Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Blogging Through the Alphabet: G is for good things and games

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I am still here, and yes I am still blogging through the alphabet. There have been a lot of good things happening since it is summer, and I am just wanting to enjoy it all. That means that I don't want to sit down at the computer much.

This week is real simple for my letter G Pinterest fun. I am a fan of games of all types, so it comes as no surprise that I have a game board on Pinterest. I was surprised to find that I have very few pins on there though! Pinterest is my first go to usually for group games, or co-op games, or just games for my own family.

I don't have any pictures to share this time, but I did use the games board this week. We were waiting for our food to be brought to our table, and I searched my Pinterest board for some "Would you rather" games. It turned out to be a fun activity to do while waiting for our food. If you can't access Pinterest while out and about there are a few free printables for the 'would you rather' games. It was just an off the cuff sort of thing, so I didn't print anything up this time.

So, there you have it. You can look at my board, or search for games on Pinterest. There are some fun ones out there!



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Hake Grammar and Writing 3 (A REVIEW)

Hake Publishing

We had the opportunity to try out this Language Arts Curriculum from Hake Publishing, or commonly known in the homeschool world as Saxon. I had no idea that there was also a homeschool Grammar program from this well known Math publisher, and was excited to check it out. We received Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 for this review.

Hake Publishing Writing and Grammar

Our physical copies of the Grammar and Writing 3 level included a Teacher Guide, Consumable Textbook, and a Writing Workbook. The books are all softcovered, and about the size of a standard piece 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.

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The consumable textbook for the student is laid out in lessons. Each lesson has a specific topic, and the topic is explained at the beginning of the lesson, followed by questions, fill-in-the blanks, matching, etc.. It's a textbook and workbook all in one. When I am considering a new language arts book, I usually mostly want to see some sample pages to see exactly what is covered. On the Hake Publishing website there are sample pages available for all the levels except level 3 (coming soon). Looking at the Level 4 will give a good idea, but I also took some pictures of the inside of our book to give an example of how topic is covered, and what the questions look like.

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The beginning of a lesson
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The beginning of a later lesson
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The "review set" at the end of a lesson
The Teacher Guide is key to making this whole curriculum work. It has a guided script (much like the Saxon Math), and grammar meetings. This is where the ideas or teachings of the lesson are put into play. It is important that a parent or teacher help the child with this part, but there is flexibility. I have found that I don't have to do or read every part if my child/student already understands the concept, and they can do the workbook part on their own. For example, there are many times where the teacher scripted part is talking to a class or several children. I don't always need to talk to my single student in that context so I change it for just him. The "grammar meeting" or question takes a very short time, like as little as 5 minutes, and then they can be on their own answering questions. It also depends on how much discussion takes place. I like that this curriculum allows for talking and discussing before each lesson.

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Lesson 1 in Teacher guide.

The Writing Workbook. This book is used on "test" days. It is used about every 5 lessons, sometimes more. It is intended to guide the student through very specific writing lessons as they work through learning proper grammar through the lessons. It starts out very simple with getting to know complete sentences better, then to paragraphs, then to fully writing different writing styles. It has space for all writing exercises to write in the book itself.

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Lesson 4 in Writing book.
You might be wondering when to use the writing book! It's in the schedule near the front of the Teacher's Guide. This is a very helpful guide to plan out the schedule for the school year.

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The teacher schedule found in the Teacher's Guide.
I am using this with my 5th grade (in the Fall) son who has some catching up to do in the writing area. I felt this was a good place for him to start since it starts out covering just basic sentence structuring. He really likes the grammar meeting, and does well with the question format. I am happy to have discovered this grammar and writing curriculum. I am excited to keep going with him through the other levels because I really like this curriculum! If you want to see what others have to say about Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3, you can click on the banner below.



Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Reviews}
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Monday, June 18, 2018

My weekly Homeschool Journal

Life this week...

Between my allergies and migraines I had a rough week. But, we survived, and even managed to get some school work in. It is summer break around here, but we keep working when we can between all the summer stuff. We take so many days off during the school year, so we do more year-round schooling. We have some catching up to do for sure!

Homeschool this week...

I don't have any pictures of it, but we got to work on science one day this week. We learned about covalent bonds with Apologia elementary chemistry. I did our usual reading, and then we came to a try this that I was not really thrilled to do, but we did it anyway. I'm glad we did because it really helped them to understand things. Don't leave out the hands on stuff just because it seems silly or you just don't feel like doing it. Do it anyway. The results are always awesome.

Reviews we are working on...

