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May I buy you a cup of coffee?

You are invited to listen to a Young Living Essential Oil class from the comfort of your home to learn about all the wonderful ways essential oils can be used!

To participate, please listen to the class, email me (delightfullearning@gmail.com) three things you learned, and I will send you a $5 Starbucks gift card!

Listen to the class here

Not available for current Young Living members. 

Learn more about becoming a member here!

California or Bust!

Just popping in for a quick moment to say that we are on the road and have left behind the cold and snowy roads of Wyoming and are headed to sunny California. My husband will be attending an expo at a Disneyland Resort hotel this week and we get to tag along!

As much as I was enjoying the beautiful spring-like weather we have been having in Wyoming, I confess that I was a little happy that it snowed right before we left - until we started driving on the icy interstate. It took us 3 hours to drive 144 miles. We didn't make good timing on the roads today, but we still made it past Salt Lake City before sunset. We had dinner, took the kids for a swim, and are now tucking everyone in bed (including me!). 

This past week in school, we finished up our row of Mailing May, made it to the half way point in All About Reading and Spelling, and Eliana finished her Math Lessons for a Living Education Book 2. It felt like a good stopping point. We started activities for Corduroy about half way through the week. I didn't feel like packing it with us, so maybe we'll visit a big city department store? and finish when we get home. :)

I did bring along a little bit of school to do while on the road. Malachi is working on Critical Thinking's Editor-In-Chief and Visual Learning System, an online video based Science resource that we have been using to supplement our Science for a Crew review. I also brought along a read-aloud for bedtime and lesson plans for Roxaboxen since we will be driving through Arizona on our way home and plan to stay a full day and 2 nights at the Grand Canyon. 

As for our time in California while my husband is in classes, the 3 younger kids and I get to relax, explore,
and spend time with a dear blogging friend that I get to meet for the first time! This is such a blessing to me to get to meet her! This whole trip is such a blessing - not something we would have afforded on our own. Our gas is paid for there and back and our hotel tonight is the only room we have to pay for. My husband works all week, but we plan to go to Disneyland as a family on Sunday. Then we will be caravanning home with Luke's aunt, uncle and grandma - which was another unexpected blessing because when we mentioned that we wanted to go go the Grand Canyon, Luke's grandma has never been and wanted to go too. So we get to camp with them in their motorhome on our way home!

Well, we will have a busy day next week this time, so I'll try to take a few pics and schedule a post to go out next week for my weekly post. Until then, I'm taking a break and not thinking about blogging! :)

Angus Lost {B4FI♥AR}

~Boaz is 4 years old ~ 

Always curious, Angus runs away from his house to seek new adventures. Find them he does, but will Angus make it back home? 

Winter & Seasons
When WINTER came Angus grew tired of the SAME YARD and the SAME HOUSE and the SAME CAT and all the SAME THINGS he knew all about. 

We started our row by reading The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature. We read A Year in Bear Country ~ Seasons and Weather.


Winter Weather: How will we know it's winter? Your knees shiver, you see ice in the river. Your breath shows, you've got a runny nose (mommy gives you EOs). :)

Facts About Snow: the difference between a flurry and a blizzard and that every snowflake is different than the others.

Things Winter Brings: snow, snow shoveling, winter boots and caps, sickness, ice skating, sledding, snowmen and snowy day walks, ice and icicles, and of course cabin fever and winter BOREDOM.

January was the perfect time to row this as January is one of our hardest winter months of the year. It's very cold and snowy and the snow comes and stays.

We read about the WIND that came with the SNOW when Angus got lost.

Facts About Wind: wind is air that is MOVING. A soft wind is a BREEZE, a strong wind that blows your hat off is a GALE, and a TORNADO picks up things and whirls them around.

Seasons ~ we went through all the seasons and what they bring.

Then in the Bearenstain Bears Nature Guide section, we read almost everything small bears and kids need to know about the ANIMALS.

Angus was curious about OTHER PLACES and OTHER THINGS such as - WHERE the MILK MAN came from and WHERE the WIDE ROAD went to and WHAT kind of animals CARS are and things like that. 

Actual Facts About the World of Animals: 
  1. Animals are living things
  2. Animals can move around
  3. Animals need food to stay alive
  4. Animals reproduce

Me: Is Angus an animal?

Bo: "Yeah, ALL THINGS are animals." 

Me: ALL things? Is the car an animal? 

Bo: "No, all things are animals except for OTHER THINGS." 


So, we talked about all the THINGS that ARE animals and found them in the book.

The dog, the cat, the OTHER DOG, the goat (the STRANGER), the owl, the horse and the ducks.

And we TALKED about what mammals are and which animals were mammals and which THINGS were not (the ducks).

Where Milk Comes From

Angus was curious about OTHER PLACES and OTHER THINGS such as - WHERE the MILK MAN came from and WHERE the WIDE ROAD went to and WHAT kind of animals CARS are and things like that. 

We talked about where milk comes from and that it comes from an animal that is a mammal - the COW, and we read The Milk Makers, by Gail Gibbons, and learned how milk makes it from the farm to our home.

Caring for Dogs 

We read Dogs, by Gail Gibbons.

Bo's list of things a dog needs:
  • food
  • walk
  • water
  • clean 
  • play
  • nice bed
  • love it
Visit a Scottish Terrier

I put an ad on our local up-cycle group looking for a friendly Scottish Terrier from a loving home that we could visit and pet. I asked if they would talk briefly about how to care for a small dog (food, water, walk/exercise, nice cozy bed, safe toys, and love) and talk about the scottie's temperament.
I got a reply from someone who works with Bo's speech therapist and we are waiting to go make our visit.

We played OBEDIENCE SCHOOL. I had Bo and Elli sit, lie, roll over, and fetch a cardboard paper tube.

And we played PET STORE.

  • Chocolate puff cereal for DOG FOOD.
  • Peanut Butter Cut Out Cookie DOG BONES. (recipe)
  • Fruit Leather RAWHIDES and CHEWS.

Elli made the sign and Bo sold treats to the family.

A Snowy CAVE

SNOW came, and WIND came, and into a CAVE crawled Angus, and he waited and waited and waited until -  
DAY came. 

I made the cave with a papasan chair - propped the seat up on the base and covered it with a fluffy white comforter and layered white iridescent tulle (free) to make a snowy scene.

...and into a cave crawled Bo.

Ordering Numbers 1-20

What numbers are missing?

(Number stickers from Project Life ~ Clementine Edition.)

Story Sequencing 

Cutting Practice

Where is the Angus? (Prepositions)

Things I Know About Me

Dig in the Dirt Milkshakes

Chocolate shakes with crushed chocolate chip cookies to end our row (inspired by my row with Mali and Elli). 

Delightful Links:
Angus Lost with Mali and Elli, in which we make a DOG HOUSE and a PET STORE, a sensory tub, and more!
Angus Lost on Amazon
Other Angus Books on Amazon
Loving Hands on Learning with Before Five in a Row



So fun to see all the amazing blogs linked up! And so neat to see so many memories made with Angus Lost and the Before Five in a Row curriculum. ♥

Thanks so much for linking up! 

All About Reading Giveaway!

Have you started planning for next school year?! Or have you needed to make some mid-school year changes to your curriculum? I am and have. I've already started planning and ordering for next year and have two boxes on their way to us. (Excited!) I've also had to make some mid-year changes, but thankfully reading is NOT one of them!

It's no secret that we love All About Reading in our home and I am excited to be able to offer you chance to win a complete All About Reading level of your choice!

Your choices:

All About Reading Pre-reading

All About Reading Level 1

All About Reading Level 2

All About Reading Level 3

All About Reading Level 4

Read Reviews on Delightful Learning:

How to Enter the Giveaway 
  1. Sign in to the Rafflecopter widget with your name and email. (Your email won’t be published or shared. I will only use your email to contact you if you win.) 
  2. To be officially entered into the giveaway, click on the first entry option and click Enter!
  3. After your easy entry, you will see a list of tasks in the Rafflecopter widget. Each task has a point value. To increase your chances of winning, click on the ones you want to complete by following the instructions for each task.

Giveaway Information
  • Giveaway will be open until 12:00am EST Monday February 16, 2015. 
  • Winner will be announced in this post on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. 
  • In order to enter the contest, you must sign in to the Rafflecopter widget and complete at least the first task. 
  • Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. 
  • The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond with the requested contact information within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway This giveaway is sponsored by All About Learning Press. I am not compensated for hosting this review. Affiliate links are used in this post and I will receive a commission if you make a purchase using one of my links. Thanks for entering! 

A Review of All About Reading Level 4

All About Learning Press hit the ball out of the park with their reading program. I've shared several reasons in each of my reviews, but they are certainly worth mentioning again.

Why I Love All About Reading:

The program is clear. The lessons are scripted so you know exactly what to do every step of the way. It is so easy to teach and easy to learn.

All About Reading is logical. Reading concepts are really taught in a logical, understandable order and there are no gaps. The program includes all the necessary elements to teach and learn reading. It's a very thorough program.

All About Reading is multisensory. The lessons appeal to all learning styles and engage the child using sight, sound and touch. This is especially appealing to my 4th grader. He makes a game out of everything and the hands on activities make this program appealing.

All About Reading has continual review. While the child learns new material, there is still continual review of previously-taught concepts.

The charm and friendliness of All About Reading Level 4 continues to be what I have come to love and expect from All About Reading. It follows in the same pattern as levels 2 and 3, with a practice sheet for each story, pre-reading discussions and activities, comprehension questions that help my child make predictions about what will happen next, post-reading discussions and activities that include discussing the main character or conflict, story sequencing, how the story relates to my child's life and more. It continues to take reading beyond the process of decoding and involves my child on a deeper more personal level.

For my review of All About Reading Level 4, I'd like to share a little about the program, how we are using it, my "set-up," and how the program, overall, has made a difference in our homeschool.

What do I need to teach Level 4? 

Is this the right level for my child? 

On page 11 of the Teacher's Manual, there is a check list of concepts that your child should be comfortable knowing. If your child can easily complete the placement test activities, then he or she is ready for Level 4!

How do I get started?

Because, this is truly an open and go program, you can jump right in once you have your supplies - the manual walks you through step by step.

Components of Level 4: What's in a Lesson?

The first section contains an overview of the lesson and what you will need. Having everything laid out before you start is a big help!

Before You Begin: At the beginning of most lessons, this box gives you some instructions before you begin. These are great for preparing yourself for what you need to know to teach a lesson. But don't worry! You could skip this box and still teach a lesson because you are truly taught to teach every step of the way. 

Review: This section has you review Phonogram and Word Cards with your student and any previously learned concepts. Review is a critical component of All About Reading.

New Teaching: In this section, new concepts are introduced. The lessons are gently scripted, but the manual also includes plenty of tips in paper-clipped gray boxes throughout the manual. You are never alone in this process.

The Activity Sheets: These give your student a chance to practice what they have learned in a fun hands-on way. These activities are optional if your student doesn't need the practice, but they are fun and reinforce important concepts. (Note: see my set up below to make this process so much easier!)

Practice Reading Words: These are the green Word Cards that offer additional reading practice.

The Practice Sheets: These are designed to practice new concepts and increase vocabulary and fluency.

The Warm-Up Sheets: These expose your student to words and phrases they will encounter in the story so they can read the story with confidence and fluency.

Teach Vocabulary and Activate Prior Knowledge: This section is designed to introduce new vocabulary and prepare your student for the story they will read in the lesson. After reading the story, you discuss your student's ideas and have them answer questions pertaining to the story or their similar experiences.

Read Aloud Time & The Read-Aloud Record: After each lesson, you are encouraged to read aloud to your child for 20 minutes. The chart is a place to record the books that you read. I'm a big fan of reading aloud to my children, but I still love seeing this reminder!

Mark the Progress Chart: Add a sticker to the chart to mark that you completed a lesson.

My Set Up

By the time I got to Level 3, I was tired of the cutting involved for each lesson and wasn't great about making time before I sat down for each lesson, so I took some time at the beginning to pull every activity sheet from the Student Activity Book and slip them into clear plastic sheet protectors and put them into a 3 inch binder so it was all ready to go. I loved this so much that I took the time to do this for Level 4 as well. It takes hours to do this, but it is well worth the time and effort to have it all ready to go!

I include everything I need from the Progress Charts to the Word Cards in one three-inch binder.

I slip the cut outs into plastic sandwich or snack sized zip-lock bags and slip them into the sheet protectors for each lesson. I cut the Lesson title out and tape it to the zip-lock bag. 

I include the Word Cards because I never lose them this way and they are always in order. (After using All About Reading and All About Spelling for over 5 years, I have learned the hard way! I've dumped the whole box of Word Cards out and resorted them more than once. Never again!).

When it is time for a lesson, I simply pull the sheet protectors out with the pages I need and this makes All About Reading even more "open and go" than ever before! (For more tips and tricks on my system, please see my original post on my Level 3 set up). 

All Ready to Go

Today, for my review I'd like to share a "day in the life" of All About Reading Level 4.

Lesson 26

We are on Lesson 26 and it's time to review Phonogram cards.

Malachi is reviewing the cards by himself today. He reads the phonogram and then looks at the back to see if he got it right. If he gets it right, it goes on the table. If he misses it, it goes back in the pile.

Review is really a vital part of the program, so don't be tempted to skip it!

Because we move through our lessons easily and quickly and often without the use of the white board and letter tiles, we don't often use the white board. But today, we will do the lessons as intended so you can see how they work, and then I'll share what I usually do.

We review that the yellow "or" represents the /or/ sound. 

And the purple "or" represents the /er/ sound. 

Next, I built the word "favor" on the board and had him divide it into syllables, sound out the syllables, and then blend the syllables to make a word. This is an unnecessary step for Malachi, so I usually have him read the words right out of the manual.

His next word is "minor" and he reads it no problem. I have him build the word on the board and divide it into syllables and then label the syllables. 

The first syllable is "open" and the second syllable is the "Bossy R" (or R-Controlled). 

Next, I teach the syllable COM by building the word complete. I ask him what the four sounds of "o" are and which sound he hears in the word "complete." He then divides the word into syllables. 

Next we play "Change the Word," except instead of building the words with letter tiles, I simply have him read the words out of the Teacher's Manual. 

compete --> compile --> compose

Next, we complete an Activity Sheet. These are easy and additional practice is not really needed, but he enjoys them! For students that need the practice (or just some hands on fun), these are great!

He is practicing reading words with "or" and with the syllable "com." 

He's helping the farmer plant his field by reading the seedling cards correctly and then driving the tractor to the next row that needs planted. 

And yes, he's making tractor sounds. :) 

Next, he reads the Word Cards.

He doesn't need this extra practice anymore (All About Reading has done a really good job teaching him to read!), but I had him read them today. 

Our read-aloud time is at bedtime in the winter, so we have completed our first lesson and Malachi gets to add a sticker to the Progress Chart.

This whole process takes less than 10 minutes. 

Malachi is a strong reader, so we usually do two reading lessons in one sitting. 

Lesson 27

This lesson starts out with a fun lesson on Acronyms. Malachi learns that an acronym is a shortened way to say or write something, such as USA. 

Some of these are new to him! I love that All About Reading is more than just decoding.

Next, he reads the Warm-Up Sheet for "Puppy Project." 

The manual guides me to point out the illustration of the yellow lab on the Warm-Up Sheet and explain what it is. (It tells me what to say). Then I ask questions about what he knows about dogs and other questions that pertain to the story to generate interest in the story he is about to read. 

I place removable transparent dot stickers on the corners of select pages that have discussion prompts in the teacher manual. When he sees the red dot, he knows to pause so I can ask him comprehension questions. 

I am not only prompted to model these comprehension strategies, but I also got the awesome tip to mark the pages from the Level 3 manual, so I remember to pause when these pages are read!

(We usually sit on the couch to read, but the lighting was better in the dining room for a picture!)

After reading, I ask him a comprehension question about the story, mark our progress sheet, and put away our materials.

We typically do two reading lessons one day, and one spelling lesson the next. We can catch up quick when we need to by doing two reading and one spelling lesson per day, but I usually do 4 reading and 2 spelling lessons a week with Malachi. All About Reading has done a great job teaching him to be an excellent decoder! This is the last level of All About Reading and he will be done with formal reading lessons.

Please note that I move at a much slower pace with Eliana who is in Level 2. Malachi took off in Level 2 and learned at an accelerated rate thereafter. She needs a little more time to practice and All About Reading gives her just what she needs and we follow the lessons as instructed and move at a slower pace to meet her needs.

Having used All About Reading now for 4 years and having worked through Pre-Reading through Level 4 now, I'm super impressed with this program.

The heart of the program is decoding, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary, but there is so much more to reading, such as:
  • learning the morphology of words
  • reading with meaningful expression
  • learning about limericks and rhyme scheme
  • following textual clues to make predictions
  • learning about alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, rhythm and other figurative language elements
  • identifying the narrator of the story
  • using a reference book
  • following recipes
  • comparing and contrasting stories
  • learning about the difference between fiction and non-ficiton
  • analyzing point of view
  • learning about types of conflict
  • practicing dictionary skills
  • and other story elements! 

After this level, Malachi will have completed 4 levels of All About Reading and I couldn't be happier with the results. He's a confident reader and has excelled beyond the skills of Level 4 on his own just from the skills he has learned so far. I like to say that All About Reading worked itself out of a job - a job well done! Thanks All About Learning Press for helping me teach my child to read in such a fun and easy way.

More All About Reading on Delightful Learning:
Check back tomorrow for a chance to win an All About Reading level of your choice! 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Level 4 from All About Learning Press in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. Affiliate links are included in this post. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.