Friday, July 31, 2020

Dice, Decks, and Boards: Mermaid Island

Text: Dice, Decks, and Boards: Mermaid Island; cover of board game; logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Our children love playing board games and board games that are cooperative are a big hit with my husband and me because they teach great team-building skills to our children. One game that our children enjoy playing is Mermaid Island from Peaceable Kingdom. It is a great game for any time of the year but especially for summertime!

board game for Mermaid Game

What Is the Goal of the Game?


Children, ages five and up, work together to help the mermaids swim across the waves to reach Mermaid Island before the Sea Witch can get to the island. The game is perfect for 2 to 6 players and is very easy to set up and play.
Text: Dice, Decks, and Boards: Mermaid Island; A Mom's Quest to Teach; mermaid clip art & cover of game

How Do You Play the Game?


All three mermaids begin at the start area while the Sea Witch starts in Seaweed Triangle on the game board. The four wand tokens are placed on the appropriate spaces on the game board. Children take turns spinning to see if they move a mermaid one or two spaces or if the Sea Witch gets to move ahead one space. If the mermaid lands on a space with a wand, all players get the opportunity to use the wand to move the Sea Witch back one space. If the Sea Witch lands on the space, the wand is removed from the game. There is also the chance for a mermaid to skip spaces if she lands at a space leading to a bridge. The mermaid can immediately cross the bridge to skip spaces while the Sea Witch does not get to use the bridges at all.

Children work together to move all three of the mermaid tokens to Mermaid Island. If all three make it, everyone wins! If the Sea Witch gets to the Mermaid Island, the game is over and the mermaids lose.

Mermaid Island gameplay

Beyond the Game

What can you do after you are done playing the Mermaid Island game?


  • Visit the beach 
  • Build a sandcastle 
  • Research manatees which have been compared to mermaids 
  • Go for a swim 
  • Mermaid shows at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida 
Mermaid Island is great for children who cannot read and beginning readers because there is no reading required. Even with reading being unnecessary, learning still takes place! Your children will practice strategy practices, learn to make decisions together, develop social and emotional skills, and cooperate.

Mermaid Island gameplay

Do Your Children Enjoy Games?


We have shared a number of board games, dice games, and card games at A Mom's Quest to Teach including:

  • Tenzi Game – a fun fast-paced game of rolling dice – there are many ways to play using the Tenzi Card Deck 
  • Koala Capers – an easy card game for young children that reviewing colors and patterns 
  • Cauldron Quest – a cooperative game where everyone works together to beat the wizard 
Text: Dice, Decks, and Boards: Hoot Owl Hoot! Work together to get all the owls home to their nest before the sun rises; A Mom's Quest to Teach; owl clipart; cover of Hoot Owl Hoot



Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Studying the Bible: A Review of The LIFE Plan

Text: Studying the Bible: A Review of The LIFE Plan; logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach; background faded confetti

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Over the past several weeks our family has been using The LIFE Plan by Allen L. Elder from The LIFE Network to study the Bible. Our younger children, my husband, and I started with Volume 1: The Bible's Story: Genesis 1-11 while our teen started reading Volume 3: The Structure of the Entire Bible. I spent some time reading through Volume 4: The Life of Jesus on Earth by myself in the evenings.

The mission of The LIFE Network is to produce, publish, present, and provide Christian learning resources. They help to establish and support the growth of churches both locally and globally as well as provide spiritual training and physical resources for pastors and churches. The LIFE Plan is one of those resources. It will take the reader from the beginning with God to helping fulfill God's purpose in one's life.

Text: Studying the Bible: A Review of The LIFE Plan; Prepare to live intentionally and strategically for God; image of 2 The LIFE Plan books; flower clip art; logo for A Mom's Quest to Teach


What Books Did We Receive? 


There are six volumes in The LIFE Plan which contain 216 lessons. "The LIFE Plan is a discipleship curriculum which takes you from a beginning with God into a life lived according to his purpose and for his glory" (ix).  LIFE stands for Living Intentionally For Eternity. The goal of the books is for followers of Jesus to live a life according to His purpose and glory.


