Catching You Up~ Update from FINCHNWREN

Hi darlings!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately.  I apologize!  I am continuing to heal from the chemotherapy (for new readers, the short story is I had an ovarian cancer tumor removed and a summer/fall of chemo).  I am really feeling better each month as my body heals from everything.  But I haven’t done much on the blog in the past few weeks.  I haven’t forgotten it, though, or you!

So, since it’s spring break (yay!) and I have a moment to share with you, I wanted to update you on some happenings in our lives for the past couple of months.

 

Our weekend getaway

 

 

We don’t have a LEGO store near us (well, yes, we can shop for LEGO at Walmart/Target but we don’t have the full-blown experience of an actual LEGO store).  But earlier this month, we went on an overnight trip to a bigger city that does!  And of course we had to visit a mall that has a LEGO store.  We wandered around happily there for (seriously) about an hour, then my son spent some birthday money on some new sets.

 

 

 

I even got to do a little girly shopping at a cute boutique!  Even though it’s definitely still winter-ish here, I picked up this top for spring and summer.  I love empire waists in both dresses and shirts and I fell in love with this one.  Can’t wait to wear it with some jeans or shorts.

 

 

We also took our son to Dave & Buster’s.  I have to admit; I am not the huge gamer in the family.  So there wasn’t a lot that I did while we were there besides Skee-Ball.  The guys played Star Wars games, racing games, etc.  But!  I happened to discover a Donkey Kong game!  That was my favorite game to play in college.  So I got to play a few rounds on that.  Sadly my skills have hugely declined over the years.  But it was fun.  🙂

 

In homeschool

Homeschool in high school looks a lot different than it did during our elementary years.  We’re focusing on making sure that Jackson gets the courses completed for his high school transcript that he needs for college applications.  So this year we’re working on history, literature, grammar, foreign language, math, biology/lab, Bible, and some computer programming.

I am SO thankful that Jackson has been able to take his high school biology and lab from Bridgeway Academy.  His teacher is fantastic, we’re using the Apologia biology textbook and I love that he gets to interact online with fellow students.  We have gotten to the portion of the textbook that focuses on the animal kingdom (from microscopic on up).

And that means…dissection.

I have to tell you that my high school biology course (also in 10th grade, in public school in a great school system) did ONE dissection.  Jackson has already done THREE.  And there are at least 4 more to go; perch, cow eye, frog, fetal pig.  (I wish I could tell you that the last two didn’t horrify me…but they do.  But I’m not telling Jackson!  I’ll just be there standing by supportively while he does the dissecting while keeping my opinions to myself.)  He has already dissected the earthworm, the crayfish, and the grasshopper.  We are learning a LOT.

Here’s a picture of some of the tools from his dissection kit.  Check back in May for pictures of the actual dissections!

 

 

Jackson and I also participate in our local homeschool coop.  He takes a drama class and I teach an art class for elementary students.  It has been a good semester.  There have been some different types of challenges for me as a teacher but some wonderful experiences as well.

 

 

I was planning to share with you about what I’m eating these days; about my new drawing adventure; and about a neat blogging event I got to attend last week.  But I think that this post is already long enough.  So perhaps I’ll get to mention those a little later!  🙂

I hope you are all having a wonderful spring break/end of March.  Thank you for reading!

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

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New Bridgeway Academy Classes for 2018-2019 ~ Plus Coupon Code!

Readers of the FINCHNWREN blog know that Jackson is taking a two-semester high school biology course (Apologia Biology) through Bridgeway Academy.  You also know that the class has been incredibly good.

 

 

 

But, did you know that your child can register for 2018-19 Live Online Learning Lab from Bridgeway Academy as of February 15th?  Whether your student is brand-new to homeschooling or an experienced homeschool student; and whether he or she is an elementary, middle-school, or high school student, there are fantastic courses for your learner.

