Our World Travel with Paddington Bear (Review)

Last month my children enjoyed a week following Paddington Bear’s adventures while traveling to London and Peru. This Branch Out World literature study includes art, science, math, and geography activities. Information about the author, illustrator, and countries are also included.

Branch Out World was created by a home educating family with over 20 years of memories and experience. Their Picture Book Explorers packs are literature-based unit studies that can be used with all your children simultaneously. The activities included are able to be tailored to use with various aged children. Since the company is based out of West Yorkshire the chosen books all have a link to the United Kingdom, via either the author, illustrator, or setting.

The Paddington Bear Picture Book Explorers pack is a digital product. After your purchase, an email will be sent with your direct download link. The PDF file contains over 60 pages of printables including timeline, mini-books, maps, supply and resource list, as well as study suggestions to help you make this fit your homeschool. Detailed instructions for the projects and lesson plans are also provided. The file worked fine, printed to scale, and all the graphics looked great.

Initially, I thought this particular Paddington Bear study would only work for my younger two due to the book choice. However, with some tweaking my 3, 4, and 10-year-olds participated, remained fully engaged, and learned a lot during this week. We followed the provided lesson plans but added a few activities to each day so we would finish by Thursday. On Friday, we watched the Paddington movie and enjoyed the sequel on the following Monday.

Here is my list of dos and don’ts for using this literature study:

  • DO pick up geography books, maps, travel brochures, or atlas books about Peru, England, and London. These make the settings come alive all the more. We also watched a couple of YouTube videos about the areas.
  • DO NOT skip out on the map work for your younger children. Bam Bam and Princess may not understand every part of the map but giving them opportunities to look for the locations, learn about migration, and hear about major cities and landmarks.
  • DO have an older sibling read the story to the younger children. They will listen to you but having their older brother or sister reading to them is priceless. I used this time on the first day to prepare our activities.
  • You DO NOT have to purchase this book. This book can be found at your local library, on Hoopla, and is even read aloud on YouTube.

  • DO have a copy of A Bear Called Paddington for your older children to read. We all listened to the book via Hoopla on Tuesday through Thursday. The book is only approximately 200 pages which is a little over two hours of audio. The recommended story is perfect for younger children but Bear preferred the lengthier version.
  • DO NOT skip vocabulary at all! The vocabulary was easy for Bear so I added some words and used the list as our spelling for the week. Princess and Bam Bam were so excited to have spelling words. FYI: Little children love learning BIG words

  • DO try the foods mentioned in the book and provided in the packet. I was ill while we used this so my snacks were a bit “creative” but the children enjoyed them nonetheless.
  • You DO NOT have to make all the snacks from scratch. Cooking is so much fun but not every mom wants to add it to her already full plate. To aid in prep for the week I added a jar of Orange Marmalade, frozen pastry tarts, Brazil nuts, individually bagged popcorn, raisins, and strawberry filling to our grocery list. With these items, snack preparation didn’t take long and the cool kids still tasted items from both countries.

  • Lastly, DO the science experiments because they are so much fun. You just can’t go wrong with shaving cream based projects for any age.

I was so grateful for these ready-made lessons because I was extremely sick during our time using this. I taught most of this from my bed or the kitchen when I had enough energy to barely climb out of my resting place. Even though I was not 100%, my children enjoyed every moment. I definitely plan on doing this again and I will make sure we take lots of pictures.

The cool kids enjoyed our five-day exploration through Peru and London England with Paddington Bear. Branch Out World did a good job creating a literate study filled with activities for various aged children. This study would be perfect for preschool to early elementary children in a homeschool, daycare, or classroom setting.

Be sure to click on the traveling, okay stationary, photo below to read other Crew reviews on this product.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

Make this week adventurous,

Ta’Neisha K.

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July 2018 Homeschool Wrap-Up

Hello everybody!

How are you doing?

I hope all is well and your neck of the homeschool words and I can’t wait to share with you everything that has been going on at Team Kemp Academy. No need for a long introduction, let’s just dive right in!

GOALS
Here are a few of our goals for this school year:

  1. Teaching Bam Bam to read is top priority. I delayed teaching him because I wanted to let his focus remain on speech. He has been doing great there and does so much better during reading time now. He eases through Teach Your Child to Read without frustration and is doing very well.
  2. Letting Princess tag along as much as she wants since she is still in preschool. I’m in awe at how much she has soaked up by just sitting next to the boys last year. Her routune of listen, plays, listen, play suits her age perfectly.
  3. Expanding vocabulary, reading a book a day, and weekly science experiments are Bear’s goals. He picked them and since they were so perfect, I jotted the goals down.
  4. Read 110 books as a family this school year. We have a shelf on Goodreads keeping track of our books. We also have reading journals and allow the children to share reviews.

This year I decided to try something completely different and start our school year off in the month of July. A few of my friends do this and I have always found that they are able to be more relaxed throughout the school year, have more focused learning blocks, and take plenty of field trips. Those are some of the things that I wanted to implement during this school year so we began in early July.

