Category Archives: 3rd grade

ARTistic Pursuits: Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary ~ a Crew review

K-3 art book cover

Creating is always a welcome activity and when I heard about the new video lessons from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. for their K-3 level books, I was very intrigued. The series is ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray; we received Volume 1 of the series – Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary. When all of the books are released, there will be a total of eight (8) books.

instructional discs for K-3 art

Art for Children works with the student to teach them variety of words related to art creation. The book is a hardback book that is printed in full color. There are 18 lessons total. Six (6) of the lessons are video only lessons and 12 of them are text only lessons. The book comes with two discs for the video lessons – one is a DVD only disc and one is a Blu-ray. Both discs contain the exact same information and the video quality is the same.

Through the book, students will explore several different areas of art and discover how artists see the world. They will experience composition, imagination, oberservation,  and communication. They will work with shape, form, and texture while studying landscapes, still life, animals, and portraits.

The book begins with a page letting you know what materials you will need for all of the projects. There is also a short explanation of the teaching philosophy for ARTistic Pursuits.

video and book

Each of the video lessons have a single page in the book so that you know where they belong. There is materials information and a couple of steps to follow but there is no instruction written for these lessons. I think this is a shortcoming of this book. You must watch the video in order to complete the video lessons so if you don’t have access to a video player or your disc gets broken, you no longer can complete this lesson.

The video starts with an introduction by hostess Ariel Holcomb. The introduction is followed by instruction and examples by art teacher Brenda Ellis. All you see of the instruction is a video of the artist’s hands with a voice over for the instruction. It is very good instruction on how to use the materials for the lesson and the steps to follow for the project in the lesson. It is concluded with a review of the information and steps to take. Then you are to go create the project on your own. This is where having written instructions would be really helpful. For the paper folding lesson, I had to stand there with the remote control in my hand, pausing every few seconds after each instruction on how to fold the animal’s head. It worked but it was not simple.

working on a special day painting

The text lessons are fantastic. Each text lesson includes an introduction to the idea covered and is then followed by a reproduction of a work of art by a master. For example, in the texture lesson the work is The Sunflower 1906-07 by Klimt. This master work is studied and some questions are asked to help the student really focus on the art. Then the student’s project is set out for them to complete with images to help guide the student.

Each text lesson includes some preparation notes for the teacher/parent. The materials tend to be found in the midst of the lesson, rather than clearly at the front, but they are there.

Each lesson, whether video or text, can be done in about 30 minutes, depending on how much effort the student desires to put into the project creation. The lessons are designed to do approximately one lesson per week. We were able to make it through most of this book, as it was a joy to do more than one lesson a week. We often did one lesson a day and I had to stop her to get other work done.

Miss J just finished up her 3rd grade year; she is 9 years old. I chose this book for her in order to get the instructional videos of the use of materials. It was good to have some instruction on how to use the specific materials. Sometimes Miss J felt they were fine and other times she felt as though she were too old for the instruction.

 

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We have used ARTistic Pursuits Inc. in the past and I like the instruction that is included. I like the fact that master works are included and that students have freedom in how they apply the concept to their own work. This is not a program where they study line and then everyone draws the same thing. They might study line but then the student is encouraged to find a new place where they see the ideas of line used and create their art from that new thing. This is great for solidifying the concepts for the students.

working on her artwork

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this ARTistic Pursuits Inc. program. I like the format but it could use some tweaking. I don’t know that I would purchase the program because to get the entire series would take a commitment, though I am interested in the idea behind the focus on culture in the other volumes of the series.

Blessings,
At Home.

Read more about ARTistic Pursuits and their K-3 art program by clicking the banner below. Other families used volumes 2-4.

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Ghost Science – part 2

Ghost Science part 2

Ghost Science is lots of fun and is aptly titled for several reasons. One – you can’t always see the processes taking place. Two – sometimes the items just are gone, right in front of your eyes. Three – sometimes they appear right in front of your eyes, out of nowhere.

