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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homeschool Legacy Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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        2012 Elections are right around the corner, and with Alyx starting High School this year and needing a credit of Government to graduate, I was delighted to get chosen to review Homeschool Legacy's Once A Week Unit Studies We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution   Alyx is also taking a government class at our co-op so between the two he will be all set with his credit and we will have it finished and out of the way right off the bat. We love doing unit studies it makes it so much fun to learn about a subject and it can be very hands on. We tend to make our unit studies into lapbooks, which is exactly what we did with We The People. It makes on the go learning fun as we make our lapbook and they have clipboards that we use in the car that store pens,pencils and glue sticks and some paper. We try to utilize every opportunity to learn and that includes the car, which we are unfortunately in for at least one hour per day.
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   Once A Week Unit Studies are designed to be worked on just once week, sometimes that did not work for us so we used it a little each day, being designed just with homeschoolers in mind, makes them very flexible and adaptable which I loved. I also loved that everything was done for you with the exception of some materials you need to gather, which are available at most libraries, the unique thing with Homeschool Legacy is not only do they list the reference materials, but they give you the Dewey Decimal number to make life so easy on Mom. I appreciated the fact that this saved me valuable time as I could look them up on the internet through our library without searching through pages of search, and then reserve them and then simply drive to the library and pick them up, easy peasy! This is so important to me as we are just so busy that I often do not feel as I have enough hours in the day, and this saved my sanity so much. There were many tips located in the back of the unit study titled Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study. I found this exceptionally helpful to make sure that we were gaining the most out of our unit study and to ensure we were going to have a successful journey.

    The Once a Week Unit Studies are designed to either complement your current curriculum or can be used as a stand alone, which is the option my family chose, along with Alyx taking his class at our co-op.

      The unit study is designed to be completed in 8 weeks and is geared to a wide range of ages for grades 4-12, and is taught with a Christian point of view and prepared in a way that lets the children pick the choices of how they want to execute the unity study. Their choices include a wide variety of quality reading selections that focus on the Founding Fathers, classic literature, the Constitution, our Bill of Rights, the three branches of government, the voting process, the amendments and our national symbols. My boys are particularly interested in the Constitution and the Bill of rights as well as the history of our American Government. There are creative writing assignments, as well as games like the preamble scramble, and a memory game that helps learn the Bill of Rights.

    There were opportunities to study the voting process, which I was lucky enough to find many supportive accessories at our local dollar store, like a ballot box, many wall hangings including one of the Declaration of Independence and cut outs of our presidents. We are going to perform a Mock election on voting day to see how our whole family and some friends "voted". The boys do know my opinions of how I may be voting, but I want them to have their own opinion. We have always stressed the importance of voting and take every opportunity to include the children in our trips to the polls.

  We will be finishing up the last of the study the week of voting, and will complete the study by taking the mock Naturalization Exam. Will we ace it? I sure hope so!  We are going on a road trip this week for 17 days and will be taking some field trips that center around our unit study. So be sure to check back after October 20, and read all about our trip and our Ultimate Homeschool Road Trip.

     Another side note and benefit to all of the Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy is that they support Scouting and American Heritage Girls and a badge can be earned for either organization for completing the unit study. My boys are not involved in either of these so I can not say anything either way but in my opinion this is a valuable asset if your children are.

    There are many exciting topics of Once A Week Unit Studies available from Homeschool Legacy, We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution is available for $19.95 and if you would like to save money you can do just that by purchasing more than one and when your order total is more than $50 you will qualify for Free Shipping. I love Free Shipping so this exciting to me.

   While we were fortunate to review We The People, many of the Schoolhouse Crew Members reviewed other titles as we were able to choose the one that best fit our curriculum we were working on. So please click on the banner below to learn about all of the other Once A Week Unit Studies.


