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Getting Back to Schooling

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Things are slowly getting back to normal around here. Last week I was out of commission with the flu. I was flat on my back for 8 days. Lying on the couch or in bed. It was horrible. Unfortunately no school was done.

This week I was excited to get back to school. I can’t believe I missed teaching. Maybe that ‘break’ is what I needed. Usually when I take a break I am still doing something. Not this time, so I think that helped. I was miserable but had a whole week and 1 day off.
Look what we started this week! I’m excited to use this with Ethan and Lance along with Caleb and Brent when they can join in.

It’s a huge blessing being part of the Homeschool Review Crew. You should see what’s coming next!!!
Caleb and Brent are doing well with their studies. On their own they complete Rod and Staff English and Spelling You See. I get them started with Writing Rhetoric and let them complete the rest on their own.

With Rod and Staff we do meet for about ten to fifteen minutes. I do the teacher part but they read the lesson and complete the Written and Review sections on their own. The next day we correct everything together and go over anything they missed.
Both boys also completed another All About Reading lesson, actually 2 lessons. Math right now is CTC Math. The kids really like it. They love the challenge of scoring 100%!

I had all the four younger kids come together for our history class: Heroes and Heroines of the Past.

I had the baby early today so I didn’t get as much done with Ethan and Lance. I made sure to get their reading in though and of course math.
All About Reading
Lance started lesson 5 and will hopefully complete it tomorrow.

I purchased another high school geography guide from Heart of Dakota because I wasn’t keeping on top of Joshua’s school like I should. I wanted to buy an extra guide since the start of school but they are so expensive. I finally had to just purchase one because Josh was feeling like he had to handle everything on his own. It was right before he got sick and I think he was feeling overwhelmed.
Heart of Dakota
It’s getting hot in the great state of Texas. The big bugs are coming out too, yuck!


