Using and Creating Your Homeschool Space {modify & adjust}

Originally written in November of 2018, I came across this post and felt it was a good word of advice to myself, these days, so maybe another homeschool mama could benefit from it as well. It is easy to forget the simplicity of leading by example, using what works, and keeping it as basic as low key for your family.

im so glad I came across this reminder in this season

———————

Modify & Adjust

Our dining area probably looks like a mini classroom to some.

I often read advice from one homeschooler to another, “you don’t have to do school at home,” and they’re right, NO, you don’t.  (actually, I am certain I’ve written that before..)

We certainly don’t- our homeschool looks much different than a typical classroom.

But I am not going to deprive our learning environment of helpful tools for the sake of not creating a “classroom at home.”

Someone asked in a homeschool group recently if everyone hangs school posters, ABCs, etc on their walls.

Of course some did, many did not, and some of us trained teachers spoke up with what we know to be true:

If it isn’t at eye level, and isn’t used/referred to almost daily, it probably won’t be used.

My A-ha! Moment

After Christmas I took down our school calendar.

And today I am putting it back up.

I took it down, partly, because it was ONE more thing in the house, and I am tired of things and stuff … but also because it looked like school.

But you know what?!

WE USED THE CALENDAR!  Like, every dang day.

We looove moving the days of the week, the kids enjoy pointing to the dates.  They do well keeping up with the days, and reading a calendar. And frankly, I use it when I need to glance at the month when I am thinking about our activities, travel and such.

Clearly, my “ugh, this room looks like a classroom and there is stuff everywhere, MUST. DE. CLUTTER,” arrow was misguided.  There are probably many other things I could have removed, that would make it feel less cluttered in our home … But our big, ugly, blue school calendar that screams “preschoolers live here,” wasn’t one of them.

We use and enjoy that big ugly school calendar.

It is not like me to question what I know to be true.
And I know what works for us.
I recently wrote a post about changing how you do things because other people’s voices get in your head… y’all I never thought a post like that would resonate with me.  Not because I am immune to self doubt, but because if there is one thing I do not doubt, it is my ability to homeschool my children.

Be Confident in Your Decisions

When we feel doubtful about the process, methods, or our atmosphere in general, we should take it to the Lord.

I know I often find myself frustrated or questioning things, and going forth in prayer is always the most helpful (although in true human fashion I try to figure it out on my own with little in the way of results).

If you want to have a room especially for homeschooling, that has posters, maps, colorful designs, and handwriting charts around the room, DO IT!  Just because you dress up your area with useful tools doesn’t mean you stand at a chalkboard and teach like a public school classroom, (or maybe you do? and that’s fine too).

I recently purchased a waaaay to big for our area larger whiteboard for our homeschool, because I couldn’t fit much on the little art one we had.  I do not stand and teach from it (my husband made an awesome ledge for it to sit upon), but we have it so that we can fit our ideas, brainstorm for topics together, keep different topics of review posted, etc on the board.

(It also helps me with review throughout the week- if I can see what we are studying or what they are interested in, then it is in my brain.  For me, out of sight out of mind is SO true, and I will completely forget what we are wanting to do, enjoying, etc.

In our home, it is about making literacy part of the environment (another post coming on that soon).

I know the benefits and results of modeling for students- modeling writing, making charts for organizing thoughts, brainstorming ideas, writing the date, using information on the board or from a book.  Just like we model how to read by tracking words on the page with our fingers and blending sounds slowly with our mouths, or how to behave in public, use manners, etc., we can model learning in our homeschool.  That is how I use our white board, but it works for us in this season. 

When it isn’t Working

Modify and adjust.

One of the key terms (how often do I write that ….?) in my teacher’s program was modify and adjust.  Don’t be a slave to ANYTHING in your homeschool- not the curriculum, or the term “unschool”; not the planner, not the table, not the 4 walls of your house, not other people’s expectations, not the lack of curriculum, NOTHING.

If it doesn’t work- modify and adjust.  If the perfect, colorful, fun room you set up never gets used and you really need to turn it into a nursery for the coming baby, DO IT.

