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The Iliad and The Odyssey ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

When Moe Man picked up a random copy of The Iliad on a free book book shelf, he told me that it sounded like an interesting book. We brought it home, but it found a spot on the book shelf and we forgot about it. Until I heard about the Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set from Memoria Press. I was happy to find a way to work these classics into our homeschool days.

Included in the Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set are the Samuel Butler translation of The Iliad and The Odyssey, a student guide for each book, a teacher guide for each book and a set of DVDs for each book. These DVDs are a life saver for me as mom, as they help to teach this class!

The day we got this program in the mail, Moe Man was quick to grab The Iliad, which was a bigger copy with larger print than the free one he had previously grabbed. He preceded to walk away without a word to me. This kid and books, they are a love hate relationship. He loves to read, but hates the work that goes with them. Knowing that I had a book that he was interested in and the materials that would help him, I was just as excited to get started on this study.

We started with The Iliad. It was the book he chose, so I wasn't going to argue, plus The Iliad is the earlier writing. While Moe Man took the book instantly, I took to the Teacher's Guide to see what I needed to know. Most of Moe Man's high school work is independent work, but this one is set up for a classroom setting. Even though this was set up this way, we were able to easily adapt this for our homeschool setting. It is also suggested that all of Homer would be able to be completed in 18 weeks, which averages to 4.5 hours a week, we did spread this out a little more to work with Moe Man.

Our schedule was spaced out a little more than most homeschools would need to do. We spent one day reading the book that we were on. The next two days Moe Man would watch the video that went with the book while working on the Student Guide questions for that book. These two days also included discussions with me, working on Background and Drills, discussions about the book and time spent marking and studying the questions that will be on the test.

Using this schedule, we are able to work on about 2 books a week. This means that we will be spending about 12 weeks in each of the two epics.

The Teacher's Guide has everything I need to effectively teach about these epics to Moe Man. I have the answers to the Student Guide questions and all the notes for the background and drills, the discussion help and extra teacher notes. This gives me a solid foundation that I would be able to help Moe Man with these epics. But this was not all I was given. I was given DVDs, yes DVDs that help teach each book as we read through the epic.

The DVDs are taught by Sean Brooks, a master teacher at one of Highlands Latin Schools. These lessons, or lectures, run about half an hour or so in length and Mr. Brooks talks about each book in a way that even I can understand. As we go through each book, we are able to work on answering the questions in the Student Guide. Not all the answers are there, and those that are, are not written in black and white. These DVDs make the program work for us and for Moe Man.

Overall, this was a great program. Moe Man has not argued when it came time to do this each day. Some days he had a harder time understanding, but the DVDs helped explain what he didn't understand. While I had to be a bigger role in this than his other classes, I didn't mind. It did not take up too much time each week, and I actually enjoyed this myself.

Memoria Press offers many great products! There are some of these that have been reviewed by other members of the team. Want to see what they are? Check out the reviews right here:


First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}


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December 4, 2016 ~ Homeschool Highlights

Wow, is it really December? I can not even think about where this time has gone. Here I am planning our Christmas vacation, yet I remember the first day of our new school year. I feel that we are speeding through yet another year, and I am not ready for this to happen! Yet there is nothing that I can do about this other than keeping moving.

homeschool-highlights

This last month we have been so busy having fun with the learning that we are busy doing. Everyone has had something fun that they were doing. Between the lessons, the experiments and the games, we have something always happening. I can't wait to tell you all about it!

High School

Moe Man is busy with his sophomore year of school. I am still having a tough time with that one. We have fallen in love with Easy Peasy All in one High School as I have told you before. We really have not strayed much from this curriculum. We may tweak a few assignments to fit his style, but we are working hard at keeping this working. He is loving his Biology class on Easy Peasy and the hands-on experiments that we are able to do for our lab section.

High School Experiments

We are using the World History curriculum from CHSH and love this. I love the simple aspect of this, yet the add on ideas that are a part of the teacher's guide take the learning a little further, which is just what we need to keep this interesting for him.

We have also started a simple Semester long Geology course, Fossils, Dinosaurs and Cave Men from Patrick Nurre. This is such a fun geology course that includes fossils, yes, real fossils to make this a hands-on course that we will be having fun with for a long time!

