Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Way Back Trailer & Giveaway

I wanted to share with you about the upcoming Warner Bros. film, The Way Back, starring Ben Affleck.  This films is inspirational as well as real and raw as it portrays that hope can be found in second chances.  Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck's character) is struggling with addiction when he is offered a coaching position at his former high school.  He agrees to take the position and ends up finding a sliver of hope for the future and a second chance.  I do want to note that this film is rated R for language as it depicts life as it is, not where we want it to be.  The Way Back releases in theaters nationwide March 6th.

Take a look at the trailer below.

You can engage with The Way Back on social media @

Ready for a giveaway?  One reader will win 2 Fandango ticket codes!  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Grace Hill Media for selecting me to participate in this campaign and providing the 2 Fandango codes for the giveaway.  By sharing this information with you I will receive 2 Fandango ticket codes.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Let's Go Geography, Year 2 Review

{Disclaimer:  I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  This post contains affiliate links.}

Have you been looking for a homeschool geography curriculum?  We have been so blessed to receive Let's Go Geography, Year 2 from Let's Go Geography.  We will have two years of access to the downloadable, digital lessons in PDF format.  Let's Go Geography curriculum is geared for students K - 5th grade and can be used with multiple students so I have been using it with both E and D (2nd and 5th).  It includes a variety of activities, reading (at various levels) and videos.  Let's dive into the content and give you a peek as to how we used this program in our own homeschool.

Let's Go Geography, Year 2 Semester 1

Alright, so what does this year cover?  The first semester of Let's Go Geography, Year 2 contains 16 lessons, which are to be completed each week.  These lessons start off with the 7 continents, and includes all the lessons on North America and South America as well as most of the lessons on Europe.

Let's Go Geography, Year 2 Semester 2

The second semester also contains 16 lessons so this is a 32 week curriculum for the entire Year 2.  It picks up right where the first semester left off with the Netherlands and Greece to finish up Europe.  Then the lessons take you to Africa, Asia, and Australia.  The last and final lesson is a review for the whole year.

Above you can see the scope for the whole program and how Year 2 fits in with the other years.

As I mentioned previously, each lesson is designed to be completed in one week and takes roughly ~ an hour to complete.  I also like that you can change up the sequence if you need to - you can go in the order that best suits your needs.  We decided to just start at the beginning and go in order as scheduled.  Each downloadable PDF lesson includes 6 different chapters:  Map It! (locate the country on the map and learn basic facts), The Flag (cut/color/and paste the flag into your Travel Journal), The Music (listen and watch the music of the country), Let's Explore (learn facts about the country), Create! (hands-on activities) and Printables (notebooking pages, coloring pages, etc.).

Sometimes there are a few extra sections but each lesson has this basic set-up.

D and E with their Travel Journal Binders

In lesson 1, the girls created a Travel Journal to keep all their papers and work in as they travel around the world through this program.  I have always been a huge fan of notebooking so I was really excited to see that the girls created their travel journal binder right from the get go.  I love that they can look through their work and see how much they are learning.

Map It!

In this section, students locate the country or specific areas on various maps and learn basic facts.  They may color sections of the map as they explore more about it.

 This is D's map of North American from lesson 2.

And this is E's map of the Pacific Northwest USA, also from lesson 2.

The Flag

In this section, students will cut, color and paste the lesson flag into their Travel Journal.  We have completed lessons 1-6 so far so the girls have the flags for the United States, Mexico and Honduras completed as we have been studying North America.

Here is a blank page to ass the flags as you go along.

The flags that we have completed.

The Music

The Music section varies depending on the area being studied using online videos.  In lesson 1, the girls listened to a song about the Five Oceans.  In Lesson 5, they listened to the National Anthem of Mexico and traditional Mexican folk music using mariachis.

There are safe, easy to follow links to listen to the highlighted music.  Above you can see the highlighted links for lesson 5, Mexico.

Let's Explore

I think D really appreciates the fascinating facts in the Let's Explore sections.  You basically get to go sightseeing for the region you are studying.  You learn what people do, eat, and special locations to visit.  There are fun videos to watch and there are also pictures included to use in your Travel Journal if you wish.  You will find notebooking pages in the Printables section corresponding to the region you are studying to write notes and also include in your journal.

E watching videos of how lumber mills work in the Let's Explore section (lesson 2).

 Fun Facts from America South Atlantic, lesson 4

Above (also from lesson 4) gives you a feel for the photos that are included along with the facts.


E's favorite thing is the create section with the crafts!  She loves art and really appreciates the coloring and crafts that are included with each lesson.  Check out a few of the fun creations the girls have made so far.

Here you can see E and D's artwork for the USA Pacific NW (lesson 2).

D coloring a page inspired by the USA Pacific NW (lesson 2).

E's Scarlet Macaw, the National Bird of Honduras (craft from Lesson 6)

I appreciate curriculum with a nice scope and sequence that has flexibility and works well for large families.  With the videos, pictures, maps, flags, coloring, crafts and notebooking I appreciate how well everything in Let's Go Geography ties together.  We are really enjoying this program and recommend it to those looking for an easy-peasy to use, fun, flexible Geography curriculum to add to your homeschool!

