CursiveLogic – A Homeschool Crew Review

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

I believe that all children need to learn the necessary skills of life. One of these is knowing how to write and read cursive. Trying to find a simple program that made it easy for the kids to learn can be hard. However, we had the chance to review CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic. This is the program we love for learning cursive in our house.

We have had the chance to review this once before with Moe Man, and we fell in love with how simple it was. I have tried a few different programs with Ray Ray, but they just weren’t what we were looking for. Having the chance to try the newly updated program, I was excited!

What It Is

The CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack is a workbook and access to the webinar. You will have access to this webinar for 6 months. The webinar shows you how to use the patent-pending CursiveLogic methods. These methods work on a shape-based approach. This means that your child will learn the letters that are the same shape at the same time.

As we learned the shapes, we learned a chant that helped us remember the shape. This was extremely helpful for Ray Ray to remember how to make the letters. Using this method of learning how to write cursive also allowed Ray Ray to write real words right away. This gave him a sense of satisfaction that made him want to do more.

We also received The Art of Cursive coloring book. This is just that, an adult style coloring book that works on the methods of cursive. This is a great way to practice the shapes as well as introduce them to pre-writers. It is also a great relaxing tool for mom when the kids don’t steal it from me!

How We Used It

I watched the webinar first. I wanted to know how to teach Ray Ray the correct way. As I was watching, I figured that at his age he would be able to watch the webinar with me to learn how to do the methods of CursiveLogic. We sat down together and watched the first lesson of the webinar and took did the workbook pages as we went along. Ray Ray was impressed that he was able to catch on within the first lesson. This made him want to learn more.

While this program is easy to use and Ray Ray picked up on it, I realized that he wasn’t ready to move as fast as they suggested. Each lesson is broken down into days, and each day you complete what is listed for that day. Instead of doing all the pages for each day, we slowed down and split the days up. This worked for us, gave us little frustration, and allowed us to continue having fun and learning.

The Art of Cursive was too “girly” for Ray Ray, and he didn’t want to use it. That was fine with me, as I thought it looked like a good thing for me to do to relax at the end of the day. My only problem, Little Miss, stole it from me. The first pages go over the shapes, but after that you get pictures. These are not ordinary pictures, each image is full of the different shapes, along with a quote.

What We Thought

We loved CursiveLogic the first time we tried it, and we love it more with the updates that have been done with it. While they are not drastic changes, they are just enough to make it even more fun and easy to understand. Ray Ray didn’t fight me after we adjusted the schedule to fit us and our learning. He loved that he was able to write in cursive and had to show it off when he saw that learning a and d meant that he could write dad without it being on the paper.

I loved having the webinar to help me teach the methods of CursiveLogic to Ray Ray. Having the webinar set up like it was teaching a classroom of students, made it easy to have Ray Ray watch and learn with me. Pulling that up at the beginning of each new shape method and knowing that he is getting an excellent understanding of how to do this makes me confident in knowing that he will know how to write in cursive without an issue.

Having the necessary skills in life is what I want my kids to learn. Cursive is one of those skills that I feel they need to know. Finding a program like CursiveLogic to teach this skill is a huge stress relief for me.

Check out CursiveLogic on Facebook:

Find out what the other review crew members think about CursiveLogic right here:

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}
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Teach Your Students how to Take Notes

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

Taking notes is not fun. Trying to teach your child to take notes is even less fun. But taking notes is a very important skill to have through high school and college. On top of this, most homeschool students are independent learners. Which means they do their own learning instead of listening to a teacher all day. Therefore, they may lack the understanding of how to take notes from auditory sources.

I had the chance to work with Moe Man on Teach Your Students How to Take Notes from Writing with Sharon Watson. This 7-week course is simple and easy to use. This is an eBook and upon ordering it, you will have access almost immediately! During the 7-week course, your child will build their skills while starting with a simple paragraph all the way up to listening to an essay and documentary.

This is a very simple open and go curriculum. It is not a computer course for your kids, in fact your child will not even be taking notes on the computer, they will be using the old-fashioned pen and paper method. Sharon did her research and found that by having your child take notes by hand will help them focus on what is important and remember what they hear.