Second Grade

Ray Ray, oh Ray Ray. Yes, this is a phrase that I say almost daily! This kid…he has taken a lot of his learning into his own hands and really doesn't like me hovering. I still do, but from a little bit of distance. Ray Ray has been using the second level of Easy Peasy All in one Homeschool. He loves how independent this curriculum is for him. He logs on, does his work and walks away. Yes, just like that. Some days I wonder if this is enough, but with him, this is plenty!

Brain Cap

The lessons are great and includes worksheets when needed, copying work into notebooks and making fun projects, like his brain hat. These are great ways to keep him interested! The reading that he is working on, we have found on LibroVox and this means that he can follow along instead of being bored with just reading. Not only that, but he is officially working on some Keyboarding skills! Yes, all of this is free with Easy Peasy All in on Homeschool!

Keyboarding Lessons

Kindergarten

Little Miss is my overachiever. She wants to do it all. She wants worksheets, one on one with mom and she wants to read, now! We started with Easy Peasy, but found this was too slow for her at the younger levels. Yet, when I tried to jump her forward, it was too much. I had to step back and look at some other options.

I found Reading the Alphabet from This Reading Mama. This is something we tried years ago with Ray Ray, and it was too much for him, yet this is perfect with Little Miss. Right here is the perfect example of how each child is a different style of learner. Little Miss loves everything that Ray Ray couldn't handle with Reading the Alphabet. She loves that she is reading right away, she loves the worksheets and the hands-on approach, while still being able to work on the computer with the Starfall program.

Reading the Alphabet

So, this is where we are at, each child is learning with the style that works for them and Baby Girl is following everyone trying to keep up. I have a feeling she is going to be my biggest challenge in the years to come.

While we are happy where we are right now, we are looking in the future and I have a few plans to change a few things shortly. Not to mention that, but we also have a new year with the Homeschool Review Crew that will be starting soon. This means new products and new learning! I look forward to sharing all of that with you in the months to come! I hope you will keep following along and see where this homeschooling journey takes us!


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Homeschool Highlights ~ November 11, 2016

Cyber Weekend Membership Sale

Wow, are we really in November already? Just the thought of this has had me at a loss of words that last few days. I was not ready to vote, but as the same time I was ready for those silly ads to be over. Boy what a nail-biting election day/into the next morning. I of course decided to stay up as late as I could, the kids, they got an extra hour awake while watching, but they were tired and momma was not happy with the tired attitudes.

What else have we been doing? Well, not too much. Ha! No, we have been busy, but it is nothing to crazy to brag about. We have kept busy with our daily studies with Easy Peasy. Yes, our main curriculum has been using Easy Peasy for our studies. From everyone from Little Miss in Kindergarten Ray Ray in 2nd and Moe Man in 10th grade. We love this all in one set up, but we have of course added things as we wanted to!

Homeschool Highlights November 2016

This last month we had some fun learning about Pirates and Privateers. The kid loved this and looked forward to Fridays for these fun special learning days! Ray Ray and Little Miss continue to work on their Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting skills. They both love doing this and I love that they love something!

Little Miss is starting in on her Reading skills within Easy Peasy. I love the way they have this set up, and with all her Phonics work that she has been working on in the past has helped her out. She is running around with the Kindle showing everyone who will listen that she can read now! We love seeing her so excited and this is helping her focus more now that she is seeing words and not just letters on the page.

Ray Ray is a busy boy, only he enjoys staying busy with the latest craze. This for him has been a combo of Legos and Pokemon. I finally caved and let him download the PokemonGo app. There are a lot of rules that have come with this app. #1, he is only allowed to play when he is with mom or dad. We want to know what he is doing and where he is going. #2, all his school work must be done, and it must be done correctly. No, not perfect, but not rushed so that it is done. While I do not care for the game, I am happy to see him happy and he gets alone time with daddy while they go around town after supper.

Homeschool Highlights

Moe Man has been working hard at his lessons. He started Spanish lessons using Monarch Spanish I and loves it! I am getting my refresher when he asks me for some help. He has been having fun with some great experiments in his Biology course. I love this one from Easy Peasy High School. Everything is right there for us and the experiments are simple enough that we can use household items for the most of them. This makes his learning fun and hands on while being easy on mom!

