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Monday, July 6, 2015

TOS Review - CursiveLogic

I was thrilled to get a chance to review a brand new, unique and logical approach to teaching cursive. For review, I received the CursiveLogic Workbook from CursiveLogic.

Cursive doesn't have to be a confusing mind-boggling, frustrating process to learn and teach. I was excited to get a chance to explore and unlock the mystery into how CursiveLogic turns this tedious process into one that will show how cursive makes sense.

FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. GET FREE PRACTICE PAGES FROM CURSIVELOGIC HERE.

The result: My child and I were handed the opportunity of, in a sense, digging for hidden treasure with this new method of teaching and learning cursive. We struck gold - And, it just makes sense!


What is CursiveLogic?

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent


It starts with a spiral-bound book, complete with all the instruction needed to use the program. It is a unique, and as the name implies, a logical way to teach cursive.
CursiveLogic makes learning cursive fun without the use of cheesy cartoon characters, songs or gimmicks!

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent


Instead of relying on rote memorization, CursiveLogic introduces the structure of the cursive alphabet. 
It contains these key features:
Letters grouped by shape. Four basic, foundational shapes make up the entire alphabet. CursiveLogic teaches all of the similar letters in one lesson, greatly simplifying the learning process. Instead of teaching alphabetical order, CursiveLogic groups the lowercase alphabet into four main groups based on shapes formed by the initial stroke of the letters. The letters are then taught in a very specific order within these patterns.

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent


cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent

Letter strings. Rather than teaching letters individually, CursiveLogic teaches all of the letters that share a common shape in a connected string. Instead of connecting individual letters, CursiveLogic focuses on letter strings that form a flow or rhythm in writing. This allows the letters to reinforce each other and means students are writing cursively from the very beginning. 

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent


cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent



Color coding. CursiveLogic uses visual and auditory cues to reinforce shape patterns.
Each letter string has a theme color that helps students remember the shape.
cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent

cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent


Catch phrases. CursiveLogic uses "verbal task analysis," or saying an action verbally as it is performed manually, to aid the development of muscle memory and to give students a mnemonic they can return to over and over.
cursive handwriting writing curriculum script logic intelligent

Real words. Because CursiveLogic teaches a group of letters in a single lesson, students can write real words at the end of the first lesson. For some students, this immediate success is a huge motivator.

How Did We Use It?

I was asked to use the CursiveLogic program at least two to three times a week throughout the review process. I sat down with my 8-year-old who has only touched the surface of beginning to learn cursive. I was curious about how the CursiveLogic method works and was anxious to give it a try with my hands-on active, yet somewhat nervously anxious, learner.

What Did We Think?

We liked exploring this new product because my daughter has been wanting to learn cursive but is a bit intimidated by the idea. This method made it easier for her to learn.

I felt as if we were unlocking the mystery to teaching and learning cursive together. It turns out that learning cursive is not too hard after all, and what a relief this program was for me as an instructor.
 CursiveLogic will show you how to turn it into an easy process. Discover how CursiveLogic takes a creative and completely different approach to teaching children how to write cursive. You will be surprised how much perfect logical sense it makes. And, the results are what will make it all worth it! The reward is when you watch a previously hesitant and nervous student suddenly grasp a new skill and that light bulb click on for your child - It works!


Find CursiveLogic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

CursiveLogic Review


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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Where is the Rainbow

Fitness Challenge - 30 Days and One Mile


After I successfully accomplished my first fitness goal in mid-May of 20 minutes of treadmill walking every day for 20 days, I decided on my new goal: 30 days and one mile.

What does that mean?

Every day in June, I am walking the treadmill until I hit 30 minutes and have walked one mile. So far, so good!

I also added another piece of workout equipment and am working to rearrange our newly set up workout room so I can also set up the Ab Circle Pro again to use. But, that may be awhile before that happens. So, for now I am doing this every day:

30 minutes on Treadmill
1 Mile on Treadmill
30 reps on Trim Rider (sort of like an upright rowing machine)
30 front pull downs on the arms weight machine
30 backward pull downs on the arms weight machine
30 crunches
30 Waist Twists
30 Side Bends
Stationary Bike for as long as I feel like it, basically.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Princess Joy Sticker and Activity Book Review



Get out your crayons and get ready to keep your little one engaged for next few hours. This sticker and activity book from The Princess Parables is an adorable and uplifting book for little princesses that presents a birthday party theme. I received a review copy of the book from the Book Look for Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review, so now I get the privilege of sharing how much fun this book is, while bringing home the message of Joy.

The book was inspired by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson with pictures by Omar Aranda and is published by ZonderKidz. It retails for $3.99 and is recommended for children ages 4-8.

