Homeschool, Homeschool Family, Morning Basket, Music Appreciation, Music Theory, Unit Study

Teach Your Child Piano: Read Music Notes in 6 Weeks and Summer Siesta Music Camp Review!

Complimentary product received from Teach Your Child Piano!

If you are followers on our Little Learner and Mom IG you know my son, well our entire family loves music. My son was exposed to music early on in the womb because his dad is a music producer and insisted on playing music to my belly every night. So when my son was born he instantly took to all things music.

My son’s first instrument was the trombone it was like love at first sight from 18 months old until the present. We bought his first trombone when he was 3 and he has been playing every since. When Karen asked me if we would be interested in taking a look at the Teach Your Child Piano course Read Music Notes in Six Weeks and the Music Camp: Summer Siesta course, we were happy to review them.

The Teach Your Child Piano courses are on the “Teachable” platform. You will have your own dashboard that includes your course of study. Some of the activities include downloadable pdfs and embedded videos. Not all of the Siesta Summer activities have videos. I think it would be nice if each included one example of the topic. This would be helpful for those students and parents who have no background in music. The platform is easily managed and it tracks your progress as long as you click the continue and complete button.

Read Music Notes in Six Weeks

Read Music Notes in Six Weeks is a great course for beginners who do not have a background in music. My son has a background in music so after looking over the first week, he felt like it was just a little too easy for him. But I am going to base my review on what I think if I had a non-musical child. This is a great course to introduce your students to reading music and music theory. The included a detailed lesson plan, games, worksheets, instructional video, flashcards, and a practice plan.

There are 6 modules that cover:

  • Learning Your Way Around The Keyboard
  • Treble Clef Line Notes
  • Treble Clef Space Notes
  • Bass Clef Line Notes
  • Bass Clef Space Notes
  • Review and Preparing for the Grand Recital

After looking through all the weeks I think this would be great for a family who has no or very little background in music. I do still have plans to have my son review the weeks just as a review in the fall.

Music Camp Online: Summer Siesta

Summer Siesta consists of 120 self-paced lessons for ages 4-14. The course runs from May to August, but I think this can be used year-round and I hope Karen will consider keeping the program going year-round. There is so much to unpack in this course and for a music-loving family like ours, we need more time to really appreciate all the wonderfulness in this course. Summer Siesta is really a music appreciation course that families can pair well with geography, history, and cultural lessons in their homeschool.

Students can study:

  • Musical Era (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern)
  • Various Music Genre
  • Orchestra and Foreign Instruments
  • Cultural Music
  • Composers
  • Chorus
  • Vocal Expression
  • DIY Instruments

There are 120 lessons the summer program encourages students to do 1 activity per day for a total of 60 activities over the summer. You don’t have to do the activities in order, but students will earn a certificate at the end of the course if the activities are completed. For us, that wasn’t going to be something achievable because we kept going down rabbit trails. The activity sheets can be done orally or written. We do them orally and I recorded the answers down for my son because I wanted him to enjoy researching and having fun.

For copyright reasons and to protect the creator’s work I won’t be uploading a copy of the full sheet, but I can tell you that the sheets are detailed and not overwhelming.

My son decided he wanted to spend time learning more about Spanish composer the “Queen of Percussion” Shelia “E” Escovedo! Let me just tell you this was a family affair when my husband got wind that we were doing this study he told us about the Sheila E Master Class. We were all captivated by her wonderful story and percussion lessons. My son was super intrigued and took things to another level and decided to research Pete Escovedo who is her father. We ended up doing 2 lessons on Spanish composers. We also did an instrument study on the bongos. We continued to go down another rabbit hole that led us to Prince. Like really we studied all about PRINCE !!!!

Of course, after we did Shelia E he wanted to research the trombone. So we grabbed the brass instrument and jazz activity sheet and learned about the Trombone and Trombone Shorty. That lesson didn’t stop there because it lead us down the road to New Orleans’ infamous Treme history.

We really like the Summer Siesta and like I said I hope my review persuades the creator to extend the course for year-round availability. Read Music Notes in Six Weeks and Music Camp: Summer Siesta would be a great addition to your homeschool lessons if you are looking for a self-directed course. Self-directed courses work best for us because it allows us the freedom to follow our interest.

Teach Your Child Piano currently has 18 courses available prices start at $49 and up. There is a free course available and a monthly homeschool course. I defiantly recommend checking out Teach Your Child Piano.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Writing

Memoria Press: Classical Composition I Fables!