Homeschool Highlights

Baby Girl, well, she is just keeping herself busy copying the big kids. She loves to color, but the trick to this, she loves to color on words! I have spent countless hours cleaning the books she sneaks to color in. I am finding the cheap activity books for her versus coloring books and all my scrap paper that has writing on it goes to her. She just loves the letters and I hope this is a good sign. Another thing she loves to do is play an Elmo app on the iPad. This app has her sorting objects like a pro. She sees the iPad and knows how to use it to get to her app without help!

Our week has been busy. But every week is busy. We are finishing this week up with a quick trip to Costco with grandma. We need to stock up on some household items and this is the place that helps us out! What is your favorite thing to grab from Costco? How has your week been? Let me know in the comments below!

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I am linking up over at Homeschool Coffee Break with the Homeschool Highlights Link Up! Check out these other great posts from the week!!

Homeschool Coffee Break
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Educeri Ready to Teach Lessons ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

When homeschooling, you find a time when you need to supplement your child's learning. This can happen either when they are struggling, or when they want to expand on what they are currently learning. When you have 3, almost 4 kids who are homeschooling, you look for an option that can cover more than one grade and more than one subject to help keep your expenses down. But where do you find something that fits this? We had the chance to review Educeri …….  Educeri a division of DataWORKS and their Educeri Lesson Subscription Service.

Educeri Homeschool Crew Review

What Is It

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service is a magical site that provides our homeschool with over 1,000 lesson plans for you to access. With all of these lesson plans, you cover all grades Kindergarten up to 12th grade in subjects like Math, Science, Language Arts, History, even Art. PE and Music.


Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

Each one of the lessons is presented in a PowerPoint format. There are student handouts that go with the lessons for your child to fill out while learning, or after you are done presenting the lesson.

How We Used It

I was excited to check out the Lesson Subscription Service. I looked forward to having help with my lesson planning and finding supplements for my children. I spent time looking over everything that was available and checking to see what we could use. I was able to find a lot of the core subjects, especially for the lower grades. This was nice for Ray Ray and Little Miss, but I was hoping for more for Moe Man and his high school subjects, especially the extra electives.

Educeri Kindergarten Options

I found at least one lesson for each one of the children, while it was easy for the little two, I spent some time with looking for Moe Man. I added these into the current curriculum that we were using. I had to set time aside to work with each child, as the lessons required me to help out with the teaching instead of allowing them to self-teach.

Once I had all the small details worked out, I was able to actually teach the lessons. For Moe Man, I spent more time searching. There were limited lessons for this age and these subjects. I was able to find a language arts lesson that we needed to brush up on, so we sat down with Determine a Central Idea and Analyze. This lesson had the PowerPoint for me to teach and an additional Student Handout to have him work on.

I went over the idea with Moe Man in the lesson. I made sure that he understood what we were talking about, and we were able to work on the handout as we worked on the lesson. I actually felt like I was sitting at the front of a classroom teaching this to a room full of students. The lesson gave me everything that I needed to feel this confident, even if it was just one student instead of a full classroom.

I did this same thing with Ray Ray and Little Miss. Once again, teaching the lesson and working with them on their handouts so they would be able to practice what they were learning.

2nd Grade Language Arts

What We Thought

While I was hoping for a lot more independent learning with this program, I actually found myself spending more time teaching it. Yes, it was less planning time as I was able to open and go, but I had to be there teaching it. This is tough when it comes to a homeschool mom of more than one child. I loved the lesson plan options for the lower grades as there was so many, but when I needed something for Moe Man, it was hard.

The kids showed improvement when using these lessons. We enjoyed the break from our normal curriculum and loved the way this was set up. It was easy to teach from and easy for the kids to pick up on.

We were not the only family to check out Educeri and their Lesson Subscription Service. Want to hear some other reviews? Check them out right here!


Educeri Lesson Subscription Service


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Spiritual Circle Journal ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

How do you teach your child to pray? How do you explain to them the concepts that prayer is a two-way conversation with God? What if you could find a journal that would allow them to talk with God in more than one way? A journal that would be simple and fun for them? The Spiritual Circle Journal company has given us the chance to review their Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens with Moe Man.