 

  • For elementary students – choose from topics like art, robotics, classic novels, Magic Tree House based history, science and more
  • In middle school – select from enrichment classes in game design, creative writing, archaeology, cartooning, geography and more to full year courses in the critical subjects
  • High school students can take courses on in any of the core subjects (language arts, history, science and math), plus select from plenty of elective options which include Spanish, music, art, personal finance, and debate, to name just a few

 

And new for this 2018-19 school year, Bridgeway Academy is introducing the “Author in Your House” series of courses where your student can learn from the best-selling author of books for all ages and humor columnist, Renee Brumbaugh Green!

 

Perhaps you’re looking for something to liven up your homeschool days; or perhaps you’re just experiencing the winter doldrums as a teacher.  Bridgeway Academy could be the answer to bring fun online learning to your homeschool!  Classes are taught by experienced and certified teachers, and students have the opportunity to interact online with other homeschool peers as they learn together.

 

I’d like to share with you just a few additional reasons why we have found this Bridgeway Academy biology experience to be so rewarding.  Jackson has learned so much from his excellent science teacher.  He has had the opportunity to interact online during class with students from all over the United States.  And in addition, I’ve also had the privilege of seeing him grow as he is challenged to do his best.  This biology course is building skills in my son that will prepare him for life and college.  As a homeschool mom, I couldn’t have asked for more!

 

 

Enrollment in 2018-19 courses begins now and FinchNWren is excited to be able to offer our followers an exclusive 10% off on each individual course* purchased between February 15th and March 8th!

 

View course information for the new school year and use coupon code WREN18 to save!

Be sure to hop over to Bridgeway Academy for more information.

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

Your Chance to Win An Amazing Mom’s Back-to-School Goody Bag from FINCHNWREN and Bridgeway Academy! (Valued at over $120)

I am absolutely thrilled to bring you my newest giveaway, courtesy of FINCHNWREN and the fabulous Bridgeway Academy.  Read on to learn more and enter to win this amazing Mom’s Back-to-School Goody Bag!  (Look below for a complete listing of everything one winner will receive!)

 

 

This year, my son Jackson begins his sophomore year in high school.  Since he’s a 10th grader this year, we had already planned for him to take biology plus a biology lab in order to appropriately prepare him for college.  Imagine our surprise and delight when we were contacted by Bridgeway Academy, who offered us the opportunity for Jackson to take and for me to review one of their online classes; one of which was the Apologia Biology course we were already considering!  I’d like to share more with you about that class and how we’ll all be working together, along with an incredibly generous coupon code that Bridgeway Academy is offering to all FINCHNWREN readers!

 

Why Do We Love Bridgeway Academy?

 

Four years ago, we were selected to review Bridgeway Academy’s Fun with Science:  Marine Biology, an online class designed for elementary and middle school students.  It was exciting, fascinating, and captivating (to both parent AND child!); taught by an experienced certified science teacher; and included unusual projects and assignments for the students in addition to the weekly online web sessions.  “Incredible” sounds like a weak word to describe it…is there such a word as “mega-incredible?”

 

 

Out of the 13 years I have homeschooled Jackson, this 8-week Marine Biology class from Bridgeway Academy remains one of our all-time favorite homeschool experiences.  It was challenging yet approachable; truly fascinating not only in the online class time but in each week’s individual assignment; and so enjoyable while Jackson was rapidly absorbing a marine science education.  It became the standard for the way we measured many of our homeschool classes (not only the science ones!).  There has never been anything else quite like it.

 

What is Bridgeway Academy?

 

Bridgeway Academy is an online educational provider that we’ve long admired.  They provide accredited courses, taught online by qualified educational professionals and teachers, which are both academically excellent and interesting to homeschool students.  Classes are offered for students in preschool or kindergarten all the way through 12th grade, and over 25,000 students have participated in Bridgeway Academy classes from 1989 on.  And 83% of Bridgeway Academy students proceed to their first choice college!

 

 

Courses are available in a myriad of subjects, from math and art, to science and geography, language arts, reading, literature, and social studies; and that’s without even delving into electives (like business, life skills, health, humanities, and more!).  Suffice it to say that a parent could enroll students in an entire homeschool class schedule covering everything necessary for one year’s education in K-12, or simply choose one or a few courses to round out what’s already being taught at home.  Regardless of the homeschool path chosen, parents can be certain that their students will experience excellence in the classes they take.

