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Calvert Homeschool Online {Review}

Calvert Homeschool is a well known homeschool program. In fact we used Calvert for a few years back when the kiddos were little. It was a year when I really needed someone else to schedule everything for me. I had was exhausted with two toddlers and a baby.

We received six-month access to the Family Plan of Calvert Homeschool Online. The Family Plan gives you access to all grade levels and courses which is at least 45! Courses include Language Arts, History & Geography, Math, and Science.

We used the History/Geography and Science courses. I love that the courses are numbered and do not say Grade 5 or Grade 11 etc. This is great if you are backtracking like we are.

We are using the courses to fill in some gaps in these two subjects. I might add the Language Arts in later. I don't want to overwhelm him with too much as we do need to finish our current LA.

The Calvert Homeschool Online has a free Diagnostic Test so you can place your child exactly where they need to start. This is great if you are planning to use all the subjects!

Calvert Homeschool Online has it all, scheduling, automatic grading, quizzes, test, and a parent dashboard where you can assign subjects and check what your child has completed.

You can literally take school anywhere with you and not have to worry about forgetting a math or science book because it's all online.

The lessons even have it where you can have the lesson read to the child. It's kind of like a robotish voice ~like the downloadable ones.

Below is a screenshot of how the courses are set up. The student clicks on the course, below it's Science Safety.

 Once the child clicks on Science Safety lesson a menu of lessons or what Calvert shows as Problems.

When the child clicks on Problem 1 (or lesson 1), there is a complete lesson. This on Safety has four "pages".

At the end was a recap and quiz

At the bottom of the lessons are questions to be answered. In this case, it's an essay to be written.

Below shows the full window of what is required of the student when writing the essay (the screenshot is taken from the same lesson shown above). You might need to click on it to see it better, sorry that it's showing up so small. 

If you were not able to read the instructions on the graphic here is what it says:

Part 1. Include important facts found in your research. Includes the answers to questions 1-4 for each of the occupations you choose.
Part 2. Include information a visual representation of the data and answer to questions 1-6.
Submission Requirements: 
The student should submit a presentation created with a slideshow or Presentation Program of their choice. The presentation should include important facts obtained through research, references, images, data, graphs, and answers to the reflections questions. Upload your presentation to the box below.
Here are a few screenshots from the World Geography Course.

This lesson had a short video.

Here are a few screenshots from one of the grade school spelling lessons. The child can select a bee.

We didn't use the spelling but I thought the bees were so cute. We did play around with it for the purpose of this review.

Our Thoughts:

The set-up for me was a little bit bumpy. I had two accounts which I'm sure was the problem. I had one under my regular email that I set up before the review. When I was picked for this review I set up another one under my email that I use for the Review Crew and I don't know if they were "colliding" and getting confused but I kept losing our lessons. Anyway, long story short ~ it was eventually fixed.

Calvert has the best customer service. One of their representatives called me to help me through the set-up problem. She also walked me through a few things as well, and made sure I understood the program. She even followed up a few weeks earlier.

One of the features I liked and so did my son was the audible part. He is a reluctant reader so he followed along. Plus with science and history/geography there are names and places that are hard to pronounce so we really appreciated that we had the choice of having it pronounced.

Calvert does a wonderful job with the student set-up. I like how my son can hop on the computer and just go down the lessons. Right now he is using two subjects but I'd like him to use more.

He's not a textbook guy meaning the physical textbooks are big and overwhelming for him. With Calvert Homeschool Online he doesn't see the thickness of a book because it's all online and the lessons are "broken" down for him.

I admit it does take a bit of learning to navigate the site and we are not completing all the assignments. We pick and choose but I love that WE can pick and choose. It's our homeschool and we don't let the curriculum rule us. We make it work for us. 

Final thoughts! I really like Calvert Homeschool. My son, well, it's "school" for him. My kiddo would always rather be playing with Legos or playing a computer game with his brothers rather than do anything school-related (including reading books, sigh). 

Be sure to click on the graphic below to read more reviews from my Crew Mates!
Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

October Thrift Finds ~ Corningware

Last week a friend and I went thrift shopping! It's one of our favorite things to do together. I'm always on the lookout for some Corningware finds.

One-piece I found was a cup or small mug. It has the Wildflower pattern. A pattern that was introduced around 1977-1985! I snagged the cup for under a dollar.

#corningware #thriftfinds #vintage

The other two pieces in the picture above I found on other thrift runs. The coffee pot is actually a percolator. I found it with no insides. Many times you will see it on Etsy described as a teapot because the parts are usually lost.

I hope to find the missing pieces or a set that will fit so I can percolate some coffee in it but in the meantime, I put water or lemonade in it.

I'm amazed that there are still so many pieces out there. I started collecting Corningware last September (2018) and I have quite a collection already.

I also found this Anchor Hocking glass mug. I really like it. There was two at the thrift store but the other was chipped. I got this for $1.

What are your latest thrift finds?

Excelerate SPANISH ~ Review

Spanish is a language that comes in so helpful and many companies here in Texas have that add on to their help wanted sign "Spanish speaking preferred" or "Spanish speaking helpful" ~ in our area and even the business we own there are many Spanish speaking customers.

Even though I am Hispanic, other than counting to ten and a handful of food words, I never learned Spanish. My kiddos don't speak Spanish fluently. Reviewing Excelerate SPANISH, well it's a blessing for my family. Excelerate SPANISH Streaming requires no disc which means no lost lessons, no having to repurchase a disc because it got scratched!

We received a one-year streaming membership with access to Level 1 and Level 2! We also have access to Quizlet which is to reinforce their learning through: Flashcards, Write, Spell, and Test.

Excelerate SPANISH is a program where the students are engaging and acting out the words they are learning. Instead of sitting and filling out worksheets your child will use hand motions and body movements to understand a word and it's meaning. For instance, Va means go so the student is shown to walk. Parada means stop ~ the student is taught to put their hand out to show 'stop'.

As the students are introduced to the new words they are adding the previous words creating skits, storytelling, and movements.

Lessons range from 30-40 minutes and typically one lesson usually takes two weeks (at least in our homeschool). Year 1 will last a little over a school year but if you school through the summer or year around you should be able to complete it within the year.

Both Levels 1 and 2 include 24 lessons.

Again, I am really liking the streaming of the lessons instead of us downloading or having to have DVDs or disc.

At first, I planned for us to have Spanish class together but with teens, our schedules are all over the place~ with jobs and studies. What I did, was email all the kiddos the website and login information.

We all are staying together for the lessons but the kids are doing the lessons on their own time. I thought it would be best for us all to stay in the same lessons so we could help each other.

I must admit at first we were a little lost. The program does have optional workbooks but for this review, we didn't receive them. The program can be used successfully without them.

We, on the other hand, had a hard time following the program so I ended up purchasing the workbooks and it helped not only the kiddos but me as well.

Looking back what we probably could have done was along with using Quizlet maybe I should have had the kids write all the words and their meanings down in a notebook. I did find a blog post about using your walls and I like that idea too (although right now we don't have much wall space).

A screenshot of Quizlet

I would recommend mom to watch the first video on her own to get a feel for the program. You can then have your children watch part or all of it. I say this because at first I just had all the kiddos watch the video and a few days later I watched it. It was then that I realized how long the videos were and it could be overwhelming.

Tip! Use the first week for the kids to watch the video and use the second week to use Quizlet, write the words and meaning down and if necessery rewatch parts of the video. In our case, the kids used the workbooks that I purchased.

Once we found the above rythm it's going more smoothly.

I love how the program reaches a wide variety of learners, especially those who need to move around.

I do recommend purchasing the optional workbooks.

Read more Excelerate SPANISH Reviews by clicking on the banner below!

Excelerate SPANISH help your students to learn FAST, naturally! (Streaming)  {Excelerate SPANISH Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Creating A Masterpiece Review!

Art, this is a class that has been a challenge in our homeschool. My older two did fine with using books for our art courses. My four younger kiddos, well, they are more visual and need a "teacher" to show the steps.

#artclass #highschoolart

Drawing Program from Creating a Masterpiece fits that bill! 

The Homeschool Review Crew received a one-year subscription to the Drawing Program which includes Beginners to Level 3. Creative Masterpiece has been very generous to us!

Sharon Hofer teaches students (and adults) how to draw beyond stick figures (like way beyond) ~ it's amazing! The lesson videos are short, so one lesson may have four videos which really keeps the program from being overwhelming to the student. 

#artclassforallages #creatingamasterpiece

The lessons are all on the Creating a Masterpiece site so you don't have to download them and no disc to lose! I use to be one that preferred having disc but after homeschooling for 20 years and seeing that no matter how careful we are the disc either gets lost or scratched so I'm really liking modern technology where the course is online. 

The Beginning Drawing Course has eight lessons, Drawing Level 1 has seven, Level 2 has six, and Level 3 has eight. The videos for each lesson varies as you can see in the graphic below. One lesson may have four videos while another seven.

Ms. Sharon Hofer does a great job of explaining each step. I and my kiddos found it easy to follow the lessons. 

