Disclosure of Material Connection:

Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, June 30, 2014

Poppins Book Nook: Books for Nature Studies *Giveaway*

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Poppins Book Nook
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Grab the code above to come and link up each month and share what YOU do with the theme!  We look forward to hearing from you!


This Year’s Co-hosts


Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ 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 ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ 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 ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ 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 ~ Simple Living Mama


My kids spend a lot of time outside, and they get a lot of nature studies “unschooling” style.  They are working on garden with my husband, they help outdoors with all sorts of chores, they catch bugs and frogs, etc..  But I would like to incorporate at least one ‘formal’ study a week.  I figure taking something they love and building on it.


I stumbled upon a really neat item the other day when checking to see what new Magic Tree House books have come out recently and trying to think of a book to use for this month’s topic. 


I thought this would be a great way to get my oldest writing more, a neat way to incorporate photography and all while accomplishing my desire of incorporating a weekly Nature Study for ‘school’.


It would be great for Summer learning activities, a nice way to explore outdoors with more ‘purpose’, a way to explore your town.  It has lots of activities!  We have not started using ours yet, but I’m really excited to get started.  I’ll be sure to update as we go along!


Other books for nature studies:



Check out my Nature Study Pinterest Board


Follow Jen's board Nature Study on Pinterest.


Now for the Givewaway



Poppins Book NookGreat Outdoors Bundle Giveaway!

Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the classic storybook Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping as no one brings that certain flair and fun to the great outdoors like Amelia Bedelia. The winner will also win an Uncle Milton Nat Geo Starry Night Lantern so whether you live in the countryside or in the city your child can experience some of the great outdoors while reading your storybook.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. 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 disclosures found here


Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

Share it Saturday

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:
If you are featured – feel free to grab a button to display on your blog!

Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop


Review–Veritas Press (TOS Review)

