Monday, February 20, 2017

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece: A TOS Review Crew Review

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study  History can be one of the trickiest subjects to teach. Too much of the mundane and you will bore your little learners. Too much "fun" and they may miss the point of what they are learning. Home School in the Woods is an incredible company that takes history and makes it come alive. My daughters thoroughly enjoyed our chance to review HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece! The entire History Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study series looks incredible. After working through a portion of the Ancient Greece study I can only imagine how much fun the other titles in the series will be. 
My middle daughter, Beth, is studying Ancient Greece already this year so this was a fun way to add to what we have already been doing. My other two daughters were really excited to join in on the fun a well. The three girls are typically studying different levels of history tailored to their ability levels, but they enjoy the times we learn together. This particular study lends itself well to multi-level learning. The suggested levels are grades 3-8, but my 1st grader has thoroughly enjoyed our journey thus far!
The premise of embarking on an actual journey through history with our imaginations is really fun. The study is broken into 25 "Stops" which you can pace as you like. This can easily be completed in the 8-12 weeks as suggested. There is so much packed into this study! In addition to the history there is an enormous amount of information detailing the daily lives of those who lived through it. You'll learn all about the culture, food, education, arts, literature, medical information, religion, agriculture, and more.
 While traveling your way through Ancient Greece you will have the opportunity to try out recipes, create some amazing projects, and collect a scrapbook to remember your travels. I love that the scrapbook includes pages for a timeline. Home School in the Woods is well known for their amazing timeline products and once again they do not disappoint! Everything you need to get started is contained in the pdf files. It does take some time to print what you will need so it is a good idea to work ahead on this. The more time you spend on prep the smoother the study will go.
There are so many fun projects to work through. Here were some of the girls' favorites. 

Beth is always interested in learning about the clothing of the time periods we are studying. When we travel to historical sights she will often choose a coloring book that shows lots of different historical clothing. She loved the activity where she colored a historical figure and layers of clothing. These are placed on clear transparency pages and attached so they could layer on top of the figures. She really enjoyed this because of how detailed the images are. This is something else you can expect from this wonderful company. The images are beautiful and so your kids will end up with amazing projects they will treasure far after they complete their studies!

 Little miss Grace drams of becoming a nurse. She was particularly interested in the medical history of the period. This turned into a little flip book that can be attached into their lap books. She enjoyed coloring as well as reading the information and how they relate to current medical practices. She is 7 and in first grade, but it was a simple project she could complete with little help and guidance from me.

Rose has already studied through Ancient Greece so she was excited to explore some of the things we didn't delve into as deeply. One of her favorite projects was working on the family tree of Helen. This was a neat little flip page that also can be placed into the lap book. She did not need to spend a lot of time studying to complete it. Once the pages were printed she colored, cut, and pasted all while learning through the process. 
The girls all agreed that their absolutely favorite part was the dramatized audio tours. They found them entertaining and humorous. We would get finished with one and they would beg to listen to another. We actually listened to the dramatizations more than once. 
I asked the girls what they thought of this way of studying history. They all told me how much they enjoyed it and said it was fun to learn in such a different way. Learning is all about finding meaningful ways to make connections so what your kids learn sticks with them. Home School in the Woods has a hit with this fabulous program!
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
  Check out this video to see even more of what you can expect!

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Peek at Our Week: February 13-17

Sometimes our weeks are awesome. Sometimes our weeks are really hard. This week had some elements of both! I missed getting very many pictures this week it seems. I actually only have one of each of girls! There wasn't more than normal going on, but I just forgot to get my camera out!

Rose (6th grade): Resurrection to Reformation Unit 23

 Rose didn't feel all that well at the beginning of the week, but when I asked if she felt up to school she said she did, so we pressed on! We continued this week with math with Daddy in the afternoon. We missed a day or two because it is a new habit, but it is definitely continuing to work better. 

History is so fun with Heart of Dakota, even in the older guides. Rose enjoys the history projects. This week was labeling some information from one of the books she is reading into her history notebook. This wasn't as interesting to her as other projects, like when she created an medieval coin out of clay a few weeks ago! 

She's almost done with the third book in the Epic Order of the Seven series. She loves these books so much she wants to tell me all about what she has read as soon as she is done with a chapter. I love to see her so very engaged with literature. She has always loved to read, but she now often has a book in tow to read in the car at the very least wherever we go. 

