Archive for math

Aug
02

The Homegrown Preschooler ~ A TOS Review

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Gryphon House is an exceptional publisher of educational resource books for teachers and parents, public school and homeschool, young children; and administrators.  Their website is easy to navigate and stimulating.  There are hundreds of free activities available for you and your child!

 

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As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I recently had the opportunity to read The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live.  The title might be used to describe how I raised my own children; but with my youngest firmly in elementary school now, I was looking for encouragement and direction as I consider teaching other preschoolers from the same homegrown bent.  This book is just what I was looking for!

 

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The authors, Kathy Lee and Leslie Richards, are mothers of several children, birthed and adopted; including gifted and special needs.  They have years of education and hands-on experience between the two of them, and their book is beautifully compiled.  A large, 81/2″x 11″, high gloss paperback, it is bold, colorful, inviting; and full of life.  With the family pictures and personal anecdotes generously scattered throughout the book, by the end of it, I felt like I had shared conversations and special moments with wonderful, trusted friends.

From their intros, they had my attention. Kathy Lee says, “Children who experience their preschool years discovering and experiencing are more willing to take risks later in their education journey.”  I didn’t previously know this, so within the first few pages I gained valuable information.  Then, Leslie said, “. . . much of learning can be done within the everyday rhythm of life — measuring flour, skip counting on the trampoline, bringing a meal to a shut-in, writing letters to friends, participating in interesting conversations about big ideas,” and I was reminded of what I do know; and I found encouragement.

The Homegrown Preschooler is divided into 2 sections:

Chapters 1 – 9 help you understand why and how to educate your child/ren at home, giving them a foundation for life-long learning.

Homeschooling – Harvesting a Bountiful Life

Learning through Play

Sowing the Seeds – Preschool Learning

Setting the Stage

Home Life = Learning — Slow Down and Teach

Who Has Time for This?

Organizing It All

Days and Seasons That Don’t Fit in the Box

and

Special Circumstances.

The second section is nearly 100 pages, with at least 200 “easy-to-pull-together”, age appropriate Activities to prepare your child for kindergarten and beyond.  Promoting a healthy educational balance for –

Home Life

Science

Gross Motor

Fine Motor

Math

Language & Emergent Literacy

Art

and Social – Emotional skills.

An Appendix includes an Activity Checklist, Getting Started Checklist; and pages of Resources, with web sites, books, blogs and apps to lend a hand, instruct and encourage you along the way.  They share all their favorites!

I tried recipes, for food and play.  There are dozens of them throughout the book.  I’ve made ordinary finger paints and play dough before, but I’d never made clean mud or puffy paint!  The make-ahead Turkey Taco Pie is easy.  The recipe makes a lot, so it can be divided and frozen for extra pies, but it is actually perfect for my large family.  It tastes good, too!  I hone in on housekeeping and organizational tips, because the Lord knows I can use as much help in that department as I can get.  There are so many good ideas here — some I’ve had myself, implemented and forgotten, or simply slacked off on, and I’ve read them as gentle reminders; others are brand new, and more than once I’ve thought, “Duh, why didn’t I think of that!”  For example, we have wood floors and I taught my children how to sweep and mop them.  How much more fun is it to have “The Clean Floor Dance Party: This often dreaded chore will become one of your favorites! Provide your child with a pair of white tube socks and a spray bottle of white vinegar and water. Encourage your child to squirt the hard floor with the vinegar solution. Put on your favorite dance music. Dance and skate around on the floor until it is shiny!”   Clean floor, lots of fun and laughter, plus, with the amount of floor we have, this gets everyone’s heart rate up and counts as cardiovascular exercise, or PE, too!

I have no doubt, I will continue to use this book, digging into its riches.  At $29.95, it’s a treasure I can share with my daughters who are just beginning to teach my preschool grandchildren.  The Homegrown Preschooler is much more articulate than I am and I think it will be one of the best tools I can offer them for their journey.

My Crew mates had the choice of reviewing this same book or one titled, Global Art.  You can read their reviews when you click the graphic below and follow the link.

 

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Blessings,

pk_siggy-purple2

 

Disclaimer*   I received The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live, 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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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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Oct
10

What’s Black and White, and…

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What’s black and white and red all over?  Remember this one?  Okay, so it’s really what’s black and white and read all over?  A newspaper, of course!

