Category Archives: Homeschool Math

Math-U-See AIM {Review}

(Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.)

My son “The Batman” is developmentally disabled, and we have tried ever since he was little to help him learn just addition and subtraction, but he has just never been able to do it. I was very happy to receive Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction  from Math-U-See for review, because I thought maybe it would help. And oh my word, it is slowly but surely helping!

aim-complete-set_transparent

 

Accelerated Individual Mastery is a program with both physical products and a digital toolbox. Here is what we received:

This is the book, the integer blocks and the special colored pencils.

IMG_20200330_142915

Here you see the 13 Fact Check Strategy posters.

IMG_20200402_143840

And finally, the Fact Check Cards which are printed on perforated Cardstock.

IMG_20200402_155536

I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize the fact check cards were in with the Fact Check Strategy posters, and printed them out on paper! But the ones in the box are so sturdy that we will be using them.

Because “The Batman” has always had such a problem with even the simplest of math, I am so happy that this is working, even though we have to go very slowly for him. Where others might be able to get through this program in one multi-part lesson per week, we have to go MUCH slower. Because this is an individual mastery program, the pace will look different for everyone.

“The Batman” really is enjoying this program, and not becoming frustrated! He is even asking every day if we can do some more of it. I think this is partly because of the hands on manipulatives, but also because he isn’t feeling as though he has to push through faster to “keep up.”

Before beginning, I went through the Before-AIM Assessment with “The batman.”

IMG_20200330_142747

You can download the assesment here before deciding to purchase this program. It will quickly help you to see where your child is with addition and Subtraction facts. Here is where “The Batman” was at the end of the assessment:

IMG_20200330_144331 (1)IMG_20200330_145618

At the end of this program, we’ll go through a post AIM assessment to see how much he’s gained.

Here is his first worksheet, which we downloaded from the worksheet generator in the Digital Toolbox, which you will have a one year access with your purchase of this program.

IMG_20200402_161534

After the lesson, I read the math facts to him and mark off those that  he now knows.

IMG_20200402_161544

Yiu can see that at this point, he’s all over the board.

After each lesson, I’ll do this again, until the whole sheet is marked. Then, we will move on to subtraction.

In the Digital Toolbox you’ll also find review activities and games to aid in memorizing the math facts. “The Batman” likes everything in the toolbox!

AIM  was created  many different students in mind, such as:

  • Those who have done other addition and subtraction fact methods without mastery (even adults!)
  • still need to tally marks or count on their fingers
  • struggle as they face harder math concepts
  • Have not mastered many math facts at all, like “The Batman”

This program focuses on:

  • Specifically single-digit addition and subtraction fact mastery
  • Uses language and activities that are updated for more mature students
  • does not use distractions and additional topics beyond the fundamental facts

Each lesson has a short video to help you teach the concept. That is where I went to learn how to use the integer blocks most effectively. Below the video, there were links telling me what I needed to print out, what physical materials to remove from the box, and what games there are to cement the concept taught. there are also sometimes activity pages like this coloring page:

IMG_20200330_153847

One activity that “The Batman” can do is a matching game. Here, he is using a printed out chart of the integer blocks to color the game cards. The numbers are the same color as the matching integer block cards. He is coloring them with the Math-U-see pancils, which match the color of each integer block.

IMG_20200330_151110

Now, when he wants to play, either his brother or I will do it with him.

“The Batman” really likes this program, as I said above. He feels so much more confident than with any other method we have tried.

Please click the banner below to find out what 44 other families think of Math-U-See.

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

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! -)

Leave a comment

Filed under Homeschool Math, Math, Math Games, Math-U-See

Online Times Alive From City Creek Press, Inc {Review}

Memorizing multiplication facts can be boring. In fact, I never learned them. Yes. Yes I did just admit that! To be fair though, Nobody ever taught the multiplication tables in any class I was in. But, with the Online Times Alive subscription from City Creek Press, Inc. YOUR students (and you!) can learn math facts by watching videos and practicing math facts.

For many people, learning facts (of any sort) is easier using rhymes or songs. Based on the best selling book Times Tables The Fun Way Book for Kids, Online Times Alive uses both of these, along with short stories to teach the multiplication tables. Mnemonics have always been a great help to me ( “In 14 hundred and 92, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” ring a bell? )

Here is a quick little video to give you an idea of the fun way students are brought to a knowledge of multiplication facts:

I decided to have “The Artist” be the student on this one. Both “The Batman” and “The Puzzler” are very delayed in math skills, and are still trying to learn basic addition and subtractions. With their developmental delays, this may take a long time, or may never happen, but we do keep trying. “The Artist,” however, has had some work in Pre-Algebra, but definitely needs to learn multiplication facts. He (and I) know how to multiply, but memorizing the multiplication table certainly helps to get to the answer quickly.