We are actually only on 3 reviews right now. I have cut back because I know our desire to do any school right now is very low. One of the reviews is actually for me. It's a Math Refresher for Adults. I love it. I am actually excited to do math!

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Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

Take time to look back on your week. You will always see that you accomplished more than you think!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

Every once in a while we go to this park in Newberg that has a huge skate park and a BMX bike track. Alex loves it. His bike is the only one that we can bring usually because it's small enough to fit inside the van. The other boys want to bring their bikes too someday.

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One day we finally made it out to Bauman Farms (a local farm that has a play area, and a nice little store). We go there just to get donuts and play sometimes. It's a nice little place not too far out of town. Anyway, they have animals too. Usually we see the chickens, or goats, or the alpaca. But, this time we had the pleasure of meeting their sweet cat. This guy was soooo friendly. It's like he knows just where to come to get some daily snuggles. He walked right into the playground when we got there, and just immediately started rubbing our legs. We of course started petting him, and he was hooked. He laid down, and just let the kids pet him.

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We finally just decided to sit down, and he immediately tried making himself comfortable on Aric's lap. It wasn't working so well with how Aric was sitting.

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So, he went to find someone else's lap. He found Aaron's to be quite comfy. This cat was adorable. I've never met a friendlier cat. I wish our Salem had more of this temperament.

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My favorite thing this week was...

Our 19th anniversary dinner/date to a neat little bakery and tavern/restaurant on Friday night. We had never been here before. It's a place that Mike found looking for the top places to eat/experience in Portland. This was definitely fun and a neat experience. It's called Trifecta, and it's a bakery on one side and a tavern on the other.  Of course we don't drink, so we weren't there for that part, but we did enjoy the food. I still can't believe I didn't take a picture of our plates. They were pretty.

Instead I just got pictures of us waiting. Then, I was too excited to take anymore pictures. We waited in the bakery side because there were benches to sit on. Those goods looked so good.


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The view from our bench. It was fun watching all the people go by.

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I guess I did get a picture of the bread that they bring while you wait for the main dish. It was soo good! We had eaten half of it before I thought about taking the picture.

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I love eating out, and trying new interesting places, so this was a fun night with the hubs. Very special, and I love that he wanted to make the night special for our anniversary.


Something special to note...

Aric received his Bear patch this week at the last pack meeting of the year. He had a good year in cub scouts.

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That about wraps up our last week. Coming up this week tennis camp for the 2 younger boys!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Blogging Through the Alphabet: F is for Father's Day craft

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It's time for another abc blogging through the alphabet post! I am ready this week to share with you a Father's Day craft that we did. I found this craft and added it to my "father's day mother's day" board on Pinterest. It's a classic handprint craft, and I even got my 12 year-old to do it. Made my Momma heart happy. I convinced him that Dad would love his big handprint too.



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He decided he would be creative and do a "camo" style handprint. I love when big kids get into something so much. Another nice thing is he did it all by himself!

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Voila! A blue camo handprint!

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Then he had to think of 5 reasons why he loves Dad. This proved to be a great thinking activity for all the kids. Dad, if you are reading this don't read any further! You can see them on Sunday!

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Aaron, 12 years old

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Aric, 9 years-old

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Alex, 7 years-old

Join us in the abc blogging adventure. These other great bloggers are my co-hosts, you can see what they are all up to as well. Link up below!


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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ARTistic Pursuits (A REVIEW)

 ARTistic Pursuits

We had the opportunity to try a new curriculum from one of our favorite art resources for children. We have used ARTistic Pursuits Inc. for many years in our homeschool. We even reviewed a sculpture title a few years ago, and loved it. This time we were able to review one of their new ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray curriculum sets, Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary. It was the best of both worlds, video instruction along with their classic text instruction. I have some children who do very well with a person showing them in a video format how to create something.

 ARTistic Pursuits

This curriculum came to us in the mail. It is a very sturdy hardback book which includes both a DVD and Blu-Ray. This title that we received is focused on Building a Visual Vocabulary, but all the titles contain classic art pieces that pertain to the lesson and book itself. Throughout this book there are 106 full color illustrations by famous artists, lesson examples, and examples of other children's art that have completed the lesson. My children always like to see what other kids have done, especially if it is done by a child their age.

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The first six lessons of this book use an art medium that we've never used before, Watercolor Crayons. We purchased a set to get us started. Most of the other supplies like construction paper, oil pastels, scissors,  drawing paper, glue, etc., we already have on hand. The watercolor crayons are a fun new addition to our art supplies. The children really enjoyed using them for the first time. Each book will have its own supply list.

