LIFEPAC ~ History/Geography Review

I have been going to homeschool conventions for many years now, and have been homeschooling since my 16 year old was in PreK. This past spring I spent some time at a booth I had mostly ignored all of these years and really dove into looking at Alpha Omega’s LIFEPAC curriculum. This was sparked by a need to switch a few things up, especially for one of my kids. I spent hours at the booth browsing and asking questions. In the end I have decided to give LIFEPAC a try for a few subjects!

Alpha Omega LIFEPAC History and Geography Review

In addition to being personally interested, I was contacted by Alpha Omega to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a subject from LIFEPAC – one branch of their homeschool curriculum options. This worked out very well, as you can imagine, and I said yes! They sent me History/Geography for my 4th grader and 7th grader!

My daughter is going into 4th and my son is going into 7th. I wanted to be sure we liked the format of LIFEPAC before I bought the other subjects I am interested in, so we completed the first unit to give us a feel for it.

What is LIFEPAC?

Lifepac ad

LIFEPAC is a Christian homeschool curriculum for grades K-12. Designed by a team of accomplished educators with years of classroom experience, LIFEPAC is based on the principle of mastery learning. Students master content in each unit worktext before progressing to the next. Ten LIFEPAC worktexts provide one full year of learning content per grade level; individual worktexts can also be used as supplemental material. In addition, you can mix and match subjects or grade level worktexts to personalize your student’s curriculum content. Individual worktexts take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

LIFEPAC features

What SHE Thought…

I must be honest, when I first showed it to my daughter {rising 4th grader}, she took one look and frowned. Not a fan. I encouraged her to give it a chance and no joke – by the end of the first lesson, she loved it. I did it with her, although eventually it may become a subject she can do on her own.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)

After our first lesson I asked her why she decided she did actually like it. She told me that when she first saw all of the words and blanks she thought it would be boring but once we started reading she actually enjoyed learning what we read about. I think she liked that we did it together too, which is fine with me. I want to make it fun for her instead of just another workbook. The workbook gives me a clear guide to spring from!

Want a peek inside of the workbook she is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What HE Thought…

It was my rising 7th grader that inspired my initial investigation into LIFEPAC. There are a few reasons for this, all centered around his gymnastics. He trains 6 days a week, many hours per day. Homeschooling has allowed him to pursue his dream but I know that the hours we actually spend doing school are only going to increase as he gets older. I wanted a curriculum that would be easy for him to take to the gym with him – the magazine format of LIFEPAC intrigued me. I didn’t want him having to carry several big textbooks just to get one simple assignment done during his break.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (3 of 3)

He doesn’t really care what publisher I choose, he just wants to get his schoolwork done and get to gymnastics. As we worked through the first unit of LIFEPAC History/Geography he didn’t love or hate it. He did like the smaller book and said that will be much easier when he needs to take it to the gym {or anywhere}.

Want a peek inside of the workbook he is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What MOM Thinks…

I love…

  • small books
  • simple planning
  • text and worksheets all in one
  • two subjects combined in one {history and geography}
  • Christian worldview

I love that the year is divided into 10 smaller books, this just works with my brain. I adore this concept. I made a planning sheet and was able to duplicate it for each kid since the layout is the same! I am all for simple planning. I love that we don’t have a separate textbook and workbook – the idea of them being all in one is genius. The only downside of this is not being able to reuse it, but at this point I see the value in keeping it all together like this and just making the investment.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)-2

In the beginning of our homeschool journey I thought I would reuse curriculum with each younger child but now I see how different my kids are. The Apologia science is a great example. We loved it for my oldest but know it is not a good fit for the next kid. So it isn’t getting reused anyway! At this point in our homeschooling, simple is KEY. The worktext format is perfect for us!

The fact that this particular subject covers history and geography from a Christian worldview is a great fit for us. I love that these two subjects are woven together and look forward to diving in deeper with my kids.

If you have any questions about our experience with LIFEPAC, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer! If you’d like to purchase LIFEPAC for your homeschool you can do that here!

Lifepac ad



4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used below}

The homeschool curriculum choices blog posts are great, but what I really want to know is what families thought AFTER they used the curriculum they chose!  I will be sharing a series of posts with you; evaluating our choices in each grade level from this homeschool year.

Next up, 4th grade!  Here’s a reminder of the original 4th Grade Curriculum Choices post.

