Friday, May 31, 2013

Classical Mamas Read - The Well Trained Mind: Ch 1-2

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I'm excited to be starting this discussion today!  Thank you so much for joining me as we take a look at The Well Trained Mind. (affiliate link)


What is The Well Trained Mind?


In case you are not familiar with the book, The Well Trained Mind is a comprehensive look at classical education.  Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise teach us all about the trivium, training our children to think and understand, and examples of what great materials can be used at each level of learning.  The book is broken down into sections, teaching us what classical education is, a detailed look at each of the three stages of the trivium, and then information about how exactly to do it (with lots of helpful resource suggestions).

This is a hefty book, coming in at just over 800 pages, but don't be daunted.  Most people say that this isn't a book they would sit down and read all at once, but one that they love to have on their shelf to reference over and over again.  I'm not sure how much of it we will cover each week in this forum, or if we will even discuss the entire book, but we will discuss as long as everyone is finding it helpful and encouraging!

Are you ready?  Today we will be discussing the first two chapters of The Well Trained Mind.


Prologue: The Story of A Classical Home Education

 

Chapter 1: Uncharted Territory


This chapter is written my Jessie Wise, and gives us the story of how she began educating her children at home.  Here are some of my thoughts on the chapter.  Please feel free to respond or share your own thoughts in the comments below!

  • Ms. Wise taught her children to read (using phonics) before they entered kindergarten.  She didn't call them 'smart,' just 'prepared.'
    • I love this.  People often assume that my little ones are extra smart because they began reading at age 3.  I don't think they are any smarter than the average child, but I did teach them the sounds that each letter makes and with that knowledge and a little coaching they can begin to read.
    • I know that each child is different, I am just trying to illustrate the point of purposely preparing your children in any arena of life.

  •  Ms. Wise talks about filling her children's heads with facts when they were little, keeping books everywhere, and having them memorize lots of information.

    • This is the essence of the grammar stage.  We all know that kids are like sponges, soaking in everything they can (the good and the bad).  We might as well take advantage of this and fill their minds with lots of great information!
    • My family could definitely make strides in this area.  My kids (my son especially) spends a lot of time reading and looking at books, but also too much time watching TV (actually desiring to watch TV).
    • We have made memorization a key part of our school day, but I think we have been doing it in more of a Charlotte Mason way (not that that is bad!), memorizing Bible verses and poetry.  I want to start adding all sorts of other facts into our memory box starting this summer.

  • "I was the best teacher my children could possibly have had because I was their parent." (page 9)
    • I heard someone else say this before and it really stuck with me.  What a great encouragement to remember that God made us perfect for our children and our children perfect for us.  Now, that's not to say that anything is going be easy =)

  • "Children need friends.  Children do not need to be surrounded by the large groups of peers who inevitably follow the strongest personality in the crowd." (page 10)
    • Yes!  I agree wholeheartedly.  I think anyone who homeschools believes this.


Chapter 2: A Personal Look At Classical Education


This chapter is written by Ms. Bauer  and gives us an overview of what classical education is and how it looked in her life.  Here are some of my thoughts on the chapter.  Please feel free to respond or share your own thoughts in the comments below!

  • Classical education is language centered, not image centered.

    • I often find myself bothered by all the computer/e-reader learning that is being promoted, and even all the traditional texts that are full of catchy pictures but empty of much content.
    • On the flip-side, I often find myself drawn to the plain, little old books like the McGuffey Readers and Ray's Arithmetic for teaching my kids.  I love that they are filled with content and not with distractions from the content.
    • I toy around with the idea of getting rid of our TV completely, but also know that the TV is not the problem, I am the one that turns it on!  It's just such a temptation for the kids (who don't turn it on themselves without asking, but boy do they ask!)  Do you have a TV?  How do you deal with using it wisely and/or limiting its use?

