Monday, January 31, 2011

Why I love RightStart Math

Isn't the Lord just so awesome! I just love Him and how He graciously leads us to what is perfect for our lives without us realizing it!
A couple of years ago I was searching for "the right" math curriculum for Biggest. In my heart of hearts I knew that the regular, traditional math wouldn't work for her. I really didn't know why but I just knew it wouldn't. It was a tiring search and one that I almost gave up but then, the Lord brought RightStart math into my radar. I had never heard about it but quickly began reading as many reviews as I could. I quickly became intrigued by the way people raved about it. The focus on mental math and strategies facinated me. I also was impressed with the author's extensive experience and education. What stuck out to me the most was that many of the reviewers who wrote glowingly about the curricula were those who had spouses or family who worked in the math field, many of which were engineers. Another thing I noticed was that many were saying it was a good pick for struggling learners, dyslexic children etc. That was information that would hit close to home and I didn't even know it!
I began to feel that this was what I had been looking for and became convinced that this was God's leading for our family.

It was pricey but I sold what I had previously purchased for math and found RS used. Get this, the price I sold my other math curricula for was the exact cost of the used RightStart math items that I needed!! Isn't God good?!

Anyway, here I am a year and a half later and I am so thankful to the Lord for His goodness to us! My children are not math whizzes by any means but the way Biggest understands and moves numbers in her head is wonderful and now I am slowly working with Big Sis on her journey with RS. She is picking it up quickly and I'm excited to see her learn!

I've just recently realized that both of my girls show dyslexic tendencies with the stronger tendencies showing in Biggest. RightStart has made learning facts and adding and subtracting painless for them because of the amazing way they teach them!

I plan on posting later this week about how RightStart teaches place value and adding four digit numbers so if you're intersted check back with us!!

See ya then!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Homeschooling while pregnant or with a there a different way to homeschool?

Long title, I know. But honestly, every couple of years I am pregnant or have a baby in the house. Homeschooling while Preggo/or with a small baby is pretty much the norm around here. How do we do it? Well,, I gotta think about it! How do we do it?

1. Give priority to what is important.
During pregnancy, unless you're one of those who stays sick for long periods of time (I, thankfully, am not one of them) it's pretty much business as usual around here. There were times when I did have to cut some of the work short because my tired body was in need of a nap but for the most part I was always good to go.

Oh, and that extra burst of energy that most preggies get always seems to come at the best of times!!

Now if you have a baby things can get a little more complicated, but again, priorities ladies. That little adorable pumpkin that you hold in your arms won't stay small for long (nor will he sleep that long and that much for long) so, take advantage of the down times and enjoy the times when he's awake and sweetly cooing and just being cute. While nursing or bottke feeding have a child read to you or you read to them. If the baby is down then take advantage of the time and cram as much teaching that you can into that 45 minute nap! Go on, full speed, you can do it!!

2. Keep a sense of humor!
This one is hard for me because I am the "it's all business and no play until we're done" kind of a gal. I like to work when it's time to work and play if we have time. My kids force me to let loose every once and a while because, well, because they're kids and kids are just funny sometimes. But seriously though, try to keep an upbeat attitude. If you only accomplish math all morning because that cute little pumpkin woke up cranky from his 45 minute nap then say hey, we've done what we can for now and will finish what we can later. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can do that Language Lesson right before bed!

3. Remember to take advantage of life.
Because that's what you can do when the cranky pumpkin won't cooperate. Use that time to teach your older children how a Mother responds to the needs of her child. Teach them how to love and snuggle the baby when he needs it. Show those girls...and to change a diaper-hey, that future dad's gonna change a few of 'em too right? Let them take part in rocking the baby or reading a short book to him. Get them down on the floor to play with the baby. Let the big ones help with feeding time (well, not nursing of course although the best advertisement for passing on that healthy tradition to your children is to expose them to it), bath time is a good time to teach about cleanliness and parts of the body. Let your kinders pick out a matching pj outfit or bring you four more diapers to fill up your basket. The opportunities for learning are endless!!!

