Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

Over in the Ocean Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits 

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Our love for Ivy Kids Kits continues! These continue to be the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent  “Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef ” for this review.  Here’s ALL that was included in this kit:

Ivy Kids -4711

  • The award winning book Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes
    • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
    • Create Your Own Coral Reef: Use the clay, sea creatures, and sea life provided to create your own coral reef. Let the beautiful artwork from the book inspire your clay creations.
    • Coral Reef Sticker Scene: Use repositionable stickers to create different coral reef scenes
    • 3 Dimensional Fish and Seahorse Ornament: Use puffy paint to create a 3D fish and seahorse decoration.
    • Sea Creature Bingo: Players take turns picking a card from the pile and calling out a sea creature. The player with the sea creature on his or her board collects the card. The first player to cover three sea creature spaces in a row gets bingo. 
    • Painting with Stencils: Use the stencil with watercolor paints to create a beautiful underwater scene with coral, seashells, and sea creatures.
    • Sea Life Exploration: Use your senses to explore the starfish, coral, and seashells included in this kit.
    • Starfish Observation: Use your eyes and hands to explore the top and bottom of the knobby starfish. Record your observations on the sheet provided. Read the starfish fact board to learn more.
    • Starfish Painting: After exploring the starfish, use watercolors to paint the starfish.
    • Coral Observation: Use your eyes and hands to explore the coral. Record your observations on the sheet provided. Read the coral fact board to learn more. (Size, type, and shape of coral may vary.)
    • Coral Painting: After exploring the coral, use watercolors to paint the coral.
    • Clay Imprints: Use the starfish, sea creatures, and seashells to make beautiful, detailed imprints in the clay. You can choose to create a keepsake with the clay by painting the imprint and letting the clay air dry.
    • All Around the Octopus Game: Select a sea creature pawn and travel around the octopus, collecting seashells along the way. The first player to reach the finish first wins!
    • Sea Creature Dominoes: Players take turns matching the sea creature dominoes end to end. Be the first to match all your dominoes and win the game.
    • Songs – Three Little Clownfish and Five Little Seashells: Use finger puppets and seashells to sings some fun songs about clownfish and seashells. These songs are a perfect accompaniment to the book.
    • Sea Creature Memory Game: Players take turns flipping over one number card and one sea creature card to find a match. The player with the most matches wins the game.

    Here’s a picture of it all out of the box!

Ivy Kids -4712

I organize the printables in a binder and keep the other stuff in the box as we work through the unit.

Ivy Kids -4716

 

Activities From Our Box…

My mom {Nanee} comes over once a week to hang out with us and Ivy Kids boxes have become a bit of a weekly tradition.  Nanee happened to come over the day after this one arrived and they dug through it together and chose some crafts to do right away, after reading the book!

Puffy paint sea creatures kicked off their fun together!

Ivy Kids -4764

 

She LOVED making coral out of the clay, painting real coral, and creating a coral reef – all with Nanee! During one of their activity days, my mom asked me if I had told my blog readers how much she loved these boxes!  She highly recommends them for grandparents who love to do things like this with their grandkids!

Ivy Kids -4771

Ivy Kids -4776

Ivy Kids -4782

Ivy Kids -4784

 

I tend to do more of the school-y stuff with her.  We played BINGO together! You can see her using the ducking from the Make Way for Ducklings kit! We pretended the stuffed owl and the duck were playing too.

Ivy Kids -5095

 

She loved the coral reef creature memory game! Since she is beyond learning numbers and number words, she focused on learning the names of the different sea creatures while we played.  I love how the activities can be adapted across many age/ability levels.

Ivy Kids -5135 Ivy Kids -5137

 

The octopus game was a big hit also, she loved the real shells that were included!

Ivy Kids -5139

 

Stenciling sea creatures was another favorite activity!

Ivy Kids -5153

 

We continue to just LOVE Ivy Kids and are thankful to have these boxes!

We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit and Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit

A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with[1] Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1]

 

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20

Over in the Ocean Ivy Kids Kit

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!



Evan-Moor Geography Books Review

Evan-Moor Geography Review

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided the 5th Grade Geography book for review, I bought the K-2 book on my own}

Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres126214

Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

As you may have seen in our 2nd and 5th grade curriculum choices posts, we are giving Evan-Moor Geography books a try! We had great results using Evan-Moor Science books last year and I decided to simplify geography this year.

2nd Grade -5161

When I bought the Beginning Geography book I wasn’t completely certain about my choice, but as I began planning I was excited about my choice. Now that we are 3 weeks in, I am confident this was a good choice for her this year! It is low-prep {mostly no-prep}, simple, engaging and educational.  We did a much more high-prep geography last year with our study of the United States and other countries so I wanted to change things up this year. This workbook is a perfect fit!

