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Week 10 (2015)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Week 10

March 23rd-27th
This is the kind of school we’ve had with the beautiful weather.
Sitting on the porch drinking my delicious butter coffee with a nice cool breeze and watching the kiddos ride their bike up and down the street.
The two younger boys only completed two days worth of school those stinkers. Thankfully we have some subjects that are on the computer and they did those at least 3 times this week.

Today after lunch we went to the park. The kids had to complete all their computer school first.


Natural Ways to Cleanse the Face

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I try not to have any chemicals on my body. I don’t wear make-up for the most part because I can’t afford the chemical free stuff right now. Maybe soon but for now I only wear make-up if I’m going to be in my sister’s wedding, hee,hee.

So what do I use to clean my face and moisturize it? Honey, oils, and all natural products.

In the past I have always been chemical conscious. I use to use California Baby to wash and moisturize my face or Beeuyoutiful items. I love how the California Baby products smell. I use to buy their Calming Wash shampoo and use it to wash my face too! And the Calming Cream to moisturize my face. I used these two products for years. Josh was a baby when I started purchasing from California Baby, this was before Target carried the products. I would buy from mommy diaper sites (miss those years).

Now I’ve tightened the no chemical rule even more (again, I’m not 100% but I’m getting there).

To wash my face in the morning I usually use my Morocco Method shampoo or homemade soap. I love that the Morocco Method products are so natural that you can eat them if you wanted to but please don’t. I like the rule, “If you can’t eat it we shouldn’t use it” for the most part anyway. Not that I follow it all the time but I try.
Morrocco Method
I don’t use honey to wash my face in the morning because I forget to put it on before jumping in the shower but I always have homemade soap or Morrocco Shampoo in there.

Sometimes I’ll spritz my face with the Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner and Moisturizer. I love the way it smells. This is made to condition the hair but again, like the shampoo it can be used on your face too. It has lots of good stuff for your face like:
  • Aqua (Water)
  • Quartz crystals liquefied into a base of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort)
  • Rosa rubiginosa (Wild Rose) Oil
  • Santalum album (Sandalwood) Oil
  • Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) Oil
  • Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh) Oil
  • Acacia concinna (Shikakai) Oil
Or I spritz some homemade lavendar spray. I made this in a 4oz bottle. All I used was 2oz filtered water, 2oz pure Aloe Vera Juice, and 30-40 drops of Lavender oil. I plan to make another one with Melaleuca oil for my acne prone teenage boys.
Lavendr Mist
To moisturize I add my favorite oil blends from Heritage Essential Oils. These blends smell so good! I’m so thankful to a friend who introduced me to them.
Heritage Essential Oils
The Sunny Day moisturizer helps block the sun's rays (think sunblock) but the ingredients are great for everyday use or for acne prone skin. It has Tamanu Oil (really good to help with scars), Sesame, Emu, and Avocado oils with Lavender and Carrot Seed essential oil. The only thing is it smells like celery because of the Tamanu Oil. After a while the celery smell goes away.

I rotate the oils. Flower Garden and Sunshine smell like flowers. Flower Garden is the one that hooked me! It’s the first one I tried.

The Face nourishment Wrinkle Ease has fennel in it and smells wonderful. I love using this one in the evening. The Healing Blend has Frankincense and  Myrrh.

My whole family uses them! The prices are reasonable between $9-$13 and they last months.

In the evening I wash my face with raw honey and add a drop or two of Lavender oil (or other EO). I use different brands of honey but mainly use the one with the yellow lid. I love that it is nice and thick. The Really Raw Honey (blue lid) is too expensive so I let my daughter eat that one to help with her allergies. She takes a tsp of it with  Black Cumin Oil.
When Caleb uses our Really Natural Face Wash he adds Melaleuca Essential Oil to help with his teenage acne.

To spread the thicker honey on your skin you may need to use just a tad bit of water. I wet my fingers and massage the honey all over my face.

I also use the oil cleansing method. I use oils like coconut, olive, jojoba, etc. I massage the oil into my skin, I then use a washcloth with steaming water (not burning hot), let it sit on my face for a moment, repeat and gently remove the oils. As I repeat the water I use becomes more cool. You can read more in detail about the Oil Cleansing Method HERE.

I use both Young Living and Heritage Essential Oils. Right now because I have been using Heritage Essential Oils longer and have only recently started using Young Living most of my homemade stuff are made with Heritage Essentials Oils except for the raw honey face wash with Melaleuca oil <--- that one is from Young Living (YL).

