Archive for the ‘Language Arts’ Category

Here to Help Learning Review


Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey has always loved writing.  She is very creative and does a wonderful job at writing. Teaching writing seems like such a huge task and I really want to make sure I do a good job of helping Hailey to become an excellent writer.  But, I want to make sure I keep writing fun since she loves it so much.  I have been really struggling to find a writing curriculum that we both enjoy.  We were recently given the chance to check out Here to Help Learning, a writing curriculum that I had never seen before, and I was thrilled to be able to check it out.  We could pick which level we wanted (more on the different levels below) and I decided to try Flight 1 Essay Writing for Hailey.

Here to Help Learning Review

Here to Help Learning is a writing program developed by Mrs. Mora, a homeschool mom of over 20 years.  She created this program to help parents and co-op teachers to be able to make teaching writing fun.  The lessons are based on the theme of going on a flight. There are 2 different levels of Here to Help Learning and within those 2 levels are 3 different flights you can take.  The first level is geared for children in 1st-3rd grade and it teaches paragraph writing.  Within the paragraph writing level you are able to pick from the 3 different flights.  Each flight has 32 lessons to cover one year of writing curriculum. The flights do not have to be done in a certain order, but rather can be done based on the interest of the topics in the flight.

Here to Help Learning

Click on the picture above to enlarge and you can see the different topics you can pick from in each paragraph writing flight.

The next level covers essay writing and geared for 4th-6th grade.  There are three different flights in the essay writing, each one has 32 lessons to cover a year of curriculum.  Once again they can be done in any order.  Flight 3 will be working towards writing and publishing a 6 chapter book, so you might want to save that one for last- but you certainly don’t have to.

Here to Help Learning

Click on the picture above to enlarge and you can see the different topics you can pick from in each essay writing flight.

Here to Help Learning Review

Once you have decided which flight to do you can start the lessons.  The lessons are done online with Mrs. Mora as your teacher.  You will spend 2 days each week completing the lesson.  The first day you do the lesson which has 5 parts in it, and includes:

  • Pre-Flight Checklist- this is where Mrs. Mora is dressed as a flight attendant and helps you make sure you are ready for your flight.
  • Flight Check-In- in this section you will check in work from the previous class, get new worksheets for that day’s lesson, and review the purpose of writing verse.
  • Take Off- this is where the writing warm up takes place as well as going over the work that was done during the previous class.
  • Full Throttle- this is the main part of the lesson where the Mrs. Mora guides the students through the part of the writing process covered that day.
  • Flying Solo- the last part where the students are given an assignment to work on.

The second day in the week that you use Here to Help Learning is the day the students actually work on the flying solo assignment.

How did we use Here to Help Learning?

I decided to use Flight 1 of the Essay writing with Hailey (age 9, fourth grade).

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey’s favorite part of each lesson is the writing warm-up.  Hunter (4 years old) and Harper (18 months old) both love to watch the lessons too.  Mrs. Mora is very entertaining and really does making writing fun.  Hunter and Harper always come running to watch when they hear us start a lesson.  They were all working on their writing warm up in this picture.

Here to Help Learning Review

When Hailey realized we would only be using Here to Help Learning 2 times each week she begged to do it every day.  She always asks me, “Are we doing the fun writing today?”

Here to Help Learning Review

Here Hailey is reading what she wrote on her webbing outline.

Here to Help Learning Review

Mrs. Mora gave several great suggestions for creating a good environment to write in.  So, Hailey got everything all set up and got to work on her first rough draft.

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey working on her first rough draft.

Here to Help Learning Review

Hailey read her first rough draft to us.

Here to Help Learning Review

After we went over her second rough draft together, Hailey wrote her final copy.

Here to Help Learning Review

Then Hailey made a presentation folder for her essay.

I can not say enough good things about Here to Help Learning.  I absolutely love it!  Mrs. Mora really does make teaching writing and learning how to write fun!  Not only is it fun, but the lessons are excellent.  Hailey learned so much from just one flight.  I am planning to continue using Flight 1 Essay Writing this year and then finishing it up next year before we move on to Flight 2 Essay Writing.  I can definitely see us sticking with Here to Help Learning for our writing curriculum.  I highly recommend this curriculum!!

Hailey’s review- “I loved it!  The videos are so much fun.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars.”

Social Media for Here to Help Learning:


Here to Help Learning Review
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Tales from the Circle C Ranch Book and Lapbook Review


Our Crafts N Things CIrcle C Ranch

Our favorite time during our homeschool day is when we read together. On a typical day I read a chapter from a book and Hailey reads a chapter from a book. We both look forward to reading time and I am always on the lookout for a good book we can use for school.  When the opportunity came up to review Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow author of the Circle C Adventures series, I went to the website to check it out.  I was able to download the first story in the book and was I immediately hooked!  There is also Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook that goes along with the book, and we love lapbooks so we were excited to check that out too!