  • The LIFE Plan Volume 1: The Bible's Story: Genesis 1-11 
  • The LIFE Plan Volume 2: The Bible's Story Genesis 12-Malachi 
  • The LIFE Plan Volume 3: The Structure of the Entire Bible 
  • The LIFE Plan Volume 4: The Life of Jesus on Earth 
  • The LIFE Plan Volume 5: The Church 
  • The LIFE Plan Volume 6: Your Personal Ministry 
covers of The LIFE Plan volumes 1-6; logo for A Mom's Quest to Teach

The volumes are paperback books (size 8.5" by 11"). Each lesson is designed in a similar manner. The lesson starts with the theme, lesson aim, and scripture reference. There is then a one- to three-page reading that addressed the topic following by an outline, Scriptures for you and your family to read to broaden your understanding of the topic, theological connections, a lesson glossary with vocabulary, and finally questions to answer. I highly appreciate it when a curriculum is presented in the same manner. It makes it easier to know how to prepare for the next day as well as provides reassurance for children as to what to expect.  

How Did We Use The LIFE Plan in our Homeschool?


When the six-volume set arrived, I looked through the volumes to determine which book I wanted to read on my own and which one would be best to hand to our teenage son for him to read independently. I knew I wanted to start with Volume 1 with our younger children. My husband and I sat down and looked through them and decided upon giving Volume 3 to our teenage son.

During the beginning of our studies, I sat with our younger children after dinner and read from Volume 1. They both sat at the dining room table with me and had their Bibles ready to start reading the Scriptures referenced. I would read through the reading selection aloud - stopping frequently to discuss the ideas and topics with our younger homeschooled children. I then used the lesson outline to review the ideas with them - to make sure they understand what I had read aloud. Next, we all took turns reading the Scriptures to Broaden Your Understanding. I loved that this curriculum allowed them the opportunity to practice finding different Scriptures in the Bible. Through our time use The LIFE Plan, they have become more family with the Bible and the order of the books of the Bible. I did skip the Lines of Theological Connection and sometimes the Lesson Glossary with our younger children and some of the questions.

page from The LIFE Plan Volume 1; page in Bible
Reading aloud the Scriptures to Broaden Your Understanding


One of the things that I love is that our younger children will be able to work through the curriculum twice over the course of their homeschooling studies. This will hopefully bring them into a much closer relationship with God and a better understanding of the Bible.

reading page in Bible
On some nights, our daughter sat across the table from me with her Bible.


Volume 1: The Bible's Story: Genesis 1-11 is taking us through the seven days of creation as well as reintroducing us "to the one true and living God," presenting the idea of the holy trinity, discusses sin, temptation, and other important events in the first 11 books of the Bible. As our children are young, things a bit more slowly (originally we were doing one lesson a day). But by the end of this week, we will have finished reading about the creation and start learning more about how man and woman bear the image of God.

The LIFE Plan Volume 4 book cover

During the evenings, I took the time to read through Volume 4: The Life of Jesus on Earth. I sometimes read several lessons each evening and skipped reading the Scriptures to Broaden your Understanding and questions, as I was more interested in reading what the author, Allen L. Elder wanted to convey to his readers. I will probably go back and use the books with all the lesson features at a future time to have a more in-depth Bible study.

Volume 4: The Life of Jesus on Earth starts with the Messianic Prophecies and quickly moves on through Jesus' birth and childhood (touching upon the fact that while we don't know a lot about Jesus' childhood, we can see that he had a great understanding of the things of God). The next several lessons discuss the plan of Jesus and disciple-making. Elder describes the steps that Jesus presented to make disciples - which we are meant to do as Christians. One of the lessons even has a matching section to help you remember the step-by-step method for making disciples.

Text: "A Follower of Christ is to both be a disciple and is to make disciples" (33). The LIFE Plan; A Mom's Ques tot Teach


During the writing of this review, I am in the middle of the lessons demonstrating how Jesus was a healer in Volume 4: The Life of Jesus on Earth. I am reminded that Jesus healed in various ways, as presented in the text and outline: by speaking, commanding the sick to do something, and by touch. The healing of individuals revealed to his followers and to us that Jesus is sovereign and a deity. Everything that Jesus did was for a reason to reveal who he was.

