Mega Homeschool Giveaway Sponsor: Master Books

BIG BOOK OF HISTORY

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Families, schools, and churches can unfold 15 feet of the most interesting history of the world. This easy to follow, color-coded, multi-stream timeline teaches six thousand years of world history to children ages seven through thirteen. These exciting facts and so much more wait inside:

•who were the first emperors of China and Rome

•what discovery unlocked the secrets of a forgotten language

•how modern robotics had its roots in the tea dolls of Japan

•where Christians faced death for the entertainment of thousands

•why the languages of Greek and Hebrew were used to write the Bible

•and how the Age of Discovery meant wealth some, and the destruction of civilization for others.

Understanding how the past has shaped our future will inspire young learners to make history for themselves!

Visit New Leaf Publications to see more about this great homeschool resource!

TOS Sweet Critique: Visual Latin

Visual Latin
What:  Visual Latin

Contact:  Contact Information

Cost:  Varies.  You can get four intro lessons and two regular lessons for free, ten lessons at a time as a single family download for $25, the first ten lessons on DVD for $30, all 30 lessons on DVD for $80, or take live classes starting at $115.  Basically, you have quite a few options!

Recommended Ages:  Nine and up, although Babydoll wasn’t quite nine and enjoyed it, and I think she would have been fine doing it at age seven as well.  It’s totally up to your kid; as long as they can read and have a basic understanding of grammar and the English language they’ll be fine.

The Basics

Visual Latin is a Latin language curriculum taught by Dwane Thomas, either via download {computer or iPod/iPhone/iPad}, DVD, or live classes.  Worksheets for the student {and answers for the teacher!} are included and provide a way to practice what is learned in the lessons.

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Visual Latin is divided into Latin 1 and Latin 2, each taking approximately one school year to complete.  Each video lesson is divided into three sections:  grammar, sentences, reading.

Options are available to create a high school foreign language course out of the curriculum.

What We Thought

Overall we enjoyed Visual Latin!  I’ve been wanting to try out a Latin program for quite some time, but didn’t have to chance to evaluate which one I wanted to try.

I like the fact that I was able to download the lessons to my computer and then use them either on the computer or on the iPod {extra practice, car schooling, etc.}.  I’m a big fan of the video format.  This could have easily been put in print form, but there’s definitely no way I could have a) gotten pronunciation down and b) made it nearly as interesting and animated as Dwane did.  He seems very excited about Latin {which I definitely would not have been} and that comes through in his teaching.

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I found that the video moved a bit too fast for us at times, meaning we had to pause it and review what we had just learned, but that really was a non-issue since we can pause and play the video whenever we want.  Again, the beauty of the program:  you can play it and pause it and review it as often as you’d like!  I think this really wouldn’t have been the case for an older student, but since Babydoll is only nine, we had to take it a bit slow.

I also liked the fact that the worksheets helped reinforce the learning, but they weren’t a big component of the process.  I think something like Latin would bore someone to tears if it was worksheet-heavy.

Final Thoughts

Babydoll and I really enjoyed the program and would highly recommend it.  I like the fact that it is available for purchase in small chunks, so we can take it as we can.  This probably will not be a regular part of our school week right now, but I definitely want to incorporate it as a fun extra as we have time, and having it available in smaller portions helps.

I also think this helps reinforce the English language {and other language learning for that matter} really well.  It can help with spelling and several other subjects; it ties things together nicely.  Definitely give it a try!

Also, be sure to check out what the rest of the Crew thinks about it!

True Confessions:  I was provided with Lessons 1 – 10 for free in exchange for my honest review of the material as part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew.  You got my honest opinions!

Three Totally Awesome Homeschool Pinterest Discoveries

I haven’t been a great pin-er, but I spent some time on Pinterest tonight and remembered why I try to stay away:  it’s like heroine.  Man, that thing can suck you in and never let you go…  Oh, but I love it.  It’s so full of win.

And while product reviews and giving away awesome stuff to you guys is superb and all, I was missing my personal time with ya so I found a few pins that I wanted to share.  From me to you, no giveaways, no review stuff, just awesome homeschool stuff:

  • My Plant Observation Book – We’ve been learning plant parts and just planted a bean seed, so this will come in very handy!
  • Journal Pages – This is seriously one of the best things ever.  Really man.  Awesome.  At first I thought it would be awesome to do one of these everyday with Babydoll.  Then I realized what a tremendously bad idea that was and decided on once a week.
  • Contraction Cupcakes – Have to find some appropriate cupcake clip art and then I’m going to town making these!

Field Trip 2 – Jones Valley Urban Farm

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Last year Babydoll and I went to Jones Valley Urban Farm and really enjoyed ourselves, so we did it again!  Unfortunately it was a pretty rainy day, but we made the best of it {and the horrible traffic we were in}.

Upon arrival we had a little farm education and then headed out to pick some vegetables!

After the tour, we took our harvest and headed into the kitchen to cook up a healthy snack!

Field Trip 1 – American Heritage Days at American Village

The big pretty building.  The bathrooms were in here...

We recently went out first field trip of the year:  American Heritage Days at American Village.  I love that the facility setup a homeschool day for us; it’s always nice to get together with other homeschoolers.

The purpose of the trip was to learn more about life for early colonists and their struggle for freedom.  The village is set up well; you really feel like you’re back in time.

The big pretty building. The bathrooms were in here…

We started at a Stamp Act rally.

We then moved on to Confederate Army training.

Our Army camp

A couple of ladies taught us how to play a few games.

Then there was a hoops relay race!

And a hand ball game.

Babydoll also learned how to be a spy.

We met George Washington.

And I punished Babydoll!

We also learned about the dress and activities of that time period and tons of other stuff; it was so much fun! Babydoll and I even got a sneak peek in a building that is being completely restored to look like the first executive quarters.

It was such a fun trip; I really recommend finding something like this in your area!