1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Charlotte Mason, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Math, Reviews, Science

The Schoolnest History Notebook and Timeline Review!

Last year when my son and I were studying voting rights I remember the frustration I had writing down the timeline of the sequence of events on our board. I wanted him to have a visual keepsake of this important historical time period. So on our little whiteboard, I squeezed as much as I could and left it up there for a week as we studied. When it came time to erase it I took a picture of it and went on a hunt to find a way to record things for our history. What I was finding I wasn’t happy with so our timeline would have to live on my phone in the meantime. Then it happened The Schoolnest published a History Timeline notebook.

About The Schoolnest

Megan is a Michigan homeschool mom of 2 littles who is bringing love for learning through art, nature, creativity, and reading. Her approach to education is respecting the beauty of childhood and play. You can’t help but notice how she embraces Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and Montessori philosophies in her homeschool. Her website is full of beautifully crafted simple journals, notebooks, and homeschool resources. She also writes a wonderful blog that is full of helpful ideas for parenting, homeschooling, art, and mindfulness. All are welcome on The Schoolnest website and blog, I found several diverse blog posts and literature recommendations.

I was so happy when Megan the founder of The Schoolnest launched her rainbow notebooks, from the first glance on her Instagram I knew I had to have them all. I purchased several of the notebooks for our school year then she published her History Timeline and it blew me away because it was exactly what I needed.

History Notebook and History Timeline

The History Timeline notebook is one the most unique books I have seen. The notebook gives you the ability to track history from:

  • Prehistory
  • Ancient
  • Middle Ages
  • Early Modern
  • Modern Times

What I feel like is a great family heirloom in History Timeline, is the beginning pages called “My History” I love these pages because we can record our family history and document things we felt were important to us during a year. The paper quality is excellent there are 115 pages and there are blank pages at the end. The entire is book is grid paper except for the dates, there is also B.C.E-C.E also included. There is plenty of space to write and post pictures, drawings, and clippings for creativity. The grid paper is excellent for writing and helping students contain their writings neatly. What I like about this timeline notebook is that it is just that a notebook. I can keep everything contained neatly in one spot and it is easy to flip through and we can use this 1 notebook over a long period of time.

The History Notebook is great for notebooking. We have used ours to notebook our unit study of Mesoamerica and currently, we are working on Ancient China. We study so much history in our home and notebooking has allowed him to have fun with notebooking. In the history notebook, there are 100 pages on the left page is 1/3 blank and the rest of the page is a grid. On the right side, the bottom is lined and the top is blank. There is a blank table of contents page and a study reference page. Kids can draw, color, cut and paste, make notes, and be creative. We have added pictures and written notes in our history notebook and added notebook printables. The paper quality is excellent, writes, glues, and colors smoothly.

Rainbow Notebooks

If you are looking to explore the other notebooks in The Schoolnest collection you will not be disappointed. So far we have collected:

  • Science
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Mathematics
  • Commonplace
  • Project Planner
  • Reading Journal
  • 4th Grade

All of the notebooks come in 12 vibrant rainbow colors, 8.5 x 11, matte softcover, and superior binding. The Schoolnest notebooks are inexpensive ($8) and can be purchased from Amazon. If you are in the market for a planner The Schoolnest has you covered she has a Homeschool Lesson Planning Notebook, you can check out a review of this great planner on Brittany Olga Youtube and Home Life with Quin 5 Instagram (Planner and Reading Journal) and check out Mama Sweet Baby (Spelling Notebook).

The Schoolnest notebooks are a must-have for your homeschool if you haven’t checked them out I highly recommend you do. We love our notebooks and I am looking forward to seeing any new books The Schoolnest publishes.

Blessings,

Mom and J

Website | Instagram | Blog |

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Charlotte Mason, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, Homeschool, Read Alouds, Reviews

Heritage Mom: Civil Rights Movement

Complimentary product received!

