Math Refresher For Adults from Math Essentials . . . My Review

If you (like me) have always hated math, or if you simply have forgotten a lot of what you learned and need to brush up on your Math skills, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials  is a great way to regain those skills!

I was excited at the possibility of reviewing this book, because as I stated above, I’ve had a very long time dislike of Math. My husband is very good at Math, my best friend is good at Math, but I am Math challenged. I had a very bad teacher in junior high school, and have hated it ever since. In fact, when I found out that I only needed one Math class in high school to graduate, I got it out of the way the first year and never looked back!

I don’t want my kids to be math-phobic, so I thought if nothing else, it would be a good example if they were to see my at least TRYING to learn math.

Math Refresher for Adults has so much to offer! There are textbook and video (online) lessons in a variety of topics such as:

  1. Whole numbers, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  2. Fractions, including mixed numbers and basic operations.
  3. Decimals, including how to change fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.
  4. Percentages.
  5. Geometry.
  6. Word Problems.
  7. Pre-Algebra.
  8. Algebra.

And other topics, too!

For the record, it was an Algebra class where the teacher turned me right off of math. And I hate, hate, hate word problems! Math Essentials understands that hate (stumbling block) and instead of calling them word problems, labels them “problem solving.”

The way that Math Refresher for Adults is set up, you could, if you wanted to, just begin at the beginning and work straight through. Or if you are using it to help you to work with your child (homeschooling or helping with homework, for example) you could simply use it as a topical reference. In the latter case, simply look up the topic where the student needs help, and watch the video for tat topic together, working right along with the teacher in the video. Easy peasy!

In my case, I am going to different topics, areas in which I KNOW I need help. In doing so, I’m finding that for years, I have relied solely on calculators for just about every single math operation I needed to do. Now, I really don’t see any problem with my doing so, but it doesn’t really help when it comes to my kids needing some aid in learning a particular area of math.

I have four boys at vastly different ability levels when it comes to math, and I believe this book will help me with the boys. I have two boys at a very early elementary level, one at maybe mid elementary level, and one who worked on No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials last summer, and was very happy when the videos helped him!

We are so far, extremely happy with our experiences with this company!

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Free Slurpee Day at 7-11!

Free Slurpee Day


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White House Holidays Unit Studies from Silverdale Press LLC . . . Review

White House Holidays Unit Studies from Silverdale Press LLC are a great way to keep learning happening while taking a break from regular history studies, or, for those who generally use unit studies as the core of their homeschooling, a great way to get history and social studies in for the entire year!

Given that two of my boys are biracial, I chose to focus on the Martin Luther King Jr. unit study. We will do this again around the time of the MLK holiday, as well, because I think it’s more important to learn about the person being honored than it is to get a day off from school. It’s always irritated me when schools close for the MLK holiday, rather than spend the day learning about the reason the holiday exists!

As I looked over this unit study, I decided that we would take the entire review period with this. The author, Jill Hummer, has written unit studies which are so very rich in information, primary sources and things to do that we could literally make these unit studies our entire history and social studies curriculum for the whole year!

As I said above two of my boys (“Mr. loquacious and The Puzzler”) are biracial. They came into our family when they were eight years old. We have even before their adoption when we had just our older boys, had many discussions about the past, when black people could not drink from the same water fountains as white people, or eat in the same restaurants, had to ride in the back of the bus, etc . . . We later after adopting the twins talked about how back then, we would never have been permitted to adopt them. This particular one was brought home to them during an episode of The Waltons that we were watching. I think this has been the best study for us to begin with.

One of the things I especially love about this study is that it shows a black family who is able to reach a successful level of living. Martin’s father earned a good enough living as the Pastor of a good, giving church to provide for his family. The children did not have to go out to work (as children), quitting school to help keep the family going. This is because his parents were frugal, and never lived beyond their means.

Mrs. King did have to raise her children in the days of segregation and discrimination, considerably worse discrimination than exists now. However, I realized that some things don’t change too quickly. We have had to have the difficult discussions with our boys who are people of color about the extra need for them on how to react if stopped for any reason by the street. And ladies will still pull purses closer when black people, especially boys and men are near, and they will be more likely to be watched in a store. It is sad that we haven’t come further than that.

Of course we homeschool, however they were quite shocked to find out that they would not have been permitted to go to the same school as white children even as late as 1957, the year before I was born. Three years previously, the United States Supreme Court handed down Brown v. Board of Education, making it illegal to segregate black children from white children. State Governors refused to comply, and in 1957 Little Rock, Arkansas,  Governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to surround the city’s Central High School on the night before school was to start. He told the troops to stop nine black students—the first to attend Central High, from stepping into the building. He was convinced to withdraw them by President Eisenhower. When the students tried to go to school, riots erupted outside of the school. Eventually President Eisenhower  sent in 1,000 U.S. Army paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock for a year to make sure Central High was integrated and that the students and city were kept safe.