We talked about the ghost eggs in part one so this time we are going to talk about the ghost poop. (You have no idea how much I hate writing that but it is what this part of the kit was called.) This is essentially packing peanuts.

ghost poop experiment

When these are put into water, they quickly disappear. In just seconds, they were gone, no trace left. The pamphlet that is included in the kit explains why – these are made of corn starch and so they dissolve in room temperature water.

ghost poop dissolving

When Miss J heard that, it sparked her mind and she asked THE question – does it have to be just regular water? Guess where that led . . . experimentation.

Miss J spent the next hour or so finding different liquids or making them different temperatures to see if the packing peanuts would dissolve at the same rate as it did during the original activity.

ghost poop gone

She kept some things the same, as any good scientist will. She always used 4 oz of the liquid, as measured in a measuring cup. She used the same type spoon each time and tried to stir at the same rate. Here are the different liquids she used:

  • tap water
  • vinegar (white)
  • tap water with 2 ice cubes
  • very hot tap water
  • cold lemon juice
  • cold Dr. Pepper
  • cold milk
  • tea (room temperature)
  • olive oil

Results:

  • tap water – dissolved
  • vinegar – dissolved but not as quickly
  • tap water with ice – dissolved much slower
  • very hot water – dissolved very, very fast
  • lemon juice – dissolved slower than the ice water
  • Dr. Pepper – did not dissolve
  • milk – did not fully dissolve but did dissolve some
  • tea – dissolved fast but not as fast as the hot water
  • olive oil – did not dissolve

It was fun to talk about the types of liquids she chose. We talked a bit about acids, bases, and neutral. We talked about hot and cold. All of these observations were fun for her to make.  I was really proud of her for being curious about it and wanting to follow through to test those curiosities.

Ghost Science was a super neat kit and I’d definitely recommend it. It was from the Steve Spangler Science company, which has lots of different kits and materials. It is a resource I will keep my eye on for the future.

Blessings,
At Home.

Kids Email ~ a Crew review

Kids Email product

There are many ways to foster independence and we were happy to be a part of this review of a subscription to Kids Email Safe Email for Kids. This program  has allowed each of the girls to have their own email address while At Home Dad and I have control over the safety features of the system. A win-win for all of us.

Kids Email  is a company that has been around since 2009 and provides a safe email system for kids. Through their system, parents can monitor the incoming and outgoing messages but the child still has their own email. There are tons of safety features which the parent can turn on or off.

writing email

The safe email for kids has been a wonderful tool for our family but I really want to share the highlights of the program.

  • Parents choose which email addresses the child can send to and receive from. No spam or unsolicited emails can get through.
  • If an email is received from an unapproved address, it goes directly to the parent account and must be approved. A response is also returned to the sender, telling them that they have emailed a child and that the parent must approve their email before the child will see it. I really appreciate that it specifies that it is an account held by a minor and that it is being monitored. That potentially wards off a lot of unwanted things.
  • In setting up each email account, there are a number of settings. These include things like – can this email receive links for other places on the internet? Can this email receive videos? Can this email receive images? Can this email receive from anyone not on the contact list? Do you want to limit messages that have bad words in them? Can the child edit their approved contact list or who they can send to?
  • There are controls for time restrictions that include days of the week or hours of the day.
  • You can ground your child and they cannot use their email if the account has been “grounded.”
  • There is an activity log. This lists the date, time of login, and the emails that were sent. This could be helpful if you are using sending emails as a typing practice that you need to document.
  • If your teen wants a bit more of a grown-up feel and address, the kmail version will be right up their alley. The system maintains the same safety features yet their email address is a bit more grown-up.

There are a few other features but these are the highlights. The girls will share some of their favorite “features” in their section of the review. This includes tools that they discovered in using the program.

