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Spiral or Mastery Math Curriculum: What’s the Difference?

Spiral or Mastery Math Curriculum: What’s the Difference?

Spiral or mastery math? This is a question that is often asked amidst the homeschool community. What are they? How do they differ? And what curriculum can I use for each one? Let’s talk spiral vs. mastery math!

Spiral vs. Mastery Math Curriculum explores the difference between spiral & mastery math, along with curriculum examples of each type.

What’s the Difference? Spiral vs. Mastery Math

Doing math through the mastery method is sometimes knocked for not reviewing and spiral math for moving too fast. The truth is I see the difference more in how they use review.

The mastery based approach uses review after a concept is learned and practiced until it’s mastered. A mastery math approach teaches a concept, then practices that concept. The intention of this practice is to understand the concept and be fully able to utilize it.

With the spiral approach review is used to master a new concept. The spiral approach also teaches and then practices. The difference being the amount of practice is smaller, and they move on to review quicker.

Mastery Math Curriculum

With a mastery approach the student shouldn’t be moving on until they fully understand the concept. They keep working on the one concept until they have mastered it. Then, and only then do they move on to the next concept. Here are a few examples of math curricula that use the mastery math approach (many of which we have used ourselves):

CTCMath Online Math Learning

CTCMath is a online homeschool math curriculum

Disclosure: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. All my opinions are my own, honest thoughts and I was not required to post a positive review. Your experience may vary. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

  • A CTCMath Homeschool Family Membership allows you to enroll your whole family in their online math program, for ONE LOW COST!
  • has math for all levels from Kindergarten through Calculus (high school)
  • video based lessons with audio instructions that allow students to pause and rewind as many times as they need to until they get it
  • Allows student to repeat a lesson
  • Short manageable lessons (even in the upper levels)
  • With a CTCMath Homeschool Family Membership you have access to all grades and lessons. There are no restrictions allowing freedom to move back and forward. 
  • CTCMath is NOT aligned to Common Core
  • Homeschoolers receive a HALF-PRICE DISCOUNT!

Life of Fred

Life of Fred is likely to be one of the most unique math programs you will ever come across. It is a complete (not a supplemental!), math program that relies upon the self-teaching learning style.

The texts follow the life of Fred Gauss—a six-year-old math professor at Kittens University who was born on the slopes of the Siberian Mountains—who has many humorous, unlikely, and zany adventures. Informal in tone and approach, these books are designed to engage students in a fun narrative while also instilling a solid understanding of the principles of mathematics–without an abundance of repetitive drills!

Life of Fred texts are hardcover, non-consumable textbooks with Smyth-sewn bindings; students write their answers on separate paper. Answers are also included in the text – written directly to the student.

Beast Academy (Review Coming Soon)

Beast Academy is an advanced comic-based math program for students ages 6–13. It help kids ages build their problem-solving skills while learning elementary math.

Students learn new topics from the graphic-novel-style Guides, and then master math topics by solving engaging problems and challenging puzzles.

Beast Academy can be used either as a set of physical books, as an Online program (which also offers access to videos and chapter tests), or as a mix of both.

Math Mammoth

Math Mammoth offers full math curriculum and supplemental worktexts and workbooks for elementary and middle school. All of the books are available as downloads—and most also as printed books.

Singapore Math

Singapore Math is a textbook/workbook based math program for the elementary grades. It begins in first grade and has levels through sixth grade. Singapore math calls on concrete math, pictures, and abstract approaches to teach math.

ShillerMath

ShillerMath offers two levels of math kits (along with a few other kits). Their math kits are Montessori Based and cover an age range from preK through 8th grade.

  • Scripted lessons guide you through each lesson, with zero lesson preparation
  • Beautiful, varied, and lifetime manipulatives capture children’s continuing interest
  • Children (and parents!) love the dozens of catchy songs that integrate with lessons
  • Multi-year kits ensure a consistent and money-saving experience
  • Lifetime consumable lesson replacement – 1 kit is all you need for the entire family!

Mr. D Math

Mr. D Math offers Middle and High School Math as well as Testing Preparation curriculum. All the courses are online with both live and recorded courses for your homeschool.

Sprial Math Curriculum

The spiral method is also known as the incremental method. Concepts are taught incrementally with lots of reviews and drills. New material is added all along the way. And it’s within the constant reviewing that concepts are mastered. Here are a few examples of math curricula that use the spiral approach:

Teaching Textbooks

Teaching Textbooks is an app based math programs for students in grades 3-12.

  • Video based lessons followed by on screen assignment questions which are also read to the student
  • Access to the printable e-book text.
  • Every problem comes with a detailed step-by-step audiovisual solution. 
  • Each level has fully automated grading

A Beka

A Beka Math homeschool curriculum provides your students with an academically rigorous, Christian mathematics course.

DIVE into Math

DIVE Interactive Education offers both Shormann and Saxon mathematics courses. Their courses offer daily video lessons, interactive assignments, auto-grading, video solutions, and Q&A support!

Saxon

Saxon uses a very short spiraling approach, combined with a blend of procedural and conceptual.  Saxon ensures students build and retain mastery of mathematical concepts. · It develops a deeper understanding through integration of mathematical strands.

Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

As a family homeschooling in New York State, we have what many would consider some pretty strict homeschool regulations. Everything from a set number of attendance days, to end of year testing, and courses like Economics for High School.

Along with American Government, Economics is required for homeschooled high schoolers in New York State. Each course needs to be a minimum of .5 credit.

How to fulfill a .5 credit of Economics for High School is a frequent question when it comes to homeschooling high school in New York State.

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

I have recently found an online, self paced Economics for High School course from Mr. D Math that I think homeschoolers will love! We have had multiple great experiences with Mr. D Math courses and this one is no exception!

Mr. D Math Live SAT Boot Camp
Mr. D Math College & Career Readiness is an online class (live or self-paced) teaching life skills such as time/money management, college application/resume writing, banking skills and more! A Review from Starts At Eight

Economics for High School

Mr. D Math Economics for High School is a half credit, online course for high school students. The course contains 16 lessons and is self-paced so you can spread it out however you like.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to Mr. D Math Economics for High School and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Topics Covered Include:

  • supply/demand
  • producers/consumers
  • currency/credit
  • debt/deficit
  • economic recession
  • monopolies
  • taxes

In addition to the concepts of economics included above, students will learn important financial and life skills for their next stage such as:

  • how to open and manage a bank account
  • apply and interview for jobs
  • compare benefit packages
  • understanding paystubs
  • budgeting
  • using credit
  • establishing good credit
  • identity theft
  • purchasing/leasing a vehicle
  • renting an apartment
  • calculating interest

Features of Note in Economics for High School

Self-Paced

Economics for High School is one of the multiple self-paced courses offered at Mr. D Math. The great thing about this course being self-paced is that your student isn’t tied to class times or specific deadlines. Instead your student (and you if necessary) can decide that timeline for which this course is completed.

