Friday, June 30, 2017

X is for XOXO . . . Absolutely LOVE the Dragonfly Art Project

This is another one of my daughter's ArtAchieve art projects from Level 1 that I LOVE (XOXOX) and adore. The project is titled, The Dragonfly from Ecuador. I really hope to frame and hang this masterpiece on our living room wall while she's gone for summer break in July. I think it would surprise her and make her smile when she comes home. The glitter glaze added a special shiny touch to the project.
Mixed Media
I will link this post up at Blogging Through the Alphabet. Letter X is the focus for the week. Check out the other posts linked up.
Hopkins Homeschool

Friday, June 23, 2017

W is for Watching Movies

It's Friday night . . . well technically it's almost Saturday here in Texas. We are trying to keep things simple and affordable over the summer. Alyssa and I decided to have a movie marathon weekend. Trust Fund, is a new movie that we plan on re-watching this weekend. It is offered through Mapelle Films. I'll be posting my review in July so mark your calendar to come back and read about our thoughts and experiences. It was an awesome movie which is why we want to see it again. You can watch the movie trailer for more information.

Other Movies on our List to Watch are:
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Trolls
  • Inside Out
  • The Angry Birds Movie
  • Jumanji
  • Labyrinth
  • Gracie Stirs Up Success (American Girl)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
I will link this post up at Blogging Through the Alphabet. This week blog posts focus on the Letter W. Click on the link or graphic to read more posts.  
A Net In Time Schooling

Friday, June 16, 2017

V is for Volatile Volcanoes

We are focusing on Letter "V" on Blogging Through the Alphabet this week. I wanted to share with you a neat resource we are using over the summer. We purchased a few items from the Build Your Bundle Sale in May. This sale is one I look forward to every year! One of the items included in the bundles we bought was Amanda Bennett's K-4 Volatile Volcanoes Download N Go unit study. It is an interactive, cross-curricular unit study containing the resources you need for a thorough week long study. You can easily extend this unit study over a longer period of time if desired. Please keep in mind that I am not an affiliate for this company - just a fellow homeschooler sharing ideas.

My daughter recently started Day 1: What is a Volcano. She is enjoying this Science study. She clicks on educational links found within the study to learn information about volcanoes. Then, there are a few activities for her to complete including but not limited to videos, penmanship writing, vocabulary, Creative Writing, Bible verses, lapbooking, and hands-on projects.

Labeling a Volcano
What is Magma link provided within unit study

It also provides the user with literature suggestions and daily objectives. We are using the book suggestion list for literature tie-ins. These reasonably priced studies are an awesome way to keep kids learning throughout the summer months. Even though the Build Your Bundle Sale is over this unit study only costs $9.95. Visit Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett for more information and to view a sample.
Daily Objectives

I will link this post up at Blogging through the Alphabet. Visit the link or button below to view the other Letter "V" posts!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Understanding the Chinese Dragon Dance: Chinese Dragon Art Project

We've been using the educational links and Art projects from ArtAchieve Level 1 this year. One of the topics that Alyssa learned about was the Chinese Dragon Dance. After watching a video and learning about the Chinese Dragon Dance, we completed the coordinating Chinese Dragon Art Project using colored markers and photo paper.
Step-by-Step Drawing

Watching Video

Chinese Dragon Art Project

I will link this post up at The Virtual Refrigerator Blog Hop. I will also link this post up at Blogging through the Alphabet. Check out all the great Letter "U" posts! Grab a beverage and enjoy blog hopping.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: K5 Learning

K5 Learning

My daughter has been using an online program from K5 Learning as a review product to supplement her Math, Reading, and Spelling lessons. We received a 6-month computer-based subscription to use with up to four children. The interactive learning program gave us unlimited 24/7 access to K5 Reading, K5 Math, and K5 Spelling. This is a supplemental program that is suitable for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. It is not a complete, full curriculum. The enrichment program automatically places your child at the level of the program best suited for your child based on their assessment results. The system also controls and sequences the lessons for your child. New concepts will be introduced and taught with full instruction. Familiar concepts and skills will be addressed and reviewed as well.
K5 Learning

K5 Reading covers Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Sight Words, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension.  