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   Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Family Time Fitness Review Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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       One of the big questions I get from many people about homeschooling is what about GYM? Well that is often on my mind as well, when the weather is nice we get plenty of activity especially when we are at camp, there is always the Wii but that gets old after a while. Taylor has special limitations due to his Cold Urticaria that prevent him from outdoor activities starting in October-November through March-April depending on our crazy MI weather. We cannot always afford to go do something to get our activity in, so when presented with a Physical Education curriculum for review, from Family Time Fitness along with many other crew members from The School House Review Crew, I knew it was a sign that we needed to do more, with cold weather fast approaching.

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     The boys on the other hand were less than thrilled, they though that being homeschooled meant they got a free pass to not have actual Gym class, boy were they WRONG! Family Time Fitness is developed with homeschoolers in mind and at heart. We were given the Fitness for Homeschool Core 1 curriculum in PDF download and it came as several files so I could print them as needed. I was a little overwhelmed at first with just how much information was given but I devised a plan and printed the first 40 lessons and had them bound into a book for about $3.50 at my local office supply store, this made it a manageable size and I am a little OCD when it comes to just having papers stapled together. I want something that looks a little more professional. So this helped out a ton. There are some supplies you need to get started before you begin the program, some you may already have on hand, and some you may not. If you are frugal like me it was fun to find the items at bargain prices since many of them were on clearance from the Summer or found at the dollar store down the street.

     These are the items we need to get started on our homeschool Gym class.
Bean Bags: we made these out of dry beans and leftover material. You can also use tennis balls as an alternative.

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Jump Ropes, they give you alternatives for making your own as well, but I snagged ours for about $1 so it was easier and saved some time.

Hula Hoops, my boys were the least thrilled about this aspect, but soon got over it when I explained we virtually hula hoop on one of our Wii games. They just asked that I not take photos, because they know all too well all photos get posted on facebook and my blog. I miss when they were younger and did not care.(lol)
Playground Balls, these were easy to find as well as the hula hoops at the dollar store.

Foam balls, or blow up beach balls for indoor use. Beach balls were a steal at target about the time I went hunting in their dollar spot.

Cones, I found super cute ones that had school sayings on them at the dollar tree, they were a bit small but would be great for little kids. I chose to go with ones I found in the dollar spot at Target as they were designed for sports outdoors.

Measuring Tape, I think it is safe to say we all should probably have one of these already, I did for sewing, had a couple so took my least favorite and put it in the Gym Bin we created.

Stop Watch, we had one of these as well but most cell phones have that feature as well.

Exercise Mat, we found these cheap at the dollar spot as well as Five Below, they were probably my most expensive thing but they did not break the bank.

    Just keep in mind you are making a wise investment into your family's health. That is worth every penny put in and you are only having to buy this stuff one time at the beginning not all the time.

    There is an intro in the beginning that explains the importance of physical activity and more importantly how to easily incorporate it into your homeschool routine.  The lessons are broken up into Core Physical Fitness that provides 25-45 minutes of physical activity and then at the end of each lesson there is an outdoor activity challenge that provides an additional 15-30 minutes of physical fitness. If you do both the indoor and outdoor activities you will have a solid one hour Gym class each day full of rigorous activity that is sure to get your family fit and healthy and keep them that way in no time flat.

     For us the outdoor activity will get to be hard for us to do because it will get too cold for Taylor to be outside but I have been busy finding ways to alter them so we can do them inside or replace them with another lesson of indoor physical activity to make up for it. At camp we have been going to the indoor pool in the afternoon when it has been too chilly or raining outside. Sometimes we just need that guidance to get us motivated and help us head in the right direction. Family Time Fitness does just that, by involving the whole family, the kids get motivated by seeing their parents excited and involved.  They learn by our examples, if we show the kids what to do and give them the tools they will learn to enjoy it and start to crave physical activity. The whole if you build it they will come theory comes into play, if you get my drift.

