Online Reading Games {Homeschool Review Crew}

Online Reading Games

Homeschool Review Crew

Reading Eggs

Do your kids love to read?  Or do they maybe struggle to read?  Would some online reading games make all the difference?  That’s where we were at.  I have a nine year old boy who just wasn’t all that interested in reading.  Oh he could read if he wanted to but most of the time he didn’t want to.  Enter Reading Eggs and their Reading Eggspress.  We received a six month subscription for two of our children through the Review Crew and they both are in love!

About Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is the parent company name but they have several sub products to be used with your children depending on age.  For my youngest(other than the toddler at age 16 months) who is four years old the Reading Eggs Junior is for ages two to four and is a great start for those who haven’t done any reading work yet or who maybe have a little alphabet knowledge.  She also was a good fit for the main Reading Eggs which is for ages three through seven.  Because they overlap it’s easy to try out both and see which fits better.  I have often used terms like “she’s a young seven” or “she’s an old five” for describing kids because each one can be so different in what they are able to do.

Reading Eggspress is more for those who can read and need that extra boost or ages seven through thirteen roughly grades one through six.  My son using this is age 9 grade two or three.  Along with our six month subscription to Reading Eggs we also have access to MathSeeds.  It’s a fun math program set up much the same way that Reading Eggs is.


A fun thing that came up while we were reviewing are the homeschool parent guides that you can download from the parent dashboard. They are available for grades kindergarten, first, and second currently.  You can download or print them off.  It’s a cute little program showing what to use with your child for 36 weeks.  Covering all the important subjects it uses Reading Eggs and MathSeeds plus adding other subjects so you have a whole curriculum to use.  It’s amazing!  I am not using this as I already have a full curriculum that I’m using with all my kiddos together so this is not needed at this point in time.  I can see this being amazing for a new homeschool mom or one who hasn’t already planned out the year.

Other fun things offered are some fun printables that you can print out and work on away from the computer. These are called activity pages and located under bonus materials.  We had access to maps and coloring pages.  

Our Thoughts

First off my kids love anything that involves them getting to use the computer.  It makes them feel all grown up I think.  So they were both very excited to get to try this out.  My four year old is doing a simple preschool curriculum and was greatly impressed that she was going to be allowed to do something on the computer.  She felt like big stuff let me tell you.  You could tell that by the fact that she insisted on wearing her princess costume and tiara in order to do her work.  Three days a week.  Yes, you read that right, three days a week she wore her princess dress to do her online reading games.

My son tried to hide his “coolness” about getting to do some online reading games but he too was very excited to get to do something on the computer that the other kids didn’t get to do.  I love that Reading Eggspress offers different reading level readers and makes it fun.  This guy can read he’s just not motivated to practice and get better at it.  It’s not a learning issue so much as a stubborn boy issue.  When my older son had this happening we found a book series he loved and he really took off.  This guy keeps stumping me and not wanting to find a series interesting but he’s absolutely loving reading online.  So we’re using this five days a week for approximately thirty minutes per day just to cement those reading skills. 


Reading Eggs*


Learn More

Want to learn more about all the different online reading games that your child can enjoy through the many levels of Reading Eggs?  Check out all the linked up reviews over on the Main Blog Post as well as find them on social media.  You can find them at facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest, and youtube.  Also try this out for 4 weeks FREE yourself by using this link before November 30, 2017.   I’m sure your kids would love to try out these online reading games!


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Math Lessons Online {Homeschool Review Crew}

Math Lessons Online

Homeschool Review Crew

We absolutely love CTCMath and their math lessons online.  As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we received a Family Membership and my kids couldn’t be happier! We’re also excited to let you know that homeschoolers who sign up with a membership before the end of November can get 60% off AND 6 free months.  Trust me when I say you’re going to love having those extra months.  If you’d like to try it out please do a FREE trial.  

