Friday, July 25, 2014

Apologia's "Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms" TOS Review Crew


Confession: I often wish there were more hours in the day, and sometimes I wish that someone would come and help me figure out how to reinvent my life (my physical space AND my schedule) so that I wouldn't feel like I am fighting a battle against entropy (is that a common feeling amongst homeschool moms, or even moms in general? I suspect possibly so). This is one reason why I was intrigued by a new offering for homeschool moms from Apologia Educational Ministries, the new book by Mary Jo Tate, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms

Mary Jo has penned a book filled with exercises and examples intended to help stop the juggling of too many balls (Because will inevitably fall), and instead assist in finding balance, with the tools to fine-tune that balance when something pushes(or pulls) away from that equilibrium. Mary Jo is also transparent and down-to-earth, sharing many of her been there and done that stories. I always appreciate seeing the real side of an author, as I find it inspirational when dealing with similar matters in my own life. 

Flourish is written to both a broad and a narrow audience~ It is a useful book for any homeschool mom, but especially one who is struggling with a sense of inadequacy, the feeling that they are facing an overwhelming task, or dealing with general chaos. It is also written particularly towards those moms who not only school at home, but are working, or hoping to start working a home business alongside their schooling, and a final even more pinpointed category, suggestions to support the single/work-at-home/homeschooling/mom. 


The first chapter is a bit of an introduction to the book, and then Mary Jo jumps right in with great ideas on prioritizing your life. She starts with a few categories, and then gives a plan that begins with the big "Life Time Goals" and then narrows down to the focused weekly and daily plans, offering many tools to help get the job done. 
Chapters in the book: 
  1. An Invitation to Flourish
  2. Change Your Mind to Change Your Time
  3. The FREEDOM Toolbox
  4. Where Did My Time Go?
  5. Aim High: Setting Goals
  6. What Do I Do Next?: Seven Essential Planning Tools
  7. We Interrupt This Program
  8. It's Time for an Attitude Adjustment
  9. Oxygen Masks and Monkey Bread Days
  10. Training Your Children
  11. Making Memories
  12. Managing Your Home
  13. All of Life is Learning
  14. Solo-Act: Flourishing as a Single Mom
  15. Home Business
  16. Moving Ahead
I feel this book could useful for any homeschooling mom. Even if a specific situation doesn't currently apply to us, chances are it might at some point in the future, and in the meantime, if we have the tools, the resources and the information, we can be a help and a support to our friends when they may not be feeling very balanced or that they are flourishing
One of my favorite things in this sort of support/encouragement book is when there are inspirational tidbits scattered throughout, and Mary Jo has come up with quite a number of motivating quotes. The following isn't from one of her quote boxes, but something Mary Jo says in her book that sums up the basic intent of Flourish

This book is not primarily about what boxes to put things in, 
but figuring out what things to put into boxes. 

As I have read through the book, I have gained more perspective on things that I can do to change the way my home and homeschool look and work, so that they can flourish and thrive, along with some step-by-step directions to get there.

Visit Flourish #flourishathome and Mary Jo Tate on Facebook  and Twitter

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
Blessings~



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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homeschool Piano ~ piano lessons at home! (TOS Review Crew)


It has long been a regret of mine that I have not taught any of my children to play piano. I play the piano (classically trained), and my husband plays by ear, and none of our children have really played to this point in time. Of course, a major part of that regret is the fact that we don't own a piano, and our keyboard hasn't always been available. However, when the opportunity came up to review Homeschool Piano Complete Set of Books lifetime access to Homeschool Piano with the TOS Review Crew, I determined that we would make sure our keyboard was accessible. So... it's on the dining room table~ it's been on the back porch during the day... it's portable (kind of...).


Homeschool Piano is the brainchild of Willie Myette, a graduate of my husband's alma mater, Berklee College of Music in Boston. His style of teaching is very different from the way I learned, as it is very jazzy, with a heavy emphasis on improvisation. In the past, when I have brought up the idea of piano lessons, my eldest has been generally resistant, but this time around she thought it might be worth a try. Hurrah!

