Tuesday, August 30, 2016

HomeSchool Scholastics (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

In the course of homeschooling, there are often subjects that leave parents wondering exactly how to approach it.  Reading, writing and arithmetic are pretty straight forward and there is so many various curriculum for different teaching styles available for those subjects but when it comes to subjects like health and physical education, the options are much smaller.

Members of the crew were given the opportunity to review the WAY Comes Home Kit from HomeSchool Scholastics, an i4 Learning Company.  The Wellness, Academics & You (WAY) curriculum kit brings a well rounded wellness program designed for grades K through 4th directly to you, including all sorts of goodies to make the learning process fun and interactive. Included are three themes designed for various levels of learning - Health Safari for grades K-1, Me Mysteries for grades 2-3 and Interspace Adventures for grades 3-4.

What We Received

It was Christmas in summer when the mailman delivered a huge box chocked full of all the components for the WAY Comes Home kit. The kids interest was peaked as we unpacked items like an eye chart, stethescope, a plastic scale, plastic counters, plastic eggs, foam balls, a fingerprinting ink pad, plastic baskets, a tape measure, various cards and worksheets, three workbooks, the teachers guide and a DVD.

There's really so much included with this kit.

The Teachers Guide is a 145 page, full color paperback book that walks parents through the entire WAY Comes Home program.  The program is broken into five modules that include activities for each of the three academic grade levels.  These modules walk parents through teaching students about being active, eating properly and taking responsibility for their own personal health.

The three student workbooks are to be used with the three different academic levels of the kit. There's one for the Heath Safari unit, one to be used with the Me Mystery Unit and the last to be used with the Innerspace Adventure unit. Depending on the level selected, activities range from coloring pages (for younger grades) and research and collecting information from experiments (older grades).

The other various components that are included with the kit are to be used along with the lessons throughout the learning journey.  From learning about vision from actually having a eye chart just like what is used in the doctors office, to learning about the human fingerprints but printing themselves and seeing their prints first hand, the hands on activities really help to drive the information in a fun, hands on way.

How We Used It

Testing Our Vision Using the Included Eyechart
From the moment the package was delivered, my house was filled with miniature doctors. The stethoscope was probably the biggest hit and the kids went around the house listening to their own heartbeat, the dogs heartbeat, and any other pet that would stay still long enough for them to get it on them.  (Which, I might add, as a healthcare worker, I can attest that the stethoscope works very well).  This even allowed us to discuss other topics such as lung sounds, heart rates (which is an activity included in the WAY program), and how illness and actions such as smoking affect both.  It was really fun for the kids to get to pretend they were Mom walking into a patients room and doing a patient assessment.

The kids also really enjoyed the activities included about Germs and how they spread disease.  This particular module included activities such as learning proper hand washing, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and keeping things clean and free of things that can harbor germs.  We did activities from all three academic levels.  One activity had the kids drawing a picture of their clean hands versus dirty hands covered in germs. Another asked them to draw a self portrait and to show themselves covering their mouth when they sneeze/cough.

We did modify the Innerspace Adventure activity a bit.  That particular activity asked to leave a piece of potato and leave it out for a few days and observe what type of growth occurred. I don't typically keep potatoes in the house.  Instead, we kept a dish rag in bowl of dirty water. After two days, we made a slide from the water and took a look under the microscope.  The kids were able to see the various "bugs" swimming around in the wet slide.  Later down the road, we may indeed grow some moldy potatoes and take a look as well.

Another fun activity that the kids did was to keep track of their weight over the last few weeks, using our bathroom scale.  They kept a weekly journal in their workbook of how much their weight changed over the course of a month.  They also had fun using the included scale weighing the mass of various objects, including our pet rats. Needless to say, Yuki weighs more than Nicodemus.

Yuki needs to go on a diet, it appears
The fact that the teachers guide and the student workbooks are very light weight, we were able to bring them with us on our camping trip and do some activities while we were out having fun.  The kids were able to figure out how to take a resting heart rate and then compare that to what it was after a hike around our campground, as well as keep a log of the nutritional components of our meals and determine whether or not it was a balanced meal (which surprisingly, it was).