Have you done math lessons online before?  I have resisted using the internet and computer as a regular part of our homeschool for years now because I just really enjoy pen and paper so much better.  But teaching math was becoming very time consuming and frustrating for some of my kids.  Because of this we came up with a compromise.  For all grades up to third grade I teach them and we use pen and paper math lessons.  For third grade math and higher we use math lessons online through CTCMath. 

About CTCMath

CTCMath offers a variety of math levels.  You can start out in kindergarten and go up to trigonometry.  For our review we’re using fifth and sixth this year with my 10 and 12 year olds.  We have not used anything prior to third grade but have used third and fourth grade as well.  I find that my kids go through these grades fairly quickly.  The videos are short and they often do more than one lesson per day.

Kindergarten through eighth grade are complete curriculums so I don’t have to worry about adding any other math in for my kids.  After eighth grade however, they consider it more of a supplement so you’re going to  want to make sure that you’re meeting the requirements for your state for your children after eighth grade.

Each child gets their own login so that they can independently get to their lessons and see what they have versus have not done for each section.  It moves them through things in a set order but they can skip around if they want.  We work through it in order just so nothing gets missed or skipped.  You as the parent also have a login where you can go in and see where each child is and how they have done with their lessons.

A fun feature that my kids love is the math facts game section.  It’s a lot of fun and helps them get practice with solving equations quickly.

Our Thoughts

My kids love that the videos are easy to understand and if you don’t get something you can watch again.  Plus they love the accent!  The videos are short so they don’t lose interest.  Math games make them feel like they’re having fun when they’re actually learning. I love that these videos truly do teach them how to do the problems.  I don’t have to spend a lot of time making sure they know how to do the problems or grading.  Not having to grade is really nice!

If you have to see before buying something make sure to use the free trial for this.  I can say that we love this program.  My kids beg to do math on Sundays even!  I also really really love how accommodating they are to large families.  If you have more than 4 kids you know that not all “family” memberships actually mean family.  I looked into other curriculum over the years who maxed out their family membership at five kiddos.  Ummm, what about those of us who have say double that??  CTCMath says no problem!  They have added all of my kids to my family membership with no added fees.  Just let them know if you have another child who needs to use the curriculum and they’re super nice to work with.

Learn More

Want to learn more about CTCMath?  Check out all the posts pinned on the Homeschool Review Crew main blog post.  You can also find CTCMath on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Pinterest, and YouTube.


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UnLock Math {Homeschool Review Crew}

UnLock Math

Homeschool Review Crew

Do you have kids who need to do math?  Kids who don’t like doing their math?  With our houseful of ten kids I have kids who love math and kids who hate math.  I have kids who love math in paper and pencil format and kids who love math on the computer.  A new math we were recently introduced to is called UnLock Math.  My son is a fifth/sixth grade level for math and so qualifies for the Unlock Pre-Algebra level.

UnLock Math

What is UnLock Math?

UnLock Math is an online math program that gives a “bite sized” approach to math.  Through only giving small bits of math and how to master them your child won’t be overwhelmed and therefore wanting to avoid math all together.  They offer Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry.

Through this program every time your child logs in they go to their own dashboard.  This is not just a google type page but a page that shows what they’ve done and what is up next.  It’s customized to their personal account.

Lessons are taught by an actual instructor through videos.  Your child moves at their own pace through videos and can access their next lesson through their dashboard.  All questions and exams are also online and graded through the program so that the parent does not have to do that either.  I know I love online math programs that make it easy for me.  Growing up I loved math.  I was good at math and went to math competitions.  But somehow teaching math is definitely not a strong point for me.


UnLock Pre-Algebra offers sixteen units to help your child gain a mastery of pre-algebra math.  The first five units are review of what they would have learned within the last year of math.  It’s just to make sure that they know what they need and have a deep understanding before moving them on.   Those building blocks need to be cemented in place so that the rest can build upon it.


