Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
The above curriculum is a rather interesting and 'old' one. Rays Math on CD is put together by a company called Dollar Homeschool. On this CD is a collection of books now in PDF format which are a Math text book series from the 1800's. On looking at the initial amount of files I was overwhelmed, but then I began to read them and focused on just the first few books that were of use to me at this time in our homeschool journey.
I opened up the Welcome folder which explained how to work out where to start your child in the series and how to move from one book to the other and when. The 'Manual of Methods' book explained each method, how to teach the math and explaining why it is taught this way. On reading this I realized that most of the lessons are taught orally and using manipulative's like balls, buttons, sticks, marbles etc to teach the student the number concepts. A second teachers manual is called 'A Manual of Arithmetic' and presents in detail how to teach these different levels of Math.
The Student series begins with the book called Ray's Primary Arithmetic. I have used many pages from this manual as an alternative math curriculum on days when I did not want my son to do his written math. I had him march around the table reciting the answers to the quick math questions I was asking him. These were basic " What is 6 + 7", what is 7 + 6, what is 6 + 8, what is 8 + 6. The questions are set up like this in order to get the student to be able to learn the reverse equations and not just one directional. Basic addition and subtraction have improved amazingly in my son's math ability. He has had to think fast and as he is moving and not sitting still at a desk his brain has worked better. He is a fidget child. We will progress towards the multiplication level later in this year probably.
The set of books on CD is all in PDF format as I said before but when you open one book you can access all the others through the Bookmarks column on the left side. You can flip from one book to the other easily without having to go back and locate the individual file you need. That is convenient. There are 38 books in the series which is part of the Ecelectic Education Series but can be purchased separately for $59.00. The books on the CD range from Primary level all the way through to 12th Grade and include difficult topics like Algebra and even Bookkeeping. At the end of looking through what was on the CD there is a lot to read and absorb so I could not do all of that but I am impressed. You can find details of this set at the following link:
Friday, February 19, 2010
At the beginning of January I received a CD disk in the mail for a handwriting product. Whoa - I thought! My son does not like lots of writing at the best of times so what is going to say when he sees this to do every day for quite a few months.
I presented the idea to him one day and showed him that it is just a little bit a day and then on the 5th day you can do your best handwriting of the week. The "BJ Style Complete Program" CD of Handwriting is a supplemental handwriting skills program for 1st grade through senior high based on writings and quotes from America's founding fathers and presidents. "BJ" is similiar to BJU Press. Through the 4-5 weeks of exposure to these quotes of great men my son has realized that his handwriting can improve and it can be interesting and not boring copy work either. The producer of this product is called Zeezok Publishing or The Book Peddler.
I have included some samples of his handwriting when tracing and copying phrases from George Washington and John Adams. (picture on right side above.) After 4 weeks (we are now in the 4th quote week) his handwriting has improved somewhat and I am sure with continued perseverance on both of our parts, he will have neater and more presentable handwriting by the end of the year.
The student uses this program on a daily basis, tracing over the quote initially and then on Day 5 they are expected to write the quote on their own. The quotes can be printed out weekly or monthly whenever the parent has time to organize their students work. The Week 4 quote I would like to share with you.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people."
- John Adams
I think as he is writing these quotes he is thinking more about what is being said, especially if it is repeated. The student may learn these quotes like they learn Bible verses and then can give them at a recital for example.
This CD covers Grade 1 through senior level of school. The quotes will obviously differ in difficulty as the student is more advanced. Grade 1-2 have quotes that are reasonably short. Grade 3-4 students will learn cursive quotes from some of our nation's Chief Executives, as well as passages from speeches by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln and more. In 3rd -4th grade there are 108 skill-building lessons for practice three times per week for 36 weeks. Fifth graders will be writing longer passages with more content that are giving them a historical and interesting view of our past leaders. The CD's come at a cost of $39.95 for the complete program on CD (1st grade through Senior High), or individual grade level can be purchased on CD for $9.99 each.
Your beginning reader will delight in finding out what happens when…
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I know lots of my friends both in the USA and abroad are trying to change their eating habits since our beloved Brendon died. Buying a ticket to the above seminar will give you access to a bunch of audio information from at least 10 speakers and lots of freebies in articles or audios from the speaker's websites.
Here we go:
Recipes from Bulk Herb Store at http://www.bulkherbstore.com/
chocolate Icing/Fudge on a spoon
1 cup raw honey
3/4 cup coconut oil (Cold Pressed) melted
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional)
Peppermint extract or essential oil (to taste)
Stir ingredients well
Option 1: Use on top of a cake for icing
Option2: Grease pan with coconut oil and then fill with mixture. Chill for Fudge on a Spoon. Put it on a spoon and then eat when chilled.
Chocolate Moose Cookies/Moose Icing
1/3 cup raw coconut oil (do not melt oil)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw/regular honey- regular honey is runnier
1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend on high for 3 mins. Use fork to crush any remaining coconut oil clumps. Blend one minute more. Spoon on to cake or spoon small cookie drops onto wax paper and chill until firm.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Balls/Chocolate Energy Bar
2 cups coconut flakes (not sweetened)
1 cup Cocoa powder
1 cup raw honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 pinch of salt
Blend for 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and blend again for 1 minute. Roll into small balls. rollballs in coconut. Chill.
Energy Bars: Add 1/2 cup more coconut. Press until it is about 1/2 inch thick. chill. Cut into bars.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- adding, subtracting, multiplication and dividing of whole numbers
- adding and subtracting decimals
- multiplying and dividing decimals
Disk 2 of this set contains this information in word problem format:
- Adding and subtracting fractions
- multiplying and dividing fractions
- Percents, Part 1 and 2
- Ratio and Proportion
As you can see from the above I am sure this DVD can be used for review by a student from Grade 2 through to Grade 7. When the instructor is presenting the information on the screen he does not leave anything to chance but he is clear and repeats things once or twice to make sure he is understood. I like this in a teacher even though it annoyed my son who catches on to math very quickly. Your student will not get lost but might be waiting for the instructor to compete the question before he is finished explaining all the details.
