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Trim Healthy Mama

So I've been reading Trim Healthy Mama and it has been a great motivator on my quest to feed my family better. It’s a whopping 618 pages. I read most of it when I was sick last week and the children spoiled me by having me stay in bed.

I’m an Atkins mama, and the authors don’t recommend it but that’s okay. There is so much I can glean fTrim Healthy Mamarom the book that I’m willing to over look the anti Atkins part, hee, hee.
Trim Healthy Mama is written by two sisters Serene and Pearl. They are very comical and reading the book is like sitting and chatting with the sisters.

Some of what I read was covered in the Atkins book but I love to reread things. Keeps me motivated. Serene and Pearl talk about why we need fat and how carbs affect our body.

But what I really liked about the book was they go into detail about the foundation food for the program. Some of these foods I can’t eat right now but I’m thinking of my hubby and children. Some of the foods that are on my list is Quinoa, Chana Dahl, Glucomannan, and Konjac Noodles. Those are foods I’ve never heard of. All are low glycemic foods.

Some I’ve heard of and am now more encouraged to try are Chia, Whey Protein, Hemp, and Kefir. Oh, and Stevia and/or Truvia. I love my Splenda and might use it for a while longer but I’m game to give Stevia a try again (I’ve tried it in the past but didn’t like it).

The book also talks about vitamins and again I’m inspired to try some. One in particular is concentrated chlorophyll drops for my hubby to help with his cholesterol.

And there are suggestions for low glycemic foods one being Dreamfields pasta. I have been looking for one, not for me but for the family, especially my Sweets.

As you can see I really enjoyed this book. There are pictures of the sisters through the book battling it out with one another in a loving sisterly way. Serene is a purist and Pearl will nook things every once in a while.
Trim Healthy Mama
As for the diet, it’s a bit confusing but the more I read the more I’m understanding. There are E meals, S meals, Fuel Pull, Helpers, and crossover are terms that you need to understand. E meals center around protein with a bit more carbs and less fat. S meals center around protein but are always low-carb but liberal with fats.

If you have an S meal then you need to wait at least 2.5 hours but preferably 3 hours to eat a E meal.
I plan to reread the book and use some of the recipes for my family. I am not sure if I’ll ever use Trim Healthy Mama as it was meant to be used but I certainly am benefiting from the book.

There is so much more I can write abut this book but I’m hungry and need to eat something before quiet time is over. I was gone so long today that I haven’t had any lunch. These kind of days throws me off with trying to get my carbs in. Speaking of keeping track of my carbs (which I enjoy, it’s not a chore to me), this is one thing that Trim Healthy Mama doesn’t want you all to do, so there is no counting calories or carbs, just enjoy your meals. Okay, I really need to go now. Maybe I’ll write more another day.

Edited to add that I’m reading chapter 27~Earth Milk, so now I’m adding Oooling or green tea to my health ‘wish list’ and I just may make Kefir in the near future (chapter 26).

I’d also like to add that my hubby is not on Atkins, so I have been on the hunt to feed him some low glycemic meals. Trim Healthy Mama is a blessing in this area for me. I also have been wanting to get rid of white sugar and again, Trim Healthy Mama has motivated me to do this sooner than later. So yeah, it’s a keeper.

All for Kefir

My what a morning. I called my dad today around 9:00 a.m. to see if he wanted to go to Walmart. I needed a few things that Target doesn’t carry.

Around 9:30 we were ready to go.  We hop in the truck and it didn’t start. Aaack! I was on the hunt for some Kefir for my hubby. I want to make a power packed smoothie for him tomorrow morning. I was also on the hunt for some good bread, Truvia, and Dreamfields spaghetti.

I was really not happy. I was on a mission and the truck was not cooperating. Off to knock on my sister’s door to see if she could give us a jump. I knocked but she didn’t answer. I knew she was home because her car was parked. I knocked a few more times.

I didn’t want to be a bug~a~loo so I waited. Finally about 10:30 or 10:40 I tried again. Poor thing was trying to get ready for work. We manage to get the cables hooked up and poof, there goes her battery too. Oh, I felt so awful. She was suppose to leave for work soon.

My brave sister found  a neighbor to jump-start her car. By this time I was thinking, forget it. I can always get the ingredient another day. My mushrooms and Kefir could wait.

Being the sweet sister that she is, once the gentlemen was done with her car she asked if he could get the truck going as well. Oh my, that took another 30 minutes or so. I felt so bad. The truck was blocking my sister in so she had to wait.

