Sunday, December 28, 2008

Math Mammoth

So, let's talk MATH!

As a homeschool Mom of two beautiful girls I have to tell you that deciding what curriculum to use and what methods to try is a lot of work! In fact sometimes it is my biggest worry. Is this working for my kids? Are they learning what they need to know? Well, being a member of the TOS Crew has opened up a lot of possibilities for our family and our curriculum choices. We have had the chance to try a lot of different items that are marketed to the Homeschool world.

One of them that we had the chance to try is MATH MAMMOTH! This curriculum was designed by a mother herself! Maria Miller! She wanted to design a Math Curriculum that was affordable for Homeschooling families that were trying to stretch each and every dollar! And she did a great job!

She has four different series of workbooks available! Each for different levels of learning. They are available as PDF downloads or CD.

We had the chance to try two of her Blue
Series books, Place Value 1 and Multiplication. The books are full of worksheets that you can print all or just what you want. If your child is struggling in a certain area you can print extra practice for them. The good thing about the pdf's is that you can print as many copies for your children as you need. You also have the choice to pick and choose the worksheet. My daughter hates to do skip counting and I have just about decided to move past it, so I didn't do those lessons. My choice and you have yours. lol For the cost of the books you really can not go wrong! No matter where you go, I don't think you can find the quality of worksheets and quantity either for the price.

The blue series covers grades 1-3 for the total download
price of $60.00! That is 1300 lessons! And 3 grades! Now, because Maria Miller wants this to be affordable for you she also will sell you the individual lessons, like the Place Value 1 that I had the chance to try for the low price of $3.00! Now we can handle that for sure!

The Multiplication lessons that she sent us is so neat. I haven't had the opportunity to actually use it yet, but I think my daughter will like it. The way that she explains multiplication makes so much sense. It really gets down on that second grader level and shows them how it works. And you can get this book in pdf for the price of $4.50! I think that is great! So you want to know what I think of Math Mammoth? I think it is great! You will not be disappointed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A new thing I learned how to do using Picasa from Google! They have lots of new features!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

My beautiful girls!

The Foster's

Kaylee at the "Foster Family" Christmas

Tori's first "Foster Family" Christmas!

Just wanted to share some beautiful picture's with everyone! We have had a good Christmas this year, despite all that is missing. We have really missed my father in law this Christmas and we all feel the loss. I feel that we created some great memories though with the children and grandchildren that will help us to make it through this year.

The girls have been so blessed with so much this year. I actually think they realize it too. Sometimes you think your children only think on the level of more and more, but I have seen a great attitude of love and thankfulness out of my girls this year. No, they are not perfect children! If they were their room would be clean! lol I am just blessed with good girls and so thankful for them. I am so thankful that they are thankful and appreciative of all God has blessed them with. I hope that we can always keep this attitude going in them.

It has been a good Christmas and we are all so Blessed of God! Thank you, Jesus for all you have done for us! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All About Spelling

Are you a good speller? Or has spelling always been a struggle for you? Maybe spell check is your best friend! What about your children? Are they following in your footsteps? How did you learn to spell? Get a list on Monday and have a test on Friday! That is how I learned and honestly, that is how I have been teaching my daughter! Well, All About Spelling is different! In fact it is so different that when we first tried it, my oldest daughter didn't like the change in our plans. She loves having a list and having her test on Friday! So we did go back and continue to do that! I don't want to stop her love for learning. I do love the All About Spelling way of doing things though and plan to continue using it in our school day. Just with a few adjustments to meet my families needs. Which is very workable!

This program not only helps your children to learn to spell, but also to learn to read better! My oldest is doing so much better with her reading since we have started All About Spelling!
The All About Spelling program teaches all the phonic sounds and using those sounds teaches your child how to spell. The books come with magnetic letter tiles and word cards. Ours had to be all cut out, but the company has decided to make yours perforated to make it so much easier! If you have more than one child that will be using the curriculum, you need to purchase additional sets of letter tiles and cards as they each need to have a set. Also a magnetic board is also helpful. We are currently using the side of our refrigerator, but as soon as I can I will be purchasing a magnetic board to use. It also comes with a CD-Rom to teach your children the correct sounds for each letter. I don't know about you, but this is so wonderful. I have always worried that I was not saying the sounds correctly as I taught my children. This eliminates the risk of that.
I have to tell you that I was so impressed with this program and the company itself. They have wonderful customer service and a friendly staff. You will not be disappointed with the program or the company! Now you will find lots of other things at All About Spelling too! Go to the website and check it out for yourself. Also if you would like to read other reviews of this item check out the TOS Homeschool Crew's reviews here!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Motherboard Books

Are you looking for a way to learn more about making web pages? Maybe your children are interested and you don't know where to start! Here is something for you! Phyllis Wheeler has created this step by step book to teach kids ages 8-12 how to make a web page! I think a lot of parents could also learn from this ebook. Here is the set up of the lessons......

