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Friday, January 31, 2014

Field Trip #113 Friday Blog Hop

Field Trip Friday!
Photobucket
Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)


Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!
Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos
 
This was our first trip to the Windward Community College Imaginarium.  It fit in well with our study of Space.  They had a fun hands on lab that the kids enjoyed before going into the Planetarium and seeing a cute movie about Earth, Sun and Moon.
 
Only C and I went on this trip (with baby of course), the other two were home sick, C came down with it the following day.
 
PicMonkey Collage

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

 

 

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    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    Review: Doodling Dragons App by Logic of English

    Doodling Dragons
    You might recall the review I did last year on Logic of English, well they released a new app this past October.  Doodling Dragons is a phonemic awareness app that can be used in conjunction with Logic of English, or separately from the curriculum.  I’m happy to have been able to review it.  It’s a great addition to the Logic of English curriculum! 

    Doodling Dragons is an app that teaches the various sounds that each letter makes.  There are three activities on the app.  The first is a book read by Jim Weiss (if you use Story of the World Cd’s you will recognize the voice!).  The second (learn) gives the sounds of the letter when you touch it.  The third (play) sounds out the words pictured (an exercise used in the curriculum), you then tap the object.  The objects are divided by letter sounds, like a dictionary.  For each letter, words are used that have the sounds beginning,middle and/or the end of the word.
    This is a great app to introduce the variety of sounds that they letters make.  So often only a few sounds are introduced to children when learning phonics, such as S says /s/, but sometimes S says /z/ and C says /s/.  This can be confusing to kids learning to read and especially spell.  If we teach them all the sounds from the beginning, it is not a problem!

    My younger kids enjoyed the book – The illustrations are cute, Jim’s voice is always pleasant to listen too and the interactive game was fun too!
    It’s a great app for introducing sounds and reinforcing sounds either with the Logic of English curriculum or on it’s own.
    I recommend this app for ages 4+.  It is available for $4.99 on iOS, Google Play and Amazon Android.
    Phonics With Phonograms by Logic of English - Logic of EnglishGet it on Google PlayAvailable on Amazon
    Disclaimer:  I received Doodling Dragons app for iOS free in exchange for an honest review. Post contains affiliate links.
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    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

    choc muffins

    My 4year old had been asking me to make chocolate muffins for a week, and I finally gave in!

    I took several recipes and made up my own – I think they turned out well.  Comparative to Costco’s, IMO.

    INGREDIENTS:

    1/3 c butter, melted
    2 c all purpose flour
    2/3 c granulated sugar
    1/2 c cocoa baking powder (1/4 dark, 1/4 reg preferred)
    1 T baking powder
    1/2t baking soda
    1/2t salt
    1 large egg
    1 t vanilla
    1 1/4c buttermilk (Don’t have buttermilk?  Add 1T lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 1/4c milk and let sit for 5min)
    3/4 c chocolate chips

    DIRECTIONS:

    Mix all ingredients, minus chocolate chips and blend until smooth
    Stir in chocolate chips
    Fill sprayed (or papered) muffin cups 3/4 full

    Bake at 350 for 15-20min

    ENJOY!!

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    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Q is for Questions–Homeschool FAQ

    PicMonkey Collage question

    Q.  How do you get started?

    A.  First and foremost you should check into the requirements of homeschooling in YOUR state.  You can find them at the HSLDA website.  Once you establish the laws for your state, you can move on from there.

    Q.  What about curriculum?

    A.  There are sooooo many options for curriculum.  When choosing curriculum I recommend answering this question first “Why do I want to home school?”.  The answer to that question can help you find the right curriculum for you and your child(ren).  For instance, if you are homeschooling because you are against the Common Core, then you won’t want a Common Core curriculum.  If you are homeschooling because you want more religious based learning, then you will want a religious curriculum.  If you are homeschooling because you want more flexibility in learning, then you may want to stray away from a ‘box’ or ‘set’ curriculum.  See what I mean?  I also highly recommend the book 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.  The book contains quizzes to determine your educational philosophies, your child’s learning style and then points you in the direction of which are the best rated curriculums to meet your needs.  It is a GREAT place to start in the search for curriculum

    Q.  What should I teach my child? 

    A.  This goes along with curriculum; however, if you plan to take a looser approach or build your own curriculum/lessons you might wonder what exactly you should cover.  There is a type of teaching called ‘Delight Directed’, where you follow the interests of your child and build upon them in a sort of unit study fashion.  There are also books, “What my (enter grade) needs to know” that can be used as a guideline.  You can check your public schools website and see what they are covering.  If you choose a classical model of learning they cover Science and History in 4 year cycles.  But really, unless your state mandates you cover certain materials, what you teach is entirely up to you!

