Spotlight on a New Favorite: Reading Lessons through Literature

Spotlight on a New Favorite: Reading Lessons through Literature

You all know by know that our family loves and is having great success with English Lessons through Literature. But, when it came time for us to do our yearly standardized testing, I quickly discovered the kids needed some help with spelling. The plain dictation wasn’t working as well as I hoped it would. They needed something to help them analyze words and learn the spelling rules in the process.

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Enter a new favorite: Reading Lessons Through Literature. Not only is this program an amazing tool for teaching reading, it is also working for us as a spelling program. My older children are starting in level 2 since they already know the phonograms, and they are working through the spelling lists at an accelerated pace. I love this program so much that I have decided to use it for reading instruction with Moose. Since he is not comfortable writing yet, we are modifying the program a bit and I thought I would share with you how that looks.

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Moose works to find a phonogram during our “phonogram quiz”

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He found it!

The first section of Reading Lessons through Literature is all about learning the phonograms. Your child works through the first 30 phonograms, learning a few new ones each day and reviewing the previous ones as you go. There is an easy reference chart in the back of the book to guide you in what to do each day for the lesson. We are following the chart for younger students with Moose, but there is also a chart for older students that are working at an accelerated pace.

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Moose finds the correct phonograms to make the words, and I write them in his spelling journal.

After the first 30 phonograms are learned, you move on to the spelling journal, but still continue to add new and review old phonograms. With the younger students, five new words are learned three times per week. For each word, the phonograms are called out and the student writes the correct phonograms in their spelling journal. In Moose’s case, he spells out his words using the free phonogram tiles provided by the author. Then I write the word in his spelling journal for him.

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Moose- practicing his spelling words.

After several spelling lists are completed, your child will be ready to read the corresponding story from the Elson readers in the back section of the book. Every word in the reading has already been studied and practiced using the spelling journal, so your child isn’t surprised by any new words. The first story has 20 spelling lists to complete before it is read. But after that, there is only one list of spelling words until another story is introduced. If there are any other new words in a story (such as a new name) there is note of it before the story begins and the analysis of the word is shown to the child.

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Moose being silly with his phonogram tiles.:-)

Other than finding your own spelling journal to write the words in, there are no other materials needed to do this program. There is an optional phonogram workbook if you feel your child needs some extra practice, but it isn’t necessary to use. For our spelling journal, I printed off some pages with our Notebooking Pages subscription and had them bound at our local UPS store.

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Our spelling notebook, along with the instructions for the spelling list.

Why do we love Reading Lessons through Literature?

*The lessons are short and effective. I have a very active 5 year-old boy who also wants to learn how to read. These lessons are the perfect length for him. One lesson usually takes about 15 minutes depending on his attention level. 😉

*There is no extra fluff. The kids like games, but they also like to get their school work done. This is basic reading and spelling instruction at its best!

*You can teach reading and spelling at the same time. I can already see this helping not only my older children, but also Moose, with spelling. It is amazing what learning phonograms can do for these two areas of language arts.

*Lessons can easily be slowed down or accelerated. Every child learns at a different pace, and this program is so easy to customize it to fit your child’s needs.

*The lessons are open-and-go. There is no preparation or set-up needed before you start a lesson. The only thing I had to prepare was the phonogram tiles. But that was a one-time thing. Now we just get out our book, phonogram cards, phonogram tiles, and spelling journal. We open the book and we are ready to go!

*The program is very affordable and can be used with multiple children. Whether you purchase the actual book or the eBook, all of the materials can be used again. Any consumables are downloads and can be printed off for your whole family.

If you have been searching for a spelling and/or reading program that is simple, but very effective, I suggest you look into Reading Lessons through Literature. The author was kind enough to list free samples for each of the first three levels of this program, so if you are interested, you can download it and take a look before you decide to buy it. I only wish this program had been around when my older two were a little bit younger. I think spelling may not be such an issue right now if they had been through a program like this. But I am so grateful we found it…even if it meant waiting. 😉

 

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Progeny Press Literature Guides {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

Progeny Press

Do you use anything for literature analysis is your home? I have always been leery of doing too much with literature since I didn’t want my kids to resist reading because of it. When I was growing up, I never enjoyed book reports, and literature analysis always felt to me like a book report. But when I was offered a chance to review the literature guides for The Door in the Wall and The Courage of Sarah Noble from Progeny PressI thought it would be a great idea to give them a try since I have heard great things about them! The Door in the Wall e-guide retails for $16.99 and is intended for grades 3-5. The Courage of Sarah Noble e-guide retails for $11.99 and is intended for grades K-3.

