Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Crafty Classroom Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook & R.E.A.D. Review Pack Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum) *and* R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) from The Crafty Classroom for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

The Crafty Classroom is a website full of homeschool resources and printables that are produced by homeschooling mother of 4 kids, Valerie Mcclintick. These are designed to make homeschooling easier. The Crafty Classroom produces high quality homeschooling curriculum and educational resources, like: alphabet, geography, science, math, Bible, reading, and writing resources.

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a 4 day per week over 36 week curriculum that gives you everything needed to teach your child to read. R.E.A.D. is an acronym meaning: Ready, Eager, Able & Determined to READ! It comes as a downloadable and printable PDF eBook that has 785 pages filled with hands-on activities. This covers phonics, digraphs, blends, sight words, grammar, and writing. There are 30 word families, 64 sight words, and 24 blends & digraphs.

The R.E.A.D. Review Pack is a 92 page downloadable and printable PDF eBook that has 28 Early Readers which correspond with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. This can also be used as a stand-alone product, if you are not wanting a full curriculum. These cover 30 plus Word Families and 70 sight words. These are great to build fluency and be used as review. These early readers progressively build onto the learning as they go.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I used this with my youngest daughter who is 6 years old. She is still just getting the hang of reading. I wanted to boost her confidence and try out The Crafty Classroom Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook & R.E.A.D. Review Pack. Zari was excited because she wants to read like her sister Teela who is 9 years old and devours books.

I was disappointed though that my printer decided to act up for this review. Both of these files are large! The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a full 785 pages long and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack is a full 92 pages. Printer ink is expensive and these pages have some that are supposed to be printed in full color as well. I just tried to print out as much as I could before my printer's ink ran out completely, but my pages didn't look at all as good as the pages in the PDF and all the printing really gave my printer a workout. It might be less expensive to have them printed out professionally so you don't eat up all your printer ink like I did.

Just some of the pages of the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook printed out with low ink.

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is very thorough and is a complete curriculum for teaching students to learn to read. It is perfect for homeschool applications for a kindergarten reading curriculum with phonics and word families. We worked on this 4 days per week. At the beginning of the PDF file there is a curriculum overview which tells you the week and which word family, sight words, and language arts your student was going to be working on in that week. There is also a general overview, daily schedule, and blends & digraphs week schedule to follow.

The pages are placed inside a 3-ring binder. You are supposed to use two page protectors and a dry erase pen so that the pages can be reused. I didn't have any page protectors so I used a gallon sized zip lock bag. We also needed a composition book and a container or bag to hold the flash cards. We just used rubber bands to put the flashcards together.

There are some pre-assessment activities that we were told to start out with. These are reviewing letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and their letter sounds. Zari did fairly well with this and knew all the letters, but some of the sounds she had forgotten. So we reviewed these until she had them down.

You start out each day with a Daily Warmup. This consists of two pages that are placed in the page protectors and reused each day. This exercise has First & Last Name, Digital/Analog Time, Weather, Temperature, Count & Write Daily Number, Number Word, Ten Frame, Tally, Money, Days of Week, Months of Year, Number Word, and Number Line.

Zari doing some of the work for the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook.

Each day there are different activities to teach the student reading skills. Each activity and page is explained really well in the PDF. These pages and activities Zari had the most fun with. She loved the hands-on games like Spinner Winner and BINGO. She also loved the cutting and pasting activities and the draw and write pages. There was so many fun things to do to help her learn to read in the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook! She was really enjoying these lessons a lot.

R.E.A.D. Review Pack, first 4 books.

Along with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook we received the R.E.A.D. Review Pack. This has 28 simple to put together printable early readers that go very well with the curriculum notebook. Zari had fun reading these once she knew word family and sight words. These had fun graphics and an easy to read font. The little phonics readers are super cute. Since they are put together in pages of threes they are also simple to assemble. Just stack the three pages of each book in order of printing (first on top, last on bottom) and cut out the books pages along the dotted lines. Put the first stack on top of the next pages cut out and so on until all pages are in correct order (they are numbered just in case you get them mixed up), then staple together There are 4 books per a five week period. I printed the first 4 books to use with the curriculum notebook and weeks 1-5.  We used these 3 days per week. The instructions suggest an empty tissue box to store them in.

Zari reading one of the R.E.A.D. Review Pack books.

