Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Review for Lewis and Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy

This year, we have been studying early American history with our Classically Catholic Memory curriculum. Part of our study this year has been learning about Lewis and Clark. When we were given the chance to review Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea from Homeschool Legacy we were thrilled. It fit perfectly into our lesson plans. Homeschool Legacy provides once-a-week unit studies for kids in grades 2nd-12th grades.


Homeschool Legacy Review

So how does it work?

Well, this unit study is a little different than other unit studies we have used in the past. This one is only done ONCE- A-WEEK! Simple and easy. You can add it on to any homeschooling curriculum. Each week, the students get to focus on a different topic. 
Once-a-week unit studies are very easy to use. There is almost no prep work for parents. Mrs. Sharon Gibson has thought of it all. She has even included a book list with their information for the Dewey decimal system. Since the unit studies are geared for grades 2-12, everyone can get in on the fun. They provide children with wonderful hands-on experiences, fun crafts, projects to do, and field trip ideas for families. They include a variety of subjects while focusing on one topic.  Art, bible, art appreciation, music appreciation, life skills, geography, science, history, and literature. It's an all in one lesson! What a wonderful way to encourage children to apply the knowledge they learn. 
Real life learning at its best!
Our kids are not part of the Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, but the unit studies are prepared with them in mind. If your kids are in one of these groups, Mrs. Gibson has included how the unit study corresponds with earning certain badges. As the children work through the unit study,  they will be working on completing the requirements to earning their badges. Isn't that fantastic?
Mrs. Gibson recommends setting Wednesday aside for your unit study day. She suggest Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to be reading days. Friday will be a reading day, field trip day based on your unit study, and a family game night based on your unit study. You can choose to do it the way she suggest or you can work to fit it into your schedule. Whatever works best for you! Juggle it around to figure out how to make the most out of the once-a-week unit study. We found Thursdays worked best for us. You just need to make sure you set one day aside for your unit study.


Our Lewis and Clark Unit Study

LEWIS and CLARK From SEA to Shining SEA is a once-a-week unit study that focuses on the history time period of Lewis and Clark. It is a wonderful unit study that is great for teaching children history in a fun way. This unit study is used for 7 weeks.  


During our 7 weeks of study, we focused on the following topics.

Week 1~ New France
Week 2~ Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Louisiana Purchase
Week 3~Fixing for a Start
Week 4~ Sacajawea Joins the Corps!
Week 5~ Trials and Tribulations
Week 6~ Ocean in View! Oh the Joy!
Week 7~ Homeward Bound!

Each week, we jumped into the journey. We traveled from New France (Canada), to France, and ended up in North America. We learned about beavers, tracking animals, early French explores, Versailles, Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, Sacajawea, the journey, and of course Lewis an Clark.

Before the start of the week, I would read over that weeks lesson. We would head to the library to pick out the books we needed. I would try to prepare the supplies needed and get everything ready for that week. The last thing you want to do is realize you don't have what you need. I love how a "cheat sheet" is included at the beginning of each week. It fills you in on what supplies you need, what projects the kids will work on, what you will be reading about, and ideas for daily activities.



Each week, the kids would pick out a book or two to read that week. It was extremely helpful to have the book list already compiled for you. We had a few times when our library didn't have the books suggested. During those times, I just did a search at our local library to see what our library had. Our library tended to have most of the younger children's selections. The suggestions for the older kids were a little more difficult to find in our library. The kids would read through their selections.

On Thursday, we would follow the lesson plan. We would discuss our readings. We then would work on the daily activities. We'd work through the lessons dealing with the bible, history, science, etc. Each week would add something new. There are so many suggestions! There are fun craft ideas, like making a animal track. Links are included to various sites so kids can take tours of places like Versailles. You will definitely have plenty of options to choose from. Everyone will find something they like and enjoy doing.

On Fridays, we would head out for our field trips. Living in a rural area we had a lot of fun places we could explore just like Lewis and Clark.



We were lucky enough to find a deer track in the yard.

The Lewis and Clark unit study is filled with so much. I could go on for days! We all know you and I just don't have that much time. So if you are learning about Lewis and Clark, I would highly suggest you check out Mrs. Gibson's unit study. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Learning about a different topic, head on over to Homeschool Legacy and see all that they have to offer!


Homeschool Legacy Review



You can also check out their other socaial media sites.


and for more reviews......

Homeschool Legacy Review



As always thanks for stopping by!


Till next time,
~Monique

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review for the Flight and Metamorphosis DVDS


FishFlix.com Review


I am very excited to tell you about two amazing Dvds from FishFlix.com.  Fish Flix is an amazing company that produces Christian films for the whole family.
We got to preview Flight The Genesis of Birds





and Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies.