Take more time, take less, time, either way being self-paced offers a ton of flexibility for your homeschool!

Encourages Independence

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

The online platform for this course (and all the Mr. D Math courses) is laid out in such a way that students can be completely independent. In the left sidebar you will find the complete course broken down by lessons, and with those lessons there are tasks such as reading, videos, quizzes, worksheets to print and complete, and more.

Uses Various Learning Styles

Video Lessons – Mrs. Kelli does video lessons for each section of this course. On top of that there are also other videos included to reinforce topics. (YouTube Video on topic, Crash Course Videos, etc.)

Reading – Sometimes students are assigned short readings from various sources to help teach a topic.

Printable Worksheets – These worksheets include worksheets to reinforce the concept that was just introduced with via video or reading, as well as extension activities to get students thinking.

Engaging Activities – Not only does this course include all the basic methods of learning, but it goes one step further and gets students involved in real life examples and activities that demonstrate the topics being covered.

Glossary PDF

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers.

At the beginning of the course students are instructed to print out the Glossary of Terms.

While this feature may not seem important to some people, I find that a topic like Economics contains many words and concepts completely unknown to high schoolers. They are instructed to complete the definitions as they are presented throughout the course lessons. Thus encouraging them to hear them, see them, and write them. Using these various methods of engaging with the material greatly increases their chance of understanding the material.

For this reason, I love that students start with a BLANK GLOSSARY and end up with a (completely filled in by them) Glossary of Terms.

Online Graded Quizzes

Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight
Economics for High School from Mr. D Math is a half credit, online, self-paced course for homeschool high schoolers. A review from Starts At Eight

Throughout the course there are online quizzes. They vary in length and include a variety of question types such as multiple choice and true/false.

They are auto graded online with instant results right on the screen so students get immediate feedback.

I like that students get 3 attempts at each quiz. This encourages learning because they can see the ones they got wrong and go back to review those concepts before trying the quiz again.

–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MR. D MATH ECONOMICS FOR HIGH SCHOOL <<–

More Mr. D Math Reviews

We have also used Mr. D Math courses more than once throughout our years of homeschooling.

Having access to an instructor where the kids can ask questions and get feedback is such an awesome part of Mr. D Math live online courses.

You can check out what our experience was like with two of our children. Just click on the images below.

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math! Mr. D Math offers online live or self-paced courses for high school math, Test Prep, ASL, and more! A review from Starts At Eight
Homeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math from Starts At Eight

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE MR. D MATH COURSE OFFERINGS <<–<<–

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

BookShark has added something new for 2021! BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum is a new feature you can add on to many of the BookShark curriculum options. It allows you to do your reporting online, track assignments, grades, and more!

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum brings the power and ease of online accountability to a literature-rich curriculum! Online lesson plans, automated grading, printable worksheets, assessments and more! A review from Starts At Eight.

New for 2021: BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

BookShark Virtual is a feature that works alongside the BookShark print curriculum, not in place of. That means you will need the BookShark printed curriculum, and then you have the option to add on the virtual portion.

I recently reviewed the BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum I am using with my 3rd grade grandson. Pairing it with this new virtual feature makes it even simpler to implement. I can check lesson plans on the go and even quick reference the science supplies needed for the experiments when I get to the store and realize I have forgotten my list!

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum is an open & go, literature based, hands-on, secular science curriculum for homeschoolers.

For parents and students, it offers enhanced, online capabilities such as assessments, grading, and accountability. These can be accessed both via desktop and mobile device.

It brings the power and ease of online accountability to a literature-rich curriculum!

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum brings the power and ease of online accountability to a literature-rich curriculum! Online lesson plans, automated grading, printable worksheets, assessments and more! A review from Starts At Eight.

Features for both parent and child:

  • enjoy easy recordkeeping & grading
  • upload student work
  • see 36 weeks of schedules
  • keep track of completed assignments
  • encourage independent learning
  • document student work
  • track completed assignments
  • assign & adjust grades
  • provide feedback and leave messages
  • get parent notifications
  • export PDF portfolio of completed work
  • and many more

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum is available for any BookShark levels A-H, including history, language arts, and science. It also completely integrates with Math-U-See. BookShark Virtual also offers proposed schedules and the ability to upload completed assignments for Singapore, Saxon, and RightStart.

A Few Cool Features We Love

Auto Grading of Written Work – you (or your student) can upload student assignments right into the online assessment tool for automatic grading. While all assignments aren’t auto-graded, there is a manual grading option as well. This way all grades are kept in one place in the BookShark Virtual dashboard for that class!

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum brings the power and ease of online accountability to a literature-rich curriculum! Online lesson plans, automated grading, printable worksheets, assessments and more! A review from Starts At Eight.

It Creates a Digital Portfolio – BookShark Virtual saves your student’s work and grades so you can easily see progress and track learning at any time.

Fosters Independence – The BookShark Virtual platform provides lesson plans so your student can just log-in and get started on what they need to accomplish for that day. They can also take assessments, review their grades, and even communicate with you (their teacher) so you can have all course related comments together in one place.

Try Before You Buy!

The best way to understand BookShark Virtual is to try it yourself. The first three weeks of every Virtual course are available for free just like the Instructor’s Guide samples always have been (here).

Watch the demo videos to get your bearings, and then take it for a spin. Let your child take a peek, too!

NEW! BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

NEW! BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

Are you looking for an enriching secular elementary science curriculum?

Do you want to get out of the text and jump into literature and hands on science in an easy, open and go format?

Then you definitely need to check out the NEW BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum!

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum is an open & go, literature based, hands-on, secular science curriculum for homeschoolers.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to review the Sonlight Science Literature Based Curriculum, and I LOVED it. The Sonlight Curriculum is structed very similarly to the BookShark Curriculum because they are collectively owned. The main difference being that Sonlight is a Christian curriculum and BookShark is secular (or faith neutral).

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

This year I am using the BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum with my 3rd grade grandson. (While this review is based on the BookShark Science Level D, there are many other levels for kids from age 5 to age 16.)

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum is an open & go, literature based, hands-on, secular science curriculum for homeschoolers.

{Disclosure: I received BookShark Science Level D for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. However these are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

A Look Inside BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

Come take a look inside what BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum has to offer! Everything from amazing literature to full lesson plans for an easy open and go experience!

Literature Based

Each level of BookShark Science uses a wonderful collection of literature to make the learning rich and meaningful!

BookShark Science Level D Literature

Take a look at the selection above from the BookShark Science Level D package!

As you all know I LOVE LIVING BOOKS! We use a ton of them in our homeschool. They are so much richer and more engaging than a textbook.

Instead of using a textbook, living books are used to provide the context for the science lesson. My grandson is able to read much of them himself, just getting help for the more sciency words he hasn’t seen before.

4 Day Schedule

Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week from Starts At Eight includes reasons why you might choose to school 4 days a week as well as a method and printables for planning!

