Busy Bags Kids Will Love Book Review

Busy Bags Kids Will Love

As many of you probably know, the early childhood years are my favorite. I love watching young children learn new concepts in fun and engaging ways. My friend Sara from Happy Brown House is a fellow early childhood educator and former Kindergarten teacher just like me! We connected years ago online and in person and have been friends since! She recently wrote a new book and I have the opportunity to share it with you thanks to the review copy she sent to me!

I was sweetly surprised when I opened the book to not only find 52 different busy bag ideas but loads of early childhood information. Many of you are probably familiar with the busy bag concept and have even created some for your kids. I am a huge fan of saving time and having loads of ideas all in one place. This book not only provides that, but also an awesome reference guide as you move through the early childhood years with your child.

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Here’s a portion of one of the activity pages so you can see the simple and clear layout. I love photos and there are LOTS!

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If you have a friend with young ones may I suggest a gift idea? Buy this book, make up a few of your favorite activities and bundle it all together in a gift basket! What busy mom of little ones wouldn’t love that? I am personally past the little ones stage of life and trying to think of ways I can help support the moms in my life who have the younger kiddos.

Grab your copy at the following places online!



How We Print All of the Homeschool Curriculum

Print it all with HP Instant Ink

{Note- this is not a sponsored post, I bought our printer on Amazon and pay full price for Instant Ink. My Instant Ink referral link is used in this post. I have also used affiliate links for the products linked in this post}

Homeschoolers print a lot. We use a lot of ink. For our family, HP Instant Ink has been an incredible solution for our printing needs! We have had this specific printer for over 2 years now and it is still going strong!  It’s an HP Deskjet 8610, it is here on Amazon. I am using HP’s Instant Ink service and love it!

One of the BEST things about Instant Ink – each page counts as 1 page no matter how much ink you use! If you are printing full color pages this makes the subscription a HUGE savings! I wish I had this service back when I was printing loads of Tot School and Preschool printables!

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There are many HP printers that are compatible with Instant Ink, here’s the list from their site. Be sure to double check yourself on their site before purchasing. I copied this list in May 2017.

  • HP ENVY 4500 Series
  • HP ENVY 5530 Series
  • HP ENVY 5660 Series
  • HP ENVY 7640 Series
  • HP Officejet 4630 Series
  • HP Officejet 5740 Series
  • HP Officejet 8040 Series with Neat®
  • HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series
  • HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series

The basics of Instant Ink…

You sign up and they send you a starter pack.  When you use my referral link we BOTH get a free month of Instant Ink!!! You wait to install the starter pack until your initial ink runs out.  Your Instant Ink subscription does not begin until you install the first instant ink cartridge.

The printer connects wirelessly to HP and automatically tracks your pages printed and how much ink you have left.

New ink is sent to you before you run out, you don’t even have to think about it! The ink sent to you is “free” as it is included in your monthly cost.

 

Monthly Plan Options…

I am now on the $9.99/month plan for 300 pages. This also means I can roll over up to 300 pages to the next month if I don’t use them. I can go over 300 pages if needed an pay $1 over 25 pages. Below you can see the different monthly options.

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If you are in need of a new printer, I highly recommend getting an HP printer that is compatible with their Instant Ink subscription service.



Everything You Need to Ace {Math, Science, History, English} in One Big Fat Notebook – Book Review

Everything You Need to Know to Ace...In One Big Fat Notebook Book Review

 

{disclaimer ~ the books were provided by Educents and I was compensated for this review}

We have added a wonderful set of books to our homeschool resource collection thanks to Educents and Workman Publishing Group.

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When Educents contacted me for this review I had never even seen these books before and was very curious. The colorful covers of the books drew me in. However, I knew that what was on the inside was what really mattered. I turned to my husband for the more detailed review of these books. He is a co-teacher with me in our homeschool and is currently in grad school himself. In the end he will have his Master’s degree in Christian Counseling. He teaches our kids history and science, and oversees their math. This is the main reason I turned to him for his thoughts so I could share with you!

One intimidating aspect about being a homeschool teacher is the question, “how will I be able to teach the many different subjects through the years?” As an adult I am fully aware that I have not retained much of what I learned in school, and when I teach my kids I am having to relearn. It does not take much to kick start my brain and find the file I have tucked away for so many years, but a large textbook is a bit much in my busy life.

The Everything You Need to Ace — in One Big Fat Notebook series is an excellent resource for middle school subjects. The books are quite impressive with the amount of information they put in each of their subjects, and I found myself intrigued as I read through them. I wish I had these when my oldest son {currently 9th grade} was going through middle school as they touch on all the major themes and definitions that pertain to specific subjects.

The science book is a great example of this as it is full of the many basic concepts we have all learned. I remember Newton’s laws, but there are things about them that I just cannot easily recall. They simply cover velocity, acceleration and speed in simple language. It all came flooding back to me as I flipped the pages, and I could not help to think how good of a resource this would be for my kids as well.

