Tuesday, May 31, 2016

52 Lists ~ Your Favorite Snacks

My favorite snacks?  This is an easy one.
  • Popcorn
  • Cashews, Almonds or mixed nuts
  • Take 5 candy bars
  • Fresh strawberries--with whipped cream
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries
  • chocolate (and "yogurt dipped") pretzels
  • Snickers Ice Cream bars
  • Tortilla chips and white cheese sauce 
  • Husband's homemade guacamole with tortilla chips


What are your favorite snacks?



Next week's list will be the things that keep you up at night.




52 lists with Chasing Slow





©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, May 27, 2016

Preschool Plans 2016-2017

Lest you think I make my 3 year old sit at the desk and do lessons for two hours, I feel I should preface my "curriculum" list with a gentle reminder that I am very informal and relaxed in the early years.  I want my little ones to have free time to just be kids.  

Eleanor, however, has a mind of her own.  She looks up to her big brothers.  She's bright and curious, and I want to satiate her (slightly demanding) desire to do school like her brothers, without burdening her with a ton of busy work.  

Our plans for next year are not formal.  You will not find lesson plans, schedules, workbooks or a focus on academics.  Nothing rigorous or structured around here.  Not for preschool.  


Preschool Plans

This post contains affiliate links.


What you will find is my attempt to continue fostering her love of learning through good books, play, creative activities and natural learning opportunities.  That being said, here are my plans for her Preschool 3/4 year.  Really, these are just things I keep in my back pocket, for when she wants a little bit . . . more.

Before Five in a Row
A read-aloud approach to learning that leaves you with that warm and fuzzy feeling!  This program uses quality books, is flexible, and gives me the tools to use the same approach with other books.


This book is a lovely introduction to nursery rhymes, which provide lyrical and interesting language patterns for little ones.  Don't underestimate nursery rhymes.


The Homegrown Preschooler
I reviewed this book a few years ago when Emory was a preschooler.  It's full of ideas and encouragement for natural, play-based learning, and reinforces the idea that children at this age learn through everyday experiences.



Kumon Let's Cut Paper
We received this, and some preschool scissors, to review (coming soon) so she's already started it.  She loves it, so it's likely we'll work through more of the books.



Count and Color Just for Girls
This is a cute little book that I received for free.  I wouldn't call it a workbook, even though it does have a few pages to trace numbers.  It's more like a glorified activity book--coloring, some counting, and a lot of places to draw and doodle.  Even though it says "just for girls," it's not quite as girly as you might expect.  There's the occasional tutu or feminine bug, but really the drawings are fun and whimsical, and almost neutral.  There is a Boys version too, though.




I Spy Colors in Art and I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait
These are very gentle introductions to art appreciation!  I own these two, but I've borrowed others from the library when the boys were little.  I still remember their excitement when they "spied" the Batmobile in the Alphabet book.





She has access to all the typical preschool learning toys, and she does a lot of art, listening to music, nature study, and plays her Favorite Preschool Apps.  I actually wrote about how I Homeschool Preschool right now, and these are just the resources I have at my disposal when I need some inspiration to create that gentle but fun atmosphere we desire.  The best part, is that we can do all these fun things when she wants some "school time" with momma, and she still has a ton of free time to just be three!


So tell me, what do you do for preschool?




©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

Introductory Science from Science Shepherd {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

For most of our homeschool career, our science explorations have consisted of nature study and delight-directed studies.  This has been fabulous for their learning styles, but as the boys get older, I decided it was time to do do a more streamlined approach.  When we were given the opportunity to review the Introductory Science course from Science Shepherd, I was very interested.  I felt this would be a good opportunity to make sure the boys cover all of the major areas of science and "fill in the gaps" of elementary science as my rising 4th grader prepares for more advanced science in the next few years.

Science Shepherd Review

What is Introductory Science?
Introductory Science is a complete science course, and Science Shepherd suggests it is for ages 6-11, though I believe this will vary depending on your student's maturity and prior science exposure.  The curriculum is divided into 35 weeks, and each week offers 5 daily lessons.  There are daily on-demand videos, which are only 2-5 minutes in length, with additional videos for many of the activities.

