Our Homeschool Weekly Wrap-up

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This week has been a slow week for us because of illness, but I wanted to get back in the habit of doing a wrap-up.  So here I go:

Grammar – We finished PACE 1066 and she has started 1067.  We are working on adjectives and adverbs again.  This time around it seems to be easier.

Reading – In reading Abby is reading “The Spy”.  It is a little harder book, so I’m allowing her to listen to an audio version, which she of course loves.  She does have to read a chapter review and answer comprehension questions.

Writing – This week Abby is working on a descriptive essay.  She had to pick something to describe and is now going through the essay paragraph by paragraph.

Spelling – Our spelling list this week is contractions, academic words, and two sight words.

Math – We have been working on pre-algebra, fractions and decimals.  Today we did stem and leaf plots and Box and Whisker.  This was a little tedious, but it is necessary.

History – This week we started studying Ancient Rome.  We are studying architecture, battles, religion and much more.

Science – We have finishing up our study of “flying things” in the next two weeks.  This week we have been studying for chapter 10 test.

Well that’s it!!

Our Homeschool so far.

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We started school this year early, because of the trips we will be taking.  Our start date was July 15th, so we are on week 10 this week.  I’d like to review what we have accomplished thus far.

In Grammar, we have been working on verbs and their tenses.  Present, Past, Future and the participle tenses.  It has been slow, but she is getting it!

In Reading she has read some great poetry, an epic poem, and has just completed the book Penrod and Sam.  She has also just completed a book review for that book.

In writing she has written an essay on “Micro Bats”, and has submitted it online for peer review. This was a neat experience.  She submitted hers and reviewed another person’s essay.  It has really helped her to be more careful in her writing.

For Math was are using Saxon 87 and she has completed lesson 25.  We are also working on Multiplication and Division review.

In History she has been studying ancient cultures.  We have done Greece, China and the Mayans.  We are now starting to read about ancient India.  For the Mayan’s, she did a Power Point presentation and presented it to our family.  For each culture she has done a timeline including economic, social, art, music and religion.  She also takes all kinds of notes of what she has read.

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We will use these timelines to then put them together to see how these cultures overlapped.  During the section on ancient China, she made a scroll with Chinese lettering of the Buddha’s five virtues.


In Science we have learned about birds, bats and flying reptiles.  We have completed a lapbook component, taken notes and done a crossword puzzle for each chapter.

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Some of the activities we have done have been recording what birds come to our bird feeders, we have taken some great pictures of hummingbirds, we have gone outside and measured the wingspan of several types of Pterosaurs and we have made a fossil egg.  We are about to start a chapter on insects.


As part of our school, we attend a co-op every Friday.  Our day at co-op includes an assembly, choir practice and then three classes that change every month.  This month we have art, book club and PE.  This past Friday we had an unexpected visitor who brought along a Sugar Glider.  She was so cute!  All the children were able to pet her and watch her climb on everything.

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Abby is also learning Hindi in anticipation of her visit to India.  She is working on Hindi greetings and other phrases she might need in India.  We found a good site for conversational Hindi, Hindipod101.

I’ll try and keep a journal here of our activities as well as pictures.

Webcast – Math Curriculum

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We discussed different Math curriculum today.  I presented two curriculum that we use: ACE and Saxon.  The ACE curriculum is the same as we use for English.  It is the School of Tomorrow curriculum and the website is: www.aceministries.com. The cost for one year of PACES is $36 and an additional #12 if you purchase the answer keys.  There are not Teacher Guides for this program because it is a self-teaching curriculum.  The reason we like this curriculum is that it is broken up into small booklets called PACES.  It is a workbook that takes about 2 to 3 weeks to complete.  The child completes 12 of these booklets per subject each year.  They are also very compact and travel well.  This is one of the features we have enjoyed since we travel a great deal.

The other curriculum I have used is Saxon.  Saxon is about $80 to 90 a year, but in my opinion it is one of the best math programs out there.  I own some of the older texts and will be using those.  The new tests are very well done.  Saxon works on a sequential, spiral basis.  This means every concept builds on the next and that concepts are revisited many times to insure mastery.

The other curriculum we discussed I will list below with name, price and website. The first website is a site I found while doing my research.  It has curriculum reviews for many different math programs. Some of the last ones are curriculum and websites that were mention during the discussion.

