Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )


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Curriculum

When I started homeschooling; I so badly wanted to just buy a box with everything I “needed” to homeschool. Sadly I never found this magic box… every boxed curriculum I found seemed to contain stuff that was pointless or stuff my kids didn’t want or stuff my kids already knew.

So I get curriculum from many places…

For math I highly  recommend Math Mammoth ; it is well organized and set up and the price is just perfect.

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As for other subjects; I have a variety of stuff  we use on and off depending if they are interested in using it or not at that moment.

For french we have Rosetta Stone as our main source; my review of rosetta stone is so/so ; I find it does’t pick up the kids voices that well and kind of goes from easy to expecting them to spell all of a sudden :/ I supplement with story books and shows in french.

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For italian I have these great books and italian cartoons are always very entertaining.

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For geography and history we use  ‘Canada map books’, they  are a really great place to start. We supplement with books from the library and shows  on history. 

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For science I have several kits I bought that have helped my kids learn hands on.

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I try to go with what they are into and find stuff to expand on for them to learn more … the internet is always a wonderful resource. 

And I find you don’t always need curriculum in the sense of a workbook with pages to write in but rather hands on learning is essential.  

Do you have any curriculum you love ?

Go check out the rest of the Canadian blogging team and what they use for curriculum also check out and download the FREE printable from the Canadian homeschooler on buying curriculum

~Lisa


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picaboo yearbook review

I received my yearbook photo book from Picaboo last week and my whole family is totally impressed!

The quality is awesome! 

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I want to start by saying that it was loads of fun to do this yearbook photo book.

The web site is really neat. The amount of options are incredible… from simple little things; like different text to write in; to a ton of different layouts  and  backgrounds to choose from, and even scrapbook fun stickers to add where ever you choose. That is a just a few of the options to play around with and make your yearbook completely personalized.

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I want to suggest if you choose to make your own, set yourself a deadline. Otherwise you could probably be at it forever; if you’re anything like me. I would probably have kept adding pages and kept editing it for a long time.

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I suggest that you use high quality pictures; but don’t worry if some of your pictures are not the best quality they have this neat feature on the site where it will tell you when you zoom into a picture past where the quality will be good for printing and viewing.

Their customer service is amazing. The response time was really fast. I had to contact them as I could not figure out where to add a page. And I want to suggest that they do something a little easier for consumers to see a very simple  “add page” button; as even once I figured it out due to a friend telling me I was still confused. 

The site was a little glitchy for me. I would upload a picture and then drag it to the photo book but it would not let me move the picture around. So I would have to reload the picture.  One more thing that didn’t work so well for me and ended up  taking a long time was when  I would want to superimpose a picture on top of another. For some odd reason it would just not do it; even after several clicks. I had to click on another picture and then back on the picture I would want to superimpose and even then it would only work sometimes after a couple of clicks.

Besides those couple of small  issues; everything else went very smoothly.

Once completed; you get a file to review your completed photo book and then ordering took less than 2 minutes time.

And although they do say expect 3 weeks for delivery; I got lucky and got it in less then one weeks time.

I want to finish by saying that although it was a little glitchy for me … it is a super awesome site and it has so many customizable options; and I love how they include homeschoolers in the list of what kind of photo book you are making 🙂 and although they call it a yearbook, you could use their yearbook for any kind of photo book… from groups, families, activities even for camps … and so much more. You can customize the book anyway you want … it is really neat! Even kids could work on a photo book together as a group project.

As a homeschooling mom I will definitely be making one every year with them. I am even thinking of making an individualized photo book for each child  although you could change the cover picture on each of your yearbooks to make each one more individualized. like I said completely customizable!  🙂   oh and another option is family and friends could order a copy for themselves easily through the website.

Go check them out here and start your own yearbook today at Picaboo Yearbooks

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~Lisa