All four of my boys were astounded that this was just one year before I was born! They were further shocked that black people were kept from voting, even for a while after that.

There are so many good activities for students to do in each lesson, that we don’t want to miss any! I can see this study taking us some time to get through, because I have special needs kids, but also there are SOOO many rabbit trails we find ourselves going down, and my boys have lots of question I don’t want going unanswered. This is one big positive to doing these studies as a homeschooler, because we don’t HAVE to finish within a specific time period. we can take our time, and learn about every single question they have, even if learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and the holiday set aside to honor him takes months!

All of the White House Holidays Unit Studies teach about how they were declared Holidays by presidents. This is unique to me because at the same time we learn about the holiday, we learn about the presidents involved, and why they declared them, what they meant to the presidents, etc . . . The other White House Holiday Unit Studies From Silverdale Press LLC are:

I am very much looking forward to including all of these into our school year to come!

Please click on the banner below to read the fair and honest reviews of 74 other crew members as they write about White House Holidays Unit Studies and Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers from Silverdale Press LLC.

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews} 

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Measuring My Eyes . . .

I just found out that June is Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know for example, that cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States and the leading cause of blindness in the world?

I am having Cataract surgery, one eye this month and the other one next month. This past week, I had to go have my eyes measured, so that the correct IOL (Intraocular Lens) can be ordered.

I ended up having to return 2 days later, because my left eye was too dry and they couldn’t get any measurement off it. I’d been using artificial tears, but it turned out that store brand was the worst possible that I could use! So the correct (no preservative) drops were written down for me, and we stopped to get them on the way home. This time, it worked, so I’m good to go!

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology: Review

You know, becoming a member of the Homeschool Review Crew has been so much more of a blessing than I ever thought it might be! We have had the blessing of studying other selections from Apologia‘s Young Explorer Series science in the past, so I was thrilled to get to review Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

My family has had the pleasure of reviewing other publications from Apologia:

Apologia was as usual, extremely generous to us as reviewers! We received the:

265 page textbook, which contains fourteen lessons, a section with answers to the narrative questions, and an index.

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal which contains the following, and much more:

  • A lesson schedule, notebook assignments, activities and experiments. This uses a two-day each week plan.
  • Pages in the notebook for your child to use in making a paper model of themselves.
  • color illustrations of the organs and body systems about which are to be cut out and added to the child’s paper model as they are learned about.
  • Scripture copywork

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal, which is very similar to the Notebooking Journal, but better suited to all but one of my boys, “The Artist.” Perfect for . . .

  • Younger children that have not yet mastered handwriting.
  • Older children that are delayed in handwriting mastery.
  • Older children (or adults!) with learning disabilities.
  • Children that are new to written narration.

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD, a complete audio recording of the course Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy as read by the author Jeannie Fulbright.

I had expected that as it had happened in other Exploring Creation With . . . curricula, that all of my boys would prefer to use the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal. Because of this, I ordered three additional Junior journals. And then we began. “The Artist” decided he would rather work in the regular Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology. And “Mr. Locquacious” was attending a charter school for a while. So, I ended up with two extra Junior notebooking journals! It’s all good though, someone will need those junior notebooks.

We have been enjoying our time with this curriculum! This time around, I purchased a lab kit to go with it, sorted out by lesson. We have been doing more of the experiments because we have just about everything on hand.

Here, we saw how a magnifying glass works, using a simple drop of water.

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A fun experiment, one that our boys really liked, was to see which substance would “mummify” the apple slices the most. They set up seven clear cups and labeled them with the original weight of the apple slice and the contents which were placed over the apple slices.

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After seven days, the powders were taken out, and each apple slice weighed in order to see which one had the most fluid removed.

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As “The Artist” just pointed out while I was writing this, it absolutely drove them out of their minds waiting! The kept going to check and see if anything had yet happened!

In the notebooks there are a variety of things to do. I mentioned above that they each have pages for the kids to make a model of themselves. What I did not mention is that there are three different pages, in three different colors. Plus, there are two templates for each color. The child is to put a small picture of their faces at the head. I have children of different colors, so I feel that this was a wonderful addition, something I’ve not seen elsewhere. As they learn about them, different organs, etc . . . are then cut out from clear pages and added to the model.

The Notebooking Journal has more writing in it . . .

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Whereas the Junior Notebooking Journal has more coloring in it, something which “The Puzzler” and “The Batman” both like better.

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We absolutely LOVE the Exploring Creation with . . . series, and hope to work through many more of the topics.

We will be taking our time through this curriculum. I would rather take a lot longer and have my boys really understand, than to rush them through and have them not retain things.

If you would like to read more fair and honest reviews of Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, I encourage you to please click on the banner below. This will take you to the landing page for the reviews of all the crew members who have been working with this curriculum.

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews 

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Music Appreciation From Memoria Press . . . My Review

Before becoming a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, I had not been exposed to anything from Memoria press, ever. As you can see by going to this link, we have loved what we have used thus far! Memoria Press makes classical education easier with Music Appreciation I, and even though we do not follow the classical education method, the products from this company work well in our eclectic, relaxed style as well. This package is intended for grades 3 – 5, however I am using it for my boys who are in various levels, both below and above that range, and it’s working well for them.

Having grown up in a house filled with music, it has made me so happy to have a way of exposing my own children to both listening to and learning about music. I spent my life hearing many of the pieces included in Music appreciation 1, as my father had a very extensive musical library on vinyl record albums (yes, as a matter of fact, I *am* that old, lol!).

One of my boys in particular (The Batman) very much enjoys classical music, which I think my dad would have liked had he still been living when we adopted our kids. Because of the fact that my boys really like music in many forms, we are very much enjoying this product!

The concept of this lesson book with included music CD’s is one I really like. Although I can simply play music and try to instill an appreciation of it myself, and probably succeed, I cannot teach them about the music, the history involved, or the musical concepts without doing a great deal of research. Luckily, Memoria Press has already done that research for me! I also like having the selections for each lesson on the included CD’s. This means I don’t have to find them myself for this course.

The lessons in this book are ordered in such a way that the boys are learning all of these things without a ton of effort. The format is as follows:

  • Listen (to the piece called for, on the included CD’s)
  • A Little History (about the composer, the musical style, the time in history)
  • Musical Concept about the form, includes the piano score of a portion of the piece so you can play it if you like)
  • About The Piece (discusses the style of the piece)
  • Music History (discusses the period, such as Baroque)
  • Facts To Remember (numbered list of what was taught)
  • Listen Again (with instructions on what to listen for)

Music Appreciation 1 does not just cover classical music. This book goes into pieces by Aaron Copland and George Gershwin as well. With this being Music Appreciation 1, it makes me look forward to the possibilities of further books on this subject by Memoria Press!

Members of the Review Crew have also been reviewing the following from Memoria Press:

To read what 79 other Homeschool Review Crew members thought of this and the above named other products from Memoria Press, please click on the banner below:

Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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Princess Cut From Watchman Pictures . . . Our Review

I was so happy to be given a copy of the Christian Film titled Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures to watch with my boys!

Now you may well be shaking your head and wondering . . . “Why on earth did she want this for her BOYS?” Well, I am going to tell you why, true love is worth waiting for your boys, too! In my viewpoint, it isn’t just girls who should wait, and should avoid intimacy and casual relationships.

Waiting on The Lord and avoiding those casual relationships is something Grace Anderson has not been very good at in her life.

After dating someone for fifteen months, Carolina girl Grace is hoping he will propose. For a portion of their relationship, Stewart has been away at college, meaning they have had a long distance relationship. When things sadly don’t turn out as Grace had hoped, she has to learn what real love is all about.

Grace has a very loving family, each of whom tries to help in their own way. Watch for the way her little brother thinks would be the best way to help Grace find the love of her life, and think back to the antics of your own little brothers!

Grace does meet a young man and begin dating him, but this is all part of the process in discovering how she must “become the person God wants you to be.” Only then will she recognize who God is bringing to her for the rest of her life.

Here is a short trailer of the movie Princess Cut:

The point in the story when Grace’s best friend Tess has suggested that she go have a free session with her (Tess’s) mother’s therapist. What the therapist recommends, along with Grace’s reaction, told me everything I needed to know about whether this film would be in line with my husband and my beliefs, which we are trying to impart to our boys.

There is an adjoining plot about the family farm that has been in Grace’s father’s family for generations. We see how important it is to work together and even at times accepting help from others even in physical labor to help bring in an extremely important crop.

We also see how unexpected visitors can put a monkey wrench into the best laid plans, and then have to be taken care of in a decisive way.

Being honorable, doing things correctly when it comes to establishing a relationship with a young woman by including her parents and asking for their blessing on the wish to explore the possibility of marriage is a big part of this story, one I feel is so important. When Grace says she feels as though her heart has been tossed around like a football from dating a variety of guys, it really speaks to why casual dating is ultimately hurtful.

In the end, will Grace listen to the Lord? Will she just follow her own wishes without counsel? Will she be bound to the man God wants for her? Will she be single? I’m sorry, I’m afraid you will have to watch the film for yourself, no spoilers from me! But I promise, you will not be disappointed in this production.

Watchman pictures is currently working on a couple of sequels to Princess Cut and I can hardly wait to be able to see them!

To read about what many of my fellow Homeschool Review Crew members think of this film, please click on the banner below.

Princess Cut {Watchman Pictures Reviews}Crew Disclaimer
As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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