Many Homeschool Review Crew families thought it would be neat for our kids to get a chance to “meet” each other so we set up some pen-pals. My three giggly girls chose some pen-pals based on age and common interests. It has been lots of fun for them to communicate with and get to know some of the other Crew kids. Communicating with kids from across the US and even around the globe (one of the girls they email with most frequently is in the Philippines) has been fun for them and they seem to be enjoying it.

Another great thing we have enjoyed about Kids Email is that the girls can communicate with family on their own. They pop on and write an email about their day or something they thought their aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent might want to know or be interested in. It has been fun to see them exchange emails, read articles sent to them by their aunt and discuss the article with her, or find out about places family has visited through pictures they share.

screenshot of email sent

Miss E’s thoughts:

Email. I like that every message goes through my parents. I don’t know exactly why but this is a feature I really like about the program. It is fun to pick your own background and there are some really pretty ones. I chose the wolf and it is really pretty and awesome and cool. You get to change the font style and font color and font size. That is lots of fun!

I have enjoyed getting my birthday and Easter e-cards from my grandparents in my own email instead of having mom call me over after checking her email. My aunt has sent me a link to an article about an elephant at their zoo, talking about the elephant and where he was before. There was a video of the elephant and at the bottom it had a timeline of his life. It was neat getting that article sent directly to me.

I started emailing with a pen-pal. We have decided to read the same book and then we are going to talk about it over email when we both finish.

Miss L’s thoughts:

I know that a lot of kids have emails but I have never had one. This was my first one. I thought that it was a really fantastic program. I like the way that it gave kids freedom but that parents get to monitor each exchange that goes on. I think is something that makes the parents and the children happy. I like that you could do more than just sending text, such as adding pictures take on a phone, draw your own pictures, and send articles through links back and forth. I really like that because I think it will encourage the younger kids because most of the time kids under 10 are going to be looking for ways to exploit their creativeness. This is a program that fits for all ages. I really liked being able to set up pen-pals. I thought it was a really good way to be able to explore the program while letting kids send emails to people beyond their parents and siblings. It let me be able to communicate with more people and still make it interesting.

One of the pen-pals that I have been communicating with is really creative. We both like to read and write. We have been sending ideas back and forth for a book that she is writing. It is really fun to get to be a part of that and get to help her with it. Another of the pen-pals that I have been sending emails back and forth with really likes to draw and make art. I do, too, so we have sent pictures of our artwork to each other.  It is really fun to get to share with people who don’t really know me. It is fun to get to know them, too, especially when we are around the same age and enjoy some of the same things.

Miss J’s thoughts:

I like that I can communicate to my mom and my dad and all my family members. I like to draw and the drawing tool helps me to recreate stuff and change it. I like sending my drawings to people. I like that I can change my background.I like that they have a lot of different choice for the backgrounds.  I like that it tells me how many emails I have.  I enjoyed getting to make new online friends. I like being able to communicate with faraway relatives. I like being able to get and give pictures that I draw and ones that I don’t draw (taken with a phone camera).

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed seeing the thrill that the girls get when a new email is received through Kids Email Safe Email for Kids. They will spend quite a bit of time typing up an email to send to someone (yay for writing and keyboarding skills!). Each day, they enjoy spending a few minutes at least checking. And when someone sends them something special – an idea or a picture or a gift card (yep – one girl was able to receive an e-gift card for her birthday) – it is just pure joy on their faces. They don’t know that it is a step towards independence but their dad and I do. And we are so happy to see how they are handling it. We are pleased with Kids Email .

Blessings,
At Home.

Check out the other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew families that received this program.KIDS-Email-Homeschool-Reviews

 

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Ghost Science – part 1

Ghost Science part 1

Ghost Science sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? It was.


