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. 

Everyone Does Math {TOS Crew Review}

Everyone Does Math

Everyone does math.  Think about that.  We all do math.  Recently all of my school aged children have been using a math program called CTCMath.  Through the TOS Crew we received a one year online subscription to CTCMath Homeschool Membership.  This is an online program that can be used by up to 10 children.  This is perfect!

 

CTCMath Review
 

Why is this perfect you might ask?  It’s perfect because everyone does math.  Plus(hey that’s a math word!), I have ten children!!  Of course, the two youngest at age 3 and age nine weeks don’t do math for school yet.  They will someday though.  While they are doing kindergarten math their older siblings can do algebra and trigonometry or calculus.

 

Everyone Does Math

 

CTCMath is an online digital subscription math program.  We received access to a one year subscription for up to 10 children.  Not all of my children are in active school yet.  That is to say, all my children are learning things but only seven of them are currently using some kind of curriculum.  Learning and play go hand in hand here in our homeschool.  I believe learning should be fun, exciting, and engaging.  Children should want to do school.  

After all, everyone does math.

Each math lesson that is taught is a short video.  The videos are between four and nine minutes long.  Nothing that is going to tire or tax the brain.  We all know children don’t have the longest attention spans when you want them to also retain the information.  After the lesson is taught the questions test on how well they learned the information.  Students can go back and re-watch each lesson as well as retake the questions.  This can be done until they are fully comfortable with that material. 

 

Everyone Does Math

 

This is where we are at with CTCMath Homeschool Membership.  My nine year old son begs to do his math on the computer.  Math is his favorite subject.  He loves to sit at the computer and listen to his math lessons.  CTCMath does lessons through video.  You sit down, click on the video lesson you want to watch, watch and listen, then you answer the questions.  Easy peasy simple as pie.

CTCMath allows you to choose where your child should be.  Say I start my oldest who is 11 in 4th grade.  It’s too easy for her.  I can move her to 5th grade math with the click of a mouse.  Simple.  Easy.  She is doing math that challenges her and I can see what she has done and whether she has gotten the concept or not.

Parents Have Access Too

As the parent, I can see what lessons my children have done.  I can see which lessons they spent the most time on, which were the hardest for them.  Basically, I can see everything they’ve done and this shows me what they might need more work on.  Available for each lesson are worksheets that can be printed off for additional help.  Plus of course, the lessons can be watched again to help refresh memories and cement the concept.  I love having a parent account where I can track all of my children instead of having to get into each of their accounts.

 

Everyone Does Math

 

My kids love CTCMath.  They love being able to do math on the computer.  Another fun thing about CTCMath is the accent.  The person doing the talking and teaching on the videos has a nice Australian accent and my kids love it.  We have cousins who live in England and the kids are always fascinated with how they talk differently than us.  Teacher having an accent ensures that they have their best listening ears on.

Everyone Does Math

Another fun aspect of CTCMath is that each child has their own login.  They can login to their own account without having to go through the parent or teacher account.  This makes them more independent.  Really, this program does not require much parent teaching or involvement.  Students can be self sufficient.  The only ones that I really have to help are the young ones.  

My five year old is doing kindergarten math this year.  She’s almost done with the second book of kindergarten math that we use.  She loves doing math on the computer, but I do have to help her some as her reading skills aren’t as strong as her math skills.  She’s sharp as a tack with math.  For CTCMath she’s using first grade math.  I’m pretty proud of her and she’s super pleased with herself.  

 

Everyone Does Math

 

Check out CTCMath for the US and Canada on facebook, twitter, Periscope, pinterest, and youtube.  

Interested in hearing about other levels of CTCMath?  Maybe want another opinion?  Check out the Main TOS Crew blog page to find out what other crew members thought of CTCMath.  Remember everyone does math so everyone has an opinion.  Whether this math program is right for you or not, everyone does math and everyone needs a math curriculum.  