Introduction for Parents
Lesson 1: An Interview
Lesson 2: Download and Set Up the Program
Lesson 3: Add Text
Lesson 4: Make a Table
Lesson 5: Add Photo
Lesson 6: From the Internet, Add Animations
Lesson 7: Browser Check, Backgrounds, Photos
Lesson 8: Sound
Lesson 9: Links
Lesson 10: Post Your Work
Appendix: How to Upload to the Internet

Right now Motherboard books is offering a discount on the ebook. The regular price is $24.99 and she is overing it for $19.99! So go and check out Motherboard Books site for all the great ebooks that they have!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Core Learning

Crayola Art Studio

We had the opportunity to use Crayola Art Studio from Core Learning! Now let me tell you how much my kids love this program. I have had to limit the amount of time using it. Of course anytime my oldest is on the computer she doesn't want to get off. lol This program though is exactly her speed. She loves art and being creative as well. She can sit and change it and do more over and over again. I have played with it as well and was very pleased with all that you can do with it. There are so many different mediums that you can use to create with. Such as paint, crayons, colored pencils and more. They have some of the neatest stamps to use and you can make all kinds of designs with those. The best thing about the program that I have found is that it can be saved as a jpg image and used in other programs. So, say you want to make a calendar for Grandpa you can let the kids create the art for each page. lol That is one thing that I plan on getting done soon. lol I will have to share pictures of that when we get it done. I feel that this would be an awesome program for anyone who has a little artistic desire. Even if you don't have kids, because you would actually get to use it. lol My kids see me on that program and automatically want to take over. lol So....... interested and want to know more....... well, I guess I could share! lol Oh, before I do, let me tell you that Core Learning has a lot of other programs as well. They have Math, Language and Health Curriculum's ! There are lots of neat things to consider on their site! So go and check it out for yourself! Oh one more thing the cost for the Art Studio is $24.95! Oh.... the website.... did I forget to tell you where????? Just kidding, here is the place to go .......

Friday, December 12, 2008



Let me tell you about a website that we recently had the opportunity to try. It is a learning website for educators. On the site you find that The Professor has done a lot of research about puppets and the effects that they have on how Children learn. Also you have access to a lot of puppet patterns to use to guide you children in puppet making. The Professor feels that puppets change the way that your children learn. Personally I am do not feel that this is a new concept. I have always known that kids learn while playing and see the effects of that in my children. My kids are puppet loving kids and they make up their own puppets all the time. Sometimes it is a paper bag puppet, sometimes it is a toilet paper cardboard puppet. Just the other day my little girl made one with an empty kool aid drink bottle. So kids can use that imagination any time and I just don't feel that it is a new concept. However, there may be some educators or parents out there that don't have imaginative children and they may need the benefit of such a site. So here you go..... The fee involved with the site is my biggest detour. You can get a 60 day trial subscription for $20.00 or a Group Subscription for $99.00 This is for one year of access! Now if you have a co-op or a group of school teachers that want to do this it might be worth it for you. I personally don't think it will ever be worth it for me or my family. There are just too many free things online. Go to the site and decide for yourself. One more thing I want to add, The Professor had stated to the TOS crew that he had decided to change the price for single families to just $20.00, but he has not changed that as of yet on his site.

Sale at Kids Wealth! Till December 17th

All the information for this post is from the KidsWealth website!

Enrich the Lives of the Children
You Love with the Perfect Christmas Gift that Never Wears Out, Gets Lost,
or Goes Out of Style

Purchase the Money Kit by December 17th
to get Free Shipping plus 4 More Special Bonuses:

The KidsWealth Money Kit
contains everything you need to help your kids develop success habits that are a foundation of financial success:

  • Account Wallets and Carrying Case: The five account wallets (angel, fun, learn, plan and wealth) and carrying case are made from durable vinyl and will last for years.

  • Parents Guide: Teaches you the simple 3-step program to set up the KidsWealth Money Kit (which takes only about 30 minutes to get started.)

  • Kid's Guide: The Kal & Pals characters teach your children what each Account Wallet is for and how to use them properly.

  • Kid's Pay Calendar with Kid's Pay Stickers: Allow kids to keep track of their Kid's Pay days.

  • Parent and Kids Agreement: An agreement between you and your kid saying that you'll both do your part to make the Program work.

  • 5 KidsWealth pencils, a calculator, and decorative Kal & Pals stickers

Bonus #1:
($7.95 value)

Order the KidsWealth Money Kit and I will include an 80+ page activity book. Each book is packed full of age-appropriate games, activities, account tracking and more to enhance the learning of the KidsWealth Program. We usually sell these for $7.95

  • Game Tracker - ages 4-6
    Kids learn about the Kal & Pals characters, strengthen their understanding of the five KidsWealth Accounts and concepts like monetary recognition and value, counting with coins and bills, and making and executing plans.

  • Activity Tracker - ages 7-9
    Kids review and learn the five KidsWealth Accounts. They also learn how to make change with bills and coins, how to solve monetary word problems, and make and execute plans using a decision-making model.

  • Money Tracker - ages 10-12
    Kids learn about the Kal & Pals characters, review and learn the five KidsWealth Accounts, learn percentage splitting and balance, decision-making, goal setting and executing a plan.
Bonus #2:
“Raising Money Smart Kids” eBook
($14.95 value)

I’ve learned a lot about how to raise money smart kids since I created the Money Kit for my two children… so I decided to write a book about it! The result is a 56 page eBook that I will email to everyone who purchases a Money Kit.

