Friday, September 30, 2016
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
What is it?
Ultimate Phonics is a software app designed to aid and teach students to read with phonics. It contains over 7,000 pages for a total of 262 lessons covering all the phonics sounds and rules of the English language, with each lesson containing 6 types of pages:
1) Pattern pages
2) Idea pages
3) Word List pages
4) Word pages
5) Sight Word pages
6) Sentence pages
As you can see in the pictures, this isn't a cartoon or heavy on the colorful or fun program. Instead it is a serious tool to highlight specific phonic issues and completely equip readers for all elements they will encounter. At first sight of the less than colorful landscape, I began to have reservations as to how useful this was going to be, because it just looks boring. And to be fair, if students were required to spend 30 minutes or more, most kids would drag their feet, if not go on strike. Thankfully, Spencer Learning wisely designed each lesson to take about 10 minutes. We would use it 2 or 3 times a week and that small amount of time was effective, but if a child really needed a lot of help, 10 minutes every day is totally doable!
Is this a program for you?
In homeschools or public classrooms, if you have struggling or new readers this would be a wise investment. ESL and Adult Literacy programs should consider this as well. If you expect to homeschool more than one child (who are at or below reading age) it could be especially wise. This program is a downloadable app that will always be yours and could be a great asset in correcting reading problems before they escalate or properly equip new readers.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/spencerlearning @spencerlearning
Friday, September 23, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
If this website sounds like something you could use, note that there are 3 levels of membership. With the free membership you have access to the test maker, but a limit on the number of questions on each test and limited access to worksheets. The membership I was given is the Pro Membership which runs $24.95 a year and gives you unlimited access to everything they offer. There is also a Group Membership for schools and businesses for $199.95 a year. Something for everyone!
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Thursday, September 15, 2016
The kids opted to have their breakfast on the back porch that of course turned into a game of baseball. I watched them through the window and couldn't help but love them more and long for their friendship to never end. They squabble and scream with the best of them, but every time she runs after one of his balls or he sets up her tee, I'm reminded of how much they love each other.
Friendship, whether through blood or circumstance, is worth the fight.
Friday, September 9, 2016
I've been writing on this blog in some capacity for 5 or 6 years at least and its main purpose was to be a creative outlet for me to sift through my thoughts and feelings. Documenting family events, pictures, and any business ventures were largely secondary. One of my loftier long term goals has been to write/blog for profit in some capacity, especially as we have chosen to live on my husband's income so that I can stay home. While that may not happen quickly or directly, it is something I'm pursuing to help support our family. About a year ago, I applied to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and was given the opportunity to try out different educational materials for free with the assignment of writing about our experiences. As a result, my curriculum library has certainly grown, but I've also developed some profitable relationships with many of the curriculum vendors, also known as becoming an affiliate.
My hope is that if any of the products I review and share with you are something you choose to buy, please be mindful to use the affiliate links I provide (when available) because it will support my family directly! There is also a new blog page just for all of the companies I am an affiliate of where you can access them directly. If you ever have questions about a company or products, please feel welcome to contact me.
Becoming an affiliate usually just means that if anyone purchases something through my link to a company, I'll get a percentage of commission off of it. It doesn't mean you would pay more or have to pay differently somehow. It just means I get a small kickback. I'm sharing this with you so you can know and understand the circumstances. All of the companies that I participate with have products I have tried in my own family so they aren't just random. They also will come with a review that shares what I think of the products - what I liked and what I didn't - to help you determine if it is a good fit for your situation.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
As you can see in the picture below, we received 4 different physical resources:
1) Student Text - A full color, nice quality textbook with professional photos, suggested activities, and a wealth of Bible references.
2) Notebooking Journal - This is an interactive tool that kids can take notes, illustrate their favorite concepts, and create all kinds of keepsake art. Intended for 3rd/4th grade students and up.
3) Jr. Notebooking Journal - This junior version is geared toward new readers and writers so there are more coloring pages and larger lines for writing. Intended for K - 3rd grade students.
4) Audio CD - This is a the audio recording of the text Exploring Creation with Astronomy read by Jeannie Fullbright. If you have auditory learners, slow readers, any learning disabilities, or just need to encourage some independent learning, this is a fabulous resource to engage with the content.
In the front of both Notebooking Journals, Apologia has provided a suggested dailyschedule that includes the text, the journal and the optional Apologia Science Kit (which is on sale right now!). While we didn't have the kit, there are still fun projects in each lesson that the books guide you through like building your own solar system, a solar eclipse, or a volcano! One of the first things the student does is cut out a bookmark that has places to takes notes on it. It must have encouraged ownership in my son because he became really excited about that part. The new vocabulary the text introduced was fun to witness in action too. We had an entire dinner conversation about gravity one night. I think we impressed Mr. Butler with that one. ;)
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