Wednesday, April 27, 2016

YWAM Publishing Ben Carson: A Chance at Life - A Heroes of History Book Review


My children have been actively following the presidential primaries this year. They have really been interested in the various candidates. They (and I) were very excited to learn more about Ben Carson through YWAM Publishing's historical biography, Ben Carson: A Chance at Life - A Heroes of History Book with accompanying digital unit study curriculum guide.

Monday, April 25, 2016

D.E.A.R. Monday - April 25

Last week our homeschool group had standardized testing. Since I am the group's testing coordinator, it was a very busy week for me. I'm definitely glad it's over with.

I did, however, find some time to Drop Everything And Read, so you'll see some new books on my lists this week.

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this blog and our homeschool by using these links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

What I've Finished Reading:
  • Really Bad Girls of the Bible: More Lessons from Less-Than-Perfect Women by Liz Curtis Higgs - I wasn't as fond of this book as I was the Slightly Bad Girls book by Higgs, probably because this one stepped on my toes more as I saw how I am (or have been) often like the really bad girls of the Bible. It's painful to reflect on my actions, thoughts, and words and see how many times I do the wrong things. ●●●
What I'm Currently Reading:
Up Next on My TBR List:
What have you read lately?
What's on your TBR list?
What should I add to my TBR list?

Link up your book-related posts below.
(Family Friendly, please)

Items of Interest in this Post:
 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Prom

Last Saturday, The Boy went to the prom. I can't believe how fast he's growing up!

Just wanted to share some pics to brag on how handsome my boy is.



The guys from the soccer team

The Gingers



Thursday, April 21, 2016

Apologia Educational Ministries Writers in Residence Review


Teaching Little Red writing has been a struggle for the past couple of years. I believe that writing isn't just a school subject but a necessary life skill, so it's important to me that I find a homeschool writing curriculum that works for teaching her to write well. I was excited to try a new writing program, Writers in Residence from Apologia Educational Ministries.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A+ Interactive Math Mini-Courses Review


After many years teaching in a classroom and then another set of many years homeschooling my children, I have come to the conclusion that, even with the best of curriculum, there are going to be areas where my children need additional work. In order to try to cover some of those math learning gaps, we have been reviewing Math Mini-Courses from A+ Interactive Math.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

For this review, we received one year access to two online math mini-courses:
  • Advanced Fractions
  • Ratio, Proportions, Probability, and Statistics
Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

About a month ago, Little Red finished her math curriculum for this school year. Although she is ahead in math, she still has some areas where she can use more review and practice. Two of those areas are fractions and ratios/proportions. Having finished her math book already meant that I could:
  1. Have her go back in her book and re-do some of those lessons.
  2. Search for review problems in those areas.
  3. Create my own problems for her to practice.
I will admit, I'm lazy so none of those sounded good to me. Needless to say, when I was given the opportunity to review mini-courses from A+ Interactive Math, I was ecstatic. There are a total of twenty mini-courses available so you can definitely find something that covers any learning gap your child might have. Some of the other courses offered include:
  • Elementary Fractions
  • Place Value and Number Combinations
  • Early Elementary Addition
  • Early Elementary Subtraction
  • Elementary and Middle School Multiplication
  • Elementary and Middle School Division
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Decimal Numbers
  • Money
  • Percentages
  • And more
Mini-courses cost between $9.99 and $19.99 for one-year access.

One of the things I like the most about these mini-courses is that they are self-pacing. Little Red can go through the lessons as quickly or slowly as she needs to.

Each mini-course provides video lessons with interactive review, PDF versions of lessons, and PDF printable worksheets and tests, as well as access to summary reports for worksheets, tests, interactive Q&A, and lesson completion for both students and parents. Parents also have a parental control form where you can control whether or not to hide the answer keys and solution guides, whether or not to hide the online calculator, and whether or not to allow extra time for the exams as well as how much extra time to allow if you choose.

The video lessons are multimedia presentations so that students can both read the information as well as hear it being read to them. I like this since it allows for students who may have difficulty reading to still be able to understand the lesson. The lessons go step by step through the problems, thoroughly explaining each step and showing it being worked out. After watching the video lesson, students can complete the interactive review questions, where they solve math problems covering the concepts in the lesson.