    Q.  What if you do not know anything on the subject, or are not interested in it yourself?  How can you help your child be excited about something you aren’t?

    A.  To be honest, I have never been so fascinated by Science and History as I am now, as an adult, teaching it to my child.  Maybe if I had been taught in the same ways I am striving to teach the story would be different.  Make it FUN!  If it’s FUN, you will have FUN as well!   I learn something new every day!

    Q.  What about socialization? 

    A.  For some reason this seems to be the number 1 concern in regards to homeschooling.  Honestly I find it laughable knowing what I know about homeschooling.  I do understand how it can be a concern for those who are not fully aware of what homeschooling is all about.  Even though we ‘home’ school, it doesn’t mean we never leave our ‘home’.  Homeschooling has become more main stream than before, there are so many resources available to homeschooling families.  There are field trip groups, co-ops, sports and other clubs, church, scouts, etc.  There are plenty of opportunities to become socialized, and honestly, I feel there is more.  Socialization in public school is not the main purpose of attending, and in most cases does not occur on a ‘normal’ basis.

    My children attend church, co-op, gymnastics, swim lessons and regular field trips…all with other children of varying ages.  Socialization is NOT a concern of mine.

    Q.  How do you get everything done? 

    A.  Sometimes you don’t.  I have found that I just need to prioritize.  When deciding to homeschool, my husband and I agreed that school comes first, then we go from there.  My house is not always sparkling, and the toilets probably do not get cleaned as often as they should….but I do what I can, and my husband helps when he can as well.  I’m working on a review for an app to help me get more done, so stay tuned! 

    Q.  How do you teach more than one child?  And what about the little ones?

    A.  I combine subjects like Science and History and teach them all at the same time (on varying levels).  Using workboxes helps to divide the other subjects up.  While my oldest works on more independent work, I work with the younger kids.  I have workboxes even for the little guys and I try to include them in ‘group’ work whenever possible (when they are cooperative).  Otherwise they can play quietly nearby. 

    Q.  How do you determine a schedule? 

    A.  Really that is the great thing about homeschooling, you adjust and adapt to find what works best for your family.  Many families follow the school schedule, some go year round, some have scheduled breaks, some just take it as they need it.  Find what works for you. 

    Q.  Do you school in your pajamas? 

    A.  Some days I do, most days my kids do.  If I get dressed or ask them to the first question out of their mouths is, “Where are we going?”.  I have found that I feel better and have a better day when I get up and dressed, so I have been working on that more this new year.  My kids though, they can wear what they want for the most part. 

    Q.  What curriculum do you use?

    A.  I piece from a lot of sources for curriculum, but I do use a set curriculum for my older kids (School Age), though I may supplement the curriculum to make it more hands on, more engaging or more interesting if I find it lacking at all.  For the younger kids I use Pinterest a lot!  I try to match up their theme with what we are learning in Science or History, but I base it off of Montessori principles.  I also change things up a lot during the year if I find something isn’t working.  This year we have yet to start our actual chosen curriculum because of pregnancy sickies, new baby, illness and a pending move.  We have just been taking it day by day, fitting in what we can.  But I always try to at least do Math and Reading daily.  We are always learning, even if it’s not ‘by the book’. 

    Q.  Do you change curriculum if you find it’s not working?

    A.  As mentioned in previous question, I’m not afraid to change things up if I feel we need to.  This is my number one benefit to homeschooling – flexibility!  We can adapt and adjust as needed.  What works for one, doesn’t always work for another.  We have started curriculum and then I realized he just wasn’t ready for it at that point.  So we drop it and come back to it later.  We are across the board in grades for various subjects.  My main priority in homeschooling is that my kids get the best education, so that means having more flexibility on my part, in order to best meet their needs. 

