Sunday, August 17, 2014

Before Five in a Row Planning Resources

Last year I started using Before Five in a Row with Rachel.  It is a wonderful curriculum that brings real books to life through activities involving math, science, crafts, music, and more.  Plus it is just a fun way to spend some special time with your little one while reading some wonderful books!

Essentially, you read the selected book once a day for 5 days in a row.  After each reading, you do a couple of activities that somehow relate to the story.  The Before Five in a Row book lists many great activities for each book but I've also collected many more on my Before Five in a Row Pinterest board.

To plan, I start with locating the books that we will read. Many of them can be found at our local libraries. Others I buy used at library book sales or from friends whose kiddos have outgrown them.  All of the suggested books are really great pieces of children's literature so I do try to buy them when I can so that we can read them over and over at anytime.  

I then look through the books and decide on the best time of the year to read them based on things like if the story takes place during a particular season or if there is a theme to the story that ties in with something else we will be doing later in the year.

Here is a Before Five in a Row Book List (PDF) that I made to help me keep track of all of this:

To help me plan the activities we do each day, I created this weekly planning page that I fill out for each book. It lets me keep track of which activities we will do on which day, the subjects covered, and which supplies I need to have on hand. 

Before Five in a Row Weekly Plan

Here is a PDF version if you'd like to download it:

I hope these forms will help you with planning Before Five in a Row activities for your child.

Although we started this curriculum last year, we still have some books that we didn't get around to reading.  We will continue to work through the books at the beginning of this year and then we will move on the next level which is Five in a Row, Volume 1.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft Classes {Review and Giveaway}

Do your kids love playing Minecraft as much as mine do?  Why not integrate a little Minecraft into your homeschool day to help make learning fun?  We had a great opportunity to review the Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft classes and I can't wait to tell you all about it!  And keep reading to find out how to enter some AMAZING giveaways for products to help with your homeschool year.

SKrafty Reviews and Giveaways


It's back to school time, and for homeschool families - that means gathering curriculum, planning and finding new ways to inspire kids in their studies. SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft is the perfect way to add the fun and inspiration you need.

This fall, the class line up is spectacular! If you need homeschool math, science, bible, history, language arts or more . . . you are in for a treat. Using some of your favorite homeschool curriculum companies (including Apologia Science, Mystery of History, and A+ Interactive Math) you'll learn to incorporate Minecraft projects into your family homeschool.
SKrafty Classes

See all the new classes SKrafty has to offer HERE

Find out more about the fully monitored SKrafty Minecraft server where it is safe for your family and children - and get whitelisted for FREE right HERE.

SKrafty is specially designed and the rules are constructed to encourage good sportsmanship - with no griefing allowed, no bad language or ugly talk, and no sharing of outside links to protect your children. See a full list of rules HERE.

What other parents are saying about SKrafty Homeschool Minecraft:
"Since starting Skrafty my son has blossomed. His typing has gotten a lot better. School work is not a chore any more I just give him the list of what needs to be done and he does it. He finds the lessons entertaining and engaging and he loves the activities that go along with them. We are all very grateful for Skrafty." ~ Cheryl J.

"My son enjoys playing on Skrafty with other kids and I love that it is a safe, moderated Minecraft server! While playing on Skrafty he has learned creative building, developed critical thinking skills, made friends, and learned to be a team player. The classes have been fun and the reading program has encouraged him to read more than ever. Skrafty has been such a blessing to our family!" ~Julie B.
Special needs learning:
"Skrafty has been a huge blessing to our family! My son with dyslexia is not only learning but enjoying learning!!!! His reading and writing have developed more with Skrafty than any other program we have used. The classes are engaging because they are so hands on and truly turn learning into an adventure. I so highly recommend Skrafty!" ~ Caroline D.
What we learned:
My 10 year old son Nicholas was delighted to help me review a Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft class.  He chose the class, Machines and Motion.  This class was based on the textbook, "God's Design for the Physical World: Machines and Motion".  
Each week, Nicholas reads the assigned lessons each week in the textbook then goes into the Skrafty class portal to read additional information about the lesson, and watch an online presentation or some supplemental videos.  Then he completes an assignment on the Skrafty Minecraft server that corresponds with the lessons.  Some of his assignments have included building an object that demonstrates centripetal force or creating a class 1, 2, or 3 lever.   
The lessons are easy to understand but let's be honest, it's really all about the Minecraft world.  Nicholas can hardly wait to run to the computer and create his assignment.  He is so proud to show off what he has made and all that he has learned about machines and motion.  He is looking forward to taking another Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft class in the fall. 
Mom's Perspective: I love how Nicholas gets to take the material he has studied and then apply his knowledge and recreate objects that demonstrate the laws and principles that he has studied.  I think it is a great way to review and solidify what he has learned but it also makes learning fun so there is no whining when it is time to work on school work!  I also love the fact that the Skrafty server is a safe place for my kids to learn and play.  There is a monitored chat room and the kids have to follow school-appropriate rules about their behavior and language.  I highly recommend Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft classes.  We plan to integrate at least one class into our curriculum each semester.


Extremely affordable classes (between $6.99 - $32.00) make it easy to add creativity and excitement into your education at home. Sign up HERE for live classes or self-paced classes and begin your journey into the world of homeschool Minecraft with SKrafty.

Giveaway Companies - Multiple Winners!

SKrafty Giveaways

Check out all the wonderful companies and prizes you can win for your family homeschool:

3 SKrafty Fall Classes - Value up to $32 each

Mystery of History Volume 1,2, or 3 & Super Supplemental - Value $150

A+ Interactive Math - Family Package for 3 Students - Value $450

Adventures In ChildRearing - Wildlife Adventures bundle- Value $27.99

We Choose Virtues - Homeschool Kit - Value $98.99

Sidetracked Sarah - Crockpot Freezer Meals 3 pack - Value $8.97

Moore Family Films - ABC Say it With Me - Value $15.99

Not Consumed - Back to School 4 Pack - Value $12.50

Teach Them Diligently - Family Pass to 1 Convention - Value $65

Homeschool Adventure Co. - Philippians in 28 Weeks - Value $18.95

Media Angels - Homeschool Moms Rescue Set - Value $9.99

A Journey Through Learning - Math Lapbook - Value $15.00

Dave Ramsey - Financial Peace Jr. - Value $24.95

Enter with 1 entry or enter with them all:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mystery of History, Dave Ramsey, and Moore Family Films giveaways are only for the U.S. but all other giveaways are international.  Winners will be announced Tuesday, August 19th!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review.  We were given a free Skrafty Homeschool Minecraft class to try out in order to complete this review.  I was not told what to say about the class so my opinions stated here are entirely my own.