I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

What do you do with multiple kids who have varying levels of ability and interest in math? For our family, the answer is CTCMath. This is a complete online K-12 math curriculum. This is a super easy program to use, friendly even to the younger ones, just watch the video lessons, answer a few practice questions and complete tests as you work your way through. I find it refreshing also that this program does not align with Common Core. For this review we received a 12-month subscription with accounts for every one of our children.

CTCMath offers a variety of membership options and homeschool families are given 1/2 off the price of monthly or yearly membership for single user or family. That is a HUGE plus for us! Whatever your need may be, I am sure they have something that will fit well.

This is yet another material we are using that is Australian based – my girls just love the accents so much! Some days they try to mimic it – Why not? If it helps them engage in math studies. ūüôā

One thing my son really likes is that there are pdf’s you can print out. As he goes into more advanced math, he really likes to have a reference to go back to, especially when he is struggling to really get a specific concept. Having the option to do this is wonderful!

At the Parent dashboard you are able to assign tasks although we did not use this. My younger son is currently working through various lessons; skipping the things he feels mastery in, via diagnostic tests. This is one of those parts that my kids really like. Not having to complete lessons for topics they feel good about. At the same time, when they are struggling, they are able to complete the lesson and as many problems as they need to, so that they feel ready to move forward. It is encouraging to my children that they can move through math in this way. I appreciate being able to see them take control of their learning like this!

My older girl is learning and mastering her multiplication tables with this program. That is quite a feat and she is so pleased! her first choice each day when it is time to work is CTCMath. Finally, something that doesn’t require a struggle. Since she wants to be a veterinarian one day, she is very aware of the value of knowing math well.

Beyond the regular lessons, she enjoys playing on the Speed Skills and Times Tables. A fun way to practice what is being learned. I think some days she could play these all day long. My son prefers Swap Pieces, a puzzle in which you must move all the blue pieces to the blue squares and all the red pieces to the red squares. It sounds simple but this can really bobble the mind!

The weekly revision section is a wonderful way to encourage my kids to continue forward, practicing what they know, brushing up on anything that they may have forgotten. There are even printable worksheets for those days when you do not want to, or cannot perhaps, work on the computer. I like being able to print these out – since we tend to be going all over, quite often, maybe I don’t feel as guilty as I did before, not being home to do all this “work.”

My children have developed so much since we began using CTCMath and I am thrilled to see them grow as we continue using this program. We plan to move into Pre-Algebra while we still have this; my son is eager to get there while he has a program that he says, “knows how to teach kids sensibly.” My girls are just having so much fun – it’s such a joy to see them learning and not being so stressed out about those difficult things – somehow the simplicity of this program makes it all so much easier.

CTCMath is on Social Media:

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Read more reviews of CTCMath from other members of the Crew by clicking on the banner below.

CTCMath {Review}

I tend not to worry too much about my younger kids when it comes to grammar. When they are young I really seek to focus on helping them to just learn to enjoy the experience of writing. But as they get older, there are some things that we need to add to their writing skills. I wasn’t really sure how to do this with my oldest son; he is very active, he is currently on a mission to write his own book, but as he does, I see so many things that need correction. How to do this without discouraging his heart? I jumped on the chance to review Daily GRAMS: Grade 7 from Easy Grammar Systems. Perhaps with this simple material, as he works, he can see and correct for himself, to better his work. Without momma nagging, with dad criticizing – maybe – all on his own, he can see and direct himself just a bit.

I love the concept and layout of Daily GRAMS. Designed specifically for review, these focus on reviewing those important grammar skills in only 10 minutes a day. These are designed for grades 3-7 so even our younger ones can learn in a way that fits their age and ability. We received the Teacher Edition of the workbook which includes everything you need. So quick and easy; no need to prepare or fuss. Just open the book and get to work. There are 180 daily reviews that include working in:

  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Analogies
  • Roots/Suffixes
  • Fragments/Run-Ons
  • Homonyms/Antonyms/Synonyms
  • Clauses and Phrases

As you can see this covers so much! All in one book too. Since we are doing a bit of a major remodel right now, it is great to be able to do so much with just one book. Add to that, my son not being one for “book work” and the short and simple lessons that are in this one are a real hit. I am still not sure he likes grammar, but at least he is willing to do the work each day. Since the whole purpose of this book is to give our students daily review promoting mastery of grammar concepts, I am happy to have material that we don’t have to fight to complete. In a short time, every day, he is slowly gaining greater abilities and understanding in grammar.

