Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #123


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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.



Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

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Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.


Featured Post from Last Week



I really enjoyed reading the post Large Family Homeschooling from Journey and Destination last week.  Great wisdom from a mama of a large family, but the wisdom is helpful for any size family!  Take a minute to read it if you missed it last week!


Your Favorite from Last Week


The most clicked post from last week was How Long Does it Take to Homeschool? from Candid Diversions.  Karen is spot-on in her answer!  I enjoyed the read very much.  I am sure you will find yourself nodding along just like I was!


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please link back to this post in some way. You can use my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) if you'd like so others can learn about this link-up! Button code: <a href="http://www.livingandlearningathome.com/" target="_blank" title="Trivium Tuesdays"><img alt="Living and Learning at Home" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNtNfqeG_W4/U0qj7mUZCfI/AAAAAAAAFbo/vhEStFGbogw/s1600/Trivium+Tuesdays+-+button.png"/></a>
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)


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Monday, September 1, 2014

Start Your Morning with Classical Music - Scholé Everyday

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This post contains affiliate links to recommended products.

If you've been around here for the last few months, you'll know that I have been taken by the concept of Scholé.  It all started when I heard Dr. Christopher Perrin (from Classical Academic Press) speak about it at the Great Homeschool Convention this past spring.  Simply speaking, scholé means Restful Learning.  If you missed my post A Home Filled with Scholé a couple of months ago, definitely check it out before you read on.  In that post, you can see a video of Dr. Perrin talking about scholé and learn all about the concept.

This month, as many people are getting back to school (or are already back to school), I want give you lots of ideas so you can incorporate scholé into your homeschool days as well!  Can I tell you a secret?  I am not speaking as an authority here.  I am going to be learning about this right long with you!  Part of my reason for this series is self-serving.  I am determined to make my homeschool more restful this year, and I need accountability!  I have already structured our day to facilitate this type of learning, but I need your help!

Will you join me in a month of Scholé? 


Each weekday this month I am going to give you a simple idea for how you can add restful learning into your day.  You can read the idea and then implement it the following school day. That is what I am planning on doing!

Today my encouragement to you is to...

Start Your Morning with Classical Music


I don't know about you, but music calms me.  No matter how stressful my day is, if I think to turn on music, the stress begins to melt away.  Think of the mood it would set for your day if your kids walked out of their rooms and entered the kitchen to the sound of beautiful music.

I am committing to do this starting tomorrow!  The hard part for me will be getting ready and being in the kitchen when my kids get out of bed.  Usually I am on the computer working for an hour before my kids get up, so when they get out of bed they come find me and will often ask to watch TV.  I hate that, but I cannot blame them.  It will take me being more disciplined, but I know it will change the tone of the morning from the start!

Are you thinking, "Uggh, I don't like classical music, and I'm sure my kids won't either!"  Dr. Perrin said that if you say that, it just means that you haven't listened to enough classical music to find something that piques your interest.  Just keep trying until you find something you enjoy!



Where to Find Classical Music


I promise that nothing I suggest this month is meant to be difficult or costly.  I surely am not asking you to spend all your money buying new music.  Here are some ideas for how you can get great classical music to listen to:

  • Search YouTube for 'classical music', or the name of a specific composer.  Play it on your computer or smartphone.  The point is not for your child to watch the video, though.  Turn the screen off and just enjoy the music as you get ready for the day or eat your breakfast!
  • Check out your library's selection of classical music CDs.
  • Play a classical music station on Pandora 
  • Search the internet for other free classical music websites. Classics for Kids looks like a good one!
  • I put this app on my ipod and have enjoyed it! Classical Music I
  • Check out amazon for really cheap CDs and downloads like this one: The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music
  • Be on the lookout at garage and library sales for super cheap CDs
  • If you are musical, play the piano, violin, or whatever you are good at as your children wake up.

Here's a little something to get you started =)  I'll try to share other pieces on social media throughout the month (so make sure you're following me!)




If you are purposing to incorporate scholé into your home this year, I'd love to hear from you!  Share with me what you are doing or how these ideas have impacted your homeschool and I can compile your stories in to a post.  I'd love to even have some guest bloggers if you'd like to write a whole post about how you are using scholé in your homeschool this year!  Contact me and let me know how you are doing!


Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Easy Grammar Review

Easy Grammar Review pic 
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This post contains affiliate links to curriculum that I love!

Last year I wrote a review of Primary Language Lessons. I love its gentle, Charlotte Mason type approach to language arts, but the one thing that it doesn't have is lots of practice for the different topics that are introduced. Most of the time when I want something a little different than what I have, I create my own. Sure, I could write lots of practice sentences, and in fact I was copying sentences from his McGuffey Reader for him to edit, but sometimes the effort is just more that I'm willing to make. Then I stumbled upon another blogger talking about Easy Grammar. I looked at the website and realized that it was exactly what I needed!

Read my review of Easy Grammar over at The Curriculum Choice!


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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #122


Pin It

Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.



Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

 photo AllThingsClassical-titlepic_zps4a3485e7.png

Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.


Featured Post from Last Week



I usually try to not feature the same blogger two weeks in a row, but this week I just have to.  This post, Are You Doing Too Much?  Simplify the Curriculum, was the most clicked from last week and I just loved it too!  I think we all need these reminders sometimes.  It is so easy to want to keep adding all the neat looking activities, curriculum, books, etc. to our schedules, but those things are often counter productive.


Your Favorites from Last Week



Once again, everyone was linking up and taking a look at others curriculum choices!  I've pinned them all to my Pinterest Board, Classical Education - Curriculum Choices.  Take a look if you want to see what other classical families are using!


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please link back to this post in some way. You can use my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) if you'd like so others can learn about this link-up! Button code: <a href="http://www.livingandlearningathome.com/" target="_blank" title="Trivium Tuesdays"><img alt="Living and Learning at Home" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNtNfqeG_W4/U0qj7mUZCfI/AAAAAAAAFbo/vhEStFGbogw/s1600/Trivium+Tuesdays+-+button.png"/></a>
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Kiwi Crate - Crafts, Experiments, and Activities for Kids!

Kiwi Crate - Creations, Adventures, Discoveries, and Experiments Delivered Right to Your Door!
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 I received this product for free in order to review it.  I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own!  Don't miss the discount code and free trial link at the end of the post!
 
My kids always get super excited when I say that I have a special project for them to do.  It could be a craft, a science experiment, or really anything out of the ordinary.  Are your kids like that too?  The problem is that I just don't always have fun ideas, or the time and energy to get something together!  Any fellow mamas know what I'm talking about?

Enter Kiwi Crate.  Have you heard of them?  I had only recently heard people talking about the company and was excited to be able to try out one of their crates!
 
Kiwi Crate - Around the World Review

I was a little skeptical as to whether or not the service would be worth the money, but they proved me wrong!  Essentially a Kiwi Crate is a box of fun, shipped right to your house (designed for kids ages 3-8)!  Each box has all the materials you need to do 2-3 activities (art, science, games, etc.) and there are lots of different themes to choose from  (like Robots, Fairies, the Rainforest, Wind Power, etc.)!

The theme for the crate that we got was Around The World.  We got a craft where we made 5 flags out of felt to hang on a rope to make a banner, a board game about the continents, an activity book, and even a pair of scissors!  Each activity within the crate is bundled separately, making it super easy for the kids to do (mostly) on their own.


Hours (and Days) of Fun with Kiwi Crate


My only real concern with Kiwi Crate was wondering if the price of the boxes would be justifiable.  So, I decided to keep track of the time that the activities occupied my kids.  In my eyes, the major benefit of these boxes is providing my kids with engaging fun where I don't have to be right next to them (freeing me up for a few minutes to do luxurious things like wash the dishes ;)


Making Flags with Kiwi Crate

 
making flags with Kiwi CrateMaking Flags with Kiwi Crate

Our first activity was making a flag banner.  All I did was open the materials and then let the kids have at it.  Once they were done, I strung the flags on the rope to make the banner.  Total time: 30 minutes.

Kiwi Crate Craft Project

I really liked this activity because it used materials that I don't usually have on hand, so the kids thought it was special.  Both my by 4 and 6 year old really enjoyed the project.  I have a feeling that the folks at Kiwi Crate know what they are doing when they design these kits =)  For this particular project, if you have a 3 year old, you could just let them design any kind of flags they wanted.  If you have an older child, you could have them replicate real flags and then find the countries on the map.  I like how it is able to be customized to your child's abilities.


Learning About Continents with Kiwi Crate


The next activity in our box was a game about the continents.  This one really impressed me!  The map it came with is huge and the deck of cards is really great quality.  The game required a little bit of time on my part to set up, but after that the kids were able to play themselves.

Kiwi Crate Continents Game for Kids

In this game, the kids take turns picking a card and visiting key places across the globe.  It is a really great way to familiarize little ones with the continents and landmarks!  The best part is that both of my kids LOVED it.  They played for about an hour the first time we got it out, and then have asked to play it multiple times since then.

I was seriously starting to get board because they were occupying themselves for so long =)  I would hear, "I won!  Ok, let's play again!" over and over.  A really neat game.  If I would have thought ahead better, I would have laminated the map and hung it up, because it is a really big, nice looking map, but it's just made of paper so I'm sure it's life span won't be more than a year being used as a game. 

Fun Continent Game for Kids by Kiwi Crate

Here's my son, not loving the 'lose your turn' card he just picked up =)


Is Kiwi Crate Worth the Money?


My final conclusion is YES!  If you get the yearly subscription, each month's crate is just over $17 (shipped free!) In the particular crate that I got, I would break down the value this way:

  • Scissors: $2.00
  • Craft Supplies for Flags: $5.00
  • Continents Game: $10.00
  • Activity Book: $1.00
  • Time and Gas Saved: $5
  • Kids getting to do something fun and different: BONUS!
  • Mom not having to come up with an idea for once: BONUS!

That totals up to more than the cost of the crate for me!  Now, you may be different.  You may put different monetary values on things.  If you are seriously living paycheck to paycheck, I would not recommend spending your money on this, but if you spend a few dollars here and there doing fun things with your kids anyways, Kiwi Crate is a worth while choice!  Who do I think Kiwi Crate is especially good for?

  • Homeschool moms of multiple kids, who need a way to keep the younger ones busy while teaching the older ones.

  •  Homeschool moms of preschool and lower elementary aged kids who want to add a fun, creative component to their learning.

  • Any parent who wants a fun, etc educational activity to do on weekends or days off of school.

  • Working moms who want creative activities to do with their kids, but don't have the time to come up with ideas and gather materials.

  • Pregnant moms, or moms with newborns, who just don't have the energy to come up with crafts and engaging projects for their preschool aged child. 

  • Grandparents who want fun activities on hand for when their grandkids come over.

I also think that a Kiwi Crate subscription would be an awesome gift for a 3-8yr old child!  Think of how much fun that child would have knowing that they have another box of fun coming in the mail for them for the next 3-6-12 months!


Kiwi Crate Discount Code and Free Mini Crate!


Kiwi Crate Subscription Delivered Right to Your Door!

Speaking of subscriptions, let me explain a little better how you can get Kiwi Crates coming to your house.  You can simply purchase a single crate of your choosing for $19.95 (plus shipping) if you have a special occasion you want one on hand for, or if you are interested and just want to try it out.  

If you want to give Kiwi Crate as a gift to someone, or if you want your child to be able to look forward to receiving their own Kiwi Crate each month, you can choose a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription (and save a few dollars while you're at it!)  As a bonus, shipping on the subscription plans is FREE!

If you would like to give Kiwi Crate a try, I have a great discount for you!  New subscribers can save 25% off of their 1st month, plus receive a welcome kit and free shipping with code:

BTS25


Or another option is to try a mini crate for only the cost of shipping ($3.95).  Learn more about this option here!


Have you tried Kiwi Crate?  Do you want to try Kiwi Crate?  Let me know what you think!



If you want to get lots of inspiration and keep up with everything new at Kiwi Crate, make sure to follow them one (or more!) of these ways:
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