And remember, even in public school they have classes called "Life Skills" and one of the things they do is practice taking care of a "baby" (mine, in Jr. High was an egg). An actual baby is much more effective I do have to say.

And lastly...

4. To everything there is a season.
Know that all too soon this stage will be gone and you might just wish that you'd enjoyed and relished it a little more. So, enjoy the season of life that you are in! It's good for us all!

Check out more posts on this topic by other very wise homeschooling Mamas at the Blog Cruise!

Lovin' Learnin'

City Creek Press:TOS Review

The Product:
Are you struggling to get your child to work on his times tables? Has he labored and labored but still cannot produce simple facts? Well, then I think this review is for you!!

Song for 3x3
Today I am reviewing another great math program for you. Times Alive is a math software program created by City Creek Press. It is a fun program designed to teach children their times tables using songs with catchy tunes and little sayings. The program is available as a download or CD-Rom.

If you would like you can go to the Times Alive YouTube page to check out some of their lessons.

The McMama Experience:
I was excited about this program because I had heard tons of great things said about it in the past. I knew right away that my children would be fond of this program for a few reasons:
  • They LOVE to sing
  • They love animation
  • They love the computer
From the moment we downloaded and started the program the kids have truly enjoyed it.
After listening to the song they review the fact just learned
We use a math curriculum that is laid out differently than most traditional curricula so even though Biggest is in the 3rd grade she hadn't been exposed to mulitplication yet. I was excited to give this a try and see if it would truly work on someone who had never seen her times tables before.

The program starts out with a "Nuts and Bolts" test to see where the child is in their skills. I skipped it because, as I stated before, Biggest hadn't had any experience. We jumped right in to the first lesson and she was off.

I have to say that after watching her go these last several weeks that the program delivers what it promises. She learned her facts and she learned them fairly effortlessly and quickly!

What I loved:
  • Progress reports were kept by the program and could be printed out at any time.
  • Multiplication was made fun with the program.
  • There were tests sprinkled here and there so that understanding could be measured.
  • These tests could also be printed out.
  • Judy, whom I delt with over some computer issues, showed outstanding customer service!! She literally spent an entire day emailng me back and forth trying to find a solution to my problem. Everything was fixed and I was left with a great experience with the City Creek Press customer service!!
A progress check that can be done on the computer or printed out for record keepi
What I didn't like:
It actually pains me to say that because this is such a great product but I do have to mention that
  • During the 2's family lesson the children were prompted to use their fingers to count by two. For example, if the equation is 2x3 then they were prompted to count by 2's on three fingers. I'm not a fan of counting on fingers. Hey, I still do it cause that's how I learned but I'm taking a different route with my children so that lesson wasn't one of my favorites.
That's it, just that one thing.

The Breakdown:
Times Alive can be purchased as a download for your Windows PC or Mac for $44.95 and also on CD-Rom for $48.95. A little pricey but think about the fun mulitplication will be for your children.

There are also other kits that are available. I didn't know they had an addition program!

City Creek Press also has many supplemental items to go with the Times Alive program and man do they have some great things!! There is even a workbook in Spanish!!! This program is also used in some schools, so if your school is looking for something point them to the City Creek Press website.

So, if you have a child struggling to memorize his times tables or have a child who has dyslexia or other learning dysfunctions then I would encourage you to take a serious look at this program!

Click on the banner below to read reviews from my Crew Mates!

**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Friday, January 28, 2011

TenMarks Math Program, TOS Crew Review

The Product:
Ten Marks is an online math program that can be used as a full curriculum or a supplement. From their website:

"How it Works:
TenMarks is the only online math program that helps students refresh, learn and master math concepts - in their own time, at their own pace. Each child receives a personalized curriculum to help them master concepts quickly."

