American History Curriculum Supplement Review: U.S.A Constitution Activity Book

American History Curriculum Supplement Review: U.S.A Constitution Activity Book

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I’m using U.S.A Constitution Activity Book, published by Dover Publications, as a supplement for my fourth grader’s studies in early American history.

American History Supplement Review: U.S.A Constitution Activity Book

Traditional methods for teaching include lectures, textbooks, and living literature. Homeschoolers often use more hands-on methods, too, with craft projects. Since my oldest prefers interactive learning methods, I was excited to find this workbook full of fun puzzles and activities related to the U.S. Constitution and the history surrounding it.

How It’s Set Up

U.S.A Constitution Activity Book has 33 puzzles and activities related to the U.S. Constitution and the history surrounding it, with an answer key at the book of the workbook. Each activity is introduced with information about a topic of historical significance. The activities and puzzles themselves include mazes, word searches, spot-the-difference pictures, word puzzles, etc.

Teacher Prep

Teacher prep will depend on how you want to use U.S.A Constitution Activity Book. We’re using it as a fun diversion from our typical American history studies, so my son is pretty much starting on the first page and doing the pages in sequential order. But you can use it as a resource in a more thoughtful way by assigning pages as the topics on those pages are covered in your regular history studies. For example, you may want to assign page 9 when learning about states ratifying the Constitution.

Student Time

How much time a student spends on this workbook will depend on the difficulty level of the particular puzzle the student is working on. Most puzzles are pretty straightforward and will take less than 10 minutes to complete, but a few of the word puzzles may take a bit longer.

To whom would I recommend U.S.A Constitution Activity Book?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive learning methods since this is an activity book.
  • Students that prefer to learn in an Independent way.
  • Students that love puzzles and games.
  • Students reading on at least a fourth-grade reading level.

I would NOT recommend to…

  • Students that do not learn well with Interactive learning methods.
  • Students that do not enjoy puzzles and games.
  • Students that are not fluent readers.

My Best Tips for Using U.S.A Constitution Activity Book

  • I find it helpful to check in with my student after he completes his activity page for the day. I check for understanding by having him read the activity introduction aloud and asking him what the activity/puzzle revealed to him.
  • Know why you’re using this workbook. Since we use U.S.A Constitution Activity Book to learn about history, and not necessarily to work on critical thinking skills, I help my son if he’s struggling with an activity.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about U.S.A Constitution Activity Book

U.S.A Constitution Activity Book has been a fun, low-pressure way to get in a little extra history learning on what’s usually a dry subject.

Indescribable Devotional Book Review

Indescribable Devotional Book Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Louie Giglio’s Indescribable is a devotional for kids that incorporates scientific facts. I purchased it to use in our homeschool as a group devotional. Considering Louie Giglio’s dynamic speaking style and love for science (see this video about DNA and laminin – wow!), I was very excited about reading this book.

Indescribable Devotional Book Review

How It’s Set Up

Indescribable has 100 devotions, each being two pages long. Each devotion begins with a Bible verse followed by the devotion itself, and then ends with a prayer. Each devotion also has a “Be Amazed” sidebar with a (usually) scientific fact.

The science in the devotionals cover four major topics:

  • space
  • earth
  • animals
  • people

Devotions covering these topics are peppered throughout the book, but the introduction contains a handy dandy list of page numbers for each topic. The typical reader might start reading with the first devotion and go straight through, but thanks to the topic list, you can use Indescribable as a resource for your science studies.

My Thoughts

Indescribable is a nice devotional for elementary students, with easy-to-understand text, cute drawings, and interesting pictures. I read Indescribable aloud to my kids during our group learning time, and it usually instigates some fun conversation and online investigation on the scientific topic covered.

While it’s a nice devotional, Indescribable is not what I expected. Each devotion does talk about a scientific topic and relate it to some spiritual lesson, but the relation between the science and the spiritual lesson is often not direct. This lack of direct connection between science and “spirit” makes Indescribable a devotional with some science when I expected a book with a lot of science that reveals spiritual truths. In other words, I expected a book with a lot more of the laminin-type of material I mentioned above, only written to be understoood by kids. Since my expectation for the book was different from what I found, Indescribable did not grab me as I’d hoped.