    We do a lesson 3 days a week, usually Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. This way it does not overlap with our co-op on Thursdays and we get Tuesdays off,  and when it gets time to print the next few modules I will print them on my laser printer and head out to the office supply store and have the next 40 lessons bound, and then we will then continue on our journey. There are 260 lessons in all giving you a years worth of lessons for your homeschooling pleasure for a mere $57. Core 2 will be coming out in January of 2013 so you can continue on with all new modules to keep it fresh and fun.
  Family Time Fitness also offers an upgraded Platinum package that you can learn about on their website, www.familytimefitness.com, this includes Core 1 and Core 2 and so much more for $137 which presents a 30% SAVINGS.
  Not only do they offer homeschool physical education for the family, but they offer a High School Physical Education course that would give a transcript credit for those on the track of high school and graduation. They also have Health Education if you are interested as well as many other programs, be sure to visit their website to check out all they have to offer.

  Here is what Family Time Fitness has to say about their program....

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum allows homeschool parents to teach physical education without previous knowledge of physical education and athletic development. Our program, designed by experts in fitness training, nutrition and body movement, is designed to suit every age and ability level while affordably fitting into your budget. Our program combines flexibility and fun with a comprehensive curriculum to give your children a foundation for strong bodies and minds. 

    I know with my help the boys will be headed on a healthy path that will carry them on through their lifetime, I thought I was doing an OK job before we started Family Time Fitness, but quickly found out I was lacking in some areas. With the help of this comprehensive curriculum I feel our whole family will benefit from using Family Time Fitness and we will all live healthier and happier lives as a result of our hard work and effort we put forth. The boys have so enjoyed this even though they were apprehensive at first, they quickly learned that fitness can be fun, and it can be for the whole family.

   If you do not have a sturdy Physical Education curriculum in place please consider Family Time Fitness, it will be the best investment you have made for your family in a long time. You will be so thankful as not only does it help keep you healthy, it will bring your family closer together and help strengthen your relationships as you build muscle and team spirit, and have fun being fit together. I know it has done wonders for our family. I would recommend every homeschool family make this small investment for a huge return in the end.

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   Many of the members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review Family Time Fitness and each put our own spin on it, I encourage you to click the banner below and find out how the rest of the crew's families benefited from Family Time Fitness. Get moving and see the rewards, you will be so glad you did.



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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”








Monday, September 17, 2012

Marshall Publishing "The History of The Oregon Trail and The Pony Express" Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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   My boys enjoy History quite a bit, me not so much but I am learning to appreciate it a little more. My boys do get a little bored when we are reading through our History books. When I can add in a video opportunity I jump for it. Watching History unfold on a DVD is so much more exciting and I feel the boys learn so much more, and retain what they learn by hearing and seeing the stories not just reading them. I was given the opportunity to review for Marshall Publishing last year for their George Washington Carver DVD and this year we were given the choice of 4 DVDs as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. We chose The History of The Oregon Trail and The Pony Express.

       
  We have been studying The Pony Express this year and how the whole US mail system began and creating a time line of the mail service. This review came at a great time as it slipped right into our studies we were already covering. Marshall Publishing has many DVDs to choose from and range in audience ages from toddlers up to adults. We particular like the History DVDs as they are depicted in the era in which they are covering and the actors are quite good. The bonus is they also have study guides that go along with the movies. So you can watch the movie and then complete the study guide to get a full lesson out of it. I feel that when my boys watch a movie and then use a study guide to go along with it they retain much more information than if they were just reading a book and answering some questions about what they read. My boys are what you call visual and auditory learners.

     My boys have been fascinated with the mail system since I can remember, they love to get mail and send mail and have always had a curiosity about how it all got started. Add in some horses and shoot outs and you have made 2 boys very happy. They were intrigued to find out that The Pony Express ended up in failure  and bankruptcy.  This portion we were sad to see only last 16 minutes, we wished it had covered a bit more but we enjoyed the lesson and DVD nonetheless.





