Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Calvert Homeschool Online Review

We are always looking for different ways to homeschool.  We were given the opportunity to try out a Calvert Homeschool. We received a 6month family subscription to Calvert Homeschool Online.  the family subscription covers up to 3 students and current pricing is $559.96 per year. I also found where you can purchase individual subject. I think this is a great idea because I like having the ability to mix and match curriculum to fit my kids needs. This program is completely online so you must have internet in order to use it. Calvert Homeschool offers classes in the basic subject areas. We found Language arts, Spelling for the younger grades, History/Social Studies/Geography (depending on the grade level) Math, and Science. The program use the Mastery approach to learning. With the belief that each student should have a complete comprehension of concept before they move on to the next level.

To get started you create your account, add your students and then assign what classes you want your child to take. We tested out the History/Social Studies area and the Language arts.

This program is completely online nothing to download or install. You or your child simply log in and away you go. The teachers dashboard allows you to follow everything your child does. You can look at your Childs progress, view messages from them. Create several different reports: report cards, grade report and a daily work report. The one thing missing is a way to record hours spent on the classes. For those of us in a state that requires us to track hours you will need to find something else to track you hours on. The program is self grading for the most part. We have found a few items that the program marks for me to go in and grade. It records everything from what lessons they have done to test scores.

The lessons include videos, audio files, games, interactive exercises. The girls log in to the program every day to find out what there assignments are. Once they long in they can easily see what I have assigned for them to do. They click the assignment view the topic they either watch a video clip, listen to an auto clip, read an assignment. They usually have some vocabulary words to learn and a game to play. Once they have worked through the material they move on to the questions. Most of the questions are self graded. I have found some things that it will mark for me to go in and grade. These are usually written assignments likes essays and paragraphs.

For the history/social studies subject the girls are finding it a little boring but they seem to be scoring well with it. For an online history/social studies course its decent enough. I feel like it covers the topics needed for the two grade levels we are working with. The set up for delivery of the lesson is similar to our original history program so the girls were able to step into this one fairly easily. They think more video lessons would improve it. They says its a bit heavy on the reading and by the time they get to the end of the days lesson they are starting to have a hard time focusing on the lesson. They prefer the Calvert Homeschool lessons over our original history/social studies program. They say the explanations are better and easier to understand.

Language arts is another section we are exploring. It covers different things for different grade levels of course but a few of the topics covered that we looked at are things like capitalization rules, story contex, grammar practice, point of view, Imagery and a hole lot more. Gabby says she would like to see the Language arts section have some more videos to help with understanding. But she also says that the written explanations are better than most and are usually easy to understand. She is a visual learner and videos are her cup of tea. She is scoring better on it than she did with the last online language arts program we used.

I dabbled around in the science portion of the program just to see what it was like. The girls explored it a little but for some reason they prefer our current science curriculum which is a very hands on curriculum. 

Math is also available through Calvert I took a look at this part because I am on the fence about switching math programs since the girls have done so well with what we have been using. The Calvert math looks to cover all the main topics for grade level math. Gabby gave some of the lessons a try. She is scoring well on them but Im not sure if its because she understands the explanations or if its because they are topics she has already covered in our current curriculum. The written explanations we viewed seemed to be explained in a simplified manner. We did find a number of video lessons which we were pleased with. I felt like the videos were to the point and did not have a lot of fluff which the girls tend to get overwhelmed with. 
Over all I think Calvert Homeschool would be a good option for a parent that needs some extra help with lessons. The self grading aspect defiantly takes some of the weight off. I would like to see a way for parents to enter the amount of time there child spent working on a lesson. The girls would like to see more video lessons to help with understanding and to help break up the amount of reading. I would love for everyone to click the banner below and see how other crew families used Calvert Homeschool.
Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}
Social Media Links:

Crew Disclaimer

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 28, 2019

This kid likes to sleep in a nest of pillows. The fluffier the better. She has decided that hotel pillows make the best best for sleeping and she wanted to take them home with us.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Karate Tournament

The girls had a karate tournament last weekend. Gabby took 3rd in sparring and 2nd in forms. Snoop took 3rd in forms and honorable mention in sparring. Way to go GIRLS

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks Review

Brain Blox is the name of the game and we are learning with Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks. Incase you were wondering these are simple 100% natural wooden building blocks that don't require connectors of any kind. Brain Blox are designed to inspire creativity in your student. They can use Blox to lean math concepts, physics, engineering, problem solving skills and much more.  The sets come in a couple of different sizes with 100, 200, or 300 planks per box. With the set you get a booklet with some building ideas in it as well as an ebook and if you go to the link they have you will find building idea videos. We received the 200 plank set for this review. 100 planks allows you to build quite a few project depending on the size and difficulty level of the project. We never ran short on planks but if you had several children creating at the same time you would want to get a larger set of planks.

We mostly used these for building fun. I challenged the girls to think creatively and come up with some different builds. all on there own. Snoopy built a bed for her dog eraser and a table for her Barbie. Although I am not sure if Barbie would actually fit on it. I am sure her Poly Pocket doll would fit more comfortably. 

Gabby built this funny looking building and this nifty little gazebo. She also worked on building a bridge over the weekend but she has not quite got the structural engineering part down yet and the bridge keeps collapsing. 

The Online building guide is great it offers so many great projects for your child to build. It offers step by step instructions and even includes pictures to help them along. We discovered free building cards on the website. We printed these and then shuffle them and draw one to use as a building challenge. The first one to complete the item on there card wins.  There is a variety of other projects on the website to help your kids get started. The difficulty level varies so there is something for both younger and older students. We also spent some time on the youtube channel which you can find here If you have a visual child the youtube channel is a great place for them to learn. 

We don't always use one of the building guides. Some times we stack them like a jinga game and see how many we can pull out before it falls over. Some times we set them up like dominos on the kitchen floor and see what kind of patterns we can make when we knock it over. They would make excellent counting blocks for smaller kids learning how to count. You could use them to help a child learn shapes or multiplication tables. The possibilities with these blocks are endless. 
Click the banner below to see some of the great projects the other reviewers have made and how they used Brain Blox Wooden Building blocks in there homeschools. 

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks {Brain Blox Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Homeschool art class

Homeschool students take art classes too. We found some really great art videos on YouTube

Saturday, October 5, 2019

I have half a subfloor in my bathroom. Tomorrow we lay the other half then put the furring strips on the wall and insulation.