Monday, April 30, 2018

Barn Cat Life

This is our Pile of Kittens and all I can say is AWWWWWW....

Farm Kid

The Farm life. Recently the girls have started refering to our property as The Farm. It's not a farm per say. But we do have 2 chickens, a rogue posum and a barn cat that currently has 6 kittens. We also have a greenhouse and a decent size garden. That being said my kids are country kids through and through. This year the girls are both old enought to take on some new chores. I thought I would share this shot of my oldest helping me with the lawn work. Notice that this mom has her decked out in full safety gear. Yes those are OSHA approved safety glasses and hearing protection. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App Review

Planet 316
Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App

Time for a different kind of Bible storybook. This one is produced by Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals. We are using the new Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App.  The book sells for about $13.62. This is not a bad price for a standard hardback book that is in full color. However, this is not a standard book and it has an app. The app that goes with the book is free to download.

This Bible storybook is like nothing we have ever seen before. With over a 100 of our favorite Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. Yes, we have read these stories before but never like this. When you purchase the book you can download a Free app that features augmented reality. The app will allow characters and objects to jump out in 3D with audio. When we first got the book I played with it and I was a little worried it that it wouldn't interest them. I was wrong wrong wrong. They have loved reading these stories with the app. So much so that they have read it several times now. We downloaded the app on both our IPad and IPhone. We like it better on the IPad because the pictures are bigger. We found the app to be very easy to use. When the app opens you will find some instruction you just flick the screen to the left and it will scroll through them. Then you hit start and hold the phone or tablet over the first page of the story. It will scan the page and then the images will jump up off the page. Once the images can be seen in 3D you can tap them to interact. Like if I touch the elephant I can hear the elephant sound, some of the characters will talk to you etc. The only bummer we found is that the app does not read the story to your child.

This book is 298 pages and includes all our favorite Bible stories from both the old and new Testaments. It has 104 stories which I think is just about all the important stories younger children should hear. Starting with the story of creation and ending with the return of Jesus. 

The quality of the artwork in this book is really amazing. The images are nice when you just read it as a standard book. But when you introduce the app it opens a whole new door. I can see this book really getting a visual child interested in reading. If you take a look at the picture to the right you can see one of the image jumping off the page. I am surprised that it photographed as well as it did. Now if you were to tap that 3d image you would hear some sounds that went along with that part of the story. Like the sound of camels or elephants. My girls had a great time with this book and they even enjoyed showing it off to their younger niece who is just learning to read. Being able to interact with it really drew her interest and she asks to read the book with them every time she comes over now.

I hope you will click the link below and take a look at the other Crew reviews, and don't forget to check out Planet 316 on Facebook and Twitter.

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App {Planet 316 Reviews}

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Monday, April 23, 2018

A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) Review

 A+ Interactive Math

Good Morning Homeschooling Momma's do you remember a review  I did last year on A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.)?  Well guess what they have a new program Adaptive Math Curriculum Online and it is so cool. First off There are several subscription packages. You can do everything from a subscription for just one student to a 2-10 student package. You can do a monthly subscription, a 3-month subscription or a yearly subscription.

Adaptive MathThe Adaptive Math Curriculum Online is a little different than the Family Math Package I reviewed before. First, you will enroll your student in there target grade level. It then requires the student to take a placement test before they can do the lessons. These are small test for each of the major sections in math. The program automatically adjusts the difficulty level of questions based on what answers your child provides. It then detects any learning gaps within the Target grade level you have set for your child. Once that is done it automatically creates a lesson plan for your student. This plan helps them to fill the gaps and master anything that they still need to work on. The plan gives your child video lessons, practice online worksheets, interactive review, automatic grading, and tracking. The program covers grades 1-6 and Pre-Algebra.

We are using this program to work on the areas that other math programs were lacking on. Both my 3rd and 5th graders are using the program. I got them signed up, they each have a separate login. When they log in for the first time it will prompt them to take the first placement test. On the very first test, they both ran out of time and had to start over. After two tries and it timing out both time I realized I needed to access the setting and increase the allotted time for the test. Once I increased the allotted time they were able to finish the first test.