I printed the whole eBook right away upon receiving this. I find it easier to have the papers in my hands and take notes on them myself as I teach! Each week I was able to open to that week’s page and see what I needed to know right away. The first section of each week is the objectives for the week. Following this is the teacher preparation. These two sections allow me to spend the time I need to prepare for the actual teaching of the lesson.

After the teacher prep, we jumped into the actual learning. Each week we built upon what we learned the previous week. Some weeks we had two exercises, other weeks, we had one longer lesson. With each lesson we have a handout to give to the students to help them with taking notes. I would read a selection to Moe Man, he would spend time listening to me and take notes, using the handouts to help him, and we would finish up with questions and answers. By using these questions, I was able to see if Moe Man had taken notes on the right things and would be able to answer these questions.

This was a very simple course. I was shocked as to how simple it was. However, each week, I noticed Moe Man was getting more and more questions correct. Even with the passages becoming longer, and the notes more tedious on his part, he was still getting them right. This was proof that the simple things I was telling him and the simple handouts I was giving him was just the right amount to help him, not to mention avoiding the computer and using the pen and paper.

Are you worried about your child’s ability to work on taking notes while listening to someone speak? Do you want to give them another skill that will help them as they further their education? If you want that, you will want to check out Teach Your Students How to Take Notes for Writing with Sharon Watson! I am glad that we did!

What is even better? Sharon decided to put this eBook on SALE!! From now until November 17th you can get 20% off your order of Teach Your Child How to Take Noteswith the code TEACHNOTES20. Don’t miss out on this awesome deal!

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Story – Write 31 Days

I am still following along with the write a day for 31 days, and following the prompts from Five Minute Fridays. The prompt for Friday that I need to catch up on is Story…

My kids love to write stories. However, sometimes they need a little help getting their story into focus. I love to find homeschool curriculum that I can use to help them get their ideas out onto paper and make a story out of it!

When you have 3 school aged kids, finding curriculum for all of them can get expensive. With my membership to Schoolhouse Teachers, I can find curriculum for all of them for one low price!

When it comes to stories, I have found 3 great courses that I love to use with my kids to help them write a story.

Adventures in Writing is a great course for the elementary ages. Jan May is the instructor and in 14 days your child will have written a story similar to that of Charlotte’s Web. There is a simple lesson plan and everything you need to help your 8-12-year-old write a zany story that they will love to share for days and years to come!

Creative Storytelling from Charity Martinez is geared for Elementary to Middle School ages. This is a 15-day lesson plan that comes with a lesson plan for you as the teacher. Each day your child will add more details to their journal with this step by step guide on how to make their story come to life!

Creative Writing is available for high school students written by Carrie Daws. This course digs in deeper to the writing techniques that your child will need to get their story published. Your child will work on developing their character, scenes and dialogue as well as spending time editing their work to get it ready to publish. The final unit of the course is actually fully geared towards to publishing your child’s story.

I love having the option to find a course for my child to write and develop a story no matter their age. Having this option allows them to be creative and I love it all!

If Schoolhouse Teachers looks like something your children could benefit from, check out the awesome deal they have going on right now! You can get ONE great price for ALL your kids!

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Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook – A Homeschool Crew Review

Cursive is a must learn in our homeschool. While many schools are skipping this in their learning, we have decided that each of our kids should be able to at least read it, even if they have a hard time writing it. Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks has Easy Peasy Cursive that we have been using with Ray Ray.

The Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook is a simple visual workbook. There are three pages for each letter. Two of those pages are full of letters made of dots for your child to trace and get the feel of the letter. The last page is simply the outline so that your child can try their hand at actually writing the letters.

These are not your typical trace and go pages. These are printed on a heavy weight paper. There are color guides to help your child know the difference between upper and lower-case letters. All the pages have angled guidelines that allow for the proper slant needed. There are even spacing guides so as your child gets used to the letters, they are also getting used to even spacing.

There are no directions on how to use these pages, but they are simple enough to figure out. We used half to a full page each day, 3-4 days per week. I would allow Ray Ray to stop early if he was getting the hang of the letters or I would make him complete it all if I noticed he was having an issue. This was nice to know that I could modify this for his own use.

The first two or three days of the week would be spent working on the new letter and simply tracing the dotted lines. This was the simple part. But this was also important. This time was all about him getting the muscle memory of how to write the letters. After this, we had the blank pages. This allowed me to have him focus on the letter that was learned. However, I could have him combine two or more of the letters that he had learned together and start forming words.