I really like how the books are written and I can see them being very useful in our future homeschooling years. While I think it might be helpful to read the books in order, since I am reading Volumes 1 and 4 I haven't really felt any confusion. So if you are more interested in one volume over another, you probably can make the decision to purchase or read that one first. And so far I haven't seen any problems with our children using different translations of the Bible to read the Scripture mentioned in the books. And finally, I love the amount of space in the books for notetaking.

one of the pages in The LIFE Plan Volume 1

Each book could be used over the course of one homeschool year. So if you purchase the entire six-volume set you have six years worth of elementary level curriculum (grades 1-6). You could then have your homeschooling students complete the work again in grades 7-12 so they will have worked through each book twice during the homeschooling years.

An Overview of What is to Come 


As we have not spent time with volumes 2, 5, and 6 yet, I would like to provide a brief overview of the information presented in those books. Each book is similar in length ranging from 183 to 201 pages – printed in the United States. Just like with the other volumes, they are presented in the same manner with text to read, an outline, scripture references, and questions.

Volume 2: Abraham and Israel focuses upon God calling Abraham, the lives of Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. Readers then follow the story of the Bible through reading about the different leaders of Israel like King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. In general, Volume 2 presents a brief overview of the history of Israel and then closes with looking at the prophets in the Old Testament.

If you want to study the church from a biblical perspective then start with Volume 5: The Church. Over the course of 36 lessons (which you can complete over 36 weeks/one homeschool year), you will learn about the early days of the church, how the church spread, broke, was reformed, and continues to this day. There are also chapters on non-Christian religions, cults, and the occult. The author recommends that Christians should be grounded in the Word of God to help them in dealing with other religions.

The final volume, Your Part in the Story, helps you bring everything together so that you can make disciples. The final year (which will be 6 grade and 12 grade if you follow the suggested plan) is "focused on what you will do with your training for the rest of your life" (1). The reading text for the lessons is a little bit longer than some of the ones we are currently reading and the questions ask readers to delve even deeper into their beliefs. Some questions include: "Are you growing in Christ as a child of God?" and "Have you believed on Jesus for salvation?"

page from The LIFE Plan
Easy-to-read font

I think The LIFE Plan would be a welcome addition to a homeschool family, a church ministry, or someone going on a mission trip. The information is presented in a clear and concise manner and provides plenty of opportunities to get back into the Bible and read the word of God. The questions also provide the perfect starting point for discussing our beliefs with others. And if you are stumped on an answer, check the back of the book for the answer key.

Do You Want to Learn More?


The LIFE Plan logo


Website – Facebook – YouTube 

There were several other members of the Homeschool Review Crew who had the chance to use The LIFE Plan in their homeschool. Please be sure to read their reviews, too.

Homeschool Review Crew Click Here Logo

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Book Club: Book Review of Line by Line

Text: Book Club: Book Review of Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere; background image of pen, paperclips. tacks; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

How courageous do we need to be to overcome preconceived notions? What about when those opinions and thoughts are our own that need to be challenged? The characters in Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere find themselves facing down their own futures and realizing that they may not be what they want after all.

In a book set in the 1880s, Jennifer Delamere introduces us to several characters including Alice McNeil who has no dreams of getting married. In fact, Alice has her plans set out to work as a telegrapher and live her own life. She was highly influenced by the proprietor of her school who encouraged her to follow her talents and dreams.

Text: Book Review; Line by Line; image of telegraph


text: Book Club: Book Review; image of Line by Line book coverI enjoyed the inclusion of a real-world historical figure – Andrew Carnegie – into Line by Line. Creating the connection between the male lead character, Douglas Shaw, and Carnegie was very interesting. It also intrigued me that Carnegie was the individual who helped teach Douglas a valuable lesson about what is really important in the world. Becoming rich and building a successful business is commendable and to be appreciated but if one does not give back to their community—if they do not follow in the footsteps of Jesus—then what good is all the riches in the world?

