Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Review

I have an official 7th grader in just a few short weeks. Since we have already finished our Literature for the year we have got a jump start on our Grade 7 Lightning Lit Set. by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. We reviewed for them a while back with the elementary series and were very happy with it so I was excited to give the Jr high set a try.

What we got:
Lightning Lit: Gr-7 Student's Guide
Lightning Lit: Gr-7 Workbook
Lightning Lit: Gr-7 Teacher's Guide

What I had to order:
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Helen Keller
Stories & Poems f/ Intelligent Children
All Creatures Great and Small

If you are ordering from the Hewitt Homeschooling Resources site you can get a package deal with the reading books included or you can just order the curriculum and obtain your reading books independently. I was able to locate almost all the book at a local library or the online library with the exception of the  book Stories & Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages. How ever you do have to watch which editions the books are or the page numbers/chapters may be a little off from what is in the student guide. I ended up deciding to just buy the books because it was just easier for us being so rural.


The Student guide contains the lessons that your child will do. It has lessons on plot, creativity, autobiography, character sketches, brainstorming, outlining, writing, instructions on poetry etc. The workpages are what gives your student practice on the concepts that are taught in the student guide. The teachers guide has explanations on the course, a weekly lesson plan, answers to the comprehension questions and the workbook pages, It has some extra suggestions for the lessons and information you will need to know about the writing exercises.

I feel that this is a very easy program to follow. My oldest is able to navigate this mostly on her own with me checking answers and fielding questions when she comes upon something she just doesn't get. I love the book selection they are all classic stories that I loved as a 6th and 7th grader. The selection of books is well rounded and includes some poetry.  My daughter is currently reading and working through the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Every day she comes to me to tell me some thing Tom did that she found cleaver or funny. She says she feel that the explanations in the student guide are a bit wordy but doable for the most part. She reports that the student workpages are spot on and easy to figure out.

The weekly lesson plan was a little different than the usual daily lesson plan that we have been used to with other programs. How ever with her being in 7th grade it gives her a little more practice at budgeting her time. This is how I have been doing it. At the beginning of the week I write down what lessons are required for the week on her marker board. She is then responsible for deciding when and how she wants to get those lessons completed. She has done very well with keeping up with each weeks assignments. I am pleased with the amount of work she needs to do each week. I feel like it is neither too much nor to little for her age and grade level. She starts off reading the lesson in the student guide then she moves on to any reading that need to be done in the book (Tom Sawyer at the moment) and lastly she will do the workbook pages. If she has questions she ask them as needed. If not she submits all of the weeks assignments to me on Friday and I grade them. Anything she gets wrong we sit down together and discuss it. My biggest challenge is grading the writing assignments. The teachers guide does give you some guidelines but I still find grading this part hard.

Over all I can recommend Lightening Lit grade 7 as a well rounded lit program. I feel that it doesn't cover enough grammar so you will most likely need a grammar supplement or some sort. It is reading intensive program so a reluctant reader might struggle with all the reading. How ever the books are engaging and fun and the workbook assignments are short enough not to be over whelming.

If you will click the banner below you can read more great Crew Reviews on Hewitt Homeschooling products.


Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Me and my dad bought this gazebo for my mom for her anniversary. It finally came in a month late. I couldn’t get the measurements to come out right for the frame. It took a week to get a reply from the company. They told me an error had been made on the directions and sent me new ones. I downloaded them and guess what still wrong! I fiddled around with it some more and finally got the outer frame to work. This weekend I attempted to finish it and behold more parts that are not right! One piece for the roofing frame is welded backwards and two others have holes drilled incorrectly. So here I wait again for them to ship me replacement parts. I think someone should have pulled one of these babies out of the factory and actually tried assembling it before they shipped it out. Where has quality control gone did no one take a look at the parts to be sure they were drilled correctly or that things were welded on the right end? So far I am disappointed that it’s taken me 2 weeks and I’m looking at a third week waiting on parts to get this thing assembled.