  •  Ms. Bauer talks us through the three stages of the trivium:

    • Grammar Stage - absorption of facts
    • Logic Stage - criticism and analysis
    • Rhetoric Stage - express conclusions clearly with force, elegance, and originality
    • Also, that through all three stages, history is studied chronologically with other subjects linked to the history 'spine.'  I like the chart that she has on page 16 showing how science is tied into each history period. (I just realized that I'm reading the 2004 edition, so my pages might be different than yours.)

  •  "Rigorous study developes virtue in the student: the ability to act in accordance to what one knows to be right.  Virtuous men (or women) can force themselves to do what they know is right, even when it runs against their inclinations.  Classical education continually asks a student to work agains her baser tendencies (laziness or the desire to watch another half hour of TV) in order to reach a goal - mastery of a subject."  (page 17)
    • This is something that I really desire for my children (and myself!)  I want them to know how to make good decisions even when they don't feel like it.  Hopefully continuing in the classical model will help with this!
    • Aside from education, this is what being a Christian is about.  We continually need to put off our sinful desires (even those of pride, laziness, selfishness, etc.) and choose to do what is right.  I had never thought of that in the context of classical education, but I suppose that is part of why I am drawn to it (although I'm sure there are many Biblical applications in other methods of schooling as well).


So there are some of my thoughts and some quotes that I especially liked from these first two chapters.  Did you read this book last week?  Do you remember reading it in the past?  What are some of your thoughts?




In case you'd like to prepare, next week we will be discussing chapters 3 and 4, which talk about preschool and kindergarten.  If you don't have the book already, you can look for it at your library or get it on amazon (The Well Trained Mind.) affiliate link



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up


Did you write about these chapters on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read! 

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Old Testament Days and Classical Kids Activity Books

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I was not compensated in any way for this review, but there are affiliate links.  I am telling you about these books because I love them and use them often in my homeschool

An activity of any kind is sure to bring life to your child's studies.  Often, we will be reading a book and I can just tell that my son doesn't truly understand what I'm talking about =)  When material is new, it is understandable that there would be questions.

We have been learning about ancient times this year, and that can be really difficult for young kids.  Of course they are great at memorizing facts and answering questions, but kids just assume that everyone has been just like them so conveying to them how other people lived can take a bit of work.




Two resources that we have used this year to help my children understand what life was really like thousands of years ago are Old Testament Days and Classical Kids.  They are activity books that each have around 100 ideas/activities to do with your children pertaining to ancient times.

Visit The Curriculum Choice to read the rest of my review!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #59

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.

I was excited to see so many new faces last week (not that I don't love all the familiar faces)!  It is always great to find new like-minded homeschool blogs.  I hope you enjoyed them too!  As a matter of fact, both the featured post and the most viewed post from last week are both new contributors. 


Featured Post


And Here We Go! - Our Homeschooling AdventuresSometimes I like to feature post about specific topics, or activities to go along with a specific time period, etc.  Other times I read one of your posts that is about classical homeschooling in general that encourages me afresh and reminds me why I have chosen to teach my children this way.  That is how I felt when I read Melody's post Why Home-Chentered, Classical Christian? over at And Here We Go!  She breaks down each of the terms in the post title, shares why a classical education is so important, and gives us lots of great quotes to mull over.  If you are new to classical education or if you have been traveling down this road for years, I am sure you will be encouraged by this post!


Most Clicked-On Post from Last Week 



The most clicked on post from last week was Homeschooling with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers in the House from The Crafty Homeschool Mama.  I loved reading this post and found myself nodding along as I read.


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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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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Friday, May 24, 2013

Classical Mamas Read - Book Club

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I would love to say that I read a lot, but I don't.  Well, I do, but it is pretty much exclusively to my children.  While I get a good dose of quality children's literature each day, I always feel like I should be stimulating my mind and learning to take great pleasure in reading books myself.  There are so many books that I would love to read whether they be literature, religious, homeschool related, etc., but I never seem to stick to reading any of them.


 This post has affiliate links for a great book that I would love for you to read along with me!

 

Calling all Mamas who Want to Read!