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The Progeny Press guides come in four different levels: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. The guides can be purchased as a study guide on a CD or as an e-guide that is available as an instant download. Both can be printed time and time again for your children. You can also purchase the printed workbook. The great thing about the e-guides is they can be used interactively. So if your child prefers typing to writing, they can fill out the questions that way instead. The guides are intended to take about 8-12 weeks to complete and answer keys are available in the back of every guide.

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I decided to print off the guides for each of my children. Our computer is not always reliable and can run slow, so I figured this would be the best way to make sure the guides get done. We already own the books for the guides we are using, but most of the study guides are for award winning books that can be found in most public libraries.

For my oldest son, I chose the guide for The Door in the Wall. This guide is intended for the upper elementary level. I love how the guides break the readings and activities into easily managed chunks. For Caspian, it worked out best to do a few days of reading, and then work on the study guide for the next few days. His guide came with great information about the book to help him understand the background. There were a few pre-reading activities, and then we jumped right into the guide. Each section is full of meaningful questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Some of the questions are directly about the story, but others really made him think beyond the story line of the book. There are wonderful exercises to broaden his vocabulary.

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One of my favorite parts of the guide is the Scripture references. I love how they use the story to connect to God’s word. There was obviously a lot of thought that was put into each and every question. We have had some wonderful discussions not only about the book, but also about how the answers can be applied to our lives. I just love the “dig deeper” section of the questions! I also love that the guide ends with wonderful suggestions of similar books and even some videos. If you have sparked an interest in a subject with these guides, you have an easy resource to guide you to more great things.

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My daughter, Aurora, was given the guide for The Courage of Sarah Noble to use. This guide is for the lower elementary group. Even though Aurora already read this book last year, she was very excited and eager to read it again! Her guide included many things similar to Caspian’s, but just at a different level. She had vocabulary work along with some great questions, which again, included ties to Scripture. Then end of her book included some fun extras. There is a section of recipes, crafts, art, games, and even a crossword puzzle. The end of her guide also included other books by the author, and books related to the same time period as The Courage of Sarah Noble.

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These guides were a great first start for my kids in literature analysis. There is just enough work to help them learn, but not enough to overwhelm them. The authors of the guides suggest doing about one page per day, and for us that was a reasonable pace. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with too many questions, and this was perfect. I would think doing one or two of these guides per year would be a perfect balance of free reading and literature analysis. I know my kids would get quickly overwhelmed if we did one of these guides for every book, but a couple per year would be great.

If you need a way to check comprehension and analysis skills in your readers, I would recommend the Progeny Press guides. They are so easy for the parents. No putting together activities or coming up with your own questions. It has all been done for you with the Progeny Press guides. Now to decide which guides we will choose next! 😉

Click the link below to see what my other Crew members thought of Progeny Press.

Click to read Crew Reviews
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Apologia Education Ministries: What on Earth Can I Do? {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

Apologia

Do you teach a Biblical worldview along with your regular Bible studies?  If this is something you would like to add to your studies, Apologia Educational Ministries has just what you need! They have just released the fourth book in their “What We Believe” series of worldview training. For this review I received the What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book), the What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, the What on Earth Can I Do, Junior Notebooking Journal, and the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book. The hardback book retails for $39 and can be used with children in grades 1-6. Both the Notebooking Journal and the Junior Notebooking Journal retail for $24. The coloring book is perfect for your younger children to keep their hands busy while they listen, and it retails for $8

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Although this is the fourth book in the What We Believe series from Apologia, this is our first experience with them. I have heard of them many times before, but have never really looked into it. That was a mistake, because these books are wonderful! They are all meant to show your children how the words and actions of God are woven into our lives and into history. The main book includes 8 lessons, but these lessons can take weeks to get through. The suggest time for each lesson is about two weeks, but we have found working at our own pace instead of working within that time frame, has worked very well. The stories in the book are easy to read and easy for the kids to follow. There are wonderful pictures to go along with the stories too.