4th Grade Subjects

Krash homeschools a bit differently due to his intense gymnastics training schedule.  We usually do 4 days worth of school in 2 days, with only a few subjects on all 5 days of the school week. He is willing to double up 2 days per week in order to be in the gym more so we are flexible. Thankfully he finished 4th grade on time this year and although those double up days aren’t always smiles and roses, we made it through!

    Below I will give a small review of each subject, if you have more specific questions about anything, just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer!

Spelling ~ All About Spelling Level 4

All About Spelling continues to be a great fit for Krash. We had to do some review at the beginning of the year, so we didn’t actually begin level 4 right away. We started about a third of the way through the school year and he did very well.  We will be moving on to level 5 next year.

AAS 4


Grammar ~ Growing with Grammar 3 and First Language Lessons 2 

I did not give Krash a solid start with grammar in the early years which is why I have him using level 3 instead of 4 for GWG.  He needed to take things a bit slower. GWG 3 was a great fit for him.

We used FLL as a supplement mainly to help improve his auditory processing skills.  It is mostly an oral program which is great, although challenging for him for this reason. 

4th Grade -0852 4th grade -20624th Grade -9043


Writing ~ Write Shop D

Again, if you read my 8th grade year-end review, you’ll see I have similar issues with writing with all of my kids. I struggled maintaining a consistent routine with Write Shop D. The curriculum is fabulous, just too much prep work for me. He needs something more simple and to the point so after hours of researching {thanks to Teach Them Diligently} I decided to begin Writer’s in Residence with him for 5th grade.

4th  grade -9519


Science ~ Evan-Moor Skill Sharpeners Science

We chose to use Evan-Moor mostly because we needed something simple for our younger kids.  It ended up being a GREAT fit!  He did this with Daddy, and they had fun!  Daddy went to TTD with me and decided he wanted to try Apologia Swimming Creatures with Krash {and Ladybug} for next year.

4th Grade -1886 4th Grade -18924th grade -2067 4th Grade -9033


Math ~ Teaching Textbooks 5 and Life of Fred

Teaching Textbooks works well for Krash and we will be sticking with it and moving on to TT 6 next year.

We use Life of Fred at a MUCH lower math level than he needs for his auditory processing skills. He loves the Fred stories and Daddy reads them to him.

4th Grade -1952


Reading 

See all of the books he read here! We basically followed the plan my older son had used in 4th grade, with some extra books thrown in.  He doesn’t love reading the way I wish he did, but we seem to be getting there. I read aloud to him and he reads aloud to me to work on fluency.  He also reads independently.

4th Grade -9109


Vocabulary ~ Spectrum 4th and Kids’ Vocabulary App

The Spectrum Vocabulary book was a good fit for him although I cannot say he loved it. When he completed the book, I got him the Kids’ Vocab app,  He LOVES this. It is a great app if you are looking for something like this!  I definitely recommend it!

4th Grade -3059


Bible ~ Picture Smart Bible K-3 Old Testament {with Ladybug}

See why we love Picture Smart Bible here!

Bible -0146 Bible -2679 Homeschool -0641


US Geography ~ {with Ladybug}

See our USA Geography Wrap-Up here!

USA Homeschool Geography with Elementary Students


Group Subjects ~ Mystery of History, World Geography

Daddy taught History to all 3 kids. We continue to love The Mystery of History and we will be continuing on with it next year for the younger 2 kids.

Daddy and I both taught World Geography this year, and it is a great fit. We will be using the same plan with the little 2 next year also.

History -1063


#4thGradewithKrash


Stay tuned, I will be sharing our year-end review for 1st Grade soon. I will also be sharing our curriculum choices for 9th grade, 5th grade, and 2nd Grade.

See our Year End Review for 8th Grade here!

8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year End Review

See last year’s Year-End Review posts by clicking on each grade level below!

3rd-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi 7th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi All-Together-Subjects-Homeschool-Cur[1] Kindergarten-Homeschool-Curriculum-C[1]



USA Geography Wrap-Up

USA Homeschool Geography with Elementary Students

We had a fun year with USA Geography in our homeschool and I thought I’d do a wrap-up post to share what we thought about how our year of learning went. When we began I wondered if we would make it through all 50 states and I am thrilled to say we DID!

My goal for my 4th grader was mastery of state locations and capitals with exposure to all of the other fun details. The goal for my 1st grader was entirely exposure. She will go through this again in 3rd or 4th grade with me.

We had lots of fun together usually about 2 days per week. Here’s a reference list with links to all materials we used this year with our 1st and 4th grader…

    A Review in Photos & Videos…

Each photo below is linked to the blog post it came from, so be sure to click if you want to read more!