With summer approaching, I know that my kids and I will be spending a lot of time outside.  Besides playing and learning alongside of them (which I will do plenty of!) I have been trying to think what I could do out there while I watch them.  I do not have any portable electronic gadgets that would allow me to surf the internet, work on this blog, create copywork, etc., so I got to thinking that this summer would be a great time to commit to reading a book (or two)!

I thought that some of you might be similar to me and might be interested in reading along with me!  I am going to be reading The Well Trained Mind.  I am embarrassed to say that I have not read this before, and I am very excited to begin!  You do not have to read the same book as I am, but I would love it if you did!  If you do, or if you have read it in the past, I hope that we can have a good dialogue about some of the chapters. 


How the Book Club Will Work


Each Friday I will have a post with my thoughts concerning a portion of a book.  My desire is to focus on books that would appeal, encourage, and inspire moms who teach their children using classical education, but you do not have to be like me to enjoy and participate in this!  I am choosing to begin with The Well Trained Mind because I know it is something I really need to read, and I think many of you have either read it or should read it too =)  I picked up a copy at my library, so if you do not own the book, check to see if yours has it!

If there is interest, I would love to have a link-up each week for anyone to share a post they have written about The Well Trained Mind or any book they have been reading themselves (not to their kids!)


What do you think?


  • If not, will you commit to reading something for yourself this summer? 
  • Would you like to discuss this book with me and others?
  • Would you write your thoughts about The Well Trained Mind or whatever book you are reading on your blog and link up here?

 

Classical mamas, are you ready to read?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #58

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.


Featured Post



Today I am featuring Creating Presidential Reports for Early Elementary Students from Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom.  I loved her post because we are doing very much the same thing over here these days.  I think that  having a child express what they learned in a composition of their own (as opposed to filling out a worksheet or taking a multiple choice quiz) is so effective and gratifying for the child.  You can see one way that I'm doing this with my son in my post Help Your Child Capture the Story.

A great tool to have your children use for this is notebooking pages.  I want to take a quick minute to tell you about a great facebook party that is going on tonight for the company, NotebookingPages.com.   They are celebrating their 7th year in business and want to celebrate with all kinds of giveaways, freebies, and discounts!  They are having a facebook party TONIGHT from 9-10pm and would love for you to be there.  I'll be there =)



Most Clicked-On Post from Last Week 


The most clicked on post from last week was Why My 8 Year Old Loves His Latin Curriculum from Intoxicated on Life.  This post was simply a video of Trisha's son talking about Visual Latin, and reading to us some of what he has learned!  I thought it was great!


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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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, May 20, 2013

Introducing A Plan in Place, Customized Planners

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Today I am excited to share with you one of my new sponsors this month!  A Plan in Place is a great company that sells customized planners for homeschool families.  That's right, you get to decide exactly what you want in your planner, but you don't have to spend hours trying to format and print your own.  My son and I are using their Early Learner planner right now and we are both loving it!  Here is a few words from the kind ladies at A Plan in Place...
___________________________________________________________________________________________

We are excited to introduce ourselves to the readers of Living and Learning at Home!  We are the founders and co-writers of A Plan in Place, Customized Planners for Homeschool Families.  First and foremost, we are ourselves homeschool moms!  Combined, we are homeschooling six kids from pre-school to 6th grade.

A few years ago, we were searching for the perfect planner to organize our homeschool and make our days run more smoothly, but after researching the available options, we could not find anything that would meet our individual needs.  Being homeschool moms, we are used to doing things our own way and we bet you are, too!  We started A Plan in Place with that vision in mind.

Watch this video to see how we can help you put 'A Plan in Place' for your upcoming homeschool year!




Kim Lopez & Suzie Doeren



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Simple Spiral Binding Machine - My New Favorite Tool

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I am absolutely in love with a tool I got a few months ago.  It's a spiral binding machine.  Seriously, I love it.  I've been going a little crazy and binding everything in site!