 

 

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Making Math Fun {TOS Crew Review}

We’ve been making math fun here in our house recently thanks to a review from Sunya Publishing as part of the TOS Review Crew!  We received a fun math game focusing on multiplication and division which is perfect for my 11 and 9 year old who are working on that skill.  This game we received is called Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing.  

 

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}
 

I don’t know about you, but making a subject or something you’re learning fun and into a game helps my kids learn it better and retain it as well.  My son who is 9 loves math and it comes very easily to him while my daughter who is 11 has to take a little more time to think about it.  This game was perfect for them to play together and help hone their skills!

We received a physical package containing the game and instruction booklet.  The game is meant for players aged 9 and above though if you wanted to partner a slightly younger child with an older child that would work as well to help them start to get the hang of multiplication and division.  When playing this game you can have anywhere from 1-5 players.  We tended to have two to three players for this.  Sometimes I’d play along with my two children as I loved math as a child and even went to math competitions making it to the state level.

 

Making Math Fun {TOS Crew Review}

 

Because Sunya Publishing is a fairly new company they do not have a link to their games on their website yet(or even social media), but don’t worry they soon will!  You’re going to find that this is a company to watch.

The company name is Sunya Publishing.  Sunya comes from an ancient language from India called Sanskrit and it means to be empty.  When a player wins they say Sunya which means that they are empty or have used all their cards.  That is the object of the game, to be the first player to use up all of your cards.  

In our package I mentioned an instruction booklet containing 25 pages.  It tells you how to play the game and also some alternate ways of play.  It has a few pages in color and the rest is in a grayscale.  Since they are new we’re their guinea pigs of sorts and they value our opinion.  Thus, our booklet had the different formats asking us which we preferred.  For us, the full color version would work best as it is more pleasing to the eye, eye catching, and tends to help the kids focus on where they are when they’re reading.  

Not only did our package include the instruction booklet, but it also contained a deck of 60 cards and a deck of 30 cards as well as a number line.  The deck of 60 cards has the numbers, mathematical signs, and wild cards that you use to play the game.  The deck of 30 cards has the math and science riddle cards to go along with the game, just a chance for making math fun all over again.

As I’ve said before, the main goal of the game is to get rid of all your cards first and say Sunya.  To do this, you make math equations like 5 x5 =25.  It’s a great practice for using those multiplication facts and can be great fun as well.  My kids loved playing the game instead of doing some extra math practice to help them learn their multiplication tables.   

Make sure to hop over to the Main TOS Crew blog to check out all the other reviews of Sunya Publishing and their games for making math fun.  Reviewers got the choice of the  multiplication and division game or the addition and subtraction game.  So, you’re sure to see plenty of both reviews!  Make sure to check them out and see how we’re all making math fun in our homeschools these days.

 

 

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Board Games for Fun and Learning {TOS Crew Review}

We love to play board games here at our house.  They’re so fun!  Board games are for fun and learning here though.  You won’t find a game that doesn’t make them use skills and think.  I’m not a mean mom and they have tons of fun while they learn!  Recently we got the chance to review a new board game called Expanders from SimplyFun through the TOS Crew.  

 

Board Games for Learning and Fun

 

 

SimplyFun is a company that is still new to our world.  They want to make learning fun and enhance the fun of learning through play.  One of their goals is to help parents identify stumbling blocks that their children may have early on so that they can be corrected before they become a big problem.  This makes a lot of sense to me!  Through this they want to build smarter children and stronger families.  

SimplyFun has games for all ages as well as being awarded several awards.  I believe I read that they have in their lifetime as a company received over 100 awards!  That’s a great thing for a company still so new.  

I love that board games can be played by the entire family and can be fun as well as a learning experience.  I don’t want to trick my children and tell them they’re just playing a fun game.  Rather, they know that if we’re playing this game it’s for counting, and this is for the alphabet, and this is for this, etc.  We’re all working together to make learning fun and board games can be both.

