Uncategorized, homeschooling

[Homeschool Review Crew] Paddington Bear Children’s Literature Study from Branch Out World

One of the first books I read growing up was Paddington Bear. Being in the Philippines where books are expensive and therefore, not readily available, I was keenly aware that it was a luxury. Even at a young age, it felt like something precious. Getting to share that experience with my children by reviewing Paddington Bear Picture Book Explorers unit from Branch Out World is thus, very meaningful to me.

 Picture Book Explorers - Paddington

This is a unit-based study that can be done over the course of several days:

  • Day 1 – Exploring the setting
  • Day 2 – Exploring the words
  • Day 3 – Exploring the pictures
  • Day 4 – Exploring Science
  • Day 5 – Exploring maths, crafts, and more

Each day is jam-packed with activities like mapping, timelines, and crafts.

On day 1, we read the book together, which of course, meant a million questions. I think this is the beauty of literature-based lessons — you open up conversations and have the opportunity to be led by children’s curiosity.

It just so happened that I just purchased an interactive map puzzle, so we were able to find the locations in it.

Day 2 focused on the words. For some reason, we ended up discussing how important it is to learn the context of literature. It was something that our Pastor often talks about even when interpreting the bible.

We researched more about the author and what could have possibly led him into writing the way he did. Honestly, I’m not sure how much of it stuck considering that my kids are 6 and 3, but I think they get a general idea.

Day 3, 4, and 5 we stretched out over a couple of days because we had music and art classes. Plus some commitments with our homeschool provider, so we definitely took out time.

Our science experiment did not work out the way it was intended. Mainly, because it got mixed in with other ingredients like cornstarch.

Another thing that I liked about this unit study is that I was able to integrate it with our existing lessons. In this case, I used the experiment also as a way to teach the scientific method.

The thing is, we don’t have a lot of luxury when it comes to time, so any integration is an A-plus in my book.

Overall, there’s an earnest sweetness in this product and I highly recommend it, especially for the younger kids. It’s also one of the more fun curriculums I’ve reviewed; mainly, because it has an air of nostalgia.

Other products may offer more in terms of cramming in information, but this has the right balance of form and function. It hits the sweet spot of being just right.

Learn more about Branch Out World through the following social media pages:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BranchOutWorld @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/belzibow @belzibow
Instagram: www.instagram.com/belzibow @belzibow
Twitter: www.twitter.com/belzibow @belzibow

If you want to hear more about this product, please visit the link below.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

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homeschooling, Uncategorized

[Homeschool Review Crew Review] Weigl Publishers

We got the chance to review some books from Weigl Publishers, which were published in digital format. Here is our review, if you would like to see:

About the Books

The company has a roster of of interactive books — I believe, the titles clock in at 1800, which is practically a whole library. They are made to engage the child to help learn various subjects like math, history, and animals.

The books work when you enter a code, which once you do, allows you access without expiration. You can use the links that pop up which lead you to additional materials like puzzles and maps.

The books come in PDF format. They can be used on a tablet, laptop, or even your phone. To gain the full effect, like the sound effects, you will need Flash or Javascript.  About 20 years ago, this would be unheard of! Do you remember when the computer had to prompt us to download Flash? Or even way back, when we had to wait for the dial up to connect before we could access the internet? Those days are long gone, thankfully, and we get to experience a different layer to learning through materials like these books.

On the Experience

I have to admit that it took me a while to get on board using screens when it comes to schooling. While screentime is not exactly banned in our home, I do try to keep them in the “privilege” category. But, it is exactly materials like these books that help me relax when it comes to using screens as a way to learn.

A Lions World, Review, #hsreviews, #AV2Books, #MediaEnhancedBooks, #digitalbooks, #digitallearning, media enhanced books, AV2 Books, Digital books
A Lion’s World turned out to be a favorite for my son.

A Lion’s World is an easy read. It is a short, zippy, and uses words appropriate for young learners. It is complemented by videos as well as narration, when you code in at EyeDiscover.com, which really brings the story to life.

Glaciers Earths Water, Review, #hsreviews, #AV2Books, #MediaEnhancedBooks, #digitalbooks, #digitallearning, media enhanced books, AV2 Books, Digital books
Science comes alive through videos and narration.

Glaciers is a bit longer at 15 pages in PDF format. The best part about this book is that it follows the curiosity of the child by providing links to other facts about glaciers. There are other activities like videos and worksheets.

There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant, Review, #hsreviews, #AV2Books, #MediaEnhancedBooks, #digitalbooks, #digitallearning, media enhanced books, AV2 Books, Digital books
It made my naturally skeptical daughter laugh. Score!

Who doesn’t love a silly story? There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant was a delight to experience because it came with sound effects that my kids loved. Writing-wise, it has the style that most children’s books follow. It is a bit sing-songy and of course, had a zany plot. It’s a winning formula.

On Our Thoughts

The disadvantages that I attributed to these kinds of books (distracting, too stimulating, and other screentime-associated fears) turned out to be unfounded. All it took for me to remove that bias is to actually try and use these books. These are lovingly written, with beautiful and well-made illustrations and pictures. The narration took a bit of getting used to at first, but they were a pleasant addition to the experience. (You can also turn them off, if you want.)

It turned out that they were a great way to keep the kids engaged and learning. The kids liked the multi-sensory approach in that they can see and listen at things at the same time. Parents, like myself, are assured that they’re not being fed junk. The books that we got to read are smart and are excellent takeoff points to more learning activities.

Multimedia Digital Books {Weigl Publishers Reviews}

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