K5 Math addresses Numbers and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis, and Algebraic Thinking.  

K5 Spelling is a customizable program with adaptive instruction and an optimized visual interface. It contains a database of over 150,000 words. You can add your own spelling words or utilize the prearranged word lists from the database.

How We Used K5 Learning
I used K5 Learning with Alyssa (Age 9) who works at a 3rd-6th grade level. She will be going into fourth grade at the start of the school year in the fall. We used the program on our MAC OS X 10.11.6 with Chrome as our preferred browser. We were emailed the username and password credentials for both a parent and student account. As soon as our accounts were set-up, Alyssa took the Math and Reading assessments over a two-day time period. The assessments took approximately 30 minutes or less to complete and covered a wide variety of topics in Reading and Math across several grade levels. The screenshots below show two examples of Math concepts assessed. Mini games were played to break up the assessment sessions.
Math Assessment:
Converting Decimals to Percents
Math Assessment:
Geometry - Types of Lines
The Reading test questions below assesses syllabication and identifying the problem in a reading comprehension passage. Other Reading questions addressed on the test cover alliteration, author's message, vocabulary, sight words, and more.

Identifying the Problem of a Story

After the assessments were completed, the program adjusted and Alyssa was placed at the level within the program to meet her needs based on the assessment. I tested Alyssa at the 3rd grade level at the end of April. The results were emailed to me and available under the parent dashboard. Progress reports can also be found under the parent dashboard. The K5 Math assessment indicated that she was above 3rd grade and that she was placed in early 4th grade. The website states that they never place a child more than ONE grade level above the tested nominal grade level. The report also states that the purpose is to place children in the K5 Learning lessons at an appropriate level in each skill area and that the assessments are not diagnostic in nature. Therefore I can't really assess what grade level she is currently working using these test results. Based on other assessments, I know that my daughter works above the level that she was placed in the K5 Learning program. However, the results help place her within the sequence of the K5 Learning program.

Her Reading assessment also indicated that she scored above the 3rd grade level range. She was exempt from the Phonemic Awareness and Phonics activities. Scores were marked as early, mid, or high ranges. Alyssa scores revealed that she was placed in the program as high 3rd grade for Sight Words, early 4th grade for vocabulary, and early 4th grade for reading comprehension. Please remember that the assessments place your child in the K5 Learning program and aren't diagnostic.    

The skills and concepts addressed were extremely easy for Alyssa. I had the option of contacting the company and adjusting her level. However, I chose to leave her at the level placed and observe her reaction to the lessons instead of adjusting her level. I was thinking the program could be used to fill in any educational gaps. I also decided to use the program as a review to reinforce and maintain previously learned skills.

My daughter utilized the program 3-4 times per week as a supplement to her core curricula programs. She worked on the lessons for 15-45 minutes a session. The amount of time and number of lessons varied greatly depending on the day and activities within a lesson. She attempted to complete 1-3 stoplight lessons during each work session.

Many reading comprehension strategies and skills were addressed within the K5 Reading program. I observed Alyssa working and noticed her making predictions, drawing conclusions, making inferences, analyzing character, working on story structure, and relearning cause and effect. The program engaged her attention by asking thought-provoking questions such as "Tell us how you feel about bullying." A box was available for her to type a written response. I was impressed with the lesson coverage. Alyssa's favorite K5 Learning program was K5 Reading.
Cause and Effect:
Identify the Matching Effect

Character Analysis:
Describing a Person

The Character Analysis lesson was the only one that frustrated my daughter. She said that a question asked her opinion and kept marking her wrong, because it wasn't the system's correct point of view. Alyssa said that she had to redo the lesson repeatedly and that it gave the same exact questions and answer choices. This was repetitive in nature, became tedious, and bored my daughter. She didn't understand how her personal opinion could be counted wrong.