While all the letters go in order, there is nothing that would require you to use them in that order. They can be used in any order that you would want for your child. This meant that I could allow Ray Ray to focus on letters that would form quick easy words when combined. This was key for him. He needs to see the full outcome, and not just one letter at a time. When he could see a word that he had written, this gave him encouragement to keep going.

While this workbook is meant to help reinforce letter formation, Ray Ray has only had a small introduction to cursive. This was his first time fully working on the practice of cursive. I found that even though he didn’t know the letters before this, the main guide of letters show the way he should be writing them.

The Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook was just what Ray Ray needed to help him learn cursive and practice the proper letter formation without a lot of extra stuff on the pages. This kept him focused and prevented his mind from wandering. We love how “easy peasy” this workbook was to use and look forward to learning the rest of our letters!

Visual Handwriting

Channie’s Visual Handwriting and Math Workbooks provide other workbooks as well. If your child is not ready for cursive, you can check out their Easy Peasy Alphabet which is set up in a similar way to the cursive, just in print. They also have One Page a Day: Double Digit Math. This is one that I want to get to help Ray Ray practice his math. I also want another copy for when Little Miss is ready for this math. The way the numbers are spaced and lined up is a great visual for those double digits!

While we didn’t have the chance to get our hands on these two books, many other reviewers did! Check out their reviews and more right here:

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Reviews}
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Crew Disclaimer

Hewitt Homeschooling – A Homeschool Crew Review

Finding great literature is not always hard, finding the right curriculum to go with them can be a tad difficult. Hewitt Homeschooling has given us some great literature and a great program to go with it! We had the chance to check out Lightning Lit & Comp British Early – Mid 19th Century and loved what we saw!

This review gave us the physical Teacher's Guide and Student Guide. We also had the chance to use the Paper Evaluation Service that they offer. There are four books your child will read through during this program, Pride and Prejudice, Ivanhoe, Frankenstein and Jane Eyre. These books were not included in the set we got, but I found them at our library or on the Kindle.

There are four units in this book. Each unit has two lessons. It is recommended to use this guide in a semester. While using this schedule, that you can find in the Teacher's Guide, not only will your child read all four books in 18 weeks, but they will also work on writing about two papers for each book. While this is the recommended pace, and the pace we used for this review period, we are going to be slowing this down now and making this a year-long study.

Moe Man is great a reading, but when it comes to comprehension and paper writing, he has troubles. I love that after seeing the Semester Schedule I saw the Full-Year Schedule in the Teacher's Guide. This is the schedule that we will be switching to for his sake, and mine!

When you first open the Student Guide, you will find an introduction to the whole book. This introduction will give your child all they need to know on how to make this course successful for them. They will not only be introduced to the topics they will cover, but also given hints on how to make their writing better. Everything is there from how to write an introductory paragraph and conclusion to supporting paragraphs and tips on rewriting. Your child is also given tips on how to get a better grade. Simply by keeping a notebook for vocabulary and a reading journal and even some extra projects to help with the learning.

Each lesson concludes with a writing exercise. There are multiple choices for your child to choose from, and this makes it easier on your child to be able to pick one of six topics instead of making them do as they are told. These are great for working on your child's skills in writing. Add in the Evaluation Service and you have someone else telling your child what they need to work on. While I am good a noticing the major mistakes, this service tells Moe Man what to change AND why! This is the biggest thing, the why. This helps Moe Man see things a little different and not always complain about what mom is saying.

I personally loved this program! I loved seeing that Moe Man was reading quality books and I loved how the papers were added in with enough time to write a few drafts. The comprehension questions are great. They are not too hard, and there are only about 10 at a time. And that Evaluation Service has been a treasured gift by mom! I love seeing Moe Man work harder on his writing, knowing that it will be someone else reading it!

Hewitt Homeschooling has many other great curriculums for all ages! Check out some of these by checking out the reviews of the other crew members right here!

Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

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High School Essay Intensive ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

high school writing

Writing, the one thing that Moe Man does not like to do, or at least not for school. I have tried everything with little to no luck. That is until Andrew Pudewa and his team at the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). We have been able to move forward with the products that IEW provides and we took the leap into the High School Essay Intensive writing program to help Moe Man with his essay writing skills.

