Wednesday, November 20, 2013

These Are A Few of Our Favorite Things

We are starting to wind down school for the about you?

Our oldest is headed home for a week from college so we will take all of next week off to just spend time as a family, then we will hit the books for three more weeks in December before we take a Christmas break for a few weeks- or three! ;)  This crew needs a break, and honestly, so does this momma.

We have been super busy since we moved here and it is time to slow down and enjoy the holidays and some quiet family time.  It is also time for me to reevaluate our school schedule and what has been working for us and what has not.  Because I had the awesome opportunity to review for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine this past year, much of what we do comes by way of reviews.  Not surprisingly, you will find most of our favorites there!  (Did I mention I love reviewing?)

That being said, here are a few of our favorite things!

Homeschool Spanish Academy- I will just tell you that I was VERY nervous about starting this one.  The idea of Skyping with someone in another country took me way out of my comfort zone.  The idea of keeping an appointment each week did as well.  haha  WE LOVE IT and it is the highlight of our week now.  After our review period was over, we signed up again, and again, and have no plans to quit anytime soon.  It certainly eats a little more from our monthly homeschool budget, but it is worth every penny.  CJ is learning so much!  We love the teachers and cannot recommend this program enough.

Flip Flop Spanish- Yes, another Spanish product and another review item.  And yes, we use both! I loved this the minute it arrived at our door.  It comes with everything you need to pop into a 3 ringed notebook and you are off.  Because my oldest son is an auditory learner, he loves the CDs and is doing very well with this program.  Plus, because it can be used with multiple ages together, it is convenient to do with both boys.  After lunch each day we work for about thirty minutes- a little friendly competition to see who can remember the most words or who can make the best sentences is a plus!

ABeCeDarian- When we reviewed this reading program, we used the Level A and really enjoyed it.  At the time I did not feel my then 5 year old was ready to tackle the second book.  Now that he is six and his reading has taken off we have begun book B and I am reminded of why we liked the program so much.  It has a great combination of writing, listening and reciting, and tactile activities to keep my spirited child on task.  Enough said!

Notgrass- America the Beautiful-  We were doing another History with my 6th grader we have used for years, so our plan was to do this just for the eight week review period.  Oh well, plans change, right?  We love this curriculum- for its beautiful pictures, well written chapters, and numerous activities that can be added to it.  If you want, you can use the suggested activities to incorporate writing, bible, literature and geography.  My son liked it so much he asked to abandon the old stuff and keep using this, so we have.  Looking forward to using their Uncle Sam curriculum next year.

Apologia- Need I say more?  They have our hearts with Science AND Bible!  For science we are using the Exploring Creation Series.  Actually, two separate levels- Their newest Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics and Exploring Creation with Zoology 3- Land Animals.  Both boys enjoy the reading (the 6th grader does his alone) and they LOVE the experiments.  As I have shared with you before, experiments are NOT my thing, but I learning to be bold and try new things.  If you haven't read the links to either book, I encourage you to- lots of fun experiment pictures are included.

As for their Bible curriculum- after reviewing the Who AM I? series I fell in love with it.  I  bought the two others we did not have and are do are currently going through Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here? with my 6th grader.  We plan to finish the two remaining books in consecutive years.

Bible Study for All Ages-  This is also a program I was not sure we would stick with, and even stopped using it for about two weeks after our review period ended.  Then I saw a difference in my 6 years old's behavior throughout the day and decided to try a little experiment.  We started each morning with this bible curriculum and things improved.  hmmmm.  I am not THAT slow of a learner!  I ordered the next two sets of worksheets and we begin each morning studying the word of God.  Oh what a diffeerence it makes when we start out day focused on God!

Of course, we do study other subjects, and have been blessed with many other books and fun products,  but- these are a few of our favorite things!

Want to see some from others?

Each year the TOS Review Crew votes for our favorite products we have had the privileged of reviewing. These Blue Ribbon Award winners are then announced and today is the day!  I would encourage you to check out the winners and see what other people are recommending.  I was excited to see that a few of my favorites won!

Oh, and did you hear the news?  I was accepted back onto Crew for 2014!  I am so excited to once again be a part of this amazing blogging and reviewing team and cannot wait to share new products with you starting in January!



  1. Awesome review, Michelle! Congrats on making the Crew for the coming year ; )

  2. bible study guide is a favourite here as well. :)

    1. Love it! Starts our morning off in the right direction!

  3. ABeCeDarian was the single best item simply because it finally helped my struggling reader click!

    1. Kayla, How far did you all go with the program? Thinking about ordering B-2 at the first of the year.


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