4th Grade, Family, Family Life, Homeschool, Homeschool Family, mindfulness, Mom Life, Parenting

Homeschool Rewind!

It’s been a while since I have just written a blog piece that wasn’t a review in a long time, but 2022 means new things for our homeschool journey. For the last 4 years, we have been eclectic homeschoolers. I bought the curriculums and wrote out elaborate homeschool lessons. Then in October I started to feel burnt out and observed my son was just not his usual cheerful self and we butting heads a lot when it came to getting lessons completed. Seeing my now unhappy 4th grader I started to examine what was going wrong without homeschool.

Unkownglingy after careful observation our homeschool was starting to turn into the one thing I hated and promised myself I wouldn’t do, we were doing “school at home”!!! How did we get here? We weren’t playing games anymore… hands-on learning opportunities were still present but opportunities were few. Then it was the curriculum I had chosen curriculum that wasn’t interesting and just busywork. What had I done to our homeschool? How could I get things back to our happy place?

The first thing I did was sit down with my son and talk with him. I was shocked at how unhappy he was with our current homeschool situation, I promised him that we would get things back on track. Luckily I kept all of my previous planners and I opened them up and started to examine our previous years. After looking over the planners, I ordered a new planner because I wanted a fresh start. I needed to start fresh and our current planner for the school year was a constant reminder to me of what I had done to our homeschool. I looked over our curriculum and took the advice of a good friend on Youtube and made four piles:

  • Summer Review!
  • Stretch for 5th and 6th grade!
  • Donate/Sell!
  • You were nuts buying this!

After doing a curriculum check I had to do a mental check, we desperately needed to include mindfulness back into our homeschool day. I personally was suffering from weekly headaches and anxiety. My son was also starting to show signs of anxiety because we were just not starting our day peacefully but rushing. So I purchased us some new meditation cards, My 52 List Project, and 52 List Calm. I also picked up a few books for executive functioning and a workbook for gifted kiddos.

I also slowed our pace down for doing actual homeschool lessons. We now operate on 3-4 lessons independently and then the ones that require more 1:1 we do in the afternoon. I am making it a point to meal plan again and prepare 3 meals a week that can stretch for 2 days and the 1 day is a fun meal! I pulled out our Kid Stir, Raddish Kids kits and dedicated one afternoon a week lunch to us cooking together. While revamping our homeschool I noticed we had a significant amount of games that still had their wrapper on them. I pulled all those new games out and put them in the forefront.

I looked over our curriculum and noticed we were doing a lot of repetitiveness in lessons. Now I am well aware that there is going to be review in many curricula, but what I saw was we were truly repeating stuff my son had fully mastered. So I am taking a hard look and decided that I would make some big changes for 2022-2023, we would move towards the 5th/6th-grade curriculum. After all, his math was already 5/6th and he is working well above 4th/5th-grade in language arts, geography, history, and science. So why am I boring him to pieces with repetitive lessons he has mastered. I will continue to analyze his lessons and add support where needed. It was time for a major change and to offer him lessons that work for him and that he loves.

I think what help me validate my decision was watching my good friend Erica over at the Melanated and Well Educated 2022-2023 curriculum choices video. My son is a huge Mrs. Erica fan he studied her video and made his own list of things he liked from the video. He also let me know he wants me to get books about anatomy and physiology and cardiac science because he wants to learn all he can about the heart. With the sincerity and excitement in his voice, I knew he was ready to shift his learning. Little J is looking to expand his knowledge beyond the standard curriculums I was considering. He wanted to see even more of his ancestry in his lessons, my child is wanting to be fulfilled and I needed to pour into his cup.

So many changes have taken place these last few weeks that I know will make our homeschool more of what we both want. Be on the lookout for our 2022-2023 Curriculum Choices and Summer Review Choices!

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Language Arts, Math, mindfulness, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Know Yourself Adventure Series and Dr. Bonyfide Review!

Complimentary product received from Know Yourself.

I love putting together unit studies, it is just something about gathering all the materials that just makes homeschooling so much fun. My son enjoys our unit studies and he learns so much, but we all know putting together unit studies requires a lot of time and research. Science unit studies are our favorite but it requires a lot of books and external resources. This year I wanted to finally really tackle a solid unit on the human body so while I was researching over the summer I came across the Know Yourself Systems of the Body Adventure Series and that’s when then the fun began.

After browsing the Know Yourself website I realized, that I actually owned one of their Dr. Bonyfide books, but then it happened I previewed the Systems of the Body Adventure Series Book 1 Five Sense and it was a done deal I had to have the entire bundle. I purchased the digital version of the bundle and I was confident I found the answer to my human body unit with just a click of the mouse.

