Monday, October 9, 2017

CTCMath Review


Good morning families who are trying to teach math. I know math is a hard subject for some families to teach. I know it is not my best subject. This is just one of the reasons why my girls have been using  CTCMath for the last 3 years. The second reason we use CTCMath is because my girls love it. I have done reviews on CTC before and we are using it again this year. We have the CTCMath Family Membership so we can use it with more than one student. I wanted to remind everyone that with your subscription your child will have access to all the grade levels. So if your 3rd grader does 4th grade addition but 2nd grade multiplication they can do that at no extra cost.  The best part is Homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 bonus months.

This year we are using the 5th grade and the 3rd grade. I have reviewed about the 3rd grade before and I don't think it has changed much since my oldest used it.  The 5th grade level is new for us. They have also added some new features to make things that my 3rd grader likes. 

Each grade level covers a lot of information, I feel that it is well rounded and we are comfortable using it as a complete curriculum.  The 3rd and 5th grade levels have about 114 lessons and approximately 19 diagnostic test or assessments. It covers patterns and algebra, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, numbers II, decimals,fractions, problem solving, time, speed, units of measure, area and volume, plane shapes and solids, angles, lines, position, chance and graphs. It basically covers everything a 5th grader needs to know. The 3rd grade level covers similar topics just as a grade appropriate level in other words they are quite a bit simpler than the 5th grade lessons are. CTC uses a mastery approach to teaching so once your student masters a lesson and gets a passing grade they can move on to the next section. 

Each lesson includes an instructional video. Most of these videos are under 4-8 minutes in length. The girls like the way the videos are done. They get right to the point of how to do the problem and have zero fluff. Everything is broke down in simple steps and the girls usually pick up how to do the lesson the first time watching the video. Your child can go back and watch the video as many times as necessary. This is great for review and I often have them go back and watch the lesson videos just to be sure they don't forget to how to do something. 

After each video lesson and when they are ready, your child will click the question's tab at the top of the lesson. This tab will take them to the practice questions. The number of questions vary from lesson to lesson we seem to average about 15 or so questions for the 5th grade level a few less for the 3rd grade level. The questions are graded right away so as soon as they hit submit they find out if they did it correctly. If they get the question wrong it shows them what the correct answer is. They can click on the questions tab over and over so your child can practice as much as they need to. Each time you click to start the questions again it will give them different questions. Their is a large variety of practice problems and we have yet to get the same question twice. 

CTCMath offers some different testing options the standard and the comprehensive test. The standard test is different in the since that it does not have as many questions, its some where in the ball park of 20 questions. The comprehensive test has some where in the ball park of 40 questions. The comprehensive covers a broader range of content. We usually use the comprehensive test at the end of each unit. We do use the standard test as a practice test as it seems to give them an idea of what they might need to work on a little more. 

Now for some of the fun teacher stuff. You can set a required score that your child must achieve before the lesson is marked completed or passed. I have set ours at 80% because we aim high in our house and I know my girls are capable of achieving this score if they do their work and keep their paws off the toys during math time. You can print out a chart that shows what lessons they have taken and what scored they have received on each one. CTCMath has added some great new features this time around. We now have the ability to set specific task for each student. So at the beginning of the school year I assigned each lesson on a specific day for each of the girls. The girls then log in at the start of the day and click the task tab at the top of their student account. This will tell them what they should be doing for the day. I admit it is a bit time consuming do set this up all at once. But if you have a child like my 3rd grader that likes to skip around this feature is a huge help. Now for my 5th grader who is becoming more independent we have some printable charts. You can find the charts under the tools section of your parent account. You simply download and print what ever grade level you need. These charts allow your child to keep track of his or her own scores on each of their lessons it also has a line for them to mark down the date that they completed the lesson.  Their is also a sheet where they can mark the date and score that they get on an assessment test. We have only been testing this feature out for a few weeks but so far it has been a great visual reminder to her on how well she is doing and what she has left to complete for the year. If she has to repeat a lesson because she didn't do so hot it shows her how she is improving each time she tries again. For her that is very encouraging to be able to see her hard work paying off.

I really can't say enough great things about CTCmath and I wanted to share these great offers so that you can try it out for your self.


Free trial

60% off + 6 bonus months

CTCMath Online Math Tutoring {Reviews}

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

The girls found this slime stuff on a YouTube science video. We decided to try it out. We made the kind using borax a year or so ago. This one uses school glue, baking soda, and contact solution. The more contact solution you add the more rubbery and thicker it gets. We used 6oz of glue a table spoon of baking soda and a good squirt of contact solution.

