Join me in a year long journey reading through the Bible

  • Wow, this was a lot to read today. A lot to take in. Le t me see if I can recap this correctly. He begins by telling us about Gods defense of Jerusalem and...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Latina Christiana: Memoria Press

I have wanted to start teaching a foreign language to my kids for some time now. I bought a Spanish set last year, but it was so detailed it was just TOOOOOOO much for him. So when I decided that I really wanted to start with Latin because of it’s help with learning all other foreign language I was a little taken back by all the Latin courses out there. I did not want to get another one that was way too much from the start to handle or that was boring and hard for me to teach. Guess what? The Old School House Review Team received Latina Christiana by Memoria Press to review. I was so thrilled because I had heard some really good things about Memoria Press.

The Latina Christiana was designed just for me. A person who has no experience in any foreign language especially Latin. Everything is all laid out for you and then adding the DVD’s is Perfect! The teacher, Cheryl Lowe, on the DVD is wonderful and explains things thoroughly. She reminds us that each persons dialect will be different so to relax a bit. Each of the lessons consists of grammar, vocabulary, a Latin saying, song, prayer and conjugation as well as derivatives. By the time we are finished with this book #1 we should know about 25 saying and 200 Latin words, songs, prayers and roman history. Cool!

I also received for review Famous Men of Rome curriculum that includes the Teacher Guide, Student Guide and the Roman History book with beautiful illustrations. This has 30 different stories of famous men of Rome. I have found in just a few lessons that this really helps lead us into our political history. There are several questions, map work, drawings for the children to do etc. This is suppose to be a yearlong study, but even if you do not want to make a yearlong study of it, the book is exquisite! Famous Men of Rome sells or $39.95 for the set and is geared for grade 3 (or so) and up. But like any other curriculum, it can be pared down for the younger ones like my daughter (3 ½).

What a fantastic way to end my review time with The Old School House. The Latina Christiana program comes with a teacher's book as well as the student workbook, DVD’s and CD. I am so exited and in awe with this curriculum and how skillfully put together it is as well as the ease in which Cheryl has made it for the teacher. I have been feeling pulled towards classical way of teaching in some respects and in some subjects, but I am such a “show me what to do” type of person that I thought for sure Latin was not going to be a subject I would be able to teach. This gives me the best of both worlds.

If you have been looking for a great, easy and effective Latin study, then stop looking and go to Memoria Press. They have what you are looking for, for only $97.90, which includes the Teacher Guide, Student Book, CD, DVD and flash cards. And, if you are interested, they also have other courses of study like french, cursive, copybooks, Christian Studies, etc. Visit their website for more information on Memoria Press as well as all the wonderful products they carry for classical education.

10 out of 10

Friday, April 24, 2009

Menu planning E-Book

I got the opportunity to review a great little e-book called Menu Planning: How to plan menus for a whole month and enjoy it. First I have to say that Sheri Graham, the author, must have been in my house and watched what I do for menu planning. As I was reading this delightful e-book, I realized this was almost exactly the way I do menu planning. So with that said, you can probably figure out that I loved this e-book. Let me give you some highlights form her insightful e-book. She will cover How to Plan for a Whole Month Worth of Meals, How to Collect All Those Favorite Recipes, Money Saving Tips From Her Family to Yours as well as Making Your Master Shopping List. And she even gives you some blank forms for you to fill out.

This is a very easy quick read, but packed full of terrific information for those of you who would like to stop going to the grocery store so often and start menu planning for your families. This would have been such a helpful book for me when I was trying to figure out how to put together menu plans years ago. Menu planning has worked very well for my budget as well as my family so I know that this little e-book will help tremendously to start you on that time saving aspect of homemaking...Menu Planning.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tapestry of Grace

You know I have found over the years that there is no right or wrong way to teach your children. In every homeschool there are many different methods used and many different curriculums out there that say they are the best or better then the next. What makes a curriculum work for me is the ease in which I, the teacher can understand how to teach and then whether or not my children like it. One of the methods of teaching is through unit studies. Now those of you who know me know that this type of curriculum is not my bag. However I was given the opportunity to review Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Unit 2 which is a immeasurable history unit study.

Now with this curriculum you would usually want to purchase the whole year and then take your summer to read through it and collect the information to get you started in the fall. With TOG I would highly recommend this so you can get a grasp on all the information that is in the introduction as well as get all your research done and ready.

