LIFEPAC ~ History/Geography Review

I have been going to homeschool conventions for many years now, and have been homeschooling since my 16 year old was in PreK. This past spring I spent some time at a booth I had mostly ignored all of these years and really dove into looking at Alpha Omega’s LIFEPAC curriculum. This was sparked by a need to switch a few things up, especially for one of my kids. I spent hours at the booth browsing and asking questions. In the end I have decided to give LIFEPAC a try for a few subjects!

Alpha Omega LIFEPAC History and Geography Review

In addition to being personally interested, I was contacted by Alpha Omega to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a subject from LIFEPAC – one branch of their homeschool curriculum options. This worked out very well, as you can imagine, and I said yes! They sent me History/Geography for my 4th grader and 7th grader!

My daughter is going into 4th and my son is going into 7th. I wanted to be sure we liked the format of LIFEPAC before I bought the other subjects I am interested in, so we completed the first unit to give us a feel for it.

What is LIFEPAC?

Lifepac ad

LIFEPAC is a Christian homeschool curriculum for grades K-12. Designed by a team of accomplished educators with years of classroom experience, LIFEPAC is based on the principle of mastery learning. Students master content in each unit worktext before progressing to the next. Ten LIFEPAC worktexts provide one full year of learning content per grade level; individual worktexts can also be used as supplemental material. In addition, you can mix and match subjects or grade level worktexts to personalize your student’s curriculum content. Individual worktexts take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

LIFEPAC features

What SHE Thought…

I must be honest, when I first showed it to my daughter {rising 4th grader}, she took one look and frowned. Not a fan. I encouraged her to give it a chance and no joke – by the end of the first lesson, she loved it. I did it with her, although eventually it may become a subject she can do on her own.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)

After our first lesson I asked her why she decided she did actually like it. She told me that when she first saw all of the words and blanks she thought it would be boring but once we started reading she actually enjoyed learning what we read about. I think she liked that we did it together too, which is fine with me. I want to make it fun for her instead of just another workbook. The workbook gives me a clear guide to spring from!

Want a peek inside of the workbook she is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What HE Thought…

It was my rising 7th grader that inspired my initial investigation into LIFEPAC. There are a few reasons for this, all centered around his gymnastics. He trains 6 days a week, many hours per day. Homeschooling has allowed him to pursue his dream but I know that the hours we actually spend doing school are only going to increase as he gets older. I wanted a curriculum that would be easy for him to take to the gym with him – the magazine format of LIFEPAC intrigued me. I didn’t want him having to carry several big textbooks just to get one simple assignment done during his break.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (3 of 3)

He doesn’t really care what publisher I choose, he just wants to get his schoolwork done and get to gymnastics. As we worked through the first unit of LIFEPAC History/Geography he didn’t love or hate it. He did like the smaller book and said that will be much easier when he needs to take it to the gym {or anywhere}.

Want a peek inside of the workbook he is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What MOM Thinks…

I love…

  • small books
  • simple planning
  • text and worksheets all in one
  • two subjects combined in one {history and geography}
  • Christian worldview

I love that the year is divided into 10 smaller books, this just works with my brain. I adore this concept. I made a planning sheet and was able to duplicate it for each kid since the layout is the same! I am all for simple planning. I love that we don’t have a separate textbook and workbook – the idea of them being all in one is genius. The only downside of this is not being able to reuse it, but at this point I see the value in keeping it all together like this and just making the investment.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)-2

In the beginning of our homeschool journey I thought I would reuse curriculum with each younger child but now I see how different my kids are. The Apologia science is a great example. We loved it for my oldest but know it is not a good fit for the next kid. So it isn’t getting reused anyway! At this point in our homeschooling, simple is KEY. The worktext format is perfect for us!

The fact that this particular subject covers history and geography from a Christian worldview is a great fit for us. I love that these two subjects are woven together and look forward to diving in deeper with my kids.

If you have any questions about our experience with LIFEPAC, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer! If you’d like to purchase LIFEPAC for your homeschool you can do that here!

Lifepac ad



Teaching Textbooks Math Online Subscription Review

Teaching Textbooks Math 3.0 Online Subscription Review

{disclaimer ~ TT is a blog sponsor and I was provided online subscriptions for this review}

As if I didn’t love Teaching Textbooks Math enough already – now there is an ONLINE version! If you aren’t familiar with Teaching Textbooks Math, you might want to begin by reading my post sharing why we love TT, and possibly my review of Level 3 here. Then come back to this post to read about the new 3.0 ONLINE version!