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
Susan K. Marlow has three different series of books about Andi Carter.  The first series, Circle C Beginnings, is geared for kids ages 6-9.  The second series, Circle C Adventures, is for kids ages 9-14.  The third series called Circle C Milestones is for ages 12 and up.

Tales of the Circle C Ranch Bookk Review
The book we reviewed, Tales from the Circle C Ranch, is a book of short stories that answers some of the questions fans have had about the other books about Andi Carter.  We had never read any of the other books about Andi Carter but we were still able to enjoy the collection of short stories without any confusion.  The stories are set in the 1880s and tell a variety of adventures that Andi was a part of.  Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a paperback book that is 151 pages and includes 11 short stories.  This book is part of the group of books recommended for kids ages 9-14.  Hailey is 8 and she really enjoyed the book, so depending on your child I think it’s a good fit for younger kids too.  Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook is 39 pages long and can be purchased as an ebook or in printed form.  The lapbook ties US history and literature in with the stories in the book.

So, how did we use the book and the lapbook?

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 Each day we read a portion of the book.  Some of the chapters were short, so we could read more than one and others were longer.  Sometimes Hailey did the reading and sometimes I did the reading.

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Then if there was a part of the lapbook that went with the reading for the day we would do that as well.

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This is the front cover of the lapbook.

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This is inside the first folder.

Hailey’s favorite part of the lapbook was the Mercantile activity on the bottom left side of the red folder.  In it is a price list of items one might have found at the general store in the 1800s.  Hailey had to pretend it was 1874 and that she had $2 to spend at the store.  She was able to pick several items, including a toy whistle for 10 cents, a comb for 40 cents, a harmonica for 60 cents, and a few other items.

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This is the inside of the second folder.

One of my favorite lapbook activities was the limerick section.  We learned how to write a limerick and that the sillier the limerick is the better.  I thought it was going to be a hard activity for Hailey to do, but she loved it!  She wrote several limericks, and we spent the rest of the day making up more silly limericks.  She picked one of her favorites for me to share with you:

I had a lovely cat,
who was ever so fat.
He had another owner,
who was covered with toner.
The owner was a stinky rat.

Pretty silly, but we had a lot of fun with it!

I asked Hailey what she thought about Tales from the Circle C Ranch and she said it was a lot of fun to read.  She said her favorite short story was The Best Gift of All, a story where Andi was at the store trying to find the perfect gift to buy for her mother.  The problem was that Andi had spent most of her money, rather than saving it, so she couldn’t find anything to buy.  Hailey said she enjoyed that story because she thought it was more special that Andi made a present for her mom than it would have been if she had bought her one.  She also said she really enjoyed making the lapbook and all of the parts in it were fun to make.

I really enjoyed Tales from the Circle C Ranch and would definitely recommend it.  Not only does it include fun stories, but it’s a great way to learn about the 1800s.  I love historical fiction and I think using a historical fiction book with a lapbook is one of the best ways to learn.

Want to learn more about Circle C Adventures:


Dynamic Literacy Review
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Third Grade Update



Wondering what we’ve doing in third grade lately?  Here’s a little look:

Language Arts:


We are still using Daily 6-Trait Writing.  Hailey is working on organizing thoughts, and how to group similar ideas and details together.



I ordered the next Old Testament Overview from Grapevine because Hailey has enjoyed it so much.  We are now working on Part 2- Joseph to the Promised Land.



We use Daily Geography Practice.  It is supposed to be done every day, but we only do it once a week and get everything done in one day because it’s pretty simple.  It’s been great for learning how to read maps, but we definitely need to add some more.



Hailey learned in health how nutrients travel through your body.  We used red water and a celery stick to show how nutrients can travel.


The leaves turned all red even though they were never in the water.



Hailey has been learning about the scientific method, why science is important, and why we do experiments.  I’m using this Intro to Science Unit.


Hailey has been practicing using the scientific method by doing some experiments.  In this experiment she put 4 different colored M&Ms into a bowl of lukewarm water.

Then we observed:




It’s nice to do some fun, simple experiments while learning the scientific method!

So, there is a little look at just a few of the things Hailey has been working on.  I need to remember to take more pictures of what Hailey is working on so I can do third grade posts more often.

Contraction Review



Hailey needed a little contraction review, so here are some of the fun activities we did to review:


We played a matching game.  First she turned over a blue card, which had the contraction on it.  Then she turned over a pink card and purple card, trying to find the words that made up the contraction.


The person with the most matches won.  Hailey really liked this game and requested to play it several times.


We made these, which are a great visual of contractions and how the first word always stays the same.


Here’s a look at one of the finished papers.  (Inspiration credit: Pinterest)


As a fun wrap up to our contraction review we did word surgery, using an idea I found at Buzzing About Second Grade.  Hailey (and Hunter too :-)) dressed up as surgeons to perform surgery.


Hailey getting ready to do surgery.


The surgeon at work.


Stitching up her patient (using a band aid as the apostrophe).


She performed several successful surgeries and really loved the activity!

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