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There are some fantastic journals to go along with the main book for your children to use. Caspian used the notebooking journal, Aurora used the junior notebooking journal, and the coloring book was for Moose. I love how these notebooks can bring the whole family together as they work to study the same topics. The notebooking journal is filled with comprehension and analysis questions, as well as crossword puzzles, word finds, and other pages to copy Scripture and take notes. The journal notebooking journal includes crosswords, coloring pages extra activities and book suggestions, and includes places to write prayers, copy Scriptures, and record praises.Both journals come with lesson plans at the beginning to instruct you on which activity to do in connection with your reading in the main book. The coloring book has several beautiful pictures to color for each lesson.

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The main book does give you a suggested lesson plan, but I found it was best to read a chunk each day and not force our way through anything. There are so many great stories in this book and I didn’t want my kids to miss any of it! I will admit, when these books first arrived, I wondered how well my children would listen to the stories. But I completely underestimated both my children and the authors. These stories are written in such a conversational way that it is easy for them to follow along. They have taken so much from the stories we have already read, and we aren’t even half way through the book yet! The greatest sign of curriculum success for me is when my children bring up something they have learned when we aren’t even doing school work. This has happened several times with the What on Earth Can I Do book.

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I really feel like teaching a Biblical worldview is so important for our children. Sometimes the Bible can seem so separated from our daily lives and our families are constantly bombarded with unbiblical things. It is so beneficial for children to hear and see that the works of God are woven into each moment of today and in history. From a Bunker hole in World War I to the Biblical days of Joseph and Potiphar, God has always been there, and he always will be there!

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I love the view of God’s sovereign hand this book has brought into our home. The kids are seeing how important their relationship with God is, even outside of our home. Seeing how wonderful these books are makes me ready to try the others in the series. It has sparked some great discussions and has proven to teach some very powerful stories in a way that I could never have done on my own. If you have used the other books in this series, I am sure you will love this one just as much. And if you have never used the Apologia What We Believe series, it is one that I would highly recommend. I am truly grateful for the blessing these books have been to our family!

Click the link below to see what the other Crew members thought about What on Earth Can I Do?

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can follow Apologia through the following social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

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Golden Prairie Press: American History {a review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Golden Prairie Press

I feel like I have been searching for years for a decent American History program that the kids love and that I will love to teach. Amy Puetz of Golden Prairie Press has put together one of the best American History curriculum I have ever had the pleasure of using! Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is so well put together and has a little bit for every different type of learning style. While this curriculum is intended for grades 1-6, it can be used with older children too. This program retails for $98.99 and can be purchased as a digital or physical book (though the physical book comes in black and white, while the digital book is in color).

Golden Prairie Press Review

 The main text of this curriculum is called Heroes and Heroines of the Past and is divided into two eBooks. Each contains 15 weeks of lessons. The rest of the extras are separate. The additional materials download includes printable timelines, videos, full size pictures of the artwork, and coloring pages. There is a separate eBook that includes the historical skits. There are also two separate audio downloads that include listening to history and singing some history.

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 From the moment I began reading through this curriculum to prepare it for my children, I knew it would be a hit! There are so many fun extras and the mix of activities is perfect. Each lesson begins with a reading from the Heroes and Heroines main text. Most lessons have a shorter, condensed version to use with your younger students (mainly 1st and 2nd graders). This is typically one page long. Then there is a longer more detailed version to use with your older students. Some days the reading is combined and both age groups read the same, but I love this option. I love having the ability to teach a wider age range of students, but still have them learn at their own level. There are enough lessons in this program to get through American History in one year if you do one lesson per day, five days per week.

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The end of the lesson includes all of the extras. There are typically some quick comprehension questions, just to make sure your students actually picked up the important points of the story. There are also writing prompts if you wish to extend the lesson to include some language arts. The lessons include some type of geography study too. This last page is also the page where you find the added activities. Some days that includes studying art work (there is a full color copy of each art work on the additional materials download). Other days you may be doing a play, listening to music, creating something, cooking, listening to history, or working on a timeline. There are Bible verses to memorize and extra readings you can do if you want your read alouds to coincide with your history studies. I’m telling you, there is a little bit of everything in this curriculum!