Teaching Textbooks 3.0 is the all-new online subscription, which means no more discs! The 3.0 is a per student online subscription that lasts for a full year (12 months). This is great news to many homeschool families, ours included! If you are someone who still loves the 2.0 version, with the discs and physical books – no worries, those will still be available too!

All academic content in this new online version is exactly the same. In the new version you have an online e-book textbook {which can be used online or can e printed}, but this book is the same material as the printed manuals, so if you have a physical manual for a certain level, you can still use it with the online version!

The Parent Home Page is fabulous, allowing you to access all of your students in one place. This is also where you will find the answer key and the ability to change the hints and second chance rules. All grades are stored permanently on TT servers and can be accessed anytime from anywhere (even after a subscription has ended). Below you can see a screenshot of the Parent Home Page.

TT 3.0 Parent Homepage

My kids absolutely love the new buddies. As a mom, I don’t really get the excitement, but man, they love this!

Teaching Textbooks Math 3.0 (7 of 1)

I must admit, the little worms that tell jokes after he gets three problems correct have me laughing along. Here’s a video clip showing one of the jokes from the buddies {this is level 7, the buddies are different for each level}.

TT 3.0 FAQ

How long is a subscription?

12 months! This is fabulous – especially if you homeschool year-round, or have a student that take a bit longer with a level.

Can I pause a subscription?

Yes! You are allowed 3 months’ pause time on each subscription (to allow for things such as extended holidays, vacations, illnesses, etc.). With or without using the pause feature, students can easily finish the course within this 12-month period simply by doing 1 lesson per day, but if extra time is needed TT can make allowances.

How much does it cost?

See pricing information here {scroll down to see each level – they are priced differently}.

Is there a large family discount?

Yes! If you have 4 to 8 children, the price is $197.08, which is a flat price. That means your per student price goes down as the number of students increases. With 4 students it’s $49.27 per student. With 8 students it’s only $24.64 per student per year! Those of you with larger families will really benefit from this!

Can it be used on a tablet or phone?

Yes! Read more about that here!

Why I Prefer 3.0 over 2.0

In closing, I want to share why I prefer this version {online} over the 2.0 {disc} version. I was very excited to try it but love it for reasons I hadn’t actually thought of until I got started.

Multiple tabs can be open at one time which greatly benefits my ability to help one of my kids FROM my desk rather than having to get up and go to each student. I am often working while my kids do Teaching Textbooks but occasionally they will need help, so I am usually in the schoolroom working on my computer so I am available if anything comes up. This is no SO simple! I have two TT tabs open on my computer – the  the eBook textbook and the actual main interface my child is doing her/his lesson on.

TT Math 4 Lesson 3.0 TT Math 4 Book 3.0

That way I can quickly jump to whatever I need to help without even having to leave my computer! Math help goes much faster now! My child can be logged in on a different computer at the same time I am logged in. I love this!

Another benefit for us is the simplicity of taking it with us. We travel a lot for gymnastics especially and taking math was something we could never do. Now we can! I can’t say my kids will be thrilled about this, but I sure am!

I love the fact that my kids can log in on any computer. My kids work on our old {mostly worn-out} computers and if one acts up and gives trouble, I can easily have them jump to a different computer, even just for that day. With the disc version, each child was stuck to one specific computer since the gradebook was stored there. It could be moved entirely to a different computer, but not back on a frequent basis.

The cost is simply better. Yes, TT discs have a high resale value, but honestly I am not a re-seller. For me, and I am sure many of you, simply paying less to begin with is a better idea. This version also takes up less space in your home – as in NO SPACE. I am a bit of a homeschool curriculum hoarder so having one less set of discs/books on the shelf is a bonus. See pricing info here.


More Teaching Textbooks on my blog:

Teaching Textbooks Math 3 Review Teaching Textbooks Math Checklists P We Love Teaching Textbooks Math

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Fish is Fish Ivy Kids Kit Review

Fish is Fish ivy Kids Kit Review

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Ivy Kids Kits rock! We have been reviewing kits for a long time now and the boxes never disappoint!

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent the Fish is Fish kit for this review!