The workbooks come in two levels.  Level A is for children 6-8 years old, and the workbook has larger print, with fewer questions per lesson.  Level B is geared for 9-11 year old students and includes the same material, though sometimes the questions are worded differently.  It generally has a few extra questions, and it also has a weekly review in the format of a crossword puzzle.

As part of the review we received a one year subscription to the video lessons, as well as a Student Workbook and Answer Key for Level B.  I asked Elliott to work in this level (he's 9) and I purchased Level A for Emory (6) so the boys could work together.




This course is unabashedly Christian in content, and begins with a full two week Introduction that covers Creation and Dominion, though it does touch on the theory of Evolution as well.  Creation and being made in God's image are brought up regularly in future lessons as well.  You can view a full scope and sequence on their website, but the course also introduces science skills and tools, earth science, life science, and physical science.  As the title indicates, it gives an introduction to all major areas of science, with subtopics including meteorology, oceanography, plants, underwater creatures, land creatures, human beings, health, matter, motion, magnets and more.


What Did We Think?

The website is easy to navigate and very user friendly.  Even though it is a full year subscription with only 35 weeks of instruction, I noticed you can also buy a short extension to the video lessons, which I think will be useful for some families who rabbit trail or work through things more slowly for whatever reason.  The lessons are divided into weekly sections, so it is very easy to find where you left off.

The lessons are set up with our host speaking to us at a desk.  It reminds me of a newscaster, which I thought was a unique approach.  In the background, and occasionally full-screen, you will often see vocabulary words, full-color photographs or graphics related to the topic of discussion, and my kids particularly liked the photographs.  I will say, for an elementary program, we found him monotone, and I think his speaking style would probably be more suitable for teens.  We also had a very hard time hearing him, and even casting to the television and turning the volume all the way up, we struggled to hear it well, though I think that is a technical issue, more than with his presentation.

With a 2-5 minute video, and only an average of 5 questions per lesson, the lessons are short and to the point.  This is good for students with short attention spans, and made most science lessons very quick.  This is great for families who don't do science every day and would need to "double up" to meet their scheduling needs.  However, it doesn't give much time to go in-depth with the material, and I've found that the workbook require absolutely no effort from my 9 year old.  He blows through his workbook page in less than a minute.  They are mostly multiple choice or they are worded as "or" questions with the answer right in the question, and require no critical thinking.  My 6 year old takes a little more time, but that's because he's not quite at the reading level of the workbook, so I have to read and reword questions for him.



I like the workbook activities.  They are very simple--make a list, draw a picture, simple puzzles, etc.  Elliott likes the word searches and crossword puzzles in Student Workbook B and I find they are right on target for 2nd/3rd grade level.  He finds the matching puzzles, the kind where you match a word or phrase on the left with the matching answer on the right, to be a bit on the easy side.

Emory likes to draw and embellish (that's a Venus Fly Trap, in case you're wondering), so he particularly likes the drawing activities.



There are hands-on activities, but they aren't experiments.  (Science Shepherd doesn't refer to them as experiments either.)  They just do not require the amount of critical thinking or application of the scientific process like I had expected.  Things like pine cone bird feeders, cutting an apple to find the seeds, and leaf rubbings are fun for young students who haven't done them before, and I can see them being appealing activities for parents who aren't interested in working through extensive experiments with their children.  My boys thrive on science though, and I think they were expecting more.