Schoolhouse Review: CTC Math

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CTC Math Review
As a Schoolhouse Review Crew member I was given a 12 Month Family Plan of CTC Math and let me tell you, I’m so thankful to have been chosen for this review. I had originally planned to use it with my two youngest children, Ethan 11yr. and Lance 9 years old because I needed a math program that they could do for the most part on their own.
Once I had my 12 Month Family Plan set up I decided to add Brent my 12 year old because he was having trouble with long division. Then I got to thinking and remembered that Caleb (13 years) was needing more practice with fractions (mainly division), so I added him to the account as well.
You know what? CTC Math has been helping my children in the areas that they struggle with.
Below is Caleb’s score with Division of Fractions. Notice how he started March 19th with a score of 70% and with practice and perseverance he was able to score 100% on March 25!
CTC Math
The last two attempts his score was 100% but notice on the right that he went from 97% to 100% as well. What CTC Math does is it uses the scores from the last three attempts throwing out any prior ones.
CTC Math
Caleb loved seeing the 100% and I loved that he was challenging himself to do better. I would find him up early completing his math assignments.
What exactly is CTC Math? It’s an online, learn at your own pace, interactive math program which includes K-Trigonometry (K-12th Grade).
Once you have your child set up you can choose what grade level you’d like him/her to start with.
I have two children using CTC Math 6th grade. When I click on the 6th grade tab it shows:
*Number, Patterns, and Algebra
*Space and Geometry
*Statistics and Probability
I’m going to click on the first tab: Numbers, Patterns, and Algebra. Choose a topic where you would like your child to start (eventually your child can log onto CTC Math and find her place by herself).
As you can see there are 13 lessons and notice there is also a Diagnostic Test at the top. A Standard Test and a Compressive Test.
You can choose to use these or skip them. It’s up to you whether you’d like to just start at the beginning or use one of the test to place your child within that topic or unit.
Here at Homeschooling6 each time my children started a new topic I had them take the Standard Test. This showed me where my child was having trouble and which topics he knew well.
For instance with Ethan, he scored 100% on the first 7 concepts: Place Value, Writing Numerals, Expanded Notation, etc. so I had him start with Roman Numerals.
Once you have determined where to start your child you can click on that topic and immediately get started with the lesson.
The beginning of the lesson gives a tutorial. The voice of the instructor has a pleasant Australian accent.
After watching the tutorial your child will click on the questions and get started by answering 1 math question at a time. There are usually 10 problems.
I had my children print each lesson as they completed it this way I could see exactly what they were missing. I’m a visual person so having their work in front of me rather than just what percent they earned helped me to understand where they were.
CTC math
I noticed that when they closed the window of their results there was not a way to retrieve them. This was another reason why I had the children print their work immediately after they completed their lesson.
CTC Math keeps track of all their work (love it!). The parent at anytime can check the progress of the child.
Something fun that my kids liked was earning ribbons. Below you can see that Caleb is working on his platinum ribbon (at the bottom of the screen shot).
Another great perk is a weekly report is sent each week to the parent through email. It is very detailed with showing dates and times that your child has logged into CTC Math and what they completed along with their scores. I had these reports downloaded and saved to my computer.
How we used it: I used CTC Math with 5 of my children ages 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15 years.
What I liked was Lance and Ethan were able to start at grade level. They didn’t have to go back a grade and play ‘catch-up’.
Brent was having trouble with long division so he did go back to the 5th grade level but only to do the division section. Once he completed and earned his platinum ribbon he too was able to start at his grade level.
During the review period I had Brent, Ethan, and Lance only use CTC Math. All of their math skills have improved. It’s fun to see their scores go up and then eventually pass that unit.
Joshua has experienced success as well. It’s great to see him score a 90% or even a 100% because he has struggled with math for so long.
I had the four younger children spend between 30-40 minutes a day using CTC Math. That included using the Speed Skills practice.
The kiddos also enjoyed playing the Times Table Shoot ‘Em Up game.
Here are some things that I really liked about CTC Math:
~Kids enjoy it (huge plus)
~Grades each problem immediately
~Scores, my kids love seeing their scores
~Speed Skills-helps the kids practice math facts
~Grades K-6 can be used as your only math program
A few improvements that I think would help:
~Once the screen is closed there is no way to go back and print what the children had done. It would be nice if one can access and open their lessons again.
~It would be super helpful for a missed problem to be worked out for the child so they can see where they went wrong. 
My final thoughts: CTC Math rocks! 5 weeks later Lance is finally understanding 2-digit subtraction with trading, Brent is past long division, and Caleb, he understands fractions and is moving along. Not only is Caleb completing his previous math program but also CTC Math because he likes it.
And lastly my kids love seeing the 100% which means they are doing their math problems over and over. Yay!
The Family Plan which includes 2 or more students cost $39.97 a month, $197.00 for 6 months, or $297.00 for 12 months. Right now CTC Math has their wonderful program on sale!!! $15.97 a month, $78.80 for 6 months, and $118.80 for 12 months!
Single Student Plan: $29.97 (sale: $11.97) per month, $127.00 (sale: $50.80) for 6 months, and $197.00 (sale: $78.80).
This covers grades K-12.
Find CTC Math on Facebook
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Schoolhouse Review: Philosophy Adventure

Monday, April 21, 2014

Home School Adventure Co.
 The Home School Adventure Co. has put together a wonderful writing program: Philosophy Adventure.
It not only covers writing but speech, critical thinking, geography, and history.
Philosophy Adventure is a very flexible program. You can use as you main curriculum and will only need to add science, math and a foreign language or you can use it to supplement with what you are currently using.
With each philosopher (lesson) you can go at your own pace. You can complete a lesson in a week or take up to a month, it’s that flexible.
Philosophy adventure can be used with students in grades 6-12. The younger children will need you to work along side them. I used this with my 12 and 13 year old boys and we worked through each lessons together.
When using Philosophy Adventure to its fullest with your high student you can apply credits. Although you would need to check with your state here is a sample of how you can apply the credits.
Philosophy Adventure 5
What I received:
*Reader Digital Download (Pdf format)
*Student Workbook Digital Download
*Teachers Resource Digital Download
All for $39.95
The Reader is just amazingly beautiful. It’s in full color.
Philosophy Adventure
In The Reader you and your child will read about eight philosophers:
In the front pages of The Reader you will find a 4 or 5 day weekly schedule. This was really helpful to me. I would have preferred an even more detailed one but this gave me something to follow and get started.
Anatomy Card
The Reader also includes the writing lessons, critical thinking lessons, historical geography, public speaking lessons, writing prompts, and also included are 7 checklist that are very detailed.
The 7 checklist: Start (prewriting), Substance, Structure, Style, Polish, Peer Critique, and Evaluation.
As you can see a lot of effort, thought, and prayer went into putting this wonderful writing program together.
Also included is a Student Workbook.
Philosophy Adventure
The Student Workbook contains mapping assignments, notebook pages, journal pages, creative free writing assignments.
If you have a pencil phobia child he can type his answer directly into the Student Notebook and print the pages with his answers.
Philosophy Adventure 6
The last component in this package is the Teacher Resource. This contains: Memory Cards, Timeline Resources, Master Map, Map Keys, Quizzes.
How we used Philosophy Adventure: I used this with Caleb 7th grade and Brent 6th grade. Both my boys have not had a lot of writing experience so they did struggle through that part of the program. This is more of an advanced writing course but I wanted my boys to be introduced to the critical thinking and learning about the Philosophers.
I printed each lesson as we needed them.
The first lesson went well but I didn’t feel like we completed it correctly. I was still getting a feel for the program.
When it came time for the second lesson I labeled everything. This way I knew exactly what it was. For instance if it was a quiz page I wrote ‘quiz’.
One thing that I would like to see for the download format anyway, is each book have the title on the bottom of the page. If the page came from the reader than have “Reader”, if the page came from the workbook than have “Student Workbook” because at first I was getting all the pages mixed up.
Here is how a lesson was completed at our house. Each lesson took 2 weeks.
I read the story of the philosopher to the boys at the beginning of each lesson at least 3 times a week. We each had a copy of the philosopher story so they followed along.
We then started working on the notebooking pages, timelines, mapping. This took us 2-3 days depending on what other subjects we had that day. The boys did this together.
Throughout the week we would use the memory cards which my boys loved. 
What I like about the pdf format is it was freeing to write directly in the book because I could always print a new page. I wrote notes reminding me to go do a journal page or notebooking page.
Final thoughts: This is a keeper. My boys are not advanced in writing so we may hold off on that portion of the program for now. That’s one of the beauties of Philosophy Adventures. You can cater the program to work for you.
My boys enjoy learning about the philosophers and I have as well. We may take a little longer than two weeks to cover a lesson.
If Philosophy Adventure sounds like something you’d like to try, right now is the time to buy. From now until May 15th you can purchase and get 10% off!!!
Home School Adventure Co.
I fell in love with Homeschool Adventure Co. and have already purchased the rest of the products: Philippians in 28 Weeks, Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, and The Wise Women Think Critically Journal.
You can also find Homeschool Adventure at: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.
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Annette’s Desk

Friday, April 18, 2014

Now that Annette has fully moved into her desk I thought I’d post some pictures.
On the top shelf she has her favorite books. The next shelf are her school books and a few other books and items.
I love her book selections.
I gave her the mother-daughter figurine and her dad gave her the DREAM sign by Walt Disney.
Her AWANA awards: Challenge and Timothy.
Can’t forget her amo and mask =)


Sick Week

Friday, April 11, 2014

My kiddos have been dropping like flies with being sick. Monday Josh came down with some weird flu like symptoms. He was dizzy, couldn’t stand for very long, and his head and throat hurt.

Tuesday Annette said her head hurt. Wednesday she was bed ridden too. With her it was her allergies. She had a hard time breathing because her nasal passages were stuffed, she had watery eyes, had a headache, her body ached, and she had some chills. She gets like this when her allergies are acting up.

Wednesday Caleb asked for an Advil. Thankfully he hasn’t been as sick as the others but has had a headache since. He’s been on Advil for the past few days.
Thursday, Ethan started feeling sick. He has a headache, is coughing, and has no appetite. He has a slight fever.

Friday, Brent was stricken as well. He is hot but has chills. He has no appetite as well. His head and body aches. Bright lights make him feel worse.
I was so tired yesterday I was almost in tears. It was kind of funny because at 1:00 P.M. I looked out my kitchen window to see the neighbor across the street (who does nothing but hangs out in his garage all day) cooking up some steaks on his BBQ pit. I thought, it must be nice to have time to BBQ ones lunch.

This was when I was so, so, tired. The baby was fussy and the kids needed tending too like when they were little.