It came out stretchy and cold feeling. It doesent stick to their hands but does stick to clothing. You can roll it up in a ball. But if you put the ball down and let it sit it will look like it's slowly melting. So their you have it our quick fun Wensday science project. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks Review

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks
The girls have begun to learn cursive handwriting. I think all kids should learn how to write and read cursive. So much of our history is written in cursive and everyone needs to have a nice readable signature. We have tried several different books and so far the one by Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks has been our favorite. It is called Easy Peasy Cursive and is geared for grades 1st to 3rd.

Channie's Easy Peasy Cursive WorkbookThis is a very simple cursive workbook, it has around 80 pages. It is bound on the top so it is great for left handed kids. No binding fight for the lefties. I have both a left and a right handed child. Both feel that the top binding is easier to write in. I consider this a great starter cursive book. The lines are quite large for an older child. It has angled guidelines to help them keep the proper slant to each letter. It has this green shaded area to help them remember where the lower case letters go. The letters are simple and do not contain flourishes and extra curls. 

My 5th grader wanted to try this book. Their was a bit of a squabble over it. So we used the tried and true method of coin flipping to see who got to try it out. She flipped a coin with my 3rd grader and apparently won. She has been excited to learn cursive. Her grandma had beautiful cursive writing and she has always wanted to learn to write like her. She has been doing one page a day with out a lick of complaining. It does not take her very long to complete a page around 10

min or so. She does some time get some blank binder paper and do a little extra practice. She has reported back that the pages are easy to follow and the arrows and number on each letter were great in showing her which part to make first and what direction to make the lines. She is very quickly picking up how to form each letter correctly. I did receive a few complaints about the lines being so big. But both my girls frequently complain when writing pages use big lines. They feel the bigger lines make their writing look sloppy. They just do better on college ruled paper. But that is just a preference that my kids have. Like I said above once she has practiced in this book and gets the hang of how to form each letter she will change over to favorite type of paper. Take a look at the pictures I have included it will give you a great idea of whats in the book and some samples of how my daughter is doing.

Over all we are both happy with this writing book. I would buy this book for any child that is just starting out with cursive. Be sure to click the banner below and Read what the Other Crew Members are saying about Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks.

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Reviews}
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

New Things

Well my 35 year old tent gave up on us. It just didn't have another season in her. She was experiencing dry rot and the floor was getting holy. So we start a new chapter in our camping life with this tent upgrade. This tent is bigger than our old 8x10 colman canvas tent.  Our new one is a 10x14 Kodiak Flex bow canvas tent. It sports a door on each side and 6 windows. Yup that's right this baby has 6 windows when they are all open its almost like sleeping under the stars but with out the bugs. Because it has so many windows it is great for the warmer summer months and when you close it up its is great for the cool fall months and good for the colder winter months if you take along a little heater.

This is probably the easiest and fastest tent I have ever put up. It has two flexible bows on each end, one ridge pole and then 2 support poles ones on each side. The awning is optional so you don't have to use it if you don't want to. We put it out just for grins and giggles and from the looks of the pictures I should have pulled it a little straighter. To put it up you  pound in the stakes, stick the flex bows in to the pockets on each end and into the holes on the ridge pole push the two pieces of the ridge pole together and slip the collar over the joint. After that you put the side poles into the end of the ridge pole and slip the hook on the bottom of the tent into the bottom of the pole and you are done. With out the kids help the tent is up in about 15 min. A little longer if my girls help and if the ground is rocky and the stakes are hard to pound in. If you are looking for a new tent I can safely recommend this one. 

   We are off to enjoy our new tent see you on the flip side.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Things cool Mom's do...

Me and the girls love to ride bikes. We are looking for a reason to get out and ride. We recently took a weekend camping trip so of course the bikes had to come. This time the girls were in for a little surprise. I found these crazy bike lights on amazon. You basically put them on the rim of your bike and as you ride around they light up. The faster you go the more you are able to see a image form. The ones I got just do different shape patterns. The girls did not know they were getting them. My youngest was helping me unload and when I took her bike down she said mommy what's on my tire. I told her it was a stabilizer to help her ride better. She shrugged it off and went on to play. Later she comes and says mommy that stabilizer is not working. I told her took some practice and went on. That evening around dusk I turned on all the lights when they weren't looking and said hey who wants to ride to the bathroom with me. They both jumped on bikes and took off. They got about 10 ft from the camp site when they each screeched sissy your glowing.

These turned out to be a lot of fun we took several evening bike rides around the campground and the girls really enjoyed their surprise. 

I would like to remind everyone that we were riding in a safe location at a campground  theirs was still enough light to see the area we were riding in and the kids always wore their helmets.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New Hobbies

I am trying out a new hobby. I'm not sure how its going to go but I guess we will see when the first real project comes off the block. I am trying my hand at metal stamping. I have had some letter stamps for a while I used them to mark something a few years ago. But this will be my first attempts at actual nice jewelry. I ordered some polished stainless blanks online last week and I finally got brave today and gave it a go. I made this necklace for me and the girls. I think it came out well for my first real try at it. 

Now I have to look for some other projects to make for them. Does anyone else do metal stamping? I would love to hear some tips and tricks to get a better impression. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Let the Little Children Come Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract Review

Let the Little Children Come

Let the Little Children Come Halloween TractToday we are reviewing a little something for Halloween. Halloween is probably one of my favorite holidays. We love the make believe aspect, the dressing up to be something silly. But we also love the candy and this super cool product from Let the Little Children Come has got to be the best way to give out those sweet treats and be able to share the Lords word at the same time. We are reviewing a product called Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract. These Halloween Tracts are super cute pumpkin shaped boxes that you fill with candy and then the child unfolds it to reveal not only a sweet treat but they get an amazing gospel message. You get 20 pumpkin shaped boxes in a pace and they will run you around $15.95 or if you buy 11+ packs you can get them at a discount price. 

This a some assembly required product. You do not need to be crafty for this one though. All you are doing is inserting the stem of the pumpkin into a slot in the other panels. Each panel is numbered and it is basically fool proof. See my super cool picture on the right. My girls helped me to assemble a few of these and they had a lot of fun. You can see from the pictures they are small pumpkins and since they are round they would better hold small candies like sweet tarts, Hershey kisses, star burst etc. We plan on taking ours to some of our homeschool friends that live in town. These candy boxes would be great for a church trunk or treat night or even a birthday party that happens to land around Halloween. Might even use them as a classroom Halloween party treat or for you homeschoolers give them away at a co-op or park day. We have no birthdays around Halloween so we will be donating ours to our small town church. They do a Trunk or Treat every year on Halloween and I just know that they will love having these to give out. 

Be sure to order some today so you have them in time for your Halloween Party. You can also click the banner below to see what the other Crew Families did with their Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract.

Is There Anything Better Than Candy?  {Let The Little Children Come Reviews}

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kwik Stix! are at it again

Hey everyone Kwik Stix has ask me if I could share some exciting news for them. On September 8th Kwik Stix will now be easier to find. They are pleased to announce that you will be able to purchase all their great products at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs for only $19.99!

So head on over to your nearest BJ's Wholesale Club and pick up a pack. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Review

A Journey Through Learning
We are doing Lapbooks again! This time we are excited to be using A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks. We are using a set from their Apologia Curriculum page. Specifically we are using the Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy (2nd Edition) Lapbook. This Lapbook set is designed for grades 2-7 I am using it with a 3rd grader and a 5th grader. It includes something for each lesson that is in the Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy (2nd Edition) book. It also includes instruction on assembly, and placement of mini books, lesson plans and answer keys. This is a downloadable product and contains 158 printable pages. 

This is what my girls call a mega big Lapbook. It used 14 file folders that you will install in a binder. They included some directions and pictures on how to do this and I am thankful for the photos because I would have messed it up with out them. This hole process includes lots of folding and taping and it took me way longer than it probably should have to create two of them. I had issues with my 3 hole punch. I am going to recommend not using one. The tape gets stuck in the punch and tears out the holes when you try to remove it. At least that is what happened with ours. A single hole punch was much easier although it was more time consuming to do and still got stuck at times. We live in a small town and the only duct tape I could get a hold of was plain silver but you could get fancy and do some of the colored duct tape or something with a print on it. Stars would be cool if you could find it or may be glitter. I thought blue with glitter would kind of go with the hole Astronomy theme. All in all assembling the file folders was probably the most time consuming thing for me. 

I was pleased with this lapbook. We have not completed the entire thing yet but we are well into it. Like I said above each lesson has a mini book that your child will complete to go along with the lesson they learned in the text book. I found these to be a great edition to the student notebooking journal that came with their Apologia set. Some of the mini books repeated the information that they did in the notebook, but we did find a good number of them that gave them additional information that was covered in the text but not the notebook. Review is always good so we were ok repeating some of it. I can actually say that I think the Lapbook would be good substitute for the student notebook if you had a child that preferred doing the lapbooks. 

The girls found the lapbook assignments easy to do and understand. I do think a 7th grader might be a little bored with it though. A good number of the pictures were offered in color. This was an issue for us as we only have a black and white printer. The girls did try to color some of the pictures to make them a little more interesting. You can see some of the pieces we have been working on before we put them in the file folder. All in all this Lapbook is a nice edition to the Apologia Astronomy set.

