Friday, April 30, 2021

Archery Target

I'm thinking this was a great Christmas gift for A.  She has definitely put it to good use!  It has a few holes 🏹 🞋.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0 Review {Multiple Levels}

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

Teaching Textbooks Reviews

Teaching Textbooks recently released their Teaching Textbooks Math 4.0 and we couldn't be more excited with this upgrade!  We have been using Teaching Textbooks for the last 4 years in our homeschool.

E-A are currently enrolled in Grade 4 or Math 4, Grade 6 or Math 6, Algebra 1, Geometry and Pre-Calculus.

E showing her Math 4 Teaching Textbooks dashboard!
So, what exactly is Teaching Textbooks?  It is a comprehensive online math program that was written specifically for homeschoolers that offers courses from Grade 3 or Math 3 through Pre-Calculus.  Courses have interactive lectures for each lesson, step-by-step audiovisual solutions for every assigned problem, and a digital grade book with automated grading.  There are lots of student-friendly features that kids enjoy like the animated buddies and fun, background graphics.  My kids really enjoy it!
Above you can see my Parent Portal.

In the settings section, you can customize your settings for each student.  You can allow hints and second chances for assignments and/or quizzes.  You can also choose how many lessons students can complete per day.
Below I want to share a video from Teaching Textbooks that shows the step-by-step solution for one of the practice problems from Lesson 24 in Math 4 (E's Math).  I think this will help you get a feel for this program.

Likewise, I want to share one more video from Teaching Textbooks that shows the solution for problem 11 in Lesson 61 from B's Geometry course.

I'm familiar with Teaching Textbooks, so what's different with 4.0?

The biggest difference is the ability to access your math course through their app.  This app was designed to be used on a variety of options including mobile phones, Windows, MAC, Android and iOS.  This has been one of our biggest requests over the years and we are so excited to see it come to fruition!  Previously, the kids always did their Math via a desktop but now the kids prefer to use our iPad to complete their lessons.  I feel that a phone is too small but it could work, especially in a pinch.  A was the only one really still using our computer until recently as Pre-Calculus was one of the last courses to fully migrate over to the app.  During migration, the kids were having trouble using TT 4.0 on our desktop but I think it's because we have an older system.  I haven't investigated this fully as they are happy with the mobile transition 🙂.  Another feature is that TT 4.0 can be used offline now as 6 lessons at a time can be downloaded and then synced back with the account.  This feature is especially great if your Internet goes down.
D using the scratchpad feature.
Another new feature is the scratchpad.  This allows students to work through each problem on-screen without using any actual paper.  Another upgrade is that the grade book calculates a running course average, previously it just had lesson and quiz grades.  Students also have more features to choose from than previously - additional backgrounds, characters, prizes, etc.  There is an eBook with a search feature and better printing capabilities as well!

Above you can see E's buddies.  She is currently using the cute koala.

And here are a few of the many stickers she has earned working through her course.  She really enjoys collecting them.

Above you can see the eBooks we have access to.
Above is the Math 4 eBook and Answer Key.
And above is a sample of the eBook for Lesson 1.

For those new to TT, when you enroll you will have access to your digital course lessons for 12 months.  You will also have the ability to pause your course for up to 3 months in the manage courses section that does not count against your 12 months of enrollment.  Pause times need to be done in increments of at least 7 days (so you cannot pause for 3 days for example).  This pause option is great for vacations and breaks as needed.  You will see above that we have not utilized this feature this year as we haven't needed to (guess we are due for a vacation!).
You will have lifetime access to all your grade books, which I have found is great for record keeping!  Above you can see that I can click on A's current grade book for Pre-Calculus but can also pull up her previous grade books for Algebra 2 and Geometry.  I love this feature!
Above you can inside B's current grade book for Geometry.
Inside the grade book you can see her scores for all completed lessons and quizzes, what date she completed them and her overall current average which was a 95 when I took this screenshot.  I appreciate that I can view inside the lessons and see which problems she misses.  This can be super helpful if your student is really struggling.

If you are not sure which level to place your student in, there are placement tests available on their website that will help.  This is a great tool that I recommend using.  We placed both E (3rd grade) and C (8th grade) up a level.
So to sum in up, Teaching Textbooks 4.0 
  • allows students to work independently
  • has explanations to every solution and problem
  • automatic grading with a running course average
  • hints and second chance options available through the parent account
  • can be used offline as 6 lessons at a time can be downloaded and then synced back with the account
  • eBook has a search feature and better printing capabilities
  • large family discount available for those with 4-8 children (we have used this!)
  • free trial available
  • new buddies, stickers and backgrounds = kid friendly
I do want to note, that if your student finishes their course early, you will need to purchase the next level.  Course enrollment is for one level only for each student, not whatever they complete in 12 months.
If you are looking for an online math program, my kids recommend Teaching Textbooks!  We have been using it for years and the kids really enjoy it and they are loving the new upgrades.
Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Teaching Textbooks.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tiny Diamond Costume

This youngest of ours is such a ham.  G keeps us laughing and I'm so grateful for him!  Above you can see him posing on our stairs in his Tiny Diamond Trolls costume.  I'm loving his new, red shoes 🔥.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Dissection Kit for Exploring Creation with Biology Review (Biology Dissections)

Today I want to share with you the Dissection Kit that we have been using for Biology from Timberdoodle, the Dissection Kit for Exploring Creation with Biology distributed by Home Science Tools.

What's included in this kit?  This kit includes 4 preserved specimens (earthworm, crayfish, perch and frog - individually wrapped), frog dissection guide, dissecting pan and an advanced dissecting tool set.  Everything is reusable except the specimens themselves.

There are a few common household items that I would recommend having that don't come in this kit such as a magnifying glass, rubber gloves, science notebook, etc. that we already had on hand.

How we used it?  I actually ended up getting a second set of specimens so that I could have dissection days with both A and B.  B is currently taking Biology and A finished it a few years ago (I thought it would be great for her to have even more experience with dissections).  We spent one afternoon dissecting both the earthworm and crayfish and a second afternoon dissecting both the perch and frog.

{1st Afternoon}

B's earthworm specimen

B studying her earthworm prior to dissection.

Starting the earthworm dissection.

A look inside our earthworms.
About to start our crayfish dissection.

B's Crayfish specimen

Starting the dissection

A great view of the gills.

A close-up look at a crayfish gill.

Studying the inside of the crayfish.

A look inside...
{2nd Afternoon}
About to start our perch dissection.

B's specimen was quite large.

A's was smaller.  Above she is pointing to the lateral line on her fish.

B cutting into her perch.

A good look at the gills.

Finding all the organs inside our perch.

The probe is a great tool for identifying various organs.

Moving onto our frog dissections.

Once again B's specimen was larger than A's specimen.

Examining inside the mouth.

After pinning down the front legs, the girls began cutting open their frogs.

Inside A's frog

We were surprised how large the stomach was so we decided to see what the frog's last meal was since it had eaten recently before it died.

Cutting open the stomach

We found 3 June bugs and 1 fly!

Inside B's frog.

We cut open the stomach in our second specimen but it was fairly small and didn't really have anything in it.

We did end up finding quite a few eggs in B's specimen so we know it is a female.
If you can't tell, this kit helps make dissections super convenient and easy to do at home!  It's such a great way for students to explore and learn.  Of course, safety should be used at all times as the dissecting tool set contains a scalpel, blades, scissors, probe, etc.

Our Dissection Kit can be used with Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology 3rd edition (or 2nd edition) and if you can't tell we highly recommend it!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received this dissection kit at a discount in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.