High School Essay Intensive is not a full language arts curriculum. Rather this is a great supplement for high school students who are looking to work on their essay skills or even to prepare for the ACT Essay. There is no set schedule, not even a suggested schedule. Instead, your child is free to use this in any way that works for them!

high school writing

Included in this high school writing program are 5 DVDs (6.5 hours) from which your child will watch the lectures (well, discussions) from Andrew on the strategies and styles of essays. We also got a code to have access to video streaming if you would have a time when you would not be able to be next to a DVD player. There are handouts that go along with the videos to help your child in the note taking process and the Portable Walls for the Essayist.

This program is broken down into four parts.

Part 1A: General Strategies for Essay Writing: Length and Structure

  • Initial Exercise
  • A Hurt and Rescue Operation  
  • What is an essay?
  • Two Questions Writers Need to Ask
  • Translating Assignment Length to Paragraphs
  • Types of Paragraph
  • The TRIAC Paragraph Model
  • Essay Models

Part 1B: General Strategies for Essay Writing: Invention and Style

  • Canons of Rhetoric
  • Invention
  • Practicing Common Topics of Invention
  • Practice with TRIAC Outline
  • Style
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Literary Devices: Schemes and Tropes
  • Practice with Sentence Openers and Figures of Speech

Part 2: Understanding and Preparing for the New ACT® Essay

  • ACT General Guidelines
  • The Assignment
  • Strategies for Planning
  • Strategies for Writing
  • Strategies for Proofing

Part 3: Understanding and Preparing for the Redesigned SAT® Essay

  • General Guidelines
  • The Assignment
  • Annotating
  • Handy Annotation System
  • Annotating Practice
  • Strategies for Planning
  • Strategies for Writing
  • Using Effective Vocabulary
  • Strategies for Proofing

Part 4: Strategies for the Personal Essay

  • General Guidelines
  • Sample Essay Prompts
  • Strategies for Planning: Pop out from the Crowd
  • Strategies for Writing, Editing, and Proofreading
  • A Not-So-Secret Secret   
  • Final Practice
  • Concluding Comments
  • Last Bits of Advice for Life

essay writing

Being broken down in this way, you are able to see where your child needs to be and go from there. We started with Part One with Moe Man since I knew he had some work to do. This was simple and easy to add into our day, or not depending on the day. Some days I would have Moe Man work on more, but other days we would just talk about what he had learned so far.

Now that we have finished both parts of Part One, Moe Man is ready to work on writing an essay with some knowledge of what he is doing. My goal is to have him work on the Personal Essay in Part Four next, and we will be able to finish up with the ACT and SAT Essays.

Moe Man has always loved listening to Andrew talk. And when I say he loves to listen, he actually listens! This alone makes me love these programs. But seeing what Moe Man learns makes it even better! Having handouts that are easy to fill out while watching the DVDs gives Moe Man the confidence to know that he is learning and can do something like write an essay.

writing program

We are in love with the High School Essay Intensive writing program from the Institute for Excellence in Writing, and yes, I would recommend this to any high school student who needs to work on their ability to write an essay, or for those who are getting ready for the ACT or SAT Essay.

High School Essay Intensive {Institute for Excellence in Writing Reviews}

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Our Top Picks for Language Arts

Reading and writing. A main part of the curriculum for most students. Love it or Hate it, they have to do it. Language Arts is a curriculum that I am picky about. As part of Week Two, Playing With Words, of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, we are going to share with you our top picks for Language Arts.

I am always on the quest to find the right curriculum when it comes to reading and writing for my kids. These are fundamental to learning anything else. While I don’t have many years under my belt, I have tried quite a few different choices. I have narrowed it down for this year and I would love to share these with you today!

Baby Girl

Starting with the youngest! I love making sure I allow the kids to be able to learn at the pace that works for them. I have noticed Baby Girl wanting to be a part of our school day. I always offer her a book, or a pencil or crayon and paper. She loves both. If she is not looking at words, she is trying to copy them on the paper. I love this simple way of starting for her. Not only that, but I or someone else in the house is constantly reading to her. I love watching her tell the stories in her own language when she thinks no one is watching!

Little Miss

Little Miss is still learning her letters and their sounds.  I have learned that pushing this fundamental step will not work in my favor. I am following her lead as I did with Ray Ray and letting her tell me how much and how fast we should do.