Complimentary Product Received!

We are on a journey to find a supplement for our 5th-grade writing curriculum, so I have been considering a few options. The Squad was given the opportunity to review Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set for grade 4+.

Memoria Press is considered to be one of the leading companies in classical Christian education curriculums. The creates a curriculum that follows the classical education philosophy of liberal arts, quality literature, and the great thinkers of the western tradition. A great deal of Memoria Press curriculums contains Christian values and biblical scriptures. I personally didn’t find the Christian additions overwhelming or indoctrinating and I have reviewed several of Memoria Press‘s curriculums.

Classical Composition I: Fable Set

Classical Composition I: Fable Set comes with a teacher and student guide. The set we received came with the DVD but the company also has a streaming option. I will be reaching out to the company to inquire about receiving the streaming service because we don’t own a DVD player. I was able to find some helpful videos on the Memori Press Youtube channel.

There are 20 lessons to be completed each lesson is broken down into 4 pages. The Fable stage covers the first 14 steps to mastering writing. In the Fable stage, the students learn 3 plot components:

  • Recogintion – teaches to look parts of the story they can relate to.
  • Reversal – teaches to students identify the characters and see when their character roles reverse in the story.
  • Suffering – the conflict.

The students then move on to the variation section in which they have to come up with 3 synonyms for the words listed and then use the words they come up with in sentences. I highly recommend having a thesaurus or dictionary handy when doing this activity especially if you don’t have a student who has yet tapped into their creative writing. In the outline portion of the lesson, students will summarize the fable.

Paraphrase the students will rewrite the fable using anemographic, dendrographia, and ethopoeia . I know what you thinking WHAT, trust me when I say I was right there with you on this one. The teacher’s guide is a lifesaver with this curriculum you need this don’t skip it. Students need to use their online and variation part one to complete this part. Then students will need to rewrite the fable by reduction, meaning they need to pull out key details and leave out the extra details in their writing. Lastly, there are Variations part 2 which is a direct repeat of the Variations part 1, but with different words.

Our Review

Okay so I know I said a mouthful above and trust me if you have the opportunity to look over Classical Composition I: Fable Set you will get a better grasp of the flow of the lessons. You can also check out samples of lessons on the Classical Composition I: Fable Set product details page. At first a little unsure about this type of writing because it isn’t how I learned to write and I thought my son wouldn’t be really interested in the flow. After reading the teacher’s guide and looking over the lessons I started to really understand the flow a little better and how this really works for a student who is a creative or logical writer. My son doesn’t love to write but I think because this guided writing he isn’t left to just figure it out himself. While I know you may be thinking wouldn’t this just be the student copying another person’s work? In reality, they aren’t copying the work they are rather enhancing it and putting their own spin on it. I do like that it encourages the use of outlining because this is something I am very familiar with myself.

Classical Composition I: Fable there is parent involvement needed especially in those first few lessons. The DVD/Streaming is of great need for this curriculum, I wish I would have had access to the live streaming. If your student has not had any formal mechanics in writing lessons I highly recommend you review these skills before starting. I would recommend looking at Memoria Press Introduction to Composition. Classical Composition I: Fable will help your student learn how to organize writings and encourage some creative writings of other’s works which will hopefully translate into their own writings.

Classical Composition I: Fable is a contender for our upcoming 5th-grade writing curriculum. It would be used as a supplement to our spine for creative writing and switching things up.

Until the next time,

Mom and J

2nd Grade Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Morning Basket, Reviews

Third Grade Literature Guide Set

Every year I try to find a classic book to start our new year of homeschool . This year my son asked if we could read Charlotte Webs by E.B. White . This was a perfect book pick because Memoria Press was gracious enough to send us their Third Grade Literature Guide Set and we used the Charlotte Web Set.

The Third Grade Literature Guide Set features Teacher and Student Study guide for the following titles for Farmers Boy, Mr Poppers Penguins, A Bear Called Paddington and Charlotte’s Web. If you purchase the set you will need to purchase the novels separately.

The teaching guide is a comprehensive and easy guide to follow. I recommend making yourself familiar with the upcoming chapter lesson and read beforehand but this is not a requirement in order for you to do the lesson. The good thing about the literature guide is that you can customize it to best fit you and your students needs. There is a Preparing To Read at the beginning of the both teacher and student guide that is used as guideline how to best prepare for each chapter discussion. You can read the novel to your student aloud, independent read or tag team read. In the teachers guide each lesson and answer key is within the teacher guide so you can follow along.