The lessons are split into a "Core" Beginner book, and Books 1-3. Each book contains 6 Units with 7 Lessons in each. They cover the 6 topics in the circular graphic to the right, with an additional Bonus lesson.  Some of the Lessons include tests, to ensure that the student comprehends the material, and there are accompanying worksheets and sheet music in pdf files that are to be downloaded and printed. *Economic note: I actually printed the manuals up 4 to a page for each unit, and then cut and stapled them together by Unit. I did print the songs and a few of the other sheets out full size so they could be more easily read while playing.

Homeschool Piano lessons are largely video based, with the lessons available via tablet, computer, and presumably mobile phone, if you have a smart phone (which we do not). It's a very unique set-up, with a video of Willie in the lower left corner, and the top 2/3rds of the screen are split into two lengths. The Top portion is a "Virtual Keyboard." The notes are highlighted in red as they are being played and are identified by name. The lower portion is video taken from above the keyboard, showing Willie's hands actually playing the notes, as you can see in the graphic below. I find it a little amusing that my daughter's first reaction to the video set-up was very dubious (She thought it was odd...), but after going through some of the core lessons and 2 units of book 1, she has determined that she enjoys the lessons, and is challenged to complete them. Her take now, after going through a few units, is that Willie knows how to make the lessons fun, while helping his students play successfully right away.

Eldest's favorite part of the lessons is learning the new rhythms (which coordinates with her interest in dance), and learning the improvisational licks that are taught in each Unit. It is very gratifying to be able to play something that sounds a little more complex than the first songs I remember learning to play. This can be important when the student is starting out at an older age.

Keeping in mind that my daughter has not played piano before starting this program (other than a little bit of picking out melodies on her own, 1-finger style and using her very own "number system"), here she is playing the 2nd full song in book one (We're both happy with her headway in a relatively short period of time)

Now some improvisations based on the notes learned so far. (And no, our set-up isn't optimal as far as "sitting at a piano" is concerned, but it is working for us at this point in time) 

The Lessons and Songs that are learned build on one another (for example, the base line in the improv is heard as part of a song later on, which helps to increase the success of the piano student).  
Sadly, my youngest student is being very "seven" and thinks he doesn't currently like music (ha! I know better~ he's singing all the time...). However, in my opinion, music isn't something that should be pushed... he will come around, I'm sure, as his sister continues to progress, and starts playing even more fun and funky music, and Homeschool Piano will be waiting for us when he's ready. 
Middlest~ will be joining his sister in learning piano this fall. Having *not* taught the older two until this point, I'm interested to see how he does, *and* how music affects other areas in his schooling. 

If you would like to get a taste of Homeschool Piano Lessons before purchasing, you can check out 6 free lessons covering Technique, Rhythm, Reading Music, Song, Improvisation, and Bonus. 
I am very impressed with the thorough but engaging manner in which Willie teaches. Having been classically trained, and having been thrown into some more contemporary situations, I am also picking up a few tips and pointers, so maybe one of these days I'll be able to more closely rival my "play-by-ear" husband who also has that Berklee music theory training. Sad to say, I don't think I'll ever be great at "grabbing the keys," which is a much more useful technique in a jazz situation than in my usual Church Musician or Classical environment, but it's fun to play around with a style that is a little looser.
Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Homeschool Piano
  • Product: Homeschool Piano Complete Set of Books 
  • Ages: All Ages
  • Price Options: 
    • Success Package (One payment of $299) Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. 
    •  Payment Plan (Payments of $99.97 per month for three months):  Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students. 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
Blessings~



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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Amazing "Build Your Bundle" e-resources Homeschool Sale Continues... (Details!)

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
Do you need a breath of fresh air in your homeschool? 
Interested in trying something new at an economical price? 
The Build Your Bundle Sale might be just what you are looking for! 
These electronic resources are being offered at amazing discounts! 

This is a lot of information to check out, 
but I thought it might be helpful to have it all in one place. 
Click on any of the banners to be brought directly to the sale.

If you are interested in more than one bundle, 
you can save even more! 
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

What exactly is included in these bundles? 
I'm adding lists of specific products with retail prices, noting Cathy Duffy top 100/101 picks in red, and items that I have personally used/reviewed in our homeschool in blue.

Tot and Preschool Bundle: $171.37 $29.00 
Notes: I didn't use the preschool version of Grapevine Bible Studies, but versions for older ages. Proverbs for Preschoolers looks really good, and something that I think would be great for my 1/2 grader as well! 

    Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Raising Rockstars Preschool Curriculum - Retail $10.00
  • We Choose Virtues Bundle - Retail $11.00
  • Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum - Retail $28.00  
  • Character Concepts for Preschoolers Mom's Guide - Retail $29.95
  • Proverbs for Preschoolers: Through the Proverbs from A to Z - Retail $12.00
  • Character Trails Flashcards - Retail $9.00
  • Hands-on Character Building - Retail $9.00
  • Be Thankful & New Testament Bible Reading Journal Bundle - Retail $12.98
  • Character Badges - Retail $12.99
  • Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue: Preschool and Early Elementary Character Curriculum - Retail $8.99
  • 1777 New England Primer Manuscript - Retail $2.99
  • Creation ABC Coloring Book - Retail $6.50
  • 101 Independent Activities for Tots & PreK - Retail $4.99
  • Basic Shapes for Beginners - Retail $4.99
  • Large Family Homeschooling - Retail $7.99

K-3rd Bundle: $187.13  $39.00

    Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Early Settlers in America - Retail $19.95
  • Creation Science a Study Guide to Creation - Retail $18.95
  • Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten - Retail $10.00
  • ABC's of Godly Children - Retail $15.99
  • Reading Lessons Through Literature Level 1 - Retail $25.00
  • Asia: It's People and History - Retail $6.95
  • Beginner Old Testament Part 1 Teacher/Student - Retail $28.00
  • Write Through the Bible: Philippians 2:1-18, (ESV) - Retail $5.00
  • Meet Penny: Premium Membership - Retail $25.00
  • Botany in 8 Lessons - Retail $14.95
  • Character Badges - Retail $12.99
  • Math Mammoth Place Value 2
  • Math Mammoth Add & Subtract 4

4th - 6th Bundle: $220.35  $39.00

    Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Wordsmith Apprentice - Retail $16.00
  • Creation Geology: A Study Guide to Fossils, Formations and the Flood - Retail $18.95
  • Mapping the World with Art - Retail $14.95
  • Bible Road Trip - Year One: The Books of the Law and History - Retail $20.00
  • Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary (KJV available in options) - Retail $12.95
  • Weekly Homeschool Planner - Retail $20.00
  • Ancient Times Notebooking Pages - Retail $19.95
  • Timeline Cards - Creation-Early Greeks - Retail $5.00
  • Math Mammoth Bundle - Introduction to Fractions & Fractions 1 - $8.80 
  • RetailWriting Guides for Children - Retail $14.00
  • Creative Writing Made Easy Bundle- Retail $25.90
  • Spies of the Revolutionary War Creative Writing Unit and Lapbook - Retail $10.95
  • Homeschool Copywork Membership - Retail $24.95
  • Dragons of the Bible Copywork - Retail $7.95

Middle School Bundle$361.77 $59.00
Purchasing this bundle is like buying LLTL, and getting everything else for free!!! 

    Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Student & Teacher for One Grade) - Retail: $59.99 
  • A Child's Geography - Retail $24.95
  • Creation Astronomy: Study Guide to the Constellations - Retail $18.95
  • Cells; An Introduction to the Anatomy and Physiology of Animal Cells - Retail $14.95
  • Heroines of the Past - Retail $17.00
  • The Picture Smart Bible: Old Testament - $39.00 Value
  • Beethoven Who? - Retail $29.99
  • Creative Freewriting Adventure - Retail $18.95
  • Jim Hodges Audio Books - Retail $90.00
  • Famous Composers Notebooking Pages - Retail $5.95
  • Renaissance & Reformation Notebooking & Coloring Pages - Retail 9.95
  • History Timeline / Book of Centuries Notebooking System - Retail 6.95
  • Math Mammoth Percent - Retail $3.20
  • Teach Your Family to Play the Soprano Recorder - Retail $5.99
  • Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition (Grades 6 and up) - Retail $15.95

