Archive for addition

Jun
07

Math Mammoth ~ A TOS Review

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This is a review of Math Mammoth — multiple math options and resources for your child — created by Maria Miller.  She has compiled hundred of pages of text and worksheets, organized as a complete curriculum, available for grades 1-6; or as worktexts/worksheets, by topic or grade level through grade 8/9 and including Algebra 1.

 

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Maria has spent more than 10 years developing these comprehensive math resources for Math Mammoth.  She has continued to make improvements to them too, adding new books over the years, and offering them not just in print form, but on CD; and as PDF downloads as well.  She has free tests on the website that can be used as basic math diagnostic tests.  I find these especially useful in determining any topic gaps or weak areas in my child’s math education to date.  In addition, Maria is more than willing to assist you with reading the test results and choosing grade level or topic placement.

Contact ~ Maria Miller – www.mathmammoth.com/contact.php

There are also more than 350 free worksheets and sample pages from Math Mammoth products and from Make It Real Learning activity workbooks, available on the Math Mammoth website.  My Schoolhouse Review Crew mates have used and reviewed the various products offered by Math Mammoth.  You can read their reviews when you click on the banner below and follow the link.

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I have been using the Light Blue Seriesfor 3rd grade, with my daughter.  The Light Blue Series complete curriculum resources include a Student Worktext A and B, along with answer keys, cumulative reviews; and tests for each specified grade level.

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The Student Worktexts are the most important part of the curriculum.  In each worktext you find the lesson material, a thorough explanation of concepts; and exercises.  We read the topic introduction together and then I answer any questions my daughter might have.  There is no prep work for me.  In all honesty, the text practically teaches itself, because Maria Miller is very clear and concise in her direction.  She has visualized how she would teach and tried to transpose that to the Student Worktext.  I usually watch my daughter work a couple of problems, and if she seems to grasp the concept then I assign some of the exercises for practice and reinforcement.  There are 163 pages in the Grade 3-A Worktext, and 158 in 3-B.  They are divided into ten chapters covering:  Addition & Subtraction, Multiplication Concept, Multiplication Tables, Telling Time, Money, Place Value with Thousands, Geometry, Measuring, Division; and Fractions.  Each chapter lists numerous internet websites that can be used to supplement book work as desired.  During the week, we choose 2 or 3 online games or worksheets that she can do for fun and added practice.  Maria’s tried to think of everything, and as I said previously, she’s always making improvements.  “The PDF files in the download or CD are enabled for annotating. This means that the student can actually complete the PDF file on the computer, using the typewriter and drawing tools available in Acrobat Reader version 9 or higher, or on a tablet device such as an iPad, using a PDF app that has annotating tools.”  The downloadable version of the curriculum includes a Worksheet Maker for extra worksheets, and conveniently there is a separate PDF file for each chapter cumulative review and test.  Many of the lessons have been completed in a day, but several have had to be spread out over 2 or 3 days.  In general, we spend an hour to an hour and a half each day on this course.

The main difference we have noticed while using Math Mammoth – Light Blue Series is that it spends concentrated, in-depth time on a topic, as opposed to skipping or jumping from topic to topic within a lesson; giving ample time and practice for mastery.  It doesn’t rely on drills & memorization as much as understanding & knowledge gained.  Maria encourages one to “plan your mathematics school year as a set of certain topics, instead of a certain book or certain pages from a book.”  I haven’t worked our math curriculum in this manner before now, but it seems to make sense and is working very well for my daughter.  A single topic, like fractions, can be mastered much quicker than the entire 3rd year math book, and she gains confidence each time she “conquers” a specific topic.  Her ability is affirmed more often and her desire to tackle the subject is evident when she enthusiastically asks, “May I do my math, now.”

There are a few manipulatives needed for the Grade 3 Curriculum:  an analog clock, a ruler, a measuring tape, measuring cups; and kitchen scales.  Other than these items, the curriculum is complete.  The full set download is $34.00, a CD is $39.00; and printed material is $45.95.  There are obvious added printing costs with the purchase of the download or the CD, but I still feel like it’s a good value.

I plan to read the reviews of the Blue Series, because it is worktexts for various topics, with each book covering 2-3 grade levels.  I expect that it is as well written as the Light Blue Series, and I’ll be able to use it to review and bridge some gaps with a couple of my older children.  Would your child benefit from using Math Mammoth?

 

Blessings,

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Disclaimer*   I received Light Blue Series – Grade 3, full set curriculum download, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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 Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Jul
16

Building My Confidence with Professor B

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You may remember that I am a “wordy.”  I’m not a numbers kinda gal.  I have done and can do higher math, but I don’t find the pleasure in it, like I do language and grammar.  As a home educator, though, I have the responsibility to teach math, and as a parent, I want my children to embrace it, and every other subject for that matter, according to their own bent; not influenced by mine.

Professor B Math is an online math program, with a unique history and philosophy that sets it apart from other online math programs.  It is complete with instruction, but has no sound, or anything that would be considered “bells and whistles,” as my children might call it.  Professor B aids anyone lacking full confidence in their ability to teach math – parents, grandparents, older siblings; mentors –  to indeed, instruct their student, as a master teacher.

 

 

Click graphic for FAQ’s

 

Professor B is a professorish-looking bumblebee, wearing spectacles and a bow-tie; using a classroom pointer.  You are the teacher, going through each lesson with the Professor and your student.

 

 

Click graphic to view Sample Lessons.

 

 

Created by Professor Everard Barrett, Professor B is designed for Preschool through Middle School, covering basic arithmetic through Algebra.  Professor Barrett believes math can/should flow like a story, not fragmented with pieces/parts of concepts.  The Professor B  bee works through educational slides, with you, as the instructor, reading his word balloons to your student.   He gives the “why” behind an equation or formula, encouraging use and practice.  “Mastery once obtained must be sustained”  is the charge to instructors at the end of each lesson, but he is not an advocate of learning through rote memorization.

There is sufficient achievement data to support Professor Barrett’s claims that the diligent use of the Professor B Math program can accomplish  “3 years of math in 1 year,”  which was a huge draw for us, and it can eliminate the need for any expensive tutoring.

 

There are 3 Levels of Instruction available:

Level 1 ~ PreK – 2nd Grade

Intro, Lower & Higher Addition/Subtraction

Counting to 100

Place Value

Fractional Parts

Time

Money

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Level 2 ~ 3rd – 5th Grade

Multiplication/Division

Intro to Fractions >

Fractional Equivalence

Addition/Subtraction of Fractions

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Level 3 ~ 6th – 8th Grade

Multiplication/Division of Fractions

Decimals

Percents

It is worth noting that each level can be used for the remediation of older learners according to their need.  Professor B does have placement tests, but we did not use one.  We found this program is easy to implement from “where you are.”

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Subscriptions can be paid per month or per year.  The Professor B Math website is being updated, as of this writing, June 2012, but their best price offer is available nowCall Customer Service @ 678-765-6655  and get 3 years access to any one level for $100.

Additional Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Write –

Professor B Enterprises

P.O. Box 3856

Suwanee, GA  30024

~

Call – 678.765.6655

~

Email –  info@profb.com

and

follow on facebook

Professor B has built my confidence to teach my children math.  I know more than I sometimes give myself credit for, and my children have pointed it out more than once, especially while using this program.  They enjoy my voice/instruction, and understand me better, than they do Professor B.   Because I’m not computerized, I can move forward, quicker than the slides, or slower, as might be needed for a new concept.  I recognize, though, that I am a better math instructor when I’m working with Professor B.   We go through a lesson together, slide by slide, and I know what I’m teaching and how to teach it, following the example of the bee.  Then, I can further explain, assign practice worksheets or see-for-myself that my student is ready to move on.  It’s been a win-win situation for us!

Please, use the many links I’ve provided throughout this post to learn more.  You can also click the banner below to read what my Crew mates have to say about this program, and check it out for yourself – Professor B Math offers a 30 day Free Trial, too!   Again, just call 678-765-6655 and ask for it!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  Access to this online program was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for your comments.

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Jun
22

Practice to Excel

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None of my children are chomping at the bit to earn a math major.  I’m trying to think whether or not I have any that actually like mathematics.  Hmm…some of them at least acknowledge that they will have to take a couple of math courses in college to obtain their degree, but it is a reluctant acknowledgement.  Yes, they realize the importance of numbers and the place they hold in the order of life, but wish it didn’t have to apply directly to them.  Sorry to say, I totally understand; so, I’m always looking for ways to keep their attention long enough for them to acquire and hone their necessary math skills.