    Q.  How’s it going?

    A.  Some days are better than others, but all in all….it’s great!  I love it!  I wouldn’t change it for the world! 

    Got any other questions you’d like me to add to this list?  Leave a comment below! 

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    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    Poppins Book Nook–6 Usborne Books about Greek Myths (ages 4+) *Link Up* *Giveaway*

    PicMonkey Collage greek

    I’m always very pleased with the quality that Usborne Books has to offer.  Here are some great titles for your Greek Myths studies!

    Picture of Greek Myths & Legends
    Ages 11+

    Picture of Greek Myths for Young ChildrenPicture of Mini Greek Myths for Children
    Ages 4+

    Picture of Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths
    Ages 8+

    Picture of Usborne Book of Greek Myths
    Ages 9+

    Picture of Sticker Dressing Greek Myths
    Ages 5+

    PoppinsBookNook

    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - 3 Dinosaurs - Monsters Ed - Chestnut Grove Academy - Growing in God's Grace - Royal Little Lambs - Life with Moore Babies -Teach Beside Me - The Usual Mayhem - Fantastic Fun and Learning - Kathys Cluttered Mind - Toddler Approved - Growing Book by Book - Adventures in Mommydom - Edventures with Kids - Learning & Growing the Piwi way - A Gluten Free Journey - Preschool Powol Packets - To The Moon and Back - Our Craft ~N~ Things - Fresh Farm Adventures - Are We There Yet? - Afterschool for Smarty Pants

    Do you have a related post?  Link up below

    ENTER TO WIN BELOW!  GOOD LUCK!
     
    a Rafflecopter giveaway
     
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    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Share it Saturday - Winter Nature Studies!

    winter nature
     
    Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop

     
    new share it saturday hosts
    Please visit my co-hosts:

    Karyn from Teach Beside Me
    Colleen & Leann from Sugar Aunts
    Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day
    Kate from Laughing Kids Learn
    and Tiffany from Life & Lessons From a Country Road

    Last weeks highlights:
     
    There are always so many great activities linked up each week that it makes it hard to choose ones to feature.  This week I’d like to feature
    WINTER NATURE STUDIES -
    Getting outside, even when it’s cold!
    and
    From What Do We Do All Day?  - Winter Birding with Kids
     
    If you are featured – feel free to grab a button to display on your blog!

    Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop



     

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    DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAYS!!

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    Books and Manipulatives–Day 5 of Essentials of Homeschooling *Giveaway*

    books post

    My name is Jennifer and I’m a book and manipulatives addict!  I admit it!Moving back to the mainland and having access to a dollar store again is going to save me so much money in manipulatives!!

    But truth is, hands on curriculums require a lot of them;  and the same old, same old get boring!  So I am always looking for new manipulatives to add to our homeschooling!

    I keep a running wish list on Amazon!  Melissa and Doug items and Safari Toobs are frequent manipulatives I buy.  Do-a-dot markers, magnets, counters, pattern blocks, wooden blocks, games, puzzles, etc…  I can almost always find what I’m looking for and at a reasonable price on Amazon.

    Books are another thing I can’t live without!  I love books, and though the library is a great resource, I LOVE to own books!  We have several books shelves FULL of books, and they just keep growing and growing!  Digital reading devices has helped cut back a tad on our books collection, BUT nothing replaces a good old, in your hands, book!

    We use very literature and manipulative heavy curriculums.  If the curriculum doesn’t call for those things (or not enough of them), I supplement.

    Living in Hawaii there are very few places that ship here without a ridiculous shipping fee, except Amazon!

    Amazon feeds my addictions.  I wanted to share with my readers my love of Amazon…and giveaway $10 in gift cards, which I won with Swagbucks!

    Enter below and good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

    86 Participating Bloggers!

    Here are just a few:

    31. Lisa @ A Rup Life

    32. Jordyn @ Almost Supermom

    33. Jenn @ Teaching Two Stinkers

    34. Crystal @ Crystal Starr Blog

    35. Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy

    36. Brandi @ Brandi Raae

    37. Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness

    38. Jodi @ Insane in the Mombrain

    39. Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

    40. Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles

    - See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/5-days-of-homeschooling-essentials-blog-hop/#sthash.MfYKOPyo.dpuf

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    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Groups for Field Trips and Co-ops–Day 4 of Essentials of Homeschooling *Field Trip Friday Link Up*

    groups post

    One of the number one concerns that comes up with discussing homeschooling always seems to be SOCIALIZATION! 

