Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New year and that mid yr boost

It has been a while since I posted with the Holidays and a long mid year break for the kids and me. Well we are back in the swing of things and we have the finish line in site. Having a visual learner definitely has it's challenges. We realized around the end of Nov. our math curriculum was just not working for us. Since then we have looked at and even tried out a few different programs. I really liked what other homeschool families had to say about teaching textbooks but the price and lack there of color held me back. Instead we went with Aha math the price was great it was very visual but the down side was the set up and the issue that you have to figure out how to add lesson on your own. The website gives no how to's at all. Then we came across Kizmath. You can by it by the month, 3 month,6 month , or even the yr. It was visual but it was only games, worksheets , and quizzes. I need something that was visual but also walked my child through step by step with plenty of review. I had for over a yr been looking at the A+tutorsoft program but not sure if I would like it or not. One of the sales Reps is even a member of my facebook group for homeschool families. They had a sale and so I jumped on it. We had a little extra money at this time of year with taxes and all so why not. I can tell you out of all the math programs we have tried on our homeschool journey A+ has topped them all. Believe me we have tried many. Textbooks, Christian curriculum, Math mammoth, Time4learning, Aha Math, Kizmath you name. They each had some good points but never seemed the right fit. A+tutorsoft has completely worked and it has so much to offer. You get multimedia lessons that teach step by step and is very colorful and visual. It also has a review after each lesson. If you child gets a question wrong it will reteach the steps to that problem right then. You get access to textbook, workbook, exams, and progress report. They have even taken the time to load a lesson plan already made for you, just print it out and done. The lay out is extremely user friendly. They even have supplemental programs to help if your child is struggling in just one area not the entire grade level. Their customer service was awesome as well, kind, friendly, and fast. What more can a girl ask for. I feel like the clouds have parted and the sun is shinning bright in my little math world,lol. As of right now the program goes through algebra I but they will be adding all high school level math soon in the next yr or so. You can choose many options that fit your family income. By a 3 month online, a one yr online, or even cd or download software. Even if you don't need a visual program they have textbooks and workbooks you can buy as well. I look forward to using this program with my children for years to come.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time4learning.com Review.

Time4learning.com Review I was given a chance to review time4learning for a month with my 3rd grade child. I would for sure say that the curriculum offered here are well rounded materials. The curriculum is presented in such a way where the lessons are fun, colorful and entertaining. The character who is doing the speaking does not talk down to the student, or treat them as lesser person, but as a teacher that enjoys their job and that can't wait to share their information with the child. I thoroughly love that. This works very well on lower grade levels say from preschool on up to 4th grade. I love the set up and the fact that you not only get access to your child’s grade level but the grade level above and below as well. We personally used the website along side our normal curriculum as a kind of review of the concepts we had covered earlier in the school yr. I found the math and language arts to be very animated and just what my daughter enjoys . We decided to only use it for math and the language arts programs, but the social studies and science areas are good too. They just don't quite fit for DD's learning style. We needed more color, more visuals, less text. My suggestion would be to add in some imbedded videos or game simulation type material to the science and history. For anyone just now starting out as a homeschool parent and not really sure what to cover or even how to keep records this site can be a life saver. You not only get a clear laid out plan of what is covered in most state standards you get a printable grade book that can be by the day, week, or month. I found the parent forum to be a great place to visit not just for time4learning information but over all homeschool ideas and or websites. I personally would not recommend this as an all inclusive homeschool curriculum for a few reasons. One I think that kids not only need to learn state standards but they need access to material that allows them to follow their own interest. Two for the hands on child this may not be the best way for them to learn. Three even though the curriculum covers a good bit I don’t think it gives enough review in some areas or digs deep enough in others. I would love to see them add more animation to the science and history areas as well as more review in math. Overall I would recommend the website to any homeschool family starting out and not sure what to do or ones lookinf for an affordable site to use for reviewing concepts. I feel it is well worth the $20 dollars a month but I could see where it could be costly for parents with multiple children. Maybe a bigger discount would help there. …… Rayne Cater

DRUM ROLL Please!!

