Monday, August 31, 2020

Wimmelbooks from Timberdoodle Review

I have a sweet set of books to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Wimmelbooks Set of 3.  These oversized board books are geared for children ages 2-5 and have 16 pages each.  G has really been enjoying them, he loves books!  We are using them as a component of his preschool curriculum this year.

Our Set!

Our set of 3 includes:  My Big Wimmelbook At the Construction Site, My Big Wimmelbook Cars and Things That Go, and My Big Wimmelbook On the Farm.

Characters in At the Construction Site 

At the beginning of each of our books, various characters are introduced to the reader.  As your child flips through the books, they will look for those same characters throughout Wimmelworld.  They are encouraged to not only find them but to tell their stories in all the following scenes and pages.  I love how each of the characters have a different storyline that unravels as you move throughout the books.

 Above you can see one of the pages from At the Construction Site

And now you can see a few of the characters circled.

Finding the characters is only one aspect of these stories though.  I have always loved search and find type books and puzzles so this is a fantastic element to have.  But, having your kids tell you stories about the characters and seeing their brain working (and their wheels spinning) is one of the true gems of this series in my opinion.

G looking through his Cars and Things That Go Wimmelbook.

Above he is pointing out an "extra" dog.

Finding Dr. Shannon (the veterinarian) in On the Farm.

What's great about these books is that they use very few words and yet, they allow your child to tell a number of stories.  Children are encouraged to discover, learn and even increase their vocabulary as they see things both familiar and unfamiliar throughout each book.  I love asking G what he thinks about the characters and pages of Wimmelworld.  It's fun to hear his thoughts and the stories he creates!  And another great feature, the story can change!  It reminds me of game boards that change every time you play them, these stories can be unique and different every time you read them together.  G is loving them and we highly recommend them!

This set of Wimmelbooks is part of Timberdoodle's Preschool Curriculum Kit.  I am going to continue to use them with G as part of his PreK curriculum this year to increase and build his vocabulary.  Oh the stories he will tell!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the Wimmelbooks Set of 3 in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Grade 1 ThemeVille Math 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.}

F has started working through Grade 1 of ThemeVille Math.  We were blessed to receive the physical worktext and the complete solutions book.

ThemeVille Math is a complete math curriculum for homeschoolers, classrooms, CoOps and even tutors.  There are five levels representing 1st-5th grade.

F's Books

If you know me, then you know I love looking at the scope within programs.  The scope for Grade 1 in ThemeVille Math includes counting in groups of 10s/5s/1s, place values of 1s and 10s, addition and subtraction within 20, measurement of length, operations with number line and colored rods, partitioning and comparison of numbers, money, hundreds chart, numerals and words, skip counting (forward and backward), word problems, and ordinal numbers.

F starting his new book.

G loves to watch!

The worktext is thick (590 pages plus an appendix, see photo above) and includes 120 daily pre-lessons, 120 daily lessons, and 10 tests.  I was slightly worried when I noticed that the entire book was in black and white but there is something beautiful about the simplicity of this.  F is really enjoying it and doesn't mind that there isn't any color so it has been a nonissue.  The tests can be used to help you determine an overall grade if needed and monitor your students progress.

There are also online videos for each lesson that you have access to as needed.  Above you can see the videos for the first few lessons.

The format of this program is straight forward.  F completes the pre-lesson (which is a review) and then the daily lesson.  We talk about anything he needs help with but he always works on his lessons independently.  He sometimes watches the lesson videos as well.  I leave it up to him.

 F watching the video lesson for counting money.  I pulled out our money manipulatives for him to use!  He was super excited.

 F completing his worktext for the lesson.

Here's the solution page for this lesson found in our solutions book.

We love manipulatives around here so I really appreciate that the worktext has optional activities for students to do using manipulatives.  The solutions book makes grading easy peasy as it contains answers for the pre-lessons, lessons and tests.  F is really enjoying this program.  If you are looking for a simple math curriculum for your student in grades 1st-5th, I would recommend checking out ThemeVille Math.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of ThemeVille Math including some of their other levels.

