Free Printables for 30 Days

acToday is my birthday and I am turning the big 30. Today I will be at Downtown Disney with my best friend pin trading and window shopping. We don’t get to spend much time together, so I am extremely excited!

To Celebrate My 30th Birthday, I am posting a Free Printable every day for 30 days!

 

In honor of my birthday, I would like to give you all a gift. Since I am turning 30 I have decided to have a new printable everyday for 30 days, starting today! You don’t have to sign up for my newsletter or anything, although I would love if you did. Just a gift from me to you as a thank you for being a reader.

Each day will be a surprise. I have some math worksheets, science, literature studies, and just for fun pages. Some of them have already been made, but others are in progress. Most of them will be for older elementary students, but some will work for older and younger kids as well.

Do you have a topic that you would like a worksheet for? Tell me in the comments, and if it is something that I can work with, I may make it.

Now for today’s free printable………

Day  1 is Prime Panda!

A fun Free Worksheet that focuses on prime and composite numbers.

This fun worksheet takes coloring by number to the next step. It focuses on prime and composite numbers. It includes two different worksheets, one for younger kids that is a simple color by number type, and one for older kids where they have to solve equations and then color by number.  I hope you enjoy it!

Download your copy of  Prime Panda. Please do not share the link to the PDF, feel free to share this post where anyone can download their own copy.

Have a great day, and come back tomorrow for another free printable.

Find the days that have posted so far below.

Day 2 – Hey Diddle Diddle Pack

Day 3 – Butterfly

Day 4 – Temperature

Day 5 – Fantastic Mr. Fox

Day 6 – Humpty Dumpty

Day 7 – Adverbs

Day 8 – Adverbs or Adjectives

Day 9 – Memorial Day

Day 10 – Parts of Speech

Day 11 – Spelling Practice

Day 12 – Medication Check off List

Day 13 – Brain Break Cards

Day 14 – Telling Time

Day 15 – Multiplication

Day 16 – Pippi Longstocking

Day 17 – American Flag

Day 18 – Fractions

Day 19 – Books of the Bible

Day 20 – Old Testament Puzzles

Day 21 – Old Testament Puzzles Part 2

Day 22 – Sudoku

Day 23 – Sudoku

Day 24 – Northeastern States

Day 25 – Southern States

Day 26 – Super Hero Writing Prompts

Day 27 – Rocky Mountain States

Day 28 – Southwestern States

Day 29 – Pacific Coast States

Day 30 – Midwestern States

 


Carnival of Homeschooling

A+ Math Review

Post Contains Affiliate Links

A+ Math is fun, engaging, and helped my child to master new topics!

AJ’s favorite subject is math, so when I was given the opportunity to review the Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math I thought it would be a hit. I didn’t expect AJ to grow leaps and bounds with the program, but she did! We received a six month subscription to the Family Math Package.

What is the A+ Family Math Package?

Family Math Package
A+ math is a complete online math program that offers a few different options. The one AJ and I reviewed was the Family Math Package. With that package we had access to math from grades K1 to Algebra. Depending on how you choose to use the program it can be completed completely online, or you can print off worksheets and exams. Multimedia lessons, an interactive quiz, and worksheets, ensure that your child understands the topic. There is also a PDF math book available if you want to read through the lessons, or use it for extra study practice.

You can switch grade levels at any times, and packages are available for use with up to ten children! Since it is an online program you will need high speed internet access to use the program. It works with most browsers on both PC and MAC.

How did we use it?

Since we haven’t been following a typical course of study for math, I wasn’t sure where to place AJ. She is in 6th grade, but is ahead in a lot of areas and behind in others. I decided to try her in the Pre Algebra section, knowing that we may have to go down a level if she found it too difficult. That is one of the amazing things about the Family Math Package, you aren’t stuck in one grade level.

There is both a student account and a parent account. I signed into my account, looked around, watched a few lessons, and was ready to start. Everything was very self explanatory, and there was even a big red button on the sign in page that tells you how to get started.

Once AJ signed in we decided to start with the tutorial to make sure she understood how to use the program. Then she started in with the first unit, Number Review. The lessons were short, to the point, and very well explained. The Number Review unit was all about different types of numbers; whole numbers, integers, real numbers, and others. We tried learning the difference between the number types in a different math program and she just didn’t understand the concept. I was a little apprehensive on how she would do, but she really seemed to grasp the concepts. At the end of the lesson she took an interactive quiz and got a perfect score.

Since the lesson was so short I had her do two to three lessons a day. She has a tendency to space out and not pay attention, so in order to make sure she was paying attention to the lessons I had her take notes. I found that having her take notes was very helpful to her retaining the information.

A+ Math is fun, engaging, and helped my child to master new topics

After about a week of using the program, I realized that we weren’t doing the worksheets. I don’t know how we missed them, but we did.  She went back and did the online worksheets for the lessons she had already completed and then it was time for the unit test.

There are two options for the test, online or printed out. I decided to have her do the online test. It is a timed test to stimulate a regular testing environment. She doesn’t do well with tests, or being timed, but she aced the test!

She was so proud of herself after the test and couldn’t wait to start the next unit. Then she found out it was fractions. We have studied fractions for a big part of last year and the first part of this year. She tested out of fractions, so I could understand why she wouldn’t want to go back over them again. We skipped over units two and three and went straight to unit 4, Powers and Roots. She loved the unit and learned so much! Being able to pick which unit to work on really excited her. She watched a few lessons on basic trigonometry and a few on polynomials because she wanted to learn new things.

Each day was a little different and as the lessons became more difficult she went down t one lesson a day.

What did we think?

There were a lot of things that we love about the Family Math Package.

Pros

  • It is a complete program, not just a supplement.
  • There are detailed reports to let you know how your child is doing.
  • Instant feedback is given if your child makes a mistake on the interactive quiz. They are taken back to the section in the lesson that explains that topic.
  • It is full of flexibility! From lesson order, to grade level, to printing things out or doing them online, you decide what works best for you.
  • It is affordable.
  • Lessons are presented in a way that makes sense.

