Homeschool Reading Made Fun {Homeschool Review Crew}

Homeschool Reading Made Fun

Through The Homeschool Review Crew

Homeschool reading made fun is easy using Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) from Apologia Educational Ministries.  We received this new curriculum to review through the Homeschool Review Crew and can’t wait to share our thoughts with you.

 

Apologia Educational Ministries
 

We actually are a houseful of readers and love to read here.  But, sometimes I wonder how much of the books my kids are comprehending.  I wanted to make sure that they are reading not just for enjoyment but for content also.  That is why when I saw that Readers in Residence was offered as a review item this semester I jumped at the chance!

About the Curriculum

This new program and Volume 1 specifically is geared towards grades 4-6.  I am using it with two of my children who are in grade 5 roughly.  As far reading level they are definitely above their grade but again I’m not sure that they comprehend everything they read.  We’re loving this program though.

Prior to starting this curriculum your child should know how to read and be reading well.  They should be reading at a 4th grade level at least.  If your child is older but has special needs or is a slow reader they could definitely use this program as well. 

Primarily in Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) your child is going to learn how to read for comprehension through activities and reading assignments.  

 

Homeschool Reading Made Fun

Two books are included for this curriculum, an all inclusive student book and a teacher’s guide.  I love that the student book is spiral bound as that makes it easier to flip the pages and use it without breaking the binding.  The teacher’s book contains all the answers and helpful hints that you’ll need to help your child go through their workbook.

Skills to be targeted and learned through this curriculum:

  • identify and understand figures of speech(hyperbole, metaphor, etc)
  • build up their vocabulary
  • use context clues to decode meanings of unfamiliar words
  • pay attention to and note how writers use punctuation and the others elements of writing 
  • make inferences
  • recognize literary elements that are used to create fiction and nonfiction
  • understand the author’s crafts, intentions, and choices

Our Thoughts

As I mentioned above, this curriculum is geared for grades 4-6 and my two fit in there nicely.  Both love to read and were excited to get to read books for school.  We do a lot of free reading and read alouds instead of just assigning books to be read.  

There are three books that we get to read with this curriculum.  Sarah, Plain and Tall is the first book to be read.  You do need to read these in order and work through them in order because they build on what your child is learning.  We already had this book in our cabinet so we were ready to go!  I did get a second copy from the library as I have two children going through this.  I also bought a second student workbook.

The other two books to be used are Charlotte’s Web and Because of Winn Dixie.  My kids have read all of these books prior so they weren’t overjoyed at reading them again.  As we worked through the workbook pages to go with Sarah, Plain and Tall though they realized that they had missed out on details and facts through the book before.  They had read the book just for enjoyment and didn’t take in everything.  Studying the book with questions actually made them focus and comprehend so much more.  

I personally love this curriculum and what my children are learning.  My children are really enjoying it as well.  I can see this continuing to be used in our homeschool and us going on to purchase the other volumes.  Homeschool reading made fun and full of learning is what this curriculum amounts to.

Learn More

To find out what other review families thought of having homeschool reading made fun with Readers in Residence Volume 1 (sleuth) please visit the main Homeschool Review Crew blog review page where all the reviews will be linked up.  You’re sure to find a schooling style that correlates with yours to see how it works in their school.  Also check out Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Upcoming Blog Series!!

Upcoming Blog Series

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books

I am so excited to share with you that I’m participating in another Homeschool Review Crew blog hop!  This year we are doing a 5 Days of Homeschooling and my theme for the upcoming blog series is 5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books. 

That means that each day Monday through Friday next week you’re going to see a post from this series focusing on homeschooling with living books.  I’ll include things like 

  • what are living books?
  • how can you use living books in your homeschool?
  • popular living books for different ages
  • what are twaddle books?
  • why we don’t use twaddle books in our homeschool or even keep them in our home
  • who does this homeschool style work for?
  • what are some great homeschool curriculums to use with these books
  • and so much more!  Stay tuned!