 

Simply Fun Review
 

The game we are reviewing is called Expanders.  Skills that Expanders works on are reverse addition, spatial reasoning, and critical thinking.  So if you want to categorize it as a subject I’d place it in the math box.  This game is geared towards children 8 and older and can be played by one up to four players.  Your goal to win is to cover the most space on the board by using reverse addition to move around.  The first one to fill the mainframe of the game with their tokens wins!  

While this game is for ages 8 and above you also need to gauge it to their skill level.  I have a ten-year old who is only at grade two this year and this would be very hard for her to do now.  But my eight year old boy tends to win this game as he’s at grade four this year.  For my children who can do this on their own, they each play on their own as a player while I play as a partner to one of the girls who doesn’t have the skill mastered.  This way I can help them learn and do.  It’s always exciting when you’re learning a skill and you can see yourself on the board getting more tokens and SEE that you’re learning.

 

Board Games for Fun and Learning -Expanders

You can adjust the difficulty level of the game as well by whether you have your addition going all the way up to 12 or stopping at 8.  When we started playing this game we stuck with the side that goes to 8 as a way of reinforcing what some of the children could do and making it easier for the others to learn.  If the two that are in the fourth grade are playing they use the side that goes up to 12.  

If you’re not sure what game would fit what skills your child has feel free to contact SimplyFun or take one of their questionnaires.  They like to help families find the correct games.  They also offer a homeschool discount program so make sure to check that out when you go to order some games for your school.  Board games for fun and learning is definitely a specialty of theirs!

 

Simply Fun Review
 

If you’d like to hear of other board games for fun and learning check out the rest of the Crew Reviews over on the Main Page.  We got to choose between the game we reviewed, Expanders, and another called Shape Whiz!  You can also connect with SimplyFun on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  

 

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Online Homeschool Math {TOS Crew Review}

I have to say my oldest son loves math.  He takes after me this way.  I always loved math and even went to State Math Contests!  He was beyond thrilled when we got to review an online homeschool math curriculum through CTCMath.  We received their 12 Month Family Plan which allows for up to 10 students to use it!  Only having 9 children and one not even doing anything with school yet this is an awesome thing for us!

 

Online Homeschool Math CTC Math

 

This program is great for homeschoolers as it covers Kindergarten through High School so you don’t have to find another program after one or two years.  There are over 1300 videos over the entire course of the years that can be watched and learned from.  Best of all is that your child is not locked down by a certain grade but can move around as they want to.  If they need easier they can go down a grade level or go up one if it’s too easy for them and not challenging them enough.

Because this is an internet online homeschool math you and your child can access this anywhere you can get an internet connection.  So you can easily use it on your home computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone or whatever other devices there are out there these days that I have no idea how to work!  I’m a bit behind the times.  

 

online homeschool math with CTCMath {TOS Crew Review}

 

Some fun points we love!  The instructor on the videos has a cute Australian accent.  If you’re Australian it’s nothing out of the ordinary but for my born and raised in the Midwest kids, this is something uncommon and holds their attention.  The videos are short and easy to understand.   The problems grade themselves as they’re being done so they don’t have to wait for you to grade them and you don’t have to grade them!  I love not having to grade things!  They do have worksheets you can print off to work on as well.  And the best part for me is that everything is recorded so at the end of a year all I’ll have to do is print off the record pages to show what they have done at what grade levels for that year.

If you want you can assign a grade level to your student.  I prefer to keep it open.  I have some children who have delays.  They learn slowly.  And on any given day they may not remember what they learned the day before or the week before, so they need the flexibility to go back a few lessons or a full grade if necessary to where they do feel confident.  All students should feel confident and smart in my opinion and this program allows for that.

 

online homeschool math 1

 

Another fun thing is that each child has their own login.  You may not find this fun, but trust me when you have a lot of kids they love knowing that they are the only ones that can get into their account.  Of course, they know that mommy knows all the passwords and can CHANGE them, but they’re okay with that.  I’m okay with the fact that they see this as fun play time and not do homework and math time.