A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What Is It

The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens is a beautiful spiral bound journal. This journal consists of a colorful cover page, that can be removed allowing your child to create their own cover on the following heavy weight cardstock. There is a clear protective sheet over that will cover this, keeping it safe from daily wear and tear. There are 65 blank journal pages in this journal. However, when I say blank, I don't mean plain white pages. These blank pages consist of 9 "circles" or designs. Each of these circles is for a different steps in the "talking" with God. Different things like a lyric or bible verse that has caught their attention to a lesson learned/light-bulb moment as well as Thank You and Actions.

Spiritual Circle Review

Following these journal pages, there are 16 summary pages. These pages are filled with blank circles. These circles are to be filled with summaries of what was important during the day, week or month, depending on how often you decide to use them. Some ideas for filling these in could be the lessons that was learned during that time, a favorite verse that wants to be remembered or different character traits your child has read about.

The Spiritual Circle Journal wants to teach your child to listen and notice the way the God is talking to them. They have the goal of helping your child find a deep and fulfilling quiet time with God in just 15 minutes a day!

Spiritual Journal Cover

How We Used It

I have wanted to help Moe Man learn more about prayer for some time. However, as a teenager, he doesn't always like to listen to what mom has to say. So, we took this as a wonderful sign of help! Moe Man has a daily Bible reading schedule, so after he was done reading his Bible, he would sit down with this journal and fill it out each weekday. I promised Moe Man that I would not read his journal unless he wanted me to. These journal entries took him past the point of answering questions, but rather digging deep into himself to "talk" with God.

Spiritual Circle Review

The first week, we would sit down together, I would explain each different "circle" and let him know what he should be thinking about. There is a great key that explained each topic and a wonderful example page. One thing that I know about Moe Man is if there is an example, he only copies that and doesn't branch out. So I took the examples and used them myself. I would give him numerous examples each day so he had to think about it. This way, I knew that he was writing about him and not just copying what someone else was doing.

What We Thought About This

I had the hardest time with this. I am so used to checking the work of the kids that when I promised NOT to look at something, that is all I wanted to do! I did sneak some peeks over his shoulder while he was writing, but all in all I did good and let him have this time with God. I loved how simple this was. I loved seeing Moe Man spend the time actually thinking about what was happening around him, what he was doing and what he was seeing and or hearing around him.

Moe Man enjoyed his time with this journal. He enjoyed spending time learning how to talk to God. This explained to him the steps needed in a conversation better than I have ever been able to do. He liked that this was something between him and God alone, and really appreciated that I kept my promise to not look at what he was writing.

Spiritual Circle Review

The concept behind this journal has me interested in getting the grown up version. While I thought I knew about praying, I really enjoyed reading about this way and would love to have used it myself.

We were not the only family to have the chance to take a look at this journal. Take a look at the other reviews from the crew and see if this is something you want to have for your kids!


Spiritual Circle Journal

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Our 2016-2017 Book Lists

I grew up loving books. I got to pick Little Golden Books instead of candy after a good shopping trip with mom. We would go to the mall and spend half the day in the book store. I am thankful for my mom for doing this and instilling this love in me. I am trying to aim for the same goal with my kids. We love book lists. We love seeing what books go with what lessons. This year I am actually sitting down and writing our own book lists out for each child! And I want to share them with you!

Our 2016-2017 Reading Lists

Since this is the first year of making a book list, I am going to make it easy on us. I have planned one book per month. I don't plan on scheduling which book for which month, but each month I want to have the boys reading one off of the list. Besides the list I have picked out, I plan on having the boys pick at least one other book to read. The books they pick need to be at their reading level or higher and they will have a book report or project to work on for each book. Of course, they can read more, and I hope they do, but this is what I am requiring them to do.

Little Miss will have her own books. Of course they won't be chapter books and there will be more. I plan on making seasonal lists for her, and will be getting them planned and written up to share with you soon. But now, onto the lists for the boys!

10th Grade Reading List

For Moe Man I wanted to find interesting books that went with the time period he will be studying in his history lessons. Moe Man has always been a struggle when it comes to reading. He likes what he likes, and rarely opens up to something new. However, I have won in the last three picks that I did for him, so he is more open to letting me pick books. That means that I work harder at finding his books, but with this list, I hope to have found a good selection.