 

Bridgeway Academy’s High School Biology

Jackson is enrolled in Bridgeway Academy’s FYC Biology Course w/Lab for the 2017-2018 school year.  This Learning Lab course uses the Apologia Biology textbook, along with Bridgeway Academy’s own Biology Lab Kit, and the course provides 1.5 credits upon completion.  It will be taught online by a Bridgeway Academy instructor, and meets weekly starting in early September and continues (with a break in December/early January) through May, when the class concludes.

 

Both Jackson and I are so excited about this incredible opportunity.  He has always been interested in science and our own worldview aligns beautifully with Apologia’s, so we’re really happy about the textbook choice.  I am interested in science myself, but it is not my greatest area of strength, so I am pleased to have the chance for Jackson to be taught by an expert in the field as he studies high school biology.  Plus, our experience with Bridgeway Academy has been so exceptional that we believe this will be another amazing year!

 

From Bridgeway Academy, a generous coupon you can use

 

Bridgeway Academy has a wonderful offer for you.  They are providing a coupon code for 20% off one (or even more than one!) Bridgeway Academy Learning Lab course of any kind.  The courses can be trimester, semester, or a full year in length.  (The coupon does not apply to lab kits or textbook sets, just courses only.)  This coupon expires on August 30, 2017.

 

So, head on over to Bridgeway Academy and use the coupon code FINCH20 to receive 20% off the price of their amazing Live Online courses.  This is their very best offer ever, so don’t miss the chance to take advantage of it!

 

And, now, the Mom’s Back-to-School Goody Bag giveaway for you to enter!

One winner will receive ALL of the following, with a grand total of over $120–tons of fun prizes to help you start off your school year.

  • A Learning Styles Assessment from Bridgeway Academy
  • A Bridgeway Academy Travel Mug
  • A  Bridgeway Academy T-Shirt (size L)
  • A Dinosaur Bulletin Board Set (includes Spanish dino names!)
  • U.S.A. Bingo Game from Trend Enterprises, Inc.
  • Dubble Bubble Journal
  • “Read to SUCCEED!” kids’ bookmark set (classroom pack)
  • Staples Pencil Cap Erasers package
  • Butterfly sticky notes
  • Ladybug Lenticular Stickers
  • Grow in Water Gecko toy
  • Renewing Minds Magnetic Bookmarks (for mom)

Just enter below by clicking the pink “Enter Here!” link.  That will take you to the Giveaway Tools entry form.  Giveaway will close on August 30, 2017 at 11:59PM.  Best wishes!

Enter here!

 

Be sure to visit Bridgeway Academy at their social media sites:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/HomeschoolingHelp

Twitter- https://twitter.com/bridgewayvoice/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/bridgewayacademy/

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/user/bwacademy

Blog- http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/blog/

We’ll be sharing with you over the year more about our experiences with Apologia Biology and Bridgeway Academy, so be sure to stop back by to see more about our homeschool life and science.

 

DISCLOSURE:

From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinions, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

The prizes for the Mom’s Back-to-School Goody Bag Giveaway were provided by Bridgeway Academy and FINCHNWREN, and will be shipped to the winner by Bridgeway Academy.  Winner will be chosen and will have 48 hours to respond via email with his or her name and physical mailing address.  If the winner does not respond within that time period, the winning entry will be disqualified and a new winner chosen.

 

Enjoy!  –Wren

Art, Coloring, and Cursive? My Review of THE ART OF CURSIVELOGIC

Readers of the finchnwren blog might remember that we’ve reviewed CursiveLogic’s quality curriculum before.  Designed for both children and adult learners (even those who’ve never written in cursive before), their handwriting lessons are logical, understandable, and easy to follow for both instructors and learners alike.  Now, CursiveLogic has an incredible new product that I’m very excited to tell you about: The Art of CursiveLogic.  CursiveLogic sent me a free sample of this gorgeous new book to review.  And yes, it’s as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the cover!