Beth (4th grade): Creation to Christ Unit 4

Beth had quite an eventful week! On Monday she took her 1st clogging class. A good homeschooling friend told us about the class and how much her daughters have enjoyed it. we are looking forward to see where this goes and she had an absolute blast.

In other news, she loves her new guide! Beth very much enjoys all of the writing and drawing. I require her to write everything in cursive this year and even this doesn't seem to be a problem. Math continues to come easily, but we are learning new things and she becomes impatient with the explanations at times. She did have a very good lesson in allowing me to teach a new concept before charging ahead as she did not fully understand and had to redo 2 worksheets.

Grace (1st grade): Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 31

Grace asked me just this weekend if I would let her start in her new guide early. I actually wouldn't mind doing so because I believe she is more than ready and she'll be continuing her study of American History so she won't be missing anything. The only problem is I'm not prepared yet! I there aren't a lot of things which need to be done, but there are some. One is that we'll be using a different history text than what HOD recommends. I really love most of the history selections, but I do find myself editing as we read at times because of how some people groups are described. It does provide good conversations about whether names used historically were accurate or appropriate, but I am trying something different this time around for the text. I'll post more about that later because as I said I'm not fully ready to move her into Bigger Hearts for His Glory yet.

She is moving quickly through both 2nd grade math texts and I anticipate we will be into 3rd grade by the summer. If we need to slow down, we will but I am not opposed to letting her pace herself as she has. She's also reading through the Chronicles of Narnia faster than her sisters did. I did a quick reading assessment and she seems to be on a 4th or 5th grade level. I'm so grateful for the reading suggestions made by Heart of Dakota. Just because she is reading at a high level does not mean she is ready to handle some of the themes that are presented.

We tried something different this week and went to the library on Thursday to do our work. To be honest, Thursdays isn't really the best day for this. Friday would be awesome because we have less work. Unfortunately our library is not open until 2:00pm on Fridays and by then I'm gearing up to teach piano lessons. So we tried Thursdays. The girls loved this! It was different, but the girls did focus really well. We came home so I could get lunch started (We eat our main meal at lunch) and then finished up.

And then things went haywire.

I'm not going to go into details because I don't necessarily think it is appropriate in this particular venue. To be honest, the specifics don't matter a whole lot. It was a classic battle of wills over something completely ridiculous. Mom gave an instruction. Child refused to acquiesces to Mom's request. It wasn't fun, it was exhausting, but, for the record, mom won the battle.

But guess what?  
It is normal. 

Kids are going to test boundaries. Parents continue to set limits The battles continue.

When the battles come, don't lose heart. Seek Scripture. Seek godly council. Pray through the battle and lean into Jesus. Then get up and start the next day anew.

 Choose to see your little ones with the gifts God has given. That stubborn streak? Recognize the potential to see projects through to the end. That continuous stream of questions? Imagine what that curiosity might discover. That tendency to argue? Imagine the tenacity with which they will defend their faith. You see, it's' all a matter of perspective. So in the midst of the battle, choose to see beyond the battle to whom the ones fighting against you will become.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Preserving Memories

I was finishing up my husband's 40th birthday celebration book this week. I had a few pages I had to finish but most of my work was finishing touches, proofreading (and editing mistakes I found!), and adjusting margins for cropping during publication. It's all set except for one more look-over for mistakes. I will wait to print until I have at least 2 more books finished, but I'm close to that! Next I'll be finishing up my 2008 family scrapbook (almost done), the 2016 family scrapbook (Just a couple of months to go!), and an album from our 2015 trip to Disney.

 Here are a few layouts I completed.The first is for the Disney book and it features a brand new kit from Libby Pritchett! The rest are for the birthday photobook.

Libby Pritchett's And Back Again

Libby Pritchett's From Ear to Ear

Libby Pritchett's A Marvelous Tune and Krafty Christmas

Libby Pritchett's I Need a Hero
I used this kit A LOT for this album! I wanted this page to be mostly pictures, but I love the subtle color in the background paper!

Both of these layouts used the Magical Scraps Galore kit Sweet as Candy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Preserving Memories

I've been trying really hard to get the album from my husband's 40th birthday party finished!
It includes pictures from his entire life. It's been so much fun to document his childhood and remember when we first met. 