To help her learn, I have been using the Getting Ready program on Easy Peasy. This is a great program. There is not too much, but just enough between computer and paper. I love watching her catch on to the letters and their sounds as we go. Lee has made a program that can go at whatever speed you want. Some days we do more, some days we do just the bare minimum. 

Ray Ray

Now that Ray Ray is in the 2nd grade and reading (which he taught himself how to do!), I figure this is the time to start focusing harder on the actual language arts lessons. I have been playing around with a few different programs, but finally settled on The Good and the Beautiful from Jenny Phillips.

This program has it all. It is so simple, just open and go. I love the simple ease of this, while seeing him learn so much. There are very few worksheets, but we focus on spelling, phonics and even some art study and geography. We have only just started this, but I love it and Ray Ray is not fighting me to go through his lessons. 

We had been doing Easy Peasy, and we loved it, but I love the overall picture of The Good and the Beautiful for the extras it throws in. I love that we are reading more actual books and not just following along on the computer. I love being away from the computer period. We have a spelling list. Not only that, but we are working on memorizing poetry. This is all stuff that I love to see him working on.

Not only that, but we are using the corresponding handwriting program. I love how, once again, it is simple. There is fun coloring or drawing to go along with the writing. There is no real pressure to push to fast, yet Ray Ray is working on his writing and I love that he can do this without fighting me on having to write!

Moe Man

Oh, the high-schooler. He loves to fight me as many teen boys love to push the limits with their parents. We have tried many programs and while there were a lot that I loved, we finally found one that he seems to love. 

7Sisters has a high school program, High School Literature and Composition 1A. There are 2 parts, or semesters worth of work. These combine both the literature and composition that is needed. But that is about it. There is no busy work, and this is what Moe Man loves the best. I love seeing him actually working on this subject and enjoying it!

Do you have a post about Playing With Words? We would love to read it! And if you want to read more, click on the link below!

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are writing about Playing with Words this week:

All posts will be live by Monday, January 9th at noon EST.

Delight Directed High School English by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Act Your Part Well- 2017 VCF by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

The Search For Language by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

Our Top Picks for Language Arts by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Multiple Approaches to Language Arts in 2017 by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

How We Cover the Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Use Your Words by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

The Art of Perfecting Macarons by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loving Languages Every Day by Jen K @ A Peace of Mind

Speech Therapy & Elementary Latin by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

The Readin’ and Writin’ Part of Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Children Who Love Books by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Customizing High School Language Credits by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

A Poetry Feast by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Teaching Language Arts without Curriculum by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

I know your pain and it is worth it! by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Language Arts: Our Style by Annette @ A Net in Time

Words! Words! Words! by Lisa M @McClanahan 7

10 Wonderful Word Games (+1) by Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Finding the Right Words by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

What About Reading Comprehension? by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Teaching Grammar and Writing Through Discussion by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

What programs are you in love with when it comes to Language Arts? I am sure we will change all of this as the kids get older, and that is the joy of homeschooling, changing when your child needs to change!

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Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ~ A Homeschool Review

Reading and handwriting, those two things are essential in my mind to the education of our children. If they cannot read or write, they will not get far in life. Even in today's society of technology, the basic skills are still necessary. We had the chance to take a look at Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting from Everyday Education, LLC as a part of this review.

Perfect Reading

We received the digital copy of the Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting book and used it with Ray Ray and Little Miss. Both of the kids are at different levels when it comes to reading and writing. Little Miss is still new to all of it, while Ray Ray knows how to read and write, yet has some frustrations when it comes to writing. I figured he would benefit from this just as much as Little Miss and actually want to have Moe Man work on the handwriting part of this as well to help him improve his handwriting skills.

Janice Campbell found Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting when she first started homeschooling and fell in love with the simple, clear penmanship that she found within the pages. Little did she know, when she went to look for again for her second child that it was out of print. After trying a few different things, she wanted to go back to this and worked hard to bring it back into print for us to use now!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

Janice starts off letting us know about the simple lesson plans. They each include reviewing the previous lessons, introducing the new concepts, working on tracing and copying what was taught, practicing the sounds (phonics) or reading that was talked about and finishing up the lesson with some copywork.