Another customization with CTCMath is the fact that you can decide how often they let you know what your students are doing.  You can get a weekly report on each student.  This tells you what they’re doing, how well they’re doing, etc.  

 

online homeschool math with CTCMath

 

I love that the questions require your student to input their own answers.  No multiple choice here.  They have to do their own work.  Each of my kids has their own scratch paper notebook that they can work their problems in if they need to show some work.  I can look at these then if they’re not getting very many right in an area and do some problem solving.  If they just don’t get the concept, the videos can be watched again and again.  There is no limit to the number of times your student can redo a lesson.  This is another aspect that is wonderful for delayed or special needs learners.  It gives them a margin of error.

As the mom and the teacher I love that I have my login while the kids have their own.  I can go into my parent area and see what each of the kids has been doing.  I can get detailed views of the questions they’ve answered and what topics they struggle with.  I can then assign them to do more in that area.  I love the flexibility of being able to move them from one topic to another or one grade to another if necessary.  

 

online homeschool math with CTCMath

 

You can find out more about CTCMath by checking out their facebook page.  Also head on over to the Main TOS Review Crew page for all the other reviewers thoughts.  We all reviewed the same program though different grade levels!  Don’t forget to sign up for a free trial too!

 

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Online Math with A+ Interactive Math #hsreviews

Over the last month we’ve been utilizing an online math program from A+ Interactive Math as part of a review through the TOS Crew.  We received 6 months access to the Family Math Package for up to 10 kids.  We are using it for six of our nine children currently.  I’m not a huge fan of online math normally but my kids all agree that A+ is their favorite!

 

A+ Interactive Math Review
 

Somethings I love about the Family Math Package are the ease of the program and the fact that there is no grading for me.  I really like the fact that I can move the kids around by where they fit rather than have them stuck in a specific grade as well.  Also the exams are online as well so that I still don’t have to do any grading and they are recorded for us.  It makes it easy at the end of the school year to print off a record to attach into each child’s portfolio.

To make it easier, we’re going to focus on my oldest son for this review because he loves math.  His favorite subject is actually math and he’ll stay on the computer and do math for hours if I’d let him!  He is 8 years old and does math on the 4th grade level on A+ Interactive Math.  His normal math is workbooks based and has him finishing up grade 3 now so I thought it would be safe to stick him in level 4 on A+ Interactive Math.  So far he’s doing mostly review materials but that’s okay with him because he can do more lessons per day and he loves seeing 100% on his progress report.

 

Online Math with A+ Interactive Math

 

The grades for A+ Interactive Math are from 1st grade up through Algebra.  I don’t need Algebra yet but do find it great that it’s offered and available should we get that high up.  Kindergarten math is not included though older kindergartener might be able to do level 1 math.  My two kindergarteners are in the first workbook out of two and just weren’t ready for the 1st grade yet.

Something I personally would like changed from what I’ve been doing with the Family Math Package, is adding in a Kindergarten math.  My two four year olds felt very left out as they are doing kindergarten work in school and really wanted to do math as well, but 1st grade was just a bit much for them.  A kindergarten grade level would be great for making them feel involved in the online math program as well. 

I’m really in love with the admin panel on the Family Math Package from A+.  I can go in and see exactly what my kids have been doing.  I can complete the lessons they have mastered and assign them new lessons if I wish.  I have just used already planned out lesson plans because that makes my life easier and I’m all about easier now!  

 

A+ Interactive Math Online

 

You do have the option of printing off worksheets and exams and then entering what they scored on those as well.  As of now, we’ve only done our exams online and have not done any of the printed worksheets.  I do have some of my kids who might do better if I printed off their exams but for now we are experimenting to see if full online or full workbook works better for them and then we can tweak that to see about the exams as well.  There are so many variables when you have 9 kids with different learning styles!

