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.”

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Field Trip #80 Friday Blog Hop

Field Trip Friday!
A 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!)


We went with our Homeschool Group to the Taro Patch at University of Hawaii.  The kids had a lot of MUDDY fun!  They learned a lot of Hawaiian culture, and found a toad in the taro patches!



**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Poppins Book Nook–Knights & Castles

    As mentioned earlier this month, I’m part of a great new virtual book club! Each month on the last Monday of the month a group of some of the best blogs (In my opinion, though I may be biased)  will be making posts for the Poppins Book Nook theme of the month!  This month it’s Knights & Castles (and all things royalty). 

    My son had a blast this month!  Here are the books we read:

    Picture of Stories of Knights and CastlesPicture of Sticker Dressing Knights
    (click on the books for how to purchase them, Usborne Books has LOTS of Knight themed books to choose from)

    C read:

    C made a LEGO Castle for his CURRCLICK Lego club this month


    We also started work on a Knights and Castles Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning (more on that next month when I post my reivew!)


    We watched The Sword and The Stone and Bob the Builder:  The Knights of Fix-A-Lot

    You can get lots more great ideas by visiting my Knights and Castles Pinterest board, the other blogs participating in the Poppins Book Nook, or those that link up below!  Feel free to link up any posts you have that go along with the theme as well!

    Stay tuned for future months:

    Participating Bloggers:
    Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Royal Baloo - 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 - Mum Central -Fantastic Fun and Learning - Kathys Cluttered Mind - Play Create Explore - Toddler Approved - Growing Book by Book- Adventures in Mommydom - B-Inspired Mama - The Fairy and The Frog - Edventures with Kids - Learning & Growing the Piwi way - A Gluten Free Journey - Rainy Day Mum - Mom to Crazy Monkeys

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Field Trip #79 Friday Blog Hop

    Field Trip Friday!
    A 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!)
    We hit up the Living Art Marine Center ONE MORE TIME, this time for a squid dissection class….
    lots of stinky fun!
    Can you guess which is male and which is female?

    **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

      Wednesday, March 20, 2013

      Easter Ideas

      I can not believe that Easter is almost here!  Thought I would resurrect some of last years posts on Easter for those that are looking for ideas!

      Egg Math -  of course this post was geared towards Dinosaur Eggs, but we used Easter Eggs, so it could quite easily be an Easter activity!


      See the post HERE

      Preschool and Tot workboxes – Lots of easy trays for your little ones found at this POST (ages 15mos-5yo).


      Want some more Christ centered activities?  Check out this post with a photo timeline and resurrection rolls

      easter 049

      Tuesday, March 19, 2013

      Review–Essentials in Writing–Grade 1 (TOS Review)

      Essential in Writing logo photo EssentialsinWritinglogo_zps7affe1cf.jpg Essentials in Writing Grade 1 photo EIW1stgrade_zpsd9238df9.jpg

      Looking for a writing and grammar program?  Essentials in Writing might be just the program for you!  We had the opportunity to check out the First Grade program; we really liked it!

      Essentials in Writing is a DVD course.  I really liked this aspect of the program because it gives my son a fresh face/voice to listen too! 

      Mr. Stephens presents each lesson, which your child watches on DVD. There are workbook pages provided (either via download or you can pay extra for a physical workbook) which go with each presented lesson.  This allows your child to show they grasped the concept presented.  Some lessons have more than one worksheet; which provides further practice of the concept.

      Writing has been a subject with which I struggle with my son; however, he took to Mr. Stephens classes fairly easily, and completes his assignments without any struggle (most days).

      The First Grade curriculum covers the following topics (from the website):

      • Review Letter Formation and Sounds
      • Introduction to Complete Sentences
      • Capitalization Rules: Beginning of sentences, names
      • Punctuation Rules:  period, question mark, & exclamation point
      • Basic Grammar:  Subject/Predicate, Nouns, Action Verbs
      • Parts of a Personal Letter
      • Writing a Personal Letter
      • Parts of a Paragraph
      • Writing a Paragraph
      • Other Forms of Written Communication:  Lists
      • Introduction to Narrative and Descriptive Paragraphs
      • Text Features of Poetry

      You can also view a sample lesson at the website.  Here is my son watching his lesson.

      The only negative I found with the program is the videography is a little shaky at times, but my son didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all, nor did he even notice. 

      Overall, we were quite pleased with the program.  The presentation of the lessons kept my sons interest, they were short and to the point and on target for grade level.  We will be continuing this program, and quite possibly will make it a yearly addition. 

      The First Grade Program is available for $40, the printed workbook costs $20 extra (should you prefer that over the downloadable version).  They have programs for grades 1-12 available.  You can see more reviews, including other grades by clicking the banner below.


       photo DisclaimerGraphic1_zpsf612f371.gif

      For those that are concerned with Common Core Standards, Essentials in Writing plans to remain independent of alignment. 

      Friday, March 15, 2013

      Field Trip #78 Friday Blog Hop

      Field Trip Friday!

      A 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!)

      WE headed back to the Living Art Marine Center for a class on Fish Life Cycles!