The lessons are all automated so if math is not your strong point this might be a good program for you.  The lessons are user-friendly for an older child like mine. Both of the girls are able to navigate the lesson plan as well as taking a new placement test when they are ready. Since this program is adaptive you child has to take a placement test before they can do any of the lessons. I felt like there were too many placement tests to do all at once. So I have each of the girls take one placement test and then if they pass it they can go on to the next placement test. If they do not pass the placement test I have them go to the lesson plan and work on that lesson plan. Once they finish the lesson plan they retake the placement test and if they pass they move on to the next placement test. So far this method has worked well for the girls. Also you are not required to take all the placement test. You can have your child take only the sections that you know they are struggling with.  Example: my 3rd grader I know she has been having a hard time with multiplication. So I had her start with the multiplication placement test. She did not meet the goal so she had to do the lessons for that section then retest. We skipped the addition placement test because I know she does great with addition.

The program also offers reporting, which helps with the grading aspect. Its all automated so there is little work for you to do as the teacher for grading and record keeping. The reports are nice you can download them or print them. They are colored reports so a color printer does make them look nice. I have included a couple screenshots so you can get an idea of what they look like. They are very straightforward and easy to read. I am very pleased with the reports. The kids can even view there progress through their log in page. They also get a certificate of sorts when they pass a lesson it tells them great job and gives them a grade. We print these and put them in our portfolio box. 

These are all our favorite features of the new program I hope you found my review helpful. If you would like to check out what some of the other reviewers had to say click on the banner below and take a look.

Family & Adaptive Math Online {A+ Interactive Math Reviews}
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Spring is a time for rebirth

 Spring is a special time of year. The earth is beginning waking up again. Our greenhouse is coming alive. New plants are sprouting everywhere. The strawberries are already flowering and the blueberry bushes are starting to develop leaves. And something special happened 2 weeks ago our farm cat blessed us with 6 new kittens. A neighbor has already asked to have three of them when they are ready, and my daughter's little friend is asking for one of the others. How is spring shaping up around your home?


Monday, April 16, 2018

Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Review

Anatomy & Physiology

It's Science time with Apologia.  Last year we reviewed Exploring Creation with Astronomy it was a blast and this year we are crazy excited to be reviewing Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. Before we even finished the Astronomy course my girls were begging to do Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. They took one look at it online and couldn't wait to get it. 

Our favorite UPS man delivered the package.  Shipping is fast by the way. The girls were excited and dancing all around.

UPS Man: Must be a new toy. 

Girls in a sing-song voice: No new science stuff.

UPS Man: You going to make soda explode again. (He actually observed us doing this one day.) 
Girls: No we are going to grow bacteria and see where our insides live.
UPS Man: Cool
I wonder what he thinks of us...

The kit we received from Apologia for this review has:
  • Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text
  • Junior Notebooking Journal (grades k to 2d/3rd)
  • Notebooking Journal (grades 3/4 and older)
  • MP3 Audio CD 
I am going to start with the notebooking journals. Both versions are
spiral bound. We prefer spiral bound so the page we are not working on can be folded back out of the way. Most of the notebooking journal is black and white but the mini books in the back are in COLOR! The girls are currently in 3rd and 5th grade so we will be using the standard notebooking journal. You are probably wondering what the difference between the two is. The junior notebook is designed for younger kids or kids with limited writing abilities. The main things we noticed are that it uses primary writing lines you know the kind with the dashed line between the two solid lines. It also has fewer writing assignments and each lesson begins with two coloring pages. The notebooking journal is going to be recommended for kids that have mastered writing.  Both books offer fun activities to reinforce what they are learning from the text book. Activities include color mini books, additional experiments, crossword puzzles etc. 