If you just can’t handle schooling the the basement (although you have room and shelves and tables), because it is so dark and dreary- MOVE TO THE MAIN FLOOR OF THE HOUSE! (<–this is us!)

If the birds chirping and the green grass outside on a warm spring morning are calling your name- move outside!

It’s ok to be excited and want the very best of everything in your home and homeschool.  But when it isn’t working or useful, when it causes stress/clutter, or isn’t getting results- Try something different.

Modify and Adjust.  =)

What is working in this season for you, that maybe you thought you would never do/use?

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Homeschool Redwall Study Guide {Progeny Press}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Progeny Press
My 11 year old has been working her way through the digital Redwall Study Guide from Progeny Press, and she has enjoyed it so much. We’ve used Progeny Press study guides before in our homeschool, and they never disappoint! You can read our experience with their Miss Rumphius guide here. This guide is for grades 5-8, and covers Redwall books 1-3, but Progeny Press offers many, many more guides at all levels. These are a great way to do language arts in your homeschool!

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

 

What It Is

These study guides come in an E-guide format, which means they’re available as soon as you purchase them, no waiting on shipping (which we know is unreliable these days). Each comes in an easy to use, PDF format; I was able to open it on both my Mac and our Windows desktop where my daughter used it some.

Thanks to Progeny Press’s interactive feature, you can open their study guides using Adobe Reader program (which is free), and your student can type their answer directly in the guide! This is perfect for families like our who have students learning to type, or who struggle with physical writing large amounts at a time.

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

The study guides are broken down into sections divided by chapters; for example the first section of Redwall’s guide was chapters 1-9. Each section includes activities; while not all activities are included in every section, some are:

  • Vocabulary- sometimes students match definitions, make their own sentences, multiple choice, etc
  • Dialect- this quizzes the students on what they think these odd-to-us phrases and words mean
  • Questions- these are comprehension questions about what happened in the book
  • Thinking About the Story- these are questions are where students make connections between the text, themselves and the world by critically thinking about what is explicitly said and what they must infer. I will post a screen shot below of an example
  • Dig deeper- these questions do just that
  • Class Discussion- this is a great opportunity for narration or family discussion
  • Chapter Activities- these include cooking, animal report, research, crafts, and art
  • Optional Writing Assignments or Discussion
  • Creative Writing Assignment
  • At the end there is a secretion of Final Project ideas
  • There is scripture all throughout the guide too, which I love

Throughout the guide there are interactive links and Pinterest boards for students and families to explore. My girl *loves* this. We do not yet have any ad blockers or special browsers for my kids to use, so I was hesitant at first to let her work alone. But the links from progeny Press are safe, and once she figured out using the browser it worked well for us.

How we Used It and What We Think

We started with book 1, Redwall; I printed what we needed, when we needed it so y daughter could work on it whenever she had time, and could do a bit of writing. I chose to print a section at a time, which is convenient and not overwhelming for her. It’s so easy to print if you’re needing it as a family or for more than one student, because you can print as many copies as you need, and everyone can work at their own pace. Of course you can do this in PDF format on the computer for typing as well.

The answer key for the teacher is a different file, so no worries if you need to keep that from little eyes. However, I will tell you that there’s a reason teachers had us check our own work in school. 😂 It makes less work for the teacher, and students generally enjoy it! Also, I like doing this with my older kids because it gives them a chance to see with their eyes what it is you’re expecting from them. I can tell them I expect “complete sentences with detailed information from the book,” all day long. But when they see what is expected of them in print, compared to the answer key, it can help them really understand what I mean. We do this sometimes, especially with language arts.

I like the Progeny Press study guides, because we can use the smaller ones throughout the year. But larger ones like this we can savor slowly, and make it a larger project. I think using a larger one like Redwall over the course of  semester or two gives students time for quality work. It can become more like an independent unit study where they get to explore all the links and activities in the guide (and if you have more than one student doing the same one, the whole family can work together).

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

My girl *loves* doing projects and cooking on her own, so this is a chance for her to do that without me having to put anything together on my own, which I don’t have much time for. Thank you Progeny Press!

Watch this short video for more information about Progeny Press and their faith statement:

Connect with Progeny Press

 

Click the banner below for more Progeny Press reviews from the Crew:Progeny Press Literature Study Guides

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!