Finally about 12:00 we were ready to go. We stopped at Walmart and I was able to find some of the items on my list. The Kerfir was not plain so I didn’t get it there.
To make a long story short. We dropped off what I did buy then headed to Sprouts.
Sprouts
And of course Kefir.
Kefir
By the time we got home it was 2:00 p.m. so much for our quick run to the store, ha!

Beeyoutiful and Day 73 of Atkins

My Beeyoutiful order came in today. I am all out of my Laveshmint Hydrating Toner and Cream. I love those products. I feel so spoiled when using the Laveshmint Cream. I also purchased Soothe It! aftershave for my hubby.
Beeyoutiful
One of the many reasons why I love Beeyoutiful products is some of them have multiple uses. The Soothe It! aftershave can be used as a deodorant. I didn’t realize that when I bought it otherwise I’d have stocked up. They are on sale right now for $8.90.

I wanted to update on my Atkins diet. Today is Day 73. I lost 4lbs last week. That was really exciting. Although I gained 1lb back. Hopefully it will go away. I have been super strict today with not consuming too many sweetener stuff and cream.  I admit yesterday I went over on both.

Today I had the most wonderful tasting lunch. I sautéed 1 cup of mushrooms in 1TBL butter. Measured 4oz of hamburger meat and cooked it. Added 1oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese and had 1 medium avocado. Sprinkled sea salt and pepper and it was so good. It was 8.7 net carbs.
001
Most of the carbs were counted toward my foundation veggies.
This morning for breakfast I had my favorite Low Carb Pancakes. The only thing I don’t like about the pancakes is it’s hard to eat a veggie. I usually eat an avocado when I’m done with the pancakes but today I didn’t feel like it.

For a snack today I had a cucumber. It was so good. I was going to have it with Blue Cheese dressing but it was so good plain that I opted to skip the dressing.

Tonight I’ll probably have another hamburger patty with mushrooms again. It seems when I really like something I eat it over and over until it gets old.

I’m still amazed at how much healthier I am. I am so thankful for the Atkins way of eating. I went from one day eating fake junky foods to eating nothing but good  real food. God food.

Atkins made the transition so natural. I was telling my sister it’s exactly what I needed to change the way I was eating. I had been wanting to get rid of all dyes and processed food from my diet but didn’t know how (strange I know, just STOP). Atkins sort of held my hand and guided me.   I was able to print all the foods that I could eat and print of many recipes. I was able to just jump right in. Well I did have to go shopping first to stock my fridge with veggies and meats.Atkins Mama
I still have that crooked post oral surgery smile (sigh). It’s the weirdest thing to look at pictures like that.

I feel wonderful, my hubby is eating so much better too. He is not on Atkins nor does he want to be.
I know Atkins isn’t for everyone but if you are looking to read so you can learn about better health, I’d recommend New Atkins for a New You or Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution both are very informative about how food affects our body.

I’m an Atkins mama but I do like to learn, learn, learn . . . I found a used copy of Susan Somers Eat Great Lose Weight. My SIL was telling me that it was a good read. That Susan Somers explained how she combines certain foods for better health.

I just finished reading Trim and Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. It was really interesting, although they don’t recommend Atkins. The book goes beyond learning about how starchy food turns to sugar. I’ll have to write more about it later.

Another book that is on my wish~list is Wheat Belly. This one was recommended by a friend. I can’t wait to get my hands on it but it won’t be this month.
The kiddos need me so I must end here =o)

School Days in Pictures and Rambling

I am enjoying our school days. I would like to be more productive though. It seems this year I have not found my groove. Ugh! I don’t like those kind of years but nonetheless I carry on. I love having my babies home with me. I love that they are safe and getting lots of fresh air.

One subject I haven’t liked to teach much is and continues to be phonics/reading. I get tired of all the flashcards, so many sounds to learn and lots of rules. My boys just seem to get lost in it all.

As a Crew member I am so blessed to be able to try products. Yes, it’s hard (fun) work, and there are nights I stay up late working on a review and at times I have to put aside a subject BUT I absolutely love reviewing products. I may not be able to continue using every, single, review, product, even though it’s a great one. Now maybe if I had twenty children Winking smile.