One of my favorite activities were the Reading Comprehension Passages. Alyssa would read a passage and answer 4-10 reading comprehension questions. The questions were in multiple choice format. She was offered 2-4 answer choices. In the example below, my daughter read a passage titled, First Man to Walk on the Moon (Apollo 11). She clicked on the question mark to hear instructions. The white boxes in the top right corner are the number of questions to be asked. Yellow boxes indicated the number of completed questions. Reading vocabulary words were underlined and indicated in blue font. Alyssa was able to click on the vocabulary word, commitment, in the passage. A few other vocabulary words she learned from other passages were erupted and elders. The program would read and define the word in the context of the sentence.
In this Sight Word activity, she could click on the horn to hear a sight word. Then, hoover over a flag to see the words underneath them. My daughter needed to match the spoken word to the written word. She didn't like that this activity was timed. The bars on the top left indicate the number of words given. She earned medals for correct matches. She is about to earn another medal in the screenshot below.  
The Sight Word activities covered words my daughter could easily read and recognize, but she still completed the lessons without complaining. In the lesson below a word was given in the green box and Alyssa highlighted the sight word in the context of a sentence. 

Another Reading activity addressed Fact and Opinions. In the following screenshot, a card with a statement was read aloud. Alyssa decided if the statement was a fact or an opinion. She clicked on the box and then realized she needed to drag the card to the correct box. 
Under the Reading program, vocabulary was taught. My daughter enjoyed working on the Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles. The clues were highlighted and read aloud. Alyssa would choose a term from the word bank that fit the numbered boxes and blank space in the sentence. The box was highlighted yellow so that she could type the correct answer.  
Alyssa reviewed a conglomeration of concepts and skills in Math. A few lessons I observed covered addition, subtraction, multiplication, multiplication properties, division, estimation, rounding, word problems, place value, powers of 10, and number ordering and comparison. The Math lesson always listed the concept, learning objectives, and bulleted key words as seen in the screenshot.

The following screenshot shows one of Alyssa's multiplication lessons. It taught 3-digit multiplication using two different methods including the traditional, vertical method and the partial products method. My daughter prefers the partial products method when solving multiplication problems with larger numbers. 

Solve 2-Digit by 1-Digit Multiplication Problems
to Solve the Riddle

Spelling and Vocabulary
Adding spelling words is a piece of cake. I simply typed each word with a comma in between the words. Alyssa practiced her spelling words using their program. The program reads aloud a word and my daughter spelled it. Here is an example of a word list I added to the program. The words came from her core spelling program, but we used the lower level words since she completed the higher level words this year. We wanted to take a step back a level to make sure the skills were mastered.
Customized Spelling List

Alyssa would hear a word, read a definition, and see an example of the word used in a sentence before typing the correct spelling of the word. In this screenshot below she needed to know the difference between "bored" and "board" and spell the word in the space provided. If she spelled the word correctly, she immediately received a checkmark with the word YES in the top right corner of the screen.
Spelling Homonyms

The Vocabulary lesson was similar to a game. A line was provided for each letter of the word. A clue was given usually in form of a definition. She could click on the camera icon to view an image and a sentence was given with asterisk where the word would be inserted if known. She needed to type her guess the box. Alyssa could also skip vocabulary words if desired.   

A spelling report was also available under the Parent Dashboard. The report presents her progress. It states the number of quizzes taken, number of words spelled, number of misspelled words, skipped words, and the length of time the program was utilized. As you can see below, the Spelling Report indicates that Alyssa knew 97% of the attempted words which means she is doing great. My daughter said that she missed certain words because of the pronunciation - that the words didn't sound correct. The words she missed were easy and simple words that I know she can spell. 
Click to Enlarge Report

Overall, I believe the program was too easy for my daughter. However it was still useful because we ended up using it as a review of skills previously learned. It reinforced elementary Math, Reading, and Spelling concepts already learned.

K5 Learning also offers a line of printable worksheets for Math, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, Cursive, Flashcards, and Kindergarten content. Occasionally, I would print a Reading Comprehension or Math worksheet for my daughter to complete. The worksheets reinforced skills previously taught. You will need Adobe Reader to view and print files in PDF format. Alyssa completed several worksheets. For example, she completed informative reading comprehension passages about Cinco de Mayo and Facts and Opinions Men of Destiny. The Cinco de Mayo passage indicated the objective, offered vocabulary terms, supplied multiple choice questions, and provided the reader with extended written response questions. The Men of Destiny passage followed a similar format. However, the lesson focused on identifying facts and opinions. An answer sheet was provided too. Several Vocabulary worksheets were done. Her favorite was the Spiral worksheet. The Sight Word worksheets were too easy for Alyssa so we skipped them. We also reviewed Math concepts after lessons using the worksheets titled, Multiplication Distributive Property and Multiplying by Powers of Ten.  

