Friday, March 29, 2019

HIS Beautiful Dates...

Matt got his turn to be surrounded by beautiful young ladies!  One of our favorite traditions - the Daddy Daughter Dance.

One of our favorite parts is all the prep... searching for the perfect dress!  They all looked so beautiful!

Can you guess which one gets into this the most??

Well, all of them really!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Poetry & Prose Book Two: The Elizabethan to the Neoclassical Age Set from Memoria Press: A TOS Crew Review

Poetry & Prose Book Two: The Elizabethan to the Neoclassical Age Set from Memoria Press

High school literature doesn't have to be intimidating!  Recently, we have been exploring Poetry & Prose Book Two: The Elizabethan to the Neoclassical Age Set from Memoria Press.

This set is the second in an anthology of British literature.  It contains everything you need for your 8-12th graders to study high quality Poetry and Prose from the English Renaissance, the Cavalier Poets of the early seventeenth century, the great Puritan writers, the Restoration period, and the Neoclassical Age.  This gives a great literary view of the 1485-1784 time period.

This course is a rigorous, comprehensive study of literature.  Included are literary and rhetorical devices, vocabulary, comprehension questions and Socratic discussion. In addition, each historical period has a timeline and introduction.  Major authors also have biographical information included.


The set includes a Student Book, a reader, and the Teacher Guide.  The Student Book is written directly to your student.  They recommend keeping a notebook for answers, vocabulary and notes.  It is designed so you can modify each lesson to meet the needs of your student.

The entire programs is organized around the "Four Stages to the Central One Idea".  I love how it keeps directing the student's attention back to the literature selection's main idea.  Each stage moves the student from understanding the main idea (the pre-grammar stage), discovering facts, elements and features of each story (grammar), using reason to compare and ideas (logic), and finally expressing this in written form (rhetoric).

My tester is an 8th grader.  We modified many of our assignments to be more oral and discussion based.  If you have older students, or those that really enjoy writing, this will be a great choice.

The Reader is designed so that your student can write/annotate directly on the poetry, or prose selections.  This is the part that makes the reading active.  My tester LOVED this part.  She likes to make it colorful too...

Don't worry if you do not have time to keep up with your student's reading (what busy homeschool mom does?)  The Teacher Guide contains answers to all the questions, with a handy student book view for you too.  

15 quizzes are included, covering each reading selection, as well as - 2 Exams on Literary terms.

My tester really enjoyed getting to read deeply.  I love that this program has done all the hard work for me, by putting it all together in an easy to use format!

You will want to check out some other great products from Memoria Press that the Crew is using:

Phonics, Poetry & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}Find Memoria Press on Social Media:

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Phonics, Poetry & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}
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Monday, March 25, 2019

My Handsome Dates!

I just got the chance to spend a delightful night with my handsome dates...and oldest sons!

First, an amazing steak dinner

Then, a great show!  Something Rotten is one of our favorites - a fun-filled, colorful (and slightly off-color) comedy about the Middle Ages and Shakespeare. 

I am so blessed!  Watch out world!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading from Tied 2 Teaching: A TOS Crew Review

STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading from Tied 2 Teaching

Are you ready to have some fun?  We have been having a blast and learning with STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading from Tied 2 Teaching !

STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading comes as a giant download with 65 individual files, each a STEM activity with extras.  The extras include a link to a close reading passage, questions related to the reading to test comprehension, the stem design challenge and a variety of worksheets that the student can use to detail what they did, why and what they could do better.

Many of the activities tie into holidays like Valentines, St Patricks Day, and Christmas.  These would make great activities to use when you need a break from "regular" school.  Don't worry, they will still be learning!

For us, I looked at the list and felt like a kid in a candy store, I got to choose whatever looked great!  Since we have a whole household, my testers ranged in age from 9 - 17.  The target is 3rd-6th grade.

Let me show you.

First,  Hat for the Cat Challenge.   Since we have several kitties, my youngest tester thought this one sounded fun.  I printed off the challenge instructions, as well as the reading passage.  She finished those and went straight to work designing her hat.

 I enjoyed watching her think through what materials she would use.  The challenge sheet offered suggestions, but not instructions.

 Cappy (my cat) was happily sleeping when she became a fashion model for the newest feline headwear.  What happened next was my big surprise!  My tester had so much fun, she asked if she could make another hat.  The learning from this activity kept on going.  Even the barbies had hats by the end of the day.  Who knows, a future career in fashion design may have just been born while making A Hat For the Cat challenge!

Next up, the House of Cards Challenge. My next tester was excited to get started with her challenge.  Build a house of cards, with at least two stories.  Seems simple, right?  It proved to be a challenge we all ended up trying.  We learned what the phrase, "collapsed like a house of cards" really meant!

 Some of the extra worksheets in each design challenge can be used to help your student evaluate what they did.  I think this would be an excellent class for a Coop setting.  She had a difficult time with this one.

 I didn't stop our fun to complete the worksheets, but we used them as discussion starters.  For instance, in this challenge, it was easier to build on the carpet than it had been on the table. The deck of cards we used made a difference.  We were able to discuss the why's behind each change.  I think we both learned something new.

Here's where it really got interesting... If you have more than one child, especially if they are boys, give them a design challenge and make it a competition!  In the Pipe Cleaner Challenge, my sons took each other on in a competition to build a structure out of pipe cleaners that could hold a cup of 30 pennies at least 4 in. off the table.

Their race was on!  Both used different approaches.

Both had to go back and rebuild, learning along the way.  Brothers can be sticklers when it comes to precise measurements (especially in a contest!)

They both succeed.  With very different designs.  The discussions of what worked and why were priceless.  I love it when we all get to learn together!

 My son was having so much fun, he begged for another challenge.  This one was right up his alley, the Dinosaur Building Block Challenge. It's a good thing this one had a time limit because he could do this!

These were so much fun!  I highly recommend adding these into your school days!

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STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading {Tied 2 Teaching Reviews}
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