Back to phonics/reading. Right now I’m reviewing *ABeCeDarian Reading Program. Oh, and I just found out I’m suppose to have a disclaimer whenever I write about any item I did not pay for, so when you see the little star * it means I received the item for a review. I have always tried my best to make sure you all know if it’s a ‘free’ item but apparently I should have been adding a disclaimer.

Double back to phonics/reading. Since I’ve been using *ABeCeDarian Reading Program I have enjoyed teaching it. I can’t write too much because I must save the nitty-gritty for my review.
ABeCeDarian
I love letter cards. They are not tiny like many I have used in the past. They are free from the *ABeCeDarian website. I use them with Lance and Ethan. In the above picture Lance made different word with them.
ABeCeDarin
Here is what Joshua’s desk looks like when studying the Bible.
Bible
Right now he is studying the book of Genesis and writing and taking notes.
Writing
There are some misspelled words but he always goes back when he’s done. I’m just happy that he enjoys reading God’s Word.
God's Word
Joshua is on his 2nd day with using a new writing program that we were blessed with from the Crew.* The Power in Your Hands.
The Power in Your Hands
He said, “I really like this writing program mom. It looks more challenging too.”
Here is my Ethan. I thought he looked so cute in his pj’s but he was embarrassed because he was still wearing them.
Ethan
Cheerful Cursive
Lance is becoming an avid label reader.  I think it’s a great habit.
Silk Almond Milk
Annette has been busy in the kitchen. She is tackling homemade graham crackers.
Graham Crackers
My Girl is growing up. She’ll even buy her own ingredients.
Joshua enjoys baking as well. Here he made homemade brownies with homemade chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows.
March 2013 014

I received free any * product(s) through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Date Night

Today was cold and windy but that didn’t stop my Sweets and I from going out on our date.  We look forward to our Saturday Date Night. Even though I was recovering from being sick. I still had a wonderful time.  I feel so much better. I have a cough and my body aches. I am staying home from church tomorrow to rest some more. If it wasn’t for the coughing I’d be able to go.

First stop was Dillard’s.  My hubby was looking for some nice blouses for Annette. We didn’t find anything. Nothing was on sale and we couldn’t find anything modest enough. I don’t know what is going on with neon and lace but there was a lot in the girls section.

2nd stop In-N-Out Burger. I was hungry. I love the bun~less burgers at In-N-Out.
In-N-Out
Look at all that yummy cheese, and the sautéed onions where so good. I really enjoyed my burger. I brought an avocado and ate that too. Yum! Both Lupe and I had water. 

I’m so proud of my hubby. I know how much he likes to have a soda with his burger.
3rd stop was FedEx Office. I’m sure you all can guess what I had done. Yup, had my books spiral bound. You know me the queen of spiral binding!
March 2013 020
4th stop was Office Depot. We had to get some yellow toner for our printer.  We have a laser printer and love it but we sure don’t like paying $123.00 for the toner.
5th stop was Half Price Books. My Sweets wanted to take me to a new one at a new location.  We also had a coupon.  We only spent $12.00. Yay!
March 2013 021
I think the children will enjoy them. We have a copy of Father’s Promise but I REALLY like that book and wanted another. Our copy is pretty ragged.

6th stop was Target. It was also our last stop, thankfully. We were both tired by this time.
Target
Target
I should have waited before taking the picture because we added more.  We are almost out of shampoo, face soap, and lotion.  We took forever trying to find the soaps without chemicals. My normal face wash was out and so was the shampoo we purchased before. I think we did okay though. All the soap/lotion items had very little ingredients.  A bit more pricey but worth it.

Now that I don’t wash my hair every, single, day I don’t use so much shampoo. It saves us a ton of dollars.  I don’t use conditioner anymore either before I use to put so much in my hair because of tangles. Ever since I went shampoo-less a few years ago my hair is so much nicer and I don’t need conditioner. I just add coconut oil a few times a week. Now we can buy better quality shampoos and conditioners and they last a lot longer.

My husband is such a gentleman. When we were at FedEx Office someone dropped off a 65lb box. The cashier lady weighed it, the man paid and left. Lupe and I were waiting for my books and were looking around.  Lupe noticed that the man left his heavy package on the scale which was on the counter.  Being the wonderful man that he is, he picked up the box, put it on the dolly, and wheeled to the other side of the counter so the lady wouldn’t have to lift it. I’m so blessed to have a hubby who thinks of others and has a servants heart. He is a man after God’s own heart and I thank Jesus everyday. I love being married to him.

That was another Date Night with my Sweets.

