Thursday, August 1, 2013

TOS Review - Gryphon House (The Homegrown Preschooler)

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What is Gryphon House (The Homegrown Preschooler) ?

Gryphon House is a publishing company specializing in educational material for teachers, parents and administrators. Their website is packed full of a variety of resourceful books, activities and also gives you information on state standards. 

The Homegrown Preschooler is a book written by Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards. Both of these women are seasoned homeschooling Mommas and tell their stories at the beginning of the book. The Homegrown Preschooler is a book that leads, guides and directs homeschooling families on how to provide a learning environment for young children in their home and the places around them. With much encouragement, honesty and practical ideas, this book offers a tremendous amount of support to Mommas with young children. 

The Homegrown Preschooler also offers great recipes and is packed full of real-life images of children practicing the ideas given in the book. 

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What We Received and How We Used It:

For this review, I received a paperback copy of The Homegrown Preschooler. I was able to read the book over the course of a week. I am sure most of you could read it over just a couple days. The book was very easy to read and was written in words that were simple to grasp. As soon as I began reading the book, I could feel the excitement for our upcoming school year rising up in me. The wheels began to turn and my highlighter got a little happy on the pages. I began making notes on many of the ideas I want to implement this school year and some I was ready to do right then. 

In the beginning of the book, there are several questions that are asked for you to answer about yourself, your teaching style, your personality, the personalities of your children and what you want to accomplish in your school. This was a God-send for me. After answering the basic questions, I was so focused and ready to go and I better insight into our homeschool. 

One of my favorite tips in the book were the Baggy Activities. Kruz is such a busy toddler and keeping him focused on an activity while I teach my older two can be daunting. I loved the different ideas for activities that can be stored in Ziploc Bags. This would be so easy to store and would be quick to pull out when he is ready for a change. The book gave quite a few ideas that could be used in the classroom or on the go.

Another one of my favorite ideas was allowing your child to mark off your errands as you accomplish them when you're on the go. Errands can be such a hassle for me, much less my kiddos. The idea was to have different pictures of what you have to do that day and allow the child to pull the picture of the accomplished task as you go. Our family is on the go often with karate, football and baseball and I know the boys, Kruz especially, would love to do this.  

This book was such a sweet reminder of all the opportunities I am missing to teach my children. I am often a Momma to send the boys outside while I cook dinner, this book reminded me to include them in cooking. Every experience is a given opportunity to teach them and it was great to be reminded of that. 

My Opinion:

I loved this book. And I know the title says 'Preschooler', but I really think the overall idea of the book could apply to all of the elementary aged children. Learning is all around us. This book reminded me of that. 

I loved the style of the authors, it was like I was just talking to a friend. They were open, honest and helpful. It didn't seem as though their ideas were out of reach either. Many of the activities were everyday stuff you have at home, I like that. So often I see great ideas, but they aren't in my reach. 

I loved all of the pictures. It was great to see not-so-posed children enjoying the everyday activities recommended throughout the book. 

The recipes were wonderful and many of them were actually healthy. A lot of times, recipes in books are full of processed ingredients and are not healthy, which is disappointing to me since we try to cook with spices and other "real" foods. I loved that many of these recipes offered that option for my family. 

Obviously, I would recommend this book to families with young children. This book is encouraging and promising for those who are led by hands on, at home ideas. 

Important Links:
Authors: Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards
Price: $29.95

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