Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition Review

Gabby is excited to be using the brand new Science curriculum from Apologia called Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. 

This is an all new updated curriculum that has recently come out. We are pleased to be some of the first families to get to use the 3rd Edition. This is designed to be a self guided Middle School (7th grade) curriculum. We received the Hardback General Science text book, Student Notebook, and the Test Manual (which includes one set of test pages) This curriculum also offers a Video Instruction Thumb Drive. The website states the it includes on-location videos, animations, instructor explanations, experiments etc. It also states that it is an optional supplemental product to use with the textbook, student notebook and solutions and test manual.

The student notebook includes things like:
Daily lesson plans,
A Break down of assignments telling them exactly what to do each day.
Pages for your student to take notes, prompts to help them learn how to pull useful information.
Space to record notes for the activities etc.

This edition is different from the other Apologia science curriculums that we have used in the past. Its different because its designed for your middle schooler to work independently with little to no help from the parent. The text book is written as if the teacher is talking directly to the student. It walks them through the experiments, guides them on taking notes and identifying information etc. Its a full color text book that is very easy for a middle schooler to follow independently. It is very much an open and go curriculum.

Gabby was disappointed that we did not receive the video supplement with this one but she jumped right into the program any way. We sat down and took a look at the student note book first of all. We through what a daily lesson plan way and how it worked. We took a look at the check off sheet where she could mark down when she had completed a lesson. We went through several of the lessons together to see what they were like and so I could answer any questions she might have on how to navigate it. Next we opened the text book its self. We looked through the pages and some of the experiments and activities it would be asking her to do. She took a look at the Test pages and we put them in a small binder so that she could keep them together.

So far she has been able to easily figure out what her required assignment is for the day. She checks the schedule first thing to see what she needs to complete. The schedule tell her what page numbers to do read in the student text book. It tells her which pages to complete in the student note book it also tells her which experiments to do for the day or which test is due. She has been able to follow the lessons and understand them quite well. She says the explanations are good and answer most of the questions she has. We have worked through several of the experiments so far she is doing well with being able to follow the instructions to be able to complete the experiments on her own. If you click on the video below you can see a short experiment video her and a cousin made doing one of the first experiments all on there own.

Farther along she did an experiment called Density and A Floating Egg the purpose of this experiment is to learn the importance of variables in an experiment while observing how an egg can float in saltwater vs tap water.  Gabby had fun with this one for some reason. She took it a bit farther than the experiment required by testing out differences in older eggs and freshly hatched eggs and how they floated in or didn't float in the same saltwater. Take a look at the pictures below. She took these her self  she said the egg finally floated after she mixed in 2 tbsp. of salt.  She reported back that the fresher the egg the better it floated. A warm egg straight from the chicken house floated the best with the least amount of salt needed.

As the teacher I looked through all the components of this set. I am pleased with the topics covered in the General Science 3rd Edition. It covers the vast majority of topics that are in our states GLE for public schools.  I feel like the text is well written and easy for her to follow. I like that the student notebook is set up so that she is self guided through the entire curriculum. She is at the age where she is taking more responsibility for her self and her class work. The check list really helps her do that and keeps her on track for getting the curriculum completed by the end of the school term. In the teachers solutions and test book I learned that the "On Your Own" and study guide questions are not graded. The student should be doing these parts of the curriculum and then checking his or her own work. Then at the end of each module they should complete the module test which the parent then grades. If they completed all the assignments in the module they should be able to score well on the test. Mots of the test are closed book test but there are two modules which they are allowed to use their notebook and student textbook.   I am really happy to see some test with this set. The previous sets do not have test and this frustrated me. I like having test to include in there portfolios. Test are not only a part of the girls over all grade but they need to learn test taking skills to prepare them for high school and college or vocation training. I was also very pleased to see a solutions or answer key for the test. Since the "On Your Own" and study guide assignments are self checked I assign point for completion to help me with grading.  I think the video thumb drive instruction would be a great edition to the set especially for a working mom like me. But it is a little out of my budget range. If it was in my budget range I would order it in a heart beat. Because I know the quality of the curriculum and I have no doubt that the videos will be just as great. Everything in the set we received is spot on and I am very pleased with the new edition.

I encourage everyone to click the link below and read other Crew Family Reviews are saying about Apologia General Science 3rd Edition.