To whom would I recommend [product]?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well learning via the Spoken Word may appreciate Indescribable as a read-aloud.
  • Students that do well learning via the Written Word may appreciate reading Indescribable on their own, possibly as part of their morning devotional.
  • Students that do well learning with Visual learning methods will enjoy the drawings and pictures.
  • Students that love science.
  • Families that enjoy a family devotional.

I would NOT recommend to…

I would not recommend Indescribable to anyone looking for in-depth, The Case for Christ-type of correlation between science and God.

My Best Tips for Using Indescribable

  • Consider your kids’ preferred learning methods before deciding how to use Indescribable. I found that even a child that really enjoys science (but does not learn well with the Spoken Word) had a hard time being attentive when I used this as a read-aloud group devotional.
  • If you decide to use Indescribable as a resource/supplement for your science studies, do the work of plugging specific pages into your planner on the appropriate dates. For example, if you’re studying DNA, you may want to plug page 76 into your planner to use as a devotion at around the time you cover this topic.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Indescribable

While not exactly what I expected, Indescribable is a very nice devotional for elementary students.

Kumon Preschool Science Sticker Activity Book Review

Kumon Preschool Science Sticker Activity Book Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

The Kumon Science workbook is one of Kumon’s sticker activity books and introduces science concepts in a fun way. I’m currently using it in our homeschool with my preschooler.

Kumon Science Review

The Kumon Science workbook is a fun sticker activity book for preschoolers. It includes activities like coloring, mazes, and, of course, stickers. The activities are very basic, but varied and colorful enough to make them interesting for a preschooler.  The cover says that this workbook is appropriate for pre-k and up, but it may be too simplistic for anyone but a preschooler.

I extend the interactive elements of this workbook by asking my student to add to each page with a drawing, stamps, or stickers from our collection.

Structure

The Kumon Science workbook is divided into four chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Life Science
  • Chapter 2: Earth Science
  • Chapter 3: Physical Science
  • Chapter 4: Space Science

Each chapter covers 12 mini-topics (except for chapter 4, which covers 11), and most mini-topics are just one page long. Each mini-topic has a fact to share and discuss with your student, along with a related activity. Sticker pages are towards the back of the book (perforated so that you can pull them out) along with the answer key (which you probably won’t need).

Teacher Prep

Some of the pages require drawing or coloring, sometimes with specific colors. The workbook suggests having the eight basic crayon colors and a white colored pencil, but the pages are so slick that we found that markers worked better.

Other than having the crayons/markers available, this workbook should be open-and-go for the parent.

Student Time

Each page should take less than five minutes to do, which is totally appropriate for a preschooler. Kids that like workbooks may want to do more than that in one sitting, so you may want to decide ahead of time if that fits within your plans.

To whom would I recommend Kumon Science?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive learning methods since this entire workbook is about being interactive.
  • Students that could use some work on their fine motor skills – the stickers, coloring, and drawing will help with that.
  • Preschoolers that want to learn science “like a big kid.” 🙂

I would NOT recommend to…

Students beyond kindergarten – they may find this activity book too simplistic.

My Best Tip for Using Kumon Science

While it will be tempting to either rush through this workbook and give less than a minute to each page, I recommend taking it slow and fully exploring the fact on each mini-topic via discussion or related activity.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Kumon Science

The Kumon Science workbook is a fun and gentle way to introduce science concepts to a preschooler, and is one of my preshooler’s favorite things to do!

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles Review

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

I’m using Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles, published by Scholastic, with my soon-to-be fifth grader. I chose it for some fun handwriting practice during the summer, but we may continue with it next school year.

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles Review

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles takes a novel approach to handwriting practice. Rather than practicing handwriting with dry source material, students write jokes and riddles in cursive. Since I have three boys that love a good joke, I knew that my oldest would love sharing new jokes with his brothers.

How It’s Set Up

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles has 42 practice pages. The first two practice pages give the student an opportunity to practice writing the alphabet, first uppercase then lowercase letters. There isn’t any instruction about how to form the letters, other than arrows to serve as a reminder. So this workbook assumes that the student has learned how to write in cursive already and just needs some practice.