Each page is set up with a specific format. The first sentence includes capitalization for correction. The second sentence requires students to work on punctuation. In the third and fourth sentences we move towards those general concepts. In some cases I found this was a great opportunity for him to do deeper study to gain a greater understanding of the concepts he was working on. In these sections there are at times, definitions, or perhaps I should say a bit of written guidance (example, participle – formed by adding -ing or -ed to verb). Sentence five is combining; so this is where students work on writing more complex sentences.

There are also portions of Daily Gram which include Friendly Letters/Envelopes and Guide Words within the Dictionary. These are good skills for our students to practice at any age. In some exercises he also practiced alphabetizing, locating words, and determining the eight parts of speech. So many wonderful ways to learn and develop grammar skills in a short time!

Since my oldest son prefers to work on his own I would give him the specific page he was working on for the day (the answers are in the book – I prefer not to tempt him by giving it all to him). When he completed the daily gram, we go over it together. Slowly. There were times he would catch something and correct it right away with me. Other times I would need to encourage him, ask questions, try to direct him to a correction that needed to be made or redone.

I think I can speak for my son when I say that this is such a breath of fresh air. We love how simply everything is laid out and my son even says the more he does the easier (and faster) he can complete his gram each day. This is definitely not something that is stressful or frustrating even for students struggling with grammar. When we did start to struggle, we were easily able to locate the answers in the back of the book and often that was all we needed for it to make sense. Seeing can be believing at times. ūüôā

Of course if you are looking for something that will teach grammar they have something for that too. However the Daily Grams, these are just for review. My son does four of these a week (sometimes five) and he is completely independent as he works. This is one of those things he can right away in the morning or on days when he works, he can complete one in between things. As we become more “on the go” we really appreciate materials like this that can help to strengthen his skills (communication written and oral are so valuable) without it feeling like we are getting a root canal.

There are a variety of materials that Easy Grammar System has to offer; be sure to read reviews from other Crew members since we all had the opportunity to use a variety of their materials. I am sure you will find one that is just right for you!

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Easy Grammar Systems {Review}

Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

Pathway to Liberty { Review }

History is something that is so very important. But we have to understand it properly; we also need to consider the worldview with which the information is being presented. Our children need to see how it is all connected; when they see how it all comes together, I do believe that is when we really begin to learn and love history. Needless to say, I was more than happy to review Year 3 U.S. History, Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum with my three older children.This is an amazing, slightly overwhelming, program to help our children understand for themselves, the history of our great nation. After all, as someone once said, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I think of how God tells His people over and over again about the value of telling others of God’s goodness; we must testify of His great works so that others know and believe and walk in a greater faith. We received Year Three Materials, along with The Chain of Liberty (and study guide) for our family to enjoy.We need to be taught the principles of liberty. Truthfully, when I think back to my education, what I learned of American history, there isn’t much. And it certainly wasn’t taught from a Biblical perspective.This program has four levels of study and 26 weeks of lessons. This curriculum was designed for teaching one or multiple students ranging in age from K-5 through 12th grade. I especially love how the material is presented in a way that encourages our children to engaged and to think biblically, reasoning for themselves as they go along because if learning doesn’t transform us, have we really been learning?Each of my older children received a student book, for their level of learning, so we received levels one through three.