A few years ago I went to using a 4 Day Homeschool Week. It really allows us the space to take a break, or catch up after unexpected set backs. Planning for 4 days a week just allows us a general sense of calm and space to our schedule so we don’t feel crammed or rushed. The downside is it can take A LOT of extra planning because many curricula are based on 5 days a week.

So imagine how happy I was to have BookShark Science already based on a 4 day week! And the plan for each week is so simple!

Day One: Read and do the corresponding questions in the activity sheets

Day Two: Read and do the corresponding questions in the activity sheets

Day Three: Read and do the corresponding questions in the activity sheets

Also within Days 1-3 are Optional Do Together things that you can choose to do if you have time, or perhaps your child is really loving the topic and you want to dig deeper.

Day Four: Science experiment from the BookShark Science Experiments Books

BookShark Science Instructor's Guide Weekly Plan

As you can see in the photo above, the schedule for each week is all laid out in the Instructor’s Guide, including the list of supplies you need for both the current week, and the upcoming week so you can plan ahead!

Hands-On

Each week there are questions in the activity sheets to go with the literature reading. Not only do you have the answer key in your Instructor’s Guide, but each question has the corresponding page numbers from the reading so your child will know where to look if they are unsure of the answer.

BookShark Science Level D Activity Sheets

And as I previously stated, there is a science experiment included in the plans for each week. Many of the items needed are included in the Science Supplies Kit for the level you are using. Anything that isn’t included is a common household item that you may already have or can easily pick up at the store.

Open-and-Go

For all the subjects I have to plan each year, this has been the easiest curriculum to plan.

Between the detailed daily lesson plans in the Instructor’s Guide, and the comprehensive (and beautifully illustrated I might add) Science Experiments Books, there is little you need to do in terms of planning and preparation.

Why? Because this is literally already all planned in an easy to use format. I opened the box and off we went!

Let me say that again for those in the back…

I truly opened the box and used the curriculum the same day. No Planning Needed!

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum is an open & go, literature based, hands-on, secular science curriculum for homeschoolers.

Secular (faith-neutral)

As I mentioned previously, the BookShark Science Curriculum is considered secular, or more accurately “faith-neutral“.

Here’s what BookShark has to say about being faith-neutral:

“BookShark does not espouse or oppose any faith. Our Science and History programs do not teach evolution, creationism, or intelligent design theory. So BookShark may be better termed faith-neutral. BookShark leaves the teaching of the origins of life and matters of spirituality to the parents rather than promoting any particular viewpoint in the curriculum. Our faith-neutral curriculum allows families from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs to enjoy a well-planned homeschooling year steeped in living literature, read alouds, and hands-on science activities.” 

BookShark Science Level D Science Experiements

Newly Updated to Meet NGSS Standards

BookShark has updated their science to align with NGSS Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

What does this mean? NGSS standards are both widely accepted and academically solid. And while the NGSS standards outline what to teach, they don’t preclude BookShark’s natural methods of reading great books, discussing them, doing simple (no busy work) Activity Sheets, and then exploring with hands-on activities. The NGSS are standards (not Common Core though), not curriculum. Thus BookShark Science remains true to their original design while also accommodating NGSS and giving families the more linear read-about-it-then-do-it sequence most parents prefer. 

Try BookShark Science Curriculum in Your Homeschool!

To See More from BookShark

Looking to see more of what BookShark has to offer? They have more than just science! BookShark also has history and language arts curriculum. Be sure to check out all they have to offer with the links below!

New for 2021: BookShark Virtual!

BookShark Virtual

BookShark Virtual is here! When you pair BookShark print curriculum with a Virtual seat, parents and students get cool online features like assessment, grading, and accountability—accessible via mobile or desktop!

The best way to understand BookShark Virtual is to try it yourself. The first three weeks of every Virtual course are available for free just like the Instructor’s Guide samples always have been.

Watch the demo videos to get your bearings, and then take it for a spin. Let your child take a peek, too!

STAY TUNED FOR MY BOOKSHARK VIRTUAL REVIEW COMING IN 2 WEEKS!!!

Giveaway

Giveaway is for USA only. Winner’s choice of level A-F, including 1 virtual seat.

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

Are you looking for online homeschool high school biology options? Looking for something that is visually based and easy to use? Then Fascinating Biology from Fascinating Education might be for you!

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

Fascinating Education uses an audio-visual technique to teach science in a step-by-step manner using plain English and clear illustrations. This “right-hemispheric” learning approach takes advantage of the brain’s ability to process images more efficiently and more effectively than just reading text.

{I received free access to Fascinating Biology and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

The Fascinating Education curricula focus on scientific facts while eliminating unnecessary complexity. Dr. Margulies (owner and developer) engages the student by bringing a real life touch to all the lessons so that the student understands why the material is important for them.

About Sheldon Marguiles Owner/Developer

Sheldon Margulies - owner and developer of Fascinating Education

Sheldon Margulies is the owner and developer of Fascinating Education. He is a neurologist who has taught over 2500 medical students and residents in his career, and I has since turned his attention to younger students with online courses in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, and the Logic of Medicine.

In my curricula, I don’t just teach. I explain, in plain English, one step at a time, using images that I’ve created and narrate. I want students to see exactly what I’m saying, and for today’s students who are so comfortable with audio and visual learning, narrated images are a great way to learn science.

Sheldon Margulies owner and developer of Fascinating Education

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

Fascinating Biology covers the basic principles of biology, including the components of life: cell membranes, taking in nutrients, creating chemical energy, growing and repairing, reproducing, maintaining a stable internal environment, and adapting to a changing external environment. You can see a full breakdown of the Fascinating Biology Course Content right on their website.

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

The course consists of 3 major components:

The cool thing is that each one of these components has an online component AND a printable component option. Your student can do it all online, or they can choose to do some of it with pen and paper.

Video Lessons – There are 18 video lessons.

Review – The awesome thing about the review sections is that each question is read to the student, and each answer is read and demonstrated with a corresponding image.

Tests – When done online the test end by giving the students their score, and options to Review, Print, and Retry the quiz. You can also choose to print the tests out ahead of time and have them do them offline.

Key Features of Fascinating Biology

1. A Note About Secular vs. Religious

When it comes to science curriculum the first thing most people want to know is if it is secular or religious, creation vs. evolution. I like that Sheldon tackles this question first before anything else in the biology course. Below you will find a brief video clip of him explaining his view and how that impacts the curriculum.

I really appreciate his point about how understanding different viewpoints does not mean you have to adopt them. In our home we have always tried to talk about both sides of the coin so they can decide for themselves.

2. Great for Visual Learners

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

The Fascinating Education courses are very visual. All 18 lessons are video lessons with tons of images, diagrams, etc. Plus there are print out options for all the components so your students can have them in hand too if they want.