What do you use to clean your face? Are you trying to go a more natural route? 

Next I’ll write what I use to clean and condition my hair, supplements I take, and what low-carb books I’m reading now.


Week 10 (2015)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Week 10

March 16-20th

Wow, week 10 already! It seems like we just started back up with school. Half those weeks were pretty hectic with lots of 3 day weeks. I wonder if that’s what happens when start our homeschool back during the winter time. Thankfully its been good though.

I still need to get pictures of the kids though. Way late on that one. I’m still trying to fit it all in. I have been slacking with teaching All About Reading. I do hope to get back to that soon.

As for this week Lance is doing so much better now that we started using ACE PACEs. I can’t believe I am having him use ACE for almost all his subjects. I admit I miss Heart of Dakota: Preparing. I absolutely love the way Carrie put everything together but it’s just hard when I have struggling readers.
Lance School
This week I added three more PACEs to Lance’s school: Bible, English, and Word Building. He only did a few lessons with the new subjects. I also added a math book that I purchased last year for him: Mathematical Reasoning from the Critical Thinking Co. I love how the series adds a variety of math skills in a fun way and they are so colorful.

This week he is studying the book of Mathew (Mathew 1:16-23). I sat with him through the reading but he completed the fill in the blank questions on his own. In a few weeks we may put this on hold to complete Firmly Planted: The Books of Moses 2.

For math this week, Lance has been completing a page or two a day of Mathematical Reasoning and CTC Math.
CTC Math
Lance keeps wanting to skip ahead to multiplication but he still needs practice with 3 and 4 digit subtraction. Next week I’ll have him continue with 3 and 4 digit subtraction. He also uses CTC Math’s Speed Skills. In a few weeks Lance will help out with a review item that I’m pretty excited about from A+ called Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plans.

In science Lance has been reading about the moon, sun, and stars. I love to see how he connects the dots. For instance one day we were sitting and he was reading about the moon. When we were done he said, “Mom, I remember hearing about that listening to the Story of the World. They said, the eagle has landed!” He made Lupe and I laugh so hard. He started crying because he thought we were making fun of him. It’s just that he’s so cute with his expressions, body language, and his seriousness.

I explained that we weren’t laughing at him but at his cute-smartness. He’s so cute!
Mathematical Reasoning
In history he is learning about the continents, how to use a globe, and how God made the earth hang in space from nothing. Pretty amazing!!!

In English he just started and the first pages were review of phonic sounds (which Lance needs). Next week he will practice putting words in alphabetical order.

Lance is also working his way slowly through Star Toaster, the reading is a challenge for him though but he loves earning stars and I like that he’s learning vocabulary, critical thinking skills, math, science, and just having fun with it.

As much as I’d love Lance to be using Heart of Dakota I’m so happy that he’s liking school and getting it done. It’s not the path that I’d have chosen for him a few months ago but now he’s completing his subjects and that’s a good thing!
Ethan School
Ethan my 6th grader is also using ACE PACEs. This week I added the Bible PACE. His Bible Reading for this week was Acts 1-2. He’ll continue with this next week as well. He only read through the first chapter this week.

Ethan is my Crew School student. Right now along with his PACEs he’s using:

This is another reason why using ACE PACEs is a plus here. He is not overwhelmed with being a review helper!

English he completed his first PACE. He focused on the different types of sentences: declarative, interrogative, exclamatory. He also practiced adding s, ed, and ing to words.

Social Studies he read about Native and North Americans, the Iroquois, Seneca, Cherokees of the Eastern Woodlands, Pueblo, and Navajo of the Southwest.

Science he’s studying about living and non living matter. Some vocabulary words he’s learning: atomic theory, molecular theory, molecule, neutron, nucleus, proton.

Word Building he is writing sentences using the spelling words to be learned in this PACE. He’s writing homonyms, writing word families, and reviewing the long a words.

Writing & Literature he read the first three chapters of Miracle at Camp Friendship. He had to write about three friends and tell at least one interesting thing about them and answer questions in his PACE.

Caleb started a new math book also from The Critical Thinking Co., Understanding Algebra. He is also using CTC Math.

The Critical Thinking Co. sent this to Homeschooling6 for us to review.
Here Caleb started the first lesson.
Look what came for both Brent and Caleb, Spelling You See!
This is a review item for Brent. I also ordered a set for Caleb.