Atkins Day 68

I’m on day 68 of my new low carb way of eating (Atkins). I am still loving my diet. I don’t mean diet as temporary dieting to lose weight (although I do need to lose 26lbs). When I mention diet I am talking about the foods and drinks that I consume on a regular bases.

I love that my freezer is full of veggies. All kinds of foundation vegetables and ice.
Atkins
This past week I lost another 2 pounds. Yay! This was huge for me considering that I hadn’t lost anything for about 34 days.

I inquired on the Atkins forum. I listed every, single, thing that I was eating. My age, weight, start date, etc.

What one kind lady said I should try is limit my heavy cream to 3TBL. I was having 4TBL a day. I do miss that extra tablespoon very much.

Make sure I don’t go over my 3 sweeteners a day. I admit I was having a few more then I was suppose to.  I would have 1 ZipFizz which has sucralose and is counted toward a sweetener. I was also adding two quick squeezes/splashes from my liquid Sucralose in my coffee. I was having 2 grande cups a day. I was over consuming my sucralose by 2. I thought such a tiny amount how could it matter. Well it does.

The lovely lady also said to stop eating my 2TBL of Almond Butter that I would save for the end of the day.  It was my favorite snack. Oh how I miss it but I’m sure I can add it back in once I’m on the maintenance stage of Atkins.

And I was surprised that she suggested I up my net carbs to 30. My net carbs was 25 before.

After 10+ days I lost two pound in two days. Hopefully I won’t be teetering with these to pounds for another 30+ days. For right now I’m happy about it. I just don’t want the scale to not move again.

Yesterday my teeth were ‘adjusted’ at the orthodontist so its been a bit harder to get my veggie carbs in.  This morning I had 2 scrambled eggs with cactus (from a jar so it was soft), and 1TBL of butter.

Lunch I had 2 scrambled eggs with a frozen chopped onion and green peppers, and 1TBL of butter. I didn’t let the veggies soften up enough so they were hard to eat. I think I swallowed most of them whole. Hope that counts as veggies. I’m sure my body will extract all the good from it Winking smile.

I had an avocado and some Cream Cheese Pancakes for a snack. Both didn’t need any chewing.

I forgot to add that I had an 1oz of cheddar cheese with each meal (total 2oz).
So far my net carbs are about 17. My veggie carbs 8. Both pretty low. If it wasn’t for my sore and tender teeth I’d have both closer to my goal for the day of 30 net carbs and 12-15 veggie carbs. I might have to blend some tomatoes and cucumbers in my Ninja. I . . . must . . . reach . . . my . . . goal!

I have been keeping my calories between 1500-1800. An easy thing for this fat loving mama! You know me, I enjoy my butter, cream, avocado, and using olive oil. I’m still amazed that I can eat so many of my favorite foods and lose weight and lower my cholesterol.

It’s so backwards from what we are taught. Instead of eat more fat it’s eat low fat.
Here is an interesting blog post by Colette titled: Another Good Reason to Say No to Low-Fat Diets. Colette worked with the late Dr. Atkins and is the forum’s nutritionist.
Edited to add that I woke this morning (2-23-13) and lost two more pounds! I’m so excited. Hope those pounds stay away.

Teacher Sick Day and Rambling

I’m sick in bed today.  I have been feeling like a sore throat was coming on since Monday. I have been trying to get lots of rest but it has overtaken me ;). The four older children are doing most of their school work on their own. Ethan can do math on his own and both boys will get a phonics/reading lesson in.

I was sitting here going through my emails when Joshua entered my room and said I look so cute. He asked if he could take a picture. So he retrieved the camera and said, “I just want to say, that’s my mom!” Here is the picture he took.
Homeschooling6 Mom
What will I do today. Listen to the audio book or read a little bit from Raising Real Men. Maybe get another blog post going. I have had writers block this past month. I don’t know if you all have noticed that I have not been posting daily. Read my Bible. I love my new large font Bible.

Yesterday Josh and I went to the orthodontist and had our teeth adjusted. You know, they pulled, pushed, and tightened things up. Ouch, is all I can say about that. Throughout the day my teeth became more and more tender. It usually takes abut three days for the soreness to go away. Guess I’ll be eating lots of eggs to get my protein in and lots of spinach to get my 12-15 foundation vegetable carbs in.

I haven’t blogged much about some changes I’ve made to my Atkins low carb way of eating yet but one of them was upping my carbs to 30. I don’t know if I can meet that today.

