Friday, September 26, 2014

TOS Review - Institute for Excellence in Writing - Fix It! Grammer: The Nose Tree Book 1

Fix It! Grammar Review
Grammar is a subject that both myself and Grace enjoy. We felt very privileged and blessed to get the opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Teacher's Manual Book 1) and Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Student Book 1) from Institute for Excellence in Writing. Many homeschooling families are familiar with this company through their writing programs, but may not be aware that they also have a grammar product.
Fix It! Grammar Review
Grammar is not a subject that we study every year in our homeschool and this year it was not scheduled. When the vendor application came to us I decided it might be a good product to use for the review period then save the remainder of the book to use next year when we had grammar back on the schedule. After using Fix It! Grammar for the past 6-8 weeks I think we will continue and maybe skip next year for grammar instead, or better yet use this program every year because it is so easy to use and implement into your day.
The Basics
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Teacher's Manual Book 1 - $19.00
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Student Book 1 - $15.00
Recommended for grades 3 - 12
We received both the teacher's manual and student book as physical products. You can purchase only the teacher's manual which will then give you a special link to print the student pages. The author of Fix It! Grammar is Pamela White and she has created a unique way to study grammar. It truly only takes a few minutes a day to work this into any curriculum plans. A placement test is available on the website to direct you to the appropriate level for your child to begin. A webinar is also available to explain exactly how to use this product in your home. The very first thing I did was watch the webinar before beginning and found it to be very informative and helpful.
The Process - How It Works
Each book is a story. Each weekly assignment is a portion of the story and each day is a sentence from the story. Every week the student learns a different grammar topic and applies it to all the subsequent weeks of learning. So far Grace has reviewed/learned nouns, homophones, end marks, articles, quotations, pronouns, which clauses, who clauses, and action verbs. We started with the first level book for review because I knew that there were quite a few grammar topics Grace had forgotten. There are six levels in the series.
The premise of Fix It! Grammar is that the student and teacher review the grammar topic of the week together on day one as well as fix any mistakes in that day's sentence. This continues for 4 days then the student will write the entire sentence in it's correct form. There is a checklist at the top of each page so that the student is reminded to check each grammar topic that might need corrected in the daily sentence. Grammar cards (think flash cards) are also provided to help the student remember when needed. Both books contain a glossary in the back with a plethora of grammar information. Oh, and each sentence also contains a vocabulary word which is defined in the teacher's manual.
Grace and I both really like this product. We used it three times a week. Since Grace is in high school we would do 2-3 sentences a day as opposed to the recommended one a day approach. Retention has been great. This product would be a wonderful addition for any family but I especially think Charlotte Mason homeschooling families would enjoy the short, easy, gentle approach of this product. Learning a large amount of grammar in a short time each day.
I high recommend Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree, Teacher and Student Manual from Institute for Excellence in Writing. We will definitely be finishing this level and hopefully moving on to the next level. Be sure to check out what other Crew Members think of this product.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WhenTimes are Tough

Things are pretty rough around here right now so I wanted to let my readers know that I won't be posting for awhile. I am obligated by contract to post 4 more educational product reviews and those will be up as due dates come around, but as of right now I am just taking a break and dealing with what is going on at home. Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Watch the Documentary Fed Up

Today I took some time to relax and watch a documentary on Amazon. Very eye opening and scary. If you have a spare 3.99 rent this one off of Amazon Instant Video and learn the craziness of obesity in our country and the addiction of sugar in the documentary Fed Up.

Product Details
Photo Credit to Amazon

Saturday, September 20, 2014

And......The Sewing Continues

Over the past couple of days I have weeded out some time to pursue some of those passions I discussed in previous posts. Between hubby gone to work most of the weekend and Grace off to a friend's house I had lots of extra time on my hands. In the above photo is a another fairy creation. This time a mermaid fairy. So far she is my favorite.

Next on the sewing agenda was a little tooth fairy pillow. I love, love, love owls and thought this little one is precious. Of course I no longer have any children losing teeth but thought I could give it to another family that does or maybe use it for something else.

Next was getting back to some machine sewing with a quilt that was in dire need of being finished. over the past couple of weeks before the sewing machine was purchased I had hand sewed all the remaining squares. I was able to attaché three long strips of squares to the already sewn quilt top. I hope over the next week to have the quilt top finished. Then it will be off to the fabric store again to purchase batting and fabric for the back of the quilt. Plus Grace wants another furry hat that is white with the Hello Kitty materials we already have for the contrast. Only difference this time is she will put this one together now that I understand the whole process. It is kind of hard to teach another person how to use a pattern and sew something when you are learning at the same time. Now that I know how to make the fuzzy hat I can walk Grace through it confidently.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - Where Did The Week Go

Seriously this week went by in a complete blur. Each week tend to do that. Some weeks I get everything on my check list accomplished and sometimes not so much. Mostly it was a normal week but in a big way we faced a life changing decision. I can't go into this life changing decision and we are still in the process of figuring it all out. I just ask for prayers as we work our way through this delicate situation. So if you don't see me blogging as much that would be the reason.
Grace did a wonderful job on the Monet inspired painting. This was a three week project that the kids worked on in the high school art class at cooperative. This teacher is amazingly talented and has taught them all so much.