 

Cursive Logic’s unique method…

is something that is designed to help students understand the way cursive works, and to be able to reproduce cursive letters successfully, based on these precepts:

  1. Grouping letters together by shape:  Instead of teaching each letter alone, CursiveLogic teaches about groups of letters which are shaped in similar ways
  2. Teaching a group’s letters in “strings”:  Students learn to connect letters together right away as they work on the letters in a group
  3. Using color to “code” letter strings:  Students are helped to remember the letters in a grouping because they’re all in the same color
  4. Mnemonic phrases to teach letter groupings:  Students learn rhymes for each string so that they can remember how to form the letters
  5. Students are encouraged because even by the end of the first lesson, they can write real words by using the CursiveLogic process

(You can read about our experiences with CursiveLogic in my review at this link.)

Now, CursiveLogic has taken these methods and incorporated them into a combination cursive writing program AND a gorgeous art coloring book!

For anyone who’s loving the current wave of coloring books for adults…

and would also like to practice or learn cursive, The Art of CursiveLogic is a truly beautiful and effective purchase!  (You can preorder this book via the link in the previous sentence; orders are expected to be shipped in May 2017.)

Adults or teens who need to practice their cursive, or really who’ve never actually learned cursive, will love this book.  CursiveLogic employs its effective teaching process (listed above) to enable students to practice and learn cursive quickly and logically.  The Art of CursiveLogic has the additional bonus of providing not only coloring pages (that are real works of art themselves), but coloring pages which incorporate cursive letters in them as part of the decoration.  It’s pretty astonishing!  You can see in the picture above a segment of the page I colored.  It’s from a decorative artsy page featuring a quote from Vincent Van Gogh.  (You can also tell that he’s being featured on this page because of the swirly nature of the drawing, CursiveLogic’s take on “Starry Night.”)  You can see that, tucked in among and actually becoming part of the art itself, CursiveLogic’s cursive letters are everywhere.

How I used The Art of Cursive Logic

I know that I can always work on improving my handwriting.  But really…as an adult/wife/mom/homeschooler/art teacher/reviewer, where I am going to find the time to work on my cursive?  Probably nowhere.

But.

When I received the sample of The Art of CursiveLogic, I absolutely fell in love.  No, I may not have time to sit down and purposely work on my handwriting.  In my leisure moments, that’s probably not what I’m going to choose to do.  But sitting down with my colored pencils and other art supplies, to create art using an astonishingly beautiful coloring book that will also help my handwriting?  That’s a definite yes!

As I mentioned before, we’ve done a few reviews for CursiveLogic.  I have the highest respect for the company and the work they do, and the way their curriculum really does work with students of all ages.  So when CursiveLogic offered to send me a sample of The Art of CursiveLogic, I was happy to try it out for them and share what we thought with our readers.  I knew to expect excellence.  But I didn’t expect to get truly blown away by incredible art coloring pages that I, myself, could use and delight in!

The sample book that CursiveLogic sent me has their time-tested instructional pages for the cursive alphabet.  But it also has 4 coloring pages that are designed around a particular quote plus a bonus one on the back inside cover that’s design-only.  (Obviously, the complete book will have many more than that!)  The coloring pages are fairly intricate (meaning that you won’t complete it in one sitting, perhaps) but all use cursive lettering as part of the art.  Both the art and the quotes are uplifting.  I always came away happy and encouraged after working on a page!

I’ve only used my colored pencils in The Art of CursiveLogic, and they worked well.  The paper is high-quality and accepts color quite richly.  You might be able to use oil pastels as well.

 

Where can you find The Art of CursiveLogic?

Simply click through this link The Art of CursiveLogic to find the preorder page.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I have loved this so much that when someone asked what I’d like for a gift for International Women’s Day, I told them that I wanted The Art of CursiveLogic!  So I’ll also be receiving the complete copy of this fabulous coloring book when it’s sent out this May!

I’m so excited.  In the meantime, I’ll just be working on finishing the other coloring pages in my sample book!

I’m happy to recommend The Art of CursiveLogic to you.  (Clearly!)  If you’re:

  • an adult who loves to color and would like to practice cursive writing at the same time;
  • or if you’re a teen who needs handwriting practice;
  • or an adult or second-language learner who’s learning English cursive for the first time;
  • or you just love to color amazing art;

…then you’ll want to check out CursiveLogic‘s The Art of CursiveLogic!