This program can be used from grades 3 - High School and covers over 300 core skills. There are also videos and hints available for the child to use to help her learn a skill better if she is having trouble understanding.

Screen shot from the 3rd grade estimation worksheet.
The McMama Experience: I had never heard about this company before this review. I honestly wasn't even sure that I would like it but boy was I wrong. When I received the email information I told my daughter how it would work. Here is what I told her:
  1. You are going to be using a math program to help you with some skills for this year.
  2. You will be assigned 4 worksheets to do.
  3. They will be due by "this" date. (The program sets the due date up for you, generally a week is given.)
  4. Once you complete "x" amount of worksheets you will automatically receive a reward. The program allows the parent to set up their own rewards and also use TenMark's games as rewards. You decide how many worksheets have to be completed before a reward is awarded.
We watched the intro. video and she became so excited about this that she immediately began working on her first two worksheets. The first skills she worked on were counting and number patterns and place value through the 1,000. She did utilize a few of the hints while working on these worksheets and I did have to explain them a little to her but she scored great! I went back later and watched the video on place value and will prompt her to use the videos more since I thought it was done very well but, again, I will have to explain to her a few of the terms that the man in the video uses.

Student account home page.
Now Biggest is a very reluctant learner so for us, this was a Mom and daugther thing. I needed to sit with her and help her through the worksheets or else she just couldn't get it. Now, TenMarks seems to lean toward the more critical thinking skill side of math so that may be why, but someone else's child may not have a problem with it.

I love a few things about this program:
  • Other than explaining a few concepts here and there most children should be able to use this pretty independently.
  • The due date is set up automatically giving both Mom and child accountability. If you don't get all worksheets done by the due date then only enough new worksheets to meet the limit you have already set will be generated.
  • Mom sets up the rewards! You choose how many worksheets will need to be completed before the reward can be used. The reward can be anything! You can even upload a picture of say, your child eating a cookie, if that will be her reward.
  • Mom and Dad get a clear understanding of their child's strength and weaknesses with the detailed report cards.
  • You can change the curriculum around by moving say, deeper multiplication skills worksheets towards the end of the curriculum if you do not want your child to delve into that yet. Works great if you are just using this as a supplement and your core curriculum doesn't go into that skill until after the TenMarks curriculum has automatically placed it.
  • You can even remove some skills altogether if you so desire.
  • I LOVE how the student has access to videos and hints. It's like having your own tutor at home!
  • You can set up an assessment to customize this curriculum for your child.
  • Have vacation coming up? Don't worry about it! You can put this program on hold until you get back and are ready to jump in again!
  • You can even compare TenMarks to your state's standards.
  • I really appreciated that we were able to cover some things that she hadn't yet learned. It was difficult but good exposure.
  • Quick responding customer service!!!
What I didn't like:

Okay, I didn't really "not like" anything but here are a few things that I thought needed to be mention to make this a fair review.
  • I didn't like that I couldn't stop the worksheets so that Biggest could work on some of the past skills. It did seem to feel like we were just completing worksheet after worksheet and weren't given enough time to review.
  • I would like to have an option of lowering the worksheets to even 1 or 2 so that more review could be done.
  • Some of the videos that we used were so wordy that even I had trouble following the explainations that were being given.
  • The work did seem to be quite advanced for the level we were on. Not that it was a bad thing I just was a little suprised at it.
  • It was a while before I knew that any tests existed. There are no notifications for tests like what you get with the worksheets.

Partial report card that shows strengths and scores.
The Breakdown:
I personally love this and hope you do too!
There are few ways that you can purchase TenMarks:
 $49 for 6 months
 $89 for 1 year
If you are unsure about this maybe just try TenMarks for a month for $10 to see how it fits you and your family. But if you totally love it as I do then the $89 for 1 year is definitely the more cost effective approach.
You can also do a free trial if you really don't want to pay anything at all yet!


