Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writing with Sharon Watson ~A TOS @homeschoolcrew Review

Writing with Sharon Watson Review
Writing with Sharon Watson has become a staple in our homeschool curriculum. It has really helped my children with writing. I was excited to review The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, 2nd Edition with my 17 year old.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

Writing is a constant struggle, especially with my boys. They need much structure in their writing and learning. They aren't to the place yet where you can give them a topic or thesis and have them run with it. Sharon Watson does a fantastic job of breaking the tasks down, and making them understandable for the student.

There are 7 Parts to the study;
Before you Write
and then a Reference section as well.

Under each part are from 1 to 20 chapters to work through. There are 117 daily lessons and plenty of writing prompts. I can easily call this a full year of work for writing. Combined with grammar and some reading, it easily would be a year credit in English.
The instruction is dual level meaning it works for beginner to accomplished writers. I love that aspect! Mine kids are beginner now, but if I have an accomplished writer later, all we need to do is purchase an additional Student Text.

The Teacher Guide has been most helpful to me. It explains and outlines everything for me, so that I am not doing any additional research or work. With 7 children, having the curriculum ready to use is a must!
In addition to instructions, the Teacher Guide also gives a in depth rubric for grading. If you are like me, you have no clue how to grade a child's writing work. I have long struggled with that, and the help Sharon Watson gives will go with me through other writing assignments my children do.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

Writing Prompts are called 14 minute Power Surges. Sharon gives us 4 prompts a week, one for Mon-Thurs. These are meant to take 14 minutes of writing, without being graded. We have always done a daily journal with writing prompts so this isn't something new for my kids. I love her ideas though and plan to use them daily with the 17 year old and my 14 year old as well. On Friday they choose their best paper, correct it, rewrite it and turn it in Monday. I need my kids to get a 'homework' feel, especially as they near college. To have something 'due' and to have to set aside time to work on it.

I chose to do four lessons a week, giving Friday for catching up or if we had errands to run. That also gives time Friday for tweeking the Power Surge, and working on papers.

Over the course, there are 21 papers that will be written. You might not want to tell your reluctant writer that in the beginning! This is going to help prepare them for college, and believe me, with 2 kids already in college, they Will Need to know how to write! This is an excellent, informative, and fun way to help them on the right track!

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Writing with Sharon Watson Review

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dive into Summer from National Geographic *Review & Giveaway

Dive into Summer with National Geographic for Kids

Summer is an excellent time to visit a local beach or aquarium and learn more about the ocean. Landlocked Kentucky leaves us with the option of traveling at least a day, or visiting the aquarium in Ohio. We have another option though to dive into the ocean this summer and that is through great books! If you cant actually visit, your best book choices are from National Geographic!

We have enjoyed two books recently that have been engaging for my 8 and 11 year old. Of course my toddler picked right up on the plush Dory!

Ocean Animals: Who's Who in the Deep Blue ($12.99, ages 8-12) is an oversized book and it needs to be!  Featuring huge, stunning underwater photographs this book covers it all -- from life in coral reefs to sharks and rays, to bizarre creatures of the deep and even sea birds -- and all the favorites from Finding Dory including, sea lions, octopus, beluga whales, whale sharks and of course clown fish and Dory herself -- blue tangs!  

Ocean Animals Sticker Activity Book (ages 4-8, $6.99) has over 1,000 cool stickers of the most popular, adorable, ferocious and weird ocean animals, like dolphins, coral, fish, sea turtles, seals and more. Also included are skill-building puzzles and mazes, spelling and pattern games, drawing, photos, facts, and other activities that will keep kids you entertained (and learning) for hours on end. Perfect for road trips and plane rides!

Enter to win!!
"Dive Into Summer" Giveaway Pack
Ocean Animals: Who's Who in the Deep Blue,
Ocean Animals Sticker Activity Book
and a Dory plushie
 US only please  

* Friend National Geographic Kids on Facebook -
* Follow National Geographic Kids Books on twitter - @NGKidsBks

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Whiffer Sniffers Scented Stuffies ~Review

Whiffer Sniffers are highly scented plush characters.
I have such fun memories of the scratch and sniff stickers as a kid. I actually still have them in a sticker book from over 30 years ago, and they still smell!! I love that Whiffer Sniffers is taking the smell to the next level with these adorable plush characters.

Whiffer Sniffers come in a variety of sizes.
Great back to school backpack clip.

 My littles one loves these and we clipped them on her diaper bag.
I think these would be perfect as a key chain as well. Nothing like taking a car scent right on your keys!

The Mystery pack contains a backpack clip as well, but it is a surprise as to what one you get!
There are a couple of rare Sniffers that you can get in the mystery pack. We got Billy Bluesberry, and Adam Apple in our mystery pack. Each pack shows the different ones in the series.

Really love the scented plush? Then the Super Sniffer is for you! We have Billy Bluesberry and he smells divine! My baby actually has him in her bed and I can smell him when I lay her down. He started off very strong, just a warning. But as time goes by you aren't overwhelmed by it.

Added nostalgia for me was being able to have scratch and sniff stickers again!

I personally plan on collecting more of these great scents and putting them in the kids stockings this Christmas. What a fun memory to pass down to them.
Some other great characters are
Freddy Frosted (doughnut)
IB Poppin (popcorn)
Tony Pepperoni (Pizza)
Dilly Yo (pickle)
and a favorite we must get!!
Ben Sizzlin! Bacon

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