What’s blue and red and eats rocks?  That’s simple.  A blue-and-red-rock-eater!  Now, what’s pink and green and eats rocks?  A pink-and-green-rock-eater, you say.  No way, I say, they only come in blue and red!

What’s fun, educational, motivating, interactive; and affordable?  No riddle here, it’s ZooWhiz!   The “online, curriculum based motivational learning system” with more than 17,000 educational activities for children ages 5 to 15.  Affordable?  Yes!  It’s Free, with a limited Keeper Account!

 

 

Want a Free Keeper Account?  Follow the Keeper Account link above, click Create a Free Keeper on the bottom left; and let your child choose a [Zoo] Keeper from a variety of pre-designed avatars.  These are all they have to choose from, at the moment, but my kids are hoping they’ll have a little more freedom in the future to design their own avatar Keeper.

 

Choose a Keeper

 

Once they’ve chosen their Keeper they sign in with their first name, or a code name if they’re anything like my son, and a parent’s email address to get permission to use ZooWhiz.  You can then use that same email to create a Free Parent Management Account, which will be connected to your child’s account; giving you the ability to keep up with his progress.

ZooWhiz is lively and engaging, with graphics that are bright, crisp; and bursting with energy!

Learn and Earn generates activities that move your child to practice math, reading, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling; and phonics according to the Age Floor you select for him, and earning coins for every correct answer given.  Two chances.  Answer the question correctly on the first try and you earn 20 coins.  If you miss it and try again you’ll still earn 10 coins with a correct answer.  Miss the answer and 10 coins are taken away and the correct answer is supplied.

The coins can then be spent in the Arcade, on games, or in the Biodome at the Zoo Animal Shop.  Keepers can choose from and collect many different animals, viewing them and learning more about them from a detailed flash-card-type graphic My children choose animal collecting 9 times out of 10, over playing games in the Arcade, and it is the highlight of the ZooWhiz online program!  It should be noted though, that the website says, “Create a Free Keeper Account and start building your very own zoo.”  This idea is compounded when you select the Biodome tab under Information for Kids, the opening tagline reads, “Enter the Biodome to choose your animals and build your very own zoo.”  As Keepers students build collections of animals, but there is no Zoo to build.  There is no place to organize or view the animals in a zoo-like setting, and there is no visiting or care giving.  My students, ages 8, 11, and 14, were all truly disappointed in this aspect of the program.  Milestones keeps track of student progress, and seeing progress is something we all need!

 

Click the graphic to see a full Animal List

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  ZooWhiz is all about “reinforcing learning and rewarding effort!”

My 8-year-old says it is all about “fun, fun, fun!”

 

 

When you discover, as I did, that ZooWhiz is an outstanding supplement to your current curriculum, you can choose to upgrade to a Premium Zoologist AccountCurrently, a 1-year subscription is just $14.95.  Seriously.  I don’t know how long this dramatic savings will be available, but what-a-deal compared to the regular price of $59.95!  The Premium Zoologist Account entitles you, as the parent, to more management, anytime access; and detailed customization to your child’s age or learning pace.  The Premium Kid’s Account opens more games and an exciting choice of animals to collect, including rare, endangered, dinosaurs and mythological creatures.  My son earned and saved 5000 coins to add a Sasquatch to his collection!  That’s a lot of learning and this seems like an ideal place to slip in a “well done, Son!”

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ZooWhiz has a website full of information.

I included several links to it throughout this post and I hope you’ll make use of them.

You can email your Questions and Comments through the Contact link,

or if you’re in the United States call – 1.866.215.4620.

You can also write to:  P.O. Box 658, Armidale, NSW, 2350, Australia;

or instantly connect on facebook.


My Crew mates are eager to share their ZooWhiz experiences with you, too.

You can read their reviews when you click the banner below and follow the link to the

Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received 1 year access to a ZooWhiz Premium Zoologist Account, for three of my children, 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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Oct
05

A Box of Ideas

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You might remember that I have an affection for Unit Studies.  The Unit Study Method of teaching allows me to incorporate every aspect of my focus topic, covering many subjects.  This method usually allows for a lot of hands-on learning, and often improves my child’s ability to transfer skills they learn during school to real-life situations.  Where do you get the ideas for activities that will enhance your student’s learning?  I might talk to another parent/teacher that has experience or an expressed interest in the theme of our study.  I have several home resources, an exceptional local library; and access to an array of online resources.  I have a standard bag-of-tricks, but my latest discovery is Box of IDEAs

 

 

 

There are not many boxes available, yet; but the future potential is great!  Designed for ages 9 – 16, with the flexibility for use with even younger or older students, each Box of I.D.E.As. is filled with topic-focused activities and information.  There are at least 10 modules per box that might include games, puzzles, portfolio pages, experiments and explorations, well researched web-links; and more.  All of the activities in the box are complete, but if any additional supplies are needed, like a pencil, they are listed on the module label and can be acquired before the module is even opened.