Living Books and Learning

I’m so excited about this upcoming blog series because I really love using living books in our homeschool and I think you’re going to love learning more about what makes our home tick.  I realized that I don’t often share the nitty gritty of why we have made certain choices in our homeschool and I want to do that!  Maybe you’re a new homeschooler or maybe you’re just looking into other ways to homeschool.  Either way, come join me!  

Not only will you get to read my awesome series in the upcoming blog series but I’ll be linked up to all the other bloggers who are part of the homeschool review crew so you can read their posts as well!  It’s going to be a great week of tons of content just for you!

Here’s a synopsis of what we’ll be talking about!

“Homeschooling can be fun and rewarding utilizing the local library to help you.  We love the Charlotte Mason approach and are using her philosophy on living books versus twaddle in our homeschool.  It enrichs our lives and helps us instill good character and values into our children as they grow into young adults.”

 

 

 

 

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

American History Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

American History Study

Homeschool Review Crew

As we’re working through our school year I decided that we needed to add in more history.  Who can go wrong with history?  It’s a favorite subject of ours and we really haven’t covered a lot of American History lately.  Enter Memoria Press to the rescue.   We received two products from them to review that pertain to American history; 200 Questions About American History Set and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Set.

 

Memoria Press
 

I was so excited when these came in the mail.  My kids gave me a look though.  I think they saw more work for them and less excitement.  That didn’t last long.  They soon were over at the box with me asking questions and wanting to know if they could take parts and read them.

About the Curriculum

Since we received two sets let’s talk briefly about each.  Both sets are meant for grades 5-8.  I think this is spot on and have been using them with my two who are doing 5/6 grade work.  Now the cards that come with the 200 Questions about American History Set are super fun and all my kids love looking at those.  They’re all learning so much just from reading and chatting about the cards.

Now about 200 Questions about American History Set.  It is a great set compiled of the teacher guide, student book, and the flashcards.  We have loved working with this set.  Created to work with The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic this ties in very well.  It can also be used with The Story of the World Volume IV.  We use The Story of the World as well but are only in book 1 so can’t tell you how well they work together.  I can say that there were some questions in here that I didn’t know so this is a very thorough course!

 

200 Questions About American History Set Grades 5-8
 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Great Republic is also a set.  It comes with a text, teachers guide, and student guide.  This is the newly revised second edition. The text you receive is a combined version of the books by H. A. Grueber.  Memoria Press edited and combined them for this current text.  This covers the start of America with the Native Americans up through 1898 and the Spanish American War.

Both sets work together and provide great coverage of American History for your student.  The student books are meant to be used by one student so additional student books for additional students.  They’re easy to purchase through Memoria Press and shipping is fast. 

 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set

 

Our Thoughts

My kids loved this.  We’ve used other Memoria Press products before and have loved them as well but this is our first time trying out their history.  

As a way to add the younger kids into our school we would read aloud our history portions for the day.  The text by Grueber is not dry and dull so they all loved to listen and learn.  Without doing the actual questions my other kids are learning a lot about American History too.  Sometimes I would do a few of the questions that weren’t too difficult with the younger ones too outloud. 

We loved learning more about American history and loved all the mapwork.  No map comes with this, but normally homeschoolers have a plethora right?  We used one that I had on hand so we could map American expansion.

I have found as a parent that we’ve thoroughly covered some time periods and not as thoroughly others.  My husband and I met reenacting the Civil War.  I’ve been doing this since I was 7, so obviously my children have grown up doing it as well and know a lot about that time period.  They don’t know as much about the Colonial time period so I’m glad to have these two resources that thoroughly cover this period!

Learn More

Learn more about the two American History sets we received as well as the other Memoria Press products that were up for review by going to the Main Crew Review blog and checking out all the reviews that are linked up.  You can also find them on facebook, instagram, twitter, and pinterest

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Biblical Manhood Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Biblical Manhood Study

Homeschool Review Crew

With three boys growing quickly I knew that they needed to do a biblical manhood study with their dad or a group from our church.   Thus, why I was thrilled to receive the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit for review from Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.