Ivy Kids (1 of 4)

This kit includes:

        • The book Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni: A sweet story about two best friends, a fish and a tadpole that are inseparable until the tadpole starts to change into a frog.  
        • Fish is Fish: Paint the flexible wooden fish then use it for pretend play or as a decoration.
        • Frog on a Lily Pad Craft: Assemble the foam pieces to create a frog on a lily pad. Then place the lily pad on some water and watch it float. 
        • Frog Life Cycle: Explore realistic figures to learn about the life cycle of a frog. Then cut out the cards on the board and sequence the difference stages of the life cycle. 
        • Clay Model of the Frog Life Cycle: After learning about the life cycle of a frog, use the clay to make models of the different stages of the life cycle: eggs, tadpole, froglet, and adult frog. After the clay has air dried paint the different clay figures.
        • Frog and Fish Pond: Create your ponds by painting the white cardboard circle with water, land, plants, rocks etc. Once the paint has dried, you can add the frog and fish figures to the pond. You can also add the clay figures you made from the “Clay Model of the Frog Life Cycle” activity.
        • Frog Life Cycle Sticker Scene: Decorate a pond with stickers to show all the different stages of the frog life cycle. The stickers include frogs, froglets, tadpoles, eggs, lily pads, and flies. The stickers are repositionable to allow for children to create different pond scenes.
        • Grow Your Own Lily Pads with Lotus Seeds: Lotuses are plants that grow in ponds. The leaf of the lotus plant floats at the top of the water and the flower rises above the water. Simply drop the seeds in the bowl and add water. Within 2 weeks, roots and sprouts will emerge. For extra fun, add a toy frog and/or fish to the bowl to create a mini pond. 
        • Frog and Fish Life Cycles: Learn fun and interesting facts about the life cycles of fish and frogs. 
        • Frog and Fish Venn Diagram: In the story, we learn that there are similarities and differences between fish and frogs. Use a Venn diagram to sort fact cards about fish and frogs. What facts to fish and frogs have in common? 
        • Imagining the World: In the story, the fish imagines what animals and people in the outside world look like. Paint a picture of what the fish imagines in its mind about the outside world, then write about your idea.
        • Letter Jump – Letters: Where will the frog land? Push down on the tail of the frog to make the frog jump on to a letter lily pad. Then identify the letter, letter sound, and/or word that begins with that letter.
        • Letter Jump – Reading: Line the cards up to form a word. Have your child move the frog from lily pad to lily pad to sound out the word. 
        • Frog vs. Fish: One player will be the fish and one player will be the frog. Players take turn rolling the dice and cover corresponding number spaces on the board. The first player to cover all 6 spaces in one of his or her rows wins the game.
        • Spots on a Frog: Roll the dice and place that number of green gems on the frog. Older players can determine whether that number of spots on a frog would be odd or even. Younger players can just play this as a simple counting game.

        Your Kit includes a guide for each activity to help promote your child’s learning while you play together.

        Ivy Kids (4 of 4)

Some Activities From Our Box…

This was a very fun box, filled with many activities focusing on the life cycle of a fish and a frog. My daughter loves animals so this was a perfect fit!

Ivy Kids (9 of 3)

She absolutely loved making her own model of the life cycle set that came with the kit.

Ivy Kids (2 of 3)

Stickers are a big hit with her also, so the sticker scene was fun too!

Ivy Kids (1 of 3)

Creating her own pond, was one of her favorites from this box. She is very artistic and put a lot of thought into this activity.

Ivy Kids (3 of 4)

Crafts are always enjoyed by my daughter! She loved the wooden fish included with the kit, it wiggles! The foam frog craft is adorable!

Ivy Kids (7 of 3)

Ivy Kids (2 of 4)

Her creativity popped with the writing/drawing activity. We recently got chickens, so of course her fish dreamed of being a chicken!

Ivy Kids (7 of 1)

She always enjoys the games, I think it’s the quality time aspect of them. She loves interacting and spending quality time with people she loves, so the games are perfect for this! This was a fun game, allowing her to review her basic addition facts – never too old for that!

Ivy Kids (3 of 3)

The Venn diagram was a great review of this concept!

Ivy Kids (8 of 3)

  

Not everything from this kit is pictured, she enjoyed more of it and is still enjoying some of it!

You can buy this kit here!

We also loved our other Ivy Kids Kits, click on the images below to take a peek inside of each kit we have loved!

A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie[1]  Over-in-the-Ocean-Unit-Study-with-Iv[2]Mrs.-McTats-and-Her-Houseful-of-Cats[1]  Dog's Colorful Day Ivy Kids Kit Review[3]  Rainforest  Unit Study with Ivy Kids KitsLadybug Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits  Three Snow Bears Ivy Kids Kit

20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

Use code: IVY20

A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!



