Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SchoolHouse Review ~ Institute for Excellence in Writing

15 minutes for Grammar? Yes, please.

For the last few weeks, I have been reviewing Fix It! Grammar from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Most homeschoolers know IEW well. They are very well known and liked in the homeschooling community. I have had the opportunity to review their amazing products in the past and I was really excited when given this new opportunity.

Fix It! Grammar Review

For this review I was given:
Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood (Book 2) The Student Book ($15)
Fix It! Grammar: Robin Hood (Book 2) The Teachers Manual. ($19)

Both books are soft cover and spiral bound. There is a total of 33 week long lessons along with 132 vocabulary words. Each lesson should take about 15 minutes a day, 4 days a week. IEW allows the pages of the student book to be copied. Which is a huge deal to me because I have a handful of munchkins not just one or two.

Fix It! Grammar Review
Each book builds on the book before it but there is a placement test to determine exactly where to start.


There is a total of 6 books offered in this series:
This series is intended for grades 3 and up.

The concept behind this grammar program is that the child will enjoy reading a sentence or two from a classic tale (in our case, Robin Hood) and the student will use real life sentences instead of a page full of grammar exercises. Their thinking is that is will make it easier for the child to actually edit their own work. The program is very relaxed as it teaches clauses and phrases while reviewing parts of speech and punctuation.

The Teachers Manual is very well laid out. There is nothing worse than a confusing teachers manual. It starts out with an introduction that explains the program and how to use it. After that each lesson is explained over 3-5 pages per lesson. Then toward the end of the book is a Fix It! Grammar glossary that breaks down in detail parts of speech, sentences, clauses and phrases, punctuation, additional rules and concepts and stylistic techniques. I found that to be a great resource! Even I get confused sometimes on grammar rules.

The Student Book starts out with a short introduction that explains to the child how to use the book and what is expected each day. It jumps right into the lessons and each weekly lesson is laid out on 2 pages. The first page is the "Learn It" page and the second page is the work, 4 days worth of sentences to correct. Typically, only 1-3 sentences each day. Very simple and to the point. There is a Certificate of Completion after the lessons and the same Fix It! Grammar glossary in the back of the book.

There are also vocabulary words that are scattered throughout the weekly lessons. These are to be looked up and defined by the child and put in their notebook.

I use the program with Alyssa (9th), Carter (6th) and Morgan (6th). Alyssa is a writer at heart and is pretty much ahead when it comes to her grammar but you can never get too much practice. Carter and Morgan were right on track with where this book starts. So it fit us well. I teach the concept and they do the work. Pretty simple.

So what did we think?

We loved it. The kids loved that it was challenging but simple to complete. They sometimes get overwhelmed with pages of repeated grammar exercises. They knew each day they only had a small amount of work to complete so there was no complaining. They also loved that the sentences were from Robin Hood. Who wouldn't, right?

I loved it because...well, its IEW! Really, it was well laid out. Easy to understand. I could teach the concept and they could do the rest. I didn't have to stand over their shoulders the whole time. That's important to me. It was a solid program and I plan to continue using it.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ September 26th

The Pebble Pond


1. It is boot season! I love, LOVE, love it! How about you?

2. We actually started school. It is a slow process getting everything to run smoothly but its nice to be back at it.

3. I got a new van! I am so in love with it. It may be a minivan but it is so much better than what we were driving. It is a Honda Odyssey and it has a moon roof! Yippee!

4. Taylor has been riding in our new van WITHOUT her car seat! She is doing so well. It makes her feel like a big girl! The smile on her face when we drive around is pretty much awesome. :)



5. Morgan is starting horse back riding lessons tomorrow. She may be a little excited.


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ September 19th

The Pebble Pond

1. I have had a terribly horrible week. I am starting to feel better now but it has been slow and discouraging. I am carrying more on my shoulders than any person should ever have to. I know what I need to do. I need to give it to God. It is much easier said than done. If you could pray for me I would appreciate it so much.

2. I've lost a total of 10.6 pounds. That makes me happy because I have been working my tail off! I normally wouldn't post a picture like this but I am so excited about the changes I have been making with my body. It is the one thing in my life I have control over.


3. I have my last batch of salsa to make today. Then I am on to apple season! I love canning applesauce, apple butter and apples for apple bread. Yummy!

4. We start school on Monday. I am SERIOUS this time. ;)

5. I am NOT a breakfast person. I have eaten oatmeal every morning for breakfast for 2 weeks. That is a huge accomplishment! Especially since I am not particularly fond of oatmeal to start with.

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Here are the rules. They are simple.
~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
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~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Schoolhouse Review ~ The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

I love doing reviews. Most of the time the items I get to review are wonderful additions to our classroom. This time around I got to review something completely for me! Although technically, the whole family reaps the benefits.

The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner. Ahhh...A PLANNER! I love planners. And highlighters. And pens. It makes me giddy. So you can imagine how excited I was to get my hands on this!

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

Before I jump into how I used this and what I thought let me tell you the details of the product. The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner was created by a company called The 7 Minute Life. It costs $24.95. It is 7.3" by 8.5". Which is very important to me because I like to keep mine in my purse. The planner is originally intended for a working mom but it can definitely be used by anyone. I just skipped over the parts that didn't apply. Obviously, it is meant for adults but my Alyssa really wants to get her hands one one. She takes after her Mama when it comes to her love of planners.
 
7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

This planner is different than any other that I have seen. Most planners have a calendar, notes and contacts. This is so much more. The goal of The 7 Minute Planner is to help you prioritize, organize and simplify your life in 7 minute increments!

It takes a little while to get though the beginning of the planner. That can't happen it 7 minutes. When mine came in the mail, I sat down and read through the why's and how's located in the front. After I was through with this part, it was time to dive in. The next few pages cover ranking your prioritize, discovering your purpose, goals, tasks....all the things that we should get down on paper but usually just let clutter our mind. That's how it works for me anyway.

Then comes the calendar at a glance. This is ready to be filled in with dates. I like that because you can start using it at any time! Once that is done, then comes the Daily Progress Report. This is what is used every day.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

As you can see, you can record everything from your water intake (which I am loving because I am trying to drink a gallon of water a day!) to what money you spent that day.

I love the idea of the 7 Minute Planner. I am a very busy woman. Besides homeschooling our days our filled with doctors appointments, therapy, violin lessons....I could go on forever. I find in my own life that it is SO easy to get caught up in everything that needs done that sometimes I forget the most important things. How can I possible forget how important taking the time to STOP is? It happens though. Just about every day of my life. This planner visually helped me to remember those important things. To keep my priorities straight.

The 7 Minute Life

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Random 5 on Friday ~ September 12th


The Pebble Pond


1. When I was pregnant with Carter and Morgan I used green apple dish soap. To this day, I still can not use it! The smell gets me every time. I actually love a green apple smell but NOT in the form of dish soap. Gag!

2. I love Fall. I didn't think I was ready and part of me is not but I also love it at the same time. It feels so good outside. I sleep like a baby. I am so comfortable in a sweatshirt and jeans.

3. Are you a football fan? I never used to be. I still see it as a waste of time but I get hooked every season.

4. We finally start school on Monday. (I think!)

5. Alyssa started a blog. She named it A Little Spot to Write. How cute is that? She would love a few followers. Hint, Hint. :)


Want to join us?
Here are the rules. They are simple.
~ Link up your Random 5 on Friday post.
~ Add a link back to me somewhere in your post.
~ Please make sure to put the direct link to your blog post not just your blog. I like to read and comment on all of you but I can not always do it right away and I do not have time to look for it. Thanks!

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