The thing I like the best about Online Times Alive is that “The Artist” was able to be totally independent! Once logged in for the first time, the program gave him a pre-test, after which the program gave him a set of lessons in a table.

IMG_20190917_151722

At this point, “The Artist” simply clicks on the lessons in the order given, and away he goes! The filled in circles indicate completed  lessons, while the white, unfilled circles indicate that those lessons have not yet been started. If a circle is half filled in, it is a lesson which was begin, but not yet completed.

This is the beginning of the lesson for 8×8.  I just asked, and “The Artist” says that he remembers this fact (8×8=64) because the snowmen look like 8’s and the fire at the end has flames which look like 64. There is also a sign by the fire which says sticks (6) are for (4) the fire.

IMG_20190917_151739

The program keeps his records, but it is important for you to be aware that the student must use only the device he or she initially logged into, and remember what neme exactly they used to log into. The records and progress are kept on the one device, so this is important. I do wish that they were kept online, because at some point after beginning the review period “The Artist” received a Chromebook specifically for school use and switching him over meant he had to start all over.

Speaking of records, as you can see in the above picture, there is a red bar at the middle bottom of the screen. Clicking on that got me this:

IMG_20190917_151653 (2)_LI

The picture below is what “The Artist” sees after watching the video in any given lesson. He tells me that this excercise is to see if he remembers what the lesson taught.

IMG_20190917_151553

He says that periodically the program gives a comprehension quiz or a test. The Artist really has been enjoying this! He also has some developmental delays, thoughv he’s not quite as delayed as his brothers, and this has been a great fit for him! Check out Online Times Alive and see if it’s a good fit for you! The cost is $9.95 / month with an initial $6.95 sign-up fee, but my readers can use the code  lovetolearn to have the sign up fee waved.

Please click on the banner just below to read what 44 other reviewing families think of Online Times Alive!

Online Times Alive {City Creek Press, Inc. 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! -)

Leave a comment

Filed under Homeschool Math, Multiplication Tables, Times Alive

Matific Galaxy {Our Review}

Matific Galaxy is an online math resource that provides fun activities for learning or practicing math skills such as counting, ordering, addition, and subtraction. We were given this online program for the purpose of this review, and “The Puzzler” has been enthusiastically using it ever since. I can honestly state that he really, really likes it!

Matific 1

“The Puzzler” has learning disabilities, particularly when it comes to math. While he can count his 0ne dollar bills and pennies, he cannot count money beyond that, so after looking at the skills per grade,

Matific 4

I went with K, because as I said, math is where he struggles the most, not matter how hard we’ve worked with him. If the time comes that he’s getting beyond this level, it is a very easy option to change where I have him set.

Matific 5

You really CAN easily see their progress from the parent zone of this site! Here is one of the progress reports I have been able to see . . .

Matific 3

As you can see, *I* need some more practice though, in doing screen shots! But this is just one of the screens in a long page of results.

One of the things we like is that the lessons are very short, which works well with the short attention spans I deal with around here. At the same time, even though I told him to use this at least 15 minutes 3 times per week, “The Puzzler” regularly went longer, AND asked me to log into my laptop so that he could play Matific Galaxy at additional

As he goes along, “The Puzzler” can check his own achievements, without waiting for me.

Matific 2

“The Puzzler,” working in different lessons.

Here he is in an activity he didn’t care for, he said it was hard to draw the numbers with the mouse. The number he drew is at the very left, almost out of view, and he’s about to do one in the upcoming blank square.

Matific 8

One of the reasons I think that this program is one that he is frequently wanting to use is that it has the feel of a video game, wherein he must complete each section befor he can as my boys put it, “Level up!” This means, until he is ready to move on, he cannot level up, so he is learning all the time. We limit the boys to one hour each per day on video games, so I’m thinking this was to him, a legitimate way of getting around the time limit! Because “it’s SCHOOL, Mom!” Well, I’m totally OK with that!

I really am happy that we were chosen to review Matific Galaxy! I think you should go and check it out!

Please, click on the banner below to read what 49 other fair and honest crew members think of Matific Galaxy. I bet you’ll like what they have to say!