Grade 1 to 4 ThemeVille Math (ThemeVille Math Reviews)

You can engage with ThemeVille Math on social media @:

Monday, August 24, 2020

First Day of School Photos 2020-2021

All the kids!

The kids have been begging me to officially start our homeschool year (no, I'm not joking) so today was the day.  I'm super excited about how productive the kids were today and how motivated they seem to be to have a fantastic year.  I know that so much of this year (2020) has not been what people have expected and it has been hard in very different ways but I'm super excited that we are all homeschooling again this year and I feel like it will definitely give us more flexibility and stability.  This will officially be my 13th year of homeschooling as A is now a Junior in high school - wow!  Hope you all have a fantastic year.  I'm looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.

A is a Junior

B's 1st day of high school, she is a Freshman

C is in 8th grade

D is in 6th grade

E is in 3rd grade

F is in 1st grade

And G is in his last year of PreK

May the odds be ever in our favor in our continued homeschooling adventure!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B from Institute for Excellence in Writing® 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.}

If you have been in the homeschool community for any amount of time, chances are good that you have at least heard of the Institute for Excellence in Writing® (or IEW® for short) and their writing curriculum.  We were so blessed to receive their Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B (grades 6-8) to use in our own homeschool!

D and C with their binders.

C (8th grade) and D (6th grade) will be using this program throughout this school year.  A, B and D have all participated in IEW through our weekly homeschool CoOp in the past.  A and D have taken 1 year, while B has taken 2 years.  C has never taken an IEW writing course so this will be his first time using the program.

What's included in this course?  Our physical kit contained a teacher's manual, a student packet and binder, and a card with a unique code for forever digital streaming video instruction.

Our physical kit

Inside the student binder are tabs so everything in the student packet gets organized as you progress on throughout the year.

While there is an option to purchase DVDs if desired, I love that we have unlimited online access to all the videos for our entire family so I don't have to store them or worry about misplacing them.  The student packet is consumable but can be reproduced within your immediate family.  I went ahead and ordered an extra student binder and packet this go around instead of making copies to make my life easier and to give C and D each their own binder.  IEW makes this process easy!

C and D's student binders

What is IEW® and how does their writing program work?  This program uses a unique approach by providing structure for students to learn.  The goal is to help students build confidence in their writing while also moving towards more independence and creativity in their own writing.  The nine structural models used are note taking, writing paragraphs, stories, simple reports, writing from pictures, research reports, creating writing, essays, and critiques.  These models will give students the tools to organize any type of composition they may come across.  I personally love the stylistic techniques that students learn incrementally to help develop more sophisticated writing - these include strong verbs, quality adjectives, sentence openers, various clauses and more!

This course is divided into 24 weeks and is easy to use.  I say this because I feel like most people are intimidated by writing programs and teaching writing but IEW is user friendly and is organized extremely well.  They have put the work into this program and it shows!  

 You guys know I love a good Scope and Sequence.  Above is the first page.  It tells you which week each stylistic technique will be introduced as you can see that the -ly adverb appears in week 2 and the who/which clause appears in week 3.  I really appreciate the literature suggestions as well.

D and C with the 1st literature book suggestion, The Twenty-One Balloons

There are daily assignments for each week.  They even show you how to adapt this schedule for a one-day-a-week program, a two-or three-day-a-week program or a four-or-five-day-a-week program.  These schedules give you a lot of flexibility to use this program how it fits your needs best.  I really appreciate the lesson plans for teachers!

Above you can see the lesson overview for Unit 1, Week 1

You can see that students will watch the 1st video this week broken into two parts.  Students will write about their home and save their paper for the last week of the program (it's a before and after type experiment).  They will write a KWO, or key word outline, from a few sources with the class (on the video).  And they will tell about that source from their KWO.

The video dashboard is easy to navigate as you just select the video you need.

Andrew Pudewa is the instructional teacher on the videos.  He is funny and super easy to relate to.  Above, you can see him walking students through the process of creating their first KWO.

