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Schoolhouse Review: Fascinating Education

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fascinating Chemistry 5
Fascinating Education is written by Dr. Margulies. He is a neurologist and understands how the brain works. He understands how the brain works and how our brain retrieves information and learns.

. I had originally intended to have Caleb my 8th grade son help out with this review, but as I was looking over the course my eldest son Joshua a junior in high school sat down and started the course.

For this review I received from Fascinating Education: 1 year access to their Chemistry course (Fascinating Chemistry).

Recommended Age: This is a high school course but it can be used with 7th and 8th grade students.

Price: $79.00 for  1 year access

Fascinating Chemistry is a one year course which includes 18 lessons, tests for each lesson, and 12 chemistry labs. Each chemistry course assumes that your child knows nothing about chemistry, biology, and physics.

Fascinating Education has two other coursed: Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics. Of the three courses it is suggested your child start with their Fascinating Chemistry course.
Fascinating Chemistry 2
What caught my son’s eye was the visual aspect of the course. He was really excited to get started. Once he completed the first lesson he asked why hadn’t we used this science course before?

What makes this science course unique for Joshua, being able to see what was being talked about. I think reading is a good thing (and your child can print the scripted lesson) but seeing it has really helped my son.

The terminology is not overly science-y. Joshua didn’t feel boggled with having to figure out how to pronounce some of the words and understand them all. When he came across a word that he wasn’t sure of the meaning there is neat little feature called the glossary.  Fascinating Chemistry 9
All Joshua had to do was pause the video, hit the glossary tab, and read the definition. He was then able to continue with his lesson.

Another great feature, if Joshua had to stop in the middle of a lesson that was okay because when he logged back on to finish, he could continue where he left off.
Fascinating Chemistry 10
Set up is painless, and navigating the site is pretty simple. Once you log into your account you can immediately start watching the lessons. Your student can watch the lesson and if he/she likes can print the lesson. My son loved that he could print the lesson and go over it later without having to sit at the computer. He could also highlight and write notes.
Fascinating Chemistry 4
For lessons 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11, there are labs. You simply print click on the tab and print.

Some lessons have more than one lab to complete. For instance with lesson 9 you have three: 1. Density, 2. Sugar in Soft drinks, 3. Viscosity.
Fascinating Chemistry 11
Once the child has completed the lesson he is ready to test his knowledge by taking the online test. The online test has your child answer the problems one at a time and grades it instantly upon completion.

If you would like to save the test, you will need to print it immediately once your child completes it. Fascinating Education does NOT keep track of the test results.
Fascinating Chemistry 3
If your child prefers to use pencil and paper when taking the test, you may print it. You will need to email Fascinating Education to receive a secondary password for the answer key. With Joshua he always used the online test.

As far as high school credit goes, Fascinating Chemistry does cover the content of what you would find in a high school chemistry course. For my son Josh, each lesson took about an hour and a half. Joshua does take notes so he is pausing the video.

On the websites Find Answers and Questions it says the course takes about 27 hours. This is without the labs.

With Joshua I am adding in some reading and having him write lab reports for each lab. His lab reports will include: title, introduction/purpose, list materials, method by describing the steps he took, data, results, discussion/analysis, and his conclusion.
Fascinating Chemistry Labs
How Joshua Used Fascinating Chemistry

Right now Joshua is taking a break from his regular homeschool program and is concentrating on 4 subjects. Science being one of them, so he has been completing three lessons per week labs and test included. Sometimes he will watch a lesson again if he didn’t understand it all the first time.

We are using Fascinating Chemistry as our main science and adding in some more reading and lab notes to add in the hours needed to give Josh a full credit.
Fascinating Chemistry Notes
With each lesson Joshua took notes in his composition book. He drew pictures as well to help him retain the information.

The online course was easy to navigate. We never had a problem with it.  
The lessons took about one hour to two hours depending if there were a lab for that day.

Having the course online was great for Josh because it was visually appealing, the audio really helped him retain the information, and having the ability to print each lesson to read and take with him, all made it a winning combination at our house! 

Fascinating Education what we thought

When my son sits down and starts a course on his own without me assigning it, that speaks volumes. Joshua really likes this course. He loves the animation of it. He is seeing the atoms and molecular bonds 3D style! It’s colorful and he’s not having to read a thick textbook.

I liked that my son is understanding chemistry. He mentioned that this course makes learning fun and more enjoyable. He prefers it over his regular science program.

The customer service was amazing. I had a few questions and Donna responded within 24 hours (usually less)  and was always happy to help.
Visit Fascinating Education’s website for samples.
Fascinating Education Review
Bottom Line
 
Joshua is really enjoying Fascinating Education’s chemistry course. My only concern is it may not be enough hours for an actual credit. I do believe that it covers what your child will need to learn about chemistry but hour-wise you will need to add more reading or combine it with another course.
 
