2017-2018 Homeschool Room

Welcome to Homework and Horseplay! Today I am sharing our 2017-2018 homeschool room.

When we first started homeschooling in 2011 we worked from our dining room table. After a few months of constantly having to move our materials for every snack and meal, Ryan and I decided to transform our bonus room into a homeschool room. It was the best newbie homeschooler decision! Although you can school anywhere, having a dedicated space just works better for our family... Fast forward 6 years and a couple of moves later, we have created a new school room in our finished basement. Please make yourself at home and take a look around our 2017-2018 homeschool room.

This is the view when you first come down into our basement. We do the majority of book work and projects at this table. The rocking chair tucked into the corner is this mama's read aloud spot.

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Thankfully our new homeschool room had the space for the shelves we purchased for our first school room. We have bookshelves in our family room to hold my books and young adult novels, but these cubbies make a perfect children's library!

Next to our "art table" I have a cubbie separated from the rest to hold the curriculum we are currently using. On the backside of the same wall there is a built in shelf that will hold the Bookshark materials (which will be here in a few days, EEEEEK!) that we are not working on yet.

The second half of our school room has a sofa to cozy up on, vintage school desks, and our computer/tv area. Last Christmas the kiddos got an air hockey table from their Papa, which I have tucked behind the sofa. The previous owners used this space as a bar... Thankfully they took the whole bar setup with them and left us the perfect spot for our standing freezer. There is still a "wet bar" area, which comes in handy for making bottles when I babysit my cousin's daughters (and the fridge is perfect for our All About Spelling tiles).

If you are ever in the Sanford, NC area you have to check out Bert's Furniture. I purchased all of our vintage desks, art table, and chalkboard from this place. It is one of the things I miss the most about living in North Carolina. As you can see we refinished the desk in the middle, and eventually we will do the same to the other two (or so I keep saying, ha!).

It may not be picture perfect, but I am so thankful to have this space! Thank you for taking the time to look around our 2017-2018 homeschool room. Do you have a dedicated learning space?

Tea Time Tuesday-Brownie Edition

Welcome to  Tea Time Tuesday!

This week for Tea Time Tuesday we are talking all about “brownies”… The kind you eat and the folklore! Do your kiddos know what a brownie is? Mine didn’t, so we read a little about them here. Since a lot of our featured poems are fairly short, we are also reading a few selections from Emily Dickinson or Edgar Allan Poe each week. I think during our next library run I will pick up a few different poetry books to switch things up a bit.

Featured Poem

Brownie by A. A. Milne

In a corner of the bedroom is a great big curtain,
Someone lives behind it, but I don’t know who;
I think it is a Brownie, but I’m not quite certain.
(Nanny isn’t certain, too.)

I looked behind the curtain, but he went so quickly –
Brownies never wait to say, “How do you do?”
They wriggle off at once because they’re all so tickly
(Nanny says they’re tickly too.) 

Featured Recipe

The kids made my favorite brownies this week. I found this “Bombshell Brownies” recipe a few years ago, and it is the ONLY brownies I will make now.

To make your own Bombshell Brownies you will need:

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

You can find the recipe here on allrecipes. They are so easy to make and taste way better than a boxed mixed… And don’t forget about how amazzzzzing your house smells while they are baking (yum)!

Our Table

As you can see we kept our table very simple this week (and I snuck in a few pictures of ALL of my kiddos-shh!). We like our brownies fresh out of the oven, so we served up in the kitchen to avoid making a big mess.

Thank you for joining us for another Tea Time Tuesday. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see us in action! Want to see more of our Tea Time Tuesdays? Check out one of the links below:

Tea Time Tuesday-Wind Edition

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday!

I can’t believe another week has come and gone… I really don’t know where the time is disappearing to this summer! However, we are excited that it is time for another Tea Time Tuesday. The weather in Michigan has been crazy this year. I feel like we have been living in a windstorm ALL SUMMER, so I wanted to feature a poem about wind!

Featured Poem

Wind on the Hill by A. A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

I’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

Featured Recipe

This week Julia really wanted to make tea sandwiches and do Tea Time Tuesday at lunch. My children are the PICKIEST eaters in the world (seriously… ugh!), which means I don’t have a recipe to share this week since our tea sandwiches consisted of only pb&j! Wind on the Hill by A.A. Milne talks about flying a kite, so we decided to make these cute kite snacks in place of trying out a new recipe.

