9.18.2019

Online Times Alive ~ REVIEW




We have been doing a lot of traveling lately and this next review was perfect to take along with us on this last trip to Texas we had.  Recently we were given a 6-month subscription to Online Times Alive  from City Creek Press, Inc..  It is a program that provides online lessons with animated, funny, memorable songs and stories for kids to learn their times tables from.  Where was this when I was in the 3rd grade?!?!  
 
We also were able to review their  Times Alive App, available for iOS 9.0 or above.  We ended up using more then on the computer because of traveling. Also available is their "Lite" version you could check out if you have any concerns about the app running on your device.


There are cute coloring pages to help reinforce the songs and stories.  And multiple ways to help keep those facts in their brain.  Since it does offer audio and visual aspects it would work for all types of learners.  The songs are catchy and the animation is flashy and fun, unless you have a highly sensitive kid. 

 
Throughout the program your child will be able to test their progress and retention by doing short reviews and quizzes.  Even visual recall on the main number characters I thought was really cool and helpful.  Afterwards, you do have  the ability to repeat lessons if you need more time on a specific number.  A progress report is available to the parent at any time, which will show the child's progress through the lessons as well as their scores and completion times for each quiz.





We used the App almost exclusively, Kaden is highly sensory sensitive and I found that having him use the App was tolerable and way more enjoyable.  He was able to just shoot through the list of contents quickly while we drove and it not only entertained him, but helped reinforce his multiplication tables.  This is a great way to add a little zip in your homeschool day and dare I say make Math silly and fun.


You can purchase Times Alive as a monthly online subscription for $9.95/month with a one-time $6.95 installation fee.  This will allow you to be able to access the program on any computer and can be used by all the kids in your family.  Works on Mac or PC and you will need internet connection for access.  I'm excited to share that for a limited time, if you are interested in giving the program a try, you can use the code: lovetolearn and waive the installation fee!

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Make sure you Connect with the amazing people at City Creek Press, Inc.
on social media today.  And head down below to see all the other families that tried this App and Program out too.

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Online Times Alive {City Creek Press, Inc. Reviews} 
 
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9.16.2019

Think Positive Be Positive





So thrilled to have the first official homeschool day of the year over.  It's just a pain because I have all these expectations, memories of previous first days with the older kids and it just makes me sad.  First day with Kaden is full of resistance, meltdowns and then sudden realization that it's basically nothing new and then a rush to get the basics done so he can excuse himself.  

Gone are the days where I would make happy little signs and banners or come up with fun games, treat bags and themed lunches or snacks.  None of this impresses Kaden, if anything it makes him crazy.  So, we did 1/4 of the work we set out to accomplish, but we ended on a happy note....that is the goal here honestly.  Keeping things Positive people is my main goal every single day....and that nobody gets hurt. :)

9.13.2019

Don't Sweat the Bucket List

Making my Fall Bucket List right now....there are a zillion things I want to do.  I love this time of the year, the cooler weather, earlier sunsets, dinner from a bowl and snuggling with cozy blankets.  Not to mention college football, all the fun holidays and sweet traditions that swirl around this time of the year.  
So, what's on our Fall Bucket List....
Of course there are the usual things that are on everyone's list.  But this year I added a game night because those have been few and far between lately.  I added a flea market trip for Mahala since she loves doing things like that and for Kaden I added a few baking things.  We are going to make bagels, banana bread, pie, baked apples and homemade pizzas.  We are working on his life skills and cooking happens to be the main focus right now.  I incorporated night walks, bike rides and park days to stay active along with movie marathons and snuggly afternoons.  
Don't stress about these kinds of things, not everything has to be a Pinterest worthy moment...I mean look at my Fall Bucket List...so not worthy of the gram, but it will make for some amazing memories.  Don't miss out on those because you are stuck on the perfection of what you think it should look like.

Easy Grammar Systems ~ REVIEW

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Grammar has always been something I have struggled teaching to Kaden.  Usually the lessons are long, boring and dry he says.  So, it was nice to find something a little different to try. Easy Grammar Systems has developed a unique program that offers short, easy to do lessons.  We were able to use their  Daily GRAMS:  Grade 7 program.  With this program Kaden has been able to sharpen some of his skills like capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, alphabetizing, parts of speech and spelling rules.  Even areas he is weaker in like analogies and letter writing skills.  



Each Daily Gram only takes 5-10 minutes so we decided to do them right after breakfast, most of this review period we were rv traveling so it was perfect to take out on the picnic bench and work on.  He was able to work independently for the most part, but I was available for any questions on instructions.  I find he works best this way.

