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Review

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.

Homeschool Friendly College in Greenville, Pennsylvania

Homeschool Friendly College in Greenville, Pennsylvania

Thiel College, (pronounced Teal) is a homeschool friendly college, located in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Thiel college is a small, independent liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies college, boasting a student-faculty ratio of 11:1!

Thiel - A homeschool friendly college located in Greensville, Pennsylvania boasting an 11:1 student faculty ratio with 60+ areas of study.

Thiel – A Homeschool Friendly College

Thiel College is located in the small community of Greenville in Mercer County, Pa. The campus is a 90-minute drive from both Pittsburgh and Cleveland – vibrant urban centers bustling with opportunity for internships, service learning, educational trips and entertainment – and a 40-minute drive from Youngstown, Ohio.

{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Thiel College. I was compensated for my time in sharing this information.  Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Thiel’s unique location allows students to enjoy both the wonders of nature abundant in the western Pennsylvania countryside, including a myriad of outdoor activities, and also take advantage of the dynamic cultural experiences offered in nearby cities.

What Makes Thiel a Homeschool Friendly College?

Homeschooled students are not only encouraged to apply for admission, but they are also eligible for merit-based scholarships and financial aid consideration. Thiel College prides itself on being a school that’s for students who learn differently.

Small Class Sizes

As I already mentioned, Thiel College boasts an incredible 11:1 student-faculty ratio. This benefits students by increasing their access to professors. And the professors? 80% of them hold the highest degree available in their field! That’s a lot of knowledge for our students to learn from.

Thiel - A homeschool friendly college located in Greensville, Pennsylvania boasting an 11:1 student faculty ratio with 60+ areas of study.

Over 60 Areas of Study

Thiel College offers over 60 areas of study, including:

  • Business and Accounting (Business Administration, Marketing, Human Resources, Accounting, and more)
  • Communication (Communication Studies, Media & Journalism, Public Relations, and more)
  • Education (Early Childhood, Secondary including Biology, Chemistry, English, Math and more)
  • Health Sciences (Medical Technology, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Exercise Science and more)
  • Humanities (Philosophy, Religion, English Literature, and more)
  • Social Sciences (Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and more)
  • Sciences (Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Environmental Science, Chemistry and more)
  • Mathematics & Computer Science (Data Analytics, Mathematics, Information Systems E-Commerce, Actuarial Studies and more)

There are also various options for minors, Associate’s Degree Programs, and Duel Enrollment.

Thiel’s New Master’s Program

Thiel College has a new accelerated degree program which would be a great fit for motivated homeschoolers!

With their 5-year Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree pathway program students can complete their bachelor’s Degree at Thiel and earn their master’s in as little as 11 months!

Degrees available in this New Master’s Program are:

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-language Pathology
  • Business and Accounting/MBA
  • All other majors/Communication and Leadership
  • Physician Assistant/Physician Assistant
  • Psychology/Clinical Mental Health Counseling

(This bulleted list represents the Bachelor’s degree and the matching Master’s degree eligible for this program.)

Enrichment Opportunities

Thiel - A homeschool friendly college located in Greensville, Pennsylvania boasting an 11:1 student faculty ratio with 60+ areas of study.

Students benefit from a robust enrichment program that encourages cultural and educational excursions to major metropolitan areas, as well as domestic and study abroad opportunities.

100% of students complete one or more internships prior to graduation.

Impressive Success Rate

A full 95% of Thiel College graduates report that they are employed or studying in their field within 3 months of graduation.

In addition, graduates often go on to study at top institutions like Duke, Harvard, Oxford, University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, or Yale.

Learn More About Thiel College

So if your student is interested in a small liberal arts, homeschool friendly college, Thiel College may be just the right fit for them.

More Homeschool Friendly College Help

3 Books to Help Prepare College Bound Teens from Starts At Eight
Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

Economics for High School with Mr. D Math

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economics for High School

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

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

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

Topics Covered Include:

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

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

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

Features of Note in Economics for High School

Self-Paced

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

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

Encourages Independence

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

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

Uses Various Learning Styles

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

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

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

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

Glossary PDF

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

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

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

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

Online Graded Quizzes

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

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

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

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

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

More Mr. D Math Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

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

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

New for 2021: BookShark Virtual Online Homeschool Curriculum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Features for both parent and child:

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

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

A Few Cool Features We Love

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

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

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

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

Try Before You Buy!