There are other examples of where I saw potential with the activities, but my expectations weren't quite met.  Week 3 was titled Science Skills and Tools.  The first lesson was The Scientific Method, but we weren't given an experiment to try it out.  Instead, we were given a couple of unrelated, individual activities (ex: labeling a house and sorting paper flowers for classification) but not one cohesive experiment to show the full process.  There was a video demonstration of an experiment to determine if a hammer was harder than an egg, but it wasn't written into the curriculum, and though the boys found it funny to watch the girls hammer the egg, there's not much point in doing it after you watch the outcome in a video.  I would have loved to have seen the Scientific Method put into practice early and frequently, so that students can gain experience utilizing these skills.  So far, even the hands-on activities that have the student make something, mostly seem to encourage only observation.  I've looked ahead through most of the units, and I noticed we're often told what we're going to see and why, instead of allowing the student to hypothesize or draw conclusions based on their observations.  Instead of "See how . . .?  That's because . . . " written in the workbook, I would have loved questions like "What do you see?  Why do you think that is?" and the explanation separately in the Answer Key, should I need it.  I think this is particularly important for Workbook B and older students.  {By the way, the Answer Key is a thin paper booklet, and might come in handy for some questions, but I haven't really needed it thus far.}


Overall Thoughts

I feel like the title of the program, Introductory Science, holds true.  It touches just enough on each topic to make it an introductory curriculum for early elementary students who have had little to no science exposure.  I think it would generally be appropriate for K-2 students, though at that age I prefer discussions instead of workbooks.  However, I find it far too simple to span the full recommended age range for the average student.  It's typically just enough information for my six year old, but barely scratches the surface for my 9 year old, if that makes sense.  For us to make this work as a well-rounded science curriculum, I would have to add living books to flesh it out, and find more experiments to appease my boys.  I do think the short nature of the lessons would allow me to add to it in this way, but at this point in our homeschooling, I would prefer a program to already have everything I need.

Although I don't agree with the full age range of this program, I think it could work for parents of young students who haven't had much formal science instruction, and who want short lessons taught for them with the occasional hands-on activities that are simple and easy to implement.


Find Out More

Science Shepherd Review

The Schoolhouse Review Crew has reviewed THREE levels of science from Science Shepherd, so I suggest you check out other reviews to find out how these programs worked for everyone else!


Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ScienceShepherd/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/scienceshepherd
Pinterest - ​ https://www.pinterest.com/scienceshepherd



Science Shepherd Review

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©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Sunday, May 22, 2016

52 Lists: Summer Goals

So much to do and so little time always seems to be the case, but here we are, with summer encroaching quickly.  This week's list was Summer Goals, and since we just moved to a new state with so much to explore, this was an easy list!


  • Birding trails
  • Visit "new to us" playgrounds
  • Explore the walking trails
  • Attend summer fairs and festivals
  • Visit at least a few of the historical sites or museums 
  • Go stargazing
  • Visit the water park
  • Learn to make video games (my son's request!)
  • Find a new home church
  • Read more books for myself
  • Blog more for myself
  • Find the best farmer's market
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Finish planning our homeschool curriculum 



52 lists with Chasing Slow




©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Saturday, May 21, 2016

FIAR: Andy and the Lion



This post contains affiliate links.  

Andy and the Lion was an interesting book (a retelling of Androcles and the Lion) and the boys 
enjoyed it.  It was a casual row, not a lot of pictures here, but I had to get around to posting our last row!

Social Studies
Geography 
We discussed Africa, since that's where lions are found naturally.  I pulled a quick map from Super Teacher Worksheets.



Language Arts
Literature - Aesop's Fables and Tall Tales
We discussed the idea of fables and tall tales, before reading some.

I pulled up a version of Androcles and the Lion to read to the boys.  Elliott immediately compared it to Jesus washing the feet of the disciples--if I can do this for you, you can do this for others.

We also read a version of Paul Bunyan and watched the Disney short on YouTube.


Writing - Openings and Closings
We covered the lesson in the manual, but it tied in with the lesson from Here to Help Learning on writing attention-grabbing opening and closing sentences.


Science
Animals-Lions
We watched a documentary from Netflix, Lions:  Spy in the Den.  Emory really enjoyed it.

I saw this cute tri-fold Animal Report on Pinterest and knew it would be a fun way to do an animal study.






Fine Arts
Sculptures/Statues
One of the lessons in the manual related to sculptures and statues, and I thought it would be fun to make our own.  We pulled a lesson for reference from ARTistic Pursuits.