**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Deuteronomy 4:9

      In reading these first few chapters of Deuteronomy it's easy to understand why God told this, through Moses, to the Isrealite children. They often seemed to forget the awesome acts that God had done for them and instead focused on the obstacles that they found in their way. It's been frustrating to me to simply read about their lack of faith in Him...mainly because I see so much of myself in them. When things get tough, I too tend to forget. I too tend to focus on the obstacles instead of the Lord and what I know He has done and is capable of doing for me.

      What about you? Do you tend to focus too much on the troubles? I'm telling you-and myself-if we would just keep our eyes on Christ and remember the great acts that He has done our faith and trust will grow.

      How can we share the wonderful miracles in our own lives with our children if we are too caught up in the difficult? When the spies returned from sizing up the promised land, the Isrealites paid more attention to the report of giants than of the great things that were there...and the fact that God said He'd give it to them. They focused on the "impossibles" instead of the One Who can do all. It was a mistake which they later realized and tried to fix but paid for with their lives. I wonder though what impression that left on the children. There they were, getting ready to see the God of their fathers work a miracle, an "impossible" and instead their parents lost faith and the children missed out on seeing their God work.

      It's like that in our lives too. When we loose faith and think that "this" or "that" can't be done our children miss out on seeing God work. How sad that is.

      I feel challenge personally to have more faith in my God. To keep my eyes on Him and not on my circumstances, so that I can be reminded of what an awesome God I serve and can in turn tell it to my children.

      What about you? Do you need to take a step back and evaluate how your faith has been lately? Are you trusting in the Lord, knowing that He can do the impossible, or are you letting fear reign in your hearts?

      God's waiting to do miracles in our lives, to use us to show His mighty power. Let's not be like the children of Israel and miss out because we were too busy seeing the giants of this world to see the greatness of God.

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lifeway Christian Stores: TOS Review

The Product:
Today I am reviewing, for your Bible understanding pleasure, the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids. It retails for $14.99 and can be purchased directly from the Lifeway Website.

This dictionary is a full color masterpiece that attracts children of all ages. Although it's recommended for kids ages 5-10 I think that it will appeal to all ages. This book has been beautifully done and contains more than 750 terms found in the Bible.

The McMama Experience:
When this first arrived I secretly took it into my room to look at during our rest time. I took my time and soaked up all of the beautiful artwork, maps and reconstruction models. I knew that the kids would love it as they are all quite visual.

I left the book in an accessible place and sure enough, they each took their turn just pouring over the many glossy pages. This book is gorgeous and Big Sis said more than once that she loved the pictures. I love looking at maps of Bible times as I'm always struggling to keep each city where they belong in my mind so I found those the most interesting.

This book is great and can benefit your home or church library quite nicely.

The Breakdown:
Purchase the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary from a physical Lifeway Christian Store or their web page. The current price is $14.99 and worth every penny.

Click on the banner to read reviews from my other Crew Mates!


**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, January 24, 2011

Three words that will help you avoid burn-out

yes, it is possible. Did you know that homeschooling is a very demanding role? Oh yes, it is. It’s not your typical 8-3 teaching job, it’s 24/7 and very draining emotionally, physically and spiritually.
So, my recommendation to avoiding burn-out is three-fold. Here are the three words that you need to remember when trying to avoid just wanting to give it all up; Mommy, Mister and Master.

1. Mommy Time
!! Don’t feel bad about it!! This doesn’t make you a bad Mommy; it makes you a wise one.
When my children were a little bit younger we had the “rest time rule.” That was simply a rule that required my children to remain in their room with books and music for a designated period of time. For years it was something that we all needed and looked forward to.
As Littlest has gotten older-she is now 2-we have had to change things a good bit. She no longer takes those adored 2 naps a day that she use to nor is she content to occupy herself for very long so, when she is awake, there is noise…and lots of it. So, I’ve had to give up my “rest time rule” so that I could accomplish the more difficult subjects like math and reading while she is taking her nap. It works beautifully to get the things done that we can’t get done while she’s awake but I no longer have my mid-afternoon downtime.
And since homeschooling, as rewarding as it is, gets very demanding I had to think of someway to still get time to myself so that I could avoid burn-out.
There have been times when I’ve allowed the bigger three watch a show while they folded a load of laundry just so I could steal a few moments in the bed with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.
Sometimes I’ll just allow the kids to take a break from school work for a little while and go out to play so that I can just check my email, blog, or the Crew blog for a while.
Every now and then hubby will come home and tell me to just go to the store for a while. Now, while shopping is very low on my list of fun things to do I sometimes take him up on it just to remember how getting out of the van, shutting the door and walking up to the store alone feels. (Can I tell you it’s kind of weird!!)