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The thing I love about ARTistic Pursuits lessons is the freedom to draw whatever the child desires. The first few lessons consist of the child picking an object or scene that interests them. The lessons focus on opening the child's eyes up to all the objects and pictures around them, and noticing what makes it interesting or what it is composed of. My son picked one of his little figure dinosaurs to recreate.

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Even though the figurine dinosaur was just plain yellow, he used his imagination to make it more realistic. In the first few lessons he learned new words like compose, imagine, different kinds of art (dancing, theatre, and music), and he observed pictures and surroundings.

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My main student that I had planned to use this curriculum for was my 7 year-old who is now 2nd grade. This is the perfect speed for him. He really enjoyed the lessons, and the videos. He had a little bit of a hard time being patient with the Watercolor crayons, and didn't like putting the water on them. I had to show him a few times the magic of the crayons, and then he got it. My older boy who is 9 (and 5th grade) loved trying them out too. He decided to join us for a lesson, and said he'd like to do all of the lessons with us. He could definitely learn some new things with this book even though it is only K-3. It was easy to tailor it up a little for him.

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He decided to recreate a cover of his favorite music CD. He got the technique down really well, and picked it up quickly.

Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}
The crew had 4 of these new titles to choose from. Some of the other books include Art for the Ancients, Art for the Middle Ages, and Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance. If you'd like to see what these other books are like, click on the banner below.

Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Blogging Through the Alphabet: E is for Empty brain and Encouragement

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Do you ever have those times where you just feel like you've got nothing. I've got nothing for E. That is why my post is so late. I was supposed to have this up by Thursday. That day passed, then Friday, still nothing. I've looked and thought and looked again. I'm also in a bit of a blogging slump. I just haven't been posting anywhere very much. I've had a lot of worry on my mind lately. It's hard to be creative when there is worry. So, I guess E could also be for encouragement. I think I need some of that right now, so here are a few that I have on my "Quotes" board.


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I am looking forward to the encouragement I find at church today, but these quotes and encouragement are nice to read when my mind is bogged down with so much worry and doubt. Most of these quotes are found directly from talks given from leaders in my church, and I can go back and read their full talk if I click on the Pinterest link. Those are always great and lift me up.





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Join us for blogging through the alphabet! You can link up below, and click on the links below to see what others are abc blogging about.

I am joining these co-hosts:


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Understanding Pre-Algebra (A REVIEW)

The Critical Thinking Co.™

We have used many books from The Critical Thinking Co. over the many years of homeschooling. Mostly we've used their logic books, but we've also tried out their editing, language, and math books. I was excited to try another math book out for this review, one we'd never used before. The book that we received is Understanding Pre-Algebra. It is a complete math book for the student that is getting ready for algebra. I am using it for my 7th grader.

The Critical Thinking Co.™

Understanding Pre-Algebra is a pretty thick book. It is an inch thick consumable workbook with soft covers, and nice sturdy pages. There are 15 chapters of pre-algebra fun, with an easy to find answer section. Very helpful if you (the parent) needs some guidance for helping your student, and for grading. These aren't just pages and pages of facts and problems to work. There are plenty of explanations at the beginning of each new lesson, and guidance throughout the lesson. I really like how this book presents and works through the information. It really does make the student think logically.

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My 7th grader was not thrilled at starting this book. But, he needs it. He's going to need to be ready for Algebra soon, and math is not his favorite subject. This is what he'll be working through this summer!

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The first chapter jumps into prime numbers and prime factorization, and he finally got it! I was happy to see him successfully be able to make these prime factoring trees. Some of the other topics covered in the later chapters are Integers, Rational Numbers, Ratio, proportion, percent, algebraic expressions, word problems, inequalities, square roots, some geometry, volume, graphing, transformations, functions, and probability. This book is a full curriculum, and that is how we are using it right now and into 7th grade.

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Page examples

Sometimes you just want to see what the inside looks like. Here are some completed pages that my son completed. I chose only a few because most of them he doodled on. Math is not his favorite subject! We are also working on correcting. I am having him correct his own work by looking at the back. It gives him immediate feedback which I think is helpful in learning and remembering.

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Another page that shows lots of room for working out some problems. We did have a scratch paper for the bigger problems, but most of the time he was able to work right in the book. There is a lot of room for explaining his thoughts and work too, which is a part of a lot of the questions. That's where the critical thinking comes in!

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He discovered highlighting makes math fun.

Like I said earlier, I really like The Critical Thinking Co. books. The are to the point, challenging, and fun. There are so many subjects offered from this company. Some of the other crew members tried this and other titles. If you want to see some detective and critical thinking type books, or vocabulary riddle books click on the banner below. Thanks for reading!



Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}
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