      First, here is the video I made at the beginning of the year with

our initial plan

    .  We mostly stuck to this plan, and added a few things in.


The State by State Activity Pack pages from Crafty Classroom were perfect for my kids. They both love to color so this was usually a relaxed and fun activity.

US Geography -8930

We used these books for our reference guides as we learned about each state and filled in our sheets!

NG Kids United States Atlas  Student Atlas

USA Geography -1741


Near the end of the year I added in a new set of States and Capitals worksheets that I created for review.  We will continue to use those to reinforce state locations and capitals.

USA States and Capitals Worksheets -3729


The Readeez 50 States song comes HIGHLY recommended by my kids, they love it and can both sing their states in ABC order thanks to the awesome tune and video! Here’s a peek of a video clip when we were listening to the Readeez song!


We continue to use our USA PowerPoint for review. As we got into the later states, we wouldn’t go all the way back to review, but would pick up where I felt they needed to.

US Geography

Here are a few videos of the PowerPoint in action!

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

 

A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

 


Our magnets from Barker Creek were awesome and we added them to our magnetic board all year. These were especially great to review abbreviations.

USA Magnets -9274


Our games were loads of fun and great for review.  They loved game day and we had them often.  Our 2 favorites are Sequence States and Capitals and Scrambled States.

USA -0943

USA Geography -2055

Homeschool -0636


Krash enjoyed the Stack the States app a lot for review. He loved that the work we did made him better at the game!

Homeschool -0555

 

Final Thoughts…

I am SUPER pleased with how USA Geography went this year and if you are looking for a simple low-prep {prepare before the school year begins and then you are ready for the year} I recommend looking into the resources we used!

 

Here’s a visual version for those of you who want to see these items online!  Click on the image to see the resource or the post!

USA States and Capitals Worksheets United States Geography Homeschool Plan for Elementary StatePack

LM4120  LM4110State Abbreviation Magnets

USA PowerPoint   Readeez 50 States

Stack the States Scrambled States Sequence States and Capitals

Hands-on-USA-States-and-Capitals-Fun.png



Homeschool Wrap Up January & February 2016

Homeschool Wrap Up Jan and Feb 2016

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

1st-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 4th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 8th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


All Together Learning

 

Homeschool--89183

 

Our most important subject of the day isn’t really a subject, it’s the heart of our family.  Our morning Bible reading and prayer time continues on, although much more peaceful than when I first shared about it here! Currently, all three children takes turns reading aloud each morning and we discuss what we have read. Daddy leads this time and it’s a routine I treasure.

Homeschool -2544

 

We do 3 subjects all together and really enjoy our time with our kids all together {most of the time}.

Daddy teaches Mystery of History which is awesome. We are well into book 2.

We still love our Heroes of History books, although we are reading much slower right now – we have had a lot going on.  We are almost done with George Washington. We are still enjoying Liberty’s Kids DVDs, to help deepen our American Revolution knowledge.

You can see our entire World Geography plan here.  Daddy now teaches this too.   


1st & 4th Together Learning

Ladybug and Krash do two subjects together and it is working well!  We do Picture Smart Bible {K-3 Old Testament} and US Geography twice a week.

No Geography pictures this month!

We continue to enjoy Picture Smart Bible together, you can see the pages they have completed recently.  And my daughter’s lovely un-brushed hair.

Bible -2640

Bible -2679

 


8th Grade

Homeschool -8893  8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[3]

#8thGradeWithPacMan[3]

Pac is by far my least photographed child because a majority of his schooling is done independently or with his Dad.

Here’s a peek of him hard at work on math, Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1.

8th grade -2456

 

Science continues to be a family favorite, especially when he has an experiment!

8th grade -2717

 

He is a pretty easy student and we are thankful.  Sure, we have issues, but overall he does what he is supposed to do. His dad oversees his math, spelling and science completely.  I oversee everything else.  Writing is the only subject I am still teaching directly.

One of my favorite portions of his homeschooling is his reading.  His favorites are in bold.

Here’s his completed list…

All of his other subjects are going well, we are pleased with our choices for him this year.


4th Grade

Homeschool -8866  4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[4]

#4thGradewithKrash[3]

In order to stay committed to his gymnastics he doubles up on his schoolwork 2 days a week so he can be free to practice the other 3 days. He really works hard on his two intense school days. We are usually working too hard to even remember to take any photos!  Here’s what he has spent most of January and February doing…

Gymnastics Gasparilla -3370 Gymnastics Gasparilla -3518

He had 2 meets in January and 2 in February. We are now preparing for States and Regionals {March/April}. You can see more of his gymnastics here on Instagram.