At home we also go out the watercolors. I think sometimes that Grace forgets we even have these around. They are a very cheap brand monetarily but work beautifully.

Grace has worked very hard in her literature and Spanish class and it is paying off. Last week she made a 120 on her quiz and this week a 90. Couldn't be prouder of her because we are talking about an accelerated program learning 75 vocabulary words each week. I am blown away at her ability to interpret a book and its meaning for the analyzing part of her literature class. Maybe that is the artist in her. Higher math was a struggle but English and literature has always come pretty naturally for her.
We also worked on our review products this week (Fix It Grammar, Apologia iwitness series, Essay Rock Star, and Standard Deviants Online). All are great products and I can't wait to share them with you. Grace was able to finish a chapter in Biology and even made a 90 on the quiz yesterday. Loving this Biology curriculum which is research based. She is reading through Before You Meet Prince Charming for her devotional time. Can't wait to hear what she thinks about this book when she finishes it.
Last weekend I finished my first sewing project where a pattern was used. Seriously, I have never sewn anything that required a pattern and did it all on my own. Pretty proud of this one. Hoping to sit down today and start back on a quilt then later tonight after dropping Grace off at a friends for the night I want to create a mermaid fairy. So stay tuned for more creative and hopefully finished projects.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teach Them Diligently Is Coming to Atlanta

I was so excited to find out today that Teach Them Diligently is coming to Atlanta next April. What makes it even better is that they are partnering up with GHEA to put on the conference. You really need to follow this link and bookmark to continue to receive more information, especially if you live in Georgia.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Life Through Pictures

Yesterday was a good day with my mom, sister, niece, and Grace. Started with a great service a church followed by lunch at the Mexican restaurant then shopping. We spotted this sweet little snail while picking up the rest of the crew for shopping. Grace discovered something interesting about snails while letting this one crawl on her hand. While licking her with it's tongue they do this thing called rasping to eat and sometimes it feels like stinging.

Another trip to the craft store for more supplies.

My new addiction. This was my third mocha frappe in three days. I like Starbuck's best but McDonalds is definitely cheaper and still tastes great. Taking a break from the frappes until next weekend.

Saw this guy on my mums this morning. Leafhopper or katydid?

A good bit of the weekend was used for getting to know my new sewing machine, showing Grace some basic sewing machine skills and cutting out my very first project every done by a pattern.

All in all it wasn't that hard. Of course this was one of the easiest patterns available. I did leave off the paw prints because believe it or not I couldn't figure out the fusible webb.

Grace after our walk tonight modeling the finished product. Next in line is buying some white fur to make a Hello Kitty lined hat. Some of my long time readers may remember that Grace has a big hat collection and the furry hats are some of her favorites.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Six Months Free Promo

Recently I started reviewing Standard Deviants Accelerate Program for the TOS Review Crew. I will have my complete review up in a few weeks but until then you can actually try it out yourself. They are offering all homeschool parents the opportunity to try it free for six months. That is one incredible deal that you cannot pass up. You can try classes in Biology, History, Algebra, and more. Don't wait, go to Standard Deviants Accelerate  and try it out for yourself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - Sewing Week

I thought this week I would do Weekly Wrap Up a little different. Kind of like a week in pictures. We visited the library and checked out a lot of different types of books this go around. Grace checked out fashions and fairies. I took on some more sewing and craft books for more ideas

One night was all about fairy making.

One night was learning how to cut out patterns and showing Grace the basics of how to use a sewing machine.

This is a funny photo. Grace loves to color code everything. She seriously asked me last night to please keep it that way.

I got two new books for Grace to read for her devotion times each day. The first is Before You Meet Prince Charming, which she has already started and once she finishes that one she will move on to Growing Up Duggar.

We are continuing to work on four review products for the TOS Review Crew. A new one came in the week this week from Apologia. Some of the others are Rock Star Essay, Fix It! Grammar, and Standard Deviants Online Courses.
Grace has been pouring most of her time into her Spanish and Literature class. The first book for Literature was The Outsiders and she absolutely loved it. Hoping this afternoon to actually sit down and watch the movie so she can compare it to the book. She was very worried about this week's Spanish quiz but surprised herself and got every single answer right. She also accomplished a little Biology, American History, and Personal Finance. Monday we ate dinner over at my parent's house with the rest of the family and afterward Grace went to the fair. It was good to be around the family.  All in all it was a fairly productive week.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seasonal Fairies

I mentioned in a recent post a book I purchased about creating fairies. This book is so awesome and has so many cute little creations to make. Tonight I laid out all the supplies and me and Grace went to work. It is still a process to create just one fairy but we are getting faster and better.