What I Liked About K5 Learning
  • Free Assessments 
  • Automatic Placement into Program
  • Lesson Adjustments  
  • Option to Adjust and Assign Lessons by Parent
  • User-Friendly Navigation of Program
  • Individualized Pace
  • Colorful, Engaging, and Interactive Interface
  • Student Tracking and Progress Reports (two different Math reports below)
  • Mastery-Based Learning

Possible Vendor Suggestions
  • Remove the skip button under the Vocabulary lessons.
  • Repeated lessons need different questions, because children can easily memorize the answer without actually learning the skill if they are constantly redoing the same problems.
  • Check that all spelling words are clearly pronounced.
  • Lesson progress was not always saved unless a COMPLETE lesson was done. 
Alyssa's Thoughts
I think that most of the lessons were too easy for me. I would have liked to be challenged more. The program didn't really let me work above my actual grade level. Otherwise it is fun and teaches me. I love to solve Math questions correctly so that I can pick clothes and accessories for Maya and Tim. The Powers of 10 lesson and problems allowed me to earn treats and toys for Fido. I think this program would work for younger or struggling learners.

In the screenshot below, Alyssa solved a multi-digit addition problem correctly. She had the ability to choose clothes or accessories for Tim. The eight bars at the top left corner indicate the number of problems to solve.
Solve Powers of 10 Problems
Buy Fido Goodies
Recommendations and Results
I recommend this program as a supplemental program to use in conjunction with core curricula. This would be a decent online program for homeschool families, private and public schools, tutors, and after school care facilities. Parents could use the online program as a summer program to reduce summer learning loss. Students who enjoy computer-based learning might appreciate using this program.

My daughter will most likely continue using this program and reviewing concepts in her free time over the summer break. She will pick and choose the subjects to do each day. Her scores indicate that she is doing a great job with the program's sequence of lessons. However, we won't be renewing our membership once it expires.

Monthly $14.95 for the first child then $9.95 for each additional child
Annual $119 for the first child then $79 for each additional child

I suggest signing up for the 14-day free trial to see if this online program is a good fit for your family. The trial includes free Reading and Math assessments which is a pre-assessment tool to place children in the K5 Learning online program. You do not need to add your credit card to receive access to the free trial.
K5 Learning

Note: You are allowed up to 4 students per account.

Social Media
Facebook Tag: @k5learning
Twitter Tag: @K5 Learning
Pinterest Tag: @k5learning

Would you like to read more reviews about K5 Learning? Visit the Homeschool Review Crew for the recently posted reviews.
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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Time Traveler Teaser: Review Coming Soon!

We are focusing on "Letter T" posts this week at Blogging through the Alphabet. I have to tell you about a new review product that arrived. We recently received the Time Traveler American: The American Revolution study via email from Home School in the Woods. It looks fantastic! I have reviewed the Project Passports in the past, but I am loving the format and organization of this particular study.

This week we are prepping materials and gathering resources. We also started Lesson 1 and hope to cover at least one lesson per week this summer. Other subjects are integrated into the study such as Literature (Reading), History/Social Studies, Geography, Writing, Penmanship, Arts and Crafts, and more.

The first concept we discussed according to the Lesson Plan Schedule is Colonial Beginnings. The Lesson Plan Schedule gives me a quick overview of the lapbooking and notebooking activities whereas the Lesson Projects pages give me detailed instructions for each project.

There are five main activities including an accordion timeline, creating the Mitchell Map, creating a Jamestown replica, creating a lapbook Mayflower Compact scroll, and a Penmanship activity. She wrote a famous quote from William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation in cursive on ruled paper. She also colored and placed the first 3 timeline figures on her timeline which were Village of Jamestown, the Pilgrim Voyage on the Mayflower, and the Mayflower Compact.  
Glance at First Week Materials
Student Binder Cover 
I am super excited about this unit study. If you haven't tried or seen Home School in the Woods products you may want to visit their website for more information. In the meantime, come back to A Learning Journey between July 10-12 to read my detailed review about this product. See you then! Thank you for visiting my blog.

