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Elementary

Beast Academy Playground: FREE Math Games for Kids

Beast Academy Playground: FREE Math Games for Kids

Playing games is a great way to not only have fun and interact with your kids, but to help them learn concepts in a fun way! My grandson loves anything that uses his hands. Thus he is all about playing board games, manipulating pieces with his hands, etc. We recently came across Beast Academy Playground and we are loving all the screen free, fun math games!

Beast Academy Playground - FREE Math Games for Kids ages 4 & up. Fun, simple to create, screen free, educational games for the whole family! A review from Starts At Eight

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post, I 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.}

Beast Academy Playground: FREE Math Games

Beast Academy is an advanced comic-based math program for students ages 8-13. Beast Academy Playground is a growing collection (New videos are released each week) of math games, crafts and activities that Beast Academy offers for FREE! This playground helps kids build numerical literacy and problem-solving confidence.

Beast Academy Playground - FREE, screen free, table top math games

Offline Math Games

All of my children, and my grandson too, have no shortage of screen time. Many of their school subjects are complete online, as well as lots of free time gaming. That is one of the reasons I love Beast Academy Playground! All of their games are offline, screen free, table top games.

Accessing the Free Math Games for Kids

The only screen time used for these games is the time it takes me to pick one, read the directions and/or watch the video they include to explain each game, and referencing it to get the supplies to play.

You can simply scroll through games, or use the filters to help you narrow your search to specific ages and activity types.

Our Experience with Beast Academy Playground

I have to say that not only did my grandson have fun playing these games with me, but so did I! They are simple to create using basic supplies around the house, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow, and they were just plain fun to do together!

Take a closer look below at two of the different games we have played so far:

Cartographer

Fun, FREE Math Games with Beast Academy Playground

I was super excited to Cartographer amongst the math games at Beast Academy Playground because we are working a lot with a map of the United States this year for history/geography. My grandson is learning all 50 states and where they are located on a map.

All that we needed for this game was:

  • a print out of the provided map
  • 4 different colored markers

When he saw it his eyes lit up and he was super confident he had this one in the bag! (It ended up being a little trickier than he thought!)

Beast Academy Playground Cartographer Game

He was so disappointed when he got to the end and realized he didn’t quite complete the map correctly. But we went back through and talked about what he could change to make it work – it only took changing the colors of two states and he was successful! (HINT: If you think your child may have a little trouble with this, you could slip the map in a plastic sheet protector and use dry erase markers so it’s easy to fix and redo.)

Beyond the printable United States map, there are tons of variations you can draw and try out for yourself. This gives the kids a chance to be creative. You can each draw some and then switch to see if you can stump the other person!

Troll Hole

Fun, FREE Math Games with Beast Academy Playground

Truth be told I picked Troll Hole for it’s name. I knew my grandson would think it was silly and would like drawing a troll in the empty circle of the game.

All we needed to play this game was:

  • plain white paper
  • a quarter (optional but made it easier to make uniform sized circles)
  • 2 different colored markers
Beast Academy Playground Troll Hole Game

I think what he ended up liking most was that he beat me! LOL! We did multiple shape variations of this one as well. It’s cool to see if you can figure out a way to give yourself a winning advantage, and they are using valuable adding skills along the way!

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.

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.

BRAINIKA A Fun Math Game on Roblox

BRAINIKA A Fun Math Game on Roblox

If your kids are anything like mine you probably spend a good amount of energy patrolling their screen time. I bet you are also always on the look out for ways to make screen time both fun and educational. Good news! I found a fun math game on Roblox that you might be interested in!

Throughout my years of parenting and homeschooling I have had to balance my kids (especially my son’s and now grandson’s) screen time. I have never had a problem with them spending time playing games on the computer, as long as they are also doing other things to create balance in their lives. I created this method of limiting kids screen time by balancing it with other activities like chores, outside time, reading, etc.

Between implementing this screen time method, and striving to find fun but educational online games, I feel we have struck a pretty good balance for our kids.

Check out this fun math game on Roblox by BRAINIKA! A fun way for kids in grades K-2 to practice their math skills! Turn their game time into learning time! A review from Starts At Eight.

