Thursday, July 31, 2014

Analytical Grammar's Eternal Argument Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #analyticalgrammar

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Analytical Grammar Review

   I was intrigued by the opportunity to review a new book from Analytical Grammar called The Eternal Argument. Useful for all ages but best for teens and adults, 8th grade and up. My boys being all in High School I thought this would be perfect for them. I want them to truly think and react to what they are learning and reading not just complete their assignments and move on. I know some parents hate the teenage years but I have really been enjoying them, I love having more intellectual and grown up conversations with them no matter where we are, in the car, at the dinner table or at the school table you just never know what will be the next topic to spark discussion.

Analytical Grammar Review
The Eternal Argument sells for $24.95. 
This made for a great family read aloud for not only my homeschooled boys but my oldest who is off to college in just a few short weeks. What better gift to give him than the true understanding for Western Literature and Culture. This book teaches how to truly understand what you are reading and experiencing and how to dive into it further and explore it more in depth. 
My boys were reluctant at first but after just a few pages they were intrigued and could not wait till we could read more the next night. 

The author Robin Finley taught 8th grade English for over 30 years and in her words she feels she is pretty good at explaining stuff to a room full of 13 year olds. I tend to agree, my 14 year old is one of those kids that it is sometimes impossible to grab his attention and hold onto it for any length of time, especially if it is not a topic he is over thrilled about learning about. Literature is one of those subjects. He ended up being the one that enjoyed and got the most of The Eternal Argument. Go Figure! 

We intended to read a chapter a day a few days a week but this is not easy reading and after reading a few pages the boys wanted to sit and talk and discuss what we were reading. I was amazed at how much thought this book provoked in my boys. I LOVED it!! This was before we even got to the end of the chapter where the discussion questions were there for us. They were coming up with their own from the first day!! The actual discussion questions were a bonus! This is definitely not the book you just hand over to your teens and tell them to work through it. If you did that you would miss out on so many great conversations and opportunities of learning and discussion. Make this a priority in your homeschool life to do this as a family read aloud and discussion time. We used it during our family circle time as we already had the time set aside and it worked out perfectly. 

The book traces back to the ancient times and discusses the "Eternal Argument". Going through different periods of time as you continue on through the book. We have not spent a lot of time talking about literature, this is something that is in our plans to really dive into this fall, so this book came at a perfect time. So we can jump in feet first and do it the right way. 

This book will give you and your family the framework to open discussions of really any subject but mostly Literature and History. I really see this as a tool for all aspects of life though. You can use it during Bible time and Science and just in everyday discussions. Using simple grammar it helps dissect topics of learning and break it down into ways you can truly understand and comprehend. I cannot wait to truly put to work what we have learned when we get back into full swing in September. I have a feeling this handy book will always be on our homeschool table so that we can quickly refer to it and use it to the best of its ability. Oh the possibilities and conversations and discussions to come, I can just imagine. It almost makes me want to start full time school now, well like I said ALMOST! 
Are you ready to discuss The Eternal Argument with your teens? Order yours today or read what others are saying about it and other products from Analytical Grammar by clicking the link below. 

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday CAP Summer Adventures #wordlesswednesday #mobsociety #summeradventures

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday. Look out world there's a new driver on the road

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday A walk that ended with Ice Cream at Wally's!

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Moving Beyond the Page Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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Moving Beyond the Page Review

     If you have been following me for a while you may recall my previous reviews from Moving Beyond the Page, they are a fantastic homeschool curriculum company that takes learning from book to hands on. Hence the name Moving Beyond the Page! I was thrilled, my boys too when we were given the opportunity to review two more titles from the extensive library that MBTP offers. I chose with the boys help the following titles, Language Arts Package - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - /Online  $22.88 and Science Package - Health and Nutrition  $46.89. Both the titles we chose are for the 12-14 yr old age range but MBTP has something from 4 yrs up to 14. I even used these with my almost 16 year old and he did well with them.

  Now first off let me confess and say I am a tad envious of my friends on the crew with younger kids, their MBTP kids were far more fun than ours, meaning they came with many more hands on pieces than ours which just came with books. Does this make it any less fun? In a different way NO! Those of you with older kids like myself may get where I am coming from but stick with me here. For our Language Arts choice we were given the online version of the workbook but sent a copy of the physical book The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin. For our Science choice we chose something we needed instead of what we wanted, we picked Health and Nutrition since we need a half credit of Health for the boys to graduate from High School. This choice came with the physical workbook and 2 paperbacks one for boys and one for girls. They are called The Boy's Guide to Becoming a Teen and the Girl's Guide to Becoming a Teen, now I hope by now you can guess which one of those we actually used, yep, you guessed it the BOY one.