Finally I think I have narrowed it down. A curriculum that works for my child. After trying many wonderful curriculum and website on the market. I finally have found what at least at the moment is working for Alyssa. Math- we are using AHa Math at learning.com It is very visual and interactive with instructional videos, lessons, games, journal writing on what they learned, quizzes, and even worksheets you can print out. At $15 a year it is a steal. Great for my visual learner. We will also add in math worksheets from my numerous files saved or websites when the extra work is needed to master the concept. Science- The simplehomeschool interactive lessons plus printouts. This is a unit study bases science curriculum and again very visual. So far we are loving it. Cost me $36 on the black Friday sale but normal price will run you around $76 a yr. We will also add in the numerous website resource simpleschooling has listed with each unit study. History- we are mainly using the resources of discoveryeducation.com which Ga. homeschool families get access to free of charge through GPS. Once a month we will also be doing a Unit study on famous people, places, and events in History using numerous unit studies and websites I have collected. Grammar- Workbook wise we will be using Growing with Grammar $38 a yr for everything, worksheets off sites like Superteacherworksheets.com Video wise we will 4 days a week work with the free video lesson off Learnzillion.com you can set up a free account and it is aligned with common core standards. Again it is visual which in my daughters case is highly important. Spelling- We will be using Soaring with Spelling and Voc $ about 20 a yr for all workbooks including teacher book. Plus we will continue with our rainbow spelling words and or dancing spelling words. Writing- We will be using Winning with Writing $ 28 a yr for everything. We will also be introducing typing skills next yr. She will continue with journal writing 3 times a week. Reading- we are using numerous books we have and ones at the library. We have a sit down circle talk time where we discus the books, plot, setting, characters ect. She will continue with her daily a-z readers this cost about $50 a yr but you can find it on sale from time to time. These are small maybe 10-20 minute readers you can printout and make a book out of. They have numerous ones from prek- 5th grade on all kinds of wonderful topics. She will also continue with book reports and or projects on the larger books she reads. Spanish- we will continue with our Hooked on Spanish program- This program runs about $99 off Amazon. We work with it 3 times a week. Extra activities- She will be involved in 4-H and an art class. Will take bi weekly field trips, and be allowed at least two hrs of free time to visit educational sites of her choice off a list off about 200 that I feel she would benefit from. Well there you have it the best plan I have come up with and one that as I said is working at least as off right now.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Next years curriculum

I can't be the only one already thinking about what to use next year. With the great black Friday deals today it got me looking even more than I was. Over the last two years we have found some keepers and some duds. I want to make sure I am using what is best for my child/ren and their learning styles. So I figured I would go ahead and put it out there what we are using and what we are seriously thinking of using. Science- Simple Schooling Unit studies with the online interactive. We lucked up and got this for $35 today in a black Friday sale. Spanish-Hooked of Spanish given to me by a great friend Soraya! Spelling- Soaring with spelling and voc Grammar- Growing with Grammar Writing- Winning with writing- this was a sure winner for us this yr and since they have spelling and grammar curriculum as well for a great price we decided to give them a try next year. Math- Teaching Textbooks- they are costly but every single other homeschool who has used them says you will love them and they will continue to use them. History/ Geography- Switched on School House- History is the one subject that my 8 yr old just could care less about. This yr we used a good bit of movies and hands on. I have heard great things about S.O.S. and I think it might be a good fit for her. Not so big on the fact it is religious based but I am not totally against it either. I figure if it doesn't work we will at least get our money back in resale. We will also do a bit of Home Ec and Character studies just fun simple things I have collected along the journey and are age appropriate. She is going to join a local art class for homeschool families and 4-H where she will be raising chickens. Yay free eggs,lol. Between all this and pre-school for the soon to be 4 yr old looks like we will be busy. Love every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012