Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: A+ Interactive Math

A+ Interactive Math

A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) offers multi-sensory math products for homeschool families as well as public and private school teachers and students.  Over the last several weeks we have had an opportunity to use and review the  Family Math Package. 

Family Math

The Family Math Package is a math curriculum for up to ten students.  Each registered student has access to grades 1-6th plus Pre-Algebra and Algebra.  You can change grade levels as needed.  You do not need to complete the all the topics in order, you can move around and choose to work in the areas you need.  When starting a lesson students watch a short muti-media video teaching the concept and then they go on to answer questions related to the topic.  There are also online worksheets you can complete for each lesson plus online quizzes and exams.  If you need more practice on a topic you can generate more online worksheets.  If you prefer having a hard copy workbook you have the ability to print out a PDF of the lessons to read along with the online lesson or to use instead of the online lesson.   You also have the ability to print out a worksheet for each topic if you would like extra practice and you also have the option to print out a PDF exam.  Answer keys are included for the printable worksheets and the exams.

Once you register you assign each of your students a user name and password to log in with.  Once your student logs in, they click on View/Launch my Family Package, then they have to click launch and a new window opens up.  When that windows opens they can see all of the topics on the left side of the screen.

They have to click on the + sign beside the topic and it open up the subtopics.

Next they click on the + beside the subtopic and it shows the lessons.

They click on the lesson they need and the multi-media video starts playing.

After they watch the lesson they can start the Interactive Q& A.

Immediate feedback is given to the student.  They know as soon as they hit submit if they have the answer right or wrong.  They can see a step by step solution for every problem.

Parents can view how their students are doing from the admin panel.

I have been using the Family Math Package over the last several weeks with my 5th and 6th grade boys.  They have been working on 1-2 lessons per day, 4 days a week.  I started them both at the beginning of their grade levels and we have been working our way through the topics.  The lessons are short and to the point.  There are not a ton of questions they have to answer after each lesson, but if your child needs more review you can do the online or printable worksheets.  Answers are explained if the child gets it wrong.  I like the ability to be able to print the workbook and review questions if your child works better on paper then they do on a computer.  I also like that you can switch grade levels and topics.

There are a lot of steps the student has to go through to get to their lesson.  I wish that was a bit more simplified.  They also have to mark each lesson as completed, the program does not do it automatically and it doesn't keep track of where they left off. The student has to remember which lesson they are on each time they log in. 

Members of The Crew also reviewed the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online  from A+ Interactive Math.  This program has you put your child in a target grade level and then the child takes a series of placement tests for each math area to gauge their skill level.  The program then creates a lesson plan for the student by targeting the areas they need to work on.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 30

 Monday morning dawned bright and early (4 am) with a sick child!  Thankfully it was short lived and a few hours later he was feeling better and appeared to have been something he ate that bothered him. It made for a long Monday!

Week 30 in our Homeschool

Bible:  We finished Vol 1 of Answers Books for Kids and completed 4 lessons in Vol 2.

Read Aloud: We finished Abraham Lincoln A New Birth of Freedom.  I really enjoy reading these YWAM biographies to the children.  They learn a lot from them and so do I!

History:  In America's Story Vol 2 we finished lesson 6 on The End of the Confederacy.

Music Appreciation: This week we finished lesson 8 on Mozart, symphony, and his symphony No. 40 in G Minor.

Geography:  This week we learned about Thailand.  We have completed all of the countries from Year 1 of Let's Go Geography.  The next two weeks are review weeks.

Science:  This week in science we finally had a chance to do our experiment on bones using a chicken wing bone (I had everything I needed in the science kit but the chicken wing!) We also finished up lesson 3 on the muscular system by completing our notebooking pages and doing an activity using the muscles in our hands.  We also added muscles to our person in our notebook.

Math: My review period of A+ Interactive Math is over.  Even though we have a year subscription we have opted not to continue with it.  Christian and Anthony went back to MLFLE and completed 4 lessons this week.  My hunt for math for them for next year continues.  Lily and Emmie did 4 lessons in MLFLE.

Language Arts:  The boys finished Because of Winn Dixie in Readers in Residence.  I found the movie for $5 on Amazon and we watched in Friday afternoon.  Lily completed week one of the green level of Homeschool Navigator.  This language arts curriculum uses a lot of picture books to go along with the lessons.  Unfortunately our library had none of the books Lily needed for month one.  They do give Youtube links in the curriculum so you can listen to the books read aloud if you do not have access to the books so that is what we did.  I was able to find a few of the books for the Red Level.  I am going to start that with Emmie tomorrow.  I ordered The Invention of Hugo Cabret for Christian and Anthony to read and complete the Interactive Book study in the Blue Level.  It will be here Tuesday.

Spelling/Reading:  Anthony and Christian completed Step 14 of AAS Level 5.  Emmie completed lessons 48 and 49 in AAR Level 1.

Other Activities this Week:

Tuesday the girls had gymnastics.

Wednesday we had Kids Club.

Thursday we had a 4 H meeting at the park on bees.

Friday we went to a high school boys' soccer game.  Nick was already there since he watched both boys and girls.  We went later to just the boys' game.  As we were walking in to the stadium, the people behind us said, "Are you a homeschool family too?"  It turned out that there son was a homeschooler on the opposing team.  I wonder what tipped them off to us being homeschoolers?  Was it the ginormous van we drive or the number of children (even though I was missing two)?

Saturday the girls had a ballet make-up.

Our chickens are doing great!  They have grown a lot over the last two weeks!

The children found some chalk and got busy drawing on the concrete Saturday right before the rain started.  After the rain started the youngest three grabbed their rubber boots and umbrellas and played outside for hours. 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, April 20, 2018

April Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

We had not had a 4 H meeting since February.  I felt really bad about skipping March, but we had other 4 H things going on and with our other activities and spring break I just could not squeeze it in.  I had planned on having one earlier in April but I wanted to meet at the park and the weather would not cooperate.  So we finally had our meeting yesterday.

Our meeting topic was bees.  I had been sent a kit with the supplies to build a bee house with some information on bees and beekeeping. To add to that I found a cute craft using clay pots to make a bee hive with a bee flying around it.  Another mom had enough beeswax and wicks left over from another project for each of the children to make beeswax tea candles.

It was a fun meeting and I am planning another one in a few weeks.  The children gave me several ideas of things they would like to do at future meetings and we will do as many of them as we can.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology


Science is one of my children's favorite subjects.  This school year we have had a really hard time with it.  The curriculum I chose was not a great fit for us, and it became a chore to get through our science lessons each week.  We were more then ready for a change and and were very excited to have an opportunity to review Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia.   For our review we received:

Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology Text
Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal
Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal
Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD

Anatomy & Physiology

Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology is part of the Young Explorer Series for elementary students.  It was written by Jeannie Fulbright with the help of Brooke Ryan, M.D.  The lessons are Bible based and use reading, narration, copywork, notebooking, and many hands on activities to help your student retain what they have learned.  There are 14 lessons in the book including:

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
The Skeletal System
The Muscular System
The Digestive and Renal Systems
Health and Nutrition
The Respiratory System
Life in the Blood
The Cardiovascular System
The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
The Nervous System Extended
Your Senses
The Integumentary System
The Lymphatic and Immune Systems
Growth and Development

The main component of the course is the 265 page hardcover textbook.  The book contains all of the readings that the student can read on their own, listen to someone read aloud, or listen along with the MP3 Audio CD.  The book contains many photographs, illustrations, and diagrams to help explain the readings.  The book also has the Try This activities, Experiments, What Do You Remember questions, Notebooking Activities, and Creation Confirmation sections.  There is no separate teacher book, everything you need to teach the course is contained in the text.  Answers to the What Do You Remember questions are in the back of the book.

The MP3 Audio CD contains the full text read aloud by Jeannie Fulbright with the exception of The Try This activities. After the section before the Try This is read she says now you are ready to do the Try This activity on page_ (whatever the page number is.)  Students can follow along in the textbook with the Audio CD or choose to listen after reading the text for a review.  Jeannie Fulbright has a very pleasant speaking voice and speaks very clearly and at a good pace. This does need to be played in something that is MP3 compatible.  We play ours on the computer.  The MP3 CD is a great bonus for homeschoolers who are learning on the go, homeschooling mamas whose voice needs a break, or for auditory learners that simply learn better by listening.

There are two different levels of notebooking journals that you can choose from to accompany your study.  The Junior Journals are for younger learners around grades K-3.  The Regular Journals are for older learners around grades 3-6.  Both of the journals are spiral bound and contain a suggested schedule to follow in the front of the book.  Both journals have many of the same activities such as the mini-books, places to record fascinating facts, activity documentation, copywork pages, diagrams, and More to Explore pages.  There are a few main differences between the Junior Journal and the Regular Journal.  The Junior Journal has 2 coloring pages for students to color while listening to the lesson being read.  The lines in the Junior Journal to write on are primary lines (the ones with 2 solid lines and a dotted line down the middle), and the copywork is a little shorter.  Also, the Junior Journals do not include the What Do You Remember questions and instead of a long vocabulary crossword it has shorter vocabulary activities.  When students need to complete a diagram in the journals, the Junior Journal has pointers pointing to the diagram and lines showing the number of letters needed with the first letter given.  These journals are a great compliment to the course and a wonderful way to keep everything you have learned in one place and look back at it whenever you want to look over what you have learned. 

I have been using Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology with my 1st ,3rd ,5th, and 6th graders.  When I found out I was chosen for this review, I decided to go ahead and order the science kit to go along with the curriculum so I could be sure I had all of the supplies I needed to do the experiments and I'm so glad I did!  Not having to worry about gathering supplies has made it much easier to just open and enjoy the curriculum.  We have been following the suggested schedule in the notebooking journal working 2 days per week.  At this pace a lesson takes around 2 weeks to complete.  We have completed lessons 1 and 2 and in the middle of lesson 3 on the muscular system.

I love how the text is written to the student in a way that is easy for them to read and understand. The course does a great job or presenting the information in a way that is not watered down while at the same time using examples that children can understand. I love that it is Bible based and shows many examples of creation confirmation throughout the book.  The course is very flexible.  You can choose to follow the suggested schedule or adjust it to suit your needs.  I think the suggested schedule is broken down very well giving a good amount of activities for each day. One of the things I love most about the is the hands on activities. They really help reinforce what the child has been learning and it is the children's favorite part!  We have already done a variety of fun activities!

We did this activity after learning about how Ancient Egyptians preserved bodies.  We were trying to figure out what would best preserve apple slices.

 In this activity we did an experiment with water to show how a magnifying glass works.

After learning about the parts of a cell and drawing one in our journals, we had an opportunity to make an Edible Cell.

When learning about the Skeletal system, there was an activity that asked you to make a man out of clay and have him stand up. Our clay man wouldn't stand up til we gave him some toothpick "bones."
 When learning about the skull and the fluid around the brain to give it protection we did an experiment using eggs. Our egg cracked without fluid to protect it.
 We measured height by measuring from fingertip to fingertip to show that we are about as tall as we are wide.
Alex wanted to try this too, but a regular tape measure was too short for him.  He is about 6ft 2.

We love the journals! The activities in the journals are great ways to reinforce and remember what has been learned throughout the lesson.  There are a variety of activities to suit different types of learners.  Here you can see some of the differences between the two journals.

Regular Journal

Junior Journal





 One thing I wanted to mention about the age range is that if you are using this with just young elementary students (under 3rd grade), you may want to go at a slower pace and spread it out a bit.  And I think this curriculum can be used with middle schoolers as well.  My 8th grader is learning about Human Anatomy in his online science course right now and completely by coincidence his lesson topics has lined up with ours.  He has learned more from listening to me read aloud from this text and watching and participating in some of the activities.

Using Exploring Creation With Anatomy and Physiology has breathed new life and excitement into our homeschool.  We will continue to use this over the next several weeks and pick it back up and finish it off in the fall.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!