We used:

  • Graham crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Shoe string licorice

Our Table

Thank you for joining us for another Tea Time Tuesday! Did you miss last week’s tea time? Check it out here. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see us in action!

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9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

This year we have reached a new milestone... My first baby is starting highschool! What? How did this happen? Check out our 9th grade homeschool curriculum picks below.

There was a lot of hesitation when I had to choose Kenten's 9th grade homeschool curriculum this year. I'm not going to lie... Beginning this highschool journey is terrifying! I have not felt this nervous about homeschooling since our first year. Hopefully just like our first year those jitters will disappear quickly as we fall into our routine. I went back and forth between purchasing Timberdoodle, Build Your Library, or Bookshark for Kenten.

Ultimately I decided on Bookshark Level 100: American History & Literature. Since I will be using Bookshark with my other children, I thought it would be easier to have some consistency. The downside is that Level 100 is NOT an "all subject package" like many of Bookshark's other levels. Additionally, Level 100 is the highest level currently available, so if we decide to continue with Bookshark for our 2018-2019 school year I may need to find something new for Kenten. I contacted Bookshark and they told me that they do plan to release more highschool levels, but there is not a set schedule yet. Hopefully by this time next year the new levels will be available.

What does Bookshark Level 100 include?

Below you will find everything included in the Level 100 American History & Literature package. I will note any customization selections I made.

History

  • Before Columbus
  • The Boy's War
  • Sacajawea
  • Freedom Walkers
  • The Great Little Madison
  • Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
  • World War II
  • Dragon's Gate
  • Farewell to Manzanar
  • What Is the Panama Canal?
  • A History of US (Hmm... This was not on the "what's included" list provided on Bookshark's website, but it does come with your bundle. If you already own A History of US you can opt out of purchasing it.)
  • History 120 Instructor's Guide

Literature & Language Arts

  • Elijah of Buxton
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Rules of the Rod
  • Children of the Longhouse
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man
  • A Long Way From Chicago
  • When You Reach Me
  • Bound for Oregon
  • The Call of the Wild
  • The View from Saturday
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw
  • Indian Captive
  • Out of the Dust
  • Rip Van Winkle
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • A Treasury of Poetry for Young People
  • A Year Down Yonder
  • American Historical Literature & Language Arts 130 Instructor's Guide
  • American Historical Literature & Language Arts 130 Student Guide
  • Wordly Wise 9 (This is a supplement-I opted to add this to our bundle. We used Wordly Wise a few years ago, and it was a wonderful addition to our homeschool.)
  • Analogies 2 (This is a supplement- I opted to add this to our bundle. You can add-on Wordly Wise and Analogies 2 for a very reasonable price, so I decided to try this out!)

Required Resources
Please note that if you already own the "Required Resources", you can remove this package from your bundle. Since this is our first year using Bookshark we purchased these items.

  • D-Ring 3-inch Binder with Tabs
  • Markable Map
  • Markable Map Markers
  • The Timeline Book

What other materials will we use to complete our 9th grade homeschool curriculum?

As I mentioned earlier Level 100 is not an "all subject package", so we will be adding on a number of materials. I will separate these extra materials by subject.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Math

  • Teaching Textbooks Algebra I (Kenten started this program after Christmas last year. He has been working through Algebra I all summer, and will need to complete this level before moving onto Geometry.)
  • Teaching Textbooks Geometry

Science

Language Arts

Foreign Language

  • Rosetta Stone: German
    Note: I purchased levels 1-5 years ago. We have used this program off and on, but this year I am determined to be more consistent!

STEM
Kenten will be trying out Duinokit Jr. this year. All of my children are excited to check out this product!

Will Kenten participate in the homeschool partnership?

Yes, Kenten will be enrolled in the following class:

  • Martial Arts Level 2
  • Martial Arts: Highschool

This year the partnership is offering classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kenten really enjoyed the Martial Arts class he was in last year, and decided to take two different courses this year. Thankfully we live just around the corner from the partnership, so Kenten will be able to walk up to the building on Tuesdays while I stay home with Jack and Julia.