 

Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio
 

First, this biblical manhood study has six sections.  We were sent the first section or module to review.  It’s titled Embarking.  It makes sense really as our sons are embarking on a journey towards manhood and we’re hoping to shape that journey and them into Godly young men.  

My boys (and husband too) loved the idea of this study.  I mean who wouldn’t want to go on a journey and a bit of a treasure hunt.  That is definitely a draw for kids of this age.

About the Study

This study is recommended for ages 8-17.  It can be used as a study for just a family or with a youth group as well.   It comes with instructions on how to do this either way.  We almost have our own little youth group to use this study with our three boys!  Ages in our home for this study are 8, 9, and 10.  So we’re definitely on the young side and I think they might get more from it as they age by doing it again.

There are six modules for this group study but only one is included in the starter kit.  I should mention that my husband did say he wished more was included within the study.  This study lasts six weeks and includes a group discussion guide, 1 on 1 discussion guide, DVD of the introductory videos for all six modules, 10 maprochures, plus a free copy of Wise Guys:  Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from Men all Around You by the Manhood Journey cofounder Kent Evans. 

 

Biblical Manhood Study

 

Our Thoughts

First.  One of the first things my husband and I both noticed was where the scripture passages come from in this biblical manhood study.  They’re NIV.  We’re a KJV family here.  We truly believe that it is the best of the Bibles and to use a different one can take away from the meaning and our understanding.  It might be minor for other people but it’s something we would have liked to know beforehand.

My husband mentioned that he would like to see the whole thing in a package.  So all the modules would be together in a package, numbers 1-6 so you could do the whole study one after the other without having to go and purchase more pieces.

In the Embark study that we are doing it speaks of a Manhood Journey notebook that each boy should have.  This was a bit confusing.  We first thought it was something we needed to purchase and popped onto the website.  In reality it’s any notebook you might have or want to use that each boy can have their own to write notes.

Another side note.  You do want the group guide even if you’re just doing this one on one.  It gives you more insights and helpful hints that come in handy.

Overall we are enjoying this study.  It’s a great way for my husband and boys to have “man” bonding time.   I really love the concept and love that they’re growing in God and building a better bond together.

Learn More

You can find out more about this study by checking out all the reviews linked up on the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog.  Manhood Journey can also be found on facebook and twitter.  City on a Hill can be found on facebook and twitter as well.        

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

People Groups Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

People Groups Study

Homeschool Review Crew

Elisabeth Elliot was a remarkable woman who didn’t let life get in her way.  We’re doing a people groups study that focuses on the Waodani people.  These are the very people who murdered her husband that she then went back to minister to.  Walking with the Waodani is a brand new unit study from Home School Adventure Co that we’ve received a preview for through The Homeschool Review Crew.

 

People Groups Study

 

We were given a list of items that the Home School Adventure Co produces to choose an item for review.  As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we get to say which we’d like the most and then sometimes we’ll receive it and sometimes not.  Walking with the Waodani was our top pick.  Primarily because I love doing unit studies and it ties in with our regular yearly curriculum so well.  This People Groups Study was definitely something that I could see us using and enjoying.

I have always respected and looked up to Elisabeth Elliot as an example of a great Godly Christian woman and so getting to delve more into her life and the people she served appealed to me.  My kids don’t really get that aspect yet though we’re adding to this study a biography of her life.  To me, it is important to understand the people we reach out to with our faith and both were a focal point of Elisabeth Elliot’s life.

The People

This study focuses on the Waodani people through the journey of Russell Winters who is a homeschool graduate.  He took a 7 week long adventure through Ecuador.  This group of people has hit the radar of people prior to his journey though.  They were the tribe involved in the killing of 5 missionaries in 1956.  It is also commonly referred to including the name of Nate Saint and there is a great biography out about his life and what is called Operation Auca(the other name for the Waodani people). 