What else is gong on around Homeschooling6 . . . my Annette’s new interest is baking. She has made brownies, and has been experimenting with making Peppermint Patties. Today she is trying to make graham crackers. She has even started making her own recipe binder.

Josh is working on summarizing the entire Bible. He has written about the book of Genesis and is now working on Deuteronomy.

Caleb is our techy guy. He has been working on an old laptop that Auntie R, gave to Josh and Josh sold it to Caleb. Caleb wants to add more memory and get it hooked up to the internet. Lupe said that laptop is a pain, ha, but he wants to help Caleb.  We both think it’s great that he found something other than Star Wars to be interested in.

Brent he continues to make the most amazing lego Star Wars space ships.  He loves creating with legos. 

Ethan loves to hang out with his Grandpa Joe. They take walks together and collect cans.
Lance is just my little monkey. He loves to not do school. He enjoys playing outside.
And all my boys love digging holes in the backyard, so if you come for a visit, please watch your step!

Schoolhouse Review Crew: The Art of Poetry

Annette and I have been using The Art of Poetry from Classical Academic Press.

For this review we received The Art of Poetry Teacher Edition ($29.95), The Art of Poetry Student Textbook ($24.95), and the first two chapters of The Art of Poetry DVDs, more than 15 hours of teaching time for $69.95. The Art of Poetry Bundle, which includes the Teacher Edition, Student Textbook, and the DVDs cost $99.95.

Recommended Grade: Middle School and High School

The firs part of the Student Textbook~The Art of Poetry introduces the child to: The Elements of Poetry. Chapters include Images, Metaphor, symbols, Words, Sound & More, Rhythm, Shape: Stanza & Line, Tone: Putting It All Together.

The Art of Poetry Textbook

The second section of the book, chapters 9-15 introduces The Formal History of Poetry: History Form, Movement, Genres, Verse Forms, Shaping Forms, Emily Dickinson: A Case Study in Form, Open Verse, Walt Whitman: A Case Study of Open Verse, Narrative Poems: An Anthology.

The thirds section, chapter 16~Growing Your Interest: Starting a Poetry Group, Writer’s Journal, Favorite Poem Notebook, Poetry Recitation, Hosting a Reading, Finding Dead and Live Mentors.

As you can see there is a lot of information in this course. The Art of Poetry Student Book includes discussion questions, vocabulary words, historical backArt of Poetry Teacher Editionground of the poems and located in the back of the book you will find for each poet a short biography. At the end of each chapter there are activities to choose from.

The Art of Poetry Teacher’s Edition includes the entire student text, all the poems, a very thorough answer key to the questions, and an introduction to the teacher. I couldn’t have taught this course without the teacher's guide. I would have been lost.

The Art of Poetry Dvd 1The DVD has 15 plus hours of the author teaching her 8th grade students. 

 Annette and I followed the recommended one year suggested schedule.  This is provided on their site. You can download it in pdf format. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the web page.

Before meeting with Annette, I watched the DVD. I would then watch it with Annette later.  I felt that watching the DVD lesson first helped me prepare to teach and discuss the lesson with Annette.  It gave me the know-how to help draw out our discussions.

I would read a poem first, then she would read it aloud. We then would discuss the poem via the discussion questions provided in the Teacher Edition.

I found that Annette can read and comprehend poetry quite well despite no previous poetry study.  Her mama not so much. What I found that helped me tremendously was to go out of order. I decided to study chapters 9-15~ The Formal History of Poetry on my own and go in order with Annette. I only have the Dvds for the first two chapters so I’m only reading the chapters from The Formal History of Poetry.

My final thoughts on this: Once again Classical Academic Press has provided homeschoolers a product that normally would seem hard and overwhelming to teach (at least for this mama) very manageable.  Although (for me) this course was challenging, Classical Academic Press provides the tools via the Teacher Edition and the DVDs so someone like me who has never, ever studies poetry can successfully teach it.

Annette and I found that we dig deeper now when reading a poem. Whether from the Art of Poetry or one that we come across in our reading.

Annette

 

 

Quote from 13yr. old Annette, “The Poetry program was nice, I enjoyed reading about the authors of the poem. It helped me to understand poetry better too.”

 
 
 
 
To read more reviews please click on the banner below, thanks!
 
