Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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Leapfrog Letter Factory!

March 14, 2012

Seriously amazing!

Leapfrog Letter Factory is truly amazing. Mr A started learning phonics using the free games at Starfall, which is a great site. However, it wasn’t until he started watching Letter Factory that he really got it. Everything is changing so fast now! I know I have said it already, but it has done absolutely amazing things. He went from not recognizing most of his letters – to recognizing them, knowing their sounds and reading words by sounding them out!

On top of that, he can easily write his name and this morning, Mr A decided to write his alphabet with his new crayons. We haven’t even begun to learn how to write his letters, we have just been working on paths and mazes, as pre-writing skills. Apparently, I need to step it up a notch!

I simply can not recommend this video enough.

Here is the alphabet written by Mr A, spontaneously, this morning. It is written backwards, but that isn't uncommon for young children when they are first learning to write.

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Oh, look! A Post!

November 14, 2011

Yeah, I have been slacking on the upkeep of this here blog. 😀
We have been pretty busy. Doing school, running errands, getting a nasty stomach bug, therapies…. on and on it goes.
Therefore, I am compelling myself to write this post, and hopefully it will motivate me to keep posting.

Today’s subject? Diagramming sentences. Yes, I said it. Diagramming sentences.
It seems, that somewhere in the history between today’s students and when I was in school (you know, way back in the ancient times, and all of that), that the Ancient Art of Diagramming was lost, or rather set aside as “unimportant”. This is unfortunate, in my opinion. For many it is a daunting evil task. For some it is fun, like puzzles! I believe that diagramming is actually very important to those who are studying and learning the English language. It is mind-boggling to me that the public school systems of this country have decided it is unimportant!?
Anyway, this leads to Rex Barks. This is the book I decided on last spring after looking around for a good program for diagramming. My second choice was First Language Lessons, which introduces diagramming somewhere in the third and/or fourth levels. It was a tough choice for me, honestly. Ultimately, I decided upon Rex Barks because we would be introducing diagramming farther along than FLL begins, and I was concerned that my son would potentially be lost. Rex Barks came highly recommended from another homeschooling mom whose opinion I value, and I have to concur with that opinion. The book is well written, humorous and superb. I decided that I could continue with the language book I already had and add Rex Barks diagramming alongside, and that perhaps next year I would do FLL from the level that he will be at. I am happy with my choice!
My son? Doesn’t enjoy diagramming. It isn’t too much of a surprise, as thus far the English language, and writing, has been his difficult-for-him subject. We keep on keeping on, though. We will survive!
I am definitely open to suggestions on how to make it more fun for him!

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The Little Monster: Growing Up With ADHD

July 12, 2011

The Little Monster: Growing Up With ADHDThe Little Monster: Growing Up With ADHD by Robert Jergen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

If I could, I would give this book 2.5 stars, as it is better than “it was ok” but not in the realm of “I liked it”.

Many times, I honestly wanted to throw this book out the window, and quit reading it. However, I forced myself to finish it, partly because I wondered if it would get better. I realize that the author has written an autobiography, but even still, it seemed a bit egocentric. Also, I found this book was written in a manner that was akin to high school level writing.

In my opinion, the author seems to have the assumption that all individuals with ADHD have the same mannerisms, faults and behaviors. Although, much of his descriptions of how it is to live in an ADHD mind are accurate, these assumptions are not what every individual with ADHD experiences. The author takes his experiences of ADHD and, many times, states that this is what occurs for “all” people with ADHD.

For those looking for a book that accurately describes the first hand experience of ADHD, this book is informative. However, there are better books out there that do a much better job, in my opinion.

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The Well Trained Mind

July 3, 2011

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at HomeThe Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I actually put off reading this book for quite a while. Anyone who homeschools most likely knows that this book comes highly recommended, but I avoided it because of the “classical education” teachings, as I have always considered myself an eclectic homeschooler.
Was I surprised!
I am very happy I read it, I should have read it long ago and would highly recommend it to anyone with serious considerations for homeschooling. Even if the reader has no intentions of utilizing a classical method to homeschooling, the resources throughout and information on the trivium of learning is so incredibly useful.
I am thoroughly amazed at how much I got out of this book! Certainly, I will be re-reading it many times over the next many years, and want to attain a copy of my own eventually. I never considered myself anything resembling a classical method homeschooler, but our homeschooling experience has now been heavily influenced by the education I received by reading this title. I suppose I must have been somewhat confused at what classical education really is. Unbeknownst to me, I already believed in so much of what is classical education and felt that it was missing from institutions across the nation.
This is, most definately, without a doubt, a must read for anyone on this path!

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Homeschooling Children with Special Needs

June 29, 2011

Home Schooling Children with Special Needs (3rd Edition)Home Schooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is a Christian slant to this book, however that does not detract from its usefulness and resources.

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Special-Needs Kids Eat Right

June 29, 2011

Special-Needs Kids Eat RightSpecial-Needs Kids Eat Right by Judy Converse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an incredible resource. There is not a single paragraph wasted.

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Food Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving Your Food Allergies

June 29, 2011

Food Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving Your Food AllergiesFood Allergies: The Complete Guide to Understanding and Relieving Your Food Allergies by William E. Walsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very useful resource. The MALS food allergy information alone makes this book worth reading!

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