Since there can be differences in how cursive letters are formed (ex, the letters F and T), it’s important to note if letter formation reflects what the student has learned in the past. Since my son learned a different way to form some letters, I gave him the option to continue writing the way he learned, or try out the new letter formations. He chose to stick with what he learned in the past.

All practice pages other than the alphabet pages have the same setup:

  • the top half gives the opportunity to practice writing words from that page’s joke/riddle (written in its entirety below the practice words)
  • the bottom half has lines for the student to write the joke/riddle
  • the margin gives handwriting tips for the student and a bonus joke/riddle

A blank page at the end of the workbook allows the student to add his own jokes/riddles.

Students have the option to create their own joke booklet when the workbook is completed (instructions at the front of the book). A dashed line between the top and bottom portions of each page shows where to cut.

Teacher Prep

You may want to decide how you want to schedule Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles. I have my son use it about four times a week. He writes the practice words on a practice page one day, and then writes out the joke the next day. Other options for using this workbook include:

  • having the student do one practice page per day
  • allowing the student to work out of it as much as he likes per handwriting session
  • rotating it with another handwriting workbook or copywork

Student Time

How much time a student spends on this will depend on how you use it. The way we use it, it takes my son less than 10 minutes a day.

To whom would I recommend Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that have previously learned how to write in cursive and just need practice.
  • Students that love jokes!

I would NOT recommend to…

Students that need instruction on how to form cursive letters.

My Best Tips for Using Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles

  • Keep it fun. Don’t require too much in one day
  • If your student learned how to form cursive letters in a different way than shown in this workbook, and you are allowing them to continue with the way that they’ve learned previosly, provide a handwriting guide showing the familiar cursive letters so that your student doesn’t get confused.
  • If you like the idea of making handwriting practice more fun for your child but don’t love the content of this workbook, use books in your home library to create your own handwriting curriculum. Focus on books that delight your student, and choose sentences or very short passages. Maybe underline words for them to practice, create copywork forms using a cursive font, or handwrite into a notebook for your student to copy.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles

Cursive Writing Practice: Jokes & Riddles is a great way to inject some fun into what is normally a tedious and boring subject.

Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is published by Evan-Moor. This workbook is marketed as “Connecting School and Home,” but I’m using it as a gentle math curriculum in our homeschool with my preschooler.

Preschool Math Curriculum Workbook Review

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and colorful activity book for preschoolers that introduces a wide variety of math concepts. Math concepts introduced include number & operations, measurement, algebra, geometry, etc. The wide variety of activities used to cover these concepts (coloring, drawing, cut and paste, matching, dot-to-dot, etc.) have been delightful to my workbook-loving preschooler.  

Structure

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is divided into 10 units. All units cover the same basic math concepts using different themes. For example, Unit 1 is about monkeys, Unit 2 – cookies, etc.

There are about 125 pages for your student to complete, with a tracking form and answer key at the back.

Teacher Prep

As long as you have crayons/colored pencils, scissors, and glue handy, this should be an open-and-go workbook.

Student Time

Each page in this workbook should take less than five minutes to do, which is totally appropriate for a preschooler. Kids that love workbooks, and especially the types of activities in this workbook, may want to do several pages at a time. So, unless you have your student use this workbook only once a week or so, and do other math activities the rest of the week,  your student will likely complete this workbook in well under a year.

To whom would I recommend Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive and Visual learning methods since this entire workbook has puzzle-like activities.
  • Students that could use some work on their fine motor skills – the coloring, drawing, and pasting will help with that.
  • Preschoolers that want to use a math workbook “like a big kid.” 🙂

I would NOT recommend to…

Students that still struggle with holding a pencil/crayon.

My Best Tips for Using Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

  • Allow your student to do as little or as much (within reason) of this workbook as he wants in each sitting.
  • Be sure to talk about each concept with your student to gauge for understanding.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

The Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and gentle way to introduce math concepts to a preschooler, and was one of my preshooler’s favorite books to work in.

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