Imagine heading out on a road trip and hearing nothing but happy sounds or silence from the back seat because your little girl is fixated on the pages of this book. All you need is the book, complete with stickers, and some crayons or colored pencils.

There are coloring pages, sticker pages, word puzzles, a maze, a hidden picture, and brief story pages throughout the entire book. There are 50 reusable stickers, so once they're stuck, it can be removed and stuck again. The book contains:

2 sticker pages
1 Word find
5 Coloring pages
1 Finish the Birthday Invitation Page
1 Maze
1 Spot the Difference picture page
1 Solve the secret code page
1 Counting page
2-page Find the Hidden item

It is a great little gift book for young wanna-be princesses, especially when you combine this book with the others in the series (Grace, Faith, Hope and Charity) to receive all of the Princesses and provide for more interactive fun.

These are based on biblical principles of Joy (Faith, Grace, hope and love/Charity). In this book, it focuses on Joy. It is a 16-page book with stickers and activities for little girls, so a little one could finish the book during a road trip on vacation or in one afternoon.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How Homeschoolers Measure Up

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

TOS Review - 'Tales from Circle C Ranch'



I was thrilled to get a chance to review Susan K. Marlow's "Tales from the Circle C Ranch"  and the Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook from Circle C Adventures.


Tales of the Circle C Ranch Book Review US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow   * Tales of the Circle C Ranch Book Review US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow

What is "Tales from the Circle C Ranch" and accompanying lapbook?

In brief, the Circle C Ranch books are about a girl who lives on a ranch during the 1800s. She is named Andrea Carter, called Andi. This author of this book series found a fun way of "living" history through the stories in these books. While the reader is turning the pages and wanting to know what happens next, he or she is also learning tidbits here and there about true-to-fact historical events and lifestyle.

The Circle C Ranch series books are separated into recommended age and reading levels:
  • Circle C Beginnings for Ages 6-9
  • Gold Town Adventures - Books written with interests of Boys, Ages 8-12, in mind
  • Circle C Adventures for Ages 9-14
  • Circle C Milestones for Ages 12+
This "Tales from Circle C Ranch" book falls within the Circle C Adventures level. It contains several stories that were created based upon actual questions from readers. The book begins with short stories from the year of 1873, and ends with a story set in 1881. It includes:
  • 4 stories from The Early Years
  • 7 stories from the In-Between Years




Within the pages, the reader learns about customs and lifestyles of how it would have been to be a young girl, living in the west, in the late 1800s.

US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow


The book also has an accompanying lapbook that is a hands-on method which offers additional learning about historical facts of the late 1800s. If you're not familiar with a lapbook, it is basically a hands-on, interactive workbook that the child puts together using pre-printed items that are cut out and glued onto file folders, which have been folded to form a booklet. The end result is a really nice booklet that is easily stored away to keep for record keeping purposes or to refer to for future learning.

US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow

I received a physical 151-page paperback book that is a compilation of several short stories about Circle C Ranch. I also received a 39-page lapbook in PDF digital format to be printed and assembled.

How Did We Use It?

US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow



US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow

US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow



US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow



US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow




US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow

The book arrived, and I handed it to my reading-hungry daughter who was working diligently to finish hours of reading for the library's summer reading program. She had the privilege of reviewing another book from this company earlier in the year, so she was very excited to get a chance to read this one as well.

She finished reading the book first, and then we began to put together the lapbook. I printed off the pages that were to be cut, written in, and assembled for the lapbook. And, then to save on ink and paper, I sent the pdf file of the lapbook to my iPhone and  read what we needed to learn from the other pages in the lapbook from my phone's screen.  All in all, I think I ended up only needing to print about 20 pages or so out of the 39.


US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow
Some of the pages had text to read. I chose to send these to my phone for access instead of printing!
US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow
Each of the printable pages in the lapbook included easy-to-follow instructions along with components to be cut out.

US History 1880s ranching Christian fiction California history Andrea Carter Susan K. Marlow
The front pages of the lapbook included a diagram of the layout and how to assemble.
 

We gathered two folders needed to assemble the lapbook, along with glue, a stapler, a pencil, and went to town.

What Did We Think?

My horse-loving daughter enjoyed the book. Though, I really appreciate that it didn't stop there. Rather than merely reading the book for enjoyment, the accompanying lapbook really enhances the learning process of the book. We absolutely love lapbooks. They fit right up there in my desire to craft with my children. Plus, they provide an easy access for record keeping by storing lapbooks away when they are done. This lapbook provided everything we needed, with instructions on each page as to where to place the pieces and what the student was to do.

Find out more on Facebook and Twitter.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:


Dynamic Literacy Review


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