 

 

You can download a free coloring page here…

by clicking on this Share The Art of CursiveLogic link and sharing on Facebook.  Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to download the bird coloring page to print and color.

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLAIMER:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

 

 

 

Physics 101 from The 101 Series ~ Our Review

We have just had the opportunity to use and review a quite captivating science course, complete with teaching videos:  Physics 101 from The 101 Series.  This was a brand-new way for us to experience science and we learned a ton while truly enjoying ourselves!   (You really have to love it when you can say that about schoolwork.)

physics-101-banner

The 101 Series

The 101 Series was created by Wes and Tammy Olson.  Homeschoolers themselves, the Olsons researched and created The 101 Series when they didn’t find high school science curricula that was just right for their family.  Wes Olson, who worked in corporate filmmaking for over 15 years, also has a deep interest in science.  Working together with scientific experts, Wes brings his own filmmaking expertise to produce excellent, understandable science from a Christian worldview.  The Olsons have produced three high school science curricula thus far:  Physics 101, Chemistry 101, and Biology 101.  (I understand from their website that they’re currently working on a general science curriculum as well!

 

 

 

physics-101-pic-1

The 101 Series’ Physics 101

Physics 101 is a 4-disc DVD set which contains 20 chapters of video material.  It’s designed for high school students, ages 15 and up (though my son is a bit younger than that and enjoyed and understood it well).  Each chapter, or lesson, teaches about a specific area of physics, in videos which last from 20-40 minutes apiece.  The video lessons are taught by Wes Olson, who’s an engaging and often funny teacher.  The chapters are divided into 7 different areas, with 1-3 lessons in each chapter, covering:

  • The Physics of Light
  • The Physics of Sound
  • The Physics of Heat
  • The Physics of Electricity
  • The Physics of Motion
  • The Physics of the Weird (hilarious, I know–but that’s really the section title!)
  • The Future of Physics

However, this DVD set is not only teaching videos.  One disc also contains a printable student guidebook, quizzes for each lesson, and a lesson plan for the teacher to use.  Students use the guidebook and the videos to create a physics notebook, complete experiments, do further research on various topics, and write papers on what they learn.  It’s an excellent program which utilizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning methods, as well as helping students refine their own research skills.

 

 

physics-101-pic-2How we used it

Physics is something that I always wish I had learned more about.  I have a decent background in optics—and while that is awesome, it still leaves out sound, motion, electricity, and heat.  (Probably more than that, but that’s what I am aware of at the moment!)  Anyway, I was very excited for us to use and review Physics 101, and my son Jackson (who’s 14) and I worked together on the various lessons.  The teachers’ plans for each segment are fantastic, and give clear instructions on how the student should complete each segment.  We simply followed those plans.  First, we’d watch the videos.  The student guidebook serves as a sort of textbook that goes along with the videos, and could either be used alongside the videos, or read after we viewed them.  There are discussion questions which will also deepen and expand the students’ understanding of the various physics lessons and applications.  Following that, we completed the labs (a.k.a. experiments) which are included in each segment.  Jackson then did the research and wrote essays on the topics listed (e.g., why is the sky blue?  Why is my face upside down in a spoon? etc.).  To close out the learning for each segment, students watch the teaching video once more and then take a quiz, which is included in the guidebook.

 

physics-101-pic-4Our experiences

I can sum them up in one word:

Wow!

Wes Olson takes the sometimes ephemeral truths and lessons about some non-tangible scientific principles—and makes them clear and understandable.  Really!  Did you ever think about how God created light first…but the sun wasn’t created until the 4th day of creation?  Hmm!  That’s very interesting, isn’t it?  And there is a scientific principle behind that that I have never, ever heard before.  I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you what it is, but I’ll give you a key word that might be in the answer:  electrons.

Or how about that sky that is so blue…what makes it that way?  (Hint: it’s not the oceans.)  Or why exactly are the things in your driver’s side rearview mirror closer than they appear?  There is a reason for that and it has to do with convex mirrors.  Or…why do oil and water refract things differently?

