Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Port A - 2019

We did it! Our annual "last-week-of-summer" escape to the beach.

I picked a great house, with a view of the ocean  - and we could walk to the beach.  No more sandy van...

It was great to have all of us together for some great family time.

First stop, our favorite tacos on the beach...

Then, a few days and nights in our sleepy little town of Port Aransas.  Lot's of eating, reading, playing games and beach time.

I love being with these amazing people...exactly the recharge we needed before we head off to school! It's one of my favorite places!

Online Times Alive & Times Alive App from City Creek Press, Inc.: A TOS Crew Review

Online Times Alive & Times Alive App from City Creek Press, Inc.

Multiplication facts have never been my favorite - but Online Times Alive &the NEW Times Alive App from City Creek Press, Inc. have really helped liven them up!

We have been using this online subscription over the past years with a number of my students.  Not all of them learn the same way, and this is where this program has an advantage over traditional methods.

It features short videos with animated characters and silly stories that help illustrate the multiplication facts in a memorable way - great for my visual learners. The songs help my auditory learners cement the multiplication facts. I find myself singing them as I'm correcting their math! Take a peek at one of the videos...

The Online Times Alive is designed for computer use and keeps track of an unlimited number of students on one computer. Students can clear their progress and use the program over and over. Subscriptions do not require a contract and can be cancelled anytime.

The program is very easy to use, and does not require my assistance - a bonus for me!  It teaches the multiplication facts from 0-9.  The lessons are short, and the variety of activities keeps them interested and learning math facts in a fun way. 

Let me give you a peek:

The lesson starts with a short video and song introducing characters to represent the multiplication fact.  This is so helpful for your out-of-the-box learners.  It encourages recall.

Then, the student is reminded with visual cues and practices with numerals.

 Additional activities are included - just for fun.

Throughout the lessons, students get to practice with timed tests.  This is where my testers really needed the extra practice - solidifying the facts, and increasing the speed at which they can remember.

Handy lesson lists show you what your student has been working on.

The Times Alive App has all the same features of the Online version, but lets you take it on the go! This is a great way to maximize any waiting room time.  They love time with the phone, and so I let long as it's this app.

We love this program, my older children still remember the catchy tunes.  So, if you want to liven up those multiplication facts, why not give it a try?

Check out this special offer:   When you sign up for Times Alive, the company is offering to waive your set-up fee, a $6.95 value, when you use the code lovetolearn.

Find City Creek Press, Inc. on Social Media:

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

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 from Easy Grammar Systems: A TOS Crew Review

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 from Easy Grammar Systems

High school students should have mastery of basic grammar concepts, but - in reality, they still need practice.  That's where Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 with Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: Grade 9 Test Booklet from Easy Grammar Systems can help!

The Easy Grammar Ultimate Series (Grades 8-12+) is a teaching tool with 180 lessons . It provides highs chool students with continued grammar instruction and practice in short, daily lessons.  Each lesson takes roughly 5-10 minutes.

The book is both a teacher guide, and student workbook as the lessons are intended to be done independently by the student.  Easy Grammar Systems allows you to reproduce them within your family (a nice perk), but I always find it easier to just let every student have their own workbook.

Let me show you an example of a daily lesson, they all follow the same structure.

Each lesson begins with Capitalization and Punctuation.  Concepts are briefly introduced, and the student practices with a sentence.  Short and simple...exactly the type of reinforcement and practice our busy high school students have time for.  Many of the sentences provide information about history, cultures, nutrition, geography, health, government, music, art and more.

Parts of Speech are covered next.  The text is specifically designed to begin with basic concepts and build on them to more complex grammar concepts.

The last section covers Sentence Combining. This is where students can use the information they have learned to practice writing an excellent sentence.

A separate book of Tests is also included.  These assessments provide your student a chance to see what they remember with a test every 10 lessons.  The tests follow the same format as the lessons.

 A full answer key is included in both the student workbook and the test book.  No need for any additional guides. A handy Scope and Sequence in the book can help you pinpoint lessons with particular topics as well.

We have been long time fans of Easy Grammar Systems.  I like that lessons are short and independent.  We have found this to be a very effective way to keep grammar skills sharp, even through high school, while leaving enough time in the busy schedule to focus on literature and writing skills.

Be sure to check out some of the other levels the Crew is reviewing:

  • Easy Grammar Plus (This text is frequently used for 7th grade, but would be good for any middle school grade.

Find Easy Grammar Systems on Social Media:

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

Hashtags: #hsreviews #grammar, #curriculum, #languagearts, #homeschool, #easygrammar, #dailygrams

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

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Beauty And The Beast

I am so excited!!

My girls have landed roles in the upcoming CYT (Christian Youth Theater) performance of Disney's Beauty & The Beast!

The Enchantress (Selah) and and Enchanted Plate part of the Ensemble (Lydia)

This is a huge blessing to them, as they were on the way to audition for a show last spring when they had to come to the hospital instead.  God has redeemed their bad audition memory and replaced it with a joyful one. 

Please come and celebrate with us!!

The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre:

290 W. San Antonio St., New Braunfels, TX 78130

Dates / Times:

Thursday, Oct 31st @ 7:00pm
Friday, Nov 1st @ 7:00pm
Saturday, Nov 2nd @ 2:00pm
Saturday, Nov 2nd @ 7:00pm
Sunday, Nov 3rd @ 3:00pm

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ from BetterRhetor: A TOS Crew Review

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ from BetterRhetor

Did you know that 50% of college freshman are not prepared for the rigors of college writing, and are required to take remedial courses?  You can avoid this costly path by preparing your student ahead of time with College-Ready Writing Essentials™ from BetterRhetor.

This online course is designed to equip your high school junior or senior with the writing skills they need for college level writing.  Students will write a research-based essay following clear, step-by-step guidance from author, founder and CEO, William Bryant, PhD, a 10 year Director of Writing Assessments with ACT.

Students work through this 25 lesson course independently, at their own pace.  The lessons detail the writing process with expert instruction in:
  • Planning- 10 lessons
  • Drafting- 8 lessons
  • Revising - 4 lessons
  • Finalizing - 2 lessons
The end result is a 3-5 page research-supported persuasive essay with support from at least 3 credible sources.  

The curriculum is contained in an easy-to-use online teaching platform, that is very similar to the platforms my college students use.  

The course offers lifetime access, and is available in two packages:  Full and Premium.  We have been using the Full package, with my high school students, and I working through the program together. The Premium package includes additional exercises and Dr. Bryant's personalized essay feedback for your student, and includes a  full Teacher's Guide PDF.

Lessons include detailed instruction written directly to the student. Each lesson is about a page of reading with links to real-life examples, as well as, downloadable exercises and worksheets for the student to complete.

Key terms and phrases are clearly explained, and a handy reference sheet is provided your student's future use.  A printable completion certificate is included in the program.

There's more, the course includes a Bonus - 8 Concepts for the Culture of College Academics article and a 30-day money back guarantee.

One of the things I really liked about this program is that you have lifetime access.  Each time my student is getting ready to write, she can return, read and refresh for her next writing assignment.

Completing this course on their own schedule, which can be quite varied, is another benefit to this well-designed course.  Students can take the time they need to think and write with the assistance of a expert college-level writing guide always available.

Each lesson is clear and concise, very easy to follow along.  My testers have been enjoying the flexibility this program offers them.

This is a valuable tool that every high school and college student should have access to.

Find BetterRhetor on Social Media:

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Hashtags: #hsreviews #CollegeReadyWritingEssentials #studentsuccess #collegereadiness #academicwriting #BetterRhetor #writinggap

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ {BetterRhetor Reviews}
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Friday, September 6, 2019

200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade from Reading Eggs: A TOS Crew Reveiw

Reading skills are a must, and it doesn't have to be drudgery!  We love the 200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade from Reading Eggs.  This series of workbooks complement the fun, online Reading Eggs literacy program.

We have been using the online program for the past several years, and my girls BEG to do it!  It is a fun way to expand their reading skills with access to comprehension, spelling and grammar skill, and over 2,000 ebooks - all in a dynamic program with built-in rewards.  Check out one of our past reviews here.

What I want to show you today, is 200 Essential Reading Skills for Fifth Grade, a physical workbook designed to be used as a stand alone course, or with the online lessons.

It is a beautifully done, full color workbook that includes a full year of lessons in reading comprehension, spelling, and grammar.

It is designed with 5 days of short lessons, most only take 15-20 minutes, in a full 36 weeks year.

  • Day 1: Comprehension
  • Day 2: Comprehension
  • Day 3: Spelling
  • Day 4: Spelling
  • Day 5: Grammar
Reviews are included every 9 weeks.   Let me show you what a week looks like:

Days 1 & 2 are Reading Comprehension
exercises.  I really like that this program is teaching them to annotate right away.  They are instructed to mark the text using color and shapes.  This is the exact skill I teach to my high school students!  Then, after they have marked and read, they answer multiple choice and short answer style questions.

Days 3 & 4 they tackle spelling.  I really like that the program uses a variety of approaches.  Not all of my students are great spellers and by using a variety of exercises, this program really appeals to my variety of learning styles.  Copying and correcting the spelling mistakes really trains the visual learners, while word clues and context sentences put the words to real use.

Day 5 is all about grammar.  They learn the vocabulary of grammar, and the rules of English. Several short exercises help them practice the skills.

Reviews are included every 9 weeks to reinforce what they have learned.  The workbook contains a full answer key, and a helpful year planner, no need for an additional teacher guide.

We've been very impressed with this easy to use program - both the online component and the workbooks.  The full color pages, and short lessons turn reading into a fun activity, and not drudgery.

Learn to Read in 4 Weeks for FREE!
Sign up today and watch your child become a stronger reader this Back-to-School season!
A multi-award winning online learning program for children ages 2–13, Reading Eggs supports the essential foundations of reading with its highly engaging lessons, games, and e-books!

Find Reading Eggs  on Social Media:

Hashtags: #hsreviews #readingeggs #mathseeds #readingskills #mathskills #Learntoread #homeschooling #earlyliteracy #learnandplay #learningthroughplay

See what other members of the Crew thought here
240 Essential Reading Skills & 200 Essential Math Skills  {Reading Eggs Reviews}
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