Saturday, October 28, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew 2018!

Have you thought about being on the Homeschool Review Crew? Have you wondered what it was like to be able to use curriculum and materials you might not have otherwise been able to use? I am finishing up my first year and it's been a great experience.  My children and I have been able to use items that I wouldn't have been able to afford without the crew!  

Applications are currently being accepted for a spots on the 2018 Homeschool Review Crew.  If your interested in more information or would like to apply please follow the link included.  Being on the crew this year has been a wonderful experience!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thankful Friday 10/27/2017

I usually do a Thankful Tuesday post, but this Tuesday I was flying back from Boston.  I had every intention of doing a post, but was exhausted when I got home (LOL) This week I'm super thankful for my kids.  They make me so proud and I love them so much! They also drive me crazy at times, but that's another post :) This picture was taken this past weekend while we were in Kentucky for karate testing, seminar and a banquet.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Review: Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1

Kid Niche Christian Books
Every year I spend quite a bit of time deciding what the kids will do for Bible as well as what verses that we will work on memorizing that year. This year came around and I just felt stumped as to what Issac should do this year.  He needed a program that was colorful, engaging and yet didn't require him to do too much writing. He's still struggling with writing too much and I often help him when he gets too tired.  We had started the year off WITHOUT something for Bible and it just felt WRONG.  Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1 by Kid Niche Christian Books popped up for review and it seemed like it just might be the answer!


This program is ideal for 4th-6th graders and since Issac is in 5th I felt he'd fit right in.  There are 36 lessons broken down into various themes.  One of my favorite things was that it was already hole punched as well as on sturdy paper which held up wonderfully with my rough son!  There were two units that were further program down into the themes. 

God The Father

Lessons 1-4 God is our heavenly Father.  He likes us to talk to him.  Talking to God is called prayer.  
Lessons 5-9 God is pleased and honored when we treat him with respect and come to him humbly.
Lessons 10-14 God loves and cares for all people.

God The Son

Lessons 15-18 Jesus' Birth-Boyhood-Baptism-Temptation
Lessons 19-26 Jesus' Ministry on Earth
Lessons 27-32 Jesus' Betrayal-Trial-Death-Resurrection-Ascension-Return
Lessons 33-36 Anyone who receives Jesus as God and Savior becomes God's child.

There were four verses to be studied and memorized while working through the 36 lessons.  These verses are designed around the nine verses of My Whole Self Before You which is a rhythmical prayer modeled after the Lord's Prayer.  The first verse Issac memorized was Dear Father in heaven, I come and I bow my whole self before you.  Please hear me right now.  As he worked through the lessons he started a journey on a deeper understanding of who God the father is.  One lesson that I think was powerful for him with Lesson 4-Talking with God.  One of verses we read talked about it's not the number of words we use when we pray.  One of the questions in his lesson was true/false The more words we use when we pray, the more likely it is that God will hear us. Even after reading the verses and discussing he answered this question as true. That lead to further discussions about it's not the number of words or length of time, but what is truly in our hearts and how we come to God.  There were various activities through these lessons.  We read verses, answered questions, drew pictures and always ended in a prayer.  The answer key in the back is truly a wonderful thing.  The answer key includes six different translations answers, so depending on your family or child this works for so many people.  The following translations are included in the answer key:
ESV-English Standard Version
NASB-New American Standard Bible
KJV-King James Version
NIV-New International Version
NABRE-New American Bible Revised Edition
NKJV-New King James Version
The papers were full of color and Issac likes that! I have truly enjoyed working through Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1 by Kid Niche Christian Books with Issac.  I would love to continue working through the second part of this program because I truly think it's wonderful.  There is lots of information packed into these lessons.  Wonderful discussions have come from using this program and I've really enjoyed that! Teaching our children to go to God with any and all of their needs and thoughts is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children!

Check out their social media sites:
Weave Your Word in Me {Kid Niche Christian Books Reviews}

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs
Issac has always loved Reading Eggs and recently we were given a free 6 month subscription.  One of my favorite things about this program is that he's learning as well as having fun.  When they complete lessons they earn golden eggs and they can use those to buy things at the mall.  They can buy things for their house, their avatar, their pets and trading cards.  

One of Issac's favorite things to do is to make a story.  They walk you step by step through making a story and then you can submit it and print it for yourself as well.  