Then today I just had to laugh because seeing the guy cooking up his steaks the day before was my ‘breaking’ point (when I wanted to just collapse, lol). I had to laugh about what happened yesterday because today I’m doing much better. I can’t believe I was envious of the guys time, how silly of me. Of course I’d rather be tending to my little brood than have nothing to do but walk around in my garage.
Since I have been super busy with the children and babysitting I had to make a quick batch of laundry detergent. Usually I enjoy cooking up some homemade laundry detergent but not this week.

Instead I took a gallon milk jug filled half way with hot tap water then put 1TBL of Downy Unstoppables Fresh in Wash Scent Booster, I shook the water to let the Downy Unstoppables dissolve. I then added 3TBL of the blue Dawn liquid detergent, then filled up the rest of the jug with water, and that was my laundry detergent. Works great, it gets the job done.

I didn’t want my kiddos to dehydrate so I made my electrolyte ‘sports’ drink for them.
I squeezed 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/8-1/4 tsp of Himalayan salt, 1 cup coconut water, 1 cup water, 1tsp vitamin C powder (optional), some of the pith from the lemon (not much also optional), 1tbl of MCT oil or coconut oil, 2tbls raw honey, 1 little scoop of Now Stevia or whatever sweetener you like.

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend. Pour over ice.

With the coconut water I purchased just the water from the store. I have also used the water from the cans. I let the coconut cream rise to the top.

I have also used coconut cream because I was out of coconut water and didn’t want to open another can. When I used the cream I put about 3tbl and added 2 cups water.
The kiddos (except Ethan of course) liked it.

No school happened today. Lance thankfully has not gotten sick. I could have done some school with him but I didn’t.


Schoolhouse Review: Curiosity Quest

As a mom and homeschooling parent I am always on the lookout for good quality DVDs that will not only keep the attention of my children  but teach them something new as well. Especially for those rainy days.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the wonderful opportunity of reviewing not one but two DVD Combo Packs from Curiosity Quest.
Curiosity Quest
Each Combo Pack (DVD Combo Pack: Swimmers of the Sea and DVD Combo Pack: Produce) has three 30 minute episodes all hosted by a fun and very energetic Joel Green!

For this review we received DVD Combo Pack-Produce ($24.95).
You can also buy these episodes individually for $19.95, so purchasing the Combo Pack is a real savings.

The kids and I learned how cranberries, oranges, and mushrooms are grown and harvested.
All were of interest to me but I really liked the mushroom episode. I love, love, love, mushrooms and consume them almost daily! I didn’t realize that they are grown inside, that was something new I learned.

In this combo pack you and your children will also learn how oranges are grown, harvested (they are handled with care), cleaned, packaged, and shipped. Did you know that many oranges are picked when they are still a little green? I didn’t.

Cranberries, we love cranberries at our house. My kids can eat them straight from the bag. I always see cranberries in water so I um, thought they grew under water, wrong! Thankfully I watched Curiosity Quest and now know the truth!

We also were blessed with DVD Combo Pack-Swimmers of the Sea ($24.95).
On this DVD Combo Pack your children will learn about Salmon, Sea Turtles, and Penguins.

My kiddos watched this one before I did. A few days after they had viewed it Lance asked, “Did you know that Salmon fish go back to where they live because it’s like they’re smelling stuff?”

He was talking about imprinting which to me is fascinating how Salmon years later will return to where they were born to spawn. The Salmon stay in what they call a Net Pen for about 3 months before they are released to be free. While they are there they learn the chemical composition of the water. It’s kind of like they are learning the scent.

Out of this combo my favorite was learning about the Salmon. You and your children will learn about the life cycle of the Salmon. Did you know depending on the kind of Salmon they can live from 3-7 years? Wow, so when they return to their birthplace to spawn it has been years since they have been there but yet they know the way because of what they call imprinting! I have a hard time remembering how to get from point A to point B.

Also on this Combo Pack you will visit Marathon Florida and learn how injured or sick Sea Turtles are cared for so they can return to their natural habitat. Did you know that Joel Green was not allowed to touch any of the turtles? You and I can’t either because the turtles are protected by the government. You need a special permit or license to handle them otherwise you can end up owing a fine and even spend time in the slammer!