Some of you are probably wondering why I have purchased so many language arts materials... Kenten only has one class on Thursdays at the partnership, he most likely will stay home for part of the day. He will be expected to complete extra language arts and math assignments during this time. Occasionally he will spend more time at the partnership as an assistant in the Robotics class offered at the partnership. What 9th grade homeschool curriculum package would be complete without volunteer hours? Shhhh! Kenten doesn't know I signed him up for this yet. He will be an amazing assistant though. Out of all my children, Kenten is definitely the best with younger children.

Thank you for checking out our 9th grade homeschool curriculum picks! Want to see our 2017-2018 plan & fun books, our 5th grade curriculum, or 7th grade curriculum? Check out the following posts:

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2017-2018 Plan & Books

5th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade Curriculum

7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Do you have a 7th grader? Today I will be sharing my 7th grade homeschool curriculum picks for Julia.

Yesterday I shared our overall 2017-2018 homeschool plans. I really struggled making decisions for Jack's 5th grade year, but I knew immediately what I wanted to use for Julia's 7th grade homeschool curriculum. All three of my children are using boxed curriculum from Bookshark as their core. I have selected Level 7 All Subject Package for Julia. This level is geared towards children ages 12-14. Julia just turned 12 at the end of July, so she could easily use Level 6 or 7. Level 7 included a few of the books that I wanted to read with Julia this year, so Level 7 was the better fit.

What does Bookshark's Level 7 include? How did I customize it?

Below you will find everything included in the Level 7 All Subject Package. I will note any customization selections I made.

Reading with history
Read-Alouds 7

  • Secret of the Andes
  • Master Cornhill
  • The Ravenmaster's Secret: Escape From The Tower of London
  • The Singing Tree
  • The Sherwood Ring
  • Banner in the Sky
  • The Endless Steppe
  • Number the Stars
  • Classic Poetry
  • The Arrow Over the Door
  • The Breadwinner
  • Year of Impossible Goodbyes
  • Homeless Bird
  • Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and the Trail of Tears

Level 7 Readers

  • Operation Yes
  • The Good Master
  • Betsy and the Emperor
  • The Broken Blade
  • The Ghost in The Tokaido Inn
  • Angel on the Square
  • The King's Fifth
  • Nory Ryan's Song
  • Snow Treasure
  • Escape from Warsaw
  • Chu Ju's House
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

History 7

  • History 7 Instructor's Guide
  • Story of the World: Early Modern Times
  • Story of the World: Modern Age
  • Timeline Figures- 7

Language Arts

  • Language Arts 7 Instructor's Guide
  • Wordly Wise 7 (This is a supplement- Julia has used this program before.  I am not sure how this will be incorporated in Bookshark's lesson plans, but we used it as "morning work" in the past.)

Science

  • Cool Stuff 2.0 and How It Works
  • Energy
  • Planet Earth
  • Robotics
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Garbage
  • Canals and Dams
  • Weather & Climate Change
  • Science 7 Instructor's Guide
  • Science Supplies Kit 7

Math

  • Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra (Customization-I opted to switch from Math-U-See Pre-Algebra to Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra.)

Spelling

  • None (Customization- I opted to drop spelling from this bundle. I don't feel it is necessary to have a spelling curriculum in middle school.)

Required Resources
Please note that if you already own the "Required Resources", you can remove this package from your bundle. Since this is our first year using Bookshark we purchased these items.

  • D-Ring 3-inch Binder with Tabs
  • Markable Map
  • Markable Map Markers
  • The Timeline Book
  • The Kingsfisher History Encyclopedia

Will we be using anything other than Bookshark Level 7 for our 7th grade homeschool curriculum?

We will mostly be sticking to our Bookshark materials. However, before moving on to the Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra provided in her bundle, Julia will be completing Teaching Textbooks 7. At the end of her 6th grade year I switched her from Singapore Math to Teaching Textbooks. We have been working through this level all summer, but still have a bit to go before she can start Pre-Algebra.

Julia was very excited about the Stopmotion Explosion that I selected for Jack's STEM work this year, so they will be sharing it. I'm pretty excited that she showed interest in this because she will be able to take the lead and work on it with Jack when I am busy teaching Kenten. I have to be honest-I don't know much about stopmotion... This will surely be a learning experience for all of us!

Julia is my artsy child. She is ALWAYS drawing and trying out different art supplies. I have purchased the following items for her to use as she wishes. Do you want to purchase these materials for your child? Simply click one of the images below and you will be redirected to Amazon.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Will we participate in the homeschool partnership this year?