With that said, if your child struggles with science terminology, reading, is more visual, or just loves science, you might want to give Fascinating Education a try!
 
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AWANA Costume Night

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last night was Costume Night at AWANA. Most of my boys dressed up as an American Soldier. They dress-up like this every year. I think they really need to get creative and dress as something else.

Here is Brent.
For two weeks Lance was working on a robot costume using boxes. He did a really great job but he didn’t wear it! He said his legs need to look like a robot too. He wasn’t able to figure that part of the costume out. I told him it’s fine but he insisted he needed robot legs.

He ended up going as a racecar mechanic.
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My silly guy!
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Annette dressed as a cowgirl. I dressed up this year too. A sweet church friend let me borrow a dress she made.
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It’s a colonial dress.
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There was lots of games and food at AWANA which the kids loved!
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I took a bag of Atkins Almond Candy and had one of the apple cups minus the caramel.
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Everything was so pretty. Miss Cat Women made all the goodies herself. She did an amazing job!
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More goodies.
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Hubby was not suppose to be playing tug-of-war!
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He’s a gene.

Ethan won a mason jar full of M&M's with guessing how many were in the jar. He was pretty close. 

Another great AWANA night!
thankyouBears

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Youth Sunday +

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sunday was Youth Sunday. This is the Sunday in which the youth take it over. They do everything from passing out the bulletins to preaching. They did an amazing job. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of Josh. Thankfully someone else did take a group picture of the youth.

Cropping so not to publicly show all the teens.
And here is one that I took, it’s far away though and you really can’t see him.
Joshua spoke on friendship.
Josh really enjoys Youth Sunday.

Now for something not so nice. Josh had to get 4 stitches Monday.
Doctor
My son was playing Chicken & Wolves with his cousins (age 6, 8, and 11) and brothers. He was in his dad’s shed and jumped right on a cement even-outer, scraper-thingy. Blood was dripping at a very steady pace. He hopped to the house and asked for a towel so he could come in without getting blood on the carpet, what a sweet boy.

I said forget the carpet, come in and let’s get you bandaged. I did hand him a towel though.

When I saw his cut I knew it was going to need stitches. I called Lupe (who also has his own limp going on, he was kicked right in the knee when playing soccer with the youth kids, ouch!) and thankfully he was already on his way home.

Of course we ate first, hehe. I made meatloaf, mash potatoes, and green beans, yum. Then we went straight to urgent care.

God answered my prayer, we had a really kind doctor. He talked to Josh as he was sewing him up and thought it was wonderful that we homeschooled.
Today (Tuesday) he is bed-schooling and limping around. It will take up to 12 days to heal.

All smiles after having his tow sewn up.

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Schoolhouse Review: Clued in Kids

Monday, October 27, 2014

Are you looking for a fun way for you children to practice their multiplication tables 2-6? Do your children get excited hunting for clues, especially when there is a treasure to find? Mine do! I still remember the treasure hunts my children would go on with their Grandpa.


For $19.99 you receive 5 printable dragon themed hunts.

Recommended age for this set is 7-9 or older. I used this set with my 10, 11, 13, and 14 year old boys.
Clued in Kids Review
How Multiplication Dragons work: Each hunt takes less then 10 minutes to set up which makes Clued In Kids super easy for a busy homeschooling mom of 6 (like me!).

The Multiplication Dragon comes in pdf format. All you have to do is print, cut, and follow the easy instructions.

At the bottom of the clue page it will tell mom where to hide the page. You don’t even have to think about where to hide them how wonderful is that?
Some examples of where to hid the clue pages: in the bathtub, the sock drawer (or wherever you all put your socks!), under the couch, in the dishwasher, etc. Places that most of us have (and if you don’t have a dishwasher you simply omit that clue page and move on).
Clued in Kids 1
The first clue you give to your child and off they go, wild with excitement. And believe me they will be excited.

Mom, dad, or an older sibling keep the Answer Key to keep track of the answers and if the child needs help.

I also received Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Pad.  
Clued in Kids19
Recommended Age: 4 and up
Price: $8.99 for a physical product

The Princess Treasure Hunt Clue Pad is consumable. Like with the pdf format you hide each clue by simply tearing of each sheet of paper from the pad.

Clued in Kids would be great for birthday parties. Each one whether physical or in pdf format can be used with up to 10 kiddos! You can have a bowl of edible goodies or party favors for the children.

Each hunt can be used with up to 10-12 children. 