Elliott made this . . . man.  For some reason, he almost reminded me of a certain claymation character, no?


Emory's was a tree, with a baby in it, and water at the bottom.  I don't quite remember now why the baby was in the tree.





So yes, it was certainly a casual row, but a good one to end the year.  Although we won't be using FIAR as our core next year, I am entertaining the idea of an occasional row mixed in with our studies whenever they fit.  If not, certain books will most definitely be included.  Either way, I do look forward to rowing again when the girls are older.  In fact, I'll continue to use Before FIAR with my preschooler, but that's another post.  In fact, I'll probably be writing up a curriculum post soon!





©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization {Review}

I might not be the most eloquent writer, but I have always had an affinity for reading and writing.  Admittedly, poetry was never a specific pursuit of mine, though I did enjoy it on occasion.  Then I began researching homeschooling and learning more about the Charlotte Mason method in particular, and I knew that offering poetry to my children should be a priority, just as much as offering living books.  I just wasn't good at putting it into practice.  We'd read a few poems here and there, occasionally read about a poet, but that was the extent of our foray into the subject of poetry.  When we had the opportunity to review Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization, I was intrigued.  Published by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) and developed Andrew Pudewa, I assumed it must be a quality program, and I was eager to see if it would finally be the way to integrate poetry into our routine.


Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization is a program to help children develop better language skills through the process of memorizing poetry.  To facilitate this review, I received the Teacher's Manual and CDs, which includes everything you need.  The purchase of the teacher's manual entitles you to the e-book version of the Student Book, and as an e-book, it can be used with multiple students.  I did also receive the physical Student Book, thanks to the generosity of IEW, but it is sold separately.  There are five CDs that correlate to each level of the program, and a bonus DVD with Andrew Pudewa's conference speech, Nurturing Competent Communicators.  Let me just tell you now, this talk was eye-opening for me.

Also included with the purchase of the manual are seven downloads.
  • Nurturing Competent Communicators
  • Mastery Learning, Ability Development and Individualized Education
  • Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
  • On Listening
  • On Speaking
  • On Reading
  • On Writing

I could write an entire review on just the speeches and the introductory material in the Teacher's Manual.  It is very interesting information about how the brain processes language, how stored language patterns affect writing, how the input of language children receive from media and peers is a detriment to their language and writing, and so on and so forth with the interesting information.  As I was watching the DVD, with a three year old in my lap singing nonsense about belly buttons no less, I felt like I had been enlightened as both their parent and their teacher.  I think I should point out that our daily read-aloud time, from a book of my choosing, has been firmly enforced since then!

Andrew Pudewa makes a compelling case for why we should not only encourage memory work, but why poetry is an excellent choice for memory selections.  Essentially, he says you cannot take something out of the brain that wasn't there in the first place.  We cannot expect children to write well if their brains haven't been filled with "reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns" and so he has specifically chosen poetry that meets this need.  Additionally, the poems are lyrical, easy to memorize and are engaging for boys and girls of all ages.

How Does it Work?

There are five levels to Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization.  Students should all begin at Level 1 and work at their own pace through the program, as it utilizes a mastery approach.  Each day they will practice the previously learned poems, and then they will add a new one when they are ready.  At the end of each level, you can do a little graduation celebration and present them with a certificate, and allow them to recite their poems for a chosen audience.  By Level 5, students transition to speeches.

The student workbook includes a black and white illustration with each poem, so students can color them if they wish, as well as a checklist so they can check off each day that they practice.  Past the first level, this checklist is specifically designed to help you alternate the poems you recite each day, so you aren't reciting them all each day, but frequently enough to keep them committed to memory.  The teacher's manual includes an appendix with ideas to expand on each poem, so you could follow rabbit trails or make little units out of each poem, if you choose.