Miss J received a neat kit for her birthday titled Ghost Science. There were two experiments included, which will be shared in two different posts so I can share plenty of pictures. The package came with plenty of materials to do the experiments several times.

ghost eggs after a few hours

 

The first one was Ghost Eggs. For this experiment, we used ghost eggs (water marbles). They sat in water for several hours, getting checked by the girls quite often to see how much they had expanded. As they expanded, they seemed to disappear in the water. We took a look at why that was happening and read about what caused it. Miss J played around a bit with different light angles to see what happened. She also noticed how the light affected it as the day went on and as the marbles grew in size.

 

ghost eggs disappearing

 

ghost eggs are gone

After they had sat in the water for quite a while, we placed some of them in a different glass bowl and added a few drops of a liquid that came with them. This liquid caused them to glow when a black light was applied. (It came with a little keychain sized blacklight.) We took the bowl into a dark room and Miss J – and sisters – experimented with how they could apply the blacklight to see the “ghost eggs” better, to make them disappear, and more. They had quite a bit of fun with the blacklight and the glowing eggs.

ghost eggs with glow added to water

 

ghost eggs glowing

We kept the ghost eggs in a bowl with water for a while and each day the girls would play with them a little bit – seeing how they squished, how they bounced, if they would take pressure and how much, could you juggle them, etc. Something new every time. Plus, they just felt interesting to move around in your hands and to hold.

 

ghost egg size

After a while, we drained them and placed them in a shallow dish to see how long it would take for them to dry out. Turns out – a very long time. They took about three weeks to dry out, back down to their original teensy-tinsy size.

ghost eggs shrunken back down

After they had completely dried out, we sacked them up and rehydrated (again) three of them to see if they would stand up to being wet. Turns out, not so much. They were much more fragile the second time we put them in water. They did get just as big but they broke very easily. In fact, one of them broke just in the growth process.

The ghost eggs were lots of fun and the experimentation and observation was fun, too. Definitely worth the time and having them sit on the counter for so long.

Blessings,
At Home.

Reading Kingdom – online language arts instruction ~ a Crew review

Reading-Kingdom-fun-1000x1000

We were asked to take a look at Reading Kingdom  for this review and when we started, I was unsure about how it would benefit Miss J. She was reading well and could express herself well, though she didn’t care too much for writing. She enjoyed typing though. Giving Reading Kingdom a try brought out some interesting things for us.

Reading Kingdom  teaches Phonics Plus Five. In other words, it teaches all of the six main reading and writing skills needed to communicate in the English language. It is immersion based, meaning the skills are not taught by memorization but rather by continued use in context. The six skills are:

  • sequencing
  • writing
  • phonology
  • semantics
  • syntax
  • comprehension

These skills are really well explained in the PDF that is linked at the bottom of the page titled Why It Works. That page and the PDF will give you a really solid understanding of the program and how it is different from others on the market today.

typing activity

Using Reading Kingdom

The program itself is really quite easy to use, though a couple less clicks to get started would be nice. Once in the session, the child just follows the directions for each of the activities in the lesson. The directions are spoken so the child does not have to read to get going.

Miss J was working in level 4 of 5. I think she placed a bit low because the placement test threw her a couple of curve balls she wasn’t expecting. She did not capitalize her sentences in the placement. And there were several times that she clicked faster than the program registered so it counted some things wrong. All in all, though, she has benefited from her placement, even though it is low for her.

The activities have so many different benefits that it is hard to explain, honestly. Some of the activities have the student recognizing the sequencing placement of the letters of the word. Some are looking a placement in a sentence. Another might have the student spelling the word. Another has the student recognizing it next to a similarly spelled word. Activities might have the student typing or clicking to input. Capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure are all a part of the activities students complete in a reading context, not just an exercise for the one thing.

word identification activity

Each lesson focuses on a particular word. Today’s lesson was rainbow. She has had cold, happen, saw, and small, to name just a few. When a word is focused on, the various ways to use the word are also covered (part of the semantics, syntax, and comprehension). With cold, for example, she also saw colder. With rainbow, she also saw and typed rainbows. With too, she had to identify it in context of a sentence that might have both too and to next to each other; she had to choose the correct one.