If you don’t know who the Heritage Mom is I am super excited to be able to tell you about this wonderful blogger, mom, homeschooler, philanthropist, and Charlotte Mason guru. Okay so I had had the pleasure of meeting Amber O’Neal Johnston and once a member of her Heritage Homeschoolers group in Georgia and I can honestly tell you she is one of the sweetest and kindest people I have met during my homeschooling journey.

When Heritage Mom offered to have the Squad review 3 of her culture guides, I knew had to be part of this opportunity. Let me keep it real I own about 90 % of her culture guides already and we are still working our way through Amazing Africa. We own Schomburg, Heart and Soul, Harlem Ressianance Stomp, and now the Civil Rights Heritage culture guide. All of the culture guides are excellent, Heritage Mom gives you everything you need to use these guidesto teach African and African American history.

The Civil Rights Movement guide is divided into 10 topics of study starting the journey in the 1950s and ending with Civil Rights today. The guide is meant for grades 4-6 but you can review the suggested living books and materials you can stretch to 2nd grade. Civil Rights Movement is 36 weekly lessons now you can stretch to the entire 36 weeks or you can do more lessons a week. We are averaging 3 lessons a week in Amazing Africa, but after looking through the Civil Rights Movement guide we will spend a little more time on our lessons because is one of my son’s favorite areas of history to study. Anyone who says they were able to unpack any of her culture guides in 8 weeks, I can honestly say they didn’t give these carefully planned guides the respect they deserve.

The Civil Rights Heritage Pack is a survey of the brave men and women who risked their reputation, livelihoods, and often their very lives to press towards what they knew to be right.

Heritage Mom

The Civil Rights Movement includes two core books, you need to select one of these books to use with the guide, both reasonably priced. She also includes bonus books and recommends not substituting the core books because those books are impeded throughout the guide. She also has movie suggestions that hyperlinked and inserted disclaimers to prescreen them to make sure they are appropriate for your family. There are additional books used in the lesson plan, they are a nice mixture I love she included picture books and chapter books. Now that my son is reading more chapter books I miss those days of really great picture books. I found all the books listed in the lesson plan at my local library. There are also additional books for older or advanced children but these books are not scheduled in the lesson plans.

The lesson plans are easy to follow, with clickable links that take you to videos and she tells you what book you will be using and pages to read. There are 4 weeks of plans one page. The culture guides are meant to be just that guides, if you are looking for a long-drawn-out lesson plan with tons of writing and worksheets you aren’t going to find it in this guide. Amber O’Neal is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschooler and her guides are written in that way of homeschooling. These guides are literature-based and meant to allow you and your student to explore and go down rabbit holes.

Out of respect for her and all her hard work you won’t see pictures of pictures of her hard work in this review. You can literally go on her social media and you will feel the admiration so many people have for these creative works. Each guide of the Heritage Mom packs are filled with so much potential you can stretch these materials for years to come.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Language Arts, Orton-Gillingham, Reviews, spelling, Writing

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales Review!

Complimentary product received.

We were sent Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales for us to check out and look at spelling from a different approach. We currently use a curriculum we have used for the last 2 years, but my son isn’t 100% in love with it, So when the opportunity to review Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales was presented I decided this would be a good chance to look over a new program.

When my son first started down our path of homeschooling we used Demme Learning Math U See Primer and Spelling U See A. He did extremely well with both programs and we were happy, but he needed a little more of a challenge when it came to both areas as we entered 1st grade. Spelling You See uses the five development stages of spelling:

  1. Preliterate
  2. Phonetic
  3. Skills Development
  4. Word Extenstions
  5. Derivational Constancy

Wild Tales provides opportunities for students to study words in the context of factual passages about animals.

Spelling You See

Spelling U See is different from other spelling programs, there are no list, grade levels, or extensive prepping of lessons. We were sent Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales it picks up from where Level B ends, so it is really important that you check out the placement assessment on Spelling You See if you haven’t done the previous levels. The Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales comes with an instructor guide, 2 student workbooks, and erasable Crayola color pencils. There are 36 lessons students will work on:

  • Vowel, Consonant, Bossy R Chunks
  • Tricky Y
  • Silent Letters
  • Various Combinations.