LightSail for Homeschoolers- homeschool language arts

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

With my very book enthusiastic crew of kiddos, we have been using LightSail for Homeschoolers. This is a one-year, language arts subscription program; we have been using the premium subscription which focuses on the four pillars of language arts: reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency. They offer over 14,000 books, over 100K resources, faith based content, for all grade levels. You can choose a monthly or annual subscription.

Their resources include, but aren’t limited to:

  • 14,00+ books from top publishers
  • 13,000+ audiobooks with read along options and real voice narration
  • 20,000+ educational videos
  • 40,000+ comprehension questions for all levels
  • 51,000+ World Book Encyclopedia articles
  • 1,000+ multimedia resources like maps, timelines, 360 photos and more!

LightSail is so comprehensive, and so full of features it is going to be hard for me to hit on all of them! We reviewed this with my 9 and 11 year olds, who are in 5th and 3rd grades. The program adapts to your child’s reading level using an assessment, and then adjusts it to their individual needs, as they move through the program.

Stress Free

Don’t worry about being overwhelmed by content. At the top of every page there is a small play button that explains where you are and also give options for other areas. you can use the bookmarks within the video to find what you need. It is so simple! The video pops onto your screen and can be moved around while you navigate the site.

Within LightSail, there are parental controls which allows parents to turn on and off reading of certain books; LightSail rates books for you, so that you don’t have to guess! I can’t tell you how many books we have had to put down because, though highly recommended by others, they were not a good fit for our family. The LightSail rating system gives you a list of all the topics that may be of concern, the books that include those topics, and then the ability to allow them or block them for now. LightSail takes the frustration and guess work out of selecting titles for your family! If you come across a book in the library that needs approval, the child safe content rating system will tell you what topics the book contains that you may need to be aware of. I noticed a few biographies with mental health as one of the notes on the rating system, or death of a child.

Within the program, families will find on the left side menu:

  • the Library
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • and Chat (within your family, regarding books and assignments)

When you the parent are logged in, you will see the dashboard and libraries from your perspective. You can also toggle to the child’s avatar to see what they see. However, for your child to work in their account (to log their data and complete their work) they need to be logged in. You can find their user name and password under settings.

The Library is just that- this is where your child will do all their reading. Within each book’s overlay are the questions, related content, and where you can check it back in. My children have really enjoyed reading the books and exploring the other media- videos, articles, streaming, etc. I love that books have related World Book Encyclopedia articles that correspond with the reading. For example Robin Hood corresponds with the articles Bioethics and Friendship. There are also videos, action clips, audiobooks, and related books listed for students to enjoy.

Reading offers unit studies, booklists, memory work, and so much more. There are family book clubs, and read aloud included (each child can listen on their own). There are built in assessments and record keeping.

LightSail for Homeschoolers

The Writing dashboard allows parents to see notes the child has taken on books, any book reports assigned, and this is a place to keep track of grades. There are so many ways for parents and students to document their writing here! We did not use them all for this review, but I most definitely will utilizing them in the future. I can’t wait for my daughter, who has been learning to type, to have a place to do some writing and documenting of her own. Students can become authors and share their books, there is essay writing options, grammar skills work, and authentic and informal writing options.

LightSail for Homeschoolers

Vocabulary is going to increase spelling and vocabulary using fun games, assignments, and filling in the blanks of reading (clozes), all while keeping record of your student’s progress. I really like that spelling lists can be curated by the parent.

Fluency is where students improve language fluency by connecting speaking, listening and writing. I love that there is a narration option- students can retell a book in their own words, via recording. Parents can then listen to the retelling at their convenience, and assign grades. This is so much fun! Here you will find read aloud, narration, speak-listen-write, and a memory module for memory work.

LightSail for Homeschoolers

Honestly, there is just so much in LightSail, I can’t hit on all of it. This is just a quick overview, with my personal opinion of things I love. What I don’t like? … Hmm, maybe that there is so much? But the program also offers settings to black out any distractions for students who are easily set off course by color and lights! So, really, I can’t find anything we don’t love about it.