Fun Math Game on Roblox

I recently found BRAINIKA Math – a new educational math game on Roblox for kids in K to 2nd grades. It takes kids love for online games like Roblox and turns it into educational time parents can feel good about!

{I received free access to the BRAINIKA Math Game on Roblox 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.}

Check out this fun math game on Roblox by BRAINIKA! A fun way for kids in grades K-2 to practice their math skills! Turn their game time into learning time! A review from Starts At Eight.

BRAINIKA was created by a mom of an ADHD child who was frustrated by trying to force him to learn.

From Anika… “I am an education entrepreneur who knows seven languages. I have used my knowledge to build two online language schools and create courses through Coursera.org.

My son, Tim, is diagnosed with ADHD. I was tired of trying to force him to learn. He gets bored easily and finds it too hard to focus when he is not interested.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, both of my kids became lost in Roblox. I felt guilty at first, since many of the games on the platform are mindless. Then, I noticed that Tim had no problem focusing when he played Roblox. He also remained very attentive whenever he played Minecraft. I loved that he had found the motivation to focus, but what he was focusing on was not very educational. I had to find a solution! So, myself and my team developed a small game in Roblox surrounding Math practice. Now Tim can play the game he loves and practice school math at the same time!”

How it works

BRAINIKA is used within the Roblox platform. That means if your kids play Roblox they will be familiar with how it all works. BRAINIKA Math has kids solving problems as they play! Jumping, running, going through mazes, all while earning coins to be used for cool stuff!

Check out this fun math game on Roblox by BRAINIKA! A fun way for kids in grades K-2 to practice their math skills! Turn their game time into learning time! A review from Starts At Eight.

When you purchase BRAINIKA you will get a code to use to connect it inside the Roblox platform. Once they are linked you will have access to easy progress tracking, a safe environment(chatting with strangers is disabled), and kids can make 400 Robux monthly for solving math problems!

Reasons to Love BRAINIKA Math Game on Roblox

5 Reasons You'll Love BRAINIKA
  1. Easy Progress Tracking for Parents – parents track kid’s progress with progress reports sent your email.
  2. 100% Safe Environment – Chatting with strangers is disabled
  3. Kids who LOVE Roblox will have fun learning math! – Every 30 days your child can earn a 400 Robux gift card if they played at least 15 days out of 30 and completed one level with an 85% or higher score.
  4. Affordable – At just $5.95 for one month (or for a limited time $31.90 for a year!) this is an educational game you can get behind!
  5. Recommended by Experts – Barbara Oakley, a scientific advisor, recommends BRAINIKA. Oakley is the author of the course Learning How to Learn (the most popular course on Coursera) and one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women Engineers by Forbes. Also ADHD experts recommend BRAINIKA for helping kids to stay attentive and focused on solving math problems.

Purchasing BRAINIKA Math Game

Two Ways to Buy!

You can try BRAINIKA for a month for a $5.95 one-time payment. One month, no strings! Then you’ll have the option to extend month-by-month or purchase an annual access with a discount.

BRAINIKA Math Game on Roblox 50% Discount

OR Check out this secret link to get 50% OFF the annual subscription NOW! (offer ends September 30, 2021) That’s an entire year for just $31.90!

If you are a school teacher, an educator or a homeschooling parent with 3+ kids at home who has been using game-based learning and would like to use the BRAINIKA Math game in Roblox in class or for home assignments, BRAINIKA would like to give you FREE access. Reach out to Anika@brainika.co to inquire.

More Online Educational Games

7 Reasons to Let Kids Play Video Games {SPOILER - Video games aren't all bad!} There are many benefits of video gaming for kids.
KidzType Typing Games make learning touch typing fun! This is a free site that uses a step by step process, fun cartoons, and games to help kids learn to type. Review by Heidi at Starts At Eight.
FabuLingua is a Spanish Language App that teaches kids Spanish via fun, interactive stories. Read along, play games, earn stickers, record yourself, & more! A Review from Starts At Eight
Improve Reading Comprehension with LightSail for Homeschoolers

Improve Reading Comprehension with LightSail for Homeschoolers

When my son was little he was a phenomenal reader. He was reading way above grade level and faster than I can read. The problem? His reading comprehension was almost non-existent. He could read all these big words and sentences but couldn’t tell me much about what he had read or answer any questions of the like. I struggled to find something that would help improve reading comprehension. I wish LightSail for Homeschoolers had been available then!

Lightsail for Homeschoolers is an online language arts program for preK-12 that advances skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.

LightSail for Homeschoolers

The LightSail for Homeschoolers language arts platform is a comprehensive and engaging online reading and writing program for children in grades pre-K through 12. A foundation in the science of reading and writing combined with the experience of a team of home educators creates a family-friendly learning experience advancing skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency. LightSail provides tens of thousands of ChildSafe books and multimedia resources from leading publishers such as World Book, Baker Publishing and Lerner Publishing.

{Disclosure: I received free access to LightSail as part of this review. I was compensated for my time to give an honest review of this product. All opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

The 4 Pillars of LightSail

Lightsail for Homeschoolers is an online language arts program for preK-12 that advances skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.

LightSail’s program is based on what they define as The Four Pillars of Literacy.

  1. Reading – LightSail has a library of tens of thousands of books and multimedia content for all ages. Classics, biographies, animals, sports, timelines, audiobooks, and so much more!
  2. Writing – The writing assignments compliment the reading your child is doing. LightSail breaks the writing process down in a fun and easy to manage way.
  3. Vocabulary – LightSail uses a spiral approach to teaching vocabulary that is customized to your child’s Lexile score. Kids work with these words in Spelling Bees and vocabulary assignments, and parents can assign their own Spelling Bees or use ready-made lists. Students will learn things like how to use the words in sentences, what part of speech the word is, the definition and synonyms for the word.
  4. Fluency – LightSail has some really cool fluency tools. These tools allow your child to record themselves reading a portion of a book aloud and send it to you for assessment. Students can play their own recording back and re-record it until they are happy with it. It then allows you to listen to the recording with text on screen, so you can assess what they’ve omitted, inserted, mispronounced, substituted, repeated, or self corrected.

Features of LightSail for Homeschoolers

Lightsail for Homeschoolers is an online language arts program for preK-12 that advances skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.
  • Extensive Library: LightSail contains an extensive collection of tens of thousands of engaging books and multimedia content from respected publishers such as World Book and Lerner Publishing, as well as trusted homeschool and faith-based publishers. Parents customize this collection to the individual needs of their children and their family values through LightSail’s ChildSafe Content Control Service and reading- and grade-level appropriateness controls.
  • Bookmarks: Curated passages from larger works, like the Bible or Shakespeare, organized into topical groups and with added assessment questions leveled for children of different ages. Watch a video on Bookmarks here that shows you some examples! And, of course, any parent can create their own Bookmarks.
  • Quotations: Similar to Bookmarks but limited to 300 words in length, these passages are perfect to assign for copywork or memory work. Parents can create their own, but LightSail also has hundreds of groups of Quotations chosen by their team of experienced homeschoolers from famous lines of poetry, to quotes from historic speeches, to favorite Bible verses.  See more here
  • Memory Work Tool + Ready-Made Lists: LightSail has harnessed the power of existing features in their Fluency module and created an all new Memory Work Tool, allowing parents to use a Quotation or Memory Work list (or provide their own text) and set a schedule for their child to practice and recite. Plus, they provide all the most popular choices (hundreds of pre-made lists) for memorization that homeschoolers want! Learn more here.
  • Lesson Plans: Beginning with faith-based lessons, and then expanding to other academic subjects, LightSail’s Lesson Plan incorporates their amazing content into structured lessons with teaching notes, activities, games, crafts, quizzes, and much more.  Learn more here
Lightsail for Homeschoolers is an online language arts program for preK-12 that advances skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.

What’s Not to Love?

Extensive Reading Collection

As I’ve already mentioned, LightSail has an extensive library. Not just books, but timelines, maps, biographies, new and more! This means you have reading and research material right at your fingertips!

Customization

The extensive reading collection comes with amazing customization capabilities! As a parent have the ability to customize to the needs of your children and family values through LightSail’s ChildSafe Content and Control Service and reading and grade level appropriateness controls. This allows you to block the books you don’t want and/or specifically choose what you do.

Then there’s the customization LightSail does automatically. Every 15 days LightSail automatically updates your child’s Lexile score, allowing every feature to be tailored to your child’s reading level!

Along with the Lexile adaptation, there are built-in comprehension assessments that help you determine if your child is absorbing what they are reading.

Extra Features

Lightsail for Homeschoolers is an online language arts program for preK-12 that advances skills in reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.

One of the features I really liked was the built in cloze activities to help improve reading comprehension. This leaves out a word in the sentence. Kids have to choose the correct word that will go in the blank. Doing this helps to ensure that kids are paying attention to what they read. It helps them to use the context of the story to infer meaning.

Another feature to love is the option to have the book read to you. Check out the video below where I demonstrate a book being read, and the various speed settings to choose from. This is super helpful when your child is struggling and needs help, or if you’d like them to be able to read (listen) to something that is above their reading level.

Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum

Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum

I already knew that Apologia does an amazing job with their science curricula, but I didn’t know they were coming out with MATH! Apologia Homeschool Elementary Curriculum is coming to you!

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum - Exploring Creation with Mathematics is for grades 1-6 and is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum

What is Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum?

Apologia Exploring Creation with Mathematics is a new product from Apologia for elementary kids in grades 1-6. This curriculum combines color photos, hands-on activities, engaging projects, and plenty of games to teach math concepts! Each lesson’s design presents math as an accessible and exciting topic.

{I received Exploring Creation with Mathematics 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.}

Apologia’s Elementary Math Levels:

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

There are currently 3 math levels in the Apologia Homeschool Elementary Curriculum (Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Mathematics 3) with 3 more on the way!

Mathematics 1 Covers:

  • Recognizing numbers to 120 
  • Addition up to 100
  • Subtraction up to 100
  • Measuring Length, Capacity, Time
  • Data and Graphs
  • Geometric Shapes

Mathematics 2 Covers:

  • Recognizing Numbers Up To 1000
  • Addition up to 1000
  • Subtraction up to 1000
  • Money, Length
  • Data and Graphs
  • Shapes, Angles, Symmetry

Mathematics 3 Covers:

  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Fractions
  • Time, Weight
  • Data and Graphs
  • Perimeter, Area

Components of Apologia’s Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum:

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

1. A consumable, spiral-bound Student Workbook

Can I just say that once again Apologia has made sure the Student Workbook is spiral bound! This makes it SO much easier for kids to use!

Each level of the student workbook follows the same design:

  • Units open with a section on “Seeing Our Creator” in mathematics. They also include the “Skills Practice” that students will review while working on new materials. Units are divided into individual Chapters.
  • Chapters cover individual concepts and are divided into discreet daily lessons.
  • Daily lessons consist of an opening hands-on activity that uses common household items, textual materials to explain any new concepts, and a practice worksheet.

2. A softcover Teaching Guide and Answer Key

Exploring Creation with Mathematics Teaching Guide and Answer Key. Levels 1, 2, and 3 contain:

  • A 28-week lesson plan broken into 4-days/week
  • Teacher Notes for each unit
  • Supply list for each unit (a complete supply list is also available)
  • Skills Practice suggestions and ideas
  • Teacher Notes for individual lessons, where needed
  • At-a-glance answer key for each workbook page
  • Consumable worksheets (copies are also located on each title’s Book Extras site)

Bonus Online Content

Every Apologia title has its own website. These Book Extras contain additional materials that help parents and students succeed.

  • Relevant websites, such as electronic games or places to create your own worksheets
  • A printable PDF of every consumable page found in the Teaching Guide and Answer Key
  • Additional printable PDF worksheets for students who are struggling with a concept and may need additional encouragement.

Not Sure Where You Need To Start?

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Apologia has created this elementary math curriculum with courses designed to progress your student through  specific skills and levels of learning rather than by traditional grade levels. In this curriculum, students master math concepts that build on one another to establish a strong foundation for success in future courses.

If you aren’t sure where you should be starting with your student, check out the Placement Guide for Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum.

What’s to Love About Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum?

1. Both Visual & Hands-On

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Incorporating more than one learning style is a strong suit of the Apologia Homeschool Elementary Math Curriculum.