 

Home School Adventure Company

About the Study

This study is fun and engaging.  While learning about people and places your child is going on an adventure.  Take a trip to Ecuador!  Learn about the people, places, and the culture.  Also included in their “travel journal” that they’ll keep are things like the animals and agriculture.  It’s all fun and entertaining but also full of knowledge and information that will engage the brain and the heart of your child.

The fun thing that makes this easy to use for me is that it’s designed to be used by a wide array of ages.  I was able to use this with all my children but really focused on using it with the ages 6-12.  One of my six year olds and the three year old did not participate much in the study.  They’re doing more preschool type work though.

We received an e-copy of the study.  It’s currently not completed though almost there!  There are going to be four lessons to the study.  Three were released early to us for this review.  It’s going to be great guys!  Personally we’re sitting here waiting on the last lesson.  My kids love exploring Ecuador and learning about this tribe of people that we will probably never encounter on our own.  The e-book is currently set to be priced at $14.95 with the physical copy being $18.95.  You’re meant to cover one lesson per week in this study but we’ve been taking longer so we don’t run out of study before the last lesson comes!

Lesson 1: Shell Mera (Then)

Lesson 2: Shell Mera (Now)

Lesson 3: Ecuador

Lesson 4: Quito

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning what other products were offered to the Crew to review from Home School Adventure Co or for other opinions about Walking with the Waodani please pop over to the Main Review Crew blog where the reviews are all linked up.  You can also find the Home School Adventure Co on twitter, facebook, pinterest, google +, and youtube.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

Old-Fashioned Learning {Homeschool Review Crew}

Old-Fashioned Learning

Homeschool Review Crew

I love to implement old-fashioned learning into our schooldays.  Recently I was able to do this with Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level A from Eclectic Foundations as part of a review through the Homeschool Review Crew.  

 

Old-Fashioned Learning

 

This curriculum was on my wish list due to the fact that it is built around and uses McGuffey’s Readers. I have the whole set plus the Arithmetic that we take with us to Civil War Reenactments so that I can use them with our children.  I really wanted to be able to use them on a regular basis but didn’t want to spend the time creating a curriculum around them.  

Enter Eclectic Foundations and making my old-fashioned learning dreams come true!  All you need to purchase in addition to the curriculum is a copy of McGuffey’s Reader.  

About the Curriculum

The student workbooks are consumable so you will need extra of those for each student.  Teachers only need one copy for multiple students though.

When using this great old-fashioned learning curriculum, your child doesn’t need additional language arts curriculums.  This one curriculum covers phonics, grammar, spelling, reading comprehension, handwriting, compositions, and poetry.  A well-rounded education in a neat and tidy package!

The curriculum works you through 36 weeks using four days per week.  It has a Biblical worldview as does the original McGuffey’s readers that it’s based on.  Each level has 144 lessons.  Level A, B, and C are currently available with Level D hoping to release this year!

With Level A phonics lessons come first.  After all, you have to know the letters and what they say before you can read!  After phonics comes handwriting.  Letters are first made using play dough or some facsimile and then written.  Word cards are included to be used towards the end of this Level.  My kids loved the Mother Goose poem that was found at the end of each lesson.  

The word cards are unique as they are to be colored by your child.  Your child, the student, colors the cards as part of the course work.  Each card needs to be colored as shown as they correlate with parts of speech.  So, even if they don’t know what a “noun” or a “verb” are, they can read all the green words and see that they are actions.  All the red words will then be naming something.  

 

Old-Fashioned Learning

My Thoughts

This curriculum is super easy to use.  It works at a calm easy pace and you do four short lessons a week.  This is great if you’re using with younger children or older children as it’s not stressful.  You can then also have time on the fifth day to work on anything you need extra practice on or just have a freebie day.  My kids love freebie days!

I loved that this only is four days a week as much as my kids did!  It means that we have time to do other things or even add in an extra read aloud book on our off day.  Or, because we tend to have a really busy day on Mondays we just use it as a skip day so we’re not late for our other appointments.  

