Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up 30

This week was a great week at schooling. I am just thankful what I thought was a stomach bug going to tear down my family only lasted in my husband one day and wasn't really that bad. Maybe it was the 100% grape juice I made everyone drink?

Together this week we completed another unit in our bible curriculum. I can't wait to really get into the New Testament with the kids.

We also learned about Florida and Georgia this week in Road Trip USA. We have really enjoyed doing this again and can't remember why I let this fall by the side of the road... Ohh wait life!

Alexis is still enjoying Apologia which was a Schoolhouse Review item that was talked about here. She had an experiment this week with a feather, water and oil. She loves the notebook journal still. She loves drawing and sketching inside it. She is learning her multiplication facts. Kyle helped drill her several different times this week, he also needed a refresher.

Kyle hadn't been doing really well in his science lessons so we took extra measures this unit and wrote out every vocabulary word and the meaning and also made some charts for helpful systems he needed to know. Learning comes harder for him and I want to make sure he learns ways and tricks to help him do better. Flash cards are his best friend. Not only does he enjoy them but he needs them! 

I've really been cracking down on every ones writing this week and for NOW ON. The simple errors I have let them by with long enough. I need to make them accountable even for the small punctuation mistakes. Kyle is in 7th grade and I feel like he needs to improve on his writing ability and he will not if I don't make him. He's not motivated when it comes to stuff like that so it's up to this mean homeschool mother, and which I think I've been a Drill Sargent this week...........

Adventus has been awesome this week too! I love it when I can find something that the kids beg to do! They have really been at it this week. I think after getting through the starting phase and they see they are playing notes and small songs have really motivated them greatly. Did you read my review on it? 

Zachary has been really moving through the ABeCeDarian reading program! I actually can't wait to post the review on this! I have always said how he has issues with reading and doesn't enjoy learning it. He normally feels defeated before he gets started. He hasn't felt that way with this which is a huge improvement. He is doing really great at his Handwriting Without Tears still. He loves this book. He is getting in to some sentences that are longer and it's challenging. 

We have started getting our new plants for spring and since we are finally in our forever home we really went all out this time. Kevin got all the plants that he's dreamed of before. My yard will be a small orchard! We love harvesting our own food. We have planted a garden for years and had an apple tree with grape vines at our rental home. With us having our own place he ordered a lot! The kids have been measuring the cold hardy kiwi plants since we got them, those little buggers are growing over an inch a day!!!! It's insane! The Greenhouse is also up! This was another purchase that we had been dreaming of making but was useless in our rental home on top of the weather conditions before we moved.

We finished a book study from Progeny Press - The Dragon's Hoard. That review will be coming soon! This was a really awesome book! We really enjoyed it this week. Their study guides are amazing. I have never had one of them but was very impressed!

Also been working on a Knight's lapbook review that will be posting next week! Lots of learning for this one, some really neat facts and details I never knew! Man to be a Knight was hard work! I always thought about it being so luxurious but it was far from that!

Last but not least was our family tradition of dying Easter eggs. I can't believe it's already the end of March!!! This is also the first time dying eggs in the house so it was different but so sweet and fun. 

I hope that each of you have a wonderfully blessed Easter day. I pray that you have understood how much our Lord loves you!! I am so happy he loved me!

Linked up to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and Hammock Tracks.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

TOS Review - Math U See

I have been using Math U See for several years now. I started when my oldest was having issues with being able to comprehend math problems because of the need of "seeing" the problems worked out. He was/is very visual and I wasn't great at math. I have used Math U See on and off for about 4 years with all 3 of my children. 

The Schoolhouse Review Crew was asked to review Math U See's new updated books and I was pleased to be chosen to review Zeta.

Zeta is being used by Kyle. He is 12 and has already used Math U See levels Delta and Epsilon before the review. Math U See sent us the complete set of Zeta including the 

Zeta Instruction Pack - Teacher Manual and the DVD lessons. $45.00

Zeta Student Pack - Student Workbook and Test booklet $30.00

You may be overwhelmed by the price but let me assure you that the prices are excellent for what you get. The Manipulative blocks are used for year's dependent upon where your child starts. Each one of my kids has used these in each level. Also the Algebra/Decimal Inserts are used over and over from this level on.

Zeta covers decimals, percent's and other topics. Here is the overview from their website.

Overall we have used Math U See levels:

Primer (Zachary)
Alpha (Zachary and Lexi)
Beta (Lexi)
Gamma (is coming for Lexi)
Delta (Kyle)
Epsilon (Kyle)

So Zeta was right in order for our need. As you can tell I have lots of experience with the Math U See publisher. I personally love them for several different reasons.