  • Level One- Kindergarten thru Third Grade
  • Level Two- Fourth thru Sixth Grade
  • Level Three- Seventh thru Ninth Grade
  • Level Four- Tenth thru Twelfth Grade

All of the books are spiral bound (this made things tricky for my lefties) but they are full of very clearly laid out plans for each week. I was thrilled to see that all three levels my children were working in were very similar in content. Each week involved specific videos on YouTube (not my favorite location for viewing honestly) along with a Scripture, Principle, and Leading Idea. In the Level 1 book my daughter had to fill in the blanks to complete the lessons for the week, while my older two boys had to write them out each week. We also had word studies to complete each week (so glad I still have that old 1828 Webster’s Dictionary); this consisted of writing out a definition both as recorded and as understood. For my older boys they also would record the word related to their life. I like that. Honestly, I never thought about that before but I think it helps us better own and understand things when we can relate them to our own life.Do men have a right to think for themselves? As we read The Chain of Liberty, together as a family, we explored the concept of liberty. We read and discussed what it means to thrive and what sort of things help the individual and the nation, to thrive. We also spent time in the accompanying study guide where, after reading each chapter, we answered questions to ensure that there was understanding. Some of these explored words that were “new” to us while others encouraged us to explore our understanding of the purpose of the law. To consider problems and solutions that we see in these days and times. Defining words such as equality; searching for ourselves the purpose of the creation of public schools (that’s a good one since my oldest has begun to desire a public education). This touches on so many things that perhaps we are unsure, or leery, of introducing to our children. Socialism, humanism, evolution, existentialism – Some of these, do we even know where or how to begin? These are topics that are very well discussed, briefly, within the pages of the book in a way that encourages us to see if and how these fit into liberty and prosperity.This does an amazing job of covering the history of America, from the very foundation to the Civil War.One thing I have found in so many history materials, is that we tend to dive right in. There is no exploring history itself; what it really means for something to be “history.” This program (I love it) records history as: ” The record of God working in the lives of men and nations.” I have never loved a definition so much. Truly, this is what history is. It is a testimony of God’s hand at work among us. From the beginning of time, to this very moment (okay, maybe a moment that already occurred). For our children to see and understand God in all of this – I sometimes feel like God and history are together but separate. We need to know for ourselves that one cannot be without the other. And there is such value in seeing how it all is woven together; one event and one person inspiring and pioneering the way. What if every one of us, our life, is paving the way for another?We are really enjoying our journey through the history of America; so many amazing resources. Recommended books and videos (we saw Pocahontas and my daughter instantly connected that with this!) that have really brought these events to life for all of my children. As Bible Quizzers the weekly scriptures were fun (so many my kids already knew and recognized – how’s that for exciting!) and the principles and leading ideas really help them to focus on something more. God prepares every one of us for a good work, which we were created for. We need eyes that see His work in the lives of the many men and women who were a part of these big and small events, that made America a place of liberty. That fought for and stood for liberty and freedom. Even more, we need to know what it means historically and for our own lives. I think of the value of ownership; when we claim this as our own, isn’t it that much more valuable? It is cared for, treasured. So should our history be and God gives wisdom and understanding that we can know and see His hand, and His work, in every part of it. I am constantly reminded, He has a plan, He is always in control. We can see that though the studies we do in these books. Our younger ones have a foundation being built; our older ones strengthen their foundation and then, dig a bit deeper. Exploring specific individuals and events (there are suggested topics broken down so nicely to help our older kids get started) so that we can see and learn from them ourselves.I do wish we would have started with the very first set of books in this series because I had no idea this was going to be so involved, so thorough and so exciting! This is one of those materials that I truly have to say is a blessing from the Lord. All of my children have enjoyed some aspect of it; I believe growing in them a desire and a love for a deeper understanding of the Bible and history itself. My girls love to color and draw and the maps and coloring pages within the lower level materials were something they really enjoyed. I am a big fan of history, especially when it can be alive and personal; this is one of those materials I cannot say enough about! I do believe it is lighting a fire within all of my children for understanding and seeking to know the way we have been and the way we should go. History should inspire and excite us. We should see these men and women, these life changing events, as a part of our own story. For awhile now I have sought out something that would do more; that would draw my children in and also be a bit easier for momma to manage; there is definitely plenty of inspiration and wisdom to be found within these books. For young and old, let us build, with our children, on the solid foundation that is Christ – who never changes – bringing His wisdom to hearts and minds that are transformed and renewed daily, for Him.