Math reviews – http://www.homeschoolmath.net/curriculum_reviews/

ACE ($36 & $12/answer keys) – http://www.aceministries.com/

Saxon ($80 – 90/yr) – http://saxonhomeschool.hmhco.com/en/saxonhomeschool.htm;jsessionid=6092A750EE44805CAEE8762B5EB8BCDB.ecom-app-wk2

Math U See ($20/student, $35 TE) – http://www.mathusee.com/

Singapore Math ($62 – 75) – http://www.singaporemath.com/

Modern Curriculum Press ($18/workbook, $34/TE) – http://www.learningthings.com/modern-curriculum-press-math-books?Cc=MCPMATHEMATICS

Teaching Textbooks ($184) – http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/

RightStart Geometry ($120) – http://store.rightstartmath.com/rightstartstarterkitgeometricapproach.aspx

1+1+1=1 –http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/

Homeschool Creations – http://homeschoolcreations.com/EarlyLearningPrintables.html

Ray’s Arithmetic – http://books.google.com/   You can find this curriculum for free at this website.

critical thinking press products – http://www.criticalthinking.com/index.jsp

Hands On, Inc – http://www.hofl.org/   I did not find math here, but there were many science projects.


I hope this is of some value as you prepare to go to your respective Homeschool Convention.  Remember I have plan before walking into that exhibit hall.

See you next week!!



Math Tips and Tricks Webcast Feb. 7, 2012

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Multiplication Tricks

When you multiply by 0, the product is always zero.

5 x 0 = 0           0 x 26 = 0

When you multiply by 1, the product will always be the other number.

3 x 1 = 3            1 x 56 = 56

When multiplying by 2, you double the other number.

8 x 2 = 16          5 x 2 = 10

6 trick” – Take the other number you are multiplying and hold up that many fingers.  Count by 5s on each of those fingers and then go back and count by 1s.

9 mental trick” – Take one away from the other number, then say what number + that number = 9.

9 hand trick” – Bend finger down corresponding to the number x 9. Then count the fingers on the left of bent finger and then right of bent finger.

Divisibility Rules

A number is divisible by:

2 – if it is even

3 – if the digits add up to 3 or a multiple of 3

6 – if it is divisible by 2 and 3.

5 – if it ends in 0 or 5

9 – if it is divisible by 3

10 – if it ends in 0.

 Converting between Metric numbers

Kids Have Dropped  Over dead converting metrics

Kilo Heckto Decka   units deci centi milli

This is a pneumonic that will help children learn how to convert numbers within the metric system.

The “O” stands for the units begin converted, etc. liters, meters, …

So if you wanted to change this sentence you could use a “U” instead of an “O”.

Order of Operations

1) Do all Exponents first

2) Do all calculations within parentheses

2) Do all multiplication and division from left to right

3) Do all addition and subtraction from left to right


Reducing fractions – find the GCF (greatest common factor) of both numbers and divide both top and bottom.  (on board)

Adding and Subtracting fractions, you need to have common denominators.  If the denominators are the same, you add the top numbers and keep the bottom numbers the same.

To get common denominators you find the smallest number that both denominators will go into.  Then change the top and bottom of both fractions.  (on board)  The rule to remember is: if you do it to the bottom you have to do the same to the top.

Then you can add the top numbers.

Multiplying fractions, you multiply both the top and bottom numbers.  Then reduce.

Dividing fractions, you change the division symbol to X and flip the second fraction and then multiply and reduce.





http://www.kidzone.ws/ – one of my favorite place to print math worksheets 

Paypal account:  rcstanley@ms.metrocast.net

Email address:


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The Schedule for the next several weeks is

Feb. 14th – Famous Artists lapbook/notebook

Feb. 21st – Making edible earth layer

(fun projects for the children)

Feb. 28th – Reading Response Activities

Math Game – 24

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This is a challenging math game for kids (and okay, adults) that requires no materials except a pencil and paper.

This is how we learned to play the game:

Write down the following numbers, either on a chalkboard or whiteboard or paper:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Next, have the student (or yourself!) select four numbers—just circle them on the board.

2, 5, 7, 8

Now, the purpose of the game is find a way to use those four numbers–using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division–to reach a result of 24.

And it works. No matter what four numbers you pick. It always, always works–somehow, someway, you can always reach the end result of 24. (Sometime this happens after much blood, sweat, and tears and insisting that nope, I happened to select the one combination of four integers that in fact will NOT result in 24 before one of your kids proves you wrong a minute or so later.)

It also never fails to torture me when I am unable to solve one of the combos.

Try playing this with your kids today! Select four numbers from 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 and use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division to reach the result of 24.