Reading Eggs has something for almost all children up through elementary school.  Reading eggs Junior is for ages 2-4.  Reading Eggs is for ages 3-7 as well as Reading Eggspress that is for ages 7-13.  There is also Mathseeds that is for ages 3-9. This program works so successfully because it focuses on  key concepts: phonics & phonemic awareness, comprehension, sight words, vocabulary and reading for meaning. The ages are guidelines and I've found it's best to follow the assessment and where it says your child should start. The student starts the assessment and continues until he or she misses three problems and that is what lesson they'll start.   Even if you have a child that is older than 4, but struggles with their letters they'll greatly benefit from Reading eggs Junior.  My son is 10 and is still working in Reading Eggs. He's struggled with reading over the years, but I have really seen some great improvements as he's worked through Reading Eggs.  His understanding of syllables as well as his comprehension has improved greatly.  The lessons are in a game format, so even though the student is learning they are doing it in a fun way.  We also did a few lessons in Reading Eggspress to try and feel out that part of the program too.  He enjoys the stories as well as likes the fact that the program will read to him.  It helps him to follow along as the program reads.  His comprehension is much higher when he follows along.  He loves the math that is offered in Mathseeds, but he has worked himself out of that program.  There are so many things available to do with this program and so many wonderful books in the library section that the students can read.  Some of the key features in the Reading Eggs program are the lessons, storylands, spelling, the story factory and my program.  The parents are always able to check and see what lessons their child has completed.  In Reading Eggspress there are the lessons, the stadium, english skills and the library.  The lessons are also broken down into different activities, so the student doesn't feel they are doing the same activity over and over again.  

There are also sample lessons that you can take a look at to see how the program progresses.  Reading Eggs is offering a Free 4 Week Trial for you to check the program out for yourself.  This offer expires November 20, 2017, so check it out to see how much this program can help your child.  Reading Eggs has also just introduced a new comprehensive program for homeschool children in grades K-2nd.  Each guide provides 36 weeks of teaching for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.  Here is a little sample of the lesson plans for second grade.

Depending on your homeschool style this could be a full curriculum for your K-2nd grade students.  These lessons can be found under the bonus section from your main dashboard.  There are also activity sheets available in the bonus section as well.  There are lots of fun extra printable pages that your child can do.  

Check out their social media sites for more information: FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube.  Also, don't forget to sign up for the Free 4 Week Trial that Reading Eggs has offered.  The special offer ends November 30, 2017.  As always the crew has a wide age range of children and will have reviewed different parts of the program.  Check out what the other members worked on during their time.  

Reading Eggs*
Reading Eggs

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Week Ending 10/14/2017

This has been a busy week, but I was fortunate enough to get some time to read this week.  I love anything by Danielle Steel and I've got a stack of her books waiting to be read.  I also had a few things from the library still and wanted to try and work through those.  This week will be crazy because we are leaving on Thursday to go to Kentucky for the kids karate testing.  I'll then be leaving from there to fly to Boston on Sunday to attend another PEER meeting.  

Most of Friday was spent helping final the dance for that evening.  I don't really have any pictures to share because my middle child doesn't like her picture taken :( I think the kids had a great time and I believe there were about 55 kids there in total. This is the second time we've had one of these dances and I really think it's come together quickly.  So thankful to a dear friend that is ALWAYS willing to jump in and organize these type of things!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review: Brinkman Adventures Season 4

Brinkman Adventures
Issac has found one of his new favorite audio stories from Brinkman Adventures.  He's been listening to Brinkman Adventures Season 4 almost non-stop for weeks.  At least that's what it seems like! He loves to be read too, but I've noticed he can have a difficult time following audio stories.  That has not been the problem with this series! He's never listened to these before, but was able to jump right in and enjoy.  Each disk has individual audio stories, so you don't have to necessarily have listened previously.  The audio stories are about 30 minutes long and I think that's the perfect length of time for Issac to stay fully engaged.  There are 4 audio cd's included in the season 4 box with a total of 12 stories.  Here are the stories that are told in this season.  

37 A Paradise Lost
38 Remember Nhu
39 Aisha’s Fear
40 Heart Song
41 The Crashed Kitchen
42 Crisis In The Congo
43 The Mysterious Palm Feller
44 War of the Raccoons
45 The Five Guys
46 Toughest Man
47 Cambodian Quest
48 What Brings Us Together

Brinkman Adventures
The Brinkman Adventures are missionary stories told through a fictional family, the Brinkmans.  These stories are based are true missionary stories and share story after story of how God worked in their lives.  After listening to these wonderfully, exciting audio stories you can read the Real Stories that they are based from.  
My favorite story was of Dimitri.  He longed to share the Bible with his son and decided to start studying with him a few times a week. Neighbors heard of their studies and wanted to join.  One day they were taking a collection for a struggling family when there was a knock at the door. The authorities warned Dimitri that he could not have church at home. He didn't feel that was what he was doing, but they disagreed. Ultimately Dimitri continued and was thrown in jail for sharing the Bible with friends and family.  He kept a constant faith that he would make it home until one day he felt broken. They told him his wife was dead and his son was a ward of the state. He was willing to sign anything they wanted to get out of there.  That particular day his wife felt he needed their pray right then and there, so she and her son prayed for him. He was able to feel their prayers and know they were safe. This gave him the courage to continue on being faithful to God.  
I love that these are stories that anyone can relate to and show a powerful faith in God.  I decided to ask Issac which were his favorites and what he liked about them and this is what he said:  Issac said he really liked Remember Nhu.  He said he just really liked the story.  He liked that the man made many trips to Cambodia looking for Nhu and that he never gave up looking.  That was a little hard for him to understand that someone would put so much time and effort into looking for someone.  He said he also liked A Paradise Lost.  He liked that the lake vanished before the tornado.  He really liked all the stories and said it was hard to pick one that he really liked. 
For anyone looking for a well made, family friendly audio story I would highly suggest the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 from Brinkman Adventures. These are truly wonderful stories that teach our children about true faith in God.  Check out their social media sites as well as what were the favorites with the rest of the crew.

Brinkman Adventures Season 4

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: CTCMath


When your a homeschooling parent the topic of which curriculum to use comes up quite often. The subject that I've heard discussed the most is math.  One of the names I've heard over and over again is CTCMath.  We were given a Single Membership and they are offering you the chance to try it for free!  CTCMath is wonderful for children that don't fit 100% into a specific grade level.  When you use the program you have access to ALL levels and not just the grade that your child is in.  Issac is in 5th grade and for several years he was actually ahead in math. It was one of the subjects that he really enjoyed. He excelled in it for several years until multiplication and division came into play.  He struggled, so I worked him around those problems while we tried to memorize our facts.  This went on longer than I had hoped and eventually we started getting behind.  Last year we tried a few things that were new to us and they seemed to help him get most of the multiplication facts.  When I was trying to figure out which math program to use this year I realized that the 5th grade programs looked too hard for him. I realized that he had lost that edge he had in math.  We were given the Single Membership and I thought this would be great for Issac.  We started out in the 5th grade, but I realized with the first lesson that it was too hard for him. He got very frustrated and wanted to quit.  I decided to go back and try the 4th grade lessons and we could move quicker through ones that were easier for him.  This was the right decision for him! He did three lessons the first day and was so excited that he got 100's on them.  He enjoyed watching the videos before the lessons. One thing I liked is that it was easy to scroll back through the video if he didn't remember something.  There was a section in Space and Geometry that he struggled with passing.  I sat with him and helped him take notes during the video and he did the lesson over and over until he did well.  I think he did these two lessons three times each until he really understood them. That's a big plus for me as a parent that he can redo the lessons as many times as he needs too!

When you set up the student account the parent gets to chose the "passing grade" for your child.  I chose an 80% for Issac because I felt that would be good for the lessons that he might struggle in understanding.  

At the top of the page under the Results tab you can view a detailed report of what your child has done.  I like this because it lets me see exactly which lessons Issac has worked through and how he did.  Here is part of Issac's report.

I'm glad that I decided to start in the 4th grade section because getting high grades on those beginning lessons really helped build up Issac's confidence.  When we ran into the multiplication and he was getting upset I told him we could drop down to the third grade and work on reviewing multiplication.  

It's nice because you can work in any grade level that CTCMath offers.  Issac even went into higher levels. He actually went into the Calculus section and did the review lesson.  He told me he made a 100% and I honestly didn't believe him.  I was shocked when I saw that he actually did!!

We also get weekly reports sent to us detailing everything that the student has done.  I use an online program to record all my grades and this makes it easy to print the report and update any lessons that I might have missed putting into the computer.  

Here is a sample of the weekly report that shows what Issac did for Friday, September 29th.  It shows the time he signed in, what he worked on as well as how well he did. You can see the total amount of time that he worked on his lessons.  He started on his own and struggled with Multiplying by a Multiple of 10.  I sat down with him and asked some questions when he got stuck and he did much better.  It also shows how many lessons completed and an overall efficiency rating.  I really feel that I can keep up with what he's doing well in and what he's struggling. Again, I really love that he can do lessons over and over again until he truly understand the concepts.  Different, but similar problem are given each time he does a lesson over.  That way he can't just memorize the answer from the previous time.  

Issac has really been enjoying working through the CTCMath Single Membership.  He really likes the video aspect and I truly think it helps him understand the problems.  I think what really has helped him the most is being able to re-do the lessons when needed as well as to move around in different grades.  

Check out the free trial that is offered as well as the 60% off + 6 bonus months that is offered to homeschoolers.  They offer very competitive prices for the materials that you get.  Most math programs easily run more that what CTCMath charges and you only have access to the one grade that you purchase.  Here you get access to all grades.  If you have more than one child the Family Membership is a wonderful deal.  I know some math programs that charger more than the family membership charges, but it's only for one student.  

