Monday, November 22, 2010

The ADVENTure of Christmas Giveaway

Confessions of a HomeSchooler is giving away a copy of Lisa Whelchel's book The ADVENTure of Christmas.

This is what she says on her blog:

This book is so much fun! It contains 25 activities that bring our holiday back to its true meaning: Jesus! It’s perfect for Advent, or as fun activities during the Christmas season! Here’s what Lisa says about her book…

“Redeeming the Meaning of Christmas... Have you discovered that Jesus sometimes gets lost in the middle of the hustle and bustle of His birthday party? Would you like to be able keep your children’s focus on Jesus and be able to join them in the wonder of the celebration?”
The ADVENTure of Christmas recaptures the delightful essence of this beloved season, giving reasons to joyfully celebrate for years to come.

Just so you know what you're getting, here are some activities covered in the book:

Advent Wreath
The Christmas Tree
Lights on the Tree
Ornaments on the Tree
The candy cane
The Star
Christmas Greetings
Outdoor lights
The colors of Christmas
Christmas Cards
The 12 Days of Christmas
Wrapping Gifts
Giving Gifts
Santa Claus (Who he really was!)
Nativity Scenes
The Wise Men
December 25th
Opening Presents
Christmas Dinner
The Christmas Story

Head on over to Confessions of a Homeschooler and enter to win today. Contest ends Friday, November 26th, 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ben Franklin DNG Review

I don’t know who was more excited, me or the kids, when we found out that the next DNG unit we would be reviewing would be Ben Franklin. Oh yes, it was me!!!! I love all things history. What a fascinating man and once again Amanda Bennett has not disappointed!

If you read my blog regularly you probably already know how much I LOVE these units and how they work but just in case you are not familiar with Download N Go let me tell you a little bit about how they are set up.

Each DNG unit is geared to children K-4 but could easily be expanded to use with older children. Everything you need is here…websites, activities, videos, and lapbook pieces! All the work is done for you! There is also a very extensive list of books to go along with your studies. Prep time for the teacher is minimal. Mainly printing and putting books on hold if you so choose. Just as the name suggests, you just download & go!

I spend about 30 minutes over the weekend looking over the unit, printing, putting books on hold, and cutting lapbook pieces. (I always cut them out ahead of time and sort them by day. Some might think there is a lot of printing but you can print as much or little of the materials as you decide. I print all the lapbook pieces and some activity pages and the rest we worked on orally together.

Now more about Ben… husband, father, inventor, innovator, printer, statesman, liaison…a great American.

Day 1: Who Was Ben Franklin?

Day 2: People and Places in Ben Franklin’s Life

Day 3: The Accomplishments of Ben Franklin

Day 4: Lessons to Learn From Ben Franklin

Day 5: Remembering Ben Franklin

Each day is filled with interesting videos, activities, and information on this important American. We studied about his many inventions, as well as, his contributions to society. We learned so much about how one person can make a difference in our world. Such an important lesson for our young people to learn.

These are some of the titles we used this week.

You can view some sample activity pages here.

Although we didnt try the famous kite and key experiment, we did do several experiments this week. We also learned the difference between an innovator and an inventor. Ben Franklin was both!

We worked on our powers of observation --

They observed each other for 2 minutes and then each one had to change 3 things and see if the other noticed. I was surprised at how well they did with this one. Who knew how observant you can be while your acting so silly. *wink*

We then took five minutes to write down everything we heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and touched.

We spent some time observing clouds.

We learned about air pressure in this one. The cup is full of water (notice we did this over the sink just in case) and the air pressure was stronger than gravity. You remove you hand and the water doesnt spill.

I found this book at the library and it was full of great ideas to use along with this DNG unit. Many of the experiments we tried came from here.

Here are some shots from our completed lapbook. I really enjoy having this “souvenir” from our studies. What a great way to review and the boys are so proud of them. Just as a side note, I have started using pocket folders most of the time. I keep everything in there all week and then on Friday we glue everything in its place. I think they are much easier to store this way as well.