As far as the Units, they are broken down into 9 weeks studies. Basically their thinking is that you will run through subjects about every four years. So for all intents and purposes your first grader will come back to this same study once again in about 4 years and will continue to do so all they way through High School. I have to admit I do love this idea. I was taught history in a mish mash order and I never understood how it all fit together until now as I am teaching it to my children.

The Tapestry of Grace unit study recommends excellent literature, reading books, worksheets, hands on activities like crafts etc, and of course they incorporate the Bible. This can be a great way of teaching if you have many ages to teach at the same time. The curriculum covers it for all ages, which is nice. You can be going over the information with all and then have the older one work on their own or help the younger ones. However I have to admit if I were to purchase all the books they want me to purchase I would have a small library here in my house. Some of the books I was able to find in the library other I had to forgo. However we did just fine without them.

TOG’s idea is great, and I think that their approach is wonderful. However there is a ton of teacher prep work and a lot of books to either purchase or get from the library (if you can find them) and expense because of the books, activities and the extra components that you would have to buy from them. So needles to say this just did not fit into our homeschooling. This program would be for someone who LOVES to teach using the Unit Study style of homeschooling and enjoys doing all the prep work and research a head of time. This is a huge undertaking, however they offer so much support. They have this area of their website that is called the Loom. This is for those who want a little help with project ideas recipes, etc. So there is plenty of support for you if you decide to try their program out.

I received the digital copy of Year 1 Unit 2. Well, first let me say I had no problem downloading their Lock Lizard but due to the size and complication of this study I think that having a hard copy would have made a huge difference in liability for me. Plus all the printing I had to do was very expensive. I also found going back and forth on the computer screen was a little confusing, and my eyes were getting tired, I could not take it to bed to read through the stuff and finding the pages I was reading and trying to reference back to them was getting a bit more complicated then I would have liked while I was trying to do the research. I would highly recommend that if you decide to purchase TOG you buy the hard copy instead.

Tapestry of Graces’ Download version is $45 each unit (4 per year)
The printed version may start being phased out so you may want to pick up the combination pack, which is the printed and Downloadable version. And I would just like to send you to their website for the prices because they vary depending on which one you get. Plus, they are offering a 3-week trial to sample. I highly recommended you do this to see if this colossal program works for you and your children.5 out of 10 The TOS Crew Homepage

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Molly's Money-Saving Digest for May 2009

TOS will be releasing a new E-book called "Molly's Money-Saving Digest for May 2009. I have this wonderful opportunity to review this book before it comes out to you. This is such an impressive little book. It is an easy read, but packed full of laughs, information, quotes, how –to’s, money saving ideas and just great articles from other families sharing how they homeschool, save money on home furnishings etc. This book is for everyone. Not just those of us who have young ones at home. It is for those who are just starting out in homeschooling, school aged children at home or those who have highschooler ready to take the leap into the real world. Best of all, it is digital, so it does not take up any room on those already packed bookshelves.

There were three chapters that really stuck out to me as interesting and captivated my personal interest of where I am in my homeschooling or family life. The first chapter was “The Mothers Day Celebration Ideas”. This chapter was chuck full of ideas for money saving tips for DAD to help the kids make a memorable Mothers Day for you us. Naturally I had my husband read that chapter. I asked him to review it for me and tell me what he thought. After he read it, he giggled at me and said how smart I was for getting him to read that. Well, hopefully it will work and I will get one of her wonderful free ideas for my Mothers Day gift this year.

The other chapter that was a favorite was the “Feature Topic: Learning for Life—Your Child’s Education”. Being that I have a pre-schooler at home right now and with my first child I fell prey to the idea that pre-school was so very important…thanks TV. This chapter was a great reminder to me to not push my second child to this so-called pre-school excellence. Times have changed and we are made to think that if our child does not attend pre-school they will flunk out of high school, and yes, even us homeschooler are starting to believe this! Hmmm, I never went to preschool and I graduated on honor roll. She reviews this myth and helps us realized there is a better way of so-called “schooling” your pre-schooler.