3. Lesson Scripts

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

Can I just say that the super type-A in me LOVES these. They are literal replicas of the video lessons, complete with images and text! I like printing them out along with the review printables and tests so that we have a visual representation of the work complete.

4. Review & Tests as Learning Devices

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

Both the review sections and tests are used as an additional opportunity to teach the material and to ensure the student is progressing appropriately.

The review questions have corresponding full image answers, giving students another opportunity to understand and absorb the concepts taught in that lesson.

The tests give students an opportunity to go back and review their answers alongside the correct answers and to retake them. This allows students to go back and look at where/what their mistake was and learn the material correctly.

My Thoughts

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

I love the different teaching approach to the Fascinating Education science curricula. The lessons are not too long, I’d say they take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, and they are easy to understand. There is plenty of reinforcement built in with the reviews and tests, giving students plenty of exposure to the concepts so they can more readily learn and understand them.

My main concern when calling this a curriculum is that most would assume it was a full year and thus a full credit course. When looking at the FAQ Page it states, “The lessons differ in length; however, each presentation is about 45 minutes long (on average). If a student does 1 lesson a day in chemistry (assuming about 1.5 hours to complete each lesson and test) – a student could finish in 24-27 total hours. We also have labs for chemistry which are an hour or so each – so you could add those additional hours.  We are in the process of adding additional review material – which will add some time to each course. Each biology lesson could take twice as long, but that’s still only about 30 hours to complete the course.”

This is significantly lower than the standard of a high school course being 120 hours. So my suggestion would be to add labs and extra readings or research on topics of interest throughout the year. OR I also think these make great summer review courses! You could do them before taking a full year to get a head start on the concepts, or take it after as a review/reinforcement.

Free Trial

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education flips the teaching process by approaching science through the "right-hemisphere" of the brain. Using simple, colorful illustrations, supplemented with attached audio files to teach high school biology concepts. A review from Starts At Eight

Click here for a FREE Trial!

You can sample any one (or all) of the following courses:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Medicine

Discount & Giveaway

Fascinating Education Discount Code

DISCOUNT: 25% off any single or multi-course package with coupon code BACKTOSCHOOL. Valid July 1 – Aug. 15, 2021.

GIVEAWAY: Open to anyone worldwide. 3 winners will get their choice of course (1 year subscription.)

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

We have used Apologia curriculum a few times in our homeschooling years and I am always impressed with how thorough their curriculum is! Now I get to try out their new Exploring Creation with Earth Science with my grandson!

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

Science is one of the subjects in which I have tried a myriad of approaches and curricula for. We have done unit study style science where I gathered and created units on things like volcanoesrocks and mineralsbugs and insects, and so many more.

We have tried full on school textbooks (those were the early years and it was tough), as well as solely for homeschoolers science curriculum.

What I have found is that we need a curriculum that is well laid out, gives us a plan to follow, makes assignments and grading easy for the parent, and is age level appropriate.

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based science curriculum for kids in K-6th grade. The cool part is you can choose what level notebook it most appropriate! YES THEY HAVE MORE THAN ONE! But then, I am getting ahead of myself!

{I received Exploring Creation with Earth Science as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Exploring Creation with Earth Science has 14 modules covering:

  1. The Observable Universe
  2. Life in the Habitable Zone
  3. Spheres of the Earth
  4. Mapping Your World
  5. The Geosphere
  6. Making and Shaping the Land
  7. The Hydrosphere
  8. The Atmosphere
  9. Climate and Weather
  10. Weather Forecasting
  11. The Biosphere
  12. Cycles of Life
  13. Unique Places on Earth
  14. God in Creation
Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

Features of Exploring Creation with Earth Science

Suggested Schedule

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

The notebooking journal begins with a section for parents. One of the things included is a suggested schedule based on doing this science program 2 days a week for 28 weeks. This means no planning hours! Just a simple, flexible schedule to follow!

You can obviously adjust as needed but this schedule is great in that it isn’t overly rigorous. It gives you plenty of time to do each activity and because it’s only 28 weeks you have room for breaks, sick time, getting behind, and vacations.

Notebooking Journals

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one does notebooking journals like the Apologia Science curriculum has! They are one of my favorite features! The notebooking journals include coloring pages, notetaking pages, places to record all hands-on activities, vocabulary review pages, mini books, and the Suggested Daily Schedule.

As I was saying before, there are two different notebooking options:

The Regular Notebooking Journal – This journal is meant for kids who have mastered handwriting, can take notes, and enjoys upper elementary level activities.

The Junior Notebooking Journal –  Fun graphics and imaginative designs inspire your child’s thought and creativity. The wider writing lines in this journal make it easier for writing. Perfect for younger elementary students or those students with limited writing skills.

Coloring Pages

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

Ok, I just have to say it, I LOVE the coloring pages! Mostly because they speak to me, but also because they are relevant to the topics being studied, and offer little hands and minds something to focus on while you read the text to them, or as a side activity to complete on their own.

Hands-on Activities

In every lesson there are multiple hands-on activities. Things that use mostly common household items and can be done safely and easily in your home. When it came to all the mapping in the Exploring Creation with Earth Science we got to use our much loved globe! Not only creating maps ourselves, but finding and demonstrating map skills on the globe!

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science is a Charlotte Mason based homeschool science curriculum for kids in grades K-6. With suggested schedules, lots of hands-on activities and accompanying notebooks, its fun and easy to use! A review from Starts At Eight.

As pictured above you see part of a notebooking activity about stalactites and stalagmites. The notebooking journal not only gives kids a place to record their insights and discoveries, but has full color, beautiful cut out activities to go along with each lesson.

==>> Get a FREE SAMPLE Today!! <<==

Be sure to VISIT Apologia’s Website and check out the FULL SIZE PREVIEW of Exploring Creation with Earth Science. You can get the Table of Contents, first lesson from the Exploring Creation with Earth Science textbook and companion Notebooking Journals. In addition, you will receive the FAQ Guide.

Giveaway

2 winners (USA or Canada only) will get an Exploring Creation with Earth Science set. Winner’s choice of Regular or Junior.

More Apologia Reviews

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0

Teaching math, not wanting to teach math, thinking you aren’t capable of teaching math. These are all reasons not to homeschool that often pop into people’s heads. Good news! Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 makes it doable!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more! A review from Starts At Eight.

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks

I have been using Teaching Textbooks products for 11 years now, and with all of my children. While math came easy for my son, it has been much harder for my girls. Math lessons that usually took him 20 minutes to complete would find my girls spending 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete. That being said, Teaching Textbooks has worked for all of them, struggling, excelling, or otherwise. 

I started using Teaching Textbooks on cd with my oldest when she began struggling with math in 6th grade. Teaching Textbooks is great for Struggling Math Students. One of the big features that helped my daughter was the video/interactive format. Beyond that their method of walking the student though ample sample problems after the lesson, combined with practice problems, really helped her learn each concept in a building block manner.

5+ Reasons Teaching Textbooks Works for Struggling Math Students from Starts At Eight

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0

Now you have the option of fulfilling Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0!

{I received one year of Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

I have owned the cd versions of all but 3 of the Teaching Textbook levels, and my youngest had the benefit of using the Teaching Textbooks 3.0 online homeschool math option. Now she is using the new 4.0 option. While it’s very similar in academic content to the previous versions, 4.0 has some features I think are a real benefit.

Benefits of Teaching Textbooks 4.0

1. Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is Totally MOBILE!!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

The content is the same but now you don’t have discs, or Flash Plug-Ins. This means Teaching Textbooks 4.0 works with EVERYTHING! {Windows, MAC, Chromebook, iPhone/iPad, and Android phones and tablets} I love that this offers us the flexibility to take Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 on the road!

  • Got a day full of doctors appointments? No problem! Kids can do it on your phone!
  • Heading out of town? Great, you can take it with you!
  • Had the computer you normally use breakdown? No stress here because you can pull it up on any computer!

Along with TT 4.0 being completely mobile comes the OFFLINE FEATURE. You can do multiple lessons offline (up to 6 lessons at a time), no Internet needed. This is awesome when you are somewhere with no or poor Internet!

2. Built in Scratchpad

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

No need for pencils and paper when on the go! Teaching Textbooks 4.0 has a scratchpad built right in!

Students just tap a button on the interface in order to free up space to work out their answers. It’s a great tool to help encourage kids to work things out instead of trying to do too much in their heads.

3. Improved User Experience Kids Love

TONS of screen wallpapers! There are both animated and not animated options! Kids can choose what speaks to them and have wallpaper they love!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

Animated stickers! These appear each time they answer a problem, and there are hundreds to unlock in each grade level.

Controlling these features – If you have older kids that aren’t interested in the extra animated features or if they become distracting for your child, you can adjust the settings in your Parent Portal. Students can also turn off stickers and adjust sound and some hint settings.

4. Parent Portal Features + NEW E-mail Feature

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

First of all, I just need to say that I LOVE not having to go to each of my children’s computers to check on their math grades! You can view and print them from any computer! The Parent Portal is online and not only stores current grades but all the grades they acquired using Teaching Textbooks 3.0 or 4.0- in your account.

You can view the Grade Book in list form with a host of Lessons listed and the basic data on your student’s performance.

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

Or you can view an individual lesson with more detailed stats.

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

You can also remove the grade for an entire lesson (I do this when my children score less than 80% on a lesson. This allows them to go back and do it again.) Or you can edit the grade for an individual problem. (This is great when your kid has an oops moment and types something in wrong.)

{Please note these two grade adjustment features are also found in the disc and 3.0 versions. You just have to go to the computer where the program and/or discs are to view and adjust.}

The Parent Portal is also where you can:

  • View all student grades, which includes overall grade averages and information on lessons completed.
  • Manage Your Digital Courses – something of note here is that YOU CAN PAUSE each course for up to 3 months! There is no limit to the number of times you can pause (until all of your 3 months have been used) but you have to pause for at least 1 week each time you pause.
  • Change student settings for hints, second chances, stickers, wallpapers, and the scratchpad.
  • View and print the answer key and ebook.

The Pause Subscription was a feature I honestly thought I wouldn’t need…until this year. We had some life circumstances slow us down this school year, and having the extra time for my daughter to complete Algebra 2 was a lifesaver. Now instead of being stressed about finishing in time, she has the time to complete it over the summer at a less rushed pace.

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more! A review from Starts At Eight.

**COMING SOON!** New E-mail Feature – Soon you won’t even have to log in if you don’t want to! Instead, you can get a daily e-mail of your students’ progress. The e-mail includes things like:

  • what lesson your student last completed
  • course average
  • course time remaining
  • other info related to course pauses and academic awards the student has won

5. Affordable Pricing and Large Family Discount

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

From the Teaching Textbooks Website: The latest version of the TT product line—the 4.0—is sold as an annual enrollment, but each enrollment is only for 1 child and 1 course. The prices for these enrollments, however, are FAR lower than the prices of our old products (books and discs). Specifically, the price of a 4.0 enrollment varies from around $43 to $67, whereas our old products cost around $120 to $185 depending on the grade level.

Of course, the price drop is great, especially if you have fewer children. The fewer the children, the cheaper the overall cost. But we also wanted the pricing structure to yield new advantages for larger families, those with 4 to 8 children. So we decided to cap the total annual cost to these families at $199.08. This means that large families can now convert everyone over to TT at a cost that is very close to the price of just one of our old TT high-school level complete sets (books and discs). Also, there is no financial penalty as the number of children (within the plan) rises. In fact, the more children you have, the lower the per child cost. Do the math and you will see that for a family of 8, the per child cost is now only around $25 per year!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

Be sure to check out the Large Family Discount Deal!

Not Sure Where To Start?

Placement Tests

Teaching Textbooks has Placement Tests for each level (Click on each level in the menu bar to find the placement test for that level). This is an important feature because every math program is different and having a placement specific to the program helps you easily place your child where is most appropriate.

Free Trial

Teaching Textbooks offers a FREE TRIAL of EVERY LEVEL! That means you can test run levels to see how you feel they fit your student before purchasing specific level!

Homeschool Math with Teaching Textbooks 4.0 is math made easy. Online, interactive, independent, auto-graded, and so much more!

Each 4.0 free trial is a complete version of Teaching Textbooks up through Lesson 15. Thus the free trial will allow you to experience everything contained in the first 15 lessons, including lectures, audiovisual solutions, ebook, and automated grading feature. Moreover, there is no time limit for completing the trial. It never expires! There are also no limits to the number of products you can try! And if you decide to purchase the full (paid) version, all of your grades will automatically transfer and all of your student’s progress will be saved!

GIVEAWAY

I am happy to say that I have 2 One-year Teaching Textbooks 4.0 Enrollments to giveaway! Enter below!

Elementary Secular Homeschool Science

Elementary Secular Homeschool Science

Throughout my years of homeschooling we have used many science curriculums, both Christian and Secular. One of the big things I often have people asking me about is, “Where do I find an elementary secular homeschool science curriculum?”

I’m happy to report that while I used to feel all the solid homeschool science curriculum options I came across were Christian, now there are many secular science programs to choose from!

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

Elementary Secular Homeschool Science

Common Sense Press has a secular homeschool science series called Great Science Adventures. It is a multi-grade level curriculum contained in just one book!

{Disclosure: I received Discovering the Human Body and Senses curriculum for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. However these are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

The series is broken down into three science categories:

1. Life Science:

  • The World of Plants
  • The World of Insects and Arachnids
  • Discovering the Human Body and Senses
  • The World of Vertebrates

2. Physical Science:

  • The World of Tools and Technology
  • The World of Light and Sound
  • Discovering Atoms, Molecules and Matter

3. Earth Science:

  • The World of Space
  • Discovering Earth’s Landforms and Surface Features
  • Discovering the Ocean

Each book is 24 lessons long and it is recommended that you complete one from each category for a full year of science.

