Category Archives: Personal

Schoolhouse Review ~ Homeschool Copywork #hsreviews

Homeschool Copywork Review

We had the opportunity to review the Lifetime Membership from Homeschool Copywork. This is a lifetime membership (as it says) and is good for Kindergarten through High School … keep in mind that copywork is not just copying text it is about punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, reading skill and much more which is why it is applicable for high school too!

When you login this is the page you see that gives you easy “buttons” to push for each area of copy work you want to see. Here we are at Early Elementary Copywork. The Animal Alphabet and Transportation verbiage are links you click to download the pdf file that offers the copy work book for each item. For ease, I went ahead and saved the pdf files we were interested in to our external hard drive (file sizes range from just under 1,000 KB to well over 11,000 KB) so I wouldn’t need to get in to this site and download each time I wanted to use a sheet.

MainPage

There are currently approximately 35 files for early elementary, 45 files for middle elementary, 50 Junior / High School and 11 Bonus files. Keep in mind that MANY of the files cross over several of the others meaning for instance the 1 Corinthians 13 file is found in all three of the schooling areas. The bonus files are notebooking pages and coloring pages.

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We didn’t actually use just one book for this review … we jumped around from one to another to another as we felt appropriate for that particular moment. There are so many wonderful options it was hard for us to choose just one. Here P is working on the Animal Alphabet file. (The page under the iPad is from Dragons of the Bible.)

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HOWEVER, there are SPECIFIC copy work files that would be SPECIFICALLY helpful for different studies such as Fearfully and Wonderfully Made … which will go nicely with the Science study P is currently doing on the body. We just started that in science so we haven’t utilized the pages yet, but here is as an example of that file. Pages such as the one below have a blank page following it with lines for the student to do the copywork. We could also tie in “The Human Body” notebooking pages from the Bonus Area for P’s science study on the body.

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One particular day P was having a bit of an attitude issue so we utilized a page from the “Character Building” files … *grin*

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You can see a few examples of what is available on the Homeschool Copywork website but let me share some with you here:

  • The Poems of Emily Dickinson
  • Dragons of the Bible
  • Vincent Van Gogh (there are several actually)
  • Franz Liszt Quotes
  • Quotes from Jane Austen
  • Star Spangled Banner
  • Several Hymn Study and Copywork
  • Armour of God

And MANY more!

To wrap up, there are three different membership options:

Free Membership offers the free items available and the Charlotte Mason resources.

Full Membership offers access to everything current and added for one year. Current cost is $29.95.

Lifetime Membership is the same as Full Membership but will last the life of the site being available. Current cost is $45. (This is what we were given for this review.)

Other ways to stay up with Homeschool Copywork:

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/HomeschoolCopywork
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmyBlevins  @AmyBlevins
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/hscopywork
Google+: http://plus.google.com/+AmyBlevins
Instagram: http://instagram.com/homeschoolencouragement

Now hop over and read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! (Keep in mind that reviews will be posted any time between 4/12/16 and 4/14/16 so make sure to come back and see them all!)

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

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Schoolhouse Review ~ HomeschoolDipolma.com #hsreviews

Exclusive High School Diploma Review

Our family was VERY EXCITED when we saw this review from HomeschoolDiploma.com and their Exclusive High School Diploma as we are graduating our first this year! Excellent timing by the Lord, as usual. Just prior to seeing this review posted I had been searching online for diplomas so I had just a small amount of knowledge of this subject (homeschool diplomas).

Once we found out for sure that we were accepted for this review, J and I hopped on to their website to check out their available diplomas. This is a very exciting time – as one graduates high school and steps out in life to be whatever the Lord may have for them – and we wanted to celebrate it in a very special way with something he will have for the rest of his life!

Honestly, I was surprised at the number of options we had to choose from for a diploma from HomeschoolDiploma.com. First there are four different styles and those are:

Standard has 1 wording option with a stick-on foil seal.

Personalized has four wording options (State Wording, College Prep Wording, “Thanks to God” wording or Godly Wisdom wording – there is a link at the end of these styles that you can click to see specifics of what this means) with a stick-on or printed seal.

Exclusive has four wording options (State Wording, College Prep Wording, “Thanks to God” wording or Godly Wisdom wording – there is a link at the end of these styles that you can click to see specifics of what this means) with a foiled and engraved seal.

Guilded has four wording options (State Wording, College Prep Wording, “Thanks to God” wording or Godly Wisdom wording – there is a link at the end of these styles that you can click to see specifics of what this means) with hand-illuminated 23 kt gold seal.