While it is a great program, there were a few things that we didn’t care for.

Cons

  • Answers had to be put in a specific way. On the online worksheets, and the tests, the answers had to match exactly or they were marked wrong. In one lesson she was asked how much percent of something would be left. She answered 32% and was marked incorrect because they were just looking for 32. In another lesson she put .02 for the answer and was marked incorrect because the answer was 0.02. Once we knew that the computer wanted the answers a certain way, it was fine but it would have been nice to know from the beginning that they had to be entered that way. I also wish that there was a way for the parent to override the poor score for instances like I explained above. The good news is that they are working on a way to fix both of those issues.
  • The difficulty level in the interactive quiz and the worksheets often didn’t match. On a few lessons she was able to answer all of the interactive quiz questions very easily, but then the questions on the worksheets were way more difficult. This was AJ’s main complaint.

Overall, we both loved the program! I loved that it is so flexible. AJ loved that the lessons were short and to the point. For now we will be sticking with A+ Math.

Right now A+ Math is having a 40% to 50% off sale on their “Family Math Packages” and “Adaptive Placement Testing w/ Lessons” program from 5/4/2015 to  5/18/2015. We are really enjoying this program, if it sounds like it may be a good fit for your family check it out. I would highly recommend it!
A+ Interactive Math - Building a Foundation You can COUNT on!

Find out what other members of the Review Crew thought by clicking the graphic below!

A+ Interactive Math Review
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Orphs of the Woodlands – Review

AJ has a great dislike for reading. She loves math, science, and history, but don’t ask her to read. On the other hand, she loves games, if those games can have an element of math and science, then we usually have a winner. I love getting lost in a story and could get stuck in a good book for hours at a time, so I have been looking for a way to help AJ gain the love of reading that I have. Enter the latest product that we were blessed to review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, Orphs of the Woodlands. Orphs of the Woodlands is an amazing product created by Star Toaster.

An amazing Online program that has sparked my child's love of reading!

We were given a year long access to the first book, The Treasure of High Tower. The normal subscription is for 60 days and is good for up to three children. There is also the option to extend the subscription for 30 days if your child hasn’t finished the program within the first 60 days. It is an online program so you will need a good internet connection, but you should be able to use it on any browser. We used both Internet Explorer and Chrome and had no issues at all.

What is Orphs of the Woodlands?

In very simple terms, it is a online book with learning and games intertwined. But it is really so much more! When you sign in to Orphs of the Woodland you are taken to a spy job application.  The WAK underground is looking for trustworthy spies to help save the Woodlands from the Night Creatures who are destroying the Woodlands.

This is where the fun begins! Your child gets to pick an alias for the main character in the book. The main character is male, so AJ decided that her squirrel would be named Tommy. Once your application is submitted you are taken to your journal. In your journal is a 15 chapter book told from your character’s perspective. (The book is over 350 pages)

Throughout the book there are interactive learning opportunities. Vocabulary words are highlighted and when you hover over them you are given the definition, or a list of synonyms. There are quotes and Latin phrases that are highlighted as well. When those are hovered over you are given the meaning of the phrase or more information about the quote. There are portions where sound clips are included and videos as well. It is so much more than a book!

The first chapter lays out the story. It tells all about the Night Creatures, Orphs (orphaned animals), gold stars (the currency of the Woodlands),  Ivythwaite, and High Tower.

After the first chapter, (and each other chapter you read) you have to complete jobs to earn gold stars so that you can take care of your Orphs. Jobs are based off of skills learned throughout the book.

Before each “job” there is a lesson on the topic. Some of the lessons are written pages for your child to read, and others are fun videos where Professor Forp teaches you a lesson. Professor Forp is a fun character who encourages you to seek out, “New Information Daily!”

The jobs you do vary with each chapter but they include:

  • Math– covering topics such as; place value, decimals, basic algebra concepts, lines and angles, mean, median, mode, circles, and more.
  • Science – covering numerous animal facts and a few other topics.
  • Language – covering Latin, basic grammar, homonyms, and more.
  • Vocabulary – covering numerous word families.
  • Thinking Skills – covering comprehension questions and memory skills.
  • Character – covering character skills and inspirational quotes.
  • Life Skills – full of wonderful recipes from the story.
  • The Arts – covering basic art subjects like; color, design, and tessellations.

In the beginning your child earns 6 gold stars for each correct answer on a job. As they get more correct answers they move to the next level and eventually earn more gold stars for each correct answer. The trick is that if you answer a question wrong, you don’t get paid, and you don’t have a way to earn those missed stars back again.

What are the Gold Stars For?

Star Toaster Review
That is where the game part of the program comes in. Using strategy you have to decide how to spend your gold stars to best take care of your Orphs. Which land should you purchase? Should you do projects to lower the cost of taking care of your Orphs, and if so which ones? You have to be careful because if you don’t have enough stars to take care of your Orphs, then they will leave and not come back!

 How did we use it?

This program is geared for kids in grades 4 through 7, but I really think it would be good for grades 4 and up. There isn’t a set way to use it, so I had AJ work on it throughout the week for as long as she wanted. Most days she completed a chapter and the jobs for the chapter, but with some of the longer chapters she only made it halfway through the reading and we would pick it up another day. Since she dislikes reading so much I decided to use the program with her and share the reading. The book was very interesting and I enjoyed it.

If you can’t or don’t want to read with your child that is okay too. There is a parent log in where you can find out how your child is doing on the lessons. You also will receive emails from Star Toaster updating you about what your child will be learning and their progress.

Working on Star Toaster - An Amazing online program for kids in grades 4-7

The program was very easy to navigate. AJ did most of it on her own. Using the menu at the top she was able to get to the book, her job list, and her timeline with ease.  We found everything self-explanatory and easy to understand. The best part is that there are helpful videos that explain every portion of the game if you can’t figure something out.