So let's start by talking about Health and Nutrition, all of the MBTP unit studies take approximately 3 weeks to complete if you work on them 3-4 days per week, we stretched ours out by only working on them 2 days a week since we are on Summer "Vacation", this means we still do school work but just at a more relaxed pace and with more focus on unit studies so this review for Moving Beyond the Page was perfect timing for smack in the middle of Summer. So what did we learn about??

We talked and learned about Feelings, Being a Smart Consumer, these each took 1 day to cover, next we moved onto covering the topic of a Healthy Body, Healthy Relationships, Alcohol and drugs and Tobacco, each of these topics taking 2 days each to cover and the last lesson was on Nutrition and Exercise, this took 3 days. When we were all finished with the 6 lessons there was a final project, this was to create a plan for Mental and Physical Health. Many of these topics aligned perfectly with Alyx and his involvement with the Civil Air Patrol, as a matter of fact he is away right now at an encampment and they are focusing a ton on Physical Activity, getting up at 5 AM and running and doing other exercises. His plan for when he gets back is to get focused and continue that regimen every morning. He had been very relaxed and unfocused recently and after completing this unit study and now being away at a camp that focuses on some of the same things, with his plan he wrote up I think he will be on the road to tip top shape in no time flat. Taylor did not get as much out of this as I had hoped but that is mainly his personality, he is not interested in any of this, he is not even beginning to think about girls, and is a bit immature when it comes to talking about his body, especially with his mom. I just presented it to him as something that needed to be covered in order to stay on track to graduate and he trudged through it. It is so funny how different the kids are. 

Some of the things Taylor ended up enjoying were learning more about food labels and Analyzing the commercials and print ads for Alcohol and Tobacco, we just had a dear friend suffer a long battle with Lung Cancer due to being a smoker for most of his life, he just lost that battle last week, so this topic is near and dear to all of us. Taylor gets very passionate about the way some of the advertising is marketed to kids, yes they are trying to deter the kids but all it does is bring kids attention to it to begin with, this is Taylor's opinion. 

Another topic both boys really needed to focus on and myself too was healthy Stress Management, kids have stress too, it may be different than an adult's stress but it is still unhealthy and can cause issues like sleep disturbances and mood swings. There are so many more things that you will cover that it is hard to go into detail about them all, these were the few that really hit home with us. Most importantly we now all have a stress management plan in place as well as a nutrition and exercise plan, it is time for this family to get healthy, we owe a big part of the motivation of this to Moving Beyond the Page and our unit study on Health and Nutrition. 

`Our other option we chose was a Language Arts unit study all about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. My kids chose this one and were super excited for it to come, they love adventure and classic stories too. In this unit study there were 12 lessons, the first taking 2 days and then each lesson thereafter each only taking a day with the exclusion of chapter 11 and then the final project that takes 2 days to complete. The introduction to Mark Twain and the actual novel of Huckleberry Fin is where you begin, We then read the book all the way through before continuing on, after completing the book as a family read aloud, we used the book to refer back to as we went through the remaining chapters. You cover, Point of View, Narrative Writing 1 and 2, Expository Writing, The Power of Persuasion, and Persuasive Writing, Hiding the Money and Irony, Figures of Speech, Mark Twain's Influence on Modern Literature with takes 2 days as well and lastly The Movie Adaptation which we did watch when we were at that point in our study. The final project is a Cultural Biography, we did not get to this yet but plan on doing it next week when Alyx is back home. This Unit Study is very meaty, and really provokes thoughts analytical in nature and helps strengthen your students writing skills. This has definitely awakened an interest in Mark Twain for my boys and we will be scoping out the next novel of his we want to dive into when Alyx returns home next week. We will be officially starting back up school full swing the 2nd of September, the next few weeks we will be continuing on a lighter load and getting our oldest off to college, this is definitely the year for transitions in our home. 

 Now for all of the 12-14 yr old unit studies children should be able to read and comprehend novels at 8-9th grade levels, write multiple paragraphs on a topic of choice or that they are given, write a 5 paragraph essay, and are typically used in 7-8 th grade. Now with anything you can adapt this to cover multiple other age groups, for instance we are using it for going into 10th and 11th but Taylor's writing skills are not his strong suit and we like to typically do as much together as possible. 

All of the Moving Beyond the Page Unit Studies can be purchased separately in physical form or online form as far as the workbook is concerned, you will always receive something physical in the mail if you order the complete packages as I have received here. You can also order a year's worth of unit studies in every subject offered, Science, Social Studies, Math, Reading, and Language Arts. Be sure to visit the Moving Beyond the Page Facebook page by clicking the social media link 
Facebook – www.facebook.com/movingbeyondthepage

As always be sure to click on the Schoolhouse Review Crew Review banner below to read all of the reviews, we each got to pick 2 titles that fit our school needs specific to us. So there is a wide range of reviews, even those fun ones for the little ones that I mentioned in the beginning of my review.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday #CancerSucks #TimeToSayGoodbye #LostTheFight

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday I hate trucks that toss rocks on the freeway

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