The way the lessons are laid out, the student learns a new skill by repeating the practice over and over for a set amount of days.  By doing so they practice the skill until mastery.  Kaden was not to fond of this and wanted to rush through each skill to get to the next.  Not sure if that's the Autism or just this generation talking. :)  
Speaking of Autism, if you have sensory sensitive kids this will be perfect for them.  Simple layouts and no distractions.... perfect for kids on the Spectrum.  

So, what did we think?  This book has 180 lessons, more then enough to get you through the school year.  I think it's perfect for homeschooling families and even if you aren't.  We will continue to use this program and look forward to using other grades in the future as well.  Make sure you connect with them on social media today and down below you can go see what other Crew Members reviewed from Easy Grammar Systems.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EasyGrammarSystems/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Easygrammar
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/easygrammarsystems/



Easy Grammar, Daily GRAMS & Easy Grammar Ultimate {Easy Grammar Systems Reviews} 
 
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 Crew Disclaimer

9.04.2019

Music to My Ears with Zeezok Publishing~ REVIEW







A few years ago Kaden and I was introduced to the Music Appreciation Book 1 Collection from Zeezok Publishing.  We loved it and he has even carefully packed it away to bring with us in the RV full-time.  Recently we were able to try their newest collection, the Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades.

This included the activity book, beautiful readers, instructions for creating a journal, and how to access all the online component.  It's geared for grades 5th-8th and should cover a full year of music for your kiddo.  Since we are in the middle of moving and some other life changes it may take us longer, but that is just fine.  This program is designed to work at your own pace.  But, they do provide a convenient recommended schedule at the beginning of each section to use as a reference.  Every 4-5 weeks you will get to learn about a new composer: Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Stephen Foster, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Edward McDowell.

Just like Book 1, Music Appreciation Book 2 is very easy to use and has everything you need to offer your child a beautiful Literature rich Music education.  Kaden has never been really musically inclined as far as playing an instrument.  So, I was surprised how he was always so willing and excited to read and work through the different activities each week.  He loved all the different components, like geography, mapping, timelines, family trees, the culture and history activities, the biographys and even recipes.  All of these things put together just makes the best learning experience for all types of learners. 

I always say it's not about the flashiness of the product or packaging.  Kids don't need or want gimmicks they want rich, full activities, thoughtful stories they can connect with and a space where they can connect the dots between the past, present and future.  

This music curriculum has it all and it will appeal to auditory, hands on, visual learners, kids with special needs, like Kaden and everything in between.  A new feature that makes this possible is the cool audio component provided with QR codes right from the student workbook and also in the beginning with the music list.  All of the videos and links are also available on their website if you prefer to not use this feature.  You can even purchase a lapbook or coloring book for kiddos who want even more of a hands on experience.

Basically, we started from the front of the book and slowly checked off one activity after another.  Each day started with him reading independently or together with me.  The activities take him longer to work through, so he has finish almost all of the readers, but still only on his 2nd composer as far as the activities go.  For him the writing prompts and journaling is hard for him because of motor skills.  But, I love them because it gets him creatively thinking and helps with his writing skills.  He loves all the little "Tid Bits" of fun facts and info and has had fun with his Sister working on all the activities involving reading sheet music.  We did all of the comprehension questions out loud together and even most of the quizzes like that too...it's just more enjoyable for both of us. :)  

So, what did we think?  We both loved it and look forward to finishing the rest of the student book.  I felt like it was well rounded and incorporated so much learning from multiple subjects all in one place.  He was thrilled that each day was a new activity that never seemed to get dry or boring.  I also appreciated that even though I don't play an instrument and have had no musical education I can still open this musical door to Kaden.  I believe Art and Music is so important for our children, offering Music to them with Zeezok Publishing is doable and affordable.

Make sure you Connect with them on Social Media and click below to read what others said about the Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zeezokpublishing/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZeezokPub
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zeezok/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ZeezokPublishing
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zeezokpub/
Music Appreciation Book 2: for the Middle Grades {Zeezok Publishing Reviews} 
 
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8.21.2019

12 Month Family Membership from CTCMath ~ REVIEW

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I know I'm constantly trying different math programs in our homeschool and sometimes the kiddos don't know what to expect when they come to the table.  :)  Thanks to CTCMath I have been given access to their Comprehensive Online Math Tutorial Program for grades K through 12.  


There are over 1,400 Animated and Narrated math lessons, Interactive Exercises, Diagnostic Tests, Feedback to each Student, Detailed Reporting to the Parents, and Much more. 
   
We have been using their 12 Month Family Membership.  This gives my Kiddos and I unlimited access to all available lessons in any of the grade levels offered.   This online program was designed basically to be your family's online math tutor.  The program allows students to work at their own pace and each of the videos offer easy to follow explanations and animation.  You can even have them watch videos from some mobile devices while your out and about.