We first find a section just for the parents to help us understand what we will be teaching our children. We learn about Posture and Pen Holding, Spacing, Slant, Rhythm and Size and Different Scheduling Options which are based upon the child who will be using this. We also learn that there are four different ways to use this book. You can use it for teaching the young child to read and write, help teach the struggling readers read better, teach your child fast, legible handwriting or teach yourself beautiful handwriting.

After this simple introduction, we start the first chapter, still for the parents to go over. This first chapter talks about the reading and writing that will be taught. This program works with phonics versus the sight reading that is taught in many of the public schools. Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting aims its reading skills at ages 4-6 years old. This is the best age to start the reading lessons. It is believed that if you teach the reading skills at this age, they will be bored less and turn to TV and video games less versus the books that are readily available to them.

Beautiful Handwriting

Handwriting is taught with Italics in mind. The typical handwriting that is taught only has six letters that can formed in one stroke versus the twenty-two letters formed in one stroke with the Italic style. This encourages the child to write instead of discouraging them with the perfect forms that are required in the other style. The kids really enjoyed this way of writing. Ray Ray didn't even fight that he had to sit down and spend time writing, he actually enjoyed seeing that he could write!

I loved reading the teaching tips that were included in the beginning of this book. These tips were simple, but a great reminder to the busy homeschool mom or new homeschool mom. The one that really stuck out to me was to make sure that you don't expect your child's writing to be the same as the model. I made sure to have Ray Ray read this for himself as he is always trying to have the perfect writing and the frustration follows when he can't do that.

We simply started with the alphabet when it came to the writing and reading. The very basics of each. I would have both kids sit down together and work on the tracing and writing together. This was nice because I didn't have to spend extra time between the two children and combined the lessons. While Ray Ray knows how to write and Little Miss is just starting, this program allowed them to work together to improve or learn the skills they need.

While Ray Ray knows the basics of phonics for reading, I had him sitting with while Little Miss worked on her skills. I would have him working on the copywork for the section. This way I was able to include him if there was a section that he just didn't understand when it came to reading. He was able to improve on some of the simple phonics that I was trying to work with him on just by sitting by and listening to his sister.

It is safe to say that all three of us were happy with this product. We loved the simplicity of it. I loved that is was a print and go with the digital version and I didn't have to plan for hours on end. The beginning pages that were for me to read answered any and all of my questions that I may have had on the program and I was able to jump right in on Monday morning.

Little Miss loved using this with Ray Ray. She felt older knowing that he was doing the same thing. I noticed that she spent time working on her reading and writing and found her practicing it in her locked diary. She would also start sounding out the words that we were speaking and in some of the easy reader books right away. She loved this new independence and loved watching her bloom.


Ray Ray has always fought me when it came to writing. The fine motor skills he needed for this task just didn't seem to show up right away. Once he did start writing, it was sloppy. I would try to correct and he would be upset. When we started in on the writing here, he loved it. He loved the style. How simple it was and the one stroke letters helped him! Being able to flow with his writing, made him proud and when he was proud, he continued! I loved seeing this happen and knowing that his writing was slowly improving!

We thoroughly enjoyed using Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting. I loved all aspects of it and plan to continue to use this as a reading and handwriting program in the years to come!

Everyday Education, LLC has this and other programs available to you. Check out what these other Crew families had the chance to look at!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

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Daily 6-Trait Writing ~ A Review

Writing, it is something that is especially important, but yet hard to teach at the same time. Ray Ray loves to come up with stories, but taking the time to sit down and write them is a whole other feat. When we were given the chance to review Daily 6-Trait Writing, Grade 2 from Timberdoodle's 2nd Grade Curriculum Kit, we figured it wouldn't hurt to try it out.

Daily 6-Trait Writing, Grade 2

What Is It

Daily 6-Trait Writing, is a daily writing program that will work with your kids on a daily basis to build their writing skills using the 6-Traits. What are the 6-Traits of writing? They are; Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Voice, and Conventions. Each of the six units will take the time to teach each of these traits.

There are 25 weeks of 125 daily lessons. These lessons cover all the traits and work to make your child a better writer and only take about 15 minutes each day. Each week, you will first see the teacher pages. On these pages you will see the Trait Skill that is being worked on that week. You have the lesson plan to help you teach the lesson to your child. You have reduced pages of what your child will see along with sample answers.