The creators of IXL Learning must know students like mine!  IXL is a bright, colorful; and even fun, online program that allows your child to practice math concepts, while tracking mastery.

 

 

They have over 2,000 skills listed by grade or by topic, supplying unlimited questions for Pre-K through Algebra, with future plans to add Geometry, Trigonometry, AND Language Arts!

 

 

We are currently using two different math curriculums, and IXL.com easily supplements both of them.  Choosing by topic has worked the best for us, because the teaching and instruction occurs with the curriculum we’re using, followed by examples and practice with the IXL correlating topic.  When working a problem, if the student answers incorrectly they can ask the program for an explanation and one is supplied, otherwise IXL is strictly practice; not instruction.

IXL.com gives me access to all of their grade levels; so, if my child is excelling in one area I can allow him to advance, while working through a different level in another area.  I think this has kept boredom at bay.  Also, students can unlock virtual rewards and prizes to place on a game board as they excel.  Mine call them stickers, because they remind them of our “in house” sticker reward program from their younger years.

 

 

 

 

The best part of the program for me is the reporting that IXL does.  They track each students progress and keep a report of the time they’ve spent on the program AND the time spent working problems.  Because of this, I can teach to specific areas that need improvement.

 

 

 

 

IXL also offers State Standardized Test Alignment and Reporting.  You can find the right skills that need practiced and read a thorough report of your child’s readiness for standardized tests according to your state.

 

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IXL Membership is $79 a year for your 1st child and $20 a year for each additional child.  There is also a per month option of $9.95 for the 1st child and just $2 a month for each additional child.  Membership gives you access to every grade level and topic available.

~

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Write –

IXL Learning

777 Mariners Island Blvd., Suite 600

San Mateo, CA  94404

Email – info@ixl.com

Call – 650.372.4040

Please, take a few minutes to follow the links I’ve provided here and browse the IXL website.  You can also read the opinions the Schoolhouse Review Crew, when you click the graphic below.

Blessings,

Disclaimer*  Access to this online program was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Jun
18

A Way to Mathematically Engage My Students

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Have I mentioned that we tend to gravitate toward art and writing, as opposed to math?  I think each of my children would say they enjoy the creativity of expressing themselves artistically, through drawing or painting, musically, or as a wordsmith, with little inclination to numbers crunching.  I acknowledge that numbers are vital to the order of the universe, though; so, I am always looking for ways to mathematically engage my students.

Pearson Homeschool desires to support our commitment to give our children the best education possible.  “From kitchen table to computer, our proven resources propel learning at your child’s perfect pace. You can teach core skills confidently with proven programs built on the best education research.”

 

Click graphic to read Why Pearson Homeschool Curriculum?

Pearson Homeschool has affordable curriculum packages available for grades Pre-K through 12.

Scott Foresman Reading Street

Interactive Science

myWorld Social Studies

MyMathLab Algebra 1

and my current interest –

enVisionMATH

enVisionMath  “uses problem based interactive learning and visual learning to deepen conceptual understanding. It incorporates bar diagram visual tools to promote problem-solving skills, and it provides data-driven differentiated instruction to ensure success.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Click graphic for Grade 4 – enVisionMATH

Products are available individually, but a Homeschool Bundle has been created for each grade level, K – 6.

The enVisionMATH – Grade 4 – Homeschool Bundle can be purchased for $99.99, and includes:

Student Text, a beautiful hard bound book with semi-glossy pages.  Daily lessons introduce a concept using engaging illustrations, examples of problems, guided practice, independent practice and problem solving.

MindPoint Quiz Show CD-Rom, quiz show-type math games, with multiple-choice answers, played against the computer or more than one player.

Teacher Edition CD-Rom, which contains customizable lesson plans, teaching guides, reviews & assessments, and printable resources that include practice worksheets and tests.

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We have used several online computer programs for math, in the past few months, and I think my daughter enjoys having a book-in-hand and not having to schedule available PC time.  enVisionMATH is a full math curriculum and it does teach sequential concepts, which I definitely like, but I am still undecided whether or not I would use it exclusively as our math program.  Grade 4, has been a wonderful gap-filler, for us, and I do expect to complete every lesson with my daughter.

enVisionMATH Grade 4 – Table of Contents –

  • Topic 1: Numeration
  • Topic 2: Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers
  • Topic 3: Multiplication Meanings and Facts
  • Topic 4: Division Meanings and Facts
  • Topic 5: Multiplying by 1-Digit Numbers
  • Topic 6: Patterns and Expressions
  • Topic 7: Multiplying by 2-Digit Numbers
  • Topic 8: Dividing by 1-Digit Divisors
  • Topic 9: Lines, Angles, and Shapes
  • Topic 10: Understanding Fractions
  • Topic 11: Adding and Subtracting Fractions
  • Topic 12: Understanding Decimals
  • Topic 13: Operations with Decimals
  • Topic 14: Area and Perimeter
  • Topic 15: Solids
  • Topic 16: Measurement, Time, and Temperature
  • Topic 17: Data and Graphs
  • Topic 18: Equations
  • Topic 19: Transformations, Congruence, and Symmetry
  • Topic 20: Probability

 

 

Click graphic for Features and Benefits of enVisionMATH – Grade 4

This is a non-consumable book, which I actually appreciate, since I can re-use it with my other children without an added expense, but a notebook is needed in addition to the student text.  The course can be teacher intensive, because the introduction of a new concept sometimes lacks fine details, in the student text, and must be taught.  In this case, I like that it forces me to remain hands-on with my child’s education.  Assessment of her strengths and needs is easy, because I’m involved on a daily basis.  Teaching Guides are available and I do not think this is difficult to teach.

Click graphic for a list of Homeschool Resources

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I hope you will follow the many links I’ve provided throughout this post, and check out the opinions of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, when you click the graphic below.  Pearson Homeschool has a lot to offer!

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  A copy of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thank you for your comments!

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Categories : homeschool, math, reviews, TOS
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Mar
05

It’s a New Day!

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Wow, so much has changed since I began teaching my children at home, back in the dark ages, or so it seems some days.  When we began homeschooling there were few companies that wrote or published curriculum geared toward the unique needs of educating at home.  Now, not only are there several companies on board and promoting materials for homeschool use, but there are also online programs being created for this vast community.  It’s a new day for home education!

K5 Learning is an outstanding, online reading and math enrichment program!

 

Click the K5 graphic above for Sample Lessons 

Geared for Kindergarten through Grade 5, it is a student paced, individualized learning program, based on skill level, not grade level.  Even in light of other online programs we have used, my children agreed that K5 Learning is consistently challenging, but not frustratingly impossible.  I like it because it has repeated spoken instructions allowing even young students to work independently.

There are 1,500 reading tutorials with more than 3,000 activities, and over 1,200 math lessons and activities.  These are not random.  They are sequenced lessons that prompt continued mastery of the subject.  Each session is a 5-10 minute tutorial, then practice, and quiz over new material.

 

 Click graphic above for Math details

K5 Math is comprehensive.  It covers – Numbers & Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Algebra, and Data Analysis.  The Math Facts encourage “instant recall of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division tables.  Unlike computerized drill programs, K5 Math Facts does not generate questions randomly.  It records every response a child makes, continually analyses what facts your child has mastered or need further practice at, and generates questions based on that child’s needs.  This makes K5 Math Facts far more efficient at teaching math facts than a typical drill program.”

Click Math Facts graphic above to view demo

The Reading Enrichment encompasses Reading Curriculum & Comprehension, Phonics and Phonemic Awareness, Sight Words, Vocabulary, and Spelling.  K5 Spelling has a 150,00 word database, and “is far beyond your typical online spelling program.”

Additionally, K5 Learning keeps parent’s up-to-date with regular student progress reports.

Subscription rate:

per year – 1st child $199

additional child $129

per month – 1st child $25

additional child $15

K5 offers a 14-day FREE TRIAL that includes a reading assessment and a math assessment.

Click assessment graphic above for more information.

My crew mates have shared their opinions and you’ll find them by clicking the graphic below and following the link.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

phone – 888.281.2145

 write –

K5 Learning

510-4438 West 10th Avenue

Vancouver, British Columbia

V6R 4R8

or facebook

I’m excited about the new options for home educators and I think you will be, too!  Please, follow the links I’ve provided and browse the K5 Learning website.  Let me know what you think.

Blessings,

A trial period of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Dec
16

It is FRACTAZMIC!

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I’ve found that the best way, or at least the yummiest way, to teach fractions, and actually make them stick, is in the kitchen.  Measuring to mix a batch of gooey, chocolate fudge brownies, cutting a veggie-loaded pizza or slices of hot apple pie, or adding the measures that triple a recipe of Gramma’s Homemade Chicken and Noodles, so they’ll be enough for this crew.  The problem I’ve found, there is no way I can cook enough, or we can eat enough, for my students to thoroughly practice using fractions.  The more you use fractions the easier they are to use.

Fractazmic (TM) is a 60 card game of fraction-practice-fun!  Created for 1st-8th grades, and beyond!  It’s from I See Cards (TM), the maker of the award winning Pyramath (TM) game.

 

 

Using colorful cards, with easy-to-grasp graphics, it teaches fractions, numbers and measurement and there’s no dishes to wash!  My children learn to convert and add fractions, reinforce the relationship between fractions and measurements and show real world use of fractions, without the added expense of chocolate chips or vanilla bean ice cream!

 

 

There are three sets of color coded cards – sixteenths, twelfths, and tenths.  The object is to make sets of cards that equal one whole.  When a player has used all of his cards the game ends and the player with the most sets of 1 whole, wins.  We played this game, and others using this deck.  My youngest daughter’s favorite is Go Fish!  She learned to recognize the fraction on the card and the proper way to say it – one half, four sixteenths, etc., while enjoying the thrill of beating her older sister at a game!  Dr. Ron teaches Fractazmic Trap and Fractazmic Rummy in his free download, Math Success Booklet.

 

My view ~ “Educational fun for a fraction of the cost!”    Truly, the game is only $6.95 or play Fractazmic (TM) Speed Version online; if your speed is the fastest, you could win a free deck of cards.  Warning:  Online Fractazmic can become addicting.

 

If you have comments, questions, orders, need support or have an idea for new cards:

emailcorporate@iseecards.com

You’ll find other reviews when you click the graphic below and read what my TOS crew mates have to say about I See Cards (TM) and Fractazmic (TM).

 

I hope you enjoy this game as much as we have enjoyed it.  My husband said, “Finally, a way for you to teach fractions without having to feed the neighborhood!”

 

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 Thank you for your comments.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Categories : Games, homeschool, math, TOS
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Nov
18

It’s Big, Really Big!

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To say something is mammoth is to say it is something of great size.  My kids would interchange it with ginormous, a word they’re sure they used before anyone else even thought of it.  Personally, I like colossus – of gigantic size and proportions.

My latest review is for Math Mammoth and it’s big, really bigMaria Miller, the author, has put together multiple math options for your student.  Hundreds of pages of text and worksheets, organized as a complete curriculum, for grades 1-6, or as work texts and worksheets, by topic or grade level, through the 8th grade

 

 

She has devoted more than ten years to creating math resources and this effective curriculum that is available as an instant download and in printed books.  She’s packaged over 300 sample worksheets that can be used for FREE.

It is also no small thing that Math Mammoth is affordable.  $34.00 per download, per grade level or work text (worksheets and text in the same book), by topic, for $2 – $7 each, and several discounted package deals.  In today’s economy this is huge!

Over the years we have used several different math programs.  Some have been successful and some were duds, according to the learning bent of my child, not necessarily the merits of the program.  Math curricula are not one size fits all.

Basically, Math Mammoth focuses on one concept at a time – in depth – approaching a problem from different angles – until that concept is mastered.  Therefore, thinking is challenged, and mental math acquired and honed.  I have discovered, finally, that this is the perfect environment for one of my sons.  The lessons appear “clutter free” to him.  They are clear and concise, and he understands what he is expected to learn.  He concentrates on it, studies it until he’s “got it,” then checks it off in his mind as conquered and moves on to the next topic.  My daughter, on the other hand, finds it “rather boring and monotonous” and performs much better when stimulated by variety and repetition.

It is monumental to me, as a parent/teacher, that Maria Miller has developed a FREE placement test for each of the grades.  I was unsure, for a couple of my children, what grade level they had attained in math.  I thought there might be a few conceptual gaps in their education, but I wasn’t even sure what was missing.  So, I had no idea where to start with this program.  Maria suggested that I give the children a placement test and then submit the results to her.  She personally analyzed the results with me and advised me, based on her own extensive experience and education, on which course would be best for my son.  Her guidance and support has been an immense help.

My crew mates reviewed the series of books offered by Math Mammoth and I have attached links throughout this post to give you more detailed information ~

 

 

Click the TOS graphic below to read what they thought of each option.  The Light Blue Series book that we’ve been using has made an impressive positive impact on my son’s view of math and his own level of capability.

 

 

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your comment!

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

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Categories : homeschool, math, reviews, TOS
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Nov
08

Clever Dragons Discount!

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Clever Dragons launches it’s smart fun for boy’s only, today!  My son has been waiting weeks for this, as I wrote in my review of a scoop of laughter, a scoop of learning, Always Icecream, for girl’s only!

I’ll be posting a review of this site, soon, but couldn’t wait to tell you that Clever Dragons is online and they are offering a discounted membership rate for a limited time only.

* Now through November 27th *

Launch Special Price

$39.99 for Lifetime Membership

No promo code needed.

Find Clever Dragons on facebook for the latest updates.

Blessings,

Clever Dragons, nor anyone affiliated with them, asked me to write this post.  I received no compensation and any expressed opinions are my own.

Thanks for your comments.  PK

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Oct
19

For Girls Only!

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Finding one’s place in a big family can sometimes be difficult.  Having something that belongs just to you or that didn’t belong to a sibling before you doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it’s nice.  It’s a little affirmation that you are one-of-a-kind and not just part of the group.   I look for ways to let my children know that I see them as individuals.

Our youngest daughter is the youngest of 11.  She loves her position, but we’ve made it a point to let her know that she wasn’t an afterthought.  She was/is wanted and she is an important part of our family.  It would be easy for everything she owns – clothes, toys, books & games – to be a hand-me-down, much is, but not all.  Truly, she probably wouldn’t even mind, but I would; so, when I recently had the opportunity to review an ad-free learning website, for girls only, I was just a wee-bit excited about the possibilities!  I wasn’t disappointed.

Always Icecream is geared for girls, ages 7-12, and it looks like it was created just for them.  It’s pink and fun, and frufru and fun, and cute & sweet and fun!  Much to my youngest son’s dismay, the website for boys only hasn’t been completed, yet, but I hear it is in the works.  If I’d allow it, he’d learn & play right alongside his sister, but since I haven’t, he can not wait for his siteWhy have a site, for girls only?  My guys and girls get along very well together.  My guys are a little more sensitive, considerate and compassionate and my girls are comfortable catching bugs and fishing, because of their interaction with each other, but it’s not that way in every home or classroom.

    • “Online games for girls are games that have been specifically designed to meet the interests and curiosity of girls. This gender-focus makes it possible that “girls can be girls” without the fear of being bothered by boys who tend to make fun of everything that girls consider “cute.”
    • “Within the target age group of 7-12 years, children’s preferences and ways in which they can be motivated tend to be influenced by gender.  Collaborative play (girls) versus competitive play (boys) and girls tend to be attracted by virtual goods that are “decorative”, such as clothes, versus “useful”, such as machines or armor.”

“Notwithstanding the differences in brain development and socialization, Always Icecream is adamantly opposed to stereotypes such as “girls are not interested in science or math.” The site challenges its young members to engage in learning activities across a broad spectrum of subjects:

Language Arts

Math (basic and advanced)

Science

Computer Skills

Geography

History

Foreign Languages

Music & Arts

and Religious Education

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I asked my daughter for her opinion of Always Icecream.  She said, and I quote:

I love it!  You get to make your own house and you get your own pet.  It’s fun!  The learning is still fun, too.  I am learning, you know.  There are so many activities, I can’t even tell you!  I’m practicing typing and I’m learning my states.  Want me to show you?  I’m getting higher and higher in my math and I got all of the Bible questions right, last time, because we had just learned about two of them in Children’s Church!  The pet world thingy-place is my favorite!  The pets can play games and do stuff.  You can buy them accessories, (yes, that’s her word.  We are big Fancy Nancy fans, but I’ll save that for another time) like a necklace or a bow.  You use your $coops to buy stuff.  ($coops is the earned currency in the Always Icecream world.)  You buy them food and feed them, like carrots for the rabbit, not bacon or dog bones, of course.  You give them cuddles and love and their hearts go up!  I already said it, I just love it!