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The editors claim, “this Big Fat Notebook makes all the stuff you learn in school sink in,” and I would completely agree. The simple language, it’s organization, and illustrations allow the subjects to be a bit more palatable and make what they learned fun. There are also many places where they use acronyms that are helpful in memorizing information. They use creative study techniques.

This is not a Christian resource, therefore, subjects are not approached from a Christian worldview. The subjects are covering all the basic materials that are accepted in public schools. I was not a fan at first of some of the world history language, especially in the pre-history area. However, I did keep in mind that this is what is being taught on a grand scale, and it allows me opportunity to have great discussion with my kids. I got a greater appreciation of the World History book as I read more and noticed that they were touching on all ancient civilizations and beliefs. I believe this is extremely important for my kids to learn, as they are growing up to carry the gospel out, not to already-believers but rather those that are of different or no faith. For example, when I as a Christian talk about the Spirit, it is not the same as the Hindu spiritual power. This allows a great place for me to discuss with my kids the differences, and the need for us to listen and not assume that people are talking about the same thing. I can teach them to learn to ask what they mean when they say “spirit.”

There are only a few places that my discernment really had to kick in, as most of the literature was straight forward teaching basic fact and theory. The books are organized clearly where readers can easily pick and choose what they want. I read through them but rarely would they be used like this. You may just want to have your student read a small portion to just brush up on the information they have already learned. Using this as an extra resource can only help the information seep in and it can help our kids see the information in different, concise, and creative ways.

 

I fully agree with my husband’s review. I love the details he shared and hope they are helpful to you also. Personally, the books were very engaging for me. I loved the organization and how easy it was for me to quickly brush up on a subject and even “test” myself. Here’s a peek inside of the math book for an example…

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You can buy these awesome books on Educents using the links below!

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All About Spelling Review

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews All About Spelling

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

This year, we used two different levels of All About Spelling. My 2nd grader used level 2 and my 5th grader used level 5. They have both used AAS from the beginning.

 

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All About Spelling is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, which you can learn more about here!

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We have adapted All About Spelling this year in some creative ways. My kids got tired of the board and the tiles so we switched things up a bit and tried some different ways of presenting the words and rules.

One of her favorite methods is using the Boogie Board. She will gladly write on this for just about anything it has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool.

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She also gets very creative on the dry erase board and loves to create elaborate pictures out of the words. Hey, whatever makes it fun!

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My son {5th grade}, has asked to keep things simple and honestly we have gotten to the point where we use the AAS book and discuss the rules, practice the words on the Boogie Board, and then review at the end of the week. He is picking the words up pretty easily, so it has worked for us to not be so intense using the board. For his busy schedule dues to his gymnastics training, quick and simple has worked better.

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Below you can see and download the year-at-a-glance sheets I made for each level. I actually make these for each of my kids’ subjects because it really helps me see the focus for the year and keep track. It helps with weekly lesson planning, since I only like to plan one week at a time to allow flexibility. I just pull out these sheets and type up the plans in Lessontrek for my kids each week. Yes, it takes me a lot of prep time in the summer, but is so helpful to me, and entirely worth it.

You are welcome to download and use these if you are using AAS 2 or AAS 5, just click on the images below to download. Forgive any errors, when I created these, they were just for me to use, but I figured some of you might like to use them too.

All About Spelling 2 All About Spelling 5

 

Wondering which level to start with, you can see placement tests here and get answers to more FAQ by scrolling to the bottom of this page!

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Wondering about the differences between All About READING and All About SPELLING? Read this!

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See more curriculum reviews and all of our curriculum choice posts!

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices



Homeschool Curriculum Reviews

As this homeschool year comes to a close, many homeschoolers are searching for curriculum to use next year. I wanted to gather all of our curriculum choices posts for you in one place, as well as all of our specific individual curriculum and educational toy reviews. I hope this post helps you browse around and gather ideas.

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices

First, here are direct links to all of our curriculum choices posts. You’ll see a year-end review post for the past couple of years. My kids are currently finishing up 2nd, 5th, and 9th so those will be coming soon. I am also planning to do some individual curriculum reviews for some of the subjects we had this year. If you would like to request a review of a particular curriculum we have used, please comment and let me know.

Learning with Ladybug Preschool Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year End Review 2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2nd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Wrap Up 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices L3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Wrap Up 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year End Review 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Wrap Up All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices All Together Subjects Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review 

Homeschool Curriculum Homeschool Curriculum Choices


Reviews

Over the years I have done many individual reviews, some for sponsors, and some just on my own. I organized these into categories below so you can easily browse around! Many of these posts have video reviews included, if you prefer to see all video reviews, here is our playlist containing product reviews!

Math

Literacy

Science

Geography

Bible

Art and Music

Foreign Language

Technology

Educational Toys

It’s quite possible I missed a review I have done, but I did my best to gather them all here! If there is a specific curriculum you see we have used that you would like a more in depth review of, please comment and let me know. I will be sharing our year-end grade level reviews as my children finish up for the year!