Saturday, 12 November 2016

Amusing math

The girls were singing 10 green bottles yesterday and to my amusement (and suffering) when they got to 'no green bottles hanging on the wall' (and I'd almost breathed a sigh of relief) they created a new set of verses 'and if one more should accidentally fall, we'd have negative one green bottl hanging on the wall' (all the way to negative ten)

Friday, 4 November 2016

Homeschool Legacy - Victoria and her World

History is one of our favourite subjects so we were pleased to be offered the chance to review Homeschool Legacy products. We chose Victoria and Her World Once-a-Week Micro-Studies because it tied in nicely with our current studies. There were a number of other choices available including Once-a-Week Unit Study: Christmas Comes to America and Once-a-Week Micro-Studies Pirates or Privateers: You Decide, Cooking up History with the Founding Presidents and Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims (so be sure to check out my crew mates reviews if those titles would be of interest)

Once-a-Week Micro-Studies are small unit studies in that provide three 30-minute lessons per week. They are designed to give you an introduction to history and are easy and simple to use (hardly any prep needed). Victoria and Her World arrived as a 18 page pdf covering Victorian England, it's full of links so we found it easier to view online but it's just as easy to use if you decide to print.

It's broken down into four weeks

Week one - gives a basic overview of literature, music, government and geography of Victoran England.

Week two - looks at the background of Victoria, fashion of the time, art, printable timeline and history.

Week three - discusses the royal family, Christmas traditions, toys and recipes 

Week four - cover challenges Victoria faced, games, toys (including making a zoetrope), industrial revolution and another recipie suggestion for afternoon tea.

The lessons are designed to be fairly quick (30 mins, three times a week) and give a great introduction to Victorian society - they are very easy to extend if you wish.

The girls favourite activites were the Christmas related ones, they especially loved making all the decorations. 

They did also enjoy the baking and toys.

I liked the level of content and the easy of using the Micro-Studies and was very impressed with how it inspired the girls to do more. A great plus for me is the adaptability of them, they be extended if you want to create additional depth, done in a different order, made easier for younger siblings and tweaked to fit your schedule. We ended up doing the whole weeks work on one afternoon which took a couple of hours (depending on the activities)

The Once-a-Week Micro-Studies are available for $12.99 and are designed for grades 1-8.

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the Homeschool review Crew

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Sewing lesson results

We've had a busy week getting ready for Rose's baptism but I wanted to share how impressed I have been with her sewing skills - from the earliest lessons with their sewing teacher, to putting zips in, to sewing button holes and learning how to draw a pattern - she has loved every minute and used so many of her new skills to sew her baptism dress :)

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service - Homeschool Review Crew

I often find myself trawling the Internet for ideas and lesson plans, so when the chance came to review the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service from Educeri ....... Educeri a division of DataWORKS I was keen to give it a go. I was given a 12 month subscription to review.

Educeri is an online site full of ready to teach lesson plans. They currently have over a thousand lessons available across grades K-12 covering topics in;
  • Math
  • Science
  • English Language Arts
  • History
  • Art
  • P.E.
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • English Language Development
The site is fairly easy to navigate. Once logged in you can choose to view all lessons, browse by topic, browse by grade or search for a specific lesson. You simply click 'Teach Lesson' to view.

The lesson is presented like a slide show and you have to click to move to the next slide. Each page usually has a few sentences of information, some helpful tips (in boxes) and some problems shown underneath. After you have read the information and worked out the answers, you click and the next few slides walk you step by step systematically through the problem. There are marker and eraser functions you can use through the mouse control but we found it easier to just say the answer and click to see it solved.

At the end of each lesson there is a detailed overview giving you the learning objectives, vocabulary, common core correlations and most of the lessons have printable handouts available so your students can practise what was covered in the lesson.

We used Educeri as a supplement to our existing lessons, for example Rose has been looking at quadrilaterals in geometry and I found a lesson that tied in perfectly.

The lessons aren't really interactive but I sat with her and helped her read the info and she took great pleasure in 'seeing' if her answer was correct as she clicked to the next slide.

Whereas Sunflower was quiet capable of using this on her own, she just browsed the list and picked out lessons that she wanted (I did set her a few to supplement areas we were currently studying) - she particularly loved the lesson on Australian Indigenous Rock Art.