Check out CTCMath on their social media sites:




CTCMath Online Math Tutoring {Reviews}

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thankful Tuesday 10/2/2017

One of the things I'm thankful for today is when bloggers are able to do contests. I think often I am interested in something, but without seeing it in person I'm not sure I want to spend the money. Recently we were able to do a review for Carole P. Roman and Issac just LOVED the books.  She's got several different sets, but most give you a look at living in a different time or place. Shortly after the review I saw that was doing a give away of 20 books in the If You Were Me And Lived In.... series.  I don't think I've every won anything like this, but decided to enter. Imagine my surprise when Jill Craft contacted me to let me know I was the WINNER. I was super excited and didn't tell Issac anything until the package arrived. He was SO excited to see all these books. We are working our way through Lets Go Geography and I knew these would fit in perfectly.  We were blessed to receive If You Were Me And Lived In: Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, South Korea and Turkey.  So thankful to Carole P. Roman as well as Blessed Beyond a Doubt.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: Super Teacher Worksheets

 Super Teacher Worksheets

Every year as the weather starts warming I start thinking of the following school year. People often talk about spring burnout and it's a very real thing. When you dedicate your life to schooling your children it's a very hard, but very rewarding job.  When I see the light at the end of the year I'm already dreaming of the books and fun things we'll get for the following year. No curriculum is perfect for all children and most children have areas that they need more help in at one time or another.  This is exactly what Super Teacher Worksheets is striving to help parents conquer with their Individual Membership program.  They are providing an amazing number of worksheets for you to supplement your child's school. For just $19.95 a year parents can access an amazing amount of worksheets for their children as well as a school option for teachers to share.  

There are worksheets starting from Pre-K and Kindergarten.  The site is geared mostly up through about sixth grade, but there are additional worksheets for grades/subjects beyond that.  You can almost find a printable for almost any subject or any grade.   Here is a sampling of what is offered.

As you can see there is a plethora of topics that you can work on with your students.  One thing I thought was great was that there are thousands of worksheets in Spanish as well as worksheets with the Canadian spellings. They've really made this program work equally well for both homeschoolers and public school teachers.   

We really don't have a grammar program that I love currently, so my first thought was to go to the grammar section and work through everything that was there.  Issac is in 5th grade, but has a hard time remembering the differences between nouns and verbs more often than not.  Here's a list of all that we had to choice from in the grammar section.

We started out in the noun section.  I felt we needed to start back at the basics and just review.  Issac will often say he knows what a noun is, but then when given a choice between a noun and verb he often will choose wrong.  As you can see the worksheets are labeled with the grade that is most appropriate, but we just worked through them from the first one.  

Here are a few samples that Issac worked on recently.  

We also didn't really have a specific science program for this year.  Usually until my children get to middle school I just do a variety of things. I pick workbooks on things they are interested, we read books on animals, etc.  I showed Issac the options for science and we just worked through some of the things he was interested in. The first area we worked in was actually the hurricane section. Hurricane Irma had been in the news right around the time we started working in Super Teacher Worksheets, so it seemed appropriate to start there.  There were ten pages that included informational pages as well as matching, fill-in-the blanks and a list of projects.  We also worked on dinosaurs and weather.  

Here are a few of the science pages we did.

There are also some great activities that you can access and use from the main page.  There is a worksheet generator where you can make and save your own worksheet.  We made our own multiplication worksheets to review. Issac seems to have the 1-5 numbers down pat as well as the 10's and 11's. He seems to be struggling still with the 6-9 numbers.  

Since the seasons are starting to change we checked out the Autumn section.  There were a few few options on there that Issac and I did together.  One that I thought was really cute  was the Leaf Sum Game.  We were suppose to take turns finding the numbers that added up to 10, but I printed one for each of us and we did it almost like a race.  Issac really enjoyed this activity and I think he'd enjoy it for more numbers as well as multiplication and division.  I really like that the answer key is right with the worksheet. I love to print things, but I tend to leave the answer key up on the computer and just click to another tab. That way Issac can't see the answers, but I can quickly go back to check his paper when I'm ready. Here's a sample of the answer key for the Leaf Sum Game we did.  

We also did a Autumn word find. Word finds have always been one of my kids favorites. We seem to do them for every holiday and anything else we can find.  

We have been very impressed with the Individual Membership from Super Teacher Worksheets and highly recommend the program to all families. It's really a great supplement to any program.  Here are a few other options that are available with the program.  

 Super Teacher Worksheets

 Super Teacher Worksheets

 Super Teacher Worksheets

 Super Teacher Worksheets
Check out their social media sites: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram as well as read what the other crew members thought and what they used.  
Super Teacher Worksheets

Review: What's New? What's Missing? What's Different?

Homeschooling is hard and often times I've found my kids just need something fun to break up the day.  Even though Issac is in 6th grade...