31 Days of Easy to Use Homeschool Curriculum: A+ Tutorsoft Math

AplusTutorSoft Math Review and Discount

I don’t know about you guys, but math is one of those subjects that I just really don’t prefer to teach.  Give me a good history lesson any day, but math…ugh.  While it may not be fun to teach it is necessary, and also quite important!  I really want my children to have a good math foundation, but I don’t like them having to do alot of repetitive fluff.

Continuing on with our theme of 31 Days of Easy to Use Homeschool Curriculum, I have to tell you about an excellent math program that we use.  A+ Tutorsoft Math is a wonderful math curriculum that is so super easy to teach.  Seriously, the student just logs in and completes the lesson.  Even my 1st and 2nd graders are able to complete their lessons with minimal help from me.

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If you’re looking for a math curriculum that is easy to teach, but very meaty then you will definitely want to check out A+ Tutorsoft Math.  It is completely computer based.  You can use it online or install it onto your computer with a CD.  I love the fact that we can choose to print out the practice problems or complete them online.  My younger kiddos definitely prefer to do the problems online, but the older boys sometimes prefer to work theirs on paper.

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Another favorite time saver that I adore about A+ Tutorsoft is the fact that it keeps track of all the grades so all I have to do is print them out.  My 1st & second graders get a big kick out of the certificates they can print at the end of the lesson too.  It really gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Want to find out more about A+ Tutorsoft Math?  Check out their product online here.  You’ll be able to sign up for a 30 day free trial if you’d like.

A+ Tutorsoft October Special for WhenYouRiseUp Readers

I’m so excited to be able to offer a great deal on this wonderful program for you all.  Right now A+ Tutorsoft is running a great special where everything is on sale at an awesome price.  A+ Tutorsoft is also offering my readers an EXTRA 40% off the sale price of EVERYTHING except for printed books.  If you are thinking of using this curriculum you’ll definitely want to grab this deal.

Here are some of the prices you’ll get:

Monthly Access is on sale for $10 – use code RISEUP to get it for only $6.00

3 month Access is on sale for $25 – Use code RISEUP to get for only $15.

Yearly access is on sale for $99 – Use code RISEUP to get it for only $59.40.

Really you can’t beat that price for such a great math curriculum!

Shop the A+Tutorsoft Sale here.

This post contains affiliate links.

31 Days of Easy To Use Homeschool Curriculum: Christian Light Education

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Welcome to Day 2 of our 31 Days of Easy to Use Homeschool Curriculum Series!  During this series, I will talk about a variety of types of curriculum – from full curriculum with every subject to single subject curriculum.  Today I want to share one of my favorite offline, textbook based full curricula – Christian Light Education.

Christian Light Education has a full curriculum for Kindergarten through 12th grade.  They come in books called Light Units, and they are super easy to teach.  You just basically do the next thing.  For the older grades, if your kiddos are readers they can pretty much follow the units themselves.  We have used several of their products including the Language Arts, Math, and Bible.  Although they are so easy to teach they are VERY academically sound!  My kiddos have learned tons from them.

Check out Christian Light Education here.  You can see samples there and decide if it’s right for you.

You can see more of 31 Days to Easy to Use Homeschool Curriculum here:

Easy Homeschool Curriculum
 

Teach Them Diligently Convention Discount

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention 2014
Are you looking for the Best Homeschool Convention to attend next year?  I am SO excited to report that the Teach Them Diligently Convention has set their dates for 2014.  I am all signed up for Nashville, but I would LOVE to attend the National one in Washington D.C.!  Just think about this – thousands of homeschoolers gathering at the nation’s capital for encouragement, fellowship, and more!  Doesn’t that sound amazing!?!!  You’ll also find a Teach Them Diligently Conference in Spartanburg, SC and Dallas, TX.

We have been to Teach them Diligently for the past 2 years in a row and I will say that it is hands down the best homeschool conference ever.  Really!  We had such a great time in Nashville this year – You can see a video about our experience at the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention here.

Have I convinced you yet?  I hope so because if you go I promise you that you’ll be so blessed!  I’m so excited to be able to offer you a discount if you register by 10/6.  Teach Them Diligently Family Registration is only $45.

Go here to register for the Teach them Diligently Convention and use code TTD9OFF to get an extra $9 off  the price. That makes it only $36 for the entire family!!

31 Days of Easy to Use Homeschool Curriculum

Easy Homeschool Curriculum

One of the first questions I usually get when talking to someone about homeschooling is this:

“What Curriculum do you use?”

I know this sounds crazy, but I always find that to be a difficult question.  We use so many different things, and I have NEVER used just one curriculum.  Seriously, if I listed everything we use it might make a new or potentional homeschooler run for the hills.  I want to encourage people to homeschool, not discourage them.  So…Here’s my answer — We use several different things.  I usually list a couple of the main providers we use, and leave it at that.

However, If they are asking because they are looking for ideas on which curriculum to use I do LOVE to make suggestions based on a family’s circumstances.  Many new homeschoolers feel overwhelmed by all the choices.  First year homeschoolers, or even veteran homeschoolers looking for change, often are looking for curriculum that is easy to use but still academically effective.

That is where this series comes in.  I wanted to create a list of homeschool curriculum that is awesome and easy to use.  All of the curriculum on this list will meet the following criteria:

  • Easy Pick up and Go by the Parent – No hours of preparation needed.
  • Academically Effective
  • Self Taught if Possible – Parental oversight and involvement is critical in homeschooling, but many curriculum providers offer self taught courses that are excellent for older children.

I will be posting a new curriculum each day for the next 30 days.  Hope you Enjoy!

Christian Light Education Homeschool Curriculum

Day 1: Christian Light
Education

This Post is linked up at The Nester’s 31 Days Writing Challenge.

Homeschool Worldview Curriculum: Philosophy Adventure

Philosophy Adventure Homeschool Curriculum

Many of us have several different reasons for homeschooling our children.  I, myself, have a HUGE mental list of good reasons to homeschool.  One of the top five on that list is this – I homeschool my children in order to give them a Biblical Worldview within the context of their education.  I love the fact that we are able to integrate Biblical truths into science, math, history, and every other subject.

I pray that my children will grow to be able to live out the scripture from I Peter 3:15-16.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16

The Bible is absolutely the number one resource we use for teaching our children a Biblical worldview.  However, it’s always wonderful to find a curriculum to go alongside it and help enhance our studies.  This is where Philosophy Adventure comes in.

What is Philosophy Adventure?

According to Homeschool Adventure, Philosophy Adventure is a pre-socratic curriculum designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.

5 Things I Love about Philosophy Adventure:

Philosophy Adventure addresses tough subjects from a Biblical Worldview

Many people shy away from heavy philosophical questions such as Why is there death and suffering or Why am I here?  Philosophy Adventure addresses these questions and so many more head on.  Students are encouraged to think through the questions and be prepared to answer them from a Biblical worldview.  Our children will be released into the world before we know it, and they NEED to know how to answer difficult questions and defend their faith.

Philosophy Adventure is a valuable addition to our homeschool

Philosophy Adventure is not a busywork curriculum.  Students will learn valuable writing skills, thinking skills, speaking skills and so much more.  One of my favorite things about this curriculum is that it teaches your child to express himself well about subjects that many adults struggle with.

Philosophy Adventure’s Creator Homeschool Adventure Co. has a Heart for Missions

Did you know that Homeschool Adventure Co. gives 10% off all their proceeds to Wellspring.  Wellspring is a ministry created by one of my favorite apologists, Ravi Zacharias.

Philosophy Adventure includes awesome resources

The curriculum includes great hands on resources to increase learning with your student such as flash cards, timelines, and maps for geography work.

Philosophy Adventure is everything your 6th – 12th grade homeschooler needs for several subjects

This curriculum covers History & Geography, Logic, Vocabulary, Writing, Critical Thinking, as well as speaking skills for the year.  The writing portion of  Philosophy Adventure looks absolutely wonderful.  It takes the student from pre-writing all the way to a final product with excellent thought provoking checklists for them to follow as well as writing evaluation checklists.

In Summary

While Philosophy Adventure can be done completely independently by your student, I am really looking forward to going through it in the next year with my 6th grader.  I am very impressed by what I have seen, and am positive that I’ll get more from this course than I ever did from my college philosophy course I took many years ago.

Homeschool Adventure has an AWESOME giveaway going on right now!  Enter below to be eligible to win one of over $800 in prizes for your homeschool!

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Homeschool Convention Tips

Homeschool Convention Tips

We are just back from what has undeniably been our most favorite homeschool conference ever.  We have been to several conferences over the years, and The Teach Them Diligently Convention is one that just blesses my soul over and over again.  The founders have a true heart for discipleship and equipping homeschooling parents to reach their children for the Lord.

With that said, my little ones had a really good time as well.  Elijah, age 10, had a really cute idea to make a video during the conference.  Are you looking for some Homeschool Convention Tips? With a little help from my dear husband they made a hilarious video that still cracks me up every time I watch it.  Hope you enjoy!

 

Saving Memories Forever

I have always been intrigued by history.  Our favorite way to learn about history, in fact, is not from textbooks but from real, living books, biographies, autobiographies, and personal experiences.  Learning about the history of my family is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but have just not had or made the time to do it.  What better way to learn your family’s history than from the members of your family?

Saving Memories Forever is a great way to preserve those family memories so that they won’t be lost.  Saving Memories Forever  is also really easy to use.  Saving Memories Forever is a really cool app that allows you to interview family members and add pictures, recipes, photos, etc.  Here are some of my favorite things about Saving Memories Forever :

We had a great time playing around with the Saving Memories Forever  as a family, and I can’t wait to use it to interview my grandmother and parents. To get started preserving those memories be sure to check out Saving Memories Forever .

Spanish For You Curriculum Review

Are you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to teach Spanish in your homeschool?  You will want to check out Spanish For You!

Spanish For You is an excellent Spanish curriculum that teaches Spanish using a themed approach.  You choose the theme that you’d like to study.  You can choose from the following:

  • Viajes (Travels)
  • Fiestas (Celebrations)
  • Estaciones (Seasons)
Spanish For You creator Debbie Annett has designed Spanish For You so that you can choose to start with any themed unit.  Spanish for you is designed to be used with children in grades 3-8.  You can purchase the package you want per grade level OR purchase the entire package to be used with all of your kids in grasdes 3-8.  Each package comes with the following:
  • soft cover book or e-book 
  • 24-30 week lesson guide for the grades you need  (PDF download)
  • self-checking worksheets (PDF download)
  • audio files of entire book (includes bonus audio of native speaker of entire book) (MP3 download)
  • flashcard/activity pictures (PDF download)

Flashcards play a big role in the effectiveness of the Spanish For You curriculum.  Flashcards are a great way  to practice what you’re learning.  There are some great activity ideas on the Spanish For You site to help review the flashcards.

We had a chance to check out the Estacionies unit from Spanish For You.  Estaciones teaches Spanish using the theme Seasons.  You start by learning the days of the week, months of the year.  The curriculum then builds as it goes introducing new concepts with each lesson.  The students have plenty of opportunity to practice with fun learning games and activities.

There are also worksheets and audios that go along with each lesson to help the students practice what they are learning.  I got the e-book version of Spanish For You.  I really prefer e-books for certain types of curriculum especially since I like to use it with multiple kiddos.

Overall, I’d say that Spanish For You would make for a wonderful and affordable addition to your homeschool!

You can find out more about Spanish for You and see their curriculum pricing here.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Spanish For You in order to facilitate this review as part of the Homeschool Mosaics Review Team.  However, all opinions and stories in this review are mine.

 

The Croods Creators are No Young Earth Creationists – A Review

My kids have been wanting to go see the Croods ever since it first came out.  I hesitated because I really wasn’t sure how it would be presented.  I knew that it was going to be about early man, and expected it to be very evolutionary in content.

My expectations were exactly correct.

The Croods are what would be called “Cavemen”.  They lived in a cave to protect them from harm out in the real world.  They acted like animals, they had features like animals.  These “people” are a cross between animal and human.  Wonder where that idea came from?

What am I talking about?  ***WARNING SPOILERS*****

  • The father partially walking on his hands and feet
  • The hunting scene was very much like a National Geographic Video of a lion going after it’s prey.  Did I mention these are humans hunting prey?
  • The Baby?  Oh my..The baby was like a little wild animal that only growled and ran around on all fours.
  • Do you remember the scene in The Lion King where Simba and Nala were wrestling around with one another.  There was a very similar scene between 2 of the characters in The Croods, but between HUMANS, not lions.
  • They all had to sniff the new guy.
  • The point was made that they were NOT very intelligent.  The new guy who was more “evolved” was able to make fire, have innovative ideas, etc.  The “cavemen” were in awe of such things.
I could go on, but You get the idea, right?

According to the Bible this is not how early humans behaved.  Early Humans had livestock, played instruments, and even worked with Bronze and Iron.

Genesis 4:20-22 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.   His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

Remember Cain and Abel??  They were shepherd and farmer!

Genesis 4: 3-4 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,

That doesn’t sound to me like they were primitive half man half beasts with only partial intelligence!  Humans ARE NOT and NEVER WERE ANIMALS!!!  No, we were created in His image.

Human Beings – Are we animals Video

Do you really think that a loving God who created the entire universe with all of it’s intricacies isn’t intelligent?

So, should you take your kids to see The Croods?

I think that’s completely up to  you, but I’m glad I did.  Even with all the untruths it provided for some EXCELLENT learning conversation on the ride home.  My kids are decently equipped to handle such things, and it was really a great way to illustrate to them the evolutionary ideas so rampant in our society.

I also MUST mention – it was the very best 3D movie I’ve seen.  The effects were wonderful!

 

 

Get Organized with Apologia Ultimate Homeschool Planners

Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Ok, so I have a confession to make.  Here goes – I am one of the most disorganized people you will ever meet.

Yes, it’s true.

I often meet people who find out that I have 6 children and that we homeschool.  They automatically assume that I am like Michelle Duggar(Six kids, Twenty-one kids… What’s the difference, right?), and therefore am in control and uber organized.

Nope.  

Here’s the thing…due to my lack of organization skills I MUST have a plan for all things important.  Planning our meals, planning our cleaning schedules, planning our homeschool, planning field trips, etc is vital to keeping our household going.  Now this may sound a little strange.  After all, I just said I was disorganized, and if I have plans for things I must be organized, right?

NO…I have to plan BECAUSE I am unorganized.

Homeschooling, whether you have 1 kid or 10 kids, is a huge task.  There are about a million different curriculums (curricula?) you can choose from and different methodologies and philosophies and so on.  In our homeschool we don’t stick to just one curriculum or resource.  I do use curriculum, but I hardly ever follow the provider’s pre-made plans.  I also love to add in things like field trips, you tube videos, audios, games, extra books, and projects that greatly enrich our homeschool experience.

This is where it’s so important to have a good tool to use so that we can have a plan to fit everything in.  The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell is an excellent choice!  Everything you could possibly think of to plan your homeschool year has a place.  There’s a grid for the year at a glance, a place to set goals for your children, planning guides, monthly planner, weekly planner.  You can also find a spot to record Grades, Reading Lists, Activities and more.

One of the things I really love about The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell is the wisdom between the planner pages.  I had the privilege of hearing Debra Bell Speak last month at a retreat, and I was so blessed by her talk.  She has some really great advice in the planner about planning your student’s homeschool work for the year.  She explains exactly how to use the guide, but of course you can easily tweak it to fit your style.  I love the inspiring quotes on each page and the durability of the cover as well.

You’ll find some excellent teaching resources inside The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell as well.  Such as a Checklist for Rasing an Independent Learner or Motivating the Reluctant Learner.  There are tips for finding your child’s learning style as well as many other great ideas.

The thing about The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell is that it’s not just a planner for you.  It’s a whole system that’s designed to work for your entire family.  I also had a chance to check out the Ultimate Daily Planner for Students.  The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students is such a great resource to help your students become involved in their homeschool planning.  It includes an AWESOME resource called the Study Smart Student Toolkit which I know is going to be so valuable to us as a family.  My husband read over the Study Smart Student Toolkit, and loved it so much that he asked me to go through it with all of my kids.  Did I also mention that there is a scripture and presidential trivia listed on each day.  That’s a great way to get some extra knowledge into the minds of our children.

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell is a wonderful resource, and I would highly recommend it if you are a paper planner kinda person!  It’s reasonably priced at $29 and honestly is worth it if only for the wisdom and resources included.