Review of Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials

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If you need to brush up on your Math skills, I recommend checking out Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials.  Math is one of those skills that you either use or you are bound to lose the skills you have learned.  As the mother of four and with two teenagers we are still homeschooling currently, I know I need to keep up with my math skills.  So when the opportunity to participate in this review came up, I was thrilled for the opportunity.

This is the second product we have reviewed for Math Essentials, and I expected to be impressed.  The company designs products to be used for home or school.  This is a perfect book for adults who want to brush up on their math skills, prepare for any type of test involving math skills, or anyone else who needs a refresher.  For example, college bound students or those going back to school after an absence may find this book useful.

This book works for those with a math phobia, those who have forgotten the math they have learned, those who want to help their children with homework, those re-entering the work-force, those needing to take placement tests (such as for entering college after an absence from school), those needing to improve their math skills and others with similar goals, objectives and needs.

The book includes whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, geometry, integers, charts and graphs, word problems, along with pre-algebra algebra topics such as expnents, square roots, order of operations, properties of numbers, scientific notation, ratios and proportions, number lines, the coordinate plane, graphing equations and more.  Here is some pictures of the table of contents:

 

The wonderful thing about Math Refresher for Adults is that the learner can use it any way necssary.  For example, I started at the beginning and am working my way straight through the lessons.  On the other hand, if a student just needs to brush up on certain skills, it allows him or her to just work on those particular subjects.

While this is not meant to be used as a consumable workbook, I did much of the work in directly in the book for the first part of the problems.  For the bottom section of the book, I used notebook paper to do the work.  Having been a math teacher many years ago, I always required my students to show their work.  I can not and will not expect less from myself.  Here are some of the pages I did.

 

All-in-all, I have to say I really enjoyed this product.  I felt it did an excellent job of reviewing the necessary math skills an adult should know.  I was very pleased with the order of the topics and the amount of problems in each assignment.  I like that I can jump around if needed rather than having to work straight through the book.  My husband plans on using the book to brush up on his math skills as well.

In August of 2017, our family reviewed another product by Math Essentials called No-Nonsense Algebra, you can check out our review by clicking here.  I hope you will check out Math Essentials and the products they offer for yourself.  You can find Math Essentials on social media on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/math.essentials/

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

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Review of PandaParents’ MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS

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With their MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS, PandaParents provides fun preschool learning opportunities. When we first began homeschooling many years ago, we had our oldest who was in fifth grade down to our daughter who at the time was in preschool.  I loved having things to keep her entertained while I did schoool with her brother.  The following year, we brought her two brothers who were in first and third grade respectively to homeschool as well.  I always was on the hunt for products that could keep our daughter entertained and provide educational material while I worked with her brothers.  I feel MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS would have fit this need perfectly.  It is a montly subscription  curriculum that engages all the sight, hearing, and physical movement – when completing the workbook activities.

For this review we received digital downloads of the products.  Although we do not have any children in the age range for this produt. I took it upon myself to review this personally.  Initally, I had hoped to have one of my friend’s children work with me on this review, but end of the year activities for those friends prevented that from happening.  So instead, I asked our 17-year-old son to channel his inner preschool self to watch the videos with me and look over the materials.

The suggested order to complete this program would be to read the story together with your child, then watch the video and then do the workbook activities.  It is designed for children ages 3-6, so if you have multiple children in this age range, they could do the program together. It includes reading and stem activities, arts and crafts, hands-on learning, imagination skills, science activities, math activities, problem solving and more.  It is designed to be 30-45 minutes 3 times a week. This is a montly curriculum, so each story and accompanying workbook is designed to be completed in a month.

The first and most important thing I have to say is if you get this as a digital download, make sure to read the enclosed PDF entitled About PandadParents first.  It goes over all of the important information such as where to find the videos and the passwords necessary to watch them.  Personally, because of the colorful nature of the books and workbooks, I think it would be worthwhile to invest in the physical copies of the materials.  I think printing these out yourself could see the costs add up quickly.

The materials includes preschool stories and preschool workbooks that will entertain and delight your children.  The videos are engaging and include a variety of activities, including listening to stories, learning about letters and the sounds they make along with how to form them and more.  I found them to be extrememly engaging and entertaining. The characters are enjoyable to listen to and watch.  The videos can last anywhere from around 10 minutes to around 30 minutes or so.

The workbooks include activities in mathematics, tracing, writing, drawing, reading and more.  Here are some pictures of the workbook pages:  Because of the variety of activities and the brilliant colors, my son and I both feel these materials will keep your child’s interest.

You can find PandaParents on Social Media at::

 

So check PandaParentsMESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENRES yourself.  If you want to read more reviews from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of CodeWizardsHQ

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Finding electives for our children that they enjoy and that can provide useful information causes me to stretch my mind and opinons sometimes.  Other times, I find things for our children to study that could ultimately help our family or each of them as they move through life.  I am so excited to share with you about a coding class for kids from CodeWizardsHQ that we just finished.  They also offer homeschool computer programs as well as coding classes for all students.

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CodeWizardsHQ is a company that provides coding classes in a live online environment where six to eight students come together with an instructor to complete assignments, work on coding projects and interact in a real-time environment.  On their website, the company states, “We teach programming, not just programming concepts. Your child learns how to code using real-world languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, etc. These are languages used today to build all the software around us.”  Here is a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why Coding is your child’s key to unlocking the future”.

The courses are designed for children in 5th through 12th grade.  While the courses are set up on a 12 week schedule, it is set up on a monthly subscription plan.  The company offers incredible customer service and opportunities for learning.  They even offer the opportunity for scholarships.

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Our son had the opportunity to participate in a one-day special class.  During the hour he spent with the instructor and other members of the class, he created his own comic book.  Every time I walked into his room to check on his progress and to take some photographs, our son was actively engaged in the course.  He frequently laughed or made comments.  On several occasions I heard him ask questions.  Because he was using a headset, I could only hear our son’s comments.  When the hour long class was nearly over, apparently the instructor made some comment regarding the impending end of the class and our son was surprised at how fast time had gone by.

 

 

I think one thing that made our son happy was that he was also able to see what his classmates had created.  Although, he seemed disappointed that he missed seeing one because he was finishing his own creation.  Here is a video from the company.  Click here for the link.  And here is a photograph I took myself.

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Here is what our 17-year-old son wants to say about this program in his own words:

I enjoyed it a lot. It was informative but at the same time relaxed, so I was more inclined to listen (as opposed to it just throwing information at you where I would probably zone out). I’ve never taken a class in a webinar style before,but even though it pushed me out of my comfort zone a little, it was fun and I would do it again. 10/10 – would recommend

As my son and I were talking immediately following the webinar, I asked him if he felt his previous coding experience helped or not. He felt this class would be good for any student regardless of their level of experience.

Click here if you would like to see our son’s project that the company sent to us after Nathan completed the course..  Also here is video our son made discussing his project.

 

 

You can find CodeWizardsHQ on social media at:

CodeWizardHQ offers an incredible opportunity for students to learn coding.  So check out the company for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other families from the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Thoughts for Tuesday

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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.

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Tasty Tuesday’s – Homemade Ginger Sauces

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Have you ever gone out to eat somewhere and developed a craving to have that certain food prepared exactly as that particular restaurant could make it.  Then you go other places and find yourself being disappointed over and over again.  We have such a food from such a restaurant.  When we lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, we had one of the best Japanese Steak Houses.  We would go in every year for Valentine’s Day, typically with my husband’s brother, his wife, my husband’s best friend along with his wife and typically one other couple.

Dennis and I always ordered two separate meals – one of us would get the Hibachi Steak and the other would get the Hibachi Chicken and we would share.  My favorite part of the meal was the Ginger salad dressing and the ginger dipping sauce.  Since we left North Carolina, almost 9 years ago, we have not been able another restaraunt that is as good.

As a result, I have been on the hunt for a good recipe online to make the salad dressing and the dipping sauce.  This weekend, we made both using fresh ginger root.  The two recipes I tried (one was from Allrecipes) and the other I found on another site online.  They came out amazing.

 

We planned on fixing sushi, however, my husband is not a fan of the seaweed used.  So we thought about using cucumbers to wrap them.  However, we did not have a sushi mat to roll the sushi with, so we made a “sushi” bowl instead.  I used the basic ingredients of a California roll – including sushi rice, avocados, carrots, cumbers, imitation crab sticks, and cream cheese.  I was pleased with how they turned out.  We used the ginger salad dressing for this.  Also, we had egg rolls, Teriyaki chicken, Stir-fried cabbage and Zucchini stir-fried with onions.

So what have you been cooking at your house?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew are posting about this week, click here or on the link below.

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Review of Heirloom Audio Production’s Wulf the Saxon

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Our family loves listening to audio dramas.  They are a marvelous way to pass the time – especially when taking long trips in a vehicle.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review another audio theater production by Heirloom Audio Productions.  Heirloom Audio Productions brings another G.A. Henty novel to life with Wulf the Saxon!  This drama thoroughly captured the imaginations of my husband, our 17-year-old son, and myself during a recent trip we took that was about two hours away from our home.  For this review, we received audio cd set, which includes two compact discs that we were able to listen to easily in our vehicle.

 

I love how Heirloom Audio Productions always begins with an interaction between the character of G.A. Henty and some other individuals.  Then because of something that happens – in this case, two young men start arguing and fighting with one another.  The character of G.A. Henty then begins to talk about a story he knows and begins to tell the story to them.  I love how Heirloom Audio Productions is able to easily transition from G.A. Henty telling the story to the actual audio drama.

The story centers around the character, Wulf the Saxon, who is a young Saxon landowner. He demonstrates courage, leadership, wisdom along with his faith throughout the story.  It chronicles his journeys, adventures, and experiences throughout England and Normandy during the intense fighting that resulted over individuals wanting to claim the throne of England.  Wulf finds himself in various situations including being held captive, making new friends including Agnes De Burg and her family, fighting battles, conveying messages, and even protecting the king.  He consistently exhibits a faith that is inspiring.  He shows himself to be a true friend.  There were times, I was concerned about what would come next.

Our heart broke for Harold when he and his love Lady Edith had to part ways for the sake of England and then again when Harold died on the battlefield.  One of my absolute favorite lines from this audio theater drama references the fact that those who are able to marry for love are truly fortunate.  Wulf is fortunate to be able to marry someone he loves. I found it fitting that this quote is included in the CD case.

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This audio drama is recommended for ages six to sixteen, but I believe all ages can enjoy the story.  Because it deals with the subject of war, parts of this drama are somewhat graphic and intense during several of the battle scenes.  So you may want to use discretion on who is allowed to listen to it alone.

This production displays excellent acting, wonderful sound effects and a brilliant musical score.  The original score for Wulf the Saxon is by John Campbell, who is an Emmy Award Winning composer.  With two sons in our local homeschool band and our other son and our only daughter participating in the Homeschool Strings program, I tend to really listen to the music in the background.  The music selected for this drama suits it perfectly and helps to perfectly set the stage for the drama.

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To go along with the audio dramas, Heirloom Audio Productions has introduced a club called the Live the Adventure Club that includes a wealth of resources.

This club includes many valuable resources including a study guide for the drama.  The study guide is available as a download on the Live the Adventure Club site from Heirloom Audio Productions. The study guide offers background information on what is included in the study guide, a background on G. A. Henty, information about Heirloom Audio Productions, a list of the members of the cast and crew, background information on important people during the time of the story.  Even though we did not receive the bonus materials as part of this review, I still highly recommend you investigate it for yourself.

Our family thoroughly enjoyed Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions and definitely recommend it.  You may also want to check out our family’s reviews of Captain Bayley’s Heir and In the Reign of Terror – two other audio dramas by Heirloom Audio Productions.

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

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A New Beginning

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It is a new year with all the new possibilities and opportunities that go with that.  It is a matter of new activities to participate in for 2018.  My husband, daughter, and oldest son have begun participating in the Strings program associated with our homeschool band.  They had their first lesson on Monday.  My husband and daughter are playing the violin, while our son is playing the cello.

Then this summer the plan is for my youngest son to begin lessons for the viola while I begin to take lessons for the violin.  It was fun seeing our daughter be part of a music program.

In a Facebook group, I am part of, the person in charge asked about what instruments we had in our home.  We have 4 guitars, 2 violins, a cello, an alto saxophone, a trumpet, a baritone horn, a trombone (which is borrowed), a flute, a clarinet, a keyboard and a french horn. Our home is accumulating a large amount of musical knowledge and interest.

On the other hand, sometimes a new year, bring unwanted change or experiences. From Christmas Eve until now we have had some members of our family sick.  Most of the time more than one family member have had it at a time.  It is no fun.  I am ready for everyone to be well. Also in our case, we are facing the prospect of finding a place and moving in less than 30 days.  It was 30 days, but a couple of days have already passed.

On a lighter and more positive note, our daughter has been doing some new artwork, including two pieces requested by someone else.

Here are some samples of her recent work.

I am in prayer the new year brings better things for our family as the year progresses.

So what is going on in your wold for the new year?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read some other posts from members of the Home School Review Crew members to see what they are up to this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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A Look Back at 2017

A Look Back at 2017

A lot has happened in 2017.  First, our family became part of the Homeschool Review.  We have really enjoyed participating in the various reviews.

Our family also found a church home.  We have participated in a variety of activities.

We experienced our first evacuation from Hurricane Harvey (although our family went through numerous hurricanes while living in eastern North Carolina. And my husband and middle two children became part of the local homeschool band. With this participation, our oldest son, our youngest son, my husband and I served as adult leaders for the Christmas parade for the combined private school (2 of them combined) plus a few of our homeschool band members at our city’s Christmas parade.

I have to say, I pray that in some ways 2018 is a better year.

How was your 2017 and what are you looking forward to in 2018.

If you would like to read other posts by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Holiday Stress and Amazing Grace

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Holidays bring a lot of different things along with the happiness and joy that should come with the time of the year. Celebrating our Savior’s birth brings along numerous events, activities, practices, performances and more.  Last week, we had play practice for our Christmas program at church, band rehearsal for our Homeschool Band concert on Thursday and then the actual band performance Saturday night.  Along with the concert itself, which my middle two children, myself, and my husband played in the band, I had to help coordinate the food for the reception afterward.  Afterall, if we wanted people to attend our concert, the moms felt the people should be fed afterward. All of this brings a certain amount of stress.

But, then something happens to remind us of the joy of the season.  As all the moms entered the church, a remarkable thing happened.  All of the moms and especially the five moms who were playing in the band showed up wearing red tops and black bottoms.  Prior to the event, none of us communicated with each other.  So it was truly divine intervention.  Then some levity also happens, such as us all agreeing on what the color combination should be for the spring concert.  Or when everyone who attended the concert said how much they enjoyed the concert.

Now this week, we had play practice this evening, dress-rehearsal Saturday morning and then the actual performance during the Christmas Eve evening service.  Y’all, we have six, count them, I said six members participating in the program.  This means four children plus the two parents, who need not only costumes but also to learn line positions and more.  Our youngest son is playing a Christmas cookie, our other three children are playing Christmas carolers while my husband and I are playing Mary and Joseph.  By the time Christmas morning gets here, I think we will all be glad to sit back and enjoy the quiet Christmas Day we have planned.

But this is the things Christmas memories are made of and I know next year we will look back fondly on them.  It does not matter if everything is perfect.  It matters that we spent time as a family, participated and remembered that Jesus Christ was born, lived and died to save us all from our sins.

So how does your family handle stress at the holidays?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read more posts from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Our Holiday Traditions

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So our family is still getting ready for Christmas.  We have several traditions that we try to keep every year.  The first tradition is starting to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually, our tree goes up first.  Every year we try to buy the children a new ornament with significance to that particular year.  For example, this year I will be on the hunt for a saxophone for our youngest son and a baritone for our second son.  They have both started playing in our local homeschool band along with their father and me.

Another family tradition is going to a Candlelight Church service on Christmas Eve.  Being military, we have moved several times in the last eight years, so that does not necessarily work all the time.  Fortunately, this time last year, we found a new church that does have a Christmas Eve service.

Finally, another tradition our family enjoys is driving around to look at Christmas lights in the area where we live.  So of course, we have to put up Christmas lights outside ourselves.

What are some traditions your family enjoys at Christmas time?

This post is part of the Homeschool Review Crew’s look at our family traditions.  If you would like to check out some other posts, click here or on the graphic below.

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