The front

inside front pocket

inside back pocket

Our Certificate of Completion is glued to the back cover.

I would gladly recommend these Download & Go Units to anyone. You can order them individually for $7.95 each. These are just a few of the titles they offer!

You can also check out the DNG Blog for all the latest information and specials.

The Ben Franklin Blog Tour can found here.

Ben Franklin is currently on sale for only $6.25!!!

***Disclaimer*** I was given a free copy of this product, in exchange for, a honest review on my blog. The opinions expressed here are of myself and/or my children.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Venus Flytrap

Micah has been fascinated with the Venus Flytrap for quite some time now. So when we were out shopping we ran across a kit to grow one, I knew we had to give it a try.

He was so excited.

It came with soil, moss, plastic terrarium, and a dormant Venus Flytrap and Pitcher plant.

He took great care in following the directions.

In 4 to 8 weeks, it should begin to grow. The instructions say we can hand feed him but it is not necessary to do so....eek!

By the way, his name is "Spike". We will keep you updated on his progress.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DNG's Expedition Canada Review

I have been so excited to be on the review team for Amanda Bennett’s Download N Go series. Every title has been fun and exciting. My boys can hardly wait to find out the newest title we will get to use. This week we received DNG’s Expedition Canada. So it’s time to learn about our neighbors to the north!

Let me tell you about these DNG units in general and then I will give you a little more information about Expedition Canada specifically.

Each DNG unit is geared to children K-4 but could easily be expanded to use with older children. Planning and Preparation is so easy because all the work is done for you. Everything you need is included – websites, videos, fun activities, and lapbook pieces. You could easily expand on it if you choose with more books and rabbit trails or you can use it as is and have a wonderful study. I spend about 30 minutes over the weekend looking over the unit, printing, putting books on hold, and cutting lapbook pieces. (I always cut them out ahead of time and sort them by day. Some might think there is a lot of printing but you can print as much or little of the materials as you decide. I print all the lapbook pieces and some activity pages and the rest we work on orally together. It works out perfectly.

Expedition Canada is broken down into 5 days/objectives:

Day 1: Where on Earth Is Canada?

Day 2: Some of the Special Places of Canada

Day 3: A Bit of History

Day 4: Special Things to Know About Canada

Day 5: Fun and Games in Canada

Each day is filled with gorgeous videos, geographic features, animals, inventions, explorers, and much, much more. You and your children will even learn a little French! There are also lots of optional activities included such as recipes, games, and puzzles.

This is the third DNG unit in the Expedition Series that we have used and I am always so amazed at how in depth and thorough the studies are. Expedition Canada is a fun and engaging way to expand your children’s knowledge of our world. I think my boys may become world travelers, thanks to this series! As a homeschool mom, I love to see their passions ignited.

What a blessing for busy homeschool families to have these units available to them and at such a reasonable price too. I recommend them to everyone I know!

***Disclosure Statement*** I was given a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


We have been learning all about Vikings for the past several weeks.

We used Usborne's Time Traveller Book as the spine for our study. I also used this website as an outline for our unit. There are lots of great information, printables and videos here!

We spent some time learning about Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky and their contributions to exploration.

Homeschool Share has a great Multi-Book Viking Unit and Lapbook that we printed as well. And in case you dont know, it is TOTALLY FREE!

Here is the front of our lapbook. I used a pocket folder rather than a file folder this time. There is a Viking Timeline, Vikings were mini book (which contains adjectives ), and a Home of the Vikings booklet.

This in the first set of pages inside, which includes info on runes, landforms, and navigation.

The second set of pages had a Leif Ericcson biography page and map, female viking responsibilities, kinds of food they ate, and how they preserved meat.

This set of pages includes Weaponry, Occupations, Fighting Clothes, and the Long ship.

The last set of pages have mini books about education, superstitions, story telling, and long houses.

We had a great time and learned a ton!


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