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Math

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.

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
Teach Kids About Money with this Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

Teach Kids About Money with this Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

Are you looking for fun, online, educational games for your kids? How about one that teaches financial literacy and money management for kids? I would like to introduce you to a financial literacy homeschool curriculum that does these things!

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14. A review from Starts At Eight.

As you may already know I am a big proponent of teaching life skills at ALL ages throughout the childrearing and homeschooling years. It can be as simple as teaching your toddler to put their toys away in a bin, or as complex as preparing your teens/young adults for the home buying experience.

One of the amazing things about homeschooling is the ability to weave these skills into your daily lives and homeschool curriculum plans!

MoneyTime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum

MoneyTime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum is a gamified online financial literacy program for kids ages 10-14. MoneyTime can be used on any PC, laptop or tablet that is connected to the Internet however it does not work on mobile phones.

{Disclosure: I received free access to MoneyTime 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.}

How the MoneyTime Game Works

The Moneytime Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum combines financial literacy lesson modules with a money management game. It consists of 30 personal finance lessons and 13 optional Parent-Child lessons covering topics such as earning, saving, budgeting, property, investing and business, all at an age appropriate level.

Within the 13 Parent-Child lessons your children will write a resume, prepare a household budget, buy an imaginary property and check on your household’s insurances. These modules provide a great opportunity for them to get to know you better and to understand your family’s finances so that they can put their learning into a real life context.

Each child begins the game as a gardener and continues on to be able to choose a better paying job by investing in further education. Every profession has an expected income and a cost to gain the qualification. This is a great way for kids to understand that different jobs need different levels of education and also produce varying amounts of income.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Kids can also choose to spend money on shopping for fun accessories for their avatar, donating to charity, purchasing property, stocks, and other investments.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Check out the video below for a walk through of how this homeschool finance curriculum works!

Using MoneyTime in Your Homeschool

Self-Contained Curriculum – NOTHING else is needed! No extra books or supplies. All the kids need to learn and put their learning into action is built into the program!

Self-Directed Learning – I love that MoneyTime is designed for kids to do independently (other than the Parent-Child Lessons). It means my kids can open and go, without needing my time or attention. It both teaches and facilitates learning via doing.

Parental Help & Involvement – While the majority of lessons are student led, there are 13 lessons for parents to do with their kids. This really gives us the chance to work side by side with our kids, giving them our real life experiences and wisdom on topics such as resumes, household budgets and more!

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Recommended Scheduling – MoneyTime recommends children try and complete the program within a 3 month period, averaging 3 lessons per week. Each lesson builds on the learning of previous lessons and it’s important your child uses the program regularly to get the most value out of it.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

More than Just Money – Beyond money management for kids, MoneyTime also includes content that helps kids learn what to do when choosing a career, understanding how their career choice impacts income, considering purchasing new or second hand, understanding wants vs needs and so much more!

Purchasing Information & Discount

You can purchase MoneyTime directly from their website. There are both low monthly subscription and annual memberships available. AND there is a 60 day money back guarantee provided on the annual membership license.

Teach Kids About Money with the MoneyTime, the online gamified Financial Literacy Homeschool Curriculum for kids ages 10-14.

Right now you will receive 25% off the Annual Membership price! Offer valid until October 31st, 2021.

Effective Ways to Teach Math for Children with Dyslexia

Effective Ways to Teach Math for Children with Dyslexia

Many children who have dyslexia are so disappointed when they figure out that sometimes dyslexia affects their math too, but often this only becomes apparent a few years after they have realized that reading is difficult.

This is because most children find early math quite easy and can do simple addition and take away sums, however when it comes memorizing times tables, mental math, and their slower processing speeds, the difficulty becomes apparent.

It’s important they can get a good grasp on these concepts before moving onto more advanced math such as integration.

Effective Ways to Teach Math for Children with Dyslexia offers techniques for helping kids with dyslexia tackle math. From Starts At Eight

Effective Ways to Teach Math for Children with Dyslexia

Between 60 to 100% of dyslexics have difficulty with certain aspects of mathematics. As parents this can be so difficult to watch, especially when they have already taken a confidence knock with their reading.

So what can we do to lessen these difficulties and make sure math stays fun and engaging for children with dyslexia?

Improve Working Memory

One of the common traits of dyslexia is a weakness in working memory. Our working memories help us to hold small pieces of information in our mind while carrying out a task.

A good working memory is essential in math, so we can keep hold of numbers while working out more complex sum.

Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do to try and help strengthen your child’s working memory, and most of them are games which kids tend to love!