UnLock Math Pre-Algebra

Among the units in this level many different topics are covered.  You can view them all by going to the UnLock Math website and looking at the UnLock Pre-Algebra section.  These sixteen units cover whole numbers, integers, variables and expressions, rational numbers, fractions, equations, inequalities, the coordinate plane, decimals, percent, polynomials, triangles, 2D geometry, 3D geometry, analyzing data, and finally probability and statistics.  Because the first several units are a review I can see someone flying through those.  Because my son loves math I have to put a limit on how many lessons he can do a day or he would finish a whole unit or two.

My son loves math.  He really does.  But he was really struggling with doing math in our old curriculum that was workbook style.  It included over half of the lesson being “old” stuff that he’d already learned and mastered.  This frustrated him.  He didn’t want to spend half his lesson doing reviews when he could be learning something new.  This led me to looking into both online math and math as mastery programs to help keep his love of math alive.  UnLock Math offers both.  It is an online program with mastery as the base of learning.

Learn More

Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out the main UnLock Math post.  On it you’ll find reviews of the pre-algebra level like this, the algebra 1, algebra 2, and geometry level as well.  You can also find UnLock Math on facebook, twitter, and pinterest


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer


Printable Homeschool Worksheets {Crew Review}

Printable Homeschool Worksheets

Homeschool Crew Review

Join me in exploring a new to us site!  I’ve been enjoying our last days before we hit our more structured school time with some printable homeschool worksheets and videos over on!  We received the Help Teaching Pro Subscription to review as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.


Printable Homeschool Worksheets {Crew Review}


We received a one year subscription to the online Help Teaching Pro Subscription from for the purposes of this review.  On this site you find worksheets and helpful teaching videos focused on math, English language arts, and science.  You can also make your own worksheets and tests through the site.

For this review we’re focusing on the younger grades(elementary) which works wonderfully for me as that’s all I currently have!  My oldest is only in fifth grade this year so we didn’t use anything about the sixth grade level on the site.  Each course is listed with a corresponding grade level so it’s easy to see what might fit for your student. The site does provide lessons/worksheets/etc for grades kindergarten through 12th though so if you have older children this will still work for you.


Primarily, we have been using the science section.  There are some great resources hidden in there.  When you login and head to lessons you’ll find a key to guide you to where the lesson is and what company has compiled it.  That’s the fun thing with this printable homeschool worksheets site.  They give you access to specific lessons that you can only access through their site plus lessons from other places like Khan Academy and YouTube.  We steered clear of anything YouTube just because you never know what those will lead to.

We started out doing six lessons in Biology.  These are between 15-30 minutes long for the lesson portion plus however long is needed to answer the worksheet questions.  There are also tests available to go with the lessons.  These particular Biology lessons are listed as third grade but my older children were able to do them as well as we had not studied these subjects yet.

We did not do a lot of the tests as I’m not a huge testing person.  The tests that we did do I approached more as a “review” than a test.  I have a few children who will get very anxious when they know it’s a test and then you have no idea what they really are remembering.  They can’t focus and take the test as a test.  Thus, why we do a lot of reviews around here.  Another great thing we use is having them teach the lesson to a younger sibling.  You will find now that even my three and five year olds have a passable knowledge of what we studied simply by being taught from the older siblings.

We explored Earth Science as well as that is what we are studying this school year along with Astronomy.  I’m looking forward to adding these in as we go along to supplement what our current curriculum is teaching.


Help Teaching Pro Subscription {}
We explored the math section a bit as well.  This I used more with my younger ones.  The ages for these are three, five, and six.  Grade wise I’d say we’ve got two preschoolers and an advanced kindergartner.  

In exploring the math section it is set up like the science in that you’re being told what grade the lesson will correspond with.  Again, there is a video to watch and then questions to answer.  For these children a lot of the questions I was asking them instead of them reading them.  

There are fewer lessons in the math section.  We exhausted the kindergarten level ones though we could watch them several more times without my kids complaining.  They really enjoyed being able to do “big kid school” and I love that I can give them review worksheets using the printable homeschool worksheets that go with the lessons.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about these printable homeschool worksheets and  Simply head to the Main Blog and check out all the reviews or find them on facebook, twitter, and pinterest


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

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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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!




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.  




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.




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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Online Math Supplement #hsreviews

Do you need a source of extra math practice for your children?  I know that my oldest boy has a love of math but he doesn’t always enjoy his workbook math as they tend to repeat things more than he wants(he gets bored).  We have tried some online math supplement programs before so I wasn’t sure what we’d think of our new venture.

Mathletics Online Math Review
With that in mind, we were excited to get to review an online math supplement from 3P Learning.  The program is called Mathletics and it’s according to my son “awesome” and a “super fun” way of practicing some math skills!  Mathletics offers math for children ages K-12 so there is something for everyone!

3P Learning was very generous to us.  We received a full year subscription for two children to Mathletics.  The two grades that we received are 3rd  and 1st.  My oldest boy started third grade math for this 2014-2015 school year and has really been enjoying his time with mathletics.  The other grade level we received was 1st grade math for one of my girls who struggles with school.  I wanted to compare both a gifted boy and a learning challenged girl to see what this program really had to offer.

You can access and sign up for a free trial of Mathletics as well.  They have a parent/student section for homeschoolers of a teachers/schools section for schools.  The free trial is for 10 days.  After that it is $59 per student per year with family discounts available.  Right now there is a discount which is why the $99 per student(normal price) has become $59 which is a great deal considering it is for a full 12 months or year of service.




Mathletics Online Math Review

Mathletics functions on a set of 7 Key Points.  These points describe what they are and how they work for your child.  They are:

  1. Engage:  Mathletics involves and engages your child.  They offer a reward system for correct answers and offers fun play things to help keep your child engaged as well.
  2. Target:  The program has over 1200 practice activities with pre and post testing to help your child learn.  This allows you to focus on or target an area they need more work on versus an area they totally get.  
  3. Diagnose:  Mathletic offers a diagnostic testing and then a report of that so that you can know exactly where your child is.  You know their strengths and weaknesses and can then work on those specifics to get them where they need to be.  One of my favorite points.
  4. Assess:  An assessment test can be assigned by you the parent for your child to do.  You then get the results and suggestions from Mathletics on how to improve the area for your child.
  5. Report:  The reports from Mathletics let you know what your child has done, how many times they had to redo a section before mastering it, and any areas that your child still hasn’t seemed to master.  I really love these reports!  They are detailed.  They are precise as well though so they can pinpoint the exacts.
  6. Fluency:  Mathletics helps your child to become fluent in math.  In all the different areas of math, each can be compared to a different language, so by the time your child is done with their area they can be fluent in many different components of math comparable to many different languages.
  7. Mobile:  They offer a mobile app that your child can use when you’re on the go as well.  We did not use this.  I do not have a lot of devises that could access this and my children have none so we used the computer for our entire learning.

Because I used this program with two totally different children who have different learning styles, I will have two slightly different opinions.  One opinion for how well it worked with my son and one for how well it worked with my daughter.  And then I’ll share an overall opinion of the online math supplement program.  I do want to emphasize here and probably will somewhere else that this is a supplement program.  It is not intended to be the only way of learning math for your child, but rather to help them further learn and understand something that has already been taught to them.

Okay!  So we’ve learned about Mathletics and how it works for you and your child.  That’s it right?  No!  You mean you want to learn more?  Okay then!  I’ll gladly oblige!  So let’s talk now about how we used the program.

Before starting the program each child makes an avatar for themselves.  This is such fun!  My son has to change his almost on a daily basis to give him a different shirt and background.  It’s pretty fun!  Then anytime they finish a lesson or login they can see themselves!

Online Math Supplement



Let’s start with the first grade program.  My daughter is still struggling with math in this area.  She has some developmental delays as well as learning delays that cause her to really struggle with school.  She also has RAD(reactive attachment disorder) that makes learning even from day to day to be an adventure for me as she may not remember what we learned the day before.  We started out with the first few lessons of the first grade stuff.  She did okay with the first one, not too bad with the second, but by the third she was overwhelmed.  That’s when I noticed this awesome little button.  It says something easier.  So you can go easier.  That helped a lot with this.  She started out doing simple things like making graphs by adding the amounts they told her.  