A+ New Family Packages allow flexible access to ALL grade levels.

When we agreed to this review with the TOS Crew it was agreed that our main reviewing student would use the program at least three times a week.  I have to say that there were some weeks my main boy reviewer used this 6 out of 7 days.  We laid down the law and wouldn’t let him do it on Sundays, but he would still ask!!  He really enjoys this program.  I also recently went to a seminar that talked about learning styles and how they best learn.  His learning style indicates that he does well with online programs so this has really been eye-opening for me.  He’s always been really good at math but he has advanced in this program quite a bit faster than he ever has in his workbooks.  Definitely something for us to keep in mind when deciding what he’ll use for next years math curriculum.  Online math with the Family Math Package might be the key and then I can let the others use it as they need help or full-time if their learning style corresponds!  I love having options.

 

Family Math Package

 

So a quick summary, the A+ Family Math Package is great for families that have several students.  It allows you to make your own lesson plans or follow their premade ones.  The lessons are short and your child can easily do several a day if they choose too.  While the A+ program can be used for supplementation in weak areas of your childs, it is also a complete math curriculum that contains all the math your child will need from 1st grade up to Algebra.  Your child can move through at their own pace which could mean three lessons a week or three lessons a day.  The exams are also all online and can be done online and graded online or done by printing it out and grading it yourself.  If you do print them out you will need to input their score.

As I put the finishing touches on this review my 8-year-old son is in fact doing more online math with A+.  I have a feeling he won’t be in 4th grade math still when we start a new homeschool year on July 1st.  This is awesome!  I love that he can learn math at his own pace.  If he ever has problems with a lesson he can listen to the description again or redo the lesson.

Want to learn more about the A+ Family Math Package?  Check out the main TOS Review Crew Blog Page.  You’ll also see reviews for the A+ Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plans.  Still wanting to know more?  Connect with A+ Interactive Math on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

 

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Learn Math Online #hsreviews

Do your children struggle with math?  Do you need help teaching that area?  What if I told you I have a new item to tell you about that helps them learn math online?  Interested?  Recently with the TOS Crew we reviewed a new program from GPA LEARN called GPALOVEMATH.  It’s an online math program for grades K-5.  With the review crew we were given a parent account plus five student accounts for a full year.

 

Critical Thinking Company Review
 

The kids have had fun learning with this new “game”.  I did sign up five different children and some have used it more than others of course.  We’ll let you know what at least our main reviewer thought as well as some thoughts that I have on the program.  

First let me tell you that the whole program is like a game for the kids.  Yes they are going to learn math online but really it’s going to seem to them that they are playing a fun game.  My oldest boy loves math and started using the 3rd grade level for math(he’s 8 and in 3rd grade math in his book work).  The level started a bit easily for him so he was flying!  He loved meeting his robot Abacus.  Abacus would tell him about what he was going to learn, help him practice, and then he’d take a quiz to see what he’d learned.  Pretty fun!

 

GPALOVEMATH

 

The learning is set up so that they do have to complete lessons in order.  They have a path to follow.  Once they complete the initial welcome video, he could choose from three different paths.  Being the math loving boy he is he did a lesson from each path to see which he wanted to follow first.  He chose multiplication/skip counting.  It’s something we’re working on in our books now and it worked out perfectly for me. 

What about the parent?  You really don’t have to do a lot of teaching on this.  The robot explains to them what they are learning and helps them practice what they are learning so unless they have some additional questions they can do this on their own.  The parent does have the opportunity to choose what their rewards will be and when they will receive them.  I put in our own rewards for things like play a board game, choose a movie night movie, go for a walk, visit the zoo, etc.  I made sure they were things that we could realistically do and that my children would enjoy.  The program does have automatic rewards you can use or choose from as well.  It’s a simple process to navigate really.  