You can check out a full scope sequence on the website. The lessons are simple for students the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales takes the students on an adventure with nonfiction passages about animals. The program does require parent involvement and your student needs to read the passages, day 1-3 students will do copy work (only 10 mins ). You should tell your student to stop writing and then chunk their words with you and that’s it for the day. Day 4 is No Rules day students draw something related to that week’s passage and write at least one sentence about the weekly passage. On day 5 it is dictation day you will dictate to the student the passage of the week and help them when prompted.

Chunking – provides hands-on experience with the many irregular letter patterns in English. Copywork – requires the brain to pay attention to details in print. Dictation – gives the student the opportunity to recall the proper letter patterns from memory.

Spelling You See

Our Review

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales is a stress-free way to teach spelling, you don’t feel pressured to have your student memorize these ridiculously long lists of words and busywork. Students are able to use their phonetic knowledge and learn to spell. The really nice part is that once the 10 mins are over we are done. In observing our current curriculum I noticed how stressed he was doing word lists, activities and having to move on to the next list. In my heart I felt like is he just moving from the list to list and not really retaining all of the words? There were so many activities he needed to get through during the weekly lessons that we started stretching the lessons to 2 weeks.

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales just makes things so much easier and it just flows better for us and our new path with homeschooling. We did the sample lessons of Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales first before we dove into the entire book and he said he liked the way it works and that it seem easier and he didn’t feel anxious to get things done in a hurry. I do think we need the Spelling You See Level D Americana, but we will work on the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales as a review, possibly making the change to Spelling You See Level D Americana in the Spring. We aren’t in a rush so we will take our time and I will move at his pace. I do wish the upper level themes would be different topics for the passages, I did look over levels D – G. My son is able to read all of the passages with no problems and he is familiar with all the different areas of phonics and targeted areas of spelling.

The cost of the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales at the time of this review is $53 plus taxes and shipping.

Until the Next Time ,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Homeschool, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Science

BookShark Level D Science Homeschool Curriculum Review!!

Complimentary product received from BookShark in exchange for my honest review.

When you have a science-loving kid, finding the right science curriculum can be a daunting task. When my son was in 2nd grade, he breezed right through an entire science curriculum in eight weeks. For 3rd grade, we decided to forgo another box curriculum and chose to use a variety of supplemental resources to build our own science curriculum. This year things changed. My son requested an engaging and challenging science curriculum that was:

  • Hands – on
  • Experiments he could do independently.
  • Interesting and fun!

With so many requests I knew I had to find the best curriculum that would work for him and myself because I had my own set of requirements.

  • Literature-based
  • Easy lesson planning
  • Hands-on
  • Low prep

I looked around and then I came across BookShark Science Level D and I was blown away by what I read and saw in the package. I had heard of BookShark, but I didn’t know a lot about the company until I started researching the science.

Who is BookShark ?

BookShark is a literature-based multi-subject homeschool curriculum company. Their curriculum is secular and they follow all the state standards. Their leveled curriculum covers a three-year age span. With the 3 years, age-span families can find it helpful that they can use the same curriculum for all their students within those ages.

BookShark Science Level D ages 8-11

BookShark Science Level D

BookShark Science is a literature-based science that uses engaging and recent book resources to spark the love of science in budding scientists. BookShark Science follows the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). What makes the BookShark homeschool science curriculum unique is the company gives you everything you need in one package. Unlike many homeschool science curricula, BookShark Science is a secular science curriculum. I know what you are thinking, not another box curriculum with a ton of books and materials that need a lot of prepping.

BookShark’s Science curriculum combines a hands-on and literature based approach that is engaging and fun! Students will focus on three to four topics per year and gain in-depth knowledge of subjects including Geology, Meteorology, Physics, Biology, Animals, Electricity, Human Anatomy, Chemistry, Astronomy and more!

