stephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray
  • The Story of Peter Tchaikovsky
  • Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Suite (this is the one we received in a pdf file)
  • Edward MacDowell and His Cabin in the Pines
  • Adventures of Richard Wagner
  • Robert Schumann and Mascot Ziff
These are all essential books to use with this curriculum. There are other things that are used such as a personal journal (created by the student), and online components that are accessed with QR codes as well. All of these things work together to make this a very interesting, well rounded, and fun study about great composers and musicians.

The individual readers for each individual musician. The picture on the computer is the one that we received as a pdf since the physical book wasn't available.
I used this curriculum for my new 6th grader. The first musician to be studied in the book is Frederic Chopin, so that is where we started. Each composer takes 4-5 weeks to study, and Frederic Chopin is a 5-week study so he is the only one we have studied so far for the review period. The reading and activities for Frederic Chopin include one or two chapters each week, and about 10 activities to do each week. Some activities include comprehension questions for each chapter, listening to music, character qualities, cooking, music lessons (learning about notes and music theory), lapbook making (if purchased too), and so much more.

The first composer to study: Frederic Chopin

For the reading, we did a combination of read-aloud and him reading by himself. These books are written a little bit differently than we're used to reading today. A little more classical in nature, and I had to help him through the comprehension questions with some prompting. I really like these books though. They have captivating stories.

He was reading on his own. He doesn't like having his picture taken, so he was hiding.
The student activity book is organized by week. All the questions and activities that are suggested for each week are easy to find and follow. The first activity for each week are the comprehension questions for the reading. There are lines and blanks for the answers to the questions. In fact, the whole book is meant to be written in like a workbook. Not everything has writing that needs to be done though. Some things are just meant to be read like the Character Qualities. There are a lot of cool things packed into this book!

I helped him through the comprehension questions, but he wrote his answers down.
Overall I really like this curriculum. There is a lot packed in it, and many things to explore. I look forward to continuing our composer studies this school year using this curriculum. There are so many different ways it could be used. I feel like we could use bits and pieces as we need them or we could use it all for a well rounded classical music study.

If you'd like to see what other crew members had to say about this curriculum you can click on the link below.

Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades {Zeezok Publishing Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

20. Safe landing at Portland airport last night, and arriving home.
21. A cool lightning storm on our way home at 2am this morning.
23. The cool, fresh air of home.

This is a continuation of my thankful list. My last post was on 7/25/19
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