Felt is used to create all the clothing that the fairies wear.

Yarn is used for hair.

Thread is used to wrap around the clothing for decoration and a pop of color.

Sequins and buttons are again used to decorate the clothing. The small wooden beads are the heads which can be left blank or a drawn face.

Artificial flowers are used to create a longer, larger, and more colorful dress.

We also used wire edged ribbon for wings and a little sewing for the hat. After she dries Grace will probably draw her a face. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Freezing Eggs

Did you know that eggs can be frozen? Neither did I until recently. Even though my birds have started molting I am still getting lots of eggs each day. What do you do when you have a refrigerator full of eggs (think 60 or more)? Well I start taking desperate measures including freezing. For some reason we haven't been eating a lot of eggs and I certainly haven't had time to for baking.

So instead of all these eggs vanquishing in my fridge I decided to take 36 of them and freeze them. First I washed all the eggs thoroughly. Next I cracked 10 - 12 at a time, mixed them, then added to ice cube trays to put in the freezer. I let them freeze overnight and put them all in a gallon freezer bag for storage in the deep freezer.

Now I can pull a few out to defrost anytime I want a scrambled egg sandwich or to bake some cookies. As soon as I use my first batch I will let you know how they turn out.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fabric Shopping - What Surprised Me

First let me say that I haven't purchased fabric in maybe as long as five years. At that point I mostly bought cheaper cotton fabric for quilting purposes. I got burnt out on quilting because that last year I made a lap quilt for every member of my family including the guys (think sports or cameo). I laid it down one day and never went back. I don't know how to sew apparel and that is really what me and Grace are after at this point. Yesterday Grace went to spend some time with a friend and I headed to the fabric store.

All of the fabric I chose is teenage related. The first patterns we will try is a furry hat and some bags. I bought all of Grace's favorite themes - Hello Kitty, Galaxy, and Asian inspired.

While looking through tons and tons of fabric choices, which took lots longer than I thought it would I ran across Elsa inspired fabrics. Absolutely beautiful at 20 dollars a yard. When did fabric become so expensive? Even with expensive as it all was there was a line a mile long of people getting fabric cut.

Last but not least I found three books that I COULD NOT leave without purchasing. Such cuteness to create! My creative juices have just exploded (this hasn't happened in a long time). I'm thinking Christmas presents, craft fairs......  Looking forward to crafting on and teaching Grace in the process.

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Book Club Meeting of the Year

Today was our first mother daughter book club. The girls ranged in age from 11 - 15 and the book we are all reading and discussing is Mothering and Daughtering. We actually had some pretty good discussion today and the girls even participated. At this point I believe we will be meeting once a month.

One of my best friends hosted this for us and you can find her over at Little Farm Diary. Yes her house is just as great in person as it is on the blog. We always have a super time while visiting and she has the best treats.

While visiting after the book club I indulged in some photo challenges of my own with the iphone. If you remember a couple of posts back I discussed wanting to improve my photography only using the iphone. So far I stink at it, but I have challenged myself to try something different each day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When Academic Plans Change

All our new sewing supplies ready for us to have time to sit down and get started
Well again you know what they say about the "Best Laid Plans". Sometimes they go awry. I thought we had this year in the bag as far as curriculum choices and that Grace would work hard so there would be no school this upcoming summer. So what has changed? A couple of her outside of the house classes are kicking her tail. I knew this year would be tough. What I didn't know was that her interests would take a nose dive. Some of this due to her time management skills or lack thereof and the other just a lot of school work.
Time spent marketing her new business, Princess Parties by Grace, has become nonexistent. Artwork for the art show in October - also nonexistent and the new pursuit of sewing. So tonight at dinner I offered Grace another option on how to finish all her subjects for this year. Literature, Spanish, Cooperative, and review products are taking up a large portion of her life right now which is leaving little time for history and science, let alone other personal endeavors. Grace jumped at the chance of my new idea - which is.......only work on history and science in bits and pieces for the moment but concentrate more of our efforts for those two subjects in the spring and summer months. This means five days a week of science and history in the summer to finish up those subjects. It sounds awful but right now it will give her some breathing room to pursue art, birthday party business, and learning how to sew.

Mapping class at Cooperative
Not to mention that she is a very young 10th grader only turning 15 three months ago. If it takes a little longer to finish 10th grade so what. Currently the child doesn't want to go to college - we aren't on any real time table other than what society tells us to do. Homeschooling is all about changing things up when we need and sometimes I know I really forget that. I get caught up in what everyone else is doing - especially now that we are in the high school years.

Merida costume ready for a princess party
I want her to enjoy her time as a young adult. Pursue some of her passions while she can before getting caught up in adult world. There is definitely more to life than earning six credits every year. As each year rolls by the more I see that there is more to life than earning the credit and the grade.