All of those questions can be answered by….physics!  And it is truly fascinating.  Jackson and I were amazed and so interested in the videos.  We always enjoy experiments, and I appreciated the way that all of the labs more deeply teach the principles taught in the videos.  Jackson says:  “He is a good person to be (teaching) it because he can add good humor to a situation.”  I think that might be my son’s way of saying that Mr. Olson makes physics both fun and fascinating, never dry or boring.

One thing in particular was a learning experience I believe my son had that was influenced by the great teaching on the videos (as well as the additional research he did on his own).  There were two times when we would be watching the video teaching when he made a leap of understanding; where he took the information that he was learning from the teaching video and was able to extrapolate, or draw further conclusions about scientific principles.  That was so exciting!

I also appreciated the extra research Jackson had to do.  Both websites and library books, or other reference materials, can be used for the research.  Jackson wrote his essays on the computer, then printed them for his notebook.

Physics 101 covers the equivalent of one year’s high school science study.  For our purposes it was very, very effective.

 

physics101

 

 

Where can you find The 101 Series?

You may purchase Physics 101 from The 101 Series, simply by clicking the links and heading over to the company’s site.  In fact, you may also purchase other excellent science curricula, like Chemistry 101 or Biology 101, from the same website.  Would you like to find out more about those other courses?  Many Crew members reviewed one of these three courses, and you can find out more about their experiences by clicking the banner below.

You can visit The 101 Series at their social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/the101series
Twitter: https://twitter.com/the101series/ @the101series
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/the101series/

Enjoy!  –Wren

Physics, Chemistry & Biology 101 {The 101 Series}Crew Disclaimer

Learning Calligraphy with “Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting” ~ My Experiences And Review

If there were ever a language arts curriculum that could be described as multi-purpose, it would be Everyday Education, LLC‘s Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting.  I have just had the great pleasure of reviewing this program in its digital version for the Homeschool Review Crew.  With it, I’ve been able to progress on a goal I’ve had for years; learning and perhaps more importantly, being able to successfully write in calligraphy italic!

 

everyday-ed-bannerWhat is Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting?

Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting is a program which can be used to teach children to read and to write.  It’s available in printed form, as an ebook, or in a combined form of print and ebook.  In 60 days, you can teach your children to read using this program!  And, as your children are learning to read with this resource, you’ll also be teaching them to write beautifully.  Because it’s based on phonics, even children as young as 4 or 5 can learn to read with their parents.  Or, if your older child needs some extra help with reading, Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting can strengthen his ability to utilize phonics and read more effectively.  This program can also not only teach children to write for the first time, but to learn to write more legibly or beautifully.  Or, as in my own case, it’s great for adults who wish to improve their handwriting by learning italic calligraphy.

The writing program starts with single italic letters written in a vertical format; then, progresses to writing in a slanted format; and lastly, to writing with the letters connected to one another.  If you’d like to see an actual lesson, you can download a PDF of lesson 31 from Everyday Education, LLC’s web page Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting.  Just click on that link and scroll down until you see the red download link, and you can see, download, and practice it for yourself.

 

 

everyday-ed-1How I used Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting

We are years past our times of learning to read in our homeschool.  However, when I discovered that Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting could also be used as a calligraphy learning program, I was thrilled!

Since we received a digital version of this program, I saved it to my computer and printed the first 59 pages (of 218) to start with, which I  placed in a folder. The handwriting program begins with italic handwriting written vertically, and starts with the vowels.  Because children are able to learn best when they look at what they’re writing, author Caroline Joy Adams provides examples of each letter at the top of each page, along with lines for handwriting practice.  This isn’t only helpful for children, though; it really enabled me to be able to form the italic letters!

I worked on one page at a time.  I used either a gel pen or a fine point Sharpie to practice my letters.  First, I’d trace the example letters in both upper case and lower case.  Then, I repeated those letters on the lines below.  Next, I’d continue to practice the letters on a separate blank sheet of handwriting paper (included in the ebook).  In addition to the first learning pages, which have generally two letters and several practice lines on each one, there are reference pages with the entire alphabet.  Later on there are pages with printed words to copy and practice, and sentences as well.  There are just a lot of practice pages for every level of the program.

