A Review of Writing Tales – Levels 1 and 2 by Amy Olsen

A Review of Writing Tales, Level 1 and Level 2 by Amy Hastings Olsen
Recently, Amy Olsen asked me to review her Writing Tales books. I have long been a language arts major, so I was excited to review her program for students in grades 3, 4 and up.
In Level One of Writing Tales, the student is introduced to classic children’s literature. The basis for a classical education is to expose young children to great writing examples. Through copywork and dictation, they learn to create their own writing projects. The true classical method does not include a creative side to the student’s writing, and Mrs. Olsen uses each story to teach various language arts concepts, such as grammar and punctuation, in addition to the copywork. And then she also includes a component for the student to rewrite the story in his or her own words.
In the teacher’s guide, you will have lesson plans for use in a homeschool setting, and she also includes lesson plans for use in a co-op setting. And she includes an answer key to the student workbook. And she has three appendices for have teaching resources, recommended resources, and game synopses.
I particularly like the student book, because it is spiral bound. This makes it easier for my students to open their book to the correct page. The Level One book was written with a 3rd grade student in mind, but you could use it with an older student, if he needed some remediation in writing. Or it could be used with an advanced 2nd grade student.
The level 2 book does not require that a student complete level 1 first. The stories are familiar classic stories, and we enjoyed the variety of stories offered by both levels. I have been looking for a writing program that fits our learning style for years, and I am pleased that Writing Tales seems to fit in with our style. It is easy to use, and it is enjoyable for the student. There are 30 lessons in each level.
You can find out more about both of these books at http://www.writing-tales.com/.

Reviewed by Tami Fox, independent reviewer
November 15, 2008

A Review of “We Gather Together: Songs of Thanksgiving”

A Review of We Gather Together: Songs of Thanksgiving by Joy Marie Dunlap of LightHome Publications.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a Holiday ebook by Joy Marie Dunlap. I have reviewed some of her copywork ebooks in the past, and I knew that I would be pleased with the quality of her Thanksgiving ebook that focused on songs of Thanksgiving. She provides table decoration ideas, menu art ideas, Thanksgiving recipes, and Thanksgiving crafts.

She has also compiled pages for copywork based on ten Thanksgiving songs. And for each song, she provides both manuscript and cursive examples. And she also added six extra blank writing pages in six sizes for additional copywork projects.
At the end of the book, you will find coloring pages and pictures of their family orchard. I found that with a large family of six children, I was able to find something for each of my children to work on that focused on Thanksgiving. And it was a fun activity that helped build their writing skills.
It was very easy to print just the pages I wanted to use. And I could print more than one copy of a page, if I wished to have more than one child use the same copywork page. I love the flexibility of using ebooks in my homeschool.
If you are looking for a well-thought out Thanksgiving copywork book with additional activities, I believe you will enjoy Mrs. Dunlap’s ebook. The artwork in this book is breathtaking.
This book is available through CurrClick at http://www.currclick.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=134&filters=0_0.

Written by Tami Fox, independent reviewer and homeschool mom of 6 children
November 15, 2008

Three new eBooks now available!

I have spent a lot of time today working on my blog template. The main reason for the tweeking of the design was to add information on my sidebar for three ebooks that I recently completed.

I have revised my ebook, Overcoming Obstacles While Homeschooling. I have added more personal stories to it.

I have also written a second book, Seeing God Even in the Stitches… It has more personal stories of my faith walk through trying times.

And the third ebook, Fox Kids Ribbon-Winning Recipes, is a compilation of recipes we have used in a yearly bake-off.

Take a look at them to your left. I have added BUY NOW buttons from PayPal, and they are also available on my website.

Have a blessed day!

Simple Woman’s Daybook – November 10, 2008

FOR TODAY – November 10, 2008

Outside my window…It is a glorious fall afternoon.

I am thinking…That I need to ship some orders out this afternoon.

I am thankful for…God’s many blessings on my family.

From the learning rooms…We have finished school for the day.

From the kitchen…We baked cupcakes this morning.

I am wearing…comfortable clothes.

I am creating…some new buttons for my blog later today.

I am going…to work in my home office shortly.

I am reading…the Vision Forum catalog.

I am hoping…to get several projects accomplished today.

I am hearing…my children in the other room.

Around the house…It is laundry day.

One of my favorite things…spending time with my family.

A few plans for the rest of the week: The 4-h bake-off is this week. We have a lot of baking planned.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…


My family

To read more entries, please visit, http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

How do I keep my enthusiasm going throughout the year?

Recently, I was asked how I kept my enthusiam going throughout the year. There are several techniques that I utilize to keep me enthusiastic about teaching my children throughout the year.

First, I schedule breaks in my school calendar. The fastest way for me to burn out and lose my enthusiasm is to overschedule our school work. We will typically do school for 6 to 9 weeks and take a week-long break. I use my curriculum as a guide for choosing when to take a break. And we all come back to our books refreshed once we have a break. This does mean that we might school on a year-round schedule, but it certainly helps keep me from getting burned out.

Secondly, I use a curriculum that makes learning fun. I love using KONOS and the unit study approach to learning. I love learning along side of my children.

Thirdly, I plan field trips to give us a change of pace from hitting the books. Admittedly, we are not able to do a lot of field trips due to budget constraints and the limited amount of time I have for field trips. But, a well-placed field trip is a welcome change to our day-to-day schedule.

Fourthly, I try to get out of the house for a mom’s night out or other similar event. I need to get out and recharge my batteries. And a homeschool mom’s night out is a great way to relieve some stress. If it does not relieve your stress, don’t go! I found that I could get caught up in doing too many jobs for the mom’s night out that I was burned out. So be careful of that!

How do you keep your enthusiasm going throughout the year?If you have any questions or comments, I welcome them at orders@dhss.com.

Have a blessed day!

Works for Me Wednesday

This week for Works for Me Wednesday, Shannon has asked for a toys worth buying list. I would say that the best toys we have bought over the years have been in the following order:

1) wooden train set

2) bicycles

3) Tonka Trucks

4) Anything made by Little Tykes

5) Any of the Melissa and Doug wooden toys

We have five boys, and the Thomas the Train wooden train set with hand-crafted wooden table has made it through all of them. We also live way out in the country, and the children all love to ride bikes. Some of them even learned to ride without training wheels in January, because they were so excited with their Christmas bike! We have also invested heavily in Tonka trucks. I think my mom still has some Tonka trucks that belonged to my brothers. We also have had very good service out of any toys we purchased that were made my Little Tykes. That stuff is nearly indestructable! And we have also enjoyed the wooden toys made by Melissa and Doug.

I suppose I could link to all of these, but they are pretty well known, so I will just let you use Google or Ebay to find products.

Have a blessed day!

Contest Winners!

The Bloggy Giveaways are now over. I have selected winners for the four contests that I held this week, and I want to thank everyone for their participation. I have also emailed the winners, so please be on the look out for those emails!

Contest #1 – State the Facts book, Vocabulary Book, Mind Benders book

Random number generator choose commentor #6 – Stephanie.

Contest #2 – Latin Books

Random number generator choose commentor #12 – FLMOM

Contest #3 – Reason and Write Book

Random number generator choose commentor #4 – cvdmvega

Contest #4 – Basic Skills book and word practice cards

Random number generator choose commentor #14 – samsakara

Thank you!