Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I Know It: A TOS Crew Review

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade
I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

I Know It 

Math facts... the never-ending reality of our children's life!  We have discovered a new online math practice site that has made mastering math facts fun and easy!  I Know It or  is a interactive website filled with math practice for grades K-5.  You can try it for FREE for 60 days!

I Know It  is the newest offering by the people behind We are huge fans of them, Check our our review

The Bentz Test Laboratory received  a  'I Know It' family membership, which is good for one parent and up to four students.  I love that one login takes all of us to the correct page.  Individual users are set up, and they can choose their own avatar (my testers love this part!).

The program is very easy to use!  The program is self-paced, meaning your child can work at whatever grade level, or in whatever skill set they want to (unless you set specific assignments for them).  This is one of my favorite features of this program. 

All of my testers have different math abilities, and they are not always "on grade level" - if you know what I mean... My 4th grader has really mastered addition/multiplication, but hasn't spent enough time with geometry and graphs.  No problem!  She is able to work across the grade levels on the specific skills she needs to target.  I think it's a great tool for older children too - topics like money, measurement and algebra are included.

The program is organized by grade level, and then by math topic.  After choosing a topic to work in, a more detailed list of specific skills can be chosen.  The program really allows you to pinpoint math practice.  This is a wonderful supplement to your math curriculum, or a great refresher to keep their math skills strong. Parents can see exactly what topics they are working on.

The practice sessions automatically grade your student's answers, and give immediate feedback.  The student's can customize their personal settings with options.  Having it read to them, having sounds, or what type of animations.  My testers really enjoyed the immediate feedback.

Each practice session is short - usually around 15 questions.  After they submit their answer - the program congratulates them with a short animation, or shows them the correct answer if they answered incorrectly. 

The parent controls are wonderful as well.  I can create assignments for specific students, and see their progress.  Additionally, I can decide to allow the program to allow "hints" as they work, allowing the questions to be read to them or turn off the animations.

The parent controls also include weekly email progress reports.

This is a wonderful program to add to your math toolbox!  My testers enjoy using it, and I've seen improvement with in their math skills already.  Best of all, it's very affordable -  Family memberships start at just $90 per year. 

Be sure to check this program out! You can try it for FREE for 60 days!

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My happy place

I just have to share my favorite view... It's my happy place, when they are all in their spots around our huge dining table.  A prophecy fulfilled!

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.  Psalm 128:3

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mr Popper would be Proud

I am delighted to get to introduce my sweet 4th and 5th graders to literature at our Coop this year!

We just wrapped up reading a family favorite - Mr. Popper's Penguins.

For fun, we made our own penguin pets from that long horded toilet paper roll stash!  So very easy...

We covered them with black paper, added our white bellies, eyes, and of course - flippers!

 Mr. Popper would be so proud!

Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, Book 1, from The Captain Sun Adventures: A TOS Crew Review

The Captain Sun Adventures

 Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of FaithBook 1, from The Captain Sun Adventures

Everyone loves a superhero! Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith - Book 1 from The Captain Sun Adventures by Bryce Morgan and illustrated by Mitch Martin takes us on an exciting, illustrated journey that helps us discover important truths about our faith along the way.

 My testers were excited to pick up this short book - they read the entire thing in one sitting.  I was intrigued myself, and read it too.  Superheroes are a big interest lately, and this book captures our attention right away.

Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, Book 1 features the superhero, Captain Sun as he wrestles with the forces of his evil enemy - Black-Out. In classic comic book fashion, our hero must overcome the enemy and save the city.  Along the way, Captain Sun involves his "league" of superheroes and teaches us about the power of friends.

Woven throughout this brightly illustrated, eight chapter, graphic novel are timeless truths from the Bible. Think of this book as part comic book, part devotional.

Some of the topics include our origins, rescue from sin, spiritual power and  responsibility, sacrifice, who to turn to when we need help and how to be a real hero.

This book is a great resource for both parents and children.  The short chapters are followed by a newspaper-like devotional that includes Scripture references. Additional questions to think about and discuss together are included as well.  It would make an excellent small group study for your younger students.

We highly recommend this fun way to introduce important Biblical truths - and can't wait to get the other books in the series!  
Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith {The Captain Sun Adventures Reviews}

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric from Roman Roads Media: A TOS Crew Review

Roman Roads Media
Fitting Words

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) from Roman Roads Media

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11)  We have been exploring the Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) from Roman Roads Media to become better communicators.

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric is a complete program to teach your students to master the art of Rhetoric by focusing on : Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, & Delivery.  It contains everything needed to begin a lifelong study of great thinking and speaking.  The Complete program, designed for high school and beyond, comes with:

  • 4 DVD instructional videos
  • Hardcover Student Textbook
  • Spiral bound Workbook
  • Exam Packet
  • Answer Key

This is a full, and meaty program!  My tester is a sophomore in high school.  The program is designed so your student can complete one lesson a week, and finish the entire course in 30 weeks.  I will admit, that pace is a bit fast for my, we worked slower, covering a lesson over the course of 2 weeks.

Let me show you how it works. The student begins by watching the video.  Each lesson has two corresponding videos - one for the teaching, one on the application.  My tester would watch the first video, then move on to reading the chapter in the Textbook.

The videos are well done, the author is the teacher. One thing my tester didn't like was that the author looked down a  lot, and read off notes - not, what she expected from a video teaching speaking skills.  We enjoyed the application videos, and got a glimpse of the author's sense of humor with his Star Trek video to illustrate his definition.  The videos are engaging, but not too long.

The Textbook is what we really enjoyed  (If you know me...saying a textbook is something we enjoyed is a real endorsement!)  The chapters are short, but full of wisdom.  Key Concepts are highlighted in the sidebars, as well as, Famous Orators.  I like that the text is simple black and white, it's not distracting to the message.

We have been keeping Commonplace books this year.  The text and video make recommendations of what you can include.

Fitting Words

Each lesson includes optional "Thinking Deeper" exercises you can use to pursue the topic deeper.  "Developing Memory" is a section with a memory exercise to focus on.  One of my tester's goals is to memorize more scripture.  "Reading Further" offers additional selections to read.

The Appendix of this textbook is a real treat!  It contains over 30 pages of famous speeches- from the "Funeral Oration" by Pericles to "The Perils of Indifference", Elie Wiesel, 1999.  This section gives the student wonderful examples to learn by.  The appendix also includes another section with "Every Speech in the Bible" referenced, with a title or quote. This is an amazing tool.

The Workbook includes several exercises for each lesson. The workbook also contains the Judging Sheets for the speeches.  The student is expected to give 5 speeches throughout this course. Since the first speech comes after lesson 13, we skipped ahead a bit to read the lesson and prepare for a speech my tester was giving for another class.  My tester's first speech was centered around creating the emotion of emulation - she delivered an excellent speech on Amy Carmichael, and her work in India for our Co-op.

The Exam packet contains both Reviews and Exams. The reviews go over what the student is expected to know for the exams.

The Answer Key contains answers for both the Workbook and Exams.

This is a well-designed, full program.  I think this would make an excellent Co-op class for high school or even a self-study for my college students.  Everyone can benefit from improving their thinking and communication skills.  My tester has been thoroughly enjoying it!

Other members of the Crew reviewed - Picta Dicta Natural World  & Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder, be sure to check them out!

PictaDicta Natural WorldRoman Roads Media Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}Find  Roman Roads Media on Social Media:

Facebook: @romanroadsmedia
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Hashtags: #hsreviews, #PictaDicta, #RomanRoadsMedia, #FittingWords, #Classical #Rhetoric

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}
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