Monday, June 1, 2015

Free Summer Subscription Offer from Homeschool Buyers Co-op

 Here is a great deal for your summer break! Starting today, June 1st, The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is giving away a FREE subscription to Discovery Education Streaming Plus for the summer to homeschoolers. One family account allows multiple users to access everything offered, even at the same time.Once you have set up your free trial you can access Discovery Education Streaming Plus from a variety of mobile devices as well as your computer.

 Check it out here:


 Discovery Education Streaming Plus is probably the most extensive and feature-rich educational video streaming service in the world.

It's much like having the entire DVD selection of your local public library available to you from the convenience of your home, 24/7/365.

But it's not just a collection of videos that you can watch from beginning to end. This library has been organized into useable video clips, organized and categorized, close-captioned, and supplemented with lesson plans, teaching guides, interactive simulations, images, audio resources, and other resources and materials that you can incorporate into virtually every aspect of your homeschool curriculum.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus features:
  • Thousands of full-length videos from scores of producers, segmented into tens of thousands of content-specific clips tied directly to state and national standards.
  • Supplemental resources such as Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Generator, lesson plans, and more
  • Fast and accurate search functionality and dynamic navigation menus
  • The ability to customize and personalize lessons to different subjects, grades, and learning styles
  • Comprehensive K-12 curriculum coverage in six core subject areas.
  • Thousands of images
  • Membership in the Discovery Educator Network (DEN)
  • Interactive self-paced training
  • Exclusive Discovery programming such as Frozen Planet, Human Planet, LIFE, Into the Universe, Mythbusters, and Curiosity
  • Video series from trusted content providers such as BBC Worldwide, CBS News, Channel 4, Discovery Studios, Scholastic, TV Ontario, and Westin Woods
  • Hundreds of games, skill builders, and body atlas interactives
  • Thousands of self-paced math tutorials spanning concepts from basic addition to calculus
  • Thousands of audio files including podcasts, classic literature audiobooks, children's literature audiobooks from Scholastic, and numerous supplemental study aids for auditory learners

 A 1 year subscription retails for $375, but you can try it out free for THREE months so this is a REALLY GOOD DEAL.

 Check it out here:

 I have not been compensated in any manner for this informational post.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Birthday Traditions

 Birthdays are special days themselves, but I try to do something to make them memorable for each of my children. These are some of the things we have done.

Birthday Tablecloth

I've taken a twin size flat white bed sheet and had birthday party guests sign it. To prepare it I wash and dry the sheet and write the child's name and birth year in the center. Before the party of gathering I mark off an area in masking tape and write the child's age and the year in the center of the marked off area before hand. Then I ask guests to write their name in pencil. I try to remember to ask them to write a little larger than a normal signature. After wards I write over everyone's writing with a liquid embroidery pen and then iron over them to making the writing permanent. You can use one color for all the signatures or several colors for a rainbow look.


Each year I have made my children a decorated cake. Some years they have been more elaborate than others. The style or them depends on their interests or activities for that year. Some cakes have been pianos, castles, cars, rockets, or just shaped with basic decorations. I always take a picture of the birthday child with the cake and that way I am sure to have a picture of them from their birthday. I also try to take a picture of the cake with the number of candles for that year so I can remember when a particular cake was made.

Birthday Meal

We try to go out to eat for each of our birthdays (Mom and Dad included). When we do the birthday person usually gets to choose where we go (within reason, of course). If we aren't able to go out then I try to make the meal the birthday person would like at home.

Because our school schedule has some flexibility to it, we take birthdays off as a school holiday. For a couple years I let the birthday child decide if they wanted to go on a field trip on their birthday. When we did this we explored several different museums. Not quite a field trip, but one year I took my daughter to the American Girl store near our home. She had a great time.

I'm linking up with Home and School Mosaics

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Math Choices

In an attempt to start writing a little more here I am going to share some of the curriculum which my children are using this year. These are the math programs my  5th and 8th grade age children are using this year.

Teaching Textbooks

Several years ago I was told about Teaching Textbooks by a friend whose children are several years older than mine. I had seen TT before, but was initially put off by the cost of each level. However, it is very complete and does a through job teaching . Having the option to see exactly how a problem is solved step by step and comparing your work is very helpful. Having a math curriculum which does the grading is also a huge plus for me. One less subject to grade saves time and that is very valuable as well. All of these positives really make it worth the price for our family.

My oldest has to work hard at math to get it, she can do it but it takes work for her. She likes working on the computer so I hoped that would be a plus for TT, even though it is math. She is currently doing Algebra 1 in Teaching Textbooks. She doesn't really enjoy math, but I think I can honestly say she is happier doing it on the computer than she would with a book and paper.

Consumer Math

This year my youngest is using a consumer math course. He used Teaching Textbooks 5 last year which he loved, but according to their placement tests he was easily able to skip the next level. That meant he was ready for PreAlgebra this year. However, he is 5th grade age and I really didn't want him doing algebra in 6th grade. So I decided a better option was to have him work through life skill math.

He has been using Math in Everyday Life. This addresses wages and salaries, payroll taxes, preparing income tax returns, budgets, grocery shopping, household shopping, mortgages, utilities, remodeling and home repairs, purchasing a car, and  insurances. There have been a couple exercises which are not written very well and some of the information is outdated (copyright 2000) but overall this is a pretty good overview of practical, life skill math.


Several Years ago I found a copy of Family Math-The Middle School Years at a used curriculum sale and snatched it up. We had used the elementary version from the library quite a bit. Family Math is a collection of hands on math activities to teach higher level concepts and ideas. Many of them align with concepts in PreAlgebra.

As these activities are hands on they require manipulatives, but they are easily found around the house or can be easily substituted. Most activities don't take longer than half an hour and are a fun break from book and paper math. They are a great way to apply those book concepts in a concrete way. We haven't used the book in a while, but I think it's about time to take it off the shelf again.

Home and School Mosaics is sponsoring a curriculum linkup one Wednesday of each month. The current link up coves the subject of math.