Both boys have been using IXL for grammar this week.

The Schoolhouse Review has been a huge blessing to our family. Many of the items we are using have come from the Crew or have been introduced by the Crew and we have continued with them (like CTC Math and Spelling You See to just name a few!). 


Schoolhouse Review: GPALOVEMATH

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

GPA Learn  Math
I was given the chance to review a math program by GPA Learn and it was an instant hit with my two youngest boys.

Review helpers: 12 year old Ethan and 10 year old Lance

Review item: GPALOVEMATH (Great Parents Academy)

What is GPALOVEMATH ? It’s an interactive, web-based, super fun math program for grades K-5! My kids loved it so much that I had to pull them away from it. Yup! I had to tell them to stop doing math. That was a first here at Homeschooling6. Never before have I had to pull them away from math.

When you sign up for GPA LOVE MATH you have access to all 6 grade levels which is really nice if you have a child that needs to back up in one area of math. Every level has over 150 lesson and over 10,000 practice problems. Your child can finish a level in 10 months by completing 4-5 lessons a week.
Each grade has a fun character(s) that teach the student new math skills.
GPA Math the Crew
With Ethan we used the 5th grade level. In this math adventure he helped Dino Denominator and Nina Numerator defeat the evil Doctor Division in the city of Circle City. They worked below in their state-of-the art Computation Cave. Ethan was a  superhero sidekick in training to become a superhero.

Each adventure math lesson has three parts: instruction, practice, and the quiz.

Instruction - has either Dino or Nina will teach a new math skill. The child listens and clicks on the green arrow to continue to the next screen.
GPA Math
Practice – after the instructions Ethan practices what was introduced. During the practice section no points are awarded. If Ethan gave an incorrect answer he had the opportunity to try again or he could choose one of the 3 lifelines. A lifeline will show the student the correct answer. I’d love it if the lifeline feature walked the student through the problem before giving the answer.

When Ethan gave an incorrect answer instead of a green checkmark in the lower right corner he would see a red refresh sign and either Nina (as in the screenshot below) or Dino would instruct him to try again.
GPA Practive
Quiz – there are 15 problems to be worked out. During the quiz the child has no lifelines and no green checkmark or red refresh sign. Once Ethan completed the quiz he was given his score.
Gpa 3 Ethan got it
Ethan received Rock Star meaning he had 14-15 correct math problems and received 150 points. Yay for Ethan! As you can see from the screenshot above Ethan worked through this lesson 4 times.

The kiddos earn points toward some pretty fun rewards (one which was a $25 gift certificate to Toy R Us) depending on the status of his grade.

Grades for each lesson are as follows: Rockstar, Excellent, and Nice Job. If Ethan scores below 10 correct answers he will need to repeat the lesson.
Ethan an also redo a lesson if he wants to get a higher score. For example go from an apprentice to master status. If Ethan feels he doesn't need to watch the instruction part of the lesson again he can skip to the practice section or straight to the quiz.

You will have a teacher and student account. The teacher account allows you to test run a lesson. Both the teacher and student account look pretty much the same. The teacher’s account you have access to all your students.
Parent Dashboard 3
You and your child can see the progress that is being made.

Each grade level has over 150 lesson and over 10,000 practice problems. Your child can complete a level in 10 months by completing 4-5 lessons a week.
There are several ways your child can access the lessons. One is through the recommended order which is shown below. As your child completes a lesson and receives “Master” status he/she is allowed to move on to the next lesson. 
Parent Dashboard 2
Another way to move through the lessons is by topics.
GPA by Topics
As your child completes his lessons mom receives an email from GPA Learn. What was great about the email, it not only informed me if Ethan passed the lesson but if he needed help as well. I was encouraged to log into his account and go through the lesson with him.  
A weekly digest will be sent to you as well showing everything the child completed for the week.

How we used GPA Learn: I had Lance use it as a supplement but for the first three weeks he only use GPA Learn. What is great about the program is you will have full access to all grade levels. This was great with Lance who went between the 3rd and 4th grade levels. He really liked learning with the robot named Abacas.
GPA Math 3rd Grade
Abacas makes learning fun by finding things in the junkyard and using them to learn math in his workshop. The lessons start with manipulatives for instance when learning 3 digit adding or subtracting Abacas will use the base ten blocks. As the child goes through the lesson he takes the base ten blocks away so the child is only using the numerals.