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There is also a package of literature you can purchase for your older students to read independently. A few of the books are public domain, but if you purchase the books through Golden Prairie Press, you will be purchasing books that have already been edited for things like racial slurs and outdated words. There is also a coloring book you can purchase for your younger learners. They can color along while they listen to the history stories read. This really is a great multi-level curriculum that is family friendly and a lot of fun!

 

I always wonder when we start a curriculum what my kids will take away from the readings. I have been reading the selections for the older students, even though my daughter is technically in 2nd grade. They have done a great job listening and taking away the main points of the lesson. They are learning new things and really enjoying this. I love that the readings aren’t dumbed down, but neither are they filled with words the kids don’t understand. The author made sure to include stories about famous women too, which is unfortunately left out of many older history books. So I am learning some new things about these heroines that I didn’t even know before!

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My daughter was unbelievably excited when I told her there were skits to do with history. She loves acting and this was perfect for her. My son wasn’t thrilled at first. But once we started the play, you could tell he was really getting into it. I tried to not let onto the fact that I saw him enjoying it, but he did. 😉 We have studied more wonderful works of art through this curriculum than we have in a long time. I never realized how many artists depicted the early American history times.

The projects we have done with this curriculum have been great. No project has been too complicated and they have all been wonderful at tying together what we are learning in the history text. There are few things more frustrating to me than getting a book full of activities that include ingredients or materials I don’t keep at home. But we have been able to do everything so far with no problems.

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Since my husband has a military background, American History is a very important subject in our home. I was so glad when this curriculum came up for review…it looked promising from the beginning and I was not disappointed! I feel it does such a great job of blending traditional history with an element of fun that will hold any child’s attention. My kids are learning so much about American History and for that I am very grateful to Amy Puetz, the wonderful author. I no longer feel the need to search for that “perfect” American History curriculum. I am confident we have found that with Heroes and Heroines of the Past. If you have been searching for a great American History curriculum, check it out. We really love it!

Click the link below to see what other Crew members thought about this wonderful American History curriculum!

Click to read Crew ReviewsYou can follow Golden Prairie Press through the following social media link:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoldenPrairiePressCrew Disclaimer 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logic of English Foundations Level A {a review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Logic of English Foundations A

If you have ever had difficulty finding a great reading and phonics program for your children, I may have the answer for you. I have just recently been introduced to the Logic of English curriculum, and it is a big hit! Have you ever wondered if English really makes sense? There seem to be so many exceptions in our language, but Denise Eide, author of the Logic of English, makes sense of it all.

For this review I was given the following products: Foundations, Level A , the Reusable Resources Set, and the Doodling Dragons App. Foundations, Level A retails for $71 and includes the teacher’s manual, the student workbook (in either cursive or manuscript), and the Doodling Dragons book. The Reusable Resource Set (which can be used in all of the Foundations levels) retails for $85 and includes the Basic Phonogram Flash Cards, Handwriting Tactile Cards, Phonogram Game Cards (two sets), Rhythm of Handwriting Quick Reference Chart, Small Student Whiteboard. Again, these are all available in either cursive or manuscript. The Doodling Dragon App retails for $4.99. The suggested age range for Foundations is 4-7, and the Doodling Dragons app can be enjoyed by children ages 2-7.

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I know a lot of people feel overwhelmed with it comes to teaching language arts, probably because it is one of the most important subjects your child will learn (the other being math). The Logic of English Foundations program takes you through teaching reading in such an easy to follow and easy to implement way. Everything is broken down into simple steps that any parent can teach.

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The Logic of English is a program based on Orton-Gillingham’s method of teaching. So each word is broken down into phonograms, or the sounds that each letter makes. I love this method because not only does it make strong readers, but it also develops strong spellers. Even though I feel like I am learning as I teach (since I was not taught with phonograms) I have seen huge improvements with reading as my children learn how to sound out new words easily with the phonograms.