All in all, my daughter who is using this curriculum(age 6) is really loving it.  My 3-year-old has also been begging to start so she will being cycling through Level A soon as well.  It’s easy to use and teaches all that is important to teach to young children concerning language arts.  Best part, that it doesn’t take hours and agonizing with a child who doesn’t want to do it!

 

Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations }
 

Learn More

Want to learn more about old-fashioned learning and Eclectic Foundations?  Check out the main Blog Post over on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews will be linked up.  Different levels have also been reviewed so you can see which level your child might be ready for.  We received and reviewed Level A but there are also Levels B and C as well.  Find Eclectic Foundations on Facebook too!

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Pennsylvania Unit Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Pennsylvania Unit Study

Homeschool Review Crew 

I love to do unit studies!  We just finished a Pennsylvania Unit Study are based on a good book.  We recently received Pennsylvania ~Here We Come to review through the Homeschool Review Crew.  By the Way Book Series has several titles focusing on states and fun places that can be used for a great base of a unit study. I’m pretty excited for an Ireland book coming out this year(in 2017)!  I think our next unit study will be focused on Ohio.  My best friend just moved there which makes it a great choice!

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

Unit Studies From a Book

Do you enjoy unit studies and adding more to a book?  Reading at our house is a favorite past-time.  Everyday we sit and read books.  Unfortunately, not all books are equal in the knowledge area.  When I look for books most contain fluff, not facts.  Being Charlotte Mason fans, fluff is bad.  This recent book about Pennsylvania contains quite a bit of information. Because of all the information contained, it doesn’t require much extra though I tend to over add and over teach!  

Pennsylvania ~Here We Come focuses on two children who get to go around the state with the state mascot, Penny.  They fly all over the state to fun places.  They meet new people while also learning history and about nature.  It’s really a great way to teach all this to young readers.  My younger kids have asked me to read it several times as it does engage them.  

The book is 49 pages long.  A great length for kids to read themselves.  The length is perfect for breaking up into smaller chunks for reading to younger children as well.  It’s written in an engaging way that brings the history to life as the two characters are learning it.  I loved adding bits and pieces to it to make it into a Pennsylvania Unit Study.  We really love history which means we took a few days just to study the Civil War battles and what role the state played in the war.

 

Pennyslvania Unit Study

About the Books 

Written by Joy Budensiek and Illustrated by Stephanie Robledo, this is a very colorful book that keeps kids focused on what they’re learning and interested in what is to come next.  I have to admit that I found this a very cute book myself.  Fun facts pop up everywhere!  I didn’t know half of these neat facts that my kids can now spout off.  

The By the Way Book Series is a nature book series with a Biblical worldview.  You can definitely tell that these are a great Christian book series.  I like to follow a Charlotte Mason type approach to homeschooling and this fits right in.  It’s a book I won’t mind having on our bookshelf for years to come.  That’s how we judge books here.  No fluff and stuff in this one!  Just pure knowledge and information for the kids.  

My Thoughts

As I’ve stated above a few times we really enjoyed this book.  I could find my children off somewhere curled up with it over the course of the review on any given day.  When I’d need the book to work on part of our Pennsylvania Unit Study I’d have to search the house to find what child had it hidden away.

Want to learn more about this book and the others in the By the Way Book Series?  Go to the Main Blog Page for the Homeschool Review Crew and check out all the reviews.  Also find them on facebook.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

 

Renaissance Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Renaissance Study

Homeschool Review Crew

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
 

We love history and so we jumped at the chance to review History Through The Ages Project Passport World History Study Renaissance and Reformation through Home School in the Woods.  We’ve loved all the studies we’ve used from Home School in the Woods and were eager to start a new one!

As a member of the Homeschool Review Crew we were given a choice of several different history times to review.  While Ancient Egypt was appealing, I really wanted to do more with the Renaissance period so we chose Renaissance and Reformation.  It’s a great period of history that requires a lot of studying before you can fully grasp it all.  Other time periods that we’d love to explore at another time are Middle Ages and Ancient Greece.

 

Renaissance Study

 

This series of History studies is growing!  They just released Ancient Greece and are working on releasing Ancient Rome in 2018.  I love ancient history so much and can’t wait to be able to delve into these titles.  But first, the Renaissance study we have!