Monday, June 3, 2019

First Harvest

This is our first garden harvest for the summer. Trmpatires haven’t been quite tight at night yet for the garden to really take off but it’s coming along.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Bathroom happenings



So we made some progress on the bathroom his weekend. We found some crazy plumbing work and a void between the walls hopefully we will have the plumbing roughed in by next week.

Supercharged Science Review

Its Science time with  e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum by Supercharged Science. This is a video based science curriculum that is online. It's designed to teach your kids real science. Its is a subscription based service like most online programs are now days. It covers grade levels Pre-K to 12th grade. Units can be done in any order its completely up to you on how you use the program. Looking at the number of lessons available I think you could successfully fill an entire school year with this one program.

Each science lesson has complete video demonstrations, how to lessons, full explanations, worksheets, a shopping list, and quizzes. It's available 24 hr a day 7 days a week as long as you have internet connection you can watch a lesson. It is a self guided program so your kids can basically just sit down and go. The majority of the lessons taught in this program are hands on lessons. There is always something they can do which helps reinforce learning.


I got logged into Supercharged Science there is an introductory video that I recommend watching as
right now navigation is a little tricky. They are working on making navigation easier. When you log in you can navigate either by topic or grade level. Right now as a self guided lesson my kids are struggling to figure out what to do and where to go next.

We have just finished our main science curriculum we are not really studying any specific topic at the moment.. Since I make hand made soap my kids are quite familiar with how soap is made and I decided to just type soap into the search bar and see what lessons it brought up that had to do with soap. The very first lesson that came up was called Microwaving Soap. Now I have done this experiment my self when I was in school but I really couldn't remember why the soap expanded when heated in the microwave. But I remember being amazed by it. The experiment called for a bar of Ivory soap, I make my own soap. But we found an old bar in the back of my moms bathroom cabinet.
The lesson gives a written explanation then it gives a list of materials needed for the experiment. Below that list is where you find the video part of the lesson and below that is where you find the printable worksheets. I printed the worksheets so that the girls could have them while they watched the video. I gave them there bar of soap and let them loose to see how they would do following the lesson on there own.

So the girls watch the lesson they are all excited to try it out they pop the bar of ivory in the microwave and total let down.   This is what it did!


I really wasn't sure what went wrong they followed the directions but it never expanded. So we tried some handmade soap. This was whipped soap that floats in the bathtub it simply did this.....



  
 Before

After


On our next trip into town I picked up another pack of Ivory soap and the girls gave the experiment another try. This time the soap expanded like it should have. Our best guess as to what when wrong is that the first bar was just to old after all it has been in the cabinet for at least 3 years. So this is what the soap should have done.


Microwave soap was just the first lesson that we tried. There are so many different topics and videos I could not possibly list them all in this one review. Some of our favorites were the 4th grade lessons on magnetism even I learned some new things in this lesson, Rocks and minerals was also a hit as we are planning a trip to a diamond mine in the fall. For the 6th grade lessons we liked the lesson on Heat Transfer and my oldest enjoyed the ecosystems lesson. 

All in all I am very pleased with the selection of videos and lessons offered by Supercharged Science.  I feel that it covers all the topics for each grade level in a fun way. The videos are so helpful and give the girls a much better understanding of the lesson than just reading it from a book or having me explain what happens. I found the I usually had mots items needed for the experiments on hand and if I did not have them I was able to find them at a local store.  I found it easiest to navigate by grade level as it helped me to stay on topics that would not be over the girls current understanding. However I would like it if it had the ability to show which lessons have already been completed. 



Be sure to click the banner below and see some of the other amazing experiments that the other families tried.

e-Science Homeschool Science Curriculum {Supercharged Science Reviews}
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

So this is happening at our house


Our aging bathroom has begun to give us trouble. The toilet is starting to leak. The tub enamel is chipping the plastic wall surround is cracked and brittle. Its just time for this retro bathroom to be repaired. This is what it looked like the day I began DEMO!