The first time we did a lesson we followed along but realized that sometimes she gave us more instruction or said something toward the end of the video that was helpful. After the first lesson, we decided that it was better to watch the video first then replay and draw along with her during the replay.

We paused the video often too. Because we all needed to pause the video at different times we decided to watch the videos on our own. Meaning we didn't all sit and have art class together. 

One son would complete a lesson at night in his room while another during the day in the kitchen.

The Drawing Program is not only great for kiddos and teens but adults too. I found that I really enjoyed the courses as well. Ms. Sharon teaches in a way that all feel welcome in "her class".

After completing a few lessons, some of us would go back and redo the lesson. As we continue with the program I think we'll continue to redo some of them.

We tried to keep one lesson within one week. Sometimes we'd do a lesson over two weeks. This is with doing art twice a week. My kiddos are older ages 15-18 so younger kiddos may need more time.

It is recommended to use good quality supplies and the course does provide a link to Blick art supplies. You don't have to purchase from Blick but I found that some of the items were much easier to order ~ like the single Prism pencils. Since I was buying those I added a few other items to my cart. You could easily find many of the supplies at your local hobby and art supply store though.

If you are looking for an art course for your high schoolers (or elementary students) I would encourage you to look into Creating A Masterpiece. Check out their sample page ~ the sample is not from the same course that I reviewed but it will give you an idea of what to expect.

I highly recommend Creating A Masterpiece!

Be sure to click on the graphic below to read more Creating A Masterpiece reviews!

Learning to Draw {Creating a Masterpiece Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Brain Blox Creations

As I was sitting down with my cup of coffee to share photos of my kiddos Brain Blox creations I realized I don't have that many pictures. I thought I had taken more. So with that said, I'll add to this page as we make more. I'm so sorry. I thought I had at least five different pics.


#funschooling #brainblox


Fun Family Chess is another item that Brain Blox carries.

#chess #beginnerschess #funfamilychess

#funfamilychess #familyfun

My New Job! In the Kitchen with Linda

Whew, it's been a busy couple of weeks but good weeks. Guess what's been keeping me busy? My new job ~ In the Kitchen with Linda! I'm starting a new adventure with becoming a Pampered Chef consultant. It's scary but I'm super excited.

#pamperedchef #pamperedcheffconsultant #inthekitchenwithlinda

As many of you may know, I DO need to get a job. Doing affiliate links were okay in the past (I still am doing that) for some extra Linda book money but with the recent financial Homeschooling6 Family crises I REALLY need to work. Like, contribute to our income.

I have anxiety/shyness issues which make it hard for me to get out and do interviews. It terrifies me. I feel awful that my husband is working his weeks away while I'm home and am able to work but let the deer in headlights fright stop me.

I have tried selling Creative Memories and Mary Kay in the past and didn't do to well BUT I had to do in-home parties and with my super-duper shyness it, well, didn't go very well.

#pamperedchef #quickcooker #pressurecooker

With Pampered Chef I can do parties virtually via Facebook or catalog parties. My brain is spinning with ideas. I am still super nervous about having a virtual Facebook Part but at least I can hide behind a computer.

And I LOVE Pampered Chef and how its products help busy people (and not so busy people) to get back in the kitchen and create good meals instead of going through the drive-thru.

I love the quality of the items. For example, I just purchased the 10" Stainless Steel Skillet with a lid! It cost $145. In the past year and a half I have bought three cheaper ones for about $30 each because they end up getting scratched. In that time I have already spent $90. I finally had to stop the insanity and bought the one from Pampered Chef.

The PC one ~ you can use metal utensils. As long as you are not cutting your steaks in the pan you can use your metal spatula and other utensils! What was really great is I hosted a party and was able to get the pan at half off! Wahoo!

This is my first time having a really good skillet. I am looking forward to receiving the 8" non stick Fry Pan next week.

I am really excited about this new adventure, nervous, but excited.

Do you own any Pampered Chef products?

Let me know if you'd like to earn some PC products ~ book a party!

I Want Fall Weather!

When September came around I was really hoping for some cooler weather. News Alert ~ it's still hot here.

In fact, for the month of September (which is supposed to be cooler by now), TX is having high temperatures that haven't happened since 2005. Normally by now it's cooling down some and we are needing to pull our long sleeve shirts and maybe a sweater.

I'm so tired of above 90* it's so hot and uncomfortable. Did I mention that the house we live in has no insulation, yup! It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter 😊 I'd rather have it cold though because then I can layer the clothes and grab some blankets. What about you? If you had a choice between the summer heat or winter cold which would it be?


What is a girl to do when it's so hot, oh, it's time to read The Borden Murder 😱 What do you think, did Lizzie Borden murder her father and step-mother?