The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts Review.


First, I want to say thanks for following my blog Hot Mess Goes to Oz, Taylor Poulsom, and psitsperi! (Note: If I missed you, I will get you with the next post. Sorry this one took so long but I have had a lot going on in my personal life making it very hard for me to post)

So, if anyone one reading this has read my first post you new that when I first decided to homeschool, I was unemployed, newly divorced, and had spent a whole year away from at the time my only child. I also had not moved in with my boyfriend yet and was supporting myself. SO as many of you could have guessed finding low cost but effective homeschool curriculums was a must. (I do want to add I know a lot of people are for what seems to be called unschooling but that does not work for our family 100%. If I understand unschooling, I think we do it to an extent, but we also do some traditional stuff as well but if anyone is interested, I can go into detail on this in the next post just let me know in the comments. If not, I’ll save it for later). According to my neighbor who had been homeschool for a few years this was very possible for any age and grade it was just a matter of finding out what worked for my child. With this encouragement on to the internet I went to see what I could find.

After about a week of YouTube video and other homeschooling blogs a lot of people where talking about the language arts program The Good and The Beautiful. So that what we went with so far, we have completed the pre K primer and are currently working on the kindergarten program. So that what I will be talking about today. For those who do not want to sit and read a long post (because this one is going to be a long one compared to my past few post) I will sum up the pro and con of the program for us.

(Note: I do not know the lady who made this program I am also not being payed by anyone to write this review)

Pro:

  • Little to no cost if you print it yourself
  • Very positive program
  • It is scripted
  • Give you almost everything you need for the class any added items are things we had around the house or could substitute

Con:

  • If your child does not respond to flash cards this will not work for you
  • You must be organized to keep track of everything
  • There is a lot of controversy it seems about the creator of the program

So now for the people who want more detail on why I think these are the pros and cons of the program

Little to no cost if you print it yourself

For me one of the best parts is the cost of this program. The pre-k threw level 7 course is anywhere from $15.00 to free depending on the level you need (Note: this program uses levels not grades and it has a nifty little test to help you determine what level you should get for your child) and you print it yourself. For people who do not want to print it themselves they do offer a hard copy that can be shipped to you and it seem to be anywhere from $50.00 to $80.00 dollars. I am not sure how budget friendly that is compared to other programs but for me I have no problems with the free print it out put it together myself.

It is a very positive program

The program its self is very positive. Like in one lesion you ask your child to read some words and teaches your child to appreciate things that I would have never thought to be thankful for let alone teach my child to be thankful for. For example, the bathtub.  To me this isn’t something I thought to be thankful for even after working in a 3rd world county for a year where I could only take a 5-minute shower. I liked it though because it made my daughter think and hopefully appreciate the things, she has a little more. So many kids now a days seems to have little respect for anything really, so its nice to see a program that has those kinds of lesions in it.

It is scripted!

For me this is a super big plus because when I have all 3 kids at my house, I normally do not have any time to lesion prep. With this I just read the lesion once before my daughter and I go over it and we are good. The scripted parts are super simple to understand as well.

Give you almost everything you need for the class any added items are things we had around the house or could substitute

So far almost all the extra things the lesions have called for we have had. If we didn’t have them it was easy to substitute the items for something else. Like one of the pre-K Primer lessons said we needed cloths pins. I don’t have clothes pins, so we were able to use a penny instead. We also had a lesson that called for buttons. Even though I like to sew I do not have buttons, but I have a big pickle jar fully of pennies, so we just used that instead. Other then that everything else comes with the program. All the books, work sheets, and flash cards are included with the download. You just print and put it together. (unless you ordered the physical course set then all that is done for you)

Ok so now for the things I think are negative about the program.

Lessons can be time consuming and sometimes a bit too challenging for a child

It is hard to do the lesions for this program if you are an on the go family. You have to take the time to sit down go over it with your child and make sure they understand it. (at least until you get to level 4 from my understanding then for the most part is it a self-taught) I want to say for the kindergarten level we can spend an hour to 2 hours on course content because there is so much. It has spelling words, books that have to be read, sight words that have to be studied, phonics flash cards, and then a paper lesion that has to be done. On days that I have a lot of running around to do it is almost impossible for me to get threw it and the other subjects that I teach my child, (Which isn’t a lot the only other thing we do daily is math and hand writing. History and science are only 2 times a week) as well as get house work done, pick kids up, drop kids off, and get anyplace I need to be at.  On top of that in some of the paper work portion of the lessons they give you a challenge problem like how many words can you make out of these random letters. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with if they did an intro to it first but in most cases,  there are no lesions to prepare the child for the challenge activity and its sink or swim.