A KWO example with the Source Text

I also want to mention that IEW has a companion grammar program that fits extremely well alongside Structure and Style and that is their Fix It! Grammar program.  You may remember our review of their 1st book in the series, The Nose Tree.  We enjoyed it so much that we will be using their 2nd book, Robin Hood this year alongside this program.

Our Fix It! Grammar Book 2 Set
I really like that the Structure and Style daily schedule includes the Fix It! Grammar program as well.

I mentioned that I'm using this Level with C and D.  I also went ahead and purchased Level C (which is in post production) to use with A and B this year for high school as well.  I'm hoping to receive it at the end of this month.  If it's not obvious, I'm a huge IEW® fan!  If you are looking for a well rounded writing curriculum for your students, I cannot think of a program that I would recommend more.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of IEW®'s Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level B as well as reviews for their Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A (Grades 3-5) and stay tuned for reviews of their Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level C (High School).

Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A, B & C {Institute for Excellence in Writing® Reviews}

You can engage with IEW® on social media @:

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Swimming & Chicken Pot Pie

F chilling in the pool.

It finally felt a little bit like summer this weekend as we were able to take the kids swimming with a few friends.  Even though it was sweltering hot, the kids had a blast and came home with a few small sunburns (despite multiple applications of sunscreen - yep, they are my kids).  We are gearing up to "officially" start our homeschool year in the next few weeks.  We always have school going in some form or fashion but I always have an official start and end date as well 😊.

 G loved having his water blaster.

 E sitting on a pool noodle.

 The older girls with their friend.

We came home and A made chicken pot pie from scratch.  She found a recipe and B and I helped her chop a few veggies but otherwise she pretty much made the entire thing and it was wonderful.  Her recipe made two pies so we have been enjoying them all weekend.  I love having older kids that like to learn in the kitchen.

 A making chicken pot pie.

 One of the pies - yum!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Super Teacher Worksheets Review {Printable Worksheets}

{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.}

We recently received a Full 1-year online membership with unlimited downloads/access to Super Teacher Worksheets to use in our homeschool.  This is a great resource to have available!

My dashboard

So, what is Super Teacher Worksheets?  It's a website with over 16,000 printable teaching resources for elementary teachers and homeschoolers in numerous subjects and topics including math, reading, writing, phonics, grammar, spelling, science, social studies and more!

So, when I explored Science Worksheets I found a section called Volcanoes, Rocks and Layers of the Earth.

 Earth Layers Project

In that section I found a fun Earth Layers Project for E to complete.  I simply printed it out and she followed the directions and completed it - easy peasy.  She basically colored the 4 different layers of the Earth, cut them out and glued them together.  She also colored the cover and stapled the sheets together.

 E completing her Layers of the Earth Project.

 Inside her book you can see the crust, mantle, outer core and inner core.

In the Math section there are numerous categories, one of which is money.  There are tons of fun worksheets available in this section.  I printed out one called The Snack Shack for E to complete for fun.

 E with her completed worksheet.

 A closer view of The Snack Shack worksheet.

 D completed this fun Summer Olympic Crossword.

You can see the Custom Printables section above that contains the generator tools.

I love that this site has traditional worksheets but you can also create your own worksheets, word searches, crosswords, etc. using the generator tools.  I haven't personally utilized this section just yet but I see myself using it this year.  There are also printable math games, spelling units, task cards and so much more available to you with Super Teacher Worksheets.  I have only just scratched the surface.

This site is super user friendly.  Content is conveniently organized by various subjects but there is also a search bar if you are looking for something specific.  While these resources are not intended to represent a full curriculum, they are perfect to supplement any curriculum you are using.  As I previously mentioned, these resources are geared for elementary students, so up to 6th grade (for us that includes D, E and F).  I'm having a lot of fun with the selection on Super Teacher Worksheets and I look forward to utilizing our membership throughout this school year!

Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Super Teacher Worksheets.

Printable Activities and Worksheets! {Super Teacher Worksheets Reviews}

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