  The Orgeon Trail is something we are just getting started on and were happy that this story was on the same DVD as The Pony Express, this portion lasted 35 minutes and covers the story with beautifully depicted scenery and tells of the hardships and joys told from the emigrant diaries. It was as if we were being told the story from the actual person that had endured the journey over America's most longest and famous trail.  The boys listened intently as they story was told and then we worked on some in depth questions and answers and turned it into a lapbook. They wanted to make this one into a unit study after watching the short movie. We have continued to study The Oregon Trail and the boys have been soaking it all up. Who would have though that a movie could spark such passion in my boys.

     Marshall Publishing sells The Oregon Trail and The Pony Express for $19.95 and has a study guide available as well This DVD and Study Guide is geared for 4th Grade and up, my boys are in 8th and 9th grade and enjoyed the DVD tremendously. With any curriculum or educational products it is up to the parent to decide what their child's maturity level is when choosing the product. Some items may have a recommended age but could be used for younger or older children than intended. The study guide has research questions and discussion questions, and then enrichment activity suggestions for before and after the DVD is viewed. This can be a complete unit study and opens the door for more exploration.
   
    If you are not studying The Oregon Trail or The Pony Express please visit the website to find the perfect History DVD for your homeschool that will fall right into your current lesson plans. There are many educational and historical topics to choose from. The Schoolhouse Review Crew members were able to choose the DVD that best fit their homeschool learning so be sure to click on the banner below to visit all of the reivews to see what everyone chose and how their family enjoyed their DVD.


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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”






Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Math 911 Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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              Over the Summer I was searching like a mad woman trying to find the right computer/online Math program for both my boys to use this coming school year. Now that we are trudging onto High School it is very important to me that I know Alyx is getting enough Math to count as a credit for his school transcripts, and that he is indeed getting all of the help he needs to understand the concepts he is working on so that he can continue to move forward. We had already chosen Alyx's core Math curriculum for the year when I was offered the opportunity to review Proffessor Weissman's Math 911 computer software, so I was happy to see that this was a supplemental tutoring type program. Therefor it would not interfere in the program we were already using. Up until now Math has come fairly easy to Alyx, but as we are moving up in grades there is increasingly more instances where Alyx is being challenged, and could use a little extra support. I make no bones about that support not coming from me. Alyx's Math is way out of my league and I am proud to say I am not ashamed to admit where my weaknesses are.

     Math 911 is a downloadable back to basics, no games just Math tutoring program for upper level grades starting with a complete  Middle School Introductory Algebra (Algebra 1) course which is accessible using the Free program or you can also access it from the premium upgraded paid version which includes Algebra 1 and so much more. For starters you can access Intermediate Algebra (Algebra 2), Pre- Calculus topics, Trigonometry Topics, and also an Introductory Statistics Course.

   There are several ways to go about obtaining the software, there is the Free version, the upgraded premium version which is what we reviewed and also a handy USB plug and play version that requires no downloading to your computer. For a limited time you can obtain the  Algebra in A Flash, USB Complete Version for a discounted price of $9.95 using the discount code HOMESCHOOL at checkout. For a partial list of contents in Algebra in A Flash visit the website. The Algebra in a Flash is only for the

    One of the many things that impressed me with Math 911 was that you can ask for a password from their help desk that allows you to use the program on your home network, or multiple computers. You download the program to your main computer, for us this was our desktop PC and then we were able to create shortcuts to access the program via the laptops. This made it much easier for the kids to work from whichever computer they needed to at the time to complete their work. This was especially helpful when we were camping and not on our main computer.

    Now I will say that I am confident on the computer and feel very knowledgeable, although I did struggle when I first tried to upgrade my Free version to the Premiere version, I was getting frustrated but never fear help is here. Professor Weissman and the Math 911 help desk are always there to lend a helping hand and are never farther than an email for phone call to help with tech support. I give an A+ to Math 911 for all of their help, and it turns out my problems I was encountering were not the fault of the program but my computer firewalls and mom installed computer watchdog programs, and even though it was not Math 911's fault they still helped me figure it all out. That is a huge bonus in my book, some company's would say too bad the minute they know it is not the fault of their program, this was not the case with Math 911. So Kudos to them for that.