The program includes all the classics, lots of more current books, but not a lot of mainstream reading. I don’t find this to be a problem for our family; the selections were fun and interesting to my kids. My daughter loved the Little Prince series (a retelling version) that has some 20 books in it. She is begging to do assignments and answer questions about the books she’s read in LightSail. My 9 year old thinks it is a fun challenge, so he is also enjoying it.

LightSail for Homeschoolers

Connect with LightSail

Lots of Crew members reviewed LightSail, so check out their reviews by clicking the banner below. I am sure you will find different information than what I shared-

Improve Reading Skills with LightSail for Homeschoolers
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Bible Book Breakdowns {for your homeschool}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Bible Breakdowns

My kids really enjoy using their Bibles as we do our Bible reading or memory verse work. When my kids are about 7, reading well and able to understand the Bible better, I get them their own Nirv Bible. Teach Sunday School has created dozens of helpful tools for children and adults; we’ve been using their Bible Breakdowns. These are really fun, easy to use, and visibly uncluttered breakdowns of the books of the Bible.

Old Testament Breakdowns

What Are These Bible Breakdowns?

These breakdowns cover each book of the Bible, and are divided into two sections: New and Old Testaments.

Each breakdown includes:

  • summary about the book
  • number of chapters
  • type of book (ex: history, Gospel, Epistle, as well as what category of each type)
  • date written
  • period covered
  • author
  • and an overview of each section of verse-what those verses are about, or what Bible story they pertain to, including not well known stories.
  • most popular verses from that book

How to Use Them

These Bible Breakdowns are going to be perfect for families studying the Bible together; whether during homeschool, bedtime devotional time, or for personal bible time, the breakdowns are helpful for anyone needing more in-depth information for studying their Bible. You can spiral bind them, which is what I plan to do, or hole punch and put in a folder for easy access. We liked using them before our homeschool Bible time, to go over all the specific information about that book of the Bible. It was easy for the kids to understand and helped me explain things without too much over thinking. It’s also great if your family is working through a timeline book, you can easily add the dates of each book and when they were written to your timeline.

The breakdown of Esther looks like this:

Bible Breakdowns Example: EstherBible Breakdowns Example: Esther

 

I also like that there are spots for you to check off as you go through and read each chapter of that book.

These Bible Breakdowns are so easy to use. My oldest has her own copy, and likes looking through them as she reads her Bible, or when she has questions. I think these are also going to be helpful if you’re reading the Bible on an app; you can keep the PDF version of the breakdowns on your device so you can easily reference them. I like pen and paper, so printing them was my preference.

 

Teach Sunday School has so many wonderful resources for anyone studying the Bible, doing Bible activities, or looking for information about the Bible for their home, small group, or classroom. Check them out!

New Testament Breakdowns

 

Connect with Teach Sunday School

 

Check out more Crew reviews for Teach Sunday School by clicking the banner below:    Boob-by-Book Bible Study Printable Breakdowns

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!

Reading Eggs and Math Seeds for Your Homeschool

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
Reading Eggs

I need to get the garden picked, and dishes done … and help with the animal chores. But first I want to tell you how much we have enjoyed Reading Eggs! This subscription includes both Reading Eggs and Math Seeds, their math program.

We have reviewed this interactive reading program before, and my children all enjoy it. This time I used it for the younger two, and they had so much fun. The program is suitable for children 3-13! Yes, you read that correctly- up to 13.
After farm chores, or school time I would let them each take a turn working through their level in the program. They enjoyed making their own little character, and working their way through the reading map.

Reading Eggs

I love that there is the option for desktop or an app for Reading Eggs and Math Seeds.

Students can (and should) take the placement test which is simple, and takes the guess work out of trying to find the just right level; the program does it for you! The placement test was right for both of my girls, with no problems. If your student is not familiar with using an online program/app (like my 5 year old) I would say help them with making the choices/moving the pieces during the placement teat, because that can obviously impact their level. But after a little practice of using the app, it becomes pretty intuitive for them.

My girls progressed well through their levels. I love that the added reading practice is fun for them; it helps on days when I may not have time to put together something fun for their practice, or we need a change up from the typical school day. My children usually get a little screen time after cleaning day is over, so Reading Eggs is great for that, too! They like having something new to try and I like that it is educational and helping with their foundational reading.

