Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: Libraries rock

Libraries do rock!! 

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And so do their cool summer programs!

Blogging Through the Alphabet: I is for Imagine Dragons

I am a lot late, I know. I'm really trying to figure out how it is I have so little time and so much to do everyday. Someday I might figure it out! But, better late than never!

One of the reasons I was so late on the letter I was because it was a hard letter! I really was stumped on this one. As I was thinking about the things that start with the letter I, I thought of Imagine Dragons. It's my son's favorite group, and he sings their songs all the time. So, I thought it might be fun if there was something on Pinterest that I could find to do with an Imagine Dragons song. In my search I found this video of a 4th grade class singing and using bucket drums for the song Thunder by Imagine Dragons.



I knew my boys would enjoy doing this! I played a karaoke version of Thunder on the TV and we tried it out. Here is our version. I know it's not the best recording, and they aren't that exciting to watch, but I wanted to put the video up to show that they did it! They didn't want to try re-recording because they were in the middle of something when I had them come sing. Summer is so distracting!


Well, that's the letter I, Pinterest edition! I'm sure most of you have already linked up to my co-hosts:



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Math Refresher for Adults (A REVIEW)

Math Essentials

I love math. Those are not words I would have used in High School for sure, but now as a n adult I really like doing math so my love for it has grown. Am I good at it? That's another question for another day, but I am good enough to help my younger children in their homeschool math. It's the older kids' math that I really struggle with, so it's time to go back and learn it all again! Or at least refresh my memory! I was able to do just that with this review. I received a copy of Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials. It is the perfect refresher for this tired Mama brain that often can't remember how she did things back in her school days.

Math Refresher for Adults

I received the physical copy of this book, and it can be used either as a workbook, or you can copy the problems out onto a piece of paper so as to not mark it up. I chose to use it as a workbook. I started at the beginning, and was kind of dreading the simple adding and subtracting problems. But, as I started working through the problems I realized it was really great for my mental math. I started thinking how fast can I do these problems, and it became a challenge because I was doing them fast, and getting them right. I was not fast as a kid. This was amazing reminder to not stop learning or relearning as an adult.

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Each page is broken up into sections. There is a review section. Then a helpful hints box, which is usually the refresher we need to remind us how to do the problem set in the lower section.

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There is also a small box for notes. This is handy for working out problems, or writing down things you want to remember. The note box is not very big, and I could see how it might be beneficial to put all the work on a separate piece of paper for more work space especially as you get farther in the book. It does go through fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra. It's a very quick, brush over the basics of a lot of math, but packed with a lot of information and problems to work through. Definitely a great way to get your brain back up to speed on math!

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This book is definitely a refresher. You have to have some basic understanding of most math concepts. It doesn't really have a lot of in depth tutorials on the why or the how. Just hints and reminders of concepts, and lots of problems to work through. But, it does build on the previous pages/concepts within the book, and flows through many different concepts really well.

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I highly recommend this book for any homeschool Mom or Dad, or anyone wanting to refresh their memory for the joy of just learning. It's also great for anyone who is preparing for a test for a job, or a job that requires a lot of math. There are many reasons that adults still need to do math! Just try it out! You'll be amazed at how much you remember, and how quickly it comes back.

If you'd like to see what other crew members thought about this Math Refresher for Adults you can click on the banner below.


Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bible Study Guide (A REVIEW)

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

We try to start our mornings off with some reading and learning from the scriptures. It doesn't always happen, but when it does I love having something to guide us through it, and help the children to understand better what they are reading when they read the Bible. With that said, I was happy to try this Bible Study Guide For All Ages for this review. With the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) level, I was able to have a guide for both my middle boys (who are 2nd and 5th) that they could do together. One thing I loved most about this Bible Study Guide is that it can be used with whatever version of the Bible you want! We use the KJV and it worked just fine.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

We received 2 physical copies of the Student Pages for the Intermediate Level. It was so nice to have these! These pages are truly fun to do! Even my boys loved them, and it really helped them to grasp some of the details of the scripture reading. Each lesson has a front and a back of the page to work on. We did the reading together, and then kinda worked through the worksheet together. We actually would work on the back side first, and then flip to the front side for the time line, application, and memory work.

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This is the back side of lesson 1 for my 2nd grader. We started with this part as it focuses more on the details of the reading.
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This is the front side of lesson 1 for my 2nd grader. This is the time line activities, and the application part of the lesson. It includes memory work, thinking, and active activities.
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Front side of 5th grader's worksheet, lesson 1.
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Back side of 5th grader's worksheet, lesson 1.
These student pages also came with a Teacher Guide that looks just like these pages, but with answers, and some extra teacher notes in the margins. It was nice to have a reference, and some additional guidance for me as the teacher.