Zari is doing very well with this curriculum and I am very happy with it so far. It is just a lot to print out like I said. The activities keep her engaged and occupied learning. I highly recommend this curriculum and booklet pack for teaching Kindergartners that are beginning readers. It is perfect for a homeschool setting.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Website: https://craftyclassroom.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Crafty-Classroom-121821161222656/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraftyClassroom Tag: @CraftyClassroom
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecraftyclassroom Tag: @thecraftyclassroom
Blog: http://thecraftyclassroom.com
Hashtags: #hsreviews #CraftyClassroom #LearntoRead #HomeschoolCurriculum

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is $25 and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack is $15.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit and ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS (free e-book) from ACTÍVA Products for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

ACTÍVA Products is a company has been around since 1959. They have quality wholesale arts & craft supplies to use at home or in the studio. These products are great for paper mache and sculpture, air dry clay, kiln fire clay, casting and mold making, colored sand and modeling sand, floral - supplies for flower drying and arranging, etc. They make many products including: Activ Clay - Air Dry Clay, La Doll Clay, Hearty Clay, Scenic Sand/Decor Sand - Colored Sand, Model 'N Mold Sculpting Sand, CelluClay, Permastone, BlackJack Clay - Stoneware Clay, InstaMold, ArtPlaster, Li-Qua-Che Paper Mache, Activ-Wire Mesh, Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth, and Flower Drying Silica Gel, etc. These are great for homeschool for art and models for other subjects like: science and history. The ACTÍVA website has project instructions, craft tutorials, lesson plans, and videos to help you learn how to use the medium and get ideas for what can be done with it. These project ideas are aimed mostly for children with parental assistance, but the materials can be used by professional crafters and artists as well.

Contents of the Quik-Sculpting Kit.

The Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit is a wonderful quick sculpting paper mache kit that contains Rigid Wrap plaster cloth, CelluClay, and instructions for 12 craft projects. This kit is especially great for Science Fair projects and kids crafts. Also this kit is fabulous for homeschool applications!

The project kit includes:
  • 2 - 4" X 180" rolls of Rigid Wrap
  • 8 oz. of CelluClay
  • Complete instructions for 12 projects
Rigid Wrap is a plaster coated gauze that you can use to make masks, jewelry, sculpture, home decor projects, and props. Just cut into strips, wet, lay and drape onto shape, smooth, layer, dry, finish, and decorate. This is non-toxic and can be quickly dried in the microwave.

CelluClay is paper mache made with a virgin recycled paper medium that you mix with water to get the desired effect, a pulpy clay-like mixture that molds well. It air dries and is non-toxic and gluten free, and adheres to most surfaces without glue or paste. This is a very versatile substance. Once it dries it hardens and can be sanded, sawed, and nailed. You can then add more wet CelluClay to the dry stuff if needed. Once CelluClay is mixed with water it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days.
The ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS is a full color digital eBook packed with fun project ideas to complete with ACTÍVA's sculpture products. In it you will find instructions for making the: Silly Spider, Bold Beads, Deadly Dinosaur, Beautiful Butterfly, Terrific Totem Pole, Piece of Cake, Egyptian Sarcophagus, Erupting Volcano, Mardi Gras Mask, Painted Pumpkin, Peppermint Candy Bowl, and Snowman Ornament. This is free to download for anyone that signs up for their emails and discount code on the ACTÍVA Products' website. You will get a link to download it from in your email inbox. No purchase is necessary.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We received the ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit and were excited to use it because we love arts and crafts! This is the perfect kit to get when wanting to do plaster or paper mache sculpting. We found it super easy and fun to use.

Poorly photocopied, cut off instructions.

The box of stuff had two individually wrapped packages of Rigid Wrap and one bag of CelluClay. The box was leaking CelluClay dust out the side of it on closer inspection. After we opened it we saw that it came with poorly photocopied instructions and projects...some of which we could not completely read because they were cut off and in black and white. I am glad we also received the eBook because of this, but I wish all the projects from the box were in the eBook. There was a dragonfly, mummy, fish pinata, beach clock, and pencil toppers & bookmarks that were not included in the eBook that were in the box, but like I said I was having trouble reading the box projects.

My daughters who are ages 6 and 9 did this art with me. They each made a Beautiful Butterfly with the Rigid Wrap from the box and ebook instructions. Then they made a design of their very own with the CelluClay. My daughter Teela made a dolphin and my daughter Zari made a rainbow.

Zari and Teela making a butterfly with Rigid Wrap.

Zari and Teela painting and decorating their Rigid Wrap butterfly.

