Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Indulgence...

During the summer we reduce our school work load and use the relaxed schedule to work on areas that require repetition. This summer we have been working on our times tables, handwriting and our typing skills. As a mom this really frees up my time to catch up on things around the house and assess our goals for the coming school year.
More importantly, LOL, it allows my to feed my indulgence of reading. This is a really decadent pleasure for me because it is totally MINE. Our family picks dinner, movies and vacations based on our children's desires and needs. We are happy to do this and glad that we have the circumstances that we can make our choices based on their preference.
But when I read the only person I have to please is myself. For those of you who are readers you might agree that it can be hard to find a good book. Many times I find I re-read old favorites.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to stumble on a site that discusses the latest historical fiction, which is my favorite, with reviews and observations! Historical Fiction online is a group that I just found and now I have a whole list of books to read for the next couple of weeks before school starts. My family would call this a reading frenzy. I stay up late and read, am distracted, and I let the kids watch too much TV. The joys of summer!

Friday, July 23, 2010

August is coming...

I am starting to watch the calendar and think about school starting. This is because I have a whole list of summer projects that I want to finish before school starts. I have been going down the list. I cleaned out my linen closet, my kitchen cabinets, sorted out the kids clothes, painted my daughter's room, moved all the furniture so that I can sweep behind it, now on to the school room!
There I sort through our mountain of paper, organize the kid's cubbies, and print up a new schedule and goals for the year!
We have continued to work on our summer skills list of cursive handwriting, memorizing our times tables and working on our typing skills so that keeps us organized. (We find it very hard to get back on track if we get totally off of our schedule.)
Next, I indulge the kids with school supplies, that we don't need, by hitting on the local sales.
Once school starts nothing else gets done!

Monday, July 19, 2010

June TOS " Travel the World" E-book Review!

I am very excited to share my first TOS review with you today! When I approach a product or item for consideration some things that are very important to me are easy of use, and multi-age adaptability.

For $7.95 Travel the World is a high-interest E-Book. The book has easy to read text, activities, coloring pages, and ready-to-print copywork pages. There is an extensive resource list to help expand your child’s study. The resources listed will allow you to include older children and younger children in the same study. That is a real plus for our family. The description of the product defines it as a module. What is a module?

“A module is an add-on for The Schoolhouse Planner, planner brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse®. This module includes a study guide, activity pages, quizzes, coloring pages, copywork, lapbooking, and more!”

You do not have to have The Schoolhouse Planner to use the modules. Each module is designed to be its own stand-alone unit study. You can choose to purchase the modules by themselves or bundle them with The Schoolhouse Planner.

The book starts with a general introduction to geography. I read this with both students. Geography concepts and definitions for land forms such as savanna, isthmus, archipelago and strait are identified in a very useful manner. If you click the link for strait, it takes you to a page with a definition and a map of the Strait of Magellan.

The maps of the continents are colorful and detailed. Major cities on each continent are labeled. There are live links throughout the text for each continent and the five oceans. My second grader enjoyed the coloring pages and word-find pages. My fourth grader enjoyed exploring the different links providing games and actual photographs of areas of interest (Ayer’s Rock in Australia was a personal favorite for my son). The module also supplies review for each of the continents learned. Review is provided by fill-in-the-blanks, and a variety of online games for each continent such as match the continent to the shape and a link to a website that gives you the name of a continent and your child has to correctly identify it on the map.

I printed off the handwriting pages because that is one of the summer skills we are working on. You have a choice of print or cursive writing. We chose cursive. The pages had plenty of room for copying the topic sentences. For example, copying in cursive the five oceans and the seven continents.

In conclusion, this product, of 56 pages could be printed off and used without the computer. The live links make it meatier for the child who enjoys online learning. If you have the TOS Planner I think this a worthy addition. The module is clear, concise and easy to understand. It would make a good independent study project for older grades such as 4-6th. It would also be useful to introduce geography to younger students. Though we did not use the lesson plans this product is appropriate through high school.

The activities can be adapted to the visual learner and the hands-on-learner with the colorful map pages, online tools and the lapbooking options with a project for each continent. There are even recipe suggestions for Greek stew and Chicken in a Pot.

If you are looking for a geography supplement I would certainly encourage you to check out this website for more about the Planner and samples of the module:


The Schoolhouse Store
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
PO Box 8426
Gray, TN 37615
Phone: 1-888-718-HOME

So this product gets a definite A for easy of use, open and go learning, and multi-age teaching.

What is inside?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exciting new reviews coming

I am excited to let you know that I get to start sharing reviews as a new member of the TOS home school crew! I am not paid to provide these observations. As a home school mom I, of course, love books and school supplies. But I am not a "gadget" person I like to keep things simple and useful.

We describe our home school day as like "herding monkeys" so I like simple to use products that get to the point but can be adapted to multiple age levels because if I get destracted my monkeys are off!

So that is how I will approach my reviews, easy to use, simple instructions and quality instruction.

Looking forward to sharing with like minded moms!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A good book!

Open Sesame

Oh, for a book and a shady nook
Either in-a-door or out,
With the green leaves whispering overhead
Or the street cry all about,
Where I may read all day at my ease,
Both of the new and the old:
For a jolly good book whereon to look
Is better to me than gold.

by Thomas Heywood