A Journey Through Learning offers a variety of Lapbook sets and everyone should check out the other sets that other Crew Members have reviewed.

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017 great Eclipse

We took another trip in our favorite rocket trip. This time we blasted to a location about an hour away from our home town. Why did we do this on a sunny Monday morning in August you ask. Because we homeschool and we were so close to being able to see totality for the 2017 solar eclipse we just had to go. This is a bonus field trip for us. The girls just finished a unit in Exploring Creation with Astronomy about the sun. So this little adventure fit in nicely. We set out early so we could get a place at a local park. Armed with our special solar glasses and lens filters for the camera, our white sheet and the video camera so my oldest can try to catch the shadow snakes that appear for a few seconds just before totality is achieved. Then we settled in to wait for it all to begin. Being the rocket ship travelers that we are. Me and the girls packed a pick-nick lunch because you can never have to many snacks. We spent the morning running and playing with some of the cousins. Me and my rocket ship travelers hope you enjoy a few of the pictures I took.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

We had a weekend off and the weather was good. So we took another trip in our rocket ship and landed at the lake. We spend three days hiking, biking, and just relaxing and enjoying some family time. Check out the colored flames. We picked up a pack at the gas station that said you put it in the fire and it would make colored fire. We recently saw a demonstration at the science center and the girls thought it would be fun to do for our selves. So what is your favorite family time activity? Comment below and let me know. We are always looking for something new to do!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Something new

Who in there right mind would want a carport this big? Us that's who! We bought this crazy thing well over a year a go and and are just now getting it finished. We no longer have the camper this was originally intended for so we have no idea what we are going to use it for. But here it is in all here green glory at least it blends in with the forest a little. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Who Likes Dinosaurs

Us that's who.... Check our some photos from our latest Rocket Ship adventure... The girls took a birthday trip to Jurassic Quest. It was a complete surprise neither one had any idea that they were going.The lines were insane and we spent most of the time waiting in line to do stuff be we still had lots of fun and we really enjoyed the trip.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Crafty Classroom How to Write a Paragraph Review

Crafty Classroom

The Crafty Classroom has brought us a great new product called How to Write a ParagraphThis is a 12 week program set up to be used 4 days a week. It is designed for grades k-2. It is a downloadable unit that cost around $9.00 and comes in PDF format. My 3rd grade reluctant writer is the one that used this program. Most of the time I get simple one sentence answers from her. She is easily overwhelmed when it comes to writing assignments. She cant figure out how to put everything she knows together into something that makes since. 

How To Write A ParagraphFrom the teachers end of this program it is crazy simple. Their is NO-Prep work to do. Simply download print and go. The hole file is roughly 78 pages, so be sure to have some printer ink ready. Most of the download is in black and white but we did find some color pages. The colored pages are the ones that I would put up on our wall to remind her of the steps she needs to take when writing a paragraph. I had to recruit my sister to print these since I only have a black and white printer. For now these reminder pages are hung on our wall but once we complete the unit I will put them in her writing binder so she can use them as a reference any time she forgets. At the beginning of each week you will find a weekly outline. I found the outline to be similar to a lesson plan. It has everything from a run down of what is going to be covered to teaching tips, reminders and any materials that you may need to complete the lessons that your student will be doing that week. 

How to Write a Paragraph is simple straight forward and was easy for her to understand. Each page was simple enough for her to follow and broke things down in a step by step format. She does well with programs that use a step by step method. She liked that the instructions were on the work pages. It includes things like reminders, goals and check list right there where she could see them as she worked. The pages are designed to be written on. We were both happy to see the smaller lines. They are bigger than college ruled but not huge like the lines you would find on most kindergarten pages. She does not write well on large lines still ask if their was a smaller line option. She seemed to enjoy the writing assignment and had very few melt downs over the assignments, which surprised me. Each daily assignment or lesson took her between 15 and 20 minutes to complete. 

Over the course of the 6+ weeks that we have been working with How to Write a Paragraph I have seen some improvement in her ability to put more than one or two sentences together. Today when she was ask to write an answer down for science she put together a decent sized answer with what, where, and why she gave the answer that she did. She is still referring to the reminder pages that we have on the wall quite a bit but she is using them when she writes for other subjects. I think with time she rely on these reminder pages less and less. I feel that we have taken a step in the right direction to getting her on the road to being a good writer. I cant wait to see how she is doing when we finish up the last few weeks of How to Write a Paragraph.

Other Reviewers tried out different products from The Crafty Classroom and I would love to see you come on over and take a look.

Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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