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The Logic of English Foundations program works on learning handwriting at the  same time that your child is learning the phonograms.  You are able to choose either manuscript or cursive. Since we prefer to teach cursive first, this program is perfect! Handwriting instruction is taught piece by piece, beginning with some basic strokes used in the letters. My son loves using the dry erase board to practice. One side has a big set of lines and the other side is smaller. There are also practice pages in the workbook. We love the sandpaper letters, too! They make it so easy for a child to use muscle memory when it comes time to write the actual letter. The great thing about this program, though, is that you don’t have to do handwriting and phonics together. You can, but it isn’t necessary. So if your child is ready for letters but not ready for handwriting, you can work at their pace.

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The level A foundations book has 40 lessons and also includes a review after every 5 lessons. The scope and sequence walks you through exactly what your children will be learning each lesson. The individual lessons are set up in a way that they can work for busy families. At first glance, you can see what the lesson objectives are and what materials you will need. The lessons are scripted so you don’t have to figure out what to say. Each section, including phonemic awareness, handwriting, phonograms, and phonogram practice, is divided so that you can easily start and stop the lesson without getting lost. I would imagine that most young children could probably work through the book at about a lesson or two per week. Since Moose already knows some phonograms, he was able to complete one lesson every two days. The sides of the pages are filled with colorful boxes of helpful hints, tips, and activities. 

Logic of English Review

The Logic of English also has great apps that work to support their programs. We received the Doodling Dragons app, and both of my younger boys (ages 5 and 3) love it! This app works to help the child break words apart into their individual phonograms. This is a great introduction to phonograms for my Little Bear. He loves to play the games, and why not learn something while you play! Each page is divided to practice one phonogram. This is the same in the book Doodling Dragons. Both of these tools provide so much more than any basic alphabet book can. They are bright and colorful and fun!

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The Logic of English Foundations program is one of the best programs around for active little learners. No other program I have seen taps into every learning style in every lesson. Your kids will be moving, writing, listening, and playing, all with an end result of learning to read. Moose loves the variety of activities that comes with Foundations. It can be easy to get into a rut with lessons that are similar day after day, but that doesn’t happen with Foundations.

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As I mentioned before, Moose was able to do one lesson every two days. What we typically did was break the lesson into the phonogram parts and the handwriting parts. So one day he would be learning and reviewing phonograms, and the next he would be learning to draw the phonogram. Moose is a little boy who loves things to be perfect, so handwriting is hard for him. He is not pleased if a letter doesn’t look exactly like it does on the card. I was able to remedy this by mixing things up with how we practiced handwriting. Some days we used the dry erase board and sandpaper letters. Other days, I had him practice writing in sand or shaving cream. Sometimes I would draw the letter on the dry erase board and then have him erase it as he drew the letter. This really helped him feel more comfortable with his letters, and he was so excited to be learning cursive like the big kids!

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Even though I am already pretty comfortable with the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching, the Foundations curriculum is so wonderful to have. I don’t have to write lesson plans or put together activities. No books need to be read and no research needs to be done. This curriculum is complete. Fun for the kids and easy for the parents…who could ask for more?!

If you worry about your abilities to teach phonics, check out Logic of English. There is no assumption that you are trained as a teacher or that you already know the material. The teacher’s manual walks you through everything as if you have never taught phonics before. This is one product I would highly recommend for any parent who is unsure about teaching their child to read. It truly is wonderful!

 Click on the link below to see what other Crew members thought about the Logic of English!

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can follow Logic of English through the following social media links: 

https://www.facebook.com/TheLogicOfEnglish

https://www.pinterest.com/logicofenglish/

https://www.youtube.com/logicofenglish/

https://twitter.com/LogicofEnglish

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Welcome to the Poppins Book Nook {with a Kindle giveaway!}

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I am so excited to announce that I will be a member of the Poppins Book Nook this year! If you have never heard of it before, the Poppins Book Nook is a collection of bloggers that get together each month to share a favorite book all centered around the same theme. We also include our favorite activities to go along with our book choice. There will be giveaways each month too! If you love books and reading, then be sure to join us each month. You can see below the dates and themes for each month of the coming year.

Poppins Book Nook Themes 2014 - 2015

There are so many great bloggers I will be joining with each month. You can see a list below of all of the blogs that will be participating. I encourage you to visit them every month since we will all be using our own books and activities. Hopefully this will spark an interest in your home to read books and watch them come to life!

