We Love Lessontrek’s Gradebook Feature!

Lessontrek Gradebook Feature Review

{disclaimer ~ Lessontrek is a blog sponsor}

We have been using Lessontrek for awhile now and it has greatly simplified my homeschool planning.  Just this year I began using their new Gradebook feature and I am in love!  I only use it for my 8th grader, for just some courses.  Science, grammar, spelling for now.  I wanted to do a post sharing this particular feature since I know it will benefit many of you!

I made a video for you to show how I use the gradebook to give you a peek at what it all looks like in action.  The video was the best way for me to share all of the little details. My best advice is to open up your Lessontrek and dive into this feature.  It took me a little while to set things up but once I learned how it was organized, it was pretty simple.

As you can see in the video, it allows you to choose which assignments are graded, how they are weighted, and it averages things for you!

I look forward to using this feature more and more in the future as Pac enters high school and all of the grades become much more important.  Knowing I will have this to use with my other 2 kids is awesome too. I love the simplicity Lessontrek provides, all in one program.

We have other reviews of Lessontrek, you can read my initial impressions here in our first review, and another post I wrote here. A video overview of the lesson planning feature is here.

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Want to try Lessontrek?  They offer a free 2 week trial and are offering my readers a special offer through the month of December! 

Lessontrek Offer

Click here to buy, look for the “Annual Subscription” box on the right after you scroll down a bit. Enter the discount code: OP20 in the payment section.  This brings the $60 one year plan down to only $20 for your first year!  That’s a $40 discount!!!! This offer expires Dec. 30, 2015.



A House for Hermit Crab Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kit Review

A House for Hermit Crab Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kit

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

Oh my word, am I ever in love with Ivy Kids Kits.  I am honestly a bit skeptical of monthly subscription kits so when I say this one blew me away, know that I mean it!  This is by far the best monthly subscription kit I have seen.

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.

This is a photo of the top inside of the box, there is a fabulous reference guide on the box to show you all of the items and activities included at-a-glance. We were sent 3 kits for review and my daughter {age 6} chose to dig into “A House for Hermit Crab” first.  I will share a peek of the other kits we got at the end of the post since we haven’t used them yet.

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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 sorted out ALL that was included in our “A House for Hermit Crab” box on our dining room table and it barely fit.  Seriously, so many wonderful activities!

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You’ll see that each activity has a very well written instruction and idea sheet.  I organized all of these in sheet protectors in a binder.  They come in these great plastic baggies, but this method worked better for my brain.

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I kept all of the bigger items in the box, and when we chose an activity, I go to the box and grab what we need.

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Activities From Our Box…

I let her choose what we do mostly, we still haven’t completed the entire kit. she went straight for the “Create a Hermit Crab Habitat” activity.  All of the little animals were included, and the sand!  There was also a growing hermit crab {the kind that grows in water over a few days}.  She put the habitat together all by herself.

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She asked to add salt so it would be like an ocean!!  ha ha!

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Decorating the hermit crab’s shell was her next choice. The kit came with tons of stickers to choose from, the big hermit crab poster and the paper plate for the shell. She loved this!

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We played the hermit crab game together next…

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I chose for us to do some work with months of the year, featuring this awesome included chart and the cards.  It was a great story sequencing activity!

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Painting the sea creatures was a BIG hit of course!

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We still have lots more to do, I will share more in our Monthly Homeschool Wrap Up posts in the future! You can see ALL of the activities included in the box here!

Below you can see a peek inside of the kits that await us!  Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings!!

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Current Promotions from Ivy Kids…

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

Use code: IVY20

Expires December 31, 2015

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!



Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway & Discount Code

Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided our books for review}

Educents is the first online marketplace forhomeschool_ad300x2501 educational products. In just 2 years we’ve saved homeschoolers & parents over $20 million on much-needed educational products and resources for their students. We hope we can help you discover and save BIG on all the educational products you deserve! Discover thousands of educational items at the absolute BEST price available all at your finger tips!

Click here to browse and discover all our affordable deals.

We have recently fallen in love with a new set of books thanks to Educents. They kindly sent us Life of Fred Beginning Readers Set #1 for this review and these books couldn’t have come at a better time! 

