Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween 2019

The kids ready to go to a fall festival.

We have really enjoyed attending fall festivals on Halloween night.  Tonight was no different.  The weather was a bit chilly but we really had a good time.  We didn't plan too far ahead with the kids costumes this year.  We quickly figured out over the weekend what we had and what everyone could be.  We spent less than $10 for the above - yay!  Hope you had a fun and festive evening.

 A was Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games.

She made a felt patch for her arm that read DISTRICT 12.  She already owned the bow!

 I purchased her earrings (the only purchase).

 We 3D printed the mockingjay pin and A spray painted it.  We are super impressed with how well it turned out.

 B was a unicorn.

 She wore a comfy hoodie with matching pants and a rainbow tail.

 C was a LEGO minifigure.

 D was a ladybug.

 E was Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty.

 P was a penguin.

And G was Bob the Tomato!

Calvert Homeschool Online Review

I have been curious about Calvert Homeschool for awhile so I was super excited when they offered their Calvert Homeschool Online program with access to all the courses to our family for six months.  With Calvert Homeschool Online we have access to over 45 courses spanning 3rd grade through 12th grade in the subjects of history, geography, language arts, math, and science.  We have access to this program for up to 3 students so B, C and D have been using it the last month.  I like that I can assign courses across the different grade levels to fit the kid's specific needs.  While you can definitely use this as your core homeschooling program we have been using it to supplement some of our courses.  B has been working on Science 800 and History and Geography 800, C has been working on Science 700 and D has been working on Spelling 500 and Science 500.

Setting up our account.  I added the kids and the courses I wanted them to take.

The kids can customize their online background for their classes.  Above you can see the background choices.  B chose the hummingbird.

C chose chess.

We have only been using this program for a short time but we are enjoying it.  There are several features of this program:  it's portable, contains interactive lessons (videos, audio files, games, interactive exercises, etc.) and has automated grading.  I think it's pretty awesome that you can log-in and use this program wherever you are, as long as you have Internet and a device to complete it on.  We have mostly used this program at home but I love having this option.

D using Calvert Homeschool at home on our desktop computer.

Calvert's lessons are laid out nicely and the kids enjoy the pictures and videos sprinkled throughout the courses.  Let me walk you through some examples.

I appreciate the course overviews.  Above you can see a portion of the overview for C's Science 700 course.

Above you can see some of the pictures that D viewed when working through her Science 500 course.

Above is a video talking about Protozoa.

D learning the parts of a microscope.

Video lesson on D's spelling words for the week.  I think this spelling course is a bit easy for her so I will most likely move her up to the next class.

Above B is learning about safety symbols in her Science 800 course.

B's video that she watched on laboratory safety.

I hope these examples give you a feel for this program.  I previously mentioned interactive exercises.  These are set up at the end of the lessons to test the student's retainment of the knowledge they just learned.

Above you can see that D was awarded a 100 on this exercise.

Here, D has an interactive exercise to drag and drop her spelling words into the correct column based on the long i or short i pronunciation in each word.

Here you can see my dashboard.

The parent board lets you set up courses for your students including customizable options for how they answer questions, what grade equals an A, and more.  You can control how many times your child can answer a question, only once, twice or even unlimited.  If you have three times selected and they miss an exercise question, they can then retry to get the answer correct up to three times.

Above you can see what I mean with custimization within the curiculum set up.

I put the kids in subjects that are geared for their grade level but I love that you can put your students in any of the classes.  This is great if they are behind in a subject or need more instruction, find the course that's right for them.  I will be moving D up in her spelling course!  I like that I can see the kids progress easily and that I have the option to create different reports - report cards, grade report or a daily work report.

I previously mentioned automated grading.  This program does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to grades.  It will grade everything that is multiple choice but there are times that you will have to grade or give input in the courses.  When the kids are asked to write paragraph answers, those are graded by me.  I think it would be awesome if this were 100% automated grading but I definitely appreciate that it is predominately graded by them.  If you are looking for an online program for homeschool classes, you will want to check out Calvert Homeschool.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Calvert Homeschool Online.

Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Channie's Dry Erase Flashcard For Alphabet & Number and Channie's Dry Erase Flashcard For Sight Words Review

We recently received two products from Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks.  Both F and G have been using Channie's Dry Erase Flashcard For Alphabet & Number (ages 4-6) and F has enjoyed Channie's Dry Erase Flashcard For Sight Words (ages 5-6).  These products are great for grades PreK-1st.

Both sets of our Dry Erase Flashcards

Channie's was created with the desire to help children gain confidence and handwriting instruction and improvement using a visual guide.  These flashcards create a guide for straighter writing to avoid landslide writing when children write.  This visual approach promotes self-correction.  If children see their writing veering outside the blocks, they become aware and self correct themselves as the cards help guide them to print straight and neat.  They also help teach proper spacing and proper letter/number size/and shape.

There are 26 double sided alphabet cards with words and pictures, one side has capital letters and are colored green while the other side has lowercase letters and are colored blue.

Capital Letter Alphabet Cards, you can see they have a green colored border.

 On the back of the capital letter alphabet cards are the corresponding lowercase letter cards with a blue colored border.

Both sets of alphabet cards have the exact same pictures and white and green shade blocks; they only differ with border color and capital letters vs lowercase letter.

Here you see F working on capital letter E.

F with his finished card.

F working on lowercase x.

F's completed card

There are 5 double sided number cards that are colored yellow.  The cards cover the numbers 0-9 and have pictures of the corresponding number of fish for each card.  Both the alphabet cards and number cards use green shade blocks to organize writing and help maintain positioning for letters and numbers and uniform sizing.

  Number cards

 Completed number 1 card

 G trying to make 3's but it's a little advanced for him.

Our Sight Words Flashcards

Channie's Dry Erase Flashcard For Sight Words help children learn to read and write their first 100 sight words.  Just like our Alphabet & Number cards, these cards are double sided.  There are six different colors represented and children can trace and practice writing all 100 of these words.  F loves writing the words and reading them.  He enjoys erasing them and rewriting them as well - he gets tons of practice.  I love that these cards help reinforce good handwriting and reading skills.

Writing the word Than

 Mom, please take a picture of my Please!

Someone is proud of their work.

These are a great resource for both boys and girls and would work well in special education, schools and homeschools as well.  Our cards are portable, easy to handle and allow for tons of practice as you erase the dry erase marker and begin again.  The cards are colorful and fun and a great educational tool to have.  I appreciate that they encourage learning and we are enjoying them in our own homeschool.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks including a few of their other products available.

Alphabet, Number & Sight Word Dry Erase, Neat Numbers & Page a Day 2 Didgit Multiplication. {Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math workbooks Reviews}

You can engage with Channie's on social media @:

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Cake and Soccer

Our Famous Chocolate Cake

Well, this is officially the end of my birthday week.  I have to say, it has been pretty joyous.  David and I were in charge of bringing dinner this week for our small group and we made our famous chocolate cake, yummy!  F's soccer season is almost over and I coached my last game yesterday (sniff, sniff).  He has one more game on Saturday but I will not be able to attend as I will be taking Miss D to her State Gymnastics Meet (yay for her).

F right before our last game.

 A closer view...

Hope you are having a great week!  Now to switch sports for a second, Go 'Stros!