To give you an idea of how we used the Student books here is some of it in action. We would read, and then the boys each worked on the worksheet on their own, using the Bible for reference, so they could look back through the story if they needed to. I would have to help remind them where in the story to look if they needed it.  If you can tell from the pictures below, the pages of the student books are nice and big. Not a standard size, but a little longer than a normal sheet of paper. That way it's all big enough to get their own drawings and answers in there. Each of my children just used their own scriptures.

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We were also blessed to receive some extras with this review including a Timeline set, Summary Cards, and Wall Maps.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

The Large Summary Cards have a summary of each book of the bible on them, and what happened in that book.


Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Wall Maps and Timeline Set.

The Wall Maps and Timeline Set are big posters to go up on a wall, and there are labels for the children to put on each as they go through each lesson. The specific labels to use are all mapped out in each lesson, so you can prepare the right labels for each lesson. There is also a special binder included for the labels to be stored in until they are used. The labels are put up with some sticky tack so that they can be moved or reused in later lessons. The size of the Timeline is 76"x25." The Wall maps are 38"x25," and 19"x25."

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

My 2nd grader just loved the Timeline set. He had so much fun helping me get it set up. We decided that the hallway would work best for our timeline. I would have loved to have it out in the living room, but it would have been too high for little people to move stuff around.

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The initial set up took a bit. We had to have a lot on there to get ready for the first lesson. Once we got all that set up it didn't take long during the lessons to put up the few labels that go with each lesson.

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The label binder (laying there in the picture) is so great. It gives details on where each thing goes on the Timeline. I was able to get it up and going pretty fast.
I love the pictures and words on the Timeline. It was all laid out, easy to read, and find events.

Overall, I love this Bible Study Guide for kids. It's so interactive and hands on. I am even learning little details I didn't always remember! If you'd like to see what others have to say about this Bible Study Guide For All Ages click on the banner below.


Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, July 8, 2018

My Weekly Homeschool Notebook: 4th of July camping

Life this week...

We had our annual family campout this week. It's our biggest camp trip for the summer, and Mike's parents were there too. We went to Stubb Stewart State Park. It's a park known for its mountain biking trails, so there was a lot of bike riding. They also have a frisbee golf course where we almost lost a frisbee forever down the side of the hill in the first hole of the course. It's a fun place not too far away from where we live. Just about 1 hour away if traffic is good.

We tried out our new tent. It's a "yurt" style tent, but I couldn't help think every time I looked at it that the circus had come to town. It looks kinda cool though. Definitely a different kind of tent. We had to put lights around it because it has ties coming out to hold it up, so it wasn't such a tripping hazard.

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A glimpse of the inside. This was the first night before it got all messy. We had the 2 younger boys in this tent with us, and the 2 older kids slept in their own tent (the smaller tent on the left in the picture above).

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One morning we joined the Jr. Ranger nature program. Skulls and skins.

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April and I had some nail polish wraps from Color Street to put on. They turned out pretty cute.

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I didn't plan this outfit for 4th of July, but it turned out neat that I happened to bring my start hat with my red star shirt. Everyone thought I should have some blue star pants too.

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We really got the kids involved in the cooking this year. They each had a day that they had to help with cooking for all 3 meals (snacks too if needed). They all helped great. The dutch oven cooking is becoming a favorite for most of the boys, especially Alex. We really enjoy the dutch oven meals. For this picture Alex was helping with cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We had some good food!

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Speaking of good food. S'mores are a must.

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When the kids weren't riding around they were playing, reading, or sitting around the fire. It was a nice relaxing time!

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Homeschool this week...

No formal schooling this week. I did buy a school desk for Alex that he's very excited about. It even has an open top. He can't wait to get back to some school next week.

We learned a ton at the Jr. Ranger program while at camp. The kids learned about ways to identify if an animal is an omnivore, carnivore, or herbivore by looking at their skulls and teeth. I even learned some things I didn't know! The kids also did some Dot-to-dots, coloring, and lots of reading.

Aric colored this freebie that the park gave to the kids...

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That about wraps up our week! I am linking this up to

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

My weekly homeschool journal

Life this week...

Just another typical summer week around here. Dad was in Japan for most of it, so I guess that isn't so typical. But, the rest is. It was a week filled with swimming, cookies, bowling, and visiting friends.

Homeschool this week...

We are still working through our Apologia Elementary Chemistry and Physics book this summer, and one of the projects at the end of a chapter is to make a sugar cookie periodic table of the elements. I couldn't resist doing this project because it involves cookies, and looked so awesome. I knew it was a big project going into it, so I'm glad we ended up doing it this summer. We worked on this over the course of 3 days in between other things. We mixed the first day, baked the second day, and decorated/assembled the 3rd day.

