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The Thinking Tree Thursday Link-Up!

This weeks link-up I thought all of us Thinking Tree mamas could share multiple blog post. So if you have one, two, or three blog post from the past or present please share them in the linky below.

All I ask is please link back to this post so others can read what flipping to Fun-Schooling is all about. Link back via the graphic provided or through text.

You can post reviews or how you use The Thinking Tree in your homeschool. Your post doesn't have to be exclusively about The Thinking Tree if it's a "Week in Review" type post or something similar.
Homeschooling6

Comic Book Math Review

This weeks Thinking Tree book up for review is a fun book kids will love. Now I know math is not a favorite subject for many children but give them Comic Book Math Fun-Schooling Journal and suddenly you will have kiddos wanting to do math (even on the weekends!).
Comic Book Math by The Thinking Tree
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
Comic Book Math is another gem of a book that Sarah created for some schooling fun! When kids are learning while having fun things stick and they remember. And what makes this book extra special is it has a Minecraft - LEGOish theme!
Comic Book Math
Comic Book Math is perfect for children who are visual thinkers and children with ADHD, Asperger's, and Dyslexia. There is lots of space to get creative (nothing wrong with doodling in a math book. Sometimes that helps a child retain what they are learning).

Comic Book Math is for children ages 6-11. Some of it may seem easy like the skip counting pages for an 11 year old but if your child struggles with math having something that seems easy to him/her will really boost their confidence.
Some pages are designed for the child to use with a sibling or parent by making a math mystery for you to solve! Genius idea don't you think! This a great way to get involved with your child and show him that learning is fun and enjoyable.
Some pages are designed for the child to use with a sibling or parent by making a math mystery for you to solve! Genius idea don't you think! This a great way to get involved with your child and show him that learning is fun and enjoyable.
In case you are wondering what a math mystery is -let me explain =) it's just another way to say math problem but with keeping the Fun-Schooling them Sarah switched the word problem with mystery. Viola, math is a mystery to be solved not a problem to be found!

Your child will use logic to solve with almost all the activities which helps because they won't need so much help from mom and that makes them feel like a math genius.
If you have an older child that struggles understanding the basics of math or a younger student just starting out. I'd encourage you to give Comic Book Math a try. Especially if you have a struggling child that is starting to have a dislike for math and numbers.
Notice the word "Journal" in the title of this math book. I've never seen a math book encourage journaling, has the child make and write their own comics, and just doodle on the pages if needed. What a great way to sneak in some writing in a fun way.
Comic Book Math has some of the same math problems as The Littlest Math Book. The Littlest Math Book doesn't have a LEGOish or Minecraft theme though nor does it have pages for creative writing.
Comic Book Math has been recently updated with 20 more pages! One of the updates is bigger practice problems.
What happened next? pages sprinkled throughout the book.



Lance is using Comic Book Math. He's twelve, a little older than the recommended age but it's giving him good practice of those basics facts as he moves on to higher math in his regular math program. Plus he gets to get creative and write (loving that part as a mom).




Photo Fail

I purchased the new Trim Healthy Mama cookbook because I love all the "bizarre" (one mamas term) ingredients. I love those ingredients and have been using them for years so I like that the THM cookbook includes them in their recipes.
Anyway here is a picture of a muffin that I wanted to try.
Trim Healthy Mama Strawberry Muffin
Sorry for the funny pics. Sometimes my camera on my phone takes them like this. I don't know why it happens to some photos and not others. Strange but it is what it is, Anway below is how my muffin came out, haha. Pretty ugly but it tasted yummy!

History at Our House

We are working our way through From Adam to Us and are really liking it. I love that everything is in the package. Mapwork in it's own book. No pages to coy. Same with the timeline. No hunting for pieces.
From Adam to Us
I would LOVE if the kids would color and make the page look a little bit pretty but you know how that goes with boys (at least mine).

We completed lesson 11 today!!!
From Adam to Us
This was a fun chapter. We pulled out our maps (the ones that came with My Father's World's curriculum many moons ago, yup, we still have them and they are one of the most used homeschooling items.
From Adam to Us
We are doing this together so I read and we stop to look at the map and study the maps that are included in the book.
Our read alouds. The Escape is not part of the program but it's so good and I love that my kids know what others in the past went through for Christ.

Everyday Education Books!