Veritas Press Review
 
Veritas Press Review
 
What an amazing opportunity it has been to review Self-Paced History, Explorers to 1815 from Veritas Press with flashcards.  I can not say enough good things about this amazing curriculum! (I am not exaggerating)!!  I review a lot of great curriculum, but this one has been a PERFECT match for my soon to be 8year old. 
Self Paced History is a multi-sensory online interactive video curriculum.  It follows the Classical Method.  The lessons are in video format.  They are interesting, and keep my son’s attention.  He has always enjoyed learning via media (video or games), so I thought this would be a good match for him.  I was right!
In addition to the video clips, there are also interactive portions.  These portions consist of questions, quizzes, map labeling, games, spelling and more! They are spread throughout each lesson. Each lessons upon the previous one and also has review portions from previous lessons.  There is a history song that repeats through out the lessons. 
My son BEGS me to do history every day (not that he needs to beg), and to do more than one lesson.  If you knew my son, you would know that WANTING to do do ‘school’ is unheard of!!
He has just loved these lessons, and I couldn’t be more pleased!
The lessons also include flashcards, while not mandatory for the lessons, they are very helpful and add to the multi-sensory features.   Each lesson try to incorporate multiple senses and learning styles.  You hear the material, you can read the material, you apply the material when playing games and filling in blank maps, etc.  So you have Visual, Auditory and Tactile learning!  It’s great!
Veritas Press ReviewVeritas Press Review
We made it through 37 lessons (almost 8 units) during the review period, and my son will not be stopping until it’s done, and that’s because he WANTS too!
We aimed to use the program 3-4 days a week (some times he used it 7 days a week, at my sons request).
In addition to the lessons and flashcards there are recommended reading books to go along.  We did use these books with the lessons; I like to have literature rich learning.  A reading outline is provided, but my son was flying through the lessons so fast (not from ease, but due to interest) he did not read on schedule.  I encouraged him to finish the suggested books before moving on to the next section (which started a new book).  We used the easier reading list (Level 1, for 2nd-3rd grade), though some of the reading was easy for my son, I think most was right on par.  We got some books in kindle format, others we purchased new or used (some are older books no longer available new).  I’m sure most (if not all) could be found at public libraries.
The lessons also incorporate some hands on projects.  The first project came about in Unit 7, Jamestown. I wish there had been some sooner, and others.  There are only 5 projects listed for 160 lessons in 32 units. 
Screenshot 2014-06-20 21.11.38
The only other ‘negative’ statement I could make about this program is that my son does not like the timed spelling activity that is in several lessons.  I mentioned this to the company already, they are looking into other solutions.  In the meantime,  I just have my son try it one or two times on his own and then I’ll help him; sometimes just do it myself.  If it’s a long word working the mouse to spell it, even if I dictate it can prove difficult in the time limit.  When time runs out, it starts completely over, which just ads to the frustration.
Even with those two MINOR things, we honestly LOVE this curriculum. It is now top of the list for future history lessons!
Do keep in mind, however, that since it is a online program, it is only for one child and only a one time use (another negative, unfortunately).  However, they offer sibling discounts, 
We tried the lessons on our Smart TV and iPad.  You could watch the lessons, but the interactive games didn’t all work.  So, we just switched to doing the lessons on the laptop, it was easier that way. 
Screenshot 2014-06-20 21.10.01
We didn’t have the cards right away, but they did prove useful when they came.  They are a great way for him to review for quizzes and games and be ready for the tests.   The program does grade, this was something new for us (we don’t grade at this point).  This has helped him have a goal and strive to do well on the tests.
Screenshot 2014-06-20 21.10.01
He doesn’t use the cards all the time.  When he gets questions wrong on quizzes I remind him that he has the cards to check dates and information if he is not sure.  By the time the tests comes around he does very well without the cards, he said “I know this stuff, they have said it lots of times”.  The use of repetition in the lessons is phenomenon.  Even though they do the same thing over and over, it is done differently every time and he doesn’t get bored of it at all. 
The end of each unit they have review games where questions are asked and they sail ships or play tic-tac-toe for treasure or find pieces of hidden maps.  This is what my son loves the most.  They only provide part of something, then are told once they finish the next unit they can come back to find more.  It keeps him wanting to come back for more every time!  He also places a medallion on a map at the end of each unit, then he can see all the places and people he has studied and how they relate to each other.
These lessons would be great for larger families.  Having him do these lessons has freed up time that I can work with my other children.  Aside from the spelling portion, he doesn’t ever need help with the lessons.  They are very self-guided.  Though to be honest I would love to sit and watch with him, the extra time is an added bonus!
All I have to do is log into the lessons under my own username and password to see how he is doing.  I can see how he has done on all the assignments (quizzes, tests).  It maintains his average grade at the top (right now he has a B).  I can also see what lesson he is currently on and what lessons he has yet to complete.  You can print reports (in case you need them for homeschool reporting). 
I have been very impressed with all that my son has learned over these last few weeks.  It comes up in conversation often.  We will definitely continue to use this program, and will highly consider it for future history curriculums.  I may still do some additional history work with him, such as book reading, hands on projects and documentaries (but only because I enjoy history too).  The bulk of his lessons will be coming from this program!  The hard part will be keeping up with him since he loves these lessons so much.  I think he’d do them all day long if I let him!
This course is recommended for grades 2nd-6th, with a minimum age of 7 when starting.  The cost is $199.00.  There is a 2 week trial available.  There is a $100 off sibling discount.  Flashcards cost $19.95.  Reading Kits are also available for purchase based on reading level, they are optional and prices vary.  A list of recommended books is available through the course so books can be acquired from library or other means also.  The course is Self-Paced (as stated), when you register you pick the start date, you go at your own pace until the course is completed.  You have one year from your start date to finish. 
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer
Here are the social media links for Veritas Press:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/veritaspress
Twitter -- https://twitter.com/veritaspress
Pinterest –  http://www.pinterest.com/source/veritaspress.com/
Google+ -- https://plus.google.com/100404634762414542020/about

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Field Trip #129 Friday Blog Hop–Virginia - Canoeing at Aquia Landing and Dinosaur Land

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
 
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My husband and dad took the boys canoeing at Aquia Landing in Stafford, VA.  They tried to catch some crab, but didn’t catch any.  When the returned to shore they happened upon a guided fossil find and were able to join in.  They found a few sharks teeth and some other things.  They had a blast!
Here are the shark teeth they found
IMG_6388
 
We went with our co-op group to Dinosaur Land.  I have to say it wasn’t really worth the drive for us (it was about 2hrs).  The kids had fun though, and we  had a picnic lunch at a nearby (and really nice) playground.
The exhibits are a bit run down, but the kids had fun running around and playing hide and seek with the dinosaurs.  The gift shop is large with lots of stuff.  I could have bought a ton of neat stuff for school, but I refrained.  Though Z did get a shirt because he got car sick on the way there and threw up.  (blah!)
 
Collage 2014-06-18 14_56_36
 
2014-06-03 12.36.25

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

 

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Workbox Wednesday Link Up #6

    Chestnut Grove Academy
     

    Welcome to Workbox Wednesday!  If you use workboxes, tot trays, or anything similar, feel free to post a link to your blog post or a picture (pictures can be from facebook, but please make sure they are PUBLIC so we can see them, or use a host like photobucket.com to get a URL for your photo) that shows WHAT IS IN YOUR BOXES!

    Please visit my co-host at Tots and Me

    Visit others that link up, leave comments, follow, etc.  The favors will be returned!  Feel free to grab a button too, so others can find the link up and join in the fun!

    My kids have morning camp all week, so no workboxes for us this week!  We are doing a few things in the afternoon, but nothing formal set up!

    I have added a few more tags to my workbox labels, so be sure and check them out!

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    Review–Library and Educational Services–Go Science (TOS Review)

    Go Science Review
     
    Go Science Review
     
    My kids love to watch TV any chance they get!  We do not watch a lot of it, so they were stoked to be able to review the Go Science DVDs (Series 2) from Library and Educational Services
     
    We got to check out two new DVDs from Series 2.  The first was Sound, Gravity and Space.  This DVD consisted of 15 clips about 3-10 minutes in length.  Each clip is a different experiment based on that topic.  You have the choice to watch all the clips (one after the other) or you can pick specific clips to watch.  In most cases the experiments consist of “Do not try this at home” demonstrations or they use equipment that is not easy to come by or is very large and not an experiment you would do in home. 
     
    The experiments are taped with a group of children, who participate in the experiments alongside Ben Roy, whom is the ‘teacher’ in these videos.
     
    Go Science Review
     
    Here is a clip from the Gravity section of Volume One DVD (pictured above).
     
    The second was Life Science and Weather.   This DVD is set up the same as the first; the experiments just encompass the different subject matter.
     
    Go Science Review
     
    My kids enjoyed these experiments.  They did not enjoy the simpler experiments nearly as much as the larger (cannot be done at home) experiments.  I felt that it was more beneficial in those cases, they were able to see things that they otherwise may not have ever seen.  Some of the simpler experiments were actually things we had already done in the past. 
     
    This is a Christian company and Ben Roy does bring a lot of the experiments and science lessons back to relation with God.  He points out that science and God are linked and usually has some sort of short religious lesson that goes with the experiment.
     
    We used these DVDs two ways.  The first DVD we watched in segments, based on the topics at hand.  Only watching a few clips each day.  The second DVD we watched from beginning to end in one sitting.  My kids enjoyed the DVD better when we watched just a little at a time.  They lost interest when we watched a lot at once. 

    I enjoyed the little clips in small doses as well.  When watching them one after the other there were a few things noticed by myself and my children that kind of got annoying over time.  Nothing major, just things like Ben Roy says ‘interesting’ A LOT.  He also ends each clip the same way, with the phrase – “When you learn about Science, you learn more about Your Creator – God”, hearing that every 3-10mins more than a few times was a bit excessive. 
     
    I think the best way to use these DVDs would be to watch 1-2 experiments in a sitting.  Pick the experiments that co-relate to the science you are studying.  If the experiment is one you CAN do at home, try it!  Having the do at home experiments on the DVD can come in handy if the experiment doesn’t go quite right (I think this has happened to the best of us at least once!).
     
    My kid’s favorite clips from Volume 1 were the Candle SeeSaw, Solar Bag and Bang Barrel.  They really enjoyed all the Weather experiments from Volume 2, but their favorite was the Liquid Nitrogen Cloud. 
     
    The fact that the clips are short is great for younger kids or those with shorter attention spans.  Even though my kids lost some interest when watching them all in a row, some of the really amazing experiments quickly drew them back in.  I heard “Can we do that!” A LOT!  I had to point out several times that we didn’t have the proper materials, they were hard to fine, etc..  There are some really neat ones on these videos!  Every kid is bound to have several of them that get them excited about science!
     