Presently, there is a Box of I.D.E.As. for World War Two, SALT, Laundry, Quilting; and the number Eleven, with Olives, Pine, and Cemeteries coming soon.  Supplementing our current study of Early America, the SALT Box of IDEAs fit well into our schedule.  The branch of interest I pursued was early means of food preservation, and there’s a module for that – Preserving with SaltAfter introducing the topic into our curriculum, I let the box of modules lead the way.  The “SALT Box of I.D.E.As. is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped shape history, nourish our bodies; and even build and destroy empires.”  We were prompted to dig into History, Geography, Science, Language, and Political Systems; while using math, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills among others.

Contents of the SALT Box of I.D.E.As.

The single most difficult thing about using Box of IDEAs was choosing which module to start with first!  So, I read the label on each module bag: Title, Contents, Materials Needed, and Related Quote; and pulled out the one that “struck my fancy.”

The Wall That Salt Built – “While most people know of the Great Wall of China, most people don’t realize that it was essentially paid for by salt.”

Salt of the Earth – “Although, most of the world’s salt comes from the US and China, there are salt producers in many countries around the world.”

Very Salty – “A plethora of hypersaline lakes exist all over the world.”

Need for Salt – “For human and non-human alike, if we didn’t have salt, we would cease to live.”

Nelson Mandela quote ~ “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”

Producing Salt – “Finding Salt – It is something we see and possibly use every single day, but where does it come from?”

Science of Salt – “Salt is the combination of two elements – both somewhat volatile.”

Preserving with Salt – “Pre-dating the birth of Christ, salt has been utilized to make food safe for future use through preservation.”

The Game of Preservation by Salt

Salt Peppers Our Words – “Salt provides the root for many commonly used words that proliferate still today.” The Salt March – “In March of 1930, Mahatma Ghandi chose to protest, peacefully, the salt tax.”

The History of Salt – “Salt has had a profound influence on human civilization from the beginning and in all parts of the world.”

(45) 2″X3″ Salt Timeline Cards, initially used with the Salt Chronology Game

This is one of the simplest systems I’ve ever used!  I could easily assign a module to one of my middle school or high school students for independent work.  Just take the module bag out of the box and begin.  I gather pencils and make copies of the portfolio page for each of my children participating in the activity.  I also have notebook paper available for copywork and expository writing.  I read the printed material out loud and we discuss the content.  Portfolio pages record lab results, ask fill-in-the-blank questions; and prompt essay writing, etc.  Each module includes a list of 3-4 Extensions that encourage delving deeper into the topic.  The Extension activities are varied and I tend to choose two out of a list.

Here are five of over 30 Extensions suggested:

  • Find references in The Bible to salt.  It is mentioned approximately 30 times, see how many you can find and make a list.
  • Watch the 1982 movie “Ghandi” which chronicles Ghandi’s life and fight for Indian independence.
  • Make your own solar evaporator using household items…
  • What happens if a person eats too much salt?  Set up an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician to talk about salt in your diet.
  • Pick one of the top salt producers and find out how much revenue salt production brings to that country.

 

As time allows, I have the older students follow selected Web-Links for additional reading and oral presentation.  I make age appropriate writing assignments to be done after we close the module.  We normally wrap-up with one of the games or card activities included in the Box of IDEAs.

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Box of I.D.E.As. and their complete learning modules are an outstanding benefit to our homeschool, aiding in the retention and recollection of the topic matter covered.  I think it is a good value in the combination of physical materials supplied and the time saved with immediate access to the thorough research that’s already been done.  A physical Box of I.D.E.As. is $79 and printable PDF format is $49.

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Call – 333.506.9411

or

Write –

Box of IDEAs  LLC

7115 West Calla Road

Canfield, OH  44406

and

follow on facebook

 

 

My Crew mates have written reviews of two of the current boxes that are available from Box of I.D.E.As.SALT and World War Two – Pearl Harbor.   Click the banner below to read their well expressed opinions.

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   I received the physical SALT Box of I.D.E.As., 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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Aug
01

Summer School and More

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Unlike many families I know, including those that homeschool, we continue schooling throughout the summer.  We take plenty of breaks during the year, at our convenience, but we do school year-round.

I’ve recently added Zane Education, with *The Missing Piece (c), to our summer schedule.

 

 

Zane Education has  “the largest, and most comprehensive fully subtitled online educational video library”  compiled to accommodate the requirements of the K-12 curriculum, and aligned to National and State Standards.  There are over 1,500 videos, covering nearly 400 topics, provided with lesson plans, interactive online quizzes, and more!

 

Subjects include:

Art

Biology

Geography

Health

History

Library Skills

Literature

Mathematics

Music

Religious Studies

Science and

Social Studies

 

Research proves that *The Missing Piece (c) – using subtitles and closed captioning on video – can dramatically improve children’s reading and literacy skills.

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Once subscribed, you can begin by selecting a subject and then a specific topic to study, according to the access you purchased.  [In our house, a Gold Membership allows me to utilize the video library for my elementary; middle and high school aged students, and continuing education for myself, at no additional cost!]  User Guides  are available and cater to your child’s specific bent.  You can also download, and even print, a Lesson Plan Guide for each video.  Zane provides a vast Video Word Glossary, and interactive study tools:  an Encyclopedia, a Dictionary, and a Thesaurus.

Click the graphic to view a FREE Educational Video of the Day

When you watch a video, you might notice a couple of the quirks that we found slightly annoying, but not distracting enough to discontinue use of the program.

  • Videos do not play full screen.  There are some courses we could work on at the same time, but the viewing screen doesn’t really accommodate more than one person at a time; so, we’re concentrating on individual lessons.
  • There are non-functional button graphics in the videos.  I believe they are part of an older system and we just made the choice to ignore them.

 

There is also quite a bit of evolutionary content in different videos, especially in the Biological Science series.  Personally, if I am made aware of such content, ahead of time, I make it part of my student’s education and address it in comparison to our new earth creationist view.  It is my personal belief and Zane’s conviction that “students should know and understand positions outside of evangelical Christianity.   We are confident that their faith will be stronger when they know both sides and understand why we believe the Biblical view of the world is correct both intellectually and spiritually.”   Zane Education not only makes one aware of the bias, they have also written a Christian Learning Guide to assist you in teaching the truth.  “Zane Education’s educational program and this document offers you and your children two critical requirements for future influence:  (1) solid grounding and factual education, and (2) a Biblical Christian perspective and application of the program.”

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This is our plan of action, for getting the most out of Zane Education:

Day 1 –

Print or Pull-from-File the Lesson Plan Guide for your assigned subject.  If not already done, put it in a clear plastic sleeve for future use.  Read.

Look up Glossary Terms ~ write summarized definition; key words, etc.

Day 2 –

Start video, pause at the beginning of each new page/frame and write down highlighted words that are not listed in your Glossary Terms, then restart video > listen carefully.

Look up words and write definitions.

Day 3 –

Play/Read video on mute.

Review words.

Day 4 –

Watch video and work on assigned Sharpen Your Skills projects.

Day 5 –

Watch video.

Take quiz.  (Note – Quizzes are marked and correct answers supplied by Zane, when needed, so that even in testing the learning process continues.)

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We found this schedule fairly intensive.  We didn’t always complete the vocabulary work on the set day, and often rolled it over to the next day, but the retention of the material has been excellent!

Many of my Crew mates made use of  Zane in an entirely different way, and it’s beneficial to read their reviews, too.  You can click the banner below to do just that.


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Monthly Subscriptions start as low as $8.99 per Subject, $12.99 per Age/Grade Level, or Full Access – All Subjects – All Videos for $17.99.

Yearly Memberships are also available, starting at $98.89 per Single Subject through the Best Value – Full Access – Gold Membership for $197.89.

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You can contact:   Zane Education, by email ~  follow the link on their website, call ~ 1.650.488-8204, or write ~

Zane Education

2203 NE 203rd Terrace

Miami, FL  33180

Also, watch for their latest developments and new products –

Read their News Blog and follow Zane Education on facebook.

Read – What You Get with Zane


Zane Education addresses the genuine need for different learning styles, in our homes and our schools.   I encourage you to follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post, and browse their website.   You may find that it is the Visual Learning Solution for your child’s needs – whether gifted or specialized, home schooled or public schooled; Summer School, Bridge work, or Full Curriculum.

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As a “thank you” for reading my blog, I can offer you a 35% promotional discount on the purchase of any annual subscription to Zane Education, available through August 31, 2012.  Use code ZE828HSM during checkout, to receive your discount, and leave a comment telling me which subscription you chose.  Thanks, again.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A  one year, full access, Gold Membership subscription 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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Jul
30

No-Nonsense

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Nonsense is defined as words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas; things of no importance or value, trifles.  On one hand, I enjoy nonsense, in its rightful place.  The quite important, intelligent babble of an excited toddler makes me smile, but it does often sound like nonsense.  I delight in the nonsensical games that children create to play.  My husband thinks I’m beautiful, and that is utter nonsense, but it warms my heart just the same.

On the other hand, I appreciate that “America’s Math Teacher,” Richard Fisher, believes Algebra should be clear and concise.  He has added No-Nonsense Algebra to his Mastering Essential Math Skills Series, published by Math Essentials.

 

 

No-Nonsense Algebra is an over-size, soft bound book, with no-frills-black on white printed pages, plus free access to corresponding online video lessons.  Each lesson is self-contained, and covered in two pages – Introduction, Examples, Exercises, and Review.  There are many examples with fully explained step-by-step solutions.  You glean important and necessary instruction without the distracting trifles.  Rick Fisher’s teaching style is conversational and interesting.  He explains each topic in a way that can be easily understood.

 

There are 10 Chapters; nearly 200 pages, covering:

Necessary Tools for Algebra

Solving Equations

Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations

Solving and Graphing Inequalities

Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

Polynomials

Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)

Radical Expressions and Geometry

Quadratic Equations

and Algebra Word Problems

You’ll also find Useful Resources in the back of the book.  A Glossary of Terms, Algebraic and Geometric Formulas, and Important Symbols.  There is a Multiplication Table, Commonly Used Prime Numbers, Squares and Square Roots, Fraction/Decimal Equivalents, and Solutions to the student exercises.

Having used No-Nonsense Algebra I can confidently say we have clearly seen improved comprehension of formulas and equations, and better test scores.  At just $27.95, an award-winning math teacher is personally tutoring my students, for less than a dollar a week, since Rick supplies whole-family video access with the purchase of the book!  It doesn’t take a math whiz to see that this is no-nonsense!

Mastering Essential Math Skills workbook series is a highly successful mathematics teaching system, that prepares any student for Algebra.  Each workbook uses Review Skills, Lesson Hints, and Problem Solving for reinforcement and mastery of a concept.  Individual books in the series are:  Decimals and Percents, Fractions, Geometry, Pre-Algebra Concepts, Problem Solving, and Whole Numbers and Integers.  These workbooks are geared to compliment any math curriculum, and although we did not have the time to thoroughly use the Essential Math – Geometry, yet, I’m looking forward to adding it to our schedule in the Fall.  There is also Book One, for grades 4/5, and Book Two, for Middle Grades/High School, with companion tutorial DVD’s available, that create a complete mathematics program.

Mr. Fisher is so confident that his Essential Math Skills will positively affect your student that he offers an Unconditional – No Risk – Guarantee.  If you use the materials for 20 minutes a day, as directed, and you don’t see improved math test scores, send Rick Fisher a note saying so.  You’ll receive a complete refund.

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My Crew mates had the opportunity to review No-Nonsense Algebra, and several of the other Math Essentials products.  I’m especially interested in reading their opinions of Mastering Essential Math Skills – Book One.  This is a book and tutorial DVD set, for $33.95.  You, too, can read each of their reviews when you click on the banner below and follow the link.

 

 

 

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

Write –

Math Essentials
P.O. Box 1723
Los Gatos, CA 95031

Email –  math.essentials@verizon.net

or

  Call – 866.444.MATH

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*   A copy of No-Nonsense Algebra, access to Online Video Lessons, and the Math Essentials – Geometry book 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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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.

 

~

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.

~

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

~

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
Comments (1)
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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