Sunday, July 18, 2021


 New project...working on some little knitted trees for Christmas craft fairs! Cute, huh? :)

Friday, July 9, 2021

Summer rains

Summer rainstorms can be so soothing and almost mesmerizing...when you have nothing you need to do outdoors and when you are cozy and dry...on the other hand, when you're camping or working outdoors it is hard to be as appreciative! :) 
Thankful for a relaxing rain today.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021


 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Math. Homeschool families have so many different ways of teaching math to their students! There are so many different curricula and so many different ways of teaching and learning. It can be overwhelming to try to figure out what works well for your student! Last year I was able to review a program called CTC math and this year I got to try it out again--checking out a different level of coursework. CTC Math is a 12-month subscription to a huge lot of math lessons for different ages of students. 

This math program is something that every member of the family can use, learning math topics from kindergarten up through calculus! It is easy to use for both the parent and the students and is quite comprehensive on math topics.

 From kindergarten to calculus!

The lessons are easy to use--they consist of a teaching video (not too long--all of the ones I viewed are less than ten minutes)--the videos themselves are easy to follow, clearly taught, the speaking is slow and precise, and the lessons are easy to understand.

Each lesson also has questions for the student to answer--some are in an easy fill-in-the-blank type format and they are marked as correct or incorrect right away. In the upper calculus course they are in a different format where the student opens the worksheet, solves the problems, enters their solutions and receives the score and the solutions. If they get some incorrect, they are given the opportunity to re-try.

I really appreciate the fact that the student is allowed to see the solution, because if they got it incorrect, this is a huge help--also if they guessed and got it right ( not my recommendation!!) they will be able to see the proper way to solve the problem.

In the precalculus class students view the video then complete the questions and then there is the additional option to complete a worksheet--which is downloadable as a .pdf--this is great for students who like to work from a paper worksheet.

There is a really neat feature which allows this to be used with a device without a keyboard--check out the picture below to see how the keyboard pops up when the keyboard icon is clicked. This is a nice feature to be included!

From the parent side of things, the program is so easy to use as well. The parent can set lessons for the student which need to be completed or the student can work straight through the course. The parent can view the student's progress very easily--and they can also view how much work their student has done...and when they did it. Actually, a progress report is emailed to the parent weekly! This most recent email I received about my own work on the course shows nothing...we were on vacation :) But it will give you an idea of how the email reports work:

This is emailed weekly to the parent email.

Parents can also easily access their student's reports from their parent dashboard.

I definitely like this CTC Math program--it is so versatile and can be used by students of every age. It is a traditionally-taught math, which is the way I do math and the way I teach math. There are calculations as well as word problems--and the range of topics is extensive and complete. I do recommend this program and hope you will check it out! I'm actually recommending it to my college kiddo to keep his calculus skills strong over the summer--quick and easy to use!

To see more reviews of this thorough math program by CTC Math, please click on the link below and read other families' thoughts on this curriculum!

Online Homeschool Math with CTCMath

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Baggin' the Dragon by EdAlive -- my REVIEW

 Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Do your children like to play learning computer games? Some kids (and adults) get so involved in games that they happily run through review or learning activities without realizing how much learning or review they are doing. The game that I was able to review this past few weeks is called Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online and it is a math game produced by EdAlive.


Okay, first of all--let me address the terminology "maths." How have I made it this far in my life without realizing that people in the US call mathematics "math" and those elsewhere (England, Australia, etc) use the term "maths"! I guess it makes sense, as mathematics is a plural word...thus maths, I suppose! At any rate, that is just peripheral :) Read on to hear about this fun math/maths program!

The age recommendations for math game are from ages 5-15+. The range of math topic is enormous, including topics such as numeration, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, chance, patterns and algebra, data, measurement, and space and geometry. I also noticed questions which I would classify as reasoning, logic, direction, and more. They are primarily word problems, which, frankly I think are fun (I'm weird that way) but I know that many students are afraid of that type of problem, or if not "afraid" maybe they are not as confident in them.

The game itself is played like a roll-the-dice and move your marker, with the twist of not just moving directly around the game board but also aiming to capture swords, which are "courage"--as the entire premise of the game is to defeat the dragon (Baggin' the Dragon).

Other points are earned by answering math problems correctly, these are tabulated as "strength". At the end of the game (you can watch your progress as they tell you how many rounds are left) your courage and strength are added up and you will go fight the dragon.

I went ahead and played an entire game through to the ending because if I had young kids I would probably be concerned about what they were to do to the dragon at the end of the game. As the board game portion ends, the scores are added up and the "fight" begins--it is just an animated movie type thing--with plenty of fireballs and fiery dragon breath until the soldier with the sword (presumably the player) throws a weapon with a spiky ball on two ends and a chain in the middle that wraps around the dragon's wings and it plummets to the ground, sinking head-first into a brick floor...the soldier puts leg irons on the dragon and in the ending scenes the soldier relaxes in a hammock, holding a piece of bread on the end of a sword while the dragon lays nearby, toasting the bread with its breath. ANYHOW--maybe that was long and unnecesary to some of you guys, but I would probably want to know that before I had my little child work through to the end :) 

There is also a non-game method to use it, where the student can just do the questions without working through the gameboard and waiting your turn. The questions are the same, you just run through them. 