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School time.  Learning time.

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 Play time.  Reward time.

Parental participation, behind the scenes, is encouraged.  Parents sign-up to receive a progress report, once a week, and may choose a number of $coops to be rewarded for special in-real-life projects, chores or accomplishments.  My kids are on a rotation to clean the cat’s litter box.  Our youngest was rewarded $coops for doing it without having to be reminded.  Granted, she would like to go to Dairy Queen in the future for real-world ice cream in exchange for a real-world chore, but since she usually only gets a “thank you” she thought getting $coops was actually “pretty cool.”

The girls earn $coops currency for completing their learning tasks, challenges, games & videos.  They create a mini-me avatar and can switch her clothes, buy rooms for the house and purchase furniture, pets and more.  My girl loved this!

There is also a social feature available, set up by the parent, that enables or not, the girls to “make friends” and communicate with one another safely through Always Icecream.  Although we didn’t choose to activate this feature, I do appreciate the excellent safety measures that are in place for the girls.  Click the graphic below for more information.

 

*  $4.99 per month  *  $29.99 per year  *  $99.99 for a lifetime membership  *Take a quick tour of the site and try out FREE GAMES before you buy.  “Satisfaction guaranteed: Your daughter will have fun and learn relevant skills – or you get your money back!”

 

You’ll want to read more reviews by my crew mates and their girls.  Click the TOS banner below to get the full $coop!

 

 

Contact:

website

email – feedback@always-icecream.com

or visit

facebook

 

 

Blessings to you and your girls,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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May
18

Mad Dog at Our House

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Do you love cats, dogs or any animal in general?  Do you need pure bred or will any stray do?  Would you rather not have the responsibility of any pet?

We’ve been both a way-station and a permanent home for a variety of animals, over the years.  We’ve loved and cared for an iguana, turtles, birds, a bunny, pygmy goats, a guinea pig, numerous stray dogs, cats and more.  We have just one indoor resident pet at the moment, a finicky, persnickety, sure-she-owns-the-home, fat feline.  She suits our family purrfectly!

The only mad dog at our house is Mad Dog Math, created by Julie Kotoff and named in remembrance of her beloved Golden Retriever, Ruff.

 

Click logo for website

 

Julie loves her pets – three cats and two dogs – but, she also has a heart for children.  She has experience as a teacher, administrator, and an educational consultant.   30 years of experience poured into a project that gives children an exceptional foundation in math.

Mad Dog Math has been providing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts drills, to classrooms, for years.  Now, there is a “student-tested Windows PC application that provides an at-home practice experience that is just like the classroom…”  (or better, in my opinion, because it is at home.)  It is presently available for Windows PC only, but there is a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version.

 

Designed for K – 5th grade.  A couple of my older children found it quite helpful for improving their computation skills.  There are three levels and a challenge level.

 

 


My children asked for extra time with this program, every day!  But, a steady 10 minutes a day, as a supplement to your regular math curriculum will make a marked difference in how your child views math.  They’ll build confidence and become fluent in their math facts, by using Mad Dog Math at Home. How long does it take your child to answer you if you ask him/her what your name is?  A second?  That’s what it means to be fluent:  without hesitation, automatic; not having to pause to calculate, just knowing that you know the correct answer.  You can give an answer so quickly you seemingly don’t even have to think of it. I want my children to be fluent in their basic building blocks of math.  Every other concept builds on the facts.  Mad Dog Math will help them achieve this goal.


There’s a free trial available; so, you can see if it works for you and your family.

Click cover for Order Page

 

A 1 year software license is $19.99

2 years – $29.99

and the best for a family of learners is:

A perpetual license for $39.99

also available:

Binder-form

or

CD-ROM

paper/pencil drills $69.99 each

 

Contact:

email – julie@maddogmath.com

phone – 562.533.5772

write

Mad Dog Math

4562 Ocana Avenue

Lakewood, CA  90713

 

find Ruff and Mad Dog Math on facebook

 

Read other TOS Homeschool Crew Reviews by clicking on the banner below –

 

 

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you, sincerely.  PK

 

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