Thursday, November 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #179: November 23, 2017

Welcome back to... 

Happy Thanksgiving!
I pray you have a blessed day!

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around November 23rd, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here are my Throwback Thursday posts:
(I couldn't decide which one to use today, so I am sharing two)

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Hikaru with Anna from From a Doll's Eyes shared Wordless Wednesday: "I Like Bare Feet"

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew Favorites for 2017

Two weeks ago I posted my last review for the 2017 Crew year. I still can't believe the Crew year is over. We were so blessed to have received so many wonderful products. All in all, it came to 36 wonderful products we reviewed for the Schoolhouse Review Crew in 2017.

While this year has come to a close, I received some wonderful news last night. I have been accepted back for the 2018 Crew Year! From what has been hinted at, it looks like 2018 will be another amazing year.

Before we were able to move on, we had one last Crew responsibility to fulfill before our end-of-year break. It was time to vote for our favorite Crew items, this is known as The Blue Ribbon Awards.  I have to tell you, this was quite the difficult task. We loved SO MANY of the products we received this year.

Below you will find the winners in all of the many categories. If we reviewed the product that won, the link will lead to my review. If we didn't review that product, the link will direct you to the Schoolhouse Review Crew anchor post.

Homeschool Review Crew Favorite Products for 2017

Favorite Reading Curriculum – Reading Eggs
Favorite Writing Curriculum – Writing with Sharon Watson
Favorite Grammar Program – Eclectic Foundations
Favorite Penmanship Program – Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Worksheets
Favorite Literature Curriculum – Hewitt Homeschooling

Out of these Language Arts products, we used three of them. We did not review Reading Eggs, as we had used other curriculum during the year and really didn't need another one at the time. I had voted for The Crafty Classroom, as Harold just loved using the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. We actually didn't use a writing curriculum this year, so I didn't vote in that category. Hannah was the one who used both Eclectic Foundations and the Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook from Channie's and we loved them both. Amelia enjoyed the Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling.

Favorite Social Studies Curriculum – Let’s Go Geography
Favorite History Supplement – Rush Revere
Favorite Science Curriculum – Innovators Tribe
Favorite Math Curriculum – CTC Math
Favorite Math Supplement – Times Tables the Fun Way

Social Studies, History, Science, and Math wrap up the rest of the "core" curriculum categories. Out of the five winners above, we used and voted for four of them. We really enjoyed learning about different countries using Let's Go Geography and I plan to continue using it after our winter break. The Adventures of Rush Revere books were a huge hit in the house, Liberty the time-traveling horse being our favorite character. We even have a stuffed Liberty. We didn't have the opportunity to review any science products this year, so I didn't get to vote in that category. CTC Math is by far our favorite math program. I was thrilled to be able to review it again this year and plan to continue using it. Times Tables the Fun Way was our first review of the 2017 Crew year and the girls really enjoyed the program. 

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum – Memoria Press (Latin)
Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum – Creating a Masterpiece
Favorite Elective Curriculum – Doctor Aviation
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum – Drive Thru History
Favorite Christian Education Supplement – Brinkman Adventures

Out of all the elective resources above, we reviewed three of them, though I only voted for two. Tabitha and I enjoyed using Latina Christiana from Memoria Press. We have put it aside though for awhile. I plan on taking it back out again next year when we will be learning about ancient Rome. We didn't have the opportunity to review Creating a Masterpiece. Our vote for Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum went to ArtAchieve. We had the privilege of using the Entire Level II this year, and last year we had actually reviewed Level I. Drive Thru History: The Gospels was an amazing resource for digging into the Bible during the time of Jesus. As for the favorite Christian education supplement, we loved season 4 of the Brinkman Adventures. However, we also loved The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls books from Worthy Publishing. I had a very hard time choosing between the two. I would have loved for either of them to have won. 

Favorite Preschool Product – Reading Eggs
Favorite Elementary Product – Susan K. Marlow
Favorite Middle School Product – Innovators Tribe
Favorite High School Product – Doctor Aviation
Favorite College or College-Prep Product – Institute for Excellence in Writing: High School Essay Intensive
Favorite Parent Product – Everyday Homemaking

Of the above resources, we only reviewed two of them. In fact, I was only eligible to vote in two of the categories as I only have elementary school age children. While we did review the first two books of the Circle C. Stepping Stones series by Susan K. Marlow, I did not actually vote for them. Don't get me wrong, we loved the books and hope to get more of them. However, I had to vote for CTCMath as our favorite Elementary product this year. I did vote for Everyday Homemaking as the Everyday Chore System has been such a help in getting our household organized this year. We have continued to use this chore system and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. 

The Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed –  Innovators Tribe
Favorite Planning Product – Only Passionate Curiosity
Best Online Resource – Reading Eggs
Best e-Product – Home School in the Woods
Favorite Book or Novel – Rush Revere
Favorite Audiobook or Audio Drama – Heirloom Audio Productions: Captain Bayley’s Heir
Best Product Just for Fun! – Drive Thru History

Out of the above resources, we reviewed four of them. Again, the Innovators Tribe wasn't something my children were old enough for. I actually voted for the Everyday Chore System for my favorite resource I didn't know I needed. I did use the Homeschool Rescue course from Only Passionate Curiosity, though I didn't vote for it. As for Best Online Resource? I again voted for CTCMath. We didn't have a chance to review Home School in the Woods. My vote for best e-Product went to The Magic Stories (you can actually win a set of these wonderful books in my giveaway which ends December 2nd).  And yes, the Adventures of Rush Revere books did receive our vote for favorite book or novel. Though we did review Captain Bayley's Heir, I actually voted for the other Heirloom Audio Productions Audio Drama we reviewed this year, In the Reign of Terror. We enjoyed that one just a tad more. I am thrilled to see Drive Thru History won the best product just for fun. However, I actually didn't vote for it in this category. I didn't quite see it as a "just for fun" product. I ended up voting for the Daily Bible Jigsaw app from Planet 316

And for the all-around favorites:

Kids’ Choice – The Pencil Grip: Thin Stix
Teens’ Choice – Drive Thru History
All Around Crew Favorite – Drive Thru History

Each of the children got to vote for their favorite product in the Kids' Choice category. Of course, we didn't have anyone to vote in the Teens' Choice. And I got to vote too.

I would like to take a moment to highlight my children's all around favorites. 

Harold loved using Whistlefritz to learn Spanish.

It was no surprise to me when Hannah picked The Magic Stories.

Amelia did surprise me by voting for Times Tables the Fun Way

But it wasn't a surprise when Tabitha voted for Latina Christiana from Memoria Press.

Don't forget to check out the Homeschool Review Crew blog to see what my fellow Crew Mates have to share about their favorites. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: November 22, 2017 (w/linky) : First Snowman of the Season

First snow of the season that actually accumulated a bit. Didn't realize there would be enough for a snowman. But they made one.

Isn't he cute. His name is Buddy.

Sadly, he isn't going to last long.

He was leaning over a bit this morning.

Oh, and there was an attempt at a snow angel.

As of this afternoon, Buddy isn't doing too well.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

Littles Learning Link Up: November 21, 2017

 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (usually toward the beginning of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child(ren).

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

What have we been up to?

Last week was the final co-op meeting for the fall session. We won't be going back until the first week of January. I admit, it will be nice to have a little less stress and more time to work on our lessons on Wednesday. But, we will miss it. 

Even though it was our Harvest Dinner I did do a craft with the kids. However, it was one we have done, and I have posted about before. I like having the children make the Thankfulness Turkey Placemats. The biggest difference this year was that we used the Thin Stix to color the turkeys. 

In our homeschool last week we continued our reading of Genesis during our Bible time. We have made it up to the story of Joseph, so we watched Joseph: King of Dreams. I have never seen that movie before, and I have to say, for a Dreamworks movie, they did a pretty good job sticking to the biblical story. We also enjoyed all the songs. Speaking of songs, I also have Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat out of the library. We will be watching that soon. 

We are still learning about Ancient Egypt and light. This week we are taking off from school as it is another break week. I always make sure we have a week off for Thanksgiving. Tabitha is still working on her NaNoWriMo story though. Amelia has sort of given up as she doesn't know where she wants her story to go. I can't complain too much, though we do keep trying to encourage her to continue. However, I can't really say much as I gave up on my story last year because I wasn't sure where to go with my character. 

We have also been learning about Christmas in different countries, using a curriculum called Christmas Around the World from Awefilled Homemaker.

We have been reading a page-worth of information about each country and then the children fill out a short worksheet and complete a coloring/drawing page. 

I will be sharing my review soon, plus giving you a chance to enter to win your own copy. 

Let's take a look at that review schedule real quick:

A few weeks ago I shared my review of The Magic Stories, published by the same people who developed The Reading Game which I reviewed a few years ago. And two weeks ago I shared my final Crew review of the year, the one for The Pencil Grip's Thin Stix Creativity Pack. I can't believe our Crew year is over. However, that doesn't mean we are done with reviews. As mentioned above, we have been using the Christmas Around the World curriculum, which I will post more about this week. I also just finished a review for a book called, ¡HOLA! Let's Learn Spanish! which will be posting on The Old Schoolhouse website. I will also be receiving Bonjour! Let's Learn French soon. It does feel good not to have a whole bunch of review products as we are going into the holidays. 

Moving on to this week's craft:

As I mentioned, we made Thankfulness Turkey Placemats again this year. The past two years we made some similar. In 2015 we made Thankful Turkey Placemats and in 2016 we made what I called Improved Thankfulness Turkey Placemats.


This year's placemats were very similar to last years, except we used the Thin Stix Creativity Pack to paint the turkey hands. 

I invite you to check out my previous posts for the complete instructions for making these placemats.

A couple of things I would like to share with you:

Thanksgiving is this week! How is that possible? If you are looking for some fun craft and/or learning activity ideas, I invite you to check out my Thanksgiving Round Up.