We also took the learning off line. There was a lesson about how to estimate the height of a tree that we tried and a lesson about PH and acidity that she did. I noticed that the lessons on homonyms helped her in her writing as well.

This is so much more than a book! We took the learning offline and explored some of the fun from the book!

 

What did we think?

We LOVED this program. It was the perfect fit for AJ! It has it all; an intriguing story where she is part of it, vocabulary words that are explained so she can understand what she is reading, fun bits of math and science sprinkled in, and a game where she gets to help others. She enjoyed trying to figure out who the good guys were and who was working with the Night Creatures. The story had  mystery and comedy while focusing on good character qualities and the value of knowledge.

She loved Professor Forp. He was funny and really explained subjects in an easy to understand way. I loved that the jobs she had to do forced her to really pay attention. At first I didn’t like that she couldn’t redo a problem if she missed it, but she only ended up missing 3 questions in all because she didn’t want to take a chance of not being able to care for her Orphs, so in actuality it was really a good thing!

AJ’s only complaint was that some of the chapters were too long. I agree that a few of the chapters were long, but I don’t think they could really be broken down any further to keep with the story.

After finishing the book AJ was actually upset! She didn’t want the program to end. The next book will be coming out soon and she really wants to read it. This program has sparked AJ’s love of reading. We finished the book, but she is reading it again because it was so much fun. When this kid willingly reads something a second time I think that speaks for its self. Star Toaster has a real winner with this product!

Star Toaster Review
If you have a reluctant reader, or a child who loves to read, you should checkout Orphs of the Woodlands ! The best part is that they are offering a free trial where you will be given access to the first 100 pages and the jobs that go with those pages. This program sparked my child’s love of reading and hope it will do the same for your child.

Star Toaster Review
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Real Life Homeschooling – Some Days Take a Little Longer

Today is Day 4 of the Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop. This week I have been sharing a typical week in our life, even though each week is a little different. These posts are all based on the week before Easter, because this week is Spring Break and 5 posts about us doing nothing would be pretty boring! Here is how our third day of the week, Tuesday went.

Real Life Homeschooling - Some Days Take Longer

On Monday night I noticed that AJ wasn’t feeling too well. I soon found out that when she was with her grandma over the weekend she went swimming! The pool is not heated and it is still too cold to swim. We had just discussed this and told her that she could not go swimming a week ago, so when she woke up feeling sick I was more than a little irritated.  If the situation would have been a little different I probably would have just skipped school for the day and we would have just made it up later. But after finding out that she completely disobeyed and went in the pool knowing that she was not suppose to, I decided that she would have to just deal with school. Am I a mean mom? Maybe, but in life there are natural consequences and this was one of them.

Tuesday we were off to a slow start. We started school around 10 am. First we worked on her Bible study, and then she did her Bible reading for history.

Putting God First with Bible reading in our Homeschool!

Once she was done with her Bible reading we decided to work on spelling. She did her chunking, read the passage to me, and then asked if she could study some of the harder words for a few minutes before her final dictation. That caught me off guard! I gave her a few minutes to work on her spelling and then we started in on dictation. The dictation is suppose to be stopped after 10 minutes, but when I told her time was up she asked if we could finish. She ended up working on it for about 20 minutes, and was very proud of herself when she corrected it. There were over 100 words in the dictation and she only missed 3! Talk about a boost in confidence. I think Spelling You See is really going to be an answered prayer for us!

Spelling You See - Final Dictation.

After spelling she went and got dressed and did a few chores that she didn’t do before we started school.

Real Life Homeschooling Chores are just another part of school!

We were going to go onto science, but my leg was swelling so badly that I had to go inside and put it up. We decided to work on Star Toaster. It is this amazing reading program that uses an online story, a game, videos, and so many other exciting features to make learning fun. I have a full review coming soon, but here are the basics. She logs in and reads a chapter in the story, The Orphs of the Woodlands. Throughout the story she learns different vocabulary words, character traits, nutrition tips, and math skills. At the end of each chapter she has to do jobs (answer questions) to earn stars so that she can take care of her Orphs (orphaned animals) that she is helping. It is a really neat program and she really enjoys it. She was really into the story, so she ended up working on it for about an hour.

Working on Star Toaster - An Amazing online program for kids in grades 4-7

When I finally told her we had to move on she ended up finishing up her A+ math for the week. The first chapter was really easy, but she enjoyed it. I am crossing my fingers that the rest of the chapters will be as well done. She crossed off math for the week and noticed that the next day’s spelling was a Daily Puzzler from Schoolhouseteachers.com She loves those and asked if she could work on that next. As you can tell by the picture, she was starting to feel a little bit better.

Working of Daily Puzzlers from schoolhouseteachers.com

After crossing off spelling for the week, it was time for science. Today we were learning about clouds. I had printed off a worksheet about the different types of clouds, but I had a hard time telling them apart. (See you don’t have to know all of the answers, just how to find them!)So we decided to do a google image search and learned more about the different types of clouds.

Learning about clouds using a google image search.

After finishing the worksheet we went outside to see how many types of clouds we could name.  Sadly, it was clear as could be other than this little cloud.

Learning about clouds, and this was the only one in the sky!

AJ sketched the cloud, and then it was time to make a cloud in a bottle.

Real Life Homeschooling - Hands on Learning

She had a lot of fun with the experiment!  After science it was time to finish up history. Today she had to do the first half of her vocabulary for history. I decided to try something different with this unit, and had her make flash cards instead of just doing a worksheet. She liked it and I think that she will practice the flash cards more than she will study them in a book, time will tell though.

Real Life Homeschooling -Flashcards for history vocabulary

When the history cards were done she had to read two more chapters in Because of Winn-Dixie. She surprised me and finished the book! She even took the test and aced it! This may seem like a little thing, but this is the first book that she has EVER read by herself, that doesn’t have pictures, where she has really read it and was able to answer questions! This was HUGE!!! After working and pushing, and backing off, and getting frustrated, our hard work has paid off and she willingly finished a book!