I will also link this post up at Blogging through the Alphabet. Check out all the awesome "Letter T" posts! Grab a cup of tea or coffee before you start reading the posts.

Homeschool Review Crew: Heroes of History- Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire from YWAM Publishing

YWAM Publishing
We've thoroughly enjoyed reading our most recent review product called Heroes of History- Benjamin Franklin, written by Janet & Geoff Benge, from YWAM Publishing. This book is from the Heroes of History series. The accompanying Downloadable Unit Study Curriculum Guide was also sent to us in digital format to review.
YWAM Publishing

I adore the Heroes of History series. I honestly wish I owned the entire set of hero biographies. Last year I reviewed the Harriet Tubman book and unit study guide. This year my daughter and I chose the Heroes of History- Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire book which spans across key events that occurred during his life from 1706-1790. He was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. A physical copy of the 208-page paperback book was sent in the mail.

We chose the Ben Franklin book, because we are currently studying American History. Our focus was on the French and Indian War, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, George Washington, American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. I felt like this book would reinforce those topics and it did. I wanted my daughter to hear more about our freedom and liberties from the perspective of a well-rounded, intellectual historical figure. Ben Franklin's life was extraordinary. He was an inventor, scientist, printer, politician, leader, writer, statesman, and postmaster.

Shortly after the book was shipped, we received an email with the digital guide. I saved the zip file on my MAC OS X 10.11.6 computer and unzipped the compressed file to view the contents by double clicking on it. We clicked on Start-Here to begin. Don't forget you'll need a computer, a program that can unzip files, and a way to read PDF formatted documents. The next step is to click on Curriculum Unit Study. There are helpful "how to" guides for Small Groups, Homeschool, and the Classroom. Choose the best guide for your circumstances. We chose the Homeschool Overview Guide. I glanced through the contents BEFORE beginning the book and unit study activities.

This hero biography was written as a nonfiction historical chapter book. The book content and length is suitable for children ages 10+. However, younger children might appreciate the book if read aloud, if they are reading larger chapter books independently, or if they have a strong interest in Benjamin Franklin. This historical biography consist of 17 memorable chapters. There is a map with a compass rose showing several of the original 13 colonies at the front of the book. The font is a decent size with an appealing font style. The bibliography contains additional informative reading selections.

The Downloadable Unit Study Curriculum Guide was emailed to me as part of this review. The complete digital study guide was comprehensive in nature. It was available as a PDF formatted document. The first part of the Ben Franklin unit study curriculum guide consists of 83 pages and the second section only contains a 5 pages. The guide is divided into the following core sections:

  • Introduction
  • Key Quotes
  • Display Corner
  • Chapter Questions
  • Student Explorations
  • Community Links
  • Social Studies
  • Related Themes to Explore
  • Culminating Event
  • Books and Resources (Appendix A)
  • Answers to Chapter Questions (Appendix B)
I absolutely love that other subjects are integrated into the unit study guide such as Geography, History, Literature, Reading Comprehension, Public Speaking, Science, Writing (Creative and Essay), Art, and Drama. Let me share with you just a few ways we used our study guide.

How I Used the Book and Unit Study Guide
My nine-year-old daughter used the hero biography and guide as an independent student-directed study with minimal help. The book was usually read in the late afternoon. She is an avid reader working at a 3rd-6th grade level. My daughter silently read the chapters as a supplement or complement to her American History and Geography curricula. Occasionally she would ask me about the meaning of certain words to better understand the text.