Grow Your Math Skills with Matific Galaxy {Matific Galaxy Reviews}Crew-DisclaimerAs 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! -)

Leave a comment

Filed under educational games, home education, Homeschool Math, Math Games, Matific Galaxy

No-Nonsense Algebra From Math Essentials: Our Review

You know, I have pretty much ALWAYS had a hate/hate relationship with math, something I have tried very hard to keep from passing on to my children. When this review came along, at first I really, really did not want it. Not at all. HOWEVER, after filling out my interest form (OK, let’s be honest, my LACK of interest form), I found out that when kids are getting ready for their ACT and SAT tests for College, it was suggested that this book is a good one for them to review Algebra, as that is something that is definitely tested. I was given to understand that the further one is away from Algebra, the less proficient they become. I also discovered that the book No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials has, in fact, been used quite successfully as a good review before taking these tests.  So, I went back and redid my interest level so that hopefully, we would be blessed enough to receive it for “The Artist” to use.
And we were indeed so blessed in that regard!

Just looking at the cover told me that this would be a no fluff curriculum. It is fairly plain, with no distracting images or colors, which I consider a plus for “The Artist.”

Another thing which I feel is helpful, especially for “The Artist,” is the access to free online video lessons, which are available for each lesson in the book. Now, at first, “The Artist” did NOT take advantage of the video lessons, saying “Mom, I don’t need them, I KNOW how to do this stuff!” Of course, he slammed into a wall pretty quick and I convinced him to give the video lessons a try. In doing this, he discovered that he learns best with a combination of viewing and hearing the lesson, along with the written lessons in the book.

Here he is, resolutely using only the book:

A little while later though, he hit another wall, when it came to working on positive and negative fractions. He was really getting upset, even with the video lesson, and I was busy writing another review, so I finally told him to set it aside for a little while then to look at it again. He did do that, without me realizing it. What happened? He screamed “I got it!” and about scared me right out of my desk chair! LOL!

Here is “The Artist” finally giving in and using the video lessons:

IMG_20170727_113031

One of the best things about No-Nonsense Algebra as far as “The Artist” is concerned, is that the lessons are fairly short, and the video lessons explain things quite well.

This book has 10 chapters:

  • 22 lessons on necessary tools for Algebra plus a chapter review
  • 9 lessons on Solving Equations plus a chapter review
  • 6 lessons on Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equation plus a chapter review
  • 7 lessons on solving and graphing inequalities plus a chapter review
  • 4 lessons on systems of linear equations and inequalities plus a chapter review
  • 13 lessons on Polynomials plus a chapter review
  • 10 lessons about rational expressions (algebraic fractions) plus a chapter review
  • 10 lessons on radical expressions and geometry plus a chapter review
  • 6 lessons on quadratic equations plus a chapter review
  • 8 lessons on algebra word problems plus a chapter review

Beyond this, there is a final review, a glossary, pages of important formulas, important symbols, the multiplication table, commonly used prime numbers, squares and square roots, fraction/decimal equivalents, access to the online video lessons, and the solutions section for checking the work.

I am going to recommend this book. At the price of only $28.95, this would be a good choice whether you have a student studying for his or her ACT and SAT, or you simply have a student who is ready to learn Algebra.

To read 59 other fair and honest reviews about No-Nonsense Agebra from Math Essentials from the Homeschool Review Crew Members, please click on the banner below

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

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! -)

Leave a comment

Filed under Homeschool Math, Math Essentials, No-Nonsense Algebra

UnLock Pre-Algebra, Our Review!

I had never even heard of UnLock Math before this, but I am sure glad that being a member of the Homeschool Review Crew showed it to me!

We were given a number of options to request for review, and have been blessed with the one that would truly work for us (or should I say, work for “The Artist)! We were given for purpose of this review a one year subscription to UnLock Pre-Algebra.

One of the things I particularly like is that UnLock Pre-Algebra breaks the lessons down to small sections, so the student is never overwhelmed. Concepts are built one on top of another, so that the student can understand what is going on in a logical manner, and not fall prey to math anxiety (which is something that I have always had a problem with!), thereby building more confidence, skill and understanding.

The video lessons are approximately 10 minutes in length, and are watched after doing the warm up section. After the video are the practice problems, generally about 10 of them, focusing on what was taught in that particular video. After this, there is a stay sharp section, which covers everything the student has covered since the beginning of the program, and then a challenge yourself, a difficult (in my son’s opinion, anyway) word problem. I understand that, because I myself have always hated word problems.

UnLock Pre-Algebra can be used as a full program for the year, or as a supplement to your main program. This program is 16 units in length, and covers topics from whole numbers all the way to probability and statistics. The entire UnLock Pre-Algebra Scope and Sequence is available for you to read before purchase.

I also like that the program does allow the student to redo the practice questions if he or she feels they could do better. Afterwards, the system will use the highest score they get for their grade. I ESPECIALLY like that this is parent/teacher friendly. I didn’t have to prep or teach anything. I don’t have to grade anything, the system does it for me, and “The Artist” can see how he’s doing from his side as well, so that (as I said before) if he feels he didn’t do well, he can do the practice questions over and the system will take the better grade. I don’t have to decide how to schedule lessons, either, because there is a downloadable scheduling guide already made!

My favorite thing? The absolutely phenomenal customer service! The day that I was out-of-town with “Mr. Loquacious” when he needed surgery for his broken nose, I asked my husband to please make sure “The Artist” kept on schedule with this and one other school assignment. Well, he found a mistake in on of the tests. He had the right answer, his dad (the math geek) said it was right, too. so after I came home, I got into chat on the UnLock Pre-Algebra site, where I got an immediate response, no waiting. Devon came on, he told me he would fix the grade right away and check on the glitch. Then, he emailed me because he forgot to ask my son’s name in the chat, lol!

Then, a few days ago I received an email from Matthew Blackwood, founder of UnLock Math letting me (and apparently everyone else with this program,) to let us know that the testing and assessment platform was updated a couple of weeks ago. An unforseen result is that graphing questions were not grading correctly, and it is a bug they are working on fixing. With apology for any inconvenience, Mr. Blackwood hs told us that we can simply send a list of any questions that the student has answered correctly, but the system is grading as incorrect or incomplete, and it will be manually changed for the student.

In the beginning, I set up my log in and “The Artist’s” student log in, gave him a brief explanation, and away he went! Pretty quickly, he decided to keep paper and pencil at hand in order to work out on paper some of the problems.

IMG_20170621_133258

The very first day that “The Artist” began UnLock Pre-Algebra, I was hearing an awful lot of “Boo-Yah!” coming from the computer area, which I thought was funny, coming from someone who didn’t even really want to do a math program. 🙂

What does “The Artist” like about UnLock Math? Here are his answers to that question:

  • I can just look at my screen and visually see how  I’m doing percentage-wise
  • UnLock Pre-Algebra made it easier to learn Roman Numerals by explaining it better than other programs I have tried
  • I like that this is all on the computer and I didn’t have to do work sheets
  • I liked the short lesson videos
  • I liked that there was only one problem on the screen at a time, it made it easier to focus.

“The Artist” mostly uses a pair of head phones while working in UnLock Pre-Algebra, so that he can actually focus. With a six person household, it’s not often going to be quiet, hehehe.

I have decided I am a definite fan of this program! Now that the review period is over, we have decided this is a wonderful program to help “The Artist” get going on being where he may need to be in math. I highly recommend it to you!

To see what 64 other Homeschool Review Crew members think of

please click on the banner just below:

Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry {UnLock Math Reviews}Crew DisclaimerAs 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! -)

Leave a comment

Filed under Homeschool Math, Math, UnLock Math, UnLock Pre-Algebra

GPA LEARN: A T.O.S. Review

We have been using the online math program called GPALOVEMATH from GPA LEARN.

Full disclosure time… as most people who know me well are aware, I am NOT a math person. In fact, as soon as I had enough math credit to graduate when in high school, I never took a math class again. I would really like this to be different for my kiddos, though, so I was pleased to see how great GPALOVEMATH turned out to be!

I have four kids, and so far, three of them have been using this program, and enjoying it! I mean, even asking to do more of it, though I expect that has a lot to do with the motivational feature, which I will talk about a little later.

GPALOVEMATH is, as I said above, a web based program which covers grades from Kindergarten through fifth. I currently have kids working in grade 1, grade 1, and grade 3, but one of our twins “Mr. Loquacious” is finding it too easy and asked to be bumped up a grade, as did “The Artist”, who is deficient in math, but is finding this time around that 3rd grade is too easy. “The Puzzler” needs help in the first grade level, so he’ll stay there for now. One of the nice things though, is that I CAN change the grade level they are in, by myself, as opposed to having to ask the company GPA LEARN to do it for me.

One of the things that my kids like for any homeschool program is having it be interactive. This one is! Each grade level has a learning coach who interacts with the student. In the levels we’ve been using, first grade has an Australian penguin who’s name is PI, and in the third grade level, the learning coach is a robot named Abacus.

GPALOVEMATH is set up so that I can log in as myself and have access to each of my kids’ information. I can test drive anything they have coming up, and I can set up surprise rewards for them, which they earn after a certain number of lessons and quizzes are completed, depending on how many rewards I’ve chosen. I didn’t tell them about it, so when it happened, they were thrilled, and as I said up above, started asking for more time on the program, lol! Not only can they earn my rewards, but there are awards set up by GPALOVEMATH which they may work toward when available, such as ecards for places like Toys R Us and Target.

