Friday, August 21, 2015

Week One Wrapped Up

We did it!! We completed week one of the 2015/2016 homeschool year with only a few bumps and thankfully nothing we couldn't recover from! 

This week was mainly all about getting into a routine again. We took a whole month off for break before our new school year started. Remember we do homeschool year round, 8 weeks on 2 weeks off.

This week we did discover something I actually already had a hunch about - Our math option wasn't going to work for our smallest 2. I gave placement tests for the other option I had considered and we are going to be going with Horizon's math for my smallest children. Kyle will stay in Algebra 1 with MUS. I personally love MUS so this is a huge slap in the face for me but here again we have to teach how OUR CHILDREN learn not how I like to teach or what I like to use. Lesson learned first week! 

Zachary and I have been working for many weeks on All About Spelling Level 1. He has dyslexia and our tutoring had stopped several weeks ago and we started him on AAS 1. It has went really well and I am happy to say this week we completed level 1 and will move on to level 2 next week.

This was a big week for myself too! I started my own 21 day Fix / Paleo Diet this week. No sugar and a workout daily for 30 minutes. The first 2 days proved easy but the last part of this week has had more challenges. Breakfast is my problem area so I am going to get on Pinterest this weekend and try to resolve that! 

We had a HUGE birthday in our house Wednesday! Kyle turned 15 and here in NC that means DRIVING... Yes I took him to get his permit and he passed and drove from the DMV office to eat at a special restaurant of his choosing and then to get ice cream and he drove home. He did really well and I am proud of him. It makes me really nervous to see this stage in our life because I understand I start letting go from this point on. I am praying for guidance. 

Next week is also a big week because foster son starts public school, we have prepared the best we can and all of us are very excited. 

Not homeschool related but still something within our week: I made homemade mayo and homemade salsa so I could still enjoy those on my diet! They taste really good too. I was so scared of making the mayo because being from the south I am a Duke's Mayo girl through and through but to my shock the homemade wasn't that bad. 

For the first time in over 3 years I started making soy candles again!!! JUMPING FOR JOY!! I can't explain how happy I am to start making them again! I plan on testing a few things before I start promoting but if you want to follow that I will be opening my Etsy store by the end of the month! Follow along here: Simply Pure Soy Candles. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Alpha Omega Publications - Horizons {REVIEW}

Alpha Omega Review
 Alpha Omega Publications
Horizons 2nd Grade Phonics & Reading Program
$ 106.95
Kit includes: 
Teacher's Guide
2 Student Books
2 Student Readers
I received the 2nd grade Horizon's Phonics and Reading set to use with my smallest son for review. The set is a very complete set and my first impression was wow - they have thought of everything because not only does the set include really neat workbooks and the teacher's guide but it even comes with the student readers! I love that because to me that means that everything fits together and will flow smoothly. 

I first learned of AOP when I pulled my oldest son out of kindergarten over 11 years ago. This was the first company that I bought homeschool supplies from too! 

Fast forward several years and I have used several items from them over the years; I simply love the Horizon's line of products. 

My smallest son is 10 and is dyslexic and is a struggling reader, so although this is a second grade level it didn't really matter to us because I wanted to use it for reinforcement and new skill development. 

The workbooks are very colorful, I understand to some that is a distraction and honestly at some points throughout it was for my boy, however we pushed through and I could easily get him back on track by adjusting minor things throughout our lessons. 

I love how the pages easily tear out, for my son, this helps him not get so side tracked and have such anxiety. Yes, it really is the simple things because this way he doesn't see all the work waiting to be completed and he could do his best for our time in the current lesson.

The student workbooks have over 170 pages each student book.

The student readers are wonderful. 
Personally, we had some issues with reading them but I just decided we would tag team it and that seemed to work perfect for us(shared reading). 
The passages are actually longer than I expected them to be.  That alone for my struggling reader was not that wonderful of a fit but again we made adjustments and it worked.
We had trouble with knowing some of the words but nothing we didn't work out and get done.

We enjoyed several passages that had pictures, but most didn't have any image. I actually liked this because my struggling reader couldn't guess at anything (words/ideas) when a picture wasn't provided.