Be sure to read other Crew’s reviews on other years and levels of study:

Universal History, The Middle Ages, US History & World History Curriculum {Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum Reviews}

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Progeny Press Study Guide for The Scavenger {Review}

My oldest son is not much of a reader; it is rare that I can get him to sit down with a good book. Since reading and learning are two things he is very resistant to right now, but he loves all that outdoors stuff (wild edibles, hiking, building, survival stuff). So I was pretty excited to hear about and have the opportunity to review The Scavengers, E-Guide from Progeny Press.

We had had a number of opportunities to review these materials before and I have always felt these are a wonderful way to really explore a story. But I also know that my children were much younger for many of these studies; particularly for my boys, as they get older I find materials like this to be a real treat for them. especially with this story, And the author being a native of Wisconsin? The story of how this book came to be is so neat; the main character modeled after this own two girls. That is so cool! This is a book that both of my boys got interested in. Fast. (Even though it was a girl and not a boy) A world falling apart; having to live day to day, never knowing if you will have what you need. Having to scavenge for every little thing. Can you imagine the challenges that must come this family’s way? Choosing to take a chance and go “outside” – It’s what we would do. Would you stay close, in the Bubble Cities or would you seek for something more? Something free from the government’s control?

Typically these studies take about eight to ten weeks to complete but I admit, whenever we get into one of these, we tend to go a lot longer than that. Simply because there are just so many amazing things that are drawn to the forefront of your attention with these study guides. There are details, facts that we otherwise may have glossed over, that suddenly really come alive and you see something you didn’t before. Or you see it in another way.

There are 73 pages of amazing learning opportunities in this guide which is recommended for middle school level students. There are even some pre-reading activities for this one that I wish we could have dug into more before – Regardless we definitely plan to use many of the suggestions given at some point. This included additional reading material (we have the Boy Scout Manual, chalk one up!); we are encouraged to learn and research GMO’s and exploring edible plants. Definitely lots of good resources and ideas for our children to learn how to ‘survive”.

The pages of this study guide are divided up by chapters. The first section covers quite a few chapters; there are vocabulary lessons and questions to help gauge comprehension. We did a lot of these just talking together about our thoughts and interpretations. What would we do? What about the animals and the weather? In Thinking About the Story there is the opportunity to go beyond, learning what is and how to recognize alliteration and blending. There are many examples to see and then exercises to complete to show understanding. There are also times when we would look up and write out definitions of words. My younger son loves to spell so right now the dictionary is one of his favorite books. For this very reason there were times that we easily spent a whole day on the vocabulary exercises because someone needed to know those definitions, finding and reading them for himself. Then there are some Optional Activities. I highly discourage anyone from considering these optional however. As I said before, we definitely like to take our time when it comes to these study guides; with our boys getting older there is so much more meaning and value they get out of many of the things listed here.

I am ways amazed are how much information is packed into these study guides. We learned about aquaponics – we also found out that we have two farms in our local area that specifically use this method. Guess where we are planning a trip to now? You bet! We have got to see this. We have taken up woodcarving and whittling – we have a local group for that too! – my younger son actually loves woodworking. He is our builder. He wanted to learn how to sword fight some time ago and since we were not willing to purchase anything for him, he got some wood and made his very own sword (and another one for his brother). Some of those topics covered, I tell you, I had no idea my boys would be so enthralled. Nor did I know how many resources we have for some of these things, in our own backyard.

It really is exciting, refreshing, to see that spark light up when your kids are really getting into something. We even found a survival skills program a bit further from our home, but still, that provides lessons in wild edibles and building outdoor survival skills. These are just amazing things I don’t know that I ever would have really gotten involved in, or worked in our our learning, if not for this study guide.

I know I already said it but I have to say it again – we love the materials we have received from Progeny Press. Every one of them has been so much fun. And even I have learned a couple things. These are not just study guides either; they have a strong Biblical focus woven into them so whatever story you may be reading, you are also learning and seeing what God has for you. I do believe it is so important for our kids to see that whatever it is, God is at the center of all things. One of the things we have really been trying to do in our house is more project based learning. Worksheets and textbooks can be good (I love to read myself!) but I find as my boys get older they get restless and those pages just aren’t encouraging them. Materials like this are a great blessing! They have so many projects lessons within that there is no way anyone can not have fun while they learn.

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Let’s Get Frugal~

When we first felt led to homeschool, we had one child, who was four and a newborn baby.