We have been having lots of fun using the WAY Comes Home program and it can easily be used as a platform for taking that learning even further.  I look forward to using it, as well as the various components, with other learning activities that come up in the future. The only thing we didn't use out of the kit was the glitter, which is used to demonstrate how quickly germs can spread - as I didn't want glitter germs all over my house.

#hsreviews #WAYComesHome #HomeschoolNutrition #HomeschoolHealth

For more information on the WAY Comes Home Kit as well as HomeSchool Scholastics, please visit their website or one of their social media sites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WAYComesHome @WAYComesHome

WAY Comes Home Kit Review

Random/Quirky Things About Me (52 Lists)

How well do you know your friends and family? Everyone has some little idiosyncrasies that make them who they are.  Do you know what yours are?? What about your spouse or even your kids?

52 lists with Chasing Slow

This week, for the 52 Lists blog hop, we were asked to make a list of those little random and quirky things about us.  

* I am 5'1 and a half inches tall.. I lie and say I am 5'2.. 
* Because I am so short, I wear 5 inch heels because my husband is 6'4.
* I'm addicted to my Kindle.  I've got every generation because I constantly upgrade. 
* I am also addicted to coke - the soda, not the drug.  
* I love hummingbirds.
* I love True Crime television like 48 Hours and Forensic Files.  
* My favorite movies are Top Gun, The Shawshank Redemption and The Last Samurai. 
* Even though Tom Cruise is in 2 of those movies, I do NOT like Tom Cruise. 
* I do, however, like Hugh Jackman. 
* I fall asleep listening to audiobooks or Podcasts when I go to bed at night. 
* I can't stand the smell of ground meat
* I am absolutely terrified of spiders
* I am also terrified of driving near log trucks
* I read on average 50 books a year (not counting what I read to the kids). 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Military Families Bible (A Review)

As a military family, we have special needs that civilian families typically don't understand.  For example, one day your husband can come home with a piece of paper and without any warning, your in the whirlwind of packing up your household and moving to an unknown place. Or that same piece of paper can tell you that you and your children will have to give up your military member for a year to a year and a half as they go overseas to the Middle East.  

I've been in these positions.  I've watched as my ex husband went on deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. I've received the phone call that something terrible had happened to him and that they didn't know if he was going to be okay (luckily, he was fine - he fell from a helicopter and had a head injury)..   Years later, my now husband is also a military member in the United States Air Force, which means our family is use to long hours, cancelled plans and the unknown.

These special needs of a military family also represents a special spiritual need. As a military family, we place our loved ones in God's hands each day and we put our faith in Him to keep them safe and sound and to help support us while they are gone.  Many nights (and days) are spent on our knees praying, crying and thanking the Lord.   The Lord is always there for us - even when our non military friends don't understand or maybe say the wrong thing when trying to support us (ie: I know how you're feeling, my husband went away on a business trip last weekend and I was so alone). The Lord always has words of comfort for us - we just have to open the pages of his Word and it's all there for us.

The Military Families Bible from Holman Bible Publishers provides a beautiful presentation of God's Word designed for the military family.  Using the Holman, Christian Standard Bible translation (HCSB), this stunning Navy, Crimson and Cream leathertouch  softcover Holy Bible shows patriotism in a very subtle way rather than the typical "in your face" red, white and blue.

Between the covers, you will find the entire text of the Holy Bible as well as words of encouragement from Award-winning authors and from US Army Chaplain Col. John D. Lang as devotions followed by a prayer that are each pinpoint the special spiritual needs of the military family, regardless of branch or rank.

