Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Monic Vocabulary Cartoon Review


Today's review is from New Monic Books, Inc.  I was given the opportunity to review the Vocabulary Cartoon book.  The book is the elementary edition and is geared towards 3rd-6th graders.

I used this book with all of my children (ages 7, 9, and 12) and they absolutely LOVED it!  It is an excellent book for teaching vocabulary words.  There are over 210 vocabulary words in the book and review quizzes after each 10.  For a complete word list, you can visit here.  The approach they use is combining rhyming mnemonics and visual mnemonics to guide your student into learning new vocabulary words all while having a blast!  The cartoons are quite hilarious and each one is actually a learning tool to boot!  That is my all time favorite way of learning anything!

What is a mnemonic?  It is just a fancy word which simply means "assisting the memory."  Here is a sample so you can see the concept in action. 

To view other sample pages from the book you can visit here.  The price of this book is a very affordable $12.95.  They also offer other books for older children as well.

You may purchase Vocabulary Cartoons online at New Monic Books, Inc, by phone at 1-800-741-1295, or by fax at 1-941-575-6436. 

Our family would highly recommend this book to you.  We are having a jocular time with Vocabulary Cartoons!  Hee hee...had to use that one!

To find out what my crewmates had to say go here

**Disclaimer:  I was given a free copy of this book to review.  The views expressed here are my true and honest opinions.  I received no other compensation for this review.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week #2

Last week, we did Bible, Reading, review of grammar, Spelling, and Math.  This week we added in History, Writing, and Science.  We are still taking things pretty slow and enjoying ourselves! 

She designed, made, and decorated her cake all by herself! Home ec 101 in the process ;)  WTG Sarah!

Next week we will have our first week of Classical Conversations!  We are excited about what the new school year brings!

Week #1

We started off with a slow and gradual start.  We are going to add a lot of different things to homeschool this year so I didn't want to jump in completely just yet.  We took this week to get back into the feel of school.  The week went well!  We started off with a bang for the first day in our jammies ;).

I was happy to see that no matter how old the little things still make them happy!

Happy First Week of School!

Friday, September 10, 2010

America's Math Teacher - TOS Review


One of my favorite subjects!!
I had the opportunity to try out and review an online Math program called America's Math Teacher.  You may be familiar with the Math Essentials program created by Mr. Rick Fisher.  He is also the creator of America's Math Teacher and the one who does the teaching in the online tutorials.  Rick Fisher is a math instructor for the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California. Since graduating from San Jose State University in 1971 with a B.A. in mathematics, Rick has devoted his time to teaching fifth and sixth grade math students. Each year approximately one-half of his students bypass the seventh grade math program and move directly to a high-powered eighth grade algebra program.

This online program offers four different levels for you to choose.  The levels with the suggested grades in parenthesis are Basic Math Skills (4th-5th), Advanced Math Skills (middle grade students), Pre-Algebra (for those to take before taking Algebra - could be middle school or high school), and Algebra 1 (middle school or high school). 

I chose the Basic Math Skills level for my 4th grader to start with and it was right on for him.  He would sign on each day and watch Mr. Fisher instruct him with that day's lesson.  After a brief video instruction which usually averaged about 6 minutes, he would do the corresponding workbook page that went with the lesson.  Here are what the written lessons looked like.
Written worksheets

Twice a week, for his "fun" lesson we would use the online speed drill to see if he could beat his previous time. 

online speed drills
He really enjoyed these lessons and it gave me the time I need to work with my other children.  He did not need my help at all after day 3.  He knew exactly what to do and did it.  The lessons are short, simple and to the point.  He really liked that part :)

I also tried out the Pre-Algebra level with my 7th grader.  It was Pre-Algebra so it was tougher =)  He did follow along and take notes but in the end I had to go back over everything with him.  In defense of America's Math Teacher though, this is a child who says he can't "get" math unless I am there with him to work the problems through.  So, for him this would not be an independent course.  His video instructions lasted on average about 12 minutes. 

I just jumped in and started my students on the level I felt they were at. You could do it the proper way and use the evaluation center of the program to assure correct placement.

There are also quizzes that the student can take after watching the video and doing the workbook lesson to evaluate their progress.  I had my boys do this and at the end they emailed me their results.  Okay, that scores a 10 for me!  No grading on my part and the results are emailed to me.  I loved that feature!!

Here are my boys hard at work.

Now, on to the price of the product.  You can purchase a 1 year subscription to America's Math Teacher for $195 per year.  Your subscription expires in 1 year and is not automatically renewed.  You can use the subscription with your entire family.  You may access your subscription anywhere, anytime, and any place. 

You may try out FREE video lessons of AMT here.  And you may try out FREE written lessons of AMT here

Overall, our family really enjoyed using this product.  If asked would we purchase it though, I would have to say no.  I LOVE math and I love teaching math so I would be leaving that up to someone else and deplete myself of one of the things I really love about homeschooling.  It also costs too much for our family to invest in yearly.

To find out how my other crewmates incorporated America's Math Teacher into their homeschool visit The Crew Blog.

**Disclaimer: I was provided a free subscription of this product for review purposes. The opinions in this post are my honest evaluation of this product. I was given no other compensation for this review.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Baby is 7 today!!

I'm still in shock over it I'm certain!  Oh my do the years ever fly by. 
But here she is today ready to start her 7th birthday!

 Some of her first introduction to technology =)  She was giving a shout out to Rubymoms!

 1st Birthday

 2nd Birthday

 3rd Birthday

 4th Birthday

 5th Birthday

6th Birthday

And from school time today

Enjoying her present =)

Happy Birthday My Sweet Baby Girl!
I love you so much!!