We were both working outside of the home at the time, and my husband had his hand in various real estate ventures – so money wasn’t that big of an issue. We weren’t rich by any means but we weren’t pinching pennies either.

 

But our first year of homeschooling, I cringe, admitting that we spent a lot. For our five year old son, we purchased the fanciest materials and all the bells and whistles that went along with it. (I loved it, still do!)

 

Since we began this journey we have added a few more children to our family; I am staying at home and keeping the home.  We now have one income from one job. My husband is also working towards an MBA and so things have gotten tighter than they once were.

 

(I am addicted to books too ~ have I ever mentioned that challenge I face each day?)

 

This year, due to so many changes (a remodeling project up and coming as well) we have a bit less and so have to be a bit more creative in what and how we put together our program.

 

I‚Äôve always believed that the Lord directed us to homeschool, that He would provide and be the center of our homeschool.¬†That said, this is something we have always been completely committed to. ¬†There isn’t any other way. ¬†We believe that He will provide whatever the situation. So whether we can shop till we drop for homeschool materials or we are barely making ends meet, we have faith it will all come together. In His perfect way.

 

A couple wonderful resources I have been blessed by through the years:

 

 

 

I suppose this is one of those things that makes homeschooling so great! No matter what¬†your¬†budget is or if you have no budget at all,¬†and anything in between there is always a way to make it work! ¬†And this is just for starters – truly there is so much more that you can find. ¬†Be resourceful, be creative, be wise – And of course, let the Lord guide you in all thing, prayerfully, this is SUCH a blessing to families! ‚̧

 

 

Visual Learning Systems ~ A Schoolhouse Review

Visual Learning Systems is an educational science program which¬†provides high quality, visual-based content to instruct, challenge, and inspire students. There are¬†videos, interactive graphics, animations, and images that are great tools for¬†teaching science. Certainly there is no better way to learn how the human body works , the forces which cause earthquakes, or ¬†chemical reactions than with these powerful teaching tools. That said I was quite eager to review this one when the opportunity presented itself. After all, we love science (especially my younger son who is 5) and having access to over 136 units of study from¬† Digital Science Online: Elementary Edition (Grades K-5) , we simply could not pass this one up ūüôā¬† We also were given access to the Digital Science Online: Secondary Edition (Grades 6-12)¬†but we did not really explore this part much since my oldest is only 9.¬† Did I mention this was for one full year too? Awesome!!

 

 

Visual Learning Systems Review

 

 

My kids love to watch videos; they are very visual learners (and I am just the opposite), so this program was a great fit for both of them! And there were plenty of hands on activities for helping them to understand the application of these lessons too.

The primary edition of this program contains approximately 64 videos.  These are organized into 17 units. The elementary edition contains 62 videos within 15 units. The primary videos are about 10 minutes each, and the elementary videos run about 15mins (perfect for both of my boys).  In addition to the videos there are also images, printable worksheets and teacher’s guides. The worksheets available for use contain: multiple choice pretest and post-test, video review/quiz, and some even have hands on projects.  For the elementary video activities included: application worksheet, a short answer/multiple choice pretest & post-test, video review, vocabulary, writing activity, read & answer and most also include a hands on activity.  These did vary depending on the videos.

 

My oldest two were allowed¬†to¬†choose the¬†science topic each week; this really was¬†fun since my oldest loves life science and my younger son is all about chemistry and earth science.¬†The videos are all¬†broken up¬†into sections such as:¬†‚ÄúYou Decide‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúYou Observe.”¬† I admit this was a favorite of mine when it came to the videos since it really made my son try to focus more9h e struggles in this area) knowing that he was going to have to give an answer at the end.¬†Good for accountability ūüôā At the end of these videos the student¬†is asked¬†a couple questions in order to¬†determine how much they¬† understand (again once he knew this was constant it really seemed to improve how attentive he was to the information being presented). ¬†So these were very handy for helping my oldest through some his materia; plus as things got more complex qwe were able to see where we needed to study a bit more.