The set up of each lesson is game like, without actually being a game. It is brightly colored and has sound effects (annoying to me but right up Miss J’s alley). In the upper right corner of the screen the student can see how many more parts the lesson has. There is also a way to pause the lesson or you can close it out before completely finishing it. The next time you log in, you come back to where you were.

controls, points, and parts of lesson

What Reading Kingdom  Recommends

Reading Kingdom recommends the student complete one lesson a day at least four days per week. If you need to move along a bit faster, they say it is okay to do two lesson a day but recommend not doing any more than that. We have stuck with the one lesson per day, though we have honestly struggled to do four days per week. I think we are showing an average of 3.3 days per week. Yep – that is how detailed you can get with the information available from Reading Kingdom. And there are more reports available.

Reports

I can download and save or print a report that shows me the progress of my class/student. For Miss J, it shows me which day she completed which lesson and her rating for it. The beginning of the report shows me how she did on each part of the assessment and how long it took her. If you have to track time on task, that is in the report as well.

report example

Another way you can see the progress is on the start page. There is a progress bar that is visible to show how much of the level is complete. There is another to show how much of the program is complete. Below that is a table with markers showing similar material.

screenshot of login progress bars

How We Like The Program

Overall, I think Reading Kingdom  is a program that has a lot of benefits to it. I like the integrated approach to the multiple skills and I like that it is not taxing or difficult for Miss J. It is a program she can be independent with, which, as a 9 year old, is a big deal. I do believe that in the long run, we will see that having worked through the levels of the program that it placed her in has been of benefit. But it isn’t as visible as some other programs may be. We may not be able to point to a particular thing and say “That is what Reading Kingdom did for her.” I do believe she is benefiting, though.

Miss J does not beg to do the lessons but she doesn’t complain about them, either. There are a couple of things she would change. The program repeats a lot and much of the work are things she knows. She thus feels she is doing things below her level or having to repeat things. What I am seeing, though, is her working well at words presented in context and being able to spell them easily at the end of the session. She is having to pay attention to what she is doing and her typing skills are definitely improving.

Another complaint that she has had is the speed of the program as it moves through a sentence reading or having her type. But guess what? Tonight I saw that there is a way to speed up the movement from word to word within a sentence. So I am changing that. (I saw it when I was taking a screenshot for this review. That is one of the issues with her being independent – it never donned on me that I could change that. She’ll be happy tomorrow!)

Would I recommend the program? I don’t know. Not because it isn’t good but because I am not sure it is for everyone. My oldest two did fantastic with sight words and moved into independent reading quickly and easily. They would not have done well with this program because it moves carefully through each word. They have never struggled with reading, spelling, context, or any of those skills. This would not have worked with them.

Miss J on the other hand has grown into her own reading enjoyment a bit more slowly and needs a bit more work on her spelling and writing. This is working with her on those skills. She gets context easily and understand much about grammar. But those are helping her with the other parts of this program. So it works for her.

If your student is at the beginning of their reading journey, this would be a fantastic program. If they are farther along and can already read some but are struggling, this might be good for them. I have not found an assessment of any type that you can take prior to signing up with the company but reach out to them if you have questions. I am sure they would be happy to help you make your decision.

Blessings,
At Home.

There were a number of families with students at different levels and needs, including some with ASD, who were reviewing Reading Kingdom . See what some of the other families had to say about Reading Kingdom and ASD Reading by clicking on the banner below.

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Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology ~ a Crew review

We have been using Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology
in the past month or so. This is another very good science program from Apologia and we are pleased to review it.

Written by Jeannie K. Fulbright and Brooke Ryan, M.D., this program is a great and easy program to use. I was impressed that Mrs. Fulbright ensured that her information was accurate by having a co-author that was an M.D.