About Know Yourself

The company was created in 2013 by a mom with two girls, she wanted to teach her daughters about the human body and anatomy but have fun doing it. Nancy Howe and her team have created an award-winning books series and have partnered with many companies such as Timberdoodle, Rainbow Resources, and Christian Book just to name a few. If you noticed all 3 of those companies are top-tier and respected homeschool merchants so you know these books have to be quality.

Inspire children to be grounded in the awesomeness of their own self-worth and equip them to make healthy decisions about their minds and bodies. Through a deep sense of self, children are able to better relate to others and contribute to a society with more compassion, love and respect.

Know Yourself

Know Yourself is built on 3 principles as listed on their website:

Self-literacy: A journey to a better self through knowledge of the body and mind that ultimately results in happier, healthier, and less fearful SUPER-AWESOME human beings.

Self-worth: Knowing that your value on this Earth is as great as any other human being on this Earth.

Self-advocacy: Find your voice. Ask questions and speak your truth.

Representation: Acknowledge and represent the diversity of the community that we live in and build appreciation for various human intelligence and learning styles.

The company is committed to providing solid foundations while identifying the need to be inclusive and include all diverse characters so your child will see themselves as they learn.

Dr. Bonyfide Series

Now that you know a little about the company let’s talk about the first set of books f Dr. Bonyfide. There are 4 workbooks in the Dr. Bonyfide :

  • Bones of the Hand, Arm, and Shoulder: Book 1
  • Bones of the Foot, Leg, and Pelvis: Book 2
  • Bones of the Rib Cage and Spine: Book 3
  • Bones of the Head, Face, and Neck: Book 4

In each book, students will explore the human skeletal system using 3D x-ray glasses, puzzles, activities, and readings. All of the books are interactive and feature Dr. Bonyfide and his friends. The Dr. Bonyfide series provide students with real pictures and the anatomically correct names for the skeletal system and provides fun ways to help the students remember the names of the body parts. Just to give you the heads up all the friends your kids will meet in the Dr. Bonyfide series you will see them again in the Systems of the Body Adventure Series.

Systems of the Body Adventure Series

If your student loves graphic novels they are going to love the Systems of the Body Adventure Series. There are 12 workbooks in this fabulous series and your students will meet the Loops Crew. Each one of these books includes a graphic novel storyline complete with a ton of activities and takes you and your student on a worldwide adventure to learn about the body systems.

The Systems of the Body Adventure Series is a multi-subject workbook, students will learn about art, culture, geography, music, history, food, growth mindset, and much more. Systems of the Body Adventure Series books are:

Our Review

We love both series of workbooks, when the company reached out to partner I was thrilled my son was super thrilled we would receive a complete set. Know Yourself combines my son’s 2 favorite things graphic novels and science therefore he is hooked. I literally have to hide the books from him because he will read them all. The company sent us the last 4 books just in time for this review and he saw book 10 has the Loops Crew traveling to Tenochtitlan he grabbed and ran with it. So I am guessing that this is the book we are doing for this month along with our Mesoamerica unit study.

In the month of October, we decided to Adventure 2: The Skeletal System (Russia), talk about a breath of fresh air. The workbook has everything we need for a complete unit study. I just needed to check the supply list at the beginning of the book and we were ready. The great thing about the Systems of the Body Adventure Series books they are broken into 4 parts, each part tells you exactly what the student will be learning and the estimated time for each part. In all honesty, there is NO WAY you can get through an entire book in 1 month there is way too much information to cover. You want your kids to enjoy what they are learning and take their time. My recommendation is to do 2 parts a month and spend your time immersed in the geography culture of the book. The recipes included are easy to follow and require limited adult supervision. The book also includes the answer key and review section.

Dr. Bonyfide and Systems of the Body Adventure Series gives you everything you need for a human body and anatomy system unit study. The books are for children ages 8 years and up and can be done independently. I personally really like the books and I really want to be a part of the learning alongside him because I am the first to admit that I don’t know a lot of detail about the human body systems.

The books have cut back on my human unit study planning by 95% and it also included things I would have never included in my own study. You can purchase the books individually or by bundle. The Systems of the Body Adventure Series is available as a digital download and you can use them on a device. Reasonable price, great customer service, and fast free shipping. To save on your purchase be sure to include our referral code: DESHAUN .

I highly recommend you check out both Dr. Bonyfide and Systems of the Body Adventure Series, if you would like to see a complete walkthrough of the books check out our Little Learner and Mom Instagram.

Until the Next Time

Mom & J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Homeschool, mindfulness, Morning Basket, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Writing

Owl Crate Jr: October Box Review!

