My youngest son has 2 big brothers that he's always trying to mimic. He asks repeatedly for more "school stuff" and to have work that looks like his brothers'. When the workbook set arrived, he was very excited to have his own set of brand new books. We received really nice, high quality workbooks; a student edition and a teacher edition.
We've used some Alpha Omega products before so I was already expecting great quality and naturally, I wasn't disappointed. The teacher's edition is scripted with dialogue that is useful for teaching and explaining each lesson. The student edition has perforated pages with dark, bold lines and text that make it easy for the student to follow along.
Jaxon was thrilled to get started on the workbook. We chose a time where he and I could work quietly together so he could have my undivided attention. He opened his textbook to the page on which we were currently working as I had my teacher book open to the corresponding lesson. We would get started by reviewing what we had previously discussed and done and then get started on the new lesson.
The worksheets included coloring in pictures, tracing letters, and Jaxon's ultimate favorite school activity -- cutting. We discussed topics like the five senses, dental care, germs, medications, food sources, choosing good foods, safety, manners, and feelings. One of his favorite activities was constructing a train of healthy foods on the train cars. Cutting, gluing, AND trains? It was a total win for my littlest fella.
I enjoyed using this set because often times health units aren't a big priority in our homeschool. Sure, it's very important to be healthy and discuss all of the topics included in this set, but often times, those subjects get less attention than others, like math and reading. It was really great to be purposeful in taking the time to go over a health unit. It helped Jax and I have time to discuss topics together, it gave me the opportunity to teach the importance of taking care of oneself to my youngest, and most importantly, it gave Jaxon a good understanding of why his health is essential...and what he can do to take care of himself, even as young as five years old.
If you are looking for a good health unit to round out your homeschool lesson plans this year, I would definitely recommend the Kindergarten Health Set from Alpha Omega. In fact, in perusing the included scope and sequence of Health for other grades, it looks like something we will be purchasing for our older children as well.
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As soon as people hear that we are a homeschooling family, one of the first questions I hear is if we plan on sending the kids to high school. I got the chance to review the book, The Conversation from Classical Conversations. The point of this book, the third book author Leigh A. Bortins has written on classical, home-education, was to encourage parents to continue home educating through high school.
I was initially a bit apprehensive once selected to review the book, because as a homeschooling family, we have not been proponents of a classical education model. I was uncertain if there would be information relevant to our homeschooling style. Additionally, my oldest son is beginning the seventh grade so, while high school is rapidly approaching, we are not quite there, yet. My concerns were alleviated once I got started reading, however.
The first part of The Conversation is like having someone beside you, encouraging you on your parenting journey, as well as your home education journey. Ms. Bortins tells parents that we can, in fact, prepare our children for adulthood even if we don't have all of the answers all of the time. We can parent, we can home educate, regardless of our fields of expertise. The second part of the book is more about the Classical education approach to high school.
Per the Classical Conversations type of homeschooling, by the time students are in their teenage years, they have entered the third stage of home education: rhetoric. Since The Conversation is a book about homeschooling in high school, it is written about the rhetoric stage in three different parts: High School at Home, The Rhetorical Acts, and Appendices. Again, this information was very new to me as it's not something I have looked into as I've researched homeschooling methods.
Classical Conversations defines this rhetoric stage as an appreciation of the good and beautiful, the development of virtuous character, and an ability to speak eloquently and persuasively. The Conversation delves further into what that means as you homeschool your high school student and how imperative it is to remain focused on the importance of home instruction for your teenagers.
Regardless of the fact that I don't utilize this method in our homeschool, Leigh A. Bortins is definitely a cheerleader for home education. As a family that has decided over the last few years that we plan on staying the course for home education through high school, it is definitely encouraging to hear someone state their case so passionately.
So even though we aren't educating the classical way, honestly, even if we weren't home educating at all, there are still a lot of good talking points I'm able to gather from this great book. As the school year begins, this is a great read if there are middle school and high school students in your homeschool, especially if, like me, you could always use someone telling you that you are doing what's best for your children.
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