IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

Because Katherine has continued to struggle with learning to read, I was excited when we got the chance to review The Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Special Needs Curriculum: Primary Arts of Language. We received the Reading Complete Package and the Writing Complete Package for this review. At first glance, the program can seem overwhelming because of all of the pieces included. However, Jill Pike’s introduction videos walk you straight through the why, how, and what of the entire program. After watching and learning from her laid back and very calming explanations, I was no longer worried. She makes the process simple… and fun! The Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package uses poetry, letter stories, and daily games to give a well-rounded approach to learning concepts. The package includes the following: Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s Manual Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROM, which includes the following: Instructional Video by Jill Pike Four MP3 audio talks:​ Nurturing Competent Communicators by Andrew Pudewa The Four Language Arts by Andrew Pudewa Poetry as an Integrator by Anna Ingham Intro to the Blended Sound-Sight Program by Anna Ingham Primary Arts of Language: Reading Student Book (e-book) – You can print it all out at one time as a workbook OR print the worksheets as you go along. Very flexible! Student Readers – Set up so you can print them out and staple together to make little booklets. Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Farm folder with stickers There is such a flexibility with how this program is put together. The Teacher’s Manual, Phonetic Games book, and Phonetic Farm folder are all printed materials. However, the student...
Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Educational Ministries produces so many incredible products for homeschooling families, including science textbooks for all different levels, planners, journals, and so much more! When I was given the opportunity to review their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, I jumped at the chance! After all, our kiddos love to go on field trips. 😉 Apologia’s Field Trip Journal is divided into several sections: Preparing for a Field Trip; Student and Teacher checklists for the week before, the night before, on the way, and at the “field”; Over 100 Field Trip Ideas; Over 100 suggestions for studying plants, animals, Earth, space, aviation, the human body, history, government, culture, and more; Places I’ve Explored Maps; Three separate sections help you document the date and destination of any field trips exploring your state, the United States, and the world; Field Trip Pages; Specific field trip pages help you plan out your visit, document any books you’ve read about your field trip, create a “must do” list, take personal notes, tell the “Story of my day,” and record “Something I never want to forget”; Special Spot Pages; As I See It Pages. This beautiful, spiral-bound journal is designed to help your student slow down and notice the fascinating changes that occur from one season to the next.  Four times a year, your student will map out a specific location to see what happens over time, recording things such as color, flowers, leaves, sights, sounds, animal clues such as track or droppings, temperature, average rainfall, and much more. It was created to help your child document thoughts using imagination to capture an experience as...
JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

I was SO excited to get an opportunity to personally review JazzEdge‘s piano curriculum, which is called PianoWithWillie. As a musician, and someone who has wanted to learn the piano and more in-depth music theory, this program has given me the opportunity for me to do just that. For this review, I was given a Studio Membership for one year, which includes 3500+ lessons, a 30-day start program, sheet music, audio downloads, unlimited support, and more. JazzEdge was founded by Willie Myette, a Berklee graduate, who wanted to put all of his jazz education and performance ventures in one place. He has lessons available in jazz, funk, latin, rock, gospel and blues for everyone, including homeschool families. The different programs offered by Willie are: PianoWithWillie, DrumsWithWillie, Homeschool Piano, and Easy Piano Basics. Willie’s teaching theory includes complete integration between Rhythm, Technique, Reading, Song, Style, and Concept. His idea is to make learning fun.. not just learning the foundations, but to make it fun in the process. By the 4th lesson in his 30-day start program, you are playing a fun little song. This will keep students entertained as they learn. By the 8th lesson, students are already learning about improvisation. This program is extremely comprehensive. The 30-day start program is great for either a refresher course or a cram course for a newer player. After that, there are a TON of lessons that will teach you how to play a variety of songs in many different genres. Willie’s demeanor is great, very relaxed, and makes you see learning the piano as what it should be… fun. It works on all different types of devices… computer, iPhone, iPad,...

FishFlix.com: Privileged Species – A Review

FishFlix.com offers a huge variety of Christian movies from every genre and for every age group. The company that eventually became FishFlix.com started more than 10 years ago when Dr. Enis Sakirgil, a Turkish Christian, started producing Christian films. When he immigrated to the United States, Dr. Sakirgil started online sales of his movies: Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches film. This developed into selling other Christian films online, which became FishFlix.com. This Christian-led company is now based in Mora, Minnesota and exists to glorify God in all that they do. They still have ties with Turkey through a partnership with a radio ministry there. I received a DVD of Privileged Species: How the Cosmos Is Designed for Human Life to review. Throughout the film, featuring geneticist and author Michael Denton, we learn about various elements and how they all come together perfectly to support human life. The film opens with Bill Nye, the Science Guy basically rambling about how he is a “speck” in the universe… a speck on a speck on another speck, etc. It really hit me just how depressing life would be if it really was just us. If there really was no God. It made me sad for the Science Guy, who was making light of the fact that his perspective offers no hope. After the opening clip, Michael Denton explores carbon compounds, water, oxygen, and just the overall way the universe is aligned in order to create a perfect living environment for humans on earth. He presents the evidence in a way that is simple to understand and incredibly eye-opening. There are so many puzzle pieces that...
Successful Homeschooling Made Easy – A Review

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy – A Review

This is the course I wish I would have found when I FIRST decided to homeschool. The Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course is a 26-week online course for new homeschoolers, and is full of all of the wonderful information that I pieced together last summer. As a new homeschooler this year, there were so many areas where I didn’t know exactly what to do and felt inadequate. Stephanie Walmsley walks through everything you need to get off to a great start in your homeschooling journey. The information taught is better and more comprehensive material than anything I read through before our year started. I also love the format. Stephanie emails you the lessons one week at a time, which means you can’t skip ahead. Each week, you have instructions and assignments, and you have time to actually do everything and see how it works with your family before moving on to the next lesson. Here are some of the areas covered throughout the course: • Step by step instructions on how to work out your vision and plan your goals.• Step by step instructions on how to make a schedule and develop it as you go along.• How to handle obstacles and keep going when things get tough. • How to write a lesson plan. • How to teach subjects like music appreciation and arts and crafts. • How to fireproof your homeschool and never ever suffer from burnout. • How to plan curriculum. • How to get your housework done while homeschooling. • How to keep your household organized and tidy while homeschooling. • How to keep records. • Hear from...
Real Life Press: Firmly Planted, The Gospels Part 2 – A Review

Real Life Press: Firmly Planted, The Gospels Part 2 – A Review

I was immediately drawn to the title of the family Bible studies offered by Real Life Press, written by Heidi St. John. The name Firmly Planted draws quite close to my heart, as this blog was founded on the concept of growing where we are planted. Psalm 1:3 is the key verse for this set of Bible studies: Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord; he is like a tree, firmly planted by streams of water who yields its fruit in due season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Yep, I was immediately hooked. For this review, our family was given a complete set of Firmly Planted, The Gospels Part 2: Stories from the Life of Jesus. This includes the Family Study Guide and the Student Workbook. You can get them as a PDF download or as a black-and-white print set, depending on which format works best for your family. This is such a great study! Each week of the 10-week study sets up with the scripture passage that will be studied throughout the entire week, plus a specific verse/passage for students to memorize, the main idea for the week, and extra explanation and activities to enhance the lessons. After the weekly overview, there are daily studies for each day through the week, which help to direct the topic of conversation to a different learning moment each day. The Student Workbook is INCREDIBLE! There are so many activity options, including nature studies, crosswords and word searches (with choices for younger or older students), coloring pages, mazes (with choices for younger or older students), copywork, journal...