Now on to the awesome Teacher's Guide!

This book rocks, it has everything you need in one book to teach. 

The scope and sequence is in the beginning of the book with some recommendations. I liked how the scope and sequence was broken up into chunks for me to prepare for. 

There is an entire section of phonics and spelling rules needed. This is a huge help because you will run into so many questions at this stage in reading because sounds don't make the normal sound!  You will also need to know the "why" behind each lesson and be informed yourself on the "why" and that is exactly what you will find in the phonics and spelling rules area.

Then the guide moves on to daily lesson plans.
At the beginning of each lesson there is an overview of what the lesson is about and what you will be covering for it.
It tells you what supplies and materials are needed and then moves on to teaching tips for the lesson. 
The answers are provided within the 2 pages of the lesson plan as well. 
Everything is scripted for you so there is no confusion. 

Normally we would spend the first 10 minutes going over new rules or spellings and reviewing anything that was hard from a previous lesson.

The actual lesson would take about 15/20 minutes for us to complete. I would tear the sheet out of the book for my son each lesson.

The last step of our lessons would be to read a passage in the student reader.  This step we normally had to have a break before starting. We also tried doing the reading at bedtime because he couldn't take all the time and attention, he was exhausted mentally and physically by this point so breaking the last step of reading off really helped.
Overall, I liked this but the rules are not sticking very good in my dyslexic's mind. I will have to have additional resources added for it to be a good fit for him long term. 
Also for my struggling learner I need more repetition. 

This program is a wonderful program for a normal reader but does need some accommodations made if you have a struggling reader.

Find AOP on:
 Alpha Omega Review

Wordless Wednesday Week 1 (BIRTHDAY)


Monday, August 17, 2015

Homeschooler's Psalm

Today is our first day of the 2015/2016 school year.

We have already had devotion time and that was time well spent with the Lord, while I was in my devotion I came across something that brought a smile to my face, a while back and again this morning and I wanted to share it with you.

I love my KJV Homeschool Mom's Bible. I can't brag enough about it.

This morning I wanted to share with you a devotion that made me smile and laugh and set my mood for the first day of our homeschool year:

The Lord is my shepherd:
I shall not want.
He maketh me to live on less sleep:
He leadeth me through the noise of many voice.
He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me to teach 
The right lessons each day, for his name sake.
Ye,a though I walk through the valley of the undone
Laundry and kitchen messes, I will fear no evil:
For though art with me; my teacher;s guides and
answer keys, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence
Of threatening school officials and critical family members:
Thou anoinest my head with heavenly wisdom: my cup 
runneth over.
Surely educated and godly children shall follow after me 
All the days of my life: and I will dwell again one day 
In a clean house with the Lord forevermore.

Happy Homeschooling Friends!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

7th Grade Curriculum

I can't believe my baby girl is going into her 7th year of schooling. She has been homeschooled the entire time and I can't brag on her enough.

She loves to read and I can never assign enough reading material for her, so I don't. She reads anything and everything she can get her hands on and that explains a lot of the reason her reading/comprehension scores are very high for her age.

Together we will be using Mystery of History Volume 2.

Lexi and her smaller brother will be using Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space. 

Here is what she will be using this year:

Math U See Epsilon, we love Math U See and have used it for many years.

Spelling You See is a new addition for us. We used it for a review and she really enjoyed it so we are keeping it for this upcoming year and will use Editor In Chief for editing skills.

She wanted to work on drawing skills this year so we  have a cartoonist book and a how to draw horses book that we will be working through using an artist pad and some special tools. 

Wordly Wise is something we have used for 2 years and the kids actually enjoy the challenge it presents. 

Elements Level 1 is a review item that we really liked. It teaches root words and since we don't really need spelling instruction anymore we feel this is a great way to go. 

This isn't all she will be doing this year but this is the core topics we will cover.

She normally begs for science topics so I have several lapbooks printed and ready for her. She always loves them.

I will be posting about our smallest child's curriculum at the end of the week he is in 5th grade.

Here is what my 10th grader is using this year.