Real Life homeschooling - Finishing her first book

She is just in the wheelchair so she can wheel around and spin while reading, she is fine!

 

I don’t know if it was the new schedule that gave her more responsibility, or the fact that she wanted to be on spring break, or if it was just a good book, but now I know she has it in her.

Overall it was a good day, but it was a long day. School lasted about 6 hours. Some days will be longer than others when your child decides to take forever, or when you dig deeper into a subject. We take each day and see how it goes. Tomorrow will be our final day in the real life homeschooling blog hop, come back to see how we finished out the week.

Check out some of the other members of the school house review crew who are participating in the blog hop!

Life at Rossmont
A Stable Beginning
Happy Little Homemaker
Joyful Hearts and Faces
Day by Day in Our World
Mama’s Coffee Shop
Delightful Learning
Double O Farms
Tales of a Homeschool Family
Home Sweet Life
A Rup Life

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
 

 

Real Life Homeschooling – A “Normal” Day

Today is day 3 in the Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop. I am sharing the second day of our week, Monday.

I let AJ sleep in, because I slept in. I ended up sleeping through my alarm which happens a little too often. When I woke up around 9:30 this is what I found.

Working Independently on School Work

AJ was in the garage eating breakfast and working on some of her independent work for the day! She told me she wanted to get started so that she would have plenty of time to ride her bike. Maybe this new schedule really is working. She ended up reading the Bible stories for both today and tomorrow. This was part of her history work.

Next we went on to the Bible Study that we are reviewing. After reading a few verses and discussing them, she attempted to do a crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, the crossword puzzle questions and the answer squares didn’t add up. After a few minutes we decided to have her do the younger version of the crossword puzzle instead.

Next on the schedule was Spelling. Today was the dreaded day of dictation. She started out by reading the passage and chunking it. Then we covered the passage and I dictated it to her.

Chunking the passage from Spelling You See

She struggles with the dictation because one of the rules is that she can’t erase. If she spells a word wrong she has to cross it out and try again. She also doesn’t like to be timed. The dictation is only suppose to last for ten minutes, but today she was a little distracted and didn’t write very much after 10 minutes so I stopped her after 15 minutes. She did well, but I hope that we can get further along tomorrow when we do the final dictation.

Dictation with Spelling You See

After spelling we moved onto Science. Today’s lesson was about how to read a weather map. She read a little bit about weather maps and then had to answer six questions based on them. It was a quick activity that only took about 15 minutes.

Learning all about Weather Maps

I let AJ pick the next subject and she chose math. She started with her Key to Percent book and finished her two pages very quickly. Then she decided that she wanted to go ahead and finish off the book today, including the test.

Taking the final test for Key to Percent Book 1

This is where we normally get off course with our schedule. She wants to do more in a subject and we end up putting other subjects on hold. Last week we were so focused on history that we didn’t do any science. I told her that she could do as much math as she wanted, but that the other subjects had to get done too. She passed her test with 98% and wanted to start the next book, but I had to stop her there, because I didn’t want to do school work all day. Have I mentioned how much I love Key to Math?

Next up was History. She read a few verses in Joshua and then I put on the What in the World? CD for her to listen to while she colored in her What’s in the Bible? coloring book. I have found that she doesn’t pay attention unless she is doing something. She just spaces out and can’t tell me anything that has happened. Sometimes I let her play with play dough, kinetic sand, or putty. But today’s lesson fit in so well with the coloring pages so I had her color.

Coloring while listening to What in the World?

While she was listening to the CD I checked on Grandma and started preparing dinner – chicken and dumplings.

She looked at her spread sheet and realized that she forgot to do her A+ Math that we are reviewing. She logged into her account and started on lesson 6. After she did the lesson and got 100% on the after lesson questions, I realized that there were worksheets to go along with the lessons. She hadn’t completed any of the worksheets because I didn’t realize they existed. Oops! I had her do a few of the worksheets that we had missed and then it was time for lunch.

Working on A+ Math

Even with doing extra math and history, school was less that 4 hours long. I ended up running a few errands to the pharmacy and the store and then we worked on Star Toaster when I came back. When we were finished she rode her bike for over an hour. It was a very successful day!

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
 Here are 10 more amazing bloggers who are participating in the Blog Hop, check them out!

Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Double O Farms
Simple Living Mama
Fried Clams and Sweet Tea
This Sweet Life
A Net In Time
Counting Pinecones
Some Call It Natural
Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Debbie’s Homeschool Corner

See how others spend their day by checking out A Day in our Homeschool!

 

 

 

 

Real Life Homeschooling – Fitting It All In

Today is day 2 of the Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop. (You can see day 1 here) I will be taking you through a typical homeschooling week at our house. This week we decided to do school Sunday through Wednesday. (This post is based on the week before Easter, because we are on Spring Break this week.)

Sundays are busy around here. It is our day that we do the major cleaning, so it is not the “best day” to do school, but we have to fit in school when we can. Here is how our day went.

My alarm went off at 8:30 and I woke AJ up about 9am. She didn’t want to get up until I reminded her that she had church that night and if her work wasn’t done (As long as she puts in a decent effort she can go, even if everything isn’t finished.) she couldn’t go to church.

Homeschooling in Real Life - Fitting it all in

From about 9 to 11 she got up, ate breakfast (eggs, toast, and an apple), took a shower, and made her bed. She moves so SLOWLY in the mornings sometimes. So slowly that it drives me nuts!

From 11 to about 1:30 we cleaned. The floors were swept and mopped, everything was dusted, and then……. Grandma woke up. She had a wet diaper so we changed her and made her some breakfast. I put a Shirley Temple movie on to occupy Grandma and then supervised as AJ vacuumed the house. Then it was time for lunch. Lunch was simple, a tuna sandwich, chips, pickles, and cucumber.

At about 2pm we started school. I was afraid we wouldn’t get much finished since church was at 5:45. We do the majority of her school work in the garage.

Normally, I would let AJ pick the order of the subjects for the day, but not today. Since we were in a time crunch I decided to start off with history. This week in history we are starting a new unit all about The Children of Israel. It covers quite a few books in the Bible, from Joshua to 1 Kings. Today on the schedule was reading the article, reading a few stories in the Action Bible, and reading a few major verses in her Bible.

Homeschooling in Real Life - History

We read the article and Bible verses together and then she read a few stories in the Action Bible.

The Action Bible - A great way to help kids understand the Bible.

After history was finished, she moved onto Bible. We are reviewing a Bible Study from Heidi St. John called; Firmly Planted The Gospels Part 1 Today we read the first part of Luke 1, and discussed it.

Firmly Planted Bible Study, Luke 1

Then she worked on the vocabulary section while I put dinner on. We need to get a better dictionary, because the one we have just isn’t cutting it any more. She had to use the computer to look up most of the words, and they were basic words.

Looking up words using Dictionary.com

Next on the list was spelling. We are reviewing Spelling You See, and so far AJ loves it. I was concerned about the amount of writing at first, but she has been doing very well with it.

Spelling You See - A hands on way to practice spelling.

First she reads it to me and then she chunks the words based on the vowels. After we go over the chunking, she copies the passage.

Spelling You See - A hands on way to practice spelling.

Spelling only took about 15 minutes total. Today for some odd reason she decided to cooperate and get her work done in a timely manner.  After spelling we moved onto math.

Today’s math was in 2 parts. First she did some online math (more on that tomorrow) then she worked on her Key to Percent book. Today’s lesson was on finding percent by using what she already knew. She had to find  49% by finding both 50% and 1% and subtracting, or find 35% by adding up 25% and 10% of a number.

No need for paper, we do math on the whiteboard!

She worked her problems out on the whiteboard after I went over what she had to do. While she worked on math I folded some laundry and checked on Grandma. Then I checked Facebook and my email. A few minutes later I checked her math and she had them all correct. I love this math! Everything is step by step and she enjoys doing it.

The last major subject for the day was science. We are using Digital Science Online and are working on Weather. Today she watched the video all about weather in action and filled out a worksheet. She watched it alone while I went inside and put my foot up because I was hurting a lot.

Using Digital Science online to promote independence

When she finished science (about 25 minutes) she asked if she could do her literature at bed time. I decided we would try it and she did her PE. I had to add PE to the schedule because otherwise I tend to put it off so that she gets more book work done. In all honestly, if it wouldn’t have been on the schedule I would have skipped it. She loves to ride her bike though, and I think seeing it on the schedule actually makes her work harder.

After PE she watered the plants, and then it was time to eat a snack and go to church. She ended up finishing up everything except literature by 5:15. She says that she really likes the new schedule and if more days go like today, I will gladly take the extra time to schedule each week.

After church, at about 7:15, we ate dinner. Tonight was ham, mashed potatoes, and steamed carrots. When it was time for her to do her literature, she gave a little attitude because she wanted to watch TV.

Working on independence in Home School

After a few minutes of moaning about how she could do it tomorrow, she went in and read her book and answered the questions. She actually ended up doing both Sunday’s and Monday’s work, because, “The book was just so interesting.” I don’t know who kidnapped my child and replaced her, but I am gladly keeping this one!

Each day is different and today everything seemed to work out well. AJ cooperated with her school work, Grandma willingly stayed out of trouble, and the house was cleaned. Most days are not this smooth, but I am thankful when days like today happen.

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
 Here are 10 more blogs that are participating in the blog hop, check them out!

For This Season
Unexpected Homeschool
For Him and My Family
As We Walk Along the Road
Growing in His Glory
Homeschool Coffee Break
Daily Life
There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Proverbial Homemaker
ElCloud Homeschool

 

GPA Math – A TOS Review

Math, you either love it or hate it. Around here we love math. AJ would do math any day over reading or writing. When I was given the opportunity to review an online math program GPALOVEMATH from GPA LEARN I thought it would be the perfect math program for AJ. I was given a year long subscription to GPALOVEMATH. There are over 150 lessons and 10,000 problems in each grade!

GPA LEARN - A TOS REVIEW Earning badges and points MOTIVATES!

GPALOVEMATH is a math program that is completely online. Using animated characters, lessons that are to the point, and step by step directions, your student can master math standards. GPALOVEMATH is really broken down into three parts – Learn, Engage, and Motivate. When you purchase GPALOVEMATH your child will have access to all six grades of math, from K-5. We used fifth grade for the majority of our review, but we also looked around at some of the other levels.

When your student logs on to the program they are taken to their dashboard. On their dashboard they will see how many lessons they have completed, the number of stars they received for each lesson, their progress, and how many rewards they have earned. From there they have the option of clicking on one of the three tabs; Learn, Engage, or Motivate.

When your student clicks onto the learn tab they are taken to a screen with three different paths to work on. The paths vary a little by grade, but in 5th grade they were:

  • Green Path – covers order of operations, problem solving skills, and variables.
  • Purple Path – covers place value, decimals, fractions, multiplication, and division
  • Blue Path – covers the coordinate grid, graphing, geometry, and measuring

GPA LEARN - Learning Paths

The lessons can be completed in recommended order, or by topic. If you are going in recommended order, there may be times when one or more of your paths are blocked and you are forced to complete other lessons before you can continue on the blocked path. This can be bypassed manually, if you want.

When the student clicks on the desired lesson they are taken to a lesson that is broken up into three parts. The first part is the Introduction.

The 5th grade lessons start off with Nina Numerator and Dino Denominator needing your help to stop the Evil Dr. Division from trying to ruin the world. In order to stop Dr. Division you have to solve math problems and earn clues.

GPA LEARN - Math Missions add to the excitement of math!

After explaining why the topic is important to learn, any new math words are defined.

Mighty Math words - New Vocabulary is learned for most lessons.

The concept is explained in detail. Then the student is walked through four problems on the topic, earning a clue after each problem.

GPA LEARN - Math topics are broken down into easy to understand steps.

During this time the student should work the problems out, but they can not click on anything or submit their answer in any way. Once they earn all of their clues Dr. Division is defeated until the next time and the introduction is over.

Following the introduction is the practice section. In this section you practice solving problems. If you get it right then your learning coach gives you positive feedback, a green check appears, and you can go on to the next problem. If you get it wrong, your learning coach points out what you did wrong, a red refresh button comes up, and you are given another chance to solve the problem. When practice is over, it is time for the Quiz.

GPA LEARN -  made a mistake, your learning coach will help guide you!

The quiz is 15 questions (10 for younger grades) long. During the quiz the learning coach doesn’t provide any feedback, and you won’t know if you answered a problem correctly until the end of the quiz. The quiz is made up of multiple choice, drag and drop, and fill in the blank questions. When the quiz is over you are given your score and your points. You are also able to go through any missed problems.

 

Earn points and badges after each quiz!The second tab your student can click on is the Engage tab. Under that tab they can send messages to approved people including their teacher. This section may be great, but we didn’t use it. With just the two of us, it would be silly to communicate over the computer, but it might work well if your student has friends using the same program.

The final tab is what makes GPA LEARN different from other math programs, the Motivate tab. For each lesson your student earns points depending on how well they did. They can then use those points to purchase things. There are numerous options from staying up late to cooking with parents, and even having the parent do the child’s chores. There is also the option to earn a gift card (provided by GPA LEARN) to different retailers. During this review we saw Toys R Us and Target, I don’t know what options there will be in the future. **** As you can see AJ earned quite a few gift cards, but policies have changed and now there is a limit of earning 3 per year*** There are also random awards that parents can select in the beginning that are given out as surprises when the student has completed so many lessons.

GPA Learn- Earn surprise rewards

GPALOVEMATH can be played on your MS Window or Apple MAC computer; Apple iPad, or Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (10”). You can use it with your favorite browsers, Google Chrome (recommended), Apple Safari 6 & 7, MS IE11 and FireFox. We used it on my Windows 8 laptop using Chrome.

AJ is in 6th grade, but since we have been doing a mastery based math, there are a few holes, especially in geometry. AJ used this program in place of her normal curriculum for the six weeks. I had her do about 5 or 6 lessons a day. She was able to log on and navigate the program very easily and did the program mostly independently. All she needed was my computer, some scratch paper, and a pencil and she was off.

GPALOVEMATH sounds like the perfect program. It is visual, interesting, and full of bells and whistles to make learning fun. Unfortunately, we found some major flaws.

The voices of the characters are horrible, on top of being annoying and computerized, there were times that math vocabulary words (along with others)were pronounced incorrectly. The audio was at times playing so fast that nothing could be understood and at other times there was so much static that the sound had to be turned off. I contacted the company and they are aware of the problem and are in the process of redoing the audio for the 5th grade level. Currently the only fix is to turn the volume down and read through the lesson, but for AJ that was a major issue.

The other major issue was that there were a lot of math errors. I know there will be errors with any program, but this was a bit much. The first few we just talked about, but by the fifth or sixth time that her correct answer was marked wrong on a quiz she was frustrated. She actually used the feedback button herself and contacted them about the issue. She was right, and the problem was fixed.

Most of the issues were simple errors, but a few times the errors prevented her from getting the highest score and the correct points.

GPA Learn - a major con we had was the numerous math errors

As you can see in this picture, they have that point D would be at -6,2. The correct answer would be -6, -2 but she was marked wrong for that answer and another one that was really correct on the same lesson. After reporting quite a few errors we were informed that the 5th grade team would be going over the problems to check them. When we looked at the other levels there were errors as well. In one kindergarten lesson the question asked which picture showed the snowman after it melted, but none of the pictures had anything to do with snowmen.

AJ’s biggest complaint aside from the audio and the math errors was that the introduction was too long. In the beginning, saving the world from Dr. Division was exciting, but after a week it became old and boring. In fact, because of the awful audio and the long introductions AJ decided to skip most of the lessons and just do the practice and quizzes.

There were some really good things about the program too. I love how step by step everything is. I also appreciate that after each lesson she completes I receive an email telling me what she worked on, how long, and what her score was. I can even see if she skipped the lesson or watched it. I love the detailed feedback that shows me how she is doing. The customer service is top notch, and very professional – even when dealing with an 11 year old.

Overall I think it is a great idea, that is just poorly executed at this point. Would I recommend it? No, not now, but once the audio is fixed and the problems are rechecked for accuracy I think that this would be a great math program.

There were a lot of reviewers, and most of the ones that I have read were very positive, so go check them out!

 

GPA Learn Review
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Free Saint Patrick’s Day Math

This year is going by so fast! It is hard to believe that it is almost March. I created a really fun math packet for AJ in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, “Lucky Math” and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Saint Patrick's Day math worksheets

The packet includes 5 different worksheets focusing on different math skills. Some of the skills included are:

  • Operations with negative numbers
  • Math Vocabulary
  • Absolute Value
  • Prime and composite numbers

But there is a neat twist! At the end of each page, the answers from the math problems become ordered pairs that you then need to graph on a coordinate grid. Each worksheet adds another piece to the picture, and when you finish the 5th worksheet there is a picture made from all of the graphed points.

I have also included a list of points to graph that will make the same picture, in case you don’t have time to do all 5 worksheets, or in case they are too hard. AJ is in 6th grade, but I think with a little help the worksheets would be good for kids in grades 4 and up!

To download your copy, all you have to do is subscribe to our weekly newsletter. In the weekly newsletter you will find our latest posts, giveaways, freebies, and deals. Already subscribed? It will be in your weekly newsletter.