Britt-ish Designs Itty Bitty (retired)

Libby Pritchett's I Need a Hero

Friday, February 10, 2017

Peek at Our Week: February 6-10

After a couple of weird weeks of trying to get over a cold we were happy to be back to a normal schedule and on pace with our Heart of Dakota curriculum. So this week was as "normal" as our weeks get! We squish a full Heart of Dakota unit into 3 days. The girls work incredibly hard on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. On Wednesday they take a science class and still complete language arts and math. On Fridays we also complete language arts and math, but that is usually it. Starting this next week I'm hoping to incorporate some other more fun learning opportunities for them. We'll see how this goes!

Beth (4th grade): Creation to Christ Unit 3

Beth has settled in very quickly with the Creation to Christ guide. I'm not surprised as she has been with Heart of Dakota since preschool. Also watching her older sister work through the guides ahead of her gives her a nice idea of what to expect. For kids who are new to Heart of Dakota with this guide it will feel like a lot of work, but she is enjoying the challenges and mostly enjoying the independent nature. The one thing she said she misses is my reading history to her.  
(She collects Pandas! The 4 in the picture are just the tip of the iceberg!)

Beth is really enjoying the notebooking pages. They are so beautifully created! She is drawing a timeline entry here. We found for handwriting it is best to use Frixion Erasable pens on these pages. For drawing they sometimes use those or a pencil to begin and then use sharpies to fill in the color or outline. My girls have not had extensive art instruction, but Heart of Dakota encourages them early on to express themselves through art and all of them do a very nice job creating pictures. She did ask me to find a picture of a hand holding a heel for the timeline entry about Jacob and Esau. She couldn't quite figure out how to make that! 

Rose (6th grade): Resurrection to Reformation Unit 22
There is nothing quite as cozy as reading in Narnia! We redecorated the girls' room for Christmas last year as winter and spring Narnia. If you look closely at the stuffed animals on the bed you will see one that is a bit more alive than the others! One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is the freedom to study wherever is the most comfortable or least distracting. Rose and Beth like to study in their room and when the weather is nice outside because I'm still working so extensively with Grace. The quieter locations are preferred for them.

We are trying a different approach with math again. We aren't changing curriculum though as I'm very happy with both Master Book's Principals of Mathematics and Math Mammoth to supplement when needed. The trouble is mathematics is not my strongest subject. As we get to higher and higher levels I'm finding I struggle to remember all of the rules for various things so I am constantly looking things up to double check myself. My husband, on the other hand, absolutely loves math. He was planning to become a math teacher before he felt the call from God into ministry. So starting this week we are adjusting when Rose works on her math. She doesn't even touch it until the afternoon when he comes home from the office. So far this has been great for all concerned. I'm not worried about telling her something incorrect and it also saves us time during the day. Since Rose does not really look forward to math it is good for her to know she does not have to worry about it in the morning. 

 Grace (1st grade): Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 30

  When questioned about Grace's grade-level we always say, "1st grade," but in reality, a better answer would be, "Well, it's complicated." This is in reality true for all the girls because they are working at higher levels for the most part than grade-level expectations. It's the most true for Grace. She's working through 2 levels of 2nd grade math and is about half-way through with both. She's reading on a 5th grade level as well as beginning to write full stories, writes in cursive, and is learning formal grammar. All of these are typically not things children do until around 2nd grade. Such is the life of a homeschooler who is eager to learn. Still, she completes her work dressed as a princess and often has a stuffed animal on the desk or in her lap, because that is age-appropriate. What a beautiful thing to see her blossom academically, but remain the sweet young child she still is!

Sometimes she is no longer patient to wait on me to finish with one of her sisters before she begins reading her history. Since it is written at about a 3rd grade level this is no big deal for her until she comes upon a word of which she is unsure. When she was a little younger we used to call her our little dictionary because she would constantly ask what words meant that she did not know. Her vocabulary is quite varied and she still loves to learn new words. 

Math comes easily to Grace as well. We are completing two different curricula at her request: Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 2 and Math Mammoth 2nd grade. I cannot say no to this request and it doesn't take her too much extra time. She's typically finished with school 2 hours before her sisters anyway so having something a little extra to do is a great thing! 

How was your week? Leave a comment below and let me know!


Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!