In Line by Line, there are moments of hilarity as Alice attempts to put into action the points and tips she read in the book, The Spinster's Guide to Love and Romance. Then we also see how those actions cause problems for Alice and those around her. The lesson to be learned, at least in the case with her friend Lucy and her brother, Fred, is that sincerity is very important. One should not pretend and flirt if there is nothing really behind the smile.

I think Alice and Douglas learned some very valuable lessons in Line by Line that the readers can take with them. We must show compassion and never be afraid to change. Change is possible within ourselves as well as within others. Personally, I really like how Douglas sees the change in his mother and father when he visits them in Scotland. I pray for similar changes of this nature in my own family.

I recommend Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere to those individuals who are interested in Christian romances, historical fiction, and tales of change. It presents an interesting look at telegraphs – I now want to read more about this technological achievement – and the business world in which they played an integral part. I am interested in reading what happens in the next book in the Love Along the Wires series.

 

Monday, July 27, 2020

CTCMath Review: How the Online Math Curriculum Works in Our Homeschool

Text: CTCMath Review: How the Online Math Curriculum Works in Our Homeschool; background image of numbers

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.


We have had the joy of using CTCMath in our homeschool for over a year now. Last year we reviewed the online math curriculum with all three of our children – using the kindergarten, first grade, and algebra II levels. This year, we were fortunate that our subscription was extended so we could review the next levels for our younger children (we are still discussing what mathematics our high school senior will be taking this upcoming homeschool year). The 12-month Family membership allows us access to all the grade levels and lessons. So, if one of our children is struggling, we have to find the right lessons to help them succeed.

CTCMath offers clear, spoken explanations for all levels and mathematics topics through their site. Simple and concise diagrams are used to accompany the instructional videos. You can even download and print a summary of the lesson for your children. There are so many great features that even after using the program for more than a year I am still finding new ways to use it.

What Are the Benefits to Using CTCMath in Your Homeschool? 


Text: CTCMath Review: How the Online Math Curriculum Works in Our Homeschool; clip art 2 & 3; screen from CTCMath
  • Students can see and hear the information 
  • There are no distractions from other students (unless their brother or sister is nearby) 
  • Your child can stop and remind the video to hear the information again 
  • Your children can use pencil and paper to work out mathematical problems 
  • With interactive questions, your children receive immediate feedback – no waiting for a worksheet, quiz, or test to be graded 
  • You can print out your child's work to review or for your homeschool portfolio 
  • If you have a question, there is a handy parent guide with helpful videos 
  • You can move your child to a different grade level or course whenever you want to
  • Your child can take diagnostic tests whenever you or they feel the need to so you can see where they stand 

How Did We Use CTCMath in our Homeschool? 


Our daughter had already completed the kindergarten level, so we continued to move along with the first-grade lessons. Some of the topics have been a bit more difficult for her (which is understandable as she is only five) so we have been working through the lessons slowly. Here is a sampling of what she has learned about the following in the first grade curriculum: 
  • Adding up to 20 
  • Subtracting up to 10 
  • Recognizing Groups
  • Doubles 
  • Introduction to Division 

United States Curriculum for 1st grade; course schedule under Number, Patterns, and Algebra

In the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at fractions, patterns, and money. I will also incorporate more of the diagnostic tests and weekly revision tasks to ensure she is understanding what she is learning. And if she is having difficulty, then we can go back to the lesson to review the topic again. We can even go back to review kindergarten topics. CTCMath allows you to move between grade levels because you have access to the entire curriculum. 

I can also print the lesson summaries so she can refer to them as she completes the questions. We can also use them to review offline. Most times, she just wants me to open the summary in a separate tab so she can reference it while she is completing her questions.

Chart on how to double numbers from CTCMath


I also really like how division was introduced to our daughter. The videos did a great job of providing multiple examples. Then the questions allowed her to work through the problems so she could really see what division means. For example, she had to move the sandwiches to different platters to create equal piles. She was physically (online) dividing them up.