I've included the short video from Let's Go Geography below to show you what the subscriber account page looks like as well as how you can access your units.

And be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Let's Go Geography.

Geography for Kids - Year 2 {Let's Go Geography Reviews}

You can engage with Let's Go Geography on social media @:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

First Ball Games of the Season

F and C leaving for the first games.

F and C had their first baseball games this weekend.  F is playing 6U on the White Sox and C is playing 12U on the Angels.  F's team tied 20-20 and C's team won 14-5!

F in the dugout.

Unfortunately their games were at the exact same time so I was only able to see F's entire game.  A was able to watch C and give me the updates.  David was in Houston with B.  I did make it over to see C's final at bat in which he walked on 4 pitches and was able to steal all the way around to score!  Hope you enjoyed your weekend!  Enjoy the video below of F's first hit of the season and game (he was the lead off batter).

TPSMEA Middle School Honor Band

I'm so proud of B!  She made the 2020 TPSMA Middle School Honor Band.  David took her to Houston over the weekend and she had a great time.  There were 11 trumpets and she was the only girl.  They practiced and held their concert at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory which is super fun because my father graduated from high school there.  Enjoy the photos (a huge thank you to Bob for taking them).

 The Band Warming Up

 B with her homeschool band director!

 B with family (thanks so much to everyone who came)!

I love this shot of David and B.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Timberdoodle's CursiveLogic Review

I have another Timberdoodle product to share with you today!  This time it's an innovative, patent-pending method for teaching cursive handwriting, CursiveLogic.

Many schools have chosen to omit cursive writing instruction for various reasons.  Honestly this has really bothered me and I intentionally teach my children cursive, usually around 3rd grade.  CursiveLogic is made to be a faster way to learn cursive because rather than teaching the alphabet letter by letter as in most cursive programs, CursiveLogic's method focuses on four basic letter shapes - oval, loop, swing and mound.  This idea is for students to master cursive handwriting at a much faster pace.

This combined teacher's manual and student workbook is spiral-bound and 112 pages.  It includes step-by-step instructions for teaching cursive with the CursiveLogic method.  It has student lessons, practice sheets and even dry-erase surfaces as well.   It is appropriate for children as young as 6 and 7 and can be adapted to suit the needs of older children, even adults (2nd grade and beyond).  It includes information about grip, body and hand placement as well as suggestions if your child is left-handed.

Here is a page that helps you see the correct grip.

Miss E with her CursiveLogic book

I decided to use this program with E (age 8, 2nd grade) who hasn't had any cursive instruction and I think she is really liking it.  It has been fairly easy for her to distinguish between the four different shapes and she is encouraged in that.  Students first learn the four different letter shapes - oval, loop, swing and mound.  They are introduced to the oval stroke first.  They learn the oval stroke through tracing and writing.  Next they learn the oval letter string, which is all the oval letters connected together.  Again, they will trace and write.  They will then practice different letter combinations and connections within the oval stroke group.  They will also write oval letter words.  Afterwards, they will be introduced to the loop stroke in the same fashion as the oval stroke.  Then the swing stroke, etc.

You can see the four different shapes above and how E grouped/color coded them together.

E tracing the oval stroke.

 E's completed oval stroke practice sheet.

Students learn the letter strings for each shape as well.

In CursiveLogic, students work through learning the oval letters (orange), loop letter (lime), swing letters (silver) and mound letters (mauve).  After all the lowercase letters have been learned, students will learn the uppercase letters in groups of letters with similar shapes.  E is still learning the lowercase letters as we haven't quite reached the uppercase letters yet.  I look forward to finishing this program with her soon!

I like how friendly this curriculum is to use.  It is spiral bound at the top so that it will work equally well for both left-handed and right-handed students.  You work through it using only the front of each page, then when you reach the end you flip the whole workbook over and come back through the reverse way - the page numbers make it super easy to follow!  I like that it has lots of opportunity to practice, including the dry-erase practice pages.

CursiveLogic is part of Timberdoodle's 3rd Grade Curriculum Kit.

Check out the video below to get a feel for CursiveLogic yourself and see how quickly cursive can be learned!

Disclosure: Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger. Timberdoodle sent my family CursiveLogic in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day

E received this sweet picture from a friend.

Happy Valentine's Day!  We have had way too much sugar over here but it has been a fun day filled with games, friends, and family.  I hope you and yours had a fabulous day.

G earlier this week with his heart balloon.

 G's Valentines that he made to give out to his CoOp friends and siblings, they were animals.

G had a shark themed Valentines box.  You can see it filled with his goodies.

F gave out puzzle Valentines!

F had a robot themed box.

E made a unicorn themed box and handed out unicorn Valentines.  D made her own box as well and handed out similar llama Valentines and sixlets.

E's Valentines

D's llama Valentines

D's sixlets

C gave out stamp Valentines!

 B gave out various finger puppets.

 And A made some cute puffballs.  One of the heart antennas was MIA when I took this photo.

You might remember that we had a saran ball game at A's 16th birthday party.  Only A and B participated so the younger kids have been begging me to make another one for them sometime.  David and I surprised them with a Valentine's themed saran ball.  So now, all the kids have officially played this game and it was a hit.

  Our Valentine's themed saran ball.

Our Table Valentine's Morning!