Why is the Great Science Adventures series is considered a secular homeschool science curriculum?

From the Common Sense Press Website: “The Great Science Adventures series was created by two Christian women. Each unit is subject specific and fact based.  For example, Earth is described simply as the third planet from the Sun. It is assumed that the teacher has already established origin, age of the earth, etc.”

3 Reasons to Love Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press

This review is based on our experiences with Discovering the Human Body and Senses.

1. Easy to use

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

Everything you need for BOTH student and teacher comes in one book!

I love that each lesson clearly includes:

  • The concepts to be learned
  • Vocabulary Words (There’s a great graphic organizer piece to keep these all organized!)
  • The Lots of Science Library Book on the subject for that lesson (A mini book giving kids the most important things to know on the subject.)
  • A list of activities for each level
  • An Experiences, Investigation, and Research section (for older students to dig deeper.)

All the books and graphic organizer components are at the end of the book.

While I liked all of these things separated and the back, I wished they were either perforated for ease of removal from the book, or just separate loose pages.

To make using this curriculum a totally breeze throughout the year I spent a little time up front to organize it.

Organizing Discovering the Human Body and Senses

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight
  • The first thing I did was cut the binding so I could easily manage the graphic organizer pieces and the Lots of Science Library Books.
  • Then I whole punch all the Lesson Plans and put them into a three ring binder.
  • Next I added clear plastic sheet protectors in with each lesson.
  • Then I cut and assembled all the Lots of Science Library Books and placed them in their corresponding sheet protectors.
  • The final thing I did was add all the graphic organizers for each lesson to their prospective sheet protectors.

Doing these things ahead made it so we could just open and go!

2. Can be used with Multiple Ages

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

Each book has materials and learning activities geared for different grade levels. Little pencil icons are used to show you which tasks to do with a particular age group.

  • One pencil is for K-1: This is the Beginning level, which includes the non-reading or early-reading child.
  • Two pencils for grades 2-3: This is the Primary Level. It includes the reading student who is still working to be a fluent reader.
  • Three pencils for grades 4-8: This is the Intermediate Level, or fluent reader.

There is also a section at the end of each lesson called… Experiences, Investigations, and Research. This is for use with kids in 7th and 8th grade. In this case they would to the Intermediate Level activities PLUS anything you choose from this section.

These activities can be reading, research (both Internet and book), and/or hands on tasks. You get to choose from a selection specifically tailored to the lesson you are working on.

3. Hands On Approach

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

There are two hands-on components to the Great Science Adventures science books:

1. Graphic Organizer

Every lesson has a Graphic Organizer component to put together. This is AMAZING for kids who love to cut and paste, as well as kids (like my youngest) who LOVE having something to show around and read later!

My daughter use to carry these sorts of things around to show off what she learned and still has many on her bookshelf in her room today!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with hot dog folds and accordion books, there is a whole section in the front to walk you through making the different types of graphic organizer pieces.

2. Investigative Loop

These are used throughout the Great Science Adventure books. These give kids a framework for the labs. Walking them through a thought process to help them get the most out of what they are learning.

Great Science Adventures from Common Sense Press are easy to use, elementary secular homeschool science programs that can be used with multiple ages! This is a review of the Discovering the Human Body and Senses from Starts At Eight

Discount

From now through July 31st, 2021 use the code Summer2021 for 15% off!!

Giveaway

Enter to one of the following things:

  • 1 Teacher/Student set from Learning Language Art Through Literature
  • 1 Great Science Adventures
Sonlight Science – Literature Based Homeschool Science Curriculum

Sonlight Science – Literature Based Homeschool Science Curriculum

Do you love teaching with living books like I do?

Would you love having an open and go literature based science curriculum?

Sonlight Science Discover and Do is a literature based homeschool science curriculum that is just that!

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics.

Sonlight Science Discover & Do

We are loving our experience with Sonlight Science Discover & Do Kindergarten! (While this review is based on the Kindergarten level, you should know the other levels of this newly updated science from Sonlight will be released in coming weeks and will follow the same format.)

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight

{Disclosure: I received Science K from Sonlight curriculum for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. However these are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

1. The Beautiful Living Books!

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight

Take a look at the selection above from the Kindergarten Science Kit!

As you all know I LOVE LIVING BOOKS! We use a ton of them in our homeschool. They are so much richer and more engaging than a textbook.

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight.

These books provide the context for the science topic, and the experiments allow your children to experience the scientific process for themselves!

My second grade grandson was able to read a lot of the books on his own, with help on the new and sciency (yes sciency) words.

2. #DiscoverAndDo Science

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight

Discover & Do: Kindergarten Science Experiments are weekly experiments that help students explore the reading topics even further.

Each experiment relates directly to the weekly reading material. They are designed to follow the classic Sonlight model of learning (reading, discussing, and doing) while also adhering to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Discover and Do Science: Kindergarten has 3 components:

  • The Discover & Do Science Book – includes week by week , step by step instructions for completing the science experiments. Full color, beautiful and easy to follow!
  • A Supply Kit – the corresponding supply kits contain the items you need, in the quantities you need to complete the science experiments for the given level. You’ll never have to skip an experiment or run out at the last minute to get something!
  • Experiment Videos – these are digital only supplemental videos of the science experiments. You can stream them directly from your Sonlight.com account.
Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight

Every week your kids perform an experiment directly tied to the rest of the content they are studying in their books that week.

Most days you read from the book and do the appropriate numbered questions on the Student Activity Sheets. Then after a couple of days of this you do an experiment related to what you have been talking about in the reading.

In the pictures you see here we were reading about the rainforests. We found out one of the plants you find there is cocoa pods. Cocoa pods can be used to make cocoa butter, which you can use to make things like soap, candles, and CHOCOLATE! So weren’t we excited to make chocolate cake for science??!!

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics. A review from Starts At Eight

The experiments include detailed instructions and photos of many of the steps which makes it super easy for even the non-science strong parent to do these with their children.

3. #SonlightScience is Easy to Use

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics.

Sonlight Science is a one stop shop for science! Everything you need comes in the kit:

  • Living Books – the books read each week are all living books, no textbook.
  • Discover & Go Science Book – the supply list, colorful pictures, and directions for completing the science experiments are found in this book.
  • Instructor’s Guide – a 4 or 5 day a week layout that is the framework for what books to read and when, what experiments to do and what videos to watch. ** Note: Instructor’s Guides in levels K-J also include Activity Sheets filled with questions and simple activities, charts, illustrations, and pictures to help your children remember what they’ve learned. **
  • Supply Kit – the supply kit is filled with exact amounts of many of the things you need, excluding super common household items. Having it all together in one box makes it so easy to complete the experiements.

Sonlight Science in Action

With everything provided for you, Sonight Science is so easy to use! I literally opened up the box, pulled out all the components and started right in the same day!

The Instructor’s Guide tells you exactly what to do each day for either a 4 or 5 day a week schedule. (You choose that when you order so you get the lesson plans you need.)

Sonlight Science Discover & Do is a homeschool science curriculum that uses literature along with hands-on experiments and worksheets to help engage kids in science topics.

The Weekly Plan in the Instructor’s Guide Includes

  • What living book to read and what pages in that book to read
  • What activity questions to do (they even show what pages to find the answers next to every question)
  • When to do the experiments
  • A supply list for the week
  • A Shopping/Planning list so you can be sure you have everything together for the next week
  • Questions and thoughts to discuss about each section of the book you are reading

–>> Interested? CLICK HERE to check out all the Sonlight Science Options <<–

Sonlight Science Giveaway

Enter to win a Sonlight Science Package of your choice. Three winners will be selected on August 31, 2021 (contiguous United States only).

Other Sonlight Curriculum

Be sure to check out my review of Sonlight’s Kindergarten American History program.

Homeschool Kindergarten American History: A review of Sonlight's Exploring American History: History / Bible / Literature K from Starts At Eight
Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

As you approach the teen years with your children, you really start to focus on their future and preparing them for a future outside of your home.

Things like doing their own laundry, money management, and general house maintenance are a few things on our list. College and Career Readiness is also a big one. Whether they are planning for college, or heading straight for a career, there a so many things they need to know!

If you have been around here for any length of time, you know I am a BIG PROPONENT of teaching life skills, especially in high school. I wrote an entire series dedicated to teaching life skills called Life Skills as High School Electives – Home Economics & Shop Class. This includes things like sewing, laundry, basic household repairs, wood working skills, and more.

Life Skills as High School Electives: Home Economics & Shop Class from Starts At Eight. Teaching your kids life skills is a great way to learn and earn high school credit! Includes FREE Printable Record Keeping Sheets!

But what about things like setting goals, using calendars, time management, check writing, banking, the stock market, and resume writing? For things like these we have found an awesome College and Career Readiness course from Mr. D Math.

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness is a self-paced course designed to teach teens life skills that will aid them in things like time management, banking, resume writing and more.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

 

“I Will Bring Life to the Skills Teens Need for
Success… I Will Create Leaders Who are Committed
to Making a Difference!”  -Mr. D

What’s Covered in College and Career Readiness?

This course was previously named Life Skills 4 Teens, but has since been renamed.

I love that it includes:

General skills everyone needs (goal setting, time management, bank accounts,

Things specific to college bound teens (writing college applications, a College Campus Virtual Field Trip)

And things for career oriented teens (Resume Writing, Virtual Field Trip to EA Sports,)

There is so much packed into this full semester (16 week) course.

  • Goal Setting
  • Learning about Your Learning Style
  • Time Management
  • Financial Literacy
  • The Stock Market
  • Check Writing, Credit Cards, Bank Accounts
  • College Applications
  • Resume Writing
  • And More!

What We Think About Mr. D Math College and Career Readiness

My youngest daughter (9th grade) is taking this course, and was super excited to do so as she isn’t 100% sure what path she will take yet.

For this reason she really loved that the course included a career interest assessment to help show her careers that might fit her interest.

Self-Contained and Graded

We love that everything you need for this course is right in the dashboard!

Each lesson begins with a recorded video of one of Mr. D Math’s live College and Career Readiness courses. Then there are downloads for activities and places to submit all work. Then there is a teaching assistant that grades submitted work, offering specific feedback as well as the assigned grade.

No Tests!

My daughter loved the more project based nature of this course. No tests, just things like short responses and essays, specific tasks such as starting a Google Calendar, watching short videos.

Self-Paced

Most Mr. D Math online classes are offered with a choice of self-paced or live. While we LOVE Mr. D Math live classes for all the interaction and feedback, our schedule doesn’t always line up with class times.

Having the self-paced option is awesome! You get all the same things as the live classes, minus the live interaction, PLUS the flexibility to complete the course whenever it fits into your schedule.

Self-paced courses are available year-round. Once you purchase a course, you have until March of the following school year to submit assignments. Beyond that time you will still have access to the course, but you will not be able to submit assignments and receive grades/feedback.

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND TO PURCHASE MR. D MATH COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS <<–<<–

Try Mr. D Math Online Courses

Mr. D Math offers online courses both live and recorded and across multiple genres – not just math!

Math Courses:

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2
  • Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
  • SAT Math Bootcamp
  • ACT Math Bootcamp
  • Consumer Math
  • Summer Math Readiness Classes

Other Courses:

  • Advanced Writing
  • American Sign Language (I, II, III)
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Music and Physical Education (Training Like An Olympic Runner, Flamenco Dance, Flamenco Guitar)
  • Study Skills
  • Technology

–>>–>> CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE MR. D MATH COURSE OFFERINGS <<–<<–

More Mr. D Math Reviews

We have used Mr. D Math courses more than once throughout our years of homeschooling.

Having access to an instructor where the kids can ask questions and get feedback is such an awesome part of Mr. D Math live online courses.

You can check out what our experience was like with two of our children. Just click on the images below.

Also stay tuned as I will have ANOTHER MR. D MATH review coming soon – SAT BOOTCAMP!

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math! Mr. D Math offers online live or self-paced courses for high school math, Test Prep, ASL, and more! A review from Starts At EightHomeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math from Starts At Eight

Planning High School Electives

Looking to use this Mr. D College and Career Readiness course as a high school elective? Awesome!

Want help planning your student’s high school electives? Check out this FREE Plan Your High School Electives Printable Pack.

Plan Your High School Electives is a 3 step process of research, conversations with your teen, and a narrowing down of choices and how you will fulfill them.

  1. Step One: Checklist of High School Electives Options â€“ an extensive list of options to think about and check off ones you and your teen feel could be possible options
  2. Step Two: Top 10 Electives to Explore â€“ question to help you narrow the field of options, along space for keeping track of possible resources, curriculum, classes, etc.
  3. Step Three: Final Elective Choices â€“ the final choices your teen will be engaging in along with course descriptions, number of credits and a resource list

Plan Your High School Electives: Free Printable Pack from Starts At Eight

 

Teach Creative Writing with Bardsy Homeschool

Teach Creative Writing with Bardsy Homeschool

If you are not a writer yourself, you may be concerned about how you will Teach Creative Writing in your homeschool. Read on to find out about a tool that might just resolve that concern for you!

Teach Creative Writing with Bardsy Homeschool

Bardsy Homeschool is a one stop shop to teach creative writing in your homeschool.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to Bardsy Homeschool and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Bardsy Homeschool uses interactive tools and courses as well as guidance from professional writer-educators to help unlock the writing potential in your child.

For only $8.99 month you can have access to all Bardsy Homeschool writing tools, video courses, & lesson plans. Cancel anytime – No Problem!

Why Creative Writing Matters

Writing isn’t extra-curricular, it’s trans – curricular.

  • It fosters observation, flexibility and persistence.
  • Writing supercharges your child’s ability to absorb, process, retain and retrieve information across disciplines.
  • Your child’s math and science scores will reflect improved pattern recognition, construction and extension skills.
  • Just fifteen minutes of writing a day makes an impact on your child’s health: whether they’re experiencing stress or suffering from trauma. Creative writing offers them a healthy way to process their emotions, which is productive for their growth

Get Started with Bardsy Homeschool’s Storywheel

The Storywheel includes the 5 basics elements every story needs:

  • characters
  • world
  • conflict
  • plot
  • theme

The Storywheel helps kids understand that you can start anywhere! Got any idea for a character? Start there! Need a suggestion for a theme? Spin the wheel and get some ideas!

The Storywheel gives your students ideas to help them get started, or fill in the gaps they are missing! Once they have “traveled” around the wheel they will have the elements they need to build a great story!

Let Prospero Help You Teach Creative Writing

Prospero is the silver bullet in this program! Prospero is an AI (artificial intelligence) writing coach! I was blown away by the number of options for worksheets, and how well it saves and allows your child to organize them!

Prospero Saves All Work

Prospero easily saves all your student’s work in one place and turns it into building blocks. They type right in the worksheet and Prospero saves it for them.

Let me say that again PROSPERO SAVES YOUR CHIILD’s WORK!! That means no missing papers! No lost thoughts! They type, Prospero saves!

Later they can move them around to create a framework for their story. They can add, delete, change and rearrange as much as they want. Then, in go the story elements and out comes everything they need to make a first draft!

Prospero In Action

To begin with Prospero you start with a working title.

Then Prospero offers up a plethora of worksheets across the 5 Storywheel categories that will help the student develop each of those 5 important pieces.

The student works in their own timeframe filling out and organizing all the worksheets.

Once they’ve completed their worksheets they can move them around to create and organized flow, and simple click an arrow to pop them into a rough draft format.

Having to only type things once and then being able to simply click arrows and drag and drop things around is wonderful for kids who get frustrated having to write outlines, rough draft after rough draft, and then the final paper.

No Printer Needed!

Bardsy Homeschool can be a totally digital program! Your student can type all of their work right into Prospero, edit, move and delete pages and more! For someone like me whose printer recently bit the dust, this is an awesome feature!

Don’t want to be totally digital? That’s fine too! You can also print all the Bardsy Homeschool Worksheets for your student to work with pen and paper.

Video Courses

Do you think your student needs more structure? Then the video courses may be your way to get started!

Award-winning author Celeste Davidson teaches via bite-sized video lessons (under 10 minutes)!

There are 3 course tracks you can follow:

  • Writing Warmup – For beginners. Get going by retelling a classic story.
  • Better Storytelling – A deep dive into essential story elements and their assembly.
  • Story Talk – Learn to read and critique stories.

Free Downloadable Character Creation Kit!

Get Bardsy Homeschool’s Super Character Creation Kit for free when you  subscribe to get Bardsy Homeschool E-mails.

This comprehensive kit includes:

  • Create a Super Character Lesson Plan and Activity
  • Bardsy’s Super Character Video Course – Part 1
  • Three Extensive Character Building Templates
  • Everything You Need To Get Creative And Get Writing!

Bardsy Homeschool believes that creative writing supercharges every academic skill.

The Bardsy Homeschool Method breaks storytelling down into two complementary steps: develop and assemble. This method is woven into Bardsy Homeschool tools to minimize struggle and make writing accessible and fun.

Now, you can see this method in action with their online Super Character Creation Kit! 

Download Bardsy’s Homeschool Super Character Kit and get started on your story today!

21st Century Learning with Virtua Education

21st Century Learning with Virtua Education

Now more than ever parents are choosing 21st Century learning for their kids (both homeschool and public). The seemingly endless sea of options for online learning can be both a blessing and a curse!

21st Century Learning with Virtua Education

Virtua Education from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is an online secular homeschool curriculum that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to customize a learning path to your child’s knowledge.

{Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Virtua Education.  While I was compensated for my time in writing this post, all opinions are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Virtua School has an extensive library of applicable courses that cover English, Math and Science from Elementary to High School.

With access to over 2,000 micro-lessons in English, Math and Science across a variety of formats, such as slideshows, videos, graphs and text, Virtua School helps take the guess work out of education at home!

How Does Virtua School Work?

1. Begin with Diagnostics

You begin Virtua with diagnostic assessments. This process identifies the student’s knowledge gaps and brings relevant micro-lessons (or nuggets as they call them) into the student’s learning pathway.

These diagnostic assessments are not tests. They simply gather information to help the Virtua system to know what your student needs to learn next.

That’s why during the diagnostics they don’t tell you which questions you got right or wrong. It doesn’t matter. Every answer given helps CENTURY (the learning platform Virtua uses) to understand your child’s brain better so they can help them progress more quickly.

2. Your Path is Created

Once your student has completed the diagnostics, Virtua creates a tailored learning path for them to follow. The path consists of assigned nuggets (small lessons) for them to complete.

They can choose to do all 3 subjects or just one, plus you can go into the parent dashboard and assign specific nuggets if there are topics you know your child needs work on.

3. Follow The Given Learning Path

Nuggets are small lessons on your child’s learning path. They typically include a short video lesson with questions for them pertaining to that information immediately following the short lesson.

What we love so much about nuggets is that they are small, bite-sized pieces of information. This is especially helpful for kids who have a short attention span because they can easily complete a nugget (or a few) in a short time span, allowing them to have completed a whole concept before taking a break.

The Virtua AI system constantly re-assesses your student and personalizes learning pathways not just in terms of content that needs to be studied but when content needs to be revisited.

Virtua Library

Another feature of Virtua Education is their online library.  Over 25,000 titles in a wide variety of formats making learning fun and memorable!

  • eBooks: Tens of thousands of expertly curated and extensively researched ebooks that keep students engaged and intrigued.
  • Audio Books: High-quality audio books allow students to build a strong foundation for independent learning. 
  • Instructional Videos: Over 100 videos teaching basic skills and civics concepts add variety and depth to your homeschool. Perfect for visual learners!
  • Magazines: National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, and more! Get access to digital subscriptions and expand your horizons.
  • Languages: Learn Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese at your own pace with MUZZY.
  • Read, watch, or listen on any device! Your computer, tablet or smartphone are all able to support your Virtua Library.

Give 21st Century Learning with Virtua Education a Try!

Virtua is offered as a monthly subscription through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Right now you get your first month of Virtua for just $1!

While you are there be sure to check out all the other awesome deals Homeschool Buyers Co-op has to offer!

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