The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible Review

I think it’s pretty obvious, if you follow my blog, that I LOVE books. I’m always looking for new books to add to not only mine, but my children’s library as well. This illustrated bible was the perfect addition to our collection, the illustrations are beautiful and my kids love how the stories are told.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings over 40 of our favorite Bible stories to life with beautiful illustrations by Fernando Juarez. Doris Rikkers is the author and she has done a wonderful job bringing these stories to life. Every page is full of color and adorable depictions of each story.

My kids are thoroughly enjoying reading through this Bible with me, I’ve even been including it with our Bible curriculum for school!

Want to learn more and check out a free sampler? Head on over to Zondervan to do so!

I received a free copy of this book in return for a review, a positive review was not required. All opinions and statements are my own.

Our Kindergarten Curriculum – Bubby 2018

My sweet boy has been asking since about January when he would get to be a kindergartener. It doesn’t matter that grades aren’t really official or necessary for homeschooling, all he knew was that his best buddies at church were starting kindergarten this year and he wanted to be one too! Well big guy, you are in kindergarten!

Bubby is 5 years old, 6 in November and he is beyond excited. Is he excited about doing school work every day? Nope, definitely not. But when he is, he is on it and he has seriously amazed me. There are things we’ve worked on that I thought for sure would be hard and we’d have to review. That wasn’t the case, he’s actually flying through some of his work and I’m so proud of him.

So first up is our language arts curriculum. I’m also using The Good & the Beautiful for Bubby and we are starting with the PreK book first. My reasoning for this is that we needed to review some of our ABC’s before moving on to learning to read… he’s flying through it, but I’m glad to be doing so as there have been a few letters here and there he wasn’t sure about. This curriculum is a little advanced anyways, so once he finishes his PreK book we will move on to K Primer. I’m assuming we will spend the remainder of the year on it and move on to the K book in 1st grade. As I stated in Boogie’s post, she’s on Level 1 in second grade, which is what comes after Level K.

I am really loving this curriculum, there are lots of fun manipulatives and the flip book is so much fun to review letters. Bubby doesn’t always enjoy it because it can be repetitive, but I switch it up sometimes and have him utilize it in different ways and that helps a lot!

For Math we are using Math Lessons for a Living Education for Bubby as well. He’s in Level 1 and is really enjoying it so far. Right now we are reviewing shapes, recognizing and writing numbers 0-9 and counting. So we are moving fairly quickly through it right now, but I know that we will start hitting new concepts soon, so we will see how he does with that. I had debated trying the new Good and the Beautiful math, but for now I wanted to try this since Boogie had enjoyed it so much.

For handwriting we are continuing with Handwriting Without Tears, this curriculum is what Bubby’s occupational therapist used with him last year to help with his handwriting and penmanship. We really liked it so I purchased the next book as well as some of the manipulatives which I will link below. I really like the way you teach each letter with this curriculum, it’s especially great for kids like Bubby who need straightforward, no frills directions.

You can click on the image above to find the book we are using, we also are using the following manipulatives (these are not affiliate links as the prices are OUTRAGEOUS on Amazon):

That’s it for Bubby! He participates in History when he likes and we are using some science and bible curriculum together as well, but I will share those with you in a post about our family style curriculum. I’m very happy with the choices I made for Bubby this year, he seems to be enjoying everything and it’s short and sweet and to the point! All of this fits in Bubby’s tote – I can keep the Pre-K manipulatives in my own bucket as we use those with Bird as well.

Some of the above links are affiliate links at Amazon.com, I earn a small profit on qualifying purchases and this helps fund my blog website. So thank you for your contribution to Mustard Seed Mommy if you order from one of these links.

Christmas Around the World – Curriculum Review

One of the things I wanted to be sure to do with my kids when we decided to homeschool was to learn about how different countries around the world celebrate Christmas. I remember in public school learning about it and how much fun it was to try different foods, learn about different children and all the things they did for the holidays. It’s one of my favorite memories of school.

For geography we are using a curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler, we really like it and it does include a small section for Christmas but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Then I received this curriculum from Paradise Praises. This book is packed full of so many resources, worksheets, it’s awesome! Katie Hornor has done a phenomenal job of putting this curriculum together. It covers 29 countries and then at the very end has Christmas Carols from all over the world you can study. How fun is that? Music is a big part of our life, so I thought this was a very fun addition.

At the beginning of the book you’ll find your table of contents, this makes it easy to find which countries you want to study about. You’ll also find a section on how to use this book and how the lessons are laid out (which I’ll talk about in a minute). I also like that Katie has included extra resources, there’s an entire list in the book and includes the link where you can find them. This resource list includes printable passports, travel calendars, coloring pages, crafts, journals, maps, and more! (You can see the table of contents below with all the countries that are included.

As for the lessons in this book, each country has a section that talks about Christmas in that country. There are extra learning resources and recommendations on what you can incorporate for that particular country. For instance, for Italy she suggests a few books for extra reading, a coloring book and a travel guide. There’s also some recipes and coloring pages that you can check out as well! Also, for each country you will find book lists, coloring pages, journal entries for writing, notebook pages, and then each country has a different activity you can complete (i.e. word matches, crossword puzzles, etc – these all vary by age/skill level).

I highly recommend this book for your geography lessons, it’s a great addition to utilize near the holidays, or all year if you wish! I’m already planning how we are going to utilize this come November as we start preparing for the holidays. I’m excited to share some fun activities and recipes with the kids when we begin using this.

You can find more information about this curriculum and other resources that Katie Hornor offers HERE at Paradise Praises, or you can purchase this curriculum directly from Amazon HERE. (This is an affiliate link, I will receive a small profit from your purchase. All profit made on this blog goes directly back to Mustard Seed Mommy.)