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This post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew Round Up of free printables. Click on the graphic below to find even more free printables. This post is also linked to Dear Homeschooler.

Free Printables Round-Upl

Standard Deviants Accelerate – Review

AJ learns better if she doesn’t have to read about a subject. She can read all about science or history in a book and the information may or may not click. If she can see the information or interact with it in some way it brings learning to life. We were contacted by Standard Deviants Accelerate to do a review, and after looking into their product, I thought it would be a great fit for us.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

What is Standard Deviants Accelerate?

Standard Deviants Accelerate is an online learning system for select subjects for grades 3 to 12. Videos explain/teach the information and then follow up activities are completed online. Currently the subjects offered include the following.

  • Arithmetic Grades 3+
  •  Fundamental Math Grades 4+
  •  Algebra Grades 7+
  •  Earth Science Grades 6+
  •  Biology Grades 7+
  •  Chemistry Grades 9+
  •  US History Grades 9+
  •  English Composition Grades 9+
  •  Nutrition Grades 6+
  •  AP Biology Grades 11+
  •  AP Chemistry Grades 11+
  •  AP US History Grades 11+
  •  AP American Govt. Grades 11+
  •  AP English Composition Grades 11+

The AP classes are only 1 chapter long and while they don’t exactly teach all of the information you need to pass the AP test, they teach how to take the test and then some important information. Topics covered include when you should guess at an answer, what to expect on the test, test taking strategies in general, and the topics you need to know. There is some material covered, but just an overview of the topics.

The regular classes are broken into chapters. Most of them have the same structure; a chapter introduction, between three to five lessons on the topics, and then a chapter review. Within each lesson the activities also follow a similar structure.

Each lesson starts off with a video. Next to the video there is a copy of the video transcript where you can follow along if you want. Under the video there is a place to take notes on the video. You can even copy and paste information from the transcript directly into your notes.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

After the video there may be vocabulary. This is simply a screen that lists any new vocabulary from the lesson along with the definitions. The words are clickable, and once they are clicked the word and definition are read to you. Some lessons do not contain a vocabulary section.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

The next section is the diagram. In this section there may be a list, a matching activity, or a picture where you need to label the parts. There is a word bank at the bottom and the correct answer will stick once it is put in the correct place.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

Next comes the quiz. The quizzes are about five questions long and are multiple choice. Once the quiz is submitted it is automatically graded and any incorrect answers have a link to the section in the video that explains the correct answer.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

The final section is the written answer. In this section they are asked a few questions about the “big question”  that they are thinking about throughout the chapter. The answers are typed in and the submitted to the teacher (you) for review.

Standard Deviants Accelerate – An online homeschool supplement.

You can purchase each class based on your needs. There is a monthly or yearly subscription option.  It is accessible 24/7 on your computer, laptop, iPad, or any device with an internet connection.

How we used it

AJ is in 6th grade so unfortunately there were not many classes for her age. We had a choice of Earth Science, Nutrition, Arithmetic, and Fundamental Math. We could have also tried the Algebra or Biology that is for grades 7 and up.  She was really beyond most of the chapters in Arithmetic, and Fundamental Math had a few topics she hasn’t mastered. I gave her the choice on which math to use and she wanted to try Algebra.

We used algebra as a supplement to her current math program. She hasn’t ever had any algebra prior to this course and while she enjoyed it and learned a lot, she was not quite ready for it. My plan is to go back over some of the things she needs to work on in Fundamental Math and then try the Algebra course again. In my opinion this course would be a great supplement for an algebra course or even a remedial class for someone who needed more information. It wasn’t a good fit for someone who was just learning about algebra. There simply wasn’t enough practice and the pace was too fast. The explanations provided in the video were wonderful but they only showed how to do a few problems and then it was off to the activities and quiz. I saw no retention, and when she was asked to do a problem that was similar to the video she couldn’t figure it out. On the other hand she did learn a lot of vocabulary that I think will help when we do get to algebra later on.

We used the chapter on Mountains, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes to finish out our study on geology. This is a secular program so it does refer to millions of years, (and there is a section on evolution in Biology) but I am ok with that. The fact is that a lot of people believe differently from us, so before we try any new science or history AJ and I always talk about our beliefs and why we believe that way. She learned a lot of information from the videos. Some of it was a review of things we had learned earlier in the year, but most was new information. It was great to see the science explained visually. She seemed to retain it and enjoyed watching the videos. I think the main downfall for the science section was the lack of experiments. It is wonderful to see things explained  but hands on learning is a lot of fun too. She ended up watching a lot more of the videos just for fun.

What we liked

  • I love the idea of Standard Deviants Accelerate. The student logs on and there is little involvement needed from the teacher.
  • The videos had a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” feel to them. They are kind of corny, funny, and full of information. I didn’t care for them at first, but they grew on me. AJ loved them from the start and was laughing and learning at the same time.
  • There is a lot of information covered in each video, and taking notes is encouraged.
  • One of AJ’s favorite parts was that there is no physical writing, everything is done on the computer.
  • The lessons are fairly short, an entire lesson usually took about 45 minutes. They can even be broken up into shorter sections if you want.
  • There was a big focus of vocabulary – something we often struggle with.
  • Your work can be saved in your locker and you can go over it at another time when you want to study. It can also be printed out.
  • The final chapter review takes questions that you originally answered incorrectly and asks them again. I love this because if you got it wrong the first time you were suppose to watch that part of the video again and you should be able to get the right answer now.

What we didn’t care for

  • I didn’t like that all of the answers were multiple choice. I think that on the quizzes it would have been nice to have some fill in the blank or matching questions as well. Often some of the choices on the quizzes were obviously incorrect.
  • We didn’t care for the writing section of the chapters at all. We honestly just skipped it. The idea of thinking about a main idea throughout the chapter is good, but we felt discussing the main idea was more than sufficient.
  • There isn’t enough practice in the math sections.
  • There were no hands on learning opportunities.

