Saturday, March 23, 2019

Let your Gravel Travel

Back road season is here again. Roll down the windows and let your gravel travel. Find some two lane country and see where it takes you.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Back road Shenanigans

We rolled down the windows and we took some old back road.  We put a little gravel in our travels.

We found a great new spot on the other side of the lake. 

To collect some new treasures.

And walk like a crab. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Tied 2 Teaching STEM Activities Review

The girls love doing hands on lessons. So we are excited to Introduce you to this STEM Learning program from Tied 2 Teaching. They offer this great set called STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading. First off this is a downloadable product so you will need internet access to at least purchase and get the package downloaded. Once downloaded you save the activity units to your computer and you can print each one when you are ready to use it. You will need internet if you want your child to utilize the additional reading resource links. You can print the reading passages ahead of time if you do not have internet. This is a large set of STEM projects, 65 in total. Each project is in the ball park of 18 pages.

We did several of the STEM projects but the Upcycled Bird House Challenge with close reading was a favorite. I chose to click the link and print the reading passage. I also printed the packet that I downloaded. The packet includes instructions and Q & A pages. So first I had the girls take turns reading the passage that was suggested it was about birds/habitat etc. Then they each answered the question with information they would have learned from the reading assignment. Next they read the directions for the challenge. They did the your mission sheet. It had them answer some questions to help them get started: Ask, Imagine, Plan, create, improve. This was very self explanatory and the girls knew just what to do just by reading the work sheet. They did a page where they showed the steps to building/designing there bird house. There were some pages that they could answer after they built the bird house. Thing like what worked best, what could I do better next time etc. They made the bird houses out of recycled juice and water bottles. Recycled hay from the garden and some left over yarn from a previous project.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Some of the other STEM projects we tried from this set were the Design a Balloon Tower Challenge. Where your child builds a balloon tower with nothing but balloons and tape. This one set off a balloon fight so our towers never got very tall. But it had some great reading and it really was a fun challenge that kept them busy for an hour.
We also did the Build a Bone Bridge Challenge. Where the girls had to build a bridge out of q-tips over a bed of fictional lava. The reading for this one surprised me. I anticipated a reading lesson on bridges and work pages on bridges. Turns out it was a lesson on the bones in our body.  The girls felt the question sheets were a little to easy but we also just finished a unit on human anatomy and they seemed to have absorbed a crazy amount of information on the topic. We also enjoyed this activity even if the reading and work pages were different than what we anticipated. It took several tries to figure out what methods and items worked the best to get a stable bridge. The actual building stage of this challenge kept them busy for quite some time. We had a number of bridge collapses before they figured a way to keep one standing any period of time. 

This Tied 2 Teaching package has so many great STEM challenges I just cant tell you about all of them. So I am going to encourage you to click the link blow and check out the projects that the other crew members have tried.
STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading {Tied 2 Teaching Reviews}

Social Media Links: 

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, March 15, 2019

Here is a little up date on what’s been happening in the garden. We have lots of seedlings this year we managed to get a really good sprout ratio by placing the flat near a heater vent. The little guys are ready to transition to the green house this weekend.

For summer science the girls are learning about hydroponic growing with this super cool set up.

For those of you that don’t know hydroponics is a method of growing plants with out soil. We are doing an ebb and flow methods which means the tubes will be flooded with a solution full of all the victim and and minerals etc that plants need to grow for so long of a time then the pump shuts off and it’s allowed to drain for a period of time and the cycle continues. The plants go into a media or a special sponge if you are starting from seed. The roots then fill the basket and dangle down inside the tubes where they can soak up the fertilizers they need to grow. We are trying this method with some lettuce varieties as well as some strawberries and what ever else we decide to experiment with.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Victus Study Skills System Review

Everyone needs to learn how to study. Victus Study Skills System is a great option to help your child learn to study correctly. They offer several different levels that so they can start learning to study early on.

Level 1: Primary is for grades K-2/3
Level 2: Elementary is for grades 2/3-4/5
Level 3: Is for grades 5/6- 10/11
Level 4:  is for grades 10/11- college

There is a teacher supplement and a student work book for each level. Additionally you can get a student planner and power point. All of which can be found at This system is based on the premise that effective study is best when it is a system of study and when it becomes a way of life.

The Snoopy is doing the level 2 elementary because she is in 4th grade.  Gabby is doing the Level 3 because she is in 6th grade.

The teachers edition for level 3 seems simple enough. It gives a course plan Day 1- 5. Day 1 you are to cover lesson 1-2, day 2 you review day 1 and teach day 3. Day 3 you review he previous day and teach lessons 4-6. Day 4 is some more review and your teach lessons 7-8. Day 5 Your review the previous days and then do lesson 9-10. You finish day 5 with the evaluation.  Each segment is roughly 15 min in length. The hole program is only about 5 hours in length.

The teacher supplement for the elementary is similar to the level 3. I did not see a course plan. But it lays out each lesson and which pages to cover each time you work in the program.

The lessons in the books cover things like: strength and weakness, making a goal, time management, study skills for test, note taking, how to be an active listener, test prep etc.

We have worked through a good amount of this book. It starts off helping the girls to identify there learning styles. It does this with some simple questions they they check off, then they total how many questions they checked in each area to determine which is the primary learning style and the secondary learning style.  The program then offers them some ideas on how to use there learning style to help them study and learn more efficiently. Snoopy scored highest as a doing learner and secondly as a visual learner. Gabby scored highest as a visual learner and an auditory learner. They will learn what a mission statement is and how to create one. They cover a section on setting goals for the school year. From there it explains what the an objective is and then they have to create an action plan for how to achieve that goal. The program has them do this for several different areas in there life: Like Non-school goals, and goals for the summer.

Under the how do I get there section they learn about things like time management. It goes overs how to make an assignment schedule, how to use a planner. Gabby found the staying organized tips to be the most useful. She has implemented several into her current study habits. Savannah found the test taking preparation section to be helpful. It gave her ideas on how reduce test anxiety, and things she can do to prepare her self for an upcoming test.

For the most part we found the work books to be self explanatory. The girls needed guidance on several things but I think this has given them a good jumping off point. I can already see them starting to use some of the things they have learned so far. They are both using the learning styles they identified at the beginning a little more than they used to. Snoopy is doing more of the hands on projects in science class and Gabby has found out that she remembers more if she listens to an audio book as she follows along with it in her text.

I have thumbed through the other books for the different grade levels and I think as a whole this could be a good program to start early on and continue through the high school years. I think the collage level would be great for a student at the end of there senior year and preparing to enter collage.  It's so important for kids to know how to use there learning style to study efficiently to reach there long term goals in life. I encourage everyone to click the link below and take a look at how the other review families used the different levels of the Victus Study Skills System.

K through College Study Skills {Victus Study Skills System Reviews}
Social Media Links: 

Crew Disclaimer