If your child does not respond to flash cards this will not work for you

I for whatever reason got very luck and my daughter does very well with flash cards, and repetitive work but if your child is not much for sitting down and doing this kind of thing you prob won’t have a lot of luck with this program. Even I as an adult hate sitting down and having my child do flashcards and things like that but, like I said I got luck my child is very good with flash cards for some odd reason so I can for the most part trust her to sit at the table and go threw them herself and read them to me while I do dishes or something.  On the other hand lets say I was trying to do this program with my step son who is 6, very smart, but cant even sit still long enough to do a single math paper without throwing a fit unless he has the right incentives,(and even then he still sometimes thinks if he throws a big enough tantrum he will still get the prize) I just do not see it working.

You have to be organized to keep track of everything

The pre-k primer wasn’t that bad. It was just do the work sheet and they where fun worksheets. Then we get to the level K program. At this level we have many books, a big book, our lesions, flash cards, and if you’re like me a 2nd set of flash cards for sight words which you must make yourself. It tells you how to organizes some of the things in the program but not all of them. Like the books. So, you get these nice tinny books for your child to read and the program tells you what book to read when and how many times. Well if I understand it right the book should be read 3 times before the chapter is over. There is a check box to check off each time the books been read. That did not work for us. It took me several chapters to fig out a good way that worked for us and by the time I found a good way to keep track of it we where already several books behind. I am also pretty sure we read some books more then 3 times, oh and I think a book or 2 may have gotten lost and needed re printed. Once we found a good organization system that worked for us getting everything done was no problem, but it took me a bit to figure it out and if I wasn’t organized (ok Simi organized is more like it) then we would not have been able to do it.

There is a lot of controversy it seems about the creator of the program

So, the really big things I see that seems to be turning a lot of people off from the program the women who created the program. It would seem the is Mormon. I am not 100% sure why that is a problem, but I also know nothing about the Mormon religion other then they like to knock on my door to tell me about their religion when I worked night shift. From what I have seen of the program it teaches about God from a none denominational stand point. Now this is just the lower levels of course, the higher level may get into more religious teachings. I will admit that I have watched the video that started all the controversy and I am not really sure what the women in the video is trying to get across to her viewers because the video is very unorganized, but I have read blogs and seen other video that do bring up some veiled points to it being a an issue that the creator of the program is Mormon. Like if you do not want to help fund the Mormon church there is a possibility that the creator if she donates money it would be to a Mormon church. I have also seen people talk about all the authors of the suggested books to read are all Mormon authors. As well, as the artist that the program has chosen to talk about are all Mormon artist. Now I have not investigated this personally so you may want to do your own research on this last bit of information.

Over all though this is my thoughts on the program and what seems to work for my child. I do feel it is worth looking into though if you are on a very low budget and need a language arts program. I will provide the link bellow.

So again, thank you for reading, hopefully it will not take me as long to update next time. I also do not have a plan for next post so if there is anything anyone would like to know more about please feel free to leave me a comment. fffff

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SLIME!!!! How to Fit it into you’re Homeschool Science Lesson


I really hate slime. I think it is gross and looks like something one of my kids sneezed out their nose. The worst part about it is I have never liked slime even back I the 90 when it was called Gak. Unfortunately, my 5-year-old daughter got 2 kits from my ex-mother-in-law to make slime with a note that said this might be fun to do for your weekly science experiment. All I could think of was “great…how do I fit this into our lessons, and can I pawn the project off on her stepdad or biological dad?” Sadly, I couldn’t get either of them to do it with her and was now stuck with trying to figure out how to make it educational.
After rolling different ideas around in my head I release I was over thinking. I’m teaching kindergarten, and what the easiest thing kids learn in kindergarten? That is to follow directions! This way I didn’t have to try and figure out how to make this into a science lesson for my home. Which was probably a good thing because science is the one subject, I hate teaching to my kid. (I know, that sounds crazy, but I just can’t dumb the subject down so she understands it and we are not doing a formal sciences curriculum this year next year we will). The downside is this idea is great for people who are teaching younger kids, but this doesn’t really work older kids. So here are a few ideas for people who are like me and not very good with sciences and need some help.

What is slime?
This experiment is simple and if you go to the website (I will link it to you here shortly. It will go into detail on how you and your child can explore what really happens when you mix the ingredients for slime together). I do want to warn you though if you do not feel comfortable letting your child handle Borax Powder then you may want to check out the other things I have found online. Anyway, to sum this experiment up it just to find out what slime is, what the components are and how slime is made. It gives you a nice simple material list. Which many households may already have the items they need to make the slime. It gives you the instruction on how to make it, though the site has this label as procedures, not instruction. Then it gives you some discussion ideas to talk about with your child, and it also explains the science word Polymer and other objects that fall into this classification.
If you wish to check it out here is the link
https://explorable.com/make-your-own-slime-experiment

What are the differences?
This site I just like overall because it has a lot of different sciences things and if you look, the site has a lot of freebies. What this site offers for slime are four different slime recipes. They all make diffident types of slime (under the photo for each recipe it tells you the type of slime) then after your child has made all four you simple have them compare the difference between the slimes and see if the child can find out why the ingredients in each slime produce the result it did. Depending on how old the child is, and what type of homeschooler you and your family are you can do this a few different ways. You can do a video report, a written report, or even have the child do it in different testing with the different slimes (like which slime will stretch better, which slime holds together better, or something like that)
If this is something you would like here is the link for it.
https://www.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-make-slime/