This Bible is perfect for taking the services on Sunday as well as to place on the nightstand beside your bed when you need to feel the Lord's strength with you.  And as it is presented in a hard presentation box, this Bible would also make a great gift for any friend or family member who's loved one is in the military.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Favorite Places to Eat (52 Lists)

I admit it.. We eat out far more than we probably should..  (On average, once every 2 weeks, sometimes twice)..  There's just something about going out to a nice restaurant on a date or enjoying a nice greasy burger that is very satisfying.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

For this week's 52 Lists, we were asked to list our favorite places or foods to eat out..  Probably not the best list to think about when my belly is already rumbling from the wonderful smell of country ribs cooking in the slow cooker ;)    It's also one of those lists where I have to debate whether I list the places that are here in California where we are now or do I put my all time favorite places, which might include restaurants back at home or even in places where we have lived.. LOL  

Fast Food
In-n-Out - There's nothing like a Double Double Animal Style.. Sorry Texas, California has Whataburger beat, well, except for Spicy Ketchup.. Whataburger's Spicy Ketchup ROCKS!!
Jack in the Box - 2 Tacos for 99 cents..
Chick-fil-a  - Waffle Fries.. enough said.
Mr Gyro - A small mom/pop gyro shop back in Coldwater, Michigan.
Panda Express - The Beijing Beef is to die for

Sit Down Restaurants
Bomas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - I HAVE to eat here everytime we go to Disney World
Malhi's Indian Cuisine - Located in Palmdale, California - The Mixed Tandoori is the best I've ever had.
Taco Rey - A family owned Mexican restaurant in Nederland, Texas.. Tex Mex at it's finest and I have never found anything comparable since leaving home.
Sartin's - Another hometown eatery in Beaumont, Texas that served platter service with all you can eat clams, catfish, bbq crabs and shrimp.
Fresco II - a Mediterranean restaurant here in California that hubby and I enjoy for date night

Other Mentions
Nick's Grocery - This lil mom/pops grocery store in Port Arthur, Texas has the ABSOLUTE best Boudain, even better than anything in Louisiana.
The Boudain Hut - Noticing a trend here?  Great Boudain in this little hole in the wall bar/restaurant in Port Arthur
Larry's French Market - Another family owned grocery store in Groves, Texas that has a small restaurant and dance floor inside - they serve the best boiled crawfish along with, yup, you guessed it, Boudain!!!

El Shaddai (Wordless Wednesday)

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones

Ashleigh working on her Worship song of the month. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Wrapup

We've finished week 5 and things are still rocking and rolling at a pretty good pace.  The kids have been working hard on so many different thing and getting adjusted to the more busy schedule and each week I have been adding one extra assignment to the schedule to ease them into the heavier workload.  We are still, for the most part, following a Charlotte Mason style learning structure and it has been such a blessing for us.  The kids have been working on reading and writing a lot more than they did in the past few years and while the first few weeks so a bit of tears, they've quickly come to expect and dare I say enjoy both much more.

For the month of August, we have been working on the folk song Loch Lomond, using the version with the vocals by Rosalind McAllister.  I chose this particular version of the song because we previously used McAllister's version of The Skyboat Song and Garrett really liked her voice. This week was spent learning the third verse.   For our hymn/worship song, I choose El Shaddai by Amy Grant.  They kids have done awesome on proper pronunciation of the Hebrew words in the chorus and we watched a clip of the movie "The Prince of Egypt" where the Exodus is shown as there is a section where the kids are singing in Hebrew and the word Adonai is used. We then looked up the Hebrew translation so that we could see what the children were singing.  (We had previously looked up the Hebrew translations in El Shaddai and discussed how there were various words and expressions used to name God).  Both songs are coming along well and I look forward to allowing the kids to sing both songs for their dad and older sister at the end of the month. I might even make a recording of it for family members to be able to see as well.

For our daily poetry selections we have been reading from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Lewis Stevenson.  On Monday we read "Marching Song" which the kids had lots of fun marching around the living room waving a flag made of a stick and a bandana while we read.  For the rest of the week we read "The Cow", "Happy Thought", "The Wind" and "Keepsake Mill". For Keepsake Mill we were able to do a short bit of research to see how a waterwheel works. Out of this weeks selections of poems, I think we all enjoyed "The Wind" the most.