Janice Campbell has been so kind with allowing me to review three of her products!!! I'm really excited to use these books in our home. Two of them are McGuffey's Readers! I love the McGuffey Readers but always had a hard time implementing them. I'm praying that this version of the readers will help.

McGuffey's New Fourth Eclectic Reader
I want to use these with Lance and Ethan my 5th and 7th graders. We haven't started them just yet as we've been busy cleaning up after the hailstorm and all BUT next week I'm going to start Ethan  use the Fourth Reader and see how he does with it. I plan to sit with him and make sure he's saying all the words correctly.

I was going to start Ethan using the Fifth McGuffey's Reader but I want to make sure he's not struggling with it. His reading has improved a lot but I feel that the phonics review in the Fourth Reader will be good for Ethan.
McGuffey's New Fifth Eclectic Reader
These McGuffey Readers are different from the original McGuffey's hardback readers which were published in 1837.

The McGuffey's New Eclectic Readers from Everyday Education were published in 1857 and include an 18 page introduction for use with Charlotte Mason teaching methods by Janice Campbell. These ones are also paperback.

Another item that I'm excited to use with my boys is Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handbook by Caroline Joy Adams - republished by Janice Campbell.
Perfect Reading and Beautiful Writing by Everyday Education
I started using this with Lance. He's on the 4th lesson which is short vowels. They are easy for him but I wanted to start from the beginning.

The handwriting lessons are a bit hard for him. My goal was to have him have beautiful handwriting but we'll see, ack! I am going to sit with him and really try. Many times I'll admit I walk off leaving him to complete his handwriting lessons on his own. I don't think that's a good idea with Lance. He already has trouble with handwriting. I'm kind of caught with number 1. does he really have  a problem and is writing difficult for him because of his Aspie tendencies- or number 2. is he being lazy. Sometimes I feel like it's #1 and other days #2. Maybe it's a combination.


Guess Where we Went?

Annette took these pictures.














 And look what we came home to!


Thinking Tree Thursday Link-up!

This weeks link up is short and sweet -two of my kiddos are preparing to visit family in another state and will be gone for a few months or so (maybe longer), so I've been busy with that and schooling and mom school and taking care of the house, etc. you all know the drill =)

Yesterday I was on the couch waiting for the insurance guy to show up to asses the hail damage and saw Lance  happily completing a page in his journal. Okay, maybe I'm going a bit far with using the word "happily", haha. Lance enjoys his journals but if he had a choice to play or complete a page of his journal school, well, let's just say he'd be off in a flash BUT that didn't stop me from feeling like we should be on the cover of a Charlotte Mason book, (wink).

It was just one of those moments when everything was so perfect, breeze coming through the window, Annette reading her Bible, Lance not complaining about work, and I with my book.
 Oh, he's so cute!
 Writing. His handwriting has improved since using Dyslexia Games. He still has some reversals and floating letters.
In a few weeks I'm going to have him start a "handwriting" class (at home of course!) and I'll write a bit more about that later.

FYI: Sarah and I are trying something new and selling a Spelling Pack. If you are interested in a set of spelling books we are selling five books for $79. 

Do you use The Thinking Tree? If so be sure to link up any blog post related to TTT. There won't be a Thinking Tree link-up next week, sorry, I'll be spending lots and lots of time with my two kiddos who will be leaving for a few months.
Homeschooling6

Essentials in Literature (Review)

A few weeks ago I wrote about Essentials in Writing. This week I want to share one of Essentials in Writing's newest product: Essentials in Literature a literary analysis program!

As with the writing the literature program uses DVDs too!!! It's like having a literature teacher at our house!
Essentials in Literature a Homeschooling6 Review
Essentials in Literature Level 8 is the first to be available. I believe there eventually will be levels for grades 4-12. I'm looking forward to using them with my children.

The Level 8 literature program includes a Student Textbook, 3 DVDs, Teacher Handbook, and the novel Night by Elie Wiesel.