We started with Level 1 obviously, and my boys have really enjoyed the process!  They love listening to Mr. Pudewa recite the poems.  He really has chosen poems that will appeal to everyone.  The first poem "Ooey Gooey" made all three of my older kids (9, 6, 3) laugh, and my 3 year old proclaimed for days that he was flat and that she saw his GOO!  The boys had moved on before she memorized it, but it didn't take her long, and she was delighted with herself to be able to do the same "school work" as the big kids!  The 9 year old usually memorizes the poems faster than my 6 year old, but that's to be expected.  They still do the daily review together, and in all honesty, this can get a little competitive, but we have really enjoyed learning new poems together.

Final Thoughts

It's not often I gush about a program, but I am very impressed with Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization.  I found the introduction for the parent/teacher to be very informative.  I love that Mr. Pudewa chose a variety of poems, with some being lyrical and more traditional, while others are silly and whimsical.  The program is easy to implement, and really doesn't take much time out of our day, nor does it feel like a chore.  It never receives the groaning or procrastination like certain other subjects, and they love reciting newly memorized poems for dad when he gets home from work.

I appreciate the audio of the poems for a couple of reasons.  First, it's nice to hear someone besides mom.  I caught my 9 year old walk by the CD player one day and press play, just to listen to the poems.  Audio allows children who cannot read fluently to experience the poems with everyone else, without worrying about reading, and it of course appeals to the auditory learner.  It is not easy for any type of curriculum to impress my entire family, but this one does it!  This is a fascinating approach to helping children become better writers, and I am eager to see how it works for us in the long run.

For more information, please be sure to check out more reviews, and find IEW online!  I also wanted to share the IEW Podcasts, which I was excited to find recently!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iew
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iewriting
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv


Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review

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©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Monday, May 16, 2016

52 Lists: Things I Want to Be Known For

This week's objective was to list the things we want to be known for.  I want to be known for being...


  • A loving and supportive wife
  • A loving and devoted mother
  • Faithful
  • Warmhearted and compassionate
  • A lifelong learner
  • Trustworthy
  • A true friend
  • Inspiring





52 lists with Chasing Slow











©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Music Appreciation from Zeezok Publishing, LLC {TOS Review}

As I'm slowly returning back to my Charlotte Mason roots, I find that one area of inconsistency has been composer studies.  When we had the opportunity to review Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades from Zeezok Publishing LLC, I was definitely intrigued and looked forward to trying it out.

Music Appreciation Book 1: for the Elementary Grades
This Music Appreciation course is designed to meet all national standards for music appreciation for K-6th grade, and in fact exceeded those standards at the time of publication.  It teaches the lives and music of seven different composers:
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • George Frederic Handel
  • Franz Joseph Hayden
  • Wolfgang A. Mozart
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Nicolo Paganini
  • Franz Schubert 


Included with this curriculum, I received the following:
  • Student Activity Book
  • Music Discs
  • Lapbook (CD)
  • Seven individual composer biographies

Franz Schubert

Although the units are presented in a chronological fashion, they are stand-alone units and can be completed in any order.  We started with Franz Schubert.

The full title of the book we used is Franz Schubert and his Merry Friends by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher.  The biographies are reprinted classics, and I've seen these books come highly recommended for music appreciation, so I was excited to see a course designed around them.  The illustrations by Mary Greenwalt are simple, black and white, and are not on every page, but frequent enough to keep the interest of younger children or visual learners.  Samples of Schubert's music are scattered throughout the book.  The biographies are written in story form and are engaging, true living books.  {You might notice Schubert is the only hardback book, but this is the last book to be updated and reprinted.  The other books are paperback.}

All of the components of this program are designed to work together to get the full benefit of the curriculum.  Each composer has four weeks of instruction, and each week is broken down with a list of activities to complete.  There are a variety of activities that are pretty standard across each composer, like comprehension questions, as well as character qualities and tidbits of interest pulled from the stories.  The other activities, lapbook components and music theory content are more varied for each composer.


Franz Schubert ~ The Lessons

Each composer has a Weekly Lesson Outline, with each week having anywhere from 8-12 activities on average.  Essentially, you read the chapter from the biography, and work through the Activity Book, though you could choose the order of activities within each week.  It also tells you when to complete the corresponding lapbook elements.  For Schubert, there was such a variety of topics covered!  Learning about Austria lets you explore geography.  We learned about an instrument called a hackbrett, which was new to all of us, so that was fun.  It inspired us to look up videos online too.  We learned about First Chair, which allowed me to talk about my "auditions" for chair placement when I played clarinet.  There was so much more!  Our introduction to music theory included learning about things like rhythm, solfege, notes and rests, and again, much more than I could cover in this review . . . and just think--this is just for one composer!  I don't think I can truly tell you how comprehensive this program is.  While the boys didn't particularly care for all the technical terms and definitions, they did enjoy the activities like clapping the rhythm of familiar songs and humming melodies for each other to identify, as well as just listening to the music.

The Activity Book tells you when to complete the corresponding lapbook elements, so there's no guessing when to do what, and nothing gets left out by accident, which I appreciate.

Preparing our Lapbook

We did find that many activities weren't really our style.  Frequently, the lapbook elements were just pasting a summary of the workbook information into a booklet, instead of having the children transferring their knowledge and understanding of the material in their own words.  I'd hoped it would serve as a method of narration, and for future units, I've decided if we continue with the lapbooks, we will leave out some of these pre-written summaries and have the kids summarize on their own.  Some of the activities felt out of place for a music study, in my opinion.  Making patterns with apple pictures or researching an apple type, just because apples were mentioned in the book, is quite a stretch, just to have a "hands-on" activity.  Elliott actually loves word searches, but I don't consider a word search hands-on either.  I know sometimes unit studies are pretty inclusive to cover a variety of subjects, but I think sometimes just including what is a natural fit is more than enough, such as the comparison of poetry and music.  For me, a composer/music study doesn't need everything else, though looking through some of the other units we haven't done yet, they do have some interesting hands-on activities that are more appropriate.

I think the other "issue" I had was that it somehow manages to fit so much information into just four weeks.  That's NOT a bad thing, because it's very thorough and informative, it's just too fast paced for our family.  We like to go slow and really savor what we're learning.  Also, one month is shorter than Charlotte Mason recommended spending on a composer.  CM style would be to study one composer over a whole term, and if I'm being honest with myself, CM's composer studies would not include all the extra stuff that makes this curriculum.  So while it wasn't really as Charlotte Mason in nature as I was hoping, it is actually easy enough to tweak.  It is just more like a two year program for us.

Other Composers
The units for the other composers are laid out in a similar fashion.  Everything is very consistent through the book, so as the parent/teacher, you know what to expect.  I decided we should follow Schubert with a study of George Frederic Handel, because we have a fun CD with his music I wanted to pair with it.  This study uses the biography titled Handel at the Court of Kings.

Again, this is a comprehensive unit.  Of course it has the review and comprehension of the readings and positive character traits demonstrated by Handel, but also information about other musicians born during the same year as Handel, mapping/geography lessons, a writing assignment with adjectives and adverbs,  and a taste of German culture with ideas for a meal.  Now cooking is my idea of hands-on and interactive!  Where in Schubert's study we learned about the theory of music, Handel teaches about the elements of music and contrasting music styles.  This helps keep each unit unique, while still offering a broad overview of music throughout the full course.  I do think the activity on blindness in Week 4 offers a unique look at the challenges that not just composers, but anyone else with impaired vision might face in their daily life.

The seven units combined will cover the various elements of music appreciation and music theory standards.  Not every composer will cover every standard, and some standards may only be addressed by one composer.  However, it looks like by the end of this course, we should have a good foundation in music.  If your state (or cover school) requires music education, this would be an excellent choice.  Our new state does, so I will be adjusting this program to meet our needs and cover our music requirement.