Apologia-Anatomy-Family

We received:

  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD

reading text

Let’s start with the text. Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text is a hardback text. It is full color textbook and is not too heavy. The pages are sturdy without being too stiff to easily turn. The print is of a good size and is easily read by these “old eyes” of mine. The text is written to the student so it is not difficult for an elementary aged student to understand. It is intended for the student to be reading the text, allowing them to more engaged.

The text is broken up periodically by some blue lettering that is a time for the student to review what was just covered. Whether it be a narration assignment or a written one, it is intended that the student take just a few short minutes to help cement the information better in their understanding. This allows the student to improve their ability to clearly and effectively learn to communicate their learning.

skeletal system activity

Throughout the chapter, you will also come across Try This! These are hands-on activities that go with the reading just finished and allow for the student to participate in the scientific method. For example, when we had read about the purpose of bones, there was a Try This! activity that had the student make a clay figure and try to stand it up. edible cellsThen they added toothpicks in place of some of the bones and tried to stand it up again. This time, with “bones” in place, the figure stood. What a great visual and hands-on activity that shows exactly how bones and the skeletal system benefit the body. The number of activities vary in each chapter and the types of materials needed will vary as well. Some only need things from around the house (such as a tape measure for comparing arm span to height) and others will need quite a few things that you might not have sitting around (such as lemon jello and lots of different candies to make an edible cell). These hands-on activities are what take this program from another good text to one that is over-the-top fantastic.

Each chapter closes with a What Do You Remember? section of questions. These are questions designed to jog the student’s memory and help them recall information. There are answers to these in the back of the book. There is a reminder of the notebooking activities to go along with the chapter or suggestions of some to do if you prefer to make your own notebook. There is also a Personal Person Project. This project is pretty cool. It has the student make their own person shape and overlays to show each of the systems that are studied in the text. The Notebooking Journal has the pieces for this project with the plastic overlays printed in color to glue down on top of the person’s shape. We decided we wanted to be able to see single systems and also to overlay several at once so Miss J created a little pocket on the page next to the person and will leave her different systems pieces there.  

The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD that is available has been very interesting. It is read by the author so it has purpose and inflection and understanding that a “hired” reader just would not accomplish. Mrs. Fulbright’s voice is calm and pleasant. It is a pleasure to listen to her. This audio book includes the entire text of the course. The CD is best used with the student listening while viewing the text and following along. Mrs. Fulbright explains this early on the CD. It is helpful for most students who are using the audio to also have the visual to reinforce what is being talked about. Also, there are times when Mrs. Fulbright refers to diagrams and images in the text. If the student does not have those to view, the understanding will be hampered.

image of controller for audio book

image of control for CD on the computer

The audio CD would be of great benefit to a student that struggles with reading and comprehension, especially of scientific texts with so many new words and pronunciations. This would be of benefit to a student who is an auditory learner, as well. I can also see this being useful to a visual learner because the student is following along while someone else is reading. Thus, they are getting the visual while not having to struggle with pronunciations. We have had audio books for texts before and they were dry and boring. This is nothing like that. If you have a struggling reader, this might be just the thing.

Note that this is an MP3CD, not a regular CD. It must be played in an MP3CD-compatible CD player or on a computer.

We received two notebooking journals to go along with the study

Generally speaking, the regular journal has more writing than the junior one does and the lines are printed differently. For the junior notebooking journal, there is generally the three-line formation for the student to write on. Not always but for a number of the activities. The junior notebook also has coloring pages for each chapter while the regular notebook does not. Both journals are spiral bound and designed to complement but not replace the text; you must have the text but the journals will provide additional practice with the information.