Any game which requires your child to use their memory will do the job. Simply having to keep the rules of the game in mind while playing a game can strengthen the working memory.

Great examples include:

  • Memory matching card games – turn all the cards upside down and turn over two at a time to find the matching pair.
  • What’s missing – gather up 5 household objects, have your child memorize them, then remove one and ask them to figure out which one has been taken.
  • I went to the shop – the first player starts by adding one item, then the next player recalls the item, and adds another to the list. Play continues until the last person can remember the correct order of items!

Allow the Use of Aids

Once your child knows how to work out their times tables, or other mathematical facts, keep a printed list of the times tables facts close by when they are working out more complex questions, to reduce the number of steps in the problem.

This allows your child to move through a curriculum and feel a sense of achievement rather than feeling completely overwhelmed.

If your child has dyslexia, they might struggle with the written element of math, so read any questions aloud that they might find difficult, again to reduce the frustration. Save reading time for their reading sessions.

You can also encourage your child to use a calculator once they have good number sense and understand the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplication, division and place value.

Multi-Sensory Approaches

All children learn differently, so providing a wide range of sensory approaches when you teach helps them to understand math concepts in different ways.

You can use sight, touch, hearing and movement to enhance your children’s learning. Using objects for counting, multiplication and division can help them to grasp the logical side of math in a visual way.

There are a number of curriculums such as Singapore Math and Math U See which encompass a wide variety of learning methods.

Create a Happy Environment

Have you ever noticed that your child recalls and remembers events where they were happy really well? This is because when we are happy, dopamine and serotonin are produced which improves our memory and ability to learn.

This isn’t just hearsay, research has been done into the correlation between feeling strong positive emotions and learning and the link is scientifically proven.

Studies have even been carried out on adults in the workplace, and when their workplace is fun, employees are more likely to try out new things.

So if you can create a fun and happy learning environment each time you have a math lesson, they are a lot more likely to retain facts and information.

Can you get your children to laugh while they’re learning some tricky math rules? Laughter is a powerful quick route to happiness, so if you can think of a few math related jokes to lighten the mood, you might just find that your kids start to enjoy and look forward to math.

Which Method Should You Use?

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to the best way to teach math to a child who has additional needs. Play around with some of the above techniques, until you find a style that suits your child.

Ultimately, your child already has the best teacher – you! You have their best interests at heart, you know them better than anyone else, and so therefore you have the best chance at finding a way to make math fun and enjoyable for your child, despite their difficulties.

Bio: Jesse Woods homeschools his own two children and founded Matter of Math to provide a multisensory approach to learning, and to make math accessible to everyone from children to adults who have always struggled. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and hold a degree in Math and Physics.

More Math from Starts At Eight

Teaching Lego Math: Multiplication & Division from Starts At Eight using Lego Bricks is a great way to get hands-on learning to teach math concepts.
ShillerMath Review - An Unboxing & Review of Kit II from Starts At Eight. ShillerMath Review: These kits are Montessori based for preK through 8th grade. Use manipulatives, enjoy the prescripted lessons, sing the songs!
Playing Card Math for Middle School - Games to Make Math Fun! from Starts At Eight
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.

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!

Preparing Your High School Student For The PSAT

Preparing Your High School Student For The PSAT

The time has come…the time has come that our home will contain it’s first ever…High Schooler!

I am down to the final 2 months before my first child begins her freshman year of high school. I started planning for this moment two years ago. I think I should have started planning from birth! There is so much to think about, so many decisions to make, so many possibilities and roads to consider.

One of the many things on our list is preparing for the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude or Scholastic Achievement Test). The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test. Most students take the SAT during their junior or senior year of high school, and almost all colleges and universities use the SAT to make admission decisions.

The thing is, there is even a test to take before the SAT that matters almost as much. It is the PSAT. That is where my focus is right now as it is the “Preliminary” step to the SAT.

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It’s a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT®. It also gives you a chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs and gain access to college and career planning tools. ~College Board

Why Take the PSAT?

There are many reasons why you might have your student prepare for and take the PSAT. Top on my list is that I believe in preparing for the PSAT, you are leading your student down a path towards being more prepared to take the SAT. Your student can become familiar with the style of testing they will see on the SAT, from the directions that are given to the kinds of questions they will encounter.

Reasons Why You Might Have Your Student Take the PSAT:

  • Your student will gain valuable techniques and information that will prepare them to take their SATs.
  • Your student will receive feedback on their strengths and weaknesses in the skills necessary for their college study.
  • Your student will be able to see how their performance on an admissions test might compare with that of other college applicants.
  • Your student will be able to enter the competition for for National Merit Scholarships NMSC (grade 11).
  • Your Student will have the option to choose to receive information from colleges via a check “yes” to Student Search Service.