The parent’s screen for each child lets the parent know how that child is progressing, what they have read well, where there may be struggles for added practice purposes. There is even data for their growth in each area. This is great for anyone needing to give a district or state data, as well as just wanting to track progress for yourself.

Then there is Math Seeds! Math Seeds is an interactive math program for children ages 3-9 that helps them with problem solving and solidifying math skills. The structured lessons are fun and inviting for kids and easy for parents to set up. As you can see below, there are different areas to choose from in Math Seeds- after taking the placement test, students can begin lessons at their personalized level.

There are options for lots of fun games and skill building, test taking, spending points earned in the shop, and there is even a play room for children to explore. I remember doing some old school programs back in the 90s that had rooms like that- and I *loved* them. If your kids are anything like mine, they will love this! And you can rest knowing they are learning and spending time wisely.

Math Seeds

 

I think Reading Eggs and Math Seeds are great for foundation skills in both subjects; it is also a great supplement to your current schooling situation, whether at home or elsewhere.

Connect with Reading Eggs

Read more reviews from The Crew of Reading Eggs and Math Seeds by clicking the banner below:Learn to Read with Reading Eggs
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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!

Homeschool Science Online- Chemistry

Homeschool Science online

Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have been using Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science, Young Scientist Chemistry, for some science fun this summer. This course is for grades 4-7, and is a self paced course. Because it is online, you can do it anytime with as many students as you’d like. Self paced makes this course as slow or fast you your family feels comfortable. I have some kids that will fly through self paced courses, and others that like to take a little longer.

For the Young Scientist Chemistry course, there are 13 classes, plus an intro that covers a little information from parents and student.  Classes cover:

  • note taking and test taking
  • the scientific method
  • creation, the atom, matter & quantum mechanics
  • the periodic table (2 lessons)
  • elements, mixtures, and compounds
  • chemical bonding
  • the mole
  • states of matter
  • Density
  • Radioactivity
  • Ph- acids and bases

The course includes easy print out study guide pdfs for each lesson, divided into parts, 1-4.

Homeschool Science online

We have really enjoyed these lessons. My almost 3rd grader tagged along with his almost 5th grade sister. They were both interested in it, but my daughter specifically requested doing chemistry, so it was of more interest to her and at her level.

Homeschool Science online

Classes are lecture style and Professor Landry is so easy to listen to, and is also easy to understand-which is so important for online learning. Lessons include some visuals on the screen, which correlate with the PDF study guide. I recommend printing the study guide before class, that way students can make notes as they go along through the class.

The PDF study guides include activities and worksheets for filling in information for class, which helps the student with note taking and completing their work, as well as comprehension. There are great charts included in the PFDs as well. My daughter loves visuals and reading over notes, so we find the printable guides super helpful.

This is a great way for parents to assess progress in the course, and show proof of learning for any requirements for their state or diplomas. We like making portfolios for our work, so Professor Landry’s guides are a great way to do this.

My children have a pretty firm foundation in the metric system, thanks to their math, so the metric system class was a great way to bring all of that information together, showing how it relates to science. We did one lesson a week, sometimes every other week, usually on Wednesdays. We loved the lesson for creation, the atom, matter & quantum mechanics. I like how Professor Landry handles creation and the topic of God’s creation, the analogies he gives for student’s to understand- we weren’t created from nothing. But instead purposefully, by our Creator.

Homeschool Science online

Classes build upon one another, so I do recommend going in order of the course. There is also review in each video we’ve come across, because students use knowledge from previous classes for the next.

We are super excited to continue on through the course, and continue our learning journey with Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science, Young Scientist Chemistry.

 

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Online College Prep Science Classes with Greg Landry

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Homeschool Math-All Grades-with CTCMath

 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

Many homeschool families are looking for an easy to use, online math program for their children. CTCMath is a full online math program, covering all grades, kindergarten through 12th, including calculus. We know there will come a day when my children may need more help than their math books and I can give them, and CTCMath will be a great option at that time. (I have blurred out names and email address in the images below).