Bonus #3:

To make sure your family benefits as much as possible from the program I am also including a 60-minute parent training module that explains:

  • How to introduce the program to your kids.
  • How to engage your kids from the start.
  • How teaching money skills to your kids is easy and fun!
  • How to get the most from the KidsWealth Program for your family.

Bonus #4:
“Free FedEx Shipping”
($9.95 value)
Order by December 17th for guaranteed delivery by Christas Eve

Here is a breakdown of everything we are
jamming into this special Christmas offer:

KidsWealth Money Kit
80+ Page Activity Book
“Raising Money Smart Kids” ebook
Free FedEx Shipping
Parent Training

Retail Value

You pay only

Times Tales and Clean N' Flip

Times Tales
Trigger Memory Systems

Let me tell you a little about my oldest. She has had a desire for learning her multiplication tables for almost a year. She had gotten a Leapster for Christmas last year and one of the games had math problems. Multiplication was a higher level and no matter how many times I told her to use the lower levels with adding and subtracting she would go to the higher level of
multiplication. She actually did well, but would beg me to teach her multiplication. Well, I was trying to stay with the math curriculum that we currently are using and she isn't to that level yet. So we waited. When we got the Times Tales in the mail, I decided to try it with her and she got it! I plan to continue using it! Times Tales is set up to teach your children their times tables with little rhymes and stories. They have cute pictures to trigger the memory. It also comes with cards to change from the words and pictures to just the pictures and then just the multiplication problem. So the children can relate the story to the math fact. I remember as a child learning better with rhymes and silly stories to TRIGGER my memory! So this program really makes sense to me! I have already recommended it to others and plan to do more. The cost for the Times Tales Program is $29.95 For Just $5 more you can get a mini flip book for your children to use on their own. For more information go to the site here!

Clean N Flip Room Cleaning For Kids!

So are you tired of cleaning up after your children? Well, this may be your answer. Teach your children how to clean! Trigger Memory Systems has 3 Cleaning charts that you can purchase. One is Bedroom Cleaning for Kids, Zone Cleaning for Kids, and Laundry for Kids!

This looks like a great system for teaching your Kids to be responsible.
I plan to do this in the near future with my girls. I don't see the Laundry one happening for a while. Since my girls are only 5 and 7, but the Bedroom Cleaning will happen soon. I will let you know how that goes. I love the idea of the Zone Cleaning, but don't know if my girls are old enough to grasp the idea of it. That one may wait also.

My Mom growing up was always a list maker. She would make list of housework that needed done each day and as it was done it would be marked off the list. It always worked for her and I guess for us too, because she made us list too. lol

I feel that it is our responsiblity as parents to train our children. That includes cleaning our house and taking care of their space. So this will help in that area!

If you would like to know more you can visit Trigger Memory Systems website. You can get all three charts for a combined price of $29.95. You can also just purchase the Bedroom Cleaning Chart for $7.95 or you can get the Bedroom Cleaning and the Zone Cleaning for $22.95. So go and check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spears Art Studio K-8

Spears Art Studio Inc.

When I found out that I was going to get to review this Art Curriculum I was so excited! For one I love art and my kids respond to doing art above anything else. We received the K-8 CD-Rom in the mail and I started checking it out. There is so much information on the CD-Rom that I was a bit overwhelmed! The curriculum is set up as mo
nths of the school year starting with September through May. The lessons are very detailed, you are not just doing a art project with your kids, but basically a unit study of the subject. Some lessons are big and would require a large wall space to do as instructed in the lessons. Understanding though that this curriculum is used by more than just home school families. It is also used in Sunday Schools, Private Schools and VBS. So we just skipped over the lessons that seemed out of our reach. There is so many lessons that will work for our home school family that we will never miss those. Overall we are very pleased with the curriculum and plan on using it for the next several years.

That is one thing that I love this one CD-Rom will cover 9 years of art curriculum for my kids! Another thing I love is that it is Christian based! All kinds of scripture!

One problem with the CD-Rom is that a few of the pdf files don't print correctly, but once we contacted them they were glad to email us a corrected file. They are working on correcting any files that have been found to be faulty. Customer Service is A+!

So are you interested? Do you want to know the cost? The CD-Rom in pdf is $39.95 for the K-8 curriculum. You can also order the curriculum in hard copy which comes printed in black and white and put in a 3 ring binder. You also get the CD-Rom for the price of $134.95. Both these prices includes shipping and handling charges. This is a great value and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a great christian based art curriculum.
I am so honored to get to use it and to share it with you.

Want to know more go to the Spears Art Studio site and read more. Also, they have some free downloads for you to try it out before you buy it.

Just one more thing I want you to know.....

They also have a high school curriculum, I didn't review that one as my kids are not the right age. I do want you to know that it is available and you can check it out at the site!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Mother in Law

My Mother in Law

Last week when I went to see my Mother in law she had company already. Two of her nieces were there and they had a silly reindeer head band and wanted to take pictures. She really did not want to do it, but she did.