  1. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dpstpevski
  4. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  7. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  8. The Sea Wolf by Jack London
  9. The Thousand Year War in the Mideast by Richard Maybury and Jane Williams
  10. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  11. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  12. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

10th Grade Reading List

2nd Grade Reading List

Ray Ray, my little reader. This kid taught himself how to read when I wouldn't read him EVERY Goosebumps book in the house. I taught him the basics, but one thing I didn't do was push him. I didn't make him read because of how old he was, or what grade he was in. He didn't want to read, and I knew he would one day, so we went on to other things. Next thing I know, he won't stop reading. However, now that he is busy reading, I want to get him focused on his reading. While doing this, I want him to read some good classics and yet have them be just as interesting as the new ones on the market these days. Here is the list I came up with for his 2nd Grade year.

  1. Paddington Bear by Michael Bond
  2. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
  3. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  4. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  5. Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers
  6. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
  7. 39 Clues Series
  8. Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  9. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
  10. Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  11. Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
  12. The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

2nd Reading List

I am super excited to see what the boys think of these books. I remember reading a lot of them and the joy they brought me. I am hoping that they will enjoy them like I did.

What are the books you are looking forward to reading this year with your kids?

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10th Grade Curriculum Choices for 2016-2017

Here we are, over half way through August. Do you know what that means? To our house that means the new grades have started and the kids are back at school after their two straight weeks off. This also means that I have a 10th grader. I am not ready for this, but I don't have a choice.

I remember the first day that Moe Man came to stay with us. That first day, he was a week away from turning 6 and not even ready for Kindergarten. I knew that I had to plan a birthday party and get him ready to start Kindergarten in public school. At this time, this was the scariest thing I could be doing, being a new mom to an almost 6-year-old and getting him registered for Kindergarten. Little did I know, that planning his 10th grade homeschool year would be even more scary! No longer am I "trusting" someone else with his learning, it is all up to me! After a few prayers, some trials and errors and a lot of planning, I think I know what we will be doing this year!

Our 2016-2017 10th Grade Picks

Math

10th grade Math is typically Geometry. This has been a fear for some time. Moe Man had had a hard time with math and we have been working hard to get him caught up. This is where year-round homeschooling has helped! Moe Man doesn't forget as much if we keep up with our lessons. Thanks to this, we will be starting Geometry using Math Without Borders. I am super excited about using this curriculum, as I think it will be laid out perfect for him. I have a review coming up soon on this!

Science

This year we will be doing a Biology course. After looking at a few different ones, I have decided to use the one provided over at Easy Peasy High School. This course covers everything that he will need including a virtual lab. The best part? This is offered for free! I have been so thankful in finding this website and all they offer!

History

This year, we are working on World History. I am super excited to have the chance to review the CHSH Download Club. Within this I found a World History Course. This course covers everything from Ancient Egypt all the way up to the 1800s. Moe Man loves history and I look forward to seeing what he thinks about this and how well this works. Keep an eye out for our full review!

Language Arts

This year we are going to finish up The Power in Your Hands from Sharon Watson. We love this one. Moe Man has been actually writing and I love this. We look forward to finishing this up and seeing where it takes us! When it comes to the literature for 10th grade, we are going to be aiming for 2 books a month. We are going to pick our books from the wonderful list provided from Starts at Eight. I love this list and love that it covers the time era we will be covering in History.

Physical Education

Moe Man has been taking Martial Arts. He did not want to do this, but finally gave it a try and loves it. All three of the older kids participate twice a week and I love being able to see them advance in their skills. We will be counting this as our gym class and adding in a few lessons on healthy nutrition as well.

Electives

Being in 10th Grade, Moe Man gets the chance to pick out electives. This year we are going to start Spanish. Moe Man really wants to learn Spanish. I was super happy to find a Spanish program over at the download club at CHSH. This looks like a good starter program that I can supplement with our Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids that we reviewed the other week. This is a little simple for Moe Man, so I am glad to find something to go with that.

That is our year in a nutshell. Now, remember, we homeschool. This is what we plan to do, but I am certain that something is going to change. Something won't work and we will find something better. We will get the chance to review something and like it better than what we already have.

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