Monday, March 22, 2010

Review of... When I grow up, I want to be a Firefighter... From the WannaBe series

When I grow up, I want to be…
A Firefighter!

My children and I have just finished a new unit study from The Old Schoolhouse called,  When I Grow up, I want to be ... A Firefighter!
We had tons of fun doing this study.
This book is intended for ages 4-10.
I used it with my two children ages 5 and 12, and while I think that even a 4-5 year old can learn from this, and enjoy it, it seems a little more suited for around ages 6-12.
It held the attention of my 12 year old, and she especially liked the section about the history of firefighters, and how far they have come today. To tell you the truth, I really enjoyed this section as well. I didn’t know most of what they taught us either! It was also really interesting to learn how firefighter dogs came to be implemented. 
You and your children will learn all about the history of firefighting, the equipment that firefighters use, building codes, and what it takes to be a firefighter.
This unit study also teaches about robots, and they will even get to build a robotic arm!
We finished this study in 7 days.
Each day I started by giving my children one of the coloring sheets that are included with this study, and they would color while I read the lesson aloud.
At the end of each lesson, I would go over the vocabulary words with my 12-year-old, and then both of them would do some of the included copy work.
This book includes copy work for both print and cursive, which I found greatly helpful, since I have 2 children who are at different stages in their writing.
When you have completed the main part of the study, you will get to choose from a plethora of activities to reinforce the lessons, and your children will have a blast doing these activities.
Some of the activities include making a diorama of a firehouse, making an obstacle course, reenacting a bucket brigade, and baking a fire engine cake!
We are planning a get together with a few other home school families in a couple of weeks, where we are going to have a firefighter themed lunch. We are going to incorporate all of the food and drink ideas given in the book, and some of the activities also.
My children will have a great time pretending to be firefighters with their friends! 
My children loved making the diorama; they worked on it together.
I appreciated the fact that they included the firefighter math in this study.
All in all we really enjoyed learning about the firefighters, where they have come from, and what they do for us today.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone, whether or not they are interested in firefighting.
My daughter enjoyed this study a lot more than I thought she would; I was pleasantly surprised.
The only con that my children or I could think of is that there were not enough coloring sheets included.

Although you do not need anything extra to finish this study, there is a list of books available that would go along nicely with this study. 
You can find this e-book and the rest of the series at
You can purchase this book alone for $8.95 or you can purchase the entire set for $89.50.
The set includes:
Police Officer
Pilot and
My children and I would definitely like to do another book in this series. I think we may choose the Farmer one next!
 Here are some pictures of their diorama, copy work, and the robotic arm!

Update: We had our Firefighter Party, and it was a blast! We had so much fun, with 15 children attending. I wanted to add a picture of the cake we made for the party. I hope everyone will choose to incorporate this into their study as well.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Started in Homeschooling Part 5

OK, last time I ended by saying that we would talk about what to do for Language Arts without buying a curriculum for each particular area of LA.
If you have not heard of copy work, I am here to tell you that this may be your biggest help in the Language Arts area.
Copy work just might become your best friend.
When your children are younger and just starting to learn how to write their letters, you typically get them a handwriting workbook, and they trace their letters, and then progress to copying their letters,and then progress to copying words and sentences.
Then we typically stop the handwriting books until we want to learn cursive.
Here is what I want you to try. After your child has completed his print workbooks, I want you to basically continue what you have already been doing. Copy work is not difficult at all.
When they know how to write their letters well,have them continue to copy short sentences to keep practicing their letters and their handwriting. Copy work really becomes indespensible after a child can read.
When your child can read, have them copying something every day that is interesting to them. It could be a poem, a favorite book, a quote,a bible verse,anything.
The key is to make it interesting to them so that they want to copy it down.
The benefits your child will receive form copy work are many. Obviously, they will be continuing their handwriting practice, but they will also be learning basic grammar, spelling, sentence structure, writing and writing style. As your child copies a favorite book for example, he will see that you must capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence. They will see that you must put some kind of punctuation at the end of a sentence. They will begin to see that you put a period at the end of a statement,a question mark at the end of a question, etc..They will be copying the words,so they will be seeing the words spelled correctly, so they will be writing the words correctly. They will see how a sentence goes together,how sentences should sound,they will learn to recognize when a sentence doesn't sound right. They will learn about different writing styles from reading and writing, from different authors.
As you can see, they will learn all the basics this way and there is no need for a more formal curriculum yet.
You may eventually want to add some more formal grammar and possibly some writing exercises in the upper grades, but you can still benefit from copy work even through high school.
Remember,we do not need to push our little ones with too much work too early. This is all they need for Language Arts for quite a while.
Add some things here and there as you see fit.
I recently told my daughter, who is 12, that I was going to leave her copy work up to her, and she surprised me by wanting to copy a WHOLE book!
Let them choose some of their copy work and they will be learning all of their language arts skills plus learning something at the same time!
Dig in and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TOS Homeschool Crew Weekly Giveaway- College Prep Genius!

College Prep Genius has offered to provide one reader with their "Master the SAT Class" DVD set!
Head on over to
to enter!

Clean House!

A few months ago, I posted that we were going to be moving. We are still going to move, but it has taken longer than I thought it would to get ready to move. Many months ago, I packed up a LOT of our stuff in the garage.
Needless to say, we haven't really missed much of it. Now, I feel like I do not want to bring all that stuff into a new house.
So, I think, I am going to go out there and go through each box,and see what else we can get rid of and have a garage sale.
it will be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.
I am finally able to keep my house up now that I have gotten a lot of it out of the house.
I will keep you updated. Maybe I will take a before and after picture for you guys. You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff out there. I do not want that burden in another house.
Ok, off I go!

Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday !