Welcome

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmomma

Pin It Now!
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I am always game for trying something new and with the boys getting older we are looking to supplement certain subjects so that we are sure they are getting enough to claim a complete credit on their high school transcripts. So I was interested in the opportunity to have a chance to review the Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses from Standard Deviants Accelerate.
They have offer a variety of courses for grades 3(age 8) and up, with the majority being for middle school and high school levels.  They are available for $24.95 per month per student for regular core classes or you can get AP class access for $14.95, or you can get a year's worth of access for $99 per student.  
Here are the class choices so you know what is offered.
Arithmetic - Grades 3+
Fundamental Math - Grades 4+
Earth Science - Grades 6+
Nutrition - Grades 6+
Algebra - Grades 7+
Biology - Grades 7+
Chemistry - Grades 9+
English Comp. - Grades 9+
U.S. History - Grades 9+
AP Biology - Grades 11+
AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+
Now the set up for the programs are all the same and each student will each need their own email address to make this work. This was not a problem for us as my boys already had their own email, but if your kids don't getting a kid friendly email is easy, aol is a great option with parental controls. 
First you set up your teacher account and choose the course or courses and pick who you are going to assign them to. This prompts a code to be generated and sent to the student's email, this is how they go about setting up their account and gaining access to their classes. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
For my boys I picked Nutrition for both of them to help supplement our Health credit and they also used the Chemistry. We are currently using Chemistry for Science this year so I thought this would be a great way to beef it up and give them an opportunity to learn some on their own, since our current program is something we work on together. The only thing is with our crazy schedule this year, we are only getting to do that 2-3 days a week so this was a great option to help add to that time with a program that was self paced. This way they could do on their own according to their schedules. Nutrition was a wonderful option for self paced learning as well. They each used both of these subjects 3-4 days per week depending on their own individual schedule.
All of the classes are set up in similar fashion, First you click the tab and watch the videos,which are presented in a fun way as to keep it from getting boring and monotonous. Next you move onto the Vocabulary words, I took these and used them as our spelling words so that they could get more practice. Third there was the Diagram tab this is where the worksheet like pages are. Then of course you have a quiz tab, this helps you as the teacher gauge how the student is doing, if they are retaining the information they are learning and where they might need to go back and repeat. This is extremely helpful and it was nice that I did not need to grade it, all I needed to do was log into my teacher account and check out the grades and progress. The final tab is the Written Answer tab, this is where there are reading comprehension questions and your student should have a workbook handy to write down their answers.
The nutrition class is for geared for grades 6 and up and touches on the topics of ...  
Intro: Cells and Macronutrients, What Your Body Does with Food, The Food Spectrum, Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals, and Water, Preventing Nutritional Disorders, Eating In Context ,Where Does Your Food Come From?, The Savvy Eater. 
I was happy to have this opportunity for the boys to get started learning about these topics while I was awaiting a curriculum to come that I had ordered. Now we are ready to dive right in and we won't have to spend as much time on it as we might have had to do without this supplement from SDA to help pave the path for us. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
The Chemistry unit is geared for 9th grade and up and covers topics such as ...
Atomic Theory and Structure, Bonds & Molecular Structure, States of Matter, Solutions, Acids and Bases, Chemical Reactions & Equilibrium, Stoichiometry, Thermodynamics. We have been studying Chemistry for a couple months now, so the course from SDA helped cement things that we have already touched on as well as lay down the ground work for those topics we have yet to reach in our main text book. 
I liked the fact the boys could work on this at their own pace, Taylor during the day when Alyx might be at work or Alyx when Taylor is at some of his other classes. They could work independently and at their own convenience. SDA has helped bridge gaps and has eased my mind a bit because of our overloaded schedules. 
The boys thought the site was easy to navigate and enjoyed the variety of tasks so that it made it enjoyable to do the assignments. They were not long and drawn out either which is always a plus in all of our books. 30 minutes tops each day they work on it is enough to accomplish more than a couple lessons. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I have enjoyed knowing that the boys can continue to learn even when our schedules do not allow for us to have a lot of time to sit down and do book work. I was starting to stress about that especially with Alyx being in 11th grade this year and with Taylor right behind him in 10th, time is running out to fit it all in. I want them to be able to have all of the outside class opportunities we have found without jeopardizing our core studies. SDA helps fill in the gaps and gives me a peace of mind that they are getting some core learning in even in our busy lifestyle this year. 
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review
I think this is a wonderful supplemental program fit mostly for middle school and high school levels. There is a class for everyone and I am sure you would get your money's worth with just one class but you have access to them all with your subscription. The cool thing is you don't have to take my word for it or that of any of the reviewers from the crew although I do hope I have helped. You can test drive it yourself.
For a very limited time you can get a 6 MONTH FREE Trial. How is that for a test run, I don't think I have ever run across such a generous preview time. This is surely enough time to get into a class or two and see how this could benefit your students and your homeschool as a whole. If you have gaps to fill in or if there is a class you just are not getting to as much as you would like. Maybe they need some reviewing? Just remember these are not meant to take the place of your primary books, the SDA classes are to be a supplement to your program not a replacement. 
SMALL DISCLAIMER:(This is a secular program so be forewarned that there is a talk of Evolution in the Biology course but it is minor and should not deter you from the program, I just want you to be aware.)
Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Be sure to check out all of the social media links for Standard Deviants Accelerate by clicking below.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDAccelerate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SDAccelerate
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SDAccelerate/
Google+: google.com/+Sdaccelerate

 As always be sure to click on the banner below and visit all the reviews from the crew and learn about the courses they chose for their children as they reviewed Standard Deviants Accelerate. Don't forger to sign up for the extended free trial soon before the offer expires.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer


Monday, October 20, 2014

Things I am pondering? What do you think about?

Pin It Now!
1. Why do people feel the need to belittle others
2. Why does a person choose to be a bully?
3. Why do adults for cliques? I thought we outgrew that after High School
4. Why do people choose to gossip?
5. Why can't everyone just be friends?
6. Why can't I be honest without fear of backlash?
7. Why are people so judgemental?
8. Why do people not take care of things that are not theirs? or even their own for that matter.
9. Why do we care so much about what other people think?
10. Why is it so important for us to fit in to a mold that others create?



 These are only some of the things I have been thinking about lately, what are some questions you often wonder about?



Friday, October 17, 2014

One Thousand Gifts #1000gifts

Pin It Now!


  We had a speaker at our Mops/MomsNext group at our church Wednesday night, it really touched my heart and so yesterday I set out to find a copy of the book One Thousand Gifts. I cannot wait to get started on it tonight and it has already evoked some thoughts in my head that I cannot wait to share with others just by reading the back cover. I know many special ladies that will be getting this for Christmas from me this year. I highly recommend it and I am super excited to begin my 1000 gifts journey. Why don't you pick up a copy today and begin the journey with me. I would love to start a link up where we share a blog post each week sharing our weeks' gifts.



   

iWitness Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #Apologia

Pin It Now!
Apologia Review

I know I say this every time but Apologia Educational Ministries is one of our favorite curriculum companies to use in our homeschool. We have been blessed more times than I can count on 2 hands to have been chosen to review curriculum as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. This time it was for something a little different than we are used to getting, this was intriguing to us from the start. I am talking about iWitness, a 3 book set, that includes iWitness Biblical ArchaeologyNew Testament iWitnessOld Testament iWitness. Now while this adventure is adaptable for students and families so that just about all ages can be included, the reading involved is geared for those 11 and older. This just means that the actually reading needs to be left to those that can read at that level, this does not mean to leave little Joey age 6 or little Jessie age 9 out of the Archaeological Adventure. 

Apologia Review
We received all 3 books I will talk about each one individually and at the end I will summarize our entire experience. First things first we received  the iWitness Biblical Archaeology book, selling for $14.00. This book helps uncover and prove all of the facts that are stated in the Bible, by taking you to the archeological digs and letting you see for yourself the most amazing finds that were discovered. You may have had some doubts as to the stories you read about in the Bible but you cannot dispute evidence that is presented before you in this book. It takes many of the stories we love to read about, for instance The Great Flood and Noah's Ark, my all time favorite and takes you on an adventure through a scrapbook like layout with pictures and the stories of uncovering the facts. All of the writings are portrayed in a manner that they were scraps of documents with original handwriting. It just truly adds to the experience as you read along. There is no real work to be done with this series and I guess that is what set it apart from the all of the other curriculum we have reviewed from Apologia. This is a read along or if you have older students they could read independently. I feel if you have your student read this on their own, you are missing the true adventure as this is something the whole family can get into together. 


Apologia Review
The second book we received was Old Testament iWitness, also selling for $14.00, this book deals with stories of the Old Testament. Doug Powell the author speaks of  how the Old Testament was written and who the Jews believe truly wrote these stories, there is even talk about the little books that are in the Catholic Bible, we do not read from a Catholic Bible so this was interesting for the boys as they had not heard these stories since they were young when we attended the Catholic church with my Grandma. This led to a discussion about why Catholics have more books than we do in our Bible and why are their beliefs so different than ours. This in turn started a discussion of why we no longer practice the Catholic religion and instead have turned to other churches and faiths until we found the one we currently follow. This was interesting to discuss especially now that my boys are older, being almost 15 and 16 you can discuss these things like adults with level headed thinking. While I do not think I was truly prepared for these discussions and they caught me off guard I think it was a great discussion that my family needed to have. 

Another avenue that this adventure took us on was more in depth about the Jewish religion and why they have their scriptures in the order they do. If you do not know that their scriptures are ordered differently I won't spoil the reasons and the order for you I will leave that for you to uncover for yourselves when your family sets forth on this Archaeological Adventure. This was interesting to us as we have several close friends of the Jewish Faith, one of them being my best friend. The boys seem to really be fascinated by learning more in depth of what other religions believe and why. This will lead us into diving in deeper to investigate other religions as well.
Apologia Review
Lastly we explored the New Testament iWitness, once again $14.00, this showed me how much our family still doesn't know about the New Testament and also of how it came to be and why some books were chosen and some were not and why that is. Doug Powell also tells of the different methods of copying the New Testament. Did you know there are "intentional errors" in the words of the New Testament? We sure did not.  While there were somethings I did not completely agree with in this book I am glad we have had the opportunity to review it and it has made us hungry for more. We will be adding onto this as we go in search of some answers of our own. My boys enjoyed learning more of where the Old and New Testaments came from and how other religions use these books in their own faith. I guess that if we were all to believe exactly the same thing the world would certainly not be as interesting as it is today.
 Unfortunately some of this learning has made my youngest voice concerns that Religion causes war and if we believe the some of the same of the bad people that use their Religion as their box to stand on and use it to hurt people he is worried that we as Christians are sharing some of their beliefs. Taylor is a very Analytical thinker and this has opened up some concerns that are a bit blown out of proportion but we are dealing with them as they come up. This is just one of the issues that sometimes come up with Taylor and his Asperger's Syndrome. I was not prepared for his reaction but I am glad his underlying concerns came to light because of these books. 

In conclusion our family truly did enjoy this Adventure through time. It opened up minds for lots of outside discussion and we are definitely going to continues to explore not only our faith but that of others so that we can truly understand why other's may think the way they did. I do recommend this series to all and you will learn as well as your children many things that you may have never given a thought to, but it will wet your appetite for more that I can say for certain. You will start to wonder about why and how many things truly came to be but you can know that there are people out there that are wondering the very same thing. All while there are archaeologists uncovering facts bit by bit to help you understand it more clearly. 

Please  visit all of the social media links for Apologia Educational Ministries. Be sure to click on the banner below to visit all 100 reviews for iWitness and see what everyone thought. 




Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
 Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
 Google+ - https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
 Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer




Friday, October 10, 2014

Fortuigence Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmommas

Pin It Now!
Fortuigence Review

   Writing is an intrical part of life, in some ways if you are not a strong writer it may affect what type of schooling you have in the future or may influence your career path in life. I want to make sure my boys are strong writers, and although I enjoy writing, I do not always feel I am good at teacher or grading my boys papers. This is why I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to review a course from Fortuigence. We had the choice of one of 4 courses and the one that spoke to me was the Essay Rock Star Personal Statement Writing Course.  Any one of the four courses priced at $57 are geared for ages 12-18 or even adults. I chose to assign this course to my 11th grader, Alyx is in Civil Air Patrol and is going to have to write some essays for different courses and positions he will be applying for. I thought the Personal Statement course would be helpful in this area.
Fortuigence Review

     Now one of the things I liked about this course is although it is taught and graded by a teacher other than me, her name is Lily Iatridis. It is still what you would call self paced. Alyx likes to work at night and for this course that was no problem, he could work any time day or night on his assignments and submit them for the teacher to look at and give feedback on his work. In the past we have done online classes that were a set time and day and they just did not work well for our on the go lifestyle. This was the extreme opposite of those classes in that there was no schedule or time if life happened it was ok. This was perfect for Alyx's extra busy fall schedule. So therefor much more relaxed, Alyx enjoyed this aspect and it helped make him more successful.