Daily Writing Review

Days 1-3 will work on using models to analyze, revise or add to. This is a great way to introduce the new ideas to your child and make sure they understand them. Day 4 is a prewriting activity that will get your child ready for the writing activity on Day 5. These lessons are short and simple and work well with any language arts program that you may already be using.

How We Used It

We were able to use this program while still using our current language arts curriculum. I loved being able to use this before our regular lessons as a way to warm up. We would talk about the lesson and get started on it right away on Monday. Most of the time Ray Ray would be able to do his lesson on his own and I would just check it after he was done.

Daily Writing

What We Thought

This was a great workbook. While I don't agree that the traits will tell you whether or not your child is a strong writer, I do believe that these are needed to write well. Ray Ray loves how quick these writing lessons are. He does not care about writing, yet I have seen him grow as a writing with these short lessons. I loved that I didn't need to plan, it was an open and go book. This made it easy for a homeschool mom of 3 with a 4 running at our feet! Ray Ray was able to open this in the morning while I was busy with breakfast. This is an added bonus to me!

Ray Ray with Daily Writing

We loved adding this book into our daily homeschool schedule. It did not take up too much time and fit perfect into everything else we were already learning. I love finding things that add learning without stress and this book does just that!

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The Power in Your Hands ~ A Review

The one thing I have always feared when homeschooling the kids is their ability to write. While I know how to write, I dreaded teaching them the high school writing skills they would need to progress into college if they wanted to. What is a mother to do when this happens? I found The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School from Sharon Watson.

The Power in Your Hands

What Is It

This is the 2nd Edition of The Power in Your Hands. This is a paperback book with over 100 daily lessons for your high school student. Within this course, your child will learn all four styles of nonfiction writing: exposition, persuasion, description, and narration. Not only will your child learn to write all four styles, but they will grade and critique other students work to help make them better writers.


Included for this review, we received the student text and the corresponding Teacher's Guide. While this course is a great, learn by yourself textbook, the teacher's guide has helped me to follow along with the lessons, and see the correct answers so I could help Moe Man with his lessons if he needed it.

Both the Teacher's Guide and Student Text are included in the 11th grade Curriculum Kit from Timberdoodle.

How We Used It

I had Moe Man using this program daily. I would assign the week of lessons and check in on Wednesday and Friday. This way I knew what he was doing and if he was having any issues with what he was supposed to be learning. The way the lessons would work by introducing what the child would learn about, we would spend as much time as needed working on these new skills until I knew that Moe Man had it pretty well under his belt.

The Power in your Hands Teacher Guide

After we learned the new skills, the child takes what they learned and put that into an essay, letter or speech. Sharon provides an awesome idea for the schedule of how to spend your time writing your paper. Altogether, the learning and the writing will take 2-3 weeks. And the cycle will repeat itself until you get to the section on grammar mistakes. This is a great section that allows your teen to learn about common mistakes and work past them.

What We Thought

First of all, I should mention that Moe Man hates to write. He fights it every time! I try and try to make it as easy as I can, yet he finds a way to fight it. He tried to fight this program, but fell short when he got the chance to correct the writings of other students listed in the book. Sharon knows teens. She knows that they don't always like to follow directions, but love to find other people's mistakes and point them out. This was Moe Mans all-time favorite part of this curriculum.

Power in your hands Editor

The schedule that Sharon provided for the writing of the papers was an ideal schedule. This is just what we needed each week to keep Moe Man on track without overwhelming him with writing 300+ words each time. She had it all broken down from the researching and outlining to the writing of the body, followed by the introduction and conclusion and ending with editing his own work to find mistakes. While he still didn't care for the actual writing, he had fun with the editing to see where the problems were.

Power in your hands Grading

After using this, we have fallen in love. This is something that I can teach without worry and the teacher's guide gives me the support I need to know that I am doing something right. Moe Man is finding it easier to spend time writing. He is able to look at the grading guidelines and see what I will be looking for instead of being blind to that. He has been able to spend time "grading" other papers and knows what I will be doing and looking for. He knows this writing thing from both sides of the paper now!

If you are looking for a good writing program for your high schooler, I would recommend that you spend some time checking this one out. When a non-writer starts writing, you know you have a good program!

Have you ever used any of Sharon Watson's super awesome writing products or freebies before? What is your favorite?

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