 

 

everyday-ed-2What I thought about this program

This is the second time that I have tried calligraphy.  I bought a book years ago and tried to follow its directions.  But, I really never felt that I “got” its instruction well enough to feel that I was writing the letters beautifully or correctly.

This time—it has been completely different.  Caroline Joy Adams’ program is extremely simple and easy-to-follow…with almost immediate results!

I found the writing font fairly easy to master.  The most difficult letter was the letter A, which was the first one I attempted.  I don’t think it was difficult because the letter was challenging, but because it was teaching me the new method of writing and the new font.  Unlike normal writing, when I (as a right-hander) slant the paper to the left, I wrote on the paper as it was placed vertically on my writing surface (so that it was straight up and down, not slanted).

I haven’t mastered the entire alphabet yet.  I still require practice to shape the letters the same way each time I write them.  (I have, after all, been printing differently for many years!)  But once I have, the curriculum provides pages with actual letters and sentences, so that I may continue to improve and write more naturally.  Eventually, I’ll be able to progress to writing slanted letters, and then to connected italic letters (which will look more like cursive).

Although I haven’t always been a fan of printables in the past, I loved having Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting in digital form.  That way, I was always able to print additional practice pages when I needed a little more help on a letter.

I have found the entire process so enjoyable.  I love the font, I enjoy writing the letters, and I love that, as I continue to practice, I’ll gain the ability to write beautifully in calligraphy!  It’s also fun to have something to practice on during homeschool while my son works on his handwriting.

 

everyday-ed-3Where you can find Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting

You may purchase Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting from Everyday Education, LLC.  It’s very reasonably priced at $29.  I recommend it most definitely for anyone who’s interested in learning beautiful handwriting!  Other Crew members reviewed other curricula from Everyday Education, LLC, and you can read about their experiences by clicking on the banner below.  You may also visit Everyday Education, LLC at their social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/janicecampbell/
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinlit/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janicepcampbell
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JaniceCampbell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/everydayedu

 

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}Crew Disclaimer

“If You Were Me and Lived in…” Books by Carole P. Roman ~ A Review

 

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Recently we were blessed with some wonderful books to review!  Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com, the If You Were Me and Lived In…  series vividly opens worlds of the past to children.  We received four wonderful softcover books:

cp-roman-pic-1What are the If You Were Me and Lived In… books?

Author Carole P. Roman has created a wonderful collection of books for children in the If You Were Me and Lived In…  series.  In each one, the stories of life as it was in different parts of the world and in different historical eras are described as if she were talking to a child.  Even more interesting, she talks as if she were describing that child’s actual life in those historical times!  Bright and expressive illustrations accompany the text, and the daily life, foods, transportation, housing, and education are described in fascinating ways, so that the reader (or the child being read to) can experience what life was really like.

Carole P. Roman generously provided four books for us to use.  Let me tell you about them!

eliz-england-romanIf You Were Me and Lived in Elizabethan England

What was life like in under the rule of Elizabeth I of England, in 1578?  If you lived during this era, you lived in a rich and exciting–though challenging–time.  William Shakespeare was penning his exciting plays, Elizabeth I was a powerful and influential queen on the world stage, and both art and architecture were flourishing.  However, you might have been poor, rather than a wealthy ruler.  You might have cleaned homes for a living or grown up on a farm.  Or, you might have lived in London, which, while glamorous, was also quite dirty and sometimes dangerous!

How did you dress?  What kind of money did you have (or not have)?  How did you worship?  All of these questions are answered and accompanied by wonderful illustrations.  A glossary plus a listing of important people of Elizabeth I’s era round out the book.

