Homeschool Math Help with Math Skills Rescue from math Essentials

I received this complimentary product  through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

Math Essentials has done it again, with a great homeschool math helper! This time my 5th grader has been using their Basic Math Skills Rescue Parts 1 and 2. This is a 2 part math series designed to help mathl students master the critical, foundational skills in grades 3-algebra. This is going to be a wonderful resource for homeschoolers needing extra practice or help getting down those hard to grasp skills!

Math Essentials- Math Skills Rescue

I can’t tell you what a great time it was for our family to use this series. Though she has only worked in book 1, the extra practice has been such a great help for my 11 year old. Long division with 2 digit divisors y’all … it’s taking more effort than math skills in the past.

About the Books

These lessons are short, concise and help students with the math they need to know, with each topic building on the next. It has really been a helpful practice for my daughter. The back of the book has the answer key, which is helpful for student’s self checking, or for parents. These skills are all the same things we are learning in our math curriculum; it lines up perfectly in 5th grade! I know if we can get through these books, pre algebra and algebra are going to be so much easier for my girl.

Book 1 covers topics:

  • Whole numbers & integers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals

Book 2 covers:

  • Geometry
  • Problem Solving using all the above skills
  • More Advanced Pre-Algebra Skills

Math Essentials- Math Skills Rescue

With a strong background in these areas, students will be prepared for success in algebra and beyond.

The cover of each book is thick and glossy. The pages are a thick, white paper that just barely shadows, but does not bleed through. They are 242, and 248 pages long respectively. The back of each book has a glossary with terms used, and some very helpful charts- charts for symbols, fraction equivalents (woo hoo), and squares and square roots just to name a few. The first are pages are resources for parents, including tips for using the online video tutorials, notes to parents, and a How to Use This Book section. The table of contents breaks pages down by skill learned which is going to be helpful your child needs to brush up on specific topics.

Basic Math Skills Rescue Book1

 

How We Are Using The Series

Book 1 is as far as we have gotten for now, but it has been a great practice book so far. Now that we’ve made it to the 2 digit divisors section, and she worked through the lesson, I think she’s finally got it! Whew, we’ve been working on this for a few weeks on our own.

I’m so glad to know that these topics are important for future math skills, and that we have help to master them before middle school. We do use graph paper to help with the process of “showing work,” so on most of her pages are just the answers. She puts her graph paper work pages into the book with the corresponding page so I can see her work/help if there are mistakes.

Each lesson has a helpful hints section, which are reminders on how to do the math skill learned in that lesson. This helps set parents and students up for success. The reminders are well written, to the point, and give examples/visuals of what is being practiced. This was helpful for my daughter to remember a specific skill that she maybe hasn’t practiced in a while.

Review is built into each lesson so your child retains what they have learned thus far. There are final tests to measure progress, which is great for parents that are keeping records, or just want to be sure their child is ready to move forward. I like to keep tests for records, and chunk the practices, so I will plan to keep these tests as well.

Something else that is sooo helpful, is the free access to an online video library with the author of the Basic Math Skills Rescue series. If you have purchased the books, the videos are included for your benefit.

We will continue working through the series as we come across the corresponding topics in our math curriculum.

Math Essentials- Math Skills Rescue

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Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using Christian Light Education for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in Saxon K worksheets  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do the Anatomy and Physiology  if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in No Sweat Nature Study again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Not Back to {Home}school-first day memories

August 16 was our first day “back to homeschool”, but it looked nothing like what most people would consider a school day. The joy of homeschool?- it doesn’t have to! We spent the day finishing the de-stemming process of this year’s elderberries, and then turned them into elderberry syrup.( I can share that recipe, soon!)

I’m not a super fun crafty mama that makes all the fun things, or plans events for the first day of homeschool.

Like most things we do around here- we try to keep it simple. We have a homestead, and there is a lot to get done this time of year (which is also why I usually school year round and take a short break in August for harvesting. But this year was just a bit different).

Most years we enjoy box day a week or 2 before school begins- this is the day that we open all our homeschool orders, and peruse the books, games, and curricula we will explore together for the next year.

Homeschool Box Day 2021

Then I get everything organized and put away for our first day. This includes organizing our Sonlight core books, tearing apart workbooks to be organized by weeks, and making everyone’s laminated weekly routines so they know what to cover each day.

The first day of our routine is usually just a school day. Our box day gets my kids pretty excited for the new school year, so we don’t typically have problems starting our homeschool days. But there are always small growing pains (mostly for me) as we get the routine down, especially on years we add a new student to the mix.

We have a rhythm that works well most days:

  • 530/600 Mama has coffee and Jesus time cause this gig requires a lot of Jesus 😉
  • 700 everyone out of bed- bedroom & farm chores
  • 730 breakfast and get baby up
  • Then I walk (or workout) while the kids play first thing, or do something farm related like massage a goat’s bloated rumen until she is better, or put up tomatoes for the freezer because they’re everywhere, or chase cows down because they escaped.
  • Then we all meet back for morning basket together
  • From there we move to table work
  • after that is lunch (usually about 1130/12:00)

Morning basket can take us a while, we do a lot of reading. Like. A lot. But that’s just how we roll; we love books and our core curriculum is literature based, so it just takes a while to get through it all. My kids color while we read and they could sit for hours to listen and discuss, I think.

This year our first “homeschool routine day” was on a Tuesday, so we met daddy for Taco Tuesday after work, and took our first day of school pics with nice clothes on ? normally it would just be pajamas…

We are all excited for the school year, learning new things, and reading all the books! The Kindergartener is especially enthusiastic for the start of her first real school year.

What is your first day of homeschool tradition(s)?




 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

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