Introduction to Division screen from CTCMath

Division Question - separating out sandwiches onto plates


Our younger son completed his weekly revision tasks for the first-grade curriculum at the beginning of the review. I then had him start the second-grade curriculum. In the beginning, I decided to set tasks for him to complete. I used the tasks with his older brother last year for Algebra II. You schedule them through the parent account. I quickly went through and set assignments or tasks for him as you can see below.

Tasks from CTCMath



Well...my younger son did not want to complete his assigned task. He prefers to skip around and work on which topic he wants to on that day. So far this hasn't been a problem but he will soon discover that the mathematics concepts build upon each other and he will need to go in order. And if you complete the lesson without clicking on the task, then the task is marked as incomplete. 


2nd grade math grades from CTCMath
You can see by the dates on this report, he jumped around a bit when completing lessons.


This week, I watched our younger son complete a really interesting lesson on adding three numbers. I really liked how the questions presented him with a set of numbers and he had to pick the ones that would add up to a larger number. I appreciated how this was helping him think about mathematics in a different way.

screen from CTCMath "choose 3 numbers that add to 22"


I also decided to print one of the weekly revision tasks for our son to complete offline. He completed the questions at the dining room table and then entered the answers later online. You will need to print these questions in color for some grades because the color of items in the question is sometimes important.

CTCMath Weekly Revision sheets printed out

CTCMath Weekly Revision sheet completed
I failed to change the printer margins so some of the questions were cut off when I printed the pages out.


During the school year, we will have our children complete lessons on CTCMath at least four days a week. Since we are homeschooling, sometimes those days might include a Saturday instead of a 'normal' school day. As it is the summer, I have not required them to work as often as they will in a few weeks. 

One of our children's favorite games on CTCMath is the Times Table Shoot 'Em Up game where they have to complete multiplication problems by shooting the alien ships. This is a timed game which they love playing over and over. There are also two other games – Speed Skills and Swap Pieces – that they do not play as often.

When your child completes the questions and gains 100%, the screen is filled with confetti to celebrate. A very fun way to encourage children!

CTCMath getting 100% on questions - confetti
You can see under the score, that you can generate a report so you can download the questions your child answered. 


And finally, another favorite of our children is changing the color scheme on their accounts. After each day's lessons, both kids will spend about five to ten minutes picking out which colors they want to pair together.

I highly recommend CTCMath. It is an excellent online math curriculum for your entire homeschooling family! 

Do You Want to Learn More about CTCMath? 


CTCMath logo



Please read the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew's reviews!

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Learning About the Alphabet: J is for Jaguar

Text: Learning About the Alphabet: J is for Jaguar; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo; background of green ferns

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

Over the course of twenty-six posts, I will introduce my own simple lessons for the letters of the alphabet. I will provide ideas and suggestions for a week's worth of activities.

For the letter J, we focused upon jaguars. 

Jaguars are one of the many big cats that I absolutely love! Big cats include lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, lynx, cheetah, and the jaguar. They all below to the genus Panthera. Big cats live in a variety of habitats and across many of the continents (except Europe, Australia, and Antarctica). 

What is the difference between the big cats and the small cats, like the house cat or the jaguarundi? Most big cats can roar while small cats purr. Big cats show affection in other ways such as the 'chuff' sound of a tiger.




Jaguar Facts 



    Text: Learning About the Alphabet: J is for Jaguar; A Mom's Quest to Teach; craft of jaguar; pawprint
  • Carnivorous 
  • Weighs 100 to 250 pounds 
  • Can live up to 12 to 15 years 
  • They are the only big cat found in the Americas 
  • Only tigers and lions are bigger than jaguars 
  • They are good swimmers and will hunt in the water 
  • They face a number of threats in their natural habitat that are causing their numbers to decline 
  • They live alone 
  • A female jaguar will usually give birth to one to four cubs who will stay with her for two years or more learning how to be a jaguar 

jaguar clipart from wpclipart.com
clipart from wpclipart.com

Projects 


When studying cats, there are some cool activities you can accomplish with your children. Such as filling out a chart with the names of big cats and little cats. (Download a copy here: A Mom's Quest to Teach.)