Starting in September we will be attending classes at our local homeschool partnership every Thursday. When picking out materials for this upcoming year I was really concerned about being able to complete everything since a whole day is dedicated to this program. Although we school year round, our summer schedule is significantly "lighter". I believe choosing Bookshark Level 7 All Subject Package as our main curriculum will be a great fit for us and we will be able to stay on track (without this mama having to rearrange everything a million times)! Julia is enrolled in the following courses this year:

  • Introduction to Drawing
  • Learning Through Cinema: Middle School
  • Beginning Sewing

Thank you for checking out our 7th grade homeschool curriculum picks! Do you want to see our 2017-2018 homeschool plan & fun books, our 5th grade curriculum, or our 9th grade curriculum? Check out these posts below:

2017-2018 Plan & Fun Books

5th Grade Curriculum

9th Grade Curriculum

5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

The 2017-2018 school year is quickly sneaking up on us. Are you ready?

I don't know about all of you, but I really struggled with making decisions this year (at least for Jack)! I just submitted our list of 5th grade homeschool curriculum to be purchased yesterday. After much debate I decided to try out Bookshark's Level 3 All Subject Package. I love that Bookshark uses an age range for their levels and has a customization feature. Bookshark Level 3 is for children ages 8-11. Jack is 10, so I think this level is perfect fit for his core 5th grade homeschool curriculum.

What does Bookshark's Level 3 include? How did I customize it?

Below you will find everything included in the Level 3 All Subject Package. I will note any customization selections I made.

Reading with History
Read-Alouds 3

  • The Sign of the Beaver
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Johnny Tremain
  • Toliver's Secret
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
  • Walk the World's Rim
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse
  • Swift Rivers
  • Child's Introduction to Poetry
  • Secret of the Sealed Room
  • Winter Danger

History 3

  • History 3 Instructor's Guide
  • If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
  • Pedro's Journal
  • The Landmark History of the American People, Volume 1
  • North American Indians
  • The Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • Children's Encyclopedia of American History
  • Beginner's American History
  • Timeline Figures- 3

Level 3 Regular Readers

  • Pocahontas and the Strangers
  • The Matchlock Gun
  • Meet Thomas Jefferson
  • Phoebe the Spy
  • Meet George Washington
  • Robert Fulton, Boy Craftsman
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble
  • The Cabin Faced West
  • Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
  • The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
  • A Lion to Guard Us
  • Om-kas-toe

Language Arts

  • Language Arts 3 Instructor's Guide
  • Wordly Wise Book 3 (This is a supplement-I have used Wordly Wise with Kenten and Julia in the past and it was a great addition. I am hoping it will be a good fit for Jack this year.)

Science

  • Real Science 4 Kids: Biology, Level 1
  • The Usborne First Encyclopedia of Seas and Oceans
  • Usborne Science Encycloedia
  • The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body
  • Mysteries and Marvels of Nature
  • Discover & Do Level 3 DVD
  • TOPS 38-Green Thumbs: Radishes
  • TOPS 39- Green Thumbs: Corn & Beans
  • Listening to Crickets
  • Science 3 Instructor's Guide
  • Science Supplies Kit 3
  • Lyrical Life Science-Volumes 1 & 2 (This is a supplement-I have never heard of Lyrical Life Science before, but it looks like a fun add-on.)

Math

  • Teaching Textbooks 4 (Customization-I opted to switch from Math U See: Gamma to TT4. Kenten and Julia made the switch from Singapore Math to Teaching Textbooks last year after Christmas. It has been a wonderful fit for them, and I am hoping that it works out for Jack too.)

Handwriting

  • Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive Handwriting

Spelling

  • All About Spelling Level 2 (Customization- I opted to drop the recommended Spelling You See: Wild Tales. A few years ago I purchased All About Spelling Level 1 for Jack, but he was not able to complete it until this past school year. Since he is comfortable with this program we will use it all the way through.)

Required Resources
Please note that if you already own the "Required Resources", you can remove this package from your bundle. Since this is our first year using Bookshark we purchased these items.

  • D-Ring 3-inch Binder with Tabs
  • Markable Map
  • Markable Map Markers
  • The Timeline Book

Will we be using anything other than Bookshark for our 5th grade homeschool curriculum?