I am horrible at math. When we first decided to homeschool I thought how hard can Kindergarten math be... LOL it didn't stay kindergarten math level for long! I am scared to teach my children without something to help back me up for fear that I am going to teach it wrong. Math is a subject that needs to be taught in order and firmly. Math U See has re-taught me, honestly, steps that I missed during my school years. The best part of me fearing to teach math is the aspect of the DVD. It was actually the reason why I choose to go with the program in the first place all those years ago.

I love the DVD, probably my favorite of all. The DVD has been used several different ways in our home. Sometimes if the kids are having issues I watch it with them, pausing to help workout examples. I have watched it myself when preparing lessons that I wasn't good at and needed to make sure I could explain to Kyle. I also have allowed the kids to watch the lessons alone when I felt the topic was easy enough for them to grasp.

The way we have always used Math U See is starting with the lesson 1A, watch the DVD lesson and working through the introduction of A. If they understand the concept being taught and do well on A we just move on to lesson D and work from there the remainder of the lesson. Some lessons have went really fast as in 3 days for the topic others we have spend 2 weeks on. This is also something that I would like to point out. Math U See allows me to move at my child's pace. When they get the topic is when we move on!

I also want to tell you the difference in the updated books. I personally in other levels of Math U See, before the updates, needed more detail to explain the problems out to the kids. I needed more than the problem in steps and I am glad Math U See listened to parents like me because I can tell a huge difference in the new edition of Zeta's teacher manual that it has more explanations for me to be able to understand what I am teaching and to explain it better.

Other changes that you will notice if you have ever used Math U See before is extra activity pages for each lesson in the student workbooks, they are called "Application & Enrichment" for levels Primer through Zeta. These pages are useful for the practice of supplemental topics.

If you're new to Math U See you should understand that this company doesn't go by grade. Math U See is a company that teaches by concepts. They believe in mastery of facts to help move on, kind of like building blocks. This is a mastery program. Math U See works with manipulative blocks and other hands on items to help the student work out the problem to see it.

Again if you are new to Math U See please watch this Demonstration Video to understand more about the company.

I also want to mention a tool that has helped me for years that Math U See provides. They provide a Drills online application and my kids have used it many times to help with mastery of facts.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.   


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Week 30

Ball season is upon us and this is half good and half bad lol...


 My lovely parents.

 Above Kyle is hitting and did get 2 runs that game and below he is playing 1st base!

 We had 9 hours on the ball field Saturday for the first round of tournaments and this is what happened when we got home. He didn't even eat supper! Bless his heart!

 Apologia Science Experiment, Oil and Water on feathers.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

B for Blessings


As I thought about "B" I immediately thought of Blessings as a word. I have so much to be thankful for, as I'm sure you do too. I try to thank God daily for all the awesome and wonderful things he has given to me.

I would like to list some of the most precious blessings that God has deemed me worthy to have and enjoy. Although I am a nasty sinner I am gracious that he loves me enough to send me such enjoyment.

My relationship with Jesus. I can remember when I didn't understand why having a relationship was important and I can remember not knowing how to have that too. Man was I wasting time because he is so much to me. I need his presence daily. I am grateful that I can lay everything down at his feet and he helps me carry on through my day. He is my best friend and I am thankful for him finding me and showing me how to love him.

I am blessed with a husband that is serving God and within serving God he serves me and my children. We have been married 13 years and it has been a very wild ride and through it we have learned so much. I have such love for the man I've watched my husband become. I am blessed that he loves me and cares for me in every situation. He always has my back as I do his. I love his cuddles at night after the kids are in the bed and it just helps to finalize my day perfectly.

Kyle. He is my first child and he is a huge blessing. He made me a mother and I have learned so much from him being my first born. He comes with issues that allow me to parent outside of my box. He has taught me that everything can always be done with patience and grace.

Alexis. I waited and waited on this child. I was afraid that God was only going to give us one son. She came with a fight, I had her within 20 minutes and my husband barely got me to the hospital. She came with a love of animals and a way to make any day brighter. She always is making me cute little notes that she sticks around and loves the holidays... No matter what it is lol.

Zachary. This story is different. A lot in my life was going wrong. This was about the time I was seeking God and I honestly didn't want to have a third child. I couldn't manage my own life with the two I had. I am so glad God knows all because he sent Zachary to my family for all the reasons I thought I didn't need. He is my personal comedian. He loves hugs and kisses and he is totally always funny and joking. He is a helper from sun up till sun down.

Health. My health has been up and down for the last several months and I am thankful for the blessings in each day that I feel well.      

I have so much to be thankful for that may not seem important but if I can't thank my God for my small things I shouldn't be able to thank him for the large ones!

My home, warmth, food, the beach(my favorite place ever), my grandmother, flowers, cars that are running, a job, schooling my babies at home, friends, love, grace.

Just to name a few...

I love this song. Please listen to it.