The student guide is broken down into these areas of study:

  • Reading Notes
  • Vocabulary (words within the novel)
  • 4-5 Comprehension Questions ( older students own or younger students orally then as copy work)
  • Quotations and Discussions Questions
  • Enrichment (variety of activities)
  • Unit Review and Tests (test varies within guides in the Charlotte’s Web Guide every 7 chapters)

At the end of the book there is biographical sketch about the author and reference material about spiders, poetry and a diagram of a spider. Each guide is divided by each chapter in the book and each lesson is 2 pages long.

We used the curriculum during our morning time meeting. We read the chapter for the following days meeting. During our morning meeting we go over the reading notes, vocabulary and comprehension questions. Before we move on I let him watch the original movies clip for the corresponding chapter and then move on to the discussion questions. I always have him point out the differences in the book and the movie which he loves to do. We end with the enrichment activity. This takes us all of maybe 30-40 mins but I like this time with him because have in-depth conversations about the book.

Now here is the breakdown of my review of the Third Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press. I really do like this program it works well if you have morning basket or read aloud routine with your kiddos. You can use the guides as is or you can use it as an oral discussion guide. It can be used to cover vocabulary, grammar and handwriting. I appreciated the no pressure to do a lot of busy work or prepping. If you would like to incorporate hands on activities while reading you can add some farm themed toys, coloring sheets and crafts. The Charlotte Web literature guide can be used as unit study about farm animals or spiders…now you have covered science in your homeschool for a few weeks.

This is a great set and I think it would be a great add on for your homeschool. Memoria press offers literature guides sets for 1st – 10th grade. Be Sure to check out the the other crews reviews of the other literature guides sets.

Until Next Time

Mom

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Education, Homeschool, Language Arts, Reviews

Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words Review!

As part of an on going quest to find a spelling curriculum for our upcoming school year, we were sent Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words, Skill level about 1st-3rd grade from Memoria Press to review!

One of the things I have been looking for in a curriculum was something simple and easy to manage without a lot of extra components to the lessons. The way the Simply Classical Spelling lessons are laid out they are familiar to the way I learned spelling.

The Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words lessons were easy to follow and the teachers manual is built right into each of the books.

This series gives your struggling writer an incremental, multi-sensory approach with an oral/aural emphasis. Each week includes targeted Word Study exercises to promote linguistic awareness, cognitive flexibility, and improved spelling skills.

In both books the spelling words are called “Key Words” students will identify Vowels, Consonants, Silent E, Consonant Digraphs, Consonant Blends and Word Families. Then there are the “Words to Know” these words are the exception to spelling rules.

Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words students are given 7 words to learn and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words they are given 13 words to practice for the week. Book one provides 34 weeks of lessons with 30 spelling list and in book 2 students will receive 32 weeks of lesson. The teacher suggested games are also helpful if you want to add variety to the spelling practice. Each lesson can be divided up into five practice days.

My son is pretty familiar with spelling practice so I started him in Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words and we took out our spelling box to practice his “Key Words” and “Words to Know”. I like the fact the lessons also include phonics and a little grammar. The suggested pattern for the lessons are broken down to 4-5days with the 4th day being quiz day and 5th day is for dictation which is very important step in book 2.

Suggested pattern book1:

  • Memorize Monday
  • Hands-on Touch Tuesday
  • Write High Wednesday
  • Thursday Quiz Day
  • Optional Review Day for Book 1

Suggested Pattern Book 2

  • Memorize Monday
  • Tracing Tuesday
  • Word Study & Write High Wednesday
  • Thursday Quiz Day
  • Friday Dictation

Another great component to this curriculum is that if you have a struggling writer this will help your young writers improve their writing skills while learning spelling. The curriculum is appealing to both children with special needs and those who just need a little more support before jumping into a more challenging spelling program.

Simply Classical Spelling Book One: Step-by-Step Words and Simply Classical Spelling Book Two: Step-by-Step Words cost is $14.95 per book plus shipping. There is no separate teachers manual for you to purchase everything is within the books. The only additional supplies I will say you will need is index cards, highlighters or colored pencils. Creating a spelling box is clearly optional for your student and it isn’t mentioned in the books. I highly recommend this program if you are looking for a spelling program to ease your student into and we will continue to use it over the summer.

Be sure to check out the other Crew Reviews they are reviewing a variety of other curriculum from Memoria Press!

Until Next,

Mom

Classical Writing & Spelling, American History & Jewish Wars {Memoria Press Reviews}

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