HelpTeaching.com Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription (A Review)

HelpTeaching.com
Help Teaching Pro one year subscription

 

 

 

Today I am reviewing HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription.  Although your curriculum may seem complete, there is always a need to have multiple sources.  This will help ensure a broad spectrum of educational materials. It also can reassure you are covering all of your educational fundamentals. I believe one of our biggest fears as homeschool parents is that we may somehow miss something that our children would receive in a traditional brick and mortar school setting.

HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription is an amazing resource to help all of your home school needs.  It is virtually one-stop shopping, without the normal one-stop shopping price tag!

Before I continue, let me give you our back story…..

As Kira is getting set to be a high school student this year, I have decided to do a complete review of all that she has learned throughout middle school.  We want to ensure that she knows the basics inside and out. I truly believe reiterating and reviewing is a paramount key to our home educational process. Although Kira may think it is boring at times, she, too, sees the need in this, especially when she realizes there are areas that were not adequately addressed, or even worse, areas our curriculum choices some home never even addressed at all! We sadly discovered this last year.  It would seem our math lessons were virtually a year behind the standards. And although Kira could perform up to standards, she was not thriving at them. Anyone who homeschools can tell you, these kids are perfectionists.  Getting a B or a C simply will not do.

When I did my end of the year review and exams, I discovered areas Kira fell short of making an A on.  Before we begin our full 9th grade curriculum, we have opted to ensure Kira excels on all topics and areas. As we homeschool year round, this was easy enough to incorporate into our schedule and did not take away from any breaks as a traditional summer school setting would.

Enter in  HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription.  As I logged in, I immediately found what I needed.  It was a quick and easy navigation to each subject, grade, and topic needed.  And it is as all inclusive as you could possibly want.  Before I go off on one of my tangents, I have got to mention the ability to download or print.  I LOVE that I do not have to print everything right away.  Being able to save things to .PDF format on my computer and print later is perhaps one of my favorite things about  HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription, especially when it came to the answer keys.  Why print those up and waste ink and paper? It also helps me as I do not like to leave Kira on the internet without my direct supervision.  I know, this may seem strange to some of you.  I am a parent who has learned first hand why teenagers should never be on the internet unsupervised.  Within as much, it was safer and easier for us, and our educational process, to save what is able to be saved to .PDF and print when we were unable to stand over Kira while she completed her online lessons.

We found ourselves not only addressing the areas Kira fell short of an A in, but also other topics she wanted to learn more about! In order to learn more about those she already more than passed, however, we first had to address the areas she was not excelling in.  First and foremost came Math, ahh the dreaded Math.  In Kira’s defense, it is no wonder she does not easily ace this subject. Neither I nor my husband especially care for Math.  Dare I say, Math was perhaps my worst subject, and certainly my least liked!

HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription provides the tools we needed to help Kira. They have virtually everything you can possibly think of to aid your educational tool box! From printable and online worksheets, quizzes and activities, to online testing and worksheet generators! There are even printable games, perhaps Kira’s favorite aspect! You can edit the games and even save them and their answer keys.  Look at this fabulous word search that I made!  All I had to do was type in the words I wanted and name it; the generator did the rest!

 

The lessons for middle and high school students are meant for self-directed online learning. Many  lessons will have  a brief introduction and a video  to ensure your student understands the topic.  The lessons also include practice questions and links to formal tests and worksheets to  then assess what your child has learned. Kira seemed to enjoy this quite a bit.  Especially when she was amidst the lessons of subjects she did ace, such as Science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, we printed a wealth of educational tools. This is actually only a small selection of all we have been using each week.

HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro One Year Subscription is an exceptional value whether you use it casually or as a full supplemental curriculum.  I highly recommend also viewing the blog section for wonderful activities.

I also found it helpful to print up generated tests on subjects more advanced than Kira’s present grade state.  I did this to help me see which areas she was already familiar with and which areas she had no clue whatsoever about.  Although you may think as a home educator you know all that your child knows, doing this may surprise you! I know it certainly surprised me.

 

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Watchman Pictures, Princess Cut (A Review)

 Princess Cut

From

Watchman Pictures

Today, I will be reviewing, The movie Princess Cut  from Watchman Pictures.

We host family movie night the first Friday of every month in our home. Finding movies that are actually suitable for a 14 year old child can be difficult, at best. Between the gore, the language, and the violence, it can be hard to watch anything other than animated features. Every now and then a movie comes along that has something for each and every family member, Princess Cut is one of those movies.

I was quite excited to receive our copy of Princess Cut to review after watching the trailer. The cover touts, “The Best Christian Romance in Years”, and I happen to agree.  This story line is completely in touch with the struggles young women face today in finding relationships. The battle of staying true to one’s self versus the battle of giving in to what another desires, all for the sake of remaining in a relationship.

Without divulging too much of the story line….

I personally found the movie inspirational and touching. The main character of the story, Grace, was relatable. The wholesome depiction of her plight  left me feeling comfortable, as I watched with my daughter, unlike most romances. I felt drawn in instantly to her character and story. I also loved that Grace was able to show that no matter what your friend’s believe, you can stay true to your own faith and beliefs.

The characters were all likable and believable. The story line itself had me in tears more than once.  I, as a parent, and a wife, could relate to both Grace and her parents. It also forced me to think more about my own daughter and the choices she will soon be facing. My, it does seem too early to even consider her dating.

When I asked my daughter Kira for her honest opinion about the movie Princess Cut, she said this, “It was a good movie, with a good plot.  At times it seemed to be slow. Although it is not my typical preference in movie styles because I prefer Science Fiction, if you love Christian Romances, you will love this movie.”

 

 

 

 

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Memoria Press, First Form Latin (A Review)

Memoria Press

First Form Latin

 

Today I will be reviewing First Form Latin Complete Set from  Memoria Press.

When Kira first learned she would be studying Latin this year, she squealed with joy! But when Kira then learned it would be through Memoria Press, she could barely contain herself.  Kira loved when we reviewed the Illiad And Odyssey Complete Set from, Memoria Press last year.

As you can clearly see, Kira was very excited when the package from Memoria Press arrived!!!

It was no surprise to be completely impressed with the contents of the box! This First Form Latin Complete Set is truly COMPLETE!

And as with all boxes which enter into our household, the Memoria Press First Form Latin Complete Set box was warmly received by our cat, χιόνι. Although his name may be Snow in Greek, it certainly seemed as though he was more interested in learning Latin!

I am lucky in that Kira is one of those amazing children who actually love to learn.  My little sponge tries to absorb all she can, every where that she is able to.  At first, I had trepidation, as Kira has been studying both Spanish and Greek. I feared introducing a third language might cause confusion. However, I was pleasantly surprised when Kira expressed how much fun she has been having learning Latin with Memoria Press and First Form Latin!

Although every homeschool style and schedule is different, we do language studies daily. Kira opted to do her language lessons first thing each day. This typically will only take an hour to two hours per day. Typically every lesson incorporates new words, which, of course, are on flash cards to study and learn.  Here is perhaps our most fun part! This is where we get my husband to participate! Now, let me just say, this man has one wicked sense of humor.  Despite the fact we have the pronunciation CD that comes with the First Form Latin Complete Set, my husband decided he would pronounce things his way. This truly made for comical review sessions each day! Each evening, just prior to dinner, Chuck would grab the cards and review them with Kira.  And each time, Kira would correct his atrociously hilarious pronunciations thereof!

In hindsight, I should have perhaps made a video of this hilarious daily exchange. It made my night, every day!

Memoria Press and First Form Latin make learning Latin a breeze.  Kira has not complained once.  In fact, she actually has been bragging about how much she has learned and how much she is enjoying learning Latin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presently, Kira is pleasantly proud of all she has accomplished thus far with what she has learned while using the Memoria Press First Form Latin Complete Set.  Kira found it fascinating how many of our own words are derived from Latin. Kira has stated it will help her more in her language lessons in the future as well.

 

The  Memoria Press First Form Latin Complete Set comes with;

Student Text – A beautiful book to accompany the workbook, full of everything your child needs to complete his/her lessons. Kira loves that it includes historical Latin phrases as well as the origins of these phrases.

Student Workbook – This workbook contains approximately 4-6 pages of exercises per lesson. The lessons are laid out in a way to ensure your student learns. Kira says her favorite part of the work book is translating the Latin sentences into English, and diagraming the Latin sentences.

Quizzes And Tests Book- This will help enforce your child’s learning and comprehension. Kira expressed that the tests and quizzes ensure she is mastering the lessons, and said they are challenging but not impossible.

A Pronunciation CD – Comprehensive CD containing all of the vocabulary and grammar within each lesson. This is a brilliant way to be sure you are actually saying everything right!

Flashcards – These contain all of the forms, vocabulary and phrases for each lesson. We had way too much fun with these every evening. Upon reaching her last set of cards, Kira was in shock that she was at the end of the set.  I think she has enjoyed the cards the most. Especially the special interaction time with her hilarious father!

DVD – Set of 3 Discs featuring former Highlands Latin School teacher Glen Moore. We cannot rave enough about the DVDs.  These are absolutely fabulous.

The Teacher Key- This will help you grade all quizzes and tests.

Teacher Manual – A comprehensive manual to make teaching not only easy, but incredibly fun!

We highly recommend Memoria Press First Form Latin Complete Set for all who are interested in studying and learning Latin.  We already are preparing to get Kira Second Form Latin next!

 

 

 

 

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Homeschool Diploma, 8th Grade Diploma (A review)

Homeschool Diploma

8th Grade Diploma

 

This is a review of an 8th Grade Diploma  from  Homeschool Diploma. A wonderful company which provides all of your graduation needs.

Homeschooling your child is an incredibly rewarding job. There is nothing better than taking assessment tests at the end of each year and seeing that your child has successfully progressed to the next grade.  Honoring their achievements of hard work and studying throughout the year is easier with the incredible products available from Homeschool Diploma!

With each grade, the feeling becomes all the more bittersweet, as you begin to realize your bundle of joy is growing up and will most likely leave the nest. As my daughter turned 14 it hit me: she will be an adult in 4 short years.  When I say it hit me, I mean it hit me like a two ton load of bricks.  I am nowhere near ready for my “baby” to be an adult.  I have not had enough time with her. Granted, I have spent every single day of her life with her, but for one when she was in the NICU, and I was in recovery when she was born.  The longest we have ever been apart was when she was an infant and had hernia surgery, and the hospital refused to let me sleep in her room with her. I sense a separation anxiety meltdown for me in my near future. Being a parent becomes your identity, I suppose, at least in your mind. I cannot imagine waking up and not seeing my daughter’s beautiful face.  All that aside, and before my tears keep me from typing, there is also a beautiful aspect to your children growing up.  Marking the accomplishments of all of their hard work!

I only wish I had known about Homeschool Diploma sooner! I was amazed to see how much their site offers! They even have graduation products for kindergarteners!!! I always felt that Kira missed out on that special ceremony celebrating the achievement of progressing to the next level of her education. I remember we purchased silly decorations and planned a little party, but that never did happen. Had I known about Homeschool Diploma back then, things certainly would have gone differently.

Just look at the precious diploma and the adorable caps and gowns they have!!!!!!!!!!

I could sit and regret not knowing, or instead be grateful and realize that we are now able to celebrate with an open heart and embrace all we do have.

While browsing the Homeschool Diploma website and preparing our order for Kira’s 8th Grade Diploma , I was simply in awe at the wonderful selection of products available.  From announcements, to gifts, and everything in between!

Speaking of ordering Kira’s  8th Grade Diploma , the process was SO EASY! The form was clear and concise.  The options are wonderful. From the inscriptions to the wording, and even the case design. From the name of your school to the seal, everything is completely customizable to suit your homeschool desires!

Unfortunately, we had already ordered a cap and gown elsewhere.  As I browsed the Homeschool Diploma website, I saw the cap and gown section! My jaw hit the floor; their prices are MUCH cheaper than the others. I am grateful to learn this now, as in just a few short years Kira will be graduating High School.  We will be purchasing EVERYTHING from Homeschool Diploma when Kira graduates High School!

I was extremely impressed with not only how absolutely beautiful the Eighth Grade or Junior High School Diploma with 7″ x 9″ Deluxe Cover looked, but also with how quickly it arrived after we ordered it! The package arrived in a matter of 3 days!

We highly recommend  Homeschool Diploma  for all of your graduation needs!

I cannot express how excited I am to know I can now purchase absolutely everything I need from Homeschool Diploma for Kira when she graduated High School in just for short years!

Look how proud Kira was to receive her  8th Grade Diploma !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zirrly Super Beads – Jungle Animals (A Review)

   Zirrly 

Super Beads

 Jungle Animals

No doubt by now you have seen the latest craze with kids.  Fuse beads.   What are they? How do they work? And for the life of me, why are they so popular? Well, I cannot answer all of those questions, but I can, as always, share my opinion with you! Now, the fuse beads are a craft where the beads are “melted” together.  Generally, the kids use heat to melt the beads together. I believe typically an iron is required.  Now, for me personally, I have never understood why anyone found these to be enjoyable or creative.  Perhaps, I am extremely biased as I am an artist.  I wish to create unique individual items and not use cookie cutters.  I also do not understand the aspect of an item that looks, to me at least, to be pixelated.  However, I am an adult, an old fuddey-duddey, if you will. I cannot think like a child, but I do listen to mine. And my daughter was fascinated with the idea of these kits! Please keep this in mind and know my review may be a bit biased as I am already predisposed to find this concept a bit uncreative.

As you can see in the image above, Kira was proud and excited when Zirrly’s  Super Beads Jungle Animals  kit arrived.  Kira could not wait to open the box and begin! As we are amidst her final exams, however, she had to wait!

As an artist, I have always enjoyed crafting with Kira.  Some of my fondest memories are the times that we have sat at our dining room table creating together.  Whether it be intricate paintings for the holidays or simple coloring of coloring books, nothing can compare to our special bonding time. I knew this set would provide such an opportunity.  As Kira is a teenager now, we have less time to enjoy such moments.  Within as much, I actually was looking forward to the adventure, despite my opinion on the beads themselves.

opemimg box

We first laid out the contents of the box, then  Kira began reading the instructions.  I have found this to be a wonderful teaching lesson.  I wanted to see just how well Kira could follow instructions. The box contained an assortment of colored beads, a plastic tool, a small squirt bottle, a supply of boards, several cardboard designs, and a plastic organizer for the beads.  At first glance, it looks and sounds simple enough in theory.

Kira chose the Owl to design.  As I wanted to create with Kira, I chose the Zebra.  First you are to place your design on the back of the board.  It is pretty simple as everything lines up, and it is a bit obvious as the cardboard will only fit one way between the tabs.

 

This is where it all went down hill.  Because of the way the boards were taped together within the package, they were warped.  They refused to sit flat or level on the table, even without the cardboard designs inserted.

 

As my loud mouth stated, I hoped it would not be a problem.  Unfortunately, it was quite a problem indeed. Next you are to place the beads according to the color on the cardboard image under the board. Simple enough, right? The instructions state to have the lined portion of the bead face up.  Okay, I am old.  I have visionary issues.  I also have neuropathy.  Holding these teeny tiny beads and trying to decipher which way was up because a grueling task.  My reader glasses were no help.  I had to break out my OttLite magnifier that I use when I am painting fine details on statues or mini canvases! With the OttLite, my reader glasses and every light on, as well as all the blinds open, we suddenly could see the “line”.  My daughter could not see them at first either!

Look closely, see the lines? It became extremely frustrating trying to grasp these tiny beads and figure out which side was up and place it in the proper spot.  Add to this frustration the beads would pop off and go flying because the board was not level. .

 

By the third bead flying away, I was done.  I could not take the pain these beads were causing my eyes and hands one moment more.  I instead sat and watched Kira as she worked on hers.

Kira kept sighing.  It seemed she was not enjoying the beads either.  Kira was frustrated with trying to see the lines on the beads and trying to hold them.  It would have been wonderful had the kit come with a set of plastic tweezers, perhaps. We lost several beads that popped off.  All I could do was pray that none of our pets find and eat them. Kira, too, had problems with the beads popping off of her board. With all this, she still kept trying.  At one point she came over to me, showed me her hands, and said, “I guess this is why they iterate about washing your hands in the instructions.”

color rubs offThe orange, the yellow, and the brown beads all left their color everywhere that they touched. In hind sight, perhaps placing the beads together when we packed the kit up, after we were done with it, in a single ziplock bag, may  have been a mistake.  I fear those colors may bleed on to the other leftover colors.

Kira diligently completed her owl. I must admit, it looked really cute once the beads were all in place on the board.

owl in placeI asked Kira if she would finish my zebra for me; she kindly accepted and did the zebra too.  It was next time for the fusing! Now, unlike the other melding beads, Zirrly does not require an iron. Instead, you merely spritz it with water, using the spray bottle included within the Super Beads Jungle Animals  kit!

Kira followed the instructions to the letter and sprayed each project.

Next was the waiting.  Kira was NOT happy about this.  I was a bit surprised, as normally Kira is the most patient child I have ever met.  I can only imagine how the wait time might bother an even younger, less patient youngster.  Nonetheless, Kira agreed to wait the instructed amount of time, which was at least an hour.

This ran into dinner time. So we actually were forced to wait even longer than that! Sadly, the additional time did not serve as means to reinforce the beads whatsoever.  It was too late once dinner was over, so we continued the next day. It started off pretty well as Kira began using the tool to lift her owl.  Sadly, however, that did not last.  Beads started to separate and fly away. Per instructions, Kira replaced the beads in the appropriate positions, sprayed again and waited the instructed time….yet again.

 

 

beads fall off

The second time was the charm! Once enough time had passed, Kira was able to successfully (minus two beads that popped off) pry each animal up.

 

I would not recommend this to anyone who has a child that is extremely impatient.  Unless, of course, you are trying to find a way to teach them patience.  Then, this is a PERFECT idea for you.  I also do not recommend this to anyone with visionary issues or problems with holding tiny objects for prolonged periods of time.

For anyone who has used melding beads before and did not like the fact an iron was needed, perhaps this may be a viable alternative.  I have never tried the other types though, so I cannot adequately compare.

 

All that being said, I must admit, this was a wonderful way to teach adhering to directions.  Even though Kira did follow the instructions perfectly, problems arose.  It served as a valuable lesson.  We enjoyed our time together despite the many mishaps and downfalls.  The end result was quite cute, I must admit.  I can imagine children coming up with their own creative designs, and that I believe would be a wonderful way to foster their imaginations.  Perhaps a cute heart for Mother’s day or a Bunny for Easter!  I have to admit, the Zirrly  3D kit looks interesting too! For now, we still have the kit.    It seems like a great rainy day project.

Kira has been trying to make her own special Zirrly animal now.  It seems she absolutely loves the kit.  We are going to be looking for more for her to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year

New Year 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing you all good health, happiness, and love throughout this new year.

We are beginning our final review of 8th grade and beginning 9th grade here.  Someone please tell me how that is possible. How is my baby turning 14? I swear to you, she was just born.

Kira has been studying hard for her final exams.  Presently she is right proud about her B+ average, as am I.

We look forward to the wonderment that the forthcoming  high school curriculum provides. Although I must admit, it seems scary to even think my little girl is starting high school and beginning college prep.

Amidst Kira’s final testing and preparing for high school, I am illustrating a few children’s books and negotiating possible work on illustrating a young adult story.  We are also leaving the country for a bit to celebrate Kira’s birthday.

It is extremely hectic here now.

I look forward to sharing our year with you throughout 2018.

Happy Educating!

Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich From Barbour Publishing (A Review)

 Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich

 

From

Barbour Publishing

 

As an avid reader, it was no surprise to hear Kira squeal when her copy of Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing arrived!

The beautiful cover art immediately leads the reader to feel strong emotions, as if they know there will be an epic journey that they are about to embark on.

Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing is a delightful tale of a young boy who experiences the journey of Noah’s ark, from the Bible.

I do not want to give too much away from this delightfully imaginative tale.  However, I did ask Kira for her opinion and what she thought about Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing .

Kira said,

“Noah’s ark has always been one of my favorite stories from the Bible. I found myself envisioning it were me in Corey’s shoes.  It was almost as though I could hear, feel, smell, and even taste the ark and the animals around me! I absolutely love the alternative perspective depicted within the book. Not only the flood, but the resistance surrounding Noah and his sons. The Bible’s perspective did not provide the insight I found within Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing .  The story provided deeper insight into the characters and their feelings.  Although the book seemed short, (I like to read long chapter books) I look forward to reading the entire series. I highly recommend Imagine…The Great Flood by Matt Koceich  from Barbour Publishing to everyone!”

 

 

 

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