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Mixing up the dough one evening before bed.
That's a lot of cookie dough! The recipe in this book turned out to be perfect for the cookie dough. It made all 115+ cookies, and it tasted good.

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Dough ready for refrigeration overnight.
We were finally ready to cut all the square cookies out the next afternoon. I couldn't find a smaller square cookie cutter, so our whole chart ended up pretty big. We were able to crank the dough out, and bake it all pretty fast. We got a system down that worked well! First Alex helped me cut for a while, then Aric. It was fun to work with each of them one-on-one. I got to talk about things, and help them learn how to cut good cookies out. This whole project overall was an awesome learning experience.

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We stacked the squares in stacks of six to make it easy for counting, but not too tall that they would fall over. Some cookies were thin, some were thick. They all had their own individuality! But, they all tasted delicious.

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While we were decorating there was a guessing/finding game going on. They would ask each other where a certain element was, or they would look up one they wanted to learn more about.

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Finally, the completed chart. I ran out of frosting for the very last cookie. It worked because it was yellow. You almost don't notice. Just FYI, there is a lot of butter there! LOL.

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Periodic Table of elements.

We reconfigured our tables so that they ran long because our chart ended up that big.


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What do you do with 115 cookies? Give them away! I loved getting to share so many cookies! It was, the frosting on the cookie of the whole project. It seemed everyone enjoyed partaking of them. I still have just a few cookies left as of today! I think we may have to toss the rest soon. It's making for interesting colors in the bathroom if you know what I mean.

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I tried to match elements to the initials of the families I gave cookies to. Some of them worked out so lovely like this homeschool family that we love. I organized the plate much nicer when I gave it to them, but their last name begins with "W", and the other 6 match each family member pretty well.

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Helpful homeschool tips and advice to share...

One morning my boys got tools and random pieces of wood and metal out, and started creating. I was annoyed at the mess AND the noise they were making, and wished they could just be normal kids. Then, I just happened watched an episode of Once upon a time later that day. This particular episode Emma was going to get rid of her magic because she wanted to be normal, but in the end everyone realized that her magic is what makes her special. I realized that this is what makes my boys special. Their desire to create and make things with tools, and wood, and metal. Later that night I found Alex's creation. He had put some screws, and wrapped the metal around it to make something that looked kind of cool. I realized that my thought that morning of them just needing to be "normal" was not really what I should want. That's part of why I homeschool. I want them to be their own person. So, I guess my advice is to remember that your children are creative, and inquisitive beings. They need to explore, mess and all. Whatever that mess may be because it may not always look the same for each kid. 

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

We have been going to the Thursday summer library shows. This guy was pretty funny.

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He even got Aric to participate...

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We do the summer kids free bowling, and try to go weekly. We made it out again this week. Alex got brave and tried bowling without the ramp this week. He did awesome, and decided he can play pretty well without the ramp now. Aaron feels like he has gone backwards and didn't play as good as he used to. It's all about practicing. I also played this week. I forgot how fun bowling can be!

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We have also been meeting up with our church playgroup. It's been a fun tour of parks. This week they went to Keizer Rapids park.

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A new WinCo foods opened up about 30 minutes away from us, but it's on a path that we often take, so we stopped in to check it out on our way home one day. I just love WinCo foods, and wish we could have one really close to us, but since we have a distribution center right in town I guess it's their policy that they have to be a certain distance away. Anyway, this new one is so nice! I was impressed, and I really like how it's laid out.

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We also met up with our local homeschool friends at a park, but didn't get any pictures there.


My favorite thing this week was...

Going to Cracker Barrel for breakfast with my Hubby for a date. We had to head up to Portland to get his new canoe, and decided to make a date of it.

My kids' favorite thing this week was...

I didn't officially ask them what their favorite thing was, but Aric was pretty thrilled when this Pikachu came home from Japan with Dad.  The boys were pretty happy when he came home.

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Things I'm working on...

Starting to think about getting organized for next school year. I have a lot to figure out still, and all of our books and shelves need reorganizing.
 
What we're reading...

We finished listening to Runaway Ralph. The boys liked this, and now they all want a cute little pet mouse.

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I have been reading On the Banks of Plum Creek for over a year on and off. I decided it needed to be finished this summer. I finally finished it! Now I'm onto the next one!

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What's working/not working for us...

Having a backyard pool is totally working for us. I just love the convenience! Such a fun summer past time.

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Just for fun...

The boys at the library summer reading program photo booth.

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I'm grateful for...

...all the fun summer opportunities we have around us, and the friends that we get to spend time with.
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