     It was refreshing also to know that this is a no frills kind of software, meaning no games, no music, and no funny characters. Math, Math and Math is all you will find. I was also pleased that if your child is missing problems they continue bringing up similar problems for them to face presented slightly different until the child has mastered that concept. This was especially helpful to Alyx, as he strives on repetition. There was some aggravation on his end as well but it was easily remedied by learning the quirks of the program as far as spacing and entering in his answers. As soon as he figured this out it was smooth sailing from that point forward. Alyx tends to get easily frustrated so this was a problem at first but once we figured out the problem he agreed to give it another go and it was no longer an issue.

   Another plus from Math 911 is that when you upgrade to the premier version, there are many added benefits for the purchase price.Math 911 is simply not a company that hands you a program and if you are struggling is not their to help and offer support, they also are continually working to improve their program and offer lifetime free updates that you can download to upgrade your current version. There was updates available while we were reviewing the software and they were made available to us as soon as they were ready and were quite easy to implement. If I had a problem help was never far away. Some companies charge extra for these upgrades but this is not true of Math 911, this is included in your price of $49.95. This reduced prices is only available for a limited time so act now to get the most bang for your buck.   The benefits keep rolling with this company as compared to other companies that charge a subscription fee and the price you are paying only lasts for so long, with Math 911 you are purchasing the software, so once you pay your fee you now own the program, it is yours to use for your family.


   In closing I think if you are looking for a no frills Math tutoring program, this is not meant to be in my opinion a core curriculum, and like companies with excellent customer service and tech support. This may be the company you have been searching for to help you with your Math needs. After working through our technical issues which I stated above were not the fault of Math 911 this program did everything it promised to do and more. Remember you can take it for a test drive and see if it is the right fit for your Algebra 1 needs and if you decide it is you can easily upgrade your Free program to the Premium program with ease and help. There is always the USB Complete Version also that requires no installation if that part scares you. All of these programs are on sale for a limited time so please act fast to secure the currently quoted prices. All prices are correct at the time this review was written but are subject to change at the vendor's discretion. I am not responsible for any price changes. Please visit  www.Math911.com to check out the information I have provided to you.

     As always do not just trust what I have to say although I hope you feel confident you could. Please visit the rest of the reviews from The Schoolhouse Review Crew and see what they are saying about their experience of Math 911 by clicking the banner below.


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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everyday Homemaking Molly Crew 2012

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                   I am super duper excited to bring to you a review from the new Molly Crew, this is a review crew for products for the home and everyday life, brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I was tickled pink to be chosen for this review, for a couple of reasons. One, I know some of my readers do not homeschool and I do not want them to feel left out. Second, every Fall we look to change things up a bit around here and this product is just what we were looking for.

          So you probably want to know what I am so excited about? Well I am here to share with you one of the books from Everyday Homemaking.com, we as part of the Molly Crew were given the choice of one of two books, The Everyday Family Chore System, or Everyday Cooking. There was no hesitation in this decision for me, we chose The Everyday Family Chore System. You see Fall around our house means fresh beginnings and with that comes change where change is either needed or craved. To keep things running smoothly around here a chore system of some sort is not only wanted it is needed and mandatory. The problem is usually by Spring we are all tired of the chore system that has been in place and Summer ends up chaotic to say the least. I am always by  August madly searching for the perfect system to make our home run like a well oiled machine and this year was no exception. God has the perfect timing, I was chosen to review The Everyday Family Chore System and it was just in time for Fall.
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    Written by Homeschool Mom and activist Vicki Bentley....