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

The Poppins Book Nook co-hosts are proud to present to their readers the opportunity to win a fabulous FREE Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 32GB WiFi 4G w/ Charger to one lucky entrant. This way, you can download and read all of your favorite eBooks you have and will collect along your learning adventures.  You could be having absolutely fun times doing all the things that this Kindle Fire 32GB WiFi 4G w/ Charger can do, be it learning activities, free reading, or let’s face it, playing that just released new version of that game you know and love so much, whatever that may be.

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Thank you all for your continued support and for following along with the Poppins Book Nook Book Club! May this bring a spoonful of reading fun into your households for your children. Enjoy this Kindle Fire giveaway!

The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Enchanted Homeschooling Mom via email. This giveaway is open to all people ages 18 and over with an active USA address for delivery (United States Domestic and APO/FPO/DPO as designated by the USPS) of the prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified.

 By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s HERE(http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/).

Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:
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Poppins Book Nook
Clip Art by Melon Headz

Time to Organize and Unplug! {Week in Review: 2/21/14}

Week in Review 2/21/14

Does anyone else have a severe case of spring fever?! We had our first day of temperatures above freezing this week…and the sun was shining! It is taking some time to melt the enormous amount of snow on the ground, but it gave me hope that spring may come eventually after all!

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There is grass under there after all!!!

The “warm” temperatures really got me in the mood to organize. I am getting rid of boxes and boxes of stuff that has no reason to stay in our house. We are downsizing in a major way…clothes, toys, decorations, everything. I have found that the only way I can keep up with cleaning is to keep down the clutter. So I am officially on “mission organization”!

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The “catch-all” closet before organization.

This week I am tackling the kitchen and the hallway closets. We have one closet in particular that has a tendency to be a place to shove things we don’t know where else to put.  That has now changed. I turned this closet into a place for the kids to keep their games and puzzles. When they were all stored in the basement, no one played with them unless I brought them up. But just this week the kids have spent hours playing the games that have been neglected for so long. Now they have something to occupy them until it gets warm outside.

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The “catch-all” closet after organization…now it actually has a purpose!

Now to another problem I am resolving this week…too many emails and too much time online. I am so tired of spending the day out with the kids and coming home to find 200 emails and too many notifications from things like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. So I have spent all week unsubscribing to as many emails as I possibly can and only leaving those things I am truly interested in. I have spent less time on social media and changed notifications for them so I am not bombarded with emails. Now I already feel like I have found more time in my day to do other things…like getting rid of clutter! 😉

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The kids enjoying some game time!

Last week I brought up a problem I was having with one of my kids and the subject of math. I am happy to say that things seem to be improving this week. We have gone back to doing some Khan Academy, which seems to help since it gives a more visual approach to learning new topics. I still have Teaching Textbooks in the back of my mind in case things go bad again. Sometimes I think it just takes a new week with a new perspective to make problems go away!

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Working on their Bible lesson (with the ABC’s for Godly Girls & Boys) and drawing pictures of the promises of Heaven.

Since we finished our KONOS unit on “love” last week, we are going back to “attentiveness” and learning about the senses. We have done some great experiments and learned about some famous people (like Louis Braille, which Caspian just so happens to be writing about in All Things Fun and Fascinating this week also!). Aurora has a new favorite activity with KONOS . She turns every Bible story into a play. The girl was evidently born to be on stage! But I do think the plays help them remember the Bible stories in a way that just reading them never would.

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The kids are finding out how the senses are connected to the brain.

Both Aurora and Caspian finished their first books with Language Lessons Through Literature . They are doing so well with this language arts curriculum and I am so pleased with all they are learning. In case you didn’t get a change to read it, I posted earlier this week about our experience with Language Lessons through Literature. If you like a Charlotte Mason approach to education, I highly recommend you check it out.

We have 2 reviews coming up next week…both Kinderbach and Science4Us.com. We have truly enjoyed both of them and plan to continue to use them even after the review is over. I have them scheduled to post on Monday (Kinderbach) and Wednesday (Science4Us). I would love to hear back what you think of them.

How was your week?