I am not being compensated in any way for telling you about this (although these are amazon affiliate links, so I could potentially make about 50 cents if you buy it ).  I bought the Carl Brands Ring Binding System with my own money and I want to tell you about it because I LOVE it (oh, did I already say that?!)

It all started when I got the Young Reader curriculum CD from Heritage History.  I love using living books for teaching my kids, and love the clean formatting that Heritage History brings to these old books.  The only problem is that they are best used in ebook format.  They can also be printed out, but I found myself printing out pages and then misplacing them.  I knew I wanted to make these wonderful stories into books, but I didn't know the best way to do it.  I looked into many different forms of book binding, and finally found the Carl Brands Ring Binding System.   At less than $20, it was a perfect match between price and a great final product!


What kind of things can you bind?


Since I got the binding system, I've gone a little book-binding-crazy!  I've been making books out of just about anything I can get my hands on =)  Here are some of the books I've put together:


How the Binding Machine Works


When I was trying to figure out which binding system to go with, something I really wanted was to see them in action to help me decide.  I thought it might be helpful for you to see how this spiral binding machine works.  I'm not great with videos, but hopefully these will help you get a feel for how it works in case you are looking to make some books too!

This first video is a close up of how the binder actually works:




This second video is so you can get an idea of the whole process and how long it takes to put a small book together:




 Highlights of the binder:

  • punches holes into the paper 
  • you turn the coil through the holes to make the book
  • punch up to 5 pages at a time
  • punch any size paper (up to 12 inches)
  • punch locks into the strip to ensure perfectly placed holes
  • coils come in many sizes to accommodate different book thicknesses
 
If you are looking for a way to preserve your children's work, make notebooks for schoolwork, or make physical books out of ebooks (and not break the bank!) I encourage you to give the Carl Brands Ring Binding System  a try!  Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you figure out if it would suit your needs.

Happy Book Binding!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #57

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.


Featured Post




Today I am featuring Stacks of Books from As He Leads is Joy.  I chose this post because she shares with us a book list that she has been using that I have loved for a long time.  If you didn't see it last week, take a minute to find out what it is!  I love it because it breaks down books into types and levels, making it easy to find books that are perfect for your child.


Most Clicked-On Post from Last Week




This most clicked on link from last week was this Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft to go along with the great children's book!  If you have little ones, head on over to see the craft and get the free printable to go along with it!


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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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, May 13, 2013

10 Tips for Reading with Your Child

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Today I have a special post for you!  It is from the creator of My Book Boost (one of the lovely sponsors of Living and Learning at Home  Enjoy!


Hi all! My name is Carrie Lane, creator of the My Book Boost list. I'm excited to be doing this guest post on Living and Learning at Home! Here is just a little bit about myself. I began teaching kids to read when I was a reading tutor in college in 1997. Over the years, working with kids as they're just beginning to read has always been my favorite part of teaching. Now I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I get to experience this special stage with my own kids. I put together some tips for reading with kids that I've personally found helpful.


10 of my Favorite Tips for Reading with Your Child:


  • Let them choose between a couple of different books to read to you. They'll feel more invested in the process if they're able to decide which book they're most interested in reading.

  • Try to find a time for them to practice reading when they’re not in the middle of doing something else. If you see they've just finished with something, that may be a good time to ask if they want to read a book to you.

  • Have your child read easy books over and over (especially if they really enjoy a particular book). This will help them become a confident reader.

  • Try not to jump in right away if they get stuck on a word. Give them time to try to work it out so they don't rely on you too much.

  • If they are stuck on a word for awhile, suggest they try to skip the word and come back to it after reading to the end of the sentence. Sometimes they can figure out the word by using the context clues when skipping and coming back.

  • Join in and read with them at the same time if the book seems way too hard. This will give them the support they need.

  • Mention to your child that many words can be sounded out, but some just can't (for example, the word "two"). Sometimes it helps for them to hear that.

  • If you're reading a book together, verbalize thoughts that you’re having as you’re reading the book so your child can see a model of how someone might react to what they’re reading. “Oh, what happened there? Let me reread that.” Or "That was surprising! Did you think they would do that?"