Our favorite things in the notebooking Journal include:
  • A daily schedule so they know what reading is due for the day and what notebook assignments and activities or experiments they need to do. This is important to us as my girls are getting old enough where they want to be a little more in charge of their class work. This keeps them on track. I date each assignment so they know when I expect them to turn it in. Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology utilizes a 2 day a week schedule. If you do more than 2 days a week you are going to finish this way before the end of the school year. If you work more than 2 days a week you could easily do two of Apologia's Science programs in one year. 
  • Templates for the notebooking activities.
  • Review Questions for each lesson. The girls do these with me and usually take turns answering.
  • Scripture copy work. This is offered in both print and cursive. We use the cursive version because that's is just where we are at with handwriting.
  • Full-color mini books. The girls love making these. I thought they might have grown out of liking these by now but they are still finding them fun and enjoy filling them with facts. 
  • Project pages are included which is basically a log for experiments that they will do throughout the course. We like these. It makes a nice place for them to record what they did for the experiment and their findings. Very neat and tidy for the portfolio box.
  • A final review is included we use this as a final test and the girls are required to write the answers down to show everything that they remember about the course.
  • Last on our list of favorites for the notebooking journal is the More to Explore ideas. These are included for each lesson and they are just some bonus things that they can do to expand learning. Sometimes it's a project or experiment sometimes its a book or a video that goes with the lesson. It's just some fun extra things to do.
The Textbook is marvelous it was written by Jeannie Fulbright and pediatrician Brooke Ryan, M.D. It contains 14 lessons in full on color. The pictures are great they offer tones of detail and the information is written in a way that is appropriate for the grade level that this course is geared toward. Apologia does teach from a Creation standpoint. This is something we love and one of the reasons we keep coming back to them.

The textbook covers a nice variety of topics with lots of activities that you can do at home using things us probably already have or can get at a local store. The book includes a list of things you will need so you can get them together beforehand. I highly recommend this, because there will be some things that you will most likely have to order like the blood typing kit. But you can get those at various places and they are an affordable price. I don't believe Apologia is offering a Lab Kit for this one. If they are I couldn't find it on the website

Lessons contained in this text are:
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Skeletal System
  • The Muscular System
  • Digestive and Renal Systems
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Respiratory System
  • Life in the Blood
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • Nervous and Endocrine System
  • Nervous System Extended
  • Your Senses
  • Integumentary System
  • Lymphatic and Immune System
  • Growth and Development

If you visit the website you can download the scope and sequence of this course. I put a copy of it in my lesson plans in case I ever need it. 

Experiments or projects that they will do are fun. We have not done all the experiments in the course yet as we have not yet finished it and I don't believe we will get to blow up any marshmallows in the microwave. But they will do things like making a model cell out of Jell-O and different candies which we have done already, and later in the course, they will find their blood type and sample bacteria from around the house. The girls are crazy excited to get to do thee two. From my prior experience with the bacteria sampling experiment don't let them sample anything you plan to eat later lol. It always makes me want to clean the entire house 10 times over. The girls would like to sample bacteria from a public bathroom, so we will probably end up doing more than just the assigned experiment. We really enjoy the hands-on experiments. It adds a whole new level of learning and the material really sinks in when they can bring it to life. The girls look forward to doing each one and will sometimes peek ahead to see what is coming. Each lesson takes about 2 weeks if you hold to the pace that they set in the book. The girls often have a hard time just doing science 2 days a week... What can I say they really enjoy science with Apologia and sometimes sneak and do an extra lesson when I have gone to bed and Nana is watching them. 
This is our Jello cell. It did not come out as well as we had hoped. Our local grocery store didn't have yellow jello and the orange made it hard to see the cell parts. I think next time we will put the cell parts in before it sets up completely. We had a hard time getting it out of the bowl. When we finally did a big chunk split off. But we still had fun doing the project and I do have to say it was one tasty cell.

Last but not least is the MP3 Audio CD. If you don't have any experience with this. It is the textbook in audio format. We like to play it when we learn on the go. I can pop that baby into the trucks CD player and the girls can listen to the lesson on the way without getting car sick. Then when we reach our destination they can do the notebook assignment. While it is not necessary to have the Audio CD it is very handy. I would recommend it if you have a struggling reader. They can follow along in the book as it reads to them. Which is nice and helps with the words that might be a little hard to pronounce. 

I hope this review gave you a good idea of what Apologia Exploring Creations with Human Anatomy and Physiology has to offer. If you are still hungry for another look at Apologia from a different family click the banner and check out what the rest of the Crew is saying about it. I appreciate you taking the time to read my review leave a comment to let me know if you use Apologia Science and what you think about it.

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring in Missouri

Spring time in Missouri can be strange. Today we went from a sunny 70 to this and a frosty 29 that night. My family is in agreement that Mother Nature is Menopausal.
Do You have strange weather where you live.