When to Schedule and Take Your PSAT

The PSAT test is only offered in October each year (NEW in 2021 is a January offering) so you need to sign up in September. You must sign up for the PSAT at your high school (or one in your community) as this test is administered by high schools, not through test centers.

Online registration is not available so head in and talk to your school counselor to sign up. While you are there you can pick up a free copy of the “Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT”. Here you can find all the PSAT/NMSQT testing information.

While taking the PSAT in your sophomore your does not count towards scholarships, it will be good practice for your student to take it first in their sophomore year. Then when it really counts during their junior year (the only year that qualifies you for the National Merit Scholarship) they will be much better prepared.

Know the Format of the PSAT

The Critical Reading sections include reading comprehension questions about full-length and paragraph-length passages. They also include exercises that ask you to complete a series of sentences.

* Sentence Completion – 13 questions
* Passage-based reading – 35 questions
* Two 25-minute sections
Total time: 50 minutes

MC900441732The Writing section includes multiple-choice questions covering the fundamentals of grammar, usage, word choice, and organization.

* Identifying sentence errors – 14 questions
* Improving sentences – 20 questions
* Improving paragraphs – 5 questions
* One 30-minute section
Total Time: 30 minutes

The Math sections include multiple-choice questions and calculation questions. Topics include numbers and operations; geometry and measurement; algebra and functions; and statistics/probability/data analysis.

* Multiple-choice – 28 questions
* Calculations – 10 questions
* Two 25-minute sections
Total time: 50 minutes

Preparation for the PSAT

Once you know how and when to schedule the test, and what the basic expectations are for the PSAT, then you can plan out your preparations for taking it.
math

Math Topics

It is a good idea to complete Geometry before taking the PSAT as Geometry is covered on the test. I have our daughter taking Algebra II in 9th grade and Geometry in 10th grade (she took Algebra I in 8th grade). So while she won’t have much Geometry when she takes it as a sophomore, when it counts as a junior she will have all the Geometry she needs.

Here are some great math options:

Reading Skills

A good way to hone your student’s reading skills is simply by reading. Reading lots of literature in varying genres, and being able to analyze them in a critical manner will go great lengths to helping your student with sentence completion and vocabulary.

High School Literature List Series from Starts At Eight

We are choosing to do a year of Latin Roots to help strengthen our daughter’s basic understanding of English vocabulary. Over 60% of English comes from Latin roots, not to mention prefixes and suffixes!

Choosing Latin as a High School Elective from Starts At Eight

Learning and understanding the way these roots work will help her learn and comprehend the English language at a much deeper level. The goal is to develop your student’s vocabulary at a quicker pace, while increasing their understanding of existing vocabulary as they begin to comprehend why our words mean what they do.

Specific PSAT Test Preparation

Besides going about their general academics that are geared toward an overall increase in their math, reading/vocabulary, and writing skills, students can spend time preparing specifically for the PSAT. There are many books and web based programs for this purpose. One option is Barron’s Test Prep.

Using Barron’s Test Prep

With Barron’s Test Prep you can get everything your student needs to get prepared for the PSAT. From targeted practice, test taking strategies, and vocabulary building tools to full length tests. Their online solutions are catered to each student’s learning style.

Their adaptive test prep solution creates a customized course based on your skills, your time, and what you need to maximize your score. It then goes one step further by making it accessible anywhere you are! Whether you’re on a desktop, laptop or iPad, you have an instant connection to your personal learning dashboard.

Here is a direct link to their online Practice PSAT Exam.

Using Mr. D Math SAT Bootcamp

Mr. D Math offers 6 week SAT Bootcamps throughout the year that can be used for PSAT prep as well.

(My own personal review of this will be coming in March!)

  • This program also prepares students for the PSAT.
  • Each SAT Math Bootcamp meets once a week for 6 weeks.
  • Each program is timed to end just a few days before an SAT Test Date.
  • Sessions are taught by trained Mr. D staff via the online “virtual classroom,” so students can participate from anywhere!
  • Students will also have access to recordings of each session.

Our High School Plan

Ninth Grade – For our daughter the plan is to go about our freshman year covering our basic courses, including Algebra II, a literature and writing course, and the Latin I mentioned before. We are considering adding in some PSAT specific preparation in the latter half of the year.