Yes, we will adding on these STEM materials.
Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

We will also continue using the reading program ABeCeDarian. Jack completed Level A last year and then moved onto Level B. We have been working through Level B all summer.  I don't know if it is the program itself or if Jack was just finally ready to read, but this is the first program that has worked for us! You can learn more about ABeCeDarian here. Although you can purchase the materials directly from the company I usually purchase mine from Amazon. Here are the books that we are currently working through:

I hestitated to share what levels we will be using for spelling and reading this year. I know that typical 5th grade homeschool curriculum lists normally use much higher levels, but I guess that is one of the perks of homeschooling... We get to use materials that are customized for our children. I am proud of the progress my little man is making!

Homeschool Partnership
Last year we joined a homeschool partnership. Jack CANNOT wait until the partnership starts back up. The partnership is one of the reasons I decided to go with Bookshark. Bookshark follows a 4-day schedule, so I will not have to rearrange our curriculum to attend Thursday's classes. This year Jack is enrolled in:

  • Elementary Computers
  • Learning Through Cinema: Elementary
  • Martial Arts & P.E.

Phew... That is quite the list! No wonder it took me so long to sort everything out. Thank you for checking out our 5th grade homeschool curriculum plans. Do you want to see our overall 2017-2018 plan & fun books, 7th Grade curriculum picks, or 9th Grade curriculum picks? Click one of the images below.

 

2017-2018 Plan & Books

7th GradeCurriculum

9th Grade Curriculum

2017-2018 Homeschool Plan

Summer is coming to an end and schools plans are being finalized... Are you ready for the upcoming school year? Check out our 2017-2018 homeschool plan below!

Last year we joined a brand new homeschool partnership, which opened up so many new opportunities for my family. One of the biggest opportunities is being able to partake in a "full time seat waiver" program. This program allows me to homeschool my children without having to pay for their curriculum. The trade off is that on paper my children appear to be public school students. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT fully anti-public school, so I simply see this as a technicality. The reward (thousands of dollars in free materials) far outweighs this technicality--at least to me! Since our budget drastically increased I decided to change up our 2017-2018 homeschool plan.

So what exactly are we going to be doing this year?

For the first time we will be using boxed curriculum kits from Bookshark. Before anyone bites my head off--YES, I know that this is a NEUTRAL vs. SECULAR program. I am ok with that! In the past we have used many nonsecular materials, and we adjusted as needed to fit our family. I will make adjustments and supplement if I stumble across any worrisome areas just as I have done in the past.

What Bookshark levels will we be using?

My children are going into 5th, 7th, and 9th grade. We will be using the following levels:

  • Level 3 All Subject Package
  • Level 7 All Subject Package
  • Level 100 American History & Literature

I love that Bookshark uses levels with age ranges rather than one grade specific title. As I have mentioned in the past, my youngest son Jack has special needs. I never really worried about what grade the books were labeled before, but as he is getting older he is aware of these things. On a number of occasions he has been upset because he was "behind", so I think he will be more comfortable this year knowing that he is in his age range level.

Over the next few days I will be sharing individual posts for 5th, 7th, and 9th grade so you can see what each level includes, and how I customized them for my children.

Will I be using anything other than Bookshark's boxed curriculum?

Yes, we will be supplementing with Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree, Editor in Chief: Level 3, Friendly Biology, and adding in STEM and art materials (which I will include in my individual grade posts). I also purchased a ton of fun science and history graphic novels. I love adding books to our home library every chance that I get... I just couldn't resist these graphic novels!

 

 

Want to purchase some of these graphic novels for yourself? Simply click on the images and you will be redirected to Amazon.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites

Check out our 5th Grade, 7th Grade, and 9th Grade 2017-2018 curriculum picks.

Tea Time Tuesday

Welcome to Tea Time Tuesday… Strawberry Jam Edition

I don’t know how it is possible, but August is here and we celebrated with our very first poetry tea time. For years I have been talking about starting this tradition…. However doing and saying are two very different things! I am so happy that I finally stopped being the slacker that I am and kicked off August in this fun way. Check out what we did this week for Tea Time Tuesday below.

Featured Poem

Strawberry Jam by Adine Stephens Clark

WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO STEP ONE MORE TIME
THROUGH GRANDMA’S KITCHEN SCREEN DOOR,
SMELL THE AROMA OF JAM SIMMERING
AND TASTE HER HOT BISCUITS JUST ONCE MORE ?

Click here to read the rest of Strawberry Jam.

Featured Recipe

Strawberry Freezer Jam
To make your own strawberry freezer jam you will need:

  • 2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 (1.75 oz) package dry pectin
  • 3/4 cup water

We followed the instructions here. This jam was easy to make, and my children loved putting it on warm biscuits. They are also looking forward to trying it on ice cream tomorrow afternoon.

Our Tablescape

Julia, Jack, and I went on a “thrifting” mission to find the perfect dishes to use during our Tuesday Tea Times and we were lucky enough to find a silver teapot and lazy susan serving tray! Unfortunately, we were not able to find enough teacups and saucers, so I ordered this set off of Amazon.

We paired our strawberry freezer jam with fresh baked biscuits, strawberries with cream, and a variety of cookies (Yes, store bought… No judging!). I wanted to keep this week’s menu fairly simple to ease into our new tradition, but in the upcoming weeks I plan on having the children prepare an entire meal for us.

Join us next week for Tea Time Tuesday! Want to see more pictures of our poetry tea times? Check out my Instagram or Facebook today.

 

 

Tea Time Tuesdays

Join us each week for Tea Time Tuesdays!

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and I am dreaming of our upcoming homeschool year. Like most homeschool mamas at this time of the year I have been busy setting goals, finalizing curriculum choices, and organizing our school room. During this process I realized that every year I say I am going to get my children into the kitchen more, but I never seem to follow through. This year that is going to change! Every Tuesday my kiddos will be in charge or preparing food and setting our table for Tea Time Tuesdays.

What will you see from us during our Tea Time Tuesdays posts?

On this blog I will share:

  • Featured poem of the week
  • A tea time snack recipe
  • Our table setting

How will I prepare for poetry tea time?

 This afternoon the children and I will be heading out to find some new dishes for our special Tuesday afternoons. I already own a quite few teacups, but I think the children will enjoy selecting their own dishes. I will need to purchase a larger teapot as well. The only teapots I own are part of a “tea for one” set, and those teapots are not nearly big enough for four people to share. I will also gather a number of poems and recipes that I would like to use in the upcoming weeks.

I can’t wait to start this new tradition in our home.
Need some inspiration for your own poetry teatime? Check out this wonderful page from Brave Writer and come back each week to see what we are doing here at Homework and Horseplay.

 

 

Easy Grammar Review

Brace yourself….
This may be the first negative review of Easy Grammar you have read!

I have used this program two different times now, and I will never use it again. My children are not typically complainers when it comes to school, but Kenten and Julia spent MOST of this past year complaining about their grammar work.

How does Easy Grammar work?
Easy Grammar is a mastery program that focuses on being able to find prepositions and prepositional phrases. This unique approach makes it supposed to make it easier for your child to label subjects and verbs. 

What do you need to teach Easy Grammar?
The only book you absolutely need to use Easy Grammar is the “Teacher’s Edition” of the level your child is using. The teacher’s edition includes everything from the student workbook in addition to the answer keys to each lesson. I highly recommend purchasing the student workbook along with your teacher’s edition, otherwise you will spend a lot of time and money photocopying the reproducible worksheets.

What level should I use with my child?
It is recommended to use the age-appropriate grade level that your child is in. However, Easy Grammar does provide Elementary Placement and 7-12 Placement tests on their page if you are concerned about ordering the wrong level.

What don’t you like about Easy Grammar?
My main problem with Easy Grammar is the lack of instruction. I don’t know if the lower levels had more to their daily lessons, but Easy Grammar Plus only had a few sentences of instructions and one or two sample sentences. This program is too much like a “boring worksheet” that my children complete and forget as soon as they are done.

Homework and Horseplay’s final thoughts…


Easy Grammar
just is not the right fit for our family. Any program that causes my children to complain endlessly is more hassle than it is worth. Some people may enjoy having super short instructions, but for me I prefer more teacher involvement. My youngest son (Jack) used Shurley English this year. Although Easy Grammar and Shurley English both have a lot of repetition and similar work, Jack truly learned the parts of speech rather than just memorizing a bunch of prepositions. Kenten and Julia will not continue using Easy Grammar next year, even though it is one of the products included in the curriculum kits we plan to use.