   You start by setting up your online "classroom" your child should have his or her own email so that it makes communication smoother. Alyx already had his own email so this was not an issue. Then after the account is created you are invited to a video orientation, here they go over the course, and the rubric and expectations. The first "assignment" is not an actual assignment, the student is asked to submit work from a previous writing assignment so that their level of writing can easily be assessed. Alyx chose to submit his essay he used when he applied for his Field Biology class he is taking on Fridays. He was very apprehensive as was I to see what the teacher thought of his writing skills, we were pleasantly greeted with the fact that she thought he was a "highly competent writer". Let me tell you he was pleased but I let out a big sigh of relief.  What do you know? I am actually doing a good job teaching him writing, I am pretty sure that all of us Homeschool Moms are our worst critic, I know even as a blogger I am my own worst critic, isn't that only human?

 After they get their critique back from their submitted writing sample they are given the go ahead to begin on their first assignment. Using a 5 Step approach,
Step 1: Brainstorming

Step 2: Organization

Step 3: Free Writing

Step 4: Revision

Step 5: Editing


   Your teen will gain confidence and techniques to become the solid writer they should be. Using videos to teach and pages to read online, they are then given the assignment to complete and then upload to the "classroom" to be graded by the teacher. Feedback is sent to the student's email for them to look over this could be your student's email or yours depending on how it was set up when you began. The assignments can be completed in one sitting or over a few days, remember it is at your student's own pace. If worked on several days a week you can complete the entire course in 4 weeks and your high schooler can claim .125 credits of English in exchange for completion. Your student will get a certificate of completion when they are done that can be added to their portfolio to showcase their accomplishments.

   After they complete the assignment and get their feedback they can correct their errors and resubmit it. When the teacher is happy with the finished product they will get the go ahead to move onto the next assignment. This is signified by a checkmark in the classroom showing completed work. This made it easy for Alyx to know when it was time to move onto the next assignment. Alyx easily completed several lessons a week and successfully completed the course in just under 5 weeks.

  I was pleased with his motivation and progress and the teacher's communication that was always returned in a timely manner. This is key to the success of the program and it shows. Alyx was always eager to see what she had to say about his work and not only did he learn many tips for perfecting his personal statement essay but he gained tons of confidence in his writing. Having confidence in your writing is an important part of being a successful writer. At the end of the course Alyx sent feedback to the teacher and then received his certificate to print out to signify his completion.

  This course cost $57 and I feel all 4 courses would be a great investment to add to any English curriculum to make a year of writing successful and to help boost the confidence of your teen. Preparing for college Applications where the Personal Statement is Key, is a great course to start with or end with, there is no special order that they need to be completed in, this makes it flexible to start or use which one fits the needs of your student. If you choose to do all 4 courses there is a discount offered making the 4 courses $197 total. I feel this is a great investment and the added discount is just a bonus. I cannot wait to see how this course impacts Alyx's future endeavors. He will be applying for an opportunity for a chance to represent CAP in Washington soon and not before long College. I feel this was the right course for us to use first but maybe you would choose a different course to start with. If you are trying to decide which course would be the best for your teen then please click the link below to read all 50 of the reviews for Fortuigence Essay Rock Star courses and see which one would be the perfect fit for you. Please also visit all of the social media links below so that you can find out and learn more about all of the products from Fortuigence.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Fortuigence
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lilyiatridis
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LilyIatridis and
              https://plus.google.com/+Fortuigence1/posts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lilyiatridis
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/fortuigence

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Taylor's Fencing class

Pin It Now!









Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Trampoline Park Field Trip with friends.

Pin It Now!