 

Visual Learning Systems ReviewThere are also teacher’s guides provided for each section. If you love science but teaching it really scares you, these are truly a blessing. They contain for each section: objectives for the student’s learning, connections to literature (I am a big reader so I LOVED this part of it), questions for discussion when introducing topics, vocabulary, answer keys for the student worksheets, and other activities such as labeling sections, characteristics, and word searches (we love puzzles like this too).

¬†One downside for us was that this is not a creation based program. So there are plenty of¬†references to ‚Äúmillions of years,‚ÄĚ within¬†these videos.¬†If you are looking for something creation based this may not be the best fit for you; I do want to say though I was rather impressed that my boys wanted to discuss the difference between what we typically use and this. Certainly I do believe our children, especially as they get older, need to understand both sides ~ ¬†Needless to say this did bring about some great discussions as to varying beliefs in this area.

Overall this really was a very fun program however! My younger son loved all the videos and animations that were there.  I do wish there had been a bit more hands on, especially for the primary grades, but we did manage to add in our own from various books and websites around the house so he could be more involved in the learning. It was good to be able to dust off some of our science picture books and do some basic science experiments together as we were able. It definitely engaged him a lot more being able to do and see some of these things in action. As for my older son, he really wanted to see more puzzles (word search or crossword) within the elementary level. He really enjoys puzzles of all kinds within his learning. We really learned so much in the time we have used this and we will learn much more as we continue on through the year.  From Electrical Circuits, to Magnets, Rocks, Stars and Galaxies, Plant Parts and Simple Animals to Complex Animals, as well as Marine Biomes there is so much to explore here!

 

I cannot say enough what a great tool this is for curious little scientists in the making. And Visual Learning Systems even has an option to purchase Digital Online Science as a homeschool family at a reduced rate.

As I said before, we will definitely continue to explore Digital Online Science more, as this is one the kids really are enjoying.  Anything that stirs up a desire to learn more is great in my book!

 

 

 

Visual Learning Systems Review

Hewitt Homeschooling ~ Schoolhouse Review

    I have learned about and had the joy of exploring, so many AMAZING homeschool resources this year. We were happy, and eager, to give Hewitt Homeschooling ~ (http://www.HewittHomeschooling.com/)  a try when we had the chance. Yet another one that makes learning fun!  My oldest son even chose the material we were to review, My First Report: Reptiles and Amphibians.  It came at such a good time too! This was something he got excited about and considering how disinterested he has been in school as of late, I was happy to see that.

This is more than just a workbook and its more than completing worksheets. Its an introduction  to self expression; helping children learn how to put their knowledge into words and sentences, to share.  There are basic questions given to encourage and direct investigation. Our children are learning reporting skills, they incorporate language, penmanship, and library/encyclopedia/dictionary skills (we needed this!). As they work they create their own reports (with or without a pictures). These come with a set of reproducible forms with varying line heights. There are lots of  suggestions within the pages too, for each subject, for art, music, language, reading, math, social studies/history, science/health, P.E., Bible, and field trips. A list of additional resources is included, as well as other details (scientific classifications of animal and/ or plant kingdoms). The packet we received contained sheets on lizards (our FAVORITE!), iguanas, chameleons, turtles, crocodiles, snakes, garter snakes, rattlesnakes, frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. The recommendation is one topic per week, thus the packet will last for an entire quarter. The packet is $8.95 and  these were written with Grades 3 and 4 in mind but they can also be used for grades 1 and 2 with assistance or for remedial work with those in Grades 5 through 8.

My oldest son, he is eight, had quite the time with My First Reports.This really encouraged him in a number of ways. Since we have not done much in the way of writing and reports, this was new territory for all of us. Since we really enjoy reading, it was quite fun to explore each page as we went from lizards, to crocodiles, to rattlesnakes. Seeing as we already have two geckos, it was fun to see how much my boys already knew about our little friends. Each page has vocabulary words to learn and questions to encourage creative writing. One question for example read: In what kind of habitat do lizards live in? MY oldest son reported that they live in the desert (some in jungles and rainforests) while my four year old reported that lizards “live in our house.” haha

Towards the back of the report, you will find lots of additional resources to use as a unit study or just for additional learning fun! There are Bible references and discussion for study, History/Geography/Social Studies, Language Arts, Reading, Math, Science/Health, Physical Education, Music, Art, even ideas for field trips. In addition to all the activities listed here (seriously we could go on studying with this for quite some time – likely we will too!) there are lists of books and magazines, as well as companies and museums which have resources available for study. For the report itself they provide three sizes of lined paper with or without space for a picture. My oldest loves to draw so whatever he does, illustrations are a must. The lines are either 5/8-inch, 1/2 inch, or 3/8 inch. We used the 1/2 inch since my oldest son continues to struggle a bit in handwriting.