2. Mister Time
You know, the guy that will not grow up and move out someday. The one that you’ll probably still be cooking for when your youngest has moved into the next stage of life. Ladies, we gotta keep the relationship alive!
What we do here is to make sure that the children are in bed by a certain time (9:00 pm) without question. After that McPapa and I are able to relax together for about an hour or two…depending on how long it takes him to fall asleep! Smile
This has become the rule in our home and I look forward to that time every day. We live about 600 miles away from our closest family members and are very picky when it comes to baby sitters so we do not go on dates like many couples do. Having this time at night allows us to still get time together, the time that I need to spend with my cute hubby, unwind, unleash any burdens on my heart, or just watch a documentary on Netflix.
Getting that time with him has been vital to me avoiding burnout…cause I’ve been close to burning out a time or two.
But I cannot leave you without saying that the priority to hubby comes after the Lord.

3. Master Time
Get alone with the Saviour. This is the glue that keeps me together and without this time I am not living each day to it’s best! I’m not one of those that say that you need to have your quiet time in the AM and only then, I say whenever you can do it do it and do it regularly!!

There are other things that just add to keeping your fire going such as reading encouraging articles, meeting with other homeschooling mothers and attending a Bible believing church. All of these can, in their own ways, add to the fire of homeschooling that we all want to keep burning bright.

So, I hope that something I've said has helped you in a small way. Just remember, our roles as homeschooling Mommies are important in the lives of our children. What we are doing to day God will bless in the fruit of tomorrow!

You are an amazing, go get a some Mommy, Mister and Master time.

Lovin' Learnin',

Friday, January 21, 2011

Speekee:TOS Review

Speekee logo

The Product:
Speekee is an immersion type Spanish language program similar in some ways to Sesame Street. The program utilizes puppets, animation and real people to engage children and guide them on the road to learning Spanish. The videos are 100% in Spanish with optional English or Spanish subtitles.

Having been available in DVD format since its creation, the people over at Speekee are now launching the online version that I am reviewing today.

The McMama Experience:
Honestly when I first found out that I would be reviewing this program I wasn't thrilled or impressed. At first glance my husband and I kind of looked at each other and rolled our eyes. I thought that this program was going to be ineffective, boring and not useful to us at all.

I have to tell you that I was sorely wrong! Speekee has gained a loved place in the hearts of my children! I find myself intersted in each episode as well, singing the very catchy songs and simply enjoying the Speekee experience.

Speekee is great for a number of reason:
  • From the very beginning my children were learning full sentences. They've learned sentences such as , "Me llamo," "Donde estas?" "I don't know", "What do you want?" "Where are we going" and much more.
  • Repetition is a big emphasis here! The children are prompted by the TV characters to respond themselves in Spanish to a question that was just asked. Which has increased memorization.
  • It has taught my children Spanish quicker and more effectivley than any other program we've tried and this year alone we've gone through two very popular programs. Speekee has done what the other programs couldn't!
  • There are worksheets that the children can work on after they are done with each TV episode.
  • Since it is recorded in a Spanish speaking country my kids have gotten to see some of the differences between the two countries. They are UK based so some of the words and pronunciation are different than the Spanish we are use to here in the States but I think that just adds to the personality and character of the program.
  • The songs are so catchy!!!
  • Speekee is loved by all four of my children ages 2, 5, 7 and 9. I love to hear Littlest say, "Quiero Peekee Mommy." They all then run and gather around the computer screen trying to get the best spot to watch the puppet and kids that they have come to enjoy so much!
  • Yes, even the children in the episodes have become friends to my children. They are great to watch!
The Breakdown:
If you've been wanting your young children to begin learning Spanish this is the place to start!! For the online version Speekee is $7.50/month.