I really liked the level of detail in the lessons and it was nice to have  prepped lessons to hand on days when I wasn't on top form. I was impressed by the breadth of topics covered in math, science and english arts, we used a number of them and I have plans to use many more : )

I would like to see some audio included in the lessons, especially for the younger ages. I am excited to see what new lessons will be added to other areas (especially Art).

You can purchase an annual subscription for $75 or opt for monthly subscriptions at $7. Educeri offer a 30 day free trial so you can see how it works for your family.

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the Homeschool Review Crew.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Asia group activity day

Our activity day last month - sorry for posting it late but was hit with health problems.

I will be honest and say this topic (one the kids voted for) filled us parents with dread - that said, we all managed to create some amazing activities.

We looked at the Mongolian Empire, lifestyle and how they made felt.

Studied the Terracotta Army and had a go at making our own.

Looked at the countries in Asia and drew their flags for the giant map.

Read all about moon lanterns and had a go at lantern making.

Explored Rangoli and drew our own.

Made edible maps of the rivers and mountains in Asia.

I was very impressed by one childs' take on Mt.Everest - the tallest mountain of marshmallows :)

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy - Homeschool Review Crew

I was so excited to get a chance to review the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc. Sunflower is doing an arts award in film and has been begging for a programme like this, in fact she squealed when I told her what we were going to review.

The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy has been created by Ken and Zac Lawrence, a father and son team who have been producing, acting and directing since 2004 and have run numerous film camps. They took their combined experience and created an amazing online film school.

The course starts with an introductory video and is then broken down into 5 modules

  • Camera - broken down into six lessons, it starts by introducing you to the camera, educated you on lenses, frame rates, shutter speed, tripods and more.
  • Cinematography and Lighting - consists of 15 lessons and covers topics including; hard & soft light, types of light, painting with light, framing, depth of field, green screen, setting up an interview and more.
  • Sound - has 6 lessons covering sound equipment, microphones, field recorders, location recording etc.
  • Pre-production - this has 5 lessons covering various aspects of writing the Screenplay, paperwork, creating the team etc.
  • Production - this is a 5 lesson module covering; the crew, set management, how to direct, filming step by step and more.

They are currently creating additional content that will be added throughout the year. 
The Modules are easy to navigate (and are even marked off when you have completed them) and each lesson ranges in length from 2 - 25 mins and show some great hands on examples and tips. Once a lesson video has been watched there are various download bonus templates, documents and interviews with a quiz at the end of each module.

The lessons are packed full of information but so easy to follow that even a novice like me has improved. I loved that you can move through at your own pace and that the entire family can all use the same subscription (lovely cost saving). They really impressed me with the level of examples shown and that they have even thought about the type of basic equipment you would have available at home (camera and lights) and included suggestions for how to improve basic equipment (plans for a PVC shoulder rig anyone?). 

Sunflower loved that the lessons were so engaging and especially loved the tips they gave, in her words 'this is the best school work I've ever done'. She has been working on several story boards and its been lovely to see her enthusiasm and excitement for the work. She has even tried to incorporate a 'green screen' into her background.
The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is available for $299 for a 12 month subscription. but until November 30th, 2016 They are offering a $100 discount with the code FALLCREW16  

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the Homeschool Review Crew

Friday, 7 October 2016

Everyday Education, LLC - Homeschool Reveiw Crew

My strengths lie in the sciences and math, not language arts.I am aware that we haven't studied how to write essays and we have only dabbled in grammar so when the chance came to review Everyday Education, LLC I was keen to jump on board. We chose Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers (high school into college) in the hope it would pull my skills up to speed and give Lilly (14) a head start. 

Excellence In Literature Handbook For Writers is compiled by Janice Campbell. Janice worked with Ian Johnston to combined and adapted two books he wrote into a guidebook for the writing process and a one stop reference guide that I can see us using for years. 

The Handbook For Writers is a 420 page e-book covering High School to College. It is designed to help improve your writing skills and provide a much needed reference guide. The topics cover everything from basic grammar to creating topic sentence outlines, writing formal papers, paragraph structure, writing for college etc. 