 

I received a free copy of this curriculum and received compensation for my review, however all opinions and statements are my own. A positive review was not required.

Our Second Grade Curriculum – Boogie 2018

I thought I would write separate posts for each kid and for my boxes so you can see what I’m using for each age and then what we are using family style. Today’s post will be all about Boogie, she is 7 (8 in December) and is in “second grade”. I use quotations because in homeschool grades really aren’t accurate. She is doing above average and average level work depending on the subject. But for category purposes, we say second grade!

First up is Language Arts. This year we are about halfway through Level 1 of The Good and the Beautiful. If you’ve never heard of this curriculum, I highly recommend checking it out. I’ll talk about it more in a minute. So I discovered this curriculum early in the year and I actually started Boogie on it around March or April. The Language Arts levels are not aligned with grade levels, they are a bit more advanced. You’ll hear more about that when I start talking about Bubby’s LA levels. So Boogie is about 1/3 of the way through Level 1, if she finishes it before the end of our school year I will go ahead and start her on Level 2. What’s really awesome is that Levels 1-5 in PDF form are COMPLETELY FREE. Yes. You read that correctly. You can download and print these levels for free. You will need to purchase the phonics cards and the reader is optional. We’ve opted not to use it this year.

It’s truly an amazing curriculum, we are thoroughly enjoying it. It’s also important to note that the author is Mormon, and while we are not Mormon and don’t believe in the faith… there is absolutely nothing in these books that push their faith. It’s non-demonational, she has people from a lot of different Christian faiths read through and edit her curriculum. My thought is that I’m not supporting her faith, I’m supporting her family… a fellow homeschooling momma, buy utilizing this curriculum. It truly is a good and beautiful curriculum.

Next up is Math –  we really enjoyed Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 with Boogie last year. I started her out on the lowest level because I felt there were some things covered in it that we had missed in what we were using before (Easy Peasy). She flew through that and then we started Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 2 around March and we are about halfway through it this year. Taking it a little slower these past few weeks as we’ve reached some topics that are a bit harder and more challenging for her. I’ve gathered the manipulatives that she needs throughotut the book, as well as cut and laminated the manipulatives directly from the book and placed them in a plastic envelope that she keeps in her box. She loves reading through the stories and learning along with Charlie and Charlotte, the twins in the book. Both of these levels are on sale, you can click on them in this paragraph, or you can go HERE to see more levels that are also on sale!

For History we are utilizing another The Good & the Beautiful curriculum, their Year 1 History. This is actually done family style, but is recommended for grades 1 and up, however they do encourage you to incorporate your little ones so they can learn right along with their older siblings. So for this, I’ve opted to just print out fun coloring pages for Bubby and Bird and I’m using the student workbork for Boogie. So that’s also included in her box. I’ll share more about this curriculum in my post about our family style subjects.

We are also working on cursive handwriting, I’m teaching this to her myself and we use a basic Mead Learn to Letter notebook to practice. Then she is also learning to type on the computer. For this we are using this awesome FREE online resource called Dance Mat Typing. It’s a little corny, but she loves it!

That’s all Boogie has in her personal homeschool tote. It’s nice to have everyone’s personal books organized this way, and I’m sure I’ll post again later in the year on how it’s going. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Keep your eye out for my next post on what we are utilizing for Bubby this year!

Some of the above links are affiliate links at Amazon.com, I earn a small profit on qualifying purchases and this helps fund my blog website. So thank you for your contribution to Mustard Seed Mommy if you order from one of these links.

 

 

 

 

Homeschool Organization

Now that we’ve been settled into our new home in NC for half a year, I feel like we are finally getting into a good groove. I am hoping to start writing more homeschool posts on Mustard Seed Mommy as our family grows and ages, we are stepping away from our baby days (cue tears). Bear is 18 months old this month, so still technically a baby but more a toddler. I can’t believe that next year he will be TWO (cue more tears).

I’m really excited about this school year, we do tend to school year round and take longer breaks throughout the year instead of one longer summer break. We started this school year officially at the beginning of August and started slowly with just Math and Language Arts and then I added our other subjects slowly throughout the past few weeks. I’ll probably mix in a few other things throughout the year. For us, while we do have a homeschool space/room, we also like to school on the go. So I bought totes that we can take with us. They’re a little bulky and I’m not sure if they’re going to work, but for now they’re doing the job. I really like these totes made by Latchmate that have a organizing tray and handle, however they aren’t wide enough for binders, and we are using a binder for Boogie’s math this year.

Next year we may just bind everything with coils and skip the binders and utilize these totes instead. You can find those totes HERE. The ones we are currently using are these basic Sterilite 15qt storage totes from Walmart (they’re like $3/each, way too expensive on Amazon!).

So each kid has a tote with all their curriculum, the manipulatives they use on their own, and anything else they may need for their individual work. Then I have one tote that has our family style curriculum like history, science, bible, etc. The Latchmate tote on the right has the manipulatives and supplies that we all utilize together. How cool is that tray? It fits right down inside the box and then the lid latches over it. Our biggest issue is that this is a lot of boxes to tote around, so I’m thinking up a solution for that… maybe backpacks or just grabbing what we need for the day and throwing it in a tote bag. Either way, I love how we have everything separated and organized. Even if we don’t use these particular totes for on the go, I think we will continue using this method to organize at home. I like it much better than baskets or placing the kids curriculum on  shelves.

I will be posting this weekend about the curriculum we’ve chosen for Boogie, Bubby and even Bird (she loves to participate in school!). If you have a moment, share in a comment below on how your organize your school supplies. What are your favorite supplies to use for organization?