First there hands-on activities with each lesson such as playing a game or using some sort of manipulative (M&M’s, Legos, Counting Blocks, Coins).

Beyond the hands-on activities the book includes visual representations of key concepts being taught.

PLUS, each unit in Exploring Creation with Mathematics culminates in end-of-the-unit projects that reinforce the math the student has learned through real-world scenarios.

2. Built in Review & Daily Skills Practice

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Math is a building blocks subject. If you don’t learn the basics, you can’t add on…at least you can’t add on successfully. At the elementary level, a sizeable part of the content is math facts that must be memorized. (Yes, I very much believe in the memorization of basic math facts.)

Each day, in addition to the daily lessons, Exploring Creation with Mathematics has students spend 5-10 minutes reviewing a previously-learned skill. 

I find this to be so important when learning math concepts. It’s natural that if you don’t use something often, you lose it. By including daily review this curriculum helps students use, and therefore retain the math skills they have learned.

Games and activities that are easy to set up are listed in the Teaching Guide and Answer Key.

3. Easy to Use

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Speaking of the Teaching Guide and Answer Key, this resource makes executing and teaching math simple! It is organized by unit.

Each unit includes a full supply list. This is so great because you can easily gather everything you need for the unit ahead of time so there is no searching for supplies during lesson time!

You will also find all the Daily Skills Practice suggestions and ideas here. Right in front, in list form, so that you can easily implement this important feature of the math program with your student.

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

Parents can also check their student’s answers easily with the thumbnail images of each worksheet. The answers are clearly visible for ease of use.

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

4. Flexible Scheduling

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight

While this is part of the ease of use included in the Teacher’s Guide, I feel it needs it’s own spotlight.

Apologia does a great job of laying out a 4 day a week lesson plan for you. As you may know we use a 4 Day Homeschool Week in our house. It has afforded us so much more flexibility and taken the pressure off when we need a break or have something else pop up.

Within the schedule, each day students are to complete the lesson and skills practice listed on the daily schedule. These are clear tasks and can easily be broken up if a day is cut short and you need to move on. Or if you are running short on time, simply cut out the skills practice that day so you can move right on the next day!

Click Here to check out Apologia’s Homeschool Elementary Mathematics Curriculum NOW!!

Sale & Giveaway

Apologia Elementary Homeschool Math Curriculum for grades 1-6 is designed to build a strong foundation of familiarity with numbers as children learn how to manipulate numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. A review from Starts At Eight
Click on the image to start saving!

Giveaway

2 winners (USA or Canada only) will get an Exploring Creation with Mathematics Basic Set — winner’s choice of either Level 1, 2, or 3.

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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
Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

While the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed due to Covid, they are now set to begin on Friday, July 23rd, 2021 and end on Sunday, August 8th.

I have found many great Summer Olympics Activities and Resources that could be used not only for this year, but for any year of the Summer Olympic Games.

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities includes art projects, printables, books, online resources and more for learning about and engaging with the Summer Olympics. From Starts At Eight

Even though we are off from official school during the summer, events like the Summer Olympics are something we try to engage with and learn about as they are happening as that is when they are most interesting and exciting.

There are resources here for students of all ages with many adaptable to use with multiple ages!

Summer Olympics Activities

Here are some of the Summer Olympics activities and resources we are using to help us learn about the games and to keep us more actively involved in this major event in history.

1. You Are An Artist

Summer Games

My daughter has loved using chalk pastels from the moment we first picked up one of the You Are An Artist books. {Note: You will often see us use oil pastels with these as well.}

We have started diving in to the Summer Games  book as we watch the Olympic Trials and follow along on the road to the 2016 Summer Games.

Summer Olympics Chalk Pastel Collage

2. Online Resources

1. Summer Games Online Unit Study

This course has five modules:

  • History of the Olympics
  • Traditions of the Olympics
  • Becoming an Olympian
  • 2021 Summer Games
  • Project: Olympics Puzzle Collection

2. The home of the Olympic Games

This is the official Olympic site with links to the past and future games as well everything you want and need to know to keep up with the action! This is a GO TO RESOURCE!

3. All About the Olympics Power Point

Perfect for whole-class teaching, this colorful Olympics PowerPoint Presentation is packed with illustrations and interesting information to help support your teaching and engage children in the Olympic Games.