FishFlix.com Review


I received copies of both of these films for my review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
I knew immediately that Lego Man was going to love watching these two movies. He loves anything dealing with nature. As soon as we received the Dvds in the mail, he was ready to sit down and watch them.


Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies



The first movie we watched was Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies. The movie is a wonderful look into the world of butterflies. It runs 64 minutes. The photography is breathtaking. The colors are beautiful!

The movie dives into the magical and mysterious world of butterflies. You'll travel to the lush, green rain forests of Ecuador and into Mexico's trans volcanic mountains. You'll follow the Monarch on there migration journey. The documentary follows the life of the butterfly. Through photography, computer animation, and magnetic resonance, you will get to step into the hidden world of the butterfly. During the movie, you will see and learn about every stage of the butterflies life~ from a tiny egg on a leaf to the emerging spectacular butterflies we see flying in the air. 

This documentary is a great way for children to be introduced to the world of butterflies. The movie is a little over an hour. My kids enjoyed the photography, they felt the movie moved a little slowly. Some of the language used was a little above them. My youngest is 9 and she did seem to lose her focus with this film. I think maybe breaking the movie up into various viewing times might help younger kids stay focused and into the film. I think older kids will be fine with the movie. I found the movie wonderfully done. I really enjoyed the beauty of the photography. The images were incredible. We saw so many colorful butterflies that we have never seen before. 

The kids really enjoyed the section of the movie where they discussed the migration of the Monarch butterfly. Seeing trees completely covered with butterflies is awe inspiring! Now they want to plant some Milkweed.

This movie would be a great way to start a unit study on butterflies.
Something fun to do would be to visit a butterfly garden after viewing the film!

The best part of the film was how the scientist never tried to deny the beauty that God created. So often when viewing a scientific film, God's creation is always left out. When we look  out into the world and see all the wondrous things there, how can we deny the reality of God?



Flight The Genius of Birds



The second film we watched was Flight The Genius of Birds. This film was our favorite. Flight The Genius of Birds is part of Illustra Media's new series The Design of Life. This series explores different areas of the animal kingdom around us. Flight The Genius of Birds looks at the bird kingdom. The film runs 63 minutes and is filled with amazing photography! 

During the film, we were transported to North America, England, Peru, Greenland, and even Antarctica. The film explores the thrilling world of birds. We learned about how the bird's anatomy works and how their instincts influence their journeys. We were introduced to a variety of birds...Hummingbirds, Starlings, Chickens, and Arctic Terns. The children LOVED this film. We learned so much on how amazing birds truly are. After viewing this film, there is no way you can doubt the existence of our creator. God made birds and their creation is absolutely breathtaking. It truly is a miracle that they can even fly. No amount of science can fully explain this. It can only be explained by God's creation. It transcends the natural world.

We loved how the film was broken up into different sections. The film documented various birds. The Hummingbirds were first. They are amazing little birds. We love seeing them every summer at our house. We often have to rescue them from becoming trapped on our porch. Lego Man has even found a tiny nest of theirs. The film introduced us to a variety of Hummingbirds. We didn't know they came in so many colors. There are even rainbow hummingbirds. Princess P has googled Hummingbirds and have saved pictures of them to her tablet to keep as screen savers. I loved the the Hummingbird in the movie that looked like she was wearing a bright purple crown.

After learning about Hummingbirds, we learned about chickens and the process of how chicks began to grow in the egg. The film went into detail about how the birds start to grow from the first day of fertilization. We found this section of the movie fascinating. We had baby chicks hatch 2 weeks ago, so this was a great science lesson on what the eggs were doing before we received this sweet, fuzzy babies.


We are still waiting for 6 more to hatch, so now they kids know what is going on behind that tan shell.

Next, we headed off to England to look at Starlings. This part was great. The patterns the Starlings formed were incredible. It's crazy how they all seem to work together. How they don't run into each other is a question only God can answer. I have a hard enough time trying to walk in a straight line and not run into the person next to me. We were lucky enough last fall to have a flock of Starlings invade our back yard. We sat out on our porch and viewed their incredible dance in the air, even the cats sat wan watched in wonder.

The final area the film looks at are the Arctic Terns. These birds complete the longest migration of all birds. How they can travel that far and Know how to complete the journey is a marvel of nature. It was impressive how they learned the pattern of their flight.

