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Homeschooling Days

One of our review items is the We Choose Virtues Parenting Cards. This weeks virtue that we are working on is I am Kind. I thought I’d start with kindness because one of my little hearts has a habit of elbowing his siblings.
We Choose Virtues
I read the card throughout the day and remind the children of our virtue. I purchased the 100 Days Virtue Chart for my 3 youngest.

Today I had my youngest nephew with us. He did school too using CTC Math, Learning Palettes, and the online Learning Palette.
Learning Palette
I am super excited to be one of the reviewers for Learning Wrap-ups. I haven’t received the physical products yet but I ordered the items that were being clearanced out. They have become a hit with my niece and nephew.
Learning Palette
I know this is probably getting boring but here is another day at our house!
Today I spent more time teaching Rod and Staff English. The boys were getting confused with and when to use certain helping verbs. We went over the lesson and completed the oral drill. By the time we finished they had a better understanding.

I could tell I was losing them when going over past forms of verbs that end with ‘n’ or ‘un’ sound usually need a helper.

I’m impressed with Caleb and Brent. They are doing so well with Rod and Staff this year. Last year they had trouble with all the writing.
This year they are reading the lesson and writing everything in their notebook and it’s readable and organized!

Lessons we completed:
~Writing and Rhetoric 2nd Semester-Caleb and Brent
~Writing and Rhetoric 1st Semester-Ethan
~All About Reading level 3-Caleb and Brent
~All About Reading level 2-Ethan
~All About Reading level 2 (lesson 5 still)-Lance
~American History-Ethan
~What on Earth Can I Do-Ethan
~Learn Math Fast-Lance
~Rod and Staff English-Caleb and Brent
~English Lessons Through Literature-Ethan
~We Choose Virtues (Kindness)-all kiddos

Caleb, Brent, and Lance also completed CTC Math.
We Choose Virtues
Lance coloring his We Choose Virtue coloring page.

The kiddos have been having lots of fun making Guinea Pig Land.
This one is Eddy and belongs to Caleb.
Frappa (Annette’s), Eddy (Caleb’s), and Humphrey (Brent’s). They are all girls.

School Days @ Homeschooling6

As with most days I started school with Caleb and Brent. I know many fellow homeschoolers often give the advice to start with the youngest and work your way up. Around here my two youngest are grumpy in the morning. It works better if I give them time to wake-up, maybe play outside, or inside with their Legos or Lincoln Logs.

Another reason I prefer to start with the two older  middle boys is they have more of a workload. Most of it requires a quick lesson from me before they begin. For instance with Rod and Staff English we correct the previous days work then go over the days work.

Today I kept time to see about how long I spend with Caleb and Brent and it was about 1.5 hours. Some days it will run longer so I think it’s safe to say 1:1 time with them is between 1.8-2.0 hours.

We started with All About Reading. Today was our first lesson with suffixes. I love the pretty pink tiles!
All About Reading
I was really hoping to get through two lessons a day but some of them are a little longer than others. Tomorrow for instance I may be able to get two in. But no hurry. I don’t think level 4 will be out soon. On the AAS website it says late 2014.

Next up was Writing and Rhetoric. We started lesson 2: A Long Parable.
I am really liking this series. I read the parable to the boys, they took turns narrating it back to me, and on their own they will complete a workbook page.

Then lastly was Rod and Staff English. It’s so wonderful to have my boys improving with their reading and spelling skills. Last year I would have had to read everything to them and help them write their answers as well.
Now I briefly go over the lessons in one sitting and let them loose to read their English lesson and finish their writing. Now I need to add some science to their day.

Both boys also completed CTC Math and Caleb did both CTC Math and Math-U-See.

My next student was Ethan, yay (clapping).
All About Reading
I always start with All About Reading because that is at the top of our list. Reading comes first. In this lesson Ethan is finding gold nuggets. He flips the gold nugget over and reads the word. If he gets the word correct he puts it in the gold pan. He enjoyed finding ‘gold’.
All About Reading
All About Reading is really working for my boys. I love all the practice reading that is incorporated into the program.

Ethan also completed part of lesson 2.
Writing and Rhetoric
Today he had to cross out parts of the story that are not really needed to get the main idea across. The parts that add excitement to the story. It was hard for him and I walked him through most of it. I figure the more we do this the better he’ll get at it and be able to complete more by himself. He also rewrote the summary on the lines provided in his workbook.

With Ethan I even completed an English Lessons Through Literature. Yay for us! I’m still reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately we haven’t been completing 4 lessons a week. He did his copywork and labeled a few sentences. He had to find 1st person singular words like I, me, my, and mine.

He too also completed his CTC Math.

I’m so proud of myself. I schooled Lance, wahoo! Our first subject was All About Reading. He is on lesson 5. For Lance a lesson usually last between 3-5 days.

