Thursday, June 21, 2018

Silverdale Press LLC ~Review

Silverdale Press
We have gotten away from doing unit studies for awhile. Silverdale Press LLC presented the perfect opportunity with their White House Holidays Unit Studies to jump back in. The holidays included in this Unit Study are;
  • Labor Day - 3 lessons
  • Veterans Day - 3 lessons
  • Thanksgiving - 5 lessons
  • Christmas - 4 lessons with 6 activities per lesson
  • MLK - 5 lessons
  • Valentine's Day - 5 lessons
The unit studies are geared for ages 5-18, so pretty much everyone. In my opinion good unit studies do cover a complete age range like that, as we use unit studies with all of our students at one time.

We chose to study Labor Day as it is the next holiday upcoming for us. This is a digital download and is 53 pages long. I chose to not print it all out, but you could do that if you wanted to.
Sadly I don't even know how many of these holidays started, or the true meaning behind them. Bump that age suggestion up to adult!

The lessons in this study are broken down into 2 age groups. K-6 and 7-12. I have kids in both categories and could have easily used both of the sections. I chose to use the K-6 even for the older kids simply because we haven't done a lot in the way of history. I wanted it to be fun for them, along with learning, and not overwhelming. I plan to use the 7-12 section later this fall when we are closer to Labor Day, just to revisit it and see what material stuck with them.

One of the great things about Unit Studies, is you can take them just as they are, or use them for springboard and rabbit trails to learn more. We tend to go off on rabbit trails when we learn, been doing that since they were little. When a Unit Study says it takes a week to complete, it typically takes us twice as long just because we are going that one step further. By looking at the lessons from the K-6 study, I was able to go a bit above this, but not quite to the extent that 7-12 go. Either way works! Sticking to the study, or adding on.

We first learned about Eleanor Roosevelt and how she was key in fighting against child labor laws. We then looked at photos of child labor and analyzed them to see if the work was appropriate for children, or was it hurtful to them.

Next we learned about McGuire and Maguire and the first Labor Day parade. It started with the union labor parties and trying to make them feel happier by having a parade to celebrate them. Many of the posters made during that time were political in nature and trying to get more help for some of the needs going on.

Next we learned about Pullman and the strike of the railway workers. This lead to a look at some of the trains at the time, and comparison to our trains today. We discussed what the future of the train may look like as well. A fun little rabbit trail on train history.

This was just one of the Unit Studies in the White House Holidays Unit Studies. This is a great book that looks at history and presidents during that time. Great to use alone or a springboard for things that you may find your children even more interested in .

Silverdale Press LLC social media sites

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See what my crew mates thought of the unit studies and see some of the fun things they chose to do with them by clicking on the photo below.

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

MaxScholar ~Review

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs

My son has been struggling with reading and his tutor recommended MaxScholar
as a program that went along well with what we were working on. It was perfect timing for us to use the Reading Intervention Programs.

MaxScholar has MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords. In each category the student is given a pretest to see where he is currently working, and it then puts him where he is best suited to start. My son struggles with reading but does know the alphabet. He was put into module 2 in the MaxPhonics.
There are 4 modules in the MaxPhonics.

There is a teacher and a student account. With the student account, Maverick can log himself in and work on the next lesson himself. The teacher account shows me a Dashboard where I can look at Maverick's progress. It also has the options for grouping kids and using it in a classroom situation. I can generate a report to print for him to see his progress. One of the things I really like about the dashboard is that I can look ahead at the materials that will be covered. I can look over a lesson plan to see what type of additional things I should be working with him on. It gives me a heads up of what is to come, which I do find helpful. Because of his struggle with reading, it is nice to be able to print out some additional pages for him to read through, especially when we are not on the internet.

With the student log in, he can only work on the next item. The rest are locked. If I log into the teacher account, I can preview all of the lessons, which is very helpful. I wanted to get an idea ahead of time what he would be working in, but didn't want it to mess up with his account and place him somewhere he may have not completed.

We have not worked with this program nearly enough this summer. With a death in the family and multiple trips, we have had an upset to our homeschooling plans this summer. That is the beauty of homeschooling, and using MaxScholar though. We can pick right up where we left off, without 'missing' anything due to life happening.

Each letter on MaxPhonics, uses visual, tactile, and auditory learning. It goes through each letter, but not in order. I find sometimes this is best to learn the sounds when they are not in order. There is a lot of repeating which helps with fluidity. The songs are a bit babyish for a 10 year old but you don't have to listen to them.

You can get an even better idea of MaxScholar and the different programs and modules by checking out the reviews of my fellow team mates. Click on the photo below to get to a listing of over 50 reviews.



Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha ~Review

The Critical Thinking Co.™

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is aptly named as it is my 'go to' for logic and critical thinking curriculum. This month we reviewed Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha as a team with my 16, 13 and 10 year old. The entire book is a 'whodunit' mystery that we needed to solve. 

Something's Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

We tend toward mystery type shows when we sit down together as a family. The kids referenced several of them as we were talking about this review for Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha. It was not necessary for them to have watched any of these type of shows in order to use this book. The first item given to the detectives was a great amount of back ground and forensic information to process. 
The Forensic Evidence Lessons included Anthropology, Arson, Ballistics, Counterfeit money, Autopsy, Handwriting Analysis and Fingerprints. There was over 20 pages of lessons to read up before getting started. I did take the lessons directly out of the book with the perforated pages and gave them to the kids in a file folder. Some of the worksheets can be printed off online through a link in the book, but not all of the pages. There will be a few here and there you need to scan a copy of to have a complete set. 

After the kids read through the evidence lessons we got started on the story. They had to list evidence they found, and how it may be applicable. They decided who they may need to interview, and what type of evidence they needed to look for. 
In the book I had additional information to give to them when they asked for it. They wanted to jump right in and figure out all of the crimes, and I had to help them stay focused and not jump to conclusions. This was great in having patience and working together as a team. 

This particular book is geared for grades 5-12. That great range allowed for our larger family to work together and I really feel they enjoyed it as a team. 

The Critical Thinking Co offers logic and critical thinking curriculum for all ages. You can search on their website for a specific grade and age or even for a specific topic. They also have curriculum for language arts, math, science and social studies. 
As I am gearing up for a new school year, I enjoyed looking through the website to find additional tools to use to work with my kids. I really think it is a great idea to have some critical thinking built in to each year. I think some times this skill gets over looked, and The Critical Thinking Co is trying to remedy that with their great line up of tools!

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The Critical Thinking Co.™

My Crew mates had a selection of books to review. Click on the banner below and find additional reviews for Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafish as well as several other great products shown below.
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

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