How We Used It
I used the Multiplication with 4 of my boys ages Lance 10, Ethan 11, Brent 12, and Caleb 14. I paired them up. Lance and Caleb worked together on their hunts and Ethan and Brent together. I thought this would be a good way to get the boys working as a team.

These hunts where more for the 10 and 11 year old boys to practice the multiplication facts. The older boys were in it for the fun.

We used these hunts on Fridays when our school load was not so heavy. True to their word it only took 8 minutes to set up (or less). One Friday I hid the clues before the kiddos woke up. Another Friday I had the boys wait outside while I hid the clues.
Clued in kids 18
The boys took turns with writing down the answers. You should have seen their smiling faces.

With the Princes Treasure Hunt I used with Annette and two little girls that I babysit over the weekend. They just loved it and had so much fun. Annette helped when needed and to direct the girls where the sock drawer was or which bed the clue was under.

The first treasure hunt for the boys I had some nice small Lego sets that I found on clearance as the treasure but after that I used less expensive things like a note for an extra chocolate chip cookie or they may skip a school subject.

With the girls I  had fun finding girly stuff (usually it’s pirates and swords around here).
Clued in Kids Treasure Hunts
  What we Thought of Clued in Kids
Clued in Kids is so fun, even for mom! I had a blast hiding the clues. It was so easy. Often times I want to do something like this for my kids but figuring out what clues to write always hindered me. I tried a few times but it was too much work because I am not creative at all.

With Clued in Kids I was able to do get those treasure hunts going. It was fun seeing my boys running around the house excited to find the next clue.
I will definitely be purchasing more Clued in Kids treasure hunts!

Although each hunt can be used with 10-12 kids, that would mean each child would only get to do one clue. My kids had so much fun with alternating, so for us, keeping it between 2-3 kids worked out perfect. It gave them more clues each.

Bottom Line
Clued in Kids is simple, easy to use, and fun.
More Fun With Clued in Kids
CHRITmas is coming up, Clued in Kids has a fun gift idea so be sure to read A Christmas to Treasure on their blog. These are great for stocking stuffers. I plan on purchasing a few for the girls that I babysit. I think they will love going on some hunts!

If you would like to try Clued in Kids you can, just sign up for their Newsletter and you’ll be sent a free treasure hunt.
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Schoolhouse Review: New Liberty Videos

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Liberty Videos Review
New Liberty Videos has a neat video (that I highly recommend everyone see): Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This was something that my son Josh was interested in.

Recommended Age: General audience, this film is suited for any age but a child age 11 and under probably won’t want to sit through it.  Lance my 10 year old was not interested but the rest of my children ages 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 did watch it.
Price: $19.95

This film consist of three ‘chapters’: Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Word Pictures, and The Forbidden Book.

These are more of live lectures at an exhibit that was filmed and runs about 60 minutes.

Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls 1
The first of the three part video you will learn how the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, the history, and geography of that area. 

Joel covers a lot of information in about 20 minutes. It’s amazing how a young boy looking for a lost goat, happened upon the cave where the scrolls were hidden. How they were passed from one person to another with some of them not realizing what they had!
Dead Sea Scrolls 11
Other than knowing that the young boy found the Dead Sea Scrolls, I didn’t know much else, so this was very educational for me. I enjoyed learning how the pieces of the scrolls are painstakingly being reconstructed.

Joel gave us the analogy of buying 3 different types of potato chips. Crushing them into pieces, tossing all three different types of potato chips together, and then piecing the potato chips back together, wow!

You will also learn the tragic end of Masada in 73 A.D. Joel takes you through a fascinating history lesson. And the picture above with the title, that was a cave of scrolls at one time. There were actually planks of wood that fit into wedges, on them were jars or pottery with scrolls in them, some of them probably marked. Unfortunately they were destroyed when soldiers were ordered to destroy them. They went in there swinging their swords, how sad, so much lost.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Dead Sea Scrolls 2
This chapter of the Dead Sea Scrolls was by far my favorite. Dr. Frank T. Seekins teaches you how to read Ancient Hebrew. Our alphabet comes from Ancient Hebrew. There are two ways to write a language, with sound or pictures, Ancient Hebrew uses both. It’s the only language that uses both.

Ancient Hebrew is a relationship based language and in this presentation you will learn about how God really intended the relationships between mother and child,  husband and wife, and man and God. Biblical relationships, how our people need to turn back to the way God intended relationships to be, imagine how blessed this country would be. As Dr. Frank put it, “by seeing the family, marriage, and cultures transformed.”
Dead Sea Scrolls 11
Did you know that the word helper as pertained to a husband and wife does not mean servant, slave, or subordinate? In Hebrew it means, ally, it comes from the root that means to surround and protect God made Eve to be Adams perfect ally, God made me to be Lupe’s perfect ally. We are each others allies. I am his helper his ally.