Tenth Grade – In September we will sign her up for the PSAT. During the months of Sept & October beyond our usual course of study, the focus will be on specific PSAT preparations. She will take her PSAT in October. Based on her scores we will focus our attention where it is needed.

Eleventh Grade – In September we will again sign her up for the PSAT while continuing our usual course of study plus specific PSAT preparations. In October she will take her final PSAT. Based on her scores we will begin focus on preparing for her SATs.

More College Prep Resources

Career Exploration for High School Students from Starts At Eight3 Books to Help Prepare College Bound Teens 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

 

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Including Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail is a great way to not only get up and out in the fresh air, but to include both exercise and learning along the way!

If there’s one thing homeschooling parents know, it’s that diverse learning strategies can mix up their time spent studying and be some of the most memorable and effective ways for kids to learn. Hands-on experiments, learning about life skills, and stepping out into the world to see biology firsthand are all great ways to teach new information and concepts.

National Hiking Day

Time spent on the hiking trail is a great place for learning, which is a wonderful reason to celebrate National Hiking Day. It’s a celebration of America’s amazing hiking trail system, which spans more than 66,000 miles throughout our 50 states, and the many ways that hiking can contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Hiking and homeschooling are a natural pair. Here are some of the subjects you can touch on through hiking:

Math

A math or science lesson can easily take place on the trail, whether they’re counting rocks, identifying animal tracks, drawing leaves and flowers in their notebook to research, or even preparing for the journey by planning the volume of their water and food supply, and determining your hike times.

To calculate your hike time follow these steps:

  1. Determine your distance and walking speed.
  2. Add 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.
  3. Make an estimated addition of time due to sightseeing.
  4. Add the numeric totals in Steps 1 through 3 to come up with an estimated hiking time.

Science

Getting outdoors offers tons of opportunities for science homeschool lessons on the hiking trail.

Click on the image below for tons of FREE Nature Study Resources to help you gather information on your hikes.

Free Nature Study Resources from StartsAtEight

Include Nature Study Options including:

Art

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

Two ways you can include art in your hike are

  1. nature journal along the way on your hike. Here are some more nature journal ideas.
  2. plan to stop and create a painting along the way

Writing

1.Writing can be accomplished with fun nature prompts:

  1. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be?  Why?
  2. Spend 15 minutes outside observing the world around you.  Write about what you notice most.
  3. What is your favorite season?  Why?
  4. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?
  5. Do you consider yourself a nature-lover?  Why or why not?
  6. Would you rather have your favorite season all year long or experience different seasons throughout the year?  Why?
  7. What element of nature speaks to you the most?  Why?
  8. What is your favorite place outside to explore?
  9. How does the weather impact the way you are able to enjoy nature?
  10. Write about your favorite thing that lives outside.  It can be a flower, an animal, a vegetable, etc.
  11. What part of nature are you most thankful for?  Why?
  12. Write a story from the perspective of a bird that can see the entire world from above.
  13. Write a short story about a leaf falling from a tree.
  14. Write a poem about your favorite season.

2. Writing can also be via a nature journal:

Robins - Outdoor Nature Challenge #2 from Starts At Eight

3. Also Check out this FREE Printable Hiking Journal

4. How about creating an acrostic poem for the park or area you are exploring? Fill in the letters of the name with things you see, explore, experience while on your hike.


History/Geography

History…

Many areas have a history all their own. You might find information about Native Americans or early settlers. Or maybe there is a historic battlefield or homestead nearby. Be sure to check online as well as the park information to see what you can find. This is information that can be added to your nature journal!

Geography…

Beyond the basic map skills you will use to find and navigate your hike, you could also experience elevation changes.  If there is a visitor center where you are hiking, see if they have a topographic map you can look at and how elevation changes are noted on the map.  No visitor center? Take a look online and see if there is a topical map you can reference.

Also, be on the look out for geographic features such as ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, hills and mountains.  Are there any plateaus?  Or are you near the water and notice any bays or peninsulas?

Photography

Taking photos is a wonderful way to document your hikes. You can take pictures of signs you see, as well as all the beauty to be found in nature.

Using a camera on your hike also allows you to explore the world of photography with your kids. Everything from framing shots and lighting, to artistic choices and photo editing apps!

Health/Physical Education

There are both cognitive and psychological benefits to hiking. So be sure to count your hikes as PE too!

Physical Health…

Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and to hone your balance skills.

Mental Health…

Not only are there cognitive benefits of hiking, but both kids and adults can benefit psychologically and socially from hiking as well.

