Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tick List for School

Don't laugh, but guess what?  Yep, I've been tweaking that tick list for school again.

Here's what I'm working on this week.  { Bible / Latin / Art and all the nitty gritty gets missed out - on the tick list, but at least I can keep track of the other { main } basic subjects.

While you're here, I'd just like to mention that I'm going to be doing LESS posts from next month onwards here on the blog.  I'm cutting back in a lot of areas, and blogging will be one of them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pinterest Top 5 { Kindergarten }

{ Kindergarten }

     Today I want to showcase 5 little pins from my Pinterest Kindergarten album that might be useful to you.  There is sooooo much FREE stuff out there on the internet that we can use these days, and as it turns out, it's a lot more difficult to choose just a small group of 5 for sharing.  The list is not in any order, just randomly perused from my album for things to share.

Just click on each picture to go to the website that gives them away for FREE.  :o)

{ 1. }
sight word books

{ 2. }
Alphabet Animal Puppets

{ 3. }

Phonographs posters-there's a ton!

{ 4. }
Large Polka Dot Alphabet cards for your classroom!!!  FREE

{ 5. }

Free Printables of Initials - Each initial is filled with images starting with that letter.

So, what do you think of the idea of doing a Pinterest Top 5 more regularly?  I've got well over 100 albums that I can dig stuff out of.  :o)

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Skip Count Frogs { freebie }

I dunno about you, but I have this thing for skip counting, especially since we have to learn the multiplication tables.  I just figure that this is going to help make it a heap easier.

So.............. I also use these:

It only goes up to the 7 x tables - because that's all we've needed up until this point, but I'll add the 8x and 9x soon - just waiting till we need them { or I find some motivation }.  

{ 4 x } 

Just click on either picture to download from google.doc's.

Enjoy and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Today I am linking up with:

Wordless Wednesday on Only Passionate Curiosity

I hope you will join us.

Read, Understand, and Write

Here's another BLM that I picked up a couple of weeks ago in that bundle from RIC Publications.  I actually picked up 2 of them. I already had book 3 sitting on my shelf but thought that it was just a little out of Chloe's reach academically.  So, I figured I'd get the first two books for her to use in the mean time.  Then somewhere down the track I can use them for the remainder of the girls as well. :o)

The first book is for ages 7 - 8.

Each fable starts off with a reading.  They have cute little whimsical drawings for the children to color in as well, if they want.

Then there's a simple cloze exercise.

They also do a couple of dictionary words in each one too followed by a writing activity.

There are a few different types of exercises within the book.  So there is a nice variety.

At the end of each fable/module is a Read and Think page, and at the very bottom of that page is an extension activity as well.

This is the 3rd fable in the book for a total of 10 fables.

Activities include:

Finding the main idea
character study
Story maps
Letter writing
Dictionary skills
Text analysis

It's main focus is reading comprehension and writing.

I think that it's at a good level for Chloe at the moment.  It is definitely challenging for her in places. { particularly in the writing department }

She really likes them though, so that is nice.  I just hope her writing starts improving.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beef Wellingtons

I've been doing a little more cooking this week.

{ Beef Wellingtons }

After browning and cooking the beef mince I added a nice big glass of frozen vegetables.

When they defrosted I added the flavour.

Then I wrapped the savoury meat up into some puff pastry and popped them into the oven for a little while.

Super quick and easy, and always a huge hit in our house.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Multiplication Flip Book { freebie }

Today I have the multiplication flip books { I have no idea what else to call them } that I've started using with the girls for quick practice.

It's not finished - yet, but I thought I'd share them with you anyway.

Basically, this is how one use's them:

1.  Print the pages out.
2.  Fold them long ways
{ so you can only see the multiplication questions. }
3.  Just follow the line around for the answers,
if you need them.

Have the child call out:  2 x 1 = and then the answer.  If they get stumped, they can just follow the lines around to get the answer.  Just continue down - going through all the multiplication questions for that table.

Just click either picture to download from

Thanks for visiting,


Two Little Chickee Birds

This week Charlotte will work on 'Two Little Chicky Birds'.

Charlotte really loved todays song and craft.  There was a LOT of interest from her.

She can't really color just yet, so I had to help her.

Phebe and Hannah also decided that they'd like to do one.

At first offer Chloe thought, nah, not her thing, but after seeing the other girls with theirs she decided to do one too.  Just good that I had photocopied enough for all of them.  :o)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Very First Dictionary

The other day I showed you what I was starting to use for a word dictionary, but as I got to thinking, { scary concept I know, as it always leaves me tweaking things } I realised that we could cover a LOT more words with minimal effort if I just taught the girls how to use this:

It would mean that they'd get that alphabet order down solid.

And probably get side tracked reading about other words.

But at least it would make them MORE independent, and self taught.

And since that is one of my homeschool goals - I think that I should definitely do that.

Do you have this book on your shelves?  What other children's dictionaries do you keep?

How do you help your child spell their words?  At what age do you expect them to work out spelling for themselves?

Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Memoria Press Blog Roll

One my classical bloggy friends has a Memoria Press Blog Roll - and we'd love for you to join us.

Memoria Press Blog Roll

So, if you use ANY product or curriculum from Memoria Press, please feel free to come and join up.  :o)

**Note: This blog roll is not officially affiliated with Memoria Press and nor does the data on the participates within necessarily reflect the opinions of the company. This is for fans and followers looking to promote and continue the tradition in their own education and lives. After all, we want to continue to change the civilization, one student at a time when we can. ;) Oh, but they did give me permission for the button!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Word Folder - aka the Spelling Dictionary

When the girls do writing they OFTEN ask me how to spell words.  So, recently when I was over at Pinterest I saw this awesome idea for a personal spelling dictionary, and thought to myself, let's do that!

Basically one takes a file folder and puts a super cute cover page on the front.

On the inside I put a print out for writing words.  I put 4 letters to each page - except for near the end.  Then I put 3 pages on top of each side.  So there's a space for words for the whole alphabet.

Now when they ask how to spell a word I'll just pop it in here.  At some point I'm hoping that they'll use this more than asking me how to spell a word.  Well, that's what I'm hoping for anyway. :o)

I do have a spelling dictionary somewhere in the house - unused, but for the life of me can't remember where it is.  I tried to look for it the other day, to save me some messing around time, but I couldn't find it.  I'll probably find it when we are all good and use to using this one.  Ha ha ha ha.

What do you use?  Do you have a little spelling dictionary?  Or do you just tell the spelling each time your child asks how to spell something?

Reading Kingdom { Review }

     One of the things that I've really loved about homeschooling is being able to teach reading.  It has always been a keen interest of mine.  I have learnt so much over the last 20 years in this field, and even though I have a pretty good grasp at it, I'm always interested to see what other methods and programs are available.

So, for the past several weeks we've been using Reading Kingdom

{ About the Product }

     Reading Kingdom is an online subscription based program for children 4 - 10 years old that is designed to teach your child reading and writing up to the third grade level.

The program lists 6 different areas that it uses:

  • sequencing
  • writing
  • sounds
  • meaning
  • grammar
  • comprehension

It starts everything off with an introduction assessment - to see whether Seeing Sequences or Letter Land are required.
- Seeing Sequences
- Letter Land

The children had a choice to use either a mouse or the keyboard.

Then they do a Skills Survey - to determine where to start the reader.

     Finally they begin with the reading and writing.  There are quite a number of activities and words to practice, so it takes a while.  Each lesson is short though at about 15 mins.  Long enough to make some progress, but not too long where the child gets tired.

     One of the neat things about the program is that it keeps track of where your child is up to in the program, and will send you an email once the child has completed each level.  It will even tell you the last time that your child logged in.  

     Reading Kingdom recommends that it be used as a supplement to already existing curriculum.

{ How We Used It }

     Reading Kingdom were very generous and gave me 3 full subscriptions.   So I had Chloe { 8 }, Phebe { 6 }, and Hannah { 4 } all start the program.  

     Once the subscriptions were available, all we had to do was log in. Each child had their own separate account. The program would remember where they were at their last log in, and just continue on with the next lesson.

     The first couple of weeks required the girls to get to know the keyboard on the computer.  So they were doing a lot of work with that.

     My 6 and 8 year olds tired quickly of the novelty.  The 4 year old continued on with the program.  Chloe managed to get through to level 1.  Phebe almost to level 1.  Hannah is well into level 1 as well.

     Hannah { 4 }  As far as Hannah is concerned it was ALL fun and games.  I think she'd like to continue with it.  If I view it from a game only perspective, we could possibly continue to use it.  

     { a sample page - using the keyboard with a mouse to click the correct letter }

{ What I Thought: }

     They have cute graphics, and the program is interactive. The girls DID get very familiar with the keyboard on the computer. Even if it was via a mouse. It captures the child's attention without any problem.

     There is NO explicit phonics instruction within the reading program.  Your child will be asked to spell the word "bird" by typing b - i - r - d, not b-ir-d.  There isn't any sounding out in the sense of phonics, even though they do state that they use "sounds" in the program, what they presented would be more under the heading of name that letter.  Their method and philosophy, as it turns out, is very contrary to my 20 years of homeschooling knowledge and experience.

     There was a considerable delayed / dawdling computer time between each question and section.  This meant that the child does not get taught to focus for any length of time.  In fact, it breaks their concentration.  It reminded me very much of what a TV does to a child's mind. 

     Very early on in the program they would do an activity where you had to make a word based on a loosely jumbled selection.  This really worried me, and sent up alarm bells ringing, because I do not believe that this is good teaching.  If you want a child to write a word correctly, you should have them see it correctly.  They shouldn't be messing around with incorrect spelling examples.  Why imprint incorrect spelling on a child's mind?

{ example }

Edited AGAIN - for like the 3rd time.

As some of you know, I did actually have quite a bit more added to this review, but it was mostly focused on how the company presented the program, but I have removed it.  I felt that some of the company's presentation was misleading, if not leaning upon dishonesty.  I don't really want to speak negatively about a company, particularly one so generous in giving us subscriptions to their program.  So I've tossed to and fro with this for a few weeks now.  What to say, what not to say.  What should I say, what should I not say?  Writing reviews are much harder to do than I originally thought.  So difficult that I've actually quit doing reviews.  This is my last one.

My main concern is that if you are a visual person and you go to their website and you look it over, it will look awesome.  That's what I did, and how I felt about it in the beginning.  However, I failed to read ALL the really small fine print very closely  { I briefly perused it but thought it was all good }.  I relied more upon what I was seeing on the website.  I'm a visual person.

Now, my point is, that somewhere, someplace, another parent is going to go to Reading Kingdom and do exactly as I did.  Perhaps she'll even go there on recommendation from another parent.  Then she'll pay for a subscription.  Still all good because the children will probably love it.  What won't be good is that there isn't ANY phonics in it.  She may feel, as I did, that she was misled, even if it was in a small way.  And that won't leave good feelings.  Especially if you've paid for a subscription.

This program was not for us.

{ How much it costs: }

     There is a 30 day free trial - if you'd like to try it out, just to see what you think.

     One may purchase a monthly subscription for $19.99 for the first child, or $199.99 per year.  
You can add additional readers for $9.99 a month, or yearly for $99.99.

     As always, thank you so much for visiting, and don't forget to visit Reading Kingdom for additional information, because after all, this is only my point of view, and is only ONE persons point of view - at that.  

     Oh, and please do check out some of the other awesome reviews done by my fellow crew members as well.  Yes, you really should.  :o)