Now, with all of that being said I completely forgot that the day I started school was also the day that twice a week speech began for Bam Bam, twice a week swimming lessons started for the cool kids, and husband’s busy season at work was well underway. I have spent our first weeks of school running up-and-down the highway, waking up extra early in the morning, and having school at various hours throughout the day. In the midst of handling all my business like a awesome mom should I also decided to reincorporate and have continued to maintain a daily workout.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Bam Bam and Bear are now fantastic swimmers
  • Princess turned 3
  • Bam Bam read his first, second, third, fourth, etc words
  • Bear surpassed his daily read goal
  • I kept to the lesson plan
  • Our monthly FREE day went perfectly
  • Princess participated in school each day
  • We completed book #2 and #3 in the World of Oz series.
  • Bear moved up another grade level in math
  • We attended the first family reunion for Kevin’s grandmother’s family.
  • We swam at least three times weekly
  • Each child completed a research project and presented it to the family.
  • Bear wrote a Country music song

CURRICULUM

We started the school year using My Father’s World Kindergarten for Bam Bam as well as the Creation to Greeks for Bear. Since Princess is so young, she just uses random books from the Dollar Tree and flash cards. For art we are using a DVD drawing curriculum as well as learning origami. Our Spanish and a few other extracurriculars come from schoolhouseteachers.com. We are also continuing the Music Appreciation and Apologia A&P that we ended our year with.

NEXT MONTH

Y’all, after an extremely busy first month all I can say is… WHOOP WHOOP! I’m so excited for what God has in store for us in August. In August I look forward to attending our first field trip, going to a few programs at our local library, and hearing Bam Bam read through his first book. I’m also anxious to see what Bear will decide to research next month. His selections always surprise me and I learn so much during his presentations. I am excited for Princess to continue to show her growing personality and perfect the English language. Finally, I plan to take more pictures of our journey because time flies by.

Remember, you can always see what is going on at Team Kemp Academy via our Instagram account. And don’t forget to check out YouTube for some fascinating videos featuring everything we have been doing this school year.

Make this week educational,

Ta’Neisha K.

Classical Music & Watercolors

Since our previous Art Appreciation posts received so much love, I thought I’d share another fun art class. We are learning about Classical Music and since each piece has a unique personality, it only made sense to add art.

For this experience, we used some watercolors that I snagged via Blitsy for $1.52 over the Christmas holiday season. We listened to a few classical pieces from our Music Appreciation course but during the art time we listened to other pieces.

While the music played I had the children draw and paint whatever the music made them feel. It turned out to be an enjoyable experience for Bear, Bam Bam, and Princess. Each created a wonderful masterpiece and as the art dried we discussed their thoughts about the music.

You can see our musical art adventure via this recent YouTube video.

Just in case you missed it, be sure to check out our previous art blog posts and videos.

Make this week artistic,

Ta’Neisha K.

Review: Smart Kidz Radio

Playing music is something our whole family enjoys while cleaning, reading, and cooking. Recently, we had the opportunity to review the Smart Kidz Radio station, which plays informative songs about life skills, positive self-esteem, and core subjects for young children. Smart Kidz Media created this **FREE** station with family fun and education in mind. **On-demand options will be available in the near future. I will discuss that in detail below**

We listened to this radio station for approximately 25 minutes, five days a week. Our listening time was done while my younger two would be journaling, cleaning, helping in the kitchen, or reading. During this time I noted that the songs played on the radio were completely unique. I soon found out that this station features hundreds of original hits that you won’t hear anywhere else. Bam Bam and Princess enjoyed listening and dancing to most of the music they heard. Song subjects included body parts, being happy, good behavior, and various animals.

Some of the things we enjoyed about this radio programming were the song variety, stories, and ease of use. I found that on my Samsung phone, this works best via the Google Chrome browser. On Chrome, live play starts instantly upon sign in and continuously plays even while I’m doing other things on my phone. While listening you can also see the weather, local traffic, and other things via the menu. When using on your computer you can send the live stream to your mobile device via a QR code scanner. We didn’t try this option since my mobile browser worked perfectly. You can also submit a request for your child’s favorite song to be played.

Smart Kidz Radio Homeschool Reviews

Currently, Smart Kidz Media offers the radio station for FREE; however, a monthly subscription service will be available soon. On-Demand features will be added and for $3.99 monthly or $39 annually. Upon availability, a FREE 14 DAY TRIAL will be accessible to those interested in upgrading. Smart Kidz Radio will also be providing an app for Google Play and iTunes very soon.

Though the near future holds grand things for Smart Kidz Radio, don’t wait to tune-in to the FREE features. Smart Kidz Media has the desire to provide fun, original programming for children via this edutainment (educational entertainment) station.

Click the picture below to read additional reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew about Smart Kidz Radio.