This is what it looked like that night. Everything is out but the tub, sub floor and dry wall. As you can see the stain on the dry wall where the surround was beginning to leak. All this dry wall will be removed so that I can put in a tile shower.


A great neighbor came and helped me haul that beast of a bath tub down a flight of stairs. The tub is thick cast iron with enamel. That wonderful neighbor took is repurposing that tub as a water trough for his Mule. 


The hole project will take me a couple of months to finish since I only have weekends to work on it. It will be a tile shower with a linear drain. I have never done tile work so this hole process should be fun.





EdAlive Typing Tournament and Math Invaders Review


The girls are still working on there typing skills. They are slow and tend to hunt and peck more than anything. I thought this program by EdAlive called Typing Tournament Online might help them learn to type a little better. EdAlive also has program called Math Invaders Online. These are two different subscriptions but both are reasonably priced.

Math Invaders Online is a math program that is designed to be a fun way to learn math. It uses a game format to help kids have fun while learning math skills. It is designed as a mastery learning system for age 5-15. It covers topics like Times Tables, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Percentages, Decimals, Counting, Squares, Powers, etc. As your child masters a concept the program automatically progresses them to the next level. Kids are motivated to learn by earning new defender levels. The girls have toyed around with this program a bit. They report that the games make practicing fun and they are usually willing to play it at least a few times a week. The only downfall to this program is its internet based so while they can play it on a tablet or phone they must have an internet connection.



Math Invaders has become our rainy day activity. About 2 weeks into the program the girls discovered they could host a game called space rescue and they could invite other players to play with them. Most of the time they are just playing against each other but they find it fun to see if they can beat each other. I like that its fun and educational at the same time. Math Invaders is giving them some extra math practice and for once they are not complaining about it.



Typing Tournament Online is the program the girls have used the most. They are calling it TTO. This one is designed as a complete 10-finger typing course. It is for ages 6 to adult. There is no need to have prior typing experiences. It progressively introduces the whole keyboard and allows the student to work at there own pace. There are 128 lessons including games and drills. Typing Tournament Online teaching works on PC's Tablets, ipads, iphones, Android tablets etc. It solves the problem with the nonstandard on-screen keyboard that is used on mobile devices by substituting its own specially created onscreen keyboard that has a standard layout. You get unlimited 24 hour 7 day a week access. The only down fall is its internet based so if you must have internet to use it.  As far as typing programs go this is one of the better ones we have tried. What makes it better is its been updated so the graphics are modern and it the audio is easy to understand. The girls say the instructions are very clear and easy to understand. They describe the typing games as fun. The games have a medieval theme with 16 different levels they can advance through as there typing skills get better and better. As they progress through the program they are given test to evaluate how they are doing and an opportunity to earn tokens that you can use to watch a movie.

From the teachers end of things it offers a teacher account with printable reports so its
easy to keep a log of each child's progress. It has an unlimited amount of printable worksheets that you can choose from for some extra practice when they need it. It offers graphs etc to help you track progress and see any areas they might need a little help working on. Both girls have really improved there typing speed and accuracy. They enjoy playing the math game and blasting away aliens and are really getting some much needed math fact practice.

Don't forget to click the banner below and check out what all the other crew members are saying bout EdAlive!

Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive Reviews}
Social Media Links:

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

Spring time happenings

The greenhouse plants are looking good


However the flooring I ordered for my bathroom not so much. UPS beat up my poor flooring and now I’m fight with menards to get it replaced. 


Friday, April 26, 2019

So this happened

Well our chicken started setting on a fake egg the girls were trying to use to train her to lay her eggs in the nest box. My neighbor came over and snuck the fake egg out from under her and replaced it with three eggs from his coop. This little momma was non the wiser and now she has 3 chicks. She is such a good momma chicken. She got them up and out of the coop into the run the very next morning. She has already taught them to scratch and peck for chick starter and today she was showing them how to find ants and small bugs. When ever she fears they are in danger she calls them and they hurry under her wings. The girls are beyond excited to be raising chicks.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

CrossWired Science Review

CrossWired Science is a new science program that we were given the opportunity to try out. This is a yearly subscription Science program that is Biblical based introducing young children to "deep God-honoring Science" and it brings powerful science that points to the Lord as students finish their high school years.. The material on the sight is designed to be use for students in multiple grade levels from kindergarten all the way to High School. This is a science program with really great video lessons or explanations coupled with some great resources for more learning and understanding.

