Monday, March 25, 2013

B is for...

B is for Basketball
Blogging Through the Alphabet

It's March and everyone loves some March Madness!

Basketball is in the air. My husband and oldest son are in full swing of the tourney. Watch games when they aren't working, checking their brackets every morning and cheering on their U of L Cardinals, or Indiana Hoosiers. Well not me.

I'm not really a basketball fan,  the only basketball I care about is our boys playing Upward Basketball.
This is Jack's fifth year and Evan's second.  We love it.  
Jack and Evan with their Upward trophies.

I will admit though, I'm excited about March too.

Baseball begins...
Jack after his first practice.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Classical Academic Press Logic Review

 Classical Academy Press offers many different curricula for today's homeschooling families.  They offer Logic, Poetry and Bible as well as the languages Latin, Greek, Spanish and French.  We recently reviewed their Logic course, The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic ($26.95) along with The Discovery of Deduction Teacher's Edition ($29.95).  The Discovery of Deduction is an introduction to formal, deductive logic which is a study of how an argument is put together.  It is for eighth grade through high school students.  The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies is recommended before using The Discovery of Deduction, but isn't required.  The Discovery of Deduction is split into four units which are separated into 9 chapters.  There is a suggested schedule to follow, either a full semester or a full year.  You can check those schedules out here.  There is an area on the Classical Academic Press website that covers Frequently Asked Questions.

Each Lesson starts with Points to Remember which then begins the reading material for that lesson.  After the reading they then define the important terms for their reading and answer any questions.  Lastly, they will do the Deduction in Action portion which helps them understand what they just read.  

This book is available as an e-book in both the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook formats

How we used The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic:
Once we got started into the books we knew, from the very beginning, that we had a lot of work to do.  I had never taught logic so I was a bit lost at first myself.  My daughter was completely over her head with the material so we continued to work on it together.  We knew from the beginning that we would need to use the year long schedule so we had more time to understand the material. We read through the lesson together, I used the Teacher's Edition which was exactly like the student book just with the answers. :) We read through the lesson and discussed what it and worked on the questions together.  We really enjoyed the Monty Python bit!!!

What I thought of The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic:
I'm sure for those who are familiar with logic this is a great addition to their curriculum, but for us because we haven't ever used logic before it seemed too much.  It was quite overwhelming.  I'm guessing because The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies was recommended to be done before the Discovery of Deduction had we done that we could have possibly enjoyed it more.  So I would suggest if you are new to logic, start with the recommended The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies then move on to the The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic.  

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Monday, March 18, 2013

A is for A Weekend Getaway

Blogging Through the Alphabet

A is for A weekend getaway!!!

A weekend getaway is always nice, but its terrific when you get to spend it with good friends.

Allen, his wife Lisa and Steve and I have been friends for over twenty years. Steve and Allen met at pharmacy school in Atlanta. We don't get to see each other very often since they live 259 miles away from us in White Pine, TN. But when we get together with them and their three kids its like not a minutes has passed. We can just take off right where we left off. Laughing (there is lots of that), catching up, playing games and just hanging out. Our kids are the same way. They run from 17-7 (17, 17, 16, 14, 12, 11, 9 and 7) and all eight of them just have a blast together.  Here are a few pics from the visit.

These are the kids by age.

Now by height...

Their pyramid 

Dinner out. 

All the kids heading back to the house while we have date night.
Sometimes God just puts people in your life that you know will be there forever.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Sometimes I'm totally over whelmed with God's blessings. At times I seem unaware of His blessing then someone or something brings them into view. Right now I'm thinking of these blessings...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review for READS: A Great Resource for Reading Comprehension

Sometimes we can get bogged down with all the things we have to do with our children each day, that reading comprehension becomes an after thought.  Here is a great program that makes checking comprehension fun and easy.

 EGM Educational System, LLC has a great way to help with your child's reading comprehension. It is called  READS Parent/Child Reading Comprehension System.  READS stands for Really Easy and Dynamic Strategies. This program is ideal for children at a 1st grade - 4th grade reading level. It works great for your reluctant reader, they can choose any book they would like to read and use some fun question cards to check their comprehension. This system helps to improve your child's reading ability and helps them become independent readers. You will get the whole system for $19.95.

The READS program comes with:
The Parent's Manual which describes how to use READS and explains each part of the system.  It is very parent friendly and easy to understand and easy to use with your child.

The 30 Question Cards are to help your child focus on their reading.  It will not only help improve their comprehension skills, but their critical thinking skills.  Each card has a question for your child to think about as they do their reading.

The Speedy Speller is a great resource for all readers and writers.  It is a spelling handbook that has space to add their own words.  It already has 1400 words in it written in  ABC order.  So anytime a child asks how to spell a word they can use this book and write down the work if it isn't already listed.  In the back there are also abbreviations, numbers, symbols, punctuation and more.

There is also a Rewards chart with stickers to help encourage your reader.  You can find helpful ideas in the Parent's Manual for ways to reward students.

Two of our favorite things that come with the package are the Magic Finger and the Reading Guide Strip. The Magic Finger is a big, green finger with a long, red nail for the reader to work on their tracking.  The Reading Guide Strip helps highlight the line they are reading while hiding the line above and below.  These are great and fun tools for young readers.

All of these things come in a reusable pouch.

How we used READS:
My fourth grader used it for required reading and fun reading. He would pick out his question before he starts.  That way he could think about the question while he read.  Once he finishes with his assigned reading we would discuss the question and his answer. When he would give me short answers we would discuss what the question card was looking for and he could rethink his answer. He usually came up with some really well thought out answers.  He did one question that asked him to describe the scene and he chose to sit and draw a picture of it.  My first grader who usually sits and listens while my fourth grader reads would do his best to answer the question too.  When we did shared reading we would read one chapter at a time using a different question.  Once we finished a book we would work on "Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why?," that would help him recap the book as a whole.

The Speedy Speller has been a great resource for him as well, whether its looking up a word or writing a new one down, he loved it. The extra pages that cover capitalization rules, punctuation rules, have been very helpful too.  When he asks how to spell a word I can just say, "Get your Speedy Speller." He would find it and either find the word or add it to the book.

What I think of READS:
I love it!!!  It is quick and easy to use.  He never complains about having to use it or having to read for that matter.  Since he gets to choose his own questions, he takes some ownership of the activity.  My first grader uses the Reading Guide Strip.  It really helps him keep his place with his own reading.  As for the Magic Finger, he doesn't care for that.  He says it kind of freaks him out, but the concept is great.  I will continue to use this with both of my boys.  They really like it and their reading comprehension is getting better.


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.