Overall we enjoyed Standard Deviants Accelerate! I plan to have AJ continue to use it to supplement our current courses. If you have a student that learns well visually this may be the answer for you! They are currently offering a free two month trial, so check it out.

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SchoolhouseTeachers.com – Review

 

Post Contains Affiliate Links

Old School HouseI am excited to announce that I am now an official member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew! One of the first things that I was able to review is a product that I had been contemplating purchasing for a while now, SchoolhouseTeachers.com

AJ and I were given a Yearly Membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  There is so much to explore, that even after two weeks of using it, I don’t think I have uncovered half of the wonderful classes and programs that are available.

What is SchoolhouseTeachers.com?

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is an online product with downloadable, printable elements as well as online classes. It is a collection of over 100 different courses ranging from math and grammar to film making and violin. Classes are available  for every age from preschool all of the way through high school. There are classes and resources for mom too. Resources for mom include planners,  homemaking classes, and even menus.
 
The classes are done at your own pace, and one membership covers your entire family for all of the courses that you wish to take. It could serve as a full year of homeschool, or a great supplement. 

We used the website on my PC laptop. The site loaded quickly and was fairly easy to navigate. Once you click on the course you want to take, you are usually taken to a page with all of the lessons  hyperlinked and ready for you to start on whatever lesson you are looking for.  A few of the courses I looked at didn’t list all of the courses on one page, in those courses I had to click through a couple of pages to go back to the beginning lessons of the course. It didn’t make the navigation any harder, but it did take longer to get to the lesson I wanted. 

I did most of the site navigation when we used my computer,  but AJ  used her Kindle Fire to watch some of the sign language videos on her own. It was great that she could watch the video lessons and practice even away from the computer. 

Most of the courses require typical school supplies like; pencils, notebooks, and paper. There are a great deal of printable elements in the courses that I looked at, mostly worksheets, notes, and lapbook pieces.   

How did we use it?

With so many different options available I began looking around the site. There are really online learning courses for just about anything you can think of. While I was clicking around I found so many amazing things. I found math lessons that will be a great supplement in a few weeks when we move to a new topic, I found an amazing lapbook for the Gift of the Magi that we will be reading in a few weeks, and then I found the Dailies tab.

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review
Under the Dailies tab there are numerous daily lessons. There are daily lessons in math, copywork, spelling, geography, and so much more. I really liked this section because the lessons were short and easy. I decided to pick two of the Daily lessons for AJ to work on.

Online Learning

Daily Puzzlers

The first course AJ started was Daily Puzzlers. The idea is simple. You print off a list of letters and cut them out. Then each day you are given a list of a few of those letters that you will be working with. 
Using different clues you make words with the letter tiles that were printed out. For example, AJ was given the letters : T L E T L I and given the clue “Make a word meaning allow.” Her job was to use the tiles to spell the word LET. Then she was told to add or take away letters to make a new word.
I expected the first puzzle to be simple for her, but it wasn’t. She had a lot of fun, but it became obvious that we need to work on reasoning skills. I had to really talk her through the thinking process for the first two puzzles. The first day we did three puzzles, and she wanted to do even more. The next day I saw a great improvement on her ability to think through the puzzles. I still had to talk her through a few steps but overall she was doing the puzzles mostly on her own.
These Daily Puzzlers help with spelling, vocabulary, reasoning, and thinking skills. The best part is that AJ enjoys doing them. She even wanted to “play the new letter game” over the weekend. Language arts is her weakest subject, so if there is something she wants to do that will help her to improve, I am all for it! She has already asked to keep doing the Daily Puzzlers, so I think it will be an activity that we add as a part of her morning work.

Online Learning

I printed the letters on pink card stock and used a piece of blue card stock for her workspace. When she is not using the letters they are stored in a Ziploc bag. I then stored everything in a small folder.

Daily Grammar 6/7

The second course I had AJ work on was Daily Grammar for sixth and seventh grade. I had a hard time deciding where to place AJ in the grammar course. She is in sixth grade, but I was afraid the 6/7 course might be too difficult. After looking at the fifth grade course I decide to try out the higher level. 

Old School House

The idea for Daily Grammar is brilliant! Each week you have just one sentence. Each day throughout the week you use the same sentence to practice different elements of grammar.

  • Monday – You identify the part of speech for each word in the sentence.
  • Tuesday – You label the functioning parts of the sentence including things like; subjects, predicates, direct objects, and indirect objects.
  • Wednesdays – You identify the clauses, sentence type, and purpose.
  • Thursday – You fix capitalization and punctuation.
  • Friday – You diagram the sentence.
A lot of the topics were difficult for AJ, and admittedly myself as well. The best part is that for each day there is a note page that explains everything in detail about the topic. On Monday you grab Monday’s notes and start identifying the parts of speech. If you come to a word that you don’t know how to label you can go through the notes and figure out your answer.
The first week was very difficult! I couldn’t figure out why some of the answers weren’t making sense. Then I realized that there was a typo on the worksheet. Once we fixed the typo things were easier.

Tuesday’s work was by far the hardest because it contained things that AJ hadn’t learned before.

Old School House

We decided to use Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s work as a way to learn new material. We used the answer key and the notes to learn why the sentence was marked the way it was.

It just takes a few minutes a day, and already she is learning so much!

What did we think?

We both LOVE SchoolhouseTeachers.com! It is flexible since there are so many different classes available. We plan to continue to use the website throughout the rest if the school year. I think I could easily use this website as an entire year’s curriculum for AJ. The amount of resources it places at your fingertips is amazing. I am already looking into some courses that AJ can take next year.
The only draw back I see is that there isn’t a way to save what courses you are working on. Each time you log on you have to click through to find the course you want to use. Overall, I feel it is more than worth the price!
Are you looking for an inexpensive supplement to your homeschool?

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SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review