Garrett's letter F's
In cursive writing, the kids have been working on the letter F.  Handwriting is coming along really well and the kids have been trying to write their names in cursive, improvising with the letters they haven't learned yet.   They really enjoy cursive lessons and this is one of the lessons they ask for us to work on before other subjects.

This week was a VERY good week for our math lessons.  We started Multiple Digit Subtraction this week and the kids aced their lessons and made really high marks on their weekly math test.  Ashleigh received a 100%.  Garrett received an 93% but did not miss any of the subtraction problems - on a review question on skip counting by 2's he skipped the number 12 as he was rushing through it.  We have 9 more weeks of our current math book so I will be purchasing Math U See Gamma next month to have it on hand for them to start once we're done.
Garrett's Spelling Test

Spelling was a HUGE surprise for me this week as the kids both did way better than I expected them to do with our current spelling words.  This week, they worked on the words certain, barking, thinking, kept, mouth, piece, night, thief and fierce.  For their spelling test, we did an activity where they watched a video that showed all their words, and then they had to write as many words as they could remember from the video, not necessarily in order, and try to spell them correctly. Both kids scored 100% on this activity!!!

For our sciences, we have been revisiting Geology with Science Shepherd as well as working through Apologia Astronomy. For Geology we discussed the Earth's layers, rocks, soil and landscapes.  This was basically a review for us.  In Astronomy this week, we discussed galaxies, the northern and southern skies, and constellations.  The kids had a blast going outside and looking up at the various constellations we've been discussing, even though viewing hasn't been the best due to the full moon this week.  However, this is an activity that we will be doing more and more in the upcoming months.  We also did a bit of writing involving life science as we discussed the life cycle of a ladybug and the kids had to write and illustrate a book involving the different cycles.

This week we combined two character studies into one: Grateful and Greedy.  For our study, we read
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien.  We had a very good discussion in regards to how being grateful is being happy for the things that we have and that being greedy is the constant want for more.  This was perfectly displayed in The Giving Tree as the tree was grateful for the friendship for the boy, but the boy was never happy with what he had and constantly demanded more from the tree, to the point nothing was left but the stump and still, the tree was happy to give that as well.  I had to laugh though, as on their written assignment on being Grateful, Garrett admitted that No, he doesn't display being Grateful because he constantly wants more stuff.

Learning about the Gutenberg Printing Press
For history, we read the Story of Regulus and then started our two week unit study about Ben Franklin.  During our discussion of Franklin's early life as a printer apprentice, we decided to see if we could find a video about how the Gutenberg printing press worked and were lucky to find a really great one on Youtube.  The kids got to see how the printer would use the ink balls to apply ink to the type and then use the press to transfer the ink to the paper pages.   If possible, I'm hoping to find someplace nearby that might have a press that they can see in person (fingers crossed). We also did a bit of mapwork to follow Ben's travels from Boston to New York to Philadelphia to London and back to Philadelphia.

In addition to the mapwork, we've also been doing both Everyday Geography from the Christian Homeschool Hub (where we also got the Ladybug book printout - review coming soon) as well as reading the book Paddle to the Sea.  This week with Everyday Geography, we covered lines of Longitude and lines of latitude as well as the Equator and the Prime Meridian.   With Paddle to the Sea, we discussed Lake Superior and have been following Paddle's route as he circles around the western side of the lake.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flip it and Turn it and Spin it Around (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

One of the joys of being a member of the Review Crew is that we get to put on hands on some pretty
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cool items that I never would have heard of otherwise. Not everything is curriculum - some things are just for fun. Such as the case when members of the review crew got the opportunity to review various versions of the FlipStir puzzles from Enlivenze LLC.  Member got to choose from the two difficulty levels of these puzzles. Our family opted to review the Level 2 Solar System puzzle and it's been a fun and challenging opportunity for us.