He also completed, Spelling You See, CTC Math, and Learn Math Fast.
Later today we will finish our studies with history and Bible. Ethan left with his grandpa so we are waiting for that stinker to get back. I didn’t realize they were going to be gone for hours. It sounded like they were just going to drop my brother off at work.

Joshua is coming along in his studies using Hearts for Him Through High School: World Geography. He’s on Unit 21 focusing on Mercator’s Maps, Drake’s Trip Around the Worl, and the First Arctic Explorer.

Today he is using:
~for geography and his geography activity he is using Mapping the World With Art
Living Library -In the Days of Drake.
~World Religion and Culture-Queen of the Dark Chamber
~Logic-The Art of Argument
~Literature Study-Bob Jones Fundamentals of Literature
~Bible-Rooted and Grounded along with Scripture Memory and Prayer
~Science-Integrated Physics and Chemistry
~Composition and Grammar-Bridegway English (the days alternate writing and grammar)
~Foreign Language-Getting Started with Spanish

With Annette we did Bible together and I still need to give her a Rod and Staff Spelling test.


Brent has been diligent with his Alert Cadet journaling.
He read Psalm 108. We had watched a movie The Perfect Game. In the movie Psalm 108 was the chapter the priest would read before each game.

My Girl

For school Annette made a War Cake. During WWI milk, eggs, and butter were rationed. It took her two days to make this cake. She had to let the wet ingredients sit overnight. I think she had to let it sit overnight because you want the liquid ingredients to be cool. 

Instead of butter Annette used an organic non-hydrogenated shortening. I would have preferred lard (as many used back then) but I haven’t found any that meets my approval around here.
Heart of Dakota
It was good, I splurged and had a small piece.
War Cake
Everybody enjoyed her school project.

Today (Saturday) I watched the baby for 3hrs. Once his mama picked him up I was free to do whatever, so I took Annette out for a cup of coffee at our favorite little coffee shop.
Coffee Shop
I’m thankful for my cell phone. I (like always) forgot my camera but I did have my phone (that otherwise stayed in my purse, this was Annette time. Not phone and us time).
Annette and I had a lot of fun. We enjoy or time together. We chat about all kinds of things.

She ordered an Oreo Freeze and I ordered a low-carb frap made with almond milk. I love that this coffee shop serves almond milk.

Homeschooling6 Days

Another accomplished homeschooling day here. I love it! I still need to complete history with my four younger boys but other than that we covered most everything on my list. Even Writing and Rhetoric with Ethan, Caleb, and Brent. I am really liking this writing program.

With Ethan I started this a month ago (I think) and are only on lesson 2. I would love to be further but it is what it is. At least we are completing it a few times a week. That’s better than saying, “Oh, I don’t have time to complete today’s lesson so we’ll get to it tomorrow”, you know how that goes. Tomorrow doesn’t happen. At least that’s how it was for me. So we may be going at a snails pace but we are going.

I don’t have a lot of pictures today.

I started with Caleb and Brent. First subject was Rod and Staff English. We corrected yesterday’s work and I went over the teacher section with them.

Next was Writing and Rhetoric our second day with this. We corrected yesterday’s work, went over what they were to do on their own and that was it. Love it! The boys are reading better which helps me out a lot!!!
Lastly before I let them loose was All About Reading. The boys completed one lesson. I had planned for two lessons but time was ticking away =)
And that was it with those two.

Next up was Ethan. He completed: All About Spelling, Writing and Rhetoric, and What on Earth Can I Do? from Apologia.
Both Lance and Ethan colored as I read to them.
What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring book
Lance school was only two subjects: Bible and All About Reading. He did do math on his own. In fact the four younger boys used CTC Math.

With the Apologia series I think after the review period I’d like to 1.) either finish this book or 2.) buy the first book in the series and start that with the two younger ones. I think it would be great for them.

Today I also did logic with Josh and Bible with Annett.

Other happenings:
~The kids discovered the game of Life. Remember that game? I played this with Caleb yesterday as a practice run (Its been forever since I played) and we had a lot of fun. It was nice having Caleb all to myself.
~Brent and Lance are loving their Legos. I need to post a few of their creations. Brent is pretty good with his structures and making them strong so they won’t topple over.
~Josh is feeling better but not quite his healthy self yet.
~Annette’s allergies are somewhat better. I have her taking an allergy pill every day (me too).
~Our Betta fish is still alive and the guinea pigs no longer run when we walk into the room.

Getting Back to Schooling

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

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!

Right CTC Math is running a sale for homeschoolers.
The Family Plan which includes 2 or more students:
 $39.97 a month (sale price $15.97)
$197.00 for 6 months (sale price $78.80)
$297.00 for 12 months (sale price $118.80)
Single Student Plan: 
$29.97 a month (sale: $11.97)  
$127.00 6 months (sale: $50.80)  
$197.00 12 months (sale: $78.80).
This covers grades K-12.
Find CTC Math on Facebook
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Schoolhouse Review: Philosophy Adventure

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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