The first section focuses on teaching you how to write, looks at differentiating between facts and fiction, how to construct a thesis, essay models and instructions (paragraph structure etc) 

The second section is the reference guide and focuses on correct grammar, punctuation usage and writing mechanics. There are nine chapters in this section covering

  • Phrases, Clauses, Sentences - covering citations, compound subjects,scientific/technical writing, literary analysis, sentence classification, complex sentences, punctuation etc. 
  • Words - covering spelling, nouns, pronouns, jargon, abbreviations etc. 
  • Basic Punctuation - covers dashes, brackets, semi colon, ellipses etc. 
  • Pronouns and possessive forms 
  • Parallel Structure 
  • Modifiers, Gerunds, Infinitives 
  • Clarity, Logic, and Structure 
  • References And Bibliographies 
  • Formats - this looks at various formatting principles for essays and research papers. 
The Handbook for writers is the most complete writing resource l have ever seen and has already delivered results. Lilly read through a couple of sections on literary analysis which have helped her immensely with her coursework. The Handbook is amazingly adaptable, it can be a basis for lessons, can be used independently or you can just dip in and out for helpful tips and corrections.

The Handbook for Writers is available as an e-book for $29, as a 
printed - spiral bound book for $39 or as a set of both for $49.

You can see what my crew mates thought of this, Perfect Reading and Working it Out: Poetry Analysis over at the Homeschool Review Crew

Sunday, 18 September 2016

You've gotta love homeschooling....

.... when it looks like this.

where else can you sit in a sunny garden, playing with geese and catching up on your English Literature assignment?

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hands on with Pythagoras - part 1

We've been looking at Pythagoras this week and decided to do some hands on activities to prove his theorem

In all our readings, the fact that appealed to the girls most was that he used to do his working out in sand and used different coloured sands - it's even resulted in our old sand tray making a come back :)

Our first activity used graph paper to prove a2 +b2 = c2
We draw a triangle and then used graph paper to draw a square for each side, they chopped up square a and b to fit inside square c. They finished by making a poster.

Friday, 9 September 2016 TOS Review

Over the summer we have had the privilege to review otherwise known as the 
Christian HomeSchool Hub Download Club. I was given a years subscription to the CHSH Download Club is the creation of  homeschooler, Lynda Ackert. She decided to put her love of creating to good use and designed a website that acts as a hub for all her educational resources - it has over 50,000 down loadable pages including; worksheets, lapbooks, flashcards, notebook pages, reading comprehension, languages, writing prompts, workbooks, posters and many more. It even remembers us and has pages of organisational materials including; planning forms, graphic organisers, awards and calendars as well as daily devotionals and discussion forums. Lynda is continuously adding new contents to the site as she creates them so the list is ever evolving. is incredibly easy to use. Once you have registered online created your account you can browse the resource bank and search by subject, search by topic or keyword, search by grade level or search by monthly events. The subjects are broken down into the main topics areas of Bible Related Resources, Languages, Arts Music and Crafts, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Electives, Health.

You can opt to search by grade level - Kindergarden, 1st-3rd grades, 4th-8th grades, 9th-12th grades.

There are two ways to search by month as well.


I selected a summer math activity for the girls (fractions) and then gave them free reign to select their own 'lessons' for the summer. 

Rose being the wannabe inventor decided she wanted to know more about inventors and how they did it so we opted for a pack on Thomas Edison. Sunflower and Tulip wanted to look at the industrial revolution (more as an excuse to visit the local museums again) so I downloaded their pack. Basically this had something for every child (even Lilly downloaded some English Lit activities to go alongside her coursework), I downloaded some nice grammar rules and math posters to use as prompts for the new school year.

If you are after simple worksheets for practise or for a more complete lesson plan - its all here. For example the Industrial Revolution pack we used is a 24 page pack including reading, questions, vocab, timelines, discussions, reading comprehension and more. There are a number of additional worksheets and activities to go alongside the main pack.

I've got to be honest and say I'm very impressed with - whatever we are studying there seems to be something here for every age group. I love that its all in one place and saves me hours of trawling the Internet for suitable materials and I love how versatile it is, whether we want to do lapbooking, notebooking, worksheets, discuss, fill in the blanks, narrate etc. there is something in the hub to use. It makes it so much simpler to homeschool and teach your children. offers an annual subscription fee of  $25 or for lifetime only for $99.99. They have freebies so you can trial the site and they have options to buy individual worksheets or workbooks.

You can see what my crew mates thought over at the TOS Blog.

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