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad!

We received the October box from Owl Crate Jr if you aren’t familiar with the Owl Crate Jr is a monthly box subscription for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. Each box is carefully crafted with a customized book cover sleeve just for Owl Crate Jr subscribers.

Owl Crate Jr October 2021

October’s Owl Crate Jr box theme is the Science is Magic. The book of the month is a signed copy of Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed. Inside this wonderful magical box includes hands-on activities for your reader related to the monthly theme.

On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, can’t stop their bickering while attending a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the mesmerizing and forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally.

Amazon

Books Goodies

  • Ooze Labs test tube kit from Thames & Kosmos
  • “The Wild Robot” inspired book accessory designed by @shaferbrown
  • His Dark Materials Compass Enamel Pin
  • The Magic School Bus lanyard
  • Science is Magic Monthly Magazine (inlcudes a science exiperiment)
  • Science is Magic monthly collectible sticker
  • Bookplate with letter from the author to your Owl Crate Jr Reader
  • Wrinkle in Time Umbrella

The monthly magazine includes an October box photo challenge, Owl Crate Jr readers can perform 6 challenges in chances they can win 1 of 6 free boxes. They can upload the pictures to their parent’s Instagram accounts and tag @owlcratejr.

Overall Thoughts

We were sent two Owl Crate Jr boxes. The company sent us the January 2021 box that theme was Inner Magic and the book of the month was Amari and the Night Brothers, which we happen to be in the midst of finishing up. The January box encourages healthy self-image-building activities.

Owl Crate Jr box subscriptions are a good way to make reading magical. The themes we received were beautifully crafted with lots of learning opportunities. I also looked over the previous month’s books and discovered they have a diverse collection of book titles each month which is gladly appreciated. However, their social media pages don’t reflect that same diversity of children and families. Owl Crate Jr’s website is inviting and has a community blog for Owl Crate Jr and Owlcrate 14+. You can compare boxes on their website to see which box best works for your reader. I did poke around on the Owl Crate Jr shop I love all the extra book goodies they have. I am going to purchase a few of their teas for our monthly tea and chat times.

One of the things I find unique about Owl Crate Jr is its attention to detail. The Owl Crate Jr boxes make reading an adventure and not just words on pages. If you have a reluctant reader aged 8-12 Owl Crate Jr box is perfect for them. You use the monthly books as read-aloud or an independent read, we happened to be reading the Amari and the Night Brothers book already when the October Owl Crate Jr and my son are completely engulfed in this book and we will be moving on to the Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds book soon. My son saw the “Dragons” in next month’s Owl Crate Jr box he is begging me to get him the November box also! Of course, I said yes because I am thrilled he wants to keep reading more novels.

Owl Crate Jr boxes are $29.99 a month, the company offers several different subscriptions option. The Owl Crate Jr box is for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. The boxes ship between the 15th and 20th of the month. You can purchase past Owl Crate Jr boxes in the shop. I have signed me little up for a subscription after receiving these 2 boxes complimentary so be on the lookout for updates on our instagram.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwlCrate/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owlcrate/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/37437502-korrina-owlcrate

1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, mindfulness, Parenting, Reviews

Tommy Nelson Books: Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

As part of our morning time together my son and I have been reading Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith from Tommy Nelson Books. As a 4th grader he is becoming more aware of world issues and social dynamics. I am also trying to foster an environment of open communication and build his self-esteem.

Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith is a great little devotional book for students for Christians and non-Christians. Each of the lessons comes a quick little story, that does reference scripture and then you have a Did You Know or Get Ready to Roar section. The Did You Know the kids will learn stuff from history and the Get Ready to Roar gives the kid missions to help build their confidence so they can tactile things they may come their way.

Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith encourages students to try something new, facing fears. The book also covers topics such as :

  • Peer Pressure
  • Bullying
  • Facing fears with friendship and school

One of the lessons I refer to when my son is frustrated when doing his school work and making mistakes is lesson 27 Goofs, Mistakes and Mess-Ups. My son gets really angry and frustrated when he isn’t getting a concept or making mistakes. We have a motto in our house “Mistakes are proof we are trying”, sometimes that works but there are times when it doesn’t and we have to reset. Lessons 27 really solidified what I have been trying to get him to understand. Lesson 31 Who You Really Are has been great for us to reference these days as we continue our journey through developing a healthy growth mindset and him starting to learn more about himself.

My son likes to use the Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith along side when he is using his journal. Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith book is colorful, friendly, and has a culturally diverse illustration. This is a really nice book if you are looking to cover some the issues kids may be experiencing as they grow.

Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tommynelsonbooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tommynelsonbooks/