The website stated that the program covers 30 global topics. Currently there are just 2 topics listed on the website which will give you 3 months of science as a full curriculum. The two current Global topics are Sound, and Fluid Dynamics. These are the two topics the girls have started with. There will be two more additions coming soon and that will give you an entire school year of science. With the other upcoming additions they will offer approximately 6 years of Science.

Both of the girls were confused on how get going on this. When they log in it took them to the Home page which displayed videos. They thought this was what they were supposed to be doing. So they started watching the videos. They stated they were cool but short and didn't have enough information. They had actually watched the sample lesson videos. They had watched roughly 8 of them before I realized what they were doing the good news is they enjoyed them. When the student logs in they have to go to a tab at the top labeled curriculum. They then have to select first time or second time. If they select second time they get the same videos and topics but the questions and test are harder. I have both the girls working as first timers.

Each class session should take around 45-60 minutes. There are videos, quizzes, experiments, extra links to investigate, and memory versus. So the girls log in and select a topic. One started with Fluid Dynamics the other with Sound. It gives them a video to watch then below the video it gives them some questions to do. After answering the questions they select the finish quiz button and it grades the quiz. You then select the next lesson button and go on to the next lesson which is set up in a similar manner.

Under the Parent/teacher tab at the top you can find worksheet answers. Under that same tab there is an area for unit links, general links, and teacher resources. The first 2 are exactly that links that go along with each unit. Teacher resources has tips for using CWS, a calendar, and a link to information on the student dashboard. I also discovered a student progress section which tells you who has completed how much and when. There is also a quiz results section that you can go and view each students quiz results. Now for the thing I felt was missing from the Parent/Teacher tab. I was really disappointed not to find a break down of subject areas covered for each Global Topic. These topics seem to cover several subjects and there is no guide to show me what is being covered in each one. This means I have to spend hours reviewing each lesson so I can log what was being covered. If you click the general links option it gives you daily links to other resources. My issue with this is its hard for my kids to find it on there own or to even know its available in less I am there to go over it with them.


I do not consider this a self guided program at least for elementary and lower grade school kids. Navigation was to tricky for them to be able to figure out what they need to do with out guidance.

This is a brand new program and the company is still adding content and working out the last of the kinks. I think they have a great start on a cool science program that a child could grow with. Be sure to click the banner below and check out what other crew families thought about CrossWired Science and how it might work for your family.



Sound, and Fluid Dynamics {CrossWired Science Reviews}




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Friday, April 12, 2019

Country Living

I thought I would share a few pictures on how the hydroponic set up is going. The plants we started as seeds are doing well. We have lettuce, a tomato plant, a heartless habanero and some cabbage that is just now sprouting. The strawberries were transplants from our outdoor beds they seem to be adapting to life in the hydroponic set up we even have our first flower.




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Green house happenings


Our mint plant made it through the winter. I really thought it was gone since everything else had started to green up and this pot was still empty. But I guess this little guy was just lying dormant under the soil waiting for the right moment to start growing again. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

YWAM Publishing Review

YWAM Publishing has some great new learning products available. We are taking a look at Heroes of History series. We got to review a specific book Heroes of History Ronald Reagan. The series comes with some great downloadable study guides.
http://www.ywampublishing.com/c-108-downloadable-unit-studies-curriculum-guides.aspx.

We got started on this book a little late in the game. Our original book got lost in the mail. It showed up just the other day and well it looks like something tried to eat it. It had a really sweet note from the post office that said were sorry your book got damaged. The company was great and sent us a replacement copy and my daughter got started on it right away.