Evan-Moor -5170

Once I realized I loved her book I began looking at what Evan-Moor had for 5th grade and stumbled upon the book we are using. Educents sent me the 5th grade book for review and it too has proven to be a great fit! My video below explains more about why I love this book for my 5th grader. It also is low-prep, simple and educational.  I won’t say he is quite as enthusiastic about his book but most 5th grade books aren’t nearly as exciting as 2nd grade workbooks!

Evan-Moor -6175

 

Sometimes it is easier for me to show you, so I made a video sharing our yearly planning guide and a peek inside of each book.

 

As I mention in the video, I created year-at-a-glance plans for each of these books.  I like to see what the year will look like and keep a master record of where we are at. I build my weekly lesson plans {I only plan one week at a time} off of these master plans.  You are welcome to download my plans if you are using these same books! Just click on each graphic to download the PDF files.

Evan-Moor Beginning Geography Plan     Evan-Moor Daily Geography 5 Plan

 

Free Shipping!

Evan-Moor Geography

Use code PumpkinSpice16 for free shipping on any order, no minimum!

You can buy Evan-Moor 5th Grade Geography here on Educents.

You can buy Evan-Moor Beginning Geography here on Educents.

See more Evan-Moor products here!

Discount code expires 9/15/16



Teaching Textbooks Math Works For Us!

We Love Teaching Textbooks Math

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

Both of my boys have used Teaching Textbooks math for 2 years now. Our daughter is starting this year!  I get asked a lot about this choice for our family and wanted to share our thoughts!

We came from Calvert Math and Singapore Math, and the short answer to the change was simplicity. I needed a more student-directed math rather than a teacher-intensive math program.

Levels we have used…

For Krash ~

For PacMan ~

Ladybug is just beginning Math 3 this year for 2nd grade! So far it is her favorite subject and I am hoping the love continues! I am listening in on her lessons as she adjusts to the computer and I am so impressed with the lessons. I love continual review for math and really feel TT gives just enough without going overboard.

2nd Grade -5011

 

Before we made the decision to use Teaching Textbooks, I researched and I researched, and I researched more. Seriously, I probably read every blog post and review out there. In the end we decided to give it a try and my husband and I decided if we didn’t feel it was thorough enough and their end of grade test scores suffered we would revaluate.

8th grade -2456

 

We have revaluated and are sticking with Teaching Textbooks! It is working for our boys and their test scores are proving that so far! Our state requires testing so this year we used the CAT online and I took a screenshot of their math scores so you can see. Krash scored in the 99th percentile and Pac scored in the 94th percentile. I took screenshots from their results page.

MAth 2016 Pac Math 2016

 

A bit of background about my boys. Pac is actually our natural learner, he learns easily and math has always been a subject he doesn’t mind and even enjoys most of the time. Krash struggles with auditory processing so we really like the visual portion of TT for him and it HAS helped. I honestly wasn’t expecting Krash to do so well on his end of grade test, he sweetly surprised us! His Dad does math with him and often they go over the lesson together in the book before he goes to the computer to actually listed to and do the lesson. This extra step has really helped him.

We have no plans of switching math programs for any of our kids and hope to use Teaching Textbooks all the way through. We are very glad it ended up being a good fit for our family, especially since we can reuse the levels with each of our children.

If you are curious about Teaching Textbooks and thinking of making the switch, they have placement tests for you to use!

Teaching Textbooks Placement Tests

 

On another note ~ we have been using TT for 2 years now and are thrilled that they just launched an affiliate program!  Since Teaching Textbooks knew we already used and loved their curriculum, they asked me to be an ambassador which means I get to host giveaways and share special offers with you!  Stay tuned for our first giveaway this month! Subscribe to our daily or weekly wrap-up blog posts to be sure not to miss it!



Peel, Play and Learn USA Map Set Review

Peel, Play, and Learn USA Map Review

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided the USA Map Wall Play Set for review}

Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres12621

Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

We were excited to get the USA Map Wall Play Set by Mona MELisa Designs for review! I was very excited about this and just knew it would be perfect as we review our states this year! Our set came rolled in a sturdy tube, rolled up smoothly.

USA Map Wall Play Set -4810

 

I decided to put it on our dry erase board but it can be put right on the wall we just already had the board mounted and this was the perfect spot in the school room!

USA Map Wall Play Set -4853

 

I got it set up in preparation for the homeschool year to begin and my 7 year old daughter spotted it and immediately became engaged. Yes, the dog likes it too.

USA Map Wall Play Set -4800

 

I told her I was going to add 3-4 more states on the perimeter for her to place each day.  She begged for more right away!

USA Map Wall Play Set -4855

 

My ten year old son took notice a few days later and got in on the action, although she was pretty territorial with her map.

USA Map Wall Play Set -4858

 

She shooed him away after kindly letting him place a couple of things and got back to work on her own.