Final Thoughts

I think it just depends on what you're looking for in a music course.  My kids appreciate composer biographies and just listening to music, but this is a thorough Music Appreciation course, not simply a composer studies course, and as such, is heavy on the music theory and vocabulary.  It's great at that, but I guess it isn't the angle we're going for right now.  Many aspects of the program went over well with the boys, but not everything.  I also have to accept that lapbooks really aren't their preferred learning style.  Emory probably would like the coloring book they have, which has pages for each chapter, so that's probably something I should have considered.  The program is recommend for K-6 students, with the understanding that younger students will have more adult involvement.  My boys are 1st and 3rd, and I feel much of it is beyond my 6 year old, and a stretch for my 9 year old as written.  I love the use of living books, and I think these particular book choices are great for all ages, but I think the workload is better for the older end of the recommended grade range, and it's certainly suitable for beyond, particularly for a student with little music exposure.  It's a fabulous program, and it will just take some more tweaking to fit our relaxed Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling.  The good thing is that I believe this program is flexible enough for families of different homeschool styles to make it work for their unique needs.


Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

More Information

There is also a Book 2 in the works!  It is expected to be released Spring 2017 and will include seven more composers!  They are Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Foster, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and MacDowell.  Music Appreciation Book 2 will be geared towards 5th-8th graders.

You can find out more about Zeezok Publishing on Facebook or Pinterest, and by reading more crew reviews.







Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades {Zeezok Publishing LLC Review}

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©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

52 Lists ~ Weeks 17 & 18

I figured I might get behind when we moved.  Such is life.  I don't want to skip a list though, so I'm combining two lists into one post.


Week 17:  The People I Admire

There are a lot of special people in my life that I admire.

  • The parent who loves unconditionally and sacrifices when necessary to give their children the best they have to offer; the parent who does what is right for their family and can look beyond what other people think 
  • Stepparents and in-laws, who take in "another" as their very own
  • Foster parents and adoptive parents, who make even more specific commitments and sacrifices to show love where it is needed most
  • The husband (or wife) that speaks kindly about their spouse, shows grace and love, and lives a Godly marriage
  • Those who face challenges with dignity and faith
  • The person who never gives up
  • Those who love their family and friends despite faults, and don't hold grievances or create rifts
  • Prayer warriors
  • Missionaries
  • The friend you may not talk to for ages, who is still always there for you




Week 18:  The Ways I am Energized

  • Sleeping/Napping
  • Reading
  • Hot Showers
  • Prayer
  • Reading my Bible
  • Blogging
  • Taking a slow walk in Nature
  • A Clean/Organized House






52 lists with Chasing Slow







©2011-2016 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, May 6, 2016

Catching some Zzz's

I forgot how absolutely exhausting a move can be.  Those last few days, it's like I was cramming for a final exam, except I was trying to figure out how much I could reasonably cram into the last few boxes I had.  I refused to buy more on the last day of packing.  HA!  I put a lot of mental effort into making sure all the last minute details were checked off, not to mention the physical work that goes into moving.  I'm pretty sure the first few days after the move, my body quit working at full capacity because it had actually gone into self-preservation mode.

All we've wanted to do is SLEEP for nearly a week now.  Even the kids were exhausted.  The toddler took a three-and-a-half hour nap the day of the move, I guess because we got up so early that day . . . but it was actually fantastic because it let us get the U-Haul unloaded without her underfoot.  One of the boys dozed off while getting his hair cut the next day.  Nobody was fighting bedtime.  It was bliss.

So that's where I've been.  Trying to sneak in mini-naps here and there just to catch up on my sleep.  Except I couldn't really, because most days I've been staring at boxes to be unpacked, or I've had to wait around on service calls or delivery trucks to get things situated here.  It was Day 5 before we had living room furniture, and we still haven't gotten our new dining table yet.  So, meals have been fun.  Or not.

We're slowly getting back into a routine, though, and I can't wait for the weather to clear up a little, and for us to get out and explore.  I already have several places (parks, museums, etc) on my list!






I can't believe we made it all the way through the Blogging through the Alphabet challenge!  I'm pleasantly surprised that I managed to post every week, even if a few weeks have been rushed and uninspired.  I just wanted to stick to my commitment and follow through on posting every week.  I'm a little sad that it's over.  I've enjoyed seeing what others come up with each week.

Blogging Through the Alphabet” style=








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