Books 


 
 

Activities 




Telling Spotted Cats Apart 



How do you tell a leopard from a jaguar? What about the cheetah, snow leopard, or clouded leopard? For some of them, you can look at its natural habitat to determine which type of big cat it is, while for others you might need to look a bit more closely at the shape of their spots. 

Snow leopards are white in color, so they are the easiest to distinguish. Next easiest is either the cheetah – which is identified by its long, lean body and the skinny black stripes on its face that look like black tear lines, or the clouded leopard – which is smaller and has much larger spot groupings. 

Leopards are a bit smaller than jaguars. Jaguars have more muscle than leopards and usually weigh twice as much as leopards. They also have an extra spot(s) in the center of their spots.


drawing of leopard spot and jaguar spot with text of cat names


Jaguar Paper Bag Puppet 




Materials 




Steps


1. Gather your materials.

misc craft supplies needed - glue, markers, brown paper bag, scissors, construction paper

2. Have your children cut out the pieces you will need or have them pre-cut for your children.

3. Color or paint the brown paper bag orange. If you paint it, you will need to wait till it dries to complete the next steps.

coloring bottom of brown paper bag orange with marker


4. Glue on the head piece to the top of the brown paper bag.

5. Attach the mouth piece under the flap of the brown paper bag.

orange paper bag with spots, construction paper mouth


6. Glue on the eyes, nose, spots, ears, and teeth.

gluing on black spots for jaguar paper bag puppet


7. Draw on whiskers.

8. Draw spots on the body of the jaguar. Make sure you put some spots inside the circles of spots or rosettes.

jaguar brown paper bag puppet


Other Topics 


J is for Jump Rope 


Introduce the letter J with a simple craft for your preschooler. 


J is for Jump Rope; How do you incoroprate games into your homeschool day? image of boy jumping rope; J is for jump rope craft



Jam & Juice 



Taste different flavors of jam or juice with your children. 
Try your hand at making homemade juice or make juice popsicles. 
Visit a local farmer's market to sample local jams. 
Go to a local farm to pick fruits to make your own jam or juice. 


Resources 





All About Animals; photo of lamb, calf, chicks, bunny, pig, duckling; SchoolhouseTeachers.com



All About Animals 


Sometimes you need a short homeschool course to include into your homeschool curriculum. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has the perfect 14 unit course entitled All About Animals. In the class, your first or second grader will learn about jaguars, ladybugs, squirrels, baby animals, and more. Your child will learn about the habits and habitats of the animals while reading online books, complete puzzle pages, and journal about what they have learned. You and your children will explore your own backyard and imagine what life is like for a snake in the rainforest, too. 


Jelly Fish, Jello, and Jesus: Letter J Preschool Activities and Printables 


Are you looking to explore more letter J topics with your preschooler? In this post from The Schoolin' Swag blog, you find lots of fun ideas including what to serve for snack. I also love connecting your letter J lessons with stories from the Bible including Jonah. How fun! 


Jenny Jaguar Week 


If you want to travel to a distant land while studying the letter J, visit Teaching with Faith's Jenny Jaguar Week post to go to Japan. I also love the idea of checking out a web cam to see jellyfish at an aquarium if you can't see them in person. 


BOGO 2 yrs/$179 Free Tote & Print; 7/15-8/31; SchoolhouseTeachers.com; Every Subject. Every Grade. Every Student. image of shark and fish

Secure your entire 2020–21 curriculum by purchasing a family membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com. New members who take advantage of the 2020 SHARK BOGO sale will get a second year of curriculum at no extra cost! Use promo code: SHARK20 to receive a discounted rate of $179 that includes two full years AND a free tote with a PRINT back issue! (Tote color and magazine issue will vary. Membership renews at $179/yr after the second year. No refunds.) Every subject. Every grade. Every student.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Homeschooling with Curriculum: Creating a Connection

Text: Homeschooling with Curriculum: Creating a Connection; logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach; background photo of roses

I received a FREE copy of these products from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page. Thank you.