    The DVDs are available at the Library and Educational Services website.  They cost $8.97 each or can be purchased as a set (7 DVDS, over 80 experiments) for $59.82.  They are recommended for ages 4-12 years old.  My 3.5 year old enjoyed them as well.  Each DVD is about an hour in total viewing length.   
     
    Click to read Crew Reviews
    Crew Disclaimer

    Here are the social media links for Library and Ed Services:
    Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/libraryanded

    Monday, June 23, 2014

    3 Months of FREE Math this Summer from A+ Interactive Math!

    FREE Summer Math!

    Summer is in full swing, but you can keep those math skills sharp in just 30 minutes a day. Enjoy 3 months of FREE Math 4 Summer with A+ Interactive Math!

    The All New Family Packages by A+ allow you access to ALL grade levels from K1 – Algebra 1 with the ability to CHANGE Grade Levels As Needed!

    The FREE Placement Test will give you a comprehensive report and show any weak areas or learning gaps. You can then move your student to fill in learning gaps and attain mastery.

    No other program has this kind of flexibility in a comprehensive math program, like A+ Interactive Math!

    Try it today for 3 whole months FREE – Right HERE. (Limited time, exclusive offer, NO Credit Card -1 free per family) Build a strong foundation in mathematics with A+ Interactive Math!

    Add additional students for up to 90% OFF if needed HERE!

    {Affiliate Links}

    In and Out with Baby

    Just a fun little, easy activity for baby.  My little one loves to pull tissues out (whose doesn’t…tissues, wipes, toilet paper…)

    So I stuffed this empty tissue box with some baby wash clothes! 

    Loads of fun!  Does it get any easier?  Or cheaper?

    2014-06-20 07.56.422014-06-20 07.56.462014-06-20 07.56.49

    She loves to pull them out, put them back in and eat them!  (Much better to eat these than tissues, which she also loves to do!)

    Any type of in and out activity is a hit with babies. 

    How about towels or clothes in a laundry basket?

    Mine also loves to get into her diaper drawer!

    10473629_10152298988049335_838368649_n
    Baby girl is 7mos

    Fill any type of bin with baby safe items and you’ve got LOADS of fun! 

    Did you see my Discovery Bottles post?  I have more on my 4th of July post too!

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

    Check out my latest homeschool review products!
     
    Like what you read?  Vote for me!
    Vote For Use @ Top Mommy Blogs

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    Share it Saturday

    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:
    If you are featured – feel free to grab a button to display on your blog!

    Chestnut Grove Academy Share It Saturday Blog Hop


    FIXED!!

    Yeah!  I have a huge thank you going out to Leah at As We Walk Along the Road for helping me figure out the problem and how to fix it!!  Seriously, I am so grateful!

    I love blogging, but when things go wrong, it can be SOOO STRESSFUL!

    Something went wrong

    I think I made a HUGE mistake today deleting some pictures that showed up on my phone.  This morning I had tons of pictures on my phone, many of which I had previously deleted, and many were duplicates.  I was not sure how they got there, and I deleted them…all.

    NOW….those same pictures are no longer showing up on my blog!  Somehow they were linked to blogger.  When I open Live Writer (the platform I use to write and post my blogs) they are THERE, but they will not show up on blogger. 

    I am SERIOUSLY sick over this.  Please bear with me as I try to figure out how to fix this problem without completely loosing my mind. 

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Field Trip #128 Friday Blog Hop- Carroll County Historical Society & Pizza Hut

    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
     
    Carroll County Historical Society has Saturday Classes for young children which we will start this month!  This was a scheduled tour.  I’ll admit it was slightly dry for the younger kids, it needed to be a bit more interactive.  I have, however; heard great things about the classes and am looking forward to them!  They are for ages 4-7.
     
    Collage 2014-06-09 21_26_59
     
    The baby birds were in a wreath on the front door of the gift shop!  The gift shop had some nice books for younger kids.  My son got the first in a historical fiction mystery series which takes places at Gettysburg.  I also got a picture book about Betty Ross for the younger kids!
     
    Making Pizza is always a popular trip!  Kids had to be 5yo to go in the back.  They got a tour and then made their own pizzas!
     
    pizza hut
     

    **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

     

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