The study guide is easy to access once downloaded. It includes a section with more information on who your book is about, in our case Ronald Regan. I discovered a guide specifically for homeschool families. It tells you how to use the Heroes of History series as a curriculum. It breaks down each book by topic and period of History the girls are interested in reading Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire next. It gives you some suggestions on how to use the series with children of varying abilities.  Under the Unit Study section I found a guide with different study question to use with my child as she reads through the book. It includes basic questions as well as essay questions and hands on projects. Under the Bonus Item section we found some different word puzzles that seemed like they would be great for a student who has read several of the books in this series.

My 6th grader is the one reading this book and working through the study guide. She had no prior knowledge of Ronald Regan and she was a little reluctant to read the book for me. It took her a hole chapter to really get into the book. But now she is really into learning who he was and what did for our country. She thinks his nickname Dutch is funny and cant believe he got the nick name because he was a 10lb baby. She tells me that the book is fully of great information that is some times funny. She couldn't believe that one of our presidents had been a life guard or that he grew up in
a pore family and had to move around all the time. She loved that he had flaws and came from an underprivileged family yet did something amazing with his life. She feels as thought the chapters are on the longer side and a child in a younger grade might have difficulty reading it on their own.

From the mom perspective I think this is a great biography on a Hero of History. It felt like the book gave her a good idea of who Ronald Regan was and some of the great things he did for our country. I starts out with his life as child and progresses through his life as the fortieth president of the United States. I like that it came with a study guide. While there are a few student printable' s I would like to see more student work pages that I could print off and have her work on while she is actually reading the book. Both of my girls really like having a work sheet they can work on as they go. I think the series as a hole would make for a great history unit. Looking at the Unit Study guide and the length of the book and its content we could probably cover one book a month from the series.


YWAM Publishing has some great new learning products available. We are taking a look at Heroes of History series. We got to review a specific book Heroes of History Ronald Reagan. The series comes with some great downloadable study guides.

We got started on this book a little late in the game. Our original book got lost in the mail. It showed up just the other day and well it looks like something tried to eat it. It had a really sweet note from the post office that said were sorry your book got damaged. The company was great and sent us a replacement copy and my daughter got started on it right away.


The study guide is easy to access once downloaded. It includes a section with more information on who your book is about, in our case Ronald Regan. I discovered a guide specifically for homeschool families. It tells you how to use the Heroes of History series as a curriculum. It breaks down each book by topic and period of History the girls are interested in reading Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire next. It gives you some suggestions on how to use the series with children of varying abilities.  Under the Unit Study section I found a guide with different study question to use with my child as she reads through the book. It includes basic questions as well as essay questions and hands on projects. Under the Bonus Item section we found some different word puzzles that seemed like they would be great for a student who has read several of the books in this series.

My 6th grader is the one reading this book and working through the study guide. She had no prior knowledge of Ronald Regan and she was a little reluctant to read the book for me. It took her a hole chapter to really get into the book. But now she is really into learning who he was and what did for our country. She thinks his nickname Dutch is funny and cant believe he got the nick name because he was a 10lb baby. She tells me that the book is fully of great information that is some times funny. She couldn't believe that one of our presidents had been a life guard or that he grew up in
a pore family and had to move around all the time. She loved that he had flaws and came from an underprivileged family yet did something amazing with his life. She feels as thought the chapters are on the longer side and a child in a younger grade might have difficulty reading it on their own.

From the mom perspective I think this is a great biography on a Hero of History. It felt like the book gave her a good idea of who Ronald Regan was and some of the great things he did for our country. I starts out with his life as child and progresses through his life as the fortieth president of the United States. I like that it came with a study guide. While there are a few student printable' s I would like to see more student work pages that I could print off and have her work on while she is actually reading the book. Both of my girls really like having a work sheet they can work on as they go. I think the series as a hole would make for a great fun history unit. Looking at the Unit Study guide and the length of the book and its content we could probably cover one book a month from the series.

Other crew families had the chance to try other books from YWAM Publishing so click the link below and see what they thought about the other books.



Study Guides - Christian Heroes Then & Now & Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}
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