One of the most impressive ways hikers benefit from their treks is a reduction in the brain function associated with depression. Time spent in nature has been linked by scientific study to reduced subgenual prefrontal cortex activity — this is the area of the brain where depression happens. For children, this outdoor time has the potential to improve their mental health well into adulthood.

Social Benefits…

When families socialize with each other on the trail, a lot of good things happen:

  • There are opportunities for quality time with parents
  • forming closer bonds with peers and siblings
  • chances for kids to practice cooperating with a group to reach a mutual goal

Hiking is also associated with an increase in the frequency and duration of both social and physical engagement, so it’s a great exercise choice for both mind and the body.

Whether close to home or on trails unknown, a family hike is a wonderful way to learn and celebrate National Hiking Day.

To learn about trails in your area, visit All Trails.

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!

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math

Tackle Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math

The words homeschool high school algebra often evoke feelings of insecurity and shortcomings for homeschool parents. But I am here to tell you that you can tackle homeschool high school algebra

Back in 2016 I talked about Homeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math because my middle child was using it at the time. He has always been my kid who was strong in math, but he faltered some due to not writing all the steps down. Working live with Mr. D was a huge help to him!

Spring forward to 2020 and I am using it to help my not math loving 8th grade daughter tackle Algebra I.

Courses Mr. D Has to Offer

Mr. D Math no longer just has math! While Mr. D Math does offer an interactive online classroom experience in High School Math including Pre-Algebra, Algebra I & II, Geometry, Pre-Calc and Consumer Math, he now has things like study skills and writing!

{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.}

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!
  • Math Test Prep Bootcamps – Including ACT, SAT, and PERT
  • College and Career Readiness – Includes things like goal setting, time management, financial literacy, resume writing, college applications, and more.
  • Study Skills – Includes time management, organization, note taking, and more.
  • Advanced Writing – Creative and expository writing for college bound students.
  • ASL – There are three sections of this offered: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced.
  • Music & Dance – Currently being offered are Flamenco dancing and Flamenco guitar

->->Click Here to Check out all Mr. D Math has to offer! <-<-

Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math

Now I’d like to talk specifically about our current experience with Algebra I through Mr. D Math. My youngest daughter is currently in 8th grade, and like her siblings, Algebra I seems to be a sticky point. Mr. D Math offers some things that I feel are so beneficial, especially when a child is struggling.

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

Using Mr. D Math Online for Algebra I

I have been super impressed with the way the courses are set up in the online portal. They are laid out in such a way that everything is easy to find and each task flows easily into the next.

Online Portal

The image below is of the Online Portal for my daughter’s Algebra I course. This is what it looks like when you select a chapter. I love that the entire Chapter Breakdown stays open at the side for easy navigation.

I also love that when you select a section, everything is there, from a link to a pdf to print out the Course Work for that section, to the Video Lesson for that section and even the solutions.

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!

Completing a Lesson

To complete a daily lesson my daughter:

  • Watches the video lesson and takes notes in a notebook.
  • Prints off the problems for that lesson and works out the problems on that printed paper.
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!
  • Goes over the answer key and enters her grade. (There is a guide on the website for how to enter their grades.)
  • Lastly she takes the lesson quiz.

While my daughter works mostly independently and can be trusted to grade her own work, you might have a child like my son who tended to want to cheat the system. For him I went over his work and the solutions with him to ensure he was staying on track.

Benefits of Homeschool High School Algebra with Mr. D Math

Live and Self Paced Classes – You can choose to sign up for a Live Class which meets at a set time each week and goes through multiple concepts for that week or Self Paced which contains everything you need in the online portal and you go at your own pace.

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

Weekly LIVE Extra Help Sessions – The extra help sessions are offered twice a week. They are online meetings in which all students participating in Mr. D Math programs (live online and self-paced) can ask questions and receive help. It’s like online tutoring with you and any other students that log-in that day and the teacher.

Direct Access to Teacher via E-mail – You can always e-mail the teacher and get answers to your specific questions. They often get back to you the same day! This is a great option for one on one help, especially if you couldn’t make it to the Extra Help Session that week!

E-mail Reminders – Whether your students are taking a Live or Self-Paced Class you receive e-mail reminders of things like the Live Class coming up and/or a “Heads Up” e-mail for the Extra Help Sessions.

Printable Coursework Papers – I love that instead of a textbook they can’t write in they have Printable Coursework Papers with enough room to actually do the problem right there! 

->->Click Here to Check out all Mr. D Math has to offer! <-<-

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All My Mr. D Math Reviews

Homeschooling Algebra with Mr. D Math 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

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