For the butterfly we cut out a cardboard shape out of the box the kit came in. For the second one we traced and duplicated this shape using a left over cereal box we had from our recycle bin. Then I cut a piece of the Rigid Wrap into short strips from the roll. The Rigid Wrap reminds me of old style cast material for broken bones. I had a bowl of warm water that the girls dipped one strip into at a time and applied it to their cardboard shape. They did this until it was at least two layers deep with no cardboard showing. They also built up the head and abdomen of the butterfly by scrunching pieces into a ball and shaping them for the body then covering them with more wrap to secure them into place. We dried in the microwave for 30 second increments and once dried they painted and embellished them with jewels, glitter, and fabric. Teela made her lay flat and Zari made hers more 3D.

Zari and Teela making a rainbow & dolphin with CelluClay.

Teela and Zari painting their CelluClay dolphin and rainbow.

For the dolphin and rainbow shapes I had them draw an outline on cereal box and cut them out. Then we mixed up the CelluClay. I had a bit of trouble knowing the right consistency of the dry paper pulp & the water. The instructions that came in the box didn't say, so I looked on the ACTÍVA website and found a ratio in the Instructions, Tips and Technique Sheets under the Learn pull down menu on their website. Since this said it was only 8 oz of CelluClay on the box I first mixed it with 16 oz of water in a zip-lock bag, since the CelluCaly Technique PDF said to "Add 32oz if water to 1lb of CelluClay.", but that wasn't enough water and the pulp was still dry in spots. I added 16 more ounces and that seemed to be the right amount. The girls added mushy pulp to their cardboard armature, both front and back, engulfing it in the goo. Teela was saying it felt really weird and I think that Zari was enjoying working the stuff until it was how she wanted it on the frame. We let these projects dry overnight and they still were a bit damp the second day, so maybe a couple days drying time would be more appropriate. They painted and decorated these as well after they dried.

They enjoyed this so much that we are going to make more projects later with the left over supplies. Yes! We have left over supplies to make even more projects. We are storing the CelluClay in the fridge until we do them because I made up the whole batch all at once. We highly recommend this kit for fun homeschool art and homeschool crafts as well as other projects for both summer time and for the school year.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/activaproductsinc Tag: @activaproductsinc
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Hashtags: #hsreviews #activaproject

You can purchase the ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit on their website for $11.90 or on Amazon.com for $8.80.

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Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Save Everyday With Coupons From Groupon!

Do you love to shop online? I do! It is so much more convenient, the prices are usually better because you can shop around, and you often find more variety. You don't have to fight with crowds, lines, long drives, or impulse shopping of things we really didn't need. It is nice to be able to buy things in the comfort of your own home...even in your pajamas.

Groupon makes it even easier with coupons for 1000s of great deals at nearby restaurants, spas, things to do, shopping, travel and more. They have over 500 cities and over 9,000 national retailers listed in their coupon data bank with unbeatable deals for 50—70% off.

Besides local bargains you can also save on goods, getaways, and online shops as well. Groupon Coupons is an entirely free and efficient way for shoppers to find thousands of coupons and exclusive promo codes from popular stores and companies. Shoppers can simply search by store to find the best deal for them.

Groupon places I love to shop and save!

I love getting deals on my frequently shopped at stores like Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart. I also love to get savings on home improvement and home decor from Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond. For my critters I love to shop and save at Petco and Tractor Supply.

I love having Groupon right at my fingertips. I have saved so much on eating out, shopping locally/online, staying at hotels, going to the movies, and more! Groupon is a wonderful way to save!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: This post is a sponsored post. Thanks to US Family Guide and Groupon for providing me this promotion information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation Review

My family had the privilege of trying the six-month aviation course from Doctor Aviation for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Doctor Aviation is a wonderful online educational course that teaches about aviation. This is a 6 month online subscription. This course is made up of fifteen 45-60 minute video lessons with three segments (Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft/Events). Each video lesson has two PDF files to download for further learning. These include: "To Learn More" which are suggestions that have extra readings, YouTube videos, movies, hands-on activities, research and writing assignments, etc. & "Guided Notes" to fill out as your student watches the video lessons to help them learn and retain the material. There are also Practice Exam Questions and Final Exam Study Notes to download. This course is recommended for ages 16 and up although it can be done with younger children and as a family course as well.

If you are having your child take the course for credit for high school you would need to have them do enough of the suggested activities in the "To Learn More" PDFs to make it a half credit course. If you had them do most of the suggested activities it could possibly even be a full credit. You need them to also fill out all notes and do Exam 1&2 and the Final after studying. The Examination 1&2 and the Final needs to be obtained by contacting Doctor Aviation. Exam 1 is done after session 5 is completed. Exam 2 is done after session 11 is completed. The Final is done after session 15 is completed.