One of the reasons that we love the project passport series is that it makes history come alive!  It’s like you’re actually taking a vacation through time and across continents.  We go to several different places.  With this history study we have 25 stops that we make.  This means we get 25 different experiences from this time period in history that we can visit and learn from.  

Our Experience

Some of the study is up to you of course.  It isn’t going to come alive for your children if you don’t put some effort into making sure you are following the instructions to make it fun.  This is another part I love.  It’s all set up.  I don’t have to do all the leg work to figure out how to make this fun and what stops to make or what we should do at each stop.  

These studies are meant to last 8-12 weeks.  Because we love history so I often add other books to our repertoire and make our study last longer.  So for us, I’d say it does normally take the 12 weeks to finish it.  With that in mind we can do about four studies a year since we homeschool year round.  I really want to add some others in this year!  We’re loving Renaissance and Reformation.  Next I think we’ll swing into the Middle Ages.  After that Ancient Greece then Ancient Egypt and hopefully Ancient Rome will be available when we’re ready for it!  I’ve got it all planned out!

 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
 

Because this is a well thought out and planned history curriculum you can easily use this for your main history.  If you like to flesh it out a bit with extra reading it can be your reading as well.  Add in a few science experiments or some study on science of the time period(especially during this study!!) and you’ve got another subject covered.  I love to get the most subjects from our studies.  This is an easy one to add to and make it cover more than just history. Plus, it’s one the kids love to do!

My kids have loved using this Renaissance Study and are eager to get to it first thing.  They’ve always loved history but actually “going” back in time and making it like we’re visiting so many fun places has really helped to make it come alive.  I only wish we were closer to some historical type villages from this time period.  That would be amazing!

About the Curriculum

A little about the curriculum.  I’ve already mentioned it’s an 8-12 week course.  You can purchase it as a CD or as a download.  We received the download to work with for this review.  Personally, I am more of a physical girl and print mine out.  I print the whole thing out once and then only print off the pages we need as we need them for the students.  Having it all in a 3 ring binder so I can read ahead and see what we’re going to need makes using this unit study easier for me.  Reading on a computer just isn’t as much fun for me.  Paper has a special place in my heart and I love flipping pages!  Just a little quirk of mine.

This study is geared for grades 3-8.  So, with that age limit in mind, we used this with all of my children that are in school.  I have a girl who is 6 who is doing K/1 this year plus two boys in 2nd this year and I wanted to include them in this.  Modifications are super easy to make so that you can adjust this to different grade levels as needed.  My two preschool girls sat in and listened as well but most of the activities they did not do.  They loved the art related items though.

There is so much extra with this curriculum.  You’ve got audio adventures to listen to, which are great by the way.  They’re not dull or boring and hold kids attention well.  A fun newspaper is also available to help you brush up on your “current events”, fun writing projects of your own, and so so much more.  We love that the audios are set up in a fun way.  Basically you’ve got a tour guide giving you a personal guided tour of all the famous sights and things going on in the time period.  Definitely worth it for this curriculum if you’re looking for something to engage your kids and help them learn.  You might even learn a thing or two too!

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about this particular passport study or some of the others that were offered for review to members of the Homeschool Review Crew please pop over to the main Blog Page and check out all the reviews linked up.  We’ve reviewed different ones and you’ll see those in the link titles.  You can also find Home School in the Woods on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google +.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

Math by Mastery

Math by Mastery

Math Mammoth Light Blue CD Review

 

Math By Mastery

 

There are several ways to learn and teach math when you homeschool.  You can do math by mastery, integration math, etc.  Most of our homeschool journey thus far has been using a math that is integration in nature.  It takes a new concept and teaches it, plus integrates everything they’re learned up to that point.  This means that your child is doing a new concept plus several old concepts in each lesson.  Math by mastery is giving them a new concept and having them do several of that type of problem until they have mastered it.  Simple.