 
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Beware of Autolyzed Yeast

At the beginning of the month I had found some really tasty chicken that I loved! Well guess what?!?! I was looking at the label a bit closer and came across the ingredient Autolyzed yeast. I thought, hmm wonder what that is. I googled it a found out that when mixed with sodium it is a form of MSG.
Here is a quote from an article. To read the whole article click HERE.

"Autolyzed yeast also considered a flavor enhancer which impart the meaty taste to foods just like MSG does, can form MSG if they combine with any salt present in the food. In this case, MSG would not be labeled on a package since it has not been directly add to the food"

So don’t buy the chicken (unfortunately).
Do Not Buy

Goals

My hubby and I have always loved listening to Zig Ziglar. Here is what my hubby has been listening to for the past week.

Date Night

I did it again!!! I forgot my camera and didn’t get a picture of my beautiful low carb sandwich at In-n-out.  They wrapped it in lettuce. I give them 10 stars for presentation. It was just as tasty without the bun and their signature sauce. I love that sauce but didn’t miss it.

We normally have our Date Night on Saturday but our church had a family movie night and we didn’t want to miss that.  Great fellowship with our church family. We watched the old Disney move~The Swiss Family Robinson.  Josh and a few other boys thought there was too much lovey-dovey with the girl.  He liked the beginning and the end but not the middle because of it.

Lance asked why there was some kissy-lippy in it.
Last week my Sweets and I didn’t go on a date at all! He took the boys to Alert Cadet Academy with some other boys and leader. They’re mission, to fix some bathrooms.
Alert Cadet
Before pictures of the boys fixing the bathrooms.
Alert Cadet
Joshua drilling.  It was windy and cold that weekend.  It rained too. They all came home wet and tired.
Alert Cadet
Caleb below and Brent above.
Alert Cadet
What a difference.  Talk about night and day. I think the Alert Cadet group did a wonderful job.
Alert Cadet
Alert Cadet
Okay, back to my Date Night post. Our first stop was Half Price Books. We had a 50% off coupon.

I found an older version of the Atkins Diet.  I want to see the changes.  As Dr. Atkins forged ahead with his research he would also update his book.   I hear the core of the program has pretty much stayed the same. But I thought it would be interesting to read. It was only $2.00.
Atkins
I bought Annette a book too.  She likes to read book about dogs. This one was on clearance for $1.00.
Half Price Books
Lupe found a book for Josh, Annette, and Caleb about landscaping.  A project he’s giving them at the apartments is to beautify a certain space.
After Half Price we went to In-N-Out and we enjoyed our scrumptious burgers.  I absolutely love their French fries but praise the Lord I had no cravings at all.

Our last stop was Target.  For the most part I bought all fresh food.  For my cereal loving family I tried to find the best I could with no add sugar or high fructose and such.

I know these are not the greatest but I tried. The Raisin Brand does have brown sugar.
Cereal
And that my dear friends was another wonderful date night with the love of my life!

Schoolhouse Review: TouchMATH 1st Grade

TouchMath
Company Name: TouchMATH

Website: http://www.touchmath.com/

What I Received: First Grade Homeschool Program Units A-D, Flip Cards, TouchMATH 1st Grade Tutor Software, Math Fans, 3D Numerals, TouchPoint Posters, Touch Numerals, Desktop Touch Lines, and Student Number Cards

Price: All four levels of the First Grade Homeschool Program Units A-D ~$199.95 or you can purchase each unit separately for $59.99. The units are available in pdf format only.
TouchMath1
TouchMath is a multisensory based program.  It has the child See It, Say It, Hear It, and Touch It.  TouchMath has the child use all of their senses making it a unique math program that will reach children with different learning styles, visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic and special needs. 
TouchMath uses TouchPoints.  Each number (except zero) has a TouchPoint that corresponds to the number.  This helps the child to understand that each number represents a quantity. Numbers 1-5 have a singe TouchPount.
touchpoint
Numbers 6-9 have double TouchPoints. You want your child to touch each point in the correct order as shown below. Counting in the correct sequence is the key!
TouchPoint 7
With addition the child is counting forward and when subtracting he counts backwards.  It really is impressive.  I find myself adding using the TouchPoint method when counting all my carbs and calories at the end of the day.  I have rows of numbers to calculate. I start with the largest number, cross it out, and continue adding starting at the top and working my way down.

TouchMath 1st Grade program has 4 units, each unit has 6 modules, A, B, C, and D for a total of 24 modules.