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

After logging in, families will find pre-recorded video tutorials with directions explaining step by step each math concept. They are easily accessed any time, anywhere via your account. I found these lessons to be clear and easy to follow along, making it like sitting in class listening to a teacher.

In the parent dashboard, parents can add each student, selecting their grade level and where to begin on lessons. From there, students can login, complete their lesson, and take a quiz over what they just learned. A lesson summary can also be downloaded for each lesson. I love this because we enjoy making math notebooks with concepts my children may need to revisit. It helps make it hands on, too.

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math program

Topics may have multiple lessons, which are all in order for the student to follow. The quiz questions on each lesson can be read to the student by clicking the speak button next to the questions; this is a great option for early readers, or students who better comprehend by listening. Weekly revision sets help consolidate learning and identify areas of struggle. In the CTCMath parent dashboard, you can find extensive reports making tracking easy for parents and record keeping.

Parents can set tasks, view results, and see the history of what students have been working on.

There are also some really fun games found at the bottom of the screen: speed skills, times tables, and swap pieces. I have to be honest and say these are a lot of fun, and will definitely help your kids find motivation to do some extra math learning. These are a great rewards for having completed math lessons for the day or week.

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

CTCMath Quiz grade 5 Homeschool Online Math program

Maybe one of the best parts- CTCMath offers a 12 month guarantee- I don’t know any math curriculum that backs their program with such confidence! Overall, this program is definitely going to help improve math learning for students. If you family is looking for an online, video based learning option, CTCMath is where it’s at! Between the easy to follow lessons, simple tracking, and fun games, kids and parents will both enjoy this math.

Connect with CTCMath

 

Read more  CTC Math reviews from the Crew:

Online Homeschool Math with CTCMath

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!

Homeschool History with Home School in the Woods

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Home School In the Woods History

We have enjoyed using Home School in the Woods to supplement our history before, and this time we loved it as well! We’ve been enjoying their Time Travelers U.S. History Studies, and it goes along perfectly with our American History this summer. We are working through the Time Travelers: The American Revolution pack, for hands on learning in our homeschool.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

This summer we have been working through fun history projects, and my kids have loved it! I have to be honest- I’m not a fan of putting together units with projects… and that’s where Home School in the Woods Time Travelers have come in. After reading our history, I usually search for a video to watch on YouTube, recapping what we just learned. Then we take to the projects in our pack, at the family table.

Our favorite has been making newspapers! The kids had so much fun with this- even though the packs are suggested ages 8+ my 6 year old loved joining in. So if you have younger kiddos, I say definitely let them tag along. We like doing these as a family because everyone can work at their own level, and do their own activity. Younger children will enjoy coloring the pictures, and pasting in a notebook. There are so many ways to adjust these history studies for all ages.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

10 year old’s newspaper page

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

8 year old’s newspaper page

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

6 year old’s newspaper page

Parents will find each download has a folder with lessons, a folder with correlating, labeled projects, as well as instructions, photos, and a resource list. Everything is easy to find, print out, and simple to use. Finding each project in the photos provided in the download is very helpful, especially for kids that need to see what the finished project looks like (or this mama, who is super visual).

The pack contains 25 lessons that can be completed in 5-10 weeks, or as you choose. They cover all of the politics and conflicts that launched a new nation, including the French and Indian War, George vs George, government, taxing, the Boston Tea Party, and so much more! You can view the scope and sequence by selecting the scope/seq tab midway down on this page. I love how they cover not only the big, most well known events and people, but lesser-known events that happened and people that affected the war and revolution- like women of the war, and battles in the south.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

I have found these projects to be meaningful, interesting, and helpful for my children to remember what we’ve learned together. We really love putting together lap books, and I can’t wait to do that soon. We’ve been so busy with baseball, and celebrating sumer with friends we haven’t had a chance to get everything put together, but we will!

Included in the Time Travelers: The American Revolution masters are the timeline figures! The set included for this pack can be found here,  but there are so many sets to add for all your homeschool history studies. Home School in the Woods offers several different sets of timeline figures and have added some new ones recently- check them out!

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

one of our timeline book pages

 

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Hands On History with Homeschool in the Woods

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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