High School Bundle: $381.68  $69.00

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Expedition Earth - Retail $29.95
  • Creation Anatomy: Study Guide to the Miracles of the Body - Retail $18.95
  • A+ Interactive Math 1 Full Year - Retail $149.00
  • Picture Smart Bible New Testament - Retail $30.00
  • Creative Freewriting Adventure - Retail $18.95
  • Cooking with Kids - Retail $14.95
  • Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective - Retail $24.99
  • A Review of English Grammar for Students of Biblical Greek and Other Ancient Languages - Retail $8.00
  • Uncover Exciting History - Retail $13.00
  • World History and Philosophy - Retail $34.99
  • 15 Secrets to FREE College - Retail $9.95
  • Plant a Seed, Grow an Entrepreneur - Retail $10.00
  • Reach for the Stars - Young Adult Fiction Workbook - Retail $18.95

Charlotte Mason Bundle: $377.35  $49.00
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • Write from History - Retail $22.95
  • Sheldon's NEW Primary Language Lessons - Retail $14.95
  • 50 States and Where to Find Them - Retail $30.00
  • The Charlotte Mason Way Explained - Retail $6.99
  • Handwriting - Webster's Syllabary with Phonics - Retail $15.00
  • Fine Art Pages Collection 1 - Retail $14.95
  • Reading Lessons through Literature - Retail $25.00
  • Level 3 Old Testament Overview Part 1 - Retail $28.00
  • Jim Hodges Audio Books - Retail $90.00
  • Notebooking Pages: Trees & Plants - Retail $11.90
  • Notebooking Pages: Complete Birds Set - Retail $23.80
  • Notebooking Pages: Wildflowers, Weeds, and Garden Flowers - Retail $12.95
  • NaturExplorers Fruit & Nuts - Retail $8.95
  • Words With Wings - Retail $39.00
  • Discipleship: A Character Curriculum Using Scriptures - Retail $14.95
  • Because I Said So - a Biblical Study of Obedience - Retail $4.99
  • When I Survey - a Hymnological Journey to the Cross - Retail $4.99
  • Breakfast Stations Pack - Retail $2.99
  • How to Build a Strong Christian Home - Retail $4.99
Homeschooling Mom Bundle:$118.19   $10.00

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
  • How to Coupon Effectively - Retail: $8.97
  • Easy Peasy Chores - Retail $18.99
  • The Homemaker's Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule - Retail: $4.99
  • Large Family Homeschooling - Retail $7.99
  • Encouragement for Homeschool Moms - Retail - $4.99
  • Plan To Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family - Retail: $3.99
  • Dyslexia 101 - Retail: $5.99
  • Homeschooling Day by Day - Retail: $4.99
  • How to Build a Strong Christian Home: One Step at a Time - Retail: $4.99
  • Purposeful Planning - Retail: $9.95
  • Charts and Tips for Stress Free Planning & Scheduling - Retail $3.99
  • Heart and Soul Homeschool Mama...Becoming an Uncomplicated Homeschooler - Retail $17.95
  • Dealing with a Difficult Child - Retail $2.99
  • Managing Your Homeschool - Retail - $4.99
  • HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance - Retail - $12.45


Individual Premium Products: 

Save 60% on Individual Products at the Build Your Bundle Sale!Tablet Class Math $120.00 Sale: $48.00 Save: 60% off

Startwrite Handwriting Software $49.95  Sale: $19.98 Save: 60% off

Applecore Gold: Online Lesson Planning & Record Keeping $55.00  Sale: $22.00 Save: 60% off

Essential Skills Advantage Year Membership $120.00  Sale: $48.00 Save: 60% off

Creation Science Kids Class $69.95  Sale: $27.98 Save: 60% off

Creation Anatomy Kids Class $69.95  Sale: $27.98 Save: 60% off

Creation Astronomy Kids Class $69.95  Sale: $27.98 Save: 60% off

Extreme Mom Makeover $165.97  $59.97 Save: 64% off


Build Your Own Bundle 
Five $19.99 or less items for $25 or 
Ten $19.99 or less items for $39
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
If you would rather select individual items to purchase, there is a page with dropdown options where you can select ANY five or ten items from the sale that are priced $19.99 and under - up to 80% off retail prices! The products in this bundle package are downloadable ebooks.*Item not in "Build Your Own" Option due to multiple files: Ancient Times Notebooking Pages

Freebies and Discounts included with ANY Purchase! 

