Wednesday, August 9, 2017

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials: A TOS Crew Review

Math Essentials
No-Nonsense Algebra

No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials

Does Algebra make you want to cry? I'm getting to my 4th child, who has my math ability - and we are both in tears. But no more - we found a way to master Algebra with no more tears! No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials is like having your own private algebra tutor 24/7. Especially important around here, since my "tutor" went to college last year...

This soft-cover, 275 page book is a complete system for teaching Algebra. Students can work independently through 10 chapters which include self-contained lessons for each topic covered. The topics build on each other, and algebra is presented in a simple, logical, step-by-step fashion. The chapters cover:
  • Chapter 1: Necessary Tools for Algebra
  • Chapter 2: Solving Equations
  • Chapter 3: Graphing and Linear Equations
  • Chapter 4: Solving and Graphing Inequalities
  • Chapter 5: Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Chapter 6: Polynomials
  • Chapter 7: Rational Expressions (Algebraic Fractions)
  • Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Geometry
  • Chapter 9: Quadratic Equations
  • Chapter 10: Algebra Word Problems

You can use this program to effectively teach Algebra, or as a supplement to reinforce and master essential skills. My tester is using this to help as supplement for her regular program, and I am using it a teacher tool for brushing up on concepts I have forgotten ;-) 

Each lesson contains an introduction and explanation of the topic. Written step-by-step examples are included along with helpful hints that teach important shortcuts and tips. Exercises with review sections give the student a chance to practice their skills. A comprehensive final exam is included as well.

The book also features a glossary of important information for student reference. Formulas, symbols, prime numbers, squares and fraction/decimal equivalents are great for student reference. Solutions for all problems are included for teacher reference.

Hands down our favorite part is the Free online video lessons that correspond with each lesson in the book. The author, Richard W. Fisher guides the student through each topic carefully, step-by-step in the video in a white board style.  

We decided to make this resource work best for us, we would pick and choose topics from the lessons that covered concepts my tester was struggling with.   
After watching the videos, my tester was able to work through the lessons.  Best of all - we didn't even cry!

This is a handy tool to have when you need help with Algebra and the college kid is away!  It's very flexible, affordable and easy to use.

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

 I Can Study Esther Alone With God Bible Study From Greek 'n' Stuff: A TOS Crew Review

Greek 'n' Stuff
Alone With GodBible Study
EstherKing James Version

It's always exciting when your child is ready to study the Bible on their own!  We have been using  I Can Study Esther Alone With God Bible Study -  KJV & NIV (13 week study) from Greek 'n' Stuff.

This 13 week study is available in either KJV or NIV.  We used the NIV version.  It is designed for your middle to upper elementary students to be able to work independently.  My tester is named ESTHER - she was delighted to get to study the book in the Bible she was named for!  Since she's new to independent Bible study - her big sister helped out.

The study is a spiral bound, 39 page, consumable book with 13 lessons.  Lessons are designed to be covered over a week with short assignments for each day.   Each lesson contains a scripture passage to read, a prayer prompt, memory verse and several short answer comprehension style questions.  In addition, sidebars on the pages contain additional interesting information or facts.  

At the end of each lesson is a "Think and Pray About It" section with great discussion style questions to get your student applying what they have learned. Check out a sample page.

Overall, this was a very good way to begin independent Bible study for my sweet Esther.  The study wasn't too complicated - but, it had plenty of interesting insights for her.  I love that there was NO teacher prep required, and it's very affordable as well.
Our memory verse is one I always pray for her... for such a time as this.

Other members of the Crew reviewed several items you will want to check out - 
Find Greek 'n' Stuff on Social Media::

Twitter: Tag: @GreeknStuff
Instagram: Tag: @karenmohs

Hashtags: #hsreviews , #greek, #greeknstuff

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Beach Bound!

We're off for our annual family beach vacation... it's bittersweet.

It means we get to hang out together and enjoy our much needed rest and relaxation time.  AND, it means summer is over and we start school again... with one of us off at college.

But for now - a selfie-stick selfie with our slick shades....

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Homeschool Bragging!

Be warned... this post is shameless bragging of the homeschool variety.

Presenting proof that homeschooling works!  PROVOST LIST - 4.0 GPA BOTH SEMESTERS!  Yes, he was homeschooled all the way K-12.  (I tell him it's all because of me, but I think God had more to do with it, honestly).

PLUS, he socialized (with tons of new friends), played sports ("who knew you homeschoolers were athletic too?"- actual quote from a teammate, worked in the Business office,  and studied abroad in Lithuania!

I'm just sayin'.... I think our homeschool experiment is paying off.  Thank you God!!

In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions: A TOS Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions
In the Reign of Terror
In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions

Need something entertaining for that summer roadtrip? We have loved In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions! This 2 disc audio is over 2 hours of non-stop excitement and edge-of-your seat adventure. The story brings GA Henty's novel to life with a fully dramatized story and star-studded cast, including Brian Blessed (Star Wars) and John Rhys-Davis (Lord of the Rings).

This story is set in the times of the French Revolution.  The story begins however, in Arlington Cemetery with Mr. George explaining the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution.

Our story follows the heart-gripping, and often tragic adventures of young Harry, an englishman, who finds himself in the middle of the French Revolution.  These audios are extremely well done - they transport you into the story.  My testers even passed up potty stops to keep listening!

This story is much more tragic than some others we have listened to.  But, it's precisely the point of the French Revolution isn't it - a tragic series of events that led to betrayal and murder of entire families.  

In addition - we received some great bonuses to enjoy along with the story - Check out the NEW Live the Adventure! Club for more information -
  • Stream In the Reign of Terror
  • In The Reign Of Terror Original E-Book
  • Official Soundtrack
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide & Discussion Starter
  • Inspirational Verse Poster
  • Desktop Wallpaper Download
  • Official Script Download

The Study Guide & Discussion Starter is an amazing addition to simply listening.  This downloadable guide contains sections for each track on the audio. 
  • Listening Well - comprehension questions
  • Thinking Further - questions to get them thinking further, doing some additional research and make connections
  • Defining Words - vocabulary 
The guide also included a treasure of additional information to expand your learning, like articles on Robspierre,  Marie Antonionette and GA Henty. 

Throughout the study, sidebars for "Expanding Your Learning" are filled with interesting facts and historical information - from French Architecture and Fashion to The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the guide gives you plenty to explore the world and times of the French Revolution or even create your own unit study built around the story.  

Three mini Bible Studies are included in the guide:
  • When God Means Evil for Good
  • Resistance to Tyranny
  • True Manliness
Additional reading is recommended and the guide has a very useful chart showing the differences between the American and French Revolutions.

We love how GA Henty not only spins an amazing tale, but - all his stories teach Christian values and worldview. He gives us heroes for us to look up to, and values for us to live by. This is not just another entertaining story - this is a life lesson for your entire family.  A family favorite!

Other Heirloom Audios include:

  • Under Drake’s Flag - the story of Sir Francis Drake 
  • In Freedom’s Cause - William Wallace and Robert the Bruce in their fight for Scottish independence 
  • With Lee in Virginia - the American Civil War 
  • The Dragon and the Raven - the Viking invasions of England 
  • Beric the Briton - the Roman invasion of Britannica 
  • The Cat of Bubastes - Ancient Egypt 
We love how history comes alive for us as we listen, and you will too! We can't wait for the next release...

Find Heirloom Audio Productions on Social Media:

Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

Hashtags: #hsreviews #HeirloomAudio #InTheReignOfTerror #LiveTheAdventure #BringingHentyBack #AudioAdventures

Heirloom Audio Productions
See what other members of the Crew thought here
In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
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Monday, July 31, 2017

English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll: A TOS Crew Review

English on a Roll

English on a Roll
English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll

We've been fans of hands-on learning with manipulatives for years... but, what should we do about language arts? We are excited to announce English Grammar Teaching Method from English on a Roll.   This 40 cube set comes with everything you need to make English a hands on subject too!

Designed for everyone ages 5 and up - this set is truly a gift for your struggling readers, ESL students, writers and anyone who wants to keep learning fun!

Our set arrived with 40 cubes, same size and feel as dice, in a sturdy storage case with a Instructional Manual.  My testers were excited from the moment we opened it.

The cubes are color-coded by parts of speech.  For example, verbs are red, nouns are blue, etc.   The set also includes several blank cubes and removable stickers to make your own words. Each cube contains words on 6 sides, making for 222 words in our set.  In addition to the word cubes, they include a cube with punctuation symbols, for creating sentences.

The color coding was very effective!  For the first time, my tester could SEE what the word was, and what it looks like in a sentence.  

  • Pronouns are blue
  • Question word are green
  • Nouns are dark blue
  • Articles are dark blue 
  • Prepositions are dark blue
  • Verbs are red
  • Adverbs are orange
  • Adjectives are purple
  • Punctuation is black
  • Conjunctions are black 
  • 2 Blank cubes can be customized
The Instruction Manual is a 142 page softcover book that teaches you exactly how the system works and gives 37 lessons you can use with students at a variety of levels.  

Check out this short demonstration - 

Each lesson is explained step-by-step in the Instruction manual.  

  • Teacher Prep - what cubes are needed for the lesson (only use the ones needed to keep it easy to learn)
  • Notes - Teachng tips
  • Vocabulary for teaching the lesso are highlighted at the beginning of  each lesson
  • Teach the Concepts - detailed explanations on how to teach the lesson, including hand motions
  • Games/Conversation - games to practice the concepts
  • Written Exercises - reproducible pages to use for additional practice

By using a Multisensory Structured Language (MSL), this program allows you to teach to ALL learning styles at once - auditory, visual and tactile learners.  The lessons allow direct instruction and conversation, not just another workbook page.  This is a key for my struggling readers - simply giving them a more or less colorful "page" hasn't been effective.  We needed something that took the words OFF the page.  English on a Roll was a perfect fit!

The lessons are systematic and build on each other with plenty of review and repetition.  Plus, my tester (a 4th grader who is struggling with reading) thought we were playing :-)  Shh... don't let them in on the our secret, they are really learning!

The lessons get progressively more complex, and build on teach other.  I loved an illustration at the beginning that helped with the "To Be" verbs - they are like a tree with BE on the trunk, and am, is are in the branches.  This type of easy to teach, and memorable, tips are included throughout the guide.  Both my tester and I are learning with this program!

One of the best parts of this set is the variety of ways you can use the cubes.  For teaching reading, spelling, grammar or even creating advanced writing prompts - this set can be used with a large variety of students, as well as being shared by up to six students at a time (yeah for the large homeschool family classroom!)

By using repetition - "Dark blue...prepositions are dark blue...prepositions go with nouns" my tester was able to easily master each grammar rule.  We had fun with the prepositions by physically demonstrating, with the cube, each word.

This is truly a fun, and highly effective way to learn English!  I would recommend this is a tool that you can't afford to miss.

Find English on a Roll on Social Media:


Hastags- #hsreviews , #EnglishonaRoll, #grammar

See what other members of the Crew thought here
English on a Roll {Reviews}
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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Cast of Characters

Just thought I'd give you a peek at what I have to work with around here...  This is our "last day of 2016-17" pictures.  They are ALL characters!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom: A TOS Crew Review

Crafty Classroom
USA Activity Bundle
USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom
Summer is the perfect time for a road trip... even if you can't hit the road!  We've been exploring America with the USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom.

This is a fabulous resource for your USA history and geography studies, or just for summer learning fun.  You get 3 PDF books which you can download and print.  I love that we can print as many sheets as we want.  Pick and choose, or do them all.  We decided to print out as we learned each state, and keep all together in a binder.  Great for a big family!

U.S.A. Activity Pack - has a page for all 50 states.    Activities for each state include coloring the flag, flower, bird, and location in the USA.  In addition, students look up the state abbreviation, number, nickname and other fun facts and notes. A suggested accompaniment book is included, but facts can be found in the library or online.

 I appreciated  that each of my testers - 3 of them - 6th grade, 3rd grade and 2nd grade, could work on these independently.  This is a great resource for multiple levels.  They truly enjoyed looking up the information, and coloring, and the active process really helped them remember the information so much better than just reading it.  My older student actually was the "teacher" and also did some additional research with the internet.

 This pack also has a couple of games you can print out and create - USA Bingo & Roll Across America. My testers loved them!

U.S.A. State Bird Art Cards  features a full color picture and fact card for each of the state birds, 27 in all since some state share the same bird.  The page also has a blank picture students can color themselves.

U.S.A. 50 State Mazes -  my testers loved these!  This is a set of a state-shaped maze for each state. The recommended age is Prek-3, but my testers had fun with them.   I think it would be fun to laminate these, and put them in our travel binder to use on road trips with dry erase markers.

This is a great way to learn your states!  It's very hand's on, and the pages are well designed with plenty of room for writing (but not too much).  I would highly recommend this resource.

 The Crew is also reviewing some other products you should check out -

 For Preschool:
Alphabet Curriculum Notebook (26-week Curriculum)
Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook (the Bible version of the above)

For Kindergarten:
.Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum)
R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) Can be used as a stand-alone product, if you are not wanting a full curriculum.

For Older Kids:
How to Write a Paragraph

Find The Crafty Classroom on Social Media:

Hashtags:  #hsreviews, #CraftyClassroom, #LearntoRead, #HomeschoolCurriculum

See what other members of the Crew thought here

Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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