Monday, August 24, 2015

Off to College they Go...

We dropped our oldest off at Eater Kentucky University this past weekend. I feel truly blessed that we got 2 extra years with him as he chose to get his AA degree at our local community college. We had him for 2 years to continue to grow in his faith and with our family.
He is ready for the next adventure as he moved in to his dorm room, working toward his BA in Graphic Design.

 We are blessed that he is only just over an hour away so he will be home often. The next 2 weekends actually! See I am blessed. He loves his family and the little siblings so I figured he won't go long before coming home. He does know how to do laundry, but why bother if you can bring it home and eat great meals while he is here.

 My 18 year old also started school today. We are blessed that he is going to Eastern as well, but at a satellite  campus and is commuting . I don't think we will get 2 whole years out of him, but at least we are getting this sememster as he takes a few of his general eduation credits and saves a bit of money by living at home.

I need to get his picture as well!!

Here is to a great Fall semester to my 2 oldest!! May God continue to use them as a light for Him.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Horizons Phonics and Reading Grade 1 AOP *Review

Alpha Omega Review

Alpha Omega Publications has been a constant in our homeschool career. We started out with their Life Pac program and moved into Switched on School house. Alpha Omega Publications is multi faceted with a variety of programs to help the homeschool family. I had never tried Horizons and was excited to try it out with Maverick, who is struggling with his reading.

We opted to try Horizons 1st Grade Phonics & Reading Set even though Maverick is just starting 2nd grade. I'm really glad we didn't aim further because this was enough of a challenge for him. He is behind, but the repetition in Horizons is extremely helpful.
Alpha Omega Review
When I first saw the reader, and the amount of words for him I panicked! Then I read in the teacher guide that the student doesn't read it on his own until about the 40th lesson..(wipes off forehead). Had me worried there because there weren't too many words he would know. I chose to pick out 2 words in each story that seemed repeated and had him read those words when my finger was under it. He enjoyed it and it kept his interest in the story. The story is only 2 or 3 pages long, very short. There are comprehension questions at the end as well. This helped me see if he was paying attention.

The teacher guide has everything you need to teach your lesson. Horizons is very teacher friendly. For those who enjoy the traditional kind of schooling, this really will match up perfectly. Very similar to what they use in traditional Christian schools. We don't tend to be traditional in many things, but with our struggles in reading I found that we needed to go back to 'old school' methods to work on phonics and reading with a lot of repetition.

Each lesson has several worksheets. The student starts out writing beginning, ending and middle sounds of the objects. Using upper and lower case letters. Then we started learning short vowel sounds and moving into long vowel sounds. The lessons were colorful and had a variety that helped Maverick stay engaged. We weren't always able to get through the 3 or 4 pages in the lesson so we would just continue the next day. I didn't want to overwhelm him and sometimes 4 workbook pages was a bit too much. For the first 10 lessons, only 2 pages involved writing, and the other 2 would be reading pages using the new sounds that were learned. We tried to do at least one written and one reading one per lesson. There were days when he seemed more focused and we could get through the entire lesson. Other days his mind was off somewhere else so we did half and came back to it either later the same day or the next day.
Later after lesson 10 there were typically 3 or 4 pages of written work. He scoffed at that so we had to scale back some. He isn't a big book work kind of kid. Sometimes I would do the writing for the last page to give him a break, and so we could get through the lesson.

There are 160 lessons and 16 tests so 176 days if you do one daily. We have a 180 day school year so we need to try to work through an entire lesson per day.

There are 2 student workbooks and readers along with the teacher guide. This gives you a full year of Horizon Phonics and Reading. The workbooks are consumable but you would be able to reuse the readers and teacher guide for further students.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Grandma Kisses Board Book *Review & Giveaway

by Laura Neutzling
Illustrated by Cee Biscoe

This book is a perfect gift for a new Grandma to be! What do your kids love about going to Grandma's house? Unfortunately we live far away from our relatives and my kids haven't gotten to experience going to Grandma's house very often in their lives. They tend to come to us more than we to them with our larger family. Grandmas are still super special and this book helps my little ones remember and think about their Grandmas

This board book is perfect for newborn to age 4 and will share all about the love of Grandmas. From elephants, zebras, mice, dogs and more, they learn that Grandmas come in all shapes and sizes. Grandma's hugs are the best along with her time to share and play. Grandma's joke and play hide and seek. I love the one with Grandma bear rocking the cub and reading stories from her Bible. Baking cookies, prayers before bed, and of course Grandma Kisses!

Jurnee is really into books lately. Only 9 months old, but if she sees anyone with a book she wants it. What a fun age to watch her looking at the pages as we read to her. This board book is the perfect length for her attention span.
I look forward to holding on to this book for when my own children have kids! Then I get to be Grandma, reading to them and sharing.

Enter to win a copy from Thomas Nelson below! US only. Ends August 22

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