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

For the Student

  • Alpha Omega Publications: 10% OFF PLUS FREE SHIPPING!
  • Educents: 20% OFF
  • Keyboard Classroom: 40% OFF Family License
  • Brookdale House: FREE Handwriting Practice from the Bible Book 3 ($4.99 VALUE!)
  • Magic Pencils: Wholesale Discount PLUS FREE SHIPPING on any order over $9.50
  • Words with Wings Poetry Curriculum (Lessons 1-6 are in the Charlotte Mason Bundle and Lessons 7-13 can be purchased through the Bundle of Bonuses for a discount!)
  • FREE Farming Unit (105+ Pages!) - InAllYouDo.net
  • FREE Mom's are Special Printable Children's Book - HappyandBlessedHome.com
  • FREE Book Traveler China for K-4th Graders - BeyondtheCoverBlog.com
  • FREE Bible Activities, Sets 1,2, and 3! - ParadisePraises.com
  • FREE Giant Phonics Book from ChristianHomeschoolHub.com
  • FREE Fun Printable Pack of your choice from ServingJoyfully.com
  • FREE Making and Managing Money for Teens from TeachingGoodThings.com
  • Dan's Doodles III PLUS FREE eBook, Thoughts on Being Left Behind from Phyllis-Sather.com

For the Parents

  • Compass Classroom: FREE eBook Bundle for Christian Parents including How to Teach Your Children the Bible by Thomas Purifoy, Jr. and The Duties of Parents by J.C. Ryle ($10 Value!)
  • FREE This is My Life Calendar from AVirtuousWoman.org
  • FREE Homeschooling the High Schooler eBook from This Old Schoolhouse
  • FREE Help, Lord! I Am Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler from This Old School House ($24.90 VALUE for the Bundle!)

For the Family

  • SAVE $15 at Deborah & CO when you spend $30 or more at the Media & Toys or Cami Pages
  • 20% OFF 1 Year Subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine - 6 issues for only $19.95
  • Sweet Little Toppings: Get a FREE gift of YOUR CHOICE for boy or girl when you order a crochet hat valued at $15 or more
  • Save 50% on the NEW Release, Words Fitly Spoken: Uplifting Conversation Starters for All Ages from GoodOldDaysFarm.com
  • Redmond Trading: 20% OFF at RedmondTrading.com and FREE SHIPPING on orders $40 or more.
  • Young Living: 10% OFF Young Living Essential Oils Order PLUS FREE Gift for first 100 customers from TheEncouragingHome.com
  • FREE 2 Month Premium Membership at Tradishen.com
  • FREE Water Testing and 5% discount on any water filtration system from United Environmental Solutions
  • FREE 2014-2015 Motivated Moms Chore Planner ($8.00 Value!)
  • 50% OFF Filling Hearts While Cleaning Homes: Five Minute Devotionals for Families from TheRoadto31.com

Just for You

  • Windy Hill Vanilla: FREE $10 Value all natural Bath & Body samples Gift Basket from WindyHillVanilla.org ($5 flat shipping rate applies)
  • Cowgirl Dirt: 20% OFF on all natural cosmetics at CowgirlDirt.com and first 50 orders will receive 2 FREE Samples of Bodacious Botanical Lip Balms!
  • Lia Sophia: Buy 1 item at retail and get up to 4 more at 50% OFF!  Discount taken off the most expensive selections!
  • SAVE 20% on 4 week Life Coaching Package with LaToya Edwards
I hope that you find some products at prices that will bless you!




Saturday, July 19, 2014

K is for Kindness and L is for Loyalty (Charlotte Mason Inspiration #17 & # 18)

Once again, I've fallen behind on my Charlotte Mason Inspiration posts, my apologies!
~Without further ado~

K is for Kindness (and Kittens)


L is for Loyalty



Blessings~



Friday, July 18, 2014

$100 Presale Giveaway right now ~ Amazing Bundle Sale coming...

Homeschooling Friends~

Just in time to help you gear up for the  2014/2015 school year, comes an awesome electronic resource "Bundle Sale" with some amazing products. You also have the opportunity to enter a pre-sale giveaway for $100 towards your bundle purchases!