Unit A teaches: Counting, Adding, and Subtracting Within 9
Unit B~ Adding and Subtracting Within 20
Unit C~ Adding and Subtracting Within 100
Unit D~ Measuring, Time, Data, and Geometry

Each module has an overview page (which introduces the content, common core state standards, objectives, prerequisites, vocabulary, and material), Instructional Strategies, Answer Key, Module Test and Progress Monitoring check off list.

The Instructional Strategies pages walk you through the lesson.  You don’t want to just hand your child the activity sheets.  In the Instructional Strategies pages it indicates when an activity sheet is to be ‘guided’ or ‘independent’.

Lance is my wiggly little guy and leans toward being a kinesthetic learner. He loved all the TouchMath manipulatives. The colors, feeling the numbers, and/or pointing to the TouchPoints kept him focused on the lesson and he had fun as well.
~~~~~~~~~~Hands on Manipulatives~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TouchMath manipulatives are an optional part of the program. You can use your own manipulatives or use Legos, beans, button, and so forth. If you have a special needs child these are absolutely wonderful.

One of our favorite TouchMath manipulatives were the 3D Numerals. We used these the most because we loved the brightness, size, and the raised touchpoints. For $79.00 you get numbers 0-9 and a CD with activity sheets. In the photo below left you can see the Desktop TouchLines, you get 24 of them for $19.00.
3D Numerals
Even big brother Josh liked the 3D Numerals!
Big Brother
I liked the TouchPoint Posters, $43.00 and the Student Number Cards, $24.00. I laminated the posters and two sets of the number cards.  Lance used the TouchPoint Posters more than the number cards.
TouchPoint Posters
The TouchPoint Numerals with Base 10, $99.00 are made of sturdy foam.  I haven’t used the numerals as much as I’d have liked, but I do see the value of them and plan to get them out more in the future. It comes with a printed teacher’s manual.
TouchPoint Numerals
TouchMath also provided me with 12 sets of Flipcards. Each set cost $19.99.
Flipcards
I was really excited to have received a unique TouchMath item, Math Fans, $239.00. This comes with a CD which contains the teacher manual and student sheets. I had Lance use these when he was learning “greater than/less than” and also for place value. The Math Fans are also used to teach fractions, addition, subtraction, shapes, and more.
MathFans
Another wonderful optional but very loved item we received was the TouchMath 1st Grade Tutor Software, $99.99. Lance liked having his own ‘computer’ math program. I used this to reinforce what I taught him using the Activity Sheets and manipulatives.
TouchMath_Tutor_First_Grade_Software
How did we use TouchMath? First I would get the required manipulatives out and introduce the lesson with them.  Some of the topics he understood like counting from 1-120 so we skipped those lessons.

We then would move to the activity sheets. I would sit and guide him through the activity. The instructions to the parent/teacher is some-what scripted which I liked.  The more hand holding for this mama the better because I can overly explain things and confuse my Lance.

We would work through 2-3 activity sheets a day depending on the topic and how long we used the manipulative.

Once a module was thoroughly covered I’d let Lance use the TouchMath Computer Software.

Currently Lance completed Unit B~Module 2. In this unit concentrated on adding within 13.  He understands the concept of adding but hasn’t memorized the all of the addition facts.  What I will do this week is use the Flipcards and the TouchMath Computer Software to reinforce and memorize the addition facts before moving on to Unit B~Module 3.

I will have him practice writing his addition facts in his math notebook to aid in memorization.
What I liked:
  • Activity pages are clean and uncluttered
  • Activity pages are not overwhelming with many problems
  • TouchMath comes in pdf format, therefore there is no need to purchase more workbooks for younger students.
A few things I’d like to see added or improved:
  • A little more direction with when and how to use the manipulatives, whether using what we have at home or using TouchMath Manipulatives. Having manipulatives shceduled in the instructional stratagies pages would have been really helpful to me. Each module does mention what manipulatives would be needed and gave some suggestions but I’d prefer to have it scheduled.
  • More activity sheets.  Lance could have used more practice. Having more sheets for him to work on would have been great!
My final thoughts: I love the whole touchpoint concept. Like I mentioned I find myself adding and subtracting using the touchpoints. The manipulatives are top notch, colorful and very well made. Lance loved using them.

I am very pleased with TouchMath and plan to continue using it with Lance. For the remaining of our school year.
Lance


Quote from Lance: “I liked learning the TouchPoints and using the game (meaning tutor software).”



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**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.