Smart Kidz Radio {Smart Kidz Media Reviews}

Make this week entertaining,

Ta’Neisha K.

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope (REVIEW)

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is the parental testimony of Hal and Melanie Young while raising children during their preteen and early teenage years. Published by Great Waters Press, the plethora of recommendations, anecdotes, and scripture provide is sure to educate and encourage parents.

The Youngs penned this book after being nearly blindsided by the changes in their preteen children. It suddenly seemed that years of advice wasn’t enough to prepare them for the hormones and other challenges that appear during this season. In order not to have the normal, strained or broken parent-child relationship this couple took to the word and power of God. Applying biblical parenting principles during the tween years kept their family relationship intact and No Longer Little was written soon thereafter.

Here are a few of my favorite highlights from the book:

  • Personal Anecdotes

The personal anecdotes within this book have the ability to draw in the reader. As you flip through the pages and have learned their story you find yourself not only understanding the authors more but being able to relate with they have dealt with to your own life. I found their honesty, openness, and their personal testimonies encouraging. Since the Youngs were able to share so much within these pages I find their advice easy to take and sensible.

  • Hot Topics

The topics within this book cover a vast array of conversations you might have with your preteen or early teenage child. The first of my favorite discussions is about one of the children deciding that they were an atheist. Rather than attack him for his beliefs, yell, and scream they decided to give him more details about God. They answered any questions that he had and were always prepared to provide biblical background and books to study for a clearer understanding. Before long, he cried out that he wanted to serve the God that had loved him so much since before birth and beyond.

My second mind-blowing discovery was the information that was presented about young girls and pornography. It’s easy to assume that pornography is something that only young boys will be tempted by but I never thought about the storylines created within those disgusting movies. The “romance” within scripts is created to entice women. These storylines give young girls, who are uneducated in life experiences, a skewed view that you can have continuous romantic, sexual, and passionate experiences over and over again outside of marriage. These views completely contradict our Christian beliefs. The Youngs explained the importance of speaking about sex to educate our children. Rather than avoid “the talk” like most parents do; be ready to answer any questions so your children consume God’s perspective on sex and not the world’s.

  • Communication is key!

Next, I noted that throughout the book this couple encourages parents to talk with their children about every single thing. Every page mentions discussion at least one time and that was so refreshing for me to read. I feel that a lot of times parents don’t want to deal with certain things but avoidance will only make it worse. I love how this book encourages families to talk it out rather than leave the children wondering or seeking information on their own. Using communication to work out conflict with siblings is also strongly encouraged. I also think it’s important to note that they included prayer as part of the communication process. So, not only are you talking things out with your children but you are also discussing them with your spouse while coming together and praying for your whole household. Communicating with God during these years is of utter importance because you want to make sure that you are handling issues the way that he wants you. Follow his plan, especially in parenting, so that you do not hinder your children’s progress during their walk on his narrow path.

  • Abundant Resources

Last but definitely not least I wanted to mention the abundant resources within this book. The footnotes of this book include a myriad of information for the written text. If they mention of a favorite book then the footnotes include that information. If scripture is mentioned the footnotes also provide that as well. It irks me when Christian books include the paraphrased passages of scripture so I was grateful No Longer Little had exact passage locations. After reading this book I now have some new goodies on my Amazon and Thirftbooks wish lists that I will be checking for soon.

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope, published by Great Waters Press, contains a myriad of key tips for raising God-fearing young men and women. Hal and Melanie Young did a grand job capturing the essence of the physical, mental, and spiritual components of the young child’s mind. Their encouraging and engaging real-life stories provide a Christ-centered approach to parenting that is definitely needed in the world today.

Click the picture below to read the Homeschool Review Crew thoughts on No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope and Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Library Fun for Kids

Recently, I shared a video on YouTube featuring some memories during our time at the local library. I’m grateful that our locations offer programs geared specifically towards homeschooling. Here is some footage of my cool kids enjoying library fun.

Hope you enjoyed the video! If your local library has not created programs for homeschoolers yet don’t be afraid to ask them. The efforts of myself and my friends encouraged our locations to create opportunities for local homeschoolers to socialize while we play and learn. A push from your homeschool community might do the same in your neck of the woods.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

We FINALLY Finished Exploring Countries and Cultures

Our journey with My Father’s World has been a joyous one with few mishaps and disappointments. We have thoroughly enjoyed all the lessons and commitment to Bible based history, geography, and language arts. After two years, we have FINALLY finished our journey through Exploring Countries and Cultures. I put this blog post together as a one stop shop for all things ECC. Check the lists below for details on how we have used this program in our homeschool.

ECC Final Review

ECC Experience Videos

ECC Haul Videos

ECC Blog Posts

I hope you enjoyed the final review and look back at our journey. We have already started our new school year and details on our curriculum are coming soon. Until then, be sure to follow our homeschool journey via @TeamKEMPacademy on Instagram. You can also catch video updates on our YouTube Channel.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.