Lastly the chapter titled Homeschooling for Cs was FANTASTIC. We get caught up in the fact that we homeschoolers have to educate and make our children spelling Bee winners and straight "A" students that are smarter then every other child out there and are the so called brainiacs of the world. Talk about pressure! But as this chapter is so well put, we should educate for the “C’s”. Five wonderful attributes of our children that we should be more concerned with more so then the grade and the myth of homeschoolers equal brainiacs.

I highly recommend this e-book. Besides having all the tips and laughs, it also provides you with plenty of links to help you on this journey of homeschooling, frugality and just plain parenting. You can pick up you copy the end of this month at The Old School House.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Two Sides to Every Coin

Home educating is not without challenges. Let’s face it, there are days when it can just wear us down. How many times have you thought: Homeschooling is tough because…...

“There’s so much to do!”
The flip side: Homeschooling is great, because while our children are still at home, we get to re-prioritize our lives and let go of activities with lesser importance and lesser value....

“It’s so easy to feel inadequate when we look at what other homeschoolers are doing, and what their children are achieving.
”The flip side: Because we can spend a whole afternoon with another family, or go on a picnic or a camping trip together, we also have time to see the realities in each others’ lives. We see that we each have strengths and we each have struggles. Knowing this we can also help each other, affirm each other, and share with each other....

“We feel the weight of responsibility for our children’s education.
”The flip side: Ask any parent whose child slipped through the cracks at an institutional school, while we take on this large responsibility, we also gain the opportunity to find the most effective ways to teach our children.

The next time you find yourself focusing on the challenges of homeschooling rather than the benefits, remember, there are two sides to every coin. Take another look. Often times, the flip side is much more interesting!

Writen by

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Peep, Peep!

It's that time of year again. Yes it is Easter Time! the aisle at the my grocery store have all those cute little Marshmallow Peeps. And now not are they only in the shape of a chick but bunnies and flowers and they come in pink, blue, green and more.

So I decided to find out what these thing were really made of. Corn syrup and sugar! Yup, thats it! Just another thing to make you go Hmmmm! And did you know that they have been around since 1953? I had no idea about that. I thought they were only about 20 years old. Anyway, I also found out they use to be made by hand and hand packed. Think about this. It takes them about 5 minutes or so to put out 1 packages of peeps. It use to take them over 25 hours. And today they sell over a Billion Peeps a year. But I never did find out how much they use to cost verses today. Does anyone know?

Just thought you might want to know!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Apologia Science

I have been longing to find a good science curriculum that would cover science from beginning to end and would be hands on and would also guide me, the non-science person, all the way through each subject. I have found that curriculum. I was given EXPLORING CREATION WITH ZOOLOGY 1: FLYING CREATURES OF THE FIFTH DAY by Apologia. Now I have heard of this company and heard great things from them, but I have to admit when I first saw the textbook, I thought it was going to be just like public school textbooks. Boy was I wrong!

In this book, your children will begin exploring the dynamics of flight and animal classification, understanding why the design we see in these incredible creatures points us to our Creator God. Then, get ready for the exciting adventure of learning about birds. Your children will learn how to attract various bird species to your yard and identify them by looking at their special physical characteristics, diverse nests, and interesting domestic practices. They will also learn the anatomy and the glorious design that enables birds to do remarkable things. After becoming amateur ornithologists, your children will explore the world of chiropterology, which is the study of bats.
Jeannie Fulbright has done it. She basically put down in one book everything I wanted. She gave me clear reading text, projects that do not consist of breaking my piggy bank, a list of all the supplies I will need for each project, note-booking and all this learning is fun and for those of you who love Charlotte Mason, this curriculum is built in that type of learning environment. But for those of us who are not Charlotte Mason teachers, it works wonderfully for us too.

Here is the best part. Her curriculum really focuses on GOD’S creation. I mean it really come alive. I’ll tell you a secret! I have learned sooooo much! Oh, and my kids have too! LOL! We look at birds in a totally different way now!

There are 14 lessons all together and each lesson should take about 2-3 weeks to do. We only have science two times a week sometime only once so we tend to go 3 weeks. So needless to say, it is very flexible.

I have found my science curriculum form Kindergarten all the way through High school. This is it. Apologia! I so very highly recommend this curriculum. At least give it a try. Oh, did I mention that Apologia elementary science is only $25.00 to 35.00 per curriculum? Depending on which book you buy. Yea, you read it right. I have look at some science curriculums that are hundreds of dollars. So you really do not have too much to loose and a whole lot to gain!