 

GPALOVEMATH

 

Each grade has over 150 lessons so no chance your child is going to get bored with the same subject material over and over.  There are also over 10,000 problems.  If your child only does one lesson a day, five days a week, you’ll be done in less than 10 months and ready to move on!  My boy is going to be done sooner than that because he really likes math and sees no problem doing three or four lessons a day and on Saturday too.  His only problem is that I tell him his computer time is up and he can’t do anymore!

As I’ve talked about above the lessons are structured into three steps.  Step 1- Instruction  Step 2- Practice  Step 3- Quiz  All of the lessons are like this so there are no surprises wandering around 50 lessons down the road.   As the parent you have access to the lessons your child has done, you see how many they’ve done, how they’ve done on them, what rewards they received and more.  You also get an email each time they complete a lesson.  I have a special folder set up for each of the kids and I just put those emails in their folder and go back once a week to count and log those for our hours.  We have to keep hours logs in our state and this function makes it super easy for me to know what lessons they did each week.

 

GPALOVEMATH

 

As you’re learning from reading my reviews we had a hospital stay with our youngest that really caused my homeschool to be turned upside down.  This was one of our reviews over that time period.  While I was in the hospital not all of my kids were doing this program.  In fact, some of them didn’t do it at all!  But luckily that one little boy was still doing his lessons and letting me know what he thought.  This was a great program for my kids and for my husband to take because he didn’t have to know anything about math to hep them.  He just had to help them login and then they could take it from there.  What a relief for me to know that some hours were still being logged!

So, is this a program that I would recommend to other homeschool parents?  Yes it is.  Is this a program that I would consider purchasing for my child?  Yes it is.  

You can learn more about GPALOVEMATH and their new way to learn math online by visiting the Main TOS Blog Post to read the other reviews or by visiting them on facebook, twitter, and Pinterest.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

 

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Online Learning for Math and Language Arts with IXL #hsreviews

Our 2014 year of reviews with the TOS Crew is coming to a close soon but we’re so excited to share this review of IXL with you!  We got a chance to use both the online learning version of Math and online learning of Language Arts for five of our kiddos.  We received a year subscription to both which is very awesome!

 

Christmas Book Review
IXL is NOT an online course that covers everything your child needs to know for that subject and you’ll never have to visit it again.  It’s a supplemental course to be used WITH your regular curriculum.  It is however, a great supplemental program to help your child hone their math and language art skills.  You can find the area they struggle in and get them some extra practice.  Oh and then you’ve got that it works more like a game or play for kids so they don’t really remember that they are actually learning.  

The Math portion of IXL goes from preK all the way up to 12th grade covering geometry and algebra as well as pre-calculus.  The language arts course starts with second grade but does go up to 8th grade, though it will soon go all the way to 10th grade as they are working on adding the next two grades.  This is definitely an online learning program that would be beneficial for a long time.  

Interested?  Want to know the prices?  Well I can help you out there!  For a family membership, you start at just $9.95 per month or $79 per year for one subject.  Want to add a child?  No problem!  It is just an additional $2 per month of $20 per year.  Check out this page for more information on pricing.  There are definite savings to using this program with more than one child and using both programs versus just one or the other.  To show that, one child for one year with math only is $79, but that same child for one year for math and language arts is going to be $129.  Make that one year for both online learning programs and it’s only $149.  

 

IXL online learning

 

 

 

Okay, so now I’ve told you about the program a bit, what ages it’s for, and\ the pricing.  Let’s talk about my family and how we used it, what we liked/disliked and what you can expect.

Starting with the parent.  You log in.  You have access to all reports and students.  I can see what my oldest did and what my youngest did.  I can see how well they did.  I really love the fact that I can turn off the timer.  My kids don’t like to be timed.  Seeing that timer counting is distracting to most of them and not helping them do their best.  Because this is supplemental, I do not mind them doing it quickly or slowly as long as they get it done and get in the extra concept practice they need.  

We’re talking likes here so some things my kids liked are next.  All of my kids liked that they knew immediately if they did the question right or wrong.  Being able to redo and redo until they got the section right was another plus.  I have one little boy who has to have everything perfect before he’ll move on.  He could do that here without feeling like he had failed.  This is great!  It makes it something he wants to do!

 

online learning IXL

 

I had five kids using this program.  The recommended is to use this at least three days per week.  To be fully honest, not all five of those kids used the program three days per week.   With only two computers in the house there wasn’t time for that.  But they all did use the program.  Some kids used it five days a week and some maybe used it one day this week and three the next.  It was more based on who was needing extra help in the areas covered by IXL.  

My youngest using the program is 6.  He is in kindergarten in our school, but the first thing he wanted to do on IXL math was patterns.  He did patterns at the first grade level and ACED it!  Seriously.  Got them all right.  They even gave him a challenge section.  Some of the patterns he asked me for help with because he wasn’t sure what the shapes they were showing him were.  That’s fine.  I was okay with talking to him about the shapes.  But, there is another way he could have known what the given pattern was.  There is a little microphone button that allows you to hear the pattern spoken to you.  This is automatically on all the lower grades and you, as the parent, can okay for it to be on the higher levels as well.  

IXL online learning

There are rewards and incentives with this program as well.  Above you see how Colin mastered a skill.  With that skill mastery he got to unlock a spot on the chart.  He got a monkey.  For every skill mastered he gets another prize.  It tells him what he has to do to unlock the next medal as well.  

Find IXL on social media.  They are active on facebook, twitter, and google +.  For us, IXL is a wonderful resource.  It’s a great online learning tool for helping us practice on things we aren’t quite getting or are not doing at our best level.  I know that I can find a specific section by grade and choose for that child what they need to work on.  Thy can then work on it and get that skill mastered.  This offers me freedom.  I have the freedom to help a child who needs to do some reading with a parent listening.  I have the freedom to work on counting with a four year old.  

This program is a great fit for our family.  My only wish is that we had more computers.  Or tablets/iPad devices as they also offer an app that can be used on iPads or newer Kindle Fires.  We don’t have any of those.  I only just recently got an iPhone and it’s an older design.  We’re still behind the times of what most families are technologically.  Here’s hoping eventually we can get a Kindle Fire or iPad and that will add an extra device for my kids to use this program on.  I don’t normally like screen time in any form for kids.  We don’t do television except the occasional movie.  We don’t do games on the computers or any other devices.  But we do do school.  And this program.  We do this program.  In the next few years I am going to have to figure out what it would cost to have 9 kids using it.  

Interested in learning more about IXL?  Remember the math is fore PreK all the way up to grade 12.  I only use the first few years so you’re going to want to check out other reviews to see about the higher levels.  The same is true of the Language Arts course as well.  If your kids are older you’re going to want to check some other reviews as well.  So pop on over to the Main TOS Crew Review page to see what everyone else thinks of this online learning resource.

 

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UberSmart Math Facts #hsreviews

UberSmart Math Facts Review
Members of the Review Crew recently got a chance to try out UberSmart Software.  They were given a downloadable software called UberSmart Math Facts to try out with their children.  Up to 8 children could use the program.  You can purchase the program for $24.95.  This is for the standard version or family version price wise.  They also offer professional versions which are geared more towards a public school setting.  The program is geared towards grades K-6 or for those at a higher grade needing the remedial help.

 

UberSmart Math Facts Review
UberSmart Software came about when David Kocur was asked by his wife to find a flash card program for their children.  He couldn’t find anything he liked so he decided to make his own!  One of his daughters has learning disabilities due to epilepsy and they were told she would always struggle with math facts.  Not anymore!  This program helped her to master her math facts.

UberSmart Math Facts Review
UberSmart Math Facts is a downloadable software that features Dot Cards(adding numbers in the form of dots together on domino type cards), Keyboard Entry(10 key numbers), and Flash Cards(addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).   For the addition and subtraction the facts go up to the 9’s while for multiplication and division they go all the way up to the 20’s.  