And last week I shared my newest round up, the Scarecrow Fun Round Up

Don't miss my giveaway for a Thin Stix Creativity Pack, featuring all of the wonderful colors available (Classic, Neon, and Metalix). We LOVE these Solid Tempera Paint Sticks.

Giveaway is open to US citizens.
Ends November 22, 2017

I also have a giveaway for the Magic Stories readers that we reviewed earlier this month. You can win the set of 6 PDF downloadable stories which are appropriate for children in approximately second to third grade. 

Giveaway is open to US citizens.
Ends December 21, 2017

Now onto:
Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 9 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on posts.  

Please, don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:

Gale from Imaginative Homeschool shared Story of the World Ancient Times - Chap 11 - Africa.

And here is this week's top clicked on post.

Katelynne from The Disguised Supermom shared Learn About Thanksgiving Using Living Literature.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on one of my relevant boards, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Monday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Littles Learning Link Up permalink please.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- November 21, 2017

Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.
Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday - November 17th, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday
November 17th, 2017

Welcome back to Fun Fiction Friday.

In my Fun Fiction Friday I share the books the older girls and I are reading, and a short review of a Young Adult or Juvenile book I have finished, if applicable. I will also ask the girls to tell me something they would like to share about at least one of the books they are currently reading.

Last week I shared a short review of the I am Number Four novella compilation, Secret Histories. I started reading Rebel Allies, but put it aside to read The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This is the first book in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series.

I had tried watching the movie last week, but I fell asleep. We ended up watching the full movie together as a family, and then I continued reading the book, quite unwilling to put it down. I finished it this morning and am ready to start the second book, The Sea of Monsters. I have all of the books in the series ready and waiting.

Moving on...

We are continuing to make our way through Star of Light by Patricia St. John.

Tabitha finished Prince Caspian, and is now rereading some Boxcar Children books.

When she finishes these I think I have convinced her to try the Percy Jackson books.

Amelia is still trying to read The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

However, they didn't get much reading done this week as they have been writing their stories for the Young Writers Program of NaNoWriMo.

Fun Fiction Friday
Book Review

The Lightning Thief is book one of the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. We are first introduced to Percy, a twelve year old boy, when he is attending Yancy Academy which is a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. Not only does he have behavioral issues, but he is dyslexic and has ADHD (which is important information for later on in the book). It isn't long before he ends up being expelled, which has happened to him multiple times in the past. He ends up finding his way to Camp Half-Blood where he is to spend his summer, and learns that he is a demi-god, a potential hero, the son of a god. One of the Greek gods that is. 

It takes a short amount time for them to determine whose son he is, but when they do, it causes quite the problem, especially because something has been stolen from one of the gods, and he is suspected of stealing it. He sets out on a quest with his friend and protector, Grover, and a fellow campmate Annabeth, to retrieve the item and return it before a terrible war is started. 

During this journey across America they encounter many a monster and there are even meetings with gods. Percy learns that he has some interesting powers that help them when they are in dire circumstances. He learns who he can trust and who he shouldn't. 

All in all, their quest is quite the adventure. As we will be learning about ancient Greece in our schooling this year, I loved the chance to read a story focused on Greek gods and the part they supposedly play in our current world. I found the explanation as to why they are now in America, as opposed to Greece quite intriguing and entertaining. 

The story is told in the first person, with Percy telling us his story. So we get to know his thoughts, see his dreams and realize his powers and such with him. We see him as a young boy who is longing for a relationship with his dad whom he had never known, and who seemingly just lost his mother as well to one of the monsters who is out to kill him. We get to see him grow emotionally during their quest, and learn to fight against those who have it in for him and his friends. 

This book really drew me in and kept my attention. It was a quick read, but not too juvenile. Because of the nature of the story, with the Greek gods, there are mentions of adulterous and out-of-wedlock relationships. Though there are no details that would be inappropriate for children. I loved the memories of the greek gods coming back to me from what I have learned in school. There is a lot of adventure. I can't wait to read the second book to see what is going to be asked of our hero next. 

I'm sharing over at:

What to Read Wednesday

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Magic Stories Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago I posted my review of The Magic Stories by Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series. 

Hannah and I have really been enjoying these stories, along with the activities that go along with them. Not only do they help improve vocabulary, they give us fun mommy/daughter time, and give her a chance to read to me. We also appreciate the moral lessons provided in these books. 

Now, I have been given the opportunity to offer my readers a chance to win their own PDF downloadable copies of these fun books. You can either print them out or view them on a computer or iPad. All the other components you will need are available as free resources on The Magic Stories website. 

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs November 16th through December 2nd.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

If you would like to purchase them, The Magic Stories would like to offer my readers a 25% discount.  To receive the discount, enter “raisingreaders” in the coupon box upon checkout.

Disclosure: I received a set of The Magic Stories in exchange for my honest review as a part of the Homeschool Review Crew.  No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.

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