What is covered in Essentials in Literature: There are four units that Mr. Stephens will cover:
Unit 1: Fiction
  • Fiction unit terms and explanation
  • 6 short stories (application)
  • 1 summative assessment
Unit 2: Nonfiction (short literary works)
  • Nonfiction unit terms and explanation
  • 5 nonfiction works (application)
  • 1 summative assessment
Unit 3: Novel
  • 1 Novel (literary analysis application)
  • 1 summative assessment
  • 1 major writing activity
Unit 4: Figurative Language/Poetry
  • Figurative language/poetry unit terms and explanation
  • 5 units of up to 8 literary works (application)
  • 1 summative assessment
The summative assessment assess your child's knowledge of literary terms as well as your child's ability to analyze literary elements withing the literary work. Each of the four units have a summative assessment. Estimated time to complete the summative assessment is between 60-80 minutes.
Essentials in Literature
The units with the exception of the Novel unit are pretty much set up the same making it easy and familiar for both mom and child as they work through each literary work and unit.

Each literary work your child will:
  • Day 1: Before You Read - Meet the Author 
  • Day 2: Before You Read - Analyzing Literature and are introduced to vocabulary
  • Day 3: Before You Read - Access the Backdrop and Making Life Connections (this can be conflicts or integrity or weaknesses and so forth)
  • Day 3 continued: Reading Focus - for example in The Ransom of Read Chief the reading focus is, identifying sequence. In A Mother in Mannville it is, making inferences.
  • Day 4: Analyzing Literary Elements, Check Comprehension, and Connection Reflection
  • Day 5: Analyzing Figurative Language, Extended Activities, and Writing Connection
  • Day 6: Independent Practice (it's basically an end of a literary work assessment which includes a writing assignment)
The daily workbook lessons will take between 20-40 minutes (Independent Practice is estimated to take 40 minutes all the other days it's closer to 20-35 minutes)

What I love about Essentials in Literature is every day the program tells your student exactly what to do making it super easy to follow. If the child is to watch the video lesson first or to read the text before watching the video there is an icon.

Essentials in Literature takes all the guess work out. You should never hear, "Mom! I don't know what to do!" when using Essentials in Literature (or Writing!).
The video lessons take about ten minutes, so they are not long, drawn out, nor boring. At the end of the video lessons Mathew will cover the assignments in detail so again, your child should know what is expected of him/her. 

The Novel unit will take 23 days. The days are broken down into five sections. Each section has your child reading a certain amount of pages from the novel: Night and complete the corresponding workbook pages.

The Teacher Handbook includes a suggested schedule, the titles of all the literary works, an overview of each unit, a syllabus and answer key.

Other than the novel that is included with this program all other works can be found online or at the library. So far with Unit : Fiction I have been able to find pdf's of the selections online.

Usually on days 4 and/or 5 there are questions that analyze, check comprehension, and connection reflection questions, I have Brent find me and we do this section together.
Essentials in Literature
Teacher Handbook
How we are using Essentials in Literature: For the purpose of reviewing, Brent has been using EIL daily along with Essentials in Writing and it has been doable. I think I'm going to change that though and have Brent alternate EIW with EIL. On the Essentials in Literature page there are a few different ways that are suggested when using both programs.

One is to complete Essentials in Writing the first half of the year and Essentals in Literature the second half (or vice versa). I think I prefer alternating using EIW a few weeks then switch to EIL for a few weeks.

Brent for the most part completes the assignments on his own with the exception of discussion questions which we do together.

He completes an assignment daily. With the summative assessments I allow two days to complete.

I have Brent write directly in the textbook. It just makes things so much more simple for both of us. He does use a composition book for the Research Activity and writing assignments though.

You can obtain another student workbook for $50 by calling or emailing Essentials in Writing. At the time of me writing this review there is no buy option on the website.

Final thoughts: I absolutely love having Mathew Stephens "teach" Brent literature. It takes a load off my shoulders. The only con is that so far this is the only level available. I would love it if some of the lower levels were for sale right now so I could use them with Ethan and Lance this year. Other than wanting more levels, I'm VERY pleased with Essentials in Literature and would recommend it to others. 




Not Consumed Goodies

Look what arrived in my inbox yesterday!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.
Not Consumed sent me a pdf download of her Reading Journal to review and use with Lance and Ethan.

I do need to find a white or blue binder but for now all I have available is pink! Ack, but the journal does look so pretty in pink!
And she also sent me her awesome Portfolio Pack!!!
This is one of the pages from the portfolio pack. It's a place for me to keep track of what we are using for the year. Love it!

Next week I'll be busy spending extra time with Annette and Caleb before they leave so we won't be getting any school in. The week after that we'll start using the reading journal and portfolio.