Dr. Frank Seekins wraps up the lecture pointing to our relationship with God. He weaves the whole lecture going from the different relationships together so perfectly.

The Forbidden Book
Dead Sea Scrolls 3
In this segment Dr. Graig Lampe takes you through history and teaches how brave men who obeyed God brought the Scriptures to the world. As he takes you on a tour of ancient times you will learn how the Bible was translated.
It’s amazing how how the Bible is once again becoming the forbidden book.
After watching this segment I would hope that one would be very thankful for all those who died so we could have God’s Word.
Dead Sea Scrolls 12
All the presentations in the Dead Sea Scroll come together. You learn the history of how they were found, the location, what was going on at that time, and the reason as to why the scrolls were never retrieved.

Then you learn how to read Ancient Hebrew word pictures, how far we’ve come from what the words actually mean, how we need to go back to the Ancient Hebrew, and lastly how it through the ages the Bible was translated. It’s all very fascinating and I’m so glad to have been one of the reviewers for New Liberty Videos.

How We Used It
I had 5 of my 6 children watch the video. I think the three oldest got the most out of it. They enjoyed it and have watched it several times since.
More than a few times since we watched the video the kids and I have had some great  discussions. Sometimes we would be talking about politics, family, marriage, etc. and it would bring us back to what we watched on the DVD of The Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

My Thoughts
As I mentioned in my review, I think every family should own this video. I plan to lend it out to some of my family and friends.

My husband did comment that he noticed the audience in the video where of older people (our age and up Smile). The kids and I didn’t observe that. I mean we saw them but didn’t realize there were not many young people. All the more I say for our young teens to watch. They need to know this stuff.
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All About Reading/Spelling Day

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A few weeks ago the stomach virus hit our house. It was no fun. Guess who took the longest to get over it, yup, me. The one who eats no wheat, is 90% processed free eater and the one who doesn’t eat sugar, haha, go figure. My kiddos bounced back pretty fast.

It’s been two weeks since I sat down with the kids to do Heart of Dakota, ack! But it is what it is right? I have been doing the basics though, reading, writing, and math.

Today was an All About Spelling and Reading day!

I started All About Spelling level 1 with Lance.
All About Spelling
We started lesson 5 and will finish it tomorrow.

Lance segmented words today.
All About Spelling
I am finding that my son still needs some basic phonics, even though he has been through All About Reading levels Pre and 1. He still gets confused with short and long vowels.
All About Spelling
I have decided to have him go through All About Reading level 1 again. Unfortunately I don’t have that level anymore. I reordered the Teacher Manual and the first reader, a friend gave me her partially used Student Activity book. Only the first 14 lessons are done and she sent me all the pages her daughter completed. And thank the Lord, another friend is letting me borrow the cards and two readers.
All About Spelling
Lance going over the short vowel sounds.
All About Spelling
Here is Lance adding the the correct vowel for each word. I put the two consonants with a blank red (vowel)tile. I said the word, like “mut”, he replaced the blank tile with the correct vowel tile.

Lance also completed two lessons of Teaching Textbooks and one lesson of English Through Literature.

His penmanship is improving. Before his letters would be extra large and floating.
English Lessons Through Literature
Next up was Ethan.
Homeschool
The only subject I didn’t get to was English Lessons Through Literature.
All About Spelling
He had to spell words with a suffix. First the root word than add the suffix.
All About Spelling
Ethan has been parked in lesson 11. Tomorrow I’ll have him spell on paper “More Words” and dictate a few sentences.

Today spelled the words using tiles then wrote them in his composition book (words 61-70).
All About Spelling
All About Spelling
Ethan also identified the job of Silent E and wrote the words in his Silent E Book.
All About Spelling
He also completed half a lesson (15) of All About Reading Level 3. Writing and Rhetoric, we have been going pretty slow but we are working our way through. Today Ethan completed lesson 6. With English Through Literature he is on lesson 65, wahoo, he is more than half way through the book. I want him to start book 3 in January, so regardless if he completes book 2, he will start the 3rd book. I’d really like to skip to book 4 but that might be too big of a jump.

I didn’t take any pictures of Caleb and Brent’s school. They both completed All About Reading Level 4, Lesson 7. Both completed their math and some Heart of Dakota.
All About Reading
Caleb completing an All About Reading (AAR) activity from lesson 2.
All About Reading
I don’t always have them complete the activity pages because some are too easy. I pick and choose.

This is my first affiliated link post. I have been an affiliate with All About Learning but have never done anything with it. Since I blog about it enough, I thought I'd add them. 

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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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