      **NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE

        Thursday, March 14, 2013

        Review–TouchMath PreK (TOS Review)

        logo photo touchlogo_zps5760f524.jpg PreK photo 429809_10151403646419867_522359968_n_zps28782958.jpgTouchMath is a multisensory program that uses its signature TouchPoints to engage students of all abilities and learning styles.
        We gave the Preschool Program a try, and can I say I LOVE it!!??  Let me tell you why.  The Preschool Program (pictured above) is available as a download and costs $59.95. 
        I am a strong supporter of manipulatives in Early Education Math, Touch Math has several very UNIQUE manipulatives.  In addition to their unique manipulatives, instructions for adding your own manipulatives are included with the guide; making this a very versatile program.  This is the ULTIMATE math curriculum for TACTILE learners!
        I was able to adapt it easily with the unit studies we already had planned, incorporating the topic into the daily math lessons! 
        We received the following OPTIONAL, but RECOMMENDED manipulatives for our review: (descriptions from the website)
        prek k photo 395383_10150712263749867_108422559_n_zps79bb7fd9.jpg
        6” 3-D Numerals, Activity Booklet with reproducible masters and lots of ideas included.  Cost $79.00
        The TouchShapes, 108-piece set features six different multi-size/multi-color shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, rhombus, and hexagon). Cost $30.00

        <b>Math Fans</b>
        The Math Fan set is a multi-faceted teaching tool that contains the following components:
        Two sets of 1–10 Fans
        Ten 10 Blocks
        One 100 Block
        A comprehensive CD containing an 80-page PDF with Teaching Strategies, Lesson Plans, and Student Worksheets
        Cost $239.00
         <b>TouchPoint Posters</b>
        Ten eye-catching 8 1/2” x 11” posters,  Cost $43.00
        <b>Texture Cards</b>
        Includes five sets of cards (45 cards), each with its own texture and theme — Shapes, Fruit, Forest Animals, Sea Life and TouchPoints. Cost $99.00
        <b>Number Concept Posters</b>
        Ten high-intensity 11” x 17” posters help students connect a numeral with the quantity it represents. Cost $53.00
        I already said it, but I really LOVE this program!  I’m sure many of you are looking at the prices and are taken back a bit.  This is definitely more than I would spend on a single subject curriculum, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.  Keep in mind the manipulatives are NOT REQUIRED for this program; however, I do feel that they make up a big part of what makes this program so great.  With that said, of the recommended manipulatives, I would say the 3D numerals and the Touch Shapes are MUST HAVES; the Math Fans and Texture Cards as NICE TO HAVES; and the Posters are extras.  These recommendations are based SOLELY on the PREK program.  The Math Fans appear to be even more useful when mastering concepts in higher grades, such as fractions and money. 
        As previously mentioned the text also has recommendations for hands on lessons using your own manipulatives of choice – toys, rocks, cotton balls, etc…  as pictured below.
        (L)Counting frogs with number cards (R)Identifying heavy and light using a rock and a cotton ball.
        Each lesson has introductory hands on lessons, the worksheets are designed to show mastery of the concept, and are last in the lesson progression.
        Completing a worksheet demonstrating equal, more and less

        Using Touch Fans for counting one-to-one correspondence, to show how many circles are on his worksheet

        Using the Touch Shapes to show one-to-one correspondence (the Touch Shapes would also be great to use on a light table!) 

        Touch Point Posters, laminated and on display

        Identifying Shapes and Numerals with Texture Cards 

        Identifying sizes – Tall and Short  
        Using 3D Numerals to identify the number of animals on his worksheet

        Using Touch Shapes to identify Large and Small 
        We are definitely continuing with this program, and will be considering it for future grades as well for my middle son!  I highly recommend it for tactile learners, particularly early elementary grades, or those with learning disabilities.  You can’t really put a price tag on successful programs!
        My 4yo was having trouble with numeral recognition, this program helped him!  He has done very well with the lessons, he enjoys them, and wants to do them! 
         photo DisclaimerGraphic1_zpsf612f371.gif

        Wednesday, March 13, 2013

        Our Favorite Games for Learning

        So today I want to share with you some of our favorite educational games!  I’ve listed them by subject, these are only a small handful from the large abundance of games we have, but they are a few of my favorite.
        Check out what others from the TOS Crew have to share on the subject matter by visiting their blogs linked at the bottom of this post. Also, if you haven’t already….be sure to enter the awesome giveaway! (see the left sidebar for the link)
        Science Games
        Somebody is a great game for Human Anatomy!  We used this game a lot when we were learning about the Human Body.  It was pulled our recently, and my husband was amazed at how much our almost 4yo knew about the body parts!
         This is a great Life Science Classification card game!  We have been using this game as we learn about the Animal Kingdom.  It helps teach the different families of animals,and can also be used to show which characteristics separate animals into which groups.
        Math Games
        Right now, the favorite math game is playing store.  My son loves to put price tags on random things and have his younger brothers buy them! 
        We need to pull this game our more often!  This game uses addition, subtraction, multiplication and/or division….it’s a fun dice game where you have to use the math problems to come up with the number rolled! 
        Logic/Strategy Games
        This is the favorite in the house right now!  To be honest I have NO IDEA how to play it!  This is a game between my husband and my 6.5yo, though my almost 4yo likes to play along with.  I know it uses strategy a lot, and my oldest son is getting better at it! It was a favorite of my husbands as a child.   
        Preschool Games
        This is perhaps one of the first preschool games we owned, bought by my Mother-in-law as a gift for my oldest (she is a preschool teacher).  I know Candy Land is a popular game among the littles, but this game is so much better!!  I highly recommend it, all they need to do is be able to count (but you can even help them with that, heck…playing is a great way to learn!). 
        Geography Games
        Great States Jr, is a fun game for learning where the 50 states are and little facts about them too!
        *(the pictures in this post contain affiliate links)


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