I have found a great company that creates fantastic resources. I love being an email subscriber because there are always new materials for me to peruse. And they have recently put together another fabulous resource for homeschoolers. WriteBonnieRose creates a variety of resources that are perfect for homeschooling families that like to do notebooking, research, copywork practice, and more. Recently, WriteBonnieRose has put together a guide for popular curriculum and how you can incorporate their products to align with that curriculum.

I know sometimes even if I am using a curriculum I love, I want to add something in because our children are really interested in the topic and want to learn more. Well, WriteBonnieRose has you covered! 
text: Homeschooling with Curriculum: Creating a Connection; A Mom's Quest to Teach; cover of Benjamin Franklin Coloring Book; image of Franklin Stove

If you use any of the following curricula, be sure to check out the guides at WriteBonnieRose:
  • Classical Conversations 
  • Sonlight
  • The Mystery of History 
  • TruthQuest History 
  • Beautiful Feet Books 
  • Jim Hodges Audiobooks 
You can supplement the curriculum you already use with wonderful products to enhance and enrich your homeschooling days. Of course, you don't need to already use one of the above-mentioned homeschool curricula in order to use the products from WriteBonnieRose. But if you are looking for complementary products, be sure to check out the guides!

text: Coloring Books with Handwriting Practice!; covers of four coloring books - Leaders of the American Revolution, Leaders of the American Civil War, Benjamin Franklin, Women's History

Products We Love


This year, our second grader has been studying the United States using a course at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I wanted to modify the course a bit to fit our needs and found a great resource from WriteBonnieRose. We have been including the Exploring the United States Coloring Books, Volumes 1-5 into our weekly studies of the United States. They have allowed us the time to research more about state animals, plants, and famous landmarks as our son also practiced his handwriting skills.

labeling map of Pennsylvania
Using Exploring the United States Puzzles, Activities, and Map Work Volume 1 book to accompany
the Exploring the United States Coloring Book series we are also using.


I also introduced a new homeschool resource to our daughter. The Women's History Coloring Book Level B is a great resource because it opens up so many great conversations about women and their role in history with our children. It features women from the far past like Cleopatra, Boudicca, and Joan of Arc to famous queens like Elizabeth I, Isabella, Catherine the Great, and Marie Antoinette. The coloring book also includes authors like Charlotte Bronte, Harper Lee, and Margaret Rey. If your children are interested in sports, you will also find coloring pages featuring Althea Gibson, Nadia Comaneci, Dominique Dawes. What about if your children are interested in the sciences? The first African American woman in space, Mae Jemison, is included along with Stephanie Kwolek who invented Kevlar. This great coloring book will open so many avenues of discussion with your children as well as help them practice their handwriting skills!

coloring picture of Martha Washington with handwriting text
We started with Martha Washington as we have been reading about the founding of the United States.


Another great coloring book that our daughter is enjoying is Leaders of the American Revolution Coloring Book Level B. She watched part of the musical, 1776, with us one evening and wanted to learn more about John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. It was very easy to fulfill her wishes using the coloring books from WriteBonnieRose. I also let her claim the Ben Franklin Coloring Book for herself so she learns about this famous American citizen.

coloring pencils, coloring page of Grant, Civil War photos book
In addition to studying the United States, we are also spending some time talking about the American Civil War so the Leaders of the American Civil War Coloring Book is a perfect addition. 


If you want to read more about some of the other resources we have used from WriteBonnieRose, please visit my reviews on:

Learning About Science Collection – There are seven books that we reviewed as part of level one that examine plants, animals and habitats, senses, the earth, and states of matter.

From Preschool to High School – Over the years we have used a variety of products for homeschooling our children from a Preschool Skills Fun Book to notebooking pages for our high school student.

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Learning About the Alphabet: I is for Iguana

Text: Learning about the Alphabet: I is for Iguana; A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; background photo of green leaves

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Over the course of twenty-six posts, I will introduce my own simple lessons for the letters of the alphabet. I will provide ideas and suggestions for a week's worth of activities.