Daryl Smith a.k.a. Doctor Aviation

Daryl Smith a.k.a Doctor Aviation, the instructor and founder of the Doctor Aviation lessons, has logged over 2000 flying hours while in the Air Force  and 24 years of service as a Command Pilot. He was also an instructor pilot and research pilot during testing of the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka The Star Wars Program). On the ground he has served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Academy teaching aviation and other courses and a published author an aviation book. Currently he is a college professor. He is well qualified to teach the Doctor Aviation course.

Doctor Aviation Video Course Overview

Course Syllabus for Doctor Aviation:
  • Section 1 Course Intro.
    • Session 1: Course Overview: The Aviation System (42:29)
  • Section 2 The Aircraft: These include primarily airplanes, but also helicopters, gliders and balloon craft such as blimps and hot air balloons.
    • Session 2: The Major Components of an Airplane (53:41)
      Session 3: Axes & Forces (54:47)
      Session 4: Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift (1:09:27)
      Session 5: Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls (1:02:40)
  • Section 3 Air Traffic Control: The air traffic controllers, tower personnel and radars that  control the flow of air traffic. Think of them as traffic cops of the skies.
    • Session 6: How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar (1:06:53)
      Session 7: The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works (59:33)
  • Section 4: Aircraft Maintenance: Those individuals and equipment that repair or maintain aircraft.
    • Session 8: Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Propeller Engines (49:10)
      Session 9: Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Jet Engines (1:00:47)
  • Section 5: Airfield Operations: These tasks keep an airfield running; items like: De-icers, baggage handlers, ramp attendants, refueling trucks, ticket agents, etc.
    • Session 10: The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport (48:07)
      Session 11:The Small Airport and Running an FBO (57:47)
  • Section 6: The Aircraft II
    • Session 12: Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC & IMC (48:44)
      Session 13: Important Pilot Instruments - Altitude Indicator (53:34)
      Session 14: Important Pilot Instruments - Airspeed Indicator (43:44)
      Session 15: Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships (1:00:18)

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My 16 year old teenage son, Delbin, and I started taking this course together. Delbin and I have had an interest in learning more about aviation and I thought that the Doctor Aviation Online Training Videos would be a great learning course for us to do this. I am glad to have the opportunity to try this in addition to my other homeschool lessons.

Doctor Aviation Dashboard

After we subscribed we could access the aviation video training course by logging in on the website. After logging in the dashboard shows our next lesson and by clicking on the "Watch This Lesson" in yellow we could go to video lesson page. The lesson page has the video to watch, "Action Steps" to take, and "Additional Resources" (the PDFs) to download.

The "Guided Notes" are best done with the video programs they go with. So I would download and print them out ahead of time. While Delbin and I followed along we would fill these pages out as we watched. These pages are great to help retain all the the important information in these videos.

Doctor Aviation Video Lesson Page

We have been doing one lesson every two weeks so far because the extra work involved to get the high school credit for Delbin. The videos are very informative and interesting. The instructor's lectures are filmed in an airplane hanger and he uses props and graphics as well to explain his lessons better. Each video session has three parts: Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft/Events. These parts go well together and with the section and session themes. The Technical Trivia is jam packed with the principles of aviation. In the Notable Innovators part we learned about the people behind aviation, like: The Wright Brothers, Chuck Yeager, Amelia Earhart, etc. In the Legendary Aircraft part we learned about famous aircraft and what makes them famous. In the Legendary Events part we learned about important things that happened to shape aviation history. It might take my son longer doing all of the activities in the "To Learn More" PDF so that he can get high school credit. I am glad there are 6 months to work on it.

Some of the props and images/graphics used in the Doctor Aviation films.

The "To Learn More" PDF has all sorts of neat books and articles to read, websites to go to, and videos to watch outside of the Doctor Aviation website. There is also a For Further Study section in it that suggests activities, like: field trips, detailed studies on more focused subjects, building models, doing research papers, hands-on activities, etc. Many of the links to websites are hyperlinks in the PDF making it easy to click on and go there. Some of the books and links are out of print or not working any more, however; because these were last updated in 2016. It would be really great if Doctor Aviation could update these more regularly.

All in all Delbin and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Doctor Aviation course and can't wait to learn more in the coming months. I am glad to be able to take this course with him too because even as an adult I love experiencing and learning new things. Delbin will be glad to get a high school credit for this course as well. We highly recommend this for homeschool aviation education and high school credit. You could also apply this course to having your son receive a Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge or just watch it yourself.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doctoraviation Tag: @doctoraviation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/draviationguy Tag: @draviationguy
Hashtags: #hsreviews #Aviation #AviationHistory

Doctor Aviation is only $99 per half year.

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Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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