We are almost finished reading  The Island of the Blue Dolphins together, which he LOVES.

He also reads books on his own at night and currently reading I Survived The Joplin Tornado 2011.

His reading list so far this year…

1st Grade

Homeschool -8872 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[6]

#1stGradewithLadybug[3]

She now does the following subjects with her Daddy: science, Growing with Grammar, & Life of Fred Math. I teach her the rest of her subjects. Below you will see a few highlights from Jan. and Feb.!


Math

We do a few different things for math and our combination is working beautifully for her.  She continues to LOVE Life of Fred.

Spielgaben is a great fit for her and we do about 2-3 lessons per week. See our recent posts here…

Create a Clock with Spielgaben   Multiplication with Spielgaben


Science

She continues to love our EvanMoor 1st Grade science book, and her teacher, Daddy, agrees.

1st grade -2340

1st grade -2472


Grammar

Growing with Grammar and First Language Lessons are both wonderful and she enjoys both.  We use both because they are different, yet similar. She now does Growing with Grammar with her Dad so I don’t have any action shots!

Here she is working on her poems from First Language Lessons {she’s using our Poem PowerPoint}.

1st Grade -2828


Spelling

We are almost done with All About Spelling Level 1, I slowed her down since I didn’t really want to move on to level 2 yet.  She is doing really well with her spelling.  Below you can see her notebook, she likes to use my colored pens.

1st Grade -2820


Handwriting

We are using Logic of English Cursive, and have finished all of the lower case letters!

1st grade -2691

1st Grade -2810

 

Her filled up pocket chart with her drawings for each letter!

1st Grade -3006


Reading

All About Reading 2 is almost complete!. She loves the games in the lessons. She is now reading beyond the lessons we are doing, she has really taken off with her fluency and ability to just read anything.

1st grade -2547 1st grade -2550

 

Ways we supplement reading development…

We go to the library at least twice a month, sometimes more! Her library books are read daily both independently and aloud! 

1st grade -2737

1st Grade -2702

 

Before we take books back I ask her to set out her very favorites and I snap a photo and share on Instagram.  These are some recent favorite stacks…

1st grade -2439 1st Grade -2708

 

Here’s our other posts from this year…

Homeschool Wrap-Up The First 6 Weeks with 1st, 4th and 8th Grade[3]  Homeschool Monthly Wrap Up October 2015  Homeschool-Wrap-Up-1st-grade-4th-gra[1]

 

You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!

1plus1plus1-on-Instagram5

Linking up with Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up



Homeschool Wrap-Up November & December 2015 ~ 1st, 4th, 8th

Homeschool Wrap Up 1st grade, 4th grade, 8th grade Nov and Dec 2015

 

You can see our detailed curriculum posts by clicking on the graphics below.

1st-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 4th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi[1] 8th-Grade-Homeschool-Curriculum-Choi

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}


All Together Learning

 

Homeschool--89183

 

We do 3 subjects all together and really enjoy our time with our kids all together {most of the time}.

Daddy teaches Mystery of History which is awesome.  We fnally finished the 1st book and have moved on to book 2. We decided to save ink and use spiral notebooks with the kids and this was a great change!  The love their notebooks and their notes are even better!  Plus – no more printing for me! 

History -1063

 

Below you can see a glimpse of my prep time for book 2.  We use the Timeline Figures from Homeschool in the Woods.  I was printing, cutting and sorting {in baseball card sleeves} for our timeline notebook.

Homeschool -1696

 

We still love our Heroes of History books.  We are almost done with George Washington. We are still enjoying Liberty’s Kids DVDs, to help deepen our American Revolution knowledge.

 

You can see our entire World Geography plan here.  Daddy now teaches this too.  They finished all of South America and are well into North America now.  Everyone continues to enjoy this plan. Below is a peek at Daddy writing the notes on our board and that’s a picture of Ladybug’s USA page!

Geography -1892  Geography -1893


1st & 4th Together Learning

Ladybug and Krash do two subjects together and it is working well!  We do Picture Smart Bible {K-3 Old Testament} and US Geography twice a week.

They absolutely love US Geography and I think it’s because they both really love coloring and they love birds.  Seeing the bird for each state is very exciting for them!

USA Geography -1741

We review all the states we have learned each day we do a new one, we use our USA Geography PowerPoint for this.  The PowerPoint show is a favorite and is really great for review.

We have added in a couple more resources to expand our US Geography learning.   The kids absolutely LOVE the awesome USA States song/video by Readeez.

We played Scrambled States for the first time and they really enjoyed it!

USA -0943

    We also enjoy playing Sequence States and Capitals together!  If you don’t own this game and are working on states and capitals, I highly recommend it!

    USA Geography -2055

     

      We are enjoying Picture Smart Bible together and have completed Deuteronomy/Joshua.

      Picture Smart Bible -2053

       


      8th Grade

      Homeschool -8893  8th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[3]

      #8thGradeWithPacMan[3]

      Pac is by far my least photographed child because a majority of his schooling is done independently or with his Dad. I managed to get NO photos of him doing school at all!

      He does spend a lot of time doing this, so this picture of him is totally accurate. He’d spend way more hours per day playing the guitar {or his ukelele} if he could!

      8th Grade -2570

       

      He is a pretty easy student and we are thankful.  Sure, we have issues, but overall he does what he is supposed to do. His dad oversees his math, spelling and science completely.  I oversee everything else.  Writing is the only subject I am still teaching directly.

      One of my favorite portions of his homeschooling is his reading.  He is currently Reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  His favorites are in bold.

      Here’s his completed list…

      All of his other subjects are going well, we are pleased with our choices for him this year.


      4th Grade

      Homeschool -8866  4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[4]

      #4thGradewithKrash[3]

      In order to stay committed to his gymnastics he doubles up on his schoolwork 2 days a week so he can be free to practice the other 3 days. He really works hard on his two intense school days. Below he is working on one of his poems from First Language Lessons.

      4th grade -2062

       

      Science with Dad continues to be a favorite.  He really enjoyed making a volcano, of course!

      4th Grade -1886 4th Grade -1892

      4th Grade -1891

       

      I think they were exploring waves below..

      4th grade -2064

       

      He continues to do Life of Fred Math with Daddy, at a lower level than his Teaching Textbooks Math {he uses level 5}. We do LOF math to help him work on auditory processing skills.

      4th Grade -1952

      We are almost finished reading Mighty Men together, which is a collection of short stories.

      He also reads books on his own at night and currently reading The Indian in the Cupboard.

      His reading list so far this year…

      1st Grade

      Homeschool -8872 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices[6]

      #1stGradewithLadybug[3]

      She now does the following subjects with her Daddy: science, Growing with Gramar, & Life of Fred Math. I teach her the rest of her subejcts. Below you will see a few highlights from November and December!


      Math

      We do a few different things for math and our combination is working beautifully for her.  She continues to LOVE Life of Fred and is finished with book 2 and is enjoying book 3.

      Spielgaben is a great fit for her and we do about 2-3 lessons per week, mostly using the worksheets.  See our recent posts here…

      Hands on 1st Grade Math with Spielgaben Playful Math with Spielgaben December 2015


      Grammar

      Growing with Grammar and First Language Lessons are both wonderful and she enjoys both.  We use both because they are different, yet similar. She now does Growing with Grammar with her Dad so I don’t have any action shots!

      Here she is working on her poems from First Language Lessons{she’s using our Poem PowerPoint}.

      1st Grade -0913


      Reading

      All About Reading 2 is moving along. She loves the games in the lessons. It is a GREAT fit for her!

      1st Grade -1723

      1st Grade -0922

       

      Ways we supplement reading development…

      We go to the library at least twice a month, sometimes more! Her library books are read daily both independently and aloud! 

      Before we take books back I ask her to set out her very favorites and I snap a photo and share on Instagram.  These are some recent favorite stacks…

      1st Grade Library -2012

      1st Grade -0950

       

      We finished The Dragons of Blueland, the final book in the series.  She LOVED these books!  We continue to read Little House on the Prairie.


      Writing

      She has become quite the independent writer lately.  She loves her word wall folder and her try-it sheets. She uses both daily.

      1st Grade -0930


      Whew!  I think that’s it! It takes me forever to write these posts but they are my favorite to look back on!

      Here’s our other posts from this year…

      Homeschool Wrap-Up The First 6 Weeks with 1st, 4th and 8th Grade[3]  Homeschool Monthly Wrap Up October 2015

       

      You can also see much of our everyday homeschool life on Instagram!

      1plus1plus1-on-Instagram5

      Linking up with Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up