Biographical information:

Vicki Bentley is the mother of eight daughters, foster mom of over fifty, and grandma to fifteen wonderful grandbabies (and another on the way!). Vicki has homeschooled 17 children alongside her husband Jim, and led a local support group of over 250 families for 14 years. She has served on the executive board and convention committee of the Home Educators Association of Virginia and has addressed state and national conventions, university teacher organizations, and many mothers’ groups. She is the author of My Homeschool Planner, Everyday Cooking, The Everyday Family Chore System, Home Education 101: A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers, High School 101: Blueprint for Success, and other homeschool and homemaking helps, and coordinates Home School Legal Defense Association's Early Years program (Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens) as well as their Group Services. Vicki has a heart for parents--especially moms--with strong practical wisdom and encouraging words.




   Now let me start off by saying changing things up each year is not for everyone and it does take some getting used to the new routine. After reading this book I think what our problem has been in the past is not the chore system per say but how we effectively implemented it. The Everyday Family Chore System, is not only a system but the tools to teach and train your children and in my case hubby and myself how to work effectively and efficiently and do things the correct way the first time, which in essence saves time in the long run.  This book teaches 3 key components...
  1. Laying a foundation: Child Training is the first step to successful home management training.
  2. Implementing the plan: Teach them HOW to work: Motivate them to SUCCEED.
  3. The actual chore system

   I was impressed by the tools the author Vicki Bentley gives her readers. In the past the chore systems I have found and chosen to use with my family were just that, a chore system. They did not include the tools to teach my family to use the system or how to accomplish the tasks asked of them. I often find myself just telling the kids what chores to do and then find myself upset with them when they are not done to my standards. This is a tiresome way to not accomplish much of anything, and ends up with frustration from all parties involved. I was looking for a quick fix, that is where I was wrong, training my family or in my case untraining them so that I could retrain them the correct way takes time. We did not learn the wrong way over night we were not going to magically fix it over night either. This book has restored my patience, something I lost long ago. You are taught to enlist helpers, make job cards that outline what needs to be done for each task that is to be accomplished. Instead of simply saying clean the bathroom, have an index card that explains in detail what the task of cleaning the bathroom entail. Shine the sink, mop the floor, scrub the toilet, replace towels, empty trash can, put away toiletries that have been left out in haste. Now these steps may be different for every family and is greatly dependent on the age of your children. Mine being almost 13, 14 and almost 16 they are much more capable than say my friend whose children range in ages from 2-7. You are taught that you need to have reasonable expectations for the age of your children. I learned my expectations were not high enough and that was where some of our problems were.

    After reading about training my family, we moved onto the implementation portion of this new journey we were on to removing chore chaos from our home. I enlisted the children as helpers so they could learn how it is to be done. I went through each chore with each child and my hubby and we did them together so that they could visually see what is to be expected of them as they complete their designated chores each day and each week. There is to be daily chores and then there are those weekly chores like putting trash at the curb or picking up the garage that only need to be done once a week. This helped the kids to truly understand what is expected in relation to each task. This way we are all on the same page and there is no confusion or excuses later if the task is not done appropriately. I think this was where much of our problem was and it was simply a breakdown in communication.

    The last step was actually the finished product, the chore system itself now Vicki Bentley outlines an actual chore system for you or gives you the option to apply the tools in her system to adapt it to any chore system you want to use or are currently using. Now pinterest has been a great help in that area as I wanted something fun and functional with rewards for good efforts. I do not believe in allowances but I do believe in a system that allows the boys to earn privileges and outings that are special to them. Going to the movies, out to lunch or a special field trip. A new item they have been working on or a couple bucks of spending money. I used to assign a money value to each chore and found that did not work for us and led to some arguments among the children because his chores are worth my chores kind of thing so instead we use a point system and work towards individual goals. These goals have a point value and when the individual has earned the expected amount of points they can cash them in for their "prize". This is what works for us but you can use whatever system you want or the system Vicki has set up for you. We did use her idea of the board and the clothes pins, setting daily and weekly chores and  the chore cards themselves. I used foam core board purchased at the dollar store, clothes pins and a label machine. I used some of the included chores as starting points and added some of our own. This is a slow process but I believe worth every effort in the long run.