With Kaden being on the Spectrum he has a lot of needs that need to be met when it comes to any Curriculum I put in front of him.  I have used other math online programs, even a few Free ones.  But, they always seem to overwhelm him visually.  All the bright colors, noises and forest of extras are just too much for him to focus.  It doesn't help if a program offers all the bells and whistles if it causes him to shut down or explodes into a meltdown. 

This program gave Kaden a comfortable, easy to read layout of what needed to be accomplished each day.  He's the kind of kiddo that wants to know what to do and then he wants to get down to business.  Each day he watches a short video and then answers his questions.  Everything is visually clean and organized and even the wording used is straightforward.  It's nice for him to see what he missed and the right answer right away.  And at the end of the questions a nice kid friendly report shows his progress and areas that need improvement.    
*Kaden's Favorite Part is the Speed Skills Game.  If I said he played it a million times I honestly would not be over exaggerating!  :)  He was so motivated to beat his last high score.  He played with 2 hands, 1 hand, standing up and even squatting on his exercise ball.     To hear him laugh and watch him smile with each accomplishment made my heart fill with Thankfulness for CTC Math
*My favorite part is the emails I receive with a full report on how he is doing.  And I get excited for each certificate I get emailed to me that shows what he's accomplished.  I also love that Kaden can work Independently.  He knows exactly how to log on and get started.  I have seen days where before I have finished making breakfast he is onto his 3rd video and set of questions.  He never just does one lesson.   
I would recommend this to any family looking for an online math tutor program.  I highly recommend this homeschool math to families with kiddos on the spectrum or that have and kind of sensory issues, especially visually.  I will definitely be telling all of my friends about CTCMath


Click on the Banner Bellow and see what other Crew Members had to say.  And make sure you Connect with CTCMath on social media today.
Math 12-month Family Membership {CTCMath Reviews 2019} 
 
 
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 Crew Disclaimer

8.12.2019

A Few Homeschooling Musts with Special Needs

For Kaden this year I am keeping things super simple.  Our must haves to get by though are all we need for success.

We use an erasable board for math, spelling, dictation, art and even doodling while waiting for dinner.  Another must have is graph paper for math.  Kaden is awful at keeping his numbers straight and it causes him so much frustration.  With wide grid graph paper.... life is just better.  Mechanical pencils are a must, because if his pencil is not sharper then sharp he can't focus on his work.  And last but not least, fidget toys and Homer his service dog.  He constantly has something in his hand, twirling it or smooshing it.  And Homer is ready for pets when he gets overly stressed out.

8.09.2019

Seventh Grade Literature Guide Set - Memoria Press ~ REVIEW

As a big reading family, you can always find us with a book in our hands.  We used to do more read alouds as a family, but as the kiddos have grown up, moved out and it's now just Kaden and I... he tends to read alone more.  That said I do like to try to have a book going that we can read together a few times a week, or at least one we discus.  One of the ways we slip this time together in our schedule is by using the Seventh Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press.

8.07.2019

Library and Educational Services LLC ~ REVIEW


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I've never had a review feel as close to Christmas as this next one. Library and Educational Services LLC generously gave Kaden and I the choice of a book from their Who Was…” series, an audiobook from Lifehouse Theater, and $60 worth of books of our choosing from their Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books.  This was my first time ever hearing about them and I was impressed with their selection and quality.  We love books in our house and one of Kaden's favorite series is the Who Was... series, so he was excited to add to his collection.

8.05.2019

A New Day....New Song


A wonderfully c-l-e-a-n classroom table is a Beautiful sight.  It was a beautiful sight while it lasted.  Now it's covered with art projects, vocabulary words, the Bible a few readers, pencils, markers, a planner, 3 cups and a pack of paper clips .  And I couldn't be happier....this is going to be our Best year.  This year our Family is Stronger, Happier and Healthier.  With this new peace I have room to breathe and my mind is clear to concentrate on my kids and still have strength to do all the other things I need to do each day.




7.24.2019

Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition ~ REVIEW

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One of my all time favorite companies to review products from is Apologia.  And this time I get to share with you the newest addition to their amazing award-winning line of homeschool science curriculum, Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition.   This specific course was designed to help middle school students transition in their homeschool work from the elementary level to seventh grade.  Even though Kaden is a little behind overall in his school he is very much ahead of the game when it comes to Math and Science, so I knew this would be a perfect fit for us.  
He has already completed all of their Elementary courses and we were actually going to start on the this specific course next year after our year in the rv.  But, as soon as I saw they had this new edition I jumped on it and Kaden is really happy I did.  Let me share more about the course, what we love about it, how we used it and how to connect with Apologia today.