By downloading this Olympics PowerPoint Presentation, you will receive informative slides to introduce your students to the history of the Olympics. This includes when the Olympics began, and all about the fascinating Ancient Greek Games. 

Students will then be presented with real-life action shots of various Olympic sports, including long jump, running, shot-put, gymnastics, shooting, and judo. This aims to increase students’ knowledge about the Olympics, as well as inspire children to get involved with new sports and activities.   

Students will also be introduced to Olympics medals, the Olympic torch, and Olympic rings. These are all key elements of the Olympic Games and helps student’s to understand their use, symbolism, and importance. 

This Olympics PowerPoint Presentation also covers the Paralympic games, helping students to gain a wider understanding of the development of sport and inclusivity. 

Finally, alongside recent hosts of the Olympic Games, students will be also introduced to the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2021. 

4. Mathematics and the Summer Olympics

In this Webquest you will explore basic facts about the Summer Olympics and math connections to this international event. You will also engage in several related activities. These tasks will require a computer, access to the web, paper and pencil.

Here are some of the activities:

  • Choose your favorite countries and make a graph of their medal counts for past Olympics. How do you think they will fare this summer in London?
  • Keep track of your favorite athletes. For example, compare your favorite athlete’s performance during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing to his/her performance in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Does the athlete’s performance improve or decline? By how many points? meters? seconds?
  • Keep track of the numbers and types of medals earned by certain countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. They can then compare this medal count to those earned in 2008.

5. Olympic Fun Facts

Check out this collection of facts about the Olympics including things like:

  • What do the 5 rings represent?
  • What country has won the most medals?
  • When was the Olympics first televised?
  • And More!

3. Printables

FREE Summer Olympics Lapbook

This lapbook includes:

  • Geography: Mapping the route of the Olympic torch; Flags;
  • Math: Graphing medals;
  • History: Traditions & Symbols of the Olympic games; Olympic Timeline; Ancient Olympic History; Modern Olympics
  • Science: Health & Nutrition;
  • Language Arts: Write an athlete’s biography; other writing exercises
  • Art: Design an Olympic Logo

FREE Summer Olympics Printable Pack

Summer Olympics Pack contains over 100 pages:

  • (Part 1) 3 Part Cards, Which one is Different, What Comes Next?, Prewriting Practice, Pattern Cards, Matching Cards, 4 Piece Puzzles, 10 Piece Puzzles, Clip & Count to 15
  • (Part 2) Beginning Sound, Find the Same, Cutting Practice, Size Sequencing, Sorting, Sorting by Size, Wall Cards, Trace Beginning Sound, Trace the Word, Write the Word, Medal Math Hands on Page (Addition, subtraction, Greater Than/Less Than, Counting)
  • (Part 3) Color the Pattern, Color by Size, Fill in the Missing Pattern, Read Write and Count the Room, 8 page Small Books, Ring Color By Number, Dot Marker Olympic Rings, Stamp Beginning Sound
  • (Tot Pack) Solid Line Prewriting, Counting, Cutting Practice, 2 Piece Puzzle, Color the Ring Book, Matching Cards, 9 Piece Puzzles

The Summer Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020 (2021)

In this FREE Summer Olympics unit study, you and your children will work through an 9-day guide with reading passages (included), printable maps, and notebooking pages.

This free download contains everything you need for a thorough overview of Japan—perfect for the history and geography components of your Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 homeschool unit study.

  • Discover Japan’s active volcano—Mount Fuji, or Fujiyama
  • learn how Japan has become one of the world’s top economic powers
  • meet the people of Japan and explore Japanese culture
  • sketch a simple timeline of major events in Japan’s history
  • create a calendar marking various Japanese holidays
  • create a Japanese-English dictionary
  • participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
  • and more!

Gold Silver and Bronze Medals

4. Book Resources

What are the Summer Olympics?

Learn all about the history of the summer games by reading this Who Was Book… What are the Summer Olympics?

Use these FREE Printable Who Was Notebooking Pages for kids to write what they learned!


Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources from Starts At Eight

~ Originally Published July 2016 for the Rio Games

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