Let’s talk real quick about the program.  It is not a math curriculum.  It will not teach your child math.  It’s not intended to.  This is merely intended to help your child learn their math facts.  It’s not some cool computer game system that teaches them how to do math while having fun.  Nope.  It’s not.  This is basically flash cards in our high tech day and age on the computer.  Simply put it’s what I used as a child but not the pen and paper version.  

I was a flash card kid.  I loved flashcards!  I would use flashcards to help me memorize facts, dates, events, etc, anything that I needed to memorize for school I would make them into flashcards using notecards.  This wasn’t just for elementary, it was for high school, and even college.  Now, I wanted to start making them for my children to use, but I’ve had a hard time actually using them as I’m teaching so many at once and trying to divide my time as mommy in there too.

This is the perfect solution for me.  Well, almost perfect.  It would be so much better if we actually had more than one computer to use for the kids for school.  I had six children using this program.  They ranged in ages from 9 down to 6 years old.  Two are 3rd grade level math, 2 are 1st grade level math, and two are kindergarten level math.  

UberSmart Math Facts Review
This program is based on making memorizing fun for your child.  In essence, to help them memorize and retain all the math facts they need to know.  It is geared for grade K-6.  The software has software requirements and will only work on Windows 7, 8, Vista or XP.   Once you download it, it’s yours!  You can keep and use it until you decide it is no longer for you.

My kindergarten level math guys used the dot cards.  These are super simple.  You just count up the dots.  No number punching in, just counting.  They also used the keyboard entry to help them get familiar with the number pad on the keyboard.  They had not used the computer before this.  I have to say both of these guys were boys.  I wanted them to use the program three times per week for a good 10-15 minutes.  It was like pulling teeth to get them to use it!  Seriously, they were not that interested.  The first week or two it wasn’t so difficult because they were getting to use the computer which was new and cool, but after that it was just a tedious task for them.  I had to be beside them making them count out loud and overseeing their progress.

My next level of learners are two girls that are in 1st grade math.  I had them work on the addition and subtraction math facts.  They also worked on keyboard entry as they have not used the computer very much either.  They would do 3 days a week for 10-15 minutes as well.  It helps me if I’m not trying to schedule each child on the computer each day for the same program.  However, if you really want your child to get the facts down quickly, I’d recommend using it daily.  The girls did well with the program and I noticed that they were retaining the facts and doing their math coursework faster with the program.  This is a huge improvement for them and I am definitely going to keep using the program with them.

My last two students are at a third grade math level.  One boy and one girl.  This really showed me the difference in the sexes so to speak.  Neither of them found it fun, but my daughter would rather get on and get it done so she can go read while my son would sit to do it and get bored or worse mistype and then get made because he didn’t get the right answer in.  They use the keyboard entry for the first two weeks but after that I didn’t see a need for them.  They worked on the multiplication facts.  We are doing really well getting these memorized and I foresee starting on the division soon.  Regardless of whether they like it or not, this program is really helping them.  We may still make up some physical flashcards so they can quiz each other, but they will continue using the program 3 times per week.  They tended to use it for closer to 20 minutes each day just because they were working on something a bit higher level.  

 

UberSmart Math Facts Review
 

Somethings that I as the mommy like.  Each child can log in individually so their reports are saved under their login.  Makes it easier for me to check up on their progress this way.  Once your child hits a certain age, this becomes very helpful.  I say once they hit a certain age not because it is not helpful before, but because you no longer have to sit next to them and help to make sure they are doing the program and doing it correctly.  For the price you can’t ask for a better deal!  You get to use this forever!  Seriously, once you download it it is yours to use until you delete the program.  I think you will enjoy it.  I know I am.  It’s a great way to learn those facts and start getting them rolling off the tongue and brain quickly!

Make sure to visit the Main Crew Blog Post to check out the reviews to learn about how this program works with more children, and to know what the parents think of it!

 

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