    With Homeschooling becoming more and more mainstream, the number of opportunities to come together with other homeschoolers is increasing more and more!

    There are several places you can search to see if there are homeschool groups in your area – This is how I’ve found groups near me:

    Google Search:  Homeschool groups in {name of town and state}

    Yahoo group search:  Homeschool, {town and/or state}

    Facebook search:  Homeschool, {town and/or state}

    Not finding anything?  When I first moved to Hawaii, Homeschool was like an under ground society, I knew there were homeschoolers out there, but I couldn’t find any information on any local groups!  So…I started my own group.  See this post for more information and tips on forming your own co-op.

    I posted an ad on Craigslist and a local military site, looking to form a co-op.  I decided before hand the ages I was interested in including, what activities I wanted to include, etc.  I got a handful of hits, and made some great friends! 

    Since then a friend has started a field trip group on Facebook, we have over 500 members, and numerous field trips planned each week.  We have had amazing opportunities and awesome group discounts!  A sister group has stemmed from it as well, for older homeschool children.  It has proved to be an amazing resource, and I am so glad to have been a part of it!  (We are truly going to miss the group when we move!)

    Field trips are a great way to get out and into the world!  What better way to learn than to experience it first hand!  For more ideas on how to incorporate field trips into your homeschool see my guest post at The Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. 

    I consider field trips one of the top reasons WHY WE HOMESCHOOL!

    Link up your field trips below:

    Field Trip Friday!
    Photobucket
    Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts

    (does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)


    Please stop by and visit my co-host’s blog and give them a shout out!
    Lisa @ Our 4 Kiddos

    **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

     


      5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

      86 Participating Bloggers!

      Here are just a few:

      31. Lisa @ A Rup Life

      32. Jordyn @ Almost Supermom

      33. Jenn @ Teaching Two Stinkers

      34. Crystal @ Crystal Starr Blog

      35. Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy

      36. Brandi @ Brandi Raae

      37. Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness

      38. Jodi @ Insane in the Mombrain

      39. Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

      40. Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles

      - See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/5-days-of-homeschooling-essentials-blog-hop/#sthash.MfYKOPyo.dpuf

      Don't miss a single blog post! Register to receive them in your email by clicking HERE
      or follow via another social media (see right hand column)

      Like what you read? Vote for me!
      Vote For Use @ Top Mommy Blogs

      Wednesday, January 22, 2014

      Circle Time–Day 3 of Essentials of Homeschooling *Giveaway*

      circletime post

      Circle Time was something we did when I taught preschool, I never really thought about it for older kids, and even though I have younger kids, it was just too complicated, right?  

      Well last year I did a review of the book, Circle Time:  Plan the Best Part of Your Homeschool Day, and well, it changed how we homeschooled for good!

      Ebook

      We now start each day with circle time, and though my youngest do not always hang in there for the long haul, the do hang for quite awhile, and I can not tell you how much smoother our days go when we start this way!

      The ebook Circle Time completely changed my perspective of ‘Circle Time’.  It’s more than just calendar time and ABCs, we accomplish so much learning during that first hour/hour and a half each morning!

      You can see my review of the book HERE

      and get an overview of our day HERE, including our circle time break down, (though we still experiment with the line up a little). 

      We just started using these calendar books from Confessions of a Homeschooler (Elementary and Preschool) as part of our Circle Time.

      and the best part of this post is that I have ONE copy to giveaway!

      Enter below and Good luck!

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

       5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

      86 Participating Bloggers!

      Here are just a few:

      31. Lisa @ A Rup Life

      32. Jordyn @ Almost Supermom

      33. Jenn @ Teaching Two Stinkers

      34. Crystal @ Crystal Starr Blog

      35. Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy

      36. Brandi @ Brandi Raae

      37. Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness

      38. Jodi @ Insane in the Mombrain

      39. Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

      40. Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles

      - See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/5-days-of-homeschooling-essentials-blog-hop/#sthash.MfYKOPyo.dpuf

      Don't miss a single blog post! Register to receive them in your email by clicking HERE
      or follow via another social media (see right hand column)

      Like what you read? Vote for me!
      Vote For Use @ Top Mommy Blogs

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