Penguins are so cute and in their own way cuddly (at least to me). My children and I have watched films about penguins that live in the artic but haven’t learned much about the little guys that live Monetary Bay Aquarium.
Curiosity Quest
My younger children ages 13, 12, 11, and 10 have watched both DVD Combo Packs a few times and have really enjoyed them. In fact I signed us up for the Curiosity Quest Homeschool Monthly Membership! It cost $24.95, this includes free shipping, yay! I love free shipping. You also get 2 DVD each month delivered to your mailbox with follow up questions, projects, and activities.

In case you have a Lego loving child like I do, Curiosity Quest has a 30 minute LegoLand DVD which shows how Legos are made. This is one that I plan to get for my Lego loving boys!

As you can see we absolutely loved our Curiosity Quest DVDs. They received a 5 star rating here at Homeschooling6!

Recommended age for Curiosity Quest is 7-14.

Connect with Curiosity Quest:
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Homeschooling6 Days

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This week has been pretty rough. You know Josh is sick when he is sleeping all day and hasn’t completed one day of school. Poor guy. He’s still gets a bit dizzy if he stands too long.

He’s getting bored with being in bed.
Since Joshua’s room leads to the backyard we put a sheet up so he'd have some privacy when people walked in and out of the house.

This is so not like Josh. He’s always doing something. He still managed to get his AWANA done. He went Wednesday only to turn in his Bible summaries.
Annette slept most of the day as well. She got up to heat herself a burger around 9:00 P.M. and that alone tired her out.

Ethan did some school today.
I didn’t realize that he was still not feeling well and had him complete writing, grammar, history, and spelling.
Heroes and Heroines of the Past
I had the four boys: Caleb, Brent, Ethan, and Lance listen while I read aloud from Heroes and Heroines of the Past.

Ethan colored a page while I read. I also had him copy a sentence that went with the coloring page.
Heroes and Heroines of the Past
Lance didn’t want to color but I did have him copy the sentence. I thought he did very well.
Heroes and Heroines of the Past
Since Ethan and Caleb weren’t feeling well (they ended up napping) I had Brent and Lance do the activity which was to make a teepee. This was actually suppose to be done yesterday but the kids weren’t feeling well.
Heroes and Heroines of the Past
I even let him use my good sheets. He was really excited to do this. I had told him he didn’t have to since his sibling wouldn't be able to help but he wanted to do it anyway.

Lance was suppose to help Brent. You know, work together and solve problems. Lance said he wanted to make his own because Brent wasn't making it right (or the way he wanted is more like it).
Heroes and Heroines of the Past

As I read the lesson I would have them find the places on the map and globe. We studied about the Vikings.

Here is a picture of Ethan’s binder. I felt like taking some pictures of it. It's memories.
His spelling notebook, pencils, stickers, and chapstick.
All About Reading
I was tired today as well so we didn’t get a lot of school done including All About Reading.
English Lessons Through Literature
This is last weeks cursive. Ethan is still learning so some words are in print. I am still reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Ethan as part of English Lessons Through Literature
Today we went over nouns, pronouns, verbs. He has also learned about quotation marks, indirect and direct.

After I schooled Ethan it was Caleb and Brent school. We started with correcting their English work from Rod and Staff.
Rod and Staff English
Look at that face.
 Spelling You See
My sick Caleb completing a dictation from Spelling You See.
Spelling You See
Brent completing his Spelling You See dictations too.

I am sharing to pictures that are almost the same because in the top pic I like how Brent his holding his blanket. Yes, that’s all that is left of his baby blanket.

Below we were having so much fun during school that I had to snap a picture of Brent smiling while writing.
I was not feeling well myself and kept goofing while teaching. Brent had to correct me a few times and that made him laugh.
Lance had fun drawing and acting his creation. It as fun to watch him draw as he was animating the story.
Lance completing his Spelling You See.
Spelling You See
And that’s a wrap. I’m so ready for bed but thought I’d write this post while my hubby finishes with a few things.

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It is easier to build strong children Frederick Douglass quote at DailyLearners.com Thank goodness I was never sent to school...Beatrix Potter quote at DailyLearners.com

If God sends us on a stony path, He will provide us with strong shoes. --A. Maclaren

If you live right, chances are your children will too. But teach them everything. What you don't teach them someone else will-and you might not like those lessons.-The Delany Sisters


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