She read one chapter a day working 3-4 times a week. She was given up to an hour to read and work on projects each session. First, I read aloud the comprehension questions prior to her reading session so that she could have a purpose for reading and be more attentive. I also really wanted her to enjoy the story. Then, she answered the thought-provoking comprehension questions verbally AFTER reading instead of responding in written format. We ended up rereading the book aloud together towards the end of the review period, because she wanted me to read about the fascinating experiences and details of Benjamin Franklin's life. We took turns reading paragraphs or pages at a time.  
Chapter 13 Comprehension Questions
There were six comprehension questions for each chapter of the book. The first question was based on contextual vocabulary terminology. The book page numbers were referenced making it easier to see how the word was used in the contest of a sentence. The next question was factual and could be easily found in the book. Two questions emphasized comprehension and the student's level of understanding. The last two questions were open-ended (evaluative) which seek opinions or have the child draw conclusions based on the reading. I challenged my daughter to verbally respond to the higher thinking open-ended questions, but these may be more suited for older students based on the difficulty level.

The first comprehension question always introduced a new vocabulary word to study. Alyssa looked up the terms in the dictionary and wrote the definition that matched the contextual meaning. Book page numbers were given in parentheses. She made vocabulary cards for each new term and its definition. After several weeks of accumulating vocabulary cards, Alyssa used them to play a concentration game.

We skimmed the activities in the digital study guide and highlighted a handful of age-appropriate projects for her to work on independently throughout the review period. Many projects took several days to complete. I encouraged her to pick and choose activities from each section.  

The first activity I assigned required her to choose a key quote to memorize from the list provided in the unit study. Her task was to memorize one quote during the review period. In the beginning she told me what she thought the quote meant. At the end of the story, we further discussed the meaning of the quote in relation to Ben Franklin's life. It didn't take her long before she had the quote memorized and recited it back. She also presented a one-act play which featured the quote and explained its relevancy to Benjamin's life. We can all agree that Benjamin Franklin's life was useful and that he definitely accomplished his goal. The key quote as stated by Benjamin Franklin is as follows:

I would rather have it said, "He lived usefully," than "He died rich."

As she read through the chapters, Alyssa thought of objects to include at her Display Corner on the floor in our living room. It consisted of books about Benjamin Franklin, maps, relevant documents, soap, candles, a key, a kite, and her unit study projects.

The downloadable unit study curriculum guide is divided into sections. The Student Explorations section was Alyssa's favorite in the guide. It is further broken down into the following sections: Essay Writing, Creative Writing, Hands-On Projects, Audio/Visual Projects, and Arts and Crafts. We attempted to choose projects from each section to become more familiar with the format and style. The Essay Writing section was barely utilized. I strongly believe that the Essay Writing section is geared towards older or more advanced students.

One Creative Writing activity suggested that the student write a series of journal entries as if she were Ben Franklin during his time in France. She was supposed to include who he met and write about any difficulties he experienced in gaining support for the American Revolution. However, I changed the activity a bit and asked my daughter to write a diary entry for EACH chapter from Ben Franklin's perspective summarizing the important events, figures, or places in his life. I love having her write these entries, because I can see how much she comprehends from the story and she can improve her summarization skills. She always seems to understand the individual better in the long run. She notices character traits and qualities of the person. I wasn't as worried about handwriting, punctuation, spelling, or grammar errors for this project. I was looking more the content or her depth of understanding after reading each chapter.      

The flyable kite project was a project found under the section titled, Hands-On Projects. I simplified this project by stating that it did not have to be flyable. First, she created a large 2D kite. Then, she drew and colored seven or more items that were important to Benjamin Franklin's life. She plans on flying this kite on a windy day outside at the culminating event.

The idea for all of my daughter's one-act plays originated from an Audio/Visual Project listed in the study guide. She chose several major events from his life including the repeal of the Stamp Act, the signing of relevant United States documents, kite storm experiment, life as an apprentice, quote relevancy, and more. She jotted down her play notes and practiced her lines before reciting them.
Alyssa was infatuated with the Arts and Crafts section of the digital study guide. My daughter found several projects of interest listed. For example, candle and soap-making research, charcoal drawings, and a collage attracted her attention to the section. Alyssa made a charcoal drawing which depicted Benjamin and William flying a kite in a storm. The book began with the kite, key, and storm experiment with his son William when they were both older. The next chapter started when he was a young boy and progressed into adulthood. My daughter used charcoal and colored oil pastels as her art mediums. The black charcoal would have given it a more mysterious feel, but she insisted on adding color to her art project.