BookShark

BookShark Science Level D is for ages 8-11 so this will work well if you have more than one student that fits in that age range and you can do the lessons family style. You will receive:

  • Instructors Guide
  • Classic BookShark D-binder
  • 10 Literature- Based Books
  • Experiment book and kit

Prepping

You will find prepping your BookShark Science Level D requires minimal prepping. The instructor guide includes 36 weekly student activities sheets and schedules, you will need to purchase another set of student activities sheets if you are working with more than one student. The instructor guide is easy to read and follow.

Bookshark Science understand kids , because they dont repeat the same kind of lesson they put a different spin on things!

Jaidyn

BookShark Science recommends that you work with a working binder. The working binder is for your daily use of the lessons. It is suggested that you pull four weeks of student activity sheets and place them in the binder. When I pull the activity sheets I also pull the experiment recording sheets that are printed on sturdy card stock and experiment materials from the kit.

Let’s talk about storage. I keep the BookShark D-binder and books in a cube storage unit and the experiment kit in a latchmate box, but you could keep the items in the sturdy box the materials come in! I store all of these in a cube on our shelf, and his working binder is on our homeschool cart along with the books for that week’s BookShark Level D.

Lessons

BookShark Science Level D works on a 4 days a week schedule. The fourth day is for experiments, the curriculum gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace. The 5th is suggested for field trips, exploring that week’s topic further, or just a day off. On our 5th day, we play games and find extension activities on that week’s topic.

I like the Bookshark Science because it has topics that actually interest me and I can do the lesson on my own!

Jaidyn
Week 7 Coral Reef

The schedule tells you what book you are reading, pages, and what questions from the activity sheet exercise for that day. The schedule also tells you what materials you need for the experiment kit and what you need to prepare for the next week. You will also find vocabulary words on the schedule – don’t skip over this part because these words show up in the reading. I decided to have my son keep a science notebook, in his notebook are the vocabulary words and anything he found of interest from that week’s lesson.

The Experiments

The experiment kit is probably one of my favorite items in BookShark Science Level D  because of the convenience.  When we were winging it, I was always scrambling to purchase something at the last minute or skipping the experiments altogether because the materials were hard to find. . Now I am able to just pull the needed materials out of the kit, and my son can start his experiments. The kit is so well labeled, that even my son can pull the necessary materials by himself. EThe BookShark Science Level D experiment book has easy-to-follow instructions with illustrations. You know how you may do experiments with your kids and you’re not 100% sure of the “Why”? BookShark Science Level D has you covered with objectives, questions, and conclusions. Students will encounter projects that require them to use all of their five senses, engineering, art skills, logic, and critical thinking skills.

Sunday lesson planning prepping!

Currently,  we are moving into Week 9 – Sea Animals; during the first 7 weeks, we learned about food chains, animal adaptations, wolves ecosystems, animal adaptations, living things, characteristics of animals, ocean, and coral reefs. Can you believe we covered all of these topics in-depth and it has only been 7 weeks?! BookShark Science Level D also allows you to go down rabbit holes that have

BookShark makes science interesting and fun!

Jaidyn
Wolves drawings

Virtual Access and Planning!

I am using the virtual access for BookShark Science Level D to help keep us organized. The virtual access is new for this school year. The virtual access seat is available at an additional low cost. Virtual Access gives you and your student the ability to have virtual access to BookShark Science Level D in a virtual space. Be sure to check out my review of BookShark Science Level D with Virtual Access.

Last Remarks

During October, we took a break off from homeschooling for 2 weeks, but he insisted on doing science. BookShark Science Level D has found a place in our home and we look forward to finishing up Level D and next year starting Level E. My son was so impressed he asked me are all of their subjects this much fun and if so can we get those also? With all the planning done for me including the books, experiment supplies, student activity sheets included, I can spend the time I would spend agonizing over what to do for science, enjoying our weekend as a family.

My favorite book is Bringing Back the Wolves! Who knew that wolves had such a impact on the ecosystem!