FlipStir is a self contained, 10 piece 3D puzzle that uses a small stir style paddle attached to a wand that poked out of a clear plastic tube. To solve the puzzle, one must manipulate the puzzle pieces into place by using the wand to flip, stir, and move the pieces into place. But don't let the idea of only 10 pieces deceive you, it's much harder than it sounds.  The tube does not allow for much movement of the pieces which means to solve the puzzle, you have to really use some problem solving skills to figure out how to get the pieces into their proper order.

puzzle, puzzles, games, 3D, travel, family, flipstir, wandAs mentioned above, we opted to try the level 2 puzzle.  There are two different levels to try and each level had the same amount of pieces. However, level 1 puzzles use bold colors and clear, defined images as well as straight edged pieces where the level 2  pieces have more complex designs and wavy shaped pieces, making them harder to manipulate. For level 1, there is an option of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton or pencils arranged in rainbow colors while the level 2 options are the Solar System, the Statue of Liberty or the Periodic Table.

Each FlipStir puzzle comes in a box that shows what the finished puzzle looks like. But don't expect the puzzle to be already assembled - that would be too easy.. The puzzle is already shaken and stirred and ready to go.  (You wouldn't expect it to be easy, right? Nope, you gotta work for it!!)
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So, how did our family like the FlipStir puzzle?  It's a mixed reaction.

Right out of the box, my son grabbed the puzzle and started working towards manipulating the pieces.

Garrett loves puzzles to begin with and this hands on experience was perfect for him.  It took him a bit of time, but Garrett eventually figured out the design and solved the puzzle.

Ashleigh tried for about 5 minutes, put it down and didn't bother to pick it up again.  Puzzles aren't really her thing though, she would rather play with her stuffed animals.

My oldest, Alyssa, also gave up after about 20 minutes and deemed it "impossible".  We had a really good laugh at he fact that her 9 year old brother was able to solve it but she could not.

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My husband also tried for about 30 minutes and gave up.  Again, the fact that Garrett could solve it but a 30 year old man who works on a $340 Million dollar aircraft every day couldn't figure out a simple puzzle designed for ages 7 and up provided many laughs in our household.

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Charles Trying to Work the Puzzle
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And Charles Giving Up on the Puzzle

Being that both Alyssa and Charles could not figure out how solve the puzzle and gave up on it yet did not see the humor in the fact the 9 year old could solve it, they both decided that they would shut me up by challenging ME to solve the puzzle.  I'm proud to say that I solved it several times, each time in less that 10 minutes.

puzzle, puzzles, games, 3D, travel, family, flipstir, wand
Garrett presents me with the completed puzzle
Overall, it's a fun little tinkertoy that one can easily keep on hand to challenge their friends or just to play around with.  It's plenty challenging for all ages and I love the fact it is self contained so there's no risk of losing pieces. Also, in a world where electronics and video games reign, it's nice to have something for the kids to do that requires them to actually use brain power without staring at a screen. while it helps to improve motor skills as smaller children have to use the wand to manipulate the piece.

#hsreviews #shakestirsolve

For More Information about Enlivenze LLC and the FlipStir Puzzles, be sure to visit their website or any of their various social media sites at:

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FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

But He Won't Sit Still... (Throwback Thursday)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

But He Won't Sit Still!!!! (Homeschooling Through Special Needs)

Day 3 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop sponsored by the Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection and today I thought I would change the pace just a bit and talk about something I've had many problems with in the beginning and am willing to bet that a few of you might to - trying to homeschool a special needs child.

If you're newly discovering my blog because of the blog hop, I'll fill you in a bit. My son, age 8, is a special needs boy.  Garrett is the reason I started homeschooling to begin with - the school where I live did not have the necessary resources in which to teach him. Rather than to ship him to a school 45 minutes away, I opted to instead keep him home and teach him myself.

It's been a long road of discovery for the both of us.  My first year of "Kindergarten" was wrecked with tears and frustration and Garrett wasn't so happy either.  He wouldn't sit down, he wouldn't write, he wouldn't try to read. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything we were doing.  I kept beating my head against the brick wall and kept trying to throw the same things at him over and over.  I ended up wonder if I was making a huge mistake and doubting I was going to be able to teach him at all.

It took two years til I realized my approach with my son was completely wrong..  We adjusted and and it has made a world of difference.