Ethan used GPA Math (that’s what we called it) as his main math mostly in the recommended order. He used GPA Math five days a week. I didn’t have to remind him to do his math at all! Before I was always asking, “Did you do your math?” and the answer was usually, “No”, not what I wanted to hear.

Ethan is in 6th grade but learned a lot from GPA Learn’s 5th grade level. Some lessons were easy but many challenged him. Especially lessons that taught Order of Operations with Integers and Multiplying by the Powers of 10 and Place Value of Decimals, those were a challenge for him.   If he didn’t receive Master status he would redo the lesson. Sometimes it taking 4 tries.

Reaching Master status was a great motivator for him. If he scored below Excellent I had him redo the lesson. Anything above was considered a passing grade. But of course he always wanted to be a Rockstar

Another huge motivator for him was earning the e-cards. He was able to buy 4 Lego sets with the 4 $10.00 Toys R Us gift cards.

Toward the end of this review I had him take an assessment test from that his current math program provides and I was happy to see that he scored up a level.

What we thought could be improved: Ethan and I both noticed that some of the lessons were too wordy and because of this he would become confused. I think it was too much for him to process.

In the screenshot below the sentence says, “The standard of the area of the algebra tile is 121. The area of the algebra tile is 121 centimeters squared.”
GPA simplify the wording by not including the first sentence
Because the standard of the area of the algebra tile 121 is mentioned twice it confused Ethan. I think all that was needed is the second sentence.

When the lessons were too wordy Ethan would come to me saying he didn’t understand so I would sit with him and read through the lesson omitting words that were repeated over and that I felt were confusing him. When I did that he would say, “I get it now, thanks mom!”

Another con was the voices were robotic. I think it bothered me more than Ethan. After a few weeks I did get use to it but at the same time I wondered if that’s why at times some lesson were hard for Ethan to understand.

Final thoughts: I really liked this program. It was a lot of fun for the boys even with the robotic voice and some lessons being too wordy. When the boys ask to do math and I have to pull them away from it to complete the rest of school then I know we got a winner!

Price: GPA Learn cost $149 for each child per year or $12.99 per month per child. Please visit their website as they are having a special right now for $129.

GPA Learn Review
Crew Disclaimer


Week 9 (2015) Short School Week

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Week 9
March 9th-13th

Week 9 was a three day week for us. It totally threw me off for the rest of the week because Wednesday was like a Friday, so Friday I thought it was Saturday.

We had a three day week because my 5 boys and hubby were off to the Alert Cadet camp. They help out twice a year with updating the bathrooms. It’s a big camp and many of the bathrooms were not in use for a while. My boys along with other Alert Cadet boys and dads help fix them.

Annette and I had mom and daughter time. It was great!

Our morning started with butter coffee for me, French pressed or pour over. It’s so good.
Butter Coffee
And the kiddos start their morning with oat meal, shhhh, I add grass fed gelatin and coconut milk.
I love my rice cooker. I put the oats, coconut sugar, gelatin, salt, and some apple cider vinegar in the night before, set the timer, and in the morning it’s ready to eat. I sometimes put rice in there for sweet rice in the morning. I make it the same way but add vanilla.
Thankfully Lance and Ethan got some school done before leaving.

Lance is completing his Writing and Literature PACE.
Ethan is completing his Social Studies PACE. We call it history.
Both boys are loving an online reading program or at least it encourages reading. It’s not teaching reading. The storyline keeps the boys interested. The book is Orphs of the Woodlands.

The two boys also completed their GPA Math and earned a few eGift cards (more about that in my upcoming review this week).

Ethan completed half a lesson of Greek Morphemes. I actually found him on his bed with his Greek Morphemes workbook. Wow, that’s a first. He’s never taken schoolwork to his cozy place.
Greek Morphemes
Working out the words. I wrote the word on the whiteboard and we’d work through it together.
Then he’d write it in his workbook.
Greek Morphemes
I was so proud of him and his neat writing.
Greek Morphemes
Brent working on his reading too with StarToaster. They just love the program. I don’t have to ask them to do it!
Not the best picture but it’s the only one I have of him using Star Toaster.

Joshua worked a few hours this week. He’s learning the art of juggling work, school, church activities, and friends.


Schoolhouse Review: Editor in Chief

Friday, March 13, 2015

Editor in Chief
I’m always looking for a fun way to review grammar and mechanics so this next review from The Critical Thinking Co. is perfect! Editor in Chief Level 2.