** You can see their detailed information on the four different styles HERE. **

Once you have decided which STYLE you want – you then get to CUSTOMIZE it too!

You get to pick:

  • Cover  (they offer NINE different options!)
  • Cover Personalization
  • Seal used
  • Paper type

There are also other things you can add:

  • Latin or English Honors Seal
  • Using own custom verse or motto
  • Hand calligraphy of student name
  • Rush production time (not that any of us would ever run late at anything! Right? LOL)

For us, I had J sit with me and we looked at all the different options. We chose the Exclusive High School Diploma. Once you have decided that then you choose and type in:

  1. Seal – ours had four options
  2. Student Information – type in full name and pick gender
  3. School Information – type in full name (city and state too, if desired) and school administrator
  4. Diploma Wording – the four choices listed above
  5. Verse or Motto – if you want to add (this cost extra)
  6. Dates and Signatures -date of graduation and TITLES under signature lines (they offer suggestions)
  7. Design Details – paper (two choices) and lettering (two choices)
  8. Honors Designation – if wanted, costs extra
  9. Diploma Cover – pick from nine different options (can personalize with student name for extra)
  10. Diploma Add-Ons (archive diploma, wallet diploma – both for additional cost)
  11. Finish Order

This looks like a lot – and it is for offering what is needed and allows for individual preferences – but the process and the ordering is REALLY EASY! I truly appreciated the signature line suggestions they had!

So, now that it is ordered. You wait. When it arrives. GORGEOUS!

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Something very simple but VERY appreciated by me was the clear plastic covering the entire diploma had when it arrived. This is something special and this just helps to keep it clean until we get to present it! Also a copy of the invoice, of course.

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Another thing I really appreciated was this little note from them about signing the diploma. Something so simple but so very helpful for us newbies! Basically it says to wait to sign it until you give it to them.

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Then there is the outside, the cover … GOR-GEOUS!

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Then you open it and WOW! This thing is truly something to appreciate for J’s remainder of his life! The actual certificate size is 8-1/2 x 11 and just makes us so very happy. I am SO EXCITED to have something SO GORGEOUS to give our son when he graduates!

Something else HomeschoolDiploma.com provided was a couple samples of graduation invitations and these two were GORGEOUS as well. (I seem to like that word but it is so true!)

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Fine quality paper that was expertly printed and definitely had a professional feel and look – something folks would be proud to use! (We recently moved over four hours away from all our family so we didn’t use invitations but if we did, these are ones to consider!)

They also have caps and gowns and graduation rings.

Overall, we could not be happier with the look, feel, quality, service, and ease of getting this diploma through HomeschoolDiploma.com!

Other ways to keep in touch:

Facebook
Twitter @cornerstonegrad
Pinterest

Now head over and read the other reviews from other Crew members! (Reviews will be posted between 4/11/16 and 4/13/16.)

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

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My Week In Review

Hi! I am joining up with Home to 4 Kiddos this week and sharing “My Week in Review”.

Daddy was on vacation this week so we started out the week by returning home from visiting daddy’s parents “down south” (about a 4-1/2 hour drive). In general we’ve had a fairly relaxing week. We have done a little bit of schooling but it has been VERY RELAXED.

Daddy and P started a Robotics class online through Jetpack Academy that they have been working on slowly. They watched a couple of lessons. One of them discussed making / using a home-made lie detector test using a multi meter. We tried it (on me) but it didn’t really seem to work successfully but it was fun to try anyway.

We did some of our regular BJU online classes as well as worked on a couple reviews.

Visits to the park are always a requirement! We live easily within walking distance from one and we love to take a soft ball to throw and play ball tag, often asking other kids if they want to join (and they often do).

I got a bunch of Trim Healthy Mama plan ingredients in the mail and we tried several things. You may recall that I’ve posted about THM in the past:

More On Weight-loss; Trim Healthy Mama

Fooled Ya Pizza

Note that those posts are from 2 years ago. LOL This time I hope to be more realisic about my approach. I understand I am not going to do it perfectly at first and that is okay! *ANY* change is good. So, for now, I am going to just learn to COOK and then I will learn to do it right. The super fun thing is that the entire family is doing it with me! We’ll see how it goes…

So…this is a lot of what I have to get started. I’ve been buying a little here and there and then finally “bit the bullet” and ordered quite a bit from iherb.com (which I found out from another thru a blog post).