But He Won't Sit Still...

My son physically can't sit still during school.  To try to make him usually results in tears and frustration.  So he stands up.  He stands at the table while doing his writing. He stands  while we're going over math problems. He stands and paces while we are doing our reading.  But I've realized he retains much more information when he stands then when he's being forced to sit and instead fidgets. 

The second thing we do is we use a diffuser to aerosolize essential oils while we're having class.
 Lavender, Vetiver, and other calming oils makes a huge difference in his concentration. We also use a blend that we call Squirrel :  In a roller ball bottle I mix 22 drops of Atlas Cedarwood, 20 drops of Lavender, 10 drops of  Vetiver, 30 drops of Grapefruit, 20 drops of Bergamot, 10 drops of Frankincense, 10 drops of Sandalwood and 20 drops of Sweet Marjoram and top it off with a carrier oil.  Then I rub a small amount on the bottom of his feet.  My husband thought oils were a crock until I used Squirrel on both kids during our cross country road trip. He quickly became a believer.. LOL

Third thing is to run his energy off.  There are times when he's literally got way too much energy to try to concentrate on trying to do mathematics. By watching for the signs (fidgeting, rocking back and forth in his chair, pacing), he will make it obvious that he's just too wound up to concentrate on what we are trying to work on at that moment.  There's no timetable that says you have to be done with schoolwork - take a break.  I like to bring the kickball outside and let him run around for a good 20-30 minutes blowing off his excess energy. Sometimes I make him and his sister run relay races against each other.  Then, after a 15 minute cool down with a glass of ice water, he's usually back to a frame of mind to try to concentrate on our lessons.

Probably the biggest thing that has made all the difference for our homeschool is changing the way in which we learn.  We've slowly moved away from multiple worksheets and boring textbooks and headed more into the general direction of both Charlotte Mason style learning along with lots of Hands On experimentation.   Constructing models of ancient ziggurats,  working in the garden, educational games and teaching textbooks have all helped to pull his interest into the subject at hand enough to allow him to concentrate for much of the lesson.  I can throw worksheets and textbooks at him all day and he won't learn anything but if I can make the learning hands on, he quickly gets it down.

Teaching a special needs kid can be challenging but by being adaptive in the manner in which you approach learning as well as being open to therapeutic tools such as essential oils and physical activities, it can be such a rewarding experience. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

¿Hablas español? (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Hablas espanol?  I took two years of it in high school and I'll be honestly, I learned very little of it.
 Studies show that children are more likely to have success in learning a second language when they are exposed to it at an early age.  Other studies also show that it's much easier to learn a language when they are immersed into it rather than from a structural teaching style.  This is the belief of Foreign Languages For Kids by Kids believes when they created their Spanish Starter Set 1.  Garrett (and Ashleigh as well) have been using the Spanish Starter Kit 1 for the last few weeks and we have seen much success in their retention and understanding.

What We Received 

spanish for kids, learn Spanish, Spanish for homeschoolers, homeschool Spanish
The Spanish Starter Set 1 includes a DVD that includes three videos (Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast, The Little Magic House Part 1 and The Little Magic House Part 2), a complete 20 week program teachers curriculum guide, flashcards for all three videos, three full color student workbooks (one for each video), vocabulary stickers that accompany the Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast video, and a limited time bonus "Go Squish!" card game.  

The DVD video consists of three videos, each roughly 15 minutes long. Students are told that these are "in flight movies" being shown on a flight to a spanish speaking country - the first video is travelling from Washington DC to Lima, Peru, the 2nd is travelling from Lima to Bogata, Columbia and the 3rd is from Bogata to San Jose, Costa Rica.  In each video, viewers observe a conversation and situation that immerses them in the Spanish language in a real life setting involving the activities of a family as they go about their day. The video we concentrated on the most, Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast allows students to watch the interaction between three brothers and their mother as they go about their morning breakfast routine as the students learn the Spanish words for many common breakfast foods, items such as books and basketballs, terms such as "I like" and "Where is" and "Thank you/You're Welcome".