Keep your eye on my blog Monday, July 21, for the whole scoop...
I don't think you'll be disappointed! 
Enter to Win $100 Towards the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

Choose from these categories

Save 83% On Preschool Curriculum & Resources at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale! Save 80% on K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale! Elementary Homeschooling Curriculum Bundle - 82% Off! Save 84% on Middle School Homeschooling Curriculum at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale! Save 84% on High School Homeschooling Curriculum at the Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale! Charlotte Mason Style Homeschooling Curriculum Bundle - 85% Off + 3 Bonuses! Homeschooling Mom Bundle of Encouragement & Organization - $118 Value for JUST $10!

Purchase and receive Bonuses


Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!

Choose from pre-packaged Bundles, 

or Build Your Own...


Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!


And you still have time to join as an affiliate: 






Blessings~



Thursday, July 10, 2014

50 Summer Boredom Busters from Educents




I just received a note from Educents alerting me to the fact that they have pulled together an awesome list of 50 Summertime Boredom Busters for you and your children. I took a quick peek, and it looks like there are some really fun activities!

They also have a Free Educents Explorers Guide and Checklist to help you accomplish more fun this summer!
Check it out~

Blessings~



Moving Beyond the Page ("Tornado" and Amazing Weather)


This early summer I received a great set of packages from Moving Beyond the Page. Readers of my blog may recall a review I wrote for Moving Beyond the Page last July using materials with my middle-schooler (Tuck Everlasting and Matter). This time the material was geared towards my youngest, who *just* turned 7 (so on the lowest end of the age range for these titles):  Language Arts Package: Online ~ Tornado and Science Package~ Amazing Weather.

Both online and printed packages contain all the physical books required to complete the lessons, and the science package included an individual boiling point thermometer. The main difference is in how the manuals/worksheets are accessed.

Depending on your family's circumstances, you may be more interested in one version over the other...

The "online" version: 

  • has teacher's notes and pdf files that are accessed online. This "Subscription" portion of the curriculum is available for 3 months from the first time it is activated. 
  • incurs no shipping charges (Particularly useful for those overseas and in AK, HI).
  • allows multiple copies of the pdf worksheets to be printed for use within the family.
Here is a screenshot of the Table of Contents for our Online Literature Unit that I took partway through our study~ you can see that it keeps track of the lessons that have been finished as well as telling you how many days each one should take, and quick links to all of the pdfs. 

A neat feature of the online version is "Idea Share" which is linked to from the individual lesson pages~ This is a space for educators to add web links, craft ideas, etc to specific lessons... a nice collaboration option. This is also where you'll find discussion questions and links to the pdfs that are specific to the lesson if you haven't already downloaded them from the Table of Contents page. 


Youngest did some story-journaling as part of the literature lessons, as well as filling out worksheets that helped him write a paragraph. Below is a portion of his "Hamburger Organizer" and the first page of his story narration (journaling): 






The "printed" version: 

  • costs around $4 more, plus shipping
  • you receive a hard copy of the teacher's notes and student worksheets, bound in the same book.
  • no deadline for use.
  • no reproduction of worksheets allowed, even within the family.
Here is a look at a portion of the teacher's pages from the printed version (Science Unit): 
And a completed page from the workbook: 
Here is one of his experiments from the weather unit... making a weathervane (note: now he wants to make a dog weathervane out of wood... sounds like we need a scroll saw ;)  ): 



More thoughts about these units from Moving Beyond the Page:

For a "young" seven, who isn't really into writing, there is a LOT of writing to be done~ I had him do some himself, and narrate some to me, so that I wouldn't tax him too much, and keep this a fun project, as seen in the photos with his journal and paragraph organizer. The topics are introduced well, and are easy to follow and implement. 

I like both the online and the printed versions for different features~ 
  • The ability to print up more than one copy of a worksheet from the online version is sometimes a good thing, particularly if your child wants to "do-over" because something was "messed up." 
  • I like the "Clean" feel of the online version, and the automatic "Check-off" when we finish a lesson. 
The materials that accompany the teacher guides and worksheets are very high quality~ great books and hands-on equipment. The story kept my son engaged, and willing to do the correlating activities when we were finished reading each chapter.

Full disclosure and a note about Amazing Weather~ a good portion of the daily activities includes monitoring the weather at various point in the day, and for many days in a row. For most families, this would be a snap, but we are a little less structured around here (particularly in the summer), so checking temps at 8am just wasn't happening... ;) Just thought I should let you know, in case you have a hard time with "Every day" things like that too. ;) 

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
Blessings~



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