After viewing the Flight The Genius of Birds movie, we are really looking forward to seeing more of the movies in this series. I think they are a great way to introduce kids to the world around them. They can learn more about various animals in the animal kingdom. The films are beautifully done. The photography is breathtaking.  It really is the next best thing if you can't get out and see them in real life. The films are very well done.

Want to learn more about Fish Flix and all of their Christ centered films?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishflix
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiandvd
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fishflix/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Fishflix/ 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familychristianmovie



FishFlix.com Review




Till next time,
~Monique





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Monday, May 18, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday!




It's been awhile since I joined Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. If you've never stopped by, I would highly suggest you do. She is a wonderful lady and has some amazing recipes!


As I look out my window..... I see an overcast sky threatening to pour out rain. I was really hoping for bright, sunny skies so I could hang out the wash. We finally had to turn on the air. The humidity just got too bad. The poor dog was ready to collapse from heat stroke.



Right now......I am sitting on the couch enjoying my morning cup of coffee listening to the rambunctious, little chicks chirping in the house. Our 7 little chicks are all doing fine. They have grown so much!




Big Mama is sitting on 11 more eggs. Two chicks hatched yesterday. We are now waiting to see if the other 9 will produce sweet, baby chicks.




What's for breakfast this morning.... Coffee and farm fresh eggs.

As I look around the house.... I see we need to vacuum. With the temps getting warmer, all the animals are shedding like crazy.

On my to do list this week..... After last weeks busyness, I am looking forward to staying home and doing laundry. We do have to go to the library, but it seems like we have to do that every week anyway. We didn't go last week, so I guess we are are on our schedule.

Currently reading...... Nothing right now. I am currently working on lesson plans for next year. That will keep me busy for a couple of weeks.


What's on the menu this week....
Sunday~ Leftovers and anything easy after working on the garden
Monday~ Grilled Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans
Tuesday~ Spaghetti and Meatballs
Wednesday~
Thursday~
Friday~
Saturday~

I've only gotten to Tuesday. I need to see what we have in the house and figure out menus for the next few weeks.




Till next time,
 ~Monique


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday








Till next time, 
~Monique



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Classically Catholic Memory Gamma Year~ Week 8

Geography~
We labeled our map and the kids worked on their coloring pages. They colored in each state and labeled the capital for each one.
Here is is the link to the site we used for our state coloring pages.


Religion~
Corporal Works of Mercy


We did the lesson plan I found online from Our Lady of Lourdes. It can be found here.
The kids did a fill in the blank I created.



They also worked on a word search that I created at A to Z Teacher Stuff.

For younger kids, you can find a Corporal Works of Mercy Coloring page from fcpeace.com.


Latin~



Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
We are singing along with the monks.
I can't tell you enough how much we love this Cd.



History~


To learn more about Absolute Monarchs you can have fun doing the Exploring the Absolute Monarchs Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning. If your kids like to do lapbooks, this one is great for grades 1-4.
Here is a wonderful site for kids to learn all about the Absolute Monarchs.

France
Coloring page of the gardens at Versailles.
King Louis XIV coloring page.
Here are two sun crafts to do that are inspired by King Louis XIV who was known as the Sun King. Craft for younger kids
Craft for older kids

We checked out a book from the library called The King's Day Louis XIV of France by Aliki.



Russia
Here are some fun Russian coloring pages for younger children. For older children, here are some a Russian notebooking pages I found online to use for their note taking.
You can have them write down something they have learned or create a story to go along with the picture.
We rented a Time Warp Trio DVD from the library called What's So Great Abut Peter? If your local library doesn't have a copy. You can find the series on youtube.

                           

There is even a lesson guide to go along with the program. It can be found here.

Math~


We just recited the multiples of nine. I have found this helps with them retaining their multiplication facts better.



Science~ Different Forms of Matter

We checked out a few books from the library and read up on matter. We investigated our house and looked around for various forms of matter.

We did a few worksheets I found online.
Why Does Matter Matter?
What's the Matter?
Reading Comprehension Worksheet on Matter

Here is a link to a fun lesson, science experiment, and a worksheet to go along with the lesson.

We watched Bill Nye's video on Matter.





Great Words~
Well, they did! They have memorized the entire Christopher Columbus poem. Lego Man recited it with only two mistakes. Princess P had a few more. Overall they both did great. As a special treat, we headed off to our local Sweet Frogs for a yummy treat!



Till next time,
~Monique




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Monday, May 11, 2015

Review for Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course



Have you ever thought about homeschooling, but had no idea where to begin?
Have you started homeschooling and are feeling overwhelmed?
If you have, then I have the perfect course for you!

I was given the chance to review the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course from Successful Homeschooling Made Easy for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.