USA Map Wall Play Set -4869

 

See a video here sharing Ladybug’s first impressions and a bit of my thoughts!  You can also see what a great homeschooler I am as I make an error in state labeling in the video!

 

Mom’s Final Thoughts…

My main concern was durability and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the small pieces to see if I felt they would really resist ripping and wrinkling. I am pleased to say that I am very impressed so far. They really do bend and twist as shown in the video on this page.

Here’s a bit about the material the map is made out of. As a mom I was concerned about these things. Now that I have seen it and felt it, I can say it’s true!

  • A fabric that is endlessly adhesive because it’s cleanable – all it needs is a little rubbing alcohol
  • A fabric that is durable – tearing and ripping is out of the question
  • A fabric that has maximum versatility – walls become a creative canvas
  • A fabric that is safe for every family – No BPA, lead or PVC

My goal in using this map for our homeschooling this year is to consistently review state locations, names, and capitals. We learned all of them last year and this map came at a perfect time for a fun way to provide hands-on review. I am thrilled!

I definitely recommend investing in this map if you are looking for something interactive like this. Initially I thought it was a  bit pricey but now that we have it I see it is totally different than other wall decal sets we have used in the past.

Free Shipping!

Use code GETREADY for free shipping through on any order, no minimum!

You can buy the USA Map Wall Play Set here on Educents.

See more Mona MELisa Designs play sets here!

Discount code expires 8/31/16



Friends and Heroes Family Devotion Pack Review

Friends and Heroes Family Devotion Pack Review

{disclaimer ~ Friends and Heroes is a blog sponsor, affiliate links are used}

We have enjoyed Friends and Heroes for many years now. We were given DVD 1 and a Homeschool Unit Study to review and ended up buying the remaining DVDs on our own and have used them ever since! We recently reviewed their new Homeschool Bible Study here, and are excited to share the all new Family Devotion Pack with you!

fdp-image-spread

 

  • Devotions based on video adventures and Bible stories that children love.
  • Easy-to-use parent-led devotions created for families with children ages 5-12. 
  • Dynamic, fun devotions designed to get the whole family involved.
  • All materials are printable and reusable (PDF files).
  • Loads of FREE online resources on the Friends and Heroes Children’s Website to supplement your devotional time.

Before I get into my personal review, I want to be sure you know about the current promotion going on, which lasts through Aug. 15, 2016.

Friends and Heroes Summer Promotion

10% off purchases of $50 or more

20% off purchases of $125 or more

K265-banner-450X375_red

     

    The new Family Devotional Pack is based on Friends & Heroes Series 1 video episodes which we already owned personally. We got the Family Devotion Pack DVD which contains the materials in PDF form for this review and so far it is my favorite Friends and Heroes addition!

    Friends and Heroes -4594

     

    I loaded the devotions {in PDF form, I use Dropbox and open in iBooks} onto my iPad to use digitally and printed the worksheets and Bible verse memory cards for Ladybug to use.

    Friends and Heroes -4610

    We haven’t used Friends and Heroes as our main Bible curriculum recently, it’s been a few years. I honestly wanted to try out this new set to see if it might be a good addition for her for the coming school year.
    We sat and watched the first episode together, and she was reminded how much she loves it. I chose to print the Extra! Extra! worksheet which led us on a Bible discovery all about fish. One of the featured Bible stories in episode 1 is based on The Miraculous Catch of Fish from Luke 5. The extension activity was really neat as it took us on a journey of looking things up in the Bible.
    Friends and Heroes -4583
      Below you can see her almost complete sheet. We answered questions together like…

    How many fish were used to feed the 5000?

    On what day did God create fish?

    Which Old Testament character was swallowed by a big fish?

      and more! This was a really neat activity and prompted some great discussion.
      Friends and Heroes -4588

    I am planning to continue to use the Family Devotion Pack with Ladybug. I know it is intended for families but my boys just don’t have the time to add something like this into their school schedule and my oldest is a bit too old.

    I want her to go back through the video series, they are just SO good and teach so much church history as well as specific Bible stories. I like this Family Devotion Pack because of the discussion, simple extension printables and verse cards. It is just the simple plan I need with her to take her through Friends and Heroes again. She was really little when we used it as our main Bible curriculum.

    Here’s the general layout I plan to follow…

    • Watch the episode together
    • Read the devotion together and discuss
    • Do one extension activity {I choose from the options in advance and have it printed}
    • Use the Bible Verse Memory cards

    The Family Devotion Pack is designed for families doing devotions together and I definitely recommend it for that purpose. As you can see it is extremely flexible and can be adapted to use however best fits your family.

      

    GIVEAWAY!

    One of you is going to win 4 weeks of devotions as well as the first DVD to go along!

    Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below. Giveaway is open to US/Canada and ends 7/30/16.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway