Easy Grammar Systems were created by Dr. Wanda Phillips after she realized that many students had significant gaps in their knowledge of grammar. Upon further investigation, Dr. Phillips realized that many of these gaps could be blamed on concept isolation, meaning a concept was taught once and never discussed again causing students to easily forget what they had learned. I feel like my own grammar education was exactly as Dr. Phillips described. It wasn’t until I reached college that I was forced to grasp more grammatical concepts, or my grade would pay the price. I wanted to lay a better grammatical foundation for my kids, so we were excited to check out Easy Grammar: Grade 1 and start learning!
Though my son is technically in 2nd grade, we worked through Easy Grammar: Grade 1 book because I really wasn't sure how much grammar was learned in the previous year. We had spent much of our schooling time on phonics with our English program and I felt like the grammar foundation hadn't been properly established. For this review, we received a copy of the Easy Grammar: Grade 1 Teachers Edition, which included daily teaching tips as well as the worksheet pages for students to fill out towards the back of the book.
Easy Grammar: Grade 1 does an incredible job at laying a solid grammatical foundation. Concepts are introduced in their most basic form, expanded on and applied on an ongoing basis. 1st grade started with capitalizing the correct letters. First, students capitalize the first letter of a sentence, a few days later the capitalize names, and then proper nouns as their learning develops and expands. My son would occasionally ask if we'd already done this lesson, and I’d explain that we were practicing and expanding learning which is so foundational in elementary education.
Besides capitalizations, Easy Grammar: Grade 1 covers abbreviation, punctuation, apostrophe, colons for time, comma usage, hyphens for numbers, quotation marks, underlining, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, difficult words, double negatives, nouns, prepositions, and pronouns. Once a concept is introduced, it'll appear multiple times throughout the book to lead children towards mastery.
My favorite part of using the Easy Grammar Systems was that it was quick and easy to implement into our homeschool schedule. We would start each school day with the day’s exercise and my son only spent about 5 minutes working on the page. After the first week, he had really grasped the program and knew exactly what to expect from each lesson and I’m confident that when this program is used consistently, it will yield tangible grammar improvements. I would highly recommend it to homeschooling families who are looking to get intentional about studying grammar, and traditionally schooled students who want to improve! After using this with my son, I was thinking I could really use a grammar review- and was thrilled to see that the Easy Grammar Systems even offers an Easy Grammar Plus version for students through adults!
Different members of the Homeschool Review Crew checked out different programs that are offered by Easy Grammar- so be sure to check out their reviews below!
My grandfather was dropped off at a police on Christmas Eve of 1922 and never saw his mother again. The story has stuck with me for my entire life. As a kid, I couldn't imagine never seeing my mom again, and as a mom, I cannot imagine parting with my children. The extenuating circumstances must have been extreme, but they're remained a mystery nearly 100 years later. What we do know is that my great grandmother ended up at Central Islip State Hospital, and presumably died there, though no death certificate has been located.
I've been trying to dig and uncover a bit more of the mystery- which sent me looking for her hospital records from Central Islip State Hospital. The hospital was originally opened in 1889 under the name New York City Farm for the Insane, and later became Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, which is still in operation today.
All of Central Islip State Hospital records are located in the New York State Archives, series 20200. But, they are locked and sealed due to the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. In order to be granted access, one must write to a letter requesting disclosure to the Office of Mental Health (OMH) at:
Health Information Management Unit
Pilgrim Psychiatric Center
NYS Office of Mental Health
998 Crooked Hill Rd
West Brentwood, NY 11717-1087
In the letter, I’ll be including the probable admission time, why we believe she was a patient there, and proof that I am indeed her descendant. These types of records are incredibly personal in nature, even 100 years later, so if they are not able to disclose them, I am asking for a copy of a photo (if available) her place of residents, employment information, next of kin, and any visitor information that might be slightly less confidential.
What do you think about the confidentiality and mental health laws as they pertain to genealogical research? Should records be freely available after 100 years? Or kept under lock and key? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section!
Reading Eggs has become a staple program in the homes of many homeschoolers and traditionally schooled students alike. The online program offers an array of engaging lessons that feel like games- and even include access to an online library! We started using it in 2017, and have continued to enjoy it as a supplement to our English and Math programs. Recently, Reading Eggs launched a line of workbooks which complements their online program so we were thrilled to check out 200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade!
200 Essential Reading Skills for Second Grade is a 36 week program and each lesson is designed to take about 15 minutes. The lessons include an easy to follow format which targets comprehension, spelling, and grammar. Each lesson is one page long (which my son loved!), and every 9th week is a review week to reinforce the skills learned.
