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Sharing our thoughts and experiences on life as a Christ following family of five...

Alpha Omega Publications: Horizons 2nd Grade Phonics & Reading Set {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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My daughter is entering second grade this Fall and is pretty excited about it. We have been doing a minimal amount school over the Summer and this helped me to see areas that need improvement in her studies. In doing this, I’ve noted that Phonics and Reading is an area that she should spend extra time on this year. She does have fairly good reading comprehension skills already but her confidence in reading aloud hasn’t been very strong. We were using a Phonics program which kept her interest at first but overtime it seemed to move along slowly and her eagerness to continue doing it was lost in the slow pace and over repetitiveness. In other words, she wasn’t being challenged enough and grew bored. We needed a new and better approach in this area.

In being a member of the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was given the privilege to review Horizons 2nd Grade Phonics & Reading Set. I previously was looking into buying this exact set for Fall and Winter school season. I have had a good experience with Alpha Omega Publications curriculum for the past few years and feel very much blessed to have been given this opportunity.

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Coloring Flower Mandalas by Wendy Piersall {Review, Giveaway and Illustrator Interview}

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Last Fall, I shared about Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendy Piersall. Her book opened the door to a side of me that had been left dormant for far too long. In coloring again, I’ve been able to relax easier, stay focused, and rediscover that sense of accomplishment when a design is fully completed in coloring. I was encouraged to start experimenting in my art and in doing this I discovered new techniques I never imagined I’d enjoy so much. I’ve been very inspired by Wendy and her gorgeous designs that I feel obligated to share about one of her latest offerings “Coloring Flower Mandalas“.

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Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and Teachers {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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Science is something that I feel is important to include in our home-school studies. Children need to understand the how and why things work and  form their own conclusions in solving problems.  Science causes one to observe, form a hypothesis, experiment, and interpret what’s going on. It’s the basic foundation of how we learn about everything!

Up to this point, my children have been learning about the world around them by doing a science project every few weeks and watching like themed  videos. I’ve been creating units myself for the kids. My initial goal for the upcoming school year has been to increase these studies. Cementing certain scientific concepts in memorable fun way has always been the goal. However, I’ve been finding myself spending far more time than I imagined getting everything together and have found myself running out of steam!  As it so happened, through the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was given the opportunity to share our experience with Funtastic Unit Studies book Science Unit Studies For Homeschoolers and TeachersIt honestly couldn’t have come at a better time!

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Heirloom Audio Productions: With Lee in Virginia {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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I’ve found that one of the best ways for my children to learn history is through age appropriate video documentaries, audio books, and in visiting many different types of field trip destinations.  During the Summer season, my family had the opportunity to go on vacation for several days. Our destination was several hours from home and that meant a good amount of time would be spent in the car. I’d been pondering activities to do in the car to and from to keep the entire family occupied that would be interesting, engaging, and educational.  My daughter tends to get  car sick when playing on electric devices and when reading books in the car so those options were completely out. However, a good audio drama seemed to be an excellent choice.

As part of the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts upon Heirloom Audio Productions latest audio theatrical drama adapted from a book, by G.A. Henty. This particular tale  presents the history of the civil war with focus on Confederate generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee. With Lee in Virginia includes a physical 2 CD set, a digital download study guide, MP3 soundtrack, and a few other things. The package  has everything one would need to delve deeply into this portion of  American history in a fun, adventurous, and  memorable way. 

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Summer Field Trip: Graham Oaks Nature Park

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This month we took a field trip to a local Nature Park during a special event! At this event, the kids got to build mason bee boxes,  learn about many different plants growing in the park, take part in a scavenger hunt, learn about recycling, practice their nature journaling, enjoy a free slice of berry pie, and so much more! It was a wonderful day out and even Grandma and Grandpa Lowmaster came to take in the fun festivities with us. 

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CursiveLogic {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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I learned cursive as a child and still use it to this very day.  I always find putting pen to paper to help me sort out my thoughts a lot easier than on an electric device. In fact, studies have shown that writing by hand helps students to process information better and recall information much more easily.  I feel it’s important for everyone to be able to read and write cursive. It helps with fine motor skills and sharpens ones mind in so many amazing ways. In knowing all of the benefits cursive provides, I have found it quite important to teach both of my children this skill and am happy homeschooling provides me the freedom to do so.

In being a member of the Schoolhouse Crew Review team, I was introduced to CursiveLogic, a penmanship curriculum that introduces learning cursive in a whole new way. I was sent the single top-spiral bound CursiveLogic Workbook  to share my experience with while using it with my daughter. In having attempted a previous method and not getting very far, this new attempt of learning cursive shows great promise.

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