For the letter I, we focused upon iguanas. 

So just what is an iguana? They are one type of lizard that lives in a variety of climates and habitats. There are 35 different species of iguana that live primarily in North and South America (with a few species living on the island of Madagascar). 


photograph of iguana
photo courtesy of Brian R.


Iguana Facts 


Text: Learning About the Alphabet: I is for Iguana; A Mom's Quest to Teach; child's painting of an iguana

  • Iguanas have an opening on the top of their head that is only covered by skin that is called a 'third eye' - scientists think the 'third eye' help the iguana interpret its environment
  • Green iguanas can grow to be up to 6 feet long (from head to tail) 
  • Green iguanas can weigh about 11 pounds 
  • Marine iguanas live on and around the Galapagos Islands - they are often seen swimming 
  • Male iguanas tend to be more colorful than female iguanas 
  • The blue iguana can weigh up to 30 pounds 
  • Iguanas lay eggs and are cold-blooded 
  • Many iguanas use their whip-like tail for defense against predators 
  • Iguana females lay their eggs and then abandon them – they do not raise their young 
  • Because reptiles iguanas are cold-blooded, they will sunbathe to help regulate their body temperature 



Projects 



PetsSome individuals keep iguanas as pets. Be sure to do your research before purchasing any pet. Iguanas need a temperature-controlled environment since they are cold-blooded and require special care. They can also grow quite large, have sharp claws, and like any animal may bite when startled, sick, or annoyed. 


Books 



There aren't too many iguana-specific books but there are plenty of books about lizards! 




Activities 



If you live near a playground, you can very easily discuss how most iguanas are arboreal or spend most of their time in the trees. Children can then spend climbing and pretending they are iguanas climbing on the playground equipment. 


Iguana Leaf Painting  




children's painting of iguana


Materials 




Steps 


1. Draw a picture of an iguana on a sheet of paper. 


pencil drawing of iguana

2. Gather leaves as your paintbrushes. (Since many iguanas live in the trees, I thought using a new painting technique would be fun.) 


leaves; drawing of iguana

3. Paint the iguana. 


painting drawing of iguana

painting a drawing of an iguana

4. Allow to dry and then display proudly on the refrigerator (or wherever you hang children's artwork). 


painting of an iguana


Other Topics 


Insects 


Why not study some creepy, crawly insects while talking about the letter I? You can even make a ladybug paper bag puppet or talk about the life cycle of a butterfly


ladybug paper bag puppets


Ice Cream 



  • Make your own ice cream with your children. 
  • Serve an ice cream soda. 
  • Have an ice cream sundae party. 
  • Try new and different flavors (and toppings!) to expand your children's palate. 



Resources 


World of Animals course image on book, tablet, and laptop


A World of Animals at SchoolhouseTeachers.com is a great course to introduce your third- or fourth-grader to a variety of animals. You can use resources at World Book Online to study how animals are classified, what they eat, if they are endangered or not, and how to care for those that might make good pets. Children will read online books about different species of dogs, sharks, iguanas, and more to discover the world of animals around them. 


Itchy Inchworm Week at Teaching with Faith offers many great ideas for teaching your preschooler the letter I. From a craft to practicing fine motor skills to a fun sensory activity that centers on a Bible story, there are a great number of ideas that you might want to include in your homeschool day. 


ladybug painting from Teaching with Faith
courtesy of Teaching with Faith


Igloos, Ice Cream, and Insects: Letter I Preschool Activities and Printable from The Schoolin' Swag Blog offers even more variety of fun activities to do with your preschooler for the letter I. I love the idea of many having a butterfly garden so you can get a closer look at insects. The suggestion of incorporating sensory activities with ice is also perfect for summer weather.


letter I crafts from Tots and Me...Growing Up Together
courtesy of Tots and Me...Growing Up Together 


Tots and Me... Growing Up Together has two great posts with even more fun ideas to teach the letter I to your preschoolers. In one, she shares with you a fun snack idea for your little ones using muffin tins. You can also read a recap of all the fun letter I activities and crafts they did in their homeschool


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