Questions are very engaging, each with an illustration and little story. The variety is incredible. The questions are chosen from a pool based upon your correct performance on other questions. This way someone in algebra 2 is not being quizzed on simple addition or subtraction. I don't know how they do it, but it is great! 
I'd like to show you a few shots of the questions so you can see what I mean. Even when it is just a simple word problem, how much more fun is it to do it with a theme/story?

Upon successful completion of the question, a big "correct" word shows up; if it is incorrect the student gets one more attempt before the correct answer is given.

From the parent side, it is great, because at the end of the game, a list of questions is shown (clickable) and the missed questions can be attempted or explained again:

The other tool the parent might be interested in is a grand compilation of the student's work--showing on a chart which skills were attempted and successful (and which need more work--based on the color)

Basically--I love this game! It is so fun (for a math lover like me haha!). I really think it would be a super fun way to review math problems--and it shuffles topics so much that it is really a review of all skills. I highly recommend this app, Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online  by EdAlive. I think it will encourage students to work on math and if my kids were younger I would probably use it as a "reward" such that if you do xyz you will get to play X number of  minutes on Baggin' the Dragon! It's a win-win.
Highly recommended.

(my 16 year old daughter tried it out and liked it as well!)

EdAlive has a few other programs which were reviewed by the Review Crew as well, so if you'd like to see folks' thoughts on the program I reviewed as well as on the Volcanic Panic Reading Success Online and Words Rock Online, please click on the image link below!

Online Math, Reading, and Language Arts with EdAlive

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Chemistry virtual titration lab

 I just found this AMAZING virtual titration lab, if any of you are doing chemistry with your students--it's found here

It teaches good lab practices, the student "uses" the equipment, it's just a great simulation. They even do the calculations. 

Great resource!! :) 

Thursday, June 10, 2021


 It's that time of year! 

So beautiful and that lovely fragrance!

Thanking God for his springtime blessings:) He knows when we need encouragement for sure!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Pursued to Eternity by John Riley -- my REVIEW

  Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Recently I read the book Pursued to Eternity by John Riley. The author of this book is actually a lesson designer/creator of a course on that my daughter had taken and really enjoyed last year (Apologetics: Creation vs. Evolution). I was curious about the book and interested to give it a try.

The book is a short-looking softcovered book with seventeen chapters and 151 pages. It has little line-drawings throughout which are nice little beginnings to each chapter.

Pursued to Eternity is several stories within a larger story--not the story of the author, but a fictional man and his brother. The man in the story, Connor, is a Bible-believing Christian and his brother (a phD geologist) named Alan, is an athiest for much of his life. 

The stories within the story show how God orchestrated things and set things up centuries prior to Alan's life to convince him of the Truth of Scripture. Also spread throughout the book are conversations that Connor has with Alan, sharing the Gospel and Bible Truth with him. Connor includes Scripture, quotations from people in the past, and more in his discourses with Alan.

The stories-within-the-story are fictional historical happenings, with actual dates and historic references mixed in with the fictional stories. These fictional historical stories were written about someone living in different times of history.

One story is about a group of men hunting and fighting a large creature and another one is about a family during the time of the Exodus from Egypt. Eventually the 21st geologist finds artifacts from stories at different points in history (that then mysteriously or mystifyingly disappear), but they somehow bring him more to a belief in the God that his brother follows.

Also interspersed in the book are some vignettes about the narrator, Connor, and how he lost his teaching job by encouraging his students to question the norm. There is also a lengthy list of 68 questions that the narrator's students came up with in their questioning of the teachings of evolution--this list includes things such as historical scientists and their beliefs, examples of things within nature that seem to go against traditional Darwinistic teachings, and other questions which can be raised when one looks critically at theories of evolution. 

As the book proceeds, Connor's brother Alan makes some interesting geologic/ archaeologic discoveries. Connor has the opportunity to experience these with his brother. Connor does not give up on talking and writing to his brother about Scripture and God's presence throughout history and today as well. Connor and Alan have a very pleasant positive relationship throughout the story. 

The stories, Biblical exposition, and questions about evolution-within-a-story were a bit disjointed for my liking and I did not care for it.  I do know other readers who really enjoyed this book.  Be sure to read other readers' reviews, however, by clicking on this link or the graphic at the bottom of the page to get a more balanced view of the book. It is not the type of reading that I generally enjoy, though I'm sure others do. 

Please click on the link below to read others' reviews of this book and to get a more complete feel for it!

Pursued to Eternity by John Riley