ahhed over all the “critters” (I had
a slightly different reaction!). After
watching Volume 1 to completion, Riley went outside to build a hut on his
own (in small scale). Now, he’s begging
Marty to go out with him in the “back
forty” to build our own hut like the one
they built in the DVD. I haven’t seen
Riley this excited about something in a
while, and the fact that it’s something
with a missionary focus and messages
of spreading what Christ did for us to
the world is just icing on the cake.
The Growing Up Wild DVDs have
earned a permanent spot in our home.
I can already see that they will be popular for years to come. I can’t recommend them highly enough!
—Product review by Susan Godfrey,
blogging for the Schoolhouse Review
Crew at Finding Beauty
Primary Arts of Language (PAL)
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Institute for Excellence in Writing has
put together something pretty amazing:
PAL, Primary Arts of Language. This
curriculum series is based on the work
of Anna Ingham, whom I hadn’t heard
of, but she seems pretty amazing. The
PAL system has two core components,
reading and writing, and I will try my
best to explain how the whole system
Teacher’s manual, DVD-ROM
(which includes a student E-Book),
instructional video (which explains
everything), phonetic games, phonetic
farm folder with stickers, and various
Teacher’s manual, DVD-ROM (again
with student E-Book), instructional
video (again, long but WORTH it),
various MP3 audios, All About Spelling
Basic Interactive Kit, All About Spelling
Level 1, and bonus audio downloads.
How we used it: I am using this with
my two youngest children, who are 4
and 6. I plan ahead for the week which
games I need to construct, etc., as this is
not a sit down with zero planning kind
of curriculum. I sit down with Evan
and Leah at their “tiny table” with my
crate full of PAL and simply follow the
teacher book. If you do all of the planning ahead of time, this curriculum is a
dream to use!
What a lesson looks like: The teacher’s guide doesn’t leave you on your
own; simply follow along, and all of
the info you will need is there. You are
encouraged to keep everything short
and snappy, which is perfect for those
short attention spans! Both books work
together and explain what to do when.
a;rhyme;to;learn;and;dis-cuss. The same rhyme will be used
for several lessons.
• Class Journal—this serves to show
your child how to properly write, including the date, and becomes a diary.
• Printing—done on a whiteboard,
with fun letter stories to learn.
stories;that;will;be;fa-miliar to you and will be fun to teach
your children. Your child also learns
all of the components of a story.
• Games—reinforce what was just
taught. My kids love these simple
• Phonetic Farm—teaches phonics
with a farm full of new friends. It is
charming and really catches my children’s attention.
Just;a;simple;reinforce-ment of the lesson.
• “Spelling test”—review the letters
learned for the day in the beginning,
All About Spelling picks up in Part 2.
All of these steps take us an hour or
less each day.
My thoughts: PAL takes a lot of
work, but it is soooo worth the work
involved. Watch the videos, get the
needed supplies, cut, glue, and ready
yourself for a most enjoyable time of
learning with your child! PAL is so
user-friendly, and it keeps the children
engaged the entire time; no one tries
to sneak away! We haven’t gotten to
the All About Spelling portion yet, but
I can tell that when we get there, we
will love it as well. Everything about
this package is top-notch!
You CAN Sew!
For years and years, I have thought that
sewing was not my thing. I’ve wanted
to sew; I’ve wanted to teach my daughters how to sew. My sewing class in 7th
grade was a disaster for me, and my
costume design class in college for my
theater degree? Well, let’s just say they
didn’t let me near a machine during