On the website http://www.mathtutordvd.com/ there are other DVDs available for calculus, trigonometry, algebra and physics. The DVDs are priced at $26.99 currently and a companion worksheet CD is available for most of the courses for $24.99 each. The companion CD has plenty of practice problems for your students to work on that are presented in PDF format for immediate printing.
I copy this statement from their website to let you know how enthusiastic the instructor is about his product and why he teaches it:
"I personally get a thrill out of making seemingly complex topics suddenly easy to students. I have found over the years that the easy way to do this is to learn by working example problems, beginning with the easier ones and gradually progressing to the harder ones."
This tells me as a parent that he is wanting your student/child to succeed and therefore presenting the problems in every possible way to fully cover the subject and encourage understanding all the way through the problem is a plus in my book. I am not very wise at math and never have been but with help from Tutors like Jason Gibson my sons should be able to understand concepts that I can not clearly explain to them.
I do not like using computers and DVDs a lot for learning because I think boys need more hands on but have found success with this particular product in the case of my 8 year old kinesthetic learner. If you would like to read some more opinions and reviews from my fellow crew mates on this product please hop on over to the crew blog at this address:
The above review is my own personal opinion. I was sent this product as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew for 2009-10. I have not been paid for this review.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
My son loved to watch Dodi, Frisco, Carla and other characters dance across the screen finding their way to the respective homes or places on the keyboard. He also started to place his fingers on the correct keys with his arms/hands in the correct position after a few lessons. I liked to watch the enthusiasm on his face when he was accomplishing something.
With Kinderbach the child learns the sounds as well as how the notes look in printed music, and the parent does not even need to know how to read music in advance. I noticed that Daniel was identifying the keys on the keyboard faster than ever by the 10th lesson. He would also tell me what was a half note and a whole note once he knew them. He loved the reward at the end of a school day of playing the keyboard with the computer as his teacher!
There is a coloring book for each level of lessons. The onscreen teacher guides the child through the lesson step by step and there is nothing left to chance as to what to do next. This is definitely something that I think I will be focusing on using duirng my next year of teaching as it inspired my son so much.
The lessons are available online for a cost of $95.88 per year paid in advance which works out to be about $7.99 a month. If you can only afford a monthly subscription then 12 separate payments of $19.99 per month can be made during the year. An online subscriptions gives you access to all web lessons (240 sessions) as well as accompanying PDF coloring pages which are printed out before starting your lesson.
The alternative is to purchase DVD's Activity Packages of Level 1-6 either individually for $40.45 each or in a bundle of 2-3 levels for a variety of prices. A Level 1-6 DVD package sells for $202.88 currently. KinderBach does offer a free online trial of 2 free lessons before you decide to purchase any product from them. This gives you an opportunity to see if you and your child like learning this way. Their website is here : http://www.kinderbach.com/index.html for you to click through to and sign up for those free lessons.
The TOS Crew is opening up applications for the third season for those who are interested. Here is a link for you to click through to to read more about it.
I personally have benefited from being on the Crew as it has stretched me personally and in the homeschool arena of being a teacher of an elementary student and a preschooler. As a crew member I have access to learning from Moms and Dads who have been homeschooling for years and some who have just been at this a few years like myself. I have learned a lot about myself and what I can accomplish and that one day I will begin writing again too.
Please if you are interested in this journey click on through to the information page right here : http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/homeschool/Homeschool-Crew-2010.htm
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Facts First is a fun learning environment using real life situations that help to learn basic math facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The two practice games available on the site are using addition and multiplication.
- The addition game is shopping at Mathmart buying bread, milk and apples. The child practices two - 3 equations put on the screen in different orders or in the same order as before. The student answers the questions and depending on how quickly and accurately he/she answers you earn time for playing Arcade games after the lesson. The Mathmart screen is shown above in the picture on the left.
- The multiplication questions that are for testing on the site are definitely for an upper elementary child to practice on. They do involve the 12 times table. They are using an order of photographs/pictures for example, a certain number of copies of each picture resulting in a total order for a total amount.
- Playing at the arcade with the seconds earned during the practice of math equations is a good break from learning, although the facts just learned are used in the arcade time to reinforce the learning process. Above is a picture shown of one of the 4 choices of arcade to play around on. When I played around with it I got a 'find the difference' between the two pictures to use up my free play time.
The incorrect answers are corrected on screen and the student is given a second chance to do that equation again later in the lesson. There is a chart available at the end of playing or during a session to see what answers were incorrect, sometimes correct, always correct and sometimes hit and sometimes hit. This does help the parent to see where the student's weaknesses and strengths are.
I think this would be a good program to use for a child that is motivated by the reward to play the games. My son loved the practice sessions that are available online before you buy. He actually played it over and over again as he liked it so much.
I would like to ask you after reading this review to take a look at my other Crew mates reviews too as they have children in a wide range of ages who have been using the site for about 45 days or so. Here is the link to the page for Facts First at The Old Schoolhouse Crew : http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HomeschoolCrew/758356/
Factsfirst is being distributed by Saxon, but was created by Skills Tutor, a sister company to Saxon. This program will complement any primary math program, and was not created specifically to accompany Saxon Math. It comes at a cost of $49.95 for a whole family usage for one year. Here is a link to their website: http://www.factsfirst.com/login.jsp
I have received the free access to the Facts First website for 90 days due to being a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew for 2009/10. I have not been paid for this review and it is my own opinion of the product that I have written above.