Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Six Month Membership from Reading Eggs: A TOS Crew Review

Reading Eggs
When I first learned of Reading Eggs a few years ago my girls were already strong readers. I still took a look at the website and was impressed with what I saw. I've since recommend  the program to many friends and they have raved about it! I was very excited to learn that there was much more to Reading Eggs than when I first looked at it many years ago. Both Beth (10) and Grace (8) had the chance to use Reading Eggspress and absolutely love it! 

You can get a 4 month free-trial with Reading Eggs by clicking here!
Reading Eggs*
 There is so much to explore on the Reading Eggs website. The most exciting portion is the latest update for homeschoolers. Within this section is full, 36-week lesson plans for kindergarten, first, and second grades. They are very thorough and cover all four core subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The material needed within the various disciplines are available on the website within the library and included with the subscription. If you are looking for an online curriculum for your younger students I highly recommend checking this out.
These smiles can tell you just how much my girls loved using Reading Eggs. It is the first thing they ask to use each day. Honestly, I don't think they realize that it is a learning program. They really look at it as a fun game. Because of this I used it as a reward for completing the rest of their work. They have never worked quite so fast! 
After completing the assigned reading passage or lesson they would take assessments to see how well they recalled the information they were taught. I love that I can check their progress and see how well they are progressing. I can see their assessment scores and check to make sure they are moving forward in their learning. I have been happy to see them progress throughout their time using it so far.
Beth was excited to show me her Avatar (personalized character). She loved that it had a little panda purse because that is her favorite animal!
Another aspect which is really nice is printable worksheets for each lesson. These can be used as supplements to the lessons and can be very valuable for families using this as their main reading program. I found them to be very well done and thorough. I personally like to have options which will allow off-screen assessment and practice so this is excellent for those who like to have that ability. 
Even when they weren't using Reading Eggs themselves these two were often sitting side-by-side watching the other one work! Rose (12) was even intrigued by the fun graphics and style of learning. 
The only part I did not care for was teaching slang as vocabulary. For instance, in one story the word "sick" is used and they were supposed to identify the definition based on context. I absolutely love the fact that it teaches inference. I am not thrilled that this is taught by using slang. I personally feel there is better use of instructional time than this. 
While my girls clearly enjoyed it and I do think the reading comprehension assessments are highly useful, this would be best suited for families with younger children or less advanced readers. I also know many who love to have their children's learning online for a variety of reasons, but that is typically not my preference. I will absolutely recommend this to families looking for online learning options because although it is not my personal preference for the majority of my girls' learning, this is one of the best and full programs with which I've had the opportunity to work. 
Take a look at what my Crewmates have to say!
Reading Eggs
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Week in Review: October 9-13

We had a FULL week! One of our dear friends from when you lived in Florida came to stay with us for a few days. Mrs. Kate is a folk singer who is also a pastor's wife in our denomination. While she was here my dear Rose was able to work for her as her roadie! She had a great time and learned so very much. We were able to be there for a couple of the shows and that was a great experience too. Our week was crazily off schedule, but we still got through all of our work. 

Grace - 2nd grade: Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit10

I know every week I say how easy Grace is to teach. She just really is! She loves to learn. Her latest "favorite" (according to her) is grammar! We are just using the standard Rod and Staff. I've used it with all three girls and it is incredibly solid. There aren't frills, but that has never been a problem. We usually complete 2/3 of the lesson orally as suggested by Heart of Dakota. This is the key to its success I think. Too much writing and you just kill the lesson. They only have a small portion to actually write. For my older girls this is usually 5-10 sentences diagrammed. Now, current trends say that diagramming has zero value. I completely disagree! Current trends also say learning math facts shouldn't be about memorization and I disagree there as well. And so we have an example of why homeschooling is beautiful for us. We don't have to follow the trends! 

She continued with her history study of Benjamin Franklin this week. I'm pleased with how her oral narration is coming along. Of course this is my daughter who loves to talk so I'm not really all that surprised she is able to narrate beautifully. Her reading comprehension is off the charts so this is a super easy area for her. Handwriting is the only area she seems to dread. Although she never complains I can tell it is her least favorite part. We are plugging away at cursive anyway!

Rose - 7th Grade: Revival to Revolution Unit 2
This is what Rose was doing most of the day! She worked with Mrs. Kate at both preschool and senior shows and had a blast. I love that she is so comfortable with people of all ages. I'm not going to say this is because of homeschooling because I think it is much more from being a part of a multi-generational church that is small enough for her to get to know everyone. We also worship all together as families. These factors give her opportunity to build relationships with people of all ages, stations of life, and ethnic backgrounds. Homeschooling did, however, allow her the flexibility to do this where traditional schooling would not have. 

My girl also learned that she can work ahead if she wants. The history and literature portions were the easiest to complete ahead of time. She then asked if she could work ahead other times. I told her of course and she lit up! She is beginning this guide with early American per-revolutionary history, one of her favorite periods to study. This is also fun because Grace is studying the same period. 

She also got through all of her other language arts and mathematics work for the week! 
 Beth - 5th Grade: Creation to Christ Unit 16 

 Beth had a great non-complaining week! Perhaps simply being back on track wit our schedule is enough to keep her complaint free. We have been practicing better responses and that has helped. 

She is studying ancient cultures still and is doing very well. I think she will enjoy the next guides more having seen Rose go through them. She has particularly enjoyed that I'm scheduling foreign language studies. they all three work on sign language (pictured here) and a language of their choice. She has chosen French and is using DuoLingo. I can't rave enough about how great that program is! 

Mathematics continues to be a breeze and she sails through her studies without any trouble. She has the mind of an engineer although she doesn't really have any interest in it. I found out this week that in Sunday school class they used straws to see how high of a tower they could build while studying the Tower of Babel and she was able to build the tallest! Their class is mixed of all ages and several of the kids are older than her so that impressed me quite a bit. It's a skill in which she succeeds, but since she doesn't find it interesting it is hard to know how to nurture it. This is something I'm going to be considering.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Preserving Memories: Week of October 9

 Layouts from this week! Still plugging away at 2009. Oh my good how precious these little girls are!!! The days are long, but the years are short....
 Template: Retired from Just Jaimee
Kit: Retired from Chelle's Creations

 Template: Monthly Freebie from Sahlin Studio
Kit: Retired from Chelle's Creations

 Kit: Retired from Chelle's Creations

 This is from Beth's first big clogging performance just a few weeks ago!