I did order Oat Bran instead of Oat Fiber so I have Oat Fiber on the way now (should arrive today). I am planning on making my own THM Baking Blend just because it will be less expensive – hopefully some of the “recipes” online will work nicely (seems there are several LOL).

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Wonder Wrap (p. 204 new cookbook)

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Apple Cinnamon Crockpot Oatmeal (p. 256)

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Mashed Fotatoes (p. 219)

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Overall we all enjoyed what I made. I finally got to use the food processor my MIL bought me! YAY! And while on this subject…I finally used the dehydrator she bought me as well! Homemade banana chips. They were awesome! (and didn’t last!)

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Today is Saturday and we are super excited to be heading to Medieval Times in a couple hours (we’ve had reservations for about a month so we’ve been waiting!). It is a dinner theater that has jousting, sword fighting and much more. I am confident the guys are going to love it! (And honestly, I think I will too!)

Overall it hasn’t been a busy week but it has been an enjoyable week. Next Tuesday daddy returns to work and things will get back on track. Honestly, this is part of why we homeschool – so we can “enjoy the journey”!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Schoolhouse Review ~ Heirloom Audio Productions #hsreviews

HeirloomAudio

Does your family like history? Do they like audio productions? If so, The Dragon and The Raven available from Heirloom Audio Productions will be of GREAT interest to you and your family! Our family had the opportunity to review this and we LOVED it! (It is recommended for ages 6 and up.) This audio drama is about 2-1/2 hours in length on two CDs.

G.A. Henty stories would be considered historical fiction which is good for our family because although I am becoming more interested in history as I get older, I am still not one to really watch a documentary or a “boring history show.” So these are a wonderful way to teach history to our boys (and me!) while still enjoying the process.

For us, because of where we live, trips to the grocery store are 20 minutes one way and dad has basketball games that are normally about 30 minutes one way – so we can often spend quite a bit of time in the vehicle. Needless to say, we like having something enjoyable to listen to on our trips. (Something besides our youngest who NEVER.STOPS.TALKING. *grin*)

The three of us (me, 19 year old son and 8 year old son) couldn’t wait to get back in the vehicle to listen to The Dragon and The Raven once we started it. As a matter of fact, we listened to it TWICE, one right after the other … we liked it THAT much! My husband even enjoyed listening to it on his trips to and from work!

If you are looking for a story of war and courage and friendship and romance (yes, even a little romance), this is something for you! With many familiar voices like John Rhys-Davies, Lord of the Rings, as Siegbert.

There is also a 49-page pdf study guide provided. There are three sections for each chapter of the story.

  • Listening Well
  • Thinking Further
  • Defining Words

These parts are meant to cause your children to REALLY listen to what they are hearing – and to listen to UNDERSTAND, not just to be entertained. (In all honesty, they made ME listen better too!) The listenting well parts are meant for younger listeners. They are short questions meant to have shorter answers. The thinking further parts are more of essay questions with essay question responses wanted. The defining words are words meant to enhance learning – but definitions are not provided – it is assumed that a dictionary will be needed / used.

There are also Bible studies provided at the very end meant to encourage understanding of how many thoughts from the Bible are also brought out in the audio drama.

The study guide is definitely a nice addition to the audio drama!

As a side note: if you get the “Family Four-Pack Package”, you get a lot of free “extra” things. In those is an almost hour long “Behind the Scenes” documentary FREE. As I stated above, I am NOT a documentary kind of person, but this is not your normal-everyday-boring documentary. This thing is AWESOME! I learned SO MUCH about the history behind The Dragon and The Raven as well as about how the audio drama was made. Below is one of the “behind the scenes” parts they showed as the production was being made. Honestly, I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed this and I would recommend trying to get a few friends together to get the four-pack because we loved the audio drama and I loved this behind the scenes documentary!

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I really cannot say enough good things about this item. Our entire family is very thankful we were chosen to review it!

For ways to connect with Heirloom Audio Productions:

Facebook
Twitter
Google+

Now hop over and read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! (Keep in mind that reviews will be posted any time between 3/1 and 3/3 so make sure to come back and see them all!)

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

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Schoolhouse Review ~ Zonderkidz #hsreviews #Bible

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Have a lego fanatic in your home?? Need a Bible for your “just learning how to read” child? The Faith Builders Bible (NIrV version) by Zonderkidz would be an excellent option! We were provided one to enjoy for the purpose of this review and we are having a lot of fun! The verbiage of the NIrV uses shorter words that are easier to read, pronounce and understand – which is why this is the perfect Bible for a beginner reader. But it also offers 24 full-color illustrations that involve legos! Adding fun to the Bible for kids!