Jaidyn

At the time of the review, the cost of BookShark Science Level D is $250.94 plus tax and shipping. The virtual access is an add-on for $50. I find the cost of BookShark Science Level D very reasonable for 36 weeks of lesson plans, activity sheets, science kits, and books. The cost breaks down to $6.97 a week. If you are looking to try out a lesson the company offers a 3- week sample lesson on their website. BookShark offers generous freebies on their website such as the new Volcano Unit. The company has great customer service. Support team, and you can request a catalog.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, S.T.E.A.M, Science

Mad Science Loop Lab: Gross Science Box Review!

Complimentary product received through Melanated Gold Review Squad!

We received the Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box to review and my son really enjoyed the experiments.

Our mission is to inspire children through science, sparking lifelong imagination and curiosity.

Loop Lab

Inside the box we recieved:

  • beaker, flask, and funnel (reusable)
  • corn starch, small bottle of peroxide, liquid glue
  • wooden stirrer, mesh material
  • balloon, rubberband, yeast
  • gloves
  • instruction book
  • lab coat

The kit came with a complete guide book that walked my student through all of the experiments, written instructions for measuring, and illustrations for every step. Upon first opening, the box my son first guess looking that the materials he said we are going to be making oobleck. He was seriously surprised when he got into the guidebook and saw all 3 experiments.

The Gross Science is box 1 in the series of the current 6 boxes now available for ages 8+. The experiments are quick and easy to follow, and my son was able to do them on his own. I check all the experiments beforehand to see if he needed any extra supplies, the only thing I had to add was zip lock bag, dish liquid, water, bowl, an egg, and a bin to catch any mess.

Inside the experiment books, students will find the safety steps, mess factors, and what they need. Each experiment also includes a think green, safe disposals, and clean-up checklist. At the end of the experiments you will find the How does it work description along with vocabulary. You will also notice the experiments encourage the kids to observe and then get messy. In the back of the book, you will also see the vocabulary words again along with their definitions, I had my son copy these in his science notebook and write down a little about the experiment. There is also a hidden objects search for kids to search the Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box and a Certificate of Awesomeness.

Foaming Fountain Experiment #1

Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box is a fun way to bring a little STEM into your home, they make great boxes for rainy days or if you are needing to add a little more hands-on science into your homeschool. Mad Science Loop Lab boxes are available to purchase on monthly, 3 months, and 6-month subscriptions. The cost starts at $32.99 plus $4.99 for shipping. I would love to try out the other 5 boxes, my son enjoyed doing the Gross Science box.

Be sure to check the other review of Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box by clicking the banner below.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Geography, Parenting, Reviews

World Watch Review!

DISCLAIMER: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

We have been watching WORLD Watch videos on Fridays as part of our current events. WORLD Watch was given to us to review with the crew. We received a six-month subscription for the whole family.

WORLD Watch is a online news program meant for families. WORLD Watch provides news coverage of current events. Events are updated throughout the week. You can watch video coverage of these events.

“WORLD Watch is a video current events program designed for students that develops critical thinking, biblical discernment, and news literacy.”

We watched videos about the Olympics and most recently we watched a video about hurricane Ida outage. It was nice to see a nice of variety of news coverage around the world. There are some political coverage in the videos. My son was intrigued by the triceratops coverage in Paris France and this is from a kiddo that isn’t a huge dinosaur fan.

WORLD Watch videos average about 5-10 mins and they cover single topics or variety of news coverage. We did see videos that offered viewpoints from christian prospective. I personally prefer not to see religion mixed with news. I would have also liked to have seen news reporters that were diverse especially those who are covering more ethnic regions.

WORLD Watch not only covers current events there are also topics that are historical. My son also found interesting the coverage of Nairobi, Kenya about the issues that the hearing and death community having issues with masking wearing that doesn’t allow them to read mouths.

WORLD Watch does have bloopers at the end of the videos that we found to be funny. If you are looking for a clean current events news outlet that allows for the entire family to watch this is a good option. The religious focus isn’t heavily present in the videos but you will hear and see some mentions.

Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of WORLD Watch by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldwatchshow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldwatchnews/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLhlnq_RLfpSdQ8Fm6VEEjw

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}

Crew Disclaimer