For this review, I received access to register for the online course. After signing up, I received weekly emails sent directly to my inbox. The registration was super easy and getting emails sent directly to you is wonderful. No hassle of logging in! It's extremely easy to get started a child could do it. Best of all you can do this online course in your pajamas, if you want to. All you have to do is set 30 minutes aside each day to complete each lesson. I do recommend trying to find a time when the kids are busy or maybe still sleeping, so you can focus on the lesson. I found the best time to do the course was in the quiet of the morning before the kids were up, while I drank my morning coffee.





So what is it and how does it work?

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy is a twenty-six week online course. Each week you will receive a lesson in your personal email inbox. Once you register, you will get your first email and have immediate access to the very first lesson! The first lesson is great because it allows you to immediately get into homeschooling. You jump right on in! Mrs. Walmsley gets you started right away with the basics. No waiting until you've completed the entire course. This is wonderful for families ready to get going in their homeschooling journey.

After your first lesson, you will continue to get one new lesson a week for a total of twenty-six weeks. The lessons will cover topics like scheduling, lesson plans, organization, planning, how to pick a style of homeschooling, choosing a curriculum, teaching, housekeeping, extracurricular activities, practical advice, and how to stay sane (and happy) during your homeschooling journey.

The lessons come in PDF form so they can be easily saved to your computer. Mrs. Walmsley recommends printing them out so you can answer the questions and make notes. It's always nice to be able to look back and see what you thought was important. Having the entire course at your finger tips will help keep you on track.

If you find you are not satisfied, with the course, Mrs. Walmsley does offer a money back guarantee. With that guarantee there is no reason not to give the course a try. I promise you won't be disappointed though.




How did I use the course?

For me, it was a lot easier to download the lesson and save it to my computer. I created a separate folder to hold all the lessons. I wanted to make sure I didn't lose one. After saving it to my computer, I went ahead and printed the lesson out. I created a binder to hold all the lessons. I prefer to read the "old fashioned" way, so I found this the easiest and most convenient way for me.


Having the lessons printed out, allowed me to answer the questions and jot down any notes I felt were important. If you want to save paper and ink, you can read the lesson online and than just have a notebook for answering the questions or taking down notes.



The lessons are fairly short.They provide great information. Mrs. Walmsley is wonderful at getting her point across without overwhelming the reader. She introduces the topic for the week and gives amazing advice on how to implement the changes into your own homeschooling schedule. She provides examples, gives advice, but always encourages the reader to find what works best for them.



So what are my thoughts on the course?

As a veteran in the homeschooling world (it's hard to believe we've been at this for 8 years), I went into this review with the idea of critiquing it for the homeschool newbie. After 9 weeks into the course, I would definitely recommend this course for families interested in learning more about homeschooling, families that are starting the homeschool journey, or families that may be struggling in their homeschooling and need some change.

I love how Mrs. Walmsley starts out slowly. First, she has you decide on a schedule and then starts small. She gets families going with just the basics reading, writing, and math. I love how she gets families going, but doesn't overwhelm them. By having families start out slowly, she is helping families avoid the crazy and stressful world of homeschooling. This is important for new families. I know from personal experience that it is so easy to get excited about homeschooling, pick too much to do with the kids, and then feel like you are going crazy when it all starts to spiral out of control. You end up sitting there discouraged and ready to call it quits! Mrs. Walmsley avoids all of that! That right there is enough to LOVE this course.

After the first week, she slowly adds thing in like music, going outdoors, extracurricular  activities, and free time. Yes, I said free time. Mamas don't forget that free time. It's very important for your kiddos and yourself. Encouraging families to go out and do something fun is another great lesson in this course. As a homeschooling mama, who can freak out a little if we fall behind too much, it's a great reminder to get out, enjoy life, and have fun with my kids. We only have them for so long before they head out on their own. I truly want my kids to look back on their homeschooling journey and cherish the time we spent together. The last thing I want is for them to look back and wish things would have been better, more fun. Fond memories, not nightmares! No one wants to be remembered as the mean, nasty mama.

I am only into week 9 of the course and already I feel renewed. I have learned a few things to help with our homeschooling and I have been reminded of things that will make my homeschooling run smoother. Sometimes, we just need a gently (or big nudge) of what is really important. I am looking forward to the rest of the course. I cant't wait to see what else Mrs. Walmsley has inshore for me.

Want to learn more?

Check out the Stephanie Walmsley's facebook page.

or check some more reviews!


Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
Till next time,
~Monique




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Thursday, May 7, 2015

A New Addition to the Flock


Cute and Fluffy!








Till next time, 
~Monique


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