As you can tell, our son was excited to see this arrive!

This Bible is a normal regular Bible but with brick building illustrations that help a kinesthetic learner to put the words in to action.

This is a wonderful tool for explaining things found in the Bible to further extent. While the kids are building the parents (or possibly a Sunday School teacher?) could be reading Bible verses that have to do with what is being built. As the kid/s are building they may find they have additional questions based off the “difficulty” of putting the words in to a physical form.

Here are a few examples of some of the things the Bible suggests:

Here is a giraffe our youngest made based off Noah’s Ark and animals 2×2.

Giraffe

Our youngest made a cross from the “Can You Build…” section in the front of the Bible. (This is his “do I really have to pose for this picture face” LOL)

Cross

And our oldest enjoyed making these two:

A garden based off Psalm 23.

Garden

And…an army based off “Bringing Down Jericho”.

Army

Our cat even decided to get in on the action! *grin*

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We found it interesting to try and build the illustrations. There are no directions of how to do them, just pictures with a little blurb about the picture and a “Building Block Verse” [a verse that goes with what they are to try and build]. It is a little frustrating to have to figure them out on your own BUT it also leaves room for using your own imagination, and we did enjoy that part!

I cannot think of a reason you would not benefit from this if it is something that would fit your child’s needs. We enjoyed it!

Additional ways to stay in touch with Zonderkidz:

Facebook
Twitter

Now hop over and read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! (Keep in mind that reviews will be posted any time between 2/29 and 3/2 so make sure to come back and see them all!)

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

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Schoolhouse Review ~ HelpTeaching.com #hsreviews

HelpTeaching Review

Have you been looking for an online program to help with writing your own tests? That’s right! Writing your own tests! If so you will be very interested in HelpTeaching.com! We had the opportunity to poke around this online site to see just what they have to offer. In this review I will be talking about the Pro Plan which offers you the ability to use images in your tests, save them as pdf files, and more for a small yearly fee. I will focus my review on high school content since that is mainly what I used it for (but they do offer items for all grades).

Please do keep in mind that this program IS common core aligned for those who may want to know that.

This site offers MUCH more than just writing your own tests…they have tests & worksheets, lessons, and games also.

Let me first say that I did find it rather difficult to find my way around this site but was eventually able to figure it out and “put all the pieces together.” Additionally, this program doesn’t really seem to “flow” from start to finish. They do offer worksheets and lessons but they don’t offer the tests to go with them. And they offer tests but they don’t seem to offer the lessons and worksheets to go with them. So, overall, I had a really difficult time with this one. Lastly, a lot of what this site offers is free and are items linked to other free sites I am already familiar with so I didn’t spend much time looking at those available items.

With that said, I did really enjoy the test maker that they offer. You have several choices for tests:

  • Pick tests already made.
  • Pick already entered questions to make a test.
  • Enter your own questions to make a test.

My very favorite was the last one above – enter your own questions. I was surprised at all the options they had available to choose from (in the areas where something needed to be chosen). You could choose multiple choice, fill in the blank, true / false. You could pick, even after entering, which question you wanted where (easily moved). You could add images (they had several available to use).

In the screenshot below some of the available images are shown on the left and where you enter your question is on the right.

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Once your test is complete you can share the test via an email link or you can print it off as a pdf. Answer keys are ALWAYS available.

As with other online class offers, this program allows you to see what you have scheduled with your students, if they have completed them or not, and how long it took. The first screenshot shows the lessons scheduled. For this program you are able to email the lesson to the students – which is what I did. That was kind of handy.

LessonSchedule

 

Here is what it looks like when the student has completed the assignment.

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And here is a screenshot of the tests I made and scheduled for my student to take.

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Another thing I liked was the worksheet generator.

PrintableWorksheetGenerator

I suppose for public or private schools this would really be a nice option. In general I felt this site is more geared for public or private schools than homeschools.

Other ways to stay in touch with HelpTeaching.com:

Facebook
Google+
Pinterest
Twitter

Now hop over and read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew! (Keep in mind that reviews will be posted any time between 1/23 and 1/25 so make sure to come back and see them all!)

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

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Wordless Wednesday ~ 2/17/16

Joining up with Tots and Me for Wordless Wednesday

Jesse

 

Enjoy the journey!