  • Make sure the books they read aren’t too hard or your child may get frustrated. If they’re missing more than 1 out of 10 words in the book, try to find easier texts for them and/or see if they can pick out "just right" texts for themselves.

  • Ask your child meaningful questions about the story before, during, and after reading. If you try out the My Book Boost list, you will find two questions for each book included in the download. The questions have a lot of variety to practice comprehension skills, especially literal and inferencing questions.
 

What tip would you add to this list?



Hopefully the above tips will give you at least one idea to try with your child.
If you would like to save time when it comes to finding great books for your beginning reader to read, the My Book Boost list is a wonderful tool. The list starts with the most basic of books and gradually increases in difficulty.

Quiz: Is My Book Boost a good fit for you?


  •  Do you have access to a library where you could check out books regularly?
  • Do you have a child who is beginning to read?
  • Do you want to make sure your Preschooler, Kindergartener, or 1st grader doesn't lose too much over the summer?
  • Do you like high quality books with a variety of authors and illustrators?
  • Do you have a child who is working to master the Kindergarten or 1st grade reading level?

If you answered “yes” to 4 or more of the questions, My Book Boost is most likely a good fit for you! See the website www.mybookboost.com for more information!

Nevertheless, happy, happy reading!

~Carrie


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trivium Tuesdays-Classical Link-Up #56

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.


Featured Post


With the beautiful weather here (where we are at least!) and lots of outdoor exploring time, the post Young Naturalists in the Classical Home from Sharra at Homeschool Mosaics really caught my attention.  She shares bits of wisdom from Charlotte Mason and talks about the importance of letting your kids engage with nature.  She gives lots of ideas for topics that can be studied out of doors.  We've been doing a lot of this over the past couple of weeks, but I know that I could stand to learn more =)  Do you make exploring and observing outdoors with your kids a priority?



Most Clicked-On Post from Last Week 

 


Many of you were talking about Classical Conversations last week!  The most clicked on post from last week was Classical Conversations, FAQ's from The Sierra Home Companion.  This post is part one of a series she has on the topic.  If you are wondering about Classical Converstaions, make sure you check it out!

 

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 place my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) on your blog post so others can learn about this link-up!
  • 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, May 6, 2013

Help Your Child Capture the Story: First Grade Book Report Pages

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This post may contain an affiliate link to a product that I love!

A few weeks ago I shared with you how I made my daughter's writing notebook, and today I want to show you a book I made for my son!  I'm a little obsessed with book binding right now, using my new favorite tool =)

My 4 year old son is a great little reader, but he often lacks confidence in his abilities.  When I have him read to me for part of his school time, he does great, and he often sits and looks at books on his own, but I never really know if he is reading them or just looking at the pictures.  Since he doesn't nap anymore, I give him quiet time where he can read and rest for an hour or so.  I wanted to come up with a way to make sure that he was actually reading (and not just looking at) the books for at least some of this time.  So, I decided to make him a handy dandy book! 


Trevor's Story Journal


I created two lined pages (you can get them for free at Classical Copywork), one with just lines and the other with lines and a pictures box.  I printed them back to back and put them together in a book.  You would not have to bind them, but I just wanted an excuse to use my book binder again!

I made a personalized cover with lines to record the books that he completes.  My desire for this notebook is for him to read early reader chapter books, which usually have about 4 chapters in them.  Each time he completes a book, I write it down.



On the first page, he writes down any words he does not know how to read.  You could also have your child record any words that they do not know the meaning to, any questions they have about what they read, etc.  On the second page, he draws a picture of something that happened in the chapter and then writes a sentence summarizing the chapter.  Keep in mind that he is four years old.  I am not expecting great drawings (but it's good practice because he doesn't draw on his own very often) or wonderful sentences.  I am just looking to see that he remembers something about what he read and that grows in his ability to form good, complete thoughts.  I love keeping these kind of things in a notebook because it's so easy to look back and see progress!