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

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

NEW! BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

NEW! BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

Are you looking for an enriching secular elementary science curriculum?

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

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

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

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

BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

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

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

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

A Look Inside BookShark Elementary Science Curriculum

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

Literature Based

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

BookShark Science Level D Literature

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

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

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

4 Day Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day Four: Science experiment from the BookShark Science Experiments Books

BookShark Science Instructor's Guide Weekly Plan

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

Hands-On

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

BookShark Science Level D Activity Sheets

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

Open-and-Go

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

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

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

Let me say that again for those in the back…

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

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

Secular (faith-neutral)

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

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

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

BookShark Science Level D Science Experiements

Newly Updated to Meet NGSS Standards

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

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

Try BookShark Science Curriculum in Your Homeschool!

To See More from BookShark

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

New for 2021: BookShark Virtual!

BookShark Virtual

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

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.

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.

Careering – A guide for Teens and Young Adults

Careering – A guide for Teens and Young Adults

Young adulthood is the best time to explore, experience, and eliminate possible career paths. Careering will help your student do all three–and get them on the path that is right for them!

What is Careering?

The dictionary may have other definitions for careering, but when you see the word careering in this book, I am referring to the process of taking progressive action in pursuit of a profession or venture.

Tamara S. Raymond

What’s Inside the Book?

Careering is an 8 step process according to Tamara. In this Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career your student will find each of these steps laid out with actionable items to do and places to record their thoughts and findings! All of this in a book small enough to carry around so they can explore and learn as they are on the go!

{I received a free review copy of Careering as part of this review. However, all views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Careering Steps:

Step 1: How to Begin Careering

Step 2: Opportunities to Explore Different Career Options

Step 3: Key Resources to Help Explore Different Career Options

Step 4: The Power of Networking

Step 5: Applying

Step 6: Developing Your Interview Skills

Step 7: Congratulations on Your New Job! Now What?

Step 8: One Final Step

What’s to be Learned from Careering?

  • evaluate your interests, skills, and passions
  • identify jobs, internships, and volunteer positions that align with your personal gifts
  • identify multiple career exploration avenues, from camps to summer jobs
  • put together a resume and references, even if you’ve never had a “real” job
  • learn how to network, apply for jobs, and develop interviewing skills
  • learn how to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities
  • learn how not to use social media if you want to land a job

About Tamara S. Raymond

Tamara S. Raymond, author of Careering - The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career

Tamara S. Raymond is a certified leadership coach and career strategist dedicated to helping professionals reach their maximum potential; and young people get on the right career path so they can make a difference.

Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career is Tamara’s first book. It is available as a paperback, e-book and audiobook. An online course based on the book was released Fall 2020.

In her book, Tamara has woven together her extensive career experience, academic journey and passion for coaching-mentoring youth to share knowledge with teens and young adults. Tamara’s goal is to offer them unique insight into how to excel both academically and in their chosen profession through awareness of their goals, interests and talents, in a purposeful and focused way.

Tamara has appeared on the Inside Personal Growth podcast and The Total Education Hour.
For more information about Tamara and her other projects, including her coaching services,
visit www.imcleaders.com

==>> Click Here to take a peek inside and hear an audio sample <<==

More Career Help for Teens

High School Life Skills: Career Exploration from Starts At Eight
Career Exploration for High School Students 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

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

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

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

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

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

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

About Sheldon Marguiles Owner/Developer

Sheldon Margulies - owner and developer of Fascinating Education

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

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

Sheldon Margulies owner and developer of Fascinating Education

Online Homeschool High School Biology with Fascinating Education

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

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

The course consists of 3 major components:

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

Video Lessons – There are 18 video lessons.

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

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

Key Features of Fascinating Biology

1. A Note About Secular vs. Religious

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

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

2. Great for Visual Learners

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

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

3. Lesson Scripts

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

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

4. Review & Tests as Learning Devices

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Free Trial

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

Click here for a FREE Trial!

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

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Medicine

Discount & Giveaway

Fascinating Education Discount Code

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

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

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

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

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

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

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

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

Apologia Exploring Creation with Earth Science

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

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

Exploring Creation with Earth Science has 14 modules covering:

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

Features of Exploring Creation with Earth Science

Suggested Schedule

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

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

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

Notebooking Journals

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

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

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

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

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

Coloring Pages

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

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

Hands-on Activities

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaway

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

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