     The Everyday Family Chore System sells for $19.99 for a glossy covered, spiral bound printed book or $17.99 for the E-book version, which is what I received. There is also a companion one hour workshop that is on audio CD that you can purchase for $6, "Getting kids to help at home". I not only think that this is a valuable purchase, I think it is a great investment in your family as it will help to guide your children into adulthood. They will be self sufficient individuals when they leave their nest and I wish I would have found it years ago when my children were younger. I feel that it is never to late to start though and just because your kids are older do not hesitate to make the change. You will be so glad you did. Everyday Homemaking.com has the books mentioned in my review as well as many other homemaking and homeschooling products to make your home run efficiently and effectively, be sure to check them all out. Also be sure to check out the reviews from the rest of The Molly Crew, by clicking on the banner below you will have access to the reviews of both The Everyday Family Chore System and Everyday Cooking. Happy  Homemaking to you and your family.


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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Notable Novelists Game Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

Pin It Now!              We love to play games in our family and anytime we have the chance to stir in some fun into a not so fun subject we jump at the chance. Now I must admit I am not a fan of Literature, I did well in school but found it very dry. I want to change the opinion of Literature class for my boys, so I found it intriguing that we could play a literature based card game about 20th Century Novelists. As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew we were sent Notable Novelists, a card game by Calico, LLC.

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    Notable Novelists is a handy little card game that makes for on the go playing easy. I did not know what to expect when I showed the game to my boys, they let out a small groan at first. My oldest son who is a huge literature fan helped change the tune of the younger boys. He was excited and could not wait to play and his excitement was contagious to say the least. He read the directions and then sifted through the cards, excited when he came upon one of his favorite writers. He began telling the boys about each one that he was familiar with and then made notes of the ones he did not recognize so he could look up the books listed on the Library Cards. See there are three types of cards in the deck,  Author cards have a fun portrait of the Novelist on them with his important info like date of birth and death. Then there are Bio cards, these tell important facts you should know about that author. Lastly there are the Library cards and these tell the 3 important works of the author that matches that card. Now there are 3 cards one of each that I described above that all match each other and have the same author in common. They are easily identified by color borders and such so you can match them without too much effort in your hand while playing. The 3 types of cards all make up a literary set, and there are 18 sets in the deck.

     Now the object of the game is to collect as many literary sets as possible to outwhit your opponents. You can play the game like Go Fish for younger kids or our favorite which we play often with regular playing cards, Rummy. I also thought for younger kids you could make it like a memory game and flip them upside down and take turns flipping them to collect cards to make a set. The boys enjoyed playing the game as a Rummy style and I loved hearing them listen to their older brother as they played tell of the Authors that he knew of. It did not matter that the boys did not know the authors to play the game, but in time they learned who they were and became interested to study some of them. Through this game they have become familiar with some of the great 20th Century writers such as James Baldwin , F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton just to name a few.
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     Notable Novelists is designed for ages 12 and up although I do think younger siblings could enjoy playing and would learn some in the process. I think this game is a great addition to your classroom to help spice up literature class when it seems to get a little dull learning about literary works and writers. The game is very affordable at only $10.95 plus shipping and handling. You may purchase it straight from the Notable Novelists website.  With Christmas coming I think this would make a great gift for your kids or an adult that loves reading or that hard to buy for person that has everything. We are getting ready to head off to camp again this weekend and the boys have already packed our deck of Notable Novelists so we can teach our friends up at camp.

    There were a handful of us chosen for this review and also others chosen to review a new line of games called playPLAY that are geared to spark creativity in learning with younger kids aged 5 and up. Be sure to click on the banner below and read what the crew members had to say about their chose from Calico, LLC.



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