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Gazebo update. This is a Back Yard Creations 12x16ft gazebo has a metal roof. Let me tell you this thing is the biggest mistake I have made in a long time. It was a month late in being delivered to Menards for pick up. Ok not that big of a deal but then when I started assembling it I found parts that were bad. The holes were drilled wrong on two of the pieces. So I called left a message waited days and day still didn't hear anything. So I emailed the company finally got a reply. They shipped me replacement parts from CHINA. So that took just about 2 weeks. When the new parts came in they sent parts that I didn't need. So I called and left messages again sent emails again. A week later I get a reply that they send the correct parts. These came in and they were welded incorrectly. They welded the nut on the wrong end of the beam making it useless. Back to the phone and email I went. They shipped out more replacement parts. By this point the people that were willing to help me get this thing assembled were no longer available to help. So I get the replacement parts in and I start assembling again by my self and I find that some small brackets are missing and 2 braces were missing. Back to the phone and email once again and another nearly 2 week wait. This weekend I finally made some progress. This night mare of a project is nearly done. I have some roof edging to put on still and a couple of leg braces but its mostly together. It took a rubber mallet and a ball peen hammer to make some of the parts fit because bolts are two short and holes are drilled wrong but 
at least its together.  On to the bathroom project.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Dyslexia Gold Review

Dyslexia Gold is a program designed to improve Reading and Spelling. I improves reading by an average of 12 months in 10 hours. With just 15 minutes a day. They offer several different packages to fit your needs. We received the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle. The full bundle include Engaging Eyes which is the vision training program, Fluency Builder that improves phonological awareness, Spelling Tutor to learn over to spell over 1,000 common words, Times Tables Tutor to learn tables up to 12x12.
Fluency Builder contains 50 lessons. Every lesson covers a different sound and then has games to improve phonological deficit and a easy or hard reading passage. Fluency Builder is made up of activities that have been proven to activate the parts of the brain that are needed to read fluently. Your child should play this for 10 minutes a day.

Engaging Eyes should also be played for 10 minutes a day. It contains 3 different games that help improve reading accuracy, speed and comprehension. The first game is target practice. It's a 3D game that helps your child learn to focus both eyes on one single point. If both eyes need to be able to focus on the same letter when reading. This game was difficult for one of my children and not the other. It just so happens that the child that was having trouble seeing the 3d targets is also the one that writes some of her letters backwards.

  She just could not see the 3d targets I had her keep playing even if she could not hit or see the targets. It took up intel just recently for her to finally be able to see the 3d targets and be able to shoot the targets on a more consistent basis. The next game is called Eye Tracking, in this game your child will follow the letters across the screen and then to the next line much like they would when reading. Only every time they see the letter b they will hit the space bar. This helps train your child's brain to track words and letters across a page. The last game is Whack and Alien, in this game your child practice quickly focusing on one alien and then quickly focusing on another and another in order to whack them. It has 2 different levels one is faster than the other. Both girls enjoy playing this game and they got faster and faster the more they played the game.

Spelling Tutor is unique in the way that decided which words to test your child with by analyzing the child's mistakes. The words are then tested over and over with bigger and bigger gaps between each test. This is supposed to help them retain the words in there long term memory. Spelling tutor also has dictation. Where your child hears words and then sentences that the they write down. Once they finish they then check there own work to see what they got wrong reinforcing the correct spelling of the words.

I haven't noticed a change in my oldest she found all the activities easy and has done quite well with them. She said they were to easy for her but she is a strong reader. How ever I did notice a difference in my youngest. Her reading fluency is not quite as strong as my oldest. She understands what she is reading but it takes her a lot longer to read out loud. Over the course of the review I was able to notice small improvements. Like I said above she had a tough time with the 3d targets and was not able to see them tell recently. She was quite excited when she was finally able to see and hit those 3D targets. It just so happens that she is now able to read an entire 5th grade chapter book in just 2 days. This was something that had taken her a full week or more prior to Dyslexia Gold. I haven't noticed much difference in her spelling but she was always a decent speller. Her handwriting does seem to be better though. She is not making letters backwards as often as she was. Over all I am pleased with progress she has made with the program and I hope I will continue to see improvements in her as she continues to practice with the program. 
Click the banner below to take a look at the other Crew Reviews on Dyslexia Gold.

Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle {Dyslexia Gold Reviews}
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I am learning how to work my Cricut. I found this nifty little box pattern online and all I have to say is this is so cool.