spanish for kids, learn Spanish, Spanish for homeschoolers, homeschool Spanish
Garrett Watching Video 1
The Guide for Teachers and Parents is a  booklet that includes lessons that take roughly 45 minutes. Each video has it's own Teacher's guide with lessons specific to it's particular video. These lessons expand on the vocabulary that students learn from watching the videos. A knowledge of the Spanish language is not necessary for parents to teach the program, as the guide walks parents through everything they need to teach the lesson to their students.   In addition with the Spanish lesson, activities are provided that expand on what has been learned as well as to familiarize students with the country the flight is heading to.  Each lesson also lets the parents know when it's time to open the student workbook and complete an activity page.  A really cute full color certificate for completion of each video is included at the end of the guide.

In addition to the Teachers/Parents guide, each video has it's own individual Student workbook.  These student workbooks are full color and include activities that reinforce what the student is learning both in the videos and the lessons, as well as engaging culture lessons.  The activities include things like crosswords and word searches as well as matching and fill in the blank style questions and feature images from the video that the students are already familiar with.

How We Used It

spanish for kids, learn Spanish, Spanish for homeschoolers, homeschool Spanish
Garrett Working A Lesson in the Workbook
Originally, I planed on only using this program with Garrett, as Ashleigh has already been working independently with her Latin lessons. However, the very first time I turned the video on for Garrett, Ashleigh wanted to watch as well.   I found that the short videos were perfect to turn on for the kids while I made their lunch each day and they quickly looked forward to watching them each day.

Per the teacher's guides suggestion, I did not explain anything about the video to them and instead told them to just watch the video, listen to the interaction with boys, and see what words they could figure out.  The first time they watched the video, they were pretty confused as to what was going on.  As they continued to watch the video daily, they quickly started figuring out what the Spanish words they were being exposed to translated to in English. This became very apparent when about two weeks into the program, my husband was heading to the grocery store and Ashleigh asked him to pick her up some "pequenas manzanas" as she preferred them to "grande manzanas" (Small apples as opposed to large apples).

Since we were only going to use the workbook with one student, we used them with Garrett. Both kids were able to participate in the lessons and have learned so much already.  We were also able to expand on the lessons about South America as we included the Olympics in Brazil with our lessons.  While the teachers guide recommend doing one lesson twice a week, we are moving through the lessons a bit slower - Garrett has pretty much memorized the first video but I am finding that he
spanish for kids, learn Spanish, Spanish for homeschoolers, homeschool Spanish
Ashleigh Pointing Out Lima, Peru On Our Map
struggles with the lessons if we try to do one lesson a week. Instead we concentrate on the lesson for two weeks at a time and this seems to work perfect for him.  Since there is no time constraints on the program unlike an online program, this allows us to take our time so that I know Garrett is retaining the information rather than feeling rushed to complete it on schedule.

In the past, we have used an online language program and were not terribly impressed with it.  I did not feel that the children were learning or retaining anything from the lessons and honestly, if I were to ask them anything in regards to those lessons, they stare at me like I have a third eye.  This Spanish program is different!!  It's engaging, it keeps the kids interested and they are even using what they are learning outside of school time.  If the kids misplace one of their toys, hearing them calling out "Donde?" is pretty common.  When I ask what they want for breakfast or lunch, they will tell me "Me gusta (fill in food) or Ashleigh commonly tells me "No me gusta huevos".  In the few weeks that we have been using this program, I can say that I am VERY impressed.  My oldest daughter has taken Spanish in public high school and I can honestly say that the kids have learned the language much faster and efficiently in a couple of months than that she has in a year of instruction.

Fore more information about Foreign Language for Kids by Kids and their Spanish program, including the Spanish Starter Set 1, be sure to visit either their website or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ForeignLanguagesForKidsByKids.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids was very generous and provided 90 members of the Review Crew with their Spanish Starter Set 1 for us to review. Be sure to click the banner below and read the other crew members reviews and see how they used it with their students. 

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review


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