My daughter, who is in 1st Grade, began Life of Fred Math this year and recently finished up Apples.  She LOVES { I mean really loves} it.  When I showed her the stack of reading books all about her beloved Fred and Kingie, she squealed with joy!  She immediately asked to read them and could read them independently!

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Here’s a video I made of Ladybug reading a couple of the books aloud.  She was reading each book for the first time, you can hear her natural giggles and see her point out things in the books.  She is thoroughly engaged mostly because she had already developed a love for these characters thanks to her Life of Fred Math.

 

If you are using Life of Fred math with your young child, I highly recommend looking at these books.  I honestly had no idea how she would react to these but her joy far exceeded any expectations I had!  She honestly just loves them!

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I have even caught my boys picking them up and reading them.  The books, of course, are too easy for my 4th and 8th grader, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy them too!  The Life of Fred Beginning Readers are recommended for ages 4 and up, and I would say a target age range is K-2.  A child who already loves Fred and Kingie will probably love these books the most, because they expand on the stories shared in the math books.

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Educents is giving an exclusive discount to all 1+1+1=1 readers and fans!

Save an EXTRA 10% off your entire shopping cart

when you use code 1P10 at checkout!

Educents Discount Code

 

 

One of you is going to WIN the entire 18 book set, an $85.99 value!!  I am so excited!

Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway 2

Enter to win the Award-Winning Life of Fred Beginning Readers Series! Kids already love the Life of Fred stories, now they can read more stories to develop their reading skills with the Life of Fred Readers Series.  The set is made up of all 18 books that your little learner will ask to read over and over again!  $85.99 value.

Enter to win using Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway is open to US and Canada and ends November 22, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Raise a Reader ~ Confidently! #RaiseAReader

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{disclaimer ~ I was sent this book to review, affiliate links are used}

If I were to write a book about reading, this would be it!  I have been online friends with Amy and Allie {the authors} for many years and have known we are kindred spirits in this area.  I LOVE teaching young children to read and love empowering parents to do the same.  I have learned that not everyone feels confident, or loves teaching reading and that’s why I love this book so much! I was sent the book to review, and am thrilled to share with you!

Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading is the answer for many of you, I highly recommend buying this book if you have any hesitancy at all about teaching your young children to read! If you have a friend beginning their homeschooling journey – this would make the perfect gift!

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The book itself is broken into bite sized chunks, so it is VERY easy to read and digest.  There are 10 chapters, with a total of 75 different tips, and tons of photos {which I love!}.

Here’s a peek at the layout, the book begins with home library building recommendations for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, Kindergartners, and early independent readers.

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As a former Kindergarten teacher {and one who LOVED teaching reading}, I can’t recommend this book enough!  Build early literacy skills in your children from the start!

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You can follow the hashtag #RaiseAReader on social media to see many of the tips and other reviews of the book too!



Science IS Fun!

We have added something new to my daughter’s 1st grade curriculum thanks to an awesome book we were sent to review!  I loved Asia’s first book, which we shared here and jumped at the chance to receive an advance copy of her next book, The Curious Kid’s Science Book.

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My husband is now the homeschool science teacher around here so I handed him the book and told him to look through it and tell me what he thought.  I also told him to pick any activity to do with our daughter so I could feature it in this post.

He loved the book, and she did too.  She was begging to do it all as she flipped through with him.  The photos alone are enough to draw anyone in! They ended up choosing an experiment that involved seeing which soap would produce the most bubbles. You can find all of the details in the book.

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He set up all of the supplies, all we had around the house.  I get asked about our big blue mat a lot, it’s called a MessMatz and I got it on Zulily.

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Then they got to work!  Watching her throughout the experiment was such a joy.  She absolutely loved every minute and begged for more!

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I took a little video clip of her in action and shared on Instagram here. You can see her BIG smile!

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We have decided to add this book to Ladybug’s curriculum this year.  They are planning to freely choose experiments together based on her interests. I definitely recommend this book for a unique and refreshing twist on science for kids.  It isn’t your normal textbook style, but more of a launching pad for great ideas all in one place.  It focuses on discovery and exploration and is very child-led.  I love this style of learning and it is honestly very freeing!  The book is geared towards 4-8 year olds, my daughter is 6 so it’s just perfect!

The book is available worldwide. You can get a copy here on Amazon!

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