Benefits of a Book Report


When I take a look at this after he does it, it is easy for me to see which words he is struggling with reading, which words he is struggling to spell, if he is remembering to capitalize sentences and end them with periods, etc.

For example, in the picture above, he had read chapter 1 from Tigger Comes to the Forest.  Here is what I learned from looking at his 'book report.'

  • He needs help spelling the words:
    • unwind
    • ceiling
  • He needs more practice spelling the words:
    • wanted
    • check
    • someone
    • stolen
    • honey
  • He needs to be reminded about:
    • capitalizing the beginning of sentences (and not the beginning of a new line)
    • putting a period at the end of sentences
  •  He is doing well at:
    • making his letters the correct size for the line
    • putting spaces between his words
    • summarizing a part of a story

In case you couldn't read it from the picture (I really need a better camera!) here is what he wrote:

Once upon a time Pooh Was in bed he wantid to chec to see if samwan had stolin his hane.

Here is a close up of another page he has done (after reading Gus and Grandpa and the Two Wheeled Bike):


Gus rod his old old bic then he got a noo bic  it wus shiny Gren.  he crasht it.

He does not do this every day during rest time, but often he does.  He is always so proud to come and show me what he drew and read me what he wrote!  I love that it is an aspect of school that he can do independently and without really even feeling like 'school.'

Don't forget!  You can download these pages for free at Classical Copywork.




Thursday, May 2, 2013

enJoy Movies Your Way Winners!

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Did you see my review of enJoy Movies Your Way last week?  Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for a 2-month subscription!  This is a product that can really let families be able to enjoy entertainment together again, and I'm excited that many of you are ready to do that!  Are you ready to hear who won?


Audrey S.

Michelle C.

Mary P.

Trisha G.

Danielle M.



Congrats ladies!  I hope you enjoy turning your movies into exactly what you want them to be for your families!  (The winners have been emailed.)


How can you get enJoy Movies Your Way?


If you didn't win, don't worry because enJoy Movies Your Way is so reasonably priced that you can begin editing your DVDs right away without breaking the bank =)  Take a look at all the details of their Subscription Plans, but here is the gist of it:

  • Standard Subscription - $2/month or $17/year
  • Premium Subscription - $3/month or $22/year

If you have any questions, please let me know or check out my review!



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

iBlog - Everything You Need to Know to Start a Blog or Make Yours Great!

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I am so excited to share this fabulous resource with you!  If you are thinking of starting a blog, are a newbie blogger, or are an experienced blogger who just wants to make their blog great, this is the book for you!

I have teamed with 29 other top bloggers to share with you the ins and outs of building your blog.  I am so impressed with all of the useful and inspiring information shared in the book and I know you will be too. 

This amazing 'owner's manual' for blogging is just shy of 400 pages long and covers everything from blog design to making money from your blog.  This is an e-book that you will reference time and time again, finding new instruction and motivation each time for making your blog better.

The other contributors and I have all spent countless hours in trial and error learning how to build our blogs, and we want to share what we have learned with you!  For just $7.99 you can have this amazing resource at your fingertips to turn to each time you have a blogging question (instead of searching for hours in hopes of finding your answer somewhere on the internet).


What Will I Learn from iBlog?


Speaking of blogging questions, if you have asked yourself any of these, this book is for you!

  • How do I take better photos for my blog?
  • What is the secret to balancing motherhood, marriage, and blogging?
  • What is the best way to write a product review?
  • What is an elevator pitch and why do I need one?
  • How can I make the most of SEO?
  • How can I get more traffic to my blog? 
  • Are link-ups worth the effort?
  • What is a media kit and how do I create one?
  • Is guest posting important?
  • How can I use social media to benefit my blog?
  • How can I sell my own products on my blog?
  • Can I really earn money from affiliate programs?

Want to know more?  Take a look at the complete table of contents!


How do I get iBlog?


iBlog is a digital product in PDF format.  You can read it on your computer, iPad, smart phone, or any other device that can read PDFs.