For some reason, maybe because it was such a simple approach, I never used any type of math by mastery until now.  We recently received a CD in the mail.  This was not a music CD though, oh no.  This was a Math CD!!  You’re not likely to believe all the excitement my kids showed when we took this out of the package.  It was like they couldn’t wait to do school!  And in fact, they couldn’t wait!

Excitement

What could cause such a response?  Math Mammoth.  Math Mammoth is a mastery based math program(math by mastery).  We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  This CD contains all that you’ll need to teach math for grades one through seven(1-7).  Each grade contains two workbooks, books A and B.  It’s all downloadable.  You can download it from the CD onto your computer and have your child do it right there or you can print it off and put them in a binder for your child to use at their desk or table.  

I have also found that my child who is five and is in the second book of kindergarten math from another company is able to do the beginning grade one(1) math with ease.  They do mention on their website that you should have your child take at least one placement test before starting Math Mammoth as they can be a harder curriculum than others.  I did have my older children take the placement tests.  Most were placed in the same grade they had been working on but others who do struggle with math went down a grade.  I’m hope that the math by mastery technique is going to really improve their math understanding.

Math Mammoth is aligned and goes above and beyond the Common Core Standards.  I don’t look at those and they don’t mean anything to my homeschool, but I did want to share that for those who follow their guidelines.  

Math Mammoth and the Large Family

The Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD is a large homeschooling families dream.  Or at least a long hoped for dream of this mom who has ten children!  I’ve dreamt of being able to not spend so much on supplies to homeschool my brood and this is it for math!  One CD to homeschool all my children through the 7th grade.  Plus, it only costs $180.00 through the Educents website RIGHT NOW to purchase it.  

Let’s do some math.  Ten children times seven years of math each equals seventy total grades to teach(I might have just exploded my own head).  $180.00 divided by 70 grades.  That’s only $2.57 per grade per child!  You can’t buy workbooks for that price.  Trust me.  I’ve been buying them.  Less than $3 for all that I need.  Of course, if I print off materials I’m also going to have to add in paper and ink and printer wear and tear, but you get the picture!

Right now I’m homeschooling the older eight of these kids with Math Mammoth.  I’ll talk briefly about each child, their age, and where they are in Math Mammoth plus what they enjoy or dislike about the program.  I do have some children who are considered special needs due to Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD), ADD, ADHD, Dsylexia, and general delays both physical and mental.  

Kids Views

For the kids views!  I have two who are done with 4th grade math in a different curriculum.  By the placement test they had mastered most of the 4th grade but we decided to start with 4th grade Math Mammoth.  We started at the beginning which meant they could whiz through it and then slow down when they get to a concept they don’t know.  Pretty sure they’ll be in the next grade sometime this fall.  Their ages are 11(girl) and 9(boy).  My son within a few weeks already is in the second book.  He loves math and really loves doing it on the computer.

Doing math on the computer is fun.  Or at least that is what my children tell me.  Both of the above kids love doing their school on the computer and they can do it independently of me which is a plus in my book.  So while one of them is doing math the other can be working on a different subject at the table and then they switch.  They each of course think they need their own computers.  Which brings me to the fact that you can use Math Mammoth on multiple computers.  

Even More Kids Views

Next I have an 11 year old girl who is delayed.  She just finished 1st grade math.  I decided to start her in the second grade level to see how she would do.  So far she’s doing really well but does not do well doing it on the computer.  This brings out another great point that I like about Math Mammoth.  I can print!  So, I printed off the first book for her and she is working through that with her pencil.  She’s happier and learning which makes me happy.

On down the line I have a 9 year old girl who I started in 3rd grade math.  This was a bit much for her as she is also delayed and has some learning problems.  I backed her down to 2nd grade math(love the flexibility) and she’s doing much better.  Some of her work she does on the computer and then we print off extra papers for her to use if there is something she’s struggling with.

Extras

These extra papers come from the Soft-Pak math software that also comes as part of the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD.  There are six programs on this part of the CD and you do have to download and install it.  With Soft-Pak you get Math Maker, Math Master, Math User, True/False Math Challenger, Language Arts Master, and List Maker.  