Each chapter in the text has a corresponding section in the notebooking journals. The beginning of the chapter section in the journals is generally fairly open for the student to write about what was learned or better understood in that chapter. This space also includes boxes for the student to illustrate things of interest or worth remembering. Following this, there are different activities. There are scripture copywork passages that enhance the chapter and each one is generally in both print and cursive so that you can choose which style is best for your learner. The copywork is longer in the regular notebooking journal than it is in the junior notebooking journal. There are sometimes fill in the blanks or perhaps a crossword puzzle. There are matching activities and vocabulary work. There are also miniature books that are pulled out from the back of the notebooking journal, completed, and then placed with the chapter. You will also find project pages, more to explore suggestions, and field trip sheets. There are a lot of different ways to track and reinforce the learning.

working in junior notebooking journal

Each of the notebooking journals have a lot of activities for each chapter. It is definitely a place where you can complete them all but it may not be best for you to do so. I have one daughter who does everything in the regular notebooking journal. My youngest daughter is working in the junior notebooking journal and she does not do everything. It really depends on your student and how they learn.

The front of the notebooking journals is where you will find a suggested schedule for the anatomy and physiology program. Their suggested pace is two lessons per week. At this rate and following their schedule of activities, it will take 28 weeks to complete the program. Each lesson takes approximately 4 days/2 weeks to cover. It is restated here that you do not need to feel compelled to complete every activity. Pick and choose those best suited to your learners.

We have found that the junior notebooking journal actually has more learning for the anatomy and physiology course. If I were going to be purchasing this for my middle school student and my elementary student, I would purchase them both the junior notebooking. Below you can see a comparison of the same “pages” of learning in the two journals.

notebooking journals comparison

We used this two different ways. My 9 year old used it approximately 4 days per week, because we found early on that two days a week was taking too long for my daughter’s attention span. We did every single one of the Try It! activities, mostly as we came to them. Sometimes they had to wait for a different day or until the end of the reading. We read the text together and she did the blue review sections out loud. After doing our planned reading for the day, she would open up her junior notebooking journal and complete her activities in it. We prefer to do a little bit every day so this worked well for us and allowed us some flexibility in our plans. We broke up the schedule that was printed in the notebooking journals into two each and it has worked well. It provides a good bit of reading and activity, without overwhelming, and takes between 30 minutes and an hour. If it weren’t broken up, I think that 1 -2 hours of science work would be too much for my 9 year old.

mummification of apple slices

My 11 year old has been using it, also, though with the regular notebooking journal. She knows that she has to do everything on the week by the end of the week and is a very independent learner. She has generally done her reading all at once and then done the activities and the notebooking journal over the next 3 days. It has worked well for her since she prefers to get up and get her work done early on in the day. If your child is self-directed and an independent learner, this format works well.

We have enjoyed every Apologia review we have been blessed to participate in and we tend to fully complete them. If you would like to read about other product from Apologia that we have used, please visit the following posts –

Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Field Trip Journal
Writers In Residence
Ultimate Homeschool Planner
iWitness books
Flourish
What On Earth Can I Do?

Blessings,
At Home.

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Making Edible Cells

edible cells

We have been working on a review for Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology. One the appeals of this curriculum is the hands-on learning that is built right into the curriculum.

Recently, we made an edible cell. Cells are the first lesson in anatomy and physiology and this really helped the girls see what all is part of these tiny little building blocks that we cannot see with our eyes.

Using jello as the cytoplasm and various candies to be the different parts of the cells, the girls created an edible cell. After we reviewed what each of the parts was and its job in the cell, the girls ate the cells. I thought they looked too, um, interesting to eat. They, however, thought the candy and jello looked too yummy to not eat. Edible cells, it is then.

This is a don’t miss activity with this curriculum. If you buy the pre-assembled kit that includes everything you need for the hands-on activities, you are good to go and can just open the packet for this lesson. You’ll have the jello and candy you need. It included almost enough to make two complete cells. We had to rummage around the kitchen to find a few bits of candy for a few of the things but overall, it was a simple and fun (and evidently yummy) activity with that pre-assembled kit.

Blessings,
At Home.

Watch for the review coming in just a couple of weeks with the Homeschool Review Crew.

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