The collage project was surprisingly more fun for Alyssa than I thought it would be. She researched information about Benjamin Franklin and his inventions. She cut clip art out and added it to the page. Her collage represented ideas, inventions, and events from his life. She did add a few pictures that represented items today that were directly influenced by him such as the skateboard, bifocals, xylophones, and bathtubs, etc.  

Benjamin's father was a candle and soap maker. Ben worked in his father's shop at a very young age which was an interesting fact my daughter learned about him. One day she researched basic candle and soap-making techniques from the past online. She really wanted to make soap as gifts so we decided to buy a soap making kit at a local craft store using a coupon rather than buying all of the individual items separately. This project will hopefully be completed later this week.  

To view the contents on the study, I clicked on the words START-HERE. Then, I clicked on the Curriculum Unit Study tab. Under this tab, there was a Unit Study - Part 2 tab where I found the printable fact sheet. We also printed maps and a timeline printable from the same Unit Study - Part 2 section. Alyssa researched information about Benjamin Franklin in picture books, non-fiction books, encyclopedias, and online in order to complete the Fact Sheet. The Social Studies section of the unit study guide offers map work assignment details to help the student dig deeper into the topic. 

My daughter learned more about the geographical features of Pennsylvania during this study. Ben Franklin spent a lot of time in Philadelphia and he was always trying to improve it. Alyssa's map work consisted of labeling geographical regions, bordering states, major cities, and rivers. I highlighted the items in the study guide that needed to be labeled on the map. She studied maps of Pennsylvania online to help complete the map work assignment.

She also created a timeline which served as a visual reminder of the major events that occurred during the time period. Alyssa diligently searched for dates online and placed the events on the timeline accordingly. As she researched these dates, she enriched her study of Benjamin Franklin and her knowledge about him grew abundantly. 

The culminating party event is on hold until later, because we are still learning more about Benjamin Franklin and his connection to the American Revolution throughout the summer. This activity will end the entire unit and be in honor of Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments. My daughter and I look forward to implementing ideas from the study such as creating lightening and kite invitations for our neighbors and homeschooling friends. We think it would be fun to research foods served in Pennsylvania, play an armonica CD in the background, present her unit study projects at the display corner, and wear clothing or costumes from that particular time period.  

What We Love About The Book and Study Guide
  • Twaddle-Free Literature Selection Addressing Relevant Content
  • Brings History to Life with Engaging Text
  • Exemplary Character Qualities Portrayed
  • Narrative Fictional Format and Use of Descriptive Language
  • Hands-On Study Guide Activities
  • Vocabulary Enrichment
  • Leveled Comprehension Questions
  • Addresses All Learning Styles
  • Integration of Subjects
  • Usage Flexibility 
Alyssa learned a lot about Benjamin Franklin while reading this informative book. Before reading this interesting book, she didn't know that Franklin was the only man to sign five important U.S. documents, but after reading the book she had the document names memorize and recited them to others. Do you know the five documents he signed? The foundational documents Ben Franklin signed were the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with France, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Peace with England (Treaty of Paris), and the Constitution. He was also an important historical figure during several wars such as the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. My daughter retained the information she read in this book far beyond what I ever imagined especially considering the complicating events occurring during this historical time period.
Alyssa gives the book a thumb's up!  
Possible Vendor Suggestions
1.) Include Possible Answers for ALL of the questions to aid the parent/teacher who skims the book or doesn't read it but wants to discuss it with their child.
We HIGHLY recommend this book and any book from the Heroes of History series for all traditional and private school classrooms. Homeschooling families who have History buffs will adore these books. The well-written book and invaluable study guide can easily be used in a small group setting and would provide excellent discussion points in a literature group. This book might encourage your child to live a useful life after reading about Benjamin Franklin's life accomplishments.

Here is a Chronological list of Heroes of History book titles for you to explore.

Book currently priced at $7.50 (Retails for $9.99)
Unit Study Curriculum Guide $5.49 (Retails for $9.99)

Note: All prices are subject to change without notice.

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Read many other reviews about YWAM Publishing products by visiting the Homeschool Review Crew blog. You can also read my review about the Harriet Tubman book and Unit Study Curriculum Guide on my blog.
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