 

am-west-romanIf You Were Me and Lived in the American West

After we finished our book on Elizabethan England, we embarked on a journey to the American West.  This book is written from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy, whose family traveled to Oregon on a Conestoga wagon from Ohio.  A covered wagon took his family and all their most important possessions (not that that many could actually fit in the wagon) on a 5-month long trip.  What did the boy wear?  How did they get milk?  (They brought along their own milk by way of a cow, along with some goats and a pig!)  Each family member had jobs to do along the trail.  Food was limited, Indians were feared, and illness sadly took the lives of some on the trip.

But finally, the boy’s family made it to Oregon.  But they couldn’t move into a house; they had to build their own with the help of other new settlers.  And then they settled in, and became farmers, students, and sometimes (at least, the boy hopes!) cowboys.  Ms. Roman finishes this book with a list of important people from the settling of the American West, and a glossary of important terms.

More students might be familiar with this era.  But Ms. Roman makes it fascinating!

 

ancient-greece-romanIf You Were Me and Lived in Ancient Greece

This is a quite incredible children’s history book.  It has more text in it than the first two we reviewed.  Yet, it’s just as interesting and I believe that children will be equally as engaged with it.  Ms. Roman covers Alexander the Great, the Olympics, ancient Greek philosophers, the Greek pantheon of gods/goddesses, clothing, daily life, the agora, and more.  Children will also learn about the homes, jewelry, food and drink, and even hairstyles of ancient Greek men, women, and children!

 

viking-europe-romanIf You Were Me and Lived in Viking Europe

It has been a very long time since we studied the Vikings in our homeschool; seems like it was first or second grade!  So it was fascinating to pick up Ms. Roman’s book on Viking life.  Like her book on ancient Greece, this has smaller text and covers much interesting information about life for the Vikings.  Where did they live?  Whom did they worship?  (If you’re a Marvel fan, some of these names might sound familiar!)  The daily work of families, the names they called each other, the food they ate, and the three classes of Viking families are all introduced here.  Lovely and colorful illustrations accompany the text.

 

late-summer-2016-and-ninjago-poster-images-117How we used these:

This year, we are studying American history again, so I was happy to receive If You Were Me and Lived in… Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3) and If You Were Me and Lived in…the American West (Volume 7) to review.  Because our current history book started with native Americans who lived in what would become North and South America, and because England did eventually send explorers to the New World, the book on Elizabeth I’s time was ideal, as was the book on the American West.  We used them as an adjunct to our regular history studies.  Both these books would be fantastic for reading aloud, but because my son is 14, he read them on his own over a period of several weeks in our school time.  We both found it quite interesting; the way Ms. Roman writes makes it quite easy for the reader to put him- or herself into the time frame and imagine what life was like.  (Much harder, I’d say, than life in 21st century America!)  We particularly enjoyed the illustrations as well.  Both Ms. Roman and the various illustrators work together to make reading these books a truly enjoyable, as well as educational, experience.

Ms. Roman also very kindly included two of her other books (that I shared a bit about above): If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Greece (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 1), and If You Were Me and Lived in…Viking Europe .  I used these on my own, but I expect we’ll pick them up in our homeschool as soon as we cover those periods of history again.  Lovely!

 

 

late-summer-2016-and-ninjago-poster-images-118Carole P. Roman has some excellent free printable materials which go nicely with these (and other!) books at her blog.  Simply visit Carole P. Roman to access and print these for further study.  These include great questions and worksheets which will deepen the understanding of the student.

I only wish that we had run into Ms. Roman’s work when my son was much younger!  He might have felt, at age 14, that he was almost too old for these books, since they include illustrations.  However, we both did enjoy them and learned things we hadn’t known.  (Or that we’d forgotten but needed to revisit!)

We definitely recommend these beautiful, useful books for families and homeschools.  They’re a gentle and beautiful, and engaging way, to learn history!

 

late-summer-2016-and-ninjago-poster-images-120Where to purchase these books

You may purchase these books at the following links:

Be sure to check them out.  You’ll really enjoy them!  In addition, other Crew members reviewed other titles in this series.  If you click on the banner below, you’ll be able to read about other homeschoolers’ experiences.

You may also visit Carole P. Roman at the following social media links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/
Good Reads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5854108.Carole_P_Roman
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/caroleproman

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}Crew DisclaimerEnjoy! –Wren