Mathletics grade 1


As you can see, it was pretty simple stuff, but as she mastered those simple ones it gave her the confidence to go and master more.  It let her decide that she COULD do this!  And on days that she was really having problems we could go back and redo those lessons.  There was no lock out or you have already done this so you can’t do it again.  The questions would change but still have the same concept.  This was wonderful for her.  

That being said.  There were some downsides to the program with her.  She does not get computers yet at all. She just could not figure out how to work the mouse or buttons on her own.  I had to sit with her anytime she did a lesson.  So, she only did 3 lessons per week.  Well 3 sessions per week.  Some weeks we did the same lesson at each session because she was still having troubles.  But this did require me to take the time to sit with her and explain to her and help her do each question.

So with a learning disabled child at that age or grade level, I have to say that while I really like the program and the way she learns with it, it would probably not be something I would purchase for her to use just because it would require me spending the same amount of time teaching her as a workbook would.  When I’m looking at online programs I am looking for something that is helpful that does not require any extra time from me.

I do think this is a wonderful program though!  And you’ll see just how much as we venture on to my son who is doing third grade math and really loving the program!

Patrick is 7 years old and working at a 3rd grade math level.  He does really well with his math and loves to use the Mathletics program to do it on his own!  He loves using the computer and calling me over to see that he finished a lesson and has increased his gold bar count.  The gold bars are given for finishing lessons correctly.  He has come across a few lessons that he has had to do over  a few times, but he still does them and does not stop until he receives that 100% correct mark.  Did I mention he’s a bit of a perfectionist too?  

He and I both enjoyed that when he finished a lesson it would tell him his score and what questions he missed.  At first he thought that meant when he redid the lesson that the questions would all be the same and it would be easy to just fix the ones he missed.  Wrong!  The questions change and shift so they are all new and he’s essentially doing 10 new problems on the same concept.

online math supplement



Using Mathletics for him is fun.  He also has really enjoyed doing the times tables which is something that he started learning in 2nd grade but hadn’t done a lot with.  There is a little fun spot that has Times Table Toons on the right hand side of our screen.  There you can listen to the disco cat teach you the rhyming times tables!  They learn from 1-12 which is wonderful!  I know when I was in school we learned the times tables by song too or rhyme and most of those are still sticking with me today!  In fact, when he listens and watches those(cute little cartoons too) most of the other children come to absorb the learning too.  I like that!


online math supplement


You can also see on the above shot that it shows his daily points, his points for the week and gold bars.   The Times Tables Toons is on the right near the bottom.  You can see the funky disco cat too!  He’s pretty fun to watch.  As you can tell there are fun things the kids can unlock and do gamewise after they have gotten so far with their problems.  Patrick has almost completed this section!  He loves getting to see the Perfect! Score on the ones he’s done and the empty spaces where he still has more to do.  You can go back and choose a different concept and then have under it several areas like this that he can do.  It definitely has enough that it should keep him busy for the full year!  

So as an overview.  This program to us is wonderful!  We love it!  My 3rd grader can do it entirely on his own and in fact does not want me or his siblings near him while he’s doing his math.  I let him choose how often he chooses the program.  There are some weeks he uses it 6 out of the 7 days!  Seriously he really likes it.  Our daughter did like the program but again it required more of my time to help her.  Math to her is still a one on one subject whether it’s online or in a book.  But she really enjoyed the extras that the online program gave her too.  It’s fun watching gold bars appear and getting Perfect! scores!  This program definitely makes learning fun and makes me want to check out the other programs that 3P Learning offers such as Spellodrome, IntoScience, and Reading Eggs.  I think my kids would really like them!

Think this sounds like something you’d like to use with your children?  It’s perfect for homeschool students or public school children so it’s an all around great program.  You can connect with them on facebook or twitter.   Make sure to head over to the Main TOS Crew Blog Post to learn more about Mathletics and the different grade levels specifically.  


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