I love being able to make my own worksheets focusing on what area that child is struggling in.  I have not explored all the add ons with the Soft-Pak but what I have used I love.  It’s great for the parent and helps enhance the learning experience for the student.

Lastly I have three students doing the 1st grade level of Math Mammoth.  They are two 8 year old boys and one 5 year old girl.  My six year old girl is not ready for this level of math yet.  All of these three students have finished or are close to having finished the kindergarten level in another math program.  They are each moving at different paces and loving getting to use the computer for their math.

Cons

I do have one issue with this program . . . . I don’t have enough computers!!  We only have one computer currently for our family and my husband also has to use it for his self employed business.  We’re looking into getting a few more computers or possibly some tablets.  This will make doing math much easier for us as more than one can do it at the same time and I won’t have any negatives about using it!

I can whole heartedly recommend Math Mammoth and math by mastery to all other homeschool families.  Particularly those who are going to be homeschooling more than one child and would like to save themselves money.  Do I think this will work for everyone?  No I do not.  In fact, I may even have some kids who would do better with a different math, but I can endorse this math program as being one that my kids enjoy and do well with. 

Pirate Unit Study {Homeschool Review Crew}

Pirate Unit Study

Homeschool Review Crew

Were they pirates?  Or were they really privateers?  That’s what our newest unit study from Homeschool Legacy is asking.  Once-a-Week Micro-Studies Pirates or Privateers: You Decide has been so much fun for us!  Keep reading and you’ll find out what my kids decided using this pirate unit study we received through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Pirate Unit Study

The unit study we chose to use is titled Pirates or Privateers: You Decide.  There were so many awesome choices it was really hard to choose just one.  This happens to be a time in history that all of our family likes though so it is the one that won out.  

Micro Unit Study

Technically this is a micro unit study.  This classification comes from the fact that it only should take four weeks to complete.  It’s geared towards grades 1-8.  This meant for me that all of my children got to be included in the unit study.  Well, almost all of my children.  My youngest is 5 months so he really didn’t care about the unit study.  My three year old loved learning about pirates and playing sword fighting with her older siblings though.  The 5 month old got lots of laughs and giggles from this!

All it takes time wise for this pirate unit study is thirty minutes three times a week.  That doesn’t seem like much at all really.  And it’s not.  This pirate unit study is really simple and fun.  I’ve used unit studies before(most from this same company!) and have to say that this micro unit study is even simpler than the normal ones.  It’s easy to use and doesn’t take a ton of prep work.  I like that idea!

My kids loved this unit study and really begged to do it on the days we weren’t using it(three days a week, thirty minutes per day) so I did some digging and came up with some books to use on those off days.  I created a book basket full of books on this time period both at sea and on land.  So we learned about the monarchs of countries, what wars were going on, what they were wearing and eating, etc.  Such fun!  My kids loved having new books in their book basket and I loved that they were spending extra time reading and learning.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

A note from a mom to a mom.  

This unit study gives you an optional read aloud suggestion of Treasure Island.  We read this.  It took over one of our read aloud spots for the day so we were reading it daily instead of just on the three unit study days.  We finished it rather quickly so we then added The Swiss Family Robinson to our read aloud time for the remainder of the unit study.  There are also some movie night suggestions.  One of our favorites to watch is Muppet Treasure Island so we made to sure to watch that on one of our normal movie nights during the course of the study.

A couple other Micro Studies that piqued our interest and are on our must try to purchase list are the Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims micro study and Victoria and Her World Mico Study.  They’re both also geared to grades 1-8 and look like loads of fun!  Another unit study that is on my list is Christmas Comes to America.  Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up so these would be wonderful to study RIGHT NOW!!

Want to learn more about this unit study or some of the other unit studies offered through Homeschool Legacy?  You can find all of the blog reviews linked up on the Main Homeschool Review Crew page.  Also find Homeschool Legacy on facebook.  

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer