Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Math, Online Homeschool Programs, Product Reviews

Review of Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.)



I was blessed while growing up to be one of those children that math came easy to through the years.  It may have helped that my dad was a draftsmen and designer and was willing to help me with math.  Or perhaps it was because I was blessed with amazing teachers for math (with only one exception).  My husband is another one that math came easy to as well.  But then we had children.  Essentially out of our four children only one of them excels at math.  So I recognize our children may need some additional help with mathematics – especially our 15-year-old daughter.  With the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) we are able to to identify and address learning gaps in my daughter’s math skills with their Adaptive Math Curriculum Online that includes placement tests along with lesson plans.

From the company’s website they show they offer the following:

  • Homeschool Edition – Placement Test w/ Lesson Plan to “Identify & Close” Learning Gaps
  • Homeschool Edition – Family Math Packages – Online (Options to choose between 1-10 students)
  • Homeschool Edition – Single Grade Level – Online Curriculum (PC and MAC compatible)
  • Homeschool Edition – Multi-Sensory Interactive Math Full Curriculum Software CDs
  • School Edition – Placement Test w/ Lesson Plant to “Identify & Close” Learning Gaps
  • School Edition – Multi-Sensory Interactive Math Curriculum
  • Full Curriculum Books
  • Workbooks (Worksheets & Exams PACK)
  • Mini Courses Online

This is a one year subscription for up to ten students.  So it is a great program for homeschooling families to use.  Whether you have one child or more, each child can get the individualized instruction to meet his/her needs.  For this review, we concentrated solely on the 7th grade/Pre-Algebra level.  My goal was to ensure our daughter would fill in any gaps in her learning.  For the most part we loved this program.  However, it is an online program, which means the computer is grading the work.  Students begin with the placement test for fractions and work their way through exponents and work their way through other topics including variables and more.  As long as the student achieves an acceptable level, they are allowed to move on to the next level.  However, if they miss too many problems, then they will work through video lessons and problems to make sure they understand the concepts.

The answers must be in the form the computer deems acceptable, however, there are no instructions to tell the students what format their answers should be in.  So for example, if a student leaves their answer as a fraction instead of changing it into a decimal, they will get the problem wrong.  For some children, I am sure this could be a great source of frustration.  At the same time, I have to say, I love the idea of having a program that can address the needs of my children by addressing those areas they are weak in while allowing them to move on when they demonstrate they understand a concept.

You can find A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.)  on social media at:


The adaptive program goes from grades 1-6 along with Pre-Algebra.  They also offer a Family Math Package that includes grades 1-6, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.  So check it out for yourself.  Whether you are looking for a complete math curriculum or trying to fill in gaps, like our family did, check out Adaptive Math Curriculum Online or the Family Math Package from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.)  for yourself.

If you would like to check out reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.



Posted in Church, family, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrapup

So two weeks ago at church, our pastor talked about the story of Jacob and Esau and the “red pottage”.  Esau had come in from the fields and was famished so he asked Jacob to share the food Jacob had prepared.  In exchange, Jacob asked for the birthright.  Our pastor referred to the “pottage” as “red stuff”.  Then it transferred into a discussion of the “red stuff” actually being red lentils.

So this past Saturday when our family went grocery shopping last Saturday, while we were in Sprouts we found the “red stuff” – as in red lentils.  So this week we fixed them for dinner.  Here are two pictures – one of us cooking the lentils and one from when they were finished cooking.

This was also the week we reviewed’s Help Teaching Pro and you can read that review here.

Also, we discussed selections for another upcoming review from Memoria Press to determine which one our 15-year-old daughter would want to do.  The choices were either Logic or a composition course on Aesop’s Fables.  After reading the descriptions of the two courses and then looking at the sample pages for the logic course, our daughter decided she preferred the course on Aesop’s Fables – so we will see whether we get selected for that product or not.

So what is going on in your life? I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Online Homeschool Programs

Review of



As the mother of four children, ages 21, 19, 17 and 15 all of whom have been homeschooled for either most or part of their lives, I realize it is important to have resources on hand to fill in the gaps or take care of those times when life dictates a change from the normal routine.  Perhaps we have times where we are traveling more or are in the process of moving courtesy of the army reserves.  So easily accessible and printable resources come in handy.  Or lessons, worksheets, or tests that can be completed online also create a simple solution for homeschooling.  My daughter has been using some of the online lessons included in the Help Teaching Pro subscription from  From online lessons to worksheets to a test generator and more, this company has something for everyone.

My initial plan was to simply use this site to supplement the curriculum we were already using.  Also, I felt it would be a great fit for our 15-year-old daughter who was using the site to be able to select some things that interested her.  We did a few of the online lessons, some worksheets, and some tests.  The tests I had her complete online so that I would not have to worry about grading them.

I love the variety of materials offered.  From Creative Arts to Language Arts to History to Science to Life Skills and more there are quite a few selections to choose from for every age.  Because our youngest is 15, this review will concentrate solely on the High School activities.

We found the worksheet generator to be extremely useful.  I love that you have the option of selecting what questions you want to include.  So if there is a specific topic that needs to be practiced, you can just select questions that belong in that category.  There is also an option to create your own questions, which I find very useful.

Another feature I personally loved is the mid-year and final review worksheets that are available – especially for math.  This will allow me to see what areas our daughter needs to work on and what areas she has mastered.  Because we school year round, she will be taking the mid-year assessment in the next two weeks for Algebra.  Here is what the screen looks like where I selected the Mid-Year Review for Algebra.

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 9.48.34 AM

Because I am the type of person who likes working things out for myself, I appreciate having the ability to include student groups to invite my children to complete worksheets or tests I either select or create myself.  I also have the ability to add myself as a student so I can also complete the assignments prior to my children completing them so I can determine if they might need any additional instructions or information to help them successfully complete the assignments.

Personally, I prefer the online versions of the assignments because it reduces the amount of printing I have to do.  Some questions do require a parent/teacher to score them before the student gets their grades.

Here are some completed worksheets our daughter did.

Under the Worksheet Generator tab, parents have the ability to create bingo cards, Word Bingo cards or Word searches.  Parents have the ability to name their worksheets and determine what information to include.  So for the word searches, parents decide what words are being used so it would be very helpful to use these for spelling activities prior to taking tests or for times when Mom or Dad is involved with other children to keep the student engaged and occupied.

You can follow on Social Media at:

So check out Help Teaching Pro subscription from for yourself. If you would like to read reviews from other Home School Review Crew Members, click here or on the graphic below.




Posted in cooking, family, Home School Review Crew Posts, In the Kitchen

Thoughts for Tuesday



Here are some pictures from our meals for our Tasty Tuesday thoughts.  We recently bought a new grill called a Cowboy Grill from Sam’s Club.  We finally assembled it this weekend and decided some ribs we had would be perfect for the first cooking on the new grill. I love  how it can hold a dutch oven, has the extra round surface for either warming or cooking on and the large main surface area can hold a lot of food.

Our youngest son even decided to help his father with the cooking.

In addition to the ribs, we also grilled some Naan to go with our meal.  Grilling it, makes Naan absolutely delicious.


So what have you been cooking this week?  Stay tuned next Tuesday for our next Tasty Tuesday post.

If you want to see what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about this week, click here or on the graphic below.


Posted in Faith, family, Favorite Movies, Home School Review Crew Posts

Review of Watchman Pictures’ Princess Cut


Today I want to share with you a Christian Film titled Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures that we watched recently.  Our family is always on the hunt for good Christian films to watch and when they are Dove approved, that is even better.  This romantic drama is one movie that is definitely worth seeing.  As the mother of three sons ages 21, 19, and 17 along with a daughter who is 15, movies that examine how someone should go about getting married and finding a spouse tend to have value in our family’s eyes.
Princess Cut tells the story of Grace, a young woman in her early 20s, who lives in the Carolinas.  Like many young girls and ladies, Grace has been dreaming about getting engaged and finding “Mr. Right”.  She remains positive that her perfect man will come along and place a diamond cut ring on her finger.  This movie I feel does more to reinforce the principle of waiting for the right person to come along.  It also examines some of the family dynamics that exist between parents and children as well as those dynamics that exist between siblings.
I wanted our entire family to watch this movie together as a family.  I felt like even our sons could benefit from watching it.  I also feel like this would be a great movie for a Church Youth group to watch together and then have a frank discussion on the whole idea of finding a spouse.
The movie opens with Grace being positive that her boyfriend of the time, Stewart, is going to propose to her.  However, she quickly realizes that is not the case.  She then winds up on a quest for finding what love really is and what it should look like.  Grace illustrates the impetuous and sometimes foolish nature of youth.  However, she eventually relies on her parents’ guidance and experience to help her navigate the tricky waters of finding true love.
One of our favorite characters in the movie was Grace’s younger brother.  He does an excellent job of portraying the love and peskiness that siblings can find between one another.  At one point in the movie, Grace loses her temper with Robert, her brother, and it results in Robert being injured when he rides off on his bicycle.  But along comes their new neighbor, who happens to be a doctor, Clint Masters to come to the rescue.
While we felt some characters and storylines would have benefited from more development, over all the movie does an excellent job getting its point across.  We feel that probably children should be in high school before watching this film, so that meaningful discussions can take place after watching the movie.  There are times when Grace makes questionable decisions, including choosing friends wisely and becoming involved with a young man who does have the best of intentions.
But love wins out between Dr. Clint Masters and Grace and the proposal meets every desire of Grace’s perfect proposal.  She learns that true love is worth waiting for in the end.
You can find Watchman Pictures on Social Media at:


So check out Princess Cut by Watchman films for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.



Posted in Foreign Languages, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Memoria Press’ Second Form Latin



When we first began our homeschooling journey many years ago, one of my main desires was to find curriculum that provided a Classical Christian education. Memoria Press makes classical education easier with Second Form Latin.  We have used a variety of curriculum choices from Memoria Press through the years, but I specifically wanted the Second Form Latin for myself.  I have a strong desire to learn other languages and Latin is at the top of my list.  I know building a strong foundation with Latin is important.  Second Form Latin is designed for students in grades 5-10.


With our Second Form Latin kit, we received eight components which include: the student text, the student workbook, the Quizzes and Test booklet, the Teacher manual, a Pronunciation CD,  a Teacher Key, flashcards and instructional DVDs. The course contains five units which are broken down into 26 lessons plus a review for each lesson.  There is a pre-test on day 4 of each lesson.  If the student shows mastery on this pre-test, the lesson is considered complete.  However, if the student does not show mastery, the students should review and restudy the materials and take the quiz again on day 5.

A typical week will include for day 1:  Recitation, teaching the lesson, and workbook section 1.  Day 2 includes recitation and workbook section 2.  DAy 3 includes recitation and workbook section 3.  Day 4 includes Recitation, Workbook Section 4, Orill Drill in the text, and the Pre-Test.  I found this schedule quite manageable even as a homeschooling mom with other responsibilities.


The student textbook contains the background information for the lessons.  Each lesson is on a two-page spread with the pages facing each other, so there is no need to flip pages.  Also, the pages are free of unnecessary information or other distractions.  So it helps keep the student focuses.

Each lesson has a segment on the DVD which will last anywhere from 15-20 minutes.  These segments provide a great opportunity to listen to pronunciations and to ensure the student understands what it is being taught.  From prior experience with other products from Memoria Press, these DVDs provide wonderful instructional information.  These DVDs include 3 discs with 8.5 hours of instruction.  The explanations are provided by former Highlands Latin School Teacher Glen Moore.  According to the Memoria Press website’s description of the DVDs for Second Form Latin, “The DVDs also include helpful on-screen notes, illustrations, diagrams, a full First FormSecond Form recitation, “Latin parties” (Glen’s version of unit reviews), and more!”

Next comes the Student Workbook.  This provides opportunities for the students to practice vocabulary, translations, declensions (which in the grammar of Latin, Greek, and other languages) refers to the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun or adjective that identifies its grammatical case, number, and gender), conjugation practice, word study and grammar, and more.  I found these assignments to be very easy to complete and the directions were easy to follow.

Then there is the Quizzes and Tests booklet.  This provides a quiz for each lesson along with a review for each unit.  Here are some sample pages.  I found these quizzes to be a good review of the material being covered.  Because I was the one doing this course, I can not say how long it took me to complete these.  I tended to work on them as time allowed me to rather than focusing on completing everything in one session.

The vocabulary cards provide a great way to review words, meanings and more.  I recommend finding a way to keep the cards together and organized.  One way would be by punching holes in these cards and put a ring through the hole to keep them together.  Or another way would be to put them in some kind of box.  I started off by using rubber bands but it did not really seem to work well.

There is also a Teacher Key which contains the answers to all of the Workbook questions, Quzzes and Test questions.  This provides a quick and easy method for checking a student’s work.  When we first began studying Latin many years ago, I had not taken any formal Latin courses, so I found the Teacher Key to be a great resource.


You can find Memoria Press on Social Media at:

I recommend you check out Second Form Latin by Memoria Press along with all of their other resources which include such courses as Traditional Spelling I, Music Appreciation, and other levels of Latin for yourself.  If you would like to read other reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.



Posted in Book Reviews, family, Parenting

Review of Erin Odom’s book – “You Can Stay Home with Your Kids”


I was thrilled to be invited to be on the launch team for this book. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my fair and honest review. Erin Odom’s book gives wonderful advice and tips on how you can stay home with your kids. From ideas to save money to making money, this book covers it all, the conversational nature of the book makes it one worth reading. The practical advice and tone make you feel as though you are sitting around a table with Erin listening to her wonderful advice. It is the perfect follow-up to her book “More Than Just Making It”. This book is definitely worth reading.

Roughly sixteen years ago, I was put in the position of having to stay home with my children because we were pregnant with our fourth child.  I wish this book had been around then.  Her tips are practical and useful.  She does an excellent job of expressing easy to follow steps that will help you stay at home with your children.


As part of the launch team for her book “More Than Just Making It”, I have to say both books go hand in hand together to show how you can stay at home with your kids while doing more than just making it.  You can check out my review of “More Than Just Making It here.

So check it out for yourself.


Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Our Life

Thoughts for Tuesday

Thoughts for Tuesday1

So I thought I would be recovering from surgery this week and not really doing much except for resting.  However, the surgery did not happen.  But my husband already had scheduled 10 days off to be around during my recovery.  So this week, our children are doing some of their normal schoolwork, but they are also helping their dad get some things done around the house.

The first thing they have been doing is working in the yard.  Next up is putting together a cowboy grill we bought from San’s Club.  We had been eyeing this since last spring.  A couple of weeks ago, it finally worked out for our money and the item to be in place at the same time.  So we bought it.  Unfortunately, this grill requires time and space to build it and then have a place for it to reside out of the box.  It is definitely not a tiny thing.  Hopefully, next week if all goes according to plan on Tuesday I will be back with pictures of the grill along with some food we have cooked on it.  Tonight we are planning to use it to cook boneless ribs.

Another thought for today, our family began homeschooling when our oldest son was in the fifth grade and he is now almost 22 years old.  So we have been doing this a while.  Our youngest, who is our only daughter, is 15 1/2 years old.  With all four of them, we have gone through periods where they are excited about getting schoolwork done.  Then we have seasons when they require extra motivation to focus on the tasks at hand.  Finally, there is that time where one of our children recognizes the need to complete schoolwork so they can actually reach the finish line of homeschooling high school and move on to the next chapter in their lives.  When a child reaches this point, he or she recognizes personally the need to complete their work and no longer requires redirection or incentives.  He or she is able to do what needs to be done on their own.  Also, the child tends to take things more seriously and applies more effort to their work.

So what is going on where you are?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read. what other members of the Home School Review Crew have been writing about, click here or on the graphic below.


Posted in GRADUATION, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Homeschool Diploma’s Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma



Our oldest son is 21-years-old and I still remember the thrill of seeing him graduate from pre-school wearing his cap and gown.  Fast forward quite a few years and in 2015, I watched this same son graduate from homeschooling at our state homeschool convention.  Now we have reached the graduation milestone with our second son. I am so excited to share with you about our experience with Homeschool Diploma.  I was excited to be chosen to review the Cap, Gown, Tassel and Diploma from Homeschool Diploma. We went with the Standard Diploma, which satisfied my son, but I probably would have gone with one of the personalized and customized options if it had been my decision solely.  From high school graduation to eighth-grade graduation and even kindergarten graduation, Homeschool Diploma can meet your family’s needs.

Our son is not one who likes a lot of fuss and bother.  So when it came time to place our order, I think it is safe to say we had some differences of opinion.  However, I felt it was the right thing to allow him to say what type of diploma and cover he received.  After all, he will hopefully be holding on to this for a very long time.  The site made ordering a breeze other than resolving disagreements between my son and me about what we should order.

I loved all the options for the diploma.  We could have gone with a personalized option where I could have written a passage to be included on the diploma specific to our child and his accomplishments.  However, the Standard Diploma won out on Ivory parchment.    Next, we moved on to the covers. We had the option to choose between a blank cover, one of their pre-stamped diplomas or one which was personalized.  My son decided he wanted one of the pre-stamped diplomas so we went with the “Excellence in Home Education” cover with his name stamped on the front.  With many color options to choose from, our son selected the black cover.  We also ordered an archival copy of the diploma and a wallet-sized diploma that he can keep with him at all times.


Next, we had to decide on the color for his cap and gown.  Even though he had a variety of colors to choose from, our son wanted the black cap and gown.  They offer both a shiny finish called the “Tribute” or you have the option of a matte finish.  The gowns come in a variety of sizes to fit a variety of heights.  Because our son is over 6-feet tall, we had to order one of the tallest gowns.  Next, came the tassel which also is available in a variety of colors.  Our son went with gold which made me happy since my high school graduation tassel and gown were the exact same colors.  We went with a 2018 charm for the tassel.

The company offers the option of ordering honor cords, stoles, and medallions as well.  With the possibilities of ordering for kindergarten or eighth-grade graduations as well, this company has quite a bit to offer.  Also, you can order in bulk, so if you are part of an organization such as a co-op, everyone could order from the same place in order to guarantee that everyone matches.

Our package was shipped by priority mail and was shipped out really quickly in my opinion. It was delivered in a timely manner in a box that kept everything together.  Now, all we have to do is wait for May to get here so our son can participate in our church’s recognition of our graduates where he and several other students will be recognized at a graduation picnic.  We also plan on having some friends over for a more intimate graduation ceremony.

You can find Homeschool Diploma on social media at:

So if you are looking for graduation items for kindergarten, eighth-grade, or high school, check out the Standard Diploma along with all the other options from Homeschool Diploma.  If you want to read other reviews from members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.





Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

Review of Creation Illustrated’s Unit Studies




Creation Illustrated sent us two of their unit studies as well as gave us access to those magazines that go with those studies for us to review.  Science is one of those subjects that requires extra attention to selections for our 15-year-old daughter.  Typical textbooks fail to excite or inspire her.  So I am always on the look-out for products that bring out her desire to learn.  We looked forward to seeing how these unit studies would work for her.  We used these as a supplement to some other things we were already using for science.  We received the Snow Unit Study and the Pine Trees unit study along with two digital issues of Creation Illustrated, the Winter ’18 Digital Edition, and the Fall ’17 Edition.  The Winter ’18 Digital Edition provides the background material for the Snow Unit Study.  The Fall ’17 Digital Edition provides the background information for the Pine Trees unit study.

Creation Illustrated is a magazine that is published quarterly.  Our family originally discovered the magazine when we attended our first homeschool convention roughly 13-14 years ago. We loved the colorful and captivating nature of this magazine.  On their website under the “About Us” section, you can find their mission statement.  The first sentence reads, Our purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation.”  I find they do an excellent job of fulfilling that mission.  Now they have moved into the realm of unit studies that go hand-in-hand with their magazines.


Our family focused on the Pine Trees unit study for this review.  We definitely were equally excited to get the Snow Unit Study as well.  Because these unit studies are designed for grades 5-8 and our daughter is in 9th grade, we used it primarily as a supplement.  The unit study includes a list of reading resources, a list of educational videos, vocabulary and spelling exercises, Bible study questions, geography, science, writing, penmanship, art and even puzzles.  Answer keys are provided for the teachers.


Students begin by reading a magazine selection from that corresponds to the subject being discussed.  So for our family read about Pine Trees.  The article was approximately five pages long and was very informative and interesting to read.  We loved the way Bible quotes were interspersed throughout the selection.  Our daughter was born in eastern North Carolina and lived there from her birth in 2004 until late 2008 when we moved to Pennsylvania.  Eastern North Carolina has a lot of pine trees.  So she was already familiar with the trees and the cones.  Although she has not had the opportunity to work on her art project yet, she is really looking forward to drawing her favorite pine tree, the cones, and its needles.  She will probably work on this as soon as she actually decides what her favorite pine tree actually is.  I think one of our favorite activities was the word search since we all enjoy doing them.


The other unit study is on snow, something else our family tends to enjoy.  Unfortunately, we have moved from Pennsylvania (where we got snow) to Texas where we do not get a lot of snow.  Once again this unit study includes activities for vocabulary, writing, Bible studies, art, science, geography and more.  I definitely plan on our daughter completing this study as well.

You can find Creation Illustrated on social media at:

So if you are looking for an interesting way to cover topics for science or a way to supplement your existing science program, check out Creation Illustrated‘s unit studies for Pine Trees and the Fall ’17 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated as well as the Snow Unit Study along with the Winter’18 Digital Edition for yourself.  If you would like to read additional reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.