Thursday, 26 January 2012

Multiplication Checker Board

I've been wanting one of these for a while but couldn't justify the cost and didn't the time to make the felt version I wanted - so I decided to print one onto A3 card as a time saver.

You can get your free copy on my download page :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

We choose virtues TOS review

We were recently asked to review We Choose Virtues. We were provided with the Virtue Clue Cards, Family Character Assessment, Colouring Book and the Teacher Handbook.
The Virtue Clue Cards are 12 business cards that contain a description of the virtue and image of the character. They come in a handy plastic wallet which makes taking them out the house very easy.
The colouring book contains a picture of each individual character.
The teacher handbook was amazing, its full of  insightful ideas for teaching the virtues along with real life stories and tips.
The family assessment sheet was a real eye opener - we did a before and after version and the change was reassuring to see :)

Currently the virtue cards are $5.99, the family assessment is free, the colouring book is $3.00 and the teacher handbook is $4.99 for a download and $19.99 for a hard copy. 

We have enjoyed using these cards and it's been great to have a virtue on display each week. 
(The fact that I can name a character each time I have to pull the girls up on behaviour is working well for their recollection) I would like to have seen some scripture references available on the cards to back up the virtues but there is a list available on their web page here and there is a set available that does contain the scripture references along with additional tips. 

You can check out what the other crew members thought at TOS Cew

I was provided with a fee copy of the materials in exchange for an honest review of the product.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Alternative to 3 part cards

The girls pulled faces when I suggested making some 3 part cards for parts of a river, so I came up with an alternative that they really liked.

I drew a river on paper and stuck it to a baking sheet. I then laminated the names of the parts and the descriptions. I stuck the names onto the top of some corks and some magnets onto the bottom.
Their first task was to pop the corks on the correct part of the river,

then they had to match the name to the description.

The COE was the correct placement on the back of the picture and the correct name on the back of the definitions.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wednesday round-up

For our group work - we explored wedges,
discussed food chains and webs (from Montessori Print Shop)
and worked on some limericks (see separate post)
Tulip has worked on her basic addition,
teen numbers,
spelling with the movable alphabet (homemade from pipe cleaners),
shapes - both with the insets and with matchsticks.,
and alongside Rose with the blindfold tactile game,
Rose also worked with her spindles
and some ice transferring.
oh, and they all made frost angles


The girls poetry lesson this week was on limericks and they made me smile so much I just had to share.

There was a young lady called Nelda,
who met a young man who would hold her.
They married in Mach
and dined on corn starch,
'till the man's arms stretched when he held her.

There was a young man called Nat
who wanted to buy a cat.
But the cat he bought
was not the right sort.
It gave birth to six tigers, that's that.

A girl lay down on the floor,
hidden by her blanket near the door.
When Dad came in ,
he trod on her chin
and she never lay on the floor anymore.

There was a young man with a cat,
who put the cats basket on a mat.
He went out shopping,
but came back hopping,
to find the cat asleep in his hat!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Maestro Classics TOS Review

We were offered a chance to review Swan Lake from Maestro Classics

These Cd's are recorded by the London Philharmonic and are available for $16.98 (or as a download for $9.98).  The CD is 7 tracks, the first being the Swan Lake story (about 34mins) and the remaining tracks consisting of information on Tchaikovsky, what to listen for in the music, a metal version of the song, sing along song and more.

Both options come with a 24-page activity book containing a biography of Tchaikovsky, information on acoustic and electric guitars, sheet music and words for a sing-along song, explanation of major and minor keys, puzzles and mazes.
Maestro's suggested age range is 6-12 but my 5yo and 3yo happily listened in with their older sisters. (it was all I could do to stop my 3yo from dancing around the room to it).
I really liked the music and your curriculum guides on their website with enough expansion work to create a whole unit based on Swan Lake. Another favourite of mine was the explanation of happy and sad chords.

Overall a very pleasurable experience and a great way to introduce some classics into you homeschool.

I was provided with a free copy of Swan Lake so I could provide an honest review of the product.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

School catch up.

Its been an interesting school week here. We've managed to squeeze alot in to a small amount of time and I'm wishing tomorrow was Saturday and not Friday ; )

We started the week focusing on our simple machines unit by looking at inclined planes (ramps and screws)
Lilly and Sunflower decided to count all the coins in the change jar (almost £30)
Both Lilly and Sunflower have been working on fraction addition,
finishing their animal research, poetry and building challenges.

Tulip has worked with the insets
while Rose has focused on her numbers.
Rose and Tulip worked hard to create a Chinese Dragon for our co-op class
where the girls explored various activities including food tasting with chopsticks, calligraphy, mah jong, Chinese zodiac, making paper lanterns, leaning about the panda and building a great wall of China.

Lilly has also decided she wants to progress from recorder to the flute and has made a good start this week.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Over Christmas I've spent some time organising our work and thought you might like a peak.

I print off a monthly pack, starting with a school calender
followed by 4 weekly pages - outlining the topics to cover that week.
both are available as on my Download page (the weekly planner is a word doc so you can alter it to suit you.)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Real Homeschool Spanish TOS review

Relax, Enjoy, Aspire and Learn

Comforting words when you consider my foreign language skills are non-existent, I've been looking at various curriculum for a while so when the chance to review REAL Homeschool Spanish came up I was very excited.

I received the download version, which did involve alot of printing and binding.(available as hard copy for $89.95 or download for $49.95 - both packages include the book, activity book, answer book, and audio files. There is also a Daily Curriculum Guide for an additional $10)

This curriculum is created specifically for homeschoolers enabling the whole family to learn together whilst using it in their daily lives and conversation - a must for any true learning to occur.
The curriculum is organised into 10 units.  Each unit has 33 vocabulary clusters and 15 "idea" sections full of fun suggestions to extend the learning experience.  The activity book provides plenty of pen and paper practise.  The Daily curriculum guide breaks the planning down into 48 weeks for a traditional school year and there are free cultural links are available on the website.

As this is written to use either individually or with children of different ages simultaneously, it is working well for us. The older girls (7 & 9) appreciate the paper activities and the younger ones (3 & 5) laugh at my pronunciation efforts (yes, the audio files have a dual purpose - to teach you the correct pronunciation and to humiliate Mum)
I found the Tips for the Home Educator section very useful and found the email support very beneficial.
Overall I like this product and I've noticed that my skills are improving - at least now it won't be so  embarrassing as I won't need my 9yo to order food for us (yes my Spanish was that poor)

If you want to try some free lessons click here and you can see my shipmates reviews over at the crew blog

I was provided with a free copy of Real Homeschool Spanish so I could provide an honest review.

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