Regardless of which grade my kids are using, they will have over 150 lessons and 10,000 problems. In each lesson, they begin with instruction, then they practice the concept, and finally, move on to the quiz. I think the practice session is especially beneficial to my twins. When they finish a lesson, the program tells them how they did, and they can see how many points they have built up to that point. If they are working toward a specific thing, such as one of the ecards, the program will tell them how many more points they need to reach it. I like that, it’s motivational, and MAY help them develop more patience. 🙂

I had occasion to phone tech support at GPA LEARN, and was extremely pleased! “Mr. Loquacious” was having a problem with the final problem on a quiz, and even I couldn’t do it. It called for typing a number into a space. Neither of us could do it, and when I tried to send through the feedback button at the bottom, I couldn’t type into that either. Finally, I gave up and called for support, where a very nice man named Darryn answered. He and a coder named Chad spent a bunch of time trying to help me figure it out, and we just couldn’t do it. He took down my phone number and promised to call me back. Well, in probably 15 minutes, they did, in fact call back. They had me log in as me, and test drive the quiz to see if we could recreate the problem. It still didn’t work. After all of that time, we finally figured out that I had not been using Chrome, which is the browser that works best for this program. *I* felt completely stupid, but Darryn and Chad assured me that this is what they are there for, and I was doing fine. 🙂

We really like GPALOVEMATH, and would very highly recommend it.

You can have access to all 6 levels for one child at the cost of $149 for the year or $12.99/month. For a limited time, it is available at $129 with code GPAINTRO15.

Please check out GPA Learn via their social media:

Social Media:
http://www.facebook.com/gpalearn
http://www.twitter.com/gpalearn
http://www.pinterest.com/gpalearn

GPA Learn Review
Crew Disclaimer

As always, I’d love to have you join me on all of “My Journeys”! Please just head up to the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and enter your email, and you’ll always know when there is something new here! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under education, home education, Homeschool Math, homeschool products

UberSmart Software . . . A T.O.S. Review

My boys and I have had the opportunity for the past few weeks to work with UberSmart Math Facts.

This little program, created by a homeschool dad whose wife wanted their children to have help with learning their math facts. It is available from UberSmart Software It is written primarily for students from K – 6, or anyone older (even adults) who need, or would like a refresher on the basic math facts, and can be purchased for $24.95.

I was intrigued enough at how simple this little program is for learning math facts, that I really wanted to give it a try with my kids. As it turns out, it really is a basic little program, which you download to your computer (which must have one of the following: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8), and you ARE permitted to put it onto multiple computers, which can be of some help if you have several children, and more than one computer.

The UberSmart Math Facts program works just like your traditional set of flash cards, but electronically, on your computer. First, learn, in which your student tries to answer the problem and then hit the answer key to check your answer. Another section, practice, allows him/her to click on the answer they think is correct, and they may also choose test when they are ready, which causes the program to give them a timed session with a certain number of cards.

Depending on whether or not you allow online activity, your student may also choose compete, allowing them to compete against others around the world in a timed session. We haven’t done this one.

This program also has a “report” and a “maintain” tab for the parent. If you like to have printable reports to keep for your records, or if you need them in a portfolio to turn in to your state, UberSmart Math Facts gives you the ability to have them. You can also maintain things like how long you want a student to have on timed activities. The default (4.5 seconds) is too, too fast for all but one of my boys, but you can adjust it, as I said.

Here are some of the different ways you can have the program set up, depending upon the age or ability of your child.

Traditional flash card format:

Keyboarding (practice typing the digits in quickly):

Dot cards:

There are other possibilities as well, such as showing the dots and numbers together.

I wanted to try UberSmart Math Facts because I feel that my boys can use a LOT of help when it comes with the memorizing of math facts, in particular “The Batman”.

I, personally, like this program. My kids, not so much. They thought it was boring, because they have, in the past, used math fact programs that were more like a video game, and they love video games, of course! They love the flash, excitement, and “leveling up”. However, since I can SEE some improvement, I’ll continue using it. We most often use it in the “practice” mode, because it is very hard for some of my boys to actually memorize the facts and have them stick. As with many things, we need to sort of tweak educational materials for our special needs kids, and given that we CAN continue under “practice” until such time as they are ready

A number of other crew members also were given the opportunity to review UberSmart Math Facts, Please, do click the banner below to see what they thought of this program!
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer
I would just love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just go and enter your email into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and you will be notified whenever there is a new post! If you do enjoy “My Journeys”, then please go to our Facebook page and give it a like. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under education, home education, Homeschool Math, homeschool products, Math Facts Drill, UberSmart Math Facts