The second grade program helps deepens children’s reading comprehension by helping them identify main ideas, make inferences, compare and contrast, visualize, make connections, predictions and study words. The grammar section focuses on parts of speech which are relevant to second grade like proper nouns, adjectives, action verbs, and tenses. The spelling sections cover the diagraphs: ar, or, qu, oo,wh, ea, ee, ai, Suffixes: s, es, y, ey, ing, ed, er, est, ly, dge, ge, ful, less, ar, or, ment and ness. And prefixes: scr, spr, str, un, as well as exceptions, tricky words, homophones, and irregular past tense verbs. All this information is neatly presented to you in the year- long planner, which makes organizing a breeze.
Teachers and students who are interested in the Reading Eggs Workbooks don’t need an online subscription and never need to touch a computer; the workbooks can stand alone. However, there are notations in the upper right hand corner which point to books from the Reading Eggs library if students are interested in reading the entire book which is used in the lesson. Currently, Reading Eggs is offering a 4 week free trial to Crew Review Readers, which you can unlock here.
Though our family uses Reading Eggs fairly regularly, my son had not used Reading Eggspress, which is suitable for 2nd grade. He stopped online lessons after completing the first Reading Eggs program for ages 5-7. Because we hadn't unlocked Reading Eggspress, I was unsure of how the workbook could be used in conjuction with the online program without completing some 50 lessons to unlock grade 2 on our account. Turns out it is INCREDIBLY easy- all you have to do is edit the program level on your family dashboard and then you can match the workbook lessons to the online program! This is perfect for families who might want to limit screen time, but have the option of online learning for extra practice!
Ultimately, we love the ease of the workbook. The lessons are simple and frustration-free. Concepts are introduced; different practice questions are presented and then elaborated upon to reinforce learning. I love that this is program has the optional online component for extra practice. I also really liked that I didn't need to purchase a "teachers manual," as all of the answers were neatly located in the back of the book! I would highly recommend the Reading Eggs Workbooks to homeschooling families who are looking to simplify their English lessons with a proven and engaging program!
Memebers of the Review Crew checked out different levels of the Reading Eggs Workbooks, be sure to check out there thoughts on the program below!
Back when I was expecting my first child, I did my routine prenatal care the routine way. When you're walking in new territory, it's comforting to follow a map. But I've started to say "no" a whole lot more to different tests and approaches, and believe it or not, it's pretty common and completely your right.
The first thing I deny is the genetic screening test. I do this for two reasons, the first being that the tests result in false positives up to 50% of the time [read more here}. which opens the door to more needless testing. The second reason is that genetic deformities wouldn't cause me to terminate the pregnancy, as they may offer. Instead, I reason with the doctor that if there's something seriously wrong, it would show on the 20 week anatomy scan and then we could plan the delivery in a well equipped facility accordingly.
But, you might also be surprised that you can deny the 20 week ultrasound as well. We opt to go for it simply to find out the gender, which they've gotten wrong once and are currently unsure of because of the baby's legs, but I still prefer to have the ultrasound done. The reason some deny it is that there's the very real chance the ultrasound shows a choroid plexus cyst .. sounds alarming right?? But it shows up in roughly 20% of perfectly healthy babies and causes the doctors to want to monitor more in the slim chance the cerebral cyst is a marker for down syndrome. I've had one show up 2x now. The first time, I went through additional ultrasounds to confirm everything was fine, and the second time I said "no."
The next thing I say no to is traditional glucose testing. That orange glucola is loaded with dye and high fructose corn syrup that I would never put in my body, so why would I expose my baby to that and see what happens? Instead, I opt to ingest the same 50 mg of sugar in forms that I might actually indulge in. There are many different ways to ingest it, talk with your provider about what they'd prefer, but I ended up drinking 8 ounces of juice [not from concentrate] and 14 natural gummies in a minute to reach the 50 mg of sugar (this site has some great alternate ideas). I felt that sugar rush and dizziness, but thankfully passed the test with flying colors!
Once you reach 30 weeks, many providers bring you in for appointments every 2 weeks, we'll, I say how about 3 weeks? If everything is routine, shleping my crew to the doctors 45 minutes away for a 5 minute check is a ridiculous task, but many will agree to a more lenient schedule from 30-36 weeks by seeing you twice instead of three times.
Finally, when the big day comes, I refuse internal checks during labor. Some hospitals require them to be admitted to the labor and delivery room, which I'm ok with. They need to know your body is really making some progress, but once inside I say "no thank you" to any additional checks. New research is showing that multiple checks in a routine labor can increase the baby's exposure to harmful bacteria and certainly isn't fun for a laboring mom. Now, if there was a serious concern about labor not progressing, I'd certainly allow a check, but gone are the days of mandatory 1 hour cervix checks for this mama!
Make sure to check with your hospital or midwife to hear about their individual policies! Just as you have the right to say no to them, they also can say no to you. Then, keep looking for a practice that's a better fit... I've been to 4 this pregnancy :)
What kind of things have you spoken up and said no to during your pregnancies and births? Share in the comments below!
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of four, giving her excellent credentials to run her own circus one day!