Our homeschool group has had standardized testing this week. Today was the day for the math sections of the test. I felt much more confident about Little Red's ability to know how to answer the questions since she has been working on these mini-courses. After she finished testing today, she even said that she felt like they had really helped her.

Little Red spent most of the past few weeks working on the fraction lessons and felt like the fraction video lessons helped her to learn fractions easier. The lessons explained things slowly so that she had time to really understand them. According to her, the interactive reviews were easy. That concerned me that maybe they weren't challenging, but she said that it was easy simply because they came right after the lessons and that the lessons explained how to do the problems very well.

You can learn more about A+ Interactive Math and the Math Mini-Courses on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Are you interested in what others have to say about A+ Interactive Math and the Math Mini-Courses? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 15, 2016

8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids Review

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

What parent doesn't want to raise great kids? I know I do. I was recently given the opportunity to review Dr. Todd Cartmell's book 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, and I am so glad I did.

About the Book:
Like its name suggests, this book presents 8 simple tools designed to help parents maintain healthy relationships with their child, develop a nurturing home culture, and correct behavior in lasting ways.

Each tool is broken down into 5 short chapters that detail a specific tip for using that tool. The end of each chapter contains a one or two sentence summary of that tip along with questions to consider so that you can reflect on how well you are (or aren't) using that tip in your parenting.

About the Author:
Dr. Todd Cartmell earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Wright State University at the Children’s Hospital. Since then, he has done his clinical work at Summit Clinical Services in Wheaton, IL, where he continues to see children, teens, and families on a full-time basis.

He has written five parenting books and has presented many parenting workshops at mom’s conferences (Hearts at Home, MOPS International), MOPS groups, churches, and schools


My Thoughts:
This book really encouraged me to analyze my parenting. While most of the time I think I already have great kids, I know that there is always room for improvement.

I really liked that the chapters were short because I could easily read a chapter or two while waiting for my kids to finish soccer practice in the evenings. Dr. Cartmell includes many practical tips for parenting, which goes right along with how I learn. I'm not a very abstract thinker; I prefer someone tell me specific suggestions for how to do a better job communicating with my children instead of just saying, "You need to communicate better."

I will admit that some of the reflection and application questions stepped on my toes. They made me realize areas where I could do a much better job interacting with my children.

For you, my wonderful friends, I get to offer a coupon code when you purchase 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids from Moody Publishers. Use the code GREATKIDS16 to receive 50% off. 

You can learn more about the book on social media:
Official Website
Dr. Todd Cartmell on Facebook

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Talking Fingers Inc. Read, Write & Type Review


I've shared before how important I believe handwriting practice is in our homeschool. I also believe that, in today's digital society, it is equally important for my children to learn keyboarding skills. Sassy has been enjoying learning these skills using Read, Write & Type from Talking Fingers Inc.

Homeschool Copywork Review


I'm sure you've noticed the nationwide trend away from handwriting practice in today's schools. With the ever-increasing use of technology, there seems to be no emphasis on handwriting at all. This is definitely not a trend that our homeschool is following. I think it is incredibly important that my children know how to write legibly. We received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork, which provides us with access to a variety of e-books for copywork and notebooking pages.

Monday, April 11, 2016

D.E.A.R. Monday - April 11

Does anyone else feel like this year is just flying by? It seems like I just was writing last week's Drop Everything And Read, and now it's time to write this one.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Trigger Memory Co. Times Tales Review


I don't think any one academic skill has frustrated my children more than trying to memorize their multiplication facts. This year Sassy has had to learn multiplication, and it hasn't been any less difficult for her than it was for the other girls. I was really excited to have the opportunity to review Times Tales from The Trigger Memory Co. to see if this would help her.

Monday, April 4, 2016

D.E.A.R. Monday - April 4

Spring Break has come and gone, so it's back to schooling for our house. I didn't get nearly enough reading done during the break (but I did get the 2 bedrooms for the girls cleaned up and organized). Maybe this week I'll have some time to Drop Everything And Read.

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