Enhance Your Classroom with Study.com

Study.com Review

{disclaimer ~ This post is sponsored by Study.com and I was provided access to Study.com for this review. All opinions are mine}

Are you a teacher? Most of my readers are! Many of you are homeschool teachers, and many of your are classroom teachers in a school. I am excited to share a resource I was introduced to recently that could benefit both kinds of teachers – Study.com!

For those of you who are classroom teachers, Study.com allows you to:

Study.com for teachers

See why one classroom teacher loves Study.Com…

   

If you are a classroom teacher, they have great Teacher Certification resources, be sure to take a peek at these:

     

As a former classroom teacher, this site blew me away, I wish it was something I had access to when I was teaching in the classroom! Now, being a homeschool teacher, the benefits are different but equally as exciting!

The first way I searched to see how this resources could supplement our homeschool was with my son’s 10th grade English course! We are studying Jane Eyre and various short stories right now and I was thrilled to find resources for all of theses on Study.com! Jane Eyre has been the most difficult for us {mostly because he doesn’t enjoy the story}, so this was exceptionally helpful to both of us! Specifically, we are using the Jane Eyre Study Guide.

Jane Eyre Study Guide

I was particularly interested in the first chapter of the study guide, and found it very helpful.

Jane Eyre Chapters

You are able to see much of what is included even without a Study.com account. There are video lessons, written transcripts of the video lessons, worksheets, quizzes and more. I am seriously blown away!

We are currently going through some of the Jane Eyre Study Guide lessons together to deepen our understanding of this book.

In the screenshot below you can see the first three lessons in chapter 1.

Jane Eyre Chapter 1

After each short lesson, you take a 5 question quiz. These are very helpful, and Study.com records your progress automatically.

A VERY cool feature, is the assignment feature. You can set up a classroom of students and assign lessons to the entire class or an individual student. You can then see the results on your dashboard as a teacher. Since I have one student using this currently, I set up my class just for him, below you can see a screenshot of the assignment screen.

Jane Eyre assignments

This feature is very simple to set up and Study.com does a great job explaining how to do it.

There’s an APP too!

Yes, there’s a Study.com app that can be used on a phone or tablet, which makes learning on the go so easy! I tested out the app on both my iPhone and my iPad and it worked seamlessly on both!

In Summary…

It took me awhile to see the amazing value in Study.com and honestly I am still exploring. There is just SO much there, sometimes that causes me to ignore a fabulous resource. It is just too overwhelming. Thankfully, writing this review forced me to investigate deeply and I am happy to report that this is a tool I would like to continue using in my homeschool. Other areas I am currently exploring include:

Interested? Study.com has various plans to fit your needs and a free trial period so you can determine if it’s right for you. For teachers {homeschool or classroom} you should definitely look at the Teacher Plan, which includes unlimited virtual classrooms – meaning your students access the lessons you assign under that account.



Springee Balance Beam Review

Springee Balance Beam Review

{disclaimer – the balance beam was sent to us for review}

We were sent this awesome balance beam from Springee to review and I am just thrilled about it! You see, my daughter has recently become more interested in her gymnastics and is joining an AAU team soon. The timing couldn’t have been better!

When the package arrived, I could not believe how lightweight it was. I was hoping it would be, so she could move it around herself. I also loved that it folded in half so she could store it easily in her room.

Springee Balance Beam  (3 of 6)

It was love at first sight for her. I didn’t tell her it was coming, so it was a total surprise, and PINK! The joy was BIG people.

Springee Balance Beam  (4 of 6)

The balance beam is perfect for home use, and is very soft and sturdy. I was amazed with how firm, yet soft it was – does that make sense? It has these grippy things on the bottom also, to help it from sliding around.

Springee Balance Beam

The beam is 4” wide on top and 6” wide on bottom for extra stability. It is 9.5’ when unfolded and 4.9’ when folded.

Springee Balance Beam  (2 of 6) Springee Balance Beam  (7 of 6)

This beam is great for all ages and is SUCH a great tool for your home environment – even if your child isn’t a gymnast. I am a huge fan of toys and items that grow with my kids and thankfully this does! My daughter is currently 9 and this beam will support her through adulthood! It supports people up to 180 pounds while still feeling firm.

Springee Balance Beam  (5 of 6)

Springee has provided an awesome discount code for my readers! All you need to do is go here, fill out the form and they will send you a 25% off coupon code to use on Amazon!

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