What Happens if?
This blog has some really good idea that really shows how bad and unimaginative I am when it comes to sciences. In it, the writer talks about what happens if I do this? And they go on to talk about changing the number of ingredients like using more or less baking soda. They also talk about a fiber slime and the powder to water ratio needed to make it. (note: they claim the fiber slime is taste safe I have not tried it or investigated the recipe they are using so taste at your own risk). They have a lot more with slime on the blog I didn’t look into all of the ideas the Author thought of because it seems like she has a lot, but definitely something to look into if Slime is what your family is into.
https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/how-to-set-up-science-experiments-with-slime/

These are just a few of the ideas I found that I liked and could be helpful for an easy weekly sciences experiment. If you have any other ideas, you would like to share please do so in the comments. If you like what you have read don’t forget to like comment and subscribe so you can keep getting updates!

Expectation vs Reality of my Homeschooled Family

I think every homeschool family has this same issue. That’s expectation vs reality. I don’t know about everyone else, but I see videos of homeschool that seem to show a happy very well organized and put together family. When I see that I think to myself “oh my gosh that is what I want! A happy carefree family, that never seems to fight, and looks like they came out of a home and garden magazine!” That was my expectation of being a stay at home mom that homeschooled her kids. All I have to say to this is I was really, really REALLY wrong and am nowhere close to this.

I have been doing this for about half a school year now, and I am not sure if it’s because the YouTube family just shows the nice stuff (since every homeschool channels seems to have that my family has bad days too videos, but they still don’t seem to be anything like the bad days in my household!), I just haven’t been doing it long enough to reach that level of exasperates at being a stay at home mom that homeschools, or they just aren’t human. My boyfriend likes to joke that any YouTube family you see isn’t human. 

Of course, it might not help that we aren’t really like a normal homeschool family. Though no two families are alike or normal. Half my family goes to a privet school that has no bus and is 30 to 45 min away depending on if we get stopped by a train or not. (Not our choose before people start thinking my boyfriend and I are rich; my step kids mother gets to pick where the kids go to school). The other half of my family is homeschooled. So, it is different and could also be part of the reason we do not have our heads on straight in this household or look anything like what I see on YouTube.

I do want to add that by no means am I trying to say that I am better than any other family because I deal with both the school system as well as homeschool. If anything, those YouTube videos make me feel inferior sometimes. The family’s in them seem to have it all, they are very organized, have a super clean and neat home, as well as good at just all this mom stuff. Regardless though, I must keep reminding myself that is YouTube no family is really that perfect and as long as all my kids, both biological and step are clothed fed and happy I must be doing something right even if it seems like everything is messy and crazy.

Thanks for reading, if you like what you read don’t forget to follow my blog, so you can get updates on whatever I decide to talk about each week. Come back for sure next week I will talk about the curriculum we are currently using. Also any suggestion to help improve my writing or page feel free to leave in the comments!

Homeschooling

So, this is my first year homeschooling. I have one child of my own at the moment who is in kindergarten. (Here soon I will be having child number two) She super smart and other than being ridiculously clingy to me since we started the homeschool, I really feel homeschooling was the best thing for her at this time. The year I was gone she lived with her biological dad (at the time we were still married) the downside to that was while I was gone, he didn’t really do a lot with her education wise. That would include homework (though I will admit I had no idea they sent homework home in preschool) and I’m sure she wouldn’t have been the only child who went on to kindergarten in a public school that could not identify all her letters or count past 20 but I really didn’t feel ready to send her to school. Plus, I had been gone for that whole year and wanted time with my baby.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to or would be able to homeschool. I mean by the time the idea was brought up to me I was finally able to get divorced, I didn’t have a job, and I had no idea where to start. Luckily the place I lived in at the time homeschooling was becoming a common thing, the guy I was dating at the time (well still dating) was supportive, and I was determined. So with a lot of help from my neighbors who homeschooled, my boyfriend and I deciding that he was blessed with making enough money that I could stay at home, and a lot of internet videos I filled out the correct paperwork and much to what seemed to me (I could have read into it wrong though) as displeased from the school system turned in the paperwork to start homeschooling.

Here I am now, halfway through the first year of my daughter school and I have to say I am glad I decided to do it. The fact that I get to share her achievements with her and watch her grow. I have an idea of what she is learning and feel I am closer to her then I would be if I had sent her to public school. I also do not worry as much about the drugs and violence going around in the schools, the stupid things that schools kick your kid out for, or teachers teaching bias concepts to my kid. Plus, we have the freedom to do as we please. My child can learn what she wants to learn about most days. Overall that’s just an amazing feeling.