This really did encourage and inspire my boys both; it was a fabulous way to gain investigative skills too since there were many times we had to look in a book, and in many cases even after the work was done, they still wanted to know more. I especially love how the Word of God is woven into all of this. As they learn, they see His word, and that really helps them to have a Biblical worldview. Which is so very important! We have learned so much; in fact many doors have been opened for other topics through this packet. It has been such a pleasant surprise. Its been a fun addition to our raising of tadpoles and geckos. My boys even found a few toads in our yard that they created a habitat for and observed for a few days before setting them free once more. They are still hoping to find some salamander or newt eggs to raise but for now, what fun we have had already!

Of course there are many other other topics to choose from. This really had been a wonderful tool in a homeschool that was losing its enthusiasm for learning. These are a wonderful way to learn, as a family, even individually for some of the olde children. With so many topics, and so many ways to learn, these are bound to please everyone (even us moms1)

 

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I Heard it through the “Grapevine”

 

Grapevine Studies are exciting. It’s a fun new way to journey through the Bible. We were blessed recently with the Joseph Bible study. They say that you are ‚ÄúStick Figuring Through the Bible‚ÄĚ. Makes you think of something rather preschool-ish right? If you thought that (as I did honestly) you will be so pleasantly surprised by all that these studies have to offer. ūüôā

We have loved the story of Joseph since we saw it performed online in Missouri 2 years ago. And the lessons within abound! All you need to get started is your Bible, we used our dry erase board &¬† markers, the student lessons pages, a Bible dictionary or¬† some colored pencils or crayons even for the little ones. One of the best things one of the great thing about Grapevine Studies is that they work so well with multiple ages! They even have a traceable version, which we happily used with our four year old! Was he ever thrilled to have his own little book of work to do. ūüôā

Genesis 39:2-3 (KJV)  And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

The lessons were about 15-30 minutes, some days more and some days less depending on how involved and attentive our children could be. We would start out praying together; some days I would ask my oldest son to lead us in prayer. Once or twice my four year old offered and led us! From there we would seek out the scripture(s) within the Bible and I would have my son read them aloud. Some days this was as far as we got; my children peppered me with questions and so we would go to the Bible dictionary, atlas, concordance…I loved how it brought about a lively discussion! We made a point of having the timeline handy so we could review it each day at lesson time as well. For my two younger ones this was a great help; they became familiar with the tick figures (since they are not yet readers) and were able to follow along, somewhat, that way. My oldest is the artist so he really liked being able to draw out the stories too.

We really had a blast with this. And we are still completing this one too. As I said it has been slow going. But not because this is not fabulous! The discussions and questions that come about as we complete lessons, its exciting to see! Too often I fear, we teach the Bible stories in a way that doesn’t bring them to life, SO it can be harder for the kids to get really excited and see all the amazing truths and lessons we can learn and grow from, within the pages of the Bible. This is a fun way for ALL of your kids to learn together; I mean even I can draw a stick figure. hehe¬† And if you need help along the way, all you need to know is within the pages of the teacher’s manual ~ We use it, some days more heavily than others ~ plus they have a bunch of free “How to Teach “ files you can download to guide you along through the various levels.

We love these. We are going to get more of these. Grapevine studies rocks! (so says my 8 year old son)

 

For a limited time you can download a free Bible eLesson download from GrapeVine Studies. GrapeVine teaches your children Bible lessons through stick figures!

Click here to download Joseph the Early Years!

Who was Joseph’s father and mother?
How many siblings did Joseph have all together?

Learn some new facts about Joseph as you study the early years of his life! I know we all enjoyed stick figuring this exciting story from the life of Joseph. And we can draw some mean stick figures now! ūüôā