Review helpers: My two middle sons: Caleb 14 year old 8th grader and Brent 13 year old 7th grader.
The Critical Thinking Co.

About Editor in Chief Level 2: This is a new item from The Critical Thinking Company. You can purchase it for $19.99 or as part a  full curriculum package.

Editor in Chief Level 2 is a great supplement to any Language Arts program. It’s easy to include and my boys said it was fun! Now that’s a good thing! I love when my boys like their school work.

So what makes it on the fun list here at homeschooling6? Well, my boys love anything detective-y and that’s what they imagined as they were editing the passages of Editor in Chief. Detectives on the hunt for errors. They also pretended to be editors for a magazine company.

Editor in Chief Level 2 contains 12 lessons in grammar and mechanics with a total of 69 activity sheets. Each lesson contains 4 passages to correct.

Each activity page has an article  with errors for the student to find and correct.

Level 2 covers: content, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, prepositions, interjections, pronouns, verbs, clauses, phrases, agreements, confused word pairs/negative words, run-on sentences, and sentence fragments. Whew, that’s a lot of detective work going on!

Not all errors are included in a passage. Your child will focus on one skill at a time.

How it works:
Each lesson starts off with information about the new skill. If the chapter is covering pronouns your child will read the lesson pages before he/she starts the activity sheets about subjective personal pronouns, objective personal pronouns, first person, possessive, relative pronouns, etc.

You can have your child work independently or go over the lesson pages together.

The lesson pages are great to refer back to as they are correcting the passages and/or to place in their Language Arts binder for future use as well.

Next the child becomes a detective and hunts the pronoun errors. How many errors are indicated on the top of the page.
PicMonkey Collage
Once the child is done and has corrected his paper they can then rewrite the passage. This is an optional activity. If my boys didn’t have copywork from their core curriculum I’d have them copy it and use it as copywork or to practice writing in cursive.

A mini review follows every 3rd lesson covering the skills learned in the previous 3 lessons. Every 6th lesson there is a review covering the previous 6 skills learned. And lastly there is a final review covering all the skills from lessons 1-12.

The answers to each activity page can be found in the back of the book.

RECAP: your child will learn a new grammar skill, read the lesson pages, practice what he learned by finding errors, review the previous learned 3 skills following every 3rd less, review following every 6th lesson, and a final review lesson which includes all 12 previous skills learned from lessons 1-2.

How Editor in Chief was used at Homeschooling6: First I would like to point out how generous The Critical Thinking Co. is with their copyright. I love that I can make copies within my family.

Every weekend I copied what I would need for my two boys. They completed three Editor in Chief pages a week. Caleb and Brent struggle with reading and aren’t the type to pick up a book just for the pleasure of reading a good story. Anytime I can get my boys to read is a good thing.

I had one of the boys read the passage out loud (they alternated, next time the other one would read). Once the reading was done I asked them if they had any questions. If not they were to complete the rest on their own and we would meet the next day and correct the passage together.
 Editor in Chief Level 2
What I thought of Editor in Chief: My first thought was, “Wow! The kids think this is fun!”, I don’t get that everyday with schoolwork.

I love how the rules of grammar are applied and the kids are editing the paper. Anything to do with detective work and editing a ‘real’ paper makes learning fun (we pretended they were editing papers for a magazine). I think the boys liked competing with each other too!

If you are looking for a fun way to supplement your current English program you just might want to give Editor in Chief a try.
In Freedom's Cause Review
Crew Disclaimer


Lance Time

Monday, March 9, 2015

Friday is Annette’s sewing day at the church. She wanted to show me the sewing room. It’s usually locked so I haven’t seen it since the girls moved everything to the new classroom months ago. Our church is less than 5 minutes from downtown so I decided to take Lance along.

After looking at the sewing room we walked to get some coffee and ice cream.
Lance is a big kid now and eats two dips! He enjoyed the Mocha Swirl and Peppermint Chocolate Chip.
I went with a sugar free cinna-bonn coffee.

We tried taking some selfies.
It was hard with the light from the window.
We tried taking it from a different angle.
We finally gave up!
After our coffee/ice cream time we walked to the park.
Lance found a big snowball that someone had left.
So he started making a snowman.
And added 6 little ones too.
I’m the big snow’women’ and the other 6 are my kiddos: Josh, Annette, Caleb, Brent, Ethan, and Lance.

He said dad’s at work!

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Words of Wisdom

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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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