Archives For All About Spelling

TOS Crew Blog Walk Week 7

Heather —  July 29, 2010

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Hmmm, here is the TOS Crew Blog Walk Week 7 already!

I have no exciting homeschool tips to go with this list of blogs…or even a finalized curriculum to show off. In fact, I am sitting at the computer, surrounded by catalogs.

Yes, I am one of those people who are still finalizing my plans for the upcoming school year. So bear with me and I will blog through and finalize our schedule…right now!

I feel really good about Sweet Honey. We will be doing Classical Conversations, Cycle 2 (CC), MathUSee, Mathletics, some All About Spelling… and some Mystery of History (I was not going to include that this year, but she asked for it!–that shows how much kids enjoy this curriculum). We will most likely add in some lapbooks and unit studies…maybe some review items for fun. I have a horse unit study from Amanda Bennett sitting waiting for her–I know she’ll enjoy that type of thing.

With her, I think I will go very slowly aside from the CC and see what her pace is. So far, she is a very eager student–she grasps ideas quickly and really enjoys the work–so teaching her is ridiculously easy. For her, I have no problem finding stuff to teach or do…the problem is giving her too much!

With Chef Kid, I plan to really focus on Math and Science this Semester. Last year, he covered quite a bit of History and Literature…lots of electives. We really did too many different things for my comfort. I want to scale back and focus.

He will continue doing ALEKS and take an online Apologia Biology with The Potter’s School. We will do some Mystery of History and Literature, and French. If we only do those, he will still be in good shape, following a General College Prep course of studies. And, I need to figure out how to help him pursue his dream of being a chef….

So, there I, We, have it!

And, this week’s Blog Walk actually has tons of smart, funny, veteran homeschoolers, so be sure to browse their sites and get some good tips!

1. Closing Time — this is a gorgeous blog
2. One Blessed Mamma— tons of curriculum reviews
3. El Cloud Homeschool: Busy Minds, Busy Hands, Busy Feet— this blog belongs to my FM from last year on the Crew!!
4. Alive in Spirit— a friend from last year’s crew…
5. Ozark Rumblings–another friend from the crew–so glad you are feeling better!
6. Army of 5–how does she have time to blog? She is a vet and homeschool mom, and I love her horse photos
7. Fenced In Family–another smart and busy writer mama
8. Debbie’s Digest–a kind and funny lady who has lots of resources. I love the new look of her blog
9. Footprints in the Butter –Honest talk from a busy mom with some really smart kids
10. Got Chai?–one of my favorite people! Denise, a lovely ballerina, talks about fitness, her family and homeschooling-all the while keeping you laughing….

* FYI-If you have any ideas for or questions about our curriculum, shoot me a comment. And if anyone has any curricula that would “go” with the Classical cycle 2, I’d be interested in hearing from you!

Big Helps for Little Readers

Heather —  April 12, 2010

All About Spelling

Summary & Rating: 5 I am really impressed and intrigued by the products used with the All About Spelling (AAS) and the All About Reading (AAR) curriculum. While I have not used the entire program we are enjoying the two readers we have and many of my crewmates have a very high regard for the whole All About Spelling program.

Now, the All About Reading is a component of the entire reading and spelling program, and the book I am reviewing today is the second book in the AAR library. This What Am I? collection of short stories follows up where the first Beehive Reader (now titled Cobweb the Cat) left off. (You can see my review of Cobweb the Cat, here)

And, thank goodness this second reader came quickly, because my brand new reader, Em, has been waiting expectedly for this next book! She loves these and is very proud of her “readers.”

As with the first reader, I was impressed with the quality of the book. This reader also has a nice, sturdy hardbound cover and is a perfect size for small hands. The paper quality is good and the binding is tight–all things I want for a book my little one will be carrying everywhere.

The stories within the book are delightfully illustrated and the reader contains quite a few short tales that definitely appeal to my child! Many of the same characters appear from the first book, which is nice for continuity for the kids.

Now, with these readers, while they are useful and fun on their own, they are also designed to meet a certain reading level…a reading need. So, for example, What Am I? coordinates with the first 14 steps in All About Spelling Level Two.

You can currently purchase the readers on the All About Spelling website and soon, there will be an entire All About Reading program that will include more decoding skills, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and reading practice. I am hoping to review that!

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

The All About Reading, What Am I? Book was provided to me for my review and I have given my unbiased opinion.

Beehive Reader

Rating & Summary: 5 If you have a beginning reader, you will adore this. We actually found out that my daughter was reading when she opened up the Beehive Reader and started reading it to us! As no one had read this to her yet, we knew she could do it. She thought the stories were hysterical. I was a bit in shock, but ran and got my cellphone and took the movie below:)

This charming hardbound children’s book  is more than a delightful storybook. It is also a phonics based Reader. Darling illustrations and catchy storylines will get your child’s attention!

The reader can be used alone or with the All About Spelling Curriculum (AAS)–this particular reader correlates with AAS level 1. I have not used the program, but many people I know like the entire program. After seeing the quality of this reader, I know I need the All About Spelling Program:)

I also like the size–5.5×8.5–perfect for small hands. The quality of the binding and pages pleased me. I was surprised to find the inside illustrations in black and white, but that actually helps to not distract from the text.

The reader has 160 pages and some creative tales that are perfect for kids:

…a busy cat lives in a windmill
…a sleepy bear cub takes a nap
…a grumpy duck demands a snack
…a singing bat befriends a lonely king
… a curious boy shrinks from tall to small

You can see a sample from “At The Pond,” here.

The Beehive Reader sells for $19.99. At first, I thought this was pricey. But, then I thought about the fact that it is well bound and has 160 pages–and, created to teach reading skills–not just for fun. So, the stories are specifically targeted to help new readers do well and not get frustrated–for me, that is money well spent.

You can purchase the reader and the All About Spelling Program on their website, here.

There are also plans for another reader to come out in the Spring. I will be looking for it!

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say about AAS and the Beehive Reader, click here.

The Beehive Reader was provided to me for the purpose of my review. I have expressed my unbiased opinion on this product.