There are also DVDs available however since Speekee is produced in the UK they use the PAL format for color encoding. US and Canadian systems use the NTSC format. Many but not all of our dvd players will accommodate the Speekee dvds but you will need to check your equipment before purchasing.

Our family has fallen in love with Speekee and it will be hard to say, "Adios, adios, adios mi amigo adios." to him when our time is up so I am looking into purchasing Speekee online for our family. Try it for yourself. I know you will love it as much as we do.


Click on the banner to read reviews from my other Crew Mates!


**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Maestro Classics:TOS Review

The Product:
In this review I will be telling you my opinion on Maestro Classic's' Peter and the Wolf CD. Maestro Classics brings favored children's stories and beautiful symphonies together in an unforgettable adventure. If you've enjoyed Baby Einstein and Classical Kids (the latter which we LOVE) then you will find a favorite with Maestro Classics.

This company strives to take beautiful children's stories, superb storytelling and the beautiful music from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and blend them together into a CD that your family will want to listen to over and over again!

The McMama Experience:
I LOVE this CD!!! My kids do too! I love that not only are they hearing great stories from amazing storytellers but they are being exposed to beautiful music that is enriching both to their minds and their lives. They are also getting an ear for different instruments in music.

I love how my kids got to hear very clearly the different moods that music can have. In the Peter and the Wolf CD each character is represented by a different instrument. The music style changes based on what that character experiences in the story. Believe me, they become very familiar with the sound of different instruments. It's a great education!!

The CD also comes with a 24 page program book that includes little puzzles for the kids to do and some information on the composer, the instruments and more!

We love this CD and will look into purchasing more from Maestro Classics in the future.

The Breakdown
These CD's are great for long car rides and I believe that children as young as 2 and as old as 99 would appreciate and enjoy these CDs.

Each CD and booklet retails for $16.98
You can find the other titles available here. Want to hear a sample or buy a gift set? Also be sure to check out the Maestro Classic's website as they have oodles of interesting materials there!

**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you one of those amazing women who is homeschooling and juggling an at home job or outside job? If you are first of all let me tell you that you are super!! I have a lot of respect for homeschooling families that juggle both school and work at the same time. But have you been feeling overwhelmed? Do you feel like you could use some direction? Or are you a working Mom that wants to homeschool but aren't sure how you would accomplish both?

Well, the Blog Cruise is here to help!

This week's topic is Working and Homeschooling. Many of our fellow Crew Mates give us a look into their working/schooling worlds this week. So, hop on over and set sail with the Blog Cruise, maybe you'll find the direction that you have been looking for!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This week at Ruby Slippers

We worked on more adjectives, nouns and verbs with Biggest. We are using Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind and I LOVE it!! It's very thorough without being overwhelming. She is also working at memorizing the poem The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson. Expect a short video presentation in the near future! :)

For math we are still working on the following skills:
Addition facts through 12's with our review item Math Facts Now. You can see my review here.
Times tables practice is done with another review item, Times Tables.
Skills scheduled in the Ten Marks program review that we are in the midst of. Look for that review within the next week or so! It's an awesome program! We have worked on such skills as calendars, telling time and elapsed time, addition facts, place value through 10,000 and dollars and coins.

With all of those math review items Biggest has gotten an awesome dose of math this last month or two!

We finished up our history last semester and although I was able to order the next manual earlier than I thought (we got a great deal) I am not sure when we will begin it.

We have also starting a wonderful writing program from Institute for Excellence in Writing. We are currently taking two weeks for each lesson and are working on key word outlines. I'm telling you that the method is amazing!! She is enjoying it, much to my surprise!!

We have put spelling on hold simply because of the learning dysfunction issues. I am praying and studying about what the best way to teach spelling to her would be. It's been a slow process so we, unfortunately are doing nothing at the moment. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment! Any help is always appreciated!

With Big Sis we are also working through First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind level 1. We were actually doing 2 lessons at a time because it was going a little slow for her. We are now back to 1 lesson  four times a week and have about 55 more lessons to go before we hit Level 2. We are still working through Nouns, common and proper and she has memorized about 3 or 4 poems. I need to get some videos of those up! We are coming up to pronouns next and I'm sure she'll be glad for the change! She can rattle off the definition of a noun in her sleep!! She is also just beginning copywork. She's not too thrilled about that but I know she needs it.

I've been taking it easy with math, only assigning pages from a Scott Foresman Grade 1 workbook that I picked up at our local thrift shop for $1.00. It's actually pretty thorough! I will continue to give her pages from that book here and there but we picked up where we left off with Right Start math simply because the strategies that the children learn from that program are amazing and I want to make sure that she gets those! She also has her own lessons on Math Facts Now.

For reading she has been reading a few pages out of one of her The Bobbsey Twins books. She does amazingly well for never having been taught to read with the normal "phonics flashcard drills" approach. I have noticed that she skips some small words however. I am keeping a watchful eye on her for any learning troubles as well.

I meant to get back into spelling this week but it didn't happen, next week for sure!

For both of them we are now beginning a new science program. I decided to try out the history first semester and science second semester approach. We've done tons of history the past couple of years and very little to no formal science so we're starting now.

We are using Considering God's Creation and the girls are loving it! I've started with the God Made Me Unit and we have been working this week at making mini-skeletons for our notebooks. We will eventually add in the digestive and respiratory systems to this as well. We are learning the actual names of the bones and a little song to help remind us what the bones do. It's been fun for us all. We will only do science twice a week so that the girls continue to look forward to it.

All of the kids are working on Spanish with Speekee, yes, another review item. Gotta love that! And the girls both have music practice picking back up.

It's a full schedule but we've done well. What can I say, God has been good! Until next week!!

Lovin' Learnin'

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Classical, Modern History: TOS Review

The Product:
This review is for the Modern History Era Schedule from the Easy Classical curriculum. From their website:

"Do you like the idea of Classical Education, but find it hard to implement? We can help! Easy Classical provides a variety of resources for teachers and homeschool mothers who desire to teach within the classical framework. We provide schedules, writing guides, copybooks, and geography curriculum all integrated for ease of use and increased retention."

The McMama Experience:
My first impressions of this schedule was, "Wow, this actually does look easy!" Every thing looked laid out and ready for you to just open up and read so that you know what was to be done that day.

The Introduction has been done so well. It lays out the basic schedule for you so that you get a good idea as to how the schedule will look before you even see it.

The schedule lays out each week's work along with any necessary comprehension questions and needed materials all on the same page. Icons are used to remind the parent about narrations that are required, songs to be listened to and written work that is scheduled. This makes knowing what lays ahead for the week very organized and easy to see. Following the schedule for the week is the Comprehension Quiz that can be done orally or written depending on the ability of your child. View a samle of the schedule here.

This program integrates many commonly used history readers and texts along with many of Susan Wise Bauer's suggestions from her book, The Well-Trained Mind. It is actually recommened to read through the elementary portion of that book prior to beginning this course so that you can gain a good understanding of how the course will flow and why it flows the way it does.

The Breakdown:
The schedule can be purchased in two